Social Distancing—And What I’m Doing!

Not gonna lie.  It’s tough out there—or rather in there at this time.  Social Distancing is now a way of life.

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Social Distancing is real!

Luckily for me, I’ve been social distancing ever since I moved to the Philadelphia area and left my New York and New Jersey friends behind. This area is the only place I’ve ever lived that has turned me into a misanthrope.

Be that as it may, this virus is serious. It’s life-threatening and we need to keep safe.

And Bonaparte and I have been staying at home, in the comfort of our little chateau!

But first things first.  I’m working.  As an Administrative Assistant for an Advocacy company, there are certain things that need to be done.  All but three of us are working at home.  The three at work are two in the mail area and me.

Just me. And my shoes. And an empty office!

People are sick.  They are disabled. Paperwork and documentation must get done.  Even in this age of electronic documentation, paper is still used.  That’s where I come in. I’ve been handling mailings of paperwork and documentation and I’ve been busier than ever.

working from home

Not me!  And I’m glad because I would be doing nothing but stress-eating!

The beauty of it is.  I’m alone. Tout seul. And I absolutely love it.  There are no distractions whatsoever.  I’m more productive than I’ve ever been. No office politics to eyeroll.  No busybodies.  It is Administrative Assistant bliss.

I miss my boss and my supervisor but we’re in touch and I miss the two other admins I work with.  It’s a nice group—it really is.  But there is something so pleasurable about working without interruption that allows for deep focusing.

Add to that the cleaning company is on the premises every afternoon literally scrubbing the building down.  I feel very safe.

I’ve also been dressing very casually too!

This was yesterday’s outfit!  Comfy pants from Gretchen Scott Designs, an olive sweater from J. Crew Factory and an old pair of Weejuns!  I’m wearing Raquel Welch Wigs “On Point”

And my morning commute has been such a wonderful experience. No traffic and I drive through Valley Forge Park enjoying the early-morning solitude.

My morning commute. My favorite tree and total solitude. Except for the fact Bonaparte drove me to work. He’s working at home and we’re doing our part by using one car when we can!  Isn’t this a beautiful photo?

This week, however, we had two days of lovely afternoon weather.  And the bozos were out in force.  Yes.  We still need to stay indoors.  And we should not be socializing in force until this thing blows over.  We need to comply and obey laws.

Scenes from a CLOSED Valley Forge Park. People are not only ruining the atmosphere with their germs but they are ruining spaces that the grass grows on.  Morons.

That isn’t the case here in the Wayne/Valley Forge area of Pennsylvania.  For starters, Valley Forge Park is officially closed.  The main roads through the park are open for traffic. That is it.  Barriers have been placed to close parking areas. That means the park is closed. CLOSED!

This car has a story. The small road in Valley Forge Park was barricaded closed. The person who owns this whip obviously opened the barricade.  It’s incredible how selfish people are. Oh wait. This is on Philly’s Main Line. Figures.

But there is a number of people around here who believe they are above it all. On my drive home, I’ve witnessed couples with babies in strollers.  BABIES! I witnessed six people exiting from one car laughing and ready to hike.

stay home

My question is, do you hate your home so much that you can’t stand being indoors.  For me, it’s a respite. I love my home!  It’s my safety and comfort zone!

It is frightening because these are people who could be carriers of the virus. They could have it and pass it on. And the worst thing is that they are parking their cars on the common grassy areas of this beautiful park. I did see Park Rangers giving talks to some of these morons. But how can you fix selfishness?

I know it’s tough but sometimes you gotta take precautions.  I’ll stay indoors thank you.

And while I’m in my own little indoor world, it hasn’t been all that bad.  When I arrive home from work, it’s dinner then upstairs to our bedroom to watch TV.

