Covid-19: week 4

Life Under Stay Home, Stay Safe

The girls have been home for 19 days now with only a few trips away from home to town where they stay in the car, or to the school to sit in the car and go online or to Colleen’s office to also connect to the internet. Jakobi’s favorite part of the day is the walk to the mailbox to pick up her lunch/breakfast. The school district has been awesome in making over 500 lunches for it’s at-home students. They have also been getting out the work but it is all online and since we don’t have internet at our house hence the above mentioned trips to try and keep up.

Jakobi has taken to making us breakfast on the weekends. She loves to cook and her specialty is eggs. Check out this lovely plate of food she made me!


We’ve been playing more games and here is the the final board of our last scrabble game where I came from behind and beat Colleen with the word QUITE, triple letter and double word score!

Work Update

Work at Farmers To You continues to be very busy. Orders increased to 1200 last week and we are all now wearing masks in addition to social distancing, washing our hands 10Xs a day and sanitizing everything 3Xs a day.

The FTY Crew gets oriented to the new pick circle

We changed the pick circle to accommodate all the products for all the orders and added a 2nd pick day on Wednesday. Down in Boston I never come in closer than 6′ to anybody and have no contact with our customers. I wear my full body coverall, a mask and safety goggles and stay in the truck placing the orders on a table at the the back of the truck as the site host maintains social distance. I back away and they get the order, adds the bread and places it on another table and backs off and only then does the customer approach and pick up the order. The customers are really good at maintaining social distance as they move through the return and pick up stations which we outline in chalk.

It is non stop as we have over 80 customers at each of the 3 sites I deliver to. A month ago we averaged 50 at each site and we need to adjust the pick up times as Lexington is too long and the Arlington and Porter too short to accommodate all our customers. It was made even tougher this past week as it rained all day which necessitated setting up and taking down 2 tents. At least I do not have one of the home delivery vans meeting me at the end of the day with returns and we rented a larger truck which made getting to all the orders easier. Everyone in Boston is wearing masks which is what we all should have been doing 3 weeks ago. Vermont learned from other states and seems to be more successful at flattening the curve.

Construction Update

Am waiting on tile to finish the tub wall and the kitchen backsplash so my project this weekend was to make a stained glass window for each of the mudroom doors in the Winter House and the Long House. I made the casing on Friday and stained it and on Saturday after Jakobi’s awesome breakfast I began work on the Winter House window.

It took me all day to make the pattern, cut and grind the glass and apply the copper foil to the pieces. I took a break for lamb stew dinner (which I made between grinding the glass and applying the foil) and after dinner I soldered the window and installed it in the door.This is my 3rd stained glass piece and my best work so far!

MaryJane & Me

** Disclaimer To any present or future employer let it be known that like alcohol I have never and will never smoke weed while on the job. I smoke 2-3 times over the weekend at home and sometimes when dancing **

I first smoked pot when I was 12 years old. It was winter and there was a snowstorm and school had already been cancelled for the next day. My brother and I, released from a school night routine were allowed out of the house when our friends showed up at the door and asked if we wanted to play out in the storm.

I don’t remember everyone who was there, probably Bruce and Stephen who we had been friends with since we moved in 3 years ago. I definitely remember Tom and Tim because they were the ones with the weed. They were the new kids on the block who had moved in across the street earlier that year. Tom was a year older than my brother who was a year older than me and that made them exciting. We were holed up in a snow fort we had built earlier that winter when Tom produced the joint and asked if we wanted to smoke. We all did except Bruce who left. We passed around the joint and inhaling as well the 2nd hand smoke that drifted in layers in the cold air of our home made igloo. I don’t remember much else except that running around our large yard afterwards in the dark and blowing snow was exhilarating. When it was time to come in I went immediately to the bathroom and brushed my teeth acutely aware that this was the first thing ever that I could not tell my parent about.

We didn’t hang out with Tim and Tom much and a 2nd joint never appeared and later that year we moved to Toledo and the only time I got high was at a Van Halen concert at the Toledo Sports Arena when I was 14 and that was from the 2nd hand smoke.

I didn’t encounter weed again til in college and then I was often drunk enough that i didn’t notice the high. It was only after I had been out of college for a year and found myself working at the Bull and Finch Pub in Boston that weed sought me out again.

After our shift flipping burgers for the tourists and fans of NBC’s Cheers, I would join the other cooks for a beer at the Beacon Hill Pub. One of them had weed and I joined them for that too. I was writing at this point in my life and I found that weed altered my thought patterns an allowed for creativity to flow easily. Soon I had bought my first bag and would smoke before sitting down at my word processor (MS-DOS)

The best I can describe the appeal of getting high would be to say that it allows me to really see as opposed to seeing. Knowing what a tree is, when i see a tree, i see my preconception of what a tree is rather than the actual tree in front of me. Getting high erases the preconception allowing me to see the tree as-it-is-in-the moment. Now multiply that by everything!

