June is the time of year when I head outdoors to write my summer newsletter. From my patio, 2020 looks the same but so much has changed with the COVID-19. I was inspired to post this Facebook video asking followers to contribute their stories of how they’ve been coping since March. Enjoy these creative, uplifting, and quirky responses!
April 1: Look who walked through the door! Santa’s Elves headed south for March break, all except Fritz who stayed at the North Pole. Afraid of catching COVID from his fellow elves, Fritz decided to pay us another visit and quarantine here for 14 days . . . o
April 6: Fritz the Elf learned today that there has been a run on toilet tissue. Some people, he said, have resorted to rationing sheets of the stuff. Not wanting to be “sheet out of luck” he laid claim to roll after roll, occasionally setting aside a few sheets for “other” people.x
It was puzzle mania at our house for a couple months. 2-2,000 pieces, 1-1,000 pieces, a 255-piece clear puzzle, and a couple other smaller ones. Our kitchen table was puzzle central and a great way to distract us from the online work stress by taking frequent puzzling breaks. x
My favourite – the clear puzzle. No picture and both sides were an option! x
We’re wearing the new look of public life during our weekly shop at the pet store.
Our new puppy Finn, a mini Australian Shepherd, came to us in April. Long days working online from home didn’t feel so isolated anymore! We even managed playdates with neighbourhood dogs. They socialized young Finn while we humans kept our social distance!
Jordan Toth & Stephen Burgoin
Spring 2020. Lots of reading, online shopping, and baking. So much baking! We all tried to keep up with online fitness-yoga, just to work off the baking! Here is the chocolate chip cookie recipe my kids kept begging me to make.x
Best Chocolate Chip Cookies HINT: Omit walnuts, grease the cookie sheet with butter, sprinkle with coarse salt and press the cookies into it.x
For the first few weeks, we went to isolation mode feeling very uneasy and fearful. We cleaned and disinfected like fiends. After staying in our pyjamas till noon, watching Netflix and eating popcorn we were bored.x
So our projects began. I rebuilt my daughter’s dollhouse for our granddaughter. My husband built her a yard full of playground equipment.x
One of the things that kept me sane during lockdown was connecting with my performance group Revv52. We were forced to halt in-person rehearsals and cancel our Spring show, but we continued to rehearse virtually through Zoom. We managed to put together a collection of virtual performances thanks to our amazing artistic director. x
A Million Dreams is one of my favourites because our children sang with us. x
I spent the time with my editor online trying to get my next book DONE! I felt wonky from all the online reading and writing – but it helped to have an excuse not to watch the news. The problem with finishing the book is that it’s not the best time to launch it. I can’t imagine not meeting with people in person. That interaction is the highlight of my life.x
Check out Susan’s first book: Bend Like the Willow: A Tale of an Arab Promise
Initially, I was ‘nesting’ like most people – what a wonderful opportunity to get into all those cobwebby corners. When the birds started chirping in the spring, I heard one in particular off my back deck whose song was so beautiful it made me smile every morning. He had pretty red markings as well. Long story short, I have joined a bird watching group.x
I couldn’t wait get back into the garden to plant my flowers on the long weekend in May. In my rush, I missed the last step of my front porch, fell and broke my wrist. On the upside – the hospital was uncrowded, the surgery successful, and my right write hand was fine. Note the yellow writing pad in my 2020 patio photo.