Friday, March 1, 2024

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.)

(This month is a slightly abbreviated version, as I honestly couldn't think of something to write about for several of my usual categories...!) 

February was, as usual, not my favourite month. :(  There wasn't anything really bad about it, but for a short month -- even with an extra day tacked on for leap year -- it sure felt long.  :(  

Pandemic diary/update: February was month #47 (soon to be FOUR YEARS...!) since the COVID-19 pandemic began -- and people around us still getting sick, many of them for the first time. :(  Wremain covid-free (knocking wood, loudly...), and continue to mask in stores and most other public places, especially where there are a lot of people. 

Among other things this month, we: 
  • Saw Little Great-Nephew at his grandparents' house on Feb. 5th, 7th and 20th. (On all three occasions, he wasn't feeling well and was running a slight temperature (not covid), so his parents kept him out of school and with his grandparents while they were working.) 
  • Shopped at Reitmans & Laura (women's clothing) as well as Carters/Oskosh (children's clothing) and Shoppers Drug Mart, on Feb. 6th;  and Canadian Tire, Chapters (bookstore), Reitmans and Carters (again) on Feb. 21st. 
  • Spent the morning of Feb. 15th at the mall, including lunch in the food court (unmasked, obviously), and then a few hours in the afternoon at Younger Nephew's nearby townhouse (along with BIL & SIL), being royally entertained by Little Great-Niece. :)  
  • Made the trip to our family doctor's office in our old community on Feb. 22nd -- he was booked solid, but I was able to see another doctor in the practice about the large red, somewhat itchy patch (eczema?) on my left cheek, and get a prescription (stopped off at the drugstore to have it filled, en route home). (See also: "Buying," below.).
  • Returned to our old community on Saturday, Feb. 24th, for haircuts. The salon we go to has merged operations with another salon across the street and moved over there. Normally, we try to get the first available appointment with our regular stylist on Friday morning, and I was aiming for March 1st, six weeks after our last haircuts -- but she was booked solid then -- and Little Great-Niece's first birthday party is on Saturday, March 2nd.  I didn't think I could last until the week after that -- so we wound up going on Saturday afternoon, Feb. 24th. It was very busy in there, and a smaller space than the previous location. 
    • Normally I would have worn a mask in this case -- but I've found that masks really irritate the itchy red patch on my left cheek. Ten minutes in & out of  a store, okay, but an hour in a salon? I decided to take the risk and went maskless.  (Knocking wood...!) 

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Also right now:  

Reading: I finished 2 books in February (reviewed on this blog, as well as Goodreads & StoryGraph, & tagged "2024 books").  (I've been reading a lot of PAGES, but not necessarily finishing many books...! See my "Current reads" list, directly below...!)  
This brings me to 6 books read so far in 2024, 13% of my 2024 Goodreads Reading Challenge goal of 45 books.  I am currently 1 book behind my goal.  :( 

Current read(s): 
Coming up: Most of my book groups have their next reads plotted out for a few months in advance -- and listing them here helps me keep track of what I should be reading next. ;)  
  • For the Notes from Three Pines (Louise Penny mysteries) Readalong: The last discussion was for book #3, "The Cruellest Month," posted June 7th -- no further posts/books since then.  I've continued dipping into the series on my own, between other book club obligations. Book #6, "Bury Your Dead," is the next one on my list! 
A few recently purchased titles (mostly in digital format, mostly discounted ($5-10 or less) or purchased with points): 

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ListeningTo Heardle Decades: Stats as of  Feb. 29th:   
  • Heardle 60s:  76.6% (393/513, 169 on first guess), down just slightly from last month. Max. streak: 15.
  • Heardle 70s:  82.5% (212/257, 118 on the first guess), same as last month. Max. streak: 18. 
  • Heardle 80s: 43.4% (56/129,  24 on the first guess), down from last month. Max. streak: 4. 
  • Heardle 90s: 29.2% (71/243, 14 on the first guess), down from last month. Max. streak: 4. 

Eating/Drinking:  Takeout dinners included McDonalds, chicken souvlaki on a pita, teriyaki chicken rice bowls from the supermarket takeout, and cutlet sandwiches from California Sandwiches (veal with tomato sauce for dh, chicken for me). 

I dusted off my Mom's meatloaf recipe, which I hadn't used in quite a while, and made mini-meatloaves in muffin tins, topped with a tangy Dijon mustard/brown sugar glaze, and served with garlic mashed potatoes and veggies. There were leftovers to put in the freezer for a couple of future dinners, too. Yum!  