This morning we watched a great, old, French comedy directed by Yves Robert, who was married to Bonaparte’s aunt.  It starred the comedian Louis de Funes and it was bittersweet for my husband to watch because his beloved cousin, Zazi had a small part, as did Yves himself and his son, Jean-Denis.  It was, for him, like watching an old family movie.  As for me, I was ridiculously proud of myself because there were no English subtitles and I understood most of the dialogue.

Ni vu, ni connu (1958)

This movie was so stinking funny. Then again, I’m a huge fan of Louis de Funes

We’re having a favorite for dinner this evening. Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken. It’s marinating as I write this. And in my quest for healthier eating,  Here’s the link to the recipe I base the dish on. Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken.

Spicy, aromatic and delicious.  This IS a family favorite. My kids request it whenever they are over! 

I made a pate out of mushrooms a nd beans. There was no recipe so I just did a bit of this and a bit of that and added Cognac to kill any germs! And trust me, I need healthier eating at this point because I’ve overdosed on Corn Chips from stress-eating.

Canned red beans, cooked mushrooms, rosemary, nutmeg, salt, pepper, garlic, alll into the food processer.  And a big splash of Cognac!

In a plastic-lined loaf pan and ready for the fridge! I sure hope it tastes good!

I also cleaned up another vintage Louis Vuitton bag.  It’s the Alma PM. A bag I’ve wanted for a long time but could not justify spending the money on a new one that I really can’t afford.  I got this on Mercari for a ridiculously low price and the bag was in great shape. All she needed was cleaning.

My newest addition.  She was in fantastic shape save for some water marks and aging on the leather but I love that!

Now she’s all dressed up with a handle scarf!  I can’t wait to take her out!

She’s dressed up in a cute scarf I purchased on Amazon.  Here’s the link to my idea list to “Clean that Bag”. As you might or might not know, I’m an Amazon Influencer and make a couple of dollars off purchases.  It helps at this time.  So, if you are thinking of cleaning a bag, or dressing up your bag with a scarf, please take a look!

As I love a bag with a history, I was inspired to take my Kooba Sloan bag out of the closet and liven her up a bit.  There’s a story to this bag.

My Kooba Sloan is well-worn, well-loved, has a history with me, and I showed her some well-needed love today!

Back during the lowest point in my life–it was after I lost my home with the divorce.  My oldest son was away at college and my middle guy and my daughter and I moved into an apartment in Pennington. The apartment was not bad but it wasn’t what my kids were used to and I felt awful about it.  Things were not good for me.

She was in need of cleaning and conditioning!

This was right before I met Bonaparte.  I had no money.  At all.  But one night I was perusing the Neiman Marcus Last Call site and my eyes came upon this bag. I had seen it so many times and absolutely loved it.  I couldn’t afford full price. Actually, I couldn’t even afford the sale price of $350 at the time. She was, hands down, the most expensive bag I had ever purchased. It was about 16 years ago. And I bought it.  I needed something to just make me feel good about myself at the time and this bag was the cure.

Quite frankly, the amount of compliments I received on this bag when I used her were remarkable. She was a beauty!

I wore that bag every day for a few years.  I loved it. And every now and then, I’ll take her down and use her but for the most part, she’s on a shelf in my closet.

Conditioned, but the handles need another coating.  She’s looking mighty fine. And a story is why I love a vintage bag!

Today I freshened her up.  I’ll never sell this bag ever. There’s a ton of meaning for me.  She made me feel good when I had absolutely nothing.  And that’s the story!

What’ll I do the rest of this afternoon?  Well, I already set the dinner table.

The table is set for dinner for two. I kept a very simple setting.

I made envelopes from cloth napkins. My bad for not ironing them first but I’m being lazy today!

The utensils are snuggled in the napkin!  It’s simple but cute!

And in a while, I’ll sit down to binge on David Chang’s Ugly/Delicious.  It’s a great series on Netflix and I’m addicted!

Freakin’ David Chang. He’s my new Anthony Bourdain!

