The good news is that computer is finally here!
The bad news is that it’s just now got here. I am sorry, we are looking at Monday for Ryder.
I wanted to tell you about my Mom. She has been dead for over a decade now, but I still miss her.
My grandparents had a garden and they used to let me sell apples for them. I was very cute and I sold a lot. My mom found out and put a stop to this. It was not appropriate behavior. She told me people would look down on me because I sold things. I couldn’t understand it. We had extra apples. If I sold apples, we would get money. My eight year old brain had really hard time with the peculiarities of life in Soviet Russia. 🙂
Thirty some years later, behold, my empire of books which I shamelessly sell. Muhahahaha!
Since very early age, partially from selling apples, I discovered that I was a very good bargainer. I can and will haggle. My mother grew up in the planned economy of Soviet Union, where the cheese in the store by the house was $5 a kilo – I don’t remember the price of cheese, don’t hold me to it – and the price of cheese in the store on Voroshilovskii Prospect was $5, and the price of cheese at Central market on Budenovskii, 8 trolley stops away, was still $5. Someone somewhere decided that that’s what the cheese was worth in our city. End of story.
When Soviet Union collapsed, my mother would go to the market and come home green in the face, because she bought cucumbers for $1 a kilo and on the way out she saw them for 50 cents. It would cause her no end of grief. It wasn’t the fifty cents, it was that she felt like a complete failure. Can you imagine the anxiety of someone suddenly having to bargain shop after never before doing it in her entire life?
That’s when I learned that people have different pressure points.
Right now everyone is very stressed out.
We all have a reason to be stressed out. First, there is the plague. It’s killing people. In Texas, 54,509 people are sick. And that’s only those who bothered to get diagnosed. We are having basic goods shortages: toilet paper, cleaning supplies, meat. People are losing jobs. People have trouble paying their rent and mortgage. Kid 1’s boyfriend has been driving to Austin every three days looking for his unemployment check, which is not showing up. We’re not going to even go into politics right now.
This is some awful crap.
This situation affects everyone in different ways. For example, goods shortage doesn’t bother me one bit. The moment China went into lock down, a switch flipped in my brain that said, “We are going to go into lock down. We are going to have shortages. We are now in Russia.”
I can do Russia. I’ve stood in block-long lines to get sugar and toilet paper before. I have a frame of reference to handle this. My kids are the same because they grew up with me. When we couldn’t find the sensitive skin detergent for Gordon, Kid 1 made her own from ingredients. It smells nice and it’s cheap.
A friend of mine panicked. She has never dealt with shortages. She has never baked bread from scratch. I don’t think she has ever baked anything from scratch, actually. Every time she has to shop for something and the grocery store informs her that item is not available, she experiences spikes of anxiety. This is her own personal hell.
People have different pressure points.
I told you that shortages don’t bother me, right? You know what bothers me? Covid. I have enough education in biology to understand the magnitude of this and I have attacks of hypochondria. They are severe. It’s not fun. I worry about the kids, about Gordon, about friends across the country, about colleagues in New York, about Navajo Nation…
The friend I mentioned who has anxiety about food shortages? Doesn’t bother her at all. I will sit there and agonize because Kid 2 has to go to the bank in person and she is like, “I let the kids go to the neighbor’s yard to play.” I think she is crazy. But her anxiety makes her just as miserable as my anxiety makes me.
Another thing I worry about. Kid 1 is preparing to take her certification exams and she will have to look for a job. Almost everyone she knew from the previous courses who went on to get a job has been fired. They were the new hires and the first to be dumped. She worked so hard and now there are no prospects. Right now someone who is reading this might be in danger of getting evicted. Everyone has their own worries. Everyone’s worries make them miserable.
The point I am trying to make is that the times are grim. They might get grimmer for a little bit. Let’s try to cut each other a bit of extra slack. I know it’s hard because some days are pure shit and then you see a comment that was clearly written by an epic idiot.
But still, let’s try to be kind.
Chocolate is for closers.
The reason why you have coffee is because I ordered it from HEB delivery. I ordered the creamer you put into your coffee, too. I am going to make yummy banana bread. See if I will give you any.
I couldn’t find a chocolate is for closers meme. You always close the deal, baby.
Ahh, the power of banana bread.
Ange in Australia says
I love you guys. ???? ???? ❤️ Thanks for the chuckle in this thread and for your very thoughtful post.
Ilona, I’m like you. I can deal with shortages, but Covid does my head in. We have been officially Covid free in my city (Canberra, Australia) for several weeks, schools are gradually reopening, non-essential shops too, as restrictions lift. I don’t care if there have been zero cases and a high testing regimen per 1000 of population, my daughter is not going to the mall. Even my husband thinks the same, and he has a higher risk threshold. We are waiting for the second wave to start and the next lockdown.
I’m educated enough to find COVID quite terrifying even though the impact from it has been fairly low in Brisbane, Australia. I still ended up being tested because I had an infected throat when I went to the doctor to get a repeat prescription. I had no other symptoms but better safe than sorry. Fortunately, the test came back negative. I’m also waiting for the second wave now that we’re opening more shops and larger numbers of people will able to get together. I’m very worried for rural areas like where my mother lives on the Atherton tablelands where there’s a high number of retirees and older people and medical services are limited.
Hi from an American Helen there aren’t many of us!!
Fab blog – in the UK restictions are being eased but for me way too early! I know folk have different worries but I am doing the best I can to stay safe – waiting for a second peak which will surely come. Stay safe all and stay kind x
It is a crazy time right now. My anexity was also due to covid. Not food or supplies. If my grandparents survived the Dustbowl in Kansas and the Blitz of Birmingham I can survive this. But covid scared the crap outta me. My dad only has 20% usage of his lungs. We were sure if he caught it, we’d say goodbye. But… He made it! He contracted Covid last month somehow. Considering he was on house lockdown since March. He passed it to my mom, and my kiddo, and probably me. (Only one still waiting on results) But He MADE IT! We do fear it caused more damage but he’s still with us and building cabinets and leveling the dishwasher. My mom is fully recovered, my daughter just can’t smell or taste, and I’m asymptomatic. And honestly I feel so much better. I’m not saying you shouldn’t worry but if he can survive I have hope this will end soon.
Banana bread with a cup of diced strawberries mixed in is my favorite. Blueberries are good too????
Martha Parsons says
You put the strawberries in the banana bread before baking or after? So is the banana bread like the shortcake in strawberry shortcake? Sorry, I just never heard of fruit mixed in with banana bread before. I mean it makes sense since banana is fruit. And strawberries and bananas go together. ~ Martha
Hi – you put them in after you have mixed everything together stir in the diced strawberries, pour into your loaf pan and bake. It is always a hit with everyone who has tried it. 🙂 Instead of loaf bread you can scoop into muffin tins and bake for approx 20 minutes instead. Attached is my recipe – it is Vegan and adapted from the Farm Vegetarian Cookbook.
I have another vegan banana bread recipe, if you’re interested. While I’m not personally vegan, I do have to do dairy free and egg free, so that basically means vegan baking. If anyone is having trouble getting eggs, this could be a good option for them. I don’t use the nuts in the recipe, but do add a crumb topping. ????
Thanks! Now on my to try list ???? and Karen’s rhubarb suggestion.
I remember when I visited Leningrad, now known as saint Petersburg. Pensioners would set up on the side of the road or in parks selling things. Lots of pickled stuff and jams. I know we bought plenty of jam because sugar was tightly controlled. We put jam in every thing. And you have not appreciated hot tea until you nearly electrocute yourself heating it with live wires and a razor blade, a trick taught to us by our Russian friends. No microwaves or hotplates in student housing. I seriously wonder that we didn’t blow the whole elictrical grid or kill ourselves. I also was jumped on the street by a bunch of Russian grandma’s because they thought I had started to get frostbite. They were right. And I am to this day grateful for their kindness. I learned more in that one afternoon with those elderly women than I did in six months of classes.
Karen the Griffmom says
I love the BDH. I’m still cooking from the post on fast & easy quarantine meals. Banana bread is a meh in our house, but the idea of strawberries have me a “hhmmm?” , and then I segued to (Aha!) chopped rhubarb, which gets a thumbs up around here.
Rhubarb in banana bread sounds wonderful! I’ll have to try it.
Judy B says
I’ve discovered over the years that any recipe calling for apples will be even better with half rhubarb, and also excellent with only rhubarb.
I’ve made this last week and it’s so good. I added some orange zest because it was there from something else I was making. Thanks for sharing this recipe as I’ll add it to my collection.
Martha Parsons says
If you add fruit, make sure to reserve about 1/4 cup of flour or so. Mix the berries or cut fruit with flour first, so it’s coated and then mix into the batter. Otherwise the fruit will sink to the bottom. 🙂
Yes – thanks for mentioning as I forgot to! It works okay without in the banana bread since it is a thicker batter but it is more essential in muffins, cakes and cupcakes. ???? ????
Lesley Lawson says
Never thought of strawberries. i put diced apples in mine.
I’ll have to try that 🙂
Me too. Never thought of strawberries but I love them and it sounds good. Strawberry and banana yogurt why not strawberry and banana bread. Thanks!!!
It’s weird and terrible times we live in. I can deal with shortages – I have always made my own bread and had extra TP. I can even handle the horror of COVID – not well all days, but I genuinely believe that we are getting closer to a vaccine. Also we all know what we need to do to exist in urban groups. Social distance, wear masks, was our hands, and listen to the epidemiologists. What I can’t handle is the isolation, which is dreadful and constant because I live alone. However, I go out 1x/week for groceries and there I can’t handle the fact that the people who know they should be social distancing and wearing masks… aren’t. Which makes all the isolation and loneliness worse because it feels like a waste of effort. It occurred to me that privilege is me being able to drive across town and pay 1.5x more to shop at the stores where people are required to wear masks. Which makes me sad again because I am sure that there are people who are not as privileged as I am who can’t do that but are just as scared. At any rate, I’m rambling, but it’s awful. Some days I hate this country I was born in – especially American independence and pig headedness.
Sending intentions of love, peace, and grace today to whomever needs it.
Diane K says
I totally agree with you about this. I feel it, too. Very disappointed in so many of my compatriots.
We’re in NY, in Long Island and it’s been very scary here for a long time. We’re starting to reopen but my whole family has anxiety about being with people outside our family. I know this will pass with time. We’ve been making lots of banana bread – try the Bon Appetit Best Banana Bread recipe. Delicious. Stay well!!
Sending all good thoughts to the people of New York.
If you’ve added strawberries to banana bread, you’ve made tutti-frutti bread. I bet that tastes great!
My Eastern European switched turned on in January too. The first thing I added to my Big Stocking Grocery Delivery? Coffee ????. My entire family still has trauma about the communist chicory coffee replacement and soy salami .
Totally understandable. I’m a Chicago transplant to Florida and my first hurricane was Francis. Never got over it. In Jan/Feb, when I realized what was happening, the first thing I did was stock up on coffee and purchased a home water distiller. I may not be able to get fresh food, but I WILL have my coffee. ☕️
Thank you for your post. I LOVE your humor, and always get a chuckle from what you say or how you say it, even if the topic is as grim as the Coronavirus virus and the current situation. Thank you for the reminder that though we have different stressors, there is more than enough going on right now to stress everyone, and that we need to try to be as tolerant, understanding, and kind as possible. It is something I struggle with, but I try to simply not make any comment at all if I can’t find anything positive to say. I have only positive things to say about your books, and your comments on the blog.
I enjoy reading anything you write!! I am happy for you that you HAVE an “empire of books that I shamelessly sell”. You have this “empire” because of a combination of hard work and talent, and there shouldn’t be any shame in you being compensated for that.
I was so saddened to learn that someone you knew betrayed you by profiting off of YOUR work. It is bad enough when a complete stranger steals from us, but it is a real betrayal when someone we know does it! I am deeply sorry that happened to you, and I sincerely hope you never have to experience something like that again.
No worries about when you post the next installment of Ryder. You are kind enough to post it for us to read free of charge! I don’t understand how there is anything to complain about!!! Anyone with any sense should just be appreciative of what you kindly offer, and accept it with joy and thanks. If what you offer as a gift is not acceptable to someone for whatever reason, it would be good manners to simply choose not to read the snippets and NOT complain about it not being exactly what they want or when they want it. I thank you very much for ANY snippets you choose to share freely on this blog, and for when you are able to or choose to share them. I hope you and all your family stay healthy and happy through this pandemic. I hope the same for all the BDH and their families!
Good with chocolate chips in it too!
Chocolate chips? I’ll have to try that. Semi-sweet morsels . . ..
That’s the way I like mine too! Plus with a crumble topping. I usually make mine into muffins though. ????????????????
Yep. Chocolate chips are the best! Semisweet or dark or bitter!
I have worked on perfecting my banana bread the last couple of months & my posterior shows it. Good luck!
I completely relate to this – I grew up in Zimbabwe during hyperinflation – we had shortages of everything, fuel queues that stretched for kilometers, and no economic stability. My brothers and I now live in Australia, so when the shortages and panic buying hit, we just shrugged and got on with life because we knew how to get through it and this time we knew it would be temporary. We worry more about our parents and grandparents back in Zimbabwe because we know how unprepared the country is to face an epidemic. Hope the anxiety lessens soon, the crisis will end eventually but for now we just have to find ways to live with worry.
These are all real traumas! Thank you for sharing and putting things in a proper perspective (although as House Andrews says- everyone’s anxiety is legitimate and we all have different pressure points). The shortages don’t bother me because my mom grew up in Post WWII Italy, and my Dad during the Great Depression in the U.S. .. in fact my dad had bowed legs his whole life due to malnutrition as a child (he was quite a bit older than my mom… they both died over a decade ago). So while I was fortunate to not suffer shortages in my own 1970s childhood their experience created a household where food NEVER went to waste, and when we didn’t have something we either did without or figured work-arounds. What is driving ME crazy is my husband reading the conspiracy theories on Fox News, etc. which this otherwise sane man then trots out IN FRONT OF MY CHILDREN. aarrrrgh… similar to Ilona, I did my undergrad in Biology and (minor in chemistry) and the ant-science focus of certain factions in the US is my pressure point!! You (generic anti-science skeptic) may not LIKE what science says, and you may not like the inherent uncertainty built into the scientific process… please don’t politicize it!!!!!!
Dreamboat Annie says
Great coincidence, I just made Nigel Slater‘s Black Banana Cake. It is delicious and has lots of chocolate in it.
Infection numbers have really come down here in Switzerland and lockdown rules are slowly released. I feel a lot of unease when I am out and about because many people seem to think that it‘s all over and social distancing and hygiene measures are no longer necessary. I hope common sense will prevail!
Matthew Smith says
Thanks for the giggles, I really appreciate them.
Sandra Bury says
I really resonated with your worry paragraph. I thought that was My job..to worry for everyone out there while Im safe In here.
God bless you and your family ????
Banana bread with chocolate chips still warm from the oven topped with whipped cream. It’s a little slice of heaven.
Ana Maria says
I, like all your fans, love the worlds and characters you create. I get to travel, to be in this interactive fast paced exciting milieu, living the action but not experiencing the danger. What a gift you have! But, that being said, it is how you share beyond your stories to your own selves, your humanity! I so appreciate how you use your superpower- the power of wordsmiths, to do something beyond entertaining, being exciting & providing respite. You use your platform for good. I appreciate you naming this Covid hypochondria- it can be debilitating. It’s hard to talk yourself back, and faith is so essential, but you have to name it, bring it out so it can’t gain any secret shameful hold. Yes, it’s a fact and it’s scary AND we can take precautions, be smart, and most of all Love and care for each other- our small intimate circles and larger circles. What can I say, I think you rock as brilliant writers, but even more so for how you reach out to encourage and inspire so many!!????
Egadz! The isolation has the two of you communicating on your blog when you live in the same house! That’s too funny!
I did want to ask you, do you ever have a dream where you are a character in your books?
John Gadzinski says
As someone that was homeless I see the points you are trying to get across. But trolls will always be trolls.
I love you! Thanks for being such a beautiful person!
