Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some timely  catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d ask you how you did during week 4 of the WuFlu Quarantine.

I’m still working. My peers and I keep wondering if our work will be suspended, but there’s a new operation starting today, i.e. half of us will be calling people back to help them complete the Census. I’m thankful that I’m part of that operation and also get to help recruit. So I should be able to count on work for the month at least.

It was an odd Holy Week with churches closed. I complete the two scripture reading plans I’d chosen for lent and for Holy Thursday, my mother and I watched a Holy Thursday mass with the cardinal of Chicago, whom I think is rather average. Friday we watched Bishop Barron, who’s a better speaker and today we watched a local mass. On the one hand, it’s nice that we have so many choices, but just watching is not the same.

We had a good Easter brunch and in the evening we had our first extended family Zoom session. The technology is so helpful, but again a sloppy second to real interaction. I do hope that after the quarantine we learn that real interaction is much better.

We had a good ham dinner for Easter, with traditional side dishes – scalloped potatoes, grilled asparagus, and green beans followed by ice box cake.

I’m behind in my reading according to Goodreads. Ugh! I’m not exactly into any of the books I’m in the middle of. Not sure if I should drop one and start something new.

I continue to love the Hillsdale College’s Constitution 101 course. There are three professors and they draw from documents that influenced the US Constitution. There’s so much fascinating context.

Boy, I do hope the quarantine’s lifted May 1. I need a deadline, a goal.

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some timely  catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d ask you how you did during week 3 of the WuFlu Quarantine. Isn’t this a strange time? It is a sacrifice to stay in quarantine, even if it isn’t the same as running into a bomb shelter every night or surviving a nuclear bomb. Most of us will suffer great financial loss and a few will suffer the ultimate health loss. It’s not as bad as dystopian fiction makes such times out to be, but it is weird and harmful.

Work has continued and my team’s done a bang up job as we strive to be productive with so many constraints. I haven’t resorted to spending the day in pajamas or sleeping in. I’ve even managed to keep up with my Lenten resolve to give up red wine and chocolate, though I haven’t done the writing I hoped I would. I admit I’ve had chocolate a couple times, but I’ll just choose a couple days after Easter and the Monday after to make up for that.

After finishing The Hustler, I’ve now watched all the films I’ve gotten from the library. I own some DVDs I haven’t seen yet. I can go on to Kanopy, a streaming service from the library and see what they offer. In the past, I’ve had buffering issues with Kanopy. The library also has a service called Hoopla, but for some reason I’m having trouble exiting my defunct account via the library I worked for and changing over to my local library. Since we can pick up food for take out, I’m ready for library take out. Please?

I just started an online course on the U.S. Constitution, which is very high quality. It’s from Hillsdale and I like how it shows background information such as the state constitutions that influenced the national one. Each lesson is 30 minutes or so, which means I learn a lot without being deluged with information.


from pixabay.com

Inspired by watching Food Network’s Spring Baking Championship, I’ve decided to bake every week. My baking for the week was a pineapple upside down cake. I’d forgotten how tasty this old classic is. I used crushed pineapple and I think I liked that better than the rings. This week I’m toying with the idea of baking hot crossed buns.

It is a weird time. Not much going on and it’s impossible to plan anything. My nephew’s high school graduation was canceled. A niece who’s graduating college had her graduation postponed till August, which I think is wise. The school can’t count on a May date, yet these students deserve a ceremony. While they’ve all gone home, they can choose to return for a ceremony one weekend. Some may be in new cities working at new jobs, but I bet that number will be quite low.

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some timely  catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d ask you how you did during week 2 of the WuFlu Quarantine. I bet you’re doing your best to pitch in, but there are some aggravations. We need to gambatte! Gambatte is Japanese and it’s used to encourage someone to persevere.

I’m happy that I got to work a full week and think I will this week as well. It seemed hard to continue to add value, but by having daily conference calls. A bonus is that it’s good social contact. I’m very lucky to be working with this team.

I finished reading (really listening to) David Mamet’s Chicago, which has a wonderful audio version. I also watched Paul Newman in Hud, which I’d never seen before. It made for a great follow up to Giant, as it’s a family drama set in Texas. Now I’m watching Newman in The Hustler with Jackie Gleason. It deserves its classic status.

