I Don’t Know

I’m sad right now. There is so much uncertainty floating around and it’s driving me crazy. One of the obvious uncertainties is the coronavirus and it’s effects on everyone. But, the big one that’s weighing on my mind tonight is the uncertainty of my life.

No one can successfully plan out their life right? I mean, you can have plans but things never really turn out the way we plan. Right now, I feel like I’m in the movie scene where Noah is asking Ally what she wants and she’s standing there all confused and crying so he starts yelling at her. I feel like right now the world is yelling at me “WHAT DO YOU WANT?” but I don’t have an answer. I don’t know what I want.

I’ve always struggled with setting goals for myself. I’ve never really had goals. I’ve never been able to look into the future. When I’m asked where I see myself in ten years my answer is I don’t. I don’t see myself in ten years. Hell, right now I can’t even see the next couple months.

Buying and owning land is something I want. I do know that for sure. But, that’s all I know. Every lot we’ve looked at just didn’t seem right. Kurt asked why and my answer, you guessed it. I don’t know.

I stress out about not knowing. I’m stressed. And then I start to think about how I totally have no room to complain about being stressed because I have one of the least stressful lives ever. But I still feel stressed. I still don’t know.

That’s Nerve Wrecking, Right?

Man oh man. It’s crazy out in the world. I haven’t been writing much lately mostly because the only thing that’s on my mind is this damn coronavirus. I don’t want to talk about it but I can’t seem to think about anything else.

Truthfully, I’ve really enjoyed the last couple of days. Kurt is working from home until the end of April and it’s been great! We played tennis a couple of times. I’ve never played tennis before but I think I picked it up pretty decent. It was nice getting outside and getting some physical activity. We also went to the softball field and played around! Kurt caught for me while I went through my warm up routine for pitching. I haven’t fully pitched in a very long time. It’s been three days since throwing and I’m still sore! But, it was fun and we enjoyed spending time together.

Today, it’s raining. Nothing we can do outside unless we are prepared to get wet. Also today, we have to pay rent. Booooooo. I wouldn’t mind so much if I could pay online but the people we rent from are so old school. They require checks to be delivered to the office. I’m sorry but it’s 2020, you should have an online system in place by now. They sent out an email, just as everyone has, to let their customers know they care about their wellbeing during this crazy time. I’m sure everyone has seen at least one of the emails I’m talking about. They usually go along the lines of “we have increased our cleaning protocols, we are having employees work from home, we are unfortunately closing….” and so on. However, the people we rent from sent out their version of this email. I was expecting something along the lines of extending the rent due date or at the very least put into place some sort of action where we don’t have to actually go in the office to pay rent. Nope. They only said that they will try their best to put a payment plan in place. Okay, that’s all well and good but you’re legally required to do that no matter what’s going on in the world. There’s nothing new about payment plans. The email made it seem like they were offering some huge helping hand but really they just stated something they should’ve already been doing. I’m just annoyed with these people. It’s whatever.

You guys know the emails I’m talking about though right? It seems like every company out there has sent one. I got an email from my bank, I got one from the grocery store, I got one from a couple fast food places. Pretty much anyone who has my email address sent me a message of how they’re handling the situation. The email is always professional, it looks nice and for the most part has good information in it. The email sent from my landlord, not even close. It was poorly written first off. Grammar was in no way considered. The visual aesthetic was horrendously compromised. It was just an awful email that seems to have upset me greatly. Honestly, they could’ve said anything and I would’ve thought it was dumb. I just don’t like them. But, I have to go see them today. Fuck those hoes.

On the brighter side of things, I have a $100 gift card for the grocery store! Someone gave it to me who’d won it in a raffle a few years ago. However, because it’s so old I’m afraid the store won’t accept it. But, Kurt and I are going to go check it out and see if it’ll work. Im glad he’s going with me because I’ve been so nervous to do it by myself. Don’t ask me why. Just a little social anxiety kicking it. It’s a different store than I normally go to and I have to ask if my certificate will be accepted. That’s nerve wrecking? Right? No? Okay maybe it’s just me.

