I hate to admit it, but I think a little of my mother in law may have rubbed off on me during the time I knew her. And that is all I am going to say on that. However, my mother in law was very frugal. She lived during the earlier 1900's and learned not to waste much. I have heard her story about having a piece of bread that got soiled, (I won't tell you with what) and eating around the soiled part, because you just didn't throw good food away. Apparently, that rule of thumb transformed over the years that you don't throw any food away. Doc has an aversion to casseroles, because of his mother. His story is that she would take any old food in the refrigerator periodically and make a casserole out of it. He claims the food was spoiling, she always stood her ground and swore there was nothing wrong with it.
Actually, there were a lot of things she never threw away...clothes, newspapers, furniture, boxes, newspapers, shoes, newspapers...but that is a whole other story.
I do admit that I am very lax with the food in our pantry and as a result of my husband's stories and my not staying on top of things, my kids are slightly (well maybe extremely) paranoid about their food. First of all, they smell everything - even the cups they get out of the cupboard. Then they check the expiration dates on everything. They have caught me more than once with items in the refrigerator that are past the expiration date. And when it comes to milk!!!! One day past the date stamped on the bottle and they start gagging. I will admit that I lose track of what is in the refrigerator as far as leftovers and that I did serve Pook a steak that was more than just a little past its prime. It was an honest mistake!
They got a huge chuckle the other day when I thought I was serving homemade Chili that I had frozen. Turns out it was Baked Beans. I do need to start labeling the food that I freeze.
So, the other day my new daughter in law asked for honey for her tea. I just saw a full bottle in the refrigerator! She took it and noticed that it was very liquid. Pook of course, immediately checked the expiration date. No. That was okay, but he continued to comment. Well the bottle did say that it was organic, maybe that was it. Well Pook continued to comment so I offered to be a test pilot and demanded a spoon. Within seconds, I was soaring. Turns out that it wasn't honey after all, but an ethnic whiskey/honey mix that our church serves at the holidays. Someone took the leftovers and poured them into the honey bottle that was used to make the mix. Wow!!!! Guess I better put a new label on that. I sure hope the grandkids didn't get any!
So anyway, we all carry and give out labels. Take the time to make sure the labels you place on things and people are accurate, that is if you must label them at all. Make sure you keep them updated. Things change and so do people. Some better and some worse, but they do change. As it is the start of Lent for all Christians this year, maybe we could all take time to clean out our personal closets and refrigerators and hope for better things and people. Let's start with ourselves. Have a blessed week.
Okay. Imagine that being a Mom was an actual paying job. What could an employer offer as compensation for anyone who gets hired for this job? What are the qualifications? You have to be able to cook, shop for groceries, purchase clothing, repair or sew clothing, custodian duties (including toilets!), laundry, financial planner and accountant, psychologist, nurse, negotiator.... special skills to include the ability to clean up any mess or wipe butts without gagging. What salary could an employer offer? And what idiot would accept such a job?!
Me. And many other moms. Let me explain how my day started. First, if you think that once your kids are adults that you are free from responsibility your are delusional. Not that I am complaining. It is wonderful to have someone available to help with errands, or when you need a ride somewhere. At this point in our lives, it is a reciprocal relationship. That being said, when the phone rings at 7:30 in the morning, something is wrong. No telemarketer calls then. Only a child in need. My day started with a 7:30 am phone call. Pook needed a ride to the eye doctor. He couldn't see. He was sure something got in his eye last night when he was helping his cousin put in new flooring. I needed to be ready to go in 15 minutes. Small problem, the grandkids are due to arrive in 45 minutes. One problem at a time.
I immediately forfeit my relaxing morning alone to throw some clothes on. My hair has that wild look, and I apply minimal makeup, throw on jeans and a t-shirt and head to Pook's. He is already heading out the door, clearly having trouble putting his key in the keyhole to deadlock it. His head is tilted to one side and he can only look to the right without being in pain.
On the way to the eye doctor, I call the Admiral to tell him to bring the kids to they eye doctor instead of the house. No problem, but he starts asking how many car seats I have with me because Max is staying home from school because she doesn't feel well. No sweat, I have this on lockdown.