We tried a quinoa broccoli salad recipe (gift link) that I found in the New York Times Cooking section -- similar to another quinoa salad we tried before Christmas, that we first had at dh's cousin's house -- and we both really enjoyed it, for one dinner and a couple of lunches too. :)  We used a pouch of President's Choice microwavable quinoa (instead of cooking from scratch), pre-shredded cheddar from a bag, Craisins, and we didn't toast the pecans.  Next time, I would probably chop the broccoli and apple into smaller pieces (dh did the chopping this time around), and I might make & add a little more of the dressing -- loved the tangy-ness! 

Buying (besides books, lol):  
  • Presents for Little Great-Niece & Little Great-Nephew, for Valentine's Day, Easter, and Little Great-Niece's 1st birthday (which was Feb. 27th -- party coming up this weekend!). 
  • A small jar of Clinique Redness Solutions cream to try (ordered online), to help combat the rosacea and eczema on my face that I've been experiencing lately (likely the result of the very dry air in our condo). :(   It has seemed to help a little. 
  • A new filter for our Dyson air purifier/humidifier. We bought this unit in October 2022 and the filter hasn't been replaced yet;  it's now down to 13% capacity, so I figured it was time to get a replacement to have on hand...!  
Wearing: It's been chilly inside as well as outside these past few days (and on & off during the month) -- so long sleeved shirts under a cardigan, socks and slippers have been a must!  

Enjoying:  Being cozy at home when it's chilly and/or snowy or rainy outside. (Albeit sometimes I do go a little stir-crazy...!) 

Noticing:  Lately, it's been staying SLIGHTLY lighter, longer/later. Progress??  

Trying:  Metamucil gummies (!). (Am I old or what??)  At my checkup last fall, my family doctor noted that my cholesterol levels have been gradually rising for the past couple of years. (Uh oh.) It's not at the point where I need medication, yet, but he recommended exercise (sigh...), and increasing my fibre intake. "Try Metamucil," he suggested.  I probably made a face when he said that. My mother has used Metamucil powder in a glass of water for years, for more, ahem, traditional reasons. ;)  I always thought it looked completely disgusting. 

But then I saw an ad for Metamucil gummies, and thought I might be able to handle those. So I've been giving them a try -- and they actually taste pretty good (they're orange flavoured).  ;)  The maximum suggested dosage is up to three gummies, three times a day, with plenty of fluids. I started out with just one and have been gradually increasing the dosage. They advise taking them at least two hours before or two hours after any other medication. I take a blood pressure pill in the morning, and a thyroid pill in the late afternoon/early evening, which makes for some tricky logistics...! I probably won't ever get to the maximum dosage -- and I had to stop taking them temporarily this past week, when my doctor put me on a course of antibiotics to combat the inflammation/eczema on my cheek -- but until that point, I'd worked myself up to two before lunch and one in the evening. It remains to be seen whether they're helping my cholesterol levels...!  

Appreciating:  The sun, when it does shine!  

Wanting: Oddly, I've been wishing there was more snow!  We've had hardly any so far this winter -- and I know, it's not over yet...!  Some people are perfectly happy with the milder winter -- and yes, it's easier for me to wish for snow when I (or dh!) don't have to shovel it!  But this is Canada, it's winter, and this is NOT NORMAL.  :(   (The lack of moisture is also not good for the crops, as any farmer will tell you.)  As I mentioned in this recent post, I've seen several articles recently on this theme -- like this one, and this one -- and there is a real sense of grief and loss developing -- mourning for a vanishing way of life that the children of the future won't get to experience. :(   

Prioritizing:  Hard to know what to prioritize sometimes, with so many things on my to-do list (and more coming at me...!).   

Feeling: Glad that February is over -- but quite aware that winter isn't, yet...! Looking forward to Little Great-Niece's FIRST birthday party this weekend!  :)  NOT looking forward to March break (it's the week of March 11th here) and the inevitable crowds of kids and parents everywhere -- a good week to hunker down at home...!  Exception:  the Monday of break week (March 11th), when we'll be looking after Little Great-Nephew for the day while his parents are at work and his grandparents are en route home from a holiday. :)  (They'll look after him for the rest of the week.) 

1 comment:

  1. Quick comments:
    How lovely that you'll get LGN for a whole day!
    Never heard of metamucil/fibre for cholesterol - I'm going to look that up. I had blood tests taken this morning for a range of things, and I'm assuming cholesterol was one of them. So this might be helpful info.
    Just as you are enthused by "lighter later" we are noticing it's been "darker earlier" and feel the gloom of autumn setting in. (Though actually, autumn is often really lovely here, and my favourite season.) Just hoping summer isn't over yet.
    Hope you're enjoying Wolf Hall, and War and Peace.