Jim4884

Psyching Up For a December Whole 30 Graduates

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Good news item 1) We made our hiring decision, and a huge weight is lifted. 2) I got all the errands done and no junk food. 3) If I'm quick I can clean the house now and make chili before dark!

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It feels like the world bumped off its axis on Wednesday night - how are you doing? What is like life at your lab? How  is your life affected, either directly or indirectly by the virus? Thinking of you.

All of our community programs are cancelled - the movie, the lunch program, the senior friendly visits. The caregiver support group I facilitate does not want to disband (typically 3-6 ppl), but I am not comfortable leading, and have a substitute who is willing. I am in the line of fire at the drug store serving the public, and I feel it would be irresponsible to show up as infectious when I may not know it. For now I just want to come straight home after work, and that is it. We are pulling out all the stops at work with precautions. Confirmed cases in our county as of yesterday.

Be safe!

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Feeling a bit off kilter! I get the behind-the-scenes info because we are a major medical facility even though I'm no longer on the clinical side of things so I'm trying to walk that fine line between being smart and prepared but not going bonkers. Thankfully both of my lab-mates are out so I have all of the space to myself but one of them is in Mexico and I doubt he will self-quarantine when he gets back so that's a little concerning. The hospital has really tightened down access for visitors and they must all be screened before entering but they are doing a great job of keeping us all informed about what they are doing and why. We have our first confirmed patient at the medical center and there are several in this county and a couple of nearby counties. The test for the infection is up and running here but it takes about 4 hours to run. They're running 24/7 but max throughput is about 1000/day and, of course, supply chain issues are abundant as I'm sure you know.

We were due for a regular grocery run so I decided we shouldn't wait until the weekend and went yesterday afternoon. I was shocked at how many empty shelves there were! The giant refrigerated bin full of chicken at Costco had a couple of packs of wings in it and nothing else! We got a fair amount of stuff but I'm thinking I should have stocked up on some extra frozen and non-perishable stuff even though we really don't eat hardly any canned foods. I ordered extra cat food today and my husband ordered some extra refills on a couple of his meds since China is threatening to cut off supplies. I'm thinking that the farmers' market won't be as heavily impacted so I'll head there in the AM for my usual eggs/cream/meat run.

I talked to my Hoedown/Pickin'Party friends yesterday and we decided to go ahead with a small get together we planned for tomorrow night. I thought she might want to cancel because she is immune suppressed (RA) but she's fine with it being a small group and just being smart about distancing and touching. I've been drinking my Fire Cider, trying to get enough rest and eating well as well as (almost) obsessively washing my hands. I made a hand sanitizer with thieves oil and extra lemon EO and like it. I'm not a big germophobe so it's not something I typically have around and now you can't buy any much less buy some without crappy ingredients so this just has alcohol, aloe, a little glycerine and the oils to make a final concentration of 70% alcohol, which is what they recommend.

I think I'm going to go on a soup-making binge this weekend. MJ's email inspired me and it's a great way to get some fresh vegetables into a form that I can freeze. SO weird prepping for something that doesn't involve a power outage!! Anyway, on the crazy cat front, I busted Bossman peeing in my seed starting mix this morning!! :oI had it in an ice chest that has no lid because it was the right size to be able to mix it all up in without making a mess but then I needed the leftover mix to dry out so I could store it. He went outside (to take care of kitty business, I thought) then I went downstairs to feed him and I turned around and he was inside the ice chest taking a massive kitty pee! He pees in human quantities; I don't know how he holds that much!

I guess your drug store is much like the hospital- patient care oriented so you can't really close down when they need you the most so take care!

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On 3/13/2020 at 9:05 AM, hollysmokes said:

I'm trying to walk that fine line between being smart and prepared but not going bonkers.

Oh man, I get that! As I may have shared before, I am nowhere near the anxious end of the spectrum, really...but last Thursday I was as nervous and scared as I have ever been outside of childhood upheavals which may have taught me whatever it is that I do or am to keep from being anxious, if that makes sense. 

I have come around to accepting my/our role at the store which - you are right - we can not and will not close down unless <insert the obvious catastrophe>...So two things I can report of note: First of all, I am overwhelmingly grateful for my assistant in the front, who is not only not quitting as I had feared, to stay home safe and sound, but has her heels dug in with all the good attitude and commitment I have always known in her. In my Thursday fear, I imagined her deserting me/us, and in that moment I wouldn't have blamed her if she had. Because I myself would really like to stay at home where it is safe.

Obviously we are rigorously taking every precaution, and meanwhile, here's the 2nd thing, holding space for customers' fear and fearful questions on top of what is already a bit of a pressure cooker at work. I'm not complaining, but observing that this, on top of my own/our own fear = being very tired at the end of the day. And additional searches through our suppliers' websites looking for things that have been in short supply. Ohio has made it legal to sell homecrafted hand sanitizer, and my hubs is hoping that CA follows so I can sell my own. I made a small batch for folks to sample only as an example of what they could do at home after stocking up on alcohol and aloe vera earlier in the game. Now that is almost gone, too...

I'm definitely noting the impulse to stress eat - you too? - but am doing pretty well, but there has been a couple of tortillas, and some saltines in the mix. Half a candy bar shared last week. I'm keeping the fridge stocked with chili, soup, salad fixings. But I haven't shopped since last Wednesday and of course it's another world out there since then.

