Living In Unprecedented Times…

Welcome to the 581st Metamorphosis Monday!

This morning I awoke at 4 AM and couldn’t go back to sleep. I retrieved my phone from my bedside table and opened the tab for my e-mail. I noticed an e-mail from Delta Airlines, the airline I almost always use when I travel. It was from Ed Bastain, the CEO of Delta and it began with the sentence, “We are in unprecedented times.”

Boy, are we ever! I’m in Ohio visiting with family. The schools here have all shut down and it appears they may be for the remainder of the school year. The Governor just announced the closure of all restaurants and bars, except for take-out. Before I left Georgia, this was the toilet paper/tissue/paper towel aisle in my local Publix Grocery Store.


I’m sure the grocery stores in your area look very similar.


Yesterday my son and I shopped in Whole Foods and the meat department looked just like those shelves above. Just before we left, they put out a few packets of chicken wings and we bought some for our supper. Together my son and daughter in law make the best wings! My dil prepares the marinade while my son does the grilling.

From what I’ve read and heard in the news, I know the empty shelves are just temporary. I’m sure it will take the stores a few days to restock after all the panic buying that’s been taking place, but I think we’ll see that happening very soon.

This is really a time for our families and communities to pull together and support one another, especially those most at risk like our senior citizens. Perhaps we could save them a trip to the store by giving them a call to see if there’s something they need on our next trip out to buy groceries. It’s those small acts of kindness that are really going to help us all get through this “unprecedented time.”

Please know, I will be posting as always. I have no plans to change my posting schedule. We need some things in our life that we can count on to remain the same, don’t we?

I was wondering what changes you’ll be making in your daily routines? Do you have plans to spend the next few weeks indoors a lot more? If so, how will you be spending that time?

I was thinking on the nicer days, this would be a great time for taking some long walks or doing a bit of hiking. We are all going to need some fresh air from time to time over the next few weeks to help ward off cabin fever.

This would be a great time to work on our spring cleaning, wouldn’t it? Spring fever hit me early this year and I actually got a head start on that a few weeks back.

Will you be catching up on your reading? Your needlework? Your sewing? Spring gardening?

This would be a great time to work a puzzle. This is one I completed this past winter and can definitely recommend it.


You’ll find it here: Medieval Castle Puzzle.


If you’re in a spring mood, this is one of my favorites.

Adjustable Puzzle Board, Tilts


You’ll find it available here: Flower Shoppe.

Flower Shoppe Puzzle


Please share in the comments some of your plans for the next few weeks–I would love to hear!

I’ll leave you with this funny photo I saw in the Instagram feed of “beaugentco” a few days ago. Under the photo he had written, “You win, Publix Bakery.” 🙂


Looking forward to all the wonderful Before and Afters linked for this week’s Met Monday!

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  1. I’m taking advantage of this time and catching up on all the things that I rarely have the time to do……………deep cleaning around the house, organizing drawers/closets, and painting my daughters bathroom and refreshing it a bit!! Take care everyone.

  2. Thanks for the note of both cheer and sanity, Susan. Stay safe!

  3. Carolyn Graves says

    I found your puzzle box/display interesting. Do you assemble your puzzle on the box? Since it is the size of your puzzle, I am wondering how you conveniently access the pieces during the assembly process. Love your posts. Thank you.

  4. It’s almost officially Spring. It’s a great time to prepare the soil or flower pots for planting. What about planting a Victory Garden like our parents, grandparents or great grandparents did during WWI and WWII? They planted vegetables, fruits and herbs in gardens at home as well as in parks.
    There are resources available online, through the county extension agents, etc. Then share, can, freeze, dry what you can’t use fresh. Be proactive and productive!

