Work and School from Home: Walking Around Wallingford Part 2

The rest of my memories are in a random jumble but all show something I enjoy or find unique about Wallingford. I was going to write something about each of the pictures but I don’t think I’m going to have the energy anytime soon to think about them. So, in one big jumble, here they are (some are repeats from the first post about Wallingford):

Yard picture: Yellow rose tinged with pink.

Yard picture: Yellow rose.

Yard picture: Yellow flowers.

Wildflowers between the sidewalk and road.

Yard picture: White flowers on tree.

Yard picture: White rose with pink edge.

Yard picture: Tall white iris.

Yard picture: Large white flower in front of tiny pink flowers.

Large circular mosaic on stair langing. Circles of black, blue, green, and purple with marine motifs.

Yard picture: red and yellow tulips.

Yard picture: Bare tree, kind of artistic looking.

Trash in circular mesh tube to create wall art.

Sign on fence that says Together We Will.

Mural on tatoo place. Picture of orange striped cats.

Orange crocheted (or knitted?) swing hanging from tree.

Yard picture: columnar yellow and purple flowers on a stalk.

Small tree hung with summer colored decorations.

Front yard decorated for summer including cut-out of a turtle riding a bicycle.

Yard yard decorated for summer with turtle riding a bicycle and pinwheels in the yard.

Plants growing in old stump.

Bumper sticker on truck says "Warning: Student Driver. Be Afraid . . . . Be Very Afraid".

White yard: white strawberry bush.

Yard picture: star mosaic.

Yard picture: red fairy door.

Yard picture: red fairy door 2.

Yard picture: red tulips surrounded by purple flowers.

Yard picture: Red tulips.

Front Yard: Red tulips just starting to open surrounded by purple flowers.

Yard picture: purple iris, a smaller variety.

Yard picture: black flamingos with skeleton outlines painted on them in pink and white. RIP gravestone.

Mosaic sign that says "Seattle Mosaic Arts piecing together"

Mosaic sign that says Seattle Mosaic Arts piecing together and shows a sunset picture?

Bush with pink flowers in a median surrounded by brightly colored plastic tulips.

Yard picture: multi-colored small roses that are pink, red, and white.

Yard picture: pink rose with a yellow center.

Yard picture: purple flowers with a mirror mosaic in the middle.

Yard picture: Red rose.

Yard picture: brilliant red rhododendron bush.

Yard picture: orange flowers with yellow centers.

Yard picture: tree with fine purpleish leaves.

Church with rainbow colored steps, one color per step, and flying a progressive pride flag.

Truck with women in the bed holding signs. Trunk tailgate has a sign that says #Seattleqartineparade.

Very large rainwater tank.

Quaratine hopscotch on sidewalk.

Green house with purple stairs. The front door is glass with painted picture on it.

Poem in front yard.

Poem in front yard.

Bench with words that say "Poem bench" on it.

Sign in planter asking people to give the plants words of affirmation.

Yard picture: bright pink flowers.

Yard picture: California poppies.

Yard picture: orange tulips.

Yard picture: yellowish-orange rose.

Sign advertising four legged friend meetup for those acquiring new puppies during COVID-19 quaratine.

Yard picture: nerfgun dart next to California poppies.

Yard picture: Ceramic blue mushroom cap.

Quirky bird art on concrete retaining wall for a front yard.

California poppy mosaic on steps going up to a house.

Square mosaics of different pictures in place of cement flagstones as walking path between yard and street.

House has a mylar Minion balloon hanging outside.

Mask sign on fence that says "Not forever, just for now".

Street roundabout median with plastic tulips, potted plants, zebra on a birdbath and other quirk.

Yard picture: purple Lilac bushes.

Little Free Library with copper plate decoration.

Chalk on sidewalk that says Just Married.

Painted roundabout medan with quirky design.

Huge ivy hedge in front of a house with space cut for door and window.

Random large hook hanging off the house.

Outside house art. Metal tree triptych.

High hedge surrounding house.

Handrail covered in small coloring tiles.

Front yard growing grain (wheat?).

Picture of front of a house. Stuffed giraffe peers from the front window.

Yard picture: fringed white and red tulip.

Sign with free chained around tree.

Pink flowering tree.

Small Mosaic in front yard.

Yard picture: red rose.

Yard picture orange California poppies.

Fire hydrant with two eyes stuck to it.

Fence with encouraging quarantine messages written in chalk.

Fence with encouraging quarantine messages written in chalk.

Yard picture: white daffodils and red spiky tulips.

Tree with hanging decorative eggs for Easter.

Picture of yard with large, maybe 1 foot high, ceramic eggs scattered about.

White daffodils laying on ground due to stems being unable to support them.

Bright pink flowers in strip in the middle of the driveway.

Yard picture: blue ferry door in tree.

Yard picture: round fairy door in tree.

Yard picture: yellow fair door in wooden electric pole.

Yard picture: toy digger in patch of dirt.

Tree surrounded by wooden rectangular supports.

Stump with pictures paint on it.

Flowering tree with paper cranes hanging off the branches.

Pink flowering tree.

Tall, and oddly shaped, cedar tree.

Seattle You are cool sign.

Yard decoration: concrete cat looking through binoculars.

Thomas Vbra studio sign on tree trunk: www.tomasvrba.com

Yard picture: masses of orange California poppies.

Yard picture: butter fly mosaic.

White Cutout rabbit underneath sign with inspiration pandemic messages on it.

Brown Cutout rabbit underneath sign with inspiration pandemic messages on it.

Rocks with inspirational sayings painted on them.

Birdhouse on top of 2 hour parking limit sign.

Painting of owl next to house.

Sign that says "Bigfoot xing".

Fence gate that says Beware of Dog with dog crossed out and Frogs! underneath.

Garden sign that says Be Happy.

Orange california poppy with bumble bee.

Bamboo and pink flowering trees.

Bamboo.

Yard picture: artist advertising painting.

Julian in master bath with his large water table.

Yard picture: pink flower.

Fireworks

Fireworks

Fireworks

Fireworks

Fireworks

Fireworks

Front yard of Wallingford house.

Yard picture: yellow rose edged in pink.

Calvin hanging out in hammock colored in blue blanket reading a book.

Calvin and Julian playing in the snow on the deck.

Sitting on the sofa enjoying the fire in the fireplace.

Fire in fireplace.

Small multicolored rose: red, yellow, and pink.

Yard picture: red flower.

Yard picture: pink flower.

Yard picture: peach rose.

Yard picture: bush with brilliant purple flowers.

Calvin and Julian playing in snow on the deck.

