In America, the elections are over and only the counting continues. And, enough said about that. When you add in that most of our holiday celebrations will be muted this year due to COVID-19, well… Enough said about that, too.
Instead, I’m going to celebrate all things good in 2020. Some nationally and internationally, some personal.
I get online with three of my grandchildren every week as an adjunct to their online schools. We do some math games, play hangman, and read out loud. Well, at least, that’s what I do with the eleven-year-olds. The six-year-old and I have a dance party. After a week of trying to sit for various online school sessions, she needs to expend some energy. So on goes the music and we dance on our respective sides of the video screen. J
The U.S. celebrated the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, which recognized women’s federal right to vote.
My husband and I have taken a couple days here and there to stay in rental homes or condos and get different views. That’s kept me sane because we’re staying home a LOT. Don’t get me wrong, I like our house and we have an acre of property, but I need something different once in a while.
I’ve binge-watched Grey’s Anatomy. (Made it through season 11, sigh, and I’m currently in season 12.)
Drive-In theaters have made a comeback.
I haven’t (yet) grown out of my jeans, even though I spend most of my time in sweats. Whew!
Diversity is discussed more now than ever. (Praying that brings about positive changes.)
Brad Pitt won his first Oscar. (About time.)
Hamilton. Wow. Enough said.
We have an amazing great-granddaughter, now 7 months old and so precious.
I finished a painting project and a 30-year long crochet project, among other things.
And so many more. It’s been a good year in so many ways. I hope you all have an opportunity to count your blessings.
It’s the beginning of October and the days are getting shorter and cooler. And wetter, for us in the Pacific Northwest. I wanted to take a moment to urge everyone to get flu shots. This has been a scary year and, while my husband and I get flu shots every year, this year, it feels more important than ever. I had hoped to post a pic of my bandaid, but my appointment isn’t for two days yet. And I’ll have two bandaids as I’m getting my pneumonia vaccine as well.
Are flu shots 100% coverage? No, not from my research. They have to make an educated guess at what strain of the flu will be prevalent in the next season. Even if they guess right, it may not completely prevent you from getting the flu. But it can reduce symptoms. And if we don’t get sick, there are more resources available for treating COVID-19 patients.
How long does a flu shot protect me? About 6 months, which is why we get ours in early October. That carries us through until Spring.
Bottom line, I believe they are important and I’d just like to add my voice to the message that is trying to get us all, old and young, through this winter.
And, to leave you with happier thoughts, the following are pictures of my granddaughter’s new companion. My granddaughter is six, and you can see the bonding progress through these pictures. My heart is happy when I look at them.
Have you ever had a moment of true quiet in your life? The other morning, I was walking in our neighborhood as per my usual, and I stopped when I realized I could hear…nothing. No cars driving by, no planes … Continue reading →
After all these years of writing for OTBF, I’m drawing a blank on what to write about. I got nothin’. I’ve looked through my pictures for the month, which are woefully slim pickings. I reviewed the news. BIG mistake. Very depressing.
So I’m just going to post one of my favorite videos. I always smile when I watch Susan Boyle’s first appearance on Britain’s Got Talent. It reminds me to be hopeful. That there are always dreams to reach for.
First of all, a belated happy Fourth of July to our U.S. readers. I hope you were able to enjoy a safe and sane day/evening.
This shelter-in-place has been both a struggle and a blessing. Staying home so much has been hard, being someone who likes to travel. We are not going through what some people are, and we’ve tried to help where we could. I know we’re lucky to be able to wait out this virus until they have a way to prevent it. But that doesn’t mean my head and heart aren’t a little screwed up. I have dips into depression that I have to claw my way out of. This hasn’t been easy for any of us and I’ve been trying to journal the process for me, as well as what I see happening in the world.
On the flip side, one of the ways I’ve tried to keep myself positive is finishing things on my to-do list. I wrote about the 30 year crocheted baby blanket a couple months ago. I’ve also designed and made birthday cards for the rest of 2020. I finished an art project – monthly door signs. I’ve been digitizing all our family movies that are on VHS tapes. Sorting through things in closets. Paring down.
I’ve also been completing some series. In books, I finally finished the 20 book Virgin River series by Robyn Carr. (That’s a HIGH recommend from me for any romance readers.) And, more recently, I finished the 22 movies in the Avengers series, from Iron Man (2008) through Endgame (2019). (And yes, I cried.)
