FURLOUGHED: Week Ten

The end is near.

The COVID-19 pandemic is coming under control.  At least for the moment, the infection and hospitalization rates are declining.

Here in Western New York, we have started reopening by phases; currently, we are in Phase I, which includes manufacturing and construction.   Should all go well in Phase I over a two-week period, we will then reach Phase II, which includes pretty much everything except restaurants and large entertainment/recreational venues.

Phase II means I will have to go back to work.  I’m not sure I want to go back to work.  I’m enjoying my time off.

Of course, one of the reasons I’m enjoying my time off is that I’m receiving New York State unemployment as well as the enhanced Federal unemployment benefits.  Once Phase II arrives and I am asked to return to work, if I don’t return to work, those benefits will terminate.

Like everyone else, I have bills to pay.  So I guess I’ll be returning to work within the next couple of weeks.

Just my luck that reopening occurs when the weather has finally gone from winter to late spring.  Just when I was thinking how nice it would be to spend time outdoors with my camera.  Maybe even somewhere other than my own backyard.

Busy, busy, busy.

On the other hand, a return to work might be a good thing.  It would get me out of the house (finally) and give me something to do other than baking and playing videogames.

The good news is, I received an email from my employer indicating that I do, in fact, still have a job and my return to the office will be welcome.  It’s always nice to  be wanted.

Meanwhile, I’m busy, as I said, cooking, baking, playing videogames – and catching up on my backlog of reading materials.  This week, I even volunteered to beta read a couple of soon-to-be-published novels.  Normally, I get paid for beta reading, but hey, we’re in a pandemic and no one has extra cash floating around.  Am I good person or what?

REMINDER TO READERS:   You can still hire me to beta read/proofread.  After the pandemic, I’ll be running an introductory sale – your first beta reading/proofreading project is free; after that, my rates are very reasonable and well below the current market.  My email is cordeliasmom2012@yahoo.com.  Go for it!

BTW, you might want to clarify who you are when you send me manuscripts; too many of you have similar names and/or email addresses, which can be confusing especially if two of you similarly named people send me manuscripts at the same time (as recently happened).  In all cases, it would be wise to email me before sending any materials, to check on my current availability.

Anyway.

This is Memorial Day weekend here in the United States.  Hopefully, people won’t go crazy, ignore social distancing, and refuse to wear masks.  Such negligence would likely result in a resurgence of the virus and  force us back into lockdown.

So, everyone, enjoy your holiday but stay diligent and safe.  We can all do that for a few more weeks, right?

Always remember those who have lost their lives, and those who have fought so hard to keep the rest of us alive.

__________

I love to hear from my readers. You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, or email me at cordeliasmom2012@yahoo.com
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Images by Cordelia’s Mom/TeddyRosalieStudio

 

 

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FURLOUGHED: Week Nine

Really? Have you, or anyone you’ve ever known, tried to eat raw flour?

Then again, our own incompetent King President recently suggested ingesting bleach to cure COVID-19, so maybe such a silly warning is, in fact, necessary.

New York State is slowly coming back to life.  Five regions in the state are starting to reopen today – including those regions which contain Rochester and Syracuse (yay for you, Mark!).  Erie County, however, still has growing hospitalization numbers, so we remain in total lockdown.

I’m ok with that.  At this point, I’m not sure I even want to go back to work – although I’ll have to once the federal and state funds run out.  It would appear that  my return to work will coincide with Mother Nature finally agreeing to stop the rain and allow us some sunshine.  Of course.  I’ll get to go back to work at the exact same time the nicer weather is telling me to get out there and do something already.

Like a bull in a … construction zone. Maybe he’s getting stir-crazy, too?

I do have “real” masks now.  Although the China-sourced masks are still maneuvering the U.S. Postal Service somewhere in this country (they did clear customs in Los Angeles, but no word since then), the Arizona-sourced masks have arrived.  Apparently USPS simply never updated their tracking system to show that the masks were, in fact, on the way.

Meanwhile, the cooking, baking and video game playing continue.  Even Puppy Cody is growing lazy.  Thank heavens we have a decent sized yard in which she can chase bunnies and squirrels:

Can you see Puppy Cody behind the garage? She looks so tiny from so far away.

