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Chronicles of a Corona Captive – Days 17 and 18

I’m starting to feel like one of the castaways from Gilligan’s Island. They thought they were going on 3 hour tour and ended up indefinitely stranded on an island. I thought we’d be home for three weeks, but now we have an indefinite stay at home order. On the bright side, I have more to eat than just coconuts.

Sitting in my “office” all day, I can enjoy a lovely view of the garden. I noticed a squirrel hopping all around the yard digging for acorns. Now he’s hungry?!  Where the hell was he all winter?

Toilet paper reinforcements have arrived! We had about a month’s worth of toilet paper when we began this stay at home adventure. Oregano went to buy our usual 12 roll package and the shelves were completely bare. He tried numerous stores over 2 weeks only to come home empty-handed. Every night I scoured the internet checking store inventories, but that lead to a dead end, too. Out of desperation, I went to the Staples website and was excited to find toilet paper. There was just one catch; it was sold by the case. We now have 80 rolls! Maybe we can use it to build a fort.

After so much time together in the house, we thought we’d change things up a bit. Sadly, the change I am talking about is filters. We had Filter Friday! We celebrated by changing filters on the HVAC unit, the air purifier and the water purifier. We’re exhausted from all the exciting festivities.

Today was my first foray into the world in 20 days. Spring has arrived and so too have my seasonal allergies. I went with Oregano to the pharmacy. With both of us there, we could score twice as much pseudoephedrine and that would be enough to get me to the end of the month. I was all dolled up for my big outing.  It was raining, so my hood was up. My nose and mouth were covered with a scarf. I wasn’t wearing makeup and my itchy, runny eyes were red and puffy. I looked like the lovechild of a bandit and a zombie.

The Mystery of the Missing Thin Mints continues. After reading my post, Oregano saw the box of Thin Mints right where it had been all along. He told me he knew I hadn’t really hidden them. Then he picked up the box. It was empty. He looked at me with a stunned expression on his face and told me I was evil. I just cackled like a witch and said, “This isn’t my first day here.”

Chronicles of a Corona Captive – Days 15 & 16

Several times a year at school, we have spirit week. I decided to bring some of that spirit to our work from home environment.

Monday will be pajama day.

Tuesday will be clash day.

Wednesday will be crazy hair day.

Thursday will be hat day.

Friday will be career day.

Hmmm… now that I look at the list, it would seem we’ve had spirit week going on for 3 weeks and we weren’t even trying.

Took extreme measures to protect the remaining Thin Mints.  Each sleeve has been moved to a secret location. I hoped splitting them up would help me preserve at least one sleeve. Once Oregano reads this, he’ll have hours of fun searching the house for them. Stay tuned to find out if the Mystery of the Missing Thin Mints is solved.

Singing Itsy Bitsy Spider while washing my hands has gotten boring so I jazz it up a bit by singing different renditions of the song. I sing a rap version, a Broadway version and a reggae version. I’m fairly certain Oregano is ready to gag me. I’ll have to start thinking of a new handwashing song.

Our development has started a road paving project. Great timing! The only thing better than being trapped inside my home during the pandemic is being trapped inside my home while they jackhammer outside.

Watched the show Fleabag on Amazon. It is a British show. We loved the show, but thankfully, there were only 12 episodes. Oregano has difficulty understanding anyone who speaks with an accent. There have been many times while we were traveling or watching television when I have had to translate for him. During one episode of the show, he rewound a scene 3 times before he finally asked me what it was the character said. Exasperated, I looked over at him and told him the word was “Pam” and that he should let one go once in a while.

I’ve noticed that people are on conference calls conducting business while they walk their dogs through the neighborhood. I guess they are doing business while the dog does its business. Let’s just hope they aren’t video conferencing.

Must not bake…must not bake…must not bake… Normally when I bake, I bring the treats into school spreading the calories over multiple bodies. I had a brilliant idea that would allow me to scratch my baking itch, share the calories and show my appreciation. I planned to bake cookies and leave them for all the delivery people as a thank you. When I mentioned this to a friend, she pointed out that during a pandemic, strangers might not want to eat my homemade baked goods.  

Garbage night has become our date night. Under a moonlit sky, we walk down the driveway pushing the garbage can to the curb. It rained on date night this week, so Oregano had to go on the date by himself.

Second week of laundry without a button, snap or zipper. It’s like I have opened a laundromat for Amish people.

