(For Part I, see my mom’s site.)
As you guys know, my mom came to stay with me during this time period, since I don’t do well in isolation.
We get along swimmingly, so being “stuck” together isn’t a big deal. But life is definitely quiet, and we’re both going a little stir crazy.
Given how little is going on, we’ve noticed some definite recurring themes in day-to-day life. So here’s about half of what life looks like around my house right now.
Defurring the cat
Overly defurring, if you ask her, I’m sure.
Josie is a furry lil thing and therefore prone to hairballs. So I need to groom her regularly, which I’d been bad about. Now… Well, I have all of the time in the world.
So I’ve been waiting til she’s in my lap and, as my mom put it, “limp with contentment” then grabbing the Furminator and combing. (As an Amazon affiliate, I receive a commission for purchases made through my links.) Let me just say, the amount of her undercoat that comes up is almost horrifying.
Anyway, Josie doesn’t seem to mind too much. Which is to say she sits through it for a while, even rubbing her face against the tines a bit, and eventually she lets me know when she’s had enough by trying to nip at me/the Furminator.
Until then, I just comb her over and over, making appalled noises at the growing pile of discarded fur.
Wait… Did I de-fur her?
As I said, I regularly use the Furminator. I run the Roomba. Mom sweeps. Yet somehow we find little tumbleweeds of cat hair on the floor daily.
Sure, maybe some of it escaped while I was grooming her. But most of it is coming right off her. In fact, every other day, I have to use my hand to wipe down the couch because so much of her fur comes off on its velvety surface.
It. Never. Stops.
Mom and I basically take turns crying, “How are you not bald?!” at her.
Before the coronavirus concerns, I had a medium- to heavy social media habit. It’s in overdrive now. I’ll spend an hour or more (okay, usually more) just scrolling Twitter, interacting with people on there.
I make sure to read the funnier tweets I see to Mom, so she considers this therapeutic.
Temporarily invisible friends
I’m making even more of an effort to chat with my real-world friends too. Every few days I reach out to a couple of single folks because I know they’re not interacting with almost anyone in person.
But it’s not entirely selfless. This also keeps me tethered to my normal world; and besides, chatting keeps my mind occupied.
Meanwhile, the members of my trivia group check in with one another from time to time to make sure everyone’s doing okay too.
(Virtually) visible but tipsy friends
I had my first virtual happy hour on Friday night. It had some hiccups — technical, not alcohol-induced, ones — but it was good to chat with some people I know face to face (even virtually).
It’s no substitute for the real thing, but it was a nice change of pace nevertheless.
My trivia group is trying to figure out a good time to have a virtual game night, so I guess we’ll see how that goes too.
Or, rather, stimulus discussions.
Mom and I have been batting around ideas on how to use the $1,200 government money. As you may recall, I have vowed to spend my stimulus check rather than stash it. But the percentages keep changing.
Should I give equal amounts to Feeding America and a local domestic violence program, or skew toward the DV folks? A lot of personal finance bloggers I follow on Twitter are donating at least a little to the food bank, whereas I haven’t heard anyone mention shelters. But on the other hand, there are almost certainly more people hungry than there are victims of domestic violence.
Incidentally, Mom’s taking the easy, or at least more commerce-oriented, way out: She’s buying gift certificates from three small Anchorage eateries, in the hopes they’ll be able to continue operating throughout this crisis.
I’ll follow somewhat in her path by getting about $100-150 of gift cards to two local restaurants and $200 to the place I get my massages. (I’m dreaming of the massages.)
Life through my (four) eyes
I don’t love how I look in glasses, and to add insult to injury, I now have to wear bifocals. So I usually wear my contacts.
But screw it, who’s gonna see, right?
So I’ve been wearing my glasses more often. And when that upper respiratory whatever kept me from working out, I pretty much wore them exclusively except on the one or two occasions we had to leave the house.
These days, I wear the contacts only once it’s time to work out, and even then it’s only because I don’t like bouncing around with glasses on and/or worrying about sweat making them slip.
Our brains have apparently turned to mush.
While discussing a recipe, Mom (who is in Mensa, by the way) was insisting that the 24 oz jar of salsa was 1.5 cups. I, on the other hand, went through calculus in high school. So I told her no, that a cup is 8 oz, and so the jar held four cups.
