Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Today is a gift; that's why it's called the present

FULL; not sure when I emptied this last.

Yesterday was DRY, at least during the limited daylight hours. We have had precious few of those lately, but I'm not really complaining. It's nice to have a NORMAL something (in this case, weather) in these anything-but-normal times. And of course I took advantage of it and rode Stella after letting the horses stretch their legs in the arena first. So thankful that I could. The day before I'd felt a wee tinge of vertigo here and there, then was hit by a full-on, room-swirling, stomach-turning attack after I went to bed. I laid there praying I wouldn't be incapacitated for Christmas, or the dry day ahead, or even that night, and the dizziness gradually faded mostly away, and was completely gone by morning. Whew, and praise the Lord!

I've been doing some more Christmas baking recently, both for us to enjoy (sparingly) and to share. Four kinds of cookies post-biscotti: Snickerdoodles (made festive with some red sugar), Frosted Rocks (a molasses spice cookie), Chocolate-covered Cherry Cookies, and Krumkake. I made a second batch of Krumkake today; very few people make those so they are a unique treat to give. I am in the process of planning my Christmas Eve and Christmas Day menus; it may just be the three of us this year but the meals can still be special.

It's a good thing I got that little tree, because it is indeed our only tannenbaum. It sports one additional ornament I received this year (the silver one on the lower right side), and its base is now bolstered by a few presents.

I've also sent two knitted Christmas gifts on their way. Last week when talking to my sister on the phone, she mentioned that my nephew appreciates hand-knits and bright colors. Since I hadn't thought of anything better for him, I dug around in deep stash and found some REALLY bright, bulky yarn – perfect for another Strata Hat like the gray one in my last post. So I whipped one up in two days and got it off in the mail, forgetting to take a photo. (Hopefully Sis will send one of it in use.) In the meantime, I've started a scarf (I had two skeins) that I will send to him for his January birthday. I also pulled out a Fair Isle cap I knitted awhile back, wove all the ends in, and washed it so I could give it to the neighbor who did chores for us as a Christmas/thank you present.

My Christmas gift from Rick this year came early, and couldn't be put under the tree anyway. He got tickets for two to the Beyond Van Gogh experience in Portland for last Sunday, and took me out to eat at Pastini's beforehand. It was a magical date night, and I took a LOT of photos, which really deserve a separate post. Soon!

We've had an interesting week re COVID. We found out a week ago  today that a man who was at our Christian trail-riding club Christmas party had gone to the VA hospital with a serious cough and tested positive for COVID. I was tasked with  contact tracing. In calling everyone else who had been there, I learned that the initial case(s) were a couple who haven't gotten vaccinated because they chose to believe lies instead of science. (I. CAN'T. EVEN.) Since then, the wife and their adult son living on their property in an RV have also gotten sick and tested positive, the man has been hospitalized, and two other attendees (one of them the hostess) have come down with symptomatic COVID. Both of the latter cases are in vaccinated people who had not yet gotten their booster shots; none of us who have gotten the booster have contracted it. (So a word to the wise: get your booster – and wear a mask. No one at that in-house gathering wore a mask; I won't do that again.)

With all that going on, Rick's mom started coughing and then spiked a fever, days before flying to CO to see her daughter and family (she wasn't with us at the party). Rick scrambled to get her tested, which thankfully came back negative. Then my dad down in Texas went through a very similar thing before driving up to see my sister and family; again, thankfully, his test was negative. Yeah, we may be a little jumpy, but not without cause.

I am perfectly happy staying home with my guys and critters, celebrating a quiet little Christmas here.

A strange, out-of-season bloom

That's it now from . . .


Retired Knitter said...

A very Merry Christmas to you - but more importantly - a healthy New Year!

wyomingheart said...

Merry Christmas, and thank you for the great photos… especially Rock Star Chuckie! Have a perfect holiday!

Tim B. Inman said...

I love the Poppy pics! What a classy pup. I've never had a terrier as a pet, but Poppy is adding marbles in the 'Yes!' pan. Can you imagine an Aussie/Heeler and a Decker living in the same digs?! Yikes! But still....

Here's my latest tip on vaccinations for those who won't. It seems to get a 'thinking' reaction: "The vaccine is free; the hospitalization isn't. You'll soon learn all about the cost of medicine if you have to go in - and your insurance will not cover all of it either."

Mostly, like you, I'm laying low again. That's fine with me. I've been to Wisconsin to see my kids and grandkids - so now I'm back at Oakdale Farm with Annie and O.J.

Merry Christmas in every sense of the words.!

A :-) said...

What a great catch-up post :-) I was looking at the krumkake and thinking they looked like pizelle, and then I looked it up, and sure enough! They look really good. Do they have any filling or special flavor that you like to do? The immersive Van Gogh was here and at least one of my friends braved it to go - she said it was spectacular. Merry Christmas my friend :-)

Michelle said...

Thank you, and to you as well, Elaine!

I always think of you when I get a shot of Chuckie, wyomingheart. 😊 Merry Christmas!

Tim, I think a Texas Heeler and a Decker would be perfect together – unless Annie took it personally when Poppy caught and killed the mice she was trying to 'herd'! Similar in size and energy level, they would keep each other exercised and entertained. (I think O.J. would approve!) I've been campaigning for a second Decker or something similar after Poppy's stay with her sister; it is clear that she needs more play that we can give her. Merry Christmas! Maybe you'll put a puppy under your tree. If you do, I'll enjoy reading about it!

So are pizelle the Italian version of krumkake, A? I don't get creative with fillings or flavorings because I love them 'as is.' There is cardamom in the batter, though. Merry Christmas!

marlane said...

Every once in a while I also get severe vertigo. It seems to be related to my not drinking enough and, taking potassium helps also. My grand ma could not attend my wedding because of severe vertigo, maybe it runs in families.

Jeanne said...

My younger daughter often gets vertigo. I have only had it once, and that was long ago. I'm thankful you got relief from it!

I thoroughly enjoyed this blog! And so glad you still have your small tree! How nice of Rick to get tickets to the Van Gogh thing! My sister lives in Milwaukie, and would love to go. She may or may not get to go.

I recognized your krumkake. They look so yummy, and I'd love to be able to try them, however, I'm not sure they would be do-able with gluten free flours. Rats!

I'm sorry about the outbreak of COVID in your group.

Have a blessed Christmas!!

Leigh said...

You never fail to give us lovely photos! I adore the fair isle cap - beautiful! Merry Christmas!

A :-) said...

Wiki says Krumkake are descended from the Pizzelle. I remember my mom always trying to make Rosette. I think she liked them because they were deep-fried. And meant to tell you - if the vertigo returns you might try the Eppley Maneuver to alleviate it. Here is a link to it on the Johns Hopkins site:

Donna said...

Merry Christmas Michelle!

Sharon said...

Thanks for sharing your experience with Covid. I get complacent and think that I never go anywhere so I’ll be okay when I do because I have my booster. Wrong!

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