  5. it’s amazing how something that keeps all of us apart has brought us all together

  6. I went out snowshoeing yesterday, yes we still have alot of snow here in Upper Michigan. It was a sunny 41 degrees, and was so nice to be out in the fresh air. I plan on baking, cooking, and cleaning to keep busy. Trying to stay away from the stores for awhile as a method of social distancing. We don’t need anything so hunkering down will be my plan

  7. Susan, when I wrote my latest post last Wed, I was aware of the increasingly ramping up of precautions, and canceled my weekend trip to OH for antiquing with sisters on Thursday. Now it’s all about meal planning, rescheduling well dr appts, and just trying to get outside for walks. I will likely work on my purse collection (how ironic, as that is the subject of my post). Stay well. Even with ordering online, I have already sanitized one package before bringing inside. I’m keeping sanitizer by my door!

  8. Brenda Lawrence says

    Hi Susan, our stores are looking much the same I’ve been told. I haven’t been out since last Wed, so don’t know first hand. But my son said our toilet paper aisle was wiped out 3 Monday’s ago. Here in PA, it is counties/city counties that are the worst, none in my area. I’m sure it will come though, but to prevent the spreading, our Governor has closed down schools, and in counties that do have a bad “breakout”, has closed restaurants-take out or drive through only, and bars and such. Gas stations, pharmacies and grocery stores will remain open. I plan to do what I’ve been doing. I don’t go out a lot normally. So I will be taking care of the 3 dogs, keeping up with blogs, making handmade cards, on nice days going outside with the dogs, reading, etc…..So not will change a whole lot with me. I won’t be going to the senior center at our library every Wed because that has been closed, which is a good thing at this point in life. Stay healthy Susan! Hugs, Brenda

  9. Mary from Virginia says

    My husband teaches so he is home for the next two weeks, possibly longer should things get worse. We bought paint and will update our bedroom. Only one of us is looking forward to that. Haha!

    I own an events floral business and have nervous spring brides trying to decide if they’ll be able to have their weddings. Waiting to hear from them with their decisions. Flowers already ordered, I’m hoping the wholesale houses will be kind.

    It is indeed scary times.

  10. Franki Parde says

    Two weeks ago I bought a 2,000 pc puzzle home & a 1,000 piece puzzle…started washing all my tchotchkes and three books “I’ve been meaning” to read…sounds like we’re facing six weeks here in Central Virginia. Thankful for your blog!!! franki

  11. We just finished a bathroom remodel this week that we started in January, and it seemed to turn my house and routine upside down. When you move everything out of the master bath then takeover the guest bath, the extra decorative stuff gets moved into other rooms. Even the master bedroom got rearranged so nothing would get broken while workmen were going in and out. Now I don’t mind staying home to get my house back in order and do some spring decorating. The only negative for us during this crazy virus time is cooking more at home. For just my husband and myself it has gotten easier to eat out and I’m trying to get used to planning and cooking at home again. At least my husband doesn’t expect three meals a day. If I make a good meal for lunch he will have a snack or sandwich in the evening. We are fortunate to have activities to keep us busy at home and fortunate to be retired and not worried about keeping a business or job going. My prayers are with everyone who has to worry about going to work and take care of children during this time.

  12. Susan, I think that people will have the cleanest houses and best looking yards after the next few weeks go by. That is what I am planning…cleaning and gardening. And yes, planting more veggies this Spring (whenever it hits in MN!!) to make up for shortfalls, which are bound to happen. Also thinking of things to do for making the areas around me better…cleaning up our neighborhood entrances, picking up trash on walks…also, thanking everyone who HAS to work. ‘Selfishly’, it makes ME feel better to focus on someone/something else! Take care everyone!!!

  13. My son started a jigsaw and left me all the blank white pieces to do. There are a LOT. 🙂 I anticipate overly clean houses and a lot of DIY getting done during self-isolation (along with a baby boom in 9 months time!) xx

  14. Oh Susan, that toilet roll cake is hilarious! I love to do jigsaw puzzles, lots of fun…I’m glad you are with your family during this time…thank you for continuing your blog as usual, that is a comfort…

