Tuesday, March 29, 2022

 The Covid-19 To-Do List


I contracted Covid-19. I don’t know how. I had both vaccines and the booster. I wore a mask in populated areas like the grocery store. I don’t know where or how I came to get infected, but I did. I wrote about that journey last week. If you missed it, CLICK HERE


This week I am sharing what I’ve learned about dealing with the virus. 


5  Things to do Before You Get Covid-19


1. Order your free Covid-19 Antigen Rapid Self Test. (You do not want to have your son-in-law scramble to bring one to your front door early on a Sunday morning.)


2. Purchase Nyquil or a similar cold and flu medicine. Trust me.


3. Make sure you have plenty of Chicken Noodle Soup. 


4. Stock up on chocolate pudding cups. 


5. Buy a big bottle of Dr. Teal’s Foaming Eucalyptus & Spearmint Bubble Bath. 

An Absolute Necessity


 6  Things to Do Once You Test Positive for the Virus


1. Stay home. Quarantine. The new CDC guidelines say to quarantine for five days and wear a mask for an additional five days. I chose to quarantine the full ten days.


2. Call those people you were in contact with the previous forty-eight hours. They have a right to know you may have been contagious.


3. Take the cold and flu medicine according to the
directions to address your cough and other symptoms so you can sleep at night. You need the rest.

I'm Not a "Drinker", But 
This Comes With It's Own
Shot Glass Which I'm Told is a Plus.


4. Eat plenty of chicken noodle soup. There are actual studies out there confirming the healing power of chicken noodle soup. (In fact, after this experience I’m thinking about investing in Campbell’s. Just saying.)


5. Indulge in chocolate pudding. There is no actual study to confirm this, but I am a huge advocate for the healing power of chocolate pudding.


6. Indulge in a nice steamy eucalyptus bubble bath. It soothes achy muscles and helps you breathe better. Note: If you live alone, take care getting in and out of the tub and have your phone nearby. 


What to Do Once You Recover


I actually don’t know what that list will have on it yet, but I’m sure it involves a lot of praising God and chocolate pudding. Stay tuned.




Tuesday, March 22, 2022

I Have Covid.

 I Have Covid

Sunday, March 20: I have Covid. I don’t expect it to be as bad as some experience. I was vaccinated. I had the booster. Don’t misunderstand. It is yucky. My head feels like a balloon about to burst. (No “airhead” comments, please.)


The onset was Saturday evening. I tested today (Sunday). I didn’t even have to wait the full fifteen minutes for the rapid test to know I tested positive. I feel tired, worn out, achy, and stuffed up. And this is only the first day.


To be honest, I thought I had dodged the bullet. While others tested positive, I stayed healthy. 


On Saturday night, I rummaged through my medicine cabinet for some cold and flu meds. I came across some ibuprofen I bought in Kosovo but it was sorely out of date. The Nyquil was within its expiration date so I took two gel caps and headed to bed.


Four and a half hours later I woke up with the stuffy head and took two more gel caps.


This morning, Sunday, my son-in-law, David, brought me a rapid Covid test kit. I barely had the swab in the card when the line started appearing. I have Covid. 


This is a reality check. No one is exempt. No one.


My daughter, Allison brought me some real meds. The typical stuff like painkillers and Walgreens version of Nyquil. But when I say REAL meds, I’m talking stuff like a Hershey bar, Pepsi, Sprite, and my all-time favorite cure for anything that ails you…chocolate pudding.


Monday, March 21: I slept intermittently last night. Coughing and congestion is par for the course. I don’t know if it is the stuffiness causing my headache or the coughing. It doesn’t matter. My head hurts. I’ve slept the day away.


My daughters are checking in. My mother is praying. Friends are offering help if I need anything. 


I am by myself…but I am not alone. It is a good feeling in light of all I'm experiencing.


