Grandma Says..

Observations and views from a different set of eyes

Paying It Forward – 7/31/13

A tribute to a fellow blogger!

A Dream Come True

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Before I begin this week’s Pay It Forward tribute, I want to mention that my short story, The Night We Knew, is now available on Alphie Dog Fiction.  For sixty cents, you can download this whimsical tale of a night that brings the world together.  Just click on the title above for a peek at the contents!  You can also look up my name on their list of authors and find all three stories of mine they have published to date.  I hope to see you there!

But, this post is not about me.  It’s about a young woman who asked, “Me?  Who Am I” and invited us on her journey of discovery.  Mewhoami is a talented writer whose freshness and honesty is always a pleasure to encounter.  She has been a great fellow blogger and an inspiration to me from the first days…

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Real Beauty..Real Women

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I was delighted when I popped into one of my favorite sites, Totally For Women. They have a new feature that I not only wholeheartedly approve of–I applaud them for their initiative.

Page 50 is the name of their new feature and it’s focus is showcasing the real beauty in real women and they are doing it in a stunning fashion.  There will be no photos of runway models, magazine fashionistas or Playboy bunnies.  This project is not about them…it’s about real women.

Each photo is a monochrome shot of a woman wearing a white top with the focus on the woman’s face, not her body.  For the face is where the real beauty of a woman lives…in the twinkle of her eye, in the smile lines curving around her lips and in an engaging look that speaks volumes.

For fifty working days, t4W (Totally For Women) will feature one new photograph with a short bio of that day’s featured woman.  These are everyday women who are displayed with dignity and grace by a fantastic photographer, Sabine Coe. Sabine captures each woman with a true eye for the inner beauty of her subjects.

Sabine Coe is a French mother, housewife and photographer who enjoys taking photos of woman who come from different parts of the world and who now reside in England. She is preparing an Exhibition called “Sabine’s Women Of The World” and in it she will display photographs of women from around the world in a traditional outfit or holding an object that comes from their homeland.

t4W and Sabine Coe have a common goal:

“Every day we will celebrate their wise, enigmatic and engaging faces through the camera lens. This approach is in direct contrast to the way in which the media so often look at women.”

They explain their motivation for this project as:

“t4w believes that the next generations of women – your daughters, sisters, granddaughters, friends – cannot be what they cannot see. t4w values the whole woman…mind body and soul.”

So, bravo, Totally For Women and Sabine Coe for your honest approach to showcasing the real beauty in real women.

You can visit Totally For Women by clicking here (or by entering the following link:  http://www.totally4women.com/) and enjoy their celebration of women.

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Put The Hankie Away

Sad news for any writer…but not a catastrophe!

A Dream Come True

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Yesterday, I opened my email and was delighted to find a response from one of the publishers I had submitted a short story to.  I had waited months to hear from them so I eagerly opened the email and read their missive, only to discover I had received my first rejection letter.

Wow, the pain…the dissappointment…the gall of these people to turn me down! My feelings are hurt! I worked so hard on that story…how could they not want it?

Yes, my friends, rejection letters can bring out the worst in us as writers.  Some of us tend to take it personal and we bring out all those insecurities that kept us from writing or submitting our work for so long.  Some get angry and stuff their stories back in the drawer and resolve never to embarrass themselves again.

Others, like myself, will take a few moments to wallow in…

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Tanka: Cranky

Cranky got a Tanka from Bastet…check it out!

Bastet and Sekhmet's Library

from heaven

Tanka
Cranky

direct from heaven
a warm shoulder there waiting
offered so freely
so loving, caring, giving
and a good laugh when needed

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Another Story Hits The Press!

Check it out…got published again! All because of you, my friends!

A Dream Come True

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I am so proud to announce that my story, “The Man In The Dark” is now available on Alphie Dog Fiction for downloading.  This is the second story that this wonderful publishing site has been kind enough to accept and I hope you will pay their site a visit and take a look around.

The story is under the “Horror” genre, but it was a true event that took place when I was a child and I wrote it to try and purge the memory of the man who scared me so much that I still have nightmares about him.

