Sheltering in Place – Day 51

I am a mere shell of my former self. Seriously. I don’t mean weight-wise. I still remain the block-buster gal we all know. I mean as a person. Among other things, I can’t sleep. I seem to be wide awake until 2 am and get up around 7. Then I zonk out between 5 and 7 pm only to repeat this ghastly routine the next day. I miss phone calls, online meetings, and playing with the cat. My cat, Ellie, has a narrow window of awakeness. It’s usually between 5 and 7 pm. These days, other than putting down her cereal bowl and cleaning out her litter pan, I have little interaction with her. Not that she’s complaining. She even sent a letter of inquiry to the governor of California asking when she will get some alone time in this house. She awaits a personal reply or phone call. Naturally, Newsom would have to call her sometime between 5 and 7 pm. Ellie calls Governor Gavin Newsom “Gav,” as she claims he is a personal friend.  I don’t believe it for a minute. She’s not his type. Back to my lack of sleep. Hubby is fine with my vampire insomnia-like state. After all, we are together 24/7, so any time he gets to himself without me popping into his office for a quick hug or to remind him the pots go on the bottom shelf of the dishwasher, thank you very much, he’s happy. On the subject of loading the dishwasher, I fail to understand why a college graduate and an all-around smart guy cannot grasp that putting metal pots next to glasses is not a good thing. Okay, it’s possible I’m becoming squirrely. Talking to the cat. Waiting for Gavin Newsom to phone. Focusing on how one loads the…

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Sheltering in Place – Day 50

Today we had an adventure! And how my adventures have changed recently. A little more than two months ago, I was doing things like cruising through the Panama Canal and watching the engineering feat of locks up close and personal. Then we visited the rain forests of Costa Rica. I even saw a sloth! Or the guides told me I did. What I really saw was a dark blob way up in a palm tree. But if they said it was a sloth, it was a sloth. After all, they live there. They should know. It’s up there somewhere. That darkish blob to the left. Or right. I forget. But the world has changed. Two months later found me back in San Jose knee-deep in a pandemic, housebound like the rest of the world. But today was different. We got up at the crack of dawn and masked, gloved, and panting at the leash, drove to our local Target for Senior Hour Shopping. We actually arrived early and I stood in line – practicing safe distancing, of course -and waited for the store to open. Meanwhile, hubby drove to a nearby gas station and filled up the car with gas. Then hubby joined me in line and the doors opened at 8 am. Only 10 of us were let into the store at a time. We were in the first group, too.  Excitement abounded! The whole store practically to ourselves! But would they have anything? Yes, yes! What treasures we found! Beyond my wildest dreams. A large bottle of hand sanitizer (only one to a customer). A 3-container set of Clorox Disinfectant Wipes. Kitty litter that cost only 12 bucks a bag. Dawn Power Wash.  Steak, pork loin, and even dried beans got thrown into the shopping cart. I was…

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Sheltering in Place – Day 41

Today Hubby and I went to Lucky’s at midday on a Sunday. Nutso, right? We were driving up to San Francisco to have a sidewalk visit with hubby’s 95-year-old mother and her granddaughter, our niece. How did we wind up at Lucky’s? Niece asked up to bring up some milk. That’s what it started with. We were going to get the milk at the nearby mom and pop store. Then we got a call back from niece asking if we could pick up a “few other things.” Unfortunately, we said yes. No good deed goes unpunished. I wanted to go to our local organic grocery store, but occasionally I listen to hubby. Big mistake. He thought Lucky’s would have everything niece wanted.  Lucky’s was packed. Social distancing at its worst. And even though there was a small sign saying no one could come into the store without wearing a mask, such was not the case. And it certainly wasn’t enforced. Unlike us, a lot of people were in the store, no masks, no gloves, and acting as if nothing was going on in the world. Whatsoever. Recent visitors from Mars, perhaps? Then I had a banana incident, but possibly I was the banana. I was standing my safe 6-foot distance from a man who was examining bunches of bananas as if his life depended on it. Or maybe his salary. I suspected right away he was a shopper. I’ve never seen any man who cared that much about what a banana looked like on the outside. Anyway, while keeping a patient, safe distance from him,  a woman dashed by, clipped me on the shoulder, and headed straight for the bananas. My reaction to what she did surprised even me. “Hey! Lady!” I yelled. “I’m doing my 6-foot distancing here, waiting…

