Thursday, May 31, 2007

Goodbye to Grammy

Grammy's funeral was yesterday and it went as well as something like this can go. Family & friends have been incredibly supportive. They have made this sad time so much easier for my immediate family and we're really grateful.

I couldn't think of a better way to write about Grammy than to post her eulogy. I somehow managed to avoid crying while I gave it, which is pretty amazing. I think she was there to help give me strength. :)

Requiscat in Pace - Eleanor Jean MacLeod
December 8, 1929 - May 26, 2007

"We've come together today to honor and remember Eleanor Jean MacLeod, also known as Ellie Jean, Mum, Grammy, and Great-Grammy. The qualities that I found most extraordinary about Grammy were her selflessness and her sense of humor. It is these qualities that help us to remember her with love and joy mixed with our sadness.

Grammy's selflessness was well known to all of us. She always put others first, to the point where we had to remind her to think of herself. She carried what I used to call a "grammy purse." It was a purse filled with anything that her children, grandchildren, and other's children might need: gum, nail clippers, Kleenex, pens, band aids, dollar bills for the offering plate, and mints. For many years, at some point during Sunday service, either Kristen or I would ask her, "Can I have a mint?" She would pass that silver foil roll of Lifesavers and it would often come back empty. Many people got a mint just by virtue of being in the same pew as her!

As most of you know, she also had a great sense of humor. Despite having known her as well as we did, she was still able to surprise us with her jokes and her silliness. When we were kids, she used to roller skate down Lincoln St. with Kristen and me. She also used to hike with us up a nearby hill. We called it "Picnic Rock," for the picnics that the three of us shared up there. Every Halloween when we were young, she dressed up when we went to their house for candy. One year she was a witch, with a tall pointy hat and long warty nose; another year, she was a cheerleader, with a short pleated skirt and pom-poms. Her silliness and her sense of humor taught us that it was ok to cut loose and have fun with your family.

At the end of her life, Grammy's selflessness and her sense of humor were as evident as they had always been. On Friday night, my sister, parents, and I visited her at the hospital for what we thought would probably be the last time. When we walked into her room, she said "Oh, you didn't have to come." My dad joked with her, saying "Well, the Red Sox were in rain delay, so we had nothing else to do." She looked up at her son-in-law and laughed.

We spent a couple of hours with her that night, talking and holding her hand. When it was time to go, we told her we loved her and began to walk out of the room, tears running down our faces. She looked at Kristen and me, the last ones to leave, and said "Don't cry." That was Grammy - thinking of others to the last.

She went through a lot over the last year or so. She finally decided to leave things up to God and He decided it was her time to go. My mother said to me the other day, "Grammy definitely left the world a better place."

Now, we are left to honor and remember her. One way we can do that is to continue her legacy and try to make the world a better place. We can show others the same compassion that Grammy showed to everyone she met. And we can always remember to leave room for a little silliness."

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Ellie Jean

Sad news - my sweet grandmother passed away early Saturday morning. I'll be taking this week off from the blog, to attend her wake & funeral, spend time with family, and grieve.

In the meantime, I'll leave you with a photo of her & her beloved great-grandson. Here are some of the photos that will be in the slideshow at her wake. Please think of me & my family as we deal with this tough time.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Thank Goodness for Small Favors

I had a student tonight in a rural town & the drive out was lovely. I ended up 20 minutes early, so I pulled off the road & hopped a stone wall into a grassy orchard. I wandered around a bit, smelling the scent of the tall grass, and enjoying the breeze & the sunlight.

It hit me that if you have to get dumped, May is a good month for it to happen. ;)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Proud of my PEI

You guys, I'm pretty proud right now. My little baby Canadian province (just 3,531 square miles & 138,519 residents) is making some good-sized strides for sustainable energy. In short, PEI has nearly completed the second of two wind farms in a plan to reduce carbon emissions. The provincial government hopes to generate 30% of its energy from wind power by 2016. You can read more about their efforts here.

