Solitude and no-spend April

May 8, 2020

How are you all doing these days at home? I know that for some this solitude is extremely difficult, even depressing. And, at least here in Michigan, we've got a ways to go. Although a few are being allowed back to work (landscapers and realtors), our "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order has been extended to May 28.

I am seeing a lot more cars on the road when I go out for groceries. I think many people are so tired of being cooped up, especially as the weather is getting nicer.

But, for the most part,  I am honestly doing fine staying home. Of course, I wouldn't want to go on like this forever. I miss my friends. I miss my little grandson.

But I continue, for the most part, to be busy and happy with projects around the house.

I have all my books arranged by color, and decided I needed a few more pink books. I have a lot of scrapbooking paper that I had come across in my organizing, so decided to cover a few of my books in pink paper. This makes me happy.

I have continued to make masks. I have removed pockets from two dresses I own (those pockets added bulk right where I don't need extra bulk!). I have continued to organize and declutter and have three big boxes of things to donate. Most of these are clothes as I have gone down four sizes, from a 14 to a 6.  Yay!

I have sorted through old games and dolls and sewing and craft supplies. I have literally hundreds of sewing needles! What?! It's amazing the things I have found.

I decided when this pandemic shutdown started not to spend any money except for food and essentials. I did this mostly because everything was looking so uncertain back then (as actually it still is). This has been a really good exercise for me (as well as saving us money), and I have learned several things.

First, I've realized how easy it is just to sit on the couch and order from Amazon. As I've done another round of decluttering, I've realized just how many things I've ordered that I don't really need, and how many purchases have been made on impulse, or because a YouTuber or blogger recommended them.  Because it is just so easy to get caught up in excitement and place an order right then.

I've seen how much I really have here, and how many things I can use up before buying more. It's embarrassing, really, to see all the stuff in my house.

For example, I discovered I have seven pots/sticks of lip balm. These will last me well over a year. I have at least a half dozen bottles/tubs of body lotion, and the same amount of facial lotion. I have enough mascara and blush and eyeliner to last that same amount of time (especially since I'm not going anywhere, although I have to say I put on makeup for Zoom calls!).

This doesn't even include all the random things that I thought I had to have but that I've never really used.

I've decided that as I move forward I am going to question every. single. purchase. When I look at all I continue to declutter I feel so convicted of wastefulness. Of money and time.

Even with food purchases. When we stayed home from the stores for three weeks and didn't even have any groceries delivered I saw how much we actually had, and how, through being creative, I could still put good meals on the table.

It has been eye-opening and humbling. And very freeing.


We've had eight weeks of church at home. This past Sunday we celebrated communion. We used what we had.

I miss getting together for worship, but there has been something very special and poignant about this time. To see musicians and singers leading worship from their living rooms. Our pastor in his kitchen "serving" communion to us. I'm grateful for technology that keeps us connected.


What about you? Are you all climbing the walls and ready to get going again? Or are you finding contentment at home? Have your spending habits changed, out of necessity or just a result of slowing down and being more thoughtful about things? What things have you learned through this time?


  1. This has been an odd time for us. My husband has gone to work every day, even some weekends, as he is a health care administrator. It's been busy for me as I adjusted to teaching from home. Life has been slower, though, as we don't go to visit family or friends. I miss church a lot.
    Restrictions are lifting slowly here. We will gather outside on Sunday for Mother's Day - 6 adults and 3 children, and I'm so looking forward to that. Happy Mother's Day, Deborah.

  2. Arizona is slowly opening up too. I miss getting together with our church family but communion at home really has been special. I have been "attending" a church from Pennsylvania and I love that the pastor says to use whatever you have on hand for communion. He had shared that he and his wife used herbal tea and tortillas for communion. I thought thst was sweet.
    I feel like we have been out way more than we should but God has protected us. We also probably had too many guests but I just can't say no to the occassional visitor who needs fellowship. Right now a family we have know since our children were little are coming from Colorado to visit. No matter how hard I try, I seem to cave in to people coming over.
    I've been sewing masks too but I also have been practicing my sewing because I've lost some of skills. I'm even discovering my sewing machine does things I didn't know about.

  3. I’ve been pretty content at home, Deborah. I did go to a brown bag garage get together with four friends. This week, my daughter and two of her kids came by. One of my sons, DIL, and two granddaughters came and brought dinner last night. We are slowly getting back to normal. I’m still making masks when someone needs them. I’ve been crocheting a lot, and cooking and baking.
    Happy Mother’s Day to you! I enjoyed your post over at Cheryl’s Homespun Devotions.

