Wednesday, December 22, 2021

One Year!

It's been one year since my daughter came down from Berkeley to be with me for the holidays, last year!  The original plan had been to return to Berkeley in early March because that's when her employer thought they would be able to move into the new office location and start working in person.  Then, the date to return to the office was moved back to the summer and to autumn and to January of 2022!  Now, it looks like she might not have to go back until February!  Having her home with me has been such a blessing!  I've enjoyed her company (not to mention her taking care of me when I was practically bedridden with sciatica pains) and I know she's enjoyed being home with Dancer and me rather than being cooped up in her tiny studio apartment!  Today, we celebrated one year of being together with a take out lunch from our favorite neighborhood Japanese restaurant:


Teriyaki Beef/Tempura Lunch Special

Spicy Octopus Salad

Tempura Roll

The teriyaki beef and tempura lunch special was for me (it comes with a serving of miso soup which is not pictured).  That is my favorite meal and my daughter teases me because I always order it.  There was enough food there for me for both lunch and dinner and I shared some of it with my daughter, as well.  She ordered the spicy octopus salad and the tempura roll (she had already started eating the tempura roll when I took the photo!) and she, too, had enough for both lunch and dinner.  This restaurant has been in the neighborhood for decades; they are a bit pricey, but, their food is good and anyway, we are supporting a local business.

I woke up relatively early, today (7:30 a.m.).  I said my morning prayers and replied to blog comments, etc.  Cousin V texted me to ask what my plans were for Christmas, saying she and her husband were going to her younger sister R's house.  Earlier, I had told V that I was not planning on going anywhere for Christmas, but, today, I texted her to ask if she was inviting me and does R know!  LOL.  She texted back that, yes, I'm being invited and R had asked her to reach out to me.  I called and spoke with R and I guess my daughter and I will be joining cousins V and R and their immediate families for Christmas dinner!  I offered to bring something for the meal and V immediate said to bring my cornbread muffins and a dessert!  I didn't join the family for Thanksgiving and I guess they missed my cornbread muffins!  LOL.  Cousins and families are all vaccinated and some of them have had their boosters.  I am still not 100% sure about attending the family gathering, but, I'll make the final decision on Saturday.  This might be the last Christmas when all the cousins will be together, since cousin P will be going out of state after Christmas.  

M came over to tend to the garden, today.  He did more pruning and clearing, today, but, held off on watering because the forecast calls for rain tonight, tomorrow, Friday, and Saturday!  My daughter served him a plate of food (leftovers from last night's dinner) to take home with him.  

Later in the afternoon, I called cousin P and went over to her house to give her and her daughter their Christmas gifts, early; partly because P is not sure what her plans are for Christmas (if she's going to cousin R's or not) and partly because her daughter won't be here for Christmas.  I also thought that this would give them enough time to pack the gifts in the boxes they are taking with them (should they decide to keep them! I got P a bottle of her favorite cologne and I got her daughter a book about finding happiness.)

I mentioned to P that I was waiting for the donations to be picked up, today, and she gave me two bags of items to add to the donations pile!  LOL.  I accepted them because I knew she didn't have time to call and schedule a donations pick up, herself.  Her daughter helped me to bring the bags over to my house and we left them on the doorstep with the rest of the donations.  Nothing made it inside the house!   The donations were all picked up a little later in the afternoon.  I have already decluttered my quota for the month (31 items), but, I will continue to declutter for the remainder of the month and then, start over in January!

I wrapped and tagged more gifts in the evening.   I am still waiting for a few more gifts to arrive and, in addition, I have about 6 gifts to wrap and tag!  I also need to make another couple of quick cards and embroider a couple of items.

Speaking of embroidery, Mary-Lou at Patio Postcards had posted a photo of her garden, back in August.  The photo featured a rose and a sign about gardeners knowing the best dirt.  When I saw the photo, it gave me an idea:

Embroidered Picture Gift

I made this embroidered picture as part of the gift for gardener friend M.  Fabric, embroidery floss, picture frame, and little ceramic flowers on the frame are from my craft supplies stash!  The idea, of course, came from Mary-Lou's sign.  Thank you, Mary-Lou for the inspiration!  

Later in the evening, I spoke with friend A who is now back home from hospital.  I am hoping to be able to visit her after Christmas.  I also called and checked on friend R.  

Today, I am grateful for:

- Being able to enjoy daughter's company for a full year!
- Cousins inviting us to join them for Christmas dinner
- Being able to see P's daughter, again
- Shipping and delivery services!
- Donations being pick up

Today's joyful activity was having take out Japanese food for lunch (and dinner) and wrapping gifts.

Plans for tomorrow include doing a curbside pick up at the fabric store (not for fabric, but for replacement blades for my rotary cutter and some clear elastic thread that my daughter wanted; she was able to apply a 20% off total purchase coupon on this online order).  Plus more gift making and wrapping, etc., too.  

How was your Wednesday?  Are you just about done with your holiday gift shopping and gift making?


  1. I can't believe it's a full year since your daughter came. But what a great thing it has been for you both. We are taking daily covid tests as our younger daughter and family are due to arrive tonight. But avoiding other family members who've tested positive for covid this week! Today I will return library books and also exchange gifts with Christine, my best friend for over 50years!