How did you soup cook up go? Please keep me posted on how you are doing and what you are learning, if you can. Also, when does your co-worker come back from Mexico? Can someone insist he go into quarantine to keep all safe? Makes sense. Airports and all....

Stay well, Miss Holly!

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You have so much more to deal with that I do. Trying to keep business as usual but still be able to calm peoples' fears takes a toll; no wonder you're tired at the end of the day! I've done a little off-roading as well but it was intentional (pizza on pi day) except for the handmade caramels I impulsively grabbed on my way out of the farm store and totally enjoyed. I even shared some with my husband but didn't get many because I knew portion control would be an issue.  My co-worker got back from Mexico yesterday and is at work today but is spending all of his time in another lab so I keep wiping down the doorknobs and trying to stay somewhat isolated in my little room. His wife was told to self-quarantine by her employer but Vanderbilt didn't have Mexico on their list so he came to work. Thankfully, he's as concerned about spreading it as he is about getting sick. 

I hope you get a chance to do some grocery shopping and that the shelves aren't too empty. I found the produce section was fully stocked and just fine but frozen pizza, mac-n-cheese and all of the boxed food-like substances were depleted. Meats were pretty picked over but I managed to score a couple of chickens as they were unloading the truck and I've already cooked them and picked the meat so it's ready to turn into a casserole or three. I only got one soup done but it's a winner! MJ's Persian-Spiced Winter Vegetable Soup is amazing and my husband agrees- I'm shocked! I'm going to make a small batch of taboulleh tonight and maybe some faux-lafels to go with it because I have a bag of riced cauli that needs to get used up. I'm trying to turn all of this craziness into something productive and try to get all of the produce I have cooked up into stuff I can restock my freezer with.

We decided to skip the party Saturday night so we had a nice quiet evening with a bowl of soup and another episode of the jazz documentary. I had to convince my mom not to go play mah jongg with her lady friends today and she cancelled a guitar practice with a friend because she had just come back from somewhere overseas. She's 82 so she's in that group of high-risk patients. She eats really well and doesn't have any comorbidities so she's in good shape but I still worry about her. There aren't a lot of cases here so people are being a bit too casual about it, I think, and my brother and his wife are totally unconcerned and not doing a thing to minimize contact with anybody- and he's an MD!! I know regular rubbing alcohol is impossible to get right now but do ya'll have the ability to order reagent alcohol? We get 99% regent-grade alcohol by the gallon so you might be able to make some hand sanitizer. By the time you add the aloe to it, it's 70% alcohol which is what's needed to effectively kill the yuckies.

You stay well as well! And on as even a keel as is possible. Rest. Breathe.

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Your mom sounds like such a cool lady! Good for you for convincing her to hold back from the socializing for now. I called my stepmom and encouraged her not to have her church group over on Sunday...she is almost 80, and quite overweight. Michael Osterholm said in an interview with Seth Rogan (I don't follow him, but I was interested in M.O.) that obesity is a risk factor, but none of the mainstream media outlets are reporting that. What say you on that subject?

I had to look up that soup - it looks delicious, and I love the idea of that spice blend, cinnamon with cumin and Aleppo pepper - mmm mmm good! Your plan for sides sounds really good, especially since I know you're not a big fan of the puree-type things on their own, and I don't blame you. To think of all the smoothies I used to make!

Thanks for the tip on Reagant alcohol, I've never heard of that! Tomorrow we're getting 5 cases each of both 70% and 91% rubbing alcohol, and it won't take long to sell it! When it looked like all the rubbing alcohol was running low a couple of weeks ago I frenziedly (my new word!) ordered a whole bunch, and by accident I also ordered 4 single-gallon jugs. We decided not to return it and lo and behold, people wanted it. I wanted to sell it in bulk to spread it further in the community and asked people to bring in 16 oz and 32 oz containers, which they did, and I sold it that way, as well as by the gallon, at my husband's urging. Today we got 12 8oz pumps of hand sanitizer and it was gone within an hour.

Two things are happening...I haven't wanted to or had the time to go the salon since my Bay Area trip, so I have some shiny silver roots coming in, more than usual. So I'm looking at it, and thinking it's really pretty. I'm tired of covering them: the expense, the chemicals, the time, the shenanigans of it all, and it's not me anymore. Plus it's become too dark which always seems to happen when I go to salons. Dark brown, almost black. Argh. So I've been studying up on all the different ways to go silver, and I won't be done gathering info until I talk to a good colorist...and I'm thinking I'll cut it - it's currently pretty long, to my bra strap, naturally wavy if I use product, with some long fringe in front. I'm thinking I'll cut it to a shoulder length slightly assymetrical bob, and get some silver streaks "put" in at the front, and up a little toward my crown. That might help with my patience with the grow out period. Once I have a plan, I will make a commitment to be patient with it for two years which I figure is how long it will take to grow the roots out to my shoulders. (Then let it grow long again, or....maybe not?) And set my expectations for frustration and also happy surprises. I want to feel the real texture of my hair, healthy, natural hair. I think once it's grown out it will be awesome! I want to see it, and be myself, and have some grit, and some guts to be myself, and honor that 13 year old I was who said, "I will never color my hair"...and just stop. The 13 year old didn't know that premature gray was coming, but I like what she was thinking.

The other thing that is happening is that I've been gaining weight. My pants are tighter. WTF? I have to get a grip. Part of my brain said lose weight first, then go silver. But I want to do both. 

Thanks for the validating words and encouragement. To sleep and rest, to sleep per chance to dream. You, too!

