Things To Do During Covid 19

Acknowledge our Humanity

Ok, we are humans going through a very strange time. This situation is one, most of have never experienced. Let’s face it, we are experiencing a wide range of emotions – fear, anger, boredom, confusion, anxiety, loneliness, and feeling adrift. We are up against something we can’t see, we don’t know where it is and this can make us feel vulnerable and trapped. At a time when we would feel comforted getting together with family and friends we must practice social distancing. These are some ideas about things to do during Covid 19.

However, also woven into this big ball of emotions we also feel gratitude, the value of connection and serving others, getting back to basics and slowing down, how to enjoy each other’s company, and maybe even personal growth. We also feel a connection to people all over the world because the humanity of all of us humans has been opened and laid bare for all to see. We are all struggling on some level, but the message we hear over and over is that we are not alone in this. I believe this is true, we are not alone and we are all interconnected. Our humanity is showing and we can grow from this and come through it stronger.

Whew, OK, on a lighter note, here are tips and ideas to help get us through this.

Get off the TV and get out of your head for a while each day. Meditate. There are a ton of free meditation apps out there. I personally really like Insight Timer.

Also, please check out my friend, Beth Freschi – A Time For Expression – as she takes us on a relaxation journey.

Connection during a time of Social Distancing

Even though the Covid 19 pandemic has limited us from actual, physical visits to friend and family members, there is no reason to lose touch.  Connect for virtual lunches, coffees, or garden show and tells. This has been a lot more fun than I thought it would be. I’m an introvert and general mediaphobe, so I have been WAY behind the curve on this one. I didn’t even know what Facetime or Zoom was.

We are all working from home (for my 9-5 job) and we recently celebrated the end of the fiscal year. We normally have a pizza party to celebrate our hard work during the past year. I joked with my boss and asked him if he needed my home address for the pizza delivery guy. He liked the idea so much he ordered us all pizza to be delivered to our individual homes and we all had a virtual pizza party where we turned on the video feature of our computers and chatted about everyday things. I have also picked up the phone and actually used it as a phone to say hello to people I had been remiss in keeping up with. It was good.

Visit a Museum

During this time of social distancing, most museums are closed to actual visits, but you can visit an international or national museum and glean a bit of culture.  Take this opportunity to experience some amazing art and go inside some of the world’s best museums, all from the comfort of your sofa!

Museo Frida Kahlo also known as The Blue House or Casa Azul

This museum is where Frida was born and where she passed away. The museum is located in Coyoacán, a wonderful neighborhood of what is now Mexico City.

Frida Kahlo

As one would expect the Smithsonian Institute has not only stunning exhibits and tours, they also offer a vast quantity of opportunities for all tastes and desires.

Have you ever dreamed of visiting the Lourve or the Uffizi? Here is your chance. No lines, no crowds.

Van Gogh Museum

The British Museum

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City

Museum of Modern Art – Mexico –

The Anne Frank House

Take a virtual class

With the newly acquired time on our hands, take this opportunity to invest in yourself, either in the form of enrichment or entertainment.

There are also classes that may present a barrier to enter if they were in person, but being virtual lowers that barrier to entry. These are things like body consciousness or feeling too much like a beginner. I say – Go for it!

There are free and paid courses online.

YouTube- you can learn all sorts of things for free on YouTube from cooking to yoga to changing the oil on your 2014 Sonata

I made this killer stuffed meatloaf mmmm mmmmm

Udemy

Coursera

Also, consider taking an online course to help support local businesses – there are a number of local Yoga studios offering online classes, for example.

Take a Car Date with your significant other and/or kids

You can order take out to support your local businesses and hop in the car and go for a drive. You can head for a lake or park and eat it there.

Think of the things you would recommend to a visitor and see if you can do “drive-bys” of those things in your city or area.

I am ALWAYS up for a Corny Roadside Attraction Tour. Think of things such as – The World’s Largest Crow in Belgrade, MN, or Rock On The House in Fountain City, WI that we visited on our trip around Lake Pepin.

