Happy NYE! Goodbye, 2021

2020 and 2021 started off all wrong. 2022 seemed like it would be more likely to be a better year, but, judging by the way 2021 is oozing out, we might have a little slippery start to 2022. I’ve learned from past experiences to not tempt the universe and say “well, it couldn’t be worse. ” because we know it can.

I’m spending today doing a little prep work for next year. I was going to spend part of it doing laundry, but the washing machine had other ideas. I went to the laundry mat yesterday, so we’re good to go for a while.

I finished my book goal last night and actually finished two other books after meeting the goal. I’m close to finishing another book, so I might do that today. Otherwise, it’ll be the first book that I finish for 2021. I’ll be thinking about what reading goal I’ll set for next year. I’ll decide by morning.

I’ll be working on preblogging so that I’ll be able to try for a post a day again, even with school in session. I know that I’ll have to get the blogs for final week up and going early so I’m not even giving it a second thought when I’m supposed to be finishing the semester.

I have 5 classes next semester. I got the reading list for 3 of them and I’ve received the books already. I might start reading them this weekend. I’ll at least attempt to clean off my school work area so I’ll be all ready for the beginning of the semester. I did a little room organizing and found a lot of things that belonged in the school area, so I have to get all of those things into place.

My goal for the year is to purge a lot of what I have hanging around. I’ve gotten several bags of papers taken to the shredder and gotten several other bags and boxes of papers ready to be sorted through. I’ll get to them throughout the year, not all at once.

I need to come up with a better exercise routine. I fell out of the gym habit when the gyms closed, so I am going to actually put gym time, menu planning, and grocery shopping on the calendar so that they will be written in pen (digital pen). It’s not quite stone, but better than pencil.

I’m not going to end this with a promise for a better year or even with a dare for 2022 to show us what it has in store for us. I’m just going to end it with the visual of 2021 oozing out and making room for 2022. Thank you, 2021 for giving us a year that was not dull, but you’re just about done. That’s all.

Ceremony for bike ride fundraiser

My dad passed away earlier this year, and he was chosen to be one of the people named on the jerseys for the fundraiser for cancer research for firefighters.

The bikers will ride down California, stopping at various fire houses along the way.

The riders all had to raise money for the honor of riding with the group. The check will be presented when they finish the ride.

The family was presented with the jersey, framed with dad’s name on it.

One rider was patient while we took photos of the names.

It was a nice ceremony. I am glad we were able to be a part of it.

Wrapping up March

It’s been an exhausting couple of weeks. The last few days have been truly exhausting.

Yesterday was the funeral for my dad. The night before, two of my kids’ friends spent the night to make the morning less crazy. I suddenly realized the night before that I’d have to deal with breakfast.

I cooked eggs with cheese, pasta, and English muffins. I group texted the kids who were still getting dressed. I asked them which items they wanted. My favorite answer was “both.” I think they weren’t awake yet.

We headed out to the church. Of course there was street cleaning that morning, so parking was bad. My little car was difficult, but parked legally. My kids were behind me, so they had more trouble finding a spot. They ended up parking in the street cleaning spots, and hoping we’d be out in time to get to the car before the meter maid. (They were)

I have a huge family, so there were many extended family members at the funeral. I stopped to chat with one group on the walk from my car. My cousin arrived and apologized for making us wait. I explained that she didn’t and that I was gearing up before I had to talk to people. They were not insulted that I informed them that they didn’t count as people, thankfully.

My daughter had asked me to bring the lint roller in from the car. I was talking, of course, and my daughter pulled the roller from my bag with me barely registering that she was doing it. Suddenly, while I was talking to a cousin, I realized that my bag was open. I hadn’t realized yet that I was holding the lint roller, greeting people. My cousin noticed and took it from me. I realized, after a while, that she was standing there greeting people with the lint roller in her hand. I took it back and put in in my bag. We agreed that it was a mom thing. We don’t really notice when your child hands you things. The dirty tissues in my pockets after the service were proof of that, too.

We were told that we weren’t having altar servers. But suddenly the gentleman from the mortuary brought me some envelopes and told me that there would be three altar servers and we needed to tip them. Great. I didn’t have cash and I had no idea how much to tip them. My cousin’s wife arrived and I sent her to find out from my mom how much to tip. I was looking around to see who I could borrow money from. My cousin from Chicago offered, but we don’t see her often, so it would be difficult to get the money back to her. I asked my aunt, who had cash in the car several blocks away. Not helpful. My cousin’s wife shook down her brother-in-law to come up with the balance that she didn’t have in her wallet. My uncle heard about it and paid everyone back, so now we owed him the money. He was not worried about it.

We were asked to be seated, and the priest came up to tell us that the guitarist didn’t know that he was supposed to be at the service. No one from the mortuary scheduled him he said. We started the ceremony and it was very quiet. Suddenly, two women jumped in and set up a microphone and one started playing the piano. The other started singing Ave Maria. It was unexpected but appreciated.

We finished up the services and went on the reception.  There were so many people there, I didn’t get to talk to everyone.   These photos were taken before many of the people arrived.

So, as I was driving to work today, I thought that it was a good thing that my mom cancelled the bagpipes, otherwise we might have gotten a very strange rendition of Ave Maria. I know it’s been done, but it’s not really a great version.

Get your nose out of my eye

Today was a long day. I had to get up early to move my car for street cleaning. We had the rosary for dad last night and stayed up too late at my aunt’s house for dinner afterward.

