Friday, May 15, 2020

Weightless during Covid

So one of the things people complain about loudly online about the COVID quarantine is their weight. We are all indulging in comfort foods more often than we would at any other time, because we're all a little off center and want to feel better.

Hambone had the foresight to remove the battery from our bathroom scale on the 5th day of quarantine to keep us from obsessing. That was smart. Really really smart.

In other news, we haven't been able to get to a hair salon since February, which makes NO DIFFERENCE to the boys because I cut their hair anyway, but MY HAIR is a real disaster. It turns out I have gone pretty gray somewhere along the line and now I have tri-toned hair (dark brown, gray, and the brassy remnants of my last dye-job). There is no real date to look toward for a salon reopening AND accepting an appointment from  me, so I bought hair dye online, and then two days later I bought some wigs because the hair dye was super back ordered and did not have a delivery date available.

Ah, vanity.

Yesterday the Governor started phase 1 of reopening the state, but our county executive is not in agreement. So this means "maybe you can go outside?"  But it doesn't matter, we wouldn't go out in public anyway for a long, long time. 

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Mothers Day 2020

Mothers' Day was low-key this year, as you can imagine. However, Hambone and the boys did their best to make it special anyway.

After dinner, Hambone made home made gluten free chocolate chip cookies and then made those into ice cream sandwiches with whip cream on top. It was a wonderful treat for us! And of course, I ate many more cookies after the sandwiches were gone. They were so good!

The boys made cards for me -- Little Ham's card said "I always knew you would be a good mom someday"  and Hamslice's said "You may be annoying and cruel, but you are also kind and caring" 

I'll take it =)

Thursday, May 07, 2020

We Don't Need No Education....

Yesterday we heard the news that school will be closed for the rest of the year. That means from March 16 to June 22 we are homeschooling, using BCPS provided curriculum. Total time that we have no activities available for the kids as of today: 6 months and two weeks. That means no school, no summer camps, no Magic club, no sports, no Sky Zone, literally nothing to do outside of the home. We anticipate that "at some point" some of these non-school entities will be open again, but as of today, there remains a yawning span of primarily at-home activity.

So how am we doing? I honestly kind of prefer this. I love having this time with the boys, and I see them thriving without all the hustle bustle and peer pressure of school. We have hit a groove, where we all work during the day (them on school, me on... work) and then around 4, we all ease into the evening after a nice long walk.

Hambone has reduced his hours to 4 days/week, and he doesn't set a morning alarm anymore. My work is finally letting up, so I have less work overall to do.

As a family, we are having long conversations about things like "Why do people get married" and "What were you guys like when you were kids" and "Tell us about some of the jobs you used to have" and the connection between all four of us has never been stronger. We're like an old timey farm family from the 1800s, but with Amazon, Michaels' delivery, Pizza delivery and Instacart. We have never had this level of connection in our family.

When everything starts back up again, I will grieve the end of this time together.

Is it stressful? I'd be lying if I said no. The stress comes out in strange ways -- Hambone had the hiccups for three days (DAY AND NIGHT), and I have been eating frosting and marshmallows like I've just been released from Weight Watchers. My back spasms at night. My breathing is noticeably shallower, and so on. But it's not because of the time with family, it's because of the insane news cycle swirling in the background.

We are waiting to hear about school in the fall. As of today I am certain that even if schools open again I won't send Hamslice and I am on the fence about Little Ham. Home school has been a godsend for Hamslice (even with an admittedly bumpy start) and I am unconvinced that this virus mess will be resolved by fall. We've been talking at home that our boys may never see the middle school again -- the next time they go to public school may well be as high school students. This would be fine with me.

Friday, May 01, 2020

The Adventure continues: The Meat Story

Since the Corona virus hit restaurants squarely in the teeth, Hambone's restaurant owner friends have shared the fact that they are required by contract to continue purchasing food and supplies at the same rate all the time. Since their restaurants have been closed for over a month, meat and other foodstuffs are piling up in the restaurant freezers.

