Friday, November 23, 2012

Post Thanksgiving Bliss

I have never understood those people in our country that get up at 2 o'clock in the morning the day after Thanksgiving to stand in line and wait for stores to open up for their Black Friday Sales.  All the pushing and shoving, and stress that seems to exude from that whole deal has never appealed to me.  Frankly with all the cooking and eating and family fun that we always had growing up on Thanksgiving just wore us all out and the following day was naturally a day to laze around, eat left overs, and recuperate. 

The tradition in the ol Bennett household was to sleep in til whenever you felt like getting up.  There was no rush, no panic, no plans.  Family members would get up at their own speed.  Being that I was (and still am) a morning person I'd usually get up first and make coffee, cocoa, and hot apple cider for the rest of my family when they decided to get up.  My sister Brenda usually was up around the same time and we'd chat, drink coffee, and peruse the newspaper for possible movies we might want to go to or look at the Friday funnies.  And as the rest of the family got up the house got more active.  Some of us would shower and get dressed while others preferred to laze around in pjs.  But no matter what, once everyone was up we'd gather together again for breakfast.  And not just any breakfast.  This breakfast was comprised of leftover pumpkin and mince meat pie.  I can't remember a day after thanksgiving where we didn't have pie for breakfast.  Even since living on my own I always wake up the next day and have pie and coffee for breakfast.  Again this simple meal would last a long time just because we'd end up talking, laughing, and in general enjoying being together.

And the rest of the day would be just as nice.  We'd kind of split up and do our own things.  The guys usually found another football game to watch, The gals would chit chat, play games, go to a movie or just go for a walk.   And when we felt hungry we'd go to the kitchen and dig out left overs to make sandwiches and just graze.  There was no time table we had to follow and frankly it was perfect.  We all have such busy and hectic regular lives that this was one of the few days we could just completely unwind.  And that is something my family taught me that I'll forever be thankful and grateful for.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Griz- Cat Meet Again

Like my fellow UM Griz alumni and fans I've been waiting 365 days for this afternoon to come around again.  If you truly follow this blog or know me at all you know I'm talking about the 112th meeting of the University of Montana and Montana State University  GRIZ - CAT game.  These two football teams have been battling it out for 112 years for goodness sake which in and of itself is pretty amazing.  But really its the rivalry before the game and the camaraderie after the game that is so amazing to see. 

Pre game both Griz fans and Cat fans alike can be down right nasty to one another.  Tensions build in households where normally husbands and wives from opposing schools can coexist in perfect harmony.  Little jibes here, crude jokes there, and the nanny nanny we won last year and are going to do it again inevitable arise.  But when you get right down to it, its truly about a mutual respect for each others school.  Montana is not exactly a densely populated state so this one particular football game truly is a way for all of us to come together behind one team or another and say better luck next year to the fallen team afterward.

Being a second generation Griz grad myself I'm rooting hard for my boys in maroon and silver.  Even though they have quite possibly had the worst season I've seen in 25 years (yes I was indoctrinated in Griz football when I was very young).  I am not a fair weather fan and will root hard for them in the good years and the bad.  Montana State on the other hand is ranked #2 in the Big Sky Conference this year (normally that's the slot that UM has) and though I will deny this if asked by my Cat buddies its been pretty fun watching them do so well.  My dad would probably roll over in his grave at that last comment but I think he of all people would understand my appreciation for such a formidable rival.

Courtesy of Sebrina Brown at the 112 Griz Cat Game in Missoula 11/17/2012
 As I said at the beginning of this post I've been looking forward to this game all year long for several reasons.  First no matter what the teams records are before the game this game is always the biggest, the toughest and the most exciting game of the season.  Second its something that makes me think of my dad and how we'd find a sports bar somewhere just to watch the satellite feed of the game with other Griz and Bobcat fans (again a great way of coming together and talking about a wonderful place to live). And third it takes me back to great memories of college going to the game, sitting in the stands, and feeling the rumble in my chest when the crowd around me, and me included would cheer for the Montana Boys!  Just can't beat that.  So to my fellow Griz fans.... lets go get em. And hopefully we'll be saying better luck next year to MSU in about 50 minutes!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Christmas... oops I mean "Holiday" Bazaar Today!

Today I had totally planned on taking the whole day and going hunting. But a few days ago the After School Program coordinator that I work with asked if I would help her out today at the program's booth at the local Holiday Bazaar held in the school's gym.  So I revamped my plans and am still hoping to get out this afternoon to hunt but if I don't I always have tomorrow.  All of that is kind of beside the point though.

