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getting ready for this winter (please only enter if you are covid-cautious)


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Please disregard this thread if you are not COVID cautious.

What changes are you making for the coming months if you are still being careful? 

Any new hobbies you are taking up? New routines for your family? Ways your kids are expanding their horizons in new ways?

A number of years back, I remember cheering random people at about mile 12 as they ran the Boston Marathon. It was a bunch of fun! I feel like I'm at mile 12 now and need to get my cheering section in order, or at least find a water station! Any suggestions welcome.

One issue we have is that our extended family is decidedly NOT COVID cautious (indoor mega-church? sounds good to them! Sigh. But they at least chose to go to the masked and not the unmasked service.) and they just moved within easy driving distance, so that is another area of stress.

Emily

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I think I started a thread on this.  We are not making changes.   We have been in complete isolation since March and will continue to.  We live in a place where covid is in a really bad surge. 

We do pickup for grocery store.

We will exercise outside although we haven't been a winter sports family.

We built a big dance studio in our basement so all our kids could keep up their activity.   We are making it even bigger.

The kids are going to get a lot of keep them busy presents from us.  Legos, monthly subscription boxes,  and crafts.

 

We will be doing lots if family movie nights. 

Basically just keep doing what we are doing.   It is hard, but important.   Hoping when things are better our days will be a little more exciting. 

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I’m buying a bit extra each time I order groceries, so I can put away so we have plenty of food stored up in case it gets harder to get groceries at some point this winter. We also got an outdoor shelter so we can have outdoor family visits. I’m still trying to come up with a plan for keeping everyone warm outside. Might just be coats and blankets. Oh, I also ordered a couple new Christmas decorations so we can make things really festive in the house for the holidays. 

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That's the thing: we can't really make changes.
We still distance, do not attend any events, conduct any social interactions only outdoors at a distance (which means fire pit in the fall and winter). (We still go to work, where distance and masks are mandated)
I am very aware that this will be hard as I suffer from depression, SAD makes it worse, and human interaction has always been one of my major coping mechanisms. I will try to get outside and hike as much as possible. I am elevating outdoor time to my almost top priority, immediately after scheduled classes.
I don't know whether we will be able to get together with our adult children for the holidays. We may all try to quarantine beforehand, but it will depend on how the situation is in their respective cities.
It's going to suck. Sorry I can't be a cheerleader.

Edited by regentrude
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Just read that if you order more than 45 bucks of wreaths or fresh cut trees from Lowes will deliver for free.   Excited about that if things are still horrible.   We normally cut down our own tree, but not sure if we will do that.

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Last week my 16yo asked if we can schedule a weekly craft night, and we ordered yarn. I want to get some puzzles too, but need to figure out a space to do them. We have a very small apartment, and no yard or porch of our own.

I have been decluttering for awhile, and will keep going with that. Also trying to fix the place up with some small but long-needed repairs. I am watching YouTube videos to get tips on how to handle some of it.

For exercise, I found some tai chi videos on YouTube that I have been trying out. We did what we could to make a dance space, but it is only 4 ft by 8 ft. But it seems that my kid may have pelvic stress fractures (MRI next week), so probably no dancing for a while. 

I need to make sure we both have good coats and boots that fit, though I don't have plans to go anywhere other than to pick up food. Maybe a road trip to do a drive-by tour of the university my kid wants to attend in 2022.

My big issue is to convince my ex to scale back his contacts, since the kid visits him on the weekends. He is good about masking in public places, but he is out and about more than I would like. Especially as we go into the holidays. He has a big extended family, like 50 people in a house for dinner, and I know many are less vigilent. 

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I won’t be making any major changes. We’ve been pretty self isolating since March and are comfortable with our current level of exposure (which is very, very limited). The only times we see other people socially is to walk with a friend once every couple of weeks (me) and for XC practice (DS). XC is the most risky but essential for his mental health, and for recruiting. DH works from home and DS does school virtually. 

I have been squirreling household items and extra groceries away all summer in preparation for the very real possibility of not leaving the house for errands at all this winter. The only time I really go out now is to Target maybe once every couple of weeks, but now that numbers are rising I'm unlikely to go again until spring. 
 

We enjoy winter sports and are fortunate to be able to ski and snowshoe out our front door. The biggest change to our routine that I can see for this winter is that there won’t be an indoor track season, so DS will get to do Nordic skiing instead assuming outdoor winter sports are allowed in the schools.
 

