Recycling and the Pandemic

I think recycling took a big hit during the pandemic.

NY had just instituted a ban of plastic bags right before the pandemic hit. People were expected to bring their own bags when they went to a store. I had no problem with this rule- I always bring my own bags when I shop. I think it’s better for a variety of reasons.

But…

After the pandemic hit, this new law pretty much went up into smoke. Stores did not want you bringing your own bags: they feared cross contamination. If an employee touched your bag and got sick….full body shutter at that thought…Trader Joe’s in my neighborhood actually forbade it. Customers had to stand five feet away from the register as the clerk packed your food in paper bags… TJ has backed off slightly on that policy though. When I passed a Trader’s the other day, it appears that if you want to use your own bags you must exit the store with your cart, and bag your groceries outside on tables provided…How many rainy days will that last? or, a New York winter?

Disposable masks are being, well, disposed. Everywhere. Some make it to the garbage, others not so much. And who is going to pick up an errant mask off the ground?

Some stores are handing out disposable gloves to patrons as they walk in. See disposable masks for what’s going to happen to these…

Straws are back in vogue because you can wear a mask and sip a drink…

Outdoor dining establishments are sometimes using disposable plates and glasses…

Things are being wiped down with fresh new wipes every time. No one seems to re using sponges or rags because of cross contamination. Clean something- throw out the cleaning tools…

I’m on a reading facebook group. There are many people who are afraid to use books from the library. One post reminded people not to wash their library books because the pages will stick together (true story). Libraries are instituting sanitation protocols including holding books for 48 hours before relending. How long till physical library books are a thing of the past?

Thrift shops. I happen to live in a neighborhood that contains about five donation/resale/thrift stores. Only one has reopened. Along with budget shortfalls, some of these stores are worried about taking in and selling used items. Does a second hand store have the budget or means to make sure that every item is safe? More importantly, are people willing to buy used items? The stores near me banned taking in anything to do with children (toys, furniture, baby items) years ago because of safety and liability concerns. Now how’s it going to be? I cleaned out some stuff during quarantine and I want to donate it. I asked the woman at the thrift store if they were taking donations…”Well…sure….she nodded.” But she hesitated just long enough to wonder if I should actually bring over the stuff that’s been hanging out in my living room corner…

So…

How do we work around out new need for cleanliness and sterility with an attempt to go to zero waste?

How do we reduce, reuse and recycle now?

I Wonder

Death touched me in many ways last week- not closely, but sometimes particular deaths hit you harder. None of these deaths were corona related: all were deaths that probably would have happened regardless of the peculiarities of this year. The death I’m going to speak of today has a different sort of point…it just may take awhile for me to get there…

Back in middle school I had a good friend S. (- you will see that for some bizarre reason, I have an abundant amount of S, J and M named friends and acquaintances)

but anyway

So, S was one of my really good middle school friends. At some point in sixth or seventh grade she began dating this guy J. They would continue to date through high school. They broke up when she left for college and he went to the navy.

I hadn’t seen S in about twenty five years when I ran into her at my daughter’s gymnastics lesson. At the time she was a Nanny for a boy attending a make up class. She was on her second marriage at that point ( so was I so I’m not judging just stating fact) and she seemed as happy as anyone else.

After playing catch up, she looked at me and said- “Wonder whatever ever happened to J?”. She sort of had a wistful look at her face and we came up with some scenarios…

About a year or so later, I joined Facebook. When I started to connect with middle school friends, guess who sent me a friend request? J. The very same J that S had been thinking about.

We caught up. He was married. Had a job he really liked. Fixed up cars on the weekends… Guess what one of the first things he said to me was?

“I wonder how S is doing?”

I then regaled him with the story of how I had run into her, blah, blah, blah. He asked if I had a way to contact her. (she hadn’t, and still has not joined the social media revolution)

He seemed really bummed when I told him I didn’t have her email…

A few years ago J had a stroke. He made a solid recovery but wasn’t able to go back to being an EMT.

Last week he suffered a fatal stroke.

The first thing I did when I heard was facebook message the sister of S- I figured that S would want to know…

I don’t know what my point is. Take care of yourself because life is too short?  Just have a great time because life is too short? Tell the people that you love that you love them because life is too short? Don’t tell them because life is too short and you don’t want to ruin what you have?

I don’t know.

Life has thrown way too many curve balls lately.

I’ll leave you with my new code of conduct:

  1. Don’t be afraid to love and be loved
  2. Spend some time prepping for the future, but live your life in the present- no one knows what their timeline is.
  3. A clean house is the sign of a misspent life

One Thing After Another

I used to have a neighbor, S. She lived in my building and used to have a cute little terrier. She was a retired teacher, drove a beautiful BMW and used to travel all over the place. As a lifelong singleton, she became friends with another neighbor she had a best friend in the building. If you saw one of them, you saw the other. S was intelligent with a sharp wit and zest for life.

