Virtual Coffee #8

Photo by Jill Wellington from Pexels

I haven’t been writing much lately so I thought I’d try to get the ball rolling with a virtual coffee post.

How is everybody?  Winter of 2020/21 has been very different hasn’t it?

If we were having coffee today,  I’d tell you that all this staying home doesn’t really bother me.  I’m somewhat of a homebody anyway (hubby and I are so much alike in that way).  I can always find something to do or clean – a drawer to declutter, a closet to clean, cabinets to reorganize.  I’m slowly going through my kitchen cabinets now and getting rid of some things and reorganizing.  I’ve found things I didn’t even remember having!

It’s now been about a year since hubby and I have eaten out in a restaurant and we’re thinking it’s probably going to be at least another year until we do eat out again.  I’m not taking any chances and still mostly staying home, only going out for essential errands and the occasional doctor’s visit.  We do mostly Walmart curbside pick up for groceries and have been very happy with that.  I occasionally go to Publix about once every 4-5 weeks for the things we can’t get at Walmart.  I double mask when I do go out and always have, since the beginning of this pandemic.

Christmas during a pandemic was sure different.  If you know me, you know that Christmas is not my most favorite time of the year and I’m generally relieved when all the hustle and bustle is over.  I did 100% of my shopping online this year and it all went pretty smoothly.  This year, I felt I needed to be surrounded by the beauty of my Christmas lights for just a little longer.  So instead of taking my little 3 ft. table top tree with the white lights and gold trim down on Epiphany, I left it and my two ceramic Christmas trees up until January 31st.  These little trees give me such happy memories of the 1970s when they were so popular.  Don’t you just love them?

If we were having coffee today,  I’d probably tell you about my husband and that he had yet another major orthopedic surgery at the end of 2020.  He had a hip replacement in May and has done quite well with that and had just gone back to work at the hospital (he’s a rehab nurse).  On October 13th, he was lifting a paraplegic patient from a wheelchair to the bed and he suddenly felt and heard a loud pop and felt a burst of pain in his right elbow.  He gently lowered the patient back down in the wheelchair and at that point he said he had the feeling that something bad had happened.  And it had.  A trip to the ER and then to an orthopedist for an MRI confirmed he had ripped the distal biceps tendon right off the radial tuberosity of the radius bone!  Don’t ever let anyone tell you that nursing isn’t a physically demanding job.  He had surgery on November 4th and he was told it will be a long recovery – 4-6 months.  He was in a splint for about 6 weeks with a lot of restrictions.  But he has done well and he’s under good care with a great orthopedist and a good therapy team.  He sees an Occupational therapist twice weekly and he’s now doing resistance training and strength training.  He is a therapist’s dream come true as he follows their directions to a tee and he’s a big believer in physical therapy/occupational therapy.  He’s back at work but not doing much patient care at this point as he still has a lifting restriction of about 5 lbs. So they’ve mostly had him clerking at the desk and also doing some COVID screenings.

If we were having coffee, I’d probably ask you if you plan to take the COVID vaccine.  Hubby, being a nurse, has had both doses of the Pfizer vaccine and did well with both.  He had a little of a sore arm and that was the extent of his reaction.  I plan to get it as soon as it’s available and that won’t come soon enough.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I saw my doctor for an annual physical in mid December and we were talking about what else…. COVID-19.   Two days earlier, I’d lost someone very dear to me from COVID and I was grieving and just so darn sad and weepy.  I needed to talk to my doctor about my out of control anxiety and my insomnia, which is about as bad as I’ve ever experienced.  I felt almost guilty when I broke down right there in the exam room telling my doctor I’m just so tired of all of it, because I know he’s heard it all.  My sister had a bad case of COVID in August and she spent 10 days in the hospital on oxygen and here it is 6 months later and she’s still suffering some ill effects (hair loss).  My youngest son had COVID at the end of October/first of November and at the end of November  he suffered a seizure and got rushed to the ER.  He’s 28 and had never had a seizure before so I’ll always wonder if it was COVID related.  They discovered he was a diabetic that night with blood sugars close to 400 and a very high A1c.  Just six months earlier, his blood work had shown a normal fasting blood sugar and a normal A1c.  And now I’m reading that research is showing that COVID can attack the pancreas and cause diabetes!  Yeah, this is a bad news virus.  I would think by this point, just about everyone has known someone who has been sick with COVID or even known someone who has died from it.  I’ll never understand why more people aren’t taking it seriously.  I’m still in disbelief to see how many people don’t wear masks, if not for their own protection, then for the the protection of their fellow human beings.  And I’ll never understand how the wearing of masks somehow turned into a political issue.  I’ll never get that as long as I live.

