Social Distancing – Days 59 & 60 – A Diary

Wednesday and Thursday…both pretty days and windy.

Honestly, I do not know where the days are going.

Wednesday, I had my Physical Therapy intake in Portsmouth and stopped by the garden center on the way home to get my annuals.  When I got home, we went to the barn and did stalls and then I came home and planted my annual pots.  Work continues on the mulch distribution.

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Char loves grooming Syllabus and I think he loves it, too!

Thursday, I had my first injection in my shoulder.  It is still achy, but PT starts next week, and I am hopeful I can get this repair in gear.  I learned that the reason THIS shoulder is probably more sore down my arm and into my shoulder blade is because my x-rays noted a bone spur/bursitis which is making this frozen shoulder more inflamed.  Just my luck!  I also learned that some people are prone to frozen shoulder and while I believed that once I had it in each arm, I wouldn’t get it again, I was wrong.  It can be reoccurring.  I asked what the contributing factors to this could be and the Doc told me Type 2 Diabetes, women 40+  years of age, pre/peri menopausal and cancer.  Only one of those I can control!

Char fishing

To happier news – Char and Kelly got to go fishing and I finished with my annuals.

Days 59 & 60 and counting….

Social Distancing – Day 58 – A Diary

Tuesday – another gorgeous day (still super windy) and more work got done on the She Shed and I mulched my new terraced garden.  I also planted some seeds (corn, pumpkin, peas and zucchini) and we had KFC for dinner – I haven’t had KFC in forever!!!

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Look at that adorable railing? The roof is done, the inside is about 75% done and the outside is about 80% done. We are getting there!!!

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Fresh mulch makes everthing look great!!!

We worked.  It was monotonous but fun.  I like working in the garden and haven’t done it much in the previous few years for lack of time and committment.  And the weeds.  Why do the weeds always grow first??

Day 58 and counting….

Social Distancing – Day 57 – A Diary

Monday – a nice day weather wise until about 3pm – then showers on and off for the rest of the day.

Monday was a bit crazy.  Last week I reached out to a friend that has a construction business.  I asked him if he had time to squeeze in a little she shed help (I know he is swamped) and told him how much I had in my budget (I have been squirreling away money for vacation spending money, but who knows when I will use it so I decided to put it to better use).  He graciously said he would be here one day next week (this week).  I asked him to give me a heads up so I could prepare food for them (I like to feed people) and we thought probably Tuesday since Monday was supposed to be rainy.

Well, at 9am, one of his guys showed up and I panicked!  hahahah.  I didn’t have any food preparing and Kelly had gone to Home Depot to pick up the last of the supplies they would need.  Needless to say, it all came together just fine – Kelly got here just minutes after they guys arrived, I quick thawed some meat for burgers and made a pasta salad and the fellows worked until the rain.

It is exciting to see lots of work get done in a short period of time and two of the guys will be back tomorrow to do some more, until my vacation money runs out!

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Finishing the roof

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Moving the stairs

Day 57 and counting….

Social Distancing – Days 54-56 – A Diary

Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Again – the days run together – but I find myself purposefully staying off my computer if I can help it on the weekends.   It is a bit of a reprieve and I am cherishing that time!

Friday was a pretty nice day if I remember – Char did her lesson with Syllabus and they did a fabulous job!  She is constantly impressing me with her riding skills and I love the confidence it gives her!  Kelly also worked on the wiring for the She Shed.

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Felix at the barn.  Such a handsome boy and so sweet!

Saturday – well – Saturday it SNOWED!!!!  It was windy and it snowed!  I can almost count on snow in April, but May is pushing it and I did not appreciate it!  No work outside got done as Kelton and Kelly worked at church recording Sunday service and in the afternoon, I volunteered with a handful of other ladies outside our church (distancing and masked) handing out carnations and crafts to families who wanted to do something special for mom.  After I got home, I cooked and baked for seven hours to get my own moms their Mother’s Day gifts ready.

