Life Goes On

Even without pandemics, I'm pretty much a homebody. I can recall when I was working full time, and a graduate student, and a mother of youngish children, when my calendar was packed with places to be, and things that were due. This was in the days of Franklin Day Planners (please tell me you remember those). Each time I flipped to a new month and found the calendar empty, I vowed to keep it that way. Then, little by little, before the month even arrived, the days filled up bit by bit, until they were just a crazed as the months before. Now, I revel in these open days of going nowhere and staying home...until I'm forced to do so, of course. Then it begins to feel burdensome, and panic can set in without notice.

And all of that to say that my day yesterday was spent mostly in the kitchen, but also in dread of the grocery shopping trip I needed to make this morning. I wore a mask and gloves, but even with a nose piece on the mask, it still fogged up my glasses and put them at an odd angle that made it difficult to read anything. I know all of us will be glad when these days have passed, but I wonder if we'll ever get back to where we were. It'll be a new normal, and hopefully, if this ever happens again, we'll be better prepared.

So my moments of dread made it hard to concentrate, but I did make my way into the sewing room late in the day to work on the next block for Dancing Chickens & Flying Pigs. This is the 6th of 12 blocks, called "At Home with Dandelions." Perfectly fitting for how the yard looks here at the Three Cats Ranch.

All the fusing and tracing is done. I need now to top-stitch the applique and machine embroider some of the lines on the house. My machine has a triple stitch that works especially well when the lines are straight. There isn't much hand embroidery on this block, and so I don't expect it to take long. After that, I'll get back to the hand quilting on Mulligan Stew.

My sewing day started so late that it was dinner time when I finished with the quilt block. We tried to give Matthew a happy birthday dinner, even if we couldn't all be together as a family. We had the Overnight Lasagna that is a family favorite around here. Also a Caesar salad, fresh baked bread and angelfood cake, as Matthew requested. I haven't baked an angelfood cake in years...at least...and so we all enjoyed this. Matthew wanted strawberries on his, and I was able to find some organic strawberries at a local vegetable stand. They were tasty, if a little on the tart side. Nothing a little more sugar couldn't fix.

For I-Can't-Eat-Strawberry-Seeds Mike, I made a different topping. For this, the cake is brushed with Kahlua and the whipped cream is made from espresso powder, mascarpone cheese, confectioner's sugar, and whipping cream. This is one of Giada deLaurentiis's recipes. It was also supposed to have a little sprinkle of cocoa powder, but I forgot that part. Looks good, no?

Matthew and I mused about how it would be to dip strawberries first in chocolate, and then in the coffee flavored whipped cream. If strawberries go well with chocolate, and coffee goes well with chocolate, doesn't it seem like the three could form a perfectly edible menage et trois?

Okay, so today I'll get back to the Dancing Chickens block. Other than that, the grocery store was about the only other thing planned for the day. With that finished already, my calendar is clear...just the way I like it.

11 comments from clever and witty friends:

Julierose said...

Believe it or not, I STILL use my Franklin every Day [I wore out the zippered binder I first got and have moved onto a red snap shut classic size--see? Someone is OLDE enough hahaha]--
more like a journal though these days..just marking to-do's in the house and sewing and b-days etc...I love the Day at a Glance pages...the set up fits my needs beautifully...
That block is so darn cute... I love that quilt pattern--very fetching...thanks for the link to that flavored cream topping...will be trying that if I can find that cheese...who knows ; using instacart there are not as many choices ...
stay safe at that grocery now...Julierose;)))

Becky said...

In my OR days, we worked very hard to smooth our masks over the nose and under the eyes to keep the glasses / goggles from fogging. Some people used the masks with just metal along the nose - it was long enough to smooth under the beginning of your glasses. Others used masks that had a piece of tape on the inside of the nose area. You peeled the backing off and then taped it in place. You could add tape along the top area of your cloth masks as you put them on. Paper or silk adhesive tape works well and would peel off the cloth mask well. Make sure it is something you aren't allergic to. Just a thought if we end up doing this long term.
Becky in KCMO

Norece said...

