COVID-19 Journal *Entry 36*

I worked from home today. I didn’t work at home yesterday as it was my flex day. I am making fun of myself for remembering to not work on my flex day this week, as there was one recent flex day that I did work, despite there being at least three clues to tip me off. I noticed eventually what day it was, but it was in the mid-afternoon, so there was really no point in stopping. To be fair, it was the very first day after my sick leave, and that was the day after Labor Day Monday, which was confusing, as my flex day for that week was on the Tuesday in loo. I was just excited to get back into my routine.

Yes. “In loo.” That’s how I spell it. It’s funny.

My routine includes some exercise again, now that I can do some. This is both a relief and a nuisance, since I would rather not do any exercise. My default is “lazy” and I got into the habit of physical fitness through practice and personal nagging. I also got into the habit by investing much money and commitment into dance classes, which I am not participating in this year. In usual times, dance class provides regular dates and times for physical movement, in addition to the progressive advancement through the year that means it’s better to not miss any pre-arranged classes for fear of missing out on fun technique, chunks of choreography, or prime placement in a dance routine.

Do I miss dance class? A bit. Do I miss exercise? No. Do I have to remember to do some exercise anyway? Yes. And this week I have. It was only last week that I could do anything for a sustained amount of time after being sick, so that felt good, but the novelty has already worn off! I tried leaving my yoga mat out on my living room floor so I might be encouraged to plop down and do some stretching, but it just got leaves all over it (I don’t know where the leaves came from, or why they were all over my yoga mat. There were no leaves anywhere else). All I wanted to do all weekend was watch West Wing and colour in my colouring book.

Ooooh I also wanted to eat. I had some minty chocolate chip ice cream, and also big bowls of food all weekend. I have to stop eating so much. Not just because I’m plumping up from eating a lot and not moving, but also because I keep eating way too much at a meal and then feeling bleh afterwards. Smaller portions! For now. I tried this today and I feel better.

One of my favourite words is “plump.” I named a doll Plump when I was little, which I find hilarious now, but at the time I thought it was the most beautiful name. I was four. Four-ish. Or three. However old and three-quarters because I got plump for Christmas. She has short, super straight blond hair and blinky-eyes.

I also like the word “loo.” It can also be spelled “Lieu” but that’s for fancy people who maybe don’t want it to seem like they are referencing a bathroom. It sounds the same, fancy people!

COVID-19 Journal Entry 33

Light – Lighting / Dark – Darking / Cozy – Cozying

I went shopping today. At the physical location of stores. I visited Whole Foods for groceries, which was fine. I’d been a few times in the summer and they were early adopters of asking all customers to wear masks. Also I go right at the opening time, so there are just a few people, and they are all in masks. Also, in the summertime I would buy many many cartons of dairy-free ice creams. I didn’t feel like ice cream today, but I got some bread and yogurts (that’s right, many yogurts.)

Next I ventured to Canadian Tire at Hillside, which was also fine. They don’t ask that everyone wear a mask, but it was early and there were just a few people. Only one spot of bother when a gang of a family blocked my way at the end of the lightbulb aisle. Not just so I couldn’t keep my distance from them, I just really couldn’t get by. They were really excited about lightbulbs. Luckily I am adept (adept!) at driving a shopping cart so I turned it right around and left via the other end of the aisle. I know, “excuse me excuse me please” would have worked too but they didn’t look interested in keeping their chatty breath six feet away from me so whatever.

I treated/bribed myself with a Starbucks. Not only my first Starbucks of the pandemic, but my first (decaf) coffee beverage in nearly two years. It was tasty. I’ve said this before: the coffee part is nice, but what I really like are the pumps of sweet syrups that are used to make the coffee a product suitable to consumption. Sugar is my addiction, not caffeine. I know this because I went over a year without caffeine, no problem. But sugar, I think of you every day.

