Phase – Get the Heck out of Dodge

Day 61

I started daily (nearly) a COVID journal here on this blog at the beginning of the Coronavirus stay at home/school at home order. Today is officially the last day of school. Illinois is still under a stay at home order, but my daughter and I have left the state and taken up residence at my Mom’s house in Florida.  I’m sure there are all kinds of opinions over this choice. I’m not interested in them. I’ve watched over the last few weeks as my kid has sunken deeper and deeper into what I can only define as depression. She hasn’t seen actual people other than her father or me since the middle of March. She was quite literally dying on the vine.

So, Monday Arden and I got in the car and drove 19 hours to Florida. We are still staying home. We are just in a different home. We are still social distancing and wearing our masks, but we are able to feel the sun on our face and dip our toes in the surf.  We can swim (at a social distance) for a few hours a day.  We can sit on the balcony and watch actual people in the actual world. I don’t know if this decision was the medically wise one, but it was the only mentally wise one I could find.  And so here we are.

I’m not sure how long we’ll stay.  Arden says she could see staying for a year – I think my Mom was less than encouraging of that particular suggestion. We are just taking it day by day.  I’m a planner and a scheduler, but over the last few months I’ve had to surrender that part of my personality in favor of situations that are outside my control. I have no control over the government or the virus; I have no control over other people’s choices and opinions; I have no control over when this will end and when it will return to normal. I have no control. That is so hard for me. I like even the illusion of control. Currently, I have none. So, I’ve had to lean into this schedule-less life. Trust me when I say I’m horrible at it, and I have no desire to get better at it. But again – here we are.

News of the Day:

Over 4.4 million people worldwide have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, and more than 302,000 people have died.

In the United States, there have been over 1.4 million confirmed cases and more than 85,000 deaths.

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives votes Friday on a $3 trillion stimulus package. The measure is expected to pass largely along party lines.

Some parts of New York state will begin to reopen on Friday. New York has been hit hard by the virus, with over 27,000 deaths.

Nearly 3 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, according to data released Thursday. More than 36 million have filed since mid-March.

Plan of the Day:

Let the sun and water do a little healing.


One of My Favorites…A Promise to My Daughter

Day 56

It is Mother’s Day. I am sitting in my room waiting for my daughter to wake up, because I’m not supposed to leave my room until she comes in to tell me I can. Don’t tell her, but I got up and got coffee 2 hours ago, because I’m old and I wake up at 6 a.m. most days. But I came back and am sitting obediently in my bed waiting.

Instead of trying to come up with something new for this day’s post – I am re-posting an essay I wrote a few years ago. Time has moved along, but these words are still 100% true.

Happy Mother’s Day!

A Promise to My Daughter

You were a miracle from the moment I knew you were coming.  You were not planned for or even considered a possibility and then there was the reality of you.  From that moment, my life has been changed in so many ways.  Gone are the times of thinking of only how my decisions impact me.  Gone are the moments of guilt free laziness that used to fill my Friday nights.  Gone is the lack of empathy for parents whose children struggle to make friends or worry about how their children will succeed in school.  Gone is any moment that doesn’t have you in some part of it.  And I would not change that for anything.

You are the first thing I think of when I wake up in the morning and the last thing on my mind before sleep claims the end of my day.  You are more precious to me than any job, adventure, gift or achievement.  Because of you, I have a new name and a new purpose.  I am your mom, and that title has redefined every goal and direction of my life.

Yesterday, as we lay talking in the backyard, telling fairy tale stories of puppies and rainbow cities, I had a moment of deep awareness that every one of these moments will shape us both.  I want to be more intentional in how I approach these precious times with you, my angel.  I want you to be secure in the knowledge that I do not take these times for granted.  So often, we wait until life throws us tragedy to say the important and eternal things to the ones we love; I don’t want to wait.

So today, on a very ordinary Monday – as you are in school and I am waiting for the moment that I will pick you up and hear all about today’s adventures – I want to take a few moments to make some promises to you.

I promise to love you, unconditionally – no matter what choices you make – good or bad.  I promise to tell you in a loving and constructive way the truth about life and how all of our choices have consequence – both good and bad.  I promise to let you cry and console you when you make bad choices, because you will; and to help you find your way back to what is right.

