Christmas is over - now for New Year's

Before I begin with Christmas stories, some things I forgot to mention in previous posts:

1) When I was up in Houlton, Maine with the dogs, the morning I had to be at the school early was a cold, cold morning. As I let the car warm up, with Bandit on his blanket in the back seat and Guin in the front passenger seat, shivering, I remembered something. Jurgen has heated seats! So I turned on Guin's seat to the lowest setting and turned on the heated steering wheel for me. Ahhhhh.

I looked at Guin and saw her sit straight up with a weird look on her face, then she turned to look at me. I almost thought she'd peed on the seat. Then she looked like she had a smile on her face and snuggled to lie down on the seat, all curled up in a warm little ball.

Ever since then, if it's cold when we go out, she whimpers and gives me "the look." This means turn on the seat, dammit!


Chris' barber, who I mentioned had an uncomfortable run-in with me, had karma bite his butt. The barber shop he works for was broken into and over $3,000 in cash and other things were taken. Who in the world leaves that much money in a cash register over the weekend when they're closed?


The ship model gallery that Chris and his dad did most of their work for completely ignored Chris' mom and me this Christmas. Every year, each of our households received a Christmas card and a little gift. The last few years have been chocolate sailboats by Harbor Sweets. Mom2 and I were really looking forward to getting those this year. But we didn't get anything from the gallery (this is the same place that claims that most of the workshop is theirs, pfft). Not even a piddly Christmas card. You know, folks, this year of all years, we needed to know that they still cared. Guess we found out just how much they care. . .only about what they're going to get out of that damned workshop. Well, guess what? They're getting last shot at that workshop. So whatever is left, they can have if they want it. I hate it when people play games.


Christmas Eve was quiet. I found some of those chocolate sailboats for Mom2 in Portsmouth, NH and picked up a chicken breast cordon bleu and a chickpea salad for dinner for myself and made the dogs an omelet with hot dogs cut up in it. We watched some TV and I called Mom2 to to see how she was. She told me she'd been crying all day. But Dick stopped by and stayed for almost two hours with her and brought a present for Brigitte, Bill called and so did my mom and my friend Vivi. I have very good friends.

Christmas morning I took Guin for her walk to the beach, it was low tide, so we pranced on the sand. Took Bandit around the yard, gave them their cheese, then we opened presents. Wouldn't you know, the darned dogs got more presents than me! They have enough snacks to last a year, LOL. I got some nice things - a homemade CD of Christmas songs sung by my "second dad," JB, with him playing on guitar; a CD of songs by one of my agent's girlfriends, Rhei C, a bluesy Suzanne Vega - beautiful voice!; my Christmas CD from Stephen Marq; a beautiful fairy orb made of blown glass that I'll be putting in the yard in the spring; a basket of goodies from my brother, Donnie; some Hickory Farms sausages and cheeses from my sister; a Dunkin Donuts gift card from my brother, Stevie; a beautiful stained glass silver cross from my mom to hang in the window; a gift bag of bath goodies and goofy socks from my friend Vivi; a bottle of merlot from my friend, Joanne; a Fye gift card from Chris' friend, Bill; and the dogs got me some books on tape, a LOST sweatshirt, a heated ice scraper (really cool), a replacement Sony remote commander for the TV and stereo, LOST and 24 calendars, Cole Haan black clogs and more goodies.

Showered, changed into my new outfit for Christmas dinner and drove to mom2's house. I was there a bit early, but before I could get out of the car, she was out the door and in the car. She couldn't wait to leave that house.

I love her to death. I do. But when we're in the car, she tends to rehash dad dying and Chris and why Chris might have killed himself. Just when I feel like I've taken a step forward, I take two back because she brings back all those memories of when I found Chris. She does repeat herself often, which worries me a lot. She doesn't realize she does this.

We got to Wentworth By The Sea a half hour early, but they said they could seat us. Yay! We were put at a table for two next to the fireplace, which was ablaze. How cozy and nice. The decorations were beautiful! We ended up with a four-course meal: mom2 had an antipasto plate, shrimp cocktail, traditional turkey dinner with all the fixings and bread pudding for dessert. I had an antipasto plate, lobster w/mushroom tart, baked lamb (which was so tender it fell off the bone), and pistachio custard. It was wonderful!

We snooped around the gift store afterwards and mom2 bought a photo card of the hotel and I got a keychain charm for my purse.

