Psyching Up For a December Whole 30 Graduates


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Sorry, we had some wine with dinner over puttanesca to celebrate our first day with the new technician - they did an almost record number of Rx's without hassle or drama -- and I fat-fingered my post - sorry, I was going to say may it STAY THAT WAY! ...your case, being mild, tame it, tame it, tame it with your HollySmokes ways....and I will do my part from afar. My husband said that when you've recovered you can touch your face again without worry. Please write to me every day so I don't worry so much about you, ok? Because I will worry. And I'm really interested in what you said about W30 being a boon to your immune system!

I'm having a super hard time with my clunky Linux keyboard in my slightly intoxicated state, so I will try again when I'm not under the influence, so meanwhile, sleep with the angels, Holly, and I will write again soon. 

Love and light


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I hope so. My temp has dropped to just under 100. It's been hanging there and I'm coughing less so I'm taking those as good signs. I'm trying to get plenty of sleep, even if it is broken up and trying not to do much. Thankfully, I have some good books, both real and Kindle. Gabby Bernstein did a workshop on Sunday about anxiety relief and it has some guided meditations. I wasn't up for it then but I think I might listen to that today and I think Brene Brown has something out there too. TN just jumped on the 14-day lockdown- better late than never. It was a "recommendation" prior to this. I'm having mild produce panic! I have plenty of meat, eggs and some canned things like tuna but probably only have about a weeks worth of produce and no fruit- my husband has a major sweet tooth and can really plow through some fruit. I was planning on restocking on my way home from work yesterday but, you know, the best laid plans...

Take care!


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I'm so glad to read your news -- It sounds like you are crushing it, and I'm so proud of you. Also, wishing I could mail you some produce - I guess that's a bad idea. Can you have someone deliver some to your doorstep? I've been doing that with drug store things for customers and friends who are vulnerable and can't go out. Is it all so surreal? That is how it feels from here, to know you are home sick. When this is all over, bragging rights forever. Any chest tightness? What is your energy level like? So many questions, I know, but I wonder what simple deliciousness you or your husband might rustle up for you for comfort and nutrition?

Oh dear lady, I am with you in spirit.

The rest of what I want to post here on a normal day seems so silly and insignificant because it's not a normal day, and you are home living with this horrible virus. I still can't believe it. Maybe just a little normalcy for my next paragraph before dashing out the door.

Yesterday I decided to get another cauli crust pizza from next door, and feeling clever about ways to make it more flavorful, I ordered chicken and Canadian bacon, and every green thing they had on the menu except for jalapeno. I mentioned it was a small pizza? With a medium unsweetened iced tea, and after my 20% local discount, it was $31.99. Yep, that much. I almost choked. If they weren't my neighbor in the shopping center I would have just walked away. Instead I went back to get more cash, and paid that ridiculous sum. It was good. I ate half of it and had the other half for dinner with a little of the pasta I made for hubs.

Today's lunch, salmon and cucumber salad. Goodbye to March. Foolishness for tomorrow. Take care Holly, keep the news coming when you can. xxxooo


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Well, I guess I'm in this for a longer haul than I hoped. My temp has crept back up and my body aches have gotten worse but my cough has definitely decreased! Two steps forward and one step back is still one step forward, right? My energy level is terrible; I spent most of yesterday binging Star Trek Next Generation, which is my TV comfort food. I don't have any chest tightness and I've been trying to take nice deep breathes periodically even though it makes me cough. I was thinking about soaking in a hot epsom salt tub later today but I'm not sure if that's OK with a fever or not. Letting a hot shower run on my neck and back felt great so I thought the epsom salts and eucalyptus/lavender soak would be so nice. 

My appetite hasn't been great but I played with my super mushroom-y soup that I made a while ago and made it a bit more palatable- extra beef/ginger bone broth and coconut milk. I have one more serving of that for lunch today so I'll have warm, creamy goodness to look forward to. I indulged in a slice of real pizza for dinner last night and it was fabulous but I'll leave the rest of it for my husband. Ours only cost $38 but it was huge :P and it's given us a break from having to cook that has been welcome. He'll help me with a stir fry for dinner tonight and that will probably be my big effort for the day. I decided to try one of the Primal Palate sauces, soy-free teriyaki, so it will be easy to throw together. I hope I like it. I hated their mayo.

