the simplest of things/I’m in Florida now

I’ve been in Florida since the 27th of December of 2020. I came for work which tragically is why I do most of my traveling. It’s been a fun and hard and strange and exhausting. But aren’t most hings. I came to work as a cashier/manager at a food truck in a horse festival. Which is so random but I have fabulous connections that bring me to random and exciting new jobs. I’ve never been on a horse and never spent a winter away from NYC so of course I could not say no.

I’ve been home sick for most of the time and I do not agree with the thick humidity of Florida. Nor does it make things simple and carefree to be the only woman in Florida with out a drivers license. I have been working like crazy and craving home like crazy. It took me months to find some grounding things to look forward to and to center me. And then of course when I found it it was obvious. The answer is always boundries, self care and alone time. At least for me.

I was having crazy anxiety, stress and physical pain (which was surely related to the first to maladies). I still am really but it’s lessened. I am trying to actually have a day off when it’s my “day off”. I have carved out a little routine for myself on my precious day off. In the morning I get my nails or toe nails done. Every week it’s either my nails or my toe nails and the whole routine is calming. Leaving the house for the first time in the week for something that is not work is calming. Picking out a peaceful pastel to paint my nails is calming. Listening to music in the car there and watching the palm trees fly by is calming. After I get my nails done I sometimes stop in to Publix and pick up some groceries. But the 2nd half to my now sacred and effective day off routine is to go to the diner (it’s called Short Stacks, how adorable) and have some toast, bacon, eggs and home fries and of course a bloody mary or 2. One of the worst and best things about Florida is that everything is strip malls. From what I’ve seen of Florida it is largely a lego masterpiece of strip malls so naturally the Publix, nail salon and diner are all in the same plaza. Another beautiful thing about Florida is that sometimes the drinks are $4… at Short Stacks the drinks are $4. While I eat and drink and try to be Merry I read my Kindle and try to be blissed out. It has been a lot of trying and some success. I’ll take it. Afterwards I take a car back and prepare like a soldier to war for the begining of the work week. It truly is amazing though how creating a little routine and loving it dearly can help. It’s worked wonders for the clouds in my mind.

Last weekend after almost 4 months of being here I finally made it to the beach.

New nails another coffee
My short stacks breakfast special

Quarantine, cashier life & pinatas

Hi! I am the worst at having a blog.

My life has changed drastically just like literally all of ours.  I usually work three jobs, my main job is a full-time nanny and then I have my cleaning business and I work as an assistant wedding planner.  Of course, all three of these jobs stopped existing in the face of this pandemic and for a very terrifying week, I was unemployed.  Then I sat down at my kitchen table with a coffee or cocktail (it was my one week of unemployment to be fair) and applied to every single job that I thought might take a college drop out like me.  I also dmed a few grocery stores because I thought they might be hiring asap and that was how I got the job of a cashier and the most expensive grocery store in the west village.  This is a place that charges $8 for a brick of cafe bustelo and there’s a tomato sauce that costs $12.99 (shout out to Rao’s for apparently being THAT good).  Of course, the pay minimum wage but I don’t have the type of savings that would allow for me to be unemployed for more than a week so I took the job.

My nannying job pays $25 an hour so the price drop has been a lot for me to deal with.  It’s also been hard not knowing when/if my job will return.  My nanny family moved from the west village to their beach house in New Jersey.  At the beginning of the virus, they wanted me to travel there and stay for three days of the week and then go home.  I did this for two weeks and then I had to stop because it felt very dangerous for an asthmatic like me to be traveling on the subway and the train all the time during a very deadly virus.  The day I traveled home from NJ for the last time a stay in place order was issued and I couldn’t have been happier to be in home sweet Brooklyn and not NJ.

The grocery store job is as soul-sucking as you’d imagine.  No one grows up saying they want to be a cashier and even if they did they’d take one look at the paycheck and change their mind.  Most of my co-workers are nice.  Some of them are snappy or up tight but it’s cause they’re miserable and I don’t blame them.  When I’m at that job I’m miserable too. It’s hard to go through eight hours having the same stunted interactions with people.  I ask the same questions to every person.  “Hello, how are you? Do you have a store card? Do you want bags? Would you like to donate a bundle or milk to COVID relief?”  The store I work for is doing a fundraiser for City Harvest which is well-intentioned but it’s so horrible to have to ask people for money during this time.  They’ll say no and then pull out their ebt card and you feel like such a dick for asking them for money to feed other people when they’re struggling too.  I always wish the store it’s self would donate money and leave their customers out of it.

Today was a good day though because I am trying to enjoy my life and make the very best of it all.  At work in my shitty work uniform and same pair of black sneakers, I try to bring myself to the register as well by doing my makeup like I would and never coming to work in my uniform.  I keep my polyester work shirt in my store locker and change into it at the last second so that I can feel like myself for as long as possible.  Today was also a good day because I got out at 12:45 pm and when I walked out of the sliding doors the sun was shining and the birds were screaming their little snow-white heads off.  I went home and fixed myself a drink (my new favorite: sunny d + lime juice + tequila + tajin) and got a facetime from an unknown number hung up on them.  I then immediately realized it was a facetime interview I had scheduled for that time.  I called her back and tried my best to show that I’m a very qualified hardworking nanny that’s good at what she does.

