But still no Netflix streaming.

Routine has settled in on Hampton Roads. There has only been need for but one Staff Meeting recently to clarify the Flat Screen Viewing Hierarchy Protocol; and a lunchtime seminar titled, Turning Off Lights: A Primer.  Tony and I retire for the evening and high-five one another on our parenting skills. We don’t need no stinking “Adult Children Moving Back Home” tips, thank you very much.

Over dinner each evening we also set aside a moment to reflect on those who have been lost to this virus; and to raise a glass to those who are, literally, putting their lives on the line each day to combat this god-awfulness.  Each week as a family we have conducted charitable acts from small to tall as we are inspired. What we do not do, thankfully, is tune into “news,” save for local updates and any information from the CDC. When the “All Clear” signal sounds, not tuning into “news” will likely have been our collective saving grace.

With word that our state parks were shuttered, we crept out rather early one morning for a wander of the local trails around a lake just a 10 minute drive from the house. Our timing paid off; we were the only ones on the trail until the end, when a few vehicles had begun trickling into the lot. Spring green was all around; and we heard several Kingfishers but did not see any, alas. The simple pleasure of being in nature was not lost on us.

Even walking around our neighborhood gives us reason to appreciate nature. Who would not feel hopeful by this view?

On the culinary front, lots of home cooking is how it goes these days, though I did have two fails: an absolutely dreadful and tasteless frittata and a loaf of Foccacia I left to rise and forgot about. When the dabba is opened, though, the family knows dinner will be spectacular. (It was.)

The family baking artist worked her magic with a bowl of apples, turning them into a not-too-sweet crisp that we devoured. With vanilla ice cream, naturally.

Our Contractor had planned to remove the ugly, ugly kitchen backsplash for us in between phases of the master bathroom renovation. Why anyone would put bathroom wall tiles in a kitchen backsplash is beyond us, though based on some of the unexpected construction choices around the home, we think that perhaps the original owners may have run over budget and started to cut corners. We are the fourth owners of the home; what happened in between is anyone’s guess. But the house has great bones; it just needs some design love.

With the master bathroom project itself on hold, we Chip and Joanna Gaines wannabes had a conversation over breakfast one morning:

“Joanna:” How hard would it be to do the backsplash ourselves?

“Chip.” (a pause wherein he reflected on 27 years of married life to find the “‘right” answer):  I’ll do some research. 

Fast forward to the weekend. The appropriate tools had been purchased; and the kitchen was covered in plastic as The Great Backsplash Project commenced. “Chip” had indeed reached the “right” answer to my question.

Two tiles down. ~One hundred forty eight to go. Along the way we determined that these were not even bathroom wall tiles, they were bathroom floor tiles! Slightly thicker, they required a little extra effort to coax from the wall. Ugh.

By the end of the weekend, however the tiles were long gone. For me, the improvement is 100-fold.

Feeling confident with our kitchen accomplishment, we greeted the upcoming Week-Whatever-It-Is.