For Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month: Learning to Cope with a Mesothelioma Diagnosis as a Parent/Grandparent

Finding out you’ve been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, or peritoneal mesothelioma can come as a shock at any stage of life, but especially when you’re a parent or grandparent.

You probably want nothing more than the reassurance that you’re going to be there to care for and interact with the precious children in your life for years to come. It’s important to consider the emotional trauma that can result from your mesothelioma diagnosis. Taking steps to deal with your apprehensions and fears is a vital aspect of your treatment.

Your Emotional State Can Impact Your Overall Well-Being

The physical side effects of mesothelioma can actually be exacerbated when you ignore your emotional state. But if you find effective outlets for common feelings associated with a diagnosis, you may enhance your lifestyle. There are a number of different options you could try to process your emotions in a healthy way.


Develop a Support Network

Finding a local support group or getting involved in one-on-one therapy sessions with a counselor who’s experienced at helping cancer patients cope could prove highly beneficial for you. There is strength in numbers.

Talking to a group of other cancer patients who can sympathize with your feelings is often a huge relief.

Hearing ways they were able to effectively cope with their diagnosis can be empowering. Honestly expressing your frustrations and fears in a non-threatening, accepting environment can provide a much-needed release of pent-up emotions.

Consider Encouraging Loved Ones to Seek Support

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, your family and friends will undoubtedly be facing emotional battles of their own. You can let them know that you’re in favor of them joining a support group for loved ones of cancer patients if they feel led to do so.

Your children, grandchildren, spouse, or other family members probably want to stay as positive and strong around you as possible, so they may suppress many of their negative emotions.

But it’s normal for them to feel overwhelmed during this difficult time as well. Finding others who are experiencing or have experienced similar circumstances can be a big morale booster for them.

Learning to Live One Day at a Time

One of the biggest struggles those diagnosed with mesothelioma often face is uncertainty. You may be uncertain about your treatment options, the symptoms of your condition, your prospects for the future, and the toll it’s all going to take on your family. You may not feel like you have the time or energy to be the kind of parent or grandparent you want to be. These feelings are completely normal.

Learning to take life one day at a time, be good to yourself, and not feel guilty for anything beyond your control can help both you and your family to cope.

If you or a loved one are suffering from a chronic illness with a high mortality rate, remember your biggest challenge is always you. Keeping some of the above in mind is by no means an all-encompassing solution to coping, but it could be a good start.

For the month of March and in honor of Colorectal Awareness Month, please say a prayer for those living and/or affected by mesothelioma related cancers. <3

Rainy-Day Activities With the Grandkids

Grand Parenting Advice and Tips for Indoor Activities

The sun may be shining today, but rest assured there will be days when the raindrops come down so hard and so fast that spending the day outdoors isn’t an option.

Thankfully, there are still plenty of ways to keep your grandkids engaged even when you’re stuck inside.

Cooking

Cooking is an intergenerational pastime that allows you to bond with your grandchildren while passing down cherished family recipes. But the kitchen is one of the most dangerous rooms in the home for a child. The risks of burns, food poisoning, and other injuries is high.

However, many of these can be mitigated with a little foresight. The definition of a kid-friendly kitchen won’t be the same for each child and can vary with age. HomeAdvisor offers a host of valuable information including links on how to eliminate eliminate common kitchen dangers and tips on burn prevention.

Science Made Fun

You don’t have to have a degree in biology to instill a love of science in your grandchildren. You likely have plenty of supplies at your fingertips to do a little hands-on science learning—no experience required. A few of the most interesting experiments include constructing a fizzy balloon inflator, building a potato or lemon clock, and making your own electromagnet. EarthScienceJr.com is an excellent resource with many easy-to-follow lesson plans, including how to make your own glass of lava.


Always keep safety equipment, including a fire extinguisher and safety goggles, on hand and open a window if you’ll be working with anything that emits unpleasant or dangerous fumes.

A Little Hobby Goes a Long Way

There’s a good chance that your own children—your grandchildren’s parents—have fallen into a routine that, unfortunately, doesn’t include time for hobbies. But, mounting evidence suggests that exposure to recreational activities has significant benefits. Psychology Today notes that these include stress management and self-concept formation, each of which are valuable skills for children to develop.

Use these rainy days to help your grandchildren identify activities they are not only good at but enjoy as well. Younger kids might delight in coloring, which can transform into a love of art, photography, or graphic design. Older children may find interest in a more hands-on hobby like woodworking, which teaches the concept of mathematics and engineering.

Children involved with hobbies that require the use of hand or power tools should always wear safety gear and only have access to the tools under the supervision of a responsible adult. Keep the garage or workroom locked unless it’s occupied to prevent wandering and curiosity from becoming a trip to the ER.

Take a Look at a Book

If mobility is an issue or you aren’t comfortable working in the kitchen or garage with younger kids, you can always snuggle up together on the couch with a book. Reading is a fundamental skill that is not only learned in the classroom.

