Monday, December 29, 2008

It's almost the end and the beginning

I'm starting to reflect upon the year. It's natural I suppose and I guess that around this time everyone does it to a degree. I think back and remember all that has occurred - from Pete's Dad dying to my disagreement with my parents, to getting married, to finding the motorcycle club. Such highs and lows. I never id seem to findmiddle ground this past year. That space where things are comfortable, equal, happy. When people ask, I usually say that I wouldn't change the hard times because they helped me learn. I've said that about my relationship with Pete. However, 2008 would have been much better if I could have changed a few things. I'll admit defeat this time.

I'd love it if Pete's Dad could have lived long enough to see us married. While he and Pete didn't see eye to eye, it was important to him to have his Dad there. And I'd have loved to see him see Pete happy.

I'd love it if my Grandma was still here. While I know that she is no longer suffering and that she is with her God and where she wanted to be, I'm still missing her. And I'm a bit leary of how the family will continue from this point on in her absence.

I'd love it if my parents were happy for me. When I look at the wedding pictures my Mom never smiled. Ever. There was a smirk in one photograph, but no smile. I saw her smile while talking to people at the wedding, but never in pictures or while walking me down the aisle. I realize in my head that I can't make them be happy for me. My heart still hurts though.

And lastly, I'd love it if Pete had a job that he liked. While we are financially ok for now, it worries me in this economy that he isn't working.

The best part of 2008 is that I married my best friend. I used to think that women were nuts when they said that their husband was their best friend, but not anymore. I tell him everything. I vent to him. I get support from him. He helps me with whatever. He truely is the one that I want to tell everything to, share everything with. Without him I don't know what I would do. The thought makes my heart skip a beat. I don't ever want to find out.

So I'm trying to celebrate the passing of 2008. While there were certainly good times, the bad seemed to outweigh it. And the rollercoaster of good and bad times has left me a bit sick and tired of the ride. I plan to ring in 2009 with optimism for a better year. For a year that is happier, less stressful, full of hope and lets me sit in grace.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Journal Your Christmas

Day 25: Christmas

I started a new tradition. Well actually we started a few. This year we had advent calendars from Germany. I hope to keep doing that because, well I love chocolate! We decided to open some of our presents to each other on the 23rd. Just as I opened my engagement ring on the 23rd last year. I think it's a wonderful tradition. I made a big Christmas Day breakfast and hope to keep doing that. I also filled Pete's stocking with little toys.

We went to Grandma Laura's house. It was awkward and unfulfilling. I don't know what I expected - calmness or that everyone was there to show some unity. But it wasn't what I had hoped and I doubt that we'll ever do it again.

Then onto Kim's house for our little Christmas. It was so fun to see Alison and Grant open gifts. They are cute and make me smile. I surprised Pete with his gift of garage opener for the Harley. And he surprised me with a diamond necklace.

Until next year...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Journal Your Christmas

Day 24: Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve has always been it's own day. It's the day that we traditionally go to my Mom's parent's house and celebrate. And Santa always came the night of the 23rd so that we had our presents on the 24th. I liked my parents for that!

This year we got up early and went to the gravesites. We put flowers on Pete's parent's grave. The snow way up high and it was cold and windy. But Pete got to the grave and cleared it off. He made shure the flowers were rested on the stone and we stood. I always talk to his parents when we go to the grave. I pray to them, I talk to them and hope that they can hear me. Then we went to my Grandma's grave and placed flowers there also. Again we went through the snow to get there. And I wished her a blessed holiday and told her that I miss her.

We went home and rested before going to my other Grandma's house. Lots of kids and toys and appetizers. It's fun and loud and makes me smile. I made grasshoppers. The drink that my Grandpa made all those years ago. Everyone said how it reminded them of him. And I sent him a silent smile.

Then we went to Daniela's to drop off presents for the kids. Matthew started putting toghether his lego set right away. Alie wanted Pete to play with her.

Then to church with Paster Nordmark. He is leaving the pastoral portion of the chuch soon. It was nice to worship there on Christmas. Calming and a wonderful break from all that goes on at Christmas time.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Journal Your Christmas

Day 23: Stockings

As a kid we had beautiful sewn had beaded stockings. They'd hang on the wall as we had no mantle to railing to hang them from. I think Kim's and mine ended up tearing at the loop because of how much was put in them. My mom made those stockings. She and my Grandma. Kims is the one that hangs the opposite way of ours, but that's ok. When we moved out, my Mom gave us our stockings. I have mine and although it never goes up, I look at it each year.

