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Archive for April, 2020

Sophie Kisses

Sophie Kisses

Despite the sorrow that is lingering over me like gossamer since last Tuesday evening when my family and I said our final good-bye to Sonic, our beloved male German Shepherd, I am finding moments of joy. While I have temporarily abandoned healthy eating habits and have actively avoided the scale during the quarantine, I have maintained my walking streak. Walking has helped me stay sane, catch up on Levar Burton Reads, and develop a tan. Along with the tan, I also have very distinct tan lines. I look like I am still wearing my socks when bare-footed and that makes me smile.

Purple RainVisiting friends also makes me smile. I had seen a recipe on Facebook during the week for an adult beverage called Purple Rain and tagged my BFF Shelly. We live down the street from each other, but we have not seen each other in weeks. She texted me Saturday morning and invited my hubby and me over for Purple Rains while practicing proper social distancing protocol. Barry, Andrew, and I drove over to her house after dinner and had a delightful time with her family. And, the Purple Rain concoction was rather tasty thanks to her hubby’s bartending skills. I consumed two.

Andrew and JadeAndrew and I decided to adopt a Senior from St. Thomas Aquinas High School. We chose Jade, who happens to be Andrew’s friend, former art classmate, and fellow traveler to Ireland. I was extremely excited to gather items she enjoys to make a basket for her. On Sunday, Andrew and I set out on quite an adventure to drop off her basket of goodies. A twenty-five minute drive turned into an hour when my car’s GPS took us down a long winding gravel road with nothing but wooded areas on either side of the road. Needless to say, when the kind lady on the GPS informed us that we had reached our destination on the left and there were woods and no house, we knew we were lost. After going down another wrong road, meeting a very loud dog (that would not move, so I had to drive back down the road backwards before finding a safe place to turn around) and its deaf owner, and a brief phone conversation with Jade’s father, we finally made it to her home and delivered her gift. Andrew caught up with Jade while I visited with her parents. Thankfully, we made it home without any other detours. Seeing the smile on Jade’s face and her appreciation was a huge happiness boost for me.

Peace CardYesterday, I received a card in the mail from a friend who I love dearly, but I have not seen in person in many years. Helen and I have been friends since high school. She now lives in Colorado; thankfully, we keep up with each other through Facebook. It was a pleasant and joyful surprise to receive her card full of peace and love. The message on the front of the card and her personal message to me inside the card were a perfect way to set the tone for this week. And, when this COVID-19 pandemic decides to subside, and we can safely travel, I want to start making plans to visit Helen. It has been too long since I’ve seen her in person.

I was hoping the “stay at home” order would be lifted this Friday. Unfortunately, the order has been extended until May 15th; however, restrictions on certain activities appear more relaxed than when the order was originally implemented. It is confusing to me, dear reader, so I will continue doing what I’ve been doing the last five weeks to stay healthy and safe. In the meantime, I’ll find joy in unexpected ways and continue working on my tan. Happiness!

“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” ~ Lao Tzu

 

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Easter BasketAlthough this Easter will look a bit different from Easters of the past, the fact that Jesus Christ has risen today remains the same. And, that brings about a peaceful feeling for me. Even though we did not celebrate Easter Mass at a physical church this morning; we still celebrated with a FB LIVE Easter Mass with Fr. Jamin, pastor of St. Margaret Church. The Easter Bunny still made a stop at the Loyacano household. Instead of hanging out with extended family today, I’ll be hanging out with the hubby and Andrew. What we do today doesn’t really matter to me. We are alive, well, and ready for a rebirth.

My walking streak continues. Because of the threat of impending bad weather, I chose to walk early this morning. I encountered a few sprinkles at the beginning of the walk and right at the end. I am still walking daily with Levar Burton (skipped Thursday with Levar to finish listening to the latest episode of Office Ladies). This will be the routine until I catch up with the episodes or start run/walking, whichever comes first. This week I listened to episodes #49 – #54. As always, I enjoyed all six stories; however, “Shoggoths in Traffic” (nod to H. P. Lovecraft) and “Cuisine des Memoires” were my favorites.

#49: “The Simplest” by Nicky Drayden
#50: “Shoggoths in Traffic” by Tobias S. Buckell
#51: “Cuisine des Memoires” by N. K. Jemisin
#52: “Small Medicine” by Genevieve Valentine
#53: “Face Value” by Sean Williams
#54: “Blur” by Carmen Maria Machado

Lily

My friend Ming sent me a photo of her beautiful lily.