I was livid about the pork that got crammed into the third stimulus package. Then the Kennedy Center, which got $25,000,000, announced they were firing their orchestra. Di they have to make that decision now? It seems shameful to me.

Last night, while I was taking a shower, the power went out. That’s always a a problem, but with the quarantine it was more of one. I managed to feel my way out of the shower and get my pj’s on. I heard a weird humming sound and didn’t know what on earth to think. After a while I figured out that our neighbor has a generator and that was making the noise. Luckily a half hour later the electricity came back.



Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some timely  catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, we’d be breaking the Stay Home WuFlu rules unless we were doing so virtually like Scott Adams does daily.

Last week because I work for the Census and was an Election Judge, I was out more than most. We used lots of disinfectant and kept our distance, but I did Census recruiting at a nearby Early Voting site.

I worked with such a wagamama person on Election Day. Since we just had 3 judges rather than the planned 5 it was a test of patience. This woman was convinced the moving of the polling place from her usual spot at a retirement community (for the very wealthy where she admits she was spoiled with three free meals she could order from the menu) would be a disaster. She didn’t come to set up the night before as required, but spent two and a half hours calling county employees and the warehouse just to calm her own nerves and wasn’t needed. The woman wore headphones the entire day, complained to voters about how she was put out and made herself a general nuisance to the management of the Park District where we wound up and to the fellow judges in our precinct and the two other precincts that she made the management move into a different room because there’d be a disaster if we were all together. It’s a shame some people can’t be cooperative and pleasant during an emergency. I was stunned when she made voters wait while she talked with her refrigerator repairman. They seemed to be as well. It was a long day as we started at 5 am and finished around 9 pm. But I’m still glad I pitched in as judges are really needed.

After Tuesday, I just recruited by putting yard signs out along public areas where we need applicants. I was in my car and hopped out to put up signs. It was nice to be able to move around and get work done.

Friday afternoon we were still to work, but that afternoon we got an email saying recruitment efforts were to be suspended. Then Saturday I received a call saying we could work from home planning and researching. I’ve got a few ideas, but I’m not sure how many hours I can do meaningful work. I believe some people are going into the office but I’m happy to get the work.

During the quarantine, I’ve been scrubbing and organizing. I did finish watching Death on the Nile, which I listened to as an audio book. The book was okay, as was the movie, though I’d say there was a lot of over-acting in the film. While Agatha Christie set the standard for mystery writing in many ways, even she got tired of Hercule Poirot, whom she grew to find pompous. Also, this was at least her second book where a group of people all with a motive find themselves on a vehicle.


I’m now listening to David Mamet’s Chicago as an audio book. Since Mamet is known for the cadence of dialogue in his plays and films, and that dialogue in this novel has his style, I highly recommend listening rather than reading this book. The narrator has the right cadence and tone to capture Mamet’s style.

I think Adam Corolla had offered some wisdom on approaching the quarantine, which can get on our nerves. He says that prisoners often say, “If you don’t do the time, the time will do you.” In other words, use your time wisely. In addition to working half days, I’ll be  cleaning and organizing my kitchen and basement a bit each day and starting a new writing project. Well, resuming one. I have a historical drama in mind and I’m delighted that I just found my primary resource, which I’ve been hunting for for the last 2 days.

I’m also watching Hillsdale College’s online course on the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. What I really like is how the professor shares earlier documents that influenced the creation of these documents.

Wagamama = Japanese for difficult, irritating

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some timely  catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I went to the funeral of one of my parents’ good friends. This woman was a true leader in the community who connected with people, young and old, and was very involved in charitable work. While it was a sad occasion, it was a beautiful tribute to a fine lady.

