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    Message From Cyprus Lockdown

    Message From Cyprus Edition Seven

    Weather has been good, but I just can’t shake this melancholy feeling. I guess it’s just going to be part of the process that I will need to address every day, including in this message from Cyprus.

    In an effort to stay creative and productive, I thought I would do something fun this week and give you our message from Cyprus on video! One good thing is it forces me to make myself presentable (shower? what’s a shower?) and it forces me to speak in full sentences, different than the grunts and grumbles used to correspond with my spouse.

    So before you click on the link below to my weekly update – and we have some good news to share – let me just give you a quick rundown on the numbers;

    Today is day 50 in Cyprus and day 46 in Quarantine/Lockdown

    Current cases in Cyprus 819 with 14 deaths. Numbers are leveling out.

    WE HAVE SOME EXCITING NEWS TO SHARE! Check out our video here.

    See ya all soon – back in the good ole USA.

    We love it when you share our blog! xxoo

    Inspire

    Boredom Buster Ideas in Lockdown

    Keeping Busy and Having Fun

    Location: Argaka Cyprus

    You might think our lockdown here on Cyprus is idylic; a tropical island in the Mediterranean Sea. Indeed it is beautiful, but the fact remains, it’s a jail. And after 45 days, some mornings I feel so tired and helpless. This is where Boredom Buster Ideas in Lockdown come into play.

    I have a lot of gratitude though; our villa is comfortable and beautiful; we are allowed to leave the house once a day and I use that time to be in nature; my husband and I are both healthy; and the weather is finally warming.

    Since we still have no idea when or how we will leave this island, we make the best of each and every day. My husband Arne is more at peace than I am. He loves a life of doing nothing just laying around the pool and reading and going for a run every morning. Me however, I’m antsy. I can spend a great deal of time enjoying the quiet and solitude, but then I have a sudden need to DO SOMETHING. Anything – but it must be fun and inspiring.

    And that is how we got started a few weeks ago doing our daily Boredom Buster activities. Some of these activities take just a few minutes, while others take several hours. Usually these activities are designed for two, but many times I do one on my own. The goal is to release that pent up energy and relieve that pent up anxiety.

    Here are a few of the Boredom Buster activities we have found fun, inspiring and educational. Maybe you can find some ideas here that work for you, or put your own twist on these boredom busters;

    Paper Airplane Contest – we each made our own design and flew the airplanes off the upper deck

    Towel Animal Menagerie – I’ve been making towel animals for several weeks, and on one day we had a competition.

    Make a towel animals
    Towel Animals

    Yoga – we do yoga anyway, but now we have upped the game trying to add more difficult poses, including planking goals of several minutes.

    Take a plank challenge
    My plank

    Running/Walking/Hiking – again we already run but we each have set some distance goals long term.

    Photo organization – I take thousands of photos, and keeping them organized is a big challenge. So no better use of my time than to be deleting images I don’t want, and saving the others into files for easy and quick access.

    Speaking of photos – do a photo safari around your own house or yard, looking for small and hidden treasures for artistic and surprising photos.

    Do a photo safari in your yard
    Photo Safari discovery

    Journal or Scrapbook – my blog is a journal of sorts, but perhaps its time to pull out those old scrapbooking supplies. Making a quarnatine journal, scrapbook or even videos for future generations to see what it was all about.

    Throw a Party – have a tea party, a taco party, a date night. Have a zoom wine party, zoom book club or zoom family Pictionary.

    Throw a tea party
    Our Mad Hatter Tea Party

    Become a Mixologist – lots of ideas online to up your game in the daily mixed drink ideas.

    Become a mixologist
    Homemade lemonade Gin and Tonic

    Teach Yourself Something New – There are hundreds of free webinars, online learning, TedTalks and podcasts out there…and many more with minimal investment. For me I have been learning many interesting things to expand my blog.

    Self Spa or Couples Spa – we made DIY exfoliant with olive oil, lemon and sugar and wow did our skin feel great. Additionally my darling husband gave me a pedicure…he did pretty well!

    Relax and create a home spa day
    My Spa Day

    Try new recipes – I have cooked and baked and created a variety of delicious things out of our tiny kitchen using the local ingredients of Cyprus. From lamb chops to orange bread, bread dried orange peels to fresh lemonade, from eggplant dip to grilled chickpeas, we have not gone hungry.

