Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Silver Lining

Happy Tuesday! 

I'm currently looking for the motivation I had last week.  I had grand plans for Monday but I just could not kick my butt into gear.  The Mr and I got a printers drawer level and hung up finally.  You know how you have those things that you buy for one project or another, never do it and just before you're ready to let it go another purpose pops up?  I originally bought it with some scratch-off winnings from my stocking from my mom like two or three years ago.  I talked the dude down to $20 because they were going to leave soon and he was indifferent.  I was going to paint it white on the outside and then different muted colors and put sea shells we collected from West Hampton, NY,  Cape Henlopen State Park, DE, Martha's Vineyard, MA, and a few other spots.  I never got around to it because I think a few of the slots weren't going to fit the shells and I'd need to alter it so I just let it sit in the garage.  When I was poking around on Pinterest, I saw people were using them just hanging alone on the wall or with something attached to it.

(via Pinterest.  Not even giving you the link because I got a porny surprise when I clicked on it.)

I wanted to paint and poly in the kitchen but I didn't get around to it.  I think the gloomy weather just sucked my mood and motivation from the previously sunny day.  I decided to get the main armoire shelves back together and decorated.  They're not filled with everything I want in them yet but it'll do for now. 

I have to share something with you guys.  The silver lining in this whole thing.  I'm sure you've seen the video of Alton Brown showing you why using bar soap is superior to hand sanitizer and even liquid soap.  We got charcoal and lemongrass at the health food store and within five days of using bar soap 2-3x day (along with a few squirts of liquid in the kitchen) it completely healed my dry knuckles.  For the past five to six years, my knuckles on my index and middle fingers have been seriously irritated, dry and not just for winter though it was worse in the winter.  I tried maybe four or five different soaps and putting lotion on after washing my hands to no avail.  I took it as my new normal.  I couldn't believe how 1) luxurious it feels to use bar soap and definitely opened my eyes to how much less effective liquid soap feels in comparison and 2) that five years worth of misery was cured in five days.  So if you have dry hands and want to make sure that you're getting your hands truly clean, switch to bar soap! 

We went for a walk around the hood for 3 miles and it was considerably colder than the previous night's walk.  I'm glad that our neighbors are all taking social distancing seriously and while we'd love to pet you Leo or Lacey, it'll have to wait.  We came back and the Mr cut up Brussels while I made turkey taco meat to discover I didn't have Mrs. Dash seasoning or taco shells.  So I improvised with my handy dandy new spice rack and grabbed a few low sodium flour tortillas and made a tacodilla.  The Mr seemed to like it so that's all that mattered.

We caught up on the 9-1-1 we missed last week and I so regret knowing what "G Force Poisoning" is.  When the Mr turns away, it's not good.  He kept turning away every single time so I knew better than to look.  The sound effects were enough to make me want to barf.  But it was nice to flip on the fireplace and cozy up...you know, without a piece of 24-year-old smoldering trim on the insert.

What's a silver lining you've found since lockdown other than more family time?

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Monday, March 30, 2020

Challenge Accepted Weekend Recap

It was nice to finally have a weekend where nothing was pending.  We weren't expecting a ton of dudes traipsing through the house and we could just take things at our own pace.  While we still had plenty to keep us busy, I can say we didn't do a whole lot of anything after the previous three weeks we went through.  Painting basically broke me last week and since I still have some to do, I gave myself permission to not do any over the weekend.  Challenge accepted.

(This post contains affiliate links to some cool shizz.  Should you buy through them, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you.)

What I did do was get most of my spices transferred into those magnetic spice jars for the side of the fridge.

They took up a whole cubby in a small cabinet and I would prefer to use that space as a spot to keep our vitamins and other stuff instead of crammed in the plates cupboard.  I'm hoping my Container Store order ships earlier than expected.  I'm itching to organize the one "rogue" cabinet with no door into something that doesn't feel like a picture would have people up in my business.  It's driving me crazy even though we're the only people that will see it with what feels like forever.

We got the blinds and curtains hung which made us feel much less on display.  I'm happy with the way the fringe on my burlap curtains turned out.

I originally bought them in November for the World Market curtains that shrunk and were 4" too short.  I was going to use Fabric Fusion to attach it along the bottom so it would be all level looking.  Then when we decided to nix the blinds for curtains over the slider, I saw that the pattern in the top of the sheers would need to be sewn in a few places and all for curtains that didn't hang right.  Screw it.  So I got plain sheers and was going to attach it to those when I thought the burlap ones needed a little somethin' somethin' and boom...fringy goodness.  It kind of reminds me of some fringe pillows my grandma had when I was growing up so it makes me feel extra squishy.

I treated myself to an order from Dollar Hydrangea that arrives Tuesday, I think, to put some pops of spring around the house.  I've seen real bloggers get them and seem to have good luck with them after they perk up a day or so later from being squished in their box.  We'll see if that's true or I'm just a sheep that got snookered. 

The Mr got his Star Wars movie early from Best Buy and I have to say they are really stepping up during this whole thing.  He was supposed to pick it up, he switched it to shipping and then they refunded him the shipping and he got it early.  Between that and the whole not sending their dudes into your house thing (as annoying as that is for us right now), they are taking things seriously for both their customers and employees which should be applauded.  There are still far too many businesses that are clueless and their employees seem to be just as bad.    So he watched that while I perused Wayfair and he told me the pertinent parts to pay attention to.

