Quarantine Lifestyle

As I awake, I give thanks for all that I treasure. Before I even get out of bed, I do some basic yoga stretches for the back and legs. I drink a glass of water, while fresh ground coffee is brewing. Later in the morning, I call to check on my parents and then follow the same routine that has served me well for many years.

I try to get regular vigorous exercise and eat mostly plant-based foods. I listen to the news only once per day. (More often can worry us way too much.) I study the things I want to learn more about or work on the next blog post. Some posts take several days to prepare.

I’ve also been cleaning my house and attic. Many of my friends tell me that they are doing the same thing. The charity shops will be bursting with new inventory when the quarantine is over.

When the weather allows, I go for a long brisk walk in my neighborhood early in the morning. There are very few people around at that hour. (I took these photos using a tripod and timer.)

I thought you might enjoy coming along for part of my walk today. There are three miles of sidewalks in my village. I enjoy walking on all of them, but especially the workout from climbing the hills. There is often abundant wildlife to see and always blossoms to enjoy.

Nothing I’m wearing is new, so I’ll share highlighted links to similar current items if not the same. The shopping links in my posts may result in a small commission for me at no additional cost to you.

The Tonga Navy vest is here. I also have it in black and enjoy wearing them under any jacket in cold weather. They add no bulk but give you another layer to keep you warm. Wearing a waistcoat or vest takes the emphasis away from a large bust.

Black-Multi HatShoesTeeAnkle JeansSunglasses

I often see an osprey, green herons, Canadian geese, wood ducks, loons, mallards, kingfishers, and herons from the walking paths around the shore of the numerous small lakes here.

That’s a bearded iris above and double bloom cherry tree blossoms below.

My Japanese maple is resplendent with new leaves, and the dogwood is in full bloom.

My neighbor’s red azalea bush below is visible from my kitchen window.


Are you eating mindfully during quarantine? I’ve carefully planned my grocery needs so that I don’t have to shop more than twice a month. I wear gloves and a mask and get out of the store as quickly as possible.

Vitamin C is essential, so I buy oranges and lemons to alternate. I squeeze the juice of a lemon into filtered water one day, and the next day I enjoy an orange.

My breakfast (below) includes warmed frozen blueberries, pecans, walnuts, cinnamon, and dates poured over half of a warm baked sweet potato. I topped it with the last dollop of my all-fruit orange marmalade this morning. It isn’t a pretty dish, but it is delicious!

Everything tastes better with seasonings. I enjoy a variety of balsamic vinegar and a high-quality pure olive oil on all vegetables. A few Italian Olives and some shavings of extra sharp cheddar over broccoli or roasted Brussels sprouts are my favorite combos. My local Olive Oil store ships your order, or you can pick it up.

I stock my pantry with the only beans I can digest, my favorite crackers, organic chocolate, and some canned wild-caught fish. (One can of beans lasts me for three meals.)

I have plenty of frozen vegetables and wild-caught salmon in the freezer.

A late in the day lunch/dinner includes the other half of the sweet potato from breakfast topped with some warm vegetables, beans, a few shavings of cheese, sea salt, fresh ground pepper, and of course, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

I buy bright green avocados to ripen on the counter for a few days and enjoy a few slices with lunch and or breakfast with veggie omelets. There are always sweet potatoes in my shopping basket.

I hope that you are well, both mentally and physically. We shall never forget this part of our human history when the whole world became one village, united to fight the same foe.

103 Comments
  1. Lovely post. You appear to have a temperate climate, our weather is beginning to warm up here in the UK but remains changeable. Love the area where you live. Thanks for sharing. Keep safe.

