Quarantine Day 31

Strange thoughts enter my mind on this day 31 of our quarantine. This will be the LONGEST stretch of time I haven’t been at work in 20 years! Even when my kids were born, I didn’t take this much time off. I might be disappointed in myself if I don’t get our sheds and garage cleaned out! I am really good at procrastinating…

I finished up 14 more masks today. This time it was for two families. I am so happy to be able to do this. I did decide that if people offer to pay, I let them give $1.00 for each mask. That just goes toward buying more material. I have donated masks to nursing homes, and if I hear of other places that need them in small amounts, I will help.

Little AoA got to do some online visits with her counselor and her tutor. She really needs the additional interaction with people. When we first switched to meeting with people on zoom and FaceTime, she would get really nervous, and didn’t want to talk. Today, she kicked me out of the room during her meetings! She even has plans to FaceTime with our aunt and cousins tomorrow night. She now includes scheduling these meetings in our daily goal planner. These are new times indeed…

In the evening, we had a jam session. We had a good time playing and singing. Here is Little AoA with papa AoA…

I found a few funny things today. I worry that my sense of humor is darkening with this social distancing. I miss being around people in the world. Even though I can be pretty quiet, I do love people.

Someone is going to be sad when they realize what they forgot!

Surprise the kids with a “feetloaf”! (I really want to try this)

These are from my sister’s collection.

Here is one for my nurse daughter, working at a nursing home and protecting the vulnerable.

Stay well, stay home if you can, and show kindness to a fellow human…

~AoA

Quarantine Day 30

Day 30 is in the books! I haven’t really gotten into binge watching too much during our quarantine, but I did start watching Schitts Creek. I didn’t think I would care for it. I usually prefer crime dramas or sci-fi. I haven’t laughed this much in a long time! The premise is that a very wealthy family loses everything, and ends up having to live in a low end motel in a little town. They don’t acclimate too well.

I had a busy start to my day. I have had requests for 14 masks from people who want to pay for them. I am not looking to profit from this, but I will let them donate a little bit to the material fund! I am so glad I can do this little thing to help. I feel a bit like a modern day Rosie the Riveter.

I was able to have zoom meetings with two of my students, which I enjoyed very much. I have found a few fun things to do with the kids that go right along with what we were doing when we were in school.

At 3:00, we all sat in front of the tv watching our governor report on schools. Our schools will remain closed until August! This came as a relief to me. With my high risk parents living with me, I would have had a hard time going back until the pandemic is resolved. At least we have more time now. Even though we won’t have school, I have got to make myself useful. I started taking a Google Classroom training. I have had some ideas about setting up online tutoring services. I have seen the need that my students have had, and the need that Little AoA has had to meet with her tutor once a week. It isn’t really about the academics, but more about a relationship with a purpose!

Our evening was filled with some blogging with Little AoA. We are using a platform called “kidblog”, which is really user friendly for elementary age kids. I like that blogging gives writing a purpose.

In the world of COVID-19, our state is opening up drive thru testing for anyone, regardless of symptoms. It will be set up for the next two weekends. Our county has held at 34 cases for three days in a row. Of course, that could be from a backlog in testing, or it could be accurate….no one knows. It makes it look like our people are really taking stay at home orders seriously. I hope the best case is true.

Here are the Dear Heart flowers for today…

Stay well, stay home if you can, and show kindness to a neighbor…

~AoA

Quarantine Day 29

Day 29 has come and gone. I woke up to a text from my nurse daughter asking for me to make 10 masks for a nurse friend. My purpose was established! I worked on them for a while, then did a zoom call with one of my students. We can keep a good conversation going for at least 30 minutes, which impressed me. I have a lot more zooming on my list of goals for tomorrow.

I really miss my kids at school. I am having an internal struggle thinking about how I can use my strengths to set up a side gig that might morph into a retirement job. I run into obstacles in my own mind. My heart goes toward non-profits and helping the underprivileged. Then I remember that I have to take care of my family financially too.

Last week we were all warned that the pandemic would get worse. Words alone did not prepare me for the overwhelming sadness as everyday, people die from something that was suppose to be “a cold”. Each life lost was someone’s mother, father, sibling, aunt, uncle, grandparent, friend. The world has changed.

On a lighter side, 29 days into crisis homeschooling, families are burning out or adapting. We discover that there is more to a child’s life than academics. When we started out, some families were doing their best to do “school at home”. I did that with my kids when we first started homeschooling. In my opinion, it is a natural transition and weaning from a rigid daily schedule. This chart sums up the next phase, when burnout creeps in….

A friend of mine shared her method of keeping everyone participating in a balance of activities. I really love it!

Here is our Dear Heart flowers for the day….

Stay well, stay home if you can, and balance!

~AoA

Quarantine Day 28

Day 28 is in the books! Today was a blur. I woke up with a sore throat and headache. It was probably from all the excitement from Easter and lack of sleep. I brainstormed with my sister about some Google classroom ideas. This motivated me to work toward a new goal, which is just what I need.