4 Must Haves on my Recipe Checklist

My cooking abilities have evolved quite a bit the last few months. Most of my growth comes from one thing in particular. My mother-in-law started buying the HelloFresh meals for me to cook. I think the main reason she bought them was because she didn’t think I was feeding her son very well. But, whatever the reason, she continues to bring one to the house every so often. I’m happy to have a free meal provided and she’s happy we’re eating fresh vegetables. Win win.

The first HelloFesh I made turned out awful. After a few bites Kurt finally sat his fork down and declared he wouldn’t be eating anymore. I understood, it was horrendous. Now that I’m a few meals in I’m getting the feel for cooking. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still an awful cook and would be embarrassed to feed anyone other than my husband, but I’m now not deathly terrified of cooking with vegetables. Like, fresh vegetables, not just canned green beans. And, who knew that a potatoes original form isn’t crinkled cut and out of the frozen department? So, as my cooking abilities progress so does my criteria for good recipes. Here are the four must haves on my receipt checklist.

#1 Price

As you may know, I love getting deals. For the most part, I will not buy anything unless it’s on sale or I have a coupon. I also comparison shop and will go to different stores to ensure I’m getting the best price. But, if the price isn’t right then I’m not buying. Plain and simple. I’m at a point in my life where buying steaks and salmon sounds good but my budget disagrees. This is why price is my first must have for a good recipe.

#2 Simplicity

Okay so I’m getting better at cooking but I’m still no where close to good. I also do not enjoy it. I get anxiety from cooking meals that require time management and other skills such as using a knife or a stove. The less time I have to spend in the kitchen the better! This is why my second requirement for a good recipe is simplicity. If I have to dirty more than a pot and pan there is a good chance I’m not cooking it. If I’m having to spend an hour of prep work there is no chance in hell I’ll be making it. A list of ingredients a mile long? Hell no.

#3 Nutrition

Nutrition is something I always considered when choosing recipes. However, my lack of cooking abilities limited my options so I ended up forfeiting health for convenience. Now that I’m getting more comfortable with cooking vegetables and healthier items I put more emphasis on getting a well rounded diet. Before, I would eat a pack of crackers smothered in peanut butter for dinner. I’m now trying to remember the food pyramid they taught us in the early 2000s. That’s not relevant anymore is it? I don’t believe so but I do make sure I’m mixing up my vegetables and keeping my plate colorful.

#4 Taste

Finally, number four on my list for recipe must haves is taste. There is a good list of things I don’t like to eat. There is also a good list of things Kurt will not eat. With both of these lists and my limited cooking abilities I tend to cook the same meals over and over. When you have a good system in place why mess it up with a different recipe? Well, because we’re getting bored of them. So, if I stumble across a recipe that’s cheap, simple, healthy and includes items that both Kurt and I like, sign me up!

And that’s it! Four criteria that must be met in order to keep a recipe. I find it interesting that taste is fourth on the list it but hey, it is what it is.

What an Odd Feeling

I don’t know what to say about it honestly. Everything that’s happening around me makes me feel uneasy. There is fear in the air and it’s more contagious than the illness itself.

I don’t want to acknowledge the coronavirus as I feel like it’ll somehow give it strength. But, I need to talk about it to help grasp the reality of our current life. I haven’t figured out how I feel about what’s going on around me. I’ve had many emotions. It’s a very odd feeling walking into a grocery store and not being able to get the things you need. Walking down isle after isle of bare shelves. Seeing the look on everyones faces. It’s a scared look, a concerned expression. And then there’s the faces whose expression you can’t read because of the protective mask. It’s all unsettling.

I’m worrying a lot lately. When you hear that businesses are closing down, people losing jobs, people dying everyday, the numbers climbing. The uncertainty is troublesome.

I find myself contemplating my way of living. I’m realizing how reliant I am on other entities and that’s worrisome. I’m also realizing that this situation has gone to far for anything to ever get back to normal. The normal we had known will forever be in the past. That’s scary.