Update: Updating Site

Update:
Ok, I didn’t get around to updating the website. However, that’s still the plan, eventually.

Original:
I’m going to be updating the software for this website over the next several days. So, some parts may be temporarily broken for a while.

Work and School from Home: Walking Around Wallingford Part 1

Most work days I go for a half hour walk at lunch time. When working at the library, I had a great route that gave me hills and stairs. Our Wallingford house does not have such steep hills, which I prefer from a driving perspective, but I don’t get as much exercise this way. However, I love walking around the neighborhood and seeing all the beauty and quirk it possesses.

My Favorite House

There is one house in particularly that I love in this neighborhood. The house is light green with white trim and purple steps. The front door is glass with large whimsical flowers painted on it. I feel a little awkward taking pictures of people’s houses close up so you might just need to trust me that it’s a magical house.
House with purple stairs surrounded by trees.

The property also has multiple fairy doors next to the concrete steps and in the trees.
Yellow fairy door in utility pole.
Round fairy door, surrounded by cobble stone, in tree trunk.

Gothic-style fairy door in tree trunk.

Red round fairy door embedded in stones next to stairs.

Gothic-style red fairy door embedded in stone next to stairs.

Mosaics

I love all the mosaics I see in random spots around Wallingford. About a year ago I stumbled across Seattle Mosaic Arts and I meant to go back and take a class but never seemed to have a good time to do it.

Here’s their signs:

Mosaic on red wall. Blue background with a yellow crescent moon and multi-colored umbrellas. Says Seattle Mosaic Arts piecing together.

Two mosaics on red wall. Top mosaic shows a crescent moon and says Seattle Mosaic Arts piecing together. Bottom mosaic shows a sunset.

There are also many other mosaics around the neighborhood. One of my favorites is the stairs:

Steps with a mosaic picture of an orange poppy.

Twenty-two 12-inch mosaics with various pictures on them used to create a sidewalk path.

Colorful mosaic star with the word James on it.

Butterfly mosaic tile.

Flower mosaic tile.

Stair handrail covered in mosaic tile.

Mosaic mirror made with reflective mosaic tiles in the middle of purple flowers.

Signs

There are many, many, signs around the neighborhood but below are some of the more unique one.

One of the first COVID-19 related messages that popped up was a quarantine hopscotch on the sidewalk. The chalk writing says “Days in Quarantine Hop-Scotch”.
Sidewalk with chalk writing and numbered boxes.

Sign on fence says "Together We Will" with smaller, hard to read, writing around the bigger letters.

The fence below has multiple messages that says things like:

  • Take care of one another 🙂
  • One day at a time . . .
  • Love one another
  • You are loved
  • Not one Not two Together
  • It’s ok to cry
  • this too shall pass
  • We all have each other

Fence with encouragements written in chalk.

Another section of the sign:

  • Community is everything
  • Enjoy what you have!
  • Share a message [arrow pointing down to chalk]
  • Love = Soup [heart] XO
  • Spread community
  • Bears in windows

Fence with encouragements written in chalk.

One of my favorite signs is a “Beware of Dog” sign with dog crossed out and “frogs” inserted below.
Wooden fence gate with Beware of Dog sign. The word dog is crossed out and below it says "Frogs!".

Crossing sign with a picture of bigfoot and the text "Bigfoot Xing".

Wood in the shape of a T. Across the top it says "Be Happy".

Wooden sign with words in blue and green that says "Seattle You Are Cool".

On one of the “walks” Julian and I went on we went pass this sign. It says, “Our plants love receiving words of affirmation. Please share some freely with them as you pass by! TY!”.
Raised garden bed with sign in it.

There are several places where poems have popped up. Here’s one:
Poetry Proclamation
Clearly these are stressful times
So why not try and bust some rhymes?
As long as you are staying home
Why not give the world a poem?
This one’s here to get you started . . .
Don’t be shy or chickenhearted.
Imagine it’s a gift for others,
Children, grammas, daddys, mothers!
We’re all in need of fun distractions,
Kindly deeds and interactions.
So this is my shout out to you,
Friends and neighbors old and new!

Sign that says Poetry Proclamation.

This isn’t a sign as much as it is adding art to covered up windows/doors while the business is closed.
Picture of building with doors and windows covered by plywood and artistic orange cat heads drawn on the window coverings.

And in honor of when Calvin starts learning to drive . . .
Bumpersticker that says "Warning: Student Driver Be Afraid . . . Be Very Afraid".

Work and School from Home: Learning about Racism

I am bad at talking about racism. I never know the right thing to say so I tend to stay silent and watch and listen. I’m also too timid, which I understand is a privilege many people don’t have. However, I feel like my sporadic updates about COVID-19 would be incomplete without acknowledging our additional crisis caused by racism.

I’ve watched COVID-19 magnify existing problems. For example, organizations bad at communication become even worse at communicating. It’s also widening the differences between our socioeconomic classes1 as well as racial groups2, particularly for black people.

Then, police officers murdered George Floyd3. This is too common 4. Protests erupted, including in Seattle.

Calvin and I now share an office. A couple of days ago, while I was reading a Seattle Times article on the protests, I must have made a sound because Calvin asked me what I was doing. I told him I was reading about the protests and he asked me why there was a car on fire. For a moment, my mind went blank. How do I explain?

A while back Calvin and I watched a movie on Netflix called See You Yesterday. We had just recently watched Back to the Future and this movie seemed like a good continuation. The central plot of See You Yesterday is a teenage girl’s quest to change the past and save her brother from being shot by the police. Commonsense Media suggests it’s appropriate for ages 15+. Calvin was 10 at the time we watched it together. I wasn’t sure if Calvin was old enough to see a film with police violence. However, as I was looking for articles about the movie I ran across one, I can’t remember which one, which pointed out that black children don’t have the luxury to be ignorant. So, we watched the movie. It was really good.

So, when Calvin asked me what the protests were about, I asked him if he remembered watching See You Yesterday. He said he did. I then told him that while the movie was obviously fictional, police killing unarmed black people was not, it had happened many times before. The protests were because another murder had happened and people are justifiably enraged.

As I said, I don’t do a good job talking about racism and I’m also deeply ignorant about so much of its impact on people. However, I felt I needed to give Calvin some additional context. When in doubt, I turn to books. So, I started looking for audiobooks that could help explain it to Calvin. Eventually, I ran across a list from The Book Table, an independent book store, that had A Black Lives Matter Reading List. It included Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning, by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi. The reviews were good so I bought it5.

