Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Almost Strike Two

When I got up (late again) this morning, I fired up the laptop and got Mittens' breakfast while I waited for it to load. I went to Facebook to see if Lisa had updated anything about coming home. I didn't see a particular message on her wall, but I did see that she had commented to a friend that she wouldn't be making it home. I was really crushed. I spent most of the day just really feeling bummed that she wouldn't be making it, and that this Christmas just didn't feel like Christmas at all this year since we couldn't celebrate it as an entire family. I lazed around for the longest time, but finally got to doing dishes and cleaning up some of the kitchen when my mom called me. She told me that Grandma and Aunt Joan were on their way, which I already knew from talking to my Grandma earlier in the morning. And then she said that Lisa and Brandon were making their way home, too. WHAT???? I swear I lit up right then and there with a huge smile on my face! They were making their way home!!! I guess they were going to drive as far as they could today, find a place to stay tonight, and then leave early in the morning to finish the trip. I've been praying as much as I can that they'll have a safe trip here!! I am so happy, we are actually going to have a family Christmas!!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Strike One

I got up late this morning, got dressed, fed Mittens, and put a load of laundry in the washer before I finally decided to try Lisa to see if they were able to leave on their trip up here. I called her house number, and she answered on the third ring. Boooooo. That told me the trip so far was a no go. It had occurred to me overnight that we haven't even seen Lisa and her little family since last Christmas. The thought that they may not make it at all if the weather isn't better tomorrow is a bit more bothersome than I'd like to admit. I'm praying and crossing everything I've got that they can make the trip tomorrow, or else they aren't making it at all.

Today was a cold one, so I just stayed home and did 3 loads of laundry. In the afternoon, while using the laptop, I sorta had a hard time seeing and concentrating. Then my head started killing me. I had gotten a migraine that snuck up on me! Usually I see an aura first, but not this time. I had to take an Excedrin before finally laying down, and I fell asleep for almost 2 hours. I guess I needed it! I felt much better when I woke up, so I made dinner, took a bath, and I've just been hanging out online chatting and playing around. Tomorrow is another rather brisk day, so I'll probably work on some jewelry orders for a couple people. I can't wait until later this week when it'll "warm up" so I can try to browse some stores for deals. I'd like to get a new Christmas tree, one that doesn't involve about 50 pieces to put up. Hopefully there is something left out there that's a good deal!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Almost Time

In several hours, it will officially be Christmas. I really can't believe the holidays are here. It didn't seem like it took all that long from Thanksgiving until now for the day to arrive, but bam! It's right on the doorstep! I'm looking forward to the upcoming gatherings with my family, especially after tomorrow since Lisa will be here with her little family by Monday night. We'll get together for an appetizer dinner tomorrow, but our Christmas celebration, complete with a dinner outing and opening gifts, won't be until Tuesday evening. So it's like we get to have Christmas twice. :)

When Christmas passes, there's just one more week until a whole new year begins. I have been thinking back on this year a lot lately, and I while it's been a pretty good one, I do realize I'm still grieving Euan's loss. It's been over 9 months since he died during his surgery, and I still cry sometimes at night wishing he was here. I never expected to lose another very close friend within a year. Yes, I do still miss Mason, but the shock of losing Euan not even a year after that seems to hurt even more. I'm trying my best to remember the good times, but the what-ifs haunt me. I know that more time will help ease the pain little by little.

What I did not expect this year was for my jewelry sales to be pretty consistent. Usually I make most of my money during the holidays, but this year I was pretty lucky to have sold something every single month in 2010. Will that happen in 2011? I would like to think so, but who knows? I'm just glad that so many people bought something lovely, and I hope to continue to make beautiful things!

2010 is ending on a good note for my dad, especially this month. This past week alone, he got another good report on his visit to Roswell, and by this time next year, he will hopefully be declared cancer-free. He also put a new-to-him truck on the road, something he's desparately needed for several years because his old truck was in such poor shape, I'm surprised he could still drive it. And today, he finally bought a new tv that he's been hoping to get for awhile! Oh yes, how could I forget? He found out last week that he was approved for V.A. benefits since he had prostate cancer and he was in Vietnam. I'm beyond happy that he got that, let me tell you! So I'm glad he's doing fairly well, despite all the aches and pains I know he deals with on a daily basis.

I'm really hoping that 2011 will bring better health for my mom. I'm worried about her so much. She hasn't been feeling very well for awhile, and she didn't get the best of news about her health in the beginning of the month. So I'm hoping that some changes will help get her back on track.

