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Friday, May 22, 2020

Quarantine Chronicles - Part 2

Things are getting back to "normal" here in Georgia.  Most things are re-open.  No libraries yet though.  Grrr.  

We were supposed to have a bunch of senior awards ceremonies and activities to attend this month.

D-man graduated from the University of Georgia earlier this month without a ceremony or fanfare. His ceremony has been postponed to October.

D-man's girlfriend, J-girl is an artist and did this rendering for him.  Pretty cool

L-girl was supposed to graduate high school at the end of this week.  She also didn't get prom or any of the other end of the year fun and games or finish our her senior varsity year in tennis.  Her graduation ceremony has been postponed to the end of June, but now only 2 of us get to go because they are reducing the amount of tickets available to each student.  

(As you can see from all her ropes, stoles and medals - we are missing out on a LOT of awards ceremonies!)
There is a piece of me that is heartbroken for them not to have these special moments.  But, an honest piece of me is rejoicing that I don't have to sit through both boring ceremonies right now.  I am horrible, aren't I?!? I really just want to hear my child's name and accomplishments.  I don't care about Tom, Dick, Harry or Penelope.  I don't.  I clap politely, but I don't care.  I also don't expect you to care that much about my kids accomplishments.    (Honestly, I brought a book to A-girls graduation ceremony and I read.  I did.  Originally, I was worried that I would feel a little rude, but people around me were talking and watching movies on their phones.  Reading seemed sort of tame in comparison.)

I have tried to make a few special memories for our two graduates though.  We surprised D-man and took him out for a steak dinner on what should have been his graduation night.  It was the day after restaurants started opening up again for in person dining, so it was interesting.  I had made reservations ahead of time, but there was a limit of 6 people per table.  I tried to explain to them that we were really a true we all live together and everything.....all 9 of us.....but, they couldn't make an exception.  So, we sat at 2 tables with 6 feet between them....then proceeded to walk back and forth and visit with each other the whole evening.  The restaurant was packed with loads of people waiting for tables....because the tables were spaced for far apart they couldn't seat as many people.  The poor wait staff were run ragged and all red faced and hot because they had to keep their masks on.  They also had added work to do like sanitizing menus after each and every customer, salt and pepper and steak sauce could not be just sitting at the table....also because it had to be sanitized between each customer.  So, they had lots of running back and forth to do, because they kept forgettin that they had to bring back those things.  

I just realized that we all got dressed up and I didn't even remember to take a picture of us!  It was actually Grandma's first time out in public in about 2 months.  Ooops.

There is not much I like about public school, but I did like one of the local high school traditions called Senior Breakfast.  It is exactly what it sounds like, but in addition to food, they also have teachers and family write cards and letters to the students.  The idea is that they just sit and eat and read their special notes.  I contacted teachers, friends and family and asked them to write letters to both L-girl and D-man.  I wanted to surprise them, so I had people send them directly to me and then we plotted and schemed so the two of them never picked up the mail.

I was particularly proud of my cantaloupe graduates.

I truly surprised both of them.  They both got lots of funny and thoughtful letters (and a few monetary gifts).  They were happy.  I got true hugs afterwards.  I was happy.

We have been keeping busy having bonfires, playing games (anyone heard of Qwixx?), hanging out on the deck just chatting.  Nothing earth shattering, but still sort of awesome.

Other things we have been up to:

S-girl had her first birthday cake commission.  I helped, but not as much as I thought I would have to.  This is really mostly her handiwork.

I have been crocheting ear protectors for facemasks.

Grandma turned 92 on Mother's Day.  She got the obligatory birthday pancakes

 and then the kids made us fancy brunch/breakfast.

(I didn't even know my kids knew how to make crepes!)

We surprised her with a Zoom call with almost all of her kids/grandkids. It was chaotic and loud and we made her cry happy tears....more than once.    I made her 2 of her favorite desserts, strawberry shortcake and lemon cheesecake (She was sad that she blew out all the candles and didn't end up with any boyfriends.  She was hoping for a 90 year old millionaire!).  It was a very good day.

Another recent quarantine activity was that I got my first haircut since....I don't know...probably October.  My hair is pretty easy.  It is long and thick and I can usually pull it up in a pony tail or make something work between cuts. But, it was getting to be too much for me.  Super long and heavy and I was just done.  When I start to get headaches when I pull it up in a pony tail, I know it is time to chop some of it off.  So, as soon as salons opened back up again and my lady was ready....I signed up.

