Dear Quarantine Diary – Year 3/Week 4

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Dear Diary – So…okay. We’re not technically in Year 3 of the pandemic, but I really didn’t think anyone was going to bust my chops if I jumped ahead a little. After all, it feels more like we’re starting Year 23. The inside joke in my family is that old age starts at age 23, and this whole covid thing is certainly feeling old!

Dear Diary – I totally missed my blog’s anniversary this month. January 9 marked my 10th year writing ridiculous amusing, random insightful, and stupid thought-provoking posts. Today marks post 1803! That’s a lot of crap good stuff! 😜

Yesterday was also a special day worth celebrating. It was Eldest Son’s 32nd birthday. He is now the age I was when Youngest Son was born, and Youngest Son is now the same age I was when Eldest Son was born.

I feel old.

Chocolate cake might make me feel better.

Dear Diary – It snowed again. I realize it’s winter, but my motivation to dress up in bulky clothes that smell a bit like a wet dog, and boots that feel perpetually damp, is sadly lacking. I’ve even considered not getting dressed in the morning like Youngest Son, who can the number of days he wore pants last year, on 2 hands. He wore them because I made him.

Winter also meant it was very dark when I got up Sunday morning and headed to my car before 7:30. I was leading worship. I watched the sunrise, although it was just a gradual lightening of the sky from black to gray, to a lighter shade of gray. At least it wasn’t snowing.

Leading on Sunday was probably highly entertaining. Between my glasses, the straps on my face masks, the wires for my in-ear monitors, and the wireless mic pack with a headset, I was wired for disaster. I did actually have a wire wrapped around my ankle by the last song. At least it was only my ankle and not my throat. Perhaps if I’d had more time…I told my team that if there’s a fire, they should leave me because I wasn’t going to make it out.

Other than that…things went well!

Dear Diary – Eldest Son put a new text-based game on my cell phone. I needed Youngest Son to figure out how to play it. I’ve started a game. Let’s just say that the colonists I’m responsible for settling aren’t going to make it!

Dear Diary – The fabric I ordered online arrived. I washed and ironed it, and started cutting out my patterns, but something was wrong!

Like a carpenter, it’s “measure twice , cut once”, and like a good carpenter I meticulously measured even before I ordered my materials. I should have had enough to make 4 “sheep print” bags. Instead, I can make only 2. The printed fabric shrunk 3”! I may be able with construct a 3rd bag by doing a patchwork pattern, which takes more time. I experimented with a patches last week so it might not be too bad.

I’d still really like to set up an Etsy store and be able to contribute financially at home (or at least save up some money for a rainy day), as well as be at home. While I sometimes miss the sense of accomplishment and the affirmation of colleagues, I feel healthier and more at peace at home. I can pace myself on the days I’m feeling crummy, and I’m not as stressed out trying to fit all the little things that crop up and have to be done, in between everything else that has to be done.

I looked at a job posting this week. I know I would be really good at it! But then I went through waves of reluctance to excitement to anxiety. At one point I felt like sitting on the floor and crying like an overwhelmed 2 year old. I don’t think that’s normal.

I can remember feeling the same way when I had to decide what I wanted to do after high school, except there was a whole big empty future waiting for me. Now I have a much-smaller, less exciting future ahead of me, filled with motorized wheelchairs and absorbent underpants. That’s assuming I can afford a motorized wheelchair. I may have to settle for a dining room chair superglued to skateboards because I didn’t work during my “best years”! Maybe I should be designing washable underpants for seniors instead of japanese knot bags? At least I’d be prepared for the future.

Dear Diary – Youngest Son has now reached the age where he requires a photo on his health card. Which means I can’t do the renewal online. Which means standing in a long line in the cold, and guess what?!?! It’s snowing.

I had to yell at Youngest Son twice to get him out of bed. The second time I used all 4 of his names. I meant business!

Youngest Son hates having his photo taken so when I was asked to provide a family photo to the church, I sighed audibly, with a great deal of annoyance. I think the last family photo I have was taken like 4 years ago…

I wonder if they’d accept a sketch with stick figures?

