Friday, April 3, 2020

Your Votes - And Boredom is Setting In

I had my opinion regarding the "which businesses will be slammed first" poll, and the majority of you guys were on the same page as me - hairdressers.  Medical and gyms were next on the list.  While several of you gave more than one answer, I chose the top or first one for my super unscientific poll.

Depending on when we get out of this, I may have some interesting-looking hair.  I have mine highlighted and while there is some gray, there's also some dark hair.  Who knows what I'll look like; at least it'll be longer, which is what I've been going for since January.  I'd like more of a shoulder length style.  I may exceed expectations, haha.

Speaking of when this is over, is anyone thinking we may be in isolation for at least another month?  That's where my mind is going.  Coronavirus still seems to be on its way toward peaking but not there yet, so all of the caution efforts are still greatly necessary.  I don't have a problem with doing that because A) I don't want to get sick and/or die; and B) I don't want anyone else to, either.

That said, I'm getting bored.  While our TV/movie watching is still happening, it's not something I can stand to do for hours at a time.  Even knitting is beginning to be boring.  I started another project - a shawl, which is something I rarely do because it's such a big thing - but even with that, I'm finding it difficult to do.  Not because it's difficult, just that I'm bored.

I finally thought about doing a jigsaw puzzle but of course we'd donated all of our puzzles when we were cleaning the house for our renovation.  So I went online looking to order some puzzles and hey guess who also had that idea?  EVERYBODY.  I finally found some that could be shipped in a decent timeline (some wouldn't ship until mid-May and I hope to not be cooped up by then) so maybe next week I'll have that to occupy my mind.  My running buddy Julia suggested a paint by sticker book - it's like a paint by numbers only you use stickers.  That looked pretty cool plus they were still in stock, and my order arrived on Wednesday:
I started with the kid's version and will work my way up to the adult one.
A school of fish!  I need to work on putting the stickers closer together but not bad for my first try.

Along with the sticker art and puzzles, Jeff and I have been playing UpWords, which is a game we've had forever and one of the few games we kept during the renovation purge.  I have a better vocabulary and can spell better than him but he's more of a strategist than me, so he keeps winning, dang it.

Have a great weekend - stay safe, stay well!

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Worst April Fool's EVER

Back in my day ::tucks Kleenex into sleeve:: April Fool's day involved putting salt in the sugar dish or something equally benign.  What the world has been going through for months now feels like some sort of horrible April Fool's joke gone terribly wrong.  Even the funny memes about bad coworkers (pets, usually) and students/teachers (suspending them for fighting, firing the teacher for drinking on the job) have become stale. 

Just when ennui was settling in, Blue Baker came to the rescue with online grocery shopping.  Yes, our favorite restaurant has found a way to stay in business by not only offering delivery and drive-thru pickup of their standard menu, but since they are continuing to get food from their supplier, they've started offering groceries and paper goods for sale.  Their online ordering menu for groceries gave me a good laugh when I read it, so I thought I'd share some of the gems with you:
Craving a banana. Got a tenner?  It's yours!
How about a bag of ice?  Sadly the rapper doesn't come with it.
Rice.  For when you want 2000 of something, LOL.
Well if they're laid by Chicken Little herself, sign me up for some eggs!
Punny.
I don't care.  They're your oats.  Ha!

And finally, BB to the rescue:
This ain't yo' Mama's Charmin but when in need...

I love that they have managed to pivot and not only keep their employees working, but are providing an alternative to traditional grocery shopping.  We've purchased a pound of fresh asparagus, milk, their homemade bread, ice, and some bagels so far.  We got to yell hello to our favorite employee, Patrick, from a safe distance of our car to the drive-thru window, which gave us a sense of normalcy in this world of uncertainty.  And while we don't need TP yet because I'd stocked up right before my parents visited in February, it's nice to know we have options.  In fact my neighbor drove by while I was sitting on the driveway watching Jeff clean out the garage; she rolled down her window and said she'd been on the hunt for TP with no luck.  I told her about Blue Baker and she was so grateful - with all three of her kids back home, she was hitting desperate times.

We can't wait to gather inside the restaurant with the rest of the Renegades and have breakfast and kibitz with each other, but in the meantime, we'll support BB as much as possible so they will be there when this awfulness is behind us.

