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Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

Merry Christmas Everyone!  We both pray you all have a safe and wonderful Christmas.

Leftovers from Yesterday

Friday, August 1st, 2008

Well, the Farmer’s market yesterday was excellent. Lots of people and lots of sales!! After the market, I went to the grocery store for the ingredients of the homemade laundry soap I was going to make. They were out of one of the key ingredients. Bummer. I knew I had to do laundry today so I ended up purchasing laundry soap again. I was so excited to try the homemade stuff, too. Another day , I suppose.

I am entertaining the idea of going to get a haircut. My hair is down to my waist now and it is just a bit too long. Dave likes my hair long, but as long as it is below my shoulder blades he won’t mind me getting it cut at all.

Besides laundry, I am going to finish freezing fresh green beans for later use, make seasoned bread crumbs from some stale bread and mash & freeze some really rip bananas to make banana bread on a day when it isn’t so hot outside. There is also some fruit in the fridge that needs to be used soon so I might make a fruit salad for dessert! YUM!

This year, I am bound and determined to be more organized about the holidays. I want to have my Christmas cards finished and ready to send out the day after Thanksgiving. And I want to give some homemade gifts to a few people. So as not to be rushed later on, maybe I’ll do some thinking about cards designs or just general holiday plans today.

I LOVE being a homemaker. (I can’t say that often enough!)

Christmas Travels & A Dying Grandmother

Friday, January 4th, 2008

Christmas this year was a little melancholy because my mother’s mom is slowly passing away. Dave and I traveled back to Peoria the Friday before Christmas. We had a few tentative plans made in our minds, but things changed when I found out just how badly my grandmother was actually doing. I knew she was not doing great, but the fact that she is actively dying had not really entered my mind.

On Sunday, we attended mass then kept our plans of going to see one of my favorite families in the whole world in Decatur. We had a wonderful visit. They have a beautiful new home and the children are growing into such wonderful people.

My mom encouraged us to go down to Springfield on Christmas Eve, which I’m really glad she did. When we got to the nursing home, I was utterly taken aback by my Grandmother’s condition. For my entire life, my grandmother has always been plump, pink skinned and fast to smile when she sees me. I walked into the dining room to see her sitting there expressionless, gaunt, thin, gray-skinned with a giant bib on sitting in a wheel-chair. She didn’t smile and she didn’t even seem to recognize me. My mom wanted to check something in her room which thankfully took us immediately away from her because I was having a hard time intellectualizing just how far she had deteriorated in just a few short months. When we came back into the dining room and sat with her, my mom had to speak loudly and ask Grandma things as if she’d regressed into a young child. Did you eat anything? Do you have food in you mouth? Can you swallow that for me? I lost it. I couldn’t help, but cry.

I won’t go into details of her condition or anything, but to say she’s dying. On Wednesday we went down to see her again. One of my aunts and two of her children were visiting so we kept it short. On Thursday, we were headed down when my dad called and told us to go to the emergency room instead of the nursing home. We stayed for probably six hours with my mother as we all sat next to my Grandmother’s bedside watching the heart monitor and watching her go in and out of sleep, but never really opening her eyes much. She would speak ever so softly asking occasionally for an ice chip.

When 5:00PM came I decided Dave and I probably ought to be leaving. We were leaving to come back to CT the next morning. I knew I was seeing my grandmother for the last time this side of heaven. Whew, that was really hard.

My mother has been amazing through this whole ordeal with her mother. Mom has bunch of siblings who have also helped in their individual ways, but my exposure has been what my mom has done for Grandma. She keeps regular vigil. She takes care of her mother with a tender hand and back when it was occasionally necessary probably a firm voice to keep grandma from just slipping into death without really trying to continue life. There is a Mary in Heaven looking out for my Grandmother spiritually, but there is also an earthly daughter named Mary caring for the current physical needs of a dying woman. An awesome team!

