May 30, 2020

Seventy-four days...

Today marks seventy-four days since my lock down began.

For seventy-three of those days, I haven't worn any jewelry.  I don't know why - there was no conscious thought behind it.  I just didn't.

This morning as I was getting dressed to head into the office (I've been going in for a couple hours on the weekends to get things done that I can't do from here), I reached for my watch, rings, and earrings.  I even spritzed on some perfume - another thing I haven't done for seventy-three days.

It felt normal-ish.

Although my ears, it appears, seemed to think those very light hoops weighed a ton.  Eventually though I forgot I had them on - again, normal-ish.  Until about ten minutes ago, when my ears began to rebel and began to itch - so I just removed them.

I guess my ears just need to get used to the earrings again.

I can't remember when I gave up on the contacts though.  But it's been a long while now since I've put them in and am wondering if I will ever wear them on a daily basis again.  I guess we shall to speak.

I do remember WHY I gave up the contacts though.  I ordered a counted cross stitch kit.  Yes, I am teaching myself how to cross stitch.  You'd be surprised at how much time it can kill when you get on a roll.  I had to take the contacts out in order to see what I was doing.  So I found it easier to skip the contacts, wear my glasses all day and just take them off when I'm doing the cross stitch.

The first two projects (neither of which I plan to keep) came out okay.  I'm on my fourth project (the third had to be set aside for a bit because I screwed it up SO royally that I had to remove all the stitches - I figure that was a very ambitious project so the fourth project will hopefully teach me enough to go back and re-start/finish it...eventually - if I don't get bored with this activity first).

I ordered lunch from our local Mexican restaurant today for curbside pickup.  As I waited, I noticed there was a large sign on the door stating that only 80 patrons could be inside at any given time.  And as I waited, I watched several people walk up and go in - all without protection and all without giving it a second thought.

I wonder if it will ever feel normal to go out for lunch again?

Actually, a co-worker called me yesterday to see if I wanted to meet for lunch.  I explained I was still staying in - but I will admit I was tempted for half a second.  And I'm praying that she is being safe while out and about.

Technically, I had a dentist appointment last Wednesday - one that had been re-scheduled twice during lock down - and I called and re-scheduled it for August because, even though I know they are taking precautions, I just didn't feel comfortable about going.

I wonder if it will ever feel normal to go to the dentist again?

Heading into a grocery store or a drug store when absolutely necessary garbed up with the mask makes me jittery.  Seeing all the unmasked and unconcerned (seemingly) masses really ups the jitters.

Will it ever feel normal to walk into a store - unmasked - again?

Really though, what I wonder about the most is whether or not I will ever feel comfortable about going out, for no real reason, again?

May 26, 2020

My world is getting pretty small...

I finally finished painting the chairs and tables for the back porch and am quite pleased with the result.

It's amazing how much larger the porch appears when the pollen is swept up and with the jolt of color.  Yes, Juli, I realize that the black tables will be a pain with the pollen.  But honestly, the dark brown color that was their previous iteration was no better.  I figured whichever way I went there is no way to stop the will always come.

I have determined that an outdoor rug is now needed.  Yes, I realize, that will be a headache unto itself.  But this is what happens when you leave me at home unattended.

For now, we are ignoring the fact that the porch rails are filthy.  Truth be told, even when cleaned they look filthy.  Personally, I think they need to be replaced.  Again, being left home unattended...

I realized today *just* how much smaller my world has been getting over these many, many weeks.  Today, I had to drive into Town (vs. the much smaller "town" that is our "Main Street" five minutes down the road either way.) to pick up my contact-less, curbside wine order and I was annoyed by the fact that they don't deliver out here. The big Town is about 20 minutes - give or take - away.  And to think, I used to do that at least TWICE a day driving to work and back; never thinking anything about it.  On the weekends God only know how many times I would travel into Town and back.

I do have to admit - despite the annoyance of having to drive into Town - I am loving the whole delivery/curbside delivery thing.  I'm really hoping that this little "perk" will continue when this *waves hands around wildly* whole thing is over.

But then, news stories like this pop up over the weekend, along with pictures like this...

Not much social distancing going on here!  AND barely any masks!

 and I am thinking...this thing is FAR from over.

May 15, 2020

Today's project (realizing that "today" might be finished tomorrow)

This morning seemed to be shaping up as a very slow work day - which is fine, because I am planning to head into an empty office tomorrow to take care of a few things.  Seriously, this working from home thing is working very well for me - when this all went down, I would have said this would NOT work for me.  I also acknowledge, my situation is different from a lot of people's experience.

The other day, I had decided that this would be a good time to paint the rockers on our back porch.  Now, it must be said, these rockers are over twenty years old and although they've been cleaned a time or two, the paint was in a sad, sad state.  As I wondered, out loud, what color I should paint them, The Husband chimed in with, "How about a teal?" to my utter shock. 

I must clarify.  When we built our first house he had a VERY strong opinion that the walls should be painted a beige-y color.  I acquiesced...for a bit before I re-painted the living room with Tuscan-inspired yellow...which eventually grew on him.

