If You Visited Me Today

You would find that my home smells like Mr Klean.

I just vacuumed and washed the floors. You would be impressed, until you notice that my burst of energy had not translated into doing any dusting.

You would likely comment on how long my hair is getting … thinking to yourself that it’s much grayer than usual … and yes, I have lost weight.

Thank you for noticing.

I would bake up a batch of white chocolate, macadamia nut cookies that I found in the freezer yesterday. The forgotten cookies were from my last pre-plague outing to a country market.

They will make an expected treat today.

I would offer you a coffee or herbal tea to wash down the cookies, but we would likely be inspired to raid Gilles’ Armageddon supply of wine, and start a bit of day-drinking. You might question whether Gilles will notice the missing bottles, but I know there is plenty more hidden downstairs.

We all had our priorities when we prepared to hunker down for isolation. This was his.

We would compare notes on how we’ve managed over this first month of self-isolation, and our conversation would get more animated as we kill our first bottle of wine.

You would notice the proliferation of rainbows cast by the crystals hanging in my kitchen window. We would both smile at this simple joy.

You might ask where Theo is, but he had quickly scurried outdoors when the vacuum cleaner started. By now he’s snoozing in a sunny corner after patrolling the yard for suspected interlopers into his territory.

He doesn’t realize he’s shooting blanks and the other animals in the neighbourhood simply aren’t getting his message to stay away when he ‘sprays’ the yard.

I would be eager to show you my little basement studio where I’ve been spending most of my time in a messy, creative haze. This period of forced isolation has proven to be a perfect time to learn, practice, and practice some more.

But sadly, now you have to go. We’re both a little tipsy so it’s a good thing you’re not driving.

It’s been so nice to talk to someone in person and I miss you already … but there will still be plenty of wine for the next visit!

128 comments

  1. Thanks for the lovely visit, Joanne! The glass(es) of wine were quite tasty and cookies just scrumptious and the conversation absolutely delightful. ๐Ÿ™‚ When my kids were little, I’d always do what I call “faux” cleaning before company, which meant I shoved everything into drawers out of sight. lol. I don’t dust often but the dog adds tons to the house so I like to keep the entry table dusted so I can pretend there aren’t contantly little fur tumbleweeds rolling through the living room. Crystal rainbows and art, just marvelous! ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope you are well.

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    • I know what you mean by furry tumbleweeds. Theo is a shedding machine at this time of year and my chronically swollen eyes are proof that I’m losing the battle indoors. With so many other things to do that I enjoy, housework often gets passed over. I thought when I retired my house would be clean all the time. HA!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I wish I could have stayed a bit longer, but thanks for inviting me. I enjoyed the klean house, the little rainbow in the kitchen, and being head-butted by your cat. Also, that wine cooler is impressive and so is your studio (and art work). I hope you will invite me back, as we still have a lot to discuss and more wine to drink!

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    • There is always plenty of wine to drink chez Joanne … the side effect of marrying a Frenchman ๐Ÿ˜‰

      You know cats well. Theo would be head-butting you and then throwing himself at your feet for the attention he thinks is his due.

      It was nice to meet you in the Zoom room and looking forward to getting to know you better!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a satisfying post, Joanne!

    Not sure if I’ve mentioned this to you, but you have such a wonderful conversational writing style. Some of your turn of phrases are whimsical, others heart-warming, yet others, inspirational. I am so glad you have returned to this space.

    How is your rehabilitation coming along? Is there lingering pain when you go on your longer walks?

    I chuckled when I read about Gilles’ wine stash – mostly because my husband did exactly the same thing. His reasoning: lots of great online deals (I guess retailers were trying to clear stock).

    Hope you are enjoying the weekend and that temperatures are warming up a little more. Keep safe & be well.