And you know what? I have a box of materials in the garage that are just waiting for me to make a stocking like that for Pete. And I want to...when I have time. Which seams to be never. So last year I bought stockings for us both. I never put anything in them, but they were hung up. This year, I haven't found the hangers just for the stockings so they're on a chair. But I have all the little things to fill Pete's stocking up on Christmas Day. I can't wait!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Journal Your Christmas

Day 22: Still to be done?

I'm trying to think...there are certainly things undone.

I'm stumped like you wouldn't believe on what to get my brother in law for about $15. I hate gift cards, but I think I'm stuck unless I can find something tonight.

I baked cookies but my frosting didn't set so I'm going to scrape it off and re-frost. Yes I know that I'm delusional about do that.

I still have Dave's present left to wrap and maybe one for Grant.

Other than making appetizers for Christmas Eve I'm done.

Wait, I still have cards to write and send out. I seem to be way behind in that department. They probably won't go out until the 26th, but I'll send those cards out!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Journal Your Christmas

Day 21: What does your house look like now?

Most of the presents are under the tree. The one that Pete calls teh CHarlie Brown tree for it's sparseness. Wrapped and waiting to be opened. There are 2 presents left to wrap near the stairs that I hope to get to tonight.

There are a million little cookies on the table waiting to be boxed up for CHristmas treats. I still have to make a couple of things though.

Other than that, Christmas decorations are left in the boxes. Someday I hope to have a real house that I can decorate several rooms with holiday decorations. Until then, it's overwhelming to have decorations anywhere else other than the livingroom.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Jorunal Your Christmas

Day 20: Didn't see that coming...

The one thing that I never expected was the little glass ornament from Scott & Kathy. It has my Grandma's information on it. They ordered it from the company that compiled her biography. I love it. It's such a wonderful remembrance of her life.

As for cards & letters, they seem to be sparse this year. Maybe everyone is behind like me? Or maybe people aren't doing cards due to the economy, chooing to spend money elsewhere.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Journal Your Christmas

Day 19: Santa Letter

If I were writing to Santa, I'd be asking for a peaceful Christmas. It seems so simple, but I want that peace that I knew as a kid back. I want to know that everyone is happy and that it's about getting together with family, nothing else. Santa, bring me peace for Christmas and 2009.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Journal Your Christmas

Day 18: Menus...

Yum. I think that I like the holidays as much for the food as anything else.

As a kid we had ham and cheesy potatoes and corn and beens and rolls. At least that's what I remember. After my Grandpa dies, my Grandma started a new tradition. She buys pounds of lovely shrimp and my Dad (or I) grill them. Yes, grilling in the cold fridgid air. Anyway, we have those beautiful shrimp and then everyone brings a couple of their favorite appetizers. When else do you get a bunch of yummy ,not good for you food? I love the little coctail weinies, the meatballs, the chicken wings, hot dips, cold veggies and dip, chips and cheese with crackers. I love it all.

This year I'm making 2 kinds of wings - spicy and some aisan ones. Then I want to have some good german sausage in kraut. Lately I've been really hungry for that.

For our immediate family ti changes year to year. For a while we fondued. Oh man how awesome. Fried food where you sit & eat and talk for hours on end. FUN! Then my niece came about and frying in hot oil wasn't a good thing. So we had what my mom calls party chicken and wild rice. Chicken with dried beef and bacon in a cream sauce. Heavenly. For the last few years we've had prime rib. I've taken to eating mine more on the medium side and it's wonderful! I can't wait to dig into that lucious beef.

