Monday, 30 December 2019

Farewell to 2019

The remnants of Christmas are disappearing, though there always seems to be that one ornament that hangs around unseen until spring...I haven't found it yet.  Most of the clean-up is normal housekeeping with a few surprises.  I've washed all the floors on the main level of the house, and as I've swept/vacuumed before mopping I've found a few toys, a pair of little boy's underwear, and various crushed cookies and a candy cane.  Then there are those spills that seem to appear out of nowhere.  I can't blame them all on the young one as I know he doesn't drink coffee or diet Coke.  

I spent a good part of one day this week organizing my new laptop.  By setting up the two laptops on the table side by side, I was able to replicate the same folders and ensure I had the links I wanted.  I'm still getting accustomed to it, the keyboard has a calculator keypad on the right, so I tend to position my fingers in the wrong spot and end up with stuff I didn't mean to have happen.  But it's getting easier everyday.  It's basically just a newer model of what I had.  Best of all it has a larger screen making it easier to see my mistakes. :p

On Saturday I spent much of the day in the kitchen.  Another batch of buns was made, with half put in the freezer for later.  I started a jigsaw puzzle that I bought last summer - it has rows of various fabrics with sewing notions scattered about.  By Sunday I realized the puzzle is far too big for my small table!  I can't do it on the floor so all my work was tucked back in the box and I'll hold off until I have room for it.  A bit disappointing, as I was hoping to finish and frame it to hang in my craft room.  

I also played with the Instant pot.  Please bear with me as I've never owned a pressure cooker and this is rather interesting to me.  After reading the manual, I cleaned the various part and ran the first test, a water test.  I'd read a hack the night before that suggesting putting a few eggs in while doing the test.  The author said one might as well get something out of it.  In went four eggs and with a three minute cook and a natural release I had perfectly hard boiled eggs.  I had one for my breakfast and the other three were made up into egg salad for sandwiches.  Definitely no faster than on the stove but a good use of the test.

Later I pulled some chicken breasts from the freezer and partially defrosted them.  I cut the meat into smaller cubes, sauteed the meat for about 5 minutes (in the Instant pot), then added a bit of water and some BBQ sauce.  (Next time I'd reduce the water and make my own sauce but I wanted a simple recipe for my first attempt).  It took about 6 minutes on the pressure cook setting to finish.  Meanwhile I made Minute rice on the stove, and heated up some mixed veg.  In total it took 20 minutes from when I started the prep to when we were sitting down to eat.  Could I have done this on the stove in a similar amount of time?  Probably since I had cut up the meat and it was already partially defrosted  I suspect it's first real test will come when I forget to take something out for supper and need to get it cooked in a hurry.  The Instant pot also works as a slow cooker so I'll give that a try next as that is one appliance I use frequently.  If the Instant pot works well I'll give my slow cooker to D.  

Sunday I continued my housecleaning, then worked on the baby blanket and watched the international junior hockey.  Our Canadian team had a horrid loss to the Russians the other day, 6 to 0, as well as losing one of their top players to injury. In their game against the USA, Canada was down 5-1 at one point and came and won the game.  So I watched the Russia - USA game with interest.  I figured it would be a close game and it was, with USA coming out on top 3-1.  Canada played Germany this morning and came out on the winning side with a 3-1 score. 

 I managed to finish the baby blanket while I watched Sunday night football.  While I prefer our Canadian football (not soccer), at this time of the year I do pay some attention to the NFL.  A few years ago I was on a cruise ship in the Caribbean a week prior to the Super Bowl.  I recall laying out on the upper deck watching the playoffs on the big screen under the night sky.  That sure won't be happening in 2020.

The blanket turned out nicely though it sure didn't start that way!  This is a tiny piece of the yarn that it was knit with - each stitch is knit in between the little puffs of yarn.  Casting on wasn't too difficult but the first few rows were a bit of a nightmare.  I frogged it at least twice before I was satisfied with how it looked.  There were still bits of, what I'm calling, string on the edges so I crocheted a border using a similar yarn but without the strings.  Much easier!

My next project will be on the needles later today.  I'm planning on knitting a sweater for Eli for the spring.  While I'm working on that, the Instant pot is working on chili on the slow cooker mode.  Only time will tell how that works out.

I won't be going out this New Year's Eve. In the past Ial would have been at C & N's, but as they separated there will be no celebration this year.  Even if they were, I suspect it would have been suspended, as N's mom passed away this weekend.  It was a bit unexpected though she's been in and out of the hospital for nearly 6 weeks.  Thankfully, N was able to spend some time with his mom before Christmas.

I'll be back in 2020!  Have a great week everyone.


  1. Happy new year, Eileen. All the best, may 2020 bring great new adventures for you.

    And my condolences to "N" on the loss of his mother. Not a happy time there. Wishing him healing and peace, in due time.

  2. Sounds like a busy week. My house is super clean now and all the holiday décor is gone! I still haven't gotten an Instant Pot - not sure I ever will. I know they are great - but give me my old fashioned ways - stove and crockpot!!
    I will be here on NYE as well. Never go any where - too many crazies out there.
    Have a great week. Happy new year

  3. You are busy per usual. Interesting about the Instant Pot. I have been wondering about one. Will follow your trials.
    So sorry about "N" losing his mother. Any passing around a holiday is so hard for we are reminded each year.
    Have a great New Year.

  4. I cleaned like the dickens myself today. Everyone is gone and it took four hours but it's done. Glad the house is small. :-) Katie and I are just going to chill. Your knitting and crocheting...oh how I wish I knew how! You are so busy with so many things. I am too but yours are really cool! Happy New year my friend.

  5. I truly enjoy your blogs...they are an enjoyment to read.

  6. Dec. 31, 2019

    Wishing for you, and for all of us, that this coming year, is peaceful, and quiet, and joyous, and healthy.

    With gentle hugs...


  7. Happy New Year!!!

    I have an InstantPot as well and making a really nice pot roast is a breeze. Mashed potatoes work great as well. I haven't played with mine as much as I should.

    I will tell you that even though you can use it as a slow cooker, it does not work as well for that chore as the real thing.

    God bless.

  8. I can never trust quoted 'prep time'. It always turns out twice or thrice as long for me, no matter what.


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