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Scattered Sundays

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Our best-laid plans for the week were pretty much smashed early on when both Bennett and I woke up feeling crummy. My throat had been sore for a few days, but I attributed it to all the wildfire smoke that had rolled in late Saturday night.

If I were to self-diagnosis myself, I would say it was a textbook sinus infection. But good ol’ Rona has taken away the ability to just sit at home with some tea, read a book, and go back about your daily life soon.

We pulled Bennett out of VBS and Jack out of his STEM camp where he was a counselor in training. Poor Troy and Jack had to wear masks around the house because Bennett and I were unable to keep them on because we were constantly blowing our noses. Shoutout to anyone who has to wear a mask to work for 8+ hours with a super stuffy or runny nose. 

a woman with tissue stuffed in her nose

My fashion blog drops next week!

We bought an at-home testing kit, tested Bennett, and it came back as negative. And then I set about to find official testing. And that is where life got complicated and really dumb. 

I discovered that despite skyrocketing positivity rates (20% + and counting), our county had closed testing sites and outsourced all testing to pharmacies. All the pharmacies required an appointment and very few had same-day availability.

I finally found a Rite Aid with an open appointment later that afternoon. And I went to sign us all up for tests, and the next 45 minutes proved to me why we need to burn the patriarchy to the damn ground.

First off, Rite Aid only allows you to use your email address to register ONE person for a test. So, if you need to get three people tested, you need THREE separate email addresses. This is the absolute pinnacle of efficiency, my friends.

And if you’re trying to sign up a child up for a test, you first have to fill out all the information as yourself (using a separate email address, of course), and THEN at the very end you have to answer the exact same questions, but for your kid. Oh, and the system makes you sign in and out of the program three separate times before you actually get to the scheduling portion.

This system could not have been stupider. It was clunky AF to navigate on a laptop. I cannot imagine a person trying to do it on mobile with a terrible cell connection. And an older person who isn’t techy savvy? Forget about it, they would have given up within seconds. 

Hold my purse, cause I’m climbing high up onto my soapbox right now. This crappy setup is 100% preventing people from getting tested. We are 16 or 17 months into this whole thing and global/national chains still cannot figure out how to make signing up for tests easy? I can deposit a check to my small local credit union from my phone, so why in the flying frick cannot I sign up for a covid test without a computer science degree?

The line for drive-thru (SELF) testing was long and when it was finally our turn, I had to climb into the middle of my front seat, reach back and swab Bennett’s nose while holding him steady in his car seat because he was fighting me like a cornered honey badger.

It was after the testing that we realized that we wouldn’t get results for 1-5 days. Seriously? My friends who live in other states are offered 20 minutes to 4-hour same-day results. And we’re apparently still sending off for results? Via a mule team maybe?

After refreshing my email 1 billion times over the next 36 hours, we realized quickly that we weren’t going to get results before Troy’s next scheduled shift. And as a first responder, he obviously couldn’t go to work if we had symptoms.

I spent 90 minutes texting with friends and searching online for rapid testing sites in the region. A friend told us that a pediatric urgent care about 35 minutes away offered 20-minute rapid PCR tests.

And I was lucky enough to find an adult urgent care that offered them, but it was a 90-minute drive. Whatever, we needed results and we needed them now. Troy and the boys headed to the pediatric testing site, and I got in my car and set off.

When I got there they said it would be a 3-hour wait because there were 12 people in front of me, and that I should go wait in my car. I went and got gas (wore gloves so I wouldn’t spread any germs I had to the next person who needed to fuel up at the Bonney Lake Costco), and then headed back to the parking lot and settled in to read my book.

I got a text 10 minutes later saying they were ready for me. Had I fallen asleep? That was the fastest 3 hours of my life! The next steps took about 45 minutes but I was tested and given results before I left. Negative. Phew! The boys also tested negative at the pediatric urgent care, which was fantastic!

But here’s the thing. It took us four hours and two adults driving around the entire Puget Sound region to get test results. The amount of privilege that is involved in that pursuit is stupid. It required us to have two vehicles and not rely on public transportation. It required us to have flexible work schedules to just leave in the middle of a weekday.

Not to mention the gas money, copays, and waiting time for all of this. If we had been hourly workers with no paid leave, there is no way it would have been possible. And you know what that means? We probably would have had to go to work sick and hope for the best. And can we be honest in that most of the people who have to wait five days for results are probably not sitting at home? 