About two years ago, her friend retired and moved to Phoenix. Not long after that, her dog died. Then she got hit by a car. Now, this wasn’t a bad accident as far as accidents go: the car somehow took a turn too tight and grazed her thigh. S did not require a hospital stay, but still, women in her late sixties…it was a lot of stuff in a short period of time.

Her health did seem to get worse after the car accident. All of a sudden other ailments started to pop up. After never having health issues her entire life, she now seemed to face colds and aches and such weekly.

She decided that now would be a great time to move to Florida. Her best friend was gone. Her dog was done. She really had no family in the area. Plus, it’s cold in New York half of the year.

Just as she was getting ready to list her apartment on the market, she developed pneumonia. It was a bad case: she was hospitalized and later had to move in to a rehab facility.

After a few months she returned to our building, this time with a walker. It was shocking to be to see how quickly her health had deteriorated. She had been robust and now she wasn’t.

Again she set to the task of actually selling her place and moving to Florida. Which she did. About six months ago, she flew down.

She rented a place until she found something she liked. One of my neighbors was in touch with her and she was not loving Florida so much. Her two friends in the area (the reason why she had chosen this town) both died within her first few months there.

She was alone, in a city she didn’t know, not in great condition, trying to start over.

She did find an apartment to buy, but then Corona came calling. She wasn’t able to close on her new apartment and move.

Finally, two weeks ago she closed!

Three days later she had a heart attack and passed.

I mourn her because she was such a nice person, warm hearted and funny and smart and I will remember her fondly. She loved my dog and I’d like to think that they’re somewhere playing.

Enjoy today. You really don’t know what will happen tomorrow.

Highlights of the week that was….6/28

Who’s that woman behind the mask?
As the Museum of Ice Cream gets set to open…
Nothing like a store filled with disinfectant wipes
Outdoor dining in NYC. Yes. The tables are set up in the middle of 1st Avenue. Between the tables and the restaurant are north and south bound bike lanes, so the waiters have to Frogger their ways to the table as bikes speed past. On the other side of the tables is actual first avenue which is a BUSY street with busses and trucks and traffic.
Why? WHY?
I was asked to provide a meal pic…lemon pasta and pizza Bianca. There were leftovers….

Gratitude Saturday 6/27

Let’s see…

I’m grateful that June is almost over…I was talking to a friend yesterday and we decided that July 1 is New Year’s- and everything starts again…

I am grateful that we are in Phase 2- I’m beginning to feel alive again…

And to everyone in cities that are experiencing surges- just be careful. Wear a seat belt. Don’t drink and drive. Don’t text while crossing a street. Don’t drink something that has been sitting on a bar top. Don’t have unprotected sex.

Be careful.

Friday Favorites 6/26 edition

It’s time to play Friday Favorites!

Here are the rules:

  1. Read my answers and comment on how thoroughly charming I am
  2. comment on how silly I am (or whatever word you can best describe what my thoughts are)
  3. Tell me that your answer is exactly the same and we are soul blog buddies
  4. Copy and paste into your own blog so I can tell you how charming you are
  5. Pop your answers into the comment section below-

Best part: everybody wins!

  1. Favorite kind of vacation: where I go somewhere I have never been
  2. Favorite Flower: tulips- pink if you’re sending me some
  3. Favorite Football Team: NY Giants
  4. Favorite Children’s Show: hmmm…I used to love Romper Room- I’m just slightly too old to be a true part of the Sesame Street generation
  5. Favorite Perfume/cologne: Jo Malone English Pear and Fresia (though I wouldn’t turn down the wood sage and sea salt or velvet rose and oud- I layer…)
  6. Favorite Day of the Week: Sunday
  7. Favorite Flavor Starburst: whatever flavor the pink one is
  8. Favorite Cartoon Cat: Duchess from Aristocats (she was elegant and charming and sophisticated and she dated Thomas O’Malley- O’Malley the Alley Cat- who wouldn’t want to be like her…)
  9. Favorite Music Genre– rock-
  10. Favorite Car– I don’t drive on a normal basis. So taxi is probably the truest answer. But I’ve always wanted a little sporty convertible-driven by Thomas O’Malley…

Shop till you Drop…

I don’t like to shop.

