Snorkers, I need your support!

Dear SNORK readers, we’ve been together for some time now. In fact, today is SNORK’s 7th birthday! I hope you’ve enjoyed our visits.

It has been my great pleasure writing for you. My goal has always been to give you a place to come that’s non-political, controversy-free and, hopefully, a space to hang your hat and put your feet up for a few chuckles. It gives me purpose and your support has meant the world to me.

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus and Covid-19, I began making videos for you, with the intention of helping to alleviate some of our collective stress. I thought that having a human to see might make us all feel a little less isolated.

Those videos have blossomed into a full-blown YouTube channel called At Home With Anita Rosner, with lots more content than what you’ve found on this blog. I don’t post all my videos here because, frankly, they don’t always include the funny misadventures of my life – which is what this blog is all about.

That said, I think you might actually enjoy them! So, here’s the part where I’m asking for your support: It would be a tremendous help to me if you would subscribe to my YouTube channel. It’s free and easy to do. It requires no commitment on your part. It’s just a way of helping me to grow.

All you have to do is click on the “subscribe” button in the video below. It will appear in the bottom right corner about 30 seconds into the video. Or you can go directly to the channel here. That’s it! Your small gesture could help me embark on an exciting new phase of my life. I will still write for you, but if you like what you see here, you might actually enjoy being one of my YouTube viewers as well.

As always, I’m am so grateful to you for sticking with me all these years. Now, let’s get this second party started!!!!!

With love, Anita.

Here’s a sneak preview of my upcoming episodes.


Calm Within The Crisis

It’s definitely time for some self-care amid everything that’s going on right now. So I’ve developed some techniques to help you escape for a few minutes.

Come away with me for a moment.

Bang! Zoom!

April 21, 2020

Today marks 42 days of sheltering at home. It is surreal. But in terms of my social life, things are hopping!

This past weekend, I attended two cocktail parties, two family reunions, a family game night, and I did it all from my computer through the website Zoom. If you, too, have been living through Zoom, I have some tips to share on how to Zoom like a boss (and how not to be that person during a Zoom call).

Watch and learn, by clicking here!

Go Bananas

April 19, 2020

Visits to the supermarket are one of my least favorite things, especially now. People encroach on my personal space – get out of my hula hoop, encroachers! – some people don’t wear masks or gloves, and the shelves are half empty. So, I try not to go at all. But when I have no other option, it’s time to suit up and say a little prayer.

The moment I cross the threshold, all I can think about is leaving. I arm myself with a list, which is quickly abandoned when I discover they don’t have bread, but they have english muffins (I can make sandwiches with those). They don’t have flour but they have oatmeal (I can make flour out of oatmeal). They don’t have garlic, but they have coconuts (I can’t make anything by substituting coconuts for garlic). But I buy a coconut and I’ll figure it out later. That’s how it is now; you get what you get and you don’t get upset.

The last time I hit the store, about three weeks ago, I bought a huge bunch of bananas assuming I’d have them for snacks or for breakfast with some peanut butter. Well, that did not happen and I ended up with a large bunch of black things that used to be bananas.

However, this is no time to throw away food or money. So I decided to make two yummy dishes with them. Click here to learn my recipes for SNORK Bananas Foster and the easiest banana bread you could ever hope to make!

Getting Saucy With Governor Cuomo

April 14, 2020 (Toilet paper inventory: 10!)

Easter has come and gone. It’s been years since the Easter bunny has visited me personally. He’s shown up for my husband and kids for years, but always seems to forget my basket! This year, however, he made up for it in a big way. Imagine my surprise to find a bundle of pandemic-themed goodies on my front porch: pasta, garlic, a biscotti and, joy of joys, four rolls of toilet paper! I suspect he was in cahoots with my dear friend, Wendy, but I can’t prove it.

If you’ve been keeping a close eye on New York, you have probably seen our Governor, Andrew Cuomo, working tirelessly for us. So, I got a little miffed when his baby brother, Chris Cuomo, was giving him “the business” over maternal favoritism.

It seems the Governor’s whippersnapperish younger brother holds to the idea that he is their mother’s favorite. He rubbed in the Governors’s face that he, Chris, was anointed with their mom’s spaghetti sauce recipe; asserting that no other sibling has it.

Any good Italian knows that family sauce recipes are shrouded in mystique, and are coveted secrets. So this kind of claim on Chris’s part was a particularly low blow.

