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I had planned to check in last weekend but everything is topsy-turvy right now and I am just reaching a place where I can catch my breath for a second. Everyone at my house so far is healthy.

The mall where James works closed Thursday and since he can’t do eye exams and fit people for glasses from home, he is at loose ends. As a result he has lots of time to cook! For dinner we’ve had golden coconut lentil soup and a made from scratch pizza (including the sauce). So very delicious. He made cinnamon rolls too for a special treat for breakfast.

All the classes at the university where I work have been moved online through the end of the semester. Campus, however, is not closed. The law library is open and we have turned a number of our student study rooms into “zoom rooms” for faculty to use. That way they are in a central location so if they need help they are easily got to. Students have been using the other study rooms, mostly alone, to attend their classes. It’s nice that we can be open for students who might not have wifi at home or have kids at home and need someplace quiet to be for awhile.

No one is checking out books right now, though they can. I have gotten emails from faculty and a few students asking for PDFs of chapters from books that are assigned reading. Part of my job has also become walking around the library with a cart every few hours and cleaning tables and door handles and light switches. The best parts of my day lately have been that moment I have just scrubbed my hands and I don’t have to worry about touching my face. I can rub my allergy eyes, adjust my glasses, scratch my chin! For a few glorious minutes I get a break from being so vigilant about everything. Three weeks ago I would never have dreamed that this would mean so much.

Of course my work situation will likely change soon. The governor will probably be issuing a shelter at home order in the coming week, which means I will work from home. Electronic lending only. I’ve been hoarding projects I can do from home that will get me through, I hope, a month if need be.

In the midst of all of this Dickens, who had been feeling unwell for a couple of days, suddenly starting acting strange. He would wander around in circles, only right turning circles, and if his circle bumped him into a wall or furniture, he would stand there, confused. This is the cat who has figured out how to open all the doors and drawers and locked storage bins in the house, so something was very wrong. We feared he had had a stroke. The vet did tests and it turns out he is diabetic. He is already eating high protein food, so now we have to give him insulin injections twice a day. It was a bit of a challenge finding the right insulin since everyone is stocking up on their medications right now.

The good news is, that after a week, Dickens is doing much better and almost back to his old self. He sees the vet again next week to check his blood sugar levels and determine if we need to make any dosage adjustments.

The public libraries here are all closed. I have a few books I had borrowed just before the doors closed so I am good for a couple weeks. Then, if the situation has not yet changed, I will have to start dipping into all of the unread books I actually own. My retirement account! I can still borrow audiobooks and e-books but everyone else is borrowing, or trying to borrow, those and the waitlists are long. While others are hoarding toilet paper, I have been hoarding books. I should be ok.

Spring officially arrived with the equinox this week, and the weather in Minneapolis is almost about three weeks ahead of normal. This means my maple tree is starting to bloom, my apple trees all have swelling buds, and my rhubarb is poking up from the ground. Too early! Too early! I tell them. But they won’t listen. I hope we have no “normal” cold snaps or my eager growers might get hurt.

With the uncertainty of the pandemic, the Friends School has cancelled its annual plant sale. This is the one James and I have been attending every year for the past 20 years on Mother’s Day weekend. They are trying to figure out if they can hold a greatly reduced sale, since it is a fundraiser for the school, in which we can order plants online and then pick them up. We are hoping they do, both for the school’s sake and the growers they purchase all their plants from. If the sale doesn’t happen, I am fine for plants for the garden. I just won’t get any herbs, annuals, or any new or different “let’s see if we can grow” plants this year.

It is too early to plant outdoors yet, but since James is home with me on weekends now, and the weather Sunday is supposed to be nice, we will be out in the garden doing some tree and shrub pruning. The Dashwoods also have the run of the garden at the moment. They are completely oblivious to the dire news reports and any changes of routine. They sail around the garden, fat and happy, scratching for seeds and bugs without a care in the world. Something I really envy right now.

Be well and stay safe everyone!