The Corona Diaries Week 40 - Busy Days

Busy busy week. I have a paying gig which was very nice in terms of money around the holidays, but then it kept me so busy that I had to pile a ton of stuff into the weekend, so the weekend was not about relaxing at all. Not complaining, just tired. And it's Monday and I'm up early to blog and meal plan two weeks of food plus holiday meals. I'm doing the shopping today (double masking and going as quick as I can - glad I know our TJ's as well as I do) so we don't need to go again for two or three weeks. The numbers are not great here in LA. (Understatement of the pandemic.)

Today I need to do more work on the paying gig, but hopefully not a ton. I'm waiting on feedback, etc. I have last minute packages I need to send via the Post Office. I know it will be busy there, but I'll try to time it for mid-morning when it tends to be not as jammed and if it is, maybe I'll go to the postal store near Whole Foods and pay a little extra. There are library books to return and one order at See's Candy waiting for pick up. Holidays are still busy no matter what, even with curbside pick ups and direct shipping.

Harper had her last week of school. It started with art class. I had the kids made half-face self portraits. Here are the ones Harper and I did. I have a couple ideas for the new year, but need to plan a bit better. It's hard to think of things you can do over zoom, that doesn't make a huge mess in the kid's homes and also doesn't require buying a lot of stuff.

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Harper also had her nine year check up at the doctor's office. BONUS: No shots! BUMMER: still had to do a blood test (finger prick). We love our pediatrician - turns out he's a major Star Wars fan so every year we talk about the latest SW movie or The Mandalorian.

(Amazing to think 9 years ago she fit into that tiny scale on the window sill!)

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She was rewarded with a traditional lollipop and then an evening of DRIVE THROUGH CHRISTMAS WONDERLAND!

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Polar Bears

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And Mr and Mrs. Claus were there to wave us out.

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Harper was hoping/expecting a lot of candy, a la the Halloween thing. Alas, she had to content herself with a mini stocking and a bag of mini toys and candy. But she had a good time nonetheless! And driving while looking at lights is always a favorite activity in our house.

Friday was her last day of clay class for the year. They made winter themed things. Igloo. Polar bear. Icebergs (the blue things) and a santa hat...

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...and a tiny heart with the tiniest of little santa hats.
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Saturday was a busy day as expected. After being on the job all week, I had a lot to catch up on.

Harper will ask for a fried egg for breakfast sometimes and I'm happy to make it for her. But Saturday morning she was watching tv and she yelled:

MAMA! CAN YOU MAKE ME A FRIED EGG ON TOAST??

It made me laugh. So I made her a fried egg on toast and some apples and a drink and served the princess. (I love these cafeteria trays I bought earlier this year!)

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Then she drew a card for our hair stylist and it's kind of hard to see, but there are scissors, a blow dryer and I think a drink with a straw and something else...the stylist came over to do more hair work for me on Saturday and we gave her a holiday gift.
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But first, Harper and I made candied nuts as xmas presents. (Oh and a big pot of squash soup in the FG).
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Hair time.

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Harper was having a zoom with a friend so she hung out in the "waiting area" while zooming.

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In process.
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Finished! Nice and light for the winter.
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After that, I chilled for a few minutes to watch The Mandalorian finale again. We had watched it as a family the night before, but I wanted to watch again. Such a good show!

After the relaxing, I got to work in Santa's workshop and wrapped gifts. The boxes had been piling up in the closet for a while! Most were for Kurt and Harper, a few to mail off. It always surprises me how much work it is. But it will all be worth it on Friday morning.
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We received a gift that came with dry ice so off we went to see how that works in a bowl of water! (When I opened the package, I grabbed up the ice bags to take to the sink, not realizing it was dry ice. As I carried it I thought, "Wow, this is really cold-ow ow OW OW OW!" I didn't get burned but a couple spots on my fingers hurt for an hour.)

