Tuesday, March 31, 2020

In search of....health and wellness



I don't know about you, but I want to do things that are almost diametrically opposed during this global pandemic: eat as much candy as I can and also focus on eating healthy; lay on the couch for as long as I can moving as little as possible and also walk as much as possible. I mean I have a freaking candy cabinet right now. Woosah.

I am appeasing both my slovenly and healthy physical selves by doing a little bit of everything.

I'm not young enough to slide all the way down to the bottom of my candy cabinet for two months and rebound well, plus I need to be doing basic maintenance physically so I can to keep this vessel going when I'm older. That thought hasn’t left my mind since starting. In times of stress, I wish I was the person who turned to serious as hell exercise, but I'm not. My focus areas:

Get My Water In
The first few days of this it was like mainlining coffee was my job. I am a solid water drinker but it's like I forgot myself. Understandable with life changing completely at the drop of a hat. 

When I forget water, I get headaches which I think are virus symptoms, in addition to looking super haggard and feeling like I'm drying up from the inside out. If I don’t have enough water in my system, I am sluggish, tired, weak, and I overeat because I think I'm hungry but I'm actually thirsty. I am not okay when I'm low on water intake. Water makes up a large portion of your body and is vital for a lot of the processes that it completes to keep you healthy. My goal is 100 ounces of water every day minimum, and that's straight water.  That has not changed during this time. I go for more if I'm doing strenuous activity or losing more fluids than usual because it's hot AF.

If you are someone who doesn’t like drinking tap water and tends to buy bottled, pleaaaaaasssssssse reconsider. What about a water filter? Using this water filter, I know the water I'm drinking is filtered and I don't need to worry. 

If that's a no-go, how about a gallon of water vs the individual bottles or a water cooler with a five gallon jug that is recycled?

Gentle Exercise
As I mentioned above, I have never set the world on fire with a burning desire to exercise but I also want to be able to lift myself off the toilet at 70 so some movement is required. I like zumba but classes haven't lined up with my schedule the past few years. Zoom classes happening right now are cool. I also walk at home with Leslie Sansone and of course walk outside as much as possible. I also do light arm weights while sitting.

Food
Am I eating more candy than ever, baking like I work at a bakery, and also dabbling in other junk food? Yes. In a more than a treat yo'self way? Yes. Am I doing that while still trying to keep my diet balanced and healthy-ish? Also yes. I focus a lot on trying to pack in fruits and vegetables. I'm not going to get on my case about food in addition to the weight of the world at this time, but I'm trying to be cognizant. 

Vitamins
I am extra interested in not missing a day of my normal regimen, which includes a multi with iron, fish oil, D, and magnesium. I also take elderberry extract and some turmeric.

Mind the Mind
I am worried about the lasting effects the stress over this life stoppage is going to have on people in the long term, myself included. I am trying to create space inside where this topic doesn't live. I'm good at compartmentalizing and I'm thankful for that. I am asking people around me to be mindful of my stressors-also known as don't poke the bear. 

Acupuncture, massage, chiropractor are all out for me right now, and they are huge parts of my mental wellness even though they are technically physical things. I'm using some neck massager thing and doing my stretches from my acu & chiro. It's not cutting it totally, but it will do for now, and it’s more about the commitment to my wellness at this time. 

Most importantly for mental health right now is limiting news and doing what I need to get myself through.

Never in my life have I been relieved or happy to see my birthday month end. There's a first for everything.

How are you doing health-wise through this? 

Monday, March 30, 2020

TWTW - Q2 like quarantine weekend two is that how we name this now IDK

Friday glorious weather to sit outside after work. I'm trying to keep a semblance of normalcy and end around 4 like I would if I wanted to escape the office on a Friday which I can't imagine wanting to do again soon. I sat out back with the dogs, then out front to read by myself while MFD and Vincent were volunteering packing up food for home-bound people. I did a zoom call with Debbie, Mom, and Lori. Melissa was supposed to join but was still working. I assed out on the couch early.
Saturday I watch TV again on purpose. I watched all of No One Saw A Thing and the first season of A Discovery of Witches in its entirety. To start MFD made breakfast. In between I read and made a standard packet dip plus dinner - roasted broccoli, asparagus, and grape tomatoes with egg noodles and sauteed onions and garlic. 

