Keeping Busy, Isolation/lockdown projects

This isn't going away anytime soon folks and with all the new variants of COVID-19 popping up it just made sense to drop COVID-19 from the sub-section name and consolidate all the pandemic stuff in one location.

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Re: Keeping Busy, Isolation/lockdown projects

Post by CG » Mon Apr 13, 2020 7:39 am

I know it's kind of whiny, but keeping busy is the least of my worries. I'm so busy that it's kind of ridiculous. That isn't really helped by the fact that my husband is working from home more and starts coming up with "projects" - while the garden is mostly my thing, he decided that we needed to plant trees as well and has volunteered us to build a deck for his parents on weekends. Luckily, they're deciding they would rather go with a proper builder if they can get the price right. My shoulders are killing me from planting trees.

I'm wondering about how to actually till our soil out here - it's hard as rocks. We had to use a pick axe to get through the top layer to plant trees. I'd like raised beds, but that's going to take more convincing of the husband. He thinks I'm over-reacting.
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Re: Keeping Busy, Isolation/lockdown projects

Post by Jake832 » Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:41 pm

echo83 wrote:
Sun Apr 12, 2020 9:01 pm
Cool thread! Thanks for putting this up!

I'm still working from home, as is Mrs. echo83, and keeping our two kids occupied is the new full-time job.

1.) Turns out they're good at "pre-gardening;" yard cleanup, some brush cutting, and keeping the burn pile fed.
2.) I take them out to explore the neighborhood with a compass and binoculars every day, so they can do a little navigation and bring home plants and other bits of nature we find.
3.) Teaching them about tools around the house. We've been doing some spackling, replacing some door knobs, and hammering nails/tightening screws.
4.) Hide and seek. So. much. Hide. and. Seek. Loser has to do pushups. That's gotten mixed reviews.
5.) Indoor camping, We set up the tent, air pads and sleeping bags. Looking forward to taking this outdoors soon.

Did I mention they're 4 and 2?

On my own:
1.) Invested in a little bit of SKS gear pre-pandemic, so I did some research on the ammunition and stripper clips that I bought.
2.) Cleaned and re-cleaned my firearms. Replaced the SKS stock.
3.) Sharpened and re-sharpened my knives
4.) Rotated/consumed some MREs and Mountain House Meals (March order of Mountain House gut bumped to MAY. Brutal.)
5.) Downloaded and listened to a couple of new audio books.
6.) Decided to step up my efforts at pest control. Winter is over, since I got rid of a groundhog that's been digging around and under our house for a year. His friends haven't gotten the memo yet.
7.) Got back into skateboarding. That's been awesome.
Agreed, great thread!
My kids are 7 and 10, we also did indoor camping in the basement. Cub scouts had a zoom video chat 'camporee' which was a good excuse to setup a good indoor camp setup.

Love the compass exploration idea! Even if not in scouts, the online scoutbook stuff can give lots of good ideas for bored kids.
Kids have each had 1 video conference with their teachers and classmates, chaos, but fun for them to see friends.

Also, Minecraft, on our home network, all 4 of us team up and the kids LOVE it. We can only do a couple hours though and gotta stop or it can get out of hand and be a huge waste of time, but again, gotta mix it up! I got it on my work PC (sshhh), they have it on tablets / xbox.

Teaching my 10 year old to play 'Risk' and 'Clue' board games now he want's to play me all the time. Which is fun for a while.

Had them helping with gardening, but they argue more than they help so that is a chore of it's own. Lots of gardening chores to share though as we're getting ready to plant a good sized garden. Even going to try potatoes in 5gal buckets, which I'm excited about.

Cleaning one gun here and there until they are all spotless. Making a chart with check box for when I use one so I know when it was oiled/cleaned and how many lazy times I've shot it and not cleaned it fully.

