Those Old Knives Just Weren’t Cutting It

Nothing says you’re a grownup more than shelling out $250 for a set of really good kitchen knives.

Either a grownup or a serial killer, I suppose.

Recent Dexter: New Blood binge aside, we bought the knives last weekend for slicing, dicing, and chopping up vegetables–not body parts (though honestly, these bad boys are so sharp, I’m sure they’d be up to that task). I can’t deny they were pricey, but they’re J.A. Henckels knives, which are basically the Mercedes of kitchen cutlery. Precision German engineering ain’t cheap.

I’ve had many knife blocks over the years. You know, those wooden or plastic storage devices with slots full of various knives. And they’ve pretty much all sucked. A year ago, we picked up a Henckels knife from Bed, Bath & Beyond. Just one–a 7″ utility knife–because it cost something like $50. But holy crap, did it impress! When we got home, I grabbed one of our old, dull knives, waved it through the air, and busted out my best Crocodile Dundee impression.

“That’s not a knife,” I said. Laid it down, picked up the new Henckel, and added, “THAT’S a knife!”

Tara rolled her eyes, but she was sold. So, flush with a little extra cash this holiday season, we decided to go all in and buy a bunch more.

They’re great and make food prep a breeze. The only drawback? Now that we dropped $250 on a set of fancy knives, I’m more inclined to actually use them. Which means fewer meals out and more home-cooked suppers. And I love going out to eat! Then again, with COVID still rampant, even that has lost some of its allure.

Hey, speaking of…

After dodging approximately a thousand bullets over the past two years, that little bitch finally invaded our home. Tara felt a cold coming on starting Monday, so she called in sick the next day. And the next. This morning she still wasn’t better and figured she should get tested just in case. She didn’t really think she had COVID; the “classic” symptoms weren’t there, and a cold virus had been making its way around her office last week.

And yet, her PCR test at urgent care this morning immediately came back positive.

Well, shit.

Yes, we’re both double vaxxed and boosted. No, as you’ve probably heard, that doesn’t mean a thing with omicron. At least her symptoms are mild. She can still smell and taste. It’s really more like a moderate cold than anything else. Even her cough has already subsided.

As for me, I feel perfectly fine, at least right now. She’s actually been sleeping in the guest room all week because she didn’t want to get me sick. We have had plans for a weekend getaway to Custer for the annual Beetle Burn festival, after all. Booked a hotel room and everything.


And when I notified my HR department of my exposure, they said, Hit the road, Jack. Which was weird because my name is Mark. Whatevs. CenturyCo let me off the hook after my daughter’s visit in November even though she tested positive the next day, but said because this is a member of my immediate household, circumstances were different and warranted caution.

I get it. I may not like it–I’m one of those weirdos who actually prefers going into the office to work–but I don’t blame ’em. I’d hate to unwittingly spread it around the place. They are making me quarantine until next Wednesday, with instructions to get tested myself at the first sign of a sniffle.

Because I have a tight working relationship with our HR director, she told me to reach out to IT and let them know she was breaking protocol and allowing me the (temporary) use of a monitor at home. I have three screens at work and use them all. Going down to a single laptop screen is challenging, to say the least, so I appreciate her doing something special for me. A word of advice to career-seekers: make friends with people in high places within your organization. It pays off. Can’t get much higher than HR!

So, this is what my office for the next several days looks like.

I didn’t plan to set up in the basement, as we have a home office in one of the spare bedrooms, but that monitor is so big–not to mention the full-sized keyboard and mouse, plus various necessary documents–I needed room to spread out. The basement it is, then! What it lacks in natural light it makes up for in grooviness.

And, I quickly decided, this setup isn’t so bad after all. I’ve got privacy and ambience, my music playing through a spare Echo, and…best of all…I don’t have to venture out into the 75-mph winds and light snow predicted for tomorrow.

If I don’t get sick, knock on wood, I might even be able to convince myself this is like a vacation of sorts.

35 thoughts on “Those Old Knives Just Weren’t Cutting It

    1. Do you mean the cardboard box and two books? Nope. But if you mean the table…well, still nope. We got a really good deal from a very friendly (and chatty) old rancher type right after we bought the house. Score!


  1. Omicron is weird. My friend, family of 4, all tested positive and each person had completely different symptoms. Dad was completely asymptomatic, daughter had everything and lost taste and smell, mom only fever and chills, and son a mild head cold. All vaxxed (boosters just started here so not sure if they had that).

    Hope Tara feels better soon. And that you stay asymptomatic and healthy.

    Btw nice comment on LA’s blog. 🙄🤨😐. I had to respond AND write a follow up post. 🤯 You’re an instigator AND troublemaker. 😱😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yesterday was the first time I read that omicron’s symptoms are so different than past variants. We were SURE Tara just had a cold because of that. Turns out the loss of smell and taste are actually rare this time around. That was an uh-oh moment for us.

