Self-isolation, make this time count

At least spring is coming

In the Northern hemisphere, we are close to the first day of spring. Although, spring can be cold and windy in some parts of Canada, for instance, Ontario, we are almost there. Temperatures are getting milder and gradually increasing. That means garden and outside work can start soon. Lucky people, who have a greenhouse! What better time to self-isolate and provide oneself with fresh produce as early as possible?

The issues we are facing right now also point out some attitudes and behaviors which we should have gotten rid anyway.

Switching to self-entertaining

Many industries, establishments and businesses were doing just that: entertaining. Based on recent literature and consumer response, we can see how much pressure is put on anybody whether they are a teacher, a social worker, an event organizer or simply a parent to be able to entertain. Some people assume it a normal way of life; to always expect that somebody has to entertain you.  Normal way of life is finding one’s personal entertaining hobbies, activities and passion in what we love doing. When we have an idea what makes us feeling good and whole, we do not need somebody entertaining us every minute of the day or night. Lots of people do not know how to spend time in self-isolation because they have always relayed on somebody else, who makes their life interesting. It’ s time now to switch to entertaining oneself.

How about self-discovery?

Maybe it won’t, unless one wants to spend their entire time in front of a screen. For those, who feel fine, but are required to completely self-isolate, this is good time to engage in self-discovery and to try completely new things which are important, but were neglected because of the busy life of meetings, parties, dinners, travel and shopping. Maybe this time, somebody will learn how to listen to nature. Maybe need will make one dig up their backyard this year and engage in gardening. Somebody might start exploring backyard animals and birds, their funny habits, watch and take photos of them or start journaling, sketching and painting.

Limited choice means a lot of choice still

I heard some people being upset and complaining they couldn’t dine out and attend concerts and theatres. Tough or what? It is actually the same as usual for our family: we never liked dining or eating out and always preferred to cook from scratch. Being a good cook is a talent I inherited from my parents and kept developing with innovation. I am very happy that I can cook anything of just a few products or you could say nothing. I suppose, creative people are creative in any area of life. There are 2 main distinctive approaches: one is consumer’s approach, the other is creator’s approach.

Consumer’s reality

What do we need to buy or get to be safe and happy? If you are a person, whose happiness depends on things and purchases, you will need to buy a lot and also, in conditions of decreased manufacturing and production output, many things will be not available. That will make consumer upset. Stores will be closed for a while, except basic groceries and pharmacies, and restaurants, cafes, clubs and for that matter any catering services except for takeouts and deliveries are already closed in Ontario. Anything ready-made is much more expensive, too. We ordered a few times delivered food and it was of such a poor quality compared to what I cook. I was simply recovering after a recent surgery and couldn’t do much for while. I cannot imagine how bad it would be to always order ready-made food. We also ordered groceries once and it wasn’t really how you buy them at the store. No 2 pieces of meat are the same and things like vegetables or simple potatoes come in very different sorts for different purposes.

Creator’s reality

My mind always works like that: how could I repurpose this particular thing? What can I make of these items? What can I use to fit this function? Something like that. I do cooking, gardening, sewing, crafting, decoration and obviously art. I have done this for about 50 years, and I can literary make anything I need, that would include simple furniture and all items necessary for winter, spring, summer or fall, including hats, purses, gloves, bags and similar items. I always regretted I cannot make shoes and boots. When you feel that you can create anything you need, you start feeling very calm and very relaxed. I don’t think every person will start sewing and cooking or gardening, but it makes one independent and saves huge amounts of money.

Self-isolation activities

Start with outdoors, seeding and planting

Not everybody has a backyard or lives on a farm, but most people have access to some kind of outdoor space where it is possible to place some pots or boxes with soil or planting substrate. I always s wanted to live in a detached house with a backyard. We have been moving a lot, but that didn’t stop me from creating a new garden wherever I went. You might say it is a lot of work. It is heavy work and it means physical work until we get things going. However, doing physical work outdoors in fresh air is the absolutely best thing for a human. It is way better than any gym. The heaviest part and most boring is soil preparation.

Container garden versus permanent garden

My current personal situation is such that I have no suitable area in our large backyard for plant beds. Since there are only rocks beneath the grass coverage, I went containers last spring. I learned a few things. It is better to put only that many seeds as many plants you expect to come up, plus maybe 1 or 2, in a container or pot. It is better not replant cucumbers, zucchinis, lettuce and similar plants, and you cannot successfully replant dill, radish and small arugula or spinach, for that matter any similar small-leaf vegetables which can be consumed right away from the first tiny leaves. In my experience, anything grows well in container, as long as we can provide with efficient depth of soil. Advantage of container gardening is that you can move pots, boxes, bags or other containers around to have more sun or shadow as required.