  15. Dear Susan, Thank you for featuring my St. Patrick’s Day tablescape in your March 12th post. Things are much the same in Michigan as they are everywhere else. Fortunately I was well stocked with grocery supplies so didn’t have to endure the mayhem that took place there. I’m going to venture out shortly to the produce market to get some fresh fruit and vegetable…it they have any. The restaurant where I’m the Tea Director, business had pretty much come to a halt last week – or at least Afternoon Tea patrons, so I was off all last week, and now the governor’s mandate is for all restaurants to close by 3:00 this afternoon so I’ll be off for awhile. I don’t mind hunkering down and tackling some much needed projects around the house. I’ve been purging old magazines and organizing paper work that have cluttered my office. Our church was closed yesterday, but fortunately the pastor and worship team were able to film a service we could all watch on Facebook. Reprioritizing our busy lifestyles by this forced shutdown has some value and merit if we look at it objectively.

  16. Thank you for sharing your puzzles and puzzle board weeks ago. It has been such a great way to spend a rainy afternoon here in Southern California (finally!!!) and now, extremely soothing and helpful. Your posts are so informative and fun. I love every one!

  17. Susan, blogging keeps me busy enough – there’s always something to do with it. For other entertainment I have tons of unread book, puzzles, house cleaning like windows blinds and decluttering. And I see some nice walks in the future.
    I want to leave with a positive note in all of this melt down. I went to Costco yesterday and noted that while they weren’t serving samples, Costco had kept the food servers on by giving them other work. This is important to note because those food servers actually work for a different company and pull their pay check from that company – not Costco! So, let’s give a nice shout out for what Costco is doing in the mist of this mess!!!

  18. We are hunkered down here, with library ebooks for company. Hearing more how with too few ventilators, triage is favoring only the young. It seems it is viewed as wasted on the elderly. I wish very unpleasant consequences for those who cleaned out shelves for personal profit. I’ll leave it to the universe to decide how and what.

  19. I wrote a post today and shared some ideas.

  20. Our schools are closed until the end of the month so I have a teen home with me which is nice. What’s nicer is not having to wake up at 6:00am for carpool! Thank you for continuing to post as normal as I agree, we do need some consistency and positivity during this exceptional time in history. Hugs to you!

  21. I’m 75 with emphysema and live in Mexico alone where a huge group of retirees live. If I catch this it will be 99% chance of being my fatal illness. Mexico has closed schools,etc. and I’m self-isolating. Luckily, the panic buying hasn’t been so terrible other than wipes and hand gel which are impossible to find. I’ve bought 2 months of meds and gotten money from the ATM. It’s all I can do. I’m scared but we all have to go sometime so to paraphrase my hero, Winston Churchill, “When you’re going through hell, keep going.”

    • Oh Ginger! Take care as it seems you have put yourself in the proper self-isolation. With limited contact you should be fine!

    • Ginger, I hope this blows over much faster than anticipated. Glad you are self-isolating and hope you find plenty to keep you occupied during this time. I love that quote from Winston Churchill!

    • I feel your pain Ginger. I have some preexisting conditions too and worry about getting sick. I am very active and for someone to tell me I should stay home because I am older is insulting. There is no go-fer at my house. Praying you will stay well and we all get past this.

  22. Your puzzles remind me of my grandpa, he loved to do puzzles and in his later years he made a large glass topped table to assemble them on. His chair and table were beside the heating stove in the old country farmhouse and we grandchildren spent many snowy afternoons huddled around him helping to find just the right piece.
    This week it’s time for cleaning and garden prep!

  23. Glad you’re well and with family. It would be very lonely if home bound alone. Spending more time in prayer. FaceTiming grandkids and family members. Deep cleaning home and garage. The basement esp needs it. Already started cleaning out flower beds. Walking everyday regardless of weather, need the fresh air. Dancing with dance videos and I have a home gym I’m using. Looking thru old pics and posting an uplifting one each day on FB to hopefully bring a smile and cheer to those who are worried and anxious. Learning how to play board games we got for Christmas. One thing I’m NOT doing is watching TV – causes anxiety and depression. Keeping you and your family in my prayers, stay well and thanks for all your posts, they are bright spots amongst this sanity.

