Metatalktail Hour: Fun at Home May 16, 2020 7:25 PM   Subscribe

Good Saturday evening, MetaFilter! This week, I'm curious what you're up to for fun at home. Maybe you've picked up some new hobbies, or returned to old hobbies. (Or maybe you are spending all your time managing small children's distance learning and providing tech support for their Zoom classes, what delight.) Anyway, dazzle us with your stories of fun stuff to do at home!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 7:25 PM (80 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I've been baking most of our bread- not in a "look at me I'm a tech bro who's never baked in their life before and now I can mansplain sourdough starters to AFAB folks who've been baking their whole lives but not in a way that matters to me, a dude!"* way, but in a "All the bread that's available for delivery has either got enough dairy in it to send me to the hospital or enough cracked grain to send mom to the hospital so I guess I better dust off the loaf pan" kind of way. I'm making really work horse breads, not the fancy stuff, and it's been really nice. Thanks to Tavella the great I have more than enough yeast, and while my flour supplies are less than perfect, my local pub is selling staples now for pick up so I'm getting 6 lbs of restaurant quality AP flour per weekly veggie-burger/fries/beer order so I am a happy hominid. I've largely perfected my Challah recipe too so it's very nice to bake my own for the sabbath. I just took this gorgeous sandwich bread out of the oven an hour ago, and the fam is drooling waiting for it to cool down.

I'm doing a lot of tending to the garden but I'm in a bit of a funk so I haven't been posting as much. I'm starting to get the really good late spring harvests so hopefully that will force me to start posting more. I got a yard butler in my delivery, as well as a lovely succulent for mother's day, on the nuts day when I had to jump my bosses car. So I planted my hanging tomatoes! There's a good pic of the gift for mother's day- which was a whole thing because dad... just... was not on top of things. This time was more sad than aggravating because it was clearly a sort of subtle dementia induced executive dysfunction which was very sad to see. He seems to have rallied today, since he was the baker of my childhood when I was letting mr. loaf rise he had some good tips and was pretty sharp. But I used to bake A LOT as a kid- I was allowed to bake before I was allowed to cook- so it's like rediscovering old skills. I made Cookies for Mother's day, I've perfected challah and sandwich bread, If I can get my hands on veggie shortening (not a given) I can try for pie crust- which considering how many flowers my marionberry is putting out... i'm gonna need.

*For the record no one here has been like that- and during Corona it's much more forgivable, but at least in SF and silicon valley there has been historically a whole fucking strain of "Bread Bros" who will mansplain bread to you, a person who's been baking their whole life. TBF I *would* like to start a sourdough starter, one of the few baking skills I do not have- but I'm so turned off by the way some folks talk about it, like it's a science project instead of a living organism, I have resisted so far.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 8:46 PM on May 16, 2020 [11 favorites]

I rearranged the icons on my phone by color.
posted by selfmedicating at 9:10 PM on May 16, 2020 [26 favorites]

Speaking of late spring harvests- Romaine lettuce! I am proud of that one- It came out really nice.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 9:12 PM on May 16, 2020 [8 favorites]

Mmmm I so feel you about the bread people. My next bread project is actual German pumpernickel, but I had the damndest time getting real whole berry rye flour, despite living a couple blocks from Maryland, where they . . . actually grow the stuff. So mostly it's been tortillas from scratch around here.

For fun: still learning cello. Going through the decade's worth of random paint cans in the basement and figuring out what paint is still good, then painting things. Rebuilding a hackintosh.

Doing my best to get the herb garden together, although the fennel and mint of yesteryear always comes back more robustly than anything I ever start myself.

Last year a squirrel dug up one of my bonchi (grrr) and buried a walnut in its pot, a walnut which magically sprouted. I kinda forgot about it until lo and behold it overwintered just fine and started growing foliage right as the crisis befell us humans. So now I have a little bonsai walnut in a decorative pot, and it has inspired me to collect germinating Japanese maple seeds from the neighborhood, to try to bonsai a maple as well.
posted by aspersioncast at 9:12 PM on May 16, 2020 [12 favorites]

We just had a greAt zoom with my folks and my sister-my dad’s 77th birthday today. Was wonderful-two hours flew by, and I recorded the second half because, well, dad’s 77 and I thought man, I might really want to have some record of him just talking, someday.
posted by purenitrous at 9:29 PM on May 16, 2020 [7 favorites]

I have to admit it’s mostly Animal Crossing, but I did learn to make hand-pulled noodles so I’d have something over which to pour the chili oil that my favorite hand-pulled noodle restaurant chain is selling to raise money while they’re closed. It’s easier than I expected!
posted by moonmilk at 9:33 PM on May 16, 2020 [5 favorites]

I got a digital piano a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve been slooowly starting to learn. Today, I picked the piece I’m going to try to learn for a “what i learned in Quarantine” recital for the entertainment of my coworkers in our weekly Zoom work social, after a couple of months when I have it learned enough to be recognizable: The Muppet Show Theme.

I figure it’s perfect. Heckling is right there in the official lyrics, and there’s the added resonance of everybody watching from their own little Zoom square on the screen.
posted by notoriety public at 9:35 PM on May 16, 2020 [13 favorites]

I’m enjoying this Prince Live 1985
posted by gt2 at 10:12 PM on May 16, 2020 [2 favorites]

Well, I just made risotto with morels I dried after a foraging bonanza two years ago, asparagus, lemon caramelized onions, and homemade chicken and nettle broth, and I’m eating it with wine, Dessert will be paper-thin fir tip shortbread cookies I made earlier. So: unreasonably fancy cooking and having meals at strange times of night?
posted by centrifugal at 10:38 PM on May 16, 2020 [6 favorites]

I'm sort of flailing at teaching over zoom at the moment. I'm in my second year at the school, and was essentially brought on full-time from April to overhaul classes for the sort of mid-level kids that are too advanced for regular EFL classes, yet not advanced enough for the full on returnee level classes. Last year was essentially getting my bearings, and I had planned for a pretty full on revamp of the classes and students I'm in charge of, but those plans were pretty much based on being in class, in groups, and my sum total experience of online education is roughly the last six weeks. I'm struggling to figure out what I can do instead of the speaking heavy intensive discussions that I had planned (at the most basic, the main issue my students face is a hesitancy to speak English rather than resorting to their native language), and it's all sort of overwhelming.

