The positive side of this pandemic

John Krasinski and SGN

Despite the confusion, uncertainty, grief, and despair that this pandemic has caused, there is never a wrong time to look for the positive side of things. Do you realize that this is probably the most time you will spend together as a family ever in your lifetime? For some people, this can be a good or bad thing. Personally, it has been an interesting experience for my family. Do not get me wrong, we are stressed because we do have businesses that we have had to close and layoff employees, so this is hugely distressing. In light of this, it’s interesting to see how my family (yes all four kids are home) have adjusted to the new normal.


I admit I am spoiled and privileged. I have a cleaning lady that usually comes three days a week. Since the Stay at home Order was established, I made my cleaning lady stay home. I have been cleaning my 5000 square foot home by myself, with little help from my children and husband.

Reflection

The fact that this pandemic disrupts our day-to-day lives helps us look and reflect on things. We all take many things for granted and get very lost in our crazy, overbooked schedules. Things like the gym, salons, dining out, suddenly are not possible anymore. Furthermore, many people have had to change how they work, now at home instead of at the office. This means that a lot of our routines are interrupted.

Some Good News

I am tired of watching the depressing news and the even more depressing commercials on tv. There are a lot of great things to watch on tv that can keep you thinking positive. I love Some Good New (SGN), a new show on YouTube that John Krasinski (from the office), created. This show is dedicated to heartwarming, inspiring, and uplifting stories from around the world. Once he started this show, he was flooded with positive stories. Check his show out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eg08rJGKjt

Family

As a parent, you go through many years of hoping that you have raised good children. My definition of good is kind, helpful, compassionate, hard-working, happy, and sustainable. During this pandemic, I feel fortunate to say that all of the hard work that has gone into my four children have returned back with joy. I am so proud and comfortable to know that my children will all be ok. They are survivors. Yes, they are privileged, but they get it!


My daughter Priva has been the best version of herself that I have ever seen. Her stress and anxiety are entirely gone. She is keeping her self organized (bedroom and car), cooking up a storm, eating extra healthy, and working out every day. In addition to keeping up with her online school work, she is painting and sewing. Before, she would run herself ragged with her school schedule, sports, and social life. Not to mention, she would get sick so often because her stress would compromise her immune system. Of course, she misses hanging out with friends and going to the beach, but this quarantine has taught her balance.

Happy Girl

My son Jake has also had the best demeanor while in quarantine. He lives in Los Angeles and came home when the Stay at Home Order went into effect. He lost his job, so there was no reason for him to stay in his apartment, luckily he lives close. He has been working out every day, helping me with various projects around the house, writing music, and, most importantly, being a great big brother to his sister.


My other two boys Chase and Charlie, have been keeping busy as well. Charlie had to come home from college and is now finishing his courses online. He is studying a lot!!


Chase is working on a virtual drag queen show that will be on YouTube, May 2. This show will feature acts from 15 various queens; I cannot wait to see it.


My husband has been very stressed because our businesses are closed. He has managed to keep himself busy with workouts and also cleaning projects around the house. From windows, toilets, and dusting, he is in there with the rest of us getting shit done.

Recipes

I usually cook at least 4-5 nights a week. During this quarantine, I have been cooking most nights. I have been putting out some delicious food. Here are a couple of my favorites recipes. The first one is the Mongolian Beef by Jessicagavin.com. I have made Mongolian beef before, and I finally figured out how to tenderize the meat, not chewy! The second recipe is turkey meatloaf, yummy comfort food.

Mongolian Beef

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon (10 g) minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon (10 g) minced ginger
  • 6 dried red chilis
  • ½ cup (75 g) diced white onion, ¾-inch dice
  • 1 cup (130 g) diced red bell pepper, ¾-inch dice
  • 1 cup (130 g) diced green bell pepper, ¾-inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons (6 g) sliced green onions

Instructions

  • Cut flank steak against the grain into ¾-inch cubes.
  • In a medium-sized bowl combine steak, baking soda, salt, pepper, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, water, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, and sesame oil.
  • Allow beef to marinate about 10 minutes while preparing the sauce and vegetables.
  • In a small bowl whisk together oyster sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and 2 teaspoons cornstarch.
  • Heat a wok or large saute pan over high heat.
  • Add 2 tablespoons oil, once hot add the beef and stir to coat.
  • Spread beef evenly in pan and allow to sear for 1 minute, stir and repeat, searing two more times, 3 minutes total cook time to brown the beef.
  • Add ginger, garlic, and dried chilis, stir-fry for 30 seconds.
  • Add onions and bell peppers, stir-fry for 2 minutes.
  • Slowly pour the sauce into the pan, stirring until it thickens, about 30-seconds.
  • Taste beef and season with salt and pepper as desired.
  • Garnish with sliced green onions and serve hot with rice.

Turkey Meatloaf

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter (or margarine)
  • 1 cup onion, chopped 
  • 3   garlic cloves, minced 
  • 14lbs  ground turkey
  • 12cup breadcrumbs
  • 2   eggs 
  • 34cup  ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 34teaspoon  salt
  • 12teaspoon  black pepper
  • 1 tube refrigerated crescent rolls (8oz)

Instructions

  • Melt butter in a skillet.
  • Cook onion and garlic in melted butter for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Place mixture in a large bowl to cool for 5 minutes.
  • Combine turkey, bread crumbs, 1 egg, 1/4 cup of the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper with onion mixture.
  • Press meatloaf into an 8×4-inch loaf pan.
  • Spread remaining catsup on top.
  • Bake in a 350-degree oven for 50-55 minutes.
  • Roll out the crescent dough and lay over the top of the meatloaf. Use the second egg (just the egg white) and brush over the top of the dough. Cook for another 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Cleaning tools

Scotch Brite stainless steel scrubber
Black and Decker dustbuster

Since I am home and constantly cleaning all the time, I have made best friends with some cleaning tools that I would love to share with you. I hope you get as excited as I am.

  • Scotch Brite stainless steel scrubber- you can scrub off anything, and I mean anything!
  • Mr. Clean Magic Eraser-whoever invented this is genius, takes off most scuff marks.
  • Black and Decker Dustbuster-my morning workout is with this guy. Great for corners and hard to reach spots.
  • Libman Wonder mop- the name says it all… as in wonderful.
Takes away scuff marks
Libman Wonder Mop

The technology available to us now and the things we are learning because of this virus, we could come through all of this stronger, wiser and better than before. This new normal could be better for the planet, better for our health and better for our relationships. Let’s be willing to let this virus teach us to be better humans.


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