Canadian Tire! I needed a new floor lamp as my old one wore out. I wondered to myself if I really need a light source in my living room, and then the sun went down. I might not have needed one in July, but today I do. I had to track down a Canadian Tire sales associate because the box didn’t say if a lightbulb was included, or what kind to get if one was needed. According to her beepy thing, I needed a 40 watt LED lightbulb (quoted here because I committed it to memory). But when I got home and looked for a place to put said 40 watt LED lightbulb, there was none! In place of a light bulb there is sort of a circuit board that glows, or something? And I only know there’s a circuit board (or something) because I ripped off the shade part of the light that I guess wasn’t supposed to be removed? Because there’s no lightbulb needed… Magic?? I suppose. (The shade part fit back where it was supposed to go, BTW. I didn’t break my new lamp or anything.)

I also got some toilet paper while at Canadian Tire, because it exists there, and some cleaning supplies. And some hangers with clips.

I had to get hangers with clips because I recently invested in rain pants and I don’t know where to keep them.

I recently invested in rain pants because I plan to walk to work during the fall and winter months, and I expect rain. I can drive if it’s raining too hard. I did that on Friday, but it wasn’t raining as hard as I thought and it’s far more satisfying to arrive at work after a walk. Also, I had to pay for parking in a location that is about a seven minute drive from my house. Also, won’t everyone be impressed when I arrive at work after walking in the rain? I bet they will.

**

I put up my Christmas tree a couple of weekends ago, when the evening light started disappearing with the end of summer. Don’t judge. It was just the tree with lights for a while because the lights are the best part, and also because the decorations are kept in another box that takes a little more digging to access in my storage space. So I got those out today, along with my fall swearers and now I have sparkly-light and cozy warm.

Note: I have for some reason started calling any sweater/hoody/warm garment a “Cozy.” E.g. “Where is my cozy?” –> I said this today with nothing particular in mind, but I was cold and I found a sweater to put on. It’s a basic summoning, I suppose, of any item that might be around that will keep me warm. Like a tea cozy. A Lindsie Cozy. Whatever. A scarf, maybe, or a blanket.

When Susan and I travelled to England three years ago, I bought us blankie-scarves to take with us. We wore them on the plane, and I remember draping mine over me as a napping blanking in our AirBnb in York. They might also have been effective as scarves in the cool English autumn, but I don’t remember. They were definitely soft and cozy.

My mum bought me a new blankie scarf for my birthday this year. It’s a big woven square, and it’s got both navy and light blues, with yellow. Lightweight if spread out, but warm if scrunched up around my neck. It’s very soft. I didn’t get it until some weeks after my birthday due to the pandemic starting and all that. It didn’t matter, because Mum said it would be a nice scarf for the fall. And indeed it would have been if I hadn’t immediately adopted it as my item of comfort over the spring and summer. It’s a perfect weight for a summertime nap blanket, and is just big enough to cover me when I’m curled up. When folded in half (either lengthwise, or on the diagonal) it’s a cozy shawl, nice for cool mornings while working from home. I folded it up and put it on my chest to prop up my iPad while I was sick; also during this time I rolled it up and propped up my head to be more comfortable while watching streaming things on my laptop in bed. It will probably even make it into use as a scarf now that fall is here.

Socks of the day

My new blankie-scarf being used as socks. Or! My new cozy being used as a cozy cozy.
Circa August, 2020.

COVID-19 Journal Entry 32

Disclosure: I’m catching up on Coronation Street while I compose this entry, so I might get distracted if anything interesting happens.

Orange

I definitely remember pressing the button on my clock radio last night to turn off the alarm, but I must have mis-pressed, and CBC radio popped on at 6:40. That’s my early wake-up time that I use on Thursdays and Fridays when I walk into the office. When I work from home, it’s set for 7… and some days I get up right away, and some I wait a little while. Some days, such as yesterday, I doze right through the radio coming on and when I notice I panic, wondering how long I haven’t noticed. I think I have to increase the volume – I’m not going to switch to the “alarm” function, because then I wake up frightened. I like the voices on CBC to wake me up. Occasionally the voices on the radio enter my dreams. That’s weird, especially if the news is on and I’m having tea with world leaders.