If we were having coffee, I’d probably ask you what you’re reading and if you’ve read any good books recently.   I read far less this past year than in “normal” years which I contribute to anxiety.  It’s really, really hard to focus on books, even now, almost a year into this global pandemic.  For the same reason, I haven’t been blogging much.  I’ve tried to continue on with devotional readings and that’s probably what’s saved me from complete and utter insanity.  I only read 17 books last year and five of those were rereads.  In 2020, I read:

  1. Heaven by Randy Alcorn (LOVED this book and found it very comforting).
  2. Uncovering the Love of Jesus: A Lent Devotional by Asheritah Ciuciu
  3. The Grapes of Wrath– by John Steinbeck (this was a reread.  I read it the first time in college).
  4. A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail– by Bill Bryson (the first part of this book made me literally laugh out loud and I enjoyed it so much. But I have to say the second half of the book disappointed me).
  5. Bathed in Prayer: Father Tim’s Prayers, Sermons and Reflections from the Mitford Series– by Jan Karon (if you haven’t read the Mitford Series, I highly recommend them!  I’ve read them all as has any good Episcopalian girl… they’re my favorite go-to feel-good books)!
  6. Spurgeon on Prayer and Spiritual Warfare– by Charles Spurgeon (this is an anthology which actually includes six of Spurgeon’s books on prayer.  It took me a while to get through this one and parts of it were grueling, but I liked it and am glad I read it).
  7. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn– by Betty Smith (an all time favorite and a reread…. I think I’ve read this book 4-5 times and find a new gem in it every single time).
  8. Before We Were Yours– by Lisa Wingate
  9. And Then There Were None– by Agatha Christie (this was a reread and I first read it as a teenager.  I honestly did not remember much of it or who the killer even was)!
  10. Humility– by Andrew Murray
  11. Simple– by Robert J. Morgan (this was a reread and I wrote a post about this book here.  I love any book written by Robert Morgan).
  12. The Tattooist of Auschwitz– by Heather Morris
  13. Change Your Words, Change Your Life: Understanding the Power of Every Word You Speak– by Joyce Meyer (this was yet another reread.  This book is so full of truth and it’s one I need to go to again and again).
  14. Prairie Tale– by Melissa Gilbert (I was watching the entire Little House on the Prairie series on DVD during the pandemic and out of curiosity, decided I wanted to read Melissa Gilbert’s memoir.  In all honesty, I wish it contained more about the series and less of  her sexual escapades).
  15. Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man– by Mary L. Trump
  16. Disloyal: The True Story of the Former Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump– by Michael Cohen (this book, and the previous book by Mary Trump, were loaned to me by a friend who suggested I read them.  This one left me slack-jawed so many times.  It was difficult for me to get through this one due to the anger I felt while reading it).
  17. Searching for Certainty: Finding God in the Disruptions of Life– by Shelly Miller  (This was one of the year’s favorite reads for me and I highly recommend it.  I LOVED this book and it’s a fitting book to read for the times we’re going through.  I have followed the author’s blog for many, many years and love her writing so much.  Shelly received a terminal cancer diagnosis while writing this book and I was devastated to learn that she died about two weeks after the book released).

Right now, I’m slowly reading Frederick Buechner’s four memoirs.  But I’m still finding it hard to concentrate and focus on reading and blogging but I’m making a conscientious effort to do better at both.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I can hardly believe my niece will be graduating from veterinary school in May!!  These past four years have seemed to sure go by fast to me (but probably not to her)!  Recently, she was home and did two different three-week externships.  The first was in a general small animal practice and the second was in a feline only specialty practice.  She’ll be doing a preceptorship towards the end of her clinical year and she’s very excited about that.  I’m both proud of her and excited for her future.  She’s had an unprecedented clinical year with COVID-19 bringing on a lot of changes to how a veterinary education is carried out.  Vet school is challenging enough and COVID brought even more challenges!

