Sunday, April 5, 2020

Sunday, April 4, 2020

Well, it’s been another week of COVID-19 social distancing and observing the governor’s STAY AT HOME order.  The only times I have left the house were to walk Frisco and on Tuesday, I ordered a Papa Murphy’s pizza and went there to pick it up - no contact with humans at all. On Friday, the government started suggesting that people use a mask (homemade is fine) when going out in public, although our dipshit president said he wouldn’t be doing it. And then the next day there were pictures going around social media of him playing golf. In my eyes, he is failing miserably at leading the country in a manner that will protect and help the citizens get through this ordeal. The numbers keep climbing, although we are starting to see some evidence of recovery. Here in Minnesota, almost half of the 1,000 people confirmed have now recovered.

I am keeping my spirits up, communicating regularly with Tom, my sons, siblings, and friends. In fact, I don’t think I’ve talked this much on the phone since the last tragedy in our family - when Rick died two years ago. I FaceTime with the granddaughters most afternoons and Tom and I have been doing video chats too - it’s so much better than just a phone call, but it does remind me of how much better it would be if we were together going through this.

Another indoor activity...this one was a real challenge and it took me a long time.

Walks are getting to be more pleasant, as our days have been steadily warming except for a cold spell every now and then.  I have been walking through city streets and neighborhoods rather than taking the trails, especially on the weekends when everyone is wanting to be out and about. People are respectful of the distancing and allowing plenty of space when passing.  As I walk the nearby streets, I have been finding little sayings embedded in the sidewalks. Here are 2 examples.

This morning’s project was to make face masks. I promised Ben that I would wear them whenever I take the elevator or go out in public. He is very concerned and worried about my safety.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Monday, March 30, 2020

The weekend was rainy and gray so I sure didn’t get much walking in, and when I did, they were short works with the sole purpose of letting Frisco relieve himself. He doesn’t like it either, so he takes care of business quickly.

The highlight of the weekend was a video conversation with Tom after getting setup with Google Duo. It sure was nice to see his smiling face again. We never have a problem finding things to talk about and before long, we have been yapping for an hour.

Today has been beautiful! Frisco and I took a nice, long walk and I only wore a fleece hoody - no hat or gloves. It was sunny without much breeze and it felt so good to be outdoors.  There were a lot of folks thinking the same thing, although people were respectful of social distancing, although still being friendly.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Saturday, March 28, 2020

The numbers of COVID-19 cases in the US is still climbing, 103,000 cases and 1,668 deaths. Many states are on orders of lockdown including Wisconsin and Minnesota. The worst case scenarios are in 
New York City and Los Angeles where there aren’t enough hospital beds to contain all of the wick people. Testimonials from people who have suffered through it sound horrible and I don’t think my body could survive the severe symptoms, mostly with extreme breathing issues and pneumonia. Respirators, masks, and gowns are in short supply but factories are starting to produce them in large numbers. People are rallying to help where they can, although any non-essential activities are banned, and told to wash hands frequently and thoroughly and keep a distance of 6-feet. Self-quarantine and social distancing are terms that are heard frequently.

I walked past the airport parking lot the other day and this is what it looked like - during normal times, the lot is full and the shuttles are frequent.

Thursday and Friday this week were beautiful spring days with temperatures in the upper 40s and I was able to walk without hat and gloves. I found a nice route that gives me almost a 2-mile walk to the river and through nearby neighborhoods. Today is a gray, gloomy day and we are getting heavy rain and possible some snow overnight,

This week was the anniversary of the losses of several loved ones: the 25th marked the 18th year of Rocco’s passing, the 26th marked 2 years since we lost Rick and the 27th was 7 years since Jill’s brother, Casey died. Dang!

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Monday, March 23, 2020

It is 52 years today that Mike and I tied the knot in San Bernardino, CA. It’s too bad that we still aren’t going strong, but it made for a good life for us and brought us our two wonderful sons. I am just so thankful that we made the decision to retire early and were able to have ten good years of retirement living - exploring the US, a trip to Europe, and just going wherever we wanted to go.

I just had to get out of the house on Sunday, so Frisco and I went for a drive - making a loop to the east through Cottage Grove and Hastings, then back home. At Hastings, we drove along the river walk, parked the car and took a walk. Lots of folks had the same idea, but there was plenty of space between us.

I guess Ben and his family had enough of being cooped up too, they went to the sculpture garden.

I’ve been having lots of long conversations on the phone with friends and family the last week or so. I guess everyone is missing the social contact and also getting in touch to make sure everyone is staying healthy. I’m also keeping myself busy with Frisco walks, working on a puzzle, and I’ve started a crochet project.

The only business that are still in operation are grocery stores, pharmacies, liquor stores, gas stations, and hospitals. The economy has taken a huge dive with so many out of work and the government is looking at ways to stimulate and to help folks get by. Of course, the Republicans want to boost the economy by helping big business and the Democrats want the money to go to the people. There is talk of a stimulus package where everyone will get a check from the government - we shall see how that pans out. 

