Sunday, January 25, 2015

Introducing...Pucklette

I feel I should apologize for the 10 day lag in my writing. I really have no excuse. I just guess I didn't have anything important or interesting to say. Some would argue I never do, but those who say that are currently suffering my wrath.

First a little catch up...the job rocks. I love the job. Love the company. I'm feeling like I'm hitting a stride and yet still have so far to go. I'm in the danger zone of knowing enough to be dangerous. I have to purposely slow myself down and think about whether I KNOW or whether I THINK I know. It's a dangerous area for me because this is where mistakes happen. And I loathe making mistakes.

So you may remember my little buddy Puck. He ran off with the circus a couple of years ago and hasn't been seen or heard from since.  Several of his relatives have stayed with me but none of them were like Puck and so I sent them packing.

Until now...

Meet Pucklette.


Pucklette is an East Coast distant...very distant, granola-eating, earthy cousin of Puck. She comes to us dreaming of seeing the world and hoping for adventures like her cousin Puck used to write to her about.  She arrived in a box in triplicate and almost immediately found herself involved in my life.

She's a keeper.

This weekend Pucklette, Seattle SIL and I took a road trip. It started by SIL wanting to see how far NOAH was since The Niece will be doing her externship there in April.  That plan turned into a road trip of epic fun.

On our way to Stanwood, which is where NOAH is, we stopped in Everett for a bite to eat. This place was amazing. Craving Cajun Grill was absolutely New Orleans in the NW.  The service was S-L-O-W, but we didn't care since we weren't in a hurry.




We started with deep fried pickles. DEEP FRIED PICKLES y'all!!! They were hot and delicious. The dipping sauce had a kick to it, but it added to the flavor so well.

SIL had deep fried catfish and  I had a shrimp po'boy. The sandwich was GYNORMOUS...and oh so good.

After downing this yummy food and about 4 gallons of sweet tea we hit the road.

So in addition to seeing NOAH I decided that I would check another thing off my "bucket list". I've heard that this time of year snow geese essentially take over the fields up north. Thousands of them. I've seen photos where you can't see the brown dirt and can only see the white snow geese. This, to me, is something to see.

And since we were heading north, I thought to bring along the Washington Curiosity book and hit the two up north on the list.

The snow geese adventure, it turned out was an epic fail. This was the largest amount we saw.




I was able to get out of the car at one point and get a bit closer. Their "honking" cracked me up. They sounded like trumpets going off. SIL made a comment that if BigBro was there he'd totally be making that sound "calling" them closer. That made me laugh.

After driving around for an hour or so not finding geese, we decided to find the Washington Curiosity Woody Wonder.

The Woody Wonder is located in a rest stop -which made me laugh all the same. And really is one of those road stop wonders that is absolutely ridiculous and wonderful.

 
 
 

We also tried to find this teapot espresso drive through. Ended up taking the long route, and found that it had been bull-dozed and replaced by a strip mall. Sad face.

Because we were out shooting photos, we stumbled onto this little garden that had a HUGE chair in it's front yard. We pulled off and found a little rusted garden too.





All in all it was a great day. SIL and I had a blast and while the weather was sunny and we couldn't put the top down, road trips in Sparky are always fun. And Pucklette was an excellent co-pilot too.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Whatever Wednesday

I blinked on Sunday and it was Wednesday. That's what this week has felt like. The great thing, or bad thing depending on how you look at it, about having a job you love is the time flies. I no longer sit at my desk and count the minutes before I can "legally" go home. No siree...not no mo'. I knew it was just a matter of time before I felt like I 1) knew what I was doing and 2) would feel the pressure.

And the pressure did arrive this week.  All of it my doing, naturally. I made a couple of mistakes and it cost me some time.  But the best part, I made one of those mistakes TWICE. ARgh. On the bright side I learned a lot, and now know what NOT to do. And that, my friends, is what it's all about.

But let's back up, shall we?

Sunday was Sunday dinner. A wanted a small crowd this month and that's what I got...thankfully. The main peanut gallery showed up to this scrumptous Sunday dinner. The theme this month was Comfort Food. I asked each invitee to bring their favorite comfort food casserole or crock pot meal.  We had quite the combination of food.

I made curry chicken in the crock pot. Mrs. Braspir made a broccoli casserole with biscuits on top. The Pantry Goat made cream corn (from a cookbook made in Minnesota). Seattle SIL made this chicken, cheese, spinach wrapped in phyllo dough thingy. And Blueberry made hamburger casserole.  I threw together a salad so we had something green and voila a mid-west pot luck.

