Review of our year 2020, what a doozie it was. Mom recovered, they got a new house and the boys have survived being on lock down for the pandemic.
2020, Let Us Look Back. . .
2020 was a whirl wind of ups and downs for our family. My mom recovering from hip replacement and she and Dad staying in an apartment while the basement of their home was being renovated for one level living. I say renovated I should say gutted and re-built because that is what really happened. My sister, her husband, and my brother worked tirelessly to get everything up to date and code. We moved them back home in November and we celebrated Thanksgiving in the newly renovated basement. Mom and Dad could not be happier in their house and familiar surroundings.
Sprat Came Home. . .
Sprat came home from College in Massachusetts early and his lacrosse season was cut short. A strong finish for the Sophomore year with Academic All Conference award. He continued his College courses from home remotely. He is heading back to Massachusetts in a week to start his Spring semester and fingers are crossed for a lacrosse season.
Family pictures over the Christmas break, this will be Sprat’s Jr year of College picture. Such a handsome devil.
Big T had a Banner Year . . .
Big T had his Junior year lacrosse cut short by the pandemic and he completed his Junior year of school from home. This Senior year has also been a remote year for Big T. We found out that if he completes his course work that he is on track to complete that he will not only have his high school diploma in May but he will also have an Associates degree in business administration from our Community College. We are very proud of him for this huge accomplishment. This is not only big for him but big for us, this will be a savings on his Bachelor’s degree and if he chooses to go for a Masters it will not take as long.
Big T, this will be his Senior portrait since I hated the ones that the school took. How hard is it really to get a decent picture of a kid???
Apparently it is harder than I thought to get that good picture I was hoping for.
The Hubby and I Survived. . .
Finally, the hubbs and I survived being shelter in place for the better part of 2020, with two boys teen and twenty, due to the fact the hubbs company sent him home and my office sent me home and we kept the kids home. Sprat was more angry about being at home than Big T, Big T is of course the hypochondriac of our group and was thrilled to learn he could complete school at home. Sprat was not so happy, he wanted to visit with his friends once he had returned home. We kept them on lock down to start with and then we gradually let them start going out with masks and only to certain places.
Love these goofy boys to the moon and back!!
Would not Have Survived without this Guy. .
Love this guy too! Do not know what I would do without this one.
This guy has been our rock through all of this mess. He has done the shopping, the cooking and even some of the cleaning. He cooks for me when I am working and cannot go up stairs to grab a bite and he brings it to me sometimes with a little special treat. (chocolate) Always making sure I have plenty of caffeine cold in the fridge and will even go out in the worst of weather if I need some.
Trying to stay positive in all the drama. We planted the cut flower bed a few weeks ago and now it is so hot and dry that my flowers just look pitiful. My hope is that later everything will be established and be able to weather the Sahara of Arcadia. It could be pouring rain all over the County and in our neighborhood it will dry as the desert. Hence my comment on the Sahara.
Updates on everything. . .
Updates on everything: the hubbs and I are still working from home, the garden is feeding us very well, and the boys are doing their thing too. I am so proud of myself, I have made and frozen three pots of cabbage enchilada soup and two loaves of chocolate chip zucchini bread and a pot of potato soup and I do not want to forget the mountain stew. Last night I made a lemon zucchini pasta that was to die for. I will share that recipe later in the post. If it were just the hubbs and I we could live out of our garden, sadly the boys want meat and I cannot grow that in our garden. I am not a vegetarian or a vegan or anything like that I just do not have to eat meat. In fact, I prefer not to eat meat just because I do not like the texture.
I am dazzled. . .
I am dazzled by my hubby’s green thumb. Our garden is going like gangbusters this year and I know it is because we are blessed. Our peas did not do as well as we expected but I did enjoy those fresh little pearls of sweetness. I have high hopes for cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon this season. Our cucumbers and zucchini are just starting to mature. My goal, is a full freezer by Winter.