Linda Trainor says
I me I’m in New Zealand we have had no new cases for 8 days and only 28 dead. But the lockdown as the whole country. We are out now and we had church today . Me I’ve read and reread so many books. And not watched much TV or movies only one actually. And me a big baker I haven’t baked at all. So I loved lockdown me I can read all day
I love you guys.
Big hugs all around. We’ll all get through this.
Valentina Wong says
Keep a positive profile. Your not a miracle worker but you always do your best, as for kid1 I wish her luck and say don’t let it get you even if you need the funds now because if it was meant to be it will happen no matter what and when it happen “Thanks” to the one you think helped you. As for you keep up the good work because your kids do remember what you have taught them even if they are not aware of it. Love and Care Tina
William B says
Banana bread is best with chocolate right in it – chips. And drizzled on top. Dark. You can have your coffee cake and eat it too.
A Fisher says
Here you go.
Thank you! you make my day. Looking forward to next Ryder.
Sending you and everyone reaidng this a cupful of kindness. Here’s to better days ahead.
Marcia Sundquist says
Lol you tell him, I make the muffin easier to hide a few for later.
We’ve been on lockdown in Scotland for a lifetime now. Phase one of the easing is happening but it’s hard to begin to go back to normal.
I made two banana loaves yesterday with choc chips, sultanas and prunes @it works, honest!). Two hours later they were both gone. There are three people in my house, one of whom is 6 and who isn’t allowed much sugar because it sends him into orbit……. Hurry up and end covid! I’m going to be like a house end before this is all over….. ????
I live in NYC. The epicenter of Covid. Near a hospital. There were days when all the ambulances racing to the hospital was all I heard. I was able to distinguish between the different ambulances. I said a prayer each time. Sometimes I couldn’t sleep.
I was suppose to start a new job middle of March. The job disappeared. I don’t know if I will get any job this year.
My grandmother Irish, ( looked like a Valkyrie) , seriously, she was 5.9 and wore size 10 shoe had just arrived in America in 1918. She was a teenager. She became the caregiver for friends. She cooked, took care of everyone and never got sick.
My mother was a small child during the depression. She told stories about the pandemic, ration cards and waiting in long lines for bread. Haggling for 1 day or 2 day food. I can’t haggle, I don’t have the gene.My grandfather and grandmother would open the closet and give out clothes to anyone who needed them. He was a doctor, and before he lost his money in 1929 depression was wealthy. Then my grandma would feed them and give them pennies,
So when Covid hit, I remembered the stories and it gave me strength. I bought a lot of supplies and cat food . Even simple things like salt and batteries and matches. Took out cash at bank just in case I had to evacuate.
I knew I would be OK.
But it has been very stressful and at times I just cried. I lost people.
Today , I am trying to see if I have enough money to last this year. If I can’t get a job.
Needs and wants are totally different this year.
Kindness, listening and patience are my new best friends.
Today, they announced that New York will open on June 8 th.
Your blog has been a light during the darkest day. Thank you.
I grew up on a modest family income. We always had /something/ to eat, but usually it was because of thrifty shopping and a LOT of planning. When I turned 11, I was put in charge of all things in the kitchen. I did the food budget, the meal planning, the shopping. I cooked the dinners and made the lunches. I learned pretty early on how to make sure I could scrape together a pantry-only meal, because we usually only got to grocery shop once per month. I got nervous about the food shortages…mostly because I’m used to fresh fruit and produce these days. That said, when we couldn’t buy bread, I knew how to make it. When the grocery stores stopped delivering, that was fine…my pantry was stocked out of a 30 year old habit. We made by for three weeks until an order could come through. What caused the stress hives for me was people’s general inability to grasp math. I’m a programmer. I took a lot of math at uni. I know how fast an exponential curve grows, and it terrifies me that everyone is running around like it’s no big deal. I hope that the models are wrong. I hope that things aren’t going to be as bad as I fear. But still…hives.
PS If kid1 is worried about hireability, tell her to start expanding the languages she knows. Python is always a good one, C# is quite common, as is Java. She can work on expanding her OS knowledge; Linux was written with a programming mentality. Learning bash commands are always helpful for data manipulation. Learn the ins and outs of a debugger. Being fast at finding problems is gold. If she gets bored of all that, there’s a whole world of computer security out there. I’d hire a security minded programmer over a regular one in a heartbeat. Have her create a git repo with projects she’s written. Shows a lot of drive and demonstrates how she solves problems. Good luck :). Feel free to pass along my email address if she has questions.
Well said, we all have that thresh point of stress. I stress about going to Texas this summer to see my family. I have been gone a year and want to just touch my kids and Father. I have started my dad reading your books and he has enjoyed them so much. Thank you for your humor, imagination and skillful writing.
(I wrote this before I read your posting. I think it still holds up pretty well. And yes, Covid is really scary.)
So if I’m looking at this correctly you are in a sweet spot. Per your release book page, you’ve gotten everything done that is owed to a publisher. You can take some time for yourselves and the house. Or start a new idea.
Ryder will be fine whenever it comes out. I personally want another Hugh and Elara book but that’s just me. If you don’t want to go to Florida just now, set up your own semi-beach by the pool. Pay your daughters to wait on you if you must. Or pay them to take the dogs and stay away, whatever works best.
Take a little time. No one wants a pandemic, but you are required to not be out and about excessively. Try to enjoy this summer.
Cherylanne Farley says
What causes me anxiety is the wretched behavior of other people. Because of health issues I must wear a mask. In our brutal ruby red town stranger men under 30 will slide by me whispering smart ass communist snowflake etc while I wait in line to pay for gas. These same people pride themselves on behaviors like yelling loudly at nothing spitting coughing into their hands rubbing their hands on doors etc. Tonight was a protest with families young chldren strollers young male got drunk speeded thru the crowd trying to hit PEOPLE. I read the book Tribes. I understand conservative media internet winding vunerable people up. But I don’t know where I can go why am I under attack? I am stressed and very very angry.
I don’t understand people. We don’t have these sort of behaviours really in the UK but you still hear of workers on the so called front line being deliberately coughed and spat on and it makes me so angry. Just be nice!
Here’s a gif showing how we all feel about 2020:
Lora Tyler says
I loved the 13, 666 and 2020 meme. I laughed quite a bit. Thank y’all for all of the perspectives. I haven’t been affected much at all.
Lol this made me laugh thanks
I love you guys. Thank you for making my world better!
I said it once, I’ll say it again. Can we please reset 2020? Even though COVID started in 2019, if we all went into 2020 respecting it, taking all measures like responsible people, we can redo 2020 and make it through this in a much better shape.
Good luck with the computer, wish you guys the best luck with the office setup.
I keep buying bananas because I want to make banana bread, but my husband keeps on eating them all before they get ripe enough to make bread.
Lea Coates says
Put your bananas straight into the freezer, hubby won’t eat them then, and then you cant put them into your baking no worries. And I don’t agree with the reset. We must learn from this, we must become better, kinder and more compassionate people. I live in Australia, and we are doing ok, but what I see on the news coming out of the U.S. right now makes me weep for you. Please can we come out of this a better place than before we went in?
Big Mike says
Blue-banded octopus, red-backed spider, Sydney funnel web spiders, salt water crocs, brown snakes, death adders, taipans, EVERYTHING IN AUSTRALIA is trying to KILL you!
A.B. Gayle says
You forgot the drop bears.
I can sit and read. My husband is going stir crazy because he can’t see bands at his favorite venues. He listens to many online, but it is not the same.
My sister gave a book decades ago, How to live Cheap but Good. Still applicable.
Thanks for providing such great books.
May you and yours stay well…
May this computer be the best one that you have gotten and the installation go smoothly. We wait patiently for your next blog. It is always worth the wait!!
And the computer will work as it is supposed to, but just in case coz 2020, please make a back-up or 2 of everything…… .
I grew up inSerbia and we were used to all kinds of shortages as well. I already had covid 19 and I survived it on my feet so it doesn’t bother me. What truly scares me if I’m going to have a job after this. I’m alone in USA my whole family is in Europe and I can’t go back because I have pets. I don’t watch news anymore because they make me angry. I still don’t get depressed and I’m trying to be optimistic about future. We as humans have been through so much more many times before and we are still here. We will survive this and hopefully with our souls intact. We just need to retain our empathy
Patricia Schlorke says
Hugs. Just remember you’re not alone. You have all of us virtually. ????
I live in Europe, in Slovakia. Thanks to Covid we had (and still having) quarantine, shopping clocks for older ppl, ppl getting fired from jobs, doctors cant do normal surgery, cuz everything is about Covid. As student and someone with autoimmune disease … It is hard. I am at home for more than two months. My family is shopping for me, cuz im scared.
I hope this will end and i will continue normal life (write diploma thesis, work, meet with friends, travel).
But, in this quarantine, i have ur books, i have school online clases to attend and it helps to stay sane. So, big Thank you from me and we can figth Covid! And we win!
That was a very kind post.
In regards to Covid – here in Berlin the numbers are right dow and we are slowly starting to re-emerge from our bunker lives. We even ate at a restaurant ( outdoors, very well spaced tables, staff in masks and hand sanitiser everywhere ). I‘ve been almost wanting to cry riding around the city and seeing things wake up. So far the figures are good and the scientists approving. I’ve gone off on a tangent, but I meant to say there will be the other side for most of us. Hang in there!
The shortages don’t bother me at all. I grew up off grid without running water and I keep extra food as my security blanket.
The disease itself doesn’t bother me. I’m am RN and I have friends currently working in the local big city hospital and know our actual situation.
But when dh “just happened” to be browsing eBay for 3 weeks and wiped out our savings this morning by buying a supercharger for his mustang that hasn’t been running for 9 years, that broke me.
The unsecure employment situation is my pressure point.
Shannon from Texas says
Oh my word. My bff would be getting the alibi-and-shovel phone call. Hope you make a tidy profit reselling that supercharger, with the nonfunctional mustang thrown in and all…
I’ll try to get the message across and if do it wrongly or won’t succeed pls don’t hold it against me cause I’m not native speaker. It is definitely hard times for everyone and their own problems and fears are most important for them and not less then someone’s else. But I’d like to put it in different perspective for everyone. Last year I was diagnosed with ALS. Long story short I’m dying. I am 35 years old, I always was really healthy person, no one know where the desease comes from and how to cure it and I have 7 year old baby girl who’s going to grow up without her mother and deal with trauma for a long time. To say I’m devastated is nothing. But what I’m really trying to say is that try to think not about what you’ve lost and how hard it gets but what you have right now. Your loved ones next to you, or sooner or later this will pass you’ll get another job or you have great friends who are willing to help out. Anything really. Sometimes behind stress we forget important things. As I said my problems are not more important then someone’s else and I hope I haven’t made a mess of things. I never really comment, but if my comment will help at least one person to make their burden to feel less, I’ll consider it success.
I am so sorry. I’m glad you’ve had time with your daughter during this super hard time. I hope there is a treatment that buys you more time or remission (if possible). Wishing you beautiful moments in every day and strength for the future.????
Oh my dear- Your post made me cry. I am so sorry for the hardships you are going through. I understand the pain you feel now for the loss your daughter will feel. It will be very hard for her but as long as she has other adults in her life who love her and are strong she WILL be OK –but that doesn’t lessen the pain and grief you feel now. I wish you comfort and peace and I thank you for taking the time (and courage) to write this personal message that reminds us to cherish what we have.
You are obviously a strong and caring person with a wonderful outlook on life. My heart goes out to you and your family, especially your daughter. I hope you are able to find treatment to control and minimize your disease and symptoms. I send reiki (healing energy) to people who need it each night. I will add you to my list. My heart aches for you.
Thank you for your courage in sharing your circumstances with us. I too cried when I read your message. It really put things in perspective. I’m sending you and your daughter virtual hugs.
You are so brave. Much love and peace from me to you.
There’s hope for ALS. FYI, Dr. Terry Wahls healed herself of ALS. This is her website:
(her message is that people are not being told by their neurologists that there are things that can be done to slow, stop and reverse the progress of ALS).
And she also has a few great TED talks: https://terrywahls.com/tag/ted-talk/
and a book.
I wish you best of luck in your recovery!
I wish you and your daughter awesome experiences and wonderful memories created together.
Here are two resources that suggest switching up your diet to increase antioxidant intake and decrease further exposure to BMAAs, in an attempt to slow the progression of ALS.
ALS is getting to be so common, my fingers are crossed that research scientists continue finding breakthroughs.
Thank you for sharing,
This is my first time responding to one of your post although I am ashamed to admit that it took this long to. I have been following your work for years, the blog for most of them. I have always found your words, both in your fiction work and on here, to be comforting. Not because it’s all sunshine and rainbows, but because you highlight how things are not perfect but we can adapt and we can survive.
Just at the start of COVID-19 I found myself looking for a new place to live, I found a place, and am now living with two new roommates. One who I have lived with before and has been coping with depression, the other has been a friend for years and has been battling her anxiety disorder. The current climate has been a huge pressure point for both of them, not so much for myself. This has been a great reminder to be patient, be kind, and be understanding. So thank you
Leslie Huang says
Thanks for this post, Author Lords! Really puts things in perspective in a thoughtful way. We really do need to be more compassionate towards all of our neighbors right now and to ourselves. Thank you for the gentle reminder.
Ista in Sydney says
I think you missed their post saying to please not refer to them as AL. I can’t remember some suggested alternatives as House Andrews stuck in my head.
A wish for more compassion in ourselves, is always welcome (to me at least).
Thanks for the reminder! If I could edit my previous comment, I would. (@Moderator: Feel free to delete!)
Your words make everything better. It doesn’t even matter in which form they come, story or blog post or thoughts shared…
JoAnne K. says
I was raised by depression era parents. My mom would have been 103 this year, but passed in 1995 and I still miss her and my dad all the time, but especially during these last weeks. I miss their wisdom and sense in a crisis. My mom was the calmest person in the room and there were eight of us kids running around. She didn’t drive so was stuck at home when I was young and before my brothers could drive. Nothing seemed to surprise her in the world. I try and remember her calm, his determination and both of there smarts. I pray I have a tenth of their grit to try to keep my own anxiety to a minimum. Thanks for your stories – both fiction and true – they help a great deal as well. 🙂
Ilona and Gordon flirting in comments is the best.
I know it is easy to say, “Try not to worry so much!” But please try to find some calmness every day. Here’s a little fun drawing I found.
I empathize with you – my 20 year old daughter just finished aesthetics school (skin care). $16,000 tuition. Wow – there’s no job market for her now. She went back to work at the deli she worked at in high school. But at least she’s working. And healthy. I’m counting the blessings we have.
And I love that Gordon’s thumbnail is Milo Bloom! Bloom County forever! We all need a dandelion patch.
Bill from nj says
That says it all,hands down.
“Try to be kind” –you sure told them! (and me ???? ).
Our ” Nextdoor” which is a nationally run locally segmented social media has been experiencing getting really nasty to each other on the comments recently. I read the comments on it today, and wondered how people can be so vile to people in the same housing development. You nailed it, Ilona. These senior citizens are frustrated and they’re scared for all sorts of reasons. The reasons are all equal. I hope a little kindness will go a long way.
Congrats on the new computer. I’m absolutely agog at your many many talents. You need a super woman cape! Don’t worry about Ryder, just have as relaxing a weekend as you can, with all you have on your plate. We’ll wait. And wecan spend the time practicing kindness.
Can I take this as an opportunity to let off some steam? Yes? Here we go.. I love in a very small Canadian town. We were covid free for over three damn weeks in my province. A doctor in my town decided to travel to the epicenter of Montreal, come here, LIE about travelling…and Continue to treat patients. We are looking at over two hundred and fifty points of contact. Eight cases in two days, two of those being health care workers. Two also already in ICU. I thought that was devastating, heartbreaking etc. Boy was I wrong, the day after I find out. My mom has a hemorrhagic stroke, immediately shipped to.another city for brain surgery. She is in recovery now, but I can’t catch my breath. The sound of her struggling for her to slur out I love you to me on the phone before surgery….Will forever be burned into my mind. Because of said doctor, the hospital she is returning to tomorrow is a hotspot for this virus, I’ve been in contact with someone who had an appt.with this doctor, I cant go see my momma for at least two weeks.I don’t even know if she’ll still be alive…*deep breath* ” so yes, we are all dealing with our own hell right now. Regardless of my personal situation, I still think everyone is suffering. Even when it’s hard to be human, it’s easy to remember that we all are regardless.
