On Victory Gardens and Finding Love in the Time of Coronavirus

April 27, 2020

I hope this post finds you well.

home gardening young rucola
Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

I’m not sure if I’m suffering from ‘quarantine fatigue’ or if I’m sick of the constant rain, chilly temperatures, and blustery wind, it’s awful. This week’s weather forecast calls for rain, followed by partly sunny skies this weekend, and more rain next week, ugh. Fortunately, we’re mostly in the high 60s and I saw a few days next week in the 70s. I’ll take it.

The lettuce, kale, and spinach plants in my Victory garden are still small but happy; they love cooler weather. I check them each morning and offer encouraging words and good energy like I did my children because I love these little guys. After a freeze warning last week, I’m vigilant with the vegetable, herb, and flower seedlings now living in larger pots on the kitchen porch. In the past, I bought established plants to get a headstart in the garden and since that wasn’t possible this year, I really need these seed babies to grow! It was fun to start from scratch with heirloom varieties, but for every seed that germinated and wilted, my heart sank. I suppose it’s survival of the fittest when it comes to starting with seeds. I’m doing my best to help them along.

The other day, a new age guru, or was he a scientist? I don’t remember, but he described the novel coronavirus pandemic as a ‘thinning the herd’ event. He didn’t explain, which would have been interesting, but his comment rubbed me the wrong way. He went on to say if we’re still here, there’s a reason for it. Again no explanation. Buddy, the reason I’m still here is that I don’t leave my house and I live alone. How long that remains feasible and healthy for me and others is anyone’s guess.

Today I paid my real estate taxes, and the water and electric bills online. I buy groceries online. I bank online. Tomorrow, I’ll be video chatting with my endocrinologist. When I’m down, I say the rosary with the priests at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes in France. I’m taking an online course on ancestral medicine and signed up for five free courses with The Monroe Institute and set up Zoom chats with my family, friends, and my The Artist Group participants. It all works…for now, but I don’t know how I feel about that being our new, not-normal future. I miss hugs and hello kisses. I miss hugging my tribe.

The rest of this post is kind of tongue in cheek. I need a bit of humor today.

adult blur bokeh bright
Photo by Jasmine Wallace Carter on Pexels.com

Love in the Time of Coronavirus. I’m claiming that as the perfect title for my memoir.

After a long hiatus of dating, and in light of this quarantine lasting until the end of summer, (maybe winter?) will I return to dating? Online dating? What will dating look like in the time of Coronavirus? Will we return to finding love like in Jane Austen’s novels, when women and men wooed and seduced each other with romantic notes and love letters written on crisp stationery and envelopes sealed with burnt crimson wax seals? I actually have one of those thingies and several sticks of crimson wax, I would love that.

In the past, I was never okay with online dating messages that read, “Hey”, or “wassup”. I always thought those lazy men were alone for good reason. Write me a sonnet, Mister! Or a poem about my limpid, grey-green eyes and the way the moonlight hits my pale, dewy skin on a soft summer eve. Pale because I don’t get out much, but write it anyway. Send me nosegays of fragrant Spring flowers. Mark my words, gentlemen, you’ll go far.

Single women on social media are joking that couples who were more than iffy in the relationship department and other couples who were legally separated before COVID-19 and now forced to stay together during this pandemic for financial reasons. Some may have secretly given a divorce lawyer a retainer or found a good moving company. What they were getting at is there will more available women and men in the dating pool than before the pandemic. As a single woman, that got my attention as the dating pool of eligible good men always looked more like a puddle to me. But it also made me sad. I say if a couple (especially with kids at home) can survive this pandemic and remain stronger than before, more power to them. Be good to each other.

So, if you’re an available man, anywhere in the world, and you’re thinking of writing me a sonnet, I’ll contemplate reserving a post office box. Of course, we must show multiple, negative COVID-19 tests and proof of antibodies.

We can’t lose our sense of humor, people. Some days, it’s all we have and it’s good for us.

Still no stimulus check…

Be safe, stay healthy.

Eleanor x

ABOUT ELEANOR:

me in ma july 2019

Puerto Rican-born Eleanor Parker Sapia is the author of the multi-award-winning, debut novel, A DECENT WOMAN, set in 1900 Puerto Rico, published by Winter Goose Publishing. Eleanor is featured in the anthology, Latina Authors and Their Muses. Eleanor currently lives in Berkeley County, West Virginia, where she is working on her second novel, THE LAMENTS, set in 1927 Puerto Rico. Her adult children are out in the world doing amazing things, which gives her a lot of pride and allows her to write full time.

