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Pandemic Projects - 07/06/2020

Like many of you, I thought the quarantine due to COVID-19 would give me an opportunity to get a lot done around my home. I had a lot of projects that had been on hold for awhile, and this seemed like a great opportunity to get them started again. And like probably most of you, I have had mixed results. For one thing, the spirit was willing but the flesh was weak. I got sick in early April with what appears to have been a mild case of COVID, although I still have not gotten tested. I had a low-grade fever for ten days, a dry cough, fatigue, and slight loss of taste and smell, plus my chest ached and it hurt to breathe. All of these are symptoms of COVID. However, I also have Lupus, which causes fatigue, and asthma, which can make it painful to breathe. My doctor didn't want me to come in to get tested, but he did quarantine me for two weeks, after which he said I could start going out again after three symptom-free days. I ended up sleeping most of the two weeks and getting very little done in the way of "projects." I also had to continue to work after I got well, so I started my job with DoorDash in April, and continue to drive for them about 12-15 hours a week. Even so, I got some things accomplished and did some things that I hadn't done for awhile.

Here are some of my planned projects and how they fared:

  • Clean out and reorganize my files; This one is coming along, but it's going to take awhile. For one thing, I have about eight boxes of papers in my closet containing, among other things, every single script I ever auditioned for or performed during my 16-year career as an actress. I don't know why I saved all of them They just seemed too good to throw away. So now I have to dig through those boxes. I'm going to keep the original scripts that I performed, and recycle the rest.

  • Going through photographs: I have a whole storage unit devoted to my scrapbooks of photographs. I want to save them, but they really need to be scanned to a computer in order not to take up so much space. Plus, I've had the storage unit for a year and they have already raised the rent twice, by a total of 33%. This is a waste of money and I'm going to put an end to it. Soon.

  • Cook at home more: I really enjoy cooking, but I find it makes my back hurt if I have to stand for long to do it. I did make homemade vegetable soup and spaghetti sauce twice. I also made two very delicious loaves of banana bread. All of this was great comfort food for me, and I found I was eating too much, so I went back to my gluten-free frozen meals and protein bars which are staples of my diet. And of course, my daily McDonald's Diet Coke which is frequently accompanied by a plain hamburger. It's not the best diet, but I could do a lot worse.

  • Start an e-Bay store: I actually did set this up and signed up with e-Bay at the beginning of March. I wrote up about 20 items to sell, but never got around to taking the pictures to put them on auction. I finally decided after a couple of months that it was better if I just sold individual items over FaceBook Marketplace, where I've had pretty good luck in the past. I'm just not that interested in putting in the time to do this, and it's not that profitable unless you are going to spend the time and money to put items up for sale. Lesson learned; I cancelled my store at the end of May. I continue to resell my clothes online via ThredUp and locally to Twice As Nice, a local thrift shop. It's a fun hobby for me.

  • Start a blog: If you are reading this, you know that I had some success with this one. I had a blog years ago when I was first living and working in LA, but I got so busy with my acting that I let it go after about a year. Several friends had suggested that I start another one, so I used some of my stimulus money to build a website and pay for a domain. I've been writing once or twice a week since the beginning of April, and I'm really enjoying it. Plus, it is helping my mental health as I document the pandemic and the recent death of my beloved pug.

  • Home improvements: I decided it was time to spruce up my apartment, so I used a little more of the stimulus money to buy two area rugs and to replace the old throws on my couch with new ones. I'm also going to get my carpet steam-cleaned to get rid of pet stains, and have my place deep-cleaned by a maid service. I can't afford it all the time, but about once a year is nice.

  • Catch up on movies and TV shows: I devoted myself to working through the queues of shows on my DVR, and made good progress. I've written previously in this blog about some of my favorites. TV continues to be a source of comfort and entertainment for me, since we are still not able to go out to movies or live theatre. The best show I watched recently was the streamed movie version of Hamilton, the smash musical which premiered in 2016 and which I have never been able to see live. There continue to be lots of quality offerings on the services I subscribe to, and Hamilton has introduced me to the excellent Disney+ channel.

Friends have told me that they have done a lot of the same things I did. Bread baking was particularly popular, especially sourdough and banana bread. Guess we all needed comfort food! Others read and did puzzles. I also read a lot, but I always do; one thing I did was to work my way through nearly all of the books I own that I had not read yet. Now that the used bookstore has re-opened, I am enjoying swapping out these books for new ones.

So the quarantine was not a complete waste of time for me. Now that many businesses have re-opened, I am starting to look at taking classes and getting involved in community activities. I signed up for a class in pottery-making (not til September 9), and inquired about volunteering at the local Humane Society. I know I'm going to really miss my little doggie (I already do, terribly), so I'm going to try to fill up my days with positive activities. It's been good to have a little time to re-set and re-focus. Thanks, COVID!

#HomeImprovement #Breadmaking #Blogging #Hamilton #Quarantine

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