Thursday, April 30, 2020

Not Green Enough

Each day our Kentucky governor talks about the new coronavirus deaths, noting their sex, age, and county, and asks us to light up our homes or buildings green to remember them.  Yesterday I found this pale green votive holder with my holiday stash, but when I lit the candle on my porch, there was barely a green tint.  I'll keep looking.

Usually, there are about ten Kentucky deaths.  There is a hospital that I can see out my dining room window, and that is where the northern Kentucky patients are sent.  I have no idea how many are there.  I worry about them.

Beginning May 11 we will be asked to wear masks as new locations open.  I've had several requests, so I'll need to get started on those.  In my perfect world, I'd love to put a supply of masks on a bush by my sidewalk so neighbors can take what they need, but my sewing world hasn't been that perfect.  So, I'll give them to folks who ask.

My days are uneven.  I'll have good days, then for no apparent reason, not-so-good days.  Days when I cook and days when I eat crackers and cheese.  Days when I try to reach out to people who might need a boost and days when I . . . don't.  Days when I turn on my sewing machine, days when it stays quiet.  

Saturday, April 25, 2020

The Salmon Story

No picture today, just this story.

When I made out my grocery pick-up order, I decided to see if I could get a piece of fresh salmon.  Last time, I ordered there was none available when the pick-up day came.  This time the option was for 2 1/2 pounds, too much for me, so I asked my daughter if she would like half if I ordered it.  Yes.

Yesterday morning when the text list of possible substitutions came, the salmon choice was for a one-pound fillet in place of 2 1/2 pounds.  So, ok.  Being the mom, I decided I'd just give Steph and Nora the small piece and say nothing more about it.

But when I unpacked my groceries, there was a huge piece of salmon, 4 pounds.  It was enormous.  I've learned in the past that grocery store salmon doesn't freeze well, I'm guessing because it had previously been frozen.  So, I cut off about a pound for myself and sent the rest with Steph.

She and Nora had some for dinner, with enough left over for lunch.  Then she cooked the rest and shared it with two other families.

And I felt happy, the happiest I've felt in days.  I enjoy feeding people but these days I don't cook big meals.  One of my favorite things is to take my family out for a meal.  I know that it will be a long time before that happens again, big groups of people in restaurants.  I know I'll miss that.

This other way of sharing food was a blessing to me.  It lifted my spirits.  It gave me hope, and that has been in short supply. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2020


My bed.  It pulls me in during the afternoon.  A seductive siren.

Yesterday I was working on a beaded stocking when I spilled the container of little black seed beads.  They scattered everywhere on the hardwood floor.  I know I'll be finding little beads forever.  But to actually find them when I need them, not so easy.  I need to look under the couch, maybe I can find enough to finish the project.

I felt so bad.  One of the protesters was saying that we shouldn't be so concerned about old people, they will just die from the flu next year anyway.  Prior to all this, I often felt that my life was too small, but I love my little life  It's precious to me.

Our Kentucky governor seems firm about not easing restrictions yet, while we are in the plateau.  Looking at the data and the science.  But the Tennessee governor is ready to go ahead.  We share a long border.  Ohio will probably move more slowly.

But for today, this day, it is sunny with afternoon high's in the upper 60's.

Monday, April 20, 2020


I miss the grand kids.  Even miss Maggie.  When I finally get back to their house, will Maggie remember me?  Will she be so happy waiting for me at the top of the stairs?  Making that strange Maggie welcoming sound, wanting to be petted?  Although she isn't smiling in this picture, Maggie is a dog with a smile.  I like that.

I am missing baseball, of all things.  Missing the fireworks on the riverfront.  Missing the statistics and the stories, I love those.  There is nothing, nothing, like sitting at the ballpark in the late afternoon watching the evening come in.  I miss youth baseball.  And softball.

It should be a warmer week, and for that I am grateful.  Warmer weather will get me out the door.  

I have my grocery order in place and a time locked in - not until Friday.  Now I'm working on the second part, what I'll add toward the end of the week.  Not the things I get every time, like yogurt and crackers, but the things I might want to cook.  The good stuff.  What I've learned:  three weeks is too long between orders.  Not that I don't have plenty, I do, but I too quickly ate the stuff I especially enjoy.

I haven't had any take-out since the quarantine started, but I'm seriously thinking about Gold Star and their vegetarian Cincinnati chili.  But, I have no mask.  I've made masks for others but none for me.  I might just have to fix that.  I'm thinking about the four-way with spaghetti, chili, beans, soft shredded cheese.  The sauce has cinnamon, among other things.  You might need to try it to appreciate it.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Moving Forward

From today's Mary Engelbreit calendar, Do the Breit Thing 2020 Calendar.  I hope she will be gracious about my posting it.