2011 will bring another brother-in-law to the family in the fall. It'll be hard to believe I'll be the only one of the 4 of us not married. That's either something I'm doing wrong, or maybe that's a wise decision. lol

I don't know what else 2011 has in store (does anyone really know for sure??), but I'm hoping it'll be a better year for all of my phriends. I pray for a cure for pulmonary hypertension. I have lost too many phriends from this disease, and I worry about the fact that I'm starting to become numb to the losses. Of course, I do miss the ones who have gone very much. I think I'm just getting used to someone passing, and it bothers me. So I'm hoping for a miracle, hoping for someone to have a breakthrough and to finally figure out what can stop this disease from killing so many. I especially want a cure for the children living with PH.

A Christmas Story is going to be starting it's 24 hour marathon on TBS shortly, so I'm going to get my jammies on and watch at least one round (if I don't fall asleep from the complimentary wine I had with dinner tonight at Michael's after church lol)! Merry Christmas to everyone out there, and may you have a wonderful day with your family and friends! :)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Busy Days

I think I left off wondering whether or not I'd be stepping out of the house on Thursday. Well, I did! I just didn't make it to rehab Thursday morning. I had a slight headache, and I knew I had other places to go, so I didn't want to overdo it. When it's cold weather out, I don't have the energy to just push myself anyways to do the things I want to do. I tend to be able to do that a little bit more when it's warm out, but definitely not this time of year. So I went out with my mom. I had a package of jewelry to mail out (a rather large order, I was surprised when I saw the email for it!), and money to put into my credit union, and then we had a quick lunch at Wendy's, and headed to Mandy's house for a bit. We stayed there with my nephew while Mandy picked up my niece, and shortly after they got back, we went to Napa to get a gift for my dad. We had planned on going to Walmart, but it was getting late in the afternoon, and my mom needed to get home to start making dinner for that night. Everyone was coming over for my dad's birthday! So we stopped at Sam's Club for a cake, and then my mom dropped me off. Joan picked me up about an hour or so after that, and I hung out with my family for the rest of the evening. It was a fun time!

Friday was another busy day. I had a former teacher stop by to pick up a couple necklaces I made for her 5yr old granddaughters. She's such a sweet lady, and I think I already have orders to make for her in upcoming months for birthdays! Yay! The o2 guy came quite a bit earlier than I expected (at least from this particular guy...he's usually very late), and so that allowed my mom to pick me up for Walmart at a much better time. First we headed to Bob Evans for lunch, both of us ordering soup and something hot to drink because we were just freezing!! After that we headed to Walmart, where it felt like we spent decades wandering around the store. lol

I returned a couple items first, and then walked around with my mom, getting some things here and there. I wanted to go into the kitchen appliance area to look for a hand mixer, because my mom very recently broke hers, and Joan told me it was on her list of things she'd like to have. I thought I would try getting it tomorrow since I have to go out for bloodwork, but I just didn't want to go into Walmart AGAIN. So I made an excuse to my mom that I needed to look for an electronic can opener, and she said ok, and that she'd be in the toy area. Ok, that part worked! I almost thought they didn't have anything, until I found the mixers on one end shelf. I picked one that I thought looked ok, and considered my next step. How was I going to hide this from my mom?? I thought about going to the cash registers to pay for it and then just carry it with me, but the registers were a bit far from where I was, and I was already starting to get tired. So I took my rather big scarf and kinda hid the box behind it without looking like I was trying to steal it. lol I headed toward the toy area, and when I found my mom, I just pretended that I wasn't carrying anything. She was so busy looking for a certain toy that I don't think she cared. I told her I was going into the large Christmas area to browse, and when I went, I saw that you could cash out. Yay! I got to the register with the mixer, and told the lady that I was trying to hide it from my mom, who I was shopping with. So she double-bagged the box, and you couldn't tell what it was! Yay!! I found my mom afterward and just put the bag into the cart. She didn't ask about it, but I think she knew better. lol She kept looking at the toys when I finally told her that I was getting worn down. By then my legs were absolutely killing me, and I was getting sick to my stomach. So we cashed out and headed home. I spent the rest of the evening just relaxing!!

On Saturday, I got up early to start sweet and saucy pork chops in the crock pot, and went back to bed. When I got up again, took a shower and had breakfast, I worked on some jewelry and wrapped a few gifts. I also cleaned the bathroom and washed the dishes, and cleaned some stuff off the kitchen table. My friend, Dee, was coming over after work to have dinner and open gifts. I don't think I've had a friend come over to eat here ever! Well, except for the occasional party. It was rather nice! My upstairs neighbor kindly bought us a bottle of Arbor Mist to go with dinner, and we had an enjoyable evening. We both loved the gifts we got for each other, and we spent quite some time chatting about everything in my living room. When she left, I took a bath to warm up (I don't want to know how many gallons of water I've been using since it became bath season lol), and just watched some tv and caught up on surveys that I needed to do. It was a productive day!