I promise to help you feel good about yourself.  There are times when you just won’t feel good about yourself – puberty is not a friend to anyone – but in those times, I promise to help you find ways to look at things in a different way so that you are able to hold your head up high and be proud that you are a miracle – a treasure – a woman made in the very image of God. 

I promise to embrace your uniqueness – including wearing multiple bows in your hair and socks that do not match.  I promise to praise your creativity and style.  I promise to build you up – enough of this world will be looking to tear you down, but, my love, in this house and with this mother, you will find your biggest fan.

I promise to defend you and stand for you.  I promise to correct you when you are wrong.  I promise to praise you when you are right.  And in all things, I promise to be your biggest fan.

I promise to play dolls, jump on the trampoline, swim, dance, color, and bake with you.  I promise to find moments to belly laugh and giggle.  I promise to be aware that you will not always want me to be your playmate and I promise to try to be present and engaged now that you do.

I promise to hate the first boy who breaks your heart.  I promise to love the man you marry.  I promise to treasure your future and celebrate your accomplishments.  I promise to be the most annoying mom at every sporting event, school musical or play, graduation ceremony, or anything in which you are participating.

And when you are older and the time for my original role of Mom has changed,  I promise to support you emotionally.  I promise to listen to your advice.  I promise to give advice when you ask, and I promise to try not to be offended when you don’t.  I promise to be a place of refuge and security and ease.  I promise to make your favorite dinner when you come home to visit and I promise to share coffee and laughs whenever you are able.

But most of all, my precious, wanted, treasured, desired, celebrated child – I promise to love you and pray for you every day of your life.  I promise to stand in awe before God over the amazing blessing that is you – I promise to lift you up before our heavenly father each day and pray that He guide, protect, and bless you.

I love you, Arden Whitney.

Love, Mom

News of the Day:

More than 4 million people worldwide have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, and over 279,000 have died.

In the U.S., there have been over 1.3 million confirmed cases and more than 78,000 deaths.

Spain reported its lowest daily death toll in two months. In Germany, however, infections are increasing again.

Plan of the Day:

Celebrate being a Mom.

See you soon!

Next up…Chicken

Day 54

I’ve been quiet for a while. A week actually. There just hasn’t been much to report.  There still isn’t much to report, but I worry if I put off writing much longer I won’t come back to it at all or at least not for a long time.  So here we are.

There is one week left of the school year. We’ve wrapped up many of the assignments that needed to be completed before the end of the year.  Next week we need to go drop off the school’s books that we have in our possession, and pick up Arden’s belongings. We likely won’t have occasion to go back to that particular school building.  The elementary school Arden attends goes through 4th grade and then the students move to the middle school in another town for 5th grade. One of the little quirky things about living in such a rural school districts is that the school buildings are spread out into different towns. So now that 4th grade is over, we say good bye to New Boston Elementary and hello to Mercer County Intermediate School – I guess, maybe. If school happens in the fall.  Honestly, I have no idea what will happen.  So, so many changes!

This has been an unique year to say the least. We’ve all walked through big changes – new home, new school, new friends, new locations, new routines. And then COVID. It gets really overwhelming to think about all the changes and losses that have happened in just the last few months. It is a lot.  I will say that Arden has done so well academically this year.  She’s worked very hard and things that seemed to be so illusive last year have clicked into place this year. She still has many challenges academically, but I’m thrilled with the progress she has made to date. I am hopeful that the disruptions of this last part of the school year will not cause a backwards slide in this progression.  This is a worry I can’t allow myself to sit in for long, because there is just no way to know what the long-term impact of this time away from school will be. One day at a time. That’s all we can do.

Other than wrapping up home school for the summer, I’ve been thinking I should be recording somethings that are enjoyable or are bringing satisfaction during this time. It is hard to find a lot, but here are few things that have made me happy lately.

I made this recipe yesterday.  It was delicious and easy. Arden tried it and said it wasn’t the worst thing she ever ate. So, take that as endorsement if you are so inclined.


yield: 6
prep time: 10 MINUTES
cook time: 1 HOUR
additional time: 30 MINUTES
total time: 1 HOUR 40 MINUTES

Samin Nasrat’s Buttermilk Brined Chicken from Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat

4.6 Stars (10 Reviews)



  • 1 (3-4 pound) whole chicken *note below
  • 1 cup Kosher salt + 2 TB
  • 2 cups buttermilk



  1. Remove giblets and wingtips from chicken. Season VERY liberally with kosher salt, rubbing on all sides and in crevices.
  2. Let chicken sit for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  3. Stir 2 tablespoons of kosher salt into buttermilk.
  4. After 30 minutes, put chicken in gallon ziploc bag with buttermilk brine mixture. Move bag to distribute brine to cover the chicken.
  5. Place bag in a baking dish (in case of leaks or spills) and into the refrigerator.
  6. Allow to marinate at least 12 hours and up to 48 hours.


