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What are you enjoying now

Curious and looking for inspiration:
What are you all enjoying now while we are self- isolating? and are forced to slow down ( even if working from home).
I am taking a moment each day to look out my window and watch the trees gradually change from bare to bud to....
In the past the change from bare to full leaves shocked me, but not this year. Also watching the birds.
I hope my neighbors realize that- I am doing a great Jimmy Stewart "Rear Window' binoculars and all!

Posted by
4843 posts

We see many more people walking the neighborhood than normal, and people are waving and saying hello more. Bear Hunts are getting popular here as well - people put stuffed animal bears in their front windows and families with little kids go for walks counting how many bears they see. Its from a kids song & book, I understand.

Posted by
2387 posts

Other than the horrible reason which requires us to stay home and that I can't hug my children/grandchildren, I'm very happy in self-isolation. I've always hated doing errands...and now I have none (big smile here). The days go quickly as I have no guilt about being unproductive as it is now okay to lay down on the couch in the middle of the afternoon and read...(another big smile). I'm sewing/quilting, reading, getting the yard ready for spring (in a very slow manner I will add) and oddly enough cooking new recipes...only when it is my turn to cook though. My husband and I enjoy each other's company so there is no friction there. I still have much genealogy to do that I haven't begun yet. And then there's my camera with which to play... Maybe I should start a vlog and figure out that on this relatively new to me camera... So many options... I'm still having a hard time getting to regular dusting, but I have washed most of my wood floors. I'm also not watching TV much at all, which we used to do in the evenings. So, again, other than the horrible cause forcing the isolation, I'm quite happy.

Weirdly or sickly, I know, is that I have packed...in my mind...each of our small hospital bags because I always have to pack...(wink and a smirk here).

Posted by
2445 posts

Not only am I dwelling on trees leafing out I’m checking the blossoms on each of my new (1-3 year old) fruit trees each morning and anticipating summer and winter fruit (we have citrus too) and sharing with neighbors. It’s a rather slow life these days.

Posted by
627 posts

As a birthday gift, one of my friends sent me the complete Emma Peel / John Steed DVD collection which contains 51 episodes of The Avengers television series from 1965-67. I am watching one episode per day, and wondering which will arrive first - an end to "shelter-in-place" or episode 51 (or me)?

Posted by
837 posts

I live under the National Airport flight path. I realize the irony of posting this in a travel forum, and I feel for those whose jobs are affected. I'm going to be honest, though. I'm enjoying hearing the birds and the peace and quiet that comes with little to no jet noise above.

Posted by
1366 posts

I agree, Rachel, the quiet is wonderful. It's a shame it's on the back of a crisis. But taken in isolation (as I do now from my back yard) it is very peaceful: not hearing as many airplanes, trains. I've come to realize how much ambient noise there is from the nearby "big" roads.

The crows have taken over from blowers as the major, local noisemaker. And boy do they seem to be enjoying their newfound noise status!

Posted by
2289 posts

The beautiful spring weather and singing birds-before it turns to summer. And walking at a nearby state park.

Posted by
69 posts

Soap making using a super fat recipe that doesn't dry out our hands as much as the commercial brands.

Posted by
5149 posts

Pre dawn walks, baking oatmeal raisin cookies and binge watching season 3 of Ozark.

Posted by
1827 posts

Listening, actually listening to something other than my music or podcasts while I am walking my dogs. Like the birds and other wild critters, and the silence. Cleaning out useless "important" papers that date back to when we first moved to Franktown (1986). I may or may not clean out my basement.....probably NOT! Sending long overdue emails to friends and the other night, my daughter invited me to join a (virtual-Zoom) happy hour with her, my son-in-law and my granddaughter. That was a whole new world to me and oh, what fun!