Please follow social distancing guidelines.

Take the opportunity to purge, declutter, and work on the Honey Do list!

This is the perfect time to do fix-it projects and declutter your space.  Decluttering will help you feel lighter, you’ll feel like you are putting your newfound home time to good use, and your future self will really thank you.

Wash and detail your car, even change the oil. Lube that squeaky hinge. Hem those pants. Attack that mysterious black hole in the garage or basement.

Get Some Exercise and release some of the Anxiety you may be feeling over Covid 19

Getting exercise is good for your body, mind, and soul. We know we have to keep our bodies moving – move it or lose it! Exercising often gets us out of our heads and gets us more in touch with our bodies. Exercise releases endorphins and dopamine, helping us to feel good. Exercise can help us feel gratitude for the abilities we have. Some people have more, some less, but jump in where you are and incorporate some movement in your life.

If permitted, go for walks, walk your dog, take a run.

Yard work – get out there and rake leaves, dig in your garden, look for Nature’s assurance that all life has cycles and growth and rebirth are part of that cycle.

Audio Books and Podcasts

I love listening to audio books and podcasts while I do other tasks such as chores. Here is a chance to look for new books and podcasts that have previously been off your radar. You can test them out and if you don’t care for them, well… no real loss, but you gave it a try.

Take a (Virtual) Vacation Anywhere in the World During Covid 19

While actual travel may be suspended there is no reason you can’t take a virtual trip. Pick a location you have always wanted to visit, or pick the destination for your next vacation after the Corona virus restrictions are lifted and crank out the YouTube videos on that part of the world. You could visit Spain, Bulgaria, or hike the Superior Hiking Trail!

Consider heightening your experience by cooking a recipe you find online from that country.  Learn to say key phrases such as “good morning” and “thank you” in the language of the country you would like to visit. Have your kids make a collage and find the country on a map.

Helping Others During Covid 19

  • Helping others during this time need not be complicated or jeopardize your safety.
  • Offer to read virtually to someone’s kids (who may be driving their parents a little crazy)
  • Sew masks for healthcare workers. Make donations, if you can, to causes you think are doing good work.
  • Order a no-contact pizza for someone.

Take Care of Yourself

Besides the obvious advice – you may want to have a nice tea or coffee and really enjoy it.  Break out those teas that Aunt Lucy buys for you, but you don’t take the time to brew loose tea. Get out the French press that you don’t use very often.

Take your beverage of choice out to your deck, patio, balcony and enjoy the view, make a list of who to call, listen to the birds chirp, soak up a few rays of sunshine, even just daydream for a while.

Post or Jot Down 3 Things You Are Grateful For Everyday

Focus on the things you CAN do instead of the things you can’t do. Take inventory of all the good things in your life. Look around and see all the people and organizations who are coming together under these trying times. Feel gratitude towards the front line workers, feel gratitude if you have good health and a job. Feel gratitude that you have been given an opportunity to slow down and take inventory of the positives in your life. Feel deeper love towards your loved ones, your neighbors, for those who are suffering around the world, and towards yourself for exploring your own humanity in the many forms that it takes. 

His and Hers Road Trip -Meat, meet Quirk

Deane and I are always looking for ways to remain on our “first date” with each other. We have the good fortune that we both like to do several of the same activities – road trips, cooking, hiking, going for walks, DIY projects and more. This is the story of our his and hers road trip….

When we hear of fun things to do around town or of an interesting bistro opening up, we jot it down on a perpetual list. This means that when we are looking for something to do, bam, list is ready to go. No wasting time (and losing interest) looking for good ideas.

We have heard that some couples find it hard to find things to do where each of the people finds the activity fun and interesting. I was thinking about this dilemma, and thought what if you took what each person liked and married it up with what the other person likes?

So, instead of the old stand by of going to dinner and a movie, you go to a bistro, that person A wants to try out, and then go bowling which is the thing that person B likes to do? That way you both are able to do what you like, but you also get to enjoy the company of your Honey Bunny.