Tuesday, March 22: I must be improving. Today I watched a couple of old westerns on television without the noise hurting my head. I prayed a fairly coherent prayer for people under attack in the Ukraine, though God knows my heart so even when my thoughts were a bit disjointed these past couple of days, I’m sure he heard the prayer deep within me.


I made chicken fettuccini for dinner. Much better than opening a can of chicken noodle soup even though I’m grateful for having some of that on hand yesterday when the thought of cooking anything sounded daunting.


By my calendar, I think I will be able to see other humans face-to-face (or maybe mask-to-mask) in little over a week from now. 


If you haven’t been personally touched by Covid, sing praises to God. 

If you have been vaccinated, know that you are not immune but will likely not face the serious consequences of hospitalization or death we saw happening in the early phases of the pandemic.

If you are not vaccinated, go to your local pharmacy and get vaccinated.


And to be prepared, include these items in your pandemic emergency kit: ibuprofen, a cold and flu remedy, extra tissues, and plenty of chocolate pudding. 

Author's Note: I do not intend to be flippant about Covid 19 in any way. I personally know people who have died from the virus and only this week spoke on the phone with a close friend who spent a month in the hospital with a Covid 19 variant. When I write about chocolate pudding or aim for a bit of humor, it is because I tend to handle stressful situations best if I maintain a positive attitude. Please don't let your guard down. Wear the mask. Even in the grocery store or hardware store and restaurants. Wash your hands. Follow the guidelines as if they were rules. Do your part. And I'll do mine.







Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Meet Joe

 Meet Joe


This past week I’ve been caring for my neighbor’s cat. His name is Joe. Joey. I’ll share right up front: I am not a cat person. 


Well, not normally.


My experience with cats has been limited.


Farm cats had a job to do. As a child I wasn’t particularly fond of a barn cat laying a dead mouse at my feet and expecting some sort of praise or reward.


Then there was Bigfoot. This six-toed ball of fur was cute enough. My oldest daughter liked to put him in her doll stroller and cart him around the house. He could have been a great addition to our family except for one little bad habit he had. Bigfoot preferred the built-in planter near the front door over the litter box we prepared for him. No matter what we did to stop it.


I decided we weren’t cat people. We were dog people. Goldfish people for a time. Hamster and bird people at one point, but mostly “dog people.” 


Then I met Joe. 


A few years after my husband died, I moved into a smaller house. I loved the neighborhood and with a few renovations, loved the house as well. I have a fenced in back yard and considered the possibility of getting another dog. 


My next-door neighbors have a cat. Joe. Joe is unlike any cat I have ever met.


For one thing, Joe is not snooty. He’s not the aloof “I rule the roost and basically put up with humans” kind of cat. Joe is the most social cat I’ve ever met. He likes people. He likes me. And I like him.


When my neighbors travel, I check in on Joe. He meets me at the door. He weaves his way in and out of my legs as I prepare his food. He’ll eat a bite or two while I change the litter box, but gives up the tasty morsels as soon as I’m free and available for a visit. 


Joe purrs and mews as I go about getting everything ready. He pushes his head under my hand. He rolls over so I can rub his tummy. 


This past week, I've enjoyed his company. And there's one more quality Joe possesses. Joe is a good listener. 

 So am I a “cat person?” Not really. I’m just a “Joe person.” And he’s one of a kind. How about you? Are you a dog person or a cat person?

Curiously, it was Freud who once said, “Time spent with cats is never wasted.” Not that I'm a big Freud person. I just figure he must have known Joe.


Tuesday, March 8, 2022

The Necessities of Tomorrow

The Necessities of Tomorrow

I once read that something that seemed impossible yesterday and has become a luxury today will be a necessity tomorrow. I live in tomorrow. 


My husband and I completed our undergraduate work at the University of South Florida in Tampa. It took a while. We were young. Tom paid for every penny of his college. My parents paid for my tuition. 


Tom’s studies were in zoology. I wanted to be a teacher. We had dreams.


Not all of our dreams matched up exactly.