Whatever you are doing, remember to stay safe. Cook something different. Clean a bag.  Watch a movie. Read a book.  Clean baseboard.  But take care and distance yourself because this will pass.

Have a great weekend! I’m enjoying no makeup and dressing like a slob today!  How about you?


About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
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27 Responses to Social Distancing—And What I’m Doing!

  1. Margaret Daley says:

    Be safe!
    Greetings from Ohio.
    I love your blog. Will be taking a voluntary retirement pkg. in June as a sales representative (37years). Boy did I pick a time to leave. But the package is excellent. I still want to work I am only 60. I think of your blogs on job searching often.

    • Catherine says:

      HI Margaret! you are so blessed to have a great package! You can enjoy life with no worries. Hopefully you can still work. The job market isn’t friendly to we 60 and overs but perhaps in Ohio it’s better than here. My daughter and her husband are in Cincy and are having a new home built. I can’t wait to get back to Ohio to visit! Stay safe! XOXOXOXO

  2. Toni Soucie says:

    Great blog, Cathe. I am inspired by your cooking skills. Being Italian, I can cook but since we retired, we do eat out quite a bit. So, I am missing that while being on “pause” in New York (as Gov. Cuomo puts it). I’ve cooked more in the last two weeks than I have in the last three months. Please take care and be cautious in handling the mail at work. Wash, wash your hands.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Toni! Ohhhhhh I’m sure you are cooking up some really great food. And gravy (or sauce). I like Cuomo and he’s getting a raw deal from that thing that can’t even read from a teleprompter. And I’m constantly washing and sanitizing my hands. I’ve never been so spankin’ clean in my life! XOXOXOXOXO

  3. Marsha L. Calhoun says:

    I don’t care if you are dressing like a slob (hah – slobs should look so good), the no-makeup look works fine on you! Or maybe it’s your down-to-earth, upbeat post – whatever, keep it up, and stay well!

  4. juliet brown says:

    Your office looks utter heaven, empty. Our office has no dividers between the tiny desks and people shriek like chickens from one end to the other – it is dire, coupled with that I have a boss who is the worst boss I have ever had – no boundaries, none. Chian-yanking perpetually (when he is in the office and not sorting out his wifes business the next street over), wanting to show us endless photos of his kids, jumping up and rattling seat backs, hauling you off to a private room to ask you why you are not a team player and laughing at his stupid nonsense (huh!? we are all medical librarians – we dont do social pfffft), essentially he wants constant admiration and attention, so we take it in turns, when we are not re-doing his work as he is also inept. Consequently I am returning to work (but at home thank heavens) after 3 weeks of stress and anxiety induced by work, working at home will help wierdly enough, but he is not going to be happy when he realises I have prevously blocked him from my personal phone.. Consequently I am so jealous of your office – but please keep safe, I know your colleagues and your clients need you – but WE need you!!!!

    The one goodish thing about this enforced isolation is the slow living – there is time to clean our bags or read our books or slow cook or knit or garden our gardens, or even just sit and ponder about what really matters. Sadly we have those idiots out there too – the longer they are out, the longer WE ALL have to self-isolate, maybe they wont feel so social when they are stricken with this awful bug, my 92yr old mother was telling me what the polio epidemic was like – that was weeks in the house and hearing about your little friends who didn’t make it and THAT disease targeted children. We assume good luck is our right but really …..

    Finally LOVE that Kooba bag – not only is she beautiful but she helped you through dark times, she is very lovely.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Juliet. My heart goes out to you. I’ve had some horrific bosses in the past. Absolute effing assholes. Presently, I am so delighted with my boss and supervisor that I refuse to be moved to another area. I got it good! I like what you wrote about slow living. It’s true. This pandemic is making us slow down a bit and that’s a good thing at this point. That Kooba bag will always be a part of me! XOXOXOXOXO

  5. emjayandthem says:

    for dressing casually you looked beautiful put together, as always! I can relate to buying that one “big” thing in a dark time ~ and how it gave you just the boost you needed to keep going.

