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The COVID Chronicles - March 22 & 23 - Mother’s Day, a DIY chair project & Monty Python on Monday

Mother’s Day - March 22.  

I woke up with that now familiar feeling - a sense of WTF, I’m not sure what is going on.  Like the morning when you have broken up with the love of your life and have a massive hangover.  That’s starting to subside a bit, but it’s still there.

I normally get over those kinds of things by putting more effort into my appearance and not eating.  The appearance part isn’t working, but the not eating definitely is.  I grab a pair of black hippy pants from my closet.  The type that look right at home in LA, but the ones that in London just don’t quite fit in.  I’m so happy.  This is me.  They inspire a Hammer-time dance.  

I get a sweet homemade card from my daughter, then take my time getting out the door and venture out with the dog.  She needs the fresh air and we are lucky to have a walking path outside of our door.  I’m training her on social distance as we let people walk around us, us around them. Yielding when there are corners and potential what I call clusterfucks.  Not to her, but in my mind.  I actually like this part - people giving space.  I can’t deal when I feel enclosed, when I feel like I’m being rushed along.  The whole world is learning a new set of etiquette rules. #winning.  

Breakfast is served - and I put on LIFE ON EARTH by Snow Patrol.  It sounds appropriate right now.  Dave made pancakes without eggs.  We need to get some.  Hopefully the city farm down the street will have some in stock soon.  His friend texts to see if he has been outside already - go go go, I tell him.  Get outside.  It’s pretty out there.

When I went to the food store the other day, I went ahead and got some flowers for myself.  I go out into the yard and cut up some rosemary to add to the arrangements.  The rosemary is also being added to my water in the fridge.  I don’t want to haul big bottles of Diet 7Up on my bike, my vice.

I clean up and then get inspired - a bit of cleaning everyday.  I don’t love cleaning, but the windows need help and are easy to do.  Sparkle & shine and Dave joins in.  

I start to brainstorm on getting a set of vintage folding chairs recovered and dig up a bunch of old fabric from the garage - memories of my clothing line come back quickly.  The indigo dyed cotton fabric I ultimately choose was used for these vintage inspired halter maxi dresses I did.  Not the heaviest of fabrics, but it will do.  While I’m down there, I dig up some cashmere sweater samples that I had made up.  I’ve been saving them for when I do a cashmere line.  That’s hasn’t happened and isn’t happening in awhile.  Aaaah.  New clothes.  They even have the manufacturers label on them.  Now I’m really looking like a California girl.  It’s a wrap sweater and a big shawl.  I give the shawl to Bonnie-Blue to wear.  All I want right now are soft, comfortable things against my skin.  

While I’m digging through my bins, I look for a reel of elastic that I have somewhere.  I need some to do some mask samples that my friend has done a video on.  It looks easy and I know I can do them.  I look for awhile, no luck.  

Bonnie-Blue is tucked away in the hammock outside, I’m insisting on sunlight for her.  Later in the day, I will take my turn.  This hammock is going to help me stay centered.  

Another video consult with Angela.  She was also a fashion designer and knows the technical side of things way better than me.  She tells me how to get the chairs covered up and how to strengthen the indigo fabric.  

Bonnie-Blue is excited to do something besides play Roblox, her new favorite video game.  She gets to go through all of the fabric and decide about how she wants to patch up the chairs.  Her first big design project.  I’m just the seamstress.  I’ll do what I did with her Brownie vest when I sewed on the patches - zig zag the stitching and make it look a bit raw.  Perfection isn’t my thing and I’m not putting any pressure on myself right now.  She’s all for it.  We cut off the pockets of old jeans and create star and heart patches from fabric.  She decides on where the pockets will go.  


I bounce between social media channels and music and halfway viewed political updates and a church service.  Nothing seems to get finished.  It’s like a slow/fast drip of info.  A yoga instructor that I likes pops onto a live meditation.  I will listen to it in the morning.  

