Coronavirus, Vintage chicks lol

Day 62: Lazy, Isolated Woman Rescues Ant; Gropes Dirty Fruit

Since I’ve been “sheltering in place” I’ve made list after list of the things I would finally have time to get done.

I’ve done none of those things.

What have I done? Well, let’s see … I’ve eaten (a lot), slept (a lot) and uh, made lists (you know, a lot).

In my defense, I’m easily distracted. Take today, for instance. It took me a while, but once I figured out  what that golden orb in the sky was, I broke into song, danced around the kitchen and put on my work clothes in anticipation of finally getting some yard work done.

I then got distracted and spent a good hour watching an ant try to climb out of the kitchen sink. I wish I was kidding.

I rinsed out my coffee cup and noticed an ant struggling in the rushing water. I turned off the water, but the little gal appeared to be dead. Just as I was about to swirl her into the garbage disposal, she began kicking her skinny, little stick legs (obviously, she had not been in self-quarantine) and began swimming — or drowning, I wasn’t sure which. I didn’t know if ants could swim, and lacking a proper ant life jacket, I did the next best thing and threw her a toothpick. In retrospect, the rounded toothpick was probably not a good choice. But, this insect chick was no dummy. She quickly moved from stern to bow — executing some “Dirty Dance” moves along the way — and deftly log-rolled it to the edge of the water.

When she hit the somewhat dry part of the sink, she  abandoned the canoepick, collapsed and panted for a minute or two. She then used her front two legs to drag the rest of her water-soaked body to the edge of the sink, looked up, sighed and began her perilous ascent. She carefully made her way around each drop of water, because if she didn’t — which happened a number of times — the droplet would completely engulf the ant and send her sliding back into the sink basin. She would then have to regain her strength before going at it all over again. She never quit.

When she finally made it to the top, I scrapped all plans for squishing her. She deserved to live. I  gently picked her up on the edge of a paper towel and carried her outside, placing her near some well-known and thriving ant condominiums in the back yard. I smiled as I pictured the ants having a parade to pay homage to the hero (ahem …) who bravely swooped in and saved the ant from certain death.

Before continuing with my plans, I decided to make lunch and eat it on the patio. Because God knows, I needed another meal. I was eating some grapes, swinging in the glider, when my attention turned from the ant and backyard flowers to the odd-shaped fruit I had just grabbed. Two grapes had grown together and well, at that point, I became a full-on fruit molester.

I pondered the “pair” quite a while and stared longer than necessary at the fruit breasts, which led me down a long, dark rabbit hole of wondering how many other fruit porn stars were hiding and doing obscene things in my fridge. I had long been suspicious of the zucchini and kohlrabi.

I leaned back on the glider and suddenly felt drowsy. After a day of saving an insect and worrying about the morals of my fruit, I was exhausted and decided to take a nap in the warm sun.

I would work on that list tomorrow.

Coronavirus, Vintage chicks lol

Pandemic Turns Life Upside Down With 20 Daily Decisions

So very many pandemic decisions every day:

