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March 2020

The Corona Diaries Days 15 and 16 - PJ Weekend

Harper wanted to wear pajamas all weekend so we said sure! Why the hell not?

If you recall from previous - Harper asked if Friday could be Saturday and Saturday could be Friday. She honored the Saturday is Friday and we had a long lovely language arts class in PJs. It was a very low key weekend as I continued my recovery from a terrible sinus infection with god awful post nasal drip. We didn't take many pics. Just enjoyed our little life.

There was a puzzle. This is the way. We are also working on a safe puzzle swap with friends.


Harper and I decorated the windows for our neighbors. (And ourselves)


I made leftover lasagna from the meatloaf I had made last week. I had no cheese so made a lovely bechemel. I was pleased with my improv skills.


There was an hour of me prepping Harper's online learning stuff for this coming week. Luckily it is a short week and then spring break. ("Spring Break.") But it's a lot to do and prep and download and log into and clarify and organize. Whew.

Then I wondered if we would ever use these again before they expire.


Strange Days indeed.

The Corona Diaries Days 12, 13, and 14 - Mid Week Slump

I have a sinus infection with major post nasal drip and it's been really sucky. Way too much coughing and not sleeping well and ugh. Talked to the doctor on the phone, got antibiotics but tried over the counter stuff first, per her suggestions. None of that worked so am on the antibiotics. No fever, nothing like that. Just extremely tiresome and I'm ready to be done with it now. Today (Friday) I'm feeling a bit better so fingers crossed I'm on the downhill slide.

So Wednesday and Thursday are kind of a blur. Did some bike riding on Weds. morning. Harper has been reluctant to ride her bike these last couple years. Glad she wanted to get back to it.


We noticed since many more people are out walking they sometimes notice the cats in the window nearest the street. So I thought I would help them to identify who might be in the window. I want to come up with more window ideas.


There was some school work then we had a zoom with two of Harper's friends and that was fun. They figured out how to play uno and had a great time. One had to go so Harper had a picnic with the other afterward.



There was math and language arts and all was well.

Thursday is clean house day. Harper helps with emptying garbage cans and with cleaning up her room and misc stuff. She also got to play some minecraft, while I cleaned the floors. I knew she wouldn't move!


There was a first zoom get together with Harper's class, just for the teacher to say hi. We'll start some zoom classes next week. That will be interesting.

We had dinner then played monopoly and had fun with neck pillows. Kurt being our groceries forager braved the line at TJs and along with staples, came home with root beer and ice cream for floats!



I slept very poorly due to the aforementioned post nasal drip fun. I actually slept sitting up on the sofa with the neck pillow. Got some sleep. Harper woke up and came to snuggle in the morning. She asked if we could make today Saturday and tomorrow Friday. Sure, let's do it. So we had a kind of sick day/upside down day.

She watched Kipo on Netflix, which I kind of dig, big girl adventures and wacky animals and dystopia. She also likes to watch Brainchild on Netflix, also a show we like to watch together. I'm currently watching Victorian Farm on Amazon Prime as a way to relax while coughing. Also for hot tips on our future return to rural living. I've started my cottage garden.

Regrowing celery to plant in the garden. And an avocado. I realize we may not be eating our own avocado for a while...


There was a blistering chess match.


Later we made rice crispy treats. I don't think I've ever made them in my life! If I did it was so long ago I can't remember.




Then it was baked potatoes for dinner and then chilled on the couch while Kurt played Call of Duty. Good times.

Hope you are doing well and keeping sane!







The Corona Diaries Day 11 - Tuesday With A Small Outing

Mornings often start with some quality Biscuit time.


Then breakfast at the new desk set up.


I had Harper try a touch typing game. She did pretty well. I'll see if she'll play for a few minutes every day. Maybe a mad new skill to come of this?


Then some get out of the house and get physical time. Do a kick flip! (Or in Harper's case: Do a bar spin! I love Tony Hawk.)


Then came Math with Prof. Frey. (With Biscuit supervision.) I went out for a lovely long walk around this time.


