Monday, December 31, 2012

Last day of 2012. I dressed up and went to work to escape my mother for a while. I accomplished a few things and then went to Beyond Bread for a gluten-filled sandwich. Then to Safeway for a flu shot, which was interrupted by my mother calling me to tell me Buddy had gotten out. I came home and ran around with Doug chasing him. I gave him a stern talking to and told my mother, "It's not happening again." Then I returned for said shot and I will not be catching the nasty flu in 2013.

End of year self portrait.

So 2012 was alright, albeit stressful at times. Got to go on a trip to TN/NC and see Forrest, Travis, and Jason. Forrest came to AZ twice. Went to Michigan for Mummy's 80th birthday. Took care of my mother for five+ months and didn't go more than half crazy. Adopted a dog who is a handful. Got a little grayer. Conducted some interesting archaeology projects. Worked on my genealogy books. Baked some cakes. Saw gay rights advance across the nation. And best of all, got to spend a lot of time with Evan. He makes me smile.

No big plans for 2013 yet, other than the need to pay down my credit card. A trip to Portland in the late summer to see half of my friends who have moved there. And of course I'll turning the big 5-0. Strange to think about that, since half of the time I feel like a teenager. I guess having a very late puberty has its advantages.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

 At times it has been too much. My mother was sick for a week with who knows what. She was a mess and very unpleasant to be around. This morning (the 27th) she woke up and was back to normal, what a relief.

In the morning, the cats sit on me absorbing my soul.

Snowball and Puff.

The cats enjoy drinking out of the Holiday Tree stand.

Joey didn't get any presents.

The presents were bought and the house decorated, all that was missing was Evan, who was arriving on Holiday Eve.

Snowball awaits.

Doug made a wooden ark and Mummy and I made felt animals for little Nathan.


Buddy comes inside to visit when the cats are locked up in my bedroom.

He has a new red harness.

Evan arrived and everything was better. We opened presents with Doug and Mummy on Holiday morning. I got a walking stick, a casserole dish, a Martha Stewart cookbook, and a set of Halloween cookie cutters that I had coveted at an antique store in Flagstaff. I was very pleased.

We drove to the top of Mount Lemmon and noticed that many, many Mexican-American families had done the same.


On top.

We went over to Patrick and Brady and Horace's house and chatted.

Holiday night.

We stopped by Venture Inn and then came home and made Holiday cards while having gin and tonics.

Holiday cards.

Today I went to work and the bobcat walked by my window. It was quiet there, and so another Holiday season has slipped by.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Well it is Christmas Eve. When I was a kid we were pretty poor. My father supported five children on a long-haul trucker's salary. Christmas was the only time of the year we got toys. The Sears Christmas catalog would show up in October and we would pour over it and let out mother know something that we really wanted. We knew better than to pick something expensive out. I remember when I was 10 or 11 I got a rock tumbler. Oh! I was so happy. And then there was the year nice grandma gave my mother five dollars for each of us and mother bought me a pair of snow pants. That was tragic.

Christmas Eve meant the party at Grandma T's house. She had a fake fireplace and a tree with tinsel and bubble lights. Mr. Burton sometimes showed up dressed as Santa. Grandma and Grandpa T had 11 grandchildren- five by my parents, four by Aunt LouAnne, and 2 by Uncle Tom. And Grandma T would spend divide her Christmas money into thirds and so nine of us kids would get sweat shirts or sweaters and the other two would get Erector sets with motors or Rock-em Sock-em boxer toys. And we had to watch them play with those but were not allowed to touch.

When I was seven I ran through the beaded curtain that separated her living room from the hall that led upstairs or to her pink bathroom. I knelt in front of the pink toilet and threw up and my mother was standing behind me and Grandma T came charging in on my left and screamed at me, "You've ruined Christmas!" I asked my mother, why is she yelling at me? Mother took me home and to this day she says it was the best Christmas because she didn't have to see Tommy and Timmy get their fancy presents. She put me to bed and played on her new electric organ, and later she woke me up and she and Susan watched me open my presents in the middle of the night.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The weekend before Holiday and I've spent a lot of time feeling stressed out. My mother is having low blood sugar at times- she acts completely out of her mind when it happens. Thursday night was the worst- I had to force her to drink chocolate milk and glucose pills. Eventually she came around. On top of that, she complains about the food I prepare for her so much. If she had her way she would just eat the brand of gluten-free bread I found for her, with some margarine slathered on. But enough whining. On Saturday I stopped by Patrick's house with an ornament for his tree and some canned goods.