On the other hand, what I can do while flailing away at the internet trying to plan out a week's worth of lessons starting from, oh, tomorrow, is set up the smoker downstairs and make ribs on this glorious day. Cooking has been sort of the thing that I always do, and I've been doing a lot more of it. This past week, I made mapo tofu from scratch for the first time, and while it wasn't perfect, I can see the road ahead (needed more spice, less salt), and it gave me the idea for what's cooking now: mapo ribs. I put a spice rub on with as close to the dry spice profile as I could think of (ginger, garlic, onion, white pepper, black pepper, salt, brown sugar, cayenne, sichuan pepper powder, red pepper flakes) and when the ribs are just about done, I'll glaze them with a mix of sesame oil, sichuan mapo paste, black bean paste, vinegar, and, well, I haven't gotten that far yet.

As soon as the lessons are put together for what I'm doing tomorrow, I'll get to work on the glaze, and when it's ready, we'll be having margaritas and spicy ribs on the balcony to enjoy what looks like the only decent weather this week.

(That's the other thing we've been doing. Drinking. We're trying to help out as many of the small Japanese breweries as we can, which means our beer fridge is past capacity. It's not the best way to cope, but it certainly is a way to cope.)
posted by Ghidorah at 10:53 PM on May 16, 2020 [7 favorites]

buddy says i've "been a pill" during the coronavirus age and, linking it to insufficient access to certain herbs since some weeks prior to the onset of the coronavirus age despite my reluctance to reach such a conclusion, violated a bunch of operational security protocols (as i violate opsec to tell you) as well as most-stringent-quarantining protocol, to cause me to have access to same. i don't feel like any less of a pill, now, but i'm a little bit grumpy just now, and don't recall being very grumpy very much over the preceding ten or eleven weeks. i think i can confirm diminished having had, or retaining memory of having had, dreams, and increased idle playing of instruments. i recently inherited, or became bailor of, a bunch of, among other stuff, a deceased friend of a friend's high end stereo components* and equipment and high end bongs & dabbing rigs and ... related gear, to the best of my ability to understand it. (the quarantine-violating event allowed me to direct one nice piece of glassware to an appreciative person who will use it to its purpose). the guy had fine stuff, an audiofile with voluminous vinyl (deep jazz -- plus an entire toolbox dedicated to maintaining records and a turntable!), a developing selection of not-cheap wine each bought for some well-evaluated reason, lovely pots and pans (two different dutch ovens!) of which i am not bailor. dude got quality stuff. the pipe/bong/dabbing rig/wreckage of portable vaporizers and related kit got me thinking he was working up to -- or already doing -- making his own extractions; i infer the final portable personal vaporizer he had was on his person or in his bag when he collapsed at work and struck his head, is still, or was secured by close family alert to recognize it among personal effects, before leave was given for caring local friends (and adherents) to arrange taking away personal property from an apartment the survivors did not want to continue renting. anyway, i mean to experiment with the ardent brand decarboxylator and maybe try to make an edible extract. sounds fun. but i haven't yet. i have been spacing out with an instrument at my fingers. probably not consistently excellent listening, but nobody else can hear. and, maybe, just maybe, occasional flashes of something that is probably good to hear or glints as a unit of learning occurs, or swirls in fleeting fluid loss of self-consciousness in activity.

woke up one morning to the radio blaring song after stevie wonder song with a jolt of anxiety that it must be because he's dead! very soon the radio informed me that it was his birthday and he was not dead, but i was awake and was already grieving. made a playlist of stevie wonder and listened to it. it is hard to grieve listening to stevie wonder, mostly. eventually i added michael jackson and then gil scott heron and marvin gaye, then oscar brown jr to it. (it is easier to grieve with the latter three). let it play for several days -- with a foray into ray charles for a bit. good stuff.

got an old fountain pen working (my own, not "inherited"); learned a little bit about the defunct manufacturer, though was unable to quite determine a make/model or whatever for the pen. ordered & received ink and syringe to recycle cartridges. wrote a little bit with pen - very nice to be inscribing words across a page with a fine instrument! i should probably do more of that. caused little lurk to have a fountain pen full of ink that the child and mother say smells bad. it might. i'm not sure & at this rate it'll be a good while before start using that ink. a nice wet fountain pen seems a bit of a stretch for the youth who resists being taught, when they recognize that is what's going on, out of autonomous dignity: it is a moral affront to presume to instruct me! amen kid. that said, learn to read and write.

gardening from some remove. little lurk & mama came over the other day to work on the garden while i mowed the lawn. whereas a couple weeks ago it did not look like much was making it, it turns out the dill and beets and kale and maybe even some of the carrots have all sprouted! first little lurk and i harvested a bunch of grass grains -- from those lawn bits that had gone to seed -- and spread them out over an excavation scar in the lawn. did other yard stuff. at one point when little lurk followed me into the house to get another tool some michael jackson song i had not knowingly heard before (so later in career probably) was playing. little lurk almost immediately said "this is nice music" and, leaving, as we descended the back door steps with the tools, said "i didn't know your place was so --" little lurk fished for a word and landed on "-- calming." calming! well, it can be nice in spring. "yeah baby. calming is like my whole thing." today we did youtube-directed children's yoga together: no doubt it was better than all the no yoga i've been doing every day.

been enjoying reading osamu tezuka's buddha series.

* stereo components: two separate functional systems are deployed (only one set up) with lots of leftover equipment. i have been listening to public radio over a beautiful tuner running through a something or other dac(?), which also gives voice to a lovely cd component, into some fine monitors (though not from among those speakers comprising the former owner's principal evident audiophile setup). i think it goes without saying that, if i were custodian of that turntable and those records i'd have made playing them on it possible and be immersed in listening to them now (not that i want to maintain such a turntable). been meaning to write an askme about the ideal disposition of those unappreciated/used pieces of specialist audiophile gear in my (or near friend's) custody but haven't, yet; it still feels a little ghoulish, notwithstanding surviving family's reported express consent, to wind up in possession of his very fine stuff. i am pretty appreciative of the sound experience available here in my home. the drinker of the wine described drinking it as a guilty pleasure, knowing they're not using it as its former owner had intended or appreciating it with the same evident care with which it was collected. i am not appreciating the dabbing rigs with the same evident care with which they were collected; wouldn't even know how.
posted by 20 year lurk at 11:15 PM on May 16, 2020 [7 favorites]

Before I moved to France I was fluent in Italian, but seven years of speaking french every day had erased a lot of it. I started back on duolingo for Italian in the first couple of weeks of lockdown and have done some every day for 40 days now! Happy to see a lot of it came back.
posted by ellieBOA at 12:10 AM on May 17, 2020 [11 favorites]

I’ve been fostering a cat. It is...ok but not great? She belonged to a friend who said “lol I am not a cat person” but who had had her as an indoor/outdoor cat for five years. So I did not get a lot of information about her personality beyond the fact that she really only likes being touched on the top of her head.
Lo and behold, under all that persnickety tortie fluff is a very sweet cat who Is very quiet and gentle and who loves playing all the games. Mouse on a string! Catnip toys! Feather wand!

