Grandma Says..

Observations and views from a different set of eyes

Lest We Forget

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May our prayers go out to all of our Soldiers, both home and abroad, and to their families.  Let’s wish them all a safe and Happy Easter Holiday!  Bless You All.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!

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One Egg Too Many

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Well, I’ve purchased the eggs; the coloring is ready and the ham is thawing.  I’m ready for the big day.  But, I’m already worried about the six dozen eggs I’ve cooked in preparation for Easter Sunday.

Only two of our kids will be in attendance for the Easter festivities.  There will be no hunt; they are in their mid-twenties and deem it beneath them to search for eggs among the grass and red ants that fill our lawn.  Woosies!  The remainder of our kids live out of town or are busy with their own preparations for their family units. My two bachelors will be sitting in their apartment, sucking down beer and pretending the Easter Bunny doesn’t exist.  Humph!

Well, the heck with all of them.  This Grandma is going to color eggs, devil eggs and fry the little suckers for breakfast.  The dilemma I face is what to do with all those eggs that will be snubbed and rendered unfit to carry home.  Last year after buying 10 dozen eggs, I was stuck with a dozen beautifully decorated eggs; one-half dozen slightly withered deviled eggs and two dozen uncooked shelled protein units in the fridge.  Trying to use them up before they turn rotten is an adventure I seem to embark upon each year.

I try to strike the right balance when purchasing the eggs..really I do!  But, each year I open the fridge and I swear the eggs I bought multiplied overnight!  Any other explanation would leave my sanity in question, and I fear those guys carrying the white coats with those special sleeves that fasten in the back will come looking for me and my eggs.

The day after Easter leaves only two of us to consume the overwhelming abundance of eggs; we try, but often fail and they wind up being chewed up in my garbage disposal.  And, I’m afraid I’ve done it again!  Worried, I sat down and figured out how many eggs were actually required.

Decorated Eggs – 2 Dozen – This leaves enough for decorating the table, carry-out bags and to pass out to unexpected guests (of which none ever appear!) Plus, the neighbors who don’t have family coming and the strangers walking by with their dogs.)  Maybe three dozen just to be sure.

Deviled Eggs – 1 Dozen – This is an appetizer for four, usually 6 eggs split in half makes 12, should would be more than sufficient.  However, the two kids coming to visit can suck those babies down faster than a dog let loose in the henhouse.  So, 1 dozen will make 24 deviled eggs.  Wait a minute..what about take-homes?  Better make it 2 dozen, just to be sure.

So, two dozen and three dozen equal 5 dozen hard-boiled eggs which should fill the bill.  Now, what the heck am I gonna do with the other dozen I put a hard-boil to?  Hmmm..how about potato salad, that should use 2 or 3.  That still leaves me 8 to get rid of.  Egg Salad Sandwiches for lunch tomorrow?  Yup, that will do it.  But, that will only use 4 eggs.

I wonder if my SO would notice if I put two on his plate the morning after Easter.  I’ll add bacon and hash browns and he’ll never know.   If  When he complains, I’ll just pop the 3rd egg whole in my mouth and mumble “just shut up and eat” and try not to choke.  So, that gets rid of 3 more…leaves me with just one egg too many.

I can live with that!

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Love, Cranky

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The Magical Egg

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Ah, to be a child again, just for this one night.  To dream of a pure, white Rabbit, traveling towards our home, laden with eggs and baskets to hide around our living room.  And to dream of the “Magic Egg.”

There were four kids in our family; I had two brothers and a younger sister.  My Easter Eve was always spent planning how to best my siblings in finding those elusive eggs.  You had to be quick; you had to have sharp eyes and you had to be ready to go the distance when our mother would say “I believe there’s still two more to be found!”

After the hunt, aglow with pride at our hunting prowess; we would be treated to Hot Cross Buns and Hot Chocolate for Breakfast.  While eating, we would gaze lovingly at the Easter Baskets and grow impatient to tear them open and discover the hidden treasures under the grass.  And, I would stare at my “Magic Egg.”

Besides beautifully colored eggs (some with our own names on them) and Easter Baskets laden with sweets, the Easter Bunny always brought a “Little Something Extra!” for us.  My brother’s each got a Silver Dollar in an envelope with their name on it; my sister and I would get what I called “The Magic Egg.”

