How are you all doing? Since last weekend I’ve been feeling very tired, some of it likely from my hyperparathyroidism, the rest it from pandemic-related stress and sadness. I simply don’t have the energy to update with my usual frequency. Now that my book has been put on hold I also need to figure out how to start generating a small income from my blog which has been ad-free since its inception. I do have windows of energy so I’ve been getting outside to rake and do general spring cleaning in the yard. The fresh air, warming sunshine, exercise and Cider’s company is very healing. I’ve been keeping an eye out for Buster, too. Yesterday Wayne and I did some more exploring in our woods. He found a hidden gem I never knew was there!
Right now if you look very closely you’ll see signs of spring. A cursory glance still shows bare trees, dead leaves and patches of snow. We spent some time walking in our woods, hanging out with Cider and relishing in home comforts. I have a new camera/phone so I practiced getting close-up shots that capture the lively details of renewal. There’s also a sweet video at the end of this post. On to the pics:
I am SO looking forward to a Kennebunkport summer of St. Ann’s, the Nonantum and the Colony as well as reading Wishy the Bookworm Chipmunk* at Maine Wildlife Park. Even if summer traditions gets a late start and they end up being two minutes instead of the usual five (honestly that’s how summer feels in Maine, it’s almost like one beautiful blur), I will take it with gratitude!
In addition to the closures I mentioned yesterday the Governor of Maine also shut coastal state beach parks yesterday afternoon. Knowing that everyone will then be heading to the remaining open beaches in my town, Ferry and Higgins, I will avoid them because they will likely be packed. I assume they will soon be closed, too.
I want to share the unsettling things that happened during my walk around my neighborhood yesterday, a walk I’ve taken hundreds of times that is usually pleasant and uneventful. It feels like an entirely different scene because it is.
Have you seen that crazy talk on the ‘net about using corn cobs in place of TP? Other than farmers, who has corn cobs laying around?! Leaves sounds more reasonable, albeit not dried ones. I can’t say I know that for a fact because Wayne is a party pooper. (I apologize in advance for the unfortunate and unintended puns in this post).
Here’s how it went. We were sitting in our three season sunroom yesterday afternoon which was glorious. The sunlight brought the sunroom temp up to seventy even though it was still in the 40s outside. The local indie oldies a.m. station was playing on the vintage radio. We sat on our rocking chairs and I asked his thoughts about leaves in lieu of TP if it came down to that. Then I had a great idea on how to find out! I can’t believe he didn’t want to play along with my novel quarantine game.
Thank you to all who took the time to comment on my last two posts. Your participation is important for me to be motivated to keep writing here.
I have some sad news about my book, The Thrifty Yankee’s Guide to Frugal Living. It’s only 1/3 finished (managing the pain after my fall on the ice and endocrine disorder issues/testing further delayed my writing) and I won’t resume until after coronavirus is history. I know you’re thinking, wait, what do you mean? We need to learn how to live with less now more than ever! We need Yankee thrift!
Yes, that’s true and not to worry, I will continue to share my frugal living tips here in this new landscape. However what I’ve written so far in my book applies to a different world. Examples? Talking about eating out less where now we can’t at all; a whole section on how to yard sale like a pro where I share my hard-earned secrets when in reality for the foreseeable future (a year or more?) buying second-hand in crowded spaces won’t be happening. Those are just a couple of examples, but really the issue is that the overall approach would come across as tone-deaf now. This represents a loss of income I had planned on for this summer but this sort of thing is happening for so many of us. (By the way L.L.Bean which is normally open 24/7, even during the big ice storm of ’98 had to install locks because they, too are closed.)
Look at Sunny’s tail! It filled out even more during her overwinter in her burrow! My buddies Cider, Ricky and Sunny are out for another season of stockpiling seeds. Still hoping to see Buster any day now. The world including Maine was a drastically different place when I last posted but it’s business as usual in my backyard, thank God. Turning to nature has always been my balm. First off I hope you are safe, healthy, staying sanitized and that you have enough provisions to get you through a couple of weeks or longer should you need to self-quarantine or isolate. I’ve been an introverted work-from-home bookworm homebody for much of my adult life and often prefer the company of animals to people so social distancing isn’t must of an adjustment for me. I do, however, have some maladjustments due to coronavirus.
Good morning, lovers of simple living. Wayne has had a nasty cold for the last week and now I’m coming down with it. I have some good news, sort of, which is that my endocrinology appointment got bumped up to later this week instead of another month from now. That means I’ll be undergoing more tests afterward which always brings up a lot of anxiety for me when I wait for the results. Then I’ll have more information about whether or not I need to consider surgery.
Traditional Yankee thrift isn’t obsessed with money. It’s not frugal for the sake of frugal or only buying things on sale. It values mindfulness of priorities, adeptness at record-keeping and investing, yes, but doesn’t make spending or not spending the only focus of one’s existence. It’s not frugal in all things which is why one can be affluent yet still enjoy this fine art of living that involves creativity, intelligence and self-confidence. Only those who worry about status will spend money in an effort to “keep up” and impress in ways that go beyond taking a healthy pride in one’s appearance. It’s why online “influencers” are so good at encouraging people to spend money on image management and status brands come out ahead when they can put a price on transitory self-esteem. New Englanders value independence, so what better way to live than to spend money that doesn’t involve checking in with any prescribed aesthetic or current trend?
Is that Godzilla punching my roof as I type this post? Kind of, only its name is February. It’s the occasional sound of things expanding and contracting when it’s in the single digits or below. It also means my house is nice and toasty inside. We had an ice storm on Friday, and while they can be extremely destructive, like cutting power for days or weeks, and most recently lifting me in the air before smacking me on my behind (I’m getting PT now, recovery is up and down but happening), it can also be beautiful. I snapped the photo above yesterday afternoon. I love how the sunshine makes the icy branches gleam brightly as if I’m living in an enchanted fairyland.
I really wish the cliched photo of a human silhouette standing on a mountaintop or road with arms raised would cease to be the image to represent “success”. I keep seeing it on marketing materials and a quick google search for “success” turns up the same nonsense. It seems so 1990s Tony Robbins which works for some people, but not for me. All I can see, besides lack of imagination and following a tired marketing message is someone expressing their own greatness for having climbed a metaphorical mountain on their own. If that’s success then I’m an abysmal failure!