Not Dead!

Hello blog world! As it turns out I wasn’t face down in a ditch. Or dragged into the sewers with IT. Or blew a secret ninja mission and ended up in North Korean prison.

prison

Yeah, glad I’m not there.

No folks, I’m alive and kicking. But it has been a busy (glances at the last post entry date) uh, yikes, three years. Really?! Three years? Sheesh. Okay, so yeah, a lot going on.

What Have I Been Up To?

Welp, a lot, actually. Let’s see, 2015. Wasn’t the best of years. But it did end on a higher note. My sweet mom was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s in 2010. The decline was steady, but tolerable. But from about Christmas 2014 to June 2015 things really took a nosedive into bad.

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Mom in her twenties

I know there are a lot of strong feelings about this subject, but after she grew really bad we decided to put her in a care facility. I used to judge people who seemingly “dumped” relatives into facilities, but now I definitely don’t. It’s a painful decision, but often it can be the right one. My dad, as the caretaker, was looking worse and worse and his health instantly improved once we moved her. Plus, she didn’t look at him as the warden, but as her husband again.

From there things got progressively worse until she fell and broke her hip and it only took a few days from there until she passed. A line from Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events came to mind over the next several weeks:

If you have ever lost someone very important to you, then you already know how it feels; and if you haven’t, you cannot possibly imagine it.

How true that is. I’d lost friends and grandparents, but never someone seemingly before their time who was that close to me. The only thing that kept me going, and keeps me going, is knowing she’s not suffering. Do I wish she was still here? Absolutely! But would I bring her back in that state? Absolutely not. I can’t say after three years that it doesn’t still hurt, but it does get a little easier to bear.

Along with this I had a cyst I wasn’t sure whether it was cancerous (it wasn’t, thankfully), lost my job, and endured several months of unemployment.

BUT! My Dad and I were going to be the only ones around for Christmas and rather than sit at home missing my mom, we thought we’d do something amazing. We headed out to New York City. I’d been several times before. My dad went once when he was 18, but that was a looooong time ago, so some of the city felt new to him. And we had a blast. Plus the weather was unusually warm, so we didn’t have to trudge through the infamous New York slush.

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Rockefeller Plaza was PACKED! But worth it.

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things i love: Halloween

jae scribbles halloween

Why do we love it? Candy! Oh the delicious candy and all the wonderful things you can do with it.

Candy Cake

And let’s not forget costumes!

cool halloween costumes

I love how creative people can get!

An overall magic that hangs heavy in the air on All Hallow’s Eve. This, my friends, is why I love this spectacular holiday with its wonderful decor and tradition. Candy is celebrated and costumes are A-OK on this day. Plus I like decorating my house and going to houses that go all out. Like take this house for instance. Those faces on tombstones in the background are animated to Grim Grinning Ghosts!

halloween house

Okay, enough of the fangirling on Halloween. I’m sure at some point you’ve wondered where Halloween came from. Well, since I’ve been letting my curiosity lead the way I did a little digging, read a few blogs here and there—some authentic, some not—and this is the best I can come up with. May I present to you…

jae halloween history

Halloween, is actually Hallowe’en, or Hallow Evening, or All Hallow’s Eve, because originally November 1st was what mattered. November 1st is All Saints Day, or as I like to call it El Día de Los Muertos. It also has ties to an ancient Celtic festival called Samhain, who also believed the dead world and the living world for some reason crossed paths at this time.  Those celebrating Samhain would light bonfires to attract bugs which attracted bats to eat them, but mostly the bonfires were to scare demons away. (Which makes sense, since demons live in hellfire all the time…?) They too wore costumes in hopes of scaring demons. (Maybe they scared easier in those days?)

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