    1. We, too, can hardly believe it has been one year! But, we've enjoyed this year of being together. I hope you have a lovely Christmas with your younger daughter and family; I'm sorry you aren't able to have all your family with you at Christmas, but, they will be clear of all signs of the virus soon and you can get together with them, then.

  2. My garden thanks you for honouring it with such a beautiful handcrafted sign - I bet M the gardener is thrilled with it. I smiled reading that you & your daughter honoured your time together with a special meal. It is hard to believe how fast this year has gone.

    1. You are welcome, Mary-Lou and thank you for providing me with the inspiration! I'll let you in on a little secret - the reason why the sign appealed so much to me: some of M's garden clients work in the entertainment industry or are closely related to people in the industry (I often tease him about being the gardener to the stars); not that M is a gossip, but, he sure knows quite a bit of the best "dirt"! :D
      I felt we had to celebrate the occasion of my daughter being home for a year with a special meal! :D

  3. Wow, one year! I didn't realise it had been that long. What a shame her work isn't closer to home so she could live with you permanently.

    Your new Christmas Day plans with cousins will be something to look forward to. Are your cousins good at observing all the necessary safety precautions or will it be a bit of an anxious time for you?

    I do like your gift for M.

    1. This past year has just flown by, hasn't it? Yes, it would have been lovely if she had found a job closer to home! Our original plans had been for her to come home after she completed her Master's degree in Berkeley and find employment here, in Los Angeles. But, the place where she did her internship (as part of her degree requirements) created a new position and offered it to her, so she stayed on to gain work experience. It was supposed to have been for one year! That was back in 2016! LOL. She's still planning to come down, one of these days, she tells me!

      My cousins are not that good at observing all the precautions. So, it will be a bit of an anxious time for me (and my daughter). I'm still wondering if going is the right decision or not. My daughter and I will keep our masks on except to eat. I could also just drop off the gifts and the food, wish everyone and leave! Sigh.

      Thank you; as I mentioned in my response to Mary-Lou's comment, above, some of M's clients work in the entertainment industry so he certainly knows some good "dirt" (although he'll never tell!). As for the rest of his gift, I wrote in his card that he would have to get his own partridge, but, I will help him with the (Asian) pear tree! :) He's been wanting an Asian pear tree ever since I bought mine!

  4. So nice for you to have your daughter living with you for so long. The Japanese food looks delicious, I like Japanese food but have only eaten it when in London as my daughter-in-law is Japanese. I like your embroidered picture, what a great saying that is :)

    1. Having my daughter home with me for a year has been one of the biggest blessings during this pandemic. The Japanese food was very delicious. My daughter loves all things Japanese (enough to minor in it in undergrad studies!)
      It is a great saying, isn't it? My gardener M is also gardener to several people in the entertainment industry and, gardeners are a bit like hair dressers/stylists in the sense that they do know the best "dirt"! :D

  5. How nice to celebrate a full year of your daughter being with you and Dancer. Your embroidered picture is lovely. I hope all goes well for your Christmas dinner visit. Those muffins will once again delight the family.
    I've been up to the mailbox to put in a birthday card for DS as he won't be here until after his birthday which is next week. I still have some gift wrapping to finish and I have to get the mince pies made. My mother always said that every mince pie you ate was a happy month for you!

    1. It has been a blessing, Bushlady, to have her home with me for a whole year.
      Thank you; M certainly knows the best "dirt" if you read my response to Mary-Lou's comment, above! :D
      I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the Christmas visit with family will go well and there won't be any reason to regret doing so, afterwards! Sigh. My daughter and I will keep our masks on for as long as possible. By the way, I'll probably do a dump cake for the dessert! But, you already guessed that, didn't you? :D
      I'm sure your son will enjoy receiving his birthday card from you and no doubt you'll celebrate his birthday when you do get together, later. Yum! Mince pies! I haven't had mince pies in years! I had a good recipe for mince meat, too, but, my daughter doesn't like it and I shouldn't eat much of it, either, so, I haven't made any. Please have a mince pie on my behalf, Bushlady! :)

  6. Oh my goodness! That year has gone quickly. It will feel quite strange for the both of you when your daughter finally moves back to Berkeley. X

    1. I will miss her when she goes back! So will Dancer! He as got so used to her being home!

  7. Wow - an entire year has passed. I still remember when all of us blog readers were trying to help you figure out a way to get her home safely. And now a year has passed.
    Your Japanese carryout celebratory lunch looks delicious. (Is that a pizza box modified for the tempura lunch carryout?)
    What a fun gift to make for your friend M. I'm sure he will enjoy it.

    1. It's hard to believe that a year has passed, isn't it?
      Yes, the teriyaki/tempura lunch came in a flat white box which looked very much like a pizza box! I joked about it being a Japanese pizza! But, I love how they folded the foil to make little separate compartments!
      M's main gift was included in the card, but, I knew I had to make the embroidered gift the moment I saw the picture of Mary-Lou's garden sign! :)


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