Wednesday, October 07, 2020

Here, hold my beer

Just when I thought, ok, this is the absolute lowest it can go, 2020 cannot deal out any more jokers....this week arrived.

Yegods and little fishes.
I'm doomscrolling till the wee hours of the morning, and trying to remember how to make coffee in the morning.

One thing I've found that helps me get through the day is sending money to good causes.

My favorite of course is Melanie Sue Bowles' Proud Spirit Horse Sanctuary.
I love the idea that horses have a safe place to do horse stuff.
Of course, someone has to foot the hay bill, and I'm glad to help.

8 people at Blackstone Publishing lost their homes in the Oregon Wildfires.
I'm very glad to throw in with that fund raising effort.

And my newest one?
Wild Bird Fund
It helps the wild birds of NYC when they are sick or injured.
Here's one story.

Now, I'm not lying on the sidewalk bleeding but if someone wants to come over and hand feed me some sushi, I'm not going to bar the door!

How are all y'all holding up this week?
Any particular tips for not going insane?


  1. No insanity staving words of wisdom from me. This week has just not been good period.

    We have red tail hawks in our area. A couple weeks ago, I watched three tag team hunting together in the field across the street. Field isn't quite the right word, it's probably a thousand acres. But it was amazing to watch.

    Sitting outside watching the wildlife is about the only thing that's kept me sane. I can't imagine what this winter is going to be like when I'm shut in the house all the time.

  2. I'm re-watching "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel."
    I'm re-reading C. J. Box's Joe Pickett series.
    I watch the 4-y-o when her parents need me. (She likes me to accompany her to the bathroom. When she's situated she says, "Let's talk about something." Great discussions ensue.)
    I'm getting our home ready for winter, inside and out.
    AND... I'm getting ready for Halloween! I love Halloween. I don't do elaborate decorations, just a few terra cotta jack-o-lanterns in the attic windows and one hanging from the birch trees out front. The town has deemed trick-or-treating verboten! this year. But I know the 4-y-o will come a'knocking, and she'll be wearing my witch hat, too.

  3. With October's wonderful weather, we have continued outdoor projects.

    Cleaning out the previous owner's old woodpile under my deck and wondering how I got all those bruises on my legs. Stacking and hauling hundreds of edging bricks and getting very sore thumbs. And yesterday, shoving three 6x6, 8 foot long lumber into my little car after an employee told us, when my daughter called, they could cut them at the store. We drove there and, actually, no their table saw wouldn't accommodate cutting a 6x6. Not to mention, we stacked the 6x6 onto the cart as we couldn't find any employees in the area!

    All to say, I'm not doomscrolling and after supper I'm falling asleep on the couch.

  4. I'm racing to meet a book deadline, so that helps a lot.

    As does limiting the amount of news I listen to each day. Plus watching home renovation shows. I've also increased my exercise time.

    Stay well, everyone.

  5. 2 houses with 5 bathrooms and 3 kitchens, all mine. Lost our cleaner, who left because of the virus which is probably a good thing. 2 92 year old people, two almost 16 year old cats and two getting old us. I am the only cook so I come up with something to eat every night. MIL just had her 92nd birthday and requested my cheesecake and glazed salmon which was of course, provided.

    Our mountain area is seeing an influx of out of state people so our airbnb is now getting bookings for January. Means we won't have to dip into savings. But there has been so much traffic on our road we don't feel safe biking it so we need e bikes light enough for us to hoist onto the bike rack. Will buy them in the spring.

    I read that MA people are moving to NH and NH people are moving to Florida.

    Getting ready for a long hunker down. On season 12 of Silent Witness.
    Just got the new Louise Penny and Tana French will be soon. Miss seeing my sister on the Cape this year but she is doing fine so that's good. Long phone visits with my childhood friend in PA. We've been friends since third grade but lost touch for years. I am noticing more and more birds here, we encouraged a feral landscape and we have water. I saw birds this summer I have never seen before. I follow FB groups on NH wildlife.

    We feel very lucky to be where we are at this time.

  6. We're on a hiring freeze at the hospital (but grateful to still have jobs). Sometimes I feel as though I'm living in a parallel universe. A lot of people out of work in theme park heaven.

    When I'm home I'm writing a lot more. When times were good I wrote about war. These days I'm writing feel good tales with humor. I hope there's a market for that.

