Toledo Talk

Going Stir-crazy, suffering from Cabin Fever

I've been stuck in the house since well before Christmas. I can't tolerate the cold air, and let's face it -- it's been COLD.

I feel like I'm losing my mind a little bit. Like there's some sort of disengaged anger simmering just beneath the surface. I'm restless. Aimless. Agitated.

There's really no place I want to go (though it would be awesome to have dinner out!). I am just SO TIRED of not having that option. I miss sitting in my backyard and sitting on my awesome front porch.

Anyone else here been homebound for the duration of this frigid spell? How are you doing? How are you dealing with it?

created by gamegrrl on Jan 30, 2014 at 11:20:58 am     Comments: 30

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Comments ... #

I'm stuck in a hotel room in atlanta

posted by a_fan on Jan 30, 2014 at 11:34:59 am     #  

Wow! What's the outlook? Looks like it will get up into the 40s there today.

posted by gamegrrl on Jan 30, 2014 at 11:44:29 am     #  

When I'm stuck indoors, I cook. A LOT. Soups, mostly, and a pie recently. It's nice to be able to fill the freezer (and the garage, our "outdoor refrigerator") and know I won't have to cook on busier days.

posted by Anniecski on Jan 30, 2014 at 11:46:38 am     #  

grrl, I feel ya! I still have my Christmas tree up (lights only) because I can't face the thought of a dark house while I cower indoors.

I just bumped up a thread "40 tips" from a few years back -- nice things to think about.

I miss the porch scene, too. One silly thing I do is go around to every window and look out at the pretty snow for a few minutes. The view doesn't change much, but at least it's a walk all the way around the house. Sometimes while doing this I realize I need to move some unneeded furniture slightly (or to downsize).

Another thing to keep in mind is that some studies have shown that people who have to watch a news crawler on their TV screen end up far crabbier than those who watch a screen without news ribbons. Sorry I don't have a link to the research -- but keep in mind that the TV stations are going in the direction of adding multiple crawlers on every possible occasion.

I try not to do too much closet-cleaning or rearranging of the linen closet when I'm feeling housebound. I end up throwing out too much of The Spouse's stuff :-)

It helps to have a near-term goal to focus on. Pick something and make it important (even if it's just important for your mental health). Squirrel Appreciation Day was Jan. 21st, I believe.

The Chinese New Year is Jan. 31st. For the Year of the Horse, I will put out a few horsey decorations and either make or order Chinese food. And research easy fortune-telling games on the web.

For Groundhog Day, think about serving a special meal (like a groundhog-shaped meatloaf) and watch the Bill Murray movie.

According to my calendar, Feb 6 is "Waitangi Day" in New Zealand. I have no idea what that is, but I might check it out on the web and make a special supper.

I assume your condition means that you can't fill up birdfeeders or put out peanuts and apples for the squirrels ...

Please let me know what you come up with. I see MY contributions are embarrassingly food-centric :-)

posted by viola on Jan 30, 2014 at 11:48:15 am     #  

a_fan posted at 10:34:59 AM on Jan 30, 2014:

I'm stuck in a hotel room in atlanta

Ha!
Ha!Ha!
Ha!Ha!Ha!

snort!

Boy howdy, do I feel better. When do you think you'll get out?

posted by madjack on Jan 30, 2014 at 12:03:50 pm     #   2 people liked this

From gamegrrl: How are you dealing with it?

Various ways. Skipping right over the obvious, adult oriented suggestions, why don't you write us a short story? Your writing skills are up to it. Here are a few ideas:

1. Kill someone off.
2. Take a journey somewhere.
3. Decide between two lovers. Both are nuts about you, and you must choose one over the other.
4. Perform a service for someone, the catch being that to the benefactor it's a trivial task, to the recipient it makes a monumental difference.
5. Obsess about a spouse that's late coming home from work.

Publish on ToledoTalk.

posted by madjack on Jan 30, 2014 at 12:11:36 pm     #  

Suggestion:

Bake bread.

Here's my recipe:

15:9 ratio of flour to water, +sugar +yeast +oil +salt.

Process:
In the mixing bowl you plan on using, add 9 ounces (all measures by WEIGHT, so put that bowl on the scale!) of warm water, about 2 tsp of active yeast, and about 2 tbs of sugar (or less if you're not using wheat flour at all). Stir that up and let it sit for about 10 minutes.

Once things are happily bubbly, throw in about 2 tbs of veg oil, about 2 or 3 tsp of kosher salt, and then your flour. I usually zero out the scale and go about 4 ounces of wheat flour and 11 ounces of white, but you can certainly go all white. mix that up a bit.

If you have a kitchenaid mixer (which you REALLY should), oil the dough hook thoroughly and set it kneading at speed ONE for about ten minutes. (if you don't, kneed it by hand you poor sap) Once done, you have two choices. Let it rise on your counter or fridge it overnight for baking tomorrow.

Regardless, let it rise till it's doubled in size. Mix back down and turn it out into a breadpan (I use this one: http://cookware.lecreuset.com/cookware/product_Heritage-Loaf-Pan---Was-$40_10151_-1_20002_41062_ ).

Once it's risen again to about the top of the rim, preheat your oven to 425 and fill another breadpan with water, putting that on the top rack (generates steam for you, great for the crust).

Once it's fully risen to just above the rim, slash a line down the middle of the loaf with a super sharp oiled knife or kitchen shears. Throw it in the oven for about 30 minutes, take it out, cover with foil, and go another 20 or so. Let it cool completely before cutting and ENJOY.

Storage: keep the sliced side down on the cutting board, and cover with a towel.

