Thursday, April 16, 2020

Unexpected Days to Ponder

Sewing a homemade mask on my sewing machine.I cannot say that I grasp it at all.  This is a year of the unexpected and a lot has been changed quickly.  So much is a blur to me.  One day meshes with the other six in the week and I cannot clearly remember one from the others.  The way we have all had to rethink life and change our way of living without much opportunity to prepare is incredible.

I have seen all the preparedness public announcements and always wondered 1) the chances of that much emergency planning being necessary and 2) what could possibly happen to require it.  Here we are.  It's the Covid-19 Pandemic...I was first aware that this could be a major problem back in February.  Next, I was aware of the serious impact on the U.S. in March and now I am here in April, thinking of how I could possibly begin to express my take on it.  I can't most likely because we are all still in the thick of it, adjusting to so much and not knowing the outcome.

This is the facemask instructions and pattern with video tutorial that I followed: LINK HERE  It does not have a pocket for filter but could be easily modified for that option.

My homemade mask.

The month of March was expected to be my transition back into full time nannying.  By now, I should be working long days and eating too many french fries.  I was hit with shock as the plans to watch children for ten days did not happen as we had planned.  A cruise cancelled.  A snowstorm hit here locally.  Cabin fever set in as we were housebound for the weekend...which felt like forever to all of us.  Then came the national news and the task force recommendations, leading to our schools being changed to online distance learning by that Tuesday.  I just wanted to be home.  I remember feeling overwhelmed by all that I couldn't control.

Me in my homemade mask.

Let me add a sidenote here:  I may not have lasted in Girl Scouts past a year or so...but I am the one always determined to be prepared for any unforeseen problem or disastrous event.  Why am I carrying around a purse packed to weigh 10 pounds...kidding, not kidding.  Because I will have the most practical and useful rarely necessary stuff right there with me.  I kid you not.  It's embarrassing but honest.  That's me.  Laugh if you like, I won't wouldn't be the first time.  BUT when it comes down to who can survive, and help a neighbor out, I'm the one that can probably bail you out.  That's when you won't be laughing, huh.

There was a time just a few years ago when I was more than stocked for flour and sugar.  I wasn't trying to prepare for a pandemic.  I was being wise with my grocery funds.  Money was so much tighter then and I figured out that buying sugar and flour in bulk at Sam's Club is really smart.  And I cooked and baked more back then.  I have these large white buckets that once stored my flour and sugar...and they are empty.  So I have been hard on myself that I ever let that extra supply go by the wayside.  It's okay, I have coped with the anxiety over this one and can say I am not one of those hoarders clearing the grocery store shelves.  I have managed to restock flour and sugar.  Not those quantities but enough for what we need a week or two at a time.  We are doing well...not going hungry.

It rattled me a bit that this situation is very much out of my control.  I didn't make it back to making art very easily.  I needed to take time to just slow down and be serious with selfcare.  I had my ups and downs through each day.  I was honest with my husband about how I felt and he was a great encourager and support.  I found ways to focus on small projects that kept me busy and distracted.

One of my distractions has been learning how to make sourdough bread.  My first sourdough starter was a fail.  First, because I used bleached flour (that's what I had here in the house) and second, because my husband preheated the oven where the starter was being kept warm by the oven light.  My second attempt at sourdough starter (with unbleached flour, once it was available) was a success and after a week of daily attention, I have baked my first sourdough boule and we are all hooked on it now.  My second one will be baked up today.  It's given me a distraction and I love learning new things.

The sourdough starter instructions I chose to use are by Vaishali at Holy Cow! Vegan: LINK HERE.

I used the recipe, No-Knead Sourdough Bread at King Arthur Flour website is LINKED HERE.

Sourdough starter in a canning jar with kitchen utensils.

Sourdough boule fresh from the oven.

Once I was able to better cope with the sadness and anxiety of these current circumstances, I found my way back out to the art room.  I am making more art again.  It's artwork that I feel personally drawn to painting, even if it only hangs on our walls here at home.  I did manage to create my list of 2020 art goals and decide on a word for 2020.  I think those were created in February or early March, pre pandemic.  I will share those in an upcoming post.

Take care, and I will do the same.  Stay at home.  Wash your hands.  Don't touch your face.  Practice the social distancing.  Take joy in the simple things.  Look for the lovely.  Read the Bible, spend time with God.  Pray.


-She must make art.