Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Accomplishments of 2011

Based on my Goals/Resolutions

1. Stopped being as needy as I was in 2010
2. Went to 2 places I've talked about going and another I'd never been to.
3. Instead of reaching my weight-loss goal, I realized that all of this dieting is bad for me & am learning to eat intuitively and accept for who I am.
4. Worked on reacting to the things in my world that upset or disappoint me in more constructive ways. I'm getting better about it, but I'm not perfect.
5. I have been taking much more time for myself, napping when I want to, taking time out to read when I feel the urge or just spend the day vegging out in front ofte TV.
6. I bought all new living room furniture & a dinette set.
7. I have redefined the meaning of "family" for myself. I do visit & talk with my parents and siblings, but things will never be the same.
8. I'm doing what I have to to try to heal my broken places. I will eventually get regular counseling, and do what I need to there as well.

What I Didn't Follow Through On

1. Be active at least 4 days a week.
2. I didn't buy my dream camera & haven't looked into photography classes.
3. I didn't get any painting done.

Numbers 1 & 3 will be added to my new list, or already have been. I think I did fairly well, better than usual!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Silly Season

We did end up going out shopping in the chaos of the pre-Christmas crush. Troy got his end-of-year bonus on Yule & there were things we had been patiently waiting for over a month to get, so we packed our daughter up after we had gifts & breakfast & headed out of town to Costco. It's always busy there, so we didn't really notice much difference, we got what we had gone in for (a Keurig) and a few other things and left. We went & bought K cups, soda refills & a couple of spare lids for our Soda Stream, bought our daughter some books at Barnes & Noble and the took her to Target to buy gifts for her little nieces. All in all, it was a pretty mellow & fun time.

We had to go out again last night, but we waited until things were calm, at around 10pm. I needed to get one more gift for our niece and some cold medicine. Troy bought me a nice sweater, too. We were in & out before 11, without any hassle at all, even though we browsed a bit & even stopped to look at a few funny t shirts on the way. I'll be happy when the holidays are over & the stores aren't crowded anymore, for sure!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Yule Week, Finally!

It seems like just yesterday we were celebrating Samhain and here it, already 3 days before Yule. I'm excited, even though I know what I'm getting (I actually picked everything out myself, as did Troy). I love getting together with friends, having ritual together & enjoying each other's company. As much as I enjoy exchanging gifts with our friends, and as disappointed as I was that we wouldn't be doing that this year, it'll be nice to just relax together before we all have to spend that awkward time with our families.

I do love my family, don't get me wrong, it's just strange, putting a bunch of people together, who would never hang out if we weren't related and expecting them to all socialize & have an amazing time. My brothers don't know me, not really, their girlfriends have more in common with them than with me or each other. I love my parents, but I'm always on my guard with them, since you never know what one of them will say that will be offensive and completely unacceptable. I'm happy to go out there, but I'll be relieved when we're on our way home, too.

My mom called me the other day to reschedule from Christmas Eve to Christmas afternoon & early evening, which was good because I was able to give them an idea what our daughter might like, and an idea for our niece too. She mentioned she had some Bealls coupons and some more for another place she likes to shop for clothes & that she & dad would be heading out. I got a couple of other calls from them to verify colors and sizes, but they seemed to be having a pretty good time, even though my mom has hated Christmas for almost as long as I can remember. It really makes me wonder why she keeps doing it, honestly.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Past Year

I plan to be working on a post this week, talking about the things I've accomplished in the past year, and probably another one, on New Year's Eve, recapping the year, but I imagine both posts will take a bit to write, and I'm going to devote some time & thought to each. I think it's important to remember the years as they pass, to celebrate our accomplishments & grieve our defeats. We can do little else about our lives but those things, there are no guarantees that everything will turn out for us.

We take each day as it comes, because it will do whatever it pleases, no matter how well we may have planned for it. At the end of it, we celebrate it as a success or mourn it as a failure & move on to the next one. When a year is gone, we hope we have more celebrations than sadness, but it isn't always the case. Either way, we tally it up, and move on.

