Diary

Coffee Talk 11.29.20

Good morning on this last Sunday of November! I hope you had a good holiday week.

Even though we were alone, our Thanksgiving Day was oddly comforting. Maybe it was because I had very low expectations, but it turned out to be a really nice day. Everyone was in a good mood and hung out downstairs for a good portion of the day.

That may sound like an odd thing to be thankful for, but my kids are the ages at which they would generally prefer to be in their rooms… if they’re not out with friends, that is. And I know they were disappointed that we were’t spending time with any of our extended family, so I was pleasantly surprised when they treated the day like the holiday it is and hung out down here with us.

As for me, I did some early morning computer work while everyone was sleeping in, and then I went out for a run. I usually run a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning, but of course there were none of those this year because #covid.

So I ran my own. I set my Runkeeper for 3.1 miles and set out on a route that takes me over to my old neighborhood. It’s familiar and comforting in that way, but also hilly. Yikes!

I didn’t stop my Runkeeper app except when I had to cross a busy road or hop aside and wait for a passing car, so I was absolutely amazed when I got finished and realized I had averaged a 10:09 min mile.

These days, I can barely get it under 11 on most of my 3 mile runs, so that was thrilling! Maybe I will get my old mojo back eventually…

After that, I came back and got myself all gussied up, even though we were just having dinner with the 5 of us, and then it was time to start the food prep. Even though I did the Whole Foods thing, I still ended up spending quite a while in the kitchen.

I made French Onion Dip and set out snacks and apps to enjoy before dinner, and then I made that sweet potato casserole I keep talking about. (recipe below) Even though I reheated mostly everything else, it’s amazing how much time and orchestration it takes to reheat a Thanksgiving meal!

The verdict? The food was rather underwhelming, but I was still grateful I didn’t make every single one of those dishes. We ended the day by having another family over for dessert, so at least that felt somewhat festive.

When Friday dawned, we were up bright and early because I like to get my Black Friday Sale Guide updated first thing in the morning and the girls actually got up at 6AM to go shopping.

They got back around lunchtime, and we drug David out of bed and all went to a tree farm to get our Christmas tree.

That was a bit of a disappointment, as the trees had all been cut and were just propped up in a sad little arrangement designed to look like a field of trees. There were probably 10 families milling around and about 30 trees to choose from.

Okay, I’m sure there were more than 30, but that’s about what it felt like.

We made the best of it, though, and picked a tree that we brought home and put in the family room. We finally got around to decorating it last night, and I suppose it will do. It’s not the best tree we’ve ever had, but it’s not the worst either.

Hey, it’s 2020! What did we expect?

Okay, I have to say, the 2020 jokes are getting old. Sometimes things don’t work out perfectly. That’s just life.

Speaking of things not working out perfectly, I’ve jacked up my shoulder again. It’s the same spot I had the trouble with a couple months ago, and this time it’s even worse.

I felt it coming on earlier in the week, and stupidly ignored it. This time, I don’t know what I did to aggravate it, but I don’t think it was related to a workout because I didn’t work out this week.

My gut tells me it’s the same thing that caused that stupid hip/butt issue I struggled with for the first half of the 2020 — the ridiculous amount of hours I spend sitting at my desk during this time of year.

That issue started during holiday time last year, and I didn’t get around to seeking treatment for it until February or March, so it took a long time to resolve.

Sitting definitely makes this shoulder issue worse, and in a cruel twist of fate, so does lying down, so I get no relief when I lie down in bed and try to rest or sleep.

It occurred to me when it started to bother me on Monday or Tuesday that I should call the chiropractor who helped me before and see if I could get in, but I was “too busy.”

I didn’t have any idea it would escalate like this, but the next thing I knew, I was in the middle of a long holiday weekend with the situation intensifying and no one to call. I keep telling myself I just have to make it till Monday, but every day (and night) it gets worse.

By some stroke of good fortune, I just so happened to have a massage scheduled for yesterday morning, so I told my massage therapist about it, and she worked on it. I don’t think it helped much in the grand scheme of things, but it felt good.

She did confirm that I carry all my stress in my shoulders — she said I had like 4 or 5 knots in that area. Grand.

I’m just hoping the chiropractor can fit me in tomorrow, and that he can fix me again, so I don’t end up needing an injection or something dreadful like that.

Meanwhile, I did notice that it felt a lot better after running on Thursday, so you better believe I’m getting out there this morning for a good, long run. I’ve also been taking Aleve and having Paul rub an anti-inflammatory cream into the area a couple times a day.

I’m currently standing at the island in my kitchen, typing on my laptop, as this position seems to offer some relief. I guess this is how I’ll be working for the time being! I know the real solution is to stop spending so much time at the computer, and to move more… But that’s easier said than done.

