Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013

Just an FYI, I am so tired. G was up until 11:30 tracking Santa until I just had enough!! We watched The Santa Claus, read the story of Elf on the shelf and read Santa's Toy Shop. I love traditions. One was the looking at the lights. Santa was at one of the homes decorated with the lights and music linked. It was fun.

Now we are watching one of the movies Santa brought, Despicable Me 2. Love that movie. My parents came to see what Santa brought G. This is a throwback to the times when we were children and my own grand parents would come to see what Santa brought us. I made the banana bread my uncle gave me to share with them. It was very tasty.

The rest of the day is laundry and nap because I am so tired and G woke up with me at 6am when my alarm went off. Never mind that she NEVER gets up on a weekday when the alarm goes off! Tomorrow I am working so I will be taking G to hang with my parents for the day.

All in all a successful Christmas. Praying your Christmas is just as enjoyable, relaxing and focused on the Reason for the Season.

Monday, December 23, 2013

It's Christmas Time?

Friday night G and I picked out our first live/cut Christmas tree. Last year we had a norfork pine which I ended up hating and let die in the back yard. Plus it was a table top. Before that we have had a painting that doubled as a tree and a fake tree that somehow some outside animal managed to use as a bathroom in the shed.
So the weather was planning on turning nasty for the weekend. I had looked at trees near my work but they were $50. G and I were planning to buy one on Saturday morning but like I said the weather was turning nasty and I wanted a dry tree. Friday night I told G we would go to the next town to see if the lot was open. It was and we looked for a tree. G wanted the first picture but I pointed out the ornaments would get lost in the tree. Yes, G is in a t-shirt which just seems so very wrong. The tree we bought was $19. So very lucky to get that one at that price. Funny thing is that my aunt used to get this type tree all the time and we made fun of it calling it a charlie brown tree.
Dad had given or loaned me the tree stand. It was heavy but we got it in the stand up straight. Friday night we left it alone. Candycane our Elf didn't leave it alone; he plopped right in the middle of it. Anyway, Saturday we started decorating. I had buy new multicolored lights for G. I actually couldn't find any of my clear lights at first, and I forgot to put the silver ball garland on it too. The clear lights and garland were in a box I failed to search. But the two places had Christmas decorations at up to 50% off so we bought lights for the tree.

I was so excited to see my ornaments that had not been out for 4 or 5 years. G and I compared ornaments she made as a preschooler. It was just so much fun!!  See that tiny paper hand up to G's hand now.  Ah, the memories. Even the topper is a memory.  The red star was our families star on our tree until my mom bought an angel with fiber optic wings.  Personally, I like the star better. 
And I have no idea why I have 6 stockings for real. But we put them all up. Also, as you can see we never got around to painting or for that matter deciding so the paint samples are still on the wall!
Even ginormous pink bear got in on the action. Can you see the elf in the tree? The next night he hung out in a stocking. Today we found him hanging on to the door knob. Not sure what he will be doing tomorrow but then he leaves until next year.
Here is another table decorated for the holidays. That screaming with Santa picture is my favorite. That was G's second Christmas home. The first year she totally and completely adored Santa. After this year however she was very fearful for the next 4 or 5 years.  I don't have pictures but the top of the piano has a nativity scene as well.  I might post that later. The weather now is much more like Christmas, meaning cold.  I might have a chance to post this week but we will see. If not, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Santa Visit 2013

Our church hosted the kids with a pizza party and Santa visit.  G asked for something that she is not getting.  Too expensive and she has enough electronics to last a lifetime.  One more is not going to be added at least for this Christmas.  I don't feel badly either.  She will have a great Christmas without it.  I doubt she notices.

And because she knew who this Santa was behind the mask I told her it wouldn't count.  She kept loudly, on purpose mind you, telling me who Santa was so that other little kids would hear her.  She was in quite a mood yesterday. 

Last night was the treat for her and her friend.  We agreed last year when the first Hobbit movie came out that we would go to this one and now we have planned the next one as well.  After the movie I took them both to dinner. I really wish he had followed the book more.  It just didn't do well, and I truly think it would have been better holding to the book.  Of course if you had not read the book then it wouldn't matter, I guess. 

