The rest of the country and parts of the world may be opening up, but yours truly is staying put. I have a kidney transplant, and therefore no immune system to speak of, so anything more than walking my dogs (while wearing a mask and practicing social distancing) is off my agenda until the transplant doctors at UCLA give me the all-clear.
So…I’m still at home. I mean, I kind of would be at home anyway because I work from home, but I would at least be able to run to the store or see friends, or even *gasp* go out to dinner. It’s not that bad, honestly. I’m the most introverty introvert that ever introverted.
I did this post last week on five things to do if you’re still in quarantine or lockdown. I don’t know if I’ll have five again, but we’ll just see how this goes. I mean, I have a bunch of awesome quarantine memes I’m still dying to use.
Without further ado…more things to do if you’re still in quarantine or lockdown!
Pre-KonMari Your Closet
Okay, I admit that I am not fully finished with the book yet. But, I’ve gotten a good start. I also don’t think I’ll be doing a lot of folding because I don’t have drawer space and can’t visualize outfits as easily from folded shirts.
BUT, I did start a kind of pre-KonMari project because I already knew I had a ton of old clothes – from things that don’t fit any more because I have been losing weight, to grunge painting clothes, old workout clothes, worn out pajamas, and other things I absolutely knew I was going to get rid of…but hadn’t…because…twin toddler piranha puppies take time to raise into being mildly civilized (i.e. housebroken, non-garden-eating, my-lap-is-not-your-parkour-mat dogs).
However, they have at least two periods of solid two-hour lazy napping each day, so I figured it’s time to start getting back to projects that have been on hold.
Anyway, by the way of pre-KonMari, I ordered a clean-out bag from thredUP. I love thredUP. They consign what they can sell, and donate or recycle (note, recycling is a huge things for me once I learned about how clothing fibers are killing the oceans) whatever they don’t sell.
It’s super easy. You sign up on the website, they send you (for free) a bag that you put all your stuff into, and then you drop it off at the post office or FedEx (again free), and off it goes to them. You make money or get a donation deduction. It’s awesome.
No, I’m not advocating a return to rags, sponges, leaves, and pages of the phonebook because of this super creepy toilet paper shortage. But…since paper towels are just as hard to find these days, I decided our family is going to seriously reduce our consumption of paper towels.
But whence the rags?
Well, I took all my old pajamas, t-shirts, workout clothes, painting clothes, and things that I know wouldn’t sell on thredUP and chopped them all up into nice uniform rectangles. I folded them and fit them in a nice little IKEA box. Now, instead of reaching for a paper towel for wiping up a spill or wiping down the stove, or drying my hands, or blowing my nose (don’t judge, tissues are scarce, too), I just grab a rag.
When I’m done, there’s a little cardboard box in the pantry/laundry closet where I put them and the dishtowels for when there is enough for a small load of laundry.
I know this doesn’t sound all that exciting, but when time is heavy on your hands and instead of enjoying a nice two-hour dinner date, and you feel like you’ve seen everything already on Netflix…twice…why not do this? The whole project from start to finish took me two hours. Maybe less (but, I already had my rag clothing set aside).
This is actually something I got inspired to do by the Marie Kondo book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Usually, I downgrade things on a sliding scale – everyday wear –>gym wear–>pajamas–>painting/grunge chore wear.
I don’t know about you, but I usually ended up with a mountain of shitty old clothing that I felt shitty wearing. When she gets to the part in her book about loungewear, it was like a lightbulb went off in my mind. My style is pretty casual – shorts and tank tops, or sundresses (helllooooo SoCal!) – so it wasn’t a big deal to say, okay, I’m gonna actually invest in some things that I feel good and comfortable in for loungewear.
I did save three t-shirts and three shorts for home & garden grunge because we aren’t done with the painting, remodeling, landscaping, and omg garage clean-up yet. Or any time soon. But, that’s okay, because those pieces are fine for that, and they usually go in the wash anyway after one wear, so…yeah. It’s all good.