But I share the issues of a few of the other posts... I still have a full time job, even though it is in the home office now... so I have about the same free time I used to, but I'm getting 4 weeks to a gallon on my car, not eating out any more, saving money and commute time and seeing a lot more of my family. I'm also VERY THANKFUL that I'm still getting paid. My brother and his wife are jobless, can't pay their rent, and drove home and moved in with my parents to get out of their tiny apartment in LA. They have lots of free time and are broke. Teaching guitar lessons on Zoom and helping my parents build raised bed gardens.

I don't have it bad though, still getting paid and still finding time at 12:30 on a Monday while "at work" to surf the internet and post on forums!

Thanks for the posts, tips, ideas and for sharing!
Take care and stay safe all.

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Re: Keeping Busy, Isolation/lockdown projects

Post by moab » Tue Apr 14, 2020 10:00 am

NT2C wrote:
Sun Apr 12, 2020 6:56 pm
moab wrote:
Sun Apr 12, 2020 6:32 pm
Stercutus wrote:
Thu Apr 09, 2020 12:49 pm
I have to admit I am a little jelly of the free time a lot of people are getting when there is so much to do around here. The wife is working 12 hours a day 7 days a week so she is barely keeping sane and I can't tap the kids too much as they still have on-line classes to complete. So I have all the usual spring stuff to do but am working overtime so have less time to do it in. This doesn't leave any time for extra projects and I had to cancel "vacation" time that I had scheduled to work on other projects due to all the travel restrictions. If it sounds like I am bitching, well I am a little.
I'm in a similar situation. The wife and I were working in essential business more than full time. I still am. But she's home sick now. After her heart attack. So all my plans are on hold.

This isn't prepping related really. I mean maybe. But not really. The one project I am sad that I can't get to is my Jeep. My Jeep (bug out vehicle and daily driver) really needs sound deadener and heat shield applied to it's floorboards. Or the pan as it is called. It's pretty noisy on the freeway. And the heat boils up from the floorboards in the summer. And I've had a ton of both materials around for years. From other car projects. But it's a two day job for one guy. And maybe even with two. I have to remove all the seats and carpet. The console and some of the seat belts I think. Then apply the sound deadener and the heat shield. Which takes about a day as you have to cut the sticker like sound deadener into shapes that will fit the contours of the tub (floorboards). Then replace the old carpet with new that I already have as well. Then put the seats and seat belts and console back in.

I've been wanting to do this for over a year. But with the Jeep being my daily driver it's hard to find two days that I can leave the JEep torn apart in my garage. And a guy or two to help me. My sons 19 and loses interest quickly. lol. And I have one friend that is a car guy too. With limited time. And with my wife and work I have like no time. So I'm laymenting not being able to do this project. I need one more day in the week. And for my wife to be better. lol. :)
This may or may not be a good idea but what about just ordering pre-cut sound deadener and carpet pieces? I know they make them (pretty sure you can get them in one piece now, not two separate pieces) and places like JC Whitney used to carry them. There's got to be stuff like that out there that pre-moulded to the right shape and is just a drop-in after removing the seats, etc.

EDIT: Bingo! https://bedrug.com/bedrug-jeep-floor-li ... p/wrangler
Sound deadener is a different product altogether. Bedrug is good carpet for people that want to hose out their Jeep after they go mud bogging. But it is very overpriced. And it's sound deadening qualities are minimal. ACC carpet is much thicker. And not meant to wash out. The ACC is what I'm using as a new carpet layer. And it's about three times as thick as the Bedrug. And not nearly as expensive. If you buy it thru rockauto.

Sound Deadener is like Dynamat or similar. It's a thin rubber like layer sandwiched between a thin aluminum layer and an adhesive layer. It's peel and stick. There are many brands. And many that are just as good as Dynamat for a lot less. I'm using Second Skin. Which is a main competitor of Dynamat. But Noico on Amazon is just as good and even cheaper. Sound deadener adheres to the metal surface of body panels. And stops vibrations that transmit sound. As well as blocking sound from coming in. It's a bit more involved than just laying down a carpet and even a carpet and sound deadening mat. Even the ACC can be purchased with a mat backing. But it's much more expensive and does not adhere to the metal surface like actual sound deadener does.