So woke up this morning at 6:40 and thought to myself “what am I going to do now?” The first option was to go back to sleep. However, often in the summertime if I was up too early, I’ll go for a walk, and I haven’t done that for a while because I haven’t felt well. Today I’m feeling better, and I started to get excited. I got up to look out the window to check the weather… and it’s still smoky orange outside. Boo. I can’t go out in that because of asthma. And that’s not just a precaution, I actually get hurty lungs when I go out when it’s bad, and get huffy-puffy when it’s less bad. It’s one of only a few times when I actually notice I have asthma – I have it under control usually. I haven’t been too bothered by it this week on the whole. I’m still recovering from feeling tired and week all the time, so staying inside isn’t much of a bother. Maybe a little annoying on Tuesday when it was hot out and I had to keep my windows shut all day. Maybe got a little restless yesterday when I couldn’t go for a walk during lunch at the office. Boo.

I did some exercises in my living room instead, which was fine. And something I have to get back into doing now that I feel better. Along with cleaning my apartment. I bought a printer while I was sick because it went on sale (I’d been waiting) and it was delivered, but I haven’t gotten around to setting it up yet, due to being too tired, and I have to clear away my old printer/scanner to make room for it. I might do that now. Not that I’ve printed or scanned anything much over the past five years or so. Just before COVID hit I was gazing at the corner where I have them all set up (I’ve got an old ink jet, a scanner and a wee laser printer) and wondered if I shouldn’t just get rid of them. But then the pandemic hit and I’ve started doing printer crafts again. And lately the scanner has started scanning only half-a-page instead of a-whole-page. And it’s fun to research and shop for products on the internet. So I found the printer I wanted, but didn’t want to pay as much as it was at regular price and waited for it to go on sale. And then it it and now I have a new printer!… in a box over there in the corner.

COVID-19 Journal – Entry 31

Shadows

I’ve had some long spaces of time lately where I am very still and just stare and think about things. Sometimes my eyes rest upon the screen of my phone/iPad where diverse distractions amuse me; sometimes they rest upon the screen of my computer where multiple episodes of television programs are played. Oft times, however, I just stare at the wall.

This is a corner near the door in my bedroom. I greatly enjoy the cottage-cheese texture of the ceiling, and the tidy lines that define the surfaces. That one section of wall is always in shadow. Very satisfying.
I’ve shown this phenomenon previously: the shadow of the hearts in my bedroom window appear only briefly in the afternoons on my bedroom wall. I don’t always remember to see them.
I placed some parsley seeds in a vase on the windowsill in my dining room. They make a nice shadow against the curtains.

COVID-19 Journal – Entry 30

A recent health issue

It’s *not COVID.* I’ve been tested.

For the past several weeks I’ve been experiencing fatigue – I feel weak all the time and get shaky if I do too much of anything. Just lack of energy. There have been no other symptoms except for a bit of a sore throat at the start. My doctor has diagnosed it as a virus that’s lasting longer than usual. Per him, most viruses leave after 14 days, but some can last 4-5 weeks. I’ve certainly had viruses in the past where I’m sick for a few days but don’t feel totally normal for weeks. Usually though I can get back to regular routines. This time will need some more time.

I had to have a COVID test because fatigue is a symptom and my doctor couldn’t rule it out entirely (since it’s so new and no one knows entirely how it operates). However he, and everyone else I’ve talked to recently, was pretty sure I didn’t have it. I’ve been so careful with physical distancing, so it would have been weird if I had it. Note: if you need another reason to not get COVID, the test for it involves sticking a swab up, up, up your nose until it touches the back of your throat and then wiggling it around for 10 seconds. I do not recommend.

