Thursday, December 31, 2009

what a year

I spent several hours this morning reading my blog posts from the first half of this year and several hours tonight reading the posts from the second half of this year.

My, oh my, what a year.

There were many lists, of course. Of note:

1. Even though I eventually put away my candy thermometer early this year, I got it out in time to produce my best-ever caramels by the end of the year.

2. Stu was listed for a liver transplant early this year, received a healthy liver way sooner than we thought possible, and despite a bump here and there, is recovering remarkably well. (If you don't count the cold/flu/whatever the heck it is he has now.)

3. The gardens were glorious again.

4. I am blessed with good friends.

5. Jack and I are good together, including Our efforts (Jack's and mine) with the trainer that resulted in a loss of 50 lbs between the two of us--35 for him and 15 for me. Okay that was from May to Thanksgiving. We took a di-atus, if you will, for the month of December and have done our very best to rid the gardens of all yummy treats before we get back on the path to fitness tomorrow morning. I consider that month of eating whatever we wanted and ignoring the exercise equipment as part of our plan on the path to fitness. A little gift we gave each other for the holidays. Besides, he had a bum thumb to heal. And it is. Healing.

6. Sadly, my mom called yesterday to tell me my cousin, Steve, died from complications of diabetes. Such a mean, nasty illness. Such a good, fun-loving man. He will always have a place in my heart.

7. The lovely baby Ellie joined us in July. Such a sweet, cuddly, happy baby.

8. I spent many, but never enough hours with my family. For example, today my mom, Shilo, Audrey, Jessie, Breanne, and I went to McDonald's for lunch and then headed downtown for the final show of 2009's Nutcracker ballet. The girlies wore their new matching dresses and were the highlight for everyone in attendance. As I pointed out to all, yes, the dresses were cute, but the girls were adorable. And who isn't grateful when her daughter purchases a minivan so we can all ride together to the theater? Well, except for maybe the daughter driving the minivan who was given nonstop driving directions from everyone over the age of four. Or was that over the age of 74? Anyway. We made it there and back and it seemed we all enjoyed ourselves.

~~side note: We dropped off Shi and Audrey, and my mom, and then Jessie and Breanne came in to visit for an hour before heading home. Within, oh, maybe 12 minutes, my doorbell rang, and then immediately rang again before I could get to the door, which told me clearly it was my mom. Bingo! Breanne followed me to the door and as my mom entered, said, "Hey, we jus' took you to you house." And now I have a sack full of tablecloths and napkins that my parents received as wedding gifts almost 58 years ago. Thanks, mom.

9. My next post may include photographic proof of the progress being made on the pet bff project and maybe even a photographic progress report on the basement remodel.

Happy 2010 to each of you, dear readers.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

seemingly very random

This morning, JoJo and I ate pancakes by the fire while we watched the tiny bits of snow fall on the gardens out back.

I have decided to hang the wooden sign Shilo found for me for Christmas over the entryway closet door so that all who enter our home will see its greeting: Welcome to my garden.

Last night, I spent several hours reading this blog: If you are up to feeling overwhelmed by a painful tragedy, go there and read. It is a powerful ongoing life story of despair and hope and forgiveness and healing and love. I wept as I read. And I was, if you will, inspired by her acceptance of things she cannot change.

Last night, before reading NieNie, Jack and I went to a local playhouse--The Desert Star--where "Nutcracker, Men in Tights" was playing. I gave him two tickets for the show for Christmas. If you like slapstick, melodramatic, over-the-top, hammy fast-paced with some local insider jokes comedy, and I do, you will laugh off your head. And I did. Jack had to put it back on my neck. Several times. The guy sitting next to Jack commented during intermission that I seemed to really enjoy the show. I don't know if the clue was my nearly nonstop Betty Rubble laughter or Jack locating and reattaching my head. (Two of the many of my favorite parts of the show were when the trailer-trash villainess tried out for a part in the trailer-trash small town play in the show and performed "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off." The chorus, as sung by her, was: "You say tomayta, I say tomayta; You say potayta, I say potayta; tomayta, tomayta, potayta, potayta; Let's call the whole thing off..." Hilarious. My other favorite was the elf act in the Ho-lio--the post show Olio. It was totally corny, but so funny when the elf did karate kicks accompanied by the drummer after each joke.)

