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Scattered Sundays

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When I was 17 I was enrolled in both high school and community college at the same time. One day I was driving to the college campus and was headed down a very steep part of the freeway. 

The speed limit is reduced at a certain part of the road because of tight curves, and as I was approaching that area, I realized my brakes were not working.

I pumped them over and over and tried to downshift but nothing would slow my car. I flew through a 40 mph zone at 75, praying the entire way. I was so thankful I didn’t hit anyone.

Realizing I was entering a congestion zone, I saw a business with a large parking lot off the side of the freeway. I flew into their parking lot (not hitting anyone simply by the grace of God) and proceeded to do donuts in their back parking lot until my car finally lost all momentum and came to the stop in a middle of an enormous mud puddle.

By this time, all the employees had gathered at the back of the building and were watching me. I opened my door, asked someone to please get a phone (pre-cell phone days!) so I could call my dad.

And then once he had been notified and I knew help was on the way, I broke down in sobs and ugly cried for a solid 10 minutes.

Ever since then, that is how I have always dealt with stress/trauma/fear. I can remain calm while it is happening, look out for others around me, and get the job done. And then when it is over, I break down and grieve. My mentality is very much “if I can’t go around it, then I guess I just have to go through it”. Is it healthy? Probably not. 

Since “stay at home” has been in place, I’ve been mostly ok. We’re definitely yelling at the boys more often, but other than that, we are functioning. On Friday I reached my limit and felt all the feels. But this time, it was for a positive and joyful reason.

Last weekend I decided to organize a “drive-thru” birthday for Jack. And since I don’t do anything half-way, it quickly turned into a whole THING! We had family, friends, church friends, classmates, and even his teacher coming to this birthday “party”.

People made signs, friends flew paper airplane notes out their cars, and someone threw a frisbee with a card taped to it. We had honking, singing, noisemakers, signs, balloons, and streamers attached to cars. It was incredible! Oh, and um, I didn’t have to clean the house. Best party ever.

We also organized neighbors who face our house to decorate a sign to hang in their window. Jack woke up to a lot of love.

When the boys and I are out walking, they both get really nervous around any dog, even those on leashes. To calm them down and keep their minds off of it, I always tell them I would never let anything hurt them (even the 8-pound dog they are stupidly scared of). Which always leads to me declaring that I would fight a bear to keep them safe.

And they laugh and say that’s not possible because bears are huge, and I tell them they don’t know how much I love them and how much power that gives me. They giggle as I promise I would rip a bear’s arms off and chase it away while waving its own paws at it, smacking its hairy butt. I declare that bears are scared of ME because I’m a mom and would be vicious in protecting them.

I set after this birthday party like a bear was trying to eat the boys. I know it’s wasn’t a normal birthday for him, but I hope it is one he remembers for the fact that we tried REALLY hard to make it special. Like, fight a bear special.

Solid chance we are related

Sadly, the morning of the “party”, I started feeling a little bit dizzy while making 60 cupcakes. I took my temp and it came back as 99.4. But we have a very wonky ear thermometer and from one minute to the next it would say my temp was 99.1 or 98.4. The mouth thermometer kept me at a cool constant 98.6.

I immediately isolated myself to be safe and notified everyone invited to the “party” what was happening. Troy packaged up the 60 cupcakes I made that morning (whaaaaaaaaaa) and we froze them to be safe. Almost everyone who was planning to come still attended since no one was actually getting out of the car anyway.

Since Troy is a first responder, he can’t go to work as planned unless I got tested. Given Troy’s job, and his potential to come into contact with vulnerable populations, we are playing it 100% safe and following his department’s protocols.

Our local hospital is running a triage site but holy balls it is hard to get information on what the process is. If South Korea could put together drive-thru testing in just a few days, you think our country could do something similar.

When my allergies are at their peak and my entire face itches, I secretly long for a giant stick to put up my nose to itch around my brain. Well, guess what? I got my wish with this test. LOL. I’m pretty sure it actually poked my brain.

It was like a neti pot and a pressure washer had a baby. The RN told me she was so sorry as she was doing it and then “ok, I have to swab it for 5 seconds behind your eyeball”. Words I never thought I’d hear. 

