Mars

Been wondering if we’ve all moved to another planet? I have. I’ve also relished conversations with friends to hear they are well, and I’ve certainly appreciated sparks of blog humor here and there. Thank you for that.

Face masks? Have them and using them? The first time I wore one, I was the only, the second time, I was one of four. Thursday at a small farm grocery store that also had the new sneeze guards installed at their checkouts, I was one of about 90% of the shoppers. On Saturday though, I did a curbside pickup at Tractor Supply, which worked quite well, and noticed only three, and they were doing a really brisk business. I’m pretty sure that is not a good thing for all of us.

Hellebore or Lenten rose

I’ve gotten outside to rake leaves several times and that is good for my soul. Normally, I hate raking leaves, but this year it seems like a real treat.

I also planted a few seeds indoors and had to be creative with how to do it. In past years, I’ve hauled down a large shelving unit that works great, but as each year passes that is more of a challenge. So, I used what I had which was a planter on my porch, a light, and a timer. What is wrapped around it? An emergency blanket that helps hold the light and heat in but aluminum foil would work too.

Where you able to find seed potatoes this year? If so, check out this blog post about determinate versus indeterminate potato types.

I’m here 24/7 like you, but I’m having difficulty keeping up with blogs unless I want to sit in front of the screen hour after hour which I don’t. It seems like everyone is blogging more frequently and those that have been off the airways are back on, welcome back by the way. I clear out my email, come back a few hours later and there are 50-60 new emails. I can’t keep up with everything so if I miss a post, know that I’m gardening or quilting on my rabbit wall hanging.

I also normally try to steer away from politics in all aspects of my life, yes, I vote, but I really don’t want to debate it. If your post includes slamming and damming of whoever during this pandemic, I’m skipping over it and will circle back around on your next one. Watching news and seeing refrigerated units stacked in a parking lot to store bodies that are beloved family members is more than my mind can cope with. I’m choosing to think that we are all trying to do our best in an unprecedented world-wide situation.

The warnings are severe this week. Stay safe, stay in, pray at home, God will understand.

About NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener who enjoys gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling.
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67 Responses to Mars

  1. I’m with you on everything you said. I’m having to avoid Facebook these day’s because of things people are posting. So glad you are able to get outside now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dan Antion says:

    Isn’t it funny how mundane outdoor chores seem like a treat. I agree with so much of what you’ve written today, Judy, especially the politics.

    Take care. Stay healthy.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Oddment says:

    I guess we’re all reaching out in our own ways, and trying to figure out what to do with the anger and grief that is building up. Congrats on the seed start — it’s a good way to say there will be a tomorrow. I love that tranquil blue and white corner, and I lingered a while to be sure that was a pansy on the chair — did you notice me?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Joanne Sisco says:

    I am so grateful for having my art projects to keep me occupied. I don’t feel like using words right now, and my universe is limited for taking photos. Theo can attest to that last one. So I paint. I think of it as COVID-19 Therapy.

    I love the photo of your room with the planter. That soft blue and white with the hardwood floors is lovely.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, painting would be a wonderful option, and, yes, you probably need to note the time period on the back because I bet you’ll be able to look back and notice things about what you chose to paint. Take care, and by all means stay safe.

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      • Joanne Sisco says:

        I do most of my art work in a journal. I use three multi-media sketch books of different sizes depending on what I’m working on.
        Each piece is dated when I finish it, and the on the back I note what inspired it, and my thoughts about the piece … usually what I learned, or was practicing, when I did it.
        They are a kind of diary I guess, chronicling my journey as an artist.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Murphy's Law says:

    Love your porch. Your color choice and decorating ideas make it look so tranquil. Beautiful getaway place. Maybe some soft music to soothe the soul. And definitely chocolate!!

    I agree with you. Covid-19 isn’t going anywhere soon, but we need to break away from the 24/7 coverage. Refrigerated 18-wheelers, the unceasing reports of the death tolls, etc. isn’t making it better.

    So I keep busy, trying to keep a sense of humor, and like you, check in with folks to reassure myself that they’re ok. We have become ‘almost’ hermits in an effort to stay isolated. It’s amazing the things we’ve learned we can actually do without.