Hope you all remain well.

Monday, March 30, 2020

When This Is Over...

What do you think will be the first type of business to be slammed?

Here's where I'd embed a poll, but we all know that kind of technology is way beyond my capabilities, so I'll just list a few things that I've thought of, and you can choose one and vote in the comments, or write in your vote.
  • Airlines
  • Dog groomers
  • Gyms
  • Hairdressers
  • Movie theaters
  • Nail salons
  • Repair people
  • Restaurants
  • Theme parks
So as to not sway you, I'll withhold stating my personal opinion right now but I'll tally your responses and post everything on Friday, including my oh-so-important opinion.  

Let's hear it, peeps!

Friday, March 27, 2020

FMM - AMA Answers!

Paula:  Do you think running caused the issue with your back? I didn’t start running until I was 51 & in 2 weeks I will be 57 and worry. My bones aren’t that great.  Honestly, I think the most damage was done with my workouts - jumping, burpees, explosive movements, etc.  I'm not a "bouncy" runner which is why I don't put most of the onus on running, although that was the straw that broke the camel's...er, MY back.  My PT thinks I'll be OK with running again, with low mileage.  If I can get to running a 5K by the end of the year I'll consider it a success.  P.S.  I'll be 57 in about three months - yay 1963 babies!

Kim:   What is your ranking of Harry Potter books and movies, and are they the same or different?  Even though it's the most childish, the first book is my favorite because it's the one that drew me into the saga.  I read the books in order as they were released - after my kids were finished with them, of course.  Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix was perhaps my least favorite but overall it had some plotlines that carried over into the next few books so I can't fault it very much.  I think it goes the same for that movie, but again, I liked all of the books/movies so I can't complain about any of them, really.  I'm so glad you are finally reading them and watching the movies!

Barbara:   Have you entered the Land of Instapot?  We did, about a year ago.  Mostly used it for "baking" potatoes and making hard boiled eggs, plus the occasional shredded meat or soup-type of thing.  Thanks for the reminder - we should get it out from the cupboard and start using it again!

Kim:   Do you have any daily routines? I’m finding myself floundering a big without a routine.  Oddly, I am not foundering now that I've been stuck at home.  I had many years worth of routines, such as laundry (bedding, towels, clothes) on Mondays, vacuuming first thing (well, after coffee), blog reading/commenting while drinking coffee (I think we can see that coffee fits into a lot of my routine, LOL), etc.  When I restarted working in January, that all went to hell.  So I think that whatever you are used to doing becomes really challenging when there is a huge change.  I suspect you and I are opposite in dealing with what has happened over the last couple of weeks. 

Meranda:   Any tips on potty training a puppy?  Not really - the last true puppy we had was our beloved dachshund, Jackie, who we got when she was about six weeks old.  I remember thinking it was like having a toddler; not only did we take her out to potty regularly (kind of like asking a toddler if they needed to potty), but she slept upstairs with us and whenever she made a sound like she had to go, I'd take her downstairs to the backyard.  It was a lot of work and I was tired - much like any parent of small children - but she seemed to get the hang of it pretty quickly.  Other than that, I've read that hanging a bell on the back door, where your puppy can reach it with their paw or nose, and teaching them to ring it when they want to go outside is a good idea.  Hope it goes well for you and your new puppies!

Helen:   If you could live anywhere you want in retirement, where would you live?  I think you asked this question the last time I did an AMA, LOL...we know where your brain is!  While my ideal answer is the same, Maui, I'd also be up to moving to North Carolina if we ever get a grandchild.  No pressure on my son...but wouldn't that be fun??  And I guess since Jeff is in semi-retirement now, by default, it's Texas.

Thanks to everyone who participated - this was fun!

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Because of Social Isolation...

I haven't worn a bra in days.  Except when we go for a walk; I'm suited up to face anyone for that (from six feet away, of course).

We were hungry and decided to cook dinner.  Looked at the clock and saw that it was only 4:30 pm.  Cooked it anyway.

I don't know what day it is because it doesn't matter except for trash day, which is on my calendar.