Masked troll vs unmasked troll
  1. Is it Monday? Saturday? Thursday? April? June? 1977? 99? Indiana? Illinois? IU? Purdue? Brad Pitt? George Clooney?
  2. Slippers or slipper socks?
  3. Frayed IU sweats with missing “I” or flannel pajama pants with stretched out elastic waist?
  4. Underwear or commando?
  5. Wine? Vodka? Mouthwash?
  6. Messy, rapidly-turning-gray bun or baseball hat?
  7. Hulu? Prime? Netflix?
  8. Pink hearts and unicorns face mask or black crossbones and skulls face mask?
  9. Sudoku? Jigsaw puzzle?  Crossword? Pin the tail on the Michigan Militia?
  10. Cheetos? Doritos? Kettle chips?
  11. Brush teeth and rinse with mouthwash or skip the teeth and gulp the mouthwash? (Refer back to No. 5)
  12. Watch news and open wrists? Watch “Keeping Up With Kardashians” and see if Kim’s butt got any bigger? Or watch “Shtisel” again and consider conversion to Orthodox Hasidic Judaism?
  13. Sleep? Nap? Doze? Move from recliner to sofa?
  14. Makeup? Face mask? Burka?
  15. Eat pan of fudge brownies or 2-layer chocolate chip and caramel cheesecake?
  16. Help an older lady load her groceries into her car or gut-punch the guy standing 6” from my face in checkout lane who’s wearing no mask and yelling, “This is bullsh–!”
  17. Brave the crowds to buy toilet paper? Hand sanitizer? Bleach? AK-47?
  18. Make a nutritious dinner for Hubby and me or hide in the closet and eat a quart of Häagen-Dazs with a soup ladle?
  19. Use 100-proof hand sanitizer on my hands or make a relaxing Tizer ‘n Tonic?
  20. Do something? Do nothing? Do anything?
Vintage chicks lol

Public Radio? I’ll Drink to That

Only a few people know I’m bilingual. I speak two languages: English and NPR.

If you don’t know what the acronym NPR stands for, turn back now and resume watching Dr. Pimple Popper, as this blog is written in geek speak and there may be a language barrier. Pimple popping, on the other hand, is universally understood.

This sheltering in place really has me bummed because I can’t get together with others who speak NPR, like my friend Jayne, and my cousin Chad, who are both proficient in native NPR.

Used without Jayne’s permission.

At a gathering, the three of us will find each other and huddle together in a corner, comparing viewpoints and regurgitating excerpts from “Fresh Air,” “All Things Considered” and “Hidden Brain.” Although I yearn to get together with Jayne and Chad during this pandemic, NPR’s “Coronavirus Daily” tells me that’s not a good idea.

Chad is an OTR driver for Walmart and spends countless days and nights delivering toilet tissue and hand sanitizer to hoarders all over the U.S. He has a lot of time to check for stray nose hairs in his rearview mirror and to listen to NPR. Jayne and I are just freaks. In short: We all “get” one another. (pantomime ad nauseam: “You complete me.”)

It seems once, while we were discussing NPR’s broadcasts of world events and “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me,” everyone else was playing a drinking game with us as the oblivious hosts. Every time they heard Chad or Jayne or me say “NPR” they took a drink. Apparently, we said it quite often. I know this because we were sober, yet informed, and they were uninformed, yet way more fun than us.

There’s probably a lesson in all of this, but I’ll figure it out later. Right now, I’ve got to catch the 7 p.m. “Moth Story Slam” on NPR.

Take a drink.

Used without Chad’s and Jeannie’s permission.
Cooking

Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free Needn’t Be Taste-Free

In addition to toilet paper, there’s a shortage of yeast —  apparently because there are a lot of people baking bread during this pandemic — what the … ?

It’s going to take something much more catastrophic than a deadly virus to terrorize me into baking a loaf of bread. The last time I baked bread was in fifth grade for my 4-H Fair Cooking Project. That’s some labor-intensive stuff right there, even if I did get a blue ribbon. Besides, I’m only 45 minutes from the Amish, and they sell freshly baked bread on the roadside. On the roadside! Cause that’s how they roll (pun intended).

If I’m cooking, it’s got to be simple, maybe five ingredients or less. I don’t eat a lot of carbs or meat or gluten or sugar. We won’t get into the weirdness of that right now. That’s a whole other blog.

The Significant Other eats it all: cows, carbs, pigs, sugar, gluten. Lots of gluten. Sometimes he tries one of my meals or snacks. Sometimes he likes it, and sometimes, not. As it should be. What I’m saying is you may not want a low-carb treat with no sugar or flour. That’s fine — this is ‘Merica. At least it was last time I checked the headlines.

