All the holiday excitement and stress are over, and it's back to normal. I still have many post-holiday chores to do. I have put away most of the nativity sets, but the tree is still up and decorated, something I will attend to today.
I finally got the last of the antique frozen food out of the chest freezer we moved from east Texas in July. There was no easy way to dispose of it beforehand, so we just moved the half-full freezer as it was. The meat that was in it was already so old as to be scary, not to mention the frozen bread, margarine, and unidentifiable objects. The trip down here in the back of the moving van didn't help it. I bagged up three trash bags of mostly meat, and threw several packages of bread products and a half-bag of broccoli out behind the house for the critters. The gallon of water frozen in a milk jug - I'm not quite sure why that was in there - is thawing in the garage.
My first inkling of Mother's cognitive state came when we were looking through that freezer back in June and I observed aloud that she had several packages of frozen hush puppies. She asked me what was a hush puppy. *sigh*
Anyway, we all had a nice time at Christmas. I bought Mother a sweater and matching pants, Vickie gave her a nice casual top, and Steve gave her a casual set of pants, top, and hoodie. Since she won't buy clothing for herself, this evidently seemed the best idea to all of us.
Janette and Eva flew in on December 26th and stayed through the 29th. I think they had a nice visit. Eva is VERY busy. And she has started saying several words and is willing to try to say all kinds of new words. I believe that in another three or four months, she will be talking up a storm, telling strangers all of Janette's secrets in a clear, loud voice. Eva enjoyed the dogs at Vickie's house, and surprised everyone one by hitting it off with Willow, the extremely stand-offish kitty whose behavior with Eva we were most worried about. Not only was Eva enamored of Willow, but Willow seemed equally taken with Eva, allowing Eva to "pat" her and on occasion "hug" her by practically lying down atop her. Willow didn't even rowr or hiss, something she has done to all the adults in the house.
We all drove to Marble Falls (in Vickie's Brand New Van!!) to see the Christmas lights on the river. They were beautiful, but it was very cold. We were all glad to see them, and also all glad that since it was after Christmas there were hardly any people there so we were able to park very close to the entrance, instead of walking from a couple of blocks away, as Vickie said they had done a couple of years ago.
On Saturday morning, before Janette flew home, we had brunch at IHOP. All the straps/buckles on all the booster seats and all the high chairs were missing or broken. We tried to just have her sit with us on the seat, but once the food arrived it just didn't seem to work out. (Did I mention that Eva is VERY busy?) One of the waitstaff offered that they could secure her in the high chair with a folded-over apron, which turned out to work quite well. She entertained all of us, including our waiter.
He said that although he understood and believed me when I talked about how loud the TV was, and how it permeated the house, he hadn't fully grasped the reality of it until he was actually here. Now he understands. It's really loud. From 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Except that now that Mother understands that it wakes me up, she keeps the volume down on weekends until I get up, so I am actually able to sleep in now. That does help.
Steve also brought his camera and took many, many pictures of all of us - except himself, because I never remembered to get the camera from him. Thank you, Steve, for all the wonderful pictures of our holidays. And my necklace and earrings. And your visit. And my sanity.