Monday, April 23, 2018

38 days...but who's counting

That's right... 38 days until Scotland. Yipee!

In an attempt to take back my life, I tried to work only "around" 40 hours last week. I just wanted to see if it could be done with the type of work load we're pulling right now.

I did my time sheets today and I was close. I logged 59.5 hours!

GAH!  I knew at about Wednesday that wasn't going to happen. It dawned on me that technically I'm doing 4 jobs.

1. Manager of the Delivery team. This takes about 15 hours a week, give or take. When I'm training new CSMs it seems to be more, but on average.

2. Localization specialist. I'm the only one on our team who knows and understands how our localization process works. And who has any idea about localization in general. I have been doing localization stuff for years - since my early days at Hotel CaliforniaSoft. (Note: Localization is basically the translation of case you didn't know.) Our loc work is massive these days. Everyone...and I mean EVERYONE is getting ready for the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) that's to hit May 25th. It's an EU regulation on processing data - in it's simplest form. But because of it being international...everyone is localizing. And thus all the work. For the month of April, I had 900 development hours on the books for work for loc. That's just development. The managing and coordinating of all that is on my plate. Easily a 40 hour a week gig.

3. PM - I still have clients. And BIG ones. Most my clients are relatively quite these days, but the few that are active are very very active.

4. Professional Service Specialist - Our team is getting ready to reorg. Most the players will remain on and be Client Success Managers. Others of us, myself included, will become part of what we call Professional Services. Basically any additional paid for service a client purchases with their subscription. The CSM takes care of the client and their "subscription health" and we take care of anything else the client wants to do. So in prep of re-orging, and with the new CSMs, I've tried to put together a process for it. And in doing so have become the PS person. The new CSMs I'm not even teaching anything about the professional service portion of the job, and so ALL their work will come my way.

So technically I should be getting 4 salaries. Right?

I have no idea how to get myself out of this mess I'm in. I have been patiently waiting for something to happen and nothing has. We hired a new VP that starts on may 15th. I'm hoping he can bring some organization to my chaos.

In other news, today is the DadUnit's birthday. He would have been (**counts fingers) 84 today! I miss him a lot. He and the MomUnit have been on my brain all weekend. I found myself telling stories about them both and bringing them up in conversation. It feels good to talk about them. Makes me feel like they're here.

Yesterday was Sunday Dinner. I had a small crowd so I did RIBS! I swear each time I do these ribs they get better and better. Hah...I guess ribs were fitting since today's Dad's birthday and he was the master of ribs.

That's all. Gotta go do some more research on Scotland. I'm so excited to go. I sooo need this vacation.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Weekend Social Requirements

The older I've gotten the more I don't often feel like being social. That coupled with working ridiculous hours I like my "me" time. When a weekend comes up that has me around people both days, I start to get antsy.

It's not that I don't like these people (friends and family)...its not that at all. In fact, I love them all and enjoy spending time with them. It's just by so many social promises I don't have my "me" time and that makes "me" cranky!

This weekend though, the cranky stayed home. It was an overly joyful weekend. Celebrated a niece getting married and my BFF, Blueberry turning the big 5-0.

Getting to see so many friends and family come together to celebrate happy things like these don't seem to happen enough these days. I thought of the Parental Units frequently throughout the weekend, but not in a sad way. Sure, I missed them. But I thought about how proud they'd be of it all. And I was reminded yet again, how very thankful I am to have had such fantastic parents.

Today, officially, I'm 1/2 lb away from my first 20. Sure has taken stinkin forever. But slow and steady wins the race I think. I still want my life to not change too much and there in lies the problem. I'm still thinking of this as temporary. I figured eventually I'll get my act together and think straight...won't I?

I signed up for a scrapbooking retreat that is happening at the end of July. Which means, I gotta get my act together and get some pages staged and ready to go because I can't pack my entire scrapbook room.  I spent all day Sunday starting the process and in doing so decided to rearrange my scrapbook room.  Funny how I can always find something "else" to do...still I spent a good part of time doing what I intended.

And lastly, is a mere 44 days away! I've started my research and am so ready to go. I took a half day off on Friday and it sure felt good - which tells me I'm ready.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Oh Sherrie...Oh 50th

So BlueBerry's 50th birthday is quickly approaching. In January I asked her if she wants to have a party. She said yes. I figured I had, well, 4 months to plan it. Suddenly last weekend I realized I hadn't really done too much of the planning. Like the bare minimum. Thankfully, the Landlords live in an high rise apt bldg that has a community room we can rent out. That was easy. Getting the list of invitees was a challenge, but we got the invites out.

