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Showing posts from April, 2020

Day 46 - My kids are getting along!

My kids are 14 and 17.  They are as different as the day is long.  They fight about everything up to and including who goes through the door first.  As much as I complain about the pandemic and the staying home and the grocery shopping, I can't state enough that our relationships are thriving!  The only reason I can think of is there is a lack of day to day stress.  Both of them are sleeping in.  They hang out in loungewear all day long.  They are as happy as two teenagers can be that cannot hang out with their friends. It is almost like they are little again but they have the emotional intelligence to work through their issues like little adults.  Just tonight, they had a respectful "interaction" about voice cracking.  Comments were made, feelings were hurt, arguments were made and heard.  It was a COVID-19 miracle! Playing Minecraft together on the ancient Xbox

Day 45 - Self Help Books

This week's work reading challenge is all about nonfiction, specifically Self-help. Creative visualization is all about meditating, which I have failed at miserably every time I have tried.  I am not going into this with a positive mindset but past performance is a good indication of future performance. The Little book of hygge is a book I have always seen around and it is about finding comfort.  I'm down with that. Simple steps is all about making changes in your life to pursue your goals. All three work nicely with my Yale, Science of Well-Being class.  These are all audio books that I downloaded through my library so I should be able to get through all or most of them this week.

Day 44 - I changed my mind

You may or may not have noticed that I changed the name of my blog to Book-Geek.  My Twitter and Instagram are both Book-Geek so I wanted to be consistent.  Eventually, life will go back to "normal" and I might use this blog for book reviews or maybe continue with my musings and add book reviews. I have suffered from digital fatigue in the past.  I think I have it under control this time around though.  I have a plan!  Instagram is personal.  Twitter is my political outlet and where I write book reviews, (positive only) and where I stalk, I mean, follow authors. I started this blog many years ago as a creative outlet and to documents the absurdity of parenthood.  I deleted the blog a few years back but downloaded all my content.  My hope is to archive it all here at some point.  My writing has slid a wee bit over the years.  It is interesting to see the difference between my badd-mamma posts and my current brain dumps!

Day 43 - Is it Monday again already? Another mealtime misery story

I know routine is important but something had to be done about the food situation.  Even with us all being home, we are having scheduling conflicts and sometimes not eating until 8pm. This issue has been on the back of my mind but it wasn't until my husband mentioned it that it occurred to me that because we have a very flexible schedule right now, we can try something else.  So, we had our big meal at noontime!  I can't believe how psyched I was for this!  I was all done with housewife stuff at about 1pm so I logged into work and managed to get a few hours in. My grandparents used to eat this way.  They used to tell my brother and me all the time about how good it is for you to have your big meal at noontime.  It was a leftover of farm life and them working second shift at the mills.  We used to think it kind of sucked because we would always have to be home in the middle of the day and then if we got guilted into dishes, it seriously encroached on our summer shenanigans.

Day 39 - we got chickens!

We get new chicks just about every year.  Last year and the year before were pretty sad.  We lost almost all of them to preditors so my family made me a new, safer pen for the "girls" to live so I have high hopes for this year! Blue Seal called last week and said they only have two of the six we ordered so we went and got them anyway.  This years' round will be named after musicians.  Some would warn against naming your chickens, especially with our track record but we have been keeping chickens for 12 years now and we can't NOT name them. Having chickens brings us a lot of joy.  Having them free-range, (now under strict supervision only) is like having a fish tank in your back yard in that they are so relaxing to watch.  They also eat ticks.  The biggest bonus though, especially now during the pandemic, is that we have copious amounts of eggs.  We will keep these babies and the four more that we get this week, inside, under a heat lamp, until they are

Day 38 Finding...Beauty?

My morning walk was just lovely.  The sun was shining and the breeze was just enough to keep me from overheating.  I looked around the whole time, searching for beauty and worried I wouldn't find any because the leaves are not quite out yet.  Then I saw it.  I have walked by this tree hundreds of times.  This cute, knarly, nub on this tree reminds me of a troll of sorts and it makes me smile.

Day 37 Savoring

According to my Yale course on The Science of Well Being, one tip to stave off hedonistic adaptation is to savor the moment.  My interpretation of this is to be mindful of the good stuff and you will appreciate that good stuff so much, you won't feel the need to have MORE or DIFFERENT. Last night, while the kids had their online Scout meeting, Craig and I worked out and then played darts.  I bought this dartboard 21 years ago when we bought our house.  I don't ever remember playing with it.  I am grateful we have this time together and I am savoring these moments.