So that’s what I’ve been up to - trying to co-ordinate the lives of two cats. She and my current cat have reached an uneasy truce, but I think she would be better off in a house with no other animals. We’re going to finish out the month and decide from there.

Oh, and also I’ve been watching Steven Universe Future and crying on the couch.
posted by janepanic at 1:41 AM on May 17, 2020 [6 favorites]

This week I have mostly been listening to jazz on YouTube and reading the third quarter of Ducks, Newburyport.

On one of my typewriters (the 1954 Imperial 'Good Companion'), the drawband had somehow derailed from the mainspring & had become tangled around it: I was happy, despite my unhandiness, to be able to fix it with some patient tinkering involving nothing more drastic than temporarily removing the backplate of the carriage.

Pogonotrophy can hardly be considered a hobby, but I'm now into week #6 of my moustache-growing project, in which things seem to be coming along acceptably well.
posted by misteraitch at 1:49 AM on May 17, 2020 [7 favorites]

Those are good together-apart cats, janepanic.
posted by paduasoy at 1:53 AM on May 17, 2020 [2 favorites]

I've spent a lot of time finally learning how to apply more cosmetics to myself. There's still so much more to cover, and years of practice to make up for missing, but I'm pretty happy with how things have gone so far. I was able to throw together a workable look with a silver eyeshadow and aqua sparkle eyeliner in just a few minutes a couple of days ago and I was very pleased at my progress so far.

Perfectly defined winged-tip styles may still be out of reach, but it's been such fun to be able to play around with make-up knowing I won't have to leave the house or go to anything, to be so happy to see myself in the mirror. I've taken more thirst trap pics in the past couple of months than in all the preceding years combined.
posted by Acid Communist at 2:31 AM on May 17, 2020 [6 favorites]

Nothing to report at home, it is a nightmare, but I have a delightful story from today that makes me happy.

I stopped by Costco and got a slice of pizza just for a reason to be out of the house, but they removed all the tables from their "dining area", so I drove over to the dog park to sit in the car and watch people's dogs while eating it (I don't have a dog). Anyway there were a bunch of people out (in Korea, the social distancing stuff has been toned down to mostly good effect), and one of the popular things to do here is take a tent to the park and then have a picnic.

Most people have what are called "one touch" tents. They fold into a flat circle, and when you take them out of the bag, *poof* tent. However at the dog park today I saw this guy with like a 4m per side tarp and work gloves and he was staking it down, and he had this huge bag so I was eating my pizza while watching him and hoping for something exciting to happen.

And it did! He had this huge ass tent that was like 4m per side and like at least 3m tall in the middle, and I spent an hour watching him assemble it. It was the most enjoyment I have had in ages (sadly). The question is, though, why spend an hour setting up a huge tent in a place where you can't overnight camp? And it was after noon when I was there so it isn't even like he got there in the morning and planned to spend the whole day or anything.

Of course I didn't ask, I just admired his handiwork from the car and then drove off when he finished.

Yes, my life probably does need a bit more excitement.
posted by Literaryhero at 3:26 AM on May 17, 2020 [18 favorites]

A friend of mine has been brushing her very furry cat, placing the balls of brushed hair on her back deck, and watching the birds come each day and snatch clumps of hair to build their nests. We're all pretty charmed by that!
posted by kinsey at 3:43 AM on May 17, 2020 [11 favorites]

My nerves have been pretty frayed--we've got a four-year-old at home, so my fun/creative energy stores are pretty depleted.

But I've been playing a fair bit of Animal Crossing--I'm decorating my island with trash, yay!--and I got my oVertone in the mail yesterday ("purple for brown hair") and I'll be attempting that.
posted by sugar and confetti at 4:01 AM on May 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

I’m reading quite a bit more than usual. That’s about all. I’m still going to work, as I’m an essential healthcare employee (but I guess only semi-essential as I’m being mandated to take 16hrs of PTO every week), so I’m not home a ton more than usual, but I can’t imagine doing much more than “more reading” at home. Everything seems harder than before, except reading.
posted by obfuscation at 4:39 AM on May 17, 2020

We've been watching birds! DaughterSquirrel put out a variety of bird feeders across the front of the house. Mr. SuperSquirrel's office (our living room), DaughterSquirrel's bedroom, and my office all have windows facing the bird-feeders, and we text each other all day long to look up! Bird alert! Yesterday we saw a goldfinch, a house finch, 3 orioles, a hummingbird, a rose-breasted grosbeak, and a fledgling robin trying out his wings. There is also a Cooper's hawk couple that live in the tree across the street, and an owl (not sure what kind yet) that hangs around occasionally.

For someone who grew up in the city, and only ever saw robins, sparrows, and pigeons, to see these birds that I only ever saw in books before is absolutely amazing.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 4:46 AM on May 17, 2020 [5 favorites]

Once we got our cat back on the mend with pain meds, we returned to weekend baking. Yesterday's project was a batch of strawberry-ricotta muffins. We also picked a recipe for dinner last night, so I headed to Whole Foods and found no line outside the store at 9 a.m., which got me in and out of the store in about 10 minutes.