I hesitate to write these next few words, but here goes. Yesterday morning we had some workermen in the basement and I figured that JoJo would keep dropping her tennis ball at their feet for them to throw if I let her run free in the house, so I got the bright idea to take her with me to wash my car. Afterall, I didn't want to leave her outside barking, right? So we got in the car, headed to the carwash, and I got out to begin scrubbing down my dirty, little car. JoJo seemed to be feeling fine as I soaped up the car, she followed me around as I rinsed the car, and she greeted me as I opened the door and slid onto my seat to head home.

As I drew in my first breath in the car, I immediately knew something very wrong had happened in the car. I asked JoJo if she had been farting, noticed her look of embarrassment, and then began frantically turning around and searching for the cause of the stench. It took me less than five seconds to realize and locate the poop--yes, poop--on my seat, under my bum! AAARRGHGHGHGH!

I suspect that if you are still reading this post, you'd probably appreciate it if I skipped the rest of the details of that story, but let's just note that I am glad Jo did not have diarrhea and wow can I move fast when poop is involved. The car, my carseats, my pants were all poopfree as quickly as I could get the poop into a trashcan, speed home, find the spray bottle of cleaner/disinfectant, and toss my clothes into the washer.

The point of that story is that after I was back into clean jeans and settled down, I realized how pointless it is for me to change to appease my neighbor. I can't change him or his attempts at helping me become a better pet owner. I can't keep Jo from pooping when she gets nervous or excited. I can't change a lot of things.

Reading NieNie last night helped me realize that whether it is something about yourself or someone else, accepting things that you can't change is possible and reasonable and healthy.

I think I have found a resolution for 2010.

Monday, December 28, 2009

the hardest resolution yet

I've been thinking about resolutions already. I know, who would have thought?

I've come up with two:

1. Figure out and work on that boundary thing.

2. No more lists.

crap, i think i just broke resolution #2...uh, wait, it isn't the new year yet. it's all good still.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


All of the lists and the checking of lists and the rechecking and checking off of the lists.

And then it's here.

And then it's done.

And then it's over.

Amazingly, once again, the baking and candy-making and shopping and wrapping and partying and visiting are done. For some reason that I can't yet explain, even though I got an earlier start, this year was considerably more hectic and even, may I say, stressful. Probably related to the holidays while remodeling. Or, I don't know, maybe, thinking it was reasonable to paint the dining room on the morning of Christmas Eve? I'll have photos of the basement remodel in the next few days and all will stand (or read) in awe of the amazing transformation and excellent family space it has become.

To recap, fudge didn't turn out so great (read: googled 'why is my fudge runny?' clearly, Jr and I did all of the incorrect steps unless you are trying for grainy, runny, fudge, aka, pudding-like topping for your ice cream sundae).

Somehow, I misplaced my recipe for roll out, cut out, and frost cookies. Could not find it anywhere, even though the girls all showed up on Christmas Eve afternoon to help with the cutting out and frosting and sprinkling. So I did what any resourceful gramma would do after searching and frowning and wondering--I recreated the recipe. I know. Amazing, right? And surprisingly, I think the recipe I created was exactly right, or at least, the girls ate them and Audrey enjoyed sprinkling them with her mom.

Bummer, but I was unsuccessful at finding fuzzy, fleecey tights for the girls and had to settle for regular ole' tights. For now. I will remain on the lookout.

Sorry to those who haven't received their Christmas cards yet. I realized that several of them slipped between the seats of the truck, unnoticed until our return trip from the Home Depot tonight. If you haven't received your card yet, it's, uh, in the mail. Doh!