I could not let this stand and I just had to come to the Governor’s rescue. It’s the least I could do. Watch my YouTube video to see my response by clicking here.

The Anniversary Edition

April 8, 2020 (Toilet paper inventory: 7 rolls)

Since we’re all in isolation, I thought you might like to look at a face other than those of your quarantine mates.

So, I’m trying something new: this SNORK comes to you on video, direct from the Mother Ship (my home office).

Click here to watch!

Creativity in the Contaminate Zone

Think outside the box.

Like so many people around the country, and the world, business owners here in the containment zone are taking a big hit. It’s devastating. There’s no way to sugarcoat it or make light of it. The only comfort is knowing we’re all in the same boat and we’ll bounce back together. We just need patience (not my strong suit), time and a hopeful look toward the future.

So, I have to give credit to the industrious individuals who are thinking outside the box. Here are some of the ways businesses are trying to make lemonade out of lemon-scented Lysol.

Toilet paper:

Since obsessing about toilet paper has become everyone’s favorite pastime, one genius marketer came up with a ploy to profit off the mania.

Imagine you’re down to your last roll. You’re feeling desperate. You don’t even have back-up newspaper or an old Sears catalogue laying around. So with a heart full of optimism, you search toilet paper on Amazon and this pops up:

A mistake? I don’t think so.

While some price gougers are trying to sell toilet paper to you for about $3.00 per roll, another company lists their shoes as toilet paper – and for a very affordable price, I might add.

What would your internal dialogue have to be to make this strategy work? “Hmm. I’m down to eight squares of TP but, you know, I could always use a cute pair of espadrilles.”

Appealing to people on lockdown with their kids:

Michael’s craft store is offering online shopping with curbside pick-up. Their website reads:

Stocking up on arts and crafts to keep the family busy at home?
Now you can grab supplies without leaving your car.

They will actually bring your purchase to your trunk so you can avoid all human contact. This is a great idea, depending on what you order. Let me offer a mommy tip here: do not order anything that involves glitter or permanent markers! You’re welcome.

New Cars:

It’s hard to imaging that anyone is thinking about buying a new car right now, but if you are. Chevrolet says “We’re here to ready to help.”

You can shop for your new car online and get home delivery (again, avoiding other humans and their potential creeping crud). Plus, for well-qualified buyers who finance through GM, they also offer 0%APR for 84 months and wave monthly payments for 120 days. FULL DISCLOSURE: I’m sure there is a laundry list of terms and condition. I won’t bore you with them here.

Cashing in on fear:

There are going to be a slew of commercials coming out soon for assisted living facilities. How do I know this? In addition to acting, I’m also a voiceover artist and I’m getting auditions for these left and right. And they almost all start out with phrases like ‘in these uncertain times.’

You’ll also be seeing lots more commercials for smart phone ultraviolet sanitizers, air purifiers, and the like.

The truth is, if you just stay put at home, respect social distance and wash your hands, you’ll likely be ok and so will your loved ones around you.

Now, a message from my heart:

I’ve been trying to keep people’s spirits up with these containment zone posts, and I hope I am. Sometimes it’s a struggle. I’m going through this just like you and it is stressful. My husband and I have been fortune that everyone in our family is healthy. Some of you have not been as lucky. You are in my thoughts every day.

I’d also like to say thank you to everyone who is keeping the world in motion. Thank you to those caring for the sick, stocking the grocery store shelves, providing gas, internet, and electricity. Thank you to the volunteers who deliver food to their elderly neighbors, and to the people walking their dogs who take the time to smile and ask, “How are you doing?” I’m grateful for the artists, musicians, and yoga and fitness instructors who generously post their talents online to give us all a little sweetness and keep us centered and motivated in these times of isolation and concern. And I am certainly grateful for all of you who take the time to read these posts and leave comments for me. It helps. So to all of you beautiful people out there:

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

xo,

Anita

Tuesday Nights in the Containment Zone

March 24, 2020 (Toilet paper inventory: 11 Rolls)

Last night in the Containment Zone, some of us “gathered” to celebrate our friend’s birthday, via Whereby. It was a very special milestone birthday for her. So special, in fact, that I put on lipstick and a clean pair of sweatpants! And what would a virtual birthday party be without virtual gifts? I virtually created a brand new virtual company (Post-Pandemic Luxury Tours) and “gave” her an all-expenses paid trip around the world on a private jet. Oh, but that’s not all. I also “gave” her a diamond necklace valued at $4 million and a beautiful Chanel birthday cake (calorie-free).