For those who will ask - I read the first book (A Discovery of Witches) in the trilogy - I liked the story but did not like the writing enough to continue on to the other two books. I like the show a lot. For those who did not read it, I don't typically watch shows that come from books so I'm not sure if my enjoyment is colored by previous knowledge or not. 

Both No One Saw a Thing and A Discovery of Witches can be streamed on Sundance Now and they're doing a free 30 day trial instead of their usual seven day - I think the code is SUNDANCE30 but it's on their facebook page if that's not it. 
Sunday was another gray day and the gray days are harder. Especially when another 30 days of quarantine come down and even though you were expecting it you still don't feel okay with it. I had to go to the store in the morning, which is a task now. Came home and wiped down items, threw clothes in the wash, took a shower, did a mask and eye mask, read, messed up the kitchen and used up sweet potatoes that were turning to accompany steamed broccoli and chicken thighs in the air fryer, then pulled canned peaches from the pantry to make peach cobbler bread. I sunk lower into quarantine and watched quite a few Love is Blind episodes. Who am I? Also finished Parable of the Sower - a world ending dystopian novel is maybe leaning too far into this global pandemic that has us quarantined in our houses.

Weekly food prep: Getting deep in that pantry and the freezers this week. Let's see what happens. 



Week three on the interior. Hanging our Keep Calm Stay Home signs in the front window today. I want to get out of my fucking house which requires other people to take this seriously. 

How are you doing? 

Friday, March 27, 2020

Things that are getting me through


A few years ago in February I found myself feeling suddenly exposed and vulnerable after MFD decided to run for office. The path chosen by someone else, the power out of my hands, financial ruin a definite possibility, the fear of losing everything, people actively working to punch holes in your life...man, I fucking raged and railed. It was my very own winter of discontent.

In an attempt to feel like myself, I tried a bunch of my standard self care things and everything fucking failed. I could not get out of my own head and what was constantly running in my head was the problem. Yes, it was caused by outside events, but inside my head was what was ruining every day for me. Eventually I got out of my own way and listened to my gut. We intrinsically know what is soothing when we need soothing but think we need to come to some intellectual conclusion on what that is. No. The only trick is to repeat what feels right and abandon what doesn't - immediately. Your body knows immediately what quells panic - it doesn't need to be told, it just feels. Sometimes we don't do things that make us feel better because we think we must be wrong, no way that could make us feel better...listen to your gut. If it's not harming you, have at it. Listening to my gut and going with my body's reaction is why meditation and yoga appear on a lot of lists but not on mine - they make my mind race, and continue racing.

Since the entire world is now in a distinctly uncomfortable place on a path that they did not choose, the power out of their hands, financial ruin a definite possibility (for Americans at least, other countries are going a long way to ensure that doesn't happen), and outside forces who won't stay the fuck home for non-essential activities actively working to punch holes in everyone's life, I'm back to focusing on what gets me through the day and thought I'd share here. A few of my soothing techniques are out - hugging and going to the shore/insert your happy place here because the shore and probably your happy place are closed right now like everything else). What's left?

Knowing my problems are the least right now. I have a BFF healthcare worker on the front line without PPE - I'm sure most of you do. This is hard for all of us, but it is 100% harder for some. It’s easier to stay home, only interact with your household, and act right when you know not doing so puts healthcare workers under even more stress and danger and they have no more to give at this time. 

Signs of spring. Life feels stopped but the earth continues. It reinforces that we will too.

The only routine is a new routine every day. This is 100% a gut over head thing. In normal times, I live daily by what needs to be done followed by what wants to be done. Now I let my mood dictate what I do when, not some order I come up with in my head. If I feel the need to drop everything and take a walk, that's what I do. For some reason varying my schedule makes me feel better. Some mornings I start working at 6, some at 10. Sometimes I start at 8:30 like normal but I take a three hour break in the middle of the day and work later at night. Luckily my job allows for flex time all the time.

