Should I Stay or Should I Go?

“We should go.”  We were not having any fun in Hell and being surrounded by angry people in Circle #5 wasn’t helping.  We started clawing our way out.  But being one of the few States not reopening brings another sort of hell.  From the beginning we have had very few cases and our curve is flat, flatter than flat. What does it take?  We need haircuts!

Are you as sick as I am of the celebrities on TV intoning:  “Be safe, Stay at home, Wash your hands, We are all in this together.”  Do they think we don’t know this by now?  Are we all just stupid?  They all look suspiciously like they’re getting their hair cut and styled, like they have personal hairdressers.  And I am pretty sure we don’t live in the same category of home that they do.  Proof that we’re not “All in this together.”

I made a secret escape plan and kept it to myself until the day came.  Tom now does all the grocery shopping and the Costco runs and I am really fine with that as grocery shopping is not my favorite.  However, there is one grocery store I love and I missed it.  I was determined to go.  I got ready to leave and Tom said “where are you going?”  “Market of Choice” I said nonchalantly.  His face darkened with what can only be described as a deep stormy scowl.  “That’s a really bad idea” he said.  I just looked at him.  It was a standoff.  The OK Corral had nothing on us.

Driving down the freeway to the Market, I had my mask and gloves.  I was all ready.  I started in the bakery department and looked lovingly at the pastries, cakes and cookies.  Perused the Artisan breads and then the deli and take out dishes.  I headed for the cheese department where I bought the Market House Gorgonzola cheese, my favorite. I was a little disconcerted to read that the cheese comes from Wisconsin, I liked to think of an in-house cheese maker or better, a small farm nearby dedicated to Gorgonzola, turning out this delicious cheese. I took my time.  I went up and down all the aisles.  They have the most interesting and unusual items in this store.  I bought more than I needed.  I was happy.  I saved the produce section for last.  Oh what a vast, colorful selection of everything and things you never knew  you needed and don’t and took my time, trying not to be tempted to throw things into my basket I definitely didn’t need.  How long was I there?  Who cares.  I was not in hell any longer.  As I made my way to the checkout counter, I walked by their gift and flower department.  Of course I had to stop and see what was there.  Then I saw it.  The mug, the perfect mug.  I am picky about my coffee mugs and haven’t been able to find one I love for at least 5 years, even though I am always looking.  My heart beat faster.  The perfect Mother’s Day gift for me. Tom wouldn’t even have to agonize over what he was going to get me, although I have a sneaking suspicion he wasn’t agonizing at all and had no plans to get me anything. I described it in detail when I got home and sent Tom back to the store.  He didn’t even know they had a gift department so I had to also instruct as to exactly where he could find it and which door to go through.

It sure would be good to hear anything positive from the news media.  They are a nonstop doom and gloom machine.  Even though there is good news, apparently the media hasn’t heard about it.  The other day, it was not only do we all have to stay in the house until at least 2040, there are murder hornets on the way to kill us all.  We are all doomed folks, just doomed and if you don’t believe me, turn on the news.

Have you been set free?

 

Happy Go Lucky Street

The stay at home orders are continuing to send us through the circles of hell.  When will they end?  Do we really need them right now?  Can’t we at least try to get back to some kind of normal?  There is not even a target date here in Oregon and our curve is flat.  We hear nothing from our Governor.  So further into the circles we go.  We  passed through level three where we were tortured with The New England Patriot’s Super Bowl wins.  However, desperate to get out of level three which is Gluttony, we had to take a dive through the secondary part of level three which was the Philadelphia hot dog eating contest. Have  you ever watched the hot dog eating contest, buns and all?  Grown men stuffing hot dogs in their mouths, for what?  The glory? There is no vomiting allowed.  But in hell, you see a lot of it.  And we thought the Super Bowl wins was bad…

