Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 At a Glance

Kept the same job-with added responsibilities and a small raise, but am thankful I remained employed.

Health is good-had all the yearly tests required with good results.

Husband remained employed, although it was a little shaky for a while.

Kept my friends-every single one of them, which I am thankful every day to have. And made a few new ones.

Walked with my friend to celebrate her 4th free year (and many more to come)

Joined a zumba class.

Family is healthy and for the most part all employed.

Laughed with my friends over silly things.

Cried with my friends over sadness.

Comforted and was comforted by my friends.

Went to several Brewer games (not as many as I wanted to)

Enjoyed Summerfest.

Enjoyed State Fair

Went fishing.

Took a mini vacation this year camping which was enjoyable, although some one didn't come and due to work restraints someone had to cut out early. They were missed.

My daughter is doing much better and has moved out of the house. Although I worry about her, she seems happier than she has been in years. The girls are happy and in good hands, so I guess Grandma needs to relax a little.

Went to numerous baseball and football games in which Dylan played. I'm so very thankful that I am able to watch his games, and that he is able to participate.

We lost one of our cats this year after only having him one year. It's shocking how much impact this one little guy had on us. Still miss him, but am thankful for the time we were able to give him a home.

Gained a cat this year. My daughter is not able to have her cat where she is living so she stayed on with us. Not as friendly as the one we lost but with some attention she's coming around.

Bought a new fridge after ours died while we were camping. Also bought a new sump pump two days after that.

Husband still hasn't completely finished off the porch, but he's getting there.

Turned to sand pit into a swimming area. Purchased a pool that turned green because no one took care of it. I think the project for 2011 will be a giant fire pit with seating. That's my dream.

There were no babies born in our family this year.

Celebrated my mother's 75th birthday with a party at our house. So very thankful for that.

Stupidly didn't book the Vegas trip with my friends. Will try to smarten up by the next planned trip.

Once again spent more on Christmas than I planned, but's once a year.

Arnie got a new cell phone.

Arnie got Wheel of Fortune for the Wii

Try as I might I just can't keep someone out of first place playing Wheel on facebook.

Watched my son become more gainfully employed. A huge break he needed and deserved. A lot of hard work is paying off for him.

I have a lot to be thankful for as this year comes to an end. I'm just glad to be sharing it with people I enjoy and are blessed to have in my life.

Happy New Year...everyone please be careful out there. Bring on 2011.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas 2010

I started Christmas shopping around the first week of November. I took advantage of ordering some things on-line, but ended up going to stores for about 1/2 of what I bought. I thought I started early enough to be done a week or so before Christmas, but there I was out there two days before for a last few items.
The cookies were baked, the tree decorated, the outside 50% done and gifts wrapped by the 22nd. Then came the two days of cooking and preparing for Christmas Eve and Day. All went well.
The family Christmas Eve was hosted by Ben & Gambino this year. My compliments for a very fun & enjoyable family gathering. The kids (and my 40 year old sister) were occupied with crafts in the upper level of the home. A great idea as it kept them from sitting on the couch staring at the gifts under the tree. The food was yummy, especially the home made mac & cheese. The gift opening went great. Didn't get to see to much of what people as it did get a little hectic for a few minutes there.
My husband managed to make it through the night although fighting a horrible cold. I wasn't sure he'd made the event as he sounded terrible and being a stubborn man opted out of taking anything for his illness.
After not to late of a night we headed home to get some rest before round two of Christmas started. It's always a hassle getting my kids and grand kids and mother-in-law over at the same time, but it worked out great. I filled their stomachs with lots of food and off we went to the chaos of opening gifts. From the mound of gifts I thought it would take at least a few minutes. I thought of making them open one gift at a time, but as a kid, what fun would that be? I sat and watched the utter chaos and smiles and kidding and couldn't think of anywhere else I wanted to be at the moment.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Colonoscopy-A Crappy Subject

What better thing to write about. I have put this routine off for a few years and after being prompted by my doctor decided to go for it. I also made an pact with my friend that we'd both have it done this year. I made enough excuses in the past few years and reality set in and I made the call.
The initial consult with the doctor wasn't bad. A few instructions and a month to mull it over and cancel if I chose to. My friend went first. There was quite a difference in the prep required. She couldn't have anything with seeds or nuts for the 5 days before and then began a pretty restricted liquid diet the day before. She also began to take a syrup substance provided by her physician. After her procedure she let me know that she was not chained to her toilet all day. Things went pretty smoothly for her. A mild cramping but that was about it.
My prep began the day after Christmas. No solid food. (hide the cookies!). Jello or liquids only. Liquids meaning clear broth, fruit juices, water and Popsicles. I had to take 4 tablets at 3 pm. Within 1/2 hour my stomach was churning. I chose not to eat anything and also was not hungry to this point. At 5 pm I was to mix a full bottle of Murilax with 64 ounces of any flavor Gatorade I chose. I chose Ice Blue Frost. I was then to drink an 8 ounce glass every 1/2 hour until it was gone. Needless to say I did miss several Packer scores. At this point I thought it would be much worse (horror stories heard) and remarked to my husband that it wasn't so bad. By the time I got to the last 8 ounces of mix I really struggled to get it down. I did get it down before the allotted 2 hours.
This is when all hell broke loose. I'm not a big sugar laden beverage drinker. The Gatorade was doing a number on me. I broke into a sweat and could feel my stomach rejecting whatever I was drinking. No where on my handy brochure did it say anything about vomiting. Without revealing the nitty gritty of it all, I will say that the garbage bags I use in my bathroom garbage can hold plenty of liquid. This little ordeal even brought my husband to the bathroom door. I could do nothing but laugh at this point. I don't know how I found humor in it but I did.
The rest of the night went well. I was clean and ready to go. The exam itself was a piece of cake. I was put into a Twilight sleep but woke up close to the end. Couldn't feel a thing but could see the screen. Kind of blurry after that until I was taken back to the holding area and my husband appeared. Within 1/2 hour was up and out the door. Checked in at 10:45 and out by 12:30.
My advice...not that big of a deal. Do what they tell you..don't cheat and eat, and buy the flavor of Gatorade that you are least likely to buy on a regular basis. This ordeal need only be done once every 10 years if you come out clean. Five years if there is a family history or they detect anything. Not bad considering it's a preventative measure.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Don't Break My Spirit

