Home Again, Home Again

The reunion of Carter with her baby Shay made the trip worth it after an eleven hour drive. I am just relieved that we are all together under one roof.

Carter and I woke up in her precious apartment early this morning and cleaned out her refrigerator and packed her plants and fish in the laundry basket I brought up. We hit the empty road by 7:45 and drove home with minimal stops.

The greeting from Shay jumping all over Carter for a few minutes straight with little yelps of joy made the day. Just happy to be home with Russ, Carter and Shay.

Retrieving Carter

After over a week of social distancing alone in Boston I couldn’t take it anymore and I drove to Boston to get her. This does not have her happy, but getting back to Durham to wait out this mess gives me peace of mind.

So I left Durham at 5:45 to make the marathon Drive to Boston. As you can see from this first photo the roads were empty.

With all the world doing their best to stay home I made the trip in record time. Never in my life have I been able to drive from Durham to Washington DC in under four hours. Being Alone on the road was very strange.

I had to plan my stops thoughtfully because there were not many places open with restrooms. I also had to touch every gas pump with a napkin.

I had no issues during the whole drove until I reached New Rochelle and there was some reason the road was blocked for five minutes. New Rochelle is the center of the Covid -19 outbreak and I feared having an accident there. But it all worked out and I made it to Boston in eleven hours.

Since there is no traffic here Carter and I went out in the car to look at houses in her favorite south Boston area. Future goals for Carter.

The real proof that no one is here is I got one of the three parking spots right in front of Carter’s apartment that does not require a resident parking permit.

Tomorrow, back on the empty road to Durham, but at least I will have Carter with me.

Good Neighboring

This morning I got an email from our neighborhood list serve. A mother with young children was asking neighbors to help her entertain her kids and other neighborhood children. She wanted to create a neighborhood scavenger hunt and asked us to put a flower or a heart somewhere on our house, this way when her family took an afternoon walk the kids could have something to search for.

Many neighbor’s replied that they were in on the game, including us. So now we have a big red heart taped to our front door. When Russ and I took our walk this afternoon I too looked for the hearts and flowers in the neighborhood. It was a fun game. I am thankful that we can do a tiny part in helping to entertain children when their parents might be at their wits end.

Besides taking a walk I left the house to take Shay for her teeth cleaning. Our vet was doing drive up service. Shay knew something was up when I asked her to get in the car at 7:30 before she had any breakfast. She felt tricked as I turned towards the vet’s office.

The Dr. Came to the car and took Shay and instructed me to return at 3:00. Thankfully Shay had no bad teeth and no extractions were needed. Unfortunately the doodle part of her means she needs her teeth cleaned every year. At least dogs don’t have to social distance and she was able to keep her appointment.

Since she had anesthesia she is still a little groggy. Tomorrow she can look for the hearts and flowers when she feels ready for a walk. Sadly she will have to stay away from the kids.

Real Life Learning

I feel for all the parents with little kids home who are trying to home school them. It certainly is going to make us a nation who really appreciates our teachers more after this episode passes. Being your own child’s teacher takes a very special person. You don’t have to run a classroom like they have at their own school. Learning can happen in so many ways. Cooking is the best science and math you can do. Taking apart the vacuum to clean the brushes is a great life lesson, but I fear most Mom’s don’t even know you can clean the brushes. (The life lessons you learn when you sell vacuums door to door.)

Although I don’t have a child at home I still had a life lesson call with mine today. Carter face timed me to be on the line while she did her taxes. I was really more moral support since I could not see her screen. It was a lot of comic relief for me as she read the instructions to herself, rather than out loud and then made some Scooby do sounds questioning what in the hell they were asking. “Hhuuurrh?”

Then she would ask me what they meant without telling me what the question was in the first place. It was a good thirty minutes of me watching her face as she puzzled out the electronic forms. I won’t tell you the paltry sum all this face contorting was for, but it was excellent practice.

So if you really want to give you kids some big life lessons let them work on your taxes. If you don’t want them to know how much you make because then they might think you can buy them a newer X-box, then at least let them make dinner. Suffering through one child cooked dinner is so much safer than being audited by the IRS and it will still be a good real life lesson.