Saturday, G and I shopped for a family on behalf of my Sunday school class.  I finished yesterday.  I think I got two things the wrong sizes but hopefully they are too big rather than too small at least for growing into.  It was a family of 3 kids and my class was generous.  I still added a bit of my money in it for gift bags because I thought I only had to shop but I found out wrapping had to be done as well.  Two class members took two of the kids to wrap, and I ended up with one to wrap and part of one to purchase more for and wrap.  I have to turn it in on Thursday and hopefully the youth group will add toys to the mix because I was able to get 1 full outfit for each child (for two oldest jeans and 2 long sleeve T-s), pjs, house shoes, underclothes, socks a Bible for each (from Dollar Tree), 1 large candy cane each, a dress for the little girl and coats/gloves for all three. 

 I enjoyed shopping for them too.  I turned all the receipts in so the class would have record of the amount spent.  Just to say, the little girl's outfits didn't cost as much as the bigger but they all basically got the same number of items at different prices.  I didn't buy shoes other than house shoes because of price and fit.  Giving a size doesn't really help because you never really know how the shoes fit without trying them on.

We still haven't put up a Christmas tree.  Honestly, we haven't had time.  We are even missing the karate Christmas party tonight.  Maybe this weekend we will get it together to do that.  I would love to see my ornaments again!  G has her school and church program this week and her school party on Thurs.  I sent the cookies already!  Call me ahead of the game, heh.

 I am having some things delivered to work because G is nosy.  Somethings have come to the house and G knew I had something for her.  I don't know how I am going to swing this yet.  I will get it all figured out. 

The elf is still with us and I honestly am ready for him to go!  He is quite a pain if you know what I mean.  Planning things, moving things and writing back to G on the computer is causing me loss of sleep!  I haven't take pictures of him this year like last year.

G pulled her own tooth again.  This time it is one of the bigger teeth on the bottom by her canine tooth.  It even had an inactive cavity in it.  She is on the fence about believing in the tooth fairy.  Thankfully the tooth fairy had some cash.  G finally got her paddle ball she has "always wanted."  She also, out of the blue, told me she wants a snuggie and has always wanted one.  First I heard this was when she spotted one at wally world yesterday.  Other thing, she is always hot and wanting to wear short sleeves so NO SNUGGIE FOR HER!

That was our weekend.  Hope the week goes fast because I need a nap!

Friday, December 13, 2013

What a Week

TGIF and all that, we have been busy this week.  Our church choir, of which I am a member, held madrigal dinners for 3 nights which tied up 5 nights for me and G.  When I was in college (20 years ago) I served at madrigal dinners.  One year on one night I got to carry out the boar's head.  We even served the flaming figgy pudding.  We used utensils for those dinners.  We didn't for our dinners this week.

Anyway, it seems only 3 of us knew what it was or any history about it, or had been to one.  Those three people were me, the choir director and her husband/our pastor.  So apparently, many people didn't know what it was, and G still calls it a magical dinner, heh.  It really did stress a lot of our choir members out.  Now they know so next year it won't be so bad on them.
We had small vignettes along the hall in which I personally played a washer woman just for a glimpse (poor portrayal) of life in the middle ages.  We had artists, a stockade (and prisoner), a musician, dancer and a separate group of  musicians playing at the end of the guests' walk into the hall.  We have a very talented member of our church who is impressive with scene/stage designs.  She really is incredibly talented, and she and her hubby do most of the designs for all of the programs in our church.  We have a church member who owns an antique shop who was able to use some stuff to decorate the dinning hall.  It really turned out well.  It really looked almost like a castle hall.  Our sanctuary has a hall around it and the inside of the hall or outside of the sanctuary is brick which helped with the appearance. 

Anyway,  G played a squire or page for two of the nights and pulled the seats out for the king and his daughter/princess.  She also was the runner to tell the kitchen when we needed what.  So the choir members were the servers.  We had wonderful volunteers in the kitchen to prepare the food.  No utensils were used so we had mostly finger foods and soup.  We served a ginormous turkey leg, bread, potato logs and corn on the cob. 

We used a razorback hat for the boar's head which worked so very well.  The pastor wrote a skit about the head and told the symbolism of the head.  We had the guests participate in the Twelve Days of Christmas song which was very fun.

