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Dear Diary – Last week, I arranged to go into the church office to finish printing the new church directory. I arrived in the early afternoon. Only the caretaker was there but no worries, I have still have a key. As a worship leader, I sometimes have to open the church to set up or rehearse.

When I arrived, the front door was unlatched, so I went in and dropped off my purse and box of materials. I went back for my mugs of tea, and the door latched behind me. But even though my key would go in the lock, it would not turn. It used to stick in the cold, so I threw up my hood and hoofed it around the building to the back door.

It was cold. The back of the church is surrounded by open fields and the wind can feel like a gale wind even on a relatively calm day. Again, my key went in the lock, but it refused to turn. And the latch looked pretty shiny….

I returned to the front door and rang the door bell. I rattled the latch. I pounded on the glass. I called for the caretaker. For half an hour.

I couldn’t drive home because my license was in my purse…safely tucked away in the warm church office. I couldn’t call anyone…because my cell phone was in my purse, which was tucked away in the warm church office.

By the time the very wary, and slightly surprised custodian appeared, I was ready to drop to my knees in surrender, my energy exhausted.

The locks had been changed weeks before. Both pastors knew I was coming in. No one told me. Missing my old job just a little less….

Dear Diary – We are officially in Lockdown, or “The Grey Zone”. I think “The Black Zone” would be a great name for comic strip like “The Far Side” or a sci-fi series reminiscent of “the Twilight Zone”. If only I could draw….I’m wondering if I should rename my Quarantine Diary, the “Quarantine Chronicles”?

It means more restrictions: dining and non-essential retailers are curbside only, churches are closed, fitness/ recreational/entertainment facilities are closed, indoor gatherings are suspended, outdoor gatherings are limited to 10. With Big Guy in one city, and my folks in another town, “Christmas” may be postponed this year.

I’m not happy.

I’ve been a “good girl” and followed every government request. I have even extended grocery shopping to every 10 days. Which is a lot of bags for this little frame. I’ve pouted over others’ posts of family photos, walks on the beach, sunsets at the cottage. I just want to open gifts by the tree, play games, and eat too much with my family, like we do every year. I don’t need to shop or party, or leave the house. I just want to be with the people who mean the world to me. I know it’s just one day! I know I was blessed to spend weeks with them in the Spring, when lockdown seemed like an amusing interruption to routine. I know there are plenty of others who feel the same way as I do. The heart wants what the heart wants. 🙂

The rain falls upon the just. And also on the unjust fellas. But mostly it falls upon the just cause the unjust have the just’s umbrella. Cormac McCarthy
It hasn’t helped that I had an unfortunate surprise this weekend. My Mom posted on Facebook that my Dad was in the hospital, a message she never intended for me to see. I saw! I called! All is right with the world! 🙂

He’s going to be okay and will probably hate that I posted this. Mom will hate that I posted this too. IF ever again, they’ll call! My home is like a squirrel’s nest – full of nuts! And my “nuts” are pretty precious!

It never hurts your eyesight to look at the bright side of things. Barbara Johnson
As for me and my household, no matter where we’ll be, we’ll worship the Lord.

Preparations for Christmas are moving forward. Most of the gifts have arrived. The tree is up. I’m slowly baking my way through my checklist.

My unconventional ugly tree – how many video games and movies can you identify?

Every year I admire the array of magazine covers with pretty cookies. Every year I try to duplicate them. Every year, my cookies taste great but look “meh”.

Saturday afternoon I made icing. It tasted weird. I divided it and added flavours – lemon, lime and almond. It tasted like lemon or lime or almond…plus weird. I investigated; it was the icing sugar. Maybe it absorbed something funky from the plastic container? But icing+cookie was ok, and I hate to throw anything out. I iced my cookies and resolved to make another batch in the morning.

The new batch with fresh icing sugar was yummy, but the viscose textur meant the longer it sat in the piping bag, the more solid it became. Soon two hands were not enough and the bag threatened to split. I scooped and thinned it, but now it dribbled slowly from the bag. They’re “meh” again this year, but taste good with tea!

Dear Diary – I aired out my winter sheets and pjs on the clothesline yesterday. How did women wash and hang out wet clothes in winter? My fingers were pretty cold by the time I was done. Hubby scoffed, “it’s only -10…with wind chill, that makes it feel like -18C”. That would explain it! My things weren’t out long. The pillow cases were wind socks and I didn’t want to hunt down my nighties in my neighbours’ yards.

Dear Diary – I asked! I asked my friend, “do I need evaporated milk or condensed milk for fudge”? I should have followed my instinct because I bought the wrong one. It took forever to find a recipe that would use the wrong one. I followed it exactly and I made inedible chocolate fudge. It’s a horrible, grainy, pudding-like brown blob of poo! Any takers?

Hello Darkness, my old friend. Simon & Garfunkel