Sunday we started getting little things hung and I got the mantel styled again so it could feel a little more homey.

We went for a 3 lapper around the hood which we haven't done in about 10 days since it was like the Ark was trying to make a comeback the previous week,  Then we had to head to Target and were able to get everything we needed except for strawberries and everyplace else was closed by the time we got there.  We came home and had chili for dinner and chilled for the rest of the night.

How was your weekend?

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Friday, March 27, 2020

What I'm NOT Reading This Week #13

Howdy, y'all.  I hope you're all doing well and staying home.  I also hope you like the space you're in because looks like we're all gonna be in 'em for longer than we thought.  Oh well, you do what you've gotta do to not be a selfish turd. 

Sorry for the lack of posting this week...something had to give and this was it especially if you read Monday's post.  That also means I had zero luxury of reading anything this week.  I was lucky enough to shower yesterday and wash the scourge of the Earth off of me.  Sometimes not being PigPen is the most you shoot for given your circumstances.

(via Giphy.com)
So instead of the usual, here are scenes from our week.  (Riddled with typos, I'm sure.)

When the workers finally left on Monday afternoon, we were just glad to not have constant exposure to multiple dudes who we know are not taking pandemic precautions.  I think we were actually their last job.  It's not even done.  There's one door that was not adjusted measurement wise when I added a wall covering to the side of the pantry.  I get it but I feel like we should split the difference on that one since it wasn't caught.  They allowed me to deduct the cost of the door from the final total ordered since it's not installed.  That's great but I'm not gonna lie, I will have a sinking feeling until that company is back up and running and I get my door.   They are doing the responsible thing right now which I support but "open concept" in that spot is not an option.  I'm doing a lot of praying on that one.  So yeah, until that's done, no kitchen reveal because it just looks kind of stupid right now.  (Not like it's done for other reasons anyway.)

What we were left with upon their exit was a smoothed ceiling and dangling LED recessed lights that looked like some modern art installment.

We were also left with a huge patch job from installing said lights.

Because people don't think sometimes, I had to go back and spackle and sand areas we knew were going to stick out past the lights.  Yes, that would be the heating duct which is why I told you not to drill there electrician and somehow it ended up costing us an extra $100 for the pleasure because of the lights we were forced to get.

(Note my Vienna sausage fingers,  I'm obviously not hydrating)

After my spackle and sand fest all over the ceiling with spots I knew I couldn't live with, it was time to prime.

Two coats of primer on a ceiling.  Do you know what that does to one's body?  No?  Be glad.  Because then I had to do it two more times with ceiling paint for a total of five coats with the Mr stepping in for one once my body seized up on me.

I had to paint the wall for my own mental health because seeing that huge patch just made me want to cry.

I repainted the whole first floor and while it looks nice and crisp compared to the life battered version of pre-reno, the only people that will notice that difference are us.

Then I had some sawing I needed to do:

We had the skeletons of couches in the living room but no way to sit on them so it was kind of rude the way they taunted us.  Last night we were at least able to get the slipcovers and cushions back on and the table moved back to where it's supposed to go. 

We celebrated that small victory and honored the two year anniversary of Grandma's passing with her homemade noodles which I froze at the beginning of the month.

Beef and noodles were her favorite.  I miss her so much.

My legs are pretty much done and I've been limping for 3 days now which I don't have time for.  I want to get things back in their place because our lives have been in semi upheaval for a month and total. mentally exhausting upheaval for 2 weeks.  What's going on out in the world can't even be of much thought right now and I suppose that's a good thing.  But like the Mr said last night, "I'm ready for all of this "fun" people are having in isolation like game nights or movie nights kicking back for hours."  I agree.

How was your week?

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Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Hump Day Poll: Pick Your Pet

I don't feel like it's fair to ask a person who loves animals more than 98% of people out there what non-domesticated pet would they pick because I want almost ALL of the animals.  (Sans reptiles and amphibians...someone else can have you.)  I want a dolphin, bison, baby bison...no, three baby bison, teenage moose, a bear cub.  You see where this is going.

If I had to choose.  I want an otter.  One like I saw at Point Lobos in Carmel, California beating an oyster open on its belly with a rock.  He was a smart lil effer and had just enough fur to snuggle up to once he dried off.  Or she.  It would be curled around my neck as I typed and when it was time to move around, it would nudge the side of my face.  I haven't thought about this at all.

What non-domesticated animal would you choose as a pet if there was no chance it would bite, maim or kill you?

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Monday, March 23, 2020

Our Life...Making You Thankful For Yours Since 2011 Weekend Recap

If you didn't see my Sunday post, swing on by for a giggle.  As we learn to navigate this temporary new normal, some things have changed for all of us.  Things look different.

Grocery shopping looks different:

Walks around the neighborhood look different:

Online shopping looks different:

Then there's our life.

This is going to sound like a whiny rant and

(via Giphy.com)
You know how many of us have to "shelter in place?"  

Well, here's our shelter right now:

That's right.  Nowhere to sit because the couches are in the garage, the dining chairs are stacked in the basement and we just barely got a working kitchen back by the skin of our teeth Friday night.  I say working kitchen meaning appliances are plugged in but preparing food is kind of off the table because it's a dusty mess with spacers on backsplashes everywhere you turn so it's not really usable.