The article brings up the excellent point that the Island does not possess any of its own sources for traditional fuel, like coal, natural gas or petroleum. Therefore, it makes sense for them to explore alternative energy sources. For PEI, wind is a natural choice, as it's an abundant resource there. I can attest - I've stood on its beaches, fished in its waters, and tried to keep clothing on its clotheslines! ;)

Another interesting point the article makes is the accessibility of PEI's major players. Jamie Ballem, the minister of environment & energy, is quoted as saying, "If you're developing a new technology, we're able to provide something nobody else can: a self-contained province where, with two days notice, I can get you a meeting with the premier or the head of the university." Another point to which I can (kind of) personally attest - my ex-boyfriend from PEI once told the premier a very dirty joke at a barbecue! ;)

The newest wind farm, near Elmira, is only about an hour from our house & just 15 minutes from one of our favorite beaches. You can bet I'm going to drag the family there this summer & take some pictures of my own!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Old Friends - Canine & Otherwise

Thanks for the continued support, you guys. You've all come up with some great ideas to help me get over Nick! Caity - I love the new underwear one. ;)

My best friend is home this week from NYC, so I hung out with her tonight. Despite the fact that we're both in our mid-twenties, it makes me feel about fifteen again to hang out in her parents' finished basement & watch TV. :)

Plus, I got to see my "doggie niece," Vixen. Look at that cute, smooshy face! She loves, loves, loves her auntie Stacey & nearly bowled me over when I walked in tonight. I also got some cuddles from Best Friend's mother's dog, Maizie.

All in all, a good night with some old friends.

Saturday, May 19, 2007


To sum up - my last 24 hours were pretty sucky, but one or two things are keeping things (barely) manageable.

Sucky Things:
  • It's been two weeks since Nick & I broke up, so I had a long cry last night.
  • My engine was smoking while I was sitting in traffic last night, so I had to add a quart of oil & another of coolant this morning.
  • Which resulted in my running late for work, which led to my driving too fast on the highway, which resulted in a $250 speeding ticket from a state cop, which of course made me even more late. Sigh.
  • I drove an hour out of my way on the way home to see an apartment & the people (my possible future roommates) weren't home!
  • The Red Sox lost the second game of today's doubleheader against the Braves - by a lot (0-14).
  • My apartment is really cold. I think the landlords are trying to avoid turning the furnace on in May. I understand this, but I am sitting on the couch in socks, fleece pants (Nick's), a long-sleeved shirt, a hoodie sweatshirt, and fingerless gloves. I'm just warm enough.
Saving Graces:
  • Talking with my best friend about the break-up, finally. She's been taking her first year law school finals, so she wasn't able to be there for me as much as we both wanted when it first happened.
  • The air cast I bought yesterday for my sprained foot is more comfortable & wearable than I thought it would be. Yeah, I know this one is a stretch, but an Ace wrap around your ankle for two weeks is no fun, people.
  • My Smuttynose IPA is yummy. So is my Green & Black's organic chocolate bar.
  • The Red Sox won the first game of today's doubleheader, by a lot (13-3). This puts them nine games ahead of the second-place Orioles.
  • Good second day of work today. Learned a lot about the museum & the historic homes that I'll be interpreting.
  • I'm babysitting for my nephew tomorrow afternoon. Hanging with him always cheers me up. :)
Looks like a draw, you guys.

Shudder. A big, nasty silverfish just strolled, bold as brass, across my floor. I smooshed him with my shoe, but I think that puts me at -1 for the day. :(

Thursday, May 17, 2007

New Webcomics, You Guys!

Found a new webcomic site, thanks to Sarah at Whoopdedoo (who recently started selling her adorable envelopes online - check them out!). It's called xkcd & it's pretty funny, kids.

Whew - a lotta links in that last paragraph. Anywho . . . the comics I liked best had to do with staying young & avoiding the mundane grown-up world. I re-posted three of my favorites below. You should check them out. Now. :)

Oops - that last one is a little more philosophical, but still about staying young & avoiding the mundane. :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

"Get off the f-ing computer and go outside"

Have I told you guys about Married to the Sea lately? I love them. I particularly love this comic, because it ties in well with my post tonight. ;)

After work tonight, I played kickball with some of my co-workers. Yeah, you heard me right. KICK. BALL. When 5:30 rolled around, we drove our asses to a nearby park with a rubber ball & some bases and played kickball.

