Sweating the Small Stuff

The apocalypse has been underwhelming. The entire left coast is under a cower-in-place order, now. Except you can get groceries (duh), and hit the hardware store for the supplies for all those honey-do projects for which you now have time. Also, make sure to get your car in for servicing, since those are essential. And get out and take a walk. Get some exercise. Locally, park buildings are closed, but the trails are open. Just no groups of more than ten people.

More personally, the word mines are dark and twisty. The constant (CONSTANT!) presence of the Wee Horde complicated everything. Despite success with personal projects (Biltong Box Mk.1 is up and drying, case fans installed. Design on the Mk.2 advances. Parts acquired for an aquaponics garden. The littles are delighted with the fish), writing is suffering. I haven’t managed words since last week. The house is the cleanest it’s ever been, though, I think.

So, y’know, mixed bag.

Here’s the thing. Everybody’s dealing with massive upheaval. MASSIVE. Those with day jobs are trying to figure out this whole working from home thing. Those of us with littles are trying to figure out that part. Suddenly, everybody has to figure out meal prep and forecasting. Everybody has to figure out homeschooling. On the fly. Everybody has to stay more or less locked in with their family. Whether they want to or not (yes, Dave, that’s what “has to” means. shaddap). And everybody is dealing with not having everything they need, and not being able to get it. Even if the need is strictly emotional, and not an “essential” service or product.

Good times.

So. Fhat the wuck do we do about it? We deal. That’s basically it. Mrs. Dave and I moved up a larger purchase and ordered the rowing machine earlier, rather than later. As soon as that’s arrived and assembled, I’ll be putting in regular cardio workouts for health and sanity purposes, and I hope that jumpstarts (re-jumpstarts, really) my lifting and calisthenics, as well. After all, some progress leads to more progress, and large triumphs are built of small ones. As mentioned, I’m now making biltong, as a source of protein in the ol’ disaster prep slash food storage plan, and the kiddles will help me put together the aquaponics garden. And then help tend and harvest it. Get them started on good habits early, so they don’t have to learn this stuff when they’re middle aged. Like me.

When it comes to writing … well, that’s always been a bit more chancy. Right now, I’m giving myself an extra measure of grace, and I encourage you to do the same. This kind of stress long-term can be a killer, and if you’re dead, you won’t get any writing done. Again, small triumphs: lower your expectations. Personally, I just plan to get some writing done. Every day, which is proving to be a challenge, but just some. A little. A skosh. Everything over that will be gravy.

Fear not. Do what you can. Let things slide a bit to maintain essentials. Get that walk in. Especially in the sun. Write. Fear not.

Oh, and go check out Amanda’s post from this morning for reduced prices on some excellent reads!


  1. I am embarked on a spot of home renovation, this time around. In all the trips that we made to Lowes’/Home Depot in the last week, I beg leave to report that those joints were jumping!
    Sigh. The last time I went on a home-improvement binge like this, it was 2003 and my daughter was deployed to Kuwait/Iraq, and I painted the whole inside of the house myself, and stripped, stenciled and varnished the concrete floors.

    1. Yep. Took Wee Dave there yesterday to fill the aquaponics part list. Busiest I’ve seen it since Father’s Day a few years back.

  2. I’ve been doing battle with G–gle, plus two education add-ons in order to get ready for remote learning to begin. Two outside entities keep throwing curve balls at some of us teachers. I’m about ready to take the clue bat and apply it to the pitcher, not the ball (to muddle the metaphor.)

    Semper Gumby – always flexible. I heard that back when the mil-blogs were plentiful and busy. It’s become my personal motto.

    1. Mrs. Dave and I adopted Semper Gumbi as our family motto right from the start, when she got a text from an unknown number on our honeymoon reading, “Hey! We’re going to Iraq together!”

      I mean, it was a buddy from work, and only unknown because her phone had roasted in the Georgia heat a couple weeks earlier, but still.

  3. I’m going through the HoneyDo list with Dad, so there’s that.

    Fingers crossed that everything will be cleaner and in better shape when this is all done.

  4. Meanwhile, I have car troubles and maybe can get it to the shop. . . .fortunately, not urgent.

    1. Was able.

      A co-worker was wondering whether she could get an oil change. I told her to call her place and find out. (I did not think to mention that they probably wouldn’t let her wait for it.)

  5. The War on Dust continues. The replacement vacuum sucked, or rather didn’t. I’m not sure if the UPS store is an “essential service”, but the box has its return label attached. I’m grateful that Amazon will take it back (I double-checked), since I had to use it to determine it’s horribleness. Next attempt is ordered.
    Meanwhile, tonight is “move the keg fridge and clean years of spills from underneath” night. It’s not _exactly_ dust, but it contains dust, so close enough.
    For me, not much has changed. I usually work from home anyway.

  6. Trails closed in Los Angeles. No car, no ability to buy groceries or get to work is essential, in most of the US.

    And in Colorado pot and liquor stores are essential. If you do not see why liquor stores are essential, you have never seen a serious alcoholic go cold turkey and go into DTs.

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