On Messy Emotions, Hope, Coping Techniques, and Survival Tools

April 24, 2020

Good morning. I hope you and yours are well on this partly sunny morning.

grayscale photo of woman covering her face by her hand
Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy on Pexels.com

My emotions were all over the place this week. I felt hopeful and energetic, in a lovely, spiritual state of mind the that ended in a wonderful Zoom chat with my children and family members. I miss them so much. The following morning, watching the news left me drained. Writing helped tremendously and produced a mini-rant that caused the side effect of Catholic guilt for being too angry and wondering if I was missing some bigger picture. I took deep inhalations, exhaled, and found my happy Zen place by sitting in the garden to find my center again because I used to be a glassful kind of woman…more like a 3/4 glassful, actually. But it was hard.

Other days, I accepted the challenges of living alone in quarantine and forgave myself for messy emotions. This morning, I don’t believe I was missing the bigger picture, at all: we should stay home to stop the spread of this deadly virus and not open the country too soon, or risk going back to square one.

I watched the Coronavirus Taskforce Briefing two days ago and heard the president ask Dr. Birx about the possible benefits of shooting disinfectants into our veins for…I don’t know the reason. To disinfect our veins, our lungs? I’m positive that’s what I heard him ask her. Why can’t we get rid of this guy? She lowered her head as he spoke. I realize she is in an impossible situation and working for him…but she shouldn’t lie to the public about the okayness of reopening hair salons and massage centers. Those briefings often produce anxiety and frustration, followed by bouts of fear and despair. I turn off the news and remind myself (again) I’m a strong woman and dammit, I’ve lived through some shitty situations. I tell myself I will survive this nasty ass virus, for as many times as it chooses to resurface, until we have a vaccine.

It’s strangely comforting to read articles and blog posts about people experiencing similar emotional highs and lows. One writer shared how she’d cried in the shower after a relatively good day. Another wrote about finally dealing with the loss of a loved one after years of mindnumbing, nonstop work at a job they now hate. Some extroverts are struggling with isolation and being alone with their thoughts for the first time in a long time. Introverts like myself, who in the past didn’t mind living alone and are still working alone, desperately miss their people, their tribe.

Everything feels upended, strange, and unfamiliar. At the same time, since we’re stuck at home for the unforeseeable future and creating new patterns of living, our days feel strangely liberating and familiar at a deep emotional level. It’s as if we know, our inner selves know, we needed this lockdown break from what we viewed as ‘normal’ to regain our perspective and balance. We are now better able to see the challenges and toxicity in certain situations, relationships, and in the workplace. We recognize important and life-changing changes we can make in ourselves, in our lives, and in our relationships.

We’re all dealing with some level of grief, loss, and minor and major changes. There was no gradual, warm invitation to change, stress, and adversity–we were thrown headfirst into a pandemic with little to go on but our instincts, as misguided and brilliant as they may have been at first.

I’m a huge fan of the series, “Naked and Afraid”, where complete strangers shed their clothing and are plopped in impossible environments around the world with two items to test and challenge their survival skills. Some make it, some don’t, and it’s always the ones you worry about initially who make it. The show reminds of this pandemic, where each of us was thrown into an impossible situation with only a few tools and skills, but with a fierce determination to survive.

An insane amount of adversity, change, shocking events, and trauma, all in the blink of an eye, confronted us in late February. Yes, most definitely, there were those who knew this dreaded virus was coming and what it would cause and cost individuals, communities, our contry, and the world. The bad karma is on them. But for the most part, the average man, woman, and child had no advanced warning of what was to come.

We weren’t handed an instruction manual. There were no words of wisdom, concrete help, or places to turn to for help early on because we were all dealing with the same things. It is still chaotic, frightening, and unnerving. We had no answers. There are still few known medical facts (known to us, anyway), and most importantly, we still aren’t offered a lot of hope for a future without COVID-19. The only thing I know is that in the future we will be wearing masks and gloves, and will be encouraged to continue to practice safe distancing. Some will survive, some won’t.

So, let’s give ourselves a freaking break and a pat on the back for getting this far.

Stay healthy and be safe.

