Tuesday, March 31, 2020

For Grins and Giggles The Broadway Edition

Just in case you have missed this brilliant Covid-19 inspired video based on music from, Les Mis

And another inspired by The Sound of Music

Monday, March 30, 2020

A Man A Plan A Canal Panama

Sorry about the title but I am bored and amusing myself seems to be a necessity. I like palindromes and it was either this or "Able was I ere I saw Elba"  and I thought that was a tad obtuse for a title about a meal plan.

Sunday night or Monday morning I start thinking about the week to come. And because times are so strange, last week I actually was stupid enough to think there would be very little flexibility in what we would eat.  Little did I know that we would be just as fickle in our tastes and wants as we normally are, but my hard and fast rule was that I would not make any trip anywhere to get anything that was not absolutely necessary.

I had talked with all of Mom's sitters and had done a personal inventory (translation, I cleaned out her refrigerator and pantry) and knew I would run pick up a few things she needed early Wednesday morning. Although I did not really need anything a few things may have jumped in my buggy while I was shopping for Mom.

Based on what I had on hand this was the menu that was planned for the past week:

1. Keto Turkey casserole, tossed salad, garlic toast or none
2. Hamburgers, tater tots (or none), coleslaw
3. Mac and cheese or keto "Mac" and cheese, turnip greens, keto cornbread
4. Meatloaf, mashed potatoes  or cauliflower mash, brussels sprouts, sliced tomatoes
5.  Soup, salad and rolls 0r keto rolls.
6. "Out to eat" take out from a locally owned restaurant
7. " Out to eat" take out from a locally owned restaurant

Monday: I had looked at my food list of  foods I had cooked and frozen previously when I made my menu. I found a small loaf pan of cooked meat loaf, so I took it out and thawed it. A quick zap in the microwave and a couple of sides and dinner was on the table.
Meatloaf, leftover potatoes. tossed salad, brussels sprouts, garlic bread or keto cornbread

Tuesday: I absolutely could not face making a turkey casserole, but I had taken the cooked turkey out of the freezer to thaw, so I was committed to using it. The day was really warm and it screamed for something warm weatherish.
Big tossed salad with turkey and cheese salad, toast or no toast.

Wednesday: When I was out shopping for Mom I was sad to notice there was no chicken and virtually no beef. I did find one nice porterhouse steak. TheHub and I always split a steak so I put up no protest when it leapt into my buggy.
Steak, baked potato (or not), steamed cauliflower (or not if you could have the potato) tossed salad

Thursday: I was just not feeling it. I was not really feeling sorry for myself, or maybe I was. I'm not sure. So I headed outdoors and mostly read until it was about time for TheHub to be home. Then I  headed to the freezer to see what I could find and honestly did not care what it was.
BBQ chicken, coleslaw (Not sure I can really call it bbq chicken though since it was really and truly just cooked chicken I took out of the freezer, nuked it and poured some bottled sauce over it)

Friday: It was gorgeous outside and I was not about to cook anything in the house that I could cook on the grill.
Grilled hamburger patty, wilted spinach salad, pickles, tater tots (or none)

Saturday:  We went to the lake to meet some people who were interested in seeing the house. I took several bags to bring back foods that I had in the pantry or freezer there. I had no idea there was so much! I had taken a large freezer bag and one of those big blue Ikea bags. They were both filled to the gills but I still had to round up several more plastic grocery bags for the overage. Who would have "thunk" it!
We headed home later in the evening and in spite of all the food we were bring back we stopped on  and picked up some real bbq, unlike the fake bbq on Thursday night.
Take out pork plate with coleslaw and collards

Sunday:  Sundays are my non keto day. Don't ask if I made the brownie mix I found at the lake place or don't ask if we had blueberry pancakes for breakfast just to clean out  the remnants of a box of pancake mix stuck in the lake freezer.
PF Chang frozen bagged meal, (chicken something but no idea what kind it was) rice

And now for the new menu plan for the next week (In no particular order);

1. Pork tenderloin, tossed salad, baked potato (or none), broccoli, keto cornbread
2. Chopped Salad, garlic bread or keto dinner roll
3. Ham slices, carrots, green beans, coleslaw, keto cornbread
4. Hamburger helper, coleslaw or cooked cabbage (undecided) I am fasting one day this week so TheHub can have this and then have leftovers for lunch a couple of days
5. Take out from a locally owned place
6. Mac and cheese (or fake mac and cheese, since there is no such thing as keto mac) turnip greens, coleslaw, keto cornbread or real cornbread for the non ketonian.
7. "Night at the movies meal" Snacks that are non-keto for the keto day off. Right now I am thinking popcorn and a corndog, but it is subject to and probably will change.