I think I’ve had more contact with friends and family than ever before through video chats.
And I’ve learned that I don’t have to be go, go, going all day long. It’s okay to take a break and read for a while. To slow down on my daily walk and “smell the roses,” so to speak.
To laugh with my husband.
So there are a lot of blessings in my life. And if I can’t travel right now, so be it. What I can do is pray for the world. So I’m praying and counting my blessings.
2020 has been a pretty tough year so far. My household is on Day 87 of sheltering-in-place, though we have made the occasional trip out for necessaries we couldn’t get delivered. And we got to stare at different walls for a few days when we went to my sister’s last week. It hasn’t been easy. I like to travel and we’ve now cancelled our 4th and final trip for 2020.
But that’s peanuts compared to what others are struggling with. With the world in crisis, it can be hard to find joy in life, and that’s the focus of my blog today.
Finding the joy.
To that end, here are some of the joyful things in my life. I hope some of them give you ideas that make you smile.
Getting along with my husband for this long. Who’da thought? 🙂 Actually, he’s been my rock through all this turmoil and I love him for that. And his hair is getting LONG. I’ve always liked men with longer hair, so I’m a happy camper. Him, not so much. Lol.
Video chats with my family and friends and grandkids. THIS has been the godsend of my at-home time and keeps me from going completely crazy. I miss hugging them, but this is the next best thing.
Sitting outside and reading. Or puttering in the garden. Or, well, staring at the sky, the stars, the neighbors walking.
My journal. Putting words to my fears helps me let them go, at least for a little while. I’m not sure I’ll ever go back and read my 2020 journal, but I think it helps me process.
Practicing kindness. Recently, a family who lives in our neighborhood put a high school grad sign in their front yard. We don’t know them, but I made a congratulations card and dropped it in their mailbox. Just a card with some words. The thank you card we got back floored me. This small act had given their family so much joy, that a stranger would pay homage to an important event in their lives.
Walking around the neighborhood. Seeing the new growth on the evergreens, the rhododendrons blooming, and all the projects people are working on.
Digitizing old VHS tapes – a wonderful walk down memory lane.
Getting my deck chairs recovered. Okay, still waiting on this one. They are with a seamstress and I can hardly wait! (They are about 20 years old, so WAYYYY overdue for a spruce up.
A couple online or television joys (at least, for me):
As this post, my husband and I are on day 56 of our stay-at-home time. We’re still married and are actually getting along pretty well, thank goodness. For me, an interesting happenstance has come out of this time. I’m finishing … Continue reading →
I finished! Well, mostly. Still need to spray with protective coating and add string. Last month, I showed you the first six wood chips I’d painted, part of a 12 month set for a front door welcome sign. I got … Continue reading →
So, I’m going to start off by saying I’m not an artist. Well, that’s not completely accurate. I do have artistic abilities, but they lean toward either the written word or taking already designed shapes and putting them together, like … Continue reading →
Another year, another family cabin. This one, our 17th, was just as much fun as any of them, even if we were shy 4 of our family members. We still had 17. Yikes. When did my family get so big? From an aging perspective, it’s wonderful to see everyone thriving and the family growth. Sometimes, it’s a little daunting, too. We started all that? 🙂
One of the fun things I do to prepare for our 3 night adventure in the snow is to add pictures to the digital frame. I raid everyone’s FB pages and my own pictures and there are now over 1500 pics on the frame. Baby pics to current. We always set it on the kitchen counter at the cabin and it becomes the focal point of the weekend. People stand around chatting and oohing and oh-no’ing as their lives are encapsulated within the frame. We love it.
Anyhow, thought you’d like to see a few pics…
Wildlife… (deer and wild turkeys)
We do a jigsaw puzzle, bake cookies, play games…
The kids LOVE the half-court gym where we stay…
And the snow…
We have Christmas (finally)…
And we paint wood and rocks. This, by the way, has become one of the highlights of our weekend. (And I hope to do a March blog inspired by this.)
And through all this, we talk. Catch up. Reconfirm how strong this family is and how much we love each other. It’s…awe-inspiring to be part of it all. I am so lucky to have the family we have.
I hope each and every one of you have special memories to bring a smile to your face.