As it turned out, when we got there, no line up! In fact, we were interrogated questioned at the door and taken straight to a wicket…where we were promptly and pleasantly served. She didn’t care that his passport was expired and accepted his report card as his second piece of identification. She never asked for the form that he “forgot to print” (even though I reminded him 4 times). We were in and out in less than 5 minutes. Truly a once in a lifetime experience!!

It took longer to get coffee at the Tim Horton’s drive-thru but mostly because it was busy…and there were a lot of drivers playing on their phones and not moving up when it was time.

I realized the sassy green boots that inspired my blog haven’t been out of the closet in years. Of course, in the last few, there was simply nowhere to go! I thought about wearing them today, but…snow. Maybe I’ll wear them to the passport office because, apparently, our passports expired last year. The last two trips were just such a positive experience.

I almost said that with a straight face.

Almost.

What’s in My Cup: ?

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Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.

John Lennon

Sometimes those plans are good and solid and then…wham! Rug under feet…gone!

Or it’s way more subtle, like a flick to the side of the head.

Like this morning.

I prepared a What’s In My Cup review. I steeped the tea, sampled the tea, arranged the photo and wrote my thoughts. And then…flick…did you check to see if it’s still available? A review is all good and lovely, but if it’s not available, I feel like I’m playing with a laser pointer and kittens. It’s all fun and games, for me, until the red dot disappears. How bereft are those kittens when the joy and anticipation are dashed as the light goes out.

OK, I’m probably exaggerating! But in a world where disappointments abound, from covid restrictions to frighteningly truthful bathroom scales, I don’t want to “pile on”. But…

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.

Charles R. Swindoll

So instead of a review for Orange Chocolate Mousse Tea, which is no longer available (and was lacking in the chocolate department, in my opinion anyway), I’m reacting by sharing this honest story about my Monday morning brain fart before making another cup of tea to go! I have groceries to pick up before I really settle in to sew!

I’ll also post my photo because, in the spirit of honesty, snapping pretty “tea photos” is a lot harder than it looks! It may look simple, but it simply takes a lot of effort to make it look simple.

And it’s prettier to look at than gray skies and more snow… Have a Happy Monday! 🙂

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Wanna have your favourite tea and tea cup featured on Jenns Midlife Crisis,? Just send me your thoughts and/pic, and I’ll post on the last Monday of the month! Is there a special memory associated with it? Or is it just plain “good”? Don’t worry about being wordy or making it look “pretty” …just tell me why you like it. We’re all friends here! 😉

Dear Quarantine Diary – Year 3/Week 3

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Dear Diary – My bathroom scales played a mean trick on me. I stepped on the scales today and it said I’d lost 6 lbs. I knew that wasn’t right; my jeans said so!! When I tried again, it said I weighed 98 lbs. I know that’s not right. The third attempt put me at my pre-Christmas number. Sold! I wasn’t trying a fourth time!

Cremation is my last hope for a smoking hot body.

Unknown

Dear Diary – We started the work week with a huge dump of the white stuff. And it wasn’t the dandruff kind. Hubby changed his plans to head to the office, and instead, headed outside to start blowing snow. He got most of the way before the battery ran out. Within half an hour, you couldn’t tell he’d been out.

I was just settling down with my Bible and my tea, when I noticed the lady across the street, hustling up her drive-way. She grabbed a shovel and headed down the street. Where was her car? So I tossed on some clothes and headed out to see if I could help. I expected to find her car stuck on the unplowed street at the corner. Instead, it was a couple blocks away. I debated about whether to keep going or not. I was already breaking a sweat as I stumbled along the road in the heavy snow in the ruts carved by brave drivers. The sidewalks were knee-deep and it was only 9 a.m. But I also felt alittle invigorated, like an intrepid frontierswoman, braving the elements. I was more than halfway to my stranded neighbours, when they got in their car and drove off. My mission of mercy was meh!

By the time I got back home, Hubby was getting ready to send out a search party. I topped up the bird feeder and warmed up with some hot chocolate.

And a really BIG marshmallow!

