Annual Renewal

The loveseat enveloped my body last night when our day of Christmas celebration was over. There was the buoy effect as I tried to sink in but I was just too inflated to actually feel comfortable. “Why” I screamed in my brain as the melancholy set in. Now begins the day after Christmas.

Unlike several of my friends, I have never been the day after Thanksgiving shopper nor do I look forward to bargain shopping the day after Christmas. Manic buying, shopping, cooking, planning and the joy of Christmas decorations ends at sunset on Christmas Day. The week before The New Year has always been the week of renewed hope. I like to think of it as I have been loved and nourished on Christmas which gives me the courage for the “start over” week….and the new year!

So onward and upward…this beautiful sunrise reminds me I have my week of hope, love and renewal beginning.

Until next time…..

This morning

Preparing for Christmas Eve brunch.

  • Throwing the ingredients for monkey bread into the greased angel food cake pan, I reflected on how many times I have cringed while greasing the cake pan all the while wondering why you aren’t suppose to grease an angel food cake pan.
  • Wondered if my mother somehow knew I greased angel food cake pans which drifted into remembering my mother and Aunt Frances cooking every holiday meal together and even after 80+ years still arguing about it.
  • I had coffee with my dad (where ever he is) in his red and black Christmas flannel shirt and I repledged my undying love for him. My best qualities…the ones I don’t take credit for, I got from my dad.
  • Realized the Christmas cry was going to happen at some point today.
  • Made “company potatos” from a beloveds recipe and I hope she knows I miss her so much today!
  • Wondered if the girls and their families have the slightest idea how much I love and cherish them.
  • Turned on the cold water in the sink to rinse a dish and wondered if I just scalded “him” in the shower, felt bad, then snickered because he’s probably cursing.
  • Realized I am feeling so much gratitude for the love around me.
  • Commencing Christmas Cry.
  • Merry Christmas!
  • Imagine our surprise!

    At first glance, it appeared Katy and Adam went all out on wedding reception decorations.  On closer inspection, we found that the money spent was actually courtesy of:

    He rented the Court Avenue Bridge for a rally.   (Our niece, Ashley’s husband).

    Reception guests were greeted with upbeat music and mostly positive energy from the crowd!

    Kate and Adam’s friend and photographer, Scott Steen, captured the love at the reception….one of my favorite pictures includes this one……if you look closely you can see how much Jaxon enjoyed the photography session….he was looking for  rocks to throw in the river … Rocks, Rocks, don’t move rock….or ….. willing a huge blast of smoke so the guy and his camera would disappear…..POOF!

    ….and here’s our family

    Until next time…..

    My Sunday with Thomas the Train


    I cannot exactly say why…but seeing Thomas the Train in person was very exciting.  I suppose it is a movie star sort of thing…or perhaps just enjoying the simple things in life…

    Baldwin City, KS has this carnival like event organized so it is very painless for visitors.  We met Brenda and John, Jenny, Justin and Jaxon at the elementary school and boarded a school bus for the very short journey to the depot.  I always enjoy the little eye roll and expletive when Jenny and I arrive wearing similar clothes or similar pattern…but nothing prepares you for the little tickle of joy when you are wearing the similar bold stripes of your son-in-law!


    I adore this beautiful, innocent picture of Jenny and Jaxon!


    Aboard the 20 minute ride up and down the tracks with Thomas – first pushing – then pulling.


    Baldwin City has a very nice downtown area…Jaxon loved the fountain…Granny and Gramma aka NENE and NINA provided him with our stash of pennys for the fountain. A collection of rocks were placed in Nina’s purse for a trip down to the pond when he visits this week.


    John and Brenda headed to IKEA and the rest of us met at our nieces/cousin’s home in Shawnee,KS for dinner and to visit his Brother and sister-in-law visiting from Minnesota.  It was great to hang out with the fam.  Unfortunately the only picture I took was of the pan of brownies that Aaron made.  That just seems a little wrong…but actually they were very right!  Thanks, Aaron.


    Until next time….

    It was a really pleasant Monday….