    We need to be kind to one another, even after this pandemic is long gone. Stay healthy everyone and as safe as you can keep yourselves. We will get through this….TOGETHER!
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is amazing how creative we can be when we have to although I’m still trying to figure out how to recreate condensed milk without the involved recipes I keep finding on line. 🙂 Maybe we can join together and co-write a hermit book when this is over. 🙂 Stay safe this week, and I’m sure looking forward to the day I don’t have to worry about each and every one of my friends. 🙂

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  6. Yes, we all do cope in our own ways. For me, the computer is a lifeline to the outside world, how I keep in touch with family and friends far and near. My life would be much poorer without it. There is another “Judy” who holds it together for me, and that is Judy Woodruff of the PBS NewsHour. A wonderful example of grace under pressure. Five days a week, Judy is at that desk, and she is 74, definitely in the at-risk age group. But I am most impressed by how she manages to combine warmth with professionalism. On the subject of names…In central Maine, I have two friends named Judy. I have come to the conclusion that Judy is a very good name. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re my only Laurie, and that is definitely a good name. 🙂 We, Judys, are all in the same age group so it’s always funny when someone calls, Judy, I know it will be a woman somewhere in my era. 🙂 I’ve never watched Judy Woodruff. I certainly recognize her name so I will go check her out. Thank you for that info. I too use the computer a LOT, but I have been finding myself sitting still for too long and staring at the screen. Not good for the body or the eyes. There are several April daily blog challenges and when those all roll in, I get overloaded. Glad I know that you and Clif and safe and snug in your woodland area waiting this out. You could probably write a good short story about how organized you are about your food supplies. We could all learn a lesson from your experiences. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Eliza Waters says:

    I’m thankful the next couple days will be nice weather for being outside. Thank heavens, we need it!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Ally Bean says:

    Agree with you about avoiding posts that are filled with accusations and blame [and whinging]. Now is not the time, we have to stay healthy so that we can vote sensibly when the time comes.

    Like you I’ve a small herb garden growing in pots in an old wicker fern stand in a guest bedroom that gets lots of sun. I’ve got an avocado pit rooting in a Mason jar of water on the kitchen counter. And thanks to your insight I discovered that a local garden nursery will be doing curbside plant pick-up later this month. Small normal things are getting me through this pandemic.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You said it – small normal things. That’s what we have to cling to. When these seeds sprout, I’m going to feel like I ran a marathon and won. 🙂 I used the curbside service on Saturday, and it worked well. After I got home with the bags of soil and planters, I left everything outside in the air and sun. I know I’ll do it again. Stay well.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Norm 2.0 says:

    I’ve been wanting to blog more, lord knows I now have the time for it. Sadly, every time I sit down at the keyboard I just can’t seem to compose my thoughts and feelings about all of this into coherent sentences 😦
    Still have snow on the lawn here, but we’re looking forward to raking the lawn too; crazy eh?
    And I’ve been getting ridiculous amounts of simple joy just from watching my garden seedlings growing indoors.
    Stay safe 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you – I thought I was the only one struggling for a topic and thoughts that went together and made sense. My head is so overwhelmed with the facts of life right now, it is hard to think and focus. So, I’ll second your thoughts – go seedlings and hand me a rake!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I agree with everything you said, Judy. I too am avoiding blogs that are going political. I get enough of that with the daily news which I’m watching less as well.

    My daily walk or hike has been curtailed due to rain and snow, and I”m missing that! Last week early on I ran into 15 people on a single track trail and myself and one other were the only ones in masks, and his was a top-notch full face, respirator! Mine was my no-sew scarf with hair ties. I made a one with ties over the week-end though because the hair ties hurt the back of my ears. I imagine instead of getting weird looks at the grocery store this week there’ll be more than me wearing a mask and disposable gloves.

    Is that your sunroom? I love the blue with the white rocker and wicker stand. I’ve loved blue and white together forever. Is that robin’s egg blue?

    I’m going to read a few more blogs, finish my tea then do a muscle killing senior workout since I’m not going for a walk today. It’s cold and supposed to snow. Winter is going out like a lion this year as well. Stay well!

    Liked by 1 person

    • We have some hiking trails that are being so heavily used, the Governor has been pleading with people to walk/hike in their hometowns because they’re lining up on the highway for 1/2 a mile. I think you definitely won’t be alone with the mask this week, and whatever works is good. I hear you about certain sizes hurting the back of the ears because I made one with what looked like great round elastic and it proved to be painful to wear. I would have to look up the paint color, but I’ve loved it from the minute I painted it on there. It’s a rather small area, but I love it. 🙂 Good luck with your workout and applause for being dedicated.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Nancy says:

    I agree! I agree! I agree! Right now I need uplifting thoughts and pretty pictures.

    Yay for seed starts! And the relaxing blue corner is a perfect spot!

