RSS Feed

Tag Archives: coping with anxiety

Chronicles of a Corona Captive – I’ve lost track of the number of days

This will be my last Chronicles of a Corona Captive post. Most of us are slowly starting to emerge back into the world again. Now, we are more like Corona Parolees. Thank you for helping me get through this quarantine. What I thought would be a 2 week writing project to keep my mind occupied, force me to focus on the funny and help alleviate my own anxiety has lasted more than 2 months. I can’t believe you stuck around to read it the whole time!  Maybe I do better maintaining readers when their other options for entertainment are extremely limited. You have made this quarantine bearable and, aside from the fear of contracting a potentially life-threatening illness, you’ve made it fun. I can’t thank you enough for that.

I’m going to take a short break from writing while I finish up the school year and sleep outside the hair salon waiting for an appointment. You helped me rediscover my joy of writing, so I promise I’ll be back during the summer with more misadventures. I hope you’ll come back to read and comment. Until then, stay safe and be well.

Chronicles of a Corona Captive – Days 54-60

Can’t stop baking…can’t stop baking…can’t stop baking…I had to bake for Oregano’s birthday, but apparently those Thin Mint cupcakes unleashed the vanilla scented beast I had been fighting so hard to contain. In one week, I made the aforementioned cupcakes, dill pickle bread and a tropical banana bread with coconut and pineapple. Friends who knew the baking beast was running rampant in my kitchen volunteered to do drive-by pick-ups of my baked goods. I’m not sure if that speaks to the quality of my baking skills or the fact that they are desperate to get out of the house. Either way, I have found a solution to my craving for baking and my aversion to the calories that result from consumption of the finished product. I’m calling it the Paprika Furstenburg Calorie Distribution Program.

Our governor is talking about reopening beaches for Memorial Day weekend. I can only imagine the tan lines the masks will leave.

One of the good things about being stuck at home is that there is now time to stop and smell the roses. Well, the roses aren’t blooming here yet, but I have been able to watch birds. I’ve gotten a front row seat to watch blue buntings and woodpeckers feeding their babies.

Oregano needed another haircut. This is the third time. You’d think I’d be getting the hang of it by now, but I am actually getting worse. After this attempt, his hair is lumpy and uneven, or as I referred to it…wavy. It’s quite a look. Now the poor guy will have to wear a mask AND a hat when he leaves the house.

My hair, on the other hand, has not been cut. I put on my sunglasses the other day and noticed a striking resemblance to Cousin It from The Addams Family TV show from the 1960s.

All I am missing is the hat.

This pandemic has made me realize that we have been reduced to a more primitive version of ourselves: hunter gatherers. As is traditional, I have become the gatherer of our family spending an hour a day scouring the internet for hand sanitizer, wipes and any other products we need, but can’t find. Oregano hunts in the grocery store every week and comes home with his bounty.

My gathering skills might need some honing though. I finally found hand sanitizer spray online. The fine print said it was made with 70% alcohol and an essential oil blend called “dragon’s breath.” You’d think that a name like that would have scared me off, but hand sanitizer is hard to come by these days and even harder to have delivered to your door. I did my due diligence and looked up the components of dragon’s breath blend. It seemed harmless enough: lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus, peppermint, oregano and clove. The hand sanitizer arrived (all 5 bottles of it) and let me tell you, dragon’s breath blend is aptly named. I don’t know who got close enough to determine the exact chemical make-up of a dragon’s breath, but I dare say they nailed it with this combination! Yikes! I have no idea how effective the hand sanitizing properties of this mixture are, but I do know that spraying this on our hands will certainly make it easier for people to keep an appropriate amount of distance between us and them.

Chronicles of a Corona Captive – Days 48-53

The governor of New Jersey has officially closed school buildings for the rest of the academic year. I didn’t realize when I submitted my retirement papers back in December, that I’d get a 90 day trial period to sample some of the finer aspects of retirement like sleeping past 5:30am, going to the bathroom at will and working in a room that has windows. That said, the thought of another 6 weeks of remote learning is daunting.