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My vote is to do both! I think I've put on a smidge of weight as well and I am just not going to dwell on it. I am slowly getting back into my pre-anxiety routines and know that if we follow the plan, the pieces will fall back into place. I finally got out of my head and started my mobility in the mornings. It's only been 20 minutes but I showed up- and so did Squeaky! Right now, I'm counting that as a victory. I still have that feeling of reinventing myself this year as I go barreling towards that big birthday in July and I am holding fast to the idea that you can reinvent yourself at any age and get rid of the things that no longer serve you well. I wish my hair was either lighter or darker so I could let the silver flag fly even though I don't have very much but it just turns more of a dingy, mousy color than it already is. I console myself with the thought that I'm only doing highlights so the chemicals don't touch my skin and I do it very rarely. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

I definitely think of obesity as a risk factor. Between the increased inflammation and the link to hypertension and diabetes, how could it not increase risk? Glad you were able to resupply your rubbing alcohol. I'm really happy with my Four Thieves hand sanitizer and I think "frenziedly" is a very appropriate word for right now. I'm doing a better job of keeping calm and am actually sleeping well, which helps. Back to the chicken and egg thing again! Am I keeping calm because I'm sleeping well or sleeping well because I'm keeping calm? And I've been dreaming the last couple of nights, too. Sunday morning when I woke up I had to tell my husband that he couldn't put vegetables down the toilet! What the heck was that dream about?! 

I made a buffalo chicken/spaghetti squash casserole last night and it was really (HOT!) good. That spaghetti squash has been sitting on the counter staring at me for about three weeks so I finally got it cooked and enjoyed it way more than I thought I would; it's generally not my fave but I want to like it more. Tonight is going to be a chicken and broccoli casserole or spinach artichoke soup. Maybe I'll get ambitious and do both. Maybe. 

 

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I've been dreaming a lot lately, too, and remembering them without writing them down. Your dream about the vegetables sounds like a classic Whole-30 dream, one for the books! As for what it means, only your soul knows for sure, and I'd love to hear your take on it!

Yes to reinventing yourself at any age, and thanks for showing the way with movement in the morning...I have found in the last week, that the extra stress of life at the store in this emergency is making me sleep as deeply as if on sleep aids. Interesting to observe.

I'm making another batch of chicken veg soup a la MJ's recipe, with my own twist on things. I'd love any casserole recipes you have to share. I've made MIchelle Tam's pizza casserole in the past, but otherwise, casseroles are something I could try for variety, especially super-vegetabled ones! That is something i love about the vegetable soup. Were you ambitious in making both the casserole and the soup?

I braved town this morning and just got the groceries unpacked and put away, some laundry going, and some favorite music on, with the rest of the day off to be at home. Last week with my mid-week day off I had my little melt-down of fear and anxiety...today is better. Today's shopping was a lot different from just last week on account of seeing the 3rd world, or war-time type of condition of empty shelves, etc...I stocked up a little more than usual, but nothing crazy. Because we live an hour from town, many of us up here in the hills are already in the habit of having a darned well stocked pantry, and also liking to cook, I tend to keep my supplies plentiful. I have 3 3-lb packages of bone-in chicken, a 3 lb bag of air chilled boneless, skinless thighs, 2 2lb pkgs of ground chicken thighs, and plenty of fresh and frozen produce. Generally we're not short on anything except for t.p. at home and work, which I usually keep lots of back-ups on. I'm not worried about it though, as friends will share if it comes to that.

I'm not sure what to expect, but being of service at work brings a different quality of joyfulness, albeit in a bittersweet way. The days go fast. I've been thinking a lot about my mother's mother, who was orphaned at age 8 when her mother died in the 1918 influenza pandemic. Sorry if I'm repeating myself there...meanwhile, so many friends and family are on shelter-at-home orders, upon penalty of arrest or fines, which is unnerving for them, even though it is understood to be for good reason. This is a marathon, not a sprint, energy-wise.

The birds were plentiful and noisy in my yard when I was unloading the car and that made my heart so happy. Now, to my chopping board! Cheers, Holly!

 

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We aren't quite as far outside of town as you are but we generally stay pretty well stocked up, too. For me, part of it is how/how much we cook and part of it is just because! Running to the store to grab an ingredient isn't practical so I keep a well-stocked pantry. I've noticed that the contents of my pantry has definitely shift since W30 entered my life- more nuts, lots more herbs/spices/spice blends, a small amount of pasta and rice for my husband and lots of healthy fats. I would normally have several cans of tomato products but we made them ourselves last summer! After our trip to Louisiana, I'm super stocked up on dried beans and I was able to get a nice amount of meat last weekend. The only things I'm short on are the oil I use for mayo (crisis!) and running a little lower than I would like on TP. I've started using my Kula cloth at home so that will extend our TP supply. I got it for camping/hiking but it's great for The Great Corona-Chaos TP Shortage, too! If you've never heard of them, you should check them out: https://kulacloth.com/ and, not surprisingly, it's a woman-owned company. 

