Toilet paper and you

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. It has been an eventful week as we all mentally prepare for at least another month of staying at home.

I have been doing the grocery shopping and instead of going to big box store that offers online ordering and curbside pick-up, I have been shopping at the same neighborhood store I have been shopping at for the last 35 years.

There hasn’t been any toilet paper on the shelves for a while now. We were down to our last few roles when I went to the store early Tuesday morning.  The shelves where the toilet paper used to be were empty.

When I got to the check out line I asked the cashier if she knows when some might come in. She had two cases of toilet paper that had just come in and let me buy an 8 pack.

I thanked her and in talking to her learned that she doesn’t have paid sick leave or any benefits through her employer.

The reason food remains affordable for me is because the grocery store pays her less and keeps her part-time and without benefits.

I will continue to shop at my neighborhood store for as long as I can and for as long as they stay open. The store is important to the neighborhood.

toilet paper
toilet paper

Learning the new rules

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. Today is day#13 of staying at home in Minnesota, or COVID-19 day 13. Yesterday I learned that not only is it hard to get tested for COVID-19 but it isn’t even possible to get a thermometer. Our health care clinic has them but they are in the pharmacy which is closed.

None of the drug stores have thermometers either. People who have a temperature are supposed to stay home. The thermometer I ordered from Amazon will arrive sometime between April 17 and May 4th.

I figure without thermometers or COVID-19 tests the numbers of people having the virus will remain low in Minnesota.

There are two basic rules to understand about the virus that we need to understand.

Rule 1:  If you need or want something so does everyone else and as a result, you can’t get it because people are hoarding it and the stores ran out. 

Rule 2: If you don’t need or want something plenty of it is available in every store. 

Last weekend I ran out of flour. I had been unable to find the stuff for the past couple of weeks. Earlier this week on the best day ever I found two 2 pound bags of the stuff. It must be old as the expiration dates are this October but I was thrilled to find it. The same day that I bought it a neighbor dropped off not one but two five-pound bags of flour.

It is like I got up in the morning with less than a cup of flour in the house and by the end of the day, I had 14 pounds of the stuff. It gives me hope that we will find toilet paper before we run out and maybe even a thermometer.


Stay home and stay safe.

Surreal Friday – Day5

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. Fun is hard to find during the apocalypse. I promise I will stop calling it the apocalypse. I’ll call today “day 5”. I have been busy working. Nothing has slowed down for me yet but I think it will.  I have spent much of the week solving unexpected problems both large and small.

I have always been a good problem solver. There wasn’t any way to anticipate or plan ahead which is how life works most of the time.

Things changed so fast that it has been hard to keep up. Many of the assumptions I had at the beginning of the week were challenged by mid-week.

Clients asked questions and I gave them one answer on Monday and another on Wednesday.

Small business are reaching and asking us to buy from them so they can stay in business. I have decided not to ask people to list their homes with me so that I can stay in business. Just like during the great recession and the housing market crash there won’t be help for my business.

We will order food from local restaurants once a week. Cooking at home most of the time is easier on the wallet and that is important during uncertain times.

While my neighbors were stocking up on toilet paper last week I stocked up on digital books. I borrowed them from the library to read on my kindle. I put a couple of books on hold and they will be trickling in. I also made sure that I have plenty of yarn.

African Flower crochet peice
African Flower Motif



People talk about the “new normal” so far each day has been a little different than the day before. Maybe it would be best if we tossed the idea of “normal” out the window.  I think resiliency and flexibility are more important right now.


Another challenging week

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. We all learned some important things this week and that is:


We also learned how to make hand sanitizer. There are a lot of folks who just can’t live without the stuff and some stores are out of it. There are many recipes, this one is as basic as it gets. The main ingredient is isopropyl alcohol.

Combine in a bowl:

⅔-cup rubbing alcohol (99% isopropyl alcohol)
⅓-cup aloe vera gel.
Stir. Decant into a clean soap or pump bottle.
If you just wash your hands with soap and water as you will be alright.
There are also many, many tutorials on how to make a face mask.  Stores have run out of them. Medical experts say that we don’t need masks.
Earlier this week when I went to a drug store I discovered that they were out of Clorox wipes but still had bleach. A solution of bleach and water in a spray bottle and a paper towel or rag can be used to sanitize any surface that can be sanitized with a bleach wipe.
Each day I am a little more concerned about the survival of the human race as people seem to panic when they can’t buy disposable face masks, bleach wipes or hand sanitizer. I grew up in the dark ages before any of those items were invented.
Last Friday I wrote about the record-breaking drop in the stock market.  That seems like a long time ago and I think it is being called a “correction”.
There hasn’t been any bad news for home sellers in the local real estate market.  and some good news for buyers in the form of lower interest rates.

Luxury Vs. My Reality


It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. This week I accidentally attended an event about the luxury condo market.

The title was misleading, I thought it would be about the condo market. I did learn many things.

All about huge condos, in tall buildings with spectacular views that are guaranteed to be obstruction free forever.

I didn’t know that the power grid in the area would have to be upgraded to accommodate luxury housing with all of its amenities.

They don’t use terms like “affordable”, “sustainable” or “green” or the phrase “carbon footprint” when discussing super-expensive housing. There isn’t any discussion of the environmental impact of building close to the river either.

They use the phrase “elevated lifestyle”, that is a lifestyle for people who spend a lot of money. It is a completely different world from the one where people live in tents by the freeway and don’t get at all excited when the DOW rises.

I also learned that being wealthy isn’t always easy. There are people who need five-star hotels and apparently, we don’t have any of those in the metro area.

It was a learning experience and I am sure all that I learned will come in handy someday and it is best if I stop writing about it.