In April of 2020 I was on a zoom hangout and someone asked everybody when we thought we'd be through this pandemic situation. People gave answers like "Summer" or "October." I said "2022." I'm not normally a pessimist, but even in April it seemed clear it would be a LONG time before we got back to anything like normal. Well. I mean for those of us who actually believe there is a pandemic and who stay home and wear masks. Also, the specter of the presidential election left so much up in the air at that point.
And now? I had been thinking - I could be happily wrong and we'll get back to a kind of normal by the end of 2021. I have been so hopeful that I started thinking about where to have a winter break holiday next year. (Italy? England?). But then, with the terrible numbers in California and elsewhere, and the equally terrible news that the vaccine roll out has been SO MUCH slower than predicted or planned, it still could really be 2022.
Dare I hope that with a new president in office, one who believes in science and who has a serious covid task force already working, dare I hope that vaccines will roll out quicker? All I can do is hope.
Of course there is also the Georgia elections coming up in two days. I'm not counting any chickens. I'm barely even counting the eggs at this point. If that goes our way, then things might be a little bit easier. But we'll see. And don't you worry, I'll be texting and moderating like a mad woman tomorrow and Tuesday! Fingers crossed so hard.
This past week was extra relaxing. I promised myself I would take two hours each afternoon and just watch tv. Something I never do during the day. We only have one tv so claiming it and the couch at the same time was so nice. I did time for when Harper was in her online camp, so that helped me not to be disturbed. I watched The Durrells in Corfu. It was just what I needed - a period piece in a fabulous location, humor, drama and British accents.
It actually rained on Monday (12/28) - full on proper storm with thunder and lightning! You might know how rare that is in LA. It was HEAVEN. Such a treat and refreshing change. Harper got to try out her new raincoat (thanks Gammo!).
Then we had cozy time on the big bed, watching it rain while listening to music and reading. Also HEAVEN.
The weather reports had shown it was supposed to rain more again this coming week. I check it just now and:
COME ON! So disappointed. One night and one day of thunderstorms wasn't even enough to wash off the flower from April. Shaking my head.
Though our rainboots got filled.
Moving on from my weather disappointment...
We finally put up the Christmas Banner that Harper made all the letters for! Yes, I do realize it was post Christmas. But it did make the room look even more fun and festive.
Aaaaand yesterday we took it all down. Except the banner. Kurt and I joked it would stay up all year. Or were we joking?
Mr. Biscuit communed with the post Christmas day tree.
Then I made olive bread egg in a hole. YUM. 10/10 would bake this bread again.
Eating apples one day, harper noticed this one looked unusual. "It's like a cylinder." Good vocab, Harper. Well done.
Harper and I went out for our first Geocaching adventure! We found two within easy walking distance of our house. Harper was into it!
We are n00bs so we needed the hints. But as we get better, I think we'll stop needing them as much.
We went with Kurt again a few days later, this time on bikes. We had three of them in our sights but only found two. Handy to have the tall guy along!
I did some tidying and found this stationery relic:
Biscuit in a basket.
I asked Harper to help with with a birthday card for a friend who is turning ten. The front of the card had an image of a slice of rainbow cake which clearly inspired her. She said, "what does he like?" I said, "Lego and soccer." And then she remembered they have two black cats. Boom! A+ This just makes me so happy.
New Years Eve came and with very kind gifts from Tom (Shout Out!) we celebrated well with disco ball cups, party favors. Then a sushi feast!
I started planning some dinners from cookbooks for the coming week and came across this almond orange cake recipe that sounded really easy. Starts with boiling two oranges for two hours. The boiling removes the bitterness from the peel and pith because then you puree it all.
Then you bake it. Now. The instructions said "about an hour" which to me means, "Start checking it at an hour." But I should have started checking at 45 minutes...Oh well. It's a bit dark on the outside, but lovely on the inside. It's almost really good. But I think the oranges needed another 1/2 hour of boiling as you can still taste just a touch of bitterness. The recipe also says "Serve with whipped cream." Well. Whipped cream makes just about everything better, doesn't it?
Harper got her next Crate Expectations box and the theme was penguins. Part of the box had fake snow! So we did that yesterday.
I'm writing this on Sunday (Jan 3) as I usually do. I might have blown it off till tomorrow, but with the election texting and work (did I mention I had two weeks of work before Christmas?) starting up again, there will be no time. We are going to go geocaching again this morning, then do housecleaning. Specifically Harper's room as it is a crazy messy place after birthday and Christmas.
Two things about Harper getting older. She still comes to our bedroom early in the mornings from time to time to climb into bed on my side. I love it and hope she never stops. Also, in the last couple of months I stopped checking on her in her room before I go to bed. Nine years of looking in on her sleeping face has kind of come to an end. If I'm going to bed pretty late, I'll peek in. But mostly not.
Lastly, my seven plan/goals for the end of 2020 didn't end on as high note as I hoped. I did have work/income, so that's actually a very good thing. I did write about 15,000 words on my next manuscript, so that's not nothing. I finished proofing the manuscript I wrote this year and actually sent it to the kind volunteer readers. That's a good thing. I did get some good exercise in, but the lazy holiday week hasn't helped. Though I don't mind as it was a lovely week of relaxing and fun.
I have new goals for the new year and will take some time today mapping them out realistically. I need to create a plan that doesn't get derailed when/if I get paying work. Will I share it all here? Maybe. Mainly I'm doing very small, very specific goals (Lose 5 pounds in January.) and will take my time starting some of them. No need to start them all TOMORROW. That's a recipe for failure.
2021 is going to be a lot like 2020 in many ways, but this year, there is a beacon of hope. Patience is critical, as are small steps. I paraphrase the movie Contact: "Small moves, Julia, small moves."