Still wearing the mask…is it hiding my tears?
L’Shanah Tovah! The Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement are now in the rearview mirror. I wish everyone who celebrated a sweet new year. God knows we need it.
I have pretty much written off 2020 – save for a November miracle and the hope of a new President. I have always been an optimist but this year has just beaten me down. I can’t bury my head in the sand and the news is just so awful day after day. I actually signed up for this “Morning Smile” email that comes every day but Sunday. It’s free, they share good news stories and I need to know that there is good news out there. And lots of great videos, too. Check out their Good News Dashboard to see what I mean.
My hair is a wreck. I’ve been doing my own color so I don’t have to face the grays, but the crap I am able to buy, even the supposedly best hair color for home use out there, is still on the harsh side and just not wonderful. I haven’t had a hair cut since maybe January? Or a manicure. Or a pedicure. My niece is selling this stick on Colorstreet polish, which is the only thing saving me! It is so easy to use I couldn’t believe it. I think it took me all of ten minutes to do my nails and feel somewhat like myself again. Don’t look too closely at my raggedy cuticles though!
Has this been enough of a whine-fest yet? I am feeling the strain for sure. My son and daughter-in-law bought their first home, a co-op in Downtown Brooklyn, and I don’t know when I’ll be able to see it. But they are both doing well so I am happy about that.
My daughter is taking classes at Lynn University, where I work. They gave students the choice of face-to-face classes or remote, and she chose remote. She is a visual arts major, and the work she has been doing is just amazing. I had no idea my child was that talented! She showed me this drawing in progress and I immediately knew who it was. Just blew me away. The finished drawing here was done in pencil. She loves photography, too and she has long been my photographer – I always know the picture will come out good if she takes it.
Lynn University has moved from a 16-week semester to 4 4-week semesters and let me tell you, it is moving fast. What that means for me is that I have to do new schedules for my 18 student workers every 4 weeks. It feels like I finally get it working perfectly and it’s time to change again. I am very grateful that my new students are doing so well. In the olden days, pre-pandemic, I would typically lose about half my student workers to graduation. But because of Covid, I only ended up with three returning students, which meant I had to hire and train fifteen new student workers during a pandemic. They have been phenomenal and I couldn’t be happier with them. I did training with them on Zoom for a couple of hours but let me tell you, it is a lot of information to take in. And they didn’t know enough to even ask questions. From Zoom training they were thrown right into the fire, working the Information Desk often alone, or with a librarian nearby. Mistakes have been made but that is certainly to be expected. Best of all, they are learning from their mistakes and learning by doing. It hasn’t been easy, that’s for sure, but they are all stepping up and I am proud of them.
We have done take out for dinner a few times during the past seven months. Pizza at first, because we figure it is cooked at insanely high temperatures, sure to kill any germs hovering nearby. We had Chinese food one night, and Five Guys another. Now our idiot governor is opening everything up so guess our numbers will be going up. If I could, I’d dig a hole, jump in it, and drag the hole in after me.
Meanwhile, I am still enjoying cooking and trying new recipes. I made a leg of lamb for the first time in my life! My friend Judy told me how to grill it, and I combined that with Sam Sifton’s recipe at the NY Times Cooking and it came out so good, my whole family loved it. Plus there are enough leftovers for at least two more meals – gyros tonight! I made challah for Rosh Hashanah, and Ariel braided it for me. It was almost too pretty to eat. I’ve cut back on baking because I really have gained the Covid-19 (pounds, that is) and I am trying to lose it. It is very slow going. If I didn’t have my family, my cat, my books, and cooking, I would not have made it through. I did make an Apple Bourbon Bundt Cake, (thanks, Melissa Clark!) also for Rosh Hashanah, and everyone loved it. Plus I got to use my new Bundt pan! I made a sugar-free Italian Ricotta Cheesecake for breaking the fast on Yom Kippur that was surprisingly good. I used Buddy Valastro‘s recipe (the Cake Boss) just subbing erythritol for the sugar. Get well soon, Buddy!
As always, thanks for reading and stay safe!