Day 251: Susie is 29 again

Zoom calls do not synchronize sound well. Today is Susie’s birthday, and I managed to connect with her aunts, uncle, mother, and sister on Zoom today to celebrate. Susie asked for carrot cake. I made one for her from scratch that was excellent. The cake’s spices are a bit more intense, and the roasted walnuts make it marvelous. I also made the frosting from scratch, and I discovered that the fresh-made frosting is lighter and fresher than what is used on store-bought cakes. I often scrap it off the cake. I had only a ‘5’ candle, but that worked–I did not have an ‘8’. I lighted the candle, and a completely out of sync “Happy Birthday” followed. Susie blew it out. I served cake for us here in the house.

Everyone was happy to have seen and talked to each other. I had to pull the curtains closed as it was oddly bright in Oregon today for folks to see Susie on screen. While we were meeting on Zoom, Joyce’s flowers arrived–Joyce is Susie’s aunt. We were able to show everyone the flowers via Zoom.

A huge balloon bouquet appears a few hours after the Zoom called ended.

Susie with balloons

Before the balloons arrived, we drove across Beaverton in Air Volvo to Dondrea’s house. I had bought a huge amount of spice that I had divided for her, and I had some books too. Dondrea suggested a book about the 1898 Chicago Fair, I read it, and then I had to know more and bought the original guides. I had bought two copies from eBay and AbeBooks–I thought there were different books, but no. She gets one for suggesting the story to me. I also had two copies of the Green Book (a reprint of a guide book for Black Americans in the 1950s on how to travel safely in the USA for African Americans) and included that in the books to give to Dondrea. The Green Book is featured in the popular book and hit TV series Lovecraft Country. I had bought the reprints and again managed to get two. So a spare to Dondrea. I also included my copy of Lovecraft Country I bought for reading on a trip–I don’t usually buy physical books. Finally, I put in some carrot cake and a recipe for German Goulash in the bag.

We pulled into the driveway, and Susie stayed in the car. I handed the bag of stuff to Dondrea. It was the first time we have seen each other since February! It was nice to see her and share my extras. We had masks, and we did not break our bubbles. We left after just a few minutes.

After we returned, Dinner was a German Goulash like strew. I add carrots, potatoes, and celery to the meat and onion recipe. I also baked this in the oven. I should have cut the meat smaller. We have enough left for a few more dinners!

Starting from the start, the morning began a bit late, and we had the Physical Therapist here at 11ish. She was delighted with Susie’s improvements in walking and spent an hour with Susie on exercises and checks. I showed the PT Susie’s skating video, just the short program, which I think made the connection a bit stronger, but we learned this was her last session with us. New procedures require a set of staff to be supplied to facilities (they have to be tested twice a week for Covid-19), and our PT, Michelle, is one of the people headed to facilities. The change is to make folks safer, but we will miss Michelle and will have to start again with a new PT next week.

In case I have missed this, Covid-19 really sucks! Lockdowns suck!

I have ordered prime-rib dinners for Susie and me for Thanksgiving from Golden Valley Brewery. Dan Gray had asked me my plan, and I thought about cooking, but plan ‘B’ was GVB. It is now The Plan. I am scheduled to pick up our dinner at 2:30 on Thanksgiving Day. Again, GVB has been one of my go-to places for this disaster. Thanks, Dan, for asking!

I am reading The Word is Murder: A Novel, Kindle version, of course. I like the new approach this novel uses to tell a detective story. The story is set a few years ago in London and written in the first person. The novel follows a writer who starts to tag along with a detective, one he does not really like, to tell the detective’s story and how the detective solves a murder. The writer in the book is a BBC writer, and the book purports that the writer writes for well-known shows like my fav Foyer’s War. The writer character in the book is trying to expand his writing to include real-world events. It is fun and dark and full of sidebars of what it is like to be a writer. So far, I really like it.

More than nineteen-hundred twenty people died from Covid-19 today in the USA.

I found a communion song that seems to fit the start of the holidays, Come Let Us Eat. This is Methodist Hymnal #625.

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