Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Life on the Home Front: Flower Therapy

In which I discuss flower therapy, tasty food, and the secret consumption of tea cakes....

I'm letting myself sleep in more. I've been so tired all winter and I can't kick it. It means the days are shorter and that frustrates me because there is less time to get my to-do list done. I thought this wonderful respite from a busy life would mean more time to do those other things! Instead, it's just a respite from busy life outside the home (which is still good) but it hasn't given me hours to revel in reading or to sit quietly in a chair and sew, or to rearrange closets or create lots of paintings. I think I had my hopes too high.

Because I slept in on Monday it took me some time to get out of the house. Mondays are the day I drive into the city, pick out flowers at the flower wholesaler's and take them to Blooms (my sister's floral shop) where I turn them into market bouquets to sell at my brother-in-law's neighborhood grocery Wildwood Market. Usually I spend 45 minutes wandering around the wholesaler's, carefully picking out my color palette for the day and finding just the right flowers. Now I have to send my flower order in ahead of time and wait for my wrapped flowers to be brought to an outside door for pickup. It's a little different..... By the way, I call this "flower therapy" because the flowers always make me happy and bring me joy as I work with them and never fail to cheer me up.

I got my flower order sent in and did a few parts of my routine here at home, packed my lunch, and decided to make a detour to Saraga, our international grocery store. With all the baking we are doing we are blowing through our gluten-free flours at an incredible speed. I decided I would stock up while I could and try to prevent another visit in the next 8 weeks. I put on a microfiber dusting glove and was sure to hold the cart with the glove and use it to pick up all my merchandise. The store was not crowded and I felt safe grabbing my 50 pounds of rice flour and my tapioca starch, potato starch, and sweet rice flours. I even grabbed another 20 pounds of regular rice in case we get through our current bag. People were so nice. I kind of wonder if we feel this sort of rare treat of actually seeing people so we are nice to everyone. I stashed my flours in the trunk and drove off to the wholesaler.

Pulling past the doors of the wholesaler I honked as requested and soon three ladies, bearing large wrapped bundles came out of the door and piled my little car full of flowers. A check was handed over and I was off to the little shop to make the bouquets. The smell of burning filled my nostrils as I walked up the path to the door and I knew the landlord next-door was keeping his store warm by burning whatever he could get his hands on -- I often wonder if it's plastic he burns the way it smells. I try not to think about it.

Blooms is a very cute little shop with cream-painted brick on the inside, a cement floor, and one wall of rough wooden boards. It has a huge paned window which makes me think of England. Inside I can hide away and have the flowers all to myself. I play music while I'm filling buckets and then I listen to podcasts the rest of the day. I finished about 4:30 and headed home, wondering if the governor's lockdown would mean no more flowers -- or are they considered essential?

I'm always too tired to do much after flower therapy so I sat down until the last possible minute before I needed to cook dinner. Michael got a video chat going with his siblings on the tv in the front room -- this day marks two years since we lost Michael's dad. It was nice to see everyone and get a little update even though we all "talk" by text thread all day long. Dinner was finally tasty (remember I've been eating turkey soup day in and day out): I made my favorite rice dish with spinach and black olives, and dumped some eggs and ham from the freezer into a bread-less breakfast casserole. It tasted so good I had two helpings -- this is what happens with a boring diet, when there is tasty food I eat a lot.

Laura picked our first movie of the week: Johnny English Reborn. We've seen it several times but it doesn't fail to get us all to laugh, and that's the most important part. I worked on a knitting project! Some very thin alpaca mix wool and large needles -- hoping I can get through it without hurting my arms.

Food Eaten: leftover scones again for breakfast but this time with apple butter, turkey soup (!!!) for lunch at the shop with some gluten-free crackers, a piece of persimmon pudding and a cut apple for afternoon snack, and breakfast casserole with rice salad for dinner. Oh, there was a tea cake sneaked in there unannounced. Not gluten-free, I know, but I have made an exception for tea cakes since we were given four prized boxes for Christmas and they are a huge treat. This is the last box and I was going to have that one tea cake! This is a tea cake, for those that are wondering.

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