Sunday 29 March 2020

Two Weeks In

It has now been two full weeks that we have stayed put. No going anyway. Not even to get groceries because we stocked up very well before this all started to shut down. As I've said, this has not been a surprise to husband who has been following things for weeks now (news junkie).

Yesterday we took advantage of nice weather and did some yard work. That consisted of hauling rocks from just outside our property line to on our property. If I could just go back in time and take back that two seconds where I hauled on that rock that was wedged in the ground. If I could just NOT have tried to pull on that rock (which I didn't, incidentally, get out of the ground anyway), then I would not have felt that nasty "twang" round about my sternum. I would not have thought in my head, "Oh sh*t!" upon feeling that twang. But alas there is no going back in time and rethinking my actions. What is done is done. I am now dealing with pulled chest muscles which result in pain upon trying to lift, pain upon taking a deep breath (NO, it is not covid-19 - trust me I know what I did), pain upon heaving myself up from the bed or the couch. Ughhhhhhhh!! I know. I know, it could be worse. But I know the recovery time for this is going to impede my plans for raking up spruce cones, cutting back perennials that overwintered in the beds, and whatever other yard work I would have liked to tackle in the upcoming weeks.

The rest of my world is pretty much the same. I make food, I take care of the chickens, I putter around. Anyone else doing a whole lot of this?

This is my little routine in the morning. Get up, feed cat, make coffee (note the hedgehog mug), read blogs, play a couple of rounds of solitaire games.

Isn't this a pretty colour? This was a breakfast smoothie sometimes this week. Couldn't even tell you what day. Now that I'm not physically leaving and going to work, one day is the same as the next (will this be what retirement is like?). The smoothie was a combination of frozen banana, blueberries, and strawberries with yogurt, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and a little vanilla protein powder. Usually I blend a handful of spinach in there, but the last little bit was past its usability stage, so it went to the hens instead.

I know what you've all been waiting for... puzzle progress in three installments!!

This was a borrowed puzzle from a co-worker, so thanks to whoever loaned that to me. This was much nicer to put together with lots of words that were easy to find and not too many repeating groups of flowers or leaves.  I really have to pace myself. Another teacher friend reminded me that this is a marathon, not a sprint. Good point.

It's Sunday night, that means three fantastic shows (can't watch them all at once, but recording to watch later) - Outlander, Island of Bryan, and Curse of Oak Island (I just KNOW tonight they'll find the treasure!!) I hope everyone out there is heeding all warnings and staying home. Just stay home. We'll get through this if we all just take is seriously and STAY HOME (if you can) And for those of you who have to leave your home to go to work - because you are a pharmacist, or you are stocking the shelves at the grocery store, or you are making food for take out, or you are driving an ambulance, or you are on the front lines in health care trying your best to keep people calm and well while trying to remain the same, I thank you.
The bottom line is all the clothes in the world, all the pretty home décor items, all the manicures and haircuts and glasses of wine, all the cars and vacations and fancy technology means absolutely nothing if you don't have your health. If you woke up this morning and breathed on your own, you are doing better than some people right now, and so... please everyone be safe, think of others, we'll get through this, eventually. Take care. Big virtual hugs to all.

Thursday 26 March 2020

Swiss Family Robinson - had to look into it further...

So, after reading comments on my previous post, I was wondering if I was wrong about it being Canadian, so I looked up Swiss Family Robinson, tv show and yep, it was. Here is an image to help jog your memories:


Upon further investigation, I found out there was only one season, 1974-75. Beach scenes were filmed in Jamaica and jungle scenes were filmed in Kleinburg, Ontario!!!! Trust me when I say that Kleinburg is not natural jungle habitat! It's an artsy place, however, with a famous art gallery. But... hold on to your hats all you Canadians of the same age... guess what else was filmed there??? The Forest Rangers and Littlest Hobo! How many horrible episodes of both of those did I watch as a child?!?
The actor who played the father, Johann Robinson, was Christopher Wiggins who was born in England. As well as acting, he did a lot of voice work, the least of which was doing the voice for Will Scarlett on Rocket Robin Hood! Could there have been a more quintessentially hokey series than Rocket Robin Hood??? But when you only got three channels, you watched Rocket Robin Hood.

And there you have a peak at some of my childhood. I also watched Mr. Dressup and the Friendly Giant, but that's for another post.