Let’s say the person who likes bowling would like to bowl 3 games and hang out and have drinks, but the person who would like to try out the new bistro would also like to start with drinks and stay for dessert. So why not both give in a little and mash your ideas together for the sake of couple bonding time? Do people still say “bonding time?”

Like all good things in life, this will take practice, patience, and a bit of give and take. I think it is well worth it. When Deane and I got together he loved to bike and hike. We went a few times and I ended up crabby and miserable because I felt I was dragging him down and making activities he loved miserable by my slow pace and lack of skill. After I finally was honest with him, he told me that the slower pace didn’t bother him at all and that he loved that we were together and that he thought I was improving each time we tried it again. Wow, honesty and openness, who knew?

Brainstorming

Here are a few I am still working on fusing together –

Quilt making and rock concerts / rock climbing and napping / skydiving and gardening.

Successful mash ups – making homemade granola bars and trail mix to take on a hike. DIY projects – I dream them up and Deane does them, just kidding, I usually do demo and Deane usually puts things back together. Although the word bugs me, I’m a great “helper.”

Gardening

We have a great time picking out plants together, schlepping rocks together, and working on the actual project together.

Road trips

Making them fun and memorable. We usually come up with some silly idea, and I will often make the music playlist and food for the road. Deane will usually map it out, after we agree on the stops, and get the car ready. Again, have a little give and take in your schedule and in your approach. It goes a long way.

And now we present to you – His and Hers -Meat and Quirk Road Trip!

We started out in the Twin Cities and made a loop.

Greg’s Meats

Our first stop was Greg’s Meats. Greg’s boasts a full service meat and sausage shop with a total of 205 State and National awards, including 5 National Grand Champion products as listed: Jerky, Hot Dogs, Summer Sausages, Ring Bologna, and Smoked Turkey.

Next up, a little quirk.

Sandy

Rumor has it the giant sunbather is named Sandy. Very fitting, don’t you think? The Viking also cannot be missed.

Sandy from His and Hers Road Trip -Meat, meet Quirk

Eilen & Sons Trucking 2250 Hampton Blvd. Hampton, MN 55031

Edel’s Meat Market

Next up was Montgomery, MN to visit Edel’s Meat Market . Edel’s had for sale, Czech sausage that we did not see anywhere else on our tour.

When we arrived in Montgomery, MN we were greeted with a lovely surprise – we happened to visit on the weekend they were having Kolacky Days!

Celebrating all things Czech and some quirk too! We loved the vintage snowmobile show, vintage car show and of course, sampling the kolackys!

Schmidt’s Meat Market

Next stop – Schmidt’s Meat Market-319 Pine St, Nicollet, MN 56074 – Schmidt’s Meat Market, Inc. is proud to still be a family owned and operated old-fashioned meat market. It is Southern Minnesota’s largest and most complete meat center providing fresh retail meats, a wide variety of award-winning specialty sausages, deli meats, cheeses and salads, custom butchering and wild game processing.

While I was in the parking lot, my excitement must have shown on my face because an elderly gentleman looked at me and asked, “You’re not from Nicollet, are you?”

I am not from Nicollet, but I was certainly overjoyed to shop at Schmidt’s. We did sample and buy meat, but we also bought some delicious specialty products – Garlic Mayo, BBQ sauce, and Schmidt’s mild chow chow. What a delight.

New Ulm, Minnesota

16 miles from Nicollet, MN is New Ulm, MN – An absolutely magnificent Minnesota small town with plenty of quirk and charm!

The Glockenspiel clock has a set schedule for visitors to enjoy the emerging 12 rotating figures that reveal themselves like a cu-cu clock at certain hours. We had a bit of a wait until the next chime so we took in the painted fire hydrants, shops, and even found Hermann the German’s footprint! After we saw the Glockenspiel chiming, we also stopped at the Hermann the German Statue. Located in: Hermann Heights Park Address: 10 Monument St, New Ulm, MN 56073

The Glockenspiel from His and Hers Road Trip -Meat, meet Quirk
The Glockenspiel

Belgrade, Minnesota

Next stop – Belgrade, MN to see the World’s Largest Crow!

