Saturday, December 31, 2011


I never felt very sentimental about much in my life. Now as I age I have grown more sentimental about my family and especially my children. This has been an interesting year yet I can't say it was bad nor can I say it was good. It just was!!!

Reflecting back on the year for me is not going to be easy, yet I think I need to do this because it will help me move on the 2012 if I put it down on paper.

Not much happened in the winter that I can remember except we had way too many snow days and it was a difficult beginning to the semester. I started going to the Y 5 days a week to help my hip and hopefully lose weight (I lost and gained 15 pounds a number of times in 2011). My relationship with my children was about the same. I had been struggling with some issues with my daughter and was hoping that they would be resolved by then but they werent. As a matter of fact, I think just this month, I am hopeful that we can have a better mother daughter relationship.

In May of 2011, my daughter graduated Wake Forest, my son and his fiance' came for a visit, we met her family, both my children and their dad had birthdays. In June, my boyfriend and I broke up and he started working in China. We started talking again via Skype.

I didn't get to travel this past summer and realized that I hate being in Wilkes County all summer long, so I am bound and determined to travel/live somewhere summers as long as I continue to work here. I did go to Maine with my old friend Denise for less then a week in July. Then back here for the summer. The school semester started hard with me having to teach not only my classes but my colleagues for the first two weeks of classes. August also brought my daughter moving to NYC for Grad School.

In September, my pap smear came back showing something and I went for some testing to see exactly what it is. The testing was hard on me and hurt a lot and then thru my hip out for which it still hasn't recovered. For the month of October, I worked part time so I could work on getting my hip better ( I literally couldn't walk without holding on to the wall for two weeks) and to be able to walk again without too much pain. The gyno wants me to have surgery to remove a fibroid. I can't do it just yet till my hip gets better.

In late October (I think), my son and his gf decided it was time to get married. They planned to have it in Dec. in California where she is from. This speeded up my will to get better and walk without a limp so no one would know how much pain I was really in. I started physical therapy in October, with that goal in mind. Physical therapy with my insurance coverage still cost me $53 each time I went and I went twice a week. Chaaaa-ching!!!

The wedding plans were coming together thanks to Monica and her sisters in November. Eric and Monica got married in Japan on 11/11/11. What a special day that is! They were also going to get married in the States in Dec. I was walking better in November but not consistently. Some days I would need some help and some days not. Finally, towards the end of November, I felt like I was able to hide my limp and pain enough to go to the wedding.

December comes: end of semester stuff for all three Firestone's. I was anxious to see my daughter who I hadn't seen since August was coming home, my exchange student was coming to visit and we were all flying to CA for the wedding. I am not going to go into the issues between my daughter and I but I thought they were on the mend, then one thing happened, and I feel it put a cabash on all the progress we made. I still don't know but I am much more hopeful that in 2012, things will heal. My China friend came back to the States for two weeks, while I was in CA. I didn't see him. What's to become of this relationship??? I question: is it a relationship? I can't retire for another few years, he needs to work in China for another year.

So moving on to 2012, what do I want to happen? Here is my list (not in any particular order):

1. Lose weight
2. Heal relationships in my family
3. Get out of debt
4. Work on good friendships
5. Walk without pain/heal my hip.
6. Simplify my life
7. Reduce stress
8. Think about long distance love relationships

And now for my bucket list:

1. Salmon fishing in Alaska
2. Visit Belfast
3. Retire
4. Travel in retirement

Wow, this sure seems like a sentimental post! Happy New Year and here's wishing that all we accomplish all our wants, wishes and desires. Cheers!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Old Family / New Family / New Beginnings and I got my first daughter in law!!!

This has been a world wind kind of week. My ex husband, my daughter and I flew out to California to celebrate his marriage to a wonderful woman. Monica has two great sisters who helped coordinate the wedding in California because Eric and Monica live in Japan. As I see it, the sisters kept in close contact with my new and only daughter in law so that they could fulfill her desires to have the wedding that she wanted and deserved. People came from all over: Japan, Arizona, Washington, New York, Chicago and more. Monica's family and friends all gathered together as one to give her what she wanted. It was so nice to see the bond everyone has to fulfill this goal.

