Category Archives: coronavirus

Windy cold

Windy and cold today and so, so many sirens in Newton. Siren after siren. I helped a friend with a small garden this morning and came home, bathed, and slept.

I posted this quilt on Instagram saying I was going to fill in the grid with colored threads. So many people said they loved it as is (surprised me honestly) that I guess I’ll trim and finish, as is. We don’t want to create by committee but sometimes the judgment of others is useful.

Pages of the daily kind remaining blank lately. Why? Fingernails crescents of dirt. Perennial divisions going apace.

But, here’s a collage from yesterday. I was thinking about fearless women, about Colorado, and about meat.

I had just read a N.Y. Times opinion piece examining the awful conditions of the meat processing plants and meat production’s extraordinary cost to the environment.

If the article is behind a firewall, here at least is an excerpt:

We cannot protect our environment while continuing to eat meat regularly. This is not a refutable perspective, but a banal truism. Whether they become Whoppers or boutique grass-fed steaks, cows produce an enormous amount of greenhouse gas. If cows were a country, they would be the third-largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world.

Through the woods to the mall

We walked through Houghton Place which used to be called The Hamlet to get to Webster Woods. At the trail head, I asked, “Which way do you want to go?”

K responded, “Where do you want to go?”

I pointed decisively to the left.

That’s how it goes sometimes.

We threaded through the trees and came upon a man sitting by the pond making the most wonderful melodies.

Climbing up a berm, the empty mall came into view, giving off a spooky vibe. We think the tent and storage units go with Covid19 testing.

It appears that this poor creature was killed mid-meal.

Then we saw a tree offering up an example of extraordinary adaptability.

It’s been a quiet day. I didn’t have enough energy to apply to any of my projects but did make five more masks. That makes 78. So far, the number of masks-made is staying ahead of the number of days At Home (68).

We’re watching Longmire. Again. This is the equivalent of my mother-in-law watching old Gunsmoke episodes. There’s drama but I’ve seen it before and can rest in it somehow. I really like the characters, too.

What shows do you watch for rest?

I could really use a new season of The Great British Baking Show.

Pandemic Diary

Day 63 or 64 or whatever. Another collage and its companion. If the one above had a title, it might be, “the horror of graphs.”

This one might be called, “the desolation of streets.”

Waiting for Instacart in a comfy collapsible soccer/mom chair in the garage because — wait for it — it’s a little too hot in the sun.

Yesterday I planted amaranth and basil seeds in a little tray delivered by Home Depot. This morning I dropped sunflower seeds right into the ground near the foundation out front. I am edging and weeding and transplanting in a daily rhythm that feels effortless somehow, and satisfying. Not much else feels that way lately.

We are planning to have a circular patio with an 18′ diameter installed, as well as a 26′ path of stepping stones from the garage.

Needless to say, the contractor who repeatedly asked, of the circle’s dimension, “18 by what?” did not get the job.

Here’s a heads up to all those folks who think a mask detracts from their appearance or their liberties: Galvin-Instacart-delivery-man, with his shaved head, tight T-shirt, and yes, mask, was about as good looking as they come!

Just as I’m starting to get a routine, I’m also starting to get sick of the routine. I unload in the garage, wearing gloves and mask. Pantry items get parked and stay untouched for four days or longer. (You’ll also note the mail piles, representing a four day rotation).

I save all plastic bags, but they also go into a rotation such that none will be touched before a week or so has gone by.

Inside, I plop goods into a hot water and bleach solution and rinse in hot water. I used to do this in the garage. It is much easier at the sink.

Finn waits out these proceedings in his crate.

It’s all a little perfunctory at this point and honestly, grocery shopping is one of the lower risk outings one can make. Nevertheless, I’ll keep going this way for a while.

I’m happy to report that my brother finished his ten ER shifts at Stonybrook, Long Island and is heading back to LA tomorrow. We will all feel even more relief at about ten days out, symptom-free.

Meanwhile, younger EMT-certified son is considering throwing himself into the fray and I actually support the idea.

I’m not a terribly good follower these days. News takes up most of my media bandwidth. The fact that the magenta robe was an exercise in extreme frustration made me wonder about how I set priorities. Never mind why.

It’s time to piece the back for the sixth of six panels for C’s quilt and do a little research on the best way to assemble the panels. They will all have been hand quilted at that point.

