Week two began with banana bread, porch drop-offs, and an egg trade.
We spent Sunday making banana bread (here’s my favorite recipe) and artisan bread. Sunday evening we dropped the loaves off at friends’ houses.
I got Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza by Ken Forkish for Christmas and declared 2020 the year of making bread. Who knew everyone else would–just a few months later–also declare it. I’m obsessed with making the Saturday break recipe in that book; I’ve shared some of the process on Instagram since I started (the crackling as the bread cools never, ever gets old). The recipe is hard to share though; it’s about four pages long and references all the techniques and tricks you learn in the first four chapters of the book. So I couldn’t really share it, I just said buy the book.
But with all this free weekend time on our hands, Ellie and I made how-to videos and now everyone can make the bread without buying the book. (I still think you should buy the book; it’s a work of art. I didn’t realize I loved stories about bread but I do. I love stories about bread.)
Eggs were hard to come by when I went to the store on Saturday so I traded banana bread and Saturday bread for farm-fresh eggs from my friend Jessica. We planned this before things even got bad, her with her small farm and me with my bread skills, we knew we’d keep each other stocked if things got weird at the store.
Our second week of social distancing was filled with fresh bread and farm eggs. I’ll try to make that sound terrible, but I don’t think it’s possible.
Chris started working 32 hours a week for now. I’m excited to have him home, because I have lots of projects and ideas that will keep him busy. He is probably not as excited as I am though which I did *not* expect.
We have this lovely little list hanging on the fridge full of home projects that need to be wrapped up before the weather turns nice. We spend the colder months doing inside house projects, but the second it turns nice, we go outside and don’t come back in until October. As the days get longer and start to warm up, I get antsy about outdoor projects and camping. But we really need to finish all the stuff we started this winter before we can move on…so Saturday Chris installed canned lights in the family room.
(Side note: Want to ensure a project gets finished? Call an Enneagram Eight. Want to make sure a project never gets finished? Call an Enneagram Nine. Also, welcome to our marriage.)
We live in a tri-level and the family room could technically be called the basement, I guess. It’s always been a dark room, and I’ve struggled to get adequate lighting with just lamps and one overhead fixture. I’ve dreamed of canned lights ever since Chris put them in the kitchen. This summer we’re building a porch over our back patio, and we’ll lose whatever light we had in the family room, so it was necessary to get the lights up before that happened.
I got new lights and they are everything I dreamed they would be. Except for the layer of dust and cobwebs on the top of the brick wall now visible. Bad lighting made me believe that did not exist. Good lighting showed allllll my dirt.
The girls were still on spring break this week, but we got their desks all set up so we can start e-learning on Monday. Here’s a funny story: In February I put up bulletin boards in my office. I was ready to map out the book. The book that I’ve written and rewritten about three times. Every time, things felt off and I knew something was missing. In February, I figured it out. I put up the bulletin boards (bulletin boards make book-mapping official!) and promised I’d have the outline and 20,000 words done by the time summer break started.
Oh, wait, this story isn’t funny.
Now there’s a folding table under the bulletin boards and the bulletins are starting to be filled with kid stuff. My office–my favorite place to be–has become a co-working space with two loud children. (Also, I understand how privileged I am that I have the space and time and ability to work from home and seamlessly transition to having my kids here too. We’ll survive this, but I get to be grouchy about it sometimes too.)
Saturday night was family game night. My brother planned a Zoom call for us, and we spent the evening with our extended family playing games. We used Jackbox Games and spent hours competing and laughing. Seriously, I think we played for over three hours. I highly recommend doing this with friends or strangers or whomever. They have some free games that will work and you can buy packs if you want more options. (You’ll need one person to “host” on a laptop and then all game participants will need a phone or iPad, etc.) It’s a great way to spend time together while also not leaving your house.
We’ve been taking almost-daily walks on our country road and while out, we’ve noticed a ton of trash. Friday afternoon we grabbed a trash bag (we eventually filled it and had to grab a second one) and spent an hour and a half picking up trash along our stretch of road. So. much. trash.
Also, I found $40. A little tip from the earth in thanks for cleaning her up. How nice. (We used the $40 to get our first takeout meal since isolating at home. We ordered pizza and breadsticks from a local restaurant. It was delicious and not having to make a meal for these hooligans for the first time was prettttty amazing.)
My day-to-day life hasn’t changed much, truthfully. My mornings still start with coffee and Jesus, my days are still spent sitting at a computer writing, and my evenings are spent making dinner, cleaning up the house, and figuring out the plan for the next day. Our weekends are slower, and we have less practices and meetings during the week, but sometimes I forget we can’t go anywhere if we wanted to. I go to the store once a week to get fresh produce and some odds-and-ends, but mostly we don’t need things and I avoid the store.
I cleaned out the girls rooms on Saturday while Chris worked on the lights. Winter clothes went in storage and summer clothes came out. Technically, it’s not that warm yet, but I am optimistic. I washed winter coats and put them away. Toys and books went to the ever-expanding donation pile in my office closet. I organized games and toys in the family room cabinets. The girls washed every single piece of play food or kitchen toy we have. They don’t play with them much anymore, and I’ll get rid of them at the end of summer if they aren’t touched by then, but they’re clean and ready to go if they get super bored.
The girls stayed busy by:
-playing outside on the trampoline with giant bouncy balls
-daily yoga or exercise videos on YouTube
-continuing the daily LEGO challenge
-listening to free audiobooks from Audible
-practicing softball (even though the seasons will probably be cancelled)
-eating a lot of snacks
-reading articles and doing assignments on Actively Learn
We still follow a schedule for weekdays then it’s a free-for-all on the weekend. I can’t tell you how much this makes the weekends still feel special and the weekdays still feel busy. I don’t want to “feel busy” and things are really, really slow in reality, but keeping a schedule, getting dressed every week day, and having a general idea about how the day will go is getting us through well. Having a goal for the day helps keep me mentally healthy. I don’t tie my worth to productivity, but I know myself well enough that if I don’t do anything all day for many days in a row, I get in a weird funk. I don’t need that right now. So this isn’t just a coronavirus tip, this is a life tip: you feel better when there’s a plan, even just a loose one. Don’t plan every day and don’t plan every moment, but it will keep you from going crazy if you spend all your days at home like I do. (I’m too lazy to upload our daily schedules from this week. Moving on.)
What’s for dinner?
(Full disclosure: The better question might be what’s for lunch? because I have NO IDEA what my kids are eating for lunch. I drink coffee while they eat breakfast, and I make dinner, but the things they consume in between those two meals are completely on their own. Obviously, I do all the shopping so we don’t have tons of junk food or things I’m overly concerned about, but I’m also not paying attention at all to snacks and lunch. God speed, kids, God speed.)
Sunday: eggs, potatoes, and bacon
Monday: chili mac
Tuesday: chef salads
Wednesday: Kung Pao chicken and rice with steamed broccoli
Thursday: hamburgers on the grill
Friday: ordered pizza
Saturday: chicken sausage & pesto with pasta
Bible verse that got me through the week:
The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand.
-Psalm 37: 23-24
How are you holding up?
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