Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve

It is hard to believe, but it is here, New Year's Eve.  I will be with Calli, Acer, Heather, and Bill this evening.  I am looking forward to it.  It should be a lot of fun.  Calli and I love to play Uno so I anticipate a few games of Uno between the 2 of us.  I am not sure what else we will play, but it will be fun.  That is for sure.

Well, I have to go now.  More later after I come home!

I am home again!  Happy New Year!!!!  I had a LOT of fun at their house.  Calli and I played Uno, then we all played Apples to Apples, Would You Rather, and finally the kids, Brandon, and I played another game that the name totally escapes me.  It was a lot of fun.  It really was.  I was home by about 12:45 am.  I don't like to be on the road too late on this night because of crazy drivers.  There were a lot of drivers on the road when I was.  I was only about 2 to 3 miles from home so this was a short drive, but I was surprised how many people were on the road at that time.

The kids are so fun to play games with.  Acer and Calli both are a lot of fun to play games with.  Their cousin Brandon was over (he is a college student now).  He also, is fun to play games with.  Right after our bubbly (sparkling juice), the kids headed right to bed.  They did come down for hugs but then right back upstairs to bed.  I left rather shortly after.  We did miss the countdown on TV this year, but it wasn't a big deal.  Acer was cute though, no, I don't want to do a countdown.  (We did one anyway and he joined us).  Acer is getting so big now.  I was so proud of his practicing these last couple of weeks.  He is learning not to scoot his fingers from key to key and to use his thumb more.  I am glad he is taking that very seriously.  I heard him practice with some compositions he has written.  I think he has finally figured out that the more complicated songs that he learns with me, the more complicated songs he can make up.  He is really doing much better and I have told him so.  Some of the melodies he makes up are quite pretty.  Acer very well may be a composer some day.  You just never know with the young man.  If he can make pretty melodies at just turned 7, what will he be able to do at 17?  With Calli, she has a vocal range like an adult.  As a matter of fact, she has a wider ranger than any of my singers.  Can you just imagine what she will be able to sing when she is older and her voice matures?  It is such a joy to see ALL my students develop and grow musically.  It really is the best job.  I actually think now that it is a good thing I can only teach part time.  This allows me to put all my energy into the few lessons a day I have and not spread out the energy over lots of students for the day.  I did not feel this way at first, let me tell you.  I was disappointed that I couldn't handle as many as I used to, but now, I see the silver lining in it.  I still get to teach and can manage my illnesses much better.

My goal for the next week is to get my Power of Attorney Health Advocate papers signed and copied then sent to the people who need them.  I will also get my regular Power of Attorney papers in order too.  I have a couple of keys to copy and then my emergency papers are all in place.  With the seriousness of some of the illnesses I have had, I should have had this done a long, long, long time ago.  When Mom was better and could remember things, she was a big help, but even then I should have had things in place, but I didn't.  My theory is, if the papers are in order, I won't need them.  I hope not anyway.  I was very lucky in 2011, only 1, yes 1, ER trip and that was for the dizziness issue I was having.  I think I have fixed it mostly.  I was able to hold off a couple of crash and burns by resting a lot when i felt my body go into that mode.  It used to be that I would end up in the hospital over it.  I also was lucky that I haven't had to cancel too many lessons because of bad headaches or flares.  When my legs were in the flare, I just stayed in the living room in between lessons if I had a break between them.

I am supposed to go to the movies with my lovely Muglia girls tomorrow.  We shall see because a few of them are not feeling so good.  I talked to their Mom earlier today.  I told her to see how the girls were feeling and if they weren't feeling too well, we would just postpone it, not a problem.  We will still see the Chipmunk movie, we just may not be able to see it tomorrow.  Yes, I am disappointed by hey, kids (and people in general) get sick.  It happens.  For all I know, I could come down with something.  I am feeling okay right now, but you never know.  If I don't see the movie tomorrow, then I will take down the Christmas decorations and put them away in the new tote that I have.  I will also leave the lights on the tree and wrap the tree in the big plastic garbage bag I have.  I am planning to store it in the garage.  With the big bag over it, I figure it will keep the bugs out of it.  I love how my friend, Heather B-T put the lights on it.  I really do.  They look so beautiful.  I also love my Disney ornaments.  It was kind of funny that I got comments on how my friends were not surprised to see a Disney Tree.  Mom taught me well.

It is weird to start a new year without the little lady Mom.  It is the 2nd year since she has been gone, it is just very strange.  I do feel better than I did last year about everything.  I don't feel that my life is consumed by fear, yes, I still have many fears, but I don't feel consumed by it like I did before.  Between the disability and the few students I have, I AM able to pay my bills now.  The bankruptcy is behind me.  I have payment plans for those things that need it.  I also don't think I am in as much as survival mode as I was a year ago.  Yes, much of the year is a blank to me, I don't remember too much stuff that went on, but that also could be partly because I have memory and concentration issues.  Sometimes it takes about 3 separate times to finish a post.  That is just my reality these days.  I do miss my mother all the time, but the times it hurts physically aren't as often as they used to be.  I think that is a good thing.  I can recall some memories that make me smile, although I can still picture her perfectly in the hospital that last week.  She looked so small and fragile.  She was fragile at that point.  I am glad that I was able to keep her without until almost the very end.  I will forever be thankful to God for that.  I hope I made her last few years good.  I hope I did okay at the last 8 months of her life.  It is hard to know but I think I did okay.  I did give her my best even if my best wasn't perfect for the day.  I tried to make sure I always put her first and make sure that I was doing alright health wise too.  I don't expect to ever stop missing her but I do expect, eventually, it won't hurt as much.  This year will be hard at times, I expect.  I was so numb last year that this year some things are a bit harder.  Thanksgiving was especially hard.  Thankfully, I had 2 wonderful friends and their families to spend it with.  The few days before Christmas were hard, although the holidays themselves was not so bad.  Spending the New Year's Eve with another dear friend was also good.  I can laugh a bit more now than I did a year ago.

Well, it is getting rather late (even for me!!) so I better finish this up.  I do hope your New Year's Eve was a good and safe one!!!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thursday before New Year's Eve! 12-29

What a day this has been!  Well, I had just one lesson as my little ones didn't show up.  I tried to get a hold of the parents, but no luck.  I did have my Aggie's lesson!  She gave me a CD of her singing Christmas Songs for Christmas.  I am glad about that.  It is a lovely present that I will listen to tomorrow.  1/2 of it is in English and the other half in Polish.  She is fluent in Polish and French.  She is planning to go to competition this year.  I am not sure who else is planning to go outside of Rebecca (who I haven't heard from all month.) and Katie.  I have the information for Isaac in case he would like to go.  He has an awesome voice and he is such a good boy.  I have known him since he was born.  He is growing up very fast.  He is very talented too.

I have been thinking of the new year.  I am not sure what I want to work on this year.  Except for last year, I usually pick one characteristic of mine that needs improving.  Instead of making several resolutions, I pick one thing I need to work on.  Last year, (well, this year still) I was just trying to survive the loss of my mom.  It does make me sad to know that I am the only one who is still so devastated by her passing.  It seems to, on an average day, be better than I am.  I know Andrew goes through his days of pain, but he, overall, is doing alright he says.  Richard, I don't know but he is always looking forward and never back so I really don't know.  The last time I actually talked to him about this, he was doing fine.  It was months ago and before he was mad at me.  I know my Uncle misses her at times too.  I want to take a couple of the pictures of him and mom and enlarge them.  I will put them in a frame and give them to him.  I have a favorite that I want for sure to use.  Here it is:

I love this picture so much.  they both look so young and carefree.  That is the mom I remember.  A smiling mom, a laughing mom.  We shared many a laugh me and Mom.  I wish the boys could have really spent more time with her and seen more of her laughter, lighter side but they couldn't.

What do you do for resolutions on New Year's?  I haven't decided.  Weight is always a thing I am working on.  I don't make that my resolution because I have made many resolutions to lose weight.  i want something better.  Last year, a bloggy friend called the it the year of "embrace".  I may choose something like that.  I am just not sure right now.  I may just not make any resolutions at all again this year.  I am still in mourning, although I have more good days now than bad.  I still miss her a lot of the time and sometimes it still hurts physically.  

Tomorrow Julie is coming over.  We are going to work on the Dining Room and Kitchen.  Lily changed a few things around last time she was here.  My canned food is in the pantry cabinets in the Utility room.  I need to move the DVD shelves downstairs and the one little shelf unit in the living room for the kids' toys and pictures.

