Currently at our homebase in Deming, New Mexico:
Yeah, I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything here, but honestly it’s been a pretty boring time being cooped up at our homebase as we self-isolate from the pandemic. Even though some of the restrictions that were put in place back in March and April have been relaxed a little, we are still being extremely cautious about getting out and taking unnecessary risks.
At our age (Andy is almost 71, and I’ll be 62 in October) we know we’re in a higher risk category for the more serious complications from COVID-19 if we should get infected, and we just don’t want to wind up in the hospital or even be sick here at home.
So, our life has become pretty quiet and uneventful. On a typical day, I get up around 6:00 AM, feed the cats, eat a little breakfast, and then go for my morning walk. I have a regular route of about 3.25 miles, traveling up and down the streets and alleyways in our neighborhood. I’ve met a lot of our neighbors this way, and we all smile and wave as we pass each other, each of us giving the other person a wide berth to maintain a safe distance. If I stop to chat with someone, I stay on the outside of their fence and they stay on the inside. Since this is a 55+ community, just about everyone here is actually older than I am, and well aware of the risks that older people are facing right now.
By the time I get back to the house about hour later, Andy is usually (sometimes) up and eating his breakfast while he checks his social media accounts. Afterwards, we’ll get showered and then tackle any chores that need doing. There aren’t many, since we chose a small house with no yardwork needed. I might run the vacuum or do a load of laundry. Andy’s a little slower than I am….by the time he finishes his shower it’s usually lunchtime.
For lunch, we always have Andy’s famous chopped salad. He makes a huge salad loaded with all kinds of veggies, kale, romaine and apple, and then chops the heck out of it. Since the greens are nice and sturdy, we can make the salad last for about four lunches (we add dressing to our individual bowls when serving). I make a homemade salad dressing that doesn’t use oil. In addition to the salad, we each have a cup of beans–pinto, black or kidney–for some extra protein.
After lunch, we’ll do some reading on our Kindles or spend several hours binge-watching Hulu or Amazon Prime. Right now we’re on Season 14 of “ER” which we watch in the afternoon, and Season 5 of “Bosch” which we watch in the evenings.
I’m usually responsible for cooking dinner, which sometimes is healthy and sometimes not. I try to always include at least one fresh vegetable. Every once in awhile, we’ll order a veggie pizza from Dominos and make it last for two meals.
When it comes to grocery shopping, that’s my responsibility. Since Andy is older and has some mild hypertension issues, I try to keep him out of public places as much as possible. I do our shopping at Walmart so I can get everything I need at one store (food, toiletries, household items, underwear, cleaning supplies, and things we need to furnish the homebase), and I always go early in the morning, arriving as soon as they open the doors at 7:00 AM, before it starts to get crowded. For the most part, the people in the store in the early hours are all wearing masks, especially since the number of cases started rising here in Luna County after Texas moved ahead with a rapid reopening (many people here travel to El Paso for shopping and to visit family, and some have evidently brought COVID back with them).
After New Mexico allowed the restaurants to start reopening on June 1 at 50% capacity, we have gone out to eat a few times. We had our first “inside” restaurant meal on June 1 when we drove to Silver City, NM and ate at Jalisco Cafe. This is a well-known Mexican restaurant in Grant County, and they were very meticulous about their cleanliness and social-distancing inside their dining room. The food was delicious, and except for the lack of condiments on the table and the fact that all the staff were wearing masks, things almost seemed “normal” again.
We’ve had one meal at IHOP and one meal at La Fonda Mexican Restaurant here in Deming in the past few weeks, and we don’t seem to have suffered any ill effects. But we sure do miss getting to go out more often.
While we were in Silver City, we came across a local grocery co-op that carries a lot of bulk items that we normally buy at places like Sprouts or Whole Foods, the closest of which would be in Las Cruces (we’re not ready to go there yet). The co-op had red lentils, black rice, and our favorite vegan Italian sausages, so we stocked up while we were there.
We did not realize that Silver City was so much higher in altitude than Deming, so it was a pleasant surprise to drive through the mountains on the way up there. The main purpose of the trip was to return our Xfinity cable box since we decided there was nothing on TV that we wanted to watch. But after spending a few hours having lunch and walking around the downtown area, we are really looking forward to going back to Silver City to check it out further, as we celebrate our 29th wedding anniversary this week.
This past week, I decided I needed a few more options for entertaining ourselves here at home, so I used some of our Discover Card rewards points to get a Monopoly game and a 1000-piece puzzle. I also bought a felt mat with an inflatable tube with which to roll up the puzzle each day after working on it. I wasn’t sure how it would work, but it’s awesome! So far we’ve played one game of Monopoly (let’s just say that I had a hotel on Boardwalk and four houses on Park Place, and we’ll leave it at that).
I’ve been doing a little more cooking than usual. One of the neighbors gifted us some large zucchini, so I made a couple loaves of zucchini bread (they were vegan since I used flax seed instead of eggs). I’ve also been experimenting with making our own seitan, a high-protein meat substitute, in the Instant Pot. I’ve done a beef flavor and a chicken flavor (both are vegan), and the hubby has given high marks to both.
When we first got moved in here in the early days of the pandemic, so many of the businesses were still closed that it was difficult, if not impossible, to get some of the things we wanted to furnish our homebase. I finally wound up ordering a sectional sofa from Amazon, and it was finally delivered about three weeks later. Of course, it had to be assembled, but Andy got it taken care of and we finally had something other than lawn chairs as furniture in the living room.
Andy was also waiting for the hardware stores and lumberyards to reopen so he could get what he needed to set up his workbench for jewelry-making. By the time they reopened, he had kind of lost interest, and so the workshop just stayed locked up for awhile. But last week I asked him to make me a custom pendant, and I think it got his juices flowing again. He headed straight to the lumberyard for some materials, and he’s been busy building his workbench for the past couple of days.
I finally got a haircut on June 5 when the salons reopened–it was my first haircut in 20 weeks. That’s a looooong time when your hair is as short as mine is. Since Andy is still sporting his ponytail, he didn’t have to worry about a haircut.
We’re still planning to change our residency to New Mexico, but it hasn’t been easy with the MVD closed. When they finally reopened on June 4, it was by appointment only. We got an appointment for June 16 to get the title and registration on the mobile home transferred to our name, so that’s taken care of. However, the earliest we could book an appointment to get our drivers licenses and tags for the truck and RV was not until August 26. Fortunately, our Texas registrations are valid through the end of the year, so we should be fine. Our concern at the moment is that COVID-19 is really hitting Texas and Arizona hard right now, and Deming sits about halfway in between those two states on I-10. Deming has worked hard to keep their case numbers down, and may start to look suspiciously at anyone with a Texas plate or drivers license. We just want to get all our paperwork done so we can blend in with the locals around here.
So that about covers what life is like here at our homebase. All the state parks in New Mexico are still closed for camping. We would love to get back on the road and do some traveling, but we’re just not comfortable doing that right now. Our little homebase property has worked out wonderfully for us, so most likely we’ll put off any travel until next year.
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Safe travels, or happy hunkering down!!