Monday, May 18, 2020

Let the flood gates begin

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Please Note:  I started writing this blogpost in pen and paper.  You know, the old-fashioned way of writing.  I got the idea from an episode from Star Trek: Voyager where one of my favorite captains, Captain Janeway was sick of technology, after dealing with species 842 and the Borg.  This was the episode that introduced Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine, a former Borg drone brought back by to her human self by The doctor, authorized by Captain Janeway.  Captain Janeway decided to take to writing her captain’s log by this method.  It is a practice that we should all do in the wake of this pandemic.  To me, even though you are seeing my post in digital form, it was a way of getting back to things in a natural way. 
Photo by Pixabay
This was the week when my city reopened for retail.  Today was the day I ventured out to a new norm of new rules (other than what was already in place).  As I drove, doing my errands of depositing money in my business checking account and going to a grocery store that carried a Starbucks kiosk, because the Starbucks down the street lied about being open, I was thinking, “was it all worth being quarantined for the past 2 ½ months?”  The only difference was Columbus, Ohio all of sudden looked like a Japanese prefecture, with mask-wearing people out and about in the 70° plus weather.  This is something that the Japanese and other Asians are used to doing, not Americans. 
Americans are used to having the freedom to do whatever we want to do, and how we want to do it.  If it puts us in jail, so be it.  When we get out, some of us will try it again until someone ignores us, then it becomes a norm.  If we have to protest, that is fine, it makes an interesting news story locally and/or nationally.
I am not sure how I feel about it.  
OK, let me explain….
Since this whole Covid-19 started, I have been squeamish about a few things and those are:
  • What is my new norm?
  • How is the country supposed to work now that there is the new little bug that can wipe us out, especially in places like the city where I live and places that I love, like the Caribbean and Walt Disney World.
What is my new norm?
I have been a quiet person all my life.  I get it from my mom.  So, I do not mind being isolated during this time period.  My only problem at first was wearing the mask and gloves, and I get it.  I had no problem putting them on, the problem comes because my hands are the same size as a child. There are people who cannot be around others because of their immune system and they are the elderly and the young.  I have 6 people I have to respect that.  My parents and aunt all have pre-existing conditions and they are elderly.  I have a niece who will be 3 months old next week, I have a friend who also has a pre-existing condition and a pastor who has a pre-existing condition.  I also have to watch it because I have high blood pressure and I am pre-diabetic. Depending on the doctor, I either have diabetics, or it can come at any time.  Either way, I have to watch my diet and my weight.  Thank you, Corona for giving me the sense of ignoring those two things.  I am much better at doing that now.
Also my new norm:  My business.  I could tell you that I have the easiest job I could ever have, but like most businesses, there is the struggle of getting gigs.  There is a struggle of getting money for this business.  I also could say that I like the stimulus package for small or even home businesses.  I do not have a small business, I have a home business, and as a home business owner, we often get lumped in with small businesses.  What Is a home business?  It is a business that is operated out of the home and if you do have any employees, it is usually an assistant.  Your revenue is lower than a small business.  A good year is when a person is able to earn $1,000 plus per month. 
Why offer help to small businesses if big businesses get approved?
Well, to be honest, the EIDLE and the PPP portion of the first stimulus package has done nothing for me and my business because of companies like Potbelly and The Lakers basketball team, who should not have been allowed to apply in the first place, nor their applications should never been approved.  Potbelly has returned the money and I believe so has The Lakers.  That still does not help P. Lynne Designs. I applied twice.  The first application was on Go Alice, while the second application was on the site. I have not heard back, and I doubt I will at this point.  I do not have any employees.  This is just to maintain the business of one, and for growth.  The government did not handle this process very well.  I chucked as “I am getting no help as usual” and went about my day. Update:  Last night, I was able to file for unemployment, a right that was not given to people like freelance writers and freelance graphic designers, which I am.  I pray and hope they approve it.
So let us go back to what I was talking about
I do not mind the retail stores being open.  Personally, I will not be going in the very beginning.  Actually, I am having fun online ordering.  I do not have to worry about donning on a mask, fighting crowds, not finding what I want. In fact, I ordered a mystery Die cut bag from Tonic Studios at 3 am this morning.  That is how much fun I am having to order online.  Yes, I can always order online, then pick up at the store like Walmart. 
Amazon has been my store of the hour, and ever since I was told by my governor that even pickup was impossible in the craft stores in my state, I said “okay”, and started ordering online.   Ordering online is natural for me anyway, so it did not bother me that I could not go to any of my stores, except Ikea.  That is another story for another day.
I have been to two grocery stores since lockdown.  One was for last-minute stuff as I found out just today that the second store only allows me to do pickup ordering if the order was over $30.  The reason:  Cat food.  Well my nephew came through with the cat food, so now I do not have to buy that.
