Pandemic Journal: Sanity & Strategies to Keep It

Covid 19

Will we have any sanity left when this is over? And what does “over” mean in this context? “Over” isn’t going to be just escaping or surviving (hopefully) the virus, but also the resulting economic havoc that is being wrought every day that we are in lockdown.

We have no idea what to expect because we, none of us, has ever seen anything like this before. This is uncharted territory.

Mind you, I absolutely agree that these measures are necessary, and had we done it sooner, we might well have avoided what we are now facing in the next few weeks. A tsunami so different that none of us know exactly what to expect – other than it’s going to be bad, very bad. We need to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

Yes, like everyone else, I’m frightened and anxious. It’s like the enemy that we can’t see but know is coming, stealthily, invisibly until it’s upon us and too late.

And then, of course, there are the people who don’t believe this pandemic is real – don’t understand that it’s up to all of us to avoid contamination so that we don’t infect others. It’s a matter of life and death.

If you know a doubter who needs convincing, or you’re uncertain yourself, here’s a lighthearted but very poignant  shortclip from the comedy Scrubs, 14 years ago, that shows with green the infection path and why this is so deadly. Take a look, here.

Fear and Anxiety

Everyone has their own personal reasons why they are afraid. In my case, two of my closest family members work in the medical field, at a major hospital where they and their housemate will certainly be exposed, and another close family member works in a public facing service role where he is as I type this.

Some family members have compromised heath which means they are more susceptible to death when, not if, they become infected. I’m hopeful that we can keep them safe long enough for the worst to be over, for the virus to mutate to a less deadly form, or a vaccine to be developed. Yes, we’re still allowed to hope.

One of my best friends along with a police officer was exposed to the virus this week in her role as a medical professional. Another friend played cards with a person who was later confirmed to have the virus. And then there are my friends in NYC and in the epicenter outside of Seattle.

This is just the beginning and today will look like the good old days soon.

As I said to someone yesterday, now when I tell someone that I love them, or goodbye, the gravity and importance of those words weighs heavy upon my heart.

Lockdown and Me

I’ve been trying to decide how to appropriately handle this situation and my blog.

I don’t want to seem unconcerned and glib by ignoring the situation that is changing the everyday life of every single person – immediately – as people transition to working at home with their home-working spouses and children not at school. Or, worse, transition to not having a job or income at all. That’s not a transition, it’s a bomb.

But then again, I don’t want to allow this to overtake my entire life either. I certainly hope there is a life worth living after Covid-19.

It seems to be that there has to be a balance of some sort – and I’m trying to find it. And I’m taking you along with me through my articles.

A Way Forward

I will from time to time run a “pressure relief valve” type of article. I’ll be sharing what I’m doing to try to retain what shreds of sanity I have left. Maybe asking for or sharing hints and tips. Kind of like we are just having coffee or tea and talking.

I don’t know what I’ll have to say in these articles, because I’ve never lived through anything this momentous before.

Life will go on, somehow – just differently, and sadly, probably without some of the people who are here now.

In addition to an occasional Pandemic article, I’ll also run my regular articles so that there is some semblance of normalcy – plus – you may have extra time now to work on your genealogy! There has to be a silver lining someplace, right?

There’s a section at the end of this article that you may enjoy with several goodies.

Working at Home

I don’t know how many of you have worked from home previously, but I’ve had a home office for years now and I love it.

Structure is important, especially in terms of making time for other family members, and other activities.

I should talk, because it’s literally 1:30 in the morning and I’m “working” by writing this article.

I would wager that you’ve already guessed that I really enjoy writing and that activity brings a level of composure to my life. I feel like I’m organizing things and helping others at the same time.

Writing helps me gather my thoughts and in terms of genealogy and genetics, to organize my research.

Make sure your work area is comfortable and that you get up and walk around at least once an hour. Go outside (just not around other people) and enjoy some sunshine. Exercise in some way.