  7. Work, writing, Netflix, long walks in the woods, reading, cooking and baking.

    Also: Watching my hair turn gray and grow too long; disinfecting surfaces, including light switches and doorknobs; drinking too much wine (but that's okay because wine's good for you, right?!); buying LL Bean sweaters online (winter's coming!); screaming into pillows, cushions, and whatever else is handy.

    Call your loved ones, sit tight, this too shall pass.

    Stay safe, everyone. xo

  8. It's a balance of keeping myself engaged (regular virtual interaction like writers' group, poker night, old college gang meet ups) and allowing time at night to shut my brain off with comfort tv. Been writing the next novel, reading a lot more (my search for comps led to some good new reads), helping figure out the remote school thing.

    It's easy to shut down or go crazy these days. I try to be aware of that desire, and block that out, find a point of normalcy, and sink into that instead. But it seems that tightrope keeps getting longer.

  9. Thank you for the shout-out, Janet... and, as always, we are so deeply appreciative of your help.

    I'm a huge lover of hawks. The Wild Bird Fund is a terrific organization. So grateful some folks intervened on behalf of the poor guy bleeding on the sidewalk and that he recovered.

    We have just under 100 acres of woods here at the sanctuary. I've been clearing some walking paths. Sometimes the horses join me. That's my sanity.

  10. It's refreshing and uplifting to see how you handle all the stresses going on by channeling your energy into helping others.

  11. I'm spending more money on books than I ever have before, and making full use of the e-libraries I have access to. Lots of walks, working two part-time jobs, being a remote secretary for the kid away at college. Writing stuff.

    There are so many things I miss that I can't think about them, and there are so many things that are scary with the world, all I can do is glance at them and then go back to books and Netflix. Interestingly, my husband and I are like the rest of America, that is we're on opposite ideological sides. But the weird benefit of that is I see that the other side is not scared about what I'm scared about and they're scared about stuff that I'm okay with, and in the end I think--it will work out.

    Stay safe and healthy everyone. That is most important.


  12. This week it's weed-wacking, re-posting, and re-wiring the fence line for one of our pastures. Our horse and loaner companion horse would otherwise wander off over hill and dale.

    Last week was clearing out the ancient wine chai. Organize the workroom and all tools great and small.

    The romantic life of a French Vigneron? Yeah, that's rich.

    Stay safe, be well, and appreciate all the wonderful little things.

    Cheers! Hank.


  13. I've been working from home [with computer connected to the office server] for the past two weeks, while helping my husband recover from COVID. The good news is he's still home, I had it last February so I'm not sick now, and appearing in court by telephone in my pajamas is fun LOL. The bad news is I'm also doing the shopping, laundry, meal planning and preparation, and everything else around here, while also working. I don't have time to go insane.

  14. Tip for not going insane: stop "doomscrolling till the wee hours of the mornin"

    In fact, it won't hurt to turn all media off for a while.

  15. I am stunned by all of these answers. I have to push myself every day to turn away from the news. My area has been hit so hard with Covid-19 and racial tension that it’s just been hard. I’m grateful every day for the noisy family that interrupts my days. My mg novel releases this month so that is forcing me to do some work!

  16. Oh, for a true escape I watch my son’s placid fish swim in the huge aquarium we have now. I tried to video it yesterday but it isn’t the same! Get some fish!

  17. I'm sorry I can't give any money to anywhere. Fiancรฉ and I are only just scraping through life. Pandemic means even less chance of a new job for him.

    We were supposed to get married on 4th July this year, and now I'm glad we didn't cause we got the money back.

    I could have done with some summer shoes but stuck with what I already had. Now it's winter and I'm forced to use my winter shoes for the third season while they're cracking on the outside. But they still work and are water resistant enough. (Important in the UK!)

    We have started to buy icecream again. We share one if we have a treat in the evening.

    My local writer group has asked twice to fund a good cause, and I'm the asshat not giving a single penny. ๐Ÿ˜ญ

    Sometimes I actually watch the birds (seagulls) and think to myself how it would be easier to be one of them. At least they don't understand the threats of climate change. At least they don't know about the pandemic. Not sure if they have zero reason for going insane, though... they certainly struggled finding food in spring when McDonald's was closed...

    If anyone ever wants to 'give' to my good-cause while getting a cute writer item for themselves, you could have a look in my online shop. It would really help me. (Christmas is coming, right?)
    I won't post the link cause I don't have enough warm clothes for Cakoon. ๐Ÿ˜†

    Despite all that, I'm still staying sane. I'm not sure how. It just is like that. I'm still happy (enough). ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Hope you stay strong enough, everyone.