  2. Your neighbourhood looks lovely Susan and the plants and shrubs look stunning. Here in the UK Spring is in progress and buds are forming on trees and bushes. Maybe because of lockdown we have more time and opportunity to look at and appreciate our surroundings more. There is also so much birdsong that is not blocked by the hum of traffic in the background.
    Maybe when this awful virus has run its course we will remember the positives we have experienced? I do hope so. Stay safe Susan and everyone out there xx

  3. Switzerland is also welcoming the warmer weather…today blue skies and 24 degrees c. Almost summer! I too enjoy your post Susan and take lots of your tips along for my own journey through this season of life. Thank you….l will definitely be tryIng your breakfast dish.

  4. Thank You so much for sharing. I really enjoy your blogs. You inspire me to try and live my best life. Thank You and I wish you health and happiness.

  5. I, too, have always been a morning walker. These days I am seeing more people than ever before out walking throughout the day. Your scenery is beautiful. We are a bit behind you in blooms here in Illinois.

  6. I am relatively new to your Facebook posts, but I’m enjoying it very much. This is the first of your blogs I’ve read, but it, to, was very enjoyable and informative. I want to try your recipe with the sweet potato with fruit and nuts…it sound delicious! Continue to stay well during this uncertain time. I’m sure we will all be much more thankful and appreciative of what we once considered “the little things”, when this trying time is over.
    Thank you,
    Linda Pruitt

  7. I loved this blog. Smart, savvy hints of both dressing and eating as well as exercise. What a wonderful combination.
    During this unforgetable time with the coronavirus, it sure helps to get an uplifted blog and seeing you looking so very nice, sort of makes a person want to do the same thing in spite of being housebound…
    Thank you again for your incredible sense of style, lovely pictures you share and making your blog so personal.

    Clara from Iowa

  8. Thank you for showing us your meal examples and the groceries you have at home. You are quarantining with style and grace. Your brain and thoughts are in the right place, calm and steady.

  9. It’s a wonderful life! Your community looks so pretty and enjoyable for walks. I love spring with everything so green and flowering trees. I could walk forever admiring the beauty and peace. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Thank you Susan for your wonderful blog about everyday life from your perspective it always lifts me and reassures me that we are not alone in this fight ❤

  11. Thank you for a peak at your day and what you are eating to stay healthy. I especially enjoyed the tour of your neighborhood. I used to live in that area and it is so pretty in the spring. I really miss that. I’m in Wisconsin now and winter keeps hanging on.

  12. Susan, you are so calming and inspiring during this uncertain time. I really appreciate the photos of the flowering bushes because here in Canada, west of Toronto, there is no colour. When I do come upon a lone crocus or snow drop, I jump for joy! We’re still wearing winter coats during our long walks, but the positive thing is, we can leave our house to go for a walk, but not in parks. Of course, social distancing of 2 metres is required. Keep well & please keep posting!

    1. Hello Canadian Elizabeth : Do you have a blog? I like the comments that you post on Susan After Sixty. I am also Canadian.

      1. Hi Yvonne,
        Thank you for your kind words! No, I don’t do a blog, have thought about it, but will leave it to experts, like Susan. I’ve learned so much from her.
        Believe it or not, it’s been snowing here and our deck is covered. Please stay safe and healthy. Best wishes from Canadian Elizabeth

  13. Hi Susan! I’m new to your blogs and this was my first day reading! I really loved seeing the beautiful flowers on your walk this morning! It’s a cloudy day here in Georgia but I enjoyed my walk as well. Your hat is SUPER cute!!! I have to tell you that I’m a huge fan of balsamic vinegar and olive oil and am always searching to try something new. I researched your special store “Divine” and have just placed my order!!! I eat a lot of salads so I’m really anxious to try my new oils!!! Thank you SO much for sharing. I wish you a safe and wonderful day!

  14. Your post today is so comforting! Since you are a fan of olives, dates, and (I think) cauliflower, please allow me to share a favorite “comfort” recipe that I think you (and your readers) would love! It is based on a tapas dish by the amazing Chef Jose Andres. https://abusymomskitchen.com/2016/01/13/roasted-cauliflower-with-dates-and-olives/
    I use half the amount of sweeter (I use agave instead of honey), white balsamic vinegar instead of sherry, and smoked paprika (pimenton) rather than sweet. I also toss all of the ingredients in a pan to warm them before I add the roasted cauliflower. Addictive, in a healthy way!

