Empty Calendar

I had two things on my calendar that actually happened today. First was an online Mah Jongg game with my friend Ann who was in Annapolis and then a zoom video meeting of the construction/architects crew for the building I am working on at Church. It felt practically productive to have anything on my calendar.

The rest of the day was filled walking, watering the garden, washing the kitchen floor and playing Monopoly with Carter. I made her cry which did not make me feel good, but she will beat me eventually.

The true highlight of the day was two different Amazon deliveries. One was freeze dried liver treats for Shay that come on subscription and the second one was replacement brushes for the robot vacuum. These parts were not expected for three days so getting something in one day delivery is cause for celebration. I also think actually seeing the delivery man through the glass door and screaming “thank you” to him was part of the excitement. This is what we have devolved to for fun, replacing a part on the vacuum.

It has only been under two weeks that I have been social distancing and what I consider a fulfilling day is drastically swirling down hill. I am trying my best to feel fulfilled by doing my part staying home. I am most excited that my high school friend Mary has planned a zoom happy hour for tomorrow at 6:30. My roommate Nancy has opted in. So any EWS friends if you want to join send me a message. I like to have something on the calendar that does not involve the vacuum.


Hell Might Have Frozen Over

In proof that the world has changed Carter asked me if I wanted to play Monopoly today. Normally I have had to beg my family members to play games with me. Before Russ and I were married he would play gin rummy with me. Once we got married he told me he hated games and stopped playing. It felt like a bait and switch, but I loved him enough to keep him.

My daughter takes after he father. It doesn’t help that when she was little and would attempt to play games with me I would beat her, thus souring her to playing games at all. So it came as such a big surprise that Carter initiated this game with me.

As Carter set the game up I also was play Mah Jongg online with other friends. It was like a dream come true, playing two games at the same time. The only way this was possible was Carter’s willingness to be both banker and real estate broker.

Carter also spent the better part of the day building a charging station for Russ’ power tool batteries. I know she would rather be doing wood working than playing a game, so it was nice she split her time between parents.

We know we are in this stay safe at home period for a while and Carter left the game set up on the game table. That gives me hope she will initiate another game. I can only pray.


Fun Like a Regular Day

As I sit in the sunroom with the pollen hazy light filtering through the dogwood blossoms I can hear the basket ball bouncing on our neighbor’s driveway. They generously let Russ and Carter play since we have a gravel driveway which is unsuitable for basketball.

“Stuck” at home has been lovely for me today. I was up early so I could actually shower since I was having a Mah Jongg game online with Christy and Deanna. When I told Shay we were having Mah Jongg she went to the front door to wait for her friends to arrive. She has not gotten used to greeting people on Face Time and was sorely disappointed not to get a snuggle from Christy.

After a fun time of playing with the new card we parted so I could go outside and supervise the excellent work that Russ and Carter were doing in the garden. In a miracle from above our rototiller started after non use for the last two years. As Russ tilled the driveway gardens and the zinnia garden by the street Carter planted herbs by the front door garden. The smell of basil made her crave tomatoes, which thankfully we have as I am no good at growing tomatoes.

After lunch I went to the sweat shop to work on my quilt. I have been dragging it out as I figure I am not going to be able to take it to my long arm quilter for quite some time. While quilting I started watching the third season of Ozark. I want to drag that out too.

Then Deanna texted me for another Mah Jongg session. If I have to stay home I am thankful that I get to do things I love. My wish for all of you is that you are healthy and occupied with fun too.


No Mah Jongg Christmas, But It’s OK

If this were a regular year tomorrow would be pop-up holiday at my house. The new Mah Jongg card arrived today, normally known as Mah Jongg Christmas at my house. Sadly with the stay at home order I am not having a spur of the moment Mah Jongg Party. Instead I will be playing Mah Jongg on the app called “Real Mah Jongg.”

Real Mah Jongg is a very good way to play The National Mah Jongg League way. If you have never tried it go on and down load the app because they give you a two week free trial. After that it costs $6.99 a month, which is steep for a game, but in these times we have no other choice.

You can play against the computer, real people who you don’t know, or your friends who you invite to play with you. So social distancing is not the best for Mah Jongg since it is all about playing with your friends, but this will have to do.

The canceling of Mah Jongg Christmas is nothing compared to people who have to postpone or cancel their wedding, the prom, graduations, or other major celebrations. I am also certain we will not be having Easter at Church no matter what any particular politician says. It all just goes into the story of the year we all stayed home.

But being home with our little family has advantages of its own and that is how I am choosing to look at this. We will be a lot more appreciative of things after all of this is done.


Time to Clean Your House Again

Last week I noticed on social media a lot of my friends deep cleaning their houses due to being stuck at home. I commented to one friend that none of us will ever have anyone see our house in that pristine condition since we were all stuck home alone. I think many people also wanted to disinfect their spaces just in case.

Now this week in Durham as well as so many other places we are ordered to stay home. This means that that if you have someone come clean your house they can’t come for a while. Now you are going to have to clean your own home. My friend Julie suggested that if your have someone who cleans your house it would be wonderful if you could still pay them through this time. Many may not be getting checks from the government or unemployment if they are self employed.

If you don’t already have a robot vacuum now might be the time to try one. I have a relatively inexpensive one called a Deebot which I have been very happy with for going on two years. Trust me, you are not going to vacuum the old fashioned way as much as you need to. And just because you did a big time cleaning last week I hate to tell you that now you need to do it again.

Don’t kill yourself and do it all in one day, like a cleaning person might do for you. Do a couple of rooms everyday and always be cleaning something. It’s not so bad to clean an hour a day, but it is horrible to clean eight hours a day and not get paid for it. And no one is getting paid anywhere.


Throw Back Activities

Sometimes being a pack rat and having a house with enough storage is a good thing. Yesterday Carter pulled out her old Wii game playing system and set it up on our big TV. She had fun playing games she had not played since she was ten or eleven. It was a great way to get out some of her energy.

Today while I was working on my very difficult puzzle Carter put in the Wii cooking game. She remarked that the game is so old that it is the square aspect of the TV screen. As I was searching for a piece for my puzzle with a green polka dot drinking straw on it, Carter was making virtual lasagna.

The amazing thing about that game is the level of sophistication the recipe had. Carter had to master béchamel sauce and put spinach in her lasagna. The game even explained what Mis en place was and why chefs prepare all their ingredients first. Perhaps playing that game at nine helped her to become the fabulous cook she is today.

I was just happy for a new diversion. Maybe tomorrow Carter and I can play tennis on the Wii. It will provide a different exercise than just walking on the treadmill. I just can’t handle the cooking game because that will make me want to cook real lasagna and I am trying to stay away from that.


Social Distancing Grooming

While humans are letting themselves go during this time there was no reason to let shay turn into a sheep that hadn’t been shorn in three years. Carter set up a grooming station in the garage. She single handily clipped Shay all over. It took quite a while and I could hear carter sweetly reassuring Shay the whole time.

It was a great effort on Carter’s part and I am so grateful that she did it before Shay developed Matt’s that would require her to be shorn down to the skin.

Since Shay got her teeth cleaned last week she has one little peg leg shaved so you can really see how skinny those little legs are. She may not be show quality groomed, but she is clean and can see without too many curls in her eyes.

Great job Carter. I am so happy you are home to care for your puppy. One big benefit of social distancing! Look on the sunny side.