There was some language arts in there somewhere...then a spectacular lunch.


There was art class in the PM - more pics on that later. Then I put Harper in the car and we took a turn around the city:
405N to the 101S to the 110S to the 10W. Took about 30 minutes. It was nice to be out and see other things. This is the 101 near Universal.


Then I took a chill with Biscuit


And had a lovely cocktail while making dinner.


Some days are easier than others, some days unexpectedly challenging. I am really really grateful for all we have. I don't take it for granted for a minute.

The Corona Diaries Day 10 - Back To School

We worked on another weekly schedule, talked about it with Harper, going to keep it super flexible.

She woke up around 6am and immediately asked me if she could do yoga. ALREADY OFF SCHEDULE!! LOL So she did one session of yoga early, then another session when I went out for a long walk. Biscuit was an excellent yoga partner.

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Biscuit is the sweetest most patient cat with all the shenanigans Harper gets up to with him. Carrying him around in backpacks, in her nightgown, on the yoga mat with Special Bear. So glad we got him last fall!

The morning was full of language arts and math all while I was dealing with some business stuff. I was dealing with frustrating things and feeling bad that Harper has to be a part of it while trying to learn. Close quarters are like that.

Then luncheon was served.


Then there was a scooter trip with Kurt and Harper to the local church parking lot for some rousing PE. I stayed home to deal with other stuff and to take our tax prep docs to the post office. I took a little jaunt down the 405 just to be out in the world again. Astonishing to see the 405 this empty on a Monday afternoon around 4pm. Glad people are staying home.


In the later PM Harper got to watch a show about animals. She picked "Kittens" and part of her assignment was to draw them. She really got into it!


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She also made shapes from household objects - we had learned about 3d objects in math, spheres included. She made this shape and I said, "hey, you made a shape from our math lesson today." And she said, "Oh yeah!" Love that.

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We are taking it one day, sometimes one hour at a time.

The Corona Diaries Day 9 - Low Key Sunday

EDIT - Typepad formatting went all wackadoodle at the bottom...weird.

This Sunday was full of weekend tv watching, including Kurt's favorite movie for Harper to see: "The Sword In The Stone." Good wacky fun.

I pulled out Trader Joe's almond croissants for special breakfast. That was a treat. Especially with my favorite coffee mug from Lucca, Italy.


I'm going to be doing some gardening this week and am trying to restart some celery. I think a new leaf is peaking out form the center!


I went for a nice long walk and listened to a Freakonomics podcast about the new normal and the future after this calamity. It's going to be tough on so many levels. Maybe there will some amazing long term tech or medical advance or something that comes from all this? One can hope.

In the afternoon we went back to the church parking lot for some more bike riding and scootering. There were other family groups there and while we all kept our distance, it was time to go home after about 3 more families showed up. Plus it was going to rain.

It did indeed rain and Biscuit was still obsessed with the drops on the window. This was very entertaining while we played Uno after dinner.

We made up a loose schedule for the week, but a schedule nonetheless. I need time for myself and I hope having a regular ish schedule will help Harper as well. Though as I write this it is Monday morning and she already wants to do ALL HER REQUIRED STUFF RIGHT NOW. Ugh. I want to just say FINE! BUT THEN YOU HAVE TO ENTERTAIN YOURSELF FOR THE REST OF THE DAY WHILE I DO MY STUFF! But that's not going to work.

So, I'm going to stick to the plan as best we can.

Also just now as I type this on Monday March 23, LAUSD announced all schools closed until May 1st. We were already planning for no school for the rest of the year, but okay, now it's getting more official.

People need to stay home if they can. It's TOUGH! But it's critical.

My biggest goals for myself this week are: 1) much less random snacking, 2) 2x online yoga 3) write 500 words a day on my current writing project. We'll see how I do.


The Corona Diaries Day 8 - Saturday Again

This Saturday is much different than last Saturday. This Saturday was more real in the face of this pandemic. Strange to not have to rush to sports or playdates or birthday parties again. Sad too. But here we are.

