Monday, December 29, 2008
You see, back when I was just a wee tyke, me mother began collecting Hallmark ornaments for me every year. She chose one series in particular, the longest running ornament series for Hallmark. She had every one except for the first one. Every year, it was my job to put my ornaments on the tree, and every Christmas Eve, I got the new one for the year. One of the very very few happy memories of my childhood.
When I grew up and moved out on my own, I moved a LOT those first few years. In one move, I made the mistake of trusting someone I shouldn't have, and suddenly, 75% of my belongings came up missing. Wanna take a guess at what one of the casualties was? So a few months ago, as my husband was cruising Craigslist for outdoor Christmas decorations, he comes across an ad from some guy who has the entire series, including the first one and several special editions. And so, taking the money he had been saving for a new snowmachine, my husband, the man I love with all my heart (most days anyway), he got me the set, wrapped each ornament (in their original, mint condition boxes, by the way), and put them under the tree after I went to bed on Christmas Eve. And when I called my mom to tell her what he had done, I think she cried harder than I did. It takes a lot to impress my mom, so more than buying me my memories back, he also bought me peace from my mother for several months at least. A better gift, I don't think I could ever ask for.
Merry Christmas, and happy New Year everyone.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
From July 23, 2008:
No, seriously, GO AWAY already. Ok, let me tell you people something you may not know about me. I live in Alaska, but I hate the cold. I grew up here, and I moved back home, deliberately, but I still hate the cold. I love winter time, I love watching the snow fall, I love looking at the trees all covered in frost, I love snowmachining, I love watching the kids play in the snow, hell, I even love clearing the driveway, as long as I get to use the snowblower to do it. And in all honesty, I am cold here less often than I was when we lived down South. I think it has something to do with more consistent temperatures, and a lot less wind, not to mention wayyyyy less humidity. Yes, I do have a point, hold on, let me find it again... Ah. There it is. Alaska has some of the most beautiful summers in the world. We have incredibly rich, moist soil, which produces simply stunning vegetation. The mountains, the lakes, seriously, I cannot describe to you people how beautiful it is here. Every summer but this one. I don't know what the deal is, but this summer has been nothing but rain, rain, oh, and more rain. See, this is how a typical Alaska summer should go:
April = Break-up month. Lots of slush, lots of mud, cool temperatures, a little rain as the sky adjusts to not sending snow.
May = Clean-up month. Seriously. The first weekend of May, all the schools hold contests for who can pick up the most litter. The dump has several free days, where you can clean up your house/yard/garage/whatever and dump anything and everything you don't want for free. Local charities, organizations, and military groups hold donation drives, and have volunteers out cleaning up the highways. Very little rain, lots of sun. Not a lot of green, and the ground is still too cold to plant in, but warming up nicely.
June and July = Summer! Beautiful sunny days, warm temperatures (75-85 usually, but because of our location, it feels about 15 degrees warmer than the actual temperature). Everything is green and gorgeous, flowers are blooming, vegetables are growing, blah blah blah.
OK, now how sad is it that I can't remember what it was I was going to say about August and September? So anyway, it rained. A LOT. We're not talking drenching downpours that lasted a couple hours and moved on for a week or so, we're talking nasty cold wet drizzles that lasted weeks at a time with maybe 12 hours of relief. It was AWFUL.
Moving on, from 8/5/08:
I had the weirdest dream last night...You were there, and you, and you too! And there were munchkins, and flying monkeys, and a wizard- oh, oops, wrong dream.
Seriously, though, I had an interesting dream last night. And that's unusual for me to comment on, because I am one of those who either doesn't dream, or I forget about anything remotely resembling a dream instantly upon waking. A couple times a year, though, I will have a dream that seems to come out of nowhere, and is so vivid in some aspects that it's like I'm still living it. Last night I was so blessed.
