Although I still toy with the idea of moving to somewhere more remote and with more nature surrounding me, I am so happy to be where I am and I appreciate all the nature that permeates this main street in this busy town close to busy cities.
I love looking out my daughter’s bedroom window that faces the back yard. From the second floor, she has a lovely view of the yard, the trees at the back of it, the elevated train beyond, and houses beyond that. It was so pretty in the recent snowfall. At night, if you squint, the illuminated oval windows zipping by in the dark might make you think of the Polar Express for a second.
The view is also pretty from the bathroom and the dining room and kitchen (looks out into our neighbor’s yard).
The other night, I was at the table after dinner and suddenly smelled a pungent, unmistakable smell. Pretty soon it was clear that a skunk must have sprayed in our driveway. In all my 43 years of living various places, this has never happened!
So while we see a lot of trucks, flashing red and blue lights from police and ambulances, NJ Transit buses and the like on this main street… nature is here too. I am curious to see what shows up in the spring. I could do without any groundhogs, though.
Side note, I really like being able to walk down a block and get Chinese food. There are also two empty storefronts nearby that used to be a bakery and (I think) a BBQ restaurant. Would love for those to be inhabited by something again!
We had a lot of snow the first week of February. I worked at home Monday and Tuesday and had off Thursday for various appointments. Don’t recall all our meals but one night we had French toast, made from leftover brioche buns that would have been tossed otherwise, or frozen for a few months and then tossed. On Thursday, I bought a rotisserie chicken from Haddon Culinary and made pasta with broccoli pesto. This was not a hit, but I liked it and young T ate some. Friday we had nachos with some of the leftover chicken and black beans. Well, Tom and I did. These kids hate beans, man.
That Sunday, I made chicken soup from the rotisserie carcass. We had it for dinner on Monday. Pleasant to be making it on a snowy day (yes, another snowy day). I needed more chicken for the soup so I broke out the InstantPot my mom gave me for the first time. A pack of frozen thighs were done in like 10 minutes… pretty amazing!
The next week we managed to not order out until Thursday (Chinese). And then kept the streak going until… Monday. Then again until… Thursday. I also managed to being lunch to work two days. In between was nothing spectacular except that Tom and I had delicious short rib shepherd’s pie from Haddon Culinary for our Valentine’s dinner that Saturday night (OK, maybe that should count as takeout). Sunday I made chicken piccata and roasted potatoes with adobo seasoning, two things nearly everybody loves.
Valentine’s/Presidents’ Day weekend: puzzling and wine on Friday night (too much wine). Saturday: couch shopping, a birthday parade, Mom’s Market, The Crown. Sunday: more couch shopping. Monday: errands; made meatballs and gravy. Cleaning and laundry interspersed with everything, and the kids did a lot of chores too. T didn’t get me anything for V Day, but he did listen to my endless theorizing on what kind of couch to get without murdering me.
I read a good article recently on everyday steps to reduce use of plastic, and more stuff along those lines. I even tried to get the kids to read it; I thought it was at their level. But they had no interest. And I have to admit I’m less inclined to get all fired up about what individuals can do than I used to be. Although for God’s sake, if I could remember to bring some silverware to work so I stop using plastic utensils there, that would be amazing. Let’s make this happen, brain.
But something I am once again interested in is self-sufficiency. The problems in Texas with the deep freeze and failure of the grid this week brought that home once again. Generators and having stores of food and water are back on my mind. I have some ideas about what to buy and where to keep it. I tend to forget about it now, but that feeling at the beginning of Covid when the stores were running out of food was not fun!
This past week I had turkey sandwiches with arugula Mon-Wed and a leftover-meatball sandwich on Thursday, for lunch. [Pat on the back.] More snow and ice on Thursday and Friday; I worked from home on Thursday. I watched the Perservance landing alone while everyone else went sledding. I thought it was so cool! I am now following the rover’s Twitter account.