Friday, December 30, 2011

Goodbye 2011

Before it gets hectic here again, I wanted to post this. 2011 was a good year even though there were moments, I do not care to repeat. BUT each moment, good or bad, was here for a reason. I learned quite a lot about myself and others who were in my life with negativity.  

I wish for each of you in 2012, a year filled with promises of goodness and if by chance, some moments of sadness, or negativity should arise, I hope for a fast exit. I wish for each of you love, and good health and good friends.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Full House vs. Peace and Quiet

When my girls were teens, our house was not THE place to be. We didn't have a gaming system, pool table, or game room, etc - All of which were the "in" items among Jennifer's friends. Jennifer also did not like me (at times, I wasn't overly fond of her either) and so she didn't spend a lot of her time at the house with her friends over. There were times when she did though and one of them is like family now. Valerie, on the other hand, seemed to be 50-50 with this. I got to know most of her friends and they became part of the family. It got to be quiet at times in the house when no child at all was home.

Off to college, Jennifer went and when she came home she brought boyfriend and dog and sometimes a friend too. Since the two (boyfriend and Jennifer LOL) aren't married they do not sleep in the same room. SO that left Jennifer on the couch with the dog. Valerie always had someone (or two) spending the night so it was a busy place here. Noise was above what I was used to and so was the clutter of belongings. I felt like I had "company" in my house and I had to do this and that but that stopped fast when I realized, heck, it was my own kids!

Fast forward to Valerie in college now...we have just Mark, the cat and me in the house. So quiet. So peaceful. So oddly weird. So boring. So blah. So relaxing. You get the drift. Once a month we make the trip to pick up Valerie for a long weekend here and there and it's back to a houseful of kids. Valerie usually will have anywhere from one to three friends over and staying most of the time she is home. They go back and forth between the houses and I never know how many will be at mealtimes so I usually tell them what is for dinner and they will tell me if they will be here. Or I order pizza OR they make tacos. Sometimes they tell us they are eating elsewhere. It works out one way or another.

Now this Christmas break, I have had Jennifer, boyfriend, dog, Valerie, and 3 of her friends here ALL. THE. TIME. I am SO looking for that quiet, peace, relaxing and alone time. I can't stand the clutter, this and that out place. I am not, by any means, OCD, is driving me crazy. They are HOME so yes they should feel like they can BE at home. Their rooms are cluttered just as if they were still living here...floor is barely there with all the stuff over it. Doors are nice to close, aren't they. They use dishes for everything and yes, they do put them in the sink. They do help in the kitchen at times. In fact, Jennifer and bf are cooking dinner tomorrow night. The dog will chew on things when left alone in the house for too long...good thing nothing he chewed on was mine! The cat and the dog do not like each other so Belle stays upstairs most of the time.

I look back and wonder if my house was one the places all the kids hung out if now I wouldn't care about the clutter, etc. I don't know and I am not stressing over it either. I know just as soon as next week comes and they ALL go back to college/their houses I will be missing them all like crazy. The clutter included. Well, maybe not the clutter.

My house will go back to quiet moments, and I will be thinking ahead to the next time they are all here.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Stress

Every so often I get frustrated with my family. I am sure we all do. It just seems like through out the year they don't appreciate what I do for them (not talking about the every day things) BUT at Christmas, you would think they would see I need help with all the traditional things we do and the shopping, wrapping, etc. Never fails, I do it all. Mark's answer when I say I have this and that and this and that to do is "don't do it. " Meaning, it's ok not to. BUT heaven forbid if I forget to do this or that. One child said she would help make cookies...I have rarely seen her since she came home. The other child when she comes home is really here to rest...she has it tough in nursing school plus a job. So I do really feel bad asking her to help. BUT the way I see it, is this...they should be asking me what they can do to help. I shouldn't have to ask for it, or rather beg for it.

I seriously love the Holidays but this is getting old. I am getting old and tired. Yes I said old. I won't admit that anywhere else. So far, no cookies are made.

Every year I say, "Next year I am not doing this."

I still do. Bah Humbug.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays

I have been a bit silent on here and everywhere else lately. I guess I am going through a bit of a funk. I have been busy of course, with Holiday this and thats but really I have been biting my tongue because some of the statuses I see I just want to smack people for. A friend of mine has a saying, "Stuck on stupid" - well a few are just that and you can't fix stupid. How on earth do you get it into someone's head that what they are doing is wrong and it shouldn't be rocket science. Grrr.

Anyway, I also have a bit of a bone to pick with this whole Happy Holidays thing that people get their panties in a wad about. First of all, I am a Christian, you all know this. I say Merry Christmas because that is how I was raised...if I were Jewish, I would be saying Happy Hanukkah. I am part Ukrainian Orthodox as well and growing up I had two Christmas, if you will. Dec 25 and Jan 6. I was also raised to say Happy Holidays because traditional Christmas had already passed but the "reason for the season" was still going on with the Eastern Orthodox Christmas which is celebrated on Jan 6. What some people don't realize is that the precise date of Jesus' birth is not known, it is argued by several scholars and they gave it a good guess based on the information they have from the Bible. Now i am not an expert on the Bible so I will not try to be.