Let me tell you how our week went last week to make you feel better about any cabin fever you might be getting.  Note:  I realize there are people sick with Covid or people going through MUCH worse.  I'm aware.  Yes, I know it could always be worse.  So if you're new here and tempted to make a pissy comment, I can't promise how long it'll be up because I'm that done right now.  I'm here to represent the "it could always be worse without fighting for life and death" scenario for the majority of you.  Just so we've got that out of the way.  😁

As you know, we've had this reno scheduled since the end of January and because we are us, it hit in the middle of a pandemic when you're supposed to keep 6' away from each other.  That's always the best time to have up to five dudes who don't wash their hands after touching their penises to pee running around your house.  In case you didn't know.  The Mr, by some miracle of God, was able to telework last week for training so I was quite glad to have my backup in place if needed.  He was training so he was upstairs with the door closed and I was in the basement.  You know, the remodeled one?  Wanna see it?

To say workouts in the workout room didn't happen last week is an understatement.  So when the dudes went to the bathroom, I could hear the water come down and before it even reached the basement they were already flying down the stairs.  Five minutes later, the Mr would go to the bathroom and spray down every surface.  Look, I know you guys don't give a crap on a good day but we're in the middle of a virus and we're all susceptible whether you believe it or not.  But the fun doesn't stop there.  I'm sitting on the stool in the basement and I hear what I thought was them working on installing the sink, like the sound of a faucet turning.  I was happy because I knew the Mr was anxious about being left without a sink if they pulled the workers.  Then I heard what sounds like a glass of water being poured and I see a stream of water coming from the spigot up front shooting like a hose.  I start screaming "water is coming down here!"  "What?!"  "WATER IS COMING DOWN HERE, TURN IT OFF!!!!"  They run down and look at it and said they'd been using it all morning but the difference that time was they hooked up a hose.  He says our pipes must've frozen (during the mildest winter ever) and the back pressure probably has it leaking behind the wood.  You know, the wood we just installed six months ago in the basement reno?  They went on their way because, not their problem.  The Mr pulled off the wood panel and thankfully no water.  We think it's the weld just before it.  No plumber til Monday.  Oh and the back spigot that we just had replaced in June is leaking too.  (No, we didn't have hoses hooked up to them in the winter.)  Pile it on, yo.

The first two days, when the kitchen guys would promptly leave at 3:30pm, we'd look at it and say "what the hell did they do today??"  I told the owner about adding the smoothing of the ceiling on the first floor and adding recessed lighting early enough that I hoped they would do it in the 3-week gap between doing our kitchen ceiling and doing the kitchen reno.  No such luck.  Instead, they did it all at once so there are multiple people in the house at the worst possible time trying not to trip over each other.  They moved all of our furniture to the garage except for the dining table and the TV armoire.  Do you think they're going to move that back in?  Probably not.  Because the sanding won't happen until today after the kitchen guys leave.

Recap:  The Mr has a heart condition where he can't lift over 50 lbs.

Recap:  We're in the middle of a pandemic where you can't be around other people so calling for backup isn't an option.

Recap:  We're screwed.

Thursday they did a little more between smoke breaks but we were getting irritated especially when we were told it was going to be a "1 1/2" day job when the kitchen ceiling was done, that turned into three days when I was given the schedule and was pushing into four and going into next week for sure with the ceiling but now with the kitchen.

Recap:  Best Buy is scheduled to swap the microwave and stove on Monday...in the kitchen...where the dudes are working.

I send the coordinator an email after I hear the kitchen guys asking about why haven't the drywall dudes shown up and someone called in sick (the guy that had been in our house the day before).  I asked her where the drywall guys were and we needed things wrapped up by Friday because we were expecting deliveries on Monday.  She says she doesn't know "what we need to be wrapped up but they definitely aren't  going to be done Friday."  I don't respond because if I did at that moment, they would not have come back.  We were already worried about this anyway given the pandemic and would they leave us with no kitchen sink in the middle of it?  My lack of response must've been relayed to the owner.  Friday, the guys came into the kitchen like their hair was on fire and did more work in that one day than they'd done all week.

The owner showed up and is always a calming presence and told us everything would be done that day except for the grout and the window trim which would be done Monday.  He was correct about that.  When inspecting the ceiling work, he was puzzled and irritated that they didn't use a 20 minute skim set (so were my nasal passages).

It had been raining all week, like torrentially, so we couldn't even go outside for a walk until Friday night.  I'd been sitting on so many uneven and crappy surfaces day and night that my legs were shot just from that.  We walked the hood for 3 miles and that ended the use of my legs without searing pain.  We were looking forward to sleeping in Saturday as neither of us got much sleep all week.

As I just got back to sleep after a restless early morning, the Mr leaps up and says the drywall guy will be here in 20 minutes.  We didn't know anyone was working on the weekend.  I can't leap anywhere due to my legs and given in the middle of the night I resigned myself to just peeing the bed instead of walking on them if necessary.  (But given the lack of drinking fluids coupled with a few nights of take out, my body could be flown in the Macy's parade and was holding on to every drop.)  The guy's brother comes and starts yammering about conspiracy theories and at that point, we're just done.  We hole up in the bedroom and watch some episodes of Restored, the Mr gets lunch and we're just glad all of the holes are patched in the walls.  They inform us they'll be back tomorrow so no sleeping in for us...ever.

