IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE

Because I always enjoy a good 'Taking Stock' blog post, I hope you'll humour me and sit a while as I share my news. There's nothing like a virtual cuppa and a chat, and I have lots to share from the last few weeks. #ifwewerehavingcoffee

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE

If we were having coffee these are a few things I'd be sharing from April. It's been month two of "stay home/stay safe" and I wondered what I'd have to talk about with my social life grinding to a halt. Despite all the doom and gloom, it's still been pretty good where we are and so I thought I'd share some of the little rays of sunshine that have been part of my life at home this month and I hope you'll pull up a virtual chair (at a safe distance) and enjoy a cuppa with me today.

BLOGGING

My MIDLIFE SYMPHONY series continues with two more guest bloggers - Deb from Deb's World shared about the Gift of an Unexpected Redundancy and Nancy from Defining Third Age talked about Redefining Life in Retirement. I love how retirement is turning out to be such a great opportunity for those of us who embrace what it brings with it into our lives.

Another little added extra this month was being included in a blog article on "Tips for Staying in Touch with Relatives". It's always nice to be asked for a comment or opinion from outside my usual blogging circle.

FAMILY-ING

Well there's been no family visiting from our kids or grandgirls this month - our State (Western Australia) closed its borders in March and then closed down into zones as well. We live in the dark green zone down the bottom and our kids are in thelittle purple zone, police have traffic blocks in place for those who try to travel between zones without permission. So, no Easter visits, no travel for us to the city to see them, no birthday visit for Sophia turning four, but a LOT of video chats and photos and cards (with huge thanks to our lovely DIL who keeps us included in all that's happening with the grandgirls).

Image source and link to article
Fortunately both my Mum and my MIL are living nearby at the moment, so we've been able to keep in touch with them. Visiting at a safe distance and one-to-one has meant that they're not completely isolated and alone. Both seem to be doing well and it's a relief to know that they are in good health and good spirits.

I'm certainly looking forward to when the government feels it's safe to ease off on the restrictions and open up the internal zones so we can see the rest of the family in person. The word is that it may be 6 months or more - and that just blows my mind - but with Winter set to arrive soon, I guess the government is choosing to be careful for the foreseeable future.

COVID-ING

Other than missing out on seeing our kids and grandgirls, we're actually coping quite well with home isolation. Most of the grocery shortages seem to have been sorted out and we have plenty to eat, great wifi, lots of online books to read (my library book supply ran out early in the month), and lots of video chats and face to face conversations - I've even caught up with a friend or two - following the social distancing rules and sitting outside for a short visit.

The other joy from everyone staying home is the neighbourhood's response. We live in a lovely spot that is full of people with young families and also plenty of Midlifers like ourselves. The first fun thing to pop up were teddy bears in windows, doors, and front lawns - this was part of "going on a bear hunt" for the kids who were out with their parents for a walk. There are dozens of them around so I grabbed a few pics (including a couple of the teddy in our window - and his companion cats!


After the teddies, there were rainbows - in windows (you can see ours with our teddy above) and chalked all over the pavements and driveways. This was followed by Easter bunnies and painted rocks. It's been such a friendly feeling to see the neighbourhood getting onboard - not to mention the drive by birthday parades and the school families who drove by the school oval in large numbers to toot their horns and wish the teachers a Happy Easter. I just love it all and hope it continues after we all go back to "normal".


JIGSAWING

Despite all the extra time I've had on my hands, the only jigsaw I tackled was this little 500 piece cupcake one. It was super easy and very restful as I recovered my mojo from my little sad Easter moment of missing the family.


WEARING

Seeing I hadn't been out of the house for a coffee in weeks, I saved my pennies and had a tee shirt made for me by one of our neighbourhood local businesses. I just love it and it makes me smile when I put it on. It co-ordinates well with my comfy pants that I seem to spend all day wearing (we could call them pajama pants, but I prefer to call them  "leisure pants" during the day!) 

cat mother coffee lover tee shirt - love it!

The pajama pants wearing has obviously become a "thing" while we're all stuck/safe at home and my favourite Facebook cartoonist shared a great pic the other day - along with one that sums up my husband's approach to all the extra free time too!

social isolation is real - hedger humor
used with permission from hedger humor

READING

As I mentioned at the beginning of my post, I've run out of "real" books, so for the last month I've been using Overdrive to read free downloadable books, or books from the online library. I have a Kindle too and my lovely daughter sent me a pile of books that she thought I'd enjoy. My top read for the month was Sarah J Maas's new book Crescent City - I loved her previous Throne Of Glass series so it was a no-brainer that I'd love this new series she's beginning - now I have to wait for the next instalment. I also read The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern - weird, whimsical, beautifully written, and a nice change to what I usually read.

