Sunday, April 19, 2020

Pandemic Days: Comfort Food, Walking, and a Few Tears

I've filled twenty pages in my little COVID-19 sheltering-in-place journal over the past five weeks, and I think I'll probably have time to fill the entire sketchbook before things get back to normal. Here are some of the sketches I've been working on...

All sketches were done in a 3.5" x 5.5" Moleskine Japanese Album journal

I'm still sad when I think about all the workshops I've had to cancel this spring, but my England trip was the hardest. I had so looked forward to sharing that special place that I love with my painting friends. Painting this sketch from a photo I took when I was there in 2018 was bittersweet. It brought back beautiful memories but also reminded me of what we'll be missing this year.

I baked cherry scones one day when I was thinking about the Cotswolds and England. I sipped English breakfast tea from a cup I bought in London as I munched on a scone, and it made me feel better for awhile, but comfort food has a way of staying with me in the form of tighter jeans for days afterward. Weight gain has definitely been a disadvantage of sheltering in place.


I've been getting out for a walk every day when the weather permits. It does my spirit so much good, and I've discovered some pretty places close-by that I've never seen in the thirty plus years we've lived here.


One frustrating day, however, I had a really hard time finding a place to walk that wasn't crowded with people, so I created a page titled "The Walk That Wasn't".


I ended up coming home and going for my usual walk here at my place. A change of scenery would have been nice, but I'm lucky to have a place where I can always get outside in the fresh air for a stroll. Buckley likes it better when I walk at home, too!


The day after "The Walk That Wasn't" I decided to put in a couple of miles at College Park, also known as The Commons, in Waynesburg. This expansive town park was formed back in 1796 to provide pasture for the farm animals of lot holders in the borough. There aren't any cows, horses, or pigs grazing there today, but it sure was pretty on the sunny spring day that I visited and sketched en plein air to create "The Walk That Was".


I realized back in March that I was cooking a lot more than usual since my husband Fred has been home most of the time instead of traveling for several days each week. I thought it would be fun to look back at the end of all this and remember what meals we ate while quarantined.


One of my favorites was a recipe for One-Skillet Chicken Florentine that I cut out of Parade Magazine one Sunday. Here's the link, if you'd like to try it.

Fred's helping with the cooking a lot more lately, too, since he hasn't had to work much and has more time (in between house projects that have been on his to-do list for years), and that's a good thing! When he retires in a couple of years, maybe we'll complete the role reversal, and he'll do all the cooking, cleaning, and laundry while I work at PAINTING!

A girl can dream, can't she?

8 comments:

  1. Leslie, I almost cried when I read about your cancellation of your Cotswolds workshop, and I wasn't even signed up for your workshop! My grandfather was from the Cotswolds and I have visited twice. It is such a charming area, my favorite part of England! I know you will get there, perhaps next year? Meanwhile, thank you for sharing your lovely paintings, what you've been cooking, and your "trial" walks during this "stay-home" time for most Americans. We are also so fortunate to live where we can get out and walk without meeting other people, weather permitting. That is a lot to be thankful for at this time when many live in cities where it is not possible to do so.

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    1. Thank you for writing. It sounds like you understand my love of the Cotswolds. When I was there, it felt like home. I know my ancestors came from England, and I seem to have an affinity for the place. But I'm also enjoying having more time to enjoy just being at home, taking in all the beauty of springtime here in PA.

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  2. Hi Leslie! I also go for a walk every day when the weather is on my side. I live about a mile and a half from the county park, and I used to walk up to the park every day. People were really good up there and followed social distancing. However, when the governor shut down all the state and county parks that was the end of that for a while. So, now I walk around my block, which is about a 2 mile walk. My street is nice and quiet but the street on the other side is quite busy. I miss my walks to the park. BUT, I know this is not forever and I will soon be walking up there again. Have a nice day! Thanks for the recipe!

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    1. Getting outside is good for the soul. I'm glad you're still able to go for your daily walks. Mine are a bright spot in my day, too.

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  3. I love your journal and I am becoming inspired (after an inspiration drought) to create my own. Thank you for that inspiration!

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  4. Oh, that's wonderful! It's something that's certainly worth recording - let's hope it's a once-in-a lifetime experience!

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  5. Leslie, I cried when I learned your workshop in NC was cancelled. I was so looking forward to that week in the company of kindred spirits. I am looking forward to your short tutorial next month. See you then and stay safe.

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    1. I know, it's so sad to have to cancel after waiting and planning for two years. I'm glad we'll get to see each other in May.

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