I want to hear all of your normal day stuff! I don't have that right now and it's a reminder that this, too, shall pass even though we will be redefining normal for a long time, now. Squeaky has been trying to fill Maybelle's role as my comforter but it's not the same. I got a call from our county health department yesterday and I had been snoozing on the sofa with his big self on my chest. When she asked me if I felt any pressure on my chest, I told her not since the 15 pound cat got off of it! She thought that was funny. He's been sleeping with me and purring all over me so it's been sweet. My husband is never going to be out of quarantine!! I am released from quarantine after being symptom-free for 3 days but his doesn't lift for another 14 days after that!! 

The sun is out. The sky is blue. Yesterday was drizzly and grey all day long and it kind of made me drizzly and grey, too. It's cold now but the high is supposed to be around 60 so I might be able to go sit in the sun for a little while this afternoon.

Happy April Fool's Day! The universe got us good this time.

Hugs and hand sanitizer to you and your husband!!

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Here's to one step forward! I loved Star Trek Next Generation, I tried to watch it every week, and one year for Christmas Mom gave all of us kids Star Trek pins like the officers wore, their - what do you call them? - pins, those magical badges with the boomerang shape. Do those have a name?...sorry, my brain is so tired! Anyway, I'm glad to know you are a Trekkie :D

Did you try the epsom salt bath? How did that go? How was your day? Did you like the teriyaki after all? I tried a Primal Palate mayo once - I think it was a specialty flavor, but I hated it, too, and had to dump it. That has got to be bad. Homemade all the way. My local health food store (in town) carries a bunch of PP products, but I after the mayo I never tried again. I loved reading about Squeaky comforting you, or at least doing his darndest. Good boy! Purrrr Purrrrrr. I took some cute if not slightly blurry photos of the girls this morning as I was leaving for work that I will email you later because I don't know how to attach them here...and it also shows that stained glass I love so much. After I snapped the photos I dashed outside and heard wild turkeys in the driveway so I took some photos of them too. They seem to be taking over our town lately - they turn up ev-ery-where. 

I've got to tell you, yesterday was one insane roller coaster day of stress and upset. Two things happened. A customer who has been staying home with a fever and a cough, who has had home deliveries made by me as recently as last Thursday, waltzed into the store yesterday wearing a mask, and coughing into her elbow. It's a long story, but her doctor told her she has textbook symptoms and to stay home, and he flipped out when he heard she had come in the store. Yes, that's how small a town this is. Anyway, in addition to putting lines on the floor marking 6 feet, now I have a policy that no one can come in the store if they have a fever and/or a cough, even if it's an allergy, or a cold. We will take care of our customers, but they have to call us from the parking lot and we will give them curbside service. We have been doing this for over a week, but now I am asking people to leave if I hear them cough. THEN the bank called and we had a counterfeit $100 bill in our deposit, and it was my fault. We have a really good light box counterfeit detector, and use it for every large bill. This gangster looking couple passed it to me, and I knew it looked weird. It had a watermark, but was exaggerated. It had the pink stripe it should have had but it was too bright. Other things about it looked okay. I checked my prejudice. When we're not sure, we ask my husband to look at the bill, but he was at the post office, and I was scared because this couple looked like killers. So I checked it twice, and took it like the coward I am. I had to make a little inservice out of it to my staff, which was humbling but the right thing to do, and then got a summary from the bank, and even though there have been 3 counterfeits every week in our town for several weeks running, so I'm not the only dummy out there, it was horrible. I was so flustered that I made a mistake when I ran the monthly statements for customer accounts, and had to come in early this morning to correct it. Just a shitty day.

I'm not used to working 9 hour days for weeks on end and it is taking a toll on me, so I am taking tomorrow off. The new technician is up to speed, and we love her. She is from Louisiana!!!! I told her about you. It's slow enough, that I think it will be ok if I'm not there, and I need a mental health day. I will cook and clean and tend to the sprinklers!

What's the news? Hugs!


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Do NOT beat yourself up over that and be glad that you trusted your instincts about their gangster-ness. (I call people that have that vibe "ax-murderers) I hate to think what they might have done if you had refused to take their bad money. It's kind of like being robbed at gunpoint- just give them your stuff and live to tell the story. How awful! Since it's happened a few times around town is there any security footage that could ID them so the police can be on the lookout?

Oh, you really did have a shitty day- I'm so sorry. That women should be ashamed of herself for putting others at risk needlessly. There is so much of that that I keep reading and wonder how much could have been avoided if those people weren't so damned selfish. One father locked his kid out of the house after the dumbass went to spring break and wouldn't let him back in. Good for him!