More sewing and making plans for Monday to get outside to see a friend.  It’s all about navigating social distance and maintaining the closeness of a best friend.  I fear that my daughter’s friendships will peel away, but realize this won’t happen.  There is something planned out, always something to look forward to.  She’s even saying to me “When this whole thing is over,” a hint that she knows it isn’t just for a week.  I feel like she’s teaching me things.  We are learning together, me trying to be the fearless mom, but telling her that I’m figuring all of this out too.  I’ve never been a science nerd, I was lucky to get a C in Chemistry in high school.  But I have never been so aware of a scientific issue in my life.  I feel like the kids of the world will have a PHD in this stuff after it’s all done.

I am exhausted.  I need to order my HRT patches before they run out.  Nobody will want to be around me if they do.  I feel guilty sending an email to the NHS as their phone app is acting buggy.  Dave sits down and helps me do it.  My brain can’t deal with details a lot of the time, especially now.  

Another episode of the HEALING POWERS OF DUDE and Bonnie-Blue has a hard time sleeping, so she’s at the base of our bed.  Layla joins us.  We do an order of supplies - glue sticks, stretch elastic, fabric snippers, heavy fabric fusing.  More DIY and mask making to come.  

Night night. 

---

Monday, March 23

I get up before the rest of the family and roll out the yoga mat downstairs.  All set for a bit of me time.  I don’t get very far.  

Smiley faced strawberry rice crisps for my daughter.  I fight with the pressed juicer for a bit and finally get it going.  A bit of this and that.  Yummy!  I’m trying to keep my spirits up and fresh produce is going to help.

 

 I make a new checklist for Bonnie-Blue for her day.  Between the school website and links that they provide, I think we are covered with education.  She does a feel good exercise on the improving population of the Black Rhino and then gets engrossed in a science show on BBC for kids.  Thank goodness.  Then an online DIY class pops at 9 AM on my IG Live from Muck and Brass.  She’s teaching kids how to hot glue old plastic toys into a sculpture, rocking a gold lame top and rockstar hair.  My new hero.  

The rallying that I am seeing of small business people is amazing.  I have an LA friend who is pivoting quickly from making handbags to much needed masks for healthcare workers as well as everyday people.  And another also in LA, a home goods designer who is quickly shifting even though our worlds have collectively been pulled out from under us.  A stylist friend in Atlanta is also working on projects with her fabric line.  We are all shifting.  Bravo.  

Another set of tears from Bonnie-Blue as she hears news of a cancelled social distance playdate, now moving to FaceTime.  The new norm is to stay away and it’s not personal.  Try explaining that to an 8 year old.  She’s still crying and the dog needs a walk.  Where has this morning gone?  Dave takes over so that I can run out and get some stuff for a self isolating family.  Simple enough, I hop on my bike and get going.  Once I get to the store, it’s not as crazy as I thought - but still lots of empty pockets of stuff - no toilet paper and where is the fresh ginger?

 

I practice social distancing but then do what I normally do when I check out at the grocery store.  I start to walk up to the cashier, but she’s still finishing up with the other customer. Oops.  I get politely scolded by an employee at Tesco and am thankful.  She shows me the line to stand behind.  Then at the register to the left, somebody does exactly what I had done but she isn’t around to let him know.  We are all still learning this stuff.

 

I drop off the goods to my neighbors and head home.  Wiped out.  Home schooling for the day is out the window and I need to eat.  I FaceTime with my sister and then hear a song echoing on the river outside.  “Always look on the bright side of life” by Monty Python echoes from a tug boat.  A bright spot, so sweet.  

 

A long 3 hour nap, then plans for my gal for tomorrow.  We will make the checklist again, let’s see how far we get.  

I didn’t work on the chair covers today, except for a few meditative hand stitches.  I’ll do more tomorrow.  

Boris announces that more measures are now in place - no more than 2 people together at a time, only essential movement.  There have been way too many people gathering.  I have a small work of art to send off.  A neighbor tells me that she has postage.  I’ll ride over then when they open in the morning.  

Day by day.  Another episode of NO GOOD NICK and THE HEALING POWERS OF DUDE.  Good night.  

 


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