  4. Wow, Deborah, congrats on your weight plan! And yes, ever since we downsized last year, I have been acutely aware of the things I didn't need but bought and had. One thing I did somewhat regret was not stocking better - simply due to less space for storage - on some of the things we simply can't find or have had a hard time finding. Even with that, though, I have been able to make do. Very good lessons, indeed. WV is slowly opening up, but I am concerned it will be to a fast spread of the virus. Our antique mall opens next week, and I could really care less about tending my booth spaces right now, but the rent will come due regardless. It's time to rethink a lot of things we do in our lives. Stay well.

  5. Dearest Deborah,
    No, there is no boredom at all.
    You also utilized your lock-down time positively.
    Yes, when we use all food items up, what's in our cupboard and pantry, we go a long way!
    It indeed makes us more humble for a lot of things.
    When I was preparing a tiramisu for Pieter's birthday, I just had discovered some 1957 and 1958 uploaded magazines about mushroom growing that Pieter wrote in mainly. Just by accident as I was searching for some info on the ISMS (International Society for Mushroom Science) about a dear scientist friend from Pieter who came from Poland. He lectured several times. By accident I came upon these Resources and found the magazines, at least those 2 years. When I looked through them before coming to bed (way too late at 1:30 AM) I kissed my birthday boy and told him I'd found him a HUGE gift. He smiled when I mentioned my discovery to him and he drifted off to sleep. I too was on cloud nine. So I've been filing his writings and even wrote the Treasurer who happened to be Dutch, he's associated with Wageningen University (where Pieter studied) and he sent me a WeTransfer of ALL issues from 1958 till 1980, those that were not yet uploaded onto the website of ISMS... What a treasure trove that is! It made my Pieter so happy on his birthday to sit next to me and for being able to see his early writings about which he spoke so frequently but he left it all at the Training Center when he joined Campbell Soup...
    Monday I will get my Template from the graphic designer so I seriously can start typing away for our updated version of Pieter's book, incl. my harvest segment. A Mega Task and since we opted for Self Publishing via IngramSpark, also the most complicated one. But that too will get done to have the eBoo, Paperback and Hardcover version done. I'm praying hard that my Pieter may live to hold them in his hands... So for me, the days are not long enough. Got lots of posts pre-scheduled on blogger, mainly about dear scientist friends that no longer are with us; kind of memoir writing of my Pieter as a pioneer and also others that he valued so much.
    Hugs and may the world soon return to normal!

  6. I've been content at home. Some days are hard but they pass.

    My province is still in state of emergency, but they're slowly starting to lift restrictions. I'm such a germaphobe and have always hates crowds so I'll continue to stay at home as much as possible.

    I've always been a minimalist EXCEPT for my teas and teawares. But they're helping me get through solo self-isolation.

  7. I've also noticed a lot more traffic when we venture out. Yesterday I went to Lowe's to get paint--first store in 60 days--and I had been waiting that long to paint our shutters and decided it was time. It was weird though, my first time wearing a mask that probably did no good because when I and the salesperson could not hear each other through the glass we ended up dropping our masks so our speech was clearer! I too am enjoying home but 8 weeks of no church gathering (though they do a great job online) is hard because as believers we need the fellowship of others. We too have saved a lot of money with only grocery shopping online for curbside pick up and not needing gas, or any spring clothes--no eating out--so simple. Lately when I'm tempted to buy something I don't need (sometimes I think if I just bought something on Amazon it would break up the monotony to have a package delivered!!) I wait, and often forget about it, or realize how I didn't need it anyway. We've also noticed a lot less ads in the mail, which is nice for a change. Although I look forward to normal life, whatever that will be, returning, I will in a way miss this time at home.

  8. A lot more traffic...parking lots full. Glad that you are doing well staying home. I am climbing the walls. We were not created for this.

