Life on Lockdown

It’s day 10 of quarantine. Okay, “social distancing” or “self-isolation” would be more accurate, but quarantine sounds better. Suffice it to say that “life comes at you fast.” Since I last wrote, I had a bittersweet but relaxing Christmas season at home. My in laws were out of the country and I missed my family terribly, but it had been a busy summer and fall and we both needed the time to recharge. I went on my first ever girls’ trip for my birthday in January with a couple of work friends who are now officially real friends (seeing each other naked at the day spa while not entirely sober will do that, LOL).  Last but not least, my big sister had a baby so I’m now a new auntie. I actually got to visit them just three weeks before life came screeching to a halt under the threat of coronavirus.

Speaking of which…this has been crazy. I’m an introvert so the quarantine itself isn’t hard for me, at least not yet. I like to spend time at home. We only go to the movies once a month, and have friends over once a quarter. Even though we order plenty of meals out, we only sit down to eat in a restaurant once every six weeks. So other than working at home, the terms of the quarantine haven’t radically changed my life.

The issue is the uncertainty of it all. I have zero faith in an administration that fired a qualified pandemic response team just because it was created by Barack Obama. The president’s obsession with eradicating his every accomplishment speaks to either an endless depth of racism, or a deep seated envy and bitterness that he’ll never be as attractive, intelligent, or well liked as Obama. It’s probably a bit of both. Regardless, it only adds to my anxiety that our Commander in Chief is an incompetent liar. The fact that I’m high risk (I have asthma and coronavirus can cause permanent lung damage) doesn’t help, either.

The economy is tanking. The quarantine orders get stricter every day because there are always some idiots who refuse to be told what to do. At first we were told things would get back to normal in two weeks, then a month. Now I’m seeing reports that this could go in waves, with restrictions being lifted in June and July and shutting back down for cold and flu season. Other, more alarming reports say that at the rate we’re going we will be stuck inside until August. It’s crazy.

Hubs pointed out that I like to spend weekends at home but that’s not the point! Between now and August I definitely was going to go to brunch and possibly visit to a friend’s lake house. I was playing with the idea of taking a weekend trip to Galveston to visit the beach, walk the pier and get some fresh seafood. I wanted to drink bubble tea at the outdoor mall on the other side of town, the one where I can buy handmade bath bombs and body butter that I don’t need. I had plans dammit!

Of course, all that takes a backseat to my health and that of the greater good so I”ll be complying. It’s just scary to have a virus that is so contagious and yet asymptomatic. It’s not like you get a rash first and have three days before things really start to get bad. All I can do is pray and minimize my risk. We’re still getting takeout, less than usual but several times a week. We’re both still getting paid, fortunately and I keep us to a budget anyway. Our concern is getting a complete quarantine order, because at that point there will be a mad rush to the grocery store and who knows when we’ll be able to restock. So we stocked up on groceries, mostly frozen and dry goods that we can ration out.

Feel free to comment with your quarantine routine, survival tips, complaints, comments or concerns. Do you have toilet paper? Any funny stories about hand sanitizer theft? (A whole case disappeared from the supply closet at my job.)

 

What’s wrong with basic?

“Bad Bitch Support Group” on HBO’s A Black Lady Sketch Show

I saw this sketch back when it first aired and it got me thinking. What’s so bad about being basic? I admit to being guilty of using the word right up until I realized that maybe I wasn’t as bougie as I thought. Yes, I’ve had better, but on a day to day basis I genuinely enjoy Starbucks coffee. I watched the entire run of “New Girl” starring Zooey Deschanel and though most of it was pretty funny. I have to avoid Target unless I have a defined shopping list or I’ll end up with a cart full of (fun, but) unnecessary goodies. And while I don’t particularly enjoy pumpkin spiced lattes, I love almost everything else about the season they represent. I, too, am basic.

ba·sic/ˈbāsik
adjective
1. forming an essential foundation or starting point; fundamental. “Certain basic rules must be obeyed”

Oxford English Dictionary

I spent a good chunk of my childhood wanting to be That Girl. Once I got older and realized how much work being a “bad bitch” really is, I didn’t want that lifestyle even though I spent a few years wishing I did. That archetype is celebrated as the feminine ideal, while “basic bitches” make up the majority of your stay at home wives and soccer moms. The stereotype is that they don’t do anything but go to yoga/pilates/barre class, go to mimosa lunches, shop, and take care of their families. I don’t know about you but that sounds like my kind of fun!