Meter the Bad News

I’m to the point where I almost hate to open my eyes every morning because right now, there’s always bad news. Everyone needs an emotional break, so I’ve implemented a metering system.

I do check in the morning, because if I need to actually know or do something, I do not wish to be ignorant. Plus, I have those immediate family members in harms way, daily. For me, the anxiety of not knowing is worse than the anxiety of knowing the worst, but everyone is different.

I also read a chapter of an ongoing “book” that the Appalachian Storyteller author, Stephen Hollen, posts every single morning on his personal page on Facebook. I can’t tell you how much I look forward to this. He might be responsible for any sanity I have left in the end😊. I will actually grieve when this series is finished.

I check CNN but I do not check what I consider to be inflammatory news sources – ever. I’ve taken a “just the facts” approach.

I do check the headlines 2 or 3 times a day for “big news,” but that’s it. Big news today is the earthquake in Salt Lake City. I’m glad all of my friends there are checking in, shaken (literally) but OK.

If there is truly something critical, I will notice it on FaceBook which I also monitor periodically, but not constantly.

In the evening, I watch one particular program that provides a factual summary of the day’s important news.

In other words, I control the amount and timing of what I’m exposed to. Otherwise, I’d just be overwashed with constant negativity.

Relief

Everyone has their own “go to” activities that make them feel better. Self-medicating, hopefully in a healthy way. Mine are, in no particular order:

  • Genealogy
  • Genetic genealogy
  • Reading
  • Quilting
  • Writing (articles like this, 52 ancestor stories, etc.)

I have trouble concentrating on the first three items if something else is bothering me. I think genealogy requires too much analytical skill when I’m stressed and reading allows my mind to wander off. But quilting forces me to focus just enough that I can escape almost anything – maybe because it requires both body and mind.

I make care quilts for others which is a personal mission of sorts.

Bob quilt blurred.jpg

I shipped this one of those overnight on Monday and it arrived Tuesday morning to wrap the recipient in love. This is a signature quilt from this person’s dear friends, so I’ve blurred some of the blocks on purpose for privacy, but you can see the love nonetheless.

laptop sleeve.jpg

I also made a laptop sleeve and power supply bag over the last few days out of quilted scraps from my DNA vest. My laptop sleeve was a RootsTech casualty. This is much more “me” than a boring old black sleeve anyway and maybe with this ditty bag for the power supply, I won’t lose another one of those either. Fingers crossed.

Social Distancing

Social distancing is not new for me. Not only have I worked at home for a long time, but I’m not fond of stores and crowds. I’m perfectly happy staying at home and working on my genealogy or other projects most of the time.

In fact, several genealgists that I know are gleeful to be forced to stay at home and isolate. Do I ever understand that. A few others aren’t as pleased, because now their entire family is at home and they can’t get much genealogy done.

However, this is week 3 for me. Lots of people were ill at and following RootsTech, so I have pretty much stayed home and away from others since my return. I’ve been fine – no symptoms – but if I was going to get sick, I didn’t want to become typhoid Roberta.

I’ve never thought about social distancing much, at least not as as we now know it, until the past couple of weeks. Now as the restrictions tighten, of course every thought is measured against social distancing and what would be required, or risked. How to minimize exposure.

While we aren’t under a complete lockdown where I live, schools, restaurants and bars are closed and most people are working from home. The next step would be to “shelter in place” which I expect soon.

I’d rather do that than suffer the alternative.

Activities in Isolation

Today, my husband and I inventoried the pantry to see what we really have, and now long our food supply will last. Never did I imagine I’d ever be doing this, at least not for this reason. We discovered that we have 3 boxes of Rice-a-Roni and a whole lot of other things we had forgotten about. Who knew!!

We also have a couple cans of Spam that worked their way to the back corner. They are out of date, of course, but if we are hungry, we’re not going to care and we’d be grateful for food. Clearly, Spam would not be my first choice. I’m not sure who bought those cans or why, because I guarantee you – they weren’t on my shopping list.

