Who’s Hungry?

Question:  Should I feel disappointed because I’ve gained 4 pounds in the last 4 weeks? Or should I feel grateful that I’ve only gained 4 pounds in the last 4 weeks?

Under the circumstances, I think the latter is a fair choice.

Exhibits A, B, C, D (just 4 of many, many exhibits. For example, Exhibit D was also exhibit G  about 2 days later, so…you feel me?)

Everyone handles time differently. I assumed I would fill mine with yoga, meditation and running. That’s because I’ve always told myself that if I only had more time, I would spend it practicing yoga, meditation and running.

Well, I’ve had 4 weeks of nothing but time and, as it turns out, when I have time, I feel compelled to feed people, self included. I know there are others out there like me because I keep seeing the hashtag #sourdough. Reveal yourselves. I need your recipes.

Besides that, I’ve been feeling anxious. How about you guys? My husband is still working from home, we have insurance, my older children are working, and we can weather this situation for several months or more, if necessary. No one we know has been infected with Covid-19. We’re very lucky. We hear daily about the new number of cases and the rising death toll. We hear about war torn countries and refugees whose circumstances are, impossibly, even worse than they were two months ago. On television, we see the cars lined up for miles to get food for their families.

When I lay down at night after meandering through another pleasant day at home, the thoughts I’ve kept at bay push their way to the forefront: So many have died; others are sick or at high risk, or filled with dread because they don’t have enough to get by or their homes are not safe; so many have mental health issues to begin with, never mind the onslaught of a pandemic. How many people are alone in this? How are the kids? I feel anxious for all of these people. I feel anxious that our circumstances could change. I feel guilt, too, for being lucky and for hoping we stay that way; for avoiding risk and for enjoying this slower pace of life. Sleep never seems to come some nights.

How are you doing? How are you feeling?

Chicken out

  21 comments for “Who’s Hungry?

  1. Doug in Sugar Pine
    April 20, 2020 at 8:32 pm

    Yay! The Chicken posted again!
    I’m trying not to feel smug about the timing of our last move, the one that took us out of one county with low-ish infection numbers and into a county with 34 confirmed cases so far and social distancing enforced by the natural distancing of trees and mountainsides and the like.
    Even up here, though, when I go for a walk, if I see my neighbors, they’re either driving, wearing masks, or both.
    We’ve been limiting our trips down the mountain into Oakhurst for groceries or other necessities,such as medicine or light bulbs as much as possible. The last time we went to town, we decided to go through the Taco Bell drive through, but before we could order the computers went down and the girl behind the window came out in a mask and gloves to hand out coupons for a free taco for our inconvenience. I slipped her a couple of bucks and thanked her for coming to work during the apocalypse just so we could get tacos.
    I’ve been reading about the good results obtained by the early shelter in place orders issued in the Bay Area, but I know my anxiety would be far worse were I still living there.
    Damn, #C looks yummy.


    • April 21, 2020 at 11:46 am

      Hi Doug, Thanks, C. was leftover Easter ham quiche. It was pretty good. Wish I could have sent you some. Yes, have to say your timing was good. I hope spring has finally sprung where you are? Where I am, smack between two epicenters, there are quite a few cases and the Gov thinks we are a couple of weeks from our peak. My town has the second highest number of cases. We go to the grocery store once a week or so and in between stay home except for an occasional escape into nature. There are a lot of hiking trails in RI and most of them are still open. You know what is making me nervous, though? Our convention center and a few other big buildings across the state are being prepared to become field hospitals and there is construction going on to make that happen. If we are a couple of weeks out from our supposed peak and these field hospitals aren’t going to be ready, in some cases, until after that, then what am I missing? Seems like they are preparing for a second, larger wave? Take care in Sugar Pine. I hope your case number stays very low. Incidentally, is Oakhurst Milk from Oakhurst CA? They have the best chocolate milk out there. For some reason I thought they were from my home state of Maine, though. I’m going to have to go look it up now!


      • Doug in Sugar Pine
        April 25, 2020 at 7:18 am

        Yes, they’re in Maine.
        It was warm enough today that I didn’t really need my coat on for my walk up to the mill pond.
        Perhaps they won’t get so over run as to need the convention center, but having it and not needing it would be better than the converse.
        Easter ham quiche sounds delightful.