  15. All of the colors of flowers in bloom are so uplifting. Thank you for sharing what you eat as well. You’re such a great daughter to check in on your parents every morning. May you and everyone you care about and love stay well during this historic time.

  16. What a beautiful walk we had with you today! My husband and I are also eating plant-based and appreciate the examples of what you are enjoying. I also want to let you know that I received my black Nordstrom dress today and I LOVE it! It fits perfectly and am sure it will become a new staple in my wardrobe. Thank you again!

  17. Reading your blog is always inspiring. Thank you for giving me a shake up on my eating. My husband and I have been staying in for over a month and I have been baking all sorts of special treats. As comforting as that has been, it is time to get back to our healthy diet. I can tell I’ve gained a few pounds and also feel sluggish. Seeing your stock of vegies etc. has made me realize how far I’ve gotten away from a healthy diet. I’m sure I’ll feel better soon!

  18. Susan, I enjoyed going along on your walk today. The flowers are beautiful. Our iris won’t be in bloom here in Colorado until May or early June. Take care.

  19. Susan, I tried a new combo-mango slices, avocado slices, and black seedless grapes. I added nothing, but may try sprinkles of ginger and cinnamon on the mango.

  20. Such a calming blog post. Thank you. Your flowers and shrubs are lovely. I also love to walk along the trails in my neighborhood. I’m noticing much more of the landscaping during the quarantine. So many families are putting more work and effort into their front yards. Great use of time.
    Love your hat!

  21. Dear Susan, Thank you so very much for sharing your uplifting thoughts and lifestyle action plan with us in these challenging times. Your focus on healthy eating is inspiring as well as your positive mental attitude. My husband and I have been doing daily meditations using the app “Insight Timer” and it has provided a lovely shelter in the storm, as well. Peace, love and good health be with you! Happy trails, Peggy Roberts, Fountain Hills, AZ

  22. This is such a nice post! I, too am tired of hearing nothing but bad news for the past few months. Thanks for sharing. I always appreciate hearing from you.

  23. Hi Susan. You’re photos brought me joy. The flowers are just beautiful and uplifting. I must say, I am still too scared to wear white pants lest I suddenly sit down on something and get them dirty. Lol. I do love your look though! My trouble is that I have enjoyed too much baking that is happening in our house with the lockdown and have gained weight that I didn’t need to. I have decided to not beat myself up about it but to get on my bike this afternoon after I’ve finished work. (I am a remote administration worker). After all, it is a trying time. Stay well everyone and thanks again Susan. Your posts are fantastic.

  24. Thank you so much for your pictures. It was trouble to take along a tripod. I know you are trying to protect Mr. Mickey. I bet you miss him. My life is very much like yours with living alone, taking walks with my two Shih Tzu puppies, eating healthy (I am vegan), taking care of myself and my house, writing and meditation. I appreciate your blog and have been a follower for a very long time. Thank you!

  25. Susan, you have a beautiful place to walk. You are a survivor, and I can relate. This is definitely a time that we will all remember. Wishing you and Mr. Mickey well. Pat

  26. Hi Susan,
    Love you post today it was so relaxing to read about your day. I too decided to be productive during SIP and to eat healthy and exercise daily. I find if I keep busy I don’t think about being in SIP. I just keep thinking how great it is to focus on getting things done around the house. It really makes the day so faster.
    So far I have organized all of my costume jewelry and bought beautiful trays and just from Amazon. To storage the. Yesterday was spend gleaning all of my duvet jewelry and place them in a sliver keeper I found on Amazon. Everyday I give myself one task to complete along with cooking and reading the day just fly by.
    I’m very fortunate to live on the bay in California so I get to see wild life every day.
    It’s time to appreciate all we have and not worry about what we don’t.
    We are all very lucky to be healthy and safe during these difficult days.

