April 26, 2020

Week 6 in Quarantine

Week 6 in Quarantine
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for April 26, 2020

This week we continued to find new ways to keep ourselves entertained without hanging out with other humans.  We pretended like we all can play basketball.

We had some extremely competitive Cornhole matches.  I love the name Cornhole.  I have no idea what it means, but it sure sounds kind of naughty.

We also reminded ourselves how out of shape we are when we took our first bike rides of the season.  But hey, you gotta start somewhere!

On Saturday, the temperatures climbed into the sixties so we figured it would be a good time to get out the boat.

Since the water is too cold to go swimming yet, we did our second favorite thing which is ride around and look for critters.

Mud Bay has a little island which is the nesting site for dozens of great egrets.

It's spring so the birds are all getting frisky and building nests so they can get busy and start laying some eggs.  They're pretty talented at constructing each of their nests amongst their neighbors.  Although, they were definitely closer than 6 feet from one another so I'm hoping they don't get in trouble with the government.

We didn't see any babies yet, but there were tons of egrets flying in and out of the trees.  I'm sure there's gonna be some pretty hot action on this island in the next couple of weeks.  If the nest is a rockin' don't come a knockin'!

We spent a couple of hours exploring the lake and even though we couldn't share our time with anyone else, we still had a lot of fun.

We saw our first goldfinch this week on our feeder.  It's probably not that big of a deal, but it doesn't take much to get us excited any more.

April 19, 2020

Week 5 in Quarantine

Week 5 in Quarantine
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for April 19, 2020

We had the opportunity to see Grandma Linda this week.  Unfortunately, it was at the end of our driveway while I stood in the garage.  She's doing well in Quarantine and it was very nice to see her even if it was over a pretty good distance.

We've sat Blue down several times to try to explain the concept of social distancing to him, but he just doesn't seem to listen.  I think Grandma Linda was still pretty happy to see him despite the inherent dangers involved.

This has become a very common view for me as the five us take our daily walks through the neighborhood.

The fish are beginning to spawn in the creek near our house which is always something I look forward to seeing.  This monster walleye was taking a rest right next to shore.  We could have reached in and grabbed him, but we're not really into that sort of thing.  Fun watching him swim, though.

Another guy who was down at the creek estimated it's length to be about 26 inches which sounded huge to me.  I looked up the record walleye ever caught in Minnesota and it's more than 35 inches long.  So I guess he still has quite a bit of growth still ahead of him assuming he makes it that long.

Blue has been getting somewhat spoiled with the exercise lately.  Not only have we been doing the daily walks, but swimming season is now in full effect.  He's starting to really like this quarantine stuff.

After 28 days of not being in a car, I figured it was time to at least go for a ride around town.  I wanted to see what Mystic Lake Casino looked like with an empty parking lot, but of course they had everything blocked off so you couldn't get in there.  It will be interesting to see when they open their doors again.

Wow!  Something happened to gas prices since the last time I was in a car.  It's just crazy what's going on in the world right now.  It will be so nice when we can get things back to normal again. 

It was another exciting Saturday night at the Swank house.  We can't wait until we can start doing this kind of stuff with other people again some day.

April 12, 2020

Week 4 in Quarantine

Week 4 in Quarantine
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for April 12, 2020

Day 29 in quarantine and it's starting to feel pretty routine.  We actually see my family more than usual because for some reason it took corona-virus to get us to all start doing video chats on a regular basis.  We all enjoy checking in with my sisters and the boys' cousins although it's usually pretty tough to understand each other because we all have the tendency to talk at the same time.  We gotta work on that piece of it.  It was nice to see everyone for Easter though.

We spent an hour and a half catching up with our good friends, Karl & Tina Zitzewitz, last night which was fun.  We spent a lot of time comparing notes on the best shows to be watching in Quarantine.    Season 3 of Ozark was determined a winner by Karl & I.  We also compared notes on best shopping techniques while social distancing which was helpful.  I'm looking forward to a time when we can start discussing sports and planning get togethers again, but who knows when that will be?