And then, the final straw arrived on Christmas morning when Jack opened the front door and found a package, apparently a gift from a neighbor. It had a typed note on bright neon green cardstock attached to it that began with "Happy Holidays!" I don't know why anyone would begin a note like this one with those words, because after that greeting, it said that obviously we were poor dog owners, did not take good care of our dog, and allowed her to bark all day. Further, it pointed out that if she were to get out of the back yard, she would undoubtedly attack the neighbor kids, because she doesn't know who the leader of her pack is. The author of the note indicated that he/she was speaking for all of the neighborhood and we would be doing everyone--ourselves, our dog, and our neighborhood (perhaps even the world?)--a big favor if we would simply open the attached package, read the three short books, watch the video (because it's easier to learn by seeing than by reading), and then listen to the four cassette tapes. And quit annoying everyone.

I was stunned and hurt and shocked and then really, really angry. Who the hell writes crap like that, anonymously, and drops it on a neighbor's doorstep in the night? And begins with Happy Holidays?

If the girls hadn't been so thrilled with their pink princess couches and their treasure chests full of princess and fairy costumes, I suspect I'd have totally lost it. But we visited with all of the family, stopped at all of the usual places, and enjoyed the Christmas ham, potatoes au gratin, and vanilla wafer pudding for desert.

Still though, all through the day, I was haunted by the words of that neighbor gift. It stared at me from the desk and every time I saw it, laying there so innocently on the desk, the hair on the back of my neck would stand up and my lip would curl. I think I may have even growled at it a couple of times. I stewed over it today while I rolled on the final coat of paint in the dining room.

Finally, late this afternoon, I decided how I would respond to it. I had a good hunch about who might do such a thing. So I put together a plate of goodies for that neighbor and headed to his front door. I rang the bell and waited. I noticed there were two doorbells, so I rang the other bell. Still no answer. As I started back towards the sidewalk, the door opened and the neighbor came out. I went back and handed the plate of treats to him, saying that I had been slower than usual this year, but I hoped they had had a good Christmas. He reached for the treats and then I looked him in the eye and asked if he had a problem with my dog. He said, "Why do you ask?" I held up the "gift" and said that someone had left it on my doorstep and when we found it, it had completely spoiled Christmas for me. I told him that I was amazed that if someone had an issue with me--whether it was my dog or my kids or a tree hanging over the property line--that they wouldn't come to me directly rather than leave something on my doorstep in the middle of the night, especially something with such a mean-spirited note attached that implied that everyone in the neighborhood was upset and even frightened by my lack of dog knowledge.

He asked me if I had opened it--didn't I think there might be even one thing I could learn from reading/watching/listening to it?

The conversation continued for about two more minutes, long enough for me to feel certain that a) the gift was from him, and b) he pays way too much attention to the comings and goings at my house. Creepily too much time.

I walked back into my yard, sensing he was standing there watching me as I threw the gift into the trash. How would I ever get along without all of these helpful souls in my world?

Yes, this has been on my mind the last couple of days, but I'm pretty much done with wasting anymore time on it.

And don't think for a second that he will ever see anymore treats from me on Christmas. Or the day after.

Did I mention that my kids got me a sweet set of dvds about my favorite dead sports team? And my mom gave me some mint green fuzzy socks. And Jr gave me a coupon for a pedicure? And Jack gave me a delightful antique vase, an umbrella stand complete with umbrella, and my own sets of tinkertoys and lincoln logs. I gave Jack a new harmonica, two tickets to a local dinner theater, and a new comfy nightgown for me. And JoJo got massive quantities of tennis balls. And there was more, including great cookies and perfect caramels and toffee. And time with my kids, my grandkids, and Jack. And JoJo, annoying little sweetheart that she is.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

so close--literally and figuratively


1. Wrote notes in and addressed cards.
2. Wrapped ALL of the presents.
3. Put bows on 48 of the presents.
4. Cut up and put away toffee.
5. Ate little bits and sweet morsels of toffee that were far too small to save or offer to others and to avoid the shame of wasting any of the yumminess.
6. Received the Nutcracker tickets in the mail.


1. Buy more bags of bows.
2. Cut up and wrap up caramels.
3. Do not lick fingers until after caramels are all safely wrapped and stored.
4. Buy stamps and mail cards.
5. Stop wishing we'd had family pictures taken before Christmas to include in the cards.
6. Buy tags and that plastic wrap that sticks to the treat plates for the neighbors.
7. Put together treat plates and see if Jr will deliver them.
8. Buy tights for the girls.
9. Buy gifts for Jack's family party gift exchange.
10. Remember the happiness of my friend whose son will be home after two years away.
11. Remember the pain of my other friend whose son will leave after Christmas to go away for two years.
12. Do not mask or paint the dining room unless I breath in an abundance of energy floating around me. A big abundance. Although new paint in the dining room for Christmas would be pretty sweet. Pretty and sweet.