        Liked by 1 person

      • May 2, 2020 at 12:38 pm

        So there’s an East Coast Oakhurst and a West Coast Oakhurst? Cool. Hope it’s continuing to get warmer there. We seem to get 1 nice day followed by 5 dreary days but now that it is May, our luck might start to change. I’m on the hunt for some morel mushrooms this weekend. Not because I’ve ever hunted them before or even because I love them (I’m not sure I’ve ever tasted one) but because I keep coming across tutorials on hunting them and one said that in my part of the country, the best time to look is when the tulips pop up but haven’t yet opened. That time is now! You seem like the type of well-rounded renaissance person who has scouted out some mushrooms in his time. Any tips?


      • Doug in Sugar Pine
        May 10, 2020 at 8:54 pm

        I think we used to sell dried morels at Tumbleweed, but the only mushrooms I’ve ever actually picked weren’t the kind you cook with…
        And yes, the weather is wonderful just now, as in “wear your tee shirt on your walk” wonderful.
        We used to have a mushroom hunter who used our long driveway to get closer to his hunting grounds when I was a kid, but I never really talked to him. I think my folks were not quite comfortable with him just driving onto our property to do his business.
        The mushrooms I used to pick grew any time it rained and the temperature was above 40 degrees F.


      • May 12, 2020 at 3:09 am

        So when I was a sophomore in high school Steve L. was my best friend and partner in crime. One day he told me he was going to get some special mushrooms, maybe the kind you used to pick, and to meet him on the football field after school. So I met him and he had them, and we each took a piece. Because I’m a chicken, my piece was very small. Then we waited for something interesting to happen. Steve claimed that all kinds of interesting things were happening and was quite pleased with the whole experience so I guess he got his money’s worth but I suspect his mushrooms were more portobello than psychedelic. I did not find any morels. I did share my power bar with a squirrel in the wild and that was nice. We kept the appropriate social distance of course. I read on Donkeys blog that Briana is home now. I’m glad.


      • Doug in Sugar Pine
        May 12, 2020 at 9:02 pm

        Yes, she’s home. She had her follow up appointment at the hospital in Fresno yesterday and they seem to think she is progressing nicely.
        There is a cattle ranch in Orick, CA, that is protected from the ocean winds by an outcropping of the foothills, but is just a few feet above sea level, and they have a marshy area where psilocybin mushrooms grow better than anywhere else I have ever seen or heard of.
        The owners aren’t too keen on them being harvested, though, and there is a sign on the gate saying “mushroom pickers keep out” above a picture of two crossed rifles.
        Not ones to be easily deterred, though, we used to pick those mushrooms anyway, and having to avoid detection made it into an adventure that was usually better than the mushrooms themselves.
        Usually, but not always. They were really good.
        The drill went like this: wait for the weather to be right (rain and above 40 degrees F) then set out by car from Eureka around midnight with bags and flashlights and good boots on.
        Orick is about forty miles north of Eureka.
        The road to the field is right next to the road to the dump, which goes up into the hills, so by driving up the dirt road toward the dump with the car lights turned off, we could park near the top of the trail leading down to the field and follow that trail in the dark and as quietly as possible.
        At the bottom of the trail was a fence to climb over onto the road that the earlier mentioned gate was blocking. 50 yards down that dirt road was a large stump that was the landmark in the darkness. In front of the stump was the marshy field full of cows and mushrooms.
        It wasn’t until we were actually bending down searching through the tufts of grass that the flashlights came out, and we had to split our concentration between the searching for mushrooms and looking out for trouble, which did occasionally come, in the form of the ranchers with flashlights of their own and shotguns,
        My partner James and I hid behind that stump a couple of times while they walked around in the field looking for us. The escape back down that dirt road was nerve wracking those times when we knew we had been spotted. Those times we were careful not to give away our approach technique and would coast my Torino back down that mountain road without starting it, which was difficult as the power steering and power brakes didn’t work.
        Then, at the bottom of the hill, start up and haul ass..
        I still remember squatting down looking for mushrooms and being startled by a curious cow who had wandered over to see what was going on in her field in the middle of the night.


