Sunday, February 5, 2017

2016 In Review

I know I'm late with this but better late than never, right?

Dec.31st 2015: Feels like a lifetime ago now. I babysat Shaw for New Years eve. Gone are the days of rowdy parties and hours of drinking. Gone are the days of wondering how I got home and why I have two different shoes on...neither one mine. Gone are the days of waking up with a the mother of all hangovers, swearing I'd never do that again.....and then eventually doing it again. I thought I'd miss those days. I don't.

Jan. 8th, 2016: Had dinner at Lulu's with the old crew from Dakin. We were the Thursday Night Crew before Dakin stopped being open late on Thursday nights. It was good to see the gang again.

Later, I babysat for Shay again. I can't wait until she can actually use coherent words. She has an ear splitting scream she uses when she's happy....ear splitting I say!

Jan. 10th 2016: Went to the first swim meet of Kaylee's....or at least it was my first one. Nice to see she swims like a fish! It has always been important to me that my kids and grand kids know how to swim. I grew up with a brook on our property and all of us kids went swimming just about every day. I wanted that for my kids and their kids too.

Jan. 11th 2016: Bunny started working at Carrington today. We have not worked together since we were teenagers and worked at Gunver Manufacturing together. This should be interesting....

Jan. 19th 2016: Worked yesterday which was Martin Luther King day. I was paid double time so I didn't mind one bit!

Jan. 23rd 2016: The new plow guy is much better than the guy I had last year. He did the driveway and the sidewalk. Hopefully my wrists will be able to heal from last years shoveling now.

Jan. 25th 2016: My first class for Recreational Therapy tonight. At last I'm getting an idea of what this job would be. The class seems like it will be fun and not a ton of paperwork. I'm sure I'll learn all kinds of different types of therapy and it sounds like we'll be doing a couple of field trips too.

This teacher appears to be a throwback to the hippie days. She's definitely flaky and not well organized. She makes a point of telling us not to be late and then she is late to class. I like her.

Feb.19th 2016: Went for a hike today with Nicki at McLean's in Granby. I met Paul Lagel there (pre-arranged) with his two dogs. All the dogs got on very well together - no fighting; no attitudes. I was rather sore the next day. Need more exercise!

Feb. 20th 2016: Had an awesome time with Kaylee today at the Heritage Fair held at FJK Middle School.  I bought some Polish food; listened to someone play the bagpipe; watched a young woman do a dance from India and we both tried Laughter Yoga. We did not like it but at least we tried it!
We were given 'passports' when we got there and then we went around to each station that represented different countries. Each 'country' gave us a stamp in our passport and they all had information about their native country to tell us about and some had demonstrations. It was a very cool cultural event.

Feb. 22nd, 2016: I did my class presentation tonight and it went great! I had them play the Over Under Game. I get to see everyone's comments next week. Woo Hoo!

Feb. 27th 2016: I took Bell to the bike trail in Granby for a nice long walk. It was colder than I thought it was going to be but very nice all the same. Bell certainly enjoyed it!

Feb. 28th 2016: Went for a hike/walk at the bike trail in Southwick, Ma. The weather was fantastic! We took Zack; Nicki; the baby; Kasey; Justin and me!  We came across a beautiful 'Under the Sea' mural painted by someone under an underpass. I'm sure it was originally quite beautiful but some vandal has tried to cover some of it with paint in certain places. It was still quite a surprise to find it and quite beautiful! Later I babysat at their house while they went out to dinner. That little girl is so sweet!

Mar. 1st 2016: Kasey's mother and father were both in the hospital at the same time. Weird timing. Stressful for Kasey I'm sure. 

Mar. 13th 2016: Had brunch with Larry at Denny's. I do like that place! He's looking good and talking about buying a house. 

Mar. 19th 2016: I met JD for breakfast at Sunny's (across from the East Windsor High School). I remember this place as a run down house on the outside and a greasy diner with some ripped seats on the inside. It became a place to go between classes when I was in high school because they had a pinball machine there and we'd get french fries. Of course we weren't supposed to leave the school in those days but we did manage to do it for years without being caught coming or going. 
That place looks nothing like the old dive it used to be. It's a popular breakfast place now....although still very small and somewhat overpriced. In any case, it was JD's pick and it was great to catch up with him. This was the first time I'd seen him since I was laid off. He's been laid off too now. 

Mar. 26th 2016: Went hiking with Paul and dogs in Tolland. I took Bell - she was fine with his dogs. It may have been Bald Mountain that we were on...not sure. Very pretty place and has a large pond with ducks on it. That was a really good hike. On the down side, we did find a deer leg hanging in a tree next to an old tea pot...which was also hanging in a tree. The pot looked really cool...the deer leg did not. I did not care to speculate on what kind of a person would leave an entire deer leg hanging in a tree. We did not stick around there long. 