Then on Friday I realized I have just one weekend left to pull this together. Blueberry came over today and we killed the list of things to do.

We got 4 photo collages together for the party.
We bought party supplies / decorations.
We bought / ordered the food from Costco.

Side Note: I'm really unsure what part of my brain shut off when I said, "Hey let's go to Costco on a rainy Sunday." Lord the number of people there was astonishing.

Anyhow, while at Costco, Blueberry also bought a new camera...finally. She bought a smaller, less fancy version of my new camera. So we sat for 2 hours reading the manual and playing with the new camera. I think she's all set for Scotland now.

As we were putting together the photo collages, I just sat there and marveled at the idea that we'll be fifty. How did that happen? I certainly don't feel like what I thought 50 would feel like. I mean, when I was in my 20's fifty was OLD. Now it just seems like the next decade and my give a damn is less available.

Other not so interesting things going on:
If April showers bring May flowers, it's going to be one helluva blooming month. The rain over the last couple of days has been relentless.

I found another semi-conscious yellow jacket in my bathroom. That's two. I'm starting to wonder as it's warming up if there's a nest of them in the crawl space of something. I'm going to have to move if there is. I hate bees.

One of my nieces is getting married this coming weekend.  I imagine if Mom were still around, I'd be picking her up from the airport sometime this week. I miss her.

And with that, I'm going to close the laptop before the light turns off (its on a timer and shuts off about 10:10 every night).

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Happy Easter every Bunny...

Hard to believe it's Easter. AND April Fool's Day. I think it would be hilarious to tell your kids you hid eggs, but didn't. Probably a good reason I didn't have kids.

Back in 1998 I rented a room in a house a good friend of mine owned. Easter day he was leaving for a 4 week trip to Norway. The night before we had all the friends over to dye eggs. We had a dozen that we kept.

The next day roommate left bright and early. He left me a note next to the empty egg carton telling me he had hid the eggs. What? So the search began.

I found 11. For 4 weeks I waited for that 12th egg to start to smell.

Roommate finally made it home late one night. The next morning I asked him about the 12th egg. He gave me a very odd look. When I reminded him what he had done he laughed and said, "Oh 1 ate one."


It's been a rather emotional week for me. Still not feeling great and want nothing more than to pick up the phone and whine to mom about being sick.

One of the demon cats broke a sugar bowl that was my Great Grandmothers, passed down and at 2am in the morning I'm cleaning up sugar and crying...

Funny how some object can carry so much emotion to it. I almost didn't put it out for fear of me breaking it. But decided that it was designed to be used. I'm sad it broke, but at least can find photos on the internet and tell a story about it.

When I was looking up to find a photo of the sugar and creamer set I learned this is a Hobnail design. Hobnail was designed in 1939 and became popular in the 50's. 

See the interwebs can be useful every now and then to find useless information about a sugar and creamer set that were in the family for years. Facebook folks gave me a lot of options for the pieces remaining. None of which I need to do, so the whole kit and kaboodle got trashed. And no, I didn't toss out the boy demon although I was very close to doing that.

And with that, I'm going to go get myself some coffee and spend the day up in the scrapbook room around memories and maybe, just maybe, get some of my Ireland book done.

Happy Easter everyone. I leave you with my favorite Easter joke.

Monday, March 26, 2018

The Crud...

Up to Friday I had managed to avoid all things sickness. Every single person at work has had the crud. I thought I had avoided it. I was free from the possibility.

Then Friday...

It hit hard.

I had to sit through a 5 hour studio session (they're usually 2 hours) and as the session went on my throat started hurting more and more. By the time I got home, it was real.

Saturday morning I had to run into work and knew as I was leaving that I'd not be there too long since I was starting to feel like death warmed over.

By noon on Saturday I was done for. I felt like C-R-A-P.

It went down hill and I slept most the day on Sunday after meeting friends for brunch club. Which does no good when you can't taste anything.

I stayed home from work today and "worked from home" but did a lot more of just sitting in the chair feeling gross.

Alas, a friend was in from out of town and I had to meet her for Mexican food. It felt surprisingly good to get out. Who knew Mexican food could fix the crud?

I'm not "fixed" and am just feeling a bit better. I've heard tales of this crud lasting for weeks...especially the cough. And I can tell by today that the cough has every plan to settle on in for a month or so.