I would like to note that all the medical people I’ve dealt with lately have been really nice. This isn’t weird, but it really helps now with a the extra nervousness around COVID. I especially appreciated how easy it was at the drive-through COVID testing site. I’m an anxious driver to start with, never mind having to do a drive-through thing when I never do drive-throughs. But I got really detailed instructions when I called to make the appointment, and there were signs and people to help guide me.

I also had to get a blood test, and my doctor called me with the results before I thought to check for myself- it was within 24 hours, and Saturday, so I was impressed. He got me to go into to the clinic so he could listen to my chest, etc. (My first visit had been over the phone since I had a symptom, but once my COVID test was negative I could go in). Since I didn’t have an appointment at the clinic, the wait at the clinic could have been up to 5 hours (!) and the front office staff couldn’t give me an estimate of how long it was really going to be. I explained how I had fatigue and couldn’t sit for very long (a little weepy) and they were able to find a treatment room where I could lie down to wait. I said thank you a lot to everyone for this, and cozied up with a podcast. The wait ended up being just over one hour. Easy. I could have made an appointment for later in the week, but I wanted this figured out sooner than later: not only in case I needed a special treatment or something (I don’t- just self care), but also so I could figure out what to do about work as soon as I could (I updated them this morning.)

Not stressing or overly anxious about things. It could be that I don’t have the energy. It makes things easier to be cheerful in my days. I’ve had some long quiet moments of thinking lately, and I mostly find myself hilarious.

No socks of the day

My morning routine right now includes lying with my feet in the sunbeam that reaches my bed. This means that my feet at warm without the use of socks!

COVID-19 Journal: Entry 25

I accidentally got up at 5 AM is morning. I do sometimes get up at 5 to go for a walk, but today I forgot that I was up until 1:30 last night watching my new favorite TV show (“Hart of Dixie”). As I progressed on my walk I wondered to myself why I felt so sleepy, since the cool morning air and exercise peps me up early in the morning, and I then I recalled my scant hours of sleep. So. I truncated my walk slightly, walking only 1/3 of the way around James Bay, instead of my usual full circumnavigation, and came home to do some sleepy stretches in my living room. I had breakfast, read one online Vanity Fair article, some headlines on Google news, and then napped for two hours, from 8:15 to 10:15 exactly. I now have CBC Music’s “In Concert” on (in the Mountain time zone feed) and was wandering around my sunny apartment trying to decided what to do next when I started to compose this blog entry. Ta da!

I had a week off last week (not this week just past, but the one before that, the one with Canada Day in it) and as a consequence, I was away from my job office for almost two weeks. When I got back I eventually noticed that some bird has left a creative expression on the window by my desk…

The hearts are my own creative endeavours. The streak was made by a mystery artist.

Otherwise, I had a fine couple of days in the office this week. On Friday I went to Subway to collect my supper. I’ve timed it so that instead of going after work at 4:30, when it can be busy, I slip down around 3 or 3:30 on my break, when there is no one there, not even a server. They are usually working in the back and notice me after a few minutes, giving me some time to decide what I want. Or finalize what I’ve already decided on getting. Subway is right under our office, so I don’t worry to much about time. This week I was still scanning the menu and trying to decide when the worker came out – and the fans were loud and from behind the tables they have in front of the ingredients display it’s hard to hear so I think our conversation went like this:

Server: Hi! How are you?

Lindsie: Roast Beef!

COVID-19 Journal – Entry 24

The word of today is impatience, because I’ve had a package waiting for me at the post office since Monday and I haven’t had a chance to pick it up yet. I kept making plans to go for a walk during lunches on my work at home days, but I had other things to do (naps, dishes, etc). Rather, other things to do that distracted me from remembering to go. Or, as yesterday, I was plotting my plan and then realized I’d have to get properly dressed before leaving the house, and do decided to go on another day. Today! While I’m out and about after working at work. I’m impatient now for work to be over.

