- That's right. On Sunday, the MRC I live in was moved to the "Red Zone". Our province has a colour-coded alert system with varying restrictions, and due to rising case numbers in our area, we were Red Zone'd on Sunday. Truly, it doesn't affect me all that much. This level of alert means indoor dining rooms, bars, gyms, conference centres have to close... I haven't done anything but take-out since this all started, and we all know I don't go to a gym. ha! It also means no private gatherings, but it does allow for people who live alone to have one visitor - so my mom and I are still good. That has always been my main concern.
- Being in the Red Zone meant a much smaller Thanksgiving this year, but we had already kind of planned on that anyways. Mom still insisted on cooking a turkey, but we did not have the whole family around the table as usual. Instead, we settled for an outdoor socially-distanced visit on Monday. And I keep marveling at how far I've come since last spring. 6 months ago, this would have devastated me. Now, I'm okay with it. I can handle it. I just hope we don't have to repeat these "very different holiday celebrations" for much longer.
- I managed to wound myself on Sunday. And, as usual for me, it is one of the most mysterious injuries ever. Normal injuries don't happen to me, only weird ones. I literally did nothing. I was sitting almost all day. Maybe that was the problem? I don't know, but late afternoon, I developed a very sore leg. Specifically behind my right knee, like it was tight and pulling, making walking difficult. By Monday, it was almost impossible to put weight on that leg. I was hobbling pretty badly. And of course, my worry was growing. I really don't want to have to go to a hospital right now. Tuesday was still pretty bad, but yesterday seemed to be a bit better, and by last night, I felt like I was almost able to walk normally again. Today, the tightness is still there behind the knee, but it's not terrible pain anymore. I also seem to have a stiff and sore calf muscle, but again, not as bad as yesterday, and I'm able to put full weight on it now without feeling like it might give out. It's still a big mystery to me, but I'm just glad it's getting better!
- If this had happened after one of the few times lately that I'VE FALLEN THROUGH MY GARAGE FLOOR lately, I might understand. Yes, you read that right. I keep falling through my garage floor. sigh. Back in the spring, I had a groundhog burrowing into my garage. He was eventually caught in a live trap and re-located, and his holes into my garage were filled, but apparently he left tunnels under the dirt floor unbeknownst to me. Why am I falling through them now? Why has this taken months? Have I suddenly put on weight?? I do not know. But let's just say I'm stepping very gingerly in there these days!!
- I so enjoyed my 3-day holiday weekend. I feel like it was much-needed. I did a quick house-cleaning on Friday when I got home so that I would be free to just enjoy the downtime. I made homemade pizza and settled in to enjoy a weekend of crocheting, binging The Haunting of Bly Manor on Netflix, snacking, and resting. I did make more pumpkin bread and I also made pumpkin fudge, whipped up a spinach dip because I'd been craving it, changed my bedding to my "winter" bedroom outfit... and just a lot of lounging, Netflixing, and enjoying. It was wonderful!
- As for Bly Manor - I made it through the whole thing, and I really enjoyed it!! I didn't find this one quite as scary as Hill House, but that's okay in my books. There were enough jump scares and gasps for my liking. Without giving too much away, I find both series kind of tied up in a "happy ending" of sorts, which apparently pisses off true horror fans, but works quite nicely for me! I very rarely get to truly "binge" a series, so getting through all 9 episodes in 3 days felt like a victory!!
- The final season of Schitts Creek hit Netflix late last week too, and I've been dying to see it. This TV show has been one of my greatest joys this year. After hearing about it for years, I finally started watching it just before the pandemic hit, and those first five seasons brought me much-needed smiles and laughter during some very dark days. I was so excited to see how the show wrapped up, plus it provided some light and fun viewing in between the creepy Bly Manor episodes. I finished it up last night, and while I'm so sad that it is over, I am just so happy they went out on a high note and on their own terms. I'm already looking forward to watching the whole thing again!
