What are you doing today?

On this Tuesday in quarantine I’ve discovered the long lost tv remote control that Studly Doright claimed he’d looked high and low for. It was in plain sight on the table next to his recliner. “Huh! What do you know?” he said.

In addition, I located a set of headphones that he swore he’d already searched for. These weren’t on top of the end table, but inside it. Again, he said, “Huh! What do you know?”

I’ve had my favorite Irish breakfast tea with a splash of almond milk and a bit of honey. Now, until a few weeks ago I’d have laughed at the idea of any kind of milk in my hot tea, but it’s quite good and for the rest of the morning I’ve spoken exclusively in an Irish accent. I’m better at Scottish accents, but as far as I can tell there’s no Scottish breakfast tea in the house. Maybe I should look on the table beside Studly’s chair.

I’ve worked on the novel a bit. I wrote a thousand words yesterday, but only 500 this morning. I’m having trouble getting my characters to shut up and move along. And I know I need less talk and more ambiance to flesh out the book.

For lunch I ordered takeout from Sweet Pea in Tallahassee. I worry about my favorite vegan place during this time. I tip extra every time I buy a meal there, but I know their business is probably slow right now. Be sure and support your local mom and pop businesses if you can.

My laundry is as caught up as it’s ever been. I do at least one load of towels every day on the “sanitize” settings, and that takes a considerable amount of time.

I tried to take a nap, but my brain won’t stop trying to solve the problem I’m having with the novel, so I picked up my phone and began writing this post. I wonder if the solution to my characters’ issues could be found on the table next to Studly’s chair? It’s worth taking a look, I guess.

Peace, people.

Positively Alone

Today, Studly Doright went into his office in Tallahassee, gathered up all of his essentials and returned home to Doright Manor from where he will office as long as necessary. The cat and I have mixed feelings about this.

Scout, the cat

On the one hand we’re relieved that he won’t be interacting with potential carriers of COVID-19, and that he’ll be around to share his sense of humor and his “don’t worry, be happy” mentality.

On the other hand, Scout and I are wondering how we’ll stay out of his hair during the work day and how we’ll sneak in our snuggly naps. We’re just going to have to learn to sleep with our eyes open, I suppose.

Peace, people!

Shelter in Place Haiku

Alone, together

We play at isolation

Without a game plan

The ground rules have changed

Practice social distancing

For the greater good

In this brave new world,

Every minute a bell tolls

We listen alone

A Facebook friend said she needed sheltering-in- place haikus. I was happy to oblige.

Nature Doesn’t Care

Here we are, staying in place, trying our best to keep the corona virus from finding us. In my sci-fi addled brain, COVID-19 is a monster lurking in the internal organs of some stranger’s infected body, awaiting an opening, perhaps a sneeze or a cough, to propel him into the next host.

Monster Zodiac—Libra

And that host could be me, or worse, someone I love.

Yes, I know that in most cases of the virus the symptoms are mild—barely noticeable in some instances, but those that are bad, are scary.

BUT! Nature doesn’t give a flip. These past few days have been gorgeous here in Florida. Sunshine and temperatures in the 80’s. And in some parts of the country, snow is falling like crazy. The monster keeps on creeping, but nature doesn’t care, and that comforts me.

I hope all of you are safe and healthy and able to appreciate whatever nature is sharing with you today.

Peace, people.

Mommy Knows Best

Right off the bat this morning, even before I’d gotten out of bed, Studly Doright said, “I think you need to take my temperature.”

Alrighty then. Nothing like that kind of request in the middle of a global pandemic to get one’s heart racing and one’s feet moving. I immediately went to our thermometer drawer (which is also our band-aids and q-tips drawer) and fished out both of our thermometers, knowing that neither had been used in ages and were likely in need of batteries and also knowing I didn’t have any batteries on hand.

I sanitized the one that was most likely to be working, and stuck it under Studly’s tongue. His temperature registered at 97.4. I knew that wasn’t right—he’s always a predictable 98.6. Tried again just to make sure and got the low reading again. The other thermometer wouldn’t even turn on.

Now, using the Mommy Method of temperature taking, aka kissing Studly’s forehead, I was certain he wasn’t running an elevated temperature, but he was adamant that I locate a thermometer. After going to seven stores in three different communities I found just one thermometer, a fancy one that works with an iPhone app. I bought it, but can’t find the lightning charger that came with my iPhone, and the thermometer requires that for set up purposes. #%*€£#%.