We might just have a little contest to see who can come up with the most innovative creation – kind of like one of those cooking shows. Anyone for Spam-a-Roni?? Maybe fried Spam and gravy? Now that doesn’t sound too bad.

Based on what I’m seeing on Facebook, I’m thinking a whole lot of people are going to get to learn to cook “from scratch” over the next few weeks.

Having had so much luck with the pantry inventory, I suggested we start spring cleaning, which sent my husband scurrying into hibernation – self-isolating in his office. That’s OK, I really didn’t want to clean anyway.

Instead, I did a number of other things, including;

  • Worked on client’s Y DNA report (normal activity for me)
  • Published The Million Mito Project article (is that cool or what!!!)
  • Spoke with friend whose husband is gravely ill ☹ (not virus related, but very tough especially since his family can’t come to visit)
  • Petted the cats (which according to them I haven’t done in years)
  • Watched Blaine’s free webinar (still free today), LucidChart and Other Tools for Genetic Genealogy at Legacy Family Tree Webinars. I need to try MedBetterDNA.
  • Email, which is never-ending and increasing now because, hey, I needed to know how stores the American Girl Doll stores are handling the Covid-19 issue
  • Made 3 quilt blocks

Quilting

Quilting – now we’re finally to the really fun stuff.

When the going gets rough, I quilt.

It was St. Patrick’s Day, and even though that somehow got lost in the hubbub, I decided to work on a green quilt block to share with my online Genea-Quilter peeps. I grabbed the block with green, thinking it was the St. Patty’s Day block.

Christmas cat block.jpg

I discovered it was Christmas instead. Guess that one’s done several months early.

Did I mention that I had help?

Kitters helping.jpg

Meet Kitters. She and her sister, Chai, steal my pins and deposit them in their food dish and in my husband’s shoes. Gifts of the highest order.

If you have pets, be sure you have enough food for them too and shower them with extra love and attention. You’ll both benefit.

This unfinished quilt project has been laying around for some time, so I decided to make another block.

St. Pat's quilt block.jpg

Yes, this one actually IS the St. Patty’s Day block.

Winter cat quilt block.jpg

And one more for good measure. We’re supposed to get more snow this weekend, so this is appropriate.

Helpful and Uplifting Links

Thank goodness for the internet – that’s all I can say. While we are distanced physically, we can still stay in touch with people – can still interact and share.

Music is incredibly uplifting and soothing. I suggest going to YouTube, enter the name of your favorite artist, and just listen. You can also create playlists there and on your phone or iPad as well. Music helps us vocalize or express what we can’t ourselves.

Here’s a list of inspirational and useful links for your enjoyment:

  • Here’s possibly my all-time favorite song (and performer) – Joseph Groban in You Raise Me Up. This pandemic has brought home just how much we truly are dependent on the actions of each other. We must raise each other up and protect each other, now, as never before. Please listen to this soul-moving beauty.
  • Celine Dion and Josh Groban, The Prayer – this one is for you! I often play this, close my eyes and just listen – but watch it the first time because the visuals are amazing too. Melts my heart.
  • Here’s “Ode to Joy” played by musicians in a neighborhood Spain under lockdown.
  • This pianist and jazz musician is my favorite “virus video,” both playing from separate balconies.
  • Applause from balconies in Spain as people expressed their gratitude for Spain’s doctors. Doctors, medical professionals and first responders are literally on the front line risking their lives.
  • My article, Fun Genealogy Activities for Trying Times
  • Judy Russell with some additional ideas in Opportunity Knocking.
  • Looking for beauty that combines nature, gardens, flowers and inspiration? Try my other blog, Victory Garden, Day by Day.
  • I’m not LDS nor encouraging or recommending any particular religion, but preparation for being without food for a year is part of the LDS scripture. You can see what is recommended for adults and children for a year, here, and about food storage, here.

