• Shelli Quattlebaum

Well that escalated quickly! Covid-19 Blog (Groundhogs day anyone?)

Updated: Apr 14

I feel like I am on a never ending cycle of online school, laundry, cook, loose my shit, repeat!

I KNOW I AM NOT THE ONLY MOM OUT THERE FEELING LIKE THIS!

If you are baking cupcakes and smiling with those sparkly sprinkles and those little rays of sunshine you call your children. I CALL BS! I see you losing your shit in the dark locked bathroom. Because you got another email from the school, bank, or work!

That's okay. Eat the chocolate. Cry. Cry more! Then put the big girl panties on.

Move along, and keep strong Mama's.

Our school sent us a letter today saying we will most likely not go back to in building school. Tears were shed. I knew it was coming. But it still sucks.

I, like you, am just trying to hold it together. Hence why my daily blog hasn't seen a post since day three. 😂 I think we are on like 22 now (shrug) Life just got crazy and sad and slowed way down.

Today's blog will be catch up.

I will start with my today and work backwards a little. I do not strive for perfection, rather I look for something new to suck at every day! Today, I decided to try my hand at cheese making! SAY WHAT? This is my little chill in the kitchen moment for the day while kids are on their own Zoom and WebEx calls for the week. Kate, at The Art of Cheese has so graciously offered a FREE 7 day cheese making class. She sold out pretty darn quick (you can only have so many people in one chat room) Kate was super organized and on top or her links and communications. Well done!


Kate, doing awesome at the Zoom chat



She gave us a tip of icing the bottom of our heavy bottomed pot to help with milk scalding. Yes, I questioned it. It worked!


Bring your whole milk to 190F I couldn't take a pictures and hold the thermometer very well. So the temperature in the pictures is wrong. Do 185-190F

Out of respect for Kate's free time, I am not going to disclose everything we did. She will be selling this class later on. I want to support other small business too.



Separation will happen after you add your ingredients.

Take off the heat.

Line a cheese basket with cheesecloth.



With a slotted spoon start to remove the curds from your milk.

Do not pour off.

Scoop them out.



Twist up your curds in the cheesecloth.

Then find something heavy to set on it, inside the cheese basket.

Kate recommended using the milk bottle.

So I filled my empty milk bottle with water and set it on top of the Paneer to press out the rest of the whey.






I used whole milk from Longmont Dairy Farm Inc. for this recipe



Above is the leftover whey.


Below is the unwrapping of the Paneer.





I am not a food photographer by trade.

But I have taken a couple 10,000,000 detail shots at weddings 😁






I wanted to open the cheese and taste it right away. It was honestly kinda bland.

That is exactly what it is supposed to taste like though.

I think I might see about adding honey and a pinch of salt to it next time.

Still a fun texture.

I will doctor it up for our spaghetti dinner tonight with fresh basil and olive oil.



Kate said if we took a picture with our cheese, we would be entered in a little contest :) CHEESE!


I was already going to take pictures of the process to blog. So it was fun to have her ask for one of us at the end.




Okay, let's work backwards a couple of days

April 3rd, 2020

(so I am 10 days behind!)



I had reached out to my grandfather to see if they needed anything the day before.

He explained that they were not in dire need of anything, but that the next day was Carmen's birthday. So I told them I would be down in the morning. My mom dropped off a present for my grandma at my house, then I headed down south to do a curb stop.

I brought along a small care package for them.



I stopped at Target for a couple of essential things and cheesecake! I ended up finding a sample cheesecake from the Cheesecake factory. It had small pieces of their most popular cakes. I also, ran a across a small pre-packaged dinner of turkey breast and vegetables. It looked good, I figured they could make 2 meals out of that one.

They enjoyed the quick "hello!" and in person socialization.

My grandfather has always followed us out of the driveway.

Waving a few times.

I wanted to capture that.


A camera captures a moment that becomes a memory.


I also offered to get my entire family together for a Webex chat that night for Carmen's Birthday. After a little difficulty, we sang happy birthday to Carmen and chatted for a little bit.