Mar. 29th 2016: Took Bell to meet a new Vet in Granby. This Vet was odd as hell! old hippie but this one apparently doesn't wear deodorant either. She did some kind of magic hand movements over Bell and called it an 'adjustment'...never did a damn thing for the cyst the dog has growing on her back. Yeah...ok, bye-bye!

Apr. 4th 2016: Had our RT class at an assisted living place in Glastonbury....sort of spur of the moment with this thing. The building was absolutely beautiful inside....very impressive. We worked with memory impaired people. Now I know I don't want to work with them...maybe not with the elderly at all. Most of them did not want to be there; did not want to deal with us at all; some refused to engage and at least one got up and went back to her room. I had to laugh at least she knew what she didn't want to do!
Unfortunately I felt that what we were doing with them was not appreciated and it made me wonder if it's always like that. Not my cup of tea at all but it was a good experience. 

Apr. 16th 2016: Babysat Shay in the AM and then brought her back home to Kasey's birthday party. I set up the game I made up for my RT class and they loved it! Justin had prizes for everyone to win. They kept the game to continue playing while I took the baby home to stay overnight with me.  

Apr. 19th 2016: This is the 2nd anniversary of Carol's death. Her red tulip is coming back up again. I call it hers because I never planted it and it showed up after she died. I don't know if she planted it when I wasn't around....that actually seems rather unlikely because she worked such late hours. I hate the color red so you know I'd never plant that tulip and they grow from a bulb so it' not likely to be an accidental planting. I guess I'll never know for sure how it got there. 
I still think of her almost every day. There are so many times I wish I could talk to her about all the changes in my life. Sometimes I talk to her flower instead. 

Apr. 22nd 2016: Kaylee stayed overnight with me. I took her with me to a hair appointment the next day. She seemed quite comfortable at the Hair Saloon - talking to Jamie who was cutting my hair. When Kaylee went home she left me another awesome message on the board....but forgot her jacket.

May 5th 2016: Mowed my entire lawn today! I hurt for days afterward. I'm needing to either hire someone to do my lawn or I need a rider mower. But the lawn looks great now!!

May 14th 2016: Took Mom to a belated Mother's Day lunch at Little Red Riding Hoods Cafe in Southwick, Ma. We both loved the building and the interior. Mom liked reading about the history of the building too. I don't think either one of us were impressed with the quiche we had. They used canned corned beef - YUCK! But it was a very large size. I gave my leftovers to the dogs for their dinner. It was a very expensive lunch but the dogs loved it. 

May 22nd 2016: Walked the canal trail with Tony today. Had a great time talking with him and went farther than I've been before on the trail. That's what happens when you start talking and enjoying the conversation. Next we are going to try bikes on the trail.  

Beginning of June 2016: Sara moved back in. She has a storage place for most of her stuff so only what is needed came back to my house. 

June 1st 2016: I hired a guy (Jason) to do my lawn. What a great feeling to come home to a perfectly cut lawn! He's going to paint my fence over too. Can't wait to see that!

June 4th 2016: Visited Indian Leap Falls in Norwich, CT. with Bunny. did not expect falls to be in the middle of the real hiking. They were pretty falls but I was somewhat let down because I expected it to be at least surrounded by some woods. We also visited an Indian Chief monument in the joke of a monument. Oh well!

June 10th 2016: I had Shay overnight with me while Justin, Kasey; Jess and Matt went to Washington DC for the weekend. The weekend was great! No problems with the baby and she slept through the night like an angel. 

June 15th 2016: While I've been out sick from work I've managed to plant some flowers and plants around the yard. I want to help out the bees as much as I can but I haven't really seen anything other than bumble bees so far. I think it's too late to plant any veggies in the garden now. Couldn't get it tilled early enough so I'm not planting this year. 

June 17th 2016: While planting flowers in the half whiskey barrel under the tree in my back yard, a humming bird hovered over my head and chirped repeatedly at me. I never knew they could make that kind of noise! I never knew I actually had any 'takers' on the hummingbird feeder either! I think he was scolding me for being in his way. Cute little guy!

Later: Tom Krewalk called me and we talked for awhile. He's had foot surgery and is getting really sick of being at home. He caught me up on everything in his life. 

June 18th 2016: I planted different flowers in my "flower box" in the back yard this year. I couldn't find any dahlia's this year. I also added a solar lightening bug...very cute. 

June 24th 2016: Had dinner at the Yarde Tavern with Ann tonight. I had a cob salad (love that) but couldn't finish it. I took the rest home. 

June 25th 2016: I went to Elizabeth's (my niece) graduation party at her parents home. I had no idea she was that old already....seems like just yesterday I was refusing to friend her on FB because of a stupid stunt with re-naming my photo's. lol  She's talking about going into the Navy reserves and she's already in the Broad Brook Fire Dept. 