    Hugs… stay well and Prayers for you and yours!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I spend a lot of time admiring my little tomato plants. A few years back I was so frustrated that I couldn’t get the varieties I wanted, I started my own seed. I thought it might be a one year lark so I kept my investment low. I bought a cheap grow light that went into a portable socket. I rigged it up to admire my little stragglers and I’ve been well rewarded. It’s many years and yet I’ve never upgraded my equipment. I only need 6 plants for myself. If I bought some of the nifty equipment, my tomatoes would cost $50/pound!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hooray for being creative. Yes, as long as you can figure out a way to get the light and the heat the plants are happy campers. I see the ads for heat pads, special shelves, etc., and you’re right about the $50/pound tomato. I checked mine this afternoon, and about 1/3 of what I planted are up. I was so excited. 🙂 Enjoy your plants.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Joyce M Gillis says:

    When I sit myself down to hand quilt, I think of the years I wished I had unlimited hours to do nothing but! Well, that time has arrived and I am so grateful for it! (In the past, I’d have cable news on, too, but no more! Just repeats of the same dire news and warnings, so instead I pray silently for all of us.) Warm weather has invited the deck furniture out from the basement and I look forward to sitting out there with the cats and just enjoying the sun. Our daughters are very creative with home schooling and I’d love to see them plant pumpkin seeds to start under a portable greenhouse I once had made. One son-in-law is going to Lowe’s this week so I’ll have him look for them. The kids’ yards are full of sun, unlike mine, so they might have good results!
    I don’t follow many blogs now, but again, let me tell you how much I enjoy coming here and reading your posts and the comments that follow. Those ladies and gentlemen have become friends to me, too! And I enjoy clicking back on your previous posts to read your replies! Just another simple pleasure to balance out all the anxiety and inconvenience of today’s (temporary, I hope!) situation!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I notice a little change here. ❤️I watch the news in the morning – 1/2 an hour on local and an hour between two other channels. Then the TV is turned off because I can’t mentally take it. Yes, I check on line to look at stats, but I can’t take more than that. The sunshine is truly a blessing and being outside hearing the birds and sitting or working is like getting a shot of adrenaline. I can only imagine how your grands are having fun learning at home with your creative daughters and son-in-laws. I always appreciate your stopping by and hearing what you’re up to. I send prayers and best wishes for the safety of all your family members working on the front line to keep folks safe in your area. I can imagine you sitting quietly and hand quilting while keeping your beads going in your head. Best to you always.

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  14. Lavinia Ross says:

    Thanks for that link on potatoes! I had not heard of potato bags, and they seem like a nice alternative to growing them in wine half barrels.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Every day I say to myself that I need to avoid the computer (and tablet and iPhone) more and do something productive and soul satisfying. I’ve been very mildly successful. I’ve made a few masks, and have done some photography and photo editing, as well as taken neighborhood walks and connected with family and friends. But, the screens always seem to be calling and I find myself drifting to them. Fortunately, I often find a lot of humor there too. It makes me have hope for the human race that so many of us can still find ways to laugh and look for enjoyment even when the news is grim. I haven’t planted any vegetables yet, but our recent rains have kept me busy pulling weeds 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sounds like you’ve figured out a new approach to the day, and I readily admit the screen does call because of the isolation. Humor is always welcome and especially right now. It feels good to laugh. Weeds, yes, those weeds are ever present. Happy pulling.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. CBS Sunday Morning had a nice piece yesterday on the “Victory Gardens” of the WWII era, and compared them to what people are doing now. Apparently vegetables plants are all the rage at the moment. People want to grow their own veggies as a way of comforting and feeling safer. I get that. Whatever gets you through your days.

    We put on masks for the first time yesterday when we went to the grocery store. It was awkward at first, but then we quickly acclimated. My wife said it was nice not to worry about makeup for once. 🙂 – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

    • It will be interesting to see if all the new gardeners stay with it because it’s a challenge, but it will also be a good learning experience for the families as to how veggies are grown. I love how Mrs. Gorgeous thinks. Yes, makeup isn’t necessary with a face mask on, and that is a good thing. Stay safe.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Eilene Lyon says:

    Yes, thank goodness for gardening right now. I had planned a road trip for research this spring, but now will do in the fall. Thanks for the post link on potatoes.

    Today was my first time to wear a mask to the store. Seems most people were on board, though I saw few on my last run 10 days ago.

    I can’t focus well on my book projects, so I’m happy to be blogging (Covid-19 free blog!😉). Walking the dog is my big outdoor time – nice to live in a rural neighborhood.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I went to the store yesterday, and about 50% had some type of face covering on. It would be good if everyone did so because I think the stay at home and social distancing are starting to make a tiny difference. Yes, gardening is truly a gift as we work through this situation. Fresh air, birds singing, nature, and the ability to work in the soil are good things. And, a rural neighborhood is definitely a plus.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Now that we’re in Arizona, I’m still walking every other day and doing yoga the other days. There’s a canal nearby with paths on either side and paths through the neighborhoods very different from my park in Illinois but still good. I’m also avoiding the political stuff and noticed more blog posts. I have a lot to do inside with all the boxes from moving, but I’m working away at it. Then there are the changes of address, etc., etc. 😉. I plan to wear a mask next time I go out. Our younger daughter is making masks for all of us, but I’m not sure when they’ll arrive. I plan to not go shopping until next week, masks or not.

