Are you stuck in the house?
Currently on a stay at home order?
Self-isolating for health concerns?
I’m using the term “stuck in the house” loosely. Unless you’re sick and really must be inside your house, some of my suggestions include getting outside and maybe driving somewhere else.
If you don’t have to be inside your house, get moving. But – you want to do your part to decrease the risk of spreading Covid-19 and being infected yourself. It’s best to practice social distancing and stay close to home.
Many of us are always looking for ways to save money. Especially right now. We don’t want to make unnecessary purchases.
Most of the 13 things to do when you’re stuck in the house are free, especially if you already have a computer or have baking ingredients on hand.
1. Spend time outside
In case you missed my post about 6 easy ways to spend more time outside, click the link below for inspiration. It’s time to enjoy fresh air.
2. Spring forward
Are you behind?
Did you get around to completing the 6 things to do when you turn your clocks ahead? Most of the tasks are pretty easy.
If you haven’t got around to it yet, click the banner below and check them out and off!
3. Sign up for BookBub
Find books to read for free! Especially since most libraries are closed right now.
It’s free to sign up for BookBub and get book recommendations to read on your device. You can choose the genres you like and even your favorite authors. BookBub emails out daily suggestions that include free and discounted books.
Watch out before you click and “buy” a free or 99¢ eBook. Too many times I click through to Amazon, and the book is at its regular price.
4. Organize your closet
This might be a good time to declutter your closet and donate to those in need.
5. Bake an easy chocolate cake
One of my first cookbooks was a present from my mother and it’s called The I Hate To Cook Book.(Disclosure: I’m an Amazon associate and if you click the link and make a purchase, I’ll earn a small commission for the referral.)
Timeless. Years later, it’s still funny with good, easy recipes. The author’s daughter gave it a makeover for the 50th anniversary edition ten years ago. I haven’t read the new version.
The chocolate cake in the book doesn’t use milk, butter, or eggs. Mix the ingredients in the pan you bake it in, and put it in the oven.
I’ve found the recipe online. Even if you’re not a baker, you can’t go too wrong with this easy recipe. You can frost it, sprinkle powdered sugar on it, add a dollop of ice cream, or eat it plain.
Warning: it will disappear quick!
Click here for Peg Bracken’s Cockeyed Chocolate Cake.
Speaking of baking, have you tried any of the suggestions in this blog post?
You can keep a supply of bread, muffins, granola bars, cookies and so much more in your freezer.
I just tried this interesting bread I found on YouTube. It’s the poor man’s dutch oven no knead bread. I’m always willing to give other recipes a shot. This was a good shot!
I started the dough at 9pm Tuesday night. It did its thing until 1pm the next day, so I left it alone to rise for about 16 hours. Oh, when I prepared the dough, instead of three and a half cups bread flour, I used two and a half cups all purpose flour (cause that’s what I have on hand!) and one cup of whole wheat flour. Then I added about half a cup of whole oats, plus a small handful of sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.
Making my own healthy artisan bread here!
I pretty much stopped eating bread when I needed to lose weight. I used to buy enough for three months and freeze, but now I usually bake whole wheat bread if I’m craving it.
Tip – I keep my yeast in the freezer to extend its shelf life.
Speaking of poor, I couldn’t get my clips to work on the bread pans, so I used tin foil around the edges. Baked for 40 minutes and then I removed the tin foil and the upper loaf pan. I let it bake for another 8 minutes.
7. Get hooked on YouTube
You never know what you’re going to find on YouTube. For some reason I watch car crash videos. Nothing with blood and gore and death. Yikes! Even I am not that morbid. The channels I watch are mostly running red lights and changing lanes crashes with lots of swearing. I’m sure people can still get a bad injury from these crashes, but some of them are really incredible. Like how does that happen? How did you drive into a statue? Were you texting?
I even came across a 1996 made for TV movie starring Tracey Gold called Face of Evil. Twisted mind! If nothing else just watch the first couple of minutes for the cat. Hover your mouse over the video, then click the YouTube tag to watch it full size on their webpage.
Really aging myself here on another made for TV movie that I remember watching it the first time it was on TV called Boy in the Plastic Bubble. Blast from the past!
I’ve been a big John Travolta fan since Welcome Back, Kotter. I hadn’t seen the movie in decades and then one day I was shopping at London Drugs and there it was in video (not DVD!) for $4.99. So I have it somewhere in my storage. For now I just have to be happy watching in on YouTube.
