Monday, April 6, 2020

What Are You Up To? Covid-19

We started self-isolating, which then moved to 
"Stay Home, Stay Safe" as directed by our governor.

So I decided to show you what we have been up to.

You can see what has been our happy spot each day - 
baking and cooking.  I haven't been this diligent 
since the kids left home and hubby is loving it!  
We always had the rule with the kids that whoever 
cooked didn't have to clean, so hubby is doing the 
dishes.  I love to cook, but not to clean.  

Right as the virus started to reach the United States 
I had received my rebate check from my Costco credit card, 
so I had stocked up on a lot of things.  In addition, 
we have always been taught at church to be 
self-sufficient, and to have a year's supply of food 
on hand.  I don't know that I have a year's supply, but 
we usually have a good supply.  

Hubby happened to read an article the other 
night on how people are now making bread 
at home, but not very successfully.  We laughed! 
I have always loved making breads, but for 
a long time, we have done more low carb.  Now 
we are eating comfort carbs - food therapy!

Our first comfort food therapy was making pretzels.  
I hadn't done that in forever.  These cheddar jalapeno 
ones were amazing.  

Of course, a basic salted pretzel dipped in 
yellow mustard is hard to beat.  Hubby wanted his 
unsalted and dipped in butter and cinnamon sugar. 

This was the recipe that tempted me.

Those who have followed me for a while know I have 
a wood burning pizza oven, but honestly for just 
the two of us, that seemed such a waste to fire up.  
My daughter had purchased a Pizza Craft portable 
pizza oven for Christmas last year, and we had taken 
it up to our cabin over the holidays.  It worked great.  
So I looked into one of those, but it was close to $300.  
I decided to give this gas stove-top Pizza Pronto oven 
a try for $60.  I ordered it off Amazon, and used their 
recipe for pizza crust. It was amazing.  It took about 
15-20 minutes to heat up to 600 degrees and we cooked 
the pizzas about 6.5 minutes.  Perfect for cooking for two! 

We are famous for interactive dinners, and a friend had given 
us a raclette machine years ago.  We fell in love, and our 
family fell in love, but again, a raclette machine for 8 
is just too big.  We had purchased a few of these for 
a dinner party, and the size is perfect.  Click here for a two 
person raclette machine.

I had purchased the steak from Costco 
when I used my rebate check and divided it into 
smaller packages to freeze.

I decided to make some hamburger buns.  I had done that 
several times in the past, but hadn't been thrilled.  
These Brioche Buns were amazing.  I didn't follow her 
recipe exactly - I did more of a standard rise, but next 
time I will try her quick rise.  I highly recommend 
these - so much better than store bought.

We made a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough 
and baked two, and shaped the rest into balls to 
place in the freezer.  This is a pizzookie we made 
with one of the frozen ones. 

We had two sweet nieces pick up some groceries 
for us once each, but other than that we 
have stayed away from the stores. We truly 
want to help stop the spread.   

It's not all just comfort food around here - 
we are doing our protein shakes too!  
To balance out all of our comfort baking
we are making protein shakes with 
frozen fruit added.

My kids said I need to create our 
Quarantine Cookbook!!!

I decided to start a 21 Day Challenge doing 
Pilates - Boho Body on YouTube.  I am used to 
cardio and weight lifting, and have loved weight 
lifting for how it tones and shapes your body, 
but I decided to try this out - wow, I am working 
muscles that didn't know they needed to be worked.  
This is kicking me, but I am writing it down, so 
hopefully I will stick to it.

I have also been calendaring and journaling, as 
everything is happening so fast as we see Covid-19 
change what our normal lives were.  

I had wanted to sew masks to help out, but there 
was so much question about what would or wouldn't 
be used by professionals.  Then this week I was asked 
to participate in a pilot program to sew medical grade 
masks.  We received the fabric pre-cut with instructions 
on Wednesday and were to have them sewn by noon 
today.  They asked 150 people to sew 100 masks, so 
in two days we will have completed 15,000 masks.  

I wanted hubby to take a photo of me sewing them, so 
that I could add that to my journal.  What a satisfying 
project. I was reminded of photos of women 
working in factories during WWII.
 I am hoping we will be allowed to do this again. 

I have also been sewing 100% cotton masks 
for personal use.  