I need to make:
keto dinner rolls
keto cookies, because a little sweetness keeps me in check
French bread for TheHub 'cause I am really nice, unless I find some when I go to the store for Mom this week.
keto coconut pie (we both like this)

Maybe this will actually happen of maybe not, but this is the plan, or the man, or a canal__Panama!

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Isolated Joys for the 12th Week of the Year

I have decided I need to get Son3 and DIL3 to write a little ditty called "Isolation Blues" because I am reading posts from friends who are struggling with the social distancing and not working. I am  looking for every good thing I can find, but I have to admit my world has gotten much smaller. Thank all of you for your posts. Reading them does keep my world feeling larger than it has to be right now.

Wednesday: Found supplies Mom needs regularly ( on sale, to boot!) and did a major stock up for her. I also went shopping for a few food items Mom needed and managed to find some lysol cleaner as well as toilet bowl cleaner and laundry detergent. She had none so it was a joy to find it all at the same place thereby limiting my exposure to more creepy stuff than I have to.

Thursday: Mom fell again, but she did not get hurt this time so that is an extreme joy. I also spent a good deal of time drawing. I created a game for Pip and I to play over FaceTime, that incorporates play and reading new words.

Friday: Son1 sent me a text with a link to an app he created so Pip and I can play the game I made via iPads while on FaceTime. Whoo hoo! App creation is way above my pay grade.
TheHub stopped at the store after work and brought home a nice bottle of wine. We go out every Friday night, so instead, we did the wine and dine thing at home. Also thankful for Netflix and Amazon Prime. If you have Amazon The Forgiven is a very good movie.

Saturday: TheHub and I had to run a couple of errands. I am amazed at how the people at the grocery store are maintaining the 6 foot rule. After picking up a couple of items we stopped by McDonalds and picked up a cup of coffee, then went joy riding to look at all the trees in bloom.  Next we stopped by Walgreen and found gold, since it is now a premium currency item. 2 multi roll packs of toilet paper!  I still have some but mom is running out.  Now we all have enough though I am keeping hers here and will take to her house one roll at a time.

Sunday: Had the pleasure of watching Gunhild Carling live on Facebook. Music al fresco almost! She was in the open air, and I was watching from my kitchen table that sits in a bay window overlooking the back yard. Fortunately I was pretty good at pretending, and even though it was raining at the time, I still felt like I was sitting in the sunshine with her. In fact I am so good at pretending I actually thought I might run upstairs and get an instrument Son3 had left here to join in. Then I remembered I have no clue how to play horns except for the blowing part.

Monday: This was just another day in paradise. I still go to Mom's every morning and then I get my tail right back home to spend the day in solitude. For kicks and giggles I decided to tackle my laundry room. It was officially the messiest laundry room in the world, and though I did not get everything done in one day 3/4 of it is clean, shining and everything was straightened. (I even washed the ironing board cover). I decided the sewing center could wait for another day though.
Later that night TheHub and I watched 3 episodes of Manhunt. It is a Spectrum original about Richard Jewel and Eric Rudolph. (Olympic bombing and a few other bombings)

Tuesday:  Paradise continued! The day was neither joyless or joyful. TheHub and I met with our lawyer and I did not want to go, but I went anyway. (With a bandana that served as an accessory, but I could pull it up over my nose and mouth. I know it was not a mask, but it was better than nothing.)  Fortunately everyone honored the social space, doors were left open and it was brief.
Later I had some delightful conversation with 2 sets of neighbors while standing in the street in an equilateral triangle formation each side being about 10 feet apart.

And now I put the joys of week 12 to rest and will move on to week 13, with thoughts and prayers for all of us to find joy and toilet paper in this odd time we are living through. Stay healthy, my friends!