I also found a battery at one of the stores, though, they were in short supply, as well. After fumfering around with the fancy thermometer I gave up and installed the battery in our old, cheap, run-of-the-mill thermometer. Voila! Why didn’t I just do that first?

Inserted the thermometer into Studly’s mouth, and in less than a minute it beeped. He does not have a fever. The Mommy Method was accurate, after all. He also has none of the other symptoms of COVID-19, but his stomach is upset. He stayed home from work today—something he NEVER does, and is snoring loudly on the couch—something he does frequently.

Here’s hoping all of your thermometers are in working order and that if you need to find your lightning charger it’s close at hand. Mine sure wasn’t.

. Peace, people.

Quarantine and Sanity

My mother told me repeatedly when I was small, and again when I was a teenager, and yet again when I was grown that I was much too restless for my own good. “You don’t have to be going somewhere, doing something, all the time!” She’d say, or something similar.

To Mom, my need to be doing something or going somewhere, was probably my biggest character flaw—along with my disinterest in keeping a clean room and having a smart mouth. The triumvirate of failings. I suspect that right now she’s looking down on me and laughing her ass off. I don’t do well when told I can’t just get up and go where I please.

Now, I don’t think I’m particularly hyperactive. I can sit for hours reading a good book, or watching a movie, but if I’m unable to leave if I want to, I start feeling trapped and go a bit bonkers. I’m sure my two children are thankful that they are grown and don’t have to share space with me during this time.

My heart hurts, though, when I read of the people in Italy who are unable to attend the funerals of loved ones. People are being buried with only a member of the clergy and perhaps a funeral home employee in attendance, as their surviving family members are prohibited from leaving their own homes. If those grieving families can stay put, then I can.

Thank goodness for FaceTime, books and movies, social media, my renewed interest in finishing my novel, and for plenty of sunshine here in Florida. Maybe I’ll emerge from this experience with a new outlook on being still. Mom just fell off her cloud laughing. Oh, and when she stopped laughing she’d tell me to go clean my room and “don’t roll your eyes at me, young lady.”

How are you staying sane?

Peace, people.

The Things We Touch

Door knobs and counter tops,

Paper money and coins,

Credit card scanners and screens,

Gas pump handles, a lover’s face,

Our phones, our eyes, our hair,

Children’s little noses, dogs’ ears,

Cats, when they’ll let us,

Faucets and tables,

Light switches and silverware,

Steering wheels and guitar strings,

The panic button, if we aren’t careful.

Sculpture in Venice tackles the topic of climate change

Peace, people.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Most, if not all festivities celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in the U.S. have been cancelled. I’m sure children who remember to do so will still pinch their unsuspecting parents who’ve forgotten to wear green, but hopefully from a safe distance after which they’ll vigorously wash their hands (front and back—not just the fingertips) while singing “When Irish Eyes are Smiling.”

I do not look great in green, so I was always the pinchee and seldom the pincher. When I taught, I made sure to wear a sprig of green on my blouse lest I risk my arms being pinched black and blue by day’s end. Little darlings who caught me unprepared paid for their cheekiness when grades came out. (Not really. I’m not vindictive in that way.)

St. Patrick who, legend has it, drove the snakes out of Ireland, could certainly help us out today, if we could only persuade him to drive the current ‘snake(s)’ out of our lands. COVID-19 needs to go, along with several people whose names I need not mention (one rhymes with Tronald Dump).

Maybe if we all wear green, forgo pinching one another, and wash our hands relentlessly, good St. Patrick will save the day, but we might have to suffer awhile longer.

Peace, people.

Not a Rhetorical Question

How did I get here? In search of an estate sale in north Tallahassee, I missed a turn and ended up on a narrow dirt road in my effort to find the way back. My gps has a weird sense of humor sometimes.

It was a pretty shortcut; although, the track grew a bit too narrow in places for my liking.

Where I’m Going
Where I’d Been

And my little Chrysler really isn’t an off-road vehicle. A couple of times I wondered about turning around and going back the way I’d come, but there wasn’t an opportunity to do so.

After all my travails in the wilderness, the estate sale was disappointing. It’s as if I’d been lost on the Oregon Trail and there was no gold when I reached California. At least no one died of dysentery.

Peace, people!