Crescent City - Sarah J Maas     The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

TIME WASTING

With all this at-home time on my hands I've managed to while away many a random hour doing silly things on the internet. I've been playing around on Bitmoji making a new avatar of myself and my cats and annoying my family by sending them stickers of myself at the end of my emails. Not to mention using this one for my desktop background. 


I also need to further confess that I've wasted even more time by becoming a late-to-the-party Candy Crusher a few months ago, and am now well past level 1000 - such a brain musher, but I still manage to waste a bit of time each day trying to beat those darn chocolate squares! And cheering myself when I finally pass another level. (I know....these weeks of captivity are definitely eroding my brain cells!)

WATCHING

Oh my goodness, I think I've been scraping the bottom of the free TV barrel and I've been watching Andromeda on catch-up TV. It stars Kevin Sorbo (who I used to watch in his Hercules days) as the captain of a Battle Ship that was freed from a 300 year time lapse in a black hole. It's like Star Trek and a bit lame, a bit cheesy, and fairy floss for my brain. I keep seeing guests pop up that I recognize from other shows - which is also good for a smile.

Dylan Hunt - Andromeda (via https://wall.alphacoders.com/)

I'm still keeping up with my medical dramas and Good Bones - my all time favourite home flipping show. The two women who host it are so down to earth and lovely - it just has such a feel-good flavour to it.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Well that's it from me for April in Isolation. It's been pretty good all things considered, and I hope your Easter and April were good too. This is such a strange time for all of us, but I keep reflecting back to how fortunate we are to be able to stay in our lovely homes with all that we need - and the hope that it will all be over sometime soon. Stay safe and stay well and I'd love to hear how you've been going over the last month.


Because I always enjoy a good 'Taking Stock' blog post, I hope you'll humour me and sit a while as I share my news. There's nothing like a virtual cuppa and a chat, and I have lots to share from the last few weeks. #ifwewerehavingcoffee

To keep up to date with my posts, feel free to add your email into the spot especially for it on my sidebar and I'd love you to share this post by clicking on a share button before you go xx
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39 comments

  1. I've had a little more work on over the past couple of weeks but that should change from next week. Things are starting to open here in Qld then.

    I've been continuing to visit my mother as well. She's in a nearby town and a lot of her usual activities have been on hold but she's been doing well. Chatting with people on the phone and doing her church stuff online.

    I regret that I've not made more of an effort with my health as I'd intended to, but alas....

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    1. When I was putting the post together I was surprised that I actually had a reasonable amount to write about - it's felt like all I've done for the month is sit on my bottom and look at Facebook or reading. I'd love to say I've been really productive, but I guess I just have to settle for having survived another 4 weeks of lockdown!

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  2. Your iso life sounds just right - except for the no grandchild visits. In NSW they are letting 2 adults visit another person's home anywhere in the state from tomorrow. We were initially tempted to drive to Sydney for our 2nd granddaughter's 21st at home dinner with the family but both of us feel the restrictions being lifted are a little too soon so we will do face time with the cake. We are getting used to that! 2 granddaughters have had birthdays in COVID - a 5 year old, an 8 year old and now this one. Denyse

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    1. Hi Denyse - our granddaughter turned 4 on Tuesday and it was such a shame to not be able to visit and celebrate - still we did the video chat thing and my lovely DIL bought the present we'd chosen and wrapped it for us, so it was all fine. I think I'm doing okay as far as it all goes, but I do miss the personal "real life" contact more than I expected to as this drags on.

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  3. I am with you on missing the grandkids! That is the most difficult thing for me! As for books, if you have never read My Stroke of Luck by Kirk Douglas it’s a great book and a quick read ( I read it in one day) Stay well!

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    1. Hi Susan (glad I'm not the only one suffering from grandkid deprivation!) and thanks for the book recommendation - I'll definitely look into it.

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  4. Leanne, I love that your neighborhood is so positive and uplifting. That has to be good for morale. Puzzles seem to be the #1 busy project right now. I just noticed a puzzle exchange notice for our neighborhood today. I started a Share A Smile initiative last week on the same network, which reaches our neighboring communities. It was well received and generated lots of participation with pretty photos. Exercising, cooking, playing games and pool time fill my days. Face Time and texting with friends keep me in touch, and I always see neighbors (at a distance) when I take my morning jog. We are hearing that our beaches may be opening up next week (with restrictions), and if that happens, I will be a happy camper! Can't wait to take a walk and snap a few photos. Glad all is well in your part of the world. I'm sure you will be seeing those beautiful babies soon!