    Cocooning at home, happy with my books. On way too many calls (so many are about nothing but people are panicky and needing to feel ‘busy’ or ‘important’ or ‘whatever’).

    I hope we all learn what really matters from all of this!


  6. As a extroverted introvert & my sister who lives with me the same – we see why The Lord in His infinite wisdom, paired us up to live together. It is quite nice to enjoy the sanctity of home, I finally took the time to finish my gallery wall and my closet is beautifully organized. It is bittersweet to have numerous phone conversations with my other siblings and besties missing social interaction.

  7. The Lakewoman says:

    Hi Cathe…..don’t understand people not loving their homes…..mine is my nest, and I love being there. One can tell that your nest is decorated with a loving hand, and that, my dear is why you love being there. Enjoy…..

    • Catherine says:

      Thanks! I LOVE my home. It’s my comfort zone and gives me the space I need to unwind. Given the fact I can’t stand the Philly area and miss New York, my home is even more important–LOL!! XOXOXOXOX

  8. Margaret says:

    Hi Catherine, good to hear you’re on the right page with this crazy pandemic. The lunatics are out in full force by me too. Don’t they ever watch the news?? Love how you did the scarf handle on your LV bag, I’ve never seen anything like that. Good luck with work and stay safe out there.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Margaret,
      Yeah. WTF is wrong with these people. The worst is seeing parents out with their infant children. I can’t even with that one. It’s downright neglect and abusive behavior.
      Thanks. You stay safe too! XOXOXOXO

  9. Cathe says:

    Oh I love the shoes with bows! I’m just fine with being at home. I’ve been working out of my home for 20 years so not a big change. However, I miss seeing my mom. She’s nearly 80 and has been self isolating now for nearly a month. I’m concerned about her mental health. A couple of days ago my mom was so depressed she wasn’t able to get out of bed. A friend of mine sent me a funny British comedy video which I texted her. It made my mom laugh, lifted her mood and she got out of bed! I realized how blessed I am to have friends who care.
    It’s also comforting reading your blog. Thank you for writing it especially right now.

  10. Margaret says:

    Lovely to see you CATHERINE & hope you are ok after your sad loss.
    Thanks again for, as ever, such an uplifting post.
    It maybe mum’s Irish in me of making the best of things & remaining positive .
    Likewise I am finding the mental space is giving me time to focus on all the things I have been wanting to do from my own home.
    Strange, as I have always said if I had to be housebound I would go round the bend. This unusual quiet, interruption free period seems to make this process easier.
    Today I plan to link into Lourdes mass live which will revive my memories of my own visits & that of mum & dad r.i.p.

    I love the leggings & will revisit post to read thoroughly.

    God bless & take care 🙏❤️

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Margaret! It’s getting better. I think of my brother every day and stil get angry that such a good person was taken while there are extremely evil people out there. Faith gives me strength. I think most of us are feeling the same way you write about–that being come isn’t so bad. I wonder if those who INSIsT on going out hate their homes or family. It’s such a weird time for our world. God Bless you as well. Stay safe! XOXOXOXOXO

  11. nathalie says:

    Bonjour Catherine from France where we are in “confinement ” since 2 weeks . We are lucky to be in the country and to have a garden .We can go buy food or walk all around our area or go to the doctor, all of that with a self certificate (!!) or we get a fine of 135 euros in case of control ! the other day , i was looking at a special subway jimmy fallon show and i’m sure i saw your son !!! he showed words of a song beside jimmy ! i recognise him because i think he looks like you !!!i read this morning your president (;;;;;;;) doesn’t want the confinement …bad thing ,it’s the only way to slow down the virus ..w”ll see ! i hope good things and good changes will come out of all of this …Have a good day and thank you for your posts ! amitiés , Nathalie ( and tell me for your son !!)

