Saturday, June 26, 2010

New Pictures

Steph sent me a couple of pictures via phone and I've downloaded them here! Aren't they great?!

Not that I'm prejudiced or anything!

Today is my birthday.  And I've got four beautiful grandchildren to prove it!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

We had a cookout in honor of Father's Day today.  I got pictures of the grandkids, finally!  This first one is of Uncle Steve and Michael.

Here's AJ and Will and of course our beautiful granddaughter, Briana.  I gave them the silver dollars grandpa had saved for them.

We are truly blessed with beautiful grandchildren.
Aaron, my son-in-law mowed a path in the woods for us today.
My neighbor, Tim, mowed the ditch across the road today.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Another Wonderful Gift

An old friend sent me a gift today.  Joan lost her husband about 12 years ago and has since remarried.  She and her first husband were our bowling team partners for many years.  We don't see much of them because they winter in Florida, but she and Ben were at Bill's visitation.
This is what she sent, and I love it.  I will be framing it.  And yes, it made me cry, but crying's not a bad thing :-)  Thanks, Joan.

Today was a fun day, too.  Kris and I went to Acorn Quilts in Rockford to see a binding demonstration by Kay Steinmetz.  We actually went to see Kay, so the binding demo was a bonus!  Kay is another old friend -- I took my first beginners quilt class at her shop, back in the early nineties -- she owned Quilters Cupboard in Rockford back then.  Now she's working a couple of days a month at Acorn and Kris is planning a get-together in Byron that we'll have Kay teach a class at this summer.
It was great getting out and seeing friends, buying fabric (well, really, Leslie has this perfectly wonderful fabric in the back room that is 1/2 price -- I just can't pass it up for future backings!).
And, of course we went to lunch -- always a bonus!

Then I came home and spent about 45 minutes outside in the hot sun (dumb), pulling thistles out of the daylily bed.  I've been complaining about it for weeks, so decided a short time spent getting rid of them was in order.  There's lots more weeds, of course, but a little at a time should get the job done eventually.

Out and about with quilting friends -- always a fun day.
Kay Steinmetz -- a treasured quilting friend.
Attacking the weeds and finding the tomato plants.  I only planted tomato and peppers, so I really should be able to keep up on weeding them!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Taking Care of Business

First things first-- I did finally put all the photos away -- still have these four boxes to sort through and give to the kids or put in albums/boxes.  But at least the mess is cleaned up!
I've spent the better part of two days getting things changed over to my name, meeting with the attorney, making tons of phone calls, etc., etc.  I don't feel like I'm accomplishing much else. 

The kids are coming out on Sunday and we're having a cookout.  This will be the first holiday without Bill, of many more to come.  Having the grandkids all there will make it a lot easier though, I think.

I had dinner last night with a good friend and she gave me some really good advice  (she lost her husband 4 years ago).  The advice was to write everything down -- everything I do everyday -- which is really a great idea -- I'll have documentation of the phone calls I made and what I've done so far.  Later on I will surely have forgotten what I did when or if I did certain things, so this advice was really invaluable.  Thanks, Ginny!

Good friends to lean on.
Getting more and more things done every day.  This is such a long process and it really helps to see what has already been done.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I Cleaned Today!

I actually cleaned the house today -- yippee!  I'm not Mrs. Clean by any stretch of the imagination, but it does start bugging me if I haven't done my weekly cleaning.  And except for cleaning the master bathroom last week, the rest of the house hadn't been touched in a couple of weeks, so it really felt good to clean it today.

That said, I'm showing you a picture of the total mess on the top of the pool table/basting table in the basement.  The funeral home did a dvd of family pictures for the visitation and Steve and I hastily went through the albums and boxes and boxes of pictures.  This is what it still looks like -- no!  I have not touched this today -- but it's pretty bad and starting to bug me, so it will get straightened up and put away soon.  I'm not a scrapbooker, but I can tell you that most of the pictures need to be organized to the point of throwing away bad shots and filing the good ones somewhere.  I also doubt it will be done before I sell the house, but maybe.....!

