Friday, April 25, 2008


I just received my new car vac (Dustbuster) and the two books I ordered from using the gift certificate son J.D. and DIL Kris gave me for my birthday (the first of a number of items I was able to order) -- "A Strange Fit of Passion" by Anita Shreve and "The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted: And Other Small Acts of Liberation" (a book of short stories) by Elizabeth Berg. I am delighted that they came so quickly! I will spend part of the afternoon figuring out how to operate the car vac. I suspect I may need a battery or batteries for it.

In addition, in the mail today I received something that isn't a birthday gift, but is necessary and which I will enjoy using: stamps. What's special about these is that I ordered 2 sheets of twelve "Year of the Rat" stamps, as I was born in the Chinese Year of the Rat, plus a roll of 100 42-cent stamps for when the price increase comes through next month (although I don't know the exact date when that's going to happen). The Year of the Rat stamps are -- amazingly -- quite cute and appeal to me despite the fact that I don't generally like rats. ;-)

In terms of other gifts I have received, I spent some time yesterday picking out pictures and cutting them to size for the picture coasters that Cindy gave me. It worked out perfectly to have the 4 coasters, one for each of the 4 grandchildren. Here is how they turned out:

The picture coasters

And Socks had been wanting all too much to help me do that, so I distracted her while I cut out the pictures with a sample picture from the coaster, and I was at least able to get the pics in the coasters before she decided to take over, as shown below:

Socks helping me with the picture coasters

She became bitey (spell check says that's not a word, but I think it is) when I tried to get her away from the coasters so I could put them in the holder, and she kept biting me when she could get to my hands the rest of the day. Today, she is being good, though.


My progress in the book "Understanding Your Grief" and the accompanying journal is going well. I found a question that I didn't have the answer for last night and I e-mailed my brother Frank about it. He wrote back this morning, which I very much appreciated. I am not going to detail it as I don't want to get too morbid on a public blog but I will just say that my visit with my grief counselor (which will have been my last appointment) the other day went well and she was going to send a positive note to my doctor. She felt I am handling my emotions in a very good way. She was happy to see the progress I have made in the book and journal. It is very therapeutic to write my thoughts and feelings -- it is healing. One thing the book and journal say is that we never get over the death of a loved one. Each person is special and our relationship with that person unique, so there is no "getting over it" or total resolution of our grief. We can find ways to honor that grief and celebrate the life of the person who has passed away.


I love the Maxine above. We all need hugs. I notice that as a person living alone, I sometimes feel starved for hugs. It's good I have my cats to provide their warmth in sitting on my lap or when I pick one (usually Socks) up to cuddle, although she will squirm quite quickly to get away.

The signature tag is the last one I sent out to the tags list, and I also made one and sent it to neighbor Bobi, who is an artist and very gifted when it comes to crafts. She loved it, she said.


As you can tell, I am over my rant of yesterday. But I still feel strongly about what I said. I hope I didn't scare people away with my comments about the forwards I dislike!


I wonder if Socks will let me sleep now. If not, I will have to struggle through another afternoon, half awake. I suppose I could keep her here in the office if she became too disruptive, but I hate to do that. So I may be back later when I am hopefully more alert, although I'm not sure what more I would have to say, other than to perhaps gripe about the alarm that keeps going off at the chicken houses next door. (As J.D. said a number of years ago when I mentioned that problem -- maybe the chickens are making a run for it!) ;-)

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