See Grandma, my eyes are really dark blue....not big brown ones like daddy

See Grandma, my eyes are really dark blue....not big brown ones like daddy

Ryan and friend

Ryan and friend
Mommy, Daddy, I'm saying Hi to Grandma?

This one is for you, Grandma!


soccer with determination and no airplane distractions

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Life As A Turtle

Life as a turtle, now that's an interesting concept. I truly believe that God has a sense of humor.
My husband knows that sometimes, I just don't want to...You know, I'm sure you have days like that. He'll say "humor me," and being the type of person I am, I normally give in.
If there were something I could relate to in creation, it would be the turtle. Slow...turtle speed, (everything is so fast today). Specifically, decisions which will affect the lives of all Americans.
Some days, I just want to take my time and bathe in the surroundings. You know, pampering, and indulgence. When someone comes around and "I don't want too," entertain, (be able to stick my head in and "hide" just like the turtle. Oh Bother! Seems someone always wants something.
You know,....I guess you have to be, (pardon the pun), thick skinned in this world. (Isn't there always some sort of crisis)?Just follow the news lately.
Maybe there is something to being a turtle, they live long, simple lives, don't they? They are contained in a protective shell, no mortgage to pay. They don't have to fuss with their hair, nails and do all the other things that make us society "acceptable". My friend said one day, that her dog has a better life than she does. Now that's sad, (but true)!
So, what don't I feel like doing today? Just about everything.
I forced myself to scrub the bathroom, make the bed, clean-up the kitchen sink and now, to do my exercise. Guess I just will have to talk myself into it, again. What's for Dinner?
Wonder if turtles could talk, what they would say? "I'd like to get out of this shell and live a little bit." Who said that? Now that's funny!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Chicken Soup Kinda Day

Little Nathan came over to play with grandma while his daddy had a scheduled appointment. Normally, he likes to go for carriage rides, but today, he seemed a little sensitive. (We saw the sun only a couple of times and its sort of gloomy outside.) Nate wanted to watch "Mighty Machines," but only what he wanted to watch of "Mighty Machines."

Grandma had better become better acquainted with the computer. No, I don't always get it right, try as I may. I didn't come from the computer generation. It does not always come easy to me. Nate, meanwhile, is saying "I don't want trucks, I want gravel." (Tearfully, may I add).

Try to get a two-year -old to understand that I'm not like mommy who has more knowledge on the computer, dealing with his selections on a daily basis.

So, there he was drippy nose, with his favorite dodo blanket, and sitting back against a huge pillow, probably disappointed in grandma's ability to give him what he wants. And, of all days, when he was not feeling his best.

Technology is hard to keep up with so, I kissed the boo boo's away with his favorite chicken soup. The same recipe I've been using for years, along with sour apple slices and chocolate yogurt ice cream. Luckily, he had a good appetite and ate every bit of it. He may be young, but like most men, can be enticed by food. (It certainly changed his mind, completely).

Colds seem to start up this time of the year in New England, especially when children go back to school.

The best remedy I know is still chicken soup, mom and apple pie.

I felt a little better when daddy came home and told Nathan that grandma couldn't play "gravel" on her computer because it was on the other "Mighty Machine" DVD at home, which I didn't even have. (We'll have to get the title of that one for sure).

Maybe, we can ask grampy to pick it up at the store, and have it on hand, in anticipation of another chicken soup kinda day.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Harvest Activities

We have been working hard outdoors, preparing for the Annual Giant Indoor Yard/Bake Sale at the parish of St. Michael. We decked the place out with pumpkins, and several scarecrows, a bale of hay and many assorted mum plants.

The various committees have been formed, each will focus on their particular area of expertise. Debbie will head up the bake sale, while Linda will run the yard sale. Laura will oversee lunch. We will also have a table featured on the Common in our town, as this event will transpire throughout our small community. (People will be given a "map" notating participants addresses).

It's a huge undertaking, which will need many hands, one which will require a lot of backbreaking effort and my presence for most of the week.

If your in the area, maybe we can entice you with our lunch of:

  • Squash Soup

  • or Kielbasa Casserole with homemade bread

  • or perhaps a Hot Dog will do.

  • How about warm Apple Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream?
And...(I'm sure once you see our baked goods, we'll be pack'em for you to go.) Have a cup of coffee on us, "free" with any pastry or lunch purchase.

Hoping for a nice, crisp sunny day, with plenty of our famous New England foilage for your scenic trip down to what will promise to be a wonderful event, and browse through...guaranteed to be something special, just for you.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Spirit in you

I was listening to a new Shepherd of Souls podcast Words from the song, "The Spirit in You," were so beautifully sung by Steven Billings, I had to share them in my post. It is clear we are blessed to see through the eyes of love, then we become purpose driven.

The words go something like this:

Its not the smile that shames the sun, or the eyes that stars envy, that draws my heart to you and makes me smile...Its not the hair of gleaming gold or the face of heavens glory that makes this ache for you so strong for you I cry....

Its the spirit in you, the fire of Jesus in you.
You open up your heart and speak to my soul. Its the spirit in you, what else can I do? I hear your voice, I have no choice, I love you...

It's not the music of your laugh, or the way you tell a story that makes the heart within me start to dance.....It's not the warmth of your embrace or the skin as soft as velvet that makes me pray to God for just one chance....

Its the spirit in you, the fire of Jesus in you. You open up your heart and speak to my soul. Its the spirit in you what else can I do? I hear your voice, I have no choice, I love you...