Monday, March 23, 2020

Food this week

I had planned a menu based on things I had on hand and had every intention of staying away from the grocery store.  But as usual my intentions and actions seem to play against each other. Mom's sitters would tell me something critical Mom needed every single time I was at her house. The pad I have on her kitchen table long with a pen for keeping an ongoing list is virtually ignored and instead I receive texts asking for 1 or 2 things daily. I have her stocked up on groceries, for now, as well as non food supplies she requires and though I am timing any grocery visits to the hours when fewer people are there, I am still having to go much more often than I would have to for just me.  Anyway when I was shopping for her, I did pick up a few things we could use too, so my menu changed based on that and also on a few things I found when I was inventorying  my upright freezer.

  What was planned:
1. Stuffed bell pepper, caulitato salad toasted bread (keto or regular) keto strawberry pound cake with whipped cream
2. Corned beef, cabbage, potatoes  and carrots (or no potatoes and carrots) keto chocolate mint truffles
3. Crustless ham frittata, tossed salad, brussels sprouts, keto coconut flour cookies
4. Chicken something or the other with mashed potatoes or caulimash, carrots, sliced tomatoes, crustless coconut pie
5. BLT on real bread or chaffles , tossed salad
6. Chili (probably the last for the year. Not what I really want but it is extremely portable) keto cornbread, coleslaw
7. Sausages with kraut and potatoes (or not) green beans.

What really happened:
Monday: I began cleaning out the freezer one shelf at a time. I found some chicken that had been frozen for a bit and needed to be cooked, so I thawed it and it became the main event for dinner.
Oven BBQ chicken, caulitato salad, leftover asparagus,  toast or keto cornbread

Tuesday:  Well I suppose it was a happen enough St Patrick's Day with no fanfare at all. Fortunately I had bought 3 corned beef briskets when Aldi had them on sale so all I really had to do was take one out of the freezer in time to thaw. As cabbage is a mainstay here and so are potatoes, throwing a St.Paddy's meal together was non big deal. We did make it somewhat festive by eating in the dining room by candlelight. 
Corned beef, cabbage and potatoes (or none)  forgot to make the keto truffle (oh well)
Wednesday: I have no idea what happened Wednesday, except for my usual morning at Mom's, followed by more work in the freezer. I did find a zip lock bag of chopped ham I didn't know I had, so I used it rather than the sliced ham I had frozen and knew about. 
Frittata with cheese, ham and asparagus, tossed salad

Thursday: One of the last days prior to everyone knowing we were going to have to self isolate, my local Publix had a vendor offering bites of turkey and sausage. I don't even remember the brand, but it was tasty so I bought the polish sausage and bacon. then when the panic buying started and the canned foods aisle was wiped out except for turnip greens and kraut I bought a couple of cans of both. (yep, we are southern and I can gussie the turnip greens up so they are tasty, and kraut, well it's kraut and we eat it)
Polish sausage with kraut, green beans, sliced tomatoes.

Friday: TheHub stopped by the grocery store on his way home from work. He works in the Health Care industry and he is considered essential. Anyway, there is no chicken to be found in the meat department, but Publix was roasting chickens. He brought one home, I guess it is our solution to our usual Friday night restaurant meal.
Grocery store rotisserie chicken, tossed salad

Saturday: While I was cleaning and inventorying the freezer I found a big ham bone so I made a big pot of ham broth and chopped all the meaty bits into pieces. I added an onion, some cauliflower and a bag of Trader Joes cruciferous mix (it was about to ruin) and called it soup. I intended to freeze it in individual serving sizes but TheHub said it sounded fine for dinner. Sold!!!
Ham and veggie soup, garlic bread or none.

