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Clematis

Still slogging along

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Happy Birthday to your dad!  I always wondered if they think of such things where they are now.  It's a beautiful picture of the two of you...you resemble my sister Polly when she was young, she was always so glamorous.  I never felt jealous of her, but I did look up to her.

I'm glad you had that time together.  Funny how the memories sustain us now.

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I think I've been abandoned (kinda) by my family. (Warning: self absorbed whine ahead)

Almost ten years ago, when I was widowed, my older brother and his wife started inviting me to holiday dinners.  We're not close, but we get along fine.  Lucky me, they're all great, functional, nurturing people. The celebrations included my sister-in-law's siblings and her parents. All of them are lovely, all their spouses are lovely. Bro and his wife took great care of my Mom after Dad passed, and I'm sure that Mom enjoyed having all her kids together. (Sister and her husband were invited, too) 
 

 My Mom died in 2013, SIL's Dad passed in 2017, and her own mother passed away this fall.  My younger sister emailed me a couple weeks ago and asked, "Have you heard anything about Thanksgiving?" I hadn't, and neither had she.  If Brother had mentioned he, his wife and her sister were tired of hosting 25 people for the holidays and were scaling back, or looking forward to being guests instead of hostesses, it certainly would have been understandable. If she had hosted these huge events because her Mother enjoyed them, and having one after her mother died was just too sad, I'd understand. I get that I'm not owed an invitation, or an explanation. The silence is just awkward.  I'm wondering if the only reason I was included was because Mom and SIL''s parents thought *Ipswitch the widow ought to be included.*  And her sister, too, because you can't invite one sibling and not the other. And now that I have a man-friend and the matriarch has passed away, I've been b-listed. Or delisted. 

Sorry for the whine, just wanted to get it out.  Cooking a turkey anyway for man-friend and me...grabbed the smallest one I saw in the freezer at the supermarket, and looked today...it's 22 pounds. 

BTW, I totally get that it's my responsibility to reach out and nurture new friendships and relationships. I just got lazy. Lesson learned.

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26 minutes ago, ipswitch said:

The silence is just awkward.

So the same thing happened with me this year.  My DIL announced when they got married that SHE wanted to host the family get togethers.  Okay, except she decided that first Christmas she wanted to be alone with my son.  Okay, it was a little lonely but I understood.  Over the years they have hosted most of the holiday meals, but once in a while I hear nothing.  That was the case this year.  So Monday a friend called and invited me for Thanksgiving, so I accepted her invitation.  My DIL is still recovering from a minor foot surgery, my son needs surgery, and my grandson is recovering from an ear infection, so I figured they just needed a laid back TG.  This morning I check my email and my son is asking about me coming up!  A little late, I can't just cancel my other plans this late notice.  I guess he just assumed I'd know I was welcome/invited.  No, I don't assume anything.

So I did just what you are talking about, involving my life with others rather than just my family.  Backfired.  Oh well, maybe my son will be better at broaching the subject in the future, I don't feel it's my place to ASK if it's okay if I come!

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4 hours ago, kayc said:

So the same thing happened with me this year...So Monday a friend called and invited me for Thanksgiving, so I accepted her invitation...

So I did just what you are talking about, involving my life with others rather than just my family.  Backfired. 

It's only backfired if the food wasn't good.

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No, I meant involving myself with others because my family wasn't available backfired...turns out he wanted me to come to dinner, just hadn't mentioned it.  He said he "assumed" I'd come.  I'm sure the food is great both places but it's secondary to being with others.

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Actually, when I checked my cell phone the next day my brother had called to say he hoped everything was okay. It turned out, he was sure he HAD mentioned it when we saw one another last month. Meh, if I saw something shiny 5 seconds later I might have not registered the offer.

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On 11/28/2019 at 1:42 PM, ipswitch said:

It's only backfired if the food wasn't good.

