Quarantine Day 21

We have ended another day of quarantine. They say it takes 21 days to form a new habit. I wonder if this life of social distancing will last beyond this crisis as a set of new habits.

I stayed away from a lot of news today, only watching our mayor give the daily update. Our county is up to 26 cases, and it may be too soon to tell, but it looks like social distancing is keeping the numbers lower than predicted. The thing to watch now is people letting their guard down and creating a surge.

I spent a couple hours outside today, putting new mulch around some trees and bushes. The yard got cut today too, so everything looks fresh and new. Now we just need some flowers to bloom!

Teen son had his first therapy appointment through telehealth. He was reluctant to do this, but it has been three weeks, and he really needed to reconnect with the therapist. He wanted me to stay with him to do this. It is really weird that this teen who can socialize through media all the time, is not comfortable with it in some situations. He was diagnosed with selective mutism among other things. It was apparent that this is still true. He has made progress in that he will communicate non-verbally with smiling, hand signals, and nodding.

I helped Little AoA with a little engineering kit. I was also able to talk in person with my 30 year old, from about 30 feet away of course! My granddaughter texted me and wants to come to my house for the weekend. It is going to be super hard to tell her no, but I think she needs to limit exposure right now to the people she started the quarantine with. I might think differently if our high risk family members didn’t live here. I hope she understands this. I am sure I will be buying her something from the amazon list she sent me. Kids sure know how to pull strings!

Here is a fun truth for today. Laughter is the best medicine!

I have found that when I wear my mask to the store, people are more mindful of staying away from me. If I happen to cough, I really get the looks!

Here is a lovely flower from my town florist.

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

~AoA

Quarantine Day 20

Day 20 has come to an end. To be honest, it feels like we are in the calm before the storm. Our area is predicted to continue the COVID-19 trajectory and peak in the next two weeks. I may have learned something disturbing today about our hospital not testing all of the respiratory illnesses before sending them to rehab. I hope this is not true, but it seems likely. The numbers in our area have seemed relatively low, and it’s not that everyone has done a wonderful job of social distancing. My heart is heavy with the burden this has on our rehab centers, both patients and staff.

On a different note, today was Palm Sunday. My parents and I watched video church together in our living room. I am concluding that I am no more outgoing during online church than I am in person. I miss my friends and the hugs we share at church. I miss embarrassing Little AoA by whispering to her in church, or tapping along with the music.

I did the family essential errands alone. I wore my mask in every store I went in. Today, no one else was wearing masks except for the pharmacists. The thing about wearing a mask is that people don’t come near me. Why am I wearing a mask? No one really knows. The truth is, I am wearing a mask out of respect and concern for my neighbors. I wish they would do the same. I think people here don’t understand or believe the magnitude of this pandemic.

Little AoA and I attempted a puzzle today. She got frustrated with it once the edges were together, because the pieces weren’t laying down perfectly. She took it apart in frustration. She also did some guitar playing with Papa, and I did a piano lesson with her. I can tell that she misses her teachers now.

I went in the yard for a little while and did some weeding. I talked to my two oldest kids today, catching up on the news of the day. Tomorrow we start a puzzle challenge. My daughter and granddaughter got a new 500 piece puzzle. I am going to start my new puzzle tomorrow too, and we’ll see who finishes first!

Here are a few funnies for today. Laughter is the best medicine!

And finally, a beautiful flower for today! A local educator turned florist, is sharing these flower pictures everyday to cheer up the world….

Stay well, stay home if you can, and show kindness to others and yourself!

~AoA

Quarantine Day 19

Today felt like about a week. I started this day 19 with some goals, and Little AoA wrote out her goals on individual post it notes. It is getting pretty serious when we have to write goals to take a shower! I managed to pull weeds and spread out some mulch…not much, but my body won’t let me do too much lifting and bending. Even though it feels like everyday is the same, it would probably be a good idea to keep pretending to have a “weekend”.

I don’t even know where the rest of my day went. Let’s see….I watched the daily update from our mayor. I did some laundry and made a nice meatloaf for supper. I prepared my next batch of fabric to make masks. I see so many requests for handmade masks from all over my County. There seem to be no medical masks available to purchase quickly, and our essential workers want to keep each other safe.

Those of us who are not healthcare workers or essential workers, are just asked to stay home. This virus does not discriminate. The heroes who put themselves at risk every time they go to work have my love and support.

Here are a few things that made me laugh today. Laughter is the best medicine. Some are funny because they are perhaps truths that I never considered….

Finally, here is a flower to show you all that you are in my heart❤️

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

~AoA

Quarantine Day 18

Day 18 of quarantine was pretty much a wash. Anxiety has been trying to take hold of me, and it is catching up with me now. I have had multiple nights of not sleeping well and waking up dreaming of being sick. My energy has been drained as we all just sit tight and watch as this invisible enemy takes life after life.