Why is it that we can't say Christmas anymore?  Is it so horrible to say a Christmas activity rather than "Holiday".  Granted I have Jewish and Muslim friends and they celebrate other important holidays during this season and I absolutely respect that... but not a single one (that I know personally) is offended when I say Christmas.  As a matter of fact most of them refer to this as the Christmas season.  So why can't I?  I am not ashamed of being a Christian or my desire to celebrate the birth of Our Lord.  And honestly I think most people feel the same way.  I understand with school functions there is supposed to be a separation of church and state but we still say the pledge every day with the line "One Nation under God" so isn't saying Christmas along those same lines? 

Maybe I'm way off here.  And I know it probably irks some folks when I go Christmas shopping or just out to the local store and when the cashier says "Happy Holidays" (because of course they are trained to be politically correct) I make a point of saying "Merry Christmas" in return.  Keep in mind I do this AFTER Thanksgiving.  Currently since it is still before Thanksgiving I'm saying "Have a Happy Thanksgiving".  I think its important to give each specific holiday their time in the spot light. 

But anyway... that's my rant and rave for the day.  Its probably unimportant and most people will just roll their eyes at this and that is certainly your right.  For me however I will wish you great joy in your Thanksgiving preparations and hope to see a few of you at the CHRISTMAS Bazaar today!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Tis the Season... The Busy Season

I can't believe that October is already over and done with.  The days and weeks are just going by so fast this year and we're only two months off from a whole new year that I'm definitely not ready for yet.  I've had a lot of ups and downs over the past one so I'm not sure if the next one is something to look forward to or something to dread.  I guess it really doesn't matter since its coming no matter how I feel about it.

I guess I am glad that October is done since its been such and odd one.  Generally its one of my favorite months in the year because it embodies everything that is FALL.  But while the leaves were turning and I was doing my best to finish my Halloween costume in time, things were not going well with my mom health wise.  Over the past 4 weeks she's be hospitalized 3 times for various "ailments" yet not a single doctor can figure out the underlying cause.  I'm not going to get into details about what is going on with her because frankly she's a very private person and I know she wouldn't want me to post anything about it on here, but at the same time she has me and my brother and sisters very worried and in a bad position if something very serious is going on.  As of Thursday she is back out of the hospital but still with no known reason why she's been having such trouble.  I know she has a litany of specialist referrals from her docs and I'm really hoping she follows through so we can get some concrete information finally.  Maybe with the start of the new month things will turn around. 

She asked me to come home for Christmas and I'm torn about what to do.  In some ways I of course want to go home and spend time with her, but at the same time traveling that time of year in this neck of the woods is a hardship.  The roads are horrible and flights are constantly cancelled and delayed.  Plus I've started making my own Christmas traditions with Mace.  I'm seriously thinking about telling her that I'm going to put off a visit until at least spring when the weather is better.  But then I'm worried about her health and I never ever ever want to miss an opportunity to be with my family when possible or when there is threat of any kind of problems.  So I'm sure you can see my dilemma.  But I'll figure it out one way or another.

I keep looking at my schedule from now until the end of the year and I don't honestly know how I'm going to squeeze everything in.  The school has the holiday bizzare, the fall concert, the scholastic book fair, ski trips, and who knows what all else packed in over the next 3 weeks before Thanksgiving and I've somehow managed to volunteer myself to help out with a bunch of these activities on top of normal work hours, and my involvement in the after school program.  I may have bitten off a bit more than I can chew.  Oh and I'm trying to get as many pictures as possible for the yearbook (which again I committed to).  Its no wonder that by 10 pm I'm crashed out.  After Thanksgiving we have even more projects, concerts, and activities to pack in before Christmas and for the first time ever I'm not ahead on my Christmas shopping for my family and I'm really not sure when I'm going to be able to do it.  I always like to get it done before the snow starts flying so that if I need to go to Missoula or Spokane to shop I get it done before the roads get bad.  I guess whatever I plan on doing I'll have to make it online shopping and pay those ridiculous shipping prices.  Oh well.  If you have any gift giving ideas I'm certainly open to suggestions.  I keep trying to think of some cool scrapbooking idea that I could make each of my family members and send them but I'm coming up pretty blank. 

So I guess that's whats going on with me right now.  I know this was a bit of a spastic post but that's just how my brain is working right now. Hopefully next time it will be a bit better.  Hope everyone's holiday preparations are going well.  Love to you all.