25 December 2021

Covid Christmas - A Three Act Play

 Opening Scene/last night/right before bedtime:

Most of our presents are wrapped and organized for the morning.  Organized in that most of them need to go next door for the kids.  My office looks like Hallmark and the UPS store projectile vomited all over it.  Boxes, wrapping paper, tape, ribbons, everything.  

My plan was to keep the majority of the house clean and just let my office by like a large-scale Monica's Closet.  Mostly that worked.  The flaw in the plan was that I work from home now.  I don't have a giant desk to wrap presents anymore.  Instead, I would take the present(s) out to the dining table, wrap them, and put them under the tree.  Rinse and repeat a gabillion times.

This worked well until I got tired and a little overwhelmed.  I left the gift cards for the kids to the very last.  I had bought bags and boxes of candy to hide them so the presents had weight and sound to them.  What I didn't factor was boxes.  I only had big boxes.  When I went to bed, they were lined up on my desk with sticky notes with the kids names.  Oh, and I had both over-bought and under-bought candy.  I couldn't evenly distribute the candy among the five bigger kids.  Sweet Baby Nephew already had his and so did They - our non-binary nephew.

I told Kevin that I didn't need to sleep in this morning. (this is called foreshadowing...) that I had to solve the box problem and wrap them, I wanted to vacuum the house, and straighten everything up before his parents came over for presents.  No problem, he told me.  The parents won't be moving around early.

Act Two:

He mostly let me sleep in, but not too late. I was in the shower when there was knocking on the door.  Always a good feeling.  Kevin doesn't hear the door because he has hearing loss so I'm leaning out of the shower, yelling his name over the water, and through the house. 

It was his dad, bringing over gifts for later. he assured Kevin that his mom was sleeping and it would be hours before they would come over.  I hurried and got myself ready, then figured out the wrapping issue for the kids.  Luckily I hoard decorative boxes so I emptied the candy into those then buried the gift cards in the boxes, wrapped the boxes and we're done.  Except now I have extra bags of candy.  I found the only two gift bags that I possess, put them in them, and voila.

We loaded the remaining presents into bags, put on boots and coats because it snowed overnight. (hooray!!)  Kevin opened the door for us to leave and....there stands the parents.  Because OF COURSE.  They had made their way from their house THROUGH THE SNOW to ours.  And without checking with us first.

Kevin froze, standing still in the doorway, while I lightly cursed under my breath much like the baby jesus intended.  He sprung into action and brought them into the house - because they're both exhausted now - and got them settled on the couch.  THEN he announces "We'll be back in a minute"  Now it's my time to freeze because umm, Kev? we're leaving your parents alone in the house?  Seems rude but okay.

We walked next door with our presents in time to see Niece, Nephew and They for a few minutes so that was nice timing.  Then we came back to begin our Christmas festivities.  I'm trying not to obsess that the office is a mess, that I was going to sanitize the bathroom for them, and that I hadn't even thought of snacks yet.  But I'm in it now.

Kevin and I got dried off, dried off Lucy and gave her extra treats because, oh yeah I didn't mention THEY BROUGHT THEIR DOG.  If we ever wondered about if Lucy would like a partner, the answer is an emphatic No Thank You.  She's not mean to other dogs but she did spend her time hiding behind Kevin in his chair:

I started to get stuff organized and thought about getting snacks when I turned to spot their dog POOPING ON THE CARPET.  It's a little dog, like five pounds and the poop was a big dog size.  AND she had already pooped in our walkway on the way over here.  

So now I'm trying not to react, trying not to get grossed out, and keeping an eye on Kevin, whose blood pressure was somewhere in the atmosphere at this point.  We tag teamed the clean up and tried to just pretend it never happened.  Meanwhile his dad kept repeated that he was going to take the dog home yet didn't move.  Finally, after clean-up was completed, he wanders back over to the house to put the dog away.  

He finally returns and now we were just starting to think about how to do presents when there was someone at the door. Because you know what? WHY NOT.  It was Kevin's brother and...wait for it...their brand new puppy.  We have now become an Everyone Loves Raymond very special Christmas episode.