I went on an essential errand to the grocery store. Even that is risky these days. We keep hearing of employees at some of our grocery stores testing positive for COVID-19. The CDC has now advised everyone to wear masks when going into public to protect others, in case we may be asymptomatic. I wore my mask, and unfortunately, I choked on some air and started coughing in the store! Needless to say, I attracted attention which I didn’t want. It did make people stay far away from me. Here I am at the grocery store…

I watched the daily updates from our mayor and our governor. Our mayor seems to be very transparent and invested in our community. He is a realist, and I appreciate that a lot.

Little AoA and I worked in her doll area for a little while. We both got tired earlier than usual. I watched a new Pixar movie, “Onward”. It was really sweet and a little sad.

Little AoA finished another picture on the Lite Brite…

I love the fine motor skill practice!

May tomorrow be a little more productive.

Stay well, Stay home if you can, and check on your people❤️

~AoA

Quarantine Day 17

Day 17 felt like about a week. I had some goals for today, but I got a little distracted when our state governor finally put us under a “Stay at Home” order. My family has been practicing this already, well…except that I bought some mulch for the yard (not essential). Our new order starts at midnight tonight. Hopefully more people will follow this for the next two weeks!

One thing Little AoA and I did today, was to deliver face masks and button headbands to my older daughter’s nursing home. We made cookies for the nurses who were working today, and Little AoA made a “Thank you” picture for each nurse. Here is the picture…

She spent about an hour working on this picture, and we made copies of it for cards.

We then made a delivery to my aunt at another nursing home, where she lives. I hope they don’t stop allowing us to drop off treats at the nursing home, but I understand if they do. This is such a fragile and vulnerable population to protect!

I am missing seeing my granddaughter now. This is about the longest we have gone without having her stay a night or weekend. I think she is missing us too, because she texted me tonight. Her birthday is in May, and she knows we shop on Amazon. She shared her wish list. Here she is with her mom….taken in October.

Our little town had to cancel our annual “Mule Days”, which would have been this week, with a parade on Saturday. This is usually a huge event here for our economy.

By the evening, I was helping Little AoA reorganize her doll clothes collection. She is a great little organizer!

To end the day, I probably laughed more than I should have at this…

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

~AoA

Quarantine Day 16

We have been “safer at home” for 16 days now. Tonight I received a call that really reminded me that domestic violence does not stop for a pandemic. I didn’t answer the phone because I didn’t recognize the number. They left a message. I played it back to hear my ex mother in law. The message started ok, as she was asking if (teen son) would call his dad and grandparents. I walked back so teen son could listen to the message….oops, the message went toxic quickly! It morphed into,” If you don’t do at least that, then you’re nothin but a smart ass! You don’t care about us! You oughta be ashamed of yourself. I’m prayin for ya for God to help ya”

Well…. teen son heard that and got scared. His eyes got big, and he told me that we needed to call the police because that was a threat toward me. I had to explain that while we knew it was a threat, she didn’t use words that constituted a specific threat. He did not want to make that call, and is only suppose to have supervised visits with the dad. If he ever wanted to call the dad, I would support him. However, after tonight’s experience, he doesn’t even want to continue supervised visits once the safer at home orders are lifted. He will still have to go to visits twice a month.

I have had some flashbacks of domestic violence during this quarantine. I am so glad I am not in that situation anymore! My guard is up higher now than it has been in quite a while. The dad has a history of gun violence, and my fear is that he will crack under the pressure of the pandemic and changes, and become violent. I truly appreciate the space here to communicate my thoughts so that they don’t consume my mind!

On a happier note, Little AoA and I have made a few masks and button headbands for people at my nurse daughter’s nursing home. Little AoA also colored some “Thank you” pictures for the nurses. Tomorrow she will make some cookies for them, and we will deliver them.

The other day, I picked up a Light Bright to keep Little AoA busy with her hands. I remember it being one of my favorite toys when I was a kid. She waited until night time so she could take a picture of her first light picture in the dark.

I got to do zoom with one of my students today. I am good for about a 30 minute connection. We catch up on what we have been doing, play a quick game of Scattergories, and I try to inspire some creativity and possible projects they could work on.

We also made a connection today with Little AoA’s banjo teacher. We were all thinking about him, and missing him. It was nice to talk to him.

I am realizing how much I really appreciate all the relationships growing in my life Garden! While I consider myself an introvert of sorts, I really do love people.

Stay well, stay home if you can, and water your relationship garden❤️

~AoA

Quarantine Day 15

Today, I learned, was Transgender Day of Visibility (#TDOV). I have recently been trying to learn as much as I can about LGBTQ issues. Working in a middle school, some students start questioning around the time they go through puberty. I had never really thought about the issues in this graphic. Having a supportive person can make a huge difference! Some of my most beloved friends over the years have been part of this community. I never thought about the discrimination and hate directed toward this community until I had friends share their stories. In an effort to support my friends, I started following a group called Free Mom Hugs, a group of loving people who are accepting of LGBTQ friends who may not have support in their families.

Today was also teen son’s 14th birthday! He doesn’t really like parties, or cake, or ice cream; but the rest of the family does! We had a little family party.

Of course, Little AoA needed a “party favor”. I found a doll set for taking care of a sick doll. It seemed timely.