Sharing is Caring

Now that I’ve shared all of the excitement at my house, what are you doing, both to prepare for what’s approaching and as a way to keep your sanity as you implement social distancing? How are you coping? Where are you finding peace and solace?

Sharing is caring – a coping mechanism, a way of making our burdens seem lighter because we’re not alone, even though we’re socially distanced, so please share. Your ideas and comments may help someone else.

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Disclosure

I receive a small contribution when you click on some of the links to vendors in my articles. This does NOT increase the price you pay but helps me to keep the lights on and this informational blog free for everyone. Please click on the links in the articles or to the vendors below if you are purchasing products or DNA testing.

Thank you so much.

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29 thoughts on “Pandemic Journal: Sanity & Strategies to Keep It

  1. Great article. My only comment is that if no one hoarded, there would be no need to hoard. We need to be better citizens of the world.

  2. I too run to my quilt studio when the going gets rough. This week I’ve done binding on two queen sized quilts and one single bed quilt, plus finished quilting the surface of a baby quilt. Guess it is time to get back, to genealogy. Loved today’s article.

  3. Hi Roberta – I follow Anne Louise Avery @AnneLouiseAvery (art historian)
    on Twitter and her uplifting and beautifully illustrated vingettes about Old Fox and his friends. Brightens my day when she tweets. In England COVID-19 is getting serious and social contact is lessening. But I am heartened by the neighbourhood groups that are forming to look after the elderly and infirm

  4. My husband & I are well into the age defined “target group” for COVID-19 but are doing fine here in Silicon Valley, CA. March 1st, my sister in the Seattle area “pressured” me to go to the store and “stock up” so I have her to thank for being good in that respect. Though local and now state directives have given “shelter in place” orders, we had started our own “lockdown” the week prior, cancelling meetings and dentist appts etc. As a Biologist, my husband says not allowing the virus to keep finding new “hosts” to infect will eventually eradicate it.
    In the meantime, I should be clearing out the clutter (something I’m always promising) BUT I’ve spent the last week doing genetic genealogy instead! I also am an artist, and my Sketchers group have been holding “virtual” sessions in place of our usual Saturday morning gatherings. Leader gives a written lesson then makes assignment & we do or don’t do it on our own time schedule. Show & Tell takes place by email photos as desired with comments back & forth. When all else fails I have books, books, and more books plus magazines from (what seems like) the last 10 yrs!
    Re: Subject matter Roberta, I was thinking of our ancesters and the pandemics they must have endured. Not only the well known Spanish Flu of 1918 (my maternal grandmother was hospitalized in that one but survived thankfully because mother wasn’t born yet!) but other epidemics for typhoid, cholera, tuberculosis, and even polio in the 1940/50’s. Might be interesting to review some of those instances??? Just a thought…………

    I Love seeing your own “artwork” in Quilts Roberta and appreciate your blogging and giving us something else to ponder. Be safe and take care.

  5. P.S. Perhaps some people might want to keep a diary of this time period so generations down the line might have something to give them to read in order to get a feel for the situation and how it affected everyday life as we know it now.

  6. Great post Roberta, thank you. I love your quilt blocks. Did the kitty pictures in the centre of each come already done or did you aplique them first? Also, for using the tunnel spam, how about fritters or chopped up in a recipe like stir fry or noodle dish. Yachting folks get very inventive with limited supplies.

    • The center panels are printed. I subscribed to a block-a-month club years ago and had great intentions. Fortunately, I still like them. They were sold as miniature quilts, but I’m going to be using them as blocks in a larger quilt for me.

  7. Thank you Roberta, always the voice of reason. We all need to stay safe and search out the good in the world. And there is always good.

  8. Roberta, I have followed you for many, many years, and consider you a friend, even though we’ve never met. We have helped each other many times over the years and I will always follow you. That said, I wish you had not said this:

    “Mind you, I absolutely agree that these measures are necessary, and had we done it sooner, we might well have avoided what we are now facing in the next few weeks.”

