Nov 30, 2012

3 Toys that will knock you Granddaughter's Socks Off!..Free shipping on $50 for select toys plus Winx Club Promo Code!

Save 20% Off Winx Club Toy with Promo Code TGTVDYV8

Winx Club 11.5" Deluxe FashionDoll - Bloom

Mini Lalaloopsy Doll Silly Fun House Bundle
Spend $50, Get Free Shipping on Select Holiday Items
I loved some of the toys that were on sale at Target this week.  Grandparents, there are some that have your name written all over them.  You  Spend $50, Get Free Shipping on Select Toys at  How great is that.  Here are a few I thought that were perfect.

Our Generation Slumber Party Accessory Set

Spend $50, Get Free Shipping on Select Toys at

Girls today. Boys tomorrow. I know you want to get that perfect gift for you grandchildren. These looked like so much fun.

Be well.


Nov 29, 2012

Pay Attention: The guy standing next to you may be interesting!

Bill Bowerman
Bill Bowerman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Have I said this before. Pay Attention! The chatty Kathy in the plane seat next to you may just be interesting. Or not. I am just attention. You may learn something.

I have been on a quest the last few month to find out about a person I only talked to one time.  He was the brother of my roommate in college. He was a track runner at the University of Oregon in the late 1950's during the era of Phil Knight. He had graduated from Beaverton High School and went on to the university to begin his college career in track. Unfortunately Woodell's track career was cut short in an accident on campus.

But that is not the story. Woodell was not all about track. He was all about a business career. He was the first COO of Nike, Inc., co-founder of the Rougue Brewery and director of the Port of Portland.

This is an image taken from a videotape created at a Sept. 15, 1983,
event honoring Carolyn Davidson,
the Portland State University graduate who designed the Nike Swoosh.
Phil Knight on the left. Bob Woodell in the foreground.
In the six points of separation concept we are all connected in some way. When I was with my classmates this summer at a high school reunion, I discovered that a friend's husband had worked as an accountant at the Port of Portland when Woodell was the director of the port. I asked if he had ever run into him while working there. It turned out that his boss was Woodell.  My friend told the story of sitting in Woodell's office, listening as he told about his experience with Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman.

But here is what is so unusual. The spider web can run to some very distant places. That is what happened to me while we were in Mexico when Bob Woodell came up in the conversation. My husband and I were talking with a young traveler from Alaska. Nike came up in the conversation because I happened to be wearing my orange tennis shoes that day. I mentioned Phil Knight's philanthropy and involvement in University of Oregon athletics. Naturally we discussed the UofO football uniforms.  That was when someone on the other side of the hot pool area asked how I knew Phil Knight. No, I did not know Knight...he is just legendary in the Portland Metro area. We talk about him occasionally.

"My husband ran track with Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman was his coach."

It is a good thing I was paying attention or I would have missed that voice. The man's name was Otto and he told about buying a pair of the tennis shoes Bowerman made from the trunk of Bowerman's car. He recalled the accident that Bob Woodell had been in and we talked about Univerisity of Oregon track during the Phil Knight/Bill Bowerman era.

Then this man went on to say that his brother ran for Bowerman too. He said the brother had won a Olympic medal but I could find no record that gave me a clue as to who he was. The man and his wife were from Canada.

Think of what I would have missed. The lesson here is pay attention. You never know who may be sitting next to you. People are very, very interesting!

Have a wonderful day!


Nov 27, 2012

Are You Making Your Grandkids Fat?

I am beginning to wonder if we don't need warning labels on fast food and junk food. What do you think.
Are You Making Your Grandkids Fat?

The NEW BEST Warning Label? Food!

Even though I don't eat fast food
I still fight the weight problem.
Is this the true threat to our country and its children?  Think about it!
Remember when we first began campaigning against becoming addicted to tobacco? It was a long up hill battle. Now the accepted opinion is that tobacco causes cancer, increases heart disease and so much more. As a young mother I simply called smoking a "filthy habit" and my grown children remember the lesson even to this day.

I am beginning to wonder if fast food is not the new tobacco for this generation. Could it be that we need to begin the long uphill battle for a "warning label" on fast food? This one would protect our children from obesity, heart disease and so much more? Maybe so.

