Catching Katy

Reads, Eats, & Everything Else

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Social Distancing, Part 2

As of today, we have been working from home and social distancing for 4 months. It’s definitely a crazy world we’re living in right now. But we’ve kept busy since my first social distancing post 3 months ago, especially because the weather kept getting nicer. And really, until July 4 weekend, the weather wasn’t the usual sweltering summer in the south.

So here’s what the past 3 months have looked like!

Puzzles. I finished 4 more puzzles, though it’s now been a couple months since I started a new one. I have a stack, though, that I’ll have to break into soon.

Reading. Plenty of books still read. As of today, I have finished 26 of my goal of 50 for the year. There’s a post for each one if you want to see what I’ve been reading!

Movies/TV: We’re watching maybe a little more than usual (pre-pandemic), but that’s only because we’re home every single night and not out doing things. We’ve watched some great movies and some not so great ones. I think it’s a given that Hamilton was my favorite. I had seen it on stage, but my husband had not and he definitely enjoyed it. We had tickets to see it back in April but as of now, it’s pushed to fall 2021. Recommend to watch: Stuber, Bad Education, Extraction, Just Mercy, The Lovebirds, The Hate U Give, and Happy Gilmore (have to get some oldies but goodies in there from the DVD collection). Don’t go out of your way to see The Last Thing He Wanted (this movie made absolutely no sense), Water for Elephants (especially if you’ve read the book), and The Death of Stalin (it was ok but not what we expected and pretty depressing).

I/we have also made our way through some tv shows. Some I watched on my own, though most we watched together. We finished Community – watched all 6 seasons in about 2.5 months and I definitely recommend it if you enjoy quirky humor and short episodes. Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children was incredible and appalling if you like documentary and unsolved mysteries. Upload was great and definitely recommend and Seinfeld’s comedy special, 23 Hours to Kill, was hilarious. Home After Dark on Apple TV was ok – interesting really only because it was based on a true story. I watched the first 2 seasons of Manifest and enjoyed them, though the show could really end up down a rabbit hole if they keep going. And Queer Eye season 5 was fabulous. The best by far is Schitt’s Creek – yes, we’re late to this game but it may be my favorite show ever. We just started season 4 so will finish then wait with everyone else for season 6 to hit Netflix.

Get outdoors. We have continued to get outdoors when we can. We took a day around our anniversary to go to Sweetwater Creek State Park. We have gotten lots of yard work done. And luckily our pool is open with less furniture. We are also lucky to have family who lives on an uncrowded beach in Florida, so we were able to get away for a week. There was one day that were the only people on the beach!

Baking. I finally got on the quarantine baking train. Mostly cookies – the best snickerdoodles (my friend) and the best chocolate chip recipe I’ve ever made. Then once my mom’s blueberries were ripe, there were more than enough for muffins and cobbler.

We are still very lucky to be where we are with the jobs we have, able to work from home. We can hope this will all be over eventually, but it’s not looking like it’s any time soon. We can just keep trying to make the most of it! Stay safe and healthy!

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The Age of Social Distancing

Well, we’ve been home a month now. Actually 32 days as of this posting. And when I say I’ve been home, I have been home. Like many of us, I have a pre-existing condition, so if I were to catch this nasty virus, it could be really bad. So although my blog now is mostly books, I do have time to post more now! I thought I’d give you a glimpse into what this time looks like for us – married with 2 dogs and no children.

First off, I am very thankful for our situation. We both are still working (from home, obviously) and getting paid. We have a nice house that we bought a year ago (the townhouse would have been more of a struggle) with a fenced in yard in a nice, large walkable neighborhood. And we have each other. I understand that many people – too many – are in a much worse situation because of all this. And we are trying to help where we can.

So what does one do for 32 days at home when not working?

Puzzles. I have always loved puzzles. Did them growing up with my dad. And I actually was already on a puzzle kick before all of this started. I must have sensed something was coming. I have finished 2 since being at home. A friend and I did a puzzle trade and she had the BEST puzzles!

Reading. Again, I’ve been reader. My goal for this year is 50 books. But, I usually read a lot on the train to/from work and not necessarily at home. There are so many more options of things to do at home! So I’m actually one book behind schedule to finish my 50 this year, so I’m working to read more instead of watch tv. But I’ve finished 4 books since stay home day 1.

