Take Advantage of a Difficult Shut-In in Many Creative and Good Ways

window seat with books and pillows

As we huddle in our homes, there are so many things we can do, whether we live alone or are with our family members. Here are some ideas I thought about and wanted to share.

During a time of trials and hardships, there is always light that shines in the darkness. Always a sprinkle of blessings throughout the struggle and sadness of isolation and a sense of loss of freedom.

But it is for both our health and our neighbors.

So, here’s some activities I have for our homebound selves:


Fragonard painting of woman reading

Now is your chance to catch up on your reading. I have a stack of books on my nightstand and also online fellow writers’ works that I’m reading, a little at a time. Help out authors, like me (ahem), in buying and reading our books. My book is in the processing step of publishing. Its publication date is May 4, 2020.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing my book cover and a book video trailer. Please be on the lookout!


knitting skeins

If you like to do jigsaw puzzles, write stories, draw, paint, cook, knit, or whatever it is your hobby, you have so much time for it now. Catch up on all those things that give you comfort and joy.


up on poppy hill

You can binge watch, if you haven’t been doing it already, all the movies you’ve missed, or watch your favorites again.

WATCH LIVE STREAMING RELIGIOUS VIDEOS — If you are a person of faith, catch up on your church’s, temple’s, synagogues’, mosques’ worships, if they are being live streamed, to connect with those holy and edifying services.


walking trail with woman

Walking is always a good way to exercise, clear your mind, and find peace in your natural surroundings. It does the brain, heart, body, and soul good.

FACETIME OR ZOOM WITH FRIENDS — This morning, I connected with my dear friends from church in a quick zoom video to prepare them for continuing my women’s bible study on Zoom Tuesday evenings. It was so wonderful seeing their faces and talking to them. You might want to do the same. Set up a time to chat with your friends on one of the platforms that allows for multiple people to chat, like Zoom, or maybe catch up with a good friend via FaceTime.


woman resting 2

If your life has been too busy and exhausting, now is the time to rest, maybe even get in a few naps you’ve needed but never were able to take before.


family playing board game

You can spend a lot of time with family, if you are still living with them, or your children are still in the house with you. Pull out those old board games and play them. Or get out a fun family video game like Mario Kart or Mario Golf or whatever you prefer, and play with your family. Family time, to me, seems to have been lessened in the past few decades. But this is an opportunity to bond and reconnect.


Jewel and I 12:5:08

(Old picture of my dog, Jewel (RIP) and I from 2008)

They’re always a comfort to you, and you can be one to them more than ever. Smother them with pets, strokes, and hugs.

CHERISH THE TIME TOGETHER WITH THOSE YOU LOVE — As was mentioned, reconnect with family, show them love, and include your pets.


Hopefully, this pandemic will dissipate in a few months. In the meantime, God be with you all, stay healthy, and love to you all.





Loss of Two; Gain of Two

silhouette of girl and dog

Back in mid August and about a month later, in September, we lost our two 13-year-old black mini schnauzers (Hutch and Rena–brother and sister), and it was a heart wrenching time for us.

Hutch and Rena October 20 2010

(Hutch & Rena, October 20, 2010)

But things work out (I believe God works in ways that are best for us) sometimes in ways that are for the best. We were moving in October to Colorado, and we think in the long run, another long, couple of days, road trip would have been very hard on both Hutch and Rena.

Rena had been struggling with dementia onset for several months before we had to put her down, and she couldn’t see much of anything or hear much of anything, either. She slept most of the day, only to get up to eat or go potty, for which we had to pick her up each time she woke, and set her outside in the backyard, then bring her back in when she was done.

Months before, the vet told us Hutch had the start of heart disease. We were given meds for him to take to flush out his heart’s valves. Seemed to work okay for around six months. Then, after his sister’s death, he seemed to be okay, handled it well. We think it’s because he was with her for several months up to the time she had to be put down. He had time to deal with her separating from us in a way, through her losing touch of her surroundings and sleeping a lot. I think he and our cat, Tipper, had said their goodbyes before we took her to the vet.

But then Hutch had a coughing/hacking attack on a Saturday, September 14. I told my son we’d take him into the vet on Monday if he got any worse. He got worse during the time I was at church the next morning. My son had stayed home. Turned out Hutch had something akin to a heart attack, and we rushed him to the emergency vet, and at that point, we had to put him down. It was devastating.

rainbow bridge 4

The one comfort in our loss was that both Hutch and Rena are buried in my mother-in-law’s large backyard with sloping hills, a frog pond, and woods bordering the property. It gave us much relief and assuaged some of our sorrow seeing they both could be there together, and my in-laws even put crosses at the head of their graves with Hutch and Rena’s names and date of death on them.

So, with the loss of our two dogs, we still had (and still have) our cat, Tipper (actually, she’s my oldest son’s, Nicholas’ cat). The move went relatively well with just the one animal.

But we knew we wanted to get a couple of kittens after our dogs passed. We’d planned that a few years ago. So, in November, we adopted two kittens five months apart, age-wise, and had to go through the difficult introductions with each one with Tipper. Now, the kittens are buddies.

Koukla and Aki December 5 2019

And the warming up between them and Tipper, especially the 8-month kitten, continues. We’re hoping Tipper will eventually be okay with them.

A few days after we adopted the kittens, I went out and bought Feliway, which is a plug in liquid that heats up and smells of a mother cat’s pheromones, that’s supposed to calm cats in new situations with other cats/animals or for anxiety and such. Unfortunately, the smell bothered my sinuses, but we managed to plug one into the hallway and more recently, in my son’s bedroom where Tipper usually sleeps.  I will probably go out and get some more in the next couple of days to put one downstairs (try again).

Anyway, after a heavy and sorrowful loss, our cat and kittens are filling our hearts with joy.




PS: I cried through selecting pics of the dogs and the rainbow bridge. You never know what will trigger your heart to tear open and for you to shudder tears over the loss of your beloved pets.