January 26th, 2020



I was waiting for a friend of mine at the mall on Friday evening, sitting on a bench outside of the store we were going to the grand opening of. I had my phone out and was checking email or Facebook or something and I glanced up to see if I could see her coming yet. But coming toward me was Karin. My daughter. And I thought, "What is Karin doing here??" Only a split second later I realized it WASN'T her at all. It was a girl her age, dressed EXACTLY like Karin dresses, with the same shape face and the same hairdo (blond streaks up in a small bun). My double-take must have been quite amusing.

She was wearing a white shirt and wide black pants, a little short, above fat-heeled white sneakers with a camel-colored wool winter coat and a purse with a thick shiny black strap diagonally across her chest underneath the coat. I swear she was my daughter's twin. I didn't react fast enough to lift my phone up and take a photo and then it was too late; she was around the corner and gone. I texted Karin and told her I'd seen her doppelgänger and she immediately responded asking me if the girl had a nose piercing. "I wasn't that close to her!" I texted back. As if she would have known who it was if I'd noticed a piercing. Is my daughter's style a UNIFORM? Is it what all the cool twenty-somethings are wearing? haha! Maybe it was her evil twin.

Yesterday, Martin called me from the grocery store to ask me what else, besides artichokes, he needed in order to make artichokes for dinner. And how long should he cook them? I had a major flashback to the many, many phone calls I made to my own mother when I wasn't much older than he is, asking her the same kinds of questions. We didn't have Google then or smartphones, so calling my mom was always the best option: she always had the answers I needed and the time to give them to me, it seemed. She basically taught me to cook, by long-distance, since I was forever calling to ask her cooking questions. I gave Martin the answers and told him how to cook artichokes was in my cookbook that he has a copy of. He texted later to say they ended up not having them for dinner since they didn't think the artichokes looked that great.

Karin and I went to a pottery-painting class on Thursday last week that was organized by the AWC. I thought it sounded fun, even though I don't really need any more "things" ...I figured I could always give away whatever I ended up painting. Karin did a large deep-edged pasta bowl in blue blobs and speckled outside. I did a 3-tier candy/cookie holder in a rainbow of colors. It will be interesting to see how they actually turned out, since the colors darken so much after glazing.

Friday I took the day off, one of the compensation days for the hours I worked over Christmas break. The very first thing I did after I got up was to walk for 25 minutes...on my new treadmill! Anders had sent me an email at work the day before, with an ad for treadmills on sale at a store nearby and when I replied "YES PLEASE" he went and got one. They were a SUPER deal and the treadmill is wonderful: very comfortable and smooth to walk on. He set it up for me that evening, so I've been able to walk for 3 days straight and plan to continue at least 25 minutes every day that I can, either right after work, or right after I get up, on weekends.

I also found fabric to recover the dining room chairs with. I took one of the seats with me to the fabric store but there was nothing even remotely close to the pattern we currently have (thin stripes alternating in light and dark green and beige). But I found a gorgeous darker green upholstery fabric with a leaf pattern on it, and sent pictures for approval to Anders. He did, so I bought enough to cover all the chairs, plus 2 extra. Now we have to remove the staples from all the chairs, which is a major chore. Anders' dad staple-gunned the fabric to the chairs for us, and because the pattern was striped he was extra thorough to make sure that the stripes wouldn't move. There must be nearly a hundred staples in each of the chair seats, PLUS another 30 or so more holding a piece of "finishing" fabric over the bottom. Thankfully, Anders has a special staple remover for staple gun staples, but it's still a very manual job.

Anders and I are watching The Man in the High Castle (I am also, finally, watching The Crown) and are just in the beginning of season 3. I wasn't sure about it at first and honestly it took nearly the whole of the first season to really get engaged, but right at the end of season 1 the show went off the rails and now I'm obsessed. It raises all kinds of questions about hairy issues. And I am really waffling about what I think of one of the main characters who both needs to get what's coming to him and ALSO really needs to be redeemed. It's based on a book which I have never read, but might have to, now. Anyway, watching The Crown (while walking on the treadmill!) makes a nice change of pace from worrying about what would happen if fascism and Nazism won the day.

I initially watched the first episode of The Crown ages ago, and my reaction was "meh"...because I know the story. And I don't really care about the British royal family that much, but Karin wanted to watch it with me (she's since had her own "meh" moment), so I gave it another shot, and now I'm hooked, even though I still don't really care about the British royal family all that much. But I find myself Wikipedia-ing things constantly for BOTH these shows, so in addition to being interesting, I'm learning things I didn't know, and that's always a good thing, I suppose.

So, this has been a productive weekend and I have a crazy week ahead of me. The first AWC meeting of 2020 is tomorrow, including our annual media sale, and the trunk of my car is filled with ELEVEN large bags of books. How I'm going to get them from the car to the hotel tomorrow, and then all the leftovers BACK to the car is currently exercising my brain as the hotel is on a main road and there is no good place to stop and pull up near the door. Tuesday, I have to drive BACK to Malmö after work to drop off the books at the school we donate our leftovers to. Wednesday I am trying a new choir, and Thursday is book group (plus picking up the pottery if I can't do it Tuesday). And work is insane, besides.

Wish me luck and I hope to see you on the other side of the week!

*from I Do, by Edie Brickell & New Bohemians