social distance diaries: days 190-196

in which we cut our own hair

Day 190, Monday

I’ve been using Notion to plan my weeks, as an addendum to my planner, and it’s making the start of my week so much more predictable and effective. It’s nice to be able to mark tasks off and brainstorm all in one place; it’s really helping me find a new groove now that my committees are starting up again.

Day 191, Tuesday

Grocery time! I never got around to doing a proper grocery trip in August for numerous reasons, but then I sprained my ankle and I COULDN’T go to the store until now. Living off Amazon Fresh orders is fine and dandy, but the variety isn’t the best, and their adherence to sell-by dates is often questionable. It was so nice to buy fresh produce again.

Also, took my first real walk since the sprain and it was a challenge. This is going to be a slow recovery.

Day 192, Wednesday

In an effort to rebuild my strength (and get out of a physical rut), I started an old workout program that I followed a few years ago. I won’t name them here because I don’t agree with their approach to diet, but the exercise plan is easy enough to adapt for my current needs and is helping me feel a bit less bleh. My ankle has more mobility, but my gait is still stiff. I need all the strengthening I can get if I’m ever going to get back to running, let alone walking more than a short distance.

Day 193, Thursday

One of those marathon meeting days. Not the first this week, but the longest… Also, announced my intention to continue to work remotely for the Spring semester. I miss my office, but I’m also not willing to take the chance when the offer is available. I’ve dealt with enough health struggles to risk it and I refuse to give in to the capitalist mentality that tells us to sacrifice our personal well-being for the sake of a company or institution. mic drop

Day 194, Friday

I’ll be working this weekend, so I most of the day off in exchange (had a meeting I couldn’t miss). It felt GLORIOUS to lay in bed for an extra hour, and take my time over coffee and a nostalgic Toaster Strudel breakfast (saw two random strudels on my socials and had to satisfy the craving). It’s also been incredibly productive. Sometimes, a day off during the week results in more getting done than a three-day weekend.

Day 195, Saturday

Working backup on the chat desk, so I blocked my morning off to get stuff done and spent the 6-hour session reading on craft, watching tutorials and writing advice on YouTube, and taking care of tasks in the background. I dislike weekend chat (I have reasons) but I committed to making the best of it.

Day 196, Sunday

Made vegan French Toast to use up the “just” eggs bottle that the boy bought (he was curious). Anyone who tells you that it tastes “just” like eggs has not had an egg in a very long time… it feels like rubbery eggs and tastes weirdly of steamed broccoli (that’s the only way I can describe the way it smells and tastes). It’s not bad but it also needs a lot of dressing up so it doesn’t taste weird. Lots of cinnamon helps.

Felt a hormonal migraine coming on, so I took two advil and… fell asleep. I don’t think it will keep it away, but maybe it will keep it from ramping into a full blown volcano of pain.

And then we reached the “cut my own ends” stage of “I’m not fool enough to go to the salon” times. It went well.

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social distance diaries: days 148-154

in which I commit to self-care

Day 148, Monday

Back to prepping for the start of term, though it feels like the summer lull is never going to end. Not complaining about the lull, just the weird limbo that comes with not being able to work on the sorts of projects I normally complete during the summer (usually physical reviews of the library collections and planning for events… neither of these is happening any time soon). Research is at a 0 because who cares at this point? Not a great feeling.

It’s too hot to think. Finished the scene I started editing on Sunday, but focus was tough.

Day 149, Tuesday

Back to the vet run… follow-up for injured cat and dental cleaning for feline sister.

Day 150, Wednesday

So feline sister had to stay overnight on Tuesday, so my day started with yet another trip to the vet. I have now been to the vet more times in the last three months than I have in the last three years. And there’s at least one more trip to go for the injured cat, as his abscess has dried into a hardened thing. He’s on antibiotics to see if it clears up, but will likely need a mass removal. sigh.

Spent the rest of the day catching up on the projects I started on Monday. Pretty productive, actually.

Day 151, Thursday

I’m taking two days off. Last week’s day off became a vet day, and the week before was full of anxiety because of the storm… I’ve realized that work and home life have blurred into each other, and weekends are not always the relaxing, barrier-resetting events I’d like them to be, so I cleared my calendar for two days of writing, reading, resting, and not scheduling other people’s needs into my day.

Briefly had to break that last goal because my mom’s smoke alarm started blaring for a new battery and she couldn’t reach it because of the bursitis in her shoulder. Luckily, I had the right batteries at home and the drive was quick. Tomorrow, I’m not dealing with anyone else until I finish my writing sprints for the day.