Day 36 My Fridge is full

Friday and Saturday were filled with hoarding-like behavior.  I am not ashamed.  According to the news, the peak of the virus is this week.  The kids have been notified that what we have in the house, is what we have for the next three weeks at least. We have plenty of chips, what little pasta we could find,  and 20lbs of rice.   The fridge is so full of food, I'm afraid we might find a science experiment or two at the end of all this. I feel a strange feeling of calm that comes from the knowledge that I have done all I can to provide a healthy environment for my family.  We have food, blue skies, a routine, and each other.  Life is good.

Day 32 Today is going to be awesome!

I think I can. I think I can, I think I can! Guess what day it is?  That's right folks, it is grocery day! My most dreaded day in all the days. Ordinarily, I would be up, take the dog for a walk, and be on my second cup of coffee by now.  I have a meeting at 10am.  In theory, I COULD have all the groceries bought, washed and put away.  Unfortunately, we are living in a pandemic and time ceases to have any meaning so chores spread out and out and out until so much time is wasted that I find myself just wandering around bumping into walls. I did manage to make masks for all of us yesterday. Unfortunately, they are all the same.  I ordered kits and just didn't think it through.  They are cute and I managed to code them all, kind of, because we all have different sized heads.  They passed the match test and I can still breathe.  Maybe wearing my affection for San Francisco on my face will make my shopping trip a little more pleasant. 

Day 30 I need a Mantra

This morning I woke up early but wasn't ready to get up so I listened to a podcast called Happier by Gretchen Rubin. I fell back asleep but part of it did sink in.  I need a mantra. Mantra should be positive considering it does have Buddhist roots. The f-word, although used frequently and quite cathartic, is not really a mantra. The Yale course that I'm taking is teaching me to stay in my lane and focus on what I'm good at and hone those skills, (character traits whatever). Maybe I can use those traits to come up with a mantra. Maybe it should be something uniquely me. I try to burn more calories than I eat every day but when I get on the scales in the morning, I want to scream, "WTF?" Why isn't there a Yale course on how to lose 10 lbs?  Actually, I think the whole point of the course is about how thinking that losing 10lbs will make you happy is just your brain playing tricks on you.  I don't think there is a mantra in that...  I like the

Day 29 Upward and onward

Yesterday was so gross!  It poured all day and I could not get out of my own way.  I didn't work out.  I didn't even come close to getting my steps in, ugh.  I did the bare minimum that included feeding my family and the pets so I guess it will have to do.  Some days are just like that. The sun came out this morning and even though the ground was mush, I went for a nice long walk with the dog.  I will plug away at my to-do list and make the best of this beautiful day.  I did manage to get black sunflower seed from Blue Seal yesterday and was rewarded with a lovely little song from this guy this morning!

Day 28 More coffee

If there is one thing I have definitely improved since the quarantine, it is my coffee skills.  I thought I had mad skills to begin with but I have now upgraded to a new level!  I developed severe coffee snobbery in college when I worked at a coffee shop, (way before being a barista was cool).  I drank it black, I drank it hot or cold, I drank it with shots of espresso in it and on the side.  I drank it all day, up until bedtime without disturbing my sleep in the least.  When I was in college, I worked three jobs.  Coffee was my life.  It was the only way I could function at such a high level of productivity.  Above all else, I HAVE ALWAYS AND WILL ALWAYS LOVE COFFEE. My daughter once told me I should switch to tea because it is so much better for the environment.  It takes less water and land to grow and more of it is sourced from fair trade farmers.  I'll have to look into the truth of all that to be sure.  In the meantime, I have cut back over the years.  I drink a lot of gr

Day 27 We made it through another weekend

Although the days are blurring into one another, this weekend stuck out because it was my son's 17th birthday on Saturday and Easter on Sunday. We never anticipated that we would need to go shopping 6 weeks ago for birthday presents so we shopped on Amazon and a couple of other online stores but still ended up wrapping up a couple of boxes of pop tarts to "sweeten" up his weirdest birthday ever.  I did make cinnamon buns for breakfast and we ordered pizza for dinner.  My husband brought him to our local bike store to get some parts for his bike.   It would have been a pretty pathetic day except for the fact that my son's friends surprised him with a zoom call and we picked him up a Rush from Aroma Joe's , (the definite highlights of the day). Sunday was beautiful.  We slept in and took our time "hiding" the eggs.  When we finally made it outside to hunt for them, the sun was shining, the birds were chirping and it was just another amazing day. 

