29 March 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not

Dear Diary,

I saved a small green spider today.

It was an act of great heroism.

A very Zen/In-Tune-With-The-Earth thing to do.

I confess, though, I’ve committed arachnicide in the past. Intentional, premeditated, cold blooded spider murder. Serially, in fact. My weapon of choice is toilet paper. I wad it up in my hand, and, with heartbeat racing and a tiny, not-quite-voluntary scream, STRIKE QUICKLY, like a squeaky cobra, hoping my lightning reflexes will capture the spider under the paper which I then squish and squish and squish, hoping to mash its body and absorb any associated goo, all in one motion. In a pinch, a paper towel will do. And I’ve been known to use the occasional shoe. This is how I know I’ll never be Buddhist. I’m disqualified on the basis of my priors. ...  read more

28 March 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not

Dear Diary,

I’ve always considered myself a cook, as opposed to a baker. One is art; the other, chemistry. As a cook, I can chop and dice and whip and purée and maneuver around my kitchen by feel, turning the heat up or down based on whim and desired result, tasting and tasting and tasting again to get the sweet:salt:fat ratio right. Baking, on the other hand, is a precision sport with rules and measurements. It’s exacting and if, like me, you’d rather push boundaries than stay neatly inside them, it’s also exasperating.  ...  read more

27 March 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not

Dear Diary.

Only the briefest of missives today, I’m afraid. I’ve been migraining all day. Fortunately for me, that doesn’t include much of a headache — just an excessively foggy brain — I can do NOTHING without having to retrace my steps and do it a second time because I inevitably forgot what I intended to do the first time — plus lethargy and jaw/face pain. Weird. Uncomfortable. But tolerable. ...  read more

26 March 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not

Dear Diary,

It’s been a week since my last trip to the grocery store, and I’m trying to stretch it by one more. So far, we’re good on all the staples.

I’m used to having a house of seven people, but Abby and Chandler left early Sunday morning, 15 March, to go back to Hawaii for the remainder of their last semester of college — such as it is with everything closed and classes online — and even though I very sweetly invited them to return to Oregon so I can control their every move and ensure they’re abiding by both the letter and the spirit of social distancing law, they declined. I can’t imagine why, Diary. It’s a mystery. ...  read more

25 March 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not

Dear Diary,

Greg is not traditionally …um, how shall I put this?… empathic? In tune with others’ feelings? Intuitive? I suppose any of those will work. They’re not his strong suit. He’s more adept with the concrete and logical. The tangible and clear. He’s a “Facts, ma’am — just the facts” kind of guy.

But he’s also compassionate and kind in that he wants to know what’s happening under the surface. He wants to respond with sensitivity. He just sometimes needs an assist so he can be looped in on WTF is going on.  ...  read more

24 March 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not

Dear Diary,

I caught Greg in the living room SORTING THE JUNK DRAWER. The hour after he replaced all the burned out lightbulbs in the house. The day after he repaired the extensive dry rot that’s been present for, oh, ten years-ish around our two back doors.

PLEASE EXPLAIN, Diary.

Do you know what is happening? Because I DO NOT.

I asked him why he was organizing the junk drawer and he said it was because we couldn’t close it without shoving stuff down, we couldn’t find anything in it, and random items were falling out the back.   ...  read more

23 March 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not

Dear Diary,

The rain arrived in Oregon again today — the same day the governor shut down most businesses and issued the Stay at Home orders. It feels fitting. I’m looking out my window now. The wind is howling and the rain is falling sideways, but I can see the Cascade Mountain Range in the distance, and it’s a crazy quilt of dark, heavy clouds and fluffy white ones with patches of intermittent blue to break up the grey scale motif. ...  read more