Pook is called back to see the doctor. And the waiting room starts to fill with a lot of folks who have just had cataract surgery. I look up each time the door opens, anticipating the arrival of my three grandchildren. Finally, they arrive with their father in tow. I should have known something was up as soon as the Admiral rolled his eyes at me. Apparently two of the three had already vomited this morning.
But anyway, I got lots of oohs and aahs from the other grandmothers in the waiting room and I swelled with pride.
We didn't wait long for Pook to be finished. Good news, it was a piece of wood. No damage but his eye is clearly irritated. Bad news, he just received his third lecture about wearing safety glasses. The first was from his professor who he called when he knew he couldn't get to class. The second was of course from his mother. There is probably a fourth pending from his father this evening.
We start loading the kids into my car, which involves a great deal of orchestration. Max is able to get herself in the seat and buckled. But this time she just stands there. I have Pook put the baby seat in while I get my other grandson into his seat. We are switching places so I can finish buckling the baby in and Pook heads around to do Stitch. I get as far as the back of the car when I hear screaming from Stitch and Max. Then Pook starts yelling that they threw up. He goes around to the back of the car and starts to dry heave. By the time I make it to the baby's door, Max spews vomit all over the floor, the back of my seat and her seat.
All you can do is stand there and laugh. Two kids crying, a confused baby and a 25 year old dry heaving. Of course I have nothing with me for clean up and so I get all of them into the car and roll down the windows. WE JUST NEED TO GET HOME! Pook rides all the way home with his face buried in his sweatshirt due to the smell.
Two baths, three loads of laundry and a scrubbing of my car and we are settled in for the day. It is now 9:30 am. How is your day going? You couldn't pay someone to do this kind of work. But a mother does it every day with love and devotion for free! Hope you week is a little more in control than my day started. God bless all the mothers of this world!!!
Everyone needs a cheerleader in their life! Okay kids, before you hide your heads because your mother actually was a cheerleader, let me explain several things. First of all, when dinosaurs roamed the earth and I was a cheerleader, there was not much else for a girl to do. Interscholastic athletics for females was just starting. Second, I know plenty of normal girls who are or have been cheerleaders and I also know plenty who will never be normal. I am not here to judge which group is which, but remember there are great people and there are nuts in every category of people. So, don't judge cheerleaders.
But this is not a diatribe about girls with short skirts and pompons. This is about having a cheerleader in your life. Someone who puts you on a pedestal and makes you feel beyond anything else, that you not only matter, but you ROCK! When I was 17 years old and headed to college, I met those people. They became my surrogate family during college and they remain my family to this day.
In our church, being selected as a Godparent is a huge deal. They are intended to play a vital role in the religious upbringing of Orthodox children from baptism throughout their lives. They are there to support the parents and act as advisors at times for not only the upbringing of their Godchildren, but also to advise the parents within their marriage. The people that I met on my way to college, later served as Godparents and witnesses to our marriage and eventually they were Godparents to all of our children!
Kuma (The Godmother) was my cheerleader. She made me start to believe in myself. She hailed every tiny step I took in adulthood. She and Kum (The Godfather) refused to believe anything negative about me (even if there was truth in it) and believe it or not, that belief and trust made me want to correct my errors. I am quite sure that their own children were often infuriated by how "perfect" they claimed that I was. We all knew better, but .... well, it felt good. I was important in their eyes and I began to believe that I really mattered in the world. It gave me courage to try new things and stand my ground when I felt that I was in the right and made decisions about my life and my children. Whenever they were around, I felt good about myself. When they weren't around, because we lived states away from each other, they were always available by phone. I made some pretty positive changes in my life because of their belief in me.
