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Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: Oh, What Do You Do in a Quarantine, When All the World Is Closed?

I love Top Ten Tuesday, but I'm not always feeling the topic du jour.  Today's is Top Ten Books I Enjoyed But Rarely Talk About and ... I got nothin'.  I seriously can't even think of one book.  So, I'm going to twist the topic and chat with you about Top Ten Things I've Been Doing in Quarantine Besides Reading.

If you're bored and looking for a fun distraction, hop on the Top Ten Tuesday party bus.  It'll be a good time, I promise!  Just head on over to That Artsy Reader Girl to read a few instructions.  Then create your own list, following this week's prompt or changing it up if that works better for you.  Next, spend some happy hours clicking around the book blogosphere.  It's a great way to discover new blogs, show some love to old favorites, and, of course, add awesome new titles to old Mount TBR.  What's not to love?

Top Ten Things I've Been Doing in Quarantine Besides Reading (in no particular order):

1.  Blogging—You'd think with all of the time I have on hand I would have caught up on writing reviews by now.  Not exactly.  I have been reviewing, but I've also been reading about a book a day, so I'm still way behind.  Maybe I'll be on top of things before the quarantine ends?  Not likely ...

2.  Cross-stitching—I used to spend a lot of time cross-stitching.  These days, I can go years without picking up a needle and thread.  In the past few weeks, though, I've felt a hankering to get back to my old hobby.  I finished the project above last week and have started on a new design that celebrates the Fourth of July.  Of course, I haven't just been stitching—I've been shopping for patterns, floss, etc. online (mostly at 123Stitch); reading cross-stitching blogs; even checking out the FlossTube channel my friend and her friend created, M and M Stitchers.  The nice thing about cross-stitching is that I can stitch away while listening to an audiobook, watching t.v., or just chatting with the fam.

3.  Housework—I'll be honest, I never feel motivated to do housework.  Even less so lately.  But, needs must sometimes, right?  There are always toilets to scrub, laundry to sort, dishes to wash, etc.

4.  Words With Friends—I've always been a big Scrabble fan and WWF is a fun, online version of the game.  If you play, hit me up.  My username is sjwordnerd.

5.  Boggle With Friends—Even more than WWF, I love BWF.  It's a fun, fast-moving, addicting game that is a perfect distraction.  My username is sjwordnerd on BWF as well.

6.  Watching t.v./movies—Prior to the quarantine, I only really watched t.v. when I was folding laundry.  As I mentioned above, I've been stitching more, so I've been watching more.  Since my kids are home all day, whatever we watch has to be family-friendly.  My husband and I just finished Limitless; now we're working on Blue Bloods.  I also watched Groundhog's Day (an old favorite), Outbreak (I'd forgotten how terrifying it is, especially considering the state of things these days.  Also, it has a 90's PG-13 rating, meaning it had a lot more F-bombs than anticipated.  Oops.), 93 Days (another pandemic flick, based on a true story), and The Fighting Preacher (an interesting, uplifting movie about a couple who served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the early 1900s in upstate New York and how they overcame the hate and prejudice they encountered there). 

7.  Sleeping—Back in the old days (you know, January), I'd get up at 6 every morning to get my kids off to school and then get on with my day, which was always full of appointments, errands, shopping, volunteering at the school, housework, projects, etc.  These days, I crawl out of bed around 9, shower somewhere around noon, and usually take a nap around 3 because why not?  I literally have nowhere else I need to be but in my nice, comfy bed!

8.  Eating—I don't know about you, but I think I've gained 20 lbs. so far this quarantine.  Although we've had some trouble finding the groceries we regularly buy, we've still managed to eat plenty of food.  Both my 18-year-old daughter and I have been baking away, both out of boredom and craving sweets.  So, yeah, I'm going to be stepping up my weight loss game once if this quarantine ever ends.

9.  Genealogy—As I've mentioned before, I'm in the middle of getting accredited as a professional genealogist through ICAPGen with a specialty in the Great Lakes area of the United States.  I was supposed to head to Salt Lake City in early May to complete my testing, but that has been postponed.  In the meantime, I'm finishing up a big project so I can certify in the Southwest U.S. region as well.