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    • Thank you for the lovely compliment! You’ve made my day! ๐Ÿ’•

      It’s funny you should ask me about my leg. I was just thinking this morning that this relative inactivity might have been just what I needed. My walks haven’t been very long and I’ve starting spinning indoors with greater regularity. My leg seems to approve ๐Ÿ™‚

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  4. Love this concept so much that I might use it today! I also honed in on the cookies as I can’t drink wine. I am one of those fairly clean creators that you and your friend are suspicious of. I can’t tolerate when the space becomes too messy as then I can’t find what I want.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Please – borrow and share!! Being inspired by each other is the best thing ever! ๐Ÿ˜€
      โ€œMessyโ€ is one of those relative terms. Being messy to me mind be rather tidy to someone else. My work area is rather small so it always feels borderline out-of-control at the best of times. Some days I feel like I spend an inordinate amount of time looking for things.

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    • Thanks Laura. I admit I havenโ€™t been around as much as I used to. Life gets in the way ๐Ÿ™‚

      I hope you and your family are all well. That concern seems to the overriding thought these days!

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  5. Hi Joanne, You remind me how when I catch myself in front of a mirror, I truly wonder โ€˜who is this lady?โ€™ We still have wine, although todayโ€™s Island news sites are saying the Island Wineries will have an abundance of wine over the next month. They usually sell to the restaurants and of course, the restaurants are closed. I will talk to my husband and see whether we should support this worthy cause.

    I havenโ€™t heard the term shooting blanks in a long while…….hee, hee. ๐Ÿ™‚ I had not thought about a glass of wine with our weekly get togethers. We may need to put this on a future agenda. ๐Ÿ™‚ 1pm is 4pm in another part of the world. Not, too early. Talk to you soon. (Also, Joanne, if you do make it out West, and I hope you do, wine is definitely on the agenda!) ๐Ÿ’•

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thatโ€™s what I like about you – prepared to sacrifice yourself for the good of the local wine industry ๐Ÿ™‚

      If you think European, 1pm isnโ€™t at all too early for a glass of wine. Just sayinโ€™ ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I really appreciate the invitation to visit! I’ve been spacing out the housework too; it gives me something to accomplish every day… which is kind of a sad statement now that I think about it. We were getting low on our wine stock until I came upon a wonderful offer from one of our local wineries… great prices and free local shipping. What’s not to love about that? I love your messy art table. I’m alway suspicious of neat work spaces… what actually gets done there?

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  7. Dear Joanne, thank you for this lovely visit. It really brought happiness to my heart, especially with the photos. I’m glad you and yours are doing well, and it’s always a treat to see Theo. I’m totally onboard with Gilles’ priorities for supplies! ๐Ÿ˜€ Hugs on the wing!

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  8. Well, first I clicked “Visit” below your post in the Reader just so I really did visit. Then I wished I’d come over a bit earlier so I could join you in that vino but it’s getting a bit late and I have to work tomorrow. And then I could have stayed longer so we could hang out in your studio and you could teach me what you’ve learned about painting because that looks pretty cool. But it was still nice to drop in, while we hung out 1.5m apart and for no more than 15 minutes.

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    • I understand. Drinking wine before bedtime is guaranteed to give me a restless nightโ€™s sleep.

      I am learning so much about art and enjoying this quiet time with my head down, creating. I wish I had started this a long time ago. I had no idea it was a learnable skill!!

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  9. I LOVED this visit, Joanne! The wine part is definitely contagious.
    I had a Zoom call with several girlfriends after lunch today. At first, I was the only one with a glass of wine in my hand. Quickly, everyone left their screens until all six of us were drinking wine. Now that’s what I call friendship!! ๐Ÿ˜€
    Great pics!

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    • Ha! Real friends don’t let friends drink alone ๐Ÿ˜†

      I heard a statistic recently that liquor sales in Ontario are up 30 or 40% since we all went into self-isolation. I haven’t decided yet whether that’s funny or a sad commentary on everyone’s emotional state right now.