Thursday (is it Thursday?) March 26

I just had a childhood memory come flooding back to me as I typed the date as my post title. For any Canadians out there, do you remember the series on tv, The Swiss Family Robinson which was oh so very Canadian? Do you remember how the date would be narrated at the beginning with "in the year of our lord" ?  That went through my head when I was saying the date to myself. (At least, that's what I remember, but of course, I could be completely wrong).  If not, just ignore this part and carry on.

This morning I fired off a group email to the families of my students who can be contacted by email. I just wanted to reassure them that I was thinking of them and I was fine and all would be well eventually. Being as we had one day notice (in which we were all busy teaching) about all of this before doors were shut tight (and we didn't know they would be), many of us are at a loss because ALL of our "stuff" is at school. I am old fashioned in that I have files and binders and boxes of my lessons, units, papers... I do not keep things electronically for the most part because so much of what we do is hands on and fluid from one year to the next. As well, text books, anthologies, math manipulatives, charts, library books, etc. are all at school. We are not allowed in the school AT ALL. As well, online learning is fine (if we are actually trained how the heck to do this) for those children who have access to the internet and computers on which to work /  read /  research. Here in rural Ontario, that is not the case for all. In fact, I have a colleague who doesn't even have it at her own home because of where she lives. There are still some "dead zones" in terms of high speed internet around here. As well, how does one "teach" kindergarten, grade one ??? on the internet to one's students? Our wonderful kindergarten teachers have an outdoor classroom, they have hands-on learning centres that they change up throughout the year... It's all very mind boggling. My own two children are continuing their post secondary learning online, but even son has had a couple of things cancelled because he cannot do the hands-on learning required for his power engineering studies.

But here's the thing - everyone is in the same boat. We have never had to navigate this before - students or teachers. I reassured my "kidlets" that the classes they miss will not count against them! When we all get together again, whenever that will be, we'll just pick up where we left off. But I imagine that it's a different thing for our grade eights moving on into high school, or our grade twelve students getting ready to apply to college or university. Life will go on, and twenty years from now, those few missed weeks (?) months (?) won't matter. Regardless, unsettling times for all. (And just so you don't think I'm slacking off, we are currently waiting for specific details and direction as to what we should be doing and then we will all, as educators, dive in with the same dedication as always).

Now, moving on to the super important things, such as... puzzle progress!!!!

All done. 'Twil be boxed up today. Stay tuned for the next exciting installment ( I have three more puzzles!) Edge of your seat stuff.

This morning's breakfast was just a bowl of Frosted Mini Wheats cereal. Don't care.
Yesterday's was two scrambled eggs with sautéed onions. My mom always put onions in her scrambled eggs. Actually pretty much any food could be improved with the addition of onions in her opinion.

Mind blowingly exciting!

I have discovered the world of Tiktok, an app for short videos. My young adult children guided me through it and I can't tell you how many evening hours can be wasted swiping your way through videos of older teens trying to teach their pathetic parents how to dance, pets doing funny things, and nurses making light-hearted fun of their very serious decontamination routines upon returning home. Tried to get the app on husband's paleolithic cell phone, but not to be done, so he'll just have to listen to me chuckling away from my side of the room.

Take care, this too shall pass.

Tuesday 24 March 2020

Normal in the Abby...Normal

Welcome to Tuesday. Much like Monday.

The title of my blog is a little shout out to Young Frankenstein, for any fans out there.

Had a late breakfast, which I suppose I could have called lunch. I had eaten almost all of it before I thought, take a picture. Maybe it will be as exciting as yesterday's fried egg sandwich!

Pancakes, fake maple syrup, orange juice. They were made from a just-add-water mix. Still mighty good.

It's amazing what a difference a day can make. Most of yesterday's snow was melted by the time I went outside, opened up the shed and retrieved a rake and some big plastic garden totes. In the fall, I had raked a lot of leaves and spread them on the vegetable garden, added them to the compost, and dumped a ton into the chicken run, but there were still several piles remaining on the "lawn". I took my time and raked up a couple, and took them to the chicken run.

Here are some ecstatic chickens scratching their way through months-old leaves.

They are finding all sorts of treasures in there - little worms, grubs, snail eggs?, little newly sprouted grass and weeds that got yanked out with my raking, decomposed leaves... I'm expecting some good eggs in the next couple of days!