Day 24 - I need to count my blessings

I awoke early this morning with a feeling of serious first world problems dread.  How much longer can I keep this up?  I made my coffee, ok coffees, and took the dog for a walk.  I came home and poked around the kitchen:  I made pizza dough, emptied the dishwasher, and made hot cocoa for my 2nd child. While still struggling with the pookies, I messaged my good friend from work.  We made plans for a mask-wearing , six foot distancing walk for tomorrow.  My spirits started to rise.  I went for a run.  I then did some post-run yoga and took the world's longest shower. When it was time for work, I set into my latest new obsession:  The Science of Well Being course from Yale .  It is free, my favorite!  I am currently in the process of rewiring my brain.  My homework is to spend the next week practicing exercising utilizing my top four character strengths in different ways.  Challenge accepted!   My top four strengths are: Social Intelligence, (not buying it) Appreciation o

Day 22 - The weekend is over

Grocery shopping is done.  The mulch is spread.  The weather was beautiful and we thoroughly enjoyed the laid back time, just the four of us.  One thing I have noticed is that we sleep in a little bit just about every day.  Before we started working and schooling from home, mornings included alarm clocks, rushing, and jockeying for the bathroom.  Now, we just kind of glide through the morning and wander down for breakfast and coffee. I know without a doubt that I will miss this laid back dreamy time that we have together.  I am most grateful that the dog is forgiving and waits for me to get in gear to let her out.

Day 19 - Ordering takeout

Thursdays are our take out dinner days.  If you think that makes deciding on dinner any easier, you are sadly mistaken.  We opted for Chinese so I feel worse today than I did when I ate all that bread...was that just two days ago? When you order takeout during the pandemic, always ordering from a small, local restaurant.  The big chains will be fine.  I have always patronized local restaurants and will continue to do so regardless of our current situation.  Not all local businesses are alike, however.  We got BBQ last week and they were washing everything including the pen and our credit card.   Unfortunately, It was pretty much business as usual at the Chinese restaurant.   There was minimal social distancing and no extra precautions during the transaction.   I am all set with that. Regardless of the cleaning protocol of your favorite restaurant, when you get your take out food home, you take everything out of its packaging and throw said packaging away, which breaks my heart. 

Day 18 Making masks and grocery shopping...or not

Today is the day that I take charge, face my fear, and gain control.  Oh, who am I kidding?  I am freaking out at the idea of going to the grocery store so I am delaying it as long as humanly possible.  We are running out of regular and soy milk so it is only a matter of time before someone complains.  How are you supposed to go two weeks between shopping trips?  The grocery stores will not let you buy more than two containers of milk at a time.  We get around that because my daughter and I use soy milk and the boys use regular milk.  Between hot cocoa and smoothies and cereal, (gross) we go through all four in a week. With the CDC thinking about maybe suggesting everyone wear masks when they go out, I figured I would try and make my own.  Unfortunately, I only have silky material and some old fabric I used to make my diningroom curtains.  The fabric is so thick and I was too lazy to change my bobbin thread and I didn't have enough elastic so...I cut it in half.  Spoiler alert:

Day 17 - I ate so much bread today!

Today was a day for a little bit of work and a little bit of baking.  There was not a whole lot of movement going on so I feel a little blegh.    My sourdough starter was freshly fed from the day before as I made some pizza dough so I decided to try a different sourdough bread recipe from my tried and true dutch oven bread.  My original recipe is chewy and satisfying but isn't the greatest for kids with braces or sandwiches.  The crust is so tough that even the chickens won't eat it.  I have linked a similar recipe below.   Dutch oven sourdough recipe So I tried this new recipe.  It is much quicker and the perfect combination of sandwich bread and heaven!  We ate almost a whole loaf between the four of us and then had pizza for dinner!  Can you say BLOATED?   This sourdough is not vegan so I will try and tweak it a bit.  I am not vegan but have friends that are and in the interest of conserving our food stores, I would rather not use up eggs and milk and

Day 16 - My son is watching Preppers on TV

My my my.  This is what it has come to.  I am almost considering watching the Tiger show on Netflix and my son is watching Preppers.  We can only go up from here. It was a little yucky out so I didn't go for a full walk with the dog, (she is elated).  Even though I didn't walk as much in the am, I still was able to get my steps in for the day because of some heavy-duty raking when the sun came out in the afternoon.  Yipee!  I started making my own hummus a while ago and I have to say that it is super easy and WAY better than buying it.  If you have bags of dried chickpeas, a pressure cooker, and a food processor...well, ok, it isn't super easy but it is so good!  Having a good dip makes it easier to eat healthily. Here is the recipe from  Live Simply   I follow this blog and I love everything she does! How to Make Homemade Hummus Using the Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker Recipe, Make-Ahead Snack) - Live Simply