Things are rolling along smoothly in west-central Missouri. Our town still plans to open school this month, as far as I know. Today Lafayette County reached 200 cases of Covid since March... not bad, really.
I'm once again attending two churches on Sundays; the Methodist Church finally opened back up, although everyone has to wear a mask throughout the service. A lady called me Saturday night to say there were only eight people attending on Sundays and they missed me. So I went, and finally got to hear the new preacher, then walked down to the Baptist Church; they are only wearing masks when they are entering, or when people are up and walking around. It too is a small congregation, so it's very easy to social distance. The largest church in town is the Evangelical Free Church, formerly United Church of Christ. I was told they had someone in attendance Sunday before last who later tested positive for Covid, so they didn't hold services this week.
Cliff finally found someplace we could go for a road trip: There's a big museum in Clarion, Iowa that includes every model of Oliver tractor every built. However, it isn't just a tractor museum: There are all kinds of artifacts and local history it in too. We talked about going this week, but I have gotten to the point now that I don't much want to go anyplace. I will tell Cliff I want to go one place or another, even locally, but when it's actually time to go, I change my mind. This is not normal for me! Since I don't drive, I'm usually ready to hop in anybody's car at every opportunity, just to see someplace besides home. This is a strange thing that's come to pass, and I'm wondering if I will change when things loosen up again.
We've had a few relatives coming by lately. Our daughter and her husband came to visit Sunday afternoon. Yesterday we went to Blue Springs to visit Cliff's older sister, Rena, so she could cut his hair, then we went out to eat. Cliff likes to take her out to eat when we visit her, and of course that's fine with me. We went to a Mexican place near her house (only the second time we've gone into a restaurant during Covid). The burrito I ordered was huge, so I had them box up the rest to take home; We were going home when granddaughter Monica called; she was coming to visit us with her five-month-old daughter. She hadn't had dinner, so I gave her what was left of my burrito, then gave her cheesecake for dessert. We had a good visit, and that baby of hers got held and tickled and played with a lot! She's a very happy child. The only time she cried in the four hours they were here was when she was getting hungry. I love the little pony tails.
Gabe went to the groomer's yesterday. All the animals are doing well: The three Corona-virus pullets' combs are turning red, so they could start laying eggs any time, and should lay all winter and all next year until fall. I turn them out awhile each afternoon so they can eat grass and bugs, and run freely. While they are loose, I often take a piece of bread out and hand-feed them small bites. All I have to do is holler "Chick chick chick" and they come running. Yesterday when Monica was here, Cliff's younger sister who lives in St. Louis called, so I stepped outside to talk to her. I guess the chickens recognized my voice, because they gathered around me as I stood there talking on the phone, looking up at me as if they wondered where the bread was. Then they started pecking at my toes! It wasn't painful, it was just funny. It was all I could do not to laugh.
I've been taking walks in the pasture again, two or three times weekly. Most other days I spend half-an-hour on the exercise bike. The riding time goes fast if I have an interesting book to read, but not every book turns out as interesting as I expect it to be. I recently read a book entitled "Normal People", forcing myself to read it through to the end. What a waste of time! It didn't even have a plot; I kept thinking it had to get better, but alas! It did not. Now I'm reading "The Life We Bury", which at least has a story line to it, and I think it will have a decent finish. Still, I'd probably only rate it a 3 1/2.
"American Dirt", though, was unforgettable. It follows several Latinos making their way north toward the USA, through all kinds of danger. The book made me understand why those people take such risks to get here, and kept me on the edge of my seat all the way through. Cliff finished it today and liked it as much as I did. I only have one book on hold now, "Of Mutts and Men". According to the library, it should be ready in two weeks, but I've noticed people don't take long to read a Chet and Bernie book; so I'd be surprised if I have to wait more that one week.
My tomato plants are dead. Cora, the kid I babysat for five years, came to visit one day last week and helped me dig potatoes. I had only planted five hills, but I was glad she was here for the digging; that's a chore she's enjoyed ever since she was two. My second planting of sweet corn is ready now, and I made smothered okra with the last of my tomatoes today. Oh yes, and the peach tree, which has given me nothing for the past two years, has fruit ripening now. I've already put two quarts in the freezer.
I made that Woolworth's cheesecake I mentioned in a recent entry. Cliff prefers it to the real cheesecake I make in the Instant Pot. It was fun for me, tasting something my mom used to make so much in the sixties, something I hadn't eaten since I first got married.
I guess that's all I have. I'm enjoying life... what more can a person ask for?