Monday, December 21, 2009

cross another thing off the list

Cookies: Spritz, Russian teacakes
Candy: Pecan toffee, Caramels, Fudge with/without nuts

Sweetmaking is finished. (Except for the frosted sugar cookies that will be rolled out, cut into holiday shapes, baked, frosted, and sprinkled on Christmas Eve for the family party that night.)

I so enjoy the almond-flavored cookies and nutty, buttery, chocolatey candies that are traditions from my youth. Since I have never been able to get the divinity to turn out right, I so hope my mom makes some for me again. Please keep your not-worked-to-the-bone-fingers crossed.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

random list

Tis the season for the making of lists, contemplating, making of more lists.

1. You may call me supershopper. Yesterday was "40% off the entire purchase" day at Ann Taylor, so I checked out the sales pages online, selected three pairs of pants that were all on sale for about half price, then deducted the 40%, chose the 3-day shipping option, which was free, subtracted the $40 in coupons I've accumulated from Ann for prior purchases, and paid a total of $80.

2. Supershopper example 2. Yesterday was "30% off the entire purchase" day at Kohl's, so I checked out the sales in the store, finished all but about the last 3% of my shopping, all items were on sale, then deducted the 30%, subtracted the $80 in Kohl's cash I had from my online shopping last weekend, and paid a total of $140.

3. I am on a quest to find either soft, thick, fuzzy tights in sizes 12-24 months and 2T-4T and/or soft, thick knee-high socks for 7-14 year-old-girls. When Jessie was little, she had some really soft, fleecelike white tights and her chubby little girl legs were adorable in those tights. I'm looking for the same thing to go with the green velvet with white fur trim dresses I found for all four girls. I need soft, thick knee-high socks in colorful stripes or prints because Jessie knows how to make them into leg warmers for babies and toddlers so their legs stay warm and are protected from scrapes and dirty floors, diaper changes and/or using the potty are easier, and they are adorable.

4. About six weeks ago, I cleaned and organized the garage so Jack and I could park both vehicles inside. Less than a week later, The Home Depot delivered half a garage of stuff for the basement remodel, so the vehicles were back outside. Two weeks ago, I got tired of scraping ice off the window of my car, so I moved stuff around enough so my tiny little car fit in the garage. Today, I organized, tossed out, and tidied up the garage enough that both vehicles can once again be parked in the garage.

5. Is tomorrow part of the weekend because my list of stuff to get done this weekend included finishing the shopping and wrapping, sending out cards, making pecan toffee and caramels (some plain, some with pecans and/or chocolate), baking spritz and Russian tea cakes, making cheeseballs, cleaning the garage, painting the dining room, and the usual weekend assortment of grocery shopping, laundry, and tidying. I'm going to need tomorrow and perhaps the next day or two to be part of the weekend if I'm going to get more of this list finished by the end of the weekend.

6. BFF project. I've spent considerable time analyzing this project and have determined the following:
a. JoJo wants almost more than anything to be friends with the cats;
b. JoJo defines friends as somebody you can tower over, slap around in jest, play ball and tug-of-war with.
c. The cats have agreed to be friends with JoJo when she is unconscious; not simply asleep but totally drug-induced out. Coma-like. Anything less is too risky. Hiss.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

a couple of things i forgot

1. Last night, while comparing the I Spy puzzle to the pages of our I Spy board book, every time Audrey found an item in the book and matched it to the same item on the puzzle, she would say, "Check!"

2. What is the correct response when your mom (who has, once again, dropped in, unannounced, uninvited, bearing gifts this time for the dog) looks into your bedroom and says, "Don't you ever make your bed?"
a. Yes, except when Jack is still in it when I leave for work.
b. Yes, nearly every day.
c. Yes.
d. Not usually.
e. Why do you ask?
f. Hell no, that's Jack's chore.
g. [please insert correct response here. or in the comments section of this blog.]

