Day 13 of Isolation

Is it just me or is this never going to end?  I have a weird feeling that we aren’t going on vacation this summer.  Looking at the number of cases this morning seems to confirm things are getting worse, not better.

My principal sent an email this morning (midway through our spring break that’s already ruined by the pandemic) that we must check our work email HOURLY starting Monday.  Like I have nothing else to do (oh wait, I guess I don’t) but still!

They also want us to “interact” with the students starting next week.  Granted, we can’t assign anything that results in a grade and we can’t force them to “interact”.  They want all of us to set up a Zoom or Google Meet time so students have access to us.  Not sure how comfortable I am with this.  They can already message through the district platform and email us.  Is it so they can see us?  Be reassured by us?

Today on the homefront:

  • a few more weeds pulled out of the side yard
  • facetime with the kiddos
  • patio is ready for spring, I even had lunch outside today!
  • Declutter a shelf in the back bedroom so we can put our Wii stuff there.

My LadyBug friends while out with the weeds!  My social life is devolving!

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Day 12 of Isolation

This seems like our new normal.

Only thing we have to fear is fear itself.  Franklin D. Roosevelt

I am fearful that EVERYTHING coming into our home is infected.  And we aren’t going out often or ordering stuff.

  • John went to pick up fresh fruit and vegetables this morning at the grocery store.
  • Kiddo #2 ordered something from Amazon before the “Safer at Home” order here in California. [She will frequently use our address for deliveries since she has issues getting stuff delivered at her apartment.]  Everyone else must have been ordering the same gluten free soup.  It finally arrived today in a cardboard box. 

I was nagging John to be sure he sanitized everything including the box and bags along with all the door handles and other stuff he might have touched after he brought the stuff in.  

Please don’t misinterpret – I am a supporter of self-isolation and the statewide isolation order.  From a public health perspective, this and hand washing are the best ways to decrease the spread.  Our county currently has a 10% death rate.  This is nothing to mess with.

Anyone else having anxiety about infected stuff coming into the house?  I know we have all conquered our fears of clutter entering!

 

And the other stuff happening here today:

  • John made another loaf of sourdough bread
  • Barb weeded the side planter.  It was nice to sit outside and have time “alone” with my thoughts.
  • Catching up on blog reading.

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Day 11 of Isolation

Things are starting to settle into routines.  Laundry is getting done more frequently – doing yard work is clothing extensive!  We are having more dishes to wash since we are eating all 3 meals at home.  We have been experimenting with recipes.

I’m going to try to get up earlier rather than later.  My morning wake up time has been getting later and later.  Yesterday it was 11:30 and a kick in my behind that I need to get up earlier.  This morning was 10:00.  John has been “sleeping  in” too – this morning it was 6:00 when he woke up.  Way too early for me!

How is your new daily routine coming along?

Things going on today:

  • more yard work – does purchasing bark/mulch count as an essential?  We are debating a trip to Home Depot or Lowe’s but not sure we want to risk it at this point.
  • no puzzle today – decided to read instead.
  • John baked gluten free sourdough bread!  It was so YUMMY!  We need to figure out something to do with the starter he has been maintaining.  I think waffles are on the menu for tomorrow morning!

Day 10 of Isolation

John went to the store this morning.  Our local grocery store did not have toilet paper – we aren’t out and he wasn’t going to buy it – he was just curious.

The health food store farther away in downtown had everything gluten free he wanted (baking mix to make homemade bread specifically).  They also had dry beans, quinoa, and hominy which the local grocery store didn’t have.  We are now set on those.

We made Mac and Cheese for lunch.  No baking!  Here’s the gist of what I did.

“French Onion Mac & Cheese”  Sorry no pic, it was just mac & cheese in a pot.