Shift and variance. My focus is lacking overall. I move from thing to thing much more than I would normally. I allow for that as much as I can in order to follow mood over routine.

Doing laundry. Constantly. Towels mostly. Small loads of clothes. Putting it away is not soothing or a focus lol. Some things do not change. 

No more press conferences. I get the gist from other places - specifically the daily update here in Philly - quick in and out. I can’t hear endless talking and the POTUS gives me fits and rage.

Music. What it is changes based on mood but it drowns everything out especially my own brain and ends up relaxing me before I even realize it.

Control what I can control. I cannot control assholes or a virus. I can control the organization of my pantry. I can write obsessively on a whiteboard and become the Whiteboard Czar and love it even if it means nothing.

Dogs. Always.

Sleeping where I fall asleep. That's been on the couch in the basement or living room some nights and I'm not fighting myself on it like I normally would. Rest is more important than a standard night routine.

Things I’ve already seen. My 80s movies are at the top of this list, but some old shows are doing their part too. I’ve watched Tiger King but am unsure about my ability to focus through a new show or movie at this time.

Reading, but different. I am reading at a much slower pace and cannot get into certain books. I'm giving myself a wide berth here.

Walking. A bittersweet throwback from campaign life. Man, Bruce and I walked so many fucking miles that year. Not for fitness or anything - just to walk off what's in my mind or making me jumpy and ill at ease. I'm back at it now.

Walk at Home with Leslie and friends doing fitness. I like to move some but not much, I'm not an exercise person and never have been. The purpose of this is the movement, not distraction, so I don't want anything complicated. I love Walk at Home with Leslie and PinkyFit is putting some stuff out there. I subscribe to both on YouTube and throw them up on the TV.

Fresh air. I need to be outside daily regardless of weather. This is my life line most days.

Flowers. We've made one big produce run so far and flowers are a part of any grocery store delivery/run.
Dark humor. Always. If you are posting this shit, I love you. Thanks to Kathy for sending me The Breakfast Club one.
Candles. Burning through them like wildfire to zen my shit up.

Connecting with people. My people were my lifeline during campaign time - then, I tightened my circle way the fuck up and let no one in. They are of course still my lifeline now. Always. But before this situation, I only accepted FaceTime calls from my brother to see my niece and nephew. Now in addition to my circle I'm like hey! we haven't spoken since kindergarten? FaceTime me and my three chins. Now accepting all calls. What is this life.

Thinking about other people. Making phone calls demanding PPE for healthcare workers. Making phone calls to check in on seniors. Sharing or getting supplies for neighbors or family who are not well.

Nutrition and cooking. Eating as much produce as possible. Upping my vitamin C. And just plain old eating and cooking. Snacks too - have I mentioned I now have a candy closet? - but mostly eating for wellness and making sure my vitamins aren't missed.

House projects. Dining room progress.
Learning something new. I've been taking some online free classes.

Peppermint tea. Every day. Sometimes more than once. Times may vary.

Letting myself relax and be. This is heavy.

On Instagram I asked how people have been soothing themselves. If you're looking for something and none of mine rang your bell, hopefully one or five of these will:
  • Epic quantities of butter
  • The Food Network
  • Sharing what I'm cooking
  • Audiobooks while I work on menial WFH tasks
  • Lower news intake
  • Books!
  • Cooking!
  • Working out (yoga and cardio every day) and reading
  • Yoga with Adriene
  • Virtual happy hours. I don't drink, but it's fun as hell and I feel like I'm with friends so thumbs up
  • Zoloft
  • Starbursts
  • Talking on the phone or video calling with friends
  • Books, Scrabble on my iPhone, wine, and audiobooks
  • Wine
  • Sitting on the patio with the dogs and bird watching
  • I hate to admit this but...playing Sims 4
  • Animal Crossing
  • Morning workout routines
  • Tiger King
  • Brene Brown's new podcast is so good. Her voice is welcome on long dog walks. 
  • Walking, cooking, and listening to our sensible governor
  • Subversive/Star Wars and Harry Potter Cross Stitch
  • Baking has helped me a lot. And I'm learning to 1/2 or 1/3 batches so I'm not making too much
  • Just sitting outside when it's nice and listening to nature
  • Weed. Ariana Grande videos, looooong walks with my old dog, books about people I want to get to know better, and checking in with you and your mom every day
  • Doing the bunny hop around my house
The only way through is through, friends. It doesn't have to be pretty but it has to be done.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Thursday Thoughts - Now here you go again, you say You want your freedom

