Sheltering In Place, Part 1

My favorite primrose

Yesterday was “officially” Day 1 of sheltering in place, but first we needed to stock up on some groceries. We drove the fifteen minutes to our local food coop first thing in the morning. One thing we didn’t need was TP since we have an unopened pack of it from Costco on a shelf in the garage, about 40 rolls worth. We’d also just gotten an order of our favorite almond butter. But we were low on vegies. I thought it would make sense to buy decent quantities of our favorites, cut them up, bag them and store them in the extra freezer and that will be Task 1 this weekend. I used a food guide from the CNN website for reminders and ideas. You can find it here. We bought broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, green beans and asparagus (very good price on the latter). Also some more canned mackerel to go with the canned sardines. And lasagna ingredients, something I haven’t made in years. Their stock was low for some things and the rice bins were empty, but that was only because the distributor had been delayed. The national food distribution chain is apparently working just fine at this point.

We have five 5gal. ziploc bags of our own blueberries in the freezer and plenty of meat since we bought half a local lamb last fall and keep two whole chickens in the freezer. Our earthquake prep is paying off for the current situation. Speaking of which we got shaken a bit a couple of times in the last few days, a 5.2 and a 5.6.

What was interesting at the coop is some new policies. One sign in a window said that the store, which opens at 6am seven days a week, will be open to seniors only from 7-8am every day, which is very good. Also, no personal paper, plastic or cloth bags allowed in the store. We had to use their paper bags or boxes. I had no idea why they were doing this. I posed the question on a *rational* Facebook thread and someone suggested that the virus could survive on fabric for five days. I’ve just researched it and, in a case of no news is good news, no one seems to be even testing for soft surfaces at this point. Here’s an article from Mirror in England which addresses that. The closest comparison is cardboard, on which it may last up to 24 hours. But it’s an airborne contagion so infection from simply touching a surface is somewhat limited. Still, handwashing is critical and also keeping surfaces wiped down and clean (current info. as per what I know today, subject to change).

Our pond in winter

In other news concerning our neighborhood…we’re near the end of a dead end private road in a rural residential area. There is a road association that everyone contributes $100 a year to, as per the official notification on a buyer’s title report. This goes for, well, road upkeep. When we moved into our place in 2005, communication was awkward for announcing the yearly meeting, much less anything else that might come up, so my husband, an IT professional, set up a private email list with all the road association members on it. It’s been used for all kinds of things like planning multi-family yard sales to party invitations, queries about people who haven’t been seen on the street before, when one neighbor’s chickens are laying again and, in the last three days, two neighbors offering to make store runs for everyone in the higher age/risk category, which includes us. Which is wonderful! There are still no confirmed cases in the county but to know that if necessary we have back up for groceries really brings peace of mind.

Last fall we planted six varieties of garlic

I find that I’m rejiggering my work plan for the year. There are juried shows that I planned to enter in which the accepted work is shipped to the venue, sometimes a museum. Well, all the museums are closing and the whole situation is unsettled, so I may enter a few online shows and otherwise catch up on tasks like a half dozen videos I’ve been meaning to make from some of my Mongolia trips. I’ve also got a number of sketching and drawing tutorials in progress which I’ll be selling through my Etsy shop. New coloring pages coming around the first of next month, also dip pen nib sets for pen and ink drawing. Stay tuned!