whiski_sour: (gibbs smile)
Uncle Lucky arranged for the family to get together at a corner bar to have a bit of a memorial drink for Papa. He was the youngest of ten kids, but he was considered the head of our clan and busted his ass to keep us all connected. The rest of the family felt they should do SOMETHING to honor him and his life.

It was fitting and the kind of thing Papa would have liked. Nothing sad. Just the family getting together at a bar, eating and drinking and laughing and telling stories. Aunt Ruby kept getting choked up, but it was understandable. Papa lived with her for six years after their parents died (their mom died when Papa was 8 and their dad died when Papa was 12 or 13). She contributed to his raising. And Aunt Jo got unexpectedly choked up talking about Grandma (her sister). But other than that, things were pretty dry-eyed.

Grandma and Papa were there in spirit and in body, so to speak. Dad has both of their ashes in the Jeep. He said if Aunt Ruby hadn't have been there, he'd have put Papa's ashes in his wheel chair with his ball cap on top and sat it at one of the tables.

Yeah, he's having entirely too much fun with the remains of his parents. He actually admitted to it. He said he might not spread them after all because he is enjoying them so much.

My DNA is a funky, funky thing.

It was nice chatting with some family members. Aunt Ruby and I talked baseball and the Cubs. Not many people can say they have awesome baseball talks with their 83 year old great-aunt, but considering Uncle Harry was so important and instrumental to little league in the area, it's not far-fetched for me.

Speaking of being instrumental, members of the Decatur Computer Club, which Papa helped start and was president of for many years, stopped by and gave the family a nice card. He hadn't really been much of a participant for the last few years of his life, so to have them do that was really nice.

It was just a nice afternoon all around. I'm glad they did it and I'm glad I went.
whiski_sour: (wtf?)
Dad found Grandma today. She was in the entertainment center, which is funny because she never really watched much TV. Dad decided to bring her home with him rather than have Aunt Jo stumble across her. And since he picked up Papa at the funeral home today, both of them got a car ride. It's probably the only car ride they had that didn't involve a disagreement.

They're still out in the Jeep.

I guess the plan is to spread their ashes out at the homestead they spent a majority of their married lives on.

Unless Dad changes his mind and tucks them away somewhere and I get to go on a treasure hunt for them after he dies.

That could be a fun family tradition. Find the ashes of your relatives!

Yeah, I'd better keep that one to myself. My family would actually do it.
whiski_sour: (wtf bleu)
Dad, Aunt Jo, and Nancy have started going through Papa's things. There's a lot to sort, to be sure.

I asked my sister if there was anything she wanted. She just asked for a clock she'd given my grandparents for their anniversary and my grandma's Santa Claus collection.

I'm getting the sewing table, another little cabinet, a children's book, and the ugliest blown glass clown in the history of blown glass anything. Carrie says it's evil, but I disagree; it lacks the eyebrows to be evil.

So far, Dad has brought home a portable DVD player, eight guns, a gazillion DVDs, a Kindle, and a cat. Sweetheart is going to be living with us. Emma the dog is living with Aunt Jo. Right now we're taking things slow with Sweetheart, letting her get adjusted to the new house and new people.

Papa stressed that I was to get the Kindle (I don't know when he stressed this, but okay). I turned it on and it went right to the last page he was reading. He was nearly finished with the book. I feel bad because he didn't get to finish it. I also kind of want to leave it that way because if it stays then a part of Papa lingers.

It's silly, but I'm still in the mood for silly thoughts.

Papa had about ten filing cabinets plus a desk full of papers that Dad is just starting to go through. So far he's found programming instructions for a Commodore 64. It's entirely possible he still has a Commodore 64. Time and digging will tell.

It's also possible that Grandma is still in the house. Papa initially told us that he scattered Grandma's ashes in the flower bed. Except before he died, he told Aunt Jo that Dad will handle Grandma. So, there ya go. Something to look forward to.

I can't wait to see what else they find.
whiski_sour: (ache)
Papa passed away early this morning. It wasn't entirely unexpected as he'd been in hospital for a few weeks. After they got his heart troubles straightened out, they found out his kidneys were failing. There was nothing they could do, so the goal was to get him strong enough to go home with my Aunt Jo.

