Tuesday, April 07, 2020

March? Where did it GO?

Day 987 in captivity....I mean G Dog hasn't left the house in a month....The rest of us are starting our third week, I think.  Maybe. The days are really a blur. Nolan is working, working, working....I'm amazed how many are going out for their burgers. LOL

It's unbelievable how differently than expected this month has been. Our governor had said the stay in place/travel ban would be re-evaluated on April 11th. I appreciate the thought. Realistically, we are not going to be having a big family Easter dinner this year.  It's o.k. We're all well. The rest of you probably accepted this fact before I did.

I spent an hour arguing with Dad's previous supplemental insurance - again. I deleted 3 paragraphs where I vented. LOL  I told them I was going to contact my congressmen and get a lawyer who deals with Senior/Medicare issues as I know this is simply not right. I've been asking for a letter stating when and why they disenrolled him so he can get new insurance. He NEEDS medical care and we're waiting for a letter. His application at the new insurance has timed out. I have to begin it all again and still they haven't sent the letter. Five times I've been told it was going out "today." I have names, dates, reference numbers. They have passed me on to the escalation team - but I can't SPEAK directly with anyone from that team or the resolution team. I have to call member services and be read the same script over and over...always told it will be in the mail....and today I was told it was never mailed. They tell me it will take 7 days for them to get around to faxing it to me. I am determining if I will wait 7 days....and drop it if it comes...or contact "someone" to complain about how ridiculous this is.

What do you all think about Zoom? I am finding it disconcerting not to be able to look into eyes when teaching...or to have people stay in PLACE. Someone begins to speak, I look where there square WAS, and someone else is THERE. ::snort:: It does add a bit of excitement to the study. LOL
So fun to talk with everyone! 13 of us....well 14 Bonnie WAS there.  
Some of our ladies can't get into Zoom - and we miss them.  While there are things that drive me crazy about trying to really "connect" on Zoom, I am crazy thankful for technology tools. Sadly, Bible study may well be over before we are meeting in person again....we may just have to have a party.

Anyway - the days blur.  Krista worked, walked and made masks. Stacia did school, crafted, worked out, and cooked dinner. Michael worked in the wood shop. Alex worked on school. Dad read.

Pandemic Facts: 
  • 22 new cases in Alaska yesterday. We are at 213 now. Still low compared to many places - but we'd hoped numbers would stop by now. Or I had. 
  • 805 new cases in the US. 
  • 1,921 deaths yesterday. 12, 907 deaths in the U.S. 

Introducing Sweet Pea!

Finally....CoRielle have gone Facebook public and I can blog about THIS....Announcing the expected arrival of Sweet Pea - CoRielle are adding to their family.

Photo via Arielle 

And now I can share the photos I had to be so careful with on the 27th of March.  We had planned to Zoom and when I got on I noticed that darling little shirt.....we had to run and get Papa so Benny could show off him the shirt too.  
When we saw the shirt....

Who would have guessed we'd live 5 minutes from the kids and they'd have to tell us the news ONLINE. LOL  It seems like I've kept this secret so very long - but now that I sit to blog, I realize it's only been 11 days. ::snort:: 

Now when asked, "What's the hardest part about isolation for you?" I can finally say...not being able to hug necks when given good news, not being able to be there when kids feel pitzy….Ah well...time will pass.

Benny told us the baby would be named, "Benny Baby" and he is Benny Bear. Sweet Pea is expected in November.

 Arielle visited the doctor  today and came home with pictures of Sweet Pea...all is well...strong heart...and we are all excited.
I'm quite sure Benny wasn't expecting THIS when told there was a picture
Photo via Arielle
Photo via Arielle 
Photo via Arielle 
Photo via Arielle 

Monday, April 06, 2020

Family Games While Social Distancing

 Nolan headed to bed immediately after dinner. He has to be at work at 0500 in the morning. I've mentioned we asked Alex to stay home until after this thing breaks. It makes it that much easier to keep Grandpa safe.  Alex has been home one week. 

He and Nolan eat at the ends of the island....and tonight...he played Farkle with us from there.  It wasn't bad - it was sort of fun. No one got on him for double-timing with his phone. 

I think this may be another of my favorite "Quarantine photos."  #TogetherApart

I walked to the mail box - 1.33 mile walk,  not just to the top of the driveway ::snort:: - and talked with Mary K while I walked.  It worked well. I was happy to discover I COULD walk and talk at the same time these days. ::snort:: Mary K was happy to have a nice "longish" talk.  Michael talked with Rose (John and Mary's social worker) and with the social worker at the hospital.  He also talked with Mary. Please continue to pray for John. We began the day hearing he was on oxygen and not doing well - at all. We ended the day hearing he is breathing on his own. Each social worker had a different story. All we can do is pray, keep encouraging Mary, and advocate the best we can for John and Mary.  We are blessed Michael has favor with the social workers. Mary K said she was told she is lucky to have Mike. 