Chronicles of a Corona Captive – Days 12-14

Collected more acorns. Squirrels and chipmunks just sat idly by as I crawled around picking up the acorns. I could feel them mocking me with their eyes. I might be losing it a bit.

Had a new experience in my marriage. Oregano wanted his hair cut and requested I do this for him. I feared that this would not end well and explained my trepidations, but he insisted. After a quick tutorial on how to use his razor with the hair clipper attachment, we went outside into the garden and he set me to work. I didn’t leave any bald spots, but I think we’re both glad that we have nowhere to go for the next month.

Only one box of Thin Mints remains. In an effort to protect the last of these precious rations, I think I have developed superpower hearing. Oregano was out of sight and I heard cellophane opening, I yelled, “Drop ‘em!” Turns out he was opening a package of crackers.

Went for a walk. The kids in the neighborhood left positive messages and drawings on all the sidewalks. It was heartwarming to read them and it made the walk much more fun. Everyone was talking about them. As a teacher, I was impressed not only to see the children’s desire to bring cheer to a difficult time, but also to see so many words spelled correctly. However, on the last leg of the walk, we came across one message with the word awesome spelled incorrectly. One of the e’s was missing from the word. A few feet farther along the path, we came across a chalk nubbin left behind by the authors of the messages. Oregano suggested that I use the piece of chalk to go back and correct the spelling of awesome. I looked at him like he was crazy. I don’t know who touched that chalk. What if they were infected?  I spent my career teaching students how to spell and corrected their errors. Wouldn’t it be ironic if I picked up a potentially life-threatening virus from a discarded piece of chalk I used to correct a spelling error?

Must not bake…must not bake…must not bake… Why are comfort foods always foods that aren’t good for you? When I am anxious or in a bad mood, I want brownies or peanut butter squares. I never crave a carrot or piece of celery. It seems like a cruel trick of nature.

Cleaned out my spam folder. There was a very accommodating email with the subject line, “Where do you want to have f**k?” The offer did not intrigue me, but the grammatical mistake did. This led to a 10 minute conversation with Oregano about how the word f**k could be used as different parts of speech. Twelve days in and I think we have officially run out of topics of conversation.

Chronicles of a Corona Captive – Day 11

Noticed a headline yesterday that Netflix was down. I won’t lie. My heart skipped a beat. That single fact made me panic more than the thought of being on indefinite lockdown. Thankfully, when I got back to tackling my 78 episode binging project, the site was fully operational. Crisis averted…well, at least one crisis averted.

Watched the news this morning and saw that there is a spike in gun purchases. The story indicated that the majority of people buying these guns have no experience and are new to gun ownership. What could possibly go wrong with that combination? People really have their priorities in order. We are in a worldwide pandemic. We need to be hoarding laughs, not toilet paper and weapons.

Saw an ad that The Cheesecake Factory is offering free delivery on orders of $15. Yeah, this is just what I need. I’m sitting around all day in pants with an elastic waist and someone is willing to bring cheesecake directly to me. This seems like dangerous information to have.

Occurred to me that for years I have been complaining that we run out of toilet paper almost every afternoon at school. I should be thankful. I never realized that was training for when the country went crazy and bought up all the toilet paper to prepare for a respiratory illness.

Must not bake…must not bake…must not bake…

Taunted by 3 of my readers today. They are trying to break the willpower I have fought so hard to maintain during this quarantine. They are attempting to lure me to the dark side of a non-stick cookie sheet. One reader sent me a mouthwatering picture of her confection and told me to bake because she had.  If she jumped off a bridge, I suppose she’d try to entice me to do that, too. Another reader tried to convince me to bake and store the items in the freezer. Cold does not stop Oregano from wolfing down cookies. It just means he has to plan ahead to let the cookies defrost before the wolfing commences. The third reader sent me a seemingly scientific article titled, “Psychologists Say Baking Can Actually Help Reduce Your Stress.” First of all, let me say I am suspect of an article boasting the psychological benefits of baking on a website called I think there might be a conflict of interest. Secondly, stress would be the only thing that is reduced by baking. My weight would certainly not be reduced.

Heard a woodpecker while we were working this morning so we went out with the binoculars to get a better look. Amazing creatures. How hard must their beaks and their determination be to poke a large hole in a tree? When I finally shifted my gaze from high in the trees to the ground, I noticed more acorns. At least I know what I’ll be doing for the rest of this afternoon.

Chronicles of a Corona Captive – Day 10

Congratulations fellow captives, we have reached double digits! We are changing the world by not changing out of our pajamas.