Calvin and I both listened to it. It’s for a juvenile/teen audience so is substantially shorter than the book it’s adapted from, Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. As I listened, it reminded me of when I was an adult reference librarian and was asked for basic information about a specific topic. Sometimes the best way to learn something new is to find a book in the children’s area explaining the topic. Stamped is both engaging and informative. I think it gave Calvin and I a lot to think about.

  1. About Half Of Lower-income Americans Report Household Job or Wage Loss Due To Covid-19
    Kim Parker-Juliana Horowitz-Anna Brown – https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2020/04/21/about-half-of-lower-income-americans-report-household-job-or-wage-loss-due-to-covid-19/
  2. Race and Income Shape Covid-19 Risk: Sph: Boston University
    Samuel lhemdi – https://www.bu.edu/sph/2020/04/28/race-and-income-shape-covid-19-risk/
  3. Four Minneapolis Officers Are Fired After Video Shows One Kneeling on Neck Of Black Man Who Later Died
    Dalton Bennett-Brittany Shammas-Katie Mettler-Timothy Bella – https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/four-minneapolis-officers-are-fired-after-video-shows-one-kneeling-on-neck-of-black-man-who-later-died/
  4. A Decade Of Watching Black People Die
    https://www.npr.org/2020/05/29/865261916/a-decade-of-watching-black-people-die
  5. At the time, the library didn’t own the audiobook version. Less than 48 hours later, they currently own 10 copies but there are 47 holds

Work and School from Home: My Schedule

One reason the stay-at-home experience has been so surreal for me, particularly initially, is I prefer doing many of the things I now have to do. I like working from home because I can control the temperature environment, I can sleep in later, and I have very minimal interaction with people. Right before this happened, I had determined I should be more sociable so I had made a goal to invite people over to our house at least once a month. Now, I don’t have to feel any guilt for not doing so. I don’t like driving in the city and now I’m encouraged to stay in my neighborhood.

However, as time went on I realized the biggest downside for me is that everyone else in the family is staying in my house also. In the past, when I worked from home, I might hear one of the kids but I wouldn’t be responsible for them in any way and could ignore them. Once I started work, I no longer had to worry about any household problem. This is no longer true. Now while I work I also have to make sure Calvin is staying on track with his schooling and when I take a break from work, I try to give our au pair a break from Julian. While I don’t miss having a commute, I do miss the time I had to read coming home.

Weekday Schedule
6:30 – Wake Up
6:40 – Exercise, alternate upper body and abs
7:00 – Shower/Get dressed
7:25 – Unload the dishwasher and eat breakfast
7:45 – Start work
10:00 – Take a 15 min break and try to convince Julian to take a walk around the block with me.
12:15 – Take a 1/2 hr “lunch” break and try to convince Julian to take a longer walk with me
2:15 – Take a 15 min break and try to convince Julian to take a walk around the block with me.
4:15 – Stop working for the day. Often at this point Julian will request I play a game with him but sometimes I can convince him to go outside and help me with the yard.
5:00 – Start making supper.
6:00 – Eat Supper.
6:30 – Clean up kitchen.
7:15 – Misc – sometimes pick up the house, sometimes look at real estate websites down in the Bay Area, sometimes read a book.
8:00 – Usually watch TV with Jaeger and Calvin
9:00 – Read, obsess over the most recent house I love, or some other sort of entertainment.
9:45-10:30 – Go to bed.

The one big change Jaeger and I have made during this stay at home period is I now clean up the dishes and he supervises Julian’s bath and puts him to bed. This is lovely. With both Julian and I home all day sometimes he gets very clingy and is constantly touching me. Even when I’m working he’ll come into the office and want to be around Calvin and I. Under normal circumstances I wouldn’t allow it. However, I think he feels very isolated with everyone except him and our au pair working on something so I now let him come in and use the ipad or color while I’m working1 However, all this constant interaction with Julian is extremely tiring. After a couple of particularly trying days I realized I wasn’t getting enough alone time so I requested to switch jobs with Jaeger and he agreed. I enjoy cleaning up the dishes as I can listen to audiobooks and podcasts. Plus, it’s easier to tidy up non-meal things in the vicinity of the kitchen and/or make something else for the next day without interfering with Jaeger’s cleaning process.

Saturday Schedule
On Saturdays I usually wake up around 8, or when either Julian or Willow start complaining. Julian can now make his own breakfast, which is fantastic. However, we recently started feeding Willow wet food2 so now she complains when I don’t feed her quickly enough. Once I get up, I usually make some sort of involved breakfast: Blueberry buckle, crepes, muffins, etc. By then, it’s often time for the Logan family video conference. This often takes 2+ hours. I also often call my mom and sometimes talk to my brother (or, more precisely, Julian and Caleb perform for each other).

I also try to make 1-2 masks each Saturday, usually while watching something on Netflix3. I usually only wear 1-2 masks a week because I usually walk in our neighborhood and just go to the other side of the street, or the middle of the street, when someone is coming towards me. However, Jaeger usually wears one when going out because he likes walking around Gas Works Park which has a lot more people. Also, I suspect we all will be wearing masks more once we start going out in public so I’ve been trying to make fun masks the kids will like wearing. When I ordered fabric I let Julian pick out some options and he chose a colorful dragon print as well as strawberries. I made matching strawberry masks for us. I also made matching Star Wars masks for Calvin, Julian, and their cousin. Their cousin seems pretty enamored with the mask but my kids aren’t super interested and haven’t really left the house recently so they don’t need them.

Julian and I posing with matching masks with a strawberry pattern.

Often it feels like I just got up but it’s already time for supper. Jaeger is in charge of supper on Saturday’s so I just have to show up. After Julian goes to bed Jaeger, Calvin, and I usually play a board game together.

Sunday Schedule
On Sunday I wake up around 7:30 so I can eat and get to the grocery store right as it opens up at 8:00am. It seems the least crowded at that time and there’s a particular checker on duty who always religiously wears his mask and disinfects his hands between customers. This is the one time I’m usually close enough to people that I put on a mask.

After I get home and put away groceries, if Jaeger is still asleep I’ll go back to bed for an early morning nap. Otherwise I’ll start on my weekend chore list. I try to pay bills and balance the credit card weekly because it’s much faster than if I wait a month between. Our roses require constant attention so there’s always weeding, deadheading, spraying, or some other yard activity that would like to be done. I usually try to tidy up the house for the week ahead. If I didn’t get a morning nap, I’ll often take an afternoon nap. Then it’s time for supper (Jaeger usually orders pizza) and preparing for going back to work.

