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Will swap sourdough for bubble wrap

So much has happened since I was last here!

Hahahahaaaaaaaa. Just a little bit of shelter-in-place humor for you. I’M HILARIOUS.

Actually, a few things have happened. First of all, our moron governor decided that certain businesses could open back up again. This is measured and sensible, yes? Of course! But then you find out that these essential businesses of which he speaks are… salons, nail places, and bowling alleys. And even if you don’t live in Georgia, you’ve heard about this, because we’re now The State That Spawned a Hundred Memes, starting with a few dozen riffs on how it’s time to go get your nails did and hit the bowling alley. Needless to say, we are still sheltering in place, because 1) I couldn’t tell you the last time we went bowling, 2) everyone here who wants a haircut can get one from me, 3) no one here goes to nail salons, and 4) evidently the governor is trying to strategically kill off low-wage workers (or at least get them off the unemployment roll) but we’d prefer not to get sick, thanks.

Nope, we’re still at home, still doing a once-every-two-weeks coordinated grocery shop which involves wiping everything down with bleach before it gets put away, still bored out of our minds, still glad to be safe and healthy and fed but wondering if it will ever be safe to venture out again. (more…)

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Rainbow redux

Am I still sewing? I’m still sewing. I’ve lost exact count, but I’m right around 300 masks or so at the moment. We’ve done five bulk donations and I’ve sent masks all over the country to friends and family and pretty soon I’m going to learn how to make masks for the dogs. (That’s not true. They’ve barely survived the indignity of winter sweaters; I wouldn’t subject them to masks.) I have twice now been offered money for 100 masks and 1) I am still sort of terrible at this, my sewing is a little, uh, free-form, plus 2) the whole idea was to donate, so the first time I turned it down flat and the second time I asked about the money (hey, I’m not making any money right now, is all I’m saying) and it was a big corporation but the offer was… astoundingly low. So. A-donating I shall go, until the fabric runs out or the machine breaks.

I’m also doing a predictable amount of stress baking, by which I mean there are aaaaaaaaalways some sort of cookies/bars/donuts/cakes/muffins/etc. on the kitchen counter, so when you see me emerge from quarantine weighing 600 pounds, just know I did it for the kids. Yeah. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. (They remain tiny rubberband-width wisps of human beings, of course. Damn them and their youngster metabolisms!)

Despite the relative dearth of activity around here, I do have three small stories for you today. (more…)

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Sew, sew, sew your boat…

… through the quarantine.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
life has lost all mean(ing).

Oh, hello! I was just slowly going insane on account of I’ve been home for approximately seven years and also in the… less than a month… since I last wrote, I’ve sewn somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 face masks. I would love to tell you I’m getting better at it, but instead I will tell you the truth, which is that I am getting better at swearing a little less each time the machine jams or I otherwise manage to screw up somehow, and most of the masks I make actually look like masks. So I guess that counts as better, right? In that case I’m totally getting better!

Chickadee was sewing with me, in the beginning, but she got bored and/or found better things to do, so lately it’s just been me. Cut, cut, cut. Sew, sew, sew. Iron, iron, pin, pin, sew some more. Would you believe I didn’t even know how to thread a sewing machine before all of this happened? True story. Here I am with my new skill of Can Sort Of Use A Sewing Machine Now, which shall surely net me billions once this whole thing is over. (more…)

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A little less funny, now

Haha, remember how a couple of weeks ago I was all WOOOO CORONAVIRUS I’M DISTRACTING MYSELF? Welp. I’ve now been “socially distant” for eight days (not that I’m counting…) and as of yesterday we’ve gone from “social distancing” to “mandatory shelter-in-place” so hooboy, I do like hanging at home, but I don’t so much like the whole feeling-like-if-I-don’t-we-all-die version of it. We now have local friends who are sick and waiting on the results of their COVID-19 tests. Shit, as they say, is getting real. 0/10, would not recommend.

In the meantime, two out of four members of Casa Mir are becoming noticeably twitchy as a result of not being allowed to be with other people (one because of extroversion, one because we are The Worst™), and the Internet speed in our neighborhood has slowed to a crawl because everyone is home and binging Netflix. Although I’m home more often than not, even I find myself fantasizing about, oh, I don’t know, going to the thrift store just to poke around. (The good old days! A couple of weeks ago!) We have been getting outside to walk most days, but it’s also Pollen Season so that presents its own challenges.

I am still attempting to distract myself, but these efforts are now taking on a noticeably different format than before. (more…)

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Things to do during a pandemic

Apparently we’re all supposed to be panicking about coronavirus and stockpiling supplies for the inevitable quarantine we’ll all be under in very short order. As I already buy toilet paper by the case because I’m cheap, and because I’m asthmatic but also sort of a hermit, I find that freaking out about our eventual mass demise isn’t occupying nearly enough of my time. Instead I am forced to burn daylight in other ways, which is fine because I like to consider myself a multitasker. These diversions may not work for you, but I share because I care. Use or don’t. All I can tell you is that it’s keeping me pretty busy.

