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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

life on lockdown

the last couple of weeks have been...interesting.

on the third day, the bean's school began "distance learning."  using zoom and a block schedule that had her in front of the laptop for three classes a day, she was reunited with her teachers and classmates.  they log in to their first class at 8am for an hour, get a break for a half hour, and then jump into the next class for another hour.  the third class starts at 11 and they're done by noon.  they do math/bible/language arts on tuesday and thursday and history/literature/science on wednesday and friday.  monday is reserved for catching up on assignments and independent study.  it's actually a pretty sweet schedule, and the kids were super excited at the prospect of seeing each other's homes and pets and taking classes in their pajamas.

the first day was more of an introduction to how things would work, and most of the classes were spent just catching up with each other and introducing everyone's pets and stuff like that.  it was really fun to hear her giggling and chatting with her teachers and classmates, and they'd all clearly missed each other.

while she was in class, i went into my room and busted out the hand weights and turned on the "orangetheory at home" workout of the day.

and then as she was in her second class of the day, i cleaned up after my sweat session and then found one of the twilight movies on tv.  cocoa wasn't a fan of the werewolves, barking and growling every time they appeared onscreen.  it was pretty funny.

the bean decided to go for a change of scenery for her last class, taking the laptop outside for some fresh air.

the house remodel is plugging along.  look, we have a new fireplace!

and those red and blue tubes are the water lines for the kitchen, powder room, laundry room and guest bathroom.

another day, the old lady and i finally sucked it up and headed out to the laundromat.  i hadn't been to one of these in years, and it was...well, it's a laundromat.  at least they have these huge capacity machines all lined up, and i got to wash and dry 12 loads of laundry within about an hour and a half.  again, there's a silver lining in everything, right?

with not much else to do at home, i decided to bust out the ol' face masks.  might as well try for some clear, glowy skin, amirite?

poor teddy was so confused when he saw me.

cocoa couldn't have cared less.  and i had to take this extreme closeup of her to show you something i hadn't noticed before - look at how long this dog's eyelashes are!  crazy.

oh!  i also learned that i can still braid my own hair.  i hadn't tried to do this in forever.

a couple of my new favorite t-shirts.

another day, i tried out a dance fitness video that my friend dailygluttony had posted on her instagram stories.  it was really fun, but proved to me once and for all that i really canNOT dance.  oh, man, it was so bad.

the bean picked up her ukulele for the first time in months, using youtube videos to play songs for us.

it seems that when springtime comes, so do the birds.  they took up residence in our patio cover again, building a nest and watching over their eggs until they hatched.  we've got a new family in the back yard, much to the hub's annoyance (because they poop all over the patio).

speaking of critters, the hub had discovered the presence of a rat somewhere in the backyard.  he'd laid out a trap with some peanut butter as bait, but as it turned out, that thing somehow landed in the pool and apparently couldn't figure out how to get himself out.  the dogs were going nuts one morning, barking their heads off at the pool, and because the floaties were blocking my view i couldn't see what was happening until i walked over to check things out.

and speaking of the hub, i find it super amusing when he and teddy sit down and have these meaningful conversations.

once they're all talked out, teddy is usually pretty wiped out and makes his way over to his bed for a nap.

i finally let myself start watching netflix's "love is blind."  whoa, what a train wreck.  it's like "the bachelor" on crack.

we've done lots of take out and had many meals delivered via uber eats and grubhub and postmates.  there's been lots of napping and snacking and movie nights in the backyard.  most of all, we've enjoyed a lot of family togetherness, which has been really nice.  we have meals together, we relax together, we just hang out.

silver linings.  i tell you, they're there if you want to find them.