Being stuck at home for a month already and looking at another one, sent us tumbling down further into the circles.  We found ourselves on circle # four which is Greed.  Sure enough, we were in Filene’s Basement in Boston on Bridal Gown day.  Thousands of would be brides stormed the basement as it opened.  We were tromped and trampled.  Women whose weddings were coming up and should have been happy were snarling at each other. One would be bride snatched a dress from another bride and shoved and weaved her way through the screaming masses with the dress.  We crawled out of Filene’s only to be caught in the Black Friday crowds at Target and if we thought the brides were bad, you should have seen this crowd.  Would we come out alive or would we be suffocated underneath huge bodies running over us.  We could see ahead the crowds surrounding the toilet paper, screaming and fighting for the two ply.  Did we even have to go through the toilet paper wars in hell?  We realized that was part of why we were in hell after all.  Surely circle 5 could not be this bad?  We knew circle 5 was Anger and we were there.  We were angry, so we slipped down further and now we’re on circle #5.

We are surrounded by anger on circle #5.  Once friendly neighbors had all become tattletales. It was a cacophony of tattlers, all screaming at each other. Some Governors have set up tattletale hot lines. “I saw her go under the yellow tape to walk with her small children in the closed park.”  “I saw a car parked by the trail which means they drove to hike and they’re not supposed to. Let me give you their license plate number.”  “Arrest that man, he is not wearing a mask.”  ” I am a good judge of distance and I walked by a group of people standing only 5 feet apart and not only that, they were drinking. Most insulting of all, they were laughing.   Don’t they know this is serious?   We are supposed to all be miserable together.  The address is 310 Happy Go Lucky Street of all things. I hope you can come quickly so I can get my pleasure out of seeing them arrested.”  The only glimmer of hope from this group of tattlers was that one of them tattled on Tom Brady who was seen working out in a closed park in his new home town of Tampa.

WFLA NEWS

@WFLA

Replying to @WFLA and 4 others

Mayor @JaneCastor on a @TomBrady sighting in Tampa:

“Our parks are closed down so a lot of our park staff patrol around…and saw an individual working out in one of our downtown parks. She went over to tell him it was closed. And it was Tom Brady.” https://bit.ly/2xn0bQ9 

 

Surely the next level will not be Heresy, but Revolt.  That is a level I am looking forward to. I think.  This is hell after all.

Are you still Trapped?

Home Clothes

Never has Groundhog day meant so much to so many people as day after day the same routine repeats.  I keep thinking about Dante’s 9 circles of hell.  Which circle are we in right now and how far down will we have to go and what happens if we do reach that 9th circle?  Are we in the first one still, Limbo?  Or have we descended already into number 5 which is Anger?

Tom and I were hanging out on circle #1  when we decided to watch a movie.  Tom was scrolling through our choices when he stumbled on “Once Upon a Time in the West.  It was made in 1968 and Tom said “I think this is a classic.”  “How can it be a classic” I said, “I’ve never heard of it.”  Then he said “Let’s watch it.”  I wasn’t excited but I agreed.  That movie plunged us headlong into circle #2, Lust, until I realized what that meant so we had to plunge down even further.  I have never seen a movie so awful.  Tom said “I’m sure it gets better, there has to be some action soon.”  There was not.  We watched almost an hour before turning it off.  I looked up the movie as it was that bad and it turns out the Library of Congress preserved it in the National Film Registry as being historically significant.  I would rather scrub my deck again and again over watching that.  It was a box office flop by the way.  I blame this on Tom of course as it was his pick.  I get the next pick and I’m thinking either “Sound of Music” or “Frozen.”

As we plunged into circle 3 what I see is horrifying.  It’s endless TV sets on an endless loop of Tom Brady and the grumpy lobster boat captain Bill Belichick, winning 6 Super Bowls.  If you don’t read Jason Gay, the Wall Street Journal’s sports writer, you will not have heard his nickname for the New England Patriot’s head coach, Bill Belichick.  A more perfect nickname I have never heard.  And if the New England Patriots Super Bowls are only on circle #3, I can’t imagine what horrors await on circle #4.

