Today turned out to be a lovely day, indeed! Even now, as I write this at past 7pm, it’s still 8C/46F. Which is good, because I unexpectedly spent a couple of hours outside!
I’ll get to that in a bit…
First, a winky smile for you to enjoy!
Rolando Moon joined me as I was doing my morning rounds.
So did Creamsicle.
And Potato Beetle.
Even some kittens followed along, in the distance! It was quite a crowd! 😀
I think they were all enjoying the milder temperatures.
I headed out to town early, as I wanted to go through a car wash with the van before taking it in to the garage. I figured it would be nice for him to work under the van without months of gravel road dust. 😉
Today, however, is the first day a province wide mask mandate came into effect. Even though there hasn’t been a single person testing positive for the Wu Flu around, the city has seen a spike in PCR positives, and with the usual increases of people getting sick as we go into flu season – all in the city – our provincial government has put everyone under mandate. The usual exemptions still apply of course. One of the local hardware stores has a drive through car wash, so I went in to buy one. The cash desk is near the doors, so I didn’t even have to go far into the store, and I kept my distance. I was told by the cashier that they couldn’t serve me without a mask. I told them I understood about the mandate, and that I was medically exempt. She told me the whole province was under mandate. I said I knew that, but that there are several exemptions in the mandate, including medical, and I can’t wear a mask. I was told they couldn’t serve me without a mask. She did try to be polite about it, and a manager was called. I think she was ready to process the sale, too, after she asked how I intended to pay, and I said by debit. While we waited, she was apologetic, and I did mention that I understood retailers and employees were not being told about the exemptions.
The manager came and just said, we can’t serve you without a mask. I said again, I am medically exempt, pointing out that a refusal was a violation of the Human Rights Act, and I could file a complaint. He said I could do that, but they won’t serve me without a mask.
So I left.
I stayed in my vehicle for a while, trying to find an email address I could use to send a note about what happened (there wasn’t one; once I got home, I used the email address to a manager I’d written to in the past, having sent compliments for excellent customer service) when a staff member came to my vehicle. She told me they remembered that they had a portable debit machine. If I still wanted the car wash, they could bring it out to me. I told her I would be satisfied with that, and she asked me to drive close to the doors, after finding out which level of car wash I wanted. I drove over, and it was the manager who came out with the debit machine. After I tapped to pay for it, he went back in and another staff member came out with an invoice printed out with the code, and my receipt. The first person and the manager acted a bit like I was a leper, but the guy who brought me my receipt didn’t, and I really appreciated that.
With two vehicles in front of me, I had just enough time to get the car wash before my appointment at the garage!
All that for a $16 purchase.
When I did get a chance to send an email to the store manager, I did say I appreciated the efforts, and that I understood the mandates put retailers in a really horrible position, while not giving them the information they need. I also mentioned that I am “fortunate”, in that my medical exemption is for something physical. If it were related to trauma, being confronted like this could have triggered someone pretty badly. I know people who are terrified to go out anywhere right now, not because they are afraid of the virus, but out of fear of something like this happening to them. The same anxiety issues that cause panic attacks if they wear a mask is causing panic attacks over the possibility of being abused for not wearing a mask. 😦
The garage, on the other hand, was completely different. There weren’t even any signs anywhere, and the owner doesn’t wear a mask, himself. Physical distancing is easy, and he is very thorough about hygiene. As we were chatting, I mentioned what had just happened, and told him again how much I appreciate him!
I noticed, as I parked my van, that he had the most adorable little picnic table outside, just big enough for two. Being such a lovely day, that’s where I went after I left my keys with him. (It’s not like there are any coffee shops or the like, where I could just sit and wait! They are all take out, only.) I saw a few others going in and out, some with masks and some without, while I waited. It is clearly – and deservedly – a very popular garage.
Since I don’t have rims on my winter tires, it took a while for him to do the switch. I’m going to have to get a spare set of rims. This job would be done a lot faster, if I did! Mind you, tires without rims are a lot lighter and easier to manhandle out of the back of the van, to where they get stored in our garage! 😀
When he was done and I went in to pay, we started chatting again. He remembered a little bit about where we lived and had some questions.
After I double check with the renter to make sure cows aren’t on the other quarter section, I will be giving him permission to go deer hunting over there. 🙂
With the days being so short, once I was home, I grabbed a quick supper, then headed outside to putter about the yard while there was still light out.
I just had to go to the outer yard to get pictures of the sunset! It was stunning!
I always get a giggle out of seeing the cat paths! We have them all over, but this one is probably the most well worn! 😀
One of the things I wanted to get done was to cover the roof of the kibble house with a tarp. The rest will be fine until we can paint it next spring or summer, but the roof has screw holes from the boards we took off of it, and I don’t want moisture to get into them. I don’t have proper cordage right now, so I ended up using the cotton yarn I used to make a trellis for the cucamelons. I wanted to make sure it was secured as flat as possible, so nothing will catch and blow in the wind. The yarn isn’t particularly strong, so I was using a lot of it.
Unfortunately, by the time I was finishing up, it ended up a big tangled mass that the cats were just loving! I had to stop and untangle it, so I could finish the job.
About and hour or two later, the girls came out to check on me. 😀
By then, it was fully dark, and I was working by porch light. A pair of skunks had come out and pulled one of the kibble containers to the ground, so I chased them off, but they came back to each the kibble that spilled into the grass. I was too entangled to chase them off again, so one of my daughters did it for me. 🙂
Then she noticed where a cat had chewed through the yarn. LOL
My other daughter took over untangling the yarn while I went back to tying down the tarp on the kibble house. The cats had left me just enough to do it!
Well, at least a little bit got done outside before I got side tracked! My daughters’ tulips got a good layer of leaves to mulch them, though we will probably add more before we’re done. 🙂 The other bulbs should be fine; only the tulips need the extra effort.
If we have time, I hope to clean the ashes out of the fire pit, in case we want to use it over the winter. There isn’t a lot, but with the blocks to hold up the cooking grill, there isn’t as much room for ashes as there used to be.
I’m looking forward to getting back outside tomorrow! 🙂 I definitely plan to enjoy the mild weather, while I can!