My COVID Routine

FOOD

Well, we’re out of cookies, and that’s a tragedy I will rectify this evening. I did make a loaf of bread already tho!

In the mean time I’ve had smoothies, several bowls of spicy tofu soup, a BAS (Big Ass Salad) for the newbies, and even made some chocolate chia pudding!

Honestly, the green beans were too long – but they were frozen, so I found myself eating them with my fingers
Super simple. Coconut milk, chia seeds, and cocoa powder. I sprinkled in some stevia too
Topped with my tofu eggless salad

FITNESS

Ran yesterday and today. It was raining yesterday and there was a lull in it, so I thought I’d risk it. Bad move, as I was 2mi from home when the rain restarted. Oops! That second 2 miles were faster than usual tho 😜

I’m a big fan of audiobooks when I run. I’m re-listening to one from many years ago – Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison.

Was a bummer because I had to wait to shower – got home in time for some meetings, so 2 hours later, I was cold and still kinda damp.

Today, however, was 60 and sunny and wonderful. Another 2 hrs before I could shower, but that’s okay. I do love the ability to run mid-day. I very much prefer it over mornings!

Today’s audiobook was Harry Potter on Overdrive courtesy of my library. I don’t normally listen to two fiction books at the same time, but I forgot I had reserved this, and it became available last night.

LIFE

Well, I can honestly say I don’t mind the at-home life. I’m productive, largely stay busy, and get to spend time with my kids! Well, except M who is still in quarantine and I only see him when I refill his water, tea, or bring him eats. But, his fever when he woke this morning was under triple digits, so I’m hoping that’s a good sign!

Yesterday was really busy work-wise, which isn’t a bad thing at all. I’m lucky that most of what I do is pretty groovy. I was supposed to have a legislative affairs subcommittee meeting, but we had to cancel as the city hasn’t given us directions on virtual meetings. This is related to the Freedom of Information Act and the need to publicize when we have meetings so the public can attend. I contend we can still do that with virtual meetings – just publish the link. But ultimately the City has to decide, so until then, we wait.

Girls were being silly last night. R was on the spin bike, and A just walked up behind her and snatched her and carried her through the house and tossed her on the sofa. To demonstrate her dominance over her “little” sister who is actually taller than both A and me!

Today was less work meetings, which meant more time to get some stuff done! In particular a Proforma for a joint venture I’m working on.

I did get some great news at work today, and at least temporarily, I get to work with/for my literal favorite person. With all the COVID craziness, we are being approached by many vendors, companies, and communities offering to help us. I’m going to be filtering through everything and hopefully start matching opportunities with needs within our health system and community. Even my daughter’s robotics team is offering up their 3D printer to help us. I absolutely love how communities really come together when we need it.

So I have been working from home since March 6th, so I am wrapping up my 3rd week. The week of the 9th was only because I was supposed to be at a conference and I had no office based meetings.

I’m getting into a social distancing groove, and I cannot complain. I work, I workout, meditate, walk Kuma, read the news (a LOT – but always start with WSJ, CNN, and a local one now – that’s new – and then Google News, & Twitter), I usually watch one episode of a show (I’m just not capable of watching lots of TV at once unless I’m sick). I practice my French for at least 20 minutes, but sometimes longer. I cook, clean, and do laundry. Soon will be time to plant and the garden is almost ready for it. And I read, a combination of fiction and nonfiction. Right now, I’m re-reading the Lean Startup as it has practical ramifications for my work. My fiction book I just downloaded the other day (I have Kindle Unlimited which has a huge selection of “free” books you check out). Infernal Magic is the book, and I was reading that when I went to bed last night. I also text a lot with friends as we all check in on each other and keep each other sane.

I am fortunate to have a job that is conducive to working from home, and one that is not interrupted by the COVID requirements. I realize how very lucky I am and am trying to do things locally to help those that aren’t as lucky. I know it’s not enough, but donations to the Food Bank of SE Virginia, buying gift cards from some favorite places, and will likely start doing the curbside to-go for some fav spots so they stay in business and weather this as much as they are able. Curious – how are you doing??

I can’t believe she’s at all comfy

Staying Safe and Busy with the New Normal

FOOD

There’s never a shortage of food in my house, thankfully, so plenty of meals to make. Smoothies, soups, stir-fries, and snacking on cucumbers and olives mostly.