All college visits are put on hold—hopefully we’ll be able to see a few before decision making time but DS knows he might be going sight unseen. 
 

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I am repeating the following to myself often: "We can do this. This too shall pass." 
Also, I am encouraging our older 4 to help as much as they want with the NB. (Yes, I know this strategy only works if you have a NB.) Need something to do? Hold the baby! Change his diaper. Sing him a song. Read him a book. 
We definitely need to get some winter gear, but we'd be doing that without a pandemic. I will definitely be prioritizing getting outside for the older 4 this winter. 

 

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Honestly I'm not looking forward to winter and though we will be making changes, I'm not exactly sure what they'll be. We've enjoyed brief visits with all the grandparents - driveway visits and porch visits - but the grandparents will no longer be able to do that in the cold. So I don't know what we'll do there. We've also enjoyed weekly park playdates - the moms socially distanced and the kids running around - those will be iffy depending on weather. We've tried to do outdoor activities as they pop up but I don't expect many of them will pop up over the winter. Again, totally dependent on weather.

 

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I am working on setting up an outdoor gathering place.  I don’t think we will be able to have long visits, but I think we can aim for short visits that I will be really comfortable with.

I have some hope (futile?) that if I make something happen, then my local relatives will feel less of a need to do other gatherings I think are questionable.

I am trying to host, instead of just not attending

My sister is on board!  
 

It would go a long way if my sister and I did not attend other gatherings, that they might choose to have.  That is really good, at least.

I’m also planning to go ahead and do Christmas decorations except for the tree.

I’m also planning to splurge on candles and wax melts.

At this point — I am the weak link, and if I can stay positive it will really contribute to the overall mood in the house.

I’m also planning to do more dessert treats than usual and do more Christmas desserts than usual.  
 

Edit:  I am also going to do more to offer to pick up items for my local relatives, so that they will go out less often.  

Edited by Lecka
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We're cleaning out the garage while it's still bearable weather outside. Kids can use it as a roller rink over the winter then because DH has a garage heater. Hanging up the bicycles today to get those out of the way.

I've been buying a little extra in my grocery pickup every week, so we're pretty well stocked in TP, medicines, and food. Freezer is jam packed. Hoping there aren't any shortages over the winter though.

Kids and I need new winter coats, so I have to figure out if we're going to a store for that, or hitting up the internet and hoping they fit. I got new boots a couple weeks ago.

Kids have gotten a "grab and go" craft kit at the library most weeks during the fall. If they weren't used immediately, I squirreled them away to be brought out on some cold, gray day. I want to get a needlepoint book from the library and do a couple of dollhouse rugs over the winter, so I'll need to buy the supplies. We have a ton of fabric, art supplies, etc. I bought the art book in Build Your Library and all the supplies to do every project in it.  

We have a Wii (which is discontinued), so I have been looking at FB Marketplace to find some new active video games. 

We may have to rearrange the house if college girl comes home for spring semester - she's still working on it. In preparation for that (even if she only comes home for break, it's still 2 months now), I've been de-cluttering a lot. 

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We probably won't make any changes. We've both been working at home already, and when the semester is over, I'll have more free time for my own research. 

We go to the grocery about every 10-14 days, I go visit my mom and son about once a week - they're also isolating. 

As far as hobbies, I took up weaving on a small scale last spring and will probably do some of that over break. We've also developed an walking habit that I'd like to continue, but I have a hard time walking in the cold weather. We've been wanting to try tai chi - I have a good DVD - so maybe we'll do some of that. 

 

 

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I stay super busy with school. Keeping up with my regular classroom and google classroom requires that I work nights and weekends. Teaching during a pandemic is a challenge, but I still love my job. 

When my lungs feel better, I am planning to make a visit to see family that I haven't seen in months. I hope with my recent covid experience that I have some immunity for a few months, so I need to visit them while I feel it is safe to do so. I doubt seriously we will be able to have normal holiday gatherings. 

I'm planning to have Thanksgiving for more than one day this year. In-laws have requested just sandwiches and a visit, so the Main Event will just be the three of us. I have more decorations than I usually have (even if they are from Dollar General). I'm planning to cook some great meals of whatever any of us want and stretch it out from like Tuesday through the weekend. There's too much good food for only one day. 

