DIY Lockdown – day 4 of xx

looking for the light

It must be OK because I woke up another day. Very windy outside, so I stayed indoors. Went downstairs to get breakfast, but I had leftovers for lunch. Also, leftovers of dinner – tonight’s offering does not interest me enough to do 11 flights of stairs.  (196 stairs)

Today’s project was to make a face mask. Two face masks to be exact. I sacrificed a Fredricks of Hollywood T-shirt to the cause.

Sharp-eyed viewers might notice that I am using my cooktop as my work area. It’s not like I use it to cook. But, I might as we get farther into the siege. And elderly computer hacks will recognize a Moore Business Forms Ruler from the mid-1960s. Back when we were going to the moon. Not making masks out of t-shirts in a vain attempt to save our sorry asses.

life and coronavirus #45

The finished product.

If I can make one so can you.  Easy directions.


Grateful for a really good laugh. In Virginia, one buys booze from our state-owned liquor stores aka The ABC Store.

Today the Asylum put this announcement on our website:

life and coronavirus #46

The Asylum will go to the liquor store for me.  I am really at a loss for words. I can only laugh. Too bad we don’t have a state cannabis store!

Mālama pono

DIY Lockdown – day 3 of xx

looking for the light

Last summer or maybe the summer before, one of our new residents planted a tiny fig tree. Maybe it was from his yard. But, it is putting out fine leaves and the tiniest little figs. A reminder that hope abides.

life and coronavirus #44

Management still hasn’t put the residents in lockdown. They seem to think that it would be a good idea to wait until someone gets sick. Many of the fully-functioning residents have more or less done what I did. Decided that we were adults and that we are responsible for ourselves and to me, that means “go to your room and stay there. ”

Unfortunately, we have a lot of residents, in independent living, who really aren’t “independent”. They are independent because they live in a highly structured environment and because the staff and other residents look after them. These people, our most vulnerable elders, need management to step in and keep them as safe as possible.  Unfortunately, that will mean staying in their rooms. Which will be pretty damn bleak. So, I guess I see the management dilemma. But, that is why they make the big bucks.


Hope you can spare 40 seconds to watch the old bat’s video.


Grateful for this morning’s box-o-breakfast. Cold (but who cares) poached eggs, homefries (which we never have even in ordinary time), sausages.

the illusive buzzard

Got a shot of the buzzard this morning. Of course, I missed his closest approach to the window. But, it is definitely a buzzard not an eagle. Think it is a black buzzard. The only other option is turkey vulture.

Mālama pono

DIY Lockdown – day 2 of xx

life and coronavirus #43

I left my room twice today. First to go and get breakfast. And several hours later I escaped for a few fast laps around the outside of the building. The laps were fast because it was cold and I wanted to pack in 20 minutes of good aerobic exercise.  Both times I took the stairs. And, I brought back sandwiches for lunch and dinner.

This is what I did this morning from the time I got out of bed until I left to go for my exercise period. I moved the camera around a couple of times.  I want to log an entire day.  Stay tuned.


Grateful that I don’t have to pay any attention to any article about “how to dye/cut your hair”. Or do your own nails.

I am a novice at this solitary life. I will get better at it.

Mālama pono

DIY Lockdown – day 1 of xx

looking for the light

Yesterday, I got my second ever text message announcing the end of life on the planet as I know it. (The first being the famous incoming missle message in Hawai’i)

life and coronavirus #41

This morning, I had a very long talk with myself and sent the following email to several friends:

I read this to mean “stay at home”. And, home is Apartment 1134 AKA The Old Bat Cave.

I will go and get food, using the stairs. I will go outside for exercise. And to take pictures. Even sit in the sun. I will take the trash out. I haven’t thought out the weekly cleaning thing yet. But no more sanity-saving meals with my beloved accidental family, no more just wandering around the building hoping to see someone or something of interest. The risk is too great.

In the best interest of my friends and fellow inmates, I am locking myself in right now. I am the one of us who is most likely not to follow the rules. I live too close to the edge. Always have. Being caged will limit the damage I can do to others. And, to myself.

So, for now, I love you all and miss you already. (punching the send button is really hard)

For now,  The Asylum is treating the entire establishment as an Episcopalian eruv as far as COVID-19 goes. So we are a “home” of 500 family members and 400 “caretakers”. We are supposed to stay 6 feet apart. But, that doesn’t happen. And everyone really is free to come and go as they please. The workers go home every night. It is time to be a grownup, to hunker down in the cozy confines of the Old Bat Cave. Just like the Governor says.

That being said. Two ambulances just rolled in. One is not unusual. Two is.

life and coronavirus #40

This is the gee dunk. Notice the bottles of wine – right next to the Little Debbies.

life and coronavirus #39

The remains of our box-o-dinner last evening.

life and coronavirus #42

Some take social distancing to the next level.