Its the spirit within you that makes me never want to be without you... Its the spirit within you that makes me never want to say goodnight...Its the spirit within you that makes me always want to be about you...Its the spirit within you that makes me always want to get it right, for the rest of my life.

It was said when the angel Gabriel looked upon the virgin mother of God, he was amazed and in awe at her beauty. The beauty that comes from a pure spirit.

Beauty is the eyes of the beholder. Inner beauty comes from the heart. The heart of Jesus. It is He that created you, sustains you, and gives you the gift of seeing through the eyes of Love, because He cherishes you and wants you to be happy.

Is it so hard for you to believe that God loves you?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Play Ball?

Nathan was young when he first handled a ball. It seems he was always a sports enthusiast even before he could walk, he'd watch the Red Sox or Patriots, Celtics and Bruins play on TV. You could hear him say go Sox. or, Yea!

His mother works in Boston, has met some of the players and would talk about them. So early on, he would say "Manny," calling some of the players by name. When I asked him about a player who had been traded, at two-years-old he answered, "He's gone." I thought it was incredible. How did he know that? It was just as if he'd watched the news. I see a real interest growing here.

We allow him to pass the ball in the house where it will do little, if any damage. So, when grampy comes home, the first words out of his mouth are "play ball,"? Grampy is quick to accommodate him. Its more important than even eating for both of them. Nathan has a swift hand, and can throw two balls at a time. His goal is to hit grampy with a fast ball. So, he goes in for the kill. Of course, grammy thinks its funny, because grampy misses the ball and ouch it stings, or it hits the closed door in the hallway, making a loud banging noise.

We had to put the basketball away for now, although, he thinks he's big enough to handle it. Holding it in the air, his hands go in a backward manner over his head. Its a little too heavy for him. He plays outdoors with a small ball, getting it in, no problem! No doubt in my mind that Nathan will play sports. He is the All-American boy, can recite the calls as the football is readied between his little legs, while he checks out grammy.
He knows all the stickers, like NFL. Besides playing cars, he likes fishing and car racing. Haven't introduced him to golf, yet.

One day when he was waiting for grampy to come home from work, he stood in front of the living room door holding the two balls in his hand, a small football and a baseball, and as grampy was climbing the stairs, Nathan couldn't wait anymore. He threw both of them at grampy at the same time, expecting him to catch them. Then, in excitement he started to jump up and down, yelling its grampy. (All that , as grampy opened the front door.)

When Nate runs out of something, he tells me to tell grampy to "buy some at the store". He knows what grampy is for. Grampy spoils him with chocolate milk, front loaders, and whatever Nathan wants. It will always be Grampy.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Time for a time out!

Today, I went to my ophthalmologists for tests. The usual dilation, measuring of the pressure in my eyes, and of course after the exam, photos of each eye. I learned that I am normal, at least that's what the tests said.

The subject today was disciplining my grandson. It seems he's gotten so good at understanding when he's done something naughty, he puts himself in the time out. He knows he'll be punished, but does it anyway. (Sounds a little like most of us).

I love to get to chat with the girls who work at the desk and perform the tests. Cindy has a four-year-old grandson, Nick who lives in Texas. She doesn't get to see him as much as she would like, but when they come to visit, she lays out the carpet.

After painstakingly cooking dinner for her family and guests, Cindy was disappointed at its outcome, and blurted out, "this sucks." Now that is not the right thing for a grandmother to say especially in front of her four-year-old grandson. She realized it, only after it came out of her mouth, but it was too late.

Little Nick, was shocked upon hearing the word and said to his grandmother, "that is a bad word" and, "we're going to have to give you a time-out." Cindy, having no choice, was led off to sit for a period of time, to think about it.

When the allotted time was done, little Nick came over and asked his grandmother if she had time to think about what she had said and was she sorry? Cindy replied, "yes." He asked her if she was going to do it again? "She said no".

Turnaround is fair play. Nick was right after all. I know a lot of adults that could use a time out from time to time. Oh Nick, where are you?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Carriage Ride

One of the items of purchase for our little grandson was a stroller. I didn't buy the top of the line, but one which had the portable features which would allow us to facilitate travel beyond the infant car seat. It was not too heavy, and foldable. Had a small area for storage, and a hood to protect him from the sun.

We never dreamed that he would get so much use from it. Nathan was born in January and our yard was covered with new-fallen snow at the time, but we mused, when spring arrived he would be just the right size to take him out in the carriage. Wrong! Carriage rides became a remedy for the fussy baby, who at times had reflux, and loved traveling through the house, usually falling fast asleep.

Nathan grew fond of grampy giving him carriage rides, and often he'd observe the sports memorabilia around the room as he positioned his right arm straight out. The one which later would hold a small flag.

Spring came, and we'd bundle him up for a ride through the slush and remaining snow as we sought the middle and drier part of the small street. Yes, he would be an outdoor type, and we would also benefit from getting out and exercising.

Our walk expanded as the weather became better and one would see the little toddler being pushed down the street holding his flag. The flag which was dropped and picked up while he was observing the birdies, doggies, kitties, squirrels, and other little critters out there.

Then, it was the basketball hoops, mail boxes, water catch basins, and fire hydrants. I made the mistake of buying a carriage that did not have a footrest. His little legs would just hang down and the blanket that I'd wrap around him would loosen and get caught on the wheels. I'd have to stop and re- wrap the precious cargo.

