Friday, April 24, 2020

friday in the time of covid

I had such a good week. Every day I thought about writing here but every day I was busy with other things and I didn't. Every day I was up early and dressed and I had a list (brief and basic) of things to do. I got my seeds started, I did laundry, I mailed cards, I made pizza dough and naan bread. I thought I had learned to live with this. I thought I had learned to let grief and joy coexist in my life. Even if I woke up heartsick, I found wonder...the open window in April, birds singing, hostas coming up in the garden.

I even took Gus to McDonald's for a cheeseburger. He loves the drive-thru and sits patiently while we wait. He always shares my fries, too. There was a line from hell, but we didn't have anywhere to be so we went with it.

Today, I woke up early but I quickly ran out of energy and went back to bed. I slept for three more hours. I forgot to go to the Arts Center to meet someone with a key. I'm just not used to thinking in terms of time or deadlines already. It's 12:30 and I'm not dressed and I haven't done the dishes. I've already told Regis that I can't makes pizza for dinner. I'm out of gas.

I found a couple projects that I want to do over the next few days.
So many incredible Advanced Style posts have come through in the last day. @carmen_mon_oxide ‘s ode to The Countess of Glamour is spot on don’t you think?! She writes on her post, “Doing the Advanced Style because right now people are taking about the older generation like they are disposable and have nothing left to offer. That is so far from true.” That’s exactly why I started this challenge. If you’d like to join in all you have to do is post a look inspired by one of your favorite advanced style icons along with the name of someone older in your life that you want to celebrate with the Advanced Style Challenge. I don't have a pig but I think I can pull this off. I'll share results.

And this one which has a distinct have to be old enough to know about the Ministry of Silly Walks but not so old that you can't do it without hurting yourself. That's a funny thought. Hee hee. Sometimes when you think you've given up, you just have to write about it.

I ordered these pencils and they arrived today. I've been doing pictures of flowers and delivering them to friends. I just write a note and tape them on their windows. It's a fun project.
Sunday I'm making two batches of snickerdoodles and putting them in my little library for folks who need a cookie and who doesn't. The news is so exhausting.

If I hadn't been watching the press conference/rally yesterday, I would never have believed that the potus would stand on a stage and tell 40 million people that maybe we could try injecting disinfectants into a body because it kills germs on surfaces. This plague would be bad enough if we had a leader with a lick of sense but every days feels like a new fresh hell.

Now that I have enumerated my woes, I'm going to take a shower and dress in my most flamboyant outfit and go for a walk to Caribou where I will get myself a cold drink and a cookies. And maybe see my friend, Kelly.

Love to you my friends.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

doing life in the time of COVID-19, more random thoughts

1. I can't keep track of what number day it is in the shutdown. I looked back to see what day it started and it was March 18th so you can do the math. That's what I always say when confronted with a math problem of which counting is one.

2. We had a funny Easter celebration. I made a bag of Easter eggs for each family and they either came over here to do a simple egg hung right along the sidewalk while we sat on the patio or they did their own thing in their own yard. It was fun. We maintained social distance.

3. We got Easter dinner from a local restaurant. I picked it up Saturday, all packaged in foil and plastic and we reheated it on Sunday. It was the second Easter dinner we've had out of takeout containers and we have been grateful for each one. It was cold and snowing on Sunday anyway so who cares.

4. Weird weather continues with rapid changes from sunny to cloudy to zero visibility with huge snowflakes or graupel. I think I will be able to live my COVID life when the weather is warmer and sunnier. Sitting on the patio and waving to people who come by sounds sweet right now. My daffodils are up but not far. No flowers yet.

5. The news dropped today and that is a big outbreak of COVID in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. We dodged a big bullet there when Mom had her surgery in March. We spent one night in a hotel, got takeout, and got out of town. Might have been a different story this week.

6. I still I have not been cleaning or organizing but today I found a box of cards in the closet. Since I just ordered a bunch of stamps from the USPS it seemed like serendipity. I'm going to write a few cards every day and either mail them or deliver them on my bike. I have to find some ways to reach out more. I'm too content to stay home and avoid any kind of social gathering via zoom or facetime.

7. I have a lot of nice linen summer clothes which don't get worn a lot because you know, ironing. I've decided in this time of CV, I'm going to wear them around the house unironed. I think it will be a good look for me.

8. Yesterday I had to move the car while Regis moved the truck. We have a one-lane driveway. So as long as I was on the street I went around the block! Big outing! Tomorrow Regis isn't driving the transit so we're taking Gus to get groomed (might have her trim me up, too), then we'll go to Mankato to pick up groceries (aisles online), and get some takeout dinner.

9. I know I feel better if I get up in the morning and get dressed instead of waiting until 4 o'clock or the next day. Sweatpants are not a look I enjoy. I'm ok with wonky hair but I can't let my fashion sense go down the drain. It's a slippery slope.

10. I read today that Dr. Fauci finds the daily 2 hour press briefings exhausting. I can only imagine. The news is bleak but I have to watch some of it because what I think might have happened while I wasn't paying attention is sometimes worse.

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

a weird and windy day

Personal best during the coronovirus. I was awake, showered, and dressed by 9:30. Go, me! I did some things before noon, then took a break for lunch, reading, and a nap. Regis thinks that's pretty funny, but I am taking this schedule very seriously.

I made a macrame plant hanger. I know...a craft revived from the 60s but you know what they charge for those things? I made one in ten minutes, even with the cat's help. I sorted a few things, found a few lost items, did the dishes, and prepped for dinner. I have cooked more in the last two weeks, in an organized and purposeful way, than I have in a long time. We had steak on the grill last night and tonight, I made a hash with the leftover steak, potatoes, onions, and red peppers. It was delicious.