Each day I feel as if I am improving with my productivity. I have been sifting through and discarding old paperwork. I have started to clean out my master bedroom closet. I ordered some dies for scrapbooking; therefore, along with my new grid paper, I really am hoping to get some layouts completed in the next few weeks. I completed the book of short stories (Full Throttle) by Joe Hill, and immediately started a collection of four short novels (Strange Weather) by him. I learned how to ZOOM and zoomed twice with some of my teacher friends. My hubby and I purchased a new dryer since ours gave out last Sunday. He was able to order one from Lowe’s and picked it up on Thursday evening after work. He is officially on vacation, so I am hoping we can complete some projects around the house during the upcoming week.

My Easter wish for you today is to have an enjoyable day, dear reader. May your Easter Sunday be filled with joy and a renewal of hope. Happiness!

“Do not abandon yourselves to despair: We are the Easter people, and Hallelujah is our song.” ~ Pope John Paul II

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Banana BreadI spent a great deal of time in the kitchen this morning which is highly unusual for me since I despise cooking. I whipped up some French Toast for Andrew and me for breakfast. This is the first time that I have made French Toast using Brioche bread. The particular Brioche bread that I bought had cinnamon in it, so I did not need to add much cinnamon. I also added some vanilla extract this time. We both thought it tasted delicious. I also had some rather ripe bananas, so I decided to bake some banana bread. I know what you are thinking, dear reader…lots of carbs. Yep, and lots of comfort. Thankfully, I will not be cooking dinner this evening. My hubby plans to grill steaks for the three of us.

I have yet to create any kind of routine while being at home, and I think it is contributing to me being in some kind of funk. I’m not unhappy per se; I guess I feel kind of apathetic. I did NOT meditate once this week. Sadly, I have not made any more progress with Andrew’s Ireland scrapbook. On Thursday, I did receive an order from a company that sells grid paper for scrapbooking. The new paper will be a nice addition to my materials, and I’m hoping it will inspire me to get back to scrapbooking. Slowly but surely, I am making progress on the collection of short stories (Full Throttle) that I am reading by Joe Hill. They are terrific stories! Woefully, I am having trouble focusing on much of anything.

Fortunately, I am still walking daily with Levar Burton (skipped Saturday with Levar to finish listening to the latest episode of Office Ladies). It is a highlight of my day. This week I listened to five live episodes and episode #48. I enjoyed all six stories; however, “Driftglass” and “Mono No Aware” were my favorites.

  • LIVE! in Toronto: “Four Stations in His Circle” by Austin Clarke
  • LIVE! in Dallas: “In the City of Martyrs” by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam
  • Live! in D.C.: “A Dark Night” by Edward P. Jones
  • LIVE! in New Jersey: “Driftglass” by Samuel R. Delany
  • LIVE! in Boston: “Mono No Aware” by Ken Liu
  • #48 “L’Aquilone du Estrellas (The Kite of the Stars)” by Dean Francis Alfar

I started listening to a new podcast that Laura Vanderkam launched on April 1st. It is called The New Corner Office by Laura Vanderkam. In each weekday morning episode, she offers strategies for working at home. It is a nice addition to her podcast, Before Breakfast with Laura Vanderkam.

White FlowersThis upcoming week is my spring break. It will last until April 13th with on-line school resuming on April 14th. Normally, my spring break begins on Good Friday and extends the week after Easter. However, when the Governor announced our first stay-at-home mandate that was going to end on April 13th, our school along with other schools in the Diocese of Baton Rouge decided to move spring break up a week. Now, we are mandated to stay at home until April 30th, but our spring break did not move back to its originally scheduled time. In the grand scheme of things, it is not a huge issue. However, my hubby took vacation the week we originally planned to be off. And, SLU is off, too. I guess the silver lining is that even though I will be working from home the week Andrew and Barry are off, we will still be home together.

Since I won’t have to focus on anything school-related for the next eight days, I really want to use the time to tackle some projects around the house. My house could thoroughly use some TLC. In truth, there is NO excuse for me not to be productive in the next few days. What have you been doing with your time, dear reader? Are you accomplishing anything, continuing to work, both, or are you also in a funk? Enjoy the remainder of today which also happens to be Palm Sunday. Happiness!

“Lord, we lift up your name. With hearts full of praise; Be exalted, O Lord my God! Hosanna in the highest!” ~ Carl Tuttle

 

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