(via giphy.com)
Update:  Best Buy has suspended all deliveries where requiring crossing the threshold is necessary and returns are canceled until April 6th.  *twitch*

Sunday morning, I woke to the first sunny day in a week.  I opened the windows and made some tea.  I started this post and enjoyed the tapping of my fingers on the laptop breaking the silence as I started typing.  I knew it was going to be another day of inconvenience and there would be no break for us.  Another day in the freezing cold basement since it got down to the 20's the night before.  It was the only break I could count on in the day and I was savoring it.  The Mr was kind enough to massage my legs.  I wasn't staying inside once drywall dude left with that being the only day of sun before the Ark starts its journey again this week.  I would need to get outside because I could not take one more fume induced migraine which kindly took over for the teeth grinding ones from earlier in the week.  We ordered breakfast from a restaurant up the street because the kitchen was unavailable with him here.  We got him some cinnamon biscuits for coming by on a Sunday especially since that put us two days ahead from where we thought we'd be Friday night.  We went into the freezer downstairs and ate breakfast while watching Sunday Morning and probably shouldn't have.  We should've taken a Corona break but whatcha gonna do?

We worked on getting our kitchen cupboards back in some kind of working order, at least the ones that won't be close to the grouting being done today while I listened to The 1975's first album.  Then I made the mistake of putting on Kenny Rogers and ugly cried for 20 minutes.  We knew we should probably go ahead and get paint for the living room and kitchen because we want to be done done.  Can I just say Lowe's and Home Depot are sucking hard at this whole Covid-19 response thing?  The most they're doing is a sign on the paint counter saying to keep a 'safe distance.'  TONS of people, I mean like Saturday crowds on a Sunday.  They make you sign for pick up orders with their germy pens.  The younger staff is giving attitude.  It's a sh*tshow for sure at the home improvement stores.  We were huddled in outdoor furniture with our AirTamers on away from people since absolutely NO ONE was giving space.  We trucked it over to the least crowded grocery store and got our produce for the week and pandemic pint of Tonight Dough.  I think we're home for the night and just have to get the counters cleared back off so our dude can do his thing today.  We're exhausted, stressed beyond belief, one of our doors is screwed up and I swear if the woman gives me lip today about the pictures I sent, it will be the last straw for my nerves.  I am just trying to focus on the little "luxuries" where I can now to keep myself from going into breakdown mode.

At this point, my only luxury is this:

The tiny one cup of tea I get these days crammed up on a queen bed trying to maintain my sanity.  I start my day with it on the weekends and end my day with it on the weekdays.  I find myself constantly muttering "I've reached the end of me, Rita" from Groundhog Day because I truly feel at the end of my mental rope.  The Mr was having a mass mental moment all last week because the man started a new job, had the reno and the pandemic all on his plate so I didn't have the option to cry, scream or even get in the damn tub to soak without fear my legs would seize up and I'd stroke out from the pain and call it a day.

Again, I know there are people going through much worse but that doesn't mean it isn't a different kind of hard for us in addition to the new global hard.  (I somehow said hard all of those times without making a dick joke.  Progress.)  But when all I keep seeing are updates from people about how they are sitting inside and are bored, I want to smack them and tell them to sit on their couches because at least they have one to use!

*whine over*

How was your weekend?  

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Sunday, March 22, 2020

A Sunday Funny for You

Have y'all been seeing these time block schedules floating around to make moms feel in control of the chaos as their kids are home?  Well, what about couples who haven't had to work from home together before?  As we get ready to begin a new work week, this is the perfect time to plan out your day with your new co-worker!

Doesn't that sound lovely?  It allows you time to reconnect and grow as a couple!

This might be closer to the reality though:

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Friday, March 20, 2020

What I'm Reading This Week #12

Happy Friday all!  I hope you had a great week.  It was the Mr's first week at his new job and I don't think he knows how to act with people not slinging crap at him every 20 minutes and trying to sully his good reputation.  It'll take a little adjusting but I think it's going to be a quick one once he realizes it's for real.  Unfortunately, his new job coincided with our kitchen reno starting and in a roundabout way, the pandemic allowed him to telework this week.

Let's work on...

Why Does Traffic Seem So Stressful?  (Excellent tips for those frustrated with their commute for better health.)

Cardio vs. Weights: Which Is Better for Your Fitness Goals?  (Great arguments for both!)

How To Wake Up And Not Feel Like Going Right Back To Bed  (Good suggestions.)

What Actually Helps You Recover From a Workout? Very Little  (I've gotta disagree to some extent on foam rolling.  While I feel like I should feel better than I do an hour later after foam rolling for 20 minutes post-workout, I feel 20x worse if I skip it altogether.)

Empaths ~ Adrenal Fatigue, Insomnia & Exhaustion  (Yes to all.  Went through a pretty big episode a few weeks ago when all aspects of life shut me down.)

Need a Rest? New Research Says Squatting or Kneeling May Have Far More Health Benefits Than Sitting Down  (I don't know about kneeling if it's a hard surface but I'm down to pop a squat!)

I'm So Excited to Bring This Kula Cloth Along on My Long Runs When I Need to Pee!  (Would you runners use this??)

11 ways you're secretly sabotaging your sleep   (If you think I'm going back to waking up with the adrenaline-inducing screech of my old school alarm clock, you're outta yer friggin' mind!)