Cookies? I have to say that for a few years my mom, sister and I got together and spent a day making cookies. I loved it. I loved that we did this together, it made it feel special. Then one year my Mom decided that it was too much for her and she stopped doing it. Kim and I did it one year and then it fizzled out. So for the last 3 years I set a day or weekend aside and bake. I bake all the cookies that we used to make myself. I just remembered that when we lived at home we used to bake cookies as a family. even my dad got into it. I miss those times.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Journal your Christmas

Day 17: Gift giving

I am so excited! Pete has no idea that I actually met with the parts guy to order parts for his bike! I went into the Harley dealer and met with the parts guy. He helped me pick out a couple of things for his bike and I ordered them. I can't wait to see his face. I think that he thinks he is getting a gift certificate for parts, not the actual parts. It's almost more than I can bare seeing it under the tree and knowing that he will be opening it soon!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Journal Your Christmas

Day 16: Gratefullness

I'm gratefull for Pete. For the man who loves me no matter what. For the company he gives and the support.
I'm grateful for the family I have. Family is important and I cherish them, good and bad at this time as I remember those who are not here.
I'm grateful for the new friends in the motorcycle club. They've filled in a spot that was lacking in my life and I didn't realize it until I had them.
I'm grateful for my job. The economy isn't good and I know that I have a job to go to each day that supports me.
I'm grateful for my home. That I can afford it.
I'm grateful for me. That I can see the things that I have and recognize them. I need to do that more often to remind myself how lucky I really am.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Journal Your Christmas

Day 15: Visitors & Visiting

Christmas is all about the rush. Always has been. Rush to have our family Christmas. Rush to Grandma's house on Christmas Eve. Rush to other Grandma's on Christmas Day. As a kid I loved it! I got to see the cousins that I rarely see throughout the year. There were presents galore and food. What could be better? As an adult I notice the rushing more. The preping to get where I'm going and enjoying the being there less and less.

That said, I wouldn't change it for the world. It's come to be somewhat of a tradition. And this year Pete and I are trying to add some of our own traditions in there. We want to go to the cemetary on Christmas Eve. It's the first Christmas without both of his parents and it's a hard one. We want to go to Church services on Christmas Eve. A connection to the man who married us.

Because my Grandma Laura died, it will likely be the last year of getting together with that side of the family. While it's one less place to rush to, it makes me sad. I won't sit in her basement watching her open gifts. No talking with cousins and seeing their children. I'll miss it. Really miss it.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Journal Your Chirstmas

Day 14: Presents

Giving is better than receiving. Of course as a child, I never thought this was true. As an adult I think I love to see people's faces when they open gifts more than I like opening mine. Although Pete is such a great secret gift giver that it may be exciting this year.

My parents always had Santa give a big gift to Kim and I at Christmas. The other little things were from them. I loved opening my bedroom door on Christmas and seeing what was under the tree. One year it was desks for our bedrooms and we thought we were cool! Another it was cross country skis and as a family we spent many years skiing. Yet another was small tv's for our bedrooms. Do you know that I still have the TV? It's one that you have to tune the channels in, but it works.

One year we knew just about everything that we were getting because we found the presents. However, it wasn't a very fun year. I think that's why presents haven't held much fun for me lately. Either I'm asking for osmething that I get or my Mom is telling me what she is getting me. It's not much fun to open something that you know that you're getting.

Pete has a whole different philosophy on presents. He believes that the giver gives what they want the receiver to have. So I never ask for anything. And I have to say that he is a wonderful listener throughout the year. He surprises me with things that I've asked for months ago. I can't wait to see what is in the boxes under the tree!

Last year was special. Last year on 12/23/07 I opened my present from Pete and found an engagment ring. I must have smiled a mile wide. I was tired from wrapping presents and hadn't showered, but the ring made my night. I remember staring at it and thinking that it was the best gift ever.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Journal Your Christmas

Day 13: Music

As I've previously said, one of my favorite memories of Christmas is the Bing Crosby, Sinatra, Dean Martin type songs piped into my Grandparentt's basement each Christmas Eve. It was comforting, soft but spirited and lovable. My favorite CD to listen to is Time Life Christmas Memories. I could listen to it over and over again and in fact I do! I buy a new CD each year to add to my collection, but I always come back to this. It brings back such wonderful memories. And I always try to imagine my Grandparents listening to the music when it was new and what they were doing over Christmas at that time. I love nostolgic things, especially at the holidays.

