Shelter in Place

This is my 20th blog post! Whoda thunk?! Not exactly the 2020 we were all hoping for, huh?  I’d like to say I never could’ve imagined what is happening now, but I did.  I remember years ago (2014) reading Emily St. John’s Station Eleven about a swine flu pandemic that spread thoroughly and rapidly, thinking, “seems like something like this could happen very easily.”

But that’s not what this post is going to be about.  I’m choosing to feel grateful during this time as we, and our extended family, are, thankfully, healthy.  I have a senior who is not experiencing the ideal second semester of her high school senior year, but she isn’t complaining.  She will be off to college (probably??) soon enough, so what a gift this is that we all get to really enjoy her and each other for these homebound weeks.  We are taking family walks, we are cleaning toilets and doing laundry, we are playing games and doing puzzles and we are watching TV as a family (please don’t judge that our viewing list includes “Tiger King.”)

Zoom and Face Time are wonderful; I still feel connected to my family and friends.  The Internet can be a fantastic thing when used for good.

I’ve been getting many emails and texts asking for recs and I have been feeling the pressure.  This is my forte; this should be my moment!  Unfortunately, the days have gone so quickly, I haven’t been glued to Netflix or to any book in particular.  I felt like I needed to provide substance to be worthy of a read.  Then I thought, “Nah.”  So many lists of what to watch and read are circulating now, y’all don’t really need mine.  But here are a few suggestions, just in case.


“American Idol” – if you gave this up, get it back.  I have watched every season but this one is stellar.  This show is not about the judges; it is about the massive amount of talent out there.  Since it has been on ABC, it has been a kinder, gentler and supportive Idol.  They really do foster these youngsters and try to help them channel their skills.  And these kids can sing!  It is SO impressive.  We watch as a family and I tear up throughout every episode; the stories are touching, the talent is goose bump inducing and the “will they/won’t they make” is compelling.

“The Good Place” – I’ve promoted it before so I won’t go into detail except to say that this is another whole family option and that the series finale is one of the best I have ever seen, a total A.  

“Schitt’s Creek” – Catch up on Netlix and, if you get Pop Network in your cable package, you can watch this season there.  The first season is ok but then it gets great – I especially loved season three.  I’m so sad this will be the last season; I am going to miss the Roses very much.

“Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” – I want to love this a little more than I do but it is entertaining and I love Jane Levy (big fan of her “Suburgatory”).  Zoey hears “heart songs” from people that no one else can hear and that the singer doesn’t know s/he is singing.  The dance numbers are fantastic and the cast is great.  The reason I am promoting it is because episode 8, “Zoey’s Extraordinary Glitch” had me laughing so hard I was crying.

“Fleabag” – this is not a news flash since it won every award last season but I’m putting it in anyway in case you are holding out for some reason.  We’re talking two seasons; six (30 minute) episodes per season – totally doable.  Again, the first season is just ok but the second season is fantastic.

“Tiger King” – it’s not quality television, in fact, it’s like watching a train wreck.  You just can’t stop once you really get into it.  If you can’t do it, I get it.  But if you can, you should, if for no other reason than to be able to talk about it with everyone else because everyone is watching it.

Please read my past posts if you want to catch up on some shows, there are some great ones  – “New Amsterdam,” “The Good Doctor,” “The Resident,” “Mom,” “Jane, The Virgin,” etc.


It’s the perfect time to watch those movies that won all those awards.  I don’t always agree with the nominations but this year a lot of them were spot on.  Parasite and Little Women were solid As for me, A- for Jojo Rabbit and Ford v Ferrari.  

We have been watching a lot of old movies.  An American President is just so good, for a thousand reasons. Amélie is as whimsical as I remembered.  We watched Gwyneth Paltrow’s Emma (I haven’t seen the new one yet), which led us into Clueless, one of my all-time faves.  Baby Boom is dated but so good. I would make a lousy home school teacher, but in terms of movie “educating,” I would definitely excel!  

It’s also a great time to catch up in preparation for new releases coming up – Top GunBill & Ted’s Excellent AdventureThe Matrix, the James Bond movies, etc.


The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms 

A single working mom gets a long vacation in New York City.  It’s a lightish read but also touches on some big topics; parenting, divorce, literacy, finding love, motherhood, wellness, etc.  I enjoyed it.

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

Another fun one about two people who share a flat but never see each other due to their work schedules, and how they fall in love having never met.

I’m sort of staying away from the heavy stuff for now but if I come across anything great, you know I’ll share it.

Song of the blog

A friend shared this and I just love it.  This is not normally my preferred genre of music but “The Weight” by The Band has always been an exception for me.  I love how music can transcend this enforced distance and can bring everyone together.  Click here to watch.

Thanks for reading and please be well and stay safe.


5 thoughts on “Shelter in Place

  1. Christine Kaufman

    Thanks Julie! I really enjoyed reading this today! Not sure if you have watched or discussed on prior post but I am watching My Brilliant Friend and I LOVE it. Season 1 is out and about 4 episodes into season 2. Definitely watch if you haven’t. stay safe! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Liz

    I,too, am watching American Idol and finding it very compelling. The talent is awesome.
    Great Blog. Thank heavens we can zoom, face time, and text. Stay safe.


  3. Andrew C. Ausband

    Julie, Yay! Thank you! We are watching American Idol now! All thanks to you!

    Hope you are all doing well! Elizabeth

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person


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