Sunday was a pretty day but cool and still very windy.  For each of my moms here (I have a wonderful mother-in-law in Washington who I could not spoil in this way – but I love her and am very blessed by her wisdom, example and love) I made a bacon and cheddar quiche, hydrangea cupcakes and banana bread.  Kelton made them blueberry scones and Char made lemonie brownies.  We also had a basket stuffed with other brunch goodies and I made them each a small bird feeder made with parts from one of Char’s old tea sets.

We delivered our brunch to my mom and step-mom, distance visited outside for a short time, then sat in our car at Hampton Beach and ate a meat and cheese lunch, then visited my sister (and brought her goodies).  It was a tiring but wonderful day!  My own family blessed me with a wonderful back massager (which is going to come in mighty handy with my frozen shoulder) and my sweet son and his thoughtful girlfriend got me a 3 month subscription to a coffee club with coffees from around the world!!!  AMAZING!  The first coffee is from Burundi and I am so excited to try it!!!

Oh – I DID finish my garden steps project!  I love how it turned out!!!!

It was a great weekend….and my bed is covered in clothes I need to fold!  hahahahaha

Days 54-56 and counting….

Social Distancing – Days 52 & 53 – A Diary

Wednesday and Thursday…beautiful days with lots of work!

Well, the Smith family has stepped the She Shed work into high gear – we have finally had a week with such gorgeous weather and have been enjoying it a lot!

Not only did the She Shed get ALMOST dried in, but the pool is up and running (not swimmable yet, but getting there) and we burned all our massive brush piles (with a permit, of course) and started to scrape the area of the woods to smooth it out a little with the use of our good friend’s tractor.

I think a photo diary would work best here…..

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My BFF Sherry sent me crackers and squeeze cheese – She GETS me!!!!

Days 52 & 53 and counting….

Hope on Standby; Social Distancing – Day 51 – A Diary

I’ve been thinking about what is making this social/physical distancing so hard…these stay-at-home orders and mandates.  I hope I can put my thoughts into words…

At the beginning of this, we were given shutdowns, lock outs and closures in small chunks – two weeks at a time for the most part.  I understand the psychology of this and it stems from the concept of hope.   If from the beginning, for us that basically meant March 12th ish, our schools said, “no more school for the rest of the year”, we would have spiraled into chaos.  If on March 12th, we were told we would be essentially relegated to our homes for an undetermined amount of time, we would have immediately rebelled.  That shred of hope; the light at the end of the tunnel; the dangling carrot has continually been there but just out of reach.

Kelly and I have known since the beginning this wasn’t going to be a two week solution or even a 12 week solution and we have been preparing our kids with this, but that doesn’t make the reality of it easier.   The hope in this is that we are doing our part to protect others; our grandparents, our neighbors, those at risk, our healthcare workers and those truly “essential” for maintaining our basic services, protection and safety.

As Americans, most of us have grown up with the concept of the American Dream and it is BUILT on the concept of hope.  Study hard.  Work hard.  Play hard.  Be an active and engaged citizen and help others.  If you do this, you can accomplish anything.  You can direct your future.  You can alter your path.  You can wake up one day and decide to CHANGE YOUR OWN LIFE’S OUTCOME!  Yes!  It will be hard – but being an American for me has always meant that I am in control of my choices and consequences, both good and bad.  If you have never left this country (or visited parts of America where this concept is still emerging) you cannot possibly know how lucky you are to be an American.  (Don’t argue with me.  I won’t listen.)

But our hope has been challenged.  Since many of our original stay at home orders have “expired” and are being reviewed, we are given potential timelines….and still nothing concrete.  Hope is wavering because the light at the end of the tunnel seems to be getting farther away.  Do you remember how much you hated it when your parents said, “maybe”?  It put your hope on standby.  Maybe restaurants will open for outside seating in May.  Maybe hiking trails will open in June.  Maybe beaches will open in July.  Maybe camping will open this year. “Maybe” isn’t a viable timeline, and this is where we get stuck.