Total labor is like 10 minutes tops if you use a kitchenaid.

posted by endcycle on Jan 30, 2014 at 01:50:07 pm     #  

endcycle, even though I'm a pretty smart cookie, I have never been able to figure out how to keep from cutting into a loaf of hot bread fresh from the over. I think it's impossible. At least for me. ;-)

Most of you know that I have a corporate job that I work from my home office. No shortage of 'stuff' to do, for sure: Doing a refresh on some of our collateral, designing a new 10' display for the conferences we attend, handling all the mass marketing campaigns, our website, Salesforce administrator duties... The list goes on.

"I'm keeping busy" is an understatement. I'm also going insane, apparently. Little things like a ferocious desire to throw open all the windows and doors. Wacky, man.

Over the last couple of weeks, I've made a ton of great soup: Chicken and potato. Froze half of each. Ate the remainder. Then thawed and ate the frozen portions. It was THAT good. I was going to make MORE soup, but I have use up all my stock. Maybe I'll sacrifice some of the frozen chicken thighs in the freezer for the sake of stock. Or I could send Mr. Gamegrrl out to the store in this nasty cold, which seems a little unfair.

I have six new books from the library loaded into my Kindle, but I'm so jittery/distracted/crazy that I can't focus long enough to get into ANY of them. If/when I finally DO settle in reading, I fall asleep.

Maybe this would be a good time to work on some long-postponed writing projects. Then again, I wouldn't want to end up like Jack Nicholson's character in "The Shining". That would be... bad.

posted by gamegrrl on Jan 30, 2014 at 02:09:12 pm     #  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-6y3oabnJE

posted by endcycle on Jan 30, 2014 at 03:07:33 pm     #  

chuckle

posted by gamegrrl on Jan 30, 2014 at 03:15:26 pm     #  

I think you should write.

You're reaching the proper amount of wacky. :)

posted by justread on Jan 30, 2014 at 04:54:55 pm     #  

We'll see how I feel after some sustenance. Mr. Gamegrrl is doing something sexy with chicken thighs and Herbs de Provence...

posted by gamegrrl on Jan 30, 2014 at 05:55:32 pm     #  

Woof! Woof! ;p

posted by Mariner on Jan 30, 2014 at 06:22:29 pm     #   1 person liked this

Inspiration! "50 Shades of Poultry"

posted by gamegrrl on Jan 30, 2014 at 06:30:25 pm     #   2 people liked this

Bursting bubble....

50 Shades of Chicken cookbook already exists.

And its pretty amusing with good recipes. ;-)

posted by SJD on Jan 31, 2014 at 10:28:09 am     #  

Who said "50 Shades of Poultry" is a cookbook, hey smartybritches?

;-)

Maybe it's a sex manual for gourmands.

Maybe it's a genetics guide for breeding chickens with feathers that could be 50 different, yet similar, colors.

Maybe it's a work of fiction that details the wacky adventures of fifty chicken ghosts (shades) who were all killed in an unfortunate meteor strike.

You never know. Never.

posted by gamegrrl on Feb 01, 2014 at 12:41:30 am     #  

I cry fowel.

posted by justread on Feb 01, 2014 at 05:00:41 am     #   1 person liked this

Oh, how the poulet deep around here.

posted by gamegrrl on Feb 01, 2014 at 12:20:22 pm     #  

I stand corrected gamegrrl. Carry on...
;-)

posted by SJD on Feb 03, 2014 at 10:59:03 am     #  

Carrion?

posted by gamegrrl on Feb 03, 2014 at 11:33:40 am     #  

Aw man. It's gotta be the weather. This post is for the birds.

posted by Mariner on Feb 03, 2014 at 11:36:31 am     #  

I'm sure the weather has something to do with it, Mariner. It's so freaking cold out that I saw a chicken with a capon.

posted by gamegrrl on Feb 03, 2014 at 12:42:23 pm     #  

Yes indeed - Time for some fresh air! lol.
yes... I just lol'd.

posted by SJD on Feb 03, 2014 at 12:44:43 pm     #  

SJD, I think some fresh air is a great idea. Trash day is tomorrow in my neighborhood, and sometimes people put some great stuff out at the curb. Maybe I'll go cruise the trash. Heck, I might even find a 'free range'. rimshot

posted by gamegrrl on Feb 03, 2014 at 01:01:54 pm     #   1 person liked this

Careful gamegrrl - peeking in those bins may get you more organics than you bargained for........

posted by Foodie on Feb 03, 2014 at 01:22:01 pm     #  

gamegrrl posted at 11:42:23 AM on Feb 03, 2014:

I'm sure the weather has something to do with it, Mariner. It's so freaking cold out that I saw a chicken with a capon.

It probably needed the chicken to sing the low part.

posted by justread on Feb 03, 2014 at 01:41:29 pm     #  

gamegrrl posted at 11:42:23 AM on Feb 03, 2014:

I'm sure the weather has something to do with it, Mariner. It's so freaking cold out that I saw a chicken with a capon.

I assume that they were just snuggling.

posted by justread on Feb 03, 2014 at 01:47:42 pm     #  

I couldn't decide, so I went with both. :D

posted by justread on Feb 03, 2014 at 01:48:08 pm     #  

To rephrase an old song - Don't want no chicken with no skinny legs... but she sure can cook.

posted by Mariner on Feb 03, 2014 at 02:07:38 pm     #  

LOL! ...chicken with a cape on. It was so cold he was wearing a cape.

posted by gamegrrl on Feb 03, 2014 at 02:15:32 pm     #