Work has slowed down to a screeching halt after a whirlwind in July, which means I’m applying to more copywriting gigs at the moment. It also means that I have more time to simmer in my thoughts. It’s almost facile to say this, but quarantine has had its ups and downs. This week was rougher than usual — it marked five months since I’ve last seen my friends or boyfriend in person. I live in the Central Valley, which is quite a way out of the Bay Area. The day when I’m allowed to hug everyone really can’t come soon enough.
Being able to spend time with my family in a comfortable house isn’t lost upon me, though. One essential life skill that I’ve gotten better at is cooking, with my family as my firsthand tasters! The kitchen isn’t my strong suit, and I cruised through college on boiled chicken and spaghetti — appetizing, right? But the lockdown has given me more of an incentive to cook beyond basic meals like rice with meat. The dish that I’m proudest of thus far is mushroom risotto. Yes, it’s basically mushy rice, but it’s divine when served right off the stove. The creamy rice with the savory mushroom and sharp parmesan flavor is *chef’s kiss* perfection. I have a theory that good food requires patience and love on the preparer’s part. Usually, I’m in such a rush to whip together food that everything tastes kind of…disparate.
Other than that, I’ve also been exacting control over my general dread by doing deep dives into various things like horror anime, skincare, and fragrances. Not as if anyone is going to touch my skin or sniff me, but it helps pass time.
Occasionally, I’ll go out. I headed to Savemart, Goodwill, and the nursery this weekend and found great deals. It sounds terribly mundane, but, I don’t know, there’s something profound or intimate about interacting with people through masks. I feel more emotional than usual when I make eye contact with people, almost as though looking at them is a rare and fleeting thing now.
Anyway, no more waxing philosophical — let’s look at some deals ahead!
This Alocasia Polly was only $10 at Save Mart. I ended up not buying it for fear of it shriveling up in my dry, hot home, but what a steal!
What I did end up buying was some books at Goodwill. I don’t often buy new books. Usually, if a title just came out, I’ll reserve it at the library. When I do buy books, it’s often at a used book sale, Goodwill, or on eBay or Half Price Books. Trust me when I say that I miss having access to more than five used bookstores less than a mile away from my home, which was a real privilege when I lived in Berkeley.
What I have found is that Goodwill is a treasure trove for old books. At my local Goodwill, books are only a dollar each. You’ll find a lot of Goosebumps and Reese’s Book Club picks. I’d call them guilty pleasures, but I don’t believe in guilty pleasures. They’re good books geared towards children and women, whose favorites are often derided!
Post-Goodwill, I picked up this baby ruby necklace succulent from the nursery for $2.50. It’s so cute! I don’t think my heart can handle being broken by another fern or fig, so thick, fleshy plants are the way to go.
But speaking of figs…I was super excited to show off my growing plants. The problem is the one plant that I was so excited to flaunt this week ended up crushing me last minute. My fiddle leaf fig sprouted a leaf! Which then fell off as soon as I whipped out my phone to snap a picture. C’est la vie, right?
Anyway, here are pictures of plants that are actually growing!
My snake plants look wrinklier than I’d like them to, but look at all of that baby growth at the center. I wonder if they’ll grow taller if I transport them into wider pots. That said, I’m terrified of giving them transplant shock.
As a sneak peek for an upcoming blog, my croton! Here’s one of them — both are growing out nubs from the center. Because it easily gets up to 100 degrees here, their leaves have been flopping more often. As usual, a good drink usually gets them perking right up again.
And last, but not least, my hoya pubicalyx! It’s the hoya plant that has been easiest to care for thus far, and it’s giving out four little sprouts.
Anyway, hope everyone is staying healthy and keeping in good spirits. For now, onwards with keeping calm and growing on!