My favorite song is the Little Drummer Boy. I don't know why - but it speaks to me. And my favorite version is the one where Bing Crosby and David Bowie sing. I'm also a sucker for two eras mixing. I wonder what Bing Crosby thought of the 'new star' David Bowie when they recorded it.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Journal Your Christmas

Day 12: Christmas Past

Christmas past is a loaded phrase. I think that I associate Christmas past with perfection and I'm always trying to reach that again. Almost as if the past Christmases were my first hits of a drug and I'm always chasing that high again, trying to get the same feeling. It never really comes about. And yet when I look back, Christmases of recent aren't all bad. Just not the same.

Holiday celebrations to me are all about family and familiarity. I think that's why I love the old songs, the old traditions and seek to capture that again. I know that I can't go back to when my Grandpa Jack and Scott were alive, yet I'd love to. Things were good. People were happy, really happy. Now I wonder if the holiday not only brings joy, but sadness to my family as they remember the people that are no longer here.

With Pete I hope to make new traditions that reflect us. That lead to better memories of happy days.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Journal Your Christmas

Day 11: Oh Christmas Tree...

Every year the day after Thanksgiving, we put up our tree. Everyone else was shopping at stores and we would put up the tree. This meant going into the basement and digging it out along with the boxes of ornaments. The tree was always huge. It always had lights a plenty. And various ornaments.

I remember on year there were some new lights on the market. My mom went out and got strings of lights - I think 8 of them! Only they weren't multicolored. So we sat as a family and took all the bulbs out and made our own strings. I'll never forget that. My parent's tree is covered in ornaments that we made as kids and I loved pulling those out each year and rememebering them. There are also ornaments that my mom made when she was first married.

Now I have what Pete calls a Charley Brown tree. It's a slim pine because that's all I have room for. It's not ful, but that's ok with me. It's pre-lit with white lights on it and east to put up. Years ago my grandma Phyllis gave me a bunch of her old Christmas decorations. I treasure them I love them so much. There are old glass balls that are beautiful. There is the santa that Scott made in scouts. There is even a box of materials used to make the felt stockings that my mom made for us. My tree is covered in those glass ornaments. I love the vintage, classic style of them.

I love looking at my tree.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Journal Your Christmas

Day 10: Brown Paper Packages...

I love to wrap presents. Love it. I can remember being maybe 9 or 10 and my aunt and grandma having me wrap birthday presents for them. I love the creativeness that can go into it and yet I can also find a lovely interesting bag and stuf it in there too.

As an adult I'd found an equasion that works for me. I start with a basica wrap. I choose a new one each year. thick, welll made paper. Something that has a small pattern, but isn't Christmas persea. I like paper that is more winter or happy holidays, rather than outright Christmas. Every present gets wrapped in it. Then I vary the decoration. I take different curling ribbons, different boews, different little things and add them to the packages. the tags? Handmade. Something that I see in a crafting magazine or website and have to try out.

This year is the first year that I have all the presents bought and wrapped by 12/8/08. All of them. They're prettily waiting under the tree for Chrstmas. And I can enjoy them the whole holiday season!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Journal Your Christmas

Day 9 - Traditions

It's hard for me to write about traditions right now. My Grandma Laura just passed away a month ago. Her passing is the end to a whole line of traditions. Not only with Christmas, but with other things too. Christmas on my Dad's side of the family has always been big. 6 brothers and sisters and 12 grandchildren and then spouses and great grand kids. As a child we'd dress up on Chrstmas and head out to the farm. There was a small tree in the corner with homemade ornaments on it. The blue 'davenport', also known as a loveseat, was pushed in the coner and the whole 2 front rooms opened up. At that time we got presents from every family. Everyone got something and there were loads of wrapping paper and boxes. The Christmas meal was a sit down meal of ham. The adults at one table and us kids at another. As years progresses and I got older th presents started lessening. Cousins exchanged names and I remember buying small jewelry for Julie and other things one year. More recently it's ended up that we go over to Grandma's house in town and spend an hour or so talking with the family that we see once a year. I don't know where next year will take us, without her.

Christmas at my mom's parents was very different. I remember as a kid, sitting on the stairs to the basement while my Grandma, Mom and Aunt went down to see if Santa came while we were eating. Yes, Santa came to my Grandma's house too. We 4 cousins would sit on the stairs and my Grandpa would keep us company. I miss that. I miss those times that he was tender and engaged with us cousins. My Grandma would come around the corner and take a picture of us and say that she was trying to find something, then yell from the other room that Santa had come! We'd run from the stairs into the other room and tear into the presents waiting under the tree. My uncle Scott always got each of us kids PJ's and slippers. Always. And we'd change into them after presents and out of our Christmas best. I think that my love of Bing Crosby and Sinatra and all those oldie Christmas songs from Grandma & Grandpa's house. They'd play it on the old stereo and have it piped in the basement where we were.

