15 Realistic Recipes to Feed Your Family in an Apocalypse

The pandemic continues, Oregon is on fire along with the rest of the West, and even though the fire a couple miles from our house is now 75% contained (THANK YOU, FIREFIGHTERS!), my brain is broken. Just totally kaput. Zero percent battery, and I forgot where I put my brain charger. 

I was feeling badly about this, as though my inability to get anything done is proof that I’m a lazy sack who doesn’t deserve the air I breathe, even though that air is currently full of smoke and so dense we could chew it. But then several friends reminded me that our brains and our bodies are reacting exactly as they were built to do. There are fires in our forests. Visibility is shot due to opaque air. We’ve been at a heightened state of emergency for six months. OF COURSE WE’RE EXPERIENCING MENTAL SHUT DOWN. Our bodies are priming us to fight or flee. Our brains don’t need to form complete sentences right now. They don’t need to do anything other than basic survival.  ...  read more

And Now Oregon Is on Fire: The COVID Diaries

Dear Diary,

When I started my COVID Diaries, I thought it would be for a while. A season. An interesting few weeks, maybe? I thought our national response would be different. I thought, even if we didn’t eradicate it within our borders, we’d control it.

I did not think I’d be sitting here, almost exactly 6 months later, writing about wildfires sweeping the West, including the fire that’s about 3 miles from our own little house in Oregon while the pandemic rages on, as well. ...  read more

All of 2020: A Story about Dog Poo

This is Abby (the human) and Lulu (the dog).

That pic is from 3 months ago, which means Lulu is now 45x bigger.

He is not a labradoodle, after all.

He is either a small, black bear, or a moose, or a husky, feral, adorable kindergarten boy named something that ends with -y. Like Kenny. Or Jeffy. Or Tommy. 

You know the one. He’s the kid who has NO IDEA how long his limbs are. He’s Bambi on the ice, made from 73% sweetness and 27% flailing. He takes corners too fast and runs into walls. He eats with pure joy and creates a colossal mess. Never did he ever finish a meal without spaghetti sauce or jelly to his eyebrows and wiping his face on his shirt.  ...  read more

Bearing Witness

Before we begin, please imagine me face down on the couch, head smooshed into the grubby cushions, cereal shrapnel and muddy dog prints decorating my periphery. That is where I metaphorically am. I am not sitting upright at my desk typing. I am using telepathy from my frazzled, stuttering brain. Nothing is happening in a linear fashion around here. No thing. It’s all illusion and mirrors. I am stuck on the couch now, and here I shall remain for all eternity because getting up would require energy and I don’t know what that is anymore. ...  read more

11 August 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not

Here are the four things we’re doing with our kids for school this year:

1. Trying not to stress the eff out.

2. Remembering there is no such thing as “getting behind” because a) “on track” is a manufactured and ever-changing target based on an imaginary student’s potential for “success” in an outdated world, and b) EVERY student is currently affected by this crisis. ...  read more

10 August 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not

Dear Diary,

I have come to this conclusion: if we are not helping our neighbors now, we will never help our neighbors. 

If we’re not loving them now, we never will love them.

If we’re not actively looking for ways to make systems more equitable and just, we never will look for ways to do it.

If we’re embedded in and committed to complacency and selfish ambition, this is where we shall remain. ...  read more

This Is Worse Than the Day I Pooped My Closet

Listen, friend. I will give you one — and only this one — opportunity to stop reading. If periods gross you out, you should be done. Right now. Click away. Abort. SAVE YOURSELF. Or carry on. I don’t care — *shrug* — I’ve done what I can. Now it’s on you.

I don’t really know what to say about this other than it’s worse than The Day I Pooped My Closet. And I do not believe Hallmark has made a sympathy or apology card that quite covers the “I’m sorrys” I owe my son-in-law so I’m a little stuck on how to make this right. ...  read more