The “Magic” egg was a wondrous thing to behold.  The size of a miniature football, it wore colored paper and glitter that twinkled; and when you shook it, you would hear the sound of beads moving inside, alive and waiting to show you their secrets.  It was this special gift that I looked forward to each year, for it had to be unwrapped to find its priceless treasures.

But, first we would have to dress in our new Easter clothes that my Nana always bought for us, and we would have to wait until our return from church to open our baskets and uncover the “Magic” eggs.  We would march off to church, my brothers wearing suits that made them look so grown up; while my sister and I would wear our pretty flowered dresses, straw hats with colored ribbons hanging down the back and our lacy nylon socks stuffed inside a pair of shiny, black Mary Jane shoes.

After church, we would rush home, change out of our Sunday Best and head to the living room where we would finally be able to open our baskets and gouge ourselves with the chocolate treats inside.  Then, finally, it was time for my sister and I to open our “Magic” eggs.  The whole family would sit around the table, as we carefully unpeeled the paper and discovered what the egg had hidden inside.

After peeling off the first layer; a small ring would be found, another layer and a delicate chain for our necks; each layer had its own separate gift from The Easter Bunny nestled inside.  It seemed like we would spend hours peeling away the egg’s secrets until finally reaching the best gift of all.

For at the center of the “Magic Egg” was a small tube, sometimes red, sometimes pink.  My father would explain that this magical tube was called a Kaleidoscope.   I would put one end to my eye and sigh at the beauty of the colors that appeared, swirling and changing with each turn of the opposite end.  The true magic of this egg was in the mysterious beads contained in the Kaleidoscope; I would spend hours twirling the end and watching the beauty of the designs the magic beads would produce.

As we grew older, when the Easter Bunny no longer brought his treasures, the “Magic Egg” became just a memory.  When I had my own children, I searched and searched and was never able to find a “Magic Egg”, so they never experienced the joy of unwrapping those hidden treasures and the wondrous beauty of the magic beads.

But I remember.  Oh, yes, I remember well.  And how I wish I could be a wee child again tonight; filled with dreams of colored eggs, Easter Baskets and that magical egg. How wondrous that would be.

May you and your loved ones have a magical Easter Holiday!

Love, Cranky

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To Tat Or Not To Tat

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I confess, Cranky has a tattoo!  I had it done for my 40th birthday (just a year or two ago 🙂 ) and I like my tattoo.  It’s small, it’s on my upper chest and I can hide it when I want.  I went to a reputable Tattoo Parlor; I did my research and checked that only sterile needles were used and found the process not as painful as the horror stories I had listened to over the years.

Do I regret having Ink permanently imbedded in my skin?  Sometimes.  If I have to choose a fancy dress for a formal occasion, I have to pick one that covers the tat.  My SO spent 22 years in the Navy and he’s unmarked (as long as you don’t count the wrinkles) so he kids me about mine.  I just give him the “Whatever” look and that usually ends the ribbing.  But, all in all, I really don’t have a problem with wearing it.

Some people are not so lucky.  Due to bad planning, a bad artist or an abundance of alcohol, some people make lifelong mistakes in their tattoo choices.  Let me give you a few examples and tell you where they might have gone wrong in their designs!

There are two things to look for when you chose a Tattoo Artist who is going to do your tat.  The first is to make sure they know how to spell. (I imagine that this poor girl regrets not shopping around for an artist that graduated grammer school!)

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The second absolutely necessary qualification you should look for in your inker is the ability to actually draw!  This fellow is going to be really impressed when this tattoo is complete!  I think she went to that Art School by Mail!

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Not all tattoos are the fault of the artist.  They do exactly what the customer requests..and it winds up being a train wreck!  Some people just simply have bad taste and don’t mind letting the world know it!

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One of the new trends in tattoos is to bring in a photograph and have the artist duplicate it on your body.  These usually don’t qualify for the “Is It Real Or Is It Memorex” debate.  We all love our kids, but bringing in a photo and expecting your tat to come out looking like your child are pretty slim.

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And you might want to stick with the pictures that the photographer took at your wedding.

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Another new trend is for the bald men or one’s who prefer shaving their heads instead of a daily combing, to decorate their bare pates in a novel way.  Anybody hungry?

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And I don’t think this dude knows if he’s coming or going.

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  Now, you can (based on the talent of the 2nd tat artist) rectify some of the mistakes that were made on your original tattoo.  Unfortunately, this customer picked an artist who thought they were an editor redacting a novel!