Strawberry-Ricotta muffins
Greek-spiced baked shrimp
posted by emelenjr at 5:28 AM on May 17, 2020 [2 favorites]

Playing a lot of Out of the Park Baseball, doing jigsaw puzzles with my wife, reading, going for long walks around the neighborhood.
posted by COD at 5:29 AM on May 17, 2020

I bought a big whiteboard to put in front of the web cam for remote job interviews. The kids (3 and 5) have been having a blast with it. Meanwhile I’ve taken up jogging, with the goal of running every public road and trail in our suburb. This is going to take a long time, but I find satisfaction in coloring in the roads on the map I put up on the wall to track progress.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 5:32 AM on May 17, 2020 [7 favorites]

There is no fun here, just endless spring chores. I walk 2.5-3 miles every day, though, and it has done wonders for my frame of mind.
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:47 AM on May 17, 2020 [3 favorites]

I have been doing the same two jigsaw puzzles over and over, which sounds sad but isn't really; I listen to the radio and sort through the pieces and do my favorite parts first and it's very relaxing (until I drop a piece on the floor and have to wrest it away from a cat).

I also made a little video of my cat Victoria being silly.
posted by JanetLand at 6:06 AM on May 17, 2020 [8 favorites]

We finally sourced some organic citrus so we can use the zest. First project was Mr. Botanizer's Mushroom ketchup from Townsends. A bit of the lime went into g & t's with the last of the Serious Eats DIY gin so that needs to be replenished. The oranges are reserved for an attempt at The Guardian's sticky orange cake.

Outdoors I am slowly putting things into the garden but we still have some nights in the forties predicted so I am hauling out the seedlings during the day and taking them back in at dark.
posted by Botanizer at 6:25 AM on May 17, 2020

A local gym chain has been streaming free live fitness classes on Instagram all day every day, so I've had fun sampling classes.
posted by far flung at 7:34 AM on May 17, 2020

I've been building an HO train layout. I started one years ago and abandoned it. I'm almost ready to start laying track this time around, we'll see how far I'll get.

When I dug the train stuff out of the storage room I found some unbuilt plastic models and I've been building some of those. I find the discipline of painting really gets me in the zone.

I try to go for walks every day but it turns into every other day or so, between laziness and weather.

Mostly I'm just trying to keep busy and distracted to keep the big dark cloud of despair from setting in.
posted by bondcliff at 7:39 AM on May 17, 2020 [2 favorites]

I thought this would be the year I try to start running again (this happens on a 3 year cycle, it seems), but with the crowded sidewalks and trails now I mostly just end up puttering around the yard. I am never going to win my battle against dandelions, though, so I need to stop setting unrealistic expectations.

My 7-year-old’s new pandemic hobby has definitely been leveling up on his piano lessons iPad app (this week he’s been hammering out the James Bond theme song). But he’s also started asking us to print out blank pages of staff paper so he can compose his own songs, which he then makes me play. I can’t figure out if he hears the notes in his head or if he is just writing out random notes to prank me, but sometimes the music sounds surprisingly good. His first song had lyrics about my least favorite type of soup (split pea and ham), and his current work has a tempo of presto written (“Mom, what is much faster than allegretto?”), so I am leading toward prank. But it occupies his brain for long periods of time, so I am thankful.
posted by Maarika at 7:50 AM on May 17, 2020 [7 favorites]

My roommate runs a virtual pub quiz for a few friends every Sunday and I compete as well, from a computer in the next room. We also found one of the old quizmasters at a bar here in Brooklyn is doing his own virtual pub quiz every other week, and the roommate and me and a friend who moved to Boulder all team up for that.

I've also been trying to actually DO something with the shit-ton of craft supplies I've accumulated over the last several years. I just put the finishing touches on a wind chime I made using some old house keys that don't work any more, the beads from a bracelet that broke on me, some more beads from a failed attempt at beading, and a toy colander. There is a faint breeze in the window now and the key/chimes sound really, really pretty.

I've also been adopting a personal mocktail hour. I picked up a copy of David Lebovitz's Drinking French, which has a good number of recipes for soft drinks, snacks, and coffee drinks as well as cocktails. There's a chocolate-shake kind of thing I've had a couple times that is intense, and I also invested in some neon green mint syrup to spike Sprite with; it works surprisingly well. I get home way sooner than I've ever done in past jobs, and it's becoming a lovely way to transition from "work" to "home" - 45 minutes to sip something tasty and just chill out a bit. ....I may once in a while expand to the cocktails as well, but I rarely drink anyway and don't want to change that habit.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:52 AM on May 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

Just before things shut down here, I got a khaen or khene in the mail. (Sort of like a large Thai/Lao bamboo harmonica, like this). It's nearly impossible to play quietly, and I'm surrounded by densely packed neighbors, so I've been only playing it for an hour or so on weekend afternoons. But, it's a lot of fun. It's one of those perfect hobby instruments that takes half an hour of practice to sound not-unpleasant, but tens of years to play well. The neat thing is that you can play ten notes at a time. The annoying thing is that you're limited to two octaves in C-major and there's no way to bend notes. I've been slowly learning some Thai standards, but also searching out western tunes that can be played without any of the black keys, which isn't a limitation I've ever encountered before. (I've promised my spouse I'll learn to play this one before I try to build a chromatic version.) It's been a lot of fun. Perhaps not for my neighbors.

Last week I got a set of gym resistance bands in the mail. They came with a rubber thing on a strap that you're supposed to close in a door to make an anchor point. The third time I used them, they turned into a door-breaking slingshot. I was wearing safety glasses, 'cause I'm a paranoid weirdo. I wasn't wearing a helmet or athletic cup, 'cause I'm not nearly paranoid enough. But, the bruises were pretty minor and no serious harm was done. I've now ordered hardware to put hard anchor points in my wall. (McMaster Carr is still delivering!) Whoever buys this apartment next may wonder why there are 1400 lb eye bolts attached to steel plates in the bedroom.
posted by eotvos at 7:54 AM on May 17, 2020 [5 favorites]

I cut my own hair. At 10 feet away from the mirror without glasses the bare patches are barely visible. I think I look good.
posted by night_train at 8:29 AM on May 17, 2020 [4 favorites]

Oh, I'm trying to finally make bread with the sourdough starter today; I've had the starter for a year, but my last attempt to make bread didn't work so well, and I think it was because I didn't knead enough. I'm trying again today - it doesn't seem to be rising all that well just yet, but the starter was in decent shape when I started out, so we'll see.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:37 AM on May 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

Today is my 20th mefi anniversary, so that's fun.

