Manic Monday: Pandemic Edition

May 11, 2020 | Uncategorized

Some of my blog faithful will remember that years ago, at least five, one of my regular blog features was a weekly post called Manic Monday. It was a fun little catch-all that gave me a chance to fill you in on what was going on in my life while offering suggestions for books, music, recipes and more. When I went to work in an office outside my home and the blogging fell by the wayside, that was one of the first things to go. But now, on day 1,675 of the COVID-19 pandemic — okay, more like day 56 since we locked down — I’m feeling the need to blog again, and Manic Monday seemed like the perfect re-entry point, so here we go…

Bookshelf: As is almost always the case for me, I am currently reading about five different books, while also listening to something on Audible, which has become one of my favorite ways to devour books ever since Dennis gave me a subscription for Christmas 2018. But I’m very particular about what kind of books I will consume via audio. (A post for another day!) Rather than give you all of the books I’m reading now, I’ll give you one, the first book I read every day. I’ll cover the rest in future posts. Every morning I read a daily reflection from Mark Nepo’s The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life you Have. I love, love, love this book, even though there are days when some internal barrier doesn’t want to let in his beautiful suggestions and I find myself silently shaking my head no. Clearly that’s a sign I need to stay with that particular reflection for more than a few minutes, maybe for more than a few days. If you’re looking for a book of daily reflections, this is one to check out.

Now Playing: We just finished After Life, the Netflix series created by (and starring) Ricky Gervais. Funny but also thoughtful. During the last few episodes I found myself crying, so be warned if you think this is just going to be a lot of Gervais snark, although there is definitely plenty of that. It’s actually a really healthy look at grief but with doses of humor. Be warned, heavy British accents. In fact, Dennis was saying he wished we’d watched with subtitles since some characters were really hard to understand at times. We’ve now moved on to Dead to Me, the Netflix series starring Christina Applegate. (I sense a death-centric theme in our viewing choices.) This one is good but really strange. Still, we found ourselves dissecting it over lunch and trying to figure out where it was going, so probably deceptively good because it’s gotten under our skin.

Soundtrack: This category is a little like the bookshelf; there’s a lot going on here on any given day. Lately we’ve got a few things that seem to be surfacing again and again: Good Souls Better Angels, the new Lucinda Williams’ album, brilliant as always; the new Bob Dylan songs that appear out of the blue, including the 17-minute “Murder Most Foul”; the new Stones song, “Living in a Ghost Town”; whatever the girls happen to be blasting, which was “I’m Still Standing” by Elton John yesterday and the soundtrack from Camp Rock (!) today; and various and sundry weird yoga-related music that I will tell Alexa to play whenever the Spirit moves me. Put on some music and sing and dance. I promise it will make you feel a whole lot better about being cooped up.

Viewfinder: Birds, flowers, bright green leaves and clear blue skies. I am totally obsessed with the bird feeder, the bunnies, the chipmunks, and the little creature kingdom outside my window. Cannot get enough. I’ve even been known to stand in my kitchen with binoculars on days when it’s too cold to go out and stalk them with my camera.

A chipmunk nibbling orange slices
A robin protecting its new nest
The cardinal that keeps me company

Menu: Tonight we are having a delicious slow-cooker Thai chicken that is one of Dennis’ specialities. It will be served over Basmati rice with steamed snow peas on the side. Amazingly delicious and healthy as well. We’ve been eating really well during the pandemic, too well, since we’re all home and have plenty of time to cook. It’s been so nice to have everyone around the kitchen table every night with one great meal after another. That’s one thing I’ll miss when this is over and the busyness of real life intrudes into the quiet slowness of pandemic, at least in our household.

GPS: As is the case for most of us, the GPS has been idling since lockdown on March 17. I have not driven a car since I came home from work on March 16, the longest I’ve gone without driving since I was 17. Dennis does all our shopping, and the one time we did go out, I meant to drive one way but forgot to take the wheel. Our one adventure was on our 25th wedding anniversary. Instead of going to Madrid — our original plan — we headed up to Peebles Island State Park where we took a walk around the beautiful grounds and even caught sight of a bald eagle in its nest. Here’s a view through my zoom lens. The one below it gives you perspective on how far from it I was and where we were standing. I was in awe of this bird.

Bald eagle at Peebles Island State Park
Hoping beyond hope that he’d take off and fly. No luck.

Datebook: Yesterday was supposed to be my graduation from 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training. I can’t tell you how disappointing it is that we didn’t graduate and still don’t have a timeline for when that will happen — because no one has a timeline for anything these days. Still, I’m keeping up with my yoga almost daily and staying strong. This was one of my proudest yoga moments since lockdown began, nailing Bakasana, aka Crow. I can’t wait to be back with my prabhus at Jai Yoga School!



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