    A gentle suggestion: Could we agree to keep anything sounding even the slightest bit political out of this?

    Thanks!

    And now another thing… I violently disagree with you on food – I love Spam! 😉

    Keep up the good work! Still friends?

    • My daughter works in medicine. That’s not a political statement. Believe me, I want to be wrong desperately.

    • To Roberta’s defense, the French media also talk about the way French scientists and medical staff would have forced isolation mesures much sooner, but the politicians couldn’t have done them before the French people was in the right mindset to accept them. Trying to coerce a rebellious population would have just wasted much needed ressources.

      The same goes for all country in time of crisis, their politicians need to master the careful balancing act between what experts of the field recommend and what the population is ready to accept. Some perform better than others, as all things in life.

  9. My mother was a quilter too, thank you for stirring up memories of her creations and the joy she experienced while making them, and how much she brought to those whom she gifted them to.

    I just ran into this headline while scanning the news: “U.S. Virus Plan Anticipates 18-Month Pandemic and Widespread Shortages”. Holy crud, 18 months?!? Everything seems to continue to escalate with this thing. You stated: “I don’t know what I’ll have to say in these articles, because I’ve never lived through anything this momentous before.” I don’t think that is quite true YET, 911 is still the most momentous thing our living generations have experienced so far, and I am praying that this virus will fall short of that still. But it may not . . .

    I made a light-hearted comment to friends the other day the Stephen King may have Nostradamus-ed us in his book “The Stand”. As this event has progressed though I’m beginning to wonder just how close he actually came. I do not think we’ll approach an end-of-the-world event, or even close to one, but how close will our societies come to falling? Our (mankind’s) penchant to be cruel to one another is only marginally less than our capacity to come together and help each other.

    Very good article Roberta.

  10. I’m not afraid or anxious. I’m basically housebound so staying home and doing things in normal for me. We have always cooked from scratch, it’s cheaper in the first place and healthier in the second. I work on my genealogy (especially my spouse’s, he’s got a massive number of ancestors), knit, write, meditate, read, listen to mucis on Bandcamp (www.bandcamp.com) where you can listen and buy if you want. I’m keeping things as normal as possible. I already survived cancer and other things so this is just another thing to beat one way or another and if it does take me out, I had a pretty good life and that’s okay too.

  11. My New Pet Peeve: People ignoring warnings to stay home and not travel.

    The first case in AR was someone who had traveled to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. Medical personnel and med students became infected when he was checked into the hospital before they knew he had COVID-19. Out of 33 cases in AR 1/3 are linked to this first case.

    Others ill in the state brought the disease home from their travels.

    Gov. Asa Hutchinson made a powerful case for staying home and not traveling through a series of charts.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=luD-P2-Qkdo

    Do not travel for Spring Break.
    There will be many opportunities for travel in your life. Skip the travel.this year! You may be saving many lives by staying home. And causing someone to die if you travel and cause others to be infected.

  12. Spam and plenty of mustard fora sandwich.

    Treet is good cut up and cooked in Pinto Beans. It was served at a school where I once worked and I had to ask what it was! Spam would probably work with beans also. Maybe baked beans with barbecue sauce or onions and brown sugar?

    Love the quilts! Creative! And beautiful!

  13. Spam is good stir fried, with pineapple chunks, maybe with green or red pepper if you have it (and probably a little vinegar and some sugar to make a sauce if you like). I remember as a kid one time over at a friend’s house, her mom served us canned ham with all this red glaze baked over it. I was wondering what made it red. Come to find out, there was a box of red jello sprinkled over it before she put it in the oven. My own mom was a bit more creative: she would have made a raisin and brown sugar sauce for the ham. Oh, cool–I just thought of something to do with the raisins in the back of my own pantry!!

