Camp, Conversations, Uncategorized

At least it’s not MY name!

Jack and I were in the car driving to camp.

Yes camp! They had some that were actually going on tin person this summer! The kids would arrive, mask on, get their temp taken at the curb, get hosed with hand sanitizer and then get ushered (at a safe distance from the other kids) into the building.

So, we were on our way to art camp! Yes ART camp! Jack took portrait drawing and ink illustration and finally spray paint/graffiti classes. I was so excited for him. And he actually loved them.

Ok…soooo we were almost there and it was getting really bright and sunny all of a sudden, so I reached for my sunglasses.

Jack: Ohhhh, you have THE sunglasses.

me: THEE?

Jack: Yeah.

me: Thee what?

Jack: THE sunglasses, you know…?

me: No I don’t. What glasses do I have?

Jack: Haha, THE ones…

me: You mean lesbian sunglasses?

Jack: (almost spitting out the water he was drinking.) NOOO! Uggghhh hahaha, the other kind.

me: Ummm. Gay? Because I’m not, you know…

Jack: (ignores that) But you don’t have the hair to go with it.

me: To go with WHAT? Geez, we’re pulling in here so you have about 5 seconds.

Jack: Karen sunglasses. THE sunglasses that Karens wear.

me: Ha! Oh really? These are considered Karen sunglasses?

Jack: Yeah they’re not lesbian sunglasses.

me: Well good because I already have a Subaru. And I do know a few Karens that are lesbians!

Jack: On that note…

He hopped out and took his dose of hand sanitizer like a pro. They looked quizzically at the thermometer for a minute and I thought he might have registered on the infected scale, but he was good to go.

I hardly think my sunglasses are Karen style but I’m going to have to pay closer attention when I hear an outburst from someone in public.

😉

(I think that’s actually Kate from Kate plus 8?)

 

Conversations, Digital Technology, Phone Calls, Uncategorized

Grandpa’s introduction to tech

Specifically the iPhone 7.

phonecartoon

Jack’s Grandpa, my dad, is not computer literate and up until about 2 weeks ago had a push-button flip phone. His idea of technology is the ATM machine which he still uses with the help of the bank manager at his local TD branch. He knows the manager by name, naturally, and all the tellers know him.

I got my dad a cell phone a few years back for the simple reason of safety and updates, since I live in CT and he lives in MA. I found a very cheap and very reliable service through Net10, and literally paid $16 per month for him to have cell service. Boy did he struggle with that cell phone. He didn’t know the difference between the green send button and the red hang up button (mostly because he’s red/green colorblind LOL), because he wouldn’t ever put his glasses on and was guessing at which button to push.

Over the months he learned to successfully send and receive calls, but still preferred to talk to people via the wall-mounted kitchen phone, which thankfully had been updated at one point from the original yellow rotary phone. And that was probably the first and only upgrade it got.

We (ok “I”) recently decided that it was time for him to have an iPhone for the simple fact that he could Facetime with all the grand kids and even with the very first GREAT grand kid. If I had known the trauma I would have to endure to simply get him to make a call on this phone (which now he will only do via Siri), I would have opted to upgrade him to a newer push-button phone, albeit with bigger buttons. Sigh. I was trying to help.

Jack: Grandpa Face-timed me today.

me: What?? Really? OMG, how!

Jack: He figured it out I guess. But when I answered, he asked ME why I was calling HIM!

me: He dialed you by mistake?

Jack: I don’t know… he had no clue what was happening or why I could even see him.

me: Well he must have butt dialed you, but that’s so weird! I had showed him how to Facetime before so he knows what that is.

Jack: He was walking to the store and was very confused.

me: Sigh.

TWO WEEKS EARLIER:

me: Dad, so you have to turn the phone ON before you use it and enter your passcode.

Dad: This button?

me: Call that the “Home” button from now on so we are saying the same thing.

Dad: Now what? I just push the numbers in?

me: Yes, the ones we set up for you. Push them now.

Dad: Okay, now what?

me: Now you’re on the HOME screen. See the little phone at the bottom?

Dad: The bottom of what? I’m holding the phone.

me: No, the little green (sigh) I mean the phone receiver icon at the bottom.

