The postman never brought laundry yesterday

Please friends— promise me you will embrace the silliness. The restrictions of pandemic life can be hard, but they also can free you to enjoy those small moments you may be too busy to see in “normal”life.

Though either my iron is dropping (don’t worry, I took my supplement) or I am losing my mind because I told the teenager that the postman didn’t bring any laundry.

I hope that made you smile.

On Monday night, the teen and I went to the Grocery Outlet to do our first shopping in two weeks. We found these fish nuggets and we prepared them with cheesy cauliflower rice for a hot lunch.

Fun Fish Nuggets

On children’s plates.

Mine is in French.

Today I embraced the sun, opened the sun roof and took the teenager to Dunkin’ for “free donut Friday” and hash browns. Except I forgot the donut. And the hash browns. So we went through the drive through twice. This is becoming a habit. (See Nothing Just Happens: Pandemic Shenanigans .)

Me and my stufferReview (video on YouTube)

We ended up with one chicken bacon croissant stuffer (which we both liked), one donut, two orders of hash browns, one small raspberry cold brew, one medium butter pecan cold brew.

And the teen loved her first cold brew.

Pandemic Observations #14B

We went to the Grocery Outlet for a few household necessities — and the food is definitely getting more picked over. Fruit is getting harder to come by.

It felt strange to come home feeling like a quart of half and half was a major score and some chocolate milk classified as a treat. We bought mostly beverages which was fine because we needed toiletries.

The teenager enjoyed rooting through the reject cans of Coke products— we came home with some orange soda, diet ginger ale, diet root beer, vanilla orange Coke Zero and diet caffeine free coke (which the teen didn’t realize was caffeine free so now she’s excited she can drink soda late at night and not deal with the insomnia she inherited from her father). 25 cents a can.

We realized upon leaving the store that the Dunkin’ across the street was open (drive thru only) so to reward my teenager for getting up so early I bought her coffee and munchkins.

I then expounded on my mixed feelings about this whole situation— that franchise owners of Dominoes and Dunkin and large corporations are making a killing offering services on the backs of essential employees exploited and underpaid. I’m happy they aren’t having disrupted income but—and I spent 10 years in this category as a Target employee—they are being put at risk for people who want coffee and doughnuts.

Then to make it more of a dramatic monologue, my daughter asked why I avoid drive thrus so adamantly. I mentioned that I worked my way through college at the drive thru at McDonald’s. I was primarily a “runner” and I think that’s where I discovered panic attacks. It’s a stressful position, that really has no purpose. The employees are timed. All because people want speed and don’t want to get out of their cars.

But anyway. Sigh.

I’m drinking not only fully caffeinated coffee for the first time in weeks but cold brew. I may have a heart attack before the end of this entry.

I mentioned to the child that I hope she is keeping a journal as this is an experience she may never have in her life again. If I were her English teacher I would ask for 100 words a day.

I also proposed that someday her children might be required to do their public school education virtually and she could tell tales of back in the day when she used to walk to school and sit in a classroom with other kids.

That thought gave her pause.

I originally planned to discuss meal planning now that food is becoming sparse but I can do that another day. Or later.

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:

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.

Matcha Quark

So when I still worked retail, and walked more than 10,000 steps a day and put away about 1,000 pounds of frozen food in addition to other physical stuff, I ate a big breakfast. Eggs, avocado, toast, fruit, vegetables.

For that decade, I worked hard and often didn’t know when I’d have time to eat. Big meals were a must.

But now I’m sedentary (and losing my will to go to the gym) and I’m just not as hungry. And I’m back to my bad habit of not having a proper breakfast.

Luckily, there are a lot of hearty yogurts out there and protein granola bars for a particularly rough start. Trouble is, I bore of food easily.

So when I see a new intriguing, protein-dense breakfast product I try it.

And the Grocery Outlet allows our household to try such things very inexpensively. That’s how I ended up with vanilla Farmer’s Cheese. Now, that was gross. But if I were hungry enough, I could have eaten it.

I also ate it a few days past the expiration but from what I knew about Farmer’s Cheese it is a cross between yogurt and cottage cheese so doesn’t that mean it’s already rotten? It certain had that exact texture.

Next I saw Quark.

Now, it was grass-fed Matcha Quark.

I have no idea what Quark is.

To me, Quark is the software I learned graphic design on nearly 25 years ago.

But I’ve loved matcha since before it was trendy.

Today I saw I had left it in the work fridge. This was good.

It stirred like yogurt, but pulled out of the cup like soft serve. No butter, acidic tang like yogurt. No bits or weird texture like the Farmer’s Cheese.

When the highlight of your day is a trip to the Grocery Outlet

I worked a long day today. Voluntarily got to the office at 7:30 to prepare for my 8:30 development committee meeting, followed by some grant writing, lunch at home with the teenager who had an early dismissal, then an afternoon meeting and an evening mixer at another local nonprofit.

The mixer typically goes until 7 p.m. I asked the teenager if she wanted to go get milk and more salmon salad at the grocery outlet. When we bought the salmon salad last week, it was $1.99. But the “Best Buy” date was today so it was 47 cents! The teenager bought one for lunch tomorrow and I suggested tossing one in the freezer. For 47 cents, if it doesn’t free well who cares.

They had a nice selection of essential oils for $5 a vial. I almost bought tea tree oil, but instead opted for this $12 gift set.

My little treat.

We also got various yogurts and smoothie/yogurt drinks. A snack mix of dried mango, banana chips, peanuts and spicy almonds. Very yummy. Baby bel cheese wound in a pinwheel. Organic coffee in yogurt. And some weird matcha “quark” thing that I fear is Farmer’s cheese. And a caramel apple pie yogurt.

And a layered chili lollipop with gum inside. Not even sure what the heck that is.

I spent $15 on the aromatherapy set and garbage bags and $24 on yogurt, milk, fruit, salmon salad and broccoli.

I love stepping outside of my comfort zone and trying weird stuff at the Grocery Outlet.

And did I mention this particular Grocery Outlet supports our food pantry? They do.