Movies and TV: We are obviously spending a lot – probably too much – time in front of the TV. There is literally an endless amount of content to watch through all of the streaming services. We don’t even have cable! My favorite movie so far was definitely Knives Out. We also watched Yesterday (it was cute), Clue (yes, the 1985 film based on the board game – it’s still great. It’s on Prime), The Farewell (it was good – dramatic comedy – about half is subtitled), The Zookeeper’s Wife (WWII film – not a happy pick me up but good, though not as good as the book), Aladdin (classic), and Overnight Delivery (we came across this on HBO, from 1998 – it was funny but a little too ridiculous). As far as TV, I’ve kept watching my usual handful of shows, which are one by one reaching their season finales, or in Modern Family‘s case, the full show finale after 11 seasons. But don’t worry – Love Is Blind and Tiger King made it into the mix already and both were binged in no time. Both ridiculous, on different levels, and VERY entertaining. We’re now halfway through season 1 of Community and it’s hilarious – I can’t believe I never watched it!

Get outdoors: I am very thankful that this is happening in spring and not the middle of winter (at least for us southerners). We have been able to get outside a lot and luckily what seemed like non-stop rain the first couple f months of the year has turned to more sunny days. Walks almost daily, both with and without the dogs. Yard work because there’s now no excuse. Even a couple trips to the neighborhood tennis courts so I can practice a new serve and give my better half some “lessons”.

Games: Again, we were already game people. But we’re trying to make a point of not just sitting in front of the tv every night. So we’ve been going through the games. Five Crowns, Wits End, Sequence, Murder Trivia Party and Guesspionage (both Jackbox games), Oregon Trail, and Mario Kart have all made an appearance so far.

Exercise: I was lucky to have already been exercising at home, so this wasn’t much a change for me. Although it does take a little more self-motivation to get up and do it knowing that you’re not leaving the house. But now, a month in, I feel I have finally gotten into a good routine. I’ve kept up with my BeachBody workouts (started a new program last week). And towards the beginning of all this we ordered an Echelon bike that we had been eyeing. We love it (sorry Peloton fanatics) and I’ll do a full post with a review soon.

There’s been FaceTimes and Zoom calls and even a Zoom birthday. Between working every day and all of this, we really can’t complain. Although it will be nice when things can go back to “normal” – even if it is a different normal that usual. We are hopeful that God has a plan in this and that we will all get through this together (but distanced). How are you surviving and keeping busy through all this? Would love to hear!

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We’ve been talking since before our wedding (yes, over a year ago) about getting to DC because we both have friends there. I really wanted it to be during baseball season so we could hit up one of the nearby stadiums. We finally made it happen a few weeks ago and it was perfect timing.

We stayed with friends in the Capital Hill area, which was beautiful and close to so many things. Flying in on Thursday night gave us the whole days Friday, just the two of us, to explore. We walked almost everywhere (with the exception of one Lyft ride towards the end of the day because our legs were wore OUT). We had both been to DC before, but I hadn’t been since elementary school. One completely free day obviously isn’t a whole lot for DC, but I feel like we made the most of it.

We hit up Bullfrog Bagels for a quick, delicious breakfast, then continued walking towards the mall. We made tentative plans the night before and it was actually nice to not be on a strict schedule. We just talked and took in the sites. The weather was beautiful too, albeit a little too windy for my liking, especially coming from the summer weather in Atlanta. We saw the Capital and made our way down the mall.

Our first official stop was the National Museum of American History. It’s so great that the Smithsonian museums are free because we didn’t even make a dent in all there was to see in just one of them. But we got to see some great stuff, mainly covering all of the wars. It sounds depressing but it’s really interesting seeing how men and women have fought for our country to make it what it is today.

We then made our way to the National Portrait Gallery, which was top of my list. They had a really cool women’s suffrage installation and then of course, the presidential portraits. Each president’s portrait is so unique, especially seeing them all together. I definitely recommend it.

On Saturday we hit up the International Spy Museum. I failed and took no pictures, but I definitely recommend it. It’s a private museum, so it’s not free, but it’s worth it. It’s great for families and very interactive. The only downside was that it’s so new (only opened a few months ago) that it was very crowded. So we didn’t do a lot of the interactive things because we didn’t want to wait and fight for space. But it was fascinating to hear and see stories of international espionage, techniques used in specific cases, and just how long spies have been used for various things.

Our final stop was, of course, a Nationals game and like I said earlier, it was perfect not only because they were playing the Braves, but it was the DC Vanderbilt alumni chapter game for the summer (go ‘Dores!). We added another new stadium to our lists (that makes 7 for me…8 if you include just a stadium tour for one). The stadium reminded me a lot of the Braves new(ish) stadium and it was a great time seeing lots of friends!