    Try new recipes
    Orange Cake – I’m definitely making this again

    Write real letters or cards and mail them to people you love.

    Make a real phone call – no texting or messages on FB but talk on the phone to people you care about.

    Social Media Cleanse – Spend an entire day without Social Media

    Work around your home or yard – even here in this Airbnb I have enjoyed weeding, trimming plants, picking bouquets and watching the daily changes of the trees and flowers.

    Explore spring emerging
    I’ve been waiting for this rose to bloom in our yard

    Plan a future trip – this might seem crazy in the current situation, but travel will happen again, so why not use this time to study up on your dream destinations and begin your plans.

    Plan your next trip
    Where do you want to go?

    Read – of course, this is a perfect time to be reading. Personally I’ve had some trouble focusing on books, but audible has been a savior for me, and I am both listening to and reading books while here in lockdown. See our book reviews here.

    Finding your joy, within your own four walls can be both a pleasure and a cross. We all need to find what works for us and what boredom buster ideas in lockdown fit our situation. Some days will be better than others, but hopefully some of our boredom buster ideas in lockdown can put a smile on your face and skip in your step. Hang in there everyone.

    Be healthy and safe.

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    Boredom Buster Ideas in Lockdown
    Boredom Buster Ideas in Lockdown
    Boredom Buster Ideas in Lockdown
    Reading Wednesday

    Book Review The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson

    Erik Larson's The Splendid and the Vile

    Spectacular. I love Erik Larson’s writing and although my favorite is still Devil in the White City, The Splendid and the Vile was remarkable.

    I listened to this book on Audible and I recommend it for that….it is a very detail oriented story of Winston Churchill’s life and leadership during WWII and for me, the perfect kind of story to be performed on Audible.

    This book could easily have been called Churchill Myth and Legend. I learned so much about this remarkable man; his idiosyncrasies, brilliant mind, clever strategies, courageous leadership and remarkable oratory abilities – all strengths that helped him keep England out of the German’s hands. The entire world owes much to Winston Churchill still today.

    Listening to this book during the Covid-19 outbreak I found so many parallels to the current world crisis. Two different kinds of war. I kept coming back to the fact that wars can often be won by sheer will…but only if a true leader can keep the spirits of the nation high through courageous oratory and patriotism…none of which I see from the leader of the USA.

    The Splendid and the Vile is astonishing in its scope, extraordinary in its historic detail and noteworthy in its ability to bring Churchill right into your living room.

    *****Five stars for The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson

    Read last week’s review of Motherless Brooklyn

    My current read American Dirt

    Erik Larson's The Splendid and the Vile
    Everything Else Fabulous  --  Inspire

    Travel & Staying Fit – Lockdown Creates Similar Challenges

    Travel and Staying Fit

    Location: Argaka Cyprus

    When we started this life of full-time travel I imagined getting in awesome shape while we traveled.  But it hasn’t been that easy.  In fact, it’s one of the more difficult parts of this ongoing journey – getting and staying in shape.  Not at all what I was expecting.  Over the past few weeks as we have sat in lockdown in Cyprus, I’ve begun to see again how lack of routine can wreck havoc on travel and staying fit in My Fab Fifties Life.

    Keeping a healthy weight has never come easy for

    Staying fit while traveling
    Running in our neighborhood

    me.  I am not a tiny girl…a comfortable size 12 or 10 is my USA size.  But I fluctuate a lot and always have.

    A decade ago when I began running I found a wonderful new outlet for both stress release and weight control.  I love to run!.  But in that decade I have also experienced some severe injuries that kept me from running up to as long as a year.  Suffering from sciatic nerve damage and plantar fasciitis being two of the worst things that have sidelined me.

    But even when I am healthy, travel and staying fit, particularly running is not always feasible on this  travel journey.  I was surprised to find as we circled the globe how many destinations are unsafe for running; dangerous roads, uneven sidewalks, vicious dogs (remember the  dog bite?) not to mention many countries where a woman should not be out alone.  These surprises stymied my running for months at a time.

    trave and staying fit
    We cycle when we can

    We are currently in Argaka on the island of Cuprus, day 42 of lockdown.   I am really enjoying running here.  Rural Argaka offers a flat and easy routes direct from our villa.  I have regularly been running 4-5 miles daily.