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Mussels were part of what was in the dry ice box so we had them for dinner! YUM
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Another package arrived earlier than expected - our big gift to ourselves. Merry Christmas to us!
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And Biscuit. Sweet Biscuit having a long winters nap.
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Random: Have you watched Ted Lasso on Apple TV+? I love it. I just love love love it. It's hilarious and smart and is about an optimist who does good and succeeds. Refreshing! I'm going to watch it again next week.

 


The Corona Diaries Week 39 - Christmas is coming

I'm having pandemic fatigue. More so than usual. There is good news on the horizon, but it will be what? 6 - 8 - 10 more months like this? Hard to say...I'm hoping for the best, but. But. The holidays usually are usually something to look forward, not just of themselves, but because we usually have plans to go somewhere. So we'll have as jolly a holiday as we can. If it were just me, I probably would have gotten the lights on the tree and stopped there. Decorating just doesn't feel so exciting this year at all. But as you'll see below, I made a valiant effort with Harper today. We are lucky to have all that we do.

Interestingly, Harper hasn't been talking much about Santa. Not sure if she's on the cusp of knowing or if she's been distracted by birthday. We do Stocking presents from Santa but mostly all the presents under the tree are from us or other family members. We'll see what happens on Christmas Eve, if she wants to leave milk / cookies out.

Harper got a very special gift for her Birthday that arrived the day after her actual birthday. Shout out to Courtney!!

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She also got a gift card and used it to buy something she's been wanting for a while - an RC car! The car is SO DIRTY now because she's had so much fun with it outside!
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I keep forgetting (I think) that I'm teaching art for Harper's class. Every Monday at 9:30 I'm in charge. I get SO STRESSED OUT. But the kids seems to enjoy our projects and I have had two moms contact me to say thanks and one even said her son was SO PROUD of the drawing he'd done. That makes me feel sooooo good! Thank god for Pinterest!

Last week we did pictures of catching snowflakes on your tongue with a different perspective of your face. PLUS a scarf and a crazy/ugly sweater. This was Harper's:
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The Biscuit is very photogenic.
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It's rare that I have bread, mayo, tomatoes, bacon and lettuce in the house all at the same time. But when I do. YUM.
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On Tuesday we got our Christmas tree. Harper hugged a lot of trees while we were there.

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And pretended to be a reindeer.
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Then we found OUR tree...

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And got it home.

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And welcomed it inside.
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Where it kept our other decorations company.
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And Biscuit liked to sit near it and bond.
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We let the tree rest then put lights on it a few days later, plus a few ornaments to start.

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Friday was clay art and Harper made Mr. Biscuit, food and water bowl, bed and blanket and a wee mouse toy.
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We think Willoughby is part dog.
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We got our trees trimmed on Friday and Saturday. I didn't do proper before and afters...just this wacky one of the back area/driveway covered in branches. The office is much brighter during the day.

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And it occurred to me that it hasn't really rained or stormed here since April or May. I know Harper and I drew pictures on the chimney in April, then it rained, then I asked Kurt to draw something. This picture is from this week. So that's six months at least since it's rained for REAL. UGH. I'm seriously so done with LA and it's lack of rain.

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And today? Today (Sunday) Harper asked for a SPA day. So we did face masks, drank tea, painted fingernails and watched tv.

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Then we finished decorating the tree. Yes, the bottom is empty because, you know. Cats.
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I've had these since I was little little. They make me so happy.
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I bought these a few years ago and love them too. Harper bunched them all together.
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Only a few more weeks until the end of the year. My 7 week personal goals are kind of on track. Kind of. They got majorly slowed down by actual paying work, so while that's a bummer on one hand, income is always helpful. So I adjust and continue on.

 


Books Books Books! It's A Win Win Win!

BookShopBanner3The very first blog I started was "Julia's Bookshelf" in October of 2005. (YouTube was only 8 months old then!)

In 2009 I folded that blog into this blog and somehow, writing about the books I was reading fell by the wayside. But I still read a lot! So I thought I would combine my love of books with my love of independent bookstores. Like my two newest favorite spots: Powell's Books in Portland, OR or Lucy's Books in Astoria, OR. (Just visited them last January). I still mourn the loss of the Traveler's Bookcase in Los Angeles and the cookbook shop that was next door to it. I love book stores!

