Monday, March 30, 2020

Keeping Busy

I've been working hard to maintain a positive attitude in light of the current situation. I tend to be an anxious person and often worry about, well... everything. For me the key to keeping my anxiety under control these past two weeks has been to keep busy.

Yesterday's project was my sewing room and it was an all day project. Everything came out of the closet, off of every shelf and out of every drawer. (I even vacuumed inside the drawers.) Every piece of fabric was refolded and organized, and five trash bags of hoarded, I mean saved items were moved into the donation pile or city-approved garbage bags. When I was finally finished I just stood back and smiled. It was one of those jobs that has been nagging at me and it feels really good to cross it off my list.

Friday, March 27, 2020


I've been sewing like a mad-woman for the past few days. A dear friend of mine, who is a nurse downstate, asked me to make masks for her. I know there is debate about the merits of cloth masks, but she's a nurse and she wants them. So who am I to argue?

20 of them will soon be headed her way. Sewing them was like a walk down memory lane. They were all made from leftover fabric I hoarded, I mean saved for a rainy day: my daughter's bicycle dress, a Captain Underpants cape, headbands, Jaguar Girl, and more Halloween costumes than I can count. 

I hope they keep her safe. She's got some trying times ahead and anything I can do to help her will be time well spent. 

Stay well Chandra!

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Read Aloud

I miss my students. I know it's only been a week since I've seen them, but for me, not seeing them every day is just weird. I worry about them. I know most of them are not upset at the idea of time off of school (at least not yet anyway). Give it a few weeks and a few of them may realize they miss school more than they initially thought. 

When we abruptly left school on Friday of last week, I was right in the middle of reading a book aloud my sixth graders. The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963, by Michigan author Paul Curtis, is a wonderful book about a 10 year-old boy growing up in Flint, Michigan. After his older brother continues to get into trouble the family decides to take a trip to Birmingham, Alabama, to visit their grandma. I don't want to share any more for fear of spoiling the ending for one of my students. I hate spoilers! 

I may not be able to read to my class at school, but I can post a chapter on the school website every few days so the kids can keep up. I may not be as good a reader as Jim Dale, but it's better than nothing. Maybe it will help give my students a little sense of normalcy in these completely abnormal times...

Friday, March 20, 2020


It's been a week. And we survived. I don't mean survived the  Covid-19 virus, I mean the kids and I survived each other.  In case you don't know, my husband is in charge of the Island's drinking water system, so it is important for him (and his staff) to stay healthy. To decrease his chances of exposure, the kids and I have been religious about practicing social distancing.

It's been hardest on the kids. Take two teenagers, add a bit of stress and a huge change in routine and it's just put them on edge. Me as well. Despite the challenge of adjusting to our new normal, the three of us had a pretty darn good week...

S and K built the most amazing blanket fort in the living room.

They spent a lot of time in there this week. It was the perfect place for keeping up on Spanish homework  and watching musicals (Hairspray, Rent and Grease.) We've also listened to hours of the soundtrack from Beetlejuice the Musical. (Yeah, its on Broadway right now.)

My daughter spent time inside writing and drawing in her journal while I organized closets.

All of them...

Once I was out of closets (and drawers) I moved on to cutting and sewing mitten linings,

and then on to the outside portion of the mittens...

I've made fresh bread twice, washed every stitch of laundry in the house, hung all the pictures I've not gotten to since Christmas, and the kids and I cleaned pretty much the entire house. It's probably the cleanest the house has ever been. Kind of a bummer we can't have anyone over to enjoy it. That said, I did manage to spend a little time with friends. 

One evening, six of us spent three and a half hours together. It was wonderful! Besides giving me a break from The Whole Being Dead Thing,  it felt so good to laugh. Normally we all get together for a long weekend this time of year, but that's kind of hard to do while being socially distant. So until we can physically get together again, we've scheduled weekly meet-up like this.

The kids scheduled an online D&D game yesterday so they could  spend some time with their friends. It was  wonderful to see some of their stress melt away - I think spending some time with people (other than their sibling and parents) did a world of good for their moods.

Monday, March 16, 2020

New Normal

Who would have though we'd ever be where we are now. The words "global pandemic" use to be the stuff of movies and video games, and yet here we are in the midst of one.  Michigan schools closed for a minimum of three weeks, restaurants are closed,  and we are all practicing "social distancing" in an attempt to flatten the curve.  (Although my favorite graph so far has got to be Cattening the Curve. Dr. Anne Marie Darling, an epidemiologist, altered the chart because she thought cats would be more "compelling" to people than plain old charts and graphs.  Brilliant.)

So here we are, trying to navigate this new normal. My husband is in charge of the Island's water system, so the kids and I are on "lock down," in an attempt to keep him and the other plant operators healthy. Throughout the past few days, I think the hardest thing for me has been the not knowing. I don't like not knowing. I'm especially worried about my dad; he's 79 and has COPD...

photo credits: Corona Pandemic  Cattening the Curve

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Back in the Day: The Library

I was going through old photos the other day and came across this picture of the Library building that use to be on the property of Mission Point Resort.

I took this picture in 1989 during the first summer I worked on the Island. I think that was the only summer it was there (while I was) because I seem to remember it being torn down in the early 90s. I don't think it had been maintained very well and the architecture certainly wasn't very "Mackinac."