Unfortunately, that didn't happen. He was getting the therapy he needed, but between a couple of setbacks and his own unwillingness (he turned into a right hateful ass the last couple of weeks) he made no progress. Just last night they moved him back to the 4th floor in preparation to take him to hospice. I guess he decided he was done and wasn't going to go. By all accounts, he died in his sleep (according to Dad, he looked like he was sleeping, too: eyes closed, mouth wide open...the only difference was there was no sound; he could snore so hard the windows rattled).

Despite his jackass behavior right at the end, he was a wonderful grandfather. He was just one of the kids when he'd play. Loving and supportive. I'm going to miss him bunches. Words cannot express how lucky I was to have him in my life and how grateful I am to be able to call him my papa.

Love you.

Rest in peace (if grandma lets you).
whiski_sour: (listen to the music)
Happy Easter.

I did nothing but watch baseball and work on writing stuff. We really haven't had a family Easter since the first year after my grandma passed away. Easter is hard for Papa because it's usually around my grandma's birthday and their anniversary. Him still being in the hospital ensured that there was going to be no holiday dinner this year.

I did eat peanutbutter eggs with breakfast, though.

We all celebrate in our own way.
whiski_sour: (Danno's on hold)
It turns out the spells Papa is having is related to his congestive heart failure. So they tweaked his pacemaker/defibrillator to help. He was doing well yesterday and in a good mood. The thought he was going to be able to come home today.

However, today he had a couple of more spells and they moved him to ICU. They changed his medicine which made him sick and made him cranky. But he's doing better for now. They're running more tests and he's got to have a CAT scan to gauge his leukemia (I forgot he has that; he's not taking treatment for it) to see if his lymphnodes are swollen.

So, we'll see. Just taking it one day at a time.
whiski_sour: (*headdesk*)
I was going to post about the past two days at work and how I've come to really dislike Tuesdays and Wednesdays because that's when things like to go pear shaped, but there was a sudden turn of events around dinnertime that changed my mind.

Aunt Jo called to say that she was taking Papa to the hospital and she wanted Dad to come down to help wrangle him/interpret for him (he's mostly deaf and requires extra ears). Apparently, they were at my cousin Jake's ballgame when Papa had a seizure and quit breathing for a minute. He came around pretty quickly, though, and told my aunt that he'd had two others earlier today, but he didn't say anything because he wanted to go to Jake's game.

*headdesk*

I love the man, but he's as stubborn as they come. He wouldn't be doing this sort of thing if my grandma were still alive because she was more stubborn than he was. She'd have taken care of this business quick as a bunny.

I don't anticipate it being anything any more serious than what he's already got going on (he's got congestive heart failure), but still. He doesn't have to be such a pain.

I think the worst part about this whole mess is the glimpse I'm getting of my potential future with my father. He's just as stubborn and he's going to be just as big of a pain in the ass.
whiski_sour: (Dempster Laugh)
Since Papa was unable to come up for my birthday, I went down to visit him today. He's doing pretty well.

Last year before Christmas, he bought himself a Kindle. He's probably got 150 books on it now and he reads about two books a day. He likes just about any genre, but he's taken to reading anything free. This includes romance novels and romantic thrillers.

Papa swears that all of the characters are alike, the descriptions are similar, the plots are similar, only the names change. Oh, and if it ain't about a vampire, it's about a cowboy.

Anyway, he was telling me about one of the cowboy books he'd read by this author that apparently wrote a whole series about every member of some family in Montana. The cowboy in this book looked like the cowboys in other books, blonde, tall, broad shoulders, tight jeans. It was the tight jeans that got him. During his synopsis of this book, any time he referred to the cowboy he'd be sure to add tight jeans.

I cannot communicate the absolute hilarity of a 76 year old man sitting in a wheel chair, wearing a Mr. Roger's sweater, his hair back in a ponytail and his beard down his chest, wearing a navy baseball cap for some company I've never heard of, with a smirk on his face and in his voice saying, "Tight jeans" in reference to a character whose name he couldn't even remember. I laughed so hard, I thought I was going to break the chair I was sitting in. It was fantastic.

That Kindle is turning out to be worth every penny he spent on it. And thensome, if you factor in the comedy.