It wasn't long before he knew his way. Telling me -- that way! And now that he has become heaver, the inadequate plastic small wheels make maneuvering more difficult still. Up the hill we go. He's all of thirty pounds and I can't even imagine what a carriage ride will be like at 45 pounds, which is the carriage maximum.

He eventually replaced the need for holding a flag to holding his "snoopy white" stuffed toy dog. Always, he carries a ball with him just in case we stop to shoot some hoops at the end of the street.

Today, I pushed him up the huge hill, which years ago I couldn't even climb without becoming winded and exhausted. My husband also had found it challenging, very often he'd push the carriage downhill and Grammy had the privilege of pushing it uphill.

We turned the bend, he looked at me and said, "grandma faster." Wouldn't it be nice if we could take turns?

We have a burm below our driveway and sometimes, I make the ride more fun by stepping it up a bit going over the bump at a speed that sets him off laughing. Repeating, its up the incline of the driveway, slightly turning around, running a bit, and whoops over the bump. Funny! His reply is always the same, "again." Threes a charm, then that's it until the next time, when I say, "does Nathan want to go for a carriage ride?" To which he always replies "Yes."

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Living In New England

Today was a day that you dream of, a wonderful fall day. Not too hot, no humidity. Around the mid 60's. I spent the entire day working outside. Pruned bushes at the church and finished a painting project with my friend Linda.

We are getting ready for our Annual Yard/Bake Sale, which will be held on Oct. 4th, which is a Saturday. Lunch will also be available on that day as well.

This is the day the entire town can participate in purchasing a notation on the map, which will outline the various spots in our area selling their goods. I'm not sure, but I also heard that the neighboring town of Dudley is holding the same event. Which means if your in the area, you have choices....

Getting ready means making the church yard presentable with all the color your mind can imagine. Fall mums, yellow, raspberry, rust and marigolds of vivid orange and yellow, just to begin with. A very cute scarecrow, indian corn adorned with a harvest plaid. And pumpkins.

We have so much fun in New England. Kids will be picking their own pumpkins soon, either to be painted or carved. We still need to purchase our corn stock to stake, then, we're pretty much set to go.

The baked goods are mostly ethnic and sell out early. We buy our fair share of them, freezing the goodies to last until November for company and lunches.

The lunch menu will be hot dogs, and possibly squash soup. The famous kielbasa casserole and homemade bread along with the luscious apple goodies abundant this time of the year. Made to savor our guests and delight the weary shopper.

We hope you can make it this year, just follow the map. We will be at the St. Michael Church Hall.

Wonder what costume our little grandson will wear this year for Halloween? His mom picks the best and cutest ones. Always a surprise and I can't wait. It's sooo much fun!

Why Can't We Just Get Along

On Sunday, Fr. Ken ended his sermon with the words, "why can't we just get along?" Probably heard his mom say that often, as kids will be kids.

Nathan goes to a day-care close to his home, and from what I hear about it, it is top-notch. He tells me stories about Miss Linda. I hear about his little friend, and I'll attempt to say his name, although I'm not sure, Shiev. On occasion Nathan would say that he hits baby Matthew, distinguishing him from big Matthew. That means "time out" for Nate. It is good that his parents receive a full report of the goings on there. Miss Linda must have her hands full, God Bless Her.

I've often wondered how Nathan learned to "hit." Or, does it fall from the sky? No, I'm convinced that it is a learning experience amongst little children, all part of growing up. As there were five children in our family, I know well that we were always antagonizing each other, arguing, fighting and you name it. Don't get me wrong, we still loved each other. Everyone knew it they laid a hand on my brothers, they would have to answer to me.

On another day, I asked Nate if he hit little Matthew and he replied "yes." I proceeded to asked him if others in the day-care had hit him and he broke down and cried. I comforted him, seeing the obvious pain and said "I'm sorry." It was the right thing to say observing the response from Nate. A huge bear hug followed.

It is normal behavior. We must learn to say, "I forgive" just as "we're forgiven" in order to "let go" of the pain caused by others as well as ourselves. So, "Why can't we just get along?"

Monday, September 22, 2008

Pretty Please

For all those who are not familiar with the term pretty please, its when you really want something, and it is one up on please, please. When your response reaches that level, you usually get what you want. We sure know how to get what we want. "Oh, pretty please, pretty please."

Nathan knows that having good manners help to get exactly what he wants, and usually that is "cream, more cream please."

Good manners are essential for any age group. So, this is a communication skill we work on, a lot. If he forgets, I usually say, "what's the magic word?" When he forgets to say thank you, I take whatever I'm giving him back until I hear him say, "thank you." Then I say "your welcome." I've noticed in this area, when others try to say it, they almost always say, "you welcome." It's sooo funny.

Years ago, I recall reading "the please and thank you" book to my children, over and over and over. They loved it.

One of the most important words to learn in life is I'm sorry. We may have to wait awhile for that one.

I'm sure we'll be hearing "pretty please" soon enough. But for now, the words "I've got to go to the potty" will do.

Acting Out!

In one of my posts I recall mentioning that kids are screaming everywhere, no matter where you go these days. Especially in the stores that we frequent. Children in my neighborhood also. I overheard one of the workers, doing some odd job next door say. "I don't know why kids have to scream all the time!" I remember agreeing with him, silently. We have new children on the block. Their mother said to me about her little boy , "he screams all the time, because he can't talk yet." "I can't stand it." I remember thinking, I can't either.