So, pause:

Kevin's brother NEVER EVER comes to our house, let alone inside.  Now I have to flip into Be Pleasant, Be Inclusive mode.   I invited him to sit in my chair and I moved the dining chair next to Kevin, which was better anyway.  Nope, gotta make it weird: he sat behind everyone at the dining table "because of the dog".  I so, so, so wanted to say "What's the worst that can happen? It poops on the carpet?"  But I did not and I want a cookie.

And continue...

We start to distribute presents and Kevin can't read the labels so I jumped in and started dealing out presents like a card game.  Finally, everyone is ready and his mom just sits there, bewildered.  She has used every ounce of her energy and brain power to get to this moment and now she's over whelmed.   

Kevin started it off by opening the present that his brother gave him (we chose names) then things started rolling okay.  It turns out that my sister-in-law sent over a gift from them so the gifts would be balanced.  It's a coffee mug with Kevin's photo on it.  Two things to know: Kevin hates having his photo taken and this one is at a Mexican Restaurant, for his birthday, WEARING A SOMBRERO.  Epic.  

So, now the presents are all opened and everyone is just chatting amongst themselves for a minute.  Kevin, who can't exist in clutter is all "Whelp, let's clean this up."  which made me laugh and wince at the same time.    On "normal" Christmas, this is my f-i-l's favorite part.  But Kevin has assumed the mantle this year because 2021.  We separated all the plastic from the paper and rounded up everything in the mud room.  Kevin took the first batch out and I continued cleaning up.  I walked into the mud room to set boxes down and I hear a noise. A noise that sounded like water.

There is my f-i-l peeing in the common folk bathroom and he didn't close the door.  Just left it about halfway open.  Kevin returns and didn't notice so when he turned around, I did that spousal silent communication that you develop over the years to get him to look.  Again, he just freezes. Stares for one beat, his eyes widened then I could actually see him take a deep breath.  He just picked up boxes and went back outside. His dad followed shortly thereafter.

Now it's just my mother-in-law and me, which is fine.  I began to gather up their presents and get them organized so it was easy to carry them. Took the plastic and tags off, put the boxes away, etc.  She's clearly worn out and a little confused at this point.  

Then my f-i-l returns and announces "It's time to go home"  Umm, okay.  He continues to stand in our kitchen, repeats himself, then stands there.  My m-i-l told him to come sit down for a few minutes to visit but he just says "I'm all wet"  No explanation or follow up.  Just "I'm all wet"  (because snowing, I'm hoping/assuming)  She indicates that he just got tshirts, jeans, and a flannel shirt for gifts and he could change clothes.   I'm thinking "Sigh....now she's coherent..."  But he is steadfast, it's time to go home.

Kevin comes into the house and is all What's Happening?  His dad repeats "It's time to go home."  So Kevin flips into combat mode and we try to get everyone headed out the door.  HERDING KITTENS.  My gawd.  Where's my purse? Where's my coat?  Where's my cup?  How are we taking the presents home?

Finally, we get them out the door.  By the time we are halfway there (75 feet, maybe) I hear Kevin ask his mom "Can you make it?" and she says she doesn't think so.  He shifted his body to bear more of her weight and basically carries/shoves her the remainder of the way.  He got them both into their house, put the presents on the table, and I'm pretty sure they were still talking when he closed the door and walked away.  He had hit his Dealing With the Parents Limit.


We returned to our nice, quiet, cozy house and just took a deep breath.  Levin sat down and admired his presents. Then I could see he was getting a little antsy.  "Do you want to go out to your shop and play with your new toys?"  You could SEE the relief "If you don't mind..." as he's standing and gathering his stuff.  He had had his limit and I was actually looking forward to some peace myself.

I finished cleaning up and putting stuff away then decided I would go outside to enjoy the snow for a little bit.  Lucy and I walked around the neighborhood and I took photos while she hunted.  Then cold and wet, I came inside and began to write this.

Kevin phones about ten minutes later "The kids are outside, playing in the snow. Come out."

I booted and coated up again and headed out onto our deck and down into our yard, which now has about five inches of snow.  The kids were all playing in the lower property, trying to figure out how to sled without sleds. Flashbacks to about ten years ago when they were little and spent the whole day out sledding.



