One of the things that have long been associated with me is my aversion to cooking. I used to pronounce myself as the worst cook, too busy to do it, etc. It’s funny how extra time and a far superior kitchen can change that. I finally have an oven that fits a normal cookie sheet, a dishwasher to take care of the mess, and a view while I chop vegetables.

Most of what I make is fairly simple and I’ve welcomed healthy recipes from friends like Kylie, who has the identical palate to me it often seems. It’s primarily vegetarian items, though I’m going to venture into cooking more fish and lean meat now and then. I’ve also been making quite a few smoothie bowls, altering my toppings for both a breakfast and a dessert version.

Beyond cooking and eating at home, I’ve spent much of the weekend walking. In fact, I’m over 20,000 steps today, so you can bet I took a snooze. I find that walking has been one of those meditative, essential activities as part of my routine. I have a path that takes about an hour, with the first half occurring alongside Lincoln Park, the middle taking me through the quaint tree-lined streets of Old Town, and finally wrapping around again to my neighborhood.

Boo is doing well, though with the hot temperatures, we don’t linger outside for too long. He pants immediately and French Bulldogs are not able to regulate their body temperature as well as other breeds, so he can become overheated easily. I try to take him for a longer walk in the morning when it’s still shady and somewhat cooler. He is getting bigger and his newfound bark is extremely manageable, luckily. Simply ignoring him makes him stop, though admittedly, it’s such a cute sound that I’m often tempted to egg him on.

I had two socially distant activities with friends over the weekend, but I can’t help but mourn Memorial Day activities of the past. I would’ve loved to attend a barbecue or a party somewhere. Some people in my neighborhood had big parties anyway (think college-aged or young twenties), and though I was inclined to judge them harshly, I admittedly understand the desire. However, I chose not to do that for obvious reasons.

I have been monitoring the news in Chicago (recently purchased a digital subscription of the Tribune) and I have mixed feelings about the reopening of the city. From a professional standpoint, any sign of a return to normalcy is desirable, but from a health and safety standpoint, I’m a little more ambivalent. I want solutions, but it’s extremely complicated. In general, I am pleased with the way our state has dealt with the pandemic.

Anyway, I hope everyone continues to be cognizant and at the very least, respectful of others. Take care and stay safe!

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