Making Progress (May 24th Update)

I switched from part-time to full-time hours this week.  In addition to entering new products for our website, I am also needed to test the new computer system we will be switching to later this year.  I had definitely gotten used to my lazy afternoons reading and relaxing with Baxter, so this week was an abrupt change to my system!  I am very glad to have full-time work, though, especially with Joe’s job ending in just a few weeks.

Michael has one more week to finish up his school assignments. School was originally supposed to end the first Friday in June, but I’m not sure now if he will be doing anything that last week. I’m waiting to hear when we can return his library books. His case manager did tell me he can just hold onto his laptop for next year.

Baxter’s first birthday is coming up in just over two weeks, so I purchased a couple of birthday presents for him and got the supplies I needed to make a dog-friendly cake. He has been making a bit of trouble lately, pulling insulation out of a hole in our wall and somehow even detaching a couple of pieces of trim from the wall as well. I’m hoping Joe can get those all fixed soon so Baxter can’t bother them anymore. Here’s a picture of him being good, lol!

The Governor announced Friday that our county would move from red to yellow on May 29th. I don’t think much will change for us though. The only thing I’m hopeful for is that they will open the dog park, but I’m not sure if they will.

Some Big Changes (May 17th Update)


After several weeks of things being the same on end, we have had a couple of big changes occur.

Joe found out on Monday that his job is ending in July. His company has been bought out, and the new owner is shutting down his entire facility. It was a surprise, for sure, but I’m trusting that God will provide. We have survived my work getting cut in half, and we can survive this.

In other news, we are getting our house re-sided. There was some major wind damage a few weeks ago and after weighing our options we decided to go ahead with it. Thankfully the insurance company is covering the damaged areas. We chose a pretty light gray to replace the white that we had before.

Everything else is pretty much the same. I might be going back to full time hours soon because we need to restart testing on our new system, but I haven’t been given a date for that yet.

Our county is still in the red zone, which means we are still under a stay-at-home order. No word yet on when we will move to the yellow phase of reopening.

Happy Mother’s Day! (May 10th Update)

happy mothers day card beside pen macaroons flowers and box near coffee cup with saucer
Photo by on

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there. Whether you are a biological mother, adoptive mother, stepmother, foster mom or a mom in spirit, I pray you will be blessed today.

There’s not too much in the way of an update on the COVID-19 situation. Governor Wolf has extended the stay at home order until June 4th, although certain counties have moved into what he is calling the yellow phase of reopening. Even there, people are still asked to wear masks and practice social distancing (staying 6′ apart). Our county still has too many cases to move out of the red zone.

I’m still working part-time and collecting partial unemployment for the reduced hours. Joe is still going to work everyday, and Michael is still doing school online. Michael had a bit of frustration on Friday when he found out that he had missed some assignments because they weren’t showing up where he thought they were supposed to. He met with the autistic support teacher over Zoom, and she helped him find everything and figure out what needed to be done.

My support group that has been using a conference call line since the lockdown is going to switch to Zoom this coming week. Although I have enjoyed the conference calls, it will be nice to see everyone’s faces again. This is also the last week for my Zoom Bible study on Ruth. That has been a bit different than I expected due to the fact that the whole session is only half an hour and we watch a short video each week, so there isn’t much time to really share our thoughts on what we have studied. I’m glad there were only a few participants, as that made it easier to get to know people and to feel comfortable speaking in the group.

I got a new desk pad/mouse mat today – Joe had recommended I get one and I’m glad I did – it’s very pretty!


So that’s my update for this week. I hope everyone is staying safe and has a good Mother’s Day!

How Are We Coping? (May 3rd Update)


For this week’s update, I thought I would talk about how each of us is coping with the lockdown.

I am settling in to staying at home fairly well now.  For a few weeks, I was having a lot of trouble relaxing enough to read or watch shows much, but now I am doing both of those things more.  I am working in the mornings and then am on call for the afternoon to enter products if needed.  I make the occasional trip out to the grocery store or pharmacy.  When I can get a grocery delivery or pickup slot, I take it – this has been about every two weeks, so I am trying to order enough food to last that amount of time.  I was doing well at meal planning at the beginning of the lockdown, but it has been getting harder and harder to figure out what to make.