One of the boys asked me "How would you describe us as we were ten years ago?"  It's such a thoughtful and deep question that it took me a second to absorb it.  "Unstoppable" I told him, "You guys were out here playing so hard, in whatever way you could, with whatever you could."  He seemed to like that answer.

Slowly everyone made it back next door, except the two younger boys.  One complained that his hands were cold and he wanted to go inside.  His brother stopped, stripped off his gloves and gave them to him.  Cue to me getting misty-eyed watching this happen.  They're such good, kind boys, I told Kevin later.

Finally we all returned to warm houses.  I made myself a mocha and sat down to finish this.  

Now an hour later, we've had dinner delivered by the Nephew and have full bellies.  Kevin is dozing and watching television while Lucy sleeps in front of the fire.  I am in my office feeling mellow and cozy.  The m-i-l phoned to thank us for the "perfect, peaceful Christmas" and to apologize for their dog again.  Kevin had her on speaker phone just in time for a gunfight on Yellowstone to break out so we hurriedly finished the conversation. They too are cozy in their home with fully bellies.

For our second Covid Christmas, it was actually pleasant with dashes of crazy.  

I hope this finds you mellow and cozy as well, Happy Holidays

24 December 2021

Merry Happy Holidays


Merry and Happy Holidays to you.  

May it find you safe, healthy, and happy.  Spend it with people you love or in your own company, whichever is best for you. May these days bring you a little peace.

22 December 2021

Frock This Tree

 As a young child we didn't have many Christmas tree ornaments.   To add to this: my parents disagreed on how to decorate a tree Because Of Course They Did.  AND my dad wanted a Charlie Brown type tree - sparse and branches way apart. 

So instead of garland we had a cloth, faded, used-to-be-red, rope. Tinsel was not allowed because reasons.  I don't have any memories of "special" ornaments; mostly glass globes that had clearly seen better days. I'm sure there were others but I just remember the scratched glass globes.

The only photo I have of the tree, in probably about 1974

Oddly, my dad would also get a tree for us kids that was in our collective room. But this was only when I was very young, under the age of six or so.  I have zero recollection how it was decorated but it was probably with whatever handmade ornaments we brought home from school.  As in "Those are nice but put them on your tree."

The next part you call me a liar and that's okay.. 

My dad quit his job at the State Transportation Department to start-up a garbage company with his alcoholic best friend, who fronted the money and my dad did the grunt work. (you can imagine the drama)  So my dad was a garbage truck driver for a little while; he was many jobs for a little while.

This job, as you imagine, included going to the dump.  One Christmas my dad brought home discarded ornaments from the dump. "They were just laying there." I remember him saying. Ornaments..FROM THE DUMP.

So, of course there were broken ones.  My mom fished out the good ones and told us to be careful.  Well, we were young, probably ten and five years old so we weren't as careful as we could be or that we were even able.  And we broke a few and she was annoyed and that's just the holiday enjoyment one hopes for.

In that stash was also garland, the tinselly kind.  Of course it was all different lengths and didn't match but we didn't care because TINSEL.  We put it onto the tree and all the Who's in Whoville rejoiced.

Yes, my dad was annoyed.  The red rope returned the next year, in addition to the piecemeal tinsel garland.  Red, silver, green, and blue if you're curious about the colors. All varying lengths so they would not wrap around the tree.

So, with that story a person can understand that I Do Not Play when it comes to our Christmas tree.  I always want one bigger than we have room for.  Kevin always patiently rolls his eyes and makes it happen.  

I have too many ornaments and continue to buy more each year.  They range from simple to flashy, expensive to dollar-store.  Old and new.  I have bells from when I was married to satan.  I bought two sets for our very first Christmas tree, which now I can't even remember, and brought them with me when I left.  It's an odd thing to keep but it's not about him or that time, I just like them.