Speaking of which…

I updated my Black Friday Shopping Guide this morning, with the latest promos and a few new sales too.

I listed the sales that are new to the page at the top, so you can see if there are any you want to check out in more depth. (Then scroll down where they are listed alphabetically with product picks and more commentary.)

Also, I wanted to tell you that Victoria Emerson has added a bunch of new styles, just this morning!

Two of the bracelets I couldn’t find on their website when I created yesterday’s post are NOW IN STOCK! (Sorry, for yelling, but I was so excited to discover this. I guess they sent me a few that weren’t online yet. #jobperks)

This is actually the Talca boho cuff… I had linked to the Bonn as a similar style. Both are gorgeous, but I know sometimes y’all want the exact one I’m showing.

And this one — the Bree is now in stock! I think this one is so different and pretty, with the animal print strap, and how the beads have a hint of pink.

Okay, and one more random thing I wanted to mention — this is a great weekend to order holiday photo cards.

I always order my holiday cards from Minted. I love the quality and the designs they have to choose from.

Right now, they’re doing 15% off everything or 20% off orders $150+ with free shipping; but historically, this sale does get better on Cyber Monday. It usually goes to 25% off, so I plan to order mine tomorrow.

You can get your design all set and ready to go today, save it, and place your order tomorrow. That’s what I plan to do.

Okay, so that’s about it for me. It’s in the low 30s here right now, so I’ll have to get bundled up, but I’m not missing my run today. I’m praying it helps me get through today and tonight, and that I can get into my chiropractor tomorrow.

Have a blessed Sunday!

Oh, and as promised, here is that Sweet Potato Pudding recipe… I wanted to get some pretty pictures and make a post about it, but that didn’t happen. So! Here it is…

Sweet Potato Pudding Recipe

  • 4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • marshmallows for topping

Boil sweet potatoes until fork tender; drain and mash. Beat eggs until fully mixed; add brown sugar and beat together. Add cooked sweet potatoes to egg/sugar mixture; then add cream, vanilla, baking powder, and cinnamon. Beat till smooth. Pour into buttered casserole dish and bake 400 for 15 min. Reduce heat to 375 and continue to cook for 30 min. Add marshmallows for last 15. Enjoy!

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45 thoughts on “Coffee Talk 11.29.20

  1. Hahaha! We usually buy a meal and reheat for Thanksgiving. I agree, it IS still a lot of work. No wonder the cooking has to start 1-2 days before. I hope you get you shoulder issue worked out. I’ve been having a thigh issue that seems to be pulling on my hip. Pain is no fun. The joys of getting older. Sigh

  2. Having your teenagers/young adults spend that much time with the family was a blessing.  The teenage girl that lives next door doesn’t join us for the bonfires any more; she stays in her room to read, so when we do get to see her, it’s close to being a miracle.  I am so very sorry about your shoulder.  My fingers are crossed that you can get in to see the chiropractor tomorrow, and that your run this morning, helped.  Following the guidelines of getting up from your desk & computer every 20-30 minutes just isn’t always feasible.  It’s mind boggling to think about all of the things that continue to be impacted by COVID.  And some of it is hard to grasp.  Have a blessed day!

  3. I’m almost 70 and since Covid I have been playing a lot of golf. And I mean a lot! Sometimes every day because, well, we live on 2 courses and it’s there! I use a tens machine on my aching feet while the husband uses it on his knees, hips & shoulder. Highly recommend it! I also have a cbd roll-on I apply every morning. Both of my children who are in their 40’s and maintain a very active lifestyle will be receiving a Theragun for Christmas. It’s pricey but many of my friends are singing it’s praises! 

  4. Check out Bob and Brad physical therapist on YouTube. They have great simple short sweet and to the point videos . I was having shoulder issues back in the spring . It hurt to even lie on my left shoulder at night, but a few weeks of their suggested exercises for rotator cuffs cleared it right up. I will be 54 end of December , and the older I get the more I have out of the blue where did that pain come from?! Yoga ( more like glorified stretching) really seems to help.

  5. Your tree looks gorgeous!!! Also – have you tried Voltaren for your shoulder? Over the counter – and is helpful. Happy Holidays.

  6. Your fashion blog is so fun and helpful!!
    I wanted to asked you your opinion about Baja’s. See them everywhere. Remember them from ages ago. I see some more upscale cashmere blend ones now that are pretty. But can over 40 pull them off???

