Sunday, May 10, 2020

Pandemic Diary Entry #11

I'm thrilled to have a wonderful job to do this month: going page by page through the edited manuscript of my novel in verse, reading and reacting to my lovely editor's comments. This is a new step in the writing journey for me. Line edits! And it's actually fun. I put in an hour or two a day on this. Any more and I develop a headache.

Because it's so time-consuming, the journaling had to take a back seat. Shorter entries this time (you're probably relieved! Thanks for reading this diary).

Monday, May 4 (Day 54): Our two-week grocery delivery arrived around 9:30 am. And we received most of what we ordered! Twenty-four bags. Such a waste of plastic. So many of the bags contained only one item! Unfortunately for my husband, no potato chips. Guess everyone who gets food delivered is looking for their favorite snacks. I told him he can share my sweet-potato chips. They're healthier! (Yeah, right.)

Besides the potato chips, we didn't receive TP, naturally. We haven't actually purchased any since March 4th. I'm amazed we haven't run out yet. About six rolls left.

Yes, this is the same son in the photo from my last entry, who was three then and is now 30!

The other (and most important) event of the day was a visit from our younger son in the late afternoon! Haven't seen him since early March. We sat outside and talked for about half an hour. He was heading home to the city from his new job working at a fulfillment center for Gap. It was fantastic to see him, even if I couldn't hug him (He insisted on wearing the mask, even though we stayed at least six feet apart).

Tuesday, May 5 (Day 55): Put in my next grocery order and was able to grab Monday, May 18th starting at 6:30 am. Just under two weeks!

Talked to my mother on the phone. She's still okay, and there are no new cases of the virus at her lifecare facility. Thank goodness! Her mind is not what it used to be, but she knows there's a pandemic.

Two hours on line edits. Making great progress.

Then received an email that made me smile. The 36 rolls of TP I ordered direct from the manufacturer have shipped! Woo hoo! Never thought I'd be so excited to get TP.

If I've learned nothing else about myself during this pandemic, it's that I desperately need something to look forward to. And it can be as simple as a delivery. Or a visit from my son. Or even a good movie or TV show. Or a snack. As long as I have something to look forward to every day, I can get through this.

It's sobering to think of all the people who can't afford to buy groceries while they're out of work. Or don't have the internet. Here's an essay about the disparity. I fully realize how fortunate we are and I'm grateful.

Wednesday, May 6 (Day 56): Worked on line edits for two hours and had to stop because I was getting bleary-eyed. Cloudy and cold today. Too windy for a walk.

I'm almost finished reading This Is My Brain In Love by I.W. Gregorio (my friend Ilene Wong). What a wonderful story!

Fish and roasted vegetables for dinner.

Thursday, May 7 (Day 57):  Cold but sunny. My husband worked on the garden for hours. We're calling this "The Accidental Garden". (Remember, there used to be a huge spruce tree there until the storm blew it down!)

Progress on the Accidental Garden

He was too exhausted after setting up all that deer fencing and spreading topsoil, to go for an afternoon walk with me. So I went on my own.

All the trees up the hill from us now have leaves! I love this time of year.

Our prettiest azalea. Now that the daffodils are finished, it's nice to have
something else flowering. The deer have decimated most of our azalea bushes.
My husband had a fence around this one the past two weeks, but he needed it for the garden!

Watched the last episode of "Godless" on Netflix in the evening. Now we'll need to find something new to watch, preferably something less violent.

Friday, May 8 (Day 58):  Finished reading Ilene's book!

If you buy only one YA novel this year, make it This is My Brain in Love by I.W. Gregorio (Little, Brown, published April 14, 2020, 384 pages, for ages 12 and up). What a delightful read! Jocelyn and Will feel like real high school students to me. Their sweet love story draws you in, and then the obstacles they face -- racism, mental health issues, the struggling restaurant Jocelyn's family owns (and where Will takes a summer job) grip you, right through to the satisfying end of the novel.

Order it from bookshop here!

An hour on line edits. Salads for dinner.

Watched the first three episodes of Cheers on Netflix, after searching for something new to watch. We both lit up at the idea of Cheers. It started in 1982, when we were dating, and we both remember it as being entertaining and funny. We definitely need entertaining and funny right now.

Saturday, May 9 (Day 59): 

Sunny but too cold for this time of year in Pennsylvania. Good thing my husband covered the tomato plants in our garden last night.

Worked on line edits for almost two hours. Cleaned out a kitchen cabinet that had become way too crammed.

And then, this arrived:

Woo hoo! Four packages of 9 rolls each. We're in great shape!

COVID-19 World Stats as of May 9 (from WHO):
Confirmed cases: 3,925,815
Confirmed deaths: 274,488

US Stats as of May 10 (from the CDC):
Confirmed cases: 1,300,696
Confirmed deaths: 78,771

Tell me: what do you look forward to the most?


  1. Glad you have your manuscript to work on. And found toilet paper. I had to go on the hunt for it for awhile for my mom. I remember being so happy when I could order some for delivery at Walmart. Funny what becomes important.

    Glad you're hanging in there okay.

    1. Thanks, Natalie! I tried Walmart when you first mentioned it, but the closest Walmart that would deliver is 50 miles away. Ordering direct from Georgia Pacific was easier than I expected, and shipping was free. Plus, it only took a week.

  2. Yay for toilet paper and line edits! Boo for headaches. You're a superstar for surviving and thriving after 3 aneurysms. My single rupture almost did me in.

    1. Thanks, Dede! You survived a terrible brain bleed. You deserve to be honored for that.

  3. Joanne, it's wonderful that you're able to be productive, editing and journaling, during this pandemic. Thanks for taking us along as you (and we) navigate it. Lovely to have a visit with your son! That's what I most look forward to - visits with the kids. xo

    1. Thank you, Unknown! Happy to hear you're enjoying my pandemic diary, and yes, we're all navigating this together.

  4. Wow. I think life is good for you. A son's visit, a new garden, beautiful azaleas, a good book to read and a good book to edit, and toilet paper. Yup. Life is good. Thanks for the update.

    1. Ha ha, Rosi! Thank you! You're right. Life is good. It's astonishing how much better I feel having seen one of my sons (even if I couldn't hug him) and having a plentiful supply of toilet paper! Your compliment is making me blush. I hope it's a good book, but that will be for others to judge! I appreciate your confidence in me.

  5. I never thought I’d say this, but congratulations on the toilet paper! I can't believe your grocery order had 24 plastic bags! I'm glad you're enjoying line editing, and I appreciate the essay you linked! For me, I think blogging has become the thing that I look forward to each week. Also, your azalea is beautiful! Thank you for the great post!

    1. Thank you so much! I really wish I knew your name. Yeah, I wonder why Giant continues to bag nearly every item individually. We try to reuse all those bags as trash bags. I'll check out your blog next.


I've disabled comments on this blog. I may be back at some time in the future, but for now, please visit my website:

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.