Showing posts with label Sheltering in Place. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sheltering in Place. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

What I Have Learned While Sheltering in Place During the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic, Part 3: What I Do When I Am Having a Bad Day!

In this time of the Coronavirus, where most of us are in lockdown and facing fear and uncertainty, it's natural that we would have some bad days.  I know I do. It's only natural that after almost six weeks in quarantine I would miss my friends, my family, restaurants, live music, shopping -- my freedom!  Yes, despite my active inner life, there are days when I want to SCREAM!

But being in lockdown, I have learned what makes me happy when I am having a bad day, so I thought I would share with you in case some of these ideas might help you, when you, too, are having a bad day.

  • I dress my dogs up as famous literary characters. (See if you can guess before looking at the answers).

Okay, Miss Havesham in "Great Expectations," you remember the old lady who never got over being jilted at the altar and not only lived in her wedding dress but still had her wedding cake out on the table - ew- and Hester Prynne from "The Scarlet Letter." The "A" is the giveaway, right?  Oh, c'mon, Mildred loves this.  

Duh...I know it's so obvious. It's Laura Ingalls Wilder in "Little House on the Prairie."

This sort of thing never ceases to cheer me up.

Believe me, I really am trying to be helpful here.

But moving on to some more practical things.  

  • I remind myself what a good life I have had and still have.
I look at family pictures, past and present, and linger on some happy memories that remind me that I have had a good life.  And I still do, despite the inconveniences and challenges of the present. That helps bring me out of my funk.

  • I read.
My mother once said that if I read books, I would never be lonely and she was right. When I am reading, I don't think about being lonely for one second.

(I just finished Elton John's memoir and it's one of the best rock and roll autobiographies I have ever read).  He is funny, self-deprecating and knows everyone so the whole experience brought a smile to my face! I felt like I was spending time with Elton himself. Reading can do that!)

  • I Meditate.
I wrote a post about how I came to be interested in meditation ("A Little Meditation on a Little Meditation by an Unlikely Meditator") and my unlikely journey, because, believe me, I am not the sort of person you would think would be into meditation. But after practicing it off and on for several years, I find it has helped me, especially in times of crisis.  Ommm...

  • I exercise.
I am fortunate to live in a beautiful town by the ocean so when it's a nice day outside, a walk in nature can take me away from my troubles.

  • I drink wine!


(Well, not really, but decluttering is certainly a thing that can take your mind off yourself for a bit).

Marie Kondo is a decluttering fanatic who tells us that we should get rid of anything that doesn't "spark joy."  We are supposed to hold the object up to our hearts and ask ourselves "Does this spark joy?"  So...

As I set about cleaning out my sock drawer I am asking, "Do these "You guac my world" avocado socks spark joy?  Maybe not.  Out they go!

 What about these "Nasty Rosie" socks? 

Well, for one thing, I think they are funny as hell and if thinking something is funny doesn't fall into the sparking joy category I don't know what does. KEEP!

But whatever clutter you are dealing with, there is a certain satisfaction in decluttering. Doing menial tasks can relax your mind, though, don't you find it frustrating when you always seem to end up with one sock without a mate? What's the deal with that?  Why is there always one sock left over? Where do missing socks go to die?

  • I binge-watch TV.

I have already talked at length about my TV addiction ("Confessions of a TV Addict"), about my discovery of TV at the age of five, my happy memories of watching old movies with my Dad, 

the television keeping me company when my husband was sent to Vietnam six months after we were married, which was a very difficult and lonely time... 
I was at college and every night when I would get home after play rehearsal, Johnny Carson would keep me company (the picture is mostly for some context but try not to focus too much on those pants and glasses I am wearing. It was the late sixties before I discovered fringe and bell bottoms)!

There are those who delight in shaming those of us who enjoy television, but I am a child of television and am unashamed. It has played a role in various times of my life and now, once again, television is providing some companionship and diversion.  

When I am feeling down, settling in front of the TV with a glass of wine and some snacks takes me away from my troubles. And this whole binge watching concept is perfect for these endless days of sheltering in place, perfect for working my way through a series and watching it nonstop.  

