Saturday, November 27, 2010

A busy week

Just over a week ago, we all went to Aunt Sudie's funeral in Waco.  My grandmother asked for my sisters and I to sing a piece we perfected back in high school, one we haven't sung together publicly in 16 years.  But we found it hard to say no.  We only got to practice together the morning of the funeral.  I was pleased with how our harmonies still could ring.  No way I could have done this by myself:  we could do it only because our sisters were up there with us, and for our heartbroken Grandma Dulce, and with the help of our dear Aunt Sudie's spirit.

At the graveside we were asked to sing "Amazing Grace," and with my sisters' blessing we decided to include Anna.  She loves to sing, and when I told Anna she was included, she was duly honored and happy to give something back to Sudie, too.  This arrangement of Amazing Grace was cobbled together via many emails and some YouTube videos, and I'm proud of it, too.

After the interment we went back to the church where a team of kind church ladies had prepared a nice lunch for the family.  This was so welcome, because we all wanted to visit with family members, and the meal and dining room provided space for this.  Amazingly, there was a Spice Cake with real RUM in it.  I had to eat it, just to say I had rum at a Baptist church!  One lady confided that although she doesn't drink, her favorite cake has JACK DANIELS in it, and its her favorite cake!

That weekend, we started demolition on our kitchen.  That saved us several hundred dollars, and it was quite cathartic for Anthony.  Cabinet installers arrived on Monday, assembling our gorgeous new cabinets from Ikea.  They finished mid-day Tuesday, and Anthony reinstalled our microwave, stove, new dishwasher, and placed the old countertop on top of the new cabinetry. (Granite countertops come in 2 weeks.)  We got all our kitchen debris replaced in the new cabinets (fabulously organized by my engineer) late on Wednesday night.

See, we got this kitchen remodel scheduled a few days before hosting a large group for Thanksgiving!  So I did no pre-cooking.  However, I had so much help - first, a precooked smoked Greenberg Turkey arrived that week, and my MIL made pies, side dishes, and a ham.  The meal was completed with rolls and green beans from Emily, cranberries from my mom, and pie-lettes from my dad.   All I had to do was make Alice Waters' Mushroom Dressing, and herb gravy. Also, there was a fabulous team effort in the kitchen by the above parties.  We started with 13 guests, which grew to 16, then 18!  We had plenty of food and room.  There was lots of visiting, some football throwing and wrestling, football watching, performances on the piano, team dishwashing, wine opening and coffee brewing.  It was an epic day.

Late that night, in a freak accident, my sister's elderly cat slipped in the bathroom and hurt her leg badly. Emily called me in a panic, and I drove down there to check her out.  Clearly something was wrong, so we went to my clinic and took an Xray.  She fractured her femur!  We gave her some pain meds, and got her in to see an orthopedic surgeon the next day.  She is 17, but did well with the anesthesia, and got to come home today.  It will be a long 8 week recovery, but we are all glad that Sabrina is on the mend.

There was plenty to blog about in recent days, but I didn't have time or discipline to write every day.  Instead you get this monstrous tome.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Family Reunion

Last week we had a big reunion of my mother's family in Waco.  Pictured above is the five brothers and sisters, with their spouses and many of their offspring, as well as the matriarchs, my Grandma Dulce and her sister Sudie.  What I love about this photo is my two children, who look so comfortable and confident in the love that they get from coming from this family.  Everyone is excited to see them and talk to them, and they definitely respond to that.  It is how my sisters and I felt growing up in this loving extended family.  (sorry for the small image; I'll try to get a larger one in its place)

That is the post that's been rattling around my head for about a week.  Today I found out that my great Aunt Sudie, pictured in the wheelchair, passed away.  We knew it was close, and we were all thrilled that she was able to participate in this reunion.  She never had her own children, but she was super special to all of us.  She gave us many gifts, especially by the example she set.  Mostly I'm feeling sadness, but most of all for her sister, my Grandma Dulce, who had been her roommate for the last 2 decades, and her companion since she was born.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Colin said tonight: "Anna!  That is rude.  R, O, D, E, --rude! Stop it!"  I laughed so hard, I forgot what offended him so much.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Work hazard

I spent my lunch hour unblocking a tomcat who could not pee.  He was a huge 17 pounder with a tiny penis.  Many jokes were made.  Fortunately the patient was asleep and could not hear them.

Of course I wore gloves, but afterwards I kept smelling cat pee.  I washed my hands repeatedly, but still.  Washed my arms.  But now I figured it out - its in my watchband.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Halloweenie Pics!

Better late than never.  Here is me, as a Crayon.  Yes, this costume is a reprise.

Emily as the fabulous Lady Gaga.  Anna is wearing her Jr. High cheerleading uniform, with jingle bells in her pony tails and her feet.  This uniform is as pristine as the day Emily wore it, thanks to ever-living polyester.  You know, back when cheerleaders wore big bulky sweaters, not midriff-baring tops and microminis!

Colin was a fabulous Harry Potter.  (with a blonde mullet)

There was an adorable 3 year old (a Lyra look-alike) who LOOOOOVED Francesca in her skeleton costume, and helped me walk her the whole time, repeating, "I walking the dog!  I walk the dog! I hold the leash!"  So cute.

Sadly, no picture of Anthony, who donned blue scrubs and went as Dr Troy, plastic surgeon from Nip & Tuck.  His shoulders looked great in those scrubs!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

I guess this NaBlo isn't working for me

So that's not bad, right, posting two days in a row? Sheesh. Well, Wednesday I was sidelined by a migraine. Thursday I hosted five members of my extended family for dinner. Friday I had a miserable cold and went to bed early. By the time it was Saturday, I knew it was a lost cause.

Saturday I took the kids to Applebees for a pancake breakfast. The only reason I went was that it was a fundraiser for ballet. I brought my own butter from home, because I knew there would only be margarine. Sure enough, only Country Crock was offered. My butter was still a little cold, so Anna whined for the easier spreading transfat kind, but I held firm. Like my butter!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Career Day

Anna and Colin's school doesn't allow them to dress up for Halloween.  The week before Halloween this years was "anti-drug propaganda" week.  After days of dressing up in red, wearing crazy hats, and wearing crazy socks (as in, sock it to drugs!), the grand finale was to dress up as what you want to be when you grow up on Friday.

Anna said she wanted to be an actress, and needed some crazy sunglasses.  I told her that was fine, but if she wanted to be a surgeon (another career she is interested in), she could wear the adorable scrubs my mom got for her.  She was sold!

Colin said what he always says lately.  "I want to be an ocean scientist."  I had anticipated this, and suggested he wear a lab coat, a long pair of swim trunks, and a shirt with an embroidered shark.  He decided to add some tools - tweezers, a mini wrench, and his giant squid model - and he was set.
They were pretty psyched on Friday morning, walking out the door with nametags (made with the label maker and old nametags of mine) that read:

Dr. Anna M.                                                            Dr. Colin M.
XYZ Animal Hospital                                             Ocean Scientist

They looked so good, the principal even took pictures of them.  I was so thrilled that they both chose science careers!  Well, except for that brief flirtation with acting.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Don't Know about NaBloPoMo

Its November 1st?  Should I do it?  Feeling unsure.  Last year I crashed and burned, but then again, Fran was in town and ALL my free time was spent having crazy fun.

I don't know that there will be much more free time this year.  There are ballet rehearsals every weekend.  Incoming relatives and a family reunion.  We are planning an kitchen remodel.  Right before my favorite food holiday.

At least there is lots to talk about.  I may give it a try.  But Anthony's out of town all week, so I'm already driving solo.  And writing in incomplete sentences!