Coronavirus, Vintage chicks lol

COVID Crazed

I’ve gotten crazier in the last year. I blame the pandemic.

All of that time I had. Secluded. Social distancing. Avoiding people.

A good time to work on the many projects I hoped to finish: Write a book. Sort through bins of mementos and organize them into scrapbooks. Design and sew a wrap skirt like I had in the 70s. Learn Spanish. Lift weights and sculpt some dope (… working on my Millennial Slang) Baby Boomer biceps and triceps. Take an online woodworking course and build a breakfast nook. Find friends I haven’t seen for decades and reconnect. Read all the classic novels that I have yet to read.

Sigh.

I did none of that. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

What I did do was watch every single season of Schitt’s Creek, Shtisel, Frankie and Grace, RuPaul’s Drag Race and the Handmaid’s Tale. Those titles will tell you, and my therapist, everything you need to know about me.

Oh yes, and I did eat. And eat.

And eat. And eat.

No weight lifting, no working out. My upper arms are still flapping in the wind like an old weathered flag against a osteoporosic pole.

No Spanish. Except nada. And perezoso. (lazy, sluggish, slothful)

I never got through the first of many bins full of old pictures and mementos. Was I ever really that young? OMG, my parents were so young at the exact same time I thought they were so old. A son’s letter to Santa, asking for a mousetrap and a screwdriver. (?) Another son’s handprint turned into a turkey, with the feathers giving thanks for Family, No Homework and Fried Potatoes. A picture of my daughter and her brother in matching outfits I sewed for them with my son sporting a bowl haircut and cute little embroidered shorts (that he would later blame for his career as a Marine Corps Scout sniper). I had to stop. I was dry heaving and nostalgia sobbing. My husband was dialing 911.

Anyway, I did find some old friends and reconnected with them, albeit through the daily newspaper’s obituaries.

And, oh yes, I bought copies of George Orwell’s “1984” and Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina.”

They’re both right there, by my bedside, stacked with the others. Waiting.

Coronavirus, Vintage chicks lol

Bricked in the Pandemic

Twelve months seclusion, walled in, shut off, isolated
And now, a ray of light, a gust of hope
Life as we know it
and need it
and must have it
is there, just on the horizon.
Achingly close, yet still out of reach
We wait. It will come.
It must.
Cooking, Coronavirus, Vintage chicks lol

ButterNutting My Way to Pandemic Cuisine

How bored and anxiety-ridden am I? Enough to turn French.

 le freak; le maniaque; le sot.

My attempt at growing butternut squash is shown in the middle. My baby is flanked by the giant, mutant GMO squash on either side.

My son gave me the last of his fall harvest — two mutantly large (oh yes, those GMOs) butternut squash — and I decided to make butternut squash soup, for the first time in my looooong life (aged 20 years in 2020 alone).

It was simple, I guess, but peeling two butternut squash the size of Volkswagens is akin to finding head lice on Rapunzel.

However, once I had that out of the way, I was full throttle to the Ultimate French Cuisine Snobby Pandemic Chef From Hell.

I decided to make crème fraîche (pronounced kram fresh-ha) and toasted pepitas as a decadent topping for the decadent full-fat creamy butternut soup. That extra COVID+19 around my waistline was not attained by munching celery and sipping lemon water.

Those two mutant squashes yielded SIX(!) freezer bags of future French cuisine — or freezer frost, depending on my mood.

Since I couldn’t find crème fraîche in the store (“Cream, right? Dairy aisle. Fresh ah, veggies? Produce aisle.”) , I decided to make it. Turns out adding 2 tablespoons of buttermilk to 2 cups of heavy whipping cream and letting it set for 8-24 hours renders a delightfully thick luscious type of French cream. Je suis très impressionné!

I cooked the cubed squash with chopped onion, apple, celery, carrots, garlic, veggie broth and salt and pepper until soft, blended it all in the blender (one small batch at a time) and poured it into bowls. Topped with a dollop of salted, roasted pepitas (come on — regular ole’ pumpkin seeds! Aldis —under $2 a bag!), fresh, chopped parsley and crème fraîche — and voila! A masterpiece!