Our business associates in China are begging us to 
wear masks whenever we go out.  Now the CDC is 
finally admitting that people wearing masks will help.  

Find any mask instruction on YouTube, and make 
them for your family and for nursing homes and 
doctors' offices who are accepting homemade masks.  
many are placing the washable masks over their 
n95 masks, so the n95's can be used more than once.  

Hubby is able to work from home running his business 
over Zoom and FaceTime and also doing his Bishop 
work over Zoom and FaceTime.  

I have only seen the grandkids over FaceTime, but on 
Wednesday as I was delivering medical grade masks 
kits for others to help sew, I stopped by to see some of 
them.  I wore a mask and gloves and stayed way back off 
the porch.  My darling two year old wanted a hug and 
cried when I kept backing away and saying no.  

These will be days we will always remember.  We are 
trying to fill them with meaning and service and some 
homemade fun foods.  

Hope you are safe and well, and thanks for visiting. 
Let me know what you are up to.

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Thursday, April 2, 2020

In My Easter Basket Table

The smell of chocolate still reminds me of Easter Bunnies!

If I had only one thing in my Easter Basket, it would be 
Chocolate Bunnies and Chocolate Eggs.

Easter will be different this year, with no family 
gathering.  We are to "Stay Home and Stay Safe",
and we are taking it seriously.

We will miss having all of the little ones here 
and the fun and joy that they bring, but we can 
enjoy them by FaceTime - how blessed are we?!!

I thought this table runner, which I had 
purchased on sale a few years ago was 
the perfect theme for this year's Easter Tablescape.

I had also purchased these darling MacKenzie-Childs 
egg-shaped plates last year, but never used them.

They feature a gold bunny, 

and a gold chick.

Did the Easter Bunny always leave trails of candy for 
you?  Ours did, and one year he even hopped over 
my bed and left trails on me bed!!

Although this makes a pretty table,
I have to move the chocolate, as the morning 
sun would melt it all.  

Everything else can stay.

My stack started with gold ceramic chargers that 
I have had for at least 30 years.  Then it was topped 
with a scalloped MC enamel plate, a gold rimmed 
rustic glass plate, and finally the MC egg plates.

I brought out the gold twig flatware to go with 
this black and white and gold table.

Thanks for stopping by to visit!  I hope you are all 
Staying Home, and Staying Safe!

Nevertheless, at this time when we celebrate 
the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, 
may faith and hope be in your hearts and minds.  

Hugs from our home to yours.

(The huge bunny and egg were saved 
from last year - even though the 
kids wanted to eat them.  Two of the "chocolate 
bunnies" are not real.  Other candy was 
purchased before we started "Stay Home
Stay Safe" but some things can still be
ordered online.)

I will be posting this with

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Cabo Home and Coronavirus

(A partially finished half bath)

Many of you know we headed down to Cabo last week to 
crack the whip on the construction of our never-ending 
build in Cabo.  We had decided that we could self-isolate 
there, since there was no presence of Coronavirus in 
lower Baja Mexico.  

We packed our bags with the intent to stay two to four 
weeks as they finished up construction. 

We were some of the handful of people who wore 
masks on the way down.  Someone needs to work 
with hubby on proper use of mask while sleeping!!

We had warned them in January that we would be bringing 
a group of 4 down this week for my son's Spring Break. 
We asked that they have two bedrooms and baths ready.  
But knowing how things go, we decided to also book a room 
at Villa La Estancia, where we have stayed during 
the construction process. 

That way we could continue to enjoy pools and their 
incredible shrimp nachos at the pool. 

As we had suspected, the house was nowhere near ready 
to stay at, although they had two bedrooms and baths 
that we could have stayed in, but there wasn't glass 
in the front door - haha - didn't feel that comfortable 
to be staying in a house that was wide open. 

My son and his wife weren't able to make it, but we had 
great friends who had volunteered to drive our 15 passenger 
van down the Baja, filled with household goods.  

This will be our last in-restaurant dining for a while, so 
we had to get our picture taken. 

Everything was business as usual at Cabo, with some cancellations, 
and definitely not as busy as Spring Break would usually feel.