July 3rd 2016: I took Nicki with me back to Peaked Mountain. We hiked around Lunden Pond this time. Nice hike but pestered by horse flies the whole time. Nicki enjoyed the exercise for sure!

July 4th 2016: Went with Justin; Zack; Kasey; Shay and Kaylee to hike a little at the West Hartford Reservoirs. We got there later than we should have and it was VERY HOT! The baby was over tired and uncomfortable in the carrier. She slept in the car on the way home. 
I was not impressed with the place. It was over populated with people; bikes and dogs and the worst part is they won't let you in the water! 

July 8th 2016: Kaylee stayed overnight until Sunday night. An exhausting weekend to be sure but it's always great to be with Kaylee. 

July 13th  2016: Hard to believe Dad has been gone for 6 years. I still miss him so much. I have a couple of pictures of him up in my home office so I can see him every day. My life (and others) changed drastically when Dad had his stroke....and it's been a little empty feeling since he died. It's truly like he took a piece of me with him. 

July 16th 2016: Took Mom with me to see Finding Dory. It was a cute movie but not as good as Finding Nemo. Mom had a very hard time walking  - had no idea she was that bad now. She also had to get up to pee at least 3 times. This may not be the best way for her to see a movie these days. 

July 30th 2016: Went blueberry picking at Easy Pickings with Kasey and Shay today. We picked 3 lb each. Shay was a doll and funny too. Kasey took pictures. 

Later: Watched a movie (Epic) at Justin and Kasey's house with Kaylee. Kaylee and I had seen it before but it was good to see it again. 

July 31st 2016: Visited Larry today at his new house on Pease St. He gave me a tour and little Pierre even decided I was ok enough to pet him. Pierre is a very nervous little dog. We went to Jimmy's for brunch - ran into Bruce there. This is the first time I've seen Bruce since Carol died. He was Carol's worthless, self-centered boyfriend. I felt nothing toward him - the anger is gone. 

Aug. 31st 2016: I started school again... 4pm - 6:50pm this time. It's nice having an earlier class but it's a little tough to make up my time at work. 

Aug. something 2016: Forgot to mention I went exploring and found the Gurleyville Grist Mill in Stores, CT.  This is a completely preserved mill. I want to go back when its open so I can go inside and get a better look at all the equipment. 

Sept. 10th 2016: I went to the Hampton Beach Seafood Festival with Taunya today. Excellent food and Taunya and I had so much fun! She is crazy and brings out the crazy in me too. She likes to watch people and she takes pictures of them if they are note worthy. Oh, yes...there were some that were definitely note worthy!
I bought Kaylee a necklace for her birthday. We watched a lobster roll eating contest and it wasn't until it was over that I realized we could have eaten free lobster if we had just entered the contest!

Sometime in September 2016:  Shay has learned to walk!! No more weird scooting for her!
Later: Shay is still scooting....but now there is hope! lol

Sept 23rd 2016: Went to the Big E with Justin; Kasey; Shay; Jess and Uncle Mark. Shay loved the animals and I bought fudge. 

Sept. 23th 2016: I picked up Shay from the Leicester Country Club where Kasey's brother was getting married. Shay had been the flower girl. Unfortunately the poor little girl cried almost all the way home. Poor baby!

Sept. 25th 2016: I volunteered for Dixie Dogs with Anne today. It was a fiasco with the 'cat lady'. I've never had such a disorganized, crazy time there before. I'm thinking I'm not going to sign up anymore but just show up when it's convenient for me. That way I can do whatever needs doing when I get there. 

Oct. 4th 2016: I saw Dr. Hunter for the first time. I'm not overly impressed but I'll give her a shot. She's a natural doctor and I now know that she is not able to write prescriptions. I wish I knew that before I went to see her but it may not be an issue. She wants more blood work done but I've been too sick to have it done. I've been sick almost continuously since about June. This has got to stop. 

Oct. 4th 2016: I got a call back from the Simsbury Senior Center  for a job I applied to quite some time ago. As it turns out they were only interviewing one day and were not willing to accommodate my schedule at all. I had just changed my vacation time around at work and could not change it again. They were not willing to let me interview one day I told them I couldn't interview. 
If they are that strict with their rules I don't want to work there....their loss. 

Oct. 13th 2016: I have decided to quit the Rec Therapy program. This was not an easy decision. I love going to school and I've gotten straight A's since I've been there. But this program is just not taking me into a direction that I want to go in. What a pity....

Oct. 26th 2016: I'm taking a second round of steroids to try to get rid of these maddening cold symptoms that never go far not working. 

Oct. 28th 2016: I had the snow tires put on my car - something frozen from rust preventing them from doing an alignment. They tried a torch and then sprayed something to loosen it up. Now will have to go back in a week. 