One of my friends shared a petition on change.org, encouraging Walmart stores to supplement their employees’ pay with “hazard bonuses”. I can only imagine our essential workers must experience much anxiety about going to work. My anxiety kicks in just setting foot in a store these days.

I watched our state governor address our state this afternoon. We are currently under a “Stay at Home Order” through April 14th. Today, that was extended to April 30th. Many people in my area want everything opened back up now. I am personally glad that this was done, but there has got to be more help for people who are suffering financially. Our little town was just starting to take off as an arts district filled with cute little shops. Everything is closed….

In the evening, I attended a support meeting for LBGTQ community and allies. The meeting was done on zoom, with breakout groups. This was the first large meeting I have done with zoom. It was nice to see everyone. While I do like in-person meetings, I must admit that a lot of time is saved by meeting remotely. I live about an hour from several places I go to attend meetings and have appointments. I save two hours with every meeting that is done virtually.

When night came, just as I was getting ready to settle down for the night, my aunt discovered an app called “House Party”. I got on the group party with my aunt, mom, sister, and cousins. I like the format for this app, plus the feature it has that lets you play group games. We played a trivia game together.

Many cheers for our frontline healthcare workers today!

Here is a Dear Heart flower….

Stay well, stay home if you can, and show kindness to a fellow human❤️

~AoA

Quarantine Day 27

Day 27 was Easter! Little AoA woke up early and had the whole day planned. We had cinnamon rolls while we watched our church service on a partially pre-recorded livestream. After that, I was assigned to the kitchen to start cooking some ham, potato salad, and a cake.

Little AoA and I hunted for the hidden eggs. I think there are still some missing, but we made sure to find all the real eggs!

It rained all day here today, with some thunderstorms and high winds at times. We just stayed inside all day. We did watch Disney’s “Tangled”. In case you haven’t heard, the town Rapunzel comes from is called “Corona”.

Speaking of COVID-19, this coming week is predicted to possibly be the peak in our area. So far it isn’t as terrible here as in the bigger cities. Our statewide shut down is suppose to end this Tuesday. I personally think it is too soon, but it is not up to me. I will continue to social distance and take all precautions until the CDC weighs in with direction based on data.

Here are a few things that made me smile today. Laughter is the best medicine!

Stay well, stay home if you can, and show kindness to a neighbor!

~AoA

Quarantine Day 26

Day 26 has come to an end on this day before Easter. Little AoA and I had a list of things to do today, and we did a pretty good job on it. We made some chocolate chip cookies for the nursing staff at the nursing home where my daughter works. We made little treat bags for them with a picture, candy, a button mask strap, and the cookies. We delivered them to the outside drop off table at the nursing home, as it is on lockdown. We also took treat bags to the nursing home where my aunt lives, for my aunt and her roommate. These people at the nursing homes have been without in person visitors for a month now! My aunt has low cognitive functioning and cerebral palsy that makes communication too difficult for her over the phone or FaceTime. We depend on reports of her wellbeing from the nurses, and I take treats for her once or twice a week so that she knows we are still out here!

New Mask

I wore one of my recent mask creations while on my rounds today. I really like the Hogwarts theme. If masks become a standard costume, I will have fun making different themed ones.

Easter Eve

Little AoA and I dyed some eggs today. The middle basket is filled with artificial eggs we decorated over the last few years.

Here is something that made me laugh today…

Here is a Dear Heart flower for today…

Stay safe, stay home if you can, and show kindness to another!

~AoA

Quarantine Day 25

Day 25 of Quarantine has come to a close. Little AoA woke me up really early, and disturbed my dream. I was dreaming that I was at Disney World, shopping in one of the gift shops. When I started to wake up, I told Little AoA about it, and she brought it up all day!

We had a small garden spot tilled up this morning. My mom and I are planning a small garden with tomatoes, squash, and green beans. It’s been years since I have had a garden. I remember starting out really productive, then watching the weeds take over. Maybe I can actually keep up with it this year.

I made some more masks today. I used some more youthful fabric this time. I made myself a Hogwarts themed one. The one I have been using was my prototype, and not quite as nice as the ones I am making now.

I did a piano lesson with Little AoA. While we were playing, I texted her actual piano teacher to tell her we missed her. I also responded to an email I received from one of my students, and caught up with student blogs. I have about three students who are really shining in blogging and written communication.

Stuck on the floor

My mom called to me from her room. She was on the floor and couldn’t get up. She had been trying to get something from under her bed, and didn’t think about getting back up. I tried to get her up while my dad was occupied elsewhere, as he gets really upset when my mom gets herself in a jam by trying to do things that she shouldn’t be doing. Mom doesn’t like to ask for help. We did manage to get her up after trying a few different ways.

Here is something funny I saw today. It made me laugh because just last night, I was telling my oldest about how I wore gloves and a mask to do the shopping. She got a little snarky with me about wearing the gloves…

Here are the Dear Heart flowers for the day….

Stay well, stay home if you can, and show kindness to a neighbor!

