Orphan Christmas…

If I could have one Christmas wish it would be to have my family back.  Since my parent’s died both in 2010, my family has been at odds.  Fights over crazy things makes me wonder if we ever got along.  I guess mom was the one keeping the family glue sealed tight.  I occasionally here from people via text messages but it’s rare…very rare.

I remember Christmas days where the whole family and extended family would gather just to hang out together. I really miss that.

Now..it’s just me and Jerry.  His parents died as well.  Dad in 2008 and mom in 2009.  His sister is in Hawaii.  His extended family is distant too.

Don’t get me wrong…there is no one I’d rather spend Christmas with…Jerry is my everything but some love from family would help as well.

So cherish those family moments!  The good and the bad…because one day..they will be gone.

Ho ho ho..and all that Jazz.

Christmas has been difficult for me the past, umm, four years.  It was in 2008 that Jerry’s dad passed away and since then Holidays have been bittersweet. Jerry’s mom passed right after Christmas 2009 and both my parents died in 2010.   At first we would put up little trees, or I would hang a string of lights on the mantel.  This year…nothing.  I regret it until I remember that if you hang it up, you have to clean it up.  That’s right, I’m lazy.

We did keep our tradition of watching the TBS Marathon of A Christmas Story.  It reminds both Jerry and I of our parents and Holidays past.   Jerry’s mom thought we were nuts when we wanted to watch that over and over.  🙂  We didn’t have anything better to do while we waited for “Santa” to show up.

We also cooked a lovely meal together, another holiday tradition. This year we tried a standing rib roast.  YUM!  I think we both agreed that this will be on the Christmas Menu for years to come.

It was also the first year in many that one of us wasn’t sick.  I don’t know why we get sick on Christmas Day but it seems to happen a lot.  …or maybe because it’s a memorable day we remember it better. *shrug*

I will say that my blood family isn’t as close as I thought it was.  Over Thanksgiving I sent out TXT messages (I know) and didn’t hear from anyone until my sister finally responded to our home phone number which now accepts TXT messages.  Yeah, I didn’t see that one.  Thankfully, Jerry had the Xfinity app installed on his phone and saw the TXT so I could respond back.  Today, I did the same thing.  I heard from my oldest brother..well..I got a “Happy Holidays” response back.  It’s weird having grown up with what I thought was a tight knit family….and now…

I’m lucky to have Jerry!  He and our cat, Nutmeg, are a wonderful little family. I know this entry is up and down.  It’s how I feel about the holidays lately.

Oh…I watched The Polar Express today.  LOVED the story.  What’s up with the “Children of the Corn” animation though?  It was distracting.

..anyway…

Merry Christmas!

 

My kids…ok..they are cats..but…

We first saw Tabitha at a pet shop in the Orange Park Mall in 1996.  It was a few weeks after we were married and we headed out to find a pet.  They had a full litter of kittens and originally we had been looking at another kitten when Tabitha bound over the table to be with Jerry before the handler put her back in the crate.  We knew at that moment that she had picked us.

She was always a little timid and afraid of just about everything.  She did however enjoy lounging each night with us as we got ready for bed.  A nightly ritual that I absolutely loved.

This past holiday season, she just didn’t seem herself.  She had lost tons of weight but was still eating and evacuating so we thought it was just old age.  It was…and with old age comes kidney problems.

She had been saying her goodbye all weekend by cuddling up to us as much as possible.  On January 22, 2012 we took her to the vet and said our goodbyes.

I didn’t think I’d ever want another pet.  She was my first.  She was my baby.  Being childless meant that this cat that had been a part of our lives for 16 years was mine.

After many tears, (ugh, crying now) and thinking about how could I possibly love another cat that much I told Jerry it was time.  The house was too quiet with out a cat running around.

 

We searched online for various shelters and wanted to get a rescue cat.  There was a cute 8 month old that was ready for adoption but we wanted to meet her first.  The local Animal Care and Protective Services center was just around the corner so we headed over.  The cat we had looked at wouldn’t even give us the time of day.  This other cat across the way kept talking the entire time we were walking around.

She was older, 18 months.  Ok…so…keep looking around.  Meow, meow, meow…. Finally we approached her crate and she was loving and continued to coo and meow.  I was falling for her.  The handler put us in a room with her and she was friendly and curious.  Something we weren’t used to.  The heart was softening to a little bit older cat that I had thought.  Nutmeg was stealing our hearts.  She would let us pick her up, she was playful, she was curious, she was going to be ours 🙂

A few minutes later, some paper work filled out and she was heading home in a cardboard carrier to her new home.