As for me, for today, this morning is turning to suck, hopefully by this afternoon it'll be okay again.

The Fabulous Holiday Blog Challenge: Day 9

Fabulous Holiday Blog Challenge

Today's Topic is: 2012 Goals/Resolutions

I used to do all of my goal-setting on my birthday, feeling like I was more likely to stick with them if I didn't make resolutions on New Years & such, but lately, since we started our Circle, I make them on Yule, with everyone else in my Circle. Needless to say, I've been thinking about these since Samhain, and trying to decide what really matters to me, enough to spend time working on in the next year of my life.

1. Continue to work on accepting myself the way I am, which includes loving my body the way it is.
2. Get & stay active in whatever way I can, depending on the season.
3. Work on being a stronger, better parent to my adult offspring. I'm determined to prove to my daughter that the only way I can help her now is to not be so quick to help her.
4. Get the house organized the way we want it done, with the new office & expanded storage areas for kitchen & bathroom.
5. Dress myself in beautiful things that I love.
6. Grow my hair out & have it styled in a way that I love.
7. Be more creative.

I think that's about it, I'll add more later if I think of anything.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Fabulous Holiday Blog Challenge: Day 8

Fabulous Holiday Blog Challenge

Today's Topic is: Christmas Wish List

I actually only had two items on my wish list this year & I'm getting them both. I wanted an ebook reader, I didn't care whether it was a Kindle or a Nook & a cover for it. I'll be getting a Nook Color & a really nice cover for it. Troy's getting the same thing from me.

The only other thing I really wanted is intangible & I won't be getting it. I wanted our daughter to go into inpatient rehab & get clean & sober, not for us, but for herself & her future. Instead? She'll be going to live with one of the friends she always drinks with and will likely end up back in jail before too much longer, especially since she won't be paying her fines.

Anyway, Troy & I usually get what we want through the year, so it's hard to decide what we want for Yule or Christmas, usually opting for one item, generally the same thing. We've both wanted an ebook reader for awhile, so it was a good excuse to get them.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Fabulous Holiday Blog Challenge: Day 7

Fabulous Holiday Blog Challenge

The topic is: How do YOU celebrate the Holidays?

If you read this blog regularly, you know that I'm Pagan. I personally, don't celebrate Christmas anymore, although I do observe it, in my own way. I'm married to a Catholic & respect his beliefs as much as he respects my own. My family (parents & siblings) are Christian, and if I want family holidays, I have to at least pretend to be celebrating Christmas.

I celebrate Yule in my home, although I do give my husband the option of us celebrating on Christmas instead. He chooses Yule because it's easier for him to get the time off of work that day, than it is on Christmas. Anyway, if we've decided to have stocking that year, we empty those first thing on Yule morning and then we have coffee, maybe something to eat & then open gifts. We hang out & relax awhile, enjoying each other & our new goodies, then it's time to start getting the house ready for company later on. That involves removing all of the Fall decor & replacing it with Winter & cleaning up.

I'll get the food together that I'm making for the dessert potluck that night & any gifts that I need to finish or wrap for our friends will get taken care of then, too. I'll set up the ritual space & get the altar & Yule log ready to go.

After our friends get here, we'll have our Yule/Winter Solstice ritual, then we'll eat, exchange gifts if we're doing that & enjoy each other's company for the rest of the evening.

On Christmas Eve or Christmas, depending on my mom has decided, we go over to my parents' house, eat green chili & other goodies and spend time with each other. Some years we exchange gifts, other years we don't. I have no idea what we're doing this time around, since I haven't spoken to anyone about it.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Fabulous Holiday Blog Challenge: Day 6

Fabulous Holiday Blog Challenge

Today's topic is: Holiday Desert/Treat Recipe

I don't have any one thing that I make year after year, other than fudge, which I always make & have since the kids were very little. I just use the Carnation recipe for that, it's easily available on the internet or a can of condensed milk, so I won't post it. I usually bake a lot of cookies, this year Troy & I baked chocolate chip together & we'll be making peppermint sandwich cookies next week, too. Today, I'm making Cranberry Molasses cookies & Cherry Oatmeal cookies, which may turn into Chocolate Chip Cherry Oatmeal if I'm feeling wild. I'm sure there will be more cookies next week, probably plain molasses & more chocolate chip.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Fabulous Holiday Blog Challenge: Day 5

Fabulous Holiday Blog Challenge

Today's Topic is Your Ideal Christmas Eve/Christmas/New Year's Eve Outfit.