I still have my original Franklin compact planner from 22 years ago. I still use it daily, lots of important info in those pages! A new normal for sure, maybe everyone will keep a month’s worth of TP in their cupboards.

Cathy said...

Oh my! I LOVED my Franklin Planner with the leather and needlepoint cover (that matched my best sea foam green power suit). And I remember the relentlessly full calendar months. Or was it years? That’s why I’m still not fond of lots of phone talking and meeting planning. Give me a wide-open week any time. Oh, and my Kahlua was the first thing we ran out of during the quarantine. Mike’s dessert looks (as my brother would say...) good enough to eat!

Lyndsey said...

I still have my planner as well as my outlook diary for work on the computer. I'm currently finding great joy in deleting appointments from my work diary at the start of each day and also when other people send me cancellations for later this month or in May. Mmm chocolate, coffee and strawberries sounds so good. I have all three so will give it a try later today.

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Franklin Planner? You mean my Bible??? I still use a planner religiously to keep track of Terry's doctor stuff but now it's a wonderful See It Bigger. I am ALWAYS happy to see blank pages. Like Cathy I HATE talking on the phone. But I DO look forward to video phone calls with the littles. I heard on the news that Walmart will start limiting people in their stores to 25% of capacity and one in/one out method of control. No way am I going to wait in line at the grocery store then find too many empty shelves. We like angel food cake topped with anything. Angle Food means party time here, even if it's not. The chicken block is fun. I'll enjoy the flying pigs too!
Stay well
xx, Carol

piecefulwendy said...

Oh gosh, Franklin planners. They were the thing back in the day. Like you, I'm happy to be home with pretty much open days. Those crazy days of work, kids and social things were worth it, but exhausting. I like getting up, having coffee, and then deciding what to do for the day. Glad you were able to celebrate a little with Matthew. I hope to make a cake for our son's birthday tomorrow; however, it means a store run. Ugh. I didn't think ahead enough; with all the days blurring together I almost missed his birthday. Sheesh. I hope to sew today.

Linda said...

Just caught up on posts and am convinced you had problems with Ties & Tails because you had no feline consultants.
I've always been happier with nothing on the calendar. In fact, life has been a series of "if I can just get the next event over with, then I can relax". Even now in retirement, and as much as we love our kids and grandkids, we are still happier with nothing on the calendar.
The birthday cake looks delicious!

kc said...

We too, are happiest when it's just the 2 of us, but, we ARE, nay, WERE used to go, go, see and do. On the off chance we had a spare day, we would often just geocache to learn the area. Now, I get to sew and Driver is watching a lot of bad TV. But, while the sun was shining, he did rearrange the basement, then he washed the car. I'm wondering if the car wash is what brought on today's rain?

Glad Mike was feeling well enough to enjoy dinner and dessert. Oh, btw, around here, we are learning that a significant symptom is firstly, loss of sense of smell and appetite. Secondly, red-rimmed, allergy-eyes. Not the whites being red, but the rims looking red, as if allergies were a problem. They are saying that the eyes were always a giveaway, even when the patient is showing only mild other symptoms, sometimes not even running a fever.

Beth said...

I am wondering if angel food birthday cakes are an April thing, because that was a family tradition for my birthday. I always appreciated my mom making mine, but did not appreciate it enough until I was an adult and actually read the recipe.
Some years when I was little she tinted coconut green and made nests for jelly bean eggs. Later on it was almost always some sort of strawberry adornment. I remember when I went to the grocery store on my 40th birthday, a couple of years after she died, hoping to find a generic Angel Food cake in a tin in the bakery department, but no go. I could barely get back to my car before I burst into tears. It's funny what becomes a tradition, what signals love to us. So often it is food.

quiltzyx said...

In my adult ed quilting class, we learned about eating strawberries with sour cream & brown sugar. OMG - never would have thought to use the sour cream with strawberries, but it is delicious. Dip in the sour cream, then the brown sugar. Mmmmmmm

Glad you three were able to celebrate Matthew's b'day in any case!