My husband and I just returned from a vacation in Mexico where we stayed in a resort used by Americans on vacation. The resort had  beautiful pools and everyone, no matter the shape they were in, turned out in swim suits (myself included). It was not a beautiful sight. It is appalling the things we will do to our bodies to satisfy our appetite for food. Why do we overeat?

I have suspected for many years that fast food and junk food is addicting. What do the people that market these products add to their food that leaves us always wanting more? Obese children and their parents stand in line to buy the fries and burgers and load their shopping carts with junk food. Are these people addicted to the fat or the special salt or the calories?

I can foresee a day in the future when there will be warning labels saying that some foods are truly bad for our health. Parents and teachers might be saying "fast/junk food is disgusting" and schools might start programs with pictures of people dying of heart disease directly related to bad eating habits with a picture of junk/fast food inserted.

My husband and I will probably be giving up our "people watching" pastime and take up something else. It is alarming me more and more. The terrorist really don't need to blow us up. We are doing it to ourselves.

Just a thought.


Nov 26, 2012

Impossible to feel down in the dumps in Dubai!

I cannot imagine feeling down in the dumps when I am traveling. But this guest post on Dubai tells us about the place where it is simply impossible.  I like that. 

Take from the
 At The Top - Burj Khalifa, Dubai
 Image by A. Decardy at Some Tech Sense
There's no need to feel down in the dumps in Dubai. Not when you have the Burj Khalifa, the world’s highest skyscraper right on your doorstep! And a trip to the top costs a mere $27 (AED 100) or thereabouts. Cheap at the price for a stunning, awe-inspiring hour-long view that will soon have the spirits soaring way out across the Arabian Desert.

The Burj Khalifa took six years to build at a cost of $1.5 billion and on a clear day, reputedly, you can see some 60 miles in all directions from the 'At the Top' observation deck, taking in desert as well as the warm waters of the Persian Gulf. At over 800 metres tall, the building has more than 160 floors, 57 elevators and 8 escalators, and around 26,000 glass panels.

No building in modern history has aroused so much curiosity and intrigue, says the Burj Khalifa website. Visitors begin their vertical ascent to the observation deck in a high-speed elevator, travelling at 10 metres per second. As the doors open, floor-to-ceiling glass walls provide a breath-taking unobstructed 360-degree view of the city, desert and ocean.  By night, sparkling lights and stars compete for the visitor's attention. You can even shop At the Top and take home a truly unique souvenir.

It's barely a stone's throw from the tallest skyscraper to one of the most spectacular fountain displays to be seen anywhere in the world. Dubai's dancing fountains are simply breathtaking. The fountains, covering a distance of about a thousand feet, combine water, light and sound in an unforgettable display.

According to the website FlashyDubai, the fountain can spray 22,000 gallons (83,000 litres) of water in the air at any one moment in many different combinations and patterns. More than 6,600 lights and 25 colour projectors have been installed. The beam of light shining upward from the fountain can be seen from over 20 miles away. Apparently it's also visible from space, making it the brightest spot in the Middle East and possibly in the entire world.

Visitors looking at the Dubai skyline often can scarcely believe that only a handful of decades ago the area was practically nothing but desert. Oil, of course, changed everything in the United Arab Emirates, not least of all in the city itself. Now the country is one of the best places to do business in. Big international banking is there, too, household names such as HSBC, for example, providing the sorts of business banking services which have turned the country into an international trading hub.

Dubai enjoys one of the best locations in the world, says the Dubai Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing. Situated halfway between Europe and Asia, few destinations take more than eight hours direct flying time to or from Dubai. Just overnight from London, four hours from Nairobi, three hours from Mumbai, eight hours from Hong Kong and a direct flight from the United States or Australia, Dubai is definitely a destination of choice for vacationing, living and business.

The tourism authority says, “Dubai offers a range of hotels to suit every taste, whim and budget! From the glitzy, opulent and of the most expensive and only seven star hotel in the world all the way through to the very affordable. Then there are the resorts in the desert where tourists can experience unmatched peace and tranquillity. Whatever the choice, it will definitely be an unforgettable stay as a tourist or business traveller. “Dubai is ranked the second world’s most popular destination for shopping after the United States and ahead of popular shopping destinations like Singapore, France, UK, and Hong Kong among others. With a long history as a trading hub, today Dubai is synonymous with shopping. From souk to shopping mall, Dubai has it all - duty free, gold, electronics, textiles, cars - and is a true shopper’s paradise. Perfect for the shop-o-holics and for retail therapy!”