      • May 13, 2020 at 2:00 pm

        Okay, this story made my day. You’ve painted a vivid picture in my mind that is not going to fade away anytime soon. Did you come across any rattlesnakes? Never mind the ranchers, just walking down the trail and searching through the grass would fray my nerves. Your story reminds me of this hiker (Homemade Wanderlust) on her youtube channel. She’s hiked the AT, the PCT and a couple others that I forget the names of. Quite often she hikes alone and quite often (it seems like) she comes across bears, snakes, moose and…..one time….omg, one time a freaking mountain lion. She just stood there filming this mountain lion starting at her, sizing her up. You can hear her breathing, almost hear her heart breathing. Holy cow, I am so never doing that but I’m glad someone is so I can feel what it’s like. Cheap second hand thrills:-)


      • Doug in Sugar Pine
        May 13, 2020 at 7:59 pm

        No rattlesnakes. I have only seen a rattlesnake in the wild three times in all of my time in the out of doors. We did, though, see some little luminescent bugs of some kind, on the trail leading down the hill. James said at the time that the more glowbugs we saw, the better the mushrooms would be, but I don’t particularly remember that being the case.

        Liked by 1 person

      • May 27, 2020 at 7:27 pm

        Just three? I picture them around every corner. Of course, that’s the way it is when you’ve never been some place and know something scary about it. You assume that scary thing is a constantly recurring thing that eclipses all the rest. At least, that’s what I struggle with.


      • Doug in Sugar Pine
        May 28, 2020 at 8:29 pm

        I have apparently been quite lucky where the rattlesnakes are concerned. I walked over Pilot Rock in the springtime and didn’t see a single snake, and that’s where they breed so it was unusual to say the least.
        My dad taught me how to act in the wilderness so as not to be bitten by snakes or stung by yellow jackets and the rest of it. One thing he said about snakes is that when you’re walking and you come upon a large-ish rock or downed log, step on top of it as you pass instead of stepping over it because there might be a snake on the other side that you don’t want to just step on awkwardly…
        Now yellow jackets are an entirely different deal, and it is sometimes hard to even know that you have just disturbed a nest of them so as to know to make a hasty exit from the area.
        There doesn’t seem to be too many annoyingly dangerous critters around here, at least so far, although the bugs are all hatching and flying around eating each other just now. The frogs and birds are having a festival.


      • June 17, 2020 at 3:14 pm

        Frogs and birds we can deal with lol. I have heard that about stepping on logs instead of over and recently advised my son to do that during a recent hike. We don’t really have rattlesnakes around her but we have these huge black snakes that have rattles. I don’t know what you call them. I’ve only seen one while hiking and we walked right up on it, gabbing away, and didn’t see it until we were maybe 4 feet away. Then it slithered off through the forest like it was gliding through air.


  2. Joanne Noragon
    April 21, 2020 at 1:02 am

    Chicken, I hear the pain. On the whole I don’t listen, and I am one of those old people who easily could be found by a wellness check by the local EMT’s. It is what it is. Enjoy what you have. If it all goes bottom up, we’re in it together, and then we could be in trouble. There are some really mean women out there who want their roots touched up. And that’s not a joke.And finally, stop making that stuff.Sugar is not good for you. Refined sugar is our most evil legacy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 21, 2020 at 12:02 pm

      Morning, Joanne. You’re right. About everything. I wish that you were not alone and am glad you have some close friends and neighbors in your community. You are very stoic but everyone needs a friend in times like these. Regarding the cooking, I’d like to point out that the custard got made only because you posted a picture of YOUR custard and made me hungry. Last night, I made chocolate molten lava cake. For the second time. It was so good and so easy. Maybe I could slip some grated carrot into it to make it more healthy:-) I liked the point you made the other day, by the way, about heart disease and how people know it’s a killer but smoke, drink, eat too much and don’t exercise anyways. Same with diabetes, I guess. It is curious how this flu has people more worried about dying than those ever present dangers, isn’t it? Of course, those things aren’t contagious, so you don’t have to worry about taking out everyone around you, too, but even if it wasn’t, there is something about this that is scarier to people than the very real consequences of not taking better care of ourselves. So I’ll work on cutting back on the sugar and pouring my energies into some healthier options. Deal?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. April 24, 2020 at 6:50 am

    Pandemic anxiety is a natural response, these are weird times. I’m in the UK and a care worker but I only work with one client so my infection circle is limited. My other job is Tae Kwon-Do instructor, which is ongoing online and now run from our tiny front room not a sports hall so that’s an entertainment in itself. Baking is happening but no sourdough attempted as yet. And we are thinking that if we all go back to small scale local production we can level out the rich-poor divide and make the world fairer: that would be a good outcome.