Dad: What’s an icon?

me: Seriously? The picture! Of the phone! At the bottom…

Dad: Ok, so what do I do?

me: Just touch the phone icon and then you can start to make calls.

Dad: Do I have to enter my secret code again here?

me: No, that’s the keypad like on a phone. I mean it IS a phone key pad, sigh, you now can dial someone’s number. When the numbers are dark, you enter your passcode, when they are white, you’re in the phone keypad. Try to dial my cell phone and I’ll test it with you right now.

Dad: (presses one number for like 5 seconds). It’s not working. I got an “edit” message.

me: Sigh… no it’s a TOUCH screen so just gently touch it. (I wait). No a little harder than that but not more than a split second.

(He punches in my phone number, supposedly.)

Dad: Now what?

me: After you punch in the numbers, hit the green phone icon.

Dad: Again? How many times do I need to hit that button before I can make a call?? On the old phone you just pick up and dial. I thought technology was supposed to make things easier. I hit that button already three times!

me: Just. Hit. The, Button.

Dad: I have to dial the area code?

me: Yes. Always.

Dad: Even for local calls?

me: Yes, because you’re not…  Ugh, just yes. Always.

Dad: Ok, hold on. Is it ringing? (I just stare at him) It’s not working.

me: Gimme, let me see.

Dad: Maybe Jack should help me. He would start with the basics, you’re all over the place.

me: I’m teaching you to dial a simple phone call. This IS the basics.

Dad: Well you’re not very good at it.

me: Oh, look, you made a typo in my phone number. (I pause). Do NOT ask me what a typo is. Technology doesn’t remove the English language from your brain.

Dad: Well I don’t have my glasses on!

me: Well… get your glasses on!

(I wait… and wait.)

me: Where’d you go??

(I wait….)

Dad: Ok, I couldn’t see the glasses…it took me a minute…now I can see. What do I push again? The screen went back to black.

me: Sigh. Enter your passcode.

Dad: Didn’t I already do that?

me: SOB…

TWO WEEKS LATER, AFTER THE RANDOM FACETIME CALL TO JACK

me: That was so funny how Grandpa called you. I was dying! He has no clue still after 7 hours of me teaching him and writing stuff down for him to follow.

Jack: Mom, you should let me teach him. I would start with the basics.

(OMG Jack sounds just like my dad!!!)

And, I’m exhausted just typing a portion of this story for you to read. If you repeat the top back and forth, oh about 25 more times, throw in some F-bombs from me (and I don’t swear in front of my dad), you’ll sort of be where I am right now.

TWO DAYS AGO:

me: (grabbing my cell) Hello?

Dad: Hey I made a call!

me: Wow, so you figured out the difference between a keypad and the passcode?

Dad: No, I just use Siri and it calls you.

me: Sigh.

Dad: Hey, so if I ask it a question do I always have to say Hey Siri, or can I just keep asking questions?

me: It’s not a companion, it’s a computer. Sigh.

Dad: So… that’s a yes??

LOLLLLL!

Please send wine.

toon662

Quarantine, Travel, Uncategorized

We made it to June!

BrooklynBridge

Wasn’t it just snowing out? Like, literally last month it snowed twice. And now it’s June 6th and look at how great everything is. Sooo sarcastic. The world is literally crazy right now. I’m keeping a positive attitude and doing my best work, and I really hope there will be change for the better this year on ALL fronts. The virus, the weather, politics, wildlife, equality, world peace. That’s not too much to ask for, right?

“I always drink to world peace.” Ok, that quote came from which movie? It is also the same movie that gave us the quote “Don’t drive angry”, and “Is it too early for flapjacks?” The best. And I digress. Leave your guess in the comments. 🙂

If you follow me on Instagram (@debinort) you’d see that I drove Jack to Brooklyn last Saturday to stay with his dad for a few weeks. He hadn’t seen him since February! Crazy! Things have just been so nuts with the Coronavirus and quarantining and New York being the epicenter of the virus, so it’s been many months since Jack has gotten to travel south. But, it was a nice ride, a sunny day, and we took Moca with us so she could see some different sights. With all the dog parks closed, all she sees is our neighborhood, the house and the back of my car where she rides. BOR-ing for an energetic pittie mix, to say the least.

me: Jack, please get some photos of us going over the Brooklyn Bridge, since this is my first time driving over it.