Konjac “noodles”, tofu, and green beans all tossed in soy sauce
An orange/vanilla smoothie with coconut milk. SO good
Tofu, broccoli, and Konjac noodles in a coconut curry base
Probably my very fav way to snack on cucs. Tossed with apple cider vinegar, a little bit of toasted sesame oil, sesame seeds, and red pepper flakes. Sit about 10 minutes, but good for a couple days.
Tofu eggless salad

I’ve been using the Konjac noodles quite a lot lately. I’ve always passed by them at the grocery, but decided to give them a try and I’m enjoying them. I have RA (rheumatoid arthritis) and gluten can be very bad for it – or any inflammatory condition. As a vegan, I already don’t eat most of the inflammation causing foods (red meat and dairy), and I do try to limit my gluten intake. I’m “gluten-lite”, but I do absolutely LOVE pasta. So – trying alternatives isn’t a bad thing for me.

FITNESS

Thursday afternoon I went to a local state park for a hike. I was getting a little stir crazy and it was a gorgeous 85 degree day. Experts are saying hikes and walks are fine as long as you’re not near people. And man – it was perfect. Only did 3 miles, but no headphones and just walking and enjoying being outside. Only saw a few people, though as I was leaving, the line to get into the park was longer than I had ever seen it.

Other workouts included more spin and running and yoga. I brought my spin bike in from the garage yesterday. I got in a long session by watching the Mandalorian and a bit of You.

Today I decided to go for a run. A bit chilly – low 50’s, but sunny and wonderful. I saw several people out walking and everyone was quick to smile and wave at each other. I will say, that is one thing I’m noticing and fully on board with in the midst of all the chaos and concerns about COVID-19, and that’s most people seem to have more love and compassion for each other (crazy TP hoarder aside), and I hope that’s something that sticks around.

LIFE

Well, it’s only been a few days, and like most of the world, I’m staying home other than a quick grocery trip and that hike.

My eldest two work at one of our local hospitals, so they don’t get the option to just stay home the way I and my youngest do. A works nights in the ED, and her new routine is to come in through the garage, take off her scrubs and put them in a bag for laundry, wrap in a towel and go straight to a shower before going to bed.

My son, sadly, has gotten sick. He had a potential exposure, though no confirmation. Thursday afternoon – while I was actually out on my hike – he started running a fever and developed a cough. He has NOT developed the shortness of breath that is common with COVID, however, so I do not think that is what he has. My daughter says there’s an uptick in Flu B, and his symptoms match that. No way of knowing for certain – he wouldn’t be eligible for testing anyway – but he’s still fully quarantined in his bedroom to keep everyone else healthy. The girls moved all their stuff into my bathroom, so M has his room and his own bathroom and that’s it. I bring him water, tea, and food when he can stomach it.

Last night my friend and I had a makeshift Netflix Party. If didn’t know – Netflix developed a Chrome extension that allows people in multiple places to watch Netflix together. Very cool actually. But that requires using your computer and we didn’t want to do that. So we just hit play and pause at the same time and watched a disaster movie – 2012. It was fun.

Other things this weekend – when we had really hot weather – was sitting on the back porch enjoying a book and a glass of wine

On Friday – the last possible day – I finally got some direction for school stuff, so now I have that to keep me busy as well. On top of that I’ve been trying to have at least some structure to my days. Morning coffee and Kuma time, as always. Meditation, work (if it’s a work day), cooking, cleaning, reading – both fiction and nonfiction, working out, reading or watching something in French, and watching a movie or a show. Honestly, short of not going out and about (gym, friends, shopping, work travel), not much in my life is really changed! The new normal is the safest one for now.

She REALLY misses M…

Social Distancing for the Win! #flattenthecurve!!

FOOD

Well hell! I feel like the apocalypse hit since my last post. If you’re like most people (and you should be or you kinda suck), you’re home and not going out to eat very often.

Prior to hard core quarantine, I did have one Thai meal out and one Whole Foods salad bar salad. Otherwise all the eats, naturally, have been at home. Lots of salads, soups, and easy eats.

I do love making tofu eggless salad as a topper – lots of protein and no need for dressing
Soy burls made in my Ninja Foodi – the recipe was supposed to be a “beef” stew, but the curls absorbed all the liquid! Yummy on cauliflower rice and topped with cabbage and hot sauce
A vegan carrot cake I made for my eldest to take to her fellow 3rd shift ED workers as a thank you for all they’re doing!

FITNESS

Well, obviously no gym nor hot yoga workouts. But that’s okay – I’ve been running a lot. I also used my spin bike a few times – in the free trial period of Rouvy, which is really neat. You can ride virtual races or courses all over the world. You can even build your own workout. My hot yoga studio made the decision to close (before it was mandated) and they moved to Zoom streaming classes. I haven’t done one yet, but plan to. Yesterday was the first one, but I was in a meeting.

LIFE

Well heck, where to begin?! On the school front, no news. I turned in my latest revision to my academic mentor nearly 2 weeks ago. She approved it and sent it on to committee for review. I haven’t heard anything back yet and the term ends tomorrow. Honestly, I’m quite irritated – because the next term doesn’t start until April 13th, and I am not allowed to work with anyone over the break. So even if they come back with no revisions (unlikely), I still couldn’t apply for IRB. Argh.