But, I have to say, all the new protocols almost ruin what is usually a relaxing treat for me.  I truly get my hair cut once or twice a year which means that  I don't feel too bad splurging on it.

You know how it usually works: They offer you a drink, you get a nice shampoo/condition, a little head massage while they work the product into your hair, a nice chat with the stylist, and leave looking fabulous.

My stylist, Kelly, used to work at a salon close to my house, but a few years ago she moved about 1 hour and 20 minutes away from me.  I followed her.  I don't really mind the drive though because she is worth it...especially when I only do it once a twice a year.

However, is how my day went:

Arrive and wait outside the salon.  Put on my mask.  Be allowed in one at a time.  So, they can: take  my temperature; have me sign a waiver that I haven't been coughing/been near anybody coughing, etc; sent straight to the bathroom to wash my hands; then told which chair I could safely sit in.  Out came Kelly.  She was also masked and had a white, plastic "lunch lady" apron over her salon clothes, which has to be changed between each customer.  We talked about my hair through our masks, whilst complaining about our masks and the lack of oxygen.  Kelly sent me off to the shampoo bowl so her helper could wash my hair.  I sat down and I was asked to sit back, then her helper said, "I know this is weird, but I have to put a towel over your face."  Seriously?!?  I am already masked, now you put a towel over my WHOLE ENTIRE FACE?

Yes, they did.  It was black.  It was dark.  I felt like I couldn't breathe.  It wasn't quite as bad as my experience in the MRI machine where I had a little bit of a claustrophic panic attack, but it was NOT pleasant.  Where I would usually be relaxing and basking in being pampered, I was silently urging her to scrub faster and whispering in my mind, "That is enough.  I am sure you have rinsed all the conditioner out by now."  I REALLY couldn't breathe now.  She whisked the towel off my face when she was done which was all well and good, but then I couldn't see.  I felt like I was on one of those t.v. shows where the good guy has been kidnapped with a bag thrown over his head, transported to the evil villains lair and when the bag is finally whipped off....he kind of stands there squinting and blinking as the lone light bulb (in one of those cage thingies) sways back and forth....before matching whits with the bad guy behind the chair.   You know what I mean?  It was just like that, minus the guns and bad guys.

When I regained my sight, I went back over to the chair and Kelly started work on my hair.  This wasn't really relaxing either.  My mask got in the way of her cutting, so she had to carefully move the ear straps out of the way without exposing my face.  We talked, but it didn't feel the same.  Somehow, the world is just eyeballs and hair now.  It made me think maybe I should splurge and get those crazy fake eyelashes that are all the rage now.  If that is all I have to show the world, they may as well be long and luxurious, right? (except they would touch my glasses when I blinked.  Oh well, short stubby lashes are all the world gets from me, I guess)  I don't wear my mask much, but when I do, I have found myself announcing to people, "I am smiling under just can't tell!"  Maybe I would be able to smize more with my eyes if I could have to those lashes.

The only part of the salon story that is the same pre and post COVID-19 is that I left looking fabulous.

To finish this never ending story, the rest of my day was also not relaxing.  I drove 1 hour and 20 minutes home (which thanks to Siriously Sinatra, Sirius Broadway, and Sirius 80s, was not a bad trip).  I got home and found out that I was supposed to pick up 2 of the kids at the church car wash.  So, I hopped back in my car - drove to church, got a free car wash, drove them home.  Came home where Grandma had been waiting for me to help her take a shower,  so we did that.  Then, Rainman wanted to show me the outdoor projects he had worked on that morning (ones that I have been asking him to do for a few years now).  Yay!  Walked outside.  Looked around.  Dogs joined us.  One of them, who shall remain nameless,  apparently ate something that she shouldn't have and instead of taking care of business in the great outdoors, proceeded to walk into the house and throw up on the floor.  Happily it was on the hardwood and not the rug.   So, I cleaned that up, then my cute new hair and I did a little cleaning, pulled out stuff for supper, and had a very late lunch.

How is your quarantine going?  Are you coming out of it?  Things opening up yet?  Having to wear masks?