Well, my holiday starts on December 22, on the Winter Solstice, being that I'm Pagan & not Christian. I'll be wearing this apron:

 Hopefully, I'll have a lovely new skirt & blouse to wear under it:


 I know, not as fashion forward as many of the posts were, but I'm not in my 20s & I'm not trying to prove how hot & sexy I am to anyone. I'll probably wear black flip flops or something like that on my feet. On whichever day we go to my parents' house, I'll probably wear jeans & a sweater, or a t-shirt, it gets really hot in their house. If we were planning to go out on New Year's Eve, which we probably aren't, I'd wear something like this:



 With these shoes:


Merry Christmas!

I hope all of you who celebrate Christmas have a wonderful day, surrounded by those you love. We'll be heading out to my folks' house this afternoon to spend the day with family, have some good food & enjoy the day, even though we celebrated our holiday on the 22nd. (my husband does celebrate Christmas, it's just easier to insure he has the day off if we do it all on Yule) I'm looking forward to seeing everyone, but I'll be just as happy to get home & relax here, too.

I'm just about worn out with all of the celebrating and preparing, to tell you the truth. I've been sick and really have just wanted to sleep my weekend away, and I did, at least for part of it, but I can't today. I got up with Troy & started my day, knowing if I stayed in bed that I wouldn't want to do anything all day. So, I'm waiting for Troy to finish cooking breakfast then I'm going to eat, take a shower & get dressed for the day. I still need to wrap a gift to take with us & gather everything else that goes with us, but other than that, I believe I'll take it as easy as possible today.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Fabulous Holiday Blog Challenge: Day 4

Fabulous Holiday Blog Challenge

Today's topic is: Favorite Holiday Movies/TV specials

1. Holiday Inn: I know not exactly a movie based only at Christmas, but it starts & ends there & is a beautiful story.

2. How the Grinch Stole Christmas: Both versions hold special places in my heart.

3. A Christmas Story: A tradition for us. For years before we bought the DVD, we made sure to catch at least one viewing of the 24 hour marathon that plays every year.

4. Scrooged: A beautiful retelling of a timeless classic.

Then of course are all of the TV shows, Rudolph, Frosty, Charlie Brown, The Little Drummer Boy, I love them all, they take me back to a much simpler & more innocent time.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Fabulous Holiday Blog Challenge: Day 3

Fabulous Holiday Blog Challenge
Today's Topic: Holiday Decor

We do decorate, but this year, I've gone kind of minimalist, considering we don't have the granddaughters over here once a week and the kids aren't here, either. We have the Yule tree up, decorated in nature themed ornaments. It's a prelit tree, with multi-colored lights. I still have the Autumn garland up at the windows, because it is, after all, still Autumn. We have another smaller, predecorated & lit tree in the foyer, also nature themed and that's honestly, about it, other than a strand of lights around the door outside & the skull wreath, in his winter finest.

We don't even have the gifts under the tree, because our daughter's cat, Diode, pees on anything new you put on the floor. They're very pretty, though, in blue, winter & silver metallic paper & bows.

Oh, we have the Waiting-for-Yule calendar on the fridge,too. It's a bunch of seasonally decorated matchboxes placed in the shape of a tree.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

So Tired

This afternoon made a pretty good day into another trying one. I'm so tired of dealing with all of this shit with my daughter. She had her friend's grandpa call me & ask me if I'd please visit her tonight. First off, I've been sick & haven't wanted to get showered & dressed to leave the house for any reason, let alone one where I'll be stuck in a room with a bunch of strangers, talking to my criminal daughter on a phone for 30 minutes. She wants me there as a captive audience to her tears & drama, to make another attempt at convincing/guilt-tripping me into changing my mind about living here, paying her fines and phone and so much more. That isn't going to happen this time.