  1. Remove the chicken in brine from refrigerator; let sit an hour at room temperature.
  2. Meanwhile position a rack in center oven; preheat to 425° F.
  3. After 30 minutes, remove chicken from the bag, discard brine and pat excess buttermilk off of chicken with a paper towel.
  4. Place chicken in 10″ cast iron skillet.
  5. Place chicken in the 425˚oven with the legs pointing to rear left. Roast 20 minutes
  6. Reduce heat to 400˚F; roast for 10 minutes.
  7. After 10 minutes, rotate the chicken so that legs face rear right of oven.
  8. Continue to roast for 30 minutes or until meat thermometer reads 165˚ degrees in the thickest part between leg and breast. Chicken will be brown all over.
  9. Let chicken rest at least 30 minutes before serving.


If using fine sea salt reduce to 4 teaspoons. Do NOT used iodized salt.

I couldn’t find a whole chicken at the grocery store – it’s a mad, mad world – so I just did bone-in, skin on Chicken breasts.  I checked the internal temp at the end of step 6 and it was cooked through.  The breasts were huge (ha, ha) so we all 3 ate our fill and there are still left overs.  I served with mashed potatoes, yeast rolls, and steamed broccoli.  It was delicious.
So, that was good stuff.  Also I cleaned out the hallway linen closet and plan to reorganize the storage room that is off of the laundry room.  That’s on the agenda for today.
I’ve read 2 1/2 books in the last week.  One was good and one was horrible.  I’m reserving judgement on the one I’m currently reading.
The good….
Behind Closed Doors By B.A. Paris
The bad…(the really awful!)
The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine
The current (this is the 8th book in a series – I love this series so I’m sure to love this book)
The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny
Well, that’s about it. Hope everyone is hanging in there.
News of the Day

More than 3.8 million people worldwide have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, and over 270,000 have died.

In the United States, there have been over 1.2 million confirmed COVID-19 cases. More than 75,000 Americans have died.

A record 20.5 million U.S. jobs were lost in April as the unemployment rate jumped to 14.7 percent — the highest it’s been since the Great Depression.

An aide to Vice President Mike Pence tested positive for the virus, Bloomberg News reported Friday. President Trump’s personal valet tested positive on Wednesday.

Plan of the Day

Storage room clean out. Read.

See ya soon!


Lovely Little Moments

Day 44

For the first time in several weeks, I got the urge to organize and clean some things today.  I don’t want to give the impression that I cleaned out closets or junk drawers.  Nothing that elaborate!  Let’s not get crazy!

I cleaned off the kitchen table. 

I know, that doesn’t sound very ambitious.  But, as with most other families doing school at home, when this quarantine thing started I transformed my kitchen table and dining room area into the “school room”. Back then (what was that 7 weeks ago?) we were doing most of our school work with paper and pencil, so we really needed the space to spread out for the work.  I had organized all our materials into bins that I stacked around the table and baskets that stayed in the middle. It worked for us for a while, but when the stay at home order turned into online learning, Arden and I made some adjustments in how we do school work.  Now we do 99% of it online, so we have put up TV trays at the couch and tend to do our work there because it is way more cozy.  I didn’t, however, put away all of the supplies and accompaniments that had cluttered up the dining room.  I just moved them to the side whenever we ate and scooted them back when we were finished.  

Today, I just couldn’t look at it anymore.  So I pulled out all the school supply tubs and put the things we won’t need anymore away. I consolidated all our coloring books and word searches and reading books into a small basket and generally straightened the area.  It has made a big difference in my mood.

I also pulled out all my Dave Ramsey budgeting worksheets and got that all up to date – I’ve not been diligent in writing down all the money details lately.  It felt good to do my lists and reconciliations. Nothing really changes in our monthly outlays these days – so I pretty much know where it is all going – but there is something about writing it down that just calms my mind.