Useful Resources:

The Last Empty Nest Syndrome: Thoughts on "How to be the PERFECT Grandma"

Son, daughter-in-law, husband and grandchildren...I'm trying
to remember the rules.

How to Be the Perfect Grandma

(click this link to view on Amazon)

Bryna Nelson Paston wrote How to Be the Perfect Grandma in 2002. Her grandchildren were still small so she wrote the words while the experience was fresh in her mind. The sentence at the end of the first chapter said, "...there are rules and you, as a grandparent, must follow them or go directly to jail." The rest of the book sets out to put the reader straight when it comes to things like being a mother-in-law to the mother of the grandchild and what to do if you drop the baby on the floor (she suggested lying!). I am an experienced grandmother and I can tell you right now, Paston knows what she is talking about. She made me laugh as I nodded my head yes over and over. I wish I had written this book!

Then in 2010 she put out a second edition. Her grandchildren were growing up, the oldest were in college another in middle school. The life she described in the first edition was changing and she was facing the last empty nest syndrome.

The Last Empty Nest Syndrome 
Paston was the kind of grandmother that threw herself into the role with headlong passion. She provided a closet solely for the use of one grandson to use as a pretend office. Picnics in bed and trips to museums filled grandchildren visits. She had a box of dress-up clothes and toys gleaned at yard sales. Her job description was "Grandmother" and she loved it. I can imagine that she threw herself into the raising of her children much as she immersed herself in the lives of her grandchildren.

Then time passed...eight years later the youngest was 12 and she did not need the closet for a pretend office anymore. The older grandchildren did not return her calls and she was feeling a loss that I think made her heart ache. She was experiencing the "last empty nest syndrome". Even if she did get to be involved in her great-grandchildren's lives, she probably would not be needed the way she had always been before.

The poignant thing here is that the children and grandchildren thought they needed her more than anything. But the truth was the Paston was the one that needed them. It made me sad because I see myself in so many ways in Byrna Nelson Paston. I even know that the likelihood of my seeing my baby granddaughter of 5 month grow up and have children of her own is very slim. I too can feel the shift in my role with my children and grandchildren.

I will share this book with my daughter and her brother's wives. I think it will be valuable even now as they are raising their children. Every expecting grandmother needs to read these words and truly take them to heart. If they don't know the rules, they are bound to make unneeded mistakes and why should we let that happen?

Have a wonderful day.


A special thanks goes out to Jessica Marr at Pine Media for sending me this book. Jessica owns a website called MomVantage.

Linked to: Grandma’

Nov 25, 2012

Photographs of Mexico and Fodor Recommendations + Free Mayan Coffee (maybe)

52 Anniversary Dinner at
La Habichuela Sunset
Writing about life where the rubber meets the road does not make you an expert! Travel in this world is all about the discovery and surprise. I like that a lot. I really don't want to know what is around the next corner or where I should be looking.

HOWEVER when it comes to food, I don't want any surprises...none at all.  That is why I depend on our Fordor's Travel Guide. While they list more than you would want to read through, I always just go to the red Fordor's Recommends in the margins and choose the one that I can afford, make reservations and trust that we will be happy.  We have never gone wrong.

Artwork: Rocking Horses

Courtyard Sanctuary

Mayan  Pole Dancers (sunset)

Mayan Coffee Preparation

Our  beloved resort shuttle!
On our last full day of freedom in Mexico we decided to take the shuttle into Cancun and have dinner.  We ate at a place called La Habichuela Sunset located on Hotel road. The restaurant featured Caribbean food and is located on the interior lagoon.  We were not disappointed in anyway. The manager said mention his name (Miguel) and that I sent will get a free Mayan Coffee (maybe). That is what I had and you will not be disappointed.

So it is good-bye to Mexico, back to Oregon where Christmas and family is waiting. I am a very happy woman.


Nov 24, 2012

4 Ideas for Playing with Grandchildren Ages 2-5

In the year of 2012 I posted what have become some of my favorite blogs posts about my grandchildren. This post is about what you can expect of your grandchildren at play. It should help you understand what your grandchild will find interesting and fun. I focused on ages 2-5 for a starter.  I hope you like it.

