Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Keep on Keeping on

This post contains some sponsored content (or links).

Did you have a good weekend? Were you able to 'break it up' from the everyday?

With the kids back to doing school work, the weekend was a nice break for them from spending their day doing school work. We learned yesterday that the schools will remain closed through April at this time, with a reevaluation towards the end of April. Next week is spring break, so the kids won't have work that week but then will have three more weeks of online learning. They seem to be doing good with keeping up with it and still finding down time.

The weather was pretty good at the end of last week and into the weekend. If we have to be at home, warm and sunny weather is definitely a welcome break. Somehow it makes me feel less 'locked in'. We were able to leave our doors and windows open and get some fresh air in the house. We were able to get out and get some fresh air, on walks and runs. My son got a chance to get out and do a some throwing and a bit of hitting at a nearby field and batting cage. My daughter spent some time playing on the swing set and then did some chalk art on the driveway. Look at the intensity of the colors in that art, I am pleased with the crayola chalk we picked up. (you can see that even following a rain, the color is still pretty intense) On my walks, I took in the sights and sounds of spring. There were daffodils blooming and birds singing, there were people grilling out and and having bonfires. It was also fun to see the different chalk drawings, pictures and encouraging messages. There were several notes written to friends and teachers on the sidewalks. Some made me smile, some made me a little sad - it is not in our nature to be isolated and not interacting, especially the kids.
Being home all day, every day has also caused us to think more creatively with eating and trying to find some old favorites to mix in to avoid feeling like we are always eating the same thing. I also have been saving some new recipes to try that friends are sharing...I am hoping that they leave a review so I know whether to try the recipe or not. I am still trying to cook once and eat multiple times and providing 'flex' options for the protein each night. I am also trying to make sure that we use up everything and don't allow any leftovers or food go bad or be wasted. Last week when I made a chipotle sauce for a restaurant knock off that is a family favorite, I threw in the remaining fresh tomatoes that were starting to get soft and a little bit of enchilada sauce that we had from dinner earlier in the week. Last night, I made homemade drop biscuits (usually use a mix) for having chicken in gravy over biscuits. I made a whole chicken in the pressure cooker and when I cleaned the chicken I set some aside to be used for Chipotle-style bowls and put the rest in the gravy. We are trying to mix up the sweets too. On Sunday, since we couldn't get donuts, we made beignets and this morning we used up some milk to make mini-muffins. When I go shopping (or do grocery pick up), I always include a good amount of fresh fruit, knowing that if it isn't all eaten that we will freeze it. Then, when the fresh stuff is out, the kids can still get fruit by making smoothies. I really appreciate the Ninja blender we got in the fall because each kid can make their own fruit combo and I don't have to hear about she used that or he didn't use that.

The cats are content. They don't seem to mind that we are hanging out more. We continue to tackle our puzzle and to play games. The other night, I even made my kids both answer one of those 'ask your kids' that is out on Facebook. I didn't share their answers on Facebook but I did keep them for my own memories.

This morning, I set an alarm to go to the store. I didn't need it, I was tossing and turning all night worrying about making the trip to the store. Unfortunately, pick up times are all booked so it was the only option that I had. I am trying to stretch time between shopping trips and got a little more than normal today to help facilitate that. They were in stock on most things on my list, except yeast, soap and toilet paper. On other items, I had to use a different brand than normal but things that were out last time I went were back in stock. I'm hoping that I might be able to do a small pick up order sometime early next week to get the couple things that were out of stock and a few things to extend the time to my next visit to the store. Thankfully, I was able to use Scan, Pay and Go and keep my time in the store to a minimum and only handle the groceries once. There were several people at the store wearing masks or scarves to cover their mouth and nose and I saw some wearing gloves as well.

Out of an abundance of caution, I let most of the pantry type items sit outside in my garage for several hours before bringing them in the house. For the refrigerated and frozen, I did what the one doctor suggested and saturated a paper towel with cleaner and gave them a quick wipe down before putting them away. For the fruit, I cleaned it and put it in a bowl, throwing out the original package. I don't know how much is too much or too little. The articles I have read seem to be contradictory (who do you trust - NIH or CDC - normally, I see them both as authorities but the data they have is not consistent) but many have talked about the fact that although the virus can be detected on the different package types that the risk may not be as high because the virus begins to decay right away, so even though it can be detected there is likely a diminishing risk over time; someone would have had to cough or sneeze right on the package or into their hands and touch the package to put virus on the package to be transferred to you; and even then you would have to touch that 'right' spot and then touch your face. So, I feel like giving them a few extra hours for any potential virus to decay before handling the packages again to put them in the pantry and knowing that we aren't going to 'touch' them until we use them which may be a few days or more, I feel I took ample precaution.

How are things in your area? Have you tried any new dishes?

This post contains some sponsored content (or links). All opinions and content are my own.