Posted by
2080 posts

My company has us working 3 days a week for now, so I'm on my second 4 day weekend...and loving it! The only thing I miss is going to the movies, a favorite pastime of mine. In no particular order, I am enjoying:

Working on a knitted sweater and a primitive rug hooking project
Jigsaw puzzles
Time to do my daily crossword puzzle
Reading more
Taking long walks around town--local regional parks and shorelines had to ban people because they were too crowded, but I live on an island and we have a wonderful shoreline path
Season 3 of Ozark is out!! Also watching Grace & Frankie, The Hunters, Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society, I Love Lucy and some Looney Tunes cartoons, plus there's always a good movie on TCM
My backyard murder of crows is thrilled that I am home to feed them a second time during the day
I should be doing a bit of gardening but it's raining this weekend...
Not ready to plan a replacement trip for later this year just yet :)

Posted by
1863 posts

Thanks Diane for starting this inspirational thread!
Enjoying the quiet time and reflection with my husband. Last evening we were looking at photos (dreaming) online of our future trip to Sicily (specifically Acireale). Turning off the news and reading. Looking out the window to watch an occasional Coyote prance through our yard. Appreciating Spring, the symbol of rebirth. Reading inspirational quotes & stories that friends & relatives are sharing. Putting on some favorite music that we haven't listened to for a long time. We listened to our favorite all time jazz singer (Washington's own- Oleta Adams.) ;). Sharing bread recipe's this week with friends & relatives. Taking our daily walks. One of our neighbor's planted Daffodils for all the walkers to enjoy. Their daughter is a Nurse working on the Covid-19 floor at a local hospital. (So grateful for her and all the medical staff, etc)

My quote to all for the day: "I am thankful for my struggle because without it, I wouldn't have stumbled upon my strength." - Alexandra Elle.

Posted by
882 posts

As an introvert, my days are pretty much the same, except that my hiking club has stopped for the foreseeable future. I have been search random things on YouTube(Didn't know there was an AT&T archives which has films from the 1950-1980s complete with new "carphone" technology. A hoot.

I also contacted a small hotel in Spain where I stayed and told them I am thinking of them. It was a family run hotel and I can't imagine how they are getting any income now. Very sad. Also Facetiming with the folks on the other coast.

We will survive this-though life will be different in the future. I also agree more with Biden that it will be the end of May before things are back up and running. Just saw the National Theatre in London is suspending all shows until June 30th.

As the police captain on Hill Street Blues used to say: Let's be careful out there.

Posted by
3313 posts

Thank you, Diane, for this uplifting topic!

For the past four days, I’ve posted a 5-photo story on Facebook of an Italian town I visited during my 2018 solo trip, highlighting a person I met. The purpose was to give a personable feel for my friends of the impact of this virus on Italy’s social culture and small business owners. Today with the sad news of over 900 dying yesterday, I switched to some serene photos of solitary gardens and the calm lake at Lake Maggiore. Friends are appreciating the connection.

Other things I’ve been doing during our quarantine:

Knitting baby blankets for our community.
Planning meals to be able to stretch our food (hopefully not our waistlines!). Cooking more by scratch again and enjoying it - homemade flour tortillas, homemade pizza, etc.
Playing the piano.
Creating a silly daily quick video for our grandkids.
Enjoying the fresh air riding my bike through our neighborhood, staying far away from everyone.

Posted by
30888 posts

Heather,

"As the police captain on Hill Street Blues used to say: Let's be careful out there."

That line was used by Sgt. Phil Esterhaus (played by Michael Conrad) at the end of roll call, as the officers left to start patrol for the day.

Posted by
162 posts

Last weekend saw gorgeous sunny spring days, so like many others, my husband and I chose a popular trail to hike and appreciate the view and wildflowers, like the pink fawn lilies, yellow buttercups, and even a few orange fritillaries. Alas, that trail is now closed.
The majority of my time is spent:
*daily walks, since our local YMCA is closed
*completing jigsaw puzzles
*reading (hooray for Kindle books I can still download from our closed library
*cooking more...breakfasts and dinners. Local restaurants are take-out only, so we are not eating out at all.
*lurking on my husband's Facebook page as well as this forum.
*playing my ukulele with others via ZOOM and other on-line sites.
*DH is finally finding uninterrupted time to go through and sort photos and other stuff he scanned YEARS ago, but had been too busy to do much with it.
I've been surprised how my "new routine" seems to take up the whole day. And I still haven't taken time to try to get rid of stuff/clutter!

Posted by
11676 posts

Janis, thank you for the quote about strength. That is inspiring.

Jean, I only wish I had stayed with the piano. It would be nice to be able to sit down and play right now.

I am enjoying exploration of the Google “Arts and Culture” site:

https://artsandculture.google.com/partner?hl=en

Find the cave paintings from the 36,000 year old cave in France. Pretty amazing. Now to go explore Monet’s Paris. And then some Italy.

