Posted in Around the House, Everywhere But Home, Exercise

Coronavirus, Day Sixteen

Today’s adventures included a trip to the post office and a walk around the neighborhood.

Because I’m a writer at home, I normally have very few co-workers. I joined a few groups of writers, editors and publishers just to have some socialization, as you do. One of them is a group that also enjoys planners, stickers, and all the stuff that goes with them. We have a few miscellaneous boxes that have been sent around a bajillion times, full of those kinds of supplies. When you get the box, you take whatever you want out of it and then put in whatever you think an appropriate amount of other stuff into it. It’s supposed to be at your house for like three days, max. I got mine on Friday morning, the same day we got a shelter in place mandate from our city. With that and the local postal service having recently stated that we had postal employees with Coronavirus, I really wasn’t sure that it would be open for mailing. I chose my stuff, nonetheless, and put more stuff into the box.

Yesterday I was going to go to the post office, but all thoughts of that flew out the window when I found out that my sister was hospitalized. Then I managed to tear the top off the box when moving it to the front hallway. But today I got out of the house and went to the post office. I prepared myself with hand sanitizer and clorox wipes, waited until a few cars drove off from the parking lot, and then went in. There were two workers and one other customer. The customer had a mask on. The workers were wearing gloves. I wiped down the counter where I was doing the reboxing, just to ensure that if anything touched the counter, it would be safe-ish. Nearly everything fit into the new, smaller box. During my packing, one of the postal employees explained to a lady that they weren’t wearing masks because no one could understand them with them on. A few people walked by while I was packing. Another one wearing a mask. One that laughed at him and also at my clorox wipes. I waited off to the side until they were done. Got my box mailed, almost made it out before encountering another human up close, but didn’t quite make it out. At least she had a mask and gloves and hand sanitizer as well. Went back to the car, did some more sanitizer and wiped down the stuff I was returning to the car. Drove home, changed clothes, washed up again, re-wiped my phone with sanitizer, since I’d used it during my time in the post office to look up the address. Managed to get this far without touching my face. Washed it, just in case.

Later this afternoon, went on a walk with my midkid. If you lived on one of the few blocks we walked, you sure got a treat! Ree danced the entire way, practicallly. He’s so funny! We did have one not-so-great moment, though. A car drove up exactly like David’s, so we walked up closer to it than we would have a strangers. We realized too late that we didn’t know the driver. He yelled at us out the window. It was not pleasant. Went inside, cleaned up again. Some days it feels like all we do is wipe ourselves and our stuff down.

Posted in Family Time, health

My sister is in the hospital

My sister’s girlfriend messaged me late last night after I was already in bed that April had a headache, chills, and a cough. I woke up to that message this morning. Later on she reported that my sister’s fever hit 103.4. The girlfriend is a nurse and this had her rattled. She wanted to take my sister to the hospital, but my sister, a child of my mother if ever there was one, refused outright. Then her breathing started getting choppy, so now girlfriend has won and my sister is in the hospital. They won’t let girlfriend, or anyone else, in with my sister. She’s all alone.

Girlfriend (who I haven’t yet asked for permission to talk about here, hence the use of “girlfriend”) is getting text updates directly from the doctor because they are friends. April’s blood pressure is super low and her pulse fast and it all screams sepsis, apparently. My mom had that a bunch. It is definitely not good.

I’m stuck here. Both towns have shelter in place mandates. I can’t see her even if I went there, but I so want to go down there. I talked to my dad and he seems calmer than I expected. I am freaking out.

Posted in Everywhere But Home, Speaking, What I Love, Writing

Speaking Engagement on 04/01/20

I am once again speaking at the Tyler Public Library’s Writer’s Club! I will be speaking on April 1, 2020 at noon and my topic will be “World Building.” All are welcome to join the Tyler Public Library’s Writer’s Club Group on Facebook.

Posted in Computers and Internet, Speaking, What I Love, Writing

Today’s Speaking Engagement

I spoke today at Tyler Public Library’s Writer’s Club Facebook Group on “Writing Conferences and Writing Books.” I was pretty nervous at first because I’ve never done anything like this before online, but I felt like it went really well! If you are a member of the group, you can see the replay of the live video here: {link}.

Posted in Around the House, What I Love, Writing

Co-working woes will continue

I had no idea my husband was on the phone so much. Or in meetings. No, really. I know what he does in abstract. I’ve seen the engineering charts, I’ve watched him work during family vacations. I just had no idea being my husband’s newest co-worker would be so loud. Thankful that today is a half day. I’m seriously starting to go nuts here. I have gotten very little writing done and writing is what I do.

Next week the kids will be home doing what they’re calling Distance Learning. The kids will have classes through their Google Classroom Portals, I guess. They’re making a plan this weekend and will let us know on Monday.

The silver linings are that: 1) my sister ordered my kids a Yum box, so we have weird snacks from Brazil to eat, 2) my dad randomly sent me an awesomely creepy Mouse King nutcracker/music box and the kids are mesmerized, and 3) we are ordering pizza from Top it Off Pizza for lunch today. YAY!

The funny box the Mouse King was shipped in.
Mouse King with dancing mini mice soldiers
Posted in Computers and Internet, My Own Personal Weirdness, What I Love

More groups!