A lot of the details are already starting to fade, but I know this - I was supposed to be in a little town about an hour south of here, fishing. The hotel, the shady car lot next door, and the town in general looked NOTHING like the real thing, and I vaguely recall something about changing our mind about where we were going, so I don't know where I really was. The beginning of the dream is so weird that I'm having a hard time holding on to the details, but I remember us checking the trunks of every car on the lot next door to the hotel, trying to see if our keys would open them. I remember the guy who owned the car lot being one of those mob types, and a whole lot of weird stuff going on, and we were spying on him. And then, I remember pulling up in front of the hotel, and someone pulling in right after me. I was scared, because we had just witnessed "something we shouldn't have" the night before over at the car lot, and the people in the car behind me were watching me. They followed me into the hotel restaurant, where I was eating with my husband and my kids. And then, out of nowhere, they produced a gorgeous little girl, about 9 months old, and handed her to me. I looked up, and saw this young
Hmmm.... GOSH I wish I could remember this one!!!! I know it was strange, but cool. Somehow or another, I ended up with the sweetest little baby girl ever. I remember her name: Piper Anastasia. Where the name came from I couldn't say. This is one I never would have come up with on my own, I promise.
Ok, next... From 8/15/08:
For the last several years, I have noticed some strange things about myself. I've always been a good, strong sleeper, but lately, it seems like I can't ever get enough sleep. It takes everything I ave to force myself out of bed in the morning. Then at night, I know I'm exhausted and I know I need to go to bed, but the peace and quiet after the kids are in bed is so seductive, I cant seem to force myself to go to bed. I've always had relatively low self esteem, but it seems like I can't do anything right, EVER. Everything I touch turns to shit. Where's Midas when you need him? Gold is a lot prettier than shit... I've always been somewhat impulsive (umm.. ok, a lot impulsive), and had a short temper, but now, the slightest little thing sends me into fits of absolute rage. Sometimes I scare myself because of how angry I get. I'm afraid I'm going to hurt someone sometimes. Although lately, it takes too much energy to even care about being angry. I've always been a loner, spending hours, days even in my room alone, reading books, writing stories, drawing, bu now? I spend the majority of my day (when I'm not sitting there, staring at the wall, thinking about how futile it is for me to even start a project at wok, or start the laundry, because I'm going o screw it up and not finish anyway) imagining what my new life will be like. The life where I just walk out the door one day and never come back. Walk away from my job, my home, my kids, my husband... everything. It' not like they'll miss me, I'm not really a lot of fun to be around anymore. And if I leave, I'll be alone. And that's all I want sometimes, just to be alone. No noise, no touching, no having to think about everyone else in house's feelings, when it seems like no one ever thinks about mine. Not having to be anything for anyone, other than just plain old fucked up me. I've noticed the headaches that I used to gt about once a month, now come about twice a week, sometimes so bad I will be willing to sell my soul just to make it stop, but I can't because who wants a soulless mommy? A soulless mommy won't get you milk even though you ask 15 times 30 seconds like you're trying to break some kind of screwed up world record. A soulless mommy wouldn't care that you've lost your mittens for the 3rd time this week an we have to go to Walmart RIGHT NOW because if you are forced to go to school without gloves you're hand will fall off and die, oh and don't forget, sister has a project due tomorrow morning that needs supplies we don't have. It's exhausting, and sometimes I just hate my life.
Not sure where I was going with that one, obviously a pity party, but I think I was leading towards something positive there at the end. Or maybe not, hell I don't know. I've slept since then.
It is time once again for our annual Thanksgiving free-for-all. Let us all pray we will survive it again this year.
When I was growing up, I always wanted to be that family that went all out for every holiday - you know the one, that obnoxious Ned Flanders-y neighbor who has all the decorations, and the stay at home mom who only knows how to cook from scratch? Yeah, well, that wasn't us - not by a long shot. One year for Christmas, my mom was so depressed that she informed me if I wanted my gifts wrapped, I'd have to do it myself. So I did, complete with the surprise face Christmas morning. That worked so well for her, she did it every year after that. I always swore my kids would have better holiday memories than I did. Then I married a broke loser, bounced around from house to house to house for years, losing most of my inherited holiday decorations, and rarely having a place to put up what I did have left. I had high hopes though, that things would turn around. When I met John, his family was completely Christmas obsessed. They also celebrated various other holidays throughout the year, like the 4th of July, with a vibrancy I had never before seen. However, his family did not pass along the holiday bug to him , at least not for any holiday other than Christmas. The year after I first met John, his grandfather passed away. For several years after that, John wanted nothing to do with any of the holidays, including Christmas. He slowly starting coming around though, and started celebrating the one holiday his family never had before - Thanksgiving.
