Right now... (an occasional (mostly monthly) meme, alternating from time to time with "The Current"). (Explanation of how this started & my inspirations in my first "Right now" post, here. Also my first "The Current" post, here.)
December was Full Month #9 (going on #10) of life in the age of COVID-19. We (= the region I live in near Toronto) went back under lockdown on Dec. 14th. Initially, that was to be a four-week period -- but a week later on Dec. 21st, an even stricter lockdown was announced for the entire province, beginning on Dec. 26th. All non-essential retail businesses must shut down. In southern Ontario, they will remain closed until (at least) Jan. 23rd. The northern part of the province, where case rates are not quite so high, is scheduled to reopen two weeks earlier. (That's the plan, anyway...!)
On top of dh's usual weekly trips to the supermarket for groceries and for takeout dinners on Saturday nights, we ventured out together once for haircuts*; once to the bank and the bookstore (before everything closed up again); once to the drugstore/postal outlet (to buy stamps for my Christmas cards and a few other things); and three times, briefly & masked, to BIL's -- on Older Nephew's birthday, on Christmas Eve to deliver presents -- without seeing Little Great Nephew, who was napping :( -- and on New Year's Eve afternoon/yesterday, when we did finally get to see him!
Otherwise, we've continued to stay close to home.
* (Gahhhh!! -- our next haircuts would usually be on or around Jan. 15th -- waiting an extra week for the lockdown to end won't be TOO bad, but hopefully it won't go much longer than that again!!)
*** *** ***
Reading: I read 4 books in December (reviewed on this blog & tagged “2020 books”):
- "The Young Clementina" by D.E. Stevenson (for my DES online group).
- "Cathy's Christmas Kitchen" by (the Gateway Women book club pick for December).
- "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens -- I listened in/watched on Facebook live as members of the East Pointers band read the book aloud, chapter by chapter, over five nights.
- "The Midnight Library" by Matt Haig (the Gateway Women book club pick for November -- which I actually read after the December selection, above...!).
I closed out 2020 with a total of 43 books read, bringing me to 143% of my 2020 Goodreads Reading Challenge goal of 30 books. I completed & then exceeded my challenge goal for the year by 13 books, 14 books ahead of schedule. :) (Not quite as good as the 50 books I read in 2019 -- and I started counting re-reads this year too! -- but not bad either!) You can find reviews of all my books read to date in 2020 tagged as "2020 books."
I have increased my 2021 Goodreads Reading Challenge goal to 36 books ( = 3 books per month, on average).
- "Hoax" by Brian Stelter (which I began earlier this fall, set aside for a while and then picked up again recently...).
- "The Blue Castle" by L.M. Montgomery (read & reviewed on my own in August, now reading along & discussing with my L.M. Montgomery Readathon group on Facebook)(and enjoying it hugely!).
- "The Young Clementina" by D.E. Stevenson (I read it through for myself -- counted above -- and am now re-reading chapter by chapter and discussing with my DES online group).
- "Confessions of a Forty-Something F###-Up" by Alexandra Potter (the January GW book club pick).
A few recently purchased titles (in both digital and paper formats):
Watching: Not much...! Dh has been watching a lot of NFL football -- which does not interest me in the least. :p
I slogged my way through my first Hallmark Christmas movie on Boxing Day -- "Project Christmas Wish" -- see my review here, lol.
Our "Downton Abbey" reruns went through season 1 again (which we had not yet seen) and then ended abruptly there, just before Christmas, to be replaced by holiday programming. It's not clear whether it will be returning in reruns again in January or whether something else will replace it...?
Jody Day of Gateway Women recently hosted another Zoom conversation with a panel of childless elders, which was an absolute delight to watch!
Listening: We found a Stingray music station that played just holiday songs on our roster of cable channels that was nice to listen to over Christmas. :) And I caught up to date with episodes of "The Full Stop" podcast.
Following: A new podcast called "Happy and Childless," with Gateway Women's Jody Day as the first guest. The sound is a bit glitchy, but (as always) Jody is well worth listening to!
Eating/Drinking: I found my Christmas baking mojo! -- which was a good thing. I knew if I wanted any of the Christmas goodies I grew up with & love (and look forward to eating), I had to make them myself this year, lol. I made three kinds of Christmas cookies. We took a couple dozen of each to BIL & the nephews, but there was still plenty left for dh & me to munch on over the holidays. :)
For Christmas Day dinner, we got another turkey breast roast, similar to the one we had for (Canadian) Thanksgiving. This time, we got one with stuffing in the centre. It was pretty good -- certainly better than Stovetop Stuffing...!
Buying (besides books, lol): Not much! I ordered myself two new necklaces (including a lovely crystal snowflake pendant) & a pair of crystal earrings from my favourite local sterling silver jewelry artisan. They arrived just before Christmas, so I was able to wear the snowflake & earrings on Christmas Eve.
Dh's Kobo e-reader conked out on him just after Christmas (at least, the backlight on it did, making it more difficult to read), so I ordered a new one for him online and arranged for curbside pickup at our local mega-bookstore the next day (which is closed, at least to walk-in traffic, under our current lockdown). (I got him to join Goodreads for New Year's too!)
Wearing: Perhaps I should write about what I'm NOT wearing these days (besides proper pants! and a bra! lol). I haven't worn a watch regularly in months (after wearing one almost every day since I got my first Timex watch for my 8th birthday). The battery in my everyday watch ran out last summer, and we haven't been back to the mall (even when it was open) to get it replaced. I do have another watch that I've put on when we've gone out, but it's big & heavy -- I prefer the other one.
I haven't been wearing my wedding & engagement rings either, unless we're going out. I have remembered to put in a pair of simple stud earrings... most days...!
Sleeping: A little better lately (for whatever reason?), thankfully!
Trying: To be patient as we wait our turns to get the COVID-19 vaccine... (probably later this spring or early summer...)
Wanting/Hoping for: Better things in 2021...!
Loving: Our Christmas tree (which is still up, and probably will be until sometime early/mid-next week, perhaps until after Epiphany/Ukrainian Christmas). Having that extra bit of light glowing from the corner of the room when it's dark & gloomy outside lifts my spirits.
(I have a friend who loves Christmas & does a Christmas countdown every year... starting in January! lol She reminds us every single month how many months until Christmas, and once we get to November, she starts counting down the days. The thing I find really hilarious, though, is that -- after all that build-up -- her tree and all her decorations come down promptly on Boxing Day! She does have a real tree every year, and I know they get dried out & messy, etc. -- but still...!)
Feeling: Thankful that 2020 is finally over!! (2021 HAS to be at least a little better... hasn't it?)
A bit apprehensive about the long, dreary winter months ahead of us, now that the fun of Christmas is over with.
In denial that I'm going to be (gulp!) SIXTY YEARS OLD in less than two weeks...!! (Wishing: That I could be spending it on a beach somewhere... oh well...! Remembering: That old age is a privilege denied to many, particularly in this pandemic year and... Counting: My blessings...)