Jack: You’ve never driven over this bridge?

me: No, I really haven’t. I jogged over it I think once, but never drove myself over it. Get some video too!

Jack: Ok be quiet so I can film.

Suddenly I have a coughing fit and the car swerved a little out of my lane and made the BEEP BEEP BEEP sound that Subarus make when you cross a painted line in the road.

Jack: Sheesh, quiet!

me: Uh, it’s the car.

Jack: Uh, actually it’s your driving.

Ok so it is kind of my driving but still! Rude! I posted the bridge video on my Insta story but yeah that’s long gone since it took me a week to write this blog post. Getting back to work full time really takes away all the free time I had. Ya know? haha.

Next Sunday I’ll be heading back to Brooklyn to pick Jack up, because no way is he riding the train. And, actually I think it’s still only for essential workers, though that might have lightened up a bit. I still don’t feel comfortable letting him ride near other people. Maybe next year.

Sigh. What a year it’s been so far. I’m hoping things get better very soon.

But hey, on the bright side, June 6 is National Yo-Yo Day. So there’s always that.

Sigh.

 

Food, Uncategorized

Not a time for change

There are so many things that have happened in the last few months that it’s hard to believe we are where we are. I mean, today I was in my work office, mainly alone, walking around with a bleach wipe to swab any doors I may need to touch, and wearing a hot and sweaty face mask for protection. I actually paused and thought, geez, last year around Christmas, if you would have said “Hey, in about 6 months, no one is going to be working in the office, everyone will be conducting Zoom or Microsoft Teams meetings, your kids will be setup at the kitchen table with a laptop and NOT going to school, you will all be fighting over Purell, tissues, toilet paper and face masks, hahaha.” Would you believe it?

A friend of mine said to me recently as we walked together on opposite sides of the street “Ugh, my masks never stay on. I don’t think I have the ears to wear masks.” Said no one. Ever. Sigh…

I still have yet to create my “COVID Cookbook” which contains the 5 or so recipes that I have MASTERED I tell you, during quarantine. Cooking takes time, and i never have time. Finally I got some time and was able to actually cook. Wowza!  Jack helped me just about every night and he got pretty proficient at some recipes also. Soon he’ll cook dinner all by himself. For me! Muhahahaha.

The other night I made his favorite, Mac and Cheese, home made,  but of course I had to mess it up, just enough right? Is it because I’m back at work? I’m lacking time again and had to sort of throw it together maybe. Yeah, let’s go with that.

Jack: What’s that smell?

me: Mac and cheese.

Jack: Then why do I smell basil?

me: Well, I put some in the cheese sauce, along with some broccoli…

Jack: You know, this is not a time for you to start trying different things. Stick to the basics.

Hahaha. Yep I’m back to the good old just basic cooking. I actually thought it was pretty good. If you like greenish mac and cheese that is.

Conversations, Grammar, Uncategorized

Grammar Police, Done Real Good

police

Disclaimer: I’m typing this with PoBo on my chest as I sit in bed… the laptop is at my furthest arm’s reach away. Be gentle with the judging of typos.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled post.

I know when to use “well” and “good” in a sentence. Really I do.

Question: How are you? Answer: I’m well thanks, how are you?

Though when I’m asked, “How are you?” I respond, “Good, how are you?” Sigh. It’s because EVERYbody does it.

It’s kind of like how EVERYone uses “I” instead of “me” in a sentence because they think they’re using it correctly.

Correct: She went to the store with Joe and me.

Incorrect: She went to the store with Joe and I.

Correct: Jack and I went to the store.

Incorrect: Jack and me went to the store.

I’m not sure why I am off on a tangent with this, but it’s a pet peeve of mine. I was always taught that you need to break the sentence apart to know when to use “I” or “me”. So with the first sentence “She went to the store with Joe and me” you can test it out by saying “She went to the store with Joe” or “She went to the store with me”. See? That works. The incorrect use of “I” in that sentence wouldn’t work because the sentence broken apart would be “She went to the store with I”.