Here is the list...keeping it simple just for you today!
The backyard toys all gathered as pieces
of a very big pretend train! Who knew?
  1. A 2 year old loves to explore and play independently. Bubbles, balls and outdoor exploration will thrill them. Grandparents are the safety officers in this case. Watching, creating new explorations experience for the child or simply cleaning up the mess of toys may be the role a grandparent plays. I have watched my grandchild drag out every toy in the house and never settle into any one thing. BUT on other occasions when I allowed the play to evolve naturally, I have seen sorting, creative pretend and so much more. It is a waiting game and the less interference the better. 
  2. At 3 the child may be ready to play at a tea party or dress up so they can be a "Buzz Lightyear". A box of dress up clothes is perfect at this age. My grandchildren love books and will listen to several simple stories to delay bedtime or nap time. I take advantage of this time...grandmothers can do that. (Remember that a book with too many words will bore them and they will not stay with you.) A trip to the park is alway fun thing to do. 
  3. A 4 year old will love to visit a friend and play with their toys. They may still want to play in a parallel way but they can enjoy the other child's company. I think sharing is a hard concept for children and this is good practice for what is to come next year. Many children are still at the parallel play level at this age. Taking grandchildren to the park or a children's museum can be a appropriate adventure at this age. 
  4. At 5 children can begin kindergarten in most of the United States. Grandparents can play a big role at this time in a child's life. They love a visit at school or a party on a holiday with the Grandmother playing the part of "room Grandmother". Schools do need volunteers so this may be a way to be around and watch your grandchildren grow. Note: children of 5 have a fuzzy concept about those things that will bother their conscience later on. They might lie and will take things home from school that belong to the school. Do not be alarmed but help them understand that these behaviors are not acceptable. Grandparents can reinforce honesty concepts.
In my experience children are very physical and base their self image on how fast they can run or jump. Being willing to create little games and be the cheer leader is always a winner.

Our grandchildren love my husband. He is willing to hold a toy or stack books. He just sits and watches. I think he has it figured out when it come to small children at play. They run to his arms and revel in his attention. He never has a plan for them and does not direct their play. They love it!

I hope some of this has been helpful. I was a preschool and kindergarten teacher and have a degree in elementary education. I worked in a "developmentally appropriate" classroom. If you are interested in more details I encourage you to do some additional reading. It will be very helpful for you. We forget what a baby acts like by the time grandchildren come along. A good review is in order sometimes.

Related articles
A family that plays together really does stay together (
Grandparent Craft Ideas for Preschool (
Grandparenting in the Digital Age (
How To Have Fun With Your Grandchildren (Child Development Institute)

Nov 23, 2012

Getting Around: Taking the Collectiva Van

Honestly, I would never have thought to go out to the highway and wait for a van to come and pick me up.  No appointment, no concierge, no worries...I am told.

We are on the Mayan Peninsula here in Mexico spending two weeks.  The end of our beautiful vacation is in sight and I am only beginning to learn the ins and outs of this world.

When we want to go to the next community or even from one end of the resort to the other, people come and take us. That is the luxury of coming to a place like this. But sometimes we want to go to a place that does not fit into the resort's routine. For example, we took a shuttle into Cancun last night so that we could have a special dinner to celebrate out anniversary/Thanksgiving. The van really was not going where we wanted to be but it was what was available so we just went with the flow.

Wish You Were Here!
The area we visited was at the far end of the hotel zone in Cancun where we were dropped at a mall. The van driver demanded the round trip fair and it seemed reasonable that he would. But actually what we had in mind was staying later so we wanted to travel into the city center and take a taxi back out. We were flexible and he could not afford to be. We did it his way.

It is all good though. A van ride always turns out to be an education. That is where we heard about the collectiva taxi service. It seems the vans travel up an down the highway here picking up resort tourist and taking them either to Cancun, to Playa del Carmen, Tulum or anywhere else you want to be dropped along their route.

How do you do that? You get up and walk out to the highway. Get on the side of the road going in the direction you want to travel. Wait. Negotiate a price for your destination. Get off, do what you want and go back out to the road to go back to your resort. Now please, I have not done this but the woman that told me about it is experienced, very well educated and has been to this area 6 times at all times of the year. I believe that it really works.

