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Thursday, December 3, 2020
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  • A nice long chat with an old friend . . . on Zoom
    Tuesday, December 1, 2020 4:00 AM
    Yesterday, I had a nice long Zoom chat with an old friend. 
    I know this is nothing remarkable these days, but it was the first time my friend Andrew had used Zoom and I was frankly a little surprised. 
    Andrew isn’t on Facebook. “It’s none of anyone’s business what I’m up to!” he tells me. 
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  • World-altering, industry-changing and maybe right
    Monday, November 23, 2020 4:00 AM
    “I’m hunkering down,” Rebecca told me.
    I know what she means. My friend, Rebecca, just returned from a road trip she made after a lot of careful consideration. First her mother was sick. Then she fell and broke her hip. Rebecca’s mother is 90 and she did not seem to be getting better. Rebecca decided she needed to go visit her. 
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  • Having an animal office mate while I’m working
    Monday, November 16, 2020 4:00 AM
    Today I will get Blue again.
    Blue is the anxious Italian mastiff that I dog-sit on Wednesdays while his owner, Bill, works in the office. The new procedure is that I walk down to Bill’s house, fetch Blue, and bring him back to my home. This seems to work better than having Bill drop him off. When Bill does that, Blue hangs onto Bills legs and tries to avoid coming in my house like a petulant four-year-old trying to avoid daycare—which is exactly what he is. 
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  • “The Stomachache”
    Monday, November 9, 2020 4:00 AM
    I get stomachaches. I get them with regularity and always have.
    “It’s just gas!” my mother says, and of course, she’s right. 
    My mother tells me I get stomachaches because I have the “Benson stomach,” by which she means that I have the same stomach she has, which is the same stomach her mother had, which my grandmother inherited from her mother—who was a Benson. 
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  • A nice long chat and trying Zoom
    Monday, November 2, 2020 4:00 AM
    Yesterday, I had a nice long Zoom chat with an old friend. 
    I know this is nothing remarkable these days, but it was the first time my friend Andrew had used Zoom and I was frankly a little surprised. 
    Andrew isn’t on Facebook. “It’s none of anyone’s business what I’m up to!” he tells me. 
    0 comment(s)
  • Dealing with a mouse in our car
    Monday, October 26, 2020 4:00 AM
    My husband Peter is now at war with the mice.
    The mice (possibly with the assistance of a rat or two) have eaten the electrical wiring in our car causing extensive damage. The coating on the wires is apparently tasty. I don’t know any automobile engineers personally but, if I did, I would suggest that constructing a car out of tasty materials is probably not a great idea because now we have a lot of small creatures trying to eat our car, one piece at a time. 
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  • How Blue says thank you
    Monday, October 19, 2020 4:00 AM
    Blue had been through a rough patch.
    He was adopted from the shelter and then returned for unspecified reasons. That’s when Bill met him. 
    Blue is an Italian mastiff—which means he is massive, just not quite as massive as an ordinary mastiff. I don’t know exactly what attracted Bill to Blue, but it’s not hard to understand. Blue is a very sweet boy. But he’d been through a lot. 
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  • Gladiolas: going overboard on desk plants
    Monday, October 12, 2020 4:00 AM
    Yesterday, I bought gladiolas. They are nearly three feet tall and bright fuchsia. It is safe to say they are the most exciting thing to appear at my desk in ages. 
    When I walked in the front door my husband, Peter, said, “Oh my gosh.” 
    Translated, that means: “You have gone overboard on the flowers.” But Peter is too nice to say that. 
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  • The bear on my hike
    Monday, October 5, 2020 4:00 AM
    The two women told me about the bear when I was on my hike. 
    They were on trail bikes and saw the bear in the direction I was headed. “It was scary!” one of the women said. 
    We were all a little nervous. There had been a bear attack just a few weeks earlier up on the ski hill. A couple had gone up to see the comet.
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  • Reading to Lori while she fights cancer in a hospital
    Monday, September 28, 2020 4:00 AM
    I’ve been reading to Lori. Lori is my husband, Peter’s, older sister. She has cancer and has been battling it for a while now. She uses oxygen to help out and catching this virus would be terrible for her, so Peter and I are extra careful, in large part because I’d like to keep reading to Lori.
    I’ve been writing a novel. It’s the first time I’ve written fiction, so I honestly don’t have any idea what I’m doing. It’s the sort of thing a person learns how to do by doing -- and so I’ve been doing it, pretty much alone, since the end of January. Except that, sometime in there, I started reading it to Lori. 
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  • A lovely treat of more dog stories
    Monday, September 21, 2020 4:00 AM
    It seems I have acquired a reputation.
    I have been handing out dog treats for three months. Every day, I take the same trail, and every day, I meet many of the same customers. Dogs have an amazing memory when it comes to getting a treat—particularly from a stranger. 
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  • When slipper use exceeds all previous records
    Monday, September 14, 2020 4:00 AM
    I’ve worn out a pair of slippers. 
    To be fair, I wear slippers quite a bit under normal circumstances, but over the past four months my slipper use has exceeded previous records. I was reading the news one morning (I imagine you know what that’s like). The takeaway for me was that I was going to be wearing slippers for a while. I looked down at my slippers and gave in to the inevitable. I ordered new slippers. 
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  • Getting to the point of living under a blue tarp
    Friday, September 4, 2020 4:00 AM
    I noticed my wrists were sticking to my desk.
    This was a gradual awareness. I spend almost all day at my desk and I don’t know precisely when it started, but I finally looked down because my wrists were undeniably sticky. I had used the wrist rest in front of my keyboard for… well, forever, and I’d noticed there were a few rips in the fabric. This had apparently progressed, completely unnoticed, until the wrist rest had started to ooze some awful sticky substance, which was now stuck to my arm.
    “How did this happen?” I asked myself.
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  • Curfews and space according to hummingbird logic
    Wednesday, August 26, 2020 4:00 AM
    My husband, Peter, is fascinated by hummingbirds.
    This year has been a difficult year for hummingbird watching as there has been a lot of competition at the feeder. First, the ants wouldn’t leave it alone. Then a bear smashed the feeder to bits. Right after Peter replaced the feeder, wasps found it. Peter gave up for a while and took the feeder down, replacing it with a fancy wasp trap that worked surprisingly well.
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  • Celebrating a grand birthday blow-out with family
    Saturday, August 22, 2020 4:00 AM
    It was my birthday recently.
    This is not normally cause for a big celebration and this year it is less than usual. Still, unlike my husband, Peter, I actually do celebrate my birthday. I don’t expect anyone else to celebrate—although it’s nice to know my parents remember I was born and still seem to think it was a good thing.
    But I’m puzzled by reports of people my age who have huge celebrations or pout if they don’t get a party.
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