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Sheltering in Place – Day 38

I don’t know how to order online. I have to admit it. I thought it would be simple, but it isn’t. And I’ve made a few faux pas, which is French for you blew it. Fortunately, I have a very understanding husband. He gets that while I have many virtues, ordering online is not one of them. I may have mentioned that several weeks ago I ordered wine from BevMo. It did not go well. The results of this order showed up today. They said it would come in 10 to14 days. It took 17. And then I somehow managed to duplicate the order, which was bad enough. But when I went into the website to straighten it out, I managed to double the duplicate order. That’s 4 times the amount of booze I meant to order. Bummer. But this was not my fault. Seriously. Well, not completely. Well, maybe a little bit. Okay, entirely. Rats. In complete sincerity, I’m not sure what happened. I went to BevMo’s website.to order 6 bottles of wine and one bottle of vodka.  In my defense, the website was not exactly user-friendly. Maybe a little too much Cinco de Maya and not enough what’s going on. But the end result was I wound up with 4 times the amount of wine and spirits than I intended to order. This can happen to anybody. Right? But hubby is a good egg. He became philosophical. He said we can save all these bottles for the future, should we live to be a hundred and thirty. Or maybe, he proffered, we could open up a bar. Enthusiasm enveloped him. We’ve got the name, he said. The 6-Feet Apart Tavern. And a bonus: If you buy two drinks, you get to pet a tubby black cat named Ellie.…

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Sheltering in Place – Day 36

I caught Hubby practicing the song “When You Wish Upon a Star” and asked him if I could record it. It’s from the 1940 movie Pinocchio. It seems appropriate these days, somehow. Let’s wish for brighter days when old friends can meet again for a cup of coffee. I hope you enjoy it.   And here’s the original trailer from the movie, Pinocchio, a story about a puppet who becomes a little boy, all through the power of wishing on a star.  

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Sheltering in Place – Day 30

  I’m turning into Howard Hughes. He was isolated. He never left his home. He wore his jammies 24/7. Oh, gawd! No, no, I’m a little different. I’m wearing scuffies on my feet, not Kleenex boxes. Besides, Howie didn’t have any friends, did he? I now have three new BFFs. That would be Instacart, Amazon, and BevMo. I add BevMo to this list even though I have no idea when or if anyone will show up with a delivery of wine. I put in an order on April 5th and so far, nothing. I pine for this new friendship. Watching World News without my wine is not going to happen. Regarding Instacart, I had to get up at 6 am to get a delivery time for nearly a week later. The groceries are supposed to arrive on Friday between 11 am and 1 pm. The last time I ordered, they were out of over half the things I wanted. But I was lucky to get what I got. Fortunately, I had a very tenacious shopper. She said she got the last loaf of bread in the store. I don’t know who she tackled to the ground to get it, but I gave her a good tip, anyway. Amazon is still the easiest to order from, although deliveries are backed up far longer than usual. The turnaround used to be one to two days. No more. You’re lucky if you see something within a week. Although eBooks.show up instantly. At last count, I had over 300 books on my Kindle. It will be a sad state of the world if I actually get around to reading all of them. I can’t complain though. At least I have the money to pay for things and a place to which they should be…

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Sheltering in Place – Day 29

Sometimes music can move us all. The first video is Andrea Bocelli singing La Vie En Rose. Joined by the magic of technology is also Edith Piaf, where they sing a brief duet. The second one is Amazing Grace, outside the duomo cathedral of Milan, just this past Easter. It’s moments like these that make me proud to be a member of the human race. Stay safe, my friends. I need each one of you in my life.  