I have already seen all episodes of the dramas "The Stranger (Netflix)," and "Little Fires Everywhere (Hulu);" two really good reality shows about fashion design, "Making the Cut (Amazon Prime)," and "Next in Fashion (Netflix);" the quirky Australian baking show, "Zumbo's Just Desserts (Netflix)," and now I am working on "Mrs. America (Hulu)" and reruns of "Curb Your Enthusiasm."  A strange by-product of a stay at home order is actually a television addict's dream. 

So if you love television, let your freak flag fly and indulge!  You may not get this chance again!

  • I Bake
"The Great British Baking Show" (original title: "The Great British Bakeoff") isn't considered a panacea for practically everything for no reason. Watching that show can put you into not just a sugar buzz but a dream state (just ask Hubby who falls asleep as soon as the theme music comes on)!  

It's amazing that watching a bunch of amateur bakers can be so compelling, but it is. They are all talented bakers, but I think the show's popularity has something to do with the bakers being SO NICE!  They are in competition, but are also just so damn supportive of each other. It restores your faith in human nature.  And since they seem to be just regular folks, watching the show you might say to yourself, "I can do that."  Well, you probably can't, but there is a certain satisfaction in trying to, putting eggs, sugar and flour together to make something delicious. That you can do. 

And not only do you have the reward of eating what you bake, baking can return you to some happy childhood memories (I hope you have some!). 

  • I reach out to someone who might need a boost.
I might check in on a friend who is sheltering in place alone, who might be depressed or I might make a point to remind a friend of a happy memory or something I like about them. Thinking of others and trying to do something nice for them or to help them is the best way to stop thinking about myself.

  • I write down my feelings.
If you haven't figured this out already, writing down what I am feeling, sharing my thoughts, is something I like to do, hence my blogging history.  Whether it's ragging on a movie I didn't like or raving about a book I did like or just sharing with you my pet peeves, I have a need to communicate, to share my feelings, and when I do - I feel better!  We all want to be seen and heard and when we get that, a bad day can turn into a good one.

  • I have a laugh.

Whether it's playing virtual games of "Cards Against Humanity" with friends or watching Ricky Gervais or "This is Spinal Tap" or even making fun of myself, I find a way to have something to laugh about and that usually makes me forget I'm having a bad day.  

I am particularly partial to dog vs. cat cartoons!

See, don't you feel better now?

  • I have a routine and a schedule.

But when all is said and done, this is a time when we don't have control over events, and a loss of control can cause all kinds of negative feelings.  So for me, during this challenging time, having a schedule helps me cope with my bad days.  I treat this staying at home thing like a job, and like most jobs, there is a routine.  There is comfort in having a routine and some days I even write down what I want to accomplish in the coming days, whether it's cleaning out my sock drawer or cooking a nice dinner, I have a list of activities to choose from when I am at loose ends.  Having projects and things I plan to do, and then accomplishing them can turn a bad day into at least a better one.

  • I let myself feel bad.

Sometimes, though, I just go with my feelings, feel sorry for myself and wallow a bit. And that's okay, too, because I know that there is one thing I can count on.  Change. Just as this pandemic will eventually pass, so will this bad day.

So I hope that in sharing what I do to keep my head up during this challenging time, some of these ideas might help you to keep your head up, too.

Take care everyone and stay safe!

Now it's your turn.

What do you do when you are having a bad day? 

Thanks for Reading!

And I Hope to See you Soon... 

Here and on my Rosy the Reviewer Facebook Page!

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to click on the share buttons to share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn, email it to your friends and LIKE me on Facebook at 

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

What I Have Learned While Sheltering in Place During the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic, Part 2: A Day in the Life and Some Realizations

One of my Facebook friends recently posted a question on Facebook, asking people what their days were like now that we are all sheltering in place, wondering if they had a particular routine. So naturally, I wanted to weigh in, but in so doing, I have also had some major realizations.

So first, this is what for me is a typical day:

6am:  Hubby gets up.

I don't.