I'll send you my buffalo chicken recipe when I get home. It came out pretty good for a first try. I added a little blue cheese to it but it would be just as good without it. I also used 1/2 cup of my fermented sriracha which is REALLY hot. A normal person would probably use 1/3 cup Franks's or Texas Pete's. This is the next one I want to try: https://www.paleorunningmomma.com/paleo-chicken-broccoli-rice-casserole-whole30/I managed to get falafels made instead of the soup or the casserole. I realized my bag of riced cauli was looking a little sad so I figured that would be a good way to use it up before it turned to brown mush. As I started making it I realized that it was a x4 recipe if I used the whole bag so I made 22 falafels!! Letting someone else rice the cauli made it so much easier; I just had to grind almonds then stir it all together. Now I have a big container of them in the freezer. That Persian spiced soup has come in handier than I thought. My husband started with a little bit of a toothache Tuesday night and he is having an emergency root canal right this minute. 

16 hours ago, LadyLisbette said:

This is a marathon, not a sprint

In so many ways! Self care is high on the priority list right now but, I know in your case, time is short. I don't know if you're interested but Katy Bowman has a very generous 3-month offer on her virtual studio videos. I sent you an IG message with the info. (Or at least I tried to- not sure if I was successful!) I am hopeful that the continuous rain here will become less continuous so everyone here can spend some time outside with the birds. The temperature has risen so quickly that everything is covered in condensation. the parking garage looks like something out of a creepy movie! Now if we could have a bit of blue sky to cheer everyone up.

Keep on chopping; it does a body (and mind) good!

It's our job to share our calm rather than join their chaos.- Women of Impact

 

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I heard about CA being on lockdown this morning and thought about you first thing. I know y'all have to keep functioning but maybe it will be a little less hectic for you? We had  50% increase in confirmed cases here so I guess it's starting to ramp up. Everything changes by the minute it seems and I have to stop myself from obsessively checking the news and stats- memories of Katrina. Take care XO

Brene Brown-

 Open hearts. Clean hands. 

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On 3/19/2020 at 7:31 AM, hollysmokes said:

It's our job to share our calm rather than join their chaos.- Women of Impact

This is the story of our lives at work right now. Because people are staying home, those who needed 90 days Rx supply mainly got in front of that already, and fewer people are traveling back and forth from the park, it IS a little bit quieter. Then waves of people come in, and all of them scared, showing it a little, or a lot. More fear every day. Shit tons of OTC drug sales, NO gift shop sales, naturally. The new thing as of the last two days that is really unnerving me is that locals are beginning to express contempt for residents of neighboring communities who are driving up to our town looking for supplies. I heard this in the grocery next door when I went to get everyone coffee. Then I came back to work, and our short-timer, who is young and prone to anxiety on a good day, was having a hard time containing her fear about visitors in the store. Yes, it was obvious that people were cruising for what they might need. But, people always do that, and our doors are always open to both locals and visitors. This fearful us vs. them...we can do better. I would like to help her get a grip, but this is beyond me, I think, although my darling assistant and I did coach her with some grounding exercises. I love the lady I work with in the front, she is awesome and I appreciate her more than evah. When a shopper, or even a non-shopper asks to use the bathroom, we let them. I've never been sorry to do this, it is a humane answer, and is usually good for business, in addition. Our short-timer had a visibly hard time with this..so...not to belabor this story, but the fear inside the store, and from our customers -- was the greatest challenge of the last two days. We are closely monitoring our suppliers' websites to stay on top of what people need...

There are now 7 cases in our county, relatively small, but likely higher than we know. This leads me to the other challenge that I am strategizing how to handle, and would like your advice. People are asking us, by phone and in person, "are there any cases in our town yet? You would know, right?" Our town is about 2,600 people, tucked away in the hills, and usually feels very separate from the valley below, from the world. Many come here to literally hide out. So I want to be of comfort but also to illuminate and push back. So I've been sharing that we should assume that everyone is infected, and take the appropriate precautions, and beware of us vs. them thinking. One person took this really well, and thanked me, the others, I don't know...you are so wise and so articulate, do you have any other ideas for how to address this? Come to think of it, the Brene Brown quotation might be the best thing! 

We are off for a long weekend (I will put in a half day of bookkeeping and cleaning on Sunday, still, so happy!) and my husband is still sleeping, but I'm thinking about writing a  PSA from the store for our local online newspaper. I think it's appropriate.

Oh my gosh, memories of Katrina --  I'll bet! Please be careful. What Brene Brown said - yes, yes, yes. 

Thanks for the IG link to the Katy Bowman special - yes, I got it!! Yay! I will look into it. It's a beautiful day after pretty heavy rains. I'm planning to get outside to sweep and rake and weed. The vegetable soup is so comforting, and it's a great feeling to have a full larder.

Do you have any rules for yourself about how much time you spend looking at news? I kind of ration myself once in the morning, a quick check of headlines in the work day and then again at night, but no more than 30 minutes total. Not including unrelated pieces, that i let myself indulge in.

Is Squeaky a great comfort? How do you and your husband align or differ in terms of response to this situation?

We'll get through this!

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We only have 1 confirmed case in our county but we're only 2 miles outside of Davidson county where Nashville is and it has over 100 cases now and rising quickly so the sh!t is definitely start to hit the fan. When I'm at work and sitting in front of a computer all day, I check our local news, LA local news and national news waaaay too often but when I'm home I don't look at it at all. Squeaky had been a big snuggle bunny at night and makes sure he's right up against my head almost all night. My husband's employer finally allowed them to work from home all of the time instead of 2 days/week so that's a relief. He's not taking it nearly as seriously as I am, though. In fact, he decided it was a good idea to go to our local hangout for a couple of beers yesterday afternoon. Yeah, my head exploded! I told him that by doing that, he exposed me without my consent and that wasn't OK. I was hugely pissed. There are so many factors that you can't control, why would you intentionally do something so high-risk?? :angry::angry::angry: And your husband? 

