Each Covid-ing in Their Own Way

SpringPaysCovidNoMind

Here we are at forty-something days into social distancing and doing pretty much the same. (I am better from my stupid cold from hell though!) I feel bad posting photos of us doing well and enjoying the nice spring weather when so many others are cooped up indoors and doing badly.  Things could be so so so much worse. But I thought I should check in anyway with a catch-up for my own documenting posterity.

The weather has been extremely nice. Spring is here with a flourish. Flowers are exploding and birds are going bananas. I’m just waiting for the other foot to fall and the bugs start coming out. So far, so good.

I’ve taken to walking the dogs in the early morning and chatting with my dad through our earbuds. We both have been remarking at how much we notice the bird sounds that we can hear from each other’s ambient sound. Earbuds are amazing. That’s one thing that this pandemic has really helped. We are all learning new ways to stay in touch with new technology and it is awesome.

My dad has discovered Zoom and is the new self-designated AV guy for his church, bringing God’s word to all the shut-ins (of which there are many, naturally). It’s just as awesome as it sounds. I think he’s found his calling.

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The girls are managing through long-distance learning with ease. Again, we are stupidly lucky compared to so many and I feel guilty. (Is this a thing? That I constantly feel like I should be suffering more? I should just shut up and enjoy it but I do constantly feel guilty.) The girls are both self-motivated and get good grades without much antagonization from us.  It’s great. They are not taking advantage of all the links to extended learning that their uncles are sending them neither are they visiting virtual museums. They are not helping around the house or sewing masks for the homeless. They are becoming really good at gaming, binge-watching Netflix and occasionally baking.

To each their own.

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We are getting used to masks. I need to step up my sewing game but I am severely side-tracked because I started sewing some wide-legged trousers out of some old sheets. The project is going very slowly and I am hating it. I have never followed a pattern before (outside of that one dress in home-ec in 7th grade) so I thought I’d take this time to teach myself. It’s taken a few facetime calls to my mom and I’m stuck at the bias tape stage. I should finish soon but I don’t let myself work on them during work hours so it’s slow-going.

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I’m getting really good at snail mail though. I’ve added it to my daily routine with my daily coffee.  I need more routines like a hole in my head. I spend probably half of my day doing little routines and rituals and never really getting down to work. I doodle and glue and tape and send off little messages of love to whoever wants one. I’m not sure if it brings me more joy or the recipients. Right now I’m focusing on creating art with recycled cardboard and bits. I never look at a cereal or pasta box or cardboard from a pack of sparkling seltzer water without thinking about how many postcards I can cut out of it. It’s kind of silly but fun. I mean, why not, right? Who needs to be buying chip board right now when our recycling bins are over-flowing?

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We have fallen off the Die-t wagon pretty bad. There may have been a few nights where pizza was ordered and chips and salsa were devoured. I am feeling pretty crappy about it. But I’m vowing to get back to it. It’s a marathon, right? Not a sprint. Slip-ups happen and we have to not give-up. I love making up meals ahead of time. I make big batches of lentils and coleslaw and pack them away in individual serving containers. It definitely helps with lunches and dinners when the kids just want mac and cheese or worse, take-out.

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The other night we actually barbequed outside and it felt like a field trip. I miss traveling and planning camping trips. It’s terrible that my Little Hoo Goes Camping book is coming out soon and I can’t even promote it because it just doesn’t make sense right now. But when this is over I am throwing the most fun camping-themed book party EVER!

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How long will this be the new normal? One year, two years? I miss the old normal.

Quarantine Day 12: Rando Bits

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If it wasn’t for the fact that I have the worst cold I’ve ever had in ten years (!!) (just a stupid fatal-attraction-level sinus infection and NOT covid-19, don’t worry) and the fact that I have anxiety, I would say this quarantine has been good for me. I love staying home and I have more time than ever to be creative. I didn’t think I was an introvert but maybe I am! I’m cooking, I’m cleaning, I’m mom-ing, I’m making things! I even pulled out the sewing machine which I’ve been dreaming of for years! I’m pretty low-level happy. That is until I start worrying about how many people are dying, my parents and whether or not this is the end of the world. You know, just your normal 3 am freak-out stuff.

It’s been cool having the kids home all day long. I can be my old helicopter parent self and not feel guilty about not letting them go out ever. They don’t seem to mind. Their faces are permanently glued to their computers, playing Minecraft or doing school work. I hardly hear a peep out of them unless they need food. And since I miss them so much, I’m happy to play short-order cook. My kids are spoiled rotten. But you knew that already.

We do insist they sit down to dinner with us and even though they roll their eyes I think they like it too. Some lively discussions go down.

Bug and I have taken a few walks together which is nice. I’m loving the corona-swerve since I never really like interacting with other people when I’m walking the dogs anyway because Whiskey is the super-hyper-attack-everyone terrier that he is. I told you the quarantine is sitting well with me. Weird, right? Though I do miss a good coffee date.