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Sheltering in Place – Day 22

This will be brief since I have been going since 5:30 this morning. Today hubby went in for an angioplasty, a procedure to make the heart function better. A miracle, for sure. It uses a balloon to widen an artery and not the kind you get at a party.  For those squeamish, you might want to dial on. Anyway, the procedure is fairly non-invasive all things considered, and the doctor goes in through the groin or the wrist. They prefer the wrist as it’s even less invasive, but sometimes that doesn’t work. Norman got lucky. His right wrist worked. I dropped him off at 7:30 am. They prepped him for out-patient surgery and by 10 am it was done. Of course, he had to hang around afterward for 6 hours while they did this and that. You know, post-surgery stuff. An IV here, a drip-drip there. After all, we are dealing with the heart. Meanwhile, I came home and to amuse myself,  TRIED to make my own hand sanitizer. Twice. A complete disaster. No matter how much I whisked the aloe vera gel into the alcohol, it would not blend. I saved the used alcohol and will use it to get rid of aphids on my gardenias. One must be resourceful when one isn’t a chemist.     For the next two weeks, hubby will be somewhat laid up. Not too much exercise and can’t lift anything over 10 pounds. So lifting the cat is out.     As if that isn’t bad enough, for the next 10-days, he has been told to treat the arm that was used to put the stent in place as if it is broken. Oh, great. I will be his total slave, grateful though he may be for everything I do. It’s not exactly…

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Sheltering in Place – Day 20

In these times of stress, I am trying to keep my life smaller and simpler. And remember to be grateful. We will get through this, I know. We just have to wash our hands and ride it out. But here are five things that help me do that almost daily. Things that make me feel better 1 – Canoodling with my cat, Ellie. She may be a bit tubby, but she has the softest, most luxurious fur I’ve ever felt. There’s nothing more soothing that stroking her and listening to her purr. Better than a Valium. Really, it is. 2 – Stepping outside and inhaling the fragrance of the orange and lemon blossoms that happen to grace my small, back patio. I watch the bees buzzing around flowers, the sun peeking through the leaves and branches, and I think the world isn’t so bad, after all. Really, I do. 3 – Watching the hummingbirds hover around the birdfeeder. They let me know when the feeder is running dry, too, by fluttering in my face. Maybe they haven’t carried a sign saying “birdfeeder empty, Mom,” but I know they know I’m their mommy. Really, I am. 4 – Watching old, old reruns of Are You Being Served, an ancient British sitcom from the seventies that still makes my laugh. I grew up with those people at Grace Brothers Store. I think of them as part of my family. Really, I do.     5 – Playing gin rummy with hubby. I taught him how to play and he wins far more often than I thought he would. But then, I win sometimes, too. We have a lot of fun and enjoy ourselves enormously. I believe that’s because we’re evenly matched. Really, we are.

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Sheltering in Place – Day 19

Remember those extra rolls of TP I accidentally ordered a few weeks back? Not only did we supply neighbors with some, but today we drove the 55 miles up to San Francisco to bring hubby’s 95-year-old mother and her caregiver/granddaughter (our niece) 10 rolls. Right now in SF you cannot get TP for love nor money. We added a small vase of fresh flowers and a homemade card, so grandmama would feel lifted. Our beautiful niece, in turn, gave us a can of worth-its-weight-in-gold Lysol Spray, plus some non-perishable snacks, seltzer water, and fruit. Yes, we have no bananas. Oh, wait, we do have bananas. Five of them. And an apple. And two oranges.   After exchanging boxes and chatting for about five minutes, they sitting on the stoop and us standing on the sidewalk, we drove the 55 miles back home. Even though we did our social distancing routine and it was a long time traveling for such a short visit, it was lovely, simply lovely. And absolutely worth it.

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