Category Archives: Holiday

Finally Feeling Human!!!

So, here I sit.  Disney Christmas Music playing on YouTube and the smell of a gas station hot dog eminating from my coworker’s desk making me feel like I want to vomit.  I finished my third glass of water (this one with FIZZ grapefruit electrolyte replacement in it).  I think now is a great time to pull together my “holy crap it’s getting to be nearly time to worry” post for the Disney Half Marathon.

For starters, I’ve been preaching at Amandya to work on HER blog about her volunteer teaching in South Africa helping work through things in her mind and through planning and passing the time.  I guess practicing what I preach is probably a good idea.

I signed up, today, at work to join our company partially funded Gold’s Gym Membership.  It’s probably still more expensive than I should be really doing all things considered, but it is close to work (and frankly close to everywhere) so I can run over at lunch, even when I’m on pager patrol, and get in some workout time.

It won’t be all of the training that I need, but it will certainly help.  I know having that helped before and I know it can’t hurt.  It’s horribly warm out when I can be out walking at lunch and I don’t want to make myself sick.

This trip was kind of stressing me out a little before.  When I signed up, I thought I wouldn’t care so much that I was going to have to deal with the adventure on my own.  I was wrong.  I was stressing.  Being ALONE with a half marathon half a country away from anything resembling people or places of home… not the best feeling in the world.  And the advice to try to get people who were from around here to admit to running Disney was an even bigger joke.

Now, though, it looks like this is going to be an incredibly wonderful trip.  We are not only all going, as a family, we are making it an extended family adventure and taking grandkids and all kinds of stuff along with us.  It’s going to be a truly magical adventure.

I’m actually feeling like I’m going to be up for this challenge because I’m looking forward to it so much.  I’m determined to make this a magical adventure for the kids (big and smallish) and bringing really lasting memories to everyone.

On Holidays

DSC02869Here I sit, listening to the Weather Channel predict a foot of snow by tonight with 45 mile an hour winds.  It looks like the plans we had for tomorrow will likely not happen until Friday.  We are still going to probably go, just not as soon.

It is what it is.

It is Boxing Day.  Yesterday was Christmas.  And it was a Christmas to remember.

I started the day out by stopping by the house where I grew up.  Intellectually I understand that nothing stays the same… time passes… things change… This was THE hardest thing I  have done in a long long time.

The house is still there.  There are things growing from the gutters (downward growing grass is what it looked like).  The siding is disintegrating.  The lights lent an air of warm coziness that really wasn’t there.

The dogwood tree is dead.  The pear tree is dead.  The corn crib, the wagon shed, the barn and Sonny’s shanty have all fallen down.  The wishing well (the one thing I actually went to take a picture of) has no roof and the stones have fallen away.  Ironically I found out what was inside the wishing well.  The stones were cemented around a washing machine tub.  We recycled before recycling was cool.

I took pictures.  I even took pictures of the spring house where watermelons stayed freezy freezy cold and alligators guarded them.

I took a couple of rocks.

I took the heavy heart that the pictures in my mind don’t/can’t/won’t match the pictures I took.  I have a feeling I’m going to be putting all of this into a story somewhere…

It was a chemo brain day REALLY bad, so the two sentences that I managed to get written were lonely and difficult.  I hurt my son’s feeling because I was trying to think over the confusion about a conversation I was trying to have and he was being his wonderful self.  I love him dearly and it bothers me still that I hurt his feelings.

Presents were exchanged.  Tears were shed.

The most epic Pink Fluffy Stuff War of 2012 was amazing.

It’s been an interesting Christmas.



So… Tis the season where I think more and more about the traditions that we have… The traditions that we make… This morning I was standing with my 18 year old baby girl in the line that wraps around JCPenny’s … Continue reading


Hit By A Snowball

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I don’t think it was a Kaitlin’s Cauze snowball, but I guess it could have been.  Regardless, this morning I was hit by a snowball, and it was great. I woke up this morning totally not feeling the fact that … Continue reading

