“Hey there, all you cool cats and kittens!”
Yes we watched it. Yes it’s good, crazy good. It’s definitely a case of truth being stranger than fiction. You can’t make this s**t up! If you haven’t watched it, what are you waiting for? It’s the wild Binge everyone’s gobbling up while sheltering in place.
People stuck at home must have a lot of bananas going bad on the counter because Banana Bread, that easy-to-bake favorite, has been everywhere in the coronavirus era. It has been an era already, right? Chrissy Tiegen traded her homemade banana bread for Romaine lettuce, which she couldn’t find at the grocery store. I’ve made some and a couple ladies I’m on text threads with, have as well. Banana bread is nice to have around when you have a house-full of people, which I do these days. This recipe is from the Serve it Up! cookbook and was contributed by my former tennis teammate, Kelly Glascock. I also like to add a little vanilla to the batter and fold in toasted nuts.
Kona Inn Banana Bread
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup softened butter
6 ripe mashed bananas (3 cups)
4 eggs, well beaten
2 1/2 cups cake flour (if you don’t have cake flour, remove 2 TBL flour and put in 2 TBL cornstarch)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350. With electric beater, cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add bananas and eggs, beating until well mixed. Sift together dry ingredients. Blend with banana mixture but DO NOT overtax. Pour into 2 lightly greased loaf pans. Bake for 45 minutes to one hour until firm in the center and edges begin to separate from the pans. Cool on rack 10 minutes before removing from pans.
Some friends of mine who have been missing their adult children, got their wish answered when said children flew home to the coop. How said togetherness and family bonding is going I cannot say, but it seems like an endless Christmas vacation at our house. There’s lots of drinking, overeating, family squabbles, followed by long walks around the neighborhood. Be careful what you wish for.
My theory is you’re either a cleaner or a cooker (aka chef). I definitely fall in the later category and don’t enjoy cleaning unless I’m stressed or angry. But lately, I’ve been cleaning all surfaces, handles, light switches and knobs first thing in the morning with 409. My house- at least the handles- has never been so clean. When Kim Kardashian starts having to do her own laundry (as she’s claimed), you know things are bad!
I’d never heard about this app, but Emma explained to me it’s like Instagram but with only videos that last 15 seconds, no still photos. A lot of them are dance videos but trending now on Tik Tok is a frothy coffee-making video that Emma is obsessed with and making every day (and night). If I get bored enough, I may have to learn a dance and post it on Tik Tok. Kids, get ready to be embarressed.
I’d never heard of Zoom before (only Face Time and Skype) but it’s become a super popular way to have meetings, classes and Virtual Happy Hours. My husband Zeke is in a Zoom Happy Hour with a bunch of men who normally meet at Riviera Country Club, called the “Table of Knowledge”. Ahem. He was able to join the Virtual Group last night and they all caught up with their lives and how they’ve been dealing with life in captivity. It’s so important to stay connected to our support groups at this time.
Neighborhoods all over the country are scheduling bear hunts (after the book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt), with stuffed animals replacing the real thing, hidden in bushes, trees and windows. Our neighborhood had one yesterday and I had, what I thought, was a brilliant idea. Emma had a HUGE (53 inch) Teddy Bear an old boyfriend had given her. He actually wanted her to take it to college (she didn’t), but my grandson Wyatt loved going into her room and getting scared by the bear. Emma came to hate the bear and wanted to donate it, so I asked her if I could put it out for the Bear Hunt. She agreed and I wheeled it down the street in a wagon to a busy corner. I made a sign that said “I Love You”, to show the kids on the bear hunt my support. I went to retrieve it around 6 p.m. and ran into Emma, who was walking away from the bear’s spot. “Someone took it,” she said. They did, however, leave my sign. I hope the bear went to a good home. Sigh.
People Who Need People
I’m in five different text threads with friends and acquaintances. One is just a fun group (Coronavirus Go Away) that sends jokes, memes and practical advise like where to find toilet paper. Another is a spiritual group with inspirational quotes and postings and the occasional cute Italian yoga instructor video. My Book Club Wats Ap group tends toward more intellectual articles and information. We have a nurse in that group that keeps us informed with practical advise and current CDC guidelines, but we also share movie, TV and book recommendations, word searches, photos of our organized spice drawers and uplifting videos from China, Italy and Spain. My garden club has asked members to post photos of their gardens and projects as a way to keep in touch.
Gardening and DIY projects
Apparently Home Depot is one of the economic winners in this pandemic, with some people taking the opportunity of their time off to start or complete home projects and gardening. My 82-year old mother has been out in the yard “for the first time in years,” according to her. “You wouldn’t believe to what length these yard men will go to avoid hauling stuff away,” she said of her backyard discoveries. She’s also painting pots and light fixtures around the house and had the foresight to buy Netflix, Amazon and Clorox stock when this whole thing started.
Puzzles, Board Games and Paint By Number
The 1500 piece puzzle is finally finished! Yipee. Apparently, puzzles are a hot commodity right now. I’ve also dusted off some board games- Scrabble and Scattegories- to have a Game Night this week. Lauren is anxiously awaiting the Paint By Number kit she’s ordered, but it’s been delayed. Everything seems to be taking longer to ship these days. Thank God for Amazon Prime.