Shannon from Texas says
Oh, man, I’m so very sorry. The great thing about virtual hugs is you can hold on as long and tight as you want. Sending lots of those. And prayers.
I heard about that from a friend in your area of Canada- she was infuriated too. That doctor’s actions were irresponsible and selfish, and those infections were preventable. I’m so sorry to hear about your mother, too. I know strokes are a special kind of hellish unknown but within that unknown comes some wonderful resiliency and capacity for recovery. Please take care of yourself!
Thank you both, truly. This is a very trying time for all of us, so I very much appreciate the kind words. It helps not feeling like I’m stuck in this very tiny word of panic and fear right now. I got to speak with my mom on the phone today, she doesn’t have many words but I made her giggle a few times and that means the world to me.
As for the doctor, yes, it is beyond infuriating. Not just how he has personally affected my life, but everyone else’s as well. The poor couple on ICU who may not make it, the small mom and pop shops that have to close again after being open for a day, the fear that everyone is feeling. Such a selfish act. For what it’s worth I heard today that he is suspended, and the rcmp are monitoring the couple in bad shape, because they will at charges.
Mary V says
Oh, no. I’m so sorry you can’t be with your mom at this time and so sorry she has to go back to an unsafe environment. I hate to think of a hospital in those terms. So much of my childhood & teenage year were spent with family members hospitalized that hospitals have always seemed pretty sacred to me. (Working in the hospital world for over 25 years mostly cured me of that). Prayers for her safe recovery.
P BM says
So very sorry to read about your mother and covid 19 possible resurgence. I’m in Ontario and when my husband and I read about that doctor, we both said WTF?! Hope your mom recovers and that you can see her soon.
Life has certainly been interesting the last couple of months. I had a conversation with my neighbor yesterday. She said she’ll be watching tv and suddenly find herself crying for no reason. She’s 70ish, no children, one elderly brother, and health problems. We had an interesting chat about how the political issues and loneliness are affecting all of us.
Congrats on your new computer finally showing up and, hopefully, it will accept all the programs you need to install without “issues”.
Your sense of humor is great. Hang in there about the computer and all that you have to do to prep it for good function. Thank you for sharing about times in Russia. Helps adjust expectations. Stay safe but have fun with the family.
I’m sorry you’ve had to lock the comments recently. I would think that would be frustrating. I don’t think a parent ever really stops worrying about their kids. They just find new things to worry about. ((Hugs))
Diane Mc. says
Good luck on loading the programs. I give that job to son #1 who is my IT genius.
Got laid off late March. Lucky for me, unemployment benefits kicked in right away. Banks also offered deferral for mortgage payment.
My co-worker asked how i am doing. Told him ask me again come September when the mortgage deferral is over and still no full time job available. I would be feeling the pinch then
Just wanted to say I’m sorry to hear that Jing. It must be so stressful but you seem to have a great attitude about it. I hope you find a job soon and/or mortgage deferral is extended.
Please don’t be sorry about Ryder being late, life happens! As you said now is a stressful time. I too, am stressed out health…. I like my parents rn and they are older. Makes me wonder how people willingly just go to restaurants and stuff like that not care, kinda crazy to me
If you want to know if you are a closer – there’s a test for that :). Harvard Business Review https://hbr.org/2012/05/are-you-a-closer-take-the-test
I am working with Seniors in High School. Trying to get them to finish their Senior English Project – 7 different types of Writing/Synthesis Responses to Critical Lens Theory. Some of my students are MIA for the last 3 months; some have weird hours since their parents are half-way around the world. Some are worried about their parents’ jobs and some having problems with the extended quarantine. We have only 3 weeks left and everybody is under pressure to finish well this 2020 school year. I am like a prisoner making marks on my calendar until June 19 – Official last day for school, for all grades.
I, too, work with Seniors in High School. They are graduating next Friday. I have spent the last 2 months trying to keep them doing some school work (luckily mine is not a core class, so I could do lessons that were designed to help them cope). Some disappeared/popped up occasionally. Almost all are working– construction, food service, grocery stores, delivery– and some are frightened or stoic (the football player who is working construction told me, “there’s no masks, no social distancing… it is what it is.”) All are worried about their future and resentful to have lost the most fun part of their senior year. We are scrambling to provide them some fun/recognition and show our love. Some have stepped up– they banded together online and arranged (with parents’ help) a driving parade through neighborhoods and past previous schools in decorated cars. I’m so proud of them. However, our district decided, under pressure, to have a modified live graduation and some are choosing not to go out of fear for themselves and their families (some wouldn’t have gone either way).
I will miss this group. I hope they stay safe.
My best to all out there. Several stories brought me to tears. Yes, we all have pressure points.
I was fortunate to start a new job (was unemployed several months due to a RIF) on March 9. Out sick by 11th. Pretty sure now was COVID – but couldn’t get tested… Team was remote by 16th, was hiding how sick I was. New job, only at office briefly. Stressed, but couldn’t confirm, didnt want to cause panic
unnecessarily – everyone stressed enough.
Mom fell (states away). Kindness of stranger who circled back after they got gas, concern stuck with them as they saw fall in her driveway, Brain bleed, two hospitals, days in ICU. No one can visit bc of situation. Goes home with my brother. House hit by tornado 3 days later.
Two seniors. One had just gotten back to school, out over a year with multiple medical issues, including 2 types of anxiety. Finishing her senior year was the motivator. 800 spent on two prom dresses and all the periferals. They sit in 2 bags. All the big, important to them, moments are gone.
One has finished coursework, other still finishing…been challenge. She disappeared, didnt eat for weeks (got Ensures down). Thought we were going to have to hopitalize.
“Strong” twin in tears today (hate labels but best explaination). All the social situations and things in happening in Minneapolis and Atlanta sent her over the edge. Both girls super empathic / sensitive. World doesn’t make sense to them.
Gosh was that long. Thanks for listening. The BDH and House Andrews make the world a better place to be. Thanks everyone
Nancy Upchurch says
go, Berkeley Breathed!!! I do miss me some Bloom County.
Do you know he has a Facebook group page where he occasionally posts new strips?
And he’s on Instagram, too! ????
I am glad that the computer made it safely to your house! Covid seems to be a hot spot for everyone. Thank you for sharing some of your family history. It was insightful, and I appreciate having a new angle to look at things.
Thank you for your time. What you, and your husband do is very helpful. It is a great distraction for me.
I do not think it is called hypochondria if the virus is real and the situation no-shit dangerous. You are right to be afraid, but your fear will keep you alive because you will avoid dangerous situations as much as possible and will be cautious if you cannot avoid them. While we were quite lucky here in Germany, I am a bit anxious now that restrictions are being lifted and some people become reckless.
And the jobs will come back, especially in IT.
And Ryder is welcome whenever it is finished. But thank you for taking the time to post this message and let us know you are alive, because not hearing from you is the one great fear for every member of the Horde. 😉
“…….because not hearing from you is the one great fear for every member of the Horde”
So true so true literally and figuratively, whether rain or shine, good times or bad …
Karen the Griffmom says
Alisa A. says
We dont mean to add pressure. You are just so open and sharing and we start to worry when House Andrews gets dark for a bit. Thanks for caring enough to keep us abreast of the situations there.
Best to all the family and 4 footed friends
Alisa A. says
You have good news!! The computer arrived! And you shared your good news with us. Thank you! Good news should be celebrated, especially these days, when there is a serious shortage of good news.
And we can all use a good dose of kindness right now!!
I was let go from my job mid Feb. Unable to meet performance goals in a large part due to residual issues from a TBI. So I am now trying a career change (at 60) from engineering to medical coding.
I have my personal “totem mantra” that I try to live by, especially now
Good Luck in re-inventing yourself at 60. I just turned 69 and feel pretty useless. More so in the Covid issue. You must be positive .. eventually, this thing will lessen although the cost may be higher than it is already. I have adopted the neighbour’s pit bull doggy. She is helping me cope with isolation because here is something I can do and she needed help. We are both learning.
Take care and Hugs and Luck..Luck..Luck
Thank you for the reminder to be nice. The last several days have been hard, I forget that peoples trigger points are different.
Have fun setting up your new computer.
My husband and I are also stressed by COVID-19. We worry about our health, our daughter who is a surgeon, her spouse, our grandkids, our friends and family, my husband’s co-workers, people we see on the street and TV, etc. I worry about people who don’t take this terrible disease seriously. Where I live in AR the vast majority of people don’t wear masks or social distance. They just want a return to “normal”. I wish your daughter the best of luck in finding a job. I wish you and your family good health and safety. I don’t think you can realize how much I and the rest of your fans appreciate your stories and your willingness to share as you you create. It is something positive to look forward to In this frightening time. Skip a week or two of Ryder and get things set up how it makes you happy, take some time for yourselves and recharge. I can wait and I know your many fans can too.
Thank you authorlords, for keeping me sane. I have been off work for two months because I am high risk and my job is even riskier (psychotherapist in a prison, in the psychiatric day treatment unit). I am the Disneyland for all neighboring lung viruses and had pneumonia in February and two bouts of steroids while I have been off. I am very frightened by going back to work, but at least I have a job. I try to think of what Kate would do. It’s not like I have to fight a bitchy wolf for my job after all. It’s not magical hazmat. If I could stop crying when I think about going back, I might even believe I could do it. Thank you for Ryder; it keeps my mind from going scarier places.
Nina Whittredge says
Oh, yes what makes you stress! Let me count the ways!! Thank you for the insight and reminder !
Lynn Thompson says
Thank you, Ilona Andrews for the post. Glad your new computer was delivered. Now the hard stuff starts —- loading all the software necessary for work. Hopefully that will go smoothly.
I am a biologist by training. You are correct to be concerned about covid-19. You are also correct to be Especially kind to others at time of uncertainty.
Everyone was different breaking points is true. The trash pickup was delayed by one day due to Monday being a holiday. They sent paper notices and text messages. One of my neighbors had a hysterical fit because trash pickup was not done on regularly scheduled day. She just hit her breaking point.
Thank you for Ryder whenever you get to it.
You are awesome, amazing and just all around freaking incredible. I love all your posts-real life and your writing. Thank you for sharing all of it.
The shopping drives me nuts but I hated shopping pre-Covid (unless it was for yarn or fabric). Making food from scratch or generally just making do with what there is doesn’t bother me. My anxiety is worrying about my family in NYC and knowing I probably won’t see them until next year.
Can I get you to share the detergent recipe? My hubs and kids all have extremely sensitive skin and the commercial brand is unscented but actually smells kind of like chemicals. ☹️
Also, feel free to share more recipes-so delicious. ☺️
Patricia Schlorke says
Thank you for this post. We all need to be reminded about kindness and empathy.
About shortages they didn’t (and still don’t) bother me. I remember my mom telling me stories about having to stand in line for goods during WWII with ration stamps. When the virus started rampaging through the country and the shortage started, I thought to myself, “creative cooking”. Then I would see people at Walmart panicking over not seeing what they wanted.
About COVID-19: I’m taking a very practical view about it. Wash my hands, stay home when needed, stay far away from others, and treat it like the flu.
Danny Lim says
I have read a lot of sci. fi/fantasy series in my time, and the Kate Daniels series is my favorite…by far. So, I am greatly thankful for anything at all from that literary universe. Thank you, Ilona and Gordon.
My anxiety at the moment is Covid-19, too. The mayor of my city has declared that anyone outside must wear a mask. Simple. But, when I just go outside, I see a bunch of idiots still unmasked. Grrr…wear a mask.
Aman Sidhu says
Thanks for this. I find the more honest and authentic people are with their voice, the more engaged I become. Most authors, I just read their books and don’t really follow them in any way other than the next book release. I’m on your blog daily. You’re entertaining, witty and your unfailing focus on being kind is heartwarming. You and family bring good stuff into the world and I’m grateful for it, especially during this pandemic.
Thank you for sharing your perspective.
I am a recovered couponer, so I had a decent stash of most everything when this first started. I’ve been working this entire time (thankful for that) and had two coworkers diagnosed as positive. I’m not afraid for myself but I know at least 6 people from New York/New Jersey who passed away from this.
Many thanks to you and the Overdrive app for keeping me distracted.
Three cheers for Overdrive! I don’t think I could get through this without Overdrive.
I live in NYC, was laid off but the only thing stressing me is my 85 year old father. He lives alone in Calgary. I have tried to source everything for him online from Canadian sources because customs won’t let you send high demand items across the border. He has underlying health issues that are normally managed quite well. He misses going to the mall so even though we have talked about it countless times I know one day he will go. Sigh. I FaceTime with him every night though.
Glad you got your computer. YAY ????
My personal motto in life is don’t be paranoid but don’t be stupid. It has worked for me so far.
Colleen Whitley says
I am in Calgary, the deep SE. Send me an email to email@example.com and I can try to deliver some stuff on your behalf. I don’t have a lot of money (unemployed husband and reduced hours for me) but I can drop off some baking or such on your behalf.
Thank you so much for your very kind offer Colleen! That is so sweet of you but I managed to get everything to him (face masks from Etsy Canada, hand sanitizer from Rocky Mountain Soap, and some sanitizing wipes). He has help with his grocery shopping so he is okay. I hope things turn around soon and everyone gets their work hours back. Best wishes to you and your husband.
We are moving to Whitefish, MT this July- we will be very close to Calgary. The US-Canadian border will probably still be closed but we are happy to help out with your father in any way we can over the longer haul. Wishing you and him the best– stay strong. Aminaqd@gmail.com
Thank you Mina – that is so nice of you! The BDH is such a fantastic group of people. I managed to get him sorted. He’s in good shape for his age but he thinks he is still 30 sometimes so the hard part now is reminding him he is 85 with hypertension and heart issues which means he should not be going anywhere near a crowd. Whitefish MT is a beautiful area (I lived as a teenager near Sandpoint, Idaho). I hope you enjoy your new home. Best Wishes.
barbie doll says
When first we had the virus lockdown I freaked. Had an actual panic attack. Ladted about a week then got on with life. When I go to the grocery I don’t breathe until I am safely home. I wonder if I ever will truly relax in public again. But I am lucky and I know it. I am grateful for all the little things like a growing lawn and weeds to pull. I also get upset so do not watch TV. Please be kind to yourselves because probably no one else will be kind to you
I knew the lockdown was coming so we went into hurricane mode (batteries, cash, water for some reason, groceries, propane) so that wasn’t too bad. But since we have been able to leave the house I have had trouble being in a grocery store wearing the mask. The longer I am there the more anxious I get until I have trouble shopping for what I need. Sometimes its just too many people that start closing in on me and sometimes its just being there. I thought that it was me overreacting so thank you for sharing your grocery store experience and Ilona for the “pressure point” talk. I used to shop to relax and get steps in air conditioning (Florida) now its a burden. Thank you so much for this blog. I check it too often perhaps.
Jessica A says
It’s been a dumpster fire of a year so far. I went from doing fine, to barely coping, to enduring with excessive sugar intake. And still, I am intensely grateful, because I have not caught even a fifth of the hurt that so many millions of others have.
I have been re-reading Kate, because her world is so much more fun than this one. Just into Magic Triumphs now. At the same time, reading Ryder. And then my paperback copy of Iron and Magic arrived. The spine is printed upside down. I have never come across a book with the spine printed upside down. I have no idea how to properly shelve it and I don’t care, because it makes me laugh every single time I think about. I had a What Would Kate Do? moment, and after I decided that stabbing it with a sword wasn’t viable, I laid it down and piled the Hidden Legacy series on top so I can’t see that it’s backwards. Still makes me laugh.
You guys, with your evil empire of books, are a bright light in a grim world. Keep being you.
