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Work From Home (WFH) tip:

  • Start every day (after dealing with urgent email) by mapping out the day on iCal or Google Calendar. Red is for family activities, Green is for work, Yellow is for dumb chores, Orange is for birthdays (set for yearly repeat).
  • If you’re a parent and you have a ton of dumb chores, like food shopping, dinner making, and now… fun, fun, fun… homeschooling. Put it all on the calendar. Recognize ALL the work that you do.
  • Make sure you put time on the calendar for exercise. If you don’t write it down, it doesn’t happen.

And taking my own advice, I’ve made my list of chores for the day. Writing chores are slated for after lunch today, but I do have some links that I want to jot down now.

Stuck home with your kids next week without school, camps, outings, and playdates to keep them home. Looking into the abyss? Here are some online activities that are getting passed around. Ian will probably do a computer class, but it’s structured and a full day program.

Looking for something to do with all those canned beans? Cheesy White Bean-Tomato Bake looks good.

Springtime for Introverts.

Great map from the NYT about where people didn’t obey social distancing/travel rules.

When we’re done with all this, we’re all going to have a long chat about federalism. Some governors are making good choices. Others, like that asshole in Florida, are downright stupid and evil, ie those cruise ships outside Florida begging for help.

My in-laws subscribe to Heather Cox Richardson’s newsletter. Everyday, she breaks down & explains the big news stories of that day. She’s a history professor at BU. She writes for regular folks, like my in-laws, but leans into her academic background.

Back this afternoon.

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Are you nesting? Or stir crazy? Have you shopped on Amazon to supplement the new life style? I have. New cutting boards and fun lounge pants. Will post links later.

Without restaurant scraps, the rats may be moving into homes.

After learning about Will and Kate’s social scene, I started getting sucked into the Instagram pages of the rusticating rich British people. I’m a sucker for their gardens and their comfy reading nooks. 

If you are looking for a new TV series to binge watch, please check out Schitt’s Creek

Is Andrew Cuomo our de facto national leader? The real president now?

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From a 1940’s edition of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass

Last night was a bad insomnia night, so I got sucked into the blind gossip websites at 3am. One of them referred to the rumor that Prince William had an affair with a neighbor (which Meghan supposedly leaked to the press and that’s why everyone hates her). I was up for a while, so I kept reading. Turns out the the super rich-rich English people who rusticate in ancient piles in Will and Kate’s neighborhood call themselves the Turnip Toffs. Which makes you want to kick them upside the head, doesn’t it? Anyhow after click-click-clicking, I some how ended up at a blog that shows the castle of the former friend of Kate’s. Wow.

I’m making black beans tomorrow night. My tip for people, like us, who have hard water is to soak dried beans overnight in a bowl of distilled water. Then I’m going to cook them in chicken broth (homemade, frozen). Here’s info from the NYT.

“What I Learned When my Husband Got Sick With Coronavirus”

In Spain, elderly in some nursing home were abandoned by workers. “Ms. Robles said that emergency military units dispatched to disinfect nursing homes had found there some residents “absolutely abandoned, if not dead in their beds.”

The shit is going to really hit the fan in NYC hospitals soon.

There will never be a point that I am so bored that I will play board games with my family. I hate them all.

Plague, Part 12, Updates From Jersey, March 15, 2020

Last night, our mayor sent out a notice that there are five positive cases at the town hospital; two are local residents. Rutgers has a professor who tested positive. Jonah said that his roommates aren’t feeling so hot.

We’re not in an official lockdown mode in the town yet, but I’m sure that it will happen soon. My family is officially locked down by the jurisdiction of me. I enough food for two weeks.

The mayor and superintendent sent out angry emails yelling at the parents of high school and college kids who let them go out this weekend. Idiot kids think this is some kind of a party. There must be NO CONTACT at all with any outsiders.

We’re all going to get sick anyway, but if we flatten the curve that may save my parents’ lives. And I am rather fond of them.

If there’s a silver lining to this whole catastrophe, people are outside walking and hiking like crazy. It’s a good thing, because it will keep us healthy and our immune systems prepared to beat this virus. It’s a good habit anyway. We went for a walk this morning, and will head out again in an hour.

The malls, churches, schools, government are all closed now. Small businesses are hurting badly, but we’re going to have to deal with that problem later.

I’m about to shop online. The GAP, Banana Republic, and J.Crew are all having 50% off sales. I’ll post links to good stuff later. Let’s keep the economy moving!!

If you want to do something good, get on Facebook and give your friends and family positive reinforcement for social distancing. Many people are still surprisingly ignorant, especially those who aren’t on other forms of social media.

Now some links:

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I stumbled across the design team, Studio McGee, through Instagram a few months ago, and I’m in love. I just watched the video about the exterior of their new house, because we’re making decisions about Hardie board siding for the house.

I got completely addicted to the royals and their drama this past month, so I also started following them on Instagram. Kate Middleton clearly has anorexia, but I do love all the green dresses that she wore in Ireland.

Career and technical education is a hot topic right now. Today’s chore is to organize recent interviews in Draft 1 on this subject.

Virus be damned. I’m going to the New York International Antiquarian Book Fair this weekend. We’ll probably hit a museum and get Chinese food, too. Can’t live in a bubble, after all.

(Picture: One my relatives from Canada sent me this picture last week. The cocky kid with his hand in his pocket was my grandfather, Diomede. A middle class family (my great grandfather was the mayor and an engineer) from central Italy, they all had some attitude.)

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I don’t understand the Bernie Bros who say they’ll vote for Trump, if Bernie doesn’t win the nomination.

I loved this discussion of transaction costs, because I’m the Queen of Transaction Costs. Ian needs a reading tutor? I’m the one who finds a qualified person, schedules it on the calendar, puts out little snacks during the tutoring session, and then writes the check. We’ve got a hole in the side of our house? I’m the one who finds qualified contractors (and not rip-off artists who want to charge us 9-1/2% interest on some financing deal), schedules a time during the day when we can discuss needs, researches the benefits of Hardie Board versus vinyl, looks at Pinterest boards to determine the best sized windows for our style house, and so on. I do get grumpy about this from time to time. But, seriously, the transaction costs of getting guardianship for Ian is shameful. Poor parents could never do what I’m doing.

I have some lovely fabric that I was saving to turn into a throw pillow, but I think I’m going to frame instead. Yes, you can frame fabric.

With only 45 minutes between the reading tutor and special ed basketball practice, I made this quickie chicken recipe last night. The video is good, and has a few added touches. I did burn my hand pretty seriously when I forgot that the handle of the pan had been in 450 degree oven, so don’t do that.

Who watched that hour long victory speech yesterday afternoon? Whew.

Big Boy has been at college for two weeks now, and I’m missing him a lot.

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Is “A Trillion Trees” a bad idea?

I’m rearranging bedroom furniture at the moment, so I’ve been reading “5 tips for rug placement.”

I loved this article, ” When the Prince of Wales is Your Landlord.

Could you manage all the paperwork of being poor person? How about all the paperwork for poor people with special needs kids?

About the first transport of women to Auschwitz.

(Pictures from a trip to NYC a few weeks ago. Pizzeria Uno and The New York Historical Society. If you’re close to NYC, the Tiffany Lamp exhibit was amazing.)