Groundhog March

yuki

After a horribly depressing February, March has shown some improvement. And yet right now we are still in lockdown. It feels a little like groundhog day all over again.  

Z and I WFH all the time. My boss casually throws out comments about my coming in the office for a day or two and I shut him down saying I’m not going anywhere near that building until I’m vaccinated. He sighs and says ok. His home life is different so he enjoys getting out of his house and going to the office, despite the risk. He’s also one of the worst social butterflies I’ve ever met. But he knows I’m his polar opposite, so he doesn’t push back or demand. I still do my work.  During the teleconference call meetings we have each morning  I see 4 out of 5 people sitting in a conference room in the main building who have had COVID. No thank you. I’m perfectly capable of WFH very well. Z looks over my shoulder and shakes his head. He can’t believe there are so many people still insisting on crowding into conference rooms for meetings. 

We’ve had a taste of warm weather and that was enough to pull me out of the depths of frigid despair emotionally. Writing and Z have been my sanity. 

The up and down weather now gives me hope on some days and makes me curse life as a human and wishing I were at least half as useful as a coffee cup on others.  Since my last post was so depressing, I’ll post about some good things this time.

  • Z and I are hopeful about being vaccinated in May based on the push for more vaccines and availability from President Biden. I’m a little skeptical still, but at least there is hope. And when we get them done…
  • …we are going on a vacation – most likely to Olympic National Park, which was where were planning on booking just before the shut downs last year. I cannot wait to be out hiking in an unknown area, surrounded by beautiful scenes of nature that I never knew could exist. That is the beauty of national parks. Even if we don’t go this year, we are going to book the trip regardless. In the meantime, we may look into going someplace closer like the Catskills in NY soon just to get away for a little bit. 
  • I’m trying to run more, but I’ve been sluggish since February. However, I’m hitting my 3 miles/week goal – barely. I ran all 3 miles in one shot on Wednesday of this week and had a better-than-expected pace time. I ran outside so I was coughing like crazy the next day. Running in the cold always does that to me. Plus, I’ve been fighting allergies so the added mucus from that didn’t help my coughing situation. It still felt good to get outside.
  • I’ve been walking outside a lot more. This has helped improve my mood more than anything else. It doesn’t matter that I walk the same route almost every day. It’s enough to be outside and come home with a sniffling nose and chilled cheeks or smelling the beginnings of green growth barely visible from flower beds and the edges of yards. Lots of daffodils have been shooting up lately – but not blooming just yet. 

crocus

Look at this yard full of crocuses Z and I saw on a walk a week ago! The neighbor’s yard has several too and I want them to spread over into ours. I welcome all the stray wild flowers and clover to fill in the dead spots in our yard.

moss and twist

When the weather is nice Z and I try to go out on mini-hikes. The state park that in times past was always our go-to turned into a no-way-in-hell now. The trails there are so crowded masks are necessary and yet half the people don’t wear them because they think – hey, we’re outside! It doesn’t occur to them that several hundred people walking along the same trail with and against each other merits being cautious and wearing a mask. We gave up on that park and found a much smaller trail head in the opposite direction. It’s a small area, but still big enough to get a good walk in. We went last weekend and the extremely muddy conditions meant we had the trail to ourselves for the most part. We’re used to muddy  trails and wear our 10+ year old hiking shoes that have years of mud and dust etched on them. This weekend should be even warmer weather so we might go back or try several other smaller trails we’ve discovered over the past year in our efforts to enjoy the outdoors without the crowds. 

with yuki

Yuki still has her limp, but it’s not nearly as bad as it used to be and on some days she looks like she’s walking normally. We limit her play time so she doesn’t aggravate whatever is causing her limp. We recently moved her food bowl upstairs into my study. She’s a grazer and Bento gained a lot of weight by taking advantage of her half-eaten dinner and getting “seconds”. Now we feed her upstairs and still have to take away her bowl and give it to her later so she’ll finish it. She’s now starting to understand that routine and demanding when she wants to eat the remainder. She is such a spoiled little bratty princess!

I asked Z to take the photo above for my outfit. It’s nothing special and none of my clothes are that special nor feel so in any way. I’m not upset by that though. It’s comforting. If a year in lockdown has taught me anything – it’s that I don’t need more clothes at all. I went into a buying frenzy last spring with the idea of a cottage-core wardrobe keeping me motivated, but that phase passed because Reality set in and all the frilly dresses and shirts I bought are not quite office-ready. I think I can pull off the majority of them though, but with some modifications. I don’t regret any of those purchases. I’m still glad I have several dresses now when I had only one before the pandemic. 

I’ve been mending a lot of my clothes and even altering some to fit me better. One of the dresses I bought last year was poorly made so I cut off the top part that was lopsided and made a nice skirt out of the bottom portion. The bodice was shirred so it already had a decent amount of elastic to work with when turning it into a skirt. The sleeves are puffy so I’m thinking of cutting those off and using the fabric to make outer pockets for the skirt since the dress had none. It’s challenging me to think differently about what I have and wear and how I can make the clothes serve me better. I’m also getting good sewing practice out of it, which is something I wanted to work on. 

I’m also understanding what colors look good on me. I used to have so much black and now my closet is full of neutrals. Black makes me look sickly and enhances the naturally dark circles under my eyes. A silk/wool sweater I bought from Muji over a year ago makes me look like a zombie. The sweater is comfortable and looks nice enough but the light muted blue-grey does nothing for my complexion. It would’ve been better to just be grey. I’ve been researching on how to dye fabric and thinking of doing a little experiment. Little observations like these have me taking a mental count of my wardrobe. If I stopped wearing that sweater, how many others do I have to wear then? Should I ever replace it? Do I even need to?  What exactly is my wardrobe count? 

Over the past year I feel like I’ve seen a massive amount of fashion ads on social media. There’s the Italieu boots (which sucked and I returned) that plagued my FB along with Pact, numerous underwear companies, Gently (or Herd or I forget what it’s called now), Woolx, something about Sheep (forgot that one), Mate the Label, and several others I can’t remember because I told FB to block them because I got tired of seeing them so often. The underwear ads really irked me after a while. I don’t need to see women wearing bras every. other. post. on my social media.  The flood of ads only reinforced my motivation to NOT buy any clothing this year. I’m ridiculously spiteful that way.

As far as my No-Buy goes, it is still going strong. The only purchases I’ve made that fall outside that category were for food. I bought breakfast for myself earlier this month when I was running an errand for work. I could’ve just gone home and made something, but I was exhausted from getting up at 5:30 am and needed to eat ASAP because my blood sugar levels were so low I was getting the shakes. I went to my go-to donut shop that makes good egg sandwiches. My total cost for this month has been just shy of $10.

I might take some more outfit photos. There’s nothing to really show off, but rather catalog and simply show that this is what I wear now and I don’t need to wear anything else.  

 

 

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