Day 152, Friday

Success! No drama! (mostly. There was some work drama, but I got is secondhand via two of my sources. Not getting involved. I don’t get paid enough to fight this fight.)

Caught up on my writing goal for the week 🙂

Day 153, Saturday

Had my first run of the week. Legs are starting to feel stronger, but my heart was struggling. I don’t run with the heart monitor because it’s massive and I’m scared to break it (there’s a $1500 you-break-it-you-bought-it fee), but my heart rate goes pretty high according to my fitbit. Still building my stamina.

More writing. It’s been a good weekend. Hoping to maintain this momentum.

Day 154, Sunday

My grandmother turned 89 earlier this week. I don’t know if she really recognizes me anymore, and then there’s the mask, so… but I wanted to commemorate her birthday in some way, regardless of her awareness of birthdays. I’ve been buying her toys and things to keep her hands busy for the last few years, but she’s been fisting her hands a lot lately and bruising herself on hard toys. Found some soft, slo-rise squishies that fit in the palm of her hand and took them over today. I haven’t been out in weeks, beyond those trips to the vet (all cats and cards exchanged outside), so I went inside for a little bit (masked and keeping my distance, of course). She seemed to enjoy the squishies. Seeing her decline has been rough. It’s gotten worse since quarantine; she’s getting so little stimulation at home, but at least she’s safe at home.

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social distance diaries: days 113-119

this place is burnin’ up…

Day 113, Monday

Quick trip to the cardiologist’s office to return the monitor I wore on Friday/Saturday. I’m not sure it will reveal much since I didn’t have any heart palpitations of note during that period 😦

Day 114, Tuesday

Had to go to mom’s to supervise her telemed appointment. She’s barely mastered how to use FaceTime, Zoom wasn’t happening. TBH, I didn’t feel great about having to be there to help. After two visits to the Dr’s office in as many weeks, and a couple of quick trips for food, I don’t feel right being around her and my gran, even if I’m masked and keeping my distance.

Day 115, Wednesday

Logged in to email to find a mess of a situation that needed my attention. It drained what was left of my spirit this week. Decided to take the next two days off, since I’m working over the weekend. I feel like every day off I’ve had in the last few months has turned into an ordeal involving family and/or cats. Even my birthday weekend was complicated by other people’s problems. I’m hoping for two quiet days… or as quiet as they can get. I have to watch my gran on Friday while my mom gets blood work for her followup. As before, not feeling great about the risk.

Day 116, Thursday

I took a day off. I needed it. I told myself it would be a good day.

Day 117, Friday

Another day off, this time with obligations. Had to watch my grandmother while my mom went to her dr’s office for a labwork appointment. And I’ll be heading back tomorrow to take one of her strays to the vet. There is so much happening right now, and I’m grateful that I can keep my mom and gran safe, but I’m just so TIRED of having a new crisis every single week. I’m also tired that she keeps “adopting” strays. It’s a real problem. She has a very limited fixed income, and I can’t afford to cover her vet bills on top of mine. My cats came from her colony after they developed health issues… I sometimes wish I had the following to set up a fund set to offset the constant cost. She wants to help every creature (so do I), but she forgets that she’s poor.

We’re also in the middle of a heat wave that’s set to run through the weekend into Monday. I don’t want to spend hours sitting in a hot car (hello, pandemic hot spot) while I wait for the vet, but I also don’t want to neglect a cat that needs help 😦

Day 118, Saturday

To the vet we went. Kitty had to spend the weekend until Monday. It’s an abscess (second time this happens) and not any of the other increasingly more terrible possibilities my mom dreamed up.

Day 119, Sunday

Weekend chat. It was long and dull.

Meanwhile, Miami is now the hottest of hotspots and I’m seeing an increasing number of out-of-state plates in the area (there are hotels not far from where I live and they’re definitely housing tourists). Don’t even get me started on the videos coming out of Disney…

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social distance diaries: days 92-99

Day 92, Monday

It’s a long story, but once again I had to take my mom to an Urgent Care Center. Luckily, this time it was a minor issue (bursitis), but it’s been nearly a month of “do you want to see a doctor?” arguments. This is her third visit to a center in as many months and I’m really hoping to avoid a fourth. My greatest concern is keeping my mom well. She has too many underlying conditions to fare through an infection without complications.