Presented in no particular order, What I’ve Been Doing Lately Instead Of Waiting To Get Sick And Die:

Freaking out about politics. That’s a good one for taking up a huge chunk of time. Because HOLY CRAP. I don’t know if I’m going to catch coronavirus or not but I strongly suspect this election cycle is going to kill me, either way. I have a lot of opinions here but I am tired so let’s just leave it at that. I suspect most of you can figure out how I’m feeling. (more…)

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1, 2, 3, 4, I declare a worm war

I think I mentioned that Chickadee moved back home with allllll her stuff, and the idea is that she’s taking this semester she should’ve still been in school to kind of decompress and tend to her health (HAAAAAAAHAHAHAHA because 20-somethings are notorious for taking good care of themselves, amirite?) and figure out what’s next, and then around May or maybe before (she said, trying not to sound too eager), she’ll move back out to another apartment, taking all of this stuff with her. We’d cleaned out the attic, some, but let’s just say that organization is not my darling daughter’s strong suit, and as a result, her entire bedroom is filled with various boxes and bins and her closet is a hazard zone and she regularly has to go into the attic for something we stored which she needs, etc.

This is all fine, by the way. First world problems, for sure. It will all get sorted. Eventually.

Approximately once a day when I’m feeling content and loving, I offer to help her go through her stacks and piles and get organized, and every time she tells me “later” or “tomorrow” or “not yet.” (Conversely, approximately three times a day when she’s driving me nuts, I ask when she’s moving out.) And so here we are, nearly two months after graduation, and everything is still a huge mess and I don’t know about you, but I am TOTALLY SHOCKED by this state of affairs. (more…)

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The little blue car that could(n’t)

I just went back in my archives to see if I ever wrote about getting a new car a few years back, and apparently I did not. It was Chickadee’s senior year of high school, and there was a lot of other stuff going on, and also I vaguely remember my ex making a snarky comment about it to me (which immediately sent me into a reflexive shame spiral of “I don’t deserve nice things” because a traumatized brain is a complex and stupid thing), and so somehow, I never talked about it, I think. But: just before Christmas of 2015, Trixie, my trusty old Corolla, became Chickadee’s very own car, while I became the proud new owner of a Prius C (the smaller Prius; and the salesguy kept saying “People think it stands for Compact but it stands for City!” to the point where Otto and I said that to each other for a solid year before it stopped being funny) we named Gemma. Gemma is a perky little blue car that fulfilled all of my hippie liberal dreams to the point where I couldn’t believe it didn’t come with a bonus bag of ethically-sourced granola and a hemp shopping bag in which to carry it.

I have never loved a car like I love Gemma. We have a very special relationship. (Not that special, ya perv. Sheesh.) (more…)

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Baked halfway into a coma already

Hello, and happy cooking frenzy before Thanksgiving! Just to give you an idea of how I’m doing: a few minutes ago the husband and I were having a positively RIVETING conversation about how to reconfigure our dining room to fit the approximately eight billion (slight exaggeration) people showing up here tomorrow, and upon its conclusion I headed back into the kitchen and took a deep swig of my coffee. Except I am lying; that’s not what happened. What actually happened was that I brought the coffee cup up to my mouth and TRIED to take a deep swig of my coffee, and instead I poured coffee all over my face, my shirt, and the floor.

So everything is right on schedule, in other words. May I offer you a Shout wipe? They’re good for coffee stains. Ask me how I know!

I have been cooking in stages all week, as I usually do on the run-up to Thanksgiving. Our guests are also bringing food, but Thanksgiving is Otto’s favorite holiday in the whole world, and Otto is nothing if not someone who loves tradition. So it’s all good and well that other foods are coming, we have to have certain foods without which Thanksgiving would be woefully incomplete and wrong and bad and possibly create a wormhole in the space-time continuum which results in all the Puritans being sent back to England. Or something. This means a week of prep for me, oddly enough. (Otto is in charge of the turkey. That’s a big job, of course. But I am in charge of everything else.) (more…)

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If you give a Mir a basement

If you give a Mir a house with a basement, eventually the basement will experience catastrophic flooding, and everything will be terrible, and she will be sad and rent a dumpster and throw away tons and tons of ruined things.

If she throws away tons of stuff, you’d think it would be easy the next year to pack up what’s left and move 1,000 miles away, but—amazingly—she still has a ton of stuff and it takes forever.

If it takes forever, once she moves she will actually be relieved to end up buying a house which has no basement at all, because no basement means she cannot 1) fill it with stuff or 2) experience any sort of flooding.

If she doesn’t have a basement, she’ll just fill up the attic! And the spare closets in her son’s room! And the regular closets! And also the master bedroom! (more…)

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Back and even productive

My favorite thing to do after a trip—by which I mean, the thing I most often do just because I am a poor planner and also lazy—is to come home and swear at least twice a day that I’m going to unpack in just a little bit. I mean, I don’t want to brag, or anything, but I have been known to leave my suitcase in the corner of the room, untouched, for up to a month. And really, I thought that was what would happen this time, too. Somehow, though, I was both so buoyed from our trip AND so excited to return home to my dogs and my own bed (is there anything better than that first night back in your own comfy bed after being away?) that I came down with a bad case of Adultitis.

Digression: We had boarded the dogs along our route, so after packing up a gajillion things into our car yesterday morning (that’s only a slight exaggeration, as we’re the only ones close enough to drive this time, which meant we had all the food leftovers, and also somehow quite a lot of booze), we needed to kill a little time between rental checkout and pickup time at the kennel. We drove to an adjoining town where there is a 100% gluten-free crêperie and I capped off the five pounds I gained last week (not even kidding, also don’t even care because #worthit) in style. Then we headed homeward, stopping to get the dogs.

Licorice, as per usual, lost her goddamn tiny walnut-sized mind because CLEARLY we had abandoned her and were never coming back, yet here we were and OMGSOEXCITING and there was a lot of barking and prancing and licking. Duncan, on the other hand, was all “Oh, hey” nonchalance, which I suppose I’ll take over what happened at drop-off, which… involved a mop. Ahem. (more…)

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