  14. For the general supply, as an habit taken from my parents and grand-parents (all six farmers in Canada) I always have food for a good month or month and a half, in the pantry and the coffin freezer. Back in the days, my grand-mothers couldn’t hope to get much stuff from the village’s general store over winter, so everything they had stored by mid-November was pretty much what they could get up until mid-May. Plus they were butchering their own animals and had to store and spread the food over many months. That was another life entirely.

    Talking of which, no weed plucking for me, there’s still between 2 and 3 feet of snow in my back yard. One day, I swear, spring will come! xD

    On the day to day basis, I follow the news from Japan, France, Canada and United States and keep a daily eye on how the numbers change around the world. Numbers in Asia look good, things may be mostly alright worldwide by May or June. I’m keeping an eye on Japan because I have a trip planed there for the end of April, which I booked more than a month ago. I’m not cancelling yet, I still hope it will work. My mother think I’m delusional.

    Talking of which, another daily task is to call my mother and help her manage her anxiety. She was scolding me yesterday saying how irresponsible of me it was to still plan to met with my sister and my niece for a playstation party next Friday, that people would probably die because of our negligence. I talk about it with a friend who is an health professional, she said you dont have to cut all social interactions, just limit them to a few people who you see more often. She proposed to make a list of up to 10 persons which will be the entire household’s only physical relationship in the next weeks (professional meeting aren’t counted in this list). Kids, hygiene challenged people and pandemic deniers take more than one slot. If some of you have troubles with anxious people, fell free to take this tip. They will feel they do something to protect themselves without fearing for their life if your dare to meet one person outside of them. My mother is usually much more rational and cold headed.

    My number one concern is my shower fixtures which has broken lately, talk about by timing. It should be over by Monday at the latest, I’m waiting for a part to come by mail.

    I have some stuff to do with genealogy, and other hand sewing project. Some fixing, some installing, some cleaning, some sorting. It could be a good idea to start a list and get some things done, because I’m speading an unhealthy among of time on youtube, not just listening music, singing along for good mesure. xD

  15. I know the people who are still thinking this can’t be real have never researched their ancestors during the Spanish flu. Not only did I lose several great-grandparents and 2nd greats. I know the impact of those deaths and how they changed the course of our family.

    Talk about history repeating itself. I heard a lady from Italy today speaking of bodies/caskets being stacked in churches until there is room in the crematorium.
    In that time period, I had a great-grandfather show in California working for a furniture manufacture. He left my great-grandmother with 10-11 small children in Georgia, where she died of influenza.

    There could have been many reasons he was away from the family, but giving him grace. I researched the furniture company. (He had listed cabinet maker on a previous census.) This company also made caskets. And at this time, between WW1 and the flu, there was a shortage of caskets. Bodies were being stacked in funeral homes as more and more caskets had to be made. I’m hoping that was the reason he was in California.

  16. Some years back, I lived in a very rural area a long ways to a grocery store. This was in the 1980’s, before people could order things on the internet. People in that area were getting their first phones! Trips to town often happened monthly or longer, depending on the weather.

    I have always cooked from scratch because I like to, but I had to adapt to my circumstances and geographical location. We need to do this today because it is wise to limit food trips even if you have food delivery service to your door. We do not all have delivery services in our areas, and not all people cannot afford special services. Some stores have a shopping service a person can pick up their order at the store, but I have noticed this shopping service does not include all essential items in orders. I am not going into a grocery store if I can help it. I I have been sending in younger family members to shop, but I do not feel good about doing this. I realize today many people do not cook from scratch, and often cook only simple foods or eat at restaurants. We may all have a new learning experience with food. When I lived in the rural area, I learned the things to buy, and my neighbors gave me hints on how to cope with infrequent shopping.

