Two Weeks of Frantic Cookie-Baking

This year, I was in denial the holidays were fast approaching. Instead of starting my holiday planning and work-back schedule the first week of October, I ended up frantically scrambling in early November to get everything done. Thankfully, within a week, I determined what cookies we were going to make, shopped for the ingredients, and then on Saturday, November 12th, spent six hours making the doughs.

During the week, I made several confections, including two kinds of fudge, peanut brittle, mint bark, and rum balls. On Friday evening, November 18th, we drove up to Mount Vernon and started baking, completing fifteen batches of cookies by Saturday night.

This year’s sugar-extravaganza, much of which will be sent to friends and family, included:


  • Chocolate chip
  • Chocolate cookies with white chips
  • Oatmeal with butterscotch chips (and white raisins)
  • Candy cane crisps
  • Exotic spice (pepper, cardamom, nutmeg, rose water, etc.)
  • Cinnamon pretzels
  • Snickerdoodle
  • Spritz, white and green with mint flavoring
  • Cappuccino thins
  • Ginger coins
  • Biscotti with dried mangoes
  • Sugar
  • Shortbread windows with jam


  • Seven layer bars
  • Fudge with peanuts
  • Rum balls
  • Macaroons
  • Peanut brittle
  • Mint bark
  • Dark chocolate fudge with dried cherries
  • Coffee caramel

Two Thankful Cats, One Undecided

On Wednesday afternoon — our motor home loaded with boxes of cookies, holiday gifts and cards, Thanksgiving appetizers, food for a few days, stack of magazines to read, and three cats — we headed south to Oregon. We’d originally planned to take four cats, but as Rich was getting in the motor home, Lunetta leapt out, scampered up the fence, and scurried under the back deck. A few minutes later, she appeared at the French doors, and we let her back in the house, realizing she’s a certified fruit loop, and taking her “camping” wasn’t a dumb idea.

The cats who ended up going were two of the three MusCATeers – Pu’Yi and Zephrya – along with Lila, who spent most of the trip in the bed over the cab, and growling at us and the other cats. Because she’s all white, I believe she’s a secret white supremacist and doesn’t like associating with cats-or-humans-of-other-colors. If Rich and I were albinos with pink eyes and white hair, she’d find us more appealing.

Torrential rain was falling as we left, adding to the pre-Thanksgiving rush. It took nearly five hours to drive to Chris (Rich’s son) and Shawnie’s house in Camas, Washington. It usually takes around three hours.

After eating dinner at Red Robin, one of Rich’s favorite restaurants, we went back to Chris and Shawnie’s house and watched Bad Lip Reading, George Bush bloopers, Frank Caliendo, and Gordie Brown videos on YouTube. Fun!

We spent a restful night sleeping in our motor home (parked near Chris’ house), and then headed to my mother’s house in Sherwood (southwest of Portland). With time a premium, we got my mother up-and-dressed, and all three of us jumped in her car and headed to southwest Portland to see my best friend and pseudo-sister, Wendy. We had a great visit; Wendy is an amazing woman… gregarious, confident, industrious, self-actualized, and beautiful!

A few hours later, we once again piled into the car to head to Shawnie’s parent’s house in Dayton (southwest of Sherwood) for Thanksgiving dinner. We had a wonderful dinner before returning to Sherwood.

Friday morning, we did some errand with my mother. In between, I checked my phone. A temporary agency called to say I’d been offered a three-month contract for a job I’d interviewed for earlier in the week.

I debated taking the position in light of awaiting the outcome of three recently interviews for contract position (through three different agencies), and an upcoming interview loop for a full-time position with an exceptional company in Woodinville. However, after debating the potential experience, the clout of the group, and the likelihood the position would be extended to twelve-months, I decided to accept.

Stay tuned for details about the position after I’ve started working!

With a job offer under wing, we headed north to Skamokawa on the Columbia River. We found a nice spot at the RV park, and then pulled on some warm clothing to walk around the town, visit Redmen Hall, an old school and meeting house (beautiful inside), and bop into the general store for cookies and coffee. Later that evening, we made a second trip to the store for coffee… and a third trip in the morning for additional caffeine. Who needs Starbucks when you can fill our own cup with coffee and flavored creamers for $1.39?

Because we had planned to be back in Kirkland by Sunday afternoon, Rich had made plans to stay at Dash Point, just north of Tacoma, on Saturday. We arrived around 1 o’clock, made lunch, and then walked to the beach. Located on the Puget Sound, Dash Point State Park supposedly has 3,300 feet of shoreline. With high tide, it was more like a ten minute walk of accessible shoreline!

The rest of the day we spent reading, eating, and walking Lila and Pu’Yi… the later had earlier ran up to a large dog who turned out to blind. They merely sniffed each other, and then went their own ways.

With rain pelting down on Sunday morning, we drove straight home, only stopping for groceries. Once home, we unloaded and vacuumed the motor home. Rich then drove it to Mount Vernon, where it’s normally kept, and I stayed home to make doro wat, spinach and matzos kugel (recipe I found in a cookbook my mother just gave me), and potato salad (last of the potatoes from our garden). Yes, it’s a strange combination of foods.