Christmas at was rushed. i think that's what I'll always remember. As a family we'd have Sant come the morning of the 24th or sometimes the 23rd. Santa seemed to come when it worked for us. And as a child I never questioned it. We'd get a large gift from Santa along with smaller ones and presents from each other. Ultimately Kim and I got the same things - just different colors or models. It wasn't until Christmas night or the day after Christmas that we'd get to play with the new toys. After all the running from house to house.

Traditions - both good and bad.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Journal Your Christmas

Day 8 - Do You See What I See?

I see...
white streets and lawns with some snow
lights in trees, on houses, in windows
shoppers rushing around in stores with carts full
cookies and candies on recipe blogs and sites
Pete's presents to me wrapped under the tree
the German advent calendar with chocolate in it
ads for Christmas plays
the movie 4 Chrismtases - very funny
wrapping paper and ribbons
cards arriving in the mail
pictures of people I havent' seen in a while


Sunday, December 07, 2008

Journal Your Christmas

Day 7 - Organization

I'm really proud of myself this year. I took money out of each check for medical expenses with the intent to use that money for Christmas. There was no panic about how to pay for Christmas and it worked out wonderful! So good that I increased the amount to be taken out and plan on doing it again.

Last year I was great on buying gifts for Pete. Things that he had no idea about. Then with his Dad dying and they money he received, he started buying everything he wanted. So this year was harder. There's always Harley parts he keeps telling me. I can't wait to see his eyes when he opens up things that he never would have thought I chose to buy.

So all the presents are almost wrapped and under that tress. For once I am going to enjoy sitting in the livingroom looking at the lighted tree with all the gifts. And I'm not spending the 23rd wrapping presents to be ripped open in less than 24 hours!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Journal Your Christmas

Day 6 - Memories

Why is it that we attach so many memories to holidays? Is it because we spend them with family? I have really good memories of Christmas and some not so good ones.

My favorite memory is a mix of years. They were all so wonderful that they seem to run togheter as one. Sitting downstairs at Grandma Phyllis' house listening to the music and opening gifts. Talking with Jacque, Angie, Jason, Scott... Memories of Grandma having the videotape player going as we opened gifts so that she can relive it. Memories of wonderful food and desserts brought out. My Grandpa making grasshoppers! Even as a kid he would make us virgin grasshoppers. It made us feel so special. I think I treat my memories of Christmas as pre-grandpa/Scott dying and after grandpa/Scott dying. Everything changes after they were gone - good or bad - changed.

We spent the Christmas after Scotts death in Florida. My Grandma couldn't take a Christmas at home with both her husband and her only son gone so we escaped. It never really seemed like we had a Christmas. We were in Disney World and ona cruise and there was really nothing about it that was familiar or comforting. I don't think that I would ever do that as a adult. It was fund to vacation, but Christmas is more about home and famliy to me than vacation.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Journal Your Christmas

Day 5: Counting Down

I don't remember counting down the days to Christmas as a kid. I'm sure that I did, as all kids do. I just don't remember it. If you walk into my livingroom right now, you'll see 2 advent calendars hangining on the bookcase. They're German chocolate calendars bought at Doemiers the last time we were there. We bought one for each niece/nephew and one for each of us. I have fun opening the day on both of our calendars after dinner each night. I don't get that the chocolate piece doesn't match the drawing on the inside, but I'm going with it. *wink*

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Journal Your Christmas

Day 4: Perfect Holiday

Is there such a thing as a perfect holiday? When I think of a perfect holiday I think of holidays past. Although I don't think they were necessarily perfect. Just familiar and comforting.

A perfect holiday for me would include those loved ones who are no longer with us. Not only my loved ones, but Pete's. I would have loved to meet Pete's Mom. To talk with her about Pete and listen to her stories. To get her advice sometimes. A perfect holiday would have my Grandpas and recently deceased Grandma. It would include my uncles and my aunt who are no longer with us. My cousins, who are not really my cousins, but we considered them so.