I love peanut butter and can eat it with a spoon right out of the jar. Sometimes I don’t use a spoon. Here’s my fave 4-ingredient recipe for peanut butter cookies. As far as low carb, gluten-free, sugar-free and salt-free go (and can we just say white-killer-free?) this is a pretty tasty cookie. Proof: I have to hide them from the Gluten, Sugar Carnivore Eater.

PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES 

  • 1 cup natural peanut butter (I use Simple Truth no-stir, organic crunchy peanut butter from Kroger)
  • 1/2 cup Stevia or Swerve sugar (I have used both and kind of prefer the Swerve)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix all ingredients until well combined. Using small spoon, scoop enough dough to roll into a 1″ ball in your hands. (Wait! Go back — wash your hands first!) 

Place balls on parchment-lined baking sheet. Press lightly on each one with a fork, creating a criss-cross. (I add a few chopped peanuts on top and lightly press them into the dough.)

Bake for 12 minutes and allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Bon appétit.

 

 

Coronavirus, Vintage chicks lol

Day 25 — Making a Bed No One Will See

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So even though it’s just Him and me, every day, every night, every minute, every second, every @#$% time I turn around, until I am almost ready to take a  … but wait, I digress.

What I meant to say is that we have settled into Our Routine Pandemic Pattern: Wake up, eat, nap, eat, watch TV, eat, have a conversation, eat, nap, eat, watch TV, eat, change from day pajamas into night pajamas, eat, go to bed, watch TV, nap, eat, sleep.

Today’s conversation was about the importance of pillows.  And eating.

I believe that even in a pandemic there must be bedmaking. This drives Him — and 99.9% of the human population — nuts.

This guy who lives with me — only ’cause I guess that’s what married people do (who knew?) — would crawl out of the same heap of sweaty sheets and covers every day of the year and never smooth the linens, fluff the pillows, straighten the comforter or arrange the decorative pillows if he had his way. He would certainly never, ever launder them.

“What’s the point? We’re just going to mess them up again,” he argues.

The Rule: The first one downstairs in the morning feeds the cats and cleans out the litter box. The last one out of the bed makes the bed — according to the laminated diagram and detailed instructions on top of the dresser.

I kid, I kid. They’re not laminated.

Since the Significant Other is a late nighter/late riser, the bed making usually falls to him.

He reasons that while living through a pandemic and sustaining life (as in feeding the cats and himself) is a necessity, making the bed is not. Plus, he Hates the decorative pillows.

After I redecorated and added even more pillows, he started pinning ominous notes to the pillows:

“I have had no formal training on what to do with this pillow. Zero!”

“Another @#$%ing pillow?! Seriously?!”

“Three grandchildren have gone missing under this mountain of useless pillows!”

“For God’s Sake, I’m Begging You, No More Pillows!”

Not long ago he decided to “add some flair” to the bedroom décor using only his Man Eye, which could use a little — no, a lot — of help from Queer Eye.

Have I mentioned he Hates the pillows?

He threw all the pillows together in a jumbled heap in the middle of the bed in defiance of the chic and symmetrical combination of colors, textures and placement I prefer. When I saw it, my OCD went into overdrive. But since I also have ADD, it didn’t last long.

Our early marriage times of intimate pillow talks have somehow morphed into colorful — yet chic and asymmetrical — pillow fights.

I blame the pandemic.

Tomorrow’s Conversation Topic: Is a top sheet really necessary? 

 

Coronavirus, Vintage chicks lol

Day 19 of Whining; Day 10 of Being Wineless

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Everywhere I turn He’s there. Breathing loudly and at times, unnecessarily.

Yesterday I hid in the sewing room, but He found me — even after I crouched under the sewing machine cabinet, covered with the black fur Halloween costume I’m sewing. He was not alarmed that there might be a bear in the house. He just wanted to know where the catsup was. 

Are you kidding me? The catsup is in the same effing place it’s been in for 15 years! 