There was a air of community by evening as people emerged from their houses up and down the street, to start diggin their way out. The worst was over and the skies were clearing.

Even the birds had some work to do…

The next morning, the snowplow came by…and dumped a 4′ wide swath of knee-deep snow across the bottom of the driveway. It had rolled in places into balls, perfect for snowmen heads. That air of community was still there…with several men out clearing their homesteads. They all watched me, but none of them offered to help this little lady. After 45 minutes of slogging, I had 4 tracks cleared for our car and the neighbour’s car, and I called it a day! I’ll be feeling it until next May.

All in all, between 40-60 cm fell in one day, closing down highways and schools (except we now have virtual school so that sucked!!)!

Dear Diary – My days haven’t been all work and no play. I finally tried out my new textured rolling pin. I made shortbread cookies but I think regular sugar cookies would be better. The pattern melted off the shortbreads.

I failed at caramelizing onions in the oven but cooked perfect T-bone steaks!

I made a big pot of tasty carrot soup completely from scratch, but lost some of it when my food processor leaked. It was probably time to wash the kitchen floor again anyway…

And I consulted for Hubby when he attempted Mary Berg’s omelette-soufflé. Light as a cloud!

Dear Diary – It was way overdue. My hair was a disgusting washed out green colour, so I took the time to colour my hair. This time I didn’t get any on the sink, but I have 2 blue finger nails. Speaking of blue, last November, Eldest Son and I went together on an order for temporary tattoos. They’re just like the sticker kinds kids would get in a Happy Meal, only instead of a picture, it’s plant-based ink. It darkens over 48 hours from neon green, to navy blue, to black. I can feel like a rock star without the hangover or the regrets..for the next 1-3 weeks.

Dear Diary – Hubby shocked me by agreeing to watch one of my favourite movies, You’ve Got Mail. I love the quirky banter between Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, and of course, the happy ending. They fit together like pancakes and maple syrup. I always laugh at the delicate jab at fancy coffee drinkers, and the quote about daring:

You are daring to imagine that you could have a different life. Oh, I know it doesn’t feel like that. You feel like a big fat failure now. But you’re not. You are marching into the unknown armed with…nothing.

Birdie Conrad

It kind of sums up my life. I keep daring to imagine a different life, yet never seem to get anywhere, and consequently, feel like a failure. I know I’m not. I know we are not all destined for “great” things, and really, who gets to decide what is “great”? . Couldn’t raising children to be respectful, fully-functioned adults who contribute to society, be “great”? Couldn’t taking the time to talk to someone who is grieving or discouraged, be “great”? Depending on the definition, we ALL do something “great” for someone. I believe God is in control of my “destiny”, and while that destiny means I may never walk a red carpet or win a Nobel prize, it doesn’t mean I can’t stop marching into the unknown. Uphill. All the way.

If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.

Jodi Picoult, Small Great Things 

Which Way

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Sometimes the journey is more imporant than the destination…

Sometimes you have to forge your way ahead alone…
…and sometimes a friend will walk with you.
There may be lots of colour…
…or darkness ahead.
The path isn’t always clear…
…other times it’s wide open!
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
So whether you are walking…uphill all the way…
…or riding in style…

…whichever way you are going, may it always lead you HOME.

This is my post for Cee Neuner’s Fun Foto Challenge: Which Way, part of the Which Way Challenge by Alive and Trekking.

What’s in My Cup: Hibiscus & Honey

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It’s the kind of day when you want to just pull the blankets over your head. Ok, that’s every Monday, but today is special because we’re having an old-fashioned snow dump. I’m taking a whopping 35cm expected, which may not seem like a lot, but in the city, it’s a lot! People here don’t know how to drive in it. Narrow streets can’t be cleared. It’s chaos.

Good thing I can stay home and drink tea!

Actually, as I settled in for tea, I noticed my neighbour though the haze of blowing snow. She ran up her driveway, grabbed a shovel and ran off again. Or tried to run. Even though Hubby started to plough our driveway, within 30 minutes, you couldn’t really tell. Guessing her car was stuck in the snow, I tossed on some clothes and went to see if I could help.

