On Being Sick in Time of COVID-19

Yes I was struck down by something last week. I’d gone off to a talk at the Clark (sorry guys) and driving home felt sort of punk. Chest feels rough, that weird head thing when you’re probably running a temp. This went into a dry cough and felt like it was going to a typical bronchitis thing. Napping? I’m suddenly good at it. Normally, for me, things start in the head and go down, ruining voice, mild cough, deep cough, and then better with cough that goes on for weeks. This was not that but stayed the same until yesterday when suddenly I started sneezing. I waited to take a claratin and then everything went back to how it had been. Weird interruption by allergies? slash shrug.

It felt plain weird to be home sick while the whole world is sort of freaking out about COVID-19. Call in with “I’m still sick, sorry” and wonder if they’re like “oh thank god she’s not coming in!” LOL. Maybe it was just the low fever talking.

I stayed home. I had recently grocery shopped, although not everything on my “emergency list” but I was good. (And I’d picked up eggs and bread so I worked on my “soft-boiling eggs by observing how quickly the shells dry” skills) But let me tell you friends, apart from having the mandatory symptomatic relief stuff (and checking to see that your digital thermometer actually works…hey the hand is 85% accurate!), here’s what really saves your butt in times like this.

Well, this. And not so much this when you’re trying to sleep and keep sticking out a foot to cool off, LOL.

THIS! This is my thermos. Everyday, just about, I make hot tea in it and bring it to work or out to paint or at least have it in the car. When I went to Wales I had a similar one which proved a great comfort when I’d get turned around (aka lost) and would pause to reflect on the landscape. This one has fallen down the stairs a few times, leaving it with some dings and some finger holds but it does a GREAT job of keeping things very hot.

So, when I’d make a cup of hot tea this week I’d make another in this. Awhile later I could have a second cup without getting up. This thermos is the best money I’ve spent on something in the past several years. It also has a pour-through stopper which works like a charm. It holds about twelve ounces which is a mugful, but you get 3-4 capfuls which is a nice way to drink hot tea whether you’re sick or not. If I’m out painting, it distracts me so things can dry.

This was one of the Salada tags this week. This box is all about smiles for some reason. So remember to keep your distance and let your smile tell the tale!

On Being Sick in Time of COVID-19

Enter the Sheep, Watching

Threw a little bit of Wales under the sky I’d started the other day. The foreground is as it was but I probably would leave it out on a do-over.

Going to a peaceful place?

I guess when you can’t deal with current events making a peaceful place for a little while is a good thing

My palette when it was all said and done:

One of those old white tshirts I’d cut up to use for painting:

And now, waiting for it to dry.

Mid-December, where’ve you been MB?

I have realized that I haven’t been posting here since my return from Wales. I think this happened after my NZ trip too. It seems to take e me time to recover from the jet lag (and after NZ, the bronchitis), settle back into the routine and this time, throw myself into the madness that is holiday in retail. Yeah.

The trip was marvelous. I’m still looking through the photos and thinking about the things I saw and did. It was my first solo trip planning and doing and it certainly taught me a lot. It also taught me that things can and will go wrong and there are always ways to fix or get through it… as long as you don’t keep spinning your wheels about what went wrong. For example – I could not find a place to drop off my car in Cardiff. I missed my first train connection and then had to give up on the rescheduled one but my choice was to keep trying to find a place to bring the car and then how to get to manchester OR drive to my next scheduled bed near the airport and call it a super-long day. Arrived at the B&B very late but that was better than no sleep at all and I was within range of the airport WITH a drop off.

Landscapes were great everywhere. Rolling hills, stone walls and sheep. Just enough autumn color, mostly from poplar and oak. Old there is much older than what is considered ancient at home. In the UK there is a legal right to walk from point A to B, even across privatete land. These paths are marked and mapped and often involved stiles across stone fences or revolving stiles through wire fences or gates that you have to open and close securely behind you to keep the sheep and or cattle where they should be. Sheep poo on your boots, no extra charge. Went to an exhibit at a castle and had money out for entrance fee and the man at the ticket booth looked a little surprised – there’s no charge ma’am!

So many days of wonderful skies. I saw so many rainbows! Rain was often very localized so it might be raining just over there and sunny behind you – the perfect makings of a colorful moment. It poured down rain only a few times. One day, when I chose St. David’s Cathedral as my “good day for an indoor activity” place, it was so windy that it literally blew the water out of the road puddles. I got wet but I didn’t fall over!

Local folks were always ready and enthusiastic in telling you all about their local church or historic fort or whatever. There were enough people standing by to tell you stuff that it made me a little embarrassed on how little I probably know about my own historic stuff.

Had meaningful and considered conversations with folks, everyone from the car rental person to a fellow-hostel-guest about current events. This always started with “so we had this big surprise here (in the UK) recently about the Brexit vote and now you…” and once I’d nodded or given the appropriate sign of dismay, they’d tell me all their fears and worries about the newly elected president and ask all kinds of good questions about our election system and why people don’t vote and … well yeah. All those questions.

I did do a little painting while I was there – darn it I brought all these supplies and I’m going to use them or else! – and you might have noticed that I took quite a few photos.

So will I go back? Yes. And I won’t worry about seeing everything – maybe I’ll spend more time in just one place. Maybe I’ll do Scotland or Ireland too!

Wednesday

And it wasn’t a bad day, my second day back to work. I do feel rusty at work but that will pass. It’s nice to feel missed. Towards the end of the day I found a lady sitting and watching people while her husband and son were doing something. She said I’d sold her an iPhone and we were chatting. Somehow I mentioned I’d just come back from Wales and she was so excited so I pulled up the flickr.com album and let her go through some of the photos while I went here and there looking after customers. She was very interested and her husband was amazed that I’d gotten her to use a mac computer! I told him I used the right carrot.

Got an extra charger for the new laptop so I can leave one in the car. Might seem like a frivolous expense but I found over the last few years that it was well worth it. One less thing to carry around, and one less worry about forgetting it when going off to NaNoWriMo group etc. It’s in the trunk!

At lunch time today I wrote a poem that I’d started in the car the other day. Turned out pretty good on first pass I think. This is the first year that I haven’t strictly won NaNoWriMo, but I knew I’d be doing a “rebel” year, going off to Wales for two weeks in the month. I did go to a writer’s workshop while there AND I visited some of the places in my on-going story so RESEARCH people, RESEARCH!

A few people asked about the writing workshop which I’ll write more about in another post.

Oooh Passport Excitement!

Turns out that the nice man at the Manchester Airport Entry Point must have stamped my passport while chatting me up about my novel! How very exciting!

Home again, home again

The Beginning of the End of the Journey

all good things eventually come to an end. I’m out of clothes and the ability to navigate so it must be time to go home. Here’s the last couple days of photos. Commentary later.

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Quiet evening, waiting for paint to dry

Yup. Taking a break to let some paint dry. Also have a little hand wash drying (turns out I was unexpectedly and pretty dirty one day. So I fixed that.

Had a little dinner: some good wensleydale cheese with apricots, some olives, some fruit, (forgot the crackers…) and some red wine I picked up in the Lampeter Cooperative grocery store. You could also buy whiskey and other things there but I refrained. It’s still raining and windy out – I hear it on my windows.

Anyway, this is probably dry enough but I’m trying to be patient. It’s bigger, so it’s taking a little longer. In the photo it seems a little yellow to me – no doubt the room lighting.

How rainy and windy was it?

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