I like the Christmas season. It can be a little stressful at times, but the outcome is good. My family has get togethers throughout the year, but the Christmas gathering always seems to be the best. I don't have any bad childhood memories of Christmas, and I am thankful to my parents for that. My mother did not have a very happy childhood, and therefore went out of her way to make sure her children did.

Christmas was always special. We were raised to understand the true meaning of Christmas, but we all know that when a child sees a mound of presents in front of them, that meaning becomes a little lost. So when all the wrapping paper, boxes and bows are cleaned up and the gift cards are located in the piles of discarded boring clothes we take a few moments and relay the true meaning.

Since I have had children and grandchildren of my own I have tried to pass the excitement of Christmas on to them. The shopping can be a little rough, but has been made easier throughout the years by shopping online. The decorating can be a little much, but when all is done it's nice to take a step back and smile. Christmas should not be a chore. I know, "tell that to the person hosting Christmas at their home". That is a chore. Shopping, cooking, cleaning and making sure everything turns out OK. My family is pretty easy to please and helpful. The outcome should be a room full of happy people who enjoy spending time together.

Now put the brakes on...Someone, or should I say several people are out to break my spirit this year.
  • For 27 Christmas's I have been with my husband who's busy season of the year is Christmas. I've seen him stressed, tired and crabby to no end. I've done just about all the Christmas prep by myself minus the outside lights. Our lights are 1/2 done, yet boxes are scattered all over the basement. Figured he'd be working on them last night, but took to the couch instead.
  • My mother-in-law is in her usual "There is no Christmas this year" mode. It's getting old and I'm getting tired of it. I've tried to be sympathetic in the past but it's the same thing every year. There's no money for presents. No one expects her to buy presents. If you buy her something she wants you to return it as she got you nothing. You explain to her that it doesn't matter over and over again. Something in the back of my mind tells me that she just wants to exchange or return whatever she received as she just doesn't like it.
  • My sister-in-law is in her repetitive "I hate Christmas" mode. Another one with no money for gifts, however plenty of money for frivolous items. This one can get me to be a little bitter as I've purchased gifts for her children when there was a claim of no money only to see the brother-in-law well stocked on beer and other party products.
  • My kids are arguing. I refuse to be in the middle of this as they are both adults. I will listen but refuse to pass judgement or become involved. This should make for a lovely Christmas day if this is not resolved. I listen to them and wonder what happened to make them so bitter toward each other. I'm not saying my parenting skills were right, but I seldom screamed at my kids. Tried talking things through and treating them both equally and fairly. Their father on the other hand favored my son and did not and still does not know how to talk to them. The phone calls I've been witness to are of him in a rage over something.
  • I think I may pick up the 3 grandchildren and have a peaceful Christmas Day with them.

I hear there are plenty of movie theaters open for business on Christmas Day. After church and breakfast we may head to one.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Two Years-

Well it's been two years since you left us Randy. Most of the tears have now taken over to laughter and smiles when remembering you. The times you are missed are countless. I haven't had a hearty-gut busting laugh that would bring me to tears, in quite a while.
Still waiting for you to walk out of the office and on to the production floor-barking out some orders. Some people have attempted to break your "24 Mikes Hard Lemonade" record but it hasn't been done yet. The pudgy pie making has been handed over to Steve, but he could use a wise-cracking assistant. Jo's done a good job taking over on the "There are no Buffalo in South Dakota". We're still belting out some of your favorite songs-still working on the Ozzie stuff though.
Even though you are missed, the memories are there. Something that can never be taken away. RIP buddy!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010


I make it a habit to read the obits a few times a week. Usually just scan the names and if one looks familiar I'll check out the actual obit. This morning I opened the paper and looked right at a name with picture that threw me for a loop. My high-school boyfriend died yesterday. I actually only dated him for about a year but knew him all through middle school and remained friends with him after we broke up. Over the years we ran into each other several times and did the quick update on our lives.
I broke up with him for the charms of my first husband. Everything happens for a reason right? Both his father & my ex's father were employees of Ladish so they ended up working together. He married, had two girls and was divorced shortly after the 2nd daughter was born. His wife left him with both the girls. She also worked at Ladish and ran off with some guy from there. This woman was horrible. I felt bad for him because he was just too nice of a guy and didn't deserve what she put him and his girls through. He ended up moving back home with his mom and raising his girls, and helping his mom out. The day before I married Arnie, he called me out of the blue to ask me out. Everything happens for a reason again.
I think he was in his early teens when his dad passed away. He had three brothers and their garage was the big hang out. They constantly had cars in their garage. The gear head boys of the high school. I often wondered how their mom kept up with 4 greasy, dirty boys. Once when I was over there I noticed greasy hand prints on the entrance wall and she told me she'd never wash them off as they were signs that her boys worked hard.
My brother was good friends with him and his brothers, so was also over there a lot. Drinking beer and working on cars. Send the girls for parts and food. That was my job. A lot of memories of hanging out with him and his brothers. Good bunch of guys that treated girls like gold.
Rest In Peace Tom. I'm sure your girls have a ton of memories of your kindness.