  24. Thanks so much for hosting each week!! Stay safe, healthy and happy!!

  25. Thanks for posting, Susan. I love that everyone plans to be busy with their home and garden. Maybe I’ll finally get all of my DVDs transferred from cases to sleeves. I’m going out today to fill the car with fuel and to pick up some fresh produce if it’s available. Then, I plan to self-isolate for a while.

  26. I was scheduled to take a trip to the Holy Land with a church group leaving today. Needless to say, that trip was canceled. Good news is the tour company has rescheduled for November. I’m praying the virus will be only a bad memory by that time. I’m an avid gardener so, as the weather permits, I will be digging in the dirt and soaking in the sunshine. Last week we had beautiful weather here in SE Virginia with one day reaching 80 degrees! Enjoy your visit with family Susan, and stay healthy! xxoo

  27. Susan, I love the puzzles you posted! So very pretty. Do you keep your puzzles and mount them for display? I don’t often comment but I love reading your postings. My husband and I will be catching up on yard work, spring cleaning, movies, reading, walking and praying that this virus scare will pass soon. Take care!

  28. Hi! Like so many others, plan to clean my space. Always on the lookout for good marinade recipes…would you/daughter-in-law share her wings marinade recipe? Did your son grill those wings outside or in the oven? Thanks much!

  29. Holly Rigby says

    Hi Susan, as usual you are an inspiration. I bought the wonderful bookstore puzzle and the stacking trays to work on…and I have about 15 books including a fascinating non-fiction book, The Feather Thief that I heard about on NPR. Young man stole hundreds of bird specimens to use in fly fish tying from a British Museum…Not my usual style but lots of info of valuable feathers in fashion…endangered birds and bureaucratic bungling. I am still recovering from TKR in February, and am leery about continuing outpatient therapy. And I’m hobbling around cooking a little. Glad you are in Ohio with your family. What is the old Chinese curse? “May you live in interesting times.”

  30. We have been watching this closely and taking it very seriously for the past few weeks as we knew people in China and Korea, so we have prepped at home and cautioned our friends and children to do likewise.
    Today we decided to give our employees a “Pantry Bonus” so that they had a little extra money to also stock up some food as we see restaurants closing.
    God bless us all.

  31. Thanks for continuing on as usual – I’m liking normalcy more than ever now! 😉 Your family chicken recipe sounds yummy – now I’m thinking about grilling. Take care over there and enjoy your visit!

  32. I love your positive spin on our situation. We SHOULD focus on our loved ones and take the time to do things we are always “too busy” to get around too. There’s nothing we can do about the situation, but we can always make the best of it.

  33. Jill Brewster says

    I plan to spend a lot of my time out in my garden weeding, when not outside I will be reading, as I have about 10 books sitting there waiting. I will also be checking out Pinterest for projects to try. What I won’t be doing is panic, this to shall pass. Wash your hands, stay away from large crowds, and take some time to reflect on the positive things in your life, and be thankful for just being alive.

  34. My Publix looked the same. Yesterday, the only things in the meat case were pigs’ feet and chicken feet. I’ll continue to walk in the park every day, and be sensible, practice “social distancing” when possible, and not panic. In the meantime, sewing, reading, and maybe even experience “The life-changing magic of tidying up” ..although I don’t really want to. This too shall pass.

  35. Terri Santiago says

    I have plenty to do in my yard and inside the house with dust bunnies.

  36. Retired, but no problems keeping busy here — starting seeds (flower and herb) for transplanting when the days get warmer; just scored a new Liberty Wooden Jigsaw Puzzle on Ebay (a splurge that you should check out!); reading Barbara Walter’s memoir; preparing taxes (ugh!). Feeling very fortunate. Prayers for our nation, the world, leadership.

