I had the whole week off for Christmas, which sounds awesome and vacation-y and relaxing, but it wasn't. There were definitely some lovely Christmassy moments, though.
The weekend before leaving for Georgia I bought last minute gifts for my husband, wrapped presents, listened to Christmas music, and baked peanut butter cookies with Hershey's kisses on top. They are easy and delicious -- why haven't I ever made them before? I ate approximately nine thousand.
I took my mom the Leu Gardens calendar, and she loved it. She has happy memories of going there with my Dad, so hopefully that's a special gift for her. I also took her a universal remote control for her TV, since the one that came with her TV has tiny buttons (ridiculously, offensively tiny! not much bigger than the head of a pin, seriously) that are difficult for her arthritic fingers. After reading the 12 page instruction booklet that came with the remote I was a bit concerned about the difficulty of programming it to work with her tv, but it literally took less than a minute and could not have been easier. I am not naturally talented when it comes to messing around with electronic stuff, so having it go so smoothly was a first for me, and a big giant relief.
The second day I was there, Mom lost her balance in her living room and fell. For an 88 year old, falling is a terrifying thing. She wasn't hurt, other than a little bruising and soreness for a couple of days, but it was scary. Her doctor had recommended that she get a quad cane (the kind that have little feet on the bottom, like Frasier's dad has) so I went and got her one and tried to help her learn to use it comfortably. She is not happy about using a cane. I'm not sure she's too happy about being 88 in general, although overall her health is good. We looked through old pictures and ate peanut butter/Hershey's kiss cookies, and watched Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy, and had a nice visit.
Two days before Christmas my husband's grandfather passed away. He had health problems and had been in and out of the hospital for a few months, but it's always so hard, and especially during the holidays. After worrying about it for a while, I decided that my Mom needed me more than my husband did, so I stayed in Georgia as originally planned. Greg told me to stay there, and Mom told me to go home, so they weren't much help. :)
I had pumpkin pancakes for breakfast with Mom on Christmas day, then spent the next 8 hours driving from Gainesville GA to Orlando FL. Wouldn't you think there'd be no traffic on Christmas day? That's what I thought, but I was wrong. Gads. I did make it home in time for dinner, so it wasn't too bad. Greg made me a special Christmas steak dinner, and we exchanged gifts and watched the Grinch and had a nice evening.
Then the next morning we got up early for the 2 hour drive to go to Greg's grandfather's funeral. It was a really nice service, I like the new trend of having a slideshow of family photos. (Is it new? It's new to me, I've never seen it before.) Greg was a pallbearer. His grandmother seemed to be holding up well.
On Sunday, I was tired. I just laid on the couch like a worthless slug and watched stupid TV (Confessions of a Call Girl episodes on On Demand, and a marathon of LA Ink) and cuddled with my cat all day. And then all of a sudden it was Monday morning, and I was back at work.
Boy, I am really looking forward to our three-day New Year's weekend coming up!
Greg and I recently upgraded our cell phone service to include texting photos to each other, so we've been texting pics to each other frequently. Here is one I sent to him from Georgia, that I took of myself reflected in an ornament in Mom's retirement home:
I hope everyone had a happy holiday!