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Archive for May 2021


May 31st, 2021 — 10:49pm

Finished sewing a cool summer nightie for my Lulu. I used the pattern with which I made summer nighties for Em when she was four :) Thank goodness Past Kara remembered to note down seam allowances and skirt dimensions! I made the pattern by following this Craftsy tutorial:

And here’s the result:

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So sweet. I might make one for myself :)

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Andy Weir

May 30th, 2021 — 10:43pm

Went to a park and had a very nice chat with a friend this morning. Beautiful breezy sunny day! Saw a hummingbird sitting in her nest right above my head. In the afternoon I started Andy Weir‘s new novel, “Project: Hail Mary”. So good!

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Purple hair!

May 29th, 2021 — 1:39pm

I’ve wanted to add some fun color to my hair for a while now, but I really love my natural red-blond, so I decided to try just a single streak to see how I like it. I bought the Cool Tone Sample Pack from Overtone just before I left on my trip to Portland. Today I washed my hair and when it was dry I gave myself a purple streak!

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How cute am I? :D I’m thrilled. It was expensive but there is enough color in each little pot for probably 4-5 streaks, and since I’ve trained my hair to go several days between washes the color should last a long time. The dye goes on like conditioner and smells delicious, like peppermint. No icky chemical smell, and it left my hair soft and shiny.

Thinking about adding a matching streak on the other side of my face…

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Therapy Day

May 28th, 2021 — 6:59pm

Today was therapy day, yay!!! I’ve been in therapy for ten years. I started at twice a week for a few years, then graduated to once a week, and for the last six months or so it has been every other week. I’m incredibly proud of my improved mental health! Yes, I do still occasionally slip back into a depressive episode but they last for mere days or weeks now, instead of months or years. 2020 was admittedly hard. The brain surgery messed with my mood and it took about a year to fully recover, plus the whole, y‘know, global pandemic and my declining health. But here we are in 2021!

After therapy (wish I could decorate that word with hearts and sparkles, as I would in a text message) I stopped at the library to pick up my hold, Andy Weir‘s new novel, “Project Hail Mary”. I’m generally not a big sci-fi fan but I LOVED his first novel, “The Martian” and the second, “Artemis”, was also very good. And I got Allie Brosh’s first book, “Hyperbole and a Half” and I chose a couple of books for Em, too.

Exhausted and in worse-than-usual pain now. (Side effect of Remodulin is joint pain. It’s usually manageable but I ran out of Aspercreme. I’ll try some Tylenol.)

(Hello medication-spam robots! Your comments will never see the light of day so don’t even bother)

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A new pump (maybe)

May 27th, 2021 — 6:43pm

Last time I got all excited about a new, better subcu pump for my Remodulin (that implantable pump, if you remember), it came to nothing. They kept pushing the release date back and back and back (they promised 2017, then 2018, then 2019, then 2020… and it’s still not out in 2021), plus I realized that undergoing the surgery to implant it would be really difficult because of my severe adhesive allergy. *eyeroll*

But now there’s another new pump coming out, a tiny one, just a lil 2″ circle, and you refill it with pre-filled cartridges instead of pulling meds out of a vial and into a syringe, like I do now. Which isn’t as much of a hassle as it sounds, but it gets tiresome and it would be nice not to.

My doctor is having a meeting about it next week, and it’s supposed to be out by Summer. I mean, obviously I don’t 100% believe this… but maybe! It’s possible! It’s called the Remunity Pump. Look how tiny it is!

The video is funny. It’s one minute of talking about how great the new pump is, and seven minutes of talking about how horrible and dangerous my medication is. Lol.

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May 26th, 2021 — 10:04pm

I had a pleasant, non-eventful journey home. It’s lovely to go to bed in my own precious comfy bed, but I miss Henry, Jayla, and my darling Lulu. We ate so many cherries together! We read stories, and said “kuplink kuplank kuplunk” and pretended to be cherry trees and played Magic Sand for hours and watched “Let’s Go For a Walk” (wonderful BBC show for kids. We love Ranger Hamza!). We cuddled and snuggled and were so cozy. I hope to visit again in summer, or after the new baby is born, or both! Quick! While I’m still able to travel!

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Going home

May 25th, 2021 — 4:41pm

I’m on the train, homeward bound. I had a wonderful visit and I can hardly wait to go back. Maybe in summer!

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Cauliflower Cheese

May 24th, 2021 — 8:01pm

Tonight I made my world-famous cauliflower cheese and everyone liked it!

Break up a cauliflower and steam till just tender. Put 4 tbsp of butter and 4 tbsp of flour in a little saucepan. Whisk together and cook for a minute or two. Slowly pour in 2 cups of milk. Keep whisking and cooking on low heat. Add about a cup and a half of good sharp cheddar, 2 tsp of mustard, salt, and a dash of cayenne pepper. Taste cheese sauce, adjust flavors. Put cauliflower in a baking dish, pour the cheese sauce over it, and bake at 400° F for 20-30 minutes or until it starts to brown. Omg so delicious!

I couldn’t find cayenne in Henry‘s kitchen so I used cholula hot sauce instead. Different than usual but still totally delicious.

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May 23rd, 2021 — 6:36pm

Slept better, felt better, took a walk with Henry and Lulu in the cool damp morning. They live in such a nice neighborhood. A block from the Portland light rail system (The Max), quiet streets, trees and flowers everywhere. So green!

Henry printed out two copies of the Sunday NY Times puzzle and we worked it together, just as we used to when he was a teenager. Our brains are so similar, it’s crazy.

