Tuesday, April 28, 2020

More Masks on Monday

New Masks
I've had a request for a photo of the fabric face masks I make.  Photographed above are the ones I sewed for friend R.  They are made with two pieces of fabric, without a filter inside.  These ones have fabric ties to tie behind the head, so they can be adjusted as needed.  Besides, I ran out of 1/4 inch elastic after the first few and, although I made a few masks with 1/2 inch elastic, I don't have a lot of that, either! 

Today was a cooler day (our high was only 83F according to the forecast).  Neighbor T called me in the morning and we had a little chat.  Afterwards, I finished taking an inventory of what I had in my freezer and reorganized some of it so that I know what is stored where: all the meat in the bottom pull-out drawer, all the bread dough (1 package with 3 loaves of frozen dough) and puff pastry dough (5 1/2 packages of 8 4"x4" suares each - one of the sale items I purchased on my one but last grocery shopping trip before we were asked to shelter in place!) on one shelf, vegetables one one shelf, dairy and treats on one shelf, and so forth.  I also checked what I had in the little shelves on the door of the freezer (1/2 of a 5 lb. bag of all purpose flour, 3/4 of a 5 lb. bag of whole wheat flour, 2 partial bags of red rice, some green chilies, and a small bag with pandan leaves) and wiped each shelf before I put things back.  

I hadn't stocked up on meat before the "stay at home" order went into effect, so, while I have some chicken, two smoked sausages, and two pieces of fish, I am rather low on beef and I don't have any pork (I don't eat a lot of pork, other than the occasional pork chop).  With food processing plants closing down due to the virus, however, I am wondering if I should put in an order for groceries, including more meat, to be delivered or picked up curb-side.  I urged my daughter to do so and she put in an order for groceries, including meat, to be delivered on Saturday. 

After I did the freezer inventory, I sewed the last of the face masks and watched news on TV.  

Yesterday, poor Dancer threw up, twice.  Once after he had eaten his evening tuna and later, after he had eaten some of the store brand cat food I had bought (mostly for the garden cats, but, Dancer loves it and prefers it to the brand name food I buy for him!)  He has eaten it before, without any problems, but, I am thinking he likes it so much that he eats too much and two quickly.  So, I removed the bag out of his reach (it is now in the laundry closet, with the door closed so he can't access it).  Then, this morning, I opened a new can of tuna and gave him a little, but, he threw up after that, too.  So, he is now on only his regular dry food and he is very unhappy about it!  I didn't give him any tuna at tea time, although he begged for it, and, because he associates me having my evening cup of tea with him getting his tuna, I didn't have a cup of tea, either!  Because I felt bad about having tea and not giving him tuna!  He hasn't thrown up, since, however.

But, guess who has been showing up by my sliding glass door around tea time?   

Mourning Dove
There are two of them, a pair who might or might not be nesting in my back neighbor's big pine tree.  But, they spend a lot of time in my garden and stop by to see if there is any cat food outside (I tend to feed the garden cats around my tea time), which, they seem to think is as good as bird seeds!  (Sorry, the sliding glass door is smudgy; I haven't cleaned the cat nose prints, recently).

Later, after I finished watching news, I took the masks and some lemons from my garden to R.  I stayed in the car and she took the packages from the trunk of the car and gave me half of a packet of frozen parathas (a type of Indian flat bread) that she had asked a neighbor to buy for her!  I stashed it in the freezer to have with chicken curry, one night, for dinner.

Breakfast had been an egg salad sandwich (half sandwich, made with one slice of bread, cut into two).  I had another half sandwich with peanut butter around tea time (even if I didn't have a cup of tea).  For dinner, I boiled some pasta and had that with some of the smoked sausages and bell peppers.  I was going to have a tangerine after that, but daughter called and we video chatted for more than two hours and I forgot about the tangerine!

