I don’t know about you, but I’m getting more than a little overwhelmed by the constant barrage of CoronaVirus related news. I’m feeling anxious and isolated and sort of cast adrift as I struggle to figure out how to do my job from home.
While I’ve been escaping with live streamed yoga classes, professional Zoom meetings and binge watching Sex and the City, it isn’t enough. For the rest of my waking hours, irregular as they may be, there are two C words beyond Corona that are occupying my time – cooking and cleaning.
Since grocery shopping is such an ordeal these days and we’re encouraged to remain at home, I’ve been trying to cook out of my pantry and my crisper drawer. Last night’s meal nicely capitalized on what I happened to have on hand – broccoli rabe, chickpeas, canned tomatoes and an open container of veggie stock.
Now, if you look at this NYT recipe you might notice that it doesn’t actually call for broccoli rabe, listing kale instead, but this is very much a recipe that one can modify according to whim or ingredients available. My take on it, after reading some of the comments on the NYT website, doubled the chickpeas and used the liquid from the canned tomatoes and veggie stock instead of water. I also tossed in a Parm rind for some added flavor and increased the crushed red pepper by a generous extra pinch.
Served with grated cheese, it was a cheap and healthy dinner with the bonus of being delicious.
Cooking the Pasta e Ceci was easy and satisfying – just like some of the recent home projects I’ve taken on. Since I frequently find myself wandering from room to room in my house, I’ve done a fair amount of organizing and weeding of items that I’m prepared to eliminate from my home. There’s been quite a bit of dusting also and I actually removed the three milk glass sconces from my bathroom light fixture and gave them a good washing. I learned that they are in fact not milk glass. They were just really dusty.
On the menu for the upcoming week – Asparagus Pork Stir fry, cleaning the ceiling fans, and moderating my news consumption. How about you?
Filed under Albany, Cooking, DelSo, Dinner, Food, ideas, News, Observations, Recipes, Recommendations, Spring, stress, upstate New York
(As in where my mind goes during a Pandemic and Quarantine)
How will we collectively and individually remember these days? What will this experience etch upon each of us?
I’ve never been so relieved to not own a small business. This must be the most challenging situation small business owners have ever imagined, must less, faced.
In this time of mandatory physical distancing, has gardening become the new intimate contact? There’s a certain satisfaction to be had from getting your heart rate up and getting a little dirty and my backyard has never looked better.
Is a pandemic a valid reason for not observing street cleaning parking regulations in Albany? I believe street parking meters fees have been suspended, but am I jerk for thinking it isn’t too much for my neighbors to move their cars for three hours on a weekday when they’re obviously home?
Can you appreciate how fortunate we are that this illness took aim at our country in spring? How much more desperate would we each be feeling if it were the onset of winter instead of the prelude to a season of growth and natural beauty?
What do you miss the most from “normal” life? What will you do when we are eventually released to resume regular programming?
Do you ever imagine that maybe these times might cause our contemporary society to reset? That we might change what we value most in our world?
Is it really ok that CEOs make millions of $ a year, while nurses, store clerks and delivery drivers earn so much less? When you consider the contributions they’re each making at this time, how do you justify the incredibly broad income gap between the top earners and the rest of the population?
What about you? What have you been thinking?
Even when the skies are grey and intermittently spitting some combination of rain and snow, one must believe that the sun will come out again and shine. It just has to.
One day we’ll reflect back on these times and what we learned from the unimagined challenges of today. I wonder how we’ll be different.
I look forward to one day remembering when…
…Andrew Cuomo became my generation’s Kennedy and the country’s hottest bachelor.
…We learned that our country was home to people who binge purchase paper products without a care about denying others the opportunity to purchase the same traditional essentials?
…Grocery store excursions became explorations as you were forced to substitute random items for those on your shopping list due to lack of availability.
…You realized that hanging out around a bonfire while in your 50s (or even 60s!) was even more fun than when you were in your teens
…The term Katie Girl was added to my vocabulary.
…Questioning “need over want” became a good way to fill the hours.
…Trying to find the balance between being industrious and curling into a ball was more mentally exhausting than any actual job.
…Honesty again became the ultimate commodity.
Flowers in bunches are beautiful. People, not so much.
Walking these days take some attention. I mean, it always demanded that we have our eyes and ears open, but walking in the midst of a pandemic requires an additional sense – as in common sense.
