Friday, November 21, 2008


We're not getting as much done on the house as I thought we would.  Neither of us has the drive to stick around the house.  It's going to take a while to get to the point where we're not waiting for the other shoe to drop.  That's what it's felt like living here for the last few years, as if something bad was always about to happen. 

We found the will in the most unlikely of places.  After tearing apart any logical place (what were we thinking?) we had pretty much given up on finding the will.  Mom cleaned Grandma's clothing out of the upstairs closet and then ignored the closet becuase as far as we knew, everything on the shelf above was TAFH's, grandpa's flag and some games.  Well. the other day after I tore apart a few illogical places, I happened to look up at just the right angle and saw a tan security box on the shelf.  I figured it couldn't hurt to look, so I got it down and opened it.  It was unlocked and had the keys in the pouch they came in inside! 

This was actually a good thing because the will was in there as well as Grandma's and Grandpa's birth certificates, the deed for the house when it was sold to HER parents and some little bits of paperwork from Grandpa's funeral.  The funniest thing was that the majority of the important paperwork was downstairs in non-fire-proof boxes.  Oh, and the fact that the keys were inside it unlocked.  Nobody even knew she had this box.  I wonder when she bought it.  Actually, my oldest aunt never even knew about the will, though it had been drawn up in 1970.  She didn't know she was the executrix (now they're called administrators) of Grandma's estate.  You'd think Grandma would have told her when she drew it up, wouldn't you?

Anyway, we're cleaning the house and separating her stuff from ours.  Anything of hers that we think is still good or anyone would like we're putting in the front room to be looked at by the relatives later.  We've brought a bunch of bags of clothing to the Salvation Army, the ARC and St. Francis of Assissi.  We gave Aunt L the canned goods that we can't eat for Feed-A-Friend. 

We've already taken down the bathroom "decorations" TAFH made for Grandma and have redone it in greens.  UGH!  Blue and pink.  *shudder*  I've hated that color scheme for years and the dark/light green that's in there now brightens and lightens the room up considerably.  We replaced the heavy curtain with sheers and now light can actually get into the bathroom.  Mom wants to repaint the room to cover the faux marble finish on the paneled walls.

We defrosted the freezer yesterday and put our Thanksgiving turkey in it, then tackled the rest of the pantry.  It's not done, but we cleared out a bunch of stuff and put it in the front room.  Also we cleaned out the mouse droppings from the shelved area.  Grandma wouldn't let us move anything to clean behind there and our house has always been mouse central.  Some of the stuff we just had to throw out, they were covered.  We're probably very lucky the AAA never saw the pantry.

Anyway, we still have the majority of the upstairs to do.  Tomorrow will be a wasted day, so we need to get as much done today as possible.  Unfortunately, we're just getting up and at'em right now.  I read earlier and have been playing on the internet.  We have to go to the store for more garbage bags and to return a video rental, so after that I imagine we'll be going cleaning nuts.  Oh, we have to clean out the little bedroom to bring the bed back upstairs.  I think I'll do that while Mom tackles the rest of the pantry.  Yuck.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Funeral and now

The funeral was beautiful, as much as one of them can be, anyway.  My cousin A sang at the funeral and at the chapel in Cathedral.  She was great.  My brother, a few cousins and uncles were the pallbearers.  Two of my cousins and I did the offerings and my brother and cousins J and K did readings.  Cousin B gave the eulogy.  They all did great.  My uncle played guitar for A when she sang Danny Boy and Carolina Moon at the chapel.  Then we went to the grave and I, of course, wanted to clean off Grandpa's.  But I had to stop.  I did help clean off my aunt and uncle's when we went to it with their children.  I always do.

Stirna's was, of course, where we held the after-funeral brunch.  It's where everyone holds them in North Scranton!  Mrs. Gavin is really cool.  She made sure the food was all GF (except for the lovely pastries and rolls, which I didn't touch).

Now the fun part is cleaning the house, sorting Grandma's things from ours and letting everybody make off with what they want to keep of hers.  I'm currently making a calendar I intend to follow to get all of the cleaning done by Thanksgiving, which is when all the horse-trading is supposed to take place and still TRY to get NaNo and my required stitching done.

The weirdest thing of all was that last weekend there were FOUR deaths among my co-workers.  One of my closer friends there lost his grandmother, as well.  A cashier and one of the pharmacy ladies also lost relatives.  Weird.

Sunday, November 09, 2008


It's over.  I still and will always hate viewings.  I find them to be pointless and insane.  smiled and nodded and hugged and thank-you'd everyone who came.  I DO appreciate the fact that they came to support us.  I just wish there was another way to do it.  Thankfully, I actually knew a good majority of the people that showed and could laugh with a lot of them.  One of the co-workers that drives me absolutely batty came.  I'm not really surprised, actually.  She can be amazingly sweet at times.  It's the other 90% of the time I want to murder her.  Today, it was sweet.

I had to make a break for the statue a few times.  I let myself leave the funeral parlor on the hour, each hour so I could just sit, talk to Her and breathe for a few minutes.  I'm very pleased with myself and how I held up.  The only time I teared up was when I was talking with one of my cousins about how much I hated doing viewings.  Then I sucked it up and went over to greet more relatives like a big girl (with a masochistic streak). 