    Swimming is another favorite work out of mine, but alas, in four years of travel I can only think of three places we have been where a swimming pool was large enough to swim laps.  Most pools are very small, and open ocean swimming isn’t something I’m comfortable with.

    My best tool in my travel and staying fit goal is I can do yoga just about anywhere, and I do.  I do it on my own nearly every day, and take classes when they are convenient and affordable.  Yoga builds strength and flexibility as well as clears the mind and helps focus, but I really need to have a good strong regular aerobic exercise to keep my weight down. I carry a travel yoga mat and styrofoam block and use them religiously.

    staying fit with yoga
    Yoga for body and mind

    And then of course there is the food.  And the alcohol.  I love to eat and cook and try lots of new foods in every country we visit.  Some countries the food is better than others, but I’ll try everything once (well

    travel fitness ideas
    We hike and walk a lot

    almost everything) and we enjoy food as a cultural experience wherever we are. Although I believe we are eating fresher and more organic and locally grown than in the USA, we still eat with pleasure and sometimes too much, despite the fact we usually only have two meals a day.

    During our first part of the Grand Adventure I drank alcohol every day, usually a gin and tonic or two, sometimes beer.  But this past winter I decided the caloric intake of alcohol just isn’t worth it to me, particularly when I am in countries where I feel like I’m not getting enough exercise.  So I cut way back on alcohol.  However, I have found being on lockdown has created a routine of drinking daily again…alas there are some vices we need to just accept right now, no?

    Hopefully we will be back in the USA in a week or two, where I have access to safe running roads

    Travel and staying fit
    Swimming in Thailand

    and trails. If the YMCA reopens, I’ll begin swimming again.  And yoga will continue daily on my own.

    It’s not easy right now to be motivated to do anything…I know.  I’m restless and not sleeping well.  But having some kind of a routine, especially a work out routine helps keep me stay sane.  I’m particularly thankful I can get out into nature each day. A definite blessing for travel and staying fit.

    Be well my friends.  Be healthy and be patient.

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    Travel and staying fit
    Message From Cyprus Lockdown

    Message From Cyprus Edition Six

    This Week’s News

    Message from Cyprus

    Location: Argaka Cyprus

    We are still here! Hope you all are hanging in there…I gotta say, it’s kind of weird, but it’s starting to not feel all that strange…like this is just my life now. Living on this island but not being able to see any of it.

    The Numbers

    Cyprus Covid-19 Cases 760 Deaths 13

    Day 41 on Cyprus. Day 37 in Quarantine/Lockdown

    The strange thing about these numbers above is my perception of them. For instance…it took us 41 days to walk the Camino Francis…that was 37 days of walking and 4 rest days. But THAT actually seemed longer than the time I have been here. Why?

    Additionally, we spent 42 days on the Island of Mauritius. And THAT seemed longer than the time I have been here. Why?

    Cyprus
    Argaka Beach

    I think it’s because there is no end date for me to look at here. It’s just a never ending carousel of days. Around and around we go…

    Cyprus News

    Today is Orthodox Easter, the biggest holiday of the year in Cyprus. I’m sorry we are not able to participate in this celebration. I understand it is a very special four days. Everything of course was canceled…or postponed until further notice. I posted a blog on Friday all about the way this holiday is celebrated in Cyprus. Please find it here.

    Even though virus cases have continued to grow, wide spread testing has been available and many people are getting tested, which of course is affecting the numbers. There are still infractions being issued for those who break the curfew or are out with out their “permission slip”. We have settled into life with only leaving the house once a day. Sometimes when we are out on our run, we will make a quick pit-stop at the mini market down the street if we need bread or eggs or gin! But I believe these restriction are helping Cyprus – while back home it sounds like much of the population are ignoring the rules, going to Home Depot, walking along Tacoma’s waterfront etc.

    Cyprus
    Getting to know the locals in Cyprus

    The President of Cyprus and cabinet announced this week a four step plan to reopen the economy in early May. But the plan begins with very minor lessening of the restrictions, and we do not yet know if it will include opening the airport or even give us an opportunity to get outside our village.

    Mostly Good News

    I’m happy to share that Airbnb came through for us and has issued us a full refund for our Jerusalem house. They have been redeemed in my eyes. We have three more Airbnb’s currently reserved; Finland and France in June and New York City in December. We will wait and see what’s next.

