Tag Archives: Living in the Covid-19 world

Life During Covid-19 Part 11

8 May

Another Sunday Drive

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Before I begin to recount my week, let me say that Thursday was a beautiful Florida day. The temperature didn’t move out of the 70s and there was a nice breeze. These days are rare in May and I savored it.

Sunday began as usual during this pandemic. I woke earlier than the family as I wanted to catch one of our local churches 8:15 am service. It’s very contemporary and I don’t think I would enjoy being in attendance at the service, but I do enjoy the pastor’s messages and I admire how the church serves our community.

My husband wasn’t feeling the best so we didn’t make any plans for the rest of the day. The milkweed our daughter planted last year had been visited by caterpillars this spring. We think Sunday was the coming out day of a beautiful monarch. According to fellow blogger, Melody Hendrix, a newly emerged butterfly will remain motionless on a leaf as it drys its new wings. Rebekah was able to get a beautiful photo.

Rebekah’s gardenia bush is blooming and was visited as well.

Late in the afternoon, my husband perked up and we decided to explore Peacock’s Pocket, a road in the marsh that we missed last week. The road was a lot wider and less rough than last week…at least in the beginning.

This drive took us quite close to Kennedy Space Center and we had several views of the VAB-Vehicle Assembly Building, where spacecraft from Mercury to the space shuttles were processed.

Peacock’s Pocket road ended at the Indian River with a wide turn around area. Several people were fishing and one family complete with a dog had set up a canopy for shade and were hanging out together.

We have lived near the banks of the Indian River with its view of the space center for 49 years and I haven’t tired of it. I appreciate the blending of nature and space technology.

We couldn’t end the drive without a father/daughter photo. The sun was shining in their faces and I was not their favorite person at that moment. I think my husband has decided to not shave until the travel restrictions are lifted!

Monday our daughter received an email announcing the opening of one of her favorite shops. She needed a throw rug for the kitchen floor she and her father had installed and was happy to get the news. I went along to the store as well as her decor consultant. Since it is a small store, I wore a mask and armed myself with hand sanitizer.

And that pretty much sums up my week’s outings except for Wednesday grocery shopping. For reading, I finished a cheesy Regency audio book ( my antidote to the toxic political climate) and started book two in a mystery series written by a local author. I’ve begun a new evening devotional read titled, Draw the Circle by Mark Batterson, The 40 Day Prayer Challenge. I had been wanting to read it for quite some time. I am on day 8 and am enjoying the insights on prayer.

I would like to wish a happy Mother’s Day to each of the moms out there and if your mother is alive, cherish her and make he feel special. Trust me, you will miss her more than you can imagine when she is gone.

I'm a winnerAfter my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  where we frequently host the best in up and coming authors.

My 2019 goal is to use my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media. You can visit Real Life Books and Media You Tube Channel if you would like to view some of the mini-videos I have created for our church, Gateway Community in Titusville, Fl.

Life During Covid-19 Part 10

1 May

Bring Back the Sunday Drive

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Our daughter began working from home last Monday. Due to furloughs of most of her coworkers, she was assigned the evening shift all week but day shift on Saturdays. My husband and I teased her that now she would know what  “Safe at Home” really felt like.  

All went smoothly until Saturday. Once her shift was over she was restless and I thought she was exhibiting signs of safe at home-itis. Finally she said, I’m going for a drive, do you want to come with me? Of course I said yes.  As she drove she began to relax. Her normal work routine involves an hour commute. Turns out the commute was her post work decompression time.

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

Sunday morning we watched a couple of church services before deciding what to do with the rest of the day. I suggested a Sunday drive. The day was beautiful and I thought getting safely out of the house would be good for all of us. We filled water bottles and grabbed our cameras and headed out to drive the Merritt Island Wildlife Drive.

The drive is an unpaved one-lane road. Unless it is prime birding season it isn’t heavily traveled.  Sunday, it was heavily traveled. It was good to see families out enjoying nature. I’m glad that even though the bathrooms were closed due to the shutdown, the drive was open.

There was another drive we had wanted to explore for quite a while but we didn’t want to drive it in our car.  Fortunately, in early March we made a quick trip to North Carolina and exchanged our car for my husband’s truck. (That’s a whole other story) The unpaved road aptly named Gator Creek Road winds through the marshes between the Indian River and the beach.

  It is two-way traffic but in places, it is barely wide enough and one vehicle has to pull to the side. We expected it to be deserted. We were wrong.  There were a lot of families fishing, sunbathing and enjoying the water.

This is one of my favorite pictures of the day.  The couple had their fishing poles cast out and had everything they needed… a cooler, tackle boxes and each other.

On our way to the wild life drive, we drove past a riverside boat ramp and park. Both were packed with cars. I snapped a picture of the park on the way home. It was still packed. People were not 6 feet apart but while their car were jammed they weren’t jammed together outside of their family. A lot were on jet skis or cooling off in the water. I was happy to see families enjoying spending time outdoors together. 