Eleanor x

***

April 25, 2020

cascade creek environment fern
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

If your emotions are on a careening rollercoaster some days, my only advice is to stop and retreat to a quiet corner of your house or balcony, and breathe. Find your center by sitting still and closing your eyes. Breathe. If you can get to a park, to the ocean (where I’d given anything to be right now), or to a body of water, go there. Breathe. Look at nature photographs and fall in love with our planet again. Wrap yourself in protective, white light. Forgive others, forgive yourself. Reach deep for more patience, compassion, and kindness, it’s there. Don’t lash out against those who are in quarantine with or around you, who are most likely dealing with messy emotions fueled by frustration and fear similar to your own. Cry, release. Hug yourself and know all will be well. The future might look different, but it will okay.

This pandemic will end. We will laugh, share meals, love, visit each other, and travel to new or familiar places. We will be happy and grateful we came through the novel coronavirus. We will share stories that will make us cry with a knowing, and we will smile with understanding, compassion, and joy, all about how we survived. We will emerge more informed, armed with vital, new skills, and knowledge. We’ll emerge with an arsenal of tried and true coping techniques and new survival skills. That’s how I see the future without La cabRona, which means the bitch in Spanish. Thank you to the graphic artist, @pinche_raf_art, for his wonderful Pandemic Loteria series he shares on Instagram that includes La cabRona.

Today, let’s be kinder and more patient with ourselves and as patient as we can with others. We’re doing our best in these incredibly challenging times.

I wrote this blog post as a reminder for you and for me to never lose hope.

Be well, stay healthy.

Eleanor x

ABOUT ELEANOR:

me in ma july 2019

Puerto Rican-born Eleanor Parker Sapia is the author of the multi-award-winning, debut novel, A DECENT WOMAN, set in 1900 Puerto Rico, published by Winter Goose Publishing. She is featured in the anthology, Latina Authors and Their Muses. Eleanor currently lives in Berkeley County, West Virginia, where she is working on her second novel, THE LAMENTS, set in 1927 Puerto Rico. Her adult children are out in the world doing amazing things, which fills her with immense pride. Eleanor is surviving the novel coronavirus with a puppy named Sophie and by writing full-time.

On Freedom, Stay-at-home Orders, and Coronavirus Craziness

April 23, 2020

black hawk soaring
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Pexels.com

Good morning, I hope you and yours are well.

I feel the beginnings of a mini-rant coming on…so, if you need soothing words today, please exit left, I will understand. If you continue to read, I promise to end the blog post with positive and hopeful thoughts. I have to get things off my chest today.

Many describe this time in history as an apocalyptic horror. I’ve used the word apocalyptic before to describe the effects of this deadly virus and maybe we shouldn’t, as thoughts and words are fuel, an energy that can make things a reality. No one wants this to be the end of times. I certainly don’t. However, what’s happening in our jails, prisons, nursing homes, meat packing plants, and in hospitals across the country, can only be described as heartbreaking horror stories. In my view, one of the main priorities must be to protect those who live and work in close quarters, where the disease is running amok and spreading like a firestorm. What’s the solution? Is there a plan in motion yet? Is my dad still safe at his nursing home in Florida? Thank God for his caregiver. Thank you, Mariana.

You know, on the days I wonder about the people who share this country with me, I remember Bernie Sanders’ call to revolution, where everyone is protected and matters. That always resonated with me. I feel it is time for a revolution–an evolution of consciousness revolution. We, as global citizens, have a unique and historic opportunity to question, alter, if necessary, and to raise our consciousness when it comes to how we show up and walk through this, our one and only life. Will we accept the challenge?

As far as I can tell, most people hope to fight against the spread of the novel coronavirus because we are in this alone, but together. We need each other like never before. Some say the unfolding events of this week with the armed protestors from Kentucky storming the state capital constituted a revolution about many things: the Second Amendment, nationalism, ignoring the CDC and “the others” over opening up the country, and to hell with the virus. You see, this is why I often wonder about some people, it feels like we are from different planets. There are those who are hell-bent on opening up the country no matter the cost versus those who are hell-bent on staying home, protecting others, and surviving this pandemic. The former are people I don’t understand, but I do understand people are suffering, burning through their savings, and losing their businesses. There doesn’t seem to be an easy answer, but I know that if we don’t stay home, more of us will become infected and will die.

