This little teddy bear is currently in the front window. Around this and many other neighborhood, friendly bears watch the streets. I texted this photo to older my son because it's his bear, Hamden. He wrote back:
I'm so grateful I have a place to be during this pandemic that is warm and safe. You will not hear me complaining about being a "prisoner in my own home" or whining about the little inconveniences. Some mornings I sit in bed drinking coffee and watching the sun light up my back yard and I am humbled by my undeserved good fortune.
And this introvert doesn't mind having a lot of time at home. The day before the library closed, they sent me a message saying I had a reserved book to be picked up. I stopped on the way home from work and found my fellow bibliophiles stocking up, so I did likewise. I've read six of them so far, and when I'm done with this stack I'll start on books I own that I've been meaning to read.
I'm seeing a handful of patients each week through telemedicine - phone, facetime and FB video chat. I sit out on the sunporch with my phone propped on the back of the couch and try to ignore the neighbor cat who stares at me through the window. She's been hanging around a lot and seems to have a reasonably amicable relationship with our cat. There is also a big fluffy orange cat who comes around but is a little more skittish.
Our cat Hodr also stares in, hoping to be allowed inside. It is very distracting. My husband is working two of his days a week from home, making phone calls to patients and arranging tests and lab work. He sits in the back bedroom at a desk by the window and is easily distracted, too. One day he came sprinting onto the sunporch, pointing up at the oak tree and shouting, "Squirrel sex! Squirrel sex!"
I'm also taking advantage of the forced time off to do continuing education. I need 40 hours every two years, half of which must be live. They expanded the definition of "live" to include interactive webinars and I have jumped on the free ones offered. One of them was on long-distance therapy during the pandemic and was about the most depressing, anxiety-provoking thing I've heard yet ("Millions may die! No one will be untouched by death and grief! You have no control! You will not be able to be with people when they die and you, too, will die alone! There is no hope of redemption here! Now get out there and be a helpful therapist during this dark period in our world's history!"). Midway through I hopped up and started piling all the spices on the island to sort through them and distract myself.
I got rid of older duplicates, labeled the ones we use frequently and put them in the spice rack, and stashed the rest in the cabinet. It was a good diversion from all the doom and a little project I've been putting off for at least a couple of years.
I've been cooking a LOT, of course, and mostly regular, healthy meals. But comfort food calls to me and some days we eat like this. I call these tachos, because I added taco ingredients (sautéed onions, black beans, and peppers) to the nachos.
I'm working a little in the yard and have eased up on my battle with weeds. The dandelions are allowed to grow as they will and I harvest their leaves for salads and dishes using greens. I did pull out a bunch of daisy fleabane that was threatening to over-run one bed and brought them inside as cut flowers. I may be less sanguine about staying home if the next round of this virus hits in winter, but for now I really can't complain.
I mean, it's beautiful. This is an absolutely lush time in my neck of the woods. But I have been knocked back on my heels by the pandemic. I don't know what my personal risk is like, although I do think I had a little lung damage from the chemo and I had asthma when I was younger, but it's more that I can't help but brood about the possibility of having gone through all those surgeries and chemo only to be taken out by a stupid virus. It has utterly sapped my motivation to do much of anything.
So I am sheltering in place, as requested, and trying hard to focus on the beauty in my own yard. Every time I walk out the front door, I am bowled over by the scent of the lilac bushes.
I've been furloughed from my new job, as all disability evaluations have been temporarily halted. And I'm seeing the handful of patients I have left via telemedicine from my home. My husband's hours have been cut and he's doing a day and a half of his work from home as well. I'm thankful that we at least have some work available to us.
And all this time at home makes you more keenly aware of the little signs of new life. Like this itty bitty praying mantis that found it's way into the study where my husband was working. We relocated it outside.
The only other person I'm having any live contact with at all is my younger son who spends part of each weekend with us. He's lonely and I love having him here. But he's following our household rule - clothes straight into the washing machine and a shower the moment he gets to our house.
When we aren't working, we walk around the neighborhood and wave to people from a distance or putter around in the yard.
I am, of course, deeply grateful to have a yard to be in. There's only so much time you can spend watching Tiger King, after all.
So, I'm going to try to get around to blogs I've been missing and post a little more frequently. A very Happy Easter to you all.