Patrick and Horace.

He gave me a tour of his renovation job on the house next door and I left with the kitchen cabinet doors, which have the original 1920s hardware for me to salvage. At home I have been preparing memorials on Find-A-Grave, working on patients at the Northern Michigan Asylum. Lots of people who were sent there because they had epilepsy. Very sad. Today I dragged Mother out to the Mission of San Xavier del Bac.


It is decorated for Christmas including this creche, which seemed to be lacking Jesus, perhaps because he isn't born yet?

O'odham Nativity Scene.

The church was completed in 1797 and most of the original artwork is still intact.

Saint and candles.

Many people praying today, perhaps because it is Sunday. 

Angel on a cloud.

The scale on the inside always surprises me. The church is really tall and there are elaborate decorations everywhere.

We wandered around for a while, but Mother started staggering so I decided enough of that.

Bell tower.

I made fried rice tonight, something I have made twice since she was here, and she refused to eat it. 'What spice did you put in it?" she whined. I told her to make her own dinner.

Going to work for part of the day tomorrow, which is a good thing. Honestly, I need a break. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Outside the office window I see a bobcat stroll by. I tapped on the window and it peeked over the fence at me, and then sauntered away.


Winter is sort of here. Buddy has a new dog house that he likes to sleep in. When it gets real cold he can come sleep on my bedroom floor, but the cats have to be locked away because he ran into the house and grabbed Puff, who pooped himself, while Joey climbed up the chimney. Buddy got his butt paddled for that, but a moment later he tried again. He is very stupid
Buddy's house. 

 I escaped and drove north, admiring Picacho Peak.

Picacho Peak.

I had to turn off the radio, I did not want to hear all of the details about the latest in a string of never ending mass shootings. Later someone Facebooked that "Now was the not the time to say anything about gun control." That set me off. I guess for some people it will never be the time.

As it got dark, close to Flagstaff, the snow started. It got progressively worse. The next day I drove with Evan to the supermarket and he was scared. I only drove into a snowbank once.

At Evan's house.

The snow kept coming down. It was a wintery wonderland. I did not have proper footwear.

I am stunned.

We attempted to gather material for a wreath and I resorted to stealing crabapple branches from trees in front of businesses. 

Evan makes a wreath.

The next day I discovered my car battery had died. This is something that has been meaning to happen for a while. It was inconvenient for it to do so in a snowy wonderland.

Snowy wonderland.

Evan and I went to a lot and eventually I purchased an unopened 6-ft-tall tree for 50 dollars US. It fit inside my car. 

At the tree lot.

And then the car would not start again, and the nice man at the tree lot jumped the car and then we went and purchased a new battery, which Evan nicely installed for me.

The ride home was scenic at first.

Interstate 17.

At home I decorated the tree while mother decorated her little white artificial tree.


Usually this is a lot of fun, but this year is seemed somewhat chore-like.

Bah humbug.

For various reasons I am still feeling blase about the Holiday season. Perhaps if I wrap presents that will make it more festive.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Try as I might, I'm just not excited about Holiday this year. I don't know why. I guess partly it is a result of the stress from taking care of my Mother. She's 80 and she knows it. Walks slower, can't knit much because her thumb has bad arthritis, restricted diet (no wheat and only lactose-free dairy). She sits on her spot on the couch and reads all day long. Honestly, I don't see the fascination of reading two or three mystery books every single day.

Buddy is a handful. He wants to attack the cats. I have to be very careful coming into the house since he wants to charge in and get them. He's allowed in the house if the cats are locked up in the bedroom. Now that it is cold, the cats will have to be locked out of the bedroom so he can sleep on his blanket in there. He snores so loud!

I'm going to Flagstaff this coming weekend. Some alone time with Evan will be so nice.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

I'm sitting at my desk, my head exploding with snot. All year long I had escaped being sick and Friday afternoon at 2:00 I started feeling a sore throat coming on.

I'm not a good patient. I am whiny, I complain, I feel super sorry for myself. Luckily, the cold appears to be rapidly cycling through all of the stages. The sore throat is going away, and perhaps the runny nose will be done tomorrow. In any case, the weekend is ruined and I cannot concentrate on doing interesting things.

That's all I got.

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