Start up creative activities

It is a very suitable time to start something new. If you never tried the above mentioned things and only used services, choose one area. You’d be amazed how much pleasure is using creative approach to any restrictive situation with limited choices. It will literary drive your creativity and teach something new about yourself, too.

I have no classes at the moment, I intend to describe these activities in more detail, as well as give practical advice for beginners. One thing I definitely have in abundance is experience. I don’t mind sharing it.

If you only click on “like” from Reader, you will probably never know what I am writing about. I usually do not return 10 likes when somebody hasn’t read any of my posts and doesn’t have an idea about what my 2 blogs are about.

31 thoughts on “Self-isolation, make this time count

  1. I can only agree with you about creativity, Inese.
    When we are creative in one way, we also tend to think creative in other ways like cooking, gardening, create art etc.
    This might save us for much money and give satisfaction to be able to do the things by ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Irene! I simply felt like I had to remind that. We’ve gotten so far that we need to ask an expert what to do with kid at home and how to spend our time when we work from home.
      People are way out of reality and it always goes one way or another and from one ditch into the other. Reality is very simple, and using our creativity we decrease the need for many things which will be shortage of at the store. We already have here empty shelves at some grocery stores. I wanted just to remind that we can also create as opposed to only consume amidst this mass panic.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hear you, Inese.
        Spain is totally closed down here now and the shelves were very empty in the first days.
        Even I like to cook from scratch, I couldn’t buy any good and fresh products without needing to visit several supermarkets to get a little here and there.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I know we have to get some products. We can still limit ourselves to what we really need as opposed to what fits in shopping cart. I think that will pass after a while.
        Ontario has declared emergency situation and Canada has closed borders, too. Restaurants and any catering service places are closed and I think everything else is as in Europe.
        I meant that for people, who cook everything (and know how to do that) it’s not such a big deal. Such people are minority, though. It’s also eathier to survive such situations when somebody knows how to be fine with themselves, alone, but not lonely. Staying busy helps always and physical work in the garden is really good and fits the purpose very well.
        Stay safe!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I suppose you mean that what I suggested is great. I am trying to figure out how to quickly set up a small greenhouse at the moment. Gardening and planting has always been my passion, and I am very good at it. My mom did gardening for as long as she lived and my sister does it, even my daughter, who is not passionate about it, still plants some flowers and basic greens and vegetables. I think also it’s a good time to bake my own bread.
      Other than that, news are horrible and I basically listen to news for 10 minutes and then turn to other things which do not involve COVID-19.


  2. This is good advice, Inese. If there is a silver lining to this virus epidemic, it will be that people rethink their lives and what is truly important to them, and hopefully engaging in at least some of the healthy things you mention. I am fortunate to live on a farm, and enjoy the space around me.

    Mornings have been cold here, but rising into the 50s or 60s on sunny days. The sun feels good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Lavinia! There is always something enlightening that comes out of disastrous situations. The pollution has decreased to huge extent, just showing how abnormally air traffic pollutes our air. This pandemic is really caused by virus and also gaps in our knowledge. Now, when we are starting to get some scientifically proven facts and we can use experience of other countries, it becomes the matter of responsibility.
      This situation probably serves as a reminder that we can live with way less as long as we can stay alive. I believe many people will have to rethink and re-evaluate their priorities. I am shocked by the bad outcome in European countries and I feel sad about lack of hospiral beds and any emergency aid. This situation also shows that we are not ready for major disasters.
      I know your farm is so amazing. I would think you are just doing what you always do in spring.
      I have no good soil in this place, but like I said, I use containers.
      I’m just waiting for the next week when it looks like the temperature will stay in a better range.
      Well, Canadian houses are extremely disfunctional. I have been thinking about that many times, and wondering, too, since there is no place for doing things, no good place for studio, workshop, office, sewing room, etc. I do not intend to use basement because I need a lot of daylight.
      Quite honestly, I’ve been in isolation for the last 6 or 7 years when the surgeries started and I just had one more last week. Happy, it’s over because I would not want to be at any medical place right now. I am just happy the spring will be here soon because nothing makes me fell better than plants coming up.
      Stay safe and take a good care about yourself and family!