  1. Boil the noodles in just enough water so that when they are done there is hardly any water left.  I also added some beef Better than Bouillon to the water before cooking.
  2. While the noodles cooked, I caramelized 1/2 a large onion.
  3. I grated about 3 ounces of Gruyere cheese which we just happen to have in the frig and sparked this recipe.
  4. When noodles were done, I added a little bit of cornstarch to thicken the remaining water since we used gluten free noodles.  I would think with regular noodles you wouldn’t need to do this.
  5. Mix the noodles, onions, cheese together with a splash of half and half.
  6. EAT!  It was super YUMMY!!

 

Other happenings in our house:

  • Barb’s shoulders are sore today from working in the yard yesterday
  • finished another puzzle – I think it is time to move to reading for a while

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Day 9 of Isolation Ruminations

I’ve updated our day numbers.  We started isolation 2 days before the first blog post.

I haven’t left the house/yard since returning from dinner Friday 3/13.

On this day, I left for work and was dreading Friday the 13th at a middle school.  We had already had RAIN (you know that wet stuff that occasionally falls from the sky in Southern California), FULL MOON, and DAYLIGHT SAVINGS!  What more could happen??

Friday after lunch, everything changed.  The county was shuttering all school at the end of the day until 4/6.  By Tuesday morning, the closure was extended to 4/30.  John found out his school was closing until 4/6 on the same day I found out 4/30.  It wasn’t until Thursday that John received confirmation that his school was closing until 5/1.

I’m not sure if this is a positive or not, but we are not expected to provide specific lessons to the students.  Because some students do not have internet access, we can’t assign anything we expect to have completed and turned in digitally.  Some students have started the “assignments” I posted but not a majority by any stretch of the imagination.  The district also feels this is a stressful enough event without adding parents trying to guide/teach as well.

So now we have to “entertain” ourselves for at least 6 weeks at home.  Today we:

  • did some yard work, we were out there for 2 hours!  It was a beautiful morning here.
  • contemplated what we will do for student semester grades IF we don’t return.
    • Barb thinks we won’t go back
    • John is optimistic we will.
    • Can we just give a grade based on what they earned just before shutdown?
    • Can the state just say “No Grades”?  They’ve already said no state testing.
    • AP tests will still be given during May.  Not sure how this will look and how valid the test scores will be.
  • completed another puzzle – we purchased this in Yellowstone National Park.  It is OBVIOUS someone purchased it before us and returned it with broken pieces.  Glad all the pieces were included.  Would have been really annoyed if it had missing pieces.

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  • started another puzzle

Day 6 of Isolation

The state of California has its act together.

We filed our taxes Monday afternoon and this morning when I went online, the bank had already received our refund!!  Less than one week!  Not that we are going anywhere to spend it but we have it!

John also received his new Real ID license today.  He went last week on Friday to do the renewal.  One week to receive it!  Hope other aspect of state government are as efficient!

Meanwhile –

  • Our bathroom temporarily ran out of toilet paper.  Just a small panic until I realized there were 10 rolls in the other bathroom.
  • It was a beautiful morning here so we did a couple of hours of yard work.  The recent rains have spurred growth of grass and weeks.
  • I caught up on reading other blog posts
  • Naps
  • We played Wii Bowling again!

Week 1 of Isolation Movies

As we wrap up our first week of isolation/Safer at Home, here is a list of the movies watched this week.

  1. Contagion – and why not?
  2. Frozen II – and we don’t have kids here!
  3. Fast 5 – we still need to watch the most recent one
  4. Remember the Titans – one of our favorites!
  5. The King’s Speech
  6. The Rainmaker
  7. Hell or High Water – we’ve been on an underdog theme it seems
  8. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 – personally I liked the first one better
  9. Seabiscuit
  10. CHiPs – Dax Shepard also has a pretty good podcast we enjoy on road trips
  11. Rango – although it is a cartoon, it is not a kid movie in my opinion
  12. Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken – interesting twist on Super Size Me.

No “TV” series at this point.  What have you been watching?  Any suggestions?

