I’ve been trying to teach the dog how to say the word “water” but the best he can do is stick his nose down into his nearly empty dish, then give me the evil eye as I sit at my computer nearby. Is he a poor student or am I a bad teacher? Don't know, don't care. I just care that it would be easier if he could talk and not do the Jedi-mind thing he does to me. That's creepy. Anyway, that last half inch of water in his dish is yucky from his long schnauzer beard bringing debris into the house. In the pre-pandemic days the spring cleanup in my yard would be done by now and since it isn’t, with every trip Levi makes outside he comes back with oak leaves attached to his fur. He needs a trip to the groomers but, of course, that's not happening under pandemic lock down. I try to do a body check before he comes through the door but he’s younger than me and he often wiggles his way past me too fast to get them all. I find dried up old oak leaves all over the house. There's a foot deep pile of them in his pen and for some reason he loves to wade into the center of the pile and poke his face deep down inside it, probably looking for bugs. He’s all boy. He loves bugs.
I hope some of our stay-at-home orders are lifted at the end of the month. It’s so close I can almost taste it and it tastes like hot dogs and Starbucks. I can count on one hand the number of times a year I eat hot dogs. Since my husband died I have one each on the spring and fall trips I make to his home town where I go to his gravesite to dig the crabgrass up around the stone. If I didn’t do it, the stone would be completely covered in no time at all. There's a famous hot dog place in town that my husband and his friends hung around their entire lives and when I’m done at the cemetery tradition pushes me to their pickup window for a dog and chips before heading down to the riverside park. It's a perfect place to reminisce about the olds day when my rose-colored glasses still worked and my future held nothing but fanciful dreams. It’s a peaceful park despite the fact that it’s a busy place with bikers and dog walkers using the trail that runs alongside the river and goes miles in either direction. I pick a bench with my back to the trail and if I’m lucky I’ll get to watch graceful swans at the top of the dam, if I’m not lucky the ducks are never far away.
When you can’t go any place that seems to be the time when you can think of a dozen places you want to go. I’ve only been out of the house three times since the stay-at-home orders started the middle of March. Twice to the grocery store and both trips were creepy. The most recent trip was a few days ago. Still no toilet paper or wipes or pasta and a lot of the shelves were empty. A limit of one per person on eggs, milk and paper towel was posted. Just a handful of mixes for making bread and cake mixes---maybe 10 were left on the 50 foot of shelves allotted for them. I forgot to look for hamburger but I heard that was hard to score and butter was very low. I didn't even need paper towel or butter but I felt compelled to buy them! I had no trouble getting chicken and rib-eye steaks. I spent a fortunate at the store and hope not to go back for 3 weeks. My biggest fear, now, is that we’ll get a spring power outrage and I’ll lose all the food I bought.
I’ve gained five pounds during the pandemic and my internist, on our telephone appointment, didn’t even ball me out. Still, I felt guilty enough that I bought a bunch of Atkins liquid meal replacements to drink for breakfast. I generally do better resisting comfort foods when I stuff myself full of vitamin and mineral rich foods early in the day. But Atkins, gummies and orange juice is my new pandemic breakfast until I can reign in my appetite for random eating. Fifty-five calories for 4 ounces of OJ and 160 for the Atkins and that’s less than half what I’d have with my usual cereal, milk and fruit…all the more calories to spend later in the day on Oreo Thins. God, I’m in so much trouble with my pandemic eating! I generally even don't buy Oreos unless I'm expecting company under ten but they jumped in to my shopping cart along with wild sardines. Sardines, at least, are a long standing comfort food that I don’t buy often either but the store was out of tuna. It’s like I’m storing fat up on my body for the coming famine. The scare of disruptions in our food chain is getting real.
My plans for this summer were so much different than they are starting out. I wanted to do a lot of walking and dieting so next winter I could replace my entire wardrobe before my move to the continuum care campus that was supposed to happen the spring of 2021. Other than undies and socks I haven’t bought new clothing in probably 2-3 years and my wardrobe is looking shabby, even to me, the queen of putting comfort over style. I was in between two sizes and now I'm not, and I didn't go the right direction.
Levi has been outside enjoying the sun while I’ve been writing this and he’s now doing a spread eagle on my window screen. It’s his version of ringing a doorbell. It often reminds me of one of my husband’s favorite movies, The Graduate. Levi’s spread eagle is so like Benjamin’s at the church window while he was yelling “Elaine!” only Levi is doing his Jedi "Mom!" trick in my head. And I just noticed the screen will need to be replaced before I can open the window unless I want to allow mosquitoes inside to feast on my blood. There’s always something. ©