  1. Naturally, Julian decided to have office time during one of the few meetings where I had to extensively talk. In the middle of my explanation about something Julian loudly interrupts and says, “Mommy, can you please be quiet, you’re interrupting my story!”. Fortunately, I was not the only person on the call trying to juggle children at the same time.
  2. I discovered she had lost a significant amount of weight and was down to 8.8 lbs. I took her to the vet and it doesn’t appear like anything is wrong but she shouldn’t lose any more weight. On the vet’s recommendations we are trying a kidney disease diet.
  3. I’ve found Netflix’ Tidying Up with Marie Kondo to be soothing and it also has the benefit of not really having a plot so it doesn’t matter if I can’t hear small segments over the sewing machine.

Work and School from Home: School

The First Week
On Wednesday, March 11, Seattle Public Schools announced they were closing for at least two weeks starting the next day. I had half been expecting schools to close but I thought they would finish the week and then close. I think closing so quickly threw everyone off-guard.

Within about three hours we had an email from Calvin’s teacher. She said all kids were coming home with a packet of what they could work on and gave guidance on how long kids should work on each subject to mirror school time. Wednesday evening I moved the kitchen desk and computer down to the office where I was working and came up with a schedule for Calvin.
Mine and Calvin's desks
I decided it would probably work best if I tried to coordinate Calvin’s schedule with mine. My first attempt was pretty structured.

  • 9:00-10:00 – Math
  • 10:00-10:15 – Walk around the block
  • 10:15-11:15 – Reading
  • 11:15-12:45 – Lunch/Free Time
  • 12:45-1:15 – Longer Walk
  • 1:15-2:00 – Writing
  • 2:00-2:15 – Walk around the block
  • 2:15-3:00 – Science/Social Studies
  • 3:00-3:30 – Art/Music
  • 3:30-4:30 – Free Time
  • 4:30-5:00 – House hold cleanup time
  • 5:00-6:00 – Free Time

Julian’s daycare was still open but Jaeger and I talked and decided since everyone else was home, it probably made sense to keep Julian home also, starting Friday. We sent Julian to daycare on Thursday in order to get Calvin use to the new routine without Julian around.

Wednesday evening I talked to Calvin about the plan and requested to see his school packet. Calvin had no idea what I was talking about. I asked to see everything he brought home and did find several things for him to work on but no math. I emailed his teacher for clarification and she apologized for the confusion and said she and the other teachers had only an hour’s notice on Wednesday to prepare packets for the kids. However, Calvin could practice his math by going to an online site.

Thursday morning dawned and at 9:00 I dragged Calvin down to the office. He was visibly dismayed to discover this wasn’t just going to be time off from school. The first school day at home went ok. Calvin complained a lot about the all the walking but settled down with just a bit of grumbling. Though, he was ready to go back to regular school by the middle of the day.

One bright spot of Thursday was Creative Coding, Calvin’s in-person coding class. They managed one of the best pivots I’ve seen during this crisis. They saw the warning signs and came up with a contingency plan by March 4. Just hours after the school closures were announced, on March 11, they sent out an email saying that class was going to continue online and information on how that would work. On Thursday, they emailed out additional online classes students could sign up for. I immediately signed Calvin up for an additional class. I was tempted to sign up for more but decided 2 a week was probably enough. Plus, I didn’t want to hog all the spaces.

Work was a different story. I have a lot of experience working from home. After Calvin was born I spent 7 years working from home full-time. However, working from home in the middle of a burgeoning crisis, while also supervising a child’s school work, is not a normal work from home situation. It was probably one of my least productive working days. I spent the majority of the time waiting to see what our library was going to do while I contingency planned with other libraries on the best way to configure the integrated library system for a shut-down, or partially shut down, of the library. That evening, a notice was posted that, at end of day Friday, the library would be closing to the public till at least April 13.1.

Friday was hectic. Calvin was still resistant to the new school at home experience and I had a lot of systems work to shut down the library to the public. Jaeger and I did discover some bugs with all of us working from home. For example, I was relatively use to the experience of ignoring screaming around me to focus on work. Jaeger was not use to working with kids in the house and did not appreciate being given the opportunity to learn. After some consultation, I told the children that if they were going to be rambunctious during Calvin’s freetime, they had to stay on the first floor of the house. Overall, the school schedule still seemed to mostly work.

The Second Week
Things started unraveling the next Monday. Calvin moved from grudging acceptance to whining obstruction. I had several failures on Monday. First, I had decided to have Calvin work on art and music on alternate days. Monday was a music day. However, I was working so I couldn’t do any actual music instruction. I decided that I could give him a book about music and call it music appreciation. This didn’t work well. Second, he was suppose to do some sort of “social studies”. Again, my solution was to find a book roughly about the right subject. Third, Calvin truly hated how much I was dragging him out the house for boring walks.

Tuesday’s successes included:

  • Learning I could login to Schoology, the online software Calvin’s school uses, and view what his teacher posted to the class myself. This made it much, much easier to keep track of what Calvin was “suppose” to be working on.
  • Calvin video conferencing with his classmates. This seemed to help a bit with the social isolation. This involved learning real life skills such as keeping your mic on mute unless you were talking.
  • Art. Calvin’s clearly loved art and, after watching a video, drew a great sketch of a Mandalorian.

Tuesday’s problems included:

  • Math – The prior week Calvin had grumbled about doing math. Tuesday he was outright rebellious and spent the whole time allocated for it whining.
  • Exercise – The same thing happened with exercise. This concerned me as we didn’t have a lot of options for aerobic exercises in our house and I was worried that Calvin would become unhealthy.
  • Schedule – I learned that if I didn’t set an alarm for each “school period”, both Calvin and I would forget and he wouldn’t get through everything I had intended.
  • My Work – I was spending so much time trying to manage Calvin that I was having trouble concentrating on my paying job.

After supper I called a meeting with Jaeger and Calvin to discuss the school problems and request suggestions. Both Jaeger and Calvin thought it was completely unreasonable to have math first thing in the morning at 9:00 AM. I also compromised on exercise and told Calvin he didn’t need to come on the short walks with me but I still wanted him to do the lunch walk.

The prior Thursday we had ordered Calvin a chromebook computer. This was because we discovered that my old all-in-one desktop, which was adequate for basic internet connectivity, did not work for video conferencing. We had an external camera for the all-in-one but there weren’t any Windows 10 drivers. We had managed the first coding class by having Calvin login to two sessions: one on the computer so the teacher could see his screen and the other on the ipad so Calvin could talk and the teacher could see his face. However, it wasn’t ideal. Jaeger did some rush researching and determined that a Chromebook would probably meet all our needs and wasn’t excessively expensive. The Chromebook arrived on Tuesday and Calvin was very excited to have his own laptop computer. Jaeger set the computer with Calvin’s Google Family Link account as well as giving me a parent login for it.