Then we have the governor of Georgia leading the “open the country” charge, who for whatever asinine reason believes massage parlors, nail and hair salons, barbershops, bowling alleys, and tattoo parlors should reopen Friday, tomorrow. Any sane and rational person knows it’s impossible to get a haircut, a massage or a tattoo from six feet away! Except for barbershops, I’ve use all those services and sorry, I don’t consider those businesses essential. Nice, but not essential. I was a massage therapist and I know for a fact my arms aren’t six feet long; it’s ludicrous to say it’s safe to get a massage tomorrow.

Two days ago, it looked to me like Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the Coronavirus Response Coordinator for the White House, had lost the plot. My mother always said it doesn’t take long for people to show their true colors. Birx, who specializes in HIV-AIDS immunology, vaccine research, and global health, lost my respect (and her credibility?) when she said hair salons and barber shops could indeed remain open as long as they practice safe distancing. Seriously? She appeared sheepish during the briefing. What alternate reality do we live in where a doctor of medicine, a global health expert no less, lies to the American people, to our faces?

This week, it doesn’t appear we are the United States of America. After watching the daily briefings that feel like pretty packages wrapped in lies, sadly, we are as divided as ever, and the COVID-19 pandemic we are living through is again making our differences glaringly obvious.

Yesterday, an American died every 32 seconds. You read right. Last night, I heard an ER doctor describe the horror of how quickly coronavirus patient’s oxygen levels drop. Moreover, when many people reach the hospital to be tested, they are immediately placed into intensive care units. He likened the body’s reaction to COVID-19 to being at the top of the Himalayas with oxygen levels so low that most people pass out. At times, it’s difficult to fathom how virulent and highly contagious this virus is, but it’s a frightening and shocking truth we must accept. We must stay home, if at all possible. I don’t see any other way, or we’ll be dealing with this damn bug for years to come, in addition to seasonal influenza. Or at least until a vaccine is ready to test and administer, and we’ve heard the scientists–a vaccine could be 18 months to two years away.

Doctors, nurses, mental health therapists, and health workers are frightened. Nurses and health care workers are crying as they share personal, soul-crushing stories about how they’ve never seen anything like what this disease does to people’s bodies. Their stories of people dying alone break my heart every time. If those stories don’t touch you at your core and cause you tremendous fear, you’re either in full denial, or you’re an orphan with no known living family members or friends to worry and care about. If you don’t care about yourself, for God’s sake, care about others, the vulnerable, who might not survive an infection. And COVID-19 doesn’t only kill the elderly, it kills healthy, young people, as well.

This is dire. The lack of federal assistance for mass testing is a freaking mystery to me. The federal government needs to step in and step up! Jesus, why don’t they move their asses on mass testing when time is of the essence? Why are 45 and the White House resisting so vehemently? I don’t understand.

We all want this pandemic to end with as few lives lost as possible. One was too many. It’s horrific enough that early on, people died from the virus and coronavirus-related illnesses, while 45 and the US government sat on their hands the entire month of February. The angst over those tragic, unnecessary deaths often keeps me up at night. I just read that the first COVID-19 patients died at home in California on February 6 and February 17. February. Imagine how different this would all look if the government had acted swiftly. As I write this blog post, the rash on my thighs is making more and more sense.

And to those who yelled, harrassed, and threatened immigrants and migrants in this country, who now call them essential, frontline workers, I hope their memories are LONG. I hope their hearts remain open or at the very least soften because guess what? From what I’ve read, this monster of a virus will return this fall and winter with a vengeance.

As promised, I’ll end with positive thoughts and guarded hope. After I wrote yesterday’s blog post about my lifelong love affair with carbs and the sad fact I can no longer eat them, I discovered a company that sells gluten-free sourdough bread starter, and kefir, yoghurt, and kombucha starters. That’s my joy today, and the blessing of knowing my children, family members, and friends are well and safe. I am, too.

Thank you to the nurses, doctors, and health care workers across this country. Their sacrifices and loving care for the American people, strangers to them, are admirable, heroic. We can never thank them enough. If I ruled the world, I’d issue hazard pay (retroactive and into the future) for everyone on the front lines of this pandemic.

Most of us will emerge from this historic pandemic with two inches of hair growth (I went blonde in early February, big mistake), a few extra pounds, wiser, and with new skills. May we also emerge with a voracious appetite for life, love for our planet, and for living each day as if it’s our last day on earth. May we realize the importance of remembering these challenging days and of changing what didn’t work before.