The worst part was not having anything to do with my hands.  I kept clenching them.  Even if I could have had some crochet or something non-patterned I would have been fine.  *snort*  I'm telling you, this stupid viewing is Grandma's last revenge on me and my ADD.  She's laughing her ass off in heaven (or the other place) and pointing down at me right now.  She damn well better be saying she's proud of me for not having just made a complete break for it and being pretty much entirely sociable, even when I was so jittery my hands were shaking apart.  ;p

So, tomorrow I get to be at the church at 8:30 am.  Mass is at 9:30 and brunch at Stirna's (where else?) is around 11 am.  Getting there.  By 1 pm or so, this should all be over with and I can go home, relax, do laundry and psych myself up for work on Tuesday at the "bright and shining" hour of 4 am.

On a writing positive note, everyone commented on the obit I wrote.  They all loved it.  Oh, and I finished the map for my NaNo this morning before the viewing and have decided my characters are not going to escape the city, they're going to burn down the temple and lead a revolution instead.  Sira's going to have fun getting all flamey when she fights the other dragon.


The viewing starts in a few hours, two and a half to be exact, but apparently I have to be at Knight-O'Donnell by 3:30.  So I have one hour and forty-five minutes to somehow make myself ready to greet mourners for four hours.  I can't bring any stitching, of course.  Mom's already said she'll kill me if I do.  I wonder if a small notebook to work on NaNo will work.  Everybody says it'll go fast.  Maybe for someone who doesn't have a near phobia of the damn places in the first place.  I can't wait for this hell to begin, let me tell you.

In the meantime, I'm listening to Pandora and trying to do a little retconning for my NaNo.  Oh, and trying to avoid the really good-looking hoagies my cousin brought over for us.  Damned Celiac Disease!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Funeral planning 3

How does one get through funeral planning without adding a body to the hole being dug for the deceased?  Any hints?

Funeral planning 2

Not doing the pallbearing thing.  Mom needs me with her.  Will deal with that later.

Funeral planning

Grandma, Mom and her other sisters had done a lot of end-of-life planning before this, so a lot of the stuff a person generally has to do has already been done.  The casket and that type of stuff was already taken care of.  However, things like the music and flowers are things we've needed to do. 

It's so strange.  I am both sad and happy at the same time.  I'm just not sure if it's selfish happiness as in, "Wahoo!  I don't have to be a caregiver anymore" or "She's with Grandpa finally and at peace."  I think it might be a little of both actually.

Anyway, I'm going to be a pallbearer.  I've requested it.  I NEED to do it.  It's the last thing I can do for her.  Hah!  The females in the family who have heard the plan so far are pretty much acting like, "Okay, whatever."  The guys have, if not questioned it, then at least noted the uniqueness of the idea.  I looked up a few things on pallbearing, specifically female pallbearers and I see it's not an old idea at all.  Apparently nuns do it all the time and there was a lady back in the 40's whose friend did it because guys never took her out when she was alive and she didn't want them taking her out when she was dead!  Mom and TAFH want my oldest female cousin to do it, as well, if she can.  This would mean all of the grandchildren are playing an active role in the funeral.

Well, the aunts and my uncle are coming over at 9am to plan the rest of whatever else has to happen.  I'm going to go to Borders around 1pm for the NaNo write-in.  Even if I don't get much accomplished, I need to get away from funeral planning for a while.  Maybe I'll look for a more somber outfit to wear at the funeral while I'm out.  All of my skirts are pretty brightly colored.

Friday, November 07, 2008

RIP Grandma

This morning my mother got a phone call from the nursing home.  Grandma is dead.  She passed away between 1:30 and 3 am.  She looked like she was asleep and a hell of a lot more peaceful than she has for years.  This is what we wanted for her, to just fall asleep and not be in pain anymore.  Mom's pretty sure she stuck around just long enough to vote in one last election because she really couldn't stand McCain.

RIP Grandma.  Say "hi" to Grandpa for me.  I love you.

Sunday, November 02, 2008


Well, I can't get onto the website, so I'll post my first totals here for now.
November 1st - 6506 words

When I can get on the webpage, I'll actually update it, but for now I'll just post them here.  I'm not going to spend all day and night obsessed with it.

Cheers and I'm off to write until about 5pm, then I'll switch over to stitching.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

NaNo Yay! and stitching.

It's November 1st and I've already written almost 4000 words. Not to jinx myself, but this story is flowing so far.

I'll try to write 8000-10000 words today, if possible, then take off tomorrow to stitch on the Mermaid. Then I'll try to OD on words again on Monday and stitch on Tuesday or Wednesday. Basically, I'll just try to write as much as possible for one or two days, then take off a day of writing for stitching.

Hopefully this works.

Oh, Mom and the others are going to talk to Grandma about what she wants: to keep fighting or to just give up. She's on the giving up side of the coin right now, I think. If she wants to, they'll let her and not argue about her eating or therapy and such. She's lost 12 pounds in the last three weeks. This is not healthy.