Friday, December 18, 2009

only a week? seriously?

Because I haven't posted a list for, oh, what, a day(?), today, I will give you, dear reader, a list with massive word quantities.

1. BFF project--possible progress this morning, but maybe not, you be the judge. This morning when I turned on the bathroom light, all three cats were in the bathroom. Not hiding out in the basement. Not becoming feral cats from lack of human contact. In my bathroom.

Millie was sitting next to the door on the cat condo (my mom dropped it off at the house a few months ago. She was out shopping--gasp! shocking I know--and she saw it and just knew my cats would love it. It has come in handy to help Little Weez jump onto the bathroom counter which is the only place I can keep the cat food dishes so that JoJo can't reach them and eat the food or chew up the dishes.)


Millie was sitting on the condo. Oscar was sitting on the counter, near the edge, guarding Weezie. And Weez was posing in the corner near the mirror, sitting upright with her tail wrapped tightly around her, eyes squeezed tightly shut, because when Weez closes her eyes, no one can see her.

Because JoJo has to be by my side at nearly all times, she was right behind me when I turned on the bathroom light. All five of us blinked rapidly while our eyes adjusted to the bright bathroom light, which gave me a couple of seconds to block JoJo and soothe the cats. Oscar started his usual nonstop morning chatting (he's part-siamese and is quite the conversationalist). Millie noticed Jo and began her usual growly warning, which always forces JoJo to lower her front legs, put her butt up in the air, wag her tail furiously, and stretch out her neck, while snapping her jaws in some sort of air biting motion directed towards Oscar, who, in the couple of seconds that have passed, has jumped to the floor and is in the direct line of fire of JoJo's monstrously strong, yet extremely clumsy, front paws. JoJo stretches one way, then the other, back and forth, just begging Oscar to take a swipe at her so she can feel justified by swiping back at him, all the while snapping, snapping, snapping, yet still smiling and wagging.

In the less than 15 seconds that has passed, Millie begins hissing and growling, which is yet another clue to JoJo that it is game on, with no refs, no time outs, no sissies.

It is at this point that I do my best imitation of some kind of graceful, amazingly sleek panther-like animal by slipping gracefully between JoJo and Oscar, using my powerful legs to move her back out of the bathroom, deftly closing the door behind her. The growling and hissing ceases, Oscar leaps back up on the counter, and Weez magically appears when she opens her eyes.

I put a scoop of food in each bowl, and Oscar, always the one with the right words for every moment, begins his loud, deep, rich purr.

2. The Christmas Project--I'd like to report that since Christmas is just a week away, massive quantities, huge amounts, amazing heaps of Christmas effort have occurred, but, well, that would be a total lie. However, I can report three things. First, I got another email from and all but five of the 40 items on my order will be delivered by December 22. We can all breathe again. Second, all of the presents in my house have been wrapped and placed under the tree--did I already report that? Still. It is done. And third, I have a list. Stop laughing. This is a serious, concise list of all things to be accomplished this weekend, and by golly, it is demanding that it be taken seriously or perhaps I am demanding that someone take it seriously. Or something. It's a serious list. It will not be ignored. Seriously.

3. Last item of note--Audrey came by tonight. Okay, I picked her up on the way home from work and we spent several hours together.

She delighted in throwing a tennis ball for JoJo, who has learned to wait for the ball to leave Audrey's hand before snatching it out of the air. Audrey tossed the ball onto my bed, into the bathtub, directly into JoJo's mouth and then squealed and screamed as she ran, maniacally, full speed, back to my arms, somehow avoiding the door jamb, the toys on the floor, and JoJo.