Nobody ever said basic chicks were unhappy.

– Me

I’ve turned into a basic suburban wife and it’s everything I ever dreamed of. But I like getting up on Saturday mornings, drinking coffee and making breakfast while my husband mows the lawn. I like leaving work to go to a quiet home on a quiet street. I don’t even mind cleaning up as much as I used to because for the first time, I own my residence. I may not be living the most exciting life but I am truly the happiest I’ve ever been.

All things considered, I live a pretty conventional life. I went to college, straight on to law school, married my college sweetheart, moved cross country for his career and bought a house. It worked out for me but the traditional patterns of adulthood are just that, traditional. They aren’t the best path or the only path to adulting. In fact, soul singer Chrisette Michelle makes a great case for why she needs to live the nomadic single life for now and possibly forever. And it’s great that she knows herself well enough not to force her life into a shape that suffocates her.

I’m a modern woman and my career is important to me. I love the legal profession and the never-ending opportunities for learning that it provides. But at the end of the day, legal work is enough excitement for me. I thrive in domesticity and I’m content with the choices that brought me here. I wish everyone the same peace and happiness, however it may come about.

Happy Fall, Y’all!

I’m gonna be honest: I’m not a fan of summer. The heat is brutal, and in Houston is coupled with a humidity that means I spend June-September feeling sticky every time I step outside. Kids are everywhere since they’re out of school. And it’s also peak litigation season. I’ve been practicing law for five years and dabbled in several different areas but uniformly, every summer my case load increases. So while everyone else is posting beach selfies and having cocktails at rooftop bar happy hours, I’m stuck at my desk drafting motions and cajoling clients into settling before the other side figures out their case kind of sucks. But as of September 22, all that is over. We are officially in the best season of the year!

Sweater weather, warm spiced beverages, Renaissance fairs, holiday season just around the corner…I LOVE IT! Doubling my joy this year is the fact that I’m a homeowner. I’ve been making trips to Target, Marshall’s, etc. just to revel in all the harvest themed home decor (and okay, to buy some apple cinnamon and vanilla pumpkin scented candles). This is the first time I could look with the intent to buy because I never wanted to put the time, money, or effort into fully furnishing any place that we rented. Now I finally have a permanent place. Anyway, this past weekend I needed to buy a gift for a coworker’s housewarming so I headed to Ross. Of course it ended up being a gift for her, Christmas gifts for my siblings, and four gifts for me.

I got an ADORABLE mug because coffee and tea are a comforting ritual and they just taste better from a cute mug. Next up is an art print that’s going to hang in the bathroom over my tub, with a woman reading a book. It really spoke to me. I kind of agonized over it because like most black people, I have a policy of only displaying art that is black or at least race neutral (e.g. landscapes or quotes).* There was a similar print with an obviously black woman but she was drinking wine, and I don’t really drink like that so it didn’t resonate. In the end, the woman in the picture I bought was juuuust dark enough that I can pretend she’s just really light skinned, like Meghan Markle, so that makes it okay.* I got a set of three serving bowls with Bible verses on them for $17! They’ll be awesome for holiday dinners. My last prize was a #12(!!!) multi-server. It can be used as a cake stand and cover, a punch bowl, or a chip and dip. If we have a dining room set by then, I just might host New Year’s day dinner!