I bought a new tote tonight.  It was on sale for $5 and I needed a new one so I was rather glad about that.  I also bought a Disney Movie that was on sale.  I can't think of which one I bought off the top of my head.  Walmart has several on sale for Family Night.  There are several others I want to that are only about $10 or $15.   The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, the Lion King, The Fox and the Hound, and several more.  I need a new Valentine's Day table cloth.  They aren't out yet and it is too early to put it out.  I have a regular one I will put on the table in the meantime.  I will take down the Christmas stuff in the next couple of weeks.  I have a nice bag big enough for my little tree so I can put it away in the garage for next year.  I won't have to leave it up all year long.  I have the Easter stuff put away too now. Yeah, I hadn't put that away either.  Now it is in the box ready to go to the furnace room for storage.  I will wrap my Christmas ones too and put them away too.  The furnace room is pretty well organized unlike my office.  I have about 5 stacks of music that needs to be put away.  I am going to see what I need in the stacks and put the rest away.  Now that Christmas is over and the music will be coming back in for the next week or two.  I have to get the regular music back out again.  I do hope that this year, I will be putting the music away instead of leaving it on the piano bench for a year.  Right now there is only a couple of books on the piano bench right now.  I will also be getting the CDs in order too.  right now they are on a table in the living room.  They so need to be put away.  I will be working on that project first.  I have about 5 or 6 stacks of them, not to mention the 2 stacks in my room of the originals.  I want to change out some of the cases to sleeves so that they don't take up too much room.  They really don't fit in the one box anymore so I need to do something about that.  Then I need to compare the originals to the copies to see what needs copying.  I don't give out originals very often.  Katie has a couple of them right now, but she is going to copy them for herself.  I will then make copies for the next person who uses that book.

I am watching "Sweet Home Alabama".  It is a good movie and I have seen it before.  I am heading to bed shortly.  I am very tired again.  I hope I am not so exhausted by the end of the weekend.  I do hope you are having a good evening too.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Midweek, 12-28

It is Wednesday already.  I accidentally slept through my blood test.  Apparently, I was exhausted.  I went to bed at 9 pm last night and slept until about 2 pm this afternoon.  Yeah, that is a lot.  I did wake up about 5 times to get up and walk because of pain in my hips and legs but I walked to the bedroom door and back then went back to bed.  I am still a bit extra tired tonight.  I will head for bed soon.

I am watching this new show called "Extreme Cheapskates".  It is insane, completely insane.  One man found $7.50 in the couch and went to the Butcher's Shop.  He bought Goat Heads for dinner that night!  Yes, Goat Heads!  It was gross to watch him eat it so I had to change the channel.  It was too much for me as I was eating Cream of Mushroom Soup.  I love my soup!  That was my dinner with some vegetables tonight.  Now Toddlers and Tiaras is on.  It entertains me.  I remember Dance Competitions and these are similar in some ways.  I also like Dance Moms.  It is nice to know that many dance studios are filled with crazy parents like ours was.  Of course, the moms on Dance Moms are way more obnoxious than the ones in the studio I was in, but still there are some similarities.  Like our Dance Teacher, this one has favorites too.  I never liked that about the dance studio, but since I wasn't in charge, except for my classes that I taught, there wasn't anything I could do about it.

I had a few lessons today.  Natalie Z's mom forgot about her lesson.  We rescheduled for next week.  Katie had her lesson.  We have narrowed down her Inspirational Category for competition.  We know what she is doing for Classical and for Broadway.  She has a sassy, jazzy piece called "Adelaide's Lament" from Guys and Dolls. She loves the piece and does a really nice job.  I really like it for her.  It so fits her sassy, jazzy side.  Katie is doing a German piece for Classical.  She has chosen not to do a pop piece.  That works just fine for me so it is okay.

I am having a difficult time finding judges for competition.  I seem to have enough for vocal, but not enough for piano.  That is the problem.  I have a judge who wants to do classical so I let Julie know that we need to have Classical on Saturday or Sunday as she is not available on Friday.  Julie said she would let me know if that is possible when the entries come in.  Well, that could lead to a big problem if she puts classical on Friday.  I was not a happy camper at all.  Diane is sure it will all work out but I am not so sure.  I am going to be calling the people who judged in 2008 when we were in Kalamazoo last time. I know that Georgette and Diane want new people judging, but I think we have exhausted our contacts and I will have to call those we have used before.  I will start this work again next week as I am on the count down now.  I never want to this job again, ever.  I don't think it is fun and it is very stressful.  I would rather do something else instead.  I just would.

I do hope your day went well.  Mostly mine was good (what little there was of a day).

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tuesday 12-27

It was a good day today!  I met with Kimberly and she had a lovely surprise for me!  She brought her Mom with her!  It was so lovely to see them both.  Kimberly brought me some of the cookies she made.  They were very, very yummy!  Yeah, they are already gone.  I tried to wait, but I couldn't.  My tummy called their name and they jumped inside my tummy.  What can I say?  It happens!

After coming home from meeting up with Kimberly and her mother, the Emerton family came over with gifts for me!  I had sent home Emily's and Lily's presents last week.  I LOVE what I got.  I got this beautiful Angel plaque that is the Guardian Angel of the Home and Family from IRELAND!!!  Yes!  They got this for me when they went to Ireland this past summer.  I also got a gift card for movies!  That will so come in handy on Sunday when I go out with my girls!  And....I got the Anne of Green Gables Treasury book!  I gave up hope of ever getting one of these, but I did!  I will get the Christmas Treasury one later this week, then I will have them both!  I am so excited about that!  I love this book.  Anne of Green Gables is my absolute FAVORITE series and books EVER!  Yes, I am crazy about Harry Potter books, but these are my top of the list favorites!  Right now, Calli is reading the 2nd book to the series.  She got it for Christmas.  I am so glad she loves these books.  I gave Mom's Anne of Green Gables doll to Calli and she had the doll next to her while she read the book.  I thought that was so cute!  I know how much Calli likes the Anne of Green Gables books.  They are simply wonderful books.  I even had to go to Prince Edward Island because of those books.

Charlie had is lesson tonight and it was for an hour because we needed to make up last weeks missed lesson.  I really like how he likes to make up lessons instead he of just skipping the lesson.  I really appreciate that about the young man.  I don't have anymore lessons tonight.  It is NCIS and NCIS Los Angeles tonight!  Tomorrow I have to get up early tomorrow for my blood test.  I have new students tomorrow.  I am excited about that!  I also have Allison and Natalie.  I have to pull some books for them tomorrow!  Wow, we are back to regular music again.  Christmas is now over so no more Christmas music.  That makes me sad, but until next fall, we are finished with it.  Time to dig out the Italian Songs and the Broadway pieces.  Bob has a lesson tomorrow too.  He was arriving home from a cruise on Christmas Day so he changed his lesson 2 weeks ago.  It was good foresight as I wasn't home after all, I was at my Uncle's.  Tomorrow is a few lessons of which an hour of it is new students.  I have 2 new 4 year olds and 1 6 year old.  They are going to share an hour.  I simply don't have an 1 1/2 hours available at this time.  The Mom thought that the hour would be better as the 4 years are rather young.  They are good readers though so that is good.  I am going to put them in the young beginner books.  If they don't work, then we will switch to the Little Mozarts for the really young children.  Since they read, I think the regular young beginners will be good.  I just realized though that I bought 1 theory book, 1 notespeller book instead of 2 of each.  The twins can't share their theory and notespeller books.  What was I thinking?  Obviously, I must not have been.  Silly me!!!  I did get a call that the Snell books I need for Brianne and Brooke are in.  That is a good thing.  Next week I will go and get the rest and pick up the rest of the twins books.

I am freezing tonight and it is supposed to be very cold tonight.  Oh my!  That is not good news, but it is expected as living in Michigan, you get cold weather.  I have a sweatshirt on and my Tinkerbell Fleece.  I am so glad I bought them as I find myself wearing them quite a bit in the winter.

I do have to go and get some garbage bags this week along with some pop and bread.  My milk is good until the 2nd but after that I will need to get more.  I plan to do that on Sunday.  I think the garbage bags shall wait until Sunday.  I also am going to see a movie with my lovely Muglia girls on Sunday.  It will be a perfect day to spend New Year's Day with my girls.

I do hope you are having a good day!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Boxing Day

In Canada, it is Boxing Day.  In Ireland it is St. Stephen's Day.  For me here?  It is just the day I went and visited my aunt and uncle along with my brother.  It was an interesting day.  As soon as I got there, I gave Jayson his gifts and also the gifts for Michelle and Uncle John.  I had the special gift for Andrew, I thought he would be a bit sad over it because Mom is not here, but he chuckled and said he wasn't too surprised.  Mom often hid Christmas presents and then forgot about them.  He is right, but she was here to give them to him and now she isn't.  I am glad he wasn't too sad and that he liked it.  I am not sure if I could have held myself together if he was sad about it.  Andrew was later than we thought because he had stopped by Mom's grave to look at the headstone.  He took some pictures of it to show us.  He has a new iPhone now along with a new number.  I guess because of the work he does, he has to change the number a lot.  It makes it very confusing for me, but if it keeps him safe, then, I will deal with the fact I don't always have his number.  He is an outreach worker.  Right now he is working in a homeless shelter.  I am not sure what all he does, but he works there 2 nights a week and then 3 days/nights at the restaurant he has been working at.  He and Angi (his girlfriend) are about to move again to a safer neighborhood.  That would be a good thing.  I have never been to his apartment since he moved to London.  Maybe this one I will see.  Andrew and Angi brought their dog, Jagger, with them today.  It was quite funny because Jagger is a pug and Uncle John has a Newfoundland dog named Raven.  She is huge, almost like a tiny horse.  Jagger would go up to Raven and bark and then Raven would back away.  To see this small dog chase the big dog was funny.  It really was funny to see.  Jagger also likes people food and was trying to beg from Angi and Andrew.  I don't give dogs people food because I have no idea what they can and cannot eat.  I don't want to accidentally poison Jagger or any other dogs.