Prior to looking at the calendar, I wrote in my Morning Pages that, in the early conversations about "opening up" the country, it becomes clear that elderly (ahem) people will need to continue quarantining for longer.  And that I need a plan for that.  I can't just keep drifting along in my days, being low energy, listing my daily goals and sometimes accomplishing them and sometimes not.

Actually, I need to cut myself just a little slack, I usually do accomplish them but it might be several days down the road.  And I've come to realize that my life has creativity over structure, and I don't want to lose that.  Just get more balance.

Last week was a little easier.  The weather was warmer, I could be outside.  There was Easter to look forward to.  This week hasn't been so good.  At all.

And so, I'll start thinking about what I can do differently in the days ahead.  Maybe I could plan meals for the week, take that uncertainty off my plate.  Maybe I could eat meals at a designated time.  I don't know, I'll think on these things. 

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Happy Easter

Happy Easter, everyone.

The Lord is risen
The Easter Bunny is an essential worker.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Hot Cross Buns

Thanks to Sarah and Winnie for ordering hot cross buns for me to pick up.  They are beautiful.  Sarah said I could call from my car and someone would bring them out, but there was no one at the drive through so I pulled up there.  So easy.

From a friend's facebook post, with a picture of the Grinch:
It came without dresses, it came without ties.  It came without baskets, eggs, hams, or pies.  And he puzzled and puzzled 'til his puzzler was sore.  Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before.  What if Easter, he thought, doesn't come from a store.  What if Easter, perhaps, means a little bit more.

I love that Grinch section of the book, read it to my girls probably a million times.  I bought our Grinch book at a 50% after-Christmas sale.  It was a time when the flu was prevalent in Detroit and I hesitated to go to the store, but I really wanted that book.

My Cincinnati daughter is without power after our Wednesday night storms.  The utility website says they should get their power back by midnight tonight.  They were able to borrow a generator for their refrigerators.  It's a bad time for people to lose power when they are stocked up with groceries to reduce trips to the store and because kids are home.

Yesterday was low-motivation.  Today will be a better day.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Table Cloth

Spring has brought a change of table cloth for this little table.  Winnie found the table in the curb side trash in New York City years ago and somehow managed to drag it to her apartment.  It's heavy.  It lived in the living room in Asheville, and when Sarah and Winnie moved out of that house it came to me.

Running through my mind this morning is this favorite hymn:
How Can I Keep from Singing
Audrey Assad

My life flows on in endless song;
Above earth's lamentation,
I hear the sweet, though far-off hymn
That hails a new creation

Through all the tumult and the strife,
I hear that music ringing
It finds an echo in my soul
How can I keep from singing?

There are more, and slightly more religious, verses.  You can look them up if you wish.

Hammering goes on down the street.  They are now adding a room on top of the roof of an addition.  Surely, surely, this can't be to code.  But maybe the code office is closed. 

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Sewing with the Governor

The stocking is finished.  The stocking I started maybe a year and a half ago.  The final push came when I started working on it during the KY governor's chats at 5:00.  Who is it for?  No one in particular, really.  My neighbor got me interested in picking it up.  

I have a couple more beading kits that I squirreled away years ago.  I'll start on a new one today, a banner.  Years ago, I made stockings for each of my girls.  Neither had quite the amount of beadwork and embroidery as this one.

Every day at 5:00, we commit with the governor to getting through this together.  We see examples of people doing social distancing or working.  We study flattening the curve.  Yesterday we learned that there has been a steep decline in the state's flu diagnoses.  We learn about the number of tests, positive cases, and deaths.  We learn about any new orders.  There is a question and answer session that is always interesting.  

All that takes about an hour.  High marks to Governor Beshear for doing that day after day.

Today will be laundry day.  I'm learning that during this time I have energy for just one project each day.  Any extra is a bonus.  And I've learned that any cooking needs to be done before 5:00.  After that, I'm just depleted.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Rookie Mistake

I was monogramming the first pocket on a set of seven flannel shirts (don't ask) and somehow let another part of the shirt get under the embroidery.  Rookie mistake.  It took HOURS to get all those little stitches picked out.  I managed to do it without getting a hole in the shirt.  I am appreciative of my seam ripper but I don't want to see it again any time soon.

Luckily for me, the person who wants the flannel shirts said to just sew the pockets shut.  Otherwise I would have had to take the pockets off, monogram, then sew them back on.  Which actually would have taken about the same time as all that ripping.

Looking forward to seeing my friends at ZOOM church tomorrow morning.  It's one of the highlights of my week.  That, and the governor at 5:00 every day.  My friends and I notice the changes.  He had a new water bottle today and a polo shirt.  The regular sign language person had the day off.  There was a new graph.

There was a question about a church that continues to hold services.  His usual response is to remind the church that they will not want to look around at Christmas and see people missing,  Most churches comply, but there are a very few who resist.

I won't be shopping at Hobby Lobby from here on out.  Not that they will miss me because they weren't on my good list anyway.