  18. Dena, that actually does sound insane in itself. ๐Ÿ˜ณ
    I hope your husband gets well very soon and I can only imagine the struggle of doing all those tasks by yourself, OMG!


  19. Dena, best wishes for your husband's quick recovery. Hugs.

    I avoid doomscrolling and Twitter and other social media after dinner. I won't even watch the late news. After the 6:00 news, that's it for the day. That works to prevent the nightmares I used to have in the past four years.

    I'd like to give a shout out to Melanie's books, as well as the sanctuary itself. I really enjoyed The Dogs of Proud Spirit.

    Staying sane? Too late for that, but I'm staying happier by reading light mysteries and humorous novels.

  20. What i do for a living keeps me from going further insane, sometimes. At the moment I am going nuts from trying to please people. It helps that my new products will give others joy and lift them from the depths of the boredom that might be making them feel close to the edge.

    I am also signed up to help with voting results. That might be joyful, maybe.

  21. Since July they've been taking care of Joey, a baby otter, down at the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre/Vancouver Aquarium. Watching him on YouTube is my new favourite thing, they have a live feed 24/7 plus a bunch of standalone videos I can watch while he's sleeping. Rather than doomscrolling till dawn, why not watch an otter find out how much he loves ice cubes?

  22. Honest to godiva, Washing the Baby Otter is mesmerizing!

    Thank you Adele!

    here's the link.

     Baby Otter

    And listen to him squeak!!!

  23. Dena sending all the well wishes I can!

    This was me last week. The Glass Fire nearly obliterated my hometown of St. Helena, CA, and I know quite a few people who lost homes. I just kind of reached a place where everything just seemed too heavy to lift, and I'd have moments where I'd cry in the middle of a Costco just to let go of everything I carried.

    This week is better. St. Helena and its surrounding towns are safe. My parents are back home after being evacuated. I just hope, with everything going on, especially with what other people have said here in the comments, that we will all have time to heal our various wounds before something else tries to knock the wind out of us...

  24. Dena Best wishes for you and hubby.

    I'm still babysitting every other week.

    Still ramming through final, I think, revision of Rain Crow.

    I decided to learn how to swim, so I'm taking swimming lessons. I'm also taking aqua exercise classes. I took two this morning, hydro aerobics and joint aerobics. I still haven't conquered my fear of water, but I'm getting there. I'm determined to learn how to swim and add that to my exercise routine.

    I still have the vibration platform machine I am shimmying on, which has helped my joints I think and one day I am going to have fabulous legs.

    If I survive.

    Darling daughter-in-law bought me some five-pound dumbbells at her WalMart since mine is consistently sold out of every weight except three-pound and I detest shopping at Wal-Mart.

    So, on the weeks I babysit and can't make it to the Y for classes, I work out on the home gym, home bike, and do weights, plus the platform, of course. Plus, I read. Currently Mosby's Raids in Virginia, which is great.

    My father told me once about listening to the cattle trains when he was a boy. Ranchers and farmers were selling off cattle because of the droughts and starving cattle were loaded on trains and shipped to Chicago to be butchered. No feed or water. He said you could hear those poor cattle bawling for miles and he talked about it until he was a very old man. His family wasn't far above starving either, but they made it.

    One winter we were going through some pretty tough times ourselves. I had lard, flour, dried milk, rice, and a can of cranberry sauce to last a week. We had rice and gravy every day that week.

    I have a roof over my head. Granted, it's pretty ragged and needs to be replaced, but it's a roof. I'm certainly not in any danger of starving, nor is anyone I know.

    Tips for not going insane? Stop watching the news. Read a good book. Count your blessings. If you're home schooling, don't go into your son's room naked while he's in an online class. Well, maybe that last one was for preserving a teacher's sanity.

  25. My current coping strategies, in no particular order:

    1) My day job, teaching 5-year-olds to read -- it's better than being a fairy godmother!
    2) Copious profanity (not while engaged in #1)
    3) George Takei
    4) Freezer full of York Peppermint Patties
    5) Hikes to offset #4
    6) Knitting impractical things for adorable new babies -- if I can't touch them, at least my yarn can.

    Dena, wishing for a speedy and complete recovery for your husband and some rest for you!

  26. Wait, not going insane? Is that even an option for writers? I mean, sure, this year people have definitely invented new ways of going insane (or else 100-year-old ways are being rehashed if you count the Spanish Flu) but, I thought insanity was a rite of passage for a writer, or am I the only one... and why exactly am I holding YOUR beer?

    Here, someone take Janet's beer.


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