Enjoy your day off and show yourself some love. I felt so awful yesterday that I didn't do my tub soak. My temp just kept creeping up and up but it's down a whole degree today so I'm back in the low 100's! The bad news is that I've lost my sense of smell. I'm trying not to freak out about it and I'll get on the interwebs and do some research in a bit. My brother found a good article with a timeline for symptoms and it seemed like the temperature increase was still just a symptom, not an indication of worsening disease. The bad respiratory symptoms are the only indications of that.

Thanks for the pics! The girls are so cute. We have jillions of turkeys around here too but I usually just see hens and hardly ever see toms. The weather is supposed to be fabulous today but you can't tell by looking out of the window right now- all foggy. I think I'm going to splurge on a shower:o. If you can't smell, does aromatherapy work? I know the oils that absorb through my skin with the epsom salts will do their thing but if I can't smell am I wasting a perfectly good soak??

My husband did the stir fry by himself last night:wub: and I was so very grateful. I liked the teriyaki sauce but that was about when my sense of smell was starting to go away so I found it needed more ginger and garlic. I would get it again but never the mayo. I did the same thing you did- tossed it. Our Hoedown friends are on standby to help us with anything we need but so far, so good! We can probably make it until Monday before the vegetable crisis becomes real. Have you read the sci-fi series by Robert Jordan, The Wheel of Time? She lent me #1 several weeks ago and I like it but I've been rationing it because I don't have the next one. They said they'd drop them in our mailbox for me so yay I have something fun and light to read.

Be kind to yourself and, yes, big hugs!! XO

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Thank you for the kindness about the ax murderers and the counterfeit bill. You are the only one to exonerate me - I saw my husband frustrated/cranky (he is prone to hissy fits, which looks funny in writing but is not funny in the moment), and I felt ashamed in front of my staff = ( so I needed that, thank you. I will let it go. A mistake is a mistake, but we aren't to make the second mistake of not learning from it, and I am psyching myself to be firm in the future, and not ignore my instinct, if it ever happens again. Whew. Thank you for your many kindnesses and friendship. (insert hug)

I love it that your husband cooked for you! Good man! It must be very weird to not have your sense of smell, and disturbing on a deep level. An interesting question you posed: 

2 hours ago, hollysmokes said:

If you can't smell, does aromatherapy work? I know the oils that absorb through my skin with the epsom salts will do their thing but if I can't smell am I wasting a perfectly good soak??

FWIW: Not wasted. I sat with this idea when I first read your post a couple hours ago. I imagined you settling into the tub, eyes mostly closed, following the breath. Because the breath is different than normal because of the virus, just observing the breath as it is. Aware of the outbreath to its conclusion. Aware of the inbreath to its conclusion. That holy place where they meet. Following the rhythm of beginning, middle and end of each out, each in. Then adding body scanning for any point of tension, breathing softness into it. To feel yourself, invite yourself to relax...and then to follow your breath to your heartbeat, to the animation of blood-flow and to what magic the salts and oils are doing/being as they absorb into the glittering mystery of your body and system. You are a universe of wonder, and the soak is not wasted, but worthy, divinely worthy. You are divinely worthy. I wonder what you might sense or experience when your sense of smell is on pause. I read your post in the dawn light, from my wingback chair by the tub, with kitties on my lap, and I looked up at my new supply of peppermint/eucalyptus bath gel, and made a date with my tub for tonight. I will do the same thing, maybe we can compare notes!

As for my day off...maybe not exactly. Hubbie forgot to tell me that he scheduled technicians to switch over our internet and phone system today. I won't be able to concentrate if I am not there to support the girls during the mayhem. The technician/s are due at 12, so if they are on time, and it doesn't take too long, I will go home early and get some chicken thighs marinading in lemongrass goodness. We got up early to change the well filter because it gets gunked up soon when we are using the sprinklers, and that is the thing that is keeping me up at night.

Keep me posted when you can - wishing you rest, sleep, healing. Sending love from afar!

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Oh, I know all about husband hissy fits! So sorry you had to deal with that on top of everything else. 

Thanks for your inspiring words. Now I'm looking forward to my tub soak this afternoon. It's weird but I keep expecting to see something new/different when I look in the mirror like this has somehow intrinsically changed me! Maybe this afternoon I will see something different because I'll put on some different lounging attire and re-braid my hair for the first time in a couple of days. ;)

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Do you do one braid or two? I think braids are so pretty. Mostly I wear them when I hike, but am about to do some experimenting. Do you wear / have you ever worn French braids? I'd like to learn that soon so I can show my stripes in different ways to help get me through the awkward 2 years of gray grow-out I am looking at. It's interesting to me about your inclination towards looking in the mirror with expectation of seeing change. That feels really understandable to me, though I can't find words or rationale for it. I think it might be a deeply intuitive thing, and though I can't relate precisely to your current challenge, something in me says, "yes, that makes sense." Transformation has to be happening, and you are feeling it, so sensitively. The curiosity of it is a sign of Heart chi, and that encourages me with a measure of joy!