In The Midst of the Holidays

The holiday season is upon us (ALL the holidays… Hannachua, Christmas, KWanza, New Years, Winter Solstice… lots of them) and RA doesn’t discriminate based on what hoiday you celebrate.  Probably not an incredibly popular centiment, but you know what… I’m so totally passed being worried about people getting bent with me.
I sit and think about all of the Christmas’s past and all of the Type A memories I tried to make for my kids.  For years I made batches of cookies that no one ate but that I made becuase that is what I grew up with… making cookies.  I hustled and bustled and busted my behind.  And I made memories.  But the memories I made didn’t actually corespond with what I thought I was making.  The memories… Sitting in the chairs of the laser light show and watching the “jello” dance across the ceiling.  Putting up the Christmas tree and letting the kids decorate the bottom.  Dominick the Donkey and I Want a Hippopotomos for Christmas and Santa Baby bringing smiles because of their connotation.  And going to see the Christmas Lights regardless of where we are.  You don’t necessarily have to “do” to create the memories, you have to be.
Now that I’m celbrating with the addition of RA, I rethink what I do and what I plan to do so I don’t turn Ho Ho Ho into HoHumBug.
I know i can’t “do” traditional eggnog or a hot toddy or even spiced wine.  Meds and alcohol don’t really go together well.  It’s not that I have done any of this anyway, I know I’m a cheap drunk and it isn’t good for me to drink on a good day.  But I also know that a lot of people who are on similar meds do or have.  There are ways to celebrate in less alcohol rich ways.  Apple cider is wonderful, spiced grape juice is an awful lot like spiced wine and is <ghasp> healthy.  Look for the little things.  Look for ways that you can find your own bright spots.  Music sometimes help, too.  All things considered, finding the bright spots are going to be the best treat you can give yourself.
I know that it is especially hard, particularly when many of our families themselves don’t “get it”, but try to set expectations realistically.  You know how much you “need” to get done, be it wrapping, or baking or decorating or cards or whatever.  Be realistic with yourself and with everyone else. And don’t discount hiring out some of the things you feel you have to do.  Buy your cookies from a bakery or from some orgaization having fund raiser bake sale.  Have your gifts wrapped the same way (lots of stores hae charities who come in and do wrapping for a donation).  This has the side benefit of having a bunch of different wrapping paper that no one has seen before (hint hint, wink wink).  There is a big trade off between time(stress… effort) and money.  Even today when money is more tight than ever, sometimes spending a few dollars that you might be able to write off as donation to charity to keep from overtaxing yourself is the better option.  Save your engergy and effort for things that you really enjoy or that bring you happiness.
Find the easiest way to do whatever it is that you are goin to do.  I know this sounds obvious, but it is sanity.  ANd not just during the season, all the time.  A lot of getting by is just learning new ways of doing things.
Ask for help.  When you can’t figure out a way to do something without hurting, ask for help.  This was the biggest deal for me.  I have always been the one to try hard to do things for everyone else.  I’m not sure if that is a girl thing, or a mommy thing, or what.  It is what it is.
Keep in mind, though, that there are also tradeoffs for cutting back, especially if you cut back too far.  When you cut back (or out) on things that really matter to you, or that really matter to those who are important to you, sometimes th cost is your depression or even more stress than actually going through with whatever it is that you cut back on.  Those tradeoffs aren’t worth it.  Sometimes, in those cases, it is better to cut something else out or at least cut back on and find a way to deal with the added stress that the events or the tasks might cause.
So… I guess it all boils down to… do what makes you happy and enjoy the holidays!!!


Thoughts on Mother’s Day…

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I sit here thinking about being a mom on this quiet mother’s day morning.  We were out late last night (we celebrated yesterday to avoid the crowds) .  Dinner at Carino’s  then to TOS’s Beethoven’s Last Night. Everyone is either … Continue reading

The Holiday Weekend

It was quite a weekend.  I would SO much rather had not been on pager patrol for the weekend but it is what it is.
Friday I had the most horrible migraine.  Nothing sort of migraine medicine and a sleep would help.  I hate having those kind of headaches espeically when there isn’t anything I can really pin it to (like the headache I get when I don’t sleep enough or when I get dehydrated).  It was really good that work was mostly quiet on Friday and I didn’t have to think too terribly hard.  It would have been nice if I had gotten permission to work from home on Friday BEFORE Friday afternoon (sent the mail Thursday morning… I know where my mail ranks on EVERYONE’s list of “oooo… let’s read this” mails) but hey.
Saturday (Happy Birthday!!!) wasn’t too bad.  Started out by getting paged and having to work… but… hey… We went grocery shopping (got squirrel girl some GIRL shorts and some tank tops… got skinny butt boy a Runescape card… got yummy cookies… and like real food and stuff too).  I got a card from my wonderful Wyoming friend.  That made me really smile.  She is incredibly talented artist and i hope that she eventually realizes how wonderful her art is and does something with it.  She could certainly use the validation from someone, she doesn’t get it nearly often enough and she has no idea how much her art, and her friendship mean.
Oh.  And I got a perfunctory Happy Birthday text message… a surprise FaceBook message from my Sis (who NEVER EVER seems to get on the computer, which is why I treasure THIS so much) and had the most WONDERFUL chat with my mommy and my cuz that made me smile and cry and laugh and feel like I got a virtual hug.
Squirrel girl ran off with her peeps and hung with them all day.  She claimed she felt really really guilty not staying home for my birthday (and it is SO much fun to poke her about it) but even when we went to dinner out, she didn’t opt to tag along.  She and I did end up camping out in the back yard in the tent for the night, and it was wonderful to listen to the crickets and the owls and the trains.
Easter… Easter was interesting. After 3 hours working on pager patrol stuff in the morning, I hid baskets (19 year old’s was blue… 16 year old’s was white) and we had an egg hunt.  I made a movie of the egg hunt, but because she asked so nicely (and because I like to have all of my body parts intact) I opted for uploading it to YouTube and making it such that you can only watch it if you have the link.  Thought about posting the link to facebook and TECHNICALLY abiding by EXACTLY what I promised… but that would be cheating.  I would really like to edit it, though, and paste in the part where it turned into a full contact egg hunt and they were brawling over one EMPTY plastic egg…
Ham and Scalloped potatoes were yummy for dinner.
Now, it is back to work Monday.  I had a chat with the company head of IT about the fact that his kids are a lot like my kids and are older teenagers who look forward to basket hiding and egg hunts… and the fact that it means that they are great kids and that they have been raised right… they like spending time with the family and being around people who love them.  That made me smile.
Now… jasmine tea and watching to make sure that the world is safe from data inaccuriacies…

Girls Day Out

I’m not entirely sure I like the day after Christmas shopping… it is… kind of… nutsy.  Parking is a nightmare.  People are crazy.  Lines are horrendous… and it was probably one of the best days I have ever spent.

Amandya didn’t ACTUALLY get up for my 5:30 Walmart excursion.  She didn’t ACTUALLY make it out of bed until almost 11:00.

She wasn’t thrilled about getting out of the house.  She doesn’t really “do” people even on a good day and she has been a bit on the moody side the last few days.  But I knew getting out would do her good… and she had several gift cards and Christmas cach that needed using so off we went.

Rue 21 at the outlets she got T-shirts

Disney store at the outlets I got a double Dry technical shirt with mickey on the sleeve.

Journey… socks

off to Target to see if I could find the Disney CD for half of… and of course by after noon it was all gone.  sigh…

Barnes and Nobel… calendar and journal… and a for dummies book for the squirrel…

Walmart (again?  yeah, different one) so she could buy herself a mini-fridge and I FOUND MY SOAPS!!! wooohoo… I didn’t think I was going to find them but I did.  and another doggy toy for peanut.  On our way back to the car, Squirrely was trying to conserve energy (yeah… she’s a little nut) and hopped on the front of the cart and I pushed her butt to the far end of the parking lot, up hill, laughing the whole way.

It really was a girls day out.  Adam was playing WOW and Runescape (something about a crab hat that has a santa hat on it… not TOTALLY sure… ) and Bear, Ron and Angela stayed home hanging.  Bear took down all of the outside Christmas decorations so they don’t get wet again… sliced open his finger and really made a mess of it all… but they are away and the yard looks naked… sigh…

Pizza for dinner. and now just… hanging out… watching Gandalf the Gray getting snowed on.

A decidedly wonderful day.


Christmas Stockings…

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Okay… first, let me thank Kaitlin of Kaitlin’s Cauze for pushing me gently down this road.  I am actively chasing a purple hoody that is the prize for her ongoing trivia contest.  Her blog is here… Mostly she is all … Continue reading

Peanutbutter Pie, Turkey Sloppy Joes and koolade

Thanksgiving… day 2

Actually found mom’s new apartment.  I had a map.  I didn’t really need a map, it was right where I thought it was… right where pap became “uncle 5 thumbs” in the cornpicker accident.  It has changed a lot since then, my home town has grown up a bit, although thankfully not as much as where I live has.

Peanut was happy to be finally able to just hang out and be a dog.  I enjoyed a great cup of coffee… and another… and another… and I got to give hugs all around.

Hugs are a really really good thing.  I stored up as many as I could while we were there…

I felt really bad because my sister was trying to rest on the by-oh chair… and we were… a tad loud… but she seemed mostly okay with it.

Mom and I got to have a nice long chat about… well… mostly everybody… and had a nice long chat about how Squirrel is doing dealing with all of her new realities.

Me… she checked out my knuckles.  Thank goodness my knuckle bump was down and my joints were actually behaving themselves despite being cold. I was smart enough to bring my glovies so I kept my hands reasonably warm and I had on my heavy socks so my toosies were toasty too… so I wasn’t hurting too too much.

Supper was wonderful.  Ground turkey sloppy joes, Koolade and peanut-butter pie.

The kids stayed the night (Squirrel got to spend some quality time with her bestest uncle in the world and Adam got to spend some real quality time with HIS bestest uncle in the world).    Bear and I left early-ish because mom had to take Sister-in-law (almost) to the ER for a UI.  We went to visit Bear’s brother which was really nice.  Quiet visit and we hadn’t seen him in a long time.

What?  The pie?  oh… Tom’s peanut butter pie is absolutely killer.  I think it is Adam’s new favorite pie.  It isn’t really heavy… or thick… not like any other peanut butter pie I have ever had.  It is really really good and it so doesn’t last very long.  Now I’m being hit up to make peanut butter pie along with brownies.

The recipe?  it is below.

KILLER Peanut-butter Pie

8 oz cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 to 3/4 cup peanut butter
16 oz cool whip
Chocolate or fudge syrup ( optional)

Mix in large bowl the cheese, sugar, pnutbtr, and 8 oz cool who.
Pour onto graham cracker crust.
Other 8 oz cool whp can go over top of pie and can drizzle chocolate over top.