I thought I should chronicle July before August turns into September. How could this year be dragging yet also passing us by in a blink of an eye?! Next week, the “ber” months are here.
Fourth of July
It felt like all the isolation and frustrations brought about by staying indoors exploded with the fireworks on July 4th. My neighbors and the entire Bay Area, it seemed like, came out to blast away the sadness brought about by the pandemic. On my street where year after year hardly anyone come out during 4th of July, let alone light fireworks, neighbors flocked to the streets to light safe fireworks or watch others do so while socially distancing. The street was so festive as I never seen since I moved to my house over a decade ago. Usually only one household and Mr Sweetie would bother to light fireworks in the middle of the street. Some of the neighbors with little kids would come out for few minutes to take a peep. Not this year. Almost every other house on our street alone had an arsenal of fireworks. While San Francisco and major cities decided to not host the yearly firework shows this year to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, big, loud and magnificent firework shows still lit up the Bay Area sky. Those big fireworks were illegal but honestly, I did not care. I enjoyed looking at them along with everyone else. I am also usually not into buying fireworks as I see it as a waste of money. Mr Sweetie who is a big kid loves them. He gets them every year. I often stay on the sidewalk to light sparklers while he lights the big “fountains” in the middle of the street. Last July 4th, though, I was grateful that we got to celebrate along with the entire Bay Area and maybe the entire country. We needed to an excuse to be with our neighbors within a safe distance. We needed a reason to blast something but not in a destructive way. We needed to scream without using our voices. We needed to laugh and celebrate something. July 4th provided us all those. The firework displays from San Francisco and surrounding cities lasted for hours, even late in the night. And I did not mind it all….
Our 4th of July meal that I cooked as a treat for Mr Sweetie. I hardly cook steak at all. These ribeye steaks came out fabulously medium rare, juicy and very flavorful. For our sides we had boiled sweet corns with melted butter and mashed potatoes. Then we went outside to light fireworks after our dinner.
The first day of July was beautiful! BFF and I met up at Arsicault Bakery in San Francisco where we indulged in the best croissants! It was my first time back to this bakeshop since the pandemic. I am happy to see that it continues to thrive during these challenging times. I splurged and bought three kinds of croisssants — almond, almond chocolate and ham and cheese. I was in pastry heaven. Then BFF and I walked to the farmers market where we stood in one corner to catch up while staying away from people yet watching them walk by. It was a lovely hour of friendship on a gorgeous summer day. As always she spoiled me with sweet presents before we parted ways. I remember feeling very happy that day. For the first time in months, it was one day where it felt normal just like before the pandemic. There were were people around, activities and delicious foods what were not home cooked or delivered, and where I was able to enjoy a lovely lunch hour with BFF. (I would have forgotten that there was a pandemic if not for the masks that everyone was wearing!)
I saw my sister, nephews and my brother in law for the first time in 4 months. I got to see them twice this month. The first time was a social distancing meet up at their garage where I picked up presents for our parents. We decided to send our parents treats as they have been quarantining since March 17. They do not leave the house in the Philippines. They are well in body and spirit and determined to ride out the pandemic at home.
The second time was to visit my sister and her family again at their newly bought house. This was the first time I am seeing their new house and having lunch with them in months since the lockdown. It was bittersweet as I could not hug and kiss my nephews and sister. As always, my brother in law cooked delicious Filipino food. And as always, I went home with plenty of food that my family sent me home with which I enjoyed during the week such as this plate of butter-garlic shrimps, butterpound cake and ube rolls.
ONE WEEK OF QUARANTINING TOGETHER
I received a call that I have been exposed to someone who tested positive for Covid-19. Since the last time I saw the person was 7 days from the time of the positive test result, I still needed to quarantine for 7 days along with Mr Sweetie. It was actually fun being together for a week. We ordered a lot of food delivery, ate a lot, watched a lot of TV and stayed up late. We were like two kids playing hooky. We were both feeling well and did not have any symptoms. He also he took me to an outdoor garden center and bought me tomato plants, jalapeno plants, flowers and a wood planter. I was so happy because I also got to spend time gardening in my backyard while quarantining. As for our most fun quarantine moment — we discovered 90 Day Fiance, binged watched all day while eating spaghetti and banana bread that I made! He also ordered mac and cheese for me from Home Room Mac + Cheese! (Don’t judge! LOL! 90 Day Fiance was very entertaining. The shows were filmed in different countries like Brazil, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Lithunia, Philippines, etc. There were hardly any cursing, violence or high-volume yelling so good enough for me! Ha! Ha!)