It was a slow walk, with snow well over my ankles and few car tracks to walk in. She wasn’t at the corner. She was, in fact, several blocks away, and by the time I got 3/4 of the way there, sheand her husband drove off. So much for saving a damsel in distress.

With the feeder topped up (the snow was up to my knees in the backyard), and my mittens and socks drying on the heater, I settled in for something tropical!

Hubby picked up a boxed set of tea with the intent of sharing it in the evenings. Unfortunately, every box is flavoured black tea, and he can’t have caffeine after 2 p.m. Like most boxed sets, what it promises isn’t always delivered, save one: Hibcus & Honey.

I actually sampled this at Christmas…without Hubby. I used too bags to make a pot because I expected it be a light flavoured tea. My Mom found it a bit too flowery. Big Guy thought it was nice but not really his thing. I thought it was great. Although it was a flavoured black tea, and therefore slightly artificial, it was still delicate and floral, and I could taste the honey at the back of my throat. It was a light golden yellow colour and smelled stronger of honey, which I found very appetizing after all the Christmas feasts. Honey is a natural sweetener, and contains antioxidants, promotes healing, and suppresses coughs. We all agreed that adding a little more honey would have sweetened the deal.

I would have liked a pj day today, but someone has to help with the snow. And we’re getting more tomorrow. In the meantime, I’m going to keep sipping, work on a beach bag, and maybe have a siesta or two.

 You can’t always get what you want. No.
But if you try sometimes, you just might find You get what you need.

Rolling Stones

Dear Quarantine Diary- Year 3 / Week 2

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Dear Diary – Who says New Years resolutions begin at midnight on Day 1? Like so many other idiots dreamers, I also planned to lose weight, get more exercise, eat better, etc. Instead, this lactose intolerant gal started the year with hot tea, cold wine, cheese, and chocolate. It was an auspicious beginning.

As for exercise, I forgot my only Fitbit charger at my folks so there’s even less incentive…

And the battery is dying.

I nearly didn’t make it to midnight, having stayed up way past my bedtime the night before watching Alien, with my boys. Nothing says “sweet dreams” like suspense and blood-thirsty monsters right before bed!

We had our traditional pizza and game, but at Auntie M’s, since she wasn’t anxious to wipeout on the ice again. We were home by 11 for the annual family photo, more snacks, and the chinking of glasses at midnight. Also the “thunk” of J’s (aka Big Guy) chocolate orange against the doorframe. With his girlfriend losing her Dad to covid, and her Mom only just home from hospital, they thought it best to postpone celebrating for a few weeks. J went home on January 2 – we managed to finish our Harry Potter marathon just in time!

Hubby, however, started the year in quarantine. He went home on Boxing Day, and delivered gifts to his brother’s house. I suggested he drop them outside but he didn’t listen. His brother called two days later to say he tested positive. We stayed the extra week, and Hubby’s precautions meant he tested negative.

Staying longer turned out to be a good thing for two reasons. One, I easily booked and got my covid booster shot (when my Mommy could take care of me). Second, Hubby was fighting with the phone company.

We lose our phone and internet every time it gets damp…so every spring, winter, and Fall. They were booked for Jan. 2 but no one showed. Hubby got a text on Jan 3 that the “tech is on his way” so he tore home from work. No one showed and Monday night he got a text that it was fixed. It was not! On Jan 4, he called and the system said the ticket was closed. He booked another appointment for Jan 6, but remembered, immediately after hanging up, that he was getting his covid booster that day. He re-booked for Jan 7. On Jan 6, a tech showed up and “fixed it”. The tech found an unmarked box around the corner that was hanging wide open, with all the wires exposed and corroding. We’re now holding our breath….

On Jan 8, M. and I packed our things and made the sad trek home to dirty laundry, dust, and distant memories of Christmas.

Dear Diary – My new bra arrived and it’s more like body armour. It’s white, with hooks in the back, a zipper in the front, and criss-cross straps. It kinda’ reminds me of Austin Power’s bikini top, but less feminine (and disturbing)…

Almost as disturbing as Hubby playing with the packaging.