See that little pink Puck looking thing? Yah, that's one of the new Pucklettes. A lady I met on the cruise last year crocheted me three of these little darlings.  You will start to see one of the Pucklettes in my photos very soon.


 
The best part of this photo is Linus. He hopped up on the chair and Mr. Braspir told him to look at the camera...so he did.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Dear Jenn...

So a friend told me last year after BigBro died that she writes herself a letter each year on New Year's Day and then reads it the following year on New Year's day. She's been doing this for years. She said it's interesting to see the themes that come out in these letters: relationships, healthy and finances always seem to be the things she talks to her future self about.

So in Dec 2013 I wrote myself a letter.

12/29/13
Dear Jenn of 2015,
As I sit down to write this letter I think of all the promises this year (2014) has for you. A new year, a new slate. For some reason this year feels different. Let's hope.

My first wish for you is that as you end 2014 that there was no significant losses in your life. Losing BigBro in November was hard. I wish that you heal from that wound. Have you learned to live without him yet? Do you still miss his presence every single day and every Sunday dinner, and every time the family gathers?

If you were unfortunate to lose someone, I hope the healing process will be easier and less painful.

My second wish for you is that you were kinder to yourself. You're feeling a little less than useful these days and am hoping it has everything to do with the current job. Are you going to find a new job next year? Still contracting?

Looking at your goals for 2014 I predict:
  1. Losing weight will still elude you. You'll try hard, you'll even likely join some club to help lose weight, and yet, something will stop you from success. Will you looking into why that is?
  2. Reading will be no problem.
  3. Photography will also likely not be as frequent as you like. Life seems to get in the way. Did you take any training?
  4. You may have reached out to a few friends but not much beyond that. Maybe next year (2015) you'll be better about strengthening your relationships. 
  5. Saving and finances seem to be in the forefront of your mind today. I hope the year shows a plus in the savings column. 
  6. Scrapbooking I suspect you were a little caught up and a little behind. I also suspect you purchased randomly and spent more than you probably should have. Face it, you'll never change that habit. 
Your relationships are mostly healthy. You've grown closer to Seattle SIL and for that you're very grateful. How'd you do with Blueberry this year? Did she frustrate you over the smallest of things? Did you learn to not be such a pooper with her?

Patience is another thing you need to work on. How'd that go? Did you offer patience to people who  needed it?

So as you sit and write this know that you're mostly happy. And that 2014 you really want to heal and be more you than ever before. Be kind to yourself. Don't be too judge-ee toward yourself.

See you in 2015
Love,
You


Sunday, January 04, 2015

People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges.” - Joseph F. Newton

For a couple of years now I've put on my list of goals to "build and maintain" my relationships.  Over the years I've let many relationship slip away for many reasons. Some good. Some not so good.  Some I miss. Some I don't.

There are reasons this happens to all of us. Life. Life is the main reason. It seems when we were in our 20's keeping relationship together was easy. We were all single. We all had kinda the same goals. We all had the same values. We all had the same interests. Then one by one friends get married and then have kids. Their lives start to pull them away.

Then as we aged, life just happens. Getting together becomes more difficult for a myriad of reasons. And if you are fortunate (or unfortunate) to be the "planner" of your group, you only see some folks when YOU make the effort. That gets old, trust me.

And then you get into your 40's and realize that if you want to see some friends then you HAVE to be ok with being the planner.

And then something tragic happens to one of your friends and you realize you never told them why you love them. (this applies to family too I might add). Then you have regret for not telling them why they made you smile on a particular day, or why you turned to them when you had an issue, or why you loved to hear their laugh...regret. Not something I want in my life...ever again.


So here's my plan. I have a list of friends I see on a regular basis ("regular" is all relative).  I want them to know and understand why I love being friends with them. AND I want to document our friendship. 

The plan...
Step 1: make a list - gut instinct list. Just start jotting down the names of people you think of instantly.
Step 2: Start seeing them. Get them on the calendar to get together.
Step 3: Get a photo with them. Just me and them.
Step 4: Print the photo, make a card and SEND them the photo with a note about why you love them. Or a memory you have of them. Or why you love their laugh or smile. Or when they helped you and maybe didn't know it.
Step 5: Send the card...
Step 6: Of course, scrapbook this project by end of year

I'm not looking for people to respond with, "Oh yah, well I love you because XYZ." I am looking for people to pay it forward.