7am:  Zzzzzz

8am:  Zzzzzz

9am:  Zzzzz

9:15:  Yawn

Well, this is what I like to think I am like when I wake up, that I wake up all happy with little birds singing on my window sill, but...

actually it's more like this!

I am NOT a morning person!

9:30:  Get up and fix my special breakfast drink - orange juice with Pellegrino (makes me feel like I am having a Mimosa for breakfast) followed by a cup of tea (I am not a breakfast person, either), which I drink while reading magazines or whatever book I am working on.

10:30: I watch "The View." Watching "The View" has been part of my routine for so long that it feels like I am having a political discussion with my girlfriends (and yes, I sometimes talk back to the TV). It relaxes me. And I know, it is on at 10am but I have it set on my DVR, so that if I watch it after it has already started I can whiz through the commercials. I hate commercials! Having to watch a bunch of commercials just might push me over the edge!

11:30:  Make the bed, get dressed, that kind of thing - should I take a shower?

Nah...why bother?

Noon: Meditate while Hubby is walking the dogs.

(Like I could actually get into that position)!

12:30:  Exercise

(Like I could actually do that.  When I am not out walking, I work out with YouTube videos but I have learned that many of the workout videos on YouTube are kind of lame)

1pm: Work on this blog or some other important computer project I have planned liked watching videos of cute puppies on YouTube.

2pm:  Housework - washing clothes, ironing, cleaning out the garage.  I usually have a list of things I want to get accomplished.  Old habits die hard.
(have to do that stuff some time - my cleaners are also on lockdown)!

3pm:  Watch a movie, because, after all, I am still Rosy the Reviewer!

5pm:  Hubby gets off work so it's Happy Hour!
(and sometimes virtual Happy Hour with friends - and I have to say that as much as I miss seeing my friends in the flesh this virtual thing sure is easy - don't have to make food or clean the toilet)!

5pm:  Get dinner ready

6pm:  Dinner

7pm:  Jeopardy.  Since we can't meet up with our trivia team - The Famous Shagalots - Hubby and I get our trivia kicks hanging out with Alex Trebeck and competing against each other while watching Jeopardy.  (Btw, I say The FAMOUS Shagalots because we have won at every venue we have played. And if you are wondering, yes, the team name is ironic)!

8pm:  The rest of the evening is usually followed by lots and lots of TV (here is what I have been watching), a movie or some Me Time.

(Except I don't have a cat)!

11pm:  Bedtime...

unless I am on a roll.  I stay up late a couple of times a week, more because I am too lazy to get ready for bed than that I am doing anything important.  I have always been a bit of a night owl.

So that in general is how my life goes now in this time of sheltering in place, give or take some of the time frames and/or activities. 

But I have to admit, that's pretty much how my life went before, except now instead of leaving the house, my day or evening is broken up by online card games with friends, FaceTime with family members or friends, occasional trips to the store, cooking marathons and some mini projects. But like I said, in general, my days are not that different from before the pandemic. I am retired, so I didn't have a job to go to.  Also, I actually like to be alone, to a certain extent and have always carved out some time to engage in solitary pursuits. I have always been sort of an "indoor girl," so it hasn't been the sacrifice for me that it has been for others, though I certainly have days when I want to scream "GET ME OUTTA HERE!"

But I learned early on that I am a creature of habit and need structure in my life, not just during the occasional pandemic where I have to stay home every day.  Even in the best of times, I had a routine and it's having a routine that is helping me get through this time now. I learned the importance of that when I retired after 40 years as a librarian.

When I retired, I had to ask myself, what was going to give me a reason to get up in the morning? What would be my purpose in life? What was I going to do all day?  So now you know.  But actually, I discovered blogging, volunteer work, meditation, a Fantasy Movie League, all kinds of activities that I didn't have time for when I was working and those activities gave me purpose.  And now within the confines of sheltering in place, I have built a mini-structure for my life purpose?  Right now, it's to help protect myself and my fellow humans by staying home.

