For the last few years, I’ve worked from home. Many’s the project I could have tackled during those halcyon days of Before Times, but I avoided tasks like cleaning out junk drawers (yes, plural) like they could give me, well, coronavirus.
But put me under pandemic house arrest and suddenly I’m a whirlwind of productive activity. I’ve documented my triumph over mismatched plastic containers on Facebook, and am proud to say that I inspired several friends to do likewise. Here are some chores I’ve undertaken that I have yet to share with the world…
1. I CLEANED A COUPLE OF DRAWERS. No joke, this is an “After” picture. You should have seen what it looked like before. Not only did I toss out ancient makeup, I found my favorite voodoo doll. And yes, when you have at least five voodoo dolls, you have a favorite. (Hey look, it’s Mary Feliz’s fab swag!)
2. I MADE SIGNS YELLING AT MY NEIGHBORS. We live down the block from a fire road that leads to a Santa Monica Conservancy trail – both of which were closed by order of the state. But what’s the point of police tape if some selfish, mask-hating citizen can’t duck under it or push it aside? The handwritten note attached to my second sign is from someone who lives in the “flats” (we’re in the “hills”) letting me know that he jogs the trail every morning and has no intention of stopping. I’ll spare you the note I put up in response to his.
3. I’VE DONE ARTS AND CRAFTS. It began with a cutesy sign for our doggy’s favorite sunny spot. Then I transitioned to making my very own mask from paper towel and a cut-up pair of pantyhose, instructions courtesy of fellow Guppy Susan Bickford. (Hope I got it right, Susan! I kind of look like I’m wearing a diaper on my face.) Since my husband now has to work from home, we’re sharing an office, which has lead to the creation of Outside Office. Unfortunately, glare is a problem. Friend Laurie Sheehan shared a link to a little tent she uses when she brings her laptop outside. Since we still have two more years of college tuition ahead of us, I decided to make my own computer sun shade. You see? Thanks to whoever shared this oh-so-crafty suggestion!
4. I’VE GONE THROUGH FIVE YEARS OF SCREENERS. As a member of the Writers Guild of America, I’m flooded with “For Your Consideration” screeners every year. I have boxes of them, watched and unwatched. Because I never bother to go through them, they’ve overtaken the den. I know, I know. Talk about a high-class problem. Again, like with the junk drawers, I’ve had years to deal with this. But it took a flipping pandemic to get me to go through 2013-2019. Since we’re supposed to break them all in half and recycle them, tackling the ten years prior to 2013 is on hold until we dispose of my first round of sorting.
5. I’VE WEEDED. I hate gardening. HATE it. We filled our front yard with native, drought-resistant plants and have enjoyed the accolades that come from people who see us as earth-loving, environment-protecting pioneers. But honestly, we did it because the landscapers told us that once the plants established themselves, we wouldn’t have to do a thing. Sounds good to me! Unfortunately, the rains of winter always bring a crop of a goddawful weed known as foxtails. Since our Covid house arrest, I’ve been on my knees weeding madly because once the stuff dries up, it’s deadly painful. In the Before Times, I usually found an excuse not to do this, even when I had the time. So why I am suddenly breaking my back and knees to pull out these suckers for hours at a time? I. Don’t. KNOW.
6. I’VE PUT OTHER PEOPLE’S SWAG TO USE. Our guest room is currently filled to the brim with the swag I was planning to distribute at cancelled cons. But during my one day at Left Coast Crime, I happened to pick up this handy dandy piece of Daryl Wood Gerber swag. Instead of letting it collect dust under one of the piles of my own swag, I put it to use making a list of books that I forgot I had on my Kindle. I’ve even been crossing them out as I read them. Who does this? Me??? I guess so!
I’m re-reading this post to see if I’ve mentioned anything that I couldn’t have accomplished in the Before Times. Except for the signs pandemic-shaming my neighbors, the answer is no. Every single one of the other activities is something I can and will continue in the After Times, now that I’m on a roll.
Or… I’ll just wait for the next pandemic.
Readers, what tasks have you accomplished during your #safeathome days?