Now, I personally have never really seen the purpose of Thanksgiving. I have always hated it, mostly as a kid because my birthday always falls within a week of it, and so my birthday meal almost always consists of dry turkey. Not to mention, it's hard to have a birthday party as a kid when all your friends are visiting relatives for the holiday weekend. When we lived near my grandparents, my grandma would do a big Thanksgiving meal, but since we didn't get along with my mom's brother, and all his kids are at last 10 years older than me, it was never what I would call a happy or fun day. All through John's childhood, his family went hunting over the holiday weekend (deer season almost always opens that week), so no one was ever home to make the big meal. I'm still not entirely sure how it started, but for some reason, about 5 years ago, John just decided one day he wanted a real Thanksgiving, and since none of his family was going to do it, he decided we would. So we did.
His mom came over for the day. His sister and her boyfriend dropped by on their way back home from hunting that morning. His good friend and his family stopped by. We watched movies, played cards, drank a little, ate a lot, and had a fantastic day. We never set a time for anyone to be there, we just started cooking around noon, and cooked a little at a time so there was fresh stuff to serve all night long. Nobody was on a schedule, everyone just came over when they felt like it, stayed as long as they could, and moved on. I thought it would be a horrible stressful day, but it was actually pretty nice. Our house was teeny tiny, so there's no way we could have accommodated everyone all at the same time for one big sit down meal anyway. The next year, we did it again. We invited a few more friends to stop by when they were done with their family events. Every year, it got a little larger.
Then, we moved here. The only family anywhere near us is my dad. His girlfriend has 3 adult children, one with kids of her own, that have never been to my house for some reason I can't explain. They've been invited, but they never show up. My best friend since I was 4 lives down the road, but all of her family and her husband's family are nearby, so their day is usually pretty full. I figured our annual Thanksgiving party was going to be a huge flop, but then, a guy my husband works with decided to move over the holiday weekend. They didn't have any Thanksgiving plans because they were going to be so busy, so John invited him and his wife and their 5 kids over. I had never met any of these people, but it ended up being almost like our previous holiday parties, so it was really nice. I remember being horribly embarrassed because our home was less than stellar at that time, literally falling down around us, and I was so afraid of what they were going to think of us, but I ended up with a new friend, a great babysitter, and Princess got two new friends out of the deal too. Last year, we had moved into a nicer home, and we did the hosting thing all over again, with a few more people added in to the mix.
Not really sure how I was going to finish this one, but I can say we moved into our new house, and it actually had much better play space for all the kids and pets that invaded us. We had a great time, up until Chunky started puking all over the couch, the floor, me, my friend who just had surgery, his bed, his brother, and anything else within easy reach. I'm probably going to get in trouble for saying this, but we thought it was just a hangover. My dad and my friend's asshole husband both thought it was hilarious to slip the baby beer every chance they got. Seriously, who gives a 2 year old access to open beer cans? Every time I saw them I'd take it away, but as soon as my back was turned they were at it again. Grr. Anyway, his brother woke up the next night with projectiles shooting out of both ends, and then I had it, and later the next week my friend's 5 kids all got it, so turns out it was just a stomach flu, but still....
Overall, my life has been crazy, but no more so than usual. I make a lot of excuses, especially for not posting. I started this for me, I'm really the only one who reads it, so all I'm doing is making excuses to myself, but I can't seem to stop. So I will try to do better, but I guarantee nothing. I do have tons of stuff to post about though, everything from finding my birth family to suing the airport to buying my first ever home that I love more than I could ever describe, just because it's mine. There's also stuff about that crazy wedding, and the ridiculous decision to make all of our Christmas gifts this year, and so much more. So stay tuned, and I promise, there will be new postings, and less than a month apart.