Colorado is now under a Stay-At-Home order.
I’ve been making a point of unplugging most of the day. No news, no surfing the web. I know there are a lot of wonderful online distractions being presented: concerts, museums, comedy, etc. But I find that screen time means temptation to check Balloon-Juice, Twitter, Facebook or a news site “just for a second” and getting sucked into despair very quickly.
Yesterday, walking the dogs, I started to see bears in windows. Turns out, it’s a scavenger hunt to get kids out and walking. That little idea made me so happy. Now I have a bear, rabbit, Easter egg and rainbow in my windows.
I am thinking of starting a little something where we gather and talk about how we are going to unplug for a bit. Share ideas, inspire each other to get out, exercise, walk the dogs, do some gardening, spread some joy (in a social distancing kinda way). Sometimes telling someone else you’re going to something physical helps you keep to your goal.
I’ve invited my Facebook peeps and Twitter friends (?) to see if they are interested, too. If you’d like to be a part, send me an email: whats4dinnersolutions (at) live (dot) com. If I have enough interest I’ll figure something out where we can connect each morning or evening. I’ll send you an invite.
Meanwhile, Momsense sent me a picture of her pup (she also sent grandpuppies, but I’ll save those for another respite thread).
Freakin’ stunning pup.
RESPITE open thread
Oh, that’s a fine lookin’ dawg…
Oh, and if you missed it, I made my very first batch of bagels yesterday. I think I’m making 4-layer bars today.
@TaMara (HFG): Those bagels look delicious!!
@TaMara (HFG): Those look scrumptious!
Not sure if this counts as respite, but the kitties are losing patience with Mom being at home and Not Paying Attention to Them (when I’m trying to, you know, do some work-from-home work).
Oscar, usually the very mellowest of boys, has been jumping up on the ottoman and bawling me out. I have to give him scritches until he settles down for a nap.
Maybe a post once or twice a week, where people could share / show what they’re making or working on? I’m doing a quilt and some jewelry pieces. I suspect that there are a lot of interesting projects going on in the Balloon Juice universe, since there are so many talented, creative people here. Home reno / repair, arts, crafts, music…
hells littlest angel
Nice-looking bagels. They have a rustic, hearty quality.
They’re doing that bear thing here too. Love it!
Nice pickup. 1960 Ford F100, near as I can tell. Don’t see many.
Apparently in PA the gun shops were declared essential businesses after an uproar.
Here in Vancouver WA it’s the pot shops who are doing their bit! With proper social distancing and curb-side ordering of course: https://www.columbian.com/news/2020/mar/26/clark-county-cannabis-stores-jump-on-rules-allowing-sales-with-curbside-pickup/
One last thing before I unplug:
@Mel: I’m probably going to do it off BJ, because a: there is so much going on here right now and b: with FB friends/relatives, I want to keep it as neutral as possible.
@Kent: So you missed the respite part of the thread??
@TaMara (HFG): I saw a nice bagel recipe featured in the Washington Post’s cooking section yesterday and probably will give it a go tomorrow. Calls for barley malt syrup as a sweetener, which I don’t have, but googling around suggests that molasses or honey will work well as subs.
Also, at least as of yesterday, King Arthur has flour back in stock on their website.
aha! so it’s because of you that flour is suddenly a commodity that is hard to get! :-) I have flour and what not for baking.. so I might be interested in making these things.
Our windows mostly overlook an alley, but I do have a bear I can put in a window. ?
Unplug? I was an early adopter. Except for some trash TV last night, I haven’t had the TV on in days. I’m figuring I’ll just sleep and, when I can’t sleep, I’ll just stay under the covers and pretend to sleep.
I have to check email and news at least a little online, just in case of good news, but I’m done in seconds.
For folks interested in the free streaming Met Opera shows. They are available through the Met Opera Roku app, so you can watch them on the TV. Just select preview on the landing screen.
Out of stock already. Guess there are a lot of people suddenly taking up baking as a hobby.
ATK has a recipe for bagel bread!
I had a bit of a working-from-home breakdown today — I’m still in my pajamas and laying in bed with a cat nestled under my propped-up legs. But I do also have my laptop and I’m getting stuff done, so yay!
Never watch teevee news unless there’s a local disaster (fire, flood, earthquake are the regional triumvirate). Not an I’m-above-that brag, just do not find any benefit, plus it requires plopping in front of the teevee. This election season finally got to me and last month I turned off the radio usually tuned to the local NPR station. Kid asks “Why don’t you have the news on?” and I can’t adequately convey I’ve become saturated and unable to absorb any more. This sponge is full up. And that was before the virus really hit.
