Author Archives: Natalie Gelman

Another Acclimation

With the pandemic, the gym closed.  I started walking a mile every morning.  I took a mask and put it on if I was around anyone.  Then the fires started as a result of lightning storms.  Fortunately, none of the fires were nearby.  And then I was told the smoke had come to my city.  I am unable to smell, thus I was oblivious.  I began to wear my N95 masks which I got last year during the fires.  Then I was told it was not wise to walk if the air quality rate was too high.

There is more to check on each morning.

Plans for Thanksgiving

The family came over to celebrate the October birthdays.  We were still in the backyard because of the pandemic.  We decided to discuss how we would celebrate Thanksgiving since it is usually at my home in the dining room.  The image of 13 people sitting in the backyard and serving all the food was Impractical.  Ellen suggested we each make our usual contribution and then drive around delivering the food to everyone.  Julie has already said she is not coming up for the holiday.

I believe I will be having a salad for the holiday.

Skipping Town

Carrie and I are driving down to visit Jules and Mango. We were talking about the sleeping arrangements and Carrie asked me to bring the pills I use when I am unable to fall asleep. She anticipates a problem sleeping away from home.

Now, as adults, adjusting to overnights in a new way.

Feeling Damp?

The automatic sprinkler was malfunctioning. The landscaper repaired it and reprogrammed it with me giving him the days and times. An hour before I was meeting with clients outside today, it went off, water falling on the chairs that were already set up. I always put the chairs away when the sprinkler, scheduled to run at 3 AM, will be working. Last night was the wrong night, and 8 AM was the wrong time. I had soaking wet chairs. I replaced them with the two remaining in the garage. That left me one very wet one.

Guess which one I sat on?


The family came over for lunch in my backyard. We still stay outside with the pandemic. Someone asked Isaac how long he will have classes online. He said they are going to evaluate after eight weeks. Ari said that he believes he was told reevaluation would take place in March for his school. Erik said it will be a full year of online classes.

Another issue with uncertainty.

True Warmth

Went to Erik, Ellen, Isaac, and Ari’s house for lunch outside yesterday. It was chilly. Ari met me wearing shorts and a t-shirt and no shoes. Ari has always preferred less clothing. For sleepovers, he wore very light pajamas during the winter. He prefers no jackets. Some things never change.

Ari’s heart and style are the same as his body temperature.

Talented And Resourceful

Isaac has started a program on Youtube. It is called Nysart. He is teaching about watercoloring, rooting and planting succulents, creating terrariums, and other creative endeavors. He is so good at what he does. He knows how to use the camera. I suggested he reach out to teachers who are now doing online education. He might have something to offer the children who are looking for creative outlets and gifts to create.

So proud.


My friend Doug is an IT expert. He helped me recently with a computer problem. I am not able to see him at our business group meeting during the pandemic. Rather than mail him payment for his work, I invited him over for coffee in my backyard. That way, I get to see him and have a conversation to catch up on things. Human contact during the pandemic. And not having to mail the payment.

A two-fer.


Ari and Isaac happily pick lemons for me from their tree. The last time I got them, Carrie suggested I juice them all and freeze the juice as cubes to use in the future. I suspect many who are reading this have followed this idea. It was new to me, and I have found it so helpful when I made a dessert or fish for dinner. This week I made lemon bars. I took them over to Erik’s for an outdoor lunch with the family.

Thanks, guys.


For weeks, I have been opening the same windows in my house when I wake up in the morning. I like the fresh air and the cooler temperature. One day I discovered my kitchen table by one of the windows felt like there was residue on it. I wiped it and discovered it was dirt. I realized there was dirt getting through the screen, but I continued to open the window each day, wiping the table regularly. Today I was dusting the house, and when I wiped a table in my office, also by an open window, there was a lot of dirt on it. Since I have not seen clients in person, I was unaware of the collection since the last time I dusted. I closed the two windows.

Choosing between air and cleaning…I made my choice.