On the go, these projects are stuff I'm actively working on and writing about.
It’s a small space, but a bit of soil and grass and outdoors to call our own. Each year I plant a small vegetable garden in my backyard. Our growing season is short and bracketed by unforgiving weather on each end. Timing to get anything resembling a crop from the yard is not rocket science, but sometimes botany is just as challenging. Weeds. Bugs. Birds. Hail. Mice. Heat. This is the story of another year of vegging out in the backyard.
Working on a serialized story for this site with themes linked into the mid-life crisis mindset of seeking purpose in a world filled with fickle fomo and the ever present fear of crippling normalcy.
My Nintendo Switch has somehow become the exclusive dibs for my daughter and her Animal Crossing: New Horizons island, so I've retreated to the basement to instead play some classic video games from my collection. I'm not a professional reviewer of games, but having lived through nearly every era of the arcade revolution starting and onward from where it all started with a Coleco Vision creaking out Zaxxon on the family television, I'd like to think I have a bit of perspective... for whatever that's worth.
It was deep in the heart of last winter when I got an odd hankering for homemade ice cream. I borrowed an attachment for the stand mixer from a friend, mixed up a trio of batches, and life went on. But as the summer of 2020 settled into a stay-at-home rhythm, I impulse ordered my own ice cream maker attachment after the in-stock alert appeared to replace the “currently unavailable” note on the shopping page. If we’re going to be spending our not-a-vacation time at home for the next few months, we may as well try some frozen recipes, right?
During the 2020 pandemic lockdown, the never-ending task of making sourdough to ensure the family had bread around (without the need to frequent a grocery store) became a defining aspect of the so-called new normal. Two mini-loaves every two or three days adds up to a lot of bread, a lot of grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch, and an odd sort of legacy that will probably outlast the virus.
Take a bit of dirt, a few plants, an earthworm or two, and whatever mini and microscopic life you can find and seal them in a jar in your windowsill for a while. Years, even. Blocking off a miniature ecosystem from the rest of the universe save for the input of energy through the glass walls is not only an interesting science experiment, it looks darn interesting, too.
In the spring of 2020 the world found itself in the grip of a global pandemic. Death and suffering. Economic collapse. Societies ground to a halt as people of nearly every nation were told to stay at home, isolate, and help break the cycle of infection. We all reacted and coped in different ways. I was offered the chance to work from home, and after nine weeks of frantic, mind-numbing isolation from everything normal the swing of the viral pendulum seemed to gradually begin to reverse.