Trump is the perfect poison chalice. He has ruined everything. That will be his legacy. And like daddy-Klansman Fred, this will give him a feeling of contentment. “I win!” Don Jr. is just offstage, rarin’ to go.
Facebook drove me to despair long before this shitstorm started. I pretty much just read BJ now, and I don’t even know how much more of that I can handle.
I just don’t want to be in this shitty world anymore. Maybe if our society could actually face the challenge, but I have no faith left and haven’t for a long time.
Doing some Easter-themed artwork (to sell on eBay) so have just downloaded and printed out a lot of bunny photos.
The stores were out of our favorite brand of pasta for a while, so my husband ordered a pasta machine and made noodles yesterday. It was kind of fun–it’s a hand-cranked machine, and you’re flipping and turning this thin sheet of very elastic, yet not-sticky, dough. We had them for dinner last night and … we both prefer store-bought. Oh, well. At least we both feel the same way.
Today he’s making sauerkraut. Me? I’m working.
I’m seeing more reports of wild animals increasingly encroaching on our socially distant cities and town. I for one welcome the change.
Trying to get some work done – much tougher to focus at home. I’ve been going for walks in the woods with the pup and two of my boys. Being outside is restorative.
@Nora Lenderbee: Those, bread makers and exercise bikes are the best sellers at yard sales!
Dorothy A. Winsor
I stopped watching TV news. It disturbs my sleep.
I’m working on a puzzle. And my writer group is meeting in Zoom, which means I get to see them once a week. That’s amazingly comforting.
The news is quite bad, but it doesn’t depress me. I feel motivated to take actions – call family with advice, adjust plans, etc. If I don’t have any specific ideas, I do such research into the topic as I can. Am I crazy?
Plumbing DIY update: No slapstick, fortunately. Did clean sink trap. On the downside, discovered that the caulking of the fixture to the one-piece sink and top has some slow leaks. That’s for a plumber, so for the nonce, I’ll be shaving and brushing my teeth in the shower.
I was telling my niece to look for one in thrift stores because she wasn’t happy with how thick her pasta dough was trying to make it on the kitchen counter. She’s almost 14 and an aspiring chef, so we’re trying to encourage her.
@JMG: I always brush my teeth in the shower. It’s the same water and it doesn’t mess up the mirror over the sink.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
If you need news, try looking at the virus statics for your local area and not the general news. The MSM cheery picks for the most sensationalist stories and that makes things look worse than they are. Yes, things are bad in some places, but we all don’t live everywhere and it’s the local conditions that are your real concern.
I was watching a Russian WW2 movie about the siege of Lenningrad the other day and the soldiers and workers were always getting served pancakes, like every meal. I thought that was a bit odd. I didn’t know Russians were so into pancakes.
Then it occurred to me that if all you have is a bag of flour then pancakes are about the easiest possible thing to make. You don’t need an oven or anything, just some water, baking soda or other leavening, and an open fire or stove.
More and more Trumps are talking about Easter every day.
I hope accessing the creative side is helping. Has to be a welcome distraction!
Teddy bears in windows and scavenger hunts are good ideas. Some people are putting their Christmas lights or whatever outdoor lights they have up to cheer people up and I think I’ll do that myself.
Korra is beautiful.
When I see those delicious looking bagels I have to laugh because the one time I attempted to make them it was a disaster.
I will have to stop watching so much news and looking at social media myself. I don’t have the power to do that much and there are intelligent and compassionate people around who will get things done.
There are going to be some S W E E T deals on expensive exercise equipment on Craigslist in about 6 months!
Working, real working… segmenting images, which is tedious research grunt work. But can be done at home. Then number crunching, more tedious grunt work. The lab will restart in June? No mice for six ten weeks afterward? Guess I will find something else to do… (learn a new ‘omics I suppose) Classical music streaming is better than news. Ess Eff, so we have been SiPpin’ for 10+ days.
And Bisquick biscuits everyday because no donuts. (so this is what hell looks like).
@Nora Lenderbee: You need the right flours to make good pasta. I think the ratio I use is 1/2 cup durum, 1/4 cup semolina, 1 egg, 1 T olive oil. Knead in a bread machine or stand mixer, spraying water as necessary to get a pliable but firm dough. Wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap, and let it rest at least 1/2 hour before rolling
I always double or triple the amounts.
Working but still making time for the best band you never heard of:
Rastus – Lucy Bluebird
“Yesterday” is charming and surprisingly poignant.
“My Brilliant Friend” has returned to HBO for season 2. They altered the title adding “The Story of a New Name” and my DVR had not been picking it up. In case anybody else missed out. A special treat for those who love post-war Italian cinema.
