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Christmas Is Over

Well Christmas is over, at least for me. I put away the Christmas decorations that I had out and it wasn't that many. No tree. Bye Bye Christmas until next time! I feel a bit sad that Christmas is over.....too soon! I had a cozy and relaxing Christmas with lots of food, the only thing missing was snow. It's been raining a lot but there might snow here next week, at least that is the prediction for now. Well, it says "snow showers" whatever that means.



How are the New Year's resolutions going? Mine are going excellent!



I found something called Swedish Cream.....never heard of it before but it is delicious and addicting! I can eat it every day.



2020 Has Arrived

Well..... I think it is officially a new year, a new decade all over the world. 2020 has arrived. Perhaps it will be somewhat similar to the roaring 20s? I hope the new decade will bring more compassion and understanding to where it is needed, the less fortunate, the animals and nature. And more order in the world. If that is even possible.
I had no plans at all for last night. I went out briefly to a place in the neighborhood, won at pool (surprisingly) and headed downtown to the waterfront so I could watch some spectacular fireworks, or so I thought. Yeah Portland did not have much to offer in that department at all but instead I had a very nice walk, it was a beautiful evening and I was in good company. Went home and sat and read, relaxed and nibbled on food. Felt appreciative of my home. My first meal after midnight was a bowl of sauerkraut, I love sauerkraut.
Today I woke up from the sun peeking in through the blinds. A nice day unfolded that I have spent in calmness. To me the first day of the year is important. I want to be in a clean home with not a lot of clutter over from the last year and I don't want to do any errands, clean or anything of that nature.
I want to enjoy the first day of the year peacefully, eat good food and relax. I feel that the first day of the year sets the tone for what's to come.
So far so good.....
Here are a few pics from last night.
Happy New Year everybody! ❤️









Exploring Astoria & Seaside

I spent some time on the Oregon coast exploring the small towns of Astoria and Seaside. Lots of interesting history here. And many salty old men with long beards walking around.
Sacagawea, Lewis and Clark plus entourage made it to Seaside and saw the Pacific Ocean towards the end of 1805.



Peace and Friendship was mentioned, I think the Native Americans got the short end of the stick.



Seaside is a beach town with lots of touristy shops and restaurants.





There are lighthouses.





And a long beach.







The Grave of the Unknown Sailor.



The shipwreck of Peter Iredale that ran ashore in 1906, located on a beach in Warrenton. There is not much left of it.





The Astoria-Kegler bridge connecting Oregon and Washington. I think it's a bit scary to drive across it and there are people that are brave enough to bike it.



The bridge engulfed in fog.



I met a friend. Another alien.



Found a fly agaric.



There is a place in Astoria called Coffee Girl, go there if you ever make it to Astoria.
One of the original coffee girls.



I am a coffee girl too!



The Astoria Column. I climbed the stairs to the top and felt like I was going to faint when I stepped outside to look at the view. Worth going up there but I am scared of heights. Once it good enough for me.



The Underground Shops in Astoria - great shopping!



Somebody painted a painting of me. How nice!




Kachka

Birthday time (!).....again. Felt a bit melancholic about that today. Started out with a bath and a face mask around 1am, so I would go to bed nice and clean and wake up the same way. Woke up several hours later and went for a long walk with my babies, no matter what kind of a day it is animals always come first.
Had English Breakfast tea and crackers with very good cheese. If you are into crackers, try the ones by Raincoat Crisps, I really like those. Took a nap around 6 pm and woke up by 7. Got ready and went to Kachka, a Russian restaurant. Today I wanted my fave soup which is barszcz. At Kachka they have Russian style red beet soup and they call is borscht. Not as good as my Mom makes it but still OK. Then I had some cheese dumplings. The portions were too small for my taste, I like food and I want to feel satisfied after eating a full meal at a restaurant. And for dessert a nice glass of black tea and some cookies. I was very pleased with the tea. Served in a glass with thinly sliced lemons on the side and sugar. That is how I remember tea from my childhood.





Then it got late and it was time to make it home. Felt a bit of melancholy still.....it has to do with that time goes by so fast. And birthdays are a reminder of that.

Calm

It is the night before Christmas Eve and it is so calm outside, the fog has wrapped itself around the homes where I live. I am inside with Tomten.