There is a new Starbucks around the corner from us and it opened up this week. I spied it while I was out walking the dogs early this morning and the minute I got home Bug and I rushed off to visit it like a long lost friend. I never thought I’d be so happy to see a drive-thru.

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One of you asked how Bug and I are I’m dealing with our anxiety. Bug has decided that “anxiety” doesn’t exist. I think her dad is rubbing off on her and she’s in the I-can-fix-myself-just-fine, you-wusses stage. It’s a blessing because I don’t think I could deal with her going through what she went through in second grade all over again. The endless questions, the dry-heaving, the worry circles. You all remember what we went through. The doctor said that she will always have anxiety but that it will come and go. So I think it’s just on the go side which is great. And I’m sure she has matured a lot and uses a lot of her coping mechanisms.

Me, on the other hand. Well, I’m medicated so that helps. Like a TON. Whenever I feel myself starting to freak-out I just remind myself of my upcoming doctor’s appointment and store whatever worry I’m obsessing about in a mental box to talk to my doctor about. I LOVE my doctor. She is so nice and she always makes me feel like I’m normal.

Am I worried that I won’t be able to see her during this quarantine? Yes, of course. But I know she will do her best because she’s always worried that her patients are going to commit suicide if she isn’t there for them. I don’t need her that bad but she always tells me to call her immediately if I ever get worse. I never have called her so I feel pretty good. But then I worry that the government is going to fail and I won’t be able to have insurance anymore and we’ll all live in poverty and I’ll have to go cold turkey on my meds and live in a cardboard box in an alley somewhere getting gangrene… but then I remind myself that my brain likes to tell me lies so I shut that up and think about something happy instead.

Like postcards! I haven’t made any kind of formal quarantine journal but little things like blog posts, Instagrams and postcards tell the story. I doubt anthropologists will ever thank me for all the documenting I do but I like to imagine they do. What a gold mine of information I would be if there weren’t all the other social media megastars that there already are.

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In other bits: gardening! Spring is here and I am pottering around happily with my plants in the house and my pots and planters outside. I’m growing mung bean sprouts for my cat who likes to eat the house plants and throw up. They aren’t growing fast enough and she keeps eating Bug’s spider plant.

Bug is so funny, she’s named the plants in her room in zones: Her rubber plant and pathos are “The Tropics.”  Her fern and ivy are “The Northern Coastal” and her spider plant is “The Grasslands.” Apparently, Kady likes to visit The Grasslands frequently.

I don’t know why I put that photo of brown sugar up there. Maybe because I love a good circle shot and I wanted to share that I put a teaspoon of brown sugar in my coffee every day with my magic spice mix. It’s delicious. Do you know what is funny? I am still losing weight even with that teaspoon of sugar every day. I do eat a slice of peanut butter toast for breakfast and I usually have a glass of wine every night but cutting out carbs and not going to restaurants seems to be the magic cure to my weight problem. Who knew! Everyone else is complaining that quarantine is making them gain weight. Not me!

Next up is my sanitation station. I love the sound of that. I’m thinking I should make it into a shrine or ofrenda of some sort. I mean, if it is going to live there by the front door it might as well look cute, right? Right now it looks pretty pathetic. I’m thinking maybe there is a saint who is in charge of cleaning? A portrait of Zita, the patron saint of house-cleaning?

Masks! They are for fashion! I know, I’m probably going to get in trouble for saying that but since I can’t mass-produce masks (I can only make about two a day after I get done with my day job) I’m mostly just making them for friends and family. And if I’m making them for friends and family I might as well make them cute, right? So far I’ve only dug around my fabric stash but I have day-dreams of creating masks that have facial expressions on them and maybe a baby shark for the little boy who loves baby shark so much. Wouldn’t that be cute?

You might know that I am a HUGE fan of Project Runway. It’s my favorite show. And yes, I watch all the spin-offs and project-runway-wannabe shows too. I think I missed my calling when I passed up going to FIDM right out of high school. Can you imagine me as a fashion designer? I know I’m not the most fashionable person but I dream about it all the time. So when Christian Siriano started making plain white masks (and not designer masks that would become collector’s items) I swooned. What a hero!

Next is a pathetic picture of Whiskey. You’d think he’s a poor neglected puppy the way he mopes around. Not the dog who gets peanut butter twice a day with his allergy medicine and the dog who gets walked regularly, patted and crooned to all day long. He’s just playing on your emotions folks, nothing to see here.

Speaking of short-order cook, I can make a mean sandwich! Just ask Bug. Payam would agree too but we aren’t allowed to have bread anymore so we just wist from afar. I’d also like to note my sliced-up hand from making soap. It is a beeyotch. So not helpful when obsessively hand-washing.

Lastly, I give you a shot of my African violet being all pretty in my kitchen window. It’s the little things that keep me sane.

How are you coping?