You are never to old to learn new things.


The emotional toll that this is taking is heavy. I, thankfully haven't personally suffered any losses in my family or friends circle. I know a few people that have had Covid-19 first hand. Ranging from sick to needing to go to the ER. It scares me to death that I am going to get someone sick. I am trying to take precautions as much as I can. But it really sucks not to be able to hug people.

I am a hugger.

So my feelers are a bit sad at the moment.


April 4th, 2020


Saturday we all hung out together on lock down.

We made meatballs from scratch.

By we, I mean I told my husband to cut the onion and I would take pictures :)




Kylie offered to chop of the parmesan.





Summit was bored. Again.




After dinner we played basketball out front until the moon rose.



April 7th, 2020


Tuesday was the April full moon, The "Pink Moon" I called my mom and asked if we could come over to watch the moon rise, as long as we stayed away from them lol.


My parents live out of town and have a beautiful view all the way around.

I wanted to catch the moon rising. But a very thick cloud deck got in the way.

We hung out for a little bit outside.

6' apart 😂

No touching

No hugging. Can I just mention again how much it is killing me to not hug my mom and dad!

Breaks my freaking heart.

The kids too.



The weed bothered him. He had to eat it.





Saturday April 11th, 2020


We had a productive day, making a new hand railing for our front porch. While we were getting wood, we stopped at King Soopers for eggs. Because the best time to buy eggs in a pandemic the day before Easter.


We would normally be dying eggs over at my parents house together. But....... well. My brother and my husband work together. My husband can't be to much more contaminated than my brother. So I invited him over to dye eggs with us and eat pizza.




I don't own liquid food coloring. We have gels. Gels do NOT come off of your skin :)



We like to roll our eggs and make psychedelic patterns





I was watching these little tips of green grow all week long.

I told Jeremy "Those will bloom Saturday, and then get frozen Sunday." They did, and are currently under 5 inches of fresh pow. I am a bit over the snow ya'll


My grape hyacinth bloomed in the sunshine of the late evening sun. I ran outside with my macro lens and took a couple pictures of my flowers before they died. Oh Colorado and your poorly timed weather systems.




As I put the kids to bed, I realized I needed to quickly come up with an

indoor Easter Egg Hunt!

STAT!

TO GOOGLE! I found a few cute print outs to stuff in the eggs with Jelly Bellys. One for "Tickets" to do something: Like -Special time with mom, -movie night, -foot rub, -stay up 15 minutes later., and so on.


Then I stuffed other eggs with things you had to do tell you got to the next "directional egg" IE: Quack like a duck and waddle to the next egg, count backwards from 10, say your ABC's, do the chicken dance, bark like a dog. It was funny! On top of those eggs, I did a scavenger hunt for each girl. I found 2 different versions of scavenger hunts. We did one last year that was the same for each kid and it wasn't a good result.

Live and learn.


I was up until 1:30am in a cold garage doing this mind you. I also realized that I have been at home with time to kill for 3 week, and I choose now to do this.

(facepalm) again,

live and learn.


Sunday April 12th, 2020

Easter


Kylie walked out of her room early.

She curled up in her daddy's arms and waited patiently for her sister to wake up.


Jeremy and I enjoyed sipping our coffee and watching the girls run around like crazy! The "basket" was a chocolate peanut butter bunny for Kylie with a squishy stuffed bunny. Addy got a birthday cake flavored unicorn "bunny" and a squishy chick.

I didn't take any pictures.

I just enjoyed the family time.

Everyone did. We spent the remainder of the day assembling a 1,000 piece puzzle and

stuffed ourselves on ham and au gratin potatoes. I must say, I made a tasty carrot cake too.

America's Test Kitchen never fails me.



Here is to another week!

Stay Safe, Stay Well and as I tell my kid's every day when I drop them off at school,

"Make good choices, be a good friend."


Shelli















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© 2019  by  Shelli Quattlebaum  Colorado Birth and Fresh 48 Photographer