The best-laid plans…

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It’s been seven days now — seven days of social distancing. 

In my last post I called it “social isolation,” which isn’t entirely correct. Right now I am distanced. I’m working from home, maintaining a six-foot distance between me and other people, and washing the very flesh off my hands. I am not isolated or quarantined, which may seem like the same thing, but it’s not. 

According to the CDC, there’s a difference:

Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.

Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

So there you go. Isolation is for sick people, quarantine is for well people who might get sick, and distancing is for the rest of us. But whatever it’s called, it all amounts to cabin fever for me.

That’s why knowing that I am a fairly antsy person, I set some goals this past week — some lofty ideas about how I would spend the time when I wasn’t actively working on my job. Did I achieve those goals? Let’s see.


  • Write more blog posts. 
  • Be more active on social media.
  • Talk to friends on the phone.
  • Paint and/or draw.
  • Take a walk every day.
  • Finish the afghan I started crocheting last fall.


  • Wrote two blog posts.
  • Recorded 5 children’s writing prompt videos for UAB’s ArtPlay, a community education center for the visual and performing arts. I’ll let you know when they get them posted somewhere. 
  • Talked to a high school friend on the phone who called me out of the blue after my last post. 
  • Hoarded some canned goods. I know you’re not supposed to, but I couldn’t help it. If you need hominy corn or French cut green beans, I’m happy to share.
  • Went to the state store and discovered it was closed. Had a slight panic attack. Went to a package store. Twice. If you’re in Birmingham, LeNell’s Beverage Boutique will bring your liquor out to your car so you never have to touch a thing. 
  • Got close to finishing the afghan. 
  • Beat myself up for not being more creative on social media. Then I got over it. 
  • Cooked a corned beef brisket in the Instant Pot. Note to self: One corned beef brisket is a lot for two people. If you have ideas for re-purposing leftovers, let me know.
  • Had some sort of fit of domestication and cleaned my oven. I have never cleaned an oven in my life. But now that I’m forced to live with myself, the damn thing sparkles like new and is so clean you could eat off it!

I’ve also decided that this is a great time to focus on the things I am thankful for instead of what I can’t do and where I can’t go. So here goes…


  • Lipstick. I have always subscribed to the theory of “look good; feel good.” So I get up every day at a regular time, do my hair and makeup just like always, and slather on some bright lipstick. Right now I’m into Cherries in the Snow, which has been a Revlon staple since 1953. It’s a bright but darkish hot pink. My current tube was a gift from a dear friend on my last birthday, and I hope she knows how happy it’s making me right now.
  • My exercise bike/laptop desk thing by FitDesk that I bought about six months ago. According to my knee doc, I’m supposed to regularly ride an exercise bike to “strengthen my quads” which is somehow supposed to help my knees. I’ve ridden it once in the last six months, but this week I’ve ridden it twice! And now I’m typing this blog post while I peddle. Or at least trying to. It’s a little like walking and chewing gum, but I’ll get the hang of it. Plus, it’s raining and cold which defeats my plan to get outside and walk.
  • Cloth napkins. In an effort to conserve my paper towels and paper napkins, I got out the cloth napkins that I never use. Since I’m home, I have plenty of time to wash them, they’re environmentally friendly, and they make every meal seem a little fancier even if it is just tuna fish on crackers or corned beef for the umpteenth time. And feeling fancy is the same as being fancy, right? And being fancy makes us feel happy! At least it makes me happy.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that strange things tend to pop into my head from time to time, here’s the current…


  • When you watch some sort of post-apocalyptic end-times movie and the women are Mad Maxine-ing it across the vast, dusty, sweaty wasteland kicking ass and taking names, how come they don’t have any hair under their arms? Am I supposed to believe that in the midst of extreme acts of self-preservation and the aforementioned ass kicking, these women take time to get out their pink Gillette Venus razor and practice a little personal grooming so as not to offend the sensibilities of the marauding males? And if water is in such short supply, why are they using it up to shave their underarms? Y’all…if it comes to that during this COVID-19 pandemic, you can just get prepared to see all three hairs that grow under my arms because I ain’t shaving if I have to be Mad Maxine. 
This is Charlize Theron and her shaved armpit in Mad Max: Fury Road.


  • Have more realistic goals. 
  • Write the great American novel.
  • Have more realistic goals. 
  • Work on the painting I’ve got started. 
  • Record 5 videos for ArtPlay with writing prompts for adults.
  • Work on having a positive attitude.  
  • Write more rambling posts just like this one!

Until the next time we meet on this blog, let’s keep each other’s spirits up, keep our hands clean, and keep on keepin’ on the best way we can! 

9 thoughts on “The best-laid plans…

  1. Thank you sweet friend for your posts!! I love each one and feel like we are sitting around chatting and visiting.

  2. Whatever you write makes me smile because “I knew you when” – when you were a seventh grade young lady who was equally adorable and intelligent, timid yet “full of vinegar”! All of those characteristics brought you to this wonderful writing career. ….. P.S. whose oven is Blue inside???….never, ever saw that!

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