I've also been spending a lot of time indexing old records through FamilySearch.  I've done this for years and it's a fun, easy way to volunteer your time.  After these records are indexed, which makes them easily searchable, they are published online at FamilySearch.  The genealogy site is, and always will be, completely free.  Anyone can use the records found therein to research their family history.  Likewise, anyone can help index the records.  If you're looking for a way to volunteer from your home, check it out.

10.  Hanging With the Fam—Being cooped up together as a family for a month hasn't been a breeze, but it hasn't been bad either.  We've had more time than usual to eat together, chat together, laugh together, watch movies together, and basically just to enjoy each other's company.  It's been a lovely byproduct of an unpleasant time in the world.

There you go.  That's what I've been up to.  What have you been doing to keep yourself busy and sane during the quarantine?  I'd truly love to know.  Leave me a comment on this post and I'll gladly return the favor on yours.

Happy TTT!


  1. I like the spin you've put on the list for this! I feel like a lot of us have started doing a lot more of the things you mentioned, namely eating and sleeping;)

    1. Somedays, I feel like that's all I do! LOL.

      Thanks for coming by, Evelyn!

  2. You're a lot more productive in your quarantine life than I am. My life hasn't changed a lot (my daughter was already homeschooled), but I did recently stop being able to work from home (no work at all, in other words), so I have more time...but I feel like I'm just wasting it. I have started to put together a 1000-piece puzzle, but that's not terribly productive either, just a different way to be lazy. On the plus side, I haven't been eating any more badly than before (which was already not great, let's be honest), because I'm already used to being home a lot.

    On a side note--is the title of your post a reference to anything in particular? It felt like a song lyric to me. Even if it's not, I still have the song stuck in my head.

    1. Ha ha. My life hasn't actually changed all that much either. I've always been a homebody, but before the quarantine I definitely had a lot more places I had to be. I was a lot more productive back then, though. At least that's the way it seems.

      YES! It's an obscure reference to a children's song I learned at church when I was a kid. It starts, "Oh, what do you do in the summertime when all the world is green? Do you fish in a stream, or lazily dream on the banks as the clouds drift by ..." If you really want to get the song stuck in your head, you can listen to it here:

      Thanks for coming by, Kristi!

    2. That's so funny. I figured I was thinking of the wrong song, as it's not quite the same amount of syllables, but I'm glad to know I was right about it being from a song, at least. (The one it made me think of is "What Can You Do With a General?" from White Christmas.)

  3. Good luck with your blogging!

    And cross-stitching is a great idea. How easy is it to learn?

    My TTT .

    1. Cross-stitching is super easy. If you Google it, I'm sure you can find some excellent tutorials on YouTube or on cross-stitching websites. Materials are a little hard to come by right now - you would probably have to order everything online. It's a fun, relaxing hobby, though.

      Thanks for stopping by, Lydia!

  4. I'm sort of glad you couldn't think of any books because reading this post brought me so much joy I've now got a big smile on my face - thank you!

    1. Awww, I'm so glad! Your comment made ME smile :)

      Thanks for coming by, Louise!

  5. I've been reading a lot too but a book a day is awesome!! Oh gosh, eating... I relate to that so much. Ugh. I'm going to gain so much weight!! It doesn't help that we are stuck inside with the chilly weather! You are being really productive! :)

    1. Our weather has actually been really nice. I SHOULD be out taking walks every day. That would help with the quarantine weight gain.

      Thanks for stopping by, Leslie!

  6. Very productive! I haven’t done much else then eating and working lol

    1. I feel like I haven't been very productive, especially when I read friends' Facebook posts about all the yardwork, organizing projects, homeschooling, etc. they've been doing. I've been pretty lazy, really, but the beautiful thing is I don't feel THAT guilty about it :)

      Thanks for coming by, Tonyalee!

  7. I twisted this week's topic, too. xD Yay for us rebels! I like your idea for this week, though.

    It's so neat that you've been cross-stitching! I always wanted to learn, but I never did. I'm amazed by the sorts of things people can create.

    Here's my TTT post.

    1. Sometimes I look at a TTT topic and just come up TOTALLY blank! I guess I don't talk about certain books because I just don't remember them.

      Cross-stitching really is easy. You'd be surprised. A quick YouTube tutorial is seriously all you'd need to get going.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Sammie!

