A Change of Scene

"You have arrived!" That's what the Magellan voice we call Maggie says when we reach our destination. And our destination for the Holidays is Missy M's house in Louisville.


We got here on Friday night. We were in two cars...with three dogs...driving through four states, which meant the eight-hour drive lasted 10 hours. New math. Anyway, we were exhausted and headed to bed without much hesitation.

Saturday was a busy day, starting early to get ready for The Lunn Family Annual Christmas Party. By 3:00, the two pots of chili (one hot, one wimpy, as Missy M says...:) were bubbling away on the stove, and the Brothers and SILs were arriving.

We made some ornaments (swirling acrylic paints inside of clear globes), ate our fill of chili and fixin's, played reindeer games (guessing what was in Rodney's stocking, etc.), and exchanged gifts. Much love was shared, and a great time was had by all. We placed the Memory Disc we'd received at the Service of Memories on the tree so we could recognize the presence of Nana/Momma/Edith...and Bro J passed out Santa stocking hats in her honor.

Speaking of hats...

We continued the Goofy Hat tradition by giving Bro J a silly hat. I will post pix and a video when I get back to NC...I'm posting this on my iPad (first time) so haven't got the technique down pat yet. Uploading photos to the post = still a challenge! Don't even ask me about creating a link to YouTube on this thing...:-)

Anyway...

Remember, I posted earlier about making many of my gifts this year per suggestions from the grief literature from my Hospice counselor? Well, if I can make this work, I hope to show you a pic or two of the Memory Terrariums I made for both SILs, Missy M, and N/M/E's BFF AW. I'm calling them Memariums (Memaria?).

Recalling a beautiful terrarium that graced the lobby of Hospice Home of High Point, I got the 1.5 gallon glass containers at The Container Store in Raleigh, and the plants and planting materials (potting soil and peat moss) at Lowes...which was the ONLY local source of small container houseplants this time of the year. Believe me...I went to several local garden centers trying to find the plants...no luck. Thank goodness for Lowes! I found some healthy "Pan Am" Pilea (a ripple-leaf variety), "Golden Gate" Peperomia, "Red Vein" Fittonia, and "Pixie Dixie" Ivy. One small container yielded three or more plants...which I didn't realize until planting day, so now I have lots of newly potted houseplants. A bonus! Oh, and I got charcoal (called carbon) and tiny-gauge gravel from PetsMart. I used a birthday gift certificate to Barnes and Noble (from Bro J and SIL J)...and then some...to buy three books on terrariums (and I'll give proper credit when I get back home), which told me how to create the containers...and one even sparked the idea of placing memory-items inside, with the plan for "Grandma's Jewel Box."

Borrowing an idea from high school friend LCM, I then created a "This is Your Life" photo frame for Bro J, using pix I found while cleaning out Momma's boxes. I'd scanned and saved about 75 or so, starting with his earliest baby pictures...and including a few of the Goofy Hat ones for good measure. The frame will hold 2,000 or so digitals, and if he needs more...he can use a disc!

For Bro T, I ordered a canvas-wrap picture, using a photo I'm calling "Fog Over The Caney Fork." I took several shots as we were driving from NC to West Tennessee in August for Momma's funeral...when he was in his car following Mr. T and me. He didn't know why in the world we kept stopping on the bridges over the Caney Fork...there are at least 4 on I-40 in Middle Tennessee...he thought we were having car trouble or something. I chose the best shot of the bunch and had it enlarged and canvas-wrapped at CVS (they did a SUPERB JOB!)...so he can always remember that there are bright moments even in sad times.

I think they were all hits. And I loved every minute of making them. Win-win!

It was great seeing everyone again...under happy circumstances. Bro T and SIL LaD had to make the hour-plus drive north, so they departed early in the evening, after we made tentative plans to meet again before we head back south. J & J were spending the night locally, so we met them for a tasty breakfast at Wild Eggs. Then we spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing and decorating M's house for the Holidays. She has such a great eye for design and placement...as demonstrated in her decorating...her work...and her newest form of expression: quilting. You should see what she made for J& J (placemats and napkins) and what she's working on for LaD (shhhh...it's still a WIP...;)


The week ahead will be devoted to doing as little as possible. We have plans for the Nutcracker ballet (tradition!) and shopping must be done...along with wrapping, of course. But beyond that, we are all just chillin'!

What is it "they" say? "A change of scene will do one good."

No arguments from me!

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[BTW, according to Missy M's research, there doesn't seem to be an easy, FREE, method of posting my photos using my iPad. Bummer. I've forced it to accept a couple of pix (the one at the top is of her tree all decorated; the other one is of her cute moose and yarn trees...and if you look closely, you'll see Ella sleeping in the chair in the background...:) via an iPhone ap she downloaded. Will edit this when I get back to my laptop. Meanwhile, here are my work-arounds (in the "where there's a will, there's a way" category...:): I've uploaded some Christmas shots to Flickr, which should show up in the slideshow over there on the right. I've also uploaded several to Facebook. Visit me there. There's a link over there in the right column. =====>>>]

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