At the beginning of this pandemic, book stores took an extra hard hit. Then the founders of Bookshop.com put together a website where you can buy books online and they help independent bookstores. As they say on their site: "By design, we give away over 75% of our profit margin to stores, publications, authors and others who make up the thriving, inspirational culture around books!" I LOVE THAT.

So why are you telling us all this?

It's the Holidays - books make a great gift! Why not buy from Bookshop.com and get a win - win? You get great gifts to give during the holidays and independent bookshops benefit! They even just started selling gift cards - something I've been waiting for from them, yay!

I made my own "store" on their site where you can start perusing the recommendations I have for kids books as well as some of my all time favorite books for grown-ups.

Check it out by clicking HERE.

And yes - full disclosure - I am an affiliate of Bookshop.org and I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

YAY BOOKS!!!


Harper Turns Nine - A Pandemic Birthday Adventure

Earlier in the fall, we had discussed having a small birthday party in the park with Harper's friends - much like we'd done all summer, with bikes, masks and lots of space and fresh air. Then it became clear that we needed to think different with Covid numbers going up and lock down restrictions in place. So the Drive-By Pandemic Party became the thing. Disappointing to be sure, but so much better than nothing at all. And I think it went well.

The Birthday Girl asked for a Baby Yoda themed party. DONE! (Honestly I thought it would be Harry Potter again! Happy to move on from that.)

So Baby Yoda for the win!

First there was party prep on Saturday and BIG ASS BALLOONS. Because why not.

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Kurt bought Harper some old school gifts.

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We put together gift bags for the kids who were going to come by. We made sticker packs and Harper drew on each of them. There were Baby Yoda cups and stickers and gummy frogs in each gift bag, plus homemade cupcakes for everyone to take home.

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The morning of:

We start with the traditional balloons and streamers on Harper's door.

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Then we moved on to opening presents:

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Did we got a little overboard? Maybe. But to be clear - 3 of these gifts were from other people. We gave Harper six presents: 2 were books, 2 were board games and 2 were items of clothing she so desperately needed as she's grown out of everything! All in all, very practical.
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Then pancakes - Found the batter mix with this on it. When did that happen? I think it was some random school morning a while back - Hilarious.

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Note to self - next year do the numbers backward so they look better when finished cooking.

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Grace sent nice presents and one was this WEINERMOBILE WHISTLE!!!!!! She got to see the WM in person a few weeks ago.

I was so excited! Harper was all: "meh" so I said: GIVE IT. It's mine now. Thanks Grace!
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Then on to frosting cupcakes! We made the cakes the day before and did buttercream frosting the morning of.
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Green for Baby Yoda theme...

Harper did all the frosting herself.

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Kurt worked hard to set up the drive-way drive-by "Party" venue while we were decorating and getting other stuff ready.

Ready to party!

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Street party art:

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Waiting...

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Waiting...

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The party starts!
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We love our friends!!!
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At one point there were about 12-15 people standing around our driveway/in the street (all masked, and all standing at safe distances) and it was so bittersweet to only be able to wave and chat loudly, then send them on their way with gift bags and cupcakes. I'm go grateful for all our friends who were able to make it over!

And then we were tired.

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We cleaned up, then Harper opened more presents.
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Then we had burgers and pie and played LIFE.
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For what it was - Pandemic Birthday with Lock Down regulations in place - not too bad, all things considered.Harper is a lucky lucky girl and I'm so glad we could make it special in its own way.

The days go slow, but the years fly by.

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UPDATE: I forgot to add the invite I made for the party:

Copy of Harper 9th Birthday Invite

 


The Corona Diaries Week 38 - Birthday and Holiday Prep Week

Harper turned 9 on Sunday (12/6). (I'll do a separate post on that pandemic adventure.)

Here she is 8 years ago on her very first birthday and again, same wagon, same spot in the yard, turning 9.