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    1. Hi Suzanne - your days sound very similar to mine and I think when we stop and think about it, we're very blessed to have it so easy with all this isolation. I'm very grateful for the fact that it's had very little financial impact on us, and life is just a re-invention of replacing one activity with something new. I love that the people around me are so much more willing to engage and everyone is trying to make it positive and pleasant - the neighbourhood community board is doing a roaring trade here too - and I even scored a few free DVDs for the grandgirls when they're allowed to come visiting again - so that was a win.

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  5. The Night Circus is one of my favorites! Looks productive to me :)

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    1. I really enjoyed it Leslie - different but in a whimsical way - and so imaginative :)

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  6. Hi Leanne, it sounds like, despite what you say about wasting time, that you're doing exactly what's necessary right now to stay sane! I agree with you, I think our brain cells are eroding, but I'm sure that will reverse once we are free again. I hope that it won't take long for that to happen. I loved reading your April update, thank you! :-) x

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    1. Hi Cheryl - I'm doing my best not to feel like I've reverted back to being a teenager (I even feel annoyed with the govt (my psuedo parents!)) but all the time I spend online is definitely an indicator that my brain is enjoying the escapism.

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    2. Yes, it is escapism, and we could all do with it from time to time! But it's long enough, don't you think? I can't wait to be able to walk randomly for 2 hours, get lost, get found, and just enjoy the outdoors! :-) x

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  7. Hi, Leeann - I love the teddy bears and rainbows. And that cupcake jigsaw definitely triggered my sweet-tooth.
    Glad you are staying well. Your positiivity is contagious!

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    1. Hi Donna - the jigsaw was fun - easy and quick and pretty (what's not to love?) And the teddies and rainbows definitely lifted my spirits - now I'm waiting for a new fad to start to keep us all going through this endless lockdown.

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  8. Sounds like you are finding fun and relaxing ways to fill the days, Leanne. I hope you will be able to see your children and grandgirls sooner rather than later, but thank goodness we have technology to help us keep in closer contact with our loved ones. (Can you imagine what this would have been like 20 years ago?) Here in Texas, restrictions are beginning to ease. However, some citizens are fearful that it's too soon from a public health standpoint. My family agrees that we personally will move slowly, regardless of official guidelines. I look forward to the day when this is all behind us, and we can get on with living our new normal. Brighter days are ahead. :-)

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    1. Hi Laura - things are still pretty locked down here in WA - I'm feeling like I'm going a bit stir crazy at times as the weeks turn into months - especially with the extremely low infection rate we have here. I know it's for the greater good - and I'm sucking it up and smiling, but I'm SO looking forward to real life contact again!

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  9. Keeping up with the A to Z has been my big focus for this month along with some welcome transcription work. Love that puzzle!

    Janet’s Smiles

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    1. Hi Janet - sometimes I miss the AtoZ - it certainly filled in many hours of my April when I did it in previous years! This would have been a good year to have done it :)

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  10. So I've been watching a train wreck of a reality series called Married at First Sight, seasons 1 thru 10. I typically stay away from that type of show but apparently I'm slipping. I've found couples that were truly charming and enjoyable but quite a few that were just awful. I fast forwarded to the end of those seasons! Don't judge! : ) Rita

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    1. Hi Rita - I won't be judging you because I watched this year's Australian version til about 3/4 of the way through (when the toxic couples and shallowness just got too much for me). I love the idea of it and then always get disappointed by the reality!

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  11. Hi Leanne - Well, quite a lot of activities in April. That's very nice. For me, I was busy with the A to Z Challenge. My 26 posts last month pretty much sums up what I have been doing during the lockdown.

    I finished reading Paula Hawkins' book The Girl on the Train. I have been watching some movies and documentaries.

    Yesterday, the Indian government extended the lockdown by another two weeks. But the districts that have seen very few cases during the past fortnight will be able to open up their economies.

    My locality has not seen even one case. So I am hoping in the coming week or so, there will be some sort of buzz in the neighbourhood.

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    1. Hi Pradeep - we haven't had many cases of COVID near me either and I keep hoping they'll ease up a bit on the lockdown rules, but things are moving very slowly in that regard. I think it will be many more weeks before I can see my kids or grandgirls.

      I love that we've all managed to keep busy and not go too crazy from it all, but I'll be glad when things start to return to normal again. The AtoZ would definitely have kept you busy through the month!

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  12. I greatly appreciate rays of sunshine always and especially today, Leanne. I always wondered where you live, since obviously Australia is a large country. I really appreciate the map you added. The teddy bears are adorable and a great idea. Our part of the world is putting up hearts in the windows and on buildings. Rainbows is also something new.

    I had a low period also, Leanne, right before and around Easter. It was our grandson’s two year old birthday and his brother's 2 month old birthday. And of course missing 4 year old Abby and 6 year old Sadie. My husband continues to call this a “pause button” on life. We will see.

    I love sharing and connecting this way, Leanne. We are across the world from each other, yet we have similar family concerns and community/country/continent issues.