Anyway, now that the dining room is back to “normal” I’m able to more fully appreciate the fresh flowers that are gracing the center of the table.  The arrangement has what I call “funeral lilies” in it.  I don’t like “funeral lilies”. But these flowers are so happy in their color – or I am just in a mental state when anything colorful is bringing me unprecedented joy – that I can’t fault them for being “funeral lilies”.

The day started sunny and warm, but a storm is moving in and the temps are dropping. We have two more days of predicted rain and then it is supposed to be lovely.  Terry moved one of the many site picnic tables to the grassy area nearest our house.  I’m looking forward to the end of the week – I would like to sit out there and eat lunch or read a book. Having something to look forward to – even something that insignificant – is also helping my mood.

Arden had another call with her class today.  It was show and tell. She brought her sketch pad and showed some of her drawings. It was fun to eavesdrop on the conversation.  I’m so glad that her teacher has made this a part of their week. At one point each student was just sharing what is on their minds during this time, one student’s grandmother is in the hospital with Covid19; one student is bummed that she can’t get the braces she was supposed to get last week; Arden shared that she has really been considering blue streaks in her hair and wanted to know if her classmates thought that was a good idea.  News to me!  One friend told Arden not to do that, because she has such pretty hair as it is!  Little tears pricked my eyes at this, because Arden has a lot of insecurity around her curly hair (and I have no idea how to help with it because mine is board straight). I was so thankful that one little friend gave that bit of encouragement.  It was such a small thing, but I watched Arden’s face light up with joy.  It was a good moment.

Also,  the bird vases got some flowers from the bunches I bought.  I really love these little guys and am SO glad that they didn’t suffer the same fate as the other little fat birds yesterday.

Resized952020042895144443 (1)

News of the Day:

More than 3 million people worldwide have tested positive from the coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Over 213,000 have died.

In the United States, there have been over 1 million confirmed COVID-19 cases. More than 56,000 people have died.

With cases in D.C. mounting, the U.S. House of Representatives will not return to Washington next week.

Plan for the Day:

Enjoy my straightened dining room. Enjoy the sound of the rain. Watch old tennis matches. 

See you tomorrow – maybe.


Keep On Keeping On

Day 43

Another Monday.  I took a long weekend from writing the blog. I wrote other places, but didn’t really have anything fit for public consumption to say here. 

The weekend was OK. I made my weekly trip to the grocery store to pick up my order.  I even braved another store, while wearing a face mask, to purchase fresh flowers. I needed something fresh and alive and happy in this house.  While at the store with the flowers, I found a large package of the “good” toilet paper – it was the last one. I felt like the Lord was showing me great favor in that moment, so I grabbed that package and pretty much ran for the check out. There was no need to try to shop for more – TP and Flowers – you gotta know when to hold ’em, when to fold ’em, when to walk away and when to RUN!

So, in addition to groceries and fresh flowers, our posteriors can get a break from the sand paper that was passing for toilet paper in our bathroom!  Let the people rejoice!

I then went to Walmart to pick up the grocery order.  As I checked in, the associates who were supposed to be loading my car had a difficult time finding my order. Turns out the car next to me was occupied by a woman named April as well. They had put all my groceries in her car!  Thankfully, she hadn’t pulled out and left before the error was discovered! 

Although, I’m wondering what was in her order? Did I miss out on a fun week of mystery groceries?  Maybe she bought a bunch of really great food and I totally missed it!!??  Anyway, they switched out the bags and we each got our own order. Everything was correct when I got home.  So, crisis averted!

Is anyone watching The Last Dance on ESPN about the ‘98 Bulls? I am. I am LOVING it! I’m so happy they chose to release it early instead of waiting until the initial drop date in June. The 90s were when I was really into NBA basketball and I am totally loving this walk down memory lane. Plus, I’m a sucker for sports documentaries – really any documentaries, but sports are way up there in favorites.  No one does sports docs like 30 for 30.  It is just terrific stuff. 30 for 30 is doing a follow up podcast after each episode, so I’m listen to those on Mondays.  In this time of no live sports, this series is totally filling a void! 

I also thoroughly enjoyed the NFL Draft last week and weekend. I loved going inside all the homes of the coaches and GMs and the players.  It was delightful. I guess what I’m saying is my sports tank is full and it makes me so, so happy!!

