One year into lockdown. I can barely remember “normal” life. What is normal? I read some old entries where I was striving to cut back on buying cleaning supplies to declutter. This past year, I went through them because there is no room in my grocery cart for cleaning supplies. I was reigning in buying exercise equipment. Now, I’m looking for more. I was even trying to whittle down my dried beans stash. I’ve buzzed through them and then some. A lot more some. Two people have chowed through more than a hundred fifty pounds of rice and beans in less than a year. What are work pants? What are pajamas? Denim is now dressing up.
What is time? I’ve usually given a nod to Groundhog Day because it was the start of this blog. Now, every day is Groundhog Day. I’ve usually acknowledged the Lunar New Year. Happy Year of the Ox. Every day is a new start. As Belle crooned, “Everyday like the one before.”
So in short, how am I doing? I don’t know. Does not compute. I’m grateful to be where I am; to have what I have; and to just be. But if I’d had a choice about this, if my parents had asked me, I would rather not be.
Since we’ve had close to two months of this, whatever this is, I’ve had time to burn.
GARBAGE TV – A whole lot of YouTube, some Netflix, currently Married at First Sight. Which, I have some thoughts.*
COOKING – A neverending pot of rice. Beans. And greens. Here’s my recent favorite repeat recipe (ingredients only since I don’t measure too much):
- Beans (red, black, cannellini, whatever you have) 1 lb dry (about) – cook it separately with a few bay leaves
- Carrots 3 or 4, grated
- Rough Blitzed together
- Jalapenos (leave the seeds)
- Nutritional yeast 1/2 cup
- Balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce/liquid aminos, tomato sauce
- Dry spices: Mustard powder, turmeric, oregano, basil, thyme, paprika, white and black pepper, salt
Add all the ingredients into the pot of cooked beans, including the bean water (but just make sure the bean liquid just covers the beans and it’s not soup. This is great over rice, toast, or just by itself.
SKIN CARE – Mostly, no skincare except lotion for my cryptkeeper hands. I haven’t been wearing daily sunscreen like I usually do on weekdays. I haven’t been leaving the house, what’s the point? BUT! I have been watching dermatology vids on YouTube and learning so much about skin care. Like apply moisturizer or really, a good occlusive (oils) right after a shower while wet. It will seal in the moisture in the skin, a little messily.
*MAFS Thoughts: Netflix only has Season 9 – North Carolina. The general premise is, three “experts” make four couple matches and they get married sight unseen. The first time they meet is at the alter. No name to Google, no photo, nada. If I had to give season 9’s four couples a TL;DR name, they would be: Virgin, WWJD, Drama, and Sport. I got sooo invested early on in Sport. They seemed so sweet, like they really wanted a home and family. So after the third episode, I looked up if they made it. And they didn’t! In fact, I think only WWJD and maybe Drama might still be together. I think what failed for Sport, that broke my heart a little, is one-sided candor. Honesty is so important in building trust.
So grateful for the job that affords me the flexibility to hermit. I’ve left the house twice since the 15th. Once to get some zoomies out. I was going bonkers. And once to grab some fresh produce. Which was about a week ago and I’m mostly out of again. I am eating an inordinate amount of food. Mentally, I’m doing okay? The biggest challenge is probably feeling trapped in a tiny place where I don’t have room to walk without pacing. Because of that, I usually try to do something active daily to help me sleep. Otherwise, I take 5 steps to the kitchen and 5 to the bathroom and that’s about the extent of it. What I would give for a backyard right now! At least then I could go roll around in the yard or something.
Our incompetent administration that has painfully botched the handling of this pandemic has just decided to extend this physical distancing mission another month (4/30). Obviously too late. Frankly, I don’t think things will improve by then. Telling people who get sick to stay in their homes isn’t effective. They will infect their families. They or their family members will go out to get supplies and will infect others. Not testing more people regardless of symptoms is also a failure. Lying about the efficacy of masks rather than admitting the truth of an insufficient supply of them was a failure.
This isn’t a prediction for 2020, but it’s a prediction made in 2020. It has nothing to do with what I wish. Otherwise, I’d put in winning the lottery on this list. It’s what I think is likely to happen.
- The Republicans will win the Executive Branch for a second term. This will lose the Dems another Supreme Court seat.
- The economy will be fine until late 2024.