  27. I love irises! I try to grow them but I only get leaves, no blooms! Question about your sweet potatoes. How do you do the cooking? If it’s ready in the morning ,do you bake them the night before? Or use a crockpot?

    1. I bake a couple of them in the oven at 375 degrees for an hour. Turn off the oven, cover them, and let them cool. I pull off the skins and place them in a glass dish and put them in the refrigerator. I take out what I need and warm it in a saute pan while I’m cooking the other items.

  28. I enjoy your walks so much. The flowers on show are always so beautiful. You are lucky to live in such a beautiful part of thecountry. Also look forward to all your new posts. Find staying in a bit difficult but we are all in this together. Looking forward to our next walk. Thank You.

  29. I know what you mean by cleaning the closets. I have three garbage bags full of clothes I am getting rid of. And I’m not done yet. Really enjoy your posts.

  30. Hi Susan, thanks for the lovely spring floral pictures. Spring in the south is pretty special!
    I have an idea for a blog post. I know you have posed many photos of yourself as well as modeled before. And I also noticed your poses in your blog pictures. Can you give all of us some tips that will help our photos be a little more flattering? Like, overweight deemphasis or minimization of bust lines. Things like that. I know I could use some help. Should we stand straight on? At an angle? Hiding behind a handy bush (my personal favorite!) or our companions?
    So nice to see your smiling face when I open my morning email.

  31. Since moving to Florida 20 years ago the one thing I’ve missed most is seeing the Dogwood trees in bloom. Thanks for this picture, and the others of North Carolina waking up after winter.

  32. I enjoyed this post very much. Beautiful images great photography. I am from Queensland Australia so we don’t get the same kind of tree and plants so it is lovely to see the flowering cherries. Your breakfast inspired me to try it ,looks yummy. I converted to a plant based way of eating a few months ago, feeling good and not missing meat.

  33. Your area is so far ahead of Michigan in your Spring. I’m envious! Every time I read about what you eat, I think I could eat like that…but I don’t. Maybe during this time of quarantine I can start. I’m used to eating out with friends between 2-6 times a week, and now it’s 0. Thank you for sharing what you eat! You look great, always, and it’s not just how you dress.

  34. Thank you for your comments that encourage us to focus on what we can do during this strange time. Follow a routine, exercise and appreciate our surroundings as we do, eat well and stay positive. I know you didn’t exactly say this but the example of your day says it better.

  35. Love your blog…..you are my inspiration! Not sure I could share your breakfast, sweet potato sounds good and my husband would settle for that, he’s a grits man! Does your husband indulge in the same type of diet? We have had to make so many lifestyle changes these last few weeks.

  36. I thank God for the Walmart grocery app. I just fill in my list, place it in the cart and pay. Then we set a time and Billy goes down to pick it up. They put groceries in the trunk so he doesn’t need to get close to anyone. You are limited to what they have, no wild salmon and the produce is whatever they have in stock but I feel safe doin this,
    I love the white vest top and pants with the navy vest. It looks so crisp and spring like. There’s nothing like fresh air and sunshine to lift your spirits. Have a great day and keep in mind what a friend of mine said to me the other day. Everyone should wake up and smell the roses. LOL

  37. A positive and uplifting post, as always, Susan! I’m following a similar routine of healthy eating and gentle exercise and haven’t gained weight! I plan my wardrobe each morning, do my make up and splash on some perfume – it’s important to feel good in difficult times.

  38. Hi Susan,

    I love reading your post. You make my day whenever I read your post. The pictures are beautiful and all the healthy choices of food. Be safe and as well as Mr. Mickey.

