PANDEMIC CABIN FEVER BRAIN FOG by Catherine Lanigan & Rula Sinara

A hilarious account of where we are as two authors...

CATHERINE: There’s gonna be some confessions going on here, but hey, at this juncture, why not?

When Rula emailed me and we began figuring out what we wanted as our topic, she named a few things and then she said, “As I recall, you’re giving a baby shower this September. Maybe we could do something like that.” She thought a little further. “I should check my emails about that.”

Then she said, “Maybe I have Pandemic Cabin Fever Brain.”

I was with my agent, getting ready for dinner and we both laughed so hard—this was before cocktails. I promise.

Rula hit the culmination of the past three months for us right on the nail.

I wrote back to Rula and said, “The baby shower was last September (2019) and the baby is walking now."

This is my grand nephew who is at the 80 percentiles for height (length) a true replica of his daddy who is 6’9” tall. This little fella came to visit this summer for his baptism and stole my heart. The “kids” stayed with me for 5 days. His mom and dad worked on their computers now that their jobs go with them wherever they go, and I got to spend fun time with Logan… love that name…when I wasn’t going to work myself.

By the way, the pink flamingo is mine. Not his. Her name is Flo. She’s been around for several years, but this year, it’s the most amazing thing. I’ve been talking to her, since there’s no one around in my house. During the lockdown, I swear, there were times I thought she answered me. Probably not. But you know how our author imaginations are.

Anyway, you can imagine my surprise, when Logan picked up Flo and started babbling at her. Honestly, I stood in the doorway and thought, so, does this stuffed bird have a voice?

Now that Rula has put a name to it---I have illumination. It’s Pandemic Cabin Fever Brain.

I have no idea if after all this is over if my brain will return to normal, or if it will just go on, talking to stuffed animals, conversing with my trees, flowers and bushes. Another confession. I’ve ALWAYS talked to my flowers and trees. Usually in French, but that was just a quirk. Or early on-set Pandemic Cabin Fever Brain.

Truth is, unless the CDC comes out with a test, cure or vaccine for Pandemic Cabin Fever Brain, we really won’t know if something has happened to our brains or not. Scientifically, that is. There’s a strong possibility that we are actually becoming more intuitive and well, I’d like to think, brilliant. It’s better than the alternative which would be ---nuts.

I’m not ready to go there.

I thought I’d close my section with one more shot of my little doll, Logan. This was his first time to sit on grass. He’d never done that. My grass is soft and when he pulled that grass up and clutched it in his hand, he had a look on his face like, “What is this stuff? “ The video of his delight, I couldn’t post here but was priceless. His expression was: “WOW! This is an amazing discovery.” Not quite Fleming with Penicillin, but close.

I hope my baby pictures made you smile and you got a chuckle or two. Laughter is the one thing that will break any cloud, brain induced or otherwise, and clear the way for a new sunrise.

RULA: Oh my gosh Logan is so cute! From the look on his face in the second photo I'm betting he's wondering why all the grown ups around him are acting strange...or talking to trees lol ;). These really are tough times, though, and a bit of laughter is a great way to release some of the stress and tension. Playing with a cutie pie like Logan would be uplifting too!

I definitely have Pandemic Cabin Fever Brain. That's not to say that I haven't left the house at all, but I've minimized trips to the grocery store and haven't been anywhere that wasn't absolutely necessary. Luckily, I do have a large garden and plenty of fresh air where I live...and chickens. I have to admit that I spoke to my flock long before the pandemic hit. Don't tell anyone or they might think I'm strange.

I'm betting we've all baked more, washed our hair less often and binge watched shows and movies for more consecutive hours than anyone is willing to admit. Yep. Don't ask. Anyone else losing track of time? I'll look at the clock, thinking it's still around noon, and it'll be after 4 pm!

Oh and my yoga pants. They've become a second skin. No...not because I'm baking and eating so much that I'm stretching them out lol. I just can't live without them. Seriously. Liken them to whatever binky or blanky or pink flamingo Catherine's Logan wants to cling to during nap time.

But the strangest thing I found myself doing happened yesterday. I found a baggie with a few leftover candy canes from this past Christmas and I ate one. I didn't even eat one during the holidays and it's not even Christmas in July anymore. It's not as bad as succumbing to old Halloween candy. Right? I mean, it's a few months younger. I never thought I'd be sucking on candy canes in the middle of August, but I finished the entire thing.

I think psychologically it made me feel like time could be fast-forwarded to the holidays and 2021. Better times ahead.

So what signs of Pandemic Cabin Fever Brain have you all experienced? Any funny stories?

Stay safe and well,

Catherine & Rula

Second Chance Christmas
(Turtleback Beach Book 3)
Coming Jan 2021

A beachside Christmas

Brings unexpected gifts!

