Friday, December 20, 2019


It's a day with too few hours for what has to be accomplished. There is no point in rushing -- it will feel packed no matter what. May as well pump up the holiday music and move at my normal pace.

First, though, there is breakfast -- for the animals, then for us.

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The shed cats have now taken to coming into the porch to remind me of their existence at mealtime. Stop Sign feels apprehensive about this onslaught of cats (they're all her children, mind you, but it feels as if she doesn't quite place them in the category of beloved kin) and it is my goal to keep them away from the food that's intended for the porch kitties. Today there are some paws flying and tapping at each other as they vie to get close to me, the bowl, the food. One sharp "cut it out!" sends them all flying and after that, calm is restored.

We are now in a week of warm temperatures. Meaning we are above freezing. That translates into no pretty snow cover for Christmas, but I'm fine with that. November gave us a brutal dose of cold, of snow, of ice. We need a pause before the January Arctic terror sets in.

My first stop is my mom's Rehab facility. (As a reminder, she had a stroke and is there to regain some of her strength.) We have a conference. She is in on the meeting, but she really can't hear much and processing a discussion of her progress is challenging for her. I express my concerns about several aspects of her current situation. I am not surprised by what the response is. I really do have to start looking for a new place for her after Rehab. Returning to her apartment is not likely to be an option.

I'm not sure which is more daunting of the three: doing the paperwork for this, finding a place that will accept her and that is well regarded, or accomplishing the move itself. It is perhaps a good thing that we have two weeks of holidays coming up. Nothing can happen until January. Still, I get on it immediately. Right after the conference. It's important to understand the options, given her particular financial predicament. And it is important to make first contacts with agencies that can help me process papers. Too, it's important to start talking about this with my mom, so that she she can get comfortable with the idea that there will be change.

By the time I feel I've done all I can do at this stage, it is after noon. I absolutely need to squeeze in grocery shopping before I pick up the kids (yes kids! Sparrow is up and running again!).

Typically, I really enjoy a very slow stroll through the aisles of a grocery store just before a holiday. I look at foods that magically appear just before the holidays. I redo menus in my head. I feel warm with anticipation. But, there is no time for that today. Too, I'm not cooking on either December 24th or 25th. Our holiday merrymaking will follow a different schedule, so that the various family members can have their fair share of Christmas time with each other and with other grandparents.

I fly to the store, I put on the music in the car extra loud to energize me, despite the absence of lunch or even a second cup of coffee, and I scramble to throw stuff in the fridge before heading out to school to pick up these two wonderful bandits.

(Snowdrop isn't ready to go! She needs to finish this gem of a card!)

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(Each child loves to imitate the sound of a rooster. None of this cock-a-doodle-doo stuff. They go for the real thing!)

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Orange couch book time!

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I then take out a holiday themed Duplo for them. The age range for this set of legos is 2 - 5, but it really is too old for him and way too young for her. Still, it's a grand way for them to play side by side. (Sparrow tries to help by sharing his little "bear.")

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Evening. Kids go home, I go back to mom stuff, reviewing with her several steps that are before us.

Supper? Oh, easy stuff once again. I consider it a great achievement to cook up a pot of brussel sprouts and cut up an avocado for a salad. A few cooked shrimp and we have a meal. Tomorrow I will do better.