• Lisa Millraney

socially distant hugs!

Quick update to say hello and send thoughts of strength and health to all y’all. Hope you are taking care of yourselves! A lot of folks are encouraging people to be super productive, work from home, start new businesses, learn new things, yada yada. Realistically, that’s hard! I know, I’m working some from home, doing freelance gigs, plus the other stuff I mentioned before, but it’s not always easy to focus and concentrate and get stuff done. Taking care of yourself includes recognizing that it’s okay to just kick back and feel like you are doing nothing, sometimes. Doing nothing is also good for you! So, chill. Listen to music. Take a long bath. Read a book or watch something mindless (I just enjoyed two hours of The Masked Singer, and have not one single apology for it. LOL)

That said, I’m busy, still. So far today, I’ve backed up my hard drive, taken some pictures of flowers in my yard, finished making a DIY game set (more on that in a minute) and checked out my last batch of mead and declared it done!

It has orange and cinnamon, and tastes quite good!


The wisteria that grows on the fence between my yard and my neighbor’s.

Violets—my yard is full of them. I love them! I have been known to toss a few in a salad, but had never known other things that could be done with them, until last week when my cousin posted pix of violet jelly he and his family made. The weather this past weekend was glorious, so I spent a couple of hours happily parked on a stool out back picking tiny purple blooms.

I made a quick grocery run yesterday for a few perishables and grabbed some pectin while I was there, so now I have two jars of violet jelly chilling next to the mead in the fridge. :D

Oh, I did make the banana bread I mentioned last time too. With pecans. And dark chocolate chips. So good. I'd share a pic but i didn't take one till I had already attacked it. LOL

Now about the game—I know a guy who designs tabletop games, and to give folks extra activity options while stuck at home, he has posted all the rules for free download. (They're here--link) Only one has an option for single player play written into the rules, so I downloaded it and decided to make my own game pieces.

Here is it! my own Skulduggery game set, suitable for one to four players, that fits into that teeny mint tin.

Still writing, working jigsaw puzzles, riding exercise bike, and sucking up fresh air out back. Many people I know, at home with some time on their hands, are exploring new activities; baking bread seems to be a big one! I’ve given advice to a few and joined some conversations and a couple of groups.

I’m only going into places with other people once or twice a week max, though I do have to drive through the post office two or three times a week to drop off bills, since as you may recall some worthless b stole a check out of my mailbox. My bank held up their end admirably and got my money back to me by the end of that week.

Since the Atlanta pen show was cancelled, I gave myself permission to buy a pen or two. This is a Moonman from China, bought from a fellow pen lover in the Pen Swap group on reddit. So pretty and teeny and it writes very well!

And this is a Diplomat Magnum, bought from the dear folks at Goulet Pens just before they shut down their operation for safety’s sake. The color is called Prismatic Purple, but in a lot of lights it’s teal!

Which makes the fact that a free bottle of ink came with it, and that the ink color I chose was teal, even more funny.

So, I’m talking a lot about stuff I’m doing, and it really isn’t meant to serve as a dodge for feelings. A lot of my friends are really stressed about the present and the future, understandably so, but I’m surprisingly calm. As I said last time, I feel like I’ve been here. My personal situation hasn’t changed a whole lot, thus far. The main change is that, instead of choosing myself not to go out and eat or shop because I’m cheap, that choice is being made for me now, which is frustrating on a different level. It’s a sort of flashback, sometimes, and an unpleasant one, to my time caregiving. When that kind of tension starts to creep in, I make a point of doing some thing, a small thing, but a thing I could not have done with mom here: sit outside with a snack, put a few puzzle pieces in, crank up some classic rock. That seems to clear my palate, mentally speaking.

I’ve also been able to take some classes online—last week I spent two and a half hours in a virtual continuing ed class on SLPs caring for corona. Even though I’m not working in the field right now, it was very enlightening. I also found a class being taught by two professors from Trinity College in Ireland, where I studied the summer I spent in Dublin, and signed up right away!

Anyway, just touching base and sending virtual hugs. Keep your social distance, but stay close to people. Get yourself a cute mask or three; it makes wearing them to the grocery or wherever less of a trial. (A friend and her mom made me three that are on their way to me; will share next time.) Mostly, stay home! Keeping our butts there is the best thing most of us can do to play our parts in squashing this bug.



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