Chickens, Cats, and Bureaucratic Snafus

Jorie Mar
4 min readApr 16, 2020


Journal days 24 and 25: Life in my little corner of NYC in the age of the Coronavirus, Tuesday, April 14, and Wednesday, April 15, 2020

There are still some cherry blossoms in bloom © 2020 Jorie Mar

Thank you to everyone who sent me an email or left a note on Facebook asking about whether I was still keeping up this journal. I appreciate that very much!

Yesterday, there were more people out in the Gardens than I had ever seen. I had to be more alert than usual. Where before I would simply step into the street if someone was coming my way on the sidewalk, when I did that yesterday, there was often someone coming towards me in the street as well. I ended up making a U-turn on some blocks when there were too many people ahead.

Today, the weather was cooler, and I took my walk later, so there weren’t as many people as yesterday — but there were still more than I was used to seeing. I felt like I no longer had my own private hideaway:

Intersection in Forest Hills Gardens. © 2020 Jorie Mar

Are more people coming out because they are being less cautious now that the infection-rate curve has flattened? Or has word gotten out that the Gardens is a great place to take a walk?

Meanwhile, I’m still trying to get a good picture of the chickens. I had a lightbulb moment and put my phone almost right up against the wire of the coop. I got a picture that came out better than the ones I took before, though this one is still out of focus because the chicken was running around.

Some day I will get a chicken picture that I am happy with! © 2020 Jorie Mar

Speaking of animals in the Gardens, I saw these three feral (?) cats behind the fence surrounding the Stadium:

Cats © 2020 Jorie Mar

Two of the cats ran away as I approached the fence. The dark gray one in the middle remained, though. He’s the only one I had seen there before.

I passed the street that used to be lined with cherry blossoms. Today the blossoms were gone, and green leaves had taken their place:

Ten days ago © 2020 Jorie Mar
Today © 2020 Jorie Mar

Before my walk, I had phone calls to make to deal with some frustrating bureaucratic problems. I decided to take my own advice and use the Pomodoro method of time management to help focus on getting it done.

I set up the timer system so that I would devote four hours to the project. I figured that way, if I got put on hold for an hour, it wouldn’t make me as crazy as that kind of thing usually does, because I would know that whether someone picked up or not, I still had another few hours to go.

It worked like a charm! I finished faster than planned, in 2.5 hours. In that time, I was able to straighten out several Social Security and Medicare snafus and confirm that, yes, I will have health insurance next month. Whew!

Picturesque Station Square and not-so-picturesque garbage (in black bags) and recycling (in blue and clear bags) © 2020 Jorie Mar

The one problem I couldn’t solve today was my missing stimulus check. The IRS set up a site called Get My Payment, but when I went there and put in my information, it said “Payment Status Not Available. According to information that we have on file, we cannot determine your eligibility for a payment at this time.” That was not reassuring!

Sunset on Burns Street © 2020 Jorie Mar

I also remembered that I still wanted to see if I could get unemployment and/or small-business loans. Both seem like long shots but I think are worth a try. So maybe I’ll look into that tomorrow.

Today was April 15, and I was glad that I didn’t have to do my taxes.



Jorie Mar

Semi-hopeful New Yawka. Baby boomer. Inactive attorney. Content mill veteran. Aspiring humor writer. Twitter: @semihopeful