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Leading up to this big day, we had a week of just getting by, prepping for the party and the holidays to follow, but all pretty low key. I did have an emotional up and down. I was feeling soooooo good about the future! A reasonable chance at better government, vaccine within shouting distance. I got EXCITED! Then I remembered, that everything would be the same (or worse because, you know, stupid people and rising covid numbers, UGH.) for months and months and months and months. Truly, nothing will really change until summer 2021, earliest. Like a little kid, I gobbled down all that sweet sweet sugar of hope and then crashed hard. I'm making my way back from that.

The normal things of the week:

Biscuit. He roams around outside now, having learned to actually climb fences in both directions. (Into our neighbor's yard and out of our neighbor's yard.) Sometimes I'll walk out the front door and find him there, just flopping around, chillin'.

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Harper wrote about Thanksgiving for school. (Please click for bigger and enjoy the read). I asked where Kurt was in this picture and she said she just couldn't fit him in. Sorry Kurt.
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Also, music is a big thing in Harper's life. Her current faves are Shaed and Little Mix. Little does she know that her big christmas present this year is an iPod Touch so she can listen to music on her own. Currently, she has to borrow my phone or the iPad. Kurt and I were talking about "back in the old days" when we were kids, we had a record player and/or a radio to listen to. But now you have to buy a device that can also do a zillion other things. (okay I could have bought a more basic mp3 player, but for a hundred other reasons, we didn't, mainly ease of use for listening in our Apple account.) Before she really starts using it, I'm going to remove a few apps first. I'm sure it won't take her long to figure out how to download everything, but that's what parental passwords are for!

More art from Harper.
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Holiday themed:
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Speaking of Holidays - we usually don't get a tree until after Harper's birthday so we did a lot of inside decorating (as previously mentioned). Got the traditional Trader Joe's advent calendar for us and for the cats (thanks Tom!). After the third or fourth chocolate, Harper declared the chocolate "not that great. The chocolate coins are better. Can I have another one of those?"

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Harper made her banner letters, but we have yet to put them up on a string and hang them over the mantle.
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Added one more string around our Little Free Library.
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Monthly Cratejoy box arrived from GammaJane. Harper raced through the book!
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Have you changed out your air filters lately? This was five months of dust/dirt/cat hair!! Yowza.

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Special surprise breakfast! #lucky
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Our neighbors pulled up with this behind their Jeep and I leaped outside, mask on, to look at it. I love these little trailer campers - this one has a bathroom! It is soooo nice. As you may recall, we are not great at camping, so something like this might be way more fun. But that's a big ask from Santa, so we'll keep dreaming.

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The week ended like this on Sunday night after all the pandemic birthday fun - wholesome family evening. Yes, Harper is eating pumpkin pie and finishing her cheeseburger all at the same time.

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PS: I won the game of LIFE.

 

 

 

 


The Corona Diaries Week 37 - Thankful

I'm pretty sure Harper was thankful for Thanksgiving week being a week off from school. And that she got to watch a LOT of TV.

Thanksgiving week for me was busy with creative projects, cleaning out nooks and crannies, pulling out Christmas lights and going through Harper's clothes. I have put off buying new clothes for her as long as possible. It's not like she is going out with hole-y, extra worn out and ill-fitting clothes, so I left it as long as possible. She'll put something on and I have to keep from laughing as the shirt or leggings will be so snug. Same goes for shoes. And with birthday/christmas coming, we can kill two birds with one stone on the new clothes front.

I'm thankful for many things and to celebrate all that we are grateful for, we had a tiny little dinner on Thanksgiving. None of us care what we eat and Turkey is never high on the list so we had steak, mashed potatoes, homemade gravy, broccoli and brussels sprouts. I also made cranberry sauce/relish, but mostly to show Harper what cranberries actually look and taste like.

Harper decorated the table.

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I got the berries going, simmering them down with water and sugar....
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....and not paying enough attention! Sticky mess. Oy.
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Harper peeled potatoes.

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I have become quite adept at making excellent steak in the cast iron pan! Then I made gravy in the same pan. Yum.
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Harper continued decorating.
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And we sat down and had a feast!
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Dessert was a three way compromise for Strawberry Shortcake. It was yummy!
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Then we watched a bunch of Wallace and Gromit.

