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The Standard Issue

I have found myself being amazed at how difficult life can be when you weren't offered the standard issue that you perceive everyone else ended up with.  The reality of our unique situation made for one very long week!

What made it long...everyone has been in a funk!  It has made me so aggravated at times and more than once, I expressed my aggravation in an aggravated way...😒  If you think toddlers are hard, try living with three medically challenged adults who are trying to plod through life in the most unconventional manner.  It's not easy for them and most of the time, they press on in an energetic spirit but not this week.  I don't blame them but at some point, the sorrowful, bad attitudes get wearying.

I guess, if I think about it, I only get aggravated because I know I can't do anything to make their situations better so, I'm more angry with myself than I really am with them.  It's just too much heartbreak at once and I feel like I'm smothering when I see them struggle so much. So, really, I shouldn't have been aggravated with them...which makes me even more aggravated that I did that!

Today, though, things came together more than they have all week and at least we are ending the week on a somewhat, peaceful note.  Here's to holding my breath it continues!

Aside from the shortcomings of the week, it's been a week of Christmas preparations!  Not for me but for others.  One of my favorite things to do is decorate people's homes for the Holidays.  I did three houses this week and my own!  Today in fact, I reached an impressive milestone!

I have been decorating the very same Christmas tree with the very same decorations for 28 years!! That blew my ever loving mind today! Doesn't that make me like 97 years old?

28 years ago, I came to this Country ( ha ha) as a student.  28 years ago I was introduced to a wonderful family who made me feel right at home here.  They are actually shirt tale relatives, a few times removed; however all that family history works.  My dad and Carol are 2nd cousins.   Carol and Bernie are two of my favorite people.  Carol had a bright smile, loving countenance and a quick wit and humor.  She was a gifted pianist.  I spent countless hours in their home.  From the day after Halloween, their house transformed into a winter wonderland.  It was impressive.  I helped them decorate and after Thanksgiving, she would let me help her make chocolates, even sharing with me the famous Aunt Fern Wood's truffle recipe!  Yes, the Fernwood Chocolate company popular in Utah! Yes, I have that truffle recipe and a few other secrets!

Carol loved Christmas more than anyone I know.  She passed away  12 years ago, quite unexpectedly on a Sunday morning in the Fall.  For 12 years, Bernie has maintained the Christmas traditions and still makes all the same chocolates that Carol did.  Bernie is now well into the middle of his 80's.

Carol's signature color was pink and her favorite flower was a, together, 28 years ago, we came up with this tree to symbolize her beauty.  Every year since Carol's passing, Bernie and I decorate this tree together, just way the she liked it and we share sweet stories about Carol.  It was the perfect way to escape this week.

When I was getting ready to leave, Bernie gave me the best hug.  I don't get many hugs, that was awesome.  He is an amazing man!

Right after that, I left for the Teton Valley to work on the 'Forgotten Home'.  New life is coming to that project!  It's going to be exciting.  The drive was beautiful and clear and the peace and quiet was a surprising gift.
The Grand Tetons, finally have some snow!  The Grand is hiding behind that breezy cloud

This house is full of mold from a very unfortunate water leak.  This weekend, they will be spraying the entire home, every stud, with baking soda and ground walnut!  Did you know that kills mold?

All the finishes have been stripped in preparation and the remodel begins next week.  Moving walls, adding pieces from the past...It will be beautiful and amazing when we are done!

I rushed back home to get the house decorated for Shelbie's 'Friendsgiving' she is hosting this weekend with her friends.  They are a great group of girls and I love to hear them laughing when they are together.  Shelbie had a great day!  I got the house finished just in time for the girls to arrive.  They will be making their own turkey dinner the Wasband's home because he has a bigger house and a way nicer and bigger kitchen.

Ready for Friendsgiving.  It's a little early for Christmas decorations personally but I have to admit, it is a nice change and really, what does it matter?
 This tree was another milestone.  It's 25 years old this week!  It was the first major purchase my Wasband and I made when we were married our first year.  I was working at a Christmas Store down at the mall and with my discount and some saved pennies, we sweat bullets as we forked over the $200 to buy it.  I love this tree!  When I got divorced, I only wanted 4 things...The piano, a set of black picture frames, a carved rocking chair and this tree.   It fits perfectly in my shoebox of a house.

This is what the tree looks like before...

It's skinny and scrawny much like us, but boy, those branches are sturdy and carry more weight than one would expect! With all the decorations on it, it's full and beautiful and each ornament tells a weighty story of its own.  There is so much to see in this tree, so much depth and so many layers.

One last picture...The mantel with our little tribute to our Forever, Angel Santa...Mike who passed away just over a year ago.

I wonder if I could cram anymore into one day!  It's pretty much a typical day in the life of me...busy as all get out! I'm on the go from sunrise to nearly the next sunrise!

Truth be told, the holidays are not my favorite time of the year for a number of reasons but I did wander back through time today, with some great memories.  Here's a little piece of trivia I bet you didn't know about me.  Before I became obsessed with keeping my children alive, I designed, created and then decorated homes in Park City for the Holidays.  It was so much fun.  I would work on my designs in June, start making them in August and then the weekend before Thanksgiving, would pack them all up, travel to Park City and decorate vacation homes with all my handmade ornaments. The owner's of the homes would show up from their permanent residence back East and walk into a wonderland of Christmas.  It was a cool gig! I can't believe the hundreds and hundreds of ornaments I made...In a single wide trailer, with a 3 year old and 1 year old...those were the days!


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