Friday, March 27, 2020

10 Things About Spring

I have a new survey for all of my survey loving people out there. (And I may have a few more coming up for you :) Yay!) This one comes from Dara at Not In Jersey.

1. How did you celebrate spring break / Easter as a child?
Our Spring Break was always the week after Easter. We usually just had to work at my dad's tree farm. I spent many a break rooting cuttings -- sticking little plants in rooting mixture and then in small pots of dirt. I think we got paid (maybe $20 a day?) and Dad would let me buy a Coke on the breaks. I mostly remember being cold and dirty, especially my fingers.

2. Do you spring clean?
Do I, no. Should I, yes. Especially these days.
Image result for reading versus cleaning memes
My dad sent me this meme. 
I think our house doesn't live up to his standards! 

3. What’s spring weather like where you live?
It's a little schizophrenic. One day it's gorgeous and I'm going outside in a t-shirt. The next day I'm wearing two sweaters and wondering if I should pull my heavy winter coat out again. Usually we have a slow climb to the warmth. And there is a lot of rain.

4. How green is your thumb?
Fairly. I can't wait until I can get out in the yard again but I probably have another few weeks to wait until I can clean the beds up. sigh.
Doing yard work makes me happy and I could use a little happy right now.
However, nature doesn't agree that it's time for yard work yet. 

5. AC on or windows open?
Windows open every chance I get.

6. How do you decorate for spring / Easter / Passover?
I don't really. I put my Spring wreath up a few days ago but other than that, I really don't do much.

7. How do you get bathing suit / shorts / warm weather ready?
By pulling out my shorts, washing the winter outerwear, and packing away my sweaters.

8. Is your closet arranged with just the current season’s clothes?
Yes, pretty much. I do pack away my capris and shorts and tank tops and switch them out for sweaters and long sleeve shirts. And I will move my skirts to the front of the closet.

9. What’s your go to spring uniform?
A t-shirt and jeans! And shoes without socks!

Of course now that I'm working and need to look professional, it will probably be nice pants/capris and a nice top. (I wrote part of this before the whole Coronavirus lockdown hit so who knows if I'll be able to enjoy my spring work wardrobe. I might just end up wearing yoga pants and t-shirts this spring. Yay?)

10. What outdoor activities do you enjoy in the spring?
Reading outside, going for long walks, hopefully more bike riding this year, and working in the yard. Honestly, I just like being outside as much as possible.
The kids have really been enjoying biking this week
so I see a lot more of this in our future. 

If you do your own post with this Spring survey, please let me know. I love reading these as much I as like writing them!

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

What's Up Wednesday: March 2020

Welcome to What's Up Wednesday for March. I've said a few times before on this link up that my WUW post will be one of the most unique ones I've ever written -- like the one I wrote from Kenya (which you can read here) or the one I wrote from our road trip last summer (which you can read here).  However, I really do think this month's posts will be the most unusual any of us have ever had to write. I'm looking forward to reading all of your posts and realizing, once again, we're all in this together. Solidarity friends.
image from here

What we're eating this week... I've been taking the extra time to do some extra baking. I've been getting a lot of inspiration of things to do from friends on Instagram. So when I saw that a friend had baked cinnamon rolls, I asked my mom for her recipe. Sadly, in the handing down of the "recipe" (she had to sort of make it up for me), a semi-important step got missed so I ended up with ENORMOUS cinnamon rolls. Oooops. I'm looking forward to trying to bake these again later this week to see if I can get them right this time.
I was also trying to find yeast and flour at the grocery store last week. Given that I couldn't find it anywhere, I'm guessing I'm not the only person upping my baking game!

What I'm reminiscing about... As always, at this time of year, I'm reminiscing about baby Sam! How is this kid turning ELEVEN on Monday?!?! (Yes, I ask that every time one of my kids has a birthday! Ha!)
I should really get an updated picture of Sam and a drinking glass. We thought it was a good indication of how small he was! :)

Also, Sam has decided that this year, his birthday is going to be on May 30 instead of March 30. I am devastated that he feels this way, although I totally understand it. So while I will quietly mark his birthday on my own, we will not be acknowledging it otherwise. Unless Sam changes his mind...

What I'm loving... Our weather is not at all Spring like but we do get a teaser every now and then. And when it's slightly warm-ish out, you can bet we're out there for as long as we can taking advantage of it.