Friday morning I went for a mammogram. Good times! The technicians were very nice, and quick which is the best compliment to pay when having one's bosom squashed.
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On Friday, we also put up lights in the tree and on the house. We don't always do it so early but this year I needed it.We went out in the chilly evening air to admire our handiwork.

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We won't get a tree for another few weeks - that will always be after Harper's Birthday! Plus we get a real tree and like to keep it somewhat fresh.

Harper asked me to watch a show about Christmas decoration make-overs. She seemed obsessed. So I asked her to draw a picture of how she'd like to decorate our living room. She obliged! And it's really cool regarding perspective. The key things are to create the Merry Christmas banner and to have garland over the mantle. There will also be a tray with faux candles and other decorations on the coffee table.

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Harper also like to send us messages and Post-Its are her main medium.
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She also loves to decorate envelopes when sending letters to Gammo. This one was extra funny as Mr. Biscuit had chewed a corner of the card off so Harper had to explain it.

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Trader Joe's has my favorite seasonal tea back in stock. Yay! (It's the little things.)

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Trader Joe's also had this "decorate the cookies" kit. So Harper and I had at it. But um. Can not recommend. It all tasted kinda yucky. Oh well! Live and learn...

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This was the pile of clothes that we sorted through in Harper's room. So nice to have younger twin girls who live a block away to hand-me-down to!

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And ever the cats. Mr. Biscuit will not be kept from his wooden bowl, no matter where it ends up.

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Still enjoying the laps.
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Caught them just hanging out, no yelling, no swatting. Just chillin.
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And that was the week. I kept working on my Seven Weeks projects and made some positive headway on about 60% of it. Five more weeks to go...

 

 

 


The Corona Diaries Week 36 - A Quiet Week of Mr. Biscuit

The week went by quietly. Not a lot of fanfare. A true respite from all the previous week of election results and mini breaks and haircuts. When scrolling through my pics for images from the week, it was mostly Mr. Biscuit. Makes sense. He's large. We like to call him "Big Galoot".

I've been getting up in the dark to work on a creative project and Biscuit likes to help.

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But then he decided my open laptop was an ideal spot to sit. NO, BISCUIT!
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He's learning to be a lap cat.

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And is often just cute.
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He explored Kurt's office.
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Did a very cat thing with a towel on the floor.

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and worshiped at the altar of Willoughby.
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Mr. Biscuit has learned to climb the fences, using objects on our side to get up, but once he's in the neighbor's yard, he has a hard time climbing back over. I had to retrieve him the other day and Willoughby was sitting on the fence looking down at Biscuit. I swear she was laughing at him.

Aside from cats, Kurt was busy attending teleconferences for the theme park world, meeting new people, learning new stuff. I was busy working my new seven week goal plan. Harper had school. I also started on a little tiny VFX bidding job. I found myself stressed out about it, my body saying, ugh, it's been a while, we are out of practice. PANIC! So I asked Harper to draw me a picture of a sunflower so I could look at it and relax. She very kindly obliged:

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Harper had time to do more art as she got in trouble on Monday, playing computer games when she knew she wasn't supposed to. So she had to get off the computer (except for school) for a week. Luckily the timing worked out that Gammo sent fun crafts to do before Christmas, so Harper spent some time making ornaments.

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She also added to her clay food collection with this charming cheeseburger.

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I worked on eating better/more interesting lunches. I call this my "leftover bowl". It was yummy.
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That was the week. Nice to have it be uninteresting for a little bit!

 

 


The Corona Diaries Week 35 - 7 Weeks Until 2021

Way back in early October I booked a 2 night get-away at a house with a pool in Desert Hot Springs. It was a splurge, no doubt, but back then I said f*ck it! We will either be celebrating the election outcome or not. At the very least we could celebrate our 19th anniversary which was on November 3. Luckily we had multiple things to celebrate.

