Tales from the Great Covid Pandemic

Why write a blog and not tell stories? That was the whole point of this…..


Me: I can help you.

Tornado E: You can’t.

Me: I teach freshman English.

Tornado E: But you don’t teach GATE freshman English.



Me: I can help you.

Tornado E: No, you can’t.

Me: You’re working on English. I’m an English teacher.

Tornado E: Well, you don’t know MLA.

Me: Kid, do you even know what my degree is in?


Me: Tornado S, you’re in trouble!

Tornado S: I didn’t do it.

Me: No kidding. I’ve heard from two teachers now. You haven’t done any work for 2 weeks. You’ve just sat in front of the computer doing nothing for TWO WEEKS.

Tornado S: I did science.

Me: Try again. The last teacher that emailed me was your science teacher.


My Mom: Fae, you need to go to the grocery store. I forgot to ask you for sour cream.

Me: You sent me yesterday.

My Mom: You’re the only one who can go.

Me: And the day before that. And the day before that.

I am the red shirt of my family.


My mom has been making masks.

My mom: Fae, I sold your mask.

Me: You sold my mask? The one you made me last week?

My mom: One of my friends wanted a green one. It’s not like you’ve worn it.



Tornado A: Hi, Mama! I’m up!

Me: It’s…. 6…. why…?

Doze because I don’t have to commute anymore….

Tornado A: I checked my assignments! I didn’t have any! So I did 3 math exercises and 3 English assignments! So I’m done!

Me: It’s…. 6:30….. Dude, your teacher hasn’t posted anything. I haven’t posted anything!

Tornado A: But I checked!


Tornado A: MAMA! I’m done! With all my assignments!

Me: It’s only been twenty minutes!!!


My grandma: I need to get milk and eggs and a cake mix.

Me: Why won’t you let me go for you?

My grandma: I’m not frail.

Me: You’re in. the. vulnerable. group.

My grandma: I’ll be fine.

Me: I have charts and articles. I’ll bore you with research.

My grandma: Fine. If it makes you feel better, go.


Me: Are you done with homework?

Tornado E: …. Yes….


Tornado E: (nods and smiles)


Tornado E: ….Maybe…..

Me: Do you work.

Tornado E: (sighs, grumbles, goes to his desk) mumbles something


Me: Are you done with your work?

Tornado E: I’m watching something first (on his phone).

Me: Is it for school?

Tornado E: ….Yes…..

Tornado E’s phone: *%$!@

Me: Your phone tells me that’s a lie. Do your work.


Me: Did you read?

Tornado S: YES!

Me: Was it game stats online?

Tornado S: Yes!

Me: Go read an actual book.

Tornado S: But-

Me: Now.


Tornado S: I don’t see why I can’t read online.

Me: Are you reading game stats?

Tornado S: I was researching.

Me: Game stats?

Tornado S: What does it matter? Reading is reading. It’s all the same.

Me: Can you make connections? Predictions? Analyze theme, plot, characters?

Tornado: I’ll get a book. (mumbles something about teachers and mothers.)


My mom: Fae, I need green onions.

Me: I’ll put it on the list. I’m going now.

My mom: Do you have your mask?

Me: Yeah!

My mom: Let me see.



Me: Why does my face mask smell of peanuts?


When you wear a face mask, no one can see you mouth cuss words. Even when you wear a face mask, people can still hear you cuss though.

Some Beauty Crafts

Let’s take a break from being messy for a little bit. Right now in this time of chaos and crazy, we need to take care of ourselves. Yes, yes, many of us are too busy to do so. Trust me, I know. Everyone seems to be telling me to slow down and focus on myself. Breathe. Yeah, yeah, I will…. after this.

But I am sure we can make a little time to pamper ourselves. Who doesn’t like a good bath? Who doesn’t like feeling pretty and relax?

So here are some beauty crafts for adults, teens, and tweens. Ok the first 2 are for kids too.
1. Bath salt. Mix Epson salts with a little food color, perhaps some vanilla. Tada You can use oils meant for soap or eating if you have them.
2. Milk bath. A cup of instant milk into a bathtub. Like Cleopatra. Remember this for sunburn season.
3. Avocado mask. Just mash up a ripe avocado that you forgot you had or were waiting just one more day to use and oh damn. You can add a little olive oil.

4. Body and face scrub. Equal parts salt, sugar, and oatmeal. Simple. Easy. Oatmeal oats by themselves are a good body and face scrub.

5. Coffee and sugar body and face scrub. Equal parts fine ground coffee, brown sugar, and coconut oil. 1t vanilla extract.  They say “fresh” ground coffee. But I’m a rebel.

6. Hair wash. 2 T of apple cider vinegar in a cup of water. Wash hair normally. Pour on hair wash. Let set for 2 minutes. Rinse.