Sat in the car for 2.5 hours and had to drive for another hour each way to drop her off, drop off prescriptions, and drive back to my place. I’m just glad it wasn’t a sprain or tear.

Day 93, Tuesday

Time for my monthly grocery run! I was not as anxious as I was the last two times, so that’s progress. I went in around 8am and was back in the car at 8:33am, which is a record. My gran’s home health aide has been helping with some of the groceries, so I didn’t have to buy nearly $400 worth of stuff this time (1 trip for 2 households = a bad time for all).

Meetings in the afternoon and chat. Trying to catch up on all that I missed yesterday.

Day 94, Wednesday

A blur of a day.

Day 95, Thursday

It’s been a busy week. Meetings and playing catch-up before taking two days off for my birthday. I take a week off each year, but what’s the point this year? A couple of days seems sufficient. It’s not like I’m going to do much other than rest, read, and recharge for writing.

Migraine in the afternoon when the weather turned stormy 😦

Days 96-99, Friday – Monday

Mini birthday staycation, quarantine-style. Had a few days to read and rest and do little more than eat all the things. The boy surprised me with an Animal Crossing-themed cake (because he loves themes) and some very special gifts. My birthday is usually quiet, so it wasn’t that different from the norm. We ordered takeout bbq and enjoyed a forbidden picnic (we didn’t realize the tables were still off-limits at the park).

Covid is back on the rise in Florida. Miami saw a significant spike over the weekend. My worries are on the rise with it, especially with regards to my family and my partner’s work situation.

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social distance diaries: days 43 – 49

Day 43, Monday

It’s intersession, which means things are slower than usual work-wise. It would normally mean time to catch up on planning for the summer, new research projects, and a physical review of my office and the stacks, but none of that is happening this year. Maybe the projects, but TBH I’m not really in a place for research.

Ordered myself a new phone. I’ve bought myself a couple of things since this mess started, but very few have been non-health or food related, so this feels like a big deal. It’s also necessary because my phone is old and no longer has enough space to run even the most basic of updates. I’m tired of having to delete things to be able to send a picture.

Learned the uni will be fully remote for the 3 summer terms and we’ll be working remotely through May 30th pending changes.

Day 44, Tuesday

Another slow day, though I’m not complaining. I’m concerned about the parks and public spaces that are opening in our county and hope people don’t throw all caution to the wind and start mingling. I’m afraid they will. I’ll still be staying home and only going out for my daily walk and to shop when necessary. With the exception of groceries, I’ve been ordering my mom’s supplies online (including way too much cat food from chewy).

Had a walk, did some yoga, worked on projects, did some meal prep.

Day 45, Wednesday

I listened to a 10 hour audiobook. My air pods are my new best friend.

Day 46, Thursday

A rainy day. Email and writing. Had a walk, baked banana bread. (this is not a quarantine thing, banana bread is one of the only baked goods I make on a regular basis).

Day 47, Friday

Worked on a work-related writing project. Lots of zoom meetings. Quick trip to mom’s but she was in a mood, so I didn’t get to say much.

Played Just Dance as my form of daily exercise (K-pop is the best cardio).

Watched Romancing the Stone after listening to Heaving Bosom’s recap (fun fun!). Spent the rest of the night reading.

Day 48, Saturday

Planned to write, then realized my home as gross and stuff needed to be cleaned NOW. Such is the single life. No one else is scrubbing the grime off my tub.

Started watching the Fruits Basket (anime) reboot on Hulu. Then remembered Fruits Basket is about familial trauma. *cries* I like it more than the Sailor Moon reboot, but the music is not as memorable as the original series.

Day 49, Sunday

Worked on two scenes. I’m tracking my revisions in a spreadsheet and I’m seeing a positive shift re: hours spent revising. It’s not a lot—-definitely not as much as I planned when I came up with my goals for the quarter, but it’s more than I wrote last month, and more than I wrote the month before.

Started having a bit of anxiety last night but I’m trying to stay positive and hope for the best and simply wait to see what happens.

One weird benefit of being home was that I noticed a crack in the plaster above my desk. My apartment is old and was converted into an office at one point in its history, so I expect it’s a bad patch job that started to pull away from the concrete underneath. I ordered wall tape and a tube of plaster so I can repair it to the best of my ability. I really don’t want a handyman in the apartment at this time, and my landlords are likely to hire one of their random day laborers to do the same work, so might as well do it myself. *fingers crossed* this should be enough to keep the patch from detaching.

 

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