As I was sitting on "the chicken bench" watching them, I saw a chipmunk running away into the pile of split rails beside the chicken run. I do adore chipmunks. I also saw what I think is an odd thing, but maybe you have them too, a black squirrel with a reddish brown tail. We have a bunch of them (or I keep seeing the same one over and over). Do you have these squirrels? I joked with son that they were him - he has very dark hair but his beard comes in quite red, as did my brother's.

I heard the red-winged blackbirds with their unique raspy call which takes me right back to my childhood and really signals the beginning of Spring for me.

I took it easy with the raking. I'm terrible for overdoing yard work and then paying the price later. I raked a pile or two, then sat and chicken-watched. I only did a few piles today. The rest will still be there for me tomorrow, or the next day, or the next...

Here's another reminder that when "those all about you are losing their heads", nature carries on, oblivious of fear / chaos / economic strife.

These will be lovely blush pink tulips in the weeks to come, unless the black red-tailed squirrels have done some landscaping.

And for those of you on the edges of your seats...

the next in the exciting series of puzzle progress pictures!!

It looks like a place I'd like to live.

Take care everyone and enjoy your own personal bunkers. There might be muffin baking in my future!

Monday 23 March 2020

Oh Come On!!!

My new header picture was taken yesterday. Here is my world this morning:

I know. I know!!!! I'm Canadian. This should not surprise me. But come on!! If you're going to be stuck on your property, it would be lovely to sit in the Spring sunshine and have a cup of coffee on the porch (see what I did there?).

Sigh. In light of this, I had a comfort food breakfast. Fried egg sandwich with lettuce and ketchup. Want one?

Sunday 22 March 2020

First Full Week of Distancing

Well, I'm not really distancing, I'm pretty much isolating. Today has held the excitement of cleaning the upstairs toilet, sweeping the mudroom, vacuuming the den, and taking out a bit of household garbage to the big black garbage can in the carport. Hold on to your hats, people. This is pure adrenalin! Actually, I don't know why I'm bothering to clean. It's not like we're having company over. Anyway.... to maintain the upbeat atmosphere of today's post, I shall share with you...

puzzle progress of March, 2020...

There is a great deal of sky, green foliage, and brick work left. I shall persevere.

And now for some cat therapy, I give you Scooter "in a box, in a box".

I woke him up. I'm annoying that way.

You can add whatever caption you want here. It is my opinion that Scooter, if he were human, would not swear, so that likely wouldn't be part of what he's thinking right now. He's kind of simple.

Have a good Sunday and for crying out loud, get away from other people, besides those with whom you are already habitating (is that a word?).

Thursday 19 March 2020

Still Here

O.K., I'll add myself to the list of bloggers who is checking in and sharing the surreal experience. I'm sure you've had this discussion, just as my parents' generation could pinpoint when they saw the moon landing, or the assassination of JFK, and how my generation can describe the moment they saw or learned of 9 - 11, this is one of those experiences. We are hunkered down here, probably to a greater extent than most. I've literally not left the property since last Saturday. We have enough groceries (no, I did not hoard, but I did shop ahead of time and my chest freezer is full), and we have gloves and a few masks, just in case. Son is here, daughter remains in her university city, but is being sensible and staying in as well. Her courses are online. Son's courses will be online soon as well. He moved all of his belongings out of his college dorm and has been home for several days now. My school is currently on "March Break" which is a week long, and is now closed for an additional two weeks. I have NO idea what is happening with school in Ontario, beyond that.

I have a puzzle on the go. I've done a bit of cleaning here and there. I am reading Ann Cleeves' latest book following her Shetland and Vera series. Thank goodness I had some books out of the library already! I am texting friends and family members here and there, but no more than usual. I am not on social media, beyond what I do here. Husband is a self-proclaimed watcher of the news and financial reports, so he has been glued to that. He has been following this for a LONG time now and has been warning me and trying to tell me what it would be like and I fully admit that I thought he was overreacting and fixating on it, but damned if he wasn't right! (Yes, I can admit that, ha ha!)

Anyway, although it is surreal, here is what is still real:

My tiny patch of snowdrops is up.

There are still a few patches of stubborn snow here and there.

My chickens are delighted (or as delighted as chickens are capable of being) with going outside even though it has still been a little chilly. They peck at the remaining snow.

I sincerely hope you are all well, taking care, being safe and cautious, and have things to do right now that give you contentment. Bye for now.