During this prolonged shelter-in-place, when people ask me “what did you do today?” I usually go blank. But I have been busy! Aside from the household chores, cooking, and yard work, I have found contentment in these online diversions, which fill my day.
Nikon is offering their curriculum of 10 online photography classes to be streamed for free until the end of April. How cool is that? Link here.
High Island on the Texas Gulf Coast is one of my very favorite birding destinations during migration in April. But not only is travel not in line with the current stay-at-home order, but the sanctuaries are also closed. Thankfully, Houston Audubon, who owns and runs the High Island sanctuaries, is live streaming video footage from their Facebook page at 8AM and 3:30PM every Thursday through Monday. Their Facebook link here.
Fender is offering a 90-day free trial of their online guitar, bass, and ukelele lessons. I’m a poorly self-taught guitar player of nearly 30 years and I’m learning new things by following their lesson progression, and more importantly, practicing again. Link here.
Lori recommended some beginner yoga sessions on YouTube, from “Yoga with Adriene.” I’m a yoga-newbie and am enjoying them very much. Link here.
I use an app called “30Days” to help me to do higher and higher reps of traditional strength exercises like plank, situps, pushups, etc. You pick the exercises, set your starting point, and for 30 days the app will gradually increase the reps, giving you days-off every few days. I’ve used their app for years, on and off. I’m 27 days into my latest 30-day stint and am back up to planking for 3 minutes. 🙂 The app isn’t fancy, there are prettier ones out there, but it’s free and it works for me when I use it. Link here.
Amy recommended an app she used to train herself from couch-surfer to running a 5K over the course of 8 weeks. They also have a 10K version which takes you from couch to 10K in 14 weeks, which is the one I’m using. I’m on week 4 and am still enjoying it. They are both free to try for 7 days, and then you have to pay to upgrade to unlimited access. The provider, Fitness22, actually has an entire collection of fitness apps. Link here.
After 6 years, I am still wearing my fitbit One tracker every day. I need to upgrade to a watch soon. Either way, I use their app daily to track my activity and food. Link here.
Things to listen to
Amazon Music, one of the perks of Prime membership, has a great selection of music; 2 million songs from their 50 million song library are free to listen to for Prime members. You can search by song, album, artist, or listen to existing playlists and curated stations for something that floats your boat. Keeto enjoys George Winston. Link here.
Amazon Music has a channel on twitch.tv where they are hosting live-streamed webcasts. Look for #togetherathome hashtag. I listened to Hayes Carll play live for an hour on his patio last night. The audio was very well done. Link here.
I’ve gone overboard subscribing to and listening to podcasts, true crime is my addiction. I have new content to listen to each day. I use the Stitcher app to listen. Link here.
Foreign Language Learning
I still use the free app Duolingo to practice my Spanish every day or so. Link here.
Things to watch
The British National Theatre is streaming previously recorded theater performances every Thursday in April, on their YouTube channel. We watched the first one, a comedy called One Man, Two Guvnors, last week and really enjoyed it. Link here.
The Metropolitan Opera is streaming videos of previously recorded opera performances, a new one every day. Link here.
Acorn.tv is offering a 30-day free trial of their British TV shows’ episodes (which we enjoy very much) for new subscribers, instead of their normal 7-day free trial. Use the code FREE30 when signing up. Link here.
Ok, hands down, I’ve adopted Zoom for video chat. The free version allows unlimited video meetings with a 40-minute time limit on each, which works for me. Link here.
Online multiplayer games
We have spent many hours playing online games with friends and family. I think that trickstercards.com and boardgamearena.com are both well done for this. We combine them with a zoom video chat.
Food & Drink
Virtual wine tasting from Becker Vineyards. What’s a virtual wine tasting? Well, Becker is selling different 3 pack bottles of different varietals each week, which you can order to be shipped to your home. And then a few days later, you tune into their Facebook Live sessions to participate in a group tasting of each bottle with experts from the vineyard. I just bought the 3rd tasting pack. It should be good! Link here.
I posted previously about my ongoing on-line grocery shopping adventures for delivery and/or curbside pickup. I’ve been pretty good at keeping an order scheduled a week to 10 days ahead of time, to keep fresh food in the house. Let me say, again, HEB is awesome! Link to my previous post here.