And…to bring this all full circle, I was able to use my thredUP earnings to buy some really nice brand new (or nearly) GAP-brand shorts, tops, and dresses. So, yeah. It’s all a circle. Circle of life. Or something.
A Plague of Frogs
Yesterday, I did what I like to call “A Plague of Frogs” day. No, I didn’t rain amphibians and disapproval upon the pharaoh. Instead, the reference comes from the old management schtick (possibly attributed to Mark Twain, but everything seems to attributed to him at some point or another) about eating frogs.
Basically, the WORST thing you could ever face doing on a daily basis would be to eat a frog. But, if you eat the frog FIRST before you do anything else, then you are frog-fricassee-free for the rest of the day.
Frogs for me tend to be those little household chores or projects that take anywhere from two minutes to half-an-hour. And now that I have a backyard, it also includes some of the less glamorous aspects of caring for an outdoor space that is rampaged through on a daily basis by the twin toddler piranhas.
I usually add these to a daily or weekly to-do list, and 99.99% of the time, they never get done. Which is an empty checkbox. Which stresses me out. Which puts more pressure on me to get it done the next day. Which I don’t. Which leaves an empty checkbox. Which…you get the idea.
So, yesterday, I decided to put on one of my grunge outfits, drink an extra big cup of coffee and make a list of all my house and garden frogs. It was a big list. Some of the things on it?
- Pour vinegar on the weeds growing up between the patio pavers
- Move the strawberry planter to the side of the house for better sun
- Look up why my cucumbers are turning yellow and dying before they are even 1/3 grown (still not sure I found the answer – any suggestions?)
- Shop-vac the patio (stuffy toy fluff, pebbles, bits of wood…all things that go in one way in puppies and come out the other)
- Put in a goddamn multi-outlet plug-in where the microwave and wifi booster are so I can bring the toaster back over and plug it in there (that’s only been on the to-do list for four months)
- Put my toiletries and makeup all back nicely in the box they belong in, and restock the cotton-swabs (why I have a hang-up about this, I don’t know)
This was just part of my list (I think I ended up with about 30 things on it). As you can see, it’s not a very exciting list. Frankly, it’s a pain-in-my-ass, do-I-really-need-to-spend-time-doing-this-shit list. But…there’s something about putting it all down for a single, dedicated day that makes it feel less of a waste and more like all the broken-down steps of one big project.
Surprisingly — or maybe not so much — I got 95% of it done. The things I didn’t get done? Well, there’s definitely going to be another Plague of Frogs day in my future.
Continuing Adventures in Coffee Creamer-Land
Even though liquid coffee creamer (including half-and-half) is more and more back in stock, I’m still looking for ways to to improvise and prepare because…next time…amiright?
Thus far, I have ascertained that yes, I can survive on powdered creamer (meh but workable), and white hot chocolate mix is an AWESOME substitute, I discovered this week a fabulous new option (which also uses up some of the stuff in my pantry):
Yup. That’s right. The stuff that sits in the cabinet from one year to the next, waiting for you to make a pumpkin pie. Turns out, a dollop of that in coffee is AMAZING, both in hot and iced coffee.
I just open it up, add my dollop, and put the rest in a salad-dressing tupperware or small reusable juice container, and it lasts beautifully in my fridge.
Please Come up with a Vaccine Soon
Why? Well, obviously to save the hundreds-of-thousands, and eventually millions, of lives that are being lost (and the lives of those who survive and have long recoveries ahead of them, and families, and healthcare providers pushed to the brink, and so many others).
But, mostly (and mostly irreverently), please come up with a vaccine soon because I’m not sure the world is ready for whatever else I discover is good to use as coffee creamer substitutes, or more stay-home projects I come up with.
Have any things you have been doing? Share them with me in the comments! I love new ideas about stay-home projects (creamer optional).