Saturday coffee thoughts: isolation life and combating loneliness

It’s a chilly and cloudy Saturday morning here in Alberta and I think we might see some rain today. I’ve got the windows open to let some fresh air in and it definitely feels like fall. They’re calling for frost this week and I’m so not ready for that. The huge tree outside my window is shedding leaves like crazy – and we’re only a couple of weeks into the sesaon.

Time is moving so quickly – it’s already mid September. The kids are all back in school. The “littles” in our family who are the same age, seventeen, are in their senior year of high school. We’re hoping the schools don’t shut down again for their last year. My nephew who started college this week has to take classes from home. I feel terrible for him. Life is once again on hold as we’re in another restrictive period. I’m not going to call it a lockdown but it is what it is.

Yesterday, I made the best Italian meatball casserole. It was so filling and satisfying. I’ll share the recipe in a separate post today. I have plenty of leftovers and am looking forward to dinner.

I’ve got my breakfast which is toast and plant based peanut butter. Remind me not to buy this again. I just spilled oil ALL over my counter. Everything is greasy even with a wipe down. I have my morning coffee and it tastes so good.

And with that, I have a lot of thoughts to share today.


Meal planning

My slow cooker is all set up and I’m looking forward to make something this weekend. But what? I’m not sure. I was hoping to pick up a pork roast yesterday with my groceries but the price of meat is so expensive right now. I used to pay $13 for a pork loin roast. Now the price has gone up to $16 or $21. I nearly cried. Even beef stewing cubes have gone up to over $15. It’s not right. I don’t know how I’m going to be able to afford to eat healthy foods. I like my meat. But for now, I’m stocked up on things like basa fillets, imitation crab, canned tuna and lots of beans. Luckily, chicken is still reasonable and I have some thighs I can roast up later this week.

I’ve been browsing Pinterest and YouTube for inspiration in my fall cooking and am trying out new recipes. I’m going to have to place another grocery order though. I spent $130 on food on Thursday with my order. But many of the items I wanted, like the pork roast, were not in stock. So, I’m going to have to order from Superstore, which has the most reasonable of prices for meat.

I always keep lots of soup, beans, dried foods like pasta and grains on hand at all times. My pantry is stocked up with baking essentials, oats, and healthy snacks too. I like to keep a couple of month’s supply on hand at all times. I’m not a prepper. But… with food shortages and labour shortages due to the pandemic, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

I think some preppers are insane for how much they buy at one time. While those with a large family, I understand the reasoning. It’s just me here. So I don’t need nearly as much. I could feed a couple of people for about a month or two with my current stock. It’s usually just fresh produce that I need to replace every week. And toilet paper. That shit is expensive too.


Art projects

I went through my Etsy store yesterday and am trying to revive it. I got motivated after a couple of sales this month. I sent a digital journal to my niece for her birthday and she loved it. So, I’m going to get back into making those. I’m also aiming for at least one art piece each day. I really want to learn to paint watercolor flowers but I’m terrible at it. Abstract is definitely more my style.


Podcasts

My mic stand arrived yesterday and it’s all set up. I also ordered a filter to help create a better sound for tutorial videos. I need to come up with some kind of lesson plan to record these in an order that makes sense. I’ll be focusing on Etsy tutorials, graphic design tips, music production and software reviews. I’ll have two channels for this though. My music channel is pretty much dead. Though the TikTok account continues to grow slowly. I think that’s the place to advertise songs. Honestly, it’s so hard to get noticed in any genre these days. Over saturated markets in all areas make it hard to stand out.

But… this is what I love to do and what I’m good at. For now, it’s a hobby but one day I hope I can make a career out of it. Plus creating the thumbnails and artwork is just so fun for me.


Health and fitness

I went for my xrays on Thursday and got my second COVID shot on the same day. I felt fine the next day. My arm is still store and there’s a large red bump near the injection site. Apparently, this is a rare side of the Pfizer vaccine. It felt like someone had punched me in the arm.

The reason I put it off for so long was exactly this. My body does weird things and processes vaccines differently. I don’t get the flu shot because it always gives me an allergic reaction. Even an iron infusion caused some swelling in my hands. And I’ve had bad reactions to blood thinners too.

But so far, I’m okay. And I now I don’t have to worry about going anywhere with the new isolation rules. Basically, if you don’t have both shots past October, you can’t get in anywhere.

I’m not here to argue it. I’m not anti anything. I just worried about my own personal health and safety as I know my history with vaccines.

My fitness challenge is still going strong. I’m still monitoring foods each day, and I’ve started working out again. The pool is still closed and the gym — I don’t even know if we can work out in public. You can outdoors though.


Isolation life…and how I cope with loneliness

We’re in isolation again and I’m not sure how long this will be for. COVID cases are skyrocketing again. The new rules are murky. I’m allowed to have two contacts because I live alone. So, for now, that’s my bestie — and probably my dad. For now we can still see him. I hope that doesn’t change. He won’t survive another lockdown.

I visited him on Thursday and helped him with his dinner. He fades out more and more. Mostly we just sit together and I hold his hand. He’s quiet, so I do most of the talking. Or we watch whatever is on tv. Helping him with his food is something to keep my hands busy. I tucked him into his chair for a nap as he was ready to fall asleep. I fear his end is coming soon. If we go into full lockdown again, I’ll be devastated. My heart already hurts when I see him.

As a single person, a life in solitude can be lonely at times. I’m not overly social but I have my small group of friends I like to see for coffee or lunch dates. This isolation period means not being able to have everyone over for dinner like I had been planning and that hurts.

So, in an effort to keep sane, and busy, I’m going to work on this blog, my art projects, my Etsy store – maybe another music album. And I’m also working on organizing my home.

To help combat the loneliness, I chat with family via text every couple of days. I get my daily exercise. I’m keeping a regular sleep schedule. I’m showering every two days. I’m trying to keep things as “normal” as possible.

That’s life in a nutshell. Stay safe friends. Wherever you are.

How do you keep busy during isolation periods?


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