I have severe emphysema a bad cold or bad case of flu will knock me out as quick as this covid, been living like this a long time(years). I go thru periods of saying to hell with and just get on out there, but this covid is dangerous to my relatives and neighbors so no taking party breaks, but I bartended and drove a 18 wheeler and did 8 years in service and really did see the world, painted houses, wrote computer games (google me with the old Atari), worked as bookie. Worked in McDs and cooked in a couple of upscale restraunts and breakfast cooked at every chain in the country, and God forgive me I delivered papers and pizzas. 2 failed marriages, they both still talk to me, a child and grandchildren who don’t (I am, it turns out a libertard). I have loved often and been loved more than I ever deserved. How can I complain about having trouble getting a good jigsaw puzzle on Amazon? I would go on but the latest expansion to Elder Scrolls is awesome and I have to get back to Western Skyrim.
Shannon from Texas says
Thank you, Joe. I have a couple of health and life issues that tend to Get In My Way. I’m usually pretty good at practical perspective peptalks, but I’m getting a little threadbare around the edges lately. Your comment gave me a boost when I needed it, thank you. However you define a “good day,” I hope you have one today!
Thank you both for the blog post. I am so glad the computer came. It is a good reminder – – – kindness always counts!
April White says
Thank you for your insightful comments. I’ve had simular thoughts about how everyone is handling the stress differently. It was nice to hear someone else expressing the frustrations and need to respect others mindsets.
Thank you for this awesome post! I do not think I have ever laughed and hurt (emotionally) reading the same post. I so understand the stress, worry, fear, and anxiety. My daughter is working and my son is hiding in his room.
My mom died this past August and grief is horrible. I do wonder what she would be doing during this pandemic.
I love all your books. Thank you for creating a universe with characters that are so relatable.
Be safe and stay healthy.
I’m super high risk for COVID-19. My boss and her boss was fired. Money is super tight because my Husband is doing desk work since he may risk bringing it back home which really strains our finances. I work through the nights to turn work in and also work and watch the kids during the day with Red Bull to keep me awake. If D.C. workers are forced back I have to consider if it’s worth the risk health-wise to go back or quit. I’m late getting my bloodwork and MRIs because it’s too risky for me to go get them done so suffering and trying new prescriptions to hold me over. Times are hard and stressful right now. I don’t complain because at least I still have a job, I’m not sick or dying with COVID-19, and I don’t worry about my next meal.
My pressure point is when I see selfish people and/ or misinformed people. It really really boils my blood. They decide to stay ignorant and spread misinformation instead of listening to science. Or people who weaponize COVID-19 by spitting or coughing on others, etc. I just wish that everyone could be thoughtful of others and be kind. Everyone is on edge right now for whatever reason.
This is the only blog I actively follow. Because the posts are usually fun and the people who comment and read it all have something in common. Whether you started reading Ilona Andrews’ work from a long time ago or just recently we all love the way the books. I compare the works to the Lord of the Rings trilogy as there’s all the things I love, multiple supernatural races, magic, fantasy, comedy, action, drama, romance, fantastic world, amazing characters, storyline etc…
Which is why I’m so excited about Ryder is because I really love the KD world. It sucks me out of the real world and into this alternate reality where I forget anything else exists. All my worries, concerns, everything just melt away and I find myself an avid floating watcher of this amazing magical world with amazing characters. When I see other fans have debates about the characters or powers of a House, or get SUPER excited about a snippet it really makes me smile because I feel a kinship and we don’t find that weird!
So hello fellow fans~ Let’s hope for our new normal soon! In the meantime I’m super excited for Emerald Blaze and new Ryder installments and the unveiling of the series name and title. And wondering if I missed something as I thought I saw in a twitter comment from Ilona that nothing happens to Conlan. But glad to hear he’s okay! 🙂
I want to point out I think that it’s okay to complain. It’s hard for everyone and just because someone else has a different situation doesn’t lessen that it’s tough for you.
Stay safe everyone!
We (New Zealand) experienced panic buying just before we went into lockdown, was, for us, really crazy. A couple of weeks into lockdown everyone’s buying habits were back to normal. People are strange
Personally, I deal well with immediate emergencies, which include shortages. I can do without amenities or sleep, especially when I know it’s for a limited time. I do well with triage-this-and-deal-with-it-now. But I am terrified that what we are experiencing now may someday become the collapse of our society/economy as we know it, (for instance, the complete breakdown of the food supply chain). But as much as I love growing food plants, I don’t have illusions about whether I would survive if I didn’t have society backing me up. I don’t have the physical strength or energy to be a subsistence farmer. I spend too much time fantasizing about farm compounds where I could keep my loved ones safe from things like Covid-19 and grow food. But I can’t afford to buy a place and probably wouldn’t be able to use it effectively anyway.
You are right about people reacting to stress differently. I have been yelled at and if you know me; you’d know I would never have taken that well but I figure everyone needs a break now. I want to thank you for all the bread making tips and the edge burgers recipe. I live alone with my dog since my husband passed 8 years ago next week and most of my friends are either divorced or widowed so I was able to share what I cook and make with them. I love your books and have read every one of them. Thank you for sharing your gift. The 7 weeks I sat in the hospital watching my husband fight to live taught me how precious life is. Sounds like a cliche, right? Life is a journey and no one moment defines it all. Your kids will find their way somehow with the values you brought them up with. Be well.
Aleea Brewer says
I haven’t ever been to Russia, but I do understand having to stand in line, bargain and going home with (or without). For years, we have taken advantage of sales on items people are now hoarding. I’m not worried about toilet paper, food, not much of any consumable really. The thing I worry over is the ingredients for the food I cook for my old dog. Yeah, my 13 year old dog. She has a veterinarian prescribed diet of boneless, skinless boiled chicken and rice. I add her medications to that twice a day. The Wal-Mart limits the number of packages of chicken you can buy. It is a 52 mile one way drive. I worry I won’t have enough for her. Most all of us will get thru this problem and the next and the next because we are willing and able to do without in order to provide for those who have more need than ourselves. We must have faith in God, our neighbors, family, friends and ourselves.
I has that problem with toilet paper in a store. I purchased my stuff walked it out to the car and came back and bought some more, problem solved.
This is the week the meat prices got jacked up. About 2 and half weeks ago I bought a family pack of rib eye steaks for $50 today that same family pack was $77. WOW. Good thing I normally can stretch out on steak for 3 to 6 meals. Lots of veggies.
My parents survived being deported to Siberia and later traveled and lived in 26 countries before settling in the US. Every year they made us kids watch Doctor Zhivago to show what they went through. I can’t complain about anything I am going through as all my family on both sides had the same experience.
I also quick watching the news as most throw so many negative comments that it just makes the situation worst.
Can you tell my mind is ping ponging all over the place?
Lizabeth De says
We will be ok. Our parents, grandparents, great Grandparents went thru tough times. Tough times don’t last, tough people do.
Megan W says
Great comment, Lizabeth!
And thank you ALs (OK, “HA” if I have to) for your blog, your books, and for bringing together the BDH. I always find something inspirational when I read this blog.
Thank you for the moments that I can share with my friends and family. They bring much needed giggles and laughter in a time when stress is causing everything to fall apart. I am the only one in my extended family to still have a job so everything is chaos, tears and bill juggling. Coffee cat is my boss every day so I bring gummies instead and call it an ‘alternative energy stream’. It gets me through the day 🙂
Yes. This. I was only barely employed in retail before the shutdown. I am now not. I have plenty of time to look for work in my field (writing/editing), but there are fewer jobs and, while many writers and editors are being afforded the opportunity to work remotely (yay!), many still are now unemployed. It’s a numbers game. I am anxious about covid, hugely, and I am anxious about having no income at some point (I am saving that extra $600/week so I have it to live on longer if it takes me a very long time to find work). (Also, $600/week is too much. Even $200/week would have been a godsend.) I am very anxious about what our society and our communities and our relationships and interactions will be like as we move forward. That’s what I’m most anxious about.
Bill DeFilippis says
Glad your computer showed up,but don’t fret about Ryder,it is you who are doing us a favor.
I am very fortunate, I am employed,been working from home since mid March instead of commuting into NYC, and though I live in one of the epicenters of the disease in northern NJ, I am so grateful people around here take it seriously, people wear masks in stores,they distance inside,stores try to protect their workers and people don’t get irritable if they have to wait to go into the store. We walk our two goons a lot and people have been great.
There is one idiot near where I live with the big poster of you know who on a tree outside his house,who yells at people wearing masks as sheep giving up their freedom, who claims he will force his way into stores that require masks and makes a jerk of himself…and is being shunned by his neighbors and from what I hear has been banned from Costco and other stores in the area. It saddens me to see political.conservatism meaning I don’t give a crap about others, when it is supposed to be about responsibility, not to mention many of those refusing to act sensibly claim to be religious; whatever happened to love they neighbor as you love yourself?
I worry about our son, he is living in Houston and from what he says everyone there is acting like everything is fine,no masks, no distancing and they make fun of those wearing masks. He has asthma and even though they now say it isn’t necessarily a risk w Covid,I worry about it.
Things are opening up more here, I understand why people are going stir crazy, we notice that when any semblance of normalcy comes back, the local Asian restaurant for takeout or our favorite Greek diner, or they reopened the parks, it just feels so.much better It is also great that if I need to go to the hardware store to fix or do something,I don’t have to decide if it is an emergency or not but rather is simply needed.
Overall I am grateful that I and my family are okay and that while I don’t worry about myself, I worry and pray for all the people hurt by this and do what I can to help.My worse nightmare is not getting sick from this, but somehow infecting others.
I hear you about Kid 1. I’ve got one in graduate school, one is graduating from university next year and one in high school. None of them are going to find summer jobs in order to contribute financially towards their college funds. They can’t go out and do any activities that they love and we are scattered around four states. I’m with my elderly mother, my eldest is with my father, my youngest is with my in-laws and my husband and Kid 2 are at our home. I miss them so much, but our parents can’t be alone during this pandemic so we scattered.
Like you the shortages I can deal with, it’s the inactivity that is making me grumpy and I miss my job, but I couldn’t risk working because I have an autoimmune disease and I do not want to get sick so I’m holed up with my mom and we are two very cranky ladies.
What I am afraid of is urban civil war.
Thank you, the sentiment is on point, couldn’t agree more. And I love how instead of being preachy you make me smile. That is why I read your blog. Not because I love your stories, though, I do. I read it for your down to earth wisdom, your homey stories and the fact you often make me smile if not out right laugh.
If you haven’t seen this I’d like to return the favor, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFZFjoX2cGg
PS: more Artha please
An excellent post. Thank you for the perspective.
Stacy Mcknighy says
Thank you for the post and then the amusing comments. I am working hard to remind myself that I’m very lucky. It’s hugely stressful and fat lots of my life sucks but in many ways I was more prepared than many of my friends. I work hard to be positive , look for the happy has been a part of my mindset for decades. One way I’ve been looking for that happy place is in books-a lifelong obsession with reading set me up well for this. I have been immersed in worlds you have created to escape from my own for a bit . It is not a total solution as I miss my usual stress relievers with a bone deep passion (family, museums, sightseeing and nature ) but has helped. It has helped a lot! So again, thank you!
However impatient I may be for Ryder it is something I didn’t expect at all so – being so bold as to speak for most fans- we will be happy to get it whenever we get it!
I’m glad you got your computer!
I’m also not too fussed about shortages (I stocked up on toilet paper, coffee, and over-the-counter medications) but the coronavirus scares me silly.
Much as I look forward to each new Ryder, I also got a lot of comfort and perspective from your words today.
Whenever I find myself stressing, I remind myself that my grandparents survived two world wars AND the Spanish Flu. This too shall pass.
I live in Italy, I’m very very afraid of this virus. To the point that I’m afraid to go out and go to the supermarket or something like that.
It is since the beginning of the crisis here in Italy that I’m staying at home. In the beginning, I did go out to take away the groceries at the supermarket (basically it was like the McDrive but for the supermarket) then I couldn’t anymore because we couldn’t leave our village.
I’m very very afraid… The other day I went out to do a little walk with my daughter and husband and I had so much anxiety when going out and seeing other people walking in the neighborhood. I’ve never been like this… Now I am… I don’t know if or when this anxiety will go away… I hope fast.
Shannon from Texas says
Oh, Lyanna, I’m so sorry you’re experiencing paralyzing anxiety and/or panic. I have both Generalized Anxiety Disorder (my all-day walking around anxiety level is very high) and Panic Disorder (causing me to experience 5-45 minute long spikes of terror.) One of the happiest days of my life was 30 years ago, when I finally opened up to a doctor who said, “okay, this is what it is, and this is how we’ll deal with it in therapy, and here’s your first prescription.” There was life before, and then there was so much better life afterward.
Obviously, this may not be the best time to seek out a psychiatrist (for medication management), or a therapist/psychologist (for strategies and toolbox building), ideally both. But would it be possible to do a phone consult with your regular doctor, perhaps for a prescription to get you back on a more even keel?
Most especially – life is not AS scary right now as your body is telling you it is. You’re not weak, a coward, or a failure. You’re not letting anyone down, and you have nothing to be ashamed of. This crisis has just hit you in a *physically* vulnerable spot (the brain is as physical as the liver), and it *will* get better. If you got hit by a metal pipe at the right place and angle, it might break your leg. So, get a cast (tell your family and doc you need help), get temporary crutches (medications like a benzodiazepine), and give yourself time to heal. Be gentle with yourself, this situation just keeps beating on us in new ways with different weapons. You’re likely to need support and treatment at least until science has some solutions for this virus. The good new is science already has a LOT of solutions for anxiety. My very best wishes for you and yours!
I’m sending good wishes, positive thoughts and strong happy vibes your way. Take care of yourself, Lyanna ????
Thank you, IA, for your balancing post. Love your humour.
You bring back memories. My mother and father have been gone nearly 26 and 25 years respectively. Still miss them, my mother especially as she was the loving, kind cog in our world and was taken away in a flash.
Compassion and kindness are so important right now, and from reading the comments, even for the eejits (couldn’t resist) who behave the way they do because of their own insecurities and fear. When fear is at the forefront it is difficult to manage our emotions. If anyone practices meditation, I find this guided meditation is really helping me now. https://youtu.be/KaeGOOtWKjA
Being compassionate to ourselves enables us to be compassionate to others. It’s such a challenging time…
Happy the computer arrived. Have a great weekend and Rhyder will be welcome whenever you get to it. ????????
The shortages didn’t bother me all that much: I am sort of a “prepper” anyways: because I have never felt secure in my employment and I always felt like I had to be able to survive for a month or so if I had to with nothing coming in……I’ve been out of work since early March and although I could have survived on my savings (and husband’s Social Security), I am actually making more money on unemployment (because of the stimulus) than I was working 46 hours a week. So I get to stay home, not go anywhere or have to do anything but read?? and not starve? It has been WONDERFUL. But I worry over my daughters: the one who has had to keep working every day because she has an “essential” job. The one who has always been already prone to hysterical anxiety who has been working from home and feels imprisoned in her apartment because apparently people in Austin do not take this seriously and congregate in the pool area outside her apartment…..the things I have no control over. It is the loss of control, I believe, that is everyone’s pressure point. The thing I have taken away from this that hurts me the most, though, is the deep sorrow I feel for how my country has handled this whole thing. I’ve watched it slip away for years, but it has really been brought home to me the last month or so that the America that I knew and grew up in really and truly is gone and I am mourning. Because it’s not coming back. It’s just…..gone.
Thank you so much fir posting when it must be the last thing you feel like doing. The BDH need to know you’re ok its a kind of sanity lifeline
On a lighter note since you mentioned you are a bear of very little brain is gordon Christopher Robin? If so I do hope that he hasn’t tried to drag you down the stairs by your heels Bitter experience its very painful on a concrete stair!
Oops this is in the wrong place!
In my tiny country things are way better.Still we have to wear masks and stuff.There are people who dont. Im going crazy.Some are relatives and dont think its wrong to visit my 70 – somthing parents.
Hoping 2021 won’t be as f***ed up
In the meanwhile, take care, Author Lords and BDH alike, sending positive vibes your way ~
I know enough about Covid to be scared of it, and enough about math to know I’m probably ok. And I have been saying this all along. Until.Until we found out that symptoms are basically random. Coughing is the ONLY symptom that has consistently occurred in more than 50% of cases. And even then, the severity of coughing varies wildly. In March I had a cold. Sore throat, stuffy nose, a cold. The WHO told me at that time that there was a 95% chance of NO Covid with those symptoms.
