Archive | April, 2020

Social Distancing: Another Update

7 Apr

Blog posts may return in record number these days because, well, I have the time and it’s a sort of contact with the outside world. Hi, world! Here’s what’s been going on —

I made a pile of homemade masks. A coworker wanted them for her family and was unable to find another source. I was happy to help but goodness, making them stressed me out. Honestly, that’s why I haven’t been making them; the focus on such a project only increases my anxiety regarding the state of the world. I’m grateful for those people who are making tens and hundreds of masks, but, for now, I will stick to smaller quantities as needed by family and friends for my own mental health.

I left the house today. The first time in three weeks. The first time in three weeks I’ve driven past a gas station to see that gas (here) is $1.49. I went to the grocery store and wore my own homemade mask. For the most part, I was able to buy what I needed, including ingredients to make brandy old fashioneds.

I need something to drink because occasionally and randomly, some of the neighbors on our (short) street will gather outside for social distancing happy hour. We stand in a circle, six or more feet apart, and have a drink. We (our driveway, really) hosted last time and it was a lovely way to a spend a couple of hours in the company of others besides the people we live with every day.

IMG_8403My grow light arrived so now we have a mini greenhouse in our sunroom. We have no idea if we’re doing this right or if it’s too early or how it will all go down but it’s fun for the moment.  On a related note, Dave picked up straw bales for the garden today.  This may be the first time in all the years that I start the garden early-ish instead of late.

On another related note, everyday I investigate the rhubarb in the garden. That means I go outside, stoop, and stare at it. It’s popping and such a sight to see. I love how wrinkly the leaves emerge.IMG_8398

I “attended” church at my internship site last Sunday – Palm Sunday.  While church workers and pastors all over are scrambling to lead worship in new ways (and doing wonderfully with the resources they have, I might add), one perk of online church is the ability to worship – digitally – almost anywhere. I tuned into Grace in Dawson and was grateful to connect in that way.

Okay, guys. Here’s the real reason for this blog post. I made pizza for supper tonight. We somehow have declared Tuesday to be pizza night in this isolation period. With the gift of extra time and being at home, I can spend a bit more time on meals and, let’s be honest, we’re eating well. The crust I made for tonight was a bit tedious but oh, so worth it. It’s King Arthur Flour’s Recipe of the Year – Crispy Cheesy Pan Pizza.  Our cast iron skillet is a bit bigger than the recipe notes so our crust was not as thick but still super light and delicate. If you have the time, we highly recommend.



The things that keep us busy –

3 Apr

Redecorating the living room.

Growing the indoor garden. I ordered grow lights. It’s getting serious.

A quaran-tiny sourdough starter. I wanted to do a sourdough starter since this all began two weeks ago but flour was in short supply. How could I justify a starter now? So I didn’t start one while everyone else and their aunt did. Until I ran across the Cooks Illustrated quaran-tiny starterIt’s like a mini version that still does the good work of a larger starter. I’m on day nine. Hoping for some lovely sourdough English muffins soon …

I read a modern day adaptation of Beauty and the Beast – A Curse so Dark and Lonely – and now await Amazon to deliver the sequel.

Fifteen years or so after the fact, I’m finally watching the tv series Lost. I watch too many episodes each day.

But while I do, I’ve been binding a quilt. This time handed me the opportunity to complete a quilt I first bought supplies for, oh, three years ago. And the colors make for cheering up on these dreary days. (Here I am attempting to baste it on the sunroom floor; Emmett has other ideas.)IMG_8386

Our weather has been dreary. But yesterday – an afternoon of sunshine. I washed windows outside without a coat. It was lovely.

Puzzles. A super hard, slow-going puzzle.

Dave and I have entered into an isolation pinball challenge. We play one game each night. The person who wins two out of three games on that machine earns a hashmark on the chalk door. This photo is from a couple nights ago; guess who is now solidly in the lead? Not me. If Dave wins, I have to wash his motorcycle. If I win, he cooks supper five nights in a row. I never should have agreed to such a thing …IMG_8387

What’s been keeping you grounded/busy/sane these days?

Living room update.

3 Apr

As we live in crazy times, it felt healthy to have a project to dive into. It helped me not check Facebook as often, to not read articles that only make me more anxious, to clear my head. Last we spoke, Dave was sanding away at the texture on the walls. After he finished that chore, we cleaned up the plaster dust. About a week after that, we had finished painting and it was, hands down, the most lovely improvement.

The trim was painted white (two coats of primer and three coats of paint, uffda), the (dark) wood paneling received a gray makeover, and the walls/ceiling got a dose of white. (Frost, to be exact. It’s the same Behr color that’s painted through the rest of the house.)


IMG_8391In this photo, the walls have been painted and you can see how dark the ceiling color was in comparison. (You can also see the texture that used to occupy the walls.) Putting a coat of white on the walls and ceiling made all the difference.

Onto the wet bar. When we first moved in, we weren’t sure about the wet bar. Do we keep it? What do we use it for? It’s not like we’re mixing drinks with – let’s face it – any frequency.  The sink is convenient for Emmett’s water bowl; the extra storage is nice. With this living room reboot, we decided to fully embrace the wet bar … and replaced the wine rack with a beverage fridge (which will get much more use).

The bookshelf and wet bar were painted and the improvement already felt. We ordered a new faucet and Dave made (yup – made) a new countertop. (If you can believe it, it’s plywood underneath.) It still needed a backspash and the bookshelf begged for a splash of color but, self distancing and all, we couldn’t hardly wander around Home Depot for options. We decided that we would use what we have on hand and, if we want, switch it up later.


And, you know, it works. The “backsplash” is the same removable wallpaper I used in the kitchen; we had some leftover. As for the bookshelf background, I had exactly three cuts of fabric that were large enough to be starched to the wall and the funky colorful one was the winner.

As a fun reminder, remember this is where we started –IMG_7785

We’ve moved the furniture back in and are happily enjoying the new brighter space. There is one question that still remains: to whitewash the (gigantic) stone fireplace or not?

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