Home organizing hacks to simplify your life  (Why didn't I think of slide 8??)

How to Make Your HIIT Workout Easy on the Knees   (I modify as much as possible with HIIT.  My leg muscles are already screwed up but if I have a hereditary pre-disposition to bad knees, I'm not going to speed up the process.)

Billy Idol is Protecting NYC Air By Telling Drivers to Shut Their Engines Off  (OMG, LOVE this!!)

We were supposed to go on a road trip to get an order for the kitchen but it would suck to just go there, grab the order and basically come back.  I thought I saw that area is a hotbed of activity right now.   Now I have to pay $80 to get the damn thing shipped which is almost as much as we paid.  😣

We should've had the weekend to get our house back in order but given they are not finished like we were told they would be when we booked it in January, that won't be happening.  We have no place to sit, we can't really go anywhere, and we have appliances being delivered Monday when they'll still be here.  So if you're bummed you have to stay in, just be really friggin' thankful you have a couch to sit on and a functioning kitchen.  Once again, our timing is impeccable.  I'm taking up drinking this weekend with my 3 bottles of wine I have for no reason.  Apparently, it was for just such an occasion!

Any exciting plans for you this weekend?  {sarcasm}

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Thursday, March 19, 2020

Things to Do During 'Social Distancing' that Aren't Binge Watching


The Mr and I pretty much practice 'social distancing' most of the year but it's different when it's forced upon you.  You start to appreciate your freedom of being able to move about at will when it's suddenly taken away or at least strongly discouraged.  Many may start to feel trapped pretty quickly at a time when they're getting twitchy after winter anyway.

Here are some activities you can do to fight boredom.

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Have you ever seen a puzzle, loved the picture and ignored that it was 1000 pieces and bought it anyway?  Just us?  Skip to the next one.  The Mr and I bought this puzzle in Stowe VT and loved it.  We started working on it Christmas Day and then 6 hours of our day was gone!  So yeah, puzzles are the PERFECT thing to do if you have a lot of time on your hands.  It's something you can set up on a card table and come back to when you get bored with your other activities.  Just make sure you wash your hands before you dig in.  😉



You know the one.  The one you've had for like two years that you keep meaning to read but put off because you're "too busy."  (Scrolling feeds and binge-watching seem to count as busy these days.)  Pull it out.  Pull all of 'em out and commit to reading a few chapters a day.  Something wonderful is probably waiting for you in those pages!



You know you've got a stash of board or card games just waiting for this moment!  Some of our faves are classics like Boggle, Uno, Aggravation, Clue, Taboo, etc.  You could also introduce your kids to the reason you're so tense with heart pounders like Operation and Perfection.  If you're into the long game, you've always got Monopoly, Stratego or Risk.



If you've got your pantry staples all lined up, this is the perfect time to cook and bake some comfort food.  The kids can get involved and they feel like they're contributing to the family during a hard time.   Generations before us got through tough times and this is the time they were preparing us for but many assumed we were immune to.  I know I already made a small batch of Grandma's noodles to stretch over two meals because I know there will be a time I'll need her and she'll be right there with us.  Hit up some channels that specialize in Great Depression cooking, maybe a homesteading channel or two and Amish cooking to get back to basics.  Channels like this utilize what you can grow and/or using pantry basics to make cheap meals that stretch.  I will be using this time to make friends with yeast and try my hand at a few recipes.



Look, I know it's not fun but this year Spring cleaning means something a little different.  If there's one thing we learned while prepping for a reno in the midst of this madness, we don't clean enough.  I wasn't lucky enough to get my Grandma's cleaning gene so I don't deep clean nearly as often as I should and I have a legit dust allergy.  The irony isn't lost on me.  I know cleaning products might be in short supply but if you have some stuff in your pantry, you can at least make natural cleaning solutions until you can get your hands on the disinfecting stuff.  Then it'll be that much easier to keep up on!



Don't act like you don't have a Pinterest board you've abandoned from back in the day!  Blow off the virtual dust and delete projects that no longer appeal to you and actually do the ones that do!  If you're a crafter, you probably have some of the supplies on hand.  If not, order the supplies and get those Christmas crafts you never have time for done ahead!



This is an unprecedented time and every day seems to bring something different.  Add a notebook or journal onto your next grocery order and keep track of local happenings, thoughts, feelings, what you did while distancing, etc.  In a few years, it could be a very interesting read for you...in a few generations, it'll be an interesting read for your grandkids, great-nieces/nephews!



You do need a little fresh air here and there or you're going to go stir crazy. If you are healthy and in a low-risk population, it's been said as of right now, it's safe to go outdoors for a bit of exercise and vitamin D.   Look for out of the way parks or walk your neighborhood making sure to keep your 6' distance from others and go at off-peak hours, if possible.



While you might be tempted to send some snail mail to let your family and friends know you're thinking of them, you might want to keep your spit to yourself.   If you are able to telework and are not financially affected by the social distancing, you can send a care package.  This is especially nice for parents, grandparents, elderly neighbors, expecting and new moms.  Whether sending cookies, candy (I know our Easter is canceled), or a pack of TP or disinfectant wipes to them from an online retailer, personalize a message to them.  It can be just the lift someone needs.   Give them a heads up something will be coming their way.  If they are concerned, then wash their hands after opening the box and handling what you sent. See if a local restaurant does e-gift certificates you can send to their inbox so they can get carryout or delivery one night and not dig into their stash of food.