Did you have your bath? How did it feel? How is your fever and cough today? How is your hubby? Yesterday I forgot my phone at home, but today I will bring it, and look forward to your news. My new epsom salt bath gel is eucalyptus/spearmint, on second look. I took my bath last night but was too distracted and mentally hectic to really relax and follow my breath, although I did feel more relaxed afterwards, so that is something, and I'll take it, gladly.

Today is our 5th wedding anniversary! I'm not sure if we will celebrate tonight or tomorrow when we have more time, and our 1.5 day of weekend...I made lemon garlic chicken last night that can be re-heated tonight, or we might treat ourselves to take out from the steak house in town that is offering specials for take out. It's been controversial up there because they advertised on FB and people came from up to an hour away, and only 20% of them tipped, causing a lot of hurt and FB drama. Playing it by ear like everything else these days.

Love and hugs to you!

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Whoops! I thought your anniversary was tomorrow! Happy Anniversary!! That's such a shame that the steak restaurant tried to offer a service to the community and was poorly treated. That is so NOT what I've been reading. So much human kindness has come out that when you hear something like that, it makes it even worse- kicking someone when they're down. Whatever you decide to do, enjoy yourselves and put this craziness on a back burner for some much-deserved self time. Our theme through Katrina and everything is that as long as we're together, everything's OK.

My bath felt great! I got one faint whiff of eucalyptus but I could feel it all surround me and soak through me. I do one big braid every night to sleep so I don't wake up in a giant knot and also when I'm lazy or don't want my hair in my face. I wish I could French braid but my hair auto-tangles and I've never been able to do it. Every now and then I'll do two braids, usually when we're camping, for some reason but I do them as close to the back of my head as I can so they don't fall over my shoulders all the time. Fun fact: My husband had to learn how to braid my hair after my accident. It's on that long list of things that you can't do with one hand!

Fever and cough are about the same but achiness (spellcheck keeps wanting to make this ashiness which I read as ass shines :lol:) is better. I thought that maybe I could do a few things around the house but, after doing one simple thing, I felt like someone had kicked my butt and had to lie down for a nap. Squeaky's doing his part at the far end of the sofa. Everyone needs a napping supervisor. He trilled at me last night like Maybelle used to do all the time- sweet boy. 

Love and hugs to you and your husband!

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Not having a very good day but wanted to say hi. Fever's up and appetite's down but I found some turkey bone broth in the freezer and was able to get it down. Tied of feeling so awful but don't really have a choice; it's just a waiting game but no respiratory symptoms so for that, I'm thankful. Also for the beautiful day and the singing birds. I hope you were able to take some time together to celebrate!

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Hi Holly!

I'm so sorry for the delay, and I thank you for your updates. I am holding a prayer of love and gratitude for your absence of respiratory symptoms, and call on the highest orders of love and light to keep it so. It must test your patience, feeling so crummy. Tommy Petty sings it to us, that waiting is the hardest part...I am so grateful that your W30 ways keep your immune system strong. Bird song is the best, isn't it? That, and the cat's trill. And purrs. And cat's snoring, too. That's so cool that you caught a whiff of the eucalyptus! Have you tried again? What other small self care gives any comfort? Whenever I am sick, I am amazed at how comforting a warm wash cloth can be. And smoothing out the bed and covers. Are you able to keep hydrated? Any change since your last post? 

It got up to 77 degrees in recent days, and when that happens at this time of year, I always set my expectations so as to avoid disappointment, so that means I expect it to just get hotter and hotter until it's the heat of summer, and that it's the end of rain, and plan to put my boots and warm things away. As it happens the rain came back today and it should be rainy and cool all week. So after breakfast this morning we opened up the screened in porch, and we can hear the birds...and I took one of the cat trees out there so the girls are exploring all the smells and bird song, too. It's so life affirming! I'm glad that you can sip on those elements of birds, and maybe some fresh air through opened windows? I'm with you in spirit, and imagine a virtual cup of tea and gentle back rub!

