Tales From A Hungry Life

April 1, 2020

Go Wash Your Hands

Maria Schulz

person washing hands
Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on Pexels.com

Hello everybody!

Sorry I’ve gone MIA for the past couple of years. Life gets in the way sometimes, and then other times, you get stuck indoors for an indeterminate period of time  (I’m talking about a pandemic, not an incarceration) and you feel like blogging again!

Thankfully, my family and I are happy, healthy, and safe. We wash our hands A LOT and try not to touch our faces. The skin on our hands resembles catcher’s mitts. Despite all of this, I do realize we are very blessed and I am grateful for that.

Still, there’s a lot of stuff I took for granted pre-pandemic that I really miss. Here are some of the things I could really use right about now:

four person standing at top of grassy mountain
Photo by Helena Lopes on Pexels.com

Random Human Contact

My immediate family and I are hunkered down in our own home and we have enough to get through this uncertain time. We are social distancing and staying out of stores – and away from people outside of our little tribe – as much as possible to stay healthy.

Since I am an introvert, I never, ever thought I would miss social interaction with random strangers. I am not an extrovert by any means, although those with a more severe case of introversion would probably scoff and call me a closet extrovert.

I didn’t realize how much of my day is spent chatting with people at work (now that I work exclusively at home), making amusing chit chat with the neighbors, or having polite conversations with new people at the dog run or the local park.

man and woman running near green leaf trees photo
Photo by mentatdgt on Pexels.com

Suddenly, the only humans I see are…nobody. Or they are people who will not get within 20 feet of me. I never knew I would miss that kind of contact, but this has been an enlightening time. You mean I LIKE PEOPLE? Fascinating.

Book Club

English major nerd that I am, I belong to two book clubs.

My first book club is filled with wonderful PARP (Parents Are Reading Partners) moms, or I should say, ex-PARP moms (our kids are all way past having us as reading partners). Ten years later, this book club still lives and breathes, and we have never looked back.

We started meeting at each other’s houses, then moved our get-togethers to a local Panera’s. We eat, and laugh, and share stories about each other’s kids and families….and eventually talk about the book some of us have read.

Thanks to this wonderful group of women, I have come across some of incredible reads, including Molokai (which I’ve recommended in other blogs), The Swans of Fifth Avenue, The Bell Jar, The Nightingale, and The Book Thief.


These experiences have been so good that I wanted to share them with other people I love. So, my nephew and I decided to create our own family book club. We take turns meeting in each other’s houses, where we eat, laugh, and eventually discuss the books we’re reading, including Where The Crawdads Sing, The Wives, The Guest Book, Supermarket, Caught, The Woman in the Window, and The Silent Patient.

book chapter six
Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

Of course, both of my book clubs can’t meet now, or for the foreseeable future. I guess we could meet virtually to discuss these books in detail. Who knows? At this point, anything is possible.

Leisurely Strolls Through Big Box Stores

Yes, there was a time in the not-so-distant past that I would go for a stroll through Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, or Petco, shopping for clothes, food, or soap in a leisurely fashion.

Now, the only time I head out to the stores is when we’re low on food, cleaning supplies, or toilet paper. The last time I went out, I wore a scarf over my face, ran through the aisles in search of toilet paper, got a hot tip from a store associate who told me to be at the warehouse door the next morning at 9 am. I ran back out to my car empty handed but pumped and ready for my morning meet-up.

Yes, these are interesting times.

woman in mask holding toilet paper
Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Dress Codes

The first few days I worked from home, I dressed like I was going into work. I wore blouses, slacks and jewelry. I put on my makeup and brushed my hair. I lived in fear of video conferences that would “out” me as a slacker.

On Day 2, I realized that I could turn off the camera, and since that time, I have been so busy that…let’s say, certain dress code rules and regulations have been relaxed.

While I don’t exactly look like I sleep outdoors or was raised by wolves, I now understand why teenagers wear pajamas and Birkenstocks all day long.

Out of Here
I’m outta here

The Barber/Hairdresser

For all you folks who think you’re low key in the upkeep department, I’m wondering: how does your hair look lately? I, for one, look like I just came out of a 20 year long sleep and go by the name of either Rip Van Winkle or Dumbledore.

I underestimated my love affair with hair dye, and for that, let me just say: I MISS YOU! YOU COMPLETE ME! COME BACK TO ME! WE BELONG TOGETHER!

My Sunny Optimistic Streak

Has anyone seen it? I could really use it right now. I promise I’ll find it in time for next Wednesday’s blog post!


50 Things to Make with Pasta Sauce

Eggs in Purgatory

If you’re running out of things to make for dinner, here are 50 recipes you can use to create something delicious from a pantry staple – a jar of tomato sauce! My favorite is Eggs in Purgatory!

So, Hungry Lifers…what do you miss most these days? What new things have you found that have delighted or surprised you? Please leave a comment below and let us all know.

Stay healthy and safe! Now go wash your hands. 🙂


  1. Love it!!

    Comment by Miriam — April 1, 2020 @ 8:52 am | Reply

  2. Thank you Maria!! You’re back!! Needed a good laugh on this April fools day! Can’t wait til we all can experience each other’s bad hair Rip van winkle ‘dos

    Comment by Kathie R — April 1, 2020 @ 9:04 am | Reply

  3. Yay! You’re back!! 😀😀😀. Miss you!!

    Comment by Paula — April 1, 2020 @ 10:03 am | Reply

  4. Maria I miss going to Yoga and my alone time. I used to have the house to myself but now I am always around people who have their own agendas. Finding a place that has a steady flow of news papers is also an issue Television is also lacking during this time because I have seen most of what interests me.

    Comment by Tony Lagalante — April 1, 2020 @ 10:43 am | Reply

  5. This is awesome, Maria! Glad you’re blogging again.

    Comment by wordimprovisor177 — April 1, 2020 @ 12:18 pm | Reply

  6. Oh! And I really miss going to the cafe up the road from me on Saturday mornings, eating their backed oats with coffee, opening my laptop and pretending to write! LOL! And most of all, I miss working with my favorite freelance writer!!!!!

    Comment by wordimprovisor177 — April 1, 2020 @ 12:22 pm | Reply

    • I miss my favorite boss! But I’m still staring at the screen trying to finish Hungry For Life.

      Comment by talesfromahungrylife — April 1, 2020 @ 1:06 pm | Reply

  7. Great to see you are blogging again. You never fail to make me laugh, which is something we all need right now!

    Comment by Jane Barbino — April 1, 2020 @ 12:50 pm | Reply

  8. Eggs in Purgatory—a childhood favorite👌🏻 Hey, you didn’t mention missing certain marathon dinners at Applebee’s!!

    Comment by thedailypeeve — April 1, 2020 @ 7:26 pm | Reply

    • That goes without saying! I miss our marathon dinners, talking to you for 5 hours, being surprised that it’s already almost midnight and it feels like we just started talking. I miss it all!

      Comment by talesfromahungrylife — April 1, 2020 @ 7:56 pm | Reply

  9. I’m glad to see you are back to your blog and I’m so happy to see your recipes and read your words!! I missed our book club meetings before this pandemic and miss them even more now when a good laugh or a good read or a great conversation help you get through these tough times. Be well and stay safe and looking forward to your next blog. Sophia

    Comment by Sophia Brogna — April 1, 2020 @ 11:22 pm | Reply

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