At least they fit in one box...if you consider a tote a box

Super fancy ornaments and bells from the before times

We have ornaments from Kevin's childhood that were his grandmas.  I love them like they were from My grandma

There are also plastic candy canes & another elf
but those were already on the tree

We also have a spark plug on our tree.  You just thought Wut? or "Oh, of course, they have racecar" but no.  Kevin's best friend had this idea and we started doing it when another best friend passed away just before Christmas a few years ago.  It always surprises me when I take it out of the box then it makes me happy sad. (Karl, we speak your name)

Then finally one funny story to lighten up this place.  (unintentional pun!)  The other day I set Rosie the Robot to cleaning the kitchen/mud room and then went into my office to work.  Probably an hour later, I went into the bedroom and thought I saw a flash.

Well, I had a pout because something like that could be a symptom of the vision thing.  A few minutes later, I walked out of the bedroom and into the living room.  To find that Rosie had gotten into an argument with the tree.  The tree was now in display mode, flashing all the colors and all the ways.

I had to crawl under and nearly behind the tree to retrieve Rosie who had retreated to a far corner to enjoy her handiwork, and to reset the tree from disco-mode.  Sometimes the universe is funny and reminds you to get over yourself.

And that, my friends, is the origin story of our Christmas tree.

18 December 2021

This is All Over the Place

I started this TWO weekends ago but I'm rolling with it.

It's Saturday and I woke up not feeling stabby and disappointed so that's a good sign. 

Kevin has apparently...said with complete amusement...decided that it's time we can joke about the diagnosis.  I was out in the shop with him last night to see progress on his big project.

He was doing something fine-motor and needed his glasses.  He sighed heavily, "I'm just saying Take Care of your eyes so you can see."  At first, I did exactly what you probably did; somewhere along the lines of WTAF did you just say.  

But he has a look when he's been facetious and I happened to catch it.  Then I laughed.  You have to have thick skin to be married to Kevin sometimes.  But this was his way of saying Enough.  

When I went to sleep last night, today's plan was to put up the Christmas tree.  It's now 4:00 pm on Saturday and I have...pulled apart Monica's Closet. Well, what had happened was...

I need a box to store all my work office stuff.  I just have a sneaking suspicion that next term I will need to be at the office.  So my lamps, artwork, desk stuff that are duplicates, etc. are being boxed. BUT I don't have a box that's adequate.  So, pause that project.

Chaos that is begun when I open the door to
Monica's Closet.

I took down all the Fall/Halloween/Thanksgiving decorations and boxed them up; only to find that they don't fit in one tote anymore.  Now I need one more tote.

Trying not to be daunted, I continued.  I have one cardboard file box that has held the remnants of my scrapbook project.  I dumped it out onto the floor of the office, which could be categorized as brave or stupid, you decide.  It was both, because:  I ended up putting photos into a photo album, culling even more stuff, then stuffing it back into the closet.

Fast Forward almost exactly 24  hours:

Kevin and I went to dinner last night with his BFF so this enabled me to get two big things off of my list:

We bought two totes to solve the above issues.  Although one tote now holds the files, file dividers, etc. from the file cabinet.  I don't have the patience to undo it right now or go buy another tote.

We bought casters for the filing cabinet that is always in the way and now, bonus! I don't need because my work has gone paperless.  The casters make it - duh - movable so I can put it in Monica's closet and move it whenever I need to.  Put this on the list of Things That Should Have Happened Years Ago.

This brings me to the Christmas Tree.  Because of course it does, this is how it began.

First, a recap:

We bought a fake tree last year when the tree place where we usually go wasn't open because of Covid.

We also bought me a new chair last year and put it where there wasn't a chair before.  And a standing lamp.  Oh, and we moved the china hutch to the opposite corner.  We've managed to create both more space and less space.

Which brings us to the coffee table.  (keeping up? No? seems reasonable)

We have a live edge coffee table that is old (35-ish years) valuable, and the nicest piece of furniture in our house.  It's also huge and it also doesn't quite match anything else in our house.  We have threatened to give it away or put it in storage but we just can't quite let go.  No matter what we do though, it's in the way and yells "HI! I'm a Coffee Table!" as soon as you walk into the house.  

Well, we bought a frame for the television and we're going to mount it on the wall.  Then the nice entertainment center that we spent $cough a few years ago will go away and the table will go underneath it.  Like an art piece.  When is that supposed to happen?  This weekend.  Has Kevin mentioned it? Nope.  One of his contractor guys is reportedly coming up to help him.