  37. Susan, it’s wonderful you are with your son and family during this time!Thank you for continuing to post. Out of desire to watch something uplifting last night, thinking maybe the Hallmark channel might offer that, though I never watch their shows. Set the DVR to record an episode of the series I think is titled “Somewhere Calls the Heart.” It was about a chicken pox epidemic! LOL

    I grew up on a big farm in Kansas. My grandmother shared stories about the world flu pandemic of 100 years ago she lived through, that began in the US in Kansas at the Ft. Riley Army Base. “Wash your hands” was a mantra of her and my mother. At 67 now, I have vivid memories of enduring chicken pox, measles, and mumps as a child. I attended a 1 room country schoolhouse with 1 teacher for grades 1-8, averaging 15-20 students total from other farming families each year until it closed when I completed 6th grade, after almost 100 years of operation. The teacher was a saint of a man and remains as one of my favorite people on earth!

    As your other readers note, our gardens and homes will sustain us in the coming weeks. I live in a Memphis, Tennessee suburb and began the social isolation a week ago, as a precaution at my age. Thankful for PetSmart online ordering & delivery to keep my sweet almost 11 year old Chocolate Labrador Retriever well-fed! Last week, I redecorated the master bedroom and bath. This week, a guest bedroom and bath are getting their spring update.

    As another precaution, I ended all my listings on eBay where I sell retired Vietri Italian art pottery, Spode, Villeroy Boch, Wedgwood bone china patterns, Pine Cone Hill bed linens, and more. Last Monday what a shock, when handing the (last) eBay order to my mail carrier in her van at the curb, she was wearing a mask and latex gloves! My customers are such lovely people, so I will wait until this situation has resolved.

    Prayers for all! Wash your hands!

  38. Donna Biacsi says

    Dear Susan,
    We are retired snowbirds in southern California. We were looking forward to returning to the Cleveland, Ohio area in early May. Time will tell.
    We are self-isolating. We will have our neighbors over for dinner on St. Patty’s day. I am trying to keep upbeat since hubby and I are in the high-risk category.

  39. I live in Calgary, Canada, and those empty shelves look very familiar. We are rapidly depleting here too, unfortunately. I work in a hospital, so its business as usual for me, although the situation will most likely change. They closed all the schools here in the province effective today, and they will supposedly stay closed until September. They also closed all the daycares as well, so many people are either away or scrambling to make alternate arrangements. But if I had time off, I would be catching up on reading and craft projects, and some deep cleaning around the house. What is it about spring and cleaning lol? Thanks for keeping up the blog, Susan, and stay safe.

  40. Holy cow on the size of those puzzles, Susan! Not much change here except the order by the Governor for those 65 and over to stay put. Needless to say, those 65 and over do have to eat and will have to venture out for groceries. Usually, since just my husband and I, grocery shopping is every two weeks and that’s about all the outings we do. So, self-isolation is what happens here anyway and will just be adding the precautions of hand washing, clothes washing, etc. if we do go out or have contact. My daughter-in-law who is expecting her baby next month couldn’t find formula or wipes in Florida! Stores sold out and difficult to find on line. This is causing much stress so I echo what was said above about those who selfishly bought (even though they had the right to) more than they needed, i.e. hoarders! Everyone stay on alert and healthy!! Glad you are doing ok Susan!

  41. Hi Susan, During this time of no school and at-home work, we are taking advantage of the extra time and building our chicken coop! We’re hoping to get new chicks in the spring some time and now we have the time to think through the best location and arrangement of the coop and run and its landscape. I also have my seedlings growing in the basement under fluorescent lights, so I hope sometime in the near future these projects will all come to fruition.

  42. I am too frozen with depression to do anything to “stay busy”. I had been hanging on literally for a vacation to Florida Wednesday but nope that’s been canceled. Can not last without the sun. Which it has been dreary day after dreary day here. Now we have this dumb virus. I couldn’t care less

    • Meg- please consider going outside even though it’s cloudy. The sun rays permeate the cloud cover more than we realize and lift our mood. Even 15 minutes will have an immediate positive effect. I had to do that today! It has been the darkest wettest winter in memory. The sun WILL return and you will be in Florida soon and the trip will mean even more! Take care.