My first mistake was adjusting the straps and then trying to put it on like a regular bra. I nearly smothered. The straps were too short; the massive cups glued to my face. Next, I put the straps back where they started and put it on like a vest. I nearly threw out my back wrestling the criss-cross straps. Finally, I tried zipping up the front, but I couldn’t see if the zipper was in the notch. All I could see was the white pillowy mounds of my sizeable “melons”. On the plus side, once it’s on, I could go jogging and not worry about putting an eye out.

I purchased this garment on the internet at half the cost of what I normally pay for a bra. But I think the money I saved will probably go toward the chocolate I will eat when my self-esteem sinks as low as my knockers.

Dear Diary – I went for a bone scan this week and I felt like I was in a 3D printer. It’s a device that would certainly make it easier for the body snatchers to duplicate people, though some of us would require more filament to do so!

When I called, I was asked if I could come in an hour. They had a cancellation. So I hit the showers and ran out the door. But when I got there, I wasn’t scheduled. I stood patiently while the receptionist clicked a lot on her keyboard (probably messaging her friend about this loser who showed up thinking she got a last-minute appointment), then made a phone call in hushed tones. I offered to book another time and come again, but she said not to worry. So I tried not to worry, as various people wandered in and out of the waiting room. At least one of them had not hit the showers first.

I was told to take a seat – it wouldn’t be long. And for once, it was true. I was in and out in less than half an hour from my original appointment time. As a bonus, I came home to a hot lunch made by M. Mmm…kraft dinner!

Dear Diary – Should I write a song about my sewing machine? Then I could say I’m a singer songwriter, or sew it seams…

I recently wrote a song based on the list of Top 10 Phrases to Banish in 2022:

At the end of the day“ is a phrase that’s getting old
“That being said“ is simply no longer gold (wait, what?)
Social distance, remote learning, ‘Hey buddy, are you vaxxed?’
“I made stuff” just needs to be axed.

”Circle back” and “dive deep” both need to end
I don’t know what they mean, just ”asking for a friend”
(”Don’t be such a Karen!)
“Contact tracing” and “zooming”, ‘Hey Dude, you’re on mute”
“T.P. Crisis”, “supply chain”, “ no worries” is a beaut!

When does the “ new normal” cease to be “new”
It’s been almost 2 years since covid first sailed thru
(“We’re in this together”)
“Now more than ever”, I think we all agree
There’ll be a much longer list by 2023!

What’s In My Cup: Licorice Spice

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Roller disco, bushy sideburns, bell bottoms, and funk were all popular in the 1970s…and some of them are trends that are better left in the past.

December 1978

But the trend of licorice tea has endured the test of time. My Dad and I both like black licorice, so this Christmas, my Dad picked me up a box of Stash Licorice Spice tea.

Licorice Spice is an herbal tea. It has no added sugar or sweetener, yet it possessed a light and sweet flavour. It is also moderately spiced with cinnamon, orange peel and oil, star anise, sarsaparilla, clove bud oil, and cardamom oil. If I hadn’t read the ingredients, I would have said this was a chamomile-based tea, (or even fennel tea) with that tell-tale grassy note. Instead, its main component is licorice root. but the licorice flavour, while present, is certainly not predominant. It’s a good blend licorice and spices…if you like licorice! 😉

When reading ingredients, keep in mind that licorice root and star anise are not the same thing, though they may taste similarly. They come from different plant families. Licorice root do not belong to the same plant family. Anise or anniseed is a fruit, from an umbellifier, a fragrant, flowering plant, the same as celery and fennel. Licorice root is also a flowering plant, alongside beans and legumes. The root is used because it contains a sweet-tasting acid that is purported to be 50 times sweeter than sucrose or cane sugar.

While both licorice root and cinnamon have a lot of health benefits, however, but both should only be consumed in small quantities. Pregnant and nursing women, and people with heart disease or high blood pressure should avoid licorice root completely. Licorice root and anise are not the same thing, although they taste similarly.

There’s nothing quite like the bond between a father and his little princess.

Anonymous

Happy Monday!