I have to be especially diligent when Cody is out there, because we’re into bunny mating season and last year (and the year before) she found the bunny nest before I could and ate one or two of the babies.  Definitely not a fun time for me, although Cody seemed to enjoy herself (and her treat) immensely.  Ugh.

Where are those bunnies? (This was taken last year. We don’t have flowers yet this year.)

Last year’s bunny family – weren’t they cute?

Anyway.

Now it’s time for the highlights of my day – watching Gov. Cuomo’s daily news conference, and doing laundry.  Probably no baking today, we are well-stocked with homemade cakes, cookies and rolls.  I’m afraid to get on the scale since I wasn’t thin to begin with.

To those of you who are venturing out into a newly reopening world – wear your mask and keep your distance.  The rest of us will be watching to see how things work out for you before we go out ourselves.

And to all my readers:  Hugs.  Stay safe and healthy.

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I love to hear from my readers. You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, or email me at cordeliasmom2012@yahoo.com
__________
Images by Cordelia’s Mom/TeddyRosalieStudio

 

Posted in Health, Pets, That's Life | Tagged , , , , | 28 Comments

FURLOUGHED: Week Eight

Two months in.

But the end is in sight.  If the infection and hospitalization rates continue to decline in New York State, a limited reopening may begin by May 15.  I have mixed feelings about that – while I think it would be nice to go to a restaurant, for a haircut, or to the zoo, the idea of being around people who still might be infected does not sit well with me.  Sure, as King Trump said in a recent interview, we all have to die sometime anyway – but I don’t want it to be now, and I don’t want it to be because of COVID-19.  I am at risk because of age and immunocompromization (is that even a word?), and I don’t care to take any chances.

The good new is – the face masks I ordered from China have finally made it across the ocean and are now physically in Los Angeles, so maybe they’ll arrive next week.  However, they’re disposable dust masks, and we’ll still need washable cloth masks when we eventually return to work.

The bad new is – the washable face masks I ordered from a company in Arizona have still not arrived.  Before ordering, I checked the information on Amazon to be sure they weren’t being imported from China and learned they were manufactured in Mexico and were “in stock.”  Great!  If they’re “in stock”, how long could it possibly take to get from Arizona to Buffalo, New York?  I ordered them the third week in April, and within 24 hours I received information that they had been shipped – and was given a USPS tracking number.

When I hadn’t received those cloth masks after two weeks, I logged onto USPS.com to track the order.  Which is when I learned that a shipping label had been prepared but that the package had not yet been given to any USPS facility.  Say what?  Have I been scammed?  Did the seller merely prepare a shipping label in order to receive payment from Amazon, with no intentions of delivering the product?

I’ll wait another week before asking for a refund.  Because I’m naïve, probably stupid, and very patient.

Meanwhile, we need cloth masks.  I have several friends and acquaintances who are making these types of masks, but I see no need to pay for a homemade mask when I could probably do just as well myself (especially since I’m currently sitting home with nothing much to do.)

So I did.

I found a polyester turtleneck shirt I bought last year and which never fit quite right.  I was going to donate it to charity, but realized the material was just the right weight and elasticity to make some really nice masks.

The first mask I made took all of five minutes.  I merely had to cut off the turtleneck part of the shirt and add rubberbands to either end to put over the ears.  Then I took a couple of tucks at the top and bottom to make the mask tighter around the nose and chin.

Not the prettiest thing you’ve ever seen, but it works and it is very comfortable:

The tuck at the top keeps the mask tight enough to prevent my glasses from steaming up.  My only complaint is that the mask is fairly hot to wear – I hate to think what that’s going to be like come summer if we’re still required to wear masks.

But I still wanted something that looked like some effort had actually gone into it, and I had plenty of material left (the whole shirt, as a matter of fact).  So, I went online and found a YouTube tutorial on how to make a face mask – without a sewing machine.

Perfect.  I haven’t had a sewing machine in years, and my hand sewing isn’t too bad.  The tutorial was very easy to follow – simply a matter of cutting out a circle of material (the tutorial made it look really easy to cut a perfect circle, but it wasn’t), folding and cutting it into fourths, and then sewing everything together the right way.  The tutorial recommended using those wrapped hair ties that little girls use for pigtails, but I opted (again) for rubberbands for the ear pieces (rubberbands I have; hair ties would have required a trip to the grocery store).