But the main difference now is that, since I can't go out, my basic routine is not broken up by outside influences like it was before.  I am not busy, busy, busy.  I don't have my usual volunteer work, lunch with friends, going out to hear Hubby play music, traveling, hanging out at the mall, going to the gym and all of the other activities that filled up my day before.  Now I have time to think.

Many of us have been caught up in the busyness of life, busy taking care of kids, busy running errands, busy working, busy fulfilling obligations, and we were not able to find the time to stop and think about what we really wanted out of life and what really mattered.

But now I have all of the time in the world to reflect and that reflection has led me to some realizations about what really matters and how I want my life to go when this over.

First of all - gratitude. I talked about that in my last blog post, but it bears repeating.  I am grateful for those friends, old and new, near and far, who have made the effort to check in and stay in touch.  It feels especially good when I am having a bad day. And I am grateful that my children and their children are well and in touch.

But it's not lost on me that I have privilege.  

I have not lost my job and I don't have young children to take care of and worry about.  There but for fortune...However, I can certainly relate.  It is not lost on me that if this had happened to Hubby and me 30 years ago, when we were living paycheck to paycheck with two young children, we would be suffering, just as so many are right now. So I am grateful for my life.  And I feel compassion for those who are suffering.  I plan to continue to practice gratitude and put that compassion to work by doing what I can for those who don't have the privileges I have.

I have also given some thought to my consumerism.  

Let me use my clothes "collection" as a metaphor. Let's just say, I have a crap load of clothes. All my life, shopping for and buying clothes has been a sort of hobby for me, like collecting stamps would be for a person whose passion that is.  I think my clothes habit stems from my not having the cute outfits that the popular girls had in middle school but we won't go into that now. As I shelter at home, it is not lost on me that I seem to wear nothing but workout clothes and sweats, sometimes the same outfit two days in a row (horrors!).

So when I look at my three closets full of clothes, I realize that I will probably never wear all of my clothes in this lifetime. It's a sobering thought. I realize I don't need any more clothes.  And like I said, all of those clothes are a metaphor, because it's not just clothes I am talking about.  It's consumerism in general. I realize that I have everything I need and I don't need much more of anything else. Sorry, Amazon.

Also with all of the news about how the environment has been helped by everyone staying at home - I mean those living in Los Angeles are seeing clear skies almost every day - I also want to be more conscious of what I am throwing away and what I can do to help the environment. I have always been conscious about it, but I want to be more conscious.

Likewise, though I am already volunteering as a peer counselor for seniors, I want to find out what other volunteer activities I can do to help those who aren't as fortunate as I am, who might be in real trouble especially after this is all over. As someone who was in public service for over 40 years, I realize that being of service is important to me. Even though I'm not working at a regular job anymore, it's still my purpose.

So I am learning to assess what I really need, not just now when I am stuck at home, but in the future. I am also having some realizations about how I want my life to go when I get out of this and back into the world. 

Sometimes it takes a worldwide pandemic for us to realize what really matters.

What have you learned or realized while sheltering in place?

Thanks for Reading!

And I Hope to See you Soon... 

Here and on my Rosy the Reviewer Facebook Page!

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to click on the share buttons to share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn, email it to your friends and LIKE me on Facebook at 

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

What To Watch While You Are Sheltering in Place (Coronavirus 2020)

First and foremost, in this time of the coronavirus, also known as Covid-19, I hope you are all safe and doing your part to keep others safe.  That means "sheltering in place," washing your hands and keeping a "social distance" when you are with others.  This is a challenging time.  Our lives are disrupted, we are anxious, we are lonely and isolated.

So what to do?

I know what I do.  I go back to those old standbys - movies and TV! 

So I want to do my part to help keep you all sane during this difficult time by sharing what to watch while you are stuck at home.

First of all, movies.

The movies and I are old friends.  Movies have power and have gotten me through some tough times. I have written about that in the past in my blog post "Why Movies Matter."

I know you can't go out to the theatres right now, but you can actually catch some first run movies at home On Demand, movies you might be going to in the theatre right now if you could.  You can watch several first run movies like "The Hunt," "Emma (which I reviewed last Friday - got into my local theatre right under the wire)," and "The Way Back" and "The Invisible Man (both of which I reviewed a couple of weeks ago and both of which I loved!)." 