Audrey eventually decided she wanted to be in the tub with the Little Mermaid princess doll and Flounder, the fish, and said as much as she began pulling off her clothes. So we turned on the water and she hopped in. Of course, that is about the time the doorbell rang, signalling a visit from my mom who had been shopping for JoJo for Christmas. Mom had bought two new chewtoys that both had squeakers in them, which JoJo immediately removed. Mom opened the bathroom door to tell Audrey goodbye, which is when JoJo entered the room and dropped her new toys into the tub, causing Audrey to let out another squeal. Mom suggested to Audrey, who was pouring water from a measuring cup into the tub, that maybe she should pour some water on JoJo's nose. Audrey waited until I walked my mom to the front door to attempt to pour water onto JoJo, but apparently forgot all about Jo when she realized how much more fun it is to watch the water run over the edge of the tub onto the tile floor.

After sopping up the water with three of those big towel sheets, I suggested to Audrey that she pour the water onto the soap dish that's mounted on the inside shower wall. As I lugged the three towels to the laundry room, I heard Audrey holler that she needed to twinkle, Twinkle, TWINKLE, TWINK-KLE. I got back to the tub just in time to lift her out, wrap her in a towel, sit her on the toilet, and praise her gloriously for using Gramma's potty.

After the bath and the potty and the lotioning and jammie dressing, we decided to go downstairs to the playroom and that's when Audrey found first one puzzle, then another puzzle, and finally a third puzzle that we solved together.

The third puzzle was an I Spy puzzle that has the same pictures as one of our little I Spy board books, and can I just boast that I spent the evening with one of the brightest, most entertaining, fun-loving little girls ever born?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

should i be worried?

If the email I got from regarding shipment of my order of 40 items shows that one item has shipped but the other 39 have not?

Or, have I nothing to fear because:

a. My order will arrive in time for wrapping and placement under the tree, and
b. I bought all of the important stuff (i.e., toys for the girlies) locally, in person, and such stuff is waiting patiently for me to wrap it and place it under the tree?

Monday, December 14, 2009

progress is happenin'

1. basement remodel:
  • lights are up
  • suspended ceiling is leveled
  • stairway walls are washed and ready for paint
  • theater system is in the house ready for installation (and mailing of the $400 rebate request)
2. christmas prep:
  • survived, enjoyed my family party
  • began the wrapping (is it my imagination or do those cheap bows decompose while in storage with last year's christmas wrap?)
  • discovered that if i begin the shopping two weeks before christmas, i have time to come up with numerous ideas for remaining gifts to be purchased
  • printed out my $80 (yes i said eighty dollars) of kohl's cash (in case you aren't familiar with the whole kohl's shopping deal, everything i bought was on sale, i got an additional 20% with my coupon, and the $80 in kohl's cash i have to spend on the remaining items equals another 20% discount)
3. bff project:
  • introduced bff concept to jojo--she's all over it (and the cats)
  • introduced bff concept to cats--they are still discussing whether or not they want to participate
  • trimmed cats' razor-sharp barbed ends of claws--as much for my safety as for jojo's

Saturday, December 12, 2009

the girl power is strong over here tonight

After finishing my anatomy class this morning, I stopped by the Walmart and boy howdy did I hit the princess+pink+sparkles=cuteness jackpot. My house is oozing pink. It may snow pink flakes tonight. Or maybe pink fairy dust sparkles.

I was feeling so high after my trip to the Walmart that I thought I'd make a run to Kohl's because as everyone knows, Kohl's is my shopping safety net. One trip, two days before Christmas has been my planned excursion into the shoposphere for the past few years. Yet, here we are, still 13 days from Christmas and I was stoked and full of ready-to-shop. But then Jack asked if I'd stick around for a few minutes in case he needed help installing the basement lights (yes! lights in the basement! more!remodel!progress!) so, while I waited to leave, I browsed the Kohl's web site and before I knew it, I'd found adorable jammies and socks and clothes for the girlies and very much acceptable and even intriguing gifts for a few others in the family.


it felt so good. and while i would expect to be exhausted after such a successful day, i am anything but exhausted.

i am pleased. warm, fuzzy satisfied pleased.

i am ahead of schedule.

i am, apparently, even in the pink.

Friday, December 11, 2009

a few more things for the list

1. Give up the idea of shopping for toys for the girls online.
1a. Because today, I bought all of the things (and by things I mean pink princess couches all around) on my list for them!
2. Don't forget the cheeseballs.
3. Definitely making caramels and toffee this year.
4. Help JoJo and the cats become bffs.
5. Family party #1 this weekend.
5a. Hang on for this ride (and by ride, I mean another non-stress producing eventful get-together).
6. Rethink shopping online for the rest of the gifts.
6a. It could work.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

not to be mean spirited


1. I have not made any progress on the Christmas project but I did complete three economics assignments and four anatomy assignments.