I had a strange Thanksgiving...I was going to spend it with my neighbor who is becoming more demented and has home health care since in early November she had 4 E.R. visits in 6 days and spent of those nights in the E.R. not admitted, but "on hold". She had Pi-itis, which is what you get when you eat too much pie - especially if you are a diabetic who is gluten sensitive. Anyway, in spite of the Pi-itis, she was set on having Thanksgiving dinner with me there. I was trotting back and forth from my condo to hers fetching things and getting organized. I came back once to find her throwing up into one of the cloth napkins I had put on the table the trip before, and wadding it up (so I wouldn't notice?) She had no idea how long it had been since she took the Schwan's foods out of the freezer and I was afraid I was going to get food poisoning, but she was set on having this stuff from Schwan's, and it was Thanksgiving, after all. I had to cook it, since she was impaired. I cooked it and ate a couple of bites, but mostly sat with her and hoped she wouldn't throw up any more. After awhile, I went home, to escape the whole mess, but there I was, hungry on Thanksgiving. I had shrimp cocktail for dinner, followed by black licorice. The best part is that I had zero contact with either of my sisters or anyone else in my family.

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Christmas was kind of similar, but I had a short conversation with my sisters. Christmas eve I went to a friend's house for dinner and that was very nice. I spent most of the day on Christmas working on reports at my house, and whatever I ate was less memorable than the shrimp and licorice of Thanksgiving. I have been working like a maniac this fall, and am wrapping up what will be a total of 63 psychoeducaitonal evaluations for the fall. I am really tired. When I go back to school for the next semester I will be totally caught up on the reports - and actually be ahead. I will not be doing anywhere as many evaluations in the spring, and it looks like I will be doing counseling in the spring as well, and not just evaluations. 

I am getting licensed in Alaska. Alaska!!! I will be working with kids on the Bering Strait School District, over the internet from Arizona! Is that cool, or what!

Tonight, I feel like I might as well be in Alaska because it is so cold. I remember how cold it was when my dad died...I walked back and forth from his empty house where I was living (but he was not) to my own empty house (because I was actually living at my dad's house), and the whole world seemed so cold and empty and lonesome. That's how it feels here tonight, and it seems like I have been thrown back into four years ago, when we were sliding into his last few weeks of life and then the cold just lingered forever.

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Gosh Laura, has it been four years?!  It doesn't seem possible.  It's been over five years since my mom died.  1 1/2 since my sister died.

Thanksgiving doesn't sound good!  I went to a friend's because my son's invite didn't materialize until the morning of, too late for me to change plans.  The food was awful.  Dinner was way late and I was out past my bedtime.  Sometimes it's better just to stay home?

I am coming in to the hard time of the year (church books) where all the month end, year end, payroll tax reporting, etc. are due, plus after we vote I have to plug in all of the budgeted items, so much work just when the worst roads/weather arrives, ugh.  Good luck with all of your reporting!

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6 hours ago, kayc said:

Gosh Laura, has it been four years?!  It doesn't seem possible

Yeah, it really has been four years. Sometimes is seems like yesterday and sometimes it seems like forever since my dad was alive. I miss him every day. I have spent a good deal of my adult life living alone, but was mostly in a place where there was more going on and I was more connected than I am here in small town Sedona. I moved here in 2005, shortly after my mother died, and it wasn't much later that my dad began making plans to move here. All during that year we were in close contact, talking on the phone every day and planning for the future. I don't think either of us thought we'd have ten years together.

Ten years is a good chunk of one's life, but sometimes it seems like a blip. Nevertheless, during those years it seemed like the luxury of an eternity because that was my life. It was really dandy to always have someone with whom to spend holidays, weekends, evenings, and so on, and to always have someone who was interested in hearing every little detail of my life that I wanted to talk about. Anything that happened - good or bad - I had a willing ear and a supportive listener. He was always in my corner and he always had my back. Now I have Lena. I don't know how I could have gotten through the past years without her, but it's been hard. You know what I mean.

Yeah, I think sometimes it's better to stay home. I have had some really bad food on Thanksgivings and other holidays, but it's the company that really matters. Those dinners with my dad generally featured really awful food because I was too overwhelmed to prepare much and it seemed like too much to go somewhere nice. So we'd go to the Elks club or to the Sizzler, and the food wasn't worth talking about. But my dad and I were together and that made it all OK.

I have been feeling really flattened. I thought it was related to the holidays or to being so tired after writing so many reports. But last night when it was so cold it really struck me that it's getting really close to his Yartzheit and the anniversary of his death. I suppose it's really a season of grief that one has...

 

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On 11/28/2019 at 8:44 AM, ipswitch said:

BTW, I totally get that it's my responsibility to reach out and nurture new friendships and relationships. I just got lazy. Lesson learned.