Monica's mother and father welcomed everyone into their house with open arms. They were the best! Yuko (Monica's mother) was an inspiring person. She asked me if I would like to cook some traditional Japanese food with her and I jumped at that opportunity! The whole experience of watching her family of origin come together to make the festivities happen was a great experience for me. The bond between Monica's friends and her family was very strong and made this wedding happen. Her's friend's support and effort made Monica's wedding just as she wanted it.

She has a lot of wisdom and shared some with me. I think because she grew up in another culture, the wisdom she has to share with other women (probably American women) is what we American women need. I have been struggling with some family relationships in my life and I never mentioned them to Yuko, either she picked up on them or the word got out. Either way is fine. She came to pick me up one day at my hotel and we talked about how wonderful each other's children are and she shared a few of her experiences and used words like keeping it harmonious and having to learn how to do that as the mother of the family. I don't remember all the words she used but they were definitely powerful words. I think she is an inspiration to all women of all ages! Yuko has a lot to offer aging women. If I ever get myself together to do the Documentary about women aging and changing roles, she will definitely be part of it I want to become closer to her and her wisdom.

Lately, I have been struggling with what to do with my life and that there are two components to my professional background: children and families. Hearing Yuko's wisdom and being sick of my teaching teachers where I feel it wont make a difference to the children of my community has made me want to move the something with working with families. I would like my focus to be changing roles of women in families. Makes sense because that is where I am in life!

So back to the lovely wedding: Monica wanted it to be a bright and colorful wedding and she got that! It was the best wedding I had been to in a long time. They wrote there own vows to each other which just brought tears to my eyes, the best man gave a speech that brought more happy tears to everyone's eyes and everything was just great fun! It was truely a celebration of love and happiness!!!

Welcome to my family: Monica Firestone. Beware: You made my family fall in love with you too!
Congratulations Eric and Monica!!!

Now for pics:

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Buca di beppo

Yesterday I picked up my former exchange student from the airport and took her out with my old lady friends. We went to Buca di beppo where we ate in the kitchen. Last time and other times my lady friends went, there were a lot of samples at the table. This time there were none, which somewhat disappointed most of us but our dinner was delicious.

Here are a bunch of photos taken from last night.

Marie, Susan and Pat all went to Nursing school together over 40 years ago. I entered the picture some twenty years later. Hey.....It's great to have nursing friends. lol

And Alvina came into my life some twenty years after that!

Cheers to great friends, great food and great exchange students!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

UFO Challenge 2012

Judy is doing it again. The UFO Challenge for 2012 and I decided to do it again also. Maybe this time, I will really complete more then 2 UFO's.

Here is my list:

1. Blue and white from the monochromatic challenge 2011
2. Funky Monkey: was supposed to be Melanie's graduation from Wake Forest quilt
3. Antique quilt #1
4. Applique Quilt
5. Reversible Quilt
6. Chicken Quilt
7. Rag Quilt Pink
8. Rag Quilt Brown
9. Fairy Quilt
10. Japanese Fabric Quilt
11. Wall hanging Fruit
12. Placemats w/ Japanese Fabric

I know some arent quilts but heck, I didn't get many of them done in 2012, this way, it will still clear out my sewing room and give me usable placemats. lol

Good luck everyone!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

My Secret Santa Gift

I joined the Secret Santa swap on Colorado Lady's blog and today my gift came in the mail. I have to say, this was the most fun Secret Santa exchange I ever got!!!

Thank you my Secret Santa. You're the best!!!

The BABES lunch!

It has been a while since the BABES have gotten together and had so much fun. Yesterday, I had my hair cut, my eyebrows waxed and my mustache waxed and I was looking good! lol I have eaten so much in the past week or two from all the holiday celebrations and the lunches I have been hosting. I feel like a pig! We had so much fun and laughter today, exchange some wonderful gifts and just had a ball! Thank you other BABES!

Today we officially, initiated Debbie (Jane's sister) into the BABES. She comes to most of our BABE meetings and is just one big part of us! Welcome to the BABES, Debbie, now get on the blog.

Here are many many pictures of our day together, from the set up to the eating to the gifts and more!