I is always the subject and me is always an object. (haha, me is always an object…lol cave talk.)

I also hate the your vs. you’re confusion, but that’s a rant for another day.

me: Jack go get ready for bed, brush your teeth good.

Jack: You don’t even know basic grammar. It’s “brush your teeth well”.

me: I know that. I’m just being lazy.

Jack: Or ignorant.

me: Sigh.

Conversations, Music, Quarantine, Uncategorized

Top 10 Sayings While in Quarantine

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Jack has had to expand his activities during quarantine, and only after I boot him off XBox. It’s amazing what can be accomplished when you have the time (or are forced to.) None of these things would have been possible without this virus to keep us home and steadily burning through our boredom activities. One by one. Until you’re scratching around at the bottom of the barrel for something to do.

Here are the top 10 phrases I can recall recently that will give you a glimpse into what Jack has decided to do with his free time.

10.
Jack: Where’s the stand for that old electric keyboard? I’m gonna learn how to play piano!
me: We don’t have a keyboard stand soooo you’re out of luck there.
Jack: I need to go to the bathroom now.
me: And that takes care of that…

9.
Jack: I’m going to check out my legos.
me: Why don’t you pick out the ones you want to get rid of and I can take them to Goodwill?
Jack: Not gonna happen.

8.
Jack: Mom, these plants are NOT gonna grow if you don’t move them into the sun! (he fussily moves the baby squash plants into the patch of sun on the floor like a worried grandpa.)

7.
Jack: Check out the rose I drew for Spanish class. (he shows me a line drawing he did on his laptop, of a rose and a book).
me: That’s so cool Jack. You should color it in.
Jack: No, I like it like this. Now I need to order a stylus so I can do real drawings.

6.
Jack: I went for a run today. Now my heel hurts.

5.
Jack: (helping me cook dinner) This is either really going to be awesome or really going to suck. There’s no in between here.

4.
Jack: Ok ok, cut my hair already!
me: Really? Yayyyy!! (I had wanted to cut his hair after watching a few YouTube videos ha ha)
Jack: Just don’t mess it up…
me: Well, I can’t promise that, but it will be quarantine passable.

3.
Jack: I want to go through all my old school papers.
me: They’re organized in folders by grade, so please just put them back in the right folder and in order ok?
Jack: Um, it’s not rocket science mom.
(later…I look on the floor and the papers are scattered and completely NOT back in the folder where he got them…grrrrr…)

2.
Jack: I’ll vacuum but only if you buy a new one. This one doesn’t even spin!
(I immediately bought a new one on Amazon. Arrives Friday!)

1.
Jack: Oh look! My old drones! (the animals went crazy over this one…)

Bonus:
Jack: Oh, the 3rd episode of the Tiger King is where everything happens.
me: You’ve watched 3 episodes of the Tiger King? It’s really not appropriate Jack…
Jack: … no…?
me: Oh really, no?
Jack: Okay, I already finished the series.
me: Sigh.

I hope you are all not going completely crazy at home, and that all your kids and spouses and animals are still getting along. Jack and I keep our distance, joining up for dinner and maybe some TV. Maybe. PoBo kept trying to sit on my neck while I typed this in bed. Moca is sleeping on my foot. Luna is at the end of the bed looking regal. Jack is… still in the bathroom.

Typical night here! Be safe everyone! In CT tomorrow we now have to wear our masks full time while in public. Praying for this to be over soon.

unnamed-1-900x494

Conversations, Health, Quarantine, Uncategorized

‘All About Easter’ and 10 Years Of Blogging!

It’s hard to believe that 10 years have passed since my first blog post, on 4/2/10… a few days before Easter on Good Friday 2010.

I almost forgot this momentous anniversary, except I saw a blog post from former co-worker and current consultant Closet Fashionista today and she was celebrating 10 years writing her blog! Go check it out, it’s really addicting if you’re into fashion.

Another blog written by ANOTHER former co- worker which probably started around the same time (though I’m not certain it was within days of our 2 blogs) is: So What Are You Making For Dinner. If you love to eat, or cook, this ones for you!

Now, my silly little blog is only meant for entertainment and journaling my boy’s (ahem) witty convos. He’s still saying sh*t so I’m still writing.

