SL 823

Here in the Northeast, we have a polar vortex or a chilly umbrella sitting on top of us. It’s honestly too cold to leave the house for a hike or an adventure, so I’ll be camped out in front of my computer for most of the day with HGTV running in the background and a pot of chicken bones on the stove.

Here is what is interesting me today:

Food. I made that viral TikTok feta pasta last night. It was honestly very yummy. Here are pictures. Because I’m stuck at home all day, I’ll make chicken broth. I’ll use it for some black bean soup tonight. We’ll speed through the bean soaking process by putting them in a pressure cooker. Steve says that he’ll do Valentine projects with Ian today, like making chocolate covered strawberries and cupcakes.

Parenting. I’ve been researching and interviewing various experts about the mental health of teenagers — teens have been struggling for a long time, but this pandemic has made things worse. I’ve been hearing about some really innovative school programs. I’ll talk about that more later, but since so many of my readers are parents, let me just say that keep an eye on your kids for extreme isolation, lack of exercise, weird sleep patterns, and other self destructive behavior. Get them help, ASAP.

School Politics. The CDC has come out with the clearest guidance on school openings yet. I’m not going to get into the wisdom of the science behind the plan; others have stronger opinions that I do about how many feet need to separate kids. I do think that it’s very obvious that schools are not going to open anytime soon. Which is a disaster, of course. I think it’s time to demand some creative solutions.

If schools can’t/won’t open normally for a long time, what can be done to open schools not normally? Evening hours to stagger kids? Renting space from churches, abandoned malls, community centers? Prioritizing reading, writing, math? Paying private schools to take more kids?

Home/Girlie Stuff. I’m totally into tall plant stands right now. Steve is growing little lettuces in the basement right now; he could legally expand his operation. Sometimes, I list vintage books in my shop that are in rough shape, because their roughness is cool.

Politics. I was bummed that Gina Carano was fired from Mandolorian, because she’s a great character. At first, I heard that she was fired for anti-semitic tweets, but maybe things weren’t so black and white.