First thing I do after signing off from work is take a walk. It’s become the best part of my day.
I have good luck using the recipe that came with my Atlas pasta maker: https://www.marcato.it/en/academy/recipes/egg-pasta
500 g of flour (I just use all-purpose), 5 eggs and water to make 250 grams, knead in the food processor, let set 1/2 hour, then make pasta. The 00 pasta specified does not refer to the protein content which is how bread vs cake flour is distinguished. The 00 refers to the fineness of the grind. I have never searched out 00 flour, I just use all-purpose and it works fine.
I’m very tempted to make pretzels. Gotta look up a recipe.
(I need more flour, and some rapid rise yeast, and more butter and pasta.)
Korra looks very much like my dog–a Black Mouth Cur from Arkansas! Is she from the south? BMCs are the Best. Dogs. Evah. You can look them up and see if you think Korra might be one, and if so, lucky mom!
While I’m still working at work, not home, seeing the things that bring a smidgeon of comic relief to people has been really rewarding this last week or so. Critter videos particularly are getting me through.
I do have ways of respite and in some way they can be shared: might not be to your taste but I’m doing it anyway. I’m devoting my music to the purpose.
Every Tuesday and Wednesday from 11:00 AM EST to around 12:40 I’m performing music on the internet typically electronic stuff. I invented a new way to have the synth make up chord progressions and stuff, and I jam along with it or twiddle the synth parameters. Monday I’m answering questions as part of my plugin business, Tuesday it’s dance/house/techno music (i.e. with a strong beat) and Wednesdays are ambient days (no beat or at least no drums).
It’s on youtube on my channel but I’ve been uploading the music at hi-res to soundcloud so that’s a convenient way to quickly audition a bunch of it. https://soundcloud.com/airwindows
So that’s a bit over three hours a week of zone out, lyric-less music of various sorts, always a little different each time as I evolve it. These days I’m actively seeking some more comforting sounds out of it, though there are times it goes real dark or abstract. I’ll be doing it anyway even if nobody listens, and I certainly can’t be heard over the masses of more popular musicians playing out of their houses these days, but for me this is a kind of respite and I’ll be spending the afternoon tinkering with the modular synth again. And I’m happy to answer any questions, or to provide free VST/AU plugins for electronic musicians as that is actually my job. So if this stuff interests you, you can start playing with it for no cost :)
@trollhattan: Ditto for “Yesterday.” Wasn’t sure what to expect and it was wonderful. Well written and well acted (plus, of course, the amazing music).
I’m taking a time-out from FB except to check for messages from people. And I still come to BJ but yes, I have cut back.
Meanwhile, a poser for the jackaltariat: I find myself conflicted about what to do with my new horse. She’s taken up temporary lodgings at my boss’s place, but it’s not a suitable option for her long-term, so as of only yesterday, I was still planning to take her over next week to the boarding stable where my trainer works.
However, between yesterday and today comes the shelter-at-home order, and the way the barn manager has been so fucking pissy to work with so far, I’m afraid to get my mare there and then suddenly have her tell me that only staff are allowed on premises, which could happen -it’s already happened at some boarding stables in other states.
My trainer wants her at the boarding stable because it’s easier for her to work with her there than at her own place. However, I’m also afraid that my trainer could suddenly be seen as “non-essential” and not be able to do any work with her, either.
I think I’m at the point of asking my trainer if I can just move my horse up to her place for 30 days, first – if she has to shelter at home, then she can just work with her up there, and it means I can pay just her instead of her *and* the stable. I think it also means, since I’ll be going up there to feed the horse myself, that I can then legitimately claim that I am out and about because I am performing essential animal care.
Ah, wurra wurra!
I’m starting to recover, though without an accurate antibody test I’ll never know if I had “IT” or not. Someday I guess.
A local watercolor artist is doing a free online lesson today at 3. It was taking a short class for fun from her that got me motivated to get into watercolor painting, so I’ll be watching that. Other than that, I’m just too tired to do much else.
@StringOnAStick: Been wondering how you were doing, glad to hear you are (somewhat, at least) on the mend.
@Kent: @Catherine D:
Yeah, we used durum and semolina. The texture just seemed too grainy–like whole-wheat noodles–and they tasted like egg noodles, which, of course, they were.
<a href=”#comment-7647957″>@raven</a>: We got an ice cream maker at a garage sale. Used it once. Haha.
“Hey Dude” ;-) Great repackaging or greatest repackaging?
Wonderful to hear.
I suspect antibody testing will become widely available, since it appears easier and cheaper to conduct than a virus test. I’d sure as heck want to know!