You know what didn’t make me happy?  Starting the week with the Monday of all Monday moments. This morning one of the cats decided, out of the blue, to launch herself on top of the china cabinet I have in the dining room.  I use it as a kind of mantle for seasonal decorations.  I change it out a lot.  Yesterday, I put some of the flowers I bought over the weekend in a small vase up there. The cat has a thing for fresh flowers, but she has never jumped up there before, so I didn’t think anything of it.

I was in the laundry room when I heard a crash this morning and ran in to see the vase knocked over, water running down the cabinet and all over the floor.  Because it is spring and I love little fat birds, I had 4 little bird figurines scattered through the decor – 3 of them were laying, smashed to bits on the tile floor. Their little fat bird faces looking up at me with disappointment that I hadn’t anticipated this turn of events.

The cat had also sent a small glass bottle to it’s untimely death on the kitchen floor, and knocked over about 3 more.  It was a mess. The poor thing was standing up there on top of the wreckage, looking scared to death, so I reached up to help her down.  Big mistake. HUGE.

She did not appreciate my attempt at assistance, and showed her disapproval by scratching the foo out of my hand.  It was a moment to say the least.  I tried to get it all cleaned up without stepping on glass or dripping blood all over the place, and then checked the clock – it was only 8 a.m. I nearly went back to bed and called it a day.

I didn’t.

We did school. I’ve done laundry. And I’ve now written this.  No more tragedies have occurred since this morning – but the day isn’t over yet.    I’d cross my fingers in the hope that nothing else will happen – but I can’t – the cat scratch goes all the way down my left pointer finger.  Dang cat!

News of the Day:

More than 208,000 people have died from the coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Over 3 million people worldwide have tested positive.

In the United States, more than 55,000 people have died, while there have been over 970,000 confirmed cases.

President Trump’s economic adviser said the jobless rates from the coronavirus will be comparable to the Great Depression.

The World Health Organization director said the pandemic was far from over and expressed concern about children.

Plan of the Day:

Try not to destroy any more decorations or draw any more blood.

See you tomorrow – or whenever.


Just Some Random Thoughts

Day 39

I seem to be on an every other day posting kick right now. I’m not sure why. Yesterday I sat down to write something several times throughout the day, and got distracted each time. I would apologize for that, but really this is a journal for myself to remember this time of quarantine, and sometimes I just can’t put words to paper. I’m not sorry for that – so I won’t apologize. Look at the emotional growth I just went through there!  Ha!

I’ve also been keeping a prayer journal during this time. Not every day, but several days, I write down what I’m feeling or praying for or a scripture that has clicked with me. I’ve also been reading through the Psalms for the last few weeks. Yesterday I was reading Psalm 22. It is a sad, sad chapter. David seemed to have a lot of sad, sad chapters in his life – many self inflicted.  He also talked about enemies a lot. Yesterday it occurred to me that I had probably been reading the word “enemy” too literally.  I don’t have enemies. No one is coming to attack me or steal my land or kill me with a sword. But there are many emotions and feelings and thoughts that are real enemies to my well being. So, as I’ve been reading through the Psalms, every time I see the word “enemy” or “foe” or “wicked people”, I’ve been substituting one of those thoughts or feelings or emotions into its place.

For example, Psalm 18:40

“You made my enemies turn their backs in flight, and I destroyed my foes.”

I read it like this:

“You made the hopelessness I am feeling turn its back in flight and I destroyed the feeling of inadequacy.”

I don’t know if that is blasphemy or adding to the scriptures, but it definitely was a way to pray that has helped in some low times.

Back to Psalm 22 – I resonated with David’s despair quite a bit. 

Psalm 22:11 

“Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help.”

Psalm 22:14

“I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me.”

Psalm 22:19

“But you, O Lord, be not far off. O my Strength, come quickly to help me.”

I think there is value in saying out loud how desperate we may feel. I also think David had a flare for the dramatic turn of phrase – “my heart has turned to wax” – wonder how long he spent on that little gem!? I’m not that creative in my prayers. Heck, I’m not that creative period. I’m thankful for the ability to pray God’s word. It has given me words I didn’t even know were missing and expressions that really fit my circumstances right now.

Anyway, that’s what has been on my mind this morning, so I thought I’d share.

Arden’s call with her class went very well yesterday. Eight of her classmates were able to get on the call, and she really enjoyed seeing their faces and hearing them yell at their siblings.  It was funny to hear that those students with brothers and sisters are DONE being with them, while Arden would love to have a sibling to be annoyed with.  The grass really is greener on the other side.

