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Gender: Female
Hometown: Montana
Home country: USA
Member since: Mon Oct 31, 2016, 02:23 PM
Number of posts: 17,782

Journal Archives

One of my employees likely has Covid. UPDATED

He shows up for work yesterday and tells my husband that his wife is positive and has had symptoms for around 5 days. That means that she had symptoms at the end of last week when he was at work with us. He told my husband that he’s had a runny nose and a slight cough through the weekend. I am SO freaking mad.

The wife apparently got one vaccine but regretted it and did not get the second shot. I believe this guy is unvaccinated. By law I’m not allowed to require employees to have vaccines nor am I allowed to even ask if they’re vaccinated thanks to our thug Governor. Everyone else at our business is vaccinated because we’ve all happily shared that fact.

The good news is that we’ve got lots of personal space around each of us and none of us have spent any significant time in Mr. Covid’s work area. My husband and our other employee work in a separate building and I have a private office away from all of them. Our par time employee hasn’t been in the shop for two weeks so he’s safe. The local health department told me that none of us can be a close contact of a close contact. I’m not worried that any of us will become sick.

We sent the employee home for the required 10 days. That’s 10 days of quarantine IF his wife self isolates. If she does not, his quarantine should actually begin when hers ends. We obviously cannot control what they do at home…we can only hope they’re telling us the truth.

Here’s my dilemma: Do I pay this guy to stay home? Last spring, we had another employee whose spouse became very sick with Covid. At that time, we had an active PPP loan and we paid that employee to stay home and quarantine. The PPP program has run out and we no longer have those funds available to us. There’s a part of me that wants to incentivize this employee to do the right thing. But, he hasn’t done the right thing so far. On the other hand, I don’t want to reward his willful ignorance and defiance about the vaccine and the disease by paying him while he is home. He put us in potential danger. The fact is, he’s costing us a ton of money by being out of the shop… We can’t fill orders and are really over a barrel until he gets back. I have a part time employee who is going to come in and help us out here and there which is wonderful. I want to do the right thing and I don’t know what to do.

UPDATE: I just found out I can pay this guy up to 80 hours of lost wages due to Covid-19 through September 30th via the ARPA National Paid Leave program. So, my un-vaccinated employee gets 7 days of paid leave courtesy of the US tax payers. Problem solved. It pisses me off, however that he gets rewarded by a system that he clearly disrespects. At least the funds don't come out of my pocket...well they do but I'll get a refund in a couple months.

Last night's bear visitor.

My cameras didn’t get a full photo…I’ve been experimenting with where to place them to get the most action. However, if the parting gift he left on my front lawn is any indicator…it was a decent sized bear. This is the third bear that I've caught on camera this week. ‘Tis the season! 🐻

Update on my rescued dove. The Ragamuffin...or RG as we like to call him.

So the dove hatchling that I rescued back in June is flying free every day now. Up until a week ago, he would fly inside the house at night and perch on the dining room light fixture for the night. Now he does his own thing which I know is the goal…but truth be told, it slayed me the first night he didn’t come inside…and the second night.

As the days have gone by, he stops in regularly to say hello…he will randomly land on my head without warning. I’ve gotten used to that. He runs with a flock of 6 or so other doves that will not tolerate me in the yard at all…they fly at the first sight of a human but RG will usually stay behind to visit and tell me about his new life.

My favorite thing is that he always flies in for happy hour…tonight was especially precious…he stayed for over an hour while his posse complained in the tree next door.

Here are some scenes from tonight’s happy hour. I love this bird so much.

Second bear in my plum tree in the last few days...UPDATE

This one is collared and not as big as the one who came through in Sunday. The plums are just now ripe enough to pick but there aren’t any left that I can get to even with a ladder. Some years are like that. I believe the bears know more than we do when it comes to weather changes and winter coming.

UPDATE: So my husband talked to the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks bear warden yesterday asking about this collared bear. He was told that FWP doesn't collar black bears and this little bear was collared by the biologists at the MPG Ranch near Florence, MT. I don't know how the MPG gets authorization to collar bears...and that's a whole argument by itself but what's interesting is that this bear got to my house in the Rattlesnake Creek drainage from Florence! That's over 25 miles. Fascinating!!

Here’s last night’s bear:

Sunday’s bear:

Things that go bump in the night. The dog always knows...

Our dog, Nova, was growling at 3am this morning…we shushed her in an effort to go back to sleep. We woke up to find this big branch snapped off our plum tree in the front yard. The cameras on the porch showed us what really happened.

Bottom line? Listen to the dog. They’re usually not wrong.

Oh my! The University of Montana Grizzlies

beat the Washington Huskies in their house! First victory over the Huskies in 100 years.

I’m proud to say that the Grizzlies #37 works part time in our shop in Missoula.

Go Griz!

My kiddo just spent the afternoon in lock down at his high school.

First and foremost, he's safe and sound.