And, it’s also time to pick up manuscript after a short hiatus. Lots of writing happening here these days, just not that. The author-consultant who was supposed to start reading in mid-April has been delayed until beginning of June. I have the last fifth of the book to edit before then.

June is around the corner. Can you believe it?

Cover ‘em up

You know why it snowed here just outside of Boston, don’t you? In May? Because I just at long last and much later than usual put away the winter hats, scarves, mittens, and gloves.

With a chill wind at our backs, we three set out. Signs of the season were everywhere, most notably an abundance of maple flowers. They littered the road, sewer grates, and rock walls as if spring’s answer to snow.

Crystal Lake was closed, not due to social distancing measures, but because it’s being treated to prevent algae growth. Last year, a bloom turned deadly and killed quite a few unsuspecting dogs.

If ever I stayed behind for too long to take a picture, Finn turned back over and over to check on my progress. Look at him as I photograph a dramatic bole.

Lastly, I apologize for not yet responding to the comments of my last post. There’s been a bit of a funk going on here which isn’t depression but kinda resembles it. I don’t know what it is. I’ll chalk it up to the pandemic.

But let me say how grateful I am for the depth of sharing here. I know I keep saying this but it feels necessary to do so and true.

I will not likely burn my Pages until I have done SOMETHING with them, but the timing of that something matters. A strategy will matter. At Deb’s suggestion, I boxed them up and got them out of my writing space. An energetic shift, for sure — a sense of relief, of space opening up. Clutter management but more. I’ll have more to say about this soon.

Day 59 of Home Containment.

Ponder switch ponder more

In the room where I write, various robe ideas are being auditioned. The beige linen is too small, I’ve discovered, so even if it is to be a vest, cloth has to be added to the sides. Bah. Makes the lavender linen more appealing after all. Maybe I can in fact find colors to go with it?

Food procurement has been a little nuts this week mostly because of my pea brain. I ended up with three orders in five days. Not what I intended.

Four dozen eggs? Six heads of lettuce? You can tell what I ran out of several weeks back. I feel like a dolt.

I am sick and tired of walking the dog in a light rain with temps in the thirties. Often, the LOW thirties. Seriously shitty weather here for too long. I can hardly talk to son and brother in LA with them complaining about a heat wave.

For our second walk today, the sky cleared a little and temps rose to the fifties.

Much discussion in writing class today and elsewhere about how our habits have changed because of the coronavirus. What’s changed for the better? What of our old life maybe needs to be surrendered? How are we finding the increased quiet, the slower pace (if so lucky to be afforded that?) Read Kristin’s comment from yesterday. More on this from me later.

More cold. More rain.

Added a skirt. Going to put some more yellow at the bottom of the woven strips. The seam line lands in an awkward spot on me. Hope it works better on someone else!

Going to turn the neck under with a hand stitch or add a bias tape binding (if I have any left. Turned a few old packs into ties for masks).

No sleeves.

This mask makes 60. For a neighbor who is a pediatrician. If I were a kid, I’d love seeing that frog on my doctor’s face.

Words mostly elsewhere by

Sitting down right now at the laptop with a boiled egg, coffee, and commitment that might be described as fierce. Got to get through the next chunk of manuscript where very severe cuts will be required. Hurm hurm (Harley sound effect).

Many other words could be called upon to describe this day, this cold and blustery Earth Day, this Day 42 of Containment, but I must conserve. Besides, I don’t want to make you crazy with all my robe-making changes of mind. So here is a story of the morning in pictures.

PS Acey I haven’t forgotten that I promised you a copy of that picture of Prince!

PPS I’ve gained 15 pounds since making my card stock body model in a class of Jude’s some time ago, but that should only impact boob-sizing and with a loose robe, even that isn’t critical.

Gorgeous print of Harriet Tubman painting by South Carolinian artist Natalie Daise aka @gullahmama on Instagram. Her work is gorgeous and her prices really, really reasonable.

Alright, so I lied. I am busy procrastinating in full-throated style! But before I go, some thanks are in order.

First, I want to thank Nancy for so sweetly gathering up her threads and shipping them to me from California. The package is decontaminating in the garage and right now all I really care about is that she gets well!

Also, thank you Joanne. There is something about the steadiness of her day by day reporting that I find so reassuring right now. It doesn’t hurt that she talks about food even more than I do! Tonight, based on something mentioned there, I’ll be making chili. Thank you Joanne.

Lastly, to all who weighed in on the backyard — thank you. To be continued!