Comcast's Xfinity has them listed under "Movie Premieres" in its On Demand section. You will have to pay $19.95, which seems like a lot, but if you consider that's less than the price for two people to go out to the theatre not counting popcorn and drinks, it's not that bad.  You can also buy "Onward," the new Pixar animated film for $19.95, a good choice if you have little ones at home.

But if those films don't interest you, most of the Oscar nominated films from last year are out on DVD or on Netflix as well as "Rosy the Reviewer's Favorite Films of 2018" and Rosy the Reviewer's Favorite Films of 2019.  And if I had seen "1917," "Jexi," "Jojo Rabbit," "Little Women" or "Pain and Glory" before I went to press with my 2019 list, those would have been on my list too.

And I know you sports fans must be freaking out.  I know I am so disappointed that the World Figure Skating Championships won't be on.  So here is a recent list of the "50 Best Sports Movies of all Time."  Perhaps you can get your sports fix from some of those. And when you can go back to the theatre, don't miss "The Way Back."  That one is right up there too as one of the best.

So even though it's no fun to be stuck at home, there is plenty of content in the movie realm to keep you busy while you shelter in place, and now is your chance to get caught up on your movie watching so that when you get out of confinement and back to socializing, you will be in the know about all of the latest films. 

But if, like me, you also enjoy television, there is plenty to watch on TV as well.

I am a big movie fan but I am also a huge TV fan.  In fact, I'm a bit of an addict.  I have a long fascination and association with television that goes back to my childhood.  I remember as a little girl, before my family had a television, standing on a neighbor's porch watching their TV through their front window.  I was probably four.  When we did get a TV, I realized my Dad also had a fascination with it and, I have many happy memories of our time together watching TV.  Later in life, as a young married woman in college, my husband was drafted and sent to Vietnam for two years and after a long day at school followed by theatre rehearsals, I would come home to an empty off-campus apartment and Johnny Carson would keep me company.  And through the years, television has been there through thick and thin, taking my mind off of my divorce or becoming a family activity.  Television has always played a role in my life. TV snobs try to shame those of us who enjoy television, but I am unashamed (have you ever noticed that many of those folks who say "I never watch television" seem to know an awfully lot about it?  I'm just saying). I remain unashamed.  In fact, so unasahmed that I even immortalized my enjoyment in this blog post:  "Confessions of a TV Addict." 

So moving on, in this time of social distancing, here is a chance for you to binge-watch some of those famous series that you are embarassed to say you never saw.  For example, recently someone gave me hell for not having seen "Breaking Bad." It was something about my life wasn't worth living if I hadn't seen it.  I'm not going to go that far, but, yes, I plan to get on the "Breaking Bad" wagon and get that out of the way so I don't have to get a lecture like that again.  I also plan to watch "Mad Men," to see Elisabeth Moss in the early days of her career; "Orange is the New Black;" and "Succession," since it cleaned up at the last Emmy Awards. 

But if those don't interest you, there are tons more:

51 Best TV Shows to Binge Watch While Self Quanantining...

And if you are missing some of your favorite shows that are no longer on or have no new episodes, I have some recommendations:

It's a documentary but plays like a drama because in the House of Windsor, there is, well, lots and lots of drama!

It has all of the sex and excitement of GoT but with some time travel thrown in.  (However, I can only recommend the first three seasons.  I thought after they left Scotland it went off the rails a bit).

No clothes and no Jeff Probst. Yes, the "survivors" are naked, but in a pixalated way (except for butts - showing butts on TV doesn't appear to be a problem), and sometimes they are afraid because it's just two people (sometimes just one), but it's real survival and sometimes one or both don't make it for the 21 days they are out in the middle of nowhere in some unforgiving landscape. Well, it's as real as you can get with a camera crew and a medical team who helps you when you have to tap out because you ate too many wild berries or you just happen to be starving to death.  And if you want a chuckle or two (and don't we all need that?), check out my blog post where I wondered how I would do on "Naked and Afraid" - "How Would I Do on 'Naked and Afraid?" 