I got a nice Tim Horton's gift card from my Uncle and Michelle.  Now I have 2 of them.  I am happy about that!  I got a beautiful picture frame and sweater from Andrew.  The were really nice.  I wanted one of those type picture frames because I want to put some family pictures in it.  I want the family room to have the family pictures from 1989 and other family pictures, especially one with Mom in it.  I will take pictures when I have them all in order.  That won't be for a while though since I am working on other stuff.  The pictures in the house are the last to be worked on.  I have other more pressing issues to deal with first.

I am really tired tonight.  I think I will actually go to bed shortly because I am so tired.  I am getting up early tomorrow to go and see Kimberly.  I am excited about that.  Have a wonderful night!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

It's Here! Christmas!!

Merry Christmas!!!!!  It is here!  Christmas Day!!!

I spent last night and all day today at Kathy's Parents' house.  It was such a good time.  We went to church last night and then we all went back to the Knight's house for the unwrapping of presents.  The kids were so excited!  Alicia and Samantha did really well during church.  It was an unusual church service because there was no sermon.  Yup, no sermon.  Anyways, they broke up the Christmas Story with lots of music.  It was very nice.  Matthew and Jacob did well too although at 13 and 10, they are able to sit through the service unlike the little ones who are only 5.  After opening presents, the kids started playing with some of the toys while the rest of us chatted and had a good time.  I like being with Kathy's family.  Because Kathy and I have been friends since we were 3 (that would be 40 years now!), I have known her parents that long too.  They are very nice and it is really nice to be with them.  I got some nice presents too.  I got a Barnes and Noble gift card, some tea, a new mug (I love mugs!!!), a new bookmark (Harry Potter - you can never have enough), new slippers, and a few other goodies in my stocking.  I really like what I got.

I left when it was time to give the girls a bath, I came home.  Unfortunately, my lovely angels (Samantha and Alicia) had very upset tummies last night.  It started with Samantha about midnight and apparently, poor Alicia joined in soon.  They were okay during the day today, but Kathy had to limit what they could eat.  This did bring some tears from the girls as they are too young to totally understand why Mommy wouldn't let them eat cookies and cheese and everything else they wanted.  We did get them some medicine but they wouldn't take it, so I have no idea if it would work for them.  I sure hope they do well tonight.  It is so nice with the little ones now, because they aren't shy with me at ALL anymore!  They remember me each time they see me.  I get lots of high fives and hugs.  They are so cute.  All of Kathy's children are cute and really neat kids.  Matthew is 13 now and he is about 5'6" so he likes that he is finally taller than me.  I am the first measuring stick for them.  Jacob is catching up, let me tell you!  It won't be too long until he is taller too.  They are such good kids.  They all were very happy with their presents, there wasn't any, I wanted this and didn't get it type comments.  I like that they liked what they got.  I took a lot of pictures (okay - 28) that I will upload a few of them tonight here, and the rest of facebook.  I even got one of Kathy's Mom, but i didn't get one of her Dad this year.  Maybe next year or when I see them next.  Kathy's mom even sent me home with some yummy food.  She is a VERY good cook.  We had meatloaf and ribs that were so heavenly, as well as the usual mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, vegetables, and salad.  We had 2 types of salad, regular lettuce salad and coleslaw.  I had some coleslaw.  I also took home some yummy biscuits.  I have food for the next few days.

Tomorrow I am going to my Uncle John's for the afternoon and evening.  I have a few small gifts for them and one for Andrew plus the ornament from Momma.  I have new wrapping paper for the presents.  I am watching "Legally Blonde" again.  I do own it somewhere in the DVD shelves.  I have the sequel too.  Mom loved this movie.  We would watch it about once a year when we would have our comedy movies marathon.  "RV" was another goodie.  That was another one that would totally get us laughing.  I do miss watching TV and movies with her.  I can watch some movies now that I couldn't before because it would remind me too much that she is gone.

I really had a nice day.  I missed mom but it wasn't painful missing like it was a couple of days ago.  Next up is New Year's Eve where I will be with Miss Calli and family.  That should be fun too.

Kathy and I had to stop here at home while we were out getting tummy medicine for the little ones.  I had 2 big and I mean big, boxes of games for the kids.  A couple of them weren't even open.  Kathy, Samantha, Alicia, and I played Disney trivial pursuit, the old version, and I won.  The girls came and went during the game, which is totally expected with 5 year olds.  Alicia and Kathy's Mom played the disney Sorry game I brought over too.  I saved me the regular Sorry game for when I have company and want to play.  We started to play the Magic Kingdom game but Samantha got bored of it while we were playing.  The trivial pursuit questions weren't all Disney, like the other one I have.  It had a mixture of lots of types of things from music, science, sports, geography, and some Disney questions.  I am glad I kept the one I did because most of the questions are about Disney and the movies.  I love Disney.  I told Kathy that the next time she goes to Disney, I have to go with her.  We also decided we need to go to Disneyland.  Kathy was mentioning today that when she was working in California, that she passed Disneyland all the time but wasn't interested in going there because it is a smaller version of Disney World.  She now regrets that decision.  I would regret that too.  I still remember Momma telling me she left me and my 10 day younger cousin at his house with a babysitter while Mom and my older brother along with my Dad, uncle, and aunt, all went to Disneyland.  Now really, just because I was 4 months old doesn't mean a thing!  Just kidding!  I would have definitely left my 4 month old with a trusted sitter instead of Disneyland too.  How else would Mom be able to enjoy herself?  She wouldn't, she would be tied with me.  I have no idea when we will be able to get there, but one never knows.  Sometime in the future I suppose.  Kathy goes home Tuesday early in the afternoon since I believe she has to work in the evening on that day.  I have lessons starting on Tuesday this week.  I am rather glad about that.

Well, this is getting long, so I better end it now.  I hope you had a great Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

It is Christmas Eve!  Yup, it has FINALLY arrived!!!!!  I am going to the 7 pm service at my old church (the one I grew up in) and then we head back to Kathy's parents house for the opening of presents.  Santa comes while we are at church!  I have my gift for Kathy's parents ready and waiting to go.

So far it has been a good day.  Kathy called to let me know what time things were happening and then Jose, Mom's friend called.   He is very sad.  His wife (and she was a witch) died a few months ago and he is very, very bitter about it.  He also misses my mom a lot too.  I do feel bad for him as this is the first Christmas without her.  I asked if he was going to church this evening because I know he and Dorothy used to go all the time.  He said no.  He is at the stage where he is angry with God.  I totally understand.  We didn't talk to much after that but that is okay.  Sometimes, I think he is transferring how he felt about my mother to me and it creeps me out.  That is partly why I don't talk to him very often.  I did talk to Donna.  I think she is a bit lonely since she won't be spending the holidays with her daughter's family.  I don't know.  I know she is homebound a lot now that she doesn't have a car.  She was in a bad accident last winter and has been without a car ever since.  I try to take her out every so often, but with my schedule and her schedule, it doesn't happen a lot.  I did see her last weekend after church on Sunday and it was pretty good.

I am anxious to see what Kathy's kids get for Christmas.  I love watching how excited they are about the presents.  The twins are 5 now and Jacob is 9 or 10 with Matthew at 13.  I love watching children open presents on Christmas Eve or Day.  I used to take a lot of pictures of Abby and William when they were small but I haven't seen them in 3 1/2 years.  I don't anticipate seeing them any time soon.  I don't know if Andrew has spoken to Richard lately or not, I haven't asked.  I do hope Andrew texts him Merry Christmas.  I don't also think Richard will call on Christmas to speak to me.  I actually don't expect him to ever speak to me again.  He is very angry with me and knowing him, he will hold a grudge for a very long time.  Today, I am okay with this, some days I am not, but today is okay.

I was thinking about Mom a lot these past few days.  It is days like this that I miss her the most especially the woman she became with Alzheimer's.  Mom was always excited about Christmas and Christmas Eve, but even more so when she became ill because she could remember Christmas from when she was a little girl.  Fortunately, she never really lost what Christmas was before she passed away.  I do think she would have had she lived last year to see the Christmas.  I really wish she had because I really wanted a last good Christmas for her but God decided she needed to go home before that.  You just can't really argue with God, I have tried and it doesn't work.  Anyways, she was still enough of herself at the last Christmas she had, in 2009.  We spent it in Windsor.  It was the first year in my life that I can remember we didn't go to church.  Even when we were with Richard or with someone else, Mom would find a church for us to attend.  She firmly believed that if you can't celebrate the real meaning of Christmas, then you can't celebrate the other side to it.  Jesus' birthday was first and foremost in her mind and I agree.  I only missed 2 in my whole life.  1 when I had my surgery and Mom and I had a little bit of home church after she came home from the service, and the other in 2009 when we were at Tillie's.  The reason I didn't take her to church that night is because she really couldn't handle sitting there.  She was just too sick.  I was glad thought that she didn't remember we didn't go to church so she wouldn't be upset.  It upset her when we missed church.  Mom always felt a week starts off right when you go to church on Sunday.  She (I do agree with her, my weeks are better when I start them off with church) just believed it set your week up well to go.  Mom really didn't like missing church at all.  So anyways, we spent the night at Tillie's.  We watched Star Wars on Christmas Eve.  Christmas Day we opened presents and then Andrew came to spend the day with us.  I am glad he did.  It had been years since we spent a Christmas with him and it was important to Mom that she see her baby.  (Andrew is the youngest and is proud to be the "baby" of the family)  She spoke to Richard and the kids on the phone, which made her smile and she was with Andrew.  Now Andrew was shocked at Mom's shape.  I tried to tell him, but unless you actually see her in motion, you don't get it.  It was the start of the downhill turn in the little lady's life.  I am glad he got to spend some time with her that day, and the days at my Uncle's house.  He really needed too.