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Nathalie. OMG. My husband is very upset about the confinement in France. He’s worried for his family. At least Macron is doing something about it. Unlike that thing we have how can’t even read from a teleprompter! And yes. That is my son you saw. I feel for him right now because the show isn’t filming an neither is SNL so he’s out of work unti further notice. It makes me sick the worry I have for my kids. Quite honestly, I wish we were all living under the same roof! We are doing the best we can right now and I will pass the good thoughts onto my son! You take care too! XOXOXOXOXO

  12. vavashagwell says:

    Great post! I wonder if the people you saw out walking are just families living together? If so, what is wrong with walking around as long they distance themselves from other people? But the parking of cars inside a closed park, that’s is deplorable.
    I retired 10 years ago at 55 from my government job. Since then, I usually spend most of my days alone (husband works still, in a medical field) so the change in lifestyle many people are struggling with these days just is a natural state of affairs for me. I’m doing the same old things I always have – cooking, sewing, beadwork, gardening. I try to go for a walk each day, keeping my distance of course. Soon the weather will warm up and things will get even better. But I have always enjoyed being home.
    Yesterday i finished a pair of black and white checked pants for summer. Kind of baggy, but cute. The pattern is from the Sewing Workshop. Today I’m going to make a jacket, but first I have to design the lining since the pattern came without one. (I prefer lined jackets, they look better and feel better on.). The fabric is a vintage barkcloth from the 1940s and I think it was once some curtains! haha. Kind of tricky matching up the design on the fabric, but I’m up for a challenge and it keeps my brain active. After I finish this, then I’ll tackle some linen garments for summer.
    Take care and keep up the good work!! Your recipe sounds delicious!!! I’ve been using the NYT Food App and really enjoying it. They also have a Facebook page that is fun too, where people are talking about all the great food they are making.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Vava! Trust me, these people were not related! And yeah, I think it’s worse that people are defying the parking barriers and using common areas. It shows the selfishness of people. During the winter, I spend most of my weekends indoors because I can’t stand the cold. but I love my home. It’s the summer I am concerned about. I love my weekends at the beach and was looking forward to returning to France. We’ll see. Tonight I’ll make one of my husband’s favorite desserts–Cherry Clafoutis! Be safe and stay well! XOXOXOXOX

  13. Kimberly says:

    Your office does look deserted! Love the bob on you- – -my favorite hairstyle of yours. Not sure if it is a gray or a blonde, but the style and lighter color is quite flattering on you and the effect is very youthful. The loafers with the bows are adorable.

    Where I live, the governor has issued a shelter in place order. DH is an essential worker too, but for the time being, he is WFH. These are strange times. I *think* most people around us are following orders; I know I sure don’t want to mess with this virus. “This too shall pass” – – – I keep telling myself this.

    Have made my living room my yoga studio – – -I practice for 45 minutes everyday. Normally I go to a class for yoga several times a week. Also, miss weight training at the gym and my tai chi group. Not sure when I will feel comfortable going back to the gym, although we might not be allowed to any time soon.

    I’m a bookworm and love ebooks from the library, so plenty of time to read. Also to do extra house cleaning and straightening. I made some Irish soda bread in honor of St. Patrick’s Day and will make some potato soup tomorrow (a new favorite). Your cooking and baking skills are most impressive.

    Like how you have a special handbag to help get you through some tough times. Whatever it takes!

    Stay safe and be well!

    • Nadine says:

      Dear Catherine thank you very much for all your youtube videos which i love watching!! 🙂 please could you help me by giving me the measurements for your face (length and width) for i think out of everyone out there you are the closest looking like me (face shape and colouring) and so this would help me so much with wig ordering. Thank you very much, Nadine

      • Catherine says:

        Hi Nadine. So sorry to reply this late but from side to side on the widest part of my jaw and forehead it’s 8 inches. And from my forhead to tip of my chin 8 inches. I really DO have a square face! Hope this helps!!! XOXOXOXOXO

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