World;s largest crow from His and Hers Road Trip -Meat, meet Quirk
World’s largest Crow!

Pottyville!

We are on a quirk roll! Time to get serious with the oddities! It was a bit difficult to find, but we did it! Glenwood, MN – AKA Pottyville – a private collection of outhouses all decorated with unique themes.

Address: 16208 SW Amelia Rd, Glenwood, MN

Directions: Between Glenwood and Villard north of Hwy 28, on a street along the west side of Amelia Lake.

Thielen Meats of Little Falls

The next morning we went to Thielen Meats of Little Falls, MN.

They provide a full line of quality beef, pork, chicken, seafood and poultry. Their large variety of sausages, cold cuts, smoked bacon and more are all fresh made and smoked right there in their clean modern sausage kitchen. In addition to meats, we purchased some Thielen Meats Vidalia Onion Steak Sauce and Buckwheat grits!

St Joseph Meat Market

St Joseph Meat Market – St Joseph, MN.

Their efforts have received national recognition after winning National 1st Place and National Best of Show for their Maple Breakfast links.

Their Braunschweiger received a 2nd place award in National Competition and their Fresh Pork Sausage was also recognized for excellence by their peers.

I counted over 60 types of sausages. *** If you are not from Minnesota, I would like to suggest the Tater Tot Hotdish brats and the Funeral Hotdish brats. Doesn’t get any more hometown quaint than those.

What sort of combinations have you come up with? What new spin did you apply to an old date?

What Nature does for Me

Nature helps me feel small. That’s a good thing. That’s what nature does for me.

When I’m at home, scrambling around trying to figure out what to make for supper, wondering if I have time to stop for gas in the morning, and worrying about getting, “it,” all done… I am clearly thinking that I have control.

When I go out into Nature, all those thoughts melt away. I look at the trees and wonder how old they are. I look at the ground and wonder who has gone here before me. I get on a ridge and try to take in the vastness. I realize it doesn’t matter what I made for supper last night. The trees grew without me, the snow fell without my permission, the sun came up today to greet all creatures big and small. In those moments I know I have little to no control. I have to be honest, that thought used to freak me out. Now I find that thought very liberating and calming.

ferns in the woods from What Nature Does for Me

Nature helps me be mindful and get out of my head

When I am walking through the woods, and there is no other being in sight, I look at the mushrooms growing on the forest floor and on the trees. I wonder why some grow on the ground and some on trees. That brings me to…

The all-time Best Mushroom Story…

We were hiking the Superior Hiking Trail and it was a very wet and drizzly day, but beautiful because many of the crimson leaves on the ground were wet and shiny, sort of Nature’s red carpet.

Nature’s red carpet

I was walking along and suddenly saw a wisp of, what appeared to be, smoke near my left boot. I thought that it must be a cigarette someone had flicked and it was still smoldering. That didn’t really make sense because we had not seen or heard a soul and the ground was wet and muddy, but I was going to put it out and pack out the butt.

I crouched down to find it, but was not having any success. Suddenly another poof of smoke wafted from the forest floor. What? Another one? Where are they?

By this time HB (Honey Bunny) asked me what I was doing / looking for. I told him, and he crouched down too. Right about then a raindrop fell through the trees and landed on a fallen log covered with mushrooms. The raindrop hit one of the mushrooms and a poof of spores was released. It was crazy amazing. It was one of the coolest things I had ever seen.  We both commented that if we hadn’t been in that spot at that moment and if the raindrop had been diverted by leaves, we would have never seen it. If I had been thinking about paying the electric bill when I got home, I would not have seen it. If I had not allowed myself to be opened up by Nature’s beauty, I would have been unimpressed. 

Check it out….