It isn’t about who is bothering to get diagnosed. I don’t know if tests are as short in Texas as elsewhere, but even if they are plentiful, how is someone to know that foot rash is a symptom of Covid unless they saw the ONE newspaper article on it? Or that their mild cold is Covid and not one of the three strains of Coronavirus that cause a common cold?
But math still helps me. In places where there are more closed than open cases, it’s a 15% very sick and 2% mortality rate. And I’m lucky to be in Austria, where it’s close to over (at least until they open the borders again). And has one of the best estimates of numeric accuracy (comparing normal mortality rates during this time period to actual mortality rates, Austria has the smallest gap). So take comfort in the math when the science is too damned scary!
And remember 1917-1918 and that it could be a lot worse. It could have been the flu.
One of my oldest friends does computer modeling in one of the (many) labs working with the live virus. The math gets better. Triple the number of positive cases for those who are asymptomatic or very mildly symptomatic. He and his partner were both exposed (well, ok, he was the one who exposed his partner), both tested positive, both had zero symptoms. He worked from home right up until he tested negative twice (he’s still working from home, since the modeling can be done remotely). On the downside, double the number of reported deaths. The math still gets a lot better that way, just not as much better.
The only thing I can not do without is toilet paper – I normally order packs of 48 rolls at a time, so as I ordered a second set just after everything kicked off, I can deal with everything else ????
For the rest, what will be will be (I can’t remember how to spell it out in Spanish, a la shades of Doris Day ????)
Shannon from Texas says
Can’t resist… it’s que será será. No idea why that’s floating around my brain. All this ordering delivery, and I find I suddenly can’t remember my own zip code!
I’ve been singing that song ever since I saw that post! It’s from a movie called The Glass Bottom Boat. I don’t know if it’s available anywhere but if you’re looking for a fun, silly and romantic HEA movie, this is it ????
I’m blessed and lucky to have had a fairly easy coronavirus shutdown experience. Being single I’m used to being alone, content with my own company, love to cook/bake and have plenty of hobbies. I do childcare and that has enabled me to keep working a bit and be around people. My background and training is in the medical field which has helped me to be neither frightened nor complacent. But I’m fully aware that others have not been so fortunate. So I hope and pray and think positive thoughts for all who are sad and suffering, sick/infected/recovering/, and especially those who are working so diligently to keep us safe.
xoxoxo to you all!
Bill G says
Thank you for continuing to think of us; we’ll love Ryder when we can get it.
Meanwhile, back at the Raunch House … er, whatever, we all do have our stressors and our fears. And it is not necessary to go around poking at strangers in the hope of finding one such. After much practice and study I have found that by combining several types of meditation with Primal Scream Therapy that it is actually possible to scroll past other people’s posts. Yes!!!!!! No matter how desperately a post cries out for my brilliant analysis and rapier-like wit, I actually can just ignore it. And move on …
Debi Majo says
Prayers for those with anxiety and fears.
Kira Hagen says
I’ve spent about half my life overseas (from Minnesota originally) and I’ve got similar issues – food shortages, baking at home, political instability … I grew up partially in Africa, went through my first coup d’etat in Burkina when I was 5, taught English in Moscow for 9 years… I can deal with that. I mean, not always happily or well, and I am SO sick of cooking at home, but I can deal. But this simultaneous isolation and never actually being alone of quarantine? I’m in Germany now, all the kindergartens are closed for who knows how long, and there are days I feel like my child has taken a buzz saw to my brain. I mean I adore him I just sometimes wish I could take a sledgehammer to Roblox, like, the entire platform.
My photo business is just gone. I did event photography and portraits at events, mostly larps, historical reenactments, and medieval dances so we aren’t talking big money or full time work but it was the difference between “just scraping by” and “living with some frills and fun”. The depression from losing that has been really hard.
I started writing again, though, which I haven’t since high school, and that’s been the main thing getting me through. It’s not fanfic but definitely draws inspiration from Innkeeper and KD (but probably more Shadowrun, Changling, and Endzeit), and I just want to thank you guys for having written those, and I guess opened up the relief of spending time in a world where everything has already gone wrong? Anyway, if it helps anyone else, doing something completely outside what you normally do, in this times that are completely outside normality… well it might help. Good luck to you all!
Big Mike says
If it takes a century for the next chapter of Ryder to appear there will be a 174 year old man patiently waiting for it, and that will be me.
Shannon from Texas says
I am now 200 miles from my home, after looters burned the pharmacy a block from our house in St Paul, MN. My husband and I evacuated with 2 cats and my 86 year old mother, who is now living with us since she couldn’t deal with the isolation of the pandemic. We are in a 1 bedroom vacation home, which is very nice but very crowded at the moment. We could deal with shortages, staying at home and pandemic precautions, but rioting in the streets is just pushing us a bit too far. I seek to accept what is happening with grace, compassion and patience, but I am running low on all three.
Love all the people on here. I am lucky I can telework. My main fear is being back to work in real clothes again. I too worry about everyone else. I love that we are opening up again in my city, but I just can’t bring myself to go where groups of people gather, masks or no. I have asthma and know what it’s like not being able to breathe, and COVID has no cure. So I will stay home as long as I can and have groceries delivered. Good luck to everyone and thank you Ilona and Gordon for all you do.
Personally I haven’t stopped my daily activities. Yes I got fired from my job, but if I want to go do something I do it, I also know that I had this thing in November. So I don’t worry about it.
Very interesting reading everybody’s stories here. I am reminded again to be thankful for a few rather tough years we had, after moving to rural SW Virginia during a recession. We burned all kinds of things in a basement coal stove (including dumpster-retrieved phone books) to keep from freezing. We wasted nothing then, and I picked up a bit of a hoarding habit. But if it weren’t for that period, I would not have a capacity to know what this is like. So many people I know don’t have that blessing and cannot understand.
P.S. I still haven’t had to buy TP since December. My stash is still adequate.. 🙂
Thanks for sharing. Here in Germany the situation is pretty mild and I know that even if I catch the virus I will receive the necessary care – kind you I am still careful. I have a secure job, so no pressures on that front but I live alone (luckily with cats to keep me company). So the thing I miss the most is being able to hug my friends and family – the loneliness sometimes feels so suffocating. Thanks so much for your kind works. Because even though I have it good. It is nice to acknowledge that there are different pressure point for everyone
Keep well 🙂
Thank you for this thread! I live in CT, surrounded by the horror that is covid. Prior to all of this my sister was dying of cancer. I took early retirement so that I could head down to TN to care for her. My last day of work was March 14. (oyoyo) We decided I shouldn’t risk infecting her, so we put off the visit for a couple of weeks, then the lockdown hit. She died 4 weeks later while we’re still in lockdown. Even though covid didn’t kill her, she tested positive so I coulda/shoulda/woulda made the trip without harming her. That’s all sad but what really spikes my anxiety is that most family members live in the south. In areas that are not hit so hard, where death from the disease doesn’t seem so real. My brother traveled from AL to TN, twice, because he’s not going to be like those “sniveling, irrational cowards who quake in fear in their homes.” I don’t get his lackadaisical attitude and he doesn’t get my fearful attitude. So yeah…TMI, hahaha. But to talk about it within the family creates divisions.
Shannon from Texas says
I’m so sorry for your loss, Lynne. And I’m sorry you seem to be having to be the peacemaker in such a trying time. As for the coulda/shoulda’s, didn’t mom Baylor have some good advice for that? Burn For Me, the night or next morning following getting the artifact piece from the building that went boom? Now I need to go look that up! Wishing you peace, health and healing.
Thank you so much for sharing this! It is always a good thing when someone can get others to take a step back and see the world in a new perspective. Anxiety is personal and so is the way people deal with their own anxiety and we should all be respectful of this. Thank you expecially for your family story is really amazing to read!
Shlomi Harif says
Hugs. Just… hugs. To you and you and y’all, and y’all’s y’all. A lot of grace, a little humility, and a lot of deep (masked) breathing go a long way.
Thank you for your words. They fit to all of us – worldwide. Be kind.
Hugs about about your mother. Mine passed almost 2 years ago and the loss is still fierce as I’m sure yours is. Thank you and Gordon for the amazing books. They are getting me through many things right now. Stay safe, be well. 🙂
Judy Schultheis says
I’m retired and have a pension as well as Social Security. My life hasn’t changed a whole lot, though I sorely miss going to the library and I and my offspring who live in the same complex are planning to go to our favorite restaurant the day it reopens and make a serious attempt to buy out their entire menu.
I have been taking advantage of being up with the sun and going for morning walks around my neighborhood. I still haven’t found a pattern for three miles, though there are lots for one mile or two and I’ve found two (slightly) different routes that work out to four miles each.
Somebody has been putting crotchet work around stop sign poles on one corner.
From working in academia my entire career, I have had a lot of experience with handholding for the stressed-out. I live in Oregon, which seems to be dealing fairly well with things, and if I actually know anybody who’s been sick with COVID-19, they haven’t told me. I still get to talk to a lot of worried people, and I do what I can to help. One friend and I spend about 3/4 of every conversation talking about books – very often the Innkeeper series, and, lately, Ryder.
Donna A says
This is very true and as such I will unequivocally apologise if I have at any time upset anyone about anything.
We don’t know what’s going on with anybody else so I suppose the best thing to do is to try and be understanding.
Here in the UK we are loosening lockdown while still having 300+ deaths a day from covid19. Obviously we want to come out of the measures but we’re very concerned about how it’s happening and how people around us are following the rules, which does leave you in an almost constantly anxious state. Then there’s the fact you can’t escape the pandemic, it’s everywhere, you can’t see your family the same way, you can’t go out the same way, you can’t shop or even watch TV soaps the same way. It’s pervasive and draining and irritating and upsetting all at once.
So I want to send everyone everywhere a huge virtual hug and pat on the back (I’m not much of a real life hugger normally and am famed in my family for my heavy back patting!). We can all get through this, I truly believe it, it’s just difficult.
Hugs and comforting pats all round.
Glad your computer arrived. One less worry for you. My children are in their 40’s and I still worry about them. I now have 3 grandchildren to worry about. One good thing about CO19 it is affecting the elderly, I’ll be 70 in august along with my twin sister. The Spanish Flu killed the young. I’ve had great life. Retired when I was 68 from nursing. I would love my children, God willing, to enjoy retirement and to be blessed with their grandchildren. The young are wonderful human beings and are our future. That’s why I love hearing about Julies story and how she has developed to an adult. Be brave everyone the Spanish flu went away, so will CO19.
I remember standing in a queue in USSR, in Kiev for toilet paper in late 1980s with my grandmother. When you’re a kid this all feels like an adventure.
I am sorry you’re having anxiety attacks, those are never good for stress and general well being. Also best of luck to Kid 1, I am positive she will get there.
Shortages were worriesome at first, but South Africa was pretty good about items coming through. The restrictions are being relaxed, but we’re entering winter so that’s not great. Unfortunately, our economy was bad before lockdown, if it doesn’t reopen we might have a mini civil war. So a combo of the flu season and second infection wave isn’t great, but here’s hoping for the best. Well, that and learning to get through the day with a mask on (it’s currently compulsory in South Africa to be in public with a face mask)
Marian Bernstein says
I have a bread machine. I used to make bread all the time until my German Shepherd learned that the breadmaker opened at the top. She would wait, open the bread machine, and eat most of the bread. I moved it, she still got to it. I moved it again. Zoe Bernstein ate the bread. I gave up.
Ringo Wilbur says
Your dog is very smart. And very naughty.
I lived for a while on a Caribbean island and every day you’d look at the harbor to see if a boat came in – that dictated what would be in the stores. The news spread like wildfire, “oh, there’s milk at the grocery!” or “they’re unloading furniture from Paris!”. In these times, I look at the trip to the grocery store like that . . . it’s a treasure hunt and my friends and I send gleeful emails to each other when we find something good.
Our fears, whether they be fear of infection, fear of permanent work loss, fear of losing dignity, or a myriad of others, can make us angry and defensive. I try to avoid the stereotyping of someone based on my fears, as people have complicated lives that I may not understand by one action. I have told my friends (both sides of the political spectrum) that their rants are what upset me most so when figurative foaming at the mouth starts, I bow out. Be kind out there and you can’t go wrong.
House Andrews, you can’t overestimate how much we appreciate not only your work, but your level-headed and calm approach to life. Thanks for inviting us into your world.
“House Andrews, you can’t overestimate how much we appreciate not only your work, but your level-headed and calm approach to life. Thanks for inviting us into your world.”
I couldn’t agree more! 🙂
I live in Prague. The situation looks very good. Thanks to strict measures, the measures are released after three months. On the street we can already without Masks at intervals of 2 m. I am not afraid of contact with people.
Yup. Covid is scary. I work for a police dept. We have been very careful, even sharing hours so the other clerk and I aren’t in the office at the same time. I go grocery shopping and to the hardware store when needed, but stay home otherwise. I’ve gotten a lot done but not as much as I wanted to. On a good note, my dr did my physical and my BP was down! Looking forward to my bloodwork results.
I have spent years working emergency management for NYS. Plane crashes, terrorist attacks, nuclear power plant training. I have a diff threshold of anxiety than most people.
My anxiety from this is because my hubby is in a nursing home and I haven’t kissed or hugged him since March 11th. We have been fortunate because there has only been one patient and 4 workers who have recently tested positive. They all had contact with each other, none with him. I can get thru this as long as I know he is safe.
Angela Knight says
I’m waiting on results from a COVID test. It sucks so hard. I won’t know until Thursday.
I’ve had a murderous sinus infection for a month. Found out the lady who cleans for me tested positive, and it hit her as a sinus infection. I had been on a killer antibiotic which did basically zip. Which means it’s a viral infection. Now, is it COVID? Well, haven’t had a fever and I can still taste. So…maybe not. But I have 80-year old parents, and I need to be sure so I won’t kill them.
In the meantime, I’m wearing a mask in my own house to protect my kids and hubby.
My anxiety is same a yours Ilona. I can’t with people (A.K.A. relatives) asking if they can visit us now that we’re down to GCQ (general community quarantine). I mean…IT’S A QUARANTINE. I did not just spent 2 months in lokdown just to get infected by fools.
I visited family behind the Iron Curtain for the first time in the late 70s. I remember the local market with a few sad carrots and potatoes in bins, and being served beef with so much gristle you couldn’t chew it at the Introurist hotel in Moscow. In those days you could not visit the Soviet Union without an Intourist guide and the hotel room were all bugged. Ah, memories! One really helpful thing from my background is the ability to make multiple meals with just potatoes, bacon, onions and flour/potato starch. The temporary shortages have not bothered me, but the disease scares the heck out of me. we’re easing off some restrictions, but I don’t see stopping wearing a mask for some time yet, no matter what some rant. Here’s to better days!
You guys are too cute…. I love the panchait and the ‘people’ lessons that are always included in these snippets…. one day, in a book signing….. someday….. I’m
just gonna walk up and give you guys both, a big giant bear ????hug … Social distance be damned.
My heart is heavy for all those who are suffering, in so many ways. But let me encourage you that, in most places, the percentages are very good that you won’t get it, or if you do, that it won’t be serious. I’m not denying the risk, or the suffering of those who have had it , or worse – lost someone to it. But I worry that this fear is adding stress to people who don’t need more stress. I’ve been looking up some numbers to encourage my daughter (who lives in Indianapolis and is so afraid she might give it to someone if she’s asymptomatic) and the numbers are looking good,! We really caught it early. In the whole state of Indiana, as of yesterday, they had just 529 new cases since 4/28, and 40 deaths. Even if you double that number, it’s very good odds. In my county in Pennsylvania, we were fortunate to have only 149 test positive ( since March!) and 5 deaths; 4 of which were octogenarians, one 96 yo man, and someone in their 70s. Those are are sad losses but good numbers! And believe me, I had to dig to find them. Often they would give numbers for the whole state and not even mention the time period they were talking about. This makes it sound bigger than it is. We aren’t being given enough facts to make informed decisions for ourselves, and it seems to me that there is a lot of fear-mongering. Every year the regular flu kills many, (almost 80,000 in 2018), but we don’t hear about it or worry about it much. I had a young, seemingly healthy young friend who was hospitalized with a bad case of flu last year. To get a proper perspective of numbers, we need to know the percentage of each population and the usual numbers of fatalities and do the math. A lot of elective surgeries have worse odds, as do the risks of our everyday lifestyle, but we don’t even think much of them.