It costs only Sixty cents (U.S.) and 0.39 (Pound Sterling) for my friends Over The Pond to download the complete story, but a teaser is given to entice you to buy the story.  So if you have some change jingling in your pocket, I hope you’ll spend it downloading my…

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The Publisher’s Yellow Brick Road

I spent last week learning a few things about sending out stories to publishers. Take a peek!

A Dream Come True

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I mentioned yesterday that I dedicated last week to submitting a few of my stories to publishers.  One of my goals is to be published in a magazine that people buy and is printed on dead trees.  It’s part of my dream to hand something to my granddaughter that she can keep and say “My Grandma Wrote This…she was a writer.”

During the week, I made a few discoveries that I thought I would share with other new writers who might be on the threshold of submitting their work to a publisher for the first time.  These discoveries showed me that the Yellow Brick Road we follow to a publishers desk is filled with dangers that could wind up with our efforts thrown into the publisher’s waste basket without getting past the first paragraph.

As new writers, we don’t have editors and publishers are not on the phone clamoring for…

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A Town Pays It Forward

I have never been so touched by a story as I am by this one.  A dying Dad is given the opportunity to have a wedding dance with his daughter before he passes.  The town, where he has been a physician and helped so many, pays it forward by arranging and paying for this “mock wedding” in ten short days.

It was a chance for him to share in one of the events he will not be able to be here for and the townspeople were there to share it with him and his daughter.

Get your hankies ready…it’s a beautiful, bittersweet story.

I bow to a town that really knows how to Pay It Forward!

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I’m Melting…I’m Melting!

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Yeah, I’m melting and I deserve it.  Remind me to keep my big mouth shut!

A few  weeks ago, I happened to mention to Danny this year’s summer season didn’t seem quite as hot and humid as other years.  We were getting a lot of rain and thunderstorms which kept the temperatures down and the humidity away during most of the day.  I was in heaven.  I hate the heat and humidity.

So, once I shot off my big mouth, Mother Nature whipped out her sizzling stick and now, it’s hot here…so hot!  I got up this morning and it was 83 degrees at 4:30 a.m and the weatherman predicts the “feel like” temps to be in the three digit range.  No breeze, no relief from the humidity, no hope of cooler temperatures until October.  No wonder I’m melting!

Danny is impervious to the heat…or so he’d like me to think!  He spends a lot of time out in the yard, sweating and sucking down lemonade while he performs lawn maintenance for hours.  I watch him from the window with the air conditioning blowing out it’s life sustaining air and wonder how he tolerates the high temps without passing out.  He claims that it’s not that hot and that I’m just a wimp!

He thinks that I don’t notice that he’s standing in a pool of sweat as he’s peeling off the fourth tee shirt of the day.   Not that hot, my butt!

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If you want to know how hot it is here in Florida, turn your oven on for an hour or so at 500 degrees then open the door.  Feel that blast of heat?  Well, that’s how it feels when you open your door here.  You get in your car and the steering wheel chuckles as it sears your hands; forget your shoes and walk barefoot on the driveway and you’ll find yourself doing the Funky Chicken in two seconds flat.

Now, I realize that I have no right to gripe.  I’ve seen temperatures rise across the country equal to the boiling heat here but somehow, I don’t care.  I’m hot, I’m grouchy and I’m ready for fall.  And, those people don’t seem to mind the summer since their winters are so cruel.

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But, here in Florida, our winters are what we look forward to all summer long.  I’ve lived here long enough to qualify as a Damn Yankee (one who stays and stays and stays) and the coldest temps I’ve ever seen during the winter are in the 30’s and 40’s, and that’s just in the morning.  Afternoons usually reach the 70’s and that ain’t bad, folks.

On the other side of the coin, due to the extreme sweltering and my refusal to step foot outside until we’re totally out of food, I’ve had no distractions from my writing and have been quite productive over the last week.  If you’re curious what I’ve been up to, take a slide over to “A Dream Come True” and get an update.  Also, I have cut down on my smoking because I have to smoke outside, so I’m saving some bucks during this long hot summer.

But, I’ve had enough.  I want those cool breezes they promised me when I moved to Florida.  I want the water in my pool to be less than 98 degrees when I plunge in and I want to work in the yard without having 911 preset on my cell phone.