Did you hear that the Government of Malaysia on Facebook asked the women of the country not to nag their husband during this crisis and to please try to look nice by wearing make up and dress nicely by not wearing home clothes.  This cracked me up and they got a lot of push back, enough that they had to take the post down.  But, are you wearing “home” clothes during this crisis?  I am.  Mine consist of a red turtleneck if it’s cold, or a pink short sleeved shirt if it’s warm, under my dark grey sweatshirt and my light grey jeans.  The other day I was forced to wash the outfit and I was lost as to what to wear.  So far, no complaints from Tom.

Any good movies?  Do you have home clothes? What level of Dante’s circles are you on?

Toilet Paper Dreams

I had a dream about toilet paper.  I was in a grocery store and there was only toilet paper stacked floor to ceiling. I decided if you’re dreaming about toilet paper it’s definitely a sign not to give up your blog.  When I started this blog 6 years ago, it was all about moving to Portland and our adventures surrounding that.  It turns out it was genius to make a friend in the toilet paper business so we have no worries in that department.  Another sign to keep writing is that focusing on your health is not all it’s cracked up to be.  Distraction is good.  Especially now.

I received this package at my front door.  It was from my neighbor, so thoughtful! Don’t we have enough to worry about without worrying about toilet paper? Take sports.  I pretty much plan my life over sports.  I know this is not normal but I also know I am not alone.  So first, my very favorite tournament of the year was cancelled.  March Madness.  I pretty much watch all the games, I love how each team desperately wants to win and get into that Final Four.  And my team had a chance.  So instead of watching the finals of the March Madness tournament last weekend, we were out scrubbing  our deck on our hands and knees.  Then the Masters Golf Tournament was postponed.  I tell you it’s just pure torture.  But a little ray of sunshine to look forward to as today I had an appointment with my doctor who was in the National Squash tournament a few weeks ago in Minneapolis, MN.  She and her partner came in second place and when I grilled her on her strategy and will to win, she promised to send me the video of her playing.  I am very excited and I hope it took them three sets to clinch second place.  I am now reduced to watching my doctor play squash.  If you would like to see it, I can ask her if I can send you the link.

I thought sports was going to be the worst for me but the soap opera I watch, “The Bold and the Beautiful” just announced they were going to stop production for the time being.  I am crushed.  Will Sally actually die?  Where did that nasty Thomas go and will Quinn blow up Brooke and Ridge’s marriage and ruin Katie in the process?  How much loss can a person take?

When I  went for a walk this past weekend I heard two women behind me talking.  One of them was talking about her healthy diet and complaining about all the people eating junk and the disgusting things she sees them putting in their grocery carts.  What’s it to her?  She was obviously feeling pretty superior to people just trying to put some semblance of happiness into their otherwise pretty miserable lives right now.  How judgmental can you be?  When you’re stuck at home and maybe surrounded by bored kids who you now have to home school while also working yourself, who cares if you buy extra bags of Cheetos and chips, cookies and fruit loops? Anything to keep the kiddies happy.  I am enclosing this link of an Italian mother who isn’t coping all that well.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8U6zU4MXmnA   Or even if you’re there with just your husband, a bowl of ice cream is pretty wonderful.  This too shall pass, I’ll get my sports and soap opera back and then everyone will go on a diet.

Today I am cleaning out my refrigerator.

How are you coping? And what was the hardest thing for you to give up?

Better Than Butter

It all started over a year ago when my college girlfriends came to Portland for our annual get-together.  There are six of us and even with kicking Tom out for the week, I didn’t have enough room for everyone.  So one of my girlfriends and I stayed at a neighbors, just to sleep.  I stocked up on junk food and everything else I could think of.  The first morning as I was making toast, I pulled my go to margarine spread out of the refrigerator and you would have thought I was about to put bacon grease on their bread.  “What is that crap?, that’s plastic, it doesn’t even melt on the toast, where’s the butter” were the comments. “I don’t have butter, this is what I use, take it or leave it, besides, I like it” I said defensively.  It devolved from there and so began another reunion of bad jokes, trash talking and jabbing each other.  We always have the best time!