    1. I had to google a Baja, lol! I haven’t really seen them around much but I think any age can pull them off. It’s more about if it suits your body type and personal style. I’ll start paying better attention and maybe I’ll find some cute ones in my travels. 😀

  7. Sorry to hear about your shoulder issue flaring up again. Yuck. Thats so hard during a busy holiday season AND in a pandemical world.

    Using a sit/stand desk is ergonomically healthy. There are actual desks, and add-ons that sit on desks. My company provides sit stand desks for everyone (though that is in the office, where no one is these days). I’d also recommend a microwavable shoulder heat wrap too.

    My Black Friday purchases were at Talbot. My husband works in bankruptcies, and said the parent company is purchasing Loft, Ann Taylor and Lane Bryant. All 3 will emerge from bankruptcy soon. Brand stability returns!!

    1. I have the sit/stand desk. I just get in the zone and forget to switch it. 🙄 Right now the standing desk bothers me too. My position at the counter with the laptop is different and seems to be ok for short stretches.

      Interesting about the Talbots parent company buying the Ann Taylor stores!!!

  8. Thanks for the recipe – sounds yummy! I like something like this as dessert. Sorry to hear about your shoulder, I know its miserable. Hope you can get in to the chiropractor tomorrow – they do work wonders! I tore a rotator cuff in a fall a couple of years ago. Two surgeries and months of PT, before now being back to relatively normal. One thing that really helped with my sleep during all this was sleeping in a recliner. Not ideal I know, but I was desperate! We have since purchased a sleep number bed with adjustable base, which is a God-send! Highly recommend! Wish we’d done it sooner. Prayers for healing!

  9. Oh – your sweet potato recipe brings back memories. I wonder if it’s a midwest thing? I grew up in Michigan and live in Washington state now and most of my western US friends have never been graced with Sweet Potato Pudding Casserole. I made something similar with pecans and brown sugar on top. Good Luck with your shoulder, I’ll be thinking happy thoughts for you. Cheers!

  10. I’m so sorry to hear about your shoulder. I know sometimes it seems having something never ends. It’s trying on you mentally. I know. I’ll pray for you today and hope you can get an apt. tomorrow. Thank you for sharing your sorrows along with your joys. I know it helps me not feel alone in my sorrows and we can all encourage one another. I was doing my bible study this morning and it was so encouraging to see that John dedicated his 3rd letter of John to his friend Gaius…..his encouragement to his friend. God must have wanted us to hear and take this to heart. We are to encourage one another. So dear cyber friend, hang in there. This too shall end. Blessings for your day and your weeks ahead. First Day of Advent season is upon us. Let us look for Him. :). 

  11. I have been having the thoughts of “when will this year end, and all of the bad things that have happened this year?” all morning, because my best friend called me at 7:00 a.m. with some horrible news. A family we are both very close to for 30 years or so had a horrible tragedy in their home. Their mentally ill adult son stabbed his mom and dad, killing his mom. His dad was rushed to the hospital for surgery and is going to make it. Their adult daughter is 2 states away and has COVID and can’t come yet. Please keep this family in your prayers. I still can’t believe this has happened. What next?

  12. I am looking at the VE bracelets and the Talca online has triangle shaped piece on one end. I don’t see that in the one you are wearing. Does yours have that? I’m wondering if the points on the triangle could be uncomfortable and prick the wearer! Thanks.

  13. Jo-Lynne. Is it just me or does the reply button not work?  I wanted to reply with it to Patt on the family tragedy she asked for prayers for but had to just send post this way instead. 

  14. Sorry to hear your shoulder is acting up again. I was wondering if you had thought about a standing desk. There are several types, even ones that adjust from sitting to standing. Since being on your computer much of each day seems a contributing factor, I think a standing desk might help you. Just an idea. Hope you get relief soon.

  15. Glad that you had a nice, relaxing Thanksgiving even though it is a bit different.  The sweet potato casserole dish looks terrific.  I make something similar but top it with cinnamon and walnut pieces and a bit of maple syrup.  May be a Canadian thing?  Thanks for the VE bracelets updates.  Added some to my cart using your link.  Santa may bring me a little something.  Sorry to hear that your upper Traps/ shoulder is acting up.  Being 40+ is for the birds….. everything starts to fall apart.  I feel your pain.  Hopefully you can get in to see your Chiro/ PT and get relief soon.  The Aleve is helpful; glad that running helps too to boost circulation to the area.  When the shoulder is less “cranky” or acute, ask your Chiro/ PT if they do shock wave therapy.  That can be very helpful to break down knots/ scar tissue.  More effective than massage.  Try a hot bath with 2 cups of Epsom salts; the magnesium can calm down spasm.  Don’t fear injections either….. They sound worse than they are.  They put on topical anesthetic and you don’t feel much.  But you probably won’t get to that stage; just saying in case you are worried.  I’ve been there, done that: not bad. Hope you get relief soon. 

