Category Archives: COVID-19

What’s cooking…

Lake view 1

It’s fall, y’all and we’re all moved into our new home (townhome) and beginning to feel quite comfortable as we settle in.

So, what should I worry about or ponder now?

I keep thinking I could work on my cooking skills now that I have lots of time on my hands, not only because I’m retired, but also because the pandemic is keeping me home.  It’s never to late to start a new hobby, right?!?

I’ve often thought it would be great to be a really GOOD cook – like, chef-grade cook.  And, maybe more to the point, a comfortable cook.  I am neither good nor comfortable when it comes to cooking.  I generally look for the easiest way out, so to speak.  I look for recipes with simple ingredients that I have on hand and that require few difficult techniques.

Mentally, (and, unfairly, of course) I blame my spouse for my lack of cooking flair.  He is a very simple eater – doesn’t like fussy dishes, is usually watching his weight and always needs to watch his salt intake because of his heart issues.  (Plus, shouldn’t we all be watching our salt intake as we age?!)  So, give him a piece of meat, a side vegie and a salad or piece of fruit and he is good to go.  I admit that does make it easy to feed him but doesn’t give any impetus for trying more complicated or interesting meals.

I’m definitely a recipe follower, and stick very precisely to the instructions.  I don’t have much confidence in randomly tossing ingredients into a pot because I think they would enhance the flavor…that’s what I mean by saying I’m not a comfortable cook.

I do love cook books and have several of them.  Perhaps I should (hate that word) pull one off the shelf like once a week or so and try something that varies from our mundane usual fare.  It’s likely I can find recipes that can be healthy as well as more exciting.

The cooking channels on TV have never interested me much, but maybe if I checked them out once in awhile they would provide me with some inspiration and light a fire under me.

I do like perusing recipes in magazines.  Here’s the latest one I found in a magazine on my friend’s coffee table recently.  Seems easy, with ingredients I recognize, plus would be very tasty I think…a perfect Fall type dish.

I’m going to give this a try.

Squash/Apple Bake
Squash/Apple Bake

Any words of encouragement or wisdom you could provide for me on my endeavor to become a better cook would be appreciated.  Feel free to drop your comments below.


Hunkering down…

First puzzle complete – 1000 pieces.

Day whatever – I don’t even know anymore – of sheltering in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

I’ve spent hours working on jigsaw puzzles – I’m on my second 1000 piece puzzle.  I’m working my way through a stack of library books.  I’m attending church services, including special Lenten services, virtually.  I’m going on daily outdoor walks (weather permitting).

I want to be informed about this quickly, and apparently easily, spreading virus; but after watching news shows and special reports endlessly, I find I need a break.  The stories about those affected with the virus and those healthcare workers on the front lines fighting this disease, make me cry.  I would rather hear the positive, heart-warming stories that are out there, but not as readily reported.

I admit I’m spending too much time on social media sites.  However, that being said, I do think Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – my pastimes of choice – provide me with news, entertainment and most importantly connection with family and friends.  These platforms provide me opportunities to stay in touch with those people important to me.  And, it’s easy to scroll past any negative posts I don’t want to read.  I have connected with others through email, texting and Facetime also.

My current favorite technology tool is Zoom.  Through that app meant for facilitating virtual meetings with several participants, I have gathered with my book club for our regular monthly meeting, got together with family for a happy hour and this week, my book group from church will Zoom in to discuss our current book.

Can you imagine what being isolated would have been like in the “olden days” without the technology we have today?  When I was a young person we would have been communicating with snail mail or land line telephones.  Thankfully, today’s technology allows us to see faces and hear voices.  You younger folks taking all of this for granted don’t know how lucky you are!

My biggest challenge now is finding the motivation to stay productive.  Yes, I am retired so in theory, should always have lots of time on my hands.  But, under normal circumstances, I tend to stay pretty busy and out of the house quite a bit.  Now, when I can’t leave home, I really do have time on my hands.  It’s so easy to put off tasks thinking I’ll have more time to complete them tomorrow.  Instead, I think I should (hate that word) be taking care of spring house cleaning, cleaning out drawers and closets, and other necessary chores I never find time to do.  It’s just too easy to procrastinate.

Not knowing how long this pandemic will go on and how long we will need to shelter in place, makes it difficult to plan for the near future.  We would like to put our house on the market in June in anticipation of moving into a town house in August.  Now, I wonder how feasible those plans are.  Should I continue to work on cleaning out the basement and garage, or forget about it for now??? I feel sorry for all those folks trying to plan for graduations, weddings, confirmation celebrations, etc.

Enough ranting and worrying for today.  As I write this, the sun in shining brightly in the Twin Cities.  Time to get outside for some fresh air.

I hope all of you are hunkering down and finding satisfying activities to keep you busy and healthy.  Drop a comment below and let me know how you’re staying sane.