How To Spend The Time

Since my state, Louisiana, is under orders for the citizenry to stay home except for essential tasks, I have to consider how to spend my time. I am not spending the time listening to presidential news conferences that seem mostly useless. I am not engaging or prompting social media arguments, which no one has ever won. I am not eating out in restaurants anymore, but we can order delivery or take out. I have done my part to support the restaurants that are trying to survive by ordering a few lunch orders to go.

Probably many of us, although I can only speak for myself, have spent the first weeks of this imposed sheltering at home, attending video chats and Zoom meetings. I have accepted every Zoom invitation I have received. Soon, I will need to find an online Zoom support meeting for Zoom codependency.

And I walk. A lot. I have a foster dog who has not entirely decided that my dining room is not her toilet. We walk whenever I think she has an eye for the far side of the dining room table. Thus far, I haven’t seen a reduction in using the floor, as she seems bent on finding relief in the house once a day. That’s not terribly bad, but zero is the goal here. Since Daisy is recovering from a hip injury, our walks are slow with lots of time to sniff and investigate the ground.

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Creole cottage next door

Although it’s technically trespassing, our walks tend to be in the extensive grounds of an empty Creole cottage next door to me. The house has been on the market for over a year, with only occasional visits from realtors, visitors or a lawn care crew. It’s perfect because there are no cars, no driveway, and lots of shady space. Since Daisy likes to chase cars, walking on the streets is not the best place for a dog with a hip injury.

I am reading, too. I just finished A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest Gaines. Why have I not read this book before? It’s a small, well-crafted novel set in 1940s Louisiana. This was the last book I checked out of the local library before it closed for the duration.

Now l will have to read on my Kindle. Last night, I downloaded The Great Influenza: The Story of the Greatest Pandemic in History by John Barry. I actually had read a free sample a few months ago, before the craziness began. Now that the times have changed, I think I’ll indulge in a little light pandemic reading.

One thing I want to cultivate more is gratefulness. It’s too easy to wallow in self-absorption since I live alone. I want to be grateful for my life, the lives of my family and friends, and the small miracles that I see each day. Soon, we may be in the thick of knowing family, friends and acquaintances who are sick. I had some concern this week, as my niece was showing signs of the virus. Since she has a genetic disorder that causes her to have low immunity, her doctor ordered the test. Last night, I received news that the test was negative. For this news, I am grateful.

Later today, I will pick up an order from Walmart. There were no paper towels available when I made the order on my phone app yesterday. I’m trying to forget that I have only one paper roll in reserve at the top of my cupboard.  It’s disturbing.

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Louisiana live oak tree next door

Then, after putting away groceries, Daisy and I will return to the cottage grounds next door. The old oak tree next to the house provides a shady canopy that shields from the warm afternoon sun. Overgrown azaleas and magnolias growing along the fence line provide lots of curious sniffing for Daisy as we amble along.

As I stated above, the property is for sale. I believe they are asking about $400,000 for the cottage, barn, and extensive grounds. Won’t you be my neighbor?

 

 

Foster Love

Non-essential workers in Louisiana are asked to stay home. That’s me – a nonessential worker. I am trying to keep that order to stay home as best I can. Thus far, I have not been able to stay at my residence as much as I should, as I generally find an excuse to leave my house and mingle in the public almost daily. I know I can do better.

Yesterday afternoon, I picked up a foster dog from the local humane society. Maybe a dog around the house will help with my restlessness to leave the house. Daisy is a medium-sized mixed breed who is recovering from a hip displacement. She loves belly rubs above all things. I’ve had her less than 24 hours thus far, but aside from begging for belly scratches, she mainly wants to nap. I suppose the kennel at the humane society wasn’t a peaceful place to recover from an injury.

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Daisy the foster dog 

Daisy isn’t the prettiest girl, but she has a certain charm. She is affectionate, docile, and somewhat obedient. We are working on the obedient part.

We got up before dawn. I had set my alarm for 5:30 to prepare for a 6:00 a.m. prayer service online with my church. That gave me time to fix coffee and take Daisy out for a brief bathroom break.

After the thirty-minute prayer service ended, I read the news online a short while. Prince Charles of England has the virus. Our Dear Leader, Trump, wants to relax social distancing. His goal is to have the churches packed on Easter morning. I don’t think that’s realistic as virus stats for places like New York, Los Angeles, and New Orleans are climbing quickly each day.

After reading the news, Daisy and I took a walk down the street. She’s pretty good on a leash, but she’s going to need practice to walk with me. She needed lots of prompts to stay to the right, but I wasn’t overly forceful, at least not yet. There’s time to break her into a proper leash walk.  There were plenty of stops along our residential street, as she smelled the wildflowers growing along the ditches, and of course, mailboxes and light poles got a thorough inspection. Aside from a lawn guy cutting grass next door, we didn’t see a soul. Even my neighbor’s chickens were mostly quiet as we walked by.

Maybe my normal activities are considered non-essential, but at least for now, I have one essential duty. I am taking care of Daisy. And that’s good enough for me.