(Note: the best of the best survival shows is "Alone" on the History Channel.  On that show,  the participants really are alone. They are in very harsh environments, they have no camera crew (they film themselves) and have absolutely no amenities as in medical help.  However, it's not on right now and probably won't be again until around June, but past seasons are available On Demand).

 Some of your favorite chefs are pitted against each other!

It's an Australian show modeled after Willy Wonka. I know. And it's just as zany.

  • If you like documentaries, you can't beat "Hillary." (Hulu)

No matter how you feel about her, this wonderfully presented mini-docuseries will change your mind.

If you liked "Big Little Lies," "Little Fires Everywhere" (Hulu) has the same vibe and even stars Reese Witherspoon.

Question:  Does Reese ever play a role that isn't an upper class uptight tightass?

It's almost exactly the same show as PR, but actually a bit more fun.

Based on a Japanese hit show, it's a competition amongst famous singers and celebrities who wear elaborate disguises while they perform and the celebrity judges try to guess who they are.  It's silly and zany but just goofy enough to take your mind off what is happening in the real world.  And Chaka Khan, Dionne Warwick and Gladys Knight have all competed---and lost!  Enough said.

  • If you like romantic comedies with a twist, try "Catastrophe." (Amazon)

And I mean a twist.  Two kind of unlikable characters get together and chaos ensues. It's British, so that kind of explains it.

  • If you crave comedies that appeal to us "older folks," try "Grace and Frankie." (Netflix)

Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda have a lot of fun with this and it's fun for us to try to see where Jane Fonda's facelift line is.

  • If you like true crime, you can't beat "Dateline." (NBC)

Okay, we know the husband did it but it's worth it just to hear Keith Morrison's unctuous voice say "Could it be...muuuuuurder?"

  • And if you are really down and really need an escape from this coronavirus thing, you can't beat those old standbys - Lifetime Movies - another bit of entertainment I am known to partake in from time to time. (Lifetime Channel and Lifetime Movies Channel)

I recently enjoyed "Killer Dream Home" and "My Daughter's Psycho Friend."  C'mon, don't you want to find out how your dream home could kill you?  And haven't we and our kids had at least one psycho friend? But if you can't bring yourself to actually watch one of these, scan through the guide on your TV and check out the titles. The titles alone will make you laugh. Better yet, check out my blog post - yes, I actually wrote a blog post about Lifetime movies.  I guarantee it will make you laugh. "Lifetime Movies: A Baby Boomer's Appreciation..."  

Now, okay, I hear you.  "I don't get Netflix."  "I don't get "Hulu" "STARZ" or "Amazon Prime." Well, try this.  Sign up for a free trial with Netflix and Hulu (Hulu also provides the premium channels like STARZ and HBO) and then cancel them.  The free trial will probably get you through the sheltering at home thing. And if you don't have Amazon Prime, all I can ask is "Why?"

So I hope this helps fill up some of that alone time and that you have some fun with it. Hopefully, I have piqued your interest and you will try something new. And if ever there was a time to do that, this is it. And you can trust me.  I have been a lifelong movie and TV lover.  See this little girl?  She has been watching TV and movies since she was five. She knows her stuff!

But more important than what you do with your time while staying home, just know that staying home is doing the right thing all by itself.  Staying home might not only save your life but the lives of others.  And remember, in this time of uncertainty, there is always one thing we can count on. Change.  At some point, this will be over.

Sending out love to you and stay safe, my peeps!

Thanks for reading!

See you soon


"Love in the Time of Coronavirus, or How to Stay Together When You Have To Stay Together!" 

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to click on the share buttons to share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn, email it to your friends and LIKE me on Facebook at 

Next time you are wondering whether or not to watch a particular film, check out my reviews on IMDB (The International Movie Database).

Go to, find the movie you are interested in.  Scroll down below the synopsis and the listings for the director, writer and main stars to where it says "Reviews" and click on "Critics" - If I have reviewed that film, you will find Rosy the Reviewer alphabetically on the list.