A second chance. That’s what former navy SEAL Damon Woods asks for when Zuri Habib comes to Turtleback Beach with a nephew who looks just like him. After her sister’s death, Zuri believes Caden deserves to know his father—even if he did break her teenage heart. Can Damon and Zuri forgive each other and give a grieving boy the family he needs this Christmas?


Home for Christmas
(Shores of Indian Lake Book 12)
Nov 2019

Can a magical Christmas under glass…

…bring them back together for good?

Widowed dad Adam Masterson still doesn’t understand why Joy Boston left Indian Lake and broke his heart all those years ago. Now she’s returned to sell her grandfather’s beloved poinsettia greenhouse—and Joy and Adam’s connection is as strong as ever. But Joy has a life in New York. And Adam has only until Christmas to convince Joy that she belongs in Indian Lake—with him.


  1. Your posts really brightened the cloudy day here for me and thank you! I guess the memory/time thing is another Covid fallout all of us are experiencing all over the world. I recently read a news article about it and it's a real, scientific thing...wish I could recall exactly what, but - :) Love the pics of Logan! And Rula, if I found a candy cane right now I'd eat it too. Stay well ladies.

    1. I am so sorry I wasn't here all day, but it was an "ER" day all around for me at the office and I just now got home. Thank you for your lovely thoughts and words. I have also read about how time is moving faster for us during this year. At the same time, I thought the lockdown would make time drag and it didn't. I had more time to play with Logan and interestingly, I've had house guests for three weeks!

  2. Thanks for such fun posts. What an adorable baby--I love the name Logan, too. Seems to come up in a few novels these days. And now we look to fall--and who knows what will happen next! But somewhere, people will be throwing live or virtual baby showers for the newcomers to our world.

    1. Interesting you say that, Virginia. Logan's real baptism was Zoom. At home with dad pouring water over his head with a red measuring cup. It was surreal. Frankly, I didn't like it, but that's my old school thought. It was a spiritual moment, but not being able t have the whole family together was just so sad.

  3. My issue is what day of the week is it. My husband says we have to watch certain dvd shows on certain days so we know it's Monday when we watch Murder She Wrote and Diagnosis Murder. Tuesday is Mchales Navy and F Troop. Right now, the sillier or older the better.

    1. Boy, oh, boy, I'm loving the older stuff more and more. Don't know what that means. But it's so true. Love the McHales Navy mention!

  4. Logan is adorable! And so is that flamingo. No wonder you both talk with her. Yes, days of the week with me, too. And the funny thing is that, since time has no meaning, I was late to church a couple of times even though I only had to open my laptop.

    1. Seriously, Beth, FLO has become a lifesaver for me. I'm amazed how wise a stuffed Flamingo can be.

  5. Oh, I did get to attend a virtual baby shower for my nephew and is wife. It was so cute! And I won a Target gift card for guessing the waist measurement of the guest of honor. The baby came a month later and she is just beautiful.

    1. I can see how the virtual baby shower would be fun. I have never heard of the waist measurement thing. Thank God. I woulda been so embarrassed back in the day. And I'm so thrilled the baby is healthy. I have four grand nieces now and two grand nephews and one granddaughter. I'm so blessed, I'm pink all over!

  6. I keep running across folks who are finding it hard to keep the days sorted out. An author that I know says we should keep in mind that this is how people who are shut-ins or have extended illnesses feel, but we'll eventually get to go out and they may never have that freedom again. So we are hopefully getting some lessons in empathy.
    Your pictures are great. I love the big poinsettia on the cover of the book.

    1. Oh, Callie. Isn't that flower just great? As I said in my Heartwarmer FB takeover back in July when I did a Christmas in July party thing, I love, love flowers at Christmas. I have to have just about every color poinsettia. And red roses. White ones. Paper Whites. Amaryllis. You name it. Then a rosemary tree and a bay leaf wreath. Ah. Those fragrances. Along with the butter and sugar from the baking cookies. And I agree. Days run into each other and here it is September. What happened?

  7. Love the baby pictures! I definitely have Pandemic Cabin Fever Brain. Usually I can work late into the night, but I get to a certain point and my brain just quits. When I need a mental vacation, I go out to the garden or play with the animals.

  8. I love the post, and am so glad to have the malady named! Blessings to you both.

  9. I'm a day late - I'll blame it on Pandemic Cabin Fever Brain! I love Flo! And Logan. Those pictures are adorable.

    And I'm right there with Rula. I love the days when I wear my yoga pants (although I do throw on jeans either every other day or every third day) and I've tried to limit my outdoor outings although my family did do a day trip for a hike last month. But I can definitely related to the yoga pants.

    Loved the post, and I am so looking forward to another trip to Turtleback Beach.

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