Here’s the first post I ever wrote…

You can click on the link or read it below. Choices!!

…………….

ALL ABOUT EASTER

April 2, 2010

So, the first-ever post started like this.

Jack: Why are we taking the parkway?
me: Because it’s Good Friday and there is hardly any traffic.


Jack: What’s Good Friday?


me: It’s a religious holiday that falls on the Friday before Easter.


Jack: They’re telling a lie because tomorrow is NOT Easter.


me: Well, Sunday is Easter, and tomorrow night is actually when the Easter Bunny comes to our house! (trying to change the topic…!)


Jack: The Easter Bunny comes tomorrow night? Yayyy! (pauses with frown). Wait, is Sunday the day that Grandpa Louie comes over to eat?


me: Yes, he comes over on Easter to eat dinner with us and Uncle John and —


Jack: (interrupting me) But do I get my Easter Basket BEFORE Grandpa comes over?


me: Yep. You’ll have the basket in the morning, before anyone comes over.


Jack: (Sticks his thumb back in his mouth and grunts his approval. Conversation is over.)

…………..

And there you have it… the first ever post from me to you about Jack haha.

Today I gave Jack my first ever full hair cut. Aside from when I cut off his little pigtail curl when he was maybe 18 months old or something. This was full on top to bottom cutting!

me: So, should we cut it now?

Jack: Yeah, sigh, might as well.

me: Alright, get in the bathtub (my hair salon location haha)

Jack: Try not to mess me up too badly. Just take a little off the sides and….

me: Hahahaha! That’s like telling Anna (Jack’s 5-year-old cousin) how to fly a jumbo jet. Do you think I’m gonna retain that! I’m just going in!

(With a tiny baby comb and dull scissors… gasp!)

Jack: You’re not supposed to soak my head with that spray bottle, just make it damp.

me: Moca ate the tip off the bottle, so now all it does is that.

Jack: It’s cold! Go warm up the water!

me: Sheesh Jack, do you ask the barber to warm up the water when you’re with Dad?

Jack: They don’t use ice water.

I wait 5 minutes for the water to warm up and stare at Jack sitting on a chair in the tub, wearing a robe and draped with a beach towel.

He stares back.

me: There. Water all cozy now?

Jack: Ahhhh that’s better.

I start at the back making sections and trying to perform “guides” and such hahaha but I’m

Basically just hacking off pieces as best I can from the memories of watching hundreds of Jack’s haircuts over the last 13 years or so. He was bald until maybe close to age 2 … FYI.

Jack: My neck is tired from looking that way.

me: Well I can’t get around you on that side and I don’t have a chair that goes up and down so you have to keep your head where I say.

Jack: My foots asleep!

(He jerks his leg making me almost lip off his ear.)

me: Jack you have to sit still. Pretend I’m Paula (the hairdresser he sees when he’s with me). Would you jump around and yell in her chair?

Jack: She’s a professional and doesn’t take an hour.

I stare at him. He stares back.

me: Can I continue?

Jack: Please do.

Meanwhile, with every snip, PoBobo is jumping around on the floor trying to catch the flyaway pieces of hair. My bathroom looks like I shaved a Wookie.

(Side note, here’s a blog post about when Jack thought he WAS a Wookie…and possibly other various furry and disgusting creatures haha.)

So, I finished up and Jack was pretty pleased. I measured a few side pieces the way the “pros” do and made a few additional snips. The side is a little weird looking but not too bad!

I hope you all annoyed this trip down memory lane and for those of you that have literally followed us for 10 years…. THANK YOU!!’

Here’s to 10 more 😂😯😯

Actually I’ll let Jack take over the blog when he has kids someday. Omg can you imagine? I hope they are just like him.

HAPPY EASTER ALSO!

Also, two more important things to note… Jack’s oldest female cousin turned 19 today! Happy birthday Victoria!!

And, another one of Jack’s cousins (the Marine) had his first baby yesterday! (Well, his wife did haha.) Happy Birthday Maverick!!