We enjoyed the sun and water, food and pools, 
but you may have heard that our area experienced 
a 5.7 earthquake on Wednesday morning.  Their teenage 
daughter was at home with his brother and wife, but 
that kind of freaked her out.  They decided to go 
home a day early.  The airport was closed half a day 
because of broken water pipes.  If Coronavirus fears weren't 
enough, the earthquake made people tremble even more. 
False rumors were started that a 9.0 would follow within 
30 minutes!!  All was well at home.  My daughter went to 
check and a decorative metal platter had fallen off of 
the pizza oven, but that was about all.  

Meanwhile, my daughter got laid off that day, and so 
did my niece - both working in restaurants. 

Despite all of this, we felt comfortable with our decision to stay awhile 
and keep people finishing up the house - also making critical 
design decisions.  

The people in Cabo also told us to stay - that we were safer down 
there, where there was no Coronavirus.

So, on a daily basis we saw things progress - like this outdoor shower,

and this saying put up down by the lower pool,

and furniture being unpacked.  The original plan was for the kids 
and their kids to come down April 6th for their Spring Break, 
although at this point, we doubted that would be happening.

On the second day we noticed a cruise ship pull into the bay.  
We wondered at that and finally found an article about it.  
It is a Holland America ship.  There are not enough places for 
cruise ships to dock, so they had received permission from Cabo 
to anchor their boat.  There are 800 crew members living onboard.  
Had you thought about what happened to crew members when 
the cruise lines stopped?  They can't afford to fly home and are 
under contract, so they are living on the ships, wherever they 
could dock or anchor.  

Our friends decided to fly home on Thursday, as their daughter 
wanted them home.  

We had originally planned this trip for our college son's Spring Break 
from Monday to Saturday, but right before dinner Friday night 
we decided to see if there would be flights home a week later.  If we 
stayed one more week we could get a lot of things wrapped up on 
the house.  There was a pretty full flight, so we thought we wouldn't 
get trapped in Cabo like so many had in Europe.  We booked the 
flight and booked another week at the resort.  Off to dinner we went. 

As we were eating, the waiter asked when we were leaving.  Then he 
told us that the resorts and restaurants were all shutting down 
on Monday since the border was closing Saturday.  
We had followed 
that story, but it was the land border that 
was closing and Delta showed pretty full flights 
leaving the next weekend.  

These pictures are from a happier dinner, earlier 
in the week,  because as we heard that,
hubby left to go back to the room 
to try and change our flights back to the following day
 - Saturday.  He never returned to the table, so I 
had them box up our main dishes.  We had both 
kind of lost our appetites.

Saturday morning we went to the house a final time
 with staples that we had purchased for a long stay. 
 As we drove through the town, there were no tourists left.
  The rental car companies had their parking lots spilling
onto the streets. 

The airport was packed and people everywhere now
 were wearing masks.  
(Hubby wore his correctly on the way home - just a little 
humor to deal with the stress!) 

Arriving in the Salt Lake City 
airport was like being in an apocalyptic movie - 
the roads were 
empty and tons of planes were parked out on the tarmac.  

My heart hurt so badly for the Mexican people we left behind.  
They have so little and their incomes depend on the tourist 
industry, and literally overnight the city was emptied.  

This rock down on the beach below our house has always looked 
like a turtle (I didn't show the turtle's shell) or a lop-eared bunny, 
but this time we could see Ariel - in a tribute to the closed Disney parks. So much is changing so quickly, and without much 
notice.  We have no idea how our income will be 
impacted, and those of our children.  One daughter has 
already been laid off. 

We don't have to self quarantine, but we decided that since 
we were around so many passengers on the plane, we would 
stay away from people for awhile.  

My children with kids home from school are doing their 
best with homework and boredom.  The weather hasn't been 
great, so even though they could play outside, it hasn't been 
nice enough to.  We have decided no family dinners for
the next while.  We truly want everyone to isolate.

We have plenty of food and supplies with the exception of 
antiseptic wipes, but I got on YouTube and saw how to 
make those with a bleach solution and baby wipes or paper towels.  

You already know I love to cook, so that is enjoyable, but 
I will probably gain weight over this!  Haha.

Hubby is able to do his Bishop interviews over Facetime.  We 
can talk to the grandkids over Facetime too.  

How are you coping in this time unlike any we have seen?

We hope you are all well and stay safe.  Our business 
acquaintances in China said they learned to stay 
inside for 30 days and if you had to go out - keep 
your face covered.   

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