My son texted me from school that he was in lock down and didn't know why. He told me he was in English on the 3rd floor of the building. While we were texting, I got an email from the principal that there was were reports of a firearm in the school, a threat made and police were responding. There were 3 subsequent emails from the principal keeping parents updated as the police did their thing. My kiddo sent me a snap chat video of police in the hallway with AR weapons drawn. It took my breath away.

It was all I could do to keep from driving to school to stand below the window where my son was sitting in the dark. Hellgate High School was also my high school...I know exactly where he was today. We got a final email stating that lock down would end at 3pm and there would be an assembly to debrief students and staff. Students would be dismissed shortly after. The police have identified the students making threats. I think the school did a great job keeping parents informed. This was the best possible outcome. I will probably be mad later but right now I am overwhelmed with emotion.

My adrenaline is spent. I am typing this to keep my self from turning into a puddle. I will get to hug my kiddo in exactly 38 minutes.

ETA/UPDATE: Three students detained.

UPDATED: Got the dreaded call from the county health department yesterday afternoon.

My 16 year old son was listed as a close contact to a person diagnosed with Covid. He was apparently exposed last Thursday. He worked all day at Ace Hardware that day and went out for ice cream with some fellow employees afterwards. He’s fully vaxxed and has no symptoms. The health department guy told me we would need to provide proof of vaccination (which I did) and have no symptoms through day 7 (that’s today) and he would be permitted to go to work if he tested negative. We’re waiting for the health department to call today to tell us where and when he can be tested…they are reportedly really backed up.

So last night my son told me that his posse of friends was getting together to watch movies and one of their homes. He said “I know I can’t go…I’m just disappointed and I’m really sick of this BS.” Then, I heard him call his best pal to tell him what was going on. He said “No, I’m not feeling sick but I don’t want to be the guy that gets one of my friends sick.” It made me proud that he gets it and wants to do the right thing. It also pisses me off because we didn’t have to be here. Antivaxxers continue their reign of terror on the good people around them.

I know we are all suffering but as a mama, my kiddo is my primary focus. I am weary of hearing that kids are resilient, they’ll get through this just fine. This is hard on young people…they don’t yet have the ability to see these months and years of Covid in the context of a long lifetime. They’re present in this moment and this moment sucks for them.

UPDATE: Day 8 after my son’s Covid exposure and he’s doing just fine. I think we’re on the upswing from this event. We still haven’t been contacted by the health department as far as getting him tested and released to work. That may happen yet today…who knows. I’ve talked with them 3 times and keep getting conflicting information regarding protocols for this.

We did get some very good news…the little Ace Hardware store where my kiddo works is paying him (and the others who were exposed) while they stay home and wait for the health department to give him the green light to go back to work. Isn’t that great?

He starts school on Tuesday so fingers crossed he will be able to do that. 🤞

Update on my rescued Eurasian collared dove.

Lots of you know I rescued a dove that fell out of a tree during a thunderstorm the last week of June. This little dude tumbled to the ground with a sibling…we left them overnight in the hope that parents would come back but they never did. The sibling died overnight so the remaining baby came home with me. I hand fed him/her for almost a month before graduating him to a homemade seed mixture and diced apples with he loves. FYI, I tend to use the male pronoun because other than my chickens, I’m surrounded by male family members and critters. We’ve named this little one Ragamuffin. RG for short.

RG flies free all day every day. I leave food and water out for him and I see him here and there during the day. RG’s will visit with other doves but not always. He will feed on the ground with my chickens sometimes. He loves to sit in a potted bell pepper plant on my patio and lands on my head randomly when I walk around the yard which has taken some getting used to. He keeps me company in the garden. I leave the patio door open at dusk and he flies into the family room and perches on a light fixture for the night.

I don’t know what will happen with this guy going forward but I’ve sure learned a lot. I didn’t mean to get attached but that ship has sailed. I love RG.

Vaccines. Kids. Divorces. Crazy parents.

So I took my 16 year old son into the health department today to get the booster for the 4 way meningitis vaccine and the first shot of the meningitis B vaccine. While we were waiting for the nurse, my kiddo was on his phone making plans with his dad to go fishing tomorrow and getting permission to invite his best friend along for the trip. Thus far, his friend hasn’t been vaccinated for Covid…that’s been a concern for our family for a while.

My kiddo’s friend, “Oscar” lives with his dad most of the time but stays with his mother sometimes. His folks are divorced and the mom is a full fledged tRump humping nightmare and would not consent to Oscar getting the Covid vaccine.

Today, after my son got off the phone with his dad, he said “Mama, btw, Oscar’s dad got him vaccinated. His mom doesn’t know. So if you see her, don’t say anything.” I was so freaking relieved. I love Oscar. He’s such a great kid and I’ve worried that he wouldn’t ever be vaccinated and worried even more that I’d have to tell my son he couldn’t see Oscar until he was vaxxed. I’ve been biding my time because it’s summer and the boys are outside biking, hiking and fishing most of the time….and our Covid numbers are still low (for now) here in town.

WTH is wrong with these parents who won’t protect their kids? I could weep for the kids who won’t be protected and I kid you not, I had real tears of relief that my son’s friend is now protected.
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