Category Archives: Family

#sol20 March 30 A Slice of Siblings

Slice of LIfePart of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers March Slice a Day Challenge! I’m slicing every day this month. Thanks for stopping by.


The teenagers have started a 30 Day health challenge. They woke up early, on their own. Well, the 13-year old did, and then he woke up his sister. She doesn’t like alarm clocks, so for once she actually asked him to wake her up.

When I walked down to get my coffee, the yoga mat was already set up, the hand weights were out, and the oatmeal was started on the stove.

There was even cut fruit on the counter.


H grabbed an apple.

“Did you wash that apple?” I asked and I handed him the fruit and veggie wash. He had washed it, but he washed it again.

He was chopping up the apple when his sister walked in the kitchen, eyes wide at all the preparation.

“Wow!” She said as her brother started chopping the apple.


“I can’t promise I’m going to do all of this every day,” H said.

L started to nod, taking in all of the prep work, “I know.”

“I mean,” he continued, “these are the last of the strawberries.”

#sol20 March 28 A Slice of Saturday During the Pandemic

Slice of LIfePart of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers March Slice a Day Challenge! I’m slicing every day this month. Thanks for stopping by.


Saturday during the pandemic
Slept in until 8
Had just one zoom, with friends though
Took the dog on a walk
Tried to read a bit
Talked to my Mom on the phone
We had popcorn and veggies for dinner
Watched Harry Potter Six
Shared and finished a box of Thin Mints
Gave the kids elderberry gummies
Saturday, during the pandemic


#sol20 March 26 A Slice of How-To AKA My Nails During the Pandemic

Slice of LIfePart of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers March Slice a Day Challenge! I’m slicing every day this month. Thanks for stopping by.

This school year I started treating myself to powder dipped manicures. It’s been a guilty pleasure to have my nails done and colorful! So fun!

Last month I treated my daughter to one with me. This was when she was preparing to go on a school trip to Italy for Spring Break. She was worried about biting her nails while she was there, so we thought a manicure might help curb the habit. I think later that day we got word that she was actually going to go to Germany. Italy wasn’t safe enough anymore. The calendar’s a little fuzzy in my brain, but I think it was the next day after that when the trip was canceled completely.

But, at least our nails looked good!

But now it’s almost a month later. Not so good.


And nail salons aren’t essential businesses opened during social distancing, and if they were open, it’s not worth it at this point.

So, we googled how to take this stuff off, and ordered a nail drill.

Today was the day. It was a long process, friends. But in light of the fact that we all have to learn new ways of doing things now, I have recorded the steps for your education:

  1. Wait for the package from amazon
  2. Wipe down the amazon box
  3. Wipe down the nail drill box
  4. Wait for all zoom meetings to be done
  5. Wait for anyone who was stuck inside on zoom meetings all day to get a little bit of sunshine
  6. Wait for little brothers to be busy
  7. Unpack the nail drill
  8. Read the directions (There weren’t really many directions…)
  9. Find a USB brick to plug in the nail drill (Where are all the chargers? Are the kids hoarding chargers?)
  10. Take turns roughing up nails with the new nail drill (Ouch. That thing is loud and fast, and somehow hurts sometimes! Actually, ouch.)
  11. Cut foil and cotton (I did feel bad about using foil, since I only have the one thing of foil, and I don’t want to have to go to the store…)
  12. Soak cotton in acetone (100%. All the things we googled were clear: It must be 100% Acetone)
  13. Wrap fingers in acetone soaked cotton, and foil (This was hard to do once one hand was wrapped, by the way.)
  14. Wait for 30 minutes (Boring! Waiting is hard.)
  15. Unwrap each nail (With hope in my heart!)
  16. Realize it only worked somewhat (Hope isn’t my strong suit)
  17. Scrape some, drill some (We got to use a smaller drill piece that doesn’t hurt!)
  18. File
  19. Soak (More Acetone)
  20. Hope
  21. Wipe (Yay!)
  22. Clip
  23. File
  24. Paint with nail hardener
  25. Sigh with relief to be done.

I don’t know when we will be able to get our nails done again. Last time we did it, the world was different, on the cusp of change.

Some people I know are planning on growing gardens for the first time, or are working on menus that utilize the exact right groceries to minimize waste. I know there are people out there with 3D printers printing face masks. This pandemic is bringing out the best in people, and now I’ve joined the ranks of people working to make the world a better place. I’ve figured out how to take off my powder dip nail polish. I guess it’s a start.


#sol20 March 24 A Slice of Wordplay about Today. . .

