Five Things Friday Vol. 62

Five Things Friday: just five things I’m thinking about or things that made my week, or things that I otherwise feel like sharing.

You won’t believe this but in what seems like a cruel twist of fate, I came down with Covid again this week. I KNOW. I am sure you’re as speechless as I am. Aren’t we like DONE with Covid? Finis? The End? I had my last booster three months ago. Is this a joke? Apparently not.

What started out with some excessive sneezing last weekend (which I totally blamed on the warm weather spell and tons of pollen in the air), turned into a scratchy throat and some sniffles. Wednesday was my office day, and because our office policy still says to not come in with any cold symptoms, I took a test out of precaution. I honestly did not expect it to show two lines. I wore my mask (which hardly anybody else does anymore, mind you) during my travel back from Germany, and that was about a week prior to the onset of my symptoms – so theoretically a possible time of infection. I also still mask up at the grocery store and haven’t been anywhere else around people in the last 10 days. I once again feel like I keep doing everything “right”, but still got hit. It all seems so very random at this point. Luckily, my symptoms are mild. Physically I really feel fine (except for the sniffles), and it’s very different from the first time back in the fall when it started with a huge headache and ended with major fatigue. I hope to be through with this really quickly.

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As you can imagine, the Covid diagnosis completely threw off my planned return to my fitness routine and I am not happy about it. I know, I know, in the grand scheme of things, it’s not a big deal to take it easy for a little while longer, but if you have any kind of regular workout routine, you probably also know that a) getting back to it gets harder the longer you’ve been away from it and b) you usually really want to work out when you’re not supposed to. First-world problems, I know.

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Random observation: I realized yesterday while cooking that dried onion powder tastes – not surprisingly, I guess – just like crushed onion rings. Uhm, delicious. I love onions. And onion rings.

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I finally got my outdoor bike tuned up last weekend and also bought a basket for it. As much as I love my Peloton, and you know I do, there really is something to be said about riding a bike outdoors! I think I will start commuting to the office by bike once a week during the spring and summer months. I only live 1.5 miles from my office and it’ll be a nice excuse to use the bike more regularly. I used to do everything by bike when I lived in Germany. Weekly grocery runs will be difficult by bike, but I want to ride it for quick stops at the store or to go to the Farmers Market. Sacramento has become a lot more bike-friendly in recent years. I also hope to go on some bike rides along the river, just for fun. If only I could Jon to get a bike, too. Do you have a bike (and can use it for activities of daily living)?

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I haven’t shared my frustration with our kitchen tiles with you and now you’ll probably learn more about them than you ever wanted to know, I am afraid (but god knows how much I have cursed these tiles silently in my head in the last few years). When we moved into our duplex 4,5 years ago, the kitchen was the least exciting part of the whole house for me, but since it checked off all the other “wants” on our list, we accepted that the kitchen was small, old, and ugly (and nothing compared to the beautiful, spacious kitchen we had just given up. Do I still sound bitter?). One of the first things I noticed was that a few of the kitchen tiles had cracks. Well, nothing we could do about that. We weren’t NOT going to move in because of a few cracked tiles. We marked them down on the inspection sheet and hoped for the best.

However, it became apparent over the last couple of years that the whole kitchen floor had been poorly done. Besides the fact that the floor seems uneven, the tiles were not set in a straight line, the joints were of varying different widths, there is no expansion joint to be found, and the grout and floor screed has been crumbling (if you got the impression that I read up on tiling and grouting lingo, you’d be correct). Pretty soon, more tiles started to chip and crack and I was constantly sweeping and mopping up pieces of grout. We brought it up with the landlord during the first year that we lived here, but as you can imagine, when the pandemic hit, nothing was done for a long time. So, I kept sweeping up more pieces of grout every week, and eventually, tiles in the high-traffic areas started to move/come loose (so we had to cover them with foot mats). There is a total number of ten tiles now that are broken.

A couple of weeks ago, we finally got the landlords to do something about it. But even though our kitchen is small (maybe 160 sqft), they decided they just want to replace/reset tiles, not redo the entire floor (which IMHO is needed, but since we just rent this place, it’s not our decision). Of course, they don’t have any old spare tiles of the same kind, so the broken ones will be replaced with something “matching” (whatever that means). As you can guess, I am not thrilled about this solution. The whole kitchen needs an upgrade and the floor would have been a great start!
But no, it’ll be a patchwork floor (and not of the pretty kind) and I am worried that the guy that they hired (it’s not even someone who does this type of thing for a living) is not going to fix any underlying issues. It will just be a matter of time before new issues will pop up. But what do I know? I only just witnessed the top-notch German craftsmanship of the window fitters that replaced all the windows at my parents’ house. This sounds like such a band-aid solution in comparison. If I sound a little grumpy, it’s because I am.