So what about you? Do you have friends or family you want to tell you love them? What are you waiting for?

Friday, January 02, 2015

2015 Goals

My 2014 goals were a bit hit and miss with the ones I succeed with and the one's I didn't. For the ones I didn't succeed at, I'm pretty ok with that. I never really punish myself for not completing a goal. Maybe if I were things would be different, but meh. Life's too short.

So drum roll please....


Here are the 2015 Goals...some will look familiar.
  
Goals
Scrapbooking
  1. Discontinue random purchasing. Purchasing only allowed when the item has a purpose.
  2. Quarterly, review all supplies and purge. Donate to local charity.
  3. Have photos scrapbooked within the same quarter they were taken
  4. Begin putting together planned pages for heritage photos. Have 6 pages done by march. 10 by June, 15 done by Sept and all done by Dec
Read
  1. 52 books
  2. Read all 12 book club books
  3. Read 1 photography book
  4. Read 1 PM book
  5. Read 1 finance book
  6. Create a list of books sitting around the house and read those books - Done
Photography
  1. 6 photo trips with themes
  2. Do 80% of the monthly challenge lists on CaptureYour365
  3. Read the Orange books on your TV stand
  4. Begin using LR more
Finances
  1. 52 week challenge
  2. PAY off credit cards
  3. By year end, up 401K percentage
Healthy
  1. Koko Fit Gym 4-6 times a week
  2. Focus on healthy eating habits by planning weekly food
  3. Lose 50 lbs (3-4 lbs/mon or 1 lb per week)
  4. C25K - should you try to run a 5K this year?
Blog
  1. Write 3X a week
  2. Work through the blog topics on file
Give Back
  1. 1 random act of kindness a week
  2. Donate to food bank quarterly
  3. Consider volunteering
Relationships:
  1. Send a note to 2-3 people once a month just because and telling them how important they are to you.
Travel
  1. 2 road trips during the summer to somewhere new
  2. Philly in October
  3. Europe in April
Cooking
  1. 50 new recipes tried
  2. Learn to cook dad's biscuits flawlessly
  3. Maybe try gma's cinnamon rolls
Do one scary thing.
Education
  1. PM classes for certification
  2. Photography classes
  3. Scrapbooking classes
  4. Cooking classes
  5. Privacy training


 So there you go! Many are the same as last year and yet there are some new ones. The "Do something scary" will be a tough one for me. I've got a few ideas, but can I do them? We shall see.

What about you? Got any goals?

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Hello 2015! Whatcha got in store for me?

Happy 2015! I've got so much to say today that I think I'll just explode if I don't get it all out. But to save your time I'll only cover a few things and leave the rest for future blogs.

I gotta tell you about Christmas.

I gotta tell you about my birthday party!

I gotta tell you about how I did on my goals for 2014!

I gotta tell you about my 2015 goals!

I gotta tell you about the letter I wrote myself in Jan 2014!

I gotta tell you about what I did for NYE!

Gosh...I'm just exhausted thinking about it.

First, I want to wish you all a very happy new year. The new year, to me, represents a new beginning. A clean slate. A chance to change. A chance to stay the same. A chance to do whatever you want. You get to decide. 

2014 was good to me. By and large, it was a good year. I think every year has it's up and downs.  Sometimes the downs out-weigh the ups, but when the ups come...they are truly magical.

Christmas was rather dull. I flew to Tucson and then go a cold. The MomUnit worked a couple of days. I did some work. And then she got sick. We had family over for Christmas Eve - I made ribs.  For the first time in like forever we didn't do Frito Lollies. The ribs were spectacular...as usual.

Christmas day we made turkey. The MomUnit and I marveled at how long it had been since we cooked this meal together.  We had friends who are like family over to help us eat all the food. 


Now on to the birthday. I've settled into a nice tradition of having friends and family over to celebrate and have them bring their favorite appetizer. There's no fuss. No muss. Just a chance to really celebrate with people I love.


So that's all I'm going to share right now. The Rose Parade is on and it's distracting me...

Happy New Year everyone!!!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Happy Birthday to me!

The first thought that crossed my mind this morning was, "WOO HOO it's my birthday." Followed closely by, "oh crap I'm 46."

