It's been an interesting week so far and I thought I would just write one post rather than trying to write one for each event.
On Monday, I attended the funeral for my Great Uncle Nat. Ignazio J. Loiodice (5/13/25-1/17/08) went home to be with his heavenly Father on January 17, which, coincidentally would have been my Grandfather's birthday if he was still with us. The services were beautiful and although very sad, it was good to see the family. I am blessed with a huge family of feisty little Italians that know how to laugh and know how to fight and definitely know how to eat! No matter what the occassion, you can guarantee that there will be good food and plenty of it. Aunt Anne was holding herself together very well, considering the circumstances. She was able to smile and laugh and she has always amazed me with her wonderful outlook. We will all miss Uncle Nat terribly and it was such a blessing to be a part of his life here on earth.
After the funeral I (Jay and Kendall weren't able to join me) took Aunt Xenia and Uncle Ken over to Henry Mayo hospital to visit Grandma Willett. She is out now, but she had a bad fall and had a bit of a relapse and had lost a lot of blood and was very sad to have missed Uncle Nat's funeral. She looked good when we saw her, they had already given her one blood transfusion and were scheduled for another later that evening. She was in pretty good spirits and was cracking jokes. Uncle Ken said, "they are still waiting for the results of the pregnancy test, Mom." Grandma's reply was, "Yea, and I don't even know who the father is!" This gave me the assurance that she was going to be just fine. From the hospital we went back to Uncle Ken & Aunt Xenia's and I spent the night with them. Aunt Xenia made a yummy spaghetti dinner and I got to visit with my cousins and had a lovely evening. Unfortunately, Jason didn't get home until late so I didn't get to talk to him much, but I got to catch up with Liana and Jenessa and I really enjoyed my time with everyone. I slept in Grandma's bed, which was a little weird for me, because she wasn't there and I felt strange sleeping there without her, but it was comforting at the same time, being surrounded by her things. Hopefully tonight, her first night in her bed after being at Henry Mayo, she will be comforted in knowing that I was there, and am still there in my heart.
Tuesday morning I had a nice visit with Aunt Xenia over breakfast and then got ready and headed out to Westlake to have lunch with some friends from Surfware. Unfortunately, I made a wrong turn and ended up waaaaayyyy out of my way in Canyon Country (thinking the whole time, as much as I LOVE my new XM radio, perhaps GPS would have been more practical?) and had to call my friends to tell them I was delayed and explain my "situation." This was not the first time I have found myself lost and will certainly not be the last, but this time I really went out of my way! Fortunately, I have very understanding friends and they changed our meeting time and went ahead and ordered without me (they were on the clock!) and I just went ahead and ordered when I got there and we still had a very nice visit. After lunch I went to Old Navy and got a new dress and a scarf with the gift card that Dad & Valerie gave me for my birthday. Then, I went back to Susan's and hung out with her and Cooper for the rest of the evening. Her Mom brought us some meatball soup for dinner and we watched The Biggest Loser and played with the puppy and I took a nice, hot shower. It was heaven! I ran out of time in the morning while visiting with Aunt Xenia for my shower so it was really nice to take a shower in the evening and go to bed all fresh and clean!
Wednesday I got up and got ready and met Carrie for lunch at JJ Brewsky's in Camarillo. It was pouring rain and we both were already soaked by the time we got to the door, but we had a nice, relaxing lunch. She made me this gorgeous necklace that has green and yellow beads on it and a beautiful butterfly (of course) pendant on the end. She is so talented! If you haven't already looked at her storefront, check out the Carrie's Crafts link on this page. I may be biased, but she really does amazing work and whenever she gives me a handmade gift, I am thrilled and they are so much better than anything from the store. After lunch I decided to go over to the outlets and almost had Carrie convinced she should go with me until we walked outside of the restaurant to a mini Tsunami and she chickened out. I can't say I blame her, but I know I won't be down to the outlets for a while now that I'm working again, so I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity. Plus, no crowds, right? Well, there were no crowds, but it wasn't exactly my favorite shopping trip. I did find a couple cute tops and a sweater for work, but I was soaked to the bone. After I was done shopping I went back to Susan's and tried to do something with my hair (emphasis on the word "tried") and met Staci, Sam, Nancy, Berkeley, Brian (for a few minutes) and Kiml for dinner. It was a combination of birthdays. Staci had Kiml's birthday gift from September, I had Staci's gift from November and Staci & Nancy had my gifts from January so there was a lot of gift opening going on. I didn't realize how long it had been since we'd all been together and there was not a single lull in the conversation and we had a fabulous time. I just love my Pals! After dinner I went back to Susan's and got ready for bed and had a quick visit with her and then it was off to dreamland.
Thursday morning I headed home and stopped in Santa Barbara to fill out some paperwork that needed to be completed before I start the new job on Monday and the drive home was absolutely incredible! Starting in Carpenteria, I could see snow on the hills and when I got to the top of the hill on the 154 there was snow on the ground and a very thick blanket of snow on the hills. I had never seen snow there before and it was so beautiful! I drove into Lake Cachuma and they gave me a 15 minute pass so that I could drive in and get some photos. I had to call Jay on the drive and tell him about the sight before my eyes. I'm hoping we can drive up there this weekend so that I can show he and Kendall. We don't get much snow around here, so when we do, we tend to make a really big deal of it :)