Monday 30 March 2020

Starting Week 3 of Isolation

Another uneventful day. It rained quite heavily this morning but, after working out for an hour and finishing the newspaper, I had a burst of energy (must have been the endorphins) and got several household chores completed. 

   The rain started to peter off around noon so I took the opportunity to walk down to the drug store although it was still spitting. I checked my P.O. Box. This is the one I use for the monthly lunch cheques - nothing in it because the April lunch has been cancelled but, you never know. 

   Before leaving the drug store I checked my blood pressure - systolic, high normal (I did a second check and it was down a bit), not surprising considering how stressful things are presently; diastolic, in the normal range.

   The rest of the day went as usual. Lunch followed by a nap, read a bit, worked on my puzzle, read some more, had a look to see if anything else has appeared in the garden (nope) but the rhubarb is showing some signs of life.

   Fixed dinner then checked my e-mails - and that's it for my day!

Dinner of fried fish and brussel sprouts. This was too much food so I saved some for another day.

Didn't spend so much time on my puzzle today but it is getting easier.

Sunday 29 March 2020

A Quiet Sunday

   This will be a very boring post today. Quite heavy rain this morning but dry by noon and sunny for most of the afternoon. It actually got quite hot while I was out for my walk - I had to discard my jacket. A first for this year.

  Eating leftovers tonight - a bit of salmon, some brussell sprouts, the last of Friday's rib steak and a salad. Also the rice pudding which was seriously delicious. Who knew?

Don't know what these are called but they virtually sprang up overnight in a sunny spot and there are more to come.

The puzzle progresses!

Saturday 28 March 2020

Filling the Days

   A very quiet day today chez moi and a bit drizzly but not cold. I managed a walk down the ravine between showers and did a bit of housework. Other than that it has been reading or working on my puzzle. Still plenty of food in the house and I have been scouring the backs of cupboards for any neglected items that need eating up. I found some rice that I used to use to make sushi, and made a rice pudding with it. A first attempt and the recipe was rather fussy, but the final product was quite delicious.

   Yesterday was a brilliant day and I spent most of it outdoors, walking, gardening and just sitting on my deck. In fact I may have overdone it somewhat as my face was really hot by the evening. I don't usually sit out in the sun, especially in summer, preferring to sit in the shade, but I hadn't realized the sun was quite so strong at this time of the year.

   While setting out for my walk today I had a long distance chat with a neighbour. She is almost over a bout of the virus, contracted on a recent cruise (or more likely on the plane home). She has another week of self isolation at home but was quite cheerful. Yesterday a friend phoned and we chatted for almost an hour so I am managing to keep up social contacts while physically distancing. 

The first stage of the puzzle. The border is almost complete and all the pieces turned right way up.

Thursday 26 March 2020

Keeping Busy

  This month's RTO Executive meeting was to have been held today but, aside from not having anywhere to hold it, meetings are now banned. So, a phone conference was arranged for this morning. Despite the fact that I screwed up the entry code, it went off well. All items were shared and discussed, everyone got to give their report and, best of all, it was over in just under an hour. Usually it takes 2 - 2 1/2 hours to get through the whole agenda. Bonus!

    The current jigsaw puzzle is finished and a new one is waiting in the wings. It was part of the "care package" from the family. I will start it later today. I think it will be easier than this one. Watch for a daily report of its progress.

I found that there were two pieces missing. Hope they turn up the next time I vacuum!

Lots of detail which should make it easier but the picture is decidedly unhelpful.

   Here are the books I am currently reading. I haven't read Wilbur Smith for some time but this particular book of historical fiction is really holding my attention - fast moving, adventurous and a little bit racy!

I have just dipped into "The Kitchen House" and I think I will enjoy it - also historical fiction. It was also in the "care package" - my daughter and I have the same taste in books.

Wednesday 25 March 2020

A Sign of the Times

   Quite a changed experience at the grocery store today - I had to go out to deposit a cheque so stopped by on my way home. First, there was a line up outside, one person out, one person in. I only had to wait about ten minutes and the sun was shining so I didn't mind. 