I've read so much lately that I can't remember where I saw this but it was a discussion about the silver lining in all of this might be that it breaks down all of the divisiveness that is so rampant now. Everyone is equally vulnerable and it doesn't matter if you're rich or brown or a girl or a PhD and the only way through it is through unity. I don't know if it's because everyone was already in "help our community" mode from the tornadoes or what but everyone I've encountered here has been awesome and helpful. I think people are trying to grasp any little tidbit of information that gives them hope and that's probably what they're looking for from you. My Hoedown friend that has RA sent me a message thanking me and all of the healthcare worker on the frontlines. It made me tear up for sure and I've been worried about her because she's immunosuppressed. I love the Brene Brown quote! It's what we all need. 

We will get through this and, hopefully, come out of it in a better place. Now, I have to go get all of the parsley out of my teeth from my tabbouleh that I had for lunch!

 

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I don't blame you for being angry about your mate going out for beers. I feel you! Whoa. Fortunately my husband is un-social, and so would never go in public without me given the choice, even in the best of times. Yet, although he is not naive about this virus, he does bone-head things, too....like a few days ago at work he asked for a bite of my coleslaw/sausage lunch, and when it fell on the floor he picked it up and ATE IT! WTF???? Yeah....this is his obvious duality: whip-smart man and foolish little boy, all in one. Which has its charms, but....what was he thinking? I would like to see him and his technician wearing gloves while they fill prescriptions...but all of the women who work around him are doing the chore of wiping down phones, keyboards, pens, equipment, etc etc...I'll look for the NYT article I saw earlier this week about marriage in the age of coronavirus and email it to you. So I understand that your work at the lab remains at the lab, and you do not work from home/cannot work from home? How do you feel about that?

Gosh, I sure hope the author of that article you mentioned is right.... that differences will dissolve in a mood of unity. I appreciate your point, identifying that my customers are looking for information that offers them some hope. That is really helpful. Thank you! Keeping that point in mind will help me navigate and find the right words as I center myself and listen to what people are saying and asking about.

The Mexican restaurant next door is doing take-out only (even before the lockdown order) and so we are going to support them by buying gift certificates, but eating at home.

You mentioned once taking movement snacks...do you do that at work? What does that look like?

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I am in a little lab that is off to the side of a slightly larger lab that has no one in it except my coworker that went to Mexico and he's only here for a few minutes and is even more careful about wiping down and washing his hands than I am. Most everyone else in our little area is quarantined (one entire lab since last Friday but I don't have contact with them), working from home or working staggered shifts to maintain distancing so I feel pretty secure here and not like I'm taking unnecessary risks. I work with too much protected health information to bring it home and I have to have several different things running at the same time on my computer so I have two fairly large monitors to accommodate all of that. I'd go nuts trying to do it on my little Mac book! My only worry is that my liquid nitrogen supply not get interrupted or I'll lose all of my samples- all 30,000 of them!

I saw a pic of a T-shirt a couple of days ago and I thought of your husband. It was something about social distancing being business as usual for introverts. I want to help the small business around here as well. We made several donations after the tornadoes so we may do some more but I'd rather just try to do business with small local businesses. Like you, I'm a little hesitant to eat food prepared by someone else. 

I have been movement snack-less lately-_- I usually try to take a walk down the loooong hall that leads to the hospital or I'll do some pushups aginst the edge of a table or some balance movements for a few minutes, squats, stretches, that sort of thing. I've managed to move every morning this week before work but I haven't incorporated it back into my work day. That's next, I guess!

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That tee-shirt: that's funny! Yes, you are right, that is my husband! He keeps saying, "Social distancing, I was born for this moment, this is my moment!" LOL

I would like to stay home and do some creative writing. But really, I should get outside, so mark my words, that is where I'm going right now. As soon as I finish this post. I swear.

I'm glad to know you are safe and relatively isolated, and that your fellow who went to Mexico is so ON it with safety precautions. Nothing says love and respect like disinfecting wipes. That's awesome. You always do a great job of painting a portrait in your writing. I can kind of see your little lab and the big ole' monitors. As MJ says, keep being awesome! Also, I just emailed you that NYT article, and maybe it's good for the marriage to not be sequestered at home together! As for us, he is up now after a long restorative sleep, chuckling at his laptop as he finds and scores hard to find drugs. I'm glad he's happy, and I'm going to get happy with my rake and broom and hang out with the broom.

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I don't know hanging out with a broom could be good, too! :lol: It finally stopped raining here for a minute so I've actually seen some real live birds. Lots of cardinals doing their springtime thing. Joy! 

I've worked myself to exhaustion today but that's a good thing. Sometimes I just have to DO. It's my coping mechanism. I have a small chuck roast in the smoker so I'm looking forward to seeing how it comes out. I want to treat it like pulled pork just to do something a little different. I finally got the spinach artichoke soup made and it was a little underwhelming. It tastes like a good, green chicken soup but no artichoke flavor to speak of. At least it was super easy. I also made the broccoli chicken casserole but just took it out of the oven and haven't tasted it yet. The best thing I did was get a new ferment started. Cabbage, fresh horseradish and beets with a big handful of fresh dill-Yuuum. It took three tries to get the right amount to fill the jar but I finally did it and now my little lactobacillus buddies can do their thing. 