So now we just wait for results but honestly, I feel fine. When the feeling started (during excessive cupcake baking), it felt like I drank too much coffee (which I did) and felt jittery. It was to the point where I was still planning on going for a 4-mile walk but wasn’t going to do any running during it. 

I realize the fact that I was able to get tested with almost zero symptoms is coming from a place of extreme privilege. I would 100% have preferred to just hunker down at home and wait it all out and save the test for someone who actually needed it. But, Troy’s department makes the rules, and we will follow them because they need him back!

Facetime wrapped in momma-made quilts with Uncle Scotty

Oh, and you might notice on both desktop and mobile that the font on my site is suddenly a little bit bigger. We updated it to meet best practices for ease of reading. Plus I have crappy eyesight and I like it better!


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What I’m Listening To This Week

I love a new podcast and this week I found the show called Somebody. True to form for me, it’s about crime. A leopard can’t change its spots, right? 

It follows a mother’s investigation of her son’s death. And her son was friends with Chance the Rapper in high school, which brings the past into present day.

What I’m Reading This Week

I’m about halfway through Wild and I really like it. I’m struggling to stop reading every night and getting to bed at a normal time.

I do wish that I had known the first part was about a woman dealing with the loss of her mom from cancer. That wasn’t what I was expecting and I wasn’t prepared for all those emotions.

Has anyone seen the movie with Reese Witherspoon? I’m going to try to watch it when I’ve read it all.

Reader Spotlight of the Week

YJ left this five-star review on our Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana {Pin this recipe}

Quarantine version of this soup involved precooked sausage (leftovers from grilling and also from last night when I made broccoli rabe sausage pasta by smittenkitchen), no bacon, and random carrots (for extra veggies) and gochugaru (Korean kitchen!)… it was still so yummy!!

a bowl of dairy-free instant pot zuppa toscana with kale

On Sustainable Cooks This Week

Remember back a few weeks ago (aka, 43,981 years ago) when I told you I was dropping to two posts a week? Such an innocent time. 🙂 I have actually ramped UP my posting because I am finding lots of old posts in the archives that are helpful to my readers NOW.

We’re updating and bringing back 10-year-old posts that I wrote during the recession when this blog was called “Frugal by Choice, Cheap by Necessity”. What’s old is new again.

Confessions – everyone’s favorite post of the month!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Overnight OatsThese Chocolate Peanut Butter Overnight Oats are a healthy and simple make-ahead breakfast. Packed with chocolate flavor, they’re made without yogurt and are vegan by default. {Pin this recipe}

a glass jar with chocolate overnight oats on a white board with a small bottle of milk

What to Can, Preserve, and Eat in SpringSpring – the time of year when all gardeners feel so much hope and promise! Learn what to can and preserve in spring, as well as delicious recipes for seasonal produce. {Pin this list}

Illustrations of springtime produce

Homemade Laundry SoapThe BEST Homemade Laundry Soap you can make with just three simple ingredients! This all-natural laundry detergent is perfect for sensitive skin and actually smells great! An easy homemade laundry soap that only costs pennies a load. {Pin this recipe}

ingredients for homemade laundry detergent - washing soda, borax, and soap.

Tortilla PizzasThis incredible Tortilla Pizza recipe comes together in just a few minutes with only a few ingredients. Perfect for fast dinners or snacks, they’re even easy enough for kids to make their own. {Pin this recipe}

A tortilla pizza with pepperoni and basil on a grey plate

The Five Most Popular Posts This Week

Lots of people were getting un-lit on our Virgin Mojito this week. Let’s take a look at the other top posts y’all were enjoying.

  1. Air Fryer Egg Rolls – as always, non-air fryer instructions are included in the post.  {Pin this recipe}
  2. Instant Pot Beef Tips – non-Instant Pot instructions are includes in the post.  {Pin this recipe}
  3. Air Fryer Pickles – as always, non-air fryer instructions are included in the post.  {Pin this recipe}
  4. Homemade Honey Wheat Bread  {Pin this recipe}
  5. How to Freeze Spinach  {Pin this tutorial}

Meal Plan

Monday:: Fried Gnocchi and Veggies. We have everything in the freezer/pantry and it’s a no brainer.