For Christmas, I want to have more decorations, a bigger tree-maybe live-and also have a week long event. We don't do big gifts. Maybe have more music playing. I especially like Boston Pops, Trans Siberian Orchestra, and Country Christmas music. Lots of hot chocolate and wassail. Warm Christmas socks and desserts. 

I love this thread.

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I didn't other responses but will be for sure!!

Mine is probably boring and has already been mentioned, but here goes

 I have never stopped stocking up on food and paper and cleaning products (my budget can attest to that)

For the first time ever I signed up kids for on-line classes

I am coming up with gazzilion plans for cleaning and decluttering the house

I came up with a list of weekly "hikes" but we are in New England and I am a wimp, so we'll see how that goes

I also want this winter to be a good re-set for our homeschool and life in general (since we won't have any distractions of co-op and activities).

That's about it.

ETA: I want to start knitting again!! Ever since the knitting store that was holding my hand closed out, I haven't felt confident enough in myself to knit anything, but I want to do it!

Edited by SereneHome
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I like the idea of a 12 mile cheer very much -- feeling a need for some boost as well.

 

Just signed on to @Slache 's 20 miles in 20 days, and resolved to do it OUTSIDE rather than on the machine, to which I tend to retreat (with political/legal podcasts, which is not-so-great mental healthwise) when the days get shorter and colder.

We invested in two large canopies and a bunch of patio heaters so we can continue to meet up with people out on our terrace.  I'm going to get a bunch of big-bulb light strings as well since it's already dark by 6:15, le sigh. 

Recently figured out that -- as we can't travel, as we ordinarily love to do -- a second-best but nonetheless enjoyable "virtual glimpse" into other places is foreign telenovelas. We just finished Rita (Denmark, hilarious and poignant, pearl-clutch alert re non-marital sex) and last night started A Thousand Goodnights (Taiwan, absolutely astonishing).

MOOCs.  MOOCs and knitting projects.

I'm trying to figure out a way to get a bunch of far-flung family and friends to do a Watch Party for the play What the Constitution Means to Me, which I was planning to see in NYC before Broadway shut down for the foreseeable future. I have to figure the logistics.

At the moment, the nearly-adult kids, who were all here from March-July, have all drifted back to their apartment/schools. For Thanksgiving, they, my husband and I, and my mother are all going to get PCR-tested, quarantine awaiting results, then (assuming everyone's negative) she will come here and we can all bubble together, inside, unmasked, living off deliveries, for 2 weeks. Just having that out there as something to look forward to, something that will feel nearly-normal, is huge for her (we've seen her, but only outdoors for brief/weird visits, camping in the parking lot of her independent senior residence).

At the moment, it's not assured that either my son's school (in Pittsburgh, where cases are spiking) or my daughter's (eastern CT, ticking upward) will run any on-campus classes between Thanksgiving and March. If they don't, I'm considering trying to find an airBnB with good wifi in cross-country VT for a couple weeks in January, so they can do their classes remotely while we all get a change in scenery.

 

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Because of where we live (very small town in extremely rural area close to the mountains) I am doing the same things I do for any winter. We are pretty isolated anyway and do t travel much in the winter anyway. 

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I'm going to try to drop back to only delivery for groceries instead of going into stores. We will still have exposure via medical/dental appointments. If things continue to get worse here over the next couple of weeks, as I expect, I plan to call the orthodontist and talk with her about risk vs. extending treatment (which significantly affects what DS can eat).

We will continue to see DS's friend and his mom as long as we can be outdoors and masked. Video calls with other friends and family are pretty much all we can do.

I plan to have dinner by candlelight in Advent.

We don't have a garage or basement to work with, and not much of a yard. We can keep using the park trails. I should see if DS needs new shoes. (He only has one pair, and I don't think they fit well with wool socks.)

We got our flu shots.

I'm really concerned about people on the economic margin & will continue to help as I can, probably just financially.

ETA: I tried soap-making for the first time, and the bars should be ready to use by New Year's. I think we will call them our 2020-Be-Gone soap. I might also order more yarn for washcloths. I like making them. And I may learn to make gluten-free sourdough--I miss the bread I used to make.