The Mystery of the Missing Thin Mints… I made an experimental batch of mint chocolate cupcakes for Oregano’s birthday. The sacrificial test cupcake was a slam dunk so I was cleared to proceed to phase 2 – frosting. I waited until Oregano was out at the grocery store then I prepared the frosting, removed a dozen Thin Mints from their top-secret location and decorated every cupcake with a cookie. If I hadn’t kept them safely hidden, he would have eaten them all and had none left for his birthday. I’m nothing if not a benevolent bitch.

After 2 months of being homebound, I finally left the house! We were out together for 2 whole hours. When we got home, the cats gave us a “Where the hell have you been?” look.

My big outing was to visit nurseries in search of plants for the garden. Since we were outdoors and wearing masks, we figured this was a relatively safe way for me to venture out. I don’t really mind the mask and after a few minutes I forgot I even had it on. As I walked through the aisles, I saw a lilac bush. I love the smell of lilacs, but despite my green thumb, I cannot grow them. Any chance I get, I try to steal a whiff of them.  When I bent down to sniff the blossoms, I was disappointed that they were not fragrant. His voice muffled by the mask, I heard Oregano suggest that I remove my mask and sniff again.

I realized that masks serve another purpose besides protecting us from the virus. Almost everyone’s hair is in the process of returning to its au natural state. Wearing a mask hides your identity until the salons reopen. Bonus, no need to wear make-up either.

When we got in the car to leave the nursery, Oregano noticed a woman in the parking lot loading plants into her trunk. He said, “Hey, she looks like she’s had a haircut! How did she do that?” I looked up startled at his outburst. I’m not sure what I found more surprising; the woman who had a very stylish, very short haircut or the fact that Oregano noticed she had her hair cut. He never notices when I get a haircut. We spent the 15 minute drive to the next nursery coming up with scenarios that would have explained how she was able to get a haircut. You wouldn’t think someone else’s hair could generate that much conversation, but it did. This is the world we live in now.

When we stopped at a light on our ride home from our excursion, Oregano looked lovingly at me and told me I looked adorable in my mask. It was very sweet. What was my appreciative reply to this compliment? “So, are you saying I look better with half my face covered?” Speechless by my response, Oregano chuckled, shook his head and pulled away when the light turned green. Tender marital moment over.

Chronicles of a Corona Captive – Days 43-47

The weather is finally warming up and I can start working in the garden. At the beginning of April, I ordered several bags of soil from Miracle Gro, but, after 3 weeks, it still hadn’t arrived. I checked my confirmation email and shared my concerns with Oregano. That was the wrong thing to do. It unleashed a torrent of gardening and soil related puns. I will share them with you so that you can have a better understanding of what my quarantine experience has been like.

“It’s a dirty trick that they haven’t shipped that yet.”

“Don’t worry. I’m sure the soil has already left the plant.”

“I have growing concerns that your dirt won’t arrive.”

“Maybe the soil was delivered, but stolen. No one was guardin’ the door.”

“You’ll be so excited when it arrives, you’ll soil yourself.”

(I’ll wait and allow the sound of your groaning to subside before you begin reading again.)

Underwear with the days of the week on them is useless. Since we started the lockdown, I can’t remember what day of the week it is. If it was on my underwear, I’d have to pull down my pants to check. Wouldn’t it just be easier if they made socks with the days of the week on them? One sock could be the day and one sock could have the number of the date. Then, all I would have to do is look at my feet. This would be much easier to do on a video call.

After 8 weeks of experimenting, we have discovered that there is no amount of kisses that makes Linus walk away. Keebler won’t get close enough to our faces to kiss and Otis gives us a “Don’t even think about!” look.

That is close enough, human. Go kiss Linus.

The pandemic has given teenagers a legitimate excuse to walk so far behind their parents no one knows they’re with them. Instead of coming off as a surly adolescent, people think they are being cautious and caring by observing strict social distancing guidelines.

Have to bake…have to bake…have to bake!!! Oregano’s birthday is coming up. I can’t go to the store, so I will have to make the sacrifice and bake something at home. Since he did such a fantastic job for my birthday, I’m going to attempt an untested recipe for Thin Mint cupcakes. If the cupcakes wind up tasting terrible, I can always blindfold him and give him a few real Thin Mints from the still hidden stash.

%d bloggers like this: