The major marker for me this week was the beginning of virtual learning for my children. Last spring the experience of learning online was a nightmare, mostly because teachers were thrown in without a plan, and students were confused too. This time around things are much more organized, but it is still an enormous amount of information to manage.
I set up four work stations at Hurley House for my children, doing my best to make sure everyone had a power cord for their device, plenty of supplies (including Jolly Ranchers and Play-Doh), and space to keep their books and notebooks.
For the most part it worked, although my two high schoolers decided by then end of the week they didn’t want to do school at Hurley House and moved their learning environment home. I can’t say I blame them, but I was a little sad that we didn’t get to pretend to be in a one-room school house like Laura Ingles Wilder.
The funniest part about online learning is that a couple of my children haven’t learned how to control the volume of their voice while wearing headphones. There was a lot of shouting answers (“I LIKE DOGS TOO!” “I HAVE TWO SISTERS AND A BROTHER!”) and sudden outbursts of loud laughing, which made us all giggle.
The most difficult part about this week wasn’t tactical, it was emotional. Everyone is having big feelings, including me, and big feelings take a toll to process. I am emotional about having a senior coupled with our youngest starting her last day of elementary school. My kids are emotional about not being able to connect with their friends. My middle schooler is in tears about not physically being at school. It’s a mess, but we are trudging through, doing our best.
On that note, my husband surprised me with my own “first week of school” gift, and I felt loved and known. He gave me a small bottle of French vodka and a bag of tiny Tate’s cookies. I love all things tiny and/or French, and the bonus of booze and cookies was well-played. Like I said, we are all doing the best we can around here.
This week on the blog I wrote a post about the Breville Smart Oven and how much I love it. Lately I am a complete Breville brand convert. Everything I own by them is killer. I have switched to a Breville food processor after years of using Cuisinart, and I also own the Breville Coffee Grinder and Bambino Espresso Maker. All of the appliances are built well and out perform other brands. Go Breville!
How do you eat ice cream? My favorite way is in a frozen coffee mug (the tinier, the better), with a splash of milk, and a tiny spoon. I also usually wrap the cup in a dish towel to insulate it and protect my hands. It’s fussy, but ice cream is my favorite dessert, and I love the ritual of all the steps and getting it just right. At a minimum, if you haven’t tried freezing your bowl before scooping ice cream into it, give it a shot. It keeps the ice cream colder longer, and that’s a win in my book.
Last, but not least, I purchased some of the fixtures from the Sur La Table closing sale. Look at these beautiful prep tables!! They were in the cooking classroom at Sur La Table, and I love them so much. It’s also a tiny bit comforting to know that I own a small piece of the store I loved so much. I will remember it fondly each time I prep ingredients on my new tables.
Have a lovely weekend!