Last week I was on vacation from work. I spent 2.5 days of that time sorting and organizing all my art/craft/stationary supplies. Everything was sorted at some point, but since I have accumulated more stuff, things had become unconsolidated. Now all this stuff is categorized and grouped together. For example: 3 categories of paper: paper for making into things or drawing upon; decorative paper; and printed materials that might at some point be glued onto other paper, or hung on a wall. It’s very satisfying to have things organized. Also, I know where things are if I wish to start a project. Some of the paper from the first category above has had some paint placed upon it in an artistic fashion.

Towels of the Day

Mum bought me some new towels and they arrived by post this week. I told her to choose the colours, and she picked some nice bright ones! I have them resting on the couch so I may enjoy them before they are out to use. P.S. I feel that I could use this colour combination for a colouring page. It’s very pleasing.

COVID-19 Journal Entry 21

I drove to work today for the first time ever in Victoria. The reason is that I have an appointment to have my hair cut after work and I need someplace to leave my stuff. The COVID-19 policy sent from the hair place specifically says to leave all extra stuff in your car. “But what if I don’t have a car?!” I asked to no one in particular. But I do have a car, I just have to move it somewhere closer to the hair place for the day (i.e. downtown) for it to be useful in this instance.

I left early because I didn’t know what the parking situation is downtown these days. It turns out that there is lots of parking and is not something I need to worry about if I choose to drive again. I have kept meaning to, on rainy days or whatever but I keep forgetting. I like my walk in.

COVID-19 Journal Entry 20

I walked into work today. My route takes me across the front of the Legislature building, where there is a nice wide sidewalk. There is also sometimes a security guard or two to say good morning to. It is possible for me to walk across the Legislature’s lawn but I usually don’t in the morning because it is wet from dew or rain, and also because there is usually bunch of geese hanging out there and I do not want anything to do with geese. Today, however, I found them not on the lawn of the Legislature, but in the park around the Empress Hotel. Sitting like the owner the place, which they don’t. They totally stared at me as if to remind me to mind my own business, which I totally was!

I haven’t been driving my car since the pandemic started because I have nowhere to go. I run it around periodically to make sure it will still go- mostly I just drive around for half-an-hour or so, but I did a big grocery shop, too (specifically to a grocery store that was next to a liquor store that had the cider I wanted to buy). On Tuesday I had a dentist appointment and I was planning to drive to save some time and to be in contact with few people than if I would have walked. But of course, when I had to be at a place at a certain time the car wouldn’t start. All the lights came on so it wasn’t the battery. So a bit of a worry, but I had to get to my appointment. I walked to the dentist no problem, and as I had my teeth cleaned I set a plan to call my mechanic to find out what to do. When I got home I thought I’d go try and start it again and pay attention to what was going on so I could tell the mechanic, if that would even help. I don’t know. But, of course, now the car started, no problem. We went for a wee drive just because we could.

I’m at work as I write this, a move change of scenery. The above I wrote on my morning break, and now I’m on lunch. A late lunch, but I got to doing things. I often go for a walk on my lunch break, but I don’t wanna.

Oh right, the dentist. I went for a teeth cleaning. I wore my mask as soon as I entered and wore it until my hygienist had me seated, and then put it back on when the cleaning was complete. I wasn’t sure about putting it back on, but I only wore it from the doorway of the practice to the chair. (Actually I wore it for a while just outside the door for 10-15 minutes while waiting to be let inside.) My hygienist was suited up head to toe and I never saw her face. She was nice, nevertheless. I was just as chatty and charming as I usually am when I go for a cleaning so nothing new there. When my hygienist asked if I needed any supplies I asked for a selection of floss, because having a choose of flosses makes it fun (for me, at least). I got two little packs and some flossing sticks (?) which look super fun.

I’ve figured out how order groceries for delivery from Thrifty Foods. I’ll see how that goes. The online part is easy once I get over the idea of waiting a week for my order- that’s when there are delivery times available. I’m getting a cabbage! And other things. If I find this pleasing I won’t have to go to any stores unless I run out of liquor.