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So, what’s my advice to those who are getting their first tattoo?  Make sure you know the qualifications of your artist (ask for references and pictures of their work). Make sure it’s a reputable tattoo parlor and that they practice safe, clean tattooing.  And,  make sure you choose wisely in the design of your tattoo.  Remember, most of the time, tattoos are a lifetime commitment, no buyers remorse allowed!

What advice would I give to my granddaughter if she asks whether she should get a tattoo?  I’ll smile, lean over and whisper in her ear, “ASK YOUR MOTHER!”

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A New Page In My Life

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What a wild coupla of months here in Blogsville!  I woke up this morning and realized that I had reached two months since I landed in WordPress, full of hope, ambition and a voice that was crying to be heard.  And, you my friends, have listened.  You’ve offered me encouragement; you’ve read my posts, you commented, and you heaped blessings on me.  What can I say?  You complete me! (shoot, I think someone else used that line!)

Anyway, I decided to let you in on a few things that are happening with me and my blog (yeah, I know, you’re on the edge of your seats!) The first change I’ve made is above the top of this post.  Look up…up..a little more!  See the “Awards” label?  Clicking on that will bring you to my new page in my blog site.  Guess what’s in it?

The overwhelming love you have sent in the form of awards inspired me to place all those badges on a separate page.  So, when you pop in for a visit, you’ll be able to check it out.  Now, it’s really not all about ME..Me..me! All my nominators are listed under the award they sent me; please take the time and visit their sites.  Each and every one of them is a super blogger and well worth a visit!

So the ostentatious display of badges I used to have on my posts can only be seen (if you really, really want to) on the “Awards” page.  You now have the choice of just reading my current post, reading my sad little profile or checking out the goods in the Awards room.  Easy, peasy!

Onward and upward.  I have only 2 days and a little over 16 hours before I arrive at Camp NaNoWriMo.  If I haven’t mentioned it, I’m going to their April Writing Camp and write a Novel in one month.  (Quit laughing..ok..are you done yet?)  My knees are shaking, my head is spinning and my eyes are rolling around and around.  What was I thinking when I enrolled in this camp?  Are my meds off again?

But, a challenge is why I signed up and Cranky never backs off a challenge.  So, I’m packing up my words and heading off for the campfires.  I’ve already got some cabin mates; (all female, so there goes my hopes of a Summer Camp Romance!)  I have done a small outline and written about 2000 words, which means I’m going to be flying by the seat of my pants for about 90% of the time I’m at camp!  And, I’m o.k. with that; I just hope that I don’t end up the creek with out the proverbial paddle!

What?  Did someone ask me what kind of novel I’m going to write?  I thought I’d go for a genre that would be a good fit for me;  I went with Comedy (big surprise, right?)  And, even though I’ve only written a few chapters; I’m already having a hell of a good time!  So, let’s see if I can keep my sense of humor trying to meet that 30 day deadline.

Now, they allow downtime during this camp (plus I’m gonna skip the Arts and Crafts classes so if you were expecting a handmade wallet, you’re out of luck), so I’ll still be posting here and putting my two cents in on your posts.  I’ll also try and keep you updated on what’s happening in Camp..hopefully I’ll get some good gossip advice I can pass on to you!  You might get a postcard from me begging you to let me come home..ignore them!

Before I close, I’d also like to share with you a first in my experience as a blogger.  I got my first Cyber-bully and boy, was he/she a doozy!  Now, I’ve got a tough hide but this commenter really pissed me off got to me.  They were looking for a debate (or a cat-fight..meow) and got really insulting when I wouldn’t join in.  However, I just gave them a final “Talk to the hand”  and changed my comments so that all have to be approved before appearing on my post.  It’s a little more work but at least you won’t be subjected to this bully’s comments in my blog.  Life goes on!

So, to make a long story short (much too late) I’m turning a new page in my life…let’s hope I get to write lots of neat things on it!

Just saying!

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The Parent Rap

Hey, I finally found a Rap Video that I could not only understand; but one that I could enjoy!  These two have it “goin on” baby!  If you haven’t seen it, then sit back and enjoy!

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What’s Wrong With This Picture?

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Are you shocked?  Are you outraged?  Take a good look.  Your tax dollars went for a delicious surf and turf dinner.  Is that fair?  NO..it’s not.  Your response to the “What’s Wrong With This Picture?” would probably be that someone else was misusing the program designed to feed needy families.  Would you be right?  YES!