Just as I was contemplating murder-by-condiment and how I’d get rid of the catsup stains, the doorbell rang. The Fed Ex man stepped back six feet from the box he had placed on my front porch.

“Just needed to see that you are over 21, no signature necessary,” he said, backing away.

I didn’t really have time to catch the innuendos in that remark from this 30-something-year-old guy — who obviously thought I was from the Paleolithic Era — because I was busy staring at the box. It came! My shipment of wine! I stopped myself from falling to my knees and thanking Jesus, the grape growers, pickers and stompers and delivery clerks around the world, lest the neighbors see me and call 911.

Life is good. I no longer care if He doesn’t know where the catsup is, ‘cause I know where the wine opener is. 

I wipe down the box and open a bottle while it’s inside the box, tipping the entire cardboard case to pour it into my mouth, while Harper watches disapprovingly. She wants to play in the box and she doesn’t want it wine-stained, like every other hiding place in the house. 

I’m feeling magnanimous. I smile at Him. We’ll have a toast to making it through yet one more day of breathing in the same very small, very tiny space. Cheers!

Damn that woman! She spilled wine in here and ruined my hideout, again!

Coronavirus, Vintage chicks lol

Killing Time Between Birth and Coronavirus

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Day 14 of Extreme Social Distancing

3:10 a.m. — Finally fell asleep after binge-watching episodes 1-7 of the new season of “Ozark.”

7 a.m.— Woke up after dreaming I was driving to the levee — which was in the Ozarks — but the levee was dry, and now I can’t get “American Pie” out of my mind. Glanced at time, muttered, “Nah,” rolled over and went back to sleep.

9 a.m. — Woke up to Maya Angelou (Cat 1) sitting on my head and trying to pry my eyes open. “You have food,” I mutter to Maya and Harper Lee (Cat 2), who jumped on the bed in defense of her BFF. “Besides, all you two are doing is eating, laying around, binge-watching Netflix and getting fat. No more food.” Maya coughed up a hairball on my pillow and Harper looked at me slyly and slowly began kneading my belly fat.

Now, for ten years we’ve been on our own, And moss grows fat on a rolling stone, But, that’s not how it used to be …

9:10 a.m.— Debated on whether to put on real pants instead of pajama bottoms. Maybe even a bra? Nah.

9:30 a.m. Passed neurotic, anxious hubby, who was in the recliner watching 24/7 news and devouring a dozen brownies, harikari-style, with vodka chasers. Checked the pantry: Eight rolls of toilet paper left, but who’s counting?

It is Sunday. Maybe I should change into clean pajama pants?

And them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye, Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die

10:05 a.m. —Sun came out for seven minutes, then it started raining. Fed both cats, made coffee, did back exercises, dashed outside in pajama pants and got the paper.

With every paper I’d deliver, Bad news on the doorstep, I couldn’t take one more step …

11 a.m. — Still raining. Wind kicked in, as well. Sent a group text and videos to the grandkids of me dancing in the kitchen to American Pie, blowing kisses, giving air hugs and playing Uno by myself to show how much I missed them. Sigh.

And I knew if I had my chance, That I could make those people dance, And maybe they’d be happy for awhile …

12 noon — Should be working. Deadlines looming. Maybe later. I’ve got all day. OK, just one more episode of Ozark and then I’ll get to work.

Did you write the book of love, And do you have faith in God above, If the Bible tells you so?

3:30 p.m.— Accidentally set out frozen cheesecake instead of frozen chicken to thaw. Watched the last three episodes of Ozark and started watching Tiger King. OMG. Can’t. Stop. Watching. This. Train. Wreck. Had entire cheesecake for dinner and ate a jar of Nutella with my fingers for dessert.

I can’t remember if I cried, When I read about his widowed bride, Something touched me deep inside, The day the music died …

2:30 a.m.— Geesh. Ten hours of my life. Gone. Did finish watching Netflix, though. I’ll start on Prime tomorrow — after I finish my work. Sent a group text to my kids and my siblings. Within 10 minutes had 38 notifications. No one is sleeping. Who am I kidding? Neither am I. Got up and tiptoed to pantry: Seven rolls of toilet paper left, but who’s counting?