I am trying  to get rid of things as opposed to bringing things into my house…

yet…

Quarantine was a time where I actually found myself looking at shopping lists on buzzfeed. Basically, they do posts where they list things that you must buy…

Normally, I don’t even click open these things…

Now I find I subscribe to a newsletter that specifically highlights mainly extraneous objects that I do not really need, nor actually want…

I found myself blindly putting things in my Amazon cart because who doesn’t need a roller that massages your hands if you have carpal tunnel…

Luckily, there’s a rule in place where Amazon makes you keep things in your cart for 24 hours before you can click purchase…. (no they don’t- but it would be a great idea- no?)

But…I admit I give myself a grace period to see if I really WANT/NEED an item before I buy it…I currently have 87 items in my shopping cart save section…

So what is it about SWQ (shopping while quarantined)?

In reality I made very few extraneous purchases during quarantine. The rice cooker was a huge plus in the win column. I picked up a deck of mindfulness cards at Target and they have actually helped my mindset. (I know- I’ve gone stir crazy- so can you imagine me if I hadn’t found those cards? E books- I’ve bought my quota for the next two years- no lie. But again- they saved me from bouncing off the walls. (this is another omg where would she be without reading moments…) I subscribed to a self care subscription box, but I’ll save the story of that for another day. Don’t want to have too much fun…

And now…

Stores have reopened in NYC for in house shopping.

I normally don’t go to stores unless I actually need something…I use a clothing subscription box so I don’t have to pick out my own clothes…

But Monday found me wandering the aisles of Barnes and Noble for an hour…just because I could. I called it a museum of books where there was no entry fee but tons of enticement to buy things that you saw… I bought a new book light because one of the tragedies of pandemic was when my daughter broke my booklight…

Because I had to spread out the fun, I went to Michael’s on Tuesday. Embroidery needles were the purchase du jour, because at some point I lost my best needle in the depths of the sofa cushions. Also stickers for my planner because really I hate looking at all the blank spaces…

Wednesday was Container Store. This shop really is my happy place. I see all those ways of storing things neatly and in pretty patterns…it’s my pinterest board come to life…Nothing inspires me more than looking at how things could be organized better. I went with the intention of finding a box to hold my dogs harness and favorite toy and favorite pink fluffy coat. I got to the register and realized I’d forgotten my wallet…

Talk about quarantine brain…remembered the mask but forgot the cash…

So today I will venture back across town to the museum of boxes and make my purchase…

And if I really want to liven the day…I may pick up mascara…(PSA- if you normally wear mascara but haven’t during the past three months…throw it out and buy a new one- mascara goes bad and can cause eye issues- don’t need that on top of your mask)

Shopping is supposed to raise your endorphins. I seriously doubted it, but now I totally get it. When you’re feeling blue, buy something new…

So I’m browsing the stores, but I’m containing my puchases to things that I really want…but just getting out of the house with a clear destination that doesn’t involve looking for toilet paper or frozen veggies is a huge plus…

I’ve been about a thousand times happier this week.

So I will say it right now- shopping may get me through this…

 

Pragmatically Speaking

I am 25% optimist, 25% pessimist and 100% pragmatist.

Those of you who learned math before common core will realize that this doesn’t make sense…those of you with common core – well- good luck with that…

So what do I mean by those odd and unsupported statistics?

When quarantine rolled around, I bought a bunch of pet supplies. 60 pounds of cat litter. 20 pounds of dog and cat dry food. Six cases of the wet food my dog liked. Super large bag of dog treats. Large carton of wee wee pads.

I figured I’d rather have enough supplies to last awhile just in case I had trouble getting things. I didn’t think of this as hoarding- just being pragmatic about things for my pets that might be difficult to substitute.

I assumed my pets were going to live long, full lives.

And the universe said “ha”.

As most of you know, my dog passed away earlier this month. She was fine, and then she wasn’t. Obviously she had been ill and I just hadn’t noticed because she was acting normal- eating, drinking, going to the bathroom, walking and playing…being the amazing loving dog that she was. So big guilt trip for me for not just sensing something was off…

Being pragmatic I optimistically bought all kinds of pet supplies.

Being pragmatic, I sadly donated what was left over.

Being slightly off pragmatic I decided that I had failed my dog on some way.

And so begins the pessimism…

In order to get through life in one piece, you need to assume that tomorrow will happen. You have to be optimistic enough to think that you will wake up tomorrow. And the next. And the next…

But what if that belief gets challenged?

What if you find yourself with dog food and no dog?