I had to run out to the store for eggs and some oil for mayo this morning and got the last bottle of anything they had that had echinacea in it. It was combined with vitamin C so I figured that would be a good immunity booster to add to my fire cider and elderberries. I was a little more congested during the night than usual last night and incorporated that into my dreams. I dreamed that I tested positive and had to be quarantined but didn't have enough oil to maintain our mayo supply and was running out of eggs. W30 dreams taken to a new level! Like that's the most important thing in the world, right??! 

Staying away from the news has been good and taking care of the things in my fridge that needed attention has been good for me, too. 

Oh my gosh! There's some weird blue stuff up in the sky! It's pretty chilly out but that's so nice to see. Sometimes it's the little things.

Hugs!

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Birds, blue sky, lactobacillus buddies, yes! I'm waiting for a friend to check in with a trial run of a ZOOM set-up for our support group. I am doubtful that our older caregiver gang will be up for such a high-tech solution, but who knows. Wanting and needing some social contact in addition to peer support might be a motivator that proves me wrong! Meanwhile, good to read your happy news and share some of mine.

Get some good rest after all your labors! The way I see it, it's really healthy to hang on to some aspects of normalcy, weird W30 dreams included, yes! Glad you got a break from the news. I was scratching my head this morning wondering why hubs was paying such close attention to the president's press conference, and then it came, a big groan as two specific drugs were mentioned as being helpful, off label, for people with the virus. He spent the next hour frenziedly ordering these drugs, anticipating a run on them. I joked that zpack is the new tie dye - my shorthand for all the groovy gift merchandise that I will probably not buy for summer. We'll see about that but I'm not holding my breath for  a normal high season.

I did it! I got out there! It was hard to leave the house because my mate was in such a chipper mood and all, but after some shared chores I headed outside and attacked the sweeping/raking/weeding. It was a good work out for me after being not active for so long. I filled my garden trugs with leaves and went up and down some very steep stone stairs to our hillside where I scattered them under the oak trees. And weeded along the way. After a couple of hours it started to rain, and hubs came outside to alert me to a gorgeous double rainbow against our view shed. He took a nice photo that I sent you on Instagram! He's a good photographer. I think I have a great eye and sense of composition, but am sadly not a great photographer. Anyway, I also got a good start on clearing leaves, weeds, and debris out of the gutter that the previous owner engineered into the steep road that leads up to the house. I felt a little ashamed for letting it all go for so long, but have gotten over that, and am feeling good about the little progress I made and the momentum to KEEP GOING. Today I attacked the garage to make room for garage cats. We have nice storage cupboards in there, but since we moved in have just stacked boxes against the walls, and never really put things away. So I'm working on that...we were planning, as I may have mentioned before (can't remember!) we were planning on going to the county shelter to adopt a couple of cats who would otherwise not be adoptable, as is recommended by the shelter, for barn cats. The plan was to bring them home, get them set up in the garage with food, water, boxes, a cat tree or 2 in front of the nice windows with a view, comfy beds, and come in twice a day to feed them and take care of them. After a couple of weeks, then to let them outside. I want to continue feeding them morning and night, and keep them inside at night, so I don't have to fuss with a cat door of any kind, and keep them safe. We are soon ready for this! Since lockdown, the shelter says to make an appointment before coming in, so I will look into this, and if for some reason we can't adopt right now, there are local ranchers who love people to come and get barn cats from their prides. We'd both rather get a shelter cat/s...we'll see, but now that I'm finally getting the garage ready, I'm pretty excited about it...plus we really need mousers. Anyway, it feels so good to get to these important things that have sat on the back burner while we toil back and forth from work all the time! Aaahh.

Ok...here we go, more later...

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I think we'll have to wait and see what the new normal is. In my head it's a place where everyone is kinder, gentler, less selfish and more tolerant. Can we just go with that?

So, what was the barn kitty decision? That pic of Fiver and Hazel was so cute! I was awake early and the house was dark and I opened up IG and was greeted by cuteness! And a double rainbow! We've had all of the rain and none of the bows but it's actually going to give us a break for a couple of days with nice temperatures, too, before it goes back to rain. I was going to post a poem I came across but realized I don't know how. Doh! I'm such a dork! 

Are things still crazy at the store? I haven't been anywhere except to work and back so I'm not sure what grocery shelves and such look like right now. I'll need gas tomorrow so I'll probably run into Costco after I finish pumping gas. Except for one big bag of broccoli, I've made a pretty good dent in most of our produce. Sunday was much like Saturday and I cooked myself to a frazzle. I guess with all of this happening all over the world, my cooking mind/spirit went all over the world, too. I made some harissa and two different kinds of kimchi! I've had those on my to-do list for ever and I was worried that the daikons had gone bad but they were fine. I cleared some room in my fridge and in my brain now that it's not hanging over my head any more. All of my ferments are bubbling all over the place right now. Thankfully I had put the jars on a sheet pan so the mess is contained.

I'm recovering from a bout of stomach weirdness/upset/pain/distress from yesterday. I'm not sure what happened but I'm glad it's backing down. I ate a stuffed baked potato for dinner Monday night. Was it the dairy? The potato? I have no idea but I'm going to be very careful about what I eat. So, no movement, not very good sleep and I'm feeling blown up like a balloon!

I know I told you about making Butter Chicken with my Mom on one of her visits but I don't remember if I cited the source of my recipe. The chef's name was Floyd Cardoz and I found out this morning that he just passed away from covid. He was so talented and such a kind soul. It's such a loss. I know many people have died and many more will but he's the first person that I know. I will have to make Butter Chicken in his memory soon.