I feel bad for saying this but I've been having the time of my life the past few weeks. I'm taking a ton of comedy classes online, I'm watching a ton of comedy, I'm doing a ton of cross stitch stuff. This is stuff I was doing before but it's like all the stuff I've focused on the last 25 years is now colliding and coalescing (internet stuff, comedy stuff, cross stitch all intersecting heavily for me right now.) My dad is not doing great but he's also not dead (expected he'd die by Easter but he leveled out somewhat) - so that's not super awesome but it's also not as horrible as I expected so it seems like a bonus. (He just has a ton of health issues that are catching up to him and his body is giving out...he's 79 and hasn't been in great shape for a long time.)
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 8:40 AM on May 17, 2020 [5 favorites]

Also on the cross stitch train over here, including finally getting pattern ideas out of my head and into my fledgling Etsy shop. Current favorite: last week a friend posted "turns out Reddi Wip is my pandemic coping strategy" and I immediately got out the colored pencils and graph paper.

I've also been walking the dog more, especially on teleworking days - while I don't miss commuting, it did provide a nice break between work and home that just closing the door to the spare bedroom/home office doesn't. She's learned to tell time and at 5:00 will sit at the door and whine until I log off and get the leash. Strolling around the neighborhood beats 20 minutes in traffic any day.
posted by Flannery Culp at 8:58 AM on May 17, 2020 [3 favorites]

I've been pretty fervent about getting my walks in every day, and I have to admit I'm starting to get a bit tired of my routines and neighborhood. I've come up with a bit of a "hack" to keep my walks entertaining.

Right before I go walking I sit down with Spotify and meditate a bit until an old song I haven't heard in years pops up into my mind and then I add it to my "walking playlist", and then basically it becomes a game to find 6 or 7 more songs to add after that. The goal is to find at least 45 minutes of music and suddenly my walks feel much easier!

Oh and I also made a YouTube channel where I documented an, umm... fictional, yeah, fictional character losing his marbles in quarantine.
posted by jeremias at 9:07 AM on May 17, 2020 [2 favorites]

Well surely I have played more Plants V. Zombies than nearly every other human on this planet. I'm up to 25 rounds on Survival: Endless but partially at least because it's a matter of clicking speed at that point and also this game is terrible on my wrist. Have been tempted to buy the platform needed for Animal Crossing but have not caved yet. However, I have purchased Bloons 6.

Yesterday I made a ridiculous triple batch of banana bread with the three black bananas on the counter and a large ziploc from the freezer. I only had a half bag of chocolate bits but it was surprisingly sufficient. Have shared with two neighbors, which they appreciated. I've also been picking up stuff from Costco for them, and they from Trader Joe's for me, hooray!

Walking dogs twice a day, both the routine and the getting out, continues to be very good and most of the other dog-walkers say hi these days. Though, there is this group of 3 (40s-50s-ish? white, English-speaking) people who walk a neatly sheared white poodle-type, and they have never replied to any wave or hello. I am a little intrigued by them, but mostly well I guess I think they are jerks! (We are lucky here to have plenty of room for physical distancing)
posted by Glinn at 9:08 AM on May 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

I've been going back and forth between playing a shit ton of Civilization VI and SnowRunner (muddy truck driving and delivery sim).

When I'm not gaming, I've been outside doing a fair bit of yard-work. The drainage on the side of our house has been neglected so we're building up the lawn with many many many many bags of dirt.

I'm not a huge fan of yard-work but I do enjoy that feeling at the end after you've sweat your ass off for an hour or two. There are plans to sit on the porch and have a few drinks for this afternoon.

I hope everyone is doing well and staying safe.
posted by Fizz at 9:27 AM on May 17, 2020 [1 favorite]


I become bread baking bro : breadsplaining incoming!

not sourdoughbro! instant yeast, no knead-bread-dude!. working on dough skills, shaping , scoring experimenting with temperature baking pot hydration flour type. i started to read all the breadblogs, modernist kitchen,,, foodgeek, “bake with jack” on youtube, i bought a pack of instant yeast, cheap: castiron combo cooker, cheap kevlar ovengloves for high temp, cheap bench knife, cheap lame, diastatic malt powder. (total cost for all of the above inc shipping about $100) .

it replace chemistry lab for me

i will probably start playing with adding gelatin to make high hydration dough more shapeable and better crusts, and polydextrose for crust development too

is good, look good, bread good

but fallen down bakinghole

posted by lalochezia at 9:38 AM on May 17, 2020 [10 favorites]

I ran yesterday for the first time in about 8 months, and it felt so good, even if it was only short intervals.

I set up home office desk v3.0, now featuring 12 bankers' boxes and an old door, and it's almost the perfect height for a standing desk for me, just have to shim the keyboard a little. Also work gave me a new laptop, so I have to set that up with the two monitors I have (which mostly means picking my background images, which I'm pretty sure will be pics of The Regrettes, Charly Bliss, and Meet Me @ The Alter).

While I was setting up the new desk, I was listening to a riot grrl playlist on Spotify, and a song came on that immediately caught my ear. I went to the artist, and listened to the whole album,"Frenching the Bully", by The Gits (which pretty much ticks all my boxes). I'd never listened to them before, but I have the Home Alive album that came out after Mia Zapata was killed, so I kind of know the story, just not the band she was in. So, hooray for new music for me!
posted by Gorgik at 9:52 AM on May 17, 2020 [2 favorites]

Bizarrely I find I am glued to my chair during the work week -- how can it be more demanding when I'm in my sweats at home? But in spare time, going to town on knitting and learning Italian on Mondo, have had fun making this awesome pancake recipe and various breads in new bread crock from Etsy, finished The Mentalist, are completely up to date on Bosch and Line of Duty, and are working our way through Giri/Haji and Undone.
posted by bearwife at 10:00 AM on May 17, 2020

....My roommate mentioned to me the other day that he was considering buying a folding exercise bike. He's been working from home all this time, as opposed to his 30-minute walk to work before Covid, and was feeling like he should do something for exercise. We discussed that - he was expressly looking for something that could be folded up for storage so it wouldn't become a new piece of apartment furniture, and I offered to pay a little bit of the cost if that was the case so we could a) store it in the most accessible closet in the apartment and b) I could use it occasionally as well.

He just found one, for a very reasonable price. It will actually get here at a decent time.