Dear Quarantine Diary: Year in Review (2021)

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Dear Diary – Midnight arrived and some of us cheered. Others chose to go to bed early. Because after all, it didn’t feel like there was a lot worth celebrating in 2021. It was a tough year, filled with moments of intense loneliness, frustration, anger and grief. I felt it too. But often, when I felt overwhelmed, God’s graciously reminded me that He is in control and He is still at work. In those times, He filled me with enough joy and hope to smile and soldier on. Sometimes, I even laughed. Out loud. From my toes. Not usually when I was standing on the bathroom scales or offering my family burnt offerings, but still…He supplied more than I needed and I am thankful.

My holiday got extended because Hubby came in contact with someone who called two days later to say “hey! guess what? I’m positive with covid”. So I got my booster shot yesterday. I feel crummy today. Good thing I spent the whole dreary afternoon on Sunday re-reading diary posts because I’m not up to catching up this week. Not that much has happened. I meant to just review the Monday What’s In My Cup segments, but I kept reading. I was amazed at just how much laughter and silliness there can be in a year, even if it didn’t always feel like it at the time…

In January, having spent Christmas apart from my folks, I rang in the New Year with pizza and white wine. By mid-January, the province had declared a state of emergency. I was having my own emergencies at home. I started shopping online for fabric and food. My “sewing business” slowed down, and so did the 50 year old sewing machine! On the phone with my Dad, he talked me through how to take it apart. I felt like I was defusing a bomb. Then my last needle broke. So did my patience. I baked macarons which were an epic failure. Crispy portughese custard tarts and unicorn poop soon followed. On the plus side, my sanctuary was coming together. I was going to need it!

In February, I talked some Facebook Friends into joining my revolution and we declared February 12 “PJ
Day”. We shared our photos.

Cheers!

I attempted to make pillow covers, which was an assortment of trials, error, and tears. For Valentine’s Day, Big Guy suprised us with drinks and cookies from Tim Horton’s. I made pastitio for dinner, with a bechamel sauce that refused to thicken. It tasted good anyway. I also tied myself in knots making pretzels. I cleaned the bathroom cupboard under the sink and discovered 5 bottles of men’s body wash. I’ve been smelling like spruce and pine trees ever since. My friend died of cancer, and made a bleak month stretch longer.

It was time to smarten up in March and I began preparing healthier food: eggplant parmigiana (which I hated), chicken pie (the pastry was sooo good) and a pumpkin spice roll (is pumpkin a fruit or a vegetable?).


My hobbies include eating and complaining that I’m fat!


I stopped putting off that tooth that had been complaining and went to the dentist. I had the best laugh when he asked me if I was stressed. He fit me with a mouth guard. I’m still “…afraid of choking and drowning on my spit in my sleep. When I said I wanted to die peacefully in my sleep, this isn’t quite what I had in mind”. Hubby was the first to brave a covid test. He was negative and for the first time in a very, very long time, he could smell his coffee. I participated in Evil Squirrel’s 8th contest of whatever but I didn’t win. And I got shot, a cortisone shot, that is. I spoke too soon when I said, “that wasn’t so bad”!

I started physio torture therapy in April just as the province issued a stay-at-home order, essentially “cancelling” Easter. Bur miracles still happened: Hubby let me help him purge his closet. I baked hot cross buns, a tear-away cake shaped like an ice-cream sundae, mini chocolate swiss rolls, and a pretty, but tasteless purple birthday cake. Big Guy helped me celebrate with an ubered “breakfast in bed” from Cora’s. With stress already running high as people panicked to book vaccinations, everything going wrong in a 27 hour stretch almost pushed me over the edge. Good thing I started an 8 week comedy course online to help me cope. I wrote my first song, Queen of the Latrine, which seemed to be a big hit.

I finally got shot on Mother’s Day! Gatherings were still limited to 10 people but I was fine. I worked on 3 original songs: Teen from the Batcave, The Gamer Song, and In Too Deep. Spring had sprung and I took lots of time to wander my backyard enjoying lilacs, tulips, and apple blossoms. I managed to plant seeds despite our back door being patrolled by a stubborn carpenter bee.

