Category Archives: Dispatches from Home

Dispatches From Home Part 7

Still here at home…Presley is thrilled. Illinois is opening up a bit more this week. Outdoor seating at restaurants is going to be allowed soon and while we won’t be partaking, I’m glad for the restaurant owners. We will continue doing carry-out for now. It’s so funny looking at this picture now, us walking in coats! It has been so hot this week that Naoto is anxious to turn on the air conditioner. We probably should, but I feel like we just opened the windows! I got all of the pots on the lanai planted this week. I am so excited about my choices this year…I say that every year I suppose, but I really tried to lean into the part-sun plant options this year so I can hopefully enjoy blooms all season. I’ll share some pictures as soon as I clean up the rest of my potting mess and get the lights strung up this week. It’s not a fully functional lanai without the party lights! I’m behind on reading for the year. I set a goal of thirty books for 2020 and you’d think I’d have finished by now with all this time on my hands, but I haven’t been able to concentrate well enough to really stick with anything. I’ve finished our book club books and that’s about it. I know I owe the blog a book post, but even writing about what I’ve been reading might be too boring to share!Celebrating birthdays and holidays on FaceTime isn’t the same, but it is still nice to see everyone’s faces and to do a proper toast. We celebrated Karen a couple of Sundays ago and I made this little invitation typed on some kaishi-paper and some sparkling wine stickers. And in good mail news, I received my Last Week Tonight stamps and I can’t wait to use them! Are there any other John Oliver fans out there? I just started watching Community (I’d watched the first few episodes back when it aired) and I’d totally forgotten he was on that show!

I think that’s all to report. Next week is our anniversary and I’m trying to coordinate a bedroom painting party this weekend, which means I need to finish cleaning the bedroom. Hopefully I can report next time that we’ve actually painted…it’s been a struggle.

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Dispatches from Home Part 6

peonies April showers bring May blog posts…eventually. May has been so busy! April flew by, and May is doing the same. Everything is kind of nuts right now. At work, we are finally moving back to our building. It’s still all kind of in flux because permits are taking longer since many offices are still shut down in Illinois, but most likely, we’ll be all moved into our office by the end of the month. It’s SO exciting. We went furniture shopping this week and I got to see the office today! I’m not sure what June will look like, since I’m sure we’ll still be doing a combination of working from home and going into the office, but it will feel so good to finally get settled into my space. National Card & Letter Writing Month went out with a bang–I sent out 37 cards and letters and I am still going strong with letter writing in May. Still poking through my vintage postage collection. These strong women ones are some of my favorites. Naoto brought home two bouquets of peonies this week. The pink ones at the top are just now opening and the coral ones turned white and are almost spent. They motivated me to clean my desk and to work there more so I could enjoy the flowers. It really is the little things… The first weekend in May was so perfect! (It frosted and snowed the following weekend, but we don’t have to talk about that!) We were able to shop for flowers for our lanai and we spent almost all day Saturday outside planting, reading, and playing cards until we couldn’t see anymore. Naoto learned Uno and proceeded to beat me at it all night. Beginner’s luck!

I hope you are doing well! I feel like the longer this goes on, the more lax people are getting… I am happy to stay home because it’s so tiring being out, remembering a mask, remembering not to touch your face, remembering to stay 6 feet away… Plus with Naoto’s job, I still feel like we’re both at risk, or at risk of being carriers, so it’s just best that I stay tucked away for awhile longer.

 

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Dispatches From Home Part 5

zoom dinner How’s everyone doing? I know some places in the US and beyond are opening up a little bit. I can’t imagine how nervous I’m going to feel when that starts happening here. Right now, we’re still staying home with no end in sight. I’m sure a slow opening is coming sometime in May…probably towards the end of May, but hey, what do I know? zoom dinnerLast week was kind of a week of treats. We haven’t been dining out much because we’re more than content cooking at home and eating our Trader Joe’s food since groceries are aplenty around here. But on Friday, one of our favorite places, Goldyburgers, re-opened for carry-out and a group of friends decided we should all order from Goldy’s and dine on Zoom together. You guys, it was so fun. I miss dining out so much. Not really because of the food, but because we usually bump into people we know and then the night takes us to unexpected places. Happenstance is really missing from life right now. goldyburgers at homeBut a planned dinner together was great, and my homemade Manhattan was delicious and it was good to catch up with everyone. Spilt MilkAnother treat from last week–we ordered cookies, breakfast sandwiches, and pie from Spilt Milk, our favorite local pie place. Their snickerdoodles are the best I’ve ever had and seriously, just to be able to get a couple familiar treats makes you almost forget about this current situation. I don’t think we need to go out for treats every day, but it felt like such a delicacy to have take-out and cookies after being away from them for so long. Kimberly at the office Presley and the computerI had to go into the office for a bit last week too. I don’t mind going into the office. Some things are impossible to do from home, so it’s good to get caught up when I can. When I work from home, it’s usually from bed (or from the living room) and Presley is monitoring my progress. (She’s such a demanding manager!) I am going to miss sleeping in until 9, but I am looking forward to going back to the office someday…april calendarI can’t believe April is two-thirds over. I am so bummed that we won’t get to experience the cherry blossoms again this year. (Last year the cold spring kept them from blooming and we’ve been planning a Chicago hanami ever since!) It’s quite depressing that the weather is finally warming up and our time outside will be limited. I’m trying to make the most of it by planning our garden plot and shopping for plants online, but it’s not the same as visiting the garden shops in person and picking out the perfect plants. I don’t want to end on such a depressing note, so I will say that I’ve been enjoying letter writing and reading again. And I just started season six of 30 Rock and I’m so glad I’m finally watching it! It makes me laugh right before I go to bed and honestly, my dreams have been slightly less weird since I started it. (Have you been having weird dreams, too? Apparently it’s a thing.) 

