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December 20th, 2023

Well there you have it and now you know. I am the most consistant inconsistant person I know. I can laugh at it and I hope you do as well but it does cause some great frustration for me. Not with blogging…like who cares. It’s not like it pays me. But when I can’t conisistantly clean my house (its small it shouldn’t take long especially if I do one room a day!) I’m frustrated at messes or piles or not being able to find stuff. When I can’t find my keys…wallet…glasses….or whatever I need at the moment because in my whole lifetime, I couldn’t teach my brain to drop the keys in the same spot daily. My whole lifetime!!! I’m missing pieces of my brain. There are days when I wonder if I have dead spots in there.

Since the kids were little we tried to do the 12 days of Christmas and it worked out well when they didn’t have lives and little things excited them. A night of Polar Express and hot cocoa was exciting and appreciated and Mark could convince them it was a special special night. Now….I mean, we can watch Polar Express but Hatcher might leave to go lift and one of the girls might get a facetime call.????? But for real…as the kids got older I said we can’t do this because those that covet tradition are dissapointed because we can’t all be there and we can’t all do it and those of us trying to plan it all just get exhausted and then we turn into Christmas Grinches and they don’t understand why. So far, with the kids home I have been able to manage some sort of festive activity and its been fun.

My great friend Stacie’s son made Kiyah a wooden airplane for Christmas for one of his classes. It was super sweet..and totally appropriate since Mark was a pilot.

Yesterday Cora and I took a Winter Walk through Marshall Trail along the creek and downt into town. Aly had been sick Sunday night and couldn’t come and Hatcher was still at school. We popped into Timbered Spirit, which I never go into because it is at the FAR end of town and I have no reason to even park near it. ( it used to be a gas station that I would bring my many many pop cans to after the motox cross races) I found some cute playing cards for the rental that have the chain of lakes on them (Sylvan, Emerald, Kimball, and Pickeral) so I picked those up and we continued our walk to the River Stop Cafe. That place will always feel nostalgic to me. When they first moved over to that building the original safe was open with toys for kids to play in while parents drank coffee. Mark and I would go down there and drink coffee and talk and we often had Karson with us so we played Jenga like no one’s business. So Cora and I busted out the new cards and she taught me a game called Whist. It has a Euchre feel but its 2 man and the Jack is never higher than the rest of the cards. She was kicking my butt and somehow I got chocolate on the new cards. We noticed in our third round that they had turned the sign and locked the door. Whoops. They close at 4 on Tuesdays. We had asked Hatcher to join us be he had a meeting so it did remain a me and Cora thing. But in the time we were there I thought that we do need to make it a common activity to go to the coffee shop and play cards and get away from the TV and the phones. We continued our walk to the Market 41, Velocity, gas station (for the GR Press, which they didn’t have but the old man working there was pleased we stopped in and hoped to see us again. Borderline creepy) and then the library for books they didn’t have so we have several on hold coming in…at some point. We ended the night with dinner with my church small group….also just Cora and I because even though Hatcher was home..he went to the gym. We ARE chopped liver.

So to catch up on the last week and a half of days of Christmas:

The ChrisKrindle Market downtown is nice…but it would be nicer with snow and maybe at night so the lights feel twinkly and magical. Also, go early in the season to get the souvenir mug with your hot cocoa. The trinkets and such are cute…but pricey. HOWEVER….just up the road and around the corner are several vintage thrift shops and that, my friends…made my kids delighted. We spent more time there than the market. No ice at Rosa parks…so no ice skating this year. Again.

Hike the Lights at Muskegon Sports Complex is a fun idea when you have no snow and want to get people over there. The cross country trail is lit so you basically can hike/walk the whole trail system at night (there are non-lit sections as well) and I did that with my other small group but I had to urge to run it! I did try to go back to it with the kids but it was a misty gross Sunday so we stayed in.

Stringing popcorn is hard. It doesn’t stay on the string well and after and hour you have about 2-3 ft. So our tree has two short strands on it. Just adds to its beautiful ugliness. Also Kiyah loves popcorn. We watched Candy Cane Lane that night (Eddie Murphy) and it was entertaining.

I can’t think of other things we have done.

I’ve been struggling with my rental mini split. It makes me look like an incompetent idiot when someone is there assessing it but when they are gone…the rental loses heat…or won’t stop heating up. I was suppose to spend this week replacing the shower head (I think the one I have is too messy because it has a handle) and spot painting places that have been dinged up but I have really just been concerned with the heat. I think I can hit some spots today though. There aren’t many.

When the girls are home I am always being woken up by alarms that no one had any real intentions of waking up to. But guess who did wake to them? Me. Yup. All 6 times they hit snooze. So on a Wednesday when I was going to wake up when I woke up…(appointment for Hatcher so I didn’t have to get him up)…I was woken up. Guess who also went to bed at 10….but was up til almost midnight due to loud laughing and talking kids who did not go to bed? That’s also me. I feel like I have been sleep deprived since Mark got sick and I would say even more so than when I was having babies and raising 6 kids. When I was laying in bed I was worried that I would wake up and the rental would be at 32 degrees. The other night.. I was woke up at 1:30 by one smoke alarm saying to me “low battery” every 1 min. So I had to switch batteries but even after I did it, it continued to chirp and yell at me. I had to assess this for over 30 mins. Once that was complete I went back to bed but of course cannot sleep right away. 3am comes and Aly is vomiting in the bathroom so I am up helping her and seeing to her needs. Back to bed…slowly try to drift back to sleep but I can hear her and wonder if she is okay….then 4:30 comes and the dog is whining…on my front porch! He sleeps in a kennel in the basement. ???? I went to put him back and he tried to escape out his door…twice! We had words..he tried to communicate he was not going in the kennel over his dead body and I was too sleep deprived to be submitting to a cocker spaniel. I won. At 6:30 my alarm went off. This was an extreme night but this seems to be what happens to me here. When I had a leaking water line to the rental….the well turned on every 15 mins. Its under my room (in the house. Grandfathered in) and its not quiet. Ask Hatcher, it adjoins to his room and the room has no door. Its on my to do list. Insulate/sound proof ceiling and wall for both our sakes. At the farmhouse in Kent City, the mechanical room was also under my room. I could hear the furnace kick on all the time. Its very not Fung Shui…at all.


I make lists for Christmas and make a budget in my brain but it never fails….I will shop til I have to stop and I will always be evening up the lists like they are 5 yrs old. Hatcher was counting gifts under the tree today….so I might not be far off in the age thing.

Dec 21,2023

Cora and I helped my mother in law with some organization and such. It was also good to see them. We delivered amazon returns and cookies. I guess that counts for a 12 days of Christmas activity becuase I’m skipping out on the Coffee shop and cards on Live Music Night. (time with a friend instead)

I took Hatcher for a second opinion on his finger…only because he plays the guitar and we want to make sure he can put pressure on it and fret on the guitar and that it works the right way.. I did tell him that people lose limbs and stil manage to do incredible things and so it will all be fine. But we did like the doctor today and they can get him in for surgery sooner– so we are all in. Who would of thought that pulling a chair up to the table at Thanksgiving to play a mean game of Catch Phrase would end in a fractured finger that that broke off the piece of bone that the tendon attaches to? He has surgery the day after Christmas and will have 2 pins in his finger for 5/6 weeks. He can resume playing tunes mid February and is looking for small gigs!

Its the 21st of December!! What?

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