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Archive for December 2021

New Year’s Eve

December 31st, 2021 — 9:17pm

We woke up earlier than usual but then lounged laaaate :D Got up eventually and finished Landscapers — what an amazing show! Unlike anything I’ve ever seen before and just beautiful and surreal and heartbreaking. Olivia Coleman is a true genius, and the young man who played her solicitor, Dipo Ola, was marvelous. His final monologue, my god. We’ll be seeing a lot more of him I hope! Then I took a shower, and we went to lunch with Dave’s son. I think my stomach has shrunk. I get full after a few bites and I’m losing weight rapidly (down to 111 now, yikes). Gotta eat more, maybe little bits more often. And more ice cream.

Anyway, after we got home Dave finished watching “Don’t Look Up”, which he’d started this morning while I was watching Landscapers. I joined him on the couch and watched the last half or so and it was great, sort of a cross between a modern Dr. Strangelove and an all-star 1970s disaster movie. Sharp and satirical and much better than I was expecting.

And now we’re snuggled on the couch watching the English cop shows that we love and sipping my homemade cranberry liqueur. We’ll be asleep before midnight, so Happy New Year and I’ll see you in 2022!

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December 30th, 2021 — 11:07pm

I was exhausted yesterday from my busy Tuesday. Argh. Still frustrating, even after so many years. Anyway, we slept late and then I rode along while he ran a couple errands, but then I had to go straight to bed whennwe got home. I was wiped out.

Today was much better! I baked my cranberry-banana-oat muffins AND a little loaf of peasant bread that turned out great!

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December 28th, 2021 — 9:35pm

Went north to Deal With My Room. Ugh. So much filth. I hate moving without dusting everything but I just don’t have it in me so the moving men will just need to pack my dust. Packed up my serger and threw away two garbage bags full of crap. Sorted my stuff out of the downstairs bathroom. Found my rain boots and umbrella. Gathered up the few belongings of mine that were in the kitchen. (My excellent blender, my big casserole dish, my ancient Revere Ware saucepan)

Then home and out on a few errands with Dave and now I’m EXHAUSTED. Time to watch some polite English cops and then bed.

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December 27th, 2021 — 4:24pm

Dave had some errands to run and I rode along to keep him company. Post Office, Home Depot, gas, and pick up/drop off some tools and our Festivus Pole at his industrial unit. Wore my new K. K. Slider shirt!

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December 26th, 2021 — 4:20pm

Lovely lazy day together, lounging around in pajamas and watching Christmas episodes of Bake Off and Sewing Bee, and the first ep of the new David Tennant “Around the World in 80 Days”, and lots of English cops arresting drunk drivers :D

I worked a lot on my snowflake embroidery kit. Nearly done now. Bought it a few weeks ago from JessLongEmbroidery’s shop on Etsy . It’s a fun kit because it has a ton of different stitches that even I, fiber arts expert, have never tried before!

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Merry Christmas!

December 25th, 2021 — 9:32pm

Everyone loved the hats I knitted. Lulu’s is too small but I’ll fix it when we get to Portland in two weeks! I’ll try to post a pic of Dave in his yellow hat soon. He’s such a cutie. My present from him will be warm clothes when we get to Portland. Snow boots!

We went up north to spend the day with everyone. Had a lovely time. Em gave us one of her drawings in a nice frame, which we love. Kirsten fixed a delicious Christmas dinner. Her mashed potato trick is a whole stick of butter, a glug of milk, and a bit of parmesan cheese. And she uses white rose potatoes for extra creaminess, yummmmm!

On our drives to and fro, we listened to my recording of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and cracked up :D

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Christmas Eve

December 24th, 2021 — 9:46pm

Happy Christmas Eve! I baked my banana-cranberry-oat muffins in the morning, and Dave baked mince pies and a few jam tarts in the evening — so we have treats to take up North tomorrow. And I touched up the beautiful teal blue streaks in my hair. I love my hair!

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December 23rd, 2021 — 5:32pm

We went to Trader Joe’s this morning, expecting an almost-Christmas madhouse, but it was just normal!