After yesterday's wacky sleep patterns, and the fact that I now have a head cold (no fever, just sinus annoyance, etc) I decided to not really strive for much. Had a good breakfast with a cute helper.


Harper got her Saturday TV time and then we went to the local church parking lot for some scooter and bike fun with "XSD" as Kurt calls it. Extreme Social Distancing. It was lovely to be out in the sun riding a bike around this big parking lot.




There were two other girls on bikes as well. Plenty of room for all.



Home for lunch and then we all sat outside to eat for a change.


Spa Time! A day-time shower and change into jammies and a fabulous poncho with matching turban. Her hair needed a proper comb out and nails needed trimming. She got more tv time as I worked.


Then it was time for the Main Feature! Kurt was talking to a family member in the other room so I fired up the OG Parent Trap! I hadn't seen it in ages and it is nuts. But a good time. Made popcorn and chilled. Harper did laugh out loud a few times.



Ordered a pizza in for dinner and this was on the box. Cool. Happy to help.


Now off to bed to read a bit and get some sleep. Luckily I am still sleeping well (except for Harper excursions in the night) and again thank goodness for my mouth guard to protect my teeth from all the unconscious gnashing.

Tomorrow is Sunday and we are having almond croissants that I pulled out of the freezer. I think I bought them over the holidays and never used them. I also plan to go on a nice long walk. I need to keep doing that for myself. I have to really make the time.

If you are not alone where you are, what are you doing to find your own space and time?


The Corona Diaries Day 7 - My Turn To Chill

I'm a doer and a producer so being active and managing situations is what I'm about. Yesterday I allowed myself to just chill. Did a few things in the morning that needed getting done, but after that, not much else. Played Candy Crush. Cooked meatloaf.

In a facebook group I'm in, someone asked how we are all doing. Reading through the replies makes me very grateful for all that we have and how lucky we are in this wacky weird situation we are all in. I wrote about how I drift between just focusing on today and what's in front of me right now and then look ahead to the hazy strange future. What will it look like for all of us? I don't overwatch/overread the news, but starting to see articles about "how our future will be radically different" adds to my teeth grinding at night, I'm sure. And my mom is a five hour plane ride away. Maybe that's why my shoulder hurts.

So much is out of our control so I'll focus on what I can do and let go what I can't. And play candy crush when I really just need to zone out.

Speaking of out of control, yesterday (the actual day 7), Harper woke up at 4am - I heard her door open and she went to the bathroom. Cool, I thought, she'll go back to bed. Nope, she came to me and said "I can't sleep." She lay with me in our bed for a bit, then got up and said she would read. I tucked her in and asked why she couldn't sleep. "My ear hurts." Okay, some tylenol then. I went back to bed, she read. Then she came in to our room around 5:30 and climbed in bed again and fell asleep, we both did, until about 7.

She asked for more yoga!


Then because it's Friday and Friday's are days she can watch tv after school, she asked to watch tv. I said "After school" so she said, "okay, let's do school!" So we did the math work and the language arts work including a letter to my mom.


Then it was time for art. Kurt set up the easel and paints.



Then some lunch and snacks and it was time for tv! She watched for a couple hours then I said time for a break. We all just did whatever until around 3:30 or 4. I was playing the aforementioned candy crush and she wanted to help so she did. Then I had to get up for something and I said, "Why don't you take a nap?" and by golly, she said, "okay" and went to her room and TOOK A NAP FROM 4PM UNTIL MIDNIGHT! Wow. Clearly she needed that sleep. I was asleep at 10:30 so when she woke up, she came to me and I took her back to bed and gave her more books to read and fresh water. That lasted a little while then she wanted to get up. I told her to watch some tv with Kurt, and yelling from my bed "Animal shows!" which she did until about 2 or 3. Then she went back to bed and woke up at 7. YAY. I hope that is the end of crazy sleep schedule for her as she is no longer complaining of earache. Fingers crossed.

Kurt and I had dinner on the couch! It's been ages since we did that since we normally eat at the table together every night. It felt like such a throwback to the Before Kids era. We watched the first episode of Top Chef.

