21 April 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not

Dear Diary,

I’m popping up and down from the kitchen table while I’m writing this, trying to keep Family Pizza Night on track, so we’ll see how this goes.

Today is officially Day #37 of Quarantine. They say it takes three weeks to form a habit. I don’t know who “They” are, but it’s one of those things that’s accepted wisdom like don’t go outside in the winter without your coat on lest you catch a cold — things that are verifiably, conclusively false, but things we say and believe regardless. So I suppose it’s not surprising that I feel on some level like I should be used to this by now — less bewildered, more settled, further along on Quarantine Adjustment, coming to terms with the uncertainty — but I’m not.  ...  read more

13 April 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not

Dear Diary,

I spend most of every day worried about the Mommies of Littles.*

(*And probably the Daddies of Littles who are the primary caregivers, as well… it’s just that my experience is as a Mommy, so feel free to substitute gender as you see fit.)

I think about the Mommies constantly. It is, I’d say, the most consistent thought I have during this period of isolation. ...  read more

Bread and Body Fluids: I’d Come Up With a Less Gross Title, But I Have One Kid Crying, One Harfing, and One Bleeding… I’m Sure You Understand

Took my kid to the orthodontist this morning.

He had to have brace wires removed so I could take him to the dentist to get four teeth pulled.

Spilled my coffee.

All 20 ounces. All over the floor of the orthodontist’s office. I put it on the floor, then immediately kicked it over. I hadn’t had coffee yet, so I couldn’t clearly think through coffee placement. It’s a Catch 22, I tell you, this whole Had to Perform Coffee Tasks Before Having Coffee situation. It’s not right. We live in a broken world, friends. ...  read more

Milk and How to Use it… Yogurt, Cheese, and Labels: Oh, My!

I have a few “rules” this week as I try to eat no commercially preserved, packaged, or processed foods, the foremost of which is DO NOT BECOME A HANGRY JERK, BETH.

Greg and I learned through the joy of travel early in our relationship that there is no jackass jackassier than a hangry, exhausted jackass, and that, unless we wanted to go ahead and file for immediate divorce and save ourselves a world of hassle, we ought to travel with snacks. Snacks = Marital Harmony. Snacks = Marital Bliss. Snacks = the difference between being kind, flexible and accommodating of each other’s tiny flaws and foibles and I AM GOING TO RIP YOUR EFFING FACE OFF. We were precious, I tell you. Darling. ...  read more

It Looks Like Granola, But It’s Really Self-Care

The first step was to stop saying, “Stupid, stupid, STUPID, Beth. How could you be so STUPID?” to myself in the car on the way home from work. It didn’t matter, really, what I’d done during the day; I’d slide onto the cloth seats of my Pontiac in the late afternoon and berate myself, like clockwork, sure I’d done something unforgivably foolish or said something truly humiliating.  ...  read more

On Eating and Life: I Know You Understand

I’ve been a little radio silent around here for a bit. Mostly because I’ve been eating. Or thinking about eating. Or planning the eating.

To be fair, this is the case for me All the Time. I like food. But in my defense at this particular time, my friend Maggie and I just held our first ever Food and Wine Retreat, so All the Thinking About Food = LEGIT. ...  read more

Greg Thinks My Cooking Looks Like an Open Wound

Greg thinks my cooking looks like an open wound. 

“BETH?” he yelled from upstairs. “WHY DID YOU POST A PHOTO OF AN OPEN WOUND ON YOUR BLOG?”

Listen; with a family our size, we have to yell from one floor to the other. Yes, our parents taught us not to hollar throughout the house because we are humans and not elephants trumpeting in the wilderness —“Go FIND people and TALK TO THEM WITHOUT YELLING,” my mother would yell — but we have too many people in our house for that to work. Do you have any idea how much exercise we would get if we always talked to our people in person around here? Every request and reminder? For all five children plus the spouse? THAT’S SO MANY STAIRS TO WALK, y’all. We’d get repetitive stress injuries like extreme marathoners, and, healthcare being what it is in America, WE CANNOT AFFORD THAT. So we yell. It’s just practical.  ...  read more