I was supposed to go get a tire repair on one of the cars, but I decided that it would wait. I was just too tired.

I went back to bed and read for a bit, then I played on the Nintendo Switch with my daughter. We both decided that it was naptime eventually.

I had tickets to the Giants game tonight, but it was raining. My other daughter was going with me. We decided to head over to find out what was going on. We sat in the car for a while.

It started raining harder. I texted my friend who was working inside the ballpark. She said to come in, but thought that maybe the game would be cancelled, since the tarp was still on the field. Eventually, the game was officially rain delayed. My daughter and I waited until the game was delayed 45 minutes before giving up. It was still raining when we left.

We may have stayed if we didn’t have so much going on. We picked up my daughter’s friend on the way home, since she was spending the night.

We settled in for the night after having a group participation game of finding my phone. The kids went to bed and I settled in, too. I was almost asleep when my bed buddy decided that she needed to sleep, too. She was over enthusiastic as usual. We had an argument about exactly how close to my face she could sleep. We finally compromised on nose near my eye, not in it. I suppose it’s better than the rear end in my nose.

It’s the little things

I have had some friends help me out in the last few weeks. I have had many people tell me to let them know if they can do anything to help. I usually can’t think of much. The ones that don’t ask and just do are such a pleasant surprise, especially when it’s something that I don’t even realize needs to be done.

For the most part, the things have been small, but mean a lot to me. One friend, upon hearing about my dad’s hospitalization, went to visit him. He ended up bringing my mom from the hospital to the hospice care facility. It was a short drive, and he was available so he went. It was one less thing for mom to worry about. It was huge for me, since I knew both of my parents were in good hands.

After my dad passed, we realized that we didn’t know where his helmet was from his fire department days. I mentioned to a friend that we were looking for it. She offered to loan hers for the funeral. This was HUGE to me and my mom. It was a small thing for my friend.

And Rob, who is one of the guest bloggers, upon realizing that I was rather distracted, helped me out by posting about his day. I was very touched by his long distance show of support for what he knows is important to me when I couldn’t do it myself.

I am sure there will be other acts of kindness over the next few weeks. Please know that they aren’t going unnoticed and they are all appreciated. Thank you!

The adventure that was today

Today was a trip to the funeral home. I was not really needed, but I got to keep mom on the right track. I decided that I wanted to go on the trip to scatter ashes. Mom doesn’t. Other than that, we agree.

After we got most of the decisions made for the services, we went to brunch. At brunch, we decided to go see a movie.

We saw The Green Book. It was a really good movie and we all needed the break.

I was done when I got home, but I finished up the day with yeasts and calls to and from family and friends. Everything is falling into place.

Today’s journey

I was awoken early this morning by my mom telling me that my dad had passed away. The hospice nurses warned us yesterday that it was coming soon.

We contacted those who needed to know immediately. My aunt stepped in to help plan everything. It looks like plans are all in place.

I left the house to complete two errands that I had already planned. One was to return library books, of course. I grabbed lunch while I was there.

I feel bad that I left the house, but Mom wasn’t left alone. I needed to go do something productive. Everything else is already being taken care of. Thankfully, we have a lot of supportive friends and family nearby.

It wouldn’t have been a trip to the library if I wasn’t on public transportation. The entertainment was a guy yelling that he was on the wrong train, then swearing at the doors until they opened at the next stop. He didn’t get off the train, though. Maybe he was on the right train all along.

Goodbye, old friend

This was the first real car that I made payments on.  I purchased from a coworker whose mother had just passed away, and his siblings were making him liquidate his mom’s estate quickly.  We both benefited from the deal.

My younger daughter was not yet out of the car seat, so she must have been under 6 when we got the car.  She remembers because she wanted to ride with me when I picked up the car, but it was a pain to move the car seat from one car to the other.  She was so mad, she still brings it up occasionally.  She is an adult now.

Both of my daughters learned to drive on this car.  It took me to and from work for at least ten years.  It had a few issues, but we managed to work around them.

My youngest daughter started driving this car regularly to get her back and forth from school once she got her license.  She was supposed to drive the other car, but this car was an automatic and she isn’t comfortable on a stick shift yet.  I started driving the car with the stick shift.

The car started getting bumpy and we took it in to the mechanic.  The mechanic has been very honest with us about what does and doesn’t need to be done to our cars.  In this case, he said that the cylinders are leaking and it needs a complete engine rebuild in order to keep it running.  He told me that it would be really expensive, and it wasn’t worth the cost of the car.  “Put a sign on it ‘mechanic’s special’ and sell it for $500.”  Well, I waited because my daughter needed to get her stuff out of the car, and I wanted to keep the radio because it had sentimental value.  It took months to get it all together.  In the meantime, the battery stopped charging, and it wasn’t worth it anymore to move it for street cleaning every two weeks.

We got to the point where registration was coming due and street cleaning was coming up, so I started to get moving on it.  I decided that I didn’t want to bother with a test drive that started with a jump start, especially since the car didn’t really run well anyhow.

I got the radio out and emailed the car donation place and the car was picked up in less than 24 hours.  It was an easy process.  I can’t believe how much weight this took off my shoulders when I finally called the insurance company and took the car off the insurance.

I will miss this car.  It came into our lives exactly when it was needed and stayed as long as we needed it.  It had wonderful timing all along.  Goodbye, old friend!