Archive | January, 2015

In Jail

31 Jan

“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.”  John F Kennedy

The other day I was visiting with a group of friends and acquaintances (there is a difference) when people began to share their incarceration stories.  With the drunk driving laws and laws about possession a lot of people have spent small amounts of time in the slammer.

But I?  Of course not!  While stories circled around the room I kept thinking, “But I’VE never been in jail.”  I did have other thoughts about my superiority but I refuse to go into that and admit what a mental pain in the butt I can be.  My secret.

But then it dawned on me.  I’ve lived most of my life in jail.  I’m locked into certain behaviors in order to gain acceptance.  And I’ve locked out certain ways to live my life in order to appear to be a good person and a normal person.  For goodness sakes, we all want to be normal!

I think it’s this age thing that has me dealing with such thoughts.  Fortunately, I have a lovely friend who, along with age, has acquired a bit of wisdom.  A bit more than I have, at any rate.  She suggested that such thoughts could be the result of, finally, maturing.  She also suggested that I take it slow.

There goes my plan to run off with a young lover, which is good, as I don’t have a young lover and my husband would probably frown on the idea.  Instead I’ll go out to my art studio (an abandoned shed) and put some of this down on canvas.   My way?  I hope I can.

Loveya – The Grandma 

That Talk

26 Jan

“Babies are such a nice way to start people.”  Don Herrold

I recently gave birth to my nineteenth grandchild.  I really enjoy making this announcement and receiving congratulations as if I really had much to do with it.  Fifty some years ago I got pregnant for the first time and things just continued from there.

Soon, I suspect, I shall become a great-grandmother.  Things are now progressing along those lines.

As life moves on I think about all those milestones and milestone talks that have gone on around me, which included, in no particular order,  “Soon you’ll be a woman and that means…”  “And then you’ll enter into the stage of labor known as …”  “I think your son is smoking pot and you really should …”  “Honey, you used to be wet on the bottom and dry on the top and now…”  “Where do you want to be buried…”

Oh yes, there is that other talk about my final days and medical intervention.  I plan to be shot by a jealous wife so the kids won’t have to worry about final days.  For my funeral I simply want James Taylor in the background and then I want to be a tree.    There’s a new system out there where a person’s cremains (don’t you love that word) are placed into a cylinder with a sapling, ready to be planted by some member of the family who’s willing to take responsibility for the deceased.

Knowing my ability to keep plants alive, and wondering whether it’s hereditary, I should, perhaps, be planted in a cylinder of weeds.  Almost anyone can grow weeds.

OK.  Some of you may be a bit shocked over my flippant attitude toward  my body.  A lot of people, after a person dies, go into this reverence toward the body mode.  But think back.  Throughout our lives most of us hate our bodies.  And good self care!  This year my resolution is to think about exercising.

So how did the discussion go from new grand baby to this?  Probably too much coffee this morning.  But still, something to think about.

Loveya – The Grandma

After A While

22 Jan

“A year from now you will wish you had started today.”  Karen Lamb



When you walk into my kitchen through the side door you will walk smack dab into some roses.  This week they’re a lovely shade of peach.  They’re in a lime green vase.  I love fresh flowers.

Perhaps you think that I must be a very fortunate woman to have the man in my life buy me flowers.  You’re correct about the first part.  I am a fortunate woman.  The second part, however, is that I buy the flowers for myself.

Many years, and many degrees of maturity, ago I spent a lot of energy looking for Mr Right or Mr Right Now, whoever showed first.  I thought that there had to be someone out there who would plug all the holes in my life.  I had listened to the latest love songs and knew that I would spend my days “getting a glow just thinking of you,” that all powerful, all fulfilling “you”.

Enter a friend with patience, sometimes, and common sense, always, when giving advice to others.  She also had a great collection of sayings and poetry that she generously shared.  One of my my favorite things she shared I now share with you.  It’s reminds me to sometimes wait and sometimes it’s OK to do for myself.  Enjoy!

Loveya – The Grandma


After a while 
you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul

and you learn love doesn’t mean leaning and company doesn’t always mean security.

And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts and presents aren’t always promises 
and you begin to accept your defeats with your head up and and your eyes ahead with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.

And you learn to build all your roads on today because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.

After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much

So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers

And you learn that you really can endure, that you really are strong and you really do have worth and you learn and you learn 
with every good-bye you learn.  

Veronica A. Shoffstall


I Was A Happy Child?

20 Jan

“Live what is, not what if.”


As the picture from my childhood shows I did not immediately find Nirvana in life.  My older sister was always trying to give me a boost, or was it boss me around.  Looks like she was trying to get me on or off the swing.  My memory’s a little unclear on that point.

Fortunately, I’ve found a modicum of happiness by pursuing things that make me happy.  Who knew!  Also, I seldom expose my panties in public anymore.  Good?  Bad?  You decide.

The way I pursue/find my happiness is through creating interesting pieces of art.  Right now I’m working on a piece that is absolutely magnificent, subject to change without official notice.  I keep changing colors here and there, painting over areas, and then going to bed hoping that the elves or good fairies or whoever will show up in the middle of the night and fix my creation.  But then I remember that that was shoes.