  43. Betty McJunkins says

    I am trying to recover from open heart surgery. The rehab has closed and so I am left to walk outside at home. Thank goodness I live in a very safe area. It does bother me about getting out to buy necessities as I am trying very hard to not get close to any one. We will be fine and learn a lot about how resilient were are in an emergency. Love your post. I never miss one.

  44. Maryjo Marty says

    Hi Susan- could you please link your post(s) about your puzzle board? I remember reading about it when you posted and thinking the board was a good idea and I was hoping to look at your post again. I tried to find it but I could not. Thanks so much for your great posts!

  45. cleo headley says

    Love that toilet paper cake…what a scream !!!

    Our store shelves are much the same, I ventured forth today to buy eggs so I could bake…….no luck……dairy shelves all empty…..

    I am self isolated any way so this is no different for me. We will have the cleanest homes and the tidiest yards when this is over. I am quilting, crafting and cooking…..oh, and watching all the programs I have recorded since Christmas !!! Schools are all closed and so are restaurants and bars…….stay safe and healthy !!

  46. I thought your readers might like to know your blue puzzle board is on sale from Bits and Pieces for $99 plus free shipping. I ordered mine today!

  47. I’m an OR nurse, so life almost as usual (elective cases cancelled, but it’s a large teaching hospital so plenty of surgeries still necessary). Of my 3 adult children, one will be paid fulltime for going in one or two days a week. The other two that live with me, each has a job that require both interaction with the public and to be there fulltime, so that has me concerned. I try to remain upbeat, had stocked up when I read that the poor Chinese emergency room doctor who tried to blow the whistle and was punished for it passed away. That made alarm bells ring in my head. Your blog is a wonderful distraction, Susan. I pray for a return to normalcy soon.

  48. Happy St. Patrick’s day – a virtual pinch if you aren’t wearing green.
    Yes, stores here in Spring, TX look the same. Today I found paper towels at Aldi’s with a limit of 1 per household. The TT Publix cake you posted is so funny. I’ve seen TT earrings on etsy, TT bouquets and silly T-shirts online but I haven’t seen anyone wearing the stuff “in the wild”.
    Thanks for the hope of normalcy! We are riding our bikes in this mild weather and completing home maintenance projects. Tile, Paint, pressure washing, roof repairs etc…
    Looks like I’m canceling 3 upcoming trips: Vegas which has gone dark on the shows, Ireland (cruise) in May and London in July. I haven’t clogged the phone que as the airlines and hotels are dealing with immediate travelers. It must be terrible stress on the workers.
    Hopefully the tipping point will arrive before too many small businesses go belly up.
    Time to enjoy a green beer and reuben sandwich. Cheers, T

  49. We as a family have our annual corned beef day on St. Patrick’s Day or the closest to it when everyone can come. Good thing we had it Sunday or we would have had to cancel, we always have more than 10 people. Enjoy your family, Susan!

  50. Thank you for continuing to host the party!

  51. I work everyday so that has not changed. My husband went thru a drive thru and the would not take cash. He didn’t have a card so he had to find a different restaurant that took cash.

  52. Jane Kelly says

    I work from home, but my annual trip to Washington DC for meetings & to lobby Congressional office on Home Care & Hospice was cancelled – first time in 15 years I won’t be in our nation’s capital in the spring. Had to cancel a conference for my association members here in Kansas, so having to go via webinar – our Governor of Kansas just closed schools for the rest of the year, so some friends with seniors are heartbroken. Makes me sad & anxious if this goes on for months into the fall, my association will have to cancel our one big meeting that brings in money – that will be very costly at a time when our members are trying to care for the sick & elderly very overwhelming. Meanwhile, I’m going ahead with an Irish dinner for some gals on Thursday – hopefully cheer people up. My two pups at home keep me company – doing what I can to take care of my 90 year old mother in law & keep myself & hubby healthy.

  53. The toilet paper cake is so funny! We have to keep up our spirits. It’s so quiet out there and people are walking their dogs, staying around the neighborhood. We did 6 weeks worth of shopping over the last two days, a nightmare, and now we’re staying put.
    Thanks for blogging, Susan; we all love and appreciate you! xo

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