1. Thursday Thoughts, or as it's called in quarantine times, here are a bunch of photos of my dogs. Hell I almost didn't write this because I thought yesterday was Tuesday.
2. That or photos from my neighborhood. Slim pickins.

3. My reading is still slow. Everything is slow. I'm letting myself be as much as I can. I did watch Tiger King after MFD badgered me. And he watched it for the second time with me.

4. I had to go out yesterday to pick up supplies for family, including toilet paper, which is absolutely nowhere. It's fucking wild out there. Half the people are acting like nothing is happening and walking as close as they want. Half of them have masks and gloves on. And one lady could not stop talking to me and telling me to wash my hands and take vitamin C and that people with the virus are licking carts and as she's doing this she's walking closer and closer to me. I swear it felt like the fucking zombie apocalypse. Chill. Everyone. Chill. And stop hoarding TP. People who are sick and out need it.

5. PA friends, I hope you have all heard the primary is pushed back to June 2.

6. Ah, memories of what was important and argument-worthy.
7. What's for dinner tonight?

8. REGARDLESS OF HOW YOU VOTE: Please make calls to your Senators today and demand that the federal government get PPE to hospitals in every state so we are protecting the healthcare professionals on the front lines of this pandemic- to call on private companies to produce PPE if necessary, and to ensure there is no price war or supply hoarding anywhere - this takes all of us and it take a functioning executive branch. If you need help finding out who you should be calling or what to say, let me know!

9. Reminder:

10. Ecards: Check in on your people who need a lot of alone time and now have virtually none when indoors

Is this an up or down day? 

What appears after the hyphen in Thursday Thoughts is a song lyric to whatever I'm listening to when I start to write the post. This week is Dreams by Fleetwood Mac from one of the greatest albums of all time, Rumours

What to do if your dog has anxiety

What a relief to talk about anxiety that's not human right now, am I right? This one is coming at you from Maggie Hammond, freelance writer and proud momma to two little people, with one too many furry friends. Passionate about alternative medicine, the great outdoors and animal welfare.
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Anxiety in dogs can be distressing for both dogs and their owners, and owners can sometimes feel helpless to support the needs of their dog when they are suffering from stress or separation anxiety. However, in order to improve your pooch’s health and to help them to calm down, here is a guide to de-stressing your anxious dog.

1.    Visit the Vet

Visiting a vet is the first step that you should take, as this will allow you to discuss your pet’s individual situation and symptoms with a professional. They will be able to officially diagnose the condition and discuss potential treatment options going forward. The treatment options that your vet may offer you in the long term include solutions such as medications, herbal remedies, or animal behavior therapy to rewrite your animal’s triggers and to help to realign their negative associations with certain situations.

2.    Give Them CBD Treats

In the short term, giving your pet CBD treats can be very effective in helping to soothe their anxiety, especially if their stress has been triggered by events such as fireworks or moving house. These treats can help your dog to feel as if they are being praised, while also containing ingredients that can calm your dog down in a natural manner. CBD treats are completely safe for your dog to eat, and CeeBeeDoo offers a range of treats that can help your dog to get back on their feet in no time at all.

3.    Change Your Routine

Establishing a routine can be beneficial to your dog. This will help them to know what to expect in terms of their food and exercise time, and bedtime routines for dogs can also encourage improved sleep patterns. However, it is important to note that your routine could be the cause of their anxiety, such as knowing when you are going to be leaving the house. If this is the case, it is important to change your routine in order to reduce the number of triggers that you are performing, such as avoiding fussing your dog before you leave for work.

