ABIGAIL

abby2How I miss this little girl. She’s a chip off the old block, i.e. little ole me, her grandmother. I never knew anyone other than myself (well, and my cousin Herald when he put his mind to it) that could catch a chicken with ease. The silly things seemed to migrate to me when I was a kid, following me around the yard like I was Mama Hen. I think they do the same with Abigail.  Abby, as we call her, may grow up to be a chicken farmer, but I wish for her to grow up to become a famous surgeon — like Christiaan Barnard or William DeVries,  or a university professor — nothing big just a member of the Harvard  faculty. Why? Why not! I wish for Abigail the best of the best because she can catch chickens just as good as her grandma, and that’s a fact.

Kidizoom Camera

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The vtech Kidizoom Camera that is (apparently) the newest rage among four-five years old in my family.

Of all the things I love to do shopping is not one of them. I say this after enduring a tragic four hour shopping spree in search of a “Kidizoon”  (vtech no less) camera which is for the ages 3-8 and costs 35.00 to 40.00 dollars depending on where you find one.  It has built-in games, photo editing software, a 4x digital zoom!, and “fun photo effects” with 1.3 megapixel resolution! It shoots movies and will store over 1000 photos and claims to be of durable kid-friendly design. On my forth try, I found the camera and bought it. I paid an additional 4.00 to insure this little camera because it is going to a four year old and lets face facts, you can’t trust a four year old not to flush it or drop it in a mud-puddle! Or to loose it in amongst all the other lost toys at parks and the local pizza pallor or, in Hannah’s case, in a cubicle stuffed with 100 or so stuffed animals.  I noticed that this camera, which does so much, has no strap of any kind.  I think it should have a strap for Hannah to use, at least one for her wrist, although in order for the strap to work properly a dot of super glue may be needed to secure it to Hannah’s wrist, just to make sure it did not slip off, as it surely would do. The slipping off of the strap would be an intentional action of Hannah, of course.

When Hannah’s mother decided to sideline her love of freelance photography for a greater love (Hannah) she never thought that the greatest joy in her life would become a mini version of herself — the apple never falls far from the tree — and who knows what may come out of Hannah’s grandmother spending four hours in as many stores to find the toy Hannah talks about from sun up to sun down. Is it possible this small beginning will end in an assortment of mega-long-range-zoom lenses and trips to far away places? If so I do hope it is a mother-daughter team trekking through the underbrush.

Children’s Honesty: mini-short-stories

My Grandfather always said: If you want to know the truth about an old horse ask the kid. And he would be right, from washing machines for sale to the neighbors dog the kids will say the real truth.

Here are a few mini-short-stories to illustrate children truthfulness.

The first story came to me from a friend a little over a month ago. It’s too cute not to share. I’m giving it a title of: “Sunday School Lesson”

Two boys were walking home from Sunday school after hearing a strong preaching on the devil.
One said to the other, ‘What do you think about all this Satan stuff?’
The other boy replied, ‘Well, you know how Santa Claus turned out. It’s probably just your Dad.’

The second is from an experience I had as a child and is titled: Mama’s Washing Machine

Oh, it did rock and roll across the back porch every Monday morning, churning out squeaks and pounding out loud hammering sounds. I remember the last Monday it was used as clearly as if it were yesterday because it was I who warned Mama the machine was scooting towards the steps.

With the speed of a sprinter Mama pulled the cord out from the plug. The next day she brought home a new used one. The following day she cleaned and polished the old used one and pushed it to the side yard with a large ‘4 Sale’ sign on it. She only wanted $5.00 for it and she nearly got it too, but just as the woman was reaching into her purse she winked at me and said something about the good deal she’d made. I don’t know why I said: “it’s only worth five because it bangs like a hammer” but I did say it; with that the woman closed her purse and left Mama standing there about ready to kill her favorite and only little girl.

Always, ask the kid.

The next story is about my youngest when she was three and is titled: Mama’s Hands

By the time I had my last child I was in my forties. I know, it was silly of me, but this story isn’t about that. It’s about my Mama again. Or more precisely it is about her hands. You see Mama always had the most beautiful hands. Of course, as she aged so did her hands. Mine has always been old, even as a child.

At age three my youngest noticed her grandmother’s hands were blue with veins and quite shriveled and said something about it. Well, that didn’t go over very well with Granny-rie (Mama’s name was Marie but her eldest granddaughter could not say Marie well so that’s where the rie came from and it stuck) and she began to tear up. Feeling badly for her I immediately showed my daughter my hands. I pulled on her skin at the top-side of her hand and then pulled up on mine. “See” I said, “your skin is tight, look how mine stays up a little. That’s because I’m older. We all age but to age is actually a beautiful thing” and, I went on to talk about all the wisdom of aging, all the joys of a life lived well. Of course, my mistake was telling this to a three-year old. After the three or four minutes I spent telling her how aging is wonderful she marched over to her Grannie-rie, pulled hard on her skin at the back of her hand and proclaimed “See, yours stays up a long long time, you’re really old” Mamma, must have been totally in love with this little girl because against all normalcy (that should/would have been her) she just gave her granddaughter a big hug. She did, however, save the glare for me, which was, in all honesty, expected.

