Saturday, December 24, 2022

Act II


 Sitting on the toilet in the powder room I examine my life choices, the usual ones, the cliche ones. Where things went wrong, what I could have done differently, would it be unethical to call in a plumber when 2 out of 3 people in the household have covid?  My inner amateur ethicist pondering things in the powder room concludes it would be extraordinarily wrong, so I grab a plastic shopping bag saved for some purpose if not exactly this one, thank god that I don't have loose stools, and wrap up the excrement as though I'd been cleaning up after a dog. I am the dog. The upstairs toilet is fine, but we're leaving that one for Dan in isolation who I'm sure lacks the skill required to shit in a plastic bag. Teenage boys aren't the tidiest at the best of times.

I had tested clear of covid for two days before it came roaring back with a positive test again. Oh well, no chance of salvaging a family dinner for Christmas now, so we're going to Zoom from our respective isolation rooms. After a week spent at home I was really looking forward to getting outside for a bit, but obviously I'm not going to do that as I'm contagious again and need to quarantine for another 5 days. Not that anyone's doing that, but yeah, I'm not going to willingly subject someone else to this. Did a completely worthless telehealth that ended with the helpful advice to go to the hospital if I feel worse. The nurse didn't think it was a rebound infection, but she has a script to follow. It is a LOT less rare than initially thought. I feel worse. So. Much. Worse. I thought the point of telehealth is to help you avoid the hospital? I'm not keen to sit in a waiting room for hours and pick up flu along with the covid. Fingers crossed the antivirals do their job.

Well enough of that. I can't even remember where I left off because the month has been a blur since the oral surgery, covid, etc. So I'm going to do a photo heavy post if I can. For some reason half my outfit posts went missing when I tried uploading them to the computer from my phone. 

I had Dan come downstairs masked up for a photo-op with his Birthday cake before sending him back to his room with a slice. Yes, that's another Birthday Onion. Last year's onion lasted 8 months, and the onion from his half birthday is still alive though sprouted, so I suppose that makes this a tradition. What did you think I was going to do, buy him, a car?

Jokes aside, when he's well we have a date to buy him some proper shoes that he can take care of and with the occasional re-heeling should last him years. He can't go out into the world in a pair of Nikes. I thought a good pair of shoes and a belt would be ideal for an 18th birthday, and he agreed. 

The cake is decorated with cookies to represent all the novelty cakes over the years. Tractors, Monopoly, a Million Pound Shit Hammer (Hunter Thompson's phrase, not mine), a mug of root beer, Mask of Agamemnon etc. Edible food markers made decorating a breeze. 

These are kichels, a sort of puffy egg cookie. They're somewhat plain, but delicious with a cup of tea. Our neighbourhood bakery when I was a child always had these, and very occasionally my mother would let us buy the ones with sugar on top. I made both so the diabetic could have some. Speaking of diabetic...
A diabetic friendly stollen made with stevia sugar. They both said they couldn't tell a difference, so that's a success. Still bread with fruit though, but OK in moderation. Stevia has a mild licorice taste that some people find unpleasant but no issues with it here. The flavour fit right in with the rest. 
I cooked exactly one potato for Hanukkah. I'm glad the pancakes turned out well even if there were only a few. Definitely not diabetic friendly, so we went with moderation. Also, I was too sick to be standing and frying things.

Better look at the cake.

Mr. Monopoly and Gort from The Day the Earth Stood Still.

At some point earlier in the month I made a cabbage stuffed with mushrooms.

Bit of work getting the whole cabbage steamed first, but otherwise a straightforward thing to make.

Sliced view. I'd definitely do that again.

Staying with the theme of vegetables cooked whole, this was a curried cauliflower.
That was fun as everyone just served themselves from the platter. I'd make that one again as well. 

 Tofu with mushrooms, spinach, and yellow potatoes

Pulla buns. I have 2 dozen in the freezer for future breakfasts. Bake once, eat all winter.