   The store was blissfully empty and I whizzed around and picked up everything I needed. I kept my gloves on and was careful to avoid other shoppers. At the checkout everyone stood well over a metre apart and there was a plexiglass screen between the customer and the cashier - quite rightly so. Only one spot for cash, they are encouraging everyone to use plastic, which I usually do anyway. The line at the cash checkout was very long. So, I think I managed to avoid picking up any germs.

   Still nice this afternoon so I had another long walk - lots of others doing the same but we all were careful to avoid getting too close. The next few days are forecast to be a bit miserable so I will be happy to stay indoors. Progress on the jigsaw puzzle but I am having to use the "try every piece" method which is very tedious!

Almost done!

   One other thing, I used the drive through ATM to deposit my cheque but it wouldn't work while I was wearing my gloves - had to touch the buttons with my bare fingers. Ughh!!

Tuesday 24 March 2020

A Rude Awakening.

   This was what I awakened to yesterday morning. Thankfully it had all disappeared by the afternoon but it was a miserable, damp day. It is still March, after all.

New growth poking through the snow. Hope they survive!

   I am working on my hardest puzzle but should be able to finish ahead of my Easter deadline.

This was the easy part! Now for the tricky stuff, the ceiling.

Saturday 21 March 2020

Social Distancing

  Somehow I am managing to fill the days. Today was brilliantly sunny but very cold. Only 1C (windchill, -16C) when I went out for my morning walk. Hardly saw a soul and not many cars on the streets. It is a very weird time, for sure. It warmed up a bit in the afternoon and I worked in the garden.

   I had one conversation with a neighbour this afternoon. She was driving up the street while I was raking the front lawn, and we chatted at a distance of 5 feet. She shared that another neighbour is sick with the virus after returning from a cruise. 

   I also had a phone call from my son, making sure I was all right. He still has to work so I was glad not to have physical contact with him. I hope he stays healthy. Tomorrow I may Skype the grandkids, I haven't seen them for almost two weeks. Anyway, here's something that will really cheer you up!


Friday 20 March 2020

First Sign of Spring

   Milder today but rainy and very windy. Here's what I found as I did a bit of garden tidy-up in between the showers.

A small clump of crocuses. They won't last long but I will enjoy their cheerful little faces for a day or two.

Thursday 19 March 2020

My New Toy

   This is something I have craved for some time. I love my morning coffee but hate having to empty and clean my French Press afterwards. I came across this machine half price at Value Village and, fortunately, it works and the coffee is delicious! There were no instructions with it but a quick You Tube search supplied me with a how-to of its operation. Nothing too complicated. I am so pleased with my new toy!

Wednesday 18 March 2020

An Update

   Thought I'd better write today to let everyone know I'm still alive and kicking.

   Met friends yesterday but that will be the last people I speak to until the weekend. I will just have to communicate by phone or e-mail (of which there have been lots flying back and forth). I had a short walk today to mail a letter but have spent my time reading or working on my puzzle.It is a 1000 piece one I have done before and it will probably take me right up to Easter!

   We had some sunny days earlier in the week but today was quite cold. If it warms up I will get a start on the garden, raking and digging. And, of course, I couold always start on Spring cleaning!

Saturday 14 March 2020

Best Laid Plans Gang Aft Aglai

   As those of you who follow my blog (all 16 of you!) will know, Saturday morning is grocery shopping. Today I deemed it wise to set off early, which in my case was 8:30. But not early enough!

    When I arrived at the store there was a lineup of 20-30 people all with their shopping carts at the ready. The store manager had deemed the store too full to accept any more customers. We could see through the windows huge lineups at the cashiers and people were streaming out with loaded buggies, and I mean loaded, obviously stockpiling in case the grocery stores were closed or ran out of essentials. After 20 minutes of waiting without the line moving I gave up and came home as I hadn`t had breakfast and was getting thoroughly chilled.

