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Another Change!

11 Feb

WOW – “There is nothing permanent except change.”  Heraclitus

Dear Sweetie –

You’ve probably noticed that, once again, I’ve changed the name of my blog.  What is with you, Grandma!  Perhaps it’s too much coffee.  Or perhaps my life is changing at record speed and I need a way to talk about it.

As many of my loyal followers know (total zero) I began this column as a cooking column in an attempt to encourage healthy eating.  One of my friends read it while consuming large bowls of M&M’s.  Come on you guys!  You all know what healthy eating looks like and you’re all strong enough to put on your big boy/girl pants, depending on your fashion preference, and do what’s right.

Then I morphed this column into babble.  Blah Blah Blah.  That got tiring even to me.  All the while, however, I’ve been writing delightful and amusing letters (my bias) to friends and grandkids.  I loved doing it and they loved getting them, which they assured me of at Christmas  as they lined up to get their holiday card with twenty bucks in it.  It was also a way to stay connected, spew facts about my insignificant life, pseudo journal, and give the kids enough ammunition for a future sanity hearing.  Oh what fun!

And so I’m morphing this blog into a “Dear Sweetie” letter format.  As you can see, the quote at the top of the blog is preceded by WOW, which stands for Words of Wisdom.  Obviously, these are not my words but some quote that has meaning in light of the words that follow, or not.

For those of you who are slow readers rest assured that I’m typing this slowly to accommodate you.  Please feel free to comment, share this with your friends (both of them), and examine your own exciting life.  For you know what they say about the unexamined life.  We’ll get into that later.

Loveya – The Grandma

 

 

Tweak It Originality

4 Oct

“Be yourself.  Everyone else is taken.”

All of my friends (both of them) have Faerie Gardens.  I love the concept but I haven’t been into faeries since I stopped working at that one restaurant.  (See: stereotypes)   

And then I noticed this large, misshapen dish I bought at a pottery clearance sale.  The dish was on sale because it came out misshapen.  The dish was also on the front porch filled with squirrel food.  What else do you do with a reject piece of pottery?

And then I came across this small goddess statue that I purchased during one phase of my life when I was doing the goddess thing.  That did not go as well as hoped for.  Perhaps more about that later.

Are you following this or do I need another cup of coffee?  At any rate, I scooped up some gravel from the driveway and bought some fake greenery along with some air plants, which contrary to their name do not live on air alone.  It took me three batches of air plants until I found that out.  You need to dip/soak them in water about once a week.  There – I saved you  some time and money.  You’re welcome.

Well, here is my creation.  I call it a Goddess Garden.  Moral of the story – think outside the box.  And maybe question who made the box.

 

goddess

She’s in my kitchen saving me from cooking disasters.  Don’t I wish!

Loveya – The Grandma

The Monday Message

23 Sep

 

 

“If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness. It will change your life mightily.” Gerald Good

My husband and I have been married for 30 years.  The thrill is gone.  The comfort lingers on.

And along the way I forgot to have fun, until one evening I overheard a couple in a restaurant.  They seemed to be about in the 80’s.  When the waitress asked the woman if she wanted another glass of wine her husband said, “Don’t give her one.  She’ll get wild.”  “Oh, you like it when I’m wild,” she answered.  He smiled and winked at her.

OMG!  They remember to have fun.  I used to have fun until I started taking our relationship “seriously”.  What’s with that, I began to ask myself.

Not in the mood to rent a clown suit to spice up our marriage I opted for technology.  I decided that every Monday morning I’d email my husband, from my computer downstairs to his computer upstairs, and thank him for something.  This last week I thanked him for taking me and two of my friends out on our pontoon.  Just a short, to the point, thank you.  “You’re welcome,” he replied.  “There’s more where that came from.”

And then this last time we were out for dinner he followed me to my side of the car when we left the restaurant.  What’s with that! I wondered.  After 30 years he opened the car door for me.  Is this a changed life mightily?  It’s a lovely life.  Thank you.

Loveya – The Grandma

Define Nice

31 Aug

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”  Oliver Platt

My son recently moved into his own apartment.  Details of the move are unimportant except to say that I was invited to assist and got to carry dresser drawers and boxes filled with his life.

The important thing about the move, as I saw it, is that it marked the beginning of a new phase of his life.  It was a “begin again” move.  And in some people’s eyes it might be seen as a step down.  His new dwelling is a small space of only two rooms and and an unlit storage locker.  Laundromat is three blocks away.  No garage.

When relating the news to a friend she asked if his new place was nice.  I asked her to define nice. “You know, a clean bathroom and a lovely, functional kitchen area.”  I asked her for another definition of nice.  She asked if it was simply a space that a man on his own would use to sleep in.  That was closer to the truth, yet I think it will finally feel like a home to him.

And then there was my reaction.  I was so envious.  I’ve lately been craving to downsize.  I’ve discussed this with my husband and we’ve agreed that in two years we’re going to look for a smaller home.  Probably in a town with amenities within walking distance.  He suggested we move into the country and I reminded him that we’re fast approaching the age where the kids might rescind our driving privileges.  Living in the country might lose some of its charm.

But whatever the future holds, I know that there can always be a “begin again”.  And by working with the bits of wisdom that have come to me over the years, I’m looking forward to those times!