I was a mess earlier this month. I picked a fight with my best friend. My level of pessimism ratcheted up to about 3000%…

I began to question what tomorrow would bring. I began to question if there was to be a tomorrow….Pandora and her little box…&^%#&

When you lose hope you lose everything…

What if you don’t think the sun will come our tomorrow? (I mean, Broadway is not going to open till January 2021…)

Who knows? When I figure it out, I’ll write you a list…

Because right now, it looks like the stupidest thing I did this year was to buy a 2020 planner…

So I am taking it one minute at a time. I think about what I’m going to do in the next hour, which is take a shower and get dressed. If I make it past that it will be a walk to Container Store (FYI- container store is nirvana to me…) I will buy a little box to put some of my dogs cherished belongings in, because somewhere in the optimism/pessimism/pragmatism scale is a wee bit of sentimentality…

And then I’ll think about the next hour…

One baby step at a time…

 

The Quarantine 115

I don’t have to get on a scale to know that I have gained weight during the past few months…

I feel blah…and if you feel blah about your body image it’s hard to get past anything else…

So I decided to do a cleanse of sorts. Not juice- I know green drinks are all the raise but unless it’s a shamrock shake I’m out… But I am eating many of the foods that routinely go into said smoothies… (on a side note- when I think smoothie I think strawberry and yummy- not beets…)

Apples. Cucumbers. Spinach. Kale. Celery. Parsley. Carrots. Beets. Lemon. Ginger. Tomatoes….

I like all of these foods. These are normally things that make it into my shopping basket and I happily walk home with in my disposable bag…

And these things do make you full. I prepped all my food for yesterday into slices so I could just eat some when I was hungry, and I didn’t even eat all the food that was supposed to be for one day.

So hunger wasn’t an issue yesterday.

I didn’t wake up hungry.

But I didn’t feel satisfied yesterday…

You know what it’s like when you’re eating but don’t get to the satisfied point, right?

But anyway…

See- I really like food. I love the mingling of tastes on my tongue. I love trying new spices and herbs- testing different levels of flavor combinations. I really enjoy cooking- looking at a recipe and deviating from it makes me happy- (note- I am normally a follow the rules sort of person except in the kitchen- in the kitchen it’s pandemonium…)

So reducing my calorie intake….

bleh…

So how to I reconcile my ever expanding waistline with my love of food?

I don’t know- I’m still trying to figure it out…

I know we’re supposed to be happy in our bodies, but what if we’re not?

Does anyone ever feel good about being too thin, or too thick, too tall or too short? Too busty or too flat chested? Curly hair or straight? Grey hair or whatever?

How many people are truly happy with the reflection that they see in the mirror?

I know all the buzzwords we are supposed to tell our kids- focus on being healthy- focus on the way your body does what you need it to do…

But do all these positive messages actually mean anything, or are we just trying to convince ourselves that what we are is enough?

Well…

I’ve got to go have my apple now…and then I have to buy carrots and beets because they are supposed to flush out my colon or my kidneys or some other organ…

But all I’m looking forward is Thursday when I can put a little EVOO and  vinager on my veggies…

 

 

Whose Hair is it Anyway

New York City enters Phase 2 today.

What does that mean?

Well, in my house the only thing it actually means is that hair salons and barber shops are now open.

My husband is thrilled. He hates when his hair grows long and can’t wait to get it sheared off. He prefers it really short. I admit that my husbands hair is a bit out of control now…but truth be told…I prefer it long to short.

So there’s is a tiny issue here- I like his hair with a little hair, he likes a buzz cut…

What’s more important- me liking his hair, or him liking his hair?

As our married years have accumulated, he has stopped getting his hair cut really close to his scalp. He leaves a little on the top because I like it that way…but he still gets it cut early and often…

Fine…

My husband likes long hair on women.

I hate myself with long hair.

He has accepted that I am probably going to have a bob cut that vacillates between my chin and my shoulders for the rest of my life. In fact, though my hair has no shape now, my appointment for a haircut isn’t until July 7…

I haven’t made an appointment for my color yet…

Months ago, back when we thought that Corona was served with lime, one of my friends decided that she is going to let her hair go grey. When she stated that I began to think about whether I should take the plunge…

Now that my roots are about 8 thousand inches long, I have considered growing it out. What would my hair look like without color? Will it be more grey than brown? (I would take grey in the over/under btw…)

So I told my family my plans to be au natural…

It was not met with enthusiasm…

It was met with boos and hisses…

“I don’t cut my hair as short as I like to because you don’t like it that way…” my Husband plainly stated…

“So I think you should color your hair…” he added, after taking a dart out of his back… “I am not going to like you with grey hair.”

There….

he said it…

But really…

I said it first…

So while my hair belongs to me….and his hair belongs to him…

Do we have the right to tell our partners how to wear their hair?

If we think they look more attractive a certain way, how much should they take our opinions into consideration?

Should we just be attracted to someone because they are our partner?

Whose hair is it anyway?