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February 2008
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April 2008

A long time coming

   

Wow!  After the whirlwind of the last couple weeks, I think we're finally settling down into something approaching our normal routine.  Not that our normal routine is all that wonderful, but there is a certain comfort in dull familiarity.  Laundry isn't exciting, but it's not horribly stressful, either. 
    My biggest problem now is getting my body to a point where it doesn't scream "GO TO BED!!" at me every time I sit down.  I haven't been sleeping well for the last two weeks and it is definitely catching up to me.  Last night was better, but I think I'm going to bed pretty early for the next few nights.  (hush, Melinda) 
    We did have a nice Easter weekend at Mom's.  We finally met the future brother-in-law "for real" - in person - and he's a hoot!  Mark is a great guy and he and Melinda are really good together.  Jon and I had a lot of fun picking at them about their "excessive" mushiness - all that kissing!  And hugging!  And eeeeeeeeewwwwwwww!!   As I pointed out to them, we have 20 years' worth of teasing to make up for.  They're in for it now. 
    And speaking of 20 years - last Wednesday was our 20th anniversary!  It's really strange to hear myself say that.  It has gone by so quickly it doesn't seem possible that it's really been that long.  Our celebration was pretty low-key, but it was so good to be together.  Last year on our anniversary Jon was in China and I was in Germany, and it was NOT a good time.   This year we went out for dinner and just talked.  And yes, after all these years, we still have things to talk about!  And he still surprises me, makes me laugh, and makes me glad every day that we're married.   When we were dating I had an actual written list of what I wanted in a husband, with items ranging from "tall, dark, handsome" to "good sense of humor" and "loves kids".  Twenty years ago Jon met every requirement....but now?  Now he's so far beyond the list words can't describe it.  I am the most blessed woman on the planet.  I love you, honey.  Thanks for the best twenty years of my life.


Checking in

   

Just dropping in to say "Happy Easter" to everyone!  The past week has been a hurricane but things are settling back into a normal routine.  My aunt passed away in the early hours of last Friday so the weekend and first part of this week were taken up with traveling hither and yon for calling hours and the funeral.  Wednesday was our 20th anniversary (WOW), which I will talk about later!  My husband is an amazing guy.  And now we're heading to Mom's for Easter.  Busy busy!!
    So, again, I hope everyone has a very special Easter.  God bless!


Sometimes you just don't know

   

Today has been an interesting day, sort of.  A little.  Well, okay, maybe "emotionally erratic" is a better description.  Very up and down.  And I have to say that I wasn't expecting it....but then, do you ever expect days like this?  It went like this.  Silly dog woke me up WAAAYYYYYY too early because she had to go NOW!!   Yet when I took her out, what do you know, the urge miraculously evaporated and was replaced with a desperate need to sniff every square centimeter of our yard.  At 6:50 in the morning (and I am NOT a morning person).  In the cold.  Before coffee.   This was not a good way to start a Monday at Grouchy Mom's place.
    I throttled the urge to have the dog fitted with a catheter, got a good big cup 'o' joe, and embarked on the rest of my day.  The kids got to sleep in today (oh blissful peace and quiet) because they had an unusually late night last night, so I had some time to read email and surf the internet and generally veg out.  Then we got ourselves together, went through the morning routine, and went to meet some friends for lunch before our afternoon art class.
    My friend is a really positive, upbeat gal, and I always enjoy spending time with her, so I was looking forward to lunch.  What I didn't know was that one of her other friends has cancer, and she'd just heard that her friend is most likely terminal - a 32-year-old single mom of two.  That is bad enough, but part of the reason her friend got so bad is that she lost all health insurance when her husband left her (he was cheating), and she has been refused treatment because she's uninsured. By the time my friend told me this gal's story, I was absolutely furious for her and incredibly sad for those two kids.   
    Well, we went off to art class, which was great and helped perk me and Tammy both up.  Our kids really enjoy this class and it's a lot of fun to see what all the kids come up with for their projects.  Two of the younger ones were having "portrait wars", each coming up with a more outrageous picture of the other.  It was pretty funny.
    We came home in a pretty good mood, and I set the kids to their chores while I took care of some household things.  Then my sister called.  My Aunt Ova has lived with my mom for seven or eight years now - she's blind, has dementia, severe arthritis, etc. - and over the past few months she has really gone down hill.   However, the decline has really accelerated over the past two or three weeks, and today the hospice nurse told Mom and Melinda that she doubts Aunt Ova will live to the end of the week - maybe not even through the night. 
    How do you reconcile loving someone dearly, someone who has always been a big part of your life, with simultaneously wishing that they could just die and stop suffering?  Aunt Ova has always been a huge influence in my life (so was her husband, Uncle Arthur) and I know we'll all miss her like crazy when she's gone.  At the same time, right now she isn't really living - she's just existing.  And she's existing in tremendous physical pain, as well as horrible mental distress.  The dementia causes some pretty nasty hallucinations, and it's heartbreaking to listen to her begging for help to get out of the road/off the cliff/whatever, when she's lying in her bed with you holding her hand.  You know it's not real, but to her it is.  How can you not want that to end? 
    My prayers are very conflicted right now. 


