READY SET GO
What a beautiful day! Even though I was mostly inside for it, WORKING, I did get out after lunch for a brisk 15-minute power walk in the bright sunshine. I admired the blue sky, and the frost on the ground and wished I'd had longer to walk. Work is BUSY. Though I actually worked the equivalent of one day during the holidays in order to not have today be super stressful, it still felt pretty crazy. I finished revising a huge important PPT for the two top people in the company, for our upcoming kickoff and that felt good to send off for final review! I'm very happy with it (as happy as one can be with a POWERPOINT), and glad of my decision to start from scratch creatively and revamp as I think it turned out rather well, if I do say so myself.
One thing I usually get before the end of the year is a calendar full of some kind of pretty images to enjoy all the coming year, but this year, I was in the States in July and they didn't have 2017 calendars available yet. I forgot to ask for one at Christmas until the last minute, so I ended up ordering one the day after for myself and it arrived a couple of days ago. It's one of those family calendars with columns for each person so you can easily see what each member of the family has coming up and plan accordingly. It's a Pettson & Findus calendar
, because I love Pettsson and Findus and anything that Sven Nordqvist draws. I've had TWO paper calendars for a few years (because someone has gotten me one as a gift after I'd already bought one for myself), one that is basically just for the pretty pictures and a family-planner type, but this year I think I'll just have one. It's more of a memory-jogger anyway, since I use Outlook at work and on my phone for everything.
In a couple of minutes, I will start on my 2016 blog book project. I've already downloaded the PDFs from what used to be LJBook and is now Blogbooker. Reformatting to my own style usually takes anywhere from a few weeks to a few months depending on how much I wrote during the year...I suspect this one won't take me very long. Drr.
Made it to WW tonight after a couple of weeks break, during which I basically ate ALL THE THINGS. Nothing was safe. And now it's all gone. And over. And I'm back on the WW wagon. URGH. It's not a new year's resolution, so much as a re-focusing on the continuation of my life.
Ok, off to revisit what I was doing LAST January (probably the exact. same. thing. I'm rather predictable, I suspect).
he last day of 2016, hurrah! Normally, I would be a bit sad about the end of the year, but I am really hoping that, despite the orange-frosted muffin going into office in my native country, things will get better *pastes bright smile into place* instead of getting worse. After all, things are going well for me and my family, so despite the debacle of the US election, and the loss of so many people I admired: Gene Wilder, Carrie Fisher, Alan Rickman, David Bowie, Harper Lee, Richard Adams, George Michael, Anton Yelchin, Prince,...(oof) among many many others, I am looking forward to a new year full of promise. Family & Personal Highlights of 2016
- Spending the mellandagarna and New Year's in Germany with John & Simone and the boys
- Anders' long weekend skiing in Czech Republic
- Getting started singing again, by joining Eslöv's pop choir
- Collecting and creating a family recipe book
- Being declared diabetes-free by January after losing as much as 15 kilos
- Going to see Billy Elliot, Kinky Boots and Turandot at the Malmö Opera
- Karin acting in a short film and an Axis product launch video
- Martin passing his exams and graduating from IB and high school!
- Hosting a big graduation party to celebrate Martin's Studenten
- Karin finally getting her ears pierced
- Finally getting rid of the fish tank (haha!)
- A month-long trip to the US which included all kinds of family, celebrations and travel, including a day each in NYC and Boston
- Liz's sister turning 50, mom turning 75 and grandma turning 100
- A 3-day family reunion with 63 relatives
- Martin's first 2 part-time paying jobs
- Karin getting a job as a telemarketer
- Martin's 7.5 week trip to Peru (with 9 days in Michigan at the end)
- Long weekend trip to Berlin during fall break
- Going to see Elton John in concert, with Karin
- Getting back on the board of the AWC
I read at least 89 books this past year, according to GoodReads, but it doesn't seem to always count books that I read earlier and then read again, so I'm not sure the total is completely accurate.Best Books of 2016
(in no particular order and not including re-reads)
- Unquiet Land by Sharon Shinn
- The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
- The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
- The Blood Curse by Emily Gee
- A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
- Maphead by Ken Jennings
- At the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy Chevalier
- Brooklyn by Colm Toibin
- The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry
- Grunt by Mary Roach
- Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
- At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen
- The Opposite of Everyone by Joshilyn Jackson
- A Grown-up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson
- The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
- Goldenhand by Garth Nix
Movies I enjoyed this year? Rogue One, Kung Fu Panda 3, The Jungle Book, Arrival, Finding Dory, Zootropolis, Ghostbusters
and Ex Machina
. I'm sure there were more. And TV shows we watched and enjoyed? Bron/Broen, Historieätarna, Orphan Black, Westworld, Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
It seems like I spent more time this year on Instagram, finding, admiring and following various artists, so that I didn't spend as much time on Spotify finding new music. I would make a list of Best Artist Discoveries but it would be twice as long as this post, I fear.Best Musical Discoveries of 2016
Some manageable goals for 2017
- King Floyd
- Saint Motel
- Laura Tesoro
- Walk walk walk!
