It’s Month Two of Covid-19 quarantining, and I hope you and your families are healthy and doing OK in all the ways. (Does anyone else wake up each morning and wonder if this is all one very extended bad dream?)
Our family is doing all right, for which I’m deeply grateful. But the scariness of the world and the uncertainty of it all, and the inability to be with family and friends as they’re experiencing sadness and loss — these things are real.
But I know that we can count ourselves blessed, because there’s a lot of suffering happening in this world right now, and our loved ones have been spared the worst of it. It’s hard for each of us in our own way, and I’m just grateful for the strength to handle it.
Ugh. Just ugh.
So when all that icky stuff isn’t going on, we’re working away here (thank goodness for our work), and when we’re not working, we take time to find some bright spots in this strange season. And these are some of them…
Reading | I read two of the four volumes of Robert A. Caro’s magnificent biography of LBJ during this time, and I only wish there were more of them. But I have designs on re-reading at some point, so there’s always that.
I’m also slow-reading Maxwell King’s The Good Neighbor, a biography of Mister Rogers. It’s my bedtime reading (cuz it’s guaranteed to be calm), which means that my progress is slow. Other than the amazing novella Passing by Nella Larsen, I’ve been reading only nonfiction. That seemed out of balance to my head (though my gut said it was fine, thank you), so I picked up Falling Together by Marisa de los Santos–one of my confirmed comfort authors.
Listening | A colleague mentioned The Daily Stoic podcast, and it’s completely perfect for right now. And the episodes are short, so you can listen to them when you have just a few minutes.
Watching | We don’t watch much TV, but we’ve watched some of the documentaries and Great Courses available via Kanopy (courtesy of our public library!) Currently streaming The Skeptic’s Guide to American History. And after hearing about 20 people raving about The Great British Baking Show (on Hoopla—again from the library), we watched an episode… and will be watching more.
Cooking | Most of our cooking is the usual stuff (thank goodness we can get all the ingredients we need), but I’ve been dabbling in new dessert recipes. I’ve whipped up poor man’s pudding (a favorite from last year’s trip to Quebec City), a new molasses cookie recipe, and Oreo fudge. And pineapple upside down cake — oh so retro, but new to both of us. (It turned out kind of weird, but maybe it’s supposed to be that way?)
Learning | Turns out, using my laptop for 8+ hours per day was causing wrist ache. So I adjusted. Then got a neck ache. Then a friend told me about adding an external keyboard & elevating the laptop screen. A revelation! Two Amazon orders later, I’m on my way to comfort. I hope. [small update: when the keyboard arrived, I realized I also needed a mouse & had that ugh feeling. Then the Dear Man rescued me with his spare mouse. And that made everything 70 times better]
Working on | On a related note, I’ve also been working on setting up a better home office.
Phase 1: seated at the kitchen island; when I have a Zoom meeting or webinar, I headed upstairs to our home library
Phase 2: elevated the laptop so I had a standing desk at the island (to alleviate the wrist ache)
Phase 3: swapped the furniture in the den and library—because the comfy chairs in the library were so ergonomically wrong; currently testing a rotation between seated desk / Zoom site in the home library and standing desk in the kitchen
Obsessing | Most days, our cat is super cute. Most days, I can’t stop myself from taking a photo of the cuteness. When I scroll through my photo roll from the quarantine months, it’s 90% adorable sleeping cat photos. Because basically that’s what’s new around here…
(Seriously, how does she sleep like that?!)
Snooping | Let’s just be honest: we all check out other people’s bookshelves. And these days, we can even snoop the bookshelves of the famous…
Loving | This Hamilton thing that the original cast pulled together on Zoom gave me joy.
Anticipating | No surprise here: I’m so looking forward to the day when things are mostly normal.
What’s currently happening in your world? Give us the good, the bad, and the ugly…