 

Edited by Carolina Wren
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2 hours ago, happi duck said:

@slackermom I have a puzzle board and that helps a lot with be able to stash a jigsaw puzzle when the table is needed.  https://www.jigthings.com/puzzle-boards/

This looks like a good idea, but first I need to set up a table. I have a 30 by 48 inch table in the living room that could work for puzzles, but it has been used only as a sewing table since I started making masks. At the moment we each just use our desks in our bedrooms for eating etc. I think it is time to rearrange a bit.

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2 hours ago, Pam in CT said:

We invested in two large canopies and a bunch of patio heaters so we can continue to meet up with people out on our terrace.  I'm going to get a bunch of big-bulb light strings as well since it's already dark by 6:15, le sigh. 

 

 

Similar.  We already had canopies, and we bought a propane outdoor heater. 

We are committing to outdoor socializing - making ourselves comfortable outdoors even in bad weather.  So far, success.

We've also committed to one camping trip a month in provincial park campgrounds.  It's our family challenge/learning goal/big adventure for the year. We've done lots of fair weather primitive tent camping, and we've done some cold weather weekend camping with our scouts, but tent camping in winter with just the family will be a new adventure!

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I had been going into stores occasionally for very brief trips. I officially stopped that practice two weeks ago and we have gone back to online ordering/Dh running errands. Our test positivity rate crept above 6% and hospitalizations started trending up and that was my impartial criteria.

We finished up all medical appointments  with flexible timing and moved everything to virtual appointments again, with us only going out for orthodontia and lab work.

We started using daylight lamps, keeping up with outside exercise, and being mindful of moods. 
 

I finished about 3/4 of my birthday season and Christmas shopping. The rest will happen online and is planned.

I am funding hobbies at an unprecedented rate in our home. Dh has taken up guitar, Ds has taken up miniature painting, etc. This is not our norm, but people need stuff to look forward to.
 

 

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I wish I could lock down with you guys. My dh and 3 older kids all work outside our house and two go to college one day a week. My nuclear family is great about masking, but my dh’s extended family (who we share farm/ life with) are definitely in conspiracy camp. We have avoided as many family gatherings as we can without causing a huge ruckus (skipped bday parties etc) but I am not looking forward to the holidays with them. My only consultation is that we are a rural county that has had super low numbers, so doing the fingers crossed thing. Your plans all sound do wonderful, but I am definitely in the minority around here. My dh thinks I am too cautious, and has data to back himself up, but I just can’t shake the dread

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I haven't decided. Kids are doing an outdoor Halloween thing with just a few friends watching a horror movie on a projector in a backyard. I've been wondering if it will be our last social thing. But then I'm like, well, if it's a nice day in November/December and I want to have a chat with someone in my neighborhood, I think I just... will. Outside, of course. Distanced, of course. Masked if needed, though often I've just sat on my porch and had a friend on the patio like 12 feet away.

We already decided to see my mother at Thanksgiving - renting an Airbnb together with her. And to see in laws the week between xmas and new year's. Also Airbnb, but we'll be hanging at their home. For Thanksgiving, we'll test and my mother doesn't have as easy access to testing. She's going to hunker down for 10 days. For xmas, we're not sure how it will look exactly. 

I have been thinking that I may cut back again on errands once Thanksgiving comes. Not sure. I've gotten to where I go out and get things if I need to. I may try to walk it back to the early pandemic when we were doing the shopping in one go every 2 weeks. I always felt like a crazy person doing that. And I had to specifically ration the snack food, so that was sort of annoying. We'll see.

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We will go back to Boston to pod with my in laws for a few months. This is less locked down than we are at home, because my SIL is going to have a baby, but none of us are going to go into stores or any other indoor places. Hopefully, a bit of exposure at the hospital and doctors' appointments will be OK.

We never started going into stores or anything like that. We have gotten less lazy about spending lots of time outside, and I plan to keep that up. I am hopeful that my in laws' backyard will make outdoor time relatively easy even in the winter. (We'll be staying in a nearby Airbnb, but we'll be there lots of the days of the week) 
 

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14 hours ago, slackermom said:

Last week my 16yo asked if we can schedule a weekly craft night, and we ordered yarn. I want to get some puzzles too, but need to figure out a space to do them. We have a very small apartment, and no yard or porch of our own.

I have been decluttering for awhile, and will keep going with that. Also trying to fix the place up with some small but long-needed repairs. I am watching YouTube videos to get tips on how to handle some of it.

For exercise, I found some tai chi videos on YouTube that I have been trying out. We did what we could to make a dance space, but it is only 4 ft by 8 ft. But it seems that my kid may have pelvic stress fractures (MRI next week), so probably no dancing for a while. 

I need to make sure we both have good coats and boots that fit, though I don't have plans to go anywhere other than to pick up food. Maybe a road trip to do a drive-by tour of the university my kid wants to attend in 2022.

My big issue is to convince my ex to scale back his contacts, since the kid visits him on the weekends. He is good about masking in public places, but he is out and about more than I would like. Especially as we go into the holidays. He has a big extended family, like 50 people in a house for dinner, and I know many are less vigilent. 

What a cool idea! I've been getting craft books for dd14 and dd12 from the library recently. How neat to do those together!

Decluttering - I've gotta get to Goodwill again..

8 hours ago, Lecka said:

I am working on setting up an outdoor gathering place.  I don’t think we will be able to have long visits, but I think we can aim for short visits that I will be really comfortable with.

I have some hope (futile?) that if I make something happen, then my local relatives will feel less of a need to do other gatherings I think are questionable.

I am trying to host, instead of just not attending

My sister is on board!  
 

That's a good way to frame it. We ordered an outdoor fire pit. In the past, we would have friends over for indoor fires and smores in the winter. We're hoping to do an outdoor version this year. We live in a city, though, and don't have much space, so the number of people will be limited.

6 hours ago, Pam in CT said:

I like the idea of a 12 mile cheer very much -- feeling a need for some boost as well.

 

Just signed on to @Slache 's 20 miles in 20 days, and resolved to do it OUTSIDE rather than on the machine, to which I tend to retreat (with political/legal podcasts, which is not-so-great mental healthwise) when the days get shorter and colder.

Recently figured out that -- as we can't travel, as we ordinarily love to do -- a second-best but nonetheless enjoyable "virtual glimpse" into other places is foreign telenovelas. We just finished Rita (Denmark, hilarious and poignant, pearl-clutch alert re non-marital sex) and last night started A Thousand Goodnights (Taiwan, absolutely astonishing).

MOOCs.  MOOCs and knitting projects.

I'm trying to figure out a way to get a bunch of far-flung family and friends to do a Watch Party for the play What the Constitution Means to Me, which I was planning to see in NYC before Broadway shut down for the foreseeable future. I have to figure the logistics.

At the moment, the nearly-adult kids, who were all here from March-July, have all drifted back to their apartment/schools. For Thanksgiving, they, my husband and I, and my mother are all going to get PCR-tested, quarantine awaiting results, then (assuming everyone's negative) she will come here and we can all bubble together, inside, unmasked, living off deliveries, for 2 weeks. Just having that out there as something to look forward to, something that will feel nearly-normal, is huge for her (we've seen her, but only outdoors for brief/weird visits, camping in the parking lot of her independent senior residence).

At the moment, it's not assured that either my son's school (in Pittsburgh, where cases are spiking) or my daughter's (eastern CT, ticking upward) will run any on-campus classes between Thanksgiving and March. If they don't, I'm considering trying to find an airBnB with good wifi in cross-country VT for a couple weeks in January, so they can do their classes remotely while we all get a change in scenery.

 

I like your plan to be outside daily for a mile. I'm sure dd12 would join me in that. I'll ask her! I just started a list of foreign films to "travel" around the world with. My parents watched Israeli films weekly for about six months before visiting us in Jerusalem. Maybe we can do a focus on another country. 

I wish I could plan something for Thanksgiving, but my dad thinks COVID has a great publicist, though he did say that masking makes sense. I don't know if we can be enough on the same page to same in the same house given the lack of masking the kids would do.

Wow to the AirBNB in Vermont. Money is too tight here to do anything like that. 

5 hours ago, Carolina Wren said:

I'm going to try to drop back to only delivery for groceries instead of going into stores. We will still have exposure via medical/dental appointments. If things continue to get worse here over the next couple of weeks, as I expect, I plan to call the orthodontist and talk with her about risk vs. extending treatment (which significantly affects what DS can eat).

We will continue to see DS's friend and his mom as long as we can be outdoors and masked. Video calls with other friends and family are pretty much all we can do.

I plan to have dinner by candlelight in Advent.

We don't have a garage or basement to work with, and not much of a yard. We can keep using the park trails. I should see if DS needs new shoes. (He only has one pair, and I don't think they fit well with wool socks.)

We got our flu shots.

I'm really concerned about people on the economic margin & will continue to help as I can, probably just financially.

ETA: I tried soap-making for the first time, and the bars should be ready to use by New Year's. I think we will call them our 2020-Be-Gone soap. I might also order more yarn for washcloths. I like making them. And I may learn to make gluten-free sourdough--I miss the bread I used to make.

 

@Carolina WrenLove your name.

I love the candlelight dinner idea. We also don't have garage or basement, but we have been outside a bunch.

How did soap-making go? 

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1 minute ago, EmilyGF said:

How did soap-making go? 

Rather well, although I may have used too much spearmint oil. It's a castile soap, and I wanted it to be minty clean... but it kind of made the kitchen smell like Pine-Sol. 😆 We'll see. It needs to cure for a while before we try it out; if it doesn't suit for showering, I can always use it for cleaning. I may make the next batch unscented.

I saved money compared to buying from my local soap-maker, although not compared to cheap bars from the store. Pure olive oil soap is what I wanted, though.

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Teaching online has been much more time intensive than teaching in person.  So, I will have more than enough work-related projects to keep me busy.

I have started a hand-piecing quilting project and some crochet projects.  DH and I each ordered a comfortable chair to curl up in with a good book (we have been trying to spend time outdoors reading during the warmer weather.)  I also have some cooking projects to try, but DH says I am cooking more quickly than we can eat.

I have started taking virtual ballet classes.  

This past week DH and I did something we had never done before--went to the drive-in.  It was a special fundraiser for one of the art groups.  

We thought we would be going to Europe to visit DD for the holidays, but now we are not sure if we will be able to see her or any other family over the holidays.

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I'm planning on spending a lot of time outdoors. I also completed a 'labour of love' in the backyard. It's a meditation garden that I can see out my kitchen window. It may be covered in snow by tomorrow, but there are lights all around it ready to brighten up the dark evenings. I'm going to try and use it to keep me in the 'green zone' of positive mental health throughout the winter and into next spring. 

 

IMG_20201025_131948978.jpg

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I guess one of the main things I’m doing is really trying to adjust my attitude. I generally hate the cold weather and being cold in general, so every year I really dread winter. This year, I’ve decided I’m going to just bundle up and be outside more when the weather is clear, no matter how cold. And when it’s snowing or generally a bad time to be outside, I’m adopting the Danish notion of hygge: making things inside cozy and inviting and something to look forward to. It might be comfy leggings and fuzzy slippers, making homemade bread once a week, watching weeknight movies with my boys, or planning a trip I’ll never take to somewhere amazing by researching hotels, restaurants, things to do, and points of interest, just to learn more and dream about somewhere new. We really plan to hunker down and avoid going anywhere else indoors as much as possible. 

Edited by PinkTulip
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8 hours ago, PinkTulip said:

I guess one of the main things I’m doing is really trying to adjust my attitude. I generally hate the cold weather and being cold in general, so every year I really dread winter. This year, I’ve decided I’m going to just bundle up and be outside more when the weather is clear, no matter how cold. And when it’s snowing or generally a bad time to be outside, I’m adopting the Danish notion of hygge: making things inside cozy and inviting and something to look forward to. It might be comfy leggings and fuzzy slippers, making homemade bread once a week, watching weeknight movies with my boys, or planning a trip I’ll never take to somewhere amazing by researching hotels, restaurants, things to do, and points of interest, just to learn more and dream about somewhere new. We really plan to hunker down and avoid going anywhere else indoors as much as possible. 

Love the idea. I should look into this... 

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8 hours ago, PinkTulip said:

I guess one of the main things I’m doing is really trying to adjust my attitude. I generally hate the cold weather and being cold in general, so every year I really dread winter. This year, I’ve decided I’m going to just bundle up and be outside more when the weather is clear, no matter how cold. And when it’s snowing or generally a bad time to be outside, I’m adopting the Danish notion of hygge: making things inside cozy and inviting and something to look forward to. It might be comfy leggings and fuzzy slippers, making homemade bread once a week, watching weeknight movies with my boys, or planning a trip I’ll never take to somewhere amazing by researching hotels, restaurants, things to do, and points of interest, just to learn more and dream about somewhere new. We really plan to hunker down and avoid going anywhere else indoors as much as possible. 

We’ve kind of done that 🙂 . We cook together more. We’ve been keeping the house cleaner. We do more handcrafting projects 🙂 

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20 hours ago, prairiewindmomma said:

I had been going into stores occasionally for very brief trips. I officially stopped that practice two weeks ago and we have gone back to online ordering/Dh running errands. Our test positivity rate crept above 6% and hospitalizations started trending up and that was my impartial criteria.

We finished up all medical appointments  with flexible timing and moved everything to virtual appointments again, with us only going out for orthodontia and lab work.

We started using daylight lamps, keeping up with outside exercise, and being mindful of moods. 
 

I finished about 3/4 of my birthday season and Christmas shopping. The rest will happen online and is planned.

I am funding hobbies at an unprecedented rate in our home. Dh has taken up guitar, Ds has taken up miniature painting, etc. This is not our norm, but people need stuff to look forward to.
 

 

We are funding hobbies a lot now too.  We used to spend over 2k a month on dance before covid, so I guess we always did.  But now it seems so important.    All my kids dance, so we built a dance studio in our basement.   Currently 10 by 30 feet.  We will make it bigger.   They are all taking online classes.   Private violin lessons.   Private voice lessons.   One wanted chickens again  done.  We have spent so much on their coop.  They love mountain biking,  so we had to upgrade their bikes because they all grew.  They all have really expensive bikes, but it was worth it this year.  But biking is such an expensive hobby because you always want to upgrade.   So we are spending lots of money on this that sometimes I wish we were saving.  But I know it is extremely important for my kids this year to keep them mentally healthy. 

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13 hours ago, wintermom said:

I'm planning on spending a lot of time outdoors. I also completed a 'labour of love' in the backyard. It's a meditation garden that I can see out my kitchen window. It may be covered in snow by tomorrow, but there are lights all around it ready to brighten up the dark evenings. I'm going to try and use it to keep me in the 'green zone' of positive mental health throughout the winter and into next spring. 

 

IMG_20201025_131948978.jpg

This is wonderful!  I hope you find it restful and grounding.

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4 minutes ago, Pam in CT said:

This is wonderful!  I hope you find it restful and grounding.

It is actually turning out to be very exciting and inspiring! The birds are going crazy out there. They love the feeder, the deck railing, the ground under the feeder and the bush behind the garden. It's sleeting and snowing outside and they are more active than ever. COME ON! You chickadees are so tiny. How do you have the energy to fly, feed and battle each other for feeder positioning in this horrible weather? I should be capable of drinking my coffee, sitting at my computer and getting to work if they can do that. 😄

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Just now, wintermom said:

It is actually turning out to be very exciting and inspiring! The birds are going crazy out there. They love the feeder, the deck railing, the ground under the feeder and the bush behind the garden. It's sleeting and snowing outside and they are more active than ever. COME ON! You chickadees are so tiny. How do you have the energy to fly in this horrible weather? I should be capable of drinking my coffee, sitting at my computer and getting to work if they can do that. 😄

Not very zen or attractive, but those propane heaters do the job. I'm planning on coffee on my terrace through the duration.

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3 minutes ago, Pam in CT said:

Not very zen or attractive, but those propane heaters do the job. I'm planning on coffee on my terrace through the duration.

Have you used this product? You're right, that it doesn't look great, but 'needs must' and all that. 😉  I need my outdoor time and I don't want to freeze my body. It may also entice my dd and other family members to join me outside. 

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knitting, hiking, lots of movies and puzzles. 

We've been mostly isolated since march, aside from doctor visits and 2 social get togethers outside, so not much will change. 

I'm leaning into hygge hard this year. More twinkle lights, candles, blankets and tea. 

I'm mainly trying to figure out how to keep my kids physically active. We live in a Great Lakes state so it will be cold. I have a peloton but my 10 year olds are too small for it. 

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32 minutes ago, Runningmom80 said:

knitting, hiking, lots of movies and puzzles. 

We've been mostly isolated since march, aside from doctor visits and 2 social get togethers outside, so not much will change. 

I'm leaning into hygge hard this year. More twinkle lights, candles, blankets and tea. 

I'm mainly trying to figure out how to keep my kids physically active. We live in a Great Lakes state so it will be cold. I have a peloton but my 10 year olds are too small for it. 

Doesn't peloton offer other classes not on the bike?  Maybe they could do those.