When I bumped into Avery at the coffee maker the other day, I realized we were kind of like co-workers now.  Although he does programming for his job and I sell enterprise software, our dress code has become very similar for work.  

Miss Sheri does a great job with thinking of new ways to keep us all entertained while being stuck together.  She came up with the idea of a campfire the other day which was a nice escape from screen time.  

Having unseasonable warm weather in Minnesota in April has been helpful at breaking up the routine during this strange time in our lives.  If this keeps up, we just may have to go on the hunt to discover additional sources of firewood to keep us busy.

Mother Nature put on a nice show for us this week with a "Pink Supermoon".  It was pretty, but didn't look very pink to me.

Miss Sheri also caught this shot of the sunset peeking through our neighbor's trees.  I thought it kind of looked like Mount Doom from Lord of the Rings off in the distance.  It would have been fun to go there on an adventure, but we have this whole Stay at Home order in place.  I bet Frodo Baggins wished he would have been able to use that excuse.

We're starting to figure out how to get groceries in new ways, so we've been eating well while staying at home.  We have to get started on our Quarantine diet plan pretty soon or this is going to be a problem.

The boys have been away at college the past couple of Easters so Miss Sheri was excited to be able to get them to participate in the Easter Basket games again this year.  Although they drew the line at going on a hunt for Easter Eggs.  When did our baby boys grow up and not want to do the fun stuff any more?

April 5, 2020

Week 3 in Quarantine

Week 3 in Quarantine
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for April 5, 2020

We continue seeking new ways to entertain ourselves as we hit week 3 of quarantine.  The hot tub is getting quite a bit more use than it's had in awhile.  We even relaxed the rules on allowing our golden retriever, Blue, to get into the hot tub with us.  Despite our thinking for years that the dog had a strong desire to join us in the hot tub, we discovered that he has absolutely zero interest in doing so.  We've always told him No whenever we thought he might be interested in jumping in the water, but when we finally said yes and tried to encourage him to jump in with us, we found out that there is no way in heck is he going to get into that water.  Maybe it's too hot for him.

I was pretty shocked that he wouldn't get into the hot tub, because swimming is one of his favorite things to do in the world.  Lucky for him, the ice finally went out on the lake this weekend so he was able to get some in anyways.  Despite the water being only 45 degrees or so, he had not a moment of hesitation before he jumped in and was ready to chase the ball as long as we would let him do it.  We might be stuck at home, but at least Spring is finally coming so we can enjoy our outside time.

Now I just need to find something like swimming to keep my boys as entertained as the dog.  It's kind of interesting for them to be finishing their college semesters at home the past couple of weeks because we haven't been around them during study season for quite some time.  I'm actually pretty happy with their study habits so far although we've all been getting inundated with much more screen time than we've had before.  It's video game season for all of us!

We called the DNR on these geese this week.  They are standing way too close to each other for proper social distancing and we know they don't live in the same house together.  This just isn't safe for anyone.

I never thought I'd see the day when our state government would deem our local playground to be too dangerous to play on.  One less thing available to keep me entertained.

We did complete a new 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle this week.  So we got that going for us.  Which is nice.

It's funny how suddenly video calling is becoming a much bigger part of our lives than it was before the virus hit.  I had the opportunity to see Krazy Kory's new puppy, Luna.  The silly dog wasn't very cooperative at posing for the webcam, though.  He's going to have to work on that with her.

We had our first virtual Quarantine & Chill Happy Hour with a few of our fellow Prior Lake Empty Nester Club members.  It's amazing how much fun it is to just have a few drinks with friends again.  I look forward to the day when we can actually go into a restaurant together once more, but in the meantime this ain't so bad.  

Stay safe everyone!  Hopefully we won't have to do this too much longer.