I have too much work to do to be sick...and ironically work is probably the reason I am sick.

On the bright side, two new employees started last week and we've hired one more. I'm hoping we get headcount for one more developer and we should be set for a month or so. Once I get them trained I can start to rebalance the work load and in doing so find some peace.

A girl can dream...

Sunday, March 11, 2018

March Sunday Dinner: Kiss me, I'm Irish

I mean...twice in a day. I've written twice in a day! When has that EVER happen? Of course you may not hear from me for another month, but...there you go.

Tonight was my March Sunday dinner. And of course the theme was Irish. Last year I did Guinness Stew, previous years I've done corn beef and cabbage. This year it was all about the Shepard's Pie. Well, ok it was cottage pie because I didn't use lamb, but we'll just pretend.

I made two different types of Shepard's pie and may or may not have confused the recipes while cooking them. They both turned out fantastic and I didn't take a single photo.

We had soda bread (courtesy of a red head).

We had Scottish Eggs (or Irish Eggs as we called them tonight)

We had a corn beef and sourkraut dip that was fantastic.

We had a green salad (spinach). We didn't see any green veggie in Ireland...

We had fruit.

And we had chocolate cupcakes with Bailey's Irish Cream frosting.

Oh and we had Irish Whisky and Murphy's Stout.

All that equaled these nutty people...

Can't wait to see what next month will bring...Right now the theme is Bite Size Meals.

We also decided we might need to have a literal Sunday dinner. In other words, if I was going to make cornbeef.  I'd make corn and beef.  The Pantry Goat said she'd make mac and cheese. Literally, a bowl of macaroni and a side of cheese.

this one might need some thought.

Passive Aggressive Behavior...

I have serious issues with passive aggressive behavior. I just don't understand it. I don't understand a lot of things, and when I don't I try to figure it out. All too often I just can't wrap my mind around things that just, logically, don't make sense to me.

And this is one of them.

I can understand, a little, this behavior in children. It's a coping mechanism I'm sure. They don't know how to communicate well enough, so they don't.

But adults acting like this just drives me bat shit crazy.

If you've got something to say. Say it!
If you're pissed at me, don't beat around the bush. Tell me. Help me understand why something I did, pissed you off. That doesn't mean I'll necessary stop - I mean I have my own issues there. But be brave enough to talk to me.

I could spend a lifetime guessing at why someone is mad, disappointed, sad, etc at some action I took. And more often then not, I'm probably wrong which then spirals into me getting more and more angry about whatever the situation may be.

As I've aged I've started realizing that so many people I know are "afraid" to talk about what's bothering them. So they do weird little shit to avoid it and somehow, miraculously, I'm supposed to figure out what 1) I did and 2) how to fix it.

How does that make sense?

So go ahead, be mad. Be bothered. But please...also... be an adult.

Oh, and the irony isn't lost on me that this entire post is passive aggressive.

You're welcome!

Friday, March 09, 2018

Its so hard...

The thing that sucks the most about Mom not being with us anymore are the times that I have good news to share. Or, of course, the times I want to gossip with her.

This week I found out that I will be being promoted at work. It's been a long time coming (and will likely be 2 months) it's still very exciting for me. All I wanted to do was call mom. She'd be proud. She'd happy. She'd ask what my raise was. She'd make a comment about how I could afford to come down more often.

I write letters to Mom on a regular basis. It started as a journal, and then it just kinda shifted into a "Dear Mom" greeting. I have a journal full of letters to her. It gets it off my chest, but it's not he same.

So the promotion will be as a Director of Professional Services. Basically the job I've been doing for 2 years, and a little bit more. I'm so excited, and a bit scared. It'll be fine and I'll be fine.

Saturday, March 03, 2018

In like a lion...

March, that is. As I started to write this I couldn't believe it was March. What the heck happened to February?

When last I wrote I was in the middle of the Landlords putting in new countertops. What a mess! I had dust in places in this house that I shouldn't have dust.  Sooo messy. The countertops look good. I'm not a huge fan of granite or of a "waterfall" look, but this is nice. It'll definitely help their resell value. Next steps are the back splashes - coming soon. And ultimately the idea when it's coming.

The Landlords have mentioned they plan on selling in about 3 years. I've loved living here and really wish I would have taken them up on the offer to buy way back in 2009. Almost $500K difference in price between then and now. Now I absolutely couldn't afford this. Oh well.

