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

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