  8. I love how you changed up the topic - and it made me laugh! I love your view on things.

    1. Aw, thanks :) You either laugh or you cry, I guess, and I'd rather laugh!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  9. I think much of America is baking! My daughter and her friends were all baking the same thing every Sunday, except this past Sunday my daughter didn't. No fair! I suggested we make chocolate chip cookies and she said, "no, we'll just eat them." Well, yeah!

    1. We went to the grocery store on Saturday morning intending to get fresh yeast and the entire baking aisle was cleared out! No flour, no sugar, no yeast. Luckily the yeast I had was unexpired and it proofed just fine, so we still got to have homemade rolls for Easter dinner :) It was a close call, though.

      Ha! Sounds like your daughter is a better influence than mine. She just encourages me and vice versa. LOL.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Helen!

  10. I play one of my friends regularly at Words with Friends- we used to play against others, but the others thought we took it seriously! XD

    1. LOL. Well, I don't take it too seriously, so you would probably beat my socks off! I only play a couple people right now so I don't get too overwhelmed with games. If you want someone else to play, look me up - you might have to go easy on me, though :)

      Thanks for coming by!

  11. My reading has been really down so far throughout this pandemic. I'm hoping with all the extra free time it'll pick up soon!

    Genealogy is so fascinating- that's really cool you're doing that.

    I've enjoyed the increased family time too. :)

    1. I've heard a lot of people say that they are having a really hard time concentrating on anything with this pandemic going on. Makes sense to me, but I still like getting lost in a good story.

      Family history just fascinates me completely. I've had lots of fun learning about my ancestors and I want to help others do the same :)

      Thanks for stopping by, Greg!

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. Oh, that cross-stitch is gorgeous! My grandmother taught me in middle school, I think it was, but it's been awhile since I've worked on anything. This makes me want to go find a new project!

    It sounds like you've been keeping yourself busy! Ever since quarantine has started, I've actually found myself watching less movies and sleeping less time and I've been doing more cooking, blogging, and writing. With college over, I was originally supposed to be job searching around this time, so it's been a bit strange staying at home so much, but luckily with living at home still, I have plenty of time to spend with my parents.

    1. I haven't cross-stitched much in the last decade, but every once in awhile I get motivated to work on something. It's fun to create something cute and it also relaxes me.

      It sounds like you're being far more productive than I am! I'm glad you get to spend more time with your parents. Everything changes once you go off to college, so enjoy these precious moments together :) My daughter is heading off to college in another part of the state in the Fall and I'm REALLY going to miss her when she does.

      Thanks for coming by!

  14. That's very interesting. You have reminded me of how much I used to embroider and now don't. I like your other interests too.

    thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a link.

    Take Care.

    1. I'm glad I've held on to all my cross-stitching supplies. It's been fun to take up the hobby again.

      Thanks for stopping by, Neeru!

  15. Ahhh why did it never occur to me to change the topic, I usually skip the ones I don't like. Genius.
    I tried to do a 9+ years old stitching kit thing and it took me 1 month (not my proudest moment)

    1. Ha ha. I enjoy TTT so much that I hate skipping it, so I just twist the topic when it suits me :)

      A month is great! I have a huge, very detailed family tree cross-stitch that I've been working on for FIFTEEN YEARS. I'm not even kidding. I found a huge mistake in it, too, so I've abandoned it instead of going through all the torture of picking out all of those erring stitches :(

      Thanks for coming by!

  16. Reading, blogging, listening to music, jigsawing, cooking, working, that about covers it I think!

    1. That's a lot! The one thing we haven't done is pull out a puzzle. I'm not sure why not since both my husband and I like putting them together. We should get one out and make the kids get off their screens and help us put it together! Good, old-fashioned family fun, right?

      Thanks, as always, for stopping by and commenting, Marg!

  17. My sister has taken up ... something that requires wool and a loom (I think) and it looks fun! I like this selection of things to do -- mine has been mostly reading and cleaning!

    1. Ha ha. Cross-stitching is the only hand sewing I've ever been good at. I tried knitting at one point, but my hands just couldn't get it! Crochet was a little easier, but not great. Cross-stitching is easiest for me.