Do you believe in rock and roll, Can music save your mortal soul, And can you teach me how to dance real slow …

Coming of Age, Vintage chicks lol

Missing the Mark With Grade School Graffiti

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I miss visiting with my friends and family in these days of COVID-19. Normally, we’d be getting together and having stimulating and ridiculous adult conversations like how old we were when we first heard the F word. 

Nowadays it’s no big deal, but back in the 60s and 70s, that was “the baddest word in the world.” It wasn’t of course. It’s simply a word for sex that can be used as a noun, verb, adjective, adverb and in many cases, to describe a dangling participle. But Americans are so squeamish about s-e-x.

It was 1962. I was 10, in the fifth grade. 

An older (Read: 12) and much wiser-in-the-way-of-the-world girl showed me some graffiti on the back of the old, whitewashed cafeteria, which was near the playground, which was near my house.

“Do you know what that word means?” she said with a knowing look and raised eyebrows.

As a matter of fact, I didn’t. It was an interesting word that rhymed with a lot of other words and I liked words that rhymed: Duck. Cluck. Buck. Tuck. Suck. Muck.

“It means love,” she said.

I eyed the many times it was scrawled on the cafeteria, right next to “Jimmy + Lana” and “Delores + Steven” and “You are 2 good 2 be 4gotten.”

Made sense. 

All of the graffiti related to love in some way. Except one that said, “Kill Jimmy Kartone.”

“Who is your boyfriend?” she asked.

I kind of liked David Persimmons, who sat behind me in music class, but he had no idea I lived, let alone that I sat in front of him in music class.

Although, he did once glance at me after my mom gave me a bad home perm and utter, “Ugh.” 

“Here,” she said, and slipped a tube of red lipstick into my hand. 

“Just write his first name if you don’t want to tell me,” The Older Girl-in-the-Know said. “It’s okay. Look. Everyone does it.”

Indeed, the entire side of the old building was covered with “love” messages.

Easily led and wanting to fit in — two traits that would lead me to trouble for most of my life — I took the lipstick and wrote Vivian F—- Dave and Dave F—- Vivian across the top of some older, faded “Roses are red …” verses.

We went back to the playground and I pretty much forgot about the incident.

That is, until one of the town’s policemen showed up at my house the next day.

I had not taken into account three factors:

  1. My mom had a fascination with “Gone With the Wind” and had named me Vivian Lee and I was the only Vivian in the entire school system.
  2. We lived in a very small town.
  3. The head of school maintenance was my neighbor.

Busted.

My parents were humiliated, my brothers were in awe and I was forced to scrub off the cafeteria scribblings — all of them. 

I was confused, embarrassed and I still had absolutely no idea what I had written and why everyone was so upset.  

I wanted to die with Jimmy Kartone. 

Worse, I could not explain it to my parents.  

How could I explain that I didn’t really love — or f—, whatever that meant? — David, I only kind of liked him? Which only meant — if he kind of liked me — we might hold hands briefly during the annual Turtle Days Festival. 

I thought about trying to blame it on Scarlett O’Hara, the only other Vivian I knew, but she spelled Vivian with an e. Besides, she was in Hollywood undergoing multiple shock treatments — an ironclad alibi.

A week later, I asked another girl who was a teenager what the word really meant and she told me.

Pow. Another defining moment.

“A boy and girl do WHAT?!” 

“Oooh … disgusting.”

“And people like this?”

“There is no way that’s how I was born. No way.”

My Mom and Dad’s Sunday naps were suddenly suspect.

I had to write, “I am sorry I wrote bad words on the cafeteria” 300 times, but I wasn’t too upset.

I was too busy being glad that our school system had a lot of boys named David.

Viv, in back, with four of her siblings.