So there you have tip for the day.

Have a great one.


Nov 22, 2012

What a Cancun Area Guided Day Tour Offers! Tulum

I really could not leave without going on at least one tour. So we chose the cheapest and shortest available.  If we decide to visit other sites on a return visit, we will rent a car. Our tour of choice was to Tulum, a ruin located on the Caribbean. The walled religious site was not only a place for shamans to practice but also a place the navigators could come by water to trade their goods. It takes a willing suspension of reality but if you can imagine what it must have looked like over 600 years ago while standing among the ruins it is breath taking.

Here is what we found:
Xcaret is a Maya civilization archaeological site located on the Caribbean coastline
of the Yucatán Peninsula,in the modern-day state ofQuintana Roo in Mexico. (Wikipedia)

Tulum is the site of a Pre-Columbian Maya walled city serving as a major port for Cobá.
The ruins are situated on 12-meter tall cliffs,along the east coast of the Yucatán Peninsula on the 

Caribbean Sea in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico.(wikipedia)

Note: The cost for the tour was $45 American per person. 
We paid full price because I did not want to go toa Mayan Palace presentation. It would be less if wehad done that.

We were shuttled from our resort, Mayan Palace, to a spot along the highway where we boarded a bus for the rest of the tour.We were given 
admission to the site and a very thorough English speaking tour guide. 
Lunch as available for purchase on the site.

Your resort concierge will have information on costs and recommendations.
I don't know about you but I am not a tour tourist in any sense of the word. I don't like buses with pictures painted on the windows or even sitting in them. But, even given these fact, I had a wonderful day when we went to Tulum. The tour guide was a charming older man, matter of fact, well informed and kind.  Those are all qualities that a tour guide can misplace after they have been in the business for many years.

The tour business is alive and well here on the Riviera Maya. The better know and more elaborate sites are very busy and the resort fills buses day after day.

We were waiting for our transportation when two buses destined for Xcaret arrived.  Both buses filled.  This national park can be a whole vacation in and of itself as I understand it. I just loved the look of the bus. The luggage you see on the top is only for show. It just gives you the feel of what it must have been like when these buses were the only way to travel on the Yucatan.

What is your attitude?
Tonight we will take a shuttle bus into Cancun where we have dinner reservations.  The restaurant was the one recommended by Fodors. I have never gone wrong with there advise. The Thanksgiving dinner here on the resort was around $75 per person.

Here is where I want to say that we have decided not to be dissatisfied if the shuttle does not go exactly where we want. In this particular case we wanted to go to El Centro Cancun but the shuttle drops the tourist at a plaza on the very end of the hotel row. It is about as far from El Centro as you can get and still be in the city.

We looked at each other yesterday when we were trying to figure a way around it. We were not liking the time of day or the drop off point or anything much. It occurred to us both that we were whining...yuck! I hated that. We both laughed and decided to go with the flow. I will let you know but it is almost a given that we will totally enjoy ourselves!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! If my family happens to read this, we love you.

Steps to the beach
The azure blue waters of the Caribbean
My beautiful husband and all my
baggage. You just have to
love him!


Nov 21, 2012

Retirement Too Boring for You? Start a Business

You can only vacation for so long.
Then you need to begin thinking
about what you will do with the rest
of your life!
 (Playa del Carmen, Mex. by b)

Some hints and tips to get those entrepreneurial juices flowing again.
Thinking of starting a business? It’s never too late; in fact there are numerous benefits to enter the entrepreneurial world as a senior professional. For a start, you will probably have the knowledge experience and industry insights most entrepreneurs strive to learn in their ascendancy to wealth. Imagine if you could now have it all, and just don’t realize?  Yes its true most successful entrepreneurs start young when they have the energy and enthusiasm to make it happen, those 23 hours days selfless determination are invaluable characteristics. However a business doesn't always need to start from the bottom up and the opportunity you have always dreamed could be now yours for the taking. 

We can of course acknowledge there are risks involved, business is simply a risk taking adventure and reputation, savings and assets are hard earned rewards not to be gambled recklessly.  However, after a career of working for somebody else, wouldn't it be better to finally be your own boss and live in more style during those glory years? For some people the lure can be just too great, the trick is to manage what you can and only invest what you are prepared to lose.