Today we are moving slowly. I have all the windows open and there is a lovely breeze blowing through the house. The dog is snoring on the bed next to me (I am dressed and the bed is made, but sometimes this is the most peaceful place in the house to write). Arden is taking her time waking up. We have a couple of assignments today but nothing that will take a large amount of time, so I’m just being content to do the day as it comes.

There is rain in the forecast for the next 3 days so we will be inside more than normal. The dog doesn’t enjoy walking in the rain anymore than I do, so our “potty” walks will be shortened.  Oh well.  Maybe I’ll substitute “rain” for “enemy” when next I read the Psalms.

News of the Day:

 Over 2.65 million people worldwide have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. More than 185,000 people have died.

The United States has more than 843,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and over 46,000 deaths attributed to the virus.

Another 4.427 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, according to data from the U.S. Labor Department. More than 26 million Americans have filed unemployment in the past 5 weeks.

The first U.S. coronavirus death occurred weeks earlier than originally thought, with medical officials in California now attributing two deaths on Feb. 6 and Feb. 17 to COVID-19.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s brother, an 86-year-old U.S. Air Force veteran, died from complications related to COVID-19.

Plan for the Day:

Somehow motivate the child to do a couple of school assignments. Maybe read a little (I’m trying, I really am). On season 4 of the Good Wife – these episodes don’t watch themselves!

See you tomorrow  – or the next day – or the day after that – who knows!


I Miss Reading

Day 37

Every year I set a reading goal. I put it on Goodreads so that I can hold myself accountable. Two years ago, it was 30 books. Last year it was 40 books.  I achieved both of those goals. This year, I decided to really challenge myself and try to read a book a week – 52 books. When we first entered this stay at home order, I was actually looking forward to days when I wouldn’t have a lot on the schedule because that meant I would be able to read – maybe even surpass my goal for the year. 

I don’t know about other readers out there, but I am having a lot of trouble reading in this time of quarantine. I have read exactly one half of one book. I’ve started multiple books, but I only make it a few pages. I’m thoroughly disappointed in myself.  My husband once told my mom that one of the reasons he married me was because I like to read.  If he met me now, I doubt he could make the same assertion. I still like to read, but, man, I’m having a hard time calming down my mind to do so.  Somehow, binge watching a show I’ve already seen a couple times has captured my attention like a book is incapable of doing.  I hope that changes.  I miss reading.  I really do love it. 

Tomorrow, Arden has her first online video call with her class.  We found out about it a couple days ago and it is all she’s been able to talk about since.  She is really missing her friends.  I’m hopeful our woefully inadequate internet will cooperate so that she can see and be seen. 

We both really need hair attention. I told her a couple of nights ago (when I was combing out her very long, very unruly hair) that when we can get out of this house, she and I are going to make a weekend of going to Springfield. We will both get appointments with our favorite stylist. We will stay in a hotel and eat at all our favorite restaurants. We will go to all the stores we love.  And we will get this hair TAMED.  It is definitely something to look forward to. I am praying that happens sooner rather than later. We both are.

News of the Day

Over 2.5 million people worldwide have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. More than 174,000 people have died.

The United States has more than 800,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and over 43,000 deaths attributed to the virus.

President Trump announced on Twitter that “in light of the Invisible Enemy” he will sign an executive order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States.

The U.S., Mexico and Canada are extending restrictions on non-essential travel across their shared borders for an additional 30 days.

As some areas of the U.S. begin relaxing social distancing restrictions, a new poll showed a majority of Americans fear easing those guidelines could result in more deaths.

Plan for the Day:

Yet again, I’m writing this in the evening, so I don’t really have a plan. I did get all the laundry finished and put away today. And Romeo and I took several long walks. Tomorrow is supposed to be 72 degrees, so I’m hopeful we can do the same before and after Arden’s class call.

See you tomorrow!

How Fast Can You Pedal?

Day 36

And it is the start of Week 6 at home. That is a very strange thing to write; at times it feels that long and at others it doesn’t seem quite that long. It feels long, but six weeks sounds crazy.

This weekend was beautiful and warm.  It was also really windy. I was outside a lot on Saturday and by the time evening rolled around, my allergies were so worked up by whatever was blowing in the wind that my eyes looked like I’d gone 12 rounds in a boxing ring. It was incredibly attractive. It was also incredibly uncomfortable.