Loveya – The Grandma

E-Bike

14 Jul

“I bought an e-bike.  What’s an e-bike?”  Actual conversation

Yes, I bought an e-bike for myself and found out that most of my acquaintances are not in the biking loop.

An e-bike, for the uninitiated, is a bicycle with a heavy battery and little electric motor that does all the work.  It’s a blessing for those of us who are in the upper double digits of our lives yet still want to get out into the great out-of-doors without expending a lot of energy.  A slight touch to the pedal and the electric motor takes over, at a pre-set level, and moves the bike forward.  Pedaling is necessary to keep the bike moving.  Effort is not.  Hills?  Not a problem.  Touch the button and change the level of assist.  Husbands should be this easy to manage!

To purchase an e-bike simply go to an e-bike store and try out various models.  Good questions to ask might include how far can I go on a fully charged battery, how much do these cost, and will this fit into the back of my Prius.  About thirty miles depending on the terrain and the weight of the rider, $1000 to $6000, and yes, with a little effort.

The main thing I learned while testing different models of e-bikes is that it’s important not to nudge the pedal while stopped.  That tells the motor that you want to go and the bike lurches forward and tosses you to the ground.  The other thing I learned is that if you return from a test ride with a bloody finger and tell the sales associate that you crashed they become extremely concerned and give you an extra $100 off the price of the bike that you purchase.

No, I did not purchase the bike that I crashed to the ground.  Yes, aside from a sore tailbone I’m quiet well.  Yes, the sales associate called two days after the purchase to check up on me.  Yes, I did go to my favorite Chiropractor and am now re-aligned.  Yes, e-bikes are legal on bike trails in the state where I live and a yearly trail pass is only $20.

The best part of my bike purchase is that I did it all by myself.  I saved my pennies, chose the model, and even bought and installed a mirror in the handlebar.  Grandma’s gaining confidence.  Look out world!

Loveya – The Grandma

 

Food Update

13 Jul

“Tastes Like Chicken”

A number of blogs ago I decided to share my new venture of shopping every day and not, I repeat, NOT stocking my fridge.  The idea is to purchase only what you’re going to eat for the day.  So here’s the report on that adventure.

First, I’m spending a lot less on food.  Second, It’s much easier to see the crud in the fridge when it’s not stuffed with food.  Third, I don’t have to worry about getting things into the freezer because the freezer is virtually empty.  And finally, nachos and potato salad isn’t such a bad meal.

Yes, sometimes we eat rather “interesting” combinations in order to use up what’s in the fridge.  This evening I will dine on sautéed swiss chard from the garden and a side of spicy chips with guacamole and mango salsa.  Can you say Wacko Heaven.  It’s really OK to eat what you really enjoy eating.  If you have a love of veggies, so much the better.

There were a few glitches, such as, when we invited people to a picnic, purchased food for the gang, and got rained out.  That was part of the birth of the nachos and potato salad meal.  Bottom line, however, is my hearty endorsement of such shopping and dining.  And just think of what you can do with all the money that you’ll save!

HapCh

 

Not Nachos and Potato Salad Again!

 

Robert’s Ball

20 Feb

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Neale Donald Walsch

I know.  I was swearing off recipes and now they come flooding in.  And your first question might be why I named this recipe as I did.  Because I want it to go viral.  Duh!

This is actually a recipe for energy balls which my friend, Robert, shared with me.  And as you will see from the recipe, Robert is a man who likes choices.

RoB

INGREDIENTS:

3 cups (dry) oatmeal (I used the old-fashioned oats)

1 cup unsweetened shredded unsweetened coconut (optional)

1 cup peanut butter (can substitute almond butter)

1 cup any kind of chopped nuts (optional)

1 cup dried fruit (I like cranberries, blueberries or cherries) (optional)

1 dark chocolate bar (optional)

1/2 cup agave or honey

1 cup melted coconut oil (optional)

1 t vanilla

1 t cinnamon (optional)

1 ripe banana (optional)

DESTRUCTIONS:

You could melt the coconut oil peanut butter, and chocolate in a double boiler.  Or you can just use chocolate pieces, leave out the coconut oil, and skip the melting step.  (Robert!  Take a stand!)

Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl.  Cover and allow to chill in the refrigerator for about an hour.  Robert’s directions say half an hour but that’s not nearly enough time to obsess over whether you left out or put in the correct amount of optional ingredients, which are over half the recipe.

One chilled (the ingredients, not you) roll into balls about 1 inch in diameter.  Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to one week.  If you have trouble forming balls periodically wet your hands.

MY SIDE OF THE STREET

I used a gluten free granola that had all sorts of stuff in it because I had that in the house.  Be careful, if you’re on a gluten free diet, about the oatmeal.  Oatmeal is not always gluten free.  Make sure the brand you purchase specifies.

I used almond butter because I generally don’t eat peanuts.  I didn’t have any chocolate bar or chocolate pieces in the house so I added some cocoa powder.  It worked beautifully.  I didn’t add vanilla, which can now be listed as optional.  Nor did I use cinnamon or a banana.  The earth continued to spin on its axis.

I added some raisins to mine.  Robert thinks that raisins are pathetic.  It’s like discussing religion with that man when you start talking about his balls!  Did I say that out loud?  Whatever.

Loveya – The Grandma