Be a "lockdown" looky lou!  Lots of great online activities for you and the kids from museums, to performances to continuing education.

Need to Get Outside? These 5 National Parks Offer Virtual Tours You Can Take From the Comfort of Home 

Four Gardens You Can Virtually Tour, Just in Time for the First Day of Spring

15 Broadway Plays and Musicals You Can Watch On Stage From Home

Activities for kids

2020 COVID-19 Remote Learning for the kiddos

 Olaf From 'Frozen' Will Read To Your Kids -- Virtually

11 Fiction Stories to Read During Quarantine

Access 2500+ Online Courses from 140 Top Institutions

Met Opera To Launch Free Nightly Streams During Coronavirus Closure

Art Museums with Virtual Tours -Best Gallery Tours from Home

Explore Colonial Williamsburg

Waste some time taking mindless polls and quizzes

Edit:. Thought of this one this morning... ladies and drag queens, clean your makeup brushes thoroughly every few days!

I hope these gave you some ideas on how to spend your time that will enrich your lives in seclusion instead of zoning in front of the boob tube!

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Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Hump Day Poll: Pick Your Talent

That tape is about accurate as to what the only copy of me singing "The Flame" by Cheap Trick in 1990 looked like about three minutes after playing it for the car full of friends that sang back up.  You remember those old amusement park booths that let you record in a studio then would pump out the good ones to lure you in?  I learned real quick I was tone deaf and none of us ever spoke of it again.

So I wish I could sing (or play an instrument other than the triangle.)

What is one talent you wish you had?

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Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Keeping on Target with Fitness Goals

Keeping on target with your fitness goals can be daunting enough under normal life circumstances.  You throw a pandemic in there and access to gyms and fitness classes nixed (or at least heavily discouraged) indefinitely and it can feel overwhelming.

If you've been here for any length of time, you know the Mr and I have lost our collective 375+ pounds never having set foot in a gym.  We are lucky enough to have turned the basement into a tranquil workout space recently but even when it looked like a frat house, we were down there.  If you think "social distancing" (sick of that term yet?!) is the perfect time to get your own home gym going, click here for my suggestions.

Even if this isn't the right time to splurge on non-essentials, it is essential that you keep your immune system up to snuff during this time.  All of the uncertainty, inundation of information whether from the news, online or co-workers can start to take its toll.  Stress is inevitable but it needs to be managed as best you can.  Luckily for you, exercise is the perfect stress reliever and immune booster!

According to this article by government website Medline Plus, "exercise causes change in antibodies and white blood cells (WBC). WBCs are the body's immune system cells that fight disease. These antibodies or WBCs circulate more rapidly, so they could detect illnesses earlier than they might have before. However, no one knows whether these changes help prevent infections."  That's a good reason to get started with a program if you haven't yet!

You can still take a walk around your neighborhood for 30+ minutes to get the blood circulating.  Wave hi to your neighbors across the street and no petting the pooches even though their sweet faces beckon you to.  It's the owners you want to stay away from so keep your distance for now.  It'll do you good to not be cooped up in the house and consider opening the windows while you're gone (as long as there's no inclement weather) just to get the airflow in your house moving.  Indoor air quality is important especially if we're going to be in our homes more.

If you want something a little more vigorous for free, you know we love Fitness Blender for great cardio, low impact, strength training, and recovery videos.  They even have a healthy recipe section to help you get out of a food rut and stay healthy.

If walking is your thing but going outside isn't, the original walk at home lady Leslie Sansone has some great free videos too.  Many are broken down by time or miles you want to walk.  Stack several videos and walk to your heart's content!

Jessica Smith has great indoor walking workouts as well as some butt-kicking strength sessions!  Her lazy pup Peanut usually makes an appearance laying there looking at her like "yeah, I'm not doing that."

If you want to mix it up, PopSugar Fitness has all kinds of workouts to choose from.  You could literally do a new one every day for over a year and not repeat.

Now that we have exercise covered, what about food?  One thing we were surprised to see was despite people being told to stock pantry staples, they cleaned out all of the produce and meat.

(Thanks guys)

People were using this as an opportunity to stock up on nutritionally void items like snack cakes, high sodium meals in a can and the like.  Yes, those are shelf-stable but do you think a virus is going to pack up sooner when you're putting Little Debbies in your pie hole?  (If this is scientifically proven to be true though, I'd like to place my order for Swiss Cake Rolls, Nutty Bars, Oatmeal Cream Pies, and Cosmic Brownies.)

(This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.  Should you buy through them, I may receive a few cents commission at no cost to you to keep the blog up and running.)

You might be wondering what items we stocked up on that we could find.  Tuna fish, canned chicken, dry beans, eggs, 2% milk, Healthy Request Soups, farro, bone broth, quinoa, high protein pasta, and low sodium pasta sauce (when we could find it), brown rice, frozen veggies, whatever lean meats we could find like frozen fish (mahi-mahi, orange roughy, and salmon), pork chops, organic 85% grass-fed beef, a tub of lettuce for salads, organic oatmeal, and nuts.  My main objective was to get in all food groups that would help keep our immune systems happy and healthy.  Our only "junk" buys were two cans of Spaghettios with meatballs, a frozen Gino's East Pizza, and Easter candy which I wanted dibs on Reese eggs.