Grandma is still going, on what power and how I have absolutely no idea. This will be the first family death since I’ve become a Catholic and it has been an interesting experience. Praying for someone so dear to me to have a peaceful death and knowing positively that she is going to a better place is all new to me. I’m very sad she’s dying and will miss her dearly. I really regret that whatever children I have will never know her personally this side of heaven. But her poor body is just about done and she deserves her eternal peace. Plus, she’s got a pretty great Heavenly welcoming party with all those loved ones who have gone before her.

So very soon Dave and I will be making a trek back to Illinois.

On a happier note, my niece turned two while we were visiting. She’s a glorious, spunky little gal. It is great to see my brother as a daddy. He’s great with his baby girl.

Getting Behind Again…

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007

Goodness, it is amazing how life can take you away from little things you mean to do…like maintaining this blog.

Today is my beloved husband’s birthday!!!!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAVE!!

So the craft fair was a success. Dave’s maple syrup really sold well and our table looked so nice. If I can figure it out, I’ll post a photo.

My friend from Illinois came and we had a wonderful visit. She’d been to Connecticut and Rhode Island before, but never Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire or Maine. So Dave worked on a route so that she’d get to see all the New England states. She arrived on Thursday late afternoon. We had a nice evening here at the house. Friday Dave had to work so my friend and I sat around the house chatting for a long while. Then I showed her some of the places I frequent. We’re both from Illinois so I finally had someone here to sympathize with me and my difficulty navigating from memory. These Connecticut hills/mountains are NOTHING like the flats and little hills of Illinois. On Saturday, Dave planned a surprise for my friend. I’d told her we were going to New Hampshire and Maine, but Dave worked out a route so that we could visit the Vermont Country Store in Rockingham, VT then traverse New Hampshire to get over to Freeport and Bailey Island, ME. Unfortunately, it was pitch dark by the time we reached the ocean so all she really got to see were the mountains in VT, but she could smell that salty air. On Sunday she had to leave for Illinois. And then her adventure really began. It took her 24+ hours to get home after we dropped her off at the airport because of ice storms between Oklahoma and Illinois. I felt so bad for her being stuck by herself in limbo wanting desperately to get home to her husband and children. She finally arrive safely home though on Monday afternoon.

This coming Friday, Dave and I are making another trip to Peoria for Christmas. We should hopefully arrive on Saturday afternoon. I’m looking forward to visiting with family and friends. I’m especially looking forward to visiting with my grandmother in Springfield. She’s had repeatedly health difficulties since my last visit.

Today I’ve got to get our Christmas gifts to Dave’s side of the family ready since we will not be here. I’m actually waiting for UPS to deliver a package right now that has a couple of last minute gifts we got for the new babies in the family. Since we’ve been married, Dave’s immediate family has not been entirely together at any given time. His brother’s are not all local and one lives in Idaho so getting together for holidays is a challenge. Everyone will be here for Christmas…except Dave and I. But we are coming back from Illinois early so we can get to see the Idaho contingency before they have to leave.

I hope everyone has a blessed Christmas and a lovely time visiting with family & friends!

Craft Fair

Monday, November 26th, 2007

Dave and I are hosting a table at our church’s Christmas Craft Fair this coming Saturday and Sunday. So we have been diligently working to put together everything we want to try selling. Over the weekend I finished 4 homemade “poinsettia” wreaths. (I took pictures so I could post how to make them.) I’ve also been working on homemade Christmas cards to sell. Dave will be bringing maple syrup, maple sugar and a couple of maple themed gift baskets as well as some pine bough Christmas decorations.

Yesterday Dave began our Christmas newsletter. I’m usually not fond of the idea of mass producing a newsletter for everyone. There are just so many people back in Illinois and even family around here that we haven’t been able to spend time with this year and I still want them to feel part of our lives. And thus is born the mass produced newsletter. So this morning I added some things to the letter too. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get our Christmas cards in the mail before Wednesday.

This week, I’m also working on putting up our Christmas decor. A dear friend of mine is coming from Illinois in early December so I’m also getting the house ready for her visit. I’m so excited to have her visit. The year before Dave & I got married I didn’t spend much time with her or her family and this year has zipped by without getting to see her at all. So we have some catching up to do!