Sunday:  I had planned on Sunday being a non-keto day, and had planned on grilling out hamburgers, but the morning was rainy so I never took the patties out to thaw. Then the day because gorgeous and would have been perfect for grilling after all. Oh well, they will stay frozen until another day.
I had cleaned out all of my baking supplies earlier in the week and knew I had a half bag of chocolate chips. Non- keto day+opened chocolate chips meant only one thing__cookies!
Grilled cheese sandwiches with pickles, chocolate chip cookies

Because I have an accurate count of what is available to eat and what needs to be used first, I have a baseline for what we will have for dinners during the week, but the actual dinner may change with my mood.
1. Keto Turkey casserole, tossed salad, garlic toast or none
2. Hamburgers, tater tots (or none), coleslaw
3. Mac and cheese or keto "Mac" and cheese, turnip greens, keto cornbread
4. Meatloaf, mashed potatoes  or cauliflower mash, brussels sprouts, sliced tomatoes
5.  Soup, salad and rolls 0r keto rolls.
6. "Out to eat" take out from a locally owned restaurant
7. " Out to eat" take out from a locally owned restaurant

I do not need to go to the restaurants, but I feel morally obligated to buy things from some of the local places to hopefully sustain them during this time. I am afraid so many small businesses will not be able to recover from this. I wonder of Cookie Fix and Pastry Arts are doing take out?!?!?!

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Wash Those Mitts!

While waiting out the virus and self isolating my beautiful DIL has had some composition time.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Joys in a Scary Week 11

Eleven weeks have already passed this year. My aim is to recount at least one daily joy each week, then reread them all on New Year's Eve to remind myself that good things happen every single day. Some days I have to hunt for it, but there is always at least one thing that is good about every single day. I hope everyone finds their joy every  single day.

Wednesday: Wednesday is my usual shopping day because it is the day our grocery ads begin. I had a few items at Aldi to pick up, then went shopping to grab Mom a few things. I was just doing my very typical shopping, but did pick up a large pack of toilet tissue because of the recent visit from the son and his wife. It was really just restocking, but turned out to be a happy accident. My joy was buying toilet paper before the panic buying set in.
Another joy has to do with taxing my brain. I have been reading Elephant's Child for several years now and have always enjoyed reading the Words for Wednesday weekly post. (Which happens for me on Tuesday)  There are several words and the object is to use them in some sort of written verse, prose, tale, etc. For a long time I just read what others wrote, but finally decided to dip my toes in the water and give it a whirl. What fun, and I get a true joy if I can figure a way to use the words and come up with some cohesive tale. Then I get double joy reading other's writings.

Thursday: Things began to pick up in earnest concerning the corona virus. To be honest I keep such an overstocked freezer that I knew I would be fine for a while even if we had to sock in for more than a week. If 200 people showed up at my door I could probably wrangle enough food to feed them something. No one would get the same thing and it might not be what anyone wanted, and it might not even really taste good, but it would be food nonetheless. So I consider having the luxury of keeping extra food on hand a huge joy.

Friday: Mom needed a few things from the grocery store, plus I had a 5 dollar coupon off $35 from Sprouts. They had ground beef at the lowest price I can ever get it here as part of their 72 hour weekend sale. I knew I was going to get that, some bacon, sunflower seeds, grapes, and some zinc for Mom (she has to take it daily and was nearly out) Possibly 2 stevia sweetened chocolate bars and a pack of flackers (keto crackers) might have jumped in my buggy (yes I know y'all call it a cart but here in Alabama it is a buggy). I was able to find all the meager things I needed then stood in line approximately 15 minutes while the woman in line ahead of me bought 911 bucks worth of groceries. Wow! Talk about panic buying!
After that I stopped by Aldi and got  the rest of the things Mom needed, plus I found her a large pack of toilet paper. I had forgotten to check her stash while I was at her house and decided I had rather be safe than sorry.
I had one last stop at her pharmacist and then CVS to pick up some non medical supplies for her and t I was done! My official joy was that I got out of the shopping madness early. I also noticed people buying insane amounts of canned chili. Another joy of mine is not having to rely on canned chili as a meal right now.

Saturday: We had to go to the lake place to take care of a few routine maintenance things. The drive down was gorgeous and the weather was near perfect. Trees were either in full bloom or budding, the azaleas are bursting out and the sky was a perfect blue. On the way down we stopped for lunch at a small town bbq joint, sat on the patio and really enjoyed conversation and a perfect day. I would say we enjoyed being at the lake but we just did our chores, locked up and left for home.  There was an unexpected stroke of luck. While I was cleaning I found a huge pack of toilet paper there so we brought it home. If I don't need it here, I can always take it back, but if I need it here it does no good if it is there. Truly the little things make me happy and I am seeing a recurring toilet paper theme of glee this week. Just writing that makes me laugh!

