*(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.)
February was Full Month #11 (going on #12!) of life in the age of COVID-19 (sigh...).
The lockdown/stay-at-home order we'd been under since before Christmas (Dec. 14th, where I live), initially slated to end on Feb. 9th, finally ended on Feb. 22nd. (For now, anyway...!) It remains in place in the city of Toronto proper, as well as Peel Region (Mississauga, Brampton, etc.), until at least March 9th. Other parts of the province ended their lockdown on Feb. 16th... just as the new and more contagious virus strains began emerging, of course...! (In fact, two regions that recently came out of lockdown then just had their restrictions re-imposed! -- including one region just north of where we live.) Schools reopened after Family Day, and I've read that case rates have quadrupled since then. But sure, go ahead, reopen everything...! (SOOOOOOO TIRED of all the back & forthing & tinkering with the rules...!)
Meanwhile, vaccinations have been painfully slow to start rolling out (both in Canada as a whole and here in Ontario). To date, less than 2% of the population of Ontario has received both shots. Most of those people are health care workers and residents/staff of long-term care homes. We only just heard last week that mass vaccinations will begin rolling out in mid/late March for people aged 80 & over. Those of us 60-65 (i.e., me & dh) will likely have to wait until summer for our turns. Ugh....! :(
Our last haircuts were Dec. 4th = almost 13 weeks ago. (We went 17 weeks without, last spring/summer.) As I mentioned in this post, salons have now reopened, and we're trying to decide whether to wait for our stylist to return to work (which may be a while), go to another stylist there in the meantime, or find a new salon/stylist closer to home. Sigh...
On top of dh's usual (once or twice weekly) trips to the supermarket for groceries and for takeout dinners on Saturday nights, we ventured out together to BestBuy to pick up my new computer (after my previous one died an unexpected death...!) and into the city to the dentist (twice!!) so that I could have a crown replaced and a cavity forming beneath the old one repaired. (Ugh.) These were my first outings since my birthday... which was Jan. 12th, a full MONTH earlier!! (eeekkk...)
And we went to see Little Great-Nephew (oh yeah, and BIL & SIL too, lol) for a half-hour, masked, this past Saturday night, while his parents went out for dinner. They live just 10 minutes away, but it was the first time we'd seen them in two months (since New Year's Eve/Dec. 31st). We hadn't seen the dog since Older Nephew's birthday in mid-December. :(
I did manage to dig up a Valentine's card this month for dh from my card stash -- but totally forgot about getting Valentines delivered/sent off to Little Great-Nephew and the Little Princesses, which is something I would usually do. :( Little Great-Nephew, at least, won't remember -- but I will. :( I will try to make it up to all of them at Easter!
Otherwise, we've continued to stay close to home. (If not because of COVID-19, then because of some fairly frigid weather this month -- it wasn't as cold as it was out west, where my family is, but still cold enough! lol)
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Reading: I read 7 (!) books in February (reviewed on this blog, as well as Goodreads, & tagged "2021 books"):
- "The Child Catchers" by Kathryn Joyce.
- "The Blue Castle" by L.M. Montgomery (a re-read with my L.M. Montgomery Readathon group on Facebook; read & reviewed on my own last August).
- "Belgravia" by Julian Fellowes. (CBC is showing the TV adaptation.)
- "Unimaginable: Life After Baby Loss" by Brooke D. Taylor ( = By the Brooke)
- "The Young Clementina" by D.E. Stevenson. (a re-read with my DES online group; read & reviewed on my own here).
- "Sourdough" by Robin Sloan (the February pick for the Gateway Women book club).
- "Chronicles of Avonlea" by L.M. Montgomery (a short story collection, and our LMM Readathon Facebook group's next selection, beginning March 1st. I will count this book again as a re-read once we're done).
This brings me to 12 books read so far in 2021 -- 33% of my 2021 Goodreads Reading Challenge goal of 36 books. I am (for the moment, anyway...!) 7 books ahead of schedule. :)
I set dh up on Goodreads at Christmastime, and by mid-February, he'd already blown past his 2021 Reading Challenge goal of 24 books... to date, he's read 28 (!). He says he doesn't really care about the challenge; he just wants to track what he's read.
Coming up next:
- "Eudora Honeysett is Quite Well, Thank You" by Annie Lyons (the Gateway Women book club pick for March).
