I’m not sure what the shelf life is for “What are you doing with all your free time now that the kids are gone?” but I’m still hearing it on a regular basis, and we’re entering year two. That’s the second year of a clean, fresh-smelling, private space, I mean, lonely, desolate nest.
Last fall, we implanted our youngest two children, step-sisters, at their chosen universities, which makes our nest officially empty, most of the time. Over the years, I’ve written about having one, then two, then four in high school at the same time, then one, and then two in college. But for some reason, I’ve struggled with churning out the “goodbye post” for the last two as they headed off to school. To my dismay, the whole empty nest scenario has grown less funny with each passing evac, and therefore, a little more challenging to write about. So now, almost five-months post final nest emptying, I’m finally getting it done.
We had what amounts to a parenting milestone two-fer last fall. Our youngest two children, step-sisters, both graduated in June and moved away to begin their freshman year of college at their respective schools. While our nest-emptying began gradually in 2016, it emptied abruptly in September.
Now that all four of my children are away at college, and by away, I mean the closest one is three hours away and the furthest is 2000 miles away, the days of cooking for six are finished—at least on a regular basis. Not only did I cook for six, but they demanded leftovers.
No beatin’ around the thesis bush (no pun intended) today: With every passing rotten natural development that befalls the human body, from adolescence to death, females suffer in extreme disproportion to men.
Here we are, nearing the end of the second semester of the first year of the first of our four children’s evacuation from the nest. I didn’t write about the halfway point, in January, because I didn’t feel like wallowing. Now, I’m in the post-spring-break funk.
I’m getting right to the point; no beating around the bush (pun intended). The world needs safewords in everyday situations—now more than ever. To be clear, I’m brand spanking new to the whole concept of safewords, but I know there’s no wading in gently, and by gently, I mean very painfully.
Don’t wait until the last minute to plan your meal, from menus to which flavor of pain you are in the mood for this year. In-laws or immediate family? Siblings or cousins? Neighbors or workmates? Ham, or turducken (a turkey, stuffed with a duck, that’s been stuffed with a chicken.)
Here we are, up to our aspics in the holiday season. Most of the country is still high on Black Friday savings from all those zeros we rolled up and smoked (legally) after not handing them over to store clerks for slippers, scarves, and waffle irons. What an amazing time of year. Puff, puff, save!
I like to cook. But I’m a busy person. For most of my meals, I try to come up with something that’s made from scratch, with ingredients that were grown, and/or raised humanely. I stay away from overly processed foods about 90% of the time. Here’s a few examples of my most popular half-scratch meals.