Right now he's in the shop with the fabricator for the racecar and has been most of the day. He's already been on "errands" this morning (getting my birthday card. He has no subterfuge skills)

I've already been to town as well.  I was supposed to finish shopping yesterday and my brain went "you know what? Nope. Not today" which is always just fantastic.  Instead I mostly finished today in the pouring down rain.  We're going out to dinner and I have one pick-up at the target then I'm done.

What else?  Oh, how this started. The tree is up and decorated.  It had a little tiff with Rosie the Robot the other day.  I came out of the bedroom and it was in display mode: flashing, changing colors, etc.  I had to crawl under the tree to disentangle the both of them then find the switch to turn off the disco lights.

The house is decorated but a little low-key this year.  It was kind of an energy thing when I began and as I mention every year: this house shrugs off Christmas decorates like a toddler wearing a hat.  I persevered and put out about 75% of the decorations.  INCLUDING my office because I work here now, which is both festive and strange. 

So, then...sigh.  My birthday.  Because pandemic, we can't go on an adventure like previous years. I thought about it and we're going to go driving on an off-road trail that goes to a lookout over the entire valley.  It's five minutes from the house and we have NEVER been.  Then we're going to an old junk shop by the post office and to a tiny little restaurant in the cutest little artist-colony town you've ever seen. (Edison, WA)

Kevin was all "Are you *sure* that's all you want to do?" and I'm all yep.  And he's all "Okay..."
I should have known that it went too easily.  The other night he said "I was thinking..." which is marriage speak for "You're not going to like this idea"  

"We should go see your mother and take her a Christmas present on your birthday."

Luckily he was on the phone but he got the gist of my feelings when I replied "Why ya gotta be like that?"  In his most patient tone and ending in a loud voice "Because that's what NORMAL PEOPLE DO."  There was discussion about it and about it again and we're going.  With all the holiday spirit I can muster: fml.

But Christmas cards went out earlier than they ever have ever so that is happy. 
Shopping is mostly done so that is happy.
Tree is up and that is happy.
Everyone is healthy and that is happy.

The rest of it...well, 2021 can die in a fire. Meanwhile, here's a photo of Lucy dreaming about all the squirrels Santa is bringing her:

10 December 2021

It Just Felt Like Four Days

 I follow the weather via a local facebook page.  It is almost always correct.  Where we live, the weather reports are often based out of Seattle, with our area included.  Sometimes it's accurate, sometimes it's not.  My weather said it would snow today.  Kevin's weather app said no, it wouldn't.  Guess who woke up to snow?  We did.

Guess whose power went out just as I was standing up from my desk to go shower at 8:00 this morning? Yeah, mine.

I always give it a minute before reporting it because often enough it will pop back on. But not so much this morning.  I made the report and the automated service predicted a 10:30 am restoration time.  Okay, that's not too bad.  Other than the not shower thing.

This isn't my first experience with no electricity.  A few years ago we went for FOUR DAYS, which was remarkable in it's suckitude.  Four Days  Click the link for the original post and the three subsequent  following posts.

This is where I say that Kevin spent part of his vacation making sure that the parents generator was serviced and ready to go in case this happened.  When I checked, I could hear it happily whirring away, keeping them warm and with lights.  Usually he comes home to care for the parents but it wasn't an option today, he had two meetings that couldn't be missed.  Since the Four Days thing though, we have a pretty solid process in place.

At 8:00 am, it's still not quite light yet.  I brought down my kerosene lamps to see if I could use them to read by.  Well, it's been years since they were in use and they were dusty and sticky.  The wicks needed replacing and does kerosene go bad?  What I'm saying is that it wasn't successful.  And the house now smelled like kerosene.

Okay, well, we know I have candles. I went to the cupboard where they live(d) and no candles.  Then I remembered where I put them and was good to go.  Until about a year ago, there was a radio in the bathroom.  But it wasn't being used anymore so I took it out.  It's battery powered so I kept it...in Monica's Closet.  So I had to dig through it - in the dark - to get it because the battery-powered light was no where to found.  Now we have candlelight and music.

