Pre-Thanksgiving Post

Kevin and I were thinking Thanksgiving should have a new name this year, seeing as how we can’t do most of the usual Thanksgivingy things. He’s calling it Zoomsgiving. I’m calling it Thursday. The only thing different about “Thursday” is that I don’t have to decide what I’m cooking, as the menu was decided 400 years ago.

Otherwise, there’s not much new around here, as per previous blog post. Last week V built a desk:


Leo had a vision of a paper narwhal in the night that he made as soon as he woke up:


Rocco started making his own sandwiches:


And I found this book on Kevin’s nightstand.


I told him that whatever he’s got going on, I’m sure it’s perfectly normal.

Spaghetti & Meatballs

Day 246

Today is the 246th day since the boys came home from school on a Wednesday and never went back. 246 days since I used up a bottle of white out on my calendar, canceling all the things I used to call “daily life.”  I know people like nice round numbers, like the 250th day, or 300th day, but it is the 246th day today and I happen to have some time to write a blog post, so 246 it is.

Here are some things quarantine has made difficult:

Small talk: Normally when I talk to a friend, I ask things like, “What did you do on the weekend?” Or, “Do you have any vacations planned?” Or, “What’s new?” But now there’s no point in asking. The answers are always, “Nothing,” “No,” and, “Nothing.”

Christmas cheer: Normally when Halloween is over, I get a rush of excitement. The start of the holiday season!!!!! The boys will be home for a full 2 weeks and we can just lie around in our pajamas all day!  We don’t have to do all those things we normally have to do! Oh, right.

Vacations: Normally this time of year I’m making vacation plans for February so I won’t fall into the post-holiday slump. This year, vacations are off so I’m signing up for therapy sessions in February instead, which is not as fun a way to treat the post-holiday slump.

Here are some things quarantine has made nicer:

Lunchtime: The boys are learning to get food for themselves.. They do things like grate cheese, make pasta, and microwave leftovers! Plus, there is not a sinkful of lunchboxes and water bottles to wash each night (I would take two sinkfuls of dinner dishes over one sinkful of lunchboxes/water bottles).

Weeknights: I no longer have to make dinner at either 4Pm or 8PM to fit around schedules, but can instead make it at a normal time. Afterwards, the boys have time to practice piano and we play games as a family, which used to only happen during holiday breaks.

Weekends: We’re actually home on Sundays to watch entire football games, and for the boys to rake up piles of leaves and jump in them, and for Vincenzo to finally build that desk he’s been talking about building. There’s just…time.

Small moments: Last week, for example, we had a good wind storm, and instead of being in school, the boys were home with me so we ran around the yard and biked on the trail in the “leaf snow.”

So quarantine is still both good and bad. I miss the old things but I like the new things. If someone asked me if I’d rather spend the next five years like this or go back to the Before, I honestly don’t know what I’d say. Can we somehow meet in the middle on it?

Roasted chicken
Pan-fried potatoes
Roasted broccoli
Chocolate pudding

I Wrote This On Purpose

Leo’s homework the other day was to write about someone who has shown perseverance.


I wanted to fill in the “This is How I Feel” section of the page for him, but they didn’t have any “demoralized” smiley face.

I’ve finished the third draft of my novel and feel released from it. Part of me wants to say, “Welp, got that out of my system,” and move onto something different, like yodeling lessons. But the part of me that writes all the time keeps writing all the time, and while the writing is beautifully without purpose, a grating voice in my head keeps yelling, “BUT WHAT IS THE POINT OF ALL THIS?!”

Since I only have little patches of time to write during quarantine, I’ve started writing poems about my childhood. Sometimes as simple as this:

Door Knocker

We had a cross-shaped knocker
on our front door that said
Peace to All  Who Enter Here,
written in teal and fuchsia and gold
and all the letters leaned into each other.
I loved to knock it
even though it was my house
and everyone knew it was me.

Sometimes there’s a bit more to them, like this:

Baby Chicks

We hatched our own chicks that year
in an incubator in Dad’s study.
We checked on the eggs
in their warm, yellow world
until there was a crack,
then a beak,
pink as a fingernail,
then a brand new chick,
wet and skinny and worn out. Then—
Peep! Peep!
The tiniest sound in the world,
fragile as the ting of a wine glass.
When properly fluffed,
we cupped them in our hands and
looked into the shiny black pool of their eyes
that they struggled to keep open.
The smell of freshly hatched chicks
was comforting as the smell
of freshly baked bread.

When the chicks came,
our house felt warm,
like it was an incubator
and we were all newly hatched.


I don’t know, but I do know if feels sooooo good to write about real things that happened to me instead of making stuff up out of the blue about something I know nothing about. Part of the purpose is to help me make sense of my childhood, I guess. Part is to fulfill my need to put words, any words, lots and lots of words onto paper every day. And part of the purpose is to find the purpose of all those words.

You tell me there doesn’t have to be a purpose. It could just be for the fun of it! To which I say…


Anyone who knows me well knows that nothing I do is just purely for the fun of it. Everything always fits into some bigger plan. I don’t feel I have to apologize for or justify that part of me anymore. I’m old enough now to say that’s just how I am and I’m good with it.

Maybe the purpose of this blog post was to say that out loud.

(Or maybe it was to get out of washing dishes tonight. It’s really a toss-up between the two.)

Leftovers (Thai food and baked potato soup)

Quaranteen Halloween

This post is brought to you by the end of Daylight Savings Time, as I am spending my extra hour blogging for you. Actually, it’s more like my fifth extra hour, as each time I glanced at the microwave clock or hopped in the car with yesterday’s time on the clock, I’d forget we fell back. Then something would happen to remind me of it, like Kevin asking me why I was making dinner at 3, and it was like being given an extra extra hour. This is the one day of the year that has enough hours in, and it just might be my favorite day of the year.

Now for a Halloween recap, beginning with: jack-o-lanterns.

Vincenzo carved a character from Among Us which, my nephew told me, in the singular is an Among I which, either way, means absolutely nothing to me, as I am not a gamer and thus am not Among Them.


Rocco did a sword-in-the-stone thing. He put about as much effort into it as he has put into his school work lately.


On second thought, that’s quite a bit more effort than I’ve seen in his school work.

Leo went for Trogdor. For those of you who do not know who Trogdor is, do yourselves a favor and click here. As I told my friend on Halloween, my life didn’t really begin until I watched this video.


Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, within an hour of Leo deciding on Trogdor, we had 3-D printed a “big beefy arm” to complete the look. These are truly miraculous times we are living in. 

Speaking of times we are living in, following a Covid-inspired “good old-fashioned 80s summer,” we had a “good old-fashioned 80s Halloween.” The kids grabbed random costumes out of the box from the attic, nothing was overly planned for, and the festivities weren’t precariously scheduled around all our other activities. It felt so simple and easy, walking around the neighborhood in a non-rushed, casual, chatty kind of way. Like, wuuuuutt?

It took more effort than you would think to get the kids lined up like this. We kept saying, “Scooch closer!” and “Scrunch in!” and they kept neither scooching nor scrunching.


I realized afterwards that they are way more accustomed to, “Don’t get too close!” and, “Six feet!” and, “Give them some space!”

Group photos are kind of the haunted houses of Halloween 2020.

Pasta with marinara sauce
Smoked brisket
Parmesan broccoli
Anything from the candy buckets (except Mounds/Almond Joys, naturally)