I have been overwhelmed with emails, comments, greeting cards, text messages, Facebook messages these last couple weeks.  Not only that, but I’ve gotten a ton of loot from blog readers in the last few weeks, and I hopefully haven’t forgotten any of them – if I did – please remind me!

Jaclyn is a blog reader from Texas – she send me such an adorable gift box, with little sticky notes with what they could be used for – my favorite though was she bought some socks for Tony because she said that she wanted to make sure his feet stayed warm in the hospital.  He never got to wear them Jaclyn, but I wore them the day of his Memorial.  Thank you!

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And Fran has sent me two cards from across the pond – love the stamps, and that the card is electronically generated – thanks Fran!  If I ever make it to Europe you can better believe I’d add a leg to visit you and R!

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My brother and sister in law sent a care package for Tony, not knowing that they would be driving up when Tony’s healthy quickly changed, and they actually arrived before the care box did.

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Among the contents in the box was a McDonald’s gift card in case of emergency, some Hightlight magazines from the late 60s, and a can of corned beef hash “in case of emergency.”  I don’t really need an emergency to eat canned corned beef hash!  I’ve moved so many things around the house that I don’t know where I put the magazines, but of course I put the corned beef hash in my pantry – stat!

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After Tony passed away, my dear blog friend Dana, a.k.a “The Kitchen Witch” sent me tons of food loot from Zingerman’s.    Here is one of KW’s favorite posts of mine – go ahead and click on the link, you know you want to!  My FIL was working as my food stylist that day.  For the record, I never cut the sausage until everyone left – that was all mine!  Also that bread you see in the bag?  It was amazeballs.  A quarter pound of Parmesan cheese is in every loaf, and it had cracked pepper in it.  You just bake it for 20 minutes and it tastes like it was from scratch from your house.  My MIL said “you definitely need to learn how to make this bread!  It was gone in a matter of minutes.

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I received the most beautiful flowers from bloggers Roz, Lori, Debby, Rachel, Helen and Shelley.  Ladies, they are still going strong as if I got them yesterday!

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Our friends Maripat and Tom were able to stop by and see Tony the weekend before he passed away.  Not sure if that was good or bad, because they will always have the vision of Tony lying in a hospice bed, rather than having the last visions of him drinking a beer and smoking a cigar and being funny.  Um, how did Maripat know that I liked hot sauce and snowmen??!!

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One of my fitbit buddies, blog readers and friend from church Laura brought me a gift at the Memorial.  She said “open it when you get home, hopefully it will make you feel better!”

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Well she remembered this post where I mentioned that now Sam’s Club has a shit ton more colors than were available when I bought mine 8+ years ago, and she read that when they wear out, I’d buy a blue one because it’s my favorite color.  Laura, for the record, I have used it four times already!  Thank you!

Blog reader Moe sent me this gorgeous blessings bracelet – she’s a more recent reader and didn’t realize until Tony passed away, that Tony’s real name is Jeff.  Moe, you can read that post here.   Thank you!

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Our friends Mike and Cindy are Tony’s oldest friends.  He’s known Mike since he was 14 and when MIke came to visit Tony the weekend before he died, he suddenly realized that he and Tony had been friends for 41 years!  Tony was the best man in their wedding, and I was so happy that they and their daughter stayed so long during the service that Friday night.  It broke my heart that they were crying for their loss, and Mike said that he’d actually listened to saved voicemails that Tony had left him that day, just to hear his voice.  I get it Mike, I get it.  Cindy, you’ll have to remind me the year of this picture below – my guess is early 80’s?  Love Tony’s beard too.

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After everyone left me on the night of Tony’s Memorial, I basically sat in my back comfy chair, and cried.  I had been strong for everyone the whole night, only crying when I had to say goodbye to my PIL, and let me tell you, it was an ugly cry, but it had to come out.  My grief still comes in waves, and I find myself tearing up at the weirdest times, but I guess that’s to be expected.  So Saturday morning I woke up around 8.  Still had my glasses on, didn’t comb my hair, had a big baggy shirt with no bra on, when I hear a knock on my back door and see two women at the back door.   As soon as I walked down my steps I recognized Courtney from A Life from Scratch right away.

She always seems so put together in real life and her blog – I am sure I gave her quite a shock when I opened the door!  And she brought with her a new blog friend to me – Tia from Hands on Pants Off, who I have just recently started to follow since Courtney and Tia have been friends since high school.  Tia lives about 5 minutes from me, and Courtney about 10 minutes – nice to have local blog friends in real life!  I could already tell by her writing style that she was fun and would get my sense of humor – in fact when I hugged her for coming, I think I said “I don’t even have a bra on!” and she quickly replied back “that’s cool – I don’t have one on either!”

Courtney made me her chicken posole soup, and they brought me a ton of loot – I especially like the tiny OPI nail polish!  Thanks ladies, for your generosity and looking away at the fact that I looked like someone had driven over me with a pickup truck.  And duh, they brought me wine too!  Let’s just say that one has already been consumed and the “with love” may be half gone by now Open-mouthed smile

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I got a package from my friend up north in Vancouver – Roz!  Since it was an international package, you have to declare the contests of the package – love it!

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She sent a cute snowman card, snowman stocking filled with a bottle of hot sauce and a snowman necklace.  Thanks Roz!

And I’ve gotten cards from Louise.  People, if you haven’t ordered homemade cards from Louise, you are missing out.  I ordered 15 Christmas cards to send to special people from her Etsy shop.  There isn’t a card I’ve bought from her that I haven’t loved to pieces.  Again, how did she know that I love snowmen??!!

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And then I got even MORE loot from Jaclyn after Tony passed away (still hard to type those words!).  Love the blingy coffee travel mug, and the light up cheese spreaders – and I’ve already used the stacking kitchen prep bowls – thank you for your friendship and generosity Jaclyn!

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And I got gift cards too:

Blogger Kerstin sent me a Starbucks gift card – she sent it to be me before Tony passed away, but to a different email address that I don’t check that often – I was happy she reached out to me!  And you may be seeing a lot of protein box breakfasts in the near future!

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Blog reader Liz sent me a Fresh Market gift card, hoping I could find inspiration to get back to being Bizzy in my Kitchen.  I so appreciate that Liz, and I may have gotten a strip steak for later this week.  Thank you!

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Blog reader Dottie sent me a Starbuck’s gift card to make sure I take care of me and make sure I eat and enjoy a little.  I may be picking up a skinny Peppermint latte on the way to work today – thanks Dottie!

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And my long time blog reader, friend in real life that we met through blogging, Christina, sent me this beautiful hand crafted shell motif – she lives in the Outerbanks of NC – I love it Christina and appreciate our friendship!  I think I need to go to the Outerbanks soon for a visit!  And to get more of your Dad’s sausageChristina’s Dad has the best sausage ever!  And you know that’s saying a lot because of my love of balls.

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And now that life goes on for me, I have my “Tony” wall in the living room.  I say good morning to him every morning and blow him a kiss when I go to bed at night.

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I miss him so fucking much.