    Angie – “my” nurse from Dr B’s office was my first conversation this morning – she called to tell me my blood tests from Friday all look excellent.  I’m actually feeling a little depressed and nauseated tonight and I know it is all mental.  I feel like I’m coming to the end of this diverticulitis run and may be getting closer to getting this left kidney out of me.  Jenny and I were reading about kidney cancer the other day and apparently there is a 10 – 12 percent chance that a kidney mass as big as mine may not be malignant once they get in there.  That’s like 10 people in a room with kidney cancer – one of them may end up being benign.  I’m going to kind of hold onto those statistics until I know something definite!

    Had lunch with Mike and Kim at Cracker Barrel in Liberty…they were traveling through from their visit with Amber and family in Oklahoma City.  It was a totally relaxing visit…and you can’t beat relaxing, loving people!

    Yesterday afternoon, he brought a sheet in from the garage, a little planer (I think that is what it is) and 3 sticks, planted himself on the coffee table.

    IMG_3699 IMG_3700 IMG_3704

    What are ya doin?

    Jaxon was out today.  Nails were pulling up on the decking…between the 3 of us – we got them hammered back down.




    Until next time….

    All you really have to do is get family together

    for entertainment.  I believe that several minute to minute happenings in my 3 days of Christmas could more than likely keep a movie audience enthralled for a year…Just the scenarios…not necessarily the events themselves.  I’m sure it is true in every family gathering…some stories or things that happen become the lore of many Christmas to come – passing down from generation to generation.  While I want to belly laugh my way thru some of these stories right now – I know that it would not be appropriate because what happens at Christmas needs to stay with Christmas…but a few stories may squeeze out to some of you privately.  I share/you share because after awhile you want to hear other family stories so you won’t fear your Christmas get-togethers with your family in the future. :0 you know what I’m talking about!

    I really hope Candyland is still a popular children’s game.  I had a fleeting memory yesterday of the many hours my dad spent playing candyland with me when I was a kid and I want to play the game with Jaxon.

    As I see the clean Christmas dishes sitting on the counter, I am trying to figure out what to do with them this year.  The boxes they came in 10 years ago are becoming tattered..still have good padding though??  I am so not the person who should be responsible for putting them away…I received very little of the attention-to-detail gene.

    I don’t know what we are going to do today to entertain ourselves..the Christmas let down.  I hope you all felt a little love this holiday season to get you thru the next few months of winter!  That and be sure to run some of those family stories around in your brain to cement them so you don’t forget them…

    Until next time….

    Hard decisions…

    Julie’s visitation was last night (Friday night) and our nephew’s wedding rehearsal and dinner was at the same time.  Same situation with today’s funeral and wedding.  I was feeling a lot of emotional angst as to what I should do last night.  My friend, Deb Williams, gave me what I believe was the best advice…she told me to be with my family.  Family comes first. So that is what I did.  I believe it was the right decision although my Katy said that she was sure the family would understand because people die and no one expects it.


    I love this picture…especially because it appears that we have a photobomber…That’s George…he is the oldest of the Brown brothers and he was sitting at the table with me.   In the background on the left is “him”, their brother Lee who is father of the groom.  Sean – the groom and his brother Ryan.  This is probably going to be the family event of the year…all of the cousins except one will be together in one place which is the first time since 1996 at their grandfather’s funeral. 

    Today Sean and Lindsay say, I DO.  Lindsay is already family but now we will get to call her Lindsay Brown…yay.

    He and I are relaxing this morning, I got up to get a cup of coffee away from our irritating Words of Wonder game on Facebook and the view of the backyard made me stop in my tracks.


    For a split second, I thought to myself…WHAT ARE WE DOING leaving this view.  I suppose if I didn’t have these thoughts something would be wrong with me.

    It’s going to be a great day…

    Until next time….

    Small town life and rabbits

    I grew up in Des Moines – a medium size large city with a population of about 200,000.  In my teens, I was “adopted” by a family in Colfax – population 2000 give or take a few.   I had my circle of friends – few relatives – when I lived in Des Moines.  Be accepted and included by this Colfax clan taught me a great deal.  First and foremost family.  I used to tease my Colfax BFF that her family was like rabbits in their multiplication rate.  Everyone was related somehow.  You big city folks don’t know that I’m not kidding.  He and I went to the county fair parade last night in Colfax…I saw lots of family/friends that I had not seen in a long time… these town events are like a family reunion for this family.  I’m envious…I’m just glad they still know me and still consider me one of them!!!

