Sunday, December 16, 2012


I'm having trouble getting into the Christmas spirit this year. It's not just being in a different place. I think it's part of my grieving process.

My husband, Steve, and I used to do a huge thing for Christmas - outlined the house in multi-colored lights, put up a huge tree and 4 little ones, midnight services at church, prime rib for dinner Christmas day, family gatherings all over, the whole thing. Then he was diagnosed with cancer in October 2005. Christmas that year was wonderful - all the family came over, my step-daughter was flown home from Afghanistan early, it was heartwarming and homey and made wonderful memories.

Then my dad passed away January 13, 2006. On Christmas Eve day 2006, we called Hospice for my husband. They did the intake on Christmas Day. He lasted until January 3, 2007. I haven't really done Christmas at my house since then. I did put up a couple of the small trees, but it's not to the extent we decorated in the past. Strangely enough, doing only a little is almost worse than doing nothing at all. This year, I'm doing nothing - because my Christmas stuff is still at my old house. Another snafu. My mover didn't finish the job, and now is not responding to my emails and calls. Great. At least I know where my stuff is - I just can't afford to pay extra to get it up here right now, because...

On Thursday of this week, I was laid off/ terminated/ fired. Whatever you want to call it. My boss called it "terminating our association." Totally blindsided me. Threw me for a loop. I really did not see this coming. I usually have some sort of idea about this kind of thing, but this time, nothing. Totally out of the blue. That's, I think, the hardest part of this. If I hadn't been hearing "good job" about my work, if he hadn't given me a letter three days before, listing assignments for the next few weeks and outlining the next few months, I would have had some sort of idea.

However, as I have had to say so many times before, what is simply is what is. I'm treating myself to extra time with my darling children - my son and daughter-in-law in NJ - and while I'm there, I'll send out resumes all over, looking for temporary work. The hardest part is going to be the economic reality - I won't be able to afford the money or time to pay for a bar review course, now, so I have to put off the bar exam again, until next July. On the other hand, I will have time to get more integrated into the legal community here, to make contacts, and to work off some of my law school debt, so that's a positive thing. Now I just have to find a job to enable me to do those things!

I will have a good Christmas anyway. It's impossible not to, with my daughter-in-law's mother taking charge of the holiday! She's a Christmas nut, the way I used to be, and they are a loving, giving, welcoming family. I'm very, very blessed to have all of them in my life. I'll be there Thursday, and I can't wait. I hope everyone has a good Christmas, too. My prayers this season are for peace on earth. True peace, that comes from within.

Steve at his last Christmas, 2006

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Quiet Saturday...

I love quiet Saturdays. Especially rainy quiet Saturdays.

One of the features of my new house that I love the most is the huge window overlooking my covered porch. I've never had a porch before (as an adult anyway!), and the window stretches almost the whole width of the porch. It's just so peaceful to look out and watch the rain fall. I hear it might be snow by next week again!

The dog and I have spent the day snoozing, getting up for a snack, going outside briefly, then settling in to snooze again. Well, she snoozed again. I studied bar stuff. Today was Contracts. It's the area I have the most trouble with, so I'm immersing myself in it this weekend. Sort of penance for not studying the topic hard enough during law school.

Meanwhile, the dog continues to snore, and Army and Navy are playing in the background, while the rain drips off the roof of the porch. Very peaceful.

May we all find peace this holiday season.

Happy Chanukah.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


I have fallen in love with granola and yogurt. It's a new relationship, but a strong one. I think this will last the rest of my life.

Step 1: Make a batch of THIS granola on Sunday, while football is playing. I used slivered almonds (which I toasted while I was mixing up the oatmeal), and dried cranberries and dried cherries from Trader Joe's. I also used 4 cups of oatmeal, and still added the 1/2 cup of oil and 1/2 cup of honey. I've never added salt before, but I did the last two batches I made. It really does make all the difference.

Step 2: Put a good amount of granola in a pretty large soup bowl. (I love my Mikasa Italian Countryside china!)

Step 3: Add yogurt. I used Swiss Style Vanilla, from a large container, because it was on sale this week for $2. I had used so much already, though, that I didn't really have enough for the consistency I like. I do like Swiss Style because it's thicker. Greek would work, too. I think thinner yogurt makes it come out more like cereal with milk, which is not bad, but not my favorite.

Step 4: add more yogurt, from a container. I didn't have vanilla, so I added black raspberry flavor. Mix it all around, so it's a big mess. See why I did step-by-step pictures? It doesn't look very nice at this point. Tastes FABULOUS though!

Step 5: Eat, with gusto! Of course, I had to have black coffee with it. Because that's an unchanging part of my morning ritual.

I could eat this stuff 3 times a day. It's amazing. A nice blend of grains, nuts, fruit, dairy... it fills me up, and is healthy as all get out. YUM!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Nice lazy Saturday

Surprise! It's snowing again! Light flurries - it's too cold to do much more than that. 20 degrees this morning, which is a HUGE improvement from yesterday's temperatures in the teens! Lizzie has been sleeping all day so far. She woke up at 7 and had to go out - of course, since Saturday is my sleep-in day - but then she went right back to bed, even without her breakfast! She did get up and wander around a bit when I brought her downstairs, but now she's sleeping again. She has the right idea!

I'm spending my day doing the usual weekend stuff - laundry, cleaning, baking, knitting, reading... it's a good day to be inside.

Tomorrow, the Henry Knox Museum is having their holiday open house, at Montpelier, in Thomaston. Knox is one of my favorite characters from the Revolutionary period, and I haven't been there yet, so the holiday open house will be a nice introduction to the mansion. I may volunteer over there next summer. Or even work there part-time. Could be fun.

I'm off to transfer wash into the dryer, and to put another load in. I love weekends.

Front Yard in Snow