*If you’re not black and confused right now, let me assure you that this is absolutely A Thing that black people do. Hundreds of years of slavery, segregation, and less than equal rights mean we are constantly exposed to societal conditioning that says we are less than or at the very least, other. So we want art that reflects us the way we see ourselves. And yes, this policy extends to my Christmas decorations and tree ornaments!

If you know me or have been reading this blog for a while, you know I love fashion. So of course I had to get a few new items for my fall wardrobe. First up, I saw the black and white dress and added it to my shopping cart without hesitation. It’s work appropriate and I still get to channel my inner Wednesday Addams. The second dress is a floral and houndstooth pattern in a beautiful red and orange color palette that screams fall. I stumbled upon these heart-eyed skull print leggings when I was browsing Torrid at my local mall (sold out online, similar style here). They’re a super comfy sweater knit and even though I’ll only ever wear them in October, they were $10 so it doesn’t matter. Last but not least is a retro style buffalo plaid cape coat. I was eyeing it on the Eloquii website last year but it sold out before it went on sale within my budget. Luckily I found it for a fraction of the original price on Poshmark! (Sign up here with code WIFEYJD to get a $5 credit.) It’s pretty lightweight and will be great for the mild Texas winter.

Fall is only a few short weeks so I’m going to get back to enjoying it. Time to light a scented candle and curl up with a book and some Trader Joe’s harvest blend tea. But hit me up in the comments and let me know if you prefer Hot Girl Summer, pumpkin spice season, or another time of year? Ta-ta for now!

Life update

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Life comes at you fast. 2019 started of slow but in March, things took off and they haven’t slowed down. On April 15, 2019, I lost my maternal grandmother, Nonny. She was suffering from dementia that had progressed into Alzheimer’s and I knew her time was coming soon, but it still caught me off guard. Thank God that I have a job with good benefits and an understanding boss. Between traveling to Atlanta for the funeral and just grieving, I was out of work for two solid weeks. It was another month after that before I started to feel normal again. Nonny was like a second mother to me. We went to my grandparents’ house almost every single weekend. They came to my school (an hour away!) for Grandparents Day when I was little. My grandmother in particular never let me leave without a treat. And she always told me how proud she was of me and that she loved me. Jesus, I’m tearing up writing this. But I’m glad that she passed away before things got to the organ failure, comatose stage of things. She still had lucid moments and my grandfather was with her at the end. She just went to sleep and never woke up, which is just about the best way you can go.

In the meantime, work has picked up dramatically. I’m enjoying the tax work but juggling the paperwork and aggy clients along with a bankruptcy case that I absolutely hate, is getting to be a lot. My manager and our unit paralegal are both out on maternity leave, so it’s just me, the staff attorney who was hired 3 months after me, and the new secretary. They are great but we have 3 people doing 5 people’s work so it’s still crazy. I’m the most senior attorney so a bunch of administrative/managerial stuff that I used to hand up to my manager are now my problem. -_- Not to mention that our secretary only had a month, two weeks of which were getting trained on our case management software, so I’m helping her get trained on how our unit runs.

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I’SE TIRED, BOSS.

I wanna have a Hot Girl Summer (trademark pending) too, but the way my workload is set up I’m gonna have to push it back to a Hot Girl Autumn. Save me some sangria, y’all.

