Tag Archives: Friends

My Top 10 Ways to Deal With Isolation During the Covid Pandemic!

Journal to record ideas
Little Journal of Ideas for Post-Covid!

I think all of us have reached the point where we are thoroughly tired of Covid 19 and its effect on our lives. I know many have it worse than me, those who have suffered losses of loved ones, personal illnesses, and financial woes. But that doesn’t mean the rest of us don’t have valid feelings of sadness and emotional distress as we struggle to make it to the post-pandemic world. So I am sharing with you, some of my coping mechanisms.

  1. Keep a Journal

Mine is a journal of things that I want to do, but can’t right now for some reason as a result of the coronavirus. Here is a link to what is in my journal. Ways To Deal With a Pandemic That way I won’t miss out on things I wanted to do but couldn’t at the time. You could also keep a journal of your thoughts and feelings during isolation. Whatever suits you.

2. Get Outside and Enjoy Nature

Winter Landscape
The View Along One of our Walking Routes

Nature has a way of healing us that defies explanation, but it is proven to make you feel better. Surrounding yourself with plants, trees, and wildlife can bring a sense of peace. I find something magical about knowing that the greater world around me goes on, no matter what is happening in my life.

3. Exercise

Exercise can help relieve stress at any time so it’s no surprise that it will work during a pandemic too. I combine my exercise with #2 above and hike or walk in nature. We attempt to take our dogs for a hike at least five days a week. If we are running late, the dogs let us know that it is time. They look forward to the outings too. People may be missing their gym workouts these days, but you can always walk. Just find a secluded area and keep your mask handy.

4. Train Your Dog (or cat if you’re ambitious!)

These may be trying times for us but our four legged friends are enjoying that extra time we spend around the house. Give them some extra attention and brush up on their obedience skills or teach them a trick. It will strengthen your relationship and the two of you will come out of this closer than before.

5. Read

If you know me, you knew this was going to be on my list! Reading can take you away to other places and teach you something in the process. You can read non-fiction and learn about new things or places in our world. Or you can read fiction and get sucked into a good story. Either way, reading occupies your mind so that you escape for a bit from your current reality which can be a real treat in these trying times.

6. Take a Nap (Get extra Sleep)

The act of sleep rests your body and mind so that you are better able to deal with whatever comes your way. Also, if you are stuck on the “worry train” and distressing what ifs, or actual bad times, keep playing through your thoughts, sleep can break that cycle and reset your brain.

7. Work on a Hobby

Fun Breadsticks
Candy Cane Shaped Breadsticks for Christmas Dinner

Hobbies, especially artistic ones, occupy us so that it is hard to think about anything besides what you are currently doing. One of my hobbies is cooking. I especially like to bake and kneading bread dough is soothing to me. Working and shaping the dough is fun. I was working on breadsticks for Christmas. They got too long to fit on the baking sheet and as I was turning the end to make it fit, I thought that reminds me of a candy cane. So I made all the breadsticks in the shape of candy canes just to be festive.

8. Watch a Movie (especially comedy)

How often does anyone encourage you to spend more time watching television? In this case I think it is warranted. Letting yourself become absorbed into someone else’s life, especially in a positive scenario, may provide you with some mental benefits as you escape this Covid riddled world for a while.

9. Make a Phone Call to a Friend or Family Member

We can all feel a little lonely in these times of social isolation. Even me, and I don’t generally mind being by myself and am not a phone call kind of girl. I usually avoid the telephone and am often happy to spend time by myself. (For me, by myself means with dogs.) I have been making an attempt to keep in touch by phone with family members. And I make more effort to text and message friends. You may be helping other people when you reach out, because we are all in this together.

10. Don’t Give Yourself a Hard Time

We are all doing the best we can. You may find yourself being a little short tempered or down in the dumps, and not doing as well as you normally do. Cut yourself some slack. These are not normal times.

And in closing, be aware that there is light at the end of the tunnel! We still need to socially distance and wear our masks for a while longer. But the end is in sight. People are being vaccinated right this very minute. You have been strong enough to make it this far so you are up to the task of surviving what we need to do for the rest of this ride.

You are not alone!

A Home With Friends

My post last week about Maizie generated lots of interest. You can read it here if you missed it. A Heart of Gold

Rest assured Maizie enjoyed her life here. She became a permanent member of our family the day we received her diagnosis of kidney failure and found out her time was limited. She loved going out to the pasture with the other dogs and coming back in to sleep on the dog bed.

As many of our animals do, she seemed to enjoy the Christmas tree. I think it has something to do with the lights. Even with kidney failure and occasional infections, she never messed in the house. She was such a good girl. And she always greeted me with a smile when I opened the door to let her back inside.

Maizie developed a special bond with our cat Lacey. They could often be found sleeping together. Maizie passed before Lacey. When Lacey passed a year or two later, I buried her with Maizie’s ashes in our little pet cemetery. She earned this right as a part of our family and the two friends were together again.

Maizie’s time here was happy. She was only visibly failing for the last few days. The rest of the time she enjoyed doing her goofy gallop around the yard with the other dogs, playing, going on walks, getting lots of petting, and sleeping on a warm bed with her friends. Good dog Maizie, good dog.

Socially Distanced

This is the face of a happy girl who got to see her family for the first time in three months!

There was no touching or hugging and everyone sat far apart. But still, it was awesome!

Yesterday, I saw my brother, his wife, and my two nieces. It was a balm to the soul. The girls were so well behaved and kept their distance. Not being able to see them for so long is the only thing that has made me cry during these times.

Today I saw my daughter, her boyfriend, and mother in law. We split the gatherings because it’s easier to social distance and sanitize with less people.