Daughter said that Berkeley extended the stay at home orders into May and her work place has said that staff will continue to work from home until the end of May.  Both daughter and I are relieved because she was scheduled to return to the office on May 4th.  She shares one small room with two other colleagues and she said there isn't sufficient space in the room to maintain six feet of distance between the three desks.

Today, I am grateful for:
- Daughter can work from home for another month
- I was able to drop off more masks and lemons for friend R
- R shared some of her parathas with me
- The contents of my freezer
- The car started and drove without any problems

My joyful activity today was having a long chat with my daughter.

Monday's To Do List:
- Sew a few more masks - DONE
- Deliver masks and some lemons from the garden to friend R - DONE
- Dust living room & dining area
- Finish freezer inventory - DONE
- Clean the fridge - DID the freezer doors, instead
- Take trash cans to the curb for Tuesday trash pick up - DONE

Tuesday's To Do List:
- Dust living room, dining area, family room and my bedroom
- Paperwork/pay bills
- Water the garden, front and back
- Water the house plants

How was your Monday?  What are your plans for Tuesday?


  1. Well, I hope Dancer feels better. You are too sweet to forgo your tea for his sake.

    1. Thank you, Susanne. He didn't throw up again, yesterday. This morning, I gave him half the amount of tuna I normally give him and, so far, he seems to be OK. Keeping my fingers crossed.

  2. Thank you for the pictures! You've made them beautifully.

  3. Tuesday - his day off, we had hope to go for a walk then bbq in the garden. After DAYS of hot sunshine, it has been raining since before dawn...So OH is making a huge pot of ragu for the freezer.

    1. Isn't that how it goes? We make plans and the weather changes! But, it sounds like you are making the best of things. Hope you are both feeling well.

  4. That's good news about your daughter. Do you think your stay at home period will be extended?

    You're doing well with all the masks you're making. I assume you have plenty of fabric in your stash even if you've run out of elastic 🤔

    Doing a freezer inventory is another thing to tick off the list. It's something I always put off doing but and feel relieved when it's done so I'm making the effort to mark foods off the inventory list when I use them. I'd go ahead and get some more meats in if you are running low, especially as the situation is still so uncertain.

    I hope Dancer is better soon x

    1. My city's stay at home period is until May 15; I do think it will be extended until perhaps the end of May. In my county, the number of confirmed cases is over 20,000 and the number of deaths is approaching 1,000. The rate of increase in new cases seems to be slowing down, but, this last weekend, two of the adjoining counties opened their beaches and crowds packed them, and we suspect that included people from my county who drove there, with hardly any social/physical distancing in evidence, so we shall see what happens in the next couple of weeks.

      I might run out of sewing thread before I run out of fabric to sew! LOL.

      Yes, I think I will go ahead and put in an order for meat and maybe a few other things, by the end of the week. I won't know delivery dates and availability, etc. until I do, but, it'll be better to order earlier than later, I think.

  5. Your masks are very colorful. Have you had any feedback as to whether or not people prefer the elastic to the ties? And among the hundreds of patterns out there, why did you choose the one you did? Can you share a link? Thanks.

    1. I made solid colored masks in a navy blue and a lighter blue for M. But, I have more floral patterned fabric than solid colored fabric. So far, no one has said anything about whether they preferred the elastic or ties. I kept the first one I made which has elastic - my problem was, when I used a 7 inch length that seemed the most common length for elastic in the various patterns I looked at, the loops were too big for my and the mask was too loose. I cut it down to 6 inches and that was just right for me. With elastic, the masks are easier and quicker to put on, but, one should really adjust the length of the elastic to fit the person who will be wearing the mask. With the ties, I think the masks take a little more time to put on, but, are more versatile, since the fit can be adjusted (provided the ties are long enough).

      I looked at a few online tutorials and patterns and this seemed to be the easiest one for me. I don't have a particular link to share, however, and I adapted the measurements as I went along. I started out with a rectangle about 9 inches long and 6 inches wide. I found that the 6" width made it hard for me to make pleats. So, I increased the width to 7" and that was better. I could have sewn a binding on either side to cover the pleated ends, but, that would have been too many layers of fabric for my poor machine to handle, so I left the pleated ends unfinished, so to speak.

