Fun & Easy Crafts For the Apocalypse

Once upon a time, I briefly decided that I was going to be the sort of person who Made Shit and Sewed Things; who made her own cloth diapers and Halloween costumes and pillowcases and tote bags. The sort of person who owned a proper sewing machine. I never, ever became that person, alas. But I do technically own a sewing machine. I grew up in a house that had an entire dedicated Sewing Room, with a closet full of Butterick and McCall's patterns and an old Singer workhorse machine. I loved sewing doll clothes and tiny dollhouse bedding and pillows and whatever else I could patch together using my mom's fabric scraps. I was not a complete sewing n00b, is my point, so my dreamy dream of handmade domesticity wasn't that out of the realm of possibility. But when faced with the modern computerized nightmare of my own machine (a Brother CS 6000i), you'd think I'd never touched a sewing machine in my entire life. I could never thread it properly. It constantly beeped error messages at me. On the rare occasion I actually got it to stitch something, I was so thoroughly terrified of it and exhausted by... Read more →


Tobrotherness

Last night, welllll after bedtime, I heard Noah talking. To himself, maybe, but I suspected that he'd sneaked a phone into his room for YouTube AGAIN, or swapped our Echo devices around AGAIN to get around the 11 p.m. shut-off time we set up because his brothers kept complaining that he'd sing along to music all night and keep them awake. Teenagers! Go the fuck to sleep! Instead, I stumbled upon a late-night, Star Trek-themed campout under Ezra's desk, complete with blankets and pillows and spaceships. Noah has a lot to say about Star Trek lately. Ezra is there for every word of it. I told them to try to get some sleep at some point. And to let me know next time. I'll make you some popcorn. Read more →


Day 19ish & Counting

I keep trying to think of things to write "about" and coming up empty. Not like that's ever stopped me before, but at least I always had cute baby photos to fall back on. Right now the most recent photo on my phone is of a four-pack box of toothpaste that arrived yesterday, which amused me because it appeared to have been shipped directly from Colgate World Headquarters in special Colgate-branded packaging. Why this amused me enough to photograph, again, coming up empty on that. Jason ordered it by mistake anyway, because we already had plenty of toothpaste. Then I just felt guilty about making multiple humans work to pack, ship and deliver unnecessary, non-essential toothpaste. We are all really getting on each other's nerves around here. Which again, I feel guilty saying that because we at least have enough space to get the fuck away from each other when we need to! We can go outside! I have a goddamn hot tub to retreat to! But then it rains a few days and nights in a row and I'm so sick of television and the Internet I could scream and all aboard the Hot Self-Pity Express, destination Fort Asshole.... Read more →


The Dog Ate Our Stress-Baking

It's currently 10:34 a.m. and I have been listening to Ezra and Ike argue about what to name their island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons (a game they do not own) for over an hour and a half. Meanwhile, Noah's been watching YouTube videos about the technical specifications of every single version of the USS Enterprise for probably twice that time. (There are 14 different versions, I learned today, along with many, many more facts than I ever wanted to learn about the USS Enterprise.) So yeah, just another day in quarantine, slowly watching our brains morph into mush. *** Just before noon on Saturday, I was briefly shocked to realize that it was almost noon, since Jason and I were still in bed watching Making the Cut.* I felt guilty, like, oh man, we need to get up and moving and go do...go...do... Then I realized there was no end to that sentence. *** On Sunday, Jason got up and made what was -- no exaggeration -- the greatest, most perfect batch of pancakes he's ever made in his illustrious pancake-making career. But then he left them stacked on a plate on the kitchen counter and went to watch... Read more →


The Dog Ate Our Stress-Baking

It's currently 10:34 a.m. and I have been listening to Ezra and Ike argue about what to name their island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons (a game they do not own) for over an hour and a half. Meanwhile, Noah's been watching YouTube videos about the technical specifications of every single version of the USS Enterprise for probably twice that time. (There are 14 different versions, I learned today, along with many, many more facts than I ever wanted to learn about the USS Enterprise.) So yeah, just another day in quarantine, slowly watching our brains morph into mush. *** Just before noon on Saturday, I was briefly shocked to realize that it was almost noon, since Jason and I were still in bed watching Making the Cut.* I felt guilty, like, oh man, we need to get up and moving and go do...go...do... Then I realized there was no end to that sentence. *** On Sunday, Jason got up and made what was -- no exaggeration -- the greatest, most perfect batch of pancakes he's ever made in his illustrious pancake-making career. But then he left them stacked on a plate on the kitchen counter and went to watch... Read more →


Day Whatever and Two

THAT'S. FOUR. MORE. WEEKS. (AND CHANGE! I AM COUNTING THE CHANGE!) I am the bulging eyes emoji right now, even though I thought I'd fully resigned myself to the idea that schools aren't going to reopen at all. Next fall, if we're lucky and our entire species hasn't been wiped out thanks to a couple dozen idiots throwing coronavirus parties and/or licking toilet handles for a TikTok video. Four weeks is actually more optimistic than that! And yet...this was a lot to take in this morning, especially since the announcement happened right while I was pretending that letting Ike watch PBS Kids cartoons counted as homeschooling. I'm coughing a lot. I'm sure it's just allergies, because it's late March and I am being personally attacked by my backyard. I don't have a fever and feel fine otherwise, except after every cough I am compelled to assess myself for any shortness of breath, which OH HEY, I get that from anxiety, sooo... Snort some Flonase, pop a Buspar, wash hands, rinse, cough, repeat. I haven't been 100% isolated long enough to be solidly in the clear, mostly thanks to the logistics of trying to find a job during this mess. I... Read more →


Brain Food

Weekend Stress-Baking/Stress-Eating report: More blueberry sourdough muffins Oatmeal Scotchies Two loaves of oatmeal bread Six more pizza dough balls, for freezing Two no-knead sourdough loaves, to accompany this cheesy white bean-tomato bake, aka Apocalypse Dining At Its Finest We also ordered a no-contact delivery of Indian food and bought some homemade pasta and short rib ragu from a local restaurant that was selling whatever they had left out on their patio for a few hours on Friday. They also had plenty of wine, so we bought some of that too. All non-essential businesses have been ordered to close in less than an hour from now. Thankfully, liquor stores have been deemed essential, so there's no reason to panic. Yet. Tonight's dinner: Beyond Burgers, which are my kids' new favorite thing. They're sold in packages of two and I typically make six burgers total, but Safeway had zero packages and Target had exactly five packages. I put three packages in my shopping basket but then my reptilian brain made me grab the last two, just in case these were the very last Beyond Burgers on earth, or maybe just as payback over the whole toilet paper hoarding thing. (I found a... Read more →


The Stress-MAKING Diaries, Day Four

AND ALSO, TOO, IN THE MIDDLE OF EVERYTHING ELSE: So I've been looking for a job. Like, a real job. A proper full-time, non-freelance job. My timing, as always, is beyond impeccable. I quit my last full-time office job when Noah was six months old. At the time, I hoped I could cobble a few writing gigs together for a few years, maybe until he started kindergarten. That was 14 full years ago, this month. Instead, I rode the mommyblogging boom and the display advertising bust. I wrote about parenting and blogs and blogs about parenting for whatever site that would have me and pay me. After a few years, I pivoted to corporate copywriting and marketing. I wrote proposals, email campaigns, website copy, user documentation, case studies, you name it. I taught myself code and data analytics and website accessibility and content management and probably talked my way into a few gigs that I technically wasn't qualified for but hey, that's just good hustle. I always came "highly recommended" by a friend of a friend of an old coworker with a boss who read my blog. I charged $100 an hour. Sometimes I had so much work I had... Read more →