Michael has been experiencing some frustration with online learning.  His laptop keeps crashing, especially the internet browser, and it is really causing some stress.  I don’t think the assignments are too difficult; it mainly seems related to technology issues.  He also misses his social skills group and D&D games, although he is still seeing his dad at the usual times.

Joe doesn’t seem too bothered by the whole situation.  He still goes to work as normal, although there are extra safety measures in place there, such as temperature checks, wearing gloves and masks, and additional cleaning routines.  In the evenings, he plays his online PC video games and watches a little YouTube.

Baxter is definitely missing his trips to the dog park.  He whines to go out a lot more and is begging a lot at mealtime.  He also gets overexcited sometimes when he is playing and has a hard time settling down.  Joe has been taking him on walks after work, and I have been occasionally taking him to an open park in another township that has a fenced in tennis court where he can run for a while.  It’s not the same as getting to run and play with other dogs, though.

Peanut Butter seems pretty much the same.  The dog is bothering him a bit more than usual, but he mostly hangs out in our bedroom or up on the cat tree, so life is fairly normal for him.

So that’s the update for this week.  How are you doing with everything?


April 26th Update


Monday – I was so productive today. I’m not sure where all the energy came from, but I got a lot done. I answered a bunch of emails, updated my budget in YNAB, sent family tree updates and photos to my aunt, renewed our car’s registration, and even mailed two ebay items that had sold on Saturday. Also, my new office chair arrived today, and Joe put it together for me when he got home from work. I love it!

Tuesday – Another pretty good day. Worked a bit extra in the afternoon to get some new products entered in the system and then had my first experience with a telehealth appointment. Michael met with his psychiatric nurse practitioner. It was short and sweet, just checking in on how he is handling the lockdown and making sure his meds are all good.

Baxter has learned how to open the closet door in the bedroom and keeps getting out slippers and other shoes to chew on. I asked Joe about putting a latch on the door, so hopefully he will be able to figure out a solution!

Wednesday – I am struggling with the Bible study on Ruth that I am part of. We get an email each morning with a few verses to read and some questions to answer, but I find that the questions seem very subjective. Many of them ask me to discern what the people were thinking or feeling, which is definitely not a strong suit of mine due to the way my Aspie brain works. This all makes me nervous for the Zoom call tomorrow evening, wondering what I will have to contribute to the discussion. This is besides my normal anxiety surrounding a group social interaction.

Thursday – My Bible study meeting went well. Just like I do with my support group, I prayed beforehand that God would give me something to share that would fit in with the topic of the meeting, and I was able to share something appropriate to the discussion.

On the book front, a title I have been waiting for from the online library app came through, plus my mom sent me a book that had a really long wait time online. So I am currently reading Golden in Death by J.D. Robb and Eye Spy by Mercedes Lackey.

Friday – Today Michael and I had a phone meeting with OVR (Office of Vocational Rehabilitation) to talk about his needs and interests. They will get info from his psychiatrist and psychologist to determine eligibility and then we will go from there. One of the things they will pay for is an evaluation by an occupational therapist to see if Michael is ready to learn to drive. He does want to learn but boy am I nervous about the idea. I’m open to hearing what a professional has to say about it though.

Worked a few extra hours today to get a bunch of new products in the system. Not sure yet if I’m supposed to just claim the additional time or work less on Monday and Tuesday.

Saturday – I ordered a new face mask today. The ones I got originally were just white, and they are kind of boring. So I found a pretty blue one and ordered it.

blue face mask

I also attended the first of three free workshops on creating your dream budget hosted by Nick True from Mapped Out Money. He is a YNAB guru with a great YouTube channel and a new podcast that I enjoy. I got some great ideas today and am looking forward to the next two sessions.

Sunday – plans for today are to attend church online and make Parmesan Drumsticks for lunch. Plus spend some more time reading my books.

