Tuesday, December 27, 2016

New Life Starts Now

I wish it could be that easy - to start over without regrets or sadness or pain, but I think those things are a big part of what makes us.  They aren't as easy to take as happiness and contentment, but hopefully I can find a good mixture of those things going forth.

I did not post that last picture and Christmas greeting.  While showing me something about handling photos, Emily saw that one of Graysen and realized how easy it was to post it here.  I saw that I liked it though.  It expressed more of the pure joy of the season rather than the times when we would be just overcome with sadness.

I hope I'll sort through my pictures and come back with more time and remember these past weeks.  I can't remember when I've had more highs and lows.  The girls and I always listened to a radio station in the car that played Christmas songs only.  We usually sang all the way back and forth to school if we heard something we knew.  It never failed though that there would be that song that brought back memories of happier times or songs that just expressed what I was feeling.  Sometimes I would turn the radio off immediately, but other times I would just let the tears come, and I think I needed that.

Graysen has seen us cry, and she knows it's because we miss PopPop, but it doesn't upset her.  We never want her to forget him and how much he loved her, but we are going to try to stress the happy times they had - the pictures and videos and stories - and I think that will be a good lesson for us grownups too.  

His first meeting with each granddaughter.  He adored these girls and was amazed by everything they did and said.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

MURRY CHRIMMUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Freezing My Ears Off

Not to mention toes and fingers and everything in between.

It's so hard to think about writing anything right now.  Just such a hard time at Christmas.  But the weather has been quite a distraction.

I'll post just some pictures that I took last week in no certain order and probably can't even remember where or why I took them.

It snowed off and on for a while last week but was supposed to end Friday morning.  Instead it came down hard for hours, several unexpected inches.  We still got to go to the Nutcracker in Seattle Friday night though because there was no snow between Snoqualmie and there once we got out of town.

 This is when I first noticed it.  No one told me - it's very quiet!

The second little blizzard covered the balcony and blew over the chairs.  Stella/Molly briefly investigated because there were birds hopping around eating the seeds I left out.

Pretty soon she was back in front of the fire licking her paws.

Emily and Ryan's deck.  On the table is the pottery bunny I brought from Montgomery almost completely covered up.

 The steps to my apartment on the right.  So far, so good.  No ice.  It's just hard to convince me to walk in that much snow.

The first day I drove, I had to clear the windshield.  My neighbor had worked on clearing all the snow and ice off the first day, but this accumulated again.  I opened the garage door, and the first thing I saw were the old Alabama tags.  They made a perfect snow pusher.  It didn't take scraping because it was so fluffy, just a little pushing.

I was really feeling sorry for myself the morning the car doors would not open.  Ryan said to pour hot water over the keyholes, and I Googled it also and ended up taking a pitcher of hot salt water and a lighter to heat up my key if needed.  The water did the trick.  Although it was hard, I feel like I made one more step in getting used to doing things on my own.  

We spent a lot of time inside naturally, and I found Emily and Graysen making cookies one day when I went over.  Graysen did not want to eat the cookies at all - not even a taste.  She just wanted to make them and roll the dough in sprinkles.

Vintage cookie cutters.  I remember these from when I was not much older than Graysen.

Emily is also wearing one of her grandmother's aprons.  I'm not sure where the flower came from.

Katherine certainly has no qualms about eating the cookies though and stands and yells kee-kee in the direction of the cookie plate.

 My little Christmas.  It was hard even opening the boxes, and there is not much room, but I did a few things that made me happy.

A family joke.  I had a nurse come over Sunday from my insurance company for a routine visit, and she had me do memory tests and dementia tests in addition to blood pressure, etc.  Once when I left the room, I came back to see her standing and looking at the mantle, but she was nice enough not to mention this.

Just a table for the girls to look at.  No particular order or sentimentality to it.

The house on Steller Way.  I love the mantle.

Finally, 3 too-long videos of our first excursion into the snow.  Excuse my lack of enthusiasm and comments.  The girls were thrilled, and that's all that matters.  

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Sleepless Near Seattle

I can't sleep a whole night through any more, and that's so unusual I don't know how to handle it.  Mike was a full-fledged insomniac.  He spent more time up in the middle of the night than he did in bed - and then made up for it during the day.  A lot of this was due to his medications the past couple of years, and this was fine when he had no jobs or responsibilities.  Well, fine for me because I couldn't identify.  Sleep was something that has always happened immediately for me, and it took a lot of noise or alarms to wake me up.  And then I was never ready to get up.  I hardly ever turned down a nap during the day at some point either.

Now I'm afraid to go to bed because I'm afraid I won't sleep.  I'm tired most days from playing with the girls and all that's involved in caring for them.  I put off going to bed until I'm just exhausted - and then take a couple of melatonin just in case I don't fall asleep immediately and are left with my sadness and thoughts.  And I do go to sleep fairly easily, but then I wake up at strange hours of the night that seem like morning.

I woke up at 2:30 this morning because of an alarm that was set (for some reason) at 2:30 instead of 6:30.  I staggered around trying to figure things out and was so relieved that I could go back to bed for 4 more hours.  But then I didn't sleep.  Finally at 4:00, I got up, made coffee, and sewed awhile.  Now I'm thrilled that I have another 2 hours before my alarm was to go off - free time - time to leisurely check emails and bank statements and Facebook.  Time to order something from Amazon.  Dangerous time.  I guess I'm not really complaining.  I'm glad to be given some extra hours with the fire and my little tree.

We had real snow Sunday and yesterday - just the kind that falls in big fat gobs and covers the ground quickly.  In the South, we're so used to having some overnight or morning snow that just barely stays long enough to enjoy.

I had to get out yesterday though, and I was a little scared in this unfamiliar territory.  What's slippery and what's safe?  Are the streets safe to drive on?  Can I bear getting in that cold car?

Fortunately, Emily came by and escorted me to their house like the princess I am.  I did have to get down these stairs.  They look dangerous, but with fluffy snow, it's okay to walk on.  When we have ice, though, I will be cloistered here in my little second-story nest.

Our birds had stopped coming to the feeder during the fall, so I took it down during those windy days and nights.  But this morning I saw a single chickadee come hopping across the balcony, so I put a little food back out.  I later saw him come and dine, ignoring the plate of food and eating from the feeder.

The girls and I enjoyed watching the snow falling and drinking hot chocolate and reading stories most of the morning.  My favorite kind of morning.  And lots of dancing, as usual.  Kate is fascinated by the tutu drawer and opted for the layered look.

Emily came home sick and slept some.  All of us are  just not getting over whatever is bugging us.

After we got the girls down for naps - sweet warm little creatures - Emily and I sat in the living room and talked and cried and tried to make sense of our grief and tried to figure out how we're going to go forward.  It was good for us - although draining - and I think we both felt a little better to have some time alone to talk.

Ryan brought me home and helped me get my garbage cans out, and I was so confident by then that I walked to the mailbox without even worrying about falling and breaking something.  I've been wearing only a windbreaker so far since we moved here, but we remembered that I had bought a nice heavy coat a few years ago and left up here in case I needed it.  So it was time to bring it out.  It makes all the difference in the world to be warm.  Who knew?  This is all new to me - snow and cold and rain.  I've never even owned a heavy coat before.  I might even be wearing a hat.

We're going to see the Nutcracker Friday night - also known as the Nutquacker - and here's a little preview.  This was early, so the ballerinas are without hair combing or nose wiping.  And sometimes without the proper costume.