Funny Things Your Grandparents Did, #1LinerWed

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Lottie and Brownie

My mother’s mother was a real southern jewel. She was a beloved 2nd grade school teacher and even on her meager salary she would find a way to help buy one of her students a pair of shoe or winter coat if needed. As pitiful as we pay our teacher today, back in the 40’s I can only imagine. She retired when I was in early high school when she said she turned 65 but we all knew she was probably older but refused to admit it. The courthouse that had all the birth records of her home town had burned down along with many records of the area. But her retirement was a big shindig where all the school attended along with former students, the local paper and of course family.

Her name was Charlotte but everyone called her Lottie or Miss Lottie, even her grand children. But she was NOT a grandmother. Don’t get me wrong, she loved her grandchildren and called us her grandchildren but she was not a grandmother. “The very idea!” I think that was her favorite saying. She had lots of great sayings but coming from the south, we do come up with some interesting ways of putting things. Sometimes words didn’t even need to be said, you just got “the look”. How many of us remember “the look”. I don’t think I ever mastered it, my kids could see right through me. But Miss Lottie’s was so strong you could feel it from the back, your hackles would rise. You didn’t even have to see it, you just knew you were getting it. Such fond memories.

Well, I am here to tell you that you don’t discount those memories you had with you grandparents as you never know when you may need one of those memories. One that tickled me the most were her clothing sizes. When she was young and thin I am sure she wore a size 12 but not in her grandmotherly state. So when we bought her clothes, we cut the tags out and told her they were size 12. And as we get older our feet spread and we gain a little weight, our shoe size changes. It’s part of aging I guess, at least that is what I have noticed, but I spent 40 years on a concrete manufacturing floor which probably didn’t help.

My grandmother loved this type of house slipper that looked very similar to a Japanese style slipper. I remember they were dark blue in color with darker swirls in the fabric and it was the only kind I saw her were. But she insisted she wore a size 7, yea, no. She was easily in an 8. But she would buy the 7, they would be too tight and bind her feet. So she would take her brand new slippers and cut them to allow room for her foot. I remember asking her one time(and only one time) why she did that. Her answer was that her feet swelled at night and she needed the extra room for the swelling. I returned with the question of why not buy the next larger size. Well, not only did I get “the look” I got “The very idea! Then how are they going to fit when my feet are not swollen?” Indeed, I thought quietly to myself as I nodded approvingly to her statement.

I laugh at myself now as I remember this story because I am using her “technique” until the swelling goes down in my right foot. After my first surgery, I was fitted with orthopedic inserts for my shoes to start using once I started walking to add the extra support I would need for my feet. The inserts do take up room and it is no issue with my left foot as it has minimal swelling left. But the right one is still pretty swollen and my foot would not fit in the shoe. So, Miss Lottie, I am using your method and it seems to be working fine. I removed the laces and the tongue and then slit the top just like she use to.

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Need new shoes anyway

So the moral of the story is don’t fully discount the stories of your grandparents as they may be beneficial to you one day. Life is always a journey and memories sometimes are the things that help us make it through.

And in closing I remind you of the joys of laughter in helping you heal. Share your joy, laughter, kindness with others this holiday season. This can be a difficult season for some so always be kind. Reach out with a gentle touch to show others you care. It may be the only kind thing that person gets that day.

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Animals need hugs too!

May you have a great day! Come join in Lind a G Hill’s One Liner Wednesday.

A Day That Went Down in Infamy

On February 2, 1941 was a normal day in the USA and a wonderful day for my parents. It was the birth of their 1st child, a sweet girl who grew to learn the salesman’s techniques so well she could have sold a freezer to someone living in an igloo.

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Coolest bed ever to keep mosquitoes out

Ten  months after her birth, on December 7, the USA was rocked by the devastation of greed and destruction from another country who thought this was their path for world power. Why does anyone think this is a good choice to prove their dominance by killing many innocent people.

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Such a waste

We as a nation, honor this Day of Remembrance, those servicemen and women and all current military for the protecting our country. We have many remembrances of this day still sitting on the bottom of the bay floor.

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Evidence of horrific times

If all people of the world would realize the beauty of all of life, of all people and how we could all work together accepting each others differences and how to use them to make this a better world….wow. What a wonderful world this would be. Maybe someday…

Until then, I salute all of our military personal from the USA in hopes that they know how much they are appreciated and hoping that as this season approaches, many of them get the opportunity to get home, if just for the holiday.

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And for other countries military personnel, may you all be safe this holiday season also with a chance to be with family.