The house is clean and I got the computer stuff moved back to the basement that I brought up for Bill to use.
I actually swept out the garage and hosed off one of the garbage cans -- something I've been wanting to do and finally did!
Sitting on the front porch in the rocker and enjoying the sunshine (we got 2-1/2" of rain yesterday!).

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A wonderful Gift

I met my friend, Deb, for breakfast today -- and it was wonderful being able to have a leisurely breakfast with neither of us needing to be somewhere else.  She gifted me with this beautiful prayer shawl she's been working on during Bill's illness.  I love it, especially the color, and the thought behind it -- plus I love all the knitted stuff she does because I don't knit!  And yes, Deb, it will comfort me and I will use it.  I know it was made with love.

Now an irritation:  I received a notice today from Chase Bank -- they back my Visa Credit Card.   They say I missed a payment in May and are charging me an additional $10 late fee.  We have always only used credit cards for convenience.  We pay the balance in full every month.  I pay the bills online.  I'm pretty sure they didn't notify me that there was a bill, but besides that -- I had already scheduled the June payment.  So, I paid their measly $27 bill today and with the one scheduled for the end of June, that will be the final amount they ever receive from me.  I will not close the account, because I don't want that charged against my credit rating, but I will cut up my card and never use it again.  This is the second time they've done that to us, and it will be the last!  Thanks for letting me vent!

I am blessed with the gift of friendship.  Deb and I have a friendship that has lasted more than 30 years and I treasure it.

So far everyone I have dealt with on the phone regarding Bill's estate have been very accommodating and helpful.  They are making the process a lot easier for me.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Old Habits Die Hard

Every day for the past almost 29 years, I would copy the cryptoquote from the newspaper on to a pad of paper -- because Bill always did the cryptoquote and the crossword puzzle every morning in the paper -- in pen!  That way I could also do the cryptoquote and sometimes we could compare -- to see if we got the guy's name right or if we had a hard time with a certain quote.  Well, old habits do die hard -- I find myself still folding the newspaper to the page and copying the quote to my pad -- I'm still not going to attempt to do it in pen on the newsprint!

The shock has worn off and the funeral is over (very, very nice memorial service).  K & D helped me with the thank you notes this weekend and I got them all mailed out today.
I finally got in to see a nurse practitioner this afternoon -- I've had no voice for a week now.  Says it's just a viral thing and to keep on doing all the home remedy doctoring things I've been doing and rest it!  Yeah right -- people call and I can't not talk to them; plus I have a lot of things that need to be taken care of NOW!  So -- I'll rest it in the evenings and overnight and hopefully my voice will come back soon.

Went to visit an old friend last evening -- it was wonderful talking with her and catching up on what's been happening in her life too.  JR and I just needed to get away and she welcomed him into her home as well.

Meeting another old friend for breakfast tomorrow before I run more errands.  I'm trying not to isolate myself, which sometimes I'd like to do but know it wouldn't be good for me.  The kids call every day -- I guess we're all going to have good and bad days for a long time to come.


Mikey is doing well and even sleeping longer at night most nights, which gives Steph much needed sleep.

Our neighbors are wonderful -- they keep an eye on the house when I'm gone, take JR on truck rides, mow the lawn and offer to do tons of other things that need to be done here.  We are truly blessed with good friends.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Circle of Life

Welcome to my new blog.  This will be a journey through the grieving process for me as I make my way through the loss of my husband.  My beloved Bill passed away June 6.  As proof that there is definitely a circle of life, please meet our newest family member:  Michael Paul arrived June 5 and was able to meet his grandpa before he passed away.  Michael Paul weighed in at 6 lbs 3 oz and is only 18-1/2" long.  He was three weeks early (but we thought his timing was perfect).  He is just a little peanut and is proving to be a wonderful baby.  I took this picture when he was only an hour old!

Michael Paul - another perfect human being.
Bill did not suffer long, although we didn't have as much time as we thought we would.