Vaccines: 3, Jeff: 0

Warning: This post will be full of typos. Sorry. You have been warned.

Greetings once again from the Great White North.

As I write this, another round of vaccine is working to make me less vulnerable to Covid. I am grateful for that, but it’s still no fun. I was jabbed yesterday afternoon. By bedtime the only side effect I knew about was a sore arm at the injection site. Nothing to worry about, I thought, but like both doses before this one, I have been slammed. I am groggy, have a headache, did not sleep well, and in general feel worn down.

A friend sent me an email asking how I was, and I responded thusly this morning:

I am feeling like the last apple in the bin at the grocery store. Bruised, cut, and battered. No one will ever buy me. When the clerks get around to restocking I will get tossed into the garbage and ignored. My entire life was for naught, and no one will mourn my passing.

Like that.

As a result of these conditions typos will abound, as the warning above points out. I will correct them eventually, but if you are one of those who usually waits one day to read these things in order to see the “fixed” version, you might give it two days this time. I suspect I will be asleep for most of the day.

Anyway, since I am trying to say something at least mildly interesting, the holidays have receded into the distance and our visitor has left. As a result our lives are returning to something like pandemic normal. Yes, I was a bit mysterious about who our visitor was, but that’s just me being paranoid. Now that she’s back home you can know it was my mother.

Hi Mom!

Her visit was stunningly uneventful for at least a couple of reasons. First, she arrived just as Omicron was revving up. Case numbers climbed from around 350 a day in BC to 2000 a day during her stay, and the climb was particularly steep in the area around our home. That increase was completely predictable, and in fact I saw it coming before she arrived, but there was no stopping her from making the trip.

Second, of the three of us, I was only one who was only double vaccinated. I was still on the booster waiting list during her entire visit. (Side note: that waiting list was waiting for me to get to six months after my previous dose, not something to do with a lack of vaccines.) Another mild vaccination related worry (for me) is that my initial vaccine doses were one AstraZeneca and one Moderna. That’s a combination no one will ever study in depth, so we won’t ever have statistics about how well off people like me are. In any case, I wasn’t all that comfortable going out into the world and facing jillions of human Petri dishes, each potentially busy incubating new Covid variants.

The other major reason we hid at home was the weather. Shortly after Mom arrived BC went into the deep freeze, with snow and temperatures well below 0° C for many days in a row. You might recall the heat dome last summer? This was like that but in reverse. The sidewalks were a mess, there was nowhere to put the snow, and even walking was a challenge. Hiding at home was simply easier than going out. I am well aware that most of Canada laughs at Vancouver for complaining about the cold, but water pipes were freezing all over town. We’re really not prepared for it here. (We’d better get prepared, though. Global warming — in which we put more energy into a system in the form of heat in various ways — is only going to make extreme storms worse in the coming years. Ugh.)

Anyway, while I feel guilty about boring my mother for four weeks, it wasn’t all watching paint peel. There was a lot of this sort of thing:

Mom staring at her phone, this time taking a photo of me

And there were several holiday dinners:

Christmas dinner being set out

In any case, she claims she had a good time, and I will take her at her word.

As for the weather, the snow piled up quite high until just a couple of days before Mom left. At that point it started raining and that has pretty much continued, though we seem to be in a respite as I write this. Here’s what remains of the snow in the back yard on Thursday morning:

Tiny patches of backyard snow

Don’t be fooled, though. Despite well over 4" of rainfall since the last time any snow came down, this is what the biggest pile of snow looks like in the front yard:

Still melting

I expect it will be several more days before the snow is entirely gone.

Thanks to the nasty cold snap, I ordered a set of devices to melt snow and ice around the downspout openings on our roof. We had some solidly iced up downspouts during this mess, and it would have been much worse if water had pushed into the house. Once the new system arrives I will share photos and information, but I’m betting it’s not going below freezing again this year thanks to my purchase. Murphy has a way of getting into things.

Another home project that got accelerated thanks to the cold weather is the replacement of windows in our home. I created a huge document detailing all the windows and handed it to a window supply store to get a cost estimate for just the materials. That should be in my hands next week, and from there we’ll talk with our selected contractor about the job itself. He tells me he should have time in February and March to get to work on these things, which would be great. More on that as it develops.

Sadly, my brain is so addled at the moment that is all I have to share.

I wish you all the very best. I will respond to comments and messages as usual when I recover. In the meantime, take care!



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