4.    Hire Doggy Daycare

If you are struggling to leave the house due to your dog’s anxiety, you should consider hiring a doggy daycare service that can stay with your pooch while you are out of the house. Not only can they provide a constantly comforting presence for your dog, but they can give your animal the food, petting, and affection that they need in order to help them to relax.

5.    Exercise Your Dog

Exercise can do wonders for the mental health of both you and your dog. Exercise can help your dog to release pent up energy and play. It can even work as a distraction for your pooch from the factors that are causing them to have anxiety in the first place. You should try to exercise your dog when they are displaying signs of boredom, or just before you leave the house, as this can help to encourage them to sleep while you are gone.

6.    Use a Weighted Blanket

Weighted blankets can provide extreme comfort to anxious dogs by helping them to sleep better and calm down under pressure. Weighted blankets mimic the feeling of physical contact for dogs, which can release mood-boosting hormones that can allow them to feel calmer, even under stressful situations.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Things I'm extra glad about right now


You know how sometimes you are a certain way about things, and you consider not being that way anymore, and something happens to reinforce that you should just hold steady as you are?

Universe, I am listening.

But first...

Of course and as usual in this world, most of these things come from a place of privilege and having money. We are coming across a lot of home-bound seniors in the Philly area who are low on food right now and a lot of people who are out of jobs and already experiencing or about to experience food scarcity and organizations that will not have enough volunteers to meet upcoming needs. If you are home with extra time, look for an organization near you that delivers packaged food to the home-bound and see how you can help - something like Meals on Wheels, or in Philly Caring for Friends. Call your local Food Bank. Get on your neighborhood facebook group or your Next Door group and ask if everyone is okay food-wise and if not, let them know they can direct message you without judgement and you will help how you can if you can. Then help how you can, without judgement.

For people like me who naturally stock up if you're in a store or run out for an ingredient to make something exactly as you want - PLEASE use what you have in your house and don't buy extra of things than you normally would right now. Let people who cannot afford to stock up go to the store more frequently. Do not run out daily for things - we need to protect workers and ourselves the best that we can. Just keep thinking that - we need to do the best we can by each other. And also understand that people who are out probably have a reason to be out - they don't have enough money to stock up, they are getting something for their senior parent or a household that is ill - we have to ourselves do the right thing and trust that others are also doing the right thing and taking the precautions they need to take.

Okay, now on to what I initially came here to say.

This is not a post about appreciation for things like healthcare workers on the front lines or companies who will do whatever they can to keep their people going - last night was rough after afternoon pressers and I don't have that kind of writing in me today. This is mostly base, surface shit with some hard stuff in it. 

I grew up in an overstocked house. As an adult my house has always been overstocked and it looks like it will remain so. Over the past year I've wanted to be a person who goes to the grocery store frequently and holds almost nothing in a pantry, saves freezer room for meals that are cooked and frozen, etc. I never got fully around to that, and after the mind fuck of this and people running to the grocery store constantly, I will likely never turn into the person who has to go to the store frequently as long as I can afford to not do so. This was not me going out to buy extra coffee. This is the amount of coffee I get delivered at one time monthly, which I had upped in preparation for splitting a household and being part time at the shore.
The same goes for toilet paper, cleaning products, and hand soap. I can recall one time in my adult life being below four rolls in the house. I'm also super glad I can/am used to making cleaning products and hand soap and have stuff on hand for that, and had extra of everything in preparation for it to go to the shore two weeks ago.

That I stopped using paper towels and paper napkins and paper plates years ago. I see so many people online asking others if they've seen paper towels in stores. I always reply, "don't go out just for paper towels - if you have a washing machine use regular kitchen or hand towels and wash cloths." Crickets. People do not want to give up paper towels even though they are nearly entirely unnecessary. I get it, in a time where everything is forcibly different, we want continuity, but I'm happy I'm not stressing over paper towels or paper napkins right now. If you are, you don't have to if you have a washer/dryer.