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re butt ugly propane heaters

54 minutes ago, wintermom said:

Have you used this product? You're right, that it doesn't look great, but 'needs must' and all that. 😉  I need my outdoor time and I don't want to freeze my body. It may also entice my dd and other family members to join me outside. 

Yes. We've long had a substantially more attractive, more expensive tall top hat version (where the tank is encased, like restaurants have). They work too, but the heat is thrown off *up high,* head-height. So they're really designed to be under a canopy and/or in contexts where folks are *standing,* like milling around at a wedding.

The ugly short ones throw the heat off at chair height, and are also easily moveable. We first got one, to check it out; then got three more. And we cart them around the yard and have even thrown them in the trunk when we've met up with friends in other locations.

I'll be hosting Thanksgiving out on the terrace under two canopies, three family-group tables, with multiple heaters aimed at different clusters. I'm reasonably confident this will work unless there is an unseasonable below-25 degree cold snap or sleet. Which naturally is what I'm now dreading.

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My DH and I have talked about getting an awning and some propane heaters for the back deck. Our winters tend toward the chilly and drizzly (PNW) so some type of cover will be necessary to make it pleasant. My parents have a large covered deck overlooking a lake, and a propane "fire pit" and I think that they have the perfect setup for winter. Tons of interesting birds winter on their lake, so they get a nice show with their fresh air. lol

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17 minutes ago, Pam in CT said:

re butt ugly propane heaters

Yes. We've long had a substantially more attractive, more expensive tall top hat version (where the tank is encased, like restaurants have). They work too, but the heat is thrown off *up high,* head-height. So they're really designed to be under a canopy and/or in contexts where folks are *standing,* like milling around at a wedding.

The ugly short ones throw the heat off at chair height, and are also easily moveable. We first got one, to check it out; then got three more. And we cart them around the yard and have even thrown them in the trunk when we've met up with friends in other locations.

I'll be hosting Thanksgiving out on the terrace under two canopies, three family-group tables, with multiple heaters aimed at different clusters. I'm reasonably confident this will work unless there is an unseasonable below-25 degree cold snap or sleet. Which naturally is what I'm now dreading.

This is so helpful!!! Thanks for sharing. I'm totally fine with 'ugly' and very functional. 😉 

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2 hours ago, wintermom said:

Have you used this product? You're right, that it doesn't look great, but 'needs must' and all that. 😉  I need my outdoor time and I don't want to freeze my body. It may also entice my dd and other family members to join me outside. 

I have one that's very similar (and equally ugly).  It throws a lot of heat, at chair height..

 

 

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3 hours ago, wintermom said:

It is actually turning out to be very exciting and inspiring! The birds are going crazy out there. They love the feeder, the deck railing, the ground under the feeder and the bush behind the garden. It's sleeting and snowing outside and they are more active than ever. COME ON! You chickadees are so tiny. How do you have the energy to fly, feed and battle each other for feeder positioning in this horrible weather? I should be capable of drinking my coffee, sitting at my computer and getting to work if they can do that. 😄

We've signed up for Project FeederWatch again-- something we loved doing which somehow fell by the wayside as the kids got older.

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I am really enjoying this thread!  So many great ideas.

We have an extra child -- a friend's 7yo -- staying with us for a couple of months due to a medical crisis, so he's sort of our pandemic winter project.  The winters here aren't that harsh but they can be dreary and wet, so making sure everyone gets exercise is going to be a challenge.  

Space, especially quiet space, is at a premium in our house so I keep walking around thinking about how we might make better use of what we have.  Installing a set of doors in between our bedroom and my study area would be a big help, but DH doesn't want to have workers in the house, and while we could do it ourselves it would surely take forever and be extremely frustrating, so...maybe.  

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2 hours ago, Innisfree said:

We've signed up for Project FeederWatch again-- something we loved doing which somehow fell by the wayside as the kids got older.

What country are you participating in this? I'm in Canada, and I always miss the deadline. 

Do they teach you how to identify the birds? I know 2 - 3 visitors, but 2 of them I don't.

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46 minutes ago, wintermom said:

What country are you participating in this? I'm in Canada, and I always miss the deadline. 

Do they teach you how to identify the birds? I know 2 - 3 visitors, but 2 of them I don't.

I'm in the U.S. 

If it's the first time you've registered, they send you a poster with the birds you're likely to see.  It's a lot of fun, and this is just the time to sign up. I think there's a lot more information online.

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