We headed back to her house. Yes, she repeated herself and rehashed again. I don't have the heart to tell her to stop. I know she needs to see a counselor or something. She needs someone not involved in this whole thing to listen to her and help her.

I dropped her off, patted Brigitte (who didn't growl at me), made sure she was all set, then called my sister's house so that mom2 could talk to my mom as I left.

I stopped off at Vivi's house and she handed me a glass of red wine. We talked for a long time, exchanged our gifts, then I headed home.

I changed out of my fancy outfit, took a nice, hot bubble bath, made the dogs another omelet (they are spoiled rotten, ha ha), then watched some TV shows I'd taped on the DVR and went to bed early. It was the first night in a long time I took an ativan pill to help me sleep.

Got up the next morning and was depressed. I didn't want to talk to anyone. So I didn't answer the phone for everyone who called. Stayed in my jammies most of the day, then took the dogs for a quick ride to the store to pick up some things for dinner, then for their walks. I vegged out that day and needed it. Took another bubble bath and went to bed early again and took another ativan to help me sleep.

I made an appointment with Vivi for a massage, then went across the street to an antiques place in an old church that I'd never gone to before. They have three floors of all kinds of things. I ended up coming home with an Otagiri, Japan jewelry music box that has painted purple irises on it (if you ever want to send me flowers, irises are my favorites), two new handpainted wine glasses, a handmade small shell frame with a photo of the Nubble lighthouse in it to hang in the bathroom, a small Maine calendar for my office and a little gold-plated gift set of two necklaces, keychain and pin of the Nubble lighthouse for my mom. Shh, don't tell her!

Thursday, I decided to go to the movies. I went to see Night at the Museum with Ben Stiller. It was a hoot - the perfect "popcorn" movie. I laughed and enjoyed it very much. I needed to do that.

Yesterday I met Dick at mom2's to go through the workshop. We had to go through the ship plans to see if any belonged to that ship model gallery and separated the obviously marked ones and put them aside. I like how this guy keeps telling me he'll have to come to the workshop to go through them himself to see which others might be his. That would be like me going to his gallery and pointing out the Hitchcock ship models I feel are mine and not his. Pfft.

We found an interesting thing in one drawer - two square pieces of old wood on top of a Greece/Rome book. Hmmm. I pulled the book out and found paperwork inside. I have to look at it more closely, but apparently a few years ago a Greek museum wanted Chris and his dad to build a ship based on a wreck they had uncovered. The wood was from the actual wreck and dates back to something like 34 A.D. WOW! I plan on framing the letter and one of the pieces of wood to hang in the guest room. How cool is that?

I also made a list of the machinery in the workshop and noted what condition they were in. I was able to get used prices for the majority of them on eBay completed auctions and by doing a search to see what used ones go for. Some are worth more than others. Now I have to go through Chris' workshop to note what equipment he has (95% of which is brand spanking new, some with the electrical cord still in plastic) and trying to put a price on those.

So, if anyone is into woodworking and could use bandsaws, drill presses, a planer, lathe, etc, get in touch with me.

I did call Bluejacket, the other ship model people who have been much nicer and have not been pushy at all. I told Sue (she and Jeff own the business) that I am giving them first shot at the workshop in mom2's house. They're going to let me know what day they can come down, after the New Year. They want to bring all their ship model guys with them and seem to be more interested in the small parts, wood, plans, etc than the machinery itself. Which is fine with me.

Had dinner with Bill and Vivi last night at Panda Sakura, my fave Chinese/Japanese restaurant. When we got back to the house, I gave Bill something to remember Chris by - a wooden plaque with a USMC K-bar knife in its leather scabbard attached to it with an inscription - the Marines gave this to him when he left the Corp. I thought Bill was going to cry.

All of Chris' friends have asked me for something to remember Chris by and I have found something that I felt "fit" them. It makes me feel good to give them a little of Chris so that they can remember him. It's nice to know they don't want to ever forget him. Even Chris' niece, Kathy, has asked me for something. I'm still trying to find the "right" item for her. I know I'll find it.

Today is another veg out day. My bedroom set is finally coming next week, so I have to get the bedroom ready for that. I'll be cleaning, doing laundry, moving things around. Vivi might come over tonight or tomorrow night to stay over and watch Pirates of the Caribbean with me. We just may have to do margaritas or something!


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