Alameda County has been in the orange tier for about 4 weeks now and the trend continues to look good. So hopefully in another week or two we'll be upgraded to the yellow tier. The state of California has set a target for all restrictions being lifted by June 15 and it seems like we're on track for the public health situation to support that move.
Jess is getting her first shot of the Pfizer vaccine today with the second shot scheduled for May 15. There's a public clinic being held just down the street from us which she can walk to/from in about 5 minutes.
So things are looking pretty positive in our local area, maybe even an end in sight. However, there are some concerning trends elsewhere in the country and the world. India's case rate has skyrocketed in the last week or two and Japan has announced a new wave of lockdowns. Brazil has been a mess for a long time and that doesn't look to be changing. More locally, Michigan in particular, but also Minnesota, are not doing very well right now either (relative to the rest of the country).
I've been working on painting this figure from the "Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion" game a little at a time for several weeks now. The figure is 1.5 inches tall, so the detail work is pretty tough. This took about 13 hours worth of time. It looks somewhat less impressive in blown-up, high-detail photographs; so just zoom out and imagine it being quite small so the errors in detail are less noticeable.
Overall I'm happy with how it came out.
There are 4 characters in the game, so three more to go. This may be the most detailed one, but I painted it first because it's the character I'm playing.
I spent just about all day Saturday trying to get the exterior of the house spruced up and looking decent. Mowed the lawn, washed off the dirt and cobwebs, cleaned the back yard, edged the grass, pulled weeds, etc. It looked pretty nice for the five minutes before the wind blew more leaves off the neighbors tree all over the backyard. This tree loses leaves all year long, so it never stays cleaned up.
The wisteria's blooming landed just about perfectly on this weekend. It blooms before it leaves, which makes it look a bit weird, but you get to see more of the blossoms since they're not blocked by any other growth.
The Easter Bunny visited the house mid-morning while the girls were watching TV. Corinne had been planning for at least a week that we would all sit together and read Humbug Rabbit on Easter morning. So we did that and then the girls realized there were eggs outside and the game was afoot.
And a mere 15 minutes later the eggs had been collected.
Now I'm making a triple-batch of rolls to have with dinner. Jess was working on deviled eggs, but became annoyed that the guaranteed-to-work Instant Pot recipe for hard-boiled eggs failed to live up to its guarantee. And everyone has had too much candy already.
The girls went back to in-person school this week. First time at school in just a bit over a year. Their options were to stay remote, go in person, or stay with their teacher regardless of which style that meant. We opted for them to both stay with their teachers which resulted in them both going back in person.
They're only on campus for 2.75 hours M, T, Th, F (at-home only on Wednesdays). Everyone wearing masks, and maintaining 6-feet of separation. No food served, so no communal dining setting. They can eat a small snack during recess if they want, but have to sit apart and still be outside. The rest of the day is at-home assignments.
Heather has class in the morning, Corinne has class in the afternoon. This makes lunch time a bit cramped as there's only 50 minutes between Heather's pick-up time and Corinne's drop-off time. But it also means that Jess can focus on them one at a time to complete their at-home assignments.
They both said they liked being in school. Corinne, in particular, was excited to see the classroom and meet the class guinea pig, Tigger.
Corinne celebrated her second pandemic birthday this week.
She had a treasure hunt at lunch time to find her presents.
I had to go on site to work for the afternoon. While I was gone Jess helped Corinne construct that Lego set. When I got home Corinne and I played with it all the way until dinner time.
Corinne's requested dinner, the best dinner she could ever imagine, was spaghetti with alfredo sauce and mashed potatoes. We offered to include toast (one of her most loved foods), but she turned it down because when she has two things on her plate that she really loves (toast and spaghetti) she'll only eat one of them and then be full without getting to enjoy the other. We suggested having less of each to be able to enjoy both, but she turned that down too; too risky.
After dinner was cake. Corinne was very excited about the nightlight ladybug thing she received, so it needed to pose with her.
Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and a vanilla (but pink colored) mousse filling. Decorated with Hershey kisses around the edge, one of her favorite candies.
On Friday we took the afternoon off for a trip to the zoo. We were all pretty wiped out though. Not sure if it was from the time change or a year of incredibly sedentary lifestyle or both, but we only covered about 1/3 of the zoo before coming home. Corinne's favorite part was riding the gondola to the top where the bears, bison, wolves, and eagles are. Those animals weren't her favorite, the gondola ride itself was her favorite.