Amanda Cade

Worth It! (Things to try, read, watch, hear, and discuss)

In the past week, several friends and coworkers have reached out specifically to check on how I’m handling the stay at home order while living alone. I really appreciated their thoughtfulness, especially while their husbands/roommates/kids/etc. were driving them crazy. So before I forget, I’d like to urge you all to think of people you know who live by themselves, and consider checking on them, because total social isolation can be rough on people.

video chatThat having been said…I’m doing just fine. As an “extroverted introvert” (click here for a breakdown of that seeming oxymoron), I love spending time with others, but I’m also totally comfortable with, and really need, my alone time. I’ve been known to come home from work on a Friday and not leave the house again until Monday morning, by choice. So while I do miss seeing people, I’ve had a lot of practice hanging out by myself, and since I have phone calls and video chats, I’m pretty comfortable overall.

However, that doesn’t mean I haven’t, at times, gone a little ridiculous. Even though I’m nowhere near the “talking to a volleyball” stage, there are a few things over the past few weeks that have caused me to realize that I’m not immune to cabin fever moments. For example…

Party Like It’s 1989

A lot of my friends are big video game fans. I am not. I was, once upon a time, back in the dark ages called the 1980s/early 1990s. I actually spent a lot of time in arcades, and when my parents bought us a Nintendo, I played obsessively for several years. Then I started high school and started focusing on other interests. I haven’t owned a video game system since, and haven’t had any desire to, especially since I’m so far behind the curve. The few times I’ve tried to play with friends, I’ve discovered that the games (and the controllers) have moved way beyond my skill level.

NintendoFor some reason, though (probably because I have a lot of extra time these days), I found myself thinking about how much I loved those old NES games, so completely on impulse, I ordered the NES Classic from Amazon. This adorable miniature game console comes with thirty old school games, and I thought it might be something fun to play around with during quarantine, and a cool addition to the party I plan to have once all this is over. 

It arrived on a Friday, but I didn’t get around to opening the package until Saturday morning. I figured I’d hook it up and mess around with it for an hour or so, then do something productive. I made coffee, selected The Legend of Zelda, and settled on the couch. As I started playing, I was amazed at how well I remembered this game. It’s been about thirty years since I’ve played it, but so much of it came flooding back. I mean, I can never remember where I parked my car at the mall, but right from the get go I knew which walls to bomb and trees to burn to find hidden rooms and bonus items.

So did you know that with a decent level of familiarity with the game, it’s fairly easy to beat The Legend of Zelda in about eight hours? I didn’t…until I did it. My one hour of “messing around” turned into an all day marathon run, leaving me feeling both ridiculously proud and thoroughly confused. In the end, I chalked it up to cabin fever and decided I’d better set a timer for future forays into Hyrule (or Castlevania, or Zebes…).

All Dolled Up and No Place to Go

One evening, I was chatting with a friend and mentioned that I was feeling ambivalent about my free time. Since I have so much more than normal, I’ve hit a few points where I don’t feel like reading, watching TV, cleaning, or anything else I usually do during down time. She said, and I quote, “Maybe you should learn to do something with your hair”. For a second I was taken aback, but then she clarified by saying, “I don’t mean it looks bad, but you have so much that it might be cool to go beyond braids and ponytails”.

Well…fair enough. My hair goes almost down to my waist, and I typically either let it hang loose or just quickly get it out of my face. One reason for this is expedience, and another, I freely admit, is a complete lack of skill. So, challenge accepted. I went to the source of all knowledge (YouTube) and searched “long hair tutorials for beginners”. I decided to try a style called a “headband braid” because it would only involve part of my hair and didn’t look incredibly complicated. The tutorial is below, if you’re interested.

As we all know, though, lots of things look easy until you try them. After nine attempts, I thought about giving up, but sheer stubbornness kept me going. After fifteen attempts, I was seriously considering shaving my head. On my twenty-eighth try (by the way, I’m not making those numbers up…I actually kept count), I finally succeeded in a braid that looked…acceptable. I reveled in my victory, and then unbraided it because I wasn’t going anywhere and it was close to bedtime anyway.

I have tried to duplicate this feat twice since then, with dismal results, so I’ve decided that ponytails and basic braids are not only awesome, but I’m officially designating them my “signature styles”.