      I should definitely be doing less reading and more cleaning, but who wants to do that?? LOL.

      Thanks for coming by, Verushka!

  18. Sounds like you are making good use of your time. My mom is struggling the most (super extrovert), but she found an online mahjongg game, and it really helps. Glad those online games are there to help people connect.

    1. You guys are making me feel so good about my use of time during the quarantine! And here I thought I was being super lazy :)

      Online games are definitely helping those social butterflies out there. I don't chat at all in my online games, but my 11yo daughter loves to play video games with her friends from school. It's fun to hear them laughing and having fun even though they can't physically be together. I'm glad your mom has found a similar outlet.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Sam!

  19. You're doing pretty well, Susan. All of this stay-at-home time is forcing us to be a little more inventive about how we spend these extra hours than I ever figured we would have to be. The biggest change in our daily life in my house is not having to get my grandson to and from school every day. He goest to school ten miles from home and doesn't drive yet, so we were driving 200 miles a week just for that. I hadn't realized just how much of our day was getting eaten up by that because we caught rush hour on both ends of the day that way.

    What you said about Netflix made me smile. I find myself wandering around the site sometimes for almost as long as it would take me to watch one of their shorter movies. Too much choice is not always easy.

    Here's hoping we are getting closer to the end of all this because I can't imagine living this way for another two months or more. I miss the little things, like coffee in the morning with friends, dropping by a bookstore on a whim, wandering the shelves of my library, and the like. Sadly, my father turns 98 on the 28th of this month and my granddaughter turns 21 - and as it is now, we will not be able to celebrate the occasion with either of them.

    Stay well.

    1. Wow, that's a big commute! My elementary schooler rides the bus and my senior drives her freshman brother to school every day, so that's a big help to us (even though the high school is only a 10 minute drive away). My daughter will go off to college before my son gets his license, so SOMEONE will have to drive him next year. He's not going to like it when I tell him his new chauffeur will be the bus driver :)

      Yeah, I have a hard time finding stuff on Netflix that (1) I want to watch and (2) is family-friendly enough to view in mixed company. My husband and I watched an oldie but goodie on Disney+ yesterday - Blackbeard's Ghost. It's dated, but still hilarious.

      Not being able to celebrate special occasions together is one of the hardest things about this quarantine! Easter felt lonely without our usual extended family dinner. And birthdays must be so tough. We haven't experienced that yet, although we did have to cancel our daughter's high school graduation party :( Sad.

      We did get news the other day that an extended family member has died from the virus after several weeks on a ventilator. Amid all my little complaints about the quarantine, I have to remind myself that people are still dying out there. It's sobering, for sure.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Sam!

  20. Love this so much! I too have been eating too much but what can you do when stress and chocolate combine? That's a very cool cross-stitch! And I hope you're able to finish up your geneaology accreditation soon. :D

    1. Thanks, Lark! The testing had already been postponed for a different reason, so I've had to be patient :) That's okay - more time to study.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lark!

  21. Blogging (and reading) is number one for me as well! I know a lot of people haven't been able to focus on blogging/reading but I don't know what I would do without it. I wish I did cross stitching, or knitting, or something creative with my hands! For a change from the blogging and reading :P

    1. Agreed. Losing myself in books has always been my best and favorite escape :) I did pick my cross-stitching back up because I needed a little variety in my quarantine life, but reading has always been and will always be my favorite hobby.

      Thanks for stopping by, Jenna!

  22. This was a great list, Susan, and it looks like you've got all kinds of things going. I'm going to keep several of them in mind. Right now I'm doing OK, reading a bit, walking a lot, and have also started going with my husband as he walks a few holes on the golf course most afternoons. No carts - he carries his clubs, but it's easy to self-distance and I just listen to my books and walk. That's my goal for this week anyway. Next week, I'm going to start fitting in yoga. My usual yoga teacher has put some practices on YouTube and I'm thinking that will be fun and also good for me. Take care!

    1. Good for you getting out and getting your walk in! I've been terrible about exercising. The weather's been really nice around here lately, too, so I have NO excuse not to move a little! Good luck with your yoga. That's great that your teacher utilizes technology to keep her students motivated and learning during quarantine. Enjoy!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Kay!