It is best if all stores keep in mind a level of safety.   My feeling is this since I do have pre-existing conditions, as well as my parents, I do not want to spread the super germs.  I am calling Corona that until we find a vaccination for it
My hardest hit yet, Walt Disney World
I am having the hardest time with a Disney Vacation.  Last May, I booked a stay for 12 at The Bay Lake Towers at The Contemporary Resort (its official name) for the time of December 15-20, 2019, with all the bells and whistles as this might be the last vacation with my parents, who are in their 80s. 
This was a well-meaning trip as two things went wrong from the start:  how to pay for a $30,627.00 trip that included a 3-bedroom villa, tickets to the parks, and a deluxe dining plan, and how to tell a Disney-hating father that we were going to the “land of the mouse” times 4 (The Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and The Animal Kingdom theme parks).  It would not be a requirement for my parents to go into the parks unless they wanted to.  In years past (1998, 2004, and Disneyland in 2007 respectively), my father stayed at the resort or drove around the property, Orlando, and surrounding cities (Cape Canaveral, Kissimmee, and Tampa are close by).  This time, my mom, who loves the parks will join him if she wants to.  She is not too keen on using a riding scooter.
We were going to drive down instead of flying.  We were coming back home that Sunday so that my siblings and my nephew and niece can get back to work by that Monday before Christmas.  The kids (Nephews (age 12 and 9) and niece (11)) was being pulled out of school.  Ohio has a funny winter break schedule where they are out either the day before Christmas eve or a couple of days before Christmas.  Either way, it would have been fun.  I pulled the plug on that trip on October 15th, one month before our last cancelation date of November 15th.  I did not cry because I was going to call them the day after Christmas with a new date of December 12-19, 2020.
Well with Ms. ‘Rona on the prowl, and for the first time ever since Walt Disney opened Disneyland in 1955, all the parks were close, due her not wanting to play fair, I decided to see what Disney is going to do with the guidelines that they and the State of Florida government, as well as the federal government, was going to say about a reopening date.  For the moment, Disney reopened Shanghai Disneyland Monday, Disney Springs, Walt Disney World’s shopping area is reopening on May 20th, and Walt Disney World is excepting bookings starting July 1 (it has been delayed from June 1st). 
I do not want a vacation in 2020.  I feel like it is too soon to book a vacation and go in 2020.  So, I have decided to wait until December 15-19, 2021 to take the trip.  This all depends on two things:  the health of my parents and the health of our savings.  There is one more factor and I am not depending on whether I do or do not do for this vacation and that is to get another Disney Vacation Club membership.  This will affect how we pay for this trip.  Naturally, this membership is a timeshare, and I have spoken about timeshares before on this blog. That is a talk for my yet to be created a new blog, which will be Disney-related.  I took all the travel stuff off of my blog, Home Prep because it is not related.
Some good has come out of all this…
My stories are not all bad, in fact, some of them quite funny.
Last week, a friend had a birthday.  She announces it each year 6 days in advance.  This year was no different.  What I love about Facebook is the ability to have people donate to your favorite charity in loo of presents for your birthday.  I am going to do one, I am not sure where yet.  July 21 has not gotten here yet.
Anyway, her sister and mother thought that since Ms. ‘Rona decided to cancel my friend’s plans, a surprise drive-by birthday salute was in order.  Can I tell you that I do not know how to do one, LOL?
First, I told her mother that I was coming by via Facebook invite.  I have seen lineups, so I thought that I was going to meet at her mother’s house, and we would fall in line to go to my friend’s apartment.  After all, it was a surprise.  Since I am one of those people who would show up late to her own wedding if given a chance, I decided to arrive early so my friend’s mother cannot say that I was late.  So, I drove to the house at 4:46 and I did not see any cars.  “Good, I am the first one,” I thought, so I went the next street over to turn around.  Okay, next thing I knew, I saw my friend’s daughter, who is 3, then my friend.  I thought, “Oh, Crap”, and I drove off to my parent’s house who live around the corner.   This drive-by was at 5, so I killed some time at my parent’s house and went back over there.  It turned out to be an “individual” happy birthday, as my friend and her mother sat there while people drove by, wishing her a happy birthday.  It turned out great, and this goofy person now know the proper drive by, LOL.
Business Dealings….
I was able to get some things done for my business while on lockdown.  I was approved for an affiliate that I have been wanting since 2017.  You know how much I love Erin Condren products, so you will be seeing more affiliate links from that company.  As always, I only support companies that I love and believe in, and you are not obligated to make a purchase, but it would be nice for the support.  It is a way to put money back into my business.  Some of these companies with affiliates, like Erin Condren, Cricut, and Amazon may have links that will help you save money as well.  So in that case, if you need the product, it is good to help out a blog and save money at the same time. 
I am also working on some things that will help improve this blog, including the infamous blog move.
Even though I was down and out during this period of time, I am fine now and living a new norm.  For the moment, my state is wrapping being on lockdown.  This is the reason for this title.   Let the flood gates open!!! Well, I am over my limit.  Be well and safe.  Wear a mask, and I will talk to you later.

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