Looking with gratitude toward my solitary dinner of beef tenderloin and asparagus. Also free wine. Which my wine connoisseur friends say is “worth what it costs”.

Exercise-wise today. Only 2.25 miles. But, I did 3 round trips from my room to the ground level. At 11 floors each time.

Mālama pono

Try not to be an assholebitch – day 11 of 11

This afternoon our governor, who is Democratic and a physician ordered all of us to Stay Home until June 10. Fucking WOW. Intellectually, I knew that it would be that long. But, seeing it writ large. OK. I guess I had better order more coffee.

About the crow. Whatever happens, is what I planned. Late in the afternoon, I have seen a buzzard riding the thermals out my window. I never have the correct camera/lens on hand. SO, since I have nothing but time – I got the correct lens and camera together, put it in manual focus, preset everything. Just in case the buzzard soared by this afternoon.

So, I am having lunch by my window when along comes a big fat crow. Not the proper lens/camera for that crow – but – shoot away anyway.

Carpenter Bee

Today, I went out on the grounds (still allowed). I went around noon. The sun wasn’t friendly for flower photos. But, the light made it easy to get some nice bee and wasp shots.

European Paper Wasp

Today, I tried to start a pattern or routine that will see me through until June 10. (Assuming I make that far. Covid-19 really does focus the mind if you are one of the “elderly”. ) Nothing special. Wake up (this is the most important thing). Get up. Drink Coffee. Read papers. Make bed. Shower. Eat. Take out trash. Tidy room. Do administrative stuff. Exercise. Lunch. Nap. Free time. This plan of the day needs work. But, I have lots of time to perfect it.  72 days if I am lucky.


Grateful for an hour outside in the sun today.

Mālama pono

Try not to be an assholebitch – day 10 of xx

looking for the light

Ten days in. Today starts out foggy but by late afternoon the sun is out. I went out while it was still overcast – better for picture taking – and stayed inside the fence like a good old bat.

life and coronavirus #37

Looked out my window and saw some of the inmates going walkabout and visiting while social distancing.

life and coronavirus #38

Tulips didn’t get the social distance memo.

When we get locked in our rooms, exercise will be problematic. Aerobic exercise that is. I live on the 11th floor and am just a few steps from a stairwell – I might just have to “run” the stairs. A few days ago, I stopped taking the elevator. So, I have been doing 3 transits of the stairs per day. That feels pretty aerobic to me.


Grateful for my opened window. Little things are taking on large importance.

Mālama pono

Try not to be an assholebitch – day 9 of xx

looking for the light

Well, here I am again. It is about 4:30PM. Don’t think I have pissed off anyone. Haven’t broken any rules yet. But, there is still time. Today isn’t over.

Cold and rainy today. Not a day for going out even if it were allowed.

life and coronavirus #35

The housemen are always wiping down everything. As soon as they finish they start over again. Like being a painter on an aircraft carrier. The job is never done.

life and coronavirus #34

The residents are still making bags for the Arlington Food Bank.  I haven’t pitched in with bag making.

life and coronavirus #36

Lots of events are being canceled. Things like weddings and funerals and bar mitzvahs.  Flowers have been ordered. And, rather than just toss the flowers in the trash folk deliver them to us poor old rich white folk. Hopefully, they are smart enough to take a tax deduction. Because there were a lot of roses in our flower case this morning.

I am assuming that we will be locked in our apartments sometime sooner not later.  That will be especially hard for the elders. You might think that these people are really old and don’t go out much anyhow, wouldn’t mind. But they are used to wandering around the building and napping in sun in the public spaces. And, they have learned how to go get their box-o-lunch and box-o-dinner. They socialize while waiting on-line. 6 feet apart (or not).  I worry about these people. The social workers will be busy.

Last evening, I was continuing my personal “poor me” day. I was cursing Carlton for not being around to help me through this crisis. Then I remembered. I have 35 years of AA experience. I know how to do this.  When we get put into solitary lockdown, I will deploy my AA parachute. Thank you, Carlton.

(just back from a fine dinner in a friend’s apartment – everyone 6 feet apart. And for an hour and a half sanity returned. Thank you. )

Mālama pono

Try not to be an assholebitch – day 8 of xx

looking for the light

I sort of failed today. I left The Asylum to go pick up my blood pressure meds. I guess I could have arranged for one of my window-ledge crows to go pick it up. But, in violation of the rules, I went to the pharmacy. The pharmacy is in the rear of the grocery store next door. I walked by the coffee aisle. They had coffee. Now, I have BP drugs and coffee. Slightly more ready to face future.

I am not totally with it today.  Feeling tired, mopey, scratchy. Caused by not sleeping and allergies and old age. But, these days – we never know. So, except for my escape to get drugs – I have moped around my room all day.

