Thursday, January 31, 2008

Happy Birthday Nikolai!

Today is Nikolai's 7th birthday and his very first American birthday! He wanted doughnuts for school today instead of cupcakes! (go figure - the child does not like cupcakes of any kind!) He originally wanted pink icing on his doughnuts but I talked him into just glazed ones instead - whew! I made these really cute boxes full of candy for each child in the class. He had a good time at school. (Deniska, on the other hand, "accidentally" kicked another child but that's a different story!) Anyway, back to Nikolai. He wanted to eat at "Tacomigos" for dinner. So, off to Los Amigos we went for a nice Mexican meal of tacos and rice. Then for a surprise, the wait staff brought him fried ice cream (free of charge), sang "Happy Birthday" to him in Spanish and then smeared cool whip and chocolate on his nose! hehehe - they had us all laughing. It was a fun evening. Nikolai got all of his birthday wishes this morning. He wanted a small 3 drawer organzier (for his "val'bles"); a truck that the doors opened and closed; and a 12 pack of Diet Pepsi! He was easily pleased and so proud of his gifts! It has been a nice day. He is now soundly asleep on this his first day of being 7!!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Under the weather

I hate colds! Just let me make that clear. Wednesday night I was minding my own business when out of nowhere at 6:30 PM, my throat really started hurting. The next day it had progressed to a cold. I was sick Thursday night and threw up several times. (I know that's not stating it politically correct). I had already asked off for Friday since I had a dentist appointment and a mammogram appointment. I called Friday morning and cancelled the dentist appointment but I kept my mammogram appointment. I feel a little better today but still am tired and my head feels like it is in a drum. What's that old saying about colds - "3 days coming, 3 days with you, 3 days going." Well, I should be feeling better in 6 more days!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Blessings of Family & Friends

My sister-in-law, Lillian, sent me a brand new punch needle kit today. I have been wanting to try this craft and now I have a needle and hoop. I just need a design which I have already decided upon.

Speaking of nice surprises, I had an extra special one in my email box today! I received a $15 gift card from an Internet friend to Amazon. Who doesn't need an Amazon gift card?! I can't wait to see what I decide to spend it on - maybe a Christmas present for next year.

Lastly, Dennis and I decided that we needed to have the boys do regular chores. This week Nikolai has kitchen duty and Deniska has vacuuming and trash patrol. Needless to say, this was not met with a lot of enthusiasm but one they did with a happy heart. They are such good boys (especially when they are asleep!)

Saturday, January 19, 2008


It's no secret that Blogs are all over the Internet and are offering a glimpse into the lives of all sorts of people - including Martha. Izzy, my precious kitten, has decided that Martha's blog is his favorite and reads it before I get a chance to every day!

Speaking of Izzy, he has been under the weather for the past several weeks. I took him to one vet who dismissed my concerns and sent him home with a cat laxative and charged me $32 to tell me that nothing was wrong. As Izzy lost weight, became more lethargic, and couldn't use the bathroom, I became more concerned. I then called my another vet and took Izzy to see him today. Dr. Moore felt that Izzy has some parasites in his large intestines. He gave him a really good exam, loaded me up with medicine for the baby, and sent me home ($235 later!) Yes, you read that right - $235! In contrast, I went by the drugstore to pick up my medicine and it was $4. Perhaps I would have been better off to take Izzy to my doctor! :-) Regardless, Izzy is worth the money and I hope he is soon feeling better. I would be so sad if something happened to him. He sleeps on top of my face every night and has not left my side since my mother died. Izzy is very sensitive to my moods.

Friday, January 18, 2008


What a wonderful surprise we received on Wednesday night - it snowed! The boys loved the snow. They wanted to stay out Wednesday night and play in the snow - silly boys! They were so excited. We had probably 3 inches of snow and it was all gone by Friday afternoon. NOAA says we will get more snow tomorrow. I doubt it but we will see.

On a not so fun note, I have dealt with insurance companies all day today. One company, Monumental Life, did not pay the full amount of the life insurance policy on my mom because the birth date on their policy did not correspond with the birth date on her death certificate. I feel sure the mistake was on their part but to fight it would have been more than the policy was worth. I would not recommend having any policies with them. What a crock to claim that they could not pay the full amount. All the other companies that I have dealt with have been very professional and courteous.

I called Charter to cancel Mom's cable service. The lady said that I was not on the approved list to make such a decision. I assured her that Mom couldn't call her since she was dead. Charter said I had fax them a copy of the death certificate or the obituary. Now, of course, I understand that just anybody can call up and claim to be the person but honestly you would think that they would believe me - who is going to lie about their mother dying?!

An hour was spent on the phone calling various companies and making appointments to come by and discontinue services or different things. Did I mention that I HATE make appointment and talking on the phone to strangers over such things?

How I hate doing all of these things. I still have several places to call and I need to take a death certificate by the bank - I forgot to do that today - drats! Oh well, I need something to do next week!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Monday morning

I love Mondays almost as much as Thursdays. I love Thursdays because it is almost the weekend. I love Mondays because it is the first day of the work week and it holds unlimited opportunities. I like to plan my week on Monday mornings so I can make plans accordingly. Today I hope to put up all the Christmas decorations and return the house to normal - well as normal can be! I am going to leave out one tiny tree and decorate it year round. It sits on my night stand so it is not a big tree and provides a great night light. I find it very soothing.