For the love of God, fix the system. In this particular instance, it was crappy infrastructure that set us up for failure. These were giant corporations we were dealing with and they couldn’t have made the process harder if they tried. FFS, get it together.

You know the old saying – if you want to get something done, ask a busy person to do it. I’m going to suggest we get a committee of 10 women, at least 5 of them who are moms, and in four days, this whole testing thing is going to be streamlined, easy to navigate, and FAST. 

I will say something lovely came out of the visit to the urgent care I went to. Even though I was masked, they required me to use their surgical mask. Y’all, it was lovely…as lovely as wearing a mask can be. Hands down it was the best surgical mask I have ever tried.

I love a few different cloth mask brands but recognize that some situations require something disposable or with extra layers of protection. I loved this mask so much I actually called them the next day to find out what brand/style it was. If you’re curious, these are the masks that the urgent care was mandating all patients wear.

a chalkboard with stick figure drawings that says "cook bros for life"

In happier news, I had my soccer meeting last Sunday afternoon and it was really fun! I’m thrilled to say that all of the parents were fantastic and I hope/pray that continues throughout the season. We met at a park and all the kiddos played during the meeting and afterward. A few of us even hiked on the trails after the meeting and I got to know some of the kids and parents better.

We start practice tomorrow and I’m excited! Junior coach Jack is so stoked to be involved. His practices don’t start for another week, so he is going to be my right-hand tween man in dealing with these drunk cats.

a text conversation between a husband and wife

In the Garden This Week

Not much happened, but I did finally pull the garlic. I have a very official drying method for it – I throw it all on top of our covered woodpile and forget about it for 3-4 weeks. It’s very scientific.

garlic drying on top of a wood pile

We harvested very little else because it was hot this week and we’re wimps. At least I’m being honest.


The maker of our absolute favorite bike attachment – Burley – has a very rare sale going on right now. You can get a whopping 15% off your purchase now through the 15th. 

2 people on a bike in front of a beach house

I wrote about our love for the Piccolo in this post, but all of their products are fan-freaking-tastic! Our trailercycle was the #1 thing that kept us sane last year during the lockdown and continues to help us enable adventure given the wide age range of our kids.

We even take the Piccolo on vacation with us because it easily detaches from the adult bike and folds up fairly small to fit in the back of our Subaru. And yes, I know, I live in the PNW and drive a Subaru. Way to be basic, right? 🙂

Burley doesn’t just make kid items, they mainly focus on products for adults. If you’re interested in your own Burley item, visit their website and use coupon code burleysummer15_a03 at checkout.

What I’m Listening To This Week

One of my favorite podcasts, The Hilarious World of Depression, has now morphed into the Depresh Mode podcast. The host primarily interviews comedians (hence the “hilarious” portion of the name) about their mental health, mental illnesses, and treatment.

If you or someone you love lives with depression, anxiety, OCD, bipolar disorder, etc., this is a great podcast that lets you know you’re not alone. And because most of the guests are inherently funny, the podcast delivers hard conversations with some laughs.

And if no one in your life deals with mental illness, it’s a great podcast to listen to so that you can work your empathy muscles. That way you can be there for someone when they finally share their truth with you. Because I guarantee someone in your life is living with mental illness.

What I’m Reading This Week

I finished three books this week! At long last, I completed The Man From the Train. I’m not sure how I feel about it. It was a long read and I’m not sure I was ready for how long it was going to take me.

A friend sent me I Hate Running And You Can Too and I read it in a day or so. It’s a very fast and fun read. I passed it on to another friend who runs so that she can enjoy it as well.

I also flew through Yearbook by Seth Rogen in about 48 hours. It was super hilarious and a fast read that I had a hard time putting down. He tells bonkers stories about super-popular people in Hollywood (and names names) and mixes in stories about his childhood. Highly recommend if you need a breezy read and some hard laughs.

I’m currently reading The Darwin Affair and I’m kinda “meh” about it at the moment. 

Reader Spotlight of the Week

Long-time reader, Bernie, left this hilarious five-star review on our Air Fryer Roasted Beets {Pin this recipe}. Converting a beet hater into a beet “tolerater” truly made my week!

These were….good?! As a self-professed beet hater I was surprised to enjoy these as much as I did. Beets may actually become a more regular part of my diet now! I used my smallest Dutch oven to roast these in the oven and they turned out rather delicious!