The heat shield I am using over the top of the sound deadener stops 97% of ambient heat from entering your cab. And also has some sound deadening qualities.

I've researched the hell out of this for many years. As I've used it on other vehicles. And these two products are industry standard for the automotive industry. It's not a hard job laying the sound deadener down. It's just time consuming. As every tub is different. The sound deadener comes in large panels of about a foot square or so. But when you get to the edges or humps you have to get creative about how you cut it to fit. Just takes some time. I also need to paint some items that I'm removing during install. Like the sun faded seat belt covers and other trim items. I got a great deal on my Jeep. But partly because it's sun faded. So I've spent a bit of time rectifying that. Painting all the trim on the exterior. And a few of the parts on the interior.

If it wasn't my daily driver I could knock it out over a few days in my shop. But unfortunately I don't have that luxury. So I have to sort of bang it out over the course of a weekend. Which is pretty impossible now that my wife is home from her heart attack.
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Re: Keeping Busy, Isolation/lockdown projects

Post by NT2C » Tue Apr 14, 2020 10:33 am

That was just one example of many, many pre-cut and formed sets I found for your Jeep. Just thought I'd make the suggestion because as satisfying it might be to do it yourself, if you can't because you don't have the time it might have been worth the $$ just to get it done in a single afternoon and not have to put up with the noise and heat, especially with summer ahead. Your Jeep though so you do it whatever way you're happy with. Image
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Re: Keeping Busy, Isolation/lockdown projects

Post by Stercutus » Tue Apr 14, 2020 12:50 pm

The heat shield
You will likely have much better results if you can get the heat shield underneath. If you get some air flow between the shield and the cab that should resolve heat build up issues. Installing a thick heat shield inside the cab just results in a slower build up and a longer lasting heat sink.
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Re: Keeping Busy, Isolation/lockdown projects

Post by Kali » Sun Apr 19, 2020 12:35 pm

I am focused on food projects during this, trying to regrow produce, grow a starter, make kombucha, and make yogurt. So far so good except the kombucha.

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Re: Keeping Busy, Isolation/lockdown projects

Post by NT2C » Sun Apr 19, 2020 12:37 pm

Kali wrote:
Sun Apr 19, 2020 12:35 pm
I am focused on food projects during this, trying to regrow produce, grow a starter, make kombucha, and make yogurt. So far so good except the kombucha.
You may want to PM one of our members, Anianna, as I know she's had good success with kombucha.
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Re: Keeping Busy, Isolation/lockdown projects

Post by Kali » Sun Apr 26, 2020 10:09 am

Thanks! On another note, I got an instant pot (well, a well-reviewed knockoff). From dried beans (did not soak) to delicious cooked beans in less than an hour! Easy cleanup. It also has a canning setting and a yogurt making setting, as well as sous vide. This thing is a great device (obviously requires power). I would recommend it to any prepper. I am going to try to make jelly in it later today or tomorrow (I know jelly doesn’t technically require pressure canning but it requires so much less supervision than traditional methods).

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Re: Keeping Busy, Isolation/lockdown projects

Post by Evan the Diplomat » Sun Apr 26, 2020 11:52 am

I finally set up a dart board in the basement after it sitting in its box for 10 years. Turns out it is a Michael Graves collectible worth about $500. Now I feel like a Vanderbilt when I throw darts.