Wednesday we started the revised schedule. Reading now became the first subject of the day which seemed to agree with Calvin better. At Calvin’s 10AM video conference, we started running into the limitations of the Family Link setup. Calvin was trying to join his class via Zoom when we discovered that child accounts couldn’t install apps or extensions. Jaeger investigated and verified the problem. He suggested having Calvin use the guest account to get around the problem temporarily which did seem to work, though it wasn’t ideal.

The Third Week
By the third week we had settled into a schedule that was roughly working and allowed Calvin to get some education while I also managed to do productive paid work. I relented on requiring him to take walks with me which also seemed to help his mood. Instead, I suggested he do some basic weight exercises while he watch YouTube. Not ideal but at least it was some level of movement.

For reading time, Calvin started reading The Complete Worst-case Scenario Survival Handbook. I was amused when Calvin pointed out that it had a section on Flu Pandemic. With the exception of masks2, the advice was exactly what everyone was recommending for the COVID-19 situation. I find it particularly amusing to see such a relevant section since previously Calvin had been reading about how to escape an alien abduction.

Thursday was Calvin’s birthday. Not good timing for a birthday. I decided to take the day off work and not require Calvin to do any school work. Instead, I tried to make the day as decadent as possible. We started the day with Chocolate waffles, topped with Nutella, whipped cream, and strawberries. After breakfast, we started watching the original Star Wars trilogy and had pizza for lunch. I had forgotten Calvin had coding class, which he wanted to attend, so he took a break from Star Wars for that. We we had a supper of fruit salad and cake and ended the evening by finishing up the original Star Wars trilogy. While I’m sure it’s not the birthday Calvin would have preferred, he seemed reasonably content with it.

Calvin and Julian eating chocolate waffles.

While I had been wrestling with figuring out how to make school work for Calvin, our au pair had been trying to figure out how to keep Julian entertained. Initially, they had been going to the playground but Seattle had made playgrounds off-limits the prior weekend. I invited him on my walks, and he’d come occasionally, but that still left a lot of time when Jaeger, Calvin, and I were occupied. He did a couple of FaceTime chats with his cousin. Our au pair also ended up playing what looked like endless Catan Junior games with Julian. I inquired of a mom’s group what other games we might try and ordered Sleeping Queens as well as Ticket to Ride: First Journey.

The Fourth Week
The Seattle School District had been very leery of providing online education during the school closure due to equity issues. In practice, this seems to have meant that how much education support was happening was very dependent on the school/teacher. On March 23, The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) released revised guidelines saying that education had to continue during the closure. The Seattle School District came up with a plan that involved online education for those that were able and paper packets and TV lectures for those that were not. Calvin was quite miffed to discover that learning up to this point had been somewhat optional.

From our perspective, the school district’s change of plans didn’t really affect Calvin’s classes. His teacher was already doing roughly what they were recommending so she just made a few tweaks. The one big difference I noticed is that with so many users Schoology was much slower and was obviously having capacity issues. I tried having Calvin listen to a couple of the district recorded sessions. The teachers obviously were trying very hard, and I thought the production quality was pretty decent. However, Calvin didn’t find it engaging at all so I eventually gave up.

For some of the school subjects, such as reading time, I required Calvin to spend the entire time doing the assigned task. However, for other school work that had more finite assignments, I let him do other things until it was time for the next school subject. Calvin spent most of this extra time, and much of his middle-of-the-day freetime, playing games on the Scratch website that other users had coded.

We continued to try to figure out how to make the Google Family Link do what we needed. One of the biggest problem was that regular YouTube was blocked and only YouTube Kids3 was available. This works fine for some things, such as the YouTube art videos his teacher was linking to. However, it worked less well for many other YouTube videos she suggested he watch. Our best work around was either to have him watch them on the iPad min, or to log out of his account and login to the Chromebook guest account.

The Fifth Week
One of the advantages of both Washington and California having school at home is that suddenly many Google parents were testing out Family Link. Monday morning Jaeger let me know that we should now be able to install the official Zoom extension in Calvin’s profile.

My original schedule had evolved over time and by week five looked something like this:

  • 9:00 – Reading
  • 10:00 – Class Video Conference
  • 11:00 – Respond to class chat question
  • 11:15 – Freetime
  • 12:00 – Exercise (weights or step)
  • 12:30 – Freetime
  • 1:00 – Writing
  • 1:30 – Science
  • 2:30 – Math
  • 3:00 – Art
  • 3:30 – Freetime

While Calvin and I had settled into a reasonable daily schedule, Julian started getting more clingy. It finally occurred to me that, while our au pair was doing a fantastic job, Julian felt left out because everyone else in the family was “working”. After a disastrous Tuesday, where Julian spent the last hour of my working day sitting on my lap, I decided I needed another plan. I told Julian anytime he wanted to be in the office he’d have to do “school work”. Previously, I had loaded up a whole bunch of audiobooks and preschool apps on our old iPad and I removed the less educational and more game-like apps. So, when Julian visited us I’d either have him do something on the iPad, or draw a picture. That approach seemed to work ok.

I had initially tried the district’s recorded resources and decided they didn’t work for Calvin. However, his teacher assigned the Ecosystems video and worksheets so I had Calvin try them. Neither he nor I could muster much enthusiasm for them so I had him watch Netflix’s Our Planet instead. It wasn’t teaching exactly the same lesson but it did cover how everything is interrelated which I felt was roughly the Ecosystems module’s message.

The Sixth Week
Calvin had spring break from April 13-17 which was a little weird. I wanted to keep Calvin occupied so I came up with an idea to have a “books to movie” week. The idea being that he’d read the book and then we’d watch the movie. That didn’t quite work out. I also decided to only work half days that week so I could spend more times with the kids, particularly Julian. That didn’t really work out either. I was hoping to convince Julian to go down to the Gas Works Park parking lot and practice riding his peddle bike but I never was able to convince him. So, it wasn’t a terrible week but wasn’t a particularly great week either.

The Seventh Week
I was relieved when spring break ended and Calvin went “back” to school. I had been a bit nervous about whether or not Calvin would be resistant to doing school work again but he didn’t spend too much time grumbling. I think he enjoyed being able to videoconference with his class again. His teacher changed the schedule so Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays were all-class video conferences. However, Tuesdays and Thursdays she would break the class into smaller groups. During one of the small video conferences they talked about a new assignment where they were suppose to write a “Farewall Letter to Jamestown”. It sounds like they were suppose to emulate older speech patterns and I heard Calvin say “Huzzah!” a fair amount.

