"if you are not living on the edge, you are taking up too much room"

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Getting back in the Groove

I can't believe it's been over a week since I posted but hope you all understand. We had a nice service for my Mom on Friday. We had a lot of family visit as well as old friends of ours and my brother's.
My sister elected not to attend this service (she lives in Tacoma Wa.) so she can attend the services we are planning in Florida. My parents have a plot in a cemetery in Zephyrhills and that is where they wanted buried. Both of them were cremated and my brother has the urn with their ashes. We are planning a trip south in March where we will have a small service and lay them both to rest.

Saturday we all got together at my Mom's apartment and moved her things out. I don't know how to describe the feelings I had that day. I went through a lot of emotions and had a tough time dealing with her "stuff". I guess the reality of it all had hit full force and I was not prepared for it. Luckily we had plenty of help and got the apartment cleared out fairly quickly.
We gave a lot of the furniture away once all the kids and grand kids had their pick of things they wanted or needed. The assisted living facility has an Alzheimer's wing and they said they could use her clothes so those were donated to them.
Once that chore was done I was totally wiped out emotionally and needed to just get out and do something fun. We had been dealing with this stuff for a week now and needed a release so we convinced Steve and Trish Suter to head up north with us to a casino in Michigan. I made us a reservation at a nearby motel and we headed out.
They have been great friends through all of this and a valuable resource as well as a shoulder to lean on.

We did pretty good at the casino Saturday night and I left with a small pocket of cash :-). Better still I came away rejuvenated and ready to face the world again.

The last week of work has been busy, busy, busy. We were scheduled to work 3 full days with a half day on Thursday and Christmas Eve off. Rudee had some vacation days to burn so she got the whole week off!
While I was slaving away she was a lady of leisure and spent most days in Plainfield helping her Mom get ready for their big family Christmas.
We have always celebrated with her family on Christmas eve with a big gathering and meal. Since Rudee's parents are getting up in years and have various medical issues they are not able to do all the things that have to be done to host such a big event. Between all the siblings, grand kids and great grand kids they were expecting between 20-25 people!
Christmas Eve morning Rudee and I picked up Amanda at her house and headed to Plainfield early. Once there we started cooking and setting up to "feed the masses" :-).
We sit up tables, chairs and a Christmas tree in the garage and do everything out there. I fired up two kerosene heaters and Amanda helped me sweep the carpet in the garage and sit up the tables and chairs. Once this was done I went in and helped Rudee in the kitchen.
With my Mother in Law supervising I made her famous chicken and noodles from scratch. They turned out really good but to play it safe we didn't tell anybody I had made them in fear they would sit untouched! :-)
Rudee and I were both bushed by the time the meal was over and all the presents had been opened. We started for home around 8pm. The weatherman had been predicting heavy snow for tonight and it was just starting to fall. The roads were in pretty good shape until we got about 20 miles from Crawfordsville when the interstate went from just being wet to being covered in snow with just tire tracks to guide you down the lane. We saw a couple of people slid off into the median and were being pulled out. I switched the truck into 4 wheel drive and slowed way down and we made it home safely.
Christmas morning we got up and found that Santa Claus had indeed visited us here at the KOA. Rudee got a nice bracelet and earring set and I got some "bling" for my bike :-)
We didn't have a lot of time to be lazy at home because the grand kids were up and waiting on us to come over so they could open presents too!
We had nice time at their house watching the kids opening gifts and playing with their new toys.

Rudee is back to work on Monday and I have volunteered for overtime. We have another short week with both of us getting Friday off. We have not made any New Years Eve plans and will probably just go to bed early to recover from the week of work. I guess we are starting to "feel our age" :-) I'll keep you posted.

Friday, December 17, 2010

busy week

This afternoon and evening we will be having the services for my Mom. We have been busy this week getting her affairs in order and it has actually gone smoother than I expected. I have spent a lot of time researching Estates and Inheritance issues on the Internet.
My Mom did not have a lot of assets but there is a small savings and her home in Florida to deal with. My brother and I met at the lawyers office who held my parents wills. The lawyer will be doing the legal side of things with the will but I drew the line when he wanted to handle changing the deed and title to the mobile home down in Florida. These are both in my name as well as my Mom's and I can handle both of these pretty easily since I just went through this when my Dad died last year. I figure there is no sense paying his outrages fees to take of something I can do myself :-)

My cell phone started acting up Wednesday night. I started to make a call and it said to insert the SIM card which has never, ever been removed. I kept having to shut it off remove the battery. This "reset" it and I could make a call or two and then it would do it all over again.
We do have the "insurance" on our account to cover the phone and I thought about paying the $50 deductible to replace it. I called AT&T and found out I was about 4 months away from qualifying for an upgrade with out being charged an arm and a leg. I talked to the nice gal in customer service and explained that I had been a loyal customer for over 13 years and could she do anything for me. She got a manager involved and got me approved for an early upgrade so off to the phone store we went.
We did check at the Verizon store and compared plans and charges. We ended up staying with AT&T and I got a "smart" phone! This thing is the coolest gadget I have ever seen! With all the gadgets it has I am having a hard time realizing that this thing is also my phone :-)

Rudee and I are off to fill some propane tanks and do some errands. The memorial starts at 4pm and runs into the evening. Looks like the weather is going to cooperate. I'll keep you posted

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

busy times

Thanks everyone for your words of support on my Mothers passing, it does lift my spirits.
We spent yesterday making the arrangements at the funeral home and flower shop. My brother met us and we were able to spend the day together.
Last year when my father passed away we had the forethought to make and pre-pay for my Mom's funeral services. This made it a lot easier on us this time around and we only had a few decisions left to make.