I believe I’ve drawn the short straw when it comes to my election judge team. What complainers! We were scheduled to work at a poll located in a senior living community. Given the WuFlu, it’s been moved to the Park District and we’ll share a room with two other precincts. Two of these people are pitching a fit. They’ve called me numerous times to complain, They’ve hassled the County Clerk workers and the Park District folks. Evidently, at the senior living community they were given breakfast, lunch and dinner. Obviously, a park district doesn’t serve meals. What’s more they want a window that opens. Well, this building doesn’t have that. One woman says it’ll be a disaster and she insisted we get a different room. So we were offered a room on the second floor, which does have an elevator. Well, “SC” asserts that this elevator is too far from the room. There’s no satisfying her. She insisted we meet on Friday night (rather than the usual Monday night) to check that all our supplies have been delivered. I thought she meant we’d do some preliminary set up too. No. So I spent an hour with “SC,” hearing her kvetch as she noted what we were missing. She couldn’t believe that the County workers weren’t picking up the phone at 6pm on Friday. I didn’t think they’d be in. I pray my other team members are more sensible.

I believe that it’s best to just do what needs to be done and not ask too much from people who’re doing their best under the circumstances.

I’ve been recruiting at an Early Voting site and getting good results. There are lots of civically minded people at this village hall and many parents are with their kids who are back home due to the WuFlu.

On Thursday I recruited with a colleague at Willow Creek Church’s Care Center. Wow! The church sits on about 300 acres. They had a job fair with 30 employers and beforehand they offered resume reviews, coaching on how to get the most out of a job fair, a work wardrobe closet where you could get professional clothing, a photographer taking headshots for people’s LinkedIn profiles. They thought of everything.

While I believe in caution, I think we’ve gone to far in canceling mass. Let people decide for themselves. Sadly, few Catholic churches are packed on Sunday anyway. It’s easy to sit a distance away from people where I go. I pray the WuFlu soon is under control so that life can return to normal. I refuse to live in fear, but with so many placed shuttered it’s a hard to live a normal life.

What was COVID-18 or COVID-17 like?


Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I finished reading Kafka’s The Trial, which I liked, but I need to reread it or do some research so I understand it fully.

I completed my training to be an election judge for our primary election on March 17th. We’ve got new sleeker equipment, which should be easier to work with and quicker to set up and take down. Fingers crossed.

I am rather disappointed so many candidates dropped out just before Super Tuesday. It doesn’t give states that come later much voice in the matter. How can a state change when it holds its primary, I wonder.

Saturday I attended a Lenten Retreat organized for alumnae of my high school. My all girls’ school closed in the 1990s, but we still have alumni events. It was a small group of just 35 or so and no one else from my year was there. Still the program was a good start to Lent (though Lent started 10 days before. My former freshman homeroom teacher was one of the co-leaders and I did sit with two sisters of one of my classmates.

I’ve continued to work a lot and I am enjoying recruiting. This week I attended a nearby Toastmasters and not only did I get some people to apply, but I got to see a very active group, again of all ages and a mix of first languages.


Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I’m enjoying watching the classic film Giant with Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean. I’m about half way through this saga.

I went to Massachusetts for small claims court and I’ll describe that experience some other time. In a nutshell, mediation failed and I’ve asked for a continuance. I did get to meet with Jane, a friend I taught with in 2009-2010. I’d seen her a couple times since then, but I think it’s been about 8 years since the last time we met up.

One of the things I wanted to do for Lent is to use my writing talent by writing for 20 minutes a day. That hasn’t worked at all. I put a lot of my time into work and it’s hard to avoid that and will be for the next couple of weeks. I’ve also given up wine and chocolate. The thinking behind this isn’t just to make life hard for no reason. I’m influenced by a friend who believes it’s good to examine what little crutches she’s turned to when things get tough and to eliminate them and turn to God as one should. Some of my wine and chocolate consumption is just out of enjoyment, but Lent is also a way to experience deprivation. I’m also doing a 40-day Bible study for Lent and I like how it challenges one to do a different act of kindness each day.

Last Monday I attended a Kiwanis meeting to recruit for the Census. The people were lovely and I got to hear a nurse speak about a book she’s written called Getting the Best Care: Rescuing your loved one’s from the healthcare conveyor belt. It’s got a lot of insight into how the healthcare industry effects the elderly and how a trip to the hospital can be the last thing they need because they’re likely to come out more confused and less healthy. She writes for the average reader and her style is clear and concise. The author Margaret Kilpatrick offers information on how to stay in control of what can be a confusing journey, which makes people acquiesce to the people in the white coats.