On Friday afternoon I was able to make a reservation for two tri-tip dinners as take-out from the place I mentioned, after all, so with that, I also bought us a bottle of red zinfandel (we drank the two bottles of wine that we had on hand last week in anomaly for us!), and a decadent dessert. Spring cake, something like that...a giant slice of layered white cake with layers of raspberry puree and buttercream frosting. Our local grocer who is European and has a baking background has recently added an awesome bakery - it's like a little French patisserie right here in our little town, white bakery boxes and all. I wouldn't tell hubs what I had in mind (right before we close shop he is always asking me what's for dinner), and got a 15 minute head start on him, so that was fun...candlelight and all. The tri-tip came with baked potato, and the abundant steamed broccolini and carrots made up for the awful salad. I was sure to tip well to take care of our weary friends there! Then yesterday, Saturday, I worked late, and when I got home we were both completely zonked. All we could do was zone out on tv so we watched the first 3 episodes of Tiger King on Netflix, which is the craziest thing I have ever seen, and it's hard for my brain to believe it's real and not stupid reality tv. Have you seen any of it? I can't say I recommend it, yet once we started I wanted to watch more. Of course that is what happens with junk food,'s not exactly enriching material but good mindless entertainment. Hubs asked for popcorn, so that was a treat. My energy was pretty good this morning, so I did some cooking...mainly just a batch of ranch for a fresh batch of coleslaw, and more cucumber/onion salad (if I had tomatoes and maybe some feta it would really like to be a Greek salad...maybe next week). DId I mention that was my happy accident of last week? All I had was coleslaw, some cucumbers, and some compliant sliced turkey lunch meat, so I put the salads together and chopped up some turkey, threw in some chopped walnuts, and then dressed it at work with EVOO and balsamic, and presto, a very easy, delicious ad-libbed lunch. I liked it so much I actually meal-prepped that same thing for my lunches for Mon and Tues. These small things feel like giant wins.

You mentioned that you thought our anniversary was the 4th, and that is funny because originally we were going to be married on the 4th. There was a full lunar eclipse, and we decided to marry on the 3rd so we could stay up all night and watch it on our wedding night instead of (original plan) getting up early on the wedding day to watch it...of course, we ended up not watching it at all. Hubs is missing his telescope, and we are both wondering if the park will be open for our planned June hike. I'm guessing it won't be, but we will see. Everything is so uncertain, and I guess it's a good life skill to find some equanimity with that.

Peace, cool, and calm as you come through to the other side of this...xxoo

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My friend sent this to me, and I find her voice to be so comforting. I wondered if it might be of comfort right now. I am not sure how I feel about her bestselling book, so I almost didn't listen, but it's very wise, and very, very loving. I'm too busy to journal these days, but I have rolled her ideas in to my self talk, instead, and that is something.

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15 days later...

Well, things feel a bit more normal, I guess. I got up at 5, did some mobility with Squeaky and came in to work. Yesterday was a day to make some eggroll bowls for breakfasts this week, wash my hair and pretend that I was excited to get back to work! It's actually a little weird being back, especially since I'm not doing my regular work this week but all is good. I was able to get in about 6K steps for the last few days, including a trip up the driveway so, hopefully, I'll get my strength back pretty quickly. I played carpenter's assistant for a couple of hours on Saturday. My husband built a big worktable in our shed down by the garden so now my head doesn't have to explode every time I open the door. There will be labeled bins and places for all of the tools and no room for piles of junk on the floor because the new lawn tractor has to be able to fit in there along with our 1949 tractor that we use in the garden. This is huge and I was glad to be able to help!

I'm not sure what's on the menu this week but I have a nice big chicken defrosting. We were able to stock up on meat this weekend and the produce drawer is nice and full. Saturday I cleaned out and rearranged all of the fridges and freezers so they're more organized. 

I haven't been keeping up with the news and I think I'd like to keep it that way. Less doom and gloom more blue sky and birds. We got a glimpse of a pileated woodpecker yesterday so that was pretty cool; they're so big! We're hoping to get the garden planted either this weekend or next- yaaaay!! It totally depends on the rain and it's still getting pretty cool at night but I think that it's going to warm up this week so I can put all of the plants outside to harden off before planting day.

Thanks so much for all of the love and support; I can't believe I finally got through it!

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13 hours ago, hollysmokes said:

Less doom and gloom more blue sky and birds.

Yes! Well, I just emailed you, and then saw this post...thanks for the news! Awesome about washing your hair, getting back to work, organzing the shed with yourcarpenter, and tending to the freezers, etc...

Oh my gosh, Holly, you survived this thing, and will march on with the rest of the living through this strange period of history. Bravo! Bravo!

If you read my email you know I'm high on wine, and so I think I'll quit while I'm ahead.

Onward all of us! Sweet dreams!

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