The news headlines this week read that Houston is the new epicenter of the Corona Virus. Hey… guess where I live? Yup. Houston. So after months of hiding in our home under quarantine, we gingerly tip-toed out for about two weeks before racing back in to stay for a while.
It’s easy to joke about quarantine and the effects of this virus but friends…. this is hard. We got a touch of life again, and then it ended. My two oldest kids were back in swim practice for two weeks before it was suspended. My youngest went back to her Sunday School class for two weeks before we decided it’s safer to be at home. Now stores and restaurants in our area are slowly starting to close for good and I know more are barely making it.
This is incredibly hard but there are a few creature comforts that are helping. Because I lack anything else good or funny to say today, here’s a few things that I’m thankful I have during this time.
Headphones / Earbuds
Ha! Because I currently have teens, you may think this is a joke but in all seriousness, this has been a lifesaver. There’s been times these past few months that I just need to drown out the noise and create, which is why Bose headphones have been a lifesaver for me. The ones I have are old and falling apart but they blare music like no one’s business and block out fighting teens and whining dogs. I use this pair while sitting at my desk. Yes, they’re wired because I’m old and yell at modern technology.
I also have a pair of Bose SoundSport earbuds that I LOVE to use with my phone. They’re not wireless because I lose everything. The wires and bright colors help me find them when I’m ready to take a walk or join a Zoom call.
My teens and husbands have also relied heavily on Air Pods during this pandemic. Once again, I just lose all small things but they love them and use them for online meetings, listening to music, or watching movies on their devices.
I used to be an insane Kindle user. In any post I have about reading or the tools I love for reading, I mention Kindle and Kindle Unlimited. But…. a lot of the popular books I wanted to read were not on Kindle Unlimited and I didn’t want to keep buying a ton of books. All of the books I wanted to read in my local library’s digital collection also have huge wait times. Then I found SCRIBD. It’s good y’all.
SCRIBD has books, audiobooks, sheet music, magazines, and the selection is huge. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work with Kindles but I can pull up sheet music for my daughter on our Ipad or read books from my phone.
The selection alone justifies not being able to use my Kindle e-readers anymore. If you or one of your family members love to read, you need to check it out.
You can check out SCRIBD using my link and get 60 days free. After that, it’s only $9.99 a month.
Here’s the deal… I haven’t owned an actual coffee maker in years. If you’re a longtime follower than you might remember the horrible burn my youngest daughter dealt with when a glass carafe full of hot coffee broke and burned her arm and torso. After that, I refused to have a full-sized coffee maker in my house. I tried out Keurig for a while but I didn’t care for it and I don’t like the plastic used in Kcups.
So my normal routine became having hot tea in the mornings and a few times a week I’d swing by Starbucks for a latte. I don’t like fancy, sugary drinks… I just want a plain latte with two raw sugar packets.
Then Starbucks closed. And I struggled.
So for Mother’s Day, my husband surprised me with this espresso machine and I’m 100% sure it’s already paid itself off in sanity alone. If you love espresso-based drinks, I think it’s worth getting an espresso maker for your home. A friend bought a really small $30 one and has been extremely happy with it.
Paint.. Paint.. and More Paint
I haven’t been crafting a lot during quarantine. I am still dealing with heavy depression and so gathering the different pieces needed to create a really awesome craft has been taxing. But, I still have to be creative. You, my friends, understand that creating is part of us.
Therefore, I’ve been spending hours painting. Sometimes I paint hard things that just help me deal with life right now but other days I paint vases of happy flowers.
I paint primarily in acrylics but lately have been playing with gouache, and I love it.
If you want to see what I paint each day, follow along on Instagram – @ClumsyCrafter.
If you want to learn how to paint, check out my easy painting method that anyone can do.
Here’s the truth… as much as I joke about sending these kids back to school the second the doors open (or a few days early), I can’t imagine this time without my family.
My husband works from home full-time now and has been told he won’t ever have to return to the office. The non-stop pace that having older kids requires hit stop for a few months. And for the first time in years, we got to just be a family again without the non-stop swim meets, meetings, parent taxi duties, and so much more.
And… if you don’t follow me on social media then one thing you do not know is that our exchange student from three years ago flew here to visit us during spring break. And… she’s still here! While she was here, her college in Illinois shut down due to the virus. We’ve always felt like she’s part of our family, so I can say that during this quarantine, we had our entire family home.
So today I’ll leave you with a video that will make your cheeks hurt from grinning. Here’s the moment that we surprised our kids with what was supposed to be the one week visit from our old exchange student:
I hope you are doing well. But if this time if hard for you, just know you’re not alone.