- Continue with WW, get weight back down again
- Encourage Martin in job hunting and college applications
- Get both kids into driving school
- Find and buy a new bed
- Be more regular about posting here!
I have the rest of this afternoon to relax before we have to leave for dinner and New Year's celebrations with our good friends Barbara & Paul. Both kids are coming for dinner, but then leaving for their own parties with friends, which I am a little sad about...harbinger of an empty-nesting future trend that I am not looking forward to. But good food, company and fireworks on the agenda for tonight anyway, and tomorrow is the last day of vacation, so I plan to spend it being a total slug! Happy New Year!
I'LL BE HOME
My husband, who has been working in the garage for a few hours, came in to the kitchen while I was preparing a plate for my dinner (both kids are out tonight). "Oh, is it still leftovers?" he asked. I gave him the hairy eyeball. Has he not looked in the refrigerator?? We have enough food to feed an army for a week. So, yes, leftovers again. Not that I'm complaining since I only get turkey sandwiches twice a year!
We had a major wind storm through southern Sweden last night (it was named Urd, which seems...odd, since that is definitely one Swedish name I have never 'urd of). Winds shook the house all night and howled through the trees. There was flooding along the coast, both in Malmö and even up in Gothenburg, plenty of trees down, and over a thousand people without power...thankfully not us.
I know I should have said more about this BEFORE Christmas, but because it was a Christmas gift, I couldn't really do it then, though I'm sure my family all had an idea of what was coming :) haha! I finished my cookbook project at the end of October and sent it to print. It was my present to my family members and some friends as well, and was very well-received, which made me happy since it was a real labor of love! If you would like to order a copy, let me know and I'll send you the link. You can buy it at cost (I don't make any revenue from the sale).
We bought a third car today. Used, for only SEK 1500. It's a 2003 Peugeot 206 and it's a manual drive. Anders bought it so that the kids can practice driving stick. They'll have to do it with him, though, as my driver's license is only for automatic cars! Heh. He asked if I wanted to re-learn how to drive stick and re-take my license but I said, "Nah, I'm good." It looks basically like this
but in much worse condition. In fact, it has körförbud
(driving ban) as it didn't pass inspection and needs brake work and new lights and god knows what else. But Anders figured spending a couple of thousand on parts and fixing it up would be worth it. And then we'll have an extra car for the kid(s) later once they (or she) has their (or her) license(s)!
I am reading Franny and Zooey
which I managed to never get around to back in high school or college. I DID read Catcher in the Rye
at some point, but didn't like it. Franny was listed as an influential fictional female heroine in a book I read not too long ago, and it intrigued me enough to put it on my list. My mom got it for me for Christmas and so far it seems to be a short, zippy read.
Tomorrow, the kids and I are going to see Benedict Cumberbatch play Hamlet
with my two best friends and their entourages (we are 10 people altogether). It's at least 3 hours and then we're going to dinner at an Asian buffet place (no leftovers, ha!). I need to get the AWC website finished and published, will work on that now, and then I'm going to take it easy for the rest of this kid-free evening!
HO HO HO
I actually had to roust both kids out of bed today at 10 a.m. with Christmas carols on full blast, since there was no sign of either one of them moving, despite Karin's threats last night to wake us up at six a.m. HA. Teenagers are lame. It rained all day today...super boring weather for Christmas except for the fact that water drops hanging from the honeysuckle creepers looked like diamonds.
