Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Rolling With the Punches

I guess that is what we are all doing these days.  There are so many changes to our way of life.  Basic, simple things have changed.  You can't even go out for a haircut.  Luckily, I had my hair cut just a couple of weeks before so many businesses were closed down.  I can go awhile without a haircut and although I may not like it, I can do it.

For many, and my husband Tom is one, it is difficult to go without a visit to his barber.  Unfortunately he was already past due for a haircut when the shops closed.  This meant that a week into it he was really wanting a haircut.  He's asked me to cut his hair in the past and I never wanted to do it.  I do not want to be responsible for messing up anyone else's hair.  But this time the situation was different.  As far as we know, it could be a long time before these types of businesses open back up.

I suppose this is one of those punches we have to roll with - right?  Tom told me not to worry about it, that if I messed it up too badly we could just shave his head.  Besides, that's a style too isn't it?  Sure.  He sat in the kitchen and I wrapped a towel around him.  That part was easy.  He gave me his electric razor with some kind of a guard on it and promised me it would cut all the hair the same length with that guard.  All I had to do was drive the razor all over his head just like when we used to have a dog and cut his hair.  But wait, I didn't cut the dog's hair.  Tom did that.  Oh boy.  I was a little nervous but I turned the razor on and made that first cut.  Nothing bad happened.  His ears were even still there.  Alright, I can do this.  In fact, it was kind of fun.  I wanted to cut stripes in his hair but he didn't like that idea.  I got it cut, and then I even trimmed around the edges and over his ears without the guard on the blade.  It didn't look half bad.  It didn't look like his barber did it, but he was happy and more comfortable.  So there is one punch in all these new punches that I learned to roll with.

We are all facing new challenges these days and I'm learning that we are capable of doing much more than we thought we could do.  Many of our challenges are much more serious than a simple haircut of course.  This new lifestyle has a learning curve for us all.  Some things are frightening, or sad, or depressing.  I believe we are all stronger than we thought and we can deal with the new challenges.  It helps to share our feelings with others, rather than holding them in until we feel like exploding.  Yea, exploding is no good.  What new challenges do you find yourself facing these days?  Do you have feelings you need to share?  I think there are a lot of us in blogland that care and are willing to listen.  I know I am.     

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Our World is Changing

I'm willing to guess that I am not the only one that feels like I am living in a bad sci-fi movie or maybe a Stephen King novel.  No, this is NOT the time to reread The Stand. 

I've tried to not write about it but I find that I seem to have a need to express my feelings in these very strange days in which we are living.  The speed of the growth of this thing is almost unreal.  A little over a week ago there were around 100,000 cases worldwide. There are today more than 500,000 worldwide.  If you are interested in tracking it you can do so here:  Covid-19 Global Cases  No, I'm not trying to scare anyone but I genuinely find it interesting to see this map and learn a little of the scientific side of this.

I live in the suburbs of Kansas City and we have seen the number of cases triple in less than a week.  We were under voluntary "stay at home" recommendations.  Well, that is history now.  As of the first of this week we are under "orders" to stay home and isolate except for going to the grocery store, pharmacy, or medical office.  There is even a phone number people can use to report persons not following this order and there can be a fine or even jail time for breaking it.  The police are not going around looking for isolation breakers but have the rules there to prevent large groups of people from gathering.  Not that there would be anywhere to go as all the theaters, restaurants, bars, etc. etc. are closed. 

We have seen many creative ways of dealing with this isolation in the community.  Some people are putting teddy bears in their windows and others are driving around with their children so the kids can count the teddy bears.  Apparently it is okay to drive around in your car within your town.  Things like this are fun distractions for the kids and actually, I kind of love teddy bears too.