Foggy nights remind me of a picture in a book, a picture that I have remembered since I was a child. My Mom gave me these four books when I was around six years old. Books about words, each Swedish word has the English translation. I used to spend hours looking through the pages in these books, learning the English words and I got lost in my imagination while looking at the pics. I loved these books and I still have them.



These two pics kind of etched themselves into my brain....a foggy mysterious night and a calm night.





Secret Santa

First of all Happy Winter Solstice!
So last night I was at work and we did the Secret Santa thing. To understand what to get for each other we were asked to write down our likes and dislikes. I actually said that I didn't need anything and wrote down more general stuff that you can't really give as a gift. You technically could but we agreed on not spending more than around $50, which is reasonable. It's not like I am expecting to get a random live animal or several Rolfing (also known as Structural Integration) sessions or a ticket to Burning Man. The things on my list are things that I like mixed in with a splash of humor (of course). Ohhhhh and I wrote that I dislike men. Because yes, in general I do.





Since the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show was cancelled this year I decided to bring a little Victoria's Secret to you. I wore this teddy from Victoria's Secret for the first time.....(teddy is such a weird word for lingerie but whatever).





And in case you are looking for a very yummy perfume for yourself or a special lady in your life, I have a "new" scent. Decadence by Marc Jacobs. It is not my fave perfume but I would never waste my favorite perfume at work.



Raining

It's been raining for two days in a row stop. There is not much to do than to hibernate inside. And I am really good at doing "nothing". In the end nothing usually means reading, maybe writing something (here), going through and organizing my stuff and cleaning. Cleaning is great therapy.



Another clever post by exotic.cancer on Instagram.



Spirit Of Christmas

Are you feeling the spirit of Christmas yet? I'm like....meh. It's raining every other day here, no snow....I definitely do not feel Christmasy at all, although I did hang my very colorful wreath on the front door today. The tree is still in its box and all the Christmas decorations are boxed up as well. I have a gnome out....that's it. I have a plastic tree, no cutting down trees only to discard them later for me. Poor trees! I feel bad for all the trees that get used and abused every year. I've had the same plastic tree for over ten years.....works for me.
Today my plan was to go and see the Lucia celebration at a church downtown. We celebrate Lucia in Sweden on December 13 every year, it's an old tradition and today there was going to be a traditional Swedish Lucia event here in town. Glögg was going to be served and Santa promised to show up, well I love glögg and I like Lucia so I had planned on attending. Once I got to downtown I could not find parking, I did not want to pay for parking either in some overpriced parking garage. I ran inside and took a look at the event 10 minutes before the scheduled start and I just felt cranky, I did not want to sit at a hard bench for almost two hours and then feel crammed like a sardine in a box while trying to get a small cup of glögg with everybody else. So I left. I have my own glögg at home anyways......That was my Grinch moment of the day.
Now I am home, on the couch eating chocolate, feeling cozy and lazy. I freakin' love my couch.
This was my latte the other day....very much in the spirit of Christmas.



12:12 A.M. On The 12th Day Of The 12th Month

From the The Old Farmer's Almanac...."Technically, the full Moon reaches peak fullness at 12:12 A.M. EST on the 12th day of the 12th month."
The last full moon of the year! And next year is 2020! Do you remember when you were planning on what to do on New Year's 2000? Wondering where you would be then? 2000 seemed so far away. It was a big deal then and that was 20 years ago! 20 years that went by so fast now that I look back at it....like all those years just flew by, scrambled together and it's all in the past, consisting of many memories. When you are in the middle of something, especially something difficult or something painful that hurts your heart and soul then it feels like it's never going to end. And then it's over.....all in the past.
I went and looked at the last moon of the year tonight. Thinking about 20 years that went by so fast and how strange this journey called life is. A bittersweet feeling....because one day life as I know it will be over and it will go fast.





Thanksgiving

Woke up around noon and went downtown Portland, super thankful that Stumptown Coffe was open until 3 PM so I could have a latte. Stumptown lattes taste great.
Cheers!





Went to Powell's Books, a wonderful place where you can immerse yourself in the world of books for hours.



This resonates with me.....



And this is so me.....



Later on it was time to eat. Potatoes.....best thing ever?!



Warm pecan pie with vanilla bean ice cream and a few games of backgammon.



It was a nice Thanksgiving.