I will see the little brother on Monday.  I am very excited about it.  I will also see my cousin, Jayson, and my Aunt and Uncle.

I do hope you are having a great Christmas!!!  Merry Christmas!!!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Eve Eve

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve.  It is hard to believe that is so close.  It seemed like weeks and weeks away and suddenly, it has arrived!  Oh my!  I am somewhat ready.  I have gifts to wrap tomorrow but I am done shopping, not that I had much in the first place after my students!  I have received some really nice gifts from my students, some gift cards, a snow flake (one of those really big, homemade ones - made by Calli), an angel, and some ornaments.  I haven't used the gift cards yet, but I know I will!

A couple of friends of mine are in town for the Holiday, Kimberly and Anne.  I will see Kimberly on Tuesday for lunch at Olga's and I am not sure when I will get to see Anne.  I certainly hope so.  I can't wait to her all about life in the Big City, NYC.  She is doing rather well there.  She works for a publisher.  Kimberly lives in Florida and is a teacher.  She really likes it.  Kimberly has wanted to be a teacher since I met her.  I knew she would be a good one.  I just wish she lived closer but I know she really likes Florida.  Winter is not Kimberly's favorite season here in Michigan.

I get to see Kathy tomorrow and her family!  I can't wait!  It should be a good couple of days.  I also will see my uncle and aunt on Monday!  That will be great too.  Andrew will be there too.  I have a gift for him that is actually from mom.  It is rather strange to give someone a gift from a person who has passed away.  It is very strange.  I apparently told Andrew about it already so I can't surprise him.  I have one just like it only it has my name on it.  It is because our names were on them that I knew who they were for.  It is just like Mom to purchase them without me seeing them.  She had to have done it in 2006 or 2007 because she wouldn't have been able to purchase it in 2008 because she didn't have any money on her, I carried it all.

I keep looking at the Anne of Green Gable Christmas Treasury book on eBay.  I can't really afford it right now, but if it is still available in January, I will get it.  I had one, but it, as with so much other stuff, has gone.  I don't know exactly when, but it is gone.  I got when I went to Prince Edward Island many years ago.  I think we went the summer of 2000, yes that sounds about right.  I was working on my master's degree at that point.  Mom and I had a great time.  We went all over the 800 kilometer wide island from one end to the other.  We started in Summerside and went up north on the west side of the island before heading to the section they call Anne's Land.  This is where the story of Anne of Green Gables take place and where Lucy Maud Montgomery was born and lived.  It was fascinating.  We were in one house that became a museum.  It was run by Lucy Maud's grand nephew.  We were there for about 6 hours speaking with the man!  He gave us a tour and then we just started chatting and the stories he told about his great aunt was wonderful!  He was an elderly gentlemen.  We bought several books from him.  Mom bought them for me for Christmas that year as by the time we got to Anne's Land, I was flat broke.  I had spent all my money.  I am not really sure where all my money went, but went it did.  I love the books of Lucy Maud Montgomery especially the Anne of Green Gables books.  I like the book, The Blue Castle next and then the Emily books.  Mom liked Anne of Green Gables books too.  We have seen some of the movies, mostly the first one because the 2nd and 3rd are not like the books at all.  That is a drag but still, Megan Fellows is the best Anne Shirley I have ever seen including the one who was in the musical we saw in Charlottetown, PEI.  It was a wonderful show, let me tell you.  We had great seats.  We also went the next day to see the musical "Emily".  I hope to go back there some time.

Brooke and Brianne will not be having their lessons next week.  It is kind of a bummer, but, hey these things happen during kids' vacation.  I have 2 lessons on Tuesday, 3 on Wednesday, 2 maybe 3 on Thursday, 3 on Friday and 1 on Saturday.  It isn't a bad schedule for a week that the kids are off school.  No lessons, of course, on Saturday or Sunday and none on Monday.  I hope Isaac reschedules his Monday lessons.  I am not sure though, but if not, I will see him a week from Monday.

I am getting rather tired now.  I got up a bit early for the girls lessons so I will go to bed a little bit early.  Oh, I think I managed to kill my plant from Tillie.  I am not very good with plants or keeping plants alive.  I did water it again today, but it isn't looking too well.  oops.  I am just not good at this.  I either water too little or too much, I just don't get it right.

I hope you are having a good day too.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

It's getting closer! 12-22

Christmas is almost here!  I can't wait!  It looks like I will be going to my Uncle John's house on Monday.  Andrew will be there too.  I have a gift from Mom for him.  It is an ornament.  Mom and I had gone to Disney in 2006 and bought him an ornament with his name on it.  I know he will like it.  I have one too.  I found them in my room after Mom passed away.  We both forgot about them when we came home and Christmas arrived.  That was the last Christmas Mom and I spent at Richard's with his family.  We also went to Disney's Vero Beach that Christmas for New Year's Eve.  It was a good trip.  I only saw Richard a couple of times since then and his children just one time.

Benjy and Joiene had their lessons this evening.  Benjy is doing really well.  He really is.  I just wish they would practice.  I don't think they do at all.  Joiene is doing okay, considering the lack of practice, but Benjy is doing really well.  He knows where all his piano keys are and he learned the difference between a line note and a space note today.  that is sometimes a tough thing for students at first.  He is only just turned 7 and in 1st grade!  Can you imagine if he practiced what he would sound like?  It is mind boggling.  He is also excited about getting the computer game CD so he can play it on the computer.  It is a neat game.

Since I am not singing in church on Sunday, I am not going to church choir practice.  We had to be there at 7 pm tonight along with the orchestra.  I won't be singing with choir until the 8th of January.  I won't be at choir practice next week either but I will be there the one after that.  New Year's Eve I will be at my friend, Heather's B-T's house again for game night.  It shall be a lot of fun.  Calli and I have such a good giggle when we are together.  She is such a good kid and so is her brother, Acer.  Calli and I love to play Uno.  I love that game.  I really do.

When Lily was here yesterday, we played Disney's Trivial Pursuit and Sorry.  We had a good time playing too.  Lily won by a shade in the game Sorry and she had the most pie pieces of Trivial Pursuit so I declared her the winner.  I think she was surprised by how many answers she actually knew and didn't guess.  Her older sister, Emily, used to make her watch all the Disney movies when Lily was small.  Lily did say she was thankful for Emily for that since she was doing so well with the game.

I have to go and get a few gift certificates that I need for Monday.  I think I should do that tonight, so I will have to go soon.  I hope you are having a good day.  I did.  I am tired, but that is normal for me at this time of the night.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

massive work in progress!!! The family room

My Library/TV room is finished.  The other side is still a work in progress but will be taken care of in the future.  I am so pleased with how everything looks.  The living room furniture is a bit crammed in the side of the family room, but that is okay for now.  Eventually, I will have the right amount of furniture in it but for now it will work.  I just need to get the cushions re-stuffed as they are super hard as a rock!  I do hope that by summer or fall I will be able to get some other furniture.  Right now the goal is to just maybe get them re-stuffed to last until I can get some other stuff.  It doesn't even have to be brand new, I don't need super brand new.  I will look at the resale shop that is up the street from me as well as the clearance center at Art Van.  We shall see how it goes.  Julie and Ross did a really good job with the family room.  The bar stools are gone as well as some of the other stuff that I wanted to donate.  Most of the stuff to be donated is now taken care of.  I will post pictures tomorrow.

I had 2 lessons tonight and a sort of try it out lesson with a 4 year old.  He actually sat pretty well.  I was surprised and happy about that surprise.  His brother already takes lessons but they are having issues trying to practice because the 4 year old wants to play too.  Maybe this way, they both will be able to practice, that is my hope anyway.

I only have 2 lessons tomorrow as opposed to my usual 6.  I have a bunch of new music to get though.  I need 3 different levels of Alfred piano books plus level 4 and 5 Snell books for Brooke and Brianne.  They will have their lessons on Friday as well as the usual 3, Acer, Calli, and Emily.  I also want to do some grocery shopping next week.  I wonder if Calli will be available.  The fridge and the cupboards were cleaned out today by Lily and well, let's just say that there was a lot that was past the expiration date.  Yeah, that is just not too good.

I need to gather the books that I either have duplicates for or I don't want to take to the used bookstore tomorrow also.  I want to get a few books for myself for the next few weeks.  I have several that I can take to them.  I think I owe about 16 books to them as I keep forgetting to bring more.  They have been giving me the discounted price, which is awfully nice of them.  I should take care of that right now while I am thinking about it.  Be right back.  There, I have a bag full to take there.  So tomorrow's errands are in order.  I have the list of music I have to take as well as the books to the bookstore before teaching.  I have a couple more gifts to get and then I will be finished with Christmas.  Kathy's parents are left and that is it.  I am getting them a gift certificate.  I am done with everything else and it feels awfully nice.  I will also stop at the Rochester of the Chipotle tomorrow for dinner.  I usually try to pick it up a bit early and then re-heat if I need to.