I have plenty of jobs and hobbies to keep me busy so I do okay staying home.  We do need certain basics in groceries but we did not want to go out and empty the store shelves like some have done.  That is not fair to others that are shopping.  We figured it was safer to go out in the early days of all this, so we set up a plan to go to the store once a week starting three weeks ago.  Each trip we bought more than we normally would buy but we did not overdo it.  This morning was our last trip out for awhile.  We worked out a pretty good system for our shopping.  The stores open an hour early for people over 60 and those with health problems.  We tried that last week and the size of the crowd was ridiculous.  So today we went early but one hour after the early opening.  It worked out well as there were not many people in the store.  When we got home we followed the guidelines about handling our groceries.  We brought them all in and put the bags on our kitchen table and then washed our hands.  We then unbagged everything and wiped down what grocery items we could with sanitiser wipes.  This may sound silly but this is what authorities have  recommended we do.  I then put the groceries away and cleaned the table and all the surfaces in the kitchen.  I am also cleaning door knobs, light switches and such every day.  With a careful trip out once a week for the past three weeks, I feel like we are now stocked up enough to do fine for over a month if necessary.  I may take a solitary walk around the neighborhood or we might even take a drive in the country if we feel the need to go out.  Other than that, we are now in to stay and will avoid all public places. 
So much has happened and we have to take precautions.  It won't last forever but I think there will be some permanent changes as a result of all this.  How are you doing with all these changes in our world? 

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

The Internet Sure Comes in Handy

I have always appreciated the many things we are able to take care of using the internet.  It saves money in reducing the amount of gas usage for the car, stamps for letters and most of all it saves the time it used to take to complete certain types of business that you can now do online.

Since many of us have suddenly found ourselves in the situation of staying home at least part, if not most of our time, we can really make use of the many advantages of the internet.

I had several things I needed to get done today and I was able to get all of them taken care of on my computer.

  1. Pay Bills - I admit this is not my favorite thing to do but it must be done. It is much faster and easier to handle this online through my online bank account.  
  2. Personal Property Declaration - For those of you not in the states, we have to fill this out each year for tax purposes.  Basically it states what vehicles you own.  Oh yes, Uncle Sam has to get his cut of our money for everything!  And yes, this was supposed to be done by March 1st but the deadline has been extended.  I was able to do this online.
  3. 2020 Census - Every four years in the U.S. the census is taken to update the number of people in the country.  In past years it was done on a form you had to fill out and mail in or sometimes a person would even come to your door.  This year we received a letter in the mail and was able to use a number given to us online to fill out the form for our household.  Quick and easy, I didn't have to leave the house.
  4. Birthday shopping - My youngest son, Sean has a birthday this month. Many stores are closed now and I didn't want to go out anyway.  I was able to order his gift online and it will be here just in time for his special day.
It was nice to be able to get all these jobs taken care of here at my computer in a fairly short amount of time.  There are many other things that most of us take care of online these days as well.  This online ability is proving so much more important now with all the restrictions due to the coronavirus.  Both my sons and my daughter-in-law are able to work from home.  Many children around the world are now or soon will be attending school at home on computers.  

In my mind there is something equally important the internet provides for us.  That is the ability to have contact with one another no matter where we live or if we leave our homes or not.  I value that contact, especially now!

And because this is a boring post with no pictures I'll add a photo of my cats when they were kittens.  Hopefully it will give a smile or two.

Zeus and Sophie

Please take care everyone! 

Saturday, March 14, 2020

What a Strange Week It's Been

It seems like things have sure been changing fast this past week.  It started out reasonably normal. Last Tuesday was "Super Tuesday" for us and we voted in the primary election.  The number of Democratic candidates have finally gone down to a more reasonable number.

We continued into the week with our usual activities.  Tom and I go to the gym twice a week where we take what I call an "Old Person's" exercise class.  Actually, here it is called a Silver Sneakers class for people over 65 and for us there is no charge since our health insurance pays for it.  Of course there was some talk in class of the coronavirus but not that much.  In fact, there were over fifty people attending the class which was about average.  Apparently no one was too worried about the virus despite the fact that we were all in the high risk age group.

Tuesday afternoon we even managed to get the new cell phones we had been shopping for over the past several weeks.  We were beginning to get concerned about getting them since the shipments from overseas had almost stopped completely due to the virus.  Tom just kept called around and finally found them.  Of course now we have to learn how to operate all the new changes in them from our old phones.  Yea, you know how that goes!