Posted by
2898 posts

I am learning how to manage teaching remotely while schools are closed.

My mother, who passed away last year, had a big jigsaw puzzle collection. I have given away many ,many puzzles but still have enough remaining to do some puzzles and remember my mother fondly with each puzzle completed.

Posted by
4149 posts

Thanks for that link, Lola -- I need to spend more time exploring there. I've been going through, and mostly tossing, old family papers untouched since my parents died 17 years ago, using some of them to add to genealogy records. Also replaced a stereo receiver that wasn't working, so we have music in the house for the first time in years. Spending more time reading and doing crosswords. Streaming movies and old TV shows, including a bunch more British detectives (they must breed like rabbits!). Phone calls to and from old friends across the country. A weekly Zoom happy hour with local friends. Taking short walks and hoping the podiatrist will be open next week so I can get long-postponed foot treatment to allow longer walks. Bike rides in nice weather (not at the moment but hope springs). Wasting more time than usual at this forum. ;-)

Posted by
911 posts

I’m bringing my horse home Tuesday after being boarded since August. His care, grooming, feeding and stall cleaning plus being able to ride will keep me busy. He brings me happiness and that relieves stress—what’s good for the outside of the horse is good for the inside of his person.
I’m also knitting a lot. Working on an afghan as a Christmas present present for nephew. I have lots of yarn stash so many projects planned.
I still have several closets to muck out. Also cabinets to wash. You can tell this is a descending order of priority.
Hubby’s playing with his (garage-full of) Studebakers.

Edit to add: I just talked to a neighbor who volunteers with an organization to help the homeless. I gave her two Goodwill bags full of my outgrown/old/tired clothes. Now I have a reason to clean out hubby’s closet.

Posted by
11676 posts

Janis, could you share a bread recipe? I am going to get back into it after years away. I am now gluten-free, but my husband is not, and his favorite Dave’s Killer Bread is getting impossible to find on Amazon (we do not go to the grocery store).

Horsewoofie, a horse would be a nice animal to have just now, although we don’t have any place to put one now, not even a yard. I parted with my latest horse 18 years ago when I moved.

Posted by
274 posts

We have 4 horses at home, and they are a gift right now. Perfect reason to get the kids outside -- there is always something that needs to be done (especially this time of year); even on a rainy day the kids can be in the barn doing animal care or sweeping cobwebs or (in the case of my son), blowing bubbles at the horses to see them stare. And with the warmer weather of the past couple of weeks, the ground has finally thawed enough for riding. Yay!

Posted by
206 posts

Daily walks with my 8 lb. dachshund neighbor (and her owner) bring me joy and are a welcomed break from many hours spent getting my university classes online.

Posted by
601 posts

LIke Janis, I am planning for a trip to Sicily. While I am busy working at home (still doing 10 hours days), I have more time to just enjoy walking the dog, cooking, and spending time with my hubby. After I don’t know how many years, actually ordered a jigsaw puzzle.

Everyone take care, stay safe, and hopefully we will all be living our travel dreams soon.

Sandy

Posted by
1863 posts

Hi Lola,

I wish I had a bread recipe that mirrored Dave's Killer Bread! I recalled I had an old recipe for an easy English Muffin Bread. It is wonderful toasted and pairs well with all the soups I have been making. It makes two loaves and freezes well. Fortunately I had flour in my pantry. Ordinarily we don't have much bread in the house. If we do, it's a whole grain or sourdough. "Bread the Staff of Life."
English Muffin Bread Recipe- Allrecipes.com

Posted by
70 posts

I am saddened by the pestilence which has descended on this planet and the loss of life in your countries.

I am having my lunch in a small insignificant, isolated island at the bottom of the world and listening to some of my vinyl records.
This is a favourite of mine from the late sixties.

Hope it plays for you and you all enjoy it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBiH5fsKJB8

It is a pleasure to read about your travels and views on life.

Ron

Posted by
9382 posts

We live in a quiet place. Usually March sees an uptick in visitors but as the tourist season is on hold and all restaurants are closed save for take-out, it is even quieter.

Daily walks, even in the rain now since our gym is closed, now seeing other stir crazy folks on routes that were previously ours alone. The waves and hellos are more sincere and we carefully maintain a more-than-safe distance. Missing access to trails as the county and State closed them all.