Rudee and I were able to go and pick up our new chairs this past week end. We borrowed Suter's enclosed cargo trailer and left for Shipshewana right after work on Friday. We had reservations at a motel in Elkhart and arrived there shortly after 7pm. We grabbed a quick bite at Applebee's before checking in and settling down for the night.

Saturday morning we met Mr. Lambright and the two of us loaded up the chairs. We did make a couple of stops in some of the shops in Shipshewana and finished up our Christmas shopping. Saturday must be a good day for the Amish to shop as well because the buggy traffic was very heavy and the special parking areas for them was completely full at most of the stores and restaurants.

We made it back home around 4pm and carried our chairs into the 5th wheel. They really look nice and are very comfortable. I even took a "test nap" in mine :-),

Sunday we headed for Trish and Steve's house to drop off their 2 chairs and return their trailer. Steve and I carried them inside their house where they are going to store them until moving them into their 5th wheel next spring.
Trish hadn't seen their chairs yet and she loved the material Rudee and Steve picked out :-).

After delivering the chairs we all went out to dinner. While sitting waiting on our food I got the call from my brother about our Mom. I was happy to be with our friend when I got the news, they were so supportive, thanks for your help guys.

I also want to thank my lovely bride Rudee. She is the best, and it's a comfort knowing I can lean on her for anything.

The funeral is set for this Friday and we are both taking this week off from work to be able to do all the things that need doing. I'll try to pop back in later this week and "keep you posted".

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sad news

I got a call from my Brother at 4:00 this evening telling me they had found my Mother dead in her apartment.
She lived in a nearby assisted living facility and had been in good health so this was somewhat unexpected.
We will be meeting with the funeral home tomorrow morning to take care of her arrangements.
I will keep you posted.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Yep, it's winter!

As I predicted work was a zoo this week. I was one busy insurance geek :-).
Tuesday morning we woke up to a dusting of snow which made the roads extremely slick. I was really careful and made it to all my appointments but saw several accidents in my travels. Back in my Sheriff Department days I always dreaded the first snow fall. I guess people forget how to drive in the stuff because we could always count on going from one accident investigation to another all shift long.

Friday evening we attended the annual Christmas party for our GWRRA motorcycle chapter. The meal is catered but we all bring something to share as an appetizer. We also do a gift exchange with a fun twist. Each person brings a $15-$20 wrapped gift, the men buy a "man's" gift and the women a "woman's" gift. Each person gets a raffle ticket and the gifts are passed out by calling out the numbers. Once all the gifts are in hand the fun starts. Someone sets a timer for 3 minutes and you can run around the room exchanging your gift for one you might like better. The only rule is you cannot exchange back with the person that just took your gift. When the timer goes off you are "stuck" with the gift you are holding. We then open our gifts and go around the room each telling everyone what they missed grabbing :-).
I got a couple of small tool kits and Rudee got a bag of M&M's and a bunch of lottery scratch offs (she won $6.00).

We woke up Saturday to a bunch of snow :-( !! Glad I didn't have to drive to work today! we got around 4-5 inches and it snowed off and on most of the morning. We did venture out to Lafayette in the Dakota. I even got to use the 4 wheel drive! Not that I really "needed" 4 wheel drive but, heck fire the truck has it and it gets my testosterone flowing! :-)

While in Lafayette we dropped our motorcycle helmets off at a friends house. He is a good painter and offered to paint them for us. Our helmets are flip face style and I like wearing it in the cold and/or rainy days. We bought them a couple of years ago and they are red to match the Goldwing and we look a little strange now since the Harley is purple and white. I also have a black open face one that I wear a lot in the summer. He priced some paint from Harley so they would match the bike but getting only enough for the 2 helmets was still going to cost $80 !! No way, black is fine with me :-).

We took our son Matthew and his gf Mandie out for lunch and they tagged along with us while we picked up some groceries. They had good news, Mandie has found a job in a store at the mall. They have been struggling to make it and the extra paycheck will help them a bunch.

Amanda and grandson Nicholas came up Saturday evening and picked Rudee up. The three of them went to the new Harry Potter movie. I'm not a "Potter" fan and decided to spend the time relaxing here at the 5er. They had a great time and Nicholas spent the night with us sacked out on our couch.

We have a float building workshop this afternoon with the motorcycle group and of course the Colt's have a game today too. We'll see how much "building" gets done in between plays. I'll keep you posted.