    • April 25, 2020 at 5:01 pm

      Hi Lisa! I did not know you taught Tae Keon-Do! In my dreams of things I might want to do when things hopefully return to something more normal, I’ve thought about taking up some kind of martial art but think I might be a little old to keep up in even a beginner class. I’m picturing myself towering above a class of six-year-olds. Pity the one who has to partner with me:-) I think you’re right about small scale production. It would be good for all of us to become more familiar with growing food for ourselves, I think. Growing up, just about everyone in my neighborhood had a personal garden and canned food every summer, but now it’s kind of a lost art.


  4. May 10, 2020 at 8:50 am

    Mio Caro Consigliere, Your post and photos have enlivened me, made me feel less isolated in this strange time. I hope your excellent –and photogenic– confections can furnish some enjoyment in this time of sheltering and virtual isolation. It is important we access and use our own resources. You are a superior example of the combined enthusiasms and skills we all need to get safely through this toubled time.


    • May 12, 2020 at 2:58 am

      Hello Geo, Thank you. If you feel less isolated then I do, too. We should keep it up and pass it on. I’ve moved onto bread now, with a daily side of yoga. It seems to be a perfect recipe for contentment. Thanks for checking in.


  5. Doug in Sugar Pine
    July 23, 2020 at 8:01 pm

    OK, this is way off topic, but I have a story for you:
    Zsuzs brought us down a tub of almond milk ice cream, and when I went to squeeze it into our tiny little freezer, Briana told me to be careful and not squish the bat.
    And all of the sudden I remembered your bat-in-the-shower story, thought about the fact that I hadn’t heard from you for a while, even in Jenny’s comments, and wondered if you were OK, and whether a silly frozen bat might cheer you up a little.
    See, Zsuzs’s cat Squeaker continually breaks her animal loving heart with the small creatures he hunts and kills. He mostly leaves them in the back yard where the raccoons get them, but occasionally he brings his prouder trophies inside where she has to deal with them. Briana has a couple of fluffy little squirrel tails from that phenomenon.
    Then one day there was a bat, a tiny little thing, really, and the skin on its wings was so thin you could kind of see through it.
    Briana thought it was far too cool to let the raccoons get it, so now it lives in a ziplock bag in the back of our tiny little freezer, next to the frozen peas and carrots and the almond milk ice cream.
    I hope you are weathering the apocalypse at least as well as could be expected.


    • December 18, 2020 at 3:18 am

      Wow Doug, I do not know how I missed this in July but it made me smile. Is that bat still in the freezer? What are you guys going to do with it? I had to chase a bat out of my house in July, too. Billy and I were watching a show and I sensed motion to my right in the kitchen. Turned to look and there it was, flying around the kitchen. Luckily, BigB was sleeping-he does not like bats. I don’t like them in my house. I remembered that my dad said fishing nets are good and we had a kid’s version so I went and found it. I caught the bat in the net, took it outside and set it free. I felt like a boss. It’s the second one I’ve released this year. I’ve come a long way since the shower days. Or maybe not. Still don’t want to shower with a bat.


      • Doug in Sugar Pine
        December 18, 2020 at 8:32 am

        We saw a bat flying up under the eaves of a neighbor’s house in the middle of the daytime last summer, but other than that one, the one in the freezer is the only one we’ve seen since we moved here.
        All kinds of other wildlife, though, most recently a coyote spotted on the next door neighbor’s porch that has us keeping the cat inside after dark.
        That same neighbor has a wildlife cam, and they’ve seen a mountain lion a couple of times on it, and we saw a bear a couple of weeks ago, so I guess we’re just a tiger away from not being in Kansas any more…


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