Holy shit, guys, I think I'm about to start an exercise program.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:01 AM on May 17, 2020 [3 favorites]

Male Baker =/= breadbro. I feel I was too tired last night to clarify. Basically, if after a round of super scientific baking if I were to talk about my great grandmother kneading kuchen dough on a clean tablecloth in the New York Tenements in the 1900's and how I wished I had the type of tablecloth/big table/right recipe, would your reaction be to reminisce about your long passed family bakers? (probably) or perhaps you'd start googling or otherwise looking up turn of the last century baking techniques and supplies and their modern equivalents? (maybe) Or maybe you'd look me in the eye with a hungry glint and say "what is this kuchen and will I be able to make it"? (Also good) These are all normal and good reactions. This means you are a baker, no matter your level of skill.

If your reaction would be to scoff and say something about how my great grandmother probably couldn't make sourdough which is the only baking that matters because the yeasts in New York are all wrong and she wasn't smart enough to keep a starter anyways (as if women weren't the original keepers of starters...) and hey here's a youtube video on how I made my latest boule- do you know that word, of course you don't, here's my other video on what boule means... THAT is a bread bro and I would be calling Poffin Boffin to avail myself of her "the whole man" removal service. The bread bro is sometimes an "I retired at 35 after my unicorn start-up sold" tech guy which I'm sad to say are fairly common in my neck of the woods.

As for your sad trip down a bakinghole- I am in one myself right now so If you find a way out, please tell me.

Bread good.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 10:12 AM on May 17, 2020 [6 favorites]

Well surely I have played more Plants V. Zombies than nearly every other human on this planet.

My eleven year old would like to have a word with you. He's actually been playing on my Xbox account because he figured out he can circumvent screen time restrictions using my controller. By the time I realized this, he had built up so much swag and progress I didn't have the heart to change my password. So now I've basically abandoned any control over his PvZ addiction. As long as he gets his school work done.

I've been mostly avoiding writing a stupid business proposal. Procrastination this week had been rebuilding the home music studio we disassembled last year when we moved. Now that the kids are bored I am hoping they'll develop more interest in it. They can do some basic looping and such with Garage Band and are rapping lyrics that mostly have to do with the size of butts relative to other butts and non-butt objects. I appreciate and support them creating fearless art about the world in which they live, butts and all.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:16 AM on May 17, 2020 [5 favorites]

Hold on now. What is this about a "whole man" removal service? How does it work?
posted by HotToddy at 10:22 AM on May 17, 2020 [3 favorites]

Started baking commercial yeast bread since a friend got me a bread cookbook and another (Mefite!) friend dropped off yeast for me. Pretty sure I am a grumpy ol' hipster since my yeast bread is not as good as sourdough, and I have been making sourdough since before it was (quite so) cool. It's fun to try baking new things though. I didn't used to have the energy to take on new recipes since I was out and about so much.
posted by ferret branca at 10:34 AM on May 17, 2020 [3 favorites]

This has been Year of the Bike for me, after I relearned the basics in a couple adult "learn to ride" classes last summer (shout-out to Bike East Bay and the SF Bike Coalition!) I moved to sprawly, flat suburbia in January, bought a 3-speed town bike and started pootling around the neighborhood, then running errands and getting groceries, and eventually riding my 6 miles to work every day until, of course, my commute dropped down to 0 miles a day. Then during Shelter In Place I started going on longer and longer rides for exercise, and last week I decided to take the plunge and get a drop bar bike with like, actual gears and stuff with the thought of maybe also taking it on the trails nearby. I got a screaming deal on a Surly Midnight Special (in the "Hot Mayonnaise" colorway) online and assembled most of it myself with help from the bike shop down the road, and this morning took it out for its first ride around the block. Now I get to fiddle with the levers and swear at the disc brakes until everything is all dialed in, hooray!
posted by btfreek at 10:38 AM on May 17, 2020 [3 favorites]

I've ordered a stunt kite. I'm completely unatletic, and have very little hand-eye coordination. There are some how-to videos on youtube, but the ones I've found aren't very good. I'm looking forward the rain stopping so I can just go ahead and embarrass myself in public.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 10:47 AM on May 17, 2020 [3 favorites]

Yesterday our best couple friends came by the house for touchless pickup of fried chicken we made, because why go to all the trouble of making just a small batch when you can share? (Secret motive: make room in the freezer and use up old chicken parts!)

We got to meet their quarantine-adopted dog and sit outside on the deck, masked and many feet apart, to catch up. It was SO MUCH better than a Zoom call (which we'd been dodging for the 60-day duration) and combined with the sudden arrival of gorgeous weather improved my withdrawn, uncertain mood 1000%!
posted by Otter_Handler at 11:02 AM on May 17, 2020 [5 favorites]

I have been not so much with the fun recently, but I've decided that it's really unhealthy not to have any fun, so I am trying to make some time for fun things. I read the latest Rivers of London book, and now that I've finished it, I'm moving on to a new mystery series. My mom and I have been watching "Gourmet Makes" on YouTube, which is the show where a very fancy pastry chef tries to make upscale versions of things like Pop Tarts and Snickers bars. I am knitting some socks. I've started doing the New York Times crossword puzzle every day, although I can only reliably solve it Sunday through Wednesday.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 11:41 AM on May 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

I'm a big cliché what with the cross stitch and ukulele and long walks and being laid off and mopey solitude avec feline, but I took on a volunteer project using some of my learning & development skills for a small charity, converting some in-person workshops to webinars and updating the content. I don't have a lot of autonomy which is both good and bad because speeding through the work would leave me without a project again, as satisfying as it would be to just jam it out with a flourish and all. I'm glad to use my brain.

(Learning a sad but musically interesting 80's ballad right now on said uke and if I can nail it, it's gonna be a Thing.)
posted by wellred at 11:46 AM on May 17, 2020 [2 favorites]

> Flannery Culp: "fledgling Etsy shop" could be in your profile, ya know.
posted by theora55 at 11:52 AM on May 17, 2020

It could, but there's still a tiny little margin between my real name/life and here that I try to maintain. That said, MeMail is a thing if you promise not to murder me and steal my identity. (NB: you'll inherit a mortgage and a kid that will need college tuition $$ soon, so maybe not your best choice anyway)
posted by Flannery Culp at 11:56 AM on May 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

It's the weekend of CATS!!!

ALW: The thing is, Cats is about joy.

(Grizabella enters)

ALW: Oh, maybe not now.