Monday and Tuesday were safe at home ho-hum.  The bright spot for me on Monday was I made my first beef brisket.  I cooked it for 6 hours at 250 degrees. It turned out really well. Next time I hope we can cook one in our new smoker. That is if we can get meat by the time we return to North Carolina.  I also made bacon jam. I couldn’t imagine how it would taste but it turned out delicious and went well with the brisket.

Tuesday wasn’t a good day for my husband. I had placed a pick up order at Sam’s Club and he drove me down there, then spent the remainder of the day resting. The warehouse club is in a nearby city that has a higher number of virus cases than our town and I didn’t want to spend time in the store.

Our grocery day seems to have switched to Wednesday while we are safe at home. My daughter and I went to Target first to pick up some grocery and non-grocery items.  I feel comfortable shopping there as it is not crowded and social distancing is adhered to. The previous week I wanted to buy two packages of parchment cupcake liners but there was only one on the shelf.  ( Target is the only store in our town that carries them) I was hoping to get another one. I can order online but it is double the price. Have you shopped in the baking aisle of the grocery stores? Target’s shelves were almost empty of cake and cookies mixes. Apparently there is also a shortage of yeast. Americans are baking as never before. Boredom baking or baking with the family? I am curious, is it this way in your town or country? 

By the way, have you noticed all the families riding bikes? I have heard that bicycle stores are doing a booming business. When we were in Target the bike section only had two for sale. I hope this trend continues.

Our next stop was Aldi. It is a smaller store so I wear a mask and carry hand sanitizer. They have done an excellent job of keeping food on the shelves. Eggs were scarce for a couple of weeks but seem to be fine now. I was even able to buy potting soil they had as a special deal. Their meat choices were limited so I placed a pick up order with Wal-Mart.  Fingers crossed that when I pick it up tomorrow, the meat will be there. Wal-Mart is always busy and I haven’t been brave enough to go inside once the virus began spreading.

Wednesday our Florida governor shared his plan for business to resume.  It is going to be a slow roll beginning May 4th. To my despair, hair salons are not included. I am now looking for an underground hair stylist.

I’m not sure why, but Thursday Hobby Lobby announced that it would be reopening in our town. Oh happy day!  Later in the day an email arrived announcing the reopening of Tuesday Morning on Friday. My daughter has been pining to shop there. I’m sure she will be there when they open, socially distant, of course.

That’s the story of my week, well except for books I am reading, social media work and an online Bible study on the book of Job. What was your week like? Have you discovered a favorite restaurant for take out, a new hobby or a television show to binge watch>

I'm a winnerAfter my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  where we frequently host the best in up and coming authors.

My 2019 goal is to use my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media. You can visit Real Life Books and Media You Tube Channel if you would like to view some of the mini-videos I have created for our church, Gateway Community in Titusville, Fl.

Daily Life During Covid-19 Part 3

23 Mar

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

It occurred to me today, that I appear to have a need to write about our daily experiences during this virus. Which is odd since coming up with one blog a week is a challenge.

The whole Coronavirus experience seems surreal. How could daily life change drastically in such a short amount of time? Of course this happened when we made the decision to not stuff the refrigerator freezer full to the point I had no idea what was in it.

Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay

On Saturday I placed an online order with Sam’s Club, a warehouse store. I couldn’t choose a pick up day or time, but was assigned Monday from 9am to 10 am. I had the best experience!

The main item in my order was gloves. I have been hand sanitizing like crazy and am over it. When I presented at the pick up station, the worker informed me they were out of the gloves. I was bummed but reminded myself to be nice and not rant. I thanked her for my order and began making my way toward the pharmacy hoping to score some hand sanitizer. I hadn’t gone far when the worker tracked me down and handed me a package of gloves! She had a big smile and told me she found some gloves!

Photo credit Mountain Side Medical

I made a quick sweep through the store looking for things I was running low on. They had toilet paper! I was thankful we didn’t need any but I wanted to tell the world they had it. In the meat section I was able to get a package of chicken breasts. It should give us two or three meals.

In the afternoon we had to drive to Melbourne for my husband to have a medical test. On the way home, would you believe he asked me to go back into Sam’s, risking my life, to get him some eye drops? I grabbed a sanitizer cloth on the way in and used it at the checkout for punching in my card code. It was encouraging to see cashier type people wiping down the terminals after each use.

Thank you, God for people who are working to keep food on the shelves. I pray health and blessings over them.

I am excited to see all of the sharing of information on Social media. With schools being closed universities, NASA and Disney are providing free educational opportunities and I am certain many others are as well. Museums and zoos are providing virtual tours and even the film industry is providing paid streaming options. For the younger ones, groups are offering downloadable coloring pages. Even in this scary time, I see so much good around me.