I don't trust her. She lies and steals from us, with no thought as to how much that hurts us or her relationship with us. She cares only for herself and what she wants, and is happy as long as she accomplishes that. She'll worry at a situation until we give in just to shut her up & we know this, which is why we're limiting our contact with her.

I won't have her alone in my home again, and because of that, she can't live here. We're afraid we'll come home one day to nothing but a wild tale of how a burglar came in while she was asleep & took everything, because in her mind, that's believable & she'll convince herself that it's the truth so that she can be justifiably outraged when we call her on it. This has been true for as long as I can remember with her, no matter the proof we may have to the contrary, she'll insist on her lies.

We deserve this time of peace & calm in our lives. We spent 20 years together, 17 of those was raising kids, the other 3 have been dealing with Rhi as an adult, still wanting to be taken care of like a child, but wanting her freedom like an adult. Chaos, unmedicated crazy, stealing, lies & noise. Too many broken promises to really want to consider doing it any more.

I'm sure it isn't about to get better, she gets out of jail this weekend & I have no doubt there will be non-stop drama from that moment on.

Fabulous Holiday Blog Challenge: Day 2

Fabulous Holiday Blog Challenge

Yes, I know I'm doing this later than everyone else, but I just found it yesterday & wanted to play along.

Today's topic is: Favorite Holiday Tradition New or Old

New: The Waiting for Yule calendar that Troy & I made this year & are using every day. It has really helped us feel closer, more loving and eager for the holiday. We knew we were going to have a tough time this year, with it being our first one alone, this was my solution & it seems to be working admirably.

Oldish: I love the dessert potluck we have with our friends on Yule. We get together for ritual and then share desserts and most years, exchange gifts. It gives us all a chance to touch base during a very busy time of year.

Old: I enjoy getting together with my family. We used to do it every year on Christmas Eve, but lately my mom has decided she likes it better on Christmas night. Anyway, we get together and have party-type foods, exchange gifts and play games.

Total Mess

My house is a complete mess. I've been sick for awhile & trying to get other things done, so stuff like dusting and vacuuming tend to take a backseat when I only have a tiny bit of energy.

I'm slowly, but surely getting our Yule aprons sewn together & so far, they're turning out pretty cute. I made a really awesome perpetual journal calendar for Erin's fiance' Alisa, I just hope she likes it as much as I do. I'm tempted to steal it for myself! I have almost all of the gifts wrapped & ready to either go under the tree or be sent out to where they need to go. I need to wrap Alisa's & the gifts for the granddaughters.

Troy's working a lot of overtime this month, since a guy he works with fell down on the ice at work the other morning & is out for who knows how long. That kind of throws a wrench into any plans I may have had for his days off, but the money will be nice, especially with insurance needing to be paid and such.

There's a lot of snow on the ground, but the sky is clear & blue today, so my SAD isn't treating me too badly. It helps that the room our office is currently in has a ton of light for most of the day.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Fabulous Holiday Blog Challenge: Day 1

Fabulous Holiday Blog Challenge
Today's topic is: Favorite Gift Received EVER

Amusingly, I was just thinking about this as I was drifting off to sleep last night. When I was about 8 or so, I think, my mom bought me these wonder little wooden storybook dolls, that had been made in Poland. I absolutely loved them the moment I opened the package. Awhile later, my brother, Craig said he had something for me, too, and came in with a huge package. He had built a dollhouse to go with them. It was nothing fancy, he'd made it out of plywood, but it was beautiful to me & had a hinged roof so I could use the attic to store everything in when I wasn't playing.

So, that was the best combination of gifts I received growing up, it's pretty much the only one I really remember.

