Tales From A Hungry Life

April 8, 2020

10 Entertaining Things

Maria Schulz

sakura tree

Good morning everyone!

I promised in last week’s blog post that I would try to think more about what has surprised me, delighted me, and made me happy during this dark and difficult time.

Despite grim statistics everyday, mounting death tolls, and fear lurking in every visit to the grocery store, there have been some good things too.

Yes, that’s my sunny optimistic streak talking. I’ve told my frightened inner child to shut up for a few minutes.

10 Things That Keep Me Entertained

The Best Brownies

Oreo Stuffed Brownies

  1. I am baking again. Did you know that many psychologists say that you can reduce anxiety and depression by baking? Read all about it here. I didn’t realize that when I was a kid, but back then, I baked all the time. I baked coffee cake for my grandmother and uncles, cookies for my brothers, and pretzels for my father and mother. Brownies were a big hit with my family then, and not surprisingly, with my family now. A fudgy square of goodness helps the day seem a little less scary.
  2. I am watching what I eat. Yes, literally. I was doing really well before this all started, and now that I’m home, I find myself tempted daily by the old siren song of Doritos, chocolate chip cookies, and yes, brownies. So what do I do? I count calories and let myself have a treat a couple of times a week. Otherwise, when I emerge from sheltering in place, I will look like a bear emerging from my den.
    People-cheering

    It’s As If We’re All Together…6 Feet Apart

  3. I turn to technology for social interaction. FaceTime puts me in touch with my Dad, brothers, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, and friends. It lets me share a drink with a friend I usually go out to dinner with, or lets my daughters and me play Head Bands with my bestie and her daughter. We laugh a lot and feel connected. I’m not sure we would’ve done that on a normal day, but I’m glad we did it now.
  4. My husband and I take turns cooking. There is no stressed out WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO FOR DINNER conversation, and there is no running around trying to turn hay into gold. If we don’t have EXACTLY what the recipe calls for, we improvise. Yesterday, my husband made a rice bowl with black beans, peas, basmati rice, and cut up hot dogs caramelized in barbecue sauce. We hit it with some lime juice and voila! We had a really weird looking but somehow delicious, cheap dinner. Now that was surprising.
    yoga_collage

    Can you really bend like that?

  5. Yoga is fun!I was always resistant to yoga because when I tried to do it in the past, I thought it was boring. So, I turned to my niece (a yoga instructor) for some beginner’s tips and she sent me some Youtube links to an instructor who specializes in making yoga fun and doable. And guess what? It was fun and I did it! In fact, I’ll come back for more!
  6. Walking and Playing With The Dog Is Good For Her…and Us. Before all of this, I would be stressed and rush my dog through our morning walks. But now, I get up early, run out the door, and really enjoy playing with her. Plus, later in the day, my husband and girls take turns running and playing with her, and at night, my husband and I take her out together. We’re enjoying all of the exercise….but, sometimes, I wonder if my dog is exhausted and wondering when we’ll all go back to work again.
    Happy Puppy

    Be the person your dog thinks you are

  7. Everything is blooming. When I’m rushing back and forth to work, sometimes I have to nudge myself to recognize all the signs of spring. But now that my pace has slowed down and I’m stuck mostly indoors, I can see what I might have otherwise missed. Despite everything, the trees are blossoming and the flowers are blooming. This has filled me with hope and inspired me to dream of better days ahead.
  8. My Writing Muse Is No Longer MIA. Yes, my desire to finish all of those books I started and catch up with the characters I’ve left in the lurch is strong again. I finally have the energy and desire to get back to it.
    writer's block

    Where did you go?

  9. I Appreciate My Husband and Daughters.Yes, we also drive each other crazy. But at a time like this, you really get to appreciate your family member’s strengths. It’s good to have time to spend together…even if we don’t always realize it.
  10. Laughter Gets Me Through. I had to stop watching the news because it’s so upsetting. Instead, my family and I watch comedians like Brian Regan, John Mullaney, and Tig Notaro. Or, we watch There’s Something About Mary, The Wedding Crashers, or Support Your Local Sheriff (and when we want drama, it’s The Great Escape every time). You didn’t think I’d get through an entire post without mentioning James Garner, did you?)
    The Scrounger

    Great movie

Here are some great stress-baking (or anytime baking) recipes for you to enjoy.

The Best Brownies!

Salted Pretzel Brownies!

Oreo Stuffed Brownies

So, Hungry Lifers…how are you keeping yourself busy and finding hope during these unprecedented times? Please leave a comment below and let us all know. Thanks!

9 Comments »

  1. You’re writing better than ever. You reminded me to enjoy slowing down and appreciate all the great people and lovely things to see and do if only we can close our eyes, shut out all the noise and enjoy it all.

    Comment by bglou — April 8, 2020 @ 3:02 pm | Reply

  2. hey Maria. I’m going to work…………….STILL…………….. I’m supposedly an “essential” worker for the City, so it’s essential that I show for work. Even if I’ve got to work around the foolish many who decide that they just HAVE to get that jog in around the running track! When I get home, get right to Netflix and binge out on shows such as “Ozark”, “Fauda” (next season starts on the 16th), “Altered Carbon”………..fun sci-fi, even if it can be a little tough to follow. Just happy to be healthy, is all……. knock wood………….my knuckles are rapping against my head…………….

    Comment by Paul — April 8, 2020 @ 5:01 pm | Reply

  3. Thanks Maria! We have had many brownie cravingS in this house too! We have been Sharing the cooking here and a few bizarre yoga/exercise sessions in the dining room or deck. So glad we can look forward to your next book coming out…with a reference or 2 to James garner?

    Comment by Kathie R — April 8, 2020 @ 5:57 pm | Reply

    • Oh, you know it Kathie! I look forward to the day when we can share a pan of brownies together. Thanks for reading my blog posts! You rock!

      Comment by talesfromahungrylife — April 8, 2020 @ 10:59 pm | Reply

  4. Oreo. Stuffed. Brownies. Oh. My………….

    Comment by turafish — April 8, 2020 @ 8:35 pm | Reply

  5. Great tips here, Maria!

    Comment by Lisa Safran — April 9, 2020 @ 9:14 am | Reply


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