I hid inside yesterday and, thankfully, my eyes have returned to their normal shape and size. I was surprised that I had that reaction so quickly after the SNOW STORM the day before, but this is my first spring in this area of the state.  I guess I will be learning as I go as far as the allergies are concerned.

Arden and I have finished up our schooling for the day. Today was relatively painless. We started a new section in Science and are learning about energy. We got to learn about an amusement park in Italy where all of the rides are powered by human effort. We decided that while it looked cool and fun, neither of us would want to work that hard to ride a roller coaster! However, if we were given the chance to go to Italy TODAY and pedal our way through a bunch of amusement park rides – we’d jump on it in a second because it would get us OUT OF THIS HOUSE!!!

We also watched a demonstration of how scientists can (through burning food with liquid oxygen and a flame) determine which foods have more calories.  In case you are interested- cheese puffs have more calories than marshmallows. The more you know…

Nothing else to report on this lovely Monday.   Are we there yet?

News of the Day:

Over 2.4 million people worldwide have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. More than 160,000 people have died.

The United States has had nearly 760,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 40,000 deaths.

The U.S., Mexico and Canada are extending restrictions on non-essential travel across their shared borders for an additional 30 days.

As some areas of the U.S. begin relaxing social distancing restrictions, a new poll showed a majority of Americans fear easing those guidelines could result in more deaths.

Plan of the Day:

Laundry. Still working my way through the Good Wife. 

See you tomorrow!


Full Of Whine

Day 32

Did you notice I didn’t post yesterday? Probably not, because every day seems like the day before and all of these just run together. I really am running out of things to say – which, for me, is very troubling. I never run out of things to say!

Our internet service is not bringing me joy right now. We are using it all day long and it isn’t keeping up with what we need. When we moved out here, we had to get satellite internet service and it just isn’t great. It is fine when just one of us is trying to stream things or do online shopping or watch Netflix, but when all three of us are trying to do things all at the same time – it is SLOW.  I try to do some of the things I need to do online when no one else is using the WI-FI, but even this morning when Terry has already left for work and Arden is still in bed – the daggum thing isn’t doing very well. I’ve tried to adjust my Wal-Mart order 10 times this morning and it just keeps buffering. It could be a problem with the Wal-Mart app but I’m betting it is our junky WI-FI. Just one more thing to complain about this morning I guess.

This morning I turned on the news and saw that we have the potential for 8 – 10 inches of snow tonight. What in the ACTUAL HECK IS GOING ON!?!? I know it can snow in IL in April, I just don’t want it to. Thankfully the temperature is supposed to be up near the 60s this weekend, so even if we do get the snow they are predicting, it won’t stay around long. I just dread the mess that 10 inches of melting snow will bring. One of the interesting and different things that we discovered when moving to this area is because we are very near the River, our ground is very sandy. Because of the sandy ground, things dry out pretty quickly – but the clumpy, sandy mud that results after a big storm or snow gets EVERYWHERE in the house because it sticks to your feet like glue. I suppose this isn’t a big deal now, because what else do I have to do other than vacuum for hours on end. Sigh. I would not be upset at all if the weatherman was wrong this time. I’m not looking for 100% accuracy in this forecast – it would be totally OK with me if the snow skipped us altogether – I would throw an internal party if this forecast was completely WRONG!

Yesterday, Arden’s school posted a video for the kids of a lot of the teachers saying hello to the kids.  I didn’t get the chance to show Arden last night – it is on the list of things to do during our “school” time today – but I just sat in my bed with tears running down my face as I watched it. I am very sad about how this whole thing has upended her life and the lives of all the kids at school. Moving to a new school district is HARD and she was kind of hitting her stride of having a group of friends and starting to “fit in” when this all blew up. As much as she says she doesn’t want to go back to school, I know she is struggling with not knowing if she will be able to keep up with that momentum of settling in when they finally allow schools to reopen. Yet another unknown in this cornucopia of unknownness.  I keep asking her if she needs to talk or if there is anything I can do to help her cope, but we both know that other than just “being here” there isn’t much we can do other than walk through it and pray for a quick end to the separation.