The Creeping Crud

I have a terrible cold. I've been fighting it for over a week, but with all of the activity & running around over the past week, it managed to catch me by last Friday. We went & did all of our grocery & Yule shopping that day, because I knew if we didn't, I wouldn't feel well enough to do that much the next day. Even at that, I just kind of felt crappy until very early Tuesday morning, when my ears & throat wouldn't stop itching and my head was pounding. We had one packet of cold medicine left, so I took it in the morning & sent a text message to Troy to ask him to stop at the store on his way home for more.

I managed to get some sewing done and a lot of sitting on my butt, watching TV, too. All I really wanted to do was crank up the space heater and go to bed until Troy got home, but I couldn't do that, I'd be in too much pain to sleep that night, so I did what I could & tried to make it through the day. Thankfully, dinner was just spaghetti & all I had to do was heat sauce & cook noodles.

I'm feeling a bit better today, even if that's just because I have cold medicine to help me get through the worst of it. I hope to get our Yule aprons mostly sewn today, so that tomorrow I can just finish the edges & be done, but we'll see & I'm not going to push myself further than I feel well enough to go. I'm just going to take it a little at a time and do what I can.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


I am, in spite of everything else going on, pretty excited about Yule (and Christmas). I have no idea, at this point, if our daughter will even bother coming over that day (or if she'll be out of jail yet), and I know, for a fact, that neither of the boys will be here and I'm at peace with all of it. Troy & I have a little "Waiting for Yule" calendar we made together, with a different activity, just for the two of us, every day. It's been very sweet and nice, we're both enjoying the season and really looking forward to each day & what it holds.

Our shopping is finished, other than buying some candy to send to Erin & Alisa & her brother for their stockings, and I still need to decide if we're having stockings here at home this year or not. If so, I need to get stuffers. I just bought a bunch of new rechargeable batteries, to replace some of mine that have come up missing & those that didn't hold a charge any more, so I can take plenty of pictures of everything.

I'm looking forward to time spent with the friends that will be here the night of Yule & will miss those that can't. I think I have reached a level of peace & acceptance about the things I can't change or control, which were always the hardest things for me to accept. I think that anyone who's ever been abused in any way, has this need to control the things around them & when we can't, we feel powerless & somewhat terrified. In the past, these things have thrown me into a complete tailspin and deep depression. These days, I get a little sad, I accept it & I move on, finding something positive about the situation. I can't spend any more time in my life like this past year has been. I spent way too much time trying to control a situation that wasn't even mine to worry about and it just about sent me over the edge a few times. I'm learning, it takes time, but I'm not totally a lost cause!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Walking Away

It's been a pretty rough few days. I got a postcard from my daughter the other day, it was pretty much full of lies and pipedreams, again. Nothing about her wanting to get and stay sober and try to get her life together. Just lies about how sorry she was and how much she wishes she was still 16 and carefree (I'm not sure why she thinks she was carefree then, she was the angriest 16 year old I've ever known). She went on & on about Yule & how she wanted her stocking so much & not to have to grow up and lose that. Thinking about stockings and happier family holidays just breaks us up too much to really want to have that in our lives right now. I can't even look at Lion King toys in the store without feeling like I'm spinning out of control, because that reminds me of her when she wasn't screwed up.

So, I wrote back & told her that we were pretty much finished. We won't be supporting her financially, in any way. All that we were doing that way was enabling her, and she ate it up. I told her she could never spend the night here again, that we don't & can't trust her anymore. It's hard to be cold to one of your children, even if it's the best thing for them at the time. She has to understand that we can't watch her destroy herself anymore. This is her choice, not our business, but it's so much easier when it isn't in your face all the time. We got so tired of feeling like babysitters & being yelled at because we couldn't just let her do what she wanted (she's on probation, and we forbade the activities her probation prohibits) and that we won't tolerate being lied to.

We've grown too used to the quiet, peacefulness that having just the two of us here brings. We aren't ready or willing to give that up, yet, if ever. We are finally getting a chance to just be a couple after all of these years of raising children together. We got together when my kids were 1, 3 & 5, so there was never really any "couple time." We had almost no money and kids to raise. It's nice now to have that time together. It's time for her to grow up, she's over 21 after all.