Some of you will understand what I mean when I say that I have been praying the "Prayer of Jabez." My territory has been increased by at least six people recently. Two of the six have been young children. One of them is the little boy who does nothing but scream. Yesterday, he tried to tell me something. It is funny because he doesn't talk to strangers. Sadly, I could not understand what he was saying, as it was in a foreign language. I asked his brother what he had said but he didn't know. The other three people were neighbors at the church I attend. They came right up to me and confided in me. One lady is receiving radiation treatment for her cervix. I'll be praying for her. One young man was in need of odd jobs, like shoveling snow. The other, expressed her desire to come to church with her husband, she was turning her car around.

Last week, someone relayed to me that he hits his mother in the face and on the arm. When I asked why, he said, "she works." It appears that he has been feeling angry toward his poor tired mom, who has to work, and does so much for him. So I said does your daddy work? He said "yes." Do you hit him? "No." (Here we go with the double standard). Some Mom's have to do it all, having little time for themselves. My next question was, "do your friends moms at day care have to work?" "No." "Well of course they do, or they wouldn't be in day care". Small children just don't get it. It is personal to them. And, they can't help how they feel, so they act out.

Someday they will appreciate all the hard work that mom did on their behalf. That may take years from now. Meanwhile, they need to express how they feel. Feelings are neither right nor wrong they just are. Lucky are the children whose parents understand that they just need to let it out. We need to allow them to "vent" in healthy ways. To those who don't know it yet, they will. Children will get your attention any way they have to. I still can recall all the bellyaches my cousin had every time my aunt had to go somewhere.

I'm lucky that my grandson has two wonderful parents who understand their child and put him first. When he acts out they say things like "he'll outgrow it". Or, "he really has challenged us today". "Its the terrible two's." Their love for him is unconditional, as it should be. We see how much he loves them.

When Nate comes to grandmas we talk and I'll say in agreement, "me too!" and he repeats it back, "meee too!" Then, we laugh. When he wants to let out a scream, I do too, then we laugh. Is anyone listening out there?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Growing a Short Tongue

A very wise lady gave me some much needed advice which I adhere to for the most part. I resented too much interference from the mother-in-law as I raised my children. It is wrong to undermine what the parents are trying to teach their child. Growing a short tongue means just that. Instead of adding your two cents where they may not be welcomed, bite your tongue. I guess, if you do that as many times as I have, the tongue begins to grow short.

I always say to my grandson, "what does mommy and daddy say about that?" "Does mommy say that it's okay?" "Lets ask mommy if you can have it?" "Mommy, can Nathan have this?"

The only real authority figures should be his parents, especially, when they are present. When they aren't it's boss #1 and boss #2. Or, if the parents leave instructions, then its "the rule is," "and your parents want" no matter where you are.

Angie and I communicate how and when he needs to be disciplined, (time outs they are called now). That decision making process is based by rules set-up for him, that coordinate with his day-care provider. If he doesn't get away with it there, he doesn't at home either. (Like the no hitting rule).
My mom would have added the "in my house rule."

A few weeks ago, when we got together to share dinner in grandma's house, we established one of those rules. I explained before dinner, we will need not to scream, but be quiet until we are finished our prayers. Or, no dessert! Do You Understand? He said very sweetly, "yes." Now at prayer time, he even folds his little hands, and adds "Amen."

I remember my mom only needed to give us a look. We understood what was on her mind. Communication at its best! And it was as I remember, a different method.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Positive Feedback

I still do, and maybe you do too! That is, I still look for approval. Sometimes we are just not sure. So we ask, "what are your thoughts, " and "what do you think about this?" I find if you've been with someone long enough, you sort of know without asking. Or, perhaps you just do it.

It was that way with learning how to use the computer, by the seat of my pants, asking a lot of questions. First question was "what do I need a computer for?" Now, isn't that a silly question? I spend many hours on my computer. I still have an unpublished book somewhere on a different model. It is unbelievable how much computers have changed since I first became acquainted with them. Now I'm using the inspiron version. I simply could nor would, want to go without it. I guess you can tell I'm still learning, have a way to go, but I can do it and I will. You see, it is a matter of wanting to.

This leads me to tell you about little Nathan. The other day I heard him say once again...."I can do it". Then, he repeated it again. "I can do it". Then, "I did it".
For many months I recall telling him, "go ahead, you can do it!" (the positive reinforcement). The brave little boy, with all the courage he could muster would try. With each success, he built up a confidence in himself. He is as proud of his achievements, as we are of him.

Sometimes, we hear him say, "I can't do it...Negative attitudes should meet with immediate correction. With an attitude like that, he won't do it either.

If you want to accomplish anything you have to think that you can and by golly, you'll get there by hook or by crook. (Time now for words of encouragement). "Sure you can." And, "If grandma says you can do it, you can." Then comes his thought process. "If grandma says I can do it, I can do it." After trying, he accomplishes it.

Do you sill need someone to do your thinking for you? Sometimes, I do. Not long ago, I recall someone said that I should....and I thought, wow, if he thinks I can do it, well maybe I can. And, because he had confidence in me, I did it.

We aren't born with confidence in ourselves, we develop it. With some people, if they fail even once, they will not try anymore. It takes courage to pick yourself up and try again.
Now, all Nathan has to do is get himself mentally ready for the task at hand. He practices out loud.

Are you one of those people, who never accomplish your goals because you lack encouragement from others, or do you fail because you think that you can't, lacking confidence and convincing yourself that you will fail? Maybe its time to begin to talk your self into the victory that you deserve. It all begins with you and hearing yourself say that You can and you will.