June started with snow. Patios opened and restrictions lifted, and people were people: “restless, housebound natives behaved like teenagers when Mom and Dad are away, and partied hard with their friends”. I googled how to deal with bad hair. One suggestion was to wear a low cut blouse. Big Guy ubered McDonald’s for Father’s Day, and we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary at the end of the month with Italian food, and a unique photo session with Little Guy. We dressed up and posed with Halo reproduction guns, zombie axes, and face masks. Why? Because 25 years without killing each other was worth celebrating. And we couldn’t go to Italy.


I got shot again on July 1st – Canada Day. I had a greater reaction and lost a day. My basil was finally growing and it was really happy. Little Guy and I spent some time at my parents. On morning, we woke up to jet engine in the back yard and a giant blue fireball. They were venting gas line for repairs. The busiest week was Vacation Bible Camp, where I spent 5 mornings out of bed before 7 and taught kids in character. That character was Ima Victor, a spunky, nerdy, spastic eight-year old with a serious lisp. It was exhilerating and exhausting!

August brought my baby home after months apart. Big Guy helped me purchase a new xbox controller to improve Halo Night. While he was visiting, I accidentally thawed (and consequently had to cook) 24 burgers. I didn’t enjoy it. I got my first hair cut in almost 2 years. I celebrated Mom’s birthday with lunch at O’Connor House, and I baked a lemon cake. Little Guy and I fought with bugs in the evenings, and I fought with a “simple” japanese knot bag pattern during the day. I shared a magical evening watching the
meteor shower with Little Guy.

September started a week holiday at my parents with the boys. We played games, had a water fight (that ended badly) and a haunted walk. Big Guy taught Little Guy how to climb trees, and I accidentally flashed a trucker grocery shopping. One evening we drove around town looking at houses for sale. It’s fun to dream. I savoured homegrown watermelon and made homemade salsa. My alarm clock went psycho, and we finally got some sewer issues repaired. They aren’t all fixed…I’m still queen of the latrine.

I should know by now that nothing is simple but crap doodle, I keep hoping!

Jenn, jennsmidlifecrisis

Thanksgiving was celebrated with my folks but only 1 boy. We got stuck in traffic coming home, but I managed to “hold it” until we got to the service centre…where I had to go looking for service in Tim Horton’s. I baked a lentil pie and visited 2 friends in the garden. It was good for the soul…the visits, not the pie! As an old dog, I’m still required to learn new tricks and this month included setting up and using a new worship tracks app. It was terrifying. I also went shopping for glasses for Hubby and was totally ignored by the female staff. Some thing never change!

I spent a week with Mom while Dad was hunting and it was some firsts for me: first time in a Mall since the world shut down and the first meal in a restaurant. Fortunately my “covid passport” worked! I baked
pumpkin pecan muffins that were so greasy, they almost slipped out of our hands. I also baked louisiana hand pies and white bean and leek stew. I spoke to a group of ladies, something I have missed. Purolator also missed, delivering my package to the wrong house and starting a whole mess for me to sort out. I enjoyed an impromptu visit with my parents in my sanctuary. They were delivering Little Guy’s birthday. He insists that I give him a new name here.

Finally December arrived and I dove into Christmas preparations: shopping, wrapping, and baking. In addition to the usual squares and cookies, I tried hazelnut toffee, chocolate babka, German stollen, and a yule log. I also fought with squirrels at the feeder and gnomes. Best of all, I made it home for Christmas, where I will spend the first week of January because Hubby was in contact with someone who, two days later, called to say he was positive with covid. Happy New Year!

My “word” for 2020 was “finish line“. In 2021 I embraced “Be Faithful” because no matter what was happening in my world, I was still responsible for what was happening in my heart. I’m not sure what my “word” will be for 2022, but I’m sensing that I need to lean into “joy”. Joy is more than laughter or warm fuzzy feelings. It goes beyond feeling happy, excited or content. It isn’t based on my circumstances or my actions, but is a gracious gift and a lasting state of the heart and mind that overflows from my Heavenly Father. I believe my joy in Him will be my strength.

Let Year 3 begin…after my nap!