The last story isn’t about a dog. You were waiting for it, weren’t you? It is about a goldfish and the honesty between sisters. I title this one: Bug-eyed

Younger Sister: Screaming out “It’s dead, it’s dead”

Older Sister: “It’s not dead, silly, it’s taking its nap, just like we do. Now, let’s take our nap and when we wake up Bug-eyed will wake up too, isn’t that right, Mommy?”

“Right” I replied. First thing was to call in a neighbor to set. Then, after the girls were asleep, I rushed to the nearest pet shop where I bought a “Bug-eyed” replacement of similar “Bug-eyedness” desperately trying to avoid the hysteria that would follow had I not.

(girls wake up from nap)

“See, Bug-eyed woke up from his nap and is swimming just like I said” Older sister says.

“It’s not the same Bug-eyed!”

“I know, the other one died and Mommy got a new own”

“Mommy lied?”

“Yes, but she didn’t mean to”

I sigh: speechless.

Daughters

My girls are grown now, of course, but the stories told above are true, real and involved all of them. Bug-eyed: middle daughter and older sister on the left; Mama’s hands, was about my daughter on the right. Mama’s Washing Machine is, of course, about me when I was five or six.

Aren’t children wonderful? It takes years to learn how to bend the truth and I’m always sad to see that lesson being learned. We adults call it “little white lies” but honestly, I think that life has no room for “little white lies” and we all should be more like children every chance we get.

Troy, Ohio: Books & Coffee

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Image by OZinOH via Flickr

This is a re-post from Best Holiday Recipes Ever! (or my other blog on this site) Why, you ask?  Well, because I’m lazy and this is interesting to me so…there you go……..it is simply wonderful to be in this area again.  You will be hearing a lot about places around Miami and Montgomery Counties.

This past Monday my two eldest daughters with their sons (one each) in tow took to “Around About Books” in downtown Troy, Ohio.  It is a wonderful used bookstore with offerings to titillate the most avid reader. I carried in a box of used books with me which gained me a fifty-seven dollar store credit. Yea!

Winan’s Coffee house is next door to Around About Books and is the place to drink coffee and buy some lovely chocolates. I thought Pete’s coffee was the best but I fear that Winan’s has them beat if only slightly.  The ambiance of this little shop is cozy and quaint with displays of hand-made chocolates (to die for) and a list of coffees like Highlander Grogg and Jamaican Me Crazy.

The first thing our little group of five did was to drop off my box of books and exit through the back door which empties into a foyer with several tables for your reading and coffee drinking enjoyment. After claiming a table we entered into Winan’s and spent several minutes deciding if haystacks or a chocolate dipped Oreo was more to our liking to accompany our choice of coffee.  I got one chocolate dipped Oreo for the measly cost of .95 American dollars. Worth it!

Conversation and laughter followed. Well, followed until three-year old Joseph could wait no longer for his chance to claim several Winnie The Poo and other books for a cost of another measly 1.70 American dollars. Which meant only one thing. That’s right! My budget was not spent so I simply had to have a cook book I was perusing while Joseph and his mother finished the selection of children’s books for Joseph.

By the way this book, my book was another measly 1.70 (my cost after paying 1/2 in credit and 1/2 in legal tender) American dollars. I love this little shop!

The cook book I simply had to have was tasty Tarts & Pies – by: Caroline Booy, first printed March, 1995 by Birds Hill Enterprises, Winnipeg, Manitoba  Canada.

Just for fun here is a recipe copied word for word from tasty Tarts & Pies:

#1: Pastry – 100 year old recipe

This recipe is from a cook book discovered during the renovation of an old home. A foot note from the contributor stated that the recipe at the time of publication was at least 100 years old.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp. lard  (45mL)
  • 3 tbsp. flour (45mL)
  • 1 cup flour    (250mL)
  • pinch salt  (pinch)

Pastry – Place 1 tbsp. (15mL) lard and 3 tbsp. (45mL) flour into a bowl. Beat to cream with fork. In another bowl, put 2 tbsp. lard (30mL), 1 cup flour (250mL) and salt. Work together with a fork until crumbly. Add water until soft enough to roll out. Roll out second mixture then spread creamed mixture over it. Roll up and place on ice for several hours (or place in refrigerator). Use as regular pastry. This recipe is much over one hundred years old and very reliable.

(this recipe is copied straight from the old cook book. We have added the metric measurement and suggest that you use the refrigerator instead of ice)

Makes: 3 five inch double crust pies or 12 three inch tart shells.

Play time with Hannah

Lively and smart Hannah Grace can (without coaxing) say the alphabet.  She can also say her numbers one through ten,  although, she dislikes the number 3 and skips it most of the time.  I know she knows the number three because when she  skips it  she will  pause, smile, and continue counting as if she has done something naughty.  Then when her mother  reminds her by saying: “Hannah, did you miss one?” she will laugh and say the number three.  I think this is a game she is  playing.  Two years olds can be interesting little people to teach and learn from as well.

