Sunday, November 28, 2010


I asked Sydney when we should put up the Christmas tree and the answer was "now!"  So that's what we did today.  I also put up my Santa wall hanging, but I'll wait a day or so to put up the rest.  Still getting over my 10 hour shift on Black Friday.  The tree does look really nice since my redecoration opened up the front window space.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

She's Home!

In her new one, that is.  She was pretty nervous and just didn't think she would be able to remember so many new things.  The sister from Billings is going to stay with her for a couple of weeks just to get her settled.  The girls got her apartment looking nice and homey with her plants and her recliner, then she started to relax.  I could see a lot of panic in her voice, as she wondered where her stuff was, like her hair curlers and her nightie.  Changing a routine when someone has dementia is really tough and this is her second change.  Hopefully it will be her last and she can live quite a while in her pretty new digs.  (When I told her that she informed me that it didn't matter as she couldn't see it anyway!)  Oh Gram!!!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Snow, Snow and More Snow!

It has been snowing here since last Thursday.  Every day Mother Nature dumps several more inches on us.  And now, as the snow might be letting up, the forecast is for very cold temperatures.  Interstate highways have been closed in the area on and off all day, and right now I-90 is restricted to essential traffic until morning.  I am so over this!  The one bright spot is we don't have to travel for Thanksgiving and by Black Friday, my first official day of work, things should start getting nicer.

It is very pretty, though:

Monday, November 22, 2010

Good News

They have determined that Gram is doing well enough to be released to an assisted-living facility.  She is so strong-she wants to die but her body is too tough!

She'll be going to the Bozeman Lodge on Saturday.  All her kids will be here to help.  I have to work a long one on Friday, so will miss out on the furniture moving, but am hoping to help with Gram's actual moving day.  We have decided to start Hospice care, mostly because we don't think she can get along by herself with just the care they have there.  Just because Hospice is involved doesn't mean she'll leave us any time soon, but that she'll have more people doting over her.

She is really ready to get out of the rehab center.  I stopped in at noon on Saturday and she was fuming over the cold food!  She's very nervous about the new place but realizes it's necessary.  My sister in law from Billings is going to stay with her for a couple of weeks just to help her transition into the new routine.  They have a beautiful dining hall but she can't see well enough to find her own way, and if someone doesn't take her there, she'll sit in her apartment and starve.  She can't believe that she doesn't have to do any housework, even though we constantly reassure her.  With the slight dementia, it's going to be a slow transition, pray it works well for her.

A Little Something to Get Us in the Mood

Just had this video posted by a relative on Facebook.  As far as I'm concerned Christmas can't start until I've heard this piece a few times.  I've requested that it be played at my funeral.  (In 30-40 years!)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Our Thanksgiving Tradition-With a Twist

My husband's family is very, very close-even down to second and third cousins. We have had a tradition for as long as my husband can remember of renting a big hall and bringing all our food. We can have anywhere from 20 to 70 people. We carve our turkeys-2 or 3-make the gravy and give thanks. It's a great time to catch up on relatives who, even though they mostly live in the area, may not have the time to get together during the rest of the year. After the dishes are washed, we bring out the games-the oldsters play Pitch, the kids do Uno or Apples to Apples, and the rest of us gather around our favorite games.

This is when the important part of the day happens: My sister-in-law brings out her homemade popcorn balls, a tradition started the year they were married and didn't have money to make anything else; I open up my homemade Almond Roca, a required offering-I'm not allowed in the building without it; and the rest of the family sets out various other goodies and nuts. We start our celebration about noon, and we play games and snack all afternoon and into the evening. Then someone decides it's time for "Turkey Buns," turkey cut up into gravy and served over my husband Stan's homemade rolls, topped with a big slice of onion! Nobody's hungry but we know it's a precious tradition, so we all make a valiant effort to eat just a bit more.

Then we clean up the hall (for many years it's been the Belgrade Senior Center) and go out into the cold, hugging and promising to "do this more often!"

Our Thanksgiving is the stuff of legend, and anybody is invited-my son's friend from Brocton calls every year to see if it's still on!

This was the story that I submitted to our local TV station.  They decided I won, and turned it into a skit to broadcast on the Friday Evening News.  This is the revised version of our celebration:!/video/video.php?v=593209107266&oid=94711736971&comments

Hope you all are on Facebook so you can see this!

Friday, November 12, 2010


2 1/2 years ago, I made the decision to quit my job and stay home with the retired hubby.  The plan was to sew my brains out and make the circuit of the local craft shows and farmers' markets.  Well, that didn't quite work out as well as planned-people in Montana just aren't giving up their spare change for crafty stuff.  I turned to Etsy thinking I would reach a broader audience, again with no results.

Money was getting tighter-had to trade in my beloved Buick since she was burning oil, and our health insurance took another big jump.  So for about a year now, I've been scanning the job market, looking for something with some freedom in case we wanted to travel but fun to do.

I stopped to visit with a former Bon Marche' co-worker last week in the mall, and she asked me if I wanted to come back to work for them-now the store is Macy's.  I jumped at the chance, so today I did my paperwork and next Thursday I will do my training.  I think I'm going to work in accessories, but any department is fine.

The only thing is-Macy's people wear all black.  I have some black clothing, but not nearly enough.  They gave me two coupons for discounts on a couple of items to get started, but I think I'll wait a bit.  I did stop by Jo-Ann's and got 3 1/2 yards of a nice stable black knit that would make a soft jacket or a swooshy skirt.  Used my Jo-Ann's coupon on that one.

I won't be blogging as much, maybe, but I'll try to keep up on it because I love this way of expressing myself.  The job is part-time Christmas for now, but I'm sure if I impress them with my hard work, I could be considered for permanent down the line-there's lots of turnover in retail.

Well, I'll let you know how it goes.  I'm very excited to have something of my very own again, and I won't be in the house all day with a retired man-LOL!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


That is one tough old girl!  She is no longer confused, and her breathing is much better.  We got to take her to church (right across the street) on Sunday, and all of her kids came to see her, bringing coffee and cookies to keep alive the tradition.  My sweet son Steve stopped by the Golden Arches and brought 8 large coffees, complete with sugars and creamers.  Gram was a bit miffed that she couldn't go out to lunch with all of us, but that would have been a bit too much for her at this stage.  She'll get there!

We toured a beautiful assisted living facility on Saturday and my sister-in-law went back on Monday to put a deposit on an apartment.  It'll be a bit before Gram is ready for that, but they are only 50% full right now, since they are brand new, so when she is ready it will be there for her.

In the meantime, Stan, Norma, Irene and I are trying to get her apartment emptied out.  We paid for another month's rent on it, so hopefully that will give us enough time.  Most of her stuff is going in a storage unit until she moves into her new place.  We have, however, been hauling out bag after bag of trash!  She is a frugal hoarder and saves everything, including the tags you cut off your new clothes.  There are collectibles, and even some antiques.  The antiques were probably new when she got them!  It is a fun walk down memory lane, though.  Every now and then one of us will stop what we're doing and show everybody what treasure we've found.  I came home with a stack of dittoed sheets that were at collection of book reports written by Stan's class in the 5th grade.

We're wearing out, but there is more help out there, especially when we get to the big stuff, so we'll just keep plugging along.  We were too busy to visit Gram yesterday-better not miss it today, we'll hear about it from her if we do!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010