• Lisa Millraney

the world turned upside down and sideways

So I lied. LOL. I said it would not be another month before I updated. Famous last words. But then, I don’t have to tell you things have gotten very crazy very quickly. Nashville got slammed by tornadoes and it is barely getting noticed in the news for the worldwide worry about coronavirus. I managed to give blood, which, every little bit helps.

A few days after that last blog post (which I hope you got to see; Wix was changing formats, and I had to beg their help to get mine right, bless them. I’m crossing all appendages that this one posts as it should!) I made a run up to my cousin’s house to take her a reference letter I wrote and signed, for the job at a daycare she was applying for. We hung for an hour or two, then I hit my favorite Cajun restaurant nearby. Before I headed home, I picked up some embroidery thread and yarn, browsed Barnes and Noble (because I physically can’t stay out of a bookstore if I get close enough. It’s like magnets, I swear) and thought I’d raid the local Bath and Body Works. Word was going around about this respiratory thing; most people in my area were not stressing out, but after my decades in health care, I always figure you can’t be too careful.

I moseyed in and was glad to find plenty of small bottles of handgel and carriers to clip them to you bag/jacket/whatever. I was planning to just stick one in my purse, until a friend pointed out that if you had germy hands, you’d just spread germs onto the stuff in the purse when you reached in to hunt up the bottle (let’s face it, purse-carrying people, whatever you want goes straight to the bottom, right?). So I splurged on a cute clip and several bottles in assorted scents, because I’m shallow like that. (Or, maybe that isn’t so shallow…see below!) In an aside, Champagne Toast smells amazing, and I fully intend to get myself some more products in that scent.

Whenever we can do that again, that is. That was the last actual shopping trip I went on. In the time since then, less than four weeks, the world has completely changed. As of this morning, Tennessee is not yet on full shutdown, but Nashville is. The week after the hand sanitizer purchases, I started picking up extra staples and stashing them in a storage box in the garage. This was after I found a small box of cake mix in the back of my pantry that had clearly been gotten into by a mouse. That in turn meant another run for mouse traps, while concerns about running around from store to store were starting to ramp up. Thank heavens, the Dollar General right over the hill had two left. Trap baited and out, and mouse disposed of. Sorry, mouse, you should have stayed out of my mug cake mix. lol

Consequently, when people went nuts buying every roll of toilet paper within reach, I was set. Perishables like milk, meat and fresh veggies are really the only things I’m having to go out for. Of course, if you have read my blog for a while, you might guess this isn’t really a new feeling for me. Remember, I had to keep backup staples on hand at all times when I had mom here, because I didn’t know when I’d next be able to get somebody over here to watch her long enough for me to make a mad dash to the grocery. I told my friends, I feel like I have the cheat codes to this whole mess. It’s like a flashback, though not as bad. Just imagine if I were having to take extra sanitary precautions, keep diapers and wipes and the other essential stuff on hand, and wrangle mom, all at the same time. Really, I guess it sounds awful to some folks for me to say this, but I’m glad she is not here to have to deal with this. Being here at home would be a horror, but even being in her nursing home now, with visitors not being allowed and staff under massive stress and her unable to understand what was going wrong, would be a nightmare for all involved. I know I’d be worrying constantly about her.

Aunt Peggy is holed up with her son and his family, and they seem to be entertaining each other and doing well. I have more than enough to do around here to keep myself occupied. Right now, I have (looks around) a novel’s second draft in progress, ideas for several more, and I’m beta reading one for a friend. (Oh! I haven’t had the chance to tell you, if you don’t read my facebook—I’m negotiating my book contract! That happened just before all diddley broke loose, so it isn’t my top priority at the moment, but still, yay!)

I’m also writing on two active fanfic projects with half a dozen more in my queue; knitting a hat and about to cast on a shawl, and have two cross-stitch projects going. Both are things I graphed from other art pieces; one is a sketch of Dr. Dolittle that a friend of mine did—

and the other is a cute kawaii drawing of an amabie, a Japanese water spirit said to protect against disease.

It seemed appropriate. I guess I should be working on crocheting more baby Yodas for Dragon Con, but I’m starting to despair of it happening as scheduled in August. The pen show in Atlanta was supposed to be this weekend; needless to say, it was cancelled pretty promptly. (I did cave in after I cancelled my hotel room for that, and buy myself a couple of great pens, one on sale before its store went on hold, the other from a fellow pen fan)

The internet is a blessing in this time. I’ve been visiting with friends all over the world and taking in live mini-concerts by some of the greats of music (went to a virtual dance party with lots of celebrities last night, hehe) I’ve done a little experimentation in the kitchen too. In putting up groceries last week I found half a bag of masa, corn flour, that I got for making some Latino pupusas. I got a wild hair and made a loaf of sourdough bread with some of it mixed with the regular flour. It turned out pretty good!

I’ve also learned to make Korean beef bowls, many uses for kimchi (yes, I hit the international market to grab a spare jar. I don’t want to have to spend a month or more without it. I’m a bit hooked. lol) and several brownish bananas are about to become banana bread tomorrow. I’m thinking I might go hog wild and put nuts AND chocolate chips in it.

While I was at the Dollar General, I thought about aunt Peggy talking about digging out her old jigsaw puzzles, and grabbed a couple there. I’m going to spread out my fabric cutting board upstairs and start a puzzle there. A friend got a ukulele, and my knitting group is considering starting a virtual get-together circle to learn or relearn instruments. I have one, but never really had time to play it—this might be a good time for that too. And when I ordered a couple of things from Amazon, I took the chance of a free 30 day trial of their Prime, so I’ll be binging some of their things.

The Nashville lockdown starts today, but today was the first day in nearly a week that it was absolutely essential for me to leave home! :( It was through no fault of my own. I sat down yesterday to balance my checkbook, and after following some puzzling discrepancies, discovered some SOB apparently stole a check out of my mailbox, washed and rewrote it, and got money out of my bank account. Thankfully, my bank is great people, but they couldn’t fix this over the phone. I had to physically present myself at the branch to fill out forms and sign them. I hope that lousy thief and all their accomplices get quarantines together, catch corona, and are miserable for weeks. (Insert me spitting in contempt here.)

Anyway, with that out of the way, I am hunkering down to be a couch potato for a while. Well, not really. I’m exercising daily, not sitting all day. You should too. And if it ever stops raining, I can get outside, toss my planters on the patio, and plant some salad greens and such!

I will try to remember to check comments (I am horrible about that, I know, bad blogger) so if you want to throw something in, put it there or on my fb or twitter! We’re gonna get through this mess, together. Sending virtual hugs and love and prayers and blessing to all y'all!

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