Pandemic facts: 
  • Alaska's governor issued a "health advisory" on Friday that we should wear cloth face coverings if we are out in public. Today, it was stated CLEARLY they'd like all who are working with the public to wear masks, and all who go for groceries etc to wear a mask...BUT it is NOT mandated. 
Aren't they stylin? Daddy, Mommy and Baby masks
Via Arielle's photos
  • I remember being stunned, my breath taken away when Italy hit 954 deaths in a single day. Today the US had 1,339 deaths in one day.  A total of 10,986 deaths in the U.S. 
  • There are a total of 368,241 confirmed CV19 cases in the US.
  • There were 30, 561 new cases confirmed yesterday in the US.
  • In Alaska we had 6 new cases for a total of 191.
  • Sadly we've had 6 deaths.....
I continue to be so impressed with the leadership of our state....I feel informed. Today, Samaritan's Purse flew into Anchorage with needed medical supplies for our rural villages. Praise God. I think the reason Alaskans were so quick to practice social distancing is we KNOW we have less hospitals than most states, and many of our villages are very isolated - if this thing takes off here - it could get bad, fast. It made me happy to hear of the extra supplies for the villages. 
Photo from Gov. Dunleavy's Facebook Page

Sunday, April 05, 2020

Hot Quarantine Date

And so...some of you have been worried about me.

Yes, I love to go. I'm busy. I like being busy. I like sitting over a cup of tea and sharing my heart and soul with another.

Here's the thing...I AM an extrovert...but I've come to value and crave silence and solitude too. That is a rare commodity when 7 people are sequestered in one home....and the walls were closing in...but I pushed them back.

I think the thing which helped the  most was my hot quarantine date with Michael this afternoon. ::wink::  We are ALLOWED to get take out. He suggested take out for lunch...y'all he made points. Big points. I love cooking...but I miss Sundays OUT....so he and I went ALONE to get a take out meal....alone as in..."No, you cannot ride along because you need to get out of the house. This is just US," alone.
Light at 8:30 p.m. - Spring IS here
I am finally accepting we are not going to be back "at church" by Easter, not going to have the kids over for a big family dinner, and hunt....

We dropped by two of the houses and dropped off Easter Baskets and FACE COVERINGS - which makes this an essential drive by.  I sanitized all the things in the baskets and then wrapped them in plastic. The girls will put them up and they'll be good to go for Easter.
Dropping surprises at BreZaaks 
CoRielle's house is in the background

 I heard him - and then I saw him. All the feels. 

Bella sent a polo that was darling. Her birthday is on Easter. She says, "EVERYONE is excited about my birthday." She also mentioned we would come to her house for a party....Bre is explaining Zoom to her.... This has got to be hard on the little ones who don't understand why we are keeping distanced. 
Krista made cute masks with balls for Gideon and Benny....I think she's also  made 30 or more from the bolt of fabric from Joann's. These are for the girls to wear grocery shopping, doctor visits etc....and some for Cory to take to Freddies in case employees want them....maybe the clicklist runners.....Nolan has a pile to take to McDonalds too. 

We came home and I took a nap. They have medically given me hyper thyroid and I am jazzed. I can't sleep. I fell asleep at about 5 a.m.  so I napped.... Michael and Dad found an old football game they deemed worthy of watching. You really CAN'T stop football fans from watching football. 

While they watched the game, I worked on a church project. 

THEN - Michael suggested a walk! He is speaking my love language! I love walks...Our mountain is beautiful when the light hits it just right.... 

Pioneer Peak 
And that is how one goes on a date in the midst of a Stay at Home order...all essential...moments snatched to be alone.

Palm Sunday in Quarantine

 Here we are at Palm Sunday....I find myself really missing and appreciating the freedom to gather weekly at the building...to hug others of like faith, to grow together...

Yet,  I am deeply appreciative of  the work our pastors are investing to meet our needs and keep us connected - while distanced.  More than anything - we ARE the church. The church has simply left the building for the time being. We'll be back - and I am thinking a celebration will be in order for that day in the future.

Today, we realized I was sadly lacking in my communion prep. I have authentic Matzo made in Israel, thank to my earlier emotional shopping. I did not have little glasses, nor grape juice. I have kombucha - but Grandpa doesn't think kombucha is kosher. I have antioxidant juice, which I think is a great choice, but it was vetoed in favor of Apple Juice.

We dug out Michael's old field kit...only to discover a chalice and no little cups left.

I am wondering how long we will be sequestered. I may just go buy some shot glasses the next time I'm picking up groceries...and grape juice is going on the list to store with the matzo.