Harper got a letter! It's from Grace. As of this writing (Saturday morning) she hasn't opened it yet.


One week of staying home. It's very very weird to try and conceive of doing this for a long time. While it's stressful to not have work right now (freelance and all) I'm really glad I'm not currently employed so that I can focus on our own needs. Again, very grateful for that.

I have a cold now too...did I catch it from Harper? Whatever was rolling around in her ears? Probably. It's wasn't strep for Harper, so that's good news. No fever for any of us. But a head cold for me. Ugh. Oh well, this too shall pass. Another day, more candy crush.


The Corona Diaries Day 6 - Not So Sick Day

Today the ear was better, but we took it easy in the morning. Harper asked again to do yoga - yay! So glad she's loving Cosmic Kids. And I love that she said on the first day "She's from England!"

Biscuit supervised.



Yoga in the books, she said her ear hurt a bit so gave her more motrin. Then she got to watch tv for an hour with a breakfast of chamomile tea and green apples. I then went for my own long walk which was so nice. Get out in the clean fresh air.

Biscuit is a long cat.


Later, Harper got to choose between art, math or language arts. She chose art first with Kurt and they did alcohol inks. I was in my office dealing with the rest of our lives. Not clear who was in charge of the class.




Today was also clean house day! Bringing back Home Ec to school. Harper helped a bit with all of it and we all learned to appreciate our housekeeper even more than we usually do. (She's being paid to stay at home during this wacky time.)

Biscuit again with the Supervision.


By the way, Willoughby is here too, but has had a terrible case of feline acne and we've had to give her special medicine which she freakin HATES so she keeps to herself a lot.

Lunch happened with ramen, kamaboko and hard boiled egg. Surprise-two yolks! Harper said it meant she would be lucky for five days. Cool!


After lunch was Math with Prof. Frey and again the table sitting appears to be the key to good math studies. Following Math Class was AP Try On Mom's Fancy Shoes. She nailed it. It was pretty cute then I looked the picture of her in which I focused on the silver shoes and man oh man, she already looks like a model with that pose.




Awww, shoe-heart.

The rest of the day included language arts, playing video games and having snacks. Before dinner we went on a walk in more sensible shoes and waved at neighbors.


Things have been okay, but it's not always easy or fun, that is for sure. I was doing tax prep while Harper and I did language arts. Harper really puts in the work which I appreciate. Don't get me wrong, she doesn't go way above and beyond, but she focuses and gets it done. Can't ask for more than that.

As for me, my temper is kinda short, my nerves on edge often. I'm working on breathing through it but every morning I wake up with my inner cheek rubbed raw from the teeth grinding while I sleep. It's worse than it's been in a long time, the teeth grinding. Glad I have my sexy night guard. I make sure to get outside every day, have time to myself for at least half an hour here and there, even just to play stupid candy crush on my phone. God it's relaxing.

How are you all holding up? We have weeks if not months more to go. I plan on going to the hardware/nursery store to get plants to put in the garden. Tomatoes, etc. A good activity with bonus food down the line!

One day at a time, my friends, one day at a time.




The Corona Diaries Day 5 - Sick Day

Last night Harper woke up crying at about 11pm with an earache. She cried and cried and cried. My theory is that half of that was unexpressed emotional stress about all these changes. Poor thing. I gave her motrin and water and read to her for a bit and she felt better and went to sleep. It was about 11:30 or 12. She woke up at 6:15 this morning and napped a bit this afternoon. Hopefully she'll get a good long sleep tonight.

We do talk to her about what's going on, that it's serious and we are serious about doing all the right things, that it's going to be a big challenge, but we will be okay. I try to ask her about her feelings and share some of mine (But not all. I'm not a monster!)

So Day Three of homeschooling was a sick day. Sweet girl did do another yoga session (she asked to do one!), then got to watch Netflix for a bit as it was a sick day. She ate apples and had hot chocolate.

I enjoyed that down time with a lovely pot of tea.