The highlight of my day was making a pinata.  My family and I used to do this many times a year.  We’d make them for my sisters and i’s birthday parties.  I was out of practice but doing it brought back so many warm memories of happier and more than anything brighter easier times.  The smell of the flour and water and feeling of the paste drying on my fingers was therapeutic.  The biggest part of me wishes I had the money and privilege to be fully quarantined and staying home during this time.  I would love to have the time to do all the wild and rather mundane fantasies I’ve had during my life of what I would do if I had time to figure out what I wanted to do.  While sliding the wet pieces of newspaper on to the balloon, I was so focused on getting the job done that I wasn’t thinking about how I was going to make rent, about savings, about food and all the ways I am falling short.  I was just focusing on this task that I had chosen to set in front of me not a bouquet of problems that was thrust into my face.  It was nice to reach out to my childhood in this simple and fun way and to even if just for a half-hour, to think about something different.

Now I have to wait a few days until this first layer of paper mache fully dries and then I’ll add a second layer.  Then I’ll stop being cheap and pull the trigger and buy some paint.  And then the hardest part for me comes.  Trying to be artistic and painting something on it.

Question:  Are you the type of person with enough patience for puzzles?

I for sure, am not.

Also, have you done any arts and crafts during the pandemic?  I would love to hear what you’ve been making 🙂

Pandemic in NYC: #5

I saw on twitter the other day “if your job requires an appreciation week you probably aren’t getting paid enough.”  It’s definitely true.  It was just a nurse appreciation week.  I don’t know if most nurses felt appreciated or felt any difference during that week.  I’m sure they have much more pressing and crucial things to think about than a vague holiday that barely exists.  It’s like the customers that always tell my cashier co-workers and me about the people who make the noise for the frontline workers at 7pm.  They always tell us to thank you for what we do and they ask if we hear the ruckus at that time.  I never have though because I’ve always been… at my register working.  This country is very much about the talk and flimsy gestures in terms of “appreciation” instead of shit that would make us feel appreciated like livable wages.  The people who keep everyone eating and alive and society as close to normal as possible are the ones who are suffering the gravest effects of this pandemic.  The ones who are dying are the ones who had no choice to go to work because their job put profits first and didn’t shut down or the ones who couldn’t miss a days work because they had to make sure they had rent and food for their family.

Speaking of cutesy but flimsy appreciation…

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Pandemic in NYC: #3

This is a very basic photo of the subway and a poster advertising the democratic primary.  This was a little sad for me to see as New York’s Democratic primary was canceled due to the virus.  I was planning on voting for Bernie Sander’s in the NYC primary and he was going to still be on the ballot even though he had suspended his campaign.  I was going to still give him my vote (probably for the last time).

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Pandemic in NYC: #2

Yesterday my roommate and I suited up in masks and took a trip to Coney Island.  We made sure to be careful and social distance the whole way.  We took a car there and back and were more than 20 feet away from anyone else as we basked in the sun, feet drifting around in the sand.  It was so replenishing for my soul.  I felt overflowing and happy when I was there. Each minute I lay in the sand with the blue sky opened up above me I feel the weariness leak out of me.  We got stuck in traffic a bit on our way home but it was ok because I was sun tired, grateful and I got to see this dog next to us in traffic.

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March Favorites

March had hundreds of days in it and somehow I still got the March favorites done late.  Here were my most favorite and most random things from March.

Skylight

$59.99

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I love this light, it helps with my anxiety and is so pretty to stare at. It looks better in person. It’s a bit pricey but worth it because it’s so visually pleasing.

Cocoa Butter formula daily skin therapy solid

$6.29

This is my favorite moisturizer.  Cocoa butter is my favorite scent ever and this smells like it in all its glory.  It’s so buttery and luxurious with a beautiful small price tag.  I used this on my face overnight and on my hands overnight in gloves.

Milk fluffer

$10.99

cinnamon-coffee-fluff

This small $10 toy has turned into so much more for me.  I’m a coffee every day at least once a day person and used to make the worst most bitter coffee.  It was so bad that sometimes I would make a face after having a sip, similar to the face once makes after taking a shot.  This fluffer makes drinking coffee more fun and way smoother and better tasting. It’s super easy & quick to use. It makes my morning coffee taste more like a cappuccino. then Walmart coffee. Amen, amen, amen.

Dry mop pads

$22.99 for 180

Ok so I do clean houses for a living so this is probably nearer and dearer to my heart than it is to most people but this is a deal.  I used to buy the Swiffer dry mop pads but they are pretty pricey.  These are basically the same thing but for way cheaper.  Also, another money-saving hack is instead of buying the wet Swiffer mop pads use the dry ones and put the mopping liquid on the floor, then mop it with the dry mop.

My favorite cardigan

$20

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It’s the coziest thing ever and I wear it all the time.  It feels like a strong hug and I love wearing it while I drink my coffee on the porch in the morning.