Tuesday:: Takeout to support a local small business.

Wednesday:: An old recipe I am re-photographing paired with a NEW recipe. Yay!

Thursday:: Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings. The kids love it, it’s easy, and I can just push a few buttons and walk TF away.

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Saturday:: Takeout to support a local small business.

Sunday:: Easter dinner. Sadly, we’re not celebrating with family this year. I ordered a ham from a local butcher, and we’ll make a few sides.

What We Bought This Week

Smith Brother Farms (our milkman): $45.92. I definitely increased my order this week to stock the fridge/freezer and stay TF out of the stores.

Costco: $118  (my sister went and kindly took our list so we not only limited exposure with how many people were in the store but made it easier for people who NEEDED groceries to shop).

FarmBox Direct – they sent me a sample to try and everything was wonderful! If you’re trying to get fresh produce delivered, definitely take a look at FarmBox Direct.

What are you having this week?

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28 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. Oh no!!! Glad you’re able to get tested – fingers crossed you come back clear and Troy can go back to work.

  2. I enjoyed both the book and movie versions of Wild! I’m so glad to hear you are enjoying the book despite a rough start for you.

  3. Hoping your test results come back as negative! About 2 weeks ago, I was in the kitchen cutting up a melon, and felt incredibly flushed all of a sudden. My temp was 99.8. After a few hours, it went back down, and I’ve been fine since, so it was probably just stress and anxiety. But how wild! I almost never get fevers when I’m actually sick, and now my body decides to make me think I’m having a fever as a stress response in the middle of all this! Terrible timing, me.

    • They will, I’m not worried about it. More upset they had to waste a precious test on me.

      Hmmm, if we were medical researchers, we’d want to examine melon cutting and cupcake baking to see what it is that elevates temperatures!

      Not sure if you also get seasonal allergies, but I’m already planning of people giving me the side-eye while I’m out walking and sneezing my face off. My allergies ramp up HARD in about 3 weeks and last through August.

  4. I caught myself holding my breath as I read about your brakes.  That sounded TERRIFYING.  I have no idea what I would have done in a situation like that.
    I am not great under pressure.  But I remember when my daughter broke her wrists (both wrists in one unspectacular fall) , she needed to be put under for the doctor so set her left arm.  The right had a fresh cast on it.  He asked if I could hold her freshly cast arm so they did not have to call someone else in,  No problem, or so I thought.  As I was crouched down beside her, holding her arm up,  I had to put my head down because I felt like I might pass out or barf.  And once it was over, I had to go sit in a chair.  The nurse brought ME juice and cookies! (I shared with my awake and double casted daughter).

    I am so glad to hear that Jack’s party was such a success.  It bites that YOU had to miss it though. Reading what you wrote after the fact, it sounds to me like it might have been anxiety.  What did Jack think of everything???

    I don’t want to poop on your parade (or whatever the phrase is) but a while ago I asked the all-mighty Google if freezing will kill this virus and the consensus was no.  Freezing can make it live for months.  That was a couple of weeks ago and  things may have changed as more is learned about this particular virus.   But I thought you should know….  Double check before taking my word.  Like I said, new research may have changed that.

    I have my fingers and toes crossed that you do not have this horrible virus.  And now, I also hope that nobody else I know has to get that test.  It sounds awful.

    • Oh, I would never serve them if I actually had the virus! The freezing is a “hopefully when life is back to normal” and my test comes back negative wish that we’ll all be together and able to enjoy the cupcakes.

      Jack loved the party! No anxiety about it on my part. I love to bake and “entertain” and was looking forward to the whole thing. Anxiety also doesn’t cause a spike in temperatures. 🙂

      • Glad to hear your thoughts on the cupcakes. 
        I misunderstood your temperature spike.  I thought that the thermometer was wonky and a reliable one had you at a good temp.  Sorry about that.  Must have been in the translation (by me from F to C)…

        I am happy that Jack loved his party.  😀

      • More of the fact that we didn’t know which thermometer is correct. LOL

  5. The drive thru party made me smile-I hope we see a lot of that kind of positivity & making the best out all this in the coming weeks. I hope your test comes back negative & please thank your hubby for his front line service.
    My sister & 2 of her coworkers all got pneumonia in the past 2 weeks but they still didn’t pass the criteria for being tested due to lack of resources. If they get so bad they have to be admitted to the hospital THEN they can get tested. You’re right if South Korea can figure this out why can’t the US?
    Anywho, thank you for the post!