We know that most of the stressors in our lives have tangible timelines or at least we know we can control them to some extent.  The stress of school.  The stress of finding a job.  The stress of paying bills, finding a mate, stages of raising children, abuse, addiction, our health.  But right now, we have no tangible timeline and it is causing rebellion and mutiny!  I cannot say where I fall on this fence – I see both sides – but I also know I cannot continue to tell my children “maybe” when they ask me if they will be able to see their friends in two weeks.  My family will be making some serious decisions in the next couple of days and they will be the right ones for MY family.  Hope is not something that can remain on standby.

Day 51 and counting….

PS – I have had two inquiries about staying over at the She Shed – yes, you can use the pool and I will even feed you.  No, it doesn’t have a bathroom.

Social Distancing – Day 50 – A Diary

Monday – a gorgeous day.

I painted the old decking on the she shed with a dark gray, heavy duty paint.  It looks way nicer now…the old pressure treated wood was yucky and needed a facelift.  We also went to the barn and cleaned stalls.  We hadn’t gone for over a week so it was pretty bad, but we had two buckets and had them running continuously.  It was a good workout!  We wanted to burn some of our brush but it was just too windy last night so we tabled that.  Hopefully Tuesday night!

So here is where the rubber hits the road…I love my job.  I LOVE helping people plan their dream vacations.  I love seeing people make memories that will last them a lifetime.  I work for free for every single client – they never pay me; the supplier pays me AFTER my clients travel.  I serve my clients with the best prices anywhere; customized personal service and I am on-call 24/7 when they travel.  When my clients don’t travel, I don’t get paid.  For the past three months, only two out of the 22 planned vacations that I have been working on for almost a year, happened.  My planned summer travelers are still waiting on bated breath to find out if their plans will be thwarted by COVID-19.  I am still helping my clients AND people who booked their own travel navigate the rebooking and Future Travel Credit situation ensuing.

My state, Maine, just decided last Friday (May 1st) that they had figured out how to administer unemployment claims for self employed folks.  I applied March 23rd and found out in April that they didn’t have a procedure for self employed folks.  I got my denial and was told to wait.  Friday, my window for refiling opened up at noon (since my last name starts with an “S”), but there was an issue, of course – and I was given three business days to call.  The office closes there at 12:30pm.

Yesterday I called 47 times.  They have no waiting queue for calls so you have to continuously call back.  The offices opened at 8am and I have dialed in 34 times already today (Tuesday).  This is hard for so many!  Fingers crossed I eventually get through.  I know there are so many people in this with me – self employed entrepreneurs that are trying to follow their dream and seeing that dream on hold.   I think we are going to start renting out the She Shed!  Who’s first?  Socially Distant “glamping”!!

Day 50 and counting….

Social Distancing – Days 47-49 – A Diary

Friday, Saturday and Sunday – Friday started out wet but it brought a gorgeous weekend!!!

So, thinking back – I feel like the days run together so I am having a hard time remembering what I did on Friday – WOW!  So I’ll move onto Saturday!  Hahahahah

Saturday Kelly and Kelton were on the church crew and were gone most of the day.  In the morning, I worked in the garden creating some terraces in an area of the garden that has always been a sore spot, and then finished it up after Char’s lesson Saturday afternoon – final pictures when mulched to follow!!!

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That night, we had an AMAZING summer dinner with a huge Delmonico steak and beef short ribs on the grill.  I made a caprese salad and also made some tin foil potatoes with butter and red onion to have on the grill also!  It was a fabulous dinner!!!!

Sunday work continued on the She Shed with trim and roof strapping.  Char helped me clear out an old fire pit and we are getting ready to burn some brush later this week.  I also made another tripod for growing vines from some of the small trees we cut down and finally got some of our fairy lights put up from last year.  Moving right along…

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Elvis decided she needed a vacation!

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Days 47-49 and counting….

Social Distancing – Day 46 – A Diary

Thursday – cloudy, cold and sprinkles.

In Search of…

  1. A Laundry Folding Fairy
  2. My own Marie Kondo to help me sort my mess
  3. Three full time “honey-do list” specialists
  4. A professional chef to make me a menu
  5. A drill sergeant to yell at me to work out
  6. A contractor for 1 week who will work for food
  7. A bull dozer
  8. A large dumpster
  9. A daily supply of squeeze cheese

Day 46 and counting….