Having four dogs. I often feel insane for having four, but they are a distraction in the best and worst of times.
That I grew up with Mom Mom and Grandmom always using things to the maximum and getting everything out of everything. I learned how to think about what to do with what I have versus lament about all the things I don't have. They taught me to really think about using things and to not let things go to waste, especially food. They were 100% anti-food waste because they had to be and that stayed with them even when they didn't have to be. It's stayed with the little girl who was always around them too. As has buttered saltines as a comfort food.
Buying peppermint tea in bulk.

That at various points in my marriage we have lived with less, been very down and nearly out, and struggled hard to hold on to what we have. Do I want to go back there? No. Who does, ever? But we've survived really hard shit before and I know we can again if it comes to it. If you have done hard things, remind yourself of that. Sometimes merely the muscle memory of struggle lessons worry for the future. We've been through things. We have done hard things. We have survived absolutely everything up until this point. We can get through more.

White boards. Living and dying by that as a household right now.

That aside from Schitts Creek and a few other things, I haven't watched a lot of TV in the past three to four years. If I find I need to zone out, the options of shows I haven't seen that most of the world has are almost endless. Movies? Forget it, I've seen even less of those in the last five years.

That I have an abundance of physical and e-books that have not been read about which I have continually said I need to work through those before I collect more...probably won't be saying that in the future.

I was committed to buying two candles at a time, but late last year stocked up. Now I'm so glad I did, because in an effort to zen my shit up I have been burning through them like wildfire. I ordered four more last week from a small shop. If I run out of something or need something, I'm trying to buy anything I can from a small business.

That I have friends who are dark humor people. I am not getting out of this alive if I can't laugh at inappropriate times, and my people aren't either. I stole this from Charlene on Instagram and I laugh every time I look at it.
That I have amazing best friends I can say anything to and can say anything to me. Texting about not great sides of ourselves last night had me laughing so hard I could not breathe and I really needed that. I really hope you have someone you can let it all hang out with. Preferably more than one someone.

FaceTime. I don't care how many chins I have, I played a game with my niece last night laying on the couch via FaceTime.

That I have always known the importance of community, and that includes everyone who reads here. Community stands together in person six feet apart or in online spaces we have made homes in. If you read this blog, you are part of my community, and I stand with you. Some of this list is heavy and some is surface, but I want you to know whatever is running through your head in this unprecedented time, you are not alone. Hang in there.

Happy birthday to our friend Blaine today. Not the most stellar March birthday month, but it will absolutely be memorable.

How are we doing today?

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Quaranreading Resources


Clever, no? My IG friend Jordan coined it and I've been using it as a hashtag on a reading or book themed post I share between 5-6 weekdays (weekends optional) to ground myself and whoever wants to join me in a conversation about books or reading to forget this clusterfuck of Covid-19 for a minute.

I'm still reading, although last week lacked focus overall as I tried to grasp a new normal. I'm sure many of you felt that. The weekend was a little better. Something I've kept is starting my day reading, like I would do if I was taking the train every morning, and reading at night before bed like I do. I sometimes read right after I finish working for the day to simulate the train ride home. Sometimes I wait until I'm finished making and cleaning up dinner to do that. How have your reading habits changed?

Like everything else, the book world has been rocked by this virus. Physical libraries are closed, authors with books coming out right now are impacted with book tours cancelled, independent bookstores are hanging by a thread.

If you're scrounging for e-books:
-kindle has a lot of free books if you're a prime member
-Kindle unlimited is $10/month
-audible has a free 30 day trial
-scribd has a free 30 day trial
-Sign up for Netgalley to get free read now books or advanced copies

Buying physical books:
-Well priced used books from a great organization that gives back: Better World Books. I got myself six paperbacks I do not need for under $20 yesterday.
-If you're thinking of buying Glennon Doyle's Untamed, she has a list of indie bookstores that have signed copies in an effort to keep them afloat during these times
-Find an independent bookstore near you via Indie Bound and order from them - if they don't have a website, get in the way back machine and give them a call. A lot of places are closed due to orders for non-essential businesses to close but still shipping. We need these places to survive and if we are readers who currently have some spare dollars and want a book now is the time to use those dollars to support these places in our communities. Like libraries, they are havens and places of ideas and promoters of books and reading and we need that more than ever when this passes. 

