...so the holidays were fairly successful. The kids were happy with the haul they got. I vacilllate between wanting to cut back and feeling like my kids should have the world. I'm sure most parents feel this, too!
...the festivities of the holiday weekend started with spending Friday night and most of Saturday making presents for the second annual homemade gift exchange. I made calendars for the girls, and they seemed to like them. I got three beautiful gifts that are very expressive of their makers! My friend Judy blows her own glass beads
(I'm still so very impressed by this!). And she made me a bracelet! It's black and white and is on heavy-duty stretch cord. You see, I tend to break things. Every homemade bracelet I've either received or bought has been broken within the first day. I swear! So I have always admired Judy's bracelets from afar. Another dear friend of mine brought me back a glass bead bracelet from a trip to Italy that was on this elastic cord. Judy saw it on my wrist more than once, so she made me this bracelet. I love it. I can wear it with everything, and even have it on my wrist as we speak. *grins* On to my friend Rebecca. In a fit of perfectionism, she decided to give up the unforgiving art of paper crafting (once you drop a black stamp pad on a creation you've worked hours on, you've not only ruined your vision for your artwork, you get a little downtrodden and pissed off!). For months, she kept secret her new art form. For months, she sold us all her stamping and paper crafting stuff in order to gather a bit of cash for her new art. And I'm not sure that I've exposed her fun, dirty secret or not, but she's become a stained glass artist. And I got the most beautiful stained glass piece from her. I need to adjust the cording so that it's not too long to hang in my kitchen window, so it currently has a spot of honor in my craft room window. I love it, and can't wait to see all the new things she does with her new craft. That brings me to Stephenie. Last, but certainly not least! She gave me one of her canvas collages. It's neat to receive her gifts, because they're certainly not something I can create. She manages to put stuff together that I'd NEVER put together and make it look cool. It's something I'm envious of. So her present has a place of honor in my craft window, too. I'm currently in a huge transition in my house (we're moving around the twins...separate rooms! sob, sniff), and everything's in disarray, so I'm currently not hanging anything on the walls. Anyway, love it, and it holds a place of honor.
...Christmas held a few new things this year. Or, recycled old things, I suppose. Christmas morning, I get a call from the birth mother that my stepfather's dad died. "It would really mean a lot to Stepfather if you stopped by...." So we went to her house. Yes...I went to her house. On the surface, I'm sure things are fine. But all the same things are still there, slapping me in the face. The basement, where the "kid tree" was (remember my brother, his wife, and their two kids actually live with her!), smelled so badly of cat and dog waste. Mind you, it wasn't as bad as the house that had withstood 20 years of this, but it was bad enough to sting my eyes and nose. This makes me sad and angry with my brother, as he's bringing his kids into this lifestyle. What got me about as much as the fact that she can have no emotion of her own was the fact that she actually asked me if I needed someplace to stay when I came back for the funeral. Um, hello? No, thanks...I'm good.
...Anyway, today I leave, by myself, to go to this funeral. I feel badly that I don't have more emotion to give to this. Sure, I'm emotional right now, but it largely has to do with other things...like girlie issues and being in the beginning stages of getting sick. My emotions surrounding the funeral itself are conflicting. I'm a bit angry at my mom at this stage for asking me to sing. Pissed at myself for agreeing to it. Scared of seeing Stepfather's family, since I've not been in their lives for the past few years, yet I'm showing up for the funeral and singing nonetheless. Feeling a wee bit guilty that I didn't say good-bye. Among many, many other emotions..... Oh, well.... I don't know.
....The good news? I will come back tomorrow, where Katie and her family will be waiting. They're going to stay with us on their trip around the midwest for their Christmas. They started off in Southern Ohio, will bop by Indy on their way to Southern Indiana, then go back to Central Ohio before heading home (or at least I think that's the plan). I don't envy their trip over Hell's Creation, though! *waves at Katie*