      And, I’m glad I could inspire a new blog post. You ARE the queen of emoticons around here!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Back in the days when computers – even home computers – were mostly all box boxy things that required an external monitor, that’s what I had at home. And then the big boxy monitor died, and I got a (at the time) much more streamlined panel screen. And then, of course, eventually the big boxy computer needed replacing and by then I was investing in a laptop.

    But that has meant that FOR YEARS I’ve had my own external monitor when I work from home. If you’re used to working with more than one it’s absolutely a nightmare to try to work with just one and once we had a pandemic I was so super thankful that I had that setup available!

    Between that and having high speed Internet available, I suspect it makes at least a part of why working from home is preferable for me versus the experience of a lot of other people.

    Anyway, I’m sorry Tara isn’t well but glad it’s relatively mild. I hope she’s back to 100% soon. Stay well, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I actually have a secondary monitor I was using during my brief six-week WFH stint with my last job in 2020, but for some reason, it isn’t compatible with my work laptop. The one my IT dept. gave me works like a charm though!

      Thank you for your well wishes. Fingers crossed on this end for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. They say it’s only a matter of time until we all get it and honestly if it happens I’d rather get this round before the thing mutates again and decides to target the lungs again, or other very vital organs. And who’s to say that the majority of us haven’t already had it in some form and never showed symptoms. Both of you take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amen to all of the above. I actually wonder if I have or had it, too. I can’t imagine breathing in the same air as she is for days on end and still eluding it, as contagious as this stupid variant is.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. That sucks for Tara.

    We’re still dodging, being vaccinated, boosted, and masked, but with the kid in school, it could just be a matter of time. We do the best we can, eating at home and not traveling.

    We have Henckles knives as well, of course. A good choice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you guys—excellent cooks that you are—swear by Henckles, I feel even better about my choice.

      Keep up the good fight; I hope you continue to avoid it. I’m hearing there may be light at the end of the tunnel in a few more weeks as we peak and cases drop off sharply.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Well crap, I’m sorry to hear this. But glad you’re vaccinated and Tara isn’t too sick. Missing a festival devoted to burning beetles is a bummer, but there’s always next year. Enjoy those knives… preferably in a un-Dexter like setting.
    P.S… see my blog today, he’s the star.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. In the last month, most everyone I know has had Covid, and like Tara, it’s mostly been cold symptoms. Oddly enough, my daughter and SIL, who works with Covid patients everyday, have thought they had it numerous times, but always test negative. Hope you stay well!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Enjoy your new fabulous knives. Loved Dexter but maybe you could curb your desire to be like him. I just read that stabbing an apple keeps knives sharp. Don’t know if it’s true, but I pass along whatever info I can.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And now she has lost her sense of taste and smell. Which means I can use those knives for something she wouldn’t normally eat. Maybe I can finally make something with beans and she won’t care…


      1. That is an excellent plan. Months ago, Hubby had Covid. I gave him a can of green beans and a fork. I was like, “If you can’t taste it anyway, you might as well eat something healthy!” Why would I waste steak on him, you know?
        But also, that’s weird that Tara has lost her taste and smell. I thought that didn’t happen with omicron. Is it possible this is delta?


  8. Yes, but do your knives cut through a tin can AND a shoe? That’s the real test.

    My district sent us all into distance teaching on Wednesday with very little warning. Next week is all distance, too. It has it’s drawbacks, but I love the lack of commute and not having to make my lunch. It’s pretty damn rare in education to work from home, so I’ll take it when I can get it, even if the cause of it is depressing. Glad Tara’s getting over her infection.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Shout out to Ginsu knives! We had those growing up, and a little bird tells me they really DO cut through tin cans and whatnot. Those are some great knives.

      There are definite positives to working from home!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I hope the symptoms pass you by.
    It’s not a bad work space at all! That wind bit, that’s the clincher!
    I tire of sharpening my knives. I have a few good and pricy ones, but you know what slays me? I have this one knife, from home, circa I-grew-up-with-it, and I use it only to slice sandwiches and cut strawberries the last 25 years, and I have never once had to sharpen it. Does my mother remember who made it? No.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. There is nothing better than a good knife!!

    Sorry about Tara and I hope you’ve remained healthy. This thing is just crazy and I feel like it will never end.

    Stay well!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Tara just joined the 20% of Americans who will be infected at some point.

    As for knives, I’m like you used to be, I guess, and basically don’t give a rat’s ass about the quality of the ones I use. I even got a set of Henckels for a wedding present and committed the barbarity of putting them in the dishwasher!

    FYI, my BFF swears by knives (and other sharp and useful instruments) from Cutco. I think they are made in the USA and, the best part from her perspective, is that they will sharpen them for you for free! Check them out if you’re so inclined. It was certainly something, unsurprisingly, I’d never heard about before.

    Liked by 1 person

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