However, I see something else wrong with this picture that is making the rounds on Facebook.  I don’t see any posts or pictures of the families that don’t abuse the program.  Needy children who are being fed good, nutritious food purchased by parents who need a little help during these tough economic times.

I was a welfare mom back in the mid-seventies.  My soon to be ex-husband refused to support the three children we created together.  A divorce was in the works; until it was decreed by a judge, he wasn’t giving up a red cent.  There was no way to balance the pay I would receive from a job I was qualified for with the child care expenses that were necessary to work.  I was forced to go on welfare in order to provide food and shelter for my children.

I was grateful for the help from the government and I used the money they gave me the way it was supposed to be used: I feed my kids balanced meals, I paid my rent and utilities and I was able to put clothes (mostly second-hand) on my babies.  I did what I was supposed to do.  Hell, I didn’t even have a car.  I would pack my kids on a city bus for doctor’s appointments; food shopping and for reporting monthly to the Welfare Office.  Believe me, I wasn’t rich off the government funds I received; but it was enough to survive on.

Am I the only parent that didn’t abuse the Welfare system?  Of course not.  Welfare families continuously get a bad rap because of the small percentage of people who do defraud the government’s welfare program.  I did some research and was not surprised to find that statistics for welfare fraud were quite hard to nail down.

But, the overall consensus was that a very small percent of fraud cases were actually identified..as low as 2 to 3%.  To be fair, the reason for the lack of real fraud statistics is because you can’t count them if you don’t find them.  But, I doubt that the statistics would rise dramatically even if all the cheaters were identified.  If you’ve ever had to apply for welfare or for food stamp assistance; it’s not as easy to get approved as you might think.

Unfortunately, when people do misuse the system and are caught, the public starts to view all families on assistance as “freeloaders”.  And why?  Because the people who cheat the system get the attention.  No one speaks up for the majority of families on assistance who play by the rules.

I know people on assistance; good honest parents who are struggling in hard, economic times.  These parents would much rather be working then be on assistance.  I also know of a lot of senior citizens who receive food stamp benefits;  believe me; they don’t get enough to buy surf and turf.  On the other hand, I know of a lot of people who receive 100% Disability from Social Security while they are working full time..”under the table.”

So, should we still be outraged when we see abuse of our tax dollars that goes into these government programs?  Damn right!  And, at the end of this post, I’ll give you a link where you can report these bums who work the system.

What we shouldn’t do is assume that everyone who is on assistance is a cheater. Don’t look at these families like second-class citizens, they don’t deserve it.

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Just saying!

To report welfare fraud contact the appropriate County Agency directly. 

If you need assistance in determining which county to call contact the Welfare Fraud Hotline at 1-800-344-8477 or by e-mail at FraudHotline@dss.ca.gov.

What are the most common types of welfare fraud?

  • Absent Parent in the home
  • Unreported income
  • Ineligible child(ren)
  • Child(ren) not living in the home
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The Hole In My Heart

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I miss my sister.  There is a void in my heart that will never be filled.  Although she passed over five years ago; not a day goes by when she’s not in my thoughts.

I still hear her laughter.  I picture her across the table from me, nursing a cocktail, smoking a cigarette and giggling about some prank we pulled when we were in high school together.  My sister was more than a sibling; she was my friend.

In our early years, we were inseparable.  If you saw one of us; the other one was not far behind.  We had each other’s backs, although my sister seldom needed a champion.  Everyone loved her; she had a quick wit; a beautiful smile and a heart that wouldn’t quit.

I didn’t hear my phone ring that day; I had been busy with some chore or another.  When I spotted my phone, I saw I had a message and checked my voice-mail.  I heard my niece’s voice ask me to call her at my sister’s house.  I was confused, my niece lived in Key West; why was she home?

I tried my sister’s home phone but got no answer, so I tried next to reach her on her cell phone.  The call went to voice-mail and that’s the last time I heard my sister’s voice.

When I finally managed to reach my brother-in-law, he told me that my sister had been rushed to the hospital with post-op pneumonia;  she had not survived the night. That was the moment a piece of my heart was ripped out;  in it’s place was a empty hole.

My sister passed away at the tender age of 55, much too young to be taken from me.  We had always joked about how we would share a room in a nursing home together and raise hell with the old folks.  We would dye our hair blue; we would haunt bingo halls and we’d laugh till we ached.

I had lost my father twelve years before my sister’s death; I lost my oldest brother seven months after she passed.  These deaths were hard; but they were after my dad and brother had been suffering from long-term illnesses, they were painful but not unexpected.