Two days ago was my mother-in-law's birthday; she turned 88. She had a knee replacement operation a few weeks ago but is home and recovering well, despite still having a lot of pain. Yesterday we had Swedish Christmas Eve at Anders' sister's home. She and Anders had divided up the traditional julbord food and they each outdid themselves providing a fantastic meal. Anders even made meatballs with moose meat! We watched the Disney special Kalle Anka
(Donald Duck Christmas Disney Special from the 60s) that half the population sits and watches for an hour every Christmas Eve. Even after this long in Sweden, I still roll my eyes at this particular tradition. I could understand it when our kids were all small, but the youngest one there now is Karin and she's 17 and a half!
After I got the kids out of bed (Anders was already up), we opened our stocking gifts, then everyone showered and dressed, and we opened the rest of the presents under the tree. Martin's big gift this year was a new lens for the camera he got for graduation. Karin received a Polaroid camera which made her SO happy and a printed-out copy of the ticket to the Emmaboda music festival next summer that we actually purchased back in October. Anders got me a beautiful necklace from Pandora as well as a couple of the things on my wishlist that I really wanted, and he got special Norlan whiskey glasses
and a set of drawing plans to build his own kayak, which he's been wanting for some time. Of course, that probably means that nothing else will get done around the house for the next six months, haha!
He spent the rest of the day cooking and we sat down to a lovely American Christmas dinner of turkey with all the trimmings. His mom was originally going to come for dinner but after yesterday's festivities, she decided to take it easy today, which is too bad for her because she missed out on this:
I made a spice cake and then glazed it with powdered sugar frosting and garnished it with dried cranberries, frozen lingonberries and silver dragées. It looked beautiful and it tastes fantastic! However, since we have eaten so much this weekend, no one really wants a ton of cake and I might have to freeze some of it. Still, a keeper idea for dessert!
We talked to John, Simone and the boys yesterday on Facetime since it was Jakob's birthday (3!) and I'm planning on calling my sister after I get done posting this. I talked to my mom a couple of days ago and I know she is taking my grandma to my cousin's home today so not sure I'll be able to get her until tomorrow.
It's so nice to have Martin home again! He and I finished watching Westworld
and plan to rewatch Sense8
this week. He had a great time on his trip and now has to buckle down and get going on college applications and jobhunting again. :) No rest for the weary!
I am really looking forward to this week off (even though I do actually have to do a little work one day). I have a few plans: dinner with friends, getting Barky taken care of, and going to see the National Theater production of Hamlet
with Benedict Cumberbatch, at the movies with my two best friends and a pile of teenagers who won't appreciate it. :D And then nothing until New Year's Eve with our friends Barbara & Paul. And the week after that is a short one, so a nice soft end of this year and a nice soft start to the next one. And the light has started returning, too! Hurrah for that!
EK FAMILY CHRISTMAS LETTER
Every year I am amazed again at how fast 365 days can pass. Here it is, the end of 2016 and Christmas is upon us once again! We’ve had a busy year with many celebrations in it and lots of traveling. There were some major milestones, and some big birthdays as well.
Anders has had a great year of mountain-biking, participating in a series of X Cup tournaments as well as doing the Cyckel Vasa for the first time, which is a race on the same track that the Vasaloppet Ski Race takes place on. His job has taken him to Italy multiple times, as well as Shanghai, so he’s done a fair bit of traveling during the course of the year.
In June, Liz and Anders celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary and had a lovely dinner at the newly opened Gastro Gaspari in Flyingeby. And Martin graduated from high school! He is now a certified diploma-carrying International Baccalaureate graduate. We celebrated his “Studenten” with a big party in our backyard with friends and family. And July was packed with fun things. We left on the 1st and landed on the east coast of the US for a week at Liz’ sister’s home in Connecticut. Our good friends Kathey and Russell joined us and we had a fantastic week, spending a day in Boston, a day in New York City, a day in Hartford and a real American 4th of July which included a picnic in the park and fireworks. The rest of the week was spent shopping, hanging out and enjoying each other’s company.
