Five Things to Tell You… {November 22nd, 2020}

Five Things to Tell You

{Do Your Part | Making Sense of Pandemic Restrictions  | Murder On Middle Beach Docu-Series | Dear Zachary Documentary | Pumpkin Spice Sauce (Copycat) Recipe for the Perfect PSL!}

ONE | Do Your Part…

wear a mask

Last week we entered another phase of mitigation efforts here in Vermont, as our cases have risen quite substantially in the last month.

  • Vermont is seeing a significant surge of new COVID-19 cases across the state.
  • Starting November 14, 2020, Governor Scott’s Executive Order(link is external) prohibits gatherings with people from other households. This includes both inside and outside social gatherings, in public and private spaces. People who live alone may gather with members of their immediate family living in a different household.
  • The Health Department strongly advises against non-essential travel, even within Vermont. Any non-essential travel to and from Vermont requires quarantine.

For some, these restrictions feel quite harsh, but I feel so grateful to live in a state where this virus has been taken seriously since March…⁣

“To the skeptics: If you want to ignore or choose not to believe the science, there’s not much we can do to stop you. But the number of people in hospitals is growing because some care more about what they want to do rather than what they need to do to help protect others. ⁣

The consequences of an overwhelmed healthcare system will have a far greater impact on our economy and welfare than all the prevention and mitigation measures. The skeptics are right, they can do what they want. But please don’t call it patriotic or pretend it’s about freedom. ⁣

Real patriots serve and sacrifice for all, whether they agree with them or not. Patriots stand up and fight when our nation’s health and security is threatened, and right now, our country and way of life are being attacked by this virus, not the protections we put in place.”⁣

-Vermont Governor Phil Scott (R) November 17, 2020⁣

TWO | Making Sense of Pandemic Restrictions (Or Why Thanksgiving Dinner is Cancelled But Schools Are Not) 

Making Sense of Pandemic RestrictionsMy friend Sarah, an ER doctor, always has a great perspective on things, and shared this article last night…in Dr. Rebecca Bell’s words, it’s a quick look at epidemiology, risk perception, and equity to make sense of the new guidelines. It was a great reminder of why certain things are still open, and why sharing creates a sense of community and being in this together…

To recap VDH guidance: wear a mask, keep six feet apart, get your flu shot, stay home when sick, get tested if you’ve been in a social setting. And the hard part: cancel upcoming travel and gatherings. Share your change of holiday plans with others in your social circle. This will create a sense of community and shared sacrifice. And in this season of gratitude, consider sending messages of thanks to your local schools, early childhood centers, and child care hubs. They are holding our communities together right now. – Rebecca Bell, MD

THREE | Murder On Middle Beach Docu-SeriesMurder on Middle Beach

I am not a big tv watcher but when I do watch something, it tends to skew towards my favorite podcast genre…true crime. I have a fascination with seeing the human sides of tragedies and this docu-series is right up that alley.

Murder On Middle Beach, a four-part documentary series directed by first-time filmmaker Madison Hamburg, examines Hamburg’s complicated journey to solve an unspeakable crime and absolve the people he loves while seeking out answers within his own fractured family and community…

Over the course of eight years, Hamburg interviewed his family members and many others to learn more about his mother’s life and gather evidence in hopes of solving her murder. Along the way, he uncovers a web of familial and local secrets, connections to shadowy figures, and years-old resentments in his deceptively serene hometown.

Lucas and I started this one this past week and the second episode will be streaming tonight. Until about 3/4 of the way through the first episode, I thought I knew what happened, but the ending made me question everything!

FOUR | Dear Zachary Documentary

Dear ZacharySpeaking of documentaries, we watched Dear Zachary a few weeks ago and I don’t know we missed it until now (it came out in 2008).

In 2001, 28-year-old Dr. Andrew Bagby is found dead in a park in Pennsylvania. He had been shot by his ex-girlfriend, who then fled to Canada, where she was able to walk free on bail, pregnant with Andrew’s child. Andrew’s enraged parents campaign to gain custody of the child and convict their son’s killer. Filmmaker Kurt Kuenne pairs this story with home movies and interviews with those who knew Andrew, hoping to give his best friend’s son an opportunity to discover who his dad was.

Well known for putting the victims first, this is probably the most emotional documentary and story about a family I have ever seen. The love that exists because of these heartbroken friends and grieving parents is truly remarkable and it is a wonderful reminder of the lengths parents will go to for their children and the power of love.  I don’t think I have cried as hard as I did since I watch Lion (and if you haven’t watched this one, it is a must, but definitely have the kleenex ready).

FIVE | Pumpkin Spice Sauce (Copycat) Recipe for the Perfect PSL!

pumpkin spice sauceIt’s true, I enjoy a good pumpkin spice latte (PSL for those of you not in the know, LOL). For me, picking up a late morning (or late afternoon) coffee is such a relaxing and comforting ritual. Now that I am back working remotely, I was looking for a copycat recipe I could make at home. Don’t worry Starbucks, I certainly won’t be abandoning you, but it is nice to have an at-home option!

I have tried many recipes in the past, but I never realized I was missing one very important ingredient that makes this pumpkin sauce almost an exact replica…sweetened condensed milk!

Enter the recipe from the Sweet Steep blog! Considering that we are heading into the week of Thanksgiving, you might have these ingredients in your pantry already… And don’t worry, while this sauce seems quite rich, you only need a small amount to make the perfect coffee/espresso/tea latte! We now have two pumpkin spice connoisseurs in our household, and our 10-year-old confirmed this is just as good, (or even better) than the “original” PSL. Homemade Pumpkin Spice LatteI make my lattes by adding three small spoonfuls of the sauce to a small mason jar before making a shot of espresso in my Nespresso machine. While making the espresso I froth 2% milk in my milk frother. When completed, I combine the frothed milk with the sauce/espresso mix and top with a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice. You can store the sauce in a sealed container in your refrigerator for about a week. It really is perfection…Enjoy!

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