😍😍😷😷

Food, Quarantine, School, Uncategorized

What Jack Misses Most

Wow, Friday already. Time flies when you have nowhere to go and many rooms to clean, eh? We’re tackling things room by room, sort of. We started by clearing out Jack’s old “baby” bedroom, and got rid of many books that weren’t so special. Don’t worry, we saved about a THOUSAND BOOKS!

Here are some of the best books you could ever read to your child (if that child is Jack of course) 🙂 I cherish so many of these books for the illustrations (wish I could’ve used my Illustration degree to illustrate children’s books!). These books make me actually sigh when I see them and hold them. If you have children aged 0-6-ish, I would run out and get these!

Andrew Henry’s Meadow – Doris Burn
Goodnight Gorilla – Peggy Rathmann
Goodnight Cape Cod – Adam Gamble/John Andert
One Morning in Maine & Blueberries for Sal – Robert McCloskey
Close Your Eyes – Kate Banks
And if the Moon Could Talk – Kate Banks
Old Bear – Jane Hissey
The Dandelion Seed – Joseph Anthony
Owl Moon – Jane Yolen
Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin! – Lloyd Moss

As you can see, I could go on and on. We kept about 3 shelves full of Jack’s and my favorites. How can we give those away! Someday he may want to read these to his kids. (!!)

Today Jack is doing school work and also taking an SAT type practice quiz. Geez what a crab he is (Stop typing Mom, I’m taking a test, Go Go!)

Oy!

So now I’m over here.

I asked Jack what he thinks about all “this” and if he’s ok.

Jack: I’m fine. I don’t mind being home. I can do my school work when I want to.

me: Yeah, I know but what do you miss? Teachers, friends, classes? Anything?

Jack: Not really. Though I do miss pasta Wednesday! (he sniffs dramatically). It was taken from me too soon!!!

(much fake crying)

Really? Ha ha.

Then I started looking up school pasta lunches so I could include a photo of what a typical pasta meal would look like.

THEN I started researching school lunches in other countries compared to the U.S.A. As you can imaging, we’re disgusting. Jack takes lunch to school 4 days a week, mostly due to his nut allergies (though the schools are supposedly nut free), but mostly because the food is gross.

Jack (in 9th grade): Mom, the burger meat has suckers on it.

Nuff said.

Here is a pic of what school lunches look like around the world, with US for comparison…then I will show the US lunch with pasta (though this is not our school and I highly doubt we serve meatballs). I remember back in 1984 for pete’s sake, we had great school lunches with a salad bar and a “grinder” bar (It was MA, so we called them grinders. Get over it LOL!)

schoollunches

Jack: I would totally eat that lunch from Italy, or Spain! OMG, the US lunch looks gross. Sugar, sugar, carb, carb, frozen peas.

me: And that’s why you bring lunch.

And here’s the good old USA pasta lunch:

Spaghetti & meatballs

Gross right? Well the pasta is probably acceptable, and the carrots and banana. Oy.

And, by comparison, here’s what I made Jack for lunch today. Croissant with Swiss cheese and ham, roasted kale chips, cherry tomatoes and pineapple. Of course he picked out the little wrinkly tomato. Geez so picky!

IMG_0405

For breakfast, Jack made himself some cereal and then when I made my avocado toast with lemon and an egg on top he eyed it greedily.

me: Sheesh, do you want a bite? I asked you if you wanted one and you said no.

Jack: No you didn’t.

me: I certainly did! Like last night when I asked you if you wanted sour cream for your potatoes and you said yes, then had a fit when I handed it to you. Pay attention.

Jack: Yeah, I wasn’t listening.

me: Great.

He grabs my toast and takes a giant bite out of it.

me: Do you want me to make you one?

Jack: I said no. Geez Mom!

 

Food, Quarantine, Uncategorized

I thought it was Wednesday

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.)

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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?

Sigh.

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).

Jack: Really?

me: The photo is actually dark green Jack and that is zucchini.

Jack; Black Squash.

me: Fine.

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!!

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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!

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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…

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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.

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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.

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Yum!

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!

 

 

Conversations, Sleep, Uncategorized

Sunday, Boring Sunday

Ok, let’s be clear. I’m not the one that’s bored. And technically Jack is still, sort of, sleeping so he’s not actually bored…yet. I released Moca into his bedroom and shut the door and could hear the muffled yelps from Jack as he was stunned awake by the exuberant pitbull with a love for burrowing under the covers. Time to wake up whether you want to or not!