I keep reminding myself that everything is going to be okay. Everything might be different from here on out but everything is going to be okay. It may even get darker before it gets lighter but it’ll be okay. There is one particular thought that is helping me get through this strange time. We sometimes think we have to have certain things in order to function in our lives but I’m reminding myself that change is good and I can do without.

Yes, these days are strange and they’re different from what we consider normal. The thought of not knowing how long it’ll last is what scares me the most but I know I can be adaptive and overcome the adversity. We can adapt and we will be okay.

Burgers and Regrets?

I made burgers!!! It’s been a very long time since cooking burgers myself. When we were still living in Washington Kurt and I had an unspoken arrangement when it came to burgers. We had a fire pit in our back yard that we loved sitting around in the afternoons. It was the perfect size to keep you warm when it got cool and had a very nice fire ring surrounding it with a crate on top. This made a perfect outdoor space for cooking burgers! On nights that I had late pitching lessons I loved coming home and finding the fire pit going strong and a big plate of freshly cooked burgers waiting for me. It was amazing. Then, we’d sit around the fire for hours just drinking and having a great time. Another huge plus about the backyard was that it was fenced in so we could let Kota run around as she pleased. Truthfully, our house in Washington was perfect. I’m very sad we left it but hopeful that someday soon we will be able to build our perfect house and it’ll be all ours and we’ll never have to move again.

Because it’s been so long since I’ve made burgers myself I forgot the little tricks. My burgers came out rather small and fat with one side just a little too crispy. That’s okay though. It didn’t prevent me from stuffing two in my mouth before Kurt got home! Oops. And the house is only a little bit smoked up. At least the fire alarms didn’t go off!

I sometimes forget why we moved back to our home state. I think about how awesome of a spot we had in Washington. The life we made for ourselves was everything we really ever wanted, minus being so far away from family. Family is the reason we moved back and living in this less than perfect house. But I understand family is more important. It just bums me out sometimes knowing that we left a situation that we worked really hard to get. It took us three years in Washington to finally be where we wanted. So I’m keeping that in mind now that we are living here. We are not even three months in. Everything is going to be okay. We will get back to where we were and more. It just takes time.

Why I Think Receiving $1000 is a Bad Idea

Let me start off by saying I hate politics and media. That’s a pretty broad statement and for the most part it’s true with few exceptions. When I hear about certain things going on with the government, foreign affairs and all the other topics the media loves to stick their dirty hands in I begin to tune out. I believe that most of what we hear as normal American citizens is only half the story and is severely altered. The way I see it, our government can’t let us know exactly everything that’s going on the way that it’s truly happening and whatever information they do give us is doctored by media coverage in order to make monetary gains. Because of all of this, I’m skeptical of anything I see or hear in this regard.

But, I enjoy finances. So, when I heard that good ole President Trump is entertaining the thought of giving us Americans free money I was skeptical. My first reaction was “yeah fucking right.” I couldn’t drop it there though. My next thought, “how in the world would that help anything?” And finally, I’m now left thinking “this will come back and bite us in the ass.”

I think right now is a good time to mention I have very little knowledge about our current economic state. I chose to tune most of it out. I know very little about past cases like this because history bores me. But, I do enjoy talking about money. And who wouldn’t be interested in having a check for $1000 appear in their mailbox?

Going off my initial reaction, I still don’t expect there to be an extra grand sliding it’s way into my bank account anytime soon. I also strongly recommend not holding your breath for it. But my best piece of advice in the situation that we actually do get free money is be very careful how you spend it. I think a lot of people will use the money for how it’s intended which is to help the American people struggling financially during the chaos that is “social distancing.” By the way, I hate that fucking phrase. I’ve always been socially distant. This is not new to me. But anyway… I also think there are too many people who will not put this allowance to good use. My prediction is that too many people will blow their money on something useless, say stocking up on four years worth of toilet paper. If this happens, I don’t see how anything will be improved economically.