Hambone worked out a deal with a local steak house to purchase 200 lbs of beef and pork from them at a discount. Half came to our house, half to Hambone's business partner, Mr. Chris.

Our hundred pounds arrived last night in restaurant-sized portions. And, because we were fueled by anxiety and opportunity, we processed all this meat into family meal sized portions and tossed it into freezer in about 20 minutes. We took care of all of it while the kids were watching a TV show.

Hambone suggested that the kids help, and I said no. The kids really shouldn't see this. In my mind, the food should just keep magically showing up. No need for them to see us doing these strange things.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

The Corona Virus hits the Exurbs

Today marks day 47 hundred thousand of the Covid-19/Corona virus quarantine. Our little family has fared quite well in spite of all of the madness around us, and I wanted to post something here to help remember our own personal memories of the pandemic.

But I'm only adding the funny things.

1) When the announcement was made that the state of Maryland was shutting down for quarantine, there was (of course) panic buying everywhere. On the VERY LAST DAY before we were not allowed outside anymore, Hambone and I BOTH went panic buying, unaware that the other was also shopping. Our combined quarry included these hilarious items:
  • 5 gallons of milk
  • 15 boxes of cereal
  • 1 can of whipped cream (I bought this)
  • 5 boxes of Reses' peanut butter chocolate Easter eggs (Hambone bought this)
  • 8 lbs of potatoes
  • 4 racks of ribs
  • 1 brisket that weighed a whopping 18 lbs. Hambone explained that the only meat left in Sam's Club was this big brisket and raw shrimp. Of course he went with beef. 
2) The night before quarantine began, Hamslice left the doors to the chicken coop open and five of our chickens were killed by foxes.

3) On our second week of quarantine, we were drinking the milk that we had frozen from that initial shopping trip, and we had our usual delivery of fresh vegetables from Hungry Harvest (a company that delivers food that grocery stores won't sell because it doesn't match up with their standards). We usually get a nice variety of vegetables from this company but THIS TIME our delivery consisted of SEVEN HEADS OF BOK CHOY, two potatoes and four cartons of lettuce. I diligently cooked and served ALL seven heads in a variety of soups and stews. The boys WILL NOT STOP TALKING about how gross BOK CHOY is.

4) In the third week of quarantine, food shortages of eggs started hitting the grocery stores, and everyone we know started buying eggs from us.  What dawned on us soon after the sales spiked, is that our egg customers were using an "egg run from the T's" as a family outing -- they brought vegetable scraps for the goats, and each egg pickup would take about 20 minutes with all of the visiting with animals. We were, of course, not welcome to join them because of the social distancing measures, so we watched all of our friends pet the goats through the windows, sighing wistfully for brighter days. However we are very happy to share our animals with our *very bored* friends and neighbors.

5) Easter was a super crunch for egg production. We suspect that some of the dozens we sold were colored and hid in peoples' yards for their kids to find. Again we helped to entertain the neighborhood. =)

6) As our little family grows more suspicious of grocery stores, we have started trading eggs for other food staples. One of our friends is "friends with a gardener" who trades fresh onions and veggies from her garden for a dozen eggs. At this point, a dozen eggs is evenly traded for two onions and a handful of potatoes. These friends also leave a couple of bucks for the kids, but we all really look forward to the fresh veggies more than the money.

7) Our kids have started using the bank. As their opportunities for spending their egg and chore money dry up, they have started handing over all of their money to me to put in the bank. Their reasoning is that having money lying around the house is just an opportunity for theft from each other, and in case the house would be broken into. I can't argue with that logic. They also have asked for their savings accounts to be transferred into stock market purchases. I am not making this up, people.

8) The weekend before the virus closures happened, I went out for a manicure and got a "dip nail" which is basically powder-coated fingernails.  This color Would Not Come Off and as it grew out and out, it became pretty atrocious. Finally Hambone came to me with a can of acetone and said simply "It's time."

So with all of these funny things happening, you can see why I wanted to write this all down. More to come, I am sure, so stay tuned. As the governor says, "We're not out of the woods yet!"