I’m wondering if this is what it feels like to be retired. It must. I’ve been working remotely for about a week and a half. By the middle of last week I was losing track of which day it was. I thought Wednesday was Thursday and then didn’t realize it was Fri-Yay!  ??? What’s happening??

Well, for one, our typical schedules are WHACK and Jack and I are trying to co-exist in the kitchen on two different surfaces, each covered with our own working piles. We do want to be in the central area of the house, rather than sheltered away in our rooms. It would just feel even more weird to do that, though we would get the privacy we need. I think we like arguing about things so it makes us happy to share the smaller space and then nitpick each other to death LOL!

When I have to get on a “conference call”, which is now a glorified Facetime chat where we all complain about our hair and the bad lighting, while shushing pets and muffling the phone to answer our rude kids’ demands, Jack tries to banish me to the other end of the house. He can’t concentrate. Hmmm. He’s wearing the mega-expensive ear pods, which during normal times allow him to effectively ignore me when I call him for anything, like walking Moca, or folding his laundry. He can’t hear me for chores, but when I get on a call, suddenly it’s too loud for him 🙂 So I take the call in my bedroom, trying to angle myself so they all see the nice wall and not the pile of laundry on my bed, or the dog that’s sleeping on my pillow. Some people think that’s gross, but it’s a part of life with a pitbull. Who’s with me on that!!?? Moca really does think she’s a human, and that’s just slightly above her thinking she’s a cat.

So, the days are all blending together, work has been getting done but in such a different fashion, and instead of being peppered with interruptions at your office door, or a quick buzz on your phone extension, I now need to get up, walk down the hall, make sure my hair is somewhat brushed, or stuck under a baseball cap, etc. It takes way more time to be interrupted at home. I can’t turn back to my computer and continue typing to show how busy I am! 🙂  And, because the times are so strange, and we’re all dealing with the abnormal situation here, I want to talk to people more. If I call a vendor, I might stay on the phone for a half hour! How’s the family, how’s business, what can I do to help, etc etc. Things are just different and they are going to continue to be different for quite awhile.

Jack has gotten into the routine of schoolwork, chores, Xbox. With breaks for food and the bathroom and occasional shower. We’re saving a TON on water this month. Ahem.

When I ask him to PLEASE please please turn off Xbox and come down to do something, anything with me (cards? ride bikes? draw? movie???) he usually slumps on the couch while simultaneously exhaling… I’m bored! Like, he didn’t even sit down yet and he’s bored. It must be strange for him too… no crowded school halls and classrooms, no after school rowing gang, no friends over, no nothing! Xbox is his social outlet and it does make me happy to hear him cracking up while talking to his friends and playing. He is very loud also. OH, funny story… the other night I heard him talking to someone whose voice I didn’t recognize, and I’m like who’s the creepy sounding guy, uh-uh no way is this happening. So I headed up to his room and barged in. Then I realized it was his dad on speakerphone LOL! Jack was making wild hand gestures to shoo me out as they talked about which weapon did what and does this blah-blah-blah make this happen and how did he know that, etc. Sigh.

So, yeah, maybe he’s not bored at all and maybe I am. 🙂 Longest post in a few months, eh?

me: Jack! It’s almost 10, time to get down here and eat breakfast!

Jack: (muffled mumbling)

me: It’s getting late, come down and get some breakfast. (I go upstairs and check to see if he’s up, Moca is still in his room from when I let her in to jump on him at 9:30 hahaha).

Jack: Stop letting Moca in here, she just waits by the door and it’s annoying. It’s only 9, why are you waking me up?

me: It’s almost 10…  Want to watch a movie? Harry Potter? I’m in the mood for a marathon today.

Jack: (silence)

I think he went back to bed. Sigh.

Well, I have a big list of chores ready for us, and plans to cook a few meals… our seedlings have started sprouting (mostly the beans). So maybe it won’t be such a boring Sunday.

Let me know how all of you are doing out there! Be safe and try not to be too bored today! Make it a great day somehow!!