So Much Cake, So Little Company

Screenshot 2020-04-04 at 7.57.14 PM

Baking is an excellent way to spend an afternoon. Trying to figure out what to do with an entire cake when you’re by yourself is an excellent way to end up with a stomach ache. No, I didn’t eat the entire thing. No, I won’t tell you how much I actually did eat. Like the number of donuts I ate during that crazy week last May, that’s a secret I’m taking to my grave.

mario

Have you done anything crazy or unusual while you’re staying at home? Tell me all about it!

30 thoughts on “Sheltering Solo

  1. Sheree says:

    We have neighbours and friends on their own and we’re keeping in touch, plus the neighbours are grateful recipients of that extra cake.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      That’s exactly what I ended up doing-giving the rest of the cake to the family next door. Sadly, I didn’t think of that until I’d eaten more than I should have. Lol

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I wasn’t really into gaming, but my boys were, so on occassion, I would plug in The Legend of Zelda. Took all night, one night, to solve the puzzle. And yes I basked in the glory, but never touched the Nintendo again.

    I don’t bake unless I know I can share with friends the same day, or it’s a freezer friendly dessert. Living in the country, sharing with neighbors means getting cleaned up and dressed properly, getting in the truck to drive down the driveway, getting out and opening the gate, etc.

    Like you, I have a few secrets that will go to the grave with me. Like that package of oreos bought specifcally for some oreo-inspried treats for the blog, which the contents are slowly disappearing. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      Usually I bake for specific reasons, too. This time it was a total impulse because I realized I had all the ingredients for a chocolate caramel cake and enough time to make it. What I was going to DO with it didn’t enter my mind until it was way too late to turn back. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh, my! That sounds like a delicious cake. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  3. kagould17 says:

    You are so right, you have to communicate with others, especially those who are normally shut in. Half our time is spent in phoning and Skyping. As to crazy things, my wife decided to Youtube cutting your own bangs. Her first attempt before COVID did not go so well. This attempt was better. Stay well Amanda. Allan

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I’m really glad I got a trim before everything shut down…I can’t imagine the disaster that would ensue if I tried to cut my own hair.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Haha I love you kept track of the number of times you tried!!!
    I’m at a point where all the things I usually do, don’t have quite the same appeal and I’m not sure where to go now haha

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      It’s definitely time to get creative. Lol

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lara/Trace says:

    Amanda, I am recycling old paper ((sneezing) But it’s necessary. I am a journalist and save everything. (bad habit)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      It is a good time for decluttering. I’ve done quite a bit of that myself lately.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m impressed with your muscle memory when it comes to games. I have none of that skill!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      It was more about remembering the maps. The actual game play is pretty simple, which is why I could pull it off.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Paul says:

    I remember amusement arcades. I spent far too much time in them back in the day — Gauntlet was the game I couldn’t stay away from.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I remember Gauntlet! “Elf needs food”. Lol

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Paul says:

        Elf *always* needed food 😉

        I always preferred to play the barbarian. He could slug his way through pretty much everything single-handedly.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I am so glad you are trying out so many things and staying busy and cheerful during the pandemic.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I’m definitely focusing on counting my blessings.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is the best thing to do these days.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. ckennedyhola says:

    Lots of great ideas! My hair is getting long enough to braid as well, so I might as well have some fun. I’ll check out some videos:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I hope your attempts are successful. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Edhie says:

    I really enjoyed reading your post Amanda.I can relate with you I also live my company hahaha you are lucky you don’t speak to the volleyball I do. Thank you for reminding us to check on our family and friends during this difficult time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I’m grateful that my friends and family are well, and I want to make sure they stay that way. 🙂

      Like

  11. Shanz says:

    Glad to know you’re doing well + I want virtual cake 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      Cake makes everything better…

      Liked by 1 person

  12. fakeflamenco says:

    Have you tried a French twist? When I had long hair I’d put it up sometimes. There are more classy implements , but I’d use a pencil. I buy the groceries for our small family and aI buy myself a chocolate treat I don’t reveal or share!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I’ve used a pencil to hold a bun before, but I’ve never tried it with a twist.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Yes we did the “drop a credit card down the wall” and had my granddaughter try to catch it with her forehead and laughed as she banged her head into the wall. She knew it was going to happen but was determined she could do it! She laughed as hard as we did. I thought my husband was going to lose it he laughed so hard. 😂😂🤣🤣🤣

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I’ve seen videos of that challenge. I bet it’s hysterical in person.

      Liked by 1 person

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