Moving Forward

I had a good run of 21 years at my job. My furlough has turned into a layoff. I made many great friends in the 21 years who I will miss, not working with them. I will miss working with beautiful images and illustrations in my designs. I’ve learned so much from these many years with these people.

Hiking will get me through it

But I think it’s time. I was antsy throughout the leave, wanting to know if I would be going back or not. Being laid off is the kick in the pants that I needed to move on with my life.

The last 3.5 years has brought so many major life changes and I’ve been running with it non-stop. Now it’s time for me to slow down and think about what I want to do with my life and how to achieve it.

Lone torch ginger bud standing strong amongst the brush

The first thing I decided it to work only part-time 30 hours a week to be available for my parents when they need me. I move back to Hawaii to help them and with COVID, life has changed for them and they seem to need me more.

The folks with a mid day threat–ICE CREAM!!!

I need to prioritize my ever-growing To-Do list. That should be the top of the list. So many things I want to do, and at times it gets overwhelming. For now, I’ll make a shortlist of the most important things.

  1. prioritize my TO-DO List
  2. make a budget
My furry twosome kept me entertained.

My time off hasn’t been unproductive. Here’s what I’ve up to since August. I’ve been busy knitting, crocheting, jamming, and pickling Japanese-style.

Knitting and Crocheting


Pickling Japanese-style

A project I could finish . . .

I decided to knit a hat with one of the skeins from the goody bag I bought from Jimmy Bean Wool, Madelinetosh DK Twist Desert Bloom. All of my recent projects at are still on needles, mostly going backward. Lots of ripping out or total start overs, have made those project very boring. I need a break. I needed something to make me feel acomplished.

The pattern I choose was Amida from by Maiko Hikosaka. I wanted something easy-ish but cute (of course) and I like the graphic quality of the lines.

I realized from my recent projects there were many false starts. Cast-on, knit, find a mistake, read the pattern wrong, rip out mistake or total start over. This process may repeat a couple of times and this project is no exception.

To change this habit, I need to read the pattern really well, account for stitches in the instruction to make sure I understand what I’ve been asked to do. Every pattern designer has their own way of writing a pattern, and I need to read the pattern and annotate what it means in my own words. This is what a good educational content designer would do. I’m just lazy. haha.

Once I got this pattern in my head, it was very easy and the yarn was a dream to knit with. I took the project with me on my trip to Japan and finished on my first full day of the tour while on the train to the first trail.

now to weave the ends in

By the end of my hiking tour, I decided to give the hat to our tour leader. We had a conversation on the trail about Hokkaido in the fall and the winter. I thought she could make good use of it on a winter hike.

Here’s a preview on the my next project.
Pattern: Alicorn by Julie Crawford
Yarn: Lecce from, color: 412
Bought the yarn from Masuzakiya
Fiber: 90% wool 10% mohair
Cast-on: day 7 of the tour in the court yard of our inn.
Continued to work on in Kyoto. Probably use two skein (40g each) to get this done.

scarp yarn stitch markers to help me track my pattern

Mom and Netflix

I introduced Mom to Netflix about 3 months ago. I showed her all the Korean dramas they had. Well, that “sparked joy”.

The only problem–she doesn’t know how to turn it on. Mom is very unsure of the TV. She knows how to do the cable but to turn on Netflix, there are just too many buttons to press. She thinks if she presses the wrong combination it may blow up. So, my job is to turn on Netflix on and put it on the right program. I also help her select the new program by thumbing through each show for her to read the description.

Yes, I created a monster. But at least, she watches them slow one or two episodes per day. And Korean dramas go on forever (the first one she watched had 30 episodes), so selecting isn’t so bad.

Here’s the start of a new monthly feature called Cora’s Pixs. A summary of mom’s selection and review of the show she just watched on Netflix. FYI she loves the dramatic family dramas with a lot of fighting, screaming, and crying.

Mom’s Korean drama rating scale
  • This is so good!!!
  • It’s good.
  • Can we change to another one?

Heaven’s Garden
This drama is about a mom takes her two daughters to live with her estranged father that lives in the countryside after her husband goes to jail for bankruptcy.

This got a “This is so good!!!” from mom. It had lots of fighting amongst the villagers and family to keep. It also has an estranged mother comes back into the picture, gossipy neighborhood family, ghost and bunch of funny kids.

Immortal Classic
Two culinary families fighting to have the best chef and keep their kimchee recipe secret.

This has a mean grandma that starts the drama off the secrets and fighting, her new daughter-in-law who carrier of all the secrets, an evil daughter who may have murdered the father, another runaway daughter that was banished by grandma, and a goofy dr/chef “Cinderella” character. All amongst a group of handsome male doctors to calm everything down.

It almost got a “this is so good!!!” but wasn’t as good as Heaven’s Garden. Too many time period changes for mom to get top honors but still “It’s good.” plus.