Recipe for lemon Zucchini pasta:
2 medium Zucchini thinly sliced
1 onion thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic pressed
2 peppers sliced (jalapeno, banana, green, red what ever you like)
fresh basil leaves
fresh oregano leaves
fresh lemon thyme
1 lemon juiced
whole wheat pasta
Saute onion, peppers and garlic in olive oil then add Zucchini and a splash of white wine. While that is cooking, cook your pasta. I like the whole wheat angel hair pasta personally. After your Zucchini is soft add your fresh herb leaves and your lemon juice and cover and let simmer, if it seems dry add a little more white wine. Once your pasta is done top with your Zucchini mixture and a little fresh Parmesan.
Stay tuned I will share my enchilada cabbage soup recipe next time.
Some many things are uncertain right now, this pandemic has reeked havoc on everything. We do not know one day to the next what new limits will be imposed on us. We have imposed some limits on ourselves. The hubbs and I have weekly calls with our managers and co-workers to stay up to date on this ever changing environment. The boys have meetings with their teachers and coaches weekly too. We still do not know if schools will be back on campus in August. This is the end of Big T’s junior year of high school and we normally would be planning college visits. Not sure how all of this is going to play out but we will attack it as a family.
Thankful Tuesday. . .
I am very thankful for my husband, there is not anyone any better than him to have to endure this “thing” with. He is my rock, my love, and my best friend. The other day I was working and we had been very busy so I had not had a break for food. My very sweet husband had fixed dinner for the boys and brought me a plate downstairs to the office so I could eat. When I am working the boys will come down and visit with me, if I am not on the phone. Big T has entertained me with his Ukulele on numerous occasions. Did I mention that he is teaching himself how to play the Ukulele?
Awww the Ukulele. . .
The Ukulele is an interesting little instrument, it is small and has a twang to it’s sound. I am not sure where Big T got the idea to learn to play the Ukulele but he is actually pretty good at it. He has been teaching himself via YouTube and other online tutorials. He is also learning to play the electric guitar. My hubby played the guitar many moons ago and so we still have ALL of the equipment. I love listening to Big T play his Ukulele he is quite talented, he gets that from the hubbs. I could not carry a tune if you strapped it to my back.
The Garden Grows. . .
The garden is growing and we are so thankful the frost we got in this early May did not kill anything. Our peas did not come up as well as we had hopped, luckily though I still have some in the freezer. We had some volunteer Tomatillos come up and those will be a blessing since the ones we bought have not done well.
I love trying new recipes, they do not always work out they way they should but I always learn a lesson. The other day I learned coconut oil does not always fry up the way you want. I love falafel but I have never made it and wanted to try my hand at making it. I found a good recipe on Pinterest https://theviewfromgreatisland.com/the-best-falafel/
My Mistake. . .
My mistakes usually start with leaving parts of the recipe out. This was no different, I used can chick peas instead of dry and I did not add near enough fresh herbs(I used dry herbs) or flour. The flour was really my biggest problem. I had everything mixed up, my balls formed and oil heated to 350. I dropped 3 balls in the oil and with in seconds they disintegrated. The oil bubbled up and almost out of my pan and I almost set the house on fire. I tried to bake my falafel in the oven and they also flattened out and some fell completely apart.
Looking Back. . .
Looking back, I should have added all of the flour but I thought it had enough. The flour was the real problem and the coconut oil. The ones that did well baked were very tasty. You bake at 375 for 30 minutes and flip them half way through. The recipe itself was very good, they had a great taste, I need to work on my baking. I will try these again, I do love falafel!
The hubbs found the cedar timbers for the flower bed. Big T and the hubbs built my new cut flower bed. I am so excited, we have to wait for my peony to bloom before we can move forward with the dirt, this is going to be very cool. I have said many times how much I love fresh cut flowers and now I am going to have my very own bed to cut from.
Now to figure out what to plant in the bed. . .
Both peony plants will be in there and I was thinking maybe some tulips too. I have never tired to grow tulips in a bed, we planted some in the edge of our woods one year but the soil was so bad they did not grow. Some Gladiolus, Dahlias, Queen of Sweden English Rose, Clemantis, Zinnias, Dutch Iris, and some Ranunculus. That sounds like a lot right?
One day last year our neighbors were moving and they had put on the curb some things they were getting rid of, they had a wooden head board out there. My hubby comes home and tells me he is going to get the head board to put in my cut flower bed when he builds it. I told you I have wanted a cut flower bed for a long time. Funny thing about that head board, I had seen it too on my way home from work and thought the same thing. He went down and picked it up and brought it home. We are going to stain it and it will go at the top of the flower bed, I figure some Clemantis or even some type of rose would run well on that.
Stay tuned. . .
Stay tuned for more interesting things happening in the yard. The hubbs has a bug now about building and fixing things. He may put another bed around our Crepe Myrtle tree in the back yard. Tell me what you would put in your cut flower bed if you had one or if you already have one what is your favorite flower.
My husband has been very busy in the COVID pandemic. Our garden has been plowed and planted, he added tomatillos and some peppers yesterday. My cutting flower bed also has a good start. I was told we will take a trip to Lowes to get some timber to build up the bed. There is nothing like the smell of fresh cut flowers.
There is a lot going on in our yard this year. Spring will be all a buzz at our house and I cannot wait.
What are you doing in the stay at home order to keep your sanity? Tell me how you are dealing with school for your kids and keeping everyone happy.
What a crazy world we are living in these days. The government has told us to stay home unless you are doing something essential. What is essential exactly? Is it essential for your kids to have sleep overs? Does a family BBQ with fifty of your closest friends and family constitute essential? Is it essential for you to buy seeds to plant your garden that you and your family live on throughout the year? Who decides what is and is not essential? Who??
What is essential. . . I know you were wondering. . .
Apparently being essential depends on if the government sees your employer as being essential. Healthcare, grocery, take out restaurants, and hardware stores seem to all be essential. These are the places that are open and going strong around us. There was some talk of stores not allowing folks to buy seeds, art supplies, crafts, books, music or any entertainment. In my personal opinion all of those are essential. If moms and dads are staying home educating their kids they need access to all of these items. Books are essential for everyone no matter the age.
Why should you stay at home???
When you are on a stay-at-home order by the government it means you are suppose to stay at home unless your job is essential. The hubs and I have been on a self imposed stay at home since he was told to stay home by his company and I was sent home to work remotely by my company. That was about March 15th. We both work in healthcare so we see the ramifications of not staying at home. We both understand how these little buggers are transmitted and the obvious ways to curb transmission. We stay at home to protect our kids and our loved ones in other households.
This is my “Just Saying” moment. . .
This is not the time to go to the beach, this is not the time to have a sleep over for your kids because they are bored. You should be thinking about your health as well as those around you because you do not know who is and is not infected. I saw the statistics from the CDC on one of my first COVID 19 follow up webinars through work, one cab driver was connected to forty other cases in New York. This is how easily and simply this virus is transmitted. So please think before you plan that BBQ with your family and friends.
Stay safe and love your loved ones at a distance for now.
The hubbs and I have been married twenty-seven years this weekend. Together twenty-eight years, we met at my very first job right out of college, we were lab partners. Working third shift right out of college in a town I knew nothing about and the only person I knew was my roommate a friend from college. The hubbs and I were friends and lab partners first, we ran the same test in the lab.
Love at first sight. . .
It was love at first sight for me, not sure about my hubby. We hung out as friends those first several months and then we had a “date.” We still argue of what is and is not a date. He says what I considered a date was not really a date. I do love what he considered our first date. He took me to dinner and then on a horse and buggy ride in October, so we got to snuggle. A true romantic at heart, he will never admit that though and I am perfectly fine with that.
Hope for the future. . .
I hope that my husband and I have shown our boys what real love is about. We argue and we fight but we also compromise and make up. We work together to keep house and make our house a home. During this virus quarantine he has really come through with taking care of our family. I have been working night shift from home and he makes me dinner before I have to go downstairs to the office and log on. He also has been doing most of the cooking and making sure the boys are doing their school work.
Marriage and the quarantine . . .