There was a roasted lamb loin in there for Dan's birthday which he enjoyed even if it was eaten alone in his room. I neglected to get photos. 

Wonky mincemeat tarts made with my homemade mincemeat. It had been soaking up brandy since early autumn so it was time to bake. I only made a dozen mini tarts. 

There's nothing you haven't seen before, but I'll just post a few quick outfits I thought turned out well. 

Iliad print

The scarf

Teenage drivers, lol.

This was made for me in the 80s by an elderly neighbour. I cherish it.

Arthritis by the light of the laptop

Those could be tighter on the leg. Might try moving the buttons. Still need to be able to sit down though. Think they should be higher to the knee?

I probably wouldn't have been much help in the Women's Land Army, but I've got the wardrobe.

An unusual Lily Pulitzer skirt from the 90s in velvet.

Possibly my favourite tee shirt.

Whew, I think that brings us up to date! Most of these outfits never left the house, but I still like to get dressed everyday. Congratulations for making it through that post (or skipping to the end-I don't blame you a bit). I know there's some fun pieces here but my heart just wasn't in it this year. Hopefully that isn't too obvious. 

I wish everyone a happy holiday/day off/new year/etc. Wishing you the best in the new year.


Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas! I have been reading your blog for a long time and enjoying your outfits and also the things you write. I just love your unique style. I come from Finland and I was surprised to see pulla. Pulla is a Finnish word meaning a bun just like you wrote - but how can you know that? Best wishes from Päivi

Emily said...

That birthday cake is amazing! You had a wonderfully creative idea, revisiting all the cakes of yesteryear.

I recently learned that the French word for birthday cake is "gateau d'anniversaire." Right away, I thought of your son. You might say that he puts the "Dan" in "d'anniversaire."

Your cold-weather entrees look so hearty and healthy. I've never stuffed a napa cabbage before, and now you've inspired me to give it a try.

I loved all your outfits, especially the bright red jacket bedazzled with clear sequins. It feels so perfect for December.

Feel better soon!

bahnwärterin said...

not enough catching covid... eehh..??
so sorry for the technical issues - but please call the plumber. if you wear a mask and let him alone in the room it will be ok.
the birthday cake for dan is a full triumph - fabulouse thing!! the boy seems very happy with that onion :-D
i´m swooning over all your cooking and baking and dressing you managed to do!! must try that filled cabbage..... totally love the picture of you in fur coat and beret - beautiful and classy - you know how to do it!
stay warm and get well soon! xxxxx

Beth Waltz said...

Commenting as a third-generation plumber (obtained an apprentice license to carry pipe when I built my home), I urge you to call for service! Cite your "medical situation" and request a young, fully-vaccinated plumber to do the job. * That said, one might consider adding a layer of kitty layer to the bottom of the container and a layer of baking soda to the top...)

Others have been disappointed by tele-health consultations: A friend was told to "prevent children sharing toothbrushes...better to change them requently." I'm so sorry you have this frustration as frosting on such a difficult series of challenges. Kudos to you for fighting the good fight on the kitchen front -- that birthday cake! those homemade mince tartelettes!

I recognized the Iliad skirt newly paired with the scrlet Grecian scarf, but some of these ensembles were new to me. Especially like the Steampunk vibes of the cream puff-sleeved sweater paired with the velour culottes and topped with the perky hat. Just the thing for chilling on an Alpine resort patio drinking something steaming!

Mim said...

Aaaugh you are having a rotten time, and I heartily wish for you to have a much better time in 2023, because you definitely deserve it.

That cabbage and the cauliflower look excellent - I do something similar with cauli, but broken down into florets, I've never done a whole head. It looks really impressive.

Polyester Princess said...

I'm so sorry you're having such a rough time, and that Covid has come back and rung your doorbell twice :-( The plumbing issue sounds gruesome, so I do hope you're getting a plumber in regardless. It shouldn't be a problem if you're all being careful and masking up! Danny's 18th birthday cake is a triumph, by the way. Fingers crossed you're all better very soon! xxx

Vix said...