What we've been up to... All the things to keep us entertained.
Someone in our city had the idea to post pictures of things in our windows so people taking walks could enjoy them. On Monday we made animal faces. Today we're going to work on "encouraging words" for Thursday. Later this week I think it's "flowers."
We attended online church for the first time. Our church has been streaming its service for awhile but this is the first time we took advantage of it. It was kind of nice to attend church in our pjs!
The kids made some bases and set up a baseball game. And they've also been using their bases outside to have games in our backyard. (We've also streamed a few games on YouTube.)
Dave has set up his work space in our bedroom, webcam and all. He posts his meeting schedule on the door so I know when it's safe to enter. And I always triple check that the webcam is off before I get dressed!
Rachel has taken up sewing. I think she was making herself a wallet here. Soon I'll have her take on my mending pile!

What I'm dreading... How long will these cancellations, closures, and social distancing last? I'm dreading that we could be in for months of this. As I wrote in my post yesterday, I am behind all of these measures, but that doesn't mean I have to like them.

What I'm working on... Not going insane! Too honest -- ummm, well, trying to keep the kids entertained during the day without using screens 100 percent of the time! Success rate thus far is undetermined :) Our province has not put a lot of emphasis on online learning just yet. Last week was our March Break and so we're only into the first week of what should have been school. I'm taking it a day at a time as, like most of you, I didn't sign up to home school and my kids didn't sign up to be home schooled.
I find both of these pieces of advice speak to me and I'm not stressing about my kids' education. Granted, they are in Grades 3 and 5, and don't struggle in school, so I realize I have the privilege of being able to be laid back.

What I'm excited about... Opening day of baseball is TOMORROW!!! Whoooo hoooo!!! I am seriously giddy about this!!! I tend to pre-write bits and pieces of these WUW posts throughout the month. I wrote the crossed out sentences in early March because I was sooooo looking forward to baseball returning full time. And then, well, we all know how this story ends...

So I guess now I'm excited about... well, life eventually returning to "normal" or at least, some semblance of normal -- when the kids go back to school, I go back to work, and we can hug our friends again.

What I'm watching/reading... I've been watching a lot of old baseball games on YouTube or Sportsnet (whenever they decide to re-broadcast them). I need my fix somehow :)

As for reading, I've been reading a lot of light, predictable, fluff. I just don't have the concentration for more in-depth novels these days. I'm really hoping that will change soon but for now, I'm just giving myself grace and going with it. I'm making excellent progress on my re-read of the In Death series by JD Robb. And I was actually able to concentrate on the second book in the Morrigan Crow series. If you haven't checked it out, I highly recommend it. (It's written for kids but I'm really loving it!)

What I'm listening to... I've been listening to a lot of the kids playing with each other. I've been so thankful that we have two kids and that they play really well together. I've been feeling for only children and for parents who are having to navigate a lot of sibling fighting.

What I'm wearing... A mix of pajamas, yoga pants, dress shirts, and my new favourite cardigan. It's really quite the look I have going on these days. Ha! I bought the cardigan to be a lighter one for work for spring but I can't stop wearing it.

What I'm doing this weekend... Ummmm.... I really don't know. Sportsnet is showing some old baseball games so we'll watch those. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and we'll be able to go for a walk (or five!). We'll likely stream church online. Maybe we'll play some games. And I'll probably have a couple of naps.

What I'm looking forward to next month... Life returning to "normal" possibly... I really hope and pray that by next What's Up Wednesday, the kids will be back at school, I will be back at work, and that we will have won the fight against this virus. Also, hopefully Spring will make a full return in April and we can spend a lot of time outside.

What else is new... I really think that's about it. We're all in the newest situation of our lives and we'll make it through together. Right? Right.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

The Best Laid Plans (Alternate Title: Life In The Time Of Coronavirus)

I haven't blogged for awhile because I just don't know what to say. This is a hard time right now for me, for my kids, for my country, for our world. I know that everyone is going through the same thing right now and that gives me some comfort, but honestly, I'm really struggling. (In case you haven't figured it out yet, this is not going to be a cheery, inspiring blog post, so feel free to skip it.)
I am a planner. I don't like change and I especially don't like unexpected and disheartening change. And these past few weeks have held a lot of that kind of change -- I no longer have a job (schools are closed) or a pay cheque (I'm a temporary employee), the kids no longer get to interact with their friends (except through some sort of online format), our playgrounds are closed and our libraries are closed.

