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Scattered Sundays

Well, Bennett’s run of three-year hide and seek Covid champ has come to an end. We never thought he’d go this long, so it was a good streak while it lasted!

He started exhibiting some of his normal monthly cold symptoms on Thursday morning. After what felt like a very long and whiny morning, Troy stuck a test swab in his nose while I packed him in the car for school.

With his PFAFA, he isn’t contagious to anyone else, so as long as he doesn’t have a fever, he can be at school. We have to drive him to school because he is open enrolled, so I knew that we’d have the results of the test before he was getting out of the car.

We were four cars from the front of the drop off line when Troy called to say B’s test was VERY positive. That was one very dark line! I barely rolled down the window, told his principal we would not be dropping him off that day (or for awhile) and then went on home.

He’s feeling snarfy but is mostly full of energy. Which is always hard when you have to stay home and stay occupied. The weather didn’t help either with an atmospheric river settling over the region starting on Thursday. First world problems though!

He can go back on Wednesday with a mask, or Tuesday if his symptoms are improving and/or he tests negative. I know there were some other positive tests in that classroom on the same day, so it’s just a case of “it is what it is”.

a drawing of a turtle with a world on its back.

To round out the health news, I got my once-a-year cold/maybe it’s a cold/maybe it is something else. Last week I started feeling sinus pressure and figured a sinus infection was on the way. I never take anything for them because they get better in the same amount of time whether I am medicated or not.

But I was sitting in a soccer board meeting on Sunday and my left ear sloooooowly started to close up and ache. Like really ache! I leaned over to my friend and whispered “I think I’m getting an ear infection because apparently, I’m a toddler”.

That night, my ear hurt so freaking much. If I hadn’t destroyed all the pain meds from my surgery, I might have been tempted to pop one into my mouth for 15 seconds before spitting it out.

I got an urgent care appointment Monday morning and when the doctor looked in my ear she said “holy smokes, that’s really infected. I wish I could take a picture to show you how gross this is right now”. I was somewhat relieved that I hadn’t been making up all that pain and pressure.

I’ve been lucky in life to almost never need antibiotics, but I gladly accepted the prescription for amoxicillin that she gave me. I’m not a candidate for creating antibiotic-resistant superbugs, and for reals my ear HURT.

Even with the meds, for most of the week, my left ear was 100% closed. My right ear started closing up on Tuesday night and boy, howdy, was that frustrating. I have a new sense of empathy for people with hearing loss. Having people repeat themselves multiple times was an exercise in patience for both parties.

I also have profound empathy for people with sensory issues. A friend of mine constantly has ringing in her ears from an autoimmune disease, and even with only dealing with that for a week, I was very much ready to be done.

Loud sounds were very disconcerting, and things like using my Sonicare felt like I had bees in my head while swimming underwater. No fun for sure. The relief when my ears pops will be very welcome indeed.

a laundry room.

It hasn’t all been infected ears and boogers around here though! A big step forward in our laundry room/basement restoration happened on Monday. Our contractor removed the stupid pointless shower from the laundry/bathroom and ohhhhh my gosh there is so much more room for activities now!

Growing up, our basement was a big ol’ daylight basement that had a huge rec room, a small bedroom (my sister’s) and a bathroom/laundry room combo. The shower made sense then as it was my sister’s.

But since we did the addition on the house in 2014-2015 to build the inlaw suite for my parents, the tiny shower no longer made any sense. Our part of the once giant rec room is now about 100 sq feet, and my dad has a giant ADA capable shower in his apartment.

I’ve long wanted that shower gone because other than using it for storage, it’s pointless. And it makes the space so crowded that the dryer door hits the door of the shower. It’s beetleheaded.

a laundry room.

This week I was listening to a podcast and one of the guests said something that really stuck with me. She said when bad things in life happen, you basically have two choices: bitter or better.

Having the washing machine flood the basement sucked. For sure. Zero question. But, what’s done is done, and I’m using it as an opportunity to make the place better.

Our neighbor is doing the drywall and he started that process on Wednesday. It’s amazing what plain drywall can do for a space! I can’t believe this is even the same room.

Eventually, the toilet will be back in here, as well as the vanity, and there will be some sort of IKEA storage cabinet-thingy in the corner where the shower was. But for now, it’s just so open and lovely.

a laundry room with drywall.

The flooring also arrived for my dad’s bedroom and the part of his living room that was damaged. Things feel like they’re finally starting to come together and the chips are starting to fall into place.

For now the boxes of flooring is just hanging out in a nice little pile amongst all the other nice little piles we are living with. But again, it’s a first world problem and we are heading forward to great things. Onward!

What I’m reading this week

I finished “The It Girl” by Ruth Ware this week and very much enjoyed the twists and turns of the story. I guessed incorrectly multiple times. And it’s always fun to stay guessing in a book.

Up next: Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver.


Long-time reader, Terry, left this five-star review on our Boursin Pasta {Pin this recipe}:

Made this tonight for a potluck. As we do not “imbibe”, I used some fresh lemon juice and extra chicken broth in place of the wine. The dish received rave reviews and the bowl was scraped clean! This is definitely a winner! Thanks for a great recipe that is also very easy.

a white skillet with Boursin pasta topped with parsley.


Air Fryer MeatballsThese juicy Air Fryer Meatballs are so easy to make and are packed with tons of flavor. Baked, not fried, they are perfect for fast dinners and cook in only 10 minutes! No air fryer? You’ll also find oven-baking methods in the post. {Pin this recipe}

a plate with spaghetti topped with air fryer meatballs

Instant Pot Beef Barley SoupInstant Pot Beef Barley Soup is the perfect meal for when you need an easy, and hearty dinner that the whole family will love. This cozy bowl of yum is a game-changer for weeknight dinners. {Pin this recipe}

two bowls of beef barley soup with garlic bread.

Air Fryer CookiesSoft and delicious Air Fryer Chocolate Chip Cookies are an easy dessert that won’t require heating up your kitchen. Make the perfect cookie in the air fryer for fast treats that your family will love. {Pin this recipe}

2 plates of chocolate chip cookies on a wooden board with a small bottle of milk that has a straw in it


  1. Air Fryer Egg Rolls – vegan and vegetarian as written but super customizable! Oh, and did you know you can FREEZE these? {Pin this recipe}
  2. Garlic Butter Rice – I can’t think of a week that goes by in this house without at least one batch of this comfort food being made. {Pin this recipe}
  3. Air Fryer Cookies – I’m a big fan of this recipe and you’re going to love it! {Pin this recipe}
  4. Air Fryer Pizza Rolls – unlike the ones from our childhood, these are not filled with lava and regret. {Pin this recipe}
  5. Air Fryer Tofu – you’ll love this fast and crispy tofu recipe that uses barely any oil. {Pin this recipe}

Meal Plan

Monday:: TBD – depends on how sick of my kids I am after quarantine and a three-day weekend.

Tuesday:: Troy is making something for dinner and we will be excited to eat it.

Wednesday:: I’m retesting a new recipe that should be on the blog soon.

Thursday:: Soup! Not sure what kind yet, but I have soup veggies prepped and frozen in our basement, so it will be something delicious and healthy. With equally tasty carbs on the side.

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Saturday:: I’m retesting a new recipe that should be on the blog soon.

Sunday:: TBD, but probably take out.

What are you having this week?

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10 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. I spent Covid Christmas 2020 with our daughter in Ireland (where she studies). She was supposed to be in the Bay Area spending the holiday with our son, but contracted the virus the day before her departure; there was no way she was spending Christmas alone, so across the pond I traveled. Our wonderful neighbors took my husband in for Christmas dinner, thankfully. Somehow during all of that neither my husband nor I contracted the ‘rona, and still have not to this day.  Our Bay Area 20-something son and his fiancé, meanwhile, locked down and masked up, and yet both were infected with Covid. I’m convinced there is neither rhyme nor reason to this respiratory virus. 

    As for our Empty Nester menu this week:

    Monday. Green Curry Salmon with Coconut Rice
    Tuesday. Beans and Greens atop Garlic Toasts
    Wednesday. Mapo Tofu, a household fave (to use up the rice I always cook too much of)
    Thursday. Grilled Feta, to use up the leftover slab from last week hanging out in our ‘fridge, along with a hefty green salad.
    Friday. Dinner out at a new restaurant with friends. The restaurant’s Duck Confit seems to be calling my name. 

    As for the weekend meals, all bets are off. We bought an “As Is” 1910 farmhouse in June. Dinner could be take-out pizza. Could be rotisserie chicken. Could be peanut butter and crackers and a fab Cabernet. All depends on what we are doing. 

    • It’s definitely an interesting virus. And the different strains all act so differently as well. I figure we’ll just keep doing our best and that’s about all we can do.

      Your meal plan sounds tasty!

  2. My favorite quote right now is
    When you want to quit remember WHY you started 

    For me it’s a kick in the butt every time 

  3. I love Ruth Ware so I will have to check out that book! I love how much she keeps you guessing!

  4. Oof, that ear infection sounds awful. I’ve had tinnitus in one ear since having Covid in 2020, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I think I’ve gotten pretty used to it but wouldn’t be sad if it went away for good!

  5. Glad to hear that your unexpected basement project is continuing to progress!  You’re doing a great job trying to stay positive thru it all; I know that is tough!!  Not sure what we are having for dinner this week – my meal planning has been SUPER flaky lately.  But I’ve got a big batch of beef and pepper chili that I made last week so I think we’re gonna turn that into a tasty shepherd’s pie type dish to eat for at least a couple of meals . . .  I NEED to try that Boursin pasta recipe of yours because it sounds absolutely scrumptious (I’ve got it pinned and have definitely been eyeing it for a while now because I love Boursin so much)!  Maybe this is a good week to do that.  🙂

    • I love love love repurposing leftovers! Your new dish from “old” food sounds like a great idea.

      And Boursin pasta is always a smart and tasty move. 🙂