Switched out the porch decorations. Spring is here so it is time to get rid of the sled and ice skates. Instead of hanging a floral wreath on the door, I seriously considered hanging a biohazard sign. I’m sure there must be a pattern for one somewhere on Pintrest.

This color scheme doesn’t go with my front door, but is now really the time for worrying about color coordination?

Using different foods and products than we normally do because of availability in the supermarket. Made a grilled cheese sandwich not knowing or seeing that there were slices of paper between the cheese. That was an unpleasant surprise to bite into.

Oregano ventured to the pet store. They only allowed 2 customers at a time in the store and the employees fetched what he needed. We are now well stocked on kitty litter. Can’t say as much for our toilet paper supply. Why are people still hoarding it?

Relocated my “office” from the dining room table to the family room couch. My feet don’t touch the floor when I sit in the dining room chairs and it makes my back hurt. (Take a minute to laugh. It’s ok. I know I’m short.)

Caved on the seasonal lifting of the grill lid and let Oregano handle it. Something had been living in there. An examination of the forensic evidence left behind still has us confused. We aren’t sure if it was a mouse or a bird. Really, I don’t want to know. (Oregano took a picture and thinks I should include it in the post. I do not.)

Must not bake…must not bake…must not bake…I will be strong!

Walking to the curb to get the mail has become the highlight of each day. I am disappointed if Oregano gets there before me. Since quarantine, my bar for what constitutes excitement has been drastically lowered.

Chronicles of a Corona Captive – Day 9

Reading through the list of what qualifies as an essential and non-essential business. The governor and I have a difference of opinion when it comes to hair salons. I know my stylist can’t stay 6 feet away, but the governor will see just how essential that business is when we all emerge from our confinement. Yikes!!

Noticed that liquor stores and medical marijuana dispensaries are considered essential. Perhaps now is the time to revisit legalizing recreational marijuana in New Jersey, even if it is just temporary. It would seem to me that constituents who are permitted to consume marijuana recreationally would be more mellow and thus more likely to stay home following the mandated orders.

Sun is shining again today. Time to refill the bird feeders. I’ve been getting angry stares from birds sitting on branches just outside the window. I fear they will start amassing giving my yard an Alfred Hitchcock like appearance. They are just finches and sparrows. I can take them if I have to…right?

Must not bake…must not bake…must not bake…I can feel my resolve weakening. Apparently corn muffins are a gateway baked good luring me to bake more. Must resist the urge.

Started binging a series on Netflix called Reign. I figured the scheming and conniving of 16th century politics and French court would be a good distraction. What I didn’t realize is that there is a total of 78 episodes. Now I am curious to see if I will finish all 4 seasons of the series before we are given the all clear to leave our homes. It’s good to have a goal to work towards.

Still attempting to muster the courage to lift the lid of the grill. Fuck it! I don’t need to be a hero. Oregano is home. Let him check under the lid. He’s much better at vermin and insect removal of both the living and non-living variety.

Cats suspend social distancing when there is only one sunbeam.

Otis and Linus are not following social distancing protocol.

Chronicles of a Corona Captive – Day 8

Starting to lose track of the days. Without a routine, it’s hard enough to know what day of the week it is. We have no idea what the actual date is.

Attempting to muster the courage to lift the lid on the grill to clean it for the first time this season. In the past, I have found the remnants of homes small critters have made during the winter. On occasion, I have even found the critter itself. I’m not sure who scares who more. Nevertheless, it gives me pause every spring when I have to lift the lid. It is cold and rainy today, so I can put that task off.

Must not bake…must not bake…must not bake…OK, I baked corn muffins, but they were a side dish to go with bean soup so it doesn’t count.

Starting to feel like a kid who has been sent to her room and can’t come out.

Another box of Thin Mints is missing. There is only one more box. Is Oregano sneaking down in the middle of the night to eat them?

An RV appeared in my neighbor’s driveway. We thought maybe they were going to take their 3 kids to hide out in the woods, or use the RV as a quarantine zone, or as a way to socially distance themselves from their kids. Turns out my neighbor has to teach live classes online and needed a quiet place. Brilliant idea!

Running low on paper napkins. The store is completely out and they are scarce online as well. The ones we could find were for an outrageous cost. Are people using this in lieu of toilet paper or did everyone suddenly become very messy eaters?

Asked Oregano where my laptop was this morning. Immediately, Linus came running and jumped into my lap.

Linus thinks he is a laptop. I guess, tehcnically, he is.

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