We were gone from Tuesday noon to Thursday mid-afternoon. The Wednesday in between was Veterans Day (a school holiday). Harper packed her R2-D2 suitcase on Monday.

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Tuesday she had school until 12, then we hit the road (after much car packing). First stop: In-N-Out of course. PICKLES still the winning topping.
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Then we drove due east to where it is dry and grey and tan and dry. The desert has its charms for some, but not for me. Not at all.
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Sure, the eagle murals are astonishing.
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But, this just doesn't do it for me. I am not a desert person. Too much of the tropics in my blood.

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But that's not to say a lovely pool and a comfortable house away from regular life isn't nice from time to time.

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We got there at 3 and Harper had to jump into an afternoon minecraft class (her favorite) while Kurt and I unloaded and figured out the pool settings and got some snacks out. The pool was not warm and the sun was already getting low so it was all about the hot tub.

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The house was very well equipped and Harper found this fantastic drinking vessel.
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Next morning we fired up the pool heater early and with a little help from the sun it warmed up a bit. Harper had a great time no matter the chilly temps. (I had hoped the weather would be in the upper 80s but alas, we got a cold spell so the air temp barely made it into the 70s.)

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Breakfast in bathing suit - perfect holiday attire.
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We were in and out of the pool all day and in the early evening, nice to be in the hot tub and see the stars come out.
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Harper was at it again early Thursday morning for a pre- school swim.

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We had a nice time just chillin' out for those few days. Though I will say, not a lot of hot anniversary romance when the 8 year old would prefer to share my bed. #eyeroll.
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But she's pretty cute and snugly, so I wasn't too mad.

We drove home after her school day ended on Thursday and came back to a very clean house. We had our housekeeper come and clean while we were gone. First time she's been here since July. We were very grateful.

Harper also has her clay class on Fridays and it was sea themed this week. I just love it all!

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I also asked her to draw a picture for a baby shower card. And this was her offering. Cracks me up!
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Saturday was HAIRCUT DAY! Our stylist kindly gave us a house call and our friend Betty joined as she also sees our stylist.

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Waiting area.
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Harper was done, then Betty had her turn.
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Betty also brought CAKES. A classic cheesecake and also a recipe from the 70s - Picnic Cake!

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I cut up the cakes to give a bunch to our stylist and also put a big hunk in the freezer. YUM!

Kurt went last in the salon.
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Here's my Before and After. I had had just about enough of the damn long hair.

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And just for fun/historical record, some memes that others put on their social media sites over the week. Oh there are millions more, but I liked this sampling.

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Things are still kind of cuckoo in the land of Trump. But he'll be out in January and we'll have the giant mess to clean up. There will be more work in text land to do with the Georgia run-offs on January 5th. We need those two senate seats!

And while that will keep me somewhat engaged, along with holidays to plan for, I woke up today thinking Now What? And after much coffee and thinking, and scribbling, I have a seven week plan. Resolutions for the end of year, if you will. I'm not going to go into much detail, but I will let you know if I'm on track. Then at the end will make clear what I have achieved. The main thing I want to achieve is to stop being so hard on myself. If you know how to do, that please let me know.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


The Corona Diaries Week 34 - OMFG Joe Biden Won The Election!

Wow. WOW WOW WOW!!!

I had not let myself even begin to hope until Thursday night when the numbers started to go his way. But even still, I didn't let myself really celebrate until it was finally called on Saturday morning. I cried as I went to tell Kurt who was in the other room. Astonishing.

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But it was a busy stressful week before that good news. I spent the weekend before the election at my computer just about the whole time. Kurt made breakfast on Sunday and I ate it at my desk while texting.

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Mr. Biscuit had kept me company since the dark early morning.
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Monday we got a visit from Grace! She camped in our backyard and we ate sushi dinner outside. It was nice to have a good time for a little while in between texting!
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One of those mornings (omg my whole week is a blur) I went to for a walk and saw this lovely succulent garden. I stopped and admired it while breathing deeply.
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On election day I was still busy with the text group, getting out the final texts to help anyone in states where you could register and vote on the same day. I was weepy. That was it, that was the day. There was much camaraderie and love and support in our group which helped so much.