I know it’s not easy (huge understatement), but try to stay home. Be well and stay healthy.

Eleanor x

ABOUT ELEANOR:

me in ma july 2019

Puerto Rican-born Eleanor Parker Sapia is the author of the multi-award-winning, debut novel, A DECENT WOMAN, set in 1900 Puerto Rico, published by Winter Goose Publishing. Eleanor is featured in the anthology, Latina Authors and Their Muses. Eleanor currently lives in Berkeley County, West Virginia, where she is working on her second novel, THE LAMENTS, set in 1927 Puerto Rico. Eleanor’s adult children are out in the world doing amazing things, which fills her with immense pride and allows her to write full time.

 

 

 

 

On Anxiety, Rashes, and Visualizing

April 22, 2020

woman wearing grey long sleeved top photography
Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

I’ve been awake since 5:30 this morning. I’m certain grinding my teeth woke me up and now I understand why my puppy takes long morning naps after I get up, I toss and turn all night. My restless sleep could be caused by watching the MSNBC nightly news before turning in; not a smart move. It’s time to take the Melatonin I bought in February and listen to soft music before bedtime. I look forward to a restful nap later today.

During my quarantine days, I stay as busy as possible by working on my work-in-progress (WIP), gardening, watching shows and old movies, cooking, and sitting on my kitchen porch, surveying my pretty flower and vegetable gardens. I go over my mental list of home chores and maintenance requirements because a homeowner’s work is never done; there’s always something that needs my attention. When that becomes stressful because most chores require a tall ladder and extra hands, which can’t happen yet, I call or text my kids, my sister and my stepmom, and bring up good family memories.

I brainstorm, daydream, and visualize where I’d live if nothing were stopping me. In my daydream, I own a home by a mountain stream in Puerto Rico and a village home in Isle Sûr la Sorgue in the south of France. And if I’m especially relaxed, I add a thatched-roof cottage in Ireland that overlooks the wild Irish Sea. I’ve owned a home in the south of France and lived in Puerto Rico many times in my life, so visualizing comes easy. It’s a welcome distraction from watching the news and thinking about the future. No one knows what the future will look like and that causes anxiety. So round and round we go.

Pre-COVID, when anxious feelings oozed around me, threatening to upend my peace, I’d sit quietly with my thoughts and journal about what I was feeling and the reasons for the feelings. I’d write to get to the heart of the matter and think of ways to turn negative thoughts into positive ones. These days, thinking too much seems like a dangerous proposition–the reasons I feel isolated and lonely are one and the same–I’m in solo quarantine. Perhaps the reasons run deeper, but they don’t matter to me at this time, I need to focus on the present–surviving this quarantine without losing too many marbles in the process.

I imagine we’re all playing mind games to calm ourselves and we’re self-soothing any way we can. Hopefully, our coping methods are healthy choices. It’s getting harder to shut out negativity these days and when I manage to feel happy and hopeful, my body tells me otherwise. Our bodies speak to us in whispers and then louder when we ignore what’s going on internally for too long. I have small, itchy bumps on the front of my thighs. Last week, while pulling weeds along the front fence, my hands and wrists came into contact with poison ivy, but this looks different. Can stress cause hives? I wouldn’t doubt it. Apparently, I’m not as calm as I’d like to think, and my body is showing me that I’m struggling. I’m paying attention.

So, what to do? More of the same and going deeper than ever to reach my happy place(s). I’ll remember I’m not alone. I’m richly blessed with food, shelter, a loving family, and good health. Some of us are not as fortunate. We’re all struggling in one way or another. I’ll continue to count my blessings and remain grateful to those on the frontline, who risk their lives every day for me and for you. Thank you.

Be safe, stay healthy.

Eleanor x

ABOUT ELEANOR:

me in ma july 2019

Puerto Rican-born Eleanor Parker Sapia is the author of the multi-award-winning, debut novel, A DECENT WOMAN, set in 1900 Puerto Rico, published by Winter Goose Publishing. Eleanor is featured in the anthology, Latina Authors and Their Muses. Eleanor currently lives in Berkeley County, West Virginia, where she is in quarantine and working on her second novel, THE LAMENTS, set in 1927 Puerto Rico. Her children are out in the world doing amazing things.