I am just don’t have the right stuff for this war. A war that calls me to serve by doing nothing.  My primary objective is to avoid death by coronavirus. And to help others avoid a similar death by doing nothing.  Just hide. (all the while trying not to be an assholebitch)

Not to worry about anything. I know me. I will be in a better place mentally tomorrow. I have a very short attention span. And sometimes, that is a very good thing.

Mālama pono

Try not to be an assholebitch – day 7 of xx

looking for the light

Today was an easy day of lockdown. Mostly because the sun was out. And, it was warmish.

sunrise this morning. shooting through double pane glass.

Always a good sign to see the sun(s) come up.

life and coronavirus #32

Early this morning, I escaped from the Asylum and went for my normal walk. Didn’t see anyone on the sidewalk.

life and coronavirus #31

Seems like the residents of my floor knocked off another 1.75 liters of gin. Good Job Neighbors!

life and coronavirus #33

We still get mail and packages. Lots of packages. Did I mention that I ordered 2 boxes of Altoids from Amazon. Sort of ashamed of myself for that.

The first insect of the year. A tiny little fly.

And, this afternoon, I found my very first insect of the year.

So, when the weather is OK. And as long as I can go outside. I am OK with this lockdown thing. When the weather isn’t OK, not so much. When we get locked in our rooms. That will be challenging. A bridge to cross when I get to it.

Tenderloin of beef, baby potatoes, broccoli, lemon meringue pie plus free wine on tap for our box-o-dinner tonight. I think that it is  prudent to have maybe 2 weeks of food in the room. For “just in case”. I put in some supplies when I got back from Hawai’i. But, that was just sort of lunch stuff. For that last week or so, I have sort of been in squirrel mode. Saving the soup from one meal. A roll from another. If I am locked in my room 1000 calories per day will keep me alive fine. As long as the coffee holds out.

The Asylum stopped taking admissions to our nursing unit several weeks ago and they are now trying to clear out one of four wings to use as an isolation unit.

Nobody thinks that this is anywhere near over. I should be scared. But, I am not. YET.

Mālama pono

Try not to be an assholebitch – day 6 of xx

looking for the light

Another cold damp stuck inside day. And I didn’t accomplish much.  I looked into my closet. Clean Closet is on my STD list. But.

life and coronavirus #29

The closet is sort of mocking me. Saying you don’t need any of this stuff. You need jammies and slippers. And, if you do get out of this alive – you will not fit into any of your clothes!

Some semi-serious work. New Art Center person and long time resident Ben (90+)

I did make this rather sweet photo of our just started Monday Art person and my neighbor Ben who is 90+ and still going strong. And, it is for Ben and all the other “elders” that I am trying to be as good as possible.

life and coronavirus #30

Our Chief Executive Officer did such a fine job checking workers that the COO took a try at it this afternoon.

Major platitude drop today. Three big warm and fuzzy memos about our current condition. With the ominous paragraph buried inside:

At some point, regulatory guidelines or health department guidance may result in the decision to quarantine in place – requiring all residents to remain in their apartments.

This will happen. But, so far so good. Nobody has died since March 4. And nobody is known to have the virus. I do think that “they” will tell us when the virus hits us. Management is making this up as they go along. They are basically decent human beings. Unlike the Cheeto in 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Mālama pono

Try not to be an assholebitch – day 5 of xx

looking for the light

Don’t think I am made of the right stuff for this war.

And this from the ArlNow website. Yesterday. It seems to be gone now, as it should be.

This I took from the ArlNow news feed.

Note the gentleman wearing a full face snorkel mask. (Nevermind that most of us who snorkel think they are dangerous.) But, the purpose of a snorkel, even a crappy one, is to take air in. Thinking that this is up there with brassieres as PPE.

Steak, asparagus and free wine on tap for dinner tonight. Planning on that to perk up an otherwise tedious day. No steak after all. There was steak on Tuesday “BEFORE”.

Mālama pono

Try not to be an assholebitch – day 4 of ??

looking for the light

It is rainy. It is bleak. And I am trying. Very trying.

Made some cranes. Took some pictures. Made a cheery little flower picture video. Must confess that I used free iMovie not paid for Final Cut Pro. Because I wanted the job finished quickly. Did some yoga.

Worried that I will run out of coffee.

life and coronavirus #27

The inmates are doing all manner of service projects. Some set their alarms and get up at 0430 hours to deliver the paper. Others are making mesh bags that the Arlington Food Assistance Center uses to package food.  Some ladies are supposedly making surgical masks.

Saw on the internet that one can make an N95 mask out of a bra. Now I have serious doubts about that.

life and coronavirus #28

Think this is going to work?  I don’t think so either.

Hey, we gotta laugh, don’t we? Remember, I live in an old folks asylum and nobody gets out alive anyhow.

Mālama pono