In other good news, they seem to be making progress with a vaccine.
I agree it’s terrible how mean people can be, and fear makes people angry too, which doesn’t help. Some people are also harsh with those who don’t wear masks -my other daughter got a nasty comment when she took off her mask outside a store! Personally, I wear them in businesses out of respect for others, but they make my face itch, which means I’m touching my face way more than normal. Also some people have anxiety issues with masks- they feel they can’t breathe. I think it should be an individual’s or a business’ choice whether to do masks or not. Especially if the numbers stay as they are. Sometimes the masks may do more harm than good for the wearer,. The only good they could do as far as I can see is keep someone from accidentally sneezing or spitting on others. But that’s not enough reason to make millions of people miserable, and more stressed. If they make you feel safer, then wear them! But please try to understand that other people may have good reasons for not wearing them. And they aren’t unscientific just because they disagree with some expert or you. An “expert’s” opinion is still just an opinion and not an absolute truth. You can find experts with widely oppositional beliefs.
It takes courage to have freedom, because it means taking responsibility for our own choices and allowing others the freedom to choose differently.
Respectfully no. It is unscientific to ignore the scientists and do whatever you want. I won’t call it stupid, but it is unscientific. Every day that I walk into my hospital in Pennsylvania and worry that resources have been diverted or we run out of something or whether I can see to operate in my faceshield I pray that those people you are referring to won’t be dumped on my doorstep to fix due to their own idiocy. Masks work, else I would have tested positive two months ago. Maybe if you refuse to follow protocols you should opt to stay home so as not to burden the health care system. Some are saying let Darwin take it’s course.
Mary, masks are there to protect other people. I know they are itchy and uncomfortable, but every time you put one on, you are saying to everyone you meet that their lives are important to you. None of us know if we are asymptomatic carriers. If everyone wears a mask, the transmission of the virus will plummet. So please try to tough it out, if possible. 🙂
Ringo Wilbur says
You DO realize that no matter how well your state is doing *now*, all it takes is one extroverted super spreader to set the disease off in your community. 100,00 dead in 3 months, means 400,000 dead in twelve. More without masks and lock downs. And I never saw refrigerator trucks parked outside hospitals and mortuaries during any flu season.
Katie R says
Great post. And so true. I had the same reaction when China shut down. I went out and bought a big pack of TP and PT, but I thought it would all be over in a few weeks. A month at most. Then I had to get creative. We haven’t done without though, so we’re very luck. Amazon, Target and Costco have come through.
Many sleepless nights over COVID though. Not fearing the disease so much as losing my house. Husband already lost the job he was on and half his business, so it’s crappy.
But we had a lovely picnic in the park with the kids and all the other people there socially distanced nicely under their own shade trees. We ate, played a trivia game, and all was right in the world.
Glad you got your computer!
Jenn Hayes says
I can understand anxiety over all of this. I came from a family that for many ears was a single parent family. I understand how to stretch a dollar. I’ve made laundry soap, love it. I’ve learned to bake bread under these circumstances, and muffins, lots and lots of muffins. I stress over being able to feed my kids, I stress over the thought of them going back to school in the fall. I have been the parent to limit their contact, being the only one doing the shopping. I stress over the fact that I have 2 teenage girls and a toddler girl and they are climbing the walls and I’m doing my damnedest to not come out of my face at them bc they are bored and taking it out on each other while I am trying not to take it out on them. I live just outside Atlanta and the thing that are going on right now bring on a whole new level of anxiety as a mother and a decent human being. Your blog, stories, comments, snippets, anything you give us really, is what makes me smile during these times. I grab a kate book and read for a bit to lighten my mood and carry on. So thank you. You help keep us sane in this crazy insane world.
As always, thank you for your perspective and sharing. There’s a group out here in NE posting signs to encourage. .. You Got This. And you do!
I have always had a food and tp anxiety….or at least since I have been on my own and no longer in my parents house….I know what it is to be without and I don’t ever want to be without again……I am not a hoarder I am a planner……I have had that shoe drop before so I always have a stocked pantry (95% of which I rotate so it gets used by , but have on occasion been human and missed ) so when the lock down came I did not have to rush out and get toilet paper or food…….all my friends know that if I have something and they need something I am a phone call away because I am always willing to share ……but I definatly understand the anxiety that comes with this……my daughter lost her job and can’t get unemployment (the system does not recognize her ss number and no one has responded to our request for help) I am grateful for my husband and my son to both have a job ……but I worry that they will catch covid ……one works in retail at a store that sells cheap stuff and people can be nice and people can be rude or just plain awful….at some point in time I have to pull away from the daily trouble ..play games …..talk to my friends via facebook and read a few books …..thanks for writing the books ~~~
Thankyou so much for posting this
Ellen Sandberg says
Thank you for your wise words and your humour.
Back in the beginning of March I recently had a hip replacement. I was very lucky I had that before they stopped doing voluntary surgeries. Since I was already in isolation, I was worried about whether I still had a job. I was even more concerned about whether I could still get food. I live in an apartment in Manhattan and all the reports about the scarcity of food and other supplies worried me very much. However once I was released and went home, I found I could order supplies and groceries. Once I knew That I still had a job and could work from home and I could get food, the full horror of the disease itself hit me. New York has been especially hard hit and reading about how many have been infected and how many have died was heartbreaking. Even more terrifying were the reports of violence and refusal of some not to take this seriously. Luckily I live in a neighborhood where people do try to take care of each other. The people in my apartment building have been helpful and supportive. I’m glad to see most people do wear masks when they go out although there are some that still refuse to do this. I am sorry SGN with John Krasinski is no longer doing new episodes. It was so good to see that they were people who rose to the occasion and went out of there way to help others. It was good to see that the majority of people were acting in a sensible and responsible way. The news has a tendency to only show the loud minority who act irresponsibly and selfishly. We will get through this. Hopefully once we do we will be better, wiser, and kinder. We will take what we learned and make the world better.
Geneva Salisbury says
I always look forward to your posts and now I see I’m going to have to take it one step further and read the comments.
I’m a retired RN from Oregon and have been traveling in a small RV for the past 5 years. I’ve spent part of the last 3 years in Texas staying in different parks.
This year with the COVID-19 hit has stopped that. I have at least 3 high risk factors and have decided to settle back down in Oregon.
I’m buying a condo in a 55+ park, selling my RV and staying put much to my children’s relief.
Thank you guys so much for your books and stories to give us an escape in these trialing times.
Thank you for the chuckles 🙂 My pressure point is going out shopping & hardly anybody wearing masks. There has been a big jump in active Covid-19 cases in NC since last week. Before that it was usually a couple hundred a day. Thursday showed 26,488 total cases & 1,076 new today. Apparently there’s a lot of peeps who are being willfully blind about the risk of getting infected. Because I work at Camp Lejeune & am essential personnel my routine hasn’t changed that much. Other than wearing a mask at work or when I go to the store & carrying hand sanitizer everywhere. I’m not sure whether to be thankful I’m essential personnel or terrified I’m essential personnel. I’m tipping more towards thankful 🙂 I’m sort of anti-social so social distancing doesn’t bother me. It’s the idiots who aren’t taking any precautions who really piss me off.
When my husband and I moved in together, he insisted on having some back-up supplies. As our finances improved, more back-ups. In addition we like knowing how to make things like, wine, soap, lotions, bread (yeast & batter), jerky, spice blends, canning (pressure and bath), and so much more. Our oldest is certified to be a veterinary assistant, middle child is accepted to Culinary Institute of America, youngest is still deciding (between computers & archeology). So our children also like knowing how things work. The virus is what stresses me, in part because my health issues make me “high risk”
We will get through this.
C Lee says
I cannot, in any words, tell you how much your blogs, product reviews, musings, gentle reprimands, world-building books/characters mean to me. I truly thank you both for the gift of yourselves that you generously share with us. There are times that your words speak to me so deeply, even in their mundane context, that I can suddenly breathe – even when I didn’t know that I had stopped. As I am typing this, a flood of tears started pouring; I didn’t know they would and I don’t have an exact reason why. Acknowledgment of grief, tension, shared views, it doesn’t matter. It just makes me more thankful. I can be me. I can listen to people that I like, respect, and appreciate. I can read comments from fellow appreciators and laugh. (Thank you, Horde, for helping me feel less alone in my interests and feelings – also for the ideas.)
Thank you for talking about your purchases because I love my teapot – it is so satisfying to wash and dry it, not to mention enjoying the tea. (The larger one, not the newer single cup since I am a big drinker. ^__^)
So, ramblings aside, thank you. You make my world a better place.
Thanks for the uplifting post and for the perspectives that you shared.
I love you guys. Even though I haven’t been visiting here as much as I would like to, I appreciate the humanity and kindness I get to experience when I do visit.
Hugs and happy feelings to all
I know this has been said by other but I love you guys, too. Even though I haven’t been visiting here as much as I would like to, I appreciate the humanity and kindness I get to experience when I do visit.
True. The things I’m anxious about are definitely not what my friends are anxious about, and yet. This has just been a miserable year. Thank you for writing. ❤️
I learned something about myself during this quarantine, and the shortages of goods and food it has caused. You have to understand that I grew up poor, the first five years of my life with my birth mother, I have been told we existed on potatoes at times. At 5, myself and my siblings were adopted by an aunt and uncle who already had 4 kids, now totaling 8. It was ok at first, then he left her for a younger woman, we lived off of rice and beans mostly. It was a bad child hood, just bad in ALL ways. So, abuse leading to more abuse, I married an abusive psycho who wouldn’t work, more hunger. finally left him, went to college, paying my own way, on $5 an hour, more hunger. Years later, married, 2 grown children, things are great, (except for stupid health), and here comes the quarantine.
We were probably a couple of weeks into it, I was having trouble getting food that I felt we HAD to have to get thru this. My chest was just so tight, I felt in a constant panic every time I looked into the fridge or cabinet. We didn’t keep a lot of extra food anymore, the kids had moved out, it is just us. I kept ordering those things I felt I had to have, and not getting them. Finallly, finally I get everything I think I need! I am in tears in the kitchen, and hubby has no idea why. He has never experienced hunger before so he has no idea how it feels. So, in the last couple of weeks when they said there might be food storages, I have slowly stocked up and my husband has only smiled at me, since I explained my fear and panic to him. Last week after groceries delivered and I was putting things away, he came in asked if I felt prepared now after looked into our packed freezer of fresh and frozen veggies, and meats. I haven’t hoarded, it is enough for us, and I can stretch for our kids if I need to but I feel better now. I feel secure.
Fan in California says
Truer words — thanks, guys, as always for your sense of humor and wonderful words!! And it’s been 4 years since my Mom died and I miss her everyday. Thanks again guys!!
Excellent post. Fabulous chuckle in the thread. I share your anxiety about the virus. I struggle with my work colleagues who still don’t seem to understand social distancing but simultaneously I struggle with the rules at my mother’s Rest Home where there seems little acknowledgement of the current absence of community transmission – so my behaviour is conflicted and context dependent – guess that makes me human. I worry about how opening a Trans Tasman Bubble may undo all the hard work my nation has done. I worry that my god-daughters are going to have find a employment in a labour market I no longer fully understand. I worry I might lose my job as I am an ‘older’ worker. And in the middle of all this – any chance Kid 1 would share her sensitive skin detergent recipe? I make my own multipurpose cleaning agent but any efforts at making my own personal hygiene products have been less than stellar so far. Hope you all enjoyed your banana bread.
Pat Ray says
Thanks for the update. All any of us can do is keep hanging on. Positive thoughts for us all.
Melissa B says
Thanks Ilona for a good post. Totally agree to it all. I know I’ve been one of the ones to ask a question that had already been answered and I know I’ve irritated others. I’m sorry! Like everyone else a TON of stuff is going on so life’s just a juggle and these days I’m skimming the blog ???? . Anyway thank you for your and Gordon’s dedication to your books and this blog. I love it all! Lastly while working late this week my team mate and I were blowing off some steam and it came out that we both love to read. She and her husband have over 3,000 books at home. She said she liked Harry Potter so I then I asked what about Urban Fantasy ! She now has the link to your website and the links to some of your free works so I’m hoping to hear she will become a new fan soon.
Thank You for sharing. Your life and talent brightens my world.
My personal mantra is ‘It is more important to Be Kind than to be Right’
I work at responding to everything from a place of love.
mar in vancouver
It’s odd to me that during the whole “nobody go anywhere or do anything” portion of this pandemic, the area where I live had less than 30 people who got the virus. Now that we’re allowed out and about, people are idiots who won’t wear masks or stay away from each other, and we’ve almost doubled the count of people who got the virus. So far, so good, and no one has died. But…
Our hospital shut down everything while the pandemic “raged” and no outpatient tests were done. This meant that when they opened, they had piles of papers asking for tests for patients needing diagnosis, and even though each test takes about 20 minutes, walk-in to walk-out, the request for my test had me waiting just over 3 weeks to get it done. Then, nobody was around to read it, so my GP had to read it, and not being used to looking at CT scans, it took him a full week to figure out that I need a specialist because the crippling pain I have lived with since March 18 is pancreatitis. Had the hospital been open to do the CT scan in March or April, I’d be on my way to treatment by now, but no, it wasn’t. During the whole shut-down, anybody who did not have covid-19 had to just deal with whatever they had and suffer through anything not easily diagnosed in an exam room, because the testing centers were slammed shut. The hospital still has signs up that say no restrooms are open, the water fountains are turned off, and masks are required. Correct me if I’m wrong, but if I wanted to wash my hands, wouldn’t I need a restroom?
Now, on the plus side of this, I have lost almost 10 pounds. On the minus side, I have lost almost 10 pounds. Having had my thyroid die, I take a pill once a day to replace what it’s supposed to do, and my metabolism got organized and I already was within 2 pounds of what I consider to be my ideal weigh. I have not weighed this little in 50 years or more. My skin no longer even fits. And of course eating is a major chore under any circumstances because I have a broken lower jaw awaiting some serious surgery — which is being put off because the hospital where it can be done with all the various surgeons working on me “while I’m out” to do the necessary bone harvesting and grafting and removal of pins and plates where infection has set in due to having a broken bone in there for 3 very long years has a list of over 2400 surgeries they put off for covid-19. Had there been no pandemic, my surgery would have been done in March or April. Now? I’m probably looking at September, if then, for this life-threatening issue that can and does flare up with infections requiring antibiotics every couple of months.
Now toss in the fact that it’s pollen season like mad outdoors and my spouse is home on weekends — working out of town in a “necessary” position and staying there because going back and forth takes over 2 hours — and that means “fresh air” has to come in, carrying all that mess. No store around here has any of the facial tissues I use so I don’t get raw skin, and I’m wiping skin off my face every time I need to clear my sinuses.
So yeah, being prepared here for winter that never really happened, keeping up with all the things I stocked up just in case winter ever really hit, shortages didn’t bother me until allergy season hit. But the lack of readily available health care has me in a position where any one of three things could kill me without any warning, and I am more than a bit tense over it all. My spouse is careful, doesn’t go out in public where he works because they have a high incidence of covid-19 there, but that could come home with him one day, too.
Despite everything, I thank God every night that nobody in my family ever got the virus, nobody died, and my children both work from their homes and are isolated. I don’t mind being alone at home. I’ve been alone at home a lot because my spouse works jobs as needed, always out of town, because no one here needs the kind of specialty work he does. My animals take a lot of time to feed and love. I have things to do, but I can’t DO anything because my body is starving and hurts too much. What bothers me about it all is that only covid-19 patients could get any type of treatment at all while the shutdown went on.
My father always said that the mountain you climb won’t bother you — it’s that stone in your shoe that will wear you down. Words of wisdom, Dad.
I love your writing, all of it from a sensible post like this that sounds like something a helpful friend would write to all of your fiction. Thank you for the gift of your words, and I hope you and your family stay safe and healthy in these weird times.