So what makes that idea a success?
1. Look for the gap in the market in an area you know.  If you have worked a long time in one particular sphere the chances are that you have seen opportunities in that market and thought, “If only…”  Look at the example of Jamie Murray Wells. He came up with the idea for his first company, Glasses Direct, offering cut-price prescription glasses over the internet, while studying at the University of West England – when he needed a pair of glasses he couldn't afford a pair from a high street shop and realized he could save money by contacting the manufacturers’ directly with his prescription. This formed the basis of his business and today the company sells a pair every few minutes. Entrepreneurs have to trust their instinct and listen to the problems/opportunities they encounter in day to day life.
 2. Do you have a driving passion for something or a particular outside interest?  That weekend hobby of stripping down old engines or making fancy cakes for family and friends could turn into a mobile car mechanic service or baking for special occasions
 3. Take on a Franchise.  If you can find a home-based franchise that interests you, then start up costs could be low and you can get lots of support to make it work so you won’t feel quite as exposed as you would do as sole trader
 4. Networking.  Your career means that you will doubtless know lots of people who have helped you, or you have helped them at some point.  That old address book or Outlook contacts list is an opportunity to turn those friends and contacts into something useful for your business
 5. Start small.  Buy the minimum you need to get started and avoid all those ‘nice to have’ extras and things that you fancy.  As the business grows you can add to your assets but you don’t want underused equipment lying about eating into your capital.  Remember if it doesn't work out then you will have to turn your assets back into cash.
 6.  Only use the energy you have got to give.  There’s no need to rush into a demanding 40 or 50 hour week from the beginning.  Remember you are doing this because you want to do it, not because you have to satisfy the boss so only put in the hours you feel comfortable with, especially at the outset.  As and when the business grows you may want to do more, or employ someone else to do more, but later in life energy levels are lower than when you were a spring chicken!
Contributed by James Barnett,Managing Editor of Oceanic Business

Nov 20, 2012

10 + 1 Best Christmas Gifts for Senior Citizens by a Senior Citizen!

I do not have this book on my list but 
it is the most important gift you can give. Please, please look at this book on Amazon and order one for a family friend or anyone you love. Galen Pearl is a remarkable woman that wrote this book to raise money for the Edward Center in Portland Area. The center provides residence and vocational help for autistic adults. 

If grandma says she doesn't want t gift, she is a big fat liar! Grandmothers, mothers, and every woman and man on your list likes to be remembers at Christmas. It is an important acknowledgement of their value.

So here is my list of things I would like to have or have gotten in the past...I am assuming other senior citizens will feel the same.

If anyone in your family does not know about or own an Kindle/Nook or iPad, you can be the hero by introducing them to this piece of technology!  You get what you think is best. These devices keep getting better and better. The importance of keeping mentally involved is so important. For people that are suffering from cataracts they are a way of continuing to read.
  1. Give a gift certificate for digital books or magazines from Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Apple.
  2. Grandma/Grandpa love gift cards just as much as their grandchildren do...get them an Amazon gift card from the whole family.  They will love to just fritter away money without thinking that they should have given it to you!
  3. If Grandma/Grandpa are a strong church member or loves charity they will love a gift that will allow them to donate to a charity.
  4. Grandma/Grandpa love to snuggle...with a pair of house slippers or a beautiful blanket.I love a silk throw or shawl. Get something that has frivolous written all over it for Grandma.  Buy Grandpa something in plaid!
  5. Grandma/Grandpa probably have favorite TV shows...why not buy them the whole television series of their favorite shows.  They will even enjoy a whole season of what you are watching. Grandma/Grandpa like to keep up with the times.
  6. You know that fancy restaurant you told them about after you took yourself out for an anniversary or valentines day?  Well, they want to go there too. Make it a double date just like you would with friends.  It makes Grandma and Grandpa feel like they belong in your real life.
  7. Grandpa like to watch sports and may love a magazine on sports or hunting.  If he is a techie, get him a magazine digital subscription to PC Magazine or Apple Magazine...the same hold true for wine, cigars, travel.  If there is a magazine on "Taking Naps" he will really like that one.  Grandma will love a digital magazine subscription more than you know.  She will even tell you which one to order!!!!
  8. Give a gift card that can be redeemed for things you can do for Grandma and Grandpa.  They would love to see you over a cup of coffee in the morning. Get a pedicure with Grandma or go to the hair dresser together.  Maybe give each of them some time separately.  Be creative.
  9. This Grandma loved the gift of a cooking lesson with a local chef...if your Grandma or Grandpa is into learning new things, a gift of a class at the local college is always a good idea.
  10. This grandmother would love one day of help with cleaning kitchen cabinets. I would even fix lunch.
I could just keep on going.  My family has always been very creative.  Really it seems to me that if you love something then it probably is a good gift for someone in your family.  Often we share the same interests!