    Speaking of rabbits…the game of darting rabbits while driving to work will not be something I miss when I move from the gravel roads of the country.  It’s no wonder they are required to have such a high procreation rate.  For you townies…when you see a group of bunnies on the road, they scatter in mach speed but they don’t run to the side of the road immediately.  They shoot back and forth across the road like pin balls until they A) Join Alice in Wonderland or B) Well, B is ugly..I don’t want to talk about it.  I can just say it is not like hitting an angry coon on the road..

    Until next time….

    My life taking care of the oldsters….

    92 year old Aunt Frances (lives with 90 year old mother next door) called me a little after 1am yesterday morning, said she was in terrible pain and I needed to come over.  How many times this has happened, I can’t begin to explain..grrrrr.  When I got there, Aunt Frances asked me to feel her hernia, it was very solid…this is a hernia she has had many years; I knew this was not a good sign.  In the middle of a rain storm – can you believe that – I hauled her into the ER where they found her to have an incarcerated hernia which would require emergency surgery to repair.  She was afraid.  Being the God fearing woman she is, I thought it was okay to tell her that she would die without the surgery.  I could see the fear and indecision in her eyes.  I asked her if she was afraid of dying.  She said no but she really liked living.  She said, I’m in God’s hands.  I told her there were really two things that could happen…she would either survive and come back here or go home.  She decided to have the surgery.  They wheeled her in around 6:15a and it was all over at 7:15 and after an hour in recovery, I heard her coming down the hall before I saw her.  She was on demerol, away from my mother for awhile…her life was good.  Surgery went well.

    Before you judge me on the rest, either read my previous blogs about my narcissistic mother, or trust me when I tell you she has been very difficult and it took me lots of therapy, medication and the peace of God to not find a way to kill myself when my dad died and left me with her.  My aunt gave up a go-getter life in Des Moines when my mother begged her to get her out of the nursing home and live with her last December.  Aunt Frances wanted to give her Christmas and a month at home to get things in order then mom would go back to the nursing home and she would move back to Des Moines…to her church and her friends…needless to say, she just can’t bring herself to be responsible for moving mom back into the nursing home.  She is a much better person than I am.  My mother fights and competes with her day and night and does not believe for a second that my aunt is living there to take care of her…anyway…I wasn’t going to get in to this garbage.

    At 5:30 this morning, mom calls Dana – (the daughter of a good friend of mine who takes care of them 3 x a week) and begged Dana to drive over here and take her to the hospital because she was alone.  Then once there, not to be outdone by Aunt Frances, she had to go to the emergency room because she was having a pain in HER stomach. Ya…she’s constipated.

    Meanwhile, because I was at the hospital all night, Jenny went to DM to pick Katy up at the airport.  I tried to sleep on and off today but had insomnia because I could not figure how I was going to get to see Katy..get my mother home from the hospital and “deal” with her etc etc.  I have the two best girls in the world, they took care of it for me..they went to see Aunt Frances – who was totally enjoying the demerol and brought g’ma home – got her situated and made life so much easier for me.  Kate took me aside and said she had thought a lot about it, and I needed to remember that g’ma has an extreme psychiatric disorder and at least she isn’t mean like a lot of other old people…ya…she got that out of her system when I was young.  I have to honestly say that it feels so good to have someone take care of me instead of my history of the other way around.  “He” takes care of me too – but I always feel guilty when he has to deal with her because it just seems above and beyond the call of husbandry.

    The big thing I learned about myself today is that I’ve been away from all of mom’s crap for awhile..I just don’t get involved unless there is an emergency..and I’m much better…but whenever I have to deal with her or figure out how to deal with her, I revert back.  Today and tonight I found myself food binging.  I haven’t eaten everything I could get my hands on for a long time – it’s not normal stress – it is mother and aunt Frances now I know that I have some work to do on the old psych.

    If you are still reading this, thanks…today’s novel was for me to get the feelings out so I can deal with them and move on.

    :: edit:: Oh great…it’s Friday the 13th