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  10. Well that was an enjoyable visit, sorry to be so late but the garden beckoned once again and then I was busy cooking salmon stir fry before watching the last couple of episodes of Wolf Hall on TV which we didn’t get around to watching the first time. Don’t talk to me about dust! not only ae surfaces covered in dust in this house but I have noticed loadsa cobwebs too! The sticky kind so I know that somewhere a big black spiddy is hiding. I did get around to cleaning some windows yesterday though, but still more to do. Sigh… housework is NOT my favourite thing. Thank you for the wine – I do hope Gilles won’t mind.Maybe you can tell me how you are losing weight on a wine and cookie diet? Certainly doesn’t work for me! And next time I visit maybe the swimming pool will be available? Or maybe not unless it is heated. Take care my friend, being nice chatting with you xx

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    • Thanks for the idea. The next visit should be after the pool is opened. I had a nasty surprise when I looked outside a short while ago to discover it had snowed and the ground had a thin blanket of fresh snow. It might be a while before we are swim-ready ๐Ÿฅถ

      Housework is not my favourite thing to do either. Does anyone like it?! I was thinking that I should clean these basement windows though. I don’t get much natural light down here in the ‘cave’, but the layer of dirt on the windows is definitely not helping.

      The losing weight thing was more tongue-in-cheek. I’ve been very careful over the past month since normally I would be ramping up my activity level. I was really concerned with not gaining more weight. Trust me, what little I’ve lost would not be noticeable to anyone ๐Ÿ™ƒ

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    • The truth is, I felt absolutely ridiculous in that face mask. I posted it as my avatar thinking it would be temporary. Now Iโ€™m not so sure โ€˜temporaryโ€™ is in the cards ๐Ÿ™

      Nice to have you join the wine party. Next time Iโ€™ll make sure I have cheese!

      Liked by 1 person

      • May I use your avatar pix in a future blog post about face masks? I do believe you are the only blogger to sport one in their avatar…really unique (dare I say ‘special’?) I will give 100% ‘attrition’ and link back to your blog of course.
        Making the darn things just for hubby and myself was an ordeal even though I am a sewer and quilter! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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        • I’d be flattered ๐Ÿ™‚

          I didn’t attempt to sew anything. This is just a neck buff and a couple of elastic bands. I’ve actually been out in public with it and was surprised how well it held together. It still makes me feel like a bandit though.

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  11. I wish I could say I’d lost weight! Alas every time I hear what our idiotic president is bragging about I have to hit the cookies. Love this post – it was so much fun visiting you! Cheers to Gilles!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Truth be told, your โ€˜idiotic presidentโ€™, and those like him, scare the bejezus out of me. Heโ€™s like a virus himself – spreading his poison and infecting others with his lies. Just hearing the sound of his voice makes my blood freeze.

      …. I keep waiting for karma to do its work but itโ€™s failing me right now …

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  12. Wine. Yum! I prefer red, but as we’re now somewhere warmer, I know we’ll be drinking more whites and rosรฉs. I love the Guinness mug. Guinness was my entry level dark beer and I’ve never looked back. ๐Ÿ™‚ There’s a wonderful dark beer that I love called Cashmere Hammer, made by 3 Sheep Brewing in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Unfortunately, it’s only sold in Wisconsin and the Chicago area, so I brought along a number of six-packs when we moved. As you say, priorities. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Glad you’re doing well during this weird time or think you are because of all the great wine. But really, what’s the difference? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Stay well.

    janet

    Liked by 3 people

  13. SO much to love about this post. So much. Thank you for vacuuming and washing the floors in preparation for my arrival, but seriously? Not at all necessary. Though I understand. The only time I notice the cobwebs is when I have people over. I get it.

    You married a very smart man. Thank him for sharing. Or don’t if it means that we are cut off from future gatherings such as this.

    I needed this today, Joanne. It lightened my mood.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think we all need a good dose of levity right about now, Maggie!
      I think you can appreciate that with a man and a cat in the house, regular vacuuming is a necessity ๐Ÿ˜ … and donโ€™t get me started on spiders and cobwebs!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I know he would happily give up his ‘hero’ status for a vaccine ๐Ÿ™‚
      The day Trudeau announced that some variation of physical distancing will be in place until a vaccine was found was a dark day for Gilles. Although intellectually he knew and understood that was the only reasonable solution to keep the infection under control, it was still very hard to have it confirmed.