We have been shelter in place long before the governor made it so. The hubbs and I knew it was the best practice to keep our family safe. These next few weeks will be trying, keeping the boys occupied and keeping ourselves from going stir crazy. Someone said that these circumstances bring out the true character of someone. It can make someone who is generous be more generous or it can make someone that is a jerk be more of a jerk. I have seen the true character of my hubby and it is someone that is generous, caring, and very talented in all that he does. I hope that my boys will follow his lead growing up and growing into young men.
Conclusion . . .
We will celebrate quietly tonight as a family our twenty-seven years together: no fan fare, no exotic trip, no large group of friends, just the four of us. That is what being on quarantine means. This is what you do to keep those you love safe. Please stay safe and stay at home to keep everyone safe.
This is the product of being at home almost two weeks with: my husband (cooking all the time) and my two teenage boys eating all the time. And here we go. . .
What is going on????
What is going on in this world? People think just because their kids are out of school and they are on furlough or work from home order that they can pack up and go to the beach. Why would you do that, why would you put yourself and others at risk by going out of town to stay where you do not know anyone or have any family near by? What happens if you get sick then your family is stuck where they do no know anyone and have no help for your kids if you get put in the hospital? What happens when your hometown goes on lock down and you cannot get back to your home, family, pets you may have left?
Folks you need to wake up. . .
Folks you need to wake up and realize that this is not a vacation it is a serious issue. My husbands Bass club plans to have a fishing tournament two hours away in an area that has many cases of this virus and has been on lock down longer than we have. My husband is not going nor is his brother, they have a little more sense and wives with more sense than that. The shelter at home orders are for everyone’s safety. This is not a time to go visit older relatives, this not the time to pack up the family and go to the beach. My husband and I have been on shelter in place since March 17th, that was when I started working from home full-time. I work with the Organ Donor organization for our State, we started our precautions to protect employees as well as: doctors, nurses, donors, donor families, and recipients. The boys have been on lock down since they both have been home from school.
What I would like to see. . .
What I would like to see come out of this Pandemic is, people starting to care about someone other than themselves. I am tired of hearing about the poor seniors that did not get this or that how about we start caring about those that are sick and dying and worry about how we can keep everyone safe and healthy all that other stuff can be done when this is over. I would like to hear how the Senior class of 2020 is going to do something to help the folks affected by this pandemic not hear them, “oh woe is me.” It is not even the kids that really care about it, it’s the parents that are crying about it.
I will get off my soap box now. . .
Yes, it is sad that the Seniors may not get their graduation in a timely manner and they may not get a Prom. Let’s look at the BIG picture and think about the lives that are saved because they stayed home. I am sad my sons’ did not get to have a complete season of lacrosse and bless Sprat’s heart he has had two seasons cut short. Life happens and it does not always go the way we would like it to go. My prayers through all of this are that God is watching over our young people and that we make it through this and we are better for it in the end.
We are sheltering in place, not because we have to, but because it is logical. When faced with the possibility of the spread of a virus like this one, it makes sense to limit contact with others. I am an introvert so, this is not as difficult as it sounds. The boys are having a little harder time with it all. They have gone out just to ride around and get some fresh air, I have threatened them within inches of their lives if they go anywhere to visit right now. They went out yesterday and Sprat took some pictures of two fields near our house and sent them to his “friend” in MA. The closest field to the friend is apparently a good little stretch in MA. I had to giggle just a little, the things we take for granted.
PE in the COVID 19. . .
The boys have both been out every day a couple times a day to throw and play wall ball (lacrosse). They are keeping their skills for the next season of Lax, whenever that might be. The hubbs has been practicing his gardening skills, he bought me some celery plants and has planted potatoes. We have radishes and peas to plant also. We have onions in the ground already from the winter.
Life does go on. . .
The hubbs is home until further notice, I am still working but from home. The boys are still doing school work and practicing their lacrosse skills. They are sometimes testing my patience. The one thing this “pandemic” has done is bring us all a little closer. Our family dinners around the table had sort of gone away, we all had somewhere to be but, with this virus none of us have anywhere to be but here. There is always a plan, nothing happens by chance, perhaps this is the message we should be taking away from all of this. Be home with your family, take care of your family, love your family.