I am way behind in my writing. I write to ease my mind, to organize my thoughts and to make a record of this bittersweet time. It helps me a lot. If you enjoy it, I am pleased as well.
I continue to attend the grief group that meets at a nearby hospital. It is small and intimate and the people know where I am. We have all lost spouses to cancer. We eat (pot luck), laugh, cry and hold each other up always. The leader, Dani is an angel and very skilled.
My window coverings are up and installed correctly, finally. Next big improvement will be interior paint after the first of the year. I had the Honeycomb blinds in the bed room to cut down light and they do the job. Its dark in there. The front blind can be lowered or raised so light is available when I want it.
I met Roger and Dana at the Mission Inn in Riverside to see the light show and have dinner. The Inn had nearly 4 million lights on display. The sight was remarkable. Dinner with good friends was wonderful. I had shrimp and goat cheese ravioli.
Last year Russ and I had met our friends Roger and Dana there and we had such a good time. Russell wasn’t strong then and the trip was rigorous for him but he loved every minute. We had a glass of wine called Angels Wings. It was so bad we didn’t drink much of it. Russell though wine that bad shouldn’t be related to angels.
My tree is up and decorated. It was a sad task. Steven is coming over to add some ornaments to the top part where I can’t reach. I’m not comfortable on the step stool and have promised I wouldn’t do that. Russell has a wonderful collection of Kachina dancers designed as ornaments and they look wonderful.
Each Christmas Russell sent donations to the South West Indian Foundation for food and stoves to be distributed to the needy and elderly in the four corners area. Pastor Dan called to express his condolences and to thank me for continuing this tradition. It is so cold in New Mexico. How these folks live without heat is a miracle.
We celebrated Kary and Lorraine’s birthdays with a great dinner at a favorite Italian place in Tustin. This is Lorraine in the middle. She is my brother’s wife and my near sister. We all love her very much. She just retired from her job as an enrolled tax agent and is enjoying some new freedom as she adjusts to a slightly slower pace.
The other picture is Kary with her husband of nearly 30 years, Don. Russell and I often teased her about being so old.
I braved Costco. When I got everything I needed almost I left to find a HUGE downpour. I waited for a while and then just dove in. Dove is about right. I was soaked to the skin but didn’t melt. A hot shower and warm clothes saved the day.
Costco had no cranberries and no Chex. I couldn’t believe it. It was remarkably not as crowded as I feared it would be. You know I just hate going there. That was Russell’s task and he made an adventure of it I think. His list was organized by area and when the Costco folks changed things he had to redo his route through the store.
Upon the advice of the CPA and the attorney I cashed in Russell’s savings bonds. In 1987 his then employer required every employee to buy a $50 savings bond every week. So I had quite a stack. None had matured completely but the interest rate is so low I decided I could do better elsewhere. The Credit Union took care of it all in no time. I feared I’d have to sign each bond but they don’t do it that way any more. I signed once and the CU has an agreement with the Federal Government to verify the rest. There is no end to the service offered there.
I went to Lucci’s to get cookies for the bank, the credit union and the UPS store. The Bank and the UPS store do a lot for me and for CAG so I take them cookies this time of year. This is a wonderful Italian deli, bakery and small restaurant. I also got a wonderful chef salad for dinner that night. The spaghetti is really good and eggplant is wonderful.
I still find cooking for one a bit tiresome and boring. I am trying some new things. Last night I had French Onion Soup from Trader Joe’s. That is easy to fix and very good.
I have a new car. I searched and researched with the help of Andre’, Chuck, Don and others. We went to the LA Auto show and I sat in a multitude of offerings. I wanted to buy American made so I settled on a 2012 Buick. I tried to upload a picture from the internet but it wouldn’t work for “security” reasons whatever that means.
It is sllver with black leather interior and I really like it. I thought about red but this silver is classy looking. GPS, phone, ON Star, and a multitude of techno stuff I haven’t figured out yet. Good driving. Blind spot detector, back up camera, and keyless entry. It will take me a while to get all the features in my mind.
Here she is with Ammo her puppy. He is a cutie and so is she.
Well, as they say, the best laid plans are often completely changed with the turns of life. The Adamski family was scheduled to arrive in waves from Georgia. Mary would come early to help me with a booth at a conference . Zach and Amanda would arrive two days later and Andre’ two days after that. I teased them that the royals never flew together either.
All this changed. Andre’ was in a horrific motorcycle accident. His left ankle is shattered and his right ankle is fractured. We thank God he is alive at all. The bike rolled three times.
This is before the surgery. They operated Monday last and he is home now. He will be off his feet for 6-8 weeks. He is not allowed to fly because embolisms are common. Above the ankles he is pretty much ok except for an arm cut and bruises, of course.
This is Andre the day of or the next day after surgery. Not much holds him down.
This is how he needs to be. He needs to keep his toes above his nose to prevent swelling. The hospital bed is great. It is in their huge den or as they call it in the south, the Great Room.
Their friends have been wonderful and have rallied around. I’ve sent some turkey and ham, some cranberries and some crab cakes. Yummy stuff that will take little preparation.
This means of course that I need to get presents wrapped, and mailed in order to have them arrive late. It’s too late to make it by Christmas without it costing an arm and both of Andre’s ankles.
Elaine and I had lunch at Joe’s Crab Shack. Great cod and shrimp. Really great company. We have been friends forever it seems. I enjoy her wit, her intellect is keen and her sense of humor delights me.
I worked the CAG and Foundation booth at Central Cities conference in Pasadena.
My new car and On Star got me there and home in the rain. I shared the task with Lillian Walker a CAG colleague and long time friend. We had a good day and I saw many friends there. It’s a one day conference to learn and support the needs of gifted and talented youngsters.
It’s a difficult time just now. I knew it would be. I call on my faith in God, my family and I talk to Russell always, especially at bed time. I sense him near sometimes and almost any beautiful Christmas song lets me think of our years together. One year we were very poor and planned a simple Christmas.
We corralled a hug tumble weed, sprayed it silver and hung ornaments on it. We loved it! We remembered it fondly always. That year Russell surprised me with what he called his “rat hole fund”. He had been putting away little amounts here and there since September. We had enough to buy small presents and look happily to the future. He always had good sense about money.