Friday, March 27, 2020

always looking for that silver lining

our second day of social distancing happened to be st. patrick's day.  now even though we don't have a kitchen right now, i do still have my trusty instant pot(s).  and because i apparently feel really strongly about keeping our corned beef & cabbage tradition alive despite the remodel and COVID-19, i cautiously headed to the grocery store to pick up supplies to make dinner that night.

i did have my green on, but never did take a picture.  and because it was still so early in the quarantine period, the hub was feeling pretty festive that day.

the old lady was still working at that point, and sent me this cute picture of steviedog since i hadn't seen him in a week.

thanks to my co-leader buddy scoping it out and then sharing the news that the store was fully stocked with corned beef brisket in the meat department, i was able to find what i needed pretty quickly.  and while i was there, i stocked up on a few other things that i knew we'd want to have.  while the line to check out was pretty long, everyone did a good job of maintaining the 6' distance from each other and i managed to check out and get the hell outta there fairly quickly.

thank goodness for this thing.  my only real concern was how i'd be able to clean it properly without a kitchen sink, but i was so happy to be able to do a home cooked meal for the first time in what seemed like forever.

the bean came out to bond with her dogs while our dinner was cooking.

voila - st. paddy's day dinner was served!  this wasn't easy considering i only had a butter knife and plastic flatware to work with, but it was totally worth the effort.  it wasn't pretty, but it sure was tasty.

guys...i don't know what i'm going to be able to blog about in the coming weeks.  while 45 seems to think we can reopen things in time for easter, that sounds like the worst idea he's come up with (and that's saying a lot).  we haven't even hit the peak of this thing yet, and while the numbers keep climbing we know they've gotta be even worse since nobody can get tested aside from VIPs, athletes and celebrities.  i can't even imagine seeing a light at the end of this tunnel for a good 8 more weeks, at least.  we need to continue the social distancing, which seems to be the best thing we can possibly do to contain the spread of this virus.

and so, the blog.  i mean, how many pictures of the dogs do you really want to see?  or our home workouts?  i better bust out the ol' sewing machine and start working on some projects to make things interesting.  as it is, there's a lot of netflix binging and social media posting and lounging around and dvr clearing out and napping going on here.  life these days is all about sweatpants and comfort bras and catching up on magazines and snacking and exercising to work off the snacks.  and it's also really nice to be with my family and my dogs in the safest place we can be...home.

silver lining.  it's there if you want to see it!

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

living on lockdown, day one

having returned from disney world, where we did our best to keep our distance from people but were still essentially exposed to a lot of them, the bean and i were prepared to hunker down at home for a good while.  i knew we had to do our best to keep to ourselves, and besides, the notion of having an excuse to stay home was not a terrible one.  i have stacks of magazines to catch up on, a couple of books i haven't read, piles of fabric and tons of patterns to sew up, lots of shows on the DVR and the netflix queue to binge watch...the list is endless.  we all know i don't bore easily because there's always something i can or want to do.

on our first morning of lockdown, teddy was excited to help me unpack my suitcase.

it apparently took a lot out of him, because the next thing i knew he was relaxing on the couch - which is currently in the back yard while the remodel continues.

cocoa was around too, but that little girl moves around so much and so fast that it's hard to get a decent picture of her.

when i took my place on the couch, they both came over and got started on making up on lost time together.  i love when they snuggle with me like this.

"distance learning" with the bean's school wasn't scheduled to begin until wednesday, which gave her two full days of just hanging out at home.  it was kind of like a mini spring break, which isn't actually scheduled to happen until mid-april.  the teachers were taking the time to figure out how they wanted to structure their online classes, which would be done using a block schedule.  the kids would have three classes per day, alternating subjects every other day and meeting online using zoom tuesday through friday.  mondays are to be used as catch-up days, time to ask questions, turn in assignments online using google classroom.  and on class days they start at 8, with each class lasting an hour with a half hour break in between.  it's a pretty sweet setup, really.  and i'm grateful that her school has it all figured out in such a timely manner.

so she was really enjoying the extra time off.  and i had to take this picture of her because she'd somehow managed to get a piece of her leftover disney world cotton candy stuck to her forehead.  still don't know how that even happened.

later that evening, she decided that she wanted to give teddy a bath.  we told her to be careful about getting water in his ears and she disappeared into the bathroom and came out with something to help with that:

he wasn't particularly happy with the solution she'd come up with, as you can see.  and he was even less so when he emerged from the bathroom soaking wet.