    Anyway, stay well!

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Another wise and discerning piece. Plus you’ve given me some ideas for starting seedlings indoors. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • As a gardener, you’ll enjoy this. Some of my seeds came up in four days with the reflective material to keep the lights and heat in. Seedlings are an emotional plus right now. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nice news! Where do you get that reflective material?

        Liked by 1 person

      • It is called an emergency, mylar, safety, or weather blanket depending upon. It costs $4 or less and is meant to carry in your car for instance if you need to keep warm. I looked on Amazon and one example is a ‘Swiss Safe Emergency Mylar Thermal Blanket ‘- 4 pack costing $14.99. In the past, I’ve used a large four-shelf rack and hung them on all four sides. The heat and light that is kept inside is amazing. The seeds grow like weeds. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  20. germac4 says:

    I guess we are all getting used to a different life.. and it all seems very strange. The days seem to blend into one, and I’m not sure what I have really achieved in any day… however, the silver lining is, there are some very funny clips on FB about being at home, and when we are out walking, and see others, everyone is very friendly…. from a distance of course!
    Keep well and safe with your family and friends Judy.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. It’s the little things like keeping in touch and enjoying a nice meal together as a couple that make all the difference right now. This morning I went for my early morning walk and the breeze was cool and refreshing. It was delightful. Today is Mr ET’s birthday and we’re still having a nice birthday dinner and a chocolate birthday cake, which is baking in the oven right now. But there won’t be anyone else here to celebrate. I’ve organised a surprise Messenger birthday catch up with his friend Kevin of Kevtoberfest fame for later this evening.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. tonytomeo says:

    I will skip over this one for precisely that reason, and will circle back around later. I SO get it.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. jkitt750 says:

    Gardening and daily walks on isolated woods paths with my dog are keeping me sane these days. My limiting factor no longer is the time in the day available for gardening but rather the amount of energy I have to do all of the spring gardening chores I have lined up. So I blog more often as a way to sit and rest but still feel like I am accomplishing something positive.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Brenda says:

    Isn’t this warm(er), sunny weather wonderful? Garden ho!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. pbmgarden says:

    Judy, take good care.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Karen says:

    Amen to that Judy, that is exactly how I feel…you couldn’t have said it better. 😘 We don’t feel comfortable about going out, even if we did have facemarks, as my husband has several conditions that make him very vulnerable. Been in for almost three weeks and have had groceries delivered once so that we could enjoy some fresh vegetables. Stay safe, stay healthy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s great that you have the option of delivery. We’ve been in for a little over three weeks, but I’ve made a weekly trip out with a mask and gloves. It’s good to come home with supplies, but it’s hard on the mind to see empty shelves. We’ll get through this, but it sounds like there definitely is not a switch that is going to be turned so it may be a long uncomfortable process.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Feeling at loose ends myself right now. Be well.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. bikerchick57 says:

    Judy, I’m hoping you’ll stay safe and keep wearing your mask. I was not in a good mood yesterday, dealing with someone who’s not taking the social distancing seriously. That drives me crazy. Anyhow, I’m praying for all of my blogging friends to stay healthy and that includes you.

    Don’t feel bad about keeping up with all of the bloggers. I have a difficult time under normal circumstances because, like you, I don’t want to spend hours looking at a screen. It gives me a headache if I’m on too long. Witness my feeble attempts to keep up with yours, for which I apologize, but thank you for coming to my posts so frequently.

    Planting seeds and watching new growth is a great way to stay positive. The season of spring, the crocus and daffodils, the sounds of birds and singing frogs have all been good for my soul as I work and play at home.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I went to the grocery store this week with mask and gloves. I was so intent on checking my list, I went down the aisle against the arrow taped on the floor. This gentleman around 40 wanted to get away from me so bad I thought he was going to climb the shelving unit. I apologized, moved quickly, but had a good quiet chuckle. I’ve been social distancing for 25 days now and I feel every one of them. 🙂 Love being outside for a little while each day because that seems normal. Stay safe.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. DrJunieper says:

    Heard that with this virus 80% of contamination is through the “hands.” So, I’m not wearing a mask. The only exception is for when I work with soap stone, and very fine dust is flying around. I join the general consus of your comments, that daily mundane chores now seem fun:) Wishing you a good Easter!

    Liked by 1 person

  30. joey says:

    Such a pretty sun porch — I envy your plants all warm in their foiled blanky. We had nice warm sunny weather yesterday and I enjoyed it more than I think I have ever enjoyed it 🙂
    My husband does the runs here and tells me about half the people he sees are covering up with masks of some sort.

    Liked by 1 person

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