Other projects are making synthetic hammock under quilts for kids, and low cost trekking pole from local invasive bamboo.
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Re: Keeping Busy, Isolation/lockdown projects

Post by Ever » Sun Apr 26, 2020 2:02 pm

taipan821 wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 11:32 pm
What are some other things people are doing to keep occupied/sane?
great idea for a thread as I am currently trying to figure this out myself! (some days you get the bear, some days the bear gets you. I was in the latter group yesterday 🙂)
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Stay safe and well, y'all.
(and keep practicing physical distancing and wearing masks. if not for yourself do it for those of us around ya who desperately need ya to)

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Re: Keeping Busy, Isolation/lockdown projects

Post by Brekar » Wed Apr 29, 2020 12:43 pm

If anyone's wife is like mine, since I'm furloughed I've had plenty of stay busy projects to do. So far I've built a 7 foot long picnic table for the back yard, painted the kitchen white (it was originally red, so that sucked), repaired and repainted all of the kitchen cabinets, and am now redoing the cabinet's in the bathroom as well as repainting the bathroom. So fun...

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Re: Keeping Busy, Isolation/lockdown projects

Post by NT2C » Wed Apr 29, 2020 1:06 pm

Brekar wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 12:43 pm
If anyone's wife is like mine, since I'm furloughed I've had plenty of stay busy projects to do. So far I've built a 7 foot long picnic table for the back yard, painted the kitchen white (it was originally red, so that sucked), repaired and repainted all of the kitchen cabinets, and am now redoing the cabinet's in the bathroom as well as repainting the bathroom. So fun...
I'll leave a key for you under the doormat. We'd like the guest bath in a light mint and ivory trim, the master bath a pale blue with white trim (and the new downlight in the shower installed), and the deck needs a little touching up.
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Re: Keeping Busy, Isolation/lockdown projects

Post by Brekar » Wed Apr 29, 2020 2:15 pm

NT2C wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 1:06 pm
Brekar wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 12:43 pm
If anyone's wife is like mine, since I'm furloughed I've had plenty of stay busy projects to do. So far I've built a 7 foot long picnic table for the back yard, painted the kitchen white (it was originally red, so that sucked), repaired and repainted all of the kitchen cabinets, and am now redoing the cabinet's in the bathroom as well as repainting the bathroom. So fun...
I'll leave a key for you under the doormat. We'd like the guest bath in a light mint and ivory trim, the master bath a pale blue with white trim (and the new downlight in the shower installed), and the deck needs a little touching up.
LOL. I'll see what I can do...

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Re: Keeping Busy, Isolation/lockdown projects

Post by FlashDaddy » Wed Apr 29, 2020 2:53 pm

Last week my kid found a very large above-ground swimming pool kit that I bought at an end of season sale and stashed in the garage. It ain’t exactly hot here in east central Indiana but he somehow convinced me to help him set it up. It was a nice project for us to work on together. Yesterday it hit 76dF and we both jumped in the extremely cool water and had a nice, if not lengthy, swim.

I had never planned it as a pandemic prep, but it was, and is going to be, a great stress reliever during these limited social contact times. I doubt the town’s pool will even open this summer.
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Re: Keeping Busy, Isolation/lockdown projects

Post by NT2C » Wed Apr 29, 2020 8:09 pm

FlashDaddy wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 2:53 pm
Last week my kid found a very large above-ground swimming pool kit that I bought at an end of season sale and stashed in the garage. It ain’t exactly hot here in east central Indiana but he somehow convinced me to help him set it up. It was a nice project for us to work on together. Yesterday it hit 76dF and we both jumped in the extremely cool water and had a nice, if not lengthy, swim.

I had never planned it as a pandemic prep, but it was, and is going to be, a great stress reliever during these limited social contact times. I doubt the town’s pool will even open this summer.
Hey, while you're out there relaxing in the pool if you should happen to see a good quality 3'x5' POW-MIA flag wander past, possibly accompanied by a crazed postal worker, redirect it back towards Virginia. I ordered a replacement for the one currently on my flagpole because it's starting to fray. It was sent from Georgia to Virginia and was supposed to be here yesterday but seems to be on a tour of your state instead.