i ended up using the blow dryer to try and get him dried off, which he absolutely hated.  but at least he smelled better when it was all done.  cocoa managed to escape the same fate, because we all have some PTSD from the one time we bathed molly ourselves and ended up giving her an ear infection.

and then later that evening, i checked my email and found this:

while i'd been expecting it, i was still pretty bummed to see confirmation that the orangetheory studio was shutting down due to this stinking virus too.  i mean, it makes sense and i know it's for the greater good.  blah.

oh, and lastly - i'm thinking of my dear auntie today on her birthday up in heaven.  it's hard to believe it's already been three years since we said goodbye to her, and i hope she knows how much she's loved and missed.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

back to (our new) normal

we were up bright and early the next morning to get ourselves up, ready and fully packed so that we could board the shuttle to the airport for our 11:45 flight.  i'd been warned by the front desk that it could be fairly busy that morning, with lots of other folks scheduled to check out earlier than originally planned.  with a shuttle time of 8:45, they told me to allow at least 45 minutes to get through the checkout process.

while i dried my hair, i flipped through the channels on the tv and came across the channel with the park hours for the day.  sigh.

i left the bean to finish getting ready and headed downstairs to find an almost completely empty front lobby.  checking out took all of 5 minutes, tallying our purchases over the last few days and deactivating our magic bands.  when i got back upstairs the bean was still fiddling with the last of her stuff to be packed, but since we weren't in a hurry anymore i just waited till she was done instead of taking over like i was itching to do.

downstairs, we met up with our travel companion and went outside to the airline check-in desk to drop off our luggage.  this was really convenient, because they were able to get us checked in, tag our suitcases and then we didn't have to deal with it anymore until we landed back at LAX.  we only had to wait at the shuttle stop for a few minutes before the bus pulled up.

when you're leaving the property after your trip to the most magical place on earth, the bus is nicknamed the "tragical express."  heh.

as we pulled away, i eyed the lockers where our luggage had been placed and sent up a prayer that it would actually be in l.a. when we arrived.

the airport was a 40-minute drive, and the bus dropped us off at the very same spot where it had picked us up just a few days before.

i spied a starbucks inside the building, but i didn't stop knowing that we still had to get through security and ride the monorail thing to the departures terminal.  i figured there had to be another one on the other end, right?  ehhhh...wrong.  boo.

we did, however, find time to grab some breakfast at the ruby tuesday's before it was time to board the plane.

the flight back was a little longer than our trip out, but everyone was tired and all three of us slept almost the entire way home.  i was happy to find our luggage when we landed and made our way to baggage claim, and just as it had been when we left LAX was eerily uncrowded. this made it really easy to find the hub, who was parked just outside waiting for us, and he looked relieved to see us walking towards him.

we stopped to grab some lunch before heading towards home, and after dropping off our little friend the bean and i went through the back yard to be greeted very enthusiastically by the dogs.  we were so excited to see them, and then we headed inside the house to check out the progress that had been made in our absence.  this is what will be the new kitchen:

the old guest room/my new sewing room:

laundry and powder rooms:

the guest suite was coming along quite nicely:

and it was really weird to see the ceiling in the living room all opened up.

it didn't take long before we were all settled in again, and it was hard to believe that we'd started our day in florida.  with the hub relaxing in the backyard, the bean hanging out with me in the bedroom and the dogs happily laying at our feet life was back to normal - or, at least, our new normal.

and as if everything wasn't already all topsy-turvy, we were planning to hunker down at home for at least two weeks just in case we'd come into contact with anyone carrying that coronavirus while we'd been gone.  school had sent notice of the shutdown and we were awaiting instructions on how their virtual classrooms would work.  the hub's office was already shut down, and life was on hold for the time being.

 it's all very, very weird.

squeezing in all the sightseeing

this was our NYC home for a whole week: it was one of only a few hotels that i could find that offered two beds in a room rather than, say, ...