I made turkey chili and that is frozen to get us two meals if we want chili only or four meals if we want to stretch it by making chili mac, chili cheese baked fries or chili brown rice bowl.  I made a lasagna and cut it into 8 for four meals and FoodSaved it.  (If ever there was a time to invest in a FoodSaver, I'd say now is it.)  A small beef roast will get us through 2 meals.  I've got beans, rice, and enchilada sauce if we want to go Mexican instead of Italian.  Until meat is back in regular rotation, I'm taking the chicken breasts we have and splitting one between the two of us to make them stretch.  I'd say this is the perfect time to go vegetarian but they're hoarding that stuff too so who knows.

Buy an extra bottle of any meds or supplements you may need.  Don't go buying a crap ton of vitamin D that you can't even take before it expires.  But it doesn't hurt to have one extra bottle of aspirin and/or ibuprofen if your current supply is down to its last 1/3 just because we don't know what people are going to start hoarding next to try to feel in control of an uncontrollable situation.  I was down to the last quarter of our 1000IU and 2000IU vitamin D (we were both told by our doc to supplement due to very low levels) so I restocked that.  I supplement with things I consistently fall short on despite a diet full of fruits, veggies, fish and the like so I have a good supply of those.

Stay hydrated.  I suck at this and maybe a pandemic is just what I need to change that...as I look at my full water bottle. *chugs*  Staying hydrated will help flush toxins from the body and help the kidneys do their job especially if you have a fever.

Obviously, wipe everything down with a cleaner a few times a day on frequently touched surfaces to keep yourself healthy in general.

In everyday life, there are so many things we don't have control over and this situation amplifies it.  What you do have control over is how you spend your time.  Your kids and grandkids are watching and looking to you on how to handle this situation.  Working on your and your family's fitness and staying healthy is paramount and you can turn "social distancing" into a time of personal triumph!

Are you keeping up with your fitness goals?

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Monday, March 16, 2020

Shizz Got Real Weekend Recap

As I sit here typing this, I had to chuckle at the irony on "what a difference a day can make."  A week ago, a guy friend of mine emailed me and asked if I was quietly freaking out like he was to which I replied I had no time for that as I had bigger fish to fry with the reno and wasn't super worried.  I wasn't going to go out partying or licking people's faces either but we'd just been to the grocery stores Friday and got toilet paper and all supplies were just fine.  I thought it was the media blowing things out of proportion but we were still going to be cautious.  Two days later and the Mr and I are looking at solar generators and 30-day supplies of people chum.  😂

I heard stories from all over but not one person I knew seemed concerned.   Then I got online to just place an order for one package of a few things I was low on and got nervous.  No toilet paper, cleaning products and all of the stuff you heard about.  I must've looked at 12 different sites and everyone was sold out and some had pre-orders but no delivery date until the end of April.  We weren't binging on news articles but what we could find was not promising and the lines everywhere were long.  We decided to wait and see if going around midnight would fare better when they were restocking.  We were wrong.

We were blown away to see almost all of the produce completely gone.

The meat section didn't fare any better.

Whole aisles of stuff completely obliterated. 

Our attention turned from getting the house ready for the reno to "crap, we need to find groceries we're actually running low on!" 

We were able to get some apples, a few pasta sauces that we needed and I said we needed to get our Easter candy because I had a feeling they could close things soon and dammit, I want my chocolate bunny! 

The next day we had to make a run to a few other places to see if we'd do any better.  Again, no bananas, lots of produce wiped out and the only meat I could find at one place was pork so I got two things of chops.  Another store had some frozen fish and I felt like I won the lottery when I found an abandoned bunch of bananas on top of a donut display!  I guess they went to different comfort food.

We started taking some stuff downstairs that night and Sunday morning I woke up with a horrible migraine.  Not the day for it, that's for sure!

The Mr was kind enough to take down everything from the cupboards while I did make-ahead meals in case we get put on lockdown.

(Pandemic pasta, anyone?)

I put in a beef roast we had and froze two servings of that.  I made a lasagna and cut it into eight for four dinners.  I made a pot of turkey chili and that'll be enough for 2-3 dinners.  We've got other stuff to make but I figured if I got sick, I wanted the Mr to be able to pull out heat and eat dinners for us. 

He got the kitchen 80% done and I need to work on the rest of it today.  We've got crap from the living room we need to move as well since they get here about 7:30 tomorrow morning.  Talk about timing, right?  At least we'll have a lovely new quarantine area should we need it.  😏

I know some people think we're nuts, I know my family would be among them.  I found out one of my family members had pneumonia and they went out over the weekend because they were on the "tail end of it."  SMDH  Yes, do put the immune systems of others at risk because you're bored.  We're not digging a bunker just yet but my God man, the way they have total disregard for just regular illness you'd think maybe a pandemic might make them think otherwise?  Nope.  I told the Mr. I think I'm adopted.  I'm the only person in my family that seems to think it's better to be prepared than in a hospital.   He said he feels the same way.  I guess we're meant to ride this stuff out together.  I'm really crossing my fingers his job says they need to telework.  Funny thing is, his old job did.  God guffaws.

So I've got my work cut out for me today in getting the house in order.  I'm going to pray I don't have to fight the lady there again about some minor issues she brought up last week to which I put my foot down and told her no.  Don't make this harder than it needs to be, lady.