How cute is that?

   

As I mentioned a little bit ago, my sister is getting married, and the whole family is in an uproar.  There hasn't been this much excitement since the light fixture fell on Mom's head while she was in the bathroom and Dad put up signs saying "hard hats required".  Ah, good times....but I digress.   (How unusual!) Any wedding requires a fair amount of planning and preparation, unless you're going for the tried-and-true "shotgun" version, in which case you pretty much just show up and do what you're told.  But this is going to be a WEDDING, and we're all being sucked into the vortex.
    Naturally Melinda, having waited for her special day the way she has, wants everything to be just so.  Now, my sister is a strong, competent, intelligent woman, and when she makes up her mind to do something, by golly it gets DONE.  So the planning is proceeding quite nicely, thank you.  Mom is walking her down the aisle, which is kind of cool, since Dad's not here any more to do that.  (Our one regret in all this is that Dad's missing the party, but I like to think he'll know all about it anyway.)  I'm going to be the matron of honor - turn about and all that, since Melinda was my maid of honor twenty years ago.  And the best man?   Well, the best man was a bit of a shock.
    See, we were expecting Mark to ask his brother-in-law, or dad, or one of his buddies from church - someone like that.  But no!  Mark called here a couple nights ago and asked SETH to be his best man.  Yeah, Seth - my 12-year-old son.  Apparently Mark thinks Seth is a hoot (which he is), really likes him, and decided that would be a cool thing to do.  How cute is that?  So my little boy and I will walk down the aisle together at my sister's wedding.  Seth is beyond excited - he wanted me to take him out and buy his suit RIGHT THEN.  I think Mark has "favorite uncle" status all sewn up for the foreseeable future. 
   


Could it be?

   

It snowed again last night - not much, just a couple inches - so the ground is white once more and it still looks very wintery.  But as I was opening the blinds, I caught a glimpse of movement in the crab apple tree outside my workspace window.  And do you know what I saw?
    Robins. Big, fat, sassy robins, swarming all over that crab apple tree.  Some other bird that I couldn't identify, but just as fat and sassy.  And the crowning glory?  A real live bluebird!!   The little fella was so blue he practically glowed.  Do you know what this means?  This means SPRING is coming!!  Hallelujah!  Let the peasants rejoice!
    I am soooooo ready for spring this year.  Usually I enjoy winter - at least mostly - of course we all get a bit of cabin fever around this time of year.  But this year I had cabin fever January 3rd.  I'm sure part of the problem is just being new here, not really knowing a lot of people yet, and thus feeling a little - trapped?  Bored?  Whatever the reason, that bluebird and all he implies make me very happy.  I can't wait to get out and start putzing around with flowers and landscaping and all that good warm-weather stuff.   There may be snow on the ground still, but I can see spring coming.


Okay, I did that, and now what?

   

For some time I've been hearing and reading about the joy that is Ravelry.  What a cool site, how much fun, oh I can't wait for my invitation!!  Pleasepleaseplease pick ME next!  Curiousity finally overcame me and I signed up on the waiting list.  Well, a couple days ago I got my invitation, and I am now officially part of Ravelry!
   
    Now what do I do?

    Okay, so I feel kind of stupid, but once I got on there, I really wasn't sure what came next.  I love knitting, but I'm not one of those folks who eats, sleeps and breathes wool, has 247 sets of dpn's in project-matching colors, and has enough stash to insulate the Arctic Circle.  I'm slower than molasses in January.  My stash is pathetic by almost any standards.  And heaven knows I am NOT a designer, by any stretch of the imagination, so that eliminates any nifty little patterns I may have to share with the world.  (Ha. Me share patterns.  It is to laugh.)
    Do I even need Ravelry?  Yes, I know it's free, but I'm not sure that my space wouldn't be better filled by someone who's more of a KNITTER.  Me, I'm a (knitter).  Is there really any benefit - for me or anyone else - in my being part of this thing?   Honestly, I found it a little intimidating!  I am wide open for suggestions (or hand-holding assistance) here.  My inner child is saying "OOOH!  Everyone else is playing, it must be cool, who cares if I don't get it yet?  GO GO GO!"
My outer adult is saying "Ummm...help?"   What do you all think?