Monday, March 1, 2021

Right now

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.)

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)  

*** *** ***

Reading: I read 7 (!) books in February (reviewed on this blog, as well as Goodreads, & tagged "2021 books"):
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.

Current read(s): 
Coming up next: 
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??)  


  1. Okay, we watched the first episode of "Call the Midwife" -- beautifully filmed, great performances & period details. BUT. Rookie midwife handles traumatic birth in which both mother & baby die... almost! (of course...!)(although no doubt not all episodes end that happily...) I said to dh, "I'll watch to the end because I want to see what happens, but I'm not sure I can take this five days a week...!" Just a little too close to home for comfort...

    Anyone else ever see it?

    1. I hope my comment goes through (I commented on your odds and ends post, but I'm not getting the 'your post will be visible after approval' message these days).

      So I watched the first two seasons of Call the Midwife, right when I was pregnant with the baby I lost between E. and P. I say this because I was emotionally a mess at the time, which I'm sure affected how I reacted to the show. I had to stop watching the show after I lost the baby, and even before that I was finding some episodes downright traumatic.

      I loved the concept, but the subject material just hit too close to home. Maybe I'd do better with it now? I've never tried to rewatch it. How did you go with the Sybil storyline in Downton? The problem with a lot of these kinds of stories is we know too much, so we can see the disaster (like eclampsia) coming a mile off.

      For a point of comparison, I was able to make it all the way through Broadchurch (and really enjoy it) despite the emotionally-challenging plot points. But I've never been tempted to watch it again, as much as I adore David Tennant and Olivia Colman.

    2. I'm like you. I've watched one or maybe two episodes of Call the Midwife that didn't bother me too much, but I really can't handle an entire series (or multiple series) with childbirth traumas OR happy endings every single episode! So I've left it. It is on constant play on one of the channels here. I considered starting it again a while ago, but couldn't face it. On the plus side, none of my friends have talked about watching it - whether they are being tactful, or whether it didn't appeal to them either, I don't know.

    3. @Turia, unfortunately I don't see any comment in my "waiting to be moderated" folder on the "odds & ends" post -- but this one made it! :)

      I actually wrote a post about the Sybil/pre-eclampsia story on DA -- without having seen the episode. ;)

      I've seen the episode a couple of times since then. It was rough to watch, especially knowing what was going to happen -- and that my mom had eclampsia when I was born -- but I think the fact that we're both here today made it easier to take. Also that the baby survived, and there wasn't a lot of blood & gore involved.

      A lot of people have encouraged me to watch "Broadchurch" -- I didn't realize it might also be fraught viewing, so thanks for the heads up...!

      @Mali, I'm actually kind of surprised that SIL didn't mention that it might be intense or traumatic viewing. She just raved about how good it was and how much she loved it. I don't know if she just didn't clue in that I might not feel quite the same way (or why)?? She's a pretty kind-hearted person, but maybe when it's not within your realm of experience, you just don't think about these things in the same way...?

  2. Oh shoot. I'm starting to think the comments get eaten if I just post using the name/website option and not the Google account.

    I generally have a lot more trouble with heavy emotional content than many other people - I cry harder, get scared more easily, can't watch violence, etc. I'm a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP: and this is part of it. I think people who can more easily separate themselves from what they're watching/reading don't have the same experience. Q. and I watch Doctor Who and an episode that gives me nightmares for weeks won't even phase him.

    FWIW, I really really really enjoy The Crown - the sets are spectacular and the actors are scarily good.

    1. So sorry you're having issues -- but this comment made it too! :)

      LOVE "The Crown" -- although I've only watched seasons 1 & 2 so far. Keep meaning to watch seasons 3 & 4. I seem to do better with old-fashioned appointment TV vs streaming/bingeing... although when I'm on a roll, I can binge with the best of them, lol.

    2. The Google Blogger platform routinely eats my comments, too. Since I rely on WordPress, I've had to forgo commenting on many of my blog network's Blogger-based posts as I typically end up in a loop and they comments evaporate. I spent 45 minutes trying to comment on one blog two nights ago before throwing my computer at a stack of pillows on the couch in frustration. To any other bloggers using Google's platform, just know I'm reading, but have been locked out of conversations.

    3. And I sometimes have issues commenting on WordPress!! Wish these techies would get their act together; it can't be that hard to let people comment on different platforms...!

  3. I thoroughly relate to your frustration about the vagaries of the lockdown "rules" and the lack of collective adherence to public health guidelines. Ugh! It reminds me once again that people like us who actually do what's required never seem to gain any ground -- particularly when scofflaws abound. Sigh. Sorry to learn that Canada is in no better position than the U.S. vaccination rollout wise. Meanwhile, I continue to hide in the house and watch my gray roots grow. p.s. BTW: well done on your book consumption. I've thoroughly lost my ability to sit with anything longer than a long-from magazine article -- just one of the many things I lost during the past four years with a Felon-in-Chief inhabiting the White House. Will leave it there as I know political grumbling isn't your cup of tea. Thanks for the Belgravia recommendation. It's not yet available on any of the four streaming services we currently subscribe to and I can't justify buying a fifth.

    1. Oh, I do LOTS of political grumbling!! lol (and on both sides of the border...!) -- although I do try to keep it down to a dull roar here. ;) I hear you on all the different streaming services -- we just have Netflix, on top of a medium-tier regular cable package -- and that's expensive enough. Just how many different streaming services, digital publication subscriptions, etc., can we reasonably be expected to pay for?

      P.S. Great to see you writing and commenting again, Pamela! <3