I'm so sorry that you've been so poorly, kudos to you for dressing up, looking fabulous nd co0oking up a storm in the kitchen.
I've made something very similar to that curried cauliflower before - yoghurt coated and baked? I bought one today, it's high time I made another.
Love the cord and Aran jumper outfit and always good to see the Iliad skirt again.
Here's to a happy and healthy 2023. xxx

Vronni's Style Meanderings said...

What a bummer you all being ill. I hope you are all recovering well. Your posts almost make me dribble over the lap top as the food looks so delicious. The stollen looked fab - ours is store bought and not started on yet! Loved the buns and I liked the look of the stuffed cabbage and curried cauliflower, too. Dan's birthday cake was a triumph!

Amazing outfits as always. The red maxi skirt outfit was brilliant; loved the black and white horizontally striped skirt and the lovely deep red two piece with the glittery trim on the back of the do have some amazing clothes and accessories.

Hope you have an illness free New Year!

Goody said...

Nice to meet you!
In the midwestern part of the USA we have people who's families came from Finland, and like most settlers they brought their food traditions which were quickly adopted by others. Easy to understand why people love pulla though-it is delicious.
Thank you for your kind comments about my style. Happy New Year.

Thank you. I really wanted to do something more elaborate for his 18th, but I also understand my current limitations (even before covid). I had bought him all these small packets of Belgian biscuits and chocolates as stocking stuffers, but the packaging is so cute I wonder if he'll ever be able to bring himself to open them?
Poor kid is spending his entire winter break isolated in his bedroom, but fingers crossed, touch wood, he's the only one that hasn't caught this bastard virus. He's probably looking forward to going back to school.

I'm now 14 days into it, still testing positive, and having awful symptoms. It feels like it will never end. The plumbing issue got better as soon as it warmed up-must have been a frozen spot in the pipes lowering the pressure. That toilet is against an outside wall. Anyway, thank you for your kind words. And yes, he really did love the onion!

The plumbing sorted itself out with warmer weather, so that's good news. The telehealth was a waste, and 14 days in, still positive tests, still coughing, still a blood oxygen reading between 92-94, I'm angry. Really, I'm not sure who I'm angry at (everyone in my husband's office?)but angry that I'm facing the possibility of being even more disabled than I already was because someone didn't think masks do anything and covid is no big deal, and they were tired of the pandemic. The three years we gave up just for this to happen so casually is really going to be difficult for me to let go. I know I will, but right now? Oh, I'm really pissed off.
I'll warn the family to stay away from my toothbrush ;)

Thank you. I know you've had a crappy year too, so sending you good wishes for 2023 as well.
The cauliflower was very easy to do-pretty much rub it with spices and bake it. I think I used a Meera Sodha recipe from the Guardian if you want to search it up.

Thank you. I guess this sort of rebound infection is common in people with compromised immune systems like mine, but the second round is definitely worse than the first. I haven't been out of bed for days. I AM getting caught up with blogs though, so there's a silver lining.
We have so many extra cookies left from decorating the cake (I made four of each just in case they broke, didn't look good, etc.) that he's going to be enjoying the birthday treats well into the new year. Those cookies keep practically forever.

I think this cauliflower was vegan, so no yoghurt. I can't remember already! I saw your post with all that great produce you brought home. I'm sure you'll do something great with it.
I'm definitely not getting dressed now, unless leggings and sweaters count ;)
Maybe I will snap some photos from bed for laughs.

Thank you. Baking is something that feels so satisfying where cooking dinner doesn't. I'm not sure why that is? Maybe because I do it less often so it feels special?

Sheila said...

I love the vintage "Happylegs" label! Your outfits are all great - I'm particularly smitten with the wide striped skirt matched with the squirrel tee.

I have not yet had Covid and I hope I never do!