 

 

 

In Quarantine: On Humor, Gratitude, and Safe Distancing

April 1, 2020

This is no joke. There are so many confirmed cases and deaths in the US and around the world. I feel sad and at a loss for words today.

Stay safe, continue to make art, and hang in there. This too shall pass. It’s anybody’s guess when that will happen.

That’s all I’ve got today.

***

close up photograph of flowers
Photo by Secret Garden on Pexels.com

April 2, 2020

Good morning, I hope you and yours are safe and well.

This morning the sun is shining, the lilac bushes are full of buds, and the peony bushes are two feet high. The vegetable and herb seedlings in trays and egg cartons are growing like weeds, and the lettuce, kale and spinach seeds I sowed in the garden a week ago are beginning to push through the soil. The Lily-of-the-Valley plants are popping up near the grapevines. Muguet du Bois. French is such a gorgeous language. I’m hopeful for a beautiful garden and a bountiful vegetable harvest this year to share with my neighbors.

I truly hope the sun is shining where you are and that you can get out for a bit of fresh air today…wearing your mask, of course. Jeez, where did that come from? That mask reference came from our new normal, but of course, nothing is normal today or ever will be normal like we knew normal back in December 2019. How’s that for a badly written, run-on sentence?

Yesterday, as I was working on an elevator pitch for my work-in-progress, THE LAMENTS, (they are a bitch to write), I was startled by a knock at the front door. These days, except for the post person or the UPS and Fed-Ex people, all heroes to me, no one knocks on my door. So I went back to writing. I no longer rush to the door like before to bring in the packages—that involves serious preparation. There are gloves to put on, a mask to secure, and at least a 20-or 30-minute wait before opening the door because minute coronavirus droplets could be lingering in the air. Or is it three hours on surfaces, 14 hours in the air? Jesus. That sounds nuts, doesn’t it? Welcome to the world.

The person knocked again. I peeked through the curtains and it was a masked man. What fresh hell was this? I was immediately filled with dread. My heart raced. All the films I’d ever watched about viruses, pandemics, and zombies came to mind, and since we’d been evacuated from our homes two months ago for a city gas leak, I nearly panicked. I wasn’t leaving my home again, that was crystal clear to me.

Since I knew I couldn’t open the door and wasn’t sure if he could hear me through the window, I motioned for him to wait. I suited up and cracked the door a bit. Instead of remaining where he stood on my front stoop, he approached the door. Way too close. “Woah, mister! Back it up, please! I can hear you from here.”

“Sorry!” he replied, a bit embarrassed. Then I recognized him. It was the nice delivery man from my local pharmacy with my delivery of meds, wipes, and Vitamin D pills.

“Oh, it’s you! Just put the bag down, and I’ll collect it after you leave. Thank you!” I said, still fearful of the nice man because who the hell knows who he’s been around in the hours leading to my delivery.

“I’ll do that, no problem, but you have to sign for your stuff.” Shit. I’d forgotten about that part. He handed me a little piece of paper for me to sign and offered his pen.

“No, no, no”, I said, waving my hand. “I have a pen. Hold on.” I closed the door and as I went to retrieve my sterile pen off the writing desk, I turned to my dog and said, “Can you believe this shit?”

Now. Don’t get it twisted. Please don’t. I’ve been writing this pandemic blog series for over two weeks now. I’m VERY appreciative and grateful as hell for every single hero and heroine who is keeping our world going during this horrible pandemic. I just wasn’t prepared for that bit of drama today, not at all. I signed the paper, cracked the door again, and returned the signed slip of paper. “Thank you! Be safe out there,” I said before shutting my door again.

My two-week self-quarantine was interrupted. I wondered if I had to start from day one again to see if I’d been infected. Lord Jesus. After he left, I stood on my stoop, emptying out the contents of the bag. I threw the plastic bag into the trashcan and wiped down each item before bringing them inside. There’s got to be a better way, but it is what it is, right?

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to the folks, who are still at work to keep us, you and me, safe, healthy, fed, and sane.  And to those of us who are sharing funny memes and stories; raw and real videos of living through this pandemic with children and teens; and to those who are sharing drawings, poems, music videos, and frolicking baby goats, thank you. A special thank you to Netflix and the Tiger King–that was awesome.

Be safe out there and for God’s sake, say home, if you can. I miss my kids.

Oh, and don’t forget Winter Goose Publishing, my publisher, opened their entire eBook catalog on Amazon for FREE. You’ve got until Saturday, so fire up that Kindle and download some books, including mine. Happy reading!