I ordered two Octavia Butler books and a sweatshirt from Harriett's Bookshop in Philly last week and I’m attending a virtual event there on Saturday (link to register in their Instagram profile), which belongs below, but roll with it. 

If your favorite shop doesn’t have what you want online email them. 

Supporting authors and books and bookish events virtually:
-We Are Bookish has a bunch of virtual events with authors and book conventions happening through May

Getting Books To Others 
-Can you set up a Little Free Library in your neighborhood or put out a call in a neighborhood Facebook group or NextDoor with the caveat that books must be wiped?
-Check to see what’s loanable from your kindle library
-How can we get books into the hands of people without spare cash or resources who depend on free books from the library? 
-How can we get books to kids who don’t have them at home?

What resources have you come across to this list? Please share in the comments and I’ll add them to the list. Leave your Instagram or blog link if you want others to have the chance to connect with you.

Hope you're all hanging in there. Is that how we sign off of everything now?

Monday, March 23, 2020

TWTW - the one at home

Friday the weather was a beaut so I had all the windows open all day, which was not great when the neighborhood dogs were barking making my dogs bark and I was on a call. Two of my zen up my shit candles arrived. I knocked off around 4, picked up the living room mess from the dogs, sat out front and finished a book, and chatted with the neighbors. I made tortellini with sauce from the freezer and pulled rolls from the freezer to make garlic bread. A side salad topped that off. I joined a live chat on Luvv Nation and started Glennon Doyle's new book which sucked me right in.
Saturday I set up my white board for the day, made calls to seniors in the district for a city councilman to check in and make sure they have all they need, MFD and Vincent delivered meals for Caring for Friends, I got part of my shipment from Harriett's Bookshop (if you're shopping right now, please shop small if they're shipping- Harriett's is new, small, local, woman, and black owned and we need these places to survive), I made a cake and a dip, and then I spent much of the day lost in a book which I really needed. I fell asleep on the couch as MFD was watching Tiger King which he has been talking about relentlessly since and I never went up to bed. 
Sunday was a gray day, perfect for doing a lot of nothing except picking up a prescription for steroids for my hives, then changing clothes, doing laundry, showering when I got home. Thanks SWIFT MD, you only need to make a phone call and not go in anywhere. I sent pictures of hives, boom, done. I cleaned up the kitchen, organized the pantry, started another book but didn't get far, just sort of zoned out for the day and talked to my brother and Baby Steeeephen, my Dad, and Laura and texted with a slew of my people. Philadelphia was issued a stay at home order because people are still out in groups everywhere. Thanks, dicks. So you can look forward to books and dogs and weird shit you don't want to see or care about until this gets lifted. Still, do your best to remain as hopeful as Bruce does sitting before every food item a human is eating. 
Weekly food prep: Not batch cooking breakfast or lunch or dinner at this time. Cooking is soothing to me so I'm making eggs every morning, making sure to stop work for lunch, throwing dinner together. This weekend I made pickle wrap dip for #yearofthedip, an apple sharlotka to use up apples going bad that was a fail in appearance but was completely devoured regardless, and tonight is . I also made croutons for this week's salads from the Friday night garlic bread. 



Week two on the interior. Still doing lunch time check ins on Instagram stories (MFD made an appearance yesterday) and a book/reading post between 5-6 every night (except Sunday I think) for #quaranreading talk. Join me! 

If you have an requests for blog content, now is the time. 

Of course I spent a lot of time arguing with people on the internet this weekend. Mainly in my neighborhood. 