Slippers of the Day

These are my work slippers. Aren’t they elegant?

COVID-19 Journal < Entry 18

Cook Street

My office is on the corner of Fort and Cook Streets in Victoria. At street level on Fort Street there is an MLA constituency office, an H&R Block, a yoga studio and a Subway. My seat is right about the H&R Block and is currently identifiable by a number of brightly coloured hearts I have taped up in the window. When I look out said window I can see the apartment building and antique store across the street on Fort Street. I can also see the new condo/shops building on Cook Street. A restaurant or coffee place just opened this week on one of the corners of that and people have been spaciously gathered near there consuming something. I haven’t gotten close enough to see what the establishment is exactly. My co-worker looked them up and said they have smashed avocado and that’s it, so this could explain the popularity.

I took a walk along Cook Street yesterday morning (Friday, May 15) in the direction of the water and Cook St. Village. So… south. I had a tiny gift to deliver to a friend I hadn’t seen in weeks and weeks. I asked her if I could come drop it off at the doorway of her apartment building, which is just off Cook. She was fine with that. She’s been working at home for two months; we text occasionally and discuss how working at home is faring, and the contents of our delivered produce boxes, etc.

I made my delivery into her hands by both reaching my arm out and leaning back the rest of me. We had a short, well-distanced chat which was super lovely.

Later, at my lunch break, I walked in the other direction along Cook Street, up to the other village that is located on Cook Street. This was a scarier walk as the sidewalks are narrow with no grassy divider like there was in the other direction, and also there were so many people. It all made me a little grumpy. I went to get vegan ice cream from Cold Comfort, where they have set up a pick-up window, which was jolly. I got minty cocolate or something. I haven’t opened it to see how that is organized: whether it’s chocolate ice cream with mint, or minty vanilla ice cream with choco bits. Usually it’s the latter, I know, but for now it’s a mystery.

One thing I noticed while trying to line up was a cluster of young women… clustered. Not physically distancing at all. They were considering the menu, what to get. And when they decided, they all took individual spots in the line up as marked out by stripes of tape. So they went from a group, and then distanced, and then reconvened into a group and went to the park. So distancing when it was mandated, by the tape, but not otherwise. I was annoyed at them more for hanging out in a cluster by the menu and making it look like they were in line, so I got in line behind them (way behind them) but then it turned out that they were hiding the actual line with the tape markings and everything on the other side of the window. So while they were taking their time deciding, I could have gotten in line before they did!?? Stupid cluster.

Birds

I was reading my bird book today. My mum gave it to me last year last year or the year before from her collection of bird books because it’s about birds in Victoria and that’s where I live. I accepted it at the time but questioningly, as I have no interest in nature, which she knows and which I probably mentioned at the time. But I am interested in books, and it has illustrations of birds, not photos, which I find endearing and intriguing. So I have a bird book.

I also have a number of friends who, while I walk with them, will both notice birds and then identify them by type. (I was going to say that my friends “name” the birds, which sounds like they give them names in an “I’ll call you Ed” sort of way. But no.) I am always a little impressed by this, since I rarely notice birds when I’m out and about on my own (except for seagulls flying overhead) and I never know what they’re called. (I could name them though, if I wanted. For example. “Hey Ed, don’t poop on me.”) So I may have taken the book with this in mind, to learn more about birds.

It’s only sort of worked so far. I definitely notice birds now, even if I’m on my own. I’ve even stopped a few times to take a better look. I imagine at some point I will note down identifying features and run home to look them up in my book. This hasn’t happened yet. That connection is still to be made. I will notice birds. I will look at the book at random, other times. I don’t know what I’ve seen and I can identify them. It is a work in progress for me. I feel a big step was overcome when I started acknowledging the existence of nature, so I feel I deserve some sort of prize.

Some colouring.