Hannah loves to help.  No one can wash the dishes without her pushing her high chair to the sink, climbing into it, and  placing rinsed dishes into the dish drainer.  I might add here that this task is sometimes done by Hannah with  unwelcome help from her mother.  Objectionable and loud Hannah will say:  “I do it, I do it” — typical two-year old!

Hannah Grace is a December baby.  This makes her more outgoing, louder than normal, energetic, inquisitive and loving.   I read this about people born in the month of December.  The louder than normal is dead on!  Actually, the other things are as well but then she is two and aren’t all two-year olds the same?

The past two days I have enjoyed spending time with Hannah Grace playing dolls in strollers, making music on the piano, drawing and writing poetry (see silly poetry “Ice” below) and refusing (me) to climb into her play tunnel although she kept insisting, running to her mother to tell on me.

She is as cute as a button (where did that saying come from? Really, I’d like to know) and smart as a whip.  Of course, I have to be honest here, she can also be as much a mess as she is cute.  (mess is southern talk for defiant in nature)

I love all my grandchildren, equally, differently, as is normal but this little girl makes me remember her mother at her age, makes me smile, makes me thankful I did not ship her mother off to Istanbul or China.  I love being Hannah’s Grandma-Nana.

Granddaughters

They keep me strong. They keep me advancing through life (as I know it). And, if not for them I would gather up my things, pack them into an automobile and drive, drive, drive winding up anywhere, I suppose that would not be damaged by me!

I damage things. I damage relationships by bringing bad luck to them and to the people I have them with. Exception (as there is always an exception to everything in life) are my lovely & so very loved granddaughters. Thanks to God that I have them.

Apparently, this is not a good day for me!  Too much is running through my head (Steve, work, etc.) . . . wine, anyone? (lol)

A North Carolina Christmas

The old adage Home for the Holidays has new meaning for me this year.

In years past I have made countless holiday trips to old homesteads for the holidays taking children to see their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins and a few who weren’t exactly family but called aunts or uncles anyway.  But, this year’s trip is different.  This year I am not taking children to see their Grandparents.  And my now grown children are not bringing my grandchildren to see me. The dynamics of this ritual has flipped.  Now I am the grandma and this grandma is the one traveling across the country to see her grandchildren in North Carolina for the holidays.  And, I am doing so with great joy!

The past six months I have lived across the United States on the western seaboard from all my children and grandchildren on the eastern seaboard and, at times, it has taken its toll on my heart and emotions even if I was the one to choose this move and I am completely happy I did.  Still, I have missed the grandchildren!  I am Grandma-Nana to some and Grandma Wehunt to one and plain Grandma to the others.  Not one of them will call me Grammy or Grams no matter how many times I say it! But one does call me Nana, which is my second choice.  I have nine grandchildren and I have missed each and every one of them equally.  Kyle-(23), Stefan-(17), Carmen-(15), Dolan-(8), Alexis-(5), Joseph-(3), Destiny (or Maddie)-(3), Hannah Grace-(2) and Abigail (or Abby)-(1).  Each one dear to my heart as grandchildren are so it goes without saying I am happy to travel across the country to spend the holidays with them even if I am freezing my fanny off!

Last Friday, late, my eldest child fetched me from the airport in New Bern, NC and as we drove through New Bern, NC then Vanceboro, NC and into Greenville, NC ::: I was home for the holidays!

All along the way the downtown streets were decorated with silver stars and bright red bells and strands upon strands of twinkle lights.  Homes were lit bright with hanging luminance; a few blown-up plastic Santa’s and Snowmen in front yards.  My goodness!  People here decorate!  I love it!

Once inside my eldest’s home I rushed towards my eldest grandchild, Kyle for a giggle and hug fest.  Kyle is quite simply the most wonderful young man possible.  He is intelligent and his intelligence shows in his humor which some might not get.  I get it.  Zeke was there to greet me as well.  Zeke is my grand-dog.

The following evening it snowed.  Not a lot, of course.  After all, folks, this is eastern North Carolina where the snow doesn’t actually stay around until February’s winter is in full swing.  The next day Lisa and I drove into Wilson County to visit my mother and two sons and one more grandchild, Alexis Jo who is pictured above.  Lexi-bug (as we call her) gave me “the biggest hug’ and played princess castle and toss ball with me.  How delightful.

Yesterday, I traveled again but this time to Nash County, NC to my youngest child’s home and to ((((that’s right))))) another grandchild, two-year old Hannah Grace.  Well, not yet two, her second birthday is on the 10th and was another reason for my trip out for the holidays.  Two grandchildren have birthdays while I am here.  Kyle on the 4th and Hannah on the 10th.  Pretty well-timed trip!

Hannah is entertaining  with her “I love you more” and “I don’t have to do that!” as well as all the other words and dances she does.  Endless energy!  Endless words!  Endless fun!

Other grandchildren are on their way!  I can’t wait :) . . . I’ve never had so much fun!  I am Home For The Holidays.