Jul 30, 2015

Out of the mouths of babes...Amelia-isms

When Meelie comes to stay with us, we know we are in for a treat. She is 7 going on 15, very precocious and easy to be around. Her favorite word is "why" but she know that she has a limited supply when she come in the door. She is careful to use the allowed amount wisely. We love her a big bunch.

I have new sliding drawers in my kitchen cabinets thanks to my wonderful husband. I can slide out the appliance drawer and get the mixer without unloading the whole collection. I was showing it off to 7 year old Meelie and bagging on Grandpa. "Boy," she said, "you are really really lucky!" and grinned from ear to ear. I didn't expect that. She made me realize that I need to count my blessings more.

We were getting up from dining room table and she walked over to a mirror that hangs on the wall. As she began to touch the mirror all over I said, "Meelie, please don't do that. When you touch a mirror, your finger leaves something behind that will make the mirror look dirty after a while." Her response was, "I love you Grandma." Oh my can you even be cross with a child that is such a dear.

"Why just exactly are you painting your house?" she asked during a conversation we were having over paint colors as we drove down the road to horse camp. (One "why" gone.) I explained how the value of one of our biggest investments, our house, would drop if we didn't paint the inside and outside. She pondered that for a minute and responded with this reasoned thought. "Yes, Grandma I see that the value drops and your house is not worth as much money but it cost money to paint. Why go to all that work." Oh, my does she do that?

So, as we were packing her bag to go home yesterday she leaned over to me and said softly, "I will miss you Grandma." You can see why we love her so much. She is a treasure. All of our grandchildren are. Indeed, we are very, very lucky.

Have a wonderful day.


Jul 26, 2015

When Should We Feel Guilty?

I wrote yesterday about making rain. If you don't remember, I was the grandmother that planned a pretend outdoor theater party in my daughter and son-in-law's backyard then woke up the morning of to find rain, rain, rain. I talked to my daughter and we cancelled the party with no further ado. Period.

We went camping several years ago,
 it did not rain and my grandchildren
were not disappointed. It was wonderful.
Then, as any grandmother will tell you, the guilt began to seep in and I began to question things that I could not change. After all, who wants to disappoint their grandchildren? Not me that is for sure.

Here is where it gets tricky. Guilt should be all about what we can change. Wouldn't you agree? We can't change the past so feeling guilty is useless. We can't change the weather so feeling guilty about something that is caused by the rain is useless. Even feeling guilty about not being perfect is useless.

We honestly are in control of so few things in our lives. If we are smart we have passed the mantel to our children as we age and they control a lot of the social things we had taken care of when we were younger. We do not have a say in the behavior of our grandchildren or children. We are not in control and everyone is happier for us accepting that reality.

The new mantra in my family dynamic has to be "I am not in control!" Did I say that was easy? No, of course not. I still hear myself chiming in when grandchildren stand on their heads at the dinner table or interrupt a conversation even though their parents are way ahead of me. Darn.

So, "I am not in control!" is something I repeat to myself often. Everyone is happier for it. When I forget, I can only ask some indulgence from everyone. After all, one does not recover from a lifetime of bossing people around overnight. But when I do forget, I think a little guilt is in order. I can control my behavior and when I don't, I need to get a little nudge from my conscience. It is a good thing. Hard but good.

So there you have it. Guilt is not all bad. It just needs to be kept in its place.

Have a wonderful day.


Jul 25, 2015

How To Make Rain

There are people here in the Western United States that need a rainmaker...not the financial kind but the water kind. I just want them to know that I am able to do that. Yes, you heard it from here. I can make rain that comes out of the sky.

On several occasions I have made rain. Really, it isn't rocket science. You can do it too. It is all in the wrist (or something). See you only need to think really hard and make big plans for a special event that needs to be held outdoors. It can be a wedding, a camping trip or even a gathering of family in the backyard for a bbq and a movie. You need to send at least 20 text messages and get everyone to agree on a date and time. Then wait. How hard could it be?
We need a bigger screen Grandma!

So, if you live in the Portland Metro area, you can thank me for the rain. I send out a text message on Monday inviting everyone to my daughter's house to watch a movie outside. (Oh, did I mention that you also need to inconvenience someone you love with your plan?) The text message went out to 9 people. Everyone I could think of was in the loop.

I received a flurry of replies...I can't come on Friday, I can't stay up late on Saturday, I don't return to Portland until 11 pm Friday and, best of all, we need a bigger outdoor movie screen! See what I mean by planning.

We finally agreed on a time, date, what food to bring, who we could borrow a projector and screen from, who would light the bbq and so forth. We were set. I was thrilled even though the whole thing scared me a lot. I am not in charge much these days so I didn't want to mess things up.

It is the big day today. I opened my eyes this morning and, for the first time in months, it-is-raining.

Am I good or what? #PDX, I appreciate you gratitude. I am always glad to help with droughts and other natural problems. Just let me know!


Jul 20, 2015

Don't Turn Your Back

Summer in my neighborhood...Blue Angel in the
sky and ants in the livingroom!
It is summer, very hot, the plants are dying and the sugar ants are sure we are canning sugary peaches. I know, not very likely you say. But tell that to the ants.

How is it that the ants move in and the plants die when I turn my back? I went shopping yesterday. I got up this morning to find ants in the kitchen and the flower pots on the patio dried up.  How does that happen in one day?

My daughter-in-law made a mixture of the essence of mint oil and water that is suppose to repel the ants. I am giving that a try.

We found a herd of polite ants that decided to use the front door as their entrance and that was the day I became the ant murderer in the family. I used insecticide and the mint spray. It was all guns blazing around here. They haven't come back. I don't mind sharing but really, there was food by the front door? I don't think so.

As for the plants, I have come to a place where I am watering when I am watering and the plants can just live or die. It is their choice not mine.

I will tell you this though...I am not turning my back again this summer. It was a bad idea.

I'm just saying!

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