My Yearly Letters

I wrote my annual letters. There are two sets. For one set, I write a letter reflecting on the year and then write a letter about my hopes for the next year. I get to read the second letter at the end of the year.

The other set asks questions and then is designed to be put away for 10 years before being read. I like that it prompts me to take a picture and include it with the letter.

This is all made possible by electronic calendars. I have a yearly occurring appointment that reminds me not only to do write these letters but also where the document is located on my computer.

More Cookbook Winnowing

Welcome, blurry photo. I did not factor blurry photos into my middle age experience.

More cookbook winnowing! The Enchanted Broccoli Forest Cookbook might have been the first cookbook I ever bought. And the Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book was instrumental in teaching me how to make a loaf of whole wheat break.

As with the other pile, I’ve grabbed my favorites. Now it’s time to send the cookbooks off to Little Free Libraries in my neighborhood.

Christmas Present: A Movie!

In the normal world, I don’t go to the movies on Christmas, because I wouldn’t want to go to work in Christmas Day and I don’t think my actions should support other people having to go to work on that day. But this is a pandemic, all the theaters are closed, and Wonder Woman 1984 is opening on HBO Max on Christmas Day!

So we bought our selves a one-month subscription to the channel, and prepped for a Christmas Day treat.

I made a cheesy pizza roll appetizer I’d had my eye on for years, Matt broke out the cheese from the gift basket his uncle sent, I mixed up a colorful cocktail, and we settled in for the next Wonder Woman installment! Here’s my review.

Christmas Morning

This year, due to quarantine, the fam met briefly in my Aunt Pat’s garage so we could do stockings. This year, that meant putting things in a “stocking” that was really a bag with a name written on it. Then we brought our stockings home to unpack.

There were a lot of goodies in the stocking!

Plus, I had a fun present to open, so here’s another view of the spoils.

The stationary says, “Nobody writes letters anymore.” I love it!

These were my winners!

And check out this situation:

Though brief, it was nice to see everyone for a stocking exchange.

Christmas Dinner

Since all the Christmas traditions were up in the air, I decided that 2020 was the year to try a Tofuky. Even in my vegetarian years, I never shelled out the money. Back in those days, it came with a tempeh drumstick, so I guess I should have sampled the product then.

Here’s the Tofurky, ready to go into the pot. I followed the instructions on the label and made a soy sauce/olive oil concoction for the broccoli and tofurky to roast in.

And here’s our final product, dusted with sage. I also made mashed potatoes, because I don’t like to pass up a chance to eat mashed potatoes.

The verdict? Very salty. The broccoli tasted amazing, through, having roasted in that soy sauce/olive oil concoction. I skipped the gravy (because I almost always skip the gravy) and the potatoes were delicious!

While I wouldn’t turn down a slice of tofuky, if one is offered to me, this was probably a one-and-done experience.

The Santas

Since we are quarantining this year, Matt and I will not be doing the usual, which is going to Aunt Carol’s house for dinner and stockings. Instead, we went to find the Bakelite Santas that Chris Willis (@ChrisWillis) has been installing in various Portland locales for 10 years. We pondered the clue he gave us and set out for Westmoreland where we wandered about until we saw a faint pink glow coming from an empty building.

The Santas were marvelous!

This was our first time seeing them. They don’t usually wear masks, but this year is a special year. We got to find six mask variations.

This was a very fun break from our routine. Here’s more about the project.

Decorating Santa Cookies with Mom

Mom wanted to give her neighbors some cookies and, when searching the internet, found someone’s great idea to turn a heart-shaped cookie upside down and make a Santa. Using just the star tip, some frosting, and jimmies, red hots, and chocolate chips, we made these darling little creatures.

These are also historic cookies because while we were making them, I got a call offering me a job as a full-time copy editor.

An Author Teenage Me Loved

Jude Deveraux was one of the romance novelists I cut my teeth on in the 80s. I suspect I haven’t read this book (it was published in 2002) but I enjoyed how finding this book in a Little Free Library reminded me of that time in my life.

Also, I looked up Deveraux on Wikipedia and discovered that her eight-year-old son was killed in 2005 and that a psychic stole all her money. That’s not a happy ending for a romance writer.