I also need to get the new Harry Potter movie tomorrow too!  I have to pay a couple of doctor bills, which I will take care of tonight so they will be ready to mail tomorrow.  Oh, right, i need to get some stamps too!  Ugh!  I used all the rest of them for the Christmas Cards last night.

I got my new blankets yesterday in the mail.  I will put them on the bed this weekend, probably Saturday.  I have new sheets too.  I hope they are soft.  The ones I have now are so I want to keep soft ones.  The new blankets are so pretty too.  The color of chocolate.  They will go well with the decor of my room.  My furniture will look nice with new blankets and sheets.  I just got plain white sheets for my bed.  My old blankets are totally falling apart so the timing was perfect for the new ones to arrive.

I do hope you had a good day!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tuesday 12-20

Well, only a few days left and then it will be Christmas!  I WILL be going to Kathy's parents' house for Christmas Day as well as Christmas Eve.  It will be a fun couple of days with her.  I am not sure what my Uncle and Aunt are doing for Christmas but Andrew wants to know and naturally, he wants me to call.  I don't understand why he has trouble making these type calls but he does.  Oh well, that is just my younger brother.  I called and left a message.  They very well could be out of town already.  Last year, they went to her brother's so they could be there again this year.  I am just not sure.  I know Andrew wants to see Tillie too.  He has something for her and for my Aunt and Uncle as well as my small cousin, Jayson.

I didn't have any students today.  Charlie left his instrument in his mother's car so he is going to do an hour lesson next week.  Samuel's mom totally forgot about it this afternoon.  She remembered in the morning and then she forgot so she is coming tomorrow.  Katie was still at work, so she needs to reschedule for next week.  I think I spent the afternoon and evening on the computer.  I will be heading for bed rather soon because I am very dizzy and lightheaded this evening.  I have been all day, ever since I woke up this morning.  I actually think it is because I am out of my tramadol medicine.  I get dizzy when I don't take it and I have been out for 2 days.

I won't be singing at church this Sunday so I won't be at rehearsal this Thursday since they will be only working on Christmas Day stuff.  There is now choir on the 1st as far as I know.  I am hoping that in the New Year, Katie will be joining us in the choir.  I think she would really enjoy it a lot.  I would enjoy being in the choir with her.  She is such a nice girl and is really working hard to finish high school and get her Associates Degree by the end of summer. I am not sure what her next step is.  I know she is looking into other colleges.  Katie has visited some already.

Julie is coming tomorrow with Lily!  I have to wrap the presents for Lily and Emily.  I am excited to see that lovely young lady and I enjoy hanging out with Julie too.  The whole family is really nice.  They are very helpful and I like being with them.  I am not sure where we are working in the family room tomorrow.  I will find out when Julie gets here and Lily.  I have some stuff in the fridge that needs to be tossed.

I got my new blankets from Walmart today.  They came in the mail.  I am very happy about that.  i will take care of them tomorrow.  I have new sheets too so that is good.  So now I have new pajamas, new blankets, and new sheets!  Yippee!  I am very happy about that.

There is a Law and Order: SVU marathon on USA channel right now.  I am sure there is only 1 episode left of the Marathon, but that is okay.  I love this show.  I haven't seen in regularly in the past few years because Mom was so afraid of TV.  Now I can watch it whenever it is on if I want.  I think I would rather have the mother with me.  Right now the episode that is on I have never seen before and boy is it a good one.  It is really good!!!  I am glad I accidentally found it after NCIS Los Angeles.

There have been a boatload of commercials about short term loans and get money quick.  Wow, nothing like tons of temptations.  I think about the financial mess I was in when losing the store, I shudder when I see commercials like this.  I really do.  I have 2 credit cards and they are supposed to be for emergencies, but unfortunately, each time I got one, I ended up putting it in my wallet instead of my safe.  I will be paying them off in the next few months so they will be empty and ready for emergencies.  Other than that, I am doing pretty well with making sure I do what I am supposed to.

I do hope you had a good day.  I can't really say I had a good one, but it wasn't too bad.  Tomorrow will be so much better.

pictures of the decorations!!

Here are some of the pictures of the decorations!

The girls did awesome!

I will write more this evening.  These are the 2 pianos, the book shelf, and the princess table with the tree on it.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Monday before Christmas 12-19

I have the perfect gift for Emily and Lily.  I can't write what it is, but I really like what I got them.  I will hopefully see Lily on Wednesday.  I am not sure though since she is a very busy young lady now that she is in 8th grade.  She is only going to get busy as she enters high school next year.  Sometimes, I think back to how young she was when I first met her.  I remember Emily and I heading to a movie and Lily crying because we weren't taking her that particular time.  She was so sweet in a way because she only wanted to be with us.  We took her the next time.  I remember the first time she came to the movies without her sisters with us.  I don't remember what we were going to see, but it was a good children's movie.  Mom was with us.  Because it was such a monumental moment, we also got treats from the concession stand.  She picked this candy, jolly ranchers.  When we opened the bag, she discovered the weren't the type she liked.  Normally, we wouldn't have gotten anything else but she really didn't know so Mom took her back to the stand to get something else.  I believe Lily came back with popcorn and a beautiful smile.  She is a very special young lady so are her sisters.  Emily just finished her first semester in college.  Elyse and her husband are saving for their first house.  All in all, the three are doing well.

I haven't taken pictures yet, but I will.  I also have to pick up the boxes in the living room too.  I want to take a picture of the front window but I need to do it during the day.  When Isaac arrived today, I hadn't turned on the lights.  His mom did and they liked the tree that the girls did.  Sometime next week we are supposed to go and see a movie.  I hope to see one with Lily too.  It all depends on all of the girls' schedules.  They are all very busy.  I don't have a lot of lessons this week because of the holiday, but I have a couple new lessons with 3 little girls.  They will have an hour lesson, 20 minutes each.  The younger girls are almost 5 and in preschool.  The oldest is almost 7.  All three have their birthdays in February.  I am looking forward to the lessons.

This Christmas seems to be harder than last year at times.  Not all the time, just some times.  Tonight was one of them.  As I was coming home, it hit me.  I am alright now, but it was a rough few minutes and of course, I was driving when this happened.

I am out of my tramadol again.  I knew last week I should have called for refills, but I kept putting it off and now I am out.  I sure hope it comes in rather quickly.  It needs a new prescription.  Naturally, I waited until the last minute.  You would think by now I would know better, but no, not me.  I have to learn the hard way again.  Maybe that should be my New Year's resolution.  It is something to think about anyway!!!

I hope you are having a good day.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

the living room is now Christmas Wonderland!

The living room is completely decorated except for one piano.  I will fix that tomorrow.  I also have to put the bins out of the way too.  The tree is loaded down with decorations and it looks just great.  The top of the piano I am not currently using is covered and decorated but the one I am currently using in lessons is empty except for the CD player on it.  The 4 girls did a great job decorating.

Church went well and without ANY lightheadedness today.  It must have been the contacts causing the issues with eye straining.  I accidentally put the old prescription in the left eye and since I could still read and watch TV, I didn't think it would be a problem, but apparently, I was wrong.  I changed them last night and they are fine now.  I don't know if I am singing on Christmas Day or not.  There will be one service at 10 am instead of the usual 3 services.  (Choir only sings at the first service except for once a month when we do all 4 including Saturday night)  I will be at my old Church with Kathy and family on Christmas Eve then off to her parents house to watch the kids open presents.  I enjoy watching them open presents and see the looks on their faces when the see what they get.  I just love her children, they are such neat children.  Christmas Day is still up in the air, but since it is a week away, it doesn't matter at this point.  I will be somewhere with friends and that is what matters.  Either I will be with Kathy on Christmas Day or the day after or I will be at the Hubels on Christmas Day.  Either way, I get Kathy some time during the weekend.  I have an older laptop (from a few years ago) and 2 boxes of games for her to come and collect sometime during the weekend.  I hope her children like the games I am giving them.  They were mine but I don't play board games as much as I used to so I have too many.  I kept a few and the rest go to Kathy's kids!

I am pretty tired now since I have been up since 6:45 with NO nap this afternoon!  After church, I picked up Donna and we went to lunch at Chipolte's.  She liked it a lot.  I knew she was allergic to a lot of things, but man tons of food too?  Pork, Sour Cream, are just a few.  We had to leave earlier than planned because the cleaning agent that one of the employees were using were making her sick.  We had finished lunch by then so that was okay.  I dropped her back home and then came home to read.  I was going to take a nap, but I was reading instead so that didn't happen.  I will probably go to bed early since I am so tired.

I have been having a problem in the night lately with night sweats and upset tummy.  It has happened several times a week in the last few weeks.  I have been having to get up and sometimes change my top and then go downstairs for some tummy medicine.  It is really annoying.  I have a bit of an upset tummy right now so before bed I will take more tummy stuff.  It is almost time for my other tummy medicine again.  I sure hope that it will fade away as quickly as it came.  I am just not up for this.  I ran out of my Xantac yesterday morning and I can't get it until tomorrow so I hope tonight isn't too awful.  I have some Mylanta on hand such I need it.