This afternoon I worked on the archive for this blog. When I started it in 2001, there was no such thing as blogging software (blogs weren’t even really a thing yet) and I hand-coded the whole thing in vi. I switched to wordpress in mid-2006 but up to that point everything was in a separate place on our server. Now I have FINALLY gotten all my posts from 2001 to early 2006 added to wordpress here. Click the “archive” link at the top and you can go back in time 20 years. Twenty years, jesus. I was 31. In the spirit of “finished is better than perfect”, the links don’t work because it was too daunting to go through and track them all down. Also there are no photos. You can always see the original posts with links and images by visiting
and then you can make urls for the other pages by simply changing the month and year, e.g. feb05.php

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May 22nd, 2021 — 7:30pm

Feeling very frustrated. My poor sleep last night led to crippling fatigue which kept me home while the others took Lulu to the park on this sunny Saturday afternoon. I wanted so much to feel well enough to go along :(

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tired again

May 22nd, 2021 — 2:07pm

Didn’t sleep very well so I’m extra-tired today. I need to sleep propped up on Pillow Mountain or I don’t breathe very well, and last night I rolled off and had “I can’t breathe” dreams. Henry suggested that tonight we build walls on either side of my sleeping mat so that I can’t roll off. Smart boy.

This morning they went to the store for groceries and I stayed home and played a lot more Littlewood and enjoyed the quiet. When they got home we tried to watch some more Taskmaster but Lulu became too squirrelly so now she and Henry are playing with her wooden trains — the very same wooden Brio trains that belonged to Henry when he was her age, and which we lent to Em when she was small. Buy high-quality imagination-friendly toys, people, not plastic battery-operated junk!

I discovered a new favorite author. I enjoy the genre of “Women’s Contemporary Fiction” (aka “chick lit”, yuck) and up till now I’ve never found any authors who come close to the storytelling skill of Marian Keyes. I follow her on twitter (she’s a delight!) and she’s always recommending books that she loves. I tried one she suggested by Mhairi (Irish name, pronounced Vah-ree) McFarlane and wow! It was excellent! It went where I wasn’t expecting it to go in a very satisfying way, great characters, beautiful writing. Mhairi has written quite a few novels so I’ve been listening to them one after another on the library’s Libby app.

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May 21st, 2021 — 8:17pm

I played a TON of Littlewood today. It’s such a peaceful game. I just love it. It’s a cousin of Stardew Valley and Animal Crossing, but different enough to be its own unique game. Made by an indy gamedev, and only $15. I HIGHLY recommend it! Here’s the official trailer, and I’m sure you can find dozens of fulsome reviews too.

Also: why is grapefruit juice so good? It is far and away the Superior Fruit Juice (if you get the good expensive kind, that is).

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May 20th, 2021 — 9:04pm

Jayla made baked mac-n-cheese from scratch tonight, yum.

So tired today. Went to bed at 8pm in the broad daylight, hahaha

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May 20th, 2021 — 6:32am

H & J live in apartment with windows that don’t open. I don’t mean they are stuck or broken — I mean they are literally not openable. It’s the strangest thing. There is just one openable window in the whole apartment, in their bedroom. Maybe required by law in case of fire? Every room has a built-in AC/heat/fan unit so at least there is fresh air but oh man that is not a replacement for breezes, birdsong, the sounds of traffic and rain… Fresh air comes at the cost of a whirring fan, too.

This apartment building is brand-new and cheaply built. Openable, screened windows are probably more expensive than a pane of glass that just sits there being clear. Ugh.

Their lease ends in December. I know their next place will have proper windows if nothing else!

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May 18th, 2021 — 5:12pm

It’s a tired day so I stayed in my room (Lulu‘s room) most of the day. I did fix breakfast for her (raspberries and yogurt), played with her kinetic sand, and read to her a bunch this morning while H and J were working.

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May 17th, 2021 — 8:49pm

Last night Lulu fell asleep early, worn out from our big day. So we had time for grownup TV, and I introduced Henry and Jayla to Taskmaster. So fun and silly! We watched the first three episodes of season 1 and laughed our butts off. It’s impossible to describe, so here’s the first episode for you to experience :D

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Portland adventure

May 16th, 2021 — 9:35am

Good morning! We all got up bright and early. It’s a beautiful day here in Portland. The sun is shining, the breeze is cool. We were planning to ride the yellow line tram from the apartment to a big park, but after we’d ridden a few stops there was an announcement that there was trouble on the track ahead so the tram would go no further down that line. No problem! We hopped off the yellow line, walked a block, and hopped on the blue line to downtown. Had a lovely slow walk through the city and ended up at Powell’s. They aren’t quite open yet this morning (it’s only 9:30), but there’s a mere half-hour to wait, so I am parked here sitting on the comfy seat of my walker while the others walk to Whole Foods for a snack.

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The B stands for Books!

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May 15th, 2021 — 9:48pm

Lulu’s favorite joke goes like this:

Her: Kaykay! Guess what?
Me: What?
Her: PIZZA!!!

It’s a really funny joke, believe me. So… guess what we had for dinner tonight?


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May 14th, 2021 — 7:51pm

Pro tip: got a filthy hand-knitted wool sweater that needs a wash? Put it in a bathtub with a few inches of cold water, a squirt of shampoo, and your favorite pre-schooler. Ask her to stomp that sweater!

When she’s done stomping, I’ll let it soak overnight. Change the water in the morning, more stomping to rinse. :D

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I’m in Oregon!

May 13th, 2021 — 10:52pm

Reading to my beloved granddaughter

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