We practiced giving air hugs from six feet away. Not nearly as satisfying, but better than nothing.

These times seem unique to me, but really, it’s happened before. The pox epidemic of the 1600’s. The influenza outbreaks of the late 1800’s and, of course, of 1918. Pandemics resulting in mask wearing and extreme measures. Likely, it will happen again.

Let’s not again take for granted the time spent with family and friends though. Let us remember to cherish each other’s company. It is a gift that will not soon lose its value.

Never Enough Friends

Foster girl Claire has made good progress in her relationships with cats. At first she found them to be exciting and something to be run after. She soon moved on to standing and watching the cats run by, but not giving chase.

Orange Kitty has been instrumental in this new behavior. He is so laid back that he doesn’t even move now when Claire approaches. She seems to seek him out for company.

You can never have too many friends.

Belly Rub, Please!

This evening was nursing home night for me and the dogs. It didn’t take Shelby long to ask for a belly rub.

Nikki spent part of the time in a chair between two residents. That way two of them can pet her at the same time.

Another resident came and we gave her the chair, so Nikki moved to a lap and was very happy.

I’m never sure who has a better time, me, the dogs, or the people we visit.

Free Yoga & Downward Dog

Zekie in Downward Dog

This evening is my last night of free yoga. I have been attending these sessions at the local library and they are so much fun. Every Monday evening for the month of January the classes were offered.

It has been a great opportunity to hang out with new people as well as sharing the experience with someone who was a coworker before I retired and remains a friend. I have found yoga to be a time of relaxation, peace, and meditation, as well as exercise.

I always knew that stretching was good for you, but I never realized just how good. My knee that I hurt while hiking last spring, barely hurts at all now. The injury has caused me pain all these months and with just a few weeks of yoga, I rarely notice any pain in my knee.

At the last class they were collecting signatures to ask that the library continue the class. I sincerely hope that they do. It is a wonderful experience. People with different physical capabilities are all at home in the same room. I find it fascinating that there are exercises that I can do, but the person next to me cannot do. A few movements later, I cannot hold the pose, but that same person next to me can do it just fine. We all have different abilities.

I also like the names of the poses. Visualizing them helps me to do the pose more accurately. When I see an actual dog doing “downward dog”, I am able to do downward or upward dog better.

With any luck, the library will extend the free yoga sessions. They have been popular. Most sessions there is barely enough floor space! If not, I already have Yoga On the Courthouse Lawn marked on my schedule for summer.

Yoga As Exercise, Meditation, and Humor

I found a free yoga class that meets for an hour every Monday for the month of January. That’s a deal I can’t pass up so I adjusted my schedule accordingly. I love yoga.

It’s a good workout and can accommodate everyone’s level of ability. It’s really cool how I notice that I can do some things that someone near me can’t do. And there are things that they can do that I can’t. Everyone’s abilities are unique.

I am taking this class with a friend. I feel good about the fact that I am finally one of those people who does a workout as a social activity, rather than just meeting my friend and going out to consume large amounts of calories, although that can be fun too. It is fun to hang out with someone who gets me. The instructor told us to imagine our leg was a log as we held it. My friend and I chuckled.

Me: Oh, no it’s the log lady!

Friend: My log has something to tell you.

Laughter ensues.

Fans of the Twin Peaks series will understand this reference. I never watched Twin Peaks until last year. I don’t know why I waited so long. I recommend it.

I also recommend yoga. It is satisfying to the muscles and organs, as well as the soul.


Daffodils in Spring

And so it begins…

We have many daffodils, and soon narcissis too. This is just a small fraction of the daffodils we have blooming today and they are just getting started. Many more to come.

This lady vase is special. She was given to me by a friend and former co-worker. The vase belonged to her parents and she chose to share it with me! I reserve the Lady Vase mostly for spring flowers which are special after a long winter. I keep the vase up on our living room mantel so it is safe.

This is why. Kitties love biting and batting flowers around. And I cannot be around 24 hours a day. So up out of harm’s way she goes.

May you have spring flowers to enjoy and friends to share them with!

A Week in the Life…

It was a busy week for the dogs and me. One benefit of having so many dogs is there is one for every occasion. On Monday Nikki, Shelby, Cassius and I went to visit our resident friends at a local nursing home. This is the pups posing in front of the facility’s festively decorated fireplace

Cassius wants to stay close to me so this is the best picture I have of him from that evening. We always have a good time when we go there.

Two day’s later I took the same group of dogs to a meet and greet with some Kent State students.

This was to provide a de-stressing session for the students and to promote our Sheltie Rescue group. I know Cassius is a greyhound, not a sheltie but he likes to support his sheltie friends. And ride in the car. Sometimes I take Baxter but this week I took Cassius along and we enjoyed meeting other doggy friends there too.

This morning my husband and I took four dogs for a walk on the Hike and Bike trail. Nikki stayed home and rested her 12 year old bones but Shelby, Cassius, Zekie, and Baxter all went.

I think we wore them out because this is what we saw not too long after we got home. Baxter did find the energy to go out and catch the frisbee until it started to rain.

A life with dogs is a good life.

Hello, Old Friend

It’s always good to catch up with old friends. This is a picture of an old friend. Sky (formerly known as Skylar) spent the past week with us while his humans were away. He was our foster dog for a number of months about three years ago. Fortunately, his humans are also friends of ours so he gets to stay with us every once in a while.

Sky got to spend some time with us on the patio on the one nice day we had. This was a treat because it wasn’t totally fenced in back when he lived with us.

At first he just watched everyone else play. See him peeking from behind the plant?

But then he remembered how things work around here and started to join in.

By the end of the afternoon, Sky was tired and ready for a rest.

He is back home with his own family now but it sure was nice to spend some time with him.