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Of course, I’d also like to look as slim and beautiful as the woman in the picture, but that ain’t gonna happen soon either!

So, to cheer myself up, I’m adding the counter widget to this site so I can count down the days until October 15th, which is when by some mysterious weather switch, the humidity starts to leave and the air outside becomes breathable again.  This way, with an end in sight, perhaps I can tolerate the heat a little better and not be so Cranky!  Yeah, right…like that’s gonna happen.

Anyway, I hope you’re all finding a cool spot to sit and enjoy your summer!  As for me, I’M MELTING!

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Love,

Cranky!

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Bastet needs your vote!

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The Tranquility Garden

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When we purchased our house, one of the features we fell in love with was the fish pond that was built off of the patio. Over the years we discovered that an indoor fish pond requires a lot of expensive filtering equipment and pumps to keep it habitable for little Nemo’s. Eventually, as our maintenance skills decreased and the algae and murky water increased, the pond started to  look like a Louisiana swamp.

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Instead of brightly colored fish swimming happily in crystal blue waters, the current inhabitants consisted of: a multitude of lizards, a community of croaking frogs, the occasional snake. It also provided a great breeding ground for blood sucking mosquitoes which were invading our lanai area.  It was time to wave goodbye to all the unwelcome guests that had made our pond their home.

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We considered our options and decided the easiest and cheapest plan was to convert the pond into a garden.  A Tranquility garden.  Oh Yeah!  After all, how hard could it be to build?  We just remove the swamp water, fill in the hole with dirt and chango..presto..a garden!  Oh, how naive we two can be.

So, we started on the first step of the project..removing the water.  We didn’t have a pump and we weren’t bright enough to rent one, so water removal equipment consisted of the only bucket in the house and two silly geriatrics.  But, we had a plan! Danny, my brave, brave man would walk into the middle of the pond and would scoop up a bucket of water and then hand it off to me to carry outside and dump out.  A two man Bucket Brigade was sure to make quick work of removing the water.

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I never realized how heavy two gallons of water could be.  After the first six or seven trips to the yard and flinging the water across the grass (didn’t want puddles, according to the guy standing in the middle of the swamp), I found that muscles in your body Really Can Scream!  But, I carried on like a good little team member and didn’t start whimpering until the second hour of toting those damn buckets.

Taking pity on me, Danny called a halt to work after three hours of listening to my grunts and cries of agony and said we would complete our water removal on the morrow! It actually took three days to remove the water as whoever built the pond must have been trying to dig their way to China.

We were now ready for the next step…filling the hole with dirt.  Relieved to be off bucket duty, I hoped that my role would now be a supervisory position since my arms were so sore and my fingers had lost the ability to pick up a fork.  My hopes were dashed when Danny arrived with a truck load of dirt and a spanking new wheelbarrow.

We were now on a Dirt Brigade, with Danny standing in the back of his truck, shoveling dirt into the wheelbarrow while my duties consisted of transporting the dirt to the hole and dumping it in.  Oh yeah, then raking…don’t forget the heavy rake!

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Once again, I was surprised HOW DAMN HEAVY a wheelbarrow full of dirt was.  Also, after the first truckload was empty, it seemed that we only succeeded in filling the hole with a thin layer.  As the days went by and the trucks kept coming, I started to wonder if someone was removing the dirt while we slept.

But, all fun times must come to an end.  The hole was filled and now it was time to cover it with mulch.  This time I was prepared…I knew how heavy those bags of mulch were but took comfort in the fact that it only took TWENTY bags to cover the area to Danny’s satisfaction.  And then I raked it…yeah, again with the raking!

To reward me for my hard work and choosing to forget about all the whining I did, Danny took me to Lowe’s and we bought a nice gate to frame our project (and to keep the digging doggie out of the garden) and a centerpiece to bring the tranquility into our “Tranquility Garden.  So, keeping in mind I still have to buy some plants, or flowers or maybe just some more ceramic doo hinkies…here’s the end result.

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Sadly, we still have one dissatisfied customer that misses the swamp!

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“Hey, where’d my lily pad go?”

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