They do plan on buying, potentially, a place up north and have asked if I'd like to rent it. We shall see. They're good Landlords and I'll have to move north anyhow...things are so expensive here. I'll miss Redmond though. It feels like home to me.

Redmond is the place we moved to when we moved to Seattle in 1986. Redmond is the place we came back to when we came back from Saudi. It's just home.

I was thinking about what "home" means to me now. "Home" was always where mom and dad were. And when dad passed it was where mom was. Now that mom is gone, I'm really wasn't sure what I should consider home. I guess "home" is where the people who love you the most are. So "home" is here. There's something equally sad and comforting in that thought. Sad because I miss mom so much and comforting because I have people around me who do love me and would help me through anything. For that I'm grateful...and also now crying.


In other news, Scotland is less than 100 days away. In fact it's...**does quick math**  91 days.  Ninety one days!!! I haven't done exactly what I had planned by the time we head to Scotland, so I'd better get on it. I've also not done any real research. I do love my travel research. It makes me feel like I already know what the trip will be like.

And with that...I need to get scooting Meeting the Niece and Blueberry for lunch today. And the maybe a little scrapbooking and then a little work (Ugh).

Sunday, January 21, 2018

A little sawdust...

So this is happening...

The Landlords have decided to put granite in for the countertops. The slab that has been chosen is beautiful. I cannot wait to see it in the kitchen.

Mrs. Landlord, who in my opinion is a brave woman, bough a saw and went to town on the countertops. I love how she simply assumes she can do this, does her research and goes for it. I'm a lot more cautious and lazy.

The resulting amount of sawdust floating in the house is significant. I mean ... significant. I think I've inhaled a one of it already. My throat has a bit of an itch because of it.

Anyhow, I've never had to live through any home renovations like this, so it's a learning curve for me. regarding just how much work goes into something like this.

On the bright side, I had to clear out all the lower kitchen cabinets for the demolition and the install. So that means I'm going through all my crap and getting rid of stuff. I've had on my to do list for way too long the task of cleaning out and wiping down the cabinets. Now I'm forced to. I also think I'm going to be forced to wash everything again, but that's another story.

In other news, I made it through the one year anniversary of losing mom. The day of I was "ok". I had so much work happening that I didn't really have time to think and dwell on this. The following day, however, was an entirely different story. It's like all the grief was being held at bay and then one, solitary minute of being available and it came flooding out. I miss her so much. I truly do think of her each and every day. In fact, I just took a video of the demons getting under the sheet I put over the kitchen stuff to save them from sawdust.  As soon as I was done I wanted Mom to see it. It's so unfair to me that she's gone.

Still in OTHER news...Sister In Law booked our next cruise. We wanted to go to the Scandinavian region and so she found a 7 day cruise that leaves Copenhagan and hits 4 spots in Norway. It won't be happening until 2019, but I'm still excited. Though if I'm ever going to retire I really need to stop going to Europe every year.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Last of the Firsts

They say the first year after you lose someone you love is the hardest. They, whoever "they" are, are not kidding.

They also say that the first year if full of the "firsts". The "first" birthday without  the love one,  the "first" Mother's day, the "first" anniversary, the "first Christmas...and it goes on and on.

I've managed to survive most of those "firsts". Some were so hard I could barely breath. Others, I blew past without even hurting.

There were some that the leading up to it was way worse than the actual "first"- i.e. Mother's Day. I was so sure Mother's day would suck so royally that the entire week leading up to it I was a complete mess. Then on the actual day...nothing. I was grieved out.

Her birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas and my birthday...all sucked. Mom and I had so many silly, little traditions for those occasions that it was super hard to not have her here to experience them.

Now the real BIG first is upon us...

Hold please...tearing up.


One year ago today, I got the call that changed my life forever. Cousin calling to tell me mom had a stroke. As if it was yesterday I can still hear her words... "no brain activity." "come immediately."

The "no brain activity" rang in my head for weeks after. I just couldn't believe it. How was it possible that Mom was near death? Surely Cousin J was wrong. Mom would survive this. Cousin J was just being over dramatic...

She wasn't.

So tonight as I sit here and try very hard to not think about how much I lost, I find myself thinking about it. Funny that. The more you try to NOT think about something, the more you think about it.

By this time last year I was sitting in this same chair, crying my eyes out to some poor rep with Alaska airlines trying desperately to get me to Tucson the following day.

