I’m feeling October. What is the feeling of October? This year it’s the evenings getting dark too soon, and cool nights. Usually in October, in the few years previous to this one, October was my travel month. Mexico in 2018, England with Susan in 2017. Last year I was already packing for China at this time even though the start of my trip was later in the month.
In 2019 I travelled a lot, so at the start of the pandemic I wasn’t too fussed with the prospect of staying at home. I’m feeling it now though: the longing for an airplane and foreign places. My plan for 2020 was for France and Italy – places I haven’t been yet! And then back to London, which I just love. I’m missing London! I’ll make due for now with following M&S on Instagram, I guess.
I’ve made a bit of a mistake. I’ve been spending my weekend going through my collections of detritus from trips past, and that has gotten me thinking about travel. I have piles of brochures and maps and misc paper from all my trips. I just got a new scanner, so some of these things and getting scanned and saved with my photos; most of if it is getting recycled after that. I’ve gotten good at not collecting so much stuff when I travel, but some things have memories.
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.
Disclosure: I’m catching up on Coronation Street while I compose this entry, so I might get distracted if anything interesting happens.
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.
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.
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.
I don’t know how long we’ll be allowed to use COVID as an excuse for abnormal behavior, but for now, I’m going to use it to explain my cravings for certain television programmes. All I want to watch lately is American shows based in the southern states. “Reba,” “Heart of Dixie,” “Any Day Now;” and the entire PBS documentary about Country Music. They all make me so happy with their soothing accents, non-life threatening subjects and catchy (theme) songs. I will neither confirm nor deny if I spent a recent day binge-watching the second season of “Heart of Dixie.”
I’d also like to use the COVID excuse to explain away a few bad habits I’ve picked up since the start of the pandemic. These are in addition, I should say, to those I had already. These have developed quite possibly due to being able to keep away from other people for many days at a time.
First is that I pick my nose a lot. Not actually a new thing, but now it’s been elevated to the status of hobby. I spent the spring with a runny nose due to allergies, and the consequence of this is, as you know, crusty boogers dried up inside my nose. At first, it was just fun to “clean these out” if you will. Now I’ve come up with the excuse that it helps me breathe to have those passages clear. Right? Ung. So gross. Yesterday I had a glob stuck on my finger and I was singing the Weird Al song “Gotta Boogie” (on my finger and I can’t shake it off).
Also, I am using the term “Noice” whenever I am impressed with something, instead of pronouncing it “nice” as a lady would. I think I picked it up from the TV show “Brooklyn Nine Nine.” A fine show, but not one upon which I need to base my everyday word choices. The last example: I dropped a container of yogurt while trying to organize the fridge and it opened upon impact with the floor and yogurt went flying. It was mostly on the floor, but I didn’t notice for a few days that globs flew up onto the rack holding fizzy beverages I have on the door. When I found out, there was a flaky layer of dried yogurt* on my ciders. “Noice” I said. Then debated with myself if I want normal times to return before I lose all sense of decorum, or if I should just accept the new me.
*I have coconut milk-based non-dairy yogurt. I have no idea if dairy-based yogurt acts like this .
The other day I wrote about forgetting ideas that come into my head at random moments, and then remembering them; and then trying to record ideas instead so I don’t forget them.
Since writing that entry, I’ve developed a new system of capturing these ideas: I started a new Note in the Notes app on my phone with the title “Blog Ideas”. While setting that up, I found an idea I wrote a year or so ago that was meant to go up on Facebook, or here, but never made it.
Egg Salad Sandwishes
September 7, 2019
Usually when I want an egg salad sandwich, I think of Subway, and then talk myself out of going there because I usually have eggs at home so I can make my own. And usually I don’t want to do that so I go without. But not today!
P.S. My home made egg salad sandwiches are much better than Subway’s due to the 50/50 egg to parsley ratio.
It’s been a while since I’ve kept a regular journal like this. I was looking back in my archive the other day (looking for evidence of the last time I read Mrs. Dalloway – there was none) and I was reminded that I used to practice my journal writing on a far more regular basis than I do now. It wasn’t daily, but it was frequent. It reads like I was writing for an audience of me – my voice and sass is clear. I still try to intill my entries with these, but I also try to make them intelligible to other readers – maybe not so many inside jokes – that is, jokes that are only jokes inside of my own head.
