With the kids on their way to visit, my husband and I kept our promise to quarantine. The days at home gave me new appreciation for life in our backyard. (I wrote about the need to quarantine HERE.)
“Hey, it’s not that bad!” were my famous words I’d tell my swim coach after a hard set. We emblazoned the saying on t-shirts after the coach joked that he should advertise his Masters with my expression. (I wrote about not giving up — whether it’s swimming, fishing or writing HERE — complete with t-shirt pics.)
I discovered staying home “is not that bad” — and I that I love and appreciate my backyard.
The following are views that make me enjoy living where I do:
I watched three Harris Hawks land in a tree across the wall. They love to hang out there. Then one by one, they flew into our yard. I lost sight as they flew over our roof.
Here’s a video of one flying I captured in slow motion:
I can’t wait to see my son, daughter-in-law, her brother and my daughter!
What are your favorite things or views from your home?
Sunday, I was getting the house ready for guests. As I was cleaning out my paperwork and assorted crap I squirreled away in drawers and cupboards in the Casita, I thought about what fun things we could do with our guests without leaving home.
Our guests asked us to quarantine starting today before their arrival. Would you quarantine for upcoming guests?
You would if it was our guests — my son and his bride. Also, our daughter and Buff’s brother, to help with the drive (who are in the quarantine pod.) They will be here between chemo infusions, if they get the okay from her doctor after a blood test to determine her immunity level.
In case you missed the story of their wedding and cancer diagnosis, you can read it HERE.
I looked outside and glanced at the fireplace. Now that the weather is a bit cooler at night, I envisioned us sitting around the fireplace. Then my mind raced to marshmallows and s’mores!
Whatever happened to the telescopic marshmallow roasting sticks we bought 20 years ago? Did they make the move from California to Arizona?
The last time I remembered seeing them was in photos camping at Carpinteria State Beach when the kids were young. AND on our RV.
I had a light-blue, rectangular plastic storage box with camping kitchen necessities, including matches, that I pictured in my mind. That’s where they were. I’d bet on it. That box made it from tent days to RV days, to somewhere in our garage, unless it got thrown out when we moved.
If you want to read about our lack of RV skills, please read my story about our mishaps HERE. We were NOT happy campers.
In the garage I found a cardboard bankers box that said RV on the side. I unpacked it and found plastic plates, bowls and glasses that will be perfect poolside in our backyard. Next, I found the plastic storage box with more goodies like the matches, spices, knives, a can and wine opener and our red-and-white checked tablecloth.
No marshmallow roasters.
Before I turned to Amazon for help, I got the brilliant idea to look in my kitchen drawers. Voila! I have two out of the four. I must have given my kids the other two because they both loved camping during college and the shut down.
I found two out of four marshmallow roasters I bought 20 years ago. We will be s’more ready and can enjoy evenings in the backyard, without leaving the house.
What are your thoughts about camping? Are you a tent person or an RVer and why?
Do you think my quest for 20-year-marshmallow roasters is quest for memories past and easier times?
I was talking to my son on the phone and he didn’t sound well. He sounded congested and he was coughing.
“Are you okay?” I asked.
“I’m pretty sure it’s allergies,” he said. “But I’ve had trouble breathing at night for the past few days.”
After he hung up the phone with me, he called back to say he had taken a COVID test and he tested positive.
I told him to call his doctor and he said he would, and he had to call other people like his PT that he had been around in the past day or two.
Because he has asthma, he is a high risk COVID patient. The doctor gave him an RX for an experimental antiviral. Currently, he’s in bed miserable. I’m hoping the drug kicks in soon and he shows improvement. Yes, I’m worried.
Next, I got a phone call from the mother of the bride from the wedding we went to on the weekend. She sounded awful and said she tested positive for COVID too. While we were at the wedding, we talked to one guest from overseas who said his wife traveled all the way for the wedding only to test positive that morning. So she was in bed and flew halfway around the world for nothing. I’ve heard of a few other people who came down with it, too.
A neighbor called and asked me out for lunch. I told her I will wait a few days. I don’t feel like I have COVID, but on the other hand, I’ve been exposed. I think the polite thing is to stay in for a few days and make sure I’m not coming down with it and test.
My book club was cancelled this week due to the hostess having COVID rebound.
It seems weird to be this far along from 2020 and have the pandemic rear it’s ugly head.
Have you heard of an uptick in COVID lately? Or is it just the people around me?
I want to take a COVID test. I don’t have terrible symptoms, I just don’t feel great. I’ve stayed away from my husband for a week. His symptoms are gone except for a cough. I’d like to know if I’ve got a mild case of COVID, or if I’ve got a cold or flu. Maybe it’s nothing. But I’d like to know.
Here’s the problem. I ordered the tests from the government. I’ve heard they will ship in 12 days? I looked at Amazon and the only test that I can get before February — costs $89.
I’ve looked online for COVID testing at CVS and everywhere within 20 miles of me. There are no appointments available for a week.
So what do I do?
Rest, eat my chicken soup, take handfuls of vitamins and wait.
Have you tried to get a COVID test at a pharmacy, doctor’s office or one delivered to your home? Are you finding them unavailable too? Or were you able to get tested right away?
My husband is recovering from Omicron. He’s up and around — but not anywhere near me. I’m hanging out in the casita. I discovered things the casita needs to make it truly a separate living space from the rest of the house. I’m enjoying setting it up.
Amazing that you don’t realize what is lacking until you live in a space for a few days. For example, the casita now boasts dish towels, oven mitts, real dishes, a bath mat, condiments, laundry soap, trash bags, aluminum foil and clear wrap. Lots of little things to make it functional.
My apologies to previous guests who’ve stayed in our casita. It was really more of a glorified bedroom. Now, it’s a complete living space — and we’ll never even have to interact with our guests again. Just kidding.
I’ll be in this space for the next five days while my husband is quarantining. I didn’t want to traipse into the kitchen whenever I needed something, because he’s been in and out of the kitchen for a week with COVID. Something I’ve heard about Omicron is that it stays on surfaces. I have no idea if this is true or not. Have you heard that? But, thanks to my sister-in-law’s suggestion, I bought Clorox wipes. I got those at Target along with everything else.
I was fighting myself on the first night to not go into the master bedroom to check on my husband, and to stay out of the kitchen. He was so sick and in so much pain, I decided it wasn’t worth it to get it, too. So, here I sit in my own little space. The casita was a life-saver when we moved in because we bought the furniture from the prior owners. Our furniture didn’t arrive with us, so at least we had a place to sleep!
The casita is connected to the rest of the house by a hallway. It has it’s own vents, heat and air, so I’m not being infected with my husband’s germs. Kitty Olive has decided this is a good place to be, so I got her cat food, litter box and cat grass and she’s hanging out with me.
Have you or family members quarantined with other people in the house? How did you manage? Have you thought about preparing a place for someone who gets sick to be separated from the rest of the family?Why do you think some people in the same family get COVID, while others do not?
The park near my home where I’ve been walking Waffles.
I have two big changes in my “new normal.” One, because our city pool hasn’t opened up yet, I finally dove into our backyard pool to swim. It’s too short to do more than ten strokes, so I ordered a swim bungee cord that connects to a velcro strap that goes around my waist. It took me a day or two to figure out this is really good exercise — although I don’t swim as long as I would at Masters in the city pool. When you swim against the bungee, it’s resistance training and I get really sore!
I’ve done five days of swimming and I’m making progress. My back and arms are killing me. I should have started this 88 days ago, but hey I’m doing it now! When I take off the contraption, I feel free like I can fly through the water. This has to be good for me in addition to my daily walks.
The second big change comes tomorrow. My girl and Waffles the pug have decided to return to their lives in the Bay Area. I do know this is for the best but wow. I am going to miss them both. I’m getting a little teary-eyed at the thought.
One of the blessings of this horrific pandemic has been the time we got to share together while sheltering in place. It gave us time together for several months that I doubt would have ever happened without COVID-19. I’m happy for her to move on with her life, but yes, I’m going to miss her and Waff.
Waffles on my lap. I’m going to miss this good boy!