Eleanor x

ABOUT ELEANOR:

Me in March 2020

Puerto Rican-born Eleanor Parker Sapia is the author of the multi-award-winning, debut novel, A DECENT WOMAN, set in 1900 Puerto Rico, published by Winter Goose Publishing. Eleanor is featured in the anthology, “Latina Authors and Their Muses”. Eleanor currently lives in Berkeley County, West Virginia, where she is working on her second novel, THE LAMENTS, set in 1927 Puerto Rico.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog Talk Radio Show: What’s Happening Now

MARCH 31, 2020 – BLOG TALK RADIO SHOW – NEWS OF THE DAY – HOST MARSHA CASPER COOK

PLEASE JOIN MARSHA CASPER COOK, JACK REMICK, AND ELEANOR PARKER SAPIA TODAY, MARCH 31, AT 4 EST 3CT 2 MT 1 PST

What’s Happening Now is a new show. They will be discussing the current COVID-19 crisis, writing during the pandemic, and tips on maintaining creativity.

Call in to speak with the host at (714) 242-5259.

Be safe out there.

Eleanor x

Working From Home: The Power of Words

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Yesterday, I read my last blog post and decided to change the title from “Pandemic Diary: Working From Home” to “Covid-19: Working From Home”. This morning, still not happy with the title, I changed it to, “Working From Home”.

Why change the title twice? Because words are important, they matter. Words are powerful. I realized the post I’d hoped would be received as a grateful, hopeful, and helpful post about what we’re all dealing with, (a post I’d taken much time and sensitivity to write), led with a word that instills fear and anxiety in many folks today—the word, pandemic.

I do not wish to lead with fear. By that I mean, I never want my words to add in any way to the fear and anxiety many of us are currently experiencing with the uncertainty and spread of the Coronavirus. Most of us are worried about our children, adult children who no longer live with us, and our family members, especially our parents who might live alone, or in a nursing home facility, where we have no access at this time. It’s a frightening time to be sure and I’m not immune.

That said, it’s more important than ever to support and encourage each other during this difficult time. Call, text, and Facetime or Skype with family members and friends. On social media, share posts and news articles (checked for accuracy as best we can) with our friends and family members that we’ve found helpful or we think might be helpful to them, especially to parents with children at home. Lastly, as a general rule, everyone should keep on top of updated information and guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization.

By no stretch of the imagination am I an expert on working from home and living alone; it’s been my experience since 2010. So, I will continue to share my experiences of working from home and maybe something I’ve learned will be helpful to one reader. That’s my wish.

What this time in history has nudged me (again) to bring to the forefront of my consciousness is that in addition to being an artist, a writer, a poet, a Mom, a sister, a daughter, an aunt, and a friend, I’ve practiced Reiki for twenty years. I trained in the UK, had a practice in Brussels, Belgium, and in 2008, completed the Reiki Master certification in Washington, DC.

Reiki is a modality I’ve shared with family and close friends, and then for some reason, in January 2020, for the first time, I added it to my Instagram profile. I’m not a Reiki expert, but I know my stuff, and I’m no airy-fairy practitioner, either. I’m a realist with a healthy dose of woo-woo. I sage myself and my home daily and I own a singing bowl, smile. But if I really think about it, my first historical novel is chock full of spirituality, rituals, ancestor worship, faith, traditions, and life in 1900 Puerto Rico. So, there you go. I guess I did put it out there.

Most important of all, please practice safe distancing and self-quarantine if you believe you’ve been in contact with someone who is infected. Stay home, stay home, stay home, if possible, and wash your hands like crazy.

Be safe and take excellent care of yourself and others. We will get through this. Let’s pray and/or send good energy, positive thoughts and words into the world, we need them.

Now, back to writing and learning to make the perfect omelet like Jacques Pepin.

Eleanor x

ABOUT ELEANOR:

Me in March 2020

Puerto Rican-born Eleanor Parker Sapia is the author of the multi-award-winning, debut novel, A DECENT WOMAN, set in 1900 Puerto Rico, published by Winter Goose Publishing. Eleanor currently lives in Berkeley County, West Virginia, where she is working on her second novel, THE LAMENTS, set in 1927 Puerto Rico. She is the mother of two amazing adult children, who are in the world doing wonderful things.