Writing a regular journal of my daily life is different than writing a journal when I’m travelling. With travel journaling I can fall back on just expanding my daily itinerary if I can’t think of anything else. Or just describe the scene around me. Everything is interesting when I’m on adventure.
At the beginning of COVID, when we had all just gone into lockdown, we were all on an adventure. Lots of new experiences to reflect upon. Now as I settle into the new normal, it’s less an adventure (ok, “adventure”) and more routine – and routine was what I didn’t want to be writing about when I stopped journaling. Routine isn’t interesting. I’d be writing the same thing everyday. Ironic maybe that I have even less to write about now that I’m at home most of the time, and yet here I am still writing about it (with, admittedly, some breaks). It’s like phone calls with my mum. We decided to up our weekly phone calls to twice a week, and we make fun of how we shouldn’t have anything to talk about since we aren’t doing anything. But one weekly one-hour call has turned into 2 two-hour calls per week. We still manage to find things to talk about.
Since I’m writing more regularly now, I’ve remembered some habits I should be following. I don’t know if I’m just older now and forgetful, or if i’m just way out of practice, but a really god habit I need to reintroduce is to write down any idea that comes to me right away. I keep thinking of really good ideas and then forgetting them, but not forgetting that I had an idea, just what it was. Then I get that hollow weird brain feeling where I know I’m missing something but can’t remember what.
I did this last week during lunch break during one of my office days. I was walking back along Cook Street after buying ice cream and had the greatest idea for a journal entry.
“This would make a good journal entry,” I thought to myself, and started composing. But then I was distracted by walk signals, and navigating around people on the sidewalk. I was even distracted by my organizing the rest of my work day – should I write said journal entry during my break later or save it for after work?
By the time I was back at the office, and stored my ice cream in the freezer, the idea was gone. I was back at my desk for a while before I remembered that I’d had an idea. But what was it? Nope. Gone.
I never do this, but I totally retraced my thoughts back to try and retrieve it. It was just that good of an idea. I had it before I approached the intersection with Pandora Street. Then I passed the man with the beard, turned my head away from him because the sidewalk was narrow and there was traffic. I crossed Pandora even though the light was flashing don’t walk, but I made it ok, and it’s a one-way street so no one was turning right. Then just a short wait for the next light to turn – I stared over a the bus stop and that’s when I decided I had a good idea for a journal entry. When I crossed Cook Street, a truck had to wait while I crossed – if I hadn’t crossed at the last minute across Pandora he wouldn’t have had to wait. There was fencing up around the grass along the parkway along Pandora. Was this where people had been camping at the start of lockdown? I hadn’t been over here to see. Then passing another pedestrian, but the sidewalk got wider along side the new condo building. There’s a new daycare on the lower level of that – I think that’s the one I read about because the residents of the condo are annoyed that the daycare kids can use their outdoor common area upstairs. Should I work of my journal now when I get back? I might have five minutes left of my lunch break. Or I could use my 15 minutes now instead of later…
I think by that point I had stopped thinking about the idea and then lost it. And I still had that feeling of a vacancy in my memory. (That’s a better way of expressing a “hole in my head” isn’t it?) I replayed my steps a few times. Was I thinking about it before my approach to Pandora? What was I thinking as I left the ice cream store? As I rounded the corner back on to Cook? When had I started thinking about it?
And the *POP* there it was. My fully formed idea. I typed it into the notes on my phone with an exclamation mark! I plan to write about it soon.
I have a sheet calendar I’ve taped to one of my cupboard doors in my kitchen. I write numbers on it twice a day. Sometimes over the course of the day I ask myself “WHY CAN’T I BREATHE??” and I glance at this calendar and it tells me that I am yet to administer my asthma medication. On days when I leave the house in a regular routine, I will take my inhaler before I leave in the morning, and then sometime after getting home. When I have no particular place to be in the day, I will take it whenever I remember (noonish today for the first dose, marked as number 27 above – there’s a guage on my inhaler so I can keep track. You might wonder why the need to write down the number, and not use the guage only. The answer to this is No.). At the times where I forget completely, (e.g. when it’s the next day and I didn’t take my evening dose) I mark an X. As you can see, there are no examples of this here. “Good Lindsie.”
Fun fact: I get the sheet calendar in the mail every January from my MLA, Carol James.
Fun Fact 2: I sprayed it with Windex the other day while trying to shoot a fruit fly out of the air, so it’s a bit warpy now, but that’s not evident in the image here.
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…
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: