Happy New Year.

Each new year I choose a word to guide me as much as possible.  The word for 2012 is Peace.  I want that peace in my heart and in my life.  I need to cultivate being at peace without Russell.   That’s the biggest task.  I’d love peace in the world, in our country and in the political/fiscal mess our country finds itself.  I’ll start with my heart and work outward.  My home and family are both peaceful and that makes a good beginning.

Christmas was bittersweet.  With Kary’s help I cooked a big delicious meal.  We had planned on Andre’, Mary. Zach and Amanda but they couldn’t come because of Andre’s accident and surgery.  We missed them a lot.We toasted Russell with Dom Perigone we had been saving from our 50th anniversary.  We were going to drink it when Russell was well.

We know he is well and safe and in our Father’s arms.  We told him we would always miss him and would always love him.  I think I did pretty well during the day but as the day progressed and people began to leave I just cried.  It was OK and had to be.

I fixed turkey, dressing, green beans, corn pudding, cranberries, spiced baked apples.  We had ham and all the trimmings.  Pie and cupcakes for dessert.  We decided that even 11 of us could not do justice to this much food.  Next year we will be revising the menu somewhat.  So much is tradition so you never can know for sure.

I needed help with the 24 pound turkey.  I managed to get him from garage refrigerator into the kitchen.  Once he was stuffed and in the heavy pan I was useless.  Kary came over and got him cooking.

Andre’ is doing well and has a great attitude.  Mary ended up in ER one night with hip pain and possible sciatica.  She was stressed and of course had been doing a lot, sleeping on the couch near Andre’s hospital bed.  She is better with rest and sleeping on the hospital bed with Andre’. 

Zach got his driver’s license and he has been driving his Mom and Dad where ever they need to go.  He got a car for Christmas and it he is really happy with it.

This is not his car but the car he took the driving test in.  Mary says he is a good driver and always more than willing to run errands.  I remember those days.

I had planned on at least a few trips to the gym but so far it hasn’t happened.  I’ve been enjoying my tree.  I sit in the hot tub at night and watch the lights shine through the window.  I’ve been reading, watching some wonderful TV and some mindless TV also.

I was very moved by the Kennedy Honors this year.  Sonny Rollins was one of Russell’s favorite jazz musicians.  He was honored along with Neil Diamond, Meryl Streep, Yo Yo Ma and a woman from Broadway musicals whose name has escaped me.  It seemed as if the honorees had been chosen by us.  Sonny Rollins was also featured in the AARP magazine this month also.

The Saturn is scheduled to go to Georgia today.  Andre’ and Zach were going to drive it back but you know about the best laid plans.  I am shipping it on a transport truck.  Door to door, fully insured in about 8 days give or take.  I hate to see it go but and 11-year-old car with 36,000 miles will be just right for a college girl.  Amanda’s car is ready to give up so the timing is good.

I had my last doctor’s appointment for the year and plan on seeing none of them for months.  I appreciate them all but I am well and don’t like constant visits.

I had lunch with Annie last week.  We had chowder and split a prawn cocktail.  Very good food and very good company. These young ladies are Annie and Jason’s twins, Sophie and Ava.  They are 3.  The also have a son AJ who is six and was in school that day.  AJ was a very good friend of “Mister Russell” as he called him.  They played cars together.

I’ve been very social lately.  I had lunch with the Hazelton’s, Debbie’s Mother, Jennifer and her new groom, Vlad and Sandra Kaplan.  We went to a place called Charlie Palmer’s in Bloomingdales at South Coast Plaza.  It was great fun.  They were featuring a fixed price menu for $20.11 in honor of the old year leaving.  There were choices with in the menu and the food was excellent.  The company even better.  Jennifer and Vlad are newlyweds and I really enjoyed their company and their wedding pictures.

The Kindle Fire Santa Claus brought Don and Mary is a big hit.  They both are enjoying it a lot.  I am tempted.  I downloaded Lisa Swayze’s new book ” Worth Fighting For”.  It is about the last few years of Patrick Swayze’s life before he died of pancreatic cancer.  I bought Kary a copy as well.

Steven came over yesterday and helped with so many little and big things.  My fax has been inoperable for some time.  Phone company was coming today.  Steven moved furniture, cleaned and organized wires and cords and tried a new phone jack and it all is working just fine.

He took high up ornaments down from the tree, packed up the tree and carried boxes out to the garage. He moved storage in the garage to give me more room for my new car.  He checked out the cable box and where it is coming from.  Enormous help and really good company.

This picture is old but I do enjoy it.  Andre’ on the left (on both feet), Zach who is now taller than his dad and everyone else in this picture except Steven, Russell early in his “harsh journey”, Don and Steven.  They all are very special to me.

Happy New Year to you all.  We are looking forward to 2012 and all it brings.  We do not know what the future holds, but we know who holds the future.

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