As this week progresses, I have a feeling this will get worse. I miss her as much today as I did a year ago. I still can't believe she's gone as much today as I did a year ago. Still try to cal her. Still want to share stories, gossip etc with her. Still want to ask her if she is still happy about voting for Trump. :-)

So hang tight friends, it's going to be a wildly emotional week...yay. Can't wait for this first to be over. I know it won't be any better...but it'll be over.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

So Long rat bastard

Ahhh, the new year. It smells fresh. It's, well, new. It's full of hope. It's full of resolutions and goals. It's a blank least that's what it used to be for me.

The new year usually sees me reflecting on what I did or didn't do in the previous year. The new year brings out all sorts of thoughts, feelings and emotions - most that I don't want to deal with.

Now the reality of starting a new year without mom has a whole different meaning.  This year I'm looking back over the year with sadness, sorrow, pain and loss. And I'm ready to look forward to 2018 with less than all those emotions. They will always be my bedfellows, but they don't have to hog the covers.

Grief is a funny thing. Fickle really. When it hits you, it hits hard. You lose your breath. You lose your focus. You lose everything...and all you can do it think about what you've lost. It has a way of leading us down a path to really reflect on the past and not on the future. The future looks bleaker than it did... without Mom. While it's already difficult to enjoy, or tolerate, the present, the future is full of memories of a person we lost too soon. The "What would she be doing..." comments are never ending. Or "Mom would have loved this..." are constant. The new year is a realization that this is a year that Mom will no longer be a part of this new year, or any new year.

And just when I think I can't handle it anymore...I feel this little tap on my shoulder telling me that while she's not physically here, she's still by my side throughout everything I do this year.  In fact, I open my mouth and I swear my mother comes out.

While I have to focus on the grief and really deal with it and not stuff it into the closet to deal with later, I'm going to dedicate this year to me and to Mom. I'm going to do things that would make her proud. I'm going to live my life in a way that she didn't get to and that she'd want me to. I'm going to live the year for her.

So as I sit here on New Year's Eve contemplating 2017 and the expectations of 2018, I'm doing so with Mom.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Ho BigBro would say

Christmas is no longer a celebration with family for's turned into more about thinking about the one's who aren't with us.

It goes way beyond mom today. I'm missing Dad too and BigBro. All gone too soon.

It snowed last night in Seattle. I woke to a winter wonderland ... white and cold. I wanted to dial mom up immediately and listen to her tell me how warm it was in Tucson and laugh at how cold it is here. No can do. So I complained to the Internet and the cats. They're both always willing to listen to me.

Little Sister called this morning. That made me feel loved and so happy that she's still in my life. We've been through a lot together and in the aftermath of losing Mom we are more kindred spirits than before.

Little Sister? I'm sure I've mentioned her. She showed up on our doorstep in 4th grade and never left. Her parents weren't really great parents. She adopted us and we her. She called Mom and Dad, "mom" and "dad". Dad walked her down the aisle (turned out to be the only daughter he would do that with). She traveled with us. She's a Wraspir through and through. We have completely different opinions of politics and religion and yet we still love each other deeply.

This morning after I showered I was sitting on my bed just waiting for my brain to kick in to what was next. A weird, sudden feeling washed over me. This thought hit my head hard...

"If I died right now, I'm happy."

That's huge.

As I sat I had the following thoughts cross my mind:
I'm loved. I have family and friends who would stand by me through anything.
I've seen the world. More to see, but have sure seen my fair share.
I've been successful in my career.
Overall, things have been great. Even the tough times I survived.

So bizarre. Now, I don't plan on going anywhere anytime soon...but that thought was quite comforting and a place I've never been. There's always been ONE...MORE...THING that would make me happy.

So on this day of Christmas, I'm wishing you all the same. Happiness and love in every day of your life.

What's next? The Birthday...49. How on earth did I get here?

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The Holidays Will Never Be the Same

People have said this to me as we begin this holiday season. I really wasn't sure what they meant by it, but now, knee deep into the holiday season, I get it. Oh boy do I get it.

I didn't want the holiday season to become something I'd avoid. I love the holiday season and I really didn't want to admit anything would be different. I'm finding that the holiday season is bringing to or so clear attention that my mom, my favorite person, is no longer here.

As the season has progressed, I still find reasons I want to call her. Or see something she'd love and I want to buy for her. Or decorations that remind me of something she had. Or some decoration, item, that she would have found the perfect place for in her house. Everywhere, it seems I am constantly reminded that she is not with us any longer.