We then headed to Michigan, by way of 1 night in New York with Aunt Joanne and arrived at Liz’s mom’s on the 8th of July, the day after Liz’s brother John and family had arrived. Sarah and her kids came the day after we did, and it was a full house in the best way. So fun to have the whole family gathered together! During the month, we celebrated several birthdays: Sammy turned 5, Karin turned 17, 2 of Liz’s cousin’s kids had birthdays, and Liz’s mom turned 75. But the big birthday was part of a family reunion which snowballed from a small get-together into 63 people at the house for 3 days straight...
Liz’s grandmother turned 100 and we had 3 days of families parties to celebrate. We started with a memorial service for Liz’s Uncle Sam in Bad Axe and then had 2 days of fun and food with relatives from all over the country. Thanks to the generous use of a friend’s beach house, we had plenty of time to relax and enjoy our family and the kids. Our family went up to Traverse City to spend a couple of nights with Aunt Judy and Liz’s college roommate, and Liz, Martin and Danely took a day trip to MSU to tour the campus (and meet up with a friend from Sweden).
Martin got a couple of part-time jobs after our return, working at a café and tutoring kids. He has started the application process for 4 colleges in Michigan that have programs he is interested in, and then, on Halloween, he left for 7.5 weeks on his post-graduation trip. 6.5 weeks in Peru with his best friends Claudia & Frida, and a week in the US visiting a friend and spending a few nights with his grandma. He won’t be back until December 20, just in time for Christmas.
While he was gone, Anders, Liz and Karin went to Berlin for 4 days, sightsaw everything possible and even got to meet another one of Liz’s cousins who lives there! Karin has also been working, both continuing her soccer referee work and a new job as a telemarketer. Her junior year of high school is going well, especially since she’s got a much easier schedule than last year! She has also done some work acting, as an extra in a short student film and in a product launch video for Liz’s company!
Here’s hoping your holidays are filled with love, laughter, kindness, NO political wrangling, and hope for a peaceful and positive 2017.
Link to photos PDF: www.lizardek.com/lj_images/xmaspics_2016.pdf
Liz, Anders, Martin and Karin
IT'S ME AGAIN
You know, I had seriously good intentions to post more often this month, since I was so
lame busy in November, but it appears that I am paving the road to blog post hell instead. I hate just writing catch-up posts of what I've been doing, where I've been, why I'm absent, because who cares, really?
I know I have a few faithful readers, but I really wonder if anyone is REALLY following this journal anymore. I don't know that I would be, if I were you. Though it's not like there are a lot of bloggers left to follow anywhere, anymore, and I'm certainly not one of the interesting ones these days!
Martin has been gone for 7 weeks. He comes home on Tuesday, assuming that my mom and uncle can get him from Michigan back to Toronto in the expected snowstorm that is heading their way. If his flight is cancelled or delayed, it might be an extra day before he makes it back, so we are holding thumbs that the weather is not as terrible as predicted and that they don't have any problems, either driving there or his flight actually departing on time.
We are ready for Christmas: the tree is up and decorated (since last week) and I went Christmas shopping today and made a huge dent in my list. Just have a couple of things left to get, not sure if I will do that tomorrow or wait until after my vacation starts. The kids and I are planning to go see the new Star Wars movie on Wednesday (Martin already saw it in Detroit, but wants to go again with us) and we have our plans for Christmas Eve at Anders' sister's home in place including the list of the food we are responsible for.
Karin crashed her moped last week; nothing serious, but her phone call scared the crap out of me until I figured out that she was fine. I've been dreading that call since she started driving 2.5 years ago. She slid taking a corner on black ice, and ended up with the moped sliding on its side, though she managed to push it away off of her. She was still banged up and stiff and sore all week, but thankfully unhurt in any serious way. The moped is "crooked" but Anders thinks it's fixable, thank goodness. She relies on it so much, so it would be hard to have it out of commission completely.
Anders and I have been binge-watching Bron (The Bridge), a Swedish police/detective series. He started watching it a couple of weeks ago, and I got hooked by the 4th episode, just from watching bits and pieces as I came and went around the house while he was watching. We totally missed the hype around this one, even though I remember my colleagues all talking about it at work when it first started airing several years ago. I don't usually like crime-murder series at all but this one is SO good, so well-done and with characters that you come to deeply care about despite their many human flaws...or perhaps in spite of. Now we are done and have to wait an entire year until season 4 starts airing in January 2018: AUGH.