7. Beer rinse. Wet hair. Rinse with beer. Let set 2 to 5 minutes. Wash hair normally. I tend to wash my hair really, really well after the beer rinse. Also they say flat beer is the best….

I have a whole book on this stuff, but it’s in deep storage. But now I’m thinking of trying some new ones and see how they work and add more here.

More to come! Stay safe! Stay sane!

Nightmares and Decisions

I’m rocking it at work. People are impressed. My students are doing awesome. I’m getting suspicious.

On the other hand, I am so worried and anxious about my boys that I’m having nightmare. Stupid, silly, anxiety-ridden nightmares.

Like the other night, I dreamt that Tornado E was failing math because he was too busy helping his girlfriend with her math that he wasn’t doing his. The worst part about the dream was I didn’t even know he had a girlfriend.

So at breakfast, I did what any normal, anxious parent would do.

Me: Boys, new rule. If you found a girl to be your girlfriend, you have to ask me about it first. This rule applies until you’re 18 or out of high school, which ever comes last.

The boys stare at me. Tornado S and Tornado A gave me a look of disgust. Tornado E considered it.

Tornado E: That seems fair.

They went back to eating. Ok. Great. I’m not sure if they were humoring me or I’m crazy. Or both.


Just Shut Up

When I was seventeen, I lost my voice.  Lost as in gone, not a peep, not a sound, not even a squeal.  My throat became soar the day of high school graduation.  Seeing that I had about a dozen parties to attend in the next four days, I did what any normal teen would do.  I ignored it.  I ran off to my parties.  All straight-edge, I might add.  (You don’t drink.  You don’t smoke.  What do you do?)  Saturday night, as I talked to a friend at a slumber party, at 11:52, I opened my mouth to say something and all that came out was a squeak.  The party stopped.  After that initial squeak, nothing would come out of my mouth.  Since I was seventeen and only lost my voice, I stayed at the party, entertaining people with my pantomime and the little sign language I knew.

Now if you haven’t guess by now, I’ll tell you that I’m a talker.  I’m a legend in the family for my ability to talk for hours and hours.  I have friends that can recall random stories about me talking for hours and hours.  I have old professors who don’t believe said friends that I can actually talk more and faster when I’m tired.  So when I lost my voice for two days, I endured untold amounts of teasing and abuse from family and friends.  I had friends that came over to actually see if it was true.  When I regained my voice, I swore I would never lose it again.  I never got close until this weekend.

Friday I woke with a soar throat.  I gargled and drank gallons of juice.  But by Saturday, my throat was worse, and I felt like my energy was gone.  As in none, as in a boneless chicken, as in I wish I could sleep but I’m too exhausted.  My parents came and took the boys, so I could regain some energy.  Sunday I was on the mends.  My throat was dry, but I had energy.  I bravely took the boys to the grocery store.

See that.  That was a mistake.  I don’t have THE LOOK down.  I’m working on it, but I just don’t have it yet.  You know THE LOOK.  The-don’t-press-my-buttons-kid-or-I’ll-clean-your-clock LOOK.  I have THE VOICE down pat.  It works wonders, but when it hurts a little to breathe, much less talk, THE VOICE doesn’t work to well.

We get to the store, and some nice old man pulls out the cart with the car on it.  Have you seen these?  These are carts with a Fisher-Price plastic car on front of the cart to make grocery shopping fun for the kids and easy on the adult.  It might work, except the carts have horrible steering control, and the kids can get out of them whenever they want, which means they get out when you are quickly pushing past the cookies.  The car is perfect eye-level for the candy in the check out stand.  So as I push, I was hissing at the boys to stay in the car, stay on their side, do not stand, do not push, do not hit, do not touch, no candy, no cookies, no ice cream, so help me God.  In the check out stand, I unloaded the cart, slapped hands reaching for candy, unloaded more of the cart, slapped hands again, chatted with the cashier, slapped hands again, and bagged the groceries.  My throat was ready to call it quits. 

I pushed the hell cart to the car.  As I loaded up the groceries, the boys got out of their car.  I opened their doors and told them to get inside.  Evan decided what his mother meant to stay was to dance, so he started to do the circle dance, where he runs around in a little circle flailing his arms.  But I couldn’t deal with that as Sean decided to make a break for the car across the parking lot.  I. Don’t. Think. So.  I scooped up Sean and hissed at Evan to get in the car.  I buckled a screaming Sean into the car to find Evan still dancing in a circle.


I think I shot out a burst of fire because that’s how my throat felt.  Evan scrambled for his seat.  I buckled him in, wondering if I had lost my voice because the pain had me in tears. 

I got the boys home, discovering that I still had a voice but it hurt like hell to use it.  Googling for all sorts of remedies, I nursed my throat back to normal. 

The moral of this story is boiled lemonade tastes as disgusting as it sounds.


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