The first night was a very low crowd of about 60 people.  Thankfully, it was low.  The third night was also supposed to be a very low number; however, after nights 1 and 2 people started calling each other so the last two nights were actually sold out.  Sold out was 96 tickets.  There were maybe 5 seats empty on both nights combined.  Also, last night the paper came and took lots of photos with a very bright flash while the dinner was served by candlelight in the dark, just sayin'.  I just pray I am not in any of the pics.  Although, I will say, with no intention of compliments; though, that because of my skin getting on my nerves by 4pm everyday, I looked like a recovering medieval small pox victim (due to my acne) and made a proper poor wench for sure! 

The plan I came up with  for serving the food got turned upside down on night one.  Then someone in the choir sent the soup back before it was served without telling anyone, so when we servers went to get the soup, it was gone.  I still don't know on that one.  One pan of turkey legs got dropped one night, a bowl was broken one night (which is amazing since we had 3 nights of the use of the bowls), and the desserts were my favorite mini cherry tarts, but were not easy to eat with hands only. 

Someone else told the kitchen we were serving tea and coffee; which, we were not, nor did we ever plan to do so.  The plan all along for space savings, serving time, and attempting to be somewhat authentic was to serve only water and wassail.  We wasted 3 carafes of coffee much to my chagrin because I actually like coffee. 

Also, we had planned to use thermal carafes to serve the wassail, but on nights 1 and 2 we didn't have any to use, even after in the planning meetings when we were told we did have some.  One of the kitchen volunteers purchased some carafes, so on night 3 we did have some just not enough wassail for the whole room to have more than 1/2 cup. 

So all the plans I made got scrapped and then I heard over and over how I had initially assigned someone something but now they had to do something else.  On Sunday, two days before the first dinner, I had gotten charged with managing the serving of the dinner.  So I came up with the initial plan that was scrapped on the first night. 

You want to find the most inflexible people in any organization?  Plan a big something and assign folks to certain parts of it and then change at the last minute.  I know.  I can be inflexible and I don't like change, but I also know that sometimes you just have to get-r-done. I did get to the point where I just wanted to say, "do you what you want just make sure everyone gets food and drink." 

Oh and last night I got ahead of the schedule and sent the turkey legs out early, YAY! ME! No I won't forgive myself.  That was a terrible error on my part.  I also fussed at G because she was just not minding me about being quiet behind the scenes! or maybe I was just stressed and her not minding was a bigger deal at that moment than normally.

About the costumes, none of them were really the same which I think worked very well, and was the plan all along.  We used tunics to cover long flaring skirts or dresses for the women.  We had a couple of people volunteer cut the tunics out for us and create some of the costumes.  Some of the men's things were made and some used from nativity programs. 

Mainly, we wore solid colors under the bright tunics which were made from tapestry or furniture coverings.  A lady who had donated (for a completely different reason) the particular material from which my tunic was made told me, as she exited last night , that I looked like one of her pretty pillows.  Her companion stopped to explain the lady's comment, but I am still not sure if she was irritated that we used the material for a different reason than she intended or what.  To me the tunics were the best and simplest idea I had, heh. 

There was lots of laughter, the music was great and the choir didn't embarrass itself, as we are not professional by a long shot but we had fun (or at least I hope the majority of the choir would say that).  Everyone who came through the exit where I was standing said they enjoyed it.  Obviously since the last night sold out, people were calling friends and family to tell them to go.  G and I had three late nights and two minor meltdowns (a piece).  I am so very tired today.  I am looking forward to sleeping in Saturday some.

I have no pictures of the dinner.  I have failed to upload a zip line video of G, and now I probably just won't do it.  I am lazy like that.  Also, can't wait to see the next Hobbit movie.  I am taking G and her friend to a matinee this weekend for Christmas.  Can't wait, seriously.

Friday, December 06, 2013

The Storm and Other Ramblings

The storm is here and the temps are dropping.  Schools all around the area have closed.  Most closed yesterday but our district closed sometime after we went to bed.  Then because I did something to my phone I didn't get the message or the call when it came, so I got up regular time and got breakfast ready.  G got up too and now she is trying to whistle with her hands getting frustrated.  She is already in a mood, yea me!  I fear it is going to be a long day!

