Working from home….

I really didn’t want to write this post.   I am not an alarmist and think of myself as non-hysterical (most of the time).  I worry though about not worrying enough about recent events…

Professional reading from when I need a break from the computer.

I was supposed to travel to LA for a work conference on March 12.   I really didn’t want to go but I also didn’t want to be one of THOSE people that freak out.   My biggest fear was that I would not be able to travel home.  Luckily, the conference was cancelled along with a lot of my angst.

I was already scheduled to work at home last week because of Spring Break.  (When schools are not in session, we home-office.)    That one week stint has turned into three weeks as our state government has decreed that public schools not go back in session until April 6.   It remains to be seen if that return date will materialize.  (Postscript:   Before this went to post, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction proposed that schools not return to the buildings and focus on distance learning the remainder of the term.)

I have only gone out a couple of times for supplies since this has all come to a head.   I had started stocking  up on a few things (stocking up, not hoarding) so I did buy a couple of extra packs of toilet paper, extra soap, toothpaste, laundry and dishwasher detergents.

The last time I went to our local grocery story (March 18) I went for just a few things:   frozen chicken, whole wheat flour, and spinach.

The cupboard was bare—no flour of any kind, no fresh greens of any kind, and no chicken breasts at all (frozen or fresh).   It was at that moment that I almost started binge buying.   But then I saw a cart being pushed by full of chips and many gallons of orange juice.


OK, I get that chips are a treat but you can’t (or shouldn’t) subsist on them.   And unless you’re going to chug a gallon of juice a day or you have an extra fridge, there’s no way that all of that OJ will be used before it goes bad.

I worry about the amount of food that will end up going bad or getting thrown away.

So, back to my quest, I ended up going to Sprouts and getting the flour I normally use along with some fresh spinach and chicken breasts.   (I did buy two packages and froze most of them.)

I’m not sure my intent of this post except to say I know I am extremely lucky to have the luxury of working from home.   I should have the entire home office organized, cleaned and purged of all unnecessary paper.   I should have the files cleaned out and organized in a better fashion.  I should have my calendars completed, agendas developed, budgets finalized….

But, I miss my peeps!

And, we’re all transitioning as to how to help administrators support teachers to support students in this unprecedented time.

Can I say that it broke my heart as all the colleges and universities were closing and students were forced to move off campus?   What about those first gen students who may not be able to go home?   What about the homeless students?  What about those students living off their PELL?  Now they have to pay rent off campus?   What about foster children?   I was told that some schools were granting a few waivers for students to stay in university housing.   I do hope that these students are not displaced and forgotten.

Really, broke my heart….


Since I am home for lunch everyday, I am creating some unusual meals that are mostly delicious.

Harrissa Chicken Nachos with Black Beans (no photo)  (And, of course this is a hypocritical recipe considering my chip comment above).
I cooked some chicken breasts in the instant pot with some jarred harissa sauce that my sister makes.   I froze most of the remainder, but I used a bit  for these nachos.  I topped the chips with chopped chicken, black beans, sliced red bell peppers and cheese.  I garnished it a bit with some sour cream.   Pretty tasty.

Sweet Potato Bowl with Black Beans, Feta, Banana Peppers, Spinach and Arugula
This was a delicious lunch, half a baked sweet potato with leftover black beans from the nachos.   I topped the potato with some feta, some banana peppers and a handful of spinach and arugula mix.  I finished it off with a drizzle of white wine vinegar and salt and pepper.   My new favorite lunch.

And,  a plain russet baked potato is absolutely delicious topped with cottage cheese and lots of black pepper.  (Alas, I’m out of cottage cheese at this point, though.)


Is it bad that I’m scrolling through my Yelp reviews and wistfully thinking of a time when we were able to go out and see people?  It feels kind of pathetic.  I worry about all the restaurant and service-industry workers too.   Will downtown be the same the next time we are able to go to an event or visit a First Friday?  Will we recognize it?


I spent last weekend planting lettuce, spinach, bok choy, radishes and other seed starts in the green house.  I used a lot of OLD seeds that I had on hand.  We’ll see if they grow or not.


Stay safe and healthy everyone!


Thanks for listening to this hodge-podge hopefully non-hysterical post.  Sending good thoughts to you all!

18 comments to Working from home….

  • Weird times. We actually always have a fair amount of stuff in our pantry, so under normal circumstances we could probably live without leaving our house for a couple of weeks at least. We have bought some extra stuff, but not unusual amounts. Stay safe and well.

  • Pam

    So many things to worry about, but I’m thankful our sons and all can work from home, thank goodness for the internet! And that you can also. Supposed to warm up here in Chicago area today and I’m planning on taking a long walk just to get outside. Be safe, take care!

  • Here same…people bought crazy amount of food (lots of them were junk) and toilet paper..I bought 1/4 cow last month, so don’t really worry about much and since we only eat fresh produce, so no point stocking up lots of canned food. However, I did buy a huge jar of dill pickles just in case I need them for a salad or something like that…stay safe and healthy!

  • Thank goodness you are able to work from home…many of our friends are. Having lived through blizzards and hurricanes, my pantry is usually ready for a couple of weeks of what I can pantry cooking. It is the same here with fresh chicken but I was able to buy a package of frozen breasts last week.

    • I really think we could live off our pantry and the freezer for months….but it is nice to have variety. I do feel extremely lucky to be working from home.

  • I too have wondered about all of those students that have no place to go, as well as unemployed working that live from paycheck to paycheck. It’s quite sad, but I do see a lot of the community as well as out local government helping out this best we can. Bet you do miss this kids! When I retired from teaching they were the most I missed from the job. I think this is going to force the education system into going more toward distance learning because we just can’t allow one’s education to come to an abrupt halt. People need to be educated!

    Can’t believe what people are buying – Chips and OJ? Really? Black beans and sweet potatoes are certainly a good direction and such a wonderful combination of flavors. And who doesn’t like nachos? Stay well!

    • This is my second year in this new job. I do miss the kids. I mostly work with adults (administrators, teachers, parents) now. It’s a great day when I get to interact with a kid and talk about college! So glad to see people stepping up in communities to help!

  • Mae

    Your worries are pretty much shared by everyone who is paying attention! Sometimes I think the hoarders are doing the right thing (at least for themselves, that is), but in our town it’s looking as if they didn’t need to be so paranoid. Our local shops are figuring out how to supply local produce to people who want to buy it, national chain stores are getting deliveries and ramping up delivery, and the food bank is figuring out how to provide for the people who need help. I hope that’s not unwarranted optimism! It’s sick people, hospitals, and hospital workers I’m most worried about.

    Be Well … mae at

  • Liz

    Sigh. Yes, there are so many legitimate worries with this pandemic. My sisters and I have been group texting daily and my local girlfriends and I have a set time to do a group Facetime each week. Those help my sanity, especially since Bill is back at the hospital seeing patients. Stay well, my friend!

    • Yes, I was wondering about him. My sister and her husband’s family did a 16 person ZOOM happy hour last week! 🙂 Take car, Liz.

  • Stay safe and that is great you can work from home. I am not working for 3 weeks and hence the need for my routine. The shelves have been empty here for weeks so I do not have food to last. But I will make do with what I have for 5 days if possible before venturing out. Stay healthy 🙂

  • These are scary times. I was talking to my mom who is in her 80s and I asked if all these companies trying to produce essentials instead of their normal product was similar to WW2, she said yes, just like it. But we are not in a war, not the usual kind. Very glad you did not go. I ended my 14-day self-isolation yesterday, I went for a walk today…WOW. I think schools here are closed till May 4th for now. Stay safe.