Happy shopping everyone.

Note:  Be sure to check out these posts for more ideas-

or...even Grandma/Grandpa likes Christmas presents! 

Yucatan Pennisula, Quintana Roo, Mexico: A Day in the Life of a Retiree

On Speaking Spanglish
When I post on Facebook it marks my location as Quintana Roo...I love the way the words slide off my tongue.  I find myself speaking the most unusual Spanglish when I am here. Because I know about 50 words of Spanish, mostly tourist talk. I want to learn more. But it doesn't always work out like I want it to.

The other day we were ordering our lunch and our waiter spoke that wonderful melodic English that Spanish speakers use. I was listening in my Spanglish when he suddenly asked in the clearest, unaccented English, "Do you want soup?" I looked at him like he had three heads. I could not recognize my own language spoken perfectly because I listening in Spanglish! It made me laugh when I realized what had happened.

After playing a par 3 golf
Hot and Steamy...I did not realize I was amphibious!
We played golf yesterday. It was hot and extremely humid. It felt like I was trying to breath under water. I started the 3 par course looking like a respectable lady of a certain arms partially covered because I do not get my arms out even in the summer anymore. As the round ended, I was not looking as cool and collected as I would have liked. My husband on the other hand said he was not hot at all! What is wrong with me...or him? 

The little golf course was absolutely beautiful from start to finish. Huge expanses of sand with smaller landing spots made it a challenge but we had a lot of fun. If you are a man, you will find it especially challenging because the distances are all wrong for you. But if you are a woman, you are in heaven!

Playa del Carmen...tourist pleasures!
Mayan Celebration
Note: Did you know the Maya comprise the single
 largest group of indigenous people
 on the North American Continent? (Fodors)
Restaurant Attraction?

Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen is one of the perfect tourist destinations. The photographic opportunities are without end and the shear fun of the whole place just blows me away.  The Mayan people perform in the plaza, iguanas sit on the tables waiting patiently for I do no know what and liquor bottles sit in the window of the upstairs patio of the hotel across the street. And then there is the beach! Oh my goodness. It all just takes my breath away.

It is raining today...solid clouds from horizon to horizon. The temperature lingers in the mid seventies and it feels heavenly.  If you are on vacation, you always need a down day. Read Eat! Write! Think! Relax!

Life is good.


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Nov 19, 2012

Finding Artisans in Mexico: Otami Indian Embroidered Coverlet

from Apartment Therapy
I saw a coverlet on the Apartment Therapy website the other day. It was absolutely gorgeous and I wanted one like it but I could not justify the $395 plus shipping it would cost to order it. So when I my husband told me I could find something on this vacation in Mexico for my birthday, I immediately mentioned this piece of fiber art. It was a dream but I was hoping we could find one like it.

Tenango coverlets

My coverlet being folded by the sales lady
We went to Playa Carmen  looking for an artisan shop that might carry that type of art. There it was. My embroidered coverlet waiting for me in a multitude of colors.

The coverlets are created in Tenango del Doria, Hildago, Mexico by the the Otomi indian. Hand and Eye Magazine had this to say about the works of art:
Necessity is still the mother of invention, as shown in the story of tenango embroideries created by Mexico's Otomí (Ñah-ñu) Indians. 
At a time of great economic hardship, the Otomí drew upon their artistic history to create a sustainable enterprise. With saturated colors, graphic floral and animal patterns, and bold use of positive and negative space, contemporary tenangos present a striking example of modern ingenuity merged with ancient tradition. (more information here)
The design is realistic and mystic all at the same time. It truly is a feast for the eyes. I will treasure it for many years to come. I am a very lucky woman.

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