I attended to household business, bills and calling the doctor for Harper's ear and such. Kurt was out golfing - I know I know, it sounds nutty, but out in the wide open and easily staying far from the other players sounded good. On his way home he stopped at Vons for more apples and cucumbers and parchment paper and potato chips. Many things were empty but many things were still very much available and it wasn't too crowded. We got a starbucks treat as well (Biscuit was jealous). Kurt took a silkwood shower after all that outdoors/among people stuff.


Harper had a doctor's appointment at 2:30 so we hung out and ate lunch then played Uno (aka math practice with the Biscuit assist) on our bed.



It was nice to drive around, traffic was fine, but busier than I thought it would be. There were cautions galore at the Dr.s office, which is good. It took no time to get seen, which was even better. Harper got a strep test just to be overly cautious, negative in the office, we'll get confirmation tomorrow. For now just take the motrin as needed.

Harper proved she is genetically related to me and my mom by doing THIS all on her own. God I love looking through drawers in doctors waiting rooms...!!!


Harper was perky in the afternoon so Prof. Frey had math class ready for her after the doctor. She did great. I think the alternate seating options are helpful!


Later she distracted herself with lemon picking and while I'm glad she found something to do on her own, I was really bummed she picked all those lemons as I had planned to leave them on the tree and use them as needed. :-( Luckily there are still a few on the tree.



Thursday is Lemon Zest and Juicing Day!

She had a nap while I made a lovely leftover rice/chicken/cheese casserole for dinner with enough for more tomorrow and a bunch for the freezer.


Quiet dinner, a bit more tv and now bedtime with a slug of motrin for the girl and hopefully a good night sleep!

Fortunately, fresh lemon goes well in a vodka tonic.


The Corona Diaries Day 4 - Diorama Day

Tuesday, St. Paddy's Day. We didn't find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but dang, we got a rainbow! Small blessings.


I got to write more this morning, Harper woke up a little after 7:00am. Clearly she needed the sleep after being up so early yesterday. It was good to have lots of quiet time to myself and put some words down in a creative fashion.

Before school started I put on my walking shoes and went for a lovely cold march through the neighborhood. I was thinking I might pop into Trader Joe's for 2 small things on the way then came around the corner and saw this:


I didn't get any details but am guessing people were only being let in a few at a time. I am very happy to wait for my small not very necessary items.

I came home to find school was gearing up. Harper started with more yoga and then as I made some breakfast, she and Kurt started math class. I audited. Then they went for a walk as I hit the showers.


Afterward was break time then onto The Diorama! Harper and I worked on it with my trusty new glue gun. I didn't burn myself at all and Harper only did once. Success!



There was some lunch and more chillax time, followed by Language Arts. We went through her workbook and then the worksheets which we forgot yesterday. Harper didn't really want to do the work sheets at first, but then she started rolling I just sat back as she plowed her way through them. Rock on, girl.


Then she got to watch Frozen 2 while I dealt with grown-up stuff, tax prep, paperwork, etc.

Then the diorama beckoned her again and she finished it before dinner with supervision and some assistance from Kurt. I was amazed and pleased as I told her she could do more this week. But no, DONE! Well, not 100% done. Still needs the facts and description.


While they glue-gunned away, I baked a water cake that someone had posted on Facebook. A cake made without milk or eggs or butter. I was dubious but decided why not give it a go. I had wanted to make Irish soda bread but didn't have buttermilk or cream or even white vinegar to make faux buttermilk. Gravity was on my side today, no mishaps.

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It's different. Definitely benefited from the lemon curd I had in the fridge. The flour I used was not All Purpose, but a stronger one I had from Grist and Toll. You can taste the flour a bit too much. There is lemon zest in it, but not nearly enough. I would play with this cake recipe when I have more flour. I do have some coconut flour in my baking drawer, I should find something to make with that.

I had a nice call with my sister in San Diego and texted with friends around the country. It's nice to be in touch in this wacky time.

Second school day in the books. It went really well, though there were a few moments of WHY IS EVERYONE IN MY OFFICE RIGHT NOW??? on my part, but more in my mind than out loud.

We are working on a field trip idea! More on that later...