For the record, Papa has always been at the forefront of computer technology and whatnot. He ran a computer club for years. He's the reason why I ended up with a computer when I was eight and learned to surf the web when it was in its infancy. With his love of reading and technology, it's no shock that he got a Kindle. It's funny to think about how technologically advanced my grandpa is when his son just recently got the hang of e-mail because he's so resistent to it.
whiski_sour: (happy holidays fuckers)
Dad, Carrie, and I headed down to Aunt Jo's this afternoon. We ended up with a full house: the three of us, Aunt Jo, Nancy, Jake, Papa, cousin Chuck, and cousin Patty. It's been quite awhile since I've spent any time in Patty's company and since her husband just recently passed away, I was a little apprehensive of what her mood might bit, but she seemed in very good spirits. The company was quite excellent.

We opened presents before dinner. Dad and Jake both got knives and Papa got duct tape. Yes, I wrapped it. No, it's not the first time duct tape has been given as a serious gift for Christmas (I got it once in high school; yes I did appreciate it). Papa, who never fails us, got Carrie a Harry Potter book she's been coveting and me a Cubs shirt. Aunt Jo and Nancy got us both really nice, fleecy blankets (she got Dad once last year). Mine has an angel, Carrie's has a lighthouse. Also, I know have 50 bucks in Olive Garden gift cards between Mom and Aunt Jo. I am set for pasta and I am good with this.

Aunt Jo and Nancy outdid themselves this year with the spread. There was turkey, pork roast, ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes, peas, scalloped corn, bread pudding, stuffing, broccoli salad, corn salad, cranberry salad, olives, candied dills, homemade bread, fruit bread, applesauce bread, banana bread, and for dessert there was pumpkin, pecan, and cherry pie. It was just incredible.

Naturally, I filled myself up fit to bust and I was way behind most of my family. I was miserable for a good half an hour after I ate. I don't know how the people who ate twice as much as I did weren't imitating beached whales.

Playing cards has kind of become a holiday tradition, I guess. We play Spit at Thanksgiving and Christmas, almost always the same players: me, Carrie, Jake, and Aunt Jo. This year, Jake left kind of early to go to his dad's, so that left the three of us ladies. The game was paused twice, once for pie and one so Aunt Jo could show us some old jewelry she had. I was impressed when she brought out the watch that belonged to my great-great grandpa's mother. Then she brought a pin and earrings that belonged to my great-great grandpa's grandmother. Better still, they were made from actual coins. The date on one was 1857. I had no idea we had something so cool.

At the end of the card playing, Aunt Jo vowed revenge because Carrie and I were getting Spit a lot more than she was and even when she did, one of us would still manage to beat her in the card count. It just wasn't her night tonight. Heh.

All in all, even though the nieces couldn't come, it was a good Christmas.

I hope all of you had a terrfic day, too, whether you celebrate or not.

Merry Christmas and Rob Whoville!
whiski_sour: (in trouble)
For those of you playing the home game, my dad's side of the family owns farm land. Not much, about 40 acres in Southern Illinois. When my great-grandma passed away, it was passed to my grandma and great-aunt. Since my grandma passed away, her share of the land when to my dad, but Papa has been taking care of paying the bills, while Aunt Jo has been taking care of the business communications and Dad signs the checks and is kept in the loop.

Well, it's been decided that since one day Dad's share of the farm will go to me and Mimzie, I need to learn the ropes of managing the farm account. Mimzie gets a pass because a)she's in Texas and b)she's terrible with money. She'll tell you she's terrible with it. She has no problem with me being in charge of the money.

So that's going to be a fun adult thing to learn. Me learning it won't be hard; them teaching it will be.

If there's one thing my family can do it's make things complicated.
whiski_sour: (Fishy people)
Went to my dad's family reunion this afternoon. Good times.

Papa got drunk on pirate's piss and kept making drunken announcements until he finally called out the Neeley family for separating themselves from the rest of us every year. So that was fun. It would have been better if he did it while sober. I'm just saying.

Carrie got her first real taste of my dad's side of the family. Something like a 115 people showed up today. She kept asking who was who. Papa is the youngest of 10. There's nearly 30 years between him and the oldest. Some of his nieces and nephews are older than he is. And those 10 kids had a lot of kids of their own. It gets quite complicated.

They're a loud and rowdy bunch, so I'm rockin' one hell of a headache right now. But the food was really good, as it always is, and it was nice seeing some of my favorite relatives. The weather was perfect, too.