- I finally - FINALLY - finished crocheting pumpkins this past Sunday. DONE with pumpkins for another year!! I was so happy to sell a bunch of sets this year, and I'm so grateful that people seemed to like them and want them! But after a solid month of crocheting pumpkins, I was super pumped to be done with them. lol! On to the next project! A while back, my friend Lindsay showed me a few photos of a cute little crocheted toque she wanted for her little girl (and my god-daughter) Lainey. She asked if I thought I could make it, and I said sure! I really had no idea if I could do it or not, but I found a pattern and it sounded simple enough. I tried it out on Monday, and I was SO happy with the results!! Even better, Lindsay - and Lainey! - like it too. How cute is she?! :)
- Yesterday, my nephew - the one who made me an auntie - turned 15. How can this be?! I remember the events of the day of his birth vividly. I can recall his adorable little boy moments as if they happened yesterday. I honestly cannot believe how fast the time flies... I was sad to be missing out on his birthday celebrations this year, but when I heard he requested shepherds pie for his birthday supper, then I didn't mind missing it so much. hahaha!!! Not his auntie's favourite supper!! ;)
- This coming weekend is, of course, another quiet one on deck. I might try to get the grass cut one last time for the year. And since Bly Manor occupied most of my viewing time last weekend, I do have a lot of scary movies still to get through with ample time to do so. I'm working on crocheted Christmas gifts now, so I'll have lots of time for that, and I think I'll get a pot of spaghetti sauce finally made for the freezer. Covid sucks but I do so enjoy these quiet, low-key weekends!
Thursday, October 15, 2020
Tuesday, October 06, 2020
Over the past month, we have had a few frosts, the leaves have changed colour and started to fall, and the cozy autumn feeling has enveloped me... My favourite time of year is here!
And yet, how can I really enjoy - truly embrace - my favourite time of year during these stressful pandemic times? Everything is just a little off these days, tinged with fear, worry, and anxiety. We are well into the "second wave" they have been warning us about all summer, and so far, it appears to be just as bad as it was in the spring, if not worse. Yesterday, my province broke the record for most cases in one 24-hour period. The case count in my area continues to climb, after we remained mostly unscathed in the spring. The restrictions are increasing, the feeling of doom is impending...
And yet, it is still my favourite time of year, and my mood is remarkably different than how I felt in the spring. When I step outside, I take a deep breath of that earthy autumn air and I smile at the colours, the cool air, the crunch of the leaves beneath my feet. I have things I am looking forward to: watching scary movies, binging The Haunting of Bly Manor, working on crochet projects, baking pumpkin bread and making spaghetti sauce. Hunkering down and hibernating is something I am good at, and while back in the spring I grew terrified of it, I am now relishing it.
I guess back in March and April, everything was still so "unknown". We now have almost 7 months of Covid life under our belts now, and while things are still scary, I have a little better understanding of what to expect. Back then, I was most terrified of being isolated from my mother (we both live alone), hence, why I moved in with her at the time. But now I am quite comfortable in knowing that even if things get really really bad and we are moved to the "red zone", I think I would still be allowed to visit her.
For now, I am keeping my bubble as tight as possible. I go to work every day, of course, so I am exposed to folks in the office. But other than that, I go to my house and my mom's house. I have been around my brother and his kids. And that's about it. I only go to the store when absolutely necessary, and last week I stocked up on groceries that should see me through til at least the end of October.
And truthfully, I have enough to keep me busy for a while. I have a number of orders for crocheted items to complete, and as I mentioned, a lengthy list of spooky movies to watch. I am also enjoying cooking and baking - last weekend I made pumpkin bread, meatballs, and scalloped potatoes. This weekend, I'd like to try pumpkin fudge and maybe make that pot of sauce I picked up the ingredients to make.
Honestly, while I'm sad all of the fun fall things have been cancelled, I'm kind of soaking up all the spare time to just relax. There's less running, less trying to cram everything in, less stress in that respect. My sadness is mostly over the fact that this would normally be a time when we would celebrate Thanksgiving and my nephew Caden's birthday, and that likely won't be happening, at least not in our traditional way. Yet I still anticipate that we will figure out a way to making this coming weekend special, and I'm hoping for at least a little outdoor visit with my sister's family (we haven't seen them much since school started, and boy do I miss them.)
Overall, I am in a much better place mentally that I was when the first wave hit, and as we come up to the time when we think of all we are thankful for, I am most grateful for that. I hope that I can continue this way, and keep my spirits up. And every day, I continue to hope for some good news... The numbers going down, maybe some kind of scientific break-through, news on a vaccine... anything that gives us hope that "normal times" might come again. I have to have faith that this isn't going to last forever.
Wednesday, September 02, 2020
- Another dark and gloomy day. Another day that would be perfect to be curled up and cozy at home. Oddly enough, I had no trouble hopping out of bed this morning, despite the darkness and the gloom. Go figure.
- My impulse to start diving into my fall scary movie watching has hit very early this year. Thoughts of what creepy stuff I'd be watching if I was at home today keep running through my mind... I see The Blair Witch Project has been added to Prime, and I haven't seen it since I was a teen. I also keep thinking of The Exorcism of Emily Rose, since my brother and I talked about it not long ago (the scene where her boyfriend wakes up and finds her contorted on the floor is one of the most startling I've ever seen). And yet, I don't want to get into it all too early and burn myself out. I did that two years ago, so I have to be careful!
- One thing that I DO want to watch, and it will probably freak me out beyond belief, is The Haunting of Bly Manor, which is coming to Netflix in October. It is the next "anthology" after The Haunting of Hill House, which I watched in 2018 and was one of the scariest things I've ever watched. The bent-neck lady haunted me for a long time. But I have a different game plan this year. Last time, I spread out watching the show, no more than one episode a day and usually in daylight hours so I wouldn't over-dose on scary. But in the long run, I think it just dragged it out and I suffered longer because of it. This time I want to watch it all in one weekend (probably the weekend it comes out - a true binge!), rip the band-aid off all at once... get a bunch of fun snacks and hit the couch and scare the bejesus out of myself. Doesn't that sound like fun?!
- I know what you're thinking... this does not sound like it's fun for me at all. So why do I keep doing it?? I have no frigging idea. All I know is when the days start getting cooler and there's a hint of fall in the air, I automatically start thinking about scary movies. It's like I'm programmed, or it's in my blood or something. I have absolutely no clue.
- My September mission is to get through The Office, which I am re-watching on Netflix, so that I am free to move on to the scary stuff come October. I have 3 seasons to go, and I have been flying through it relatively quickly, so I don't think it will be a problem. I can easily watch three or four episodes in one sitting!
- So this coming weekend - the Labour Day long weekend - would normally be Shawville Fair, which of course has been cancelled due to Covid-19. I anticipated feeling very blue going into this weekend, and yet strangely, I'm not feeling blue at all. In fact, I'm kind of really looking forward to a weekend of nothing, just relaxing, maybe some house cleaning, crocheting, movies/tv, hanging with the fam... Doesn't sound too shabby, does it?
- I AM hoping to talk my mom into coming with me to get McDonalds take out at some point this weekend... I've been dying for McD's for a while, and while I'm still not comfortable with eating in a restaurant, I was thinking the drive-thru is very doable... This won't be easy though because my mom hates McDonalds. Wish me luck.
- This week has been back-to-school for most students in our area, and for three of my nieces and nephews. (Caden got pushed back to Sept. 8th for his start). So I also anticipated feeling blue over that, my usual back-to-school icks. And yet, I'm very confused, because I haven't felt the usual icks or end of summer blues that I normally get. Like, at all. Maybe because I'm just so glad to see something normal during these crazy days? Maybe because I now celebrate the passage of time as I hope it brings us closer to a more "normal" life? I don't know. All I know is I don't have knots in my stomach this week, and that is new.
- This morning brought the news that yet another of my favourite annual community events has fallen victim to the pandemic. No Car Rally this year. :( I kind of get it, because I couldn't figure out how we would all safely gather in one space to hear the answers and find out the winners, which is a big part of the day. I really hope that by next year we have run through the worst of this and we can start having some of these beloved activities again. I will miss Car Rally, almost more than Shawville Fair!
Thursday, August 27, 2020
- Many of you know my penchant for gloomy rainy days... and here, we have one. It's the first day in a long while where I've actually fervently wished I could have stayed at home. (After almost 7 weeks off in the early Covid days, I swore I'd never complain about having to go to work again.) But today... yeah. Snuggled up in a warm blanket on the couch watching a scary movie or reading a book, baking cookies or making a pot of spaghetti sauce... there's just something about the dark days that make me crave being home and cozy!
- As fall begins to creep ever closer, and the weather starts to feel more fall-like, my longing for it grows. I want to put out my fall decorations, and get pumpkin spice scents going in my Scentsy warmers and candles. Yesterday, I did a quick draft of scary movies I want to watch, and I keep thinking of warm loaves of pumpkin bread and simmering pots of chili. While I'm still holding a bit of dread, not knowing what fall will look like in pandemic times, I'm starting to feel the excitement outweigh the fear.
- I have added a few new fall pieces to my wardrobe and I'm excited for the weather to be cool enough to finally put them to use. A new pair of leggings, a few new sweaters, a long-sleeved tee. I'm also excited for socks and slippers. I mean, don't get me wrong, bare feet and flip flops in the summer make life so much easier, and I'm not ready to give that up just yet. But if I was home right now enjoying the gloom? I think I'd have my slippers on.
- Do you remember last week or so, I talked about a new book I was reading, but I wasn't far enough into it yet to know whether or not I was going to love it? Well, I LOVE it. It is called The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow, and it is such a delicious escape from reality right now!! It is unlike anything I've ever read before, and far more fantasy than I'd normally read, but I am enjoying it SO much (now that I'm past the confusing early stages lol).
- I got my hair chopped off on Tuesday evening. My first hair cut since February, and my first time having a shorter hairstyle in over two years. I had really wanted to give long hair a try, and it took SO long to grow it out that it was hard to let it go, but I don't think it suited me. My ponytail always looked so scraggly, and I never took the time to blow it dry and straighten it to make it look decent. I enjoyed the ease of putting it up, but even that was a struggle - I never did master the art of the top knot, even when it got really long. It's only been two days, but I'm loving my cute little bob, and so far it hasn't been as hard to maintain as I thought. It's actually been easier.
- Lately, I have been daydreaming about an old restaurant favourite that is no longer available: Kelsey's balsamic chicken penne. I haven't had it in years, but I can't stop thinking about it. The other day, I challenged my friend Lindsay (who makes the most delicious carbonara I've ever had) to replicate the balsamic chicken penne dish from our memories. She didn't waste any time, making it for her family for dinner last night!! Even better... she packaged up some leftovers for my lunch today! yum!!! I can't wait for lunch!!!!
- I am STILL not finished my second Perfect Pocket Shawl. ugh! I keep printing off patterns of new crocheted items I want to try, yet I can't seem to finish the one that's holding everything else up!! I have ONE pocket left to make, then to sew them on and sew in the ends... I'm literally like an hour or two away from being done, and yet I just can't seem to get the motivation to do it. Saturday is supposed to be another rainy dreary day, so hopefully the cro-jo will find me!
- You know what a rainy day makes me think of? Rainy day snacks. I have a plethora of snacks sitting atop my fridge, yet the one I really wish I was home to crack open is a bag of cheese popcorn. A (slightly) scary movie, a bowl of popcorn, a cup of hot chocolate... oh, I could just pretend it's fall for a few hours!!
Tuesday, August 25, 2020
I'm feeling strangely calm these days... I can't quite explain it. After months of feeling tied up in knots and, on my worst days, like my insides were being squeezed in a vice, I have to say I'm appreciating this current calm, while also anticipating that it won't be long-lasting.
The back-to-school chaos will be starting by the end of this week and into next week. As we all know, I don't like back-to-school time on a good year. During pandemic times, I have been expecting it to set me off in ways I haven't even experienced before.
And yet now, just a few days away, I have yet to experience the knots and squeezing insides and feeling like I'm on the verge of tears all the time that I thought I would have by now. In fact, quite the contrary. I feel hopeful. Almost optimistic. There has been so much worry and concern heading into this school year, but I have this trust that the government and school systems are going to do everything in their power to make this as safe as possible. That they will be as prepared as they possibly can be. And I know a few kids who are excited to be with their friends again, and are anxious to get back to this little bit of normalcy in their lives - even if it won't be the same as when they left it so abruptly last March.
I know, I know. I don't have kids. I can't possibly compare how I feel to that of the emotions that parents are experiencing as they get ready to send their children back out into the world. My feelings are really irrelevant in all of this. But oh, how I'm praying for them. I'm praying that things go as smoothly as possible, and that maybe this year won't be as scary and as full of upheaval as we are anticipating. That maybe kids are really getting good at washing their hands and maybe there won't be as much germ-spreading as normal. That the masks will make a difference. That there won't be any big outbreaks. Wishful thinking on my part, maybe, but I'm doing my best to put it out into the universe and make it so.
For me personally, my biggest anxiety right now is waiting to see how it will go, and knowing we will have to keep our distance for a while until we see how it plays out. It has been so nice to have family around this summer. I haven't taken for granted our gatherings in Mom's garage, our swims at Donna & Eric's pool, our family BBQ's, our nights at the ball field watching Noah and his friends at T-ball, and our family holiday. I remember those weeks back in March and April when we stayed apart, and how sad it made me feel. I still haven't had any sleepovers or movie nights with my nieces and nephews, and it makes me feel bleak to know it might be another long while yet before we can really get back to normal. I just hope we don't have to go back to that strict isolation again.
While I'm relatively calm, I do worry about things like Thanksgiving, Halloween, and Christmas. I push them off in my mind because I can't let that worry consume me, at least not yet. I worry about what will happen when it's too cold to congregate outside anymore. I'm a fantastic hibernator, but I don't want to go for months without family gatherings again. I don't even want to consider a world where our normal holiday traditions must be abandoned.
