City, Suburbs, or Rural: 9 Ways to Thrive During the Pandemic

A lot of panicking is going on, life is changing for all of us, and so I thought I’d share some of the things we are doing to stay healthy, busy, and green while also keeping economical!


Homemade Pizza! Why mention this first? Comfort food, y’all. It’s tastier than delivery, it’s fun to make, and it’s WAY healthier than the processed ingredients used by 95% of pizza parlors! This version made over the weekend is with homemade meatballs, mushrooms and red pepper over a homemade red sauce and organic mozzarella cheese – YUMMMM.


Support your immune system naturally! I was at the grocery store and while people were going nuts over TP, the produce aisles were stocked full. Broke my heart! Plus as a bonus, you can get a whole bag of fruit and make homemade preserves. Today I enjoyed a gorgeous organic orange and also grated the orange peel and am drying that in the oven (SO good in so many things from orange chicken to french toast!) so I can use as much as possible. PS – Here are 5 other ways to boost immunity.


Support your local soap makers – yourself or others! Health experts have said time and again that SOAP & WATER ARE BETTER THAN HAND SANITIZER so why waste your money on the bottled garbage? Make your own liquid soap/body wash (yeah, they’re the same) or support locals who are selling theirs – yesterday I got this lemon poppyseed bar from Forsythea in Astoria – smells like heaven!


Being stuck at home does not mean you should be Netflixing 24/7! Use your brain and clear off the dining table and play some games! My husband and I love a good game of Scrabble as well as jigsaw puzzles including this new Book Shop one I picked up at Purple Cow Toys in downtown Astoria yesterday, along with this Women’s March Round Puzzle from Anthropologie that I can’t wait to try!


Continue to support your immunity by getting outside and exercising! If you’ve got some gorgeous March weather like we do this week, up in the sunny 50’s, get out on the hiking trail, go to the beach if you’re near one like we are (this would be my girl Lucky in Gearhart with me last week), or simply go for a walk in your neighborhood. “Stay at home” doesn’t mean you mush “stay indoors”, remember that!  Fresh air is a good thing…and an awesome way to relieve stress! My husband is grateful to have his bike commute to the local co-op where he is a butcher each morning – 16 miles round trip, crazy to some, but he gets quiet roads, meditative times, and this week? Blue sky!


But hey, if you do want to Netflix ‘n’ chill one evening, and wants something to chill with? For those who are in legalized states may I recommend the Wyld Marionberry Gummies. Tasty, one candy will mellow you out without getting you high, and no smoke involved (it may take longer to feel the effects, but personally I’ll always take that over putting any type of smoke in my lungs). PS – Not surprisingly, our local dispensaries like Sweet Relief where I got mine are keeping busy 🙂


Bake bread!! My favorite is sourdough bread in my dutch oven, which I now make two loaves at a time, kneading the dough after dinner and letting it rise overnight, putting it in the oven when I get up. YUM. Search online for TONS of recipe ideas including how to make your own sourdough starter from flour and water 🙂


And finally, to the jerks who are buying crazy amounts of TP and even fighting over it in stores? I promise, you will not die if you run out. Unlike food, there are alternatives to TP – like family cloth (check out Nourishing Simplicity for her DIY project), so let’s not be jerks and take more than you need right now.

And of course, gardening! What a perfect time to do it if you aren’t already! The old rule “Peas by St Patty’s Day” is a good one to remember, and along with that, in most zones you can plant seeds for spinach and lettuce and other hardier items. Nothing like planting greens for the “instant gratification” feeling when they start popping their tiny bits out of the ground a week or so later! (These by the way are the various incarnations of my gardens over the year, from my “driveway garden” 13 years ago to the L-shaped cinderblock bed ones I first created at my house in the city, to the raised bed bonanza version a few years later, to the giant repurposed cedar beds (12’x4′ each) I built out here on the farm last spring. For those in warmer climates you can also begin your seed starting indoors (ours starts a couple weeks later being out here on the coast – I am SO antsy to get going with that!!!

So…what are y’all doing to adjust to the new restrictions?

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