Later in the evening, I took a drive around town. I had heard that there was a house demolished on Front Street and I wanted to see it. There's also a garage construction going on (very slowly) and I wanted to check their progress. Unfortunately, both parties were present and I wasn't comfortable documenting their construction/destruction. I also saw two kids celebrating birthdays on the boulevard with parents and siblings. They had signs on poster board, balloons, and in one case, and actual throne made of plywood. It was glorious.

A friend of mine, frustrated with her inability to find yeast in a local grocery store, ordered 20 pounds from a bakery supply house in Canada. It was going for $40 a pound on Amazon and she sold a pound to me for $5 which seems like what I paid for it pre-virus. She delivered it on a scooter which should have earned a tip. Hurray for friends and yeast fairies.

I don't know how I can sleep for 8 hours at night, take a 1.5 hour nap after lunch, and still be tired at 8:00.

I have plans for the future. I'm going to finish my Senior Fitness certification. I'm going to make wind chimes from the shells I brought back from Texas. I have two garden plots to prepare for flowers and vegetables. I have a huge hosta garden in the front yard that needs some tending when the weather warms.

So, carry on, my friends. Love and sunshine and much respect to you all.

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

grocery shopping in the time of coronovirus

I reported yesterday that I had muffed my online grocery order. I got up early and went to HyVee during the hours set aside for the elderly and high risk. Well, if that isn't enough of a deterrent.

I got out of the car with a mask and gloves. They had sanitizing supplies inside the store to wipe down the cart handles and there were employees everywhere wiping down baskets, door handles, and checkout stations. There were arrows on the floor marking each aisle as one way and I will say that most people observed those boundaries. Then were a few assholes. I got through it in one piece but I will say it was a most surreal experience that I don't want to repeat.

I feel better today than I did yesterday when I was wallowing in despair. I miss my friends and my work at the Arts Center but I felt I was turning inward...a dark vortex. I offered my dollhouse to my grand-daughter, not knowing when she will be able to come here to play again. I'm going to have mini egg hunts for each family, in shifts, on Saturday. Just along the sidewalk so there is no contact. I'd like to do some decorating on the sidewalks with chalk but I think it's going to be raining so there is that. Wind, rain, and cold. Look for another one of those desperation posts.

Wow. Up and down. In one paragraph.

I talked to my boss at the Arts Center today which seems like an odd thing to call her because she is so...I don't know...real, authentic, human. I have paid time off. At my little bitty very part-time job. It's not the money as much as it feels like a very human offer of dignity. I matter and the job I do matters. It was one of my only human contacts in days.

I was outside a lot today in the beautiful sunshine. I potted a couple house plants which I haven't had for years. It felt good to handle dirt and living things. Maybe to nurture something.

I wonder if some of my distancing, holding things (people) at bay is a protective act. If I don't think about it too much, I don't have to feel the pain. Sigh.

We had such good news about my mom. She met with the medical oncologist today and we were prepared for a recommendation for radiation. She had many questions, the main one being how would that increase her life expectancy or her quality of life. Mom was pleasantly surprised to hear that he didn't recommend any further treatment. She could do a hormone treatment, but even that was optional and not urgent. Such a relief for everyone. I talked to Mom tonight and she was so happy that now she can forget about it and just enjoy each day.

Regis and I got in the car about 8 o'clock to go up on the hill to see the full moon. It was stunning, of course. Now, I'm home watching news, eating cookies, and sitting in this chair that must have memory foam because my butt remembers. Haha.


Monday, April 06, 2020


I haven't written for a while. Here are my thoughts in the midst of a pandemic.

1. I have trouble remembering what day/date it is. I have to check the Weather Channel app to validate. It adds to the lost feeling.

2. Mom is doing well. I came home a week ago and she was doing quite well then. My cousin and her husband spent a week with her and frankly, they were probably more useful than I was because they cook and clean and organize. None of that is in my wheelhouse. She meets with the medical oncologist tomorrow and she has a list of questions. I'm proud of her for taking charge of her treatment plan.

3. I look at my calendar most days but there isn't much there. I cross out the Arts Center hours and the coffee dates and the babysitting dates. I can't think about that too much. Tiffany came by today to pick up a couple of old games like Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders. It was good to visit from a distance and wave to Easton and Elliot. I can't think about that much either. I have a huge reservoir of grief.

4. I tried to do an online order for groceries but apparently I forgot the last step so today I discovered it was not active and there are no dates/times available for now. I tried a hundred ways to transfer it to my shopping list with no luck. I finally just did it the old-fashioned way and wrote it by hand on a piece of paper. Now, I have to go to the actual store in the morning at 7am, garbed in mask and gloves.

5. I am not doing the things I see some people doing. I am not organizing. I am not sorting and donating. I am not cleaning...deep or otherwise. I read. I sleep.

6. I have a lot of anger. At the president who I thought was a major dumb and incompetent asshole even before this and at the goof balls he has surrounded himself with and (this is important) at the people who continue to support him and think he's doing a good job. I won't name them. You know who they are. Mother fuckers.

7. I like to sleep and drink wine. I'm sorry if that goes against your notion of what a mentally healthy person should be doing. On sunny days, I go outside and talk to anyone who walks past my house.

8. I love Governor Walz and Governor Cuomo. And Anthony Fauci.

9. I'm tired of cooking. Tonight, I think I made French toast with a loaf of garlic bread. Regis didn't notice and I couldn't smell or taste it so I guess it proves we're feral and WTF.

10. I have had some thoughts about the gene pool. I'm not going to say anymore about that.

11. We have tried to patronize the local restaurants. We ordered from Patrick's the other night and Regis's grilled burrito came with a roll of toilet paper.

12. I don't have the mental capacity to get photos with these thoughts.

The end.