Sunday: I was able to talk to all three sons today and that does give me much joy.
Son1 and family had an uneventful flight to Portland where there was snow on the ground, from Hawaii where there was none. He said when they arrived to 30 degree temps he was wearing a Hawaiian shirt and flip flops. He must have missed my travel lesson __dress for where you are going, not where you are leaving!
Son2 is off work until April 9. He job serves special needs adults but along with their special needs are some physical issues that put some of them at a high risk.  At least he will be paid even though they are closed.
Son3 is another story. He is a musician and all his gigs have been cancelled and then we heard that all bars and restaurants are closed. His entire earning system has come to a halt. I do not know if he will continue with his students or if that will be cancelled too. The Bank of Mom and Dad might have to step in.
Another very simple joy? I ran out of almond flour and swerve. Though it sounds like I am being overly cautious, I can buy both in bulk sizes from Amazon cheaper than I can find them in any stores here. Clicked, ordered and it's on its way.

Monday: This was the morning Mom was supposed to be at the dr. at 10:30. As soon as the office opened I called to tell them Mom's age and request that we be shown into an examining room as soon as we got there rather than having her sit in the waiting room exposing her to who knows what. Mom has so little in her reserves that even the slightest illness could have horrific consequences and we surely don't want her to be around any covid19. Well, her supplemental insurance carrier has just authorized the use of phone visits for anyone with a compromised immune system. (Insert sounds of angels singing right here)  Since I have to do all the talking to her doctors now anyway, this was a piece of cake. There was a huge joy being able to conduct the visit over the phone. I do have to take her back in 4 weeks, but I will worry about that in April.
The second big joy of the day was FaceTime with my granddaughter. Pip is quarantined for 14 days. Her kindergarten teacher started showing all the signs of having the virus.The upside is that they were in Hawaii for the entire week so maybe they missed the contagion part.
It was bad enough that school was cancelled, but having her in isolation with just her Mom and Dad is almost too much for her to bear. She is a very social critter.  Starting tomorrow she is attending Annie School via FaceTime. I told my son I would work with her on reading and math for an hour each day, but will try to make it feel like play while she is learning. I also told her to call her beloved uncle, Son3, and see if he might be willing to give her beginning piano lessons over FaceTime. I also suggested to Son2 that he work up a little lesson on plants since he is making raised garden beds while his work is waiting out this immediate crisis. It takes a village, or at least a slightly off center extended family. If we all give her a little time each day, she can continue learning but more importantly her parents can work remotely from home and actually get  work done, while they wait out this quarantine.

Tuesday: What a weird day as things get worse and worse for businesses. I was driving to pick up some medicine for Mom right off Highway 31 in my suburb. Normally it is a heavily traveled road, and making the left turn into the strip where her pharmacy is located requires waiting for the turn signal. On Tuesday, I swear I could have gotten down on all fours and crawled over all four lanes and two turn lanes with time to spare. It was like I was living in some dystopian novel. I miss people! I miss the chaos! I miss going out to eat!
But there is an upside. I live in a neighborhood where a lot of professional people live. Though everyone is cordial, we all have a tendency to go about our lives with just some nods, hellos and occasional chit chat. The last two days I have seen so many people out walking and stoping to have real conversations. And now a couple of the neighbors know I have a real name and not just the "Big Candy Bar Lady".  Joy meeting new folks and yes we are all staying the requested social distance from each other!
My second joy was being able to have school with Pip. We went through a lot of flash card words, created words using different consonant sounds for words she already known how to read, then we did apple math (fractions) and had art. Tomorrow we are learning about animals, and using word prompts (Thank you EC) for her to create a story I will type for her.  I think I will also read her a poem I used to read nightly to Will.
And the third joy was our night out on the town (in our dining room) We had an American traditional St Patrick's Day meal by candlelight with Celtic music compliments of Alexa. I am amazed how much more conversation we had sitting in the dimly lit room and eating. We need to do it more often. Next up is some al fresco dining out.

And that about sums up the rather odd week. We are making the best of what is going on right now and sincerely hope and pray that this will not be as devastating as we hear it might be. Meanwhile I will continue to isolate as much as I can, while making sure Mom has what she needs.