Do you believe in yourself? Or, can someone convince you otherwise? Do not let others dictate your future. That you can't do.

Nathan will be a success story in life, he knows how to be a winner. He has a winning attitude. He doesn't listen to others that say to him "no you can't".

Change! Stop looking for approval, if you want to do something bad enough, just do it...Listen to the words of this little boy, "I think I can." "I think I can." "I think I can." And, "I can do it!" Your happiness depends on your ability to know you can do something, have the confidence to proceed, and "do it." It's never too late to start changing negative attitudes with positive ones. Why can't you do that?

I can't take it! must see!
Looks like Fr. Greg is getting Fr. Peter in trouble once again. Oh no!!!WhoooHooo! My mother told me to watch out for men who wear skirts. Is that the same a kilt? Maybe he doesn't call it that, but it reminds me why I don't wear one very often, even though I have nice legs. Don't you think it was a wee bit cold to be in that type of an outfit? You have to see it to believe it. A priest in a kilt. Scoot on over to his blog spot and have a look. I dare you. No double-dare you. Glad your having fun Fr. P. Here is the link.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Entertainer

I used to be sort of straight-laced, that is until I met Fr. Peter. Now, I laugh all the time. If you are interested in the blogs listed below, the facing east podcast is now available. Fr. Peter and Fr. Greg are riding around in a golf cart, then out of the blue, music, they make me laugh so much, I can't stop. I won't spoil the fun, take a listen for yourself, they are so funny. I do believe there comes a time when the craziness in your life stops and you can be more relaxed and enjoy life! I must be at that age.

If your reading my posts then you know I love to sing and dance. (Used to dance, that is, no one and no where to dance anymore, except with my grandson.) You should see him go. He loves music. It started when he was a baby, I'd put all different sounding Cd's on and sing to him. His favorite song was "Pow-Pow." One day he started to sing, but didn't know any words. So he used different notes with the same word. Like, the car....singing to his favorite stuffed animals when he woke up from a nap. He sings so high its cute. His mom taught him On Top of Spaghetti, and he's picked-up a few numbers from his favorite videos like "Mighty-Machines."

Music is an important part of my life. Helps me to express my joy. Its a mood setter and when I'm down, it picks me up. I find exercising is less of a chore, as well as cleaning up the house. Music is a universal language.

Nathan sings his A,B,C's and twinkle-twinkle little star to me. It's wonderful.... he can carry a tune. His dad has a wonderful sounding voice, it runs in the family.

One of the happiest days of my life was going to the Opera house in Providence, RI to see the Phantom of the Opera. I waited to see it for years. It was special to be there, a dream come true and I heard every word. I was captivated by the love story of a woman torn between two men who loved her. I still play the music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and reminisce. John complained that he couldn't understand any of it. Couldn't make out any of the words. How very disappointing. There again, he can't hold a note. Doesn't dance much either. Maybe he wasn't exposed to it the way I was as a child.
Most women enjoy dancing and being sung to.

Happily, Nathan is my little entertainer at two. He's a real heart breaker, who sings, plays the organ, drums, guitar and luckily, dances with grandma. Oh ya, at times he's even a little comedian. I'm sure you know that he knows how to make me laugh.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Going to the Church

One of Nathans favorite places of adventure at his age of wisdom is to go to the church. Yesterday, Linda and I were involved in a project and after getting Nathan ready, packing his trucks in the SUV, after lunch, we arrived. Needless to say, anytime we plan to go anywhere with a little one it is an effort. Once at the church, he watered his flowers with the "lellow" watering can, and we scooped dirt for a little while.
Onshu came by to say hello, Fr. Peter's little dogie, and then, we encountered a snake. Luckily, a little one. We have an airport in our town and the church is located in the flight pattern of aircraft going to the next city, Worcester. Every few minutes Nathan would run over to Linda or myself to tell us that he heard the airplane. "Scared of the plane." A little reassurance --and back to work.
No story is complete without a punchline and if you can picture me scraping off the dog-do-do from Nathan's brand new sneakers, and scrubbing them in the sink with a paint brush, then the story is almost complete. Except for the orange, (watered-down soda), he must have each and every time we go to the church. And, of course, an ice cream at the local stand for being a good boy.
Nathan loves going to the church. He points it out to us, as well as where the cross is. His prayers are the simple ones, God bless mommy and daddy...He knows that is where to find Jesus. Not bad for his age, even better than some adults.

Where is Love?

Where is love, does it come from up above or is it underneath the willow tree that I've been dreaming of? A song my sister sang in high school. I know then, we didn't know where love came from, but wanted to know. Our handsome guy someday we would meet.
(Some people still look up instead of within for love). We learn that God is love. God's love is unconditional, and beyond our understanding. It has nothing to do with physical beauty or age or any of the silly soap opera versions of it. It just is...
Ruth was the only sister I had, she had a daring personality. When we were little, I was afraid of the dark. It was "tootsie" who would say to me, "shut up I'm tired, go back to sleep" but then would allow me to talk to her for a while. That's love. She and I wore the same outfits, hand me downs from the twins that lived next door, as we were the same size. What was mom thinking? She was the a dark haired, olive skin beauty, while I was a pale blue-eyed blond. We fought for authority, fist fights in the backyard, even though I was a little older. Neither of us won, and we popped each other real good. She seemed to be the first in everything as far as maturing. She was the first one married. I remember that my mother strictly forbade us to shave our legs. (Mom was extremely old-fashioned). This was not acceptable to my sister, who was as a teen-ager in high school at the time --riddled because the leg hair was extruding through her stockings. One day after school, while mom was at work, she talked me into shaving. As we sat on the bathtub, she confided that if I did it too, mom wouldn't be as mad. Or, perhaps we would both be in the doghouse. She was right. I tried not to antagonize my mom, while she got right in her face. When my son's used to fight, and argue all the time, I remembered that it is normal for kids to behave in that manner, and that they'd be good friends one day. I was right. After all, it was my sister that helped me through a lot of the toughest moments in life, like my divorce. She was understanding about so many other things. And, although she had her hands full raising a family she was always there.
Love is a lot things, a decision to care, to give, untiring devotion to someone, unfailing in sickness, just being there. If you look you will find it. Love is in the heart, that's where love is.