Air fryer roasted beets on a tan plate with a fork

On Sustainable Cooks This Week

It was a real “preserving” centered week on the blog. I’m trying to slowly convince you all to become prepper squirrels. 🙂

Dill Pickle RelishA simple and easy recipe for canning homemade Dill Pickle Relish. This tangy dill relish recipe is perfect for anyone new to canning. Enjoy it on burgers, hot dogs, in potato or chicken salad. {Pin this tutorial}

Three jars of homemade dill relish with cucumbers and a pepper

How to Peel and Blanch TomatoesThis easy-to-follow tutorial will teach you how to blanch and peel tomatoes like a pro. Peeling tomatoes is simple and makes for amazing homemade marinara and salsas, and even makes canning easier. {Pin this tutorial}

a bowl of peeled tomatoes

How to Freeze CherriesLearn all the tips and tricks for Freezing Cherries to stock your freezer with this amazing healthy fruit. Learning how to freeze cherries is a great way to preserve this delicious summertime crop without needing any special equipment. {Pin this tutorial}

a wooden bowl with frozen cherries

The Five Most Popular Posts This Week

  1. Canning Peaches – this post will likely remain in the top five until September(ish). Get used to it. {Pin this recipe}
  2. Refrigerator Dilly Beans – crispy tasty and amazing pickled green beans without the canning!  {Pin this recipe}
  3. Air Fryer Egg Rolls – vegan/vegetarian as written, but you can make your version to your tastes.  {Pin this recipe}
  4. Dill Pickle Relish – because sweet relish is the devil’s condiment. {Pin this recipe}
  5. Canning Whole Tomatoes – the best way to give yourself a squirrel stash for making soups and sauces this winter. {Pin this tutorial}

Meal Plan

Monday:: Soccer night, so Air Fryer Taquitos, Instant Pot Garlic Butter Rice, and salad.

Tuesday:: Takeout to support a local small business + my sanity.

Wednesday:: Soccer night + hot weather means air fryer hot dogs, salad, and fruit. 

Thursday:: It’s going to be brutally hot, so I am making lettuce wraps and probably some Instant Pot Jasmine Rice

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Saturday:: I’ll be in Denver so Troy will feed the kids something. He’s a grown man and can figure it out.

Sunday:: See Saturday’s note. 🙂


What are you having this week?

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7 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. Your podcast suggestion is eerily on point for us right now. Thank you for it.

    Having any kind of possible covid symptom sucks so hard right now. I’m glad you all are clear. And I agree testing should be easier.

    Our meal plan for food this week is eat up what we have before our trip to Iowa to visit family!

    • The episodes are definitely explicit, so not sure if you want to listen with earbuds on. 🙂

      I hope you’re off enjoying your family trip as we speak!

  2. My poor garden is looking pretty sparse. I have garlic but like have no idea if I should pull it lol.

    I feel you on the Covid testing, it was so much easier in Virginia. Here it is a giant… yah. I thought my parents were being hyperbolic. Nope.

    New thing I learned since I got my instapot… it does a great job steaming artichokes! (Only took 20 min) I of course blame you for my discovery because without you I would never have gotten one. But with my sinuses due to the evil pollen gonna have to make some popsicles.

    • You want the garlic to look like it is dead. The bottom 3-5 “leaves” should be dried and dead-looking. It’s very confusing the first time you harvest!

      I will say, it hasn’t always been like this. The boys needed Covid tests for school in spring (maybe April), and they got tested at 6 pm and we had results at 3:30 am the very next day. I’m not sure what is happening but it’s going to get worse when school starts and they need to get it together NOW.

  3. I’m so happy that my newfound toleration of dirt apples could be a bright moment in your week!

    I hope you and Bennet are feeling better. I know a handful of people who are also dealing with sinus infections right now and say it’s been awful.

  4. That testing is ridiculous. Things are going nuts down here too and I got tested two weeks ago. My daughter sneezed in my face with her sinus infection and I started feeling bad. I tested negative for RSV and Covid. I just went to an Urgent Care at 6:30 am and was out before 8 with certified molecular test results in my hand. That text is hilarious. I’m too big of a wimp too. I thought I had garlic growing in my compost pile but it was green onions. I just bought some garlic from the farmer’s market so I’m going to hold some back to actually plant. Kid’s go back to school next week and I’m more nervous this time than last year. I just had the first two people (mother and son) that I knew personally who have passed from Covid, and I just keep praying for kid vaccines.

    • Lesley, I’m so sorry for your loss and for that family. My prayers go out to everyone who has lost someone due to this stupidly preventable pandemic.

      Sending good thoughts to all the kiddos and families as we all start heading backto school.