Slice of LIfePart of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers March Slice a Day Challenge! I’m slicing every day this month. Thanks for stopping by.


About today.
How many zooms can one non-boomer zoom, if zoom is the only way to be in the room?

By the way.
I just looked it up and I’m maybe an echo-boomer, which makes me an echo-boomer-zoomer.

And so you know.
This is how I write when it’s already night, and I’ve witnessed one too many sibling fight, and I just want everything to be alright.

Before I go.
Help me. Why am I tired, when there’s only sitting required… but for my kids, these days leave them wired?


#sol20 March 23 A Slice of 10 minutes or less of working from home. . .

Earlier today, (It feels like it must have been a different day. But, it was this day.) I had to start to figure out how to really work a full day while my kids did their school stuff, etc.

I put headphones on even though my zoom meeting wasn’t starting yet. It was just so I wouldn’t hear the kids in the other room. I’m not sure what kind of parent this makes me, but it’s what I did, and I need to be honest with you. I could still hear them.

Photo on 3-23-20 at 9.50 AM.jpg

But, I tried to just jump into my real work anyway. I mean, I had 12 whole minutes until my zoom. Surely I could knock something off of my to-do list.

Before the headphones, one of my kids was super curious about what I was doing when he heard me playing a zoom recording someone had sent me

“Are you in a meeting?” he said, peeking over my shoulder. 

“No,” I said quickly, trying to ignore my child. There. I’ve said it. This morning began with me trying to ignore my kids, and that is how the day has ended too. 

“Play it again!” he said, “I thought someone said, Ona Feinberg!” 

So,  I finally showed him again and convinced him that it was not what he thought.

Alone, I took a deep breath and started working again, half-listening to the boys talking in the kitchen. This might have been when I realized that it really is hard for me to concentrate when people are making noise around me.  So, I put my headphones on, and the “Totally Stress Free” station on Spotify. 

Seconds later, he was back. 

“Can we make pumpkin muffins?” 

Oh. This one was easy. We don’t have any flour. So I said, “We don’t have the ingredients.”

“I’ll check” was the answer as he went to check, and popped back in a minute later.

“No, we don’t have flour,” he said. “So I’ll make pumpkin pie.” 

O.M.G. Deep breaths. 

Aha! I figured it out. This will stop the baking extravaganza in my freshly cleaned up kitchen! “How will you make the crust?” I challenged. “We don’t have flour or graham crackers or anything like that.” 

“Oh, there are ways,” he said like he was in a dramatic movie. Or maybe a soap opera. And he disappeared back into the kitchen.”

“You have my permission to google how you might make the crust, you can’t make anything until you run it by me and right now I have to work,” I yelled after him, and turned my attention back to my computer.

“Okay. So I’ll look it up.” 

A minute later, “Okay, I got it. I can start making it now.”

“No! Not yet. Hold on!”

In came the next kid. 

“Mama. I want to start a business.” She flopped down into a chair in front of my desk.

I had to laugh. It just came out. Pumpkin pies and businesses. Forget the struggle of working full time and running a home school, I suddenly felt like I was also running a bakery and a business school.

“I mean after the coronavirus is over,” she said. 

Deep breaths in, Ona. Deep breaths out.

“Okay, that’s awesome honey. I have a zoom-in like 10 minutes. And work to do before that. Can we maybe talk about your business idea in a little bit? Maybe later today?” 

With just a slight pout she started to read instead. So, I went back to work.

But then Mr. Pumpkin Pie chef comes back.

“I’ve figured it out. I can make the crust with crushed ice cream cones and cinnamon Chex.”

“Okay,” I say. And then, because it’s still early, but I already feel like I’ve worked a whole day, I say, “But if there is one speck of mess in the kitchen; if there is one speck of conflict while baking; if the kitchen isn’t cleaner than when you started, you won’t be doing any more baking for the whole pandemic.”

That seemed to go over well, so I turn back to my computer.

But then another kid walked in. (Don’t worry. I only have 3, so my morning slice is almost over.)

“Can you read this from my teacher with me?” he asked. “Can you help me?”

My chef says something from the kitchen that I don’t understand and my daughter says, “He says he’s going to use the food processor to make the crust.”

“You can’t use the food processor while I’m zooming!” I yell. “And my zoom starts in less than 10 minutes!

“Oh,” he says calmly. “I’ll just do it really quickly right now.”

And he does.