And you are probably wondering where I am going with this. Well, I guess I am just really naive but if you are Muslim you shouldn't be offended if someone says Merry Christmas to you, if you are living in this country. Same as if they were to say whatever it is they say on their birth of their god's day to is who we are, no matter our race or religion. It's our culture to do as we were raised to do. I think it is a matter of knowing who you are talking to. I have friends of all religions and I mean all religions. I treat them as I would want to be treated. I respect their beliefs and they mine. I learn all I can about their celebrations and culture as it is interesting to me and i want to understand it and them. Not one of them has ever gotten offended when I said Merry Christmas to them, knowing that they do not or may not celebrate Dec 25 the way I do. In fact, they do say it back to me. There's that respect thing!

I think it is narrow minded people not to mention the media making a fuss about them who make this an issue. Think about you really think if you said Happy Holidays or Seasons Greetings you are taking the meaning of the day Jesus was born away? Geez Louise! If you believe in God and all that he said and done, then you know that Jesus is real and you aren't going to be slighting him.

If that were the case, my great uncle who was a Ukrainian Orthodox priest should be in Hell because he rarely said Merry Christmas - it was always, "Happy Holidays, this is the day the world received the greatest gift, Jesus." The birth of Jesus is a Holiday and it is a Happy one, so....yea.

There are a few people on my list (and again it isn't any of you lol) who really get my goat by typing things like Merry CHRISTmas or Don't forget that CHRISTmas is .... etc/ Geez Louise again. I know how to spell and I see that Christ is part of the word. I also know who he is, thankyouverymuch. Sorry, that kinda just came out - off topic.

No matter how you celebrate Christmas or what your greeting is, you know why we are celebrating and the reason for the season...but to be honest, we should be remembering the reason all year long anyway. HE is the reason for all.

Off my soapbox now.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Things I need to know about going back to college from my college Daughter

I was having dinner one evening with Jennifer when she let me know upfront what I am up against going back to college "at MY age."
  • Bring either a bookbag or a purse, not both.
  • bring mechanical pencils
  • old people your age sit in the front because they can't see or hear well
  • best seat to sit in is the sides, 3rd row
  • if you have classes with desks that have the arm desk you pull're screwed because you're left handed.  bring your computer
  • make friends fast because old people aren't usually picked for groups quickly unless the younger people like you
  • you have an advantage because you know how to use technology...some old people don't
Yea...Tell me why I am torturing myself....

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

"Know it all"

Something really bothers me is people who think they know it all...I mean all. You know nothing because they know it all. Just how do they know it all...where is their sign! I'd like to stick a sign on them!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas Traditions

We all have them. Big, small, detailed or not. Growing up my parents and I had a few. Of course there was the tree decorating. Every Christmas Eve we would have snack foods for dinner and open one gift each. Christmas music or show was on in the background. Younger me would set out cookies and milk (and carrots for Rudolph) for Santa and then head to bed. Christmas morning breakfast was cookies and whatever candy I had in my stocking with abundance of batteries for whatever game/gadget needed them and some piece of jewelry. Dad would be cooking Christmas dinner and Mom would be playing Greensleeves on the old electric organ she had. I was just playing with my toys.

When I was younger and my dad's parents were alive, we would head to Delaware to spend Orthodox Christmas with them in January. They were Ukrainian Orthodox and my great uncle was a priest at the church we attended. We would go to mass and I would sit up in the balcony with my great grandmother and sing the holiday hymns. Of course it was in Russian and I had no clue what I was singing but it was wonderful. The smells of the incense and the organ playing. My great uncle giving the sermon in Russian was simply beautiful. There was another mass where he said it in English but we always went to this one. Afterward we would make the rounds visiting the aunts and uncles and cousins. To this day I can feel my Aunt Kate pinch my cheeks, I can feel the warmth of my Aunt Anna's house, hear my Uncle Nicky's laugh as he told some joke, and the arms of my godmother and Aunt Rose. It was a great time and memories I cherish.

Having a family of my own now, we have our own traditions. Girls and I make cut out sugar cookies and decorate them....looking forward to doing that very soon with them in fact. When they were younger they would set out cookies for Santa and reindeer food that glittered so they knew the way to the house. They would leave Santa a letter and get a reply in the morning. We kept the snack food dinner and opening one gift going from when I was young and added watching Annabelle's Wish while eating. Playing board games follows that.

Christmas morning, of course they eat cookies and candy but I also make breakfast. One year we went to Waffle House...nasty...won't do that again LOL. After all the gifts are open, we tend to just relax. As the girls got into their teens, we found they would migrate back to their rooms and I was not liking that. So, we have added going to a movie on Christmas's quite fun and you'd be surprised as how many others are there too.

This year, I am not sure when Jennifer will be home for the Holidays. She has mentioned she would like to work on Christmas (big bucks for Holiday!) and a few other days. It would definitely be odd not to have her here on Christmas Eve and Morning but nothing says we can't do it again when she is here. It was very odd not having her with us in Wisconsin. All part of them growing up and being on their own I guess. I am glad she was with her boyfriend and his family and not alone though.

What are your traditions???? I anxious to hear some of them!

Thursday, December 1, 2011