Features + The Weekly Edit

The Weekly Edit: What Pandemic?

Living in Washington State, we’re required to wear masks.  Tables in restaurants are spaced 6ft apart, separated by shower curtains, and menus are disposable.  There is hand sanitizer everywhere.  But the businesses are open, and there are still people going to brunch, shopping at Nordstrom, and having a glass of wine at the local tasting room.

But earlier this week, I drove to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho for an appointment, and it was like an alternate universe where the pandemic does not exist.

Bars were full.  Restaurants were full.  Sidewalks were packed with crowds forcing some pedestrians to walk in the street.  And there wasn’t a mask or a bottle of hand sanitizer to be seen anywhere.  Cases in Idaho are up 1,491%, but they don’t seem concerned.

After months of living that self-isolation life, I felt like I drove through a time warp to summer 2019.  And as much as I wish for a leisurely al fresco cocktail in a crowd of dozens of people who’ve traveled from across the country for a lake vacation, it just doesn’t feel safe right now.

As my husband keeps telling me, there’s nothing more American than looking at a global pandemic that’s killed 120,000 of your countrymen and just deciding that you’re over it.

Lululemon has having a very rare online sale.  The discounts only last for five days, so if you need tops or bras or leggings, grab them early.  I picked up a simple pair of black leggings and this fabulous tuck pullover sweatshirt.  And if you’re in search of a new gym bag, they have a bunch on deep discount.

A little bit of D.C. drama is what I need to be reading this weekend.  In Cleo McDougal Regrets Nothing, a U.S. Senator and single mother is shredded by an op-ed written by an estranged childhood friend.  Her good person image is effectively decimated, and she goes on an image rehab tour that includes tackling her “regrets list.”

I’m only 20 pages in because I literally started it this morning, but it’s good so far.

Maskne has been the bane of my existence for the past month.  Painful, deep blemishes all over my chin and surrounding my nose.  Washing the masks daily didn’t help.  Creams didn’t help.  So I went on the hunt for a breathable mask that didn’t sit right on my skin.

Enter Graf & Lantz.  At $22-$29 per mask, they’re not cheap.  But they are so much more comfortable to wear for long periods than other masks I’ve tried.  You can also buy washable filters if you’re looking for a bit more protection.

Even Kyle will wear his G&L mask with minimal complaining.  So they must be good.

I bought a flat of peaches at Trader Joe’s.  They’re summery and delicious, but even eating one every day, I still have more peaches than I can consume before they rot.

Normally, I would make the Caramel Peach Upside Down Cake, which I have made approximately 100 times.  But the only thing worse than having 15 rotting peaches on the counter is to have 15 slices of cake rotting in the fridge.  So I decided these Peach Streusel Muffins might be a better fit.

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  1. Emily says:

    Abra—I had some strawberries that were on their last leg and followed this recipe for a cocktail shrub https://www.abeautifulplate.com/strawberry-shrub-cocktail/. I bet it would be delicious with peaches!

    July 10, 2020/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Boozy peaches, YES!

      July 10, 2020/Reply
      • Ral says:

        Great idea! Also ordered the G&L masks and filters. Thanks for the tip!

        July 10, 2020/Reply
  2. Liz says:

    I’m in Idaho and work at a school. Frightening the lack of seriouness here. Scary with reopening schools just a month away.

    July 10, 2020/Reply
    • Seventh Sister says:

      I live in a big city and people are taking it very seriously. We just got back from a visit to my folks, and it was like an alternate universe in my parents’ small beach town. It was as if everyone had said, “we’re on vacation so the pandemic is too!” Pretty irritating. .

      July 13, 2020/Reply
  3. Allison says:

    I went to a peach orchard last summer and came home with too many, of course. If you’d like a savory take on peaches, I loved both of these recipes:



    July 10, 2020/Reply
  4. Emilee says:

    ummm are you a mindreader? I was JUST thinking yesterday about how I wanted some kind of peach snack/dessert. Definitely saving that recipe!

    July 10, 2020/Reply
  5. Nichole says:

    You can peal and slice the peaches, then put on a tray to freeze. After frozen, pop them into a ziploc bag. They’ll be good for a couple months. You can pop them straight into smoothies or defrost and drain before adding to baked goods.

    July 10, 2020/Reply
  6. Kelly says:

    Just ordered that mask. Been looking for one with ear loops for haircuts.

    July 10, 2020/Reply
  7. H says:

    In the summer I turn to popsicles to use up about-to-go-bad fruit. For peaches I just add a little lemon so they don’t go brown and then sugar and flavors as you like. Ginger or thyme, maybe some booze or roast them and add vanilla. Blend and freeze. Easy and delicious!

    July 10, 2020/Reply
  8. Amanda says:

    I appreciate both the book recommendation (I’m now #1 once my library gets it in) and the masks – I’m looking for a good everyday replacement for the ones we got from a college classmate in March, and I think these might do the trick.

    My new “special occasion” masks came today – after seeing that a percentage of proceeds from the gardenia masks went to The Women’s Foundation, a Kansas City-area nonprofit focused on advancing women’s economic and civic advancement, I gave the gardenia and emerald masks a try. The fit is a little funky – I’ll need to adjust the ear elastics – but the fabric is beautiful, and I’m glad to try something new that’s also ethically made. https://rightfullysewn.org/shop/fashion-masks

    July 10, 2020/Reply
  9. Staci says:

    I’ve witnessed the time warp in the same state. Some cities are acting like there’s nothing going on. I get dirty looks because I’m masked. Other cities masks, sanitizer, and precautions are the normal. I hope we get to a point where the whole country can get on board.

    July 11, 2020/Reply
    • Anna says:

      The week before they became mandatory everywhere (not just indoors) here in WA and businesses were mandated to refuse service to customers not wearing masks, I went to a Cabella’s maybe 20 mins outside of Seattle, and we definitely got looks for wearing our masks. We were literally the only customers wearing masks. It was so different from the city where already many were wearing masks outside.

      July 13, 2020/Reply
  10. Ellen Buckley says:

    That type of filter is not washable and not meant to be re-used… just wanted to be sure everyone knew that!

    July 11, 2020/Reply
  11. Angela says:

    I am with you! I never break-out, but wearing masks everyday/all-day is creating skin havoc. It’s bonkers! I’m going to check-out your breathable suggestion. Thanks!

    July 11, 2020/Reply
  12. SC says:

    Thanks for the mask rec — my SO ordered some but they’re size L and they don’t fit me. I shortened the ear elastic loops but it didn’t help because the mask literally comes up to my eyes. 🙁 I sewed one for myself in a smaller size but I hate it because it’s bulky. I’m totally willing to pay more for a good mask that fits well!

    July 13, 2020/Reply
  13. caitlin f says:

    Reporting in from Richmond – it’s an equally weird mix and definitely seems to depend on the attitude of the retailer.

    Target and Kroger, many people without masks or taking liberties with personal space, but Trader Joe’s and the local organic (“crunchy”) grocery had absolutely no one without masks. AFAIK for the latter two, you are not allowed in without a mask, full stop period.

    I also strongly suspect it has something to do with where the clientele of each of those stores gets their news…

    July 15, 2020/Reply