at home

Last week, I didn’t leave the house from one Sunday to the next. Or, more accurately, I didn’t go to town. I did leave the house a handful of times: to go running and to visit my mother one afternoon, and another afternoon a friend came out to chat. But mostly, I was at home. It was okay. Boring yes, but not torturous.

And now this week is turning, unintentionally, into a repeat performance. I hosted a writing group meeting on Monday, and Tuesday a new-to-me friend came for a visit, but beyond that, I’m just here. 

It’s weird, but the more I stay at home, the less I want to go anywhere. A quick trip into town to go the library or pick up groceries begins to feel like a hurdle and I find myself putting it off as long as possible, and then putting it off some more. I can see how a person might become a recluse. Just give in to the suck of inertia.

So what do I do all day long, you ask?

Well, mornings are pretty fixed. I run (except for when my ankle swells up for no good reason, humph), shower, and then writewritewrite, only taking breaks to grab breakfast, pee, and do a bit of homeschooling.

The long afternoons are a little more challenging. I pick raspberries and pop grape eyeballs from their skins and do yet another canner load of tomatoes. I feed my starter and make granola and put a pot of dried beans on to simmer. I tell kids to wash dishes and hang up laundry and sweep the porches and put things away. I read or nap and sometimes, like now, I blog.

Occasionally I get irrationally grumpy (hello, PMS and Stupid Ankle That Won’t Let Me Run) and then my son pulls a pantyhose over his head and makes me laugh.

Other simple pleasures that get me through: NPR, Hershey Kisses, and books. Right now, I’m reading Esperanza Rising to my younger son, and to myself: Ask Again, Yes, and Slow Man, which I am, predictably, taking forever to finish. (Of note: last week I whizzed through Three Women and then paced the house wishing I had someone to discuss it with.)

Evenings are reserved for more reading, sometimes Netflix (Schitt’s Creek, with my younger daughter; The Hunt, with the three younger kids; Barry and season three of Stranger Things, with my husband; and, as of tomorrow, season ten of The Great British Baking Show, whoo-hoooo!!!!!!), and getting all wild and crazy with fruit leather.

That’s what I did last night, anyway. I made a grape puree as I would for pie filling and then blended up the sauce — no sugar — and went to town. Figuratively speaking.

clockwise from top left: grape, grape-applesauce, grape-banana, grape-applesauce swirl 

All of them were a hit, but I liked the grape banana best. Or maybe the plain grape. Or the grape applesauce?

The swirl version was especially pretty.

My younger son keeps accidentally calling grape leather fruit “tar.” It does bear a resemblance.

In other news, my hair is still falling out. This is the handful I got this morning after its twice weekly washing.

What is wrong with me? I’m taking great care of it — no heat, sulfate-free products only, and minimal washings. I haven’t brushed it for two years, only gently combing through it with a pick about once a day, sometimes less.

Last Wednesday, four days out from my last wash, it was beginning to feel dry. So of wetting it down and adding my normal creams and potions, I gave it a good oiling to moisturize and condition it. 

Adding oil to my hair: now there’s something I never thought I’d do.

And so go my days, the hours spooling endlessly. It’s both tedious and productive, satisfying and dull. I grit my teeth and hunker down, doing my best to take advantage of the quiet. Sooner or later, something will pop up and — poof! — all traces of calm and boredom will instantly vanish.

Oh, look at that! A bunch of Puerto Ricans just walked in the door!!!

And we’re off!

Or at least they are, to go get pizza. I’m at home, typing this.

This same time, years previous: the quotidian (8.27.18), an unlikely tip for runners, a big deal, tomatoes in cream, peach crisp, they’re getting it!, puppy love.


  • kay saylor

    You and I have the same hair. Like literally, the same hair. A number of years ago I finally gave up on trying to make it something it wasn't (straight) and let it be. I only wash twice a week and mostly only comb it and then no more than once a day (if that). I have the same issue where I feel like I am losing so much hair, but I think its just that I'm not fusing with it all the time any more, so it seems like more when it's really not. That said, I did just turn 50 so I am guessing there may be hormonal stuff going on as well. I think I will choose to ignore that and just chalk it up to less frequent brushing. Yes that's it…..brushing. 😉

  • lisa

    I love at-home weeks. They never seem to be planned – they just kind of happen and I don't realize it until the end of the week. I often find it increases contentment and the children are happier!

  • Gigi

    I lose lots of hair too. I never considered the fact that not brushing it might be the reason, but it makes sense. When I wore my hair straight, I lost hair but not to the degree I do now that I let it curl.

  • Lana

    I highly recommend What Your Doctor May not tell you about Menopause by Dr John R Lee.
    Reading that book and getting on natural progesterone cream changed my life. Also, the ankle swelling could indicate a kidney stone.

  • Julie

    You might try collagen powder. It's quite doable in a smoothie. I was skeptical, but after about a month of it, my aging skin doesn't bleed like a stuck pig with every little abrasion.

  • Anna

    If it seems like your hair is getting thinner, have your doctor check your thyroid levels the next time you're in for a visit.

  • katie

    My life is pretty much the exact opposite as yours. Hardly ever home these days. Though I am often off in the woods, working, not in anything one could construe as a "town". But hectic. Except for the hair thing. Mine falls out too, maybe in bigger "clumps" because I don't brush it that much? So I'm not dragging loose hairs out as I brush? I don't know, but although it has been doing this for years, it is still thick enough to be really annoying so I guess I just accept it as normal turnover? Last week a not-very-outgoing co-worker saw me run my hand through my hair and drop a big wad of released hairs on the ground (we were outside) and she was quite worried for me. Eh… , I told her. No big deal, but it would be nice if it was all the grey ones falling out.

  • sustainablemum

    I had an at home week last week too. I was really looking forward to it and in my head it was full of all the things that I hadn't had a chance to do yet this month and then when I got to it I didn't want to do any of them and sat curled up on the sofa with a book or my knitting. It might have been the dramatic change in the weather to cold, wet, grey and windy, at least that is what I am sticking too.

    I lose more hair than that when I wash it, always have done, never been worried about it before, should I be?

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