Michael spoke in this fourth week of our "Saved" series. We "Belong," are "Blessed," have been "Bought," and today Michael shared we are "Blameless."
Will they be able to attend a church without recliners when this is over? 
I am REALLY enjoying being able to sit and discuss the content, the take aways, as a family immediately after the sermon - before we go on with the day.  Our favorite take aways today....

God didn't save us just to condemn us.

We talked about how we tend to see ourselves as "holy" and lose sight of Jesus, or we see ourselves as "condemned" again because we've lost sight of Jesus.

We are saved and being saved.

We are holy and being made holy.

We are like Christ and becoming like Christ.

I found the worship and communion after the message to be meaningful. We are distanced - but still together in spirit. If you are missing communion, feel free to jump into the worship/communion set at the end of this clip....actually if you don't attend our church, but are missing communion....you may want to jump in at the 10 message which flows into the worship and communion.

There ARE things I am enjoying about church in our living room....we'll have to figure out which things are beneficial and if it is possible to carry them forward when this season is over.

"All my life you have been faithful. 
All my life you have been so, so good.
With every breath that I am able
I will sing of the goodness of God."

Saturday, April 04, 2020

Passing the Time Away

Krista was scheduled to drill four days in April....and so she is drilling. This is Day 3. She spent the morning doing AF trainings...and was given permission to make masks in the afternoon. Unfortunately, I don't have a photo of her at work. 

Stacia spent the day making Baked Alaska - not be confused with Baked Alaskan. She did it all from scratch and it really was very good. Yes, I DID use up my April sugar spree...and we're just starting the month. 

Michael was her partner in meringue making. 

Stacia is moving right along with her piano lessons. 

Michael worked in the garage on a fishing pole holder he is making for Josiah.

Nolan and Alex weren't working - but I didn't see them. They were once again holed up in the royal blue cave...seeking to minimize contact with G Dog until this mess is over.

I worked out, made dinner and spent time in my room...resting as I am not sleeping well. Still waiting for Tricare to get the new dosage of Levothyroxine to me....

Friday, April 03, 2020

And Then There Was Snow....Again.

I had an 0800 clicklist pick up...I intended to hop in the van....but Mother Nature...had other plans.

Even my brave, silk daffodils couldn't brighten this situation. 

I picked up our clicklist  groceries. I picked up a tea and sat in the library parking lot and drank it. I tried to pick up dad's meds - not ready - again.  I drove to the post office and was there an hour before they opened. I waited in my car. We needed to mail a package and I truly hope NOT to have to go back to another crowded spot like that until this is over. I was surprised they didn't have the temporary plexiglass dividers up for their employees.  The only place I may have come into contact with "people" was at the post office...and I was careful. I came home and did the whole disinfecting/shower/launder clothes thing.

I found Stacia involved in dissecting a frog. She wasn't loving it. 
It's a rite of passage. 

I was NO help. at. all. Everything is better when Dad gets involved. 
Ah gloves - I could have supplied those. 

Krista had USAF training and a zoom birthday party.  Michael and Alex went to have their Bible study and to deliver masks to Joann's.  Stacia seemed to want to be alone. Dad was napping. Nolan was working. I spent a couple of hours in my room - and it was fine.

Our state has issued a new "health alert."  I know it's not a mandate... a step up from a good idea, but below an order.  ::snort:: The public is to wear cloth face masks when grocery shopping, or picking up meds...the only two things we are allowed to do outside our home.  This is in addition to social distancing. The previous links explains the reasoning and gives patterns for a no sew and an easy sew mask.

I played around with scrap material and the no sew mask idea....this worked better than the napkin. I made the starting square MUCH smaller. Instead of 18x18...I did 9x12. LOL

Michael came home with ANOTHER BOLT of fabric from Joann's. Free. We now have 8 yards of fabric to turn into masks. I doubt I will get around to making a quarantine quilt...but I sure know how to make simple face masks.  I think I like this better than the flamingos they gave us earlier.

We plan to make masks for Nolan and his co-workers FIRST...and Cory if he needs or wants some...then we may keep some for us and take the remaining zillion back to Joann's. They are fine with us giving them out in the community...We will use more masculine fabric for Nolan. LOL

Alex had to write an email explaining why he is not reporting to work...I began to question if we are wrong to ask him not to work...but then I remember...we have high risk in our home. This is a nasty virus if you catch it.

Dad and Michael 

Our moose was back...she's so ready to calve. 

Michael spent some time talking with John's social worker today. Please continue to pray for John and Mary and add our niece Sierra to your prayer lists as well. One is in CA and one is in CO.

Pandemic Stats: 
Alaska seems to have a slow, steady increase of cases. They reported 11 new cases from yesterday...15 in the hospital (up 3)…no new deaths....a total of 157 confirmed cases.  I believe our state team informing and implementing alerts and mandates early is leading to a "flattened curve." Everyone is cautiously optimistic.

Sadly - there were a 1000 deaths in the US yesterday.