Well, I suspect that most of us can say that this week didn’t go as planned. Last week, as we battled illness at home, I worried that having flu in the house would keep me from going to the opera this Monday. Fast forward a week and I was more focused on figuring out how to prepare for none of us were quite sure what, and on being grateful that I bought toilet paper when I had the chance. A family of ten goes through some toilet paper.
I bought tickets to see Samson et Dalila at the Washington Opera back in December, a birthday gift from my parents. The tickets were expensive and it felt a little crazy to purchase them. I’m typically a very practical person when it comes to money, even birthday money. But I had declared that 2020 would be a year of doing new things, even things that require driving into D.C. I have long loved Samson et Dalila and I couldn’t believe that I was going to watch it performed live. As the last week progressed and I watched the news, I realized that healthy or not, it might not be wise to attend. My mom was certainly opposed. I sent her a youtube video of the most famous aria from Samson et Delila assuming that would make her understand. (Actually, I sent her two versions. If you like opera, listen to both and see which one you prefer. Let’s talk about it.)
The videos didn’t persuade her. I will send her this video today. It’s more upbeat. But, somehow I doubt I’ll ever get my mom excited about opera.
We swapped some silly dramatic texts, and I suggested that maybe I was being seduced by the opera and it would ultimately destroy me. I think we were both relieved when the Kennedy Center announced that they were canceling all events through the end of the month. Jonny might have been the most relieved as he was to be my reluctant date. Maybe not really reluctant, he’s always happy to be my date, he’s just not an opera fan.
Everything is canceled here for the time being. No orchestra, no homeschool co-op, no baseball. Jonny has been asked to work from home and Seth’s college classes are moving online. I suspect that many of you are facing similar situations. My prayers are with all of you who don’t have the luxury of staying home. My dad is a doctor in his late 60s, and he will still be making his rounds at the hospital. I’m trying not to worry about my parents and my in-laws. We all have to take this one day at a time. Coronavirus or not, we never know what tomorrow might bring. I’m thankful for the gift of hope.
So what are we all going to do with ourselves as we stick close to home in the coming weeks?
For those who cannot attend Mass, the online version of Magnificat is being offered for free.
As far as the opera goes, there will be free nightly Met opera streams. (Some of) my kids and I are looking forward to that.
I’ll be listening to The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency Series on audiobook while I knit. I can’t adequately express how much I love this series. I would never have expected to but started listening on the recommendation of my Aunt Genie who sent me The Full Cupboard of Life on CDs. Now I’ve gone back to the beginning of the series and am listening in order. Mma Ramotswe has become so dear to me. I’ve never felt quite so attached to a character. I just love her. I don’t know how I would feel if I read the books as opposed to listening. I think audiobook is the way to go with these.
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I ordered a couple of new puzzles for Silas, Job, and Mabel. Their favorites are Charles Wysocki 300 piece puzzles. The puzzle pictured above is called Prairie Wind Flowers and it is a 1000 piece. We all liked working on that one together. The 300 piece puzzles are good for the younger kids to work on alone. I’ll update the puzzle links in my sidebar with some of our favorites and some that are on our wishlist for the future.
Outdoors, I’m going to be working on getting new garden beds prepared. I’ve been eating a lot of kale for breakfast over the past couple of months and decided I ought to get serious about growing it. I had Amazon credit, so I ordered an indoor grow light to make it easier to start plants. I’m very excited about this. My kids teased me for taking a photo of my breakfast (above) but I’m really into this breakfast! I saute kale, bell pepper (red, orange, or yellow), and zucchini in some olive oil and then serve it with either sausage or eggs (scrambled or fried) and kimchi. You could do scrambled tofu if you are vegan. Season with whatever you like. On the side, I eat one piece of heavily buttered gluten-free sourdough bread. I’ve been ordering my bread from Simple Kneads for months now. It’s so good. I ration it because it’s expensive (as gluten-free bread is). One slice per day! I’ve tried all three varieties and love them all.
I have a really lovely batch of yarn dyed and ready to go. I might get that listed next week. I’ll share more about that as soon as I know. I’m also working on head scarves! Unfortunately, what I ought to be doing is cleaning out our basement. That is my planned task for Lent. Motivated by needing to clear a place for my table of seedlings and the grow light, I got started, but I still have a lot to do down there.
In family news, Gabriel and Larkspur got braces last week. Those two poor kids are still very sore. I want a picture of the two of them smiling together with their new equipment, but haven’t made it happen yet. For some reason, they aren’t keen on the idea.
I know that many of you are being faced with the idea of homeschooling in the coming weeks. If it was me (I mean it is me, but I was already homeschooling), I would focus on keeping up with math and anything else that seems absolutely necessary or is being mandated by schools. Get it done right after breakfast so you can move on to other things. Other than that I’d focus on reading good books together, spending time outdoors if possible, and of course watching opera on tv while working on jigsaw puzzles. Maybe do those things that you typically feel like you don’t have time to do. But that’s just me, and everyone’s circumstances are different. Some people need more structure and not everyone wants to watch opera! Your kids might hate you if you pull out a puzzle and turn La boheme on. I’m standing here laughing at the potential reactions to that. “Okay, kids! Let’s plant some kale and later we can work on a puzzle and watch an opera!”
In all seriousness, I hope you are all doing alright with all this uncertainty. I think this is rather surreal for many of us. If there is anything I can do, or share from here, please let me know and I’ll do my best. And if you have any advice or encouragement for those who need it, please share in the comments!