Today is apparently the day for banana bread. I was having a cup of coffee with my sister after a walk when my bro-in-law came in and said, “I would like banana bread for breakfast.” My sister just continued drinking her coffee. After 10 minutes, he declared, “I will make banana bread for breakfast.” He rummaged through her cookbook, and found her “recipe.” I use the quotes because she makes the banana bread so often, that all she does is list the ingredients. We both watched wide-eyed as he tossed the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, and vanilla into the mixer at one time. The recipe listed buttermilk but my sister uses a powder that she adds to normal milk – 2 tablespoons per cup of milk. He pulled out a cup measure and tossed in an entire cup of the powder. Before she could stop him, he turned the mixer on high. Things flew around the kitchen in a cyclone of clumpy glue. He stopped the mixer, looked at the batter, and sighed, “I forgot to add the bananas.” (After we all cleaned up, my sister took over and created 2 loaves of beautiful banana bread while my bro-in-law and I watched.) When my nephews came in the kitchen, my bro-in-law presented a loaf with a proud smile and said, “Look, I made banana bread.”
Thanks for this. Things aren’t going very well in ZA at the moment, and it looks like it will be getting much worse before it gets better. Trying to stay positive is becoming a daily battle, and I constantly have to remind myself that it could be worse. Now both my husbands’ grandmothers have passed away in the last two months (non-covid related at least) and travel restrictions are so bad the kids and I weren’t even able to go say goodbye… Yeah, life really sucks at the moment, so thanks for the sunshine (^^,)
Tim McCanna says
Loved your story of your mother. My parents have both passed away but I think of them often. They were both heavily influenced by the Depression and my dad was in the navy at the end of WWII.
Not going into a political rant but they were conservatives and all of their kids ended up progressives. Just seems odd. I just ended up believing we help those with less.
So, to wrap this up, the picture at the top of this blog entry re: new computer only shows a keyboard? How did you see the post as you wrote your entry? ????
Sorry, but I have five sibs and we were all talking (raving?) about the state of America this morning and I am worn out.
Everyone stay safe and especially Ilona and Gordon, purely selfish here, I want the next Ryder entry!
When I think that humanity isn’t worth saving you manage to prove me wrong. Keep up the good work.
I hate anxiety so much. And almost everything is amplifying it right now. The last installment of Ryder was so good and it was a moment in time for me where anxiety dissolved away and I felt a huge smile on my face! When I read Julie was baking chocolate chip cookies I got lost for a bit In my head dreaming of what I thought Ascanio’s Chocolate Chip Cookies would be like if he made them for Ryder. Made with Godiva (because chocolate IS for winners) green candied cherries, oats, pecans and a secret ingredient that if you twisted my arm, I might tell you. ???? thank you so much for “Ryder” it’s a much needed distraction!
Johanna J says
You never fail to brighten our days. Congrats on getting the new computer.
Neighbors from across the street shared some fresh baked banana bread last week. So good!
I’m not picky. I worry about everything. 😉 I still keep my car topped off with gasoline ever since the shortages in the 1970’s. As for other stuff, we’re not really “overstocking”. Just doing what my mother always did which was to keep a spare of things we used a lot.
Everything you share with us is enjoyed and appreciated. Whenever you throw in some new Ryder tidbits, that’s icing on the cake (…er, banana bread?).
If the year 2020 was a drink, it would be a stale Natty Light.
Eva Piga says
I don’t usually write on your blog. I love reading your books. They are far superior to the many books I’ve read in my life time. Every one handles stress differently. To relieve stress my sister cleans, I bake. Today I baked two different types of bread and when I had started them I realized that I needed to make some cookies just in case someone stops over. Yes,unrealistic, but I have some delicious bread and cookies that I will probably give away or freeze. Hang in there and God bless.
Kathi Moran says
Thank you for your post. It is so tru that different people have different pressure points and anxieties. The fact that you shared yours helps others who have them too. I think my anxiety is more about how long this will last and what will life look like on the other side… I keep trying to just take things one day at a time but sometimes it’s hard. I appreciate that there a wonderful books to read like yours to get me through!
Katherine Nobles says
My parents were children of the depression, and some of those skills passed on to me. I can bake bread from scratch. I can make a meal with no meat that satisfies everyone, make one chicken into 3 meals as well. I can make noodles from scratch. I remember my Russian teachers talk about making “green borscht” from whatever grew earliest from their garden. (Lots of sorrel). Like you, it’s the disease that scares me. I’m 67. I have 2 autoimmune diseases. I go out once every two weeks to grocery shop. I’ve filled up the gas tank once in 4 months. I wash my hands obsessively, wear a mask, and stay away from people. Your stories help. It’s something to look forward to, and you always leave me both satisfied and wanting more! Spacibo!
I lost my mom almost 10 years ago too. That particular hole in the world never seems to close and it cannot be filled with any substitute.
Oddly enough – I grew up being sooooo embarrassed by my mom when she haggled with people. I would whine, “They said what the price was Mom, just pay and let us GO, pleeeeeaaassse!” We went to a Christmas tree lot one year, found the perfect conifer and she noticed the owner had a bit of an accent. After very politely wheedling out of him that he was Persian (we are Russian speaking Greeks by way of Siberia, China and Australia) I could literally SEE the mental hand rubbing and internal cackling that preceded an absolutely epic bargaining session. I began my mental invisibility chant. She started, subtly at first as the tree obviously had a bald spot, and HIS eyes lit up like…well, Christmas. The two of them built and built into an spectacular battle of hyperbole and histrionics over a single tree. Meanwhile the other people in the lot were staring at the very loud new zoo exhibit and I was failing miserably at my attempts disappear powered only the blazing heat in my cheeks.
In the end, I have never seen two people SO satisfied with a transaction in my life. They were grinning, joking and complimenting each other as my mother paid about 1/3 of the original price of the tree. Then he flamboyantly kissed my mother’s hand, thanking her profoundly for the joy of selling her a tree and then promptly asked if she needed another for a family member….if cell phones had been a thing that long ago I swear she would have called my aunt to get her down there and do it all over again. I swear he gave her such a good price because he was just so damn pleased that she went to all the effort to haggle like a good Greek fishwife.
In the midst of all this unfortunate craptasticness, that particular memory has been making me smile hard enough to make my eyes water since I read your blog post.
Thanks for the writing, too happy to buy the books you are flogging everywhere, but the haggling experience with Amazon is severely lacking.
Your mom sounds like a riot. I too, am not good at haggling. I give a half-hearted effort but, generally, I don’t go all out. I lost my mom last year and I am missing her like crazy.
I love this story. Reminds me of my mom and how I used to be embarrassed also. How I wish I could go back and just enjoy those moments.
I hear you about anxiety. In Manila we can’t even track the numbers correctly and will entering a general quarantine situation on Monday after having been in lockdown for over two months and it stresses me out so much. I’m glad I can do remote work but eventually I will have to show up at the office and this COVID thing has me so scared.
Tina Black says
FB has a web site for KS farms and people are buying meat from the farms — beef, pork, lamb and other things. TX needs one of these if you think meat is scarce — 120,000 Kansas customers tell you there is probably plenty.
This made me happy to read while providing some comfort and solidarity. Thank you.
Ellen D says
I grew up in a family of 6. 20 yrs of marriage, no kids and I still shop like there’s 6 people here. So this has been an excellent opportunity to work thru the chest freezer. We have a food saver, I date everything. My husband asked me if I noticed the date on the half duck that was thawing. He was drooling a little as he said this. Told him not as old as last night’s hamburger.
My pressure point: people that don’t take Covid seriously!
Jean Morgan says
I LOVE your post about apples. My parents had a small orchard behind our home. When I was eight, I picked up ALL the apples from the ground. The wormy ones, the ones the birds had pecked on, bruised – you get the idea. Then I walked around our neighborhood, giving the bushel baskets away with the apples if they bought them. I sold. Every. Single. One. I was so proud of myself and the money earned. My mother was horrified and embarrassed, while her friend laughed and decided I was going to be rich when I grew up and could therefore support my parents. I am rich in love (39 years today for my husband and I) rich in so many blessings. My prayers for everyone, to come through this Covid-19 okay and without any issues.
David in Fremont says
Thank you, EVERYBODY but especially Ilona, for the kind thoughtfulness.
We all have our many pressure points, and our personal ways to deal with them. Many of us deal by Doing Something—cases in point: baking, or making cloth face masks.
Can I suggest, for those who’d find this an appropriate choice: contact tracing work. As a nation we need tens of thousands of contact tracers, many such jobs are opening up, and we have many people (some here even, perhaps) who frankly need the income.
Ava Stanley says
PLEASE do not print
I have been a fan since samhain publications
glad you’re doing ok and things are progressing.
I am grateful for your stories because they provide some coherence in what is now chaos,
allow the advancement of different cultures, genders, and perspectives
please keep writing but..slow and steady wins the race
every time I lose my patience:
(management w/ no background in communication),
patients who don’t want virtual visits (why can’t I talk to you by phone -said in a whiny voice),
no yoga classes
no lake front, no sailing (this is Chicago ya know)
many young black men dieing
I stop and think:
everybody still healthy
my sons are safe and working
none of my patients have had to go to the hosp with C19. 2 have had to go in but I didn’t see those coming (one pancreatitis, one pre eclamptic safe so far)
hospital ICU beds are pretty full and declining slowly but at least the arc is not upward (critical care is still at capacity
remdesivir is DA CURE but right now its what we have
it has not saved everbody – that’s another conversation
in the mean time I am practicing keeping my head on straight (going to work, yoga at home, virtual african dance, practicing piano, etc)
not quite sane but not too shabby yours
joke – what’s wrong with this real estate ad (this is from “the download”)
Melissa B says
Everyone’s talking about cooking and baking. Rewarded husband with Brunswick Stew and this one was GREAT. https://www.thespruceeats.com/brunswick-stew-with-pork-and-chicken-3052066 Note I cheated though and used three cans of chicken breast, hormel pork roast, and used frozen diced potatoes, baby Lima’s and corn. Made our homemade corn light bread to go with it and it was delicious. Shared half with the neighbor too.
Thank you for reinforcing my faith in humanity. I appreciate you taking the time to talk to us. I really helps.
I hear you about people having different pressure points.
I can do socialism. I can do poverty (both the socialist and the capitalist kind, which are, strangely enough, very different.). After a couple of weeks of panic attacks, I can even do the plague.
Strangely enough, the thing that did me in was the kindergardens. The fact that kindergardens were closed in febuary and will stay closed until september at least.
I love my 4 year old son more than life itself, but I half a year of quarantine, cooped up in a tiny condo with a 4 year old and a baby (and anxiety over a dissappeared job) is just too much.
This blog and your books are the lifeline that keep me sane.
I just wrote this long post about how being a quasi-hermit I feel safe in lockdown… and then recognised that saying it makes me an ass, and I’d really rather not be an ass when so many people are scared, or in pain, or sad.
So instead, I just wanted to say that I hope that someday very soon, everyone will be able to walk out of their front door and feel safe, and secure, and free.
Thank you so much for continuing to share your worlds, both real and imagined, with us. The window into another person’s world makes me personally feel so much less isolated.
Your not an ass Rebecca. Lock down affects everyone differently. I’ve enjoyed staying at home.
Alex in Australia says
It is a joy to see someone realising the same sort of thing I’ve been seeing. I’ve been in lockdown for over a month and feeling like “hard? This is supposed to be hard?” Watching other people go batshit crazy.
Its just that as a disabled pensioner, with several chronic illnesses and the fact I was in hospital, literally unable to stand up and get out of bed for THREE MONTHS last year I don’t find lockdown confining. Being confined to the house is easy. I have multiple rooms to go in! I can control the tv without asking a nurse or paying a huge fee! I can go on the internet, read a book, ….. etc etc etc. So many things to choose from. Who needs to go outside?
Well, apparently most people. They seem to be very stressed and upset about not going out. Although I did feel like explaining to the woman who said she hadn’t been out all week and then a moment later said she went to the park. Hey lady – leaving the house, counts as going out. What about that do you not understand …. der!
This is not to say I am not stressed. However my point of stress is other people. My mother, family, friends, neighbours. They get so upset and I can’t fix it, I can’t deny the truth of the danger of covid, I can’t make the boogyman go away. All I can do is say watch a dvd, I’ll lend you a dvd … or fifty. Or a series on dvd, STOP WATCHING THE NEWS.
Everyone is stressed, everyone is worried and upset.
The answer is chocolate. A very definitive substance. Most questions in life can be answered with chocolate.
Sometimes chocolate icecream.
Love to Illona and family and all my fellow readers. Keep Reading and Carry On!
Chocolate… answers so many problems!! ❤️
I can deal with shortages because i keep what i need and have no problem improvising. I find shortages (so far) annoying, but not overly stressful. I can make bread from scratch, unfortunately there is now an active dry yeast shortage ????♀️ I do not make it often and the yeast I had on hand was expired and tgere was no “active” about it.
I do not find Covid terrifying, i find it concerning. I know with certain precautions and awareness I can stay healthy or get help when i need it (and yes, I fall into several ofbthe high risk groups). Ebola terrifies me, and when we had a little mini outbreak several years ago i kept my eye in the news and paid attention.
I absolutely refrained from visiting my parents over Easter because i was living jn a hot state and they live in the middle of one of the other hot spots. They are vulnerable. For me, if i have to go out, i wash my hands well on returnjng home and i have a little travel sized hand sanitizer I use on entering a store and after checking out, I keep my distance from others and skip back from those who are oblivoous.
I also have a biology background and have worked in a a coupld of micrbillogy labs and had to maintain sterile conditions in other labs. I have absolutely jo confidence in cloth face masks that are probably rarely washed, especially as prople get creative and start doing stuff like crocheting face masks ????
A.B. Gayle says
I know this may sound callous. Apologies in advance, but now lockdown is nearly over in Sydney Australia, coping with traffic is once again a nightmare. Driving through nearly empty streets was bliss!
I wish I’d encouraged my daughter to get the hours required for her driver’s licence.
There are so many lessons to be learned. Looking for alternatives when your favourite brand of anything isn’t available. Getting your rice from Asian owned shops you’d normally venture inside.
I am so thankful I live here though. We’re following your news with concern. From here it’s not looking good. Hope our fears are unfounded. Glad you have the experience and intelligence to cope.
Inga Abel says
There is a FB-Blog from a guy on the Bangor-Maine-Police and he closes his texts with „Leave other peoples things alone and be kind to the others!“ I think that works for everyone ????!
Greets from Switzerland ????????????
Your not an ass Rebecca. Lock down affects everyone differently. I’ve enjoyed staying at home.
Thank you for using your storytelling skills to give us some perspective and spread some empathy and understanding.
I had gotten to the point where I could deal with COVID, but I live in Minneapolis and have had to watch the horrendous murder of a black man, and the subsequent terror of watching my city be destroyed. It’s just about done me in – my stress level is at at all time high. I worry not just for myself (I live fairly close to the rioting) but mostly for my daughter, her husband and their four kids, one of whom has special needs (non-mobile, non-verbal and on a g-tube). They live even closer to the rioting than I do.
Their special needs son has to have oxygen at night so they have multiple tanks in their home, which would cause the house to explode if fires started around them. Plus trying to leave their home is a logistical nightmare, when you think of all the crap that their son needs. It makes me want to cry. Last night was the first night that I have had a decent night’s sleep in four days. And even then, I stayed up late glued to the news to make sure that the police were finally in control and getting the rioters out. No major fires, thank God.
I don’t think I can take much more.
You two are a National Treasure.
End of discussion. ????❤️
I got my layoff notice on Thursday and I kept telling myself that I shouldn’t ‘over-react’ because I still have it so much better than so many people, My husband’s job is secure and he’s the main bread-winner, my family is still healthy, we’re financially secure, but then I read an article about one of Brene Brown’s podcasts (link below). A guest of hers talked about how everyone is grieving the loss of ‘normal’ and we should take time to grieve.
And more importantly, that we should not compare our grief to anyone else’s. Just because someone has it worse than me doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to grieve. That helped, it allowed me to cry, and get angry, and process.