As Jeter and I meander our way through the street of Albany, I now have to consciously take of note of people who might cross paths with us and decide how to best evade them. Cross the street? Go wide? Make eye contact? Smile?
It can all feel a little awkward.
As I walked yesterday I considered how the act of being a contemporary pedestrian was forged into the brains and muscle memory of a lot of 80s kids. We were raised on Centipede, Frogger, Pac-Man and Asteroids. We know how to avoid shit that pops up in front of us and gets in our way. Navigating through perils was a part of our childhood.
The sunshine helps and I appreciated the feel of it on my back Saturday afternoon. Put on some warm clothes and get outside while you can. Breathe deep. Take care of yourselves and each other. Six feet away beats six feet under by miles.
Filed under Albany, beauty, Exercise, friends, Gardens, musings, Observations, Recommendations, sick, Spring, stress, upstate New York
With little else left to do, I find myself walking a lot. On the sunny days, it’s hard to not believe that eventually things will find their way to a new normal. Trees are budding and the earliest bloomers are showing off in front yards and gardens. Life continues, right?
When the skies are grey, though, it’s more difficult to project into a future that contains all the components previously taken for granted – regular schedules for schools and work, grocery stores with fully stocked shelves, hugs with those we love. All those things we never could have anticipated disappearing in a haste that is breathtaking.
It feels like it’s important to document what is happening, with words and images and I’ve been doing both. The photos here are from recent walks I’ve taken. I’ll continue posting photos over at Instagram, if you want to give me a follow over there.
For now, I need to put on some lipstick, set up my Chrome Book and read another chapter in the book I’m sharing with my students using Screencastify. Maybe listening to a book being read will provide an escape from some of what we can’t avoid seeing in print.
We each respond differently to frightening and uncertain times. Some say that the media is exaggerating and insist that the situation is not nearly as dire as it is being portrayed. Others feel the need to purchase and hoard essentials without thought to those who may need immediate access to basic household items such as toilet paper and soap. Or maybe, instead of stockpiling supplies, you’re actually working your way through that stash of alcohol and ice cream that you’ve been saving for the perfect occasion. You know, like today.
I suspect that most, though, are doing their best to continue to meet the demands of family and work while remaining cognitive of the obvious shifting of importance of each of those aspects of life. There’s no two ways about it – this is a very scary time and there’s no telling when we will have our normal lives back again.
So, be kind to one another. Check in with your neighbors before heading to the store. This would be a great time to create a virtual neighborhood group on Facebook for communicating with people who live by you. Do some yard work. Clean out the basement. Take long walks. Look for and acknowledge signs of spring. It’s still coming.
Filed under Albany, beauty, Flowers, Gardens, Local, musings, News, Observations, Recommendations, Spring, stress
The world feels absolutely crazy. While it may not actually be post apocalyptic, it’s as close as I’ve ever been to it and way worse than anything I’ve ever imagined.
My youngest child has asked me twice if I’ve ever experienced anything like this before. I think he repeated the question to give me a chance to respond differently having not liked my initial answer of “No, never.”
This situation we’re currently experiencing is new territory and I very much appreciate the decisions being made by some of our remarkable leaders. I would never want the responsibility that business owners and administrators and politicians have weighing on them these days.
I took my last yoga class today and it was really, really hard. The instructor is super delicate looking but actually is strong as f*ck. The core flow practice felt as if it would never end, like it would be dark outside when we finally finished. I expect to be sore tomorrow.
Speaking of sore, I ran for the first time today. It was slow and not particularly pretty, but I did it. The hills were a challenge to my knees, but I listened to my body and took it easy. I listened to a Waterboys playlist and it was the perfect soundtrack.
My hands feel incredibly dry. It must be related to the excessive amount of hand washing I’ve been doing, along with the odd pump of alcohol based antibacterial gel. I’m convinced the bee balm base of my hand moisturizing product creates a seal which is protecting me from catching a cold, or worse.
I feel like I’ve been eating really well. Cooking homemade meals with lots of vegetables from my Field Goods’ bag and a glass of wine on the side calms me. Especially with an early episode of Sex and the City as a chaser. Escapism isn’t so terrible when one does it with their eyes open.
These are, like I said before, absolutely weird and crazy times.