Category Archives: Family

Goodbye January 24th..see you next year

It’s easy to get a little down now and then.  January 24th of 2019 is the day we found out Kramer, my husband of 32 years, had cancer…so you can imagine, it’s a harder day around here.  Kramer died 129 days later.

For some people dealing with death, hard days are days like Christmas or their anniversary.  For me, those aren’t hard.  For me, it’s January 24th and the last weekend in April.  Both of those are cancer anniversaries.

I’ll admit that I do better and better and better all of the time on the dealing with grief scale.  I know what to expect from myself.  I know what to expect from the family.  I’ve learned to accept that it’s okay to be sad for a day or two.  I’ve learned some coping methods that help…and for me, the biggest coping method is to focus on what is in front of me and not what is behind.  That doesn’t mean for a minute that I forget about Kramer…just try not to focus on it during that time frame.

So, I throw myself into what is in front of me.  For me, the 25th is Kelli’s birthday and she requested a “big family supper”.  Our grandson Carver came up with that phrase.  In general, it means our family that lives close comes to my house for supper.  So my focus turned to that instead.

So we needed a cake.  Gannon and I worked on that.

It’s so nice to have Gannon without… Continue reading

Christmas at the Kramer’s

I had a very fun Christmas.  It all started on Christmas Eve.  Karl had it in his head that he wanted to make tamales.  He misses the food from Texas and I thought I’d do what I could to ease the missing.  It’s a tall order for a gal to make tamales when previous to this, I’d not really had tamales before.

The evening before Karl and I sat down and watched a few Youtube videos that showed how to make them.  We watched this one.

Karl worked the morning of the 24th.  Then stopped in town and got dried peppers and whatever else we needed.  I was at home prepping the meat.

When he got home we started in on the process.


Nope…no staged kitchen and pictures for me.  No cute clothes.  This is real life with the kitchen a total mess.

I was the mesa girl and Karl was the filler and wrapper.


We tried this one other time and admittedly, it wasn’t very successful.  This time, we were both happy with the results.

Here we had to try one before they had even cooled off.


They initially didn’t look like a success but once they cooled a bit, PERFECT.



Karl and I were able to go Christmas Eve Candlelight Church.  Before anyone says anything about being careful when we were out.  We totally were about as safe as we could get.  First off, we had to let them know we were going to church.  Then there was assigned seating.  Family units sat with family units with a blank pew between them.  We had communion but again, people only went in family units.  Karl and I signed up late to go so we ended up way in the back sitting next to the door.  I felt completely safe.

Karl and I had talked about it in advance and decided if it didn’t seem safe, we’d duck out the back.  We both felt VERY good about it.

I’m so glad we went.  Christmas isn’t Christmas to me unless there is candlelight service.

The next morning I was up and doing a little cooking getting things ready.  It was low key.  Friedman’s came and Hanken’s came.

Of course, the highlight of my Christmas was opening my annual gift of red plates from Carver.  For those of you who don’t know, Carver always buys me red plates for Christmas.  When he was just little Kalissa took him to Dollar Tree and told him he could shop and pick out whatever he wanted to get me at Dollar Tree as a present.  He chose red paper plates.

Throughout the year if we order out pizza, I make sure to use the red paper plates and make a huge production of it.  When the last ones are gone, I start making a production of how I don’t have any more red paper plates and that I really hope I get some for Christmas.

Well, Carver did not disappoint.  He bought me red plates.  Here I am opening them…


He loves giving them to me.  I love getting them!!


The red plates are HIGH at the top of my favorite Christmas traditions.  I’m going to be so sad when this isn’t cool to him anymore.


There was more present opening…

Gannon is going through a stage that he gets mad if you want to take his picture.  So no good pictures of Gannon were taken.

With great hesitancy, I gifted Kalissa this quilt… Continue reading

Kayla and Jasper

With Covid, I am not seeing the grandkids that live further away very often.  It’s a bit sad for me and I often feel like I am missing so much.  Thankfully Kayla has been great with sending pictures and face timing with Jasper.

Being Jasper hasn’t been on the blog much I thought I would share some pictures and things Kayla has been sending.  It makes this grandma’s heart happy to see them.

Here he is with canning jar rings.  First came this picture….


Then came this video… Continue reading

The Craig Show!!

Saturday was a little wild around here.  It started out well.  I was at the sewing machine ASAP.  I’ve been trying to get up earlier than usual every morning and getting a few stitches in.

Kalissa called me and said their family would be coming over in the afternoon and she was willing to shoot a video if I had one ready so ready or not, I shot a “Sew with Jo” video.

After that is was a grocery run…after that Kalissa’s family came over.  The main reason they were coming over was that Craig was going to fix my quilting machine.

Remember that a wire near the tension disk on my longarm broke?  I found it lying on the quilt while I was working on it.  UGH.

That was back before Thanksgiving.  Craig and I have been having the WORST time trying to fix it.

See these two screws?? Continue reading