  23. I've also been blogging, eating, hanging with the fam, and way too much housework. I also have been walking and doing a lot of laundry.

    1. I should probably be doing more housework, but it's not like it's going anywhere, right? I definitely should be doing more walking and less eating!

      Thanks for stopping by, Deanna!

  24. Wonderful post! Love the jokes, particularly the laundry one. :-D I love that you toook up x-stitch again. I spent about 10 years addicted to that in the late 90s. What I've done is taken up knitting again and am absolutely loving it.

    1. I'm all thumbs when it comes to knitting! I'm glad you're loving it though.

      And, seriously, I don't know what is up with quarantine laundry. My kids wear the same clothes every day, it seems, and there's STILL a never-ending mountain of laundry to do. It makes no sense!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Cath!

  25. It's so fun to hear about all the things you're doing, Susan! Way to go on becoming a professional genealogist, too, wow! And yes, we haven't been able to find ANY yeast for a month over here! Hoarders! When this all began to go crazy in early March I determined not to panic and not to hoard and consequently we never got anything!

    1. I never even thought of stocking up on yeast! When I buy yeast, I buy it in jars so I do have some left but not much. No more homemade rolls, I guess. Boo hoo.

      I hope you and yours are staying safe and healthy!

  26. We've been going on a lot of walks, bought a trampoline (getting too old for things like that, haha), some sewing and crafts, lots of board games -- whatever to pass time. :)

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear? 😷💬

    1. My stomach cannot handle trampolines anymore! I used to be able to jump all day, do flips, etc. Now that I'm an old lady? Nope. Just watching the kids jump makes me nauseous!

      Thanks for coming by, Lindsi!

  27. I love your TTT topic for this week!

    I'm still working full time as I can work from home I wish I could bake but the UK has a bit of a shortage of flour in the supermarkets as so many people have started baking and most of the flour mills are set up to to fill giant bags for factories and professional bakeries so they can't fill enough of the small bags for home bakers!

    That said I live on my own so my waistline will probably be grateful I'm not baking 24/7

    1. Last time I went to the grocery store (Saturday), the entire baking aisle was cleared out. No flour, no sugar, no yeast, etc. People are either doing a lot of baking or hoarding everything. We've managed off what we had on hand, but we're running low. That's probably a good thing for our waistlines, too :)

      Thanks for coming by, Sarah!

  28. It sounds like you are making good use of your time. I have almost gotten myself caught up with reviews but that is just because my reading is way down. I haven't picked up any craft but have enjoyed spending time with my husband, daughter, and dogs. I feel like I am spending hours in the kitchen every day as well. I love your list!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I'm trying to be productive, but I've felt very unmotivated to do much of anything except reading and cross-stitching. My kitchen is a constant wreck because everyone spends all day eating, it seems like! I've given up trying to keep it clean.

      Thanks for stopping by, Carole!

  29. Wow, you've been way more productive than me! :D I've mainly been doing household chores, working on my blog, and doing a jigsaw puzzle.

    1. I feel like I'm being really lazy, but I have gotten a few things done! We've yet to pull out a puzzle (although we have tons of them), but that's mostly because our puzzle table is covered in my husband's Legos! If he gets them all built, maybe we'll be able to do a puzzle before the quarantine ends :)

      Thanks for stopping by, An!

  30. I've been mostly just catching up on shows. I've read some, but my mind just isn't in the right frame for that half the time. I've also been working from home, so it's been a new experience. I like being at home for the most part, but even I'm getting sick of it.

    1. I feel the same way. I'm a homebody and I always enjoy being at home, but I'm ready to at least be able to go a few places!

      Thanks for coming by, Nicole!

  31. I have been doing most of these as well, except maybe hanging with the family as I live alone, but I have been talking to them on chat and the phone. I don't do cross stitch either, but I sew and have been making masks for friends and family and pajamas for the grandkids. Have a great weekend Susan.

  32. I absolutely love your list. If you're bored with your housework, you're always welcome at my house.

    But honest, there are so many things we have in common, I love blogginb, cross-stitching, anything to do with words even though I don't play that game. And I'm much into genealogy, as well, have done a lot of research for both my and hubby's family.

    Thanks for visiting my TTT earlier.


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