I return to work tomorrow after being out for Mama. I dread going into work with a desk piled high with ungraded papers and all the paperwork associated with school and trying to read through the notes left from the subs. I also have to keep Attendance School so I will not get home until 7:00PM *sigh* I know after one day I will be fine. I have thought of rearranging my room for the 2nd semester. Maybe I will get the kids to do that first and then worry about everything else. Or maybe I will straighten out everything and then rearrange. See, I am in a state of perpetual confusion!

One project my students did this year was to make no sew blankets for DSS Foster teens. They worked really hard and I am very proud of them. I think we ended up with 39 total. Here's a few pictures of them! Oddly enough, my male students enjoyed it more than the girls! Go figure!!.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Friday Frenzy

This picture was made outside my front door several weeks ago. I just thought it was pretty with the sun coming down. I am so thankful to live in a rural setting to enjoy scenes like this.
Today is a full day planned with lots of little things to do. I have just gotten back from visiting with my 86 year old aunt. Her mind is still fairly sharp but she is confined to a wheelchair and declined physically. I was glad to visit with her. She lives an hour away so that has taken all morning. My errands are growing longer and longer. I need to call the computer shop to pick up Dennis' computer, call the cemetery office to change our follow-up visit, finish writing thank you notes for the food and flowers, go to the grocery store to pick up bread, and I know I had a ton of other stuff to do - I just can't remember it all now. I really need to start making a list! The weather is in the 20s and sunny. I certainly can't complain about that at all.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Back to Life

Today the boys returned to school after Christmas break. I will return next Tuesday to school. The house is too quiet without them here. This morning was chaotic since we have not been to school for 2 weeks - even though I had told the boys to get ready for today. Folders had to be found, reading had to be done, lunches had to be packed, teeth had to be brushed, hair needed to be comb, breakfast had to be fixed and eaten, whew! Tomorrow should be much easier since we will be back in the routine. Did I mention the house is way too quiet? I miss them when they are not here with me!

Today Larry and I will go the insurance company to stop the house insurance in Mama's name and put it in mine. Then on to the bank to close out the bank account. Yesterday started in Probate Court, then to the funeral home getting death certificates and filing insurance claims, then to BiLo to have a fruit basket made for the staff at the nursing home. We came home for lunch. After lunch we delivered the fruit basket to the nursing home and one last good-bye to all the folks who cared for Mama. Then we went to Edward Jones to take care of shared investments and having those changed to individual investments. I am so glad Larry is here to help me with those. Our Edward Jones broker is so nice and very patient with all my questions. Then back to the funeral home to sign papers. Finally home after a full day of running around. Yesterday was busy but very productive! Today we start on the next set of things to do. I wrote thank you notes last night to the folks who had delivered food and flowers.

St. Genevieve

Feastday: January 3 Patron of Paris512

St. Genevieve was born about the year 422, at Nanterre near Paris. She was seven years old when St. Germain of Auxerre came to her native village on his way to great Britain to combat the heresy of Pelagius. The child stood in the midst of a crowd gathered around the man of God, who singled her out and foretold her future sanctity. At her desire the holy Bishop led her to a church, accompanied by all the faithful, and consecrated her to God as a virgin.

When Attila was reported to be marching on Paris, the inhabitants of the city prepared to evacuate, but St. Genevieve persuaded them to avert the scourge by fasting and prayer, assuring them of the protection of Heaven. The event verified the prediction, for the barbarian suddenly changed the course of his march.

The life of St. Genevieve was one of great austerity, constant prayer, and works of charity. She died in the year 512. Her feast day is January 3rd.

She dressed in a long flowing gown with a mantle covering her shoulders, similar to the type of garments the Blessed Mother wore. One of the symbols of this saint is a loaf of bread because she was so generous to those in need.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The Ending

Mama's funeral was today. It was a very sweet funeral. We used one of Mama's beautiful quilts to drape over her coffin. Dennis read Proverbs 31:10-31, the Proverbial Woman. He picked that out to read about my Mama. I was so proud of him as he read - he is truly a gifted reader. Then, Larry delivered the eulogy - and did an excellent job! He told some funny stories but related it everyone there. It was perfect!! There was probably close to 300 people there for the funeral. She was well loved by everyone. I was so delighted to see my childhood friends and friends of my family. It had been much too long for me to see them. The church fixed a luncheon for us - so much good food and a table laden with sweets! Later, the immediate family went to the cemetery to view the burial spot. It was nice to be with family and share some private moments and stories.

This evening Dennis and I went to Mass since it was the Mary, Mother of God Holy Day. It is one of my favorite Masses. I asked the priest for a special blessing considering my day. He gave me a special blessing and spoke some very encouraging words to me.

Larry and I decided what we would do tomorrow and the rest of the week. So much to do following a death. Regardless, God is good and takes care of us through it all!

St. Therese

St. Therese, the Little Flower, please pick me a rose from the heavenly garden and send it to me with a message of love. Ask God to grant me the favor I thee implore, and tell Him I will love Him each day, more and more.