Last week when I was going through some papers, I came across the letter from 2008 where  Mike and I got a check for $1200. We really took a beating on our investments that year and never fully recovered. Fortunately, I still have some of it but not enough to last me until my 90s as we had originally planned, so I withdraw and little as possible to make it last.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Saturday, March 21, 2020

It has been a long week of being cooped up indoors, with the exception of several short walks during the day with Frisco. Now, if I didn’t have him as my companion, I may never have left the house. I’ve been keeping myself busy with rearranging the living room, giving the apartment a deep cleaning, talking on the phone with family and friends, having FaceTime conversations with my granddaughters, and I even started another puzzle. Next week, the crochet projects or some other craft may come out but for now, I am uninspired to do that.

My afternoon reading session with Norah on FaceTime, Camille looking over her shoulder.

This morning, Frisco was awake at 6:15 and I scrambled to get dressed and get him outdoors. By the time we got back, I was wide awake so my idea of going back to bed wasn’t going to happen. I got myself ready and headed to Hy-Vee for some groceries. They have made accommodations for seniors to do their shopping between 7 and 8 am so they don’t have to be in a crowded store and they have good access to the items that are stocked overnight. There were plenty of people shopping but there was room to distance yourself, cart wipes were available, and I was able to get everything on my list, including toilet tissue. The paper product and cleaning product aisles have been empty this last week - people are hoarding.

The coronavirus cases keep on climbing but I believe there would be so many more if people weren’t staying at home. It also may have not gotten this far if our government had acted sooner. Now, it turns out that they knew weeks before we were notified and many used the information to sell off and reduce their losses on the stock market.  New York has the most cases and they are locking down the city and bringing in National Guard troops to build additional hospitals.  It has been declared a national emergency and it is pretty darned scary. With so many public offices and businesses (all that are unnecessary) are closed, the stock market is at an all-time low and they are now saying that we are in a recession. Many of the older folks are saying that the times remind them of what it was like during World War II.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Happy St Patrick’s Day! There won’t be a lot of celebrating as far as parades, large groups of people, or hanging out at bars or restaurants this year.  It has gotten crazy around the entire world as the COVID-19 virus is spreading like crazy and businesses are closing right and left. The tp/paper towels/tissue sections, prepared food, eggs, meats, sanitizers, cough and cold medications are sold out and empty. Yesterday, the governor closed all schools, libraries, restaurants and bars and people are being encouraged to stay at home and self quarantine to keep the virus from spreading.

I canceled my tickets to Florida in April and let Rudy and Sonja know that I wouldn’t be coming to visit them. They were totally understanding and are going through the same restrictions as what we’re having here. They are also getting word from Switzerland that things are closing down there too. In fact, Sonja said in her latest e-mail, that it is reminding her of all of the shutdowns during World War II.

Our weather has been decent, so I have gotten some good walks in with Frisco, taken naps, and have gone through a few boxes of old family stuff - mostly from Mike’s family - that Pat and Ben will have to go through and decide what they want to keep or let go. Today, I reduced a tote full of photos by at least half - getting rid of duplicates, out of focus, and unidentifiable pictures.  There were a few decorative items and picture frames that I could donate at a thrift store, but instead, I just took them out to the lobby and they disappeared within a very short time.

I have a corned beef on the stove and will add some potato, carrot, and cabbage in a couple of hours.  Any leftovers will go in the freezer for some yummy Reubens in the future.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Wednesday was a day off from work but I had two appointments. The first was an eye exam and I learned there was only a slight change in my prescription, my eyes are healthy, and the cataracts haven’t gotten much worse. She said it was totally up to me as to when I have the surgery - either get it over with sooner or let it wait until later. For now, I’m thinking later.

I saw my doctor after that because I have been having some shortness of breath with even minor exertion, like short walks and climbing a few stairs, although I haven’t been feeling ill at all. The conclusion was asthma and allergy (lots of pollens and molds in the air right now) and that is something I have dealt with all my life. A slight increase in my current medications should take care of it. 

Back to work on Friday with a couple of added hours beginning and end. We ere crazy busy and I spent most all of my time at pickup and checking people out. About 4:00 things really picked up and We got crazy busy with people filling carts and buying extras of everything - a lot of cold and cough medications were going out the door.

When I got back home, I talked with Pat and decided that my trip to Stoughton probably isn’t the best idea, although it has been 6 months since we have seen each other.  Due to the fast spreading COVID-19 virus, they are suggesting that folks avoid any non-essential travel right now. The numbers are increasing every day and they are saying that it will get a lot worse before it gets better. People in the 40-59 age range are getting hit the hardest right now but people 60+ are at the highest risk for getting sicker, especially those with heart and lung disease - me.

This morning, after much thought recently, discussions with my concerned sons, and throughout the night, I contacted my boss to tell him that I won’t be working for a while - mostly because of the close contact with so many sick people. I have until April 4 to decide if it is permanent.