The Love of Your Life

We live in a raised ranch which means that there are many little steps to climb to get to the doorbell. A garden-style arrangement presents many opportunities to observe flowers, chives, ants, birdbaths and the like on the way up the incline. When Nathan was little he was accommodated first in a carrier and later, by mom or dad, and it wasn't long when he wanted to walk up by himself. Of course, this takes time, time that daddy doesn't have. He likes to see everything, what a little chatterbox. Remind you of anyone? (It's see the this and see the that,) I observe him from behind the curtain, peeking and giggling at the same time. Mostly, he loves to ring the doorbell. (Still has to be lifted up). I can see him waiting, his little hands going sort of in a wringing motion in anticipation. His little heart is racing.
Grandma is given a chance to open the door and to greet the little fellow with a big smile. And, as is expected by Nathan, the words of grandma, "who's that ringing my doorbell?" The first thing he says with an open grin is "it's grandma" and "grandma's house." Next, its the entrance, which he can now do without help, and here comes the huge hug. He is beaming and has expressed how happy he is to see me. Following the greeting of few words, he's off to the playroom to see his toys. That's all it took to make me feel "special." That is how it begins, loving grandma each and every time. Someday, it will be the same beaming smile and eagerness to see the love of his life, maybe with shaky excited hands. Will she be just beyond the doorbell? He will be in love. Just think what life would be like if everyone were to great us in this manner, (priceless). Or, at least be glad to see us when we call. I wonder if he thinks about me when we're not together, as I often think of those that I love. When I talk to his dad on the phone now, he is old enough to hold on for a few seconds. Sometimes I hear him pushing the buttons, but then he yells, "its grandma." I love to hear his voice. It makes me feel happy. He tries to have a conversation, and its getting better. Developing a conversation takes time. He drops the phone midstream and, daddy to the rescue. Sometimes he hangs up by accident. Whoops! there goes mom again. She is so patient with her little man. (Sometimes with her two boys). As it is with all men, they are at times, "little boys." Maybe thats why we love them so...He has wonderful, caring parents. He is one of the lucky ones. My grandchild is an only son, and the only child on our side of the family.
Twenty or so years ago, my sister used to call me from Connecticut. She had four children, was often ill, depressed and her husband worked out-of-town, or was away altogether. I was working at a full-time job locally and wondered why she called so often. To be honest, I didn't want to receive evening phone calls. One day I recall asking Ruth, (who passed away in her forties), why she called me so often, as I had little to say and I was so tired working on the phone most of the day. She said that when she called she could hear the joy in my voice. I sounded happy and that made her feel happy too.
As the lovers of mankind we are called to touch someone by our love? That's just what they may remember about you. Reaching out is easy when you love someone even when your tired, busy or just don't care to. And, it always begins with a smile.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Reflections ~ September 11th

I just got done reading a great speach delivered on the Southbridge Common during a ceremony held for those who lost their lives on September 11th. You can find the blog posted below under Father Peter. Give it a read. Also, note the cross and flag, top right.

Its all in the mail

It makes me laugh when the liberals talk about going green. I'm a conservative and that means not being wasteful. My friend Linda made the comment yesterday about cloth diapers and we wondered how many of those people whose claim to being supporters of saving planet earth would give up disposable diapers? The plastic in those diapers will outlive the baby, and adult for that matter. The proof is in the putting. People out there are all talk, who would ever go back to cloth diapers? It is not negotiable. You either are or your not going to do your part in helping to be wise stewards of our planet. Aren't these the same people that are trying to prevent us from drilling the much needed oil for our country's use? How about "saving the trees"? I agree with that. So you tell me why we have got to receive all that "junk mail" each and every day. Especially this year. The "campaigns" are saying how much money is needed. Well, I have a suggestion for them. Stop sending us mail, save the money, paper, stamps and personnel. Save the planet. "Think Green". And that's not just the dollar.
I don't believe the mail box was intended to be a dumping ground for circulars, and advertisements of all type. If I need something, don't call me, I'll call you. It is bad enough to have to retrieve bills, bills and more bills. Oh wait, here's something different, a letter from our little grandson. I can't imagine what it is! Happy Grandparents Day? How nice, how refreshing. Why, it is a door knob sign with a little mouse on it. All scribbled pink? and yellow, his favorite colors. It says, you are special to me, Love Nathan. Good mail? Now I know there is hope for this world. He's depending on us. So let's get going on it. How will you help to save this planet?

