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.

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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!)

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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!

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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!