Julian’s preschool decided it would start doing some Zoom conferences and they sent a schedule out which worked out to about 1/2 hour of video conference a day. As this was the first week there were some bumps. I’m not sure how much education Julian got out of the experience but it did break up his day a bit and I believe he enjoyed having a video conference just like everyone else in the family.

My main focus during this time has been to try to keep Calvin on track with reading, math, and exercise. I view reading and math as fundamental to the rest of education and exercise as fundamental to a healthy life. I felt ok about Calvin’s math and reading but still wasn’t particularly comfortable with the amount of exercise Calvin was getting. He was doing some but I didn’t feel like it was enough. However, this week we finally had an exercise breakthrough. I can’t remember whether Calvin or I suggested it. However, he started walking on the treadmill while watching YouTube. Thus entertained, he averaged at least an hour of walking a day which made me feel better about his activity level.

Calvin has been enjoying the art assignments every day and continues to put his own unique spin on them. For example, Calvin’s teacher suggested his class draw a glass of lemonade. Calvin drew the glass and then expanded it to show a zombie holding the glass.
Zombie holding a lemonade glass.

In Conclusion
On April 6, The Seattle Public Schools announced students would continue to learn from home for the rest of the school year. As a result, we have quite a few weeks left in this new weird school at home experience. It’s certainly not my first choice of schooling for Calvin but it’s the only option we have at the moment. All in all, we have our ups and downs but so far seem to be surviving.

  1. This resulted in many desperate people flocking to the library on Friday. It even got national coverage with U.S. News reporting that we had 8 times our normal Friday checkouts (https://www.usnews.com/news/cities/articles/2020-03-17/coronavirus-closes-libraries-in-seattle-around-the-nation).
  2. The book recommended wearing masks. However, as of March 25 public health officials were still discouraging healthy people from wearing masks in order to save them for sick people and healthcare workers.
  3. Among other reasons, Calvin doesn’t like YouTube Kids because shortcuts don’t work the way they do with regular YouTube, including the very standard spacebar key to pause and restart videos.

Work and School from Home: The Beginning

Wow. This month has been surreal.

On Monday, February 24 I woke up with a sore throat. By that evening, I had a feeling I was getting sick. I woke up in the night and took my temperature. It was 99 which is high for me1. I emailed my manager I was sick and went back to bed. Jaeger was gone to Mountain View. However, our au pair was already scheduled to start at 7:00, because that is usually when I leave for work, so I didn’t have to get up to get the kids ready for school. We knew there had been a case of COVID-19 in Washington but, at the time, they were saying only people who had contact with people from Wuhan were at risk. By the end of the day I was feeling better and didn’t have a fever anymore.

On Wednesday, February 25, my symptoms had morphed into coughing and a runny nose. However, I had no fever2 and believed my energy was back so I went to work. I also went to work on Thursday but at that point COVID-19 was starting to make a bigger splash and people were obviously nervous when I coughed. So, I requested working from home on Friday.

In general, my library is not supportive of working from home. However, the IT department is a little more flexible because it is very useful to do some things on off-hours and weekends and no one wants to spend time commuting on a weekend if they don’t have to. However, there are still rules. I can request to work from home for one day in the future. I cannot request to work from home for multiple days at a time. At the beginning of my day I have to send out what I’m planning to work on. At the end of the day, I have to send a detailed3 report of what I actually worked on. While the rules seem excessive and can sometimes be inconvenient, I’ve never had my work from home request declined. Though, I usually don’t request it more than one day a week.

Over the weekend, King County Health Department reported it’s first COVID-19 death. Library employees started expressing concerns about everyone getting together for staff day, which was planned for the following Tuesday.

On Monday, March 2, I was still coughing and people were getting even more worried about COVID-19. I once again requested to work from home and it was granted. The intranet thread about COVID-19 and staff day concerns had exploded. At the end of day, administration had posted that Staff Day was still on for Tuesday but anyone who felt sick should stay home. I was feeling fine but still coughing a lot which I did not think would go over well around large crowds of people. So, I requested to work from home and once again, it was granted.

My cough had become less noticeable, especially if I constantly sucked hard candy, so I went in to work on Wednesday. Also on Wednesday, the King County Healthy department said that anyone who could work from home should. However, my work didn’t support working from home during the Seattle Squeeze so I doubted they’d pay attention this time either. As a result, I went to work on Thursday. On Thursday, the city sent out a memo saying that employees were encouraged to work from home following the alternative work arrangement process that had been put in place during the Seattle Squeeze the previous year. Also on Thursday, our IT manager became increasingly concerned about the COVID-19 situation and said that anyone who could work from home should consider it. Except, this wasn’t supported library-wide yet so we still needed go through the normal process of requesting to work from home. Thus I requested, and was granted, permission to work from home on Friday.

Late evening Wednesday Jaeger’s work had sent out an email saying that Seattle employees should strongly consider working from home. Except Jaeger didn’t see it till he arrived at work on Thursday. Before he left, his employer had increased the strength of their work from home recommendation and said that anyone who wanted to take their equipment, such as monitors, home could do so. That decided Jaeger so he packed his desk into his car to take home.

Thursday is our normal date night. I get off work before Jaeger and usually walk to his work which is about a 1/2 hour walk. There were already signs that the big tech employers were strongly encouraging their employees to stay home. While people were still on the street, there was significantly less traffic than usual and the closer I got to South Lake Union, the sparser traffic became. On my walk, I passed a Girl Scout trying to sell cookies. Almost no one was going past her table, which was completely full looking. I stopped and bought some Thin Mints, even though I almost never buy Girl Scout cookies. I continued on my way and passed an salon that did eyebrow waxings. Two employees were sitting with nothing to do. I had been thinking of getting my eyebrows waxed for a while but I haven’t found a regular place in Seattle yet. So, I popped in and got my eyebrows waxed.

I met Jaeger and we went to eat at a vegetarian Chinese restaurant. The fascinating thing about this restaurant is they didn’t appear SDA. However, they used Loma Linda and Worthington fake meats in their food. Nowadays there are so many fake meat options, including amazing choices from Taiwan4, that I don’t expect to see traditional SDA fake meat. While eating, we discussed the prospect of both of us working from home for an extended period of time. Jaeger almost always goes into work5 and I don’t normally telecommute more than once a week, if that. Fortunately, since Jaeger’s employer let him take his monitor home, we weren’t going to have a monitor crisis. However, we decided we did need some additional supplies and so headed to Fred Meyer.