We were looking forward to going to California in May to celebrate Dave's cousin's wedding. The wedding has been postponed and our trip has been cancelled. (And we're hoping and praying we get the money back for the flights -- we have cancellation insurance but it may not cover this.)

Sam playing snow baseball.
Sam's birthday is next week and he's already announced he doesn't want to celebrate it at all. He wants to move it to May 30 and I'm just hoping and praying life is more "back to normal" by then. Passover and Easter are coming up and likely we will have to figure out alternative celebrations for those holidays as well -- no gatherings with friends and family.

The snowman I made and decorated with old tulips!
There was a readathon this past weekend and sadly, I couldn't even concentrate enough to fully participate in that. I have a whole stack of books to read and I find myself turning to light, predictable fluff. Yes, even reading has deserted me.

Sam was supposed to spend a month away from home this summer participating in an amazing international program, bringing together 11 year olds from around the world. We just found out last night that it has been cancelled too. We aren't surprised but Sam is understandably disappointed.

Rachel finishing off her snowman.
Rachel has been practicing all year for an intensive dance exam and yes, that has been postponed indefinitely, and perhaps cancelled as well. We're all struggling with disappointment.

Rachel's snowman collapsed just as she was adding the finishing touches :(
Please hear me -- I am fully supportive of the measures which are being taken. I think staying home and cancelling everything really is the best option we have given what we know. However, that is not to say that any of this is easy or fun.

Nothing lasts forever. My snowman fell over about an hour later.
I don't really have a point to this post. I just needed to get these feelings out there. I know we're all struggling with similar disappointments, challenges, and emotions. I wanted to share some of mine.

If you made it this far, come back tomorrow. I will be linking up with What's Up Wednesday which will give you a little bit of a cheerier (I hope) insight into our lives these past few weeks.

Monday, March 16, 2020


In light of the nine million e-mails I have been getting from every organization I've ever associated with about their response to Coronavirus, it is hard to not feel overwhelmed and sad. It feels like everything is cancelled and closed -- schools, church, libraries -- I mean honestly -- libraries!?!?! I'm not faulting organizations for being proactive, but it all takes a toll.

I saw this on Facebook on Saturday (and re-posted it) because it spoke to me:
PromoCares on Twitter: "Breaking News: HOPE not cancelled.… "
I don't know what the original source is but I liked it. It reminded me that all is not lost. And as I thought about it on Sunday, I decided to write my own "Not Cancelled" post. In honour of Covid-19, here are 19 things which are important to me, which are not cancelled.

1) Hanging laundry out is NOT CANCELLED.

2) Blogging is NOT CANCELLED.

3) Drinking coffee-hot chocolate is NOT CANCELLED.

4) Flowers are NOT CANCELLED.

5) Hilarious exchanges with online friends are NOT CANCELLED.
posted with permission from Erika :)

6) Reading is NOT CANCELLED. (Yes, I know that one appears in the picture above but come on, it's really important!)

7) Funny memes are NOT CANCELLED.
Image may contain: possible text that says 'Matt @matttomic 1918: Toronto wins its first Stanley Cup 1919: Stanley Cup cancelled 1992-93: Toronto wins its first World Series 1994: World Series cancelled 2019: Toronto wins its first NBA Championship 2020: NBA Championship potentially cancelled The fuck did Toronto do?'

8) My favourite sweatshirt is NOT CANCELLED.

9) Long walks are NOT CANCELLED.

10) Streaming old baseball games on YouTube is NOT CANCELLED.

11) Yard work is NOT CANCELLED.

12) Baking cookies is NOT CANCELLED.

13) Family games are NOT CANCELLED.

14) Taking pictures is NOT CANCELLED.

15) Pizza is NOT CANCELLED.

16) Coke is NOT CANCELLED.

17) Family hugs are NOT CANCELLED.

18) Talking to people on the phone is NOT CANCELLED.

19) Alcohol is NOT CANCELLED.

Yes, I intentionally picked the picture of Rachel with a Corona.
Laughing is also NOT CANCELLED! 

I feel better when I remember all of this. Tell me what joys aren't cancelled for you. After all, we're all in this together.