After lunch we settled down for a few episodes of a great cop show that Dave found. Can’t remember the title but it’s like “Cops” but in Yorkshire! So they all have delicious northern accents and, since they’re all English, they aren’t jerks and are unfailingly polite even to the crazy people they pull over. They seem to actually care. And they’re not bristling with weapons. I worked on my current embroidery project while we watched since I finished all my Christmas knitting.

Now Dave’s out running some errands and I’m watching the new “I Love Lucy” bio-pic. Nicole Kidman is AMAZING as Lucy! She sounds exactly like her: speech patterns, vocal quality, everything. Enjoyable so far!

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December 22nd, 2021 — 10:26pm

Therapy day, yay! (We switched to Wednesdays for my final two sessions before we move away). Suzanne brought her very good dog to our appointment so I got to give her, Lola, plenty of petting.

Then I went to the house in UC to visit and do some sewing and throwing out of THINGS. Finished a big stack of flannel hankies for Mom and threw away a whole bag of trash from my room, mostly fabric scraps that are realistically too small to be any use, plus general crud.

Then home to my Dave *heart eyes*

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December 21st, 2021 — 6:48pm

We slept nice and late, and then I got up and did housework for a while, then made mashed potatoes and fresh cranberry sauce for lunch (and probably dinner, too) and then I sat down to watch Christmas TV and do some knitting and embroidery. Watched Rick Steves European Christmas, the Creature Comforts special, and the 1963 Judy Garland special. Hilarious!

I worked on my snowflake embroidery while Dave was here, and then when he went out I finished knitting his Christmas hat while rewatching the final ep of season 3 of Succession. Ahhhhhhhh.

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December 20th, 2021 — 8:04pm

Dave had to get up early for a doctor appointment but I slept till 9! After he got home we chilled for a while and then drove up to UC to visit for a while. Mom arrived yesterday! We picked up lunch from Blue Ginger, our fav Indian place. Fish curry for Dave, mutter paneer for me, and lots of rice and naan so Sal and Em would have something they’d like. Sal was brave enough to try my very mild mutter paneer and liked it! Shock! And Em ate naan, lol. The child would live on bread if she were allowed to.

We watched a Christmas episode of Antiques Roadshow UK tonight, and now I’m in bed with chocolate and Animal Crossing while Dave watches a little more TV, and then we’ll cuddle up and watch some Masterchef or Curb Your Enthusiasm. Heaven.

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December 19th, 2021 — 7:54pm

I made a good dinner tonight! We recently watched the wonderful cooking show “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat” on Netflix, so, inspired by Samin’s roast veggie salad, I roasted Brussels sprouts and cauliflower and made a red wine vinaigrette to dress a can of white kidney beans. Served them together and they were so good! Dave absolutely raved. *heart eyes*

Finished knitting Em’s Christmas hat! Just Dave’s remains and it’s about 3/4 finished.

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December 18th, 2021 — 1:03pm

In the morning I baked my pear and brie turnovers. Couldn’t find my old recipe so I winged it and they turned out great!

Pear and Brie Turnovers

  • Puff pastry
  • Bottled pears in juice
  • Wedge of brie
  • An egg
  • Brown sugar

Preheat oven: see note below. Cut pastry into squares. (Pro tip: do this on a sheet of parchment paper that you can slide onto your baking sheet!) Fill with a chunk of brie and a few pear slices. Sprinkle a pinch of sugar over the filling, then fold closed and seal. Brush beaten egg over the too, sprinkle with another pinch of sugar, and bake till golden-brown. (Stuff will ooze out. No matter) YUM.

Note: I baked them at 400° for 25 minutes, but they’re a little doughy on the inside. Next time I’ll try 350° for 35 minutes or so.

We’ve been listening to my recording of Dickens‘s A Christmas Carol. Dave says I’m an amazing narrator *heart eyes*

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December 17th, 2021 — 5:35pm

Good morning from the hospital AGAIN. Woke up at one a.m. with bizarre knee spasms. Knees locked up, couldn’t straighten my legs or walk, painful shivery spasms in my knees and surrounding muscles.

Dave called 911 and the paramedics thought it was a heart attack and rushed me to the hospital. Hospital ran all the tests and, long story short, can’t find anything new wrong with me.