Bits and bobs

  1. No more stretchy pants!: I have mentioned before that I’ve been working on my fitness and some of my pants that had gotten tight around the middle are fitting better. I’m going to keep the winter weight at bay by pledging to wear fitted pants in the colder months. I love me some leggings (and passed up on buying a super cute plaid pair) because they stretch with you through all the beef stew, grilled cheese sandwiches, turkey & stuffing, and mashed potatoes and come March you gotta go on a liquid diet to get summer ready. Not me, not this time!
  2. White feminism & power: I listen to some liberal media podcasts and sometimes they are just so damn privileged sounding. This episode of The Waves was talking about how women are naturally uncomfortable with having power, and some lady wrote a book about making power a verb instead to make it more palatable. Excuse me, what? All I ever wanted was power. The power to control what I do with my body, my career, my family, my life without someone who doesn’t care anything about me telling me what I have to do. Just like how white women scream #MeToo and then waste the power they do have by voting for a p*ssy grabbing, chronic sexual harasser. :/
  3. Why do you care?: I think I was born with too few f*cks to give and they all got spent early. People say you stop caring about little shit when you turn 30. I stopped caring about little shit at 21 and now I’m just plain disgusted by grown folks who live their lives based on what other people think. “THEY” don’t care about you! 🙄 So why would you waste all your energy? Listen, I work a 9-5 job. I play the game but only to the minimum extent necessary to secure my bag. The truth is that you can be the most agreeable, talented, people pleasing, hard working employee but if someone really has it out for you they will find a way to get you gone. I can’t control how other people feel about me and I can’t stop anybody from screwing me over. So I’m going practice self-care by not completely repressing myself to be Employee of the Month™.
  4. Your bad kids: I am officially a grumpy old lady because I get so tired of children in public places. I know that they will be loud and running around but I can’t take your offspring all in my personal space. Please teach your kids how to form a line, say “excuse me”, etc because I will elbow little Danny in the face if he doesn’t get from behind me when I’m at the checkout counter! Also, stop bringing your kids into fast food establishments and letting them order. My parents told me what I wanted to eat, they didn’t let me waste people’s time trying to read the menu when I didn’t know my ABC’s yet!  
  5. Currently loving: Grocery delivery (Hello Fresh meal kits and Prime Now for my Whole Foods fix), sweater weather (boot game proper!) and Aquaman (more shirtless Jason Momoa, please).

 

Wife Life: Savory Sausage Scramble recipe

I am making a lifestyle change and part of it is seriously limiting starchy carbs and junk food. You know how most diets have cheat days? Well I’ve had a cheat LIFE, and it’s time to hunker down. But I love breakfast and everyone knows the best part of breakfast is carbs. I usually have a big breakfast on the weekend which typically includes a sausage, egg and cheese biscuit, or some Eggo waffles and bacon. I’ve already been incorporating a green smoothie several times a week, so making that my Monday-Friday mainstay isn’t a big deal. And I do love oatmeal topped with fresh berries & a splash of cream, or sliced banana, shredded coconut, and honey. But what about when I want something savory instead of sweet?

This recipe is actually adapted from my brother in law. He made it the last couple times I came to visit my sister and it’s not only delicious, but satisfying. I prefer chicken sausage and included my favorite brand, but of course you can sub out turkey sausage or even a meat substitute. Same with the cheese. You can also change this to make it an omelette. Have fun with it!

SAVORY SAUSAGE SCRAMBLE
Serves: 1 
Ingredients:

2 eggs
2 links Applegate Farms chicken & apple sausage
2 mini sweet bell peppers
1-2 tsp shredded Mexican cheese blend
Salt
Pepper
Butter

1. Cut of stems from peppers, remove inner seeds, and chop to your preference. Cut the sausage into bite size pieces. 
2. Crack the eggs into a bowl and add pepper to taste. Whisk until well mixed.
3. Melt some butter in a small pan over low heat (you only need about a teaspoon).
4. Pour in the eggs, sausage, and peppers. I don’t like my cheese to stick to the pan so I sprinkle it on in the last few seconds, but you can add it at this step. 
5. I like a soft scramble so I keep the heat really low and the eggs are on for a minute or two. If you like more solid eggs, 30-60 seconds on low-medium heat will do.
6. Plate and enjoy! 

I love this recipe because it tastes similar to the egg skillets I sometimes order at brunch, but without the potatoes or too much cheese. If I don’t have the peppers, I’ll do just the eggs and cheese but add a sprinkle of Trader Joe’s Everything But The Bagel seasoning. I don’t like Mexican for breakfast (weird, I just have a mental block) but you could also do this southwestern-style and add avocado & salsa.