Tuesday night was feeling not good. It didn't look over for Joe Biden, but it wasn't clear at all. Wednesday I got back in bed later in the morning. It was nice to just let myself do nothing while waiting. Waiting waiting waiting.

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But Harper's school week went on. She has three afternoon zoom classes and she makes this piece of art to cover her computer camera for some reason.

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Every week she has vocab with a spelling quiz on Fridays.
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We help Harper study them at dinner, quizzing her while we eat. She likes to quiz us back so I told her to grab the antique book "25,000 words" that mom sent to us. It's literally a list of words and pronunciation markers. It's a fun dinner activity!

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I did make lunch for Harper on some days. I love these cafeteria trays!

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Harper's clay class made fun clay foods! I love that carrot.
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Mr. Biscuit worked my already frayed nerves by exploring the mantel. Luckily he came down without breaking anything!
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Lastly, Kurt would not like you to know that he won an award for one of the projects he worked on in the Theme Park world. The Themed Entertainment Association has yearly awards and Kurt was on a team that one last year. YAY!!!

He's going to be mad I'm posting this. But I'm really proud of him! He worked hard on it and might even get to work on the sequel! 

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I never won a damn thing in my whole stupid career. (sour grapes much?) So why not celebrate this?!?!

SO MUCH TO CELEBRATE!

Oh and it was our 19th wedding anniversary on election day. We both sort of went "oh yeah..." and moved on. Ha! But this coming week we have a 2 night get away for the three of us to relax and have some fun. I had booked it weeks ago, hoping we would be only celebrating and I'm glad I did.

NOW ON TO THE RUN-OFF RACES IN GEORGIA !!

 


The Corona Diaries Week 33 - The Texting Intensifies

(I'm writing this on November 8. It is a recap of the week of October 26 - November 1.)

I texted A LOT. Thank the stars I had that to do otherwise I would have been going insane. The cats helped keep me grounded. Mr. Biscuit helped and hindered around my desk.

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He also entertained from afar as he is learning how to navigate the fence.
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Willoughby is a bit more civilized in her desires.
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So handsome.

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Well maybe not so civilized.
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More Halloween Fun - we had our usual weekly park play time on the Sunday before Halloween. There were costumes and masks and a pinata and cookies.

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Harper had originally said she would be Hermione again, but then made this Cat Costume from found items in her room just for the park party. Cute!
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Tom very kindly sent Harper a Halloween gift:

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But for the Friday before Halloween, Harper did revert to the Hermione Costume.

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Cute turkey puzzle thing!

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The last three Halloween things we did were on actual Halloween. First we went to the mini Halloween drive through (mentioned at the end of this blog post) then we made Spooky Hot Dogs! They are supposed to look like mummies...but uh, oh well.

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Lastly, we told Harper she could trick or treat in the house (between Kurt's office and my office) if she changed into various costumes. She kind of did!

First up: Hermione:

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Then Hedwig the Owl:
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Then she came as Mr. Biscuit!
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And then as a flowery ghost....!

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Then she and we were DONE with Halloween. I think we had more Halloween this year than any year previously!

There had been a bit more art from Harper this week. Starting with a thank to Tom for the above Halloween Lego gift.

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Masks on!

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I love getting these notes when I'm busy or on the phone. I love that she draws her own life (zoom class).

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A thank you note to Grace for a little Halloween fun.

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And then a zombie! Just for fun.

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She also started a new art class after school on Fridays. Clay modeling. Super cute!
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Crazy busy as I was with texting toward the end of the week, I did enjoy making breakfast for Harper one morning.

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One night I was too busy texting to sit down to diner so Kurt and Harper made a plate for me to have later. It was very sweet.
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This is how I was feeling over the weekend whilst texting and leading/moderating in the group. It was very stressful and exhausting. I estimated I worked 6-8 hour days then it ramped up to 12 hour days over the last weekend. At this point I was still very very very nervous and filled with dread.
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Thankfully, we know the outcome...!!!