Well, all I did was pitch, actually. Remember when I spontaneously fell down & twisted my foot a couple of weeks ago? It hasn't gotten much better & I had to have x-rays taken today. There's a decent chance that one of my metatarsal bones is fractured. Hence - pitching only & no kicking or base running.

The point, of course, is that it was really nice to get outside. The evening was warm & windy, the park was busy with softball & soccer games going on, and I was loving it. On the drive home, with both front windows down & the wind blowing my hair around, I thought "Well, I miss Nick, but summer is coming and summer is good and maybe, with the lovely green trees & the soft breezes & the cute boys out & about, maybe I'll get through this ok."

Of course, looks to be rainy & chilly over the next few days, so maybe not. Just kidding! ;)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Family Can Drive You Crazy . . .

But they can also keep you sane. ;)

I'm having a tough time writing about losing Nick & getting re-adjusted to being single (though I will at some point). In the meantime, I'll focus on more light-hearted stuff.

Like pictures of the nephew! Check out the pics below from his second Mother's Day:

Helping his Grammy unload the dishwasher

Presenting his Great-Gramma with a Mother's Day balloon

And finally, checking out the Mickey Mouse card he gave his Mommy
(it sang, he giggled, a good time was had by all).

Thursday, May 10, 2007


At the risk of sounding like every other woman in the world who has lost her love . . . this is tough, you guys. This week has involved a lot of crying, talking to friends, family, and patient co-workers, and trying to get used to the idea that it really happened.

Thanks to all of you who have left comments & warm wishes. I'm still a little amazed that complete strangers can be so supportive, but I'm really grateful. :)

There is still one more issue left unresolved between us & I'm hoping to talk to him about it next week. I will let you know how that goes. Fingers crossed!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

The End

So. Nick & I broke up this weekend. In short - we love each other very much, but something is telling him that we aren't right in the "forever" sense. I have no such feeling, but we both believe we can't be together if he does. Despite the mature, honest, and respectful way we ended the relationship, I am completely shattered. Please excuse my hiatus this week as I try to pick up the pieces.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Clumsy Cathy

I have a confession to make, you guys. For those of you who know me IRL (In Real Life), this confession will not come as any kind of shock. In fact, if "shock" was in Japan, you would be in Boston. Or something that indicates a long distance. You get the idea.

For those of you who don't know me, well, I just hope this doesn't lower me in your esteem. ;)

Bless me, father, for I am . . . clumsy. It's sad, but true. I have been clumsy all my life - regularly twisting ankles, whacking my head on walls, and various other feats of poor coordination. In middle school, I once fell off the uneven bars - straight down, from a height of maybe 5 feet, landing on my back & knocking the wind right out. In high school, I once leaned over while jogging around the track at practice (to pants one of my teammates, actually) & ended up twisting ligaments in my back.

More recently (a.k.a. this weekend), I fell into my boyfriend's bathtub on a 5am bathroom run. Check out my fancy scrape here. And the piece de resistance occurred on Tuesday when I badly sprained my foot. Doing what, you ask? Running? Biking? Training for a marathon? Nope - getting up from my desk!

I'm not kidding - stop laughing. ;) Around 11am, I took a sip of cold coffee & after spitting it back into the mug, stood up to go warm it up. You know how in most cases, you can tell when your foot is asleep? Apparently, my "foot-is-asleep" gauge was broken. I had no idea my right foot was asleep & so I boldly stepped away from my chair. After much wild flailing & flashes of pain, I crumpled to the ground, in front of my office door.

Coffee everywhere, coworkers running to help, drama all around. Greg, who is going to medical school in the fall, was the "first responder" & helped me back to my chair. When I started to tell my concerned colleagues what had happened, I began to see the humor in the spill & started laughing like a hyena. Relieved, they did too.

Ultimately, my mother (who has medical experience) doesn't think it's fractured, but it is badly sprained. I've been icing, elevating, and wrapping it for two days now. It's developing a lovely blueish bruise, which I captured on camera if anyone wants to see.

Sigh. I might be a lost cause, you guys. I might just have sit immobile on a couch for the rest of my life. Send beer? ;)