I don't feel 46. I don't feel old at all in fact (though there are days). And I truly believe it is just a number. I hope I can carry that feeling with me as I age.

I returned from Tuscon without incident. Found the house was still intact and two demons that were very glad to see me. Lucy hopped right up on my lap, while I got the cold shoulder from Linus for an hour or so.  Eventually he caved and shared my lap too.

Christmas was good. We spent it with friends - who are really more like family. The MomUnit and I cooked a turkey with all the trimmings.  We realized we hadn't cooked that meal together for years. It's funny how roles switch though. I used to be the one directed by the MomUnit...now I directed her....somewhat.


The MomUnit and I both came down with colds, her's was worse than mine. I felt like crap for about a day, but survived all the same.

Now it's the 29th and I'm preparing for a birthday celebration tonight. Can't wait to see all my friends!

I'll leave you with this photo. As I flew down to Tucson, I was greeted by Mount Rainier. Such a beautiful sight.


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Happy Christmas to all...and to all a goodnight

This morning I woke up with the song, "all I want for Christmas is my two front teeth" in my noggin. No idea how it got there since I don't think I've heard Christmas music in the last day or so - see I'm quarantined in the MomUnit's house this week. Came down with a nasty cold...yay.

Anyhow, I started thinking how simple Christmas was as a kid.  With childlike wonder, all you did want for Christmas was your two front teeth. And heck, you might even be happy with box it came in.  Your Christmas list was simple, child like, and sure you weren't going to get coal in your stocking.

Then as you hit your teens your Christmas list changed a little to the latest trend. And yet at the same time you were stuck between being an adult and still wanting to hold on to that childlike Christmas feeling. That maybe, just maybe, there is a Santa Clause. You list was full of teenage things, lip gloss, most popular albums, maybe makeup, etc.

Then in your twenties, the frenzy of Christmas kinda begins. You're old enough now to buy gifts for everyone, and you're worried about finances and how you're ever going to manage.  Christmas becomes a beast that you aren't ready to wrestle.  Yet, you manage somehow. You become a bit more jaded about Christmas and start to wonder what it's all about.

In your thirties you're a bit more relaxed.  You still have that frenzied feeling, but you're more financially stable and thus aren't as worried about managing. You might even have Christmas dinner at your place. Gasp! You're fully aware at this point that Christmas is about capitalism and the shopping and that makes you just a bit more bah humbug-ish.

Then, miraculously, in your forties, you find what Christmas is all about. It's about family and friends. It's about giving back to the world. It's about spending time with people you love. It's about drinking and eating with such merriment that you can't imagine you ever had a bad feeling about this holiday. And ultimately you realize all you want is for your friends and family to be happy and healthy this holiday season.

So from my house to yours, in my forties, I wish you all a very merry Christmas. May this be a season full of happiness, laughter and much love.


XOXO
Jenn


PS
I didn't get coal this year. I had reason to be concerned too.



Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Guilt, Fear, and Making Bad Decisions

I think it's safe to say that we've all felt guilt, fear and we've all made bad decisions in our life.  I've come to a recent conclusion related to all three of these that I'd like to share with you. They're related, by a shoe string, but related all the same.

First things first...STOP FEELING GUILTY.

Unless you've done something horrible, stop beating yourself up over things.

I had a conversation yesterday with a friend about feeling guilty about not doing things around her house. Finally, after not sleeping because of the guilt and the strain it puts on her marriage, she and her husband decided to stop it all. They gave themselves permission to NOT feel guilty over not getting everything on their list done.

And who likes house projects anyhow?

What I realized while listening to her was how quickly I feel guilt over things that are really not that big of deal, and certainly aren't worth the effort to feel guilty over.

I'm talking, of course, about making bad food decisions. Or not getting to the gym like I promised myself. Or having that cookie at 2pm instead of an apple.  Or not getting a phone call to an old friend made. The truth is, I shouldn't beat myself up over these things. It takes away some of my soul I think. I spend more time spinning over these small things, that I can't move forward.

Thankfully, I can, and do, stop myself and just let it go (who of you just started singing the Frozen song?)

The problem with "letting it go" is sometimes that's followed by fear. What if "letting it go" means I'm going to die at an earlier age because I ate that cookie AND didn't get to the gym. 

And thus starts the gerbil wheel of worry. That's an entirely different blog though.

The other element here is the worry and guilt over making bad decisions. I have known people who have paralyzed themselves into making NO decision because of fear of making a bad decision.