    The flight we had booked from Malta to Belgrade via Istanbul has been canceled…but they are giving us credit towards a future flight. Not helpful.

    We have also negotiated to continue to stay here at Lemon Grove Villa with a week by week extension at the same rate per day ($69 USD). We are happy about that. If we do need to leave at the spur of the moment they will also issue us a refund. So no complaints there. All of the flights we have seen leave the island, have happened with only 24 hours notice. So we need to be ready at a moments notice.

    4am on Zoom with my book club

    I have leaped past my “feeling sorry for myself” state-of-mind and have had a very productive week. I’ve lost track of how many webinars I have participated in. This week I continued to revamp my Pinterest account, did a total rebranding of my Instagram and have spent hours learning Tailwind. This stuff is really interesting to me….I’m a marketing geek what can I say? I also loved having an hour and a half on Zoom with my Book Club, even at 4:00 am. That made me happy.

    I’m still having trouble reading though…and I’ve also had a couple nightmares and restless nights.

    Since we arrived I’ve been focused on teaching myself the cuisine of Cyprus, and hope to have a blog all about that in the weeks ahead. Hard to believe we have been here 41 days and not eaten in a single restaurant.

    I hope you all are finding your peace in all this mess and accepting how life has changed forever. Please stay well. Please stay positive. Please stay fabulous.

    Thanks for caring about us. We are doing fine. Thanks for continuing to support my blog. Love you all.

    Cyprus
    Europe Travel  --  Inspire

    The Story of Easter in Cyprus

    Pascha in Orthodox Cyprus

    Easter in Cyprus

    Location: Cyprus

    It’s Orthodox Good Friday here in Cyprus…the start of a four-day holiday, the biggest holiday of the year – one week later than other Easter Celebrations. But not this year. Yes the dates are still the same, but the celebrations have all been called off. In 2020 the story of Easter in Cyprus is on pause.

    The President of Cyprus has declared the island people will celebrate a “postponed” Pascha in May. Let’s all hope it will happen. As Cyprus continues it’s lockdown, we all hold our breath and wait.

    Cyprus Easter Bon Fire
    Bon Fires are an Easter Tradition

    It’s disappointing not to be able to witness the faithful on this day here in Cyprus, a place I am beginning to feel is my home. Last April we were flabbergasted at the spectacle of Semana Santa in Antigua Guatemala…one of the most wonderful things I have every experienced. I have no doubt the Orthodox Easter Celebration would be just as amazing. Perhaps we will still be here in May when and if it happens.

    Cyprus Easter Lamb
    Lambs are a symbol of Pascha

    Meanwhile I’ve been in touch with the local website called Choose Cyprus and they have agreed to let me share this amazing blog that describes the story of Easter in Cyprus and how the people come together in their communities each Pascha.

    I hope you can take the time to read it in the link below.

    https://www.chooseyourcyprus.com/easter-customs-of-cyprus.html

    Cyprus Easter Story

    Kalo Pascha.

    καλό Πάσχα
    
    Happy Easter.
    Easter in Cyprus
    Easter in Cyprus
    Cyprus Easter
    Reading Wednesday

    Book Review Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem

    I really loved this book. What a great story told with such expression. I read the book on my Kindle but can imagine it would be excellent on Audible too…and now I hope to see the movie…if I ever get off this crazy island I’m trapped on.

    Reading is such a blessing during this lockdown, and a book like Motherless Brooklyn for me is the perfect distraction; a compelling story about believable characters in real world situations with modern day afflictions. It was a page turner.

    Lethem brilliantly creates a character living with full-on Tourette’s syndrome by using a combination of creative story-telling and ingenious tactile components in the story. His writing gives the reader a first hand experience of living with Tourette’s, while bringing together other elements of the character’s unique and obsessive mind. You will fall in love with the character of Lionel Essrog.

    Motherless Brooklyn follows Lionel’s life from childhood to mobster hood in Brooklyn and Harlem, as Lionel emerges as a talented detective, unafraid, detail obsessed and out to solve the murder of his mentor and only friend.

    High praise for all the characters in this story, the remarkable and unique plot, and the beautiful writing of Lethem.

    *****Five Stars for Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem.

    Read last week’s review of The Giver of Stars

    My current read American Dirt