What old movies do you remember that you’d like to see again? Maybe you’ll find them on YouTube.
8. Get hooked on MY YouTube
Did you know I have a YouTube channel? I’ve recently uploaded a couple of book reviews. Sometimes I upload videos of bad drivers. There are some videos of my horses and vacation photos. Also a video of my giving closet decluttering tips to go with the if it doesn’t fit, get out of my closet blog post.
I need subscribers! Help me out and hit the subscribe button while you’re there.
9. Start up your own YouTube channel
Document how you and your family are spending your days while under stay at home orders. Film that recipe you’re making. Show what you’re doing in the yard. Make a funny skit. If you need inspiration, watch this toilet paper skit from the Carol Burnett Show.
10. Play jigsaw puzzles
If you have any jigsaw puzzles, bring them out. They help keep your mind sharp.
If not, you can do a jigsaw puzzle online for free at Jigsaw Explorer. They have a search bar so you can search for California or Hawaii or horses or whatever interests you.
I even have a puzzle saved that I took of my dog Shadow in Astoria, Oregon at the Maritime Memorial. Click the photo to put the pieces back together on Jigsaw Explorer.
This was a few days after Memorial Day and there were many American flags on display.
You, too, can turn a favorite photo into a jigsaw puzzle and email the link so others can enjoy.
11. Listen to podcasts
I’m late to the party on this one! Oh sure, I’ve listened to a few recordings from time to time on the Internet but not on my iPhone or iPod. It took my awhile to figure out how to download a couple of Crime Junkie episodes to my iPod and I listened to them while out at the farm, but I couldn’t get podcasts to download the next time I tried it, even following all the steps I found online.
I’ve recently downloaded Spotify to my Kindle Fire and found a couple of podcasts. I figure this will be a good plan the next time I get a long drive down to Washington or Oregon and can only find static on the radio.
12. Take up bird watching
Do you have a hummingbird feeder hanging on your balcony, sundeck, or somewhere in your yard (if you have one)?
I’ve been seeing a lot of hummingbirds lately. I ran out of the hummingbird powder that I mix with water and it turns red, so now I’m using a quarter cup of sugar to a cup of water, and the hummingbirds seem much more crazy over that simple switch. If you see one hummingbird, you probably at least four using your feeder. The other day I watched two hummingbirds at the same time drinking the nectar.
There’s a suet feeder hanging on my sundeck. I haven’t seen my blue jays in a long time. I get woodpeckers, sparrows, robins, and swallows mostly. The smaller birds back off when the woodpeckers and jays take over. It’s kind of funny watching the jays and woodpeckers fight over the suet.
We have eagles resting in the trees on the property and occasionally a hawk. A lot of crows fly past, and sometimes Canada Geese. There were ducks in the field yesterday when I was walking my dog out there.
I see herons every now and then. Usually I can’t get close enough to take a good picture before they fly away. Here’s a heron in the horse pasture a few days ago.
I’m truly fortunate to be living where I can enjoy birds. You might have to head to a park or a river, lake, or ocean beach to go birding.
13. Look for work
I have job alerts set up on Indeed and a few other places. The job ads have decreased dramatically over the past two weeks.
Likewise on Craigslist. Very few new job ads showing up. Can you imagine the responses employers are getting?
The reality is if you can find a job, any job, you need to go for it. Especially if you believe or know for sure that you might not have a job to go back to when the stay at home orders are lifted. There have already been many companies who have decided this is the end for them and are permanently laying off staff.
Stay safe and healthy. It’ll be tough going, but let’s get through this.
I am actually trying my hand at baking today l think. Oatmeal raisin cookies just to pass the time. I don’t enjoy being in the kitchen though. We’re only allowed a few minutes to walk our dogs daily so not chance of being outside. I just hope that this passes soon. Stay safe!
Kemkem – anything to break up the boredom! You’re under different law in Spain so you have to stay inside. In BC they’re recommending people stay at home. Business that can not accommodate social distancing are closed. Businesses that refuse to enforce social distancing, if reported, are fined and closed. Some businesses have shut down due to concern of the virus. Bylaw officers are patrolling parks and beaches and ensuring people are a safe distance from each other. We can still go outside and walk, ride bikes, and anything else that’s not a close contact sport. I’m hoping it doesn’t worsen here.
Worse thing is eating comfort foods and eating out of boredom from being home and nothing else to do. I baked granola bars yesterday. And that’s because Walmart finally had condensed milk back in stock!