(Epilogue: And then the house smells delicious for the rest of the day, he did clean the kitchen, and the pie was delicious, and I did get to my zoom on time, and the next zooms too, and the kids did most of what they were supposed to while I was working, and the house is mostly not a disaster, and I was somewhat successful some of the times I tried to ignore my kids, including the time I spent writing this slice…)






#sol20 March 22 A slice of Sunday; The usual and the different

Slice of LIfePart of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers March Slice a Day Challenge! I’m slicing every day this month. Thanks for stopping by.


I made the kids help clean, like usual.
Took the dog on a walk, like usual.
Chatted with the neighbor, like usual.
Brought my clean laundry up to my room, like usual.
Left folded piles on my bed, like usual.
Made dinner, like usual.
Helped everyone get ready for the week ahead, like usual.

There was more to clean and also less. That’s different.
The Sunday dog walk was shorter than our daily treks. That’s different.
Sat 6 feet away from my neighbor as we both drank our teas. That’s different.
I didn’t have any work clothes to hang to dry. That’s different.
A lot of sweats, comfy socks and cozy sweaters to fold. That’s different.
Didn’t go to the grocery store even though we need fresh veggies. That’s different.
Made a schedule with each kid for their distance learning. That’s different.

#sol20 March 19 A Slice of a Chore

Slice of LIfePart of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers March Slice a Day Challenge! I’m slicing every day this month. Thanks for stopping by.


“I’ll just empty the dishwasher and then go upstairs.” H explains to me the one chore he thinks he will do.

“Actually,” I tell him – with my Zoom mute on, and my hand covering the microphone of my earbuds, “We are out of dishwasher detergent. So we can’t do that load until we go to the store.”

He’s annoyed and walks away.

I go back to my Zoom. I like to say “I go back to my Zoom” even though I don’t have to “go” anywhere. I just turn my head so it’s back in the frame, and uncover the microphone.

A little later though, I hear some odd noises and phrases.

So the microphone gets covered again, mute is pushed again, my head tilts out of the frame, again.

“What are you guys doing?” I yell in my I’m serious but not mad because I don’t want to make it seem like I’m pre-mad voice.

“Oh. Just making some dishwashing detergent.” H says back.

“What?” I say.

L comes out of the kitchen. “He’s making some dishwashing detergent.”

“With what?”

“Oh, baking soda, vinegar, salt…” H is out of the kitchen explaining.

Hmmm, I think.  What am I supposed to do here?

My Zoom meeting is still happening.

But is it a mess? What will actually happen if we try it?

And also, cool. If we don’t have to go to the store right now, that’s even better.

“Did you google how to do it?”

“Yep.” H says with confidence. “It’s all good.”

So I turn back to my computer, uncover my microphone and rejoin my Zoom.

Next up… I have to open the dishwasher… Wish me luck.

#sol20 March 18 A Slice of a list

Slice of LIfePart of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers March Slice a Day Challenge! I’m slicing every day this month. Thanks for stopping by.


some things that are getting me through…

kids doing (some of) their chores & school work, it’s a start
facetiming mom & dad, even though they are only 20 minutes away
slicing every day, and commenting too
texting with friends, stay connected!
zoom meetings with colleagues, zoom zoom!
funny memes on facebook, because you have to laugh or…
goodnewsnetwork, to balance out the other stuff
walking the dog, making the kids come along
the good place episodes, and telling netflix that yes, we are still watching
movie nights, a lot of movie nights

#sol20 March 17 Slice of Our 6-word memoirs of the day

Slice of LIfePart of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers March Slice a Day Challenge! I’m slicing every day this month. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂


Day 2 in 6 words from each of us. **

Me: Summer without sun, but with anxiety.

Mr. Thought: Embracing the power of humankind’s love.**

L: Wow. I’ve never been so productive.

H: Being quarantined isn’t fun after all.

E: Lego Building, biking, and chocolate fun.


*Thank you to the contributing guest authors!

**I’m sure you can see why he votes for the Mr. Rogers’ GIFs.


#sol20 March 15 A Slice of Day 1 Eve

Slice of LIfePart of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers March Slice a Day Challenge! I’m slicing every day this month. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

Happy Day 1 Eve! 

Tomorrow is the first day of no school.
I wonder what kind of first day of no school outfit I will wear.
Do we go to bed early so we can start the day off right?

Tomorrow is the first day of no school.
My meetings will all be zoomed.
Will my learning curve zoom-zoom-zoom?

Tomorrow is the first day of no school.
Only time will tell if my kids do any of the things I ask.
Should I make a chart? Have rewards? Have high expectations… or none?

Tomorrow is the first day of no school.
So today is Day 1 Eve
How exactly do we celebrate that? Another movie night you think?