TL;DR: we have the handyman come tomorrow to replace and reset the loose tiles in our kitchen. I’ll keep you posted on how that goes.

What’s been going on in your world this week?

  1. 1) ugh, sorry about the Covid, but I’m glad it’s not too terribly bad.
    2) I feel you on the fitness thing. I’m sure you’re anxious to get back to it.
    3) I use onion powder or dehydrated onion all the time as I cannot bear the texture of onion, but I like the flavour.
    4) I have a bike but I don’t use it for commuting purposes – more like just on bike paths or trails.
    5) AHHHHHH the tile thing. Why must people do such half-assed jobs. Replacing broken tile is not much different from replacing the whole floor of such a small space, and now it’s going to be a patchwork job? Ugh ugh UGH.

    1. UGH is right. Thanks for the support, friend.

  2. Boo to COVID!!! Hopefully it will be on its way soon so you can get back to fitness and your bike. Yes I’ve been there with the “I can’t work out BUT I REALLY WANT TO WORK OUT…NOW!!!!!!”

    Tell Jon that I was firmly “bikes are stupid, I can either run or walk anywhere that I want to go for free” for all of my adult life until this spring. Then because I’ve been traveling locally, I’ve found places where I can’t drive but need to cover more distance than I can do by foot, so I got a folding bicycle that’s easy to toss in the car for very cheap. I got the bike for my solo trips, but once I had it my husband was inspired to get his bike out of the shed and we’ve been on a few biking dates and it’s a ton of fun. If Jon is open to it, he could rent or borrow a bike from someone and go for a ride just once to see if he likes it.

    1. Covid is on the way out, thankfully. It was a short stint this time (at least when it comes to symptoms – I haven’t retested yet).

      And thank you for the insights on the bike situation. Renting/borrowing a bike is a great idea – maybe that’ll help me convince Jon to get a bike eventually. Thanks for the suggestion!

  3. Oh no! I’m sorry to hear you’ve got COVID. Hopefully, it remains relatively mild, and you recover quickly. These little setbacks can be pretty frustrating.

    I like your bike. I’m hoping to get a bike once we are back from Queensland. I plan on using it to run errands that are a bit further out of my walking distance. We only live a couple hundred metres from the bike trail along the beach, so I’ll be able to pop down onto that and avoid most of the biking on the roads which makes me a bit nervous.

    We rented last year, and the owners were a bit cheap with what they were prepared to do. They never did fix the air conditioning. It’s pretty frustrating for you with the tiles, especially since it’s a hassle to have to keep getting people in to fix stuff that will just keep breaking.

    I feel like I keep getting rained on this week, and not in a good cooling off way, but the cold freezing way. I’m hoping for some better weather next week.

    1. Oh, that’s so nice you live close to the bike trail. That’s definitely a great incentive to get on the bike more. I know what you mean about riding on the roads!

      Thanks for commiserating about the downsides of renting. There are many upsides, but it’s frustrating when the landlords don’t really want to fix things.

  4. Ugh, I feel you on the floor thing. Our water comes into our house under the slab. We had a leak a couple of years ago, and the homeowner’s association sent plumbers, who went through the kitchen floor to get to the pipes. They fixed the pipe, then filled the cement back in, but left a hole where the laminate wood flooring should be. It’s old and they don’t make it anymore, so we are responsible for it. If we put in new flooring, we should do the carpet too, and then we should also do the carpet upstairs, and of course if we do that we should paint. And new carpet while our dog is going through cancer is probably not a good idea anyway. And it’s all too much. So we have a kitchen mat over the hole and we just ignore it. Oh, and the same evening they came and repaired the leak, another leak popped up a few feet away. So they ended up re-piping, which meant going through our walls, etc. UGH. So the hole in the kitchen floor is for NOTHING.

    That’s a lot of complaining, I’m sorry. Just to say that I feel you. I’m very sorry that you have COVID again, but glad it is a mild case this time.

    I have a bike that I inherited years ago, and it’s slightly too big for me. I used to ride it to the grocery store on my lunch hours, I liked that. I haven’t ridden it in almost 9 years though, since I came down with Rheumatoid Arthritis, which meant I couldn’t put that weight on my wrists. Maybe that should be a goal for this year, to get a bike that fits properly.

    1. Thanks for commiserating on the floor issue. Not that I am happy that you’re also dealing with some ugly holes and issues in your home. Even though you own, dealing with the repairs when the HOA is involved must be frustrating. Thanks for sharing your story!