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I'm so sorry to hear about your loss! Waah. Here's to Fred. And his Butter Chicken. And sharing it with your mother. I wept in the car today on my way to town hearing a radio tribute to Terrance McNally, the playwright who just died, too, though I did not know him, just loved his work. So much loss. Please be careful...I'm so glad you are just going back and forth to work, not taking any chances. I read there's a lot of illness in NO, and that made me think of you, and people you might still know there. One day at a time, right?

I don't know how to post anything beyond a photo on IG, but I will play with it and see if I can figure it out and be of any help on that front...some people post nothing but sayings and memes, so between the 2 of us, I am sure we can figure it out. Now you have me leaning in for your poem!

I like your vision of the new normal. I don't want to jinx anything - not that I am particularly superstitious, but I am encouraged that we're not seeing super bad behavior such as looting and related offenses, so far.

I'm glad you liked my photos = ) I haven't posted anything to IG in a very long time - not sure why - just busy I guess. I'm trying to think of a new username to "anonymously" join the silver sisters, which look like a super supportive community for women like me who are letting the gray flag fly as you cleverly said! Selfies are NOT a specialty of mine, HA but I think I'd like to have a record of the grow out. So far all my name ideas are taken. Still noodling on it. Probably Libbie something for consistency.

Long, stressful days lately, and sleeping as if I'm on a sleep aid. I sometimes stay up after dinner to cook and when I'm done there's only 15 minutes before bed time which is a huge drag, but then pays off later. Like right now! Two nights ago I stayed up and made a double batch of my beloved chicken apple sliders with sunrise spice. Yum. Lately I'm feeling good by having coffee and a cliff bar for M1 (started doing that in desperation when running late but liked the way it felt after all), and then decent W30 meals for lunch and dinner. I've lightened up my eating a lot this week, and it feels good. I know it's not this black and white, but I keep thinking that I don't want to be that person who stress eats through this whole crisis, which might last a long time after all, rather, I'd rather be that person who loses weight during the stress - but not by starvation. I'm just thinking out loud here, and very brain-tired, but there it is. The good news is that our new employee is doing great and I think it is a good fit, and she will be great! Whew!

I got some unsettling news from my bro about their youngest, age 6, and it's ironic b/c I called him for some emotional support when I had a melt down during my weekly shopping (it passed!), so we were very cheerful today! There might be a serious mental health diagnosis on the horizon. I hope at least that they can learn what it is in order to know how to get their arms around it moving forward. I think it's going to be a long road no matter what. 

Did you say your farmer's market is open? Our local organic farm stand is self serve, and I need to get out there and support them and get the good stuff. Meanwhile, I'm in danger of getting tired of that veg soup...what are your favorite soups?

Happy Friday!

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I heard this twice yesterday so I figured it was my message from the universe so i thought I'd share it with you. I'm glad I listened.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5NPN3NF0rM

 
When you can't find the light
That got you through the cloudy days
When the stars ain't shinin' bright
You feel like you've lost you're way
When the candlelight of home
Burns so very far away
Well, you got to let your soul shine
Just like my daddy used to say
He used to say soulshine
It's better than sunshine
It's better than moonshine
Damn sure better than rain
Hey, now people don't mind
We all feel this way sometimes
You gotta let your soul shine, shine till the break of day
I grew up thinkin' I had it made
Gonna make it on my own
Life can take the strongest man
Make him feel so alone
Now sometimes I feel a cold wind
Blowin' through my achin' bones
I think back to what my daddy said
He said "boy, in this darkness before the dawn"
Let your soul shine
It's better than sunshine
It's better than moonshine
Damn sure better than rain
Yeah, now people don't mind
We all get this way sometimes
You've got to let your soul shine, shine till the break of day
Sometimes a man can feel this emptiness
Like a woman has robbed him of his very soul
A woman too, God knows, she can feel like this
And when your world seems cold, you got to let your spirit take control
Let your soul shine
It's better than sunshine
It's better than moonshine
Damn sure better than rain
Lord now people don't mind
We all feel this way sometimes
Gotta let your soul shine, shine till the break of day
Oh, it's better than sunshine
It's better than moonshine
Damn sure better than rain
Yeah, now people don't mind
We all feel this way sometimes
You've got to let your soul shine, shine till the break of day
 
Songwriters: Warren Haynes

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Thank you for this. I finally gave it the time and attention it deserves just now -- a peaceful, rainy Sunday morning, just me and the cats while Hubby sleeps in. And it filled my cup. It conjured up a  treasure trove of feelings and memories, and admiration for those amazing musicians, and their amazing instruments. much-needed. Riding the psychic resonance, I sent a link over the ethers to my brother, also a musician who loves the Allman Brothers Band, who I know will love it, too.

Looking over my shoulder, the last month has gone so quickly. Now that the outgoing tech has passed the torch to the new one, and Monday will be her first day flying solo, it feels like another layer of "new era" and a good one in this case, if I may say so.  Hubs reassures me that it will be safe to take a mid-week day off for house-urgencies like getting the sprinklers fine-tuned before the warm weather comes -- 77 is a high this week, and I fear today may very well be the last of the rain. This - knowing it will be safe to take a day off- gives me some peace. We lost one of the redwood trees (the smallest of them all, it stood apart from the rest at the base of our driveway, and was taken down on Fri), and I am determined not to ever ever ever let that happen again. It is heartbreaking, but is strangely dwarfed by all the other concerns....still, never again...never.

