I cannot believe that 2009 is almost over.  the last quarter has been most eventful.  rich lost his job at the end of october.  this made a tight financial situation even more difficult.  for the first time in 30 years, he is without a job, and it really kills him.  the state of the economy is not helping with the job hunt, and I keep hearing that it’s getting better but I haven’t seen it first hand yet.

on the up side, he’s home for dinner every night, and tony gets to see him every day instead of only weekends.

november came and went without much fanfare…thanksgiving with the fam, as typical.  I’m ready for someone else to take over the prep, or maybe we could work out a trade of family members with another family?  I really like doing thanksgiving, having it here in my home, doing it up nice.  what I don’t like is how, after all day of cooking, the fam descends, complains that I made ‘fancy’ stuff (who knew that a caramel sauce and chopped pecans sprinkled over diced sweet potatoes was fancy?  or pumpkin cheesecake was fancy?) wonders why I have to use a tablecloth and pretty glasses, stays for 30 minutes (long enough to eat, and stand outside on the porch to smoke) then leaves.  I’ve got the cleanup left.  and not even an enjoyable family meal to reminisce over.

it’s hard sometimes to believe that this is the family from which I’m spawned.  I’ve always liked to have dinner parties and go all out on the menu for any dinner.  my family, on the other hand, feel like I’m putting on airs.  ah, well…it’s only once a year.

december started off with excitement.  the first saturday was my annual cookie exchange.  rich and tony always have to leave the house.  this year, tony woke up with a stomach ache.  they ran a couple of errands and went to lunch.  tony’s pain grew progressively worse, so rich felt the need to take him to the ER.  meanwhile, I’m having a great afternoon with the girls, oblivious.

rich called me a couple of times, just to let me know what was going on, and I finally sent everyone home so I could go be with my guys.  the hospital is about 15 minutes from the house, in town.  by the time I arrived there, tony was out of the room, having tests done. 

the doc informed us that he was in the beginning stages of appendicitis, and that he’d have to have surgery.  and, being a saturday, there was no one in town to do it, so we’d have to go to wake forest university baptist hospital, which also happens to house Brenner’s children’s hospital.  so, we followed the ambulance a little over an hour, and waited at the new hospital a little more.

the surgery went fine, and he was able to come home on monday.  no longer being insured was a big concern for me, but thankfully, the application for health choice that I had completed on his behalf was approved.  and it was retroactive to december 1st.  I can’t even tell you how relieved I was when I read the letter, especially when I tallied all the bills, and it was a little over $18,000.

then there was the big snowstorm.  it hit on friday, the last day of school before the christmas break.  school was scheduled to release at 12:45, but with the bad weather coming, they let them out at 10:00.  when it arrived, it came in like gangbusters.  it started a little after noon, and didn’t stop until saturday night.  I cannot remember when we’ve had a storm like that here in NC.  everything was covered.  EVERYTHING.  tony woke up saturday morning saying, “I’ve waited my whole life for a snow like this!”  he and maddy played all weekend, sledding, building snowmen, having snowball fights.  it was great.  but thank God it’s over.  I don’t care to ever see that much snow again.  there are a few reasons I moved south, and the snow is one of them.

this year, I suggested to rich that we get the pretty white christmas tree from walmart.  and then we got some really cool midsized LED lights, and it looked awesome!!  everybody called it our disco tree.  for the longest time we didn’t put any ornaments on, because it looked so gorgeous without them.  however, chowder and mojo conspired to destroy the tree. 

chowder would climb it, and in the process would shake the ornaments loose.  mojo would then bat them around, banging them into the furniture, and break them.  after 4 or 5 broken ornaments, this old girl finally got the hint that no amount of yelling or squirting them was gonna stop them.  so, the ornaments came back off.  and chowder continues to climb the tree.  I’m hoping that next year, he’ll be more settled.  Le sigh…

so, tonight is new year’s eve and we’ll be snuggling in the living room, eating fresh popped corn (we’ve rediscovered the old school popper-so much better than microwave!) and watching one of rich’s christmas presents: castle season 1.

if anyone still reads this, have a very happy and safe new year, and I hope that 2010 is so much better than 2009!!