  39. Reading everyone’s posts, I am realizing how calm this blog has made me too. Thank you, Susan, and everyone for pointing that out. Here in Atlanta it is late spring, and the tulips are blooming along with lovely azaleas. The birds and their songs make a wonderful beginning each day. I’m recovering from an abdominal surgery I didn’t know I needed until 2 weeks ago. My youngest is a nurse in a major hospital in Nashville caring for covid patients. I worry about her so much, and hearing her patient’s stories is heartbreaking, Getting this post is something I look forward to and such a positive, calm peace I get from Susan and everyone on here. Thank you, ladies.

  40. Thank you for the beautiful pictures .Spring is coming with the blossoms. We are changing our view becoming more sensitive.
    Thank you for sharing your healthy diet. I wonder how you are not hungry eating only twice a day!
    A wise end of your post” the whole world became one village, united to fight the same foe.”

    1. If I am more active, I increase my intake of calories. As I age, I find I am much more comfortable with smaller portions and eating less often than when I was younger.

  41. Really great post and pics. Your food and lifestyle choices should serve you well for years to come. Do you ever eat any type of yogurt?

  42. Good Morning & thank you for a positive post! You are an inspiration to me. I am still working, although our bldg is closed to public. I am dealing with anxiety & upset stomach. I am walking & watching funny you tube videos, calling friends & family often…

  43. Your neighborhood is lovely! Reminds me of when I lived in Georgia. Now living in Fl, most of the trees in my area are Palm trees….

    I am trying to eat healthy, finding it difficult . You are so inspiring for all of us.

    Love your articles, please keep them coming.

    Thanks,
    Jennell

  44. Thank you for that very down to earth inspiring post. Great reading first thing in the morning as I begin my day.
    With all the uncertainty in the world right now happy to find your blog.

  45. Susan, loved your beautiful walk, and appreciate your sharing your meals. Very helpful. In my small community I can walk with my Pugsy and hardly see a soul, like most days before the virus. Out here in the country, I am so grateful when I see trucks going by, because I know some people are still working.

  46. Hi Susan, I am back following your “new to me” blog. I remember joyfully the old one. After a move and illness, I sort of lost my way. I am getting back to being me and love the new blog even more. I found you on a youtube video when I was looking for how to do a french tuck. I thought it was you and then you mentioned “Mr. Mickey” and I knew I was home.
    Just a quick question actually about the sweet potatoes. Do you cook them ahead and reheat them for breakfast. The breakfast sounds so yummy. I am in weight loss mode now. 60 pounds down (yay me) with almost another 50 to go. I am definitely changing my eating habits.
    I have always loved your blog and cant wait to read some of the older posts and get “reaquainted”
    Thanks, Mari

  47. Susan, you are the light at the end of the tunnel! Thank you so much for your beautiful photos. Your area is gorgeous. We’re in PA and it’s really looking colorful here too. I loved seeing your Great Blue Heron. Over the years I’ve collected a few paintings and a sculpture, hand carved from the beach of great blues. The photo of your veggies, etc. was really nice to see as well.
    As soon as I read your post, I went for a long walk. Thanks for continually inspiring us during this challenging time.

  48. What a beautiful place you live in. I miss the foliage and green from back East. Thank you for sharing so much with all of us.

  49. Your neighborhood looks safe and lovely. Enjoy your beautiful day. Yesterday we had 85-90 degrees, so had to turn the air on. This morning we had to turn the heat on. This weather is crazy, as is our world right now. Stay positive and safe. And continue to be an inspiration. Thank you.

  50. Beautiful post. Thank you. As a person who works 10 hour days to being home indefinitely it has been a challenge. Your daily routine reminds me that I should embrace this time. Walk around my neighborhood instead of staying home on the computer all day. Blessings to you.