Oh, doctor is here…


Long story short, Dave ended up in the same ER with an infected sore on his leg. When I was released, I found him waiting his turn in the ER waiting room. Then they called him back for treatment and I waited for six long hours without a phone charger or a book! When my battery got low I created a little bed out of three chairs and slowly made soup in my imagination, step by step, to pass the time. They finally released him around 4:30pm and we went straight home. We’ve both been awake since 1:00 am and have eaten nothing, so it’s time for food and bed.

Lord what a day. But we survived!

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December 16th, 2021 — 3:14pm

I made some amazing muffins yesterday, banana-cranberry-oat. Dave says they are the best muffins he’s ever eaten, but he calls them “buns” which is his word for anything small, round, baked, and bready. So, muffins, rolls, English muffins, breakfast sandwiches, etc. are all “buns” :D Here’s my recipe, cobbled together from several others:

Kara’s Banana-Cranberry-Oat Muffins

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
½ cup white sugar
2 mashed ripe bananas
1 ½ cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 eggs
6 tablespoons milk
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a medium bowl mix flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and set aside.
In a separate bowl cream butter and sugar, add eggs and mix until smooth. Stir in milk and mashed banana and mix well.
Fold in flour mixture into the liquid ingredients until combined.
Fill greased muffin tins two-thirds of the way full.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree F (175 degrees C) oven for 25 to 30 minutes. This will make about 18 muffins.

They won’t have round tops like store muffins! The tart cranberries cut the banana sweetness beautifully, and using only a half-cup of sugar means they’re not too sweet.

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December 15th, 2021 — 6:44pm

Escrow closed and we own our dream house! Amazing! We’re so ridiculously happy. We went to dinner to celebrate — for safety we sat outdoors in the freezing cold, far away from other humans. The restaurant gave us a couple of those big outdoor heaters so we were ok. Neither of us can eat a whole entree so we shared a delicious fresh salad and cedar plank grilled salmon with roasted Brussels sprouts and smushed red potatoes. (Our new house is on Cedar Ave so it seemed appropriate!) Dave had a beer and I had a moscow mule. I’m a super lightweight so I’m a little tiddly now hahahah. In bed already at 6:45.

Here’s your Daily Christmas Treat: not a song this time!

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December 14th, 2021 — 10:02pm

Drove up north a little earlier than usual so Em and I had time to do some sewing. I’m trying to teach her to operate her sewing machine with a minimum of help so she can use it after I move away. She gets frustrated so easily, and is such a perfectionist, that it can be challenging to help her learn something new. But we’re working on it.

We went to the big JoAnn’s to buy flannel to make hankies for mom and discovered that they’re closing that location! Argh! Glad I’m moving away. I hope there are some independent fabric and craft stores in the Portland area. I already located a yarn store that has a Knit Night!

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December 13th, 2021 — 10:01pm

Dave’s home from Oregon! He signed all the papers and picked up our keys. The house will be ours on Wednesday!!!

We’re sharing his van, now that my car is waiting for us at our new house. It’s fun to be sitting up high — reminds be a little of driving my old VW bus — but it’s so much wider than my car it’s taking some getting used to.

Shipped all four hats to Henry this morning. To wrap them, I bought a yard of pretty fabric that Jayla can use for projects after Christmas.

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December 12th, 2021 — 8:38pm

I did some light but necessary housework in the morning — laundry, bathroom, kitchen — and sent the Roomba through the whole apartment twice. And then I knitted and played video games and listened to audiobooks for the rest of the day. Just finished watching the season finale of Succession. Omg they better get renewed!

Followed Dave’s journey on Find My. He arrived safely in Portland despite wind, rain, and traffic jams. Tomorrow he signs papers, picks up the keys to our new house, and flies home!

Ahhh Pete.

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December 11th, 2021 — 6:33pm

Dave started on his journey to Portland today, in my car, while I sat at home and knitted :D

Look, I managed a 365-day Duolingo streak! Mostly beginner’s Finnish with some German review thrown in. Hyvä Kara!

And here’s your Christmas song of the day:

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