~AoA

Quarantine Day 24

We got through day 24. It was another busy day. I started off by making ten more masks for the nursing home. I’m getting faster now with a system of getting them done! The fabric stash was from craft projects I had planned on doing someday. I think they look great as face masks!

When I got home from making this delivery, Little AoA and I put Easter treats together for my aunt and her roommate at the nursing home. We also made treat bags for two kids whose mom makes pot pie and bread for us to buy each week. We put treats together for my oldest daughter and granddaughter too. We actually delivered my daughter’s treats to her at work today. We got her a shirt with a phrase she used once (it was my first time hearing it). This is the shirt…

I noticed out in the world today, that most workers and customers I saw, were not wearing masks. People are overall, ready to stop the quarantine. Some are talking about it not affecting very many people here because our area is considered rural. Our county has 31 cases, and last night the first person passed away in our county from COVID-19. This is worrisome, as the projected peak is next week.

I had a nice text conversation with my sister. She shared these fun puzzle games with me. At first look, it is a jumbled mess. Once I started getting into it, I found it a little fun. Here are the puzzles….

I don’t know all of them…let me know if you recognize any!

Here is a fun idea to combine the Easter decorating with COVID-19…

Here I am, hoping you all are holding on during this unprecedented time in our generations…

Here is the flower of the day from Dear Heart Florist in my town…

Stay well, stay home if you can, and show kindness to a neighbor!

~AoA

Quarantine Day 23

Today was quite a busy day of quarantine. I woke up to my mom telling me that she committed me to make 20 face masks for the nursing home where my aunt lives. Thankfully, I already had 10 cut and ready to sew. I outsourced another 10 through a Facebook group of people who are sewing face masks in my area.

As soon as I finished the face masks, it was time to zoom meet with one of my students. We talked, drew, and played a couple games. As soon as that ended, I had a virtual meeting with my counselor. I am so thankful to have someone to bounce around my ideas and worries with! As soon as that ended, it was into another zoom meeting with a different student. I am getting more comfortable doing these meetings. I helped my dad work on the lawnmower for a bit once all that was over.

Finally, it was time to go into the world as the family errand person. I delivered masks and treats for my aunt to the nursing home. I debated about where to shop, but settled on Walmart. I suited up in my mask and gloves, and braved the store. I was happy to see them wiping down carts and the workers wearing masks. More shoppers were wearing masks now than the last time I went out. It didn’t look like people were there socializing with their families. This gives me hope.

Our county is now at 29 cases. The mindset here is cautiously optimistic for now. It is predicted that the illness will peak around the 16th of April. Our state is predicted to have enough equipment in hospitals to meet the predicted need.

Here are some things that made me smile today. Laughter is the best medicine!

In case you’re not sure, the women are wearing house dresses- glorified pajamas.

Here is a sweet picture that Little AoA learned to draw today.

Finally, the flowers of the day…

Stay well, stay home if you can, and show kindness to a neighbor!

~AoA

Quarantine Day 22

Day 22 of quarantine has come to an end. I hung some plastic eggs in a couple of our trees today. A lot of people are doing this so that families can go for drives and “hunt” Easter eggs. I got a little surprise when I went to one of the trees…

The mama bird returned to the nest and got a little annoyed with me! I stepped away and gave her some space!

I took Little AoA and grandma for a ride today on a toilet paper hunt. They stayed in the car while I put my mask on, and went into the big store. Good timing…they were fully stocked! I was really happy to strut out to my car with my golden find of toilet paper! I had put in an online order to pick up as well. The order wasn’t ready at my appointed time, and the clerk said they were working on 200 orders and they were way behind. I cancelled my order and went home. I will have to go out tomorrow to the store. None of our stores have the manpower to logistically keep up with the demand for curbside pick up. I was using it all the time before the pandemic with no problem. Now it seems there are no available times. It’s not as easy as it seems, so our medically fragile friends may really need help!

The isolation is getting to Little AoA now. She misses going to stores with me and going out to run errands with grandma. She has reverted to thumb sucking (she is 11). By this evening, I got her interested in making Easter treat bags for the nurses who work with big sister at the nursing home. I taught her how to draw a rabbit of some sort, and she drew one for each nurse.

I made a prototype mask fastener that I saw in a group. I like it, and had all the materials already, which is a plus. Here is the prototype…

Today I had to tell my granddaughter for the first time, that she couldn’t come to our house for the weekend. I know she is bored, and we want to see her too! It is too risky for the grandparents right now. With just me going to stores, the risk is high enough. Teen son is sure I’m going to bring COVID-19 home and we will all die. My 30 year old son is about the same, but kinder about it. I am putting together some Easter treats for my granddaughter (she is 13), and I will be able to drop them off without contact.

I saw one little thing that made me laugh, and reminded me of days past, raising chickens. One day I may try my hand at raising some yard chickens again…

They are having a ballet class!

…and here are the flowers of the day from our local florist…

Stay well, stay home if you can, and show kindness to a neighbor!

~AoA