Outdoor Work Goes On

In a true testament that my mother does not read my blog she called me today and told me she tried to make bread. This is a sign that things are really bad. First, she has never tried to make yeast bread before in her whole life. Second, she doesn’t even really cook. Third, she doesn’t even eat bread.

She told me she tried to make onion dill bread and it was a big fail. She knew she didn’t knead it enough. I am proud she knew that. Almost no one kneads bread enough. Even with my Kitchenaid mixer with the dough hook I can hardly knead the bread enough and my mother doesn’t have any equipment like that. So listen to me people, stop trying to make bread.

Ona different note, I saw people today, from afar. The landscape guys came and took out the dead tree by the house and replaced it with a Japanese specimen that should be more interesting and at least alive.

I also had to go to church to make some decisions about the fellowship hall. Church may actually be closed, but the construction workers are still on the job. Since the building is not closed in yet I felt comfortable going and staying many feet away from people. The windows should be finished being put in tomorrow. It is looking good and thanks to those workers who keep working since this is not a work from home possibility.

For the rest of who are at home I have heard about a lot of Spring cleaning going on. I said to one friend, no one will ever see how clean our houses are since no one can come over. So if you want to show off all your hard work, please feel free to share a photo of your accomplishments with me.

Don’t Tell Me What You Are Baking

For the last few days I have heard from a lot of people about all the baking they are doing. There is something about being stuck at home that turns Americans into Betty Crockers. One person who shall remain nameless said, “You thought the freshman fifteen was real, welcome to the the Covid 30.”

I am thankful that I started on January 1 on my no sugar and limited flour regime. I have to say that stopping artificial sweeteners has rid me of my sweet tooth. I have lost 26 pounds, which is just a start to what I need to do.

Like everyone else stuck at home I have a desire to bake too, but I am holding back. Yesterday my cousin Sarah posted that her son was going to learn one new thing everyday and yesterday’s was how to bake bread. Today my friend Mary Lloyd sent me a link of a guy also trying to make bread at home.

As someone who had made bread for years I have to say it is rarely worth it. Learning to make a good yeast loaf is hard. We don’t have the right ovens, or moisture, or the right flour or fresh enough yeast. Sour dough is even harder. And when you consider you might need five to seven cups of flour to make one loaf of bread it starts to be way more expensive than buying it.

If you feel like baking consider making cookies that you can store in Dough balls in the freezer and only bake one or two at a time. It really might help curb your desire to have just another cookie. None of us want to emerge from our homes at the start of summer and not fit in our shorts.

Stop the Travel Porn

The days of social distancing are really just beginning. I know for many parents it was the first day of home schooling and I hope things went well for everyone- the fighting was kept to a minimum, the sugar consumed was minor and some actual learning took place.

Shay and I social distanced together at home while Russ was social distancing as the only member of his firm in his office. I have cleaned more things in my house than ever before. This morning I removed all the furniture from the breakfast room so I could deep clean the floor. No one will see it, but it is very clean.

I played a record on my stereo while polishing the wood floor. I forgot how good my stereo sounds. I had to remove some junk that had gotten piled up on the turn table inside the cabinet in order to put the record on. It enlightened me as to a whole new area of the house that could get paid attention to during this time of isolation.

Between cleaning and dancing I was checking e-mail. I would like to request all travel sites to stop sending me mail about fabulous trips I can not take. I have never been so inundated with beautiful photos of beaches I can’t get to.

After lunch I got the mail and the only two pieces were a travel magazine and a postcard from AAA about a trip to Hawaii. Really they should save their money and not mail this stuff this week. No one is going anywhere.

I can see I am going to have to limit the number of times I check my email each day if all this travel porn keeps up. For now I am only interested in tips on how to make my own furniture polish and How-to groom my own dog videos as my dog groomer has moved on to a new career. Shay doesn’t know it yet, but we are going to be watching some YouTube this week and ordering clippers from Amazon. Even writing Amazon makes me think of a trip to the Amazon I can’t go on.