There's rosemary, that's for remembrance.
William Shakespeare: Hamlet, Prince of Denmark



Sunday, December 20, 2015

A little bit of Ho-Ho-Ho

We jolly Christmased the joint up!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Show Me the Snow!

Christmas in Idaho; usually we are buried in snow and the temps are frigid.  Not this year.  It's a balmy 31 outside and there are bigger patches of grass than snow.  Of course it's only mid December so there's lots of time for things to change.  (I let this post sit too long...we have gotten dumped on....at least 6" of snow over about 36 hours.)

We haven't put a tree up....yet.  Steve usually starts his forest tree hunt late November, but he feels like crap and hasn't even mentioned cutting a tree.  I put a few decorations out, but I haven't felt the Christmas spirit for a long time now.  It's hard to get excited about the holidays when no one is able to come here and we can't go to them.....same story, different holiday.   

Steve is looking at probably a pretty miserable 2016.  He saw the neurosurgeon last week.  Along with bulging discs from the end of his thoracic spine down to the end of his lumbar spine, he has an abdominal aneurysm.  I'm freaked about that, but laid back Steve is acting pretty blasé. The plan for now is:  See a doc at the pain clinic January 4th for steroid injections while he waits to get authorization for a vascular MRI.  Then, depending on the actual size of the aneurysm either watch it or stent it.  Then he can have those miserable discs taken care of.  I'm hoping he can get back to some activity by the end of summer.

I was thinking about Christmas when I was a kid and the traditions we had. My mom and I always went to midnight mass.  That was probably the only time that mass felt special, necessary, important.  The church was decorated beautifully and there were candles everywhere.  Father Coleman would wear his gold vestments and Mildred Harrigan, the organist, actually didn't mangle the hymns as badly as she did at the 10 o'clock mass on Sunday.   My dad had a special bathrobe...a red one...that he always wore on Christmas morning.  My mom worried about keeping the tinsel on the tree perfect...yes, she was one of those single strand at a time mothers......while my brother acted like he had never gotten a present in his life and grabbed at everything. I remember the year I got a bright red lunch box with a silver thermos.  Another year I got a zippered notebook for school.  I loved that notebook.    I vividly remember the year...1951..when I found all of the dolly clothes my mom had made for my bride doll, Sandy.  Ruined the Santa fantasy for me....served me right for snooping and yes, I had been poking in places I had no business poking in. 

My mom's family didn't exchange traditional gifts at Christmas.  My mom baked dozens and dozens of cookies every year...at least half of them were "Italian" cookies made from recipes my grandmother had handed down.  Mom would ship every single cookie to her brothers in Virginia (of course my dad and I stole cookies).  They in turn would send her a Smithfield ham.  I hated those hams almost as much as I hated the home made cranberry relish.  They were salt and pepper cured and to this day I am convinced that those hams are the reason I have high blood pressure.  Salty doesn't even begin to describe the taste. 

After I married, Christmas day was spent driving all over the place to visits the in-laws so they could see the kids.  No one could ever congregate at one house because someone was pissed about something that happened last year or 5 years ago or yesterday.   This was true with both of my ex-husbands.  Of course, by the time the day was ending everyone would be drunk, I was a frazzled mess and the kids were either zombies or brats.  I've blogged about #2 husband and #1 was just as big an asshole; he just had a different name. I doubt my kids remember one good Christmas until they moved out of the house.   

Steve and I always had everyone at our house while we were in So Cal.  One year the area around the tree was so crowded that I was tossing gifts to the kids.  It was chaotic, messy and I loved it.  My youngest son put up house lights for a few years and I worried he would fall through the roof so they stayed up after that......yup, lazy ass Christmas lights up in July.  In Idaho the lights stay up and on all year round.  We have multicolored icicle lights that make the house look tie-dyed at night.  I love them. 

We actually got a few gifts for the grand and great grand kids; not much, no money.  I made memory books at Shutterfly for our 6 kids, and for my 3 kids I put in all of the photos from my 70th birthday party.....titled the books Mom Turns 70.  I wonder if we will all be together again. 

Merry Christmas and the very happiest and safest of New Years.  May blessings abound for all of you that read this and know that I love you all.  I do.