Days 206 – 227: ~21 Days of Delights

St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s day is my favorite holiday only because of my last name. We made corned beef with braised cabbage, carrots, and mashed potatoes

A Murder on the Deck

The crows are back. While there are always a few around during the winter, they mostly hang out at a local roost. They’re back now though, and remember our deck for the treats I’ve provided in the past.

Range Fixed — Sort Of

The repairperson came out from ABW and fixed our lemon of a Bosch range. He was able to fix the heating issue (the heating element was burned out and cracked) but the door still does not close all the way. At least we can use the oven. The door issue is temporarily solved with strong magnets.

Artwork Up

We’ve been given a few pieces of art in the past year and we’ve finally hung them on the walls. Dean’s reluctant to hammer nails in the walls, so this is an absolute delight.

St. Patrick’s Day v.2

Andrew and Alex came over for dinner the Sunday after St. Patrick’s Day. I made a vegetarian shepherd’s pie for dinner and a raspberry trifle for dessert. Alex made a Guinness cake. Alex also showed us her juggling skills. Also I picked some Lenten Roses.

Books, Books, Books

I think my lack of writing was a direct result of my nose being stuck in a book (metaphorically since I read on my phone) 24/7.

  • Finished listening to The Shipping News by Annie Proulx (Delightful!)
  • Read all 4 books written by Abbi Waxman (Delightful, delightful, delightful, delightful)
  • Finished Stealing Home by Sherryl Woods (not delightful, but not dreadful) (I read it because I watched the Netflix series based on Woods’ books and wanted to know what happened next)

Quilt from Kevin

A while back my brother, Kevin, asked if I wanted any of the blankets in a photo he sent. I said I wanted the quilt and he said he’d set it aside. It turned out that he sent it and it arrived on March 26th. I don’t know which of my ancestors made it, but I’ll try to repair it and then store it.

More Alone Time & Sewing

Dean and Andrew went biking and I stayed home. Delightful.

I did use my alone time wisely though and tackled a project I’d meant to do for a while. See, we have a down quilt with a duvet cover but the quilt never stayed at the top and ended up bulging out of the bottom like a hernia. I’d tried to convince Dean to agree to get a new quilt and duvet cover with ties and loops but he never saw the need. So I dusted off my sewing kit and repurposed some shoelaces as loops and ties and now the duvet cover stays on the quilt and the quilt no longer herniates out of the cover. (I sewed the shoelaces as hoops to the corners of the quilt and as ties to the inside corners of the duvet cover and connected them when I replaced the quilt in the cover. Delightful!

Sunshine and Raindrops

The setting sun through raindrops on the window looked like fairy lights.

Serviceberry Trees!

My Serviceberry trees were planted! The last image is more recent — and today all the blossoms are full.

Vaccines

We became eligible for our vaccines during this time. Dean was able to secure a spot for a Pfizer vaccine at the mass vaccination site but due to a computer glitch, I was not. Later, when the glitch was resolved, the provided dates didn’t work out for me but I was able to secure two dates for Moderna about an hour and a half away.

My first inoculation was on April Fools’ Day. I stopped at Wegman’s on the way back (delight!).

Clouds and Flowers and Zoom, Oh My!

I bought some tulips at Wegmans and they are truly delightful.

Our bookgroup discussion of Such a Fun Age was quite delightful, although I didn’t remember a whole lot about the book (which was my choice).

Just before the meeting I took a photo of clouds as the sun was setting.

Lilacs and RAM

Yesterday I noticed that our lilacs, which have not bloomed in two years, have at least three sets of buds. Delightful!

I bought a refurbished desktop on a whim a few months ago but it is sluggish because it only has 4GB of RAM. I’d read that it can take up to 32GB so I ordered 4 8GB RAM and will install it when it arrives.


The delightful image at the top of the post is my gift to Dean for Easter. A Dr. Fauci bobblehead.

Days 168 – 176: A Whole Lot of Nothing

I think this covid shit has finally worn me down. I’ve not been visited by many delights — or maybe I have and I have not recognized them. I’ve been sad and angry many of these days, although there have been a few bright spots.

In no particular order some contenders for delights:

  • Andrew and Alex joined us for Superbowl Sunday and a chili dinner (and a Zoom chat with Alex’s folks)
  • I’ve had some nice chats with Clare
  • We met with some friendly folks from a landscaping company about our backyard.
  • The temperature got to 50° one day
  • The snow was pretty one day with 2-inch flakes
  • I think I am starting to like tofu
  • Cocktails:
    • Orange Blossom
    • Old Fashioned
  • Netflix binges:
    • Emily in Paris
    • Firefly Lane
  • Books:

Day 121: The Winter Solstice (and Indian Food)

Andrew and Alex wanted to celebrate the Solstice so we decided that we’d have a fire in the fire pit after dinner. They invited their friend Peter over to celebrate with us.

The Indian food from Kadhai was delightfully delicious, as usual. The Solstice celebration was also delightful. Clare sent a song* to sing that Alex and Andrew performed. We also wrote down things we were glad to be rid of from 2020 and threw them into the fire.


*The sun was born again today
We great the sun’s first morning rays
We sing and celebrate the light
The sun’s born on the longest night

Days 116 – 119: Planning Christmas Week

Delightfully, Andrew and Alex suggested they stay with us for several days through Christmas Day. They live 30 minutes away, so could come once or twice and then on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day instead. This is so wonderfully sweet of them.

I’ve decided to make a vegetarian paella on Christmas Day along with tapas. Alex is going to make a Spanish dessert.

A few years ago we began a tradition of eating Ethiopian food on Christmas eve, so we’ll continue that this year and order takeout from our favorite local Ethiopian restaurant, CherCher in Bethesda.

We all really enjoy Indian food, especially from Kadhai in Bethesda, so we are planning on getting takeout from them one day next week.

Looking at the range of foods already decided, we have decided to have a meal from a different continent each day. The three remaining continents, Oceania, North America and South America will be represented by food from New Zealand, the United States and probably Peru.

I had a delightful email conversation with our Linda/Mali about some New Zealand recipes tonight.

Photo courtesy Yasen, owner of WoodenCraftsBG on Etsy.

Days 92 – 94: Planning and Cooking

We’d hoped to host Alex’s parents and brother for Thanksgiving this year. They’d drive up from Atlanta and stay at a friend’s condo in Silver Spring. Unfortunately with the upsurge of Covid cases everyone agreed that it was best for them to stay in Atlanta.

Andrew, Alex, Dean and I agreed to quarantine for over a week so the four of us could feel safe having a smaller Thanksgiving together.

Our plans for smoked turkey were put on hold since Andrew and Alex are vegetarians-who-eat-fish-when-pressed. I ordered good salmon from the Fish Guys (I cannot believe I have not written about the Fish Guys!!!) and started thinking about vegetarian side dishes.

Meanwhile…

A friend on Facebook posted a photo of his meal and called it a Higgidy Chicken Pie. I assumed it was a type of Yorkshire dish and , but it turned out that Higgidy is a brand of prepared meals in the UK. I then went down a brief but satisfying Internet rabbit hole after which I was the proud owner of two Higgidy (Kindle) cookbooks, one of which was a vegetarian cookbook. In it I found recipes for a Christmassy nut loaf and a miso, chard and squash pie.

I sent Andrew and Alex the menu and they approved.

  • Salmon (Smoked on Big Green Egg) — Dean’s job
  • Miso Squash & Chard Pie
  • Cranberry & Porcini Nut Roast with onion gravy
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Green Beans
  • Bread (probably sourdough or dinner rolls) — Andrew’s task
  • Stuffing
  • Dessert — Alex’s surprise