One Hundred Days.
One hundred days of sitting around the house doing nothing. Which is kind of funny because all we ever do is sit around the house. For me, it’s because I literally don’t have the energy to do anything else; for the family in general, it’s because we usually don’t have the money or time.
Maybe that’s why this seems so much more extreme. Last year, we sat around for almost the entire year because my husband was injured and getting paid worker’s comp. It was just barely enough to cover our bills. There were no day trips to the coast, going to the movies or even driving to a state park for a hike (couldn’t afford the gas or the parking pass).
He went back to work in January, and the plan was to make up for it with visits to all of our favorite places including the coast. Despite my chronic fatigue, I managed to go walking most mornings along the Columbia River and do some writing. I was looking forward to doing that again this year.
And then COVID hit, and everything changed. Now we have a little extra money and gas prices are cheap as hell, but there’s nowhere to go. My fatigue has only gotten worse with my hypertension and can’t handle walking to the end of the block most days, let alone walking the two miles I averaged most days last summer. Besides, that park I used to walk is probably crowded with non-mask wearing idiots that seem to live in this town.
One hundred days of doing nothing with another hundred to look forward to. Maybe if my doctor can figure out what’s causing the fatigue and fix me up, it won’t be so bad. Then I could at least have energy to clean the garage and fix up the yard. Maybe we could paint like we had planned when we moved in almost four years ago.
Today is Father’s Day as well!
So wishing a Happy Day to my husband who has put up with me and our five crazy kids for 20+ years now. He’s just excited because our grandson comes home from his dad’s house this afternoon (he has Fridays and Saturdays off but the baby always heads over to his dad’s on Thursday afternoon, right before my husband gets home from work).
One of my favorite pictures of him with our youngest daughter when she was 6 at Cape Horn, WA.
Also, Happy Father’s Day to my dad, I guess. I haven’t talked to him in years for reasons I won’t get into, but I hope he’s doing okay (my brother says his health is crap).
From when he visited in 2013. Not sure where my oldest son was when the picture was taken.
My plan for dinner tonight was beef stew with homemade sourdough bread.
I took my starter out on Tuesday and fed it several times then last night added three cups of flour and some water to get ready to bake today. I even added a smidge more active yeast. Everything was looking good. Got up this morning, added the rest of the flour the recipe calls for, kneaded it and let it rise for four hours. Gothe dough shaped into rounds and let it sit for a couple hours.
My husband got home a little before 3pm which is when I started the stew. When I turned the instant pot on, I got the oven going. It was all working out well. The bread should have been done at about the same time as the stew.
And then it all went wrong. First I got a burn notice on the instant pot. So we had to empty and clean the bottom. Meanwhile, the first loaf of bread is already baking. The stew was mostly cooked just from getting up to pressure so we put it all back in and set it for 20 minutes cooking. I went and sat on the porch for a moment when I was struck with absolute panic at a thought: I forgot the salt when I added the extra flour!
And it was way too late to fix it. I go back inside and cut a chunk off the first loaf that was cooling at that point. And BLAH! It was awful. The recipe is literally just flour, water, yeast and salt. And I forgot the salt. So it was like eating flour. No flavor at all. I was devestated.
And then the instant pot beeped at me with BURN across the front. At that point, I was nearly in tears. I just wanted a nice meal for my husband since I don’t get special meals or anything on Mother’s Day (unless I cook them myself). I figured at least one of us should get something special once in a while. And nothing was going right.
Luckily, the stew was pretty much cooked after getting up to pressure twice, so I just added the frozen corn and peas and let it sit while the 2nd loaf baked. Which was so pointless because the bread was gross. My husband and some of the kids still ate it. Apparently my grandson loved it, but he’s one and doesn’t know any better.
I had saved back a cup of starter (possibly to give to my grandson’s other gramma) but instead I took it out last night and added the initial batch of flour and water you do the night before baking.
So tomorrow we will hopefully have edible sourdough loaves. If I remember the salt this time.
In the end, the stew turned out well enough that no one noticed the bread really. I was too tired and sore from cooking to even want to eat which is pretty common.