It has taken a lot of effort for me to keep, and hold on to, that holiday sparkle. Getting into the "spirit" is actual effort. It didn't used to be. But Mom loved Christmas. I can't not still celebrate the season. She'd not be happy if we stopped.

I miss her. Not just a little. I miss her every single, solitary day. Daily my thoughts drift to her or to something we used to do, or something I wish I could do with her. I think about all the things she's not going to be here for and I realize, all too painfully, that things are no longer the same without her.

I even find myself thinking about what if she was still here. What would she think about how horribly the Seahawks played last weekend? What would she think about a niece getting married? How would she plan to get here for the wedding? How proud she'd be at the great niece graduating from college? How angry she'd be at me for working so many hours? 
Right now, she'd be calling me every day to tell me who we'd be going to dinner to when I was down in Tucson. She'd have every night planned ... a dinner here, a dinner there. 
I miss all of that. 
When I start to think about her not being here for any of that...I start to grieve all over again. It becomes almost a daily struggle to keep it together and consider all the stuff I have to conquer without her. She was supposed to be here for all those things. She wasn't supposed to leave so soon. 
So I'll get through this holiday season. I'll force the Christmas spirit into my life, because Mom would want that. It won't be the same. It never will be. The holidays are forever changed. They will never be the same.

I miss you mom. Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

A Year ago

A year ago tomorrow I was in the hospital for blood clots. I had to cancel my Christmas trip to Tucson because of them. Boy do I regret that now.

I've been thinking of Mom all day and wondering what Christmas last year would have been like had I been able to make it. What would Mom and I have done? Where would we have eaten? How many times would we have laughed?

I know it's all for not, but it's fun and sad to think about.

Today I found a journal from mom. It's a daily journal in which it asked her questions about her life. I had seen it before, but was unable to even consider reading it, let alone actually read it. Today I cracked it open. I read the whole thing. I learned things about mom I didn't know!

Now I want to do the same thing. Write about some of the things that have happened in my life. I don't have any children to pass it on to, but someone will read it. And I like to write, so it'll give me something meaningful to write about.

In other news, I cannot believe Christmas is just a week away. Where the H-E- double hockey sticks did this year go?

I'll be doing dinner this year. Nothing fancy, just a couple of family members. The question is what to cook.

Speaking of cooking, Jenny is going ok. I'm just about to be at 10 lbs lost. It's taken a bit longer than I had planned, but I'm ok with it. I've been hitting the gym 3 - 4 times a week and just in that I'm feeling way better than I have in months. Going to keep the good going...

Friday, November 24, 2017

Happy Turkey Day...and all that stuff

Well, one of the many holidays I've been dreading came and went without much hoopla. I only lost it once yesterday, which is pretty amazing considering I figured it would be all day.

There's no doubt that I missed Mom yesterday. So may traditions that she and I had around Thanksgiving. None would anyone find remotely interesting or amusing, but she and I did. And that's all that matters.

As I was making one of the traditional casseroles for our dinner, I got to thinking about the "original recipe".
Broccoli Casserole. Oh boy do I love this dish. As I was making it yesterday I  noticed that we had one more ingredient that isn't on this recipe...we add sausage. Huh. So I got to thinking and this is what I suspect happened. Mom was cooking on Thanksgiving and had a role of sausage in the fridge and thought, "Hmmm, that might be good in there." and Voila...a new tradition is born.

Oh, and mom put in saute'd onions and celery. That's what I appreciated about Mom, and Dad really, is that the recipe was just a guideline. Which is, not too surprisingly, how I cook. Ahhh, the unexpected gifts parents give you.

So what did happen yesterday? Food. Lots and lots of food as only a Wraspir family can produce. I had The Nieces, Sister-in-Law, her mom, the Pantry Goat and her mom all over. It was a perfect gathering of people. I realized yesterday that not only was I thankful that Mom and I had so many cherished memories around Thanksgiving, but that I had friends I consider family and family I consider friends. What a blessing.

The rest of this weekend looks to be a little bit of everything. Today I'm scrapbooking, finished my Christmas cards and doing dishes. Tomorrow we put up the Christmas tree and watch the Cougs beat the Huskies in the Apple Cup (we hope). Sunday I'm going to play it low and maybe do some work to get myself prepared for what is likely to be the busiest week ever...

So from my house to yours, I hope your Thanksgiving was full of Thanks. That is, after all, what it's all about.