My niece with a Budweiser Clydesdale

Yep, this is how they roll….

A once in a lifetime adventure in veterinary school.
Swimming with dolphins!

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you I bought my cats the best Christmas present ever this year.  A Flippity fish!  It’s rechargeable and it really does resemble a flopping fish.  It has been entertaining to watch them and both Nugget and Dakota learned very quickly how to activate it.

Whoever thought of this toy is a genius!  Watch the video below…. cats love it!

Well, I could sit and chat forever, but I’ll end here.  I hope you enjoyed our coffee chat.  Please stay safe and well!

Gail

About Gail

I am a wife, mother, sister, aunt, friend, veterinarian, and wanna be writer. I love nature and animals of all kinds, music, cooking, and spending time with my family.
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8 Responses to Virtual Coffee #8

  1. enitsirk24 says:

    I have not been writing much either, Gail. COVID has stifled my creativity since I am not out and about much.

    • Gail says:

      I know exactly what you mean! I’m trying to force myself to do some blogging and reading but both are difficult for me right now. I do hope you will continue on with your blog series. I so enjoyed your last post: The Armor of God- The Belt. You did a great job on that and I’m looking forward to reading more!

  2. Relax... says:

    Delicious coffee! And lovely photos (as always)! With the variant popping up and flu season, I may rethink my own double-masking, but I’ll always wear at least one out there! We’re in a state that has had very low numbers (though a high nursing home resident death rate) since the beginning which is good, but no one (here) is in school and nearly everything is still closed. I’ll get the vaccine after everyone else gets it. (Husband feels the same.) Glad your hubby is on the mend, but geesh! I wish he didn’t have to lift people.. I was so sorry to read of your youngest.. hopefully, it was a one-time seizure, and hopefully the diabetes will fade out one day (similarly to gestational diabetes). I’ll be praying for that. I can’t believe your niece is finishing up vet school! And that fish for cats is a riot! I haven’t been reading anything, but your choices sound good! ❤

    • Gail says:

      Thanks for reading this very long post! I’m glad your state is seeing low numbers. I live in a state who has seen pretty high numbers all along, especially lately. Our numbers are dropping now and hospital cases have decreased, but I’m hearing it might be the calm before the hurricane. With the new variants, Super Bowl parties, and St. Patrick’s day parties on the horizon, there will probably be another surge. I told my husband that I just have doubts that this will ever end because there are always going to be holidays and social gatherings at these holidays and drinking at these gatherings. TN was listed as one of the worst hot spots in the country only recently (that’s a statistic you don’t want to be known for)! But you can drive by restaurants here and the parking lots are full as ever so you know they aren’t social distancing inside! Walmart’s parking lot always appears full to me when we go pick up our groceries. I haven’t been inside a Walmart in over a year and don’t plan to go inside one anytime soon. Most people are wearing masks here (in grocery stores) but there’s still always the few you see who aren’t. My son has seen an endocrinologist and learned quite a bit about his diabetes. When he inquired about his seizure or diabetes being related to having COVID, he was only told that there is still so much that they just don’t know about COVID.

      I can only hope and pray that this will all end as other pandemics have ended. But I’m thinking this one is here to stay and this is our new normal.

      • Relax... says:

        Well, even before they knew the contagion factors and Dr. Salk hit on the right vaccine (without our present level of science!), most folks/kids did not get polio. I’m hopeful about this virus being controlled, too. As with all other viruses, most of us will have to be vaccinated for that to happen. I think we saw the Thanksgiving and Christmas surge recently; no other indoor holidays/travel could match them, and then we’re heading toward Spring & summer (outdoors!), so I’m thinking we could possibly get a handle on wide protection even before Thanksgiving. Biden’s at the helm, letting Science dictate. Take heart even aside from that — the Lord sees and hears no less than ever before. We are in His hands.♥️

  3. I’m so sorry to hear of your struggles Gail. There’s so much sadness with this pandemic. 😦 We’ll get through it though. Hang in there!

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