It sounds really hard to lose all of that. It's hard to find new relationships, it takes work and luck, and the people that are gone cannot be replaced. The older we get, the more people we lose, and the really long-standing relationships cannot be recreated or replaced. You may be able to find companionship but it's not the same. Also, everyone else is having the same situation and you may form new relationships with people who suddenly move across the country to wive with or near their kids. You can't really blame them, but still it's another abandonment and another loss...

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Now we're all slogging through this pandemic. It's so weird to wake up to a new world every morning. I'm guessing my dad is glad he doesn't have to deal with this. But what I hear from him is rather calming...I hear him telling me to be careful with my money, be careful on the ladder, watch out not to fall, etc. My roof was leaking and it was raining almost every day. The roofer came to patch it up in between storms and eventually really fixed it. The problem dated back to the HOA taking all of the tiles off the back half of my building and replacing it with a very poorly put together roof 10 years ago. I was on the HOA board at the time and argued against it. It seemed like a bad idea to replace a perfectly good roof with one that could be shoddy. They told me I was crazy, because I would have a new roof. The prop mgr and rest of the board all voted against me, but they were wrong and this is my second related leak. I was up and down the ladder wearing a raincoat and using puppy pads and warming lights to dry things, and everything else I could think of for ten days, but thanks to focused perseverance and a lot of puppy pads, it stayed dry enough to not mold. Today my friend Greg came down and helped me cut drywall and insulation for the hatch so that I don't have a gaping hole into the attic. It was really drafty in here for awhile. I would start getting a sore throat and think I had COVID-19, and then realize I had been up there with all that fiberglass and forgotten my mask.

I have been pretty busy with the leak and working on how to get some food going out back in my tiny back yard so I don't starve if there is a big lockdown. Meanwhile, my income has totally dried up, but I have been too tired to panic. I'm trying really hard to get 8 hours of sleep every night. But then, suddenly the district in Alaska wants me to work with the kids at home via the internet or by phone if they don't have the internet. This is good. They are also working on getting more schools to do distance therapy and psychoeducational evaluations. That is good too. Tomorrow I'm off to the greenhouse first thing to get some more little plants to get in the back yard. A neighbor asked me if this green thumb and reaction to a problem by growing some food was something I inherited from my dad. First I said no, then realized it was absolutely what he would have done in this situation. Get the roofer going, do everything possible to keep the inside from getting moldy, keep scanning the horizon for work, shifting gears or direction if necessary, going for walks in the sunshine, and engineering a garden to maximize the potential to grow some food. I sure wish he was here, but in a way he is here because he is part of me.

And I have Lena. I am revamping her training so that she is more active in participating in her new role as a teletherapy cat, getting her to talk on the phone more consistently. People love talking to a cat who talks back over the phone. Or the internet...

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You have been one busy homeowner!  I commend you on your diligence!  I love the idea of a backtalking cat...I have a backtalking puppy only he uses his arms/paws instead of his voice. ;)

 

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33 minutes ago, kayc said:

You have been one busy homeowner!  I commend you on your diligence!  I love the idea of a backtalking cat...I have a backtalking puppy only he uses his arms/paws instead of his voice. ;)

 

Oh yeah - Lena was quite the vocalist, from the very getgo, which is how she got her name. They were calling her Mena, which I thought was a terrible name, but they said that she answered to it. I figured that to name her after Lena Horne would be perfect for such a beautiful black feline as my furry darling. And she sure grew into her name as she went on from a YouTube star to the big screen. I later realized I could have named her anything and she would have figured it out quickly.

How is your puppy doing? Can I see a picture?

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I tried to get a picture of him this morning but he never holds still.  He is so adorable when he prances down the street, I wish I had a video of it, but alas it's hard enough maintaining control over him.  He's grown, more than doubled since I got him.  Here's a picture of him with my son's Husky.  They have the same movements/mannerisms, it's so cute watching them play together, Bruno tries really hard to be careful of him.

Kodie and Bruno-1 013020.jpg

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It's just amazing to me, Kay, how little Kobie's white markings are nearly the same as Bruno's, even though Kobie's coat is black and Bruno's is brown. Such a darling photo!

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They move the same too!  I totally love Husky's energy and playfulness.  They are so fun!  They can also wear you out.  Bruno is middle aged now and lays around more but Kodie brings out the pup in him!

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