A few recently purchased titles (these were all in digital format, mostly on deep discount or with accumulated points):
Watching: The final episode of "Downton Abbey" aired on CBC on Friday afternoon -- again. (This was our second time watching the entire series, more or less from start to finish, since last fall -- it doesn't take long to watch six seasons when each season is generally just 8 episodes (plus "Christmas specials"), and it's on five days/episodes a week, lol.).
Today, they are starting to show "Call the Midwife" in that timeslot, which I have not seen before. SIL loves it, has watched all the seasons on Netflix, and tells me I should watch. I'm not entirely sure I want to get into this one, given my history with pregnancy...! (Have you seen it? What did you think?)
I've been PVR-ing "Belgravia" on Sunday nights on CBC (and have yet to watch an episode), as it's on at the same time as "Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy" on CNN -- followed by "Lincoln: Divided We Stand" (both of which interest dh more than "Belgravia" ...hence the PVR, lol ;) -- although I want to watch them too!). The Italy show focuses on food in different regions of Italy. Drool inducing!
Listening: No new podcasts or music finds this month.
(Un)Following: I don't do this often (maybe not often enough??) but I unfollowed (versus unfriended) a couple of friends on Facebook recently. One is someone I've snoozed a couple of times in the past (and mentioned here). Another is someone I like very much IRL -- but he posts a dozen or more times a day about U.K. politics. I tend to scroll right by those posts -- they don't bother me in the way that posts about U.S. or Canadian politics do, because I have no real knowledge of the players or issues -- but they clutter up my feed nevertheless. And another doesn't post as often as these two but nevertheless has been posting some rather offensive (to me) political stuff lately. My feed feels much lighter and less fraught now as a result...! (and is much faster to get through, lol) I check in on these unfollowed friends a couple of times a week to make sure I don't miss anything important -- which rarely happens. It's easier to just scroll through all the junk posts all at once, infrequently, than to have to do it every time I look at my feed...!
Eating/Drinking: Earlier this month (on the weekend of the Super Bowl), we tried a different Italian restaurant near us & ordered takeout orechiette (sp?) pasta with rapini and sausage. It was good... but we both agreed we like the pasta from our usual Italian restaurant better ;) (and we ordered from them this month too!). We had our favourite wood-oven thin crust pizzas for our Valentine's Day dinner on the Saturday night of the long weekend. We also had our favourite chicken fingers & fries.
The last time we were out, I noticed that the nearby/within walking distance Starbucks -- which only opened about two years ago (NOT the one connected to the mega-bookstore) -- has closed -- part of a major wave of closures across Canada in recent months, including many in the underground PATH network downtown that I frequented when I was working (which apparently is a ghost town right now...!).
The little hole-in-the-wall cafe a brief walk away from our condo building -- which I wrote about here, and where dh & I enjoyed lunch a few times, pre-COVID -- has also closed. A new Greek cafe, offering souvlaki, has opened in its place, but it will probably be a while yet before we try it.
Buying (besides books, lol): It was a rather expensive month, thanks to two new (& unexpected) purchases/expenses:
- A new laptop (after my previous one -- only 2.5 years "old"! -- died suddenly).
- A new filling and replacement crown from the dentist. :p
Wearing: The usual (i.e., yoga pants, long-sleeved T-shirts, socks and slippers). Also occasionally a headband, to keep my COVID hair out of my eyes (when tons of mousse fails, lol).
Trying: To make a point of reading a book for at least a few minutes, at least once a day. This worked pretty well this past month, as you can tell from my reading totals above! (Reading in bed before I turn out the lights is a highly effective strategy...!)
(Still) waiting: To get the COVID-19 vaccine... And all signs indicate we will be waiting for a while yet...! (See my rant above, in the opening of this post...!) The current estimated time frame for dh & me to get the vaccine, as per this calculator is currently mid-June to late August (which is actually an improvement on a previous estimate of late September 2021 to early April 2022)(!!!). The Toronto Star has added vaccination stats to its home page COVID-19 dashboard, and to date, less than 2% of Ontarians have been fully vaccinated (i.e., received two doses of the vaccine). The federal government is still committed to having everyone vaccinated by the end of September. I guess we'll see if they pull it off...!
Wanting: Spring and vaccines to hurry up and get here, SOON!!
Loving: Whatever sunshine we manage to get at this time of year... it makes all the difference!!
Feeling: Fat, frumpy and grumpy. :p (lol) (Did I mention I desperately need/want a haircut??)