Grandma’s Fixins, JusJoJan, #SCoS

Linda’s Stream of Conscious Saturday combined with today’s Just Jot January had some interesting vowel twist of sap/sep/sip/sop/sup. So I thought I would play a little with some flash fiction. Come join us for some fun and interest as we try to meet today’s challenge.

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Grandma’s Fixins

The screen door slammed as Jerry entered the kitchen sniffing the air of fresh backing cornbread just coming out of the oven.

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Sup, grandma. Smells great in here.”

Sup? All that education you have had and that’s the way you talk.” 

“Sorry. Good afternoon Grandmother. How are you this fine evening?” he teased pecking her on the cheek.

“Hmp, now you are just being ridiculous,” she said as she sipped in her tea. “There is sweet tea in the fridge and get out the syrup so it can be warming up a bit.”

Reaching in the fridge, he pulled out the bottle of Georgia Cane Syrup made by Johnson’s farm at the southern part of the state. He poured himself a large glass of tea and came to sit at the table across from his grandmother as she finished slathering butter of the steaming ears of corn. Reading of the bottle of syrup he noted the date on the back label.

“Does syrup get old?” he asked.

“No, why do you ask?” she said.

“It’s got a date on the label.”

“Oh, that’s a best used date, before it starts to separate,” she explained.

Separate?”

She stopped with her hand on her hips and stared at her grandson. “Have you learned nothing from me and this farm? What is syrup made from?”

A gleam lit in his eyes knowing a good banter was in the making. “Well that depends. You have maple syrup where they pull sap from a tree, boil it down to make syrup.”

He glanced up to see the good natured scowl deepen on her brow.

“We don’t grow maple trees here in the south. We grow cane. Your grandpa had 2 full acres ever year before he passed. The sugar cane juice, sap, is boiled down as the cane is crushed. If you let it sit too long on the shelf it will turn to sugar crystals – separate. Here, take your plate and grab you some field peas and greens from the stove. Pork chops, corn and cornbread are already here on the table. How big a piece of cornbread do you want?”

“Normal size for now,” he said.  “Then I will get a bigger slice to sop up remaining juices on my place before I add the syrup.”

“Yea, that’s the best part of the meal,” agreed Grandma as they settled in to a warm enjoyable meal.

Growing up in the late 1900’s gave a different meaning to the family meal. It was a time for fun shared over good food, teasing to help you grow with lots of assurance of love and togetherness.  We seem to have lost that as we are rushing to the next battle to conquer. A lot of the encouragement has been lost and we find ourselves at times not knowing exactly what the next step needs to be. So I challenge you this year to try to regain some of that back. Love on you family members and friends and encourage each other. And as always…remember to be kind. Even when drawing a hard line if needed, it cane be done with love, encouragement and KINDNESS.

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Eyes, Windows to the Soul, A Photo a Week Challenge

Matthew 6:22 – The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be filled with light.

Nothing is quite as precious as the sparkle of a child’s eyes or the giggle of their laugh. These are my children and grandchildren. Yes all boys. But they are precious.

Nancy Merrill photo a week challenge is eyes. Come join in on the fun and enjoy each others photos.

Remember the joy of laughter of a child and carry that joy and smile with you as you go sharing that love with kindness freely. It make bring the same joy and smile to one who needs it.

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Advent Continues, Weekly Prompts

GC and Sue W have created a prompt that is so up my alley.  The joys and traditions surrounding Christmas are my most favorite of the year. See their prompt below to join in on the fun and share your photos.

http://weeklyprompts.com/2018/12/14/advent-continues

For me and my daughter, we start preparing the week before Thanksgiving but this year we started the 1st week on November as I was due for surgery the second week and I was not going to miss out on my decorating. We are also major college football fans, so every year there is an off weekend where our team does not play. That is the designated day for Christmas decoration shopping day. Sometimes we find something and sometime we don’t but it has become a yearly tradition we look forward to with love and fond memories.

When I decided to move from the deep south to the midwest for a new job, my daughter wanted to come. He job was going nowhere and her last relationship had crashed and burned. So we moved together. We were fortunate to find the perfect house with a walk out basement and a kitchen on both floors. So she is downstairs where it stays cooler to her liking and I am upstairs. Close to each other but separated as well.

My daughter and I are both suffers of the same…”illness?!?” – YCHTMC – An acronym for “You Can’t Have Too Much Christmas”.

Upstairs I have are 3 full size trees and 3 table trees. Down stairs my daughter has 3 smaller full size trees and 1 table tree.

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Dining Room Tree / Village
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Living Room Tree
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Bedroom Tree with Santa and Chris Moose

Below are the downstairs trees in her large living area.

I have 6 multiple pieced nativity sets in  various styles, colors and sizes with many single unit nativity scenes.

My biggest set has individual lights for each house and my smallest is actually a fountain.

My daughter has 2 multiple pieced nativity sets and several single unit scenes.The reason I have more is I have been doing it longer. It is a sickness I inherited from my mother and I have several ornaments that were hers. It is a family affair. With my sons, their wives keep them in check.

I am also an angel collector and most of those stay out year round; they just get located in a different location allowing other and numerous table decorations. Plus there is the village that grew this year and now has a section located in a different spots which houses the country scenes and the Christmas tree village.

 

There are traditional decorations, whimsical decorations and some just silly decorations but laughter and the love of Christ is what Christmas is to me. Through November I have displayed some of my pictures so I will repost a few but you are interested you can review my other post from November.

I sincerely hope you all have a marvelous Christmas regardless of your religious affiliation. It is a season of love hope and caring and we must always be considerate and kind to each other, especially at this season. There are many hurting during this time of year and will need and extra hand of kindness shared with them so please share kindness when you can.

Enjoy my love and fun of the season.

 

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.

Gentle Stream

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