    When I went to the store, I thought in terms of perishable items that will have to be used first as fresh fruits, vegetables, bread, and unfrozen meat, then less perishable items like eggs, milk, carrots, potatoes, and cabbage that will keep a couple of weeks. Then comes the long term items that can be frozen, or stored in a pantry, and can last for months or longer. After a few bad experiences of fresh foods going bad, I did learn to prepare foods in this sequence, and I learned that even a large chest freezer has space limits. Freezing milk takes a lot of freezer space, but powdered milk takes little space. It works good for cooking, and by adding flavoring it tastes not too bad. My son was young then, and he thought strawberry milk was a treat, not something I used to make do. Pre-prepared foods and some left-overs also take up a lot of freezer space. Some types of bread freezes well, but bread takes up a lot of freezer space. I learned chopped onions and peppers can be frozen in freezer bags for cooking. Many things can be frozen, or bought frozen. Meat is my number one priority of freezer use, but some may want varied bagged fruits and vegetables. A person has to consider how much space they have in their freezer, and in their pantry. Dried and canned foods can be stored almost anywhere that does not freeze or get too hot. Get a reliable, easy to use can opener. You may need it more than you ever though you would. There is probably no need to hoard, but it is wise to have enough food and supplies to cover unforeseen events. We are now living in the unforeseen.

    I learned to make bread. It is not all that difficult, and very yummy. Many recipes are online. Some years later, when I no longer lived in that rural area, my son gifted me with a bread maker. I think it was a hint? I used it a few times, and it sat on the shelf, but I still have it. I dug it out and cleaned it up, and started using it. I am remembering when I used to buy 20 lb. bags or more of flour, and bulk yeast. I am hoping I do not have to go back to this, but I can.

    To go with fresh bread, I recommend home made soup. It uses up all kind of odds and ends that our pets may be getting fat eating. You will need either boxed broth, or bouillon cubes (do not add extra salt with cubes) to make the soup taste more like you expect it to taste. I bought myself a Hot Pot not long ago to replace my older pressure cooker, because of the safety and convenience of the new appliance. It makes wonderful soup and other things. You can follow recipes or just slice and dice left-over vegetables and meat, add noodles or macaroni, rice or potatoes, and toss them in with liquid and seasonings, and cook. I kept my mother alive for a couple of her last years with homemade soup. She loved it. I am rather sure soup and home made bread (maybe corn bread?) were staples of pioneer life. (the Campbells?) And, the Hot Pot makes cooking dried beans quick also. Our grandmother ancestors would be amazed, and most likely happy, with what we have today, even in the tiny “modern” kitchens.

    Besides cooking, genealogy, and trying to understand our DNA matches, I do beading, including with seed beads, crocheting, and other arts and crafts. In the spring I do what gardening I can still do in a small garden, hopefully with help. It looks like a good year for corn and green beans.

    Currently, I have four adult family members, including me, and a very large dog living in my household (my son, and his eighteen-year-old son, my step daughter, and myself), so meals can be difficult to please everyone, or fit time schedules. My family composition sometimes changes. My daughter and family live across town, a ten-minute drive. We are all together in one town, a rare occasion, to face the epidemic in small town mid-America. I am not isolated by far, but insist on my own space. We all have our favorite electronic toys and family wifi, and TV, books, tools and too many craft supplies.. No one is ill and quarantined at my house, and the town has not done quarantine-in-place yet. I am doing self-quarantine because I am old. The grown children are trying to be safe. We are used to more isolation from public events than most people, because where we live is pretty boring by city standards. Hand sanitizer pump bottles sit by the entry doors. We are not hugging. We keep our distance. We have done all we can do to keep ourselves well. Like everyone else, we do not know what to expect next.

    We will soon find out. Please everyone stay well.

    Sorry this is so long.

  17. Actually, we do have an idea of what we may experience in the near future. We have news coverage of countries further along in this pandemic. Please be aware of this to guide your everyday decisions.

  18. Roberta. Give up the idea of spring cleaning and finish your cruise trip blog to New Zealand please. I’m hanging out to see what you saw and did. Just as well you came when you did as we are now in traveller lockdown. At least we can get out for a walk as the weather still lovely.

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