Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Our Week - The One with Quarantine, Week 44 (Virtual Learning and Yet Another Reminder That Life is Short)

Well, we survived two weeks of virtual learning and the kids are officially back at school in-person today.  New positive cases are finally on the downswing in our city, so I’m praying things have finally settled after the holiday spike.  

Last week started out pretty good despite the virtual learning, and I had high hopes for a great week, but then on Saturday, we got some sad, unexpected news.  I've been praying so hard for a brighter 2021, but so far, we are just not starting off on the right track.  Here's the recap.

Monday, January 11 (Day 304 of Quarantine)

Monday was another long, tedious day of virtual learning.  Olivia was done by lunch, but Jacob didn’t finish all of his work until nearly 3 PM again.  While Jacob finished up, Olivia was my little sidekick, following me all around the house while I tidied and put away some laundry. 

I also started stripping towels for the first time ever on Monday.  I used @gocleanco’s method (soaking in powdered Tide, Borax, washing soda, and hot water for 4-6 hours), and my first batch was totally worth it.  I did the kids’ towels first, and it did soften them up a little.  The best part, though, was that it got rid of the musty towel smell once and for all!  The kids’ towels had reached the point where they were still smelling musty even when fresh out of the washer and dryer, and this totally knocked that out.

Monday was another freezing, rainy day.  Most of the country (including the deep south just west of us) got snow on Monday, but sadly, we just had a super cold rain.  Seriously, the snow just barely missed us, and we were so sad! 

That meant zero outdoor time for anyone yet again, so we all spent the afternoon indoors working and playing video games.  I cooked dinner, and then we spent the rest of the night watching Alabama whoop Ohio State in the National Championship game.  Go SEC!

Monday also marked the day that they opened a new phase for Covid vaccinations here in our city – all people over the age of 65 are now eligible to get their vaccines!!  My Facebook feed was blowing up Monday morning of local friends and family saying that they had gotten theirs and it just made me so dang happy!  SUCH a relief to see so much progress being made towards knocking out this virus! 

Unfortunately, I’m in the very last phase (16-39 year olds), so I won’t be able to get mine until the very end, but I’m counting down the days until my time comes.

Tuesday, January 12 (Day 305 of Quarantine)

Tuesday was a much quicker day for virtual learning.  Jacob and Olivia both finished by lunch, aside from Jacob’s afternoon Zoom meeting, and then we all drove to my mom and dad’s house to grab some leftover spaghetti my momma had saved for us.

We sat in the car and visited with my daddy for about 30 minutes (my mom was at work), and he gave me some more old family pictures to scan.  It was another super cold, dreary day, so the kids weren’t able to get out and play yet again, so we were all thankful to be able to get out of the house!

On Tuesday, I also stripped another set of towels.  I did all of my makeup washcloths as well as our bathroom and kitchen hand towels, and even though the stains didn’t fully come out of the makeup and bathroom towels, I’d say it was worth it.  The kitchen towels came out almost totally clean, and the musty towel smell was removed from all of them! 

Tuesday evening, we had my mom’s leftover spaghetti and it made me feel all warm and fuzzy to be able to eat my momma’s cooking.  I miss our Sunday dinners together more than words could ever say. 

Wednesday, January 13 (Day 306 of Quarantine)

Wednesday, Olivia finished up with her virtual learning just before lunch, and Jacob finished up shortly after.  He has a daily Zoom meeting at 1, so that’s always on deck in the afternoon.  B picked up Panera for lunch, and I spent the whole day helping the kids with their schoolwork and running up and down the stairs to stir another batch of towels I was stripping.  I stripped every single towel in our house, and I did it one washer load at a time, so it was definitely time consuming. 

Wednesday afternoons Olivia has dance, and we decided to keep her virtual for one more week since things were still a little questionable in the way of Covid cases at that point.  It has been such a blessing to be able to go back and forth between in-person and virtual as needed and we’re so grateful to her dance school for giving us options.

Thursday, January 14 (Day 307 of Quarantine)

Thursday was yet another day of virtual learning, and Olivia wrapped hers up just before lunch, so I finally took the time to get in a workout.  The rest of the day was spent hanging out, working, and spending some time outside.  The sun finally came out and warmed us up enough to get out for a bit. 

Thursday evening, B and I finished episode six of Away and we also finished Bridgerton season one.  Both are really great if you need something new to watch!

Friday, January 15 (Day 308 of Quarantine)

Friday, both kids finished up with their schoolwork just before lunch and it was time to celebrate because that meant WE WERE DONE WITH VIRTUAL LEARNING!! 

It was a beautiful day, so the kids and I headed out for a walk after lunch, and we ended up at the playground like we do most of the time.  I walked three miles while they played, and we all felt so much more refreshed after taking in all that fresh air.