Today also wasn't too bad. I was lazy for most of the morning, but in the afternoon I got some more jewelry done before I had dinner. I made macaroni and cheese in the crock pot, but I really didn't care too much for how it came out. It was horrendously gross, but I'm just thankful I didn't double the recipe like I was going to! I finished a necklace after dinner, watched a Food Network Challenge (an addiction of mine, even the repeats!), and took a bath (shocking!) before spending some time online. Now it's just after 11, and a bit early for me to go to bed, but I am so tired since I didn't nap (for the 2nd day in a row). Guess I'm off to bed early tonight, especially since I need to visit vampires in the morning and go to a store!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Hoping To Escape

I've been in my house since Friday night's grocery trip. I didn't really care at first, because the beginning of the week was brutally frigid. But I really need to escape from this place! I have many places I need to go to finish holiday shopping and stuff. The temperature is supposed to be mid-20s tomorrow, which I suppose I can deal with as long as the wind chill isn't bitter. I'll just have to make sure I get my butt up early enough to check the conditions and decide whether to go to rehab and elsewhere. I know the weekend will be in the 30s, which is better, but I really hate being out and about on the weekend during the busy shopping season. It's hard for me to find close enough parking sometimes, and fighting the crowds can just be downright exhausting. Sooooo, crossing my fingers that it'll be somewhat tolerable for me to go out!!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Stocked Up

With more bad weather and bitter temperatures coming starting tomorrow, I knew last Thursday that I really needed to take advantage of the 30 degree temps that would be sticking around for the weekend. I seriously needed to make a grocery trip, and since I really don't like to be in the stores on the weekend this time of year, Friday was going to have to be the day to go out. I had asked my mom if she could go, and she said yes, but she just wasn't sure when. My parents had taken their dog, Shelby, to the vet's on Thursday for an operation on her foot, and Shelby ended up needing her toe removed. She also had a tooth extracted, and a couple of spots removed from her ears. The poor thing! Shelby is 14 now, although she still has some days where you'd think she was way younger. And of course, she still looks like a puppy because of her small size. Well anyway, my mom didn't want to leave Shelby alone at home, so we ended up waiting until the evening to go out for food. We left around 5:30, after having dinner at their house. Four hours and three grocery stores later, I had enough food to last the rest of the month. lol I sure hope so anyway!! I look in my fridge and I think it's the fullest I've seen it in forever. And my cupboards are exploding, too! I have plans to make certain things, like Nutella cookies, black beans and rice, Chinese cashew casserole, and a few other dishes that were suddenly concocted while actually shopping. Today I am making pepper steak in the crock pot. I got the majority of the ingredients ready last night, and when I woke up around 7 this morning, I decided to just go into the kitchen and throw everything in the crock pot that early. It takes 8-10 hours on low to make, so I should be eating dinner on time! Hopefully it'll come out good!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

God's Special Angel

My friend, Erin, called me on Sunday evening to let me know that her niece, A., had passed away the night before. A. was 10 years old, and had died from complications of pneumonia. She was a special needs child, with many health issues over her short 10 years, including almost always being in a wheelchair. I didn't always get to see A., but when I did, she always had a beautiful smile on her face. She was so innocent to life, she saw joy in so much around her when any other person may have let that joy escape unnoticed. I was really surprised when Erin told me A. had died, it was just nothing I was expecting to hear.

Today was the wake for A., and despite the cold temps, I bundled myself up to get myself to the funeral home. I wanted to be there for Erin, who has no words to describe how she's feeling, and for A.'s family. I didn't realize exactly how difficult it would be to go to a wake for a child. I wrote a short memory of A. for the parents, and then went to view the hundreds of pictures that were put on 3 large pieces of cardboard. I immediately welled up with tears. A. was so loved by her family, and she touched the lives of so many who were lucky to come across her path. In so many pictures, A.'s signature smile lit up the photo. There were birthday pictures, Halloween pictures, many with her family and her cousins, and even some of the Buffalo Sabres hockey players (the one with their goalie, Ryan Miller, got me a bit jealous!). There was even a board of pictures provided by the special school she attended in Buffalo. She truly was a precious gem to so many people.