Choir is over for the year, and I'm quite sad about it, because our two excellent choir leaders have stepped down and won't be returning at the end of January for next year's spring term. I hope they can find a replacement (or two) that are as good, but after having been in choirs since I was 13 years old, I know how rare their particular kind of talent is.
However, a group of women at the office, me included, have signed up to sing in a Gospel concert that is taking place in Malmö at the end of January. I wouldn't normally be interested, since I'm not really into gospel...and not at all religious, but I got a bit railroaded into it by their enthusiasm. :) Anyway, we got the music CDs a week ago, and I am memorizing the alto part by listening to it over and over in the car (it is only nine songs). And Karin, who has been riding to and from Lund with me several times this week ALSO has three of the songs memorized so we sing them together VERY enthusiastically any time we are in the car now, to our own mutual hilarity. There are going to be 1000 choir singers altogether along with several solo artists from the US and the colleague who did this same event last year swears that it is SUPER fun. I've been involved in this sort of multi-choir event a couple of times before (though never gospel) and it IS a lot of fun, so I'm looking forward to it even though it kind of pains me to be singing such super-religious songs. Heh.
What I'm wishing for, right now, and for Christmas, is a little snow to lighten things up. It's SO DAMN DARK. Dark all the time. Sigh.
ALL UP IN THE BUSY
Oops, my crazy week got away from me and I had no chance to post anything. But! Everything this week has gone very well, and I am here on a Sunday feeling pretty good about things. Christmas cards are all mailed as are the overseas packages, and I ordered my niece's birthday presents today (though they will be late). I'm ordering Christmas gift and birthday gift for John's boys in a few minutes and then all I have left are presents for my family (some of which are already done or ordered).
Anders' mom had knee replacement surgery on Tuesday morning and it went well, though she is still in the hospital. She had a lot of swelling and pain when we were there on Wednesday evening, but I'm hoping it's better now. Karin was there to visit her on Thursday, but can't go with us tonight because she's working.
Friday was my work Christmas party which was fun. I wore a sparkly black and silver dress that I haven't fit into in ages, and got lots of compliments though the truth in the mirror made me sigh. Still a long long way to go. Oh well, it's the season of plenty right now, and I'm doing my best to get through it with at least minimal damage. Or I was until yesterday, haha!
We had our annual Thanksgiving potluck and for a wonder, EVERYONE came, though we had a worry when one family didn't show up until 6 o'clock...which is when they thought the party started. We had all just sat down to eat when they arrived and they were SO embarrassed, but it worked out just fine. For posterity, I'm writing down the menu and who brought what because it was all SO SO incredibly good:
Liz & Anders: turkeys, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, spaghetti squash
Debbie & Ola: sweet potato casserole, black olives
Emily: green bean casserole with mushrooms and parmesan
Barbara & Paul: bread dressing, green salad
Suzanne: cornbread muffins, cranberry relish
Kelly & Jan: pumpkin pies with whipped cream
Helen & Mikael: choux pastry puffs with cream and dark chocolate sauce
Camilla: blueberry & raspberry crumble pies with vanilla sauce
We have a ton of leftovers, which also makes me happy and today I had a turkey sandwich for lunch, YUM YUM! haha! I managed to take zero pictures after my only "tables are set and everything is ready" pic...so once again I have no group shot of us with our guests. Drrrr..
Our last guest left around 11 and then the three of us kicked into high-gear clean-up mode and had the dishwasher running, everything put away and the tables and chairs folded down and stacked in about 30 minutes. It was a great evening. I have good friends and I'm so thankful they look forward to this get-together every year as much as we do! The only bummer was that Martin wasn't here!!
Today, we all slept in a bit, and now Karin is at work and Anders has already returned the tables and chairs. I've washed all the tablecloths and watered plants, and done some admin stuff. Anders and I are going to visit his mom at 5 and then Karin and I are going to see Arrival
at 6:40. Then we'll try to get a phone call through to Martin for our weekly call. I just looked at the calendar and this week is not nearly as hectic, for which I am everlastingly grateful since I'm busy all next weekend with choir stuff.