For the first few weeks of this stay at home situation, I kept up a lot with the news and the predictions of the “experts”, but I have found in the last 4 or 5 days I just can’t watch or listen much anymore. The predictions are so disheartening that I feel my anxiety pick up with each news report. The idea that we will not have sporting events or gatherings until 2021 or 2022 is not something I can wrap my brain around. Predictions of business not opening this summer. Companies failing and not being able to reopen at all. I can’t even envision how that would work. I can’t imagine how people would be able to live and eat and survive.  It is just too much. So I’ve turned it off for the most part. I listen to one or two news updates in the morning and try to find other things to occupy the time. I suppose if something really important happens, there will be an alert on my phone and I can deal with that when it occurs.

Well, I guess I haven’t run out of words!  Thank God! Crisis averted! 

Tomorrow is Friday – just in case you needed that reminder. Praying for some good news this weekend – I think we could all use it.

News of the Day:

Over 2 million people worldwide have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. More than 138,000 people have died.

The United States has had over 639,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and over 30,000 deaths, leading the world in both numbers.

Another 5.245 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits for the week ending April 11, according to numbers released by the U.S. Labor Department. In just the last four weeks, the number of total unemployment claims has reached 22 million.

Germany, Europe’s largest economy, has extended its lockdown until May 3.

Plan for the Day:

Try to get my grocery order fixed. School work for Arden – we finished fractions yesterday, so today is a “Play” day, which means I trick her into doing math by using a game app. Prepare for the snow apocalypse. 

See you tomorrow!


Eat More Pig

Day 30

Does anyone else have a ton of leftover ham from Easter? I ordered a small spiral ham on my last Wal-Mart pick up order, but they were out of the one I requested and gave me a much larger one. Ordinarily that would be ok – we would have more than 3 people eating and I’d be able to send leftovers home with whomever was over.  However, that was not the case this year. We have SO much ham leftover, we will never eat it in its original form.  

We don’t like ham and beans or ham salad, so I was searching for something to use the ham to make – other than sandwiches. Here’s what I came up with:

Slow Cooker Ham, Potato and Corn Chowder:

  • 6 – 8 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 can creamed corn
  • 1 can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 8 ounces diced ham
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 cups half and half

Place potatoes, corn, chicken broth, ham, onions and salt and pepper in a slow cooker. Cook on LOW for 8 hours. After cooking, mash potatoes to desired consistency. Add butter and half and half. Turn up the slow cooker to HIGH and cook for an additional 30 – 60 minutes.


Arden, of course, would not try it, but Terry had two bowls and I think it will reheat nicely for the next few days.  I had everything (except the half and half) in my pantry – so it was a good option to use up a good portion of the ham. We still have quite a bit of leftover ham – but at least some of it was put to another use.

I wish I had some corn bread to go with it, but I forgot to grab a box when I went to get the half and half.  Oh well – still a tasty dinner on a way too cool night (for spring).

Other than that, not much to report on this last day of spring break. We were quite lazy. Tomorrow we are back to the grind of school. Arden can’t quite decide if she wants school to resume or if she wants it to be out for the year.

I know which I would pick!

She asks every day if the Governor has announced if he is going to allow the schools to reopen. He has not – at least not that I’ve heard. I agree with her, in that I wish they would just announce it one way or another. It is hard not knowing. It is hard not to have a way to plan, even if the plan is just that we are here for the remainder of the school year. It would be nice to know if the end of the school years is what was scheduled or something different. It would just be nice to have any definitive information! 

I will say, that as hard as it is for Arden to be alone so much of the time, I am particularly thankful that I don’t have multiple children to keep entertained and on task for school at home.  I am quite confident I would be ready to be fitted for a straight jack! I don’t know how parents of multiple children are doing it. Especially if one parent is at work or trying to work while the other is primarily responsible for the child care/schooling!  

Like I’ve asked before, Are we there yet?!?!?!?!?

News of the Day:

Nearly 2 million people worldwide have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. More than 123,000 people have died.

The United States has had over 592,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and over 25,000 deaths, leading the world in both numbers.

President Trump lashed out at New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo after Cuomo dismissed Trump’s assertion that the president has “total” authority to reopen state economies.

Trump used Monday’s coronavirus task force briefing to berate reporters who challenged his assertion that “everything we did was right.”

The U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will hear oral arguments by telephone beginning next month.

Plan for the Day: I started re-watching The Good Wife. So that will keep me busy for awhile. 

See you tomorrow!


%d bloggers like this: