Simply stated, we need to expand our horizons during this stunningly challenging time before the claw marks up the walls to reach the ceiling. I know that I’m on my husband’s last nerve, but thanks to some creative projects (self-imposed) by both of us, we’re managing our time and creativity to keep the captivity crisis from morphing into a crescendo of complaints instead of the not-so-subtle spits of short temper.
I’ve heard the suggestions about taking up knitting, doing jigsaw puzzles, baking, learning an instrument and playing bored, I mean, board games… but I don’t have much interest in those right now. Maybe I warp–speed past those into other diversions and they’ll come back around especially as containment lingers.
Working in my garden helps a LOT. I bought some vegetable seeds and will plant them soon. Weeding helps. I yell, “Gotcha, you interloper” and fling it into the horticulture barrel. A friend wants some starts for her garden, so I’ll gladly share. Plants, not weeds! I thought we could keep a safe distance, take our time and walk around the yard, drink wine and discuss which plants she wants. That could take a couple of hours.
Not to brag (much) but my husband is very clever. Here’s a few of his recent projects, that also keep him out of the house 😉 ß that’s a wink! He bought a raw slab of some kind of wood, sanded, stained and varnished it and voila, it was amazing.
We had prowled a junk store before the sequestering started and he found two rusty… I don’t know what to call them, but after he finished the wood project, he decided that they would make great legs for a table under the slab. He wanted me to paint them, which I did while listening and occasionally watching my favorite TV shows; very peaceful. When I finished, he attached the legs and now we have a gorgeous side table on the lanai. I just asked him and found out the slab is cedar.
Since I was in the yard quite a bit, trimming plants, moving them around, planting colorful pots full of flowers, I noticed that there was a steady drip from the air-conditioner pipe into the ground. Of course, there were a plethora of “interlopers” around that moist area, which led me to an idea. What if we had a “rain barrel” that the pure, distilled water would drip into? And, what if we had a hose at the bottom with a valve that would turn on and off? And, what if we filled up our watering cans with this free water instead of using our regular hoses to fill them and water the plants? Well, darned if he didn’t go online and found the perfect barrel with a small screen opening that keeps the critters out. He built a sturdy square support for the barrel, attached a drain, short length of hose with on/off capabilities and again, voila! We also have pure, distilled water for other purposes when we need it. Duh. Money saved. Another project completed.
We were lucky enough to obtain a three-drawer cabinet “mistake” for peanuts, so his wheels started turning again. It had no top, back or drawer pulls, but he had a vision and set out to Captain Picard, “Make it so!” When I took time out of my own projects and went to check on his, he had chiseled some old antlers to lay flat and made them into drawer handles! Really. Then he headed to a big box store for wood for the missing top and back, and rollers for the bottom so he could move it where needed.
Because of my plant addiction, my creative man built me a potting table. What he doesn’t realize is that he has just contributed to my obsession, and now, I don’t have to plant in the dark! Wait just a darned second… maybe there were ulterior motives there! Anyway, the online plant selection is amazing and so is the delivery 😉 and they come right to the door—no mess in the car.
There are some disadvantages to online shopping though. A friend of mine with four children ordered each of them a pair of new tennis shoes as theirs were worn out. None of them fit properly and all had to be returned. With some stores opening, shopping in person with a mask on might be a better choice than all the hassle of sending shoes, clothes or other things back. Knock on woody stems, I haven’t received any plants that were dead or needed to be returned.
During the coronavirus, I’ve had great luck with some of the online, house–furnishing, discount-shopping companies. Not only do they offer free shipping, over $40, but there are reviews of every product that you should read, including the negative and positive comments, before you purchase. For example, I was very interested in an area rug and the positive comments were great, but the negatives were concerning so I didn’t buy it. You would be able to return something, but save yourself the hassle.
Here’s another pastime that revs up the creativity and doesn’t cost a dime. Most everyone has a cellphone and takes photos occasionally—or like me, hundreds a week. There are editing programs on your phone or you can purchase apps that do more. The free one is fun, and by using it in unique ways, you can feed your creative spirit. When you combine photography, creativity and nature, you will surprise yourself with some stunning images that YOU produced. Step out of the box of “the usual,” change your photo to black and white, change the colors, look for the unusual and play with it. You will be able to tilt your photo in a different direction, darken, lighten, enhance, revise and go back and start again. It’s not that hard, really! You’ll be amazed and hopefully have more confidence to try again. Amusing myself feels good these days. We have to hang on to our sense of humor and sanity and we’ll make it through.