Busy few months… sort of

Let’s see, what has been going on lately? Nothing. A whole lot of NOTHING. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many of our normal activities to a grinding halt. We are using this time at home to get ahead on all of our 4-H work so that we can just sail through the second half of the year. We have been doing lots of ZOOM classes with 4-H. We made monster bookmarks and have been working through the Mars Base Camp kit for STEM days. We did a Cornell Bird Drawing class that was a LOT of fun. We learned a lot of new techniques and had fun doing so.

We took a family trip to Gatorland and had an enjoyable time visiting “classic roadside Florida”. We learned a lot about alligators and then hit the road. We stopped at Disney Springs for some Dole Whip floats.

B and I helped with Neighborhood Beautification day hosted by Keep Pinellas Beautiful. We walked all over the neighborhood and the park and picked up trash for the morning. It was great to help out our neighborhood and heep it nice looking.

We have planted a lot of new plants in the front garden. We enjoying taking outside time breaks during the day and relaxing in the garden area. We bought a lot of the new plants from Kerby’s Nursery in Seffner.

We built a basketball hoop and have been enjoying tossing hoops, or trying at least!

We have also been workin gon a service project for 4-H. We are helping to collect books and restock Little Free Libraries around the area. We have been poke hunting a lot so restock the libraries as we come across them in Safety Harbor.

We have been enjoying a LITTLE break in the weather and family walks. We visited Moccasin Lake Nature Park and Boyd Hill recently for hiking and nature time. We all need to be out of the house in the fresh air more often.

School is going well. I completed my online composition class at SPC this past week. I finished it in 8 weeks with a 99.9%. It is normally a 16 week class. I learned a lot about writing and think my skills improved a lot. I am just coasting along now finishing up my last few classes for the year. I will start at SPC in January with 10 credits as I am now working towards my AA degree as well as completing my high school years. I am basically on the same path that B is on and I hope to graduate when I am around 16.

August Antics

The summer went by very fast and slow at the same time. We still found things to keep us busy while being mostly stuck at home because of the pandemic. We have enjoyed the parks and nature quite often. We participated in a BioBlitz for the IECC conference this year. Sadly, the conference was canceled but they still held some virtual events. We rocked insect trivia and had fun participating.

The Bio Blitz encouraged us to visit new places and boy did we! We hit some local parks and then ventured to Hillsborough River State Park for a long hike in the heat. We photographyed and uploaded nearly 300 specimens!

Classes started on August 17th at SPC. I had already started back with Pre-calc with ALEKS and the second term of Chem with FLVS. At SPC I am just taking ENC1101, comp 1. I am 2 weeks into the class now and have completed 5 weeks worth of work. I just turned in my first official college writing paper. I am confident I did well.

B and I did get new desks and chairs this year. We had fun building them too! I am happy to have a surface to spread out on and a place to do Zoom calls from.

We also found out that the coffee and B and Dad drink is no longer made. So they had a taste test to pick a new bean. I tried the coffees upon request and made this horrid face with each and every one. I love coffee ice cream and tiramisu but not coffee. I was gagging in the sink for a while.

Daisy, my AFT, is not really eating much at all. She did shed twice and eat her shed but refuses crickets and other feeders. Mom picked up some Repti-boost and is giving Daisy 2ml of that a day. Daisy is chunking up a but and gained 2.5 grams! she was only 18 grams. We will taper off the Repti-boost later this week and then start her back on crickets. The boost is supposed to give her more energy for hunting. Let’s hope it works!

June/July Covid Fun

Still, fun is a tough word. We ventured out more this month. We enjoyed a trip to the Ringing Museum in Sarasota. Grandma Jo met us there and wandered the gallery and grounds with us for the day. I really enjoyed seeing and learning about all the artwork. I loved the grounds and gardens the most though. I helped Mom redo the front porch with some stands for our plants to keep the cats from chewing them. It seems to be working, for now.

Many days when B was taking his summer classes we spent playing DUO, UNO, Monopoly card game and other games. I have enjoyed this time with Mom and apparently Thunder.

We had a fun 4th of July lighting off smoke balls and ash snakes in the driveway. We piled into Dad’s car to watch the fireworks in the neighborhood. It kept things much more quiet, smoke free and mosquito bite free. Thunder and another cat got spooked at some point and there must have been an argument. Thunder got a nasty tail bite. He now has a shaved tail and is on several medications until he feels better. He is hiding out in the bathroom and rarely wanders out. He did come out to lay on my racetrack I set up.

We said goodbye to Luna and the Jeep. Mom got a new Tesla Model Y, named GinnY. We said goodbye to the old ice cream maker and hello to a new one. I also got an African Fat Tail gecko. I haven’t picked a name for her yet but Mom is calling her Daisy. I admit I like the name and it will probably stick. It is a play on Harry Potter “Sunshine DAISY butter mellow…turn this stinking fat rat yellow”.

We took a drive to Gainesville for the day to get out of the house for a while. B drove most of the way. We hiked in the NATL and then visited the Natural History Museum. Since bug camp was canceled face-to-face this was a fun alternative. We did have a virtual bug camp and I really enjoyed that! I can’t wait til next year when we get to go face-to-face again.

Covid May Fun

Well, fun isn’t exactly the word. Our summer vacations and camps have officially been canceled. I picked up my first class at St. Petersburg College and am rocking it. It is a short 6 week computer skills class but I should finish it in 2 weeks at the pace I am working. I am also doing ALEKS college algebra as well to prep for math at SPC in the spring.

We deep cleaned and purged our rooms and closets. We gave away a lot of old games we don’t play. My last step was cleaning my discovery shelves. That only took 2 days!

May has been about enjoying the cool mornings in the yard, family game time, school, cats and just being home. I really miss all of our adventures but I know we will get back to them soon enough.

I celebrated Mother’s Day by picking mom some flowers and then we took a pandemic load of pasta up to Grandma Susie. We also celebrated Mom’s birthday and bought a new sofa for the living room.

We went on a few hikes and spent some time collecting insects. I let everything go that I caught but I still enjoyed myself.

Enjoy the photos and I hope we get to do some fun things this summer. Although I am really enjoying doing nothing.

Covid-19 lifesytle

Well, a month ago we were wrapping up spring break and the news arrived that the virus has hit the US. This sent everything into a spirial of crazy. Spring break was extended a few days. Those few days became a few weeks of distance learning, those few weeks became the rest of the term and then the rest of summer term too. Mom and Dad have been busy crafting masks, which we have to wear in public now. There are long lines everywhere as you have to keep your distance, 6 feet, from others. The stores have arrows to allow one way flow. Toilet paper is the hot item. Apparently people use more when they are at home all the time. We are under quarantine, it’s been about 6 weeks and things are looking good for a slow open soon. We have taken lots of family walks at home and the parks. We stay home the rest of the time. Mom and Dad do all the shopping and wear masks and wash up when they get home. Restaurants are closed, except for takeout. A lot closed altogether. We still were able to get popcorn from Popical and crappy Chinese food. Pretty much everything is closed that isn’t “essential.” 

Learning is all online now, well parts of it were before anyway. I had to do some Zoom meetings with FLVS for chemistry class and the lesson got Zoom bombed. That wasn’t fun. Mom does Zoom with 4-H and our clubs but it is all password protected. Our summer trips are canceled and summer camps are almost canceled. 

This is almost like a really bad dystopian book. Thank goodness school is keeping me pretty busy so I haven’t really had much time to think about all of this. I passed the PERT for SPC 4 days before the school closed for the virus. So this summer I will start with a simple online computer skills class.

Some of these photos are just for reminders of what this was like so I can look back at it later.