One of my favorite stories about never doing wrong, occurred when we were visiting them for a weekend. We were guests in Kuma's parents' home. Both had passed away recently and the house was vacant. Their family was coming to the Parents house to have coffee/breakfast with us. I decided to get the coffee ready. Please keep in mind, that I did not know how to make coffee. Doc always did that. But, I got everything ready to go and coffee was brewing when they arrived. Kuma poured herself a cup and gagged, and reprimanded her oldest daughter for making this horrible tasting drink. Her daughter looked at her and said, "I didn't make it, she did!" Kuma looked at all of us and smiled, and said, "Well really, this is quite delicious." Now THAT is a cheerleader!
If you think about college and high school sports, fans and cheerleaders yelling and cheering for their team boosts the spirit and you can see a physical difference in the team. We all need fans and cheerleaders, positive ones. Be your child's fan, be their cheerleader and encourage them to do what is right, make them feel great when they do. Don't ignore the errors. Correct those and then cheer them on. Get your pompons out and have a great week!
Okay, I admit it. I am corrupting my grandchildren. But only a little and in a positive way. I think it is a very good thing for them to believe in magic and magical things. And so, with great joy and a little orneriness, I tell them lots of stories about what and who lives at Nana's house.
First of all, and I know that I have mentioned this before, Godzilla lives in our pond. It is a hoot when we drive past the pond and Stitch insists that he saw Godzilla's head. The next thing that we encounter is the roller coast that is our driveway. Arms up and kids screaming with excitement, but we have to quite down right away because Gertrude, the troll who lives under the bridge might wake up. She gets a little testy when we awaken her during the day. She is quite the night owl and gets grumpy when I have to summon her to deal with misbehaving children. As you continue up the driveway there is a tree with a very special opening that leads to the world of elves. Fairies live under the leaves of our Trillium. Unicorns show up in the woods occasionally but they are very shy.
There are also lions and tigers and bears and wolves, but Nana's magic keeps them away from the house. I have truly enjoyed these tales and love the look of wonder in their eyes when I spin my web.
Of course there is a down side to all of this. I have told the kids that only I can see and talk to the creatures and we must keep our secret. Leave it to Max to start telling her friends and teachers that Nana lives in a magical place. At this point, I have been almost embarrassed to meet her teachers or friends because Max is a terrible secret keeper. That is until she also told her teacher that Nana said that if she has a boyfriend, she will be sent to the Principal's office for a punishment. When I asked how her teacher responded, Max said "Oh, she just smiled."
So God bless all of the adults that foster imagination and belief in all things magical to kids. They need that. In fact, now that I think of it, I wish adults could have some of that magical belief and innocence. Wouldn't the world be a nicer place?! May God bless you with peace, love and magic this week, and may you find the time to enjoy it.
Each on of us has things that we deem important. What an adult finds to be indispensable is very different from what a child collects.
For example, Pook used to bring me rocks all the time. I still have bowls and jars filled with the rocks he used to bring me. He would get particularly excited about the colors of the rocks. Granite (you know, stones with little sparkles) were like finding gemstones and diamonds. But he ones he loved the most were his "White Devil Rocks". Please don't ask me what that means other than it was a rock that was white, but it was the best find for him.
Mommy couldn't part with anything and she was very possessive of her belongings. Everything had a place and everything was in its place. Something happened during college and that trait completely disappeared! But that is beside the point. Books were very, very important to her. In fact, she had her own library catalogue system for her books. Her siblings were welcome to borrow them, but they had to be returned in a timely fashion and I was enlisted to enforce late fees/fines.
I have boxes of legos, baseball cards, airplane cards, World War II collector cards, hats and t-shirts. All of these were collected by the kids at various times. And keeping them seemed to be a matter of life and death for them. If one item was missing, they knew instantly.
Doc used to have a collection of baseball cards. It is still a sore subject for him. This was a collection with original Mickey Mantles and that era of baseball. His mother saved everything and I do mean everything! She had original boxes from toys that her children had because it made the broken and missing toys more valuable. She still had all the clothes that his oldest sister wore in high school. I know this, because I was the one who moved all those boxes when she finally moved out of the home that she raised her family in. She kept every newspaper that she ever received because she planned on reading them one day. Yet, Doc has never forgiven her for giving away all those (now extremely valuable) baseball cards to a disabled boy down the street to attach to the spokes of his bike to make that "puttering" sound. (Admit it - anyone in our age group did that. We attached cards to our bike spokes with clothespins! And boy did our bikes sound cool when we sped away!)
