How I See Things

How I See Things
Cartoon-like drawing in shades of dark to medium purple. Eyes with beautiful eyelashes, looking through a pair of glasses.

Monday, May 11, 2020


Well, I have an unusual blog post for now. I have been self-quarantining for I think about 6+ weeks now. I started before President Trump was taking it seriously. No, that's not a dig at the President. It's just a fact. I took it seriously based on the advice of a friend of mine.

This is a shout out to my friend and a few of his links:

My friend is Shane Odom of Miscellaneous Oddiments. He and his wife make bubble wands for the Maryland Renaissance Festival. They also make leather masks and use the scraps from the eye holes of the masks to make delightful leaf-shaped earrings of all kinds. They also make Yule season ornaments. And Shane cuts out the most intricate snowflakes I have ever seen, with themes taken from Mother Nature.

Shane posted something early on in the Covid-19 theme talking about how folks will need to self-isolate and how he had already begun to self-isolate. I immediately started wearing gloves and started using my hand sanitizer. I rarely used hand sanitizer, and now I was using it regularly.

Anyway, soon I learned about needing masks, and I began to try to find a pattern that my boys and I could sew together. I homeschool my boys, so I figured a class or 5 about sewing was in the works. It took way too long for me to find a pattern, but we did, eventually.

My older son cuts out the cloth and batting. He and I shared the work of sewing. My younger son hasn't yet seemed interested in the project. But we will get there eventually. I wish I had some buttons, I would teach them both how to sew a button. Before they leave my home, I want them to learn some basic sewing skills. One thing I pride myself on is making that back or inside as beautiful as the outside. I believe this is something I may have read in the book series, "Little House on the Prairie," but Laura Ingalls Wilder. Or, I may have read it in "Gone with the Wind," by Margaret Mitchell.

I believe Steve Jobs must have had this same ethic, because I hear the inside of the Apple products are just as beautiful as the outside is.

Apparently, I love to digress. I hope you will forgive me. My ADHD runs away with my thoughts sometimes, and I have to reel in my train of thought.

Well, that cute movie and its "Train of Thought" got me distracted completely and now I can't remember what I was typing about.

Oh yes, Covid-19 and masks.

So, I guess what I want to say is: I hope you're self isolating. I hope if you're out and about that you are wearing a mask. The best masks are a layer of cotton with a layer of flannel. One layer of loosely-woven cotton won't do a thing. Please do more than that. Ask a friend to make you a mask, or order from this person (she is the friend of a friend) --

I had a routine of how I did things when I was still going out and about before I chose to self-quarantine completely. Here is my pattern. I am sure you have yours. But just in case this might help someone, here is what I have been doing:

My gloves are all assigned certain tasks. I was walking 3 different dogs, so I had 3 different pairs of gloves. Each set of gloves was assigned only to that one dog. And, yes, I washed them. I also hand-sanitized them. But I will get to that part.

I also had one more pair for when I went grocery shopping. Only for grocery shopping and nothing else.

So, I would get out of my car, open the back to my car to reveal my various sets of gloves all laid out. Then with my bare hands, I would reach to my door knob inside the car and hit the lock-button to lock the car. Then I would get out my mask, sitting on the dashboard of my car. I would put on my mask, and shut the car door with probably my elbow or my hip.

Then, I would walk to the back of the car, select the appropriate pair of gloves, and put them on.

When I got back to the car, I would slide off just one glove and open the hatch back. (So as not to contaminate the back hatch of my car with my gloved hand and whatever it picked up.)

Open the back hatch, use the hand sanitizer on them, and put them in their proper place in the lineup of gloves.

Opening that back hatch would unlock my car. So now I could, with no gloves on my hand, open my car door, take off my mask, put it on the dashboard, and sanitize my hands again. Then I would shut the door.

It was a whole routine. I haven't had to do this in weeks, so I may have missed a step in there. But believe me, I had thought it out and was being as careful as possible.

I am considered to be in the "High Risk" category because of my heart problems. I asked my doctor about this. My doctor first said that basically everyone is considered "high risk" now, but yes, my heart problems especially put me in that category. This is one of the reasons why I took it so seriously, wore gloves, had a habit of how to do this, and self-isolated quickly.

The last time I went out to walk the dogs was the first day I wore the mask. My heart started beating rapidly for no reason. I was just walking around the home of someone whose dog I walk. I got the dog's water dish and was washing it in her sink. My heart started beating rapidly and I couldn't breathe. The mask impeded my breathing even further and I felt like I was about to suffocate.

I had to take my mask off in her house and do my best to leash up her dog so I could get us outside so I could pant and try to breathe and calm down my heart.

The whole experience was very scary for me, and I have been home ever since that dog walk. I am not sure what to do when I need to go out and about again and still wear a mask. I don't know if the proper N95 masks are more easy to breathe with. I wonder if any of them will be available by the time it becomes necessary for me to be out in public again?

So, I wrote this post to let you know that I, too, and self-quarantined. I am isolated. I am watching Netflix and movies. I am learning to be creative and cook from the pantry. My dog and I are taking things easy, and so are the boys. We are just trying to get through these difficult days and doing our best, the best we can, during this time.

I hope you all are doing what you can do to get through this extraordinary time, too.

I will leave you with this photo that I'm not particularly a fan of, but it's of me wearing the mask I sewed. My son picked out the beautiful fabric for my mask. An odd thing happens when you take a selfie and you're wearing a mask - you realize it doesn't matter if you smile or not.

I have vision issues and the sun was most definitely in my eyes when I took this shot. I wasn't smiling. I was squinting at the camera to make sure it was aimed correctly. Haha.


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