After 16 straight days in the shop from our last break, the kids were within an inch of setting the building, and possibly each other, on fire, so Jon went in to the main shop by himself and the kids and I stayed home, with a few things on our list to get done, 85% of which did not get done over the course of the day.

Jon abandoned us first thing in the morning, and we bravely continued on from there. I am nothing if not the burden bearer of emotional labour in this family/a martyr.

Pre-breakfast zoo.

We made pancakes for breakfast. We’ve been eating cold cereal and bagels for breakfast, along with various forms of take-out and other things from boxes and frozen dumplings for lunch and dinner, so it was nice to have time to cook things. We only had the last remnants of a package of chocolate chips so I fielded some complaints about the ratio of chocolate chip to pancake, but I suppose that’s a relic of the past that will never change.

I kicked the children out into the backyard so I could do some shop stuff. Organizing photos, blog, emails. The kids are fairly independent out in the backyard, climbing the Rhino, yelling, chasing the cat, chasing the dog, chasing each other with the snow shovels.

For lunch we had soup and cucumbers and fried potatoes, also in the cast iron.

If you have a lot of time on your hands, this is a perfect opportunity to get a cast-iron pan, since it can take a trip or two in the oven before use to season it. I had one many years ago but didn’t know what I was doing with it, likely ruined it, and ended up donating it because it was working for us. I recently got a new one and I’m a CONVERT. I’m trying to convince Jon we should get rid of some of our other pans, since this cast iron does so much, but he had had one terrible incident cooking some taco meat in the cast iron and since then has refused to use it, so he says we need all of our pans forever.

Prior to all this, we had a few weeks where we had been eating a lot of fried eggs. Now that we’re mostly in the main shop, the cast iron has been languishing in the oven, but we made good use of it on our day off. Pancakes, and then fried potatoes. After a decade of making crispy potatoes only in the oven at a soul-crushing time of an hour and a half required for both parboiling and then roasting in a 500 degree oven, I’ve now discovered you can just use a cast iron, and it’s less than half the time.

After lunch, we went to go pick up some books we’ve had on order for a while.

Children, captivated by my scintillating reading voice.
At long last, we finally picked up our order of books from the Children’s French Book Corner. It’s out in the East End, in the Upper Beaches, next to one of my favourite libraries, the Main Street Branch. The owner is offering curbside pick up from 11-3, so it was tough for us to make it out here, but it was high up on the list of things to do. Like all small businesses, the bookshop is accepting orders by email and by phone, and she was terrific in helping us find options that fit what we wanted.

We’re hearing this social distancing is going to go on for as much as three months more, so another couple of trips will likely be in the works soon enough.
Laundry outside! What a delight.
Wednesdays we have music lessons, which we’re doing via iPad. It’s no replacement for going in person, but we’re glad to be able to do this much. Super is usually awful, walking back and forth and his body is exactly camera height, wagging his tail aggressively, knocking over the iPad or licking someone.
Pre-bedtime safe activity. I wouldn’t say that I don’t believe in safety scissors, just that in our family, they are not nearly as exciting as the real deal. Everyone still has their fingers.


It was a great day, especially with the sunshine and good weather. The kids were outside most of the day, coming in with dirty feet and red cheeks, Super gobbling up snacks they’d left on the fire escape. Vague aspirations of “cleaning the house” did not materialize, although we did hang out laundry that ended up getting rained on overnight, so overall not bad.

I can’t tell if it’s going to be better or worse, when the spring weather comes. We will be missing the parks, the trails, play dates, park picnics, the wading pools, road trips, bike rides, but at least we will have the sunshine, and we’ll be able to breathe in the fresh air in the backyard and on the terrace.

We are taking things a day at a time.

Related Posts

  • Some of My Favourite Desk Tools
    Some of My Favourite Desk Tools

    Some of us are working from home more than usual. While the fountain pen...

  • Currently Inked
    Currently Inked

    I’ve mostly been using the shop tester pens, but after seven weeks of it...

  • On the Desk
    On the Desk

    These days have been looking a bit different from what they usually look...

April 09, 2020 — wonderpens



wonderpens said:

Thank you so much for reading, and taking the time to write! Hope you and all are staying safe and well.

Flora Henry

Flora Henry said:

Thank-you so much for this glimpse into your family life and the wonderful photos! Stay safe.

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.