The store was an interesting experience. They had most of what we were looking for but some weird gaps. I had groceries delivered the prior Monday and my shopper said he couldn’t find any frozen mangoes, so I decided to see if any were back in stock. The frozen vegetable/fruit aisle had been decimated. I knew people were hoarding toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and soap. I didn’t realize that frozen vegetables were also a thing. Interestingly, I did pass several bottles of soap6.

Once home, I started reconfiguring the office. Our office doubles as our guest bedroom, and up-till-now, may have gotten more use as a guest bedroom. I prefer working from our bedroom because there’s more natural light and the view is better. However, since Jaeger wakes up later than me, it made sense that he would work in the bedroom. The desk in the bedroom was too small for Jaeger’s two giant monitors so we swapped it with the larger desk that was in the kitchen. Both looked better in their new positions so we probably should have done that all along. I surveyed the downstairs office and decided additional lighting would improve it. However, we didn’t have any extra lighting. I tried stringing Christmas lights and it did improve the vibe, but didn’t offer much additional lighting. I tried to convince myself I didn’t need more light but that lasted only a day after which I ordered another light from Amazon7. We also only had one office chair, and I contemplated buying another, but eventually decided I didn’t want to spend even more money and settled on using a dining room chair.

I got permission to work from home Friday-Tuesday. On Wednesday, March 11, I went back into work because I had a couple of in-person meetings which hadn’t been cancelled yet. Plus, I had a couple of library holds to pick up which were going to expire soon. Truthfully, that may have been the main reason I went in. The IT office was empty. Eventually, some people drifted in. At around 10am, administration posted an announcement to our intranet saying that they realized people who could work from home should and so they were going to start determining who might be able to work from home.

Our IT manager sent out a link to the livestream of Governor Inslee’s press conference about COVID-19 so I listened to it with one ear while I continued to work. As expected, he announced that gatherings of more than 25 people were now prohibited in King County. However, he also said that schools should start making plans for what to do if they were shut down in the next couple of days. At that, I started paying more attention and messaged Jaeger that we should come up with a contingency plan for if schools were going to be closed. Jaeger was not listening to the press conference but forwarded me a tweet from the governor saying he was not currently calling for schools to close. However, listening to the actual speech, I was pretty convinced it was a matter of when, not if.

Two hours later, The Seattle Public Schools announced they were closing for at least two weeks. Right about the time Jaeger sent me the link to the announcement, I heard some loud exclamation from my supervisor’s office (my supervisor is parent to four school-aged kids). I went to my supervisor’s office, we exchanged stunned looks, and then I took my lunch break and went down to the children’s section of the library and checked out 25 books. I probably would have checked out more but that’s all I could fit in my backpack and spare grocery bag I had with me and I was taking the bus back home.

Our IT manager strongly recommended that anyone still in the office that could work from home go home. So, after checking out books, I headed back home and finished the day working from home. Though, I spent most of the rest of the afternoon in a daze.

  1. My normal temp is 97.9. The last time I had a fever was probably sometime before Julian was born.
  2. I’ve been trained to believe one should go to school/work unless one is vomiting or has a fever. Obviously, this is not the protocol I’m following now.
  3. As in, I can’t say I worked on tickets, I have to note the ticket numbers I worked on and say what I did.
  4. I know that Taiwan’s vegetarian history predates that of SDAs, but SDA is the one I grew up with.
  5. For being a tech employer with amazing conferencing tools, they’re weirdly antithetical to working from home.
  6. Which I did not get because I usually get the giant refill containers of soap which was still mostly full.
  7. A couple of months ago I bought a light for Julian’s room. He has an overhead light but it weirdly is in a corner of his room which makes for odd shadows. I like this light because it’s a warm LED and also has three brightness settings. Julian likes it on the lowest setting when he sleeps.

Persimmon Trees

Our Seattle house has four Fuyu-style persimmon trees. This provides more fruit than five people can eat in a reasonable amount of time. I assume there are many ways one can preserve persimmons. However, it was December and I didn’t have a lot of time to deal with them. I found a blog post implying that one could freeze persimmons whole without first having to extensively prepare them. So, that’s what I did. I set them out on cookie sheets, froze the persimmons till they were hard, then transferred them to gallon zip lock bags for long-term freezing. Fortunately, we have an extra freezer in our garage.

This worked much better than I expected. It turns out that if you run frozen persimmons under warm water, their skins are really easy to peel off1. Once thawed, the persimmon is very pulpy, more like a ripe Hachiya persimmon. Now to figure out what to do with them . . .

Back in December, I made Jaeger’s mom’s Persimmon Pudding recipe which was good. Today, I decided to try to make persimmon muffins. I looked up persimmons in my trusty baking books but couldn’t find any appropriate recipes. Of course, I could have just searched the internet for persimmon muffin recipes, there are quite a few. However, I decided to adapt a King Arthur Flour recipe instead. I reasoned that persimmon pulp is somewhat similar to ripe mashed banana so I might be able to convert a banana recipe for persimmons. It seems to have worked fairly well. Here’s the recipe.

  1. Kind of the reverse of blanching tomatoes to remove their skins.

Reading Goal February, 2020 Update

I’ve been having trouble finishing books recently. I have quite a few half-read books sitting around that I think I’d like if I’d just finish them. However, T. Kingfisher’s newest book, Paladin’s Grace, was released a couple of weeks ago and it was the perfect book at the perfect time. I still like Swordheart a little better but Paladin’s Grace is my favorite for 2020 so far. I bought the ebook and will definitely buy the physical version also when it comes out.

We took a vacation last week during Calvin’s winter break. I started out with another great book, How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse1 by K. Eason, but the others I had pre-downloaded didn’t speak to me. Fortunately, I found a couple of more that were good and even filled in a couple of my goal categories.

Books I’ve finished recently:

  • Bestseller: Nine Perfect Strangers, Liane Moriarty – This one was a lot of fun. There were several lines I particularly enjoyed in it including:
    Before her booking was “accepted” she had to answer a very long, rather invasive online questionnaire about her relationship status, diet, medical history, alcohol consumption in the previous weeks, and so on. She cheerfully lied her way through it. It was really none of their business.

    This is something I feel we should do more often on the internet.