So for now, I just won't let my thoughts go there. For now, I'll enjoy these last few days of summer, and the comfortable routine I have found for myself. The low-key weekends of sitting outside at Mom's during the day, reading or visiting with family. Going home to watch movies at night and crocheting. Not having any big plans, just enjoying time and space to do the things I really love to do. I didn't feel that way at all in the spring, and I am so happy to finally have it back.
Is this the calm before the storm? Perhaps. Only time will tell. But I hope that the experiences of the last 6 months have made me stronger, and better equipped to deal with what comes next. And I cling to the belief that the worst is behind us, and each new season brings us a little bit closer to "back to normal".
I have to have faith in that.
Thursday, August 13, 2020
- I have realized that this summer I have lost my cro-jo. That's the term we in the crocheting biz use to describe our motivation. I am severely lacking. I made one of the Perfect Pocket Shawls that the crocheting world was all excited about earlier in the summer, and then I started a second one, but I have no desire to pick it up in the evenings. None whatsoever. I have several other projects lined up so maybe once the weather cools down a bit, my cro-jo will come back? Let's hope.
- Maybe it's the lack of Shawville Fair this year? For months, I was anxiously completing projects with the sole goal of entering them in the Fair this year. And then the Fair got cancelled, of course. My original thought was: "Well... extra time to get even more done. And lots of time to do it." because, of course, everything is cancelled from now til 2021 at least. But honestly, I have completed very little to add to my Fair stash since pandemic times started. I hope that will change come fall.
- I am in a very weird state of limbo right now. I am anxious for fall, because I LOVE fall, but I am also nervous as hell. First, I have to get through icky back to school time, which will likely be even worse this year because of all the uncertainty and worry about the virus, plus the lack of Shawville Fair to perk me up. Secondly, they keep warning the second wave will likely come with cold and flu season, which equals... dun dun dunnnn...Fall. And that makes me very nervous. While I adore the thoughts of cozy clothes and pumpkin spice and making soup and watching scary movies, I also fear the unknown of what this season will bring in corona times. I've been relieved to have some normalcy back this summer, at least being able to spend time with family and close friends, and I dread that being taken away again. Oof. Have I mentioned lately how much I am not a fan of this?
- I've been having a rough week with headaches. It seems to go in spurts for me. Weeks without any, and then when I do get one, it lasts off and on for days. I had a rough one on Tuesday, I was fine yesterday, and then woke up with one again today. Friggin sinuses.
- I got some really fun mail yesterday! For my birthday, my bestie ordered me a subscription to Sockbox. Every month, a pair of fun socks will arrive in the mail, and the first pair came yesterday!! I am looking forward to having all of these fun colourful socks to wear during the colder months. I can't wait to see what the next pair will be!
- So, I'm re-watching The Office on Netflix. I think it's the first TV show I've re-watched since getting Netflix. I believe it is leaving next year, and I needed one more go-round with Jim & Pam (one of my fave TV couples ever). And I thought I might not enjoy it as much the second time around, but it's the opposite. I think I'm loving it even MORE. So so good. So funny.
- One thing I have done a lot of lately is reading. I set a goal of reading 15 books every year, and often it is a struggle to get there, but I have already hit the mark for 2020. Recent reads that I'd recommend: The Girl from Widow Hills by Megan Miranda and The Chain by Adrian McKinty. I read each of these books in less than a week, which is almost unheard of for me (I'm a slow reader). I'm now reading a book my aunt got me for my birthday, The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow. I'm not far enough into it yet to tell whether or not I'm going to love it, but it's very different from anything I've read before... we shall see!
- I have been craving brownies for weeks now. I planned to make them last Saturday morning, but started to get my ingredients out and realized I didn't have one stick of butter in the house. Thankfully, my mom picked me up a pound when she got groceries this week, so brownies are on the agenda for this weekend! Yum!!
- So, sports are back and while I haven't really gotten into it myself yet, I know a LOT of people - my entire family, basically - who are very happy about it. I know my mom for sure has been missing having something to watch on TV at night, and she's thrilled to have games back on again!! My bro and bro-in-law said having hockey back is like having Christmas in August. I got excited about hockey coming back until I remembered the Sens suck and they aren't actually back lol. I have more interest in the Raptors, as they are doing really well, but I have yet to put a game on to watch. Come playoff time, though, I'm sure I will be there!