This mask took a long time, merely because hand sewing is so tedious.  I think it took me over an hour to do what I could have done in about 10 minutes with a sewing machine.

The mask still isn’t pretty (yeah, I totally forgot it was a plaid pattern which wasn’t going to match at the seams), but again, it’s functional.   However, because it’s smaller than the first mask, the rubberbands have to stretch further and it’s not very comfortable on the face.

Looks like I’m seriously in need of a haircut, doesn’t it?  I may have to deal with that on my own (heaven forbid).

In any event, I now know the basics of making a face mask.  I’m sure the next ones I make will be nicer.  Hopefully, I won’t have to make too many.

Hugs to all my readers.  May you all stay safe and healthy.

__________

I love to hear from my readers. You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, or email me at cordeliasmom2012@yahoo.com
__________
Images by Cordelia’s Mom/TeddyRosalieStudio

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FURLOUGHED: Quarantine Fatigue

Even though I’m probably one of the laziest people on this planet and have been perfectly content sheltering in place, by the end of the 7th week even I needed to get out a bit.

The weather had finally become spring-like (yay), but the forecast indicated more freezing temperatures in the days ahead, so hubby and I decided to take a nice Sunday drive.  Yes, even after 5 weeks of being together 24/7, we were still looking forward to sitting side by side in a car.  You would’ve known?

Anyway.

We tried to think of places that were outdoor, with green space  but not a lot of people.  Considering that everyone’s been in lockdown for so long and that the social distancing requirements are still in effect, our options were understandably limited.  Fortunately, we have a number of college campuses near us, and most of the students are not currently in residence.

Our first stop this Sunday was to the State University of New York at Buffalo – Amherst campus (a/k/a SUNYAB).  This promised to be an ideal location since it’s not within walking distance of anyone’s neighborhood, thereby limiting casual foot traffic.  We saw only a handful of students and a couple of families who had driven there, apparently for the same reason we did.  No one was within 10 feet of anyone else.

The only problem was the geese.  These little guys were total unintimated by humans and let me get within a foot of them, until the smaller one had enough and started hissing at me:

This guy really was that close!

Back Off!

One human couple did walk by (approximately 10 feet away) and looked at me curiously as I stood relaying instructions to the geese on just how I wished them to pose.  (All righty then, let’s stay away from that lady with the camera- the virus has probably gotten in her brain.)

These geese weren’t the problem, though.  The issue was that this particular campus has so many geese that it’s nearly impossible to walk anywhere without stepping in goose poop.  After about 20 minutes, we gave up.

So, next we drove up along the Niagara River.  We know from experience that the parks in the City of Tonawanda are always crowded, and those areas would be the perfect spot for anyone wishing to sit, either on a bench or in their car, and watch the water.  Since I wanted to get out of the car to take photos and didn’t want to have to wear a mask, we decided to go a little further north.  However, we didn’t wish to drive as far as Niagara Falls (which was also likely to e crowded).

There’s a smaller park/boat launch in North Tonawanda, which is now called Veteran’s Park.  I think it’s also called (or used to be called) Fisherman’s Park – I know where the parks are, but unfortunately don’t know all their names.  However, this particular park is north of the City of Tonawanda but not as far north as Gratwick Park (not that any of you know these river front parks, either, but just trying to clarify where we were.)

Veteran’s Park also had a fair number of visitors and not a lot of parking, but everyone seemed to be in their cars and the few people walking around were wearing masks and staying away from each other.  We didn’t stay long, but I did get out to take a couple of pictures of the water:

Veteran’s Park – River View

Veteran’s Park – View from Dock

By then, I really needed to pee and definitely did not want to use a public restroom in a public park, so we headed home.

Naturally, the best photo I took all day was taken in my own back yard:

The hated Dandelion!

Sure, we all hate seeing dandelions in our yards, but they’re still beautiful – and they definitely mean spring/summer is on the way!

Enjoy the rest of your week.  May the weather be spring-like wherever you are.

__________

love to hear from my readers. You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, or email me at cordeliasmom2012@yahoo.com
__________
Images by Cordelia’s Mom/TeddyRosalieStudio

 

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