I do hope you are having a good day.  I am getting rather tired and I foresee going soon.  It is only 8 pm so I am going to try to stay awake until at least 9 so that I won't wake up wide awake in the middle of the night.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Super Great Day! 12-17

I paid the rest of the property taxes!!!  Yes!!!  It is paid (well, I mailed it so give it a few days to get there).  I am so happy about this because I can now focus on the 2011 taxes!  Yeah, I am, as of right now, only behind with the summer taxes because the winter ones just came in and they are due by March 1.  Whether or not I get there by then, I don't think so, but I will have started paying them loooooong before then.  It was such a good feeling to write the check and mail it!

The other reason it was a super great day is that my lovely girls, Natalie, Hannah, Sarah, and Lydia came to help decorate.  I was so pleased with how well they did.  We have the sled on the wall and the wall hanging from Disney.  A lot of my Disney ornaments are on the tree.  I have so many.  The tree is covered with them.  I know that they are really too big for the tree, but it they are so beautiful and I love them.  Next year I will decorate outside too but this year I just don't have the money to spend on the electricity.  Speaking of electricity, mine for some reason has jumped and I am concerned because I use less electricity than I use to and the bill is super high.  This is the 2nd month in a row and I don't understand why.  I have to call them on Monday because my electricity usage has not changed that much to be that high.  If more than one person lived here, I could see it, but it is only me so I don't get it.

I have to change my contacts tomorrow morning because it is time for them to be changed.  I am hoping I won't be so dizzy tomorrow, if I am then I won't be able to be in choir because during the rehearsal I get dizzy and feel like I am going to pass out.  I am usually alright by the time the service starts, but even then it can happen.  I truly do think it is my contacts and I will change them.  It has been a while and I need to start keeping better track now.

I got up earlier than usual for Brianne's lesson.  She is going to be put in the Snell books level 4 and her sister will be in the level 5 ones.  I will also add fun stuff in it too so that will hopefully be interesting for them.

all the music that was in the living room is now in the office in piles on the floor.  I will take one pile at a time and put them in order and then put them away.  I plan to do a pile or so a day so that I will not have to stand for so long.  There are about 5 to 6 piles.  I also will take care of the CDs that I use for my singers.  There are a lot of those out right now but they will be much easier to put away.  I have some CDs I need to copy as I don't like to give out the original CDs.  In order to get a new CD, if something happens to the originals, I have often have to buy the entire book and CD combo, which is expensive.

Tomorrow after church, I am going to see Donna.  I have a few things for her.  A bunch of Videos and a keyboard.  It is my old one.  I have no idea if it works or not but we will find out.  It needs new batteries, that much I know.  I have the stuff in the trunk of the car now.  I think that is everything I need to bring her.  If I forgot anything, I have no idea what it could possibly be.  I think I will probably come and take a nap.

I very tired now.  It has been such a full day.  Tomorrow will be a super early day starting at 6:45 am to get ready for church.  I do like the new church.

I am watching a program on overweight teens, I mean extremely overweight.  They are all getting the gastric bypass surgery.  I was asked about getting it done but I don't want to get it.  I have thought about and from what I have read about it, it is very risky and I am not ready for that type of a risk.  I have friends who have done the surgery, but they all have had major problems afterwards.  My exercise machine is now uncovered so i can go and use it everyday.  I am not sure how long I can use it, but I think any amount of time is good.  I used to be be able to do a 1/2 hour a day but this was 6 years ago before my blood clot.  Since then my mobility has gone down.  I hope to get it up higher again.  I figure I will start by counting my steps instead of time.  I have a goal to have more mobility and not so dependent on my scooter.  That I should lose weight will be the by product.  Every time I make the goal to lose weight, I end up gaining weight so I figure this time I will target mobility.  I want to be able to walk up and down my street with my CD player in my ear like I used.  I used to walk about 3 miles a day.  I would put my music on and I would just go.  I am not sure with the arthritis and the fibro how much I can do but I figure some is better than none, which is what I am doing now.

I do hope you had a good day.  I did.

Friday, December 16, 2011

9 days before Christmas

It is 9 days before Christmas and my bloggy friend, Jojo's blog made me think of this special memory of my mother and my childhood.

When I was very small, I must have been early elementary at the time because I firmly that my dad was still here, one day after school, I came home with my younger and older brothers and our house was all lit up.  Someone had brought out the trees (we had two, 1 in the living room and the other in our indoor patio) and decorated the living room one.  Lights were up outside along the roof of the house and the trees.  Down in the indoor patio were the decorations all laid out for us to decorate the tree with hangers on them.  Our family room was fully decorated too.  Decorations were in the windows in the living room and dining room too.  Pretty much everywhere downstairs that could be decorated, was.  We asked Momma who did them and she sat us down.  She said that Santa thought we were very good children and sent his elves to decorate while we were in school.  The funny thing is, we believed her for years on this one!  It wasn't until we were in upper elementary that we learned momma did that.  Well one year my brother, Andrew and I decided to be the elves for Mom.  I don't remember if Richard was there or not, it was too long ago.  I remember Andrew and I decorating the big tree downstairs and leaving Mom to do "her" tree with ornaments complete with their hangers ready to go.  We put the decorations in the windows and started the family room.  Mom came home before we finished but she was really happy with what we had done.  Later that night we hung the outdoor lights.  I had never seen her hang them herself before and I had an unnatural fear of Mom on a ladder.  I, for some reason, always melted down when she was on a ladder.  I had a fear that she would fall and it would be a bad fall.  Eventually, she sent me inside to make some hot chocolate because I wouldn't stop crying.  She told me she wouldn't fall off the ladder because she wouldn't be so high, but still, I just clung to her and cry.  Mom and Andrew finished hanging the lights with me inside so I wouldn't have to see it and I thought she wouldn't get on the ladder.  After that year, she always did the lights when I wasn't around.  i think I was about 13 to 14 before I could handle her on a ladder.  I have never seen anyone fall off a ladder in person, just on TV in movies and shows but I was terrified of Mom on a ladder.  It didn't matter if it was inside or outside.  I have only seen her on the roof once and it sent me in the house in tears.  Anyways, I digress!  Mom really loved the Christmas Season and really made the most of it.  That is what I am thinking of this season.  Yes, there is a bit of sadness as she is in Heaven, but with Christmas and why we celebrate it, it is hard to be sad all the time.

Another thing Mom would do when we were small (this was after my dad was gone).  She would get a birthday cake with "happy birthday, Jesus" on it.  This wasn't done every year, but every few Christmas she would do this.  When I was in junior high, we started setting the table and adding a place setting for Jesus to join us.  I had read about this tradition and that it was so cool, that we did it a few years.  Remembering some of the traditions and things we used to do makes me smile and in a year where there were very few smiles, I need to focus on them, not the sad times.

After Acer and Calli's lessons, Bill brought KFC for dinner so the 5 of us sat down for dinner.  It was yummy.  Bill also took about 12 or so boxes of books that Julie and I put together and he is taking them to his library for donation.  He works at a library so he is the perfect person to take them too.  I have enjoyed them and now someone else can too.  It was really cute, Acer informed me where his seat is at the table and he was right!  It is where he sits every time we eat together.  Bill sits opposite from me, Acer on my right with Heather next to him and Calli is on my left.  She is such a good kid, both of them really.  I simply adore them both, then again, I have great kids for students and I adore them too.  Some are more cuddly than others, but all of them are awesome.  Three of my lovelies will be here tomorrow to help me decorate.  I will take pictures and post them.  Hannah, Natalie, and Lydia are wonderful girls. They only can have lessons once a month and I am thankful that they can have them at all.  I am not sure if Sarah, their little sister, will be coming or not.  I will find out after Camille's lesson tomorrow!  I have Brianne in the morning and then Camille in the afternoon with the girls after that.

It is has been a decent day and I am hopeful that yours was good too.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

10 days until Christmas! 12-15

I am such a happy girl this afternoon.  I will be able to mail the rest of the taxes tomorrow!  I am very excited how this worked out.  I am really glad about that.

Church Choir practice went well.  We were working on stuff for Christmas and Sunday.  I am not sure about Christmas Day yet.  I am still waiting to see what all is going on.  I know that Christmas Eve I will be with Kathy and her family with her parents.  It should be really good.  Kathy is just waiting to find out what the in-laws are doing for the Christmas.  If they have something on Christmas Day then Kathy's parents will have something for the Monday.  Either will work for me as they usually have stuff earlier in the day and I don't teach until 4 so that should work.  I have Rachel and Isaac's lessons that day.  I am anxious to see Kathy and family.  I know, it has only been a few short weeks since I last saw them, but still, I want to see her rather soon.

I am tired now so I will be in bed soon.  I don't have to get up early tomorrow so that is good.  My girls are coming on Saturday for decorating.  They will be here at 2 pm.  It should be a fun time.  I need to also pull some music for Brianne on Saturday.

I hope you are having a good night!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wednesday 11 days before Christmas 12-14

I had a decent day.  My head is the normal pain level and not too high for a change.  My fibro is the normal (for me) pain levels, in other words, dealable and I have milk and bread for the week so I can have my soup and my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch or dinner.

