About a month ago, I posted about taking a break from things that had become my “jobs” during lockdown. I started doing some of the things that I like to do on vacation. I realized that most of what I vacationed from were things that were related to social media. I shared a few things that I was enjoying during my break.
I promised to share a few more of my staycation activities. While I am back to blogging, I realized recently that I hadn’t gone back to several other social media activities. Just yesterday, I posted some more fun things to my page called Activities for Kids at Home. (If you are interested in hovercraft experiments, solar powered oven smores, or virtual summer camps, you might want to check this page for frequent updates.)
On to my own Fun Activites for Adults at Home. Not all of these are actual vacation activities, but they all are things I enjoy doing when I carve out the time.
When I first retired, I got into rock painting for various reasons. At that time it was mostly rock cottages. After things closed up for COVID-19, neighbors began putting hearts in windows, teddy bears on porches or flag poles, and chalk art on sidewalks to entertain families that are walking. Some people even put up Christmas lights. I decided to spruce up the garden around my mailbox with little painted rocks. I’ve seen families with young children stop and check out the rocks I painted. When I get enough out there, I may put out a sign that says “Take one.”
Once the weather got nice, I planted snow peas, lettuce, kale, and summer herbs. My perennial herbs returned from last year. It’s so relaxing to collect my small harvest each morning as I drink my tea!
I continue to work on my photography skills with my Motorola phone, especially in the early morning light.
Usually on vacation I grab my set of bird field guides so I pulled those from my shelf and have taken time to sit on my patio and really listen and watch as the birds wake up. The sounds of the many birds combine with the tree frogs as I watch little gold finches land gingerly on the fragile stems of my heliopsis or coreopsis. They hide on the yellow flowers as they feed, hanging on while the stems sway with their weight.
One day a few weeks ago, I was rewarded with the sight of a large flock of cedar waxwings feeding on juniper berries in my yard. I have lived in my house for over thirty years and this is only the third time I have seen these birds.
I also joined a Facebook birdwatchers group for people within a five-mile radius of my house.
Listening to Podcasts
Podcasts are something new for me. I began to listen to a few during lock down. As someone who enjoys the sounds of nature, I especially liked a podcast on Invisibila called The Last Sound. It shares the story of a musician who realized what we can learn from our world and our impact on it by listening to the sounds in nature. He left the music business in which he had performed with the likes of George Harrison and Jim Morrison to spend fifty years recording and analyzing the sounds of nature. The podcast is much more interesting than my description.
And then there’s Mahjonng. I first mentioned that I was going to learn Mahjongg in December when I was talking about the Gift of Time. Reading over that old post, written three months before Covid-19, is interesting during this time of social distancing.
In January I began learning to play with a group that was meeting weekly. It’s a complicated game, but I really enjoyed it before it was cancelled. Meanwhile, during this time of social distancing, I discovered a site called Real Mah Jongg. I was able to try the site free for two weeks before signing up for a nominal yearly charge. I played a lot those first two weeks. I guess I wanted to get my money’s worth! After that I joined. It is a versatile site in that I can choose my speed of play and whether I want to compete against the computer or actual people. This game probably takes up more of my time than it should but I enjoy it and it certainly requires thinking.
I have also pulled out my sketchpads and pencils which have not had much use in the last few years. I videotaped myself reading one of my granddaughter’s favorite books and learned how to send her that file. I’ve almost mastered curbside shopping, which I continue to use as we are still staying out of public places. I walk the subdivision. I feel pretty relaxed.
What special activities have you learned or begun lately?
Do you have any podcasts to recommend?