Picking up groceries curbside from a couple of stores that offer that service. Have to forage a few times each week to keep the supplies up and too often the items ordered are not in stock. I have 12 rolls of TP left from a purchase in January at Costco.

Calling friends more, writing longer notes, checking in on the (adult) child more often as he is an isolated single person. Missing my weekly breakfast with Italian speaking friends. We may have to try it on ZOOM.

Thinking about finally adopting a cat after a year-and-a-half period of mourning the last one. I miss the kitty cuddles.

Getting lost in the genealogy research I have long intended to do, a rabbit hole one can lose hours in!

Making personal protective masks for local organizations as they are still requesting them to supplement official PPE.

Stay safe. Great thread!

Posted by
1834 posts

Torn between feeling downright overwhelmed by what is happening on one extreme ..to desperately trying to create joy and calm on the other extreme. I even baked the three-layer chocolate cake (recipe on the back of the Hershey's cocoa box) that my husband loves and typically enjoys just at Christmas.

Having friends over for dinner and laughs/giggles is my typical M.O. for counter-balancing stress......but can't do that right now (for all the obvious reasons). So much for patio dinners and group/neighborhood holiday celebrations this year....several weddings have been postponed.

It is spring, and over the last 20 years, I have created a monster of a garden.....it is a love/hate relationship.....mostly love, but sometimes I hate the work.....so I am tending the monster. In the vegetable garden, pea and lettuce seeds have sprouted, and swiss chard seeds were planted this week, after working in compost. Replaced the freeze-damaged rosemary plants and scattered a second pack of parsley seeds. In the main parterre flower garden (clipped boxwood lined with boxwood I started from cuttings almost two decades ago) , detailed weeding and doing a second trimming up of spent foliage on perennials/ferns has kept me busy.

Hoping I will be able to safely pick up about 10 flats of annuals during non-peak hours in a few weeks ....local nurseries are arranging buy-ahead, deliver-to-vehicle purchases this year. Inside/outside washing of the glass on the greenhouse .... a big project ... will be upcoming once it is warm enough to take the citrus, bay, and camellia trees outside, along with some tender tropicals.

It is not usual for me to devote 6-8 hours each day during spring, then I can begin to kick back a bit in June.
Even though it is a lot of work, that monster is also bringing a sense of peace, and the physical labor helps with sleep (especially in these stressful worrisome times).

Redbud, dogwood, wysteria, and ornamental cherry trees are all in full bloom, from temps in the 80s last week...it is an early spring here. I catch myself staring out the window a few times each morning, and later taking a few breaks on a bench near the cherry tree watching all the honey bees busy at work. Frost expected tonight. Mid-late April is our typical last frost.

The typical pair of mallard ducks showed up in the creek Monday, so we begin the relationship of being their fly-in cracked corn restaurant. Some years we have been blessed with having a duck nest on site, but too late for that this year, so we will be glad for the happy fly-ins. If the relationship develops as in the past, they will soon be coming up to the backdoor quacking, if we do not notice them first, for their cracked corn. They quickly train us (or vice versa). Each year they are named Walley and Ethel (aka The Waddells), even though they are probably the great-great-great-great grandkids now. Louie and Bluie (yes bluebirds) are busy prepping their box.

Daily walks (on non-rainy days) with my husband and pup are also good for the soul (and us physically). Looking forward to quiet mornings with birds chirping and evenings listening to crickets sing, while enjoying the bed swing on our little screen porch that we added last year.

Really miss seeing my friends and attending meetings of various groups/committees. I do not think I have put on lipstick in over three weeks (wearing a mask when I grocery shop now just once weekly). Instead of my typical hair style, a scrunchie or ballcap is the look for 2020.
It is as though life is on hold, while it also goes on at the same time.

I am guilty of stress eating too many dark chocolate chips and raiding the stash of emergency Trader Joe's Peppermint Jo-Jos stashed away last November. But, desperate times call for such actions (I keep telling myself). I hope I do not put on 5 "corona pounds" in the process ;o

Wishing each of you your own form of peace, and may you all safely pull thru this.