Here's the thing, it's been my experience that the two things I need to make a decision over are never really bad options. I usually have to choose between relatively similar or good options, so why would I concern myself that I'd make a bad decision?

Granted, you should do your research. You should make sure you know all the pros/cons of each side, but if you're already at the "decision" point, then something got you there to make that choice, and that something most likely isn't bad.

I think it’s easy to fall into the trap of telling ourselves one choice is good and the other is bad. I've tortured myself during planning for vacations over which local would be the "right choice". When, at the end of the day, choosing between Rome or Istanbul- I mean really how could either of those locations be bad?

So here's my plan/goal, and maybe advice to you. Stop sweating the small stuff.

I'm happy I'm getting to the gym as much as I have been. Is it perfect? Nope. Not even close. Will it be? Maybe. I have to remind myself that adding exercise to my daily life isn't going to happen over night. Losing weight isn't always going to happen instantly. Slow and steady...stay the course. That's what I remind myself often. (My goal really should be to remind myself of that BEFORE I work myself up into a guilt ridden lather).

I need to remember that guilt has no home in my heart.  Fear should only be an emotion I feel when a bee buzzes by. And bad decisions, I've made a few...but I survived them and probably turned out better because of them.

So give yourself a break. Stop the cycle. Start giving yourself permission to exist ...

Friday, December 05, 2014

I'm killing every second 'til it sees my soul

I've got brethren here...turns out there are a number of people here who suffer from the Stuck Song Syndrome like me.  Now I know I belong here.


And by "here" I mean the new job. I kinda feel like it's a new boyfriend that I can't stop talking about, but I can't stop talking about it. I keep trying to find something wrong with it, and I come up empty every time.


Even our holiday party didn't allow for anything negative.


First off, everyone gets along in this company. Sure there are some quirky folks that I've been warned about. But by and large, everyone gets along. It's kinda unnerving. Either that or I've not looked under the hood well enough to see the truth. Yet, I'm choosing to believe that it is as great as it feels.


Right, so holiday party.


I've not been to a company holiday party since I left the other company that shall not be mentioned.  Yesterday, the entire company showed up (even the developer from Boston) to partake in the holiday cheer. The party was at this miniature golf place called Flatstick (which actually made me think of hockey and not golf). And in typical Seattle way, it's an indoor course. They have a hundred some odd beers on tap, and a golf course that was wicked tough. Our team cheated a bit and didn't count the water traps as a stroke...and we STILL lost.


There was the most amazing food catered by a local company that does mostly organic. And there was an ugly sweater contest. Even their ugly sweaters were fun. The winner of the contest, I wish I had a picture of it, wore a hamburger shirt. At first glance it looks like holly, then you look closer and you're like, "Is that a beef patty?"





This job is doing my soul good. I miss the $$ of contracting, I can't lie about that. But to love what I'm doing is totally worth it.



Monday, December 01, 2014

Book Club: I'll Drink to That


It's been a couple of months since I did a book report on a book club book (Gee, I wonder how many more times I could use the word "book" in that sentence). 

This month's pick was I'll Drink to That by Betty Halbreich.  It's the biography of Betty Halbreich. Who? You may ask yourself, cuz I sure did. She was, or is still, a legendary personal shopper at Bergdorf Goodman in NY. 

Are you still with me?

The book is essentially the story of her life. It's no rags to riches story. It's a riches to riches story.  It's about fashion, it's about helping others find themselves through clothing. 

None of which appeals to me. 

But what I've liked about book club so far is I've read some books I normally would never EVER pick up. Most I liked, some I have not. This one would fall into the "have not" column. 

For starters, I couldn't careless about fashion. I know a few name brands that everyone knows, but by and large know nothing about it, and really don't want (or need) to know more. 

The other disappointing thing about this book was she's not an overly interesting broad. Her life struggles of living on Park Ave are struggles I have a hard time understanding. She was born with a silver spoon in her mouth and she never really had it removed. 

I didn't finish the book. Mrs.Braspir and Seattle SIL both did and they said the last chapter really redeems the book. I wouldn't know, I didn't get past chapter 3 (oh and they're fairly long chapters). 

So if you're looking for something interesting to read, I wouldn't recommend this book.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Open Letter to BigBro...a year ago today

A year ago today...we said goodbye to you. Some days I'm ok with you leaving us. Most days I'm so angry with you! How dare you leave us?