My phone alarms are set for weirdly random things:
Medication alerts, of course, but curbside grocery pickup, setting out cooler on porch for meal delivery, and setting out DVR for UPS pickup (and yes, I paid for UPS pickup because I didn't want to walk into the UPS store.  Paranoid?  Maybe, but why take a chance?)  Waking up to go to work?  Nah.  Alarm set for going back to my group workout, which I was going to start beginning March 16?  Nope.

My house is c-l-e-a-n.  Really clean.  Ready for visitors clean.  Except...no visitors.

I kinda blame Jeff for this one, but we ran out of dry cat food Sunday morning.  The feeder is in his office on a table since Paco would gladly help himself to it if he could reach it.  Henry can have it anytime he wants, plus we feed him some canned wet food morning and evening.  I was close to asking my neighbor if I could borrow a cup of cat food but luckily my online order was delivered on Monday so all is right in Henry's world once more.

I'm knitting a lot.  That goes along with all of the movie watching, natch.  I'm trying to complete some projects that were in hibernation thanks to my medication-addled brain; this also involves fixing several heels on socks, which isn't fun.  But I've thrown in a fresh pair of socks and a hat to break up that yuckiness, and depending on how long this lasts, I may be ready to open up a limited-edition shop one of these days.  Quaran-hats has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?  Or is there a better name?  Emmaclaire, you always come up with clever names, what do you say?

Socks:
This is the new sock - I did a toe!  And a foot!  And a heel!  You have no idea how happy I am right now - I haven't been able to knit anything complicated (like the toe and heel) for about nine months.  This is big!
Heels!  These socks, which I'm knitting at the same time, doing a few stripes on one before doing a few on the other, have been languishing since July, but I finally got heels on them.  I think they might actually get finished before this coming July!
Another heel!  The mate to this sock has been finished for well over a year now; the combination of the wide stripes, which aren't my favorite, plus that whole nerve pain/seizure/concussion issue made it easy to ignore them.  Just a few more inches and then I'll have a new pair of socks, woohoo!

Hat:
From one of my TJ Maxx kits - not entirely sure about the pom pom, but I love the swirly design from the pattern.  To clarify, I like the colored pom pom, but it seems a little dense.  Luckily I have plenty of yarn on hand if I decide to switch it out.

While I'm ready for this to be over, I'm grateful that I have a hobby to keep me busy for the duration.  And luckily I also have a lot of yarn so I can knit to my heart's content.  What's keeping you busy during this abnormal time?