Soon i was getting high and wandering the city seeing the city not as I thought it but as it was. Soon I left Boston for the mountains of Colorado which began a two decades long immersion in Nature. I traded a steady job and apartment for a backpack and a tent. From Colorado I traveled to Martha’s Vineyard for a summer then to New Zealand for 4 months of backpacking. Getting high became a ritual of awakening. At a certain point in the day in a beautiful spot by a waterfall, in a forest glade or on a mountain ridge I would cleanse my mind opening up to the Ever-Present-Now.

In 1992 I moved to Alaska and lived in the woods, while working occasionally in the ski town of Girdwood, until 2003. Smoking pot was a small part of my day for the next decade as I moved through the cycle of sun and moon from long summer days to long winter nights and back again exploring the temperate rain-forest, mountain peaks and tidewater inlet that encompassed and enclosed the valley and the people who came and went within it while making yearly trips to such places as Hawaii, Honduras, Mexico and the Lower 48.

In 2001 my son Gaelen was born and my journey out of the woods began. For the next few years I shuttled between Ohio and Alaska and in that time my passion for dance brought me into the contra dancing community where in May of 2004 in Columbus Ohio I met the love of my life Colleen.

Soon we were a family and by 2005 my weed smoking had moved from a daily occurrence to the weekends where it has remained more or less ever since except for the occasional months long breaks when travelling. Like a bottle of beer or glass of wine weed helps me unwind. Sunsets and baths are some of my preferred activities for getting high as well as sitting by a beautiful waterfall.

Covid-19 has me re-thinking the act of inhaling smoke into my lungs and I have stopped smoking pot during the pandemic. I have instead learned how to make cannabis butter. My intention was to make some brownies or cookies but to test the dose I consumed a 1/4 teaspoon straight and realized that the butter straight would do. I didn’t even bother to stain the butter when it was hot to remove the ground up cannabis (Bigfoot Glue from Northern California) Eating butter is a different experience than smoking weed, it creeps up slower and last a lot longer. Hopefully I will come to enjoy it as much as not inhaling smoke is a good thing.

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Covid-19: week 3

We are into the 3rd week of the Covid-19 pandemic on Earth. It is remarkable how the whole world is united by this virus and all are experiencing the same disruptions of daily life. My hope is that once we get past this we will remain in crisis mode and work on mitigating climate change as the biggest obstacle to it has been the argument that it will be too hard to disrupt our lives to make the changes we need. Well Covid-19 has proven that disrupting our daily lives is possible and why not re-start them with Climate Change protocals taking precedence.

Here in Vermont schools, restaurants and bars were shut two weeks ago, then last week all non essential business were shut and people were told to shelter in place; Stay Home Stay Safe. On Thursday the Governor announced that schools would remain shut for the remainder of the term and that districts had to have a remote learning plan in place by April 13th.

We are washing our hands, maintaining social distance when we are out which is rarely. My work is busier than ever, we have maxed out at 1200 customers and have a waiting list with 700 people on it. We are scrambling to implement safe practices and deal with the increased volume of orders and have added 2 extra days to the pick; Mondays to stock and Wednesdays to spread the pick out over two days. Last week in Boston was the busiest I have ever been at the pick up sites. We had long lines of customers 6′ apart the whole time and extra site hosts to deal with returns and handing the orders out. We developed a system where no one gets within 6′ of each other. People are so grateful to be getting food and it feels good what we are doing.

At home the girls keeping busy reading, drawing, talking on the phone with friends. For my part I am enjoying not running around every day taking them to dance and gymnastics and art class but it is tempered by their disappointment in not being able to do those things. We are boiling sap and working on the tile work in the bathroom and finishing up the basement and sorting through totes that have been under the Long House for years deciding what to keep and what to trash. There is no shortage of projects to keep us occupied and with 3 days of intense work at FTY I do not feel isolated.

Colleen is using technology to continue to counsel her clients and we use the WiFi hot spot at Doty School to catch up on online stuff. The girls are cut off from Remote Learning but that is no big deal as they have been homeschooled all their lives and this is no different.

Construction Update

This weekend I tiled the tub wall in orange 4″ x 4″ tiles and cut a large circle in the middle. The inner circle is going to be a 18″ diameter tile that I will make and the outer ring will be a mosaic of tile and sea shells. We have also finally decided on black as the tile color for our kitchen back splash and will order it this week and get to work on it when it arrives integrating the tiles we each made into it.

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