I have to say, I’m starting to really embrace virtual living! It’s made me very generous.

Party People

After the party, I decided to stick to my usual Tuesday night routine – spa night. Listen, just because I’m under quarantine (along with the entire state of New York), that is no reason to throw in the towel on good grooming.

Before this whole debacle, I treated myself to a couple of light therapy gadgets that are supposed to reduce the appearance of fine lines and lighten up dark spots. Do they work, you ask? Honestly, I can’t really tell, but I feel very posh when I use them. And as everybody knows, you have to feel good to look good.

My hands, of course, were crying out for the most attention. Excessive hand washing and harsh disinfectants have taken their toll. As luck would have it, I bought hand treatments as stocking stuffers last year and still had one.

You place this lollipop contraption in boiling water, let it dissolve and cool, and then soak your hands in it.

Before
After

I’d say it worked pretty well!

What are you doing to pamper yourself in isolation? Inquiring minds want to know.

Assessing My Needs in the CZ

March 23, 2020 (Toilet paper inventory: 11 rolls)

Well, it’s day 13 here in the containment zone.

The weekend was jam-packed with super fun activities. I did two loads of laundry, made soup and followed my husband around the house with a Clorox wipe. In the midst of all this, the entire state of New York shut down and all “non-essential” businesses closed. Nobody knows if this will last for weeks or months. There’s just no way to tell.

So I thought it was important to asses my long-term needs. Wants and needs are two very different things, of course. This is where the ability to be very discerning comes in handy. For example: I want paper towels but I don’t need them. I can make do with hand towels, sponges and, if push come to shove I can use one of my husband’s shirts that I secretly hate.

So, what is essential for me? What would I no longer have access to in the foreseeable future?

My husband and I are not big drinkers, so closed liquor stores would mean nothing to us. Consumer alert: Liquor stores have been deemed essential businesses in New York State and remain open. You’re welcome.

I stopped coloring my hair last June, so the closure of salons was not an issue. And who’s going to see me anyhow?

Wait! Hair? I realized I would not be able to have Fluffy groomed for God knows how long? She’s a shitzu and requires monthly haircuts. This is a long-term need! There was no choice but to buy a dog grooming kit on Amazon and learn how to do it myself from YouTube tutorials. Please send your thoughts and prayers to Fluffy.

What else would I need? Coffee! Now some of you might think coffee is a want and not a need. Well you would be wrong. An order placed to Nespresso checked that off the list.

I need food, and therein lies my biggest problem. I can’t order any.

After attempting to use every online grocery service short of the pony express, I finally discovered why I couldn’t get them. On one of the sites, I entered my address and a notice popped up, in red letters. I’m paraphrasing, but it read something like this: Your area has been temporarily suspended for deliveries due to the coronavirus. The message was vague. It didn’t explain why my area was suspended. I have friends elsewhere in New York, including Manhattan, who have access to deliveries. I got the distinct impression it had something to do with the containment zone.

Um…hello?! If we in the “CZ” are considered the most dangerous of the dangerous, wouldn’t it make more sense to drop our groceries outside our doors than to have us sashaying our cooties all over a supermarket?

Running out of groceries was ramping up my anxiety. There was only one option – I would have to venture out. This, of course, compounded my anxiety.

I should point out here that, prior to this pandemic, I was not an anxious person. Thanks for that, pandemic!

Since I didn’t want to risk exposing myself for nothing by going to a store that might have empty shelves, I decided to hit Stew Leonards in Yonkers, which is normally very abundant. I knew the layout of the store well. Crafting my shopping list in groups (veggies, dairy, meat, etc) in accordance with the store’s floorpan, I could maximize my shopping in the least amount of time. I wanted to get in and get out. I had no idea what merchandise I’d find when I got there or how crowded it would be, but having a strategy at least gave me the illusion of some control – which I cling to these days.

I checked Waze before leaving the house and traffic to Stew’s looked clear. To my sheer delight, I arrived to find a half-empty parking lot. Did the lesser planners shop over the weekend? Did the snowy day scare others away? Whatever the reason, luck was on my side. I was able to get almost everything I needed and wanted while setting a new land speed record.

With my cupboards comfortably stocked for at least a month, I could stay at home and this calmed my nerves. And just in case you’re wondering: no, I am not hoarding. I’m just very frugal. Today’s roast will be tomorrow’s sandwich, a steak salad the day after that and a meat sauce the day after that, with leftovers in the freezer.