  • Memoir: Whiskey in A Teacup: What Growing up in the South Taught Me About Life, Love, and Baking Biscuits, by Reese Witherspoon – When first envisioned this category I had meant to read/listen to hefty serious biographies. However, it turns out that’s not what I’m in the mood for these days. I have enough serious stuff going on in real life at the moment and don’t need more in my reading life. Like the James memoir, this was nice and chatty. However, it took me a long time to finish, even though it’s a fairly short audiobook.
  • Informational: Ditch the City and Go Country: How to Master the Art of Rural Life From A Former City Dweller, by Alissa Hessler – I have a dream of someday living somewhere my neighbors aren’t right next to me. This book goes a bit deeper into some areas that I’m not particularly interested in, such as raising animals. However, the first section on picking a location had lots of really good things to consider.
  • Juvenile Books: Estranged, by Ethan M. Aldridge – This is a juvenile graphic novel that I brought home for Calvin. I read it after he finished.
  • YA Books: vN, by Madeline Ashby – I found this one via a tor.com list. It was definitely gripping and I sped right through it.
  • YA Books: Girls with Sharp Sticks, by Suzanne Young – I ran across this one via The Book Smuggler’s blog. It’s been sitting on my virtual to be read pile for a while and I finally downloaded it while on vacation. This was another quick engrossing read with a twist that I feel I should have seen coming.
  • Short Story Anthology: The Trans Space Octopus Congregation, by Bogi Takács – I still have an incredibly hard time reading short stories. Each story end takes me out of the world and it’s really hard for me to go back into another world, particularly if they’re completely unrelated. However, there were several stories in this collection I found intriguing and would have liked longer versions.
  • Short Story Anthology: A Very Scalzi Christmas, by John Scalzi – Jaeger got this for me for Christmas, so it’s a really good thing I didn’t end up getting it for him . . . This one generally is a lot more lighthearted than the Takács anthology. As I mentioned, I don’t tend to like short stories. However, I read this while around Jaeger’s family so I wasn’t in an environment where I could really concentrate on a full-length novel anyway.

Current Goal Counts:

Category Goal Number Read
Best Sellers 2 2
Biography, Autobiography, Memoir 2 2
Librarian Recommended 2
Written by an author from another country 2
Graphic Novels 2 2
Historical Fiction 2
Informational 2 1
Juvenile Books 6 3
YA Books2 26 3
Literature 2
Mystery 2
Poetry Anthologies 2 1
General Fiction 2
Short Story Anthologies 2 2
Total 36 16
  1. This feels like a YA book to me. However, SPL didn’t put it in the YA section. Nor does K. Eason, as far as I can tell, consider it YA. So, it doesn’t get to go in that category. I might see if my son might like to listen to the audiobook though . . .
  2. Ok . . . I forgot I had such an ambitious goal in this category. Obviously I need to be reading more YA.

Reading in 2019

2019 isn’t quite over yet and it’s possible I’ll still get through another book or two before the year ends1. However, I think we’re close enough I can safely list the books I read.

In 2019 I read 80 books2:

  • 1 Anthology (though I’m partway through another)
  • 3 Graphic Novels
  • 3 Non-Fiction Books 3
  • 45 Novels
  • 13 Novellas
  • 1 Novelette4
  • 2 Juvenile (one novel and one novella)
  • 1 Poetry book
  • 11 YA Novels

Favorites:
Overall, I feel like most of the books I read were excellent. However, there were two I particularly loved. They aren’t necessary the “best” of the bunch but these are the ones that completely sucked me in while I was reading:

Swordheart by T. Kingfisher
This is my favorite book of the year. It has so many things I love in it: middle-aged woman, snark, practical outlook in life mixed with optimism and a dash of naivete, and a magic sword. I bought the physical book and then bought the ebook. I’ve already re-read it. I desperately want there to be an audiobook version so I can add it to the books I use to help me fall back to sleep. This book makes me happy just thinking about it.

A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine
This was my favorite book published in 2019. I really enjoy mysteries that are set in a science fiction universe.

Books read in 2019:
The Outside by Ada Hoffman
The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
In the Vanishers’ Palace by Aliette de Bodard
The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard
This is How you Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar
The Princess Saves Herself by Amanda Lovelace
The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie
Shadowblade by Anna Kashina
Clock Dance by Anne Tyler
A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine
The Emperor’s Soul by Brandon Sanderson
The Only Harmless Great Thing by Brooke Bolander
Witchmark by C.L. Palk
Red White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Rule of Capture by Christopher Brown
Once & Future by Cori McCarthy
Mrs. Martin’s Incomparable Adventure by Courtney Milan
The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
Catering to Nobody by Diane Mott Davidson
Fatally Flaky by Diane Mott Davidson
Killer Pancakes by Diane Mott Davidson
Lark! The Herald Angels Sing by Donna Andrews
Wilde in Love by Eloisa James
Fair Play by Eve Rodsky
The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee
Cruel Prince by Holly Black
The Wicked King by Holly Black
One Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel Greenberg
Early Riser by Jasper Fforde
The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Polaris Rising by Jessie Mihalik
Small Favor by Jim Butcher
Turn Coat by Jim Butcher
White Night by Jim Butcher
Giant Days by John Allison
A Very Scalzi Christmas by John Scalzi
After the Crown by K.B Wagers
Beyond the Empire by K.B Wagers
The Last Sun by K.D. Edwards
The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley
Gods Monsters and the Lucky Peach by Kelly Robson
China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan
Sisters of the Vast Black by Lina Rather
Paris in Love by Lisa Kleypas
Penric’s Fox by Lois McMaster Bujold
Prisoner of Limnos by Lois McMaster Bujold
Red Sister by Mark Lawrence
The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal
Ignite the Stars by Maura Milan
The Late Show by Michael Connoly
Spaceside by Michael Mammay
Kingdom of Needle and Bone by Mira Grant
The Armored Saint Myke Cole
Catfishing on Catnet by Naomi Kritzer
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
I Moved to Los Angeles and Worked in Animation by Natalie Nourigat
Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan
Escaping Exodus: A Novel by Nicky Drayden
The Black God’s Drum by P. Djèlí Clark
Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs
Spousonomics by Paula Szuchman and Jenn Anderson
The Invasion by Peadar O’Guilin
The Library of Lost and Found: A Novel by Phaedra Patrick
The Poppy War by R. F Kuang
Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse
Veronica Mars: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas
Star Uncharted by S.K. Dunstall
Zero Sum Game by S.L. Huang
Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey
In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire
Night and Silence by Seanan McGuire
The Brightest Fell by Seanan McGuire
The Unkindest Tide by Seanan McGuire
Ebony in Onyx by Sharon Shinn
Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev
Minor Mage by T. Kingfisher
Swordheart by T. Kingfisher
Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
Children of Blood and Bone my Tomi Adeyemi

  1. Especially since my kids will be with their grandparents.
  2. Assuming I haven’t forgotten any books . .
  3. These are books I’ve read all the way through, not books I’ve referenced specifically sections.
  4. I read all the 2019 Hugo Nominee Novelettes but I’m only considering one for this count because it’s the one read as a hard copy, which I admit is a weirdly arbitrary distinction.