Day 5 of Isolation

Is anyone else finding that “normal” stuff is just taking you longer to complete.  For example, this morning my normal showering time is about 15 minutes.  This morning 35 minutes.  I actually left the hair conditioner in for the 3-5 minutes!  Most mornings, conditioner doesn’t happen.  I went down the YouTube rabbit hole when someone posted the Jimmy Fallon working from home 1st episode.  That leads to watching all of them for the week and many other things!

John started a sourdough starter and we watched movies.

Day 4 of Isolation

“Safer at Home”

Today our entire state is now ordered to stay at home except for essential outings (medical, food, essential employment.)   It has already been an interesting week following the news, but this is so surreal.  We watch movies/TV shows where things like this happen but NEVER expect it happen in real life.

So how did we occupy our minds and bodies?

We put together a 1000 piece puzzle!  We started it about noon; John quit about 8:30 and I quit at 10:30.   I woke up this morning to a finished puzzle!  Way to go hubby!

 

After standing at the bar most of the day, we definitely need to do something active tomorrow!

 

 

Day 3 of Isolation

I say this is Day 3 but it is really Day 5.  Somehow the weekend didn’t count when I made the Day 1 post.  Does the day number really matter?  Nope.  Especially knowing that I am looking at being off work for at least 47 days.

I weighed in this morning and I hit 25 pounds decluttered!  Guess the stress eating last week was what my body needed to get over the 23 pound plateau I’ve had for 3 weeks.  On the positive side, I didn’t gain anything for 3 weeks!  I still tracked my food intake but definitely went above what I should have been eating – not nearly as much as “old” me would have eaten.

Other things going on today:

  • more Sudoku for John
  • catching up on blog reading for Barb
  • we got out all of the old Wii stuff and set it up.  John is practicing driving at the moment before our big race later!  Update to follow
  • watched CNN10 for the week.  I didn’t realize it was still being recorded.
  • talked to the kiddos and mom.  Our phone calls sure last longer now that everyone is in isolation!

Day 2 of Isolation

Today is St. Patrick’s Day!  It’s weird not having 150+ middle school kids checking out your clothing to make sure you have green on.

So today I decluttered!  Guess I should have counted how many pictures I removed but totally forgot to do it – maybe a trip to the trash can is in order.

I went through an old box of photos, digitized the ones I wanted to keep, threw away many, and put a few into the small boxes for the kids.

No pics for this one – sorry!

Other things that happened at our house:

  • took the car to get looked at (see our Random Acts of Kindness post!)
  • went to work to pick up my scanner before the complete lockout at 2 pm.  The county has extended Barb’s out of school until April 30th.  All school buildings are off limits.  I needed the scanner to digitize some of the pictures.
  • watched “The Rainmaker” movie
  • John did some yard work as well as transplanting a bush
  • made Corned Beef, Cabbage, and Potato dinner.  This has to be one of the easiest “holiday” meals to make!  We embraced our Irish roots with non-traditional Irish foods.  I seem to remember reading that Irish immigrants to the US started eating corned beef and cabbage because it was cheap.  Anyone know for sure?
  • John took a nap
  • FaceTime with the grandkiddo!  She is growing so much!
  • Talked with both Kiddos – kiddo #2 was venting that her noon conference was about potty training in midst of Coronavirus pandemic.  Guess they want the Pediatricians to remember parents will still have concerns about things other than Coronavirus.
  • Talked with both mothers.  They find it funny that we are both considered “elderly” when they first started talking about the age groups most vulnerable.  The media has lost the term elderly.  Guess too many people were offended being called elderly.

Hope everyone is taking time for mental health breaks in their day.

Coronavirus “Spring Break”

Well, it happened.  My school was one of MANY in California that is on a 3 week public health hiatus.  John’s district hasn’t closed any schools yet, but he is currently on Spring Break.  My principal made it very clear that since the health department is closing us, we are expected to isolate/self-quarantine.

Thankfully, we are not expected to prepare lessons for the students.  I posted a few things they will need to do when we return – hopefully they will do it since it is the family life unit.  It’s usually the one chapter of the book they look at!

Hope every one is staying safe and healthy during this unusual situation we find ourselves in.