On the work front, I’m fortunate to have the type of role where I work from home a ton anyway, so this isn’t really a huge issue for me. No real reason to go into the office for me anyway. Only major change is no work related travel.

In the early stages of COVID, I did manage to do some grocery shopping. It is crazy to me what people hoard and how bare this shelves were. Thankfully I was able to get tofu, plenty of frozen veggies, and a nice 25 lb bag of flour so we’ll never run out of bread or baked goods!

This is the Walgreens near my house. Thankfully I was only there for dental floss!

I’ve actually watched a couple movies and some TV. I watched Avatar and Frozen II (how cool Disney added it to Disney+ 3 mo early!), and the live action Aladdin. I’m still watching True Blood and a couple episodes of You based on a recommendation. And of course reading, both fiction and nonfiction.

Tuesday night – Saint Patrick’s and my 2nd favorite holiday – The Dropkick Murphys performed a 2 hour live concert from an empty sound stage! I had wine and watched the whole thing – they were great and energetic even though they couldn’t see their audience. It was fun to see the chat of people all around the world tuning in. I had shared the link and several people I knew also watched. So cool for the to do.

Of course the floofs are thrilled to have all their people around!

Kuma turned 4 last week Wednesday!

So I hope everyone is doing their part and staying the heck home if it’s a possibility for you. Play games, FaceTime and text with friends and family, stay active, get creative, and #flattenthecurve! Social distancing won’t kill you or your loved ones – but COVID could!

Trials and Tribulations

FOOD

Honestly, not a whole lot to write home about the past two days. I had salads for lunch the past two days, but didn’t take pics. Yesterday’s was loaded with the Morningstar Farms fake chicken strips. Today’s was just veggies. No breakfast either day and no dinner yesterday. Boring, I know, but just haven’t had much appetite lately. I’m starting to wonder if it is stress related!

FITNESS

HIIT at my gym both yesterday and today. The class is called Zone4 – which is explained in the picture below. I do find myself in the 4th one more than any other, which I suppose is a good thing.

The workout varies each day, which is nice to alleviate boredom (this week ending is shown). Yesterday I burned 736 calories and today 610. Can’t complain about that!

LIFE

Well, it has only been two days, and a weekend at that. No plans other than focusing on my dissertation. I have a new academic advisor and finally got feedback from her late last week. Let’s just say she blew up more than I was anticipating – and I don’t necessarily agree with her on some of it, so now it’s about finding time to meet with her to review. Overall, I do appreciate what she has to say as it will make me a better writer and researcher – but she also seems to believe her volunteering at an AIDS facility in Chicago in the 1990’s gives her more insights into nonprofit healthcare than it actually does. Everything I’ve pushed back on so far she’s caved on. I don’t want to offend her (can’t afford to since she determines my readiness for IRB), but I’m getting frustrated with having to educate her. But on the flip side – I can assume other readers may not understand either, so I need to do a better job of being clear. With her, it’s a combination of lack of knowledge – which is fine – and bad/inaccurate/uninformed perspective – which isn’t. Alas, such are the trials and tribulations of a doctoral student 😉

So yesterday, I went to the gym, stopped at the library, made lunch, and spent the rest of the day reviewing her redlines on my writing and reconciling those I could. Then I had two vodka sodas and went to bed!

Today will be similar. Gym, lunch, and now that I’ve reconciled the redlines, doing actual research and writing. And laundry. And, I assume, some vodka sodas!

Hope your weekend was more fun than mine (though mine has been productive, and I can’t complain about that!). This coming week should be good – light on the meeting schedule and a quick overnight trip to DC for several meetings – including one with my academic advisor!

Horrible shot, I know, but the floofs were really enjoying the fireplace last night

Whiskey and Goats

FOOD

Whew 2 weeks! So crazy how time flies.

Eats have been typical. I made a few soups, definitely some curry happening too. Okay a LOT of Thai food the past two weeks. #notsorry

I had a quick overnight work trip, and dinner out in the downtown Charlottesville area. Delicious brussel sprout salad and a butternut squash farro salad. Apparently this is a table service place where people share – but since I was the only vegan I really wasn’t sharing any of the other dishes, but I did share what I ordered.

This morning I had brunch with my boyfriend – an Acai berry bowl that was delicious.

For lunch, hung out with LC – and it’s been nearly a year since we saw each other. She has been eating vegan for about a month, so we hit up The Bumbling Bee. It’s an all vegan spot in Virginia Beach. I would definitely classify the offerings as comfort food. Burgers, chicken sandwiches, reubens, mac and cheese, etc. I got the Irishman corned beef – turns out it was a sammich and not a stew (which is what I thought I was getting) and a side of mac. L got a bacon chicken ranch burger with fries. We got an order of cauliflower wings.