Oh my!  Julie was here after my blood test this morning (don't laugh too hard, I did write morning).  I had to be at the doctor's by 10:20 am.  I was in and out within 10 minutes.  It was amazing.  Also, it was the same nurse as last time and she got the blood in one try!  Talk about wonderful!  After that, I met Julie at my house.  We went through ALL the boxes of books downstairs.  Julie also took the books that were up here in the dining room downstairs on the bookshelf.  It looks so beautiful.  It really does.  We have about 10 to 12 boxes of books going to the library or the St. Vincent de Paul people, wherever Julie thinks is best.  The DVDs will be going down soon.  We have a few things to clear out first so that the furniture can be rearranged and in placed.  I really took a good look at the furniture today.  Unfortunately, it needs a lot of work.  There is so much that needs to be re-stuffed so I have decided that eventually I will be replacing it.  Right now, I don't have the money.  I will look for used, good furniture and also sales at furniture stores but not until the taxes are under control.  I don't need anything fancy.  I really don't.  I also looked at the dining room chairs and they are going to need to be replaced too, eventually, not right away, but eventually they will need to be.  It is kind of upsetting because I had my heart stuck on keeping the furniture but it isn't really good enough for that.  Oh well, time to deal with that later not now.  Right now my money is all accounted for, taxes, taxes, taxes (the property type).  I am happy with how I am doing, like I said yesterday so I know that I can keep to a budget pretty well.  Not super well all the time, but most of it.

I had to run to the music store this evening to pick up Laith's new books.  He is moving from the prep young beginners series to the basic series.  Since he really knows his notes well, this is definitely the move for him.  I am very pleased with his progress, I really am.  I have Samuel, my new little guy tomorrow too.  He had to change days just for this week only.  I didn't mind, I have the time to change since I have lots of room most every day.  I only have a few lessons every day except Sunday when I don't have any that aren't make-ups.  It is a good schedule for me because I have time to rest if I need it.  I tried to rest before Natalie's lesson, but I couldn't sleep so no nap for me.  I went on the computer and face book instead.  I also received an email from Aaiyana's Mom.  Aaiyana, indeed, had girl scouts today so she couldn't have her lesson after all.  I really like that young lady.  She is such a good girl.  Natalie is learning Schubert's "Ave Maria".  She is working very hard on her vowels and her placement.  We ran out of time to work on breathing more so that is first thing next time when we start "Ave Maria".  I think this particular song is one of those songs every singer should know.  You never know when you will be asked to sing it.  I have song it at several funerals and a wedding.  you just never know when the song  will be required, you just don't.

My fellow blogger, Christine Murray, will be releasing her book "Storm in Teacups" soon.  I have offered her to do a guest post sometime between Christmas and New Year's.  I am looking forward to that.  Her book will be released through and a few other places.  I am not exactly sure where the other places are.  I know she said so, but I can't remember.  When it happens, I will let you know.  It is just an exciting thing to be publishing your book.  I self published a cook book for Fibromyalgia.  My brother did the recipes and I did the introduction.  It is a bit dated now since we now know a few more things through research about Fibro but the recipes are very yummy.  They really are.  Andrew is a great cook.  Both of my brothers are great cooks.  At one point, Andrew was considering going to cooking route through school, but changed his mind.  I think he got sick of cooking and now just cooks for fun now.  I used to do this every holiday meal to Andrew, especially if we were having a turkey.  First, I would thaw the turkey like you are supposed to then I would go upstairs to Andrew's room and know on the door.  He would say, "what?"  I would ask what to do first with cooking the turkey.  He would holler through the door what to do.  I would go and do it.  Then I would go back upstairs and ask what was next.  I would do this about 3 to 4 times before he would open the door and say, "I'll be down in a minute."  At that point I would happily go down the stairs and wait for him.  Andrew would generally throw me out of the kitchen and finish the turkey himself, which was exactly what I wanted him to do in the first place.  I did this for years before he finally figured out that I do know how to cook a turkey, but his always taste much better.  This would be because he is a better cook than me.  Now he lives in London and I go somewhere else for the Turkey dinner.  Perhaps, at Easter I will make a dinner for people to come over.  My house will be in better shape at that point.

Well, this is really becoming a long post so I better end now.  I hope you are having a good day.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tuesday 12-13

Ah, Tuesday night, my favorite night of TV, NCIS, NCIS Los Angeles and soon Dance Moms too!  That starts again in January on Kathy's birthday.  I also see Katie and Charlie on Tuesday so that is good too.  My students often make my day better.  My student, Aaiyana didn't come today.  Apparently, her father's car broke down and he couldn't call me and her mom's phone was dead so she couldn't call me either.  We have rescheduled for tomorrow.  I am glad about that.  This way, she and I will still have her lesson since she is supposedly not going to be having lessons in January.  I guess she isn't practicing enough.  The same old store since the beginning of lessons in the world, the lack of practicing.  I hear that so often.  If I had a quarter for every time I have heard that in the last 25 years, I would be rich.  Too bad I didn't start collecting quarters then every time I heard that.  Hmm, maybe I should start now.

I can't believe that Christmas is less than 2 weeks away.  This weekend the girls are coming to decorate.  I am sort of not really that into Christmas this year.  Last year, I was in such shock but this year I am just sad.  I partly wish I could go to sleep this Saturday night and wake up January 2nd.  The other part of me doesn't want to miss anything between now and the end of the year.  I am having lessons the week between Christmas and New Year's.  I am very happy about that.  I used to have to cancel all lessons at that time because no one wanted lessons and this year they do!  So far, there are a couple of cancellations for next week, but not really any for the following week as of right now.  I will have my few lessons for both weeks!  It is a good thing!

I am so excited that my plan for paying the property taxes so far.  If I stay on track, it will be paid by the deadline!  Yes, this is true!  Then I shall start saving EVERY month for the 2011 taxes and some year down the road I will actually be on time and in the right year.  Ugh, this is just crazy.  Boy, get behind 1 year and look what happens.  It is not recommended to get behind in your property taxes.  It really isn't.  I hope to never be behind again once I am on track again.  It is such a crazy place to be.

I bought a new book for the new year.  It is a book for keeping track of bills.  This will improve my current system, by which I mean, tossing the bill and envelope on the table and eventually having to search to find it so I can pay it.  I used to use these type books all the time and I was very organized at that time.   However, I must say that once I lost the store, my organizing skills dropped big time.  It also comes with a receipt organizer too.  I am sure I could use that too since I also do the toss and hope I find it should I need it again.  I did like being organized better than being unorganized.  I am just in a daze a lot of the time from the fibro fog.  Sometimes organizing takes a lot out of me because I have to concentrate for a long time and concentrating is hard for me.  I get brain fog a lot.  I can only concentrate for short periods of time.  That is why my lessons are planned the way they are.  This way, I can rest when I need to.  So far, it is working out for me.

Well, NCIS Los Angeles is almost over and it is a nail biter one.  Sometimes i hate nail biter ones.  Suspense is not always good for me.  However, since I know they wouldn't kill off the main characters, I know it will work out and it did, just in time, naturally.  I love this show.  I can't wait for the new ones after the New Year.  From now until then, it will be re-runs.  They are good and there may even be one I haven't seen yet, since I can't say that I have seen them all, but still, new ones all the time would be a good thing.  I remember when I was young (my gosh, I sound like I am 90 or something!)  Anyways, when I was a child and a teen, shows would run for 26 episodes during the year, now they consider a good season with 13 episodes or maybe a few more.  They are shorter too.  At least they still are making new shows.

I do hope you have had a good day.  Mine was okay, better during lessons, but before and after were just okay.

Monday, December 12, 2011

It has been a few days since my last post! 12-12

Today is Hannah and Natalie's 16th birthday!!!  It is so hard to believe that they are 16, soon they will be driving!  Time has sure flown with those 2.  They were very small when i met them.  Hannah and Lydia started piano first and then about a year or 2 later, Natalie decided she wanted to learn too.  About a year ago, their younger sister, Sarah, decided she wanted to play too.  At one time, their brother, Peter, played the clarinet.  They are a very musical family.  Mary, age 3, has shown some interest in the piano too.

Last night I went to the Hubels for dinner and a movie.  We watched Monte Carlo.  It was quite cute and very funny.  I thoroughly enjoyed it along with the the family.

I got dizzy again at church during our practice.  This is the 3rd time in 2 months.  I was not really happy about that.  I had to leave the practice because I thought I was going to pass out again.  I think it may be my contacts.  I need to make sure the right prescription is in both eyes.  Right now, they don't and I think that is the problem.  I found the proper prescription so I will switch them this week before church on Sunday.  We are singing some fun music in church right now.  I love Christmas Music.  I could listen to some of it all year long, but I do try to limit myself to just between the day after Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, but sometimes it is hard.  Fortunately, we have to start Christmas music for lessons quite often before Halloween so I get my music early!  Some students play such complicated music that they have to start in September.  I don't mind at all especially this year we had the concert about 2 weeks earlier than usual.  It was a nice change from waiting right until the weekend before Christmas.

Bob had a good lesson.  He will be out of town next week and then he will be off on a cruise until Christmas Day.  I will see him on the Wednesday that week instead of the Monday.  Rachel will be absent next week too.  She just moved into a new house and is getting used to her new room.  She was rather tired during her lesson today.  She is so cute.  Isaac had good lessons today.  He played piano nicely and sang his songs well too.  He has a good voice and well, after my girls heard him sing, they want to sing with them.  I told him he didn't have to.  I am going to ask Charlie if he will sing with Isaac in the spring concert.  I can't believe I am thinking ahead to the Spring Concert already.  We are doing movies.  My older girls will be dressed as Harry Potter Characters while Isaac will be Draco from Harry Potter.  I am rather excited about that.  Rachel isn't sure what she will dress as but I have some music from the Wizard of Oz that she may want to play.  She has a beautiful Dorothy costume that she wore at Halloween that she can wear if she wishes.  It is up to her but I think she would look so adorable as Dorothy playing "Over the Rainbow", still, it is totally up to her.