This is it for now. More to come from Cora’s Pixs.

Recipe testing

I’ve been trying to get my recipes from my old blog here. I thought it would be easy to go back to my old blog to add links from old post. But I was NOT as organized as I thought. So I decided to re-recipe test the favorites and post them the recipes and my recipe page (which is n. Hopefully I can make update to recipe to make them better.

First up

Sweet Potato Pie using Mom’s Pumpkin Shortbread recipe. Here’s the link for the old post:

Mom’s Pumpkin Shortbread a is a creamy custard-y pumpkin pie with shortbread crust. It’s beloved by my family and friends who have made have tasted this recipe. It’s a staple at our Thanksgiving table. I usually make for Thanksgiving and share it with friends. My cousin is making it now for her family.

In my original post, I substituted sweet potato and baked it in a springform pan instead of a 9 x13 pan. I was converting it to serve at the restaurant. I also made the crust slightly thinner, I half the recipe of crust. But the one thing, I notice was the crust got a little soggy after the first day. I also wanted to try adding some cinnamon and cardamon to the crust. I thought that would go well with the sweet potatoes.

I’m thinking of trying out this Martha Stewart recipe, It has an egg in dough which I was thinking it needed. Then I saw this recipe on FB from the Washington Post–Pumpkin Caramel Tart with Toasted Hazelnut Crust. It sounded to delicious to resist.

So I’m totally dump my idea to change up my mom’s pumpkin pie recipe to try this recipe out with sweet potatoes. I’m bring it to Thanksgiving at my friend’s house. Kind of brave to bring a recipe you never test to dinner. But I haven’t tested a new recipe in a while  and these are close friends. They can be brutally honest that tell me if it sucks.

Recipe testing problem #1

Don’t be lazy and start on time even though you are trying to get through Stranger Things, season 1 so you can start season 2. With that statement, I forgot to take pictures till I go to my friends house. I was running late with the late start and  . . .

Recipe testing problem #2

Guess lazy was a theme for my Thanksgiving baking. Too lazy to go shopping with the crazy Thanksgiving food shoppers, no hazelnuts. I think I have one more can of  macadamia nuts. Got a little scared found only onion flavored mac nuts–well I can bring that to the dinner as an appetizer. But I found a can of plain mac nuts that I would used in the crust. Which digs the lateness hole deeper.

Recipe testing problem #3

Started the caramel for the custard first. Now this is the reason you don’t test new recipes to take to a party/dinner. The sugar and water took forever to melt and liquify. Then with lateness and being impatient, I dumped the cream in too fast and clumped up the melted sugar. I just keep stirring, up the heat, and it started melting. But time sucked the baking time. I had to think on my feet and I decided to go back to my old faithful recipe that I originally thought I would adjust.

In the end

I mixed up my old faithful recipe from mom with oven roasted sweet potatoes and some of the caramel that ended up working. I didn’t add all the sugar from the original recipe because of that addition.


The crust was delicious and the sweet potato custard was good. I would add a little more milk to it to up the creaminess to counter the sweetness and cut the sugar a little. Overall not a disaster.

Sitting on the 6:27

Trying to be good and not complain but it was that kind this morning.

Running a little late because previous night’s laziness, I had to clean the litter and take out the trash before I left for the day. And guess who had to use the box when I went to scoop it–enter Ollie’s sad face.

With all that done, I’m now in my car, sitting at the way-too-long traffic light, wondering why they can’t get the timing right on this light [oh by the way it’s 6:14am, the sun has come up yet], then the left arrow turns green. BEEEP!

Now, it’s way too early for a horn especially when we are waiting to turning right not left. What does one jack** at 6:14 in the morning want me to do? SIGHHHH!

I got to the station with no more beeping but the line was long. I think I can get a seat. And YEA! I do. BUT . . . as I sat down I realized I’m sitting next to one of those “doesn’t have a clue/small personal space bubble” person. And he was a little creepy, sitting way too close. I’m squished up against the window, trying not to look at him. His elbow was in my side and he kept looking towards me. I was going to sleep but to creeped out, so I started this post instead.

Then the guy behind me started coughing without covering his mouth. How do I know, I could feel it on the back of my head.



Don’t be lazy and leave stuff for the next morning!

Can I have redo? Ugh!

I told myself I can’t start my day off feeling annoyed or creeped out. So my walk would be the real start, where I can clear all the yuck away.


Sun rising over the lower Manhattan

It was another beautiful clear day. There was a smoke trail from a plane and as the sun rose over lower Manhattan, it intersected the trail that intersected  the Freedom Tower.20171003_075546

30 minutes in to my walk,  I look down at my arm to push up my sleeves [guess who is hot and sweaty] to realize I had my shirt on inside out.

Made someone at work take I picture of my inside-out shirt

Now was that why the creepy guy kept looking my way? Oh, well, it was just that kind of day. Hahaha!