Hope computer and flooding and other stressors are resolving themselves for you. I live in the state of Georgia. We are not doing well. That’s all I’m going to say about that.
I’m worried about my school kids. I worry about their safety and about them getting enough food and about them missing school (their happy place) and about their parents, many of whom are essential workers who can bring Covid back to them. Everyone bragged on teachers during this time. We had two days notice to completely change the way we taught and we DID IT. No training. No help. We just did it. I worked 12 hour days 7 days a week to stay in contact with kids and to change lessons so they could be done online. The accolades from social media! The funny memes and videos from parents! Well, now we’re facing budget cuts and lost jobs and it’s like a week after we finished teaching and everyone in government has memory loss about us. Teachers? Didn’t they just have a 2 month break? Let them absorb the budget cuts. But hopefully I’ll still have a job unless they force me into early retirement. At least I can still read. Thanks for posting for us. I enjoy the blog posts with snippets AND the posts without.
Dayanara López says
I agree that people react differently and I’m really grateful you shared about your life (sorry to hear about your mom).
It made me think a lot. I’m from México and here people aren’t taking this seriously; the numbers the government are presenting aren’t trustworthy (there’s a lot of testimonies that tell how the patient had all the Covid symptoms , yet they were tagged as influenza) and we KNOW we can’t trust our government cause the president is a donkey and the system has so much corruption it’s unbelievable; here’s also a huge percent of the population
whom are living with what they make everyday and they can’t simply stop working, cause they will starve if they do (and again, the government doesn’t care).
My family used to struggle a lot when I was little, so I’m used to always have a stock of food (there’s always a kilo of beans and rice, and some corn flour to make some tortillas), but still the whole issue is just awful. And out culture is so “Vale madrista”, people just don’t give a shit, I don’t know if they honestly believe they’re immune but almost no one’s respecting the social distancing.
I consider myself lucky, as I’m doing well financially and I’m able to work from home (a lot of people were laid of here too) but everything is so… dark and negative. I really appreciate you taking the time to share with us, some days reading your posts are just the highlight of my day.
I read an article about how we’re all in this storm, but each in a different boat. Reading all these posts has really brought this home to me. I’m one of those high risk people, but for me, working from home has been great, and the cats are only mildly obnoxious at times. I know I have a really different boat from most and kind of feel like I’m in a very unrealistic bubble. Thanks, House Andrews, for creating a safe space for all of us to just be. This blog helps keep things in perspective for me, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to get a more realistic picture of this storm. ????????
Hi House Andrews! Thanks for the update~ Could you please credit the comics’ artists for their work?
From the art style, I think the first artist is: https://www.instagram.com/shencomix/?hl=en
Second artist: https://xkcd.com/386/
“I think” is probably not good enough in this case. Here is the image searchf or the first image. https://www.google.com/search?tbs=simg:CAQSpQIJIfDMrTtW-fYamQILELCMpwgaYgpgCAMSKL4Iugi7CJ0DnAPFCNodoAPnE8gIxCfHJ9U0xjfJJ7Y01jTuM8YnyCcaMJLjzmidISiMQsDos76UDIx87MnA-S9XH7uBElRaXvNQ8BKh0bOtY5oGGT4901e9dyAEDAsQjq7-CBoKCggIARIEc9vOEAwLEJ3twQkakQEKGQoHY2FydG9vbtqliPYDCgoIL20vMDIxNW4KGwoIY2xpcCBhcnTapYj2AwsKCS9tLzAzZzA5dAofCgxpbGx1c3RyYXRpb27apYj2AwsKCS9tLzAxa3I4ZgobCghsaW5lIGFydNqliPYDCwoJL20vMDkxOXJ4ChkKB2ZpY3Rpb27apYj2AwoKCC9tLzAyeGxmDA&q=porgs+vs+baby+yoda&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjUyp2kq9_pAhUERK0KHfLJDZgQ2A4oAXoECAkQKA&biw=1536&bih=775
I am not finding the origin. If you can find where it originated, I will update the post.
SORRY! I messed up the replies somehow and my reply ended up in the wrong place! Here it is again:
Same thing happened to me on the image search ????
You made a good point, I should have been more thorough, so I went hunting!
It turns out this particular meme is an edit of a webcomic by Shen Comix (https://www.instagram.com/shencomix/), according to https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/amateurs. This website, as far as I’ve used it, has been accurate.
The webcomic became a meme format, so I don’t know if this particular meme is really attributable, but if you wanted to, linking Shen’s instagram with a note or the KnowYourMeme page would work…
Thank you for also putting in the work to attribute the art!!! It’s really nice to see ????–every time I really like someone’s work, I’m terrified of every interaction with them! ????
Valerie in CA says
I am high risk. I am considered essential at work. I go to work everyday. Shortages started Early March. Toilet paper hand soap anti bacterial stuff and food. Unemployment skyrocketed at the same time. Northern California
I have not been to a store since end of January. I wear a mask. I hope you, the reader, will do so as well. So you do not jeopardize my life. Shortages have, for the most part, gone away. Everything is available. The reported Cases have declined because people wore masks and social distanced. One church in Rancho Cordova decided not to abide by it and 71 members were infected. Three of their ministers have died. Unemployment is on the decline. The only issue is some people are making enough unemployment and are not going back to their jobs. I think the point and purpose of unemployment has been missed these persons. In closing: things are getting better. I myself have picked up two part time and at home jobs I can do on the weekends. Two. Proofreading and editing is one; the other is accounting based. Again, I want to reiterate that it gets better. Help your fellow man if you can, buck up and go back to work, wear a mask, and go shopping for what you need.
Glad that you finally got the new computer! Yay! I’m going to need to get one soon, but who knows when supply chains will return to anything like pre-COVID.
I understand where you’re coming from about the pressure points. I am only mildly bothered by shortages after decades of being too poor to afford most things and definitely not able to stock up on anything. COVID terrifies me. Both Me and Kid 1 of mine share a house. Both are immuno-compromised for various reasons. Kid 1 works in retail. I did too, until I was terminated at the very start of March after complaining about lack of precautions being taken at the retail store I worked at.
I’m in the same neighborhood in Everett, Washington, as the FIRST Identified US Patient. The big box store I worked at was about a 3 blocks from the walk-in clinic with the same name as the one he went to. I had a customer who was quarantined and tested due to contact with that first case (and I worked in a field where we had a lot of extended contact with customers). The store was next door to the first identified community transmission case here–same day as the “first” community transmission identified in the US. I had customers cough ON my face, spit and all, during the last week of February. I was having anxiety & panic attacks constantly. My management and corporate overlords mocked me, then fired me. It likely saved my life one way or another.
I’m lucky that, even though my unemployment took about 6-8 weeks to be processed, I am getting it now. And, given the CARES Act, I’m actually getting my full former salary amount until July. No jobs around sucks, but I’m able to get state medical coverage. I’m also fortunate in that I’m at the end of an accident claim from last year and will be getting a settlement soon that may be as much as an entire year’s salary for me. So, by the time my unemployment runs low or steps down in income level, I should have settlement money. AND, I’m an introvert that is happy staying home alone with books, sewing masks, and re-attempting to learn to quilt after dropping the first attempt almost 30 years ago.
But COVID still terrifies me. I know how viruses spread so easily given my own background and previous work in the nuclear industry. I understand cross-contamination at a level that I was told is absurd by doctors, who now are likely regretting the fact that they didn’t consider that level of control necessary at the start of this.
My county is trying to get an exception to the rules to reopen businesses even though it hasn’t met the criteria and there are so many crazy people out there not wearing masks or giving me space when I have to go out. Every trip to a store is a panic attack. And, knowing the reality of how long it takes to develop vaccines and therapeutics for something like this, and adding in all the information about re-infection, no durable immunity shown, and the cytokine storm immune responses people are dying from, and…well, I realize that we are likely going to be living with SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 for several years at a minimum. It isn’t comforting.
What *IS* comforting in a very strange way is Kate Daniels and Ryder. They have survived apocalyptic change in the world and have adapted to it, in some ways for the better. I guess the post-apocalyptic, tribalist conflict, overcoming stacked odds theme gives hope no mater that it is in a magic and mayhem world.
So, I’m glad to wait for whatever you produce. Thanks for doing so. Stay as safe as you can. Let us all know what we can do to support you during this trauma drama that is our current state of the world. Because you are certainly supporting us by providing us with the hope that we can come through to the “after” no matter how brutal that world might be.
Kim Low says
Hahahahaha! Thank you for the post – I needed to read this tonight! My family members have been exposed to Covid-19 and I fell extremely stressed about it. We will hear more about it tomorrow. In the meantime, I cooked an awesome dinner and my mom, who has Alzeimer’s, made a snarky comment to my niece, and there was a blowup. My sister and I are just thinking – oh gosh, isn’t all this Covid-19 stuff enough? DO we have to have all this drama and nastiness! I agree, – be kind! And the flirting was just the ticket – funny and sweet! thank you!
Same thing happened to me on the image search 🙁
You made a good point, I should have been more thorough, so I went hunting!
It turns out this particular meme is an edit of a webcomic by Shen Comix (https://www.instagram.com/shencomix/), according to https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/amateurs. This website, as far as I’ve used it, has been accurate.
The webcomic became a meme format, so I don’t know if this particular meme is really attributable, but if you wanted to, linking Shen’s instagram with a note or the KnowYourMeme page would work…
Thank you for also putting in the work to attribute the art!!! It’s really nice to see ????–every time I really like someone’s work, I’m terrified of every interaction with them! 😀
Mardee, my thoughts and fervent prayers for your family and all those who are struggling with so much more than covid! Know that all of us are thinking of you and sending all the good thoughts we can find! Come to Perry, Florida, and settle in with all of us here! We have our heads down and are just helping each other to survive.
No one in my town, wears masks ..just us , this is stressful…it’s as if the have no clue…
My husbands Dad and Brother are M.Ds specializing in infectious diseases
They refer to Cloro/ whatever Quinine…as imbecile-n
I , like many are into the science and Covid 19 is very scary….
I have lived in Europe as a child and walked a mile to buy 3 rubber bands…so I am also ok with the limit of things ,although I bake more than I should…
My concern at present is my joint replacements in my hands ,they have failed ,I’m in pain…I need a hip replacement too, and this is not a good time…To go have major surgery…
Well hell,I am going to take some prednisone and go ride my horse…..
Jana Nicole says
I’m from Singapore. We’ve went on lockdown late-March, so it’s been just over 2 months.
I’ve spent a birthday alone for the first time in 7 years. My fiance has an elderly father and a stepmother who recently went into remission from breast cancer, so they’ve been holing up as much as possible.
We were set to be married in July, on our 8th year anniversary. I’ve had to try on my wedding dress for the first time all alone, with no one to pull up the zipper for me, or take pictures, or cry bittersweet tears with me.
I have not stopped working ever since the lockdown began. My teammate quit right before that, and with a hiring freeze right now, I have sole responsibility of 500+ students under my programme (I’m an admin/customer relations staff at a major literacy enrichment centre), spanning from 3 to 10 years old. As I’m from HQ, we also have franchisees to take under our wing as we shifted to online classes. This amounts to about 700 students, which means that I have not stopped getting yelled at, insulted by, or condescended to by 700 frustrated, pent-up parents for 2 months.
I’ve also had to get through fasting month alone, which did honestly help with the food shortages, but that also meant 3 hours of sleep a day, 2 half-assed daily meals, and having to smile and apologize and forgive 700 parents as they vent at me for things beyond my control. My single day of peace was on Ramadan, when there were no online classes and miraculously no emails or phone calls coming in. Even then, I still had to sit at the computer and prep for the next wave of lessons.
I am blessed in many ways. I have a stable job, a roof over my head, a loving fiance, and a wonderful team and a boss who I’ve known and worked with for 4 years. My country is fairly supportive of its citizens and have done so much to keep the food and medical supply lines stable. I’m not a front-liner nor an essential worker, who have to risk their lives every single day serving the community and maintaining our civilized world at its barest bones. But this lockdown has amped up my depression and anxiety, and lately this has me entertaining suicidal thoughts more and more often.
This is mostly a venting comment, I guess. But when I realized you started posting a new story again, for the first time in weeks, it made me genuinely smile, and gave me 10 minutes of just forgetting that anything else existed in this world.
Just, very simply, thank you. I remember there are things worth waiting for and living for every single time I visit your blog.
I just want to say I love getting your blog posts! I don’t know how it actually worked out that I signed up to get them in my email, but they make me so happy. You guys write the best books I have every read, that I can reread over and over and they just fill me with joy, thank you!
Margaret R says
Thanks for addressing this Ilona. Anxiety is like torture you do to yourself. I worry about the future, the impact this disease is having on the way we interact with each other, the economy, my son, who just graduated ,job prospects and my daughter’s mental health, and on and on and on and on. Reading good books is the best therapy. If I can lose myself in a good story it gives me the chance to better deal with my stress when I have to take my head out of the book. I’m so genuinely grateful for authors like yourself. Thanks as always.
You are correct. We must stick together & stay positive. This is my 1st blog post at age 44 that’s saying a lot. I don’t usually have time since I am a Nurse Practitioner & work at an urgent care/now covid clinic, the 1st positive SARS Covid-19 patient I saw was on March 27, but who knows how many had it before then since we couldn’t test., I want to take a moment to say how much I appreciate all of your comments. I am fascinate about your history of growing up in Russia; Oklahoma can be quite boring. I have run the gambit of patients who say this is the end of days, the virus isn’t real, to my favorite, “it only kills old people”.
Yeah…. all of us will one day be “old”, your talking about your parents & grandparents! Many time I read your books just to rest my mind & escape the craziness. I truly appreciate the time & effort you put into your works of literary art. This is a time a change, we now have a garden, buy beef directly from a rancher, & make our own pickles/bread/etc…. I am ready for 2021, but I hope we can all look back & remember what we learned & we did survive this time. As I tell graduates of this year, “think of the stories you can tell your grandkids, when you had to do a drive-by graduation!”
Thank you so much for sharing this :). It does my heart and mind good
I grew up poor and in the country. As soon as this hit, I started planning my garden. We installed a bidet. I buy toilet paper anytime I see it, and I bought yeast by the pound, and extra bags of flour. Even with some shortages being resolved, I am still buying an extra bag of flour any time I can find it. I am not buying a lot at once, but I am trying to stay stocked up for a month. It is ingrained, and not all that stressful.
The disease gives me nightmares. My husband and mother and grandparents (who still live at home, sprightly octogenarians they are) are ALL high risk. I get everything delivered, no one comes in the house, we don’t go anywhere. My husband goes back into the office this week and I feel scared. We shall see how things go.
Thank you, reading your blog helps brighten the day.
Richard Cartwright says
Thanks for sharing your insights about the Russian experience. I suspect that we’re going to see food distribution shortages unless the supply chain heals pretty quickly. Like Soviet era Russia? Probably not. But a lot of Americans, particularly in urban areas, might be eating more beans and rice.
As for Kid 1, it’s not just the first hires. Hospital IT is being decimated because, paradoxically, the partial closure of hospitals routine admissions to brace for COVID-19 admissions (which, other than the well publicized hot spots, never came close to stretching capacity) severely reduced income. Costs are being cut and support roles are bearing the brunt.
That said remote support is booming. It might be below her qualifications, but it would pay the bills and give her experience in working from home and using remote tools, which is becoming an increasingly valuable skillset.
2020 couldn’t be worse than 2019 for me because my husband and partner of over 50 years died last October. In a way I’m grateful now that it was last October and not now because I was able to be with him every day in the hospital and the last two days in the ICU. That wouldn’t have been possible now since our hospitals (Canada) aren’t allowing visitors during the pandemic.
Shortages of supplies aren’t really a problem for me. We’ve lived on a farm for over 40 years and I always have shopped ahead since the closest town is 30 km away. Isolating isn’t a problem because we’ve always been isolated out here so I haven’t noticed much of a difference. I am grateful for our neighbours and friends who are always prepared to help me, even if I don’t ask. FaceTime allows me to be in regular contact with my family, which helps.
I’m a quilter and have been making masks as fast as I can and giving them away to whoever wants them. Keeping busy is key to my mental health, along with lots of reading!