If your town or state are shut down with all non-life sustaining businesses closed like we are in PA, or directed to stay at home like we are in the City of Philadelphia, shit has hit the fan. If you do not know people infected, it’s only a matter of time. I know two confirmed positives and one presumptive positive and they are not the sixth degree of separation and none are over 50. People need to know this is not only for older or immune compromised people. Popping into the grocery store daily for a want and not a need has to stop. Anyone could be a carrier and not know it, and the more you expose others to you and you to others the higher the risk that it will be carried to someone who will not survive it. Wants are not needs and the only people who should be going frequently are the people that can't afford to buy what they need for the week+ at once. If you go to a store and they're out of chicken, you're not eating chicken this week. Also, stop hoarding things like chicken. Fucking relax and let the supplies regenerate. No one who is worried about missing chicken is going to starve, but check on your neighbors who are not as flush to make sure they don't because stores are out of a lot of WIC items. If your store is out of a non-necessity, try again next week, don't go to three more stores looking for shit which is what people are doing. Not sacrificing a little is a slap in the face to every healthcare worker at work without PPEs, all police/fire/EMT without gear, grocery store workers keeping us all fed, postal/delivery peeps, and everyone else who is essential right now and out working when they might have an elderly parent or someone who has a compromised immune system living with them; not to mention all the people out of work with no say in it because of city/state shut downs who do not make money if they are not working, especially those who are small business owners themselves or independent contractors and cannot collect unemployment. Be a good neighbor and community member and STAY HOME. 

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Thursday Thoughts - And hard times come, and hard times go

1. Amid it all, life goes on, a new season starts. Happy spring.
2. As Gwen stated on the 'gram earlier this week. when the going gets tough, the tough do their nails. One of my favorites: Zoya Rikki.

3. Trying to get my mind around the scale and impact of the unprecedented Covid-19 global pandemic is difficult. It's hard to come to terms with being unable to know or control anything. Might we lose everything? Yes. Might we not? Also yes. Is it going to be hard either way? 100% yes. I was watching a friend's video on Instagram yesterday and she was like just chill, because you can't control any of it. I'm trying to access that part of me. When the world is hugely uncertain, I try to control what I can which is hard when you're stuck in the house with people who don't enjoy that. 

4. I think the word of the week is unprecedented. Do you agree?

5. How about those pets though, huh? They are enjoying an UNPRECEDENTED amount of time with their humans. And in this house, getting on the table like jackholes. Also don't fret, more art is going on that back wall. The second piece has arrived but the third is still in transit. I know It looks like one pea in a pot of soup right now. 
6. In these UNPRECEDENTED times I'm trying to keep things as normal as possible across platforms. I will of course write about things related to this because this is what we're living with right now and I write about life. I'm on Instagram stories checking in via video at some point daily (trying for lunchtime) and checking in with a book or reading related post between 5-6 every day just to do some normal book chatting using the hashtag #quaranreading if you'd like to do the same (at whatever time/day you post about books or reading, not daily if that's not your jam). I put up a new reading highlight too and will put old content in there when I get a chance. I never offer to one off recommend books but that stance has been relaxed in times of Covid so hit me up if you need a book to lose yourself in. Of course I've also got your dog content and your mug content which are v. important.

7. I stripped our bed to the bones yesterday. Other beds will get the same treatment as I multitask throughout the workday. Our dining room chairs will get finished at some point this weekend, we did the first seat last night and I’m happy with the fabric. MFD is going to deal with his dressing room amid working - houses are still buying and selling, so if you need a realtor hit him up. At the shore we're holding up work our plumbers have scheduled on the bathroom and they called about that on Wednesday so we have to get that opened up and get the stuff down there for it or we're going to get bumped. A sectional is supposed to arrive Monday too. We'll see if that happens. If it does, we have to move furniture for that. If you are a person who has a second home somewhere, I hope that if you go there during this to practice social distancing in that house instead, you do not use any of their stores or their gas or anything in public and bring every last supply from home. While you can be in any home social distancing, those more vacation areas are not equipped to handle an increase in population at this time.

8. This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine.

9. Reminder:

10. Ecards: love in the time of corona - check out Lindsay's blog post from yesterday.

Breathe. 
What appears after the hyphen in Thursday Thoughts is a song lyric to whatever I'm listening to when I start to write the post. This week is Wrecking Ball by Bruce Springsteen 
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