For instance, I remember the day Tom took his box of punched cards to the computer lab. (Back then you wrote a computer program and punched cards accordingly for the computer to read.) He handed them over to the woman at the front desk. 


While we waited, Tom said, “One day we’re going to have a computer in our house.”


I looked at the large bank of metal cabinets behind the glass. The school computer took up the better part of a large wall. “Really?” I asked with absolutely no enthusiasm.


But Tom was right. 


I remember the day he bought our first computer. It was a Commodore 64. At first we used a tape player instead of a disc drive. Don’t ask me how. And we hooked the computer up to our television for a monitor. We soon had a floppy disc set-up. We bought a monitor and we were on a roll. 


My husband found a program for word processing in a magazine. He carefully typed it in and that’s how he completed his master’s thesis. I feel certain neither of us would have had the patience to type and retype our graduate work on an old typewriter. And, as it turned out, the cost of the computer with everything we needed was more cost effective than having someone type for us over and over. I tend to do a lot of revising.


By the time our children were in high school, the home computer was a luxury not all families owned but by the time they were in college, it had become a necessity. I suppose that is the way of the automobile for my parents and grandparents. Or the television.


What’s next? I don’t know. But I hope I have the mindset to embrace what is new yet hold onto the simple. 


Now where did I put that pencil? (There are simply a few things I will never replace.)





Tuesday, March 1, 2022

What is your Super Power?

What is Your Super Power? 

I grew up watching Superman episodes on our old black and white television. My friends and I would tie towels around our necks and pretend to fly. 

Superman had supernatural powers. Superman was “Faster than a speeding bullet; more powerful than a locomotive; able to leap tall buildings at a single bound.” He had X-ray vision and enhanced hearing. 

Superman was, in our minds, the real deal. I’ve seen reruns of the original Superman series and wonder now what I ever thought was amazing about them. The plots were forced and unrealistic. 

I’ve since watched other Super Heroes come to life on the big screen. Special effects have come a long way. Maybe a bit too far. 

I went with some friends to see Spider-Man: No Way Home last week. With rave reviews, I expected a great storyline. I didn’t get it. This was, in my opinion all about the special effects. 

I pictured a bunch of “twenty-somethings” at their computers in a studio. The conversation goes something like this: 

“You know what we could do? We could throw a bunch of super heroes in there.” 
“Let’s do it! And then let’s have them face all the villains at once!” 
“Yeah! And we could blow everything up!” 
 “Cool, dude, let’s go for it.” 

However,  the movie did make me think about “Super Powers.” 

I know four special women in my life with Super Powers they exhibit on a regular basis. 

My mom has the Super Power of HOSPITALITY. It is born of love and care. She can make anyone feel at home and will feed anyone who walks through her door. 

My oldest daughter, Allison, has the Super Powers of EMPATHY and CREATIVITY. She is intuitive about the needs of others and figuring out how to meet those needs. She’s also incredibly creative. I have a ton of ideas, but Allison acts on her ideas and subsequently meets needs others didn’t even realize they had. 

My middle daughter, Danielle, has the Super Powers of COMFORT and CARE. She demonstrates this daily with her own family, but extends that to anyone in need. One of the most touching memories is the night my husband died. Danielle lives in Wisconsin. It was late when she arrived to our home in Ohio. I’m sure she was hurting as much as we all were. I know she was tired. But she came up to the bedroom. I remember her stroking my face and singing sweet words of comfort over me. 

My youngest daughter’s Super Powers shine as both a NEGOTIATOR and PEACEKEEPER. Kendall has the eyes to see multiple perspectives and offer positive solutions to problems as they arise. 

I suppose my own Super Power is found in my POSITIVITY. I’ve been described as a “Pollyanna” and indeed, I try to look on the bright side whenever possible. I enjoy life. 

I may have been a bit disappointed in the movie, but it had a satisfying end. In the long run, isn’t that what we all want? 

Now it’s your turn. What is YOUR SUPER POWER?