Thankfully, I caught my error shortly after saying that but… Eesh.
On a similar note, Mom was lamenting that it was too late to call someone because it was 7 p.m. here and therefore 8 p.m. in Alaska. Depending on the time of the year, Alaska is one to two time zones behind Arizona. Mom has lived in Anchorage a total of 24 years.
There is such a thing as too much TV
I love TV and watch a ton of it even under normal circumstances. I think I made that abundantly clear when I did an entire post of shows to watch.
But even I’m ODing on the boob tube.
I easily watch 30 hours of TV a week normally. Now that I’m not going out with friends, I’d say it’s closer to 50. Maybe more.
On weekdays, I turn on the TV after I’m off work at 3 p.m. I watch two to three hours of my own stuff, then Mom and I watch something together until around 9 p.m. (She doesn’t have a TV at home, so there’s plenty to catch her up on.)
On the one hand, this is super frugal. I pay less than $22 total a month for Hulu and Netflix. On the other hand, I’d better start reading more before my brain turns to mush. Even with so many amazing shows…. Well, I just really need to start reading the printed word. Soon.
My fridge is full of food, and my dishwasher is full of dishes. It’s bizarre, and a sure sign that Mom is around.
Normally, I use one spoon a day for my peanut butter servings, one plate and fork for my frozen dinner and nothing for my two protein bars or nightly serving of Cadbury milk chocolate.
Sometimes I’ll have sherbet or ice cream, which means an additional spoon, and once a week, I’ll use a knife to cut up a cucumber to eat with my hummus. But that’s it, silverware- and dishes-wise. Meaning I generally only need to do one dishwasher load a week. Last week, we ran at least three loads. Weird.
And beyond ginger beer, limes, some leftover beers from game nights and the occasional grapes or strawberries, the aforementioned hummus, peanut butter, chocolate and protein bars are about all that’s in my fridge.
Now it also has several types of vegetables, some cooked meals, fruit, cheese, rice pudding, and Jello. It’s packed. Super strange.
There’s been a whole lot of talking about this post or just general post ideas. Us bantering. Us laughing at something and saying, “Oh, write that down!” And so on and so forth.
We’ve tried finding the humor in what little we can. We’ve tried talking about/thinking of things that aren’t about COVID-19 (and failing).
Still, mainly we aren’t doing much of anything besides work, TV and blogging.
Really, there’s very little to do beyond sit around, be grateful you still have a job and be acutely aware that we’re in this for the long haul. And that this whole thing is big and scary — downright terrifying, really. And that a lot of people are going to be in very, very bad shape financially for a long time to come.
On a more lighthearted note
Here are a couple more quick scenes for ya:
Mom and I discussing how there needs to be a Cards Against Quarantine game. And I’ve found the first black card thanks to @Mrs1500 on Twitter: “Why does every day of homeschool end with beer?”
My answer: “Because shots at 3 p.m. seems a little tacky.” Other good ones, “Because I’m out of bourbon?” and “By ‘end of day’ you mean recess, right?” and “Because you didn’t drink all the beer the day before, obviously.”
Also, Mom and I getting bored enough to organize my mess of a bathroom closet. It had approximately one zillion little items, from spare toothbrushes and toothpaste to extra body washes, old medications, etc. And most of them were jumbled after I tore the thing apart looking for the thermometer.
It took us about 40 minutes, and I now have about half a trash can of uber-expired meds/pet meds, etc. A set of my old makeup brushes (I’ve since bought ones I like better) are going to my cousin’s kid when Mom returns to Alaska. And I have a few things (Febreeze Fabric Refresh, a 28-box pill organizer and puppy pee-training spray) that I’ll put up for free on Craigslist/OfferUp. Now it looks like this:
To acknowledge the elephant in the room, yes I do have some face masks. Two, to be exact, from back when Tim and I had the flu.
Two is too few to make it worth risking being infected/infecting others (if I’m an asymptomatic carrier) by dropping them off at a hospital. (I confirmed this with someone who works at a hospital, by the way.)
So they’ll just sit there, I guess. Because I feel too guilty about having them to wear them in public, especially because I’d be paranoid that people might think I’m one of the folks who bought them all up, creating this crisis for health care workers.
So… How’s everyone else spending their quarantine?