Unfortunately, my food came out a good 10 minutes before the rest. The cauliflower was supposed to be an appetizer. Oh well. The cauliflower wasn’t bad – but could only really eat one. The mac was not great, so I didn’t eat it. The sammich was pretty good and I had a little more than half. L said her sammich was really great.

All told – I wasn’t really impressed. I appreciate an all vegan spot – I really do – and maybe what I ordered just wasn’t the best (though the server said the Irishman was her second favorite thing and I just can’t see that). The food is also really heavy – so not something I could eat regularly anyway.

FITNESS

More of the same – though more runs than gym just because of time. In some pretty dire need of yoga though.

LIFE

Been a busy two weeks. Last week was short in the office. Off Monday due to MLK day and R and I coming back from Boston. In the office on Tuesday and Wednesday, then in a class Thursday and Friday. The class is a start-up/entrepreneur course for Active Duty, Reservists, and Vets. It was really good and found out about a ton of resources I didn’t even know I had.

Saturday was a benefit for my friend’s nonprofit organization – Military Mobility. M and I went to support that for a few ours, then I stopped at my bf’s house to watch a movie and then go home.

Monday was a normal work day. Tuesday was one meeting and then on the road to Charlottesville. Had a work dinner and then meetings and lunch the next day and home by 4. Thursday was a normal work day, and that night my guy and I went out and I stayed at his place.

Friday I worked from home in the morning before another class, and then cocktails after with my friend AM (who was one of the teachers of the class). As school winds down, I really do want to focus on my start-up or 2 that I have percolating in my brain for the last year or so.

Saturday was the gym, a quick visit to see my guy, then tons of errands. My youngest had plans last night to go ice skating with a boy who is a hockey player. So I took her and picked her up, and in between went to my office to work on my dissertation. Long story, but Grammarly has a file size limit, and mine is too big. The Mac version doesn’t have the Word plugin, but the Windows one does. Had to hit the office for that, but I got it done, so that felt great!

This morning was brunch with bf and then lunch with LC, and now laundry, cooking, cleaning, packing, and writing. I head to Chicago tomorrow for a few days – but I’m excited because I’ll get to spend my sister’s birthday with her Wednesday evening!

Oh – quick update on this year’s “project food” – whiskey. It’s going quite well! So I stared with the Wiki page in how to drink it – which meant neat, possibly with a dropper of water, or on ice. That didn’t work so well for me. What has worked well, though, are mixed drinks! I’m enjoying Old Fashioned, Whiskey Sour, New York Sour (which is a whiskey sour with red wine tossed in for fun), and have had a couple others as well. At my work dinner, my dining companion is a big Japanese whiskey drinker, so I got introduced to that, and was quite pleased. So we’ll see!

Other random fun pics

It’s like Luna doesn’t think Kuma should be left alone because she does silly things like sleep in ridiculously awkward positions.

So my eldest makes these exact faces! Especially the one on the bottom right. Which is the exact face she made when she found out about the boy taking R ice skating….

A spot my bf and I like in Charlottesville. Haven’t been in ages though!

Time Flies!

FOOD

I swear, I blink and it’s been 10 days since my last post!

So – some normal eats. Pasta out with R.

Quick lunch date where I got a soup and salad.

A ramen lunch date.

My guy making me homemade spaghetti with Gardein crumbles. (With leftovers for a work lunch!)

A yummy salad at drag brunch.

Beyond Burger at a brewery with my son.

Whole Foods soup and salad bar.

Build your own pizza at a local place (they have vegan cheese!) with my kids.

And another salad.

FITNESS

More of the same! HIIT classes and a few runs because we had gorgeous weather.

LIFE

Well hell – been 10 days. My guess is because my school term started and I’ve been quite busy between that and work. The holiday lull is definitely over!

Went out with a friend to catch up and grab cocktails.

Got to spend quite a bit of time with my boyfriend, which was nice. Even if it was just a quick lunch. Spent the night last Saturday. We watched basketball and a movie, and then went to a drag brunch at our wine bar and had a fun time. The bartender knows us and made us fun breakfast drinks. After, we went out for coffee and I headed home.

My son and I went to Cape Charles for a bit so he could do a whiskey tasting at the distillery and then we stopped at the brewery for an early dinner and went home.

On the totally awesome and amazing side – my eldest is graduating from nursing school in a few weeks! She just passed her last major exam and is doing her preceptorship now. The rest of the time is prep for her board exam. I am so incredibly proud of her!

This weekend I’m with the young one in Boston. More to come I’m sure in the next post!