  3. I’ve been absent from blogging for so long… it will take awhile to catch up. It seems you’ve been having some medical issues still. I hope you start to feel better soon. I always look forward to spring. We only have a small balcony to put some potted plants, but at least I can see them from my living room…. anyway take care Inese Diane

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Diane! I was thinking about you sometimes. I hope you are staying safe and not going out or getting in touch with people from outside.
      I had a surgery once again, the same post-accident issues. It takes a very long time and very many surgeries to fix them. I’m fine, seeding, planting some stuff. Painting, drawing, creating materials for online. I am fine, just tired because of medications.
      I am used to isolation, so, no change in that regard, have been in isolation for some 6-7 years. I am never bored, though and I like to have no disruptions and disturbances. It makes me wonder when I hear and read how people assume staying home some kind of a jail time or something.
      I don’t know, I always have so much what to do, basically, I do not get that. Everyone had complaining they had no time for anything and now they’re complaining there is so much time and nothing to do.
      I hope you take good care of yourself and can spend some time in the garden. It is going to be warmer after a while, so, make the best of this spring while staying in your garden and home. Thanks for visiting!


  4. as usually, we think alike on many subjects
    I also never understood how people can live a life where they expect others to entertain them and to have everything done for them
    as for quickly setting up a green house:
    you could just nail a solid plastic foil to some simple wooden construction or to a wall
    I thought of doing that at first, but then decided that I have enough work with the garden and all the plants I grow inside the house
    the window sills also make a great green house and one could f.ex. grow tomatoes there
    you can also put a table in front of your window and have plants on it

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, when we depend on ourselves only, many things are so much easier. I simply read how somebody said they were in despair because of how to entertain kids. I think some things are really off in our modern society. Many people lack basic work skills, like even taking care about themselves, not to mention supplying their meny with home-grown produce.
      I wrote next article about weeds. They look so attractive already! I’m adding them to menu.
      For green house, I have many designs, but not enough materials. I have built many greenhouses before. I need nails and some wood, but it’s getting warmer already, so, I might just survive with something simpler for now. I will come up with something. Most of stores are closed, and I personally do not go anywhere at all. Not a big deal. So far, Canadian spring is cooperating.
      I’m taking all pots outside today. I will cover them up at night, but day temperatures are suitable for many plants, like all herbs, radishes, lettuce, green onions and so on. In a month, I will have all my own greens.
      I am actually going outside right now,
      Stay safe!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. As usually, we think much alike.
        In our family we have similar ideas and values and also feel amazed about what the rest of society considers to be a problem.
        The only thing… we’re not such gifted gardeners – yet. Our fruit supply is great, but I am a bit nervous about as to how our veggies will turn out.
        We’re right now investing a lot of time in the garden, so let’s hope we’re doing things well enough to get a good result.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Since some businesses will be reopening, I’ve heard already that people say we are over it, and that sounds so scary. Hence, we are not over anything yet. THe infection numbers we have come from approximately 3% of population being tested. I cannot imagine what these numbers would be with 100% testing!
        Overcoming viral infection was always associated with some residual side-effects. Since this virus causes extreme blood clotting, we could probably expect higher risk of strokes and cardiac issues, lung embolism, as well thrombosis in veins.
        Gardening is probably the best thing one can do considering the circumstances. I just love the 100% better taste and 100% more flavor in such home-grown veggies. You cannot also forget that you either will fertilize sparsely or with organic fertilizer and you most likely will not use any pesticides.
        I am impatiently waiting for the weather to get warmer. I noticed I used 100% for 3 times already. Funny!
        I hope it goes well at your end!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I couldn’t agree with you more; these are also my worries.
        I think people are just too uneducated and can’t tell the difference between things that are a threat and those that aren’t.
        And then there are of course those who are just plain stupid and or greedy.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Exactly my point. There is complete lack of common sense and knowledge. People are also buying the simple fabric masks. Like for what? They don’t really do anything when it comes to medically significant virus transfer prevention.
        That is always the issue: little knowledge, stupidity and/or ignorance. I think in the States, people in the huge cities are totally not observing any discipline and that’s why their numbers got up so high.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. yep, that’s also what I am upset and worried about
        you have f.ex. all kinds of jerks demonstrating to reopen and nurses demonstrating against that demonstration and then they get attacked
        who is supposed to treat those nutbags once they got infected?
        people think they can treat the medical stuff like dirt, expect them to work 16 hours a day in totally inhumane conditions – but if they die who is then there to treat those who have been egoistic and irresponsible?

        Liked by 1 person

      6. This is a big lesson which our society isn’t ready to take.
        Sometimes, it’s dumbness, selfishness, sometimes ignorance.
        Medical staff is in bad situation, no doubt about that. Until the vaccine, we are going to be probably locked down, then we reopen, then close down some, then reopen again. If we were responsible and disciplined, we wouldn’t even need the lockdowns. It’s just so that if there isn’t a fine, or restriction, or order, people don’t give anything about it.
        This century stands out by a total lack of common sense, in all regards.


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