So there’s nothing left to do but get up the next day and have another go at it.  Fortunately, again, I have absolutely no formal art training, except for high school art classes where the instructor held up a piece of my art as an example of what not to do.  I swear it left me scarred for life but the people who judge disability cases turn a deaf ear to my pleas.

But back to the last fortunately.  Because I don’t have any formal art training I can’t be hemmed in by rules about art and creating art because I don’t know what the rules are.  Please, if you have any compassion, don’t tell me if you happen to know.  This is my playground and at my age I choose to play with my toys.

Loveya – The Grandma






Cabbage Soup Magic

15 Jan

“I decided I’ll never get down to my original weight and I’m OK with that.  After all, 7 pounds 6 ounces just isn’t reasonable.”  Malcolm West

I know.  I said I wasn’t going to do this recipe thing and then here I go!  Is there no one you can trust.

But I have a reason.  (Don’t they all!)  Someone sent me this cabbage soup recipe.  You know the one where all you eat is this cabbage soup and you loose a ton of weight but you can’t go out in public because of the flatulence.  Well I took this recipe and left out some of her ingredients, namely the red pepper flakes and cayenne, and added some sun-dried tomato hummus that I got at HyVee from their hummus bar.

Humor me.  There is such a thing as a hummus bar.  Not a good bar to get picked up in unless it’s by another hummus lover.  On second thought…



2-3 T olive oil, I used grape seed because that’s what I had on hand

1/2 head of cabbage, chopped

1 cup celery, onion, and carrot, diced – that’s a cup of each

1 green bell pepper, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced (that means chopped small)

4 cups chicken or veggie broth

14 ounce can diced tomatoes

1 t oregano

1 t basil

1 t salt

1 to 2 T sun-dried tomato hummus


Heat oil in large pot and sauté celery, onion, carrot and green pepper until slightly soft.  Give it about 3 to 5 minutes

Stir in garlic then add broth, tomatoes, and cabbage.  Bring to boil and reduce heat.  Simmer until cabbage is tenderish.  Stir in seasonings, taste, and adjust seasonings.

What about the hummus, you might be asking.  I actually put the 1 to 2 T in the bottom of my soup bowl just before I ladled the hot soup into the bowl.  Then I mixed it in and enjoyed a cabbage soup that I could actually eat more than once a day without invoking divine assistance.

Did you notice the square bowl in the picture?  That was a gift to me after I got rid of my boring, blue bowls that I’ve been using for years because I owned them.  Not a great reason to continue to live with something, a fact I learned from the book about creating a tidy house that I wrote about a few bog entries ago.  Pay attention!

Great thing about a square bowl is that you can drink the last few drops of soup from the corner of the bowl, a feat not possible with a round bowl, which should need no explanation after all the modern math we were exposed to.

Loveya – The Grandma


Because I Care

12 Jan

“Not my circus.  Not my monkey.” Polish Proverb

Just recently a “friend” of mine had to go for their annual physical.  Nothing riding on it but their job.  This particular person has difficulty with moderation, especially when it comes to foods that raise BP and blood sugar.  What to do?

As an interested party I volunteered to cook low carb meals for the week prior to the physical, instead of serving what this person really wanted, first asking if they’d like my assistance.  My assistance was gratefully accepted and I slaved lovingly prepared meals in the kitchen for the week.

Joyfully, this “friend” passed their physical and sent me a heart-felt text which read, “Winner, winner, chicken dinner!”  I read between the lines and accepted the love and gratitude.  When I next saw this person I was informed that as part of the celebration for his successful physical he immediate went to a diner and had a mess of waffles with extra butter and syrup.

OK.  I get it.  I’ve been on a diet or two.  Sometimes in one day.  But really.  There is some information that shouldn’t be shared.  Like celebratory waffles.

Then another friend shared the proverb quoted at the top of this post.  So I decided to be a consistent helpmate and at the same time no longer cook two different fares.  Win win!  And to kick off this new way of  helping I ate up all the chocolates left from the holidays.  No temptation sitting around this house!  I am a good friend.

Loveya – The Grandma

Cooking Up A Life

10 Jan

“Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life.”  Robin Sharma

As a tribute to the New Year and the propensity to make resolutions that last less than 30 days, I decided to change the focus of my blog.  Recipes are fun but we all know to eat more veggies and less processed food.  So this year, or for as long as it can hold my own attention, I shall attempt to impart words of wisdom (WOW) as discovered through my own stupid mistakes.

Thankfully, I also have a group of wise friends, real and imaginary, to steal from.  Fortunately, my imaginary friends are not, for the most part, imaginary.  Many of them are awesome writers.  It’s our friendship that’s imaginary.  I tend to adopt people that I admire.  My first adoptee is Pope Francis.  Might as well start somewhere near the top.

First of all, I’m annoyed by people who are bowled over by the actions of Pope Francis.  I’m especially annoyed with Christians who find him exceptional.  Because actually, according to what I learned in the formative years of my Christian upbringing, Pope Francis is merely taking Christianity seriously.  He’s walking the walk.

I, too, intend to walk the walk as soon as I loose ten pounds and get my hair highlighted and pay off the 55-inch plasma TV.  Do you see where I’m going with this?  I’ll probably need another cup of coffee before I can actually see, or admit, where I’m going with this line of thinking.    I’ll get back to you on this.

Loveya – The Grandma