Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Family, friendship, love. The usual.
National Council & Convention
Worst things about 2009
Well, you know. Alex.
Saying goodbye to Father Todd
Pre-Thanksgiving holiday vomitorum in the kindergarten room
Things I could do better in 2010
Be a better friend. Keep in touch. Write letters. Do a Jenny.
Best Christmas Face - Nathan, when he opened his Buzz Lightyear. Actually, Nathan when he opened anything. No stick lip here.
(OK, so we missed his face. But I promise you, it was cute. Like this:)
Cookie time - Wednesday before Christmas, I fired up the oven. Literally. A Mexican wedding cookie rolled right off the cookie sheet onto the bottom of the oven, and when I finally fished it out, it was a cute little charcoal ball. And, I burned my hand, so the holiday is now complete. So I made iced cutouts (green trees, yellow stars and blue bells), Espresso chocolate drops, molasses cookies, pecan pie tartlets and the aforementioned wedding cookie (or are they Russian tea cakes?) I also made a batch of Chex mix and a batch of hot cocoa mix, dipped some pretzels and baked a coffee cake for Kenny. And, I made a fruit cake, using lovely dried fruits from King Arthur flour and their recipe. Note to my future self when reading this post -- forget the fruit cake. There is a reason why fruit cake is the butt of so many Christmas jokes, and your fruit cake only furthers the legend. NO ONE EATS IT.
Gifts - The thought of shopping made me anxious -- every time I was in WM or Target, I thought I would have a panic attack, and don't even get me started on the mall. We did a lot of shopping online, which turned out very well -- digital video cameras from QVC for the girls, toys for the boys, and almost everything for Will. Although Clay and I had decided to not exchange gifts, we are terrible at that -- I got him a cordless drill/saw set (so he can build that barn this spring) and a few other things; he gave me a subscription to Cooks Illustrated, a ME calendar (of course), some bamboo t-shirts for my trip and the Glee CDs. Sarah gave us a beautiful picture ornament of Allie (plus a sweater and pink water bottle) and Mags gave me a new crock pot. I got the Pioneer Woman cookbook from Karen (beautiful, just like PW's site) and some antique cat salt and pepper shakers from Sharon. Way, way, way too much, but lovely to be thought of, you know? (This doesn't even count the wonderful things from the kindergarten kids and J & L!)
Probably the best gift of the day (aside from Ron's gift certificate and the enormous bra) was the keepsake box Maggie gave to Sarah. She knew Sarah wanted some sort of box to keep Alex's blanket and other things in, and searched online unsuccessfully. I had a sewing box upstairs that my grandpa H. had made many years ago -- he had a little side business making pet coffins for the ladies down at the Eagles, and I think my sewing box was one of his prototypes! Maggie took that box to Nate, who made Sarah a box of the same size. It was beautiful; he carved handles and Alex's name on the inside of the lid. A sweet and precious gift.
Musically, this Christmas was much more relaxed, now that I am down to playing at two churches. The kid's mass at St. A was beautiful, as always -- we even had a 3-week-old baby Jesus. And OLP was wonderful, too. Father Scott came for supper -- we ended up making shepherd's pie with the lamb this year -- I think we may have hit upon a traditional Christmas Eve dish.
I didn't think we could do it, but we did. Merry Christmas.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Sunday, December 6, 2009
It took me quite some time to develop. As a worrier, I had a hard time going to Will's meets when he started wrestling when he was about 6. The clincher for me was when we had to go buy a handkerchief to use as a blood rag -- required gear for the meets. I let Clay take him and report back after each bout.
But as horrible as I thought it would be to go, it was worse not to be there, so when he got to middle school, I put on my happy face, started going, and became the typical wrestling mom -- a fund-raising, snack-packing, purple-wearing, yelling, stomping, whistling weirdo.
Since Alex died, it's been hard to put on the purple shirt and drag myself to the meets -- the thought of Will getting hurt is almost too much to bear. Friday night began conference duals at Columbus East -- I made it through with just a few tears and without vomiting, so we headed to Jeff yesterday morning for the conclusion of the meet. I was doing fine, even cheering a bit. Then a boy from Bedford was hurt and carried out on a stretcher.
For Will's sake, I know I need to go and support him. Just like for Tommy, Nate and Paul's sake, (and Sarah, Maggie and Will) I know that we need to try to have a merry Christmas. Putting on the happy face is easy, but shoving the despair, anger and worry down far enough to survive these next few weeks is the hard part.
I'd pray for a little peace, but God and I still seem to be on a "Can you hear me now?" plan.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Instead of telling people not to worry, let's thank them. Thanks for banning the use of DDT and red dye #2. Thanks for making me wear my seat belt and keep a smoke detector in my home. Thanks mom and dad, for being irrationally strict, worrying about my future and keeping me on the almost straight and fairly narrow; while I don't know that watching "Love American Style" turned other late-1970's girls into wanton harlots and strumpets, thanks for worrying that it might.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
I'll give this one a 98, Dick. It's got a good beat and is easy to dance to, as you can plainly see. I love the tribute to our Presidents, plus, bonus points for the accordian -- Merry Klezmer Christmas.
Yes, I bought the album. Is Bob Dylan is just yanking my chain? I don't know, but I love it. It might be the direct opposite of my Christmas CD purchase last year -- Songs of Joy & Peace.Enjoy these guys; I give them a 98, too. Bonus points just because.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
For the first time since Allie died, I played at the Lutheran Home today. I think my peeps were glad to have me back. We even rocked out a little to Jingle Bells.
I'm trying to play a little music, write a bit and do something good every day. We'll see.
Oh, and I'm blogging again, too. Did you notice?