Semi-Quarantined Life (Week 58)

Oh I am perpetually behind on these. Life is busy these days. Since we are no longer totally locked down, there are the trips to grocery stores, patio dining with friends we’ve missed, and work is crazy busy. I think all of these things are good…somewhat stressful as I adjust…but they also really take away from some of my hobbies I focused on when I was all locked down, such as my blogging, cooking and Spanish. Okay, the cooking has not totally slowed down, I just haven’t been doing some of that crazy breadmaking lately. But we keep on cooking.

Thursday (5/6) – I don’t remember what we had for dinner this day. My calendar says “Katie cooks”, but I genuinely don’t remember if she did or what we did. I’m pretty sure it could have been take out. Sorry, I failed on this one.

Friday (5/7) – Friday we spent the majority of the day on the road to Arkansas to visit my mom for mother’s day. We did have Taco Bell drive thru. I couldn’t resist. When we got to Arkansas, we met my mom and my sister and her husband and daughter at a bar-b-que place in town that has a nice outdoor patio. You had to go inside to order and get your food and drink, but then we ate outside. Also, this place, despite Arkansas’ lax rules, required masks inside. It was some awesome bar-b-que. I don’t know if I’d say it’s the best I’ve had, but it was up there.

Saturday (5/8) – We got up and left the hotel early to go to my mom’s so I could put a pork shoulder in my dad’s smoker for dinner. It was a little over 8lbs, and I smoked it from about 10am-6pm. We also made a baked macaroni and cheese (my lil’ sister’s request) and green beans with potatoes. I made so much macaroni that I needed two dishes, so I did one with a bread topping and one without, which worked out perfect because the kiddos preferred without. We had a lot of leftovers. We put together a dish for my mom to take to work for lunch during the week and then boxed the rest of the pork up for my brother to take him when he came over the next day. My mom can only eat a little more every once in a while, so it would not get eaten at her house.

Sunday (5/9) – For Sunday dinner, well, lunch really, I smoked a ham. This was the precooked variety you get with the bone. This time, I let others handle most of the sides. I did reheat the baked macaroni and cheese, since we had so much leftover. My older sister brought salad stuff, and my little sister brought desert. My little brother brought these twice baked potatoes that were just amazing! My mom also made a pineapple upside down cake, but something went a little off with it. It was good, but very dense. This is a specialty of hers, so we’re convinced she grabbed the wrong flour. Either way, it was fun and a great end to a lovely weekend with the family. My siblings all left, and I got some time with just Mom and Owen and I. It was nice to have some quiet time to talk with her.

Monday (5/10) – We spent the day driving back to Chicago. We hit a lot of weird slow-downs and ended up hitting town just in time for Owen to drop me off at our favorite local bar and grill, Rockwell’s, as I had a dinner meeting with the owner of the firm I am Of-Counsel to. It was my first time back there since the pandemic hit, and it was great to see old friends. The staff there are so amazing, and we’ve definitely missed them. I had the chicken sandwich, which is my go-to, and their black beans. We drank, we talked, we ate, we laughed, it was like the world hadn’t been insane for over a year. Oh, did I mention we were on the patio? Yeah, I’m totally not ready for indoor dining.

Tuesday (5/11) – Taco Tuesday is becoming a definite thing around our house these days. This time, I made my own version of Mexican pizzas. I fried up corn tortillas and stacked two of them with chorizo, beans and cheese, and the other one with just beans and cheese. It turned out pretty awesome, and they even reheated okay for lunch the next day.

Wednesday (5/12) – Our dinner was very green. I hadn’t planned it that way. I really just wanted to get more veggies in all of us. I made zoodles and topped them with pesto and served it with roasted broccoli. Honestly, zoodles is not something I’m going to make a go-to, but it was decent. And the broccoli was delicious as always. I roast it with a little olive oil, salt and minced garlic.

So dining out…travel…one would think we’ve totally gone back to normal. Okay, we definitely have not returned to pre-pandemic “normal.” I hope we never do. I want to go back to grocery shopping, shopping in general, and seeing people socially. But I really hope the world learned something. I hope we remember that life needs balance. I want to continue spending time with my family. I want to continue my self-improvement projects. I, of course, want to continue my blogging. And I hope there are other societal changes too. This last awful year highlighted a lot of problems in our communities, and I hope we don’t stop trying to fix them. I also hope we have learned to have more empathy for all those around us and that we never lose that. Okay, off that soap box and on to writing more!

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