Sheltering in Place – Day 54

Hubby has started calling me his Decontaminatrix. This is because I am always trying to decontaminate anything that comes into the house, us when we leave the house, us when we return to the house, and the surrounding world in general. Today hubby had his first gig since the shelter-in-place mandate took place. He was to perform in the garden of a small private home that houses 8 elderly people. He decided to try it, as there would be 6-foot distancing between them, him, me, and masks would be worn by all. When we got there I did my best to sanitize everything in the garden, even a nearby tree. Armed with Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, Lysol Spray, and hand sanitizer, I tried to create the perfect, germ-free environment. Hubby sang for one hour, played the piano, and entertained the elders and staff alike. All the while he made sure no one came near him and he didn’t touch anything but his equipment. I stayed by my sanitized and distant tree, watching discreetly. If anyone, even a centenarian got too close to hubby or me, I was going to blast him or her in the face with the Lysol Spray. And make no mistake, I would have done it. Because I am serious about this, baby. I am Decontaminatrix. However, everyone behaved themselves, were grateful for his singing, piano playing, and good humor. After his hour’s show, they all retreated into their small home and we packed up the equipment with me wiping down everything twice. It was exhausting. But it was nice, for one brief hour, to have some form of normalcy, if only a touch of it.  

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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 34

I have decided I don’t know what I’m doing anymore. So I concentrate on the days when they’re gorgeous and sunny, the fresh air, the flowers. I try to write. It has helped. But still. We have suffered a loss. Hubby’s sister passed away two weeks ago Sunday from Covid19. Yes, she was not in good health. Yes, she was older (69). But it happened out of the blue. Between the time she came down with the symptoms, was tested, and died, only 4 days passed. The fallout has been tremendous. Especially for her mother (still alive at 95), and her daughters. And my husband, her brother, is sad, sad, sad. I try to help. I try to find the right words. But it is hard. Grief is hard.   Hug those you love just a little longer today. For me. For them. For yourself. Remembering the ones who leave us is hard.  

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Sheltering in Place – Day 32

There was a lot of excitement around here today. Our big shipment of groceries for the coming weeks arrived at 1 pm. Of course, the process started at 10:30 am, when the shopper texted me saying he was beginning. The process consisted of him gathering together the items I ordered or substitute items in case what I wanted was no longer available. And there were a lot of those. However, I did wind up getting 56 of something. Bags and bags full of groceries. It was like I was running a summer camp for boys. Well, in a way, I am. Maybe I lost my mind. I had six days to wait in between ordering the groceries and having them delivered. Once you get your day and time slot, you can add to the list. And I did. The list grew every day. Sometimes I added to it 3 and 4 times a day. Sometimes I would take things off the list. It became a living thing. After a while, I had no idea what I’d ordered. But it didn’t matter. I was committed. Ort should be committed.   My shopper, Michael, was a doll. He texted and sent me images of everything. We had a lively exchange while he shopped for the next hour and a half. He may have done the shopping but I had to make constant decisions about what substitutes would work.  He delivered everything to the door and with a wave of his hand, was gone. Then the real job began. We had to unpack, wash, sanitize, disinfect and find places to put 56 items. That took another hour and a half.  But at the end of it, I was feeling the satisfaction of a job well done. Then hubby looked me dead in the…

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Sheltering in Place – Day 23

I can’t get the hang of this ordering online thing. I either accidentally order in huge quantities (remember the TP) or order the same thing repeatedly. I now have three shipments of face masks coming from three different companies at three separate times. I have no idea how I did that. Of course, these delivery services don’t help. Things are often delayed or they back up the delivery date. A couple of weeks ago I  ordered food, perishable and non-perishable, to be delivered at a certain time on a certain day. No matter how often I phoned about it, nothing arrived. At around 11 pm that night I gave up and went to bed. When we awoke the next morning, Norman went to take out the garbage and there the order was, frozen stuff defrosting nicely and milk going bad. But I am nothing if not a Pollyanna. So I took a chance and ordered online groceries again, but this time from our neighborhood grocery store. That order was put in last week because they need a five-day lead time. They are boasting it will arrive tomorrow between 4 and 6 pm. Here’s hoping. I also ordered wine and booze last week from a major beverage store. As previously mentioned, lately I cannot watch the news without a martini, manhattan, or margarita in hand. BevMo loves me. My liver not so much. That shipment arrives in 2 weeks. Or so they say. Today a meal delivery service we order from every other week and delivered last week, dropped a box at our door today. If you’re not familiar with these meal services, they package up all the ingredients, including the spices, and you put the dish together yourself.  If you’re not familiar with the term ‘every other week’ then you…

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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 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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Sheltering in Place – Day 16

I’m cranky. I admit it. But I think we’re all on edge. I’m going to try to be a little kinder to anyone I see, as long as they don’t step into my six-foot social distancing space or cough on me. If they do, however, look out, buster. So here’s a little distraction. Nothing like a little humor, right? So here’s a little Battle of the Sexes humor with no bad language or putting down of either men or women. Actually, both get a little fun jolt. But it’s also a reminder for those of us who have been fortunate enough to share their lives with another person for a little while, how funny we can be. Anyway, if you ‘ve seen this comic before, Fred Klett, he’s still funny the second and third time around.  

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Sheltering in Place – Day 15

Okay. We have another 30 days of this shelter-in-place thing. We can do it. I am so confident in this, I am offering to be one of the cheerleaders of our group.  However, I’m not that thrilled with the cheerleaders on the left. First of all, who wears their hair that long anymore? I think I can relate to something a little more grown-up (see below to the right).  Here’s a cheer to get you started, somewhere between that and a rap song. After all, we must stay up with the times.  

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