Day 18: New

Not much is new here, except that the news keeps getting worse, which is why I’ve been avoiding it. In the meantime, I’ve been continuing my rewatch of Star Trek: Voyager. I’d put it on for background noise when I was working from home, and it kept me awake through forty long hours of assembling my annual family photo album, and I had hoped it would have a somewhat comforting effect. This show got me through my particularly turbulent teen years, and given that this particular moment in time is nothing if not turbulent, I had hoped…

Day 17: Distance

Everything is at a distance these days, isn’t it? I just finished watching a press conference from earlier this morning in which our governor cancelled in-person classes for the rest of the school year. For my older two, that means they’ll be continuing with their required distance learning through the end of next month. For my younger two, that means the optional schoolwork they’ve received from their teachers is going to be much more important.

I’m sure Cricket will love that.

Two days ago, he had a hissy fit about…

Day 16: Slow

Slow. That’s what life has become: slow.

This week in particular has been slow; each minute of each day seems to drag on into eternity. Maybe it’s because I haven’t been very productive this week. Maybe it’s because I worked myself up into a right wicked migraine yesterday. The kids are sick of being at home. I’m sick of being at home.

Today I successfully digitized the musical from my senior year of high school. But of course, it recorded in separate clips, so I’ve had to merge them into a single file. It’s slow going. The file is an hour and forty-three minutes long, but I have a feeling it’s going to take that long, if not longer, to merge the clips. I’d been hoping to watch it tonight after supper, but at this rate, I don’t think it’ll happen.

At least I have Star Trek to keep me occupied in the meantime. How are you passing the time these days?

(c) 2020. All rights reserved.

Day 14: Book

It’s no secret that I love books. I love reading them and I love writing them and I love reviewing them. I love thinking about them and how they relate to my life and the world around me. Books are my life.

And yet, I’m just not feeling super bookish lately.

Maybe it’s the quarantine getting me down. Maybe it’s refereeing one too many fights over inconsequential things between my boys. Maybe it’s having a to-do list a mile long and not really knowing where to start. I don’t know.

I had planned to read a bunch and write a bunch while I’m at home because this is the perfect time for catching up on such activities, but I’ve hardly done any writing or reading. I mostly feel like imitating a bump on a log. It’s not a very productive way to spend my days, but when they all blur together, what else is there to do?

I guess it all comes down to Yoda’s wise words:

Do, or do not. There is no try.

I need to keep my brain active, or it will atrophy. I can do that by reading books. And hopefully by reading more, I’ll be inspired to write more.

But after spending my day fighting with one of my kids, I think I’m going to veg out in front of the TV tonight and start in on the brain exercise tomorrow.

How are you handling the current need for social distancing and isolation? What are some of your favorite books?

(c) 2020. All rights reserved.

Day 13: Teach

This is a somewhat ironic topic for me as my kids are preparing to start distance learning tomorrow. For my older two, the work is required, but for the younger ones, it’s optional. I’m glad of that because I am not cut out to be a teacher.

I tried to teach Miss Tadpole how to play the flute one time. It didn’t go well. I tried to teach the boys how to sign their names in cursive last week. That didn’t work out quite so well, either, but it went better than the flute instruction. My problems with teaching lie in the fact that I don’t know how to break things down so that kids understand. When I tried to teach Miss Tadpole how to play the flute, part of the problem was that the flute is second nature to me now, and when she’d ask a question about something, I couldn’t answer it because it was something that I just did.

That said, when Thumper came up to me and asked me what a closed syllable was, I was awfully glad I’d held onto my textbook from the Structure of English class I took in college. Page 47 was very, very helpful.

If you’re a teacher, do you have any helpful hints for parents who don’t know what they’re doing when it comes to teaching their kids? If you’re a teacher who is also a parent, how are you handling distance learning?

(c) 2020. All rights reserved.

Day 11: Bite

Quarantines bite. Pandemics bite. Not having a cure for a silly little virus really, really bites.

Death bites. Illness bites. Cabin fever really, really bites.

Fighting bites. Refereeing bites. Being stuck at home really, really bites.

Working bites. Not working bites. Needing a paycheck and not having one really, really bites.

This post kinda bites.

(c) 2020. All rights reserved.

Day 10: Orchestrate

Orchestrate: 1. To compose or arrange (music) for performance by an orchestra; 2. To arrange or manipulate, especially by means of clever or thorough planning or maneuvering: to orchestrate a profitable trade agreement.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I can’t really say that I’ve orchestrated much of anything during the last few weeks. Every day is simply a new attempt to stave off insanity, and I’m not sure I’m really succeeding in that. I’ve gotten a fair amount accomplished since I’ve been home, but I think I’m still well on my way toward Crazy Town. But in the meantime, and in no particular order…

Day 9: Pair

I have two pairs of kids. The first pair will soon be doing required distance learning. Navigating all of that is going to be…interesting. The second pair will soon be doing optional distance learning, which I suspect is going to be even more interesting. Between internet issues and computer availability issues, I suspect I’ll be ready to pull my hair out by the end of the month, which is when everyone is hoping they’ll be able to return to school.

I know we’re all in this together and that everyone is dealing with the same inconveniences, but I’m worried. I was not meant to be a teacher. How is this gonna work?

(c) 2020. All rights reserved.

Day 8: Curve

I’ve been working on our annual family photo book the past couple of days. We had a couple rough days last March, and it reminded me of this rough day that Bubbles had about seven years back:

See, we’d been painting, and Bubbles inadvertently spilled the paint, resulting in this lovely curving line on my beautiful hardwood floor. Luckily, it cleaned up pretty easy.

I miss that house, though. It was beautiful.

(c) 2020. All rights reserved.

Day 6: Hands

My hands are not adept at drawing or painting, although I wish they were. My hands are fairly adept at writing, though, or at least they were. I find that lately, I’ve been doing less writing. I don’t mean to imply that I haven’t been writing poems and stories (although I haven’t actually been writing much fiction), because I have, but I’ve been doing a lot more typing than normal lately and a lot less actual picking-up-a-pencil-and-writing-something-down.

I take a lot of pride in my handwriting. It’s small and neat, and my cursive is pretty. I get a lot of complaints from my husband that it’s too small to read, but that’s a matter of opinion. 😉😄

I have the time for writing at the moment, though, so I really should be doing more of it. But there are so many other projects that need attention…If I could afford to retire tomorrow, I would definitely not be bored. I have more than enough projects and story ideas to keep me busy for a very long time. But retirement is a dream, and a far, far away one at that (especially with the market in the shape that it’s in – I just got my quarterly IRA statement and I’ve put off opening it for a week because I don’t think I can handle that much negativity).

Besides, right now my hands are needed for cooking and playing games with the kids and so many other things. Writing will still be there when they’re all grown. Writing will always be there.

(c) 2020. All rights reserved.