Getting Holiday Motivated

It’s three weeks until Thanksgiving and about six weeks until Christmas.

My daughter and grandson live in Phoenix. My son and daughter in law live in Orlando. Hallmark channel is not helping.

I love the scenes of family gatherings depicted in these programs but they also make me miss having my kids with me. My daughter is a very manageable distance and I will be spending Thanksgiving with her. She and my grandson will be with us for a few days at Christmas.  Lots of cooking, laughing, pampering, and fun will happen.

I am grateful for that time with them.

I hope and pray that one day my son will be in the place in life and job he can spend some holiday time with us. He and his wife are so much fun, and our times together are fantastic.

So I sit, looking through cookbooks,  trying new recipes, thinking of decorating and having my babies with me.

It will be okay and the love will pass easily between us this season.

Cheers!

-N

 

 

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The holiday sandwich

Well folks – Halloween down, Thanksgiving done, now the Christmas countdown begins.

The first two holidays were nonexistent this year. I never do the Halloween thing here since we haven’t had costumed trick-or-treating little humans in twenty years. We are a rural bedroom community north of Tucson with no street lights or sidewalks so there is just no reason to do things up. My decorations tend toward fall harvest themes inside the house. No pumpkins, skeletons, ghosts, witches or vampires in the vicinity.

Thanksgiving has, for years, been a real family time. My house tended to be the gathering place. I had plenty of room, and I enjoyed the whole process of celebrating the holiday with great food, football, laughter and love. I liked cooking the turkey, and sharing what everyone else brought to the table. I have a huge front yard where the annual Thanksgiving football game was held. Family made the effort to be together.

This year was different.

Neither of my kids could be here. Melissa and Bubba were with Vaughn family in Las Vegas. Aaron and Chelsea were in Florida and Oklahoma respectively and Aaron was working at his Disney World tech gig. My sisters had their own family things, and my mom was attending a huge Thanksgiving feast at her retirement apartments. Chuck got a notice from the University of Arizona asking employees and their families for help feeding the troops at Davis Monthan AFB who were staying in town for the holiday, so we signed up-ready to volunteer. We made a big mistake on the date, expecting it to happen on Thanksgiving day at the UA campus. At the last minute I discovered it was scheduled for the week before Thanksgiving and at the base! We totally blew it. Chuck was working that day and I hadn’t cooked anything or made any purchases, so that fell through.

We decided to keep with the volunteer idea and I started checking for places to help out. I found out that the Salvation Army did a Thanksgiving meal at St. Demetrius church so I started calling and emailing to put our names in the hat. Granted we were down to the wire time wise, so I wasn’t sure what would happen, but so be it. We never heard a word from anyone telling us yes, no or get lost. No return phone calls, no email reply. Nothing. So…Thanksgiving was just a day off for Chuck that we spent cleaning, doing outdoor chores, moving some furniture, binge watching Hallmark Christmas movies and just hanging out looking at all the pictures on Facebook of Thanksgiving feasts others were having.

Now we are planning Christmas. Melissa will be here with Bubba so it will be very fun having a wee one here. It is our first Christmas as Nannie and Poppa. Aaron will still be in Florida working and Chelsea will still be in Oklahoma. Hopefully my mom will be sharing Christmas eve with us which will be our Christmas meal since Chuck has to go to work at 1pm Christmas day. Yet we will be decorated and festive!!

How has your holiday season been so far?

Cheers!

-N

Crazy living this last two weeks

Since my last blog things went a bit crazy, everywhere.

I started to get ready to go visit my daughter over in California. She lives in the Valley in a cute little guest house and no room for Millie. Thus began the effort to find a kennel. I had previously used a place and they always had room. However…when I called them their number was not in service and I found out they closed down! Yikes now what? That began a the staggering process of finding a place that I was comfortable leaving my puppy. She is 6 months old and hadn’t been apart from us, and especially not for a week. I was starting to get concerned.20151012_092404

The search was hard because it was the holiday. No duh! After calling, leaving messages, asking friends and  neighbors and coming to the conclusion I might not be going I had a thought. Maybe there would be someone in the Valley I could use! I got online and in one night of searching I found a woman who is part of co-op of home kenneling. I got it set up and was back to my plan to leave the Sunday before Thanksgiving.

It was great.

So-Millie and I left by 7am Sunday morning after a not so good nights sleep but that’s why there is Starbucks right? Millie was not traveling well in the front seat of the Explorer. I was bringing a bunch of stuff to Melissa and there wasn’t room for her so she had to ride in the front. She had become a drooling mess, whining and wiggling around. I knew she wasn’t remotely comfortable and this was going to be a 7 hour nightmare. I was just to the outskirts of Phoenix when I got a text from Melissa saying she was terribly sick with a stomach bug. I spoke to her and found out this was going around her landlord’s house. Everybody was sick.

No thanks.

I was able to reschedule with the kennel, thank God, and turned back toward Tucson. Travel plans were changed to Wednesday to give everyone time to recover. One good thing, it reduced the amount of clothes and things I needed to bring.

Three days later I left for California with a much better bed for Millie. I made great time and was able to get Millie to the kennel, and stop for dinner with Melissa and get back to her place in time to take it easy. Thanksgiving was wonderful. A nice variety of food, though I was missing Chuck, Aaron and Chelsea, but the company was very relaxed and friendly.

Then Friday showed up. We ate breakfast at Weiler’s (yummy) and came back to her place to exchange her entertainment cabinet for my smaller one. That was a really good idea and it fit her place so much better. We had to take her big cabinet apart to fit it into my car but we had Jeff’s (her landlord) help with that. We decided to visit friends and then go to the movie, even paid in advance for a seat reservation. After about an hour at their house I started to feel ill. It didn’t take long before I was sick, and I mean sick!! The thing I thought I had avoided was happening! Ugh!! We went home and I literally crawled into bed. Melissa managed to get a refund for the tickets and took care of me. It was an awful night.

I still had to drive back to Tucson.

Saturday morning I was better. Not well but better. This was one of those suck-it-up-old-lady moments. We picked up Millie, filled up the car and went back to Melissa’s to pack up my car. I left California with my tail between my legs and counting the miles to my own bed.

But I did it.

I spent Sunday thinking about doing things, that’s pretty much how far it got. The cursed bug came back with a vengeance that night. I lost most of Monday trying to recover.

Today is better and all you fine readers are up dated. I know you wanted the latest details.

-N