I'm consistently amused by ALW sniffing at the film as "un-Eliot" because even though I have not held a seance to ask him directly, I'm fairly certain that Eliot would hold strong negative opinions about young people in legwarmers making cat faces while singing lines borrowed from The Four Quartets.
posted by betweenthebars at 12:00 PM on May 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

Two words: potato candy.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 12:00 PM on May 17, 2020 [2 favorites]

even though I have not held a seance to ask him directly, I'm fairly certain that Eliot would hold strong negative opinions about young people in legwarmers making cat faces while singing lines borrowed from The Four Quartets.

Must beg to differ. After all, he wrote the original Cats, Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats.
posted by bearwife at 12:09 PM on May 17, 2020

I don't know, Eliot took the Eliot who wrote Four Quartets very seriously and probably would not have been pleased to have him confused with Fun Uncle Eliot.

Anyway, my new headcanon is that Bustopher Jones belongs to Mycroft Holmes. If I end up staying trapped in my goddamn apartment all summer, there will be fanfic. Humans and cats solving murders and making friends along the way.
posted by betweenthebars at 12:25 PM on May 17, 2020 [5 favorites]

Today feels like the last day of cold chilly rainy spring, so I'm making a lamb stew with fennel, prunes, tomatoes, and a 2015 Cornas that I should not have opened for another 5 years at least.
posted by winesong at 1:32 PM on May 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

just endless spring chores. I walk 2.5-3 miles every day

MonkeyToes, can you come over and convince me to do same?
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:53 PM on May 17, 2020

We're now having cocktail hour in the actual living room at the big table (as opposed to the kitchen where we usually hang out) at 6 sharp. We often ask colleagues to zoom-share drinks, or friends from the US (that'd be 8:00p.m. for us and early drinking for them), family in the US (idem), or my children who are in Holland (and we in Sweden. Don't believe the press about that everyone in Sweden is out having big social gatherings. It's not true. If not anything else, the weather prevents it), or we drink our own drinks. We are trying out pretty much every recipe from Micah LeMon's Imbible, and a few others...
Also I went on posting stay-at-home music videos on youtube which is fun and instructive. The challenge is to play a piece in one take with no mistakes.
I also cut some trim today for the hallway. Will have to re-do a part tomorrow, using an actual miter box. I learned that. We sleep longer and I am more relaxed than in decades. So there's that.
posted by Namlit at 3:07 PM on May 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

I'm playing cribbage virtually twice a week (with my girlfriend and my best friend) and in person with my son most weekends.

I'm also on a frantic cleaning/decluttering kick. Like, pulling the stove out to clean behind it and vacuuming the blinds type cleaning.

I just bought a fire pit too so I'm likely going to be a Fire Pit Guy when the rain moves out of the area.
posted by Twicketface at 3:25 PM on May 17, 2020 [3 favorites]

btfreek the Midnight Special is such a fun bike. My wife loves hers and I like to noodle around on it even though it is way too small. Congrats on getting into biking!
posted by rockindata at 5:38 PM on May 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

I'm kind of struggling through this time. Reasonably, it's been an objectively rough stretch for me.

Divorce shenanigans are shenaniganing; 5 weeks ago my dog was attacked and nearly died (he's doing great! I'm still processing the trauma); 2 weeks ago a co-worker passed from Covid, and I haven't gotten to get closer than 6 ft away from my boyfriend in 2 months. Plus my job has been taken over with Covid response and it's neverending, disruptive and exhausting. I'm sort of at my rope's end with just managing day-to-day.

With all of that, my fun lately has been gentle brain candy. I'm binging more TV than ever (reality competition shows mostly), and playing lots of Animal Crossing. Ive also worked a lot on reclaiming space in my house -- I cleared a lot of my ex's things out of one bedroom so I have a legit office now, and, this weekend I did the same to my enclosed porch. I meant it as a little coffee/reading nook, but it was pretty much immediately taken over by one of my cats. I've also kept up with my weekly belly dance class, but over Zoom rather than in the studio. That's been fun, and keeps my body moving at least once per week. I've also been enjoying cooking, and seeing how far I can stretch ingredient substitutions/omissions to use up what I have in the house at any given time. That's fun, and tasty most of the time.

I hope everyone here is holding up ok.
posted by Sparky Buttons at 8:01 PM on May 17, 2020 [8 favorites]

I turned my kid's old outgrown bike in to an exercise bike using a metal stepladder, an old treadmill motor wired as a generator driving a resistor for load, a whole bunch of angle brackets, conduit, etc. It's a total bodge-job craftsmanship fail (couldn't find my 3/4" conduit bender) but it works fine! So, a fun little project and I get to feel virtuous using it. (Also, I feel a little awkward following some heavier stuff with my silly project, but this is the fun at home thread...)
posted by Larry David Syndrome at 8:24 PM on May 17, 2020 [5 favorites]

I am also in bread hole. But I'm happy down here, leave me alone.

Sourdough was the first thing I thought of when they threatened WFH, as I've been trying and failing to make it in my shitty oven on and off for years. Flour hasn't been hard to find, so long as I'm willing to buy it by the 12.5kg (I am), and I finally am able to make bread that is good enough to give away - a very important requirement, because 12.5kg.

I'm a chemist, and WFH is impractical and soooo boring (all the safety paper work, none of the fun stuff), so I'm doing booze and bread kitchen-experiments. I've only got one more week at home, and I want to be able to make a decent loaf of bread whenever I want, in the time I have, with the amount of starter I have, in the easiest way possible. I've got four miniloaves rising in the kitchen today, testing kneading options (my preferred option is "fuck all", but we'll see if the others make a better loaf) and rising times. It's entertaining me no end. I wish I could always combine "check on experiment" with "make cup of tea", but alas, no tea in the lab.

Tomorrow I'm planning to wade into bread-bro territory and try out different hydrations AKA more water. I think high hydration bread is a bit dumb (melted cheese should stay in the sandwich), but I'd like to at least know that I could make it if I wanted to, and choose not to.

I bought a hula hoop and juggling balls a month ago. I'm pretty bad at both, but I'm enjoying very slowly getting better.

We're also doing puzzles and re-watching old movies. Can't watch anything tricky whilst doing puzzles, as you miss too much. Last night was Karate Kid.

I've also got out the drill and some scrap wood, and have been rearranging my workstation so that it's less irritating visually when I'm not using it.
posted by kjs4 at 9:58 PM on May 17, 2020 [3 favorites]

My first try at sourdough bread failed spectacularly today. I'm not sure which of the 1000 steps I did wrong. Probably all of them. I have no idea what I'm doing.