How did you spend the weekend?

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Friday, March 13, 2020

Last Day and What I'm Reading This Week #11

♪♪  Oh happy day!  (Oh happy day!)  It's the Mr's last day!  (Oh happy day!)  ♪♪

Sorry, that's going to be sung on rotation all day today around these parts.    It always amazes me the true colors people show when someone moves on from a position in which everyone took advantage of them.  One day you're "brother" the next day, "you're dead to me" and they don't talk to you.  I am SO glad he's out of that environment and I can't wait for this new chapter in his career.  He told me two weeks ago that I made the news.  He said a welcome email went out to his new team and his new boss said: "I hear his wife makes good desserts!"  If that's not a hint and a half, I don't know what is!  You know what I'll be doin'  😉

Let's get to...

5 Signs You're A Work Martyr Who Is Sacrificing Yourself For The Job  (Ahem)

Know When to Stop Overdelivering at Work  (All they ask is you deliver.  Period.)

5 Gardening Ideas to Give Your Yard a Beauty Boost  (Ooh, pretty stuff!  I love the layering part)

Study Finds Walnuts Are The Best Nut For Supporting Healthy Aging  (That's why it looks like a brain!)

How to Make Small Spaces Feel Luxurious  (We're tryin')

Five Prerequisites for Inviting Happiness into your Life  ("Whenever happiness shows up, always give it a comfortable seat.")

Why I Can’t Stop Exercising—Even Though It’s Hurting Everywhere  (Accurate)

Why Do I Get Butterflies in My Stomach?   (Always wondered.)

8 Hacks That Will Stretch Your Sense of Time  (Well, I'm going to barf every time I think of a frog now.)

How To Make a DIY Wireless Wall Sconce  (It's going to happen.  I like the method they used here to screw it in more than jerry rigging wire like some other tutorials.)

Hearth & Hand’s Spring 2020 Collection  (Those rose gold placemats tho!)

Vermont: Images of the Green Mountain State  (Man, I love that place.  We've been to a good amount of the places too.)

This weekend we'll be getting the house ready for invaders next week.  The kitchen will never have been so clean, I'm sure!  Lots to get done but hoping to find an hour or two to relax in there too.  Will have to figure out just how much exposure we want to the public but that's really no different than any other weekend.

Stay safe y'all!

What are you doing this weekend?

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Thursday, March 12, 2020

Chippin' Away at the To Do List

Good Thursday to you all!  I hope you're having a great week and are ready to slide into the weekend soon.  I think we are.

Yesterday I decided since it's March and we've had consistently warmer weather and flannel Charlie Brown Christmas sheets are probably ready for their final wash and storage.  😢  I put away clothes that I've been too lazy to get to since Sunday and stripped the bed and got that rolling.  I've put off painting the area that was behind the trim by the pantry for like 3 weeks and time is winding down.

So I painted it with two coats and realize I'll have to paint that whole wall, likely the whole kitchen, because the sheens are all off.  Back to Home Depot we'll go at some point.  I'm pretty sure we own stock in it now.

Our microwave has felt very wonky to us, like it's going to fall off the wall.  The Mr hopped up to see the bolts on the top and discovered why.

That's where the dude didn't tighten it all the way so the side that's felt like it's gonna fall out is because of that.  FYI for any Best Buy customers, microwaves and stoves are handled by some outside company and only dishwashers and fridges are handled by Geek Squad  I swear to God if the same two d-bags come back, I will not even let them in the house until I've inspected the new appliances.  They're not removing these disasters until I know it's the last time we're going to see them.

The Mr's co-workers took him out to lunch today and they spent the afternoon shooting the poop which was nice for him.  It's been a good transition week for him so far and he just wants to get the hell out and be done.  He's pretty much disconnected from that department, is going to be introduced to his new department today in a meeting and then tomorrow he'll do his exit interview.  I'm hoping he'll take the opportunity to open the big boss' eyes to some people who contributed to his departure if it's presented.

We did Shift Shop's 45-minute strength and it handed us our boo-twa's as my mother would say.  I'm sure I'll be feeling it today.  We settled in and watched Survivor and The Masked Singer (HOLY SH*TBALLS!!!!!) before calling it an evening.

Have you knocked anything off of your to-do list this week?

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Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Hump Day Poll: Warning Labels

If I came with a warning label, what would it say?  I have so many but this is the most important one for me.

When we go on vacation, that time is considered sacred to me.  We need to recharge and that isn't going to happen if we're answering emails, texts or phone calls.  (The only exception I made was in October when my friend's mom died the day before we left.  I kept in touch with her, made arrangements for flowers,  had to deal with florist issues, and checked in with her a day or two after the service.)

I now make it clear when I book a place that we unplug so after initial check-in day,  and I will not be available unless we have an issue until check out day.  The last guy we rented from (who I should've slammed hard in a review) had a problem with this and had the nerve to ding me in his review of me as a guest.  Communication: 3 stars.  How about we talk about your 6 glaring safety issues and the fact that after check out time you wanted me to drag a full, stinky 90-gallon trash can that hadn't been emptied in weeks down your long gravel driveway in the pounding rain.  Kiss my ass, sir. 

Whoops...got off track.  Maybe my label should be "we're all good if you're not an unreasonable douche."

If you came with a warning label, what would it say?

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