    • Freaking ridiculous that they can’t get a test! This whole situation with inconsistent access across the country has made me livid. LIVID.

  6. I hope you don’t have the corona virus!  Thinking of you guys right now.  Also, what an incredible birthday day of love you organized for Jack!  How fun.  He will never forget THIS birthday, that’s for sure.  Lucky boy!!  These are weird and challenging times, and I love hearing about how others are rising to the occasion, being creative, and sharing love with one another in spite of it all.

    • I handle stressful situations the same. When Jared crashed mountain biking, he was found on the side of the trail by a fellow biker who, thankfully, was also a doctor with ER privileges. The doctor assessed Jared on the spot, felt confident he could walk out (instead of calling for a helicopter evac), and so this guy walked Jared, as well as his and Jared’s bike, back to his truck. He had Jared call me as he drove Jared to the ER.

      I immediately called a friend, asking if she could take Emma. I dropped Emma off, drove to Jared’s car to get his wallet (wasnt sure if the hospital would need it), then rushed to the ER.

      I got the the ER to find Jared laying on a gurney in a neck brace, bleeding, halfway coherent, and apologizing for crashing. I was steady as a rock, reassuring him that he came back to me and that was all that mattered. The doctor that drove him to the ER had waited for me and the three of us joked about Jared’s first question to the doctor being if his bike was ok. A few minutes later they wheeled Jared out for some tests.

      The doctor looked at me and said, “You are handling this really well,” to which I replied, “I need to sit down, I think I’m going to throw up.”

      Being able to focus during a crisis is an amazing ability, but we still need to process all of it!

      We bought some Paleo Alfredo sauce and GF fettuccine noodles from Thrive so I think we are having Chicken and Broccoli Fettuccine Alfredo tonight!

      • Haha, I think that “post-trauma” puke is a time tested rite of passage for all of us.

        How was the sauce? I’ve never tried a DF jarred alfredo!

    • When he’s 90 and talking to his great-grandkids, he’ll tell them about the “2020 pandemic and how they had to go to school online and have drive-thru birthdays”.

  7. I loved the book Wild. When the movie came out years later (on DVD) I loved it. I usually dislike movies based on books, but I felt like they nailed it. It wasn’t a 100% translation but they caught the spirit of the book. And the scenery can’t be beat. My husband watched with me (he hadn’t read the book) and he enjoyed the movie. I hope you enjoy it!

    • That is so good to hear because movies are usually crap compared to the book! Hopefully, I can find it streaming somewhere (for free) once I’ve finished the book.

  8. I handle stressful situations the same way and it freaks my husband out. As soon as the danger is past and there’s no reason to be upset anymore, I break down and sob and/or have a panic attack. I don’t think it’s unhealthy since the alternative could be panicking while it’s happening, which would be much worse. Also, thank you for still posting during this absolutely crazy time. I don’t think I’m alone in needing stuff like this to maintain a sense of normalcy.

    • I guess the world needs all kinds, right? The panicking DURING the event is just not an option for me since someone has to be in charge.

      Everyone is searching for normalcy right now. It’s amazing how much the world has changed in just a matter of weeks.

  9. Fingers crossed for a negative test, girlie! Still keeping you, Troy (and all First Responders) and your boys in my thoughts and prayers.

    Protecting my family like a Mama Bear, too….haven’t been within 6 feet of my grandchildren (and even that was outside around a bonfire) since March 22nd. I long to hug them and reassure them that even though Maw works in the ER, that I am going to be okay. It’s so hard….but so easy. We stay apart now so that we can be together soon. So very thankful for going through this with FaceTime and Messenger…it’s not the same as being together, but I will take it!!

    • My friend, please tell me you also get PPE at work! You’re super important and need to be protected there too.

      Technology is definitely helping make this whole thing more tolerable. Would be so sad if we were just writing letters to each other.

  10. Omg! I can just picture you doing those donuts in the parking lot. Give Jack a happy birthday shout from me. Praying that test is negative.