    Time passed. I did a few chores, had lunch, had a nap, read my book. By 4:00 p.m. I deemed the rush to stockpile would be past so toddled off to the store again. Luckily it is fairly close. This time there was no lineup, there were even some buggies available so things were definitely looking up! The aisles were not too jammed for me to get around and, although some shelves were empty, almost everything on my list was still there. The only thing I couldn`t find was my preferred extra old cheddar cheese but there were other types still in plenty. It was a bizarre experience.

   The best part was that the store had laid on extra cashiers so I was able to walk right up to the checkout and actually completed my shopping trip in record time. Only problem, I was half way through putting away the groceries before I remembered to WASH MY HANDS!

   An update on yesterday: now the community centres and libraries are closed until at least April 6th. Any suggestions on how to fill my days till then?


Friday 13 March 2020

What's Cancelled? Everything!

    I am in for a few very boring weeks due to this awful virus. Just heard today that next Tuesday's lunch is off and probably Thursday's Probus meeting. Anything with over 100 people is now taboo. The classes at the community centres are finished until April and if they close (which they may well do) I will be completely out of activities - no Bridge games or Pickleball. Luckily I have lots of puzzles to do and books to read - that is until they close the libraries!

   I have a lunch date with friends on Friday but that may also have to go as one of them has a medically compromised daughter and can't take the chance of carrying back an infection. 

   I am well stocked with supplies and should be able to last a couple of weeks but they will be long and boring. At least I will be able to go outdoors and to the shops unlike the poor people in self-isolation. That would drive me bonkers!

   Meanwhile here are a couple of photos to show life goes on:

This was a very tasty vegetarian pie I made last week. It did me two dinners and a lunch with salad and pickled beetroot.

This south-facing patch is where I plant tomatoes and it was covered with snow until two weeks ago. So far there are two clumps of chives, garlic shoots, daffodils and tulips appearing. Hope springs eternal!

Thursday 5 March 2020

This Too Shall Pass

   I have been bothered with a headache for the last few days (I hardly ever get them) so thought I was coming down with something. Today it has eased off but is still lingering a bit so I think I am on the mend. I did manage to get to tennis and played two sets before retiring gracefully. Next week should be easier.

   Sunny and mild today so I was out of my winter coat and into a lighter jacket and no gloves or hat! That's a first for this year. Book Club this afternoon and we had an interesting discussion of Carol Off's book "All We Left Behind". It is a factual account of her frustrating attempt to get an Afghan family admitted to Canada as refugees. Not a great reflection of the Canadian Refugee Acceptance System.

   Here's what I found in my back yard today. The end (of Winter) is in sight!

Yes, something (probably daffodils) has sprouted!

...but at the other end of the yard, still Winter.

Wednesday 4 March 2020

A Healthier Me (I hope)

  I started the day with an hour working out - 20 minutes cardio, then abdominals, stretching and weights. I use a video to keep me motivated. After I had recovered from that and had some breakfast, I walked to the senior's centre, 20 minutes. It was breezy but sunny so very pleasant, temperature in the low single digits. 

   On the way back (another 20 minutes) the wind had turned around to come from the north and there were a few snowflakes so I was glad of my winter coat. However, I don't think there will be any accumulation as the ground is beginning to warm up.

   All in all, a reasonable amount of exercise and fresh air so I should sleep well tonight!

Sunday 1 March 2020

Dancing Up a Storm

   Two beautiful sunny days have reduced the piles of snow somewhat and today got up into positive numbers. I even sat out on my back porch with hat and gloves off to soak up some rays. We are due several more mild days this week but winter is not done with us quite yet.

   At dance class today we were practicing dances for St. Patrick's Day so they all had an Irish theme. There was a strathspey called City of Belfast, a reel, The Irish Rovers, and two jigs, The Leprauchan and, my favourite "Bailey's Irish Cream". Here are some dancers doing the Irish Rover. We are not quite as accomplished as them but we do enjoy ourselves.