- The US Federal Reserve will have to dip into negative interest rates just like in Scandinavia and Japan.
- Don’t buy coastal property or get any coastal timeshares. Actually, avoid timeshares in general. This isn’t a prediction so much as common sense.
Lent, my favoritist holiday, is here again. There’s just something about the budding newness and renewal of Spring that inspires change, growth, experimentation. A 40-day experiment is fun, a little challenging if you want it to be, and noncommittal. Perfect for my 5-minute attention span.
This year, my Lent challenge is to meditate (daily?). I don’t have any rules or guidelines. I don’t even really know how to meditate except to just focus on my inhales and exhales and come back to my breath when my brain invariably wanders to which pot the kumquat plant is going to go.
This is kind of a TS moment, being the 13th year of this blog. It’s a new decade so this blog has now spanned three decades – the aughts, 10s, and 20s. I’m not sure what the groundhog is thinking but I’m thinking spring is going to come early. This winter has been unusually mild.
So how am I doing with that 2020 resolution, now that it’s been about a week. The resistance bands I got some years back have finally justified the space they occupy. I just do a 45-minute or so bit of exercises and stretching in the evenings. It seems to help me digest after dinner and I seem to fall asleep more easily. I don’t do anything vigorous or strenuous but there’s definitely a burn and the stretching bit is nice afterwards. I’m hoping to keep this up as an evening ritual. All I need is a good tv show to keep me going.
Another New Year to celebrate! Renewal! Good fortune! And in particular good health! It’s nice to have the Lunar New Year follow so closely after the Gregorian calendar New Year, because this year, I spent January recovering from a flu which became bronchitis. So I slept for what felt like three weeks. I’m all good now. Even that last bit of lingering cough-hack is gone! (TCM trick for a stubborn cough: I stopped eating bananas and had daikon soup.)
2020, besides being a new decade, is also a leap year and the year of the rat. Rats are lovable and smart! To ring in this lovably smart new year, I cleaned the bathroom vanity and cooked vegetable noodles. All very lovable and smart activities to ring in an auspicious year.
Resolutions. I’ve been racking my brain since late 2019 and still haven’t really thought of anything. For the past few years it had revolved around reducing consumption. It’s become a habit now for the most part so I think I can safely move on and still lead a life of cognizant consumption.
So that brings me to my current thoughts on what to focus on this year. I’m feeling weak from laying about for three weeks so I think this year, I want to focus on strength and movement. Also, with strength, I’d like to revisit flexibility.
Ever since I got it in my head that I had to bonsai my clown plumeria in order to keep it in a pot, I’ve been doing a lot of research. After finally receiving my phD in bonsai-ing from the Universities of YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram, I’m now trying to grow citrus seeds and avocado pits to see if I can bonsai them as well. I’m a bit nervous about chopping down the plumeria but I think I can propogate the top in case the root base doesn’t make it. I’d also love to have a honeysuckle bonsai if I can get my hands on a cutting of the vine and I also have a jade plant to hack. Since today marks the shortest day of the year, I plan to start my chopping in a month or two. Growing season is the ideal time to cut.
I went apple picking during Labor Day weekend. They had Jonagold, Red and Golden Delicious, Gala, and Mutsu. I like Golden, Jonagold, and Mutsu. I am okay with Reds and I dislike Galas. Galas are cloyingly sweet, and soft and mealy. Jonagolds have a good hard crunch and some tartness. Goldens also have a slight pleasing tartness. I do eat the cores now, which incidentally makes them much easier to slice. I take the seeds out though because I don’t like chewing on them.
Doesn’t that just make you think of fall? I had been ungratefully wishing for autumn days since July. Partly, because July was a stressful time at work so I just wished everything was fast forwarded away. Reality wasn’t as bad as I thought it’d be. Typical. And then suddenly last week cooled down noticeably, the humidity cleared, it’s dark before 8 PM and dark when I wake so now I’m wistful for July again. There’s just no pleasing me!
Anyway, in anticipation of fall, a bit of mostly useless information about apples, since they’re in season now. Apparently their cores are full of good bacteria – probiotics. So feel free to eat them if you feel like it. Or use cores in a smoothie if you don’t feel like biting into the fibrous bits. Smoothies are the easiest ways to eat throwaway fruit bits. Banana and citrus peels work too. Reduces effort from needing to peel and food waste.