I just started reading Bel Canto which someone recommended to me ages ago (ozswede
?) and am already hooked in the middle of the first chapter. I hope it continues as good as it started!
Busy week, busy weekend, busy week, busy weekend...that's how the rest of the year plays out (see last post). I'm feeling rather accomplished, considering how much I have to get done. The house is decorated for Christmas (no tree(s), that will be in 2 weeks, most likely and I got the cookies baked for the cookie exchange on Tuesday. Had a lovely dinner with Debbie and Camilla yesterday and presents to be mailed are ready to go, and I'm finishing my Christmas cards tonight, so I feel like I'm ahead of schedule, yay!
The weather has gotten quite cold now, thought it's still fluctuating. I hope it doesn't snow though. Last year, it snowed like crazy this exact weekend when we were having our Friendsgiving and as a result, everyone left really early. This year, it isn't until this coming weekend, but I just looked and guess what's on the forecast for Saturday? UGH.
I haven't made it to a Christmas market this year, and I'm kind of sad about it, even though I rarely buy anything...they're just fun to browse. The one in Flyinge was LAST weekend (way too early) and this weekend and next are just too busy.
I'm both looking forward to and dreading different things about our Friendsgiving party on Saturday. There is some behind-the-scenes drama among some parties that I hope won't be in play during our dinner. And one person that I have a bet on with myself will call and cancel last minute.
Karin asked me to go shopping with her on Friday, but it ended up not happening, for which I was actually glad, since it was full-on Black Friday here. Why import the worst American traditions when you don't have to, and when the reason for its very existence is a holiday that doesn't even exist in Sweden?? I say, if you're going to have Black Friday, then you have to have Thanksgiving!
Anyway, I need to go call Martin and then finish up my cards before bed. Toodles!
MY ACTUAL SCHEDULE FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR
For my own logistical record-keeping, or just for posterity, whichever.
Sun, Nov 20 - laundry, house-cleaning, call Martin, write Xmas letter
Mon, Nov 21 - work, WW, start preparing Xmas presents for mailing
Tue, Nov 22 - work, hair appointment
Wed, Nov 23 - work, AWC website prep
Thu, Nov 24 - doctor appointment, work, AWC wreathmaking
Fri, Nov 25 - work, grocery shopping
Sat, Nov 26 - house-cleaning, cookie baking, dinner with D&C
Sun, Nov 27 - call Martin, call mom, start Xmas cards and finalize Xmas presents for mailing
Mon, Nov 28 - work, WW, finalize AWC website prep
Tue, Nov 29 - work, AWC meeting & cookie exchange
Wed, Nov 30 - work, buy turkeys, order tables & chairs
Thu, Dec 1 - work, choir practice, Christmas decorating
Fri, Dec 2 - work, Axis Christmas party, Danely's birthday
Sat, Dec 3 - Thanksgiving dinner potluck at our house
Sun, Dec 4 - party-aftermath cleaning, (?)
Mon, Dec 5 - work, WW
Tue, Dec 6 - work
Wed, Dec 7 - work, Martin's birthday but he's not here, boo hoo!
Thu, Dec 8 - work, choir
Fri, Dec 9 - work
Sat, Dec 10 - get Xmas tree, choir practice. choir dinner
Sun, Dec 11 - choir concert
Mon, Dec 12 - work, WW
Tue, Dec 13 - work, decorate tree
Wed, Dec 14 - work
Thu, Dec 15 - work, AWC bookgroup
Fri, Dec 16 - work
Sat, Dec 17 - Xmas shopping
Sun, Dec 18 - Xmas shopping
Mon, Dece 19 - work, WW
Tue, Dec 20 - work, Mikael's birthday, Martin comes home!
Wed, Dec 21 - work
Thu, Dec 22 - vacation starts!
Fri, Dec 23 - Anders' mom's birthday, Kathey's birthday
Sat, Dec 24 - Christmas Eve, afternoon & dinner at Maria & Mikael's, Jakob's birthday
Sun, Dec 25 - Christmas Day, dinner here
Mon, Dec 26
Tue, Dec 27 - AWC Glögg fest
Wed, Dec 28 - Hamlet at the movies with D&C and kids
Thu, Dec 29 - Hair appointment
Fri, Dec 30
Mon, Dec 31 - New Year's Eve party TBD
Feel like I'm forgetting something...