So, apparently, after many years of marriage color has grown on him.  And, actually, I had been thinking about teal for those chairs.  I immediately headed over to the Target website and they had the perfect color of spray paint - so I promptly ordered five four white cans; because you always need white spray paint.

I started with this, lightly sanded, cleaned but sad looking chair (this was my "test" chair).

Actually, this one is one of the better looking ones.
 It was selected as a "test" chair based on it's proximity to the door!

After it was sanded, cleaned and finally dried I moved on to the painting portion of the day.

After the first coat...I LIKE!

I sent the photo to The previously, color-averse Husband, who approved.  And then...I looked at my hands.  And sent this photo to The Husband saying, "Obviously, I didn't think through the ramifications...I'm going to need a new manicure!"

Never have I seen a teal-hued french manicure before...

What I didn't take into account?  How many cans of spray paint it would take to cover ONE chair.  Two coats on the top half of that one chair (the bottom still needs to be painted) later has me trying to calculate how many more cans are needed for the other two chairs.

But then I started thinking...should I paint each chair a different color?  Or should I paint two chairs teal and one coral?  Or should they all be teal and the table white?  Or the table black?  Decisions, decisions.  But by the time this is all over, the back porch is going to be riot of color.

May 13, 2020

Virtual business meetings - just as much of a waste of time as in-person meetings

Back in the "before" time one of the things I despised the most was meetings.  In my opinion, ninety-nine point nine of meetings are a huge waste of time.  So, it stands to reason, that in the "now" I was thrilled to realize that most meetings were being disposed of...

Only to discover, that people are now embracing Zoom, Skype and Team meetings and conference calls - UGH.  Luckily, I've been able to dodge most of them.

Until today.  Yesterday, I received an email from an unknown person that began with "Hi Legal Team!" It was interesting to note that the majority of the people that this particular missive was directed to are not, in fact, part of our "Legal Team."

I immediately forwarded the email to one of the attorneys and paralegals that I actually like and respect, to see if they knew anything about it and to make sure it wasn't some sort of fishing expedition.  My favored attorney responded that this was actually a project being spearheaded by a very non-favored attorney.

It stands to reason that this non-favored attorney didn't give anyone a heads up before this random email...that just the way this person operates.

Eventually, I responded asking for clarification - because obviously these people operate the same way as the non-favored attorney.

The clarification I requested was met with a response for a Team meeting.  Dear God in heaven!  I finally agreed to a conference call - wherein I quickly discovered all of it could have been dealt with in a quick email.  *sigh*

So I wrapped up the call by saying, "Fine.  I understand what you require.  Just send me the questionnaire and I'll return it ASAP."  Only to be told, "Great!  We will be scheduling training in the next week or two - we'll get back to you."


I do NOT need training on how to fill out a questionnaire!  Sure, I'll admit some people might "need" training (eye-balling the non-favored attorney) - but the majority of us can figure out how to fill out a questionnaire, I would think.

Frankly, I think the "consultants" feel that if they don't have "face/meeting" time with the client they aren't earning their hefty fee.  For me, I feel like I will gladly pay your hefty fee if you leave me alone!  Send me your request, I'll respond and we are done.  Is that too much to ask?  Apparently so.

I have a feeling I will be unexpectedly unavailable during said training.

May 10, 2020

Give them an inch...

A few days ago, our Governor, proclaimed that a 5:00 pm this past Friday North Carolina could proceed to "open" to Phase One.

Yesterday, around 4:00 pm, my company sent out a company-wide email that provided guidance to returning to work.

I can honestly say, I met both announcements with dismay.

Yesterday, I ran to the empty office building to catch up on a few tasks that can't be done from home.  Based on the amount of traffic I faced, I decided to drive by the local Marshall's that, in normal times, was always hopping, just to see whether or not local North Carolinians were staying home.

Sadly, they were not.  The parking lots were packed.

When I stopped at a grocery store to pick up a few necessary items, most of my fellow shoppers were wearing masks.  The sad part?  They all seemed to think that those masks afforded them super-powers.  They had no problem brushing by me (and each other) in very close proximity.  At one point, I lingered at the end of an aisle, patiently waiting for one person who needed to examine each and every box in that section, as I stood there - clear to anyone paying attention, that I was following the six feet apart protocol - a woman came up behind me and passed right by me and proceeded to stand very close to the other shopper while she reached for what she was looking for.  *sigh*

What also unnerves me is the people who aren't wearing their masks properly - i.e., they aren't covering their nose.  The whole purpose of wearing the mask is moot then.

At any rate, it's Mother's Day here in the US.  Man-Child is planning to come for a socially distant dinner - and that's a very welcome Mother's Day gift indeed; the only way it could be better is if I could hug him.  He has asked several times just when it will all go back to normal.  Sadly, none of us know the answer to that yet.  At least we won't be dining in the garage this time - the weather is glorious and we are planning to meet in the backyard - so there's that.