For no one.

Bon appétit!

Just me. Always me. I have NEVER been so sick of me.

Well. there’s also my husband, who is also sick of me and whom I run into once in a while in the hallway on weekends. Alas, he could not see the splendor of a perfectly blended and exquistitely-plated butternut bisque and magnificently executed crème fraîche when all he really wanted was a dozen smoky BBQ wings with steak fries.

I ate it all. Thus, I upgraded the COVID+19 to COVID+24.

Would I do it again? Geesh, it was a lot of work. But, during the pandemic when there’s a lot of me, me, me time, I might foray into that French cooking arena once again.

When this is all over, though? Pretty sure I’ll forget the soup and enjoy a mixing bowl of the crème fraîche and toasted pepitas for breakfast, lunch and dinner. grossir pendant la quarantaine.

Coronavirus, Vintage chicks lol

Masking Encounters of the Third Kind

I’ve noticed more freedoms — not less — in wearing a mask each time I go out.

I don’t have to remove the bits of spinach in my teeth after eating a salad.

There’s no need to pluck that one stray hair that grows out of my chin every month.

I can sneer undetected or mouth all kinds of obscenities at annoying people who get in my space.

I save a lot of money on lipstick and dental work and no one is the wiser.

Hmmm … Weren’t my grandchildren still in elementary school? Who were these young adults?

A mask, combined with large sunglasses enables me to crash random gatherings and visit random people. They don’t know that they don’t know me.

Case in point: I recently traveled to Virginia and stayed with my son and his family.

At least, I think it was my family.

Come to think of it, the house looked different and the grandkids were taller and more grownup than I remembered.

I watched the man I thought was my son forgo his 7-mile daily run and down three pieces of pie in one sitting. Weird.

Growing more suspicious, I glanced up at my “son,” which was weird in itself,
because he was normally only a few inches taller than me.

I watched as the very fit and health-conscious daughter-in-law downed two glasses of wine before dinner, turned her head too quickly, grimaced in pain and rubbed cooling gel on her aching shoulders.

Who were these people?

At dinner, I overheard the grandson as he leaned over and whispered to his younger sister, “Wasn’t our grandma a lot taller? “

“I think so,” the girl said, glancing at me sideways. “And,” she said, “I don’t remember Grandma telling the same stories over and over and always leading with, ‘When I was your age …’, do you?”

“I’m scared,” the teenage boy said. “Her eyes look a lot like that crazy cat lady down the street.”

I excused myself, grabbed a bottle of wine and went out on the front porch to recheck the house number. Was it possible that I missed it by one or two numbers? Was it possible that my GPS had directed me to a family in Maryland instead of Virginia? Was it possible that it was not actually me inside my mask?

Life has become very confusing during this pandemic.

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?
Coronavirus, Vintage chicks lol

Day 25 — Making a Bed No One Will See

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

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

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

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

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

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 …

Coronavirus, Vintage chicks lol

In a Zombie Apocalypse, I’m Getting Eaten

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

This is a Christmas Day photo of my family. Large effing family you may think if you’re as profane as me, but wait — there are 14 missing. Which may give you an idea of how hard it is for me to isolate myself from my family. They are everywhere. Like rabbits.

My brother Bob told me that on his daily lone walkabouts, he noticed the most crowded parking lots in town were the grocery stores, liquor stores and the gun shop. Whoa! Hold up there — the gun shop?

“OMG!” I said to my brother. “We don’t own a gun. People are going to kill us and steal our toilet paper!”

And Bob, in his usual upbeat way said, “Yes, they will kill you, steal your Netflix account password and all your toilet paper, take all of Brian’s beef and pork and leave your gluten-free shit behind. Then they’ll barbecue your cats in the backyard.”

Bob can paint a picture.

My son, who lives near D.C. and legitimately utilizes guns in his work has been — jokingly? not jokingly? — warning about a possible Zombie Apocalypse for years. We all laughed at him. I laughed at him. No one’s laughing now.

I’ve informed my family that when the zombies come, I’d like what’s left of me to be cremated — along with my leftover gluten-free bread crumbs — and loosely scattered in the gun shop parking lot.