Fast forward to right now.  My friends are all sure that it was the spread that caused my cancer and they have actually talked me into using real butter.  However, I am rethinking my diet and how it contributes to health and am determined to change a few things.  Mostly less sugar, less alcohol , more vegetables, you get the picture.  I am going to change my recipes to make them better and I may take you on this ride with me.  I was perusing a cookbook I found when rearranging the book shelf called “What To Eat Now” The Cancer Lifeline Cookbook, and guess what I found.  A recipe for a butter spread that is healthy.  I looked with skepticism at the ingredients and then decided to make it.

BETTER THAN BUTTER:   Makes 1 pound

1 cup sweet cream butter,  1 cup canola oil, 1 cup buttermilk, 1 cup ice water (this is the ingredient I was skeptical of)

Soften the butter at room temperature until very soft.   Combine softened butter and oil in a deep mixing bowl and mix until smooth.  This will take about 5-8 minutes.  Slowly add buttermilk and blend.  Then add ice water and blend.  Tip:  Measure a cup of water in a two cup measure. Then put in the ice and pour out excess water until the measure is one cup.  The water makes it all come together. After everything is all blended up, put the resulting concoction the refrigerator where it will firm up.  It works!  And it melts on the toast and it tastes good.  Try it and then let me know what you think.  I can’t wait to see what my college friends will think.

 

Cupcake Follies

Really, I just wanted to watch my cupcake show.  I’d been talking about it for days and let Tom know I recorded it.  The Cupcake bake-off on the Food Channel.  After 13 rounds of chemo and two to go, this was the big thing I was looking forward to.  I don’t make cupcakes but my daughter had ordered cupcakes for the twins 6th  birthday party and sent me a picture.  I was blown away.  I had never seen more beautiful cupcakes in my life and was sure they couldn’t be that beautiful and also taste good.  She assured me they were delicious.  Somehow this self taught woman was discovered by the Food Channel and asked to compete in one of the Cupcake Bake-off shows.  Her Bakery is called “Baked Blooms.” https://www.bakedblooms.com/

My sister invited us to come up for the weekend so to Seattle we went.  It was a good getaway.  I was up long before everyone else Saturday morning and sat around waiting for anyone to get up.  Tom was sleeping in longer than he ever had before so the sleeping pill my sister Denise gave him the night before must really be working.  She said it was mild and you wouldn’t have a hangover in the morning.  When he finally got up he had a big hangover and was really groggy.

“What the heck was that pill you gave me last night Denise?”  “I just gave you one of my prescription sleeping pills, they’re real mild and you wake up feeling great.  But my pills are the same as Bonita’s, so since mine were in the bedroom, I just gave you one of Bonita’s”  “Why am I so groggy then?”  Tom asked.  Denise went to get the bottle and then started laughing.  “Bonita’s pills are way stronger than mine!”  she said. Bonita happens to be the family dog.  We finally stopped laughing and Tom went to peruse his phone.

I went to my phone and found the cupcakes to show Denise.  I was telling her how beautiful they were and how the bakery’s owner was going to be competing in the Cupcake Bake-off on the Food Channel.  Tom looked up from his phone and said “Oh she won.”  “What did you say” I asked.  “She won.”  he said again.  I couldn’t believe it, did he just ruin my cupcake show?  “I told you I recorded that to watch when we got home” I said, barely containing my fury.  “I thought you’d already watched it” he said.  “Of course I haven’t watched it, I keep talking about watching it,  you’ve heard me talking about watching it, do you not hear anything I say?”  “Sorry, you can watch it when we get home and you won’t have any anxiety about who wins.”  I did not speak to him the rest of the day and was still mad the following day.  I even threatened to tell him who wins every Wisconsin Badger game he records.  The cupcakes had taken on an outsize importance, a metaphor for husbands who don’t listen! I finally watched the show several days later and yes, she won and yes, knowing she won ruined the show for me.  But I’m very happy she won, her cupcakes are something to behold.

Did somebody ruin something for you and you want to tell me about it?