Pandemic Diaries – Entry 2

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So, we are entering week 4. We survived spring break, the wife has taken over the home office and is into a her days of 10 hours of video conference meetings, and I’m relegated to the kitchen and the basement. We have gotten into a routine and it seems to be working. 7:15am the coffee maker starts doing its thing, I take the dog out, 7:30 everybody invades the kitchen. In an effort to keep everybody happy and add a little variety that we lost with the inability to leave the house, breakfasts have become more interesting than the usual cereal and milk and now include muesli, fresh fruit, yogurt, and this week we have lemon poppyseed muffins courtesy of my daughter.  My in laws dropped off a dozen beautiful lemons during spring break and I tasked her with figuring out something to do with them. She found the recipe and made the muffins almost all (I’d say 95%) by herself. And they’re really, really good. 8:00 everyone is off to their room, and I get most of the house back.

At 12:00 I walk the dog and then make lunch. Around 12:30 I deliver the lunch trying not to disrupt the ongoing video chats. So far, I’ve managed to remember to wear pants every time so that’s a win for everyone. Around 1:30, school is pretty much done and video chatting with friends starts. Then there’s the 3:00 dog walk, followed by piano and violin practice, Then dinner is at 5:00 followed by on line ballet at 6:00 and then a family walk around the neighborhood/getting ready for bed/goofing off until 8:30. I get the coffee maker ready for the next morning and then it’s sleep and repeat.

This is the first full week of a new quarter which is usually when I embark on a serious cleaning of the house. Kitchen and office are tackled, tomorrow will be basement and master bedroom, Friday will be upstairs bathroom. As I work from home, these are things I usually get done without disturbing anyone (in point of fact, no one seems to actually have noticed that I have been doing this for the past 10 years, poor me … :p ), but now I am having to ask both wife and daughter when they will be off of their calls/video classes so I can run the vacuum.

In the mean time, I’ve managed to actually do another blog post with something useful other than me just whinging about housework. In the time since I sporadically started writing, I’ve taken up home brewing and, in the spirit of practically eating (it’s a double entendre for those of you who missed it, both practically as in almost eating but not really because you’re just reading about food, and practically as in trying to be practical and not waste anything like orange peels, spent grain from brewing, roast chicken carcasses, leftover mashed potatoes, …), I’ve decided to share some of the things I do with the leftover grain from making beer. So that’s 4 or 5 posts to look forward to and that doesn’t include recipes for a few more beers that I use in cooking so that’s about 4 more posts. Plus I have pasta, yogurt, and a self of other things, The kind of stuff that I think is normal and easy but that when I tell people they say “Wait, you make your own yogurt? That’s crazy! That must be really hard.” and I say “Um, no. It’s easy.” And I’ll be delving into cheese making, something I’ve always wanted to try but haven’t done so because that actually does seem challenging. Though who knows, maybe once I’ve done it, I’ll be looking back at myself now and saying “Gee, this is really easy. What’s your problem?”

I’ve also been cooking some of the recipes on here for a decade now and I’ve come up with some improvements both in terms of ingredients and process. So, I’ll be revisiting some of my earlier posts and updating them. I’m not sure how the system will treat revised posts, so they may not show up as “new”. If I had any advertising on here, I can see where that might sound like a ploy to cash in on more page views, but since I don’t, it isn’t.

Finally, my daughter complained that I haven’t made any little videos lately. That’s mostly because they are a small pain in the ass, but since I can now enlist her assistance, and she has like 2 hours of down time between school and ballet, maybe we’ll knock out one or two.

So, there is a plan … there was always a plan, life just kept getting in the way. But since life, at least what passed for life until a month ago, is on hold, I have some time I need to fill. After all, idle hands …