I like to post things on Facebook that I find helpful or that I think other people will find helpful. I’ve been doing it all week and apparently other people have noticed. I’ve been added to not one, but two East Texas Covid-19 Help and Support Groups (not their actual names, mind you). So I spent a substantial part of my last couple days copying and pasting links from my personal page to these pages. Then I cross-posted links previously posted from each group to the other one. Such fun! Seriously, though, it feels good to actually be doing something to help others right now. Everything seems to be getting worse out there. I can’t leave the house because of my own health issues. Kids are getting wacky. I’m just happy to help others out there in similar positions. If you’re interested in joining either group, let me know and I’ll send you an invite. 🙂

Posted in Everywhere But Home, Speaking, What I Love, Writing

Speaking Engagement

On March 25, 2020 at noon, I am speaking at the Tyler Public Library Writers Club about “Writing Conferences & Writing Books” via Facebook Live on their Facebook Group.

Posted in Around the House, Computers and Internet, Writing

Writing Group, Facebook style

Back before all this coronavirus craziness hit, our public library had asked our writing group to consider having an online presence. People had complained that they weren’t able to come at noon on a Wednesday, not to mention for a two-hour period all at once. Some people in wackier places, like the Phillipines, wanted to join our group as well. A poll of the current group took place –the people attending said they couldn’t meet or didn’t want to meet in the evenings, so we were at an impasse.

The library decided to set us up with a Facebook Group page, with our four in-person facilitators (myself included) as moderators. Today we started our online writing group adventure a little earlier than we had planned for, due to coronavirus closing our library. One of our facilitators figured out how to pre-schedule posts so they could go up when she wanted them to, just in case she turned out to be unavailable at the right time. Prompts got posted several times over the two-hour time slot we usually met. People could come and go, writing at whatever time worked for their schedules.

Personally, I was having internet woes by that point in the day. Having extra people at home using the internet constantly means that sometimes the internet goes wonky when you least expect it. So I wrote on the prompts later in the day. Other people have joined in, several of which I haven’t met in person before. I think it went pretty well, so I’m going to volunteer to moderate for next week. 🙂 Let me know if you want to join us and I’ll shoot you a link to the online group.

Posted in Around the House, I Really Do Cook, My Own Personal Weirdness

St. Patrick’s Day, social distancing version

Today has been weird, y’all. Super weird. My Tyler Critique Group canceled their meeting, which I’d expected, as all four of us have immune system issues or family members that do. Nick’s workplace said they’d let anyone with immunocompromised family members start working from home. The kids and I set up a desk area for him in the corner of our bedroom next to my desk so he’d have a quiet place to work.

This used to be the reading nook.
See? Right next to me. Also, he will need both lamps. That corner is dark, oddly enough.

Since I couldn’t go out for supplies like I wanted to, I had to be a little weirder with my St. Patrick’s Day things than I normally would have. We did start the day like normal, with Irish music blaring out of the living room speakers. I did not have an Irish style breakfast planned, however. I did have white chocolate fudge makings, though, so we made that instead.

Of course we made it green. 🙂
It tasted good, but never set unless thoroughly refrigerated. Two minutes on the counter and it was ooze again.

I ran around the house like this, pinching everyone that wasn’t wearing green, which meant Nick. I also made people randomly wear headbands or hats with shamrocks on them. There were many complaints.

For lunch, it was green mac-and-cheese. Usually I don’t have to do lunch on St. Patrick’s Day because they are usually in school. No one would eat it. Ah, me.

By dinner I was too exhausted to do the kind of in-your-house- pub-crawl like my awesome friend Amie did at home. Instead, I sat on the couch and Nick occasionally brought me an Irish beer. Wheeeeeeee!

Dinner was an Irish style dish that I cannot spell now that I have had beer. Have a photo instead.

Hope you had a lovely St. Patrick’s Day! Good night!

Posted in Around the House, Family Time, Lifelong learning, Music, Parenting, Writing

Social Distancing

Today was supposed to be a several things that it wasn’t.

Kids were supposed to be back at school, but the district is having what they call a “Community Mitigation Period” instead. They’re cleaning the schools and we’re supposed to be back on schedule next week. Ree is a little bit wumbly over it because he left his instruments at school because of the wisdom tooth removal. He’s already heard from his band director that this weeks pass offs are still due. *sigh*

We were also supposed to have our belated Lindale Critique Group meeting today. Since we usually meet at a McDonald’s off a busy highway and two of our members are immunocompromised, we decided we should probably all stay home this time. So we exchanged critiques by email, which is never as enlightening as meeting face to face is. Ah well, hoping next time goes better.

I was supposed to finally have at least an afternoon at home alone, which didn’t happen. Instead I talked to kids about the coronavirus and what the schedule at home would look like. We’re going on a modified summer schedule for now. Morning are quiet movies, exercise, and chores. Afternoons are video games, some outside time, instrument practice, and reading. Evenings will be mostly as normal as they ever get. One teacher has offered online flute lessons. We shall see how that goes.

Finally, our East Texas Writer’s Guild had its usual Nutz & Boltz meeting online via Zoom. We had some good conversation about things. (I have notes if anyone is interested.) 🙂 At least one thing went off like normal.