The sudden death of my sister dealt me a crushing blow, and it took me a few years to be able to talk about her.  I kept my grief close and my tears were shed in private.

Over the years, I have managed to fill some of that gaping hole with wonderful memories of the time we did have together.  I see glimpses of her in my youngest son and my granddaughter and that comforts me.  But, the hole has never completely healed. It’s still painful when I think of my sister; I still struggle with my grief.

I believe that the hole in my heart will remain, no matter how hard I try to fill it,  until I join my sister one day. Only then will my heart be complete once more.  But, until that day, I will miss her with all that’s left of my heart.

I love you, Sis!

28 Comments »

I Miss My Mess

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I was reading through some of the “Mommy” blogs that I enjoy so much and it occurred to me why these blogs hold a special place in my heart.

When I was raising my children, I used to dream of the day when my home would stay clean for more than one hour.  How I wouldn’t have to spend half  of my day picking up toys, wiping fingerprints from the windows and emptying potty chairs.  I thought of how wonderful it would be to greet someone at the door and not worry if they would trip on a forgotten toy or slip in some spilled milk I had yet to discover.

I would be able to sit back and have tea with my neighbors and listen to their compliments of how beautiful my home was and how clean I kept it.

These days, I don’t have small children in the house; I don’t have teens in the house; I only have one kinda short SO who runs around trying to stay busy by getting in my way.  So, I never thought I’d say it...but I miss the mess!

I would trade my shiny clean floors for little wet footprints left after a fun-filled bath; I would gladly sit back and watch the toys pile up in the living room, if it meant I could listen to the children’s laughter as they played.

O.K.,  maybe I don’t miss the potty chair but I would happily leave the dishes in the sink until my little one’s were all tucked safely in their bed.  I would do the happy dance if I could have small ones in my kitchen again; faces covered in chocolate, hands covered in flour while the cookies were baking in the oven.

I would let the dust collect so we could write our names in it; I would let the jackets and sweaters pile up into a mountain while we watched “The Wizard of Oz” for the 100th time and I would tear my best sheets out of the closet to make forts we could camp in.  Just bring back my mess!

So, to all you “Mommy” bloggers out there; know that there is one Grandma reading your wonderful stories, smiling at those happy pictures of your kids and wishing I could jump in and join you.  Enjoy the mess…believe me, you’ll come to miss it someday!

Well, I better go now.  I think I see a dust bunny under the couch!

31 Comments »

Did We Win or Lose?

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I’m a Baby Boomer and, yes, I was there when Women’s Lib was born.  Our generation of women were up in arms; burning bras and bowing at the knees of Gloria Steinem.  We made a lot of changes, and the movement continues today as women continue to fight for equality among men. And that is a wonderful thing.   But, in our battles, did we lose something along the way?  I’m afraid we did.

So intent on being a man’s equal; we confused the poor guys.  They stopped treating us as ladies.  And why?  Because women stopped acting like ladies.  They changed their dresses for harsh looking business suits and then moved on to wearing clothes that barely cover their privates.  Women today freely use language that shocks even the most hardened construction worker.  They boast about their sexual adventures and jump into bed indiscriminately. They throw their morals to the wind along with the respect of men.  Is it any wonder that men don’t know how to be gentlemen anymore?

To keep up with these changes, the men have evolved also.  From calling young women Miss, they now refer to them as “bitches.”  If they open a door for a young girl, it’s often so they can ogle her butt that’s hanging out of those Daisy Dukes.

Did we win the war but lose the battle?  Can’t we find an even balance between feminine and feminism?  I think we can.  There are women such as: Michelle Obama, Hilary Clinton, and Diane Sawyer who have achieved all the goals we worked for in Women’s Lib but have always acted and looked like ladies.

On a personal note, I miss Chivalry.  If you’ve never experienced the respect shown by a man holding a door for you; pulling out your chair when you reach the table or settling for a good night kiss on that first date..you have missed out on some very special moments.  I know I miss those moments.

So, in our fight to continue winning the war on equality; let’s not give up our right to be a lady.  Let’s show the world that we can be both strong and feminine at the same time.  Maybe men will start to bring back Chivalry.

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Just saying!

To all the men who have continued to treat women with the respect they deserve, I applaud you!  And to all the women who have earned that respect without sacrificing her femininity, you are the true winners of the Women’s Lib Movement!  Peace, Sisters!

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