You Are What You Eat

We are fortunate to be located in what is known as "the last green valley." Our home sits on the Connecticut borderline, and if you've ever driven through Woodstock, it is a sight to behold. I love all the corn fields, farms with there silos, natural rock fences, and especially the orchards. The air is crisp and clear, this morning it was in the forty's. My roses are gorgious! Pretty soon there will be frost on the pumpkins, and the most beautiful fall foilage anywhere. God blessed me to be born here where the water is clean and we are surrounded by so many trees and lakes. In this country setting, as fitting for this time of year, in my small kitchen, it will be apple-waffles for breakfast. People that know me, especially my former neighbors, who moved away to the town of Charlton, would comment to others that they could smell my cooking and it drove them "crazy." (I cook the old-fashioned way, homemade). There are plenty of great coffees out there today and thats where I begin. The apples came from The Woodstock Apple Orchard. I eat the peel while preparing the batter. The peel is rich in pectin which helps keep the waistline trim. I use a coffee grinder to grind (one tablespoon) of cold milled organic flaxseed and 1/3 cup of old-fashioned oats, adding the mixture to 1/3 cup of heart smart Bisquick and water. Half of a small apple ( cut in small pieces), a touch of cinnamon, then I place the mixed batter in my waffle maker. Two wonderful waffles, and left over batter for tomorrow. Emm!
Nathan and Matthew love my cooking. I am the type of person that will fuss over you when you come here for a meal. Nothing but the "best for the best." Time for a cute story?...
I used to take care of Matt when he was two, he'd eat at home then, once he arived here, he'd eat again. I didn't realize that he'd been having a full breakfast at home, the way he could put it down all those pancakes. The doctor, after a month, noticed how good Matt was doing, he had put some "meat on his bones." He said "I don't know what your doing, to his mom, "but keep on doing it." What an appetite Matt has! You should see the growing boy now that he is a teenager! My brother and sister-in-law adhere to the old- fashioned healthy way of cooking. Because, You are what you eat! John and Jayne have the best garden and flowers I have ever seen. Shortly, Nathan will be arriving at grandma's house. I know he's already had breakfast with mommy and daddy at home, but when he smells the cinnamon I'm sure he's going to be asking me for "more pancakes, please".

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Making decisions at any age

We all would like to think we make decisions for ourselves, and are the sole designators of our existence. It starts young I noticed as the littlest one has learned the word "no" or "I don't want". The word "No" I avoid at all cost. Once you get a person in a negative mode, forget it. I like to get my own way. Most people do. One of the biggest mistakes you can make with someone is trying to impose your view on them. Is it not okay to express yourself? Can't there be compromise? I agree that the most important rule here is that the parents are the final authority and I check with the parents in front of the child. No authority, no security. It is wise to develop good parenting skills. We all need someone to look up to. That is why we teach our children about prayer and God by our example. If we need God, they do too. There should be limits and children learn the rules that we set for them. Expression starts young, with I like, and in this case it was flags. Everywhere we went we acknowledge the flag. In church there was a flag, and on the occasion of Baptism he wanted to hold the flag, loudly. If we don't get to hold the flag we cry, loudly. We had flags on the table while we ate, and when we went for carriage rides, he held one. If was okay during the parade on Memorial Day, in fact, we got more little flags to decorate our room. Then there is the flag stickers, everywhere. Flags on our hat, sweatshirt and toys. We at some point wondered if he was obsessed with flags. Now we know that this too won't last as other things have replaced the faded interest, like basketball.
One of Nathans great interests besides trucks and cars, is sports. He loves to watch football and baseball on television. It is funny to see him pitch the ball, just like the professionals. And, you should see him tackle grampy. He can't wait for grampy to come home from work to play pass, cars or basketball. Some Wednesdays, I take him to the church to play in the sand with his trucks while I tend the flowers. He has a lellow(that's what he calls it) watering can. Linda taught him how to play in the water. Now he wants to see water everywhere, especially the drains on the side of the road, which he's been eyeing from his carriage rides early on.
The weather has changed to fall, and with that cool mornings. What a fuss we are going to have to get him to want to wear his fall sweats, and I can't wait till we have to put on his boots again this winter. I don't blame him as I also prefer the casual dress that summer offers, bare minimum. Kids hate the feeling of being forced to do things. Neither do I, and we are both strong-willed people. I don't give him much in his plate, and usually ask him if he is hungry to begin with. I wait until he asks for food. "Grandma I'm hungry". Then, I wait for the "more please". I've noticed he eats a lot when he doesn't realize how much there is to consume, seeing it only a piece at a time. I never load up his plate. Saturday, we went to McDonald's after attending the exhibit for trucks on the Common of the small town he lives in. He ate all the fries first. We took the chicken nuggets home. When he wanted to eat my lunch, I gave him his leftovers which he was hungry for at that time. No fighting, no fussing, I don't tolerate it. Kids like to play with their food, we use cream, ketchup, and no force. I make food designs, broccoli are trees for an example, and we laugh a lot. When all else fails I say, "lets give puppy a turn", and we all have turns, even the tiny stuffed snoopy white. Choices, making decisions, not like I was raised "do it because I said so and I'm the boss, " or here comes the punishment. No, not a good way. Shouldn't we be treating others the way that we would like to be treated? Limit the choices, this one or this one, allowing them to participate in the decision. That does not mean that you have lost your position of authority. I told Nathan that when he is with me I am boss number one and he is boss number 2. (That is, when grampy is not around). He thinks that's special. What you get in the end is a happy and "full" child, who is wearing something he thinks he decided to wear and participated in all choices. It is as simple as saying what color are we going to use now? Otherwise, you will have a frustrated, resentful, obstinate, rebellious child who will carry those feeling into his teen-age years and will unknowingly act out.
Nathan told me what he likes, and that is to laugh. Don't blame him one bit, he does enough crying from all the boo-boos.
You can't be happy unless you participate in life. Nathan better learn now how to make good decisions--as he hopefully will do all his life. Our responsibility, all of us, is to help him with that by offering choices he can live with.
We have a new saying. I say "Me too!" and he says it back and we both giggle. He is such an agreeable child and so much fun.