Life around here saw a sudden change when in the middle of the week the mayor of Kansas City declared a state of emergency for the city and canceled all public events that involved a large number of people.  Kansas City hosts the Big 12 Basketball Tournament each year and it had just barely begun.  It attracts thousands of people from all over the country and is a big income source for the city besides being a popular and fun activity.  Other popular games and other activites were also canceled.  Comic Con was to be here next weekend but not now.  There's also no St. Patrick's Day Parade next week and they even canceled the Easter Bunny appearances!  The Easter Bunny!  I do know this is all necessary as a safety precaution.  People need to stay home until this virus is under control.  I guess it just hit home with me how serious this is when they canceled everything in a city that NEVER cancels sporting events.

Of course after that the governor declared a state of disaster for the state and then the president for the country.  And that is when the bottom fell out around here.  We thought we should stock up on a few things (not hoard large quantities).  We went to Costco to shop and were shocked to see that in the middle of  week in the middle of the day there was not one roll of any brand of toliet paper!  And of course there were no disinfecting wipes, cleaners or hand sanitizers.  Now I understand people buying those items but why the rush on toliet paper???  From what I hear this seems to be a problem worldwide too.  This is not "that" kind of a virus.

Building a wall of protection maybe?

I will admit all of this is unnerving especially for those people that are at high risk which unfortunately includes those of us over 65.  I think our country is just now starting to deal with the situation and maybe they should have acted a couple of weeks earlier.  Our government has really screwed up in how they have handled getting the tests for this and now they are frantically trying to catch up while we know the number of people infected is much higher than what has been reported.  I think that is the main reason for encouraging people to stay home.  Maybe if more people stay home less will get sick and the hospitals and organizations that take care of things will have time to catch up.  To me the most frightening thing about this is all the unknowns.  We have never seen this particular virus before and we don't fully know what to expect from it.  But we do know it spreads incredibly fast and for some people can be deadly.  We have stocked up on groceries (not toliet paper!) and we plan to stay home except for a couple of doctor's appointments we have.  And for those appointments we plan on calling first to make sure they still want us to come in since so much has changed.  This is not a time for any of us to freak out but we should be sensible and be careful.

I appreciate all of my blog friends so much and I hope everyone stays safe and well!

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Not much happening here...

There's not been much to write about around here recently.  In fact, things have been so slow this week that even the cats are bored.

A bored Zeus

No excitment in Sophie's day either

Last week I did have a few appointments.  It was time for my annual eye examination so I got that checked off my "To Do" list.  I found out I have wrinkles in one eye.  I knew I was getting old but geez!  Sure, a lot of us have wrinkles around our eyes but in your eye?  This is called a "macular pucker" and they noticed it last year at my checkup and apparently this year it has gotten a bit worse.  There is nothing that can be done about it unless it gets much worse and then they do surgery.  I'm just going to hope it doesn't get that bad because I can do without surgery, thank you! 

I've been organizing family photos from the late 1800's and early 1900's.  I'm getting them ready to scan and I also want to write names and approximate dates on them.  Of course, there are a few of people that I don't know who they are and I'm really wishing my ancestors had written names on the back of their photos.  Hint for the future: please identify your family pictures whether they are printed or digital!  Someone in your future will thank you!   

Tom and I have been shopping for new cell phones.  We no longer keep a house phone so we need reliable cell phones.  We currently each have a Samsung Galaxy S4 and it has been the best phone I've ever owned.  It is seven years old which is truly ancient for a smart phone.  Our phones are still working but need to be replaced soon due to memory problems.  (I hope no one ever says that about me!)  They simply were not made to handle the software and apps of today.  One sales clerk got a big kick out of the age of our phones.  I thought we were doing good to use them as long as possible but I guess many people today trade them in every year.  We went to a couple of different stores and discovered the availability of many of the phones we were considering is now extremely limited due to the coronavirus.  There is a big shortage in electronics and parts for electronics.  Many phones, televisions and other electronics come from China and other countries affected by the virus.  Some of the factories have been closed because of it.  Hmm, we may be using these phones a while longer.   

Spring is at least getting closer for us and that is always a good thing.  Our temperatures may even get up to the 60s F this weekend and that would be wonderful!  We also spring forward this Saturday night so we lose an hour of sleep.  Thanks Daylight Savings Time.  Honestly, I'd just as soon keep the same time all year.  Oh well.  Have a great weekend everyone!