Imagine my shock when cleaning out old jewelry boxes and finding some of my treasures. I had a little plastic purse (gum used to come in them). It was the perfect size for Barbie to use. I had saved a little piece of yellow glass in the purse that I pretended was a jewel, like my birthstone yellow topaz. Also in the box was a blue and yellow ribbon from flowers that I got for Homecoming in high school and a piece of a lobster claw shell. That one really fascinated my kids. I specifically remember when I got that treasure. We had taken my grandmother to Florida on vacation and to my cousin's wedding in Alabama. Dad was very frugal. The kids all ordered off the Children's menu. I don't care what our age was, we were the age required on the menu. Grandma, however ordered lobster one evening which was something we had never seen. My souvenir from that vacation was the empty shell I had removed from her dinner plate. Fifty-some years later, I still have that treasure. My kids were so shocked that they vowed to build me a whole lobster piece by piece every time we had any. They got the body and a leg, and then one of the dogs found it and it is gone! The thought was there though.
Like I said, you never know what is valuable to someone else. Me, that lobster claw will stay in its box forever and I hope it gets to heaven with me some day!!!! Have a great week. We are certainly blessed with sunshine today!
Grandbaby number six has arrived! On schedule but not without a display of stubbornness that his parents can look forward to dealing with! Superson, who once married was able to add the moniker of Superhusband can now also carry the title of Superdad. We have spent nine months chuckling as Superson read numerous "Daddy" books and put them into action. He has had his hospital bag and new manly diaper bag ready to go for weeks. As of Sunday, The Stylist and new mommy, hadn't packed. We were guests in their home for dinner and his brothers were devastated that the shish-ka-bobs were chicken and not beef, but he explained that he read that raw meat was not good for pregnant women. Mini-Me was confused when she met them for lunch and Superson asked permission to have a beer. You are 30 years old! But he explained that he read that you should not drink alcohol in front of a pregnant woman without permission. We do so love him!
And the Stylist is going to be a gentle and loving mother with a sense of humor that is necessary when raising children. And don't forget, that sense of humor has been needed when dealing with Superson. And we love her so much just for loving him as she does!
When women announce that they are pregnant, most other women feel the need to start relating every horror story imaginable from their own pregnancies. My advice, ignore them or laugh at them. Every pregnancy and delivery is unique! I was fortunate to have six wonderful pregnancies and easy deliveries I might be insane, but I am not crazy! I would not have had the second one if number one was rough! After a tough labor and delivery though, no new mom wants to hear how great yours went.
The best stories for me, were the ones surrounding the event. Like, walking into the hospital ready to deliver The Blonde and being told by Security that visiting hours were over. One look at my face and then at my stomach and a wheelchair immediately appeared. Or calling my brother to tell him about Mommy and her name (her middle name belonged to her Doc's grandmother) and having him ask who came up with a stupid name like that with Doc listening. Or being days past my due date with Mini Me and outside raking leaves when a car pulled up and offered to take me to the hospital. No, my leaves and I are doing just fine. Or having Doc invite any and all of his co-workers in to meet me during labor. Or having the Doctor arrive to deliver Calvin, who was born at change of shift and finding that there was no room for him in the room. Or driving in a blinding ice storm to deliver the Surprise. Or having Calvin threaten to leave home if Pook was another sister and not the brother he had dreamed of. Unfortunately, Calvin was disappointed. While Pook was a boy, he was useless. He just laid there and refused to play with Calvin.
Oh the memories that we have and the new ones that will be created. I love when the gang gets together. For such a versatile and individual group, they are very close and good friends. I now get to enjoy the next generation playing together, fussing at each other and being loved unconditionally by their Nana.
Welcome to our newest little baby. May God grant you and your parents, many many years of happiness and laughter and tears of joy!!!
Wife, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Nurse, Grandmother, Friend...that's me in a nutshell!