If I could have my one wish for Christmas it would be the classic beauty pageant request for world peace, where we all live in love, gentleness and profound kindness. I  am reminded of the wonderful concept of  “RACK” – Random Acts of Christmas Kindness.

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As you go through the season remember this concept and make someone smile.

Do You Have a Favorite Ornament?

We have now crossed over to December so it is a perfect time to add more pictures of my over zealous indoor Christmas. I do hope it is not a total bore to you. Since I knew my surgery would prohibit me from decorating in December, I got to get ready by the second week of November. So I have been enjoying my 3 trees already along with my village and other Christmas cheer. I will display some that you may have seen and some new.

The first pic is my tree on the dining room table with my 40+ piece village beneath the tree. The second pic is the tree in my bedroom bump out window. Santa and Chris Moose had different opinions on how to hang lights on the tree. The last one is the tree in the living room.  So you see I have lots of enjoyment surrounding me. Next week I may be walking(sort of) and I will get that small trees up in the kitchen and bathrooms – no room left unattended.  But with all this decoration, is there a favorite? I dunno – maybe each tree has one, but not really. I do know some are favorites as they bring special memories to mind. For instance, my bedroom tree is the fun tree which holds my silly ornaments and ornaments my children made when they were young. Of those my favorite is the clothes pen angel my oldest made when he was 3. (He turned 40 this year) And of course this tree has all the S’more ornaments, over 30 of those. You can see the angel S’more behind Jimmy’s angel.

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The first ornament placed on this tree 

The other 2 trees are harder to find a favorite as they are all wonderful. Each year I  try to find 1 or 2 special ornaments that are different or extra special. So I will give you a few samples from each of the other trees. The tree on the dining room table is all white, glass or silver.

The tree that is in the living room is the so-called formal tree but my idea of formal probably differs from other ideas of formality as I am a pretty laid back type person. Since I was an art major in college, some of that bleeds through on this tree.

As the month goes onward, I will also share my nativity scenes. Yes, there are more than one, not including all the nativity type ornaments hanging on the tree that represent the true reason for the season.

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Even Santa knows that true love comes from the manger

In the gentle  mindset of the holiday season remember the value of being kind. Even Charlie Brown understands the gift of kindness.

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If you have a favorite ornament or like sharing the Christmas decor from your house, do share. I so enjoy looking to see how others decorate. Have a marvelous week.

 

MA, a state or your mental age, #SoCS

Ma is generally thought of as a shortened name for the mother in the family as in mama. But there are other uses for ma as in gauging your mental age. According to this below, I am 12.

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mental age (ma) of 12

And of course the state of Massachusetts is abbreviated as Ma. And let us not forget the learned folks with a Master of Art, MA that goes with their title.

My favorite use though refers to the matriarch of the family which is usually the grandmother, normally referred to as grandma, as that is what I am, a grandma. Generally it is the first grandchild that sets the precedence of what the grandparents are called unless of course the grandparents have something to say about that or in the lucky marvelous situation with multiple grandparents still alive and being enjoyed.

In my siblings situation, my sister was the first to have children so my parents were chosen by the first grandchild to be called Ma and Pa as Grandma or Grandpa was too hard to get out, and the grand was dropped. Actually it was my father who was first named as my nephew was asked who that man was and he was certain that it was Pa. The standard was set for my parents.

When you get into the grandma names, the variation are amazing. Some off the top of my head that I have heard are:

grandma, granny, gamaw, memaw, mimi, and we cant leave out the formal grandmother.

It’s all fun stuff and movies depict these women from sweet ladies that have mastered the kitchen to power matriarchs that dare you to breathe.

 

As we go through this life remember we generally don’t get but one chance to show our inner love and peace as the Stream of Consciousness icon displays, so let’s embrace the peace and love of family and be that cookie baking and sweet loving grandma.

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And in closing, I remind all the wonderful opportunity we have in sharing kindness. Express the kindness we envision with love towards all creatures and warm cookies from the oven only like grandma.

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Grandma surrounded by critters and kids with love and cookies

November Thankful Challenge, Last Days

What a wonderful month this has been as I have shared on a few of the many many things I am thankful for during the month. It is important that we tie in thankfulness and gratitude for our many blessings like waking up today, being able to read this post, having friends we share with over the internet that are across the world. It is all so fascinating how very close we can be with a simple reach out. This month brought the (hopefully) final surgery on my feet. I have great hopes for being able to go walking in the spring and share the many beautiful things I see. But for now, we are healing and enjoying some down time with my fur baby who currently can not get close enough on the sofa while I try to type this message.

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Mimi

So lets finish up that challenge list but always remember daily the many blessing we are given from family, friends, life and God.