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  14. I enjoyed the virtual visit. I think you have a nice house. My wife likes crystals also, because of the rainbow effect, and she hangs them in our windows. Our eaves overhang quite a bit, so we have to wait for the sun to get rather low, but for a brief part of the day we can enjoy an iridescent display.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yay – your wife is a kindred spirit!

      “Rainbow Days” are my favourite. The sun is shining and my kitchen fills with colour. It’s one of those simple joys that makes a day feel special.

      We also have a rather large overhang so I get rainbows only in the morning for a few hours at most. It’s all I need to kickstart my day with a smile.

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  15. Well now I know where I should head when I need to have a bit of wine:). In normal times, of course. Now, the pour might be a bit tough from 6 ft away:). Love that you’re doing some art and cleaning therapy. I’m doing the latter but the former would be pure frustration for me. Stay well . . .

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    • As long as the surface doesn’t get touched, the dust can pass undetected by a quick glance ๐Ÿ˜‰

      The wine cooler was a birthday present I gave Gilles many years ago. The gift was a surprise, and at the time he thought it was over-the-top … that he would never be able to fill it. That attitude didn’t last for long ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  16. Outta the way, Joanne. I came to see Gilles. ๐Ÿ˜€ Day drinking sounds great! We have been alternating doing indoor and outdoor chores. Gotta pace ourselves. Dammit. I have been baking and cooking so much and our walks don’t seem to be helping. I jump on that scale every morning (I have gotta stop doing that) cause I just feel ‘not right.’ I do like your studio. Do you drink while you paint? That might be fun. I did enjoy our visit!

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    • … and Gilles will love the company!! If you want to talk politics, it will make him even happier.

      I have to admit I actually don’t drink very much. Even my beloved martinis are getting few and far between. Most of my painting usually happens in the morning powered by a cup of coffee ๐Ÿ™‚

      I’ve been working very hard over the past month to NOT gain weight. Usually at this time of year I’d be ramping up my activity level, so packing on more weight would not be welcome. I consider it a success I’ve managed to lose a couple of pounds … but certainly not anything to warrant headlines ๐Ÿ˜

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  17. Thanks for the tour, Joanne. I think we’re all having similar experiences (me, minus Theo cause we aren’t parents to any pets) and I have a stash of some booze and wine and old beer cause we don’t drink except on rare occasions. I do like you photo of your artist workstation; it really looks like a still life composition (good job on that). I’ll let you get back to waiting glass of wine; take care and stay safe!

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    • Hi Gordon – hope you are staying healthy and doing well. These are strange times and each of us have to cope the best way we can.

      I wish I had a much bigger and brighter area to work in, but this is what I’ve got so I’m adapting well ๐Ÿ™‚

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  18. I’m spacing out my chores so that I have something to look forward to. Sadly I wish that was a joke but it isn’t. We cannot get any wine now. We only shop via online ordering with pickup and each time I try to get some the order comes up empty. It’s like AA is trying to nudge me into joining! As if…

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    • What?! The horror!!

      About a week ago, the Ontario government declared the cannabis stores had to close as a non-essential service. People – not surprisingly – rushed the stores to fill their supplies. No physical distancing anywhere in sight!

      The government reversed their decision fairly quickly to stop the panic. I haven’t decided whether it’s funny or not.

      Oh, who am I kidding? Of course it’s funny ๐Ÿ˜†

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  19. Joanne, if we did all the chores at once we’d have nothing left to do tomorrow. I have been waking up to the same spider web hanging from my bedroom fixture for over a week. Making the bed is effort enough in that room, so maybe tomorrow I will leave the messy bed and dust the fixture. Gotta have priorities. That is one serious wine cooler. Malcolm is green with envy. Today is recycle pickup in my neighborhood. The morning walk was interesting. Some households needed two bins for glass – just sayin’.

    Liked by 2 people

    • hahahahaha!!! A new kind of neighbourhood shaming ๐Ÿ˜†

      Our bottles get returned for deposit. Sometimes I’ve been rather self-conscious as I pull box after box of empty bottles from the car ๐Ÿ˜

      I have a thing about spiders. I’d be pulling that web down pronto. Having said that, there is a corner in the basement near my little studio space where an industrious spider rebuilds her web every. single. day. I sweep it away, and it comes back like magic.
      Someday I’ll get that spider.

