Perfect Day from the Home Office

The day started perfectly with one of my favorite things—I was able to hang my laundry on the clothesline outside. I find that peaceful and meditative and it gives me great satisfaction.

My home office was a very crowded place. In part, because I moved to the sun porch to enjoy the nice sunshine.

I made two amazing poached eggs on a baked potato for lunch.

And the teenager took her scooter and the neighbor’s dog on an adventure and texted me gorgeous photos of her day.

And finally — I saved the best for last— the teenager sent me a photo of my truck. Periodically the construction company puts this Grad-all truck up for sale and I really want it.

Here’s a better photo. I love this truck so much I keep a photo on my phone. I do. I really do.

And if you want even more silliness; this is the day I told my daughter I wanted this truck.

Video: I want this truck

Crepes and the evaporating weekend

The teenager and I made crepes with Nutella and banana for breakfast and while they were delicious— let me assure you neither of us will be employed as a street vendor in France any time soon.

Our crepes were either small or large and reminiscent of cartoon characters.

The teenager is preparing to go to her dad’s for a few days. So later she’ll practice some low brass musical instruments for me. And I’ll come to terms with the fact that somehow the weekend is ending.

But let me relish the crepe memory:

An unexpected surprised— my friends Rachel called. She moved to Florida years ago and I don’t see her as much as I used to.

She was one of my freelance writers when I served as managing editor of Lehigh Valley News Group.

Sunday update in the midst of the Pandemic

These are indeed interesting times.

My mom and I went to Grocery Outlet because I wanted some fresh produce. Got blood oranges, spaghetti squash, cabbage, potatoes, radishes, and fresh Brussel sprouts. I was looking for items that would store nicely if something does confine us with COVID-19.

When I got home, the teenager helped me dig a splinter out of my foot and treat it with betadine.

We did two loads of laundry and the teen taught the budgies to hand feed.

We stripped and made both our beds— which ended up with some Oz antics.

And I made two delicious meals for myself prior to my fasting bloodwork tomorrow: leftover sesame chicken with pan-seared Brussel sprouts seasoned with four color peppercorns and tofu burger on whole grain wheat with avocado, sautéed radish and dill havarti cheese.

Of course, the afternoon led to some discussions among my neighbors of whether or not Coronavirus is worse than the normal flu. Does it matter? Flu outbreaks have killed people at fairly regular intervals. I’m not concerned that I will die from it, but I am concerned that I could help spread it if I’m not careful.

The neighbor we went to dinner last night spent the evening playing Yahtzee with another neighbor whose son just came home from college. The son woke up with a 102 degree fever today coughing. And his lab partner just got home from Germany.

And there’s a presumptive positive case in the next town over where my in-laws live. So it’s coming.

And I’m not an alarmist or panic-stricken but I agree that we all should be limiting our interactions. The more careful we are now, hopefully we can minimize the impact on our community and our economy.

And here’s some animal photos:

Just another Saturday

I woke up this morning worried about things I can’t control, and to a cat coughing up a hairball somewhere in the darkness of my room. It was 4 a.m. and to get myself back to sleep, I keep imagining a cleansing white light.

I imagined the white light getting brighter and brighter. It filled my house, came up my stairs and saturated my room. It brought me calm and helped me get to sleep.

I finally gave up on sleep around 7 a.m. but laid in bed until 7:30. I got up, fed the cats, started a load of laundry and cared for the birds.

Then I finished the first season of Hell’s Kitchen while folding clean laundry and hanging wet wash.

I had a piece of toast, put dishes away, washed the pots and pans, and scrubbed the kitchen counter (even the trivet and the toaster— have to periodically get those crumbs out of the toaster.)

And I found what could be very handy if COVID-19 ends up in my neighborhood: a bottle of Hibiclens the doctor told the teenager to use in the shower before her surgery in November.

My college professor neighbor and I had coffee on her porch, while I was clad in my African dress that I bought in Djibouti for my trip to Somalia.

I vacuumed the sun porch. Did some necessary paperwork. Gave Nala, my Goffin’s cockatoo, a shower. Scrubbed the tub, but not as well as I would have liked.