Monday, March 23, 2020

In Which We Watch Some Movies

Social isolation, self-quarantine - whatever you are calling it, comes with at least one benefit for Jeff and I - we are watching more movies than usual, so I thought I'd give you a rundown on what we've seen recently.  We are trying to avoid anything too dark because let's face it, what's happening is dark enough right now, so for the most part we've focused on the lighter movies.  If you have any recommendations, please comment - it looks like we're going to be in this isolation for a while longer, so the movie watching will continue.
Swimming with Men (Hulu), starring the guy from Sherlock and the guy from Downton Abbey - Rupert Graves (Lestrade), and Jim Carter (Carson).  This was a random pick one evening as I was scrolling through the movie choices on Hulu; I'm so glad we watched it as it had a great story all the way through.  It's based on a documentary of the Swedish men's synchronized swim team, only this team is British.  Watch it!
The Avengers (Amazon Prime), starring everyone.  Yes we've seen it before but not in a while and we'd both forgotten a lot of what happens in this movie.  It ended up being such a good choice because for a couple of hours we forgot about the woes of the world.
Thor (Amazon Prime), starring my handsome future third husband, Chris Hemsworth.  Even though his hair isn't as Thor-like gorgeous as it is in the later Avengers movies, it's still a good one and explains the back story on Thor and Loki, which again, I'd forgotten.  Well some of it.  I try to retain all things Thor, LOL.  Of course I recommend watching it, it's THOR!
Honey Boy (Amazon Prime), starring Shia LeBouf.  I don't want to give away the plot twist, but it's about a child actor.  It's more of a serious movie; I enjoyed it.  Jeff was just OK with it but more because of the subject matter than the movie itself.
Jojo Rabbit (On Demand), starring Taika Waititi as Hitler.  Weird premise but it works; it's at times funny and charming and sweet and heartbreaking and sad and a tiny bit hopeful.  We wanted to see it when it was out in theaters and it was worth the rental.
Bottled Up:  The Battle Over Dublin Dr Pepper (Amazon Prime), starring real life people.  We were interested in this documentary because it's about a small Texas company battling with a huge corporate conglomerate.  I'm not a Dr Pepper person but even I knew about the appeal of Dublin Dr Pepper.  The issue between the two Dr Peppers was that the original recipe had cane sugar in it, and at some point after the formula was sold to Dr Pepper/Snapple, they changed to using high fructose corn syrup.  However, the Dublin plant was still bottling the original Dr Pepper with cane sugar.  They had a small six-county distribution area but people came from all over to pick up cases of their drink, and eventually corporate Dr Pepper sued them and they had to stop making it.  One thing I've realized after living in Texas for 20+ years is that Texans are fiercely loyal, and this did not sit well with not only Dublinites, but many Texans throughout the state.  I believe that while Big Red and Dr Pepper are the "official" drinks of Texas, there are those who refuse to drink Dr Pepper anymore.  It was an interesting documentary and really cool to see the history of Dr Pepper, but a little sad to see how the original Dr Pepper ended.  Side note:  all along I could have sworn that Dublin Dr Pepper had been revived and was still in stores, but apparently not.
Swell (Amazon Prime), starring the guy from LA Law - Corbin Bernsen (Arnie Becker).  I'll admit that this movie caught my eye because it looked like it was filmed on the beaches of northern California, which I am quite familiar with.  Turns out the opening scene was filmed on West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz - it was so nice to see one of my favorite places in California!  I was there in January and walked the same area where the surfer girl in the movie was...oh man, did it ever make me miss Santa Cruz!  The movie was about a young woman's search for her younger brother, and it involved driving up Highway 101 to Oregon.  That part was lovely to see; she even stopped at Trees of Mystery, which is random but sentimental because that's where Jeff and I went the day after we got engaged.  There's a giant Paul Bunyan statue there, along with Babe the blue ox.  So that was cool.  But the movie was a little too dramatic for what I was looking for, and along the way she connected with dinosaur boy who had the most loud, grating voice - I nearly turned off the movie but the scenery kept me going.  Instead, I turned the volume down low.  Unless you are really wanting to see some beautiful parts of the California/Oregon coasts, I wouldn't recommend this movie.

Up next, Yesterday and probably Avengers:  Infinity War.  Any other suggestions?

Friday, March 20, 2020

FMM - Ammendment to Wednesday's Post, Plus Ask Me (almost) Anything!

I mentioned on Wednesday's post that Jeff and I planned on deep cleaning one room a day during our self-isolation, but after we moved furniture, dusted, vacuumed, wiped down the baseboards, and mopped the floor in the the family room, we were beat and ended up taking a nap on our now-cleaner couches...we quickly decided that we'll be cleaning one room every other day.  I used muscles that haven't seen the light of day in a long time and even Jeff, who's been running consistently, was a little sore; so we took Thursday off from cleaning.  Here's our nice clean family room:
I know it looks the same but trust me, it's CLEAN.  Also, bonus Henry in this shot.
Taken the morning after we cleaned.  One of the scourges of my existence - dumb bugs that fly in to die.  We call these mosquito-eaters - is that what you guys call them?
My continual entertainment - rearranging the shelves on the sides of the fireplace.
Over the course of our move here, nearly 21 years ago, and when we packed up for the renovation, two years ago, we donated a lot of books.  I regret that now, as I like to use them for height with decorating...hence the knitting books in this shot.

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Today I think we'll tackle the kitchen, which isn't bad, but the little dust collectors on the cabinet doors need to be wiped down, plus there's general deep cleaning to be done:
I blame most of the lower cabinet's dust on the two low-lying animals living in our house.

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And now, the second part of this post - it's another Ask Me (almost) Anything!  I think these are always fun, so either ask away in the comments below, or if you don't comment, you can email me at 40somethingsjourney@gmail.com with your question and I'll answer it in my post next week.

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Have a great weekend in isolation!