Another initial reaction for me, as for many financially aware people, is that the value of the dollar will decrease. I could do some research right now and give specific examples of instances just as this but I’m lazy and this is just a journal. But, I know that most every single time the general public is handed money it results in prices of everything increasing.

When everything is said and done and we have spent our thousand dollar gift from the almighty government, what’s next? We can’t really expect to be handed free money right? In some way, shape or form, we will be expected to return the payment. Whether it’s owing money at tax time, more money being withheld from our paychecks, or whatever the case may be, we will be expected to pay it back. Again, I could do some research here and give real life examples but who has time for that? I find it naive to believe the contrary. And to the people who blew their money on useless things, they are now even worse off than before! How does that help anyone? It helps the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer, in my opinion.

With all this being said, I don’t think it’s a good idea to grant Americans free money. Money is never free. If President Trump finds a way to make this happen for America I strongly urge you to be careful. If you need this money then put it to good use, don’t waste it. If you don’t need it, I recommend putting it somewhere safe as you will be expected to pay it back.

My Cooking Journey

Cooking has always been a struggle for me. My poor momma tried to teach me her recipes but I wouldn’t listen. I remember her trying every night to get me to help with dinner and I absolutely refused. Every now and then she’d force me to peel a potato or make a salad. By the way, I’m never peeling a potato again. Making salads were all but the death of me. I pulled out several Grinch quotes when it came to my time in the kitchen, specifically “hate hate hate, loathes of hate.”

Going off to college challenged me in several ways, one being how to feed myself. My diet consisted of cereal and individual sized servings of yogurt. Oh, and many many many microwaveable breakfast sandwiches. The rest of my mini fridge was full of alcohol so what could I do really? Alcohol had priority over nutrition.

Moving forward, Kurt and I moved in together. He knew I wasn’t much of a cook and I knew the same about him. Our first year of living together we made several trips to restaurants. The only meals we ate at home were lunch meat sandwiches, grilled cheese and spaghetti. That’s it.

Finally, I started to experiment with cooking. I learned how to make burgers. Though, we ate a few raw ones from time to time. Oops. I discovered Knorr pasta sides which became a normal meal. Frozen pizza made quite a few appearances. Let’s just say I got real aquatinted with the frozen department at the grocery store.

Flash forward a year or so when I discovered the magical wonders of crockpots. I realized I could make a full meal without having to touch the stove. I was very intrigued and scoured the internet for recipes. Turns out, there are some pretty complex ones out there. I stuck to the recipes that were titled “Only Four Ingrediants!” But hey, at least now I was actually using recipes and not just the directions on the back of a box.

And now, here we are. I’m still using the crockpot religiously but I’m also mixing things up. This morning I loaded the trusty crockpot with chicken, poured in some broth and added a couple seasonings. It turned out very nice! And will have enough chicken for the next couple meals. I paired tonight’s chicken with the leftover salad from last night. I also made a side of roasted potatoes, carrots and onions. I’ve been really into eating vegetables the past few months. I’ve always known I should eat more vegetables but I didn’t know how to prepare them so I just never ate them. Now, I love roasting carrots. I think they’re amazing! I also love a good roasted zucchini, my newly discovered favorite. I always enjoyed salads but never was able to make one at home that I enjoyed. Iceberg lettuce is my favorite lettuce for salad but from my understanding it’s not the most nutritional of the leafy green family. Because of this, I mix in spinach. This combo gives me nutrition as well as the crunch of iceberg lettuce that I love so much. I typically will buy a bag of spinach and a bag of classic iceberg lettuce with carrots and red cabbage mixed in. This keeps me from having to chop anything! That’s very important.

So, compared to my college days I’m eating significantly better food when it comes to nutrition and taste. I’m very proud of my growth in the kitchen because truthfully, I never thought I’d be able to figure it out. Not only is my husband happier with the change of meals but so are our pockets. Going out to eat so often was a struggle financially. But, I’m happy to say that we are now eating healthier and cheaper! Most importantly, I’m no longer having full on panic attacks about turning on the stove! Yay!