But I didn’t strip my bed or play with my new make up.

This evening my other neighbor took us to dinner at La Bella’s as a thank you for watching her dog.

Amazing Bread

The teenager decided to compliment our server every time she came to the table. I had chicken penne vodka. The child had seafood spaghetti vodka. The portions were ginormous and the seafood seemed good. I’m not a seafood fan.

See those bumpy calamari?

I think I’ll have enough leftovers for TWO lunches. As with the teen. And my neighbor. And then my neighbor took us to Owwowcow for ice cream. I got cinnamon bourbon.

The food was scrumptious but made me sad because I’m still having mild dental issues. My neighbor is looking at a root canal so we’re a good pair.

And now we’re home. Roomba is vacuuming my bedroom.

The teen is trying cone incense for the first time. She tried to pick natural varieties that wouldn’t burn my eyes and sinuses. She asked me what to burn, so we went for the cleansing sandalwood— vanilla sandalwood to be exact.

I used to use sandalwood soap to bathe before I practiced rituals and vanilla is a very pure, comforting flavor and scent to me.

I asked the teen, who now has her own altar with her own selected candles on it, why do you burn incense?

She answered, “because it clears my sinuses and helps me focus.”

Good girl, I thought.

Friday night & Valentines

This is going to be a crazy lil bit of everything post. I’ll try to divide into topics with subheadings; I want to be good to y’all.


I bought her some new toys. Anything paper, like the one above, is a hit. But she seems to be afraid of bigger toys of heavier materials.

This is a photo of everything I got her:

As for plucking, it gets worse and better day by day. I’ve noticed three main triggers:

  1. Change in routine
  2. Overstimulation
  3. Desire for attention

Misty and Fog

The kittens certainly get more tired out since we let them run through the house. They pull they towels off the racks in the bathroom. They scatter the wash in the laundry room. They steal Oz’s food and he’s too big and dumb to stop them.

Some of my past kitten posts:

Kitten update

The third kitten


Tomorrow I get my first fill on my nails. They still look pretty perfect and I can see my natural nails growing in!

For more on my nails:


Road trip tomorrow!!!!

I joined AAA last weekend specifically because I’m traveling to Washington DC alone this weekend.

My temporary cards haven’t come!

I’m super excited and mostly ready.

I told my work colleagues and they asked if I planned on touring any of the downtown DC sites. I said no, I plan on sitting on my friend’s couch drinking coffee most of the weekend.

The teenager is going out with her dad so I’m on my own tonight for Valentine’s.

Friday: “It’s so basic”

  1. Kittens/laundry
  2. Bird/plucking update
  3. Coffee smell better
  4. It’s so basic

That’s the list I typed for myself early this morning to remind me what the heck I wanted to write tonight.

But let’s go out of order from my original list. It’s Friday let’s go wild.

The smell improves

You may have heard that Nala, my four-year-old Goffin’s cockatoo who swindled me into bringing her home early last month, rather dramatically spilled my coffee into my rather cheap lime green bedroom rug.

I attacked the area with some lavender Johnson & Johnson’s baby soap. As of tonight, the smell of stale coffee has dissipated unless you are on the floor.

So, stay off my floor.

Kitten update

Day 2 of letting our two kittens roam the house. They are drawn to the laundry room and as kittens do, they tear all the laundry down. First they drug the sheets everywhere. Then the knocked down my blouses. Then they tackled all the towels.


I used to fold all the laundry nicely and pile it in the laundry room to put away during the weekend. I also left the dry laundry linger on the drying rack.

Guess everything needs to be put away right away. Leave it to those silly kittens to find the one lazy arena of my household routines.

But Opie is doing his best to babysit. Opie and the kittens are all exhausted by the end of the day.

Nala’s plucking

She’s got her wings pretty badly stripped.

I keep telling her she’ll never be able to fly if she keeps this up. The ladies at the pie shop suggested I get her a companion.

My teenager can vouch for me. This bird is spoiled and loved!

I came home for lunch today and spent time with her and put on Shrek the Musical for her.

“It’s so Basic.”

  • My thought for the day:

I found myself scraping dried cat food off a spoon at 6 a.m., again, because the teenager more often than not forgets to rinse her dirty dishes.