You asked about the barn cats...I thought of you because I will need straw to line the 2 homemade cat beds I'm going to make out of plastic storage tubs - the kind with a snapping lid. We are going to order thermal pads to go on top of the straw...and I have to figure out where I can buy a little - or maybe make a deal with a local rancher type...I think if I ask around that won't be too hard, but I'm guessing to buy some retail will be a much larger quantity than I need. So I think that by the time the thermal pads arrive I will have everything else we need, and we'll see what more will be revealed when I call the shelter...so, we're still in our process...for a while I was hearing mice in the walls, but not lately, strangely enough. Bit by bit I am getting home things done! Yesterday after work, we were lost without the Mexican place, and learned that the pizza place on the other side of us (which we have only patronized a handful of times in 7 yrs), has a decent sandwich menu for hubs, and for me, a cauli crust pizza. I ordered it with all the veg they had, marinara only, and chicken. It was pretty bland, but better than the alternatives. My off-roading with occasional bread is "party over" because my knees are very stiff. So it's back on the path for me. 

In parallel-reality closet-debacle news: After the left side bolted-in closet shelving collapsed a few months ago, we crammed everything into the other side, and the new stainless steel stand-alone unit, that matches the one we put in on the right a couple years ago, has been in its box leaning against a bedroom wall, leering at me for weeks. When we got home yesterday, I felt tired, angry at my husband, and the grief we are all feeling, and attacked the closet with all of that. I spackled the holes, assembled the new unit, and let the spackle dry over-night. As soon as I finish this post, I will sand the spackling, paint it, and let it dry for several hours while I go to clean the store. I am looking to finishing the day by vacuuming the upstairs, re-arranging our "new" closet, and then taking a bath before bed. That's my plan and I'm sticking to it!

The pharmacy has been busy as ever, but since there are few visitors in town (some have come to shelter in vaca rentals and 2nd homes) I have comforted myself by sweeping and dust mopping a lot, and mopping for maintenance way more than I usually have time for, so it's tempting not to clean today, but at the very least it will be a good work out. 

Sending peace, love, and understanding to your end of our great continent - keep being awesome! And what are you cooking? 

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With the feeling of accomplishment of getting the garage clean and sorted, and getting the closet just the way I want it, I found the self-love and motivation to get out of bed when I woke up early today at 540 instead of turning over and snoozing. I went highway walking up to the park entrance. This is the first walk I've taken in weeks, and it felt so good. Flowers, river, mountains, birds, cold fresh air. Aah. I did some yoga in the driveway before coming in b/c I didn't want supervisors distracting me. So today is a new lease on life.

Why is is that cleaning and/or organizing-type activities seem to clear the way to get moving? Is this your experience, too? This seems to be the way it works for me once I've lost my momentum. I'm just glad to feel good in my body. 

 

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It sounds like you're on top of things! Yes, I start cleaning/cooking and then don't do other types of movement. I know, technically, I'm still moving but it's not the same for my body or my mind. Yoga with supervisors should be a new thing! Way to go on your closet. I have my grandmother's desk and I use it as a jewelry box. It's one of those small ladies desks where the front pulls out to make a writing surface. I had that special cloth to wrap silver pieces in for years so I can organize it and make it nice but Never get around to it. It's probably going to happen this week, though. Because...

Right now I feel just sick enough not to want to do anything but just well enough to be bored. I've had fever for a couple of days along with a cough so I had to go in yesterday to get tested and, surprise! Positive! :o:(Thankfully they were expediting employee testing so I got my results last night and didn't have to wait a few days for results. We had started isolation procedures anyway then my husband decided it was silly because we've had close contact forever and stopped. When the results came back, we simultaneously decided that maybe it was not so silly. I stayed in our bedroom and bath since it probably has the most cooties and he's moved into my mom's bedroom and is using the downstairs bath. I washed everything that wasn't tied down and have been busily spraying and wiping down all of the handrails and doorknobs. My fever has already started going down and I'm not nearly as achy as I was so it appears that I'll have a pretty mild case unless thing suddenly go south. I think I have much to thank W30 for keeping me healthy and my immune system strong. I'm keeping up the fire cider, echinacea and vitamin D. Yesterday was beautiful so I sat outside for a long time in the sun soaking up some Vit D and reading. I figured being outside with the birds and the sun had to be better than staying cooped up in the house.

Do you get Melissa's XO/MU newsletter? This morning she did a really good job talking about what her food freedom looks like right now and why. Makes me less tempted to do any hard off-roading right now even though I had a quesadilla for dinner last night. I wasn't very hungry and the only things that appealed to me were creamy, cheesy, wheaty things so I took one of my husbands flour tortillas and went for it. It wasn't as good as I thought it would be but that might be because I saw my test results as I took my first bite!

Not sure why but I decided to weigh myself yesterday. I kept thinking that my weight felt pretty stable but I really wanted to confirm it since I totally fell off the movement wagon. It was exactly what it was before our Louisiana trip so it made me feel good that I was right. It was also motivating but right now my only job is to listen to my body and recover. I can't go back to work until Monday, at the earliest, so I hope I'll feel well enough in a couple of days to start some gentle movement. 

Send out some good vibes for John Prine: he's in ICU on a ventilator- it makes my heart hurt.

Peace, love and wellness to you and your hubby.

 

 

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