I remembered the not-showering thing from Four Days and went to address that issue.  Changed clothes, the cringingly named whores bath (read the Four Days post, it's explained there).  I have dry shampoo and used that with some success.  It wasn't a warm shower but at least I felt a little better.

Then I played solitaire dominoes at the dining table and read some magazines. I tried reheating my coffee on the stove with some success. I tried to not think about the food in the refrigerator and freezer that I couldn't get to and instead had a banana and peanut butter & crackers. Add Kevin phoning every thirty minutes for a status update and that's how most of the day went.

10:30 went by and no power.  I phoned the power company and the time had been bumped to 12:30; frustrating but no big deal.  I did some chores, went outside with Lucy for a while, then finally landed on the couch.  A quick snoozle was interrupted by my father-in-law wanting to know if I wanted to start the generator yet.  I looked at the clock and it was now 1:05 pm, thirty-five minutes past the SECOND restoration time.

I told him I would let him know and that I would phone the power company again.  The automated system made me re-report the outage.  That didn't feel good.  I'm already trying to squelch the ptsd from the Four Days without Power thing.  I then hit all the buttons until I got a real live person.

I explained what had happened AND that the last time the restoration time kept being changed, we were out of power for FOUR DAYS.  She was properly horrified and assured me that it wouldn't be that long.  Oh, and now the restoration time was 6:30 pm.  

Again, trying to squelch the ptsd, I did the rote "There are elderly folks who live on the road. One of which requires oxygen and two that are medically fragile.  If this is going to be A Thing, we need to know."   She was sympathetic but could provide very little insight.

Then I walked next door to make sure they were still okay.  My father-in-law insisted to start the generator for our house. Kevin was coming home in an hour or so and I really wasn't worried about the generator, but the f-i-l insisted. Luckily, I had notes on my phone for the process because this is a task that he's no longer able to do.  He's 84 and has had significant cognitive skills loss.  It's terrible but now we know.  Eventually, the generator was started and I had heat again. And a lamp.  Because he won't take no for an answer.  

I phoned Kevin with a question when my f-i-l gestured.  "Ask him to bring gas home."  I repeated the request and Kevin pauses.  "I...don't...have...a...gas can.  I'm at WORK."  Now this is a two-fold problem: whenever something needs gas - lawnmower, tractor, whatever - it's our gas that gets used; because of course, the b-i-l never has gas.  Also we had to literally and actually tell my f-i-l to stop putting gas cans in the back of their van to get filled.

This is one of those Fix Your Face times.  I had to not react to Kevin's response while my f-i-l was right there.  "Okay, f-i-l can maybe call your brother Who Gets Home Earlier Than You, that he needs to get gas for the generator."  My f-i-l was a little shruggy because they know they can't count on the b-i-l. But if we don't make him step up, he doesn't.  And I can get out to get gas so it wasn't an EMERGENCY, it was just the principle of the thing.

It had been about fifteen minutes of the generator running when my m-i-l phoned.  I had a little panic as I answered, thinking the f-i-l had over-exerted himself.  No, no, they were just curious why their television wouldn't work.  They plugged it in but it wouldn't connect to the satellite. Well, because their televisions are on our system and my satellite does not have power.  

I told her that I would see if I can power up my satellite without running a daisy chain of electrical cords and would let her know.  Then Kevin called because it had been thirty minutes.  I explained what had happened and he was all  "Umm, I think they can MANAGE."   I just laughed and said "Then you tell them."   Turns out, I couldn't so they didn't have television after all. "It's okay, honey, we were just curious" she says when I break the news.  

Now, the water thing.  If there is no power, there is no water or sewer.  We have buckets of water outside to flush the toilets so that part was taken care of.  I have bottled water stored in the pantry so that was taken care of.  Usually, if it's stormy enough to risk losing power, I will fill one or both of the bathtubs.  Because this was a surprise, I didn't.  I brought in snow to melt in the sink if I need to wash something, true Little House on the Prairie style.

All the while this is happening, and in addition to Kevin's calls, I posted on social media and messaging my friend with updates.  Because these things are in important to do when you don't have power and you should conserve the battery on your phone.  So, maybe it was good that the generator was running.  Also, I kept using the flashlight on my phone instead of the actual flashlight.

Oh, and the internet.  I only have a little hotspot that works if the power goes out and it's only until the battery dies.  I had already called out to work but I kept having the impulse to go on the laptop and work.  Then I'd remember I didn't have internet, check on my phone, and rinse and repeat.

At one point, I thought "I'll get the truck out of the driveway and take Lucy to get coffee and treats, maybe charge my phone.  THEN I remembered the last time we drove in the snow to get coffee.  Snowplow and a totalled truck.  So, we stayed home.

Then without warning, the house roared back to life.  Three hours ahead of the scheduled time.  I happily went around the house undoing all of the above and continued my life as scheduled.  EXCEPT, the power coming back on meant I had to make dinner.  Gotta give to get, I suppose.

I didn't publish this post this morning because I wanted to add photos.  But I needed to go shower.  I went into the bathroom, which the door had been shut to conserve heat yesterday, and saw this:


08 December 2021

I Do Not Have The Skills for This

 How's the whole vegetarian thing going, you might be wondering.  Well, it's a process.  I tend to be an All or Nothing person so I have to like Not do that.  

I haven't had red meat since the diagnosis. Until.  Until I made spaghetti and meatballs last night, because my mother-in-law requested it. (surprises happen every day)  I ate one meatball without thinking about it then ate half of the other.  Yep, paid for that at 2:00 this morning.  Super.  So my body is clearly a fan of the no meat thing.

However, I had to decide that dinner has to have chicken or turkey still.  I barely have the skills to cook for both of us, let alone make a dinner for Kevin and a dinner for me.   I did have a gardenburger while everyone else had a burger the other day - I would like a sticker, please - and I like fish-wiches when it's time for fast food.

During the day, I do just fine.  It's just me and the choices are limited to what I have here in the house.  I have yogurt, and smoothie stuff.  Cereal and oatmeal.  Peanut butter and cheese.  (not together, eww.)  I'm not a big fresh fruit fan, other than a banana that I make myself eat every day.  Vegetables are okay and I do enjoy having a salad at lunch now.  

As a "Meh, I'll give it a try" I bought Just Crack an Egg.  I can only have eggs sporadically but I thought it might be good to switch it up or that Kevin would like them.  It's a protein but it's processed so really kind of a wash.  

So, if you don't know: it's a plastic bowl with little packets of potato, cheese, and bacon.  (or sausage)  You take all of that out, crack an egg...thus the name...into the bowl and mix in the other ingredients.  This is where the wheels fall off.

I couldn't get the egg to crack.  The edge of the provided bowl flexes and isn't conducive to cracking an egg.  Well, for someone with my skills, maybe.  The first egg I broke went into the sink, about as expected when I try "cooking" something new.  But I persevered and mixed it all up.  Put it in the microwave with the broken handle and waited.

It was....mushy?  It was one of those things that taste better than they look.  I think the intention is a quiche-like texture.  Also, it tasted mostly of cheese and bacon.

Because of the texture, I think it's a hard pass for Kevin.  I did eat the remaining one, only this time adding two eggs and scrambling them before adding the other ingredients.  It was significantly better so Just Crack Two Eggs and Scramble should be the name.  

It's not a no.  It's a meh.
This is the one egg one

Then it comes to smoothies.  Swistle was helpful with ideas and made me realize that I had forgotten honey and that's why it was a little bitter or yogurty.  The smoothies have been mildly successful.  I don't hate them but I'm also not skipping to the kitchen for one.

I made a mango/banana/strawberry one the other day and I liked it.  Until I rinsed the glass out in the sink and noticed the remnants looked like vomit.  (too many years in Early Childhood Education)  It will be a little bit before I make that one again.

Today's issue was the yogurt.  It's always the yogurt.  All the smoothie recipes say use plain yogurt. I am not a fan. Today I decided to use fruit yogurt the same as the frozen fruit.  When I opened and began to dump it in the blender, I thought "That looks...soupy...."  But the thought didn't complete before the action.  I checked the expiration date and it was a week past due.  Because why not.  I dumped it out and started again.  This time with success.  The honey and flavored yogurt made the difference!  Hooray!

So, not winning. Also, not losing.