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Re: Keeping Busy, Isolation/lockdown projects

Post by FlashDaddy » Thu Apr 30, 2020 12:00 pm

NT2C wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 8:09 pm
FlashDaddy wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 2:53 pm
Last week my kid found a very large above-ground swimming pool kit that I bought at an end of season sale and stashed in the garage. It ain’t exactly hot here in east central Indiana but he somehow convinced me to help him set it up. It was a nice project for us to work on together. Yesterday it hit 76dF and we both jumped in the extremely cool water and had a nice, if not lengthy, swim.

I had never planned it as a pandemic prep, but it was, and is going to be, a great stress reliever during these limited social contact times. I doubt the town’s pool will even open this summer.
Hey, while you're out there relaxing in the pool if you should happen to see a good quality 3'x5' POW-MIA flag wander past, possibly accompanied by a crazed postal worker, redirect it back towards Virginia. I ordered a replacement for the one currently on my flagpole because it's starting to fray. It was sent from Georgia to Virginia and was supposed to be here yesterday but seems to be on a tour of your state instead.
There seems to be a lot of that going on! I ordered a tarp for the pool and it has been "running late" for three days. Amazon does not give me any idea of where it is though. The shipment details just say "package delayed in transit" I guess there is a lot more shipping and a lot more shipping errors.
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Re: Keeping Busy, Isolation/lockdown projects

Post by NT2C » Thu Apr 30, 2020 12:30 pm

FlashDaddy wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 12:00 pm
NT2C wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 8:09 pm
FlashDaddy wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 2:53 pm
Last week my kid found a very large above-ground swimming pool kit that I bought at an end of season sale and stashed in the garage. It ain’t exactly hot here in east central Indiana but he somehow convinced me to help him set it up. It was a nice project for us to work on together. Yesterday it hit 76dF and we both jumped in the extremely cool water and had a nice, if not lengthy, swim.

I had never planned it as a pandemic prep, but it was, and is going to be, a great stress reliever during these limited social contact times. I doubt the town’s pool will even open this summer.
Hey, while you're out there relaxing in the pool if you should happen to see a good quality 3'x5' POW-MIA flag wander past, possibly accompanied by a crazed postal worker, redirect it back towards Virginia. I ordered a replacement for the one currently on my flagpole because it's starting to fray. It was sent from Georgia to Virginia and was supposed to be here yesterday but seems to be on a tour of your state instead.
There seems to be a lot of that going on! I ordered a tarp for the pool and it has been "running late" for three days. Amazon does not give me any idea of where it is though. The shipment details just say "package delayed in transit" I guess there is a lot more shipping and a lot more shipping errors.
Mine is currently in West Virginia after a brief visit to Indy. The map is a screenshot from a handy app on my phone (Deliveries Package Tracker) that I've been using for many years now.
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Re: Keeping Busy, Isolation/lockdown projects

Post by M813 » Thu Apr 30, 2020 12:39 pm

Anyone who's binging Netflix and Hulu is either doing the pandemic wrong, or they live in a high-rise apartment and can't move, like a baby veal.

- We expanded our veg garden
- Uprooted every "volunteer" tree that the squirrels planted during last fall
- General spring yard work
- I have a pile of new parts that I've been installing on my military vehicles
- Bought and installed an Amish shed and cleaned out the garage and one of the rooms in the house
- Mounted storage hooks on the sheds and hung the kayaks up off the ground
- Decorated and furnished the newly available room in the house
- Hung a slew of shelves
- New bathroom lighting fixtures, painted the bathroom
- Installed a new exhaust system on the sailboat engine
- Re-bedded the boat windows in fresh sealant to stop leaks
- Prepped the boat for extended travel
- Patched a tear in one sail
- Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning
- Endless sorting, discarding, consolidating and organizing

Other stuff I could be doing-

- Get under the house and jack up the sagging floor joist that prevents the bathroom door from closing during the winter
- Tear up and replace the laundry room floor
- Compound and wax the hull on my sailing dinghy
- Fishing and crabbing to add to the food pile
- Re-stitch another sail

This is all on top of going to work at the office every day, since I can't tele-work. Who the hell has time for TV?!?