At least my starter seems to be growing well, and it makes great pancakes. Maybe I'll try some easier discard recipes while I work up my nerve to try bread again.
posted by randomnity at 10:18 PM on May 17, 2020 [4 favorites]

I turned my kid's old outgrown bike in to an exercise bike using a metal stepladder, an old treadmill motor wired as a generator driving a resistor for load, a whole bunch of angle brackets, conduit, etc.

Oh, man, that is a marvelous kludge, Larry David Syndrome. Much sincere respect.
posted by soundguy99 at 3:56 AM on May 18, 2020 [3 favorites]

randomnity - you may want to check out this recipe. I also had spotty success the first time I tried bread, but I tried that yesterday - I did halve the recipe, to make only three mini boules - and it actually worked kind of okay. The boules were about the size of a softball, and didn't rise that much - but the inside was sufficiently bread-y that I count it as a success.

That recipe also walks you through the timing, and has a couple links to videos to demonstrate other techniques they discuss, so it may be a good resource.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:22 AM on May 18, 2020 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the advice! It turned out like a biscotti version of bread - pretty good taste but like a gummy brick. Dough never really rose at all even though I waited an extra hour in the last rise step and the room was warm enough.

I'm going to wait for my scale to arrive before I try again (one potential reason for failure out of many)... that mini loaves recipe looks great, I may try that!

I think another big problem is that I drastically underkneaded, after reading more about what kneading is supposed to look like. So I may try a no knead recipe next time. This is the recipe I followed...all the "this is my first bread and it was perfect" reviews on there are salt in the wound, haha.
posted by randomnity at 7:41 AM on May 18, 2020 [1 favorite]

Oh, the kneading is pretty key, that was my mistake with my own first loaf. It took a whole lot of binging The Great British Bakeoff for me to finally realize that "wow, I've never been kneading anywhere near enough."

The mini loaves only call for 5 minutes of kneading, and then a couple of "stretch-and-fold" sessions followed by rises. Even then they didn't really rise all that much and I was thinking they would be gummy, but....they weren't. They never really rose that much, but the inside texture was definitely a good chewy rather than an "undercooked and gummy" chewy.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:54 AM on May 18, 2020 [1 favorite]

sourdough good. make better bread. many more variables tho! what time are you using your starter? what phase is it in? is it very lactic or mild, has it lost its oomph, did you feed and treat it right, did you unknowingly insult the SCOBY and now it is angry with you ?

instant yeast easier! much more reproducible! (a good one delivered for $15 for a pack that will bake 50-200 loaves, good for 2 years in freezer) get good with instant yeast doughs, then graduate to sourdoughs.

dat my plan anywayz.

*yes i know i linked to satan, unfortunately i just looked and the SAF RED is out from ethical suppliers at the moment.,,
posted by lalochezia at 11:03 AM on May 18, 2020

Two words: potato candy.

1 small potato. . . 6-8 cups powdered sugar? Fascinating. (I guess it is called candy.) I'm intrigued and will try it with something that isn't peanut butter. Maybe marmalade? Chocolate? Crushed berry? Sesame? (I like peanut butter in many things, but not in sweet things.)
posted by eotvos at 11:25 AM on May 18, 2020

I came across this and need to share David Lynch passionately directs Laura Dern.
posted by waving at 7:14 PM on May 18, 2020

Reporting back on sourdough experiments. All produced essentially equivalent loaves. Have decided autolyse and folding is for people with too much spare time. I'll go back to "fuck all" kneading (enough to mix in some poppy seeds ~ 1 hr after mixing).

Limoncello is the matter for the day.
posted by kjs4 at 10:18 PM on May 18, 2020 [1 favorite]

Limoncello is the matter for the day.

Oh, man, if you haven't heard of the web site Limoncello Quest you're in for a treat. It's the passion project by a dude who is just hands-down obsessed with limoncello, and has created a site devoted to how to make it, how to trouble-shoot if it goes wrong, and recipes for cocktails to use it. He also reviews other store-bought brands.

I've used his recipe for some years now. Limoncello has been my go-to house drink if you've had a nasty work-related shock.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:08 AM on May 19, 2020 [1 favorite]

(Oh, and I also use it in a delicious sorbet.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:08 AM on May 19, 2020

Made a combo 12' x 8' climbing wall and 12' high aerial silks rig, associated crash pads, and top sun deck with umbrella for my kids, two 16'x2' raised beds for the garden (filled with compost mix, which was the absolute worst). Also, sous vide cheesecake which is super easy and the absolute best. Skip the cornstarch, and honestly skip the crust too. Lastly, Bourbon chicken liver pate. Which I don't eat but am happy to make, as apparently it tastes good.

All bread has failed so far. Waiting for it to be warm enough to regularly rise on the counter in the sun.
posted by true at 11:13 AM on May 19, 2020 [1 favorite]

I've also fallen into the sourdough habit. I was able to bake two nice loaves last week and then saw a video on making neat cut patterns on the top which I really want to give a try but I need to finish the two loaves first and with Ramadan I'm not eating lunch and missing out on the prime bread-eating meal so it's taking a bit longer to eat the bread. At least it seems to keep pretty well.

I'm also quite happy with the lame I made using a spare razor blade and wooden BBQ skewer. Not that a lame is particularly expensive but there's something inordinately satisfying about making one in next to no time using 50¢ worth of stuff that's already lying around. It's the kind of thing I'd show off to random visitors if I wasn't afraid of the blade somehow snapping and flying into someone's eye and if I could actually have random visitors.

I made a garden bed on Sunday and was able to get my daughter involved in making most of it. She glued and clamped the posts I cut for the inside and for assembly I got her to screw all the pieces together after I'd drilled in the pilot holes. Looks like the next project for the two of us is to make some garden storage (with a green roof!) I figure if I can get her to assist with these smaller projects then once we get started on her tree house later this summer she'll be a fairly capable assistant.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 4:29 PM on May 19, 2020 [2 favorites]

I started knitting a scarf out of string while watching Gov. Cuomo’s daily press briefing...because he was starting to give me daddy issues and I needed something to do with my hands. I took a break for a week or so and the feeling has mostly passed, but yeah the scarf’s like 12 feet long. :/
posted by sexyrobot at 12:48 PM on May 20, 2020 [1 favorite]

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