Again, this is how it must feel when you retire and don’t have a solid schedule to follow. I’ve been in the deadline-oriented business of advertising, publishing and now marketing since 1989 (gasp) and I only know how to do things that have crazy deadlines. I’m used to schedules, planning, checklists, meetings and producing art/web/ads/social/etc on a daily basis. One of my co-workers said, work has been her identity for over 30 years, and to be at home, with “free time” (wtf) is simply outrageous and hard to come to grips with. I can relate.
Staying home is throwing me for a loop. And, the fact that I’ve been cut down to 2 days a week at work has me wandering the halls of my house and actually… cleaning stuff! Side note: Anyone need a freelancer in any capacity during the next few weeks, let me know. 🙂 Though sadly, everyone is suffering and unemployment is skyrocketing, and I still have to count myself among the lucky ones.
Thankfully, those that I work with, and those in my family, and close friends are all well and are dodging the COVID germs like actors in the Matrix. I went out to the store today and for the first time had the full arsenal in my car and full gear on my person (ok some was DIY, like the mask, because I’m not going to take a mask that might be needed for a healthcare worker… I’m not that special.)
Yes, no makep, ponytail, looking like a weird suburban cowgirl. Ugh!
me: Jack I’m going out.
Jack: Can’t you just order food online??
me: I looked, and everything is backed up for days, the food comes with a short expiration date and frozen stuff is generally not frozen anymore. I would rather get in and get out with what we need.
Jack; You’re wearing that?
Yes I went to the store looking like that and let me tell you, I was the normal looking one. People had full on hazmat suits and face shields (the employees), and most of the customers had ventilation masks on and gloves. I did have latex gloves on as well. Those that didn’t have any protective gear on can probably count themselves among those that simply haven’t taken this seriously enough yet, or haven’t been near any of the trauma. Being near NYC, having family members that are in the trucking business, and reading the news from NY and NJ, well you have to face facts. It’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better.
Please take precautions and be safe. It’s ok to look weird or even silly, if that’s what keeps you safe. A nod to my favorite Podcast “Crime Junkies”… they always say “Be weird, be rude, stay alive!” (look them up… you will binge listen, trust me)
So, to pass the time, and as I may have mentioned in my last post (seriously it was just the other day and I can’t remember if I mentioned this or not, so I’m a big fat liar…), Jack and I planted a small garden indoors, consisting of Tomatoes, Yellow Squash, Zucchini, and Green Beans.
Jack: Stop calling it Zucchini, it says Black Squash.
me: Same thing, look at the picture. (he looks at me with a frown because he’s color blind).
me: The photo is actually dark green Jack and that is zucchini.
Jack; Black Squash.
Here’s what the little garden looks like today. I swear if you stare at the plants you can actually see them growing. They move fast!!
Complete with fake sun 🙂
Jack: You know that’s not a seed starter tray, it’s my old Lego Star Wars Advent calendar tray?
me: Huh? Oh, hmmmm… well it did the trick. (did not realize that!)
Anyway, Jack looked like a proud parent when he saw everything blooming. We used to do this when he was really young, but in recent years, I would simply buy plant already at 6″ or so to save time. But, I have to say, taking the time to grow something from the earth, with your own hands, gives a very unique sense of satisfaction. (I hope the cats don’t eat the plants or dig in the dirt!!).
Oh, you asked about the cats did you? No you didn’t, but I’m going to switch gears. Here’s what my laptop looked like awhile ago when I decided to start this blog. Oy!
And then she tried to look pitiful sitting on the chair. haha. Both cats are cleaning now on different kitchen chairs and Moca is snoring (really loud) on the couch. She had a few good walks today despite the HURRICANE FORCE WINDS HERE IN CT. OMG!! It’s insane out there. First we have rain and chilly wind for days, then the sun comes out and the wind gets ferocious. Hellooooo trying to enjoy being furlougheddddddd! 😐
I’ve heard from most of my friends that they are cooking major 3 meals a day, from full breakfasts of homemade bagels, to full dinners of lasagna, homemade pizza and, like me last night, full roast chicken dinners! It literally took two hours to prepare and cook, and we ate it in about 7 minutes. It’s a thankless task being a cook for a family (even if that family only consists of one 15-year-old at the moment!). This is partly why I could never fully be a stay-at-home mom. It’s too hard. Really it is. I give full props to those of you that chose to have more than one child. (I know you must be slightly mad, but I get it!). One kid keeps me busy 24/7. I go to work to have a bit of a vacation actually. I can get coffee, sit and answer emails, I don’t have to clean anything (usually) and I’m not a full time waitress or chauffeur. Work is easy compared to parenting full time at home. I bet a lot of you are realizing that as you try to sneak to a quiet place in your home to work remotely, right? The cats and dogs and kids all know you’re there, and they suddenly all need you desperately.
I cleaned up no less than 3 messes per day (per pet!) since being home. It’s like they know you’re there to clean up so they feel ok about it. There will be the shredded tissues (thanks Moca), because Jack and I are having major allergy issues since being cloistered in a house made of 3 types of fur. There’s the odd vomit (which one did THAT??) Orange = Moca, Brown = Luna and Chunky = PoBo. Don’t ask. This does not really happen regularly when I’m at work. I mean, there is the occasional morning when I have major messes to clean up and I’m late for work, but that’s few and far between. This has reached a new level.
So, tonight we have mega leftovers of chicken, potatoes and carrots… plus I made a massive batch of roasted kale (recipe below because you simply have to make this and it’s really the most perfect recipe for one of the healthiest foods!) Check after the photos…
When you buy your kale, let it sit in the veggie drawer for a few days (and up to a full week) to get extra dried out and slightly wilty. Then do NOT wash it. Remove the thick stems and break the pieces into good-sized chunks. Drizzle with Olive Oil and salt/pepper. Make sure to spread everything out so they don’t really overlap. Here’s how mine looked going into the oven.
Roast at 350 degrees for about 8-9 minutes.
It kind of looks like the photo above.
THEN – take it out, stir it around to redistribute the leaves and maybe flip them around a bit. Put back in the over for maybe another minute, to a minute and a half. They will start to get dark, but you don’t want them to get black and burned.
I then turn the oven off, and crack the door open. This way the heat comes out but the kale is still drying out. After about 10 minutes or even longer, you will have crispy, melt-in-you-mouth kale chips.
Jack: I’m not eating that.
And, for the record, I hate cooking. Hate. Now baking… that’s another story. I’m going to try another cookie recipe tonight. I’ll let you know how it goes. Jack has offered to help. I called him on his phone, even though he’s just upstairs. It’s the only way I can communicate with him efficiently. Sigh. It saves me yelling and going up there and knocking, and … waiting… Ok…I guess I’m just lazy. So yeah, there you have it! Life with a 15-year-old!
I hope you’re all still doing well and not making any unimportant trips out just because it feels like a free vacation day mid-week. Stay inside and stay safe!