I’d heard about InstaCart before Corona and had an account, but had never tried it before last week. I was most excited about it originally, because the stores they serviced included Cotsco, thereby eliminating that trip. I ordered via InstaCart from Publix. My first order was a bit of a fail, the second one was better. They give you a time frame they will deliver. Mine said between 4 and 6 pm. They actually came at 7:20 pm and left 4 plastic bags outside the front door (instead of the bench where I’d requested). They do keep you updated re: your shopper and replacements they have made, but I just noticed I got charged for a head of cauliflower I didn’t get. You get a receipt at the end so check it closely. Also, I ordered a buy one, get one free (BOGO) cans of refried beans and since they were out of the 16 ounce cans, my shopper substituted a HUGE can (31 ounces) instead. Not exactly what I had in mind. Better light a match!
Working out at Home
The walks, walks, walks! I’m lucky that I ‘m already set up at home with free weights, an exercise ball, jump rope and exercise bands, but when Lauren tried to order some weights, they were all sold out. With people not being able to go to the gym, they are turning to working out at home. I’ve never so many people in my neighborhood walking, biking and roller blading than in the last two weeks. I’ve also been doing yoga videos on You Tube called Blissful Yoga Flow for Unsettling Times by Boho Beautiful.
One can only cook so much, especially when one’s cooking Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. We are lucky that in this day and age, our take-out options aren’t limited to pizza and Chinese Food, like in the old days (when I was a kid). During the coronavirus pandemic, is the perfect time to try those restaurants you never got around to dining at. Of course, the atmosphere and presentation won’t be the same, but you will get to sample their food, drinks and dishes. Pick it up yourself, if you can, as the delivery services cut into the restaurant’s bottom line. See my earlier post for recommendations and information.
First we were told you didn’t need a mask unless you were sick. Now we know that up to 25% of people with coronavirus don’t show any symptoms and those that do fall ill with symptoms are contagious up to 48 hours before they realize they’re sick. They are coming up with new mask guidelines as we speak, but it appears it certainly will help stop spreading the virus if everyone wore them. Of course, that’s if you can get your hands on a mask. We don’t have any, but I do have a plethora of bandanas. So if you see me out and about, I am not the Frito Bandito, I’m just trying to save my self (and you) from infection!
AKA “White Gold”, it’s got to be the hottest commodity right now. Our family’s tp of choice is Charmin (“Love the Go”), but we are making due with some toilet paper Zeke rescued out of his office building. It’s not Charmin, but at least it’s 2-ply. This crisis has brought out the best and worst (hoarders) in people and has also shown how particular we are about our brands of toilet paper. Sushi Maki in South Miami is giving out toilet paper rolls, with their sushi rolls and luckily stores are now limiting the amount individuals can purchase.
Purell is the brand of choice and I gave my last two small bottles to the girls. Luckily, my sister Elise gave me the heads-up that Ace Hardware had some and I was able to get some more (off-brand) hand sanitizers. It’s still best to wash your hands with foaming soap and hot water while singing Happy Birthday for 20 seconds, but since that’s not always possible (in the grocery store for example), hand sanitizer is a life-saver (literally). I just saw a video demonstrating how flammable it is, so keep it away from flames. You can make your own, if you have Aloe Vera Gel and rubbing alcohol, but I haven’t been able to find alcohol.
It was a buzz word before the Corona s**t hit the fan, but now we all have a lot of time on our hands and can no longer rely on our salon, mani/pedi spot, facialist or masseuse to go to due to: Stay at Home orders. I’ve given myself a mani and am contemplating which color nail polish to use for my pedi. My sister Kelley gave me a box of facial masks as a Christmas present and I hadn’t gotten around to use them, but now I have nothing but time on my hands. I like to put one on, lay down and meditate for 20 minutes.
My friend Sumita made a beautiful video on Instagram telling us to get our MEDS- Meditation, Exercise, Diet and Sleep. My Guided Meditation I planned with the family was a bust (no one showed up but me), but it’s more important than ever to calm the mind, breathe and relax. I have an app on my phone “Simply Being” that I use, but other apps are “Calm” and I’ve also done “Headspace”, which is good for beginners. There are also guided meditations on You Tube. I’m worried about my family, my friends, our country, our health care workers, people out of work, the hungry and suffering, our economy, our future, the world. But when my mind jumps ahead into worst case scenarios, I have to stop myself and just concentrate on this day, this moment and trust we will all get through this. And meditation helps.
Inspirational E-mails and Texts
I’ve been invited to a Women’s Virtual Table of 8, which is where you invite 8 women you admire to sit at your virtual table, via email and text. Another email I received was asking each participant to send an inspirational quote to the person that’s #1 on the list, move #2 up to one and put your name as #2. Like the dreaded chain letter of our youth, or those friendship breads of the 80’s, you might wish you didn’t get tagged on this, but it is trending. So far, I’ve only received one quote, but it was a good one.
“Today is a Difficult Day,” said Pooh.
There was a pause.
“Do you want to talk about it?” asked Piglet.
“No,” said Pooh after a bit. “No, I don’t think I do.”
“That’s okay,” said Piglet, and he came and sat by his friend.
“What are you doing?” asked Pooh.
“Nothing really,” said Piglet. “Only, I know what Difficult Days are like. I quite often don’t feel like talking about it on my Difficult Days either. But goodness,” continued Piglet, “Difficult Days are so much easier when you now you’ve got someone there for you. And I’ll always be there for you Pooh.”
And as Pooh sat there, working through in his head his Difficult Day, while the solid, reliable Piglet sat next to him quietly, swinging his little legs, he thought that his best friend had never been more right.
Coming up: How to Shop and stay Healthy at the Grocery Store and Foods that Fight Viruses