Monday, November 26, 2012

What a difference a couple of years make

Did I mention I called my MIL to discuss our Christmas plans and see how her visit with oldest went?  I thanked her for the input on my mug and she said it was all oldest.  She said a few days into her visit oldest said she needed to apologise to me and hubby for her actions and all the hurtful things she said before she left. Though I never received her apology I did get the thank you card and gift and a girl with a new attitude.  She was pleasant and appreciative. 

I went shopping with my Mommy today and she said she noticed a huge change in oldest.  She said she was so pleasant and talkative.

Oldest also told MIL that she got her love of education from me.  She also stated she was born and raised in CT and doesn't think the southwest is her permanent home.

Ah, wonders will never cease. 

And, I'm getting a whole new attitude from hubby's family.  I said we had to let her go.  Not only could we not legally keep her here but, we needed to let her go in a way that she felt welcome to come back and that she felt we supported her decision.  I remember being her age.  I remember what you could tell me.  I know some times you need to hop that fence to see if the grass is greener.  She found a dust bowl and she found herself.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


We have passed black Friday and are on our way to cyber Monday.  It gives me pause.  All the commercials, the advertising, the hype.  It totally infuriates me that more and more stores are opening on Thanksgiving.  And what drives me crazier still is that shoppers run to these establishments in record numbers.

When I worked in the stores customers would look at me and say, "too bad you have to work the holiday."  And I so wanted to scream, "if you weren't here I wouldn't have to work."  I run my own personal boycott of shopping on any holiday weather I celebrate it or not.  I get gas before hand so I don't even stop at a gas station.

What to do about the holidays and gift giving.  My family only gives gifts to the children (under age 18).  After that gift giving stops.  We get together, we eat, we talk, we laugh.  This is what the day is all about. My parents and my children look forward to our Christmas Eve breakfast.  Biscuits and gravy, baked french toast, sparkling cider, mimosas and coffee.  And no matter my hubby's work schedule it fits.  My brother hosts an open house on Christmas day.  We may head over then or the following week end.  My niece and nephew open presents and we visit.  And some times we go swimming.  With an indoor pool it's kind of neat to say you went swimming in New England on Christmas.

A few years back MIL asked if we would like to stop the family gift giving and just get together.  At this point we were buying gift cards for our niece and nephews and my BIL and SIL were doing the same.  It was the gift card shuffle.  I thought it was a great idea and so did my kids.  They just wanted to see their cousins.  Of course MIL didn't stop gifting everyone.  Instead of shopping she handed out crisp bills instead.  I don't mind her doing this for the grand kids but I feel really awkward accepting it.  I know how happy it makes her feel and yet I struggle.

But, for the few people I do buy gifts for where should I shop?  I want to support the small business person yet often times the gifts wanted are not offered.  So, I buy local as much as possible.  I buy from local crafters or Etsy if I can.  And I try not to get too caught up in all the hype. 

Instead of heading to the in-laws for the holiday last year we invited them over for a more intimate dinner and a family night of board games.  This year we are doing the same. 

And I must confess I did shop on black Friday.  It was mid morning at the local hardware store for my son's big gift. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012


My computer was down and out for the count while oldest was here.  I missed blog blast for peace and the chronicles of her visit.  I wasn't sure what to expect.  She was not a likable person when she left.  I was pure evil and mama was the greatest thing since sliced bread.  It's been almost two years.  She has been in and out of bio's home - once an escape to grandma's and for five months for basic and AIT. 

I cleaned like a mad woman before she came.  The spare room is complete.  A fresh coat of paint, new bedding, diplomas hung, shelves put up for my herbal preparations.  It's function is reading nook, guest room, hubby's office, our dressing room and my apothecary.  My Grandmother's nursing diploma is on the wall along side a picture of her in her nursing uniform.  Hubby's achievements are on another wall.  Well, right now they are at the framer but hooks are on the wall and waiting for there return.  As I explained the room to friends they said it was perfect.  I had cleared the house and put her in the healing room.  And now the room is named - The Healing Room.

I made a lasagna (her favorite), a salad and dressings and a maple pecan pie the morning of her arrival.  I went to my shamanic dream group and left instructions to pop the lasagna in the oven.  I arrived home to a hot meal and a pleasant family.  The room and supper were appreciated.  I even had a gift waiting for me.

Monday we went hiking as a family.  We later learned that the kids were supposed to be in school.  I never received an updated school calender.  Oh, well.  We were doing something much more important.  Pork loin with cherry sauce being her other favorite dish was served for dinner.

She was able to meet up with some friends and do a ride along with hubby.  During their time she mentioned that the military was great because she knew she had a roof over head and food to eat.  Hmmm!  What is going on in Arizona. 

Saturday I took the girls to the outlets.  We were meeting cousins for lunch and the outlets were near by.  Oldest's Christmas list that I had her fill out had a few books and music CD's on it but it started with pants and shirts.  The jeans she was wearing were the ones I had bought her last year and were too big.  Well, she went home with a new wardrobe - three pairs of jeans and nine tops.  She was so appreciative and the deals were really good. 

And nothing like a little retail therapy to loosen the tongue.  Youngest fell asleep on the way home and oldest and I had a really nice conversation.

She thinks she'll be back in June with bio for son's graduation.  We'll cross that bridge when we have to.  But, what that says to me is that son has no plans to move to Arizona.  He is not planning his great escape when he turns 18 in December.  It will be the first time in four years son and youngest have seen their mom.  She has no clue who her kids are. 

And the thing I was most worried about with oldest's visit seems to not have come to pass - the backlash with youngest.  Oldest did not hype bio or Arizona like I thought she might.  But, I guess if you are in place where you don't know if you will have food or a roof you wouldn't hype it.  Oldest has grown up a little bit.  She is on her way.  She continues with her schooling and should have her associates degree this time next year.  She's looking for a job that would most likely put her out on her own.  She's looking ahead with her military career.  She wants to go places in life and no one is holding her back.  I can see fruit forming on the tree of my labour.  No credit will be given.  No credit is needed.  But deep in my heart I know I've helped raise an independent adult who sees opportunities around her.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Back from .....

I'm back or I should say my computer is back.  I've been pretty much off the net for two weeks.  I'd hop on my daughter's lap top here and there to pay bills and check e-mail but that's about it.

I've been cleaning.  At first I attributed it to being computer less but in reality it was stress induced cleaning.  The kind that puts your house and life in order.  A FULL truck load went to the dump - trash, recycling and many items for the tag sale room. 

Rooms were dusted, washed and rearranged from ceiling to floor.  Closets and drawers were gone through.  The spare room was painted and re purposed. 

The house looks good.

Ah, and the stress.  My oldest daughter is here for a visit.  The cleaning took place in prep for her arrival.  MIL flew her in for a two week visit.  This is our week to have her.  It's going much better than expected.  I have put my mask of love and compassion on with hopes to grow into it or at least fully embody it for the week.