New Year, New Blog Post

Happy New Year! (Or as it turns on… maybe not so Happy New Year for some of my readers/our family)

It’s been awhile since my last blog post because Joe, James and I were out of town.  We got a call on New Years Eve morning that Joe’s grandpa (they call him Papa, and his name is Joe too) was probably doing to die soon. We debated for a little bit and then our friends who run a kennel said they would take Cora, so we made a split-second decision to pack up the car and head towards the Twin Cities.  I think there was maybe 2-3 hours between the first call and when we were dropping Cora off at the kennel and hitting the road.  We’ve never packed and left so quickly.  Normally when we travel I organize, pack and make lists for days. We were just hoping to make it in time so Joe could see his grandpa and say goodbye and we did.  We went straight to the hospital (with the help of some toys and finally some Micky Mouse Clubhouse episodes on my phone James was a good traveler) arriving around 9:30 or so and Joe got to spend some time with his grandpa and he woke up long enough to recognize him etc.

Joe’s grandpa ended up hanging on two more days until Friday night but nobody knew when it would happen so Joe spent a lot of time at the hospital with his extended family and James and I made a couple of visits as well although we did not go into the room.  There was a large waiting area where people would sort of congregate so we stayed out there and got to visit with/see family members.  That was one positive of the trip…. we did get to see a lot of family, we just wish it had been in better circumstances!

Here is a link to the obituary if anybody is interested.

Once he finally passed the family went into preparation mode and started organizing a big funeral.  He had lots of friends and family and former patients/coworkers (He was a doctor) who would want to know and pay their last respects. The funeral is scheduled for this coming Wednesday which is a week after we left home and 3 days after Joe really needed to be back at work from the holidays so there is just no way we can go to that. We decided it was good we could be there while he was still alive and he knew Joe was there which is important so if we need to miss the funeral it will be OK.  It would have been pretty expensive to buy suits for Joe and James and dress clothes for me and then trying to get James to sit through a Catholic mass funeral would have been difficult so it’s probably for the better although if we could have made it work we would have! We also had to get back home to our animals and a house that we left suddenly with trash, dirty dishes and food going bad in the fridge.  We did have nice friends come feed the cats, rabbit and bird while we were gone so they were happy!

We got back yesterday evening after several hours of crappy driving conditions.  Today was our first back to normal day with Joe going to work and James and I staying here at home and doing all of our normal activities.  Next week my family is coming to visit us and then it’s my birthday and then in a month or two we will be traveling again! Hopefully the rest of the winter will pass quickly!

Here are my few pictures from the last week!


These first few are from before New Years… James was playing dress up and having fun wandering around in his snow boots.



New Years Eve morning started out normal enough and James and I planted some herbs and playing in some dirt.



New Years Eve afternoon…. a nap in the car.


While we were in town and when Joe/we weren’t at the hospital we did find some time to run to a couple of stores we had been wanting to go to.  Joe and I both got new running shoes.  This is Newton brand.  Joe has been running in them for years and I decided I wanted to try some too! I’ve run in Brooks for the last few years including both my marathons and I like them well enough, but that I’d do something new!


James enjoying climbing through some kitchen stools at his grandparents’ house and below is James with his Uncle Sam. James had a lot of fun playing with Sam and their dog Walter while we were there!

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Walter the dog taking a rest one evening after James and Sam were in bed.



Our drive home was not that great.  The last half the trip was pretty bad and sometimes Joe couldn’t see in front of the car more than a few feet. It was snowing and super windy so anytime a car drove near us it sent up clouds of snow.  We even passed one rollover accident about an hour out from home.  Thanks to Joe we made it safe and sound, picked up Cora and snuggled up here at home last night!


Definitely looking forward to a normal week this week but very thankful we were able to make it for Joe to say goodbye and see his grandpa one last time.  I mentioned in one other blog post that we ended up butchering our chickens (the last 21 of them) because they had basically stopped laying eggs and were about 5 years old and then because our coop just needs a major overhaul and we were spending too much money on feed and upkeep…. It was not fun, I did one chicken and Joe did the remaining 20, but we happened to luck out because it would have been almost impossible for all of us to travel if we still had chickens to care for outside.  I calculated the final total of eggs tonight and am going to retire my chicken log notebook for awhile (at least).  After 3 batches of chickens with numbers ranging from about 15-20 all the way up to almost 80 over the past 5 years… we’ve gotten approximately 26,100 eggs. They were fun to have and the eggs were nice, and James loved them, but so far it’s been kind of nice to not have them for now…. it was time for a break.  Not having to unfreeze water and feed them each day when it’s bitter cold out has been really nice.  One less thing for me to worry about!


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