A perfect holiday would include lucious holiday decorations. Bright reds and greens, wheaths and holly, miseltoe and bells. Lights that flicker and glow to watch while the snow falls outside. The tree decorated with meaninful ornaments and beautifully wrapped gifts. A fire and a feeling of hominess and warmth.

A perfect holiday would include the foods that I remember from my childhood along with the foods that Pete is used to having. A meltingpot of German and American foods. Juicy ham, potatoes, beans & corn, sage rolls and butter. Desserts that include home baked cookies, candies and chocolates.

And yet while I put that all down, I think a perfect holiday would be Pete and I enjoying a suggle and presents with pancakes afterward also.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Journal Your Christmas

Day 3: Coorespondence

Do you know that I've waited for many years to be able to have my own "family" so that I can send photo cards? I mean sending a photo of yourself at Christmas just doesn't seem right. Only now I have Pete to complete my family and we can send photo cards out.

Instead of worrying over whether or not I have the best design for a custom card that I would make, now I worry about the best picture. It's pretty funny.

I love receving cards. As a child I'd open the cards addressed to my parents and hang them on the closet door in the kitchen with tape. Then after the new year, I'd take them down and toss them. Actually I think if you go to my parent's house today, you'd find some photo cards still taped to their door. They've resorted to leaving those up throughout the year. So it's no surprise that I use my closet doors in the dining area to take cards to. I used to have a beautiful ribbon that I'd hang and then paperclip the cards to that. The system doesn't really work for my space now though. Although I have a new bookcase in the livingroom that I could hang cards from. Good idea!

I can't wait to get my first card. To see how everyone has changed in the last year and what people are up to.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Jourmal Your Christmas

Day 2: Weather

When I saw this prompt for writing, the first thing that came to mind is the song. You know the one - "Oh the weather outside is frightful..." Then I looked out the window to the brown trees, the dead brownish green grass and bare bushes.

When I was a kid I rememeber the Holidays - Thanksgiving and Christmas - being filled with snow. Lots of snow. We'd have to wrap up tight in our Christmas best dresses to get in the car and go to Grandma's house. Then we'd get ice skates or sleds from Santa or family and spend the rest of the day asking to go outside and play in the snow.

I still love the first snow. I'm like a kid in a candy store watching in awe as the flakes tumble to the ground. It makes me giggle out loud. The other night we were Christmas shopping and when we came out of a store, it had started to snow. Little tiny flakes that blew away with the slightest wind.

Christmas now consists of little snow. I'm not sure if it's global warming or just climate changes, but we get less and less snow each year. It makes me sad at times to see how little snow there is at Christmas time.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Journal Your Christmas

I signed up on for the journal your Christmas. I thought it would be a fun thing to do!

Day 1: Manifesto

I declare that as of today I will be writing each day about Christmas. Actually I'll be writing about the season. Why it's special to me, what it consists of and the feelings/emotions that are tied to it. I really want an ongoing legacy of who I am at any given moment. And the Holidays are part of that. So from today until January I'll be taking some time out each day to write about what this time of year means to me. If I have time aftre the first of the year, I may print out some of the entries into a Holiday book to keep with all my decorations.


Where do you go for strength? Is it an inner streangth? Does someone close to you give you strength? Is strength in your faith in God?

I'm struggling with strength. Just when things should be good, there are trials that make me question my strength. I have comfort in God. In knowing that there is someone looking out for me. Someone that I can talk to at any time. Someone that I can pray to. I have strength in Pete. He is my rock. He listens and helps fomulate solutions to my problems. My inner strength? This is where I have problems. I need to believe in myself more.

Grandma passed away 2 weeks ago. She is at last at peace. And while I am sad that she is gone, I'm happy that she is no longer in pain and discomfort. She died at home, surrounded by many family members and her Priest. Just as she wanted. She is with Grandpa and Donny and Janie. She is loved. And I now have one more person to look over me.

Last week Pete was laid off. It scares me, but a little less each day. He will end up getting almost as much unemployment as he would pay when you consider the amout of gas and stuff that he won't be spending. He has a recall date of 2/28/09. Hopefully he will either have another job or be recalled then.