Good news on my mom, well, depending on how you look at it.  Mom's depression is now being handled.  She looked and sounded so good last night.  G even said she noticed that Grammie was happy because she asked when we were putting up the Christmas tree.  Tuesday night she was ready to cancel Christmas and so was I. 

Since my dad took her to the nurse practitioner on Wednesday he was able to listen to the instructions on her depression meds, and now they both know that the medicine is not a take as you wish but a must take every day.  Dad had not gone with her when she was initially prescribed this med so he didn't really know what it was or was for and trusted my mom's information.  He also now realizes he can not send my mom in with a doctor by herself again.  

The doctor on Thursday was the psychologist who has recommended a neuro doctor that specializes in dementia illnesses and will set that up so we can start to plan what this is and what it could possibly look like in the near future.  I suspect this will be more of a finalization on diagnosis and a this is what to expect to have to do in the future. 

Also, he told my dad that mom can no longer drive or do a checkbook.  Dad said something else was restricted but he couldn't remember what that was but did know that they had already done or stopped doing that.  I suspect that is some sort of cooking. 

Anyway, she still has the dementia, undiagnosed and now a medicine that will control depression.  Dad has taken over all her meds anyway and I suspect he will be planning a move in the near future from the 2 1/2 acre land they are on to a smaller yard and maybe smaller house.  Ch-ch-ch-changes...

I am not sure if mom was sad about not being able to drive or if it hit her yet that she couldn't or shouldn't.  We are mostly doing the driving for her anyway.  I think dad was heading that way slowly but now it is a professional medical opinion which is easier for my mom to accept.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

I Pray They Are Wrong

This is our area.  We will be on the edge of the WORST.  So far the predictions have held true.  At least we have milk, water, and food.  I don't have to go to the store.  Hopefully the power will hold.  G and I may just bunker down for the weekend.  That will be fine as laundry is out of control and we have lots of movies to watch.

We will be praying for the safety of all of our family, neighbors and all others in the path.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Thanksgiving Weekend

My mother has not survived the Thanksgiving weekend unscathed.  She has fallen into a very deep and potentially destructive depression.  Mom told me something about one of her worst days but she couldn't remember which day either Sunday or Monday.  I asked her if she told my dad to which she replied, "No, of course not, why would I.'

I said, "Because he is your husband and needs to know."  She believes it will make him more sad.  Then she told me not to tell but I had too for both of their safety not to mention my own child's safety.  At this point I think G is a stabilizing factor in the afternoon so I hope he can continue to pick her up after school.  I believe she is something for my mother to look forward too. 

Anyway,  I did tell my dad and we aren't the closest of family members.  My dad is very stoic and I think he feels the burden of other people's pain or emotions more deeply than he shows.  I am an emotional person by nature, not able to talk about something upsetting without the tears flowing, which has in the past made both my parents just not wish to talk to me about whatever upset me.  The thing is, whatever is going on with my mom is upsetting, and I can't help that but they are my emotions for me to deal with alone.  I am not intending to burden him, but I have to be able to tell him things even when I am upset without him also feeling as if he has to protect me too.  I am not sure if I am making sense of what is going on but my free fall of tears can't exclude me from knowing what is going on with my mom or from telling him something she can't or won't tell him.

So one of my aunts came to visit mom yesterday and helped her clean her bathroom, putting a new shower curtain up and getting rid of things my mother doesn't want or need.  I called my aunt to find out if they really talked or if mom shared some of the same things she shared with me.  She didn't.  I am emotionally like this aunt, and she knows that too.  So we cried together.  Anyway, she offered to call another sister to find out if mom has shared some of the same feelings with her and will let me know if she did. 

I don't want my mom to feel alone, but she does.  I don't want her to be sad, but she is.  I know she may or may not remember what she tells me so if one of those sisters asks and mom denies it I want someone beside me to know what was said.  The thing is what my mom is saying is so not plausible that it is hard to believe she is the one saying it.  Thankfully, my aunt does know that my mom is not in a good place so although she wasn't told the same thing she believes what I repeated to her.

Mom has a doctor's appointment tomorrow to see how fast this progression is going.  I hope they will give her something for her depression as well.  She misses her Thanksgiving visitors and can't remember them leaving or how they left of if she said goodbye or anything.  She is pretty pitiful right now.  Dad realized on Monday that he can no longer leave her alone.  I believe he also realizes she can no longer drive.  She has pretty much lost her independence if they can't find any medications to help.