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  20. Great post Joanne ๐Ÿ˜Š My home usually smells of tomato sauce (you know us Italians). I just have one question. After seeing all those wine bottles in the wine cabinet and you informing all of us that there is plenty more downstairs should I start to worry about if you and Gilles might have a problem ? ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ

    Liked by 1 person

  21. That is an impressive wine hoard. I alternate between feelIng better about my own and feeling panicked that I donโ€™t have enough set by, when I look at what Gilles has done. ๐Ÿ˜œ Loved seeing your creative space again. And seeing Theo, of course! Paint on, my friend!

    Deb

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    • Today is a ‘rest’ day from painting … which is how I ended up writing a blog post instead of paying bills like I was supposed to do ๐Ÿ˜

      I bought that wine cooler for Gilles many years ago as a birthday present. It holds about 100 bottles and at the time he thought it was much too big and he’d never fill it …. BWAHAHAHAHA!! Yeah, right. He got over that attitude quickly.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Funny the things we do. My father is isolating with my sister in Chatham. He went there before all this started because he didn’t want to stay in the house alone when we went to London, England. In the end that didn’t happen but Dad was already in Chatham so he’s there for awhile. One of the things I’ve been doing is going through Dad’s apartment and washing down surfaces he doesn’t think about. He has this old recliner that was dirty when he got here four years ago. He’s since bought himself a better chair but didn’t get rid of the other one. I’ve started washing down the chair and have been experimenting with Windex on the the microfibre fabric. I read somewhere that it cleans that type of fabric well. So far it seems to be working. Dad probably won’t notice but at least I’ll feel better about sitting on that chair when I visit with him.

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    • It is interesting how we are each dealing with this period of isolation. Iโ€™m sure there are many stories like yours of tackling projects that werenโ€™t on the radar only a few weekโ€™s ago. Your dad might not notice, but as you said, youโ€™ll know!

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  23. aaahhh! A lovely visit! My favourite kind of cookie. We should paint together some time, I would like that. I do use acrylics but I would like to do some water colours. It’s been a while. What a great idea for a post!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you ๐Ÿ˜Š Inspiration doesnโ€™t normally strike while Iโ€™m washing floors!!

      It would be lovely to have a painting day together. Think of the possibilities for inspiring each other!

      Liked by 1 person

  24. I’m putting Gilles in charge of planning for the end times. Thanks for having us over. I appreciate the tour. I’m trying to find the energy to go out and continue cleaning in my workshop. It’s a beautiful day, I need to be out in it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Itโ€™s a pretty safe bet on the Frenchman in the room to do a good job taking care of the wine ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Fighting a bit of lethargy is a challenge these days. I find itโ€™s an up-and-down battle … but Iโ€™m winning today.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Next time I come, I’ll bring some wine to swap with Gilles. Also, I want to hear more about how you are losing weight. We had so much to talk about, we didn’t get to that topic. I’d also like to take a painting lesson from you, there just wasn’t enough time. Cheers my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gilles is always happy to learn about new wines, and introduce his favourites to others!

      That comment about losing weight was said tongue-in-cheek. No one would notice the few pounds Iโ€™ve lost ๐Ÿ˜†

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  26. I like the way Gilles plans! Thank you for the invite, the tour of your studio, the glass of wine, and how delightful that little rainbow is from your crystals in the kitchen.

    I dusted but forgot to do the ceiling fans.

    Let’s do this again soon! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Please tell your hubby, I like the way he thinks and plans for ‘staying in.’ Pour me a glass, please, and if no one cares, I’ll take a cookie with it too. ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh, a conversation would be so relaxing, and you could show me your artwork in person, and I could tell you about using the embroidery machine yesterday. And, then we could laugh because I vacuumed but didn’t dust either. I’m thinking that is the only thing we can control right now. ๐Ÿ™‚ Stay safe, and keep your sense of humor because it gives the rest of us a lift.

    Liked by 1 person

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