There was just one more need that had to be addressed – my husband and I desperately missed our children. One of them is in Georgia, the other in Brooklyn with his fiancé, and all of us in isolation. Hubby came to the rescue and coordinated a virtual visit for all of us using something called Whereby. It. Was. Wonderful.

Throughout this entire calamity, technology has been a saving grace. With the help of the internet, I can learn how to groom a shitzu, support my coffee habit, find 20,000 ways to make a chicken breast interesting and see my loved ones!

What’s been your saving grace? Tell me in the comments.

Day 9 From the Containment Zone

March 19, 2020 (Toilet paper inventory: holding at 12 rolls)

Here in the containment zone, every morning is pretty much the same. I have my rituals in place and go through them step-by-step…

  1. Wake up (Essential)
  2. Assess breathing and check for body aches/fever (All good)
  3. Tend to morning ablutions (Use your imagination. On second thought, don’t.)
  4. Go down to the kitchen and begin decontamination protocols (Involves Lysoling the bejesus out of everything my husband and I communally encounter: doorknobs, faucet handles, drawer pulls, countertops, ice dispenser touch pad, light switches, etc. And yes, “Lysoling” is now a verb.)
  5. Wash hands while singing the ABC song.
  6. Apply lotion to sandpapery skin
  7. Make and consume coffee (As essential as Step #1)
  8. Walk Fluffy (Inviting neighbors who like to walk with us. Maintain social distance.)
  9. Return home and repeat Steps 5 & 6.

This might sound a bit compulsive, and you could be asking yourself if Anita is speeding down the highway to OCD-town.  Let me assure you, once the dust settles, I will happily give up Steps 2 and 4. In fact, I’ll be able to lighten up a little after the following things happen:

  • My husband stops going to work.  He owns his own business and only comes in contact with his partner, but they have separate offices. So, there’s plenty of distance between them.  But he’s out there.  In the world.
  • March 25th passes without any sign of illness in my husband.  He attended a conference in Las Vegas and the 25th will mark the end of the supposed incubation period.  Now, since we’re talking about Vegas, baby…I’ll bet you somebody at the conference had it.  Those are pretty good odds.

So, until then, I will continue to be the sanitizing queen of corona.

After my daily checklist is complete, I start making important decisions: Should I do laundry today, or save that for tomorrow so I’ll have something to do?  Should I sort the laundry and just do whites today and save the colors for tomorrow? Should I cook for the day, or make extra for the freezer?  Should I start an adjunct list of bigger projects: Clean out the closets? Prepare the flower beds for spring planting? Build an ark?

One thing did happened this afternoon that was very different from the “norm,” whatever that is anymore. I attended a virtual memorial service for my friends’ mother who passed away two days ago.  My heart went out to the whole family that they could not gather together in person to comfort each other. But my hat’s off to them for coming up with a way to gather “virtually,” see each other’s faces and share tributes to their beautiful mom.  There were stories and songs and, honestly, it was just as meaningful as any memorial I’ve ever been to.

These are very different times, indeed.

After the service, I head back down to the kitchen to whip up some keto-friendly dishes (I decided to cook.). The diet is going well; I’ve lost quite a few pounds and feel energetic.  As long as I have access to the foods I need, I plan to stick with it.  Of course, if we reach a critical point where there is nothing left in the house but carbs, I will do what I have to do.  But we’ll dive into that bowl of pasta when we come to it.

I make keto Oopsie bread, which was easy and came out very well, I think. You can find the recipe here.  In addition, I made a lovely zucchini, bell pepper and brie frittata. And last but not least, a creamy cucumber salad.

Oopsie Bread

Once the clean-up was done, I called Amanda and invited her to our 5 o’clock Fluffy walk.  One of the wonderful things that has come out of all this is seeing families take walks together. Everyone is out with their children and their dogs.  It’s very nice. We saw our neighbor, Lauren, who came outside to say hello.  She was having a cocktail party with her husband.  It used to be “two’s company, three’s a crowd.” Now two’s a cocktail party.

Strange days indeed.

And now it’s time for some mindless entertainment.  I like documentaries.  Yesterday I watched Fyre on Netflix.  Today, who knows what I’ll find.

Then it will be dinner and some conversation when my husband gets home.  Then bed.

Until tomorrow…

Postscript: My husband received an email that someone at the Vegas conference tested positive for coronavirus.  That’s a bet I would have preferred to lose.