I walked with Erin and her daughter over to where the casket was located, and when I got near to say goodbye, I got teary-eyed again. A. looked like a little doll in that casket, peaceful and calm, as if she was just sleeping. It was overwhelming. Never in my life have I been to a wake for a child, and just seeing A. there made my heart break. I know that she is in a better place, and that she's running around free and able to do all the things she could never do here on earth, but none of it seems fair. Of course, there are many things in life that aren't fair, and I've experienced to many of them, but eventually I came to just accept them. Right now, my heart goes out to A.'s family and the people who were very close to her and loved her so much. They are the ones who really need some peace and strength at this time.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Early Winter Blahs

I say early winter in the title, but winter doesn't officially start for another 2 weeks. Tell that to snow and the bitter wind temps outside. Niagara finally got some snow yesterday and today, and the weather was in the 20s today, with a wind chill in the lower teens. I didn't bother going to rehab today. My rehab ended up being laundry, and going up and down the stairs several times to get four loads done. I also changed the bedding, and cleaned off the kitchen table. Quite a busy day, but I took almost six hours doing everything, and I still got a nap in afterward!

Anyway, back to the dismal weather. It's funny how a handful of degrees can make a difference in whether I venture outside or not. All last week, the temperature was in the 30s, with a couple of days in the beginning of the week feeling almost like spring. I didn't mind going out, and I'm glad I got so much done last week. There are still more stores I need to go to, but now the weather plays a huge factor. The wind chill is especially what I need to pay attention to. It actually gets a little depressing. This week, the temps are in the mid to upper 20s. This weekend may be in the mid 30s, but then the stores get insane. And then at least on Monday and Tuesday, the temps will struggle to hit 20. It's rather aggravating!! It almost feels paralyzing, as if I'm a prisoner of the forecast. I'm already hoping for spring and summer. Why don't I ever consider moving????

By the way, I do find it rather ironic that in the summer, many of my phriends living in the hotter areas around the country feel trapped in their houses because the heat bothers them so much. It's more the humidity, but still. It's quite the opposite for me, because I live for the heat!!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

'Tis the Season

Last Sunday was the start of a very busy week I ended up having, where I spent every day except Monday out of the house for at least a few hours. Sometimes that isn't a problem, especially in the warmer weather when it's not so bad. But since we're now in December (which I find hard to believe), the weather plays a huge role in my adventures outdoors, and if I have to go out, I am usually really tired by the time I get home. I have to bundle up, including long underwear, double socks, turtlenecks, sweatshirts or sweaters, and then add on the coat, hat, gloves, scarf, boots. It's a pain in the butt. Factor in a wind chill, and depending on how low the temperature feels because of that, I won't leave the house at all. This is why I really don't like winter! I find myself staying inside more than being out.

So, last week involved going to rehab twice (I really do hate missing it, especially this time of year, so I try to make it as much as I can!), hanging out at Mandy's house twice, shopping at a few stores, running errands, and filling up my car with a nice tank of gas (which I did on Tuesday, since it felt like spring!). Yesterday I decided I'm going to stay put for a few days and not leave the house, even though I could use a trip to the grocery store. But, I'm not totally desparate for that yet, so I can spare a few days inside just hanging out! I have a few jewelry orders that I finished and I have a couple more to work on. At least I can't say I'm totally not busy!

Racing Up

I had a dream last night that I was participating in a couple of races. One was 700m (meters or miles, wasn't really sure!), and the other was 830m, which seems like a very odd number. But that wasn't the only thing weird about these races. They weren't along the path of a typical running race, they were up staircases. I had to run up stairs. STAIRS. Stairs are not a favorite of mine. Sure, I can do a couple of sets of stairs if I take my time, but this race was in a huge building with tons and tons of stairs. Stairs are daunting to me if I have to go up alot of them and there is no elevator to help me avoid them. So the 700m race starts and all during the race I kept going up the stairs, and I felt so tired, but somehow at the end I had managed to win. Then came the 830m race, which was a bit trickier. Some of the staircases were being worked on and some of them were almost completely gone, making us have to figure out how to keep going up. When the race began, I bolted. I was running up those stairs 2 at a time and I just kept going and going. When I came across a broken staircase, I managed to get around it miraculously, and just kept flying up those stairs. And all the while, my oxygen tubing trailed behind me, getting stuck sometimes, but it didn't keep me from stopping. How the heck long was the tubing if it could follow me up hundreds of flights of stairs?? I got to the top of all the stairs we had to climb, and then I started going down, because, well, that was a part of the race. Reach a certain height and then truck it all the way back to the beginning in order to win. And I won again! How short of breath was I from doing all those stairs?? Surprisingly, I wasn't. Even knowing this was a dream, I was expecting in the dream to pass out from running up the staircases at lightning speed. For some reason, I was ok.

Now, what is this dream supposed to mean??? I have no idea. It was extremely vivid, which is why I wanted to write it down as soon as I possibly could this morning after I got up. I wish I had a clue as to what all of it meant. Maybe some day I will. All I know is that I'm glad that this was a dream, because I most certainly wouldn't survive if something like this was real!!