Monday, April 6, 2020

Things That Happen Now

I drink a lot of tea now. Working at the office, I would occasionally have a cup of tea in the afternoon. Now, I'm drinking a pot, just about daily. I'm tearing through our supply of non-caffeinated herbal tea since afternoon caffeine is a recipe for not sleeping at night... not that I sleep anyway.

Sleeping is a challenge, and my persistent sleep issues are apparently contagious. Eric got up one morning last week and asked if I wanted to go in with him on a suicide-pact to ensure we actually slept through a night... instead, we combed through the drawers in the bathroom for medicines that might help. Two nights later, Eric took something that knocked him on his butt for most of the next morning. I didn't and Sunday was so sleep deprived I had flu-like symptoms, sans fever (which I know because I checked it incessantly because that's what happens now.) I knocked myself out with something else last night, and I'm fine.

As I have previously mentioned, I have always been a hand washer. However, this has ramped up during this time, and I'm beginning to wonder if my hands will ever recover. There are dry patches in between my fingers. My knuckles are cracked. My right hand is now oddly discolored with a distinct line at the wrist bones, and neither moisturizer, Neosporin, or the promises given to me in Guatemala about the miracle of macadamia oil seem to be helping.

Ye olde breadmaker... still works... and no longer for sale
We were out of bread. It turns out, it was a good thing that no one bought the bread maker during the multiple garage sales in which we tried to sell it. I hauled it out last week, and made a passable loaf of wheat instead of using the yeast I had on hand to make Easter bread (sorry Amy! I'll try to make a half-batch this week and deliver you some!) Who knew that schlepping this thing around for years meant it would actually come in handy! Unfortunately, it's going to have to be wheat bread only, as I only have whole wheat flour in the house...

online church
We do church online, from our living room. Our church isn't one of those fancy places that had a lot of technology already in existence, so I'm pretty sure what is going on in the sanctuary is a large pile of theology books with a laptop balanced on top. We're trying and they are trying... although they are sticking to the "normal" service progression, which means asking everyone to sit and stand and kneel at various points. We did that the first week, and then it was just awkward to be standing in the middle of our living room, looking down at our computer and having Zoom broadcast our bellies to the rest of the congregation, or be constantly tilting the computer... so now we just turn the video off and do whatever we feel like.

I am starting to miss people. I mean, I live with my person and that's awesome, but contact with others would be nice too. I am, in fact, an extrovert. Zoom calls are a substitute, but they aren't the same thing... and my eyes are starting to feel strain from staring at screens all the time. So, the inevitable is starting to happen. I'm talking to wildlife. Last week, there were 11 deer in a yard while I was running, and I stopped to say hello. These ladies didn't seem to mind, but they weren't the conversationalists I was hoping for.

My new friends
I got to go out of the house on Saturday! I fully admit that I was looking forward to being able to make this trip. Not quite Disney-land-excited, but definitely in dog-riding-in-car levels of excitement.

We ordered a mirror for pick up at Lowe's before the quarantine, and it finally arrived. I drove for the first time in a couple of weeks, to the store, suited up in mask, hat and gloves, and stared through the makeshift plexiglass partition recently installed at the customer service counter to retrieve my order. The young guy behind the wall recommended that the mirror be inspected before I sign off that I had received it, in case of breaks, scratches or cracks. This was a lovely idea, but resulted in two other young men wrestling with the box and polystyrene casing on the floor of the hardware store while everyone else tried to stay six feet away from them. The mirror was fine, fortunately.

How we look in public now
What wasn't so fine was the line in the parking lot of the shopping complex. Lowe's looked to have about average shopping for a Saturday -relatively heavy, but most of us in masks (note: the governor of Colorado issued guidance orders that everyone should wear cloth masks in public) Costco was another story, as was Trader Joe's. Both stores must be limiting number of customers, because the lines wrapped around the outside of the respective buildings, people grabbing carts and then standing six feet back from the customer in front of them. What was a little baffling were the number of people who clearly brought their entire families with them. Trust me, I appreciate getting out of the house but waiting in line at the store sounds like a recipe for disaster and failed social distancing when dragging kids along. Plus, I feel 100% confident Costco isn't handing out samples right now, so its not like you are getting Saturday snacks out of the deal...

When I got the mirror home, we gloved up, open the entire thing in the driveway, Clorox-wiped the mirror before bringing it in the house, and deposited the box and padding directly in the garage rubbish and recycling bins. One step closer to having the never-ending-project done...

Grocery sanitizing process
Today was also an outing! We completed our first online order for grocery pick-up, and I got to drive into town to get it. We didn't get everything on our order (no napkins, oranges, Shredded Wheat, kitchen cleaner, cheese, yogurt, some other things...) but we did get enough fresh fruits and veggies to replace the stockpile we've gone through in the last month. Yep, March 2 was my last shopping trip...and yes, I did have a cabbage and carrot salad with pickled Greek banana peppers for dinner last night because those were the vegetables that were left...

I masked and gloved up, because that's what we do now, retrieved my order, got it home, and went through a sanitizing process to bring it all in. This involved Clorox wiping every box, tin, or can after removing them from the bag, and filling a clean bucket with items, removing all fruits and vegetable from their plastic bags and putting them in a basket before moving them in to the house. The fruits and veggies are currently in a vinegar and water bath in the sink (which is actually my regular process - I wash all fruit and vegetables as soon as they come home so they are ready to eat right out of the fridge.) The bags  went directly in the recycling and the car got Lysoled down.

When you talk about "banditing" in a race,
this isn't what they mean...
And finally, for this week, running continues. However, as I mentioned, our governor wants everyone to wear cloth masks when they are out-of-home. Fortunately, we live rural enough that I don't see people all the time, which is good because I suck at bandit running. However, I have figured out if I tie a bandana over my pony tail, I can tuck the cloth under my chin and pull it up as soon as I see people, and it stays in place without being so tight I suffocate, until I'm 50 yards or so past. Its working, but heaven help me if I ever have to race like this...

And those are the things that happen now.

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