Before I returned to work I got tested. Thank the Lord I was negative, and the person who initially tested positive tested negative on the second test. Everyone was fine in the end! Whew! (And I got a paid one week off for it! It was a much needed rest! )
DATE NIGHT EATS
We continue to get food delivered either from Grubhub or DoorDash. We are just not ready or comfortable to dine out even outdoors. We also want to support our local restaurants. In addition to the mac and cheese from Homeroom that I mentioned earlier, we had the following:
- A sushi tray from Sushi GoGo.
- Proposition Chicken – (He had the rotisserie chicken sandwich while I had the fried tofu.)
- Vegetable dumplings and egg foo young from Shandong — a decades old restaurant in Oakland Chinatown. I used to get food from this place when I was in college. (He ordered from another restaurant since he was not feeling like eating Chinese food.)
- Comal – we both had burritos. (I had the tofu) We shared the chips and margarita. That margarita was so strong, delicious and freshly made. We were plastered even without finishing the small bottle. LOL!
- And as always we watched a lot of TV shows and movies: Cucuy (I did not want to watch this scary movie but it was a compromise), Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark (It’s a YA movie. Not scary at all.) And as I have mentioned — 90 Day Fiance binge! A super-guilty pleasure! LOL!
MANY FIRSTS AGAIN…..
There were many “firsts” again this month since March 17 aside from seeing my sister and nephews again.
- I used to go to Costco at least once a month before the pandemic. I got to go again for the first time in 4 months to buy presents for my parents. I purposely avoided it to lessen the risk of getting infected by the virus.
- After visiting my family in San Jose, I got to do an Asian food haul and ordered fresh dim sim to go.
- While talking to my dad on the phone while driving, I found myself at World Market. I was happy to see that it was open so I went in and bought little things like glasses, chocolates and a set white plates and bowls.
- I was ecstatic to find out that Salvation Army is open again so I went right away to drop off things that I cleared from my closet for donation. These activities that I used to take for granted gave me so much joy!
- I wrote about my first time venturing out to one of my favorite places in San Francisco which is the Embarcadero since March. These are the photos of my stroll in this part of San Francisco.
GOD IS GRACIOUS!
I saved this for last. In July, the Lord has manifested His love once again in our lives and in my family. Mr Sweetie was in the hospital for a week. What should have been a major surgery was changed into a minor operation two hours before the scheduled major surgery. My family in the Philippines and in the US, his family, our churches and friends prayed very hard. I like to say that we flooded heaven with our prayers. And he came home the day after the surgery. I am ever so grateful to God and for the love and prayers of our family and friends.
As I have heard stories of not being able to see family members while in the hospital during the pandemic, I experienced it first hand. I did not see him for a week but we were able to Face Time. I can only imagine the agony of not being able to be there for ill loved ones. With Mr Sweetie, it was not life threatening although the surgery carried risks. It was still hard not be with him, and for his parents and family to not be able to visit. I was only able to send him little things to decorate his hospital room.
On the day of the surgery, I met up with BFF at the Ferry Building. It meant so much to me that she spent part of her afternoon to keep me company. We also prayed together as well for healing before she went back to work. My friend, Amiga, called me on very hour when Mr Sweetie went into surgery. She did not know about his hospitalization yet her call was so timely. These girls were angels sent by God. Amiga provided me the distraction with her friendship when she called me as I admit, I was a little worried and nervous.
WHAT I AM GRATEFUL FOR
With my lengthy post, so many things happened in July. There are so much to be grateful for. I am grateful for a beautiful day in July spent with BFF where for once, life felt normal. Beautiful days are rare nowadays in the time of coronavirus. I am grateful for being able to see my family again and share a meal with them after missing them for over 4 months. I am grateful for holidays and celebrations. I am thankful for my little backyard where I could find peace, sunshine and get lost in gardening. I am grateful for the memory of quarantining together for a week with Mr Sweetie. Despite the scare of being infected, it was fun. And very thankful that the test result came negative. I am grateful that everyday that I get to talk to my mom and dad which I was not able to do before the pandemic because of the time difference between the US and the Philippines. Working from home enables me to call them every day and hear their voices. And last but not the least, my heart is so full of gratitude for the miracle that our family have witnessed which is the healing of Mr Sweetie. God has never failed my me and my family yet and He never will. He is faithful and gracious forever.