ALIVE AND WELL, WELL, AS WELL AS CAN BE, CONSIDERING
I've only posted twice this month so far, and to be honest, I haven't had the heart or the energy to post much more. I read the news every day and fall a little farther into disbelief and despair each time.
Anders came home late last night from 2 weeks in Italy for work. He worked today, came home, declared he didn't feel well, at which point all three of us promptly fell asleep on various sofas, and then he got violently ill. Then he told me he was freezing and went to bed. Not good. I really, really hope he feels better in the morning. We are supposed to go to a "100-year" birthday party tomorrow evening for 2 of our friends, a married couple, who both turned 50 this year. We haven't seen the gang of friends who will be at the party since June and if there is any chance that is IS the flu, we won't be going, since we don't want to take any chances on contaminating anyone else with it.
I miss Martin.
On Thursday, I went in for a diabetes checkup and am glad to report that my levels are still well below the danger zone and I am still diabetes-free, despite not yet having succeeded in losing the 3 kilos I regained this summer. It's a hard struggle right now with weight loss, as always. I saw a new nurse, not my usual doctor, and I was a bit taken aback to have her start lecturing me on what and how I should be eating, what to avoid, what I need to do, as if I had received my diagnosis that day instead of a year ago, and despite having taken immediate steps to handle the disease AND succeeding, in being declared diabetes-free in June. For everything she said, I replied, "I know."
"Yes, I KNOW." in increasingly belligerent terms. It was like she was talking to a 6-year-old child, not a 52-year-old woman who KNOWS, for crying out loud. I gave her a run-down of my daily menus, what exercise program I follow, the fact that I've been attending WW for over a year, etc., and she didn't seem to take the hint at all. I was barely able to stop myself from blowing up at her, because I didn't think she was being condescending on purpose, but geez freaking louise. Then she said, "well, I have to stick your finger to check your long-term blood sugar," and when I said, "but I was here last week and left blood samples" she was surprised...which made me suspect she hadn't even LOOKED at my records. GAH.
I have missed choir 3x this month because of being sick, going to see Elton John and last week for book group. I just realized that I'll miss it AGAIN next week because of the annual AWC wreath-making evening, which makes this entire month a wash, but not enough to miss wreath-making. AND I might miss it the first week of December as well, if the AWC julbord doesn't get cancelled. Right now there are only 2 people signed up, so it's a distinct possibility, but a bummer because it's a fantastic julbord. We have a choir concert on December 11, so missing all these practices is definitely not a good thing, if I want to be able to participate in the concert. :(
Martin, by the way, is having a fantastic time in Peru. They are back in Cusco, after having seen Macchu Picchu and he and Frida are on their own this week, as Claudia is at her grandmother's. They will join her in a couple of days, though, but then will be offline for 2 weeks, before heading back to Lima. He has been very good about regularly posting photos and messaging us, plus we've had phone/facetime calls, all of which helps keep me calm. He has also scheduled tours at 2 of the colleges in Detroit that he is applying to, for while he is there the first week of December. :)
Karin and I enjoyed our two girls-only weeks at home, though it sure went fast. It was fun to take her to see Elton John with me. She brought the median age in the audience down by at least 25 years, haha! She's spending the night with friends tonight and is refereeing all weekend at Sandby Cup.
I have to figure out what cookies to bake either this weekend or next for the annual AWC cookie exchange and what 3 kilos? Shut up. I figure I'll go with something quick, easy and festive. Maybe Rudolf Noses & Holiday Balls
(if I have enough red and green sugar)...I haven't made them since 2008, so that should work.
And the weekend after that I have our work Christmas party and then OUR Thanksgiving dinner...I do not have time for vinterkräksjuka, so Anders had better not infect me. And I still have all the Christmas stuff to deal with. AAAGH. But right now, I'm so tired that I feel dizzy, so goodnight, sweetheart, goodnight!
I can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn
bushes have roses.Abraham Lincoln
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