Friday evening, B picked up pizza from one of our favorite local places, and then we spent the rest of the evening watching old home videos.  We came across one of Jacob and Olivia when they were 4 and 1.5 years old, and it cracked all of us up.  We must have watched it 15 times.  It was such a fun evening reminiscing.

After the kids went to bed, B and I squeezed in two more episodes of Away, and then we called it a night, too.

Saturday, January 16 (Day 309 of Quarantine)

Saturday morning, we made homemade waffles, and then I got to work cleaning out some things around the house.  First up, was my closet.  It had been nearly a year since I’d cleaned it out, so it was long overdue.  I had received a few new tops for Christmas, and I was completely out of hangers, so I’ve had clean clothes laying in a pile on the floor for a few weeks.  It was time for that to go!

I ended up cleaning out enough clothes, shoes, handbags, and accessories to fill up a whole trash bag, and I freed up 29 hangers.  I also had a couple of old shoe boxes that went in the recycling bin, too. 

After I finished my closet, we made a quick lunch, and then it was back to organizing… this time, Jacob’s bedroom.  Ugggghhhh.  His is always the most time-consuming because of his love for Legos, and I’d been dreading it.  His favorite thing in the world is Legos so he has built quite a collection over the years, but the problem is, he doesn’t ever want to break any of his big Lego sets apart. 

That means every surface in his room is covered and it’s basically like a museum in there.  He had just received a few new sets for Christmas, so his floor was covered, too, and it was so bad in there that you could barely walk. 

He ended up breaking down a couple of sets (praise!) and we made room for all of his Lego sets on his dresser, bookshelves, and nightstand, but that still left one problem – we weren’t sure what to do with the creations that he was in the middle of building.  Normally, he leaves whatever he’s currently tinkering with in the middle of the floor, but that has always driven me nuts, so I had to come up with a solution once and for all.

I’ve looked for a solution for this problem for SO long, and Saturday it finally hit me.  I have a large piece of foam board that I bought at Hobby Lobby several years ago to use as a backdrop for blog photos, and I had it out because I had been photographing some clothes to sell on Poshmark. 

As soon as I saw the board laying there, it hit me like a ton of bricks – get him a board to designate as his play area, and then at the end of the day, he can just slide the whole board (with all of his creations still on it) under the bed.  That way his floor stays tidy, but he can pull the board out and come back to his creations as he wants.  Absolutely brilliant, y’all.  I have no idea why it took me so long to think of that.

While we were at it, we also found a place to keep all of his Nerf guns.  His whole collection had been stored in our downstairs coat closet since it’s close to our back door, which is where he always plays with them.  However, his collection had grown too big for that tiny closet, so B dragged an underbed box down from the attic that we hadn’t been using, and we moved all of his Nerf stuff to the box to be stored under his bed.

I’m not a big fan of storing stuff under the bed (not really sure why), but as our family has grown, our extra space has shrunk, so it was time to start utilizing that space!  Another pain point solved, y’all!  I was on a roll Saturday.

After all of the cleaning out, I finally sat down to do an hour of work in my office Saturday afternoon, and I started watching Dawson’s Creek.  Did y’all notice that it’s on Netflix now?  DC was my favorite show when I was a teen (in addition to Friends), but I haven’t watched it much since it originally aired, and I’m looking forward to reliving all of the angsty teen drama.  Haha. 

One thing I do not love is that they changed most of the music in the show… even the theme song, y’all!  That is so lame!  Apparently, they only bought the rights to the songs for the originally aired shows instead of buying them for perpetuity, and to me, that was a HUGE mistake.  One of the best parts of the whole show was the music and seeing some of those iconic scenes without the OG music is just not remotely the same. 

I mean, can we all take a moment to remember the iconic scene where Dawson and Joey meet up in the rain while the song Kiss the Rain by Billie Myers is playing?  Y’all, they took that song out and replaced it with something terrible and it just does not remotely have the same effect.

After I finished working, I went downstairs to read while the kids played outside, and just when I was getting settled in, my phone rang.  It was my dad calling to tell me he had just gotten a call that my grandma had died.  She was technically my step-grandma as my Pop (my dad’s dad) remarried to her in the 1960’s after he and my Nana (my dad’s mom) divorced.  But since she and my Pop were married long before I was ever born, she was basically a third grandmother to me as she was a part of my life from the day I was born.  I never knew life without her.

She was a lifelong smoker and she had COPD, so she had been on oxygen for the last few years, but even so, her death was very unexpected.  My Pop died back in 2001 when I was just 19, and my Grandma has lived alone ever since.  She was only 80, she wasn’t in a nursing home, and her health hadn’t rapidly declined or anything, so we were all pretty shocked when we found out.