Our state seems to be failing at slowing the spread of COVID-19. Our county is up to 15 now confirmed. People are still going out to socialize at the essential open stores. Our governor is holding back on putting a stay home order in place. He believes everyone will just do as requested, despite the outcry from healthcare professionals and residents. I have the whole month of April off for now. There is no consistency in efforts to do virtual school or create more home packets. This week would actually be spring break. There is no telling where this will go.

I found a few things that made me laugh today.

If Little AoA wasn’t terrified of animals, this would be a time I would really appreciate a furry friend. There are a few outdoor cats that hand around sometimes, but only one of them is friendly.

Stay safe, be kind, and stay home if you can!

~AoA

Quarantine Day 14

Tonight my heart breaks for our country. She is hurting in a way I have never seen before. Our state governor finally issued an official strong recommendation to do “safer at home”, closing all non-essential businesses for two weeks. Some cities and towns were doing this already, but it wasn’t being taken seriously. At least with the whole state on the same page, we may improve the outcome some.

Today, COVID-19 made its way to a nursing home in the next county, and another one to our East. The first nursing home affected has had about 74 confirmed cases in residents and 33 cases were employees. I do worry about my daughter who is a nurse, and about my aunt and all the other residents in the nursing home where she lives. They are very vulnerable.

(The Hospital in my town)

Living in the country music capital, it was a very sad time when country singer , Joe Diffie passed away from complications of COVID-19. It was like one day it was shared that he was a confirmed case, and the next day he was gone. Here is one of his most well known hits…

I had goals for today, but not much was completed. I went to the garbage dump with a load of cardboard and wood. Little AoA did some of her school work. I made an instant pot meal for the family, and decided that anytime I have to chop an onion for a meal, I win! I finished up by completing a doll dress that Little AoA and I started sewing yesterday. I set a personal goal to learn this pattern and make a lot of them for others. Here is tonight’s dress:

On a lighter note, the world is trying to share laughter, which is good for the soul. Laughter is the best medicine…

Stay well and stay home if you can!

~AoA

Quarantine Day 13

Tonight ends day 13 of the quarantined lifestyle. It is Sunday, so grandma, Little AoA and I had church via Facebook live this morning. I was really exhausted from comforting Little AoA into the early hours of the morning when some severe thunderstorms came through. The person speaking in the church service had a really soothing voice, and I dozed off. It reminded me that there is a place of calm in the storm.

I had a couple of outdoor goals today, and it was a beautiful sunny day! I pulled some weeds, and then went to the back porch to freshen it up. Just as I was about ready to start the leaf blower, the neighbors started having a giant verbal fight! I stayed on alert, waiting to make sure that it de-escalated. Emotions are tender everywhere, and people have perhaps had more time together than they are use to. Our family went through a lot as we first adjusted to multi-generational living and mental health issues. Gladly, that seems to be behind us now. The neighbor’s to my other side were playing a family yard game of corn hole.

The pandemic is hitting close to home now, and people I love are at great risk. My 32 year old daughter is a nurse at a local nursing home. Today, a nursing home just to our north was hit by COVID-19.

My daughter’s nursing home now has to wear face masks all the time if they interact directly with residents/patients. They also serve as a rehabilitation center, and must take on new patients who are being released from the hospital.

My daughter is the nurse in the middle. They are securely locked away from visitors other than healthcare workers. My daughter is immune compromised herself, so my mama bear within is strong right now.

I noticed on social media, that others are also concerned that people are not taking the cdc guidelines and our mayor and governor’s requests seriously. It reminds me of a situation where some peer pressure might be useful. It is a shame that in our state, the powers that be has failed to take action that would assist in mitigation. He is sure that everyone will rise to the occasion with just a suggestion. It would be great if they did, but they don’t.

Interestingly, everything is starting to bloom here. Everyone has started cutting their grass, and allergies abound. Sneezing is not acceptable now!

Stay well and stay home if you can!

~AoA

Quarantine Day 12

Here we are ending day 12 of quarantine. I didn’t sleep too well, waking up when teen son ran through my room in the middle of the night. When it was actually time to get up, I started working on my list of chores and goals for the day. I did my designated errand runner trip to a local bakery to support them by getting a nice box of pastries.

I completed a set of five fabric face masks and two headbands for healthcare workers who now must wear face masks everyday. I saw the idea on social media, and thought I would give them a try. Here is the picture I saw…

I delivered the set to the nursing home where my daughter works. They are totally locked down. All deliveries are left outside on a table. A person retrieves the item once the deliverer has pulled away.

I tried to revive my sewing skills to make a doll dress. It didn’t quite work out as I planned, so it is just a prototype. I am determined to make a decent doll dress. Little AoA and I have some plans to make doll sets to give to our local domestic violence center for kids who are served there.

I stayed away from massive amounts of news today, only doing a brief check of the numbers, and noting news alerts on my phone.

I am starting to miss socializing. I don’t mind being home with the family, but I like going places with Little AoA. We are missing going to museums, shopping, and church. I miss seeing my coworkers and students. I think depression is trying to set in, but I will keep setting goals and push through….hoping it will pass.

Stay well and stay home if you can!

~AoA