I hope you are staying safe and healthy! Please let me know how things are going in your state or country! It’s been so fascinating writing so many pen pals and learning about their stay-at-home standards. 

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Dispatches from Home Part 4

migration goods, ugh bunnyHow are we doing? Hanging in there? I thought with being home, I’d be on top of blogging but it turns out, I’m not on top of anything really. Ok, I have been on top of my mail for the month…it’s turned out to be a nice distraction. This week I’m trying to get my desk back in order and I’m planning our Easter meal. Naoto has FOUR days off in a row this weekend, so I’m thrilled to be able to plan some fun meals with him and to have him home and safe for a few days. Some other things I’m thankful for:

  • Schitt’s Creek…This final season has been the balm to my soul.
  • friends, in town and faraway, who text, call, or send mail
  • Presley who insists on being a part of my workday. (Though she hasn’t made a zoom meeting appearance yet!)
  • daily rituals (NPR, coffee, tea, journaling, mail)
  • zoom happy hours with my parents

How do things look where you are?

P.S. The UGH Bunny is from Migration Goods. Doesn’t he just say it all?

 

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Dispatches from Home Part 3

This weekend was less than productive, but I did catch up on some letters so at least there’s that. I also spent some time organizing my stationery for National Card & Letter Writing Month in April. I love changing my Classiky box with each season. I pasted my stay at home to do list into my Travelers Notebook so maybe I’ll take it more seriously now. I’m hoping to at least plant some seeds and get started on the bedroom this week. And I’m thinking fondue sounds fun for the weekend. I’m trying to decide if traditional or a beer cheddar is the way to go…so many decisions.Did I tell you I finally opened a PO box? If you’ve ever wanted to write, my public address is:

Kimberly AH

PO Box 6693

River Forest IL 60305

Naoto has been checking the box for me once a week when he drops off my vintage postage for hand cancellation. Feel free to write! In other news, we had a Facetime happy hour with our friends in New Jersey and a Zoom happy hour with our local friends over the weekend. And we didn’t hold a formal book club this month, but a bunch of us got together on Zoom to chat and check in. I also celebrated my dad’s birthday with him over Zoom. If you haven’t used Facetime or Zoom (or whatever video conferencing method is your favorite) to meet up with friends or family, I highly recommend it! It’s not the same as in person, but it’s pretty darn good.

How are you holding up? Is your state or country practicing social distancing, or is this whole thing foreign to you? Any tips on getting through a day at home?

P.S. The postcard at the top is from La Familia Green accented with stickers from Mrs. Grossman’s.

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Dispatches from Home Part 2

You know I am taking social distancing seriously when I make my own coffee at home on a Sunday morning. Because Naoto works every Sunday (and he is the primary home coffee maker,) I usually take a stroll on those mornings and either grab a Dunkin or a Starbucks. But in an effort to keep my community safe, I decided it’s best to drink coffee at home for now. I drank the entire pot by myself. Presley was my coffee co-pilot.On Sunday night we played Rummy and had snacks. Naoto made this Smitten Kitchen cannellini bean appetizer. (I highly recommend it–so garlicky and cozy and we had what we needed in the pantry!) And we enjoyed some seasonal Irish cheese and some wine. I went to work on Monday and Tuesday this week to get some stuff settled for the congregation. I am not sure what my job is going to look like after this week. Some of my job can be done from home, but some can’t. Some of my job kind of goes away because regular business has ceased, so I can’t imagine needing to go in three times a week. But again, I’m not sure. I updated my calendar (pretty much just canceling everything since I’m not able to plan anything right now!) and wrote a few letters…I’m listening to a lot of NPR which is better than watching cable news I guess.Yesterday’s adventure was a stroll to the blue mailbox on the corner and learning of the first official diagnoses in our area. I’ve been journaling in my Travelers Notebook because I know these days will be fuzzy in the future and it will be interesting (someday!) to look back and see what was happening during these crazy times.And Happy Birthday to my dad!! We were supposed to see each other this week for our birthdays, but…we’ll have to celebrate another time. (This picture was taken at Costco earlier this month when we drove down to see my parents. I’m so glad we were able to have that time together before this whole thing started.)

How is everyone holding up? Are your closets cleaned out yet? I made my to-do list but haven’t checked anything off yet…typical! Take care, everyone!

 

Dispatches from Home Part 1

Well hello there! How’s everyone’s social distancing going? I am such a homebody, this is fitting right in with my lifestyle, but some people (not naming any names *cough*cough*) are already having a hard time staying home and they are wanting to go get a haircut, go to the gym, go out to dinner with friends, and run errands. I sent him outside for a run today while I caught up on Schitt’s Creek. I did leave the house today to go vote. I’m not sure it was the right decision because the early voting location was busy and the voting booths were crowded close together, but I was afraid I’d get sick or things would be more risky on Tuesday (our actual primary day in Illinois.) I’m going to try to use my time at home wisely (hello closet clean-out!) and try to treat myself to some little indulgences. We bought this yuzu jam in Japan so I made toast for breakfast. Toast is the best indulgence. Oh and I completed our Census questionnaire online. I didn’t want it to get lost on my desk, so I figured it was as good a time as any!

Tomorrow I hope to spend my day writing letters and playing around with my typewriters. And I want to work on my to-do list for while I am home a little more. (Though I am still working my regular schedule for now.) Oh and I have to finish my book for book club, which probably isn’t happening in person this month.

Are you doing anything fun or interesting while you are staying home?

I hope no matter where you are, you are taking care!

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