Later: Went to another STYLES workshop with CTWorks. I'm trying to have them allow me to transfer from the Rec Therapy program to the Vet Assistant program at Asnuntuck. This has never been done before. 

Later still: I met Ann for dinner at The Yarde and surprised her by having Annie show up too! Good night together and we got a good picture together too. 

Oct 31st 2016:  HALLOWEEN!!!
Shay was a bumble bee. 

Nov. 8th 2016: I went to see a specialist to have him look at my ears. They are constantly full and painful. The day I went my ears were fine and he has no idea what the problem could be. Of course!

Nov. 17th 2016: Got out of work early to go to Asnuntuck and see the counselor. She was great. I signed all my paperwork; got more stuff to read and she answered some questions. She's very nice...nothing like that other counselor at MCC. 

Nov 18th 2016: Kaylee got her report card. She got all A's and B's! She even got an A in Spanish!!

Nov. 24th 2016: I had Thanksgiving at Justin & Kasey's. I brought Mom. Shay was adorable! It was hard leaving her. It started raining and I took Mom, Sara, Ryan and Kaylee home in my car. Tight fit!!

Thursdays: Thursdays are my favorite day of the week. Shay comes to my house -we play for a couple of hours and then she will have her bottle and fall asleep on my bed while we watch tv. 
I'm going to miss these days when she grows up. 

Dec. 23th 2016: Shay loves the Christmas tree! And she spends all her time taking the ornaments off and handing them to me. Eventually I had to put a baby gate up to protect the tree. I put her first pair of footy pajamas on her. They were adorable!

Shay cuts her own Christmas tree every year. This is how she looks when she finds just the right tree!

Dec. 24th 2016: Christmas eve at Tom & Marie's. The usual suspects showed up. I got to see cousin Bob and talk for a bit about his terrible house fire. Marie and Sara made snow penis's on Bunny's car before she went home. I love that my family is crazy like that!!

Dec. 25th 2016: I took Mom (and her gravy) to Justin & Kasey's house for dinner and gift giving. The turkey was delicious and Mom's gravy is always good. I made stuffing and a veggie platter that looked like a Christmas tree. I used cuke slices for the tree; cherry tomatoes for ornaments and cauliflower for snow under the tree. Shay spent her time wisely....stealing Great Grandma's cane when she wasn't looking, so she could do her Little Bo Peep impression. 

Dec. 31st 2016: I babysat for Shay while the kids went out to a party. Shay was a bit on the tired side by the time I got there but still such a sweet little girl to play with her grandma. 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Christmas 2016

I'll bet you thought I had abandoned you entirely didn't you? Well I came close to it....not deliberately of course but because life simply gets in the way.
Obviously it's been months since I've even thought about this blog. Many things have happened...some good, some not so is like that. So I'll pick up at Christmas because that's an easy place to start.

Christmas was good, fine, ok....whatever. Most Christmas's are whatever these days simply because they can't compare to the Christmas's I had as a kid. Nothing compares to anything that happened when I was a kid. But then again, who said we are supposed to be comparing these events anyway? Probably best not to do that.

So this year was much the same as other years with one small difference. Shay is here now and she cannot be ignored....not that you'd want to anyway. She is adorable!

I had to stop myself from spending way too much money on Shay. She is barely over a year old (I do not know the exact number of months she is...I'm not that kind of grandma.) and will not remember much of Christmas yet anyway. Besides that she has a definite love affair going on with boxes. That old joke about kids playing with the boxes and ignoring the's perfectly true. I have seen this baby go nuts over the box her car seat came in. That box was her best friend for weeks. I tried to keep this in mind while buying Christmas presents for her. Not that I was looking for special boxes for her but I was trying to control my spending by remembering no matter what it is it will probably not make a big impact on her at this age....unless of course it's a cool box. So I got her some clothes because she considers herself  a very stylish baby. And I got her a few educational toys....small cardboard books that little hands can hold comfortably; chunky piece puzzles for little ones; block puzzles for young children and the like.
 All of these gifts had to be opened for her as she has not yet realized how the whole wrapping paper ripping process is built right into the gift giving event. Either that or she was bored by the paper tearing part. I don't know. But eventually she had received all her gifts and was entirely underwhelmed by them....not a decent box in the whole lot.

Shay's favorite gift was a fuzzy chair that has a dogs face on it. I don't know who gave it to her (she has so many admirers) but she loved it. She spent most of her day diving face first into it to hug it; sitting on it and watching events around her; 'reading' her books while sitting in it and then bringing toys to line up around the chair while she sat in it. Adorable to watch of course. I wish I had bought that chair.

My Christmas was made better by the fact that Shay was there. She is always the best part of every event that she's a part of. And as a special Christmas gift I was treated to the following pictures taken by my son a little while after Christmas.

There is nothing better than receiving a Baby in a Box. I'm putting that on my Christmas list from now on!