  51. Hi Susan,

    I so enjoyed your walk throughout your neighborhood. I am a person that appreciates nature, and flowers. The bearded Iris, double bloom cherry blossoms, your Japanese Maple, and your neighbor’s red azalea bush are all so beautiful. What a treat to look out your kitchen window to see the red azalea bush. I can tell after viewing your walk with you, your neighborhood has a beauty all of its own. It’s like living in a resort, isn’t it? A gift that we can take for granted if we aren’t careful. I am so much like you when I go out for my walks, I enjoy my solo walks, and usually see my community friends that we are greeting at a distance.

    Sending blessings for good health and self-care during these uncertain times.
    Katherine
    in Arizona

  52. Thank you, Susan, it appears that I will need to follow the types of meals that you enjoy and are helping to adjust to my new eating habits. I feel so much better when I do, but my husband has an iron tummy, so many times I am tempted… then it backfires and I am ill for several days. You have helped become who I think I truly am, without working…I was a successful executive in the financial world but needed to discover who I was without that…I am going to be 68 in June, and feel I am finally becoming who I feel inside.
    I am certain that many feel the same as me…and tell you that I appreciate all that you do.

    I need to lose another 10 pounds, to get to where I think I need to be….keep up with all that you do and many blessings

  53. That was a lovely post, thank you for sharing it. It’s still a bit chilly here in Toronto and.we anxiously await warmer spring weather and flowers.
    The downside of that is that people will want to get out more. My routine is similar to yours in that I do some exercise in the morning and a walk.
    I’ve organized my closet and the linen closet and I try a new recipe each day, along with lots of reading. Stay safe!

  54. THANK YOU!! Your blog makes my day. We moved from S.C. to Alabama. LOVE nd miss the N.C. mountains. Appears your shopping foods are from Ingles. Would you mind sharing the name of your organic choc. or where I could purchase?If chosen by you this choc would be the best. I think you shared the choc, brand several months ago in a differen tblog.May YOU, your parents and Mr. Mickey stay well. One day closer to the end of this terible situation.

    1. I’m still eating the same Equal Exchange Fair Trade chocolate here. I usually shop at Fresh Market, but I do go over to the Ingles near my parents at times. Thank you. I hope you and your family are all safe and well.

  55. Hello Susan, I so enjoyed your Day in the life post…you look great and are so disciplined about your meals…I’m working on it and trying to move towards a whole food plant based diet but not quite there yet…My life has changed considerably during the past year in that my husband of 38 years and I are separated…I now live in a small city in a very nice cozy apartment …Two of my sons and families live nearby but with social distancing, we are staying apart…like you I have set up a daily routine and it helps my days to have purpose…I do an online Pilates class, walk 2-3 miles through all of the different neighborhoods, clean and tidy, read and watch daily Mass…but most importantly I count my blessings…
    Thanks for sharing your positive attitude and great ideas with us!

  56. I find your postings very motivational and informative. Please continue to share your menu ideas. I tried the Mediterranean way of eating, but became overwhelmed. During this stressful time, I would like to enhance my eating and exercise patterns.
    You are an inspiration to many.
    Sincerely,
    Kathy

  57. I love your blog! Can you tell me where your village is? Just love the idea of all those sidewalks. And it seems like a safe place to explore! Thanks

  58. Susan,
    I so enjoy all your posts and inspirations, but I obviously missed one.
    I keep seeing you say that Mr. Mickey is improving. Is he ill?
    This is a terrible time to be sick without loved ones around. I
    certainly wish him well and am so sorry I missed that post.

    Carolyn

  59. This post was very informative. Would you mind sharing the brand of canned fish you purchase?I am concerned about the quality if some canned and frozen fish.
    Thanks

  60. Susan,

    Of all of your blogs, this is one of my very favorite. You have included everything I love to see- fashion, food, flowers, and birds, I love it.
    Have a wonderful day,

    Suzanne J

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I blogged for five years as Fifty, not Frumpy. Now that I am in my sixties, I am sharing ideas and inspiration for using and loving what you already have.

Thank you!
Susan

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