2. Can I just say that I'm very happy that Sarah Pallin did not visit my Costco.

and one more.

3. What was she thinking going to a Costco to sign books when someone had just tossed a tomato at her? Doesn't she realize that Costco is the headquarters of unripe fruit? Somebody could lose an eye if somebody else decided to throw a kiwi or avocado...or even a Costco tomato...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

is it december?

Here we are--December again, already. Three Christmas cards have already arrived. We are so blessed to have Jr around to put up the tree and the lights.

Today Stu called to tell me that he had his three-month checkup. He is doing so well that the docs are reducing his medications and he should be off the prednisone in a month or so. And if he continues doing as well as he is, they'll take him off all but one medication, and they even lowered the dose of that medication today. We are so blessed to have Stu and his family around and doing so well.

The drummer is doing well, progressing in his education. Jessie and family are well. We are so blessed for all of them.

And, here I am, back to December 8th. How can this be? I've had this idea that I'd do all of my Christmas shopping online, but wonder if I've waited too long? Will I have time to send out cards? What about baking cookies and candy-making? Would the girls like to go to the ballet to see the Nutcracker? What treats will I put together for the neighbors this year? Gifts for friends? Gag gifts for the party at work? Gifts for extended family?

Uh. Holy Cow I'm getting the Overwhelmed Feeling!

I just keep thinking about all of the things going on in life around me--my brother's recent divorce, my daughter's in-law's upcoming relocation, my still-healing son, and other family issues, not to mention the two assignments for my anatomy class and the three assignments for my environmental economics class and the nearly-finished basement project that is, as all projects do, gradually morphing into the dining room project...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

i must be dreaming again

Tonight, we came home to a house that was decorated with softly glowing Christmas lights, a fully decorated Christmas tree (complete with colored lights and the all-Santa-all-the-time-ornaments). We could smell the tasty aroma of roast beef with mashed potatoes and gravy and veggies. Not only that, but the table was set complete with a new tablecloth and napkins and my favorite stoneware dishes, and when I got out the beaters to mash the potatoes, Jr said, "Oh no you don't--you're not helping with dinner tonight," and took the beaters from me, insisting that I just go sit down because dinner would be ready in a couple of minutes. And it was. And it was delicious. And I didn't cook, or clean up, or wash the dishes--not even the pans. That kid is alright.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

two things

1. Happy Birthday yesterday, Stu.

2. I had another one of those repeating dreams the other night. The one where I'm in town on my bike and I need to ride it the ten miles home so I start riding, looking for streets that are downhill. I find a downhill road but then I realize it is too far east and I'm going to have to backtrack or go on a road that is a really steep uphill. So I start pedaling hard and that's when I realize my tires are flat and it is so. hard. to. pedal. But I keep pedaling and looking for a downhill street. That's when I start riding my bike through people's houses and down stairs and through basements. Some of the houses' owners are not home, but I get in any way and ride through their living rooms and kitchens and bedrooms. Sometimes they are home, but they either don't notice me and my bike or they just ignore us. That's when my feet start to hurt from all of the pedaling and pedaling with the flat tires. I finally get on a main street again and it's downhill and I'm getting up some speed and then I come to an intersection and I just know I'm going to have to stop for the light and it will be

This time a new element was added to the dream. Well, actually two elements were added. First, there was this nonstop nagging worry about an email I'd sent that got me and my boss in all kinds of trouble with the court and we were going to lose some litigation we've been working on and both he and I were going to get fired. And the other new element was that Jack showed up with JoJo and he let her out of the truck without her leash and then he drove off without putting my bike and its flat tires in the back of the truck or me and my sore feet in the front of the truck. So I called out to JoJo to wait for me but she took off and there I was--sore feet, flat tires, still miles from home, about to get fired, and my dog was lost.

I am so, so, so tired of this dream.