But, the family reunion always means that Fall is coming and frankly, I'm just not ready for it yet.
whiski_sour: (vrooom!)
Yesterday, I went down south to visit Papa for his 75th birthday. I took him a couple of new DVDs and some cinnamon swirl bread. We talked. He told me stories and I raided his vinyl collection (I get my ecclectic taste in music from him, I think). We had some good, quality grandpa-granddaughter time.

Today, Carrie and I went up north to visit my mom and the nieces. Carrie's mom made the girls scarves, so we had to deliver them and I had them make her thank you cards. Carrie ended up taking Smurf to run errands while I played Rock Band for the first time ever with Hammie and Hobbit. Smurf is a slower shopper than Carrie, something I didn't think possible. And "Mr. Roboto" is totally my, Hammie's, and Hobbit's song. Just saying.

All in all, it's been a very entertaining two days.

It's also been rather tiring. That's why this is so short.
whiski_sour: (pleased)
Papa is out of the hospital. He's coughed up a lot of the crap that's been hanging out in his lungs due to the pneumonia and they've gotten the fluid off of him, so now he's breathing and feeling much better.

Aunt Jo told Dad that since Papa got home, everything's been pissing him off. Dad takes that as a good sign. Heh.

While Papa was in the hospital, Dad built him a ramp for his scooter. He also fixed the screen door so it wasn't held shut be a screwdriver. And he cleaned the kitchen and the utility room.

I imagine Papa is happy with all of that. After constantly telling my Dad what to do when he was growing up, it's probably nice that he does stuff without being asked now.

Finally! The boy is well trained!
whiski_sour: (is he dead?)
Dead body. I'm good. )

In other, non-murder mystery related news, Papa's back in the hospital. Still having trouble with the pneumonia and the fluid, but he's got a laptop and the hospital has wireless, so he's toughing it out. Dad visited him today and said he was in pretty good spirits.

Papa sent me an email while Dad was there that simply said: You owe me for babysitting your dad.

So I replied: You're not babysitting him. I'm loaning him to you.

Yeah, I'd say Papa is doing okay. Heh.
whiski_sour: (vrooom!)
Due to the snowglobe-like weather (lots of snow, high winds, no wind breakers, we're not going to be seeing pavement for awhile), Dad's retirement open house was postponed until next week.

Which is just as well since Papa wanted to go and he's still in the hospital. His pneumonia is getting better, but he's retained a lot of fluid (it's part of his heart condition) and they want to get it all off before they send him home. So he's going to be there for a couple of more days at least. He's resigned to it, but he's not exactly happy about it.

And again, it's just as well that they keep him in a couple of more days because he doesn't need to be out in this nasty weather anyway.

Speaking of the weather, it was quite pretty toward sunset when it stopped snowing and there was a break in the wind. My skull didn't appreciate the prettiness, though.
whiski_sour: (Groove)
This is turning into quite an active week.

After over a year without a hospital stay, Papa went back in today. He's got pneumonia. Dad says it can't be too bad because while Dad was on the phone with my great-aunt, Papa was in the background just a bitchin'. Heh. They've got him on antibiotics and he should only be in the hospital for a couple of days.

Tomorrow I've got to take Pete to the vet for her shots. Neither one of us are looking forward to this trip. Pete is good at the vet and good in the car, but she doesn't like it. I spend the whole time peeling a cat off of my shoulders. You don't realize how hard buckling your seatbelt can be until you have to do it around a cat.

(FYI: The reason why we don't use a cat carrier is because Pete can't be in an enclosed space like that. She spazzes out and hurts herself. When I first brought her home from my mother's house, she'd bloodied herself by the end of the trip.)

Thursday the police department is holding an open house to celebrate Dad's retirement after 25 years of service. He really doesn't want to go. He tried to talk them out of it, but no luck. If Papa is out of the hospital by then, he wants to go, too. I'm just going to watch my dad grump and to see how many people that he's arrested over the years show up. Should be a good time.

I hope there's punch and pie.
whiski_sour: (happy holidays fuckers)
Happy Humbug!

Dad, Carrie, and I took Hobbit and Smurf (Hammie didn't want to go) down to Aunt Jo's house to have Christmas with her, Papa, Nancy, and Jake. Aunt Jo's friend CJ and her son Frank were there, too.