She took to the house like she had been living her for a while.  Well, except for the carpet.  She still plays the “It’s hot lava” game.  Don’t know why she doesn’t like…*shrug*

After a week of being home she developed a sneeze, after a quick check up and a shot she is feeling better.  She has more energy then when we first brought her home…in fact she is driving us crazy.  Not really.

We have fallen in love with our young lady, Nutmeg.

Sure, yeah…whatever..that works…

Christmas time for many people means driving around visiting people, shopping, wrapping and a lot of other stressful activities.  Jerry and I are pretty low key during the holidays.  Granted, a lot of that is due to the fact that both sets of parents have passed away.  Sure we still have gatherings and such but not to the magnitude it used to be.  We now control our holidays.

This year we are spending the 23rd with Jerry’s sister.  Christmas Eve afternoon with their cousins, aunt and grandfather.  Later that evening we’ll be headed over to a local church to meet up with our friend Angie and her girls for a candle light service and then get together at their house.

Okay, okay..it does sound like we are busy but really only for 24 hours.  Christmas day will be spent lounging around the house or maybe a movie.  It’s up to us 🙂

I wish you all a very non-stressful, chillaxin’, Merry Christmas!!

My definition of…

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Squeezing by…That’s how we seem to live around here.  Don’t get me wrong, we are fine but we don’t have a lot in our savings. I really thought we’d be more financially stable by our mid-40s.

This is the first summer since starting my interpreting gig that I am doing a summer gig as well.  We need the money, straight and simple.  Could we get buy without me working, sure but it’s less stress if I work.  The more I’m at home, the more time I have to fret over every little penny.

So why are we in so much debt?  Family & Travel costs.  2009 & 2010 we amassed a ton of travel  costs.  Back and forth to Michigan due to family health issues and eventually funeral expenses.  I am thankful that we had the available credit to fly back and forth, rent cars and stay comfortably while we were away but now we are paying for it.

I’m doing little things to try to save us some cashola.  Coupons, I never thought I’d be clipping coupons but I do.  I have a few rules thought about my clipping.  I don’t use a coupon for something that I wouldn’t buy normally.  I tend to be brand loyal so I’m not really one to try a different brand, even if there is a coupon.  I usually buy the less expensive brand anyway.  We are eating at home more.  I’ve also cut back on my trips to Starbucks.  I loved my trips but since the Keurig came into our house, my $7.35 breakfasts have stopped.  Oh, Veggie Artisan Breakfast Sandwich how I have missed you.  Amazing how quickly those trips add up…heh…

So, if you can think of other little ways the pennies can add up, please let me know 🙂

 

A much better Sunday…

Today I still thought of my parents and the Sunday call, but today I didn’t cry.  Jerry and I honored them by having a nice Sunday breakfast.   We talked about how they would pull out all their jams and jellies from the fridge and Mom would stick long handled tea spoons in each jar.  The table would be covered with them!  They would butter their Bay’s English Muffins and then plan which flavor of preserves to add to the already yumminess.   We didn’t have jam/jelly today but we did have Bay’s English Muffins 🙂  It was nice to talk about them this morning and smile.

It’s all just sad…

Monday I buried my father.

Monday afternoon my family was in turmoil and now who knows.  I guess Mom and Dad were the glue…

Tuesday I came back home to Jacksonville.  I received a letter from my sister who no longer wants to have any contact with me.  Things were said that I don’t know if I can ever get past.  On the flight down I looked over at Jerry and could feel my heart getting lighter as we got closer to home.

Wednesday my family was an episode of cops….Glad I wasn’t there to witness it.

Thursday I felt bad for the family.  It will never be whole again.

Today has been quiet.  I needed this, I slept most of it away.  Tonight I’m going out with friends for dinner.

Whirlwind

Dad has been in a the hospital for 13 days now. He has decided to go with Hospice care as there is nothing more they can do for him 🙁

I knew this was going to be a hard summer but sometimes even the known can be sad. My poor father probably only weighs 100 lbs if that. Pretty much all of his muscle mass is gone and even holding a cell phone in his hand tires him out. I feel bad that there isn’t anything I can do for him. I try to help as much as he lets me but I get my stubbornness genuinely.

Today they took out his IV for his fluids. I think that the end is closer now. No one wants to wish their father dead but I know he is suffering.

I’m glad I came up here though. I got some quality time with Dad. Being away from home for a month is hard. I’ve missed Jerry and my cat, Tabitha. Jerry flew up here today. 🙂

With Jerry by my side it will be easier to handle this week.