  9. You and I have been on the same path. I have been decluttering and purging and donating and giving my kids anything they want..and maybe some things they didn't want. lol I, too, have purchased stuff on a whim because it looked like fun when a blogger used it/did it/made it. lol
    I have ordered very little since the quarantine. I needed a few things because we just moved into a new condo and I am missing a few items that are essential but I am not impulse buying now either. I am ready to start sewing again for the first time in about 4 or 5 years and can't wait.
    I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day. Hugs- Diana

  10. To be honest, we are 100% content. Hardly anything at all about our lives have even changed. I could stay home for a very long time and never get bored! So many projects, and even though we've downsized about 90% of our possessions since 2015, I STILL find things to get rid of. Sometimes it is just a matter of not having been ready to let the item go in the past, but now having come to a place of readiness. Sometimes, it was something we truly used previously, but do not use or wear or need anymore. All we have gone through has taught us to never buy anything unless we really, truly want it or need it. We have become extremely intentional about what comes in to our home, and very generous with what goes out. SO many are suffering, and yet, we sit with such excess! It is very convicting when you think about it. My book (I am ALMOST to the point of hitting "publish!") goes over these things in such detail from a Biblical perspective. I LOVE your pink books! SO, so pretty and just looking at them makes me happy, too! We do communion at home with our pastor online, also. The services have been such a dear blessing to us. So wonderful to visit with you tonight, sweet friend. Many blessings to you and your family!

  11. You have accomplished a lot! And I remember when you first were determined to lose weight and it is wonderful that you've done so well maintaining, especially during this time when so many admit to gaining. I have always been a homebody and had to make myself get out for my own good so this has not been hard on me at all except that I miss all the visits from our children and grandchildren dreadfully. Now that warmer weather has at last arrived I'm hoping we can do some kind of a picnic outside here so I can see them all again. I've only been out in public once, last week to an important eye doctor appointment. I have to admit that I miss personally shopping for groceries.

  12. It's so nice to hear from you and that you lost so much weight! We have been eating a lot more fruit and veggies here. I haven't been spending as much money on things as I used to before we had this pandemic. As you said a lot of it we really don't need and you can get caught up on what other people recommend buying. I keep myself busy with gardening and my Zoom Zumba classes and going for long walks. Things are slowly starting to open up in my neighborhood and I am very happy about that. Take care and be safe.

  13. Your blog notification and many others ended up in my spam folder. Sheesh! I don't mind being home, but I have missed grocery shopping and going to church and my ladies prayer group. It is so easy to get caught up in 'spur of the moment' purchases, not good at all. I've bought uplifting books around 14 because of being in isolation. I do NOT want to order any more, as I am 'booked out'. I did order toilet paper, cereal, dried beans and brown rice from Walmart and that order should be here tomorrow. I may go to the grocery store next week. I've only been out once in 79 days. I am so thankful I have 1/4 of an acre to enjoy, flowers, weeds, projects, upkeep and all. Congrats you your weight loss. So good to connect with you again, hopefully you won't end up in my spam folder again. ;-) Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

  14. I'm happy in this quiet time. I blog, stay in touch with family and friends, and now I'm in the garden a lot. We still mostly go out for essentials even though things are opening up here (Alberta, Can). And I find we use what we have because we can't just pop out for one or two things. We aren't planning to go to restaurants or coffee shops yet. Because there are two of us in the house, we share it all so I find I'm not crawling the walls from boredom or loneliness. I think it would be different if there was just one at home. So I feel lucky-blessed.

    You've been making good use of your time. And how lovely to find yourself a few dress sizes smaller. That must feel good.

    Wishing you a beautiful weekend.
    Brenda xox

  15. I will admit I kind of liked being sequestered since it slowed our life down a lot. We were in the planning part of moving to another state when the pandemic it so that gave us time to plan even better. It's been three weeks since we moved and even though we brought little, it's still more then we need. We were living in southern California and now live in northern Mn.. We re redoing an old cabin on our daughters property which is a lot harder work then we ever realized. As we do this we are living in an older rv we purchase several years ago so we would have our own place. It's comfortable but small so getting into our cabin will be nice. The best part is decorating, I spend way too much time on Pinterest. We were living in Papua New Guinea for years, yep, we are missionaries. We are still with our mission as Reps and do a lot of traveling but we love what we do. Age is creeping up and we felt it was wise to move close to our daughters as she will be our care given when the time comes. I pray God takes us home before we need our diapers changed. LOved post. blessings.

  16. We are well past working age, and do not usually go-go-go. His weekly Rotary Luncheon was enough "getting together" for him, who is more social than I am. -smile- So it has not been as hard on us, as many, many people.

    Let us hope we do learn a couple of things. Like keep a well stocked "Pantry." And really pay attention to our "wants" vs. our "needs." Etc. Etc. Etc.


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