Sorry to have been quiet for so long (like that's never happened before)!
My folks have been visiting for exactly a week; they leave for home (4 hours north) tomorrow, but are coming back Monday night. Not sure of the duration of their next stay, but as long as my mom keeps making Christmas cookie favorites, I'll be okay with it. The free babysitting is just a perk.
My dad, remarkably, survived pancreatic cancer, diagnosed in late 2000. He had a full round of chemo and radiation back then, and was declared cancer-free for 5 years just a while back.
His doctors don't think it is cancer now (fingers crossed), but he hasn't been able to eat or drink anything without pain for over 2 weeks now.
He's on what we joking refer to as the "feed bag" overnight; he became so grumpy on Wednesday that we "forced" him to eat something; the stomach pain soon returned and he had a procedure this morning that forbade him eating, so he's back on the bag.
Anyway, they NEED to go home for a couple of days, mom is involved in a charity raffle and she has to get tickets organized; they've also been washing and wearing the same clothes for two weeks now. Dad was first admitted to the hospital in Saginaw where his internist practices; that doctor has released him to care at an Ann Arbor hospital, thus the extended stay Chez Denise & Co.
Despite the free babysitting (or perhaps because of it), I'm exhausted. It's hard to cook for people when you know someone in the house is starving for a good meal, yet can't eat it.
Needless to say, I'm quite relieved I decided a while ago to send out (gasp!) ordinary store-bought holiday cards. Adding "create card masterpiece to send out to 60+ mailing list" would have meant no holiday cards this year. "Just Moved" postcards were enough this year.