And how cool is it that distilleries are switching from alcohol production to hand sanitizer? At first I heard of one or two small ones and then Anheuser- Busch volunteered to switch from beer to sanitizer as well. I knew they switched during natural disasters to provide water, but this is way cool.

All over the country businesses and manufacturing are volunteering to switch over from their normal products to make whatever is needed, ventilator parts, respirator masks etc. The outpouring of “we can do this” is heartwarming. I even saw a Facebook post for people who use the Cricut machine to make face masks!


It brings to mind WWII stories of women rolling bandages for the war effort.

Getting back to hand sanitizer, we don’t have a lot, one of the reasons for getting the gloves. Yesterday I placed an online order with Publix Supermarkets as they listed it on their online store. I didn’t want to pay $7.99 for delivery but it would be worth it, if we could set the sanitizer. An hour before delivery today, I received a text that the store didn’t have it. I was bummed. I wanted to cancel the rest of the order but felt that would be penalizing the InstaCart shopper.

This was my first experience with delivery. I have learned online ordering for pickup, doesn’t guarantee I will get my items. I was kind of shocked by that. The same goes with delivery, I guess. I imagine if one doesn’t order something in short supply, a suitable item would have been substituted.

We don’t have an Ikea near our home in the mountains so when we are in Florida, I like to shop there. I am a confessed Snapware addict and Ikea has some nice ones for very reasonable pricing. I really like the ones that are glass bottoms with the snap tops. I had planned to purchase more of them while in Florida. Ikea, like most stores except groceries is closed but open to pick up. In an effort to keep the economy healthy, I did my part and ordered. Our daughter works near Ikea and agreed to pick them up. She said they had an efficient system to maintain social distancing. Cars were instructed to pull into every other loading bay then an Ikea person brought the order to the car.

I think I now have enough food and supplies for two weeks. I’m still searching for hand sanitizer so if anyone locates some, let me know!

Until next time,


PS… I am praying that the drug combination trial being started in New York will be effective and we will see the end of this pandemic.

Daily Life During Covid-19 Part 2

21 Mar

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

I’m having trouble wrapping my mind around the new reality. It’s one thing to read of business closures, it’s another to actually see them. As I mentally planned a grocery run this morning, I weighed whether I should shop today or Sunday on the way home from church. Reality washed over me. Church is cancelled. Later, I was thinking about whether I needed to wash my hair tonight for church tomorrow. But wait church is cancelled.

My husband and I decided to make the food run today and pick up some medications. For his safety, I left my husband in the truck at the Winn-Dixie which had advertised beef roasts on sale. I didn’t get a shopping cart to reduce contamination and I made sure to keep my hands to myself. There were no beef roasts, or any meat except shellfish and fish.

I kid my husband about having a toilet paper obsession. He had it before Coronavirus. I am collecting the emptied rolls and plan to keep count of how close we came to running out. I discovered I have my own obsession…Duke’s Mayonnaise. I thought I was down to one extra jar and began to have anxiety. I had attempted to purchase some last week but Publix grocery was out. On our rounds we went to Target and I was able to get a jar. It’s not that I am picky. It’s that Duke’s has no sugar added and we don’t do sugar. When I went to put the prize in the pantry, I discovered two jars there. I think I may be an accidental hoarder.

Our last stop was at Aldi. Once again I didn’t use a shopping cart. I slipped my items into a canvas shopping bag. Their meat section was pretty bare as well, but had more than Winn-Dixie. I had hoped to get some chicken but no luck. Interesting that the meat available was primarily cuts of steak. Since we eat Keto, this was a good choice for us. Most people seemed to be maintaining distance and we lucked out with no check out line. I think we are set for the week for food.

Kindness is flourishing. One of our local restaurants, Cracker Barrel is offering milk and produce to those who need it and eggs, 30 for $3.00. Walt Disney World donated all of their food to the local food bank. A friend found a brown bag on her porch with toilet paper, a cookie, a bar of soap, and this sweet note. I love that parents are using this crisis to teach sharing and compassion.

Oh, I forgot to mention this! As we walked to our truck in the Aldi car park, my daughter and I spied a small plastic laundry basket on top of a car backing out of it’s space. The basket fell off and we weren’t able to retrieve it before the car drove off. I picked up the basket and placed in on the grass next to a hydrant. My husband pointed out that someone else had used the space for another item. On top of the hydrant is a pair of glasses.

With all the closures and shortages it was good to see an old friend still in stock. Sigh… we can’t eat them any longer, except one on our birthday or a trip to Gatlinburg, Tn. I hear they are having a sale. Two dozen donuts for $15.00

I hope you are staying healthy, have all you need and are blessed with peace in the midst of the chaos. Let’s pray for the sick and those who care for them. Thank the cashier at the store, the one serving and delivering food. Tip generously according to your means. Give thanks to the Lord for His mercies endure forever.

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