The stay at home order has been extended to May 8th, with a progressive lifting after that for certain regions and businesses. I haven’t been out anywhere this week, although I do need to make a trip to the pharmacy.

I hope you all are staying safe and healthy. God bless!

April 19th Update

Photo by Edward Jenner on

Just one trip out this week. A friend of mine found some toilet paper at a store near her house and bought it for us. So we drove down to get it yesterday. She also has a fenced in backyard and we were able to let Baxter run around for a while. While he played, we chatted, maintaining social distancing, of course. It was a nice outing for everyone!

I have a grocery pickup scheduled for this evening, but that will be contactless as they will just load the groceries in the back and are no longer requiring a signature on the invoice.

We have started a tradition of ordering takeout or delivery on Friday evenings. It’s been very nice to have a break from cooking. So far we have ordered from Arooga’s (soup and salad), Red Robin (burger and fries), and Red Lobster (two kinds of shrimp!).

I have had a little bit more social contact this week – albeit virtual. My twelve step group is meeting weekly via a conference call, and I am really appreciating that. I had not been going for a while, but this is helping me get back into the habit of attending. I also joined a Bible study through my church that is meeting on Zoom. It started on Thursday night and goes for five weeks. We are studying the book of Ruth.

The books I have read this week are The Fifth Avenue Story Society by Rachel Hauck and Smart Women Finish Rich by David Bach. I also have the Asperger’s Syndrome Workplace Survival Guide by Barbara Bissonette on my currently reading shelf, but it has honestly been there for a few years. I started reading it back when I was still working in an office, but now that I work from home it doesn’t seem as relevant. It is a good book, though, and I do plan to finish it someday. It just keeps getting bumped by other titles.

I am learning a lot from my Excel course. The package I bought includes six classes, and I am about 40% through the first one. So far I have learned a lot of functions, as well as a few fun hacks that make things a little easier.

Although I am finding a new routine during this stay at home period, it has also been a sobering time. Besides the stories you see on the news, I had a closer connection with one victim – a friend of a relative passed away from the virus within 7 days of showing symptoms, and she was otherwise healthy and younger than me. I am so sad for her family and friends and even more committed to staying at home as much as possible while this situation continues.

Happy Easter (April 12th Update)

white petaled flower bouquet on white surface

Happy Easter! Normally we would be getting together with my husband’s family for a big dinner to celebrate Easter, but today it will just be the three of us at home. I plan to call both my mom and my dad this afternoon as well.

Friday night we watched the livestream from our church of the Easter service. The worship was amazing and I really appreciated the message. I am so glad we can still have church during this time!

I wanted to post an update on the last week, so here goes:

  • I’m filing my second biweekly unemployment claim today for my reduced hours. I believe at least one of the weeks will qualify for the additional money from the stimulus bill, which would be a huge help.
  • Schools in our state are officially closed for the rest of the school year. Michael has been on spring break for the last few days, but will start new instruction and assignments for the fourth quarter online this coming Tuesday.
  • We have been asked by the governor to wear a mask anytime we leave the house. I ordered some for us off Etsy and was pleasantly surprised by the quality when I got them. I wore mine for the first time picking up our to go order from Red Robin on Friday night. I also made a trip to the grocery store yesterday to stock up for the week.
  • There were no grocery deliveries available for the next two weeks, but I was able to schedule a pickup for next Sunday. I’m going to try to get two weeks worth of groceries in that order so I can avoid having to go to the store again.
  • We are down to two rolls of toilet paper. I did score a box of flushable wipes the other week, so it looks like we will have to start using those soon. I read that you shouldn’t actually flush them because they don’t break down properly and cause problems at the sewer plant.
  • Since the park near us, which includes a dog park, is closed, I took Baxter to a park that had an enclosed tennis court and let him run around in there for a while. We left when some people arrived to play tennis.
  • I signed up for an online Excel course this week and have started going through these first part. It’s something I have wanted to do for a while, especially since the person at my job who always helped me out with spreadsheet stuff is no longer there. I have very little knowledge of the program and am looking forward to learning a lot.

So that’s the update from our little corner of the world. I hope you are staying safe and healthy.