Today is officially our last day of Spring Break. That seems strange to say because it never really felt like Spring Break. On Wednesday, there was a hint of Spring Break in the air because I decided to shirk most of my responsibilities around the house, the weather was beautiful, we had some fun outside and also managed to sneak in some much-deserved R and R. The other days have just felt like house-arrest without homeschooling. That is certainly an upgrade from house arrest WITH homeschooling, but a far cry from Spring Break. I find these days that my expectations for almost everything have dropped significantly, so I'll take what I can get. After our morning chores, which used to take about 30 minutes in our old life, but now drag on until noon (if I nag) and 2 (if I don't), the boys decided to go outside, to be boys. They dug up my hill, they dug up my plants, they dug up my carefully placed stones and there was mud everywhere, as far as the eye could see, But they were having fun, (and Garin wasn't bossing everyone around), so I tried to contain my inner-Felix. But honestly it wasn't easy. Catherine decided to stay in and bake banana bread. With all my recent banana hoarding, we had a lot of ripe bananas, begging to be turned in to banana bread. Gabri, the Vicar from our church, St. Martin's, stopped by around noon with 5 bags of flour (of all different varieties). We had been running short. I realized today that I never took notice before of how much flour any particular recipe uses. When you take it for granted that you can jump in your car or on your computer and replenish your supply of anything, you just don't think about it. Now, I do. We were so delighted at the bounty of flour (as well as yeast) that Gabri dropped off. It was the highlight of our day! We all gathered around the front door for a proper social distancing hello. We don't see many outsiders, as is probably true for you, which can make you begin to forget how much you miss the people you care about and used to see regularly. It is bittersweet to see someone you care about and miss, but only for a few minutes and from a distance. Gabri is known for the best bear hugs in the world. In the 20 years, I have known him, I have never seen him and not been on the receiving end of one of his memorable hugs. But not today. That made me sad and just another small but stark reminder of the world we are now living in. After we said our goodbyes and blew kisses, Catherine and I got back to our baking. We had some quality Mother/Daughter time together. I don't recall the last time that happened. Since Graham is usually the head sous chef in charge of the banana bread at our house, it was very special for her to take over that job, for today. I could tell that she was overjoyed to have my (somewhat) undivided attention. The loaves were barely cool, when Sabas (the kind man who cares for our pool and garden) arrived. He hasn't missed a day since the onset of all this chaos. We wrapped up a loaf of the bread and walked it out to him. He was so surprised and grateful. How wonderful it felt to pay it forward with that very special flour.
Chia Pet Miles is in great need of a haircut.
Catherine, enjoying her Mother/Daughter baking time.
The boys plotting the destruction of the yard.
Just moving a few boulders here and there with no intention of returning them.
Our wonderful mix of flours from Gabri. We can't wait to start working on our next project.
Our banana bread, fresh out of the oven and smeiling so divine.
A little hot cocoa with marshmallows and whipped cream in the afternoon.
Out on our pre-dinner walk, sans Garin, who was at home still trying to catch up on all those overdue art assignments.
Corn and New Potato Chowder
Braised Chicken with (Turkey) Bacon, Mushrooms and Chopped Parsley; Steamed Asparagus and Brown Rice.