Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Month Four of Staying “Safer-at- Home”

That's what the governor is calling it here in Colorado: Safer at Home. I'm fine with that. Shopping during senior hours on occasion, but mostly sticking to curbside pickup or online shopping with delivery suits me fine.  I never got a big thrill from grocery shopping anyway.

Or crowds.

I would have made a pretty good hermit.

Anyway, this post is about what I do when I'm not working on writing or writing-related tasks.

Hmmm.

Because my big goal for 2020 is to FINISH! those neglected writing projects—or delete/shred them if unworthy of further attention—it’s hard for me to come up with a lot of activities that are not in some way writing related. That's where all my excitement is these days.

But there are a few non-writing things I sneak into my “safer at home” lifestyle. Back in March and April, I spent extra time in the kitchen, baking and trying new meat and casserole recipes. That got old in a hurry, especially when I stepped on the scales and saw the unintended consequences.

The weather turned lovely, so I turned my attentions to the flower garden, weed whacking, and general tidying up the lawn. Now the temperature has climbed, and I must restrict my outside time to early morning. That not only includes any yard work I do but my daily walk with Sassy the dog.




I had to use the 2019 photos for my lily and Doris Day floribunda because one of the hail storms this spring chopped up the leaves of both lovelies.

Mid-month in June I started working out with our recreation department’s online exercise classes and felt they were doing me enough good that I signed up for the four weeks in July. I take the Silver Sneakers classes intended for oldies (but goodies) including two sessions a week of aerobic movements; two of classic Silver Sneakers which includes a lot of stretching, balance, and coordination; and two sessions of Yoga (the kind where you don’t have to get on the floor). Along with the walking, I think I'm doing a good job of returning to a healthy body after the long period of inactivity before and after my November knee surgery.

I read novels and non-fiction, watch old movies on TCM and programs from National Geographic Channel and the History Channel, and tune in to the occasional online concert.

Sassy stole my chair to watch Brad Paisley sing

For 40 minutes each Monday, I meet with three of my cousins via Zoom, call the grown-up kids once in a while, do shopping online, email a lot of friends, and do all the stuff everyone else is probably doing, including that horrible housework that's always there.

Sooner or later, and I suspect long before the virus is gone, I’m going to get the ukulele out of the closet and find some good You Tube instructions. I know the poor little thing wants to make music. I need to make a little music as well.

So, that’s my big non-writing ToDo for this summer. Playing a little every day on social media for fun stuff, reading the paper and watching the news for the not-fun or really scary stuff, and worrying about COVID-19 rounds out my activity schedule. As I read back through it all, I realize I do a decent job of varying the routine.

But the stuff I do that excites me the most is, you guessed it, the writing stuff. I have to save those stories for another day.


Pat (Patricia) Stoltey is the author of four novels published by Five Star/Cengage: two amateur sleuth, one thriller that was a finalist for a Colorado Book Award in 2015, and the historical mystery Wishing Caswell Dead (December 20, 2017), a finalist for the 2018 Colorado Book Awards. This novel is also now available in a large print edition, ebook, and trade paperback. Her short story, “Good Work for a Girl,” appears in the Five Star Anthology, The Spoilt Quilt and Other Frontier Stories: Pioneering Women of the West released in November 2019.

Pat lives in Northern Colorado with her husband Bill, Scottish Terrier Sassy (aka Doggity), and brown tabby Katie (aka Kitty Cat).

You can learn more about Pat at her website/blog, on Facebook, and Twitter. She was  interviewed for the Colorado Sun’s SunLit feature that you can find at the Colorado Sun website.

12 comments :

  1. Nice post, Pat. I love the pictures of the flowers and your dog stealing your chair. I'd sit there to listen to Brad Paisley, too. LOL I'm glad that you're recovered pretty much from your surgery. I'll admit to being a bit of a slug of late, but then I've not been well since mid-June. Nothing too serious. Just enough to keep me from doing much beyond a shorter than normal walk with my dog in the morning. If I can string two feeling good days together, I'll check out those video exercises. I miss the chair Yoga I'd been doing once a week at the Senior Center here.

    Good to hear you are writing, too.

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    1. Feeling lousy does put a crimp in the plans from time to time. I just got a cortisone shot in my shoulder which hasn't helped much, so my exercise moves are a little restricted. Still, I figure anything is better than nothing.

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  2. With best wishes for completion of those long lost WIPs. Hope you will post about completion!

    Impressed with your exercise routine.

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    1. Thanks, Liz! I've had a very bad habit if starting new projects before I do the revising and editing of the first drafts, so they sit there on the shelf, neglected. It's the lure of shiny new objects, I guess.

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  3. Like you, Pat, I am most drawn to writing-related activities. However, you've inspired me to consider broadening my horizons. Now let me work on that "broadening" process. :-)

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    1. Almost anything is better than binging on old comedy TV shows. :D

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  4. Your post makes me feel so sedentary. I try to do about a mile walk every so often, but I haven't been very good. I have been trying to keep my pool clean. That has resulted in shoulder problems from pushing around the brush and vacuum. I did finish my WIP, and it's out for the second edit with my editor. I admire your active, sheltering-at-home life.

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    1. I've done such a good job that I've also aggravated shoulder problems, Polly. Got a cortisone shot in one of them about two weeks ago but it has not helped. My energetic exercise routine may become a walking only routine.

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  5. Wow, Pat, I'm impressed! You sound very busy and productive on a number of fronts. What will you do when you have plowed through the backlog of writing projects? Do you have ideas for new ones? :-)

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    1. I was counting the remaining projects just yesterday and realized I had at least another year of FINISH! work ahead of me. Yes, I have new shiny objects to reach for and may have to sneak in one of them for NaNoWriMo so I have things to submit to my critique group.

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  6. I want to see some YouTube videos with the uke - you can sing out some of your favorite writing tips! :D

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