Saturday, February 28, 2009

Premios Dardo Award

I received my first Blogger Award! Alix, over at Casa Hice awarded me. Awww... Too bad I had to read it four times to figure out what it was. But anyway, here's the skinny:

"The Premios Dardo Award acknowledges the values that every blogger shows in his or her effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values every day."

Really? Thanks Alix! And now, here are my instructions:

STEP 1: Respond and rework. Answer the following questions on my blog, replacing one question that I dislike with a question of my own invention.
STEP 2: Add one more question of my own.

Sounds good, so here goes...

1) What are you wearing right now?
My baby blue terrycloth robe that I've had for probably 20 years. Sexy, I know.
2) What is your biggest fear?
Loosing my loved ones before it's time. and growing old. Life is too short.
3) What was your worst subject in school?
Geometry I think. I blame those damned proofs. And WHEN am I ever going to use that?! Never. That's when.
4) Who is the last person you hugged?
My Takari Boy. He's quite huggable. (PS He's my eldest kitty.)
5) What websites do you visit when you go online?
wouldn't you like to know?
6) What was the last item you bought?
A Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge pie from the Village Inn. Barry made me do it. ;)
7) If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
*sigh* I love to travel, so this question is not specific enough. I mean - do you mean pick up and go right NOW? Or if I could only pick one place? I mean, technically I could go anywhere. But where would I go? Should I pick a place I've already been or a place I've always wanted to go?
...See what I mean?
8) If you woke up tomorrow and were the opposite sex, what is the first thing you would do and why?
The FIRST thing to do would be to check out the goods! Then, what else would there be to do? OH. I'd pee outside, standing up, and write my name on a fence.
9) What is your most embarrassing moment?
I don't get embarrassed too easily anymore, but when I was in high school I had my fair share. The worst one was when I went on a date when I was sick, puked in my mouth at the Olive Garden table and swallowed it thinking he wouldn't notice. He did. And that was just the beginning of the night-o-barfing. it was bad.
10) What was the last movie you watched?
Just finished watching Swing Kids. Young Christian Bale - he's even hot as a Nazi.
11) If you had a whole day to yourself with no work, commitments, or interruptions what would you do?
*sigh!* Hang on... let me ponder this wonderful thought for a moment...

...Ok, I'm back. I think I'd go get a pedicure, then find a hammock on the river and read and relax, looking at my beautiful toes every once in a while.
12) If you were to win the Powerball, what would you do with the money (besides invest it)?
I'd buy a mall, then build my dream Deltec homes - one here near family, then one in Colorado. Oh and I'd take a cruise around the world.(114-days!) 13) In your opinion, who is the most significant person in history and why?
I really don't know enough about history, but I just finished watching Swing Kids, so I would say Hitler was pretty significant. There are both positively and negatively significant people out there.
14) What is the stupidest thing you've ever done at a bar?
Soooo... there was this time during Bike week when I was living in Daytona for school. By Thursday I was dying to get on a bike, so i went to a local bar of which I happened to have a class with the manager. I was new to Daytona and I really didn't know anyone. I ran into a client of mine from the bank (I only knew him because I cashed his checks) and I get invited on a bike ride through his friend. I had no purse, so i ask the manager to hold my phone/keys behind the bar and go on a ride to the Iron Horse with this random man without a cell phone. He turned out to be the sweetest guy ever, but i found out the next day that my client had just met this guy the day before and didn't know him from Adam. Dumb. Really.

And now I pass the coveted Premios Dardo Award to another lucky few... The winners are...

Please display the Premios Dardo Award prominently on your blog, post the instructions, and pass the award on to the deserving blogs of your choice! (The true instructions call for 8 winners, but i really don't read much more than 8 blogs, so I'm bending the rules a bit.)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Just to illustrate how freakin' sweet my Grandma was, one of her requests for her funeral was to pop open a 40 at the gravesite and have one last beer for her, then leave the bottle as the vase for flowers instead of a regular vase. Unfortunately, they couldn't find Old Milwaukee in a 40oz, so we had to settle for Budwiser. :)

Cheers, Grandma.

(always a rebel, she was. Even in her after life. :)

Last Trip to "Grandma's"

I can't believe this is the first time I've actually been on blogger in like 6 days. I've either been that busy or that lazy. I think it's a little of both.

Part of it has been because I'm not sure what to say about my grandma. We've known it was coming for such a long time. Before it happened I thought I was ready. But there was so much hype about it - one day she's got a few days "max", the next day the nurse is saying it could be weeks - that I just got tired of the non-updates. Predicting the future is not exactly a science. Well, life caught up to her at about 3:00 on Thursday, January 29th, 2009. I got the call from my mom while at work. I got a hug from my boss then went to the bathroom. It was the strangest feeling, sobbing on the toilet in a public restroom. I was so afraid someone would walk in, but at the same time hated being alone. I pulled myself together and got to the elevator before a good friend, Steve, stopped me. When I told him, he stopped what he was doing and got into the elevator with me and let me sob on his chest down 10 floors. Its the little things that people do that really make me realize what great friends I have, even co-workers.

Fast forward to Saturday. My mom, Barry, and I got on a plane to Midway (Chicago) at the ass-crack and landed about 10:00am. We took a detour to Chinatown (yum!) before going to Union Station to take the train to Lake Villa. I've mentioned before that the biggest fear I had was seeing my Grandpa. When we got there he was in their room. I was able to hug him for a long time. I tried to be strong but I just cried in his arms, with our family around us. I was so afraid that my favorite place in the whole world would have somehow lost it's magic without Grandma. Yes, there was something missing, but luckily not all the magic was lost. I realized that although Grandma leaving us was unbelievably hard, her life and body wasn't what defined the love in our family. The fact that EVERYONE was together, for the first time since all 8 cousins were children, kept it all real. Kept the magic of that house alive. We spent 5 days crying, laughing, looking at pictures, crying and laughing some more.

At the viewings and at the funeral, Barry told me I shouldn't have to "be strong" for anyone, but grieve for myself. I think that even though I've lost both my mom's parents, plus 2 of Barry's uncles, that this is the first time I've experienced true grief. I loved all of them, but my Grandma Jo like no one you'll ever meet. If you were lucky enough to know her, you are a better person because of it. Grief is just the weirdest feeling. One moment it seems as though I'll never feel joy again, and then I quickly recover and can laugh and talk about where we're going to get dinner. At the actual funeral Wednesday morning I was a flippin' wreck, but at the cemetery I was fine. I know it'll get easier...

I think my Grandpa will be OK. He will probably even come down to visit in a few weeks. :)

As for me, I'll keep her in my heart (and on my foot).

I love you, Grandma.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A New Addition

Illinois was FREEZING! Literally, it was colder than my freezer outside almost the entire time we were there. I will talk more about my trip later, but first I wanted to show you this:
Pay no attention to my jacked up toes, I have my mother to thank for those. (ha! i rhymed!) Wha - Oh, yeah - the tattoo! I decided that I was going to get a tattoo for my grandma and convinced my cousin and aunt to get one with me. We opted for just a simple heart on our feet. But I really wanted her name on it, since my name is also Jo. (Amanda Jo Hart Swedlow). Turns out that on Monday- when we were going to get them- I got stupid sick with a stomach virus and there was plenty of things still to do for the wake that night, so we didn't get to the tattoo parlor. Thank goodness, because I got home today and went to "my guy" instead( he's a friend of a friend who does awesome work). He did a phenomenal job of drawing this up and i love it. :)