I was having coffee with a friend the other day when he began a sentence with, “What I’ve learned from the pandemic…” Now this is a dear friend who also became very, very ill when the pandemic hit New York City, so much so that there were a few nights when it didn’t seem likely he would pull through. This was before any of us realized just how bad it was going to be here in New York City. Before we realized that all of us would know at least a few people who barely survived and a few who did not. He is still not 100%.
What I’ve learned from the pandemic…
I’ll start with the easy ones.
Travel! My husband and I love traveling. So much so that when we first got together we talked about traveling the world with kids in tow, mind you this was before the reality of having actual children had hit us (Oh how young and foolish we were!) but we did fantasize a lot about the places we wanted to go and see. So in the next 6 months we have planned a couple big trips that we’ve been thinking about doing for years, but now are actually going to do.
I’m not a foodie. Actually that’s an understatement. I don’t care about that hot new restaurant that requires a 3 months in advance reservation. In fact I don’t care about eating out period. It turns out I can happily exist on a very boring diet of sameness for months and months at a time without ever varying it. The ice cream situation is a case in point. Did I tell you about the ice cream situation? No? It’s okay, I did a video about it that will be posting in another day or two. The same can be said about clothing. Comfort is everything at this point.
Masks. Here’s the thing about masks, I hate wearing them, I just have to say it, but I won’t be throwing them out any time soon. And while I’m at it I also hate wearing high heels, a bra and non stretchy clothing. In fact, underwear in general is annoying. However I do, on occasion, wear any and all of those things and even all at once. Okay, maybe not the high heels any more, but I am a woman of a certain age and I think that gives me the leeway to say, “No More!” Having said that, I would also like to take this moment to point out that I have not gotten sick, not even a cold, in over a year. That mask? Yeah, I’m pretty sure I’ll be putting that thing on again when I’m in the subway or massive crowds. And since I live in New York City the likelihood of finding myself in either of those situations is pretty good.
Germs are everywhere. This probably isn’t news to most of you, but I grew up in the country, making mud cakes, shoveling manure, picking berries and eating figs right off the tree. It was all considered very healthy and it was. Basically I’m one of the Beverly Hillbillies only moved to New York City. And now that I live in a thriving metropolis, washing fruit and vegetables is a given, along with my hands, to a degree that would make a germaphobe proud. Cities are basically massive petri dishes over flowing with germs eager to attack. Where did I put my mask? Did I mention the whole mask thing? Oh and also, hand sanitizer. Those are going right into my must-have-at-all-times along with some Kleenex, regardless of how many people get vaccinated.
Laughter. Any situation, no matter how awful, is better if I can find the humor in it. The Irish seem to have some sort of humor DNA that they’re born with, but as I don’t have Irish ancestry, just an Irish husband, which helps, but isn’t the same thing; mostly I’m left to my own devices on this one. Sometimes it’s hard and I have to dig deep, but that tiny kernel of humor is always there waiting to be discovered. Of course now, while I’m trying to think of something funny to say, I’m coming up empty. Humor’s like that. It creeps up and hits you in the face unexpectedly.
Family. This isn’t something I learned because of the pandemic, it’s more that the pandemic confirmed what I already knew. Family is everything.
Kindness. Again, not a big discovery moment because of the pandemic, but more a validation that when in doubt, kindness is the way to go. That and the art of not saying anything. This one is a big learning curve for me, but one of these days… Of course at that point, I’ll have to stop blogging and doing videos as well, because really, what else is there to say?
First things first. My mother sent me two videos this week and both are too wonderful to not pass along.
The text within this video roughly translates to: “What an animal concert: The Cologne pianist Thelonious Herrmann came up with this unusual idea. He took his piano to the Koln Zoo to play among goats, monkeys and giraffes. Many zoos are closed due to the COVID19 pandemic. He hopes to collect donations for the Cologne Zoo. Usually the young musician travels all over Europe with his piano. He has already toured 18 countries with his project “Stadtgeklimper”. Incidentally, the music for the zoo animals was composed by himself. The sea lions seem to like it in particular!”
And then there’s this. Adorable…
And finally, I have some spaces left in the Dorset Button II workshop, this coming Wednesday, March 31st from 2-5pm EDT.
Dorset Buttons Gone Wild Part II: Wednesday, March 31st 2-5pm EDT. $60 This includes a recording of the entire 3-hour class that you can refer to whenever and as often as you like.
This workshop is for those who’ve already taken the Dorset Buttons Gone Wild Workshop and/or have a good working knowledge of how to make a basic Dorset Button. We will NOT be going over the basics, but instead will be going rogue, incorporating all kinds of other materials as well as changing the way we make the spokes so that you can make “tree-like” Dorset Buttons, as well as more abstract looking buttons.
For those of you who are interested in either workshop you must send payment via Paypal, Venmo or Zelle using my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am also teaching an improvisational workshop! This is the YouTube Video I did about it, which includes a little about my design background.
I haven’t shared anything from my mother in awhile, so I thought today was as good a day as any for a little humor. Courtesy of my mother, who received this from my brother, I think. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out the source… but regardless, the importance of punctuation.
And now that many of us are getting or have already been vaccinated, there’s this:
A throwback to the early days of the pandemic…
And a few of my own that I found while looking for other things on the internet, which makes one wonder how we manage to get anything done at all!
Remember this family? Spoiler alert: It didn’t end well.
Perhaps this will be the new normal moving forward…
Before COVID hit I would begin the day by going to the gym, riding a stationary bike for 30 – 45 minutes, perhaps taking a 45 minute high intensity workout class before heading home. So when the gym closed I figured I’d landed on a “free space” meaning I’d start my exercise routine again once all of this was over. Most of us didn’t really anticipate that a year later we’d still be in that “free space”, which for someone like me was a welcome relief. Until now. Now I’m feeling increasingly guilty for counting as “exercise” walking to the elevator and getting our mail. So back in December I downloaded an exercise app because now that I’m in my sixties, exercise is less about wanting to and more about health and balance. So yes, I downloaded the app with high hopes and then promptly forgot that I’d done so. It was one of those “7 minute” workout apps. At the time, I thought – seven minutes? Who can rationalize out of doing that?!
Me. As it turns out.
This morning I decided to go see what Youtube had to say on the topic of exercise during these bizarre times, and I found this.
And then I ran across this old chestnut, which I’m pretty sure I’ve posted before, but in case I haven’t, here you go. Enjoy. I don’t know about you, but my life looks an awful lot like it did when we were in lockdown. I rarely leave the house. I’m more paranoid about catching COVID now than I was at the height of the pandemic. And now a variant, that they are saying may be resistant to the vaccines, has hit New York City and so I’m completely freaking out. Dancing around the house to music videos is as good as my current exercise routine is going to get. Still, I hold out hope that at some point I’ll take it all more seriously. Maybe I’ll try one of those 7 minute exercise workouts after I finish writing this. Or not.
I’m pleased to report, however, that my hands and fingers are as nimble and dexterous as ever, thanks to my daily hand stitching, um… workouts!
Later today, at 2pm (EST) my Threaded Backstitch and Double Threaded Backstitch Youtube video is premiering, so join me and we can chat as it plays! Remember, it won’t be available to play until 2pm today. And in the meantime maybe I’ll work in some squats and push ups. I’m not making any promises though.