  5. I’m so sorry about COVID. Nooooo. Ugh. Glad you’re recovering well but still – UGH!

    We rented for years and I really minded the waiting and dithering by the maintenance staff. For some reason your posts aren’t showing up in my Feed for days after they post, so I know I’m behind and that there is a tile update, so I’m off to read that shortly. Hope it’s good news???!!

    1. Thanks for the feedback re: my rss feed. Something is still going on and I cannot figure it out. I did not change anything on my website and it just stopped working about 2 weeks ago. I think you said somewhere before that you don’t use Feedly, but Old Reader… and the posts are not showing up in a timely manner either? Ugh. I’ll keep investing. Thanks for letting me know!

  6. Oh no! I am sorry you got it again! I hope you feel better by now! (I just now saw this in Feedly today – I switched to the new rss but they all came in at once again). I would be annoyed I had to wait to work out too.

    Yay for riding your bike outside more! I have a bike but use it for exercise, not errands :)

    Gah, I hope the replacement tiles look okay!

    1. Thanks for the feedback, Kim. Yeah, something is still not right with my RSS feed and I can’t figure it out. I did not change anything on my website and it just stopped working about 2 weeks ago. I’ll keep investigating.

  7. I just want you to know that FOUR of your posts just appeared in Feedly for me today (this one, 5/7, 5/8, and 5/10) and they didn’t appear on the days you posted them. FYI.

    1) Ugh! COVID AGAIN! How? Meanwhile, my husband and I still haven’t tested positive. What a weird virus. I hope it’s a very mild case.
    2) I have a bike with a basket and I use it to run errands around town, particularly when I have to go the grocery store for just one or two items or run to a friend’s house.
    3) There are cracked tiles in our kitchen and downstairs bathroom, but, sadly, we’re the ones responsible for repair and they aren’t even on the medium-term list of repairs, so I guess we’re living this way forever!

    1. Ugh, yeah, something is still not right with my RSS feed and I can’t figure it out. I did not change anything on my website and it just stopped working about 2 weeks ago. I’ll keep investigating. I emailed my host and they said it’s no problem on their end. Feedly unfortunately has terrible customer service if you use the free version (or so it seems – no response from them yet).

      Yay, so happy to hear someone (you!) has a bike they use for errands too. It seems so “rare”.

      The “cracks” in the tiles really didn’t bother me THAT much (I can see how you’re putting off fixing yours), but tiles have come loose and they’re moving around when you walk on them and could potentially become a tripping hazard. So that’s why I want this fixed.

  8. Ugh that really sucks that you got Covid again!! I haven’t as far as I know although I have been through many tests since I get a lot of runny noses with 2 kids in daycare. I am glad your symptoms are mild, though!!

    The kitchen situation is frustrating for sure. Some landlords are so terrible. I feel like they have more power right now in this market since rents are rising (albeit to a lesser extent lately). So they probably figure they can piss off a tenant and they will just move out and they will easily find a new tenant. It sucks!

  9. Ugh, I am so sorry you got Covid after your travels! That’s so cruel of fate. I am glad it wasn’t a bad case, though. I hope you are on the mend and can get back to your fitness journey soon. I know how frustrating it is not to work out when you want to!

    Your bike is so cute! I hope it gets lots of use this spring/summertime.

  10. Dude, I’m sorry, but it’s not fair that you got COVID again. And so soon after your trip to see your family. :( The universe really screws it up sometimes, in my opinion. ;)

    I’m going to have to mention the Feedly issues, too – I read the tile update first, as I never pay attention to the URL and the date (um, Anne, maybe you should *get a clue*), then came to this post and thought, huh? She did update us! Duhhh….. :)

    I do not have a bike because I have balance issues, and, well, falling while walking is bad enough. I can’t add wheels into the equation. Sigh. I wish I could still bike. And run. I love that you are using yours for local errands. <3

  11. I am catching up and all this is old news (and I know there are new developments as I have seen the new post titles) but I am still comment.
    I am so sorry you caught covid. again. Specially frustrating since you are one of the few people still wearing a mask and trying all to avoid it. Sorry.
    And the kitchen tiles do seem like a real big pain in the a**. All the good things renting can do for you there are just some things you have to take. I sometimes offer to pay the difference so we can have it our way. It used to work great with our longterm landlord of 16 years. but now we are in a limbo and it’s tougher.
    Hope it all turns out good.

  12. […] am not sure if you read my recent post where I shared a little bit about the situation with our kitchen tiles, but I feel like I have to […]

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