A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Interview

Last month, I received a request for an interview from Dolores Fox Ciardelli, Tri Valley Life Editor at the Pleasanton Weekly. She received a press release about my contributions to the Chicken Soup for the Soul: Laughter Is the Best Medicine. And she wanted to talk about laughter in general, especially during Covid. Humor is my favorite subject so of course I said, “YES!” Then asked me to reschedule. “I hate to do this, but could we possibly make our talk a little later? I was able to schedule an Insta-Cart order delivery between 11 and 1 tomorrow so I took the slot.” This is our new normal so of course I said fine, what else did I have to do? I understand how difficult it’s been to … [Read more...]

Chicken Soup for the Soul Books Provide Humor During Covid

Months ago, I submitted two stories to Chicken Soup for the Soul: Laughter Is the Best Medicine: 101 Feel Good Stories. I was overjoyed to learn they accepted both of my humorous stories. If you would have told me a year ago that I would be published in a book series that has sold more than 110 million copies in the U.S. and Canada, sold more than 500 million copies worldwide, and has been translated into 43 languages, I would have told you that you were crazy. Here’s their email as proof! Dear Stacey,  Your story “Money Talks” has made it to the final selection round for Chicken Soup for the Soul: Laughter Is the Best Medicine. We are so appreciative of your participation and … [Read more...]

Totally Serious Quarantine Food Swaps

If you’re like me, it’s been more difficult to buy some the supplies you need to make your favorite and not so favorite meals. Flour? Fuhgeddaboudit. Butter? That’s a big maybe. Eggs? Nearly as scarce as toilet paper but still, good luck. So I’m here to help with a few simple substitutions. Inside your pantry or vegetable bin are the correct items to complete recipes in a pinch. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiQY4DV5AzM Quarantine Food Swaps - Baking Supplies Did you know that applesauce or pureed avocado could replace butter? Or an equal amount of maple syrup can be exchanged for vanilla extract? And you can substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream? Baking Powder 1 teaspoon … [Read more...]

How Can I Help Others During a Pandemic?

Looking out my window, the world looks unchanged. The sun rises. Birds soar across the sky. I hear the sound of trash collectors scooping up the recyclables, hitting the gas and chugging up the street. At first glance, it seems like an ordinary day, but nothing is the same. I drive downtown to get an idea of my community’s reaction to shelter in place. My little town feels like the day after Christmas, empty and quiet. Closed restaurants bear signs of “We Do Take-Out” or “Look Us Up Online.” Our local coffee shop, once my refuge, a place to regroup and refuel, stands closed and silent. I feel very isolated and detached. And I wonder how can I help during a global pandemic? Could I be a … [Read more...]

My Weird Quarantine Diary – 36 Days

If you’re like me, you’ve been holed in your home for what feels like months. With my newfound time, I started a daily quarantine diary to remind me of the weird, quirky, and funny things that have happened along the way. Here’s what I noted: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cicvuEljfnE   Quarantine Diary - Week 1 Day 1 - Our grandparents were called to war. We’re being called to sit on our couch. Together we can do this. Day 2 – The dog refuses to eat dry kibble so I feed him chicken and rice, which he gobbles down. Due to shortage of chicken I’m faced with a new dilemma. If the dog starts eating chicken, then are we going to have to consider eating the dog? Day 3 –Didn’t … [Read more...]

Quarantine (Not So Useless) Survival Skills

Who would have thought I’d be so productive after 33 days of quarantine? Since March 16, I’ve organized my canned goods from small to large, watched 12 videos on how to cut my own hair and learned how to whistle with two fingers. But when I attempted to Marie Kondo my closets, I discovered it wasn’t that I didn’t have time to clean closets, it was that I didn’t want to. At this point, after four weeks of quarantine, I’m bored of myself. And I realized that I don’t know how to do a damn thing and needed to gain a few skills. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CyiEIva47eA How to cut dog hair Our dog’s hypoallergenic shaggy coat soon it would be flat and matted by week six. Since the dog … [Read more...]

Funny Ways to Open an Amazon Package During Covid19

These days, we handle every Amazon delivery like Tom Cruise disarming a bomb in Mission: Impossible - Fallout. Yet, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) tell us, “Because of poor survivability of the coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging." Blah, blah blah. Let’s face it. Our fear of dying causes us to disregard CDC’s statement. From this point forward, we shall handle an Amazon delivery with the precision of a bomb squad. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12XdkA6BdvM Step 1: Access the Situation Our Amazon delivery was due to arrive any day. With so many orders, Amazon lagged behind. No more opportunity to place an order … [Read more...]

Shelter in Place – What I Learned the First Six Days

Our first week under ‘shelter in place’ or stay-at-home stressed the importance of family and safety. I realized that at this time, all I could do to help others was to stay inside and not contribute to the spread of COVID-19. With a Bachelor’s in math and statistics, the foreseeable future seemed grim. Based on the growth of COIVD-19, our isolation would last a minimum of eight weeks, unlikely to flatten the curve before May. The virus gained strength by 30% a day. It was a bunch of nonsense to believe we’d be moving around by Easter. https://healthblog.uofmhealth.org/wellness-prevention/flattening-curve-for-covid-19-what-does-it-mean-and-how-can-you-help And I asked myself, “What … [Read more...]