I grew up having six grandparents, (two, of course, from second relationships) and now I just have one remaining… my mom’s mom… my Mama Cass.  We have lost three of them just in the past year-and-a-half, so it’s been a rough couple of years for our family.  This was yet another reminder of just how precious time is, and it really stinks that it has just been wasting away this past year during this pandemic. 

After the news, I was pretty blue for the rest of the evening as you can probably imagine.  B picked up Chipotle for dinner, and then we all watched We Can Be Heroes (a kid superhero Netflix movie) by the fire.  I fell asleep about 15 minutes into it as that’s how my body tends to handle news of a death… I typically have zero appetite and I just want to sleep.  So, I did.  The kids loved the movie, though.

After the kids went to bed, B and I watched the last episode of Away, and I absolutely LOVED it.  I immediately went to Google to see when season 2 was going to be released, only to find that Netflix has canceled it.  I was shocked because the reviews were so good, but most websites were speculating that they likely canceled it because it was so expensive to make.  I’m hoping so much that another network picks it up, though.  If you’re looking for a show with an intriguing story line, great character development, and lots of heart, it’s still worth the watch, even though it likely won’t be back for a season 2.  The end of season one was (mostly) tied up in a nice little bow so that the season could stand alone if it needed to.

Sunday, January 17 (Day 310 of Quarantine)

Sunday morning was virtual church and cinnamon rolls, and then I did my Sunday plant watering and planning session for the week ahead.  After that we got ready, had a quick lunch at home, and then we headed to grab some new shoes for the kids and then go to the river walk. 

Olivia got a scooter for Christmas, but our neighborhood is really hilly (and also has a decent amount of traffic), so it’s not ideal for the kids to ride there.  Our city’s river walk is over 20 miles long, it’s mostly flat, and there is zero traffic, so we thought that would be a great place to take them riding.  They were able to let loose and go at their own pace, and B and I were able to take in a fresh set of scenery, which was much needed after two long weeks of virtual learning and barely leaving the house. 

We ended up walking three miles, and then we treated ourselves to ice cream downtown.  There is plenty of outdoor seating and nobody was around, so we were able to do so safely, but it was coooold eating that ice cream outside!  And because I know somebody will ask, YES, we wore masks the whole time downtown... the kids only had theirs off for the picture as nobody else was around.  We've been huge mask advocates since the beginning.  :o)

The rest of the day was spent working and video gaming and eating leftover white chicken chili for dinner, and then B and I settled in to start a new show… The Good Place.  My brother has been telling me to watch it forever, so we’re going to give it a shot. 

We were all off for Martin Luther King Day on Monday, too, but I’ll recap that in next week’s recap.

Talk to y’all, soon.  <3


  1. Yay for virtual learning being over!! My grandparents are hoping to get the vaccine sometime soon as they are over 65, and my grandfather is at high-risk!! Once they get it, my family can finally relax and spend time with them without the risk of exposure!! We’re very, very excited!! I’m so sorry about your grandmother and I will be praying for you and your family!! I also just wanted to point out that I love your new blog design!! It’s so cute!!

    1. Thank you! That's great to hear about your grandparents! I hope they can get it soon!

  2. I'm sorry to hear about your grandmother. Hope everything goes well with back to in person school this week.

  3. So sorry to hear of your Grandma's passing. It is hard no matter when it happens, but especially when it is so unexpected. ~Hugs~

  4. I am sorry about the loss of your grandma. Enjoy your child free days this week!

  5. I'm so sorry to hear about your grandmother. Hugs to your family!

  6. I'm sorry to hear about your grandmother. Don't you hate that when a great show ends and could be continued but it gets cancelled? Two questions - what type of makeup cloths do you use and what's your go-to at Panera for lunch? I washed my Makeup Eraser cloths this weekend and they came out looking like new.

  7. Yay for virtual learning to be over. More and More schools here are going virtual. UGH!
    So sorry about your grandmother. Prayers for your family!

    Oh and can you believe I have never watched Dawson's Creek. EEK

  8. That is such a good way to store legos and toys. I will keep that in mind since my girls are getting into legos now. Yay for no more virtual learning. I bet that was tough. Ugh. I am sorry to hear about your step-grandma. I lost my grandma and step-grandpa the last two months and then our family friend passed from cancer yesterday. Life has been tough lately.

  9. So sorry about your grandma.
    I love your closet.

  10. I'm so sorry to hear about your grandmother, Lindsay. Thinking of you and sending you virtual hugs, friend.

  11. I'm so sorry to hear about your grandmother!

  12. Yay for no more virtual learning! I'm so sorry to hear about your Grandma. Keeping you guys in my prayers.

  13. Getting out to the river walk sounds soooo nice. Especially ending the outting with ice cream. You've definitely got me wanting to strip my towels now. While I just got new ones, I want to try my old ones to see if they soften up at all!

    Ending on a sober note, I am so sorry about your grandma. Thinking of you and your family!


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