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Re: Keeping Busy, Isolation/lockdown projects

Post by NT2C » Thu Apr 30, 2020 1:01 pm

M813 wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 12:39 pm
Anyone who's binging Netflix and Hulu is either doing the pandemic wrong, or they live in a high-rise apartment and can't move, like a baby veal.
Yeah... I just cleaned a cat water fountain and had to lie down for 30 minutes to get my back to stop spasming. Yesterday I swapped flags on my flagpole. The day before I sprayed the weeds along the front of the house and slept for 12 hours.

Getting older sucks sometimes.

Not getting older sucks more though.
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Re: Keeping Busy, Isolation/lockdown projects

Post by Halfapint » Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:12 pm

NT2C wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 1:01 pm
M813 wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 12:39 pm
Anyone who's binging Netflix and Hulu is either doing the pandemic wrong, or they live in a high-rise apartment and can't move, like a baby veal.
Yeah... I just cleaned a cat water fountain and had to lie down for 30 minutes to get my back to stop spasming. Yesterday I swapped flags on my flagpole. The day before I sprayed the weeds along the front of the house and slept for 12 hours.

Getting older sucks sometimes.

Not getting older sucks more though.
Preach to that. I’ve got friends that wish they could get out and do things but are at home with new borns, or are part of the high risk group that wouldn’t survive and plan on self quarantining for a year. Others just not physically able to do projects they need.

On the other hand we’ve been busy. I’ve been off work for the last week and a half with another 2+ to go. The fiancé is working but flights are cut so they don’t have work for her so she’s getting paid not to fly.

We woke up at 0700 and got 2 ish yards of 5/8” minus and spread it in front of the 5th wheel. The last week has been sifting dirt and moving it by hand since the tractor has been at a buddies house. The soon to be MIL has been here the last 4-5 days helping to clear the debris from the last 40 plus years. We’ve ripped out about 2000 miles of ivy roots from around 15 trees.

The areas we spread the gravel is the area where we’ve leveled off and made a nice flat ish area. We need some concrete no sand to make mortar to finish the Rick retaining walls around the flat area.

Projects continue, lots more leveling, another 2-3 wood sheds will be built, lots more ivy to rip out, garden to plant, garbage to be dumped, etc etc etc...
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Re: Keeping Busy, Isolation/lockdown projects

Post by woodsghost » Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:39 pm

I live in an apartment AND have a new born. So I'll m selling stuff I don't need and converting to stuff I do need while working from home. And working out more.

I'm grateful I can work from home.

And trying to get ready for a world to get worse even as I hope for it to get better.

So not many DIY projects, but I'm doing what is can. I did manage to improve my reloading bench and make it more compact so the wife is happy.
*Remember: I'm just a guy on the internet :)
*Don't go to stupid places with stupid people & do stupid things.
*Be courteous. Look normal. Be in bed by 10'clock.

“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” -Bilbo Baggins.

taipan821
* * *
Posts: 580
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 2:58 am

Re: Keeping Busy, Isolation/lockdown projects

Post by taipan821 » Thu Apr 30, 2020 5:55 pm

Well, a little update from me.

Finishing week four of living out of a bag, work has me covering a location in another town, on the plus side, found out I'm the highest paid worker in the state (huzzah!)

Still sorting crap post move (I go home on weekends), we've gotten permission from the landlord to put a garden bed in and a citrus tree.

Really wanting to go camping, but will settle for organising the garage.
Tropical Cyclone Ita: Category 5 landfall 2014
Tropical Cyclone Marcia: Category 5 landfall 2015
Tropical Cyclone Nathan: Category 3 landfall 2015
Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie: Category 4 landfall 2017
Watsonville/Walsh River Bushfire 2018
North Queensland Monsoonal Event 2019
New South Wales Bushfires 2019

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