  • Nov 26 – I am so very thankful for my daughter who has been taking care of me why I recover. With all the snow we got over the weekend, she shoveled the driveway(with snow plow) but still…and she cleared off the sidewalks in the front.

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  • Nov 27 – I am thankful for the ability and understanding of the importance of helping others.

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  • Nov 28 – I am thankful that I can laugh and joke about myself as I age. Laughter is a strong medicine.

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  • Nov 29 – I am thankful for the people in my life  that made me realize the most important decision I would ever make in my life – Accepting Jesus as my Savior. I could not have survived some of the things I have been through in my life with out His help.

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  • Nov 30 – I am thankful for someone suggesting this challenge to remind us all of the many things we need to be aware of that are gifts to be thankful for.

As I close off the challenge of my thankful November I remind everyone to be kind. I ran across this quote which I though was very appropriate from Mark Twain. He said –

“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”

So I close in reminder saying of it’s the tiny things we do in life that can bring the greatest thankfulness and the brightest joy.

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November Thankful Challenge, Week 4

I did not get this posted yesterday so I am a day late for week 4. The month of November is where we focus on things we are thankful for so I am posting this weekly during the month to share all that I am thankful for. Some overlap a bit but thankfulness has a way of doing that because life overlaps in many ways as it should. If you didn’t see the others and would like to, they are listed here; week 1, week 2, week 3.

  • Nov 19 – I am thankful the Lord has given me yet another day. Hopefully I use each day as the gift it is.

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  • Nov 20 – I am thankful that although the pain in my foot is minor as I recover from surgery, at least I still have a foot that is healing nicely. Now both are done.

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  • Nov 21 – I am so thankful for God’s light that shines on all of us and for the many artist that use their talents to remind us and lift us when we need that lift.
  • Nov 22 – I am thankful for what this day remind us of and for the love of family and friends that surrounds at this time. Also for the many memories of this day, the “Wow” moments and the “Oh, Really” moments.
  • Nov 23 – I am so very thankful that I do not have the shopping bug so that I do not have to get out in the madness of Black Friday.

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  • Nov 24 – I am thankful for the fun I have with college football and super excited that my team won and is  headed to the conference championship, Go Dawgs!

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  • Nov 25 – I am thankful for all the blessing I have received and the ability to enjoy sitting on the couch watching the birds eat as much as they can before the snow gets too thick on the feeders. Then of course it did.
  • Nov 26 – I am so thankful that I have a daughter that is taking care of me as I heal and that she took care of all the snow removal since I am still on the knee walker from surgery. Don’t think it would do well in 13″ of snow.

 

And remember as always, especially when times, weather and situations get trying, be kind. It can be the greatest gift you could give.

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Friendship and kindness and healing tools

 

 

And Startup for Christmas Begins

Christmas is filled with religious meanings and family traditions that echo our love toward the season and mankind. There are many stories or ideals we all share that originally came from myth or folklore and then get sprinkled with embellishments that make us love the story or the tradition even more. One of these for me is the candy cane.

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peppermint candy canes

There are so  many stories about their origin of this coming from a Christian perspective but they always seem to get debunked as untruths. Lets go through a few of these myths and at least enjoy them for the tale that they are.

In Germany over 250 years ago a white straight stick of candy was created for the supposed holiday season. There was some stories that were told the the white symbolized the purity of Christ but that evidently can not be substantiated. Then in 1670, in the USA, in the state of Indiana, a choirmaster made similar candy using the same symbol of white for purity but he added a “J” shape to the cane to represent the staff of a shepherd and the “J” of Jesus’ name. His thought was to give the children something to remember about Christ and to help keep them quiet during the nativity play.

It was not until the 1900’s that the stripes and the peppermint were added and the Christian meanings/myths were increased and are believed as true.

The white represents the purity of Christ. The “J” still represents the shepherd staff for us lost lambs and for his name as well. There are two types of stripes on the candy cane, a large thick stripe and three small thin stripes. The small stripes represent His scourging for by His stripes we are healed. The large stripe represents His blood that was shed on the cross for us. The peppermint represents hyssop which was used as purity in biblical times.

I don’t understand why someone wants to worry so  much about proving the factual truth of a wonderful story concerning Christmas instead of enjoying the beauty it represents today. At the end of the day it is a candy cane. Especially when people use this to look for extra reason to show their love of Christ or find was to energize the imagination of a child to help them understand the intricate details of the meaning of Christmas. It a joyous time of year. Have a candy cane.

And remember this season of thankfulness as it springboards us in the joyous season of Christmas. Its a time of year where we can share extra doses of kindness to all creation. Remember that no act of kindness is ever wasted but can create a ripple effect that spread across the world.