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Friday, November 30, 2007

Christmas Begins!

Published by cck at 6:38 AM

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Cell Service

Published by cck at 10:16 PM

My live is changing. My life has changed.
I know that these two facts will be ongoing challenges -- however, it seems that in the past year my life has changed more than I expected. I remember telling that to my first lover -- that while our teens seemed tumultuous (just think - in one decade we had gone from sixth graders to freshman in college), our twenties would be the biggest decade we've got in terms of major life changes.

And here we are. I'm more than half way through my twenties now -- I've graduated from college, moved from my first (second and third) job, my hometown, my home state. I've reorganized my family, I've gotten married. And, to top all this off - I still rather expect to have my first child in this decade. Man - that's a busy decade.

Where am I going with all this - besides to freak myself out? My friendships have changed. I don't live down the hall - bedrooms away - from the gals that knew all my secrets, knew how to throw a party and probably could tell you which guy I was trying to flirt with at that very moment. And then we all moved around and away -- we got married, involved and started new pursuits.

And everything changed. Some of us are permanently out of cell range - either by choice or because we're too busy with their own lives and our lives have changed. Like mine. I can't say it's wrong. I watch older grown ups -- and see how their friendships have survived the longest lengths of bad cell service. I hope mine can too.

The Good, The Bad & The Thing That Required A Bandaid

Published by cck at 10:04 PM

I've watched ER on Thanksgiving... There are freak Turkey accidents and someone always brings in a carrot instead of a thumb.

Nothing quite that dramatic happened. Like, not at all - my mandolin and I aren't getting along this morning. My first turkey Thanksgiving Dinner went quite well. The stuffing, while not exactly like Nana's, will suffice. And the sweet potatoes were quite yummy. The Turkey, thanks to several suggestions, was fantastic -- according to K. anyway... I'm not really a turkey fan. :) I even made my own gravy -- which was really interesting.

The crowning glory of the evening was the Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake - quite tasty and even prettier. I loved being lazy all day. It was fantastic...

I am so very thankful.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Published by cck at 7:37 AM

When we made the decision not to travel for the holiday, it seemed like the perfect idea. After all, it had been eight weekends (and a few weeks) where I had not been in my house. We are both exhausted. And, after discussing our favorite Thanksgiving traditions - we settled on a small turkey breast, green bean casserole and stuffing -- and some sort of pie.

That feast has quickly grown. Little did I know that my husband "needs" a turkey leg. Who am I to forgo that tradition and desire. So... Now we are having a true Thanksgiving feast. The only difference is that our various casseroles and side (save for the stuffing) are made for five servings - not fifteen. I got the smallest whole turkey I could find - 9.5 lbs. (Still too much turkey). We're having Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake with a pecan crust because we couldn't decide between Pumpkin or Pecan Pie. Scalloped Sweet Potatoes, Green Bean Casserole, Sausage Sage Stuffing, Mushrooms, Gorgonzola Mac n' Cheese, Blood Orange Cranberry Stuff and Rosemary Turkey Gravy. Whew.

We even got firewood for a fire! And Beaujolais Nouveau! And the makings for Bloody Marys while we watch the parade! And oh my goodness - way too many exclamation marks!

I'm hoping to document the cooking and baking over the next two days. We'll see.

It's my first Thanksgiving - my first real one where I'm doing it myself. I've made a spreadsheet. Planned the oven and stove schedule. Yes, this is nuts. But, at least this is a good test run for the future.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Mileage: Just Another Reason

Published by cck at 10:03 PM

Just for the record - because this has been bothering me since August:

I live 409 miles away.
She lives 1.4 miles away.

There, I said it. I was there more than she was.
And I didn't take family leave.

Stuff in My Head

Published by cck at 9:32 PM

There is so much stuff that keeps reverberating in my head from the past few months. Tonight, a good friend told me that she thought I was handling this whole thing remarkably well. I don't really know about that.

There are so many things I want to write about. Get off my chest. So many things I wish I could sort of vomit out of my life. We all traveled to New Jersey last weekend for the final service. The service was unbelievable. Perhaps it was sitting in the church where my brother and I were christened, where my parents were married, where my aunts were married, where my great-grandparents went to church and my grandmother grew in her faith... Or maybe it was just being in New Jersey -- realizing that my husband's father grew up two small towns over from where my whole family lived. Or maybe it was knowing that my grandmother, the most important woman in my life, was really really really gone from this earth.

After packing up the car to drive over to our flight in Jacksonville, I reached for my phone to call Grami -- to tell her we were on our way. I couldn't help but laugh. And then, cry. As soon as the racking sobs seem to take over my life - they're gone. Wet eyelashes, that's what I've got.

And the parents - the oh so crazy, ridiculous folks that gave me life? Well, I suppose I am forever thankful for entrance into this family - my grandmother, my two aunts, my two uncles - great aunts and uncles and some cousins that are entirely too much fun.

I was incredibly nervous before Saturday. I was apprehensive leaving Florida, anxious while getting ready before the service. It was bad. Until I figured out why -- and after I named that fear, it was gone. Maybe that Saturday will be last time I see my natural parents, maybe not. Either way, I know that I will never have to interact with them again, and that is good.

We brown bagged at a fantastic Italian joint on Friday night. K. was sure it was "connected." I talked with Aunt Patty at length - for the first time feeling like a real, grown-up adult. I have bonded with both of my uncles in new ways. We're planning a Kids Table Reunion that should be quite the party. I met some of my grandmother's oldest friends - smiled and introduced my husband. I realized that I am the eldest of my generation and will most likely be the first to start the next one. I am amazed at all the treasures that are before us.

And, oh my God, I miss you Gram.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Seems right

Published by cck at 9:28 AM

that the first person I ever lost would be Grammers. Seems right that she would be the one that helped me figure out that dying is not - and should never be - scary.

We gathered - all her beloved family together and she left us. She left us, but only to return in a shower of perfect moments, memories and gentle lessons. I have never met a woman so good, so true of heart, so humble.

You are my sunshine, I love you.