    2. Thanks, Bless. I have tree masks so far from three different patterns and they haven't worked very well--mostly because of fit. My son has to wear one all day and fit is important. I'm going to give it another this weekend. I, also, found that the pleats were pretty thick to sew through. I added interfacing between the layers to help with filtering which make it quite thick.

    3. Yes, the interfacing will make it thicker. I wonder if a mask which can be tied would make it better fitting for your son. Or a fabric like a T-shirt material, which might have a bit of stretch in it. My daughter made herself two no-sew masks, using a strip of fabric she cut off a 95% cotton tank top (she didn't have any fabric with her), and hair ties. She made them 4 layers thick, but, she doesn't have to wear them all the time, only when she has to go to collect her mail, throw the trash, etc. Good luck with your attempts.

  6. You had a nice productive day.
    Taking the freezer inventory and staying on top of what we have is a good idea.
    And you are nice to deliver some masks and lemons to your friend R.

    With the news reports of the problems in some meat processing plants, I too am wondering how that will all play out.
    Let us know how your daughter's experience with her delivery goes and if she is able to get the things she orders. (if she doesn't mind you telling us)

    1. It was a good day. :)

      At the time she put in her order, 4 things she wanted were not available, including toilet paper and sanitizing wipes (I forget what the other 2 things were). But, she was able to order some toilet bowl cleaner, beef, pork, chicken thighs, half and half, canned condensed milk, and a bunch of fresh produce. Of course, it all depends on what might still be available when they actually go to fill the order! But, she specified no substitutions, as she was afraid they might substitute bigger, more expensive items! As it was, she was balking a bit at the estimated cost of her order, and she called me to ask my opinion. She is used to buying her weekly groceries at the dollar store, budgeting $125 per month for groceries, and supermarket prices are double and triple that price. Green beans were $3.00 per lb. and she is accustomed to paying $1 per lb. at the dollar store. But, I told her to go ahead and pay the higher price, that it was OK. Currently, her expenses are only for rent, utilities, and groceries. She is saving $80 per month on her bus pass that she doesn't have to buy while she works from home and she is not going out to eat, etc. So, that is at least a savings of $100 per month, right there, for April and, now, May. That savings will more or less pay for the grocery order, which is estimated to be around $215, with delivery fees. The final cost will depend on the actual weight of the meat and availability of items at the time the order is filled. I shall let you know how it all works out. :)

  7. Sorry to read about Dancer. Hope he feels better soon.

  8. Poor Dancer, I hope he is better now and gets over this completely.
    Your freezer sounds "healthier" than mine, which is starting to look like Mother Hubbard's cupboard, although the freezer under the fridge is fairly full. I need to make a good list before I head out tomorrow. Going to town just once every two weeks makes me wonder if I will get used to a normal life eventually!

    1. Oh, I hope you are able to stock up your freezer, tomorrow, Bushlady! I suppose shopping once every two weeks takes a different type of planning than going weekly. But, you seem to be managing well. :)

  9. Nice masks! I'm a vegetarian so the meat supply thing doesn't bother me lol, but it might bother son and husband who are both meat eaters. I'm going to just go with what I have on hand though - if the worst happens they will have to learn to like vegetarian dishes instead. Husband does like the mushroom burgers I make so that's a start.

    1. I am not vegetarian, but, I might start eating more vegetarian meals. There was a time when I became a vegetarian for a certain period of time (3 months, I believe), but, I went back to eating meat after that!

  10. I have stocked up on various proteins but I always maintain a pretty large freezer inventory. I have enough, if worse comes to worse, to keep Mom well fed as well as share with my sister and her husband, and Son2 and DIL2.

    1. Anne, it sounds like you have a very well stocked freezer. I am glad and, I'm sure, you are happy about it, yourself. It's good to know that you can provide for your family, isn't it?


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