And I ask myself all the time, “how?” She’s not an idiot, so why is it such a challenge to remember to rinse the dishes.

Husbands and wives are also prone to situations like this. One partner can’t quite fathom why the other doesn’t find something as common sense as the other.

Then I found myself thinking even more.

After all, I’m an extremely intelligent and self-aware person. But as a new(er) employee, in a brand new career path, I’m sure some people at my office look at me and wonder how I miss things that to them are completely basic.

It’s a profound reminder of how different our experiences and points of view are.

For example, my teenager learned to change a tire by watching her father change one of my flats. Once. She keeps saying she’ll teach me, because it’s really easy. It’s so basic.

I told her I’ll join AAA, it’s easier. And after six months of trying to stop by the AAA office, I finally thought to join online.

And it turns out that AAA remembers me from the membership I had before the teenager was born. It won’t let me join online because it’s a renewal and I can’t renew online because you need your membership card.



I also went grocery shopping today. Bought a ridiculous pile of stuff from Grocery Outlet.

Highlights include:

  • Matcha protein drink
  • Protein cold brew
  • Pecan yogurt smoothie
  • Fish pie
  • Epic pork rinds
  • Various noodles
  • Parsnips
  • Blood oranges
  • Marinated feta

I started some chicken bone broth in the crockpot, so by Sunday night I’ll be able to make homemade chicken soup with carrots, parsnips, potatoes and alphabet noodles for dinner Monday night.

An average day

This will be a walk through my day today, a tad random, a tad sporadic.

This will include lots of silly animal posts.

But let’s start with my alarm at 6 a.m. I let myself sleep in because my rest has been irregular. I’ve had mild bouts of insomnia brought on by stress and hormones so it was hard to get out of bed.

A French Dream

I woke from a dream I don’t quite fully remember but I remember when the alarm sounded, I was dreaming that I had reached the end of some sort of tour, while on a trip, and was ordering alcoholic beverages for everyone in my party in French. I think I was the only person who spoke French. And I really was speaking French. I don’t usually speak French in dreams.

Perhaps this stems from my executive director eating a vegetable sandwich on a croissant at the networking event we attended last night.

Speaking of work, today started better and I feel a little less discombobulated about my job. I have an important report due Friday and three grants I need to have ready by Valentine’s Day.

Then the high school called.

An automated message informed me that my child was not in school. Text to teenager, who left at 7:15 with a heavy backpack. “You in school?”

No response.

(A sign that she is in school and not on her phone.)

“The school just called. They don’t think you’re there.”

She responds. “Sh*t. I must have forgotten to sign in.”

I tell her to fix that and to text me a photo from the school office holding today’s newspaper. She didn’t respond to my comment, though she did tell me she talked to the attendance office.

I had lunch with a friend who always lightens my spirit and has intelligent conversation. I’ve worked so many hours this week, I need to remember to make these connections.

And you always need those friends who give good hugs. A friend who bakes brownies is also good.

The afternoon went quickly and I decided my teenager and I would have a picnic. I took the leftover pizza from last night and a big old salad and we ate it on my bed with all the animals out, normally (to my chagrin) the kittens are locked in my teenager’s room.

Menagerie tales

So the kittens ran through the whole house, up and down the stairs, up and down the hall.

And, of course, Nala, the cockatoo, refused to eat salad in favor of pizza. Video of Nala eating pizza

Then I hung laundry and watched Opie, our 3-legged cat, play with the kittens.


Misty attacks Opie

Opie and the kittens

My sore arm and the gym

I opted not to go to the gym as I’m still not sure I’ve recovered my strength. That fall scared me. A lot.

(See Grit and getting published on The Mighty.)

I have noticed my right arm has that vaguely sore feeling like after you get an inoculation. I couldn’t figure out why. Then I remembered, I fell on that arm. And I also noticed a bruise on my elbow. And a new bruise and scratch on my leg.


After teenager and I gathered the trash, I hopped in the shower. I found the teen “trapped” on my bed with an Oz on her back.

And now I’m drinking a double stiff mug of Traditional Medicinals Nighty Nite Valerian tea.