Posted by
942 posts

My husband and I walk every day in the neighborhood. I am working on a backlog of travel photo books. Last week I made a couple of cranberry breads (froze one). Next up are hot cross buns and maple glazed apple pull apart bread. I also put a teddy bear in one of our windows but am not seeing any others in the neighborhood. I am talking on the phone with family and emailing and messaging friends. I checked in with a neighbor who lives alone this afternoon. We are almost done with a kitchen remodel and still need to paint. The backsplash tile will have to wait until the stores open and my contractor can come back after the self-isolation ends. Then there is always my food photography hobby.

Posted by
3097 posts

I was able to have eggs delivered to the house today. Along with a decorating kit for Easter. Also a dozen assorted chocolate bunnies! Target is practically giving them away near me when you order delivery. So, I am getting ready to have Easter of sorts with all the family favorite foodsI have been able to round up.

It is quieter around than normal, except for the guy next door who has to drive his unmuffled motorcycle around at all the odd hours. It is scaring away the birds! I am walking as much as I can (still recovering from medical issues that had kept me from moving around much, but am almost back to normal) and enjoying that on the warm sunny days. Blizzard on Thursday, so maybe a good day for hot tea and a cozy fire.

Have not watched as much TV and movies as I thought I would. Internet is working fine so far and I thought I would stream some Netflix but I have not been able to get in the right mood for that. It is more fun to watch the robins landing on my balcony and listen to them chirp as I read really bad Sci-Fi novels.

Posted by
2231 posts

Diane and friends,
I am using this extended time to complete my Ph.D.
In Procrastination!
Lots of projects at home to plan for, and then find excuses not to begin. If you know what I mean.
In addition, with my small and cozy home, I have an extensive and diverse garden, some plants in the ground, but most in containers. It has been a wonderful season for plants — sun, rain, sun, rain, sun! Trees and plants are so healthy, with so many blooming right now. It is a joy to poke around and appreciate, plucking a weed or tuft of grass here and there, even fertilizing or repotting every once in a while. Maybe I should get a Ph.D. in something related to plants instead.

Posted by
1366 posts

I've had this cabinet in my garage for the past 15 years. It might have hung in the original kitchen of this old house in the 50's. It's all scuffed up and was storing garage odds and ends. When I put up new garage shelves, the cabinet got kicked out of the garage, relegated to the far side of the house for out-of-sight, outdoor storage.

With all the time on my hands …. I decided to give it a coat of paint, for protection more than looks, using a couple of cans of old paint in 2 shades that almost match the house. I slapped on some primer, and (impatiently) before that was dry, started layering on the colors. So of course the primer begins to show through. Suddenly getting creative, I watered down one of the paints, and brushed it on to give it that "distressed" look.

The result reminded me of something I would imagine finding in a kitchen in Italy or a garden patio in the south of France!!

So, what started as a dingy old cabinet now looks …. vintage and cheerful! I loved it so much (and the colors do match the house!) that I've moved it back to my outdoor patio where it will be my vintage garden shed!

Posted by
11410 posts

Wow, lots of resourceful cocooners out there!

Like many of you, we are taking long walks every day, sometimes twice a day, and giving thanks for an unusually early spring in Minnesota! I've been trying to do walk #1 just before dawn so I can hear the birds wake up. We appear to be in good company as we've never seen so many folks out and about, and ALL of them up for an energetic wave or safe-distance chat! Driveway chalk creations, painted rock and teddy bear scavenger hunts, safe distancing Happy Hours and bonfires, mask-making for the hospitals and stocking Little Free Libraries with food as well as reading material, picking up wind-blown trash....there's no end to the many ways people are staying engaged with life! We've finished one jigsaw puzzle and happily landed two more at Target during a market run last week. Would do some Netflix binging but the TV refuses to find the internet and DH hasn't been able to fix it so... Probably for the best except I've just about blown through the unread book supply.

I'd cook if I was any freakin' good at it but as our current dishtowel says, "Stove for display only." I clean a mean garage though so will do a top-to-bottom on it next week. Have rearranged some cupboards and am sorting clothes and housewares to take to charity when the all-clear sounds. Finally (FINALLY!) scored TP and hand sanitizer this morning and added to the stock of canned soup and other necessities, like cheese doodles, so should be good to go until, oh, hades freezes over or thereabouts.

Been eating way, way too many dark chocolate Hershey Kisses. Tsk. Naughty.