Hello in Isolation!

Hello everyone!

I write this current blog with recently washed hands, although I can’t say the same for my hair. Wowza – I look pretty scary. One look at me and the Corona virus will scream and run away.

How are you all doing?  Many of you are probably staying home – I sincerely hope you are staying home and away from people. I feel most fortunate that we have a two-storey house, so I can practice my social distancing with Gump.

First, and foremost – a HUGE and sincere thank-you to some of my amazing friends, who are in harm’s way during this bizarre time in our lives. Erik Sperry, Sean & Jennifer Blankley, Michelle Amond Miller, on the medical frontline, Deborah Hammond, diligently going to work so we have food to eat, and all the other friends and relations I have working hard to protect/save/feed us in different states, and countries of the world. I am sure all of you reading this can name people you love who are being brave and stepping up to the plate. We can’t respect them enough-nor repay them.

Meanwhile, as I type, Scout (the wonder dog) is torturing Simba, her squeaky rubber lion, and the tone of the bloody toy sounds like a goose being strangled while singing a Gene Pitney song…yikes! I suppose this was a good time to get a puppy, now I am locked in the house permanently and can’t escape her. I don’t know who is more trouble — Scout or Gump?

Since we moved into Debtwood eleven years ago (cringe), Gump has never been in the house longer than 10 consecutive days (and that was after a hip replacement). Now, as ‘staying-in-place week’ #3 begins, it is interesting seeing the changes taking place within him. He has finally discovered where the pots and pans are kept, and where most of the light switches in the house reside, but he still can’t find the can opener.

It is strange having him around all the time. My routine has been totally screwed up because I am used to being the only one home all the time (besides the hound). Having Gump plodding noisily around has impacted my productivity levels, they have become greatly reduced – I wish I could say the same for my blood-pressure.

Scout, the wonder dog, is a ball of energy. The times she sleeps during the day are my only sanctuary, and the best opportunity to get my writing done. There’s no annoying whining for attention, there’s no jumping on my lap, there’s no bloody Simba squawking. But every time….EVERY TIME Scout passes out, invariably seems to correspond with Gump’s apparent pea-sized bladder, or incessant stomach pangs. With ears so large they could house a small family, Scout, the wonder dog can hear a pin drop. As soon as she hears Gump -aka- Pork Chop coming down the stairs, she’s a born-again pain in the arse, with an appetite for scratchings. Who would have thought having a 64-year-old, and a 3-month-old, could be such hard work? Oh, and one of them is a dog…you guess which….

As for all you folk out there with kids at home, you have my complete and utter sympathy. Yes, you love your little darlings, yes, you want to keep them safe, but hanging out with them 24/7? I couldn’t have done it – I would have ended up being the kind of mum they make scary movies about. Seriously, my kids will attest to it. So, hats’ off to you parents of school-age kids for your patience and tolerance. You will be sainted after this plays out, and it will be well-deserved. I predict many of you will have changed your minds about having another baby.

I suppose the upside is most kids will be thrilled to go back to school after being away from their friends and activities for so long. Won’t that be a strange turn of events?

So besides jigsaws, and planning how to kill our mates, what on earth are we doing with ourselves? I’ve been thinking about a lot of projects, none which I have begun yet. I can’t tell you what I’m waiting for. Because due to my lack of interaction – other than with a large plodding pork chop, and a crazy puppy, I think I could be losing my sanity. Thank God for technology, right? Who knew we would EVER be glad to use bloody Facebook? I’m even considering writing a blog —

Gump, me and Scout the wonder dog haven’t started our daily walking routine yet, although we have talked about it several times. Instead, we’ve done yard work, or should I say I’ve done yard work while Gump putters with his ‘projects’ – these tasks of his seem so small in outcome, yet monumental in the doing/cost – And…drumroll…He has already planted his bloody tomatoes, against my advice, and Travis Meyer’s too (he’s our local weatherman). And waddayaknow…we’ve got below freezing temps coming back. Frankly, I half expected Gump to go out and buy the damn plants miniature sweaters, but he plans to cover them, and place straw around their itty-bitty-skinny stalks. Seriously, you would think their his offspring, it would be hilarious if when the tomatoes actually grow, that they have his haircut.

Secretly though, I wish the Gumpster coveted me like that. When I’m cold, he likes to open the windows.

Dead God, Simba’s back, and I haven’t even got much written yet.

Well Simba put the kibosh on that writing stint, and I gave up. Now it’s 5:37 a.m. and I’ve just started again. This time, Scout, the wonder dog, has jumped up onto my desk chair and squeezed behind my ample personage, (no easy feat) – she has gone back to sleep (lucky bitch-yes, she is a female dog) after getting my arse out of bed early, and now I am perched on the edge of my own chair while I write. But this is far more preferable than the bloody squeaky Simba, and it’s probably really good for my posture.

Isn’t it weird buying groceries now (or ordering them to be delivered) and then wiping them all down with wipes when you get them home? I think this may be the new secret to dieting. It is so damned monotonous doing this, that I buy less each time. What a pain in the bum. And, now I’ve filled the fridge, freezer and pantry, what are we eating? Cereal….of course. Who wants to cook when you’re stuck in the house with everyone and depressed?

I feel badly for people having birthdays, or other special events during isolation. I hope you all get to celebrate at a later date. Not getting sick is really the only present on everyone’s list at the moment.

Like most of you, I have totally lost track of what day it is, never mind what the date is – I often think about how this time in our lives will be remembered in history, as well. Here we have all been worried about going to war, losing money on our 401 k’s, getting a nicer car, taking a vacation, and bam!  Who knew we should have been worried about a tiny virus.

And the theories….look, I write, and even I haven’t formed a conspiracy theory. My one and only thought though, is that COVID19 was here late last winter- Nov/Dec time. Maybe a lesser strain, but I do believe it had already made many of us ill.

It is tough on the elderly. My buddy Mr. Frost, the almost 95-year-old in assisted living is going bananas. He is on lockdown, and with hardly any hearing, his activities are sorely limited, though his brain is totally going strong. We speak every day, and it’s kind of like me writing this blog right now, there is little to talk about as neither one of us has gone anywhere or done anything. Which leaves only a few subjects to talk about, and we can’t discuss politics or religion because

  1. We have opposing opinions
  2. He can’t really hear.

So, our conversations are mainly about the meals they bring to his room and why they suck.

Oh well, we must grin and bear it – and there are a lot of people who are working very hard to make things as comfortable and ‘normal’ as possible. Teachers, parents, many non-profit groups, the list could go on. I hope all of you reading this are staying safe and well. Let us hope we can remain virus-free, and all our loved ones as well. Stay home if you can, stay put, and let this nasty bug go on by without stopping for a break at your house.

Now, on a shamelessly self-promoting note, if you are reading this, before you leave my website, please click the home page or my books page for my special announcement….no, I’m not pregnant, but I do have some news which makes me happy!

Miss everyone, can’t wait to see you all in the flesh again one day!

Jude

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