    I am still big on counting my blessings and having all of the basics and everyone in my circle is healthy. Take care and continue to share. You brighten up my day, Leanne. Stay well. 💕

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    1. Hi Erica - thank you so much for your lovely words - that's what I love the most about blogging is the wonderful friends I've made and the commonalities we share. I think your husband's idea of a "pause button" is a good one - but it's starting to feel like it's gotten stuck lately. Easter was a killer for me and it certainly zoomed in on the areas that I'm finding the hardest to cope with - FAMILY separation. I've missed birthdays, Easter, soon it will be Mothers Day, and just the normal visits. But really that's the only major bugbear that I have and it's small potatoes when I think about those who are doing it really tough financially or healthwise.

      I keep reminding myself that "this too shall pass" and I'm so glad you're all well too - it's such a relief to not be worried about the people I care about xx

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  13. Hi Leanne, The teddy bears and rainbows are so nice. In my neighbourhood we do hand clapping or pot banging at 7 PM every evening and children display art work on their windows. Glad you're staying well. Have a great week! #lifethisweek

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    1. Hi Natalie - we haven't done clapping or banging (maybe because we're not in a city?) but there's definitely a lot of artwork in windows (which I love) and a sense of community that I always appreciate these days.

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  14. I'm loving all the teddy bears in the windows, I think it's so lovely and cheerful! I missed the rainbows in the windows one though lol!

    Di from Max The Unicorn

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    1. Hi Di - I'm not sure why we have the rainbows, but they're pretty and I like anything colourful - the teddies are sweet and so are the various art projects parents were displaying from their homeschooling of their kids while schools were closed for a while.

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  15. Teddy bears in the window is such a lovely idea! I know lots of kids (and adults) that have got so much enjoyment from it. And I love the cats in the window too! So nice to see how community building has happened even when we can't meet in person. Hope you stay safe and look after yourself in this time!

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    1. Hi Bella - I love the community feel - it's like people feel they need to be friendlier to make up for the lack of contact with each other. The smiles and waves and kindnesses I've been seeing just make my heart happy. We have a great neighbourhood, but it seems to be even better these days - one of the side benefits of us all being stuck close to home lately.

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  16. Loved the catch up over a virtual coffee! I've found my isogroove and am loving the time at home with hubby and the dog. I'm missing catching up with friends and worrying about when I can get to the UK to see my mum but am grateful for technology that keeps us connected and taking one day at a time. I love all those teddies and rainbows - what a wonderful sense of community. Hope it's not too long before you're reunited with the family.

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    1. Hi Sam - I can only imagine the worry you'd have for your mum. Being a couple of hours away from my kids (who are all robust and healthy and not at risk) eats at me, so you would have several more layers on top of that to deal with. Let's hope they sort it all out soon and we can resume some of the things we're missing so much.

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  17. Such strange times, isn't it? I'm sorry you didn't get to see family over Easter and with Mother's day coming as well that'll be hard. I hope you are well though. Some of the community stuff seems nice. Hopefully, there's a light at the end of the tunnel

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    1. Hi Sanch - I think that we're all making more of an effort to engage with the people around us because our social contacts are more limited atm. I loved that you and Sam (and Teddy) got to catch up with each other - isn't it great when bloggers get to hang out together?

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  18. Lots to love in your post Leanne, and I think it's quite surprising when we sit down to write out the month that was, we always seem to have more going on than we think, even in isolation! The community togetherness is a lovely result of these strange times and I wonder if it will continue when things ease up a bit and life starts getting going again? I have started the book you sent and am slowly getting. into it, too many other things going on just at the moment! Your family sounds like mine when I started sharing my bitmojis - the roll of the eyes was audible!! Lovely to catch up with you and hope you can see the grand-girls soon :)

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    1. Hi Deb - every time I send a bitmoji I think of you and yours! Nobody else in the family gets them, but they make me smile (and that's important in these weird times!) I also wonder whether people will keep engaging more when this is all behind us, or whether they'll go back to sitting inside their houses or walking with their phones and headsets and not looking up. I really hope they keep smiling and enjoying the connections - that's what makes a "community" isn't it?

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  19. I enjoyed having virtual coffee with you, Leanne! So sorry you were not able to see your grandchildren at Easter! I, also have lovely DILs who keep me informed of what is happening in my grands lives, which I appreciate very much. I have never tried Bitmoji but now I am going to. Yours looks great!

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    1. Hi Laurie - I count myself very blessed that my son chose such a lovely girl to marry and to share the raising of my grandgirls with. Seeing your kids doing a great job of parenting warms the heart - and being included in it is very special indeed.
      I hope to see you pop up somewhere as a bitmoji before too long - they're fun and they make our adult kids roll their eyes at our silliness!

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