I also have to keep G updated and informed.  Since we are both here and basically in the midst of it, she has to be (as much as she can) in the know.  I can't hide it.  We have to talk openly and honestly about what is happening, what potential there is for future outcomes and what we think about it.

Other than that, which is huge, we are gearing up for a winter storm.  The temps this week have been in the 60s-70s in the day and 30 degree drops at night.  By Friday, we are supposed to have ice and around 36 degrees.  Sadly I had to turn my heat on before Thanksgiving.  I tried to hold off until Christmas but we had a colder than normal build up to Thanksgiving.  Maybe not record lows but lower than in recent pasts.

Also, our choir is about to perform a madrigal dinner 3 nights in a row with practices tonight and Saturday through Monday night.  The last performance is Thursday.  I am about to lose my mind with not knowing what to do with G for those nights.  I may get Dad to bring her to me and have her help in the kitchen every night.  I foresee a miserable week of nights.  Please God, prove me wrong. 

I would appreciate my family being lifted up this coming holiday season.  Right now I am all about cancelling Christmas completely.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Home and Tired

We made it home around 8:20pm last night.  Well, we made it to my mom's at that time to celebrate her birthday which was yesterday.  We made it to our actual house around 9:00pm or so.  We made it to bed around 11pm.  We are both exhausted.  We are, however, at work and school today.  The day is dragging too.

We were in KY for our trip in case I didn't mention it.  We went to the Creation Museum near Erlanger*, KY.  I think its address is Petersburg* but we stayed in Erlanger*.  We were for the majority of the trip right outside of Cincinnati, OH.  We even hit the Christmas tree lighting ceremony there on Friday night which, by the way, was very very cold.

The Creation Museum is spectacular and well worth the trip.  Even if you are a firm evolutionist and believe Charles Darwin is right, it is worth seeing with an open mind for a different perspective.  I am not an evolutionist, I am a firm believer in a literal 6 days and am borderline young-earther.  And by borderline I mean I can see how the earth is not millions of billions years old from a literal interpretation of Genesis and the evidence can support it, but I can also see how sin affected everything no matter when Adam and Eve actually fell as far as time goes since God, Himself, is outside of time, and there can be millions of billions in the Bible as well.  But I put no faith whatsoever in the big bang or any Charles Darwin evolutionary ideas, strictly or otherwise.

We ended up stopping at 2 places on the way home.  Abraham Lincoln's national memorial of his birthplace and the town near where he lived for 2 years before moving to IL.  That was stop number 1 on the way home.   It was very nice and informative.  In the town square of Hodgenville*, KY, there is a museum dedicated to him.  It is a wax museum of particular parts of his life. 

 G has on her zip line shirt (bottom).  I am standing at the entrance of the birthplace memorial.

The second stop was to see Bill Monroe's home.  That was a bit freaky but to be honest I couldn't tell you what about it gave me the creeps.  We arrived late in the afternoon and other than the "office" (which was a house) there were no people there.  There were two big dogs which prevented me from going to the office to have a true guided tour.  We took pictures from the front porch which I will not post here because we didn't actually get permission to be there.  We were on video surveillance according to the sign.

The Bill Monroe stop was at Beaver Dam, KY which had several fast food restaurants and happened to be when we both decided we were hungry.  G however decided she did not want fast food but she wanted Italian, Chinese or Mexican like Ameca's.  I was a wee bit skeptical that we were going to find any of those varieties but low and behold on the way back to the parkway we came across the "Happy Family Buffet" Chinese restaurant!  I said, G, "... I can't guarantee that it is good, but at least it is Chinese."  She said, "Well the outside looks shabby but the inside doesn't look too shabby."  And it was good for being 3:30 in the afternoon.

So now to finish this week and next before I can truly rest well.  I will eventually get the video of the zip line experience up but not today.  And the Elf on the Shelf, Candycane, made his grand re-entrance into our holiday.  Today he played with a balloon toy G bought at the museum so balloons had been shot all over the house.  We will see what he will come up with for tomorrow.

*I may have all the spellings wrong and maybe one day I will get the map out and put the correct info on it but for now I am leaving them misspelled and all.