I miss you more today than I ever thought I would. I miss your smile, the sparkle in your eye and your enormous bear hugs.

Janet and the girls are doing as well as could be expected. They're "getting by". It's hard for them. You were such a rock for them and not having you has them adjusting to not having you. They're leaning on each other. I know for myself I like living in the world of denial where your warm, charming self greats me on a regular basis. Alas, you won't hug me again.

You'd probably roll your eyes over how much fuss was made over you at the 3Day this year. William (your brother from another mother) walked all 7 and in each one wore the "Team Ric" shirt. He posted a photo from every city and every time I got chocked up and thanked my lucky stars that the world has someone like William in it.

The 3 day was hard this year. You touched so many lives there. You loss was felt and a huge hole was made in the heart of the 3Day family.

The MomUnit is doing OK too.  She waited well into the evening on Mother's Day for your call. Then remembering you wouldn't be calling, and never would again, broke her heart. I think she hopes you and the DadUnit are laughing it up.

As for me, my heart still aches over losing you.  There have been so many times I've wanted to call to share some exciting news, or just get brotherly advice, but I knew the call would go unanswered.

I try not to think of all the things you're missing. It makes the grieving harder. There were so many things that still need you to be a part of. And suddenly those things seem to dull.

I'll continue to be gentle with my heart where you're concerned. I was not prepared for the heart break to last this long. Is anyone ever prepared?

So I'll get past this "anniversary". Tomorrow I'll wake to a new day and will think about you throughout the day. I'll smile at the memories we made and frown over no new one's being made with you.

It goes without saying brother, you're missed. The lack of your presence in our lives is, not only unwanted, but leaves us with an enormous hole that cannot be filled.

I love and miss you,
Your little sister

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Saying Goodbye

A year ago today...

It was the day after Thanksgiving. That day we knew that friends and family from all walks of our lives would be coming by to say their goodbyes to BigBro.

As we sat in the waiting room, each time the elevator dinged and new people came out, we'd all take a deep breath and begin again with the answer of "how are you doing?".

Many friends and family stayed with us during the day.  Some could only come to support us and couldn't take themselves back to say goodbye. Which was ok to me. Everyone deals with this differently.

At about 6pm the elevator dinged again. Out came all of Seattle SILs best girlfriends, with them was a full fledged Thanksgiving dinner. They had heard about our horrible turkey day dinner and took it upon themselves to bring us a turkey dinner.

I sat and just gaped at how amazing these women were.  They took our worst Thanksgiving ever and made it one of the best, most thankful Thanksgiving. 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Post Turkey Day

And here I sit the Friday after Thanksgiving. I managed to get quite a bit done today...

1. Cleaned the scrapbook room.
2.  Scrapbooked a page - getting myself 100% caught up for 2014.
3. Read
4. Went to the gym and had the Tabata cardio kick my ass again. Followed by weights.
5. Ate a turkey Sammy for breakfast.
6. Watched some TV.
7. Kicked the cats. (Ok I didn't really, but I wanted to)
8. Did some grocery shopping so I can have tacos for dinner.
9. Thought about my brother.
10. Cried

A year ago today...we sat and gave thanks for having family. We ate a horrific meal and spent the day missing BigBro and contemplating what life would be like without him.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving everyone

I hope you all had a great Turkey day. I spent it with the fam and tried my best to not miss the big guy.

One year ago today our family sat around, numb, in a cold hospital waiting room. We'd all taken turns going down and chatting with BigBro.  I had ordered a Thanksgiving meal from Fred Meyer's only to find out that it wasn't cooked. So Bobarissa and I bought other makings. And well, it fell very short of anything resembling a turkey dinner. But you do what you can in those situations.

For me that day, I walked down and said my goodbyes to BigBro. We knew by then that we'd certainly be losing him and Seattle SIL had decided on Saturday for when we'd take him off life support.

My conversation with him was short. I told him that he'd be missed and that he was the best brother a girl could have. I cried. I held his hand and I waited for any recognition. Almost begging him to squeeze my hand. Nothing. Just the lonely beeping of the monitors.

I had made a couple of phone calls the day before to let a couple of friends know what was going on and if they wanted to come say goodbye they should.  All of them felt like I had given them a gift to say goodbye. I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

That night while driving home all I could think about was the loss the world was soon going to have. So unfair.

And here we are a year later...