I am very exhausted this evening.  I got up early for church yesterday and I did take a nap in the afternoon, but I was still a bit tired.  I got up early today for my lovely girls but I didn't have time for a wee nap so I am rather exhausted this evening.  I have a bit of a bad headache tonight that I didn't have earlier, thank goodness for that!  My tummy has calmed down too.  It was upset a bit this afternoon but now is fine.  I don't know why, but hey, you never know with me.  Fibro is a strange beast, you know and you never know when a flare is going to show up that is for sure.  I know some of you are VERY familiar with that beast.

I have to decorate the tree still.  The lights looks so pretty on it.  Heather B-T did a great job on it.  I now have a bag big enough to put the tree in so I can store it in the garage.  I am so glad about that.  I need to decorate the pianos too.  I haven't done it at all yet.  I am seriously thinking of having the girls come and decorate with me this weekend.  I am going to ask if they have not only the time but the interest.  They are such lovely girls.  We are planning to see a movie between Christmas and New Year's.  It will be fun.

I do hope you are having a good day.

Friday, December 9, 2011

TGIF 12-9

I am glad it is Friday and that the concert was last weekend.  I really am.  My lights are on my tree and tomorrow I shall decorate it.  I am excited about decorating the tree.  The lights look so awesome that I am afraid that I will cover them too much.  It took the 3 sets of lights that I had bought and it looks simply beautiful.  Heather B-T did a great job.  Calli picked a new Christmas song to learn for the next few weeks.  It has a super hard part in it but she is doing rather well with it.  Acer had decided against learning a Christmas one.  He is going to learn Wade in the Water from my Ready to Sing Spirituals.  I just need to burn a new CD because I am not sure what happened to the CD that I had.  It is not a problem as I have it in my computer so I just have to open the toast program and then burn a new CD.  I will burn a few of them so that we have extras.  Emily is doing non-Christmas music now too.  She is doing very well with her piano.  I really thing that the computer game is helping her a lot.  Laith liked the game too.  so far, everyone who has tried the game likes it.  I think it has been a good tool for the students.  It is fun and they are learning at the same time.  I like the game myself.  I had to try it before they did.  I haven't heard anyone say they didn't like it.

Tomorrow 2 more violins will be going to my friend, Debbie for her Good Fellows Charity Event next week.  Apparently, they are very popular.  I am glad they are going to good homes and they raise money for the Good Fellows Charity.  I don't have many violins left.  I have had a lot go to charity events this year.  I have a couple of them to finish.  I will do them this winter.  I just don't have time right now, nor do I have the inspiration to do them.  I think that is the biggest thing.  I do hope Debbie brings her lovely daughter, Isabelle.  She is a beautiful little girl and she is so sweet too.  I think she is a really nice little one.  She is in 1st grade and is in the Chinese Program at school.  Acer is also in that program too only they are not in the same classroom.

I have NOT bought the new harry potter movie yet.  It will only be here until the 29th and then it will be gone.  I do hope to have it by then, but bills are needing to be paid so that is why I have not bought it yet.  I love that movie so I plan to get it next week after I pay the doctors bills I have.  I also will have some put away for the taxes.  that is the really important thing to save for.  I am doing pretty well being able to reach my goal by the end of each month so far.  Only 3 more nerve wracking months until the deadline.  So far, I am right on target after a rough beginning this summer.  I will be able to start saving right away for the 2011 taxes.  I am really excited about that.  I will have a bit more flexibility with the budget after March.  I am thankful that I am able to stay here in the house and pay the bills including the taxes.  I really am glad about that.  There isn't anywhere else I would rather be.  My friends are here, my students are here, and my family isn't too far away.

I have had a good day despite a bad headache.  It wasn't bad enough that I needed to cancel any lessons, thank goodness for that!  However, it is still a bad one.  I hope it finally goes back to the regular one by the time I head for bed.  I only have one lesson after all tomorrow.  Brianne is absent because of a family party that is about 3 hours away so no lesson for the lovely young lady.  I will see her next week.  I do hope you are having a good day too.

Before I forget, sometime during the 12 days after Christmas, my fellow blogger, Christine Murray, will be a guest writer of this blog.  She is self publishing her book and it will be in Kindle form.  I am very excited about this!  I can't wait to get her book, although, I don't have a Kindle so I am not sure how I will get it, but somehow I will.  I hope it is the start of a long career for her.  I look forward to her being here.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thursday 12-8

It is an anniversary of sorts today.  28 years ago, I had the surgery which straightened my spine.  I have scoliosis and while they could fix the big curve, the neck and the waist curve they could not.  It was a new type of surgery at the time with only 5 doctors in North America trained to perform it.  I had one of those doctors, in fact, I had the doctor who's son invented the new clips for the 2 steel rods fused to my spine.  I didn't have a cast (like the old surgery) nor did I have a brace (like the old surgery).  I had to be careful for about one year and then I could do whatever I wanted.  I learned how to dance after that.  That had been a dream of mine since I was a child and I finally had my first dance lesson in my junior year, in January of that year.  I was 16 at the time.  I loved dance.  I still do, but I can't do much anymore.  One of the things I regret is that when I first got sick, I threw almost all of my dance pictures out.  I couldn't handle looking at them because it hurt so much to dance.  The only reason I have one picture is because Mom had it in her room.  She was so upset when she found out what I did but she didn't yell or anything like that at me.  She just said she wished I had just put them away in a box because someday I would want them.  Mom was right, but I am very thankful that I have the one that she had in her room.  I remember how nervous Mom was about my surgery.  I wasn't nervous or scared at all.  I think partly because it didn't occur to me that it might hurt.  I had watched the video (and grossed out) of what they were going to do so I was just fine.  Mom, on the other hand, apparently was a nervous wreck who was not sure she wanted to sign the consent form.  Finally, her friend, Bev, said she didn't have a choice or I would end up in a wheelchair for the rest of my life.  Mom signed.  She told me about this after the surgery.  I remember waking up in the recovery room.  I had to go to the bathroom so they brought the portable bathroom and got me up.  That was a shock to me because I didn't expect to be moved the day of the surgery.  When I got back into my room, Mom was there (of course!) and so were my brothers.  Richard told Mom to go to our friends house and get some sleep.  He would take care of me that day and he DID.  He really did.  If I needed something, he was there.  I will never forget that about him.  He really came through to let Momma get some sleep.  I was in the hospital for 10 days and then Bev drove me home.  She put a mattress in the back of her van.  The doctor wanted me to fly home because it would be faster than the 4 to 5 hour drive but we didn't have the money so our friend, Bev came up with the plan we eventually used.  I started off sitting up in the passenger seat.  I don't think we even got out of the city before I had to lie down.  I fell asleep for most of the trip.  I also remember Christmas Eve.  Momma always had this rule (even when we were adults) that you have to go to church Christmas Eve to celebrate Jesus' birthday in order to get your Christmas presents.  Well, since I had just had surgery, I was excused from church.  (Mom would later read the Christmas Story from the Bible with me later that night so I would still have our tradition)  Richard then quickly volunteered to stay home with me incase I needed help.  Well, he got me all comfortable in my room with pillows all ready for me to sit on my bed and then he was ready to take off.  I got upset so he stayed.  Poor guy, he was forced to watch the TV show FAME.  I loved that show so much at that time.  He stayed until Mom and Andrew came home and then he left.  I remember spending much of Christmas Day in bed or lying down in the family room.  It was still a good Christmas.  Momma had finally gotten a good job (the one she retired from in 2002) about a month before the surgery.  They were so nice to her about being off for my surgery.  It was really a good, family owned company at the time.  Her new bosses even sent me a get well soon card.  During the Christmas vacation, Kathy came over and we decided we wanted to go to a movie.  Well, her mom and my mom were rather nervous about this.  I said I could stay up that long.  I proved it by watching TV and playing some games with Kathy for a few hours.  Finally, Mom said okay.  Kathy's mom would drop us off and Momma would pick us up.  Everyone was so worried I might fall with the snow and the ice.  I didn't, Kathy did.  She slipped on some ice but wasn't hurt.  We went and saw the movie and had a good time.  Of course, there is very few times when Kathy and I are together that we don't have fun.  It is just hard to believe that 28 years have passed.  The rods are fused to my back.  There is no way they can remove them.  I can't feel them.  I can break every other bone in my body except where the rods are, not that I wish to experiment with that.

Speaking of Kathy, I have very sad news.  Her Grandmother (92) passed away this afternoon.  Apparently, her grandmother had a stroke a couple of days ago but she didn't wake up.  Kathy was able to see her in the hospital.  This will be a tough Christmas for her and her family.  This grandmother was her Mother's mom.  It is just very sad.  I spoke to her a bit after she received the news.  I knew immediately when she called me right back that she had bad news.  Please, if you can, say some prayers for her and her family.  Even if you expect it, it is something you can't ever be prepared for, or at least I don't think you can.

this has been a sad day for Kathy.  It will be hard for her, but we will be together for Christmas so that is good.  I hope your day was good.