It rained all day yesterday and with a frost line of 3 to 5 inches, there was a lot of standing water on the way down. We took the back roads and had to drive through it because the road had flooded in a couple of places. I've never seen that before. Of course, the temperature dropped and it snowed all day, so I can only imagine what that turned into. We took the freeway back, so it'll always remain a mystery.

Dinner was good. Aunt Jo forgot to get the sweet potatoes and stuffing out of the oven until after we'd all eaten. The sweet potatoes were fine, but the stuffing didn't survive. The bottom was all burnt.

We opened presents. The girls made out like bandits, as they always do. Barbies and art supplies and gift cards, oh my! Papa got Carrie more Twilight stuff and I got two new books and season six of NCIS. Ah, the gift of Gibbs.

Dad wrapped Jake's present in camo duct tape over packing tape. It was great. It took him about fifteen minutes to get it open. What did Dad get him? A knife. Did Jake cut himself on it? Of course. That's how you properly break it in.

We managed to play a couple of hands of Spit before it was time to pack up and take the girls home. It was a long day, at least for Hobbit. She fell asleep on the way home. She told me earlier than Santa came to her house too early this morning, that's why she was tired.

I'm tired because Christmas never fails to wear me out. But it was a good one.

I hope yours was good, too.
whiski_sour: (is he dead?)
Castle...'What was the murder weapon?' 'Some kind of death ray.' 'Turns your insides out.' )

In non-TV news, today was Dad's birthday. Papa, Aunt Jo, and Nancy came up for cake and ice cream. They brought the dogs, too. It was a good visit. I gave Papa his copy of the anthology and he gave me a DVD of The Beast With Five Fingers.

I guess you could say we exchanged horrors.

Tis the season.
whiski_sour: (pleased)
Girls night was a blast. We ate. Andi and Diana drank. We sat out on the porch for three hours until we all started complaining about various body parts hurting.

Then Carrie called because some cop cars and a fire truck were down the street and we're all like "FIELD TRIP!" and we piled into two cars and headed to my house to scope it out like you do on a Saturday night in the middle of nowhere. Standing on the corner under the street light, pointing and talking, that kind of hicktown affair.

Turns out, it wasn't that interesting (hell, one of the cops left not too long afer we got there), so I called it a night. The rest of the girls (I found out from Mimzie) cruised the square a couple of times, checked out the old Dave's parking lot (the new cool hangout), and then the party broke up because, hell, it was after 11 and that's late nowadays.

After eight hours of questionable sleep (I had the weirdest dreams...weird even for me), I got up this morning and prettied up so Dad and I could head to the family reunion. I haven't been in a couple of years because I've been going to DragonCon.

I had a good time. The best part about the reunion, aside from tormenting cousins, is the food. It never disappoints. I thought someone was going to have to roll me out of there. So good.

I got to see a bunch of relatives that I haven't seen in awhile, though attendance was down a bit this year (speaking of relatives, someone has unearthed evidence that my great grandmother was third cousins, four times removed, with Zachary Taylor and Robert E. Lee...go figure). Had my picture taken I don't know how many times. It was starting to feel like the paparazzi invaded.

Mimzie brought the girls down and they had fun playing with the distant cousins they never see. I bet Smurf was asleep five minutes into the ride home. They played hard today.

Dad and I were among the last to leave, along with Papa, Aunt Jo, Nancy, Jake, Lucky, Sandy, Shug, Jason, Kelly, and Kelly's son whose name I can never remember. The handful of us were standing around getting ready to go when the sky finally opened up and we all got soaked in a downpour. Kelly had to ride home in it on his Harley. I laughed because he's one of the cousins I torment.

All in all, it was a good weekend.

Tomorrow, I don't plan on doing a damn thing.
whiski_sour: (gibbs smile)
Had a nice little unexpected visit from Papa and my cousin Nancy. Turns out Nancy's son Jake had a birthday party here in town, so they stopped by while he partied.

We sat on the patio and chatted and enjoyed the nice weather. Papa seemed to be doing well and was in a good mood.

It was a very pleasant way to spend the afternoon.

And it was a great excuse not to get anything done today. Heh.

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Cheshyre

February 2014

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