March’s Cheep Trills – 10 Ways to Keep Busy at Home

Chirped by Cass and Tina

We hope that all of you and your family and friends are doing well during this crazy time. So many of us had to adjust our work, school and lifestyles due to this virus. This month’s Cheep Trills post details how we are keeping busy at home in this new norm. We have listed five things we are doing for others, and five things we are doing for ourselves.

For Others:

Homemade Masks

Homemade MasksTina and her crafting groups have been researching and sewing homemade cloth masks for health care and other essential workers, as well as friends and family. There is some research that questions the utility of cloth masks. However, healthcare and safety specialists that they’ve talked to say that at the very least, the homemade masks:

  1. physically remind people not to touch their faces,
  2. visually remind people to give each other a wide berth, and
  3. protect other people from the bulk of any cough or sneeze that the wearer might project into the air.

If you want to join the cause, check online for local Mask Makers groups – we have a really well-organized Facebook group near us: Mask Makers of Doylestown, PA, but there are others out there. Ours has a porch pick-up/drop-off spot where you can donate materials, grab more supplies, or drop off finished masks. Also check out this Deaconess site for some patterns and even a helpful video tutorial. Deaconess also has a search tool to find organizations in your state looking for masks. Not sure how often it gets updated though, so you might want to check with the contact people on whether masks are still needed. Sometimes the organizations have specific pattern requests, too. Certain hospitals only want masks with a pocket, for example, for inserting a filter. Tina is going to work on a post about how to use floral wire to fashion a “pinchable” nose section for a closer fit – coming soon!

Groceries and Meals

If you’re able, offer to shop and deliver groceries or make meals for those who can’t get out or shouldn’t risk going out. You can leave them on their doorstep to avoid unnecessary contact. Alternatively, order a take-out meal from a local restaurant and deliver it to an essential worker’s home. Not having to cook can be a huge help to those working tirelessly on the front lines.

Homemade Cards

Keeping Busy at HomeI have been painting and assembling homemade cards to send to some of the shut-ins from my church. Just a quick little note asking how they are doing and letting them know that we are thinking about them during this time. I also have sent a few letters to friends I know who are nurses – as a way to thank them for their time, talents and help.

Food Pantry Donations

Our local food pantries are struggling with increased demand during the economic downturn caused by the pandemic. I went through my own pantry and to the grocery store, and put together a box of food and paper products to donate. Tina sent in monetary contributions, matched by her husband’s company, so they can buy whatever they specifically need.

Staying in Touch – Virtually

Reach out to distant relatives and friends and check in with them on how they are doing. Tina and her husband have been hosting virtual video happy hours with friends both near and far, to keep up morale on both sides of the camera! Both of us recently had book club meetings using Zoom to discuss the books we’ve been reading and catch up with everyone. Our book picks last month were Educated, by Tara Westover, and With Love from the Inside by Angela Pisel – both good reads! As a result of our video meetup, we learned that one of our members needed homemade masks at her hospital. After a little crafty networking, 40 were delivered, pronto!

For Ourselves:


Keeping Busy at HomeWith fledglings home from college, and time and supplies limited at the grocery store, we’ve had to re-imagine our meal planning. We’re getting creative with leftovers, and experimenting with some new recipes to use the ingredients we have on hand. Tina’s family enjoyed a delicious new Indian Chicken Curry recipe last night, substituting whole milk for the coconut milk, skipping the fresh ginger, and doubling the tomato paste to use up the last of a can. Even with those alterations, it came out delicious! We made a simple steak, Brussels sprouts and rice dish. And tonight? At Tina’s it will be leftover beef stew on top of shell pasta, with sauteed mushrooms that are starting to look a smidge past their prime… For my family it will be turkey cutlets and homemade French fries. The kids aren’t complaining!

Photos and Scrapbooking

Paper vs Digital ScrapbookingBetween the stay-at-home order and all the rainy days we’ve been having, it has been a good time to catch up on organizing our photos! I ordered a bunch of hard copies to scrapbook, and made some pages for my albums. Tina has been working on her digital albums – when she isn’t making masks. Her way looks like it takes up less space on the dining room table?


Keeping Busy at HomeI have gone through my closet, changed out the winter clothes for summer, and organized my clothing drawers as well… even the dreaded sock drawer. The puppies were happy with the mismatched ones. Files in the office were purged and now we are cleaning out the storage room and garage.

Home Projects

We all have lists of projects that need to be done around the house. We have been doing some spring cleaning around here. We’re tidying up the flower beds, decorating for Easter, filing our taxes, etc. Try to make your lists tangible, and break larger projects down into smaller tasks. Set a goal of what you wish to accomplish for the day. Then when you complete it, you can focus on that success, instead of all the other things that still need doing.

Family Time

There has been a lot of bonus family time the last few weeks: watching movies, doing puzzles, walking the dogs, and playing games. While every family member has their own remote work, classes, or projects to occupy them during the week, the extra “together time” on the weekends is actually quite nice! Especially for those of us who used to be empty nesters… (-;

What have you been up to?  Stay home, stay safe, be productive and stay positive!

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