First Anniversary: Quarantined 3/19/2020
It’s just about a year ago that I woke up with a scratchy throat and thought, I know it’s allergies but what if it’s Covid? I decided to protect my co-workers and stay home. Little did I know I wouldn’t leave my house again for months. And when I did leave, it was very, very scary.
I have been frightened of leaving my house since then, but life goes on and I had no choice. I went back to work for the fall semester. I wasn’t thrilled about it, but I like to eat so money is a necessity, not to mention health insurance. Fortunately, I have the most incredible manager. She understood everyone’s situation and fears and worked with all of us to keep us safe and keep the library open. I was asked to go in two mornings a week, and that felt very doable to me.
Another great perk of my job is that there is a Covid testing site on campus. I can make an appointment and get tested as often as I like. At first, I was going every couple of weeks, but that soon trickled down to once a month and now I haven’t gone since 2020. I keep the hell away from people, double mask, wear gloves when it makes me feel safer, and wash my hands or use hand sanitizer several times a day. And moisturize my poor hands every single time I wash.
I’ve been using Kiehl’s Delux Hand and Body Lotion in Coriander scent for over twenty years. It doesn’t smell like coriander (which is cilantro!) but it has a faint, delicious scent that I love. I started using it when I worked for Borders Books because working with books is very drying to your hands. A co-worker recommended it to me (thanks, Oriana!) and I haven’t stopped using it since. It is remarkable in that I can put it on my hands and I don’t have to wait before going back to work. It doesn’t leave any residual greasiness. Best of all, despite all the handwashing and sanitizing, my hands are soft. I keep a bottle in my desk at work, and by the kitchen and bathroom sinks at home. It is not cheap, but as another brand likes to say, I’m worth it! The first time I bought it I paid $13 for it. It has almost doubled in price since then. I don’t think I’ve seen a sale on it (maybe Macy’s might honor their sales or coupons on it, or it might be one of the brands in the fine print that don’t ever get discounted.) On the bright side, I generally only buy one bottle every 8 months or so, it lasts a long time.
I am reading all sorts of things now. I still love my happily ever afters, but with all the changes in this country since the beginning of 2021, I can handle the darker stuff again. I will be posting more reviews shortly. Hope you caught my review of Kristen Hannah’s latest blockbuster, The Four Winds. If you need a book for your book group, look no further. It was one of the saddest books I’ve read in a while, yet I loved it. I just finished The Vineyard at Painted Moon by Susan Mallery, more women’s fiction than romance and an excellent read. She even offers some wine pairing tips and a recipe at the end of the book. I promise to post a review this week. I also read a sort of natural disaster thriller from Bridget Foley, Just Get Home. It’s not due out until April 13th, but you can preorder if you’re so inclined. Or reserve it at your library. It’s based on the experiences of two women who get caught out when “the big one”, a massive earthquake, hits Los Angeles. It’s one of those books that you just can’t put down.
My husband and I have finally caught up on the Great British Baking Show. We finished the 2020 season last night, and it was a bittersweet moment. That show has been my happy place for an hour or two each night for the past few weeks. I know it’s called the British Bakeoff in the UK, and I understand why (Pillsbury!), but it still amazes me that the openings always have the correct title. Occasionally a participant says something about the Bakeoff, but I guess Pillsbury can’t do anything about that! We also watched the new remake of All Creatures Great and Small, and it was excellent. If you have access to PBS, I highly recommend it. I loved the books when I was a kid and enjoyed the first go round of the BBC television show, but this, I think, is better (at least in my mind it is.) I loved it so much got the audiobook read by the star, Nicholas Ralph. It is his first TV role! He was terrific.
I haven’t had a haircut in over a year, or a manicure or pedicure, which makes me sad. My nails are an abomination. I’ve gained way more weight than I should have, and it is a daily struggle to attempt any sort of diet. My best efforts are to try and skip the junk food and just eat smaller portions. Some days are easier than others. I still love to cook and bake but I have cut back on the baking at least.
As always, thanks for reading and stay safe!