  16. Pain when you’re trying to sleep is so annoying! Because of course your body heals/restores while you’re sleeping and you can’t access that healing! Have you tried dry needling with a physical therapist? It worked wonders for me. The best cure I’ve found for aches and pains is Functional Range Conditioning. There are some online programs but it’s best if you can find a local practitioner. https://learnmobility.samcart.com/products/blackfriday/. Best of luck to you and thanks for all the Black Friday (YAY!) research!

  17. Every week I enjoy reading these and say to myself, I don’t need to comment on all your coffee talk posts but usually have something I want to comment 
    First, I hope your shoulder feels better and that you can get into the chiropractor.  I hate it when a body part starts acting up.  It seems so easy for something to act up and takes so long to bet it back to feeling good.  They say when you run, your body loosens up so maybe that’s what happened.  
    I love your comment about the 2020 jokes.  I’m so tired of people lumping the whole year together into a big vat of negativity.  Everything isn’t miraculously going to be better once we hit 2021.  A friend and I were talking about all the great benefits from the pandemic…there a lot of negatives but also positives.  
    I’m going to check out the Victoria Emerson bracelet.  I usually pass them over since I see them featured on so many blogs, I feel like they’re a blogger thing but they are pretty.  Maybe a good gift for my SIL.
    And, thanks for the recipe!

    1. I am happy for you to comment on all the Coffee Talks! 🙂 Yes, definitely look at the bracelets – I know what you mean, when all the bloggers feature something it can be a bit of a turnoff. I even feel that way, ha! But I wouldn’t continue to work with them if I didn’t really enjoy them, and I think you’ll be pleased.

      And you are so right. It’s easy to fall into the habit of blaming all bad and annoying things on 2020, but life is just messy this side of heaven, and that isn’t going to change in 2021.

  18. Sounds like a lovely Thanksgiving.
    It is so nice to have the kids around. My kids favorite holiday was the year we were all snowed in @ Christmas…We had a blast! Ate leftovers, binge watched Netflix, talked, and I don’t remember a time I laughed more. We even had them for an additional night, the roads were such a mess they couldn’t go home.

    Planning to try your recipe.
    Take care of that shoulder. Hope you are able to get some relief.

  19. Thank you for your prayers, Jo-Lynne and Kathy. It’s such a horrible thing that we are having trouble processing that it has actually happened. 

  20. Hi Jolynne – my kids are now young adults and all moved away and guess what – they love coming home and hanging out with us (especially if I feed them) – so there is that to look forward to lol.
    Shoulder – I”ve had shoulder issues in past, 1st my right one and just when it started getting better the other one went – I also delayed for a long time, tried massage, chiropractor, advil, muscle rub – turned out i had a torn rotator cuff and none of that was ever gonna help – physio was the only thing…so try those avenues but if you don’t find relief fast – learn from me and get to the doctor for an ultrasound.
    THanksgiving dinner – here’s my less work suggestion so next time the reheating pre-purchased food isn’t underwhelming. Turkey isn’t hard – don’t stuff it and it cooks easily. Make your stuffing in a crock pot – you can have it prepared the day before and cook it then or just turn it on that morning. If you make turnip it also can be made the day before and put in a crock pot, make ahead potatos are also a thing. Yes its still work, but its homemade and can all be done ahead. No one in my family has stuffed a turkey in years since we discovered crock pot stuffing (and as an extra hint, whenever your loaf of bread is getting stale, tear it up and stick it in the freezer, just keep adding to it and when you go to make stuffing its all there waiting for you).

  21. Your welcome Patt. I can’t even imagine what the family and all you friends are going through. Can’t stop thinking about it today so good reminder to keep praying. Our sermon today was on prayer a section from James 5.  So sorry for this tragedy. 

  22. Good to hear that your Thanksgiving was a wonderful day. Ours was great and also small – just 6 of us- but I still cooked for two days straight! We just finished up the last of the leftovers yesterday and although it was all delicious, I’m so done with Turkey and all that! 🤪 We usually do a completely different menu for Christmas (homemade chicken empanadas along with my great-grandma’s recipe for pork pazole.) She was from Spain and the story was that she grew up making pazole each Christmas and passed the tradition down to her kids- one of whom was my grandfather on my mom’s side).  
    Sorry about your shoulder pain. Looks like you’ve been given tons of good advice and suggestions here. Maybe have a glass or two of wine to relax the muscles?  😊🍷🍷I’m sure the chiropractor will help you a lot tomorrow- fingers crossed! 

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