Erin's Journals

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Just a thought… It only takes one person to change your life: you. [Ruth Casey]

Has anyone else felt like this? Like the first couple of weeks of quarantine/self-isolation were a bit like a vacation from the rules, but now it’s like the end of Christmas break and it’s time to start seeing if pants with a zipper fit?

Those first few days when we arrived back home, gratefully, to Canada, all I could do was crave chocolate. (And for a short time, wine to deal with the stress. But that passed.) Peanut M & Ms were doing naughty things together in my dreams and I only wanted to, as our CHFI newscaster (now heard daily on 680 News) Steve Roberts would say, “put them in my mooooooooth!”

Then came the blessed day they arrived with a shipment of actual necessities from Costco. Two huge, glorious, yellow bags of these colourful treats.

After all of that jonesing, I have to admit to you that I was glad to see them gone, even if it was within a week. Then we switched lanes on the Crave Valley Parkway.

When a kindly neighbour asked what we needed from the store in those early days, we’d request dairy for our morning coffee, some yogurt for breakfast and…potato chips.

You’ll never find chips in our cupboards in “normal” times. Ever. Why? Same reason I don’t bake cookies: I would eat them all. And guess what? I did. Uh-oh.

Then came Rob’s first grocery outing after our two weeks indoors and he came home with, not one, but three bags of Old Dutch ripple chips. And a bag of Wavy Lays (which sounds like our early days with a water bed). We actually conducted a taste test of which were better and Old Dutch won. Thank you, science, I’ll be awaiting my Noble Prize this week. (And I am being sarcastic, Mr. Presidunce.)

But now, reality has set in. I didn’t appreciate that my scale was telling me that in some bizarre and cruel alchemy, chips translate to pounds, so I knocked it off. Now it’s popcorn or nothing.

And what a waste of money was that bag of organic popcorn (the only stuff Rob could find). Maybe it was old, maybe it was just a lousy brand. But there were more Old Maids, which is apparently what old timey people called the unpopped kernels – or at least in Rob’s upbringing they did – than popped ones, it seemed.

Back to ol’ Orville for us, unless we can find some more of that Nutty Club popcorn that our friends picked up for us when it was the last bag left in their local market.

I actually remembered my grandmother buying this brand when I was a kid; when she popped it in her screened popcorn popper (with a long handle and a wooden section where you held it to scrape it back and forth over the iron plate atop the gas burner) it produced the biggest and fluffiest popcorn we’d ever had! And guess what? This rediscovery of Nutty Club brand did NOT disappoint!

This brand holds such fond memories of popcorn at Gram’s that I took a picture of this place when I visited Winnipeg for an MC event a few years back. This isn’t my shot, but it is the building. You can keep your M & M store in Times Square!

I did, however, take this one. Clearly I was hungry that day.

Meantime, the good people of Belgium are being urged to double their intake of fries (undoubtedly with mayonnaise on the side), as farmers there face a huge problem of having too many potatoes. If this comes to Canada, I will – as a good citizen – do my part. Quaran-poutine anyone? Thankfully, it hasn’t come to that yet.

But as we ponder a meat shortage due to processing plant shutdowns because of COVID-19 outbreaks, I think that, rather than stock up a freezer with chops, wings and steaks, Rob and I will lean towards going meatless on more than just Mondays. We’ll see how this all pans out, if you will.

So there it is. Snacking is under control. Recumbent bike is back in action and we’re going to dig the Wii out of the basement so I can step lively while watching TV at night, always working towards the goal that keeps me going, in almost every facet of my life.

Maybe these are the first few steps (literally) back into our normal lives. I’m content with and supportive of measures that keep us isolated as long as we need to, in order to protect everyone around us.

But in a life where yoga pants are now dressing up and PJs are the latest word in daily fashion, I’m afraid we all run the risk of learning that quarantine is just a French word for “your jeans have shrunk.”

Now – anyone else craving fries?

Rob WhiteheadWednesday, April 29, 2020