Monday, September 15, 2008


My grandson Nathan and I love to laugh and "play cars". We discovered a funny key on the WAW-WAW voice setting on my keyboard. A good way to get his attention when things aren't going too well and we're crying again. This is the age -almost three- when sometimes we cry just because. The other day we were having lunch in the kitchen, (he likes pancakes with syrup and cream), and we were having our usual conversation. I asked him if he thought grandma was pretty and he said yes. I then asked him what he liked about me and he said that "you laugh". Then I noticed that he was trying to imitate my style. Of course, that really made me laugh. Almost like the time I recall when Matt, my nephew, at around the same age said "Auntie your a clown". Maybe I am? Beside kissing boo-boos we all need to laugh!

Acknowledge it

One of the greatest joys in life is to be able to hold your grandchild. (We all need to be held). I have an outdoor swing with a canopy top where I spent many hours singing and rocking him to sleep when he was in his infancy. Almost three years old now, he'll run off and rarely has the time to be held. Playing is the priority. The exception was usually when he is not feeling well, or scared of something. Or, whenever he needs to have his boo-boo kissed.
Did you ever witness a child falling down and being pulled up literally without any comforting from the caregiver? I think that's indicative of a future problem. Did you ever see a child that is allowed to continue to wail and wail and wail. That is another problem. So many kids today are like that for some reason. A child needs to be acknowledged, and so does the child within at every age. They need answers to their "Whats that?" question(s). Everyone is so busy today. Children are tossed around from birth. Sadly, some aren't cared for properly.
So, how do you stop a wailing child? Anyway you can, quickly. Words of comfort help. I''ll ask him where the boo-boo is, getting him to talk about it. After I find out what is wrong, we quickly move on. End of subject, period. Listening skills are important at this age and a lot of patience is needed.
I recall reading that hidden pain not expressed, can become problematic years later, leading to illness.
Kissing the boo-boo and acknowledging the pain is so important.
Here are some of the remarks I use to counter the scared of with:
The doggie doesn't do that...
Look at the... (diverting his attention)
Scared of the ants--You are bigger than they are...
Scared of the bees--be still and they'll go away
Scared of the fans--???
We could go on and on about scared of, but the point is I acknowledge it. (What seems to be small to us is huge to them. (Getting hurt is not fun). Bear hugs help no matter what the age. (I always tell him if he is a good boy he'll get a treat to take home). Or, I use the sticker method. Nathan loves the Mighty Machines video, which translates to 90 minutes of quiet time.
One cannot underestimate an almost three-year-old child, they can do just about anything, and they will tell you the truth.
When my nephew Matt was at that same age, I watched him for a while. He was so funny. One day, I went to his house and as I stood in the doorstep, he noticed something was different. Then he remarked "Auntie, put some lipstick on". And he noticed that at two? Children are very observant and will repeat everything you say (when you least expect it).
Another day, we were "pretend" fishing in my backyard. I watched him holding a stick with a string tied to it, hovering over the circle I drew on the snow-covered ice. He was going to catch a fish. He kept saying "I'm a fisherman." I lost it! Couldn't stop laughing. He looked up at me and said very expressly, "your a clown". Maybe I am?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Kiss The Boo-Boo

The tiny baby came into this world and he was a wonder. So much to learn, and so much for me to relearn. It was a rough ride and the unnamed child would need to be comforted. Thats just the beginning. When he was small it seems he didn't make much noise, sleeping most of the time. Looking back, I was repeating the same process that I encountered in my childhood, helping to raise my youngest brother while my mom worked full-time or like most, all of the time, except when she took cat naps for ten minutes or so. Then, came my own children, and now the grandchild. As they grew older the crying grew louder. Because there were no words, it meant pick me up if you want sanity. The pattern is the same generation after generation. We call it crawling some call it peeping, you might have your own term for starting to advance on the floor, first etching forward and lastly getting the back end up and rocking to advance inches at a time. It is all so mysterious and interesting to watch how hard the baby must work. I happened to notice how certain times of the day he would just exercise parts of the body that would prepare him for the next phase in this process called development. Then it happened. Oops! little injuries, like falling on his face. I do believe the next action was mine--kiss the boo-boo. The little comfort provided seemed to do the job, and the crying stopped for the moment. That is how it all begins and never ends. This process requiring comfort changes as children grow older, but follows us into our adulthood. Their are many ways to kiss the boo-boo that I have learned.
We all need to be comforted in some way. Some methods you have heard of, like cookies. Cookies are tear stoppers for most children and men. Eating for comfort or comfort foods are probably why some people are overweight, beside the galanans a subject for another day. I recall just yesterday, that my little grandson hit his head lightly on an outdoor patio chair, he immediately began to wail, looking to be comforted. This time all it required was the words "your all right", while he looked me in the eye. Sometimes that is all it takes. Someone to kiss the boo-boo. Someone they trust to tell them that all is well. Until next time.