Children learn to read by watching how adults follow along with words and listening to rhythmic tones and inflections while being read to. The Washington Post explains that reading out loud is also an opportunity to get silly and enjoy a good laugh together.

Don’t be discouraged if your grandchildren can’t sit through a book or interrupt to ask questions. Part of the journey toward literacy involves taking time to process information and reading deeper into the story by probing for details that aren’t in the text.

No matter the activity, hobbies such as cooking, crafting, and learning about the way the world works are not only fun, they lay a foundation upon which your grandchildren can grow their passions.

Who knows, you might be nurturing the next Mario Batali or Marie Curie. Even more importantly, time spent bonding with your grandchildren creates memories that will last a lifetime.

Grandparenting Tips For Staying In Touch Across The Miles

When thinking about grandparenting tips for this situation, having an open mind and a good attitude is key

As I sat down to blog this morning, I had a horrible thought.

Yep, I sure did! 🙁 I was thinking…

“Wow, I CAN’T (even start to imagine) a long distance relationship with MY grandchildren!!” <3 <3 My two blessings live just (2) houses away from me. I can see their house clearly, and can easily walk to them.

My husband and I share a very close bond with our grands.

Being a grandparent has been an amazing experience! For both of us!

As I continued harboring over long distance grandparenting, I started to think of a few tips on communicating and staying in touch with little ones while miles away.

There are many things that can be done to make communicating easier…AND interesting!


However, let’s face it; there isn’t ANYTHING like giving your grandchild a physical, bear hug, is there? <3

Here Are My (6) Tips

Skype, Facetime, and Hangouts is usually the first thought when staying in touch across the miles. However, grandparents can make it fun and creative. 😉

1. A conversation game may be a good activity choice for ages 5 and up. With this one, there are many ideas to consider. For starters, a question game like… “What’s your favorite book?” Or, it could be colors, foods, cartoons, and so on. Reading stories is also another good option for toddlers. Of course, with younger children; it’s up to the grandma or grandpa to make it fun and exciting.

2. For older grandchildren, help with homework would be an awesome option. This would also, help take some of the load off of the parents. You can do a lot while on Skype, Facetime, and Hangouts.

3. Playing games online is great for learning. Games like, Hangman, Chess, and Scrabble are good for starters. With today’s technology, the options are endless. Monopoly is another choice. For some children, these could be a tad boring. However, as I shared above; it’s the grandparent’s duty to make it fun. 😉

4. Telephone and mail are both imperative when keeping in touch with your grand young ones. Grandparents can schedule phone calls…maybe once or twice per week. Care packages could be fun for mailing. There could be care packages for illness, first day of school, activities for long summer days, holidays, gifts for first communion and confirmation, and finally birthdays.

5. Schedule 3 or 4 visits throughout the year… Or, however many your finances will allow. With long distance relationships, more is always better. With special holidays, graduations, and birthdays, planning a trip is obvious for most grandparents and grandchildren. A planned, (long trip) could also be an option. Of course, this is something that would have to be agreed upon by all family members.

6. Online apps can be a great help with communicating with your grands. The Instagram app is excellent for sharing photos. Adding captions is a lot of fun on Instagram. The Whats App is always a good choice for keeping in touch. It’s a good idea for instant messaging and also, another good photo-sharing app. If you have Wifi, sending instant messages shouldn’t be a problem.

There are also some good music apps to share music interests. Although, grandparents and grandchildren may have different views on music. — LOL — Often times that is the case. However, putting various views on music aside, there are (2) awesome apps for music that come to mind.

Both Spotify and Pandora are excellent. Also, they both have free versions. The free versions are customizable, but with a few ads mixed in. You can listen ad-free for a small fee.

Important Note:I understand that when considering all the above tips for long distance relationships, of course, all parties must agree.

The most important thing of all is to keep all communication open and stay in touch with your grandchildren. <3 <3

The Spooky Season: 5 Great Halloween Decoration Ideas

By Dixie Somers — Halloween is a time for tasty treats, costume parties, and frighteningly fun home decorating! This is a time to pull out all the stops when it comes to creepy creativity.

Whether you’re getting the house prepped for all the neighborhood trick-or-treaters or you’re planning a monster-mash bash, these eerie and exciting decorating tips could be just what you need for haunting Halloween ambiance!

Luminous Milk Jug Ghosts

By simply saving your empty gallon milk jugs you could be on your way to creating a glowing pathway of frightful delight. Make sure to thoroughly rinse out and dry the milk jugs. Then take a black permanent marker and draw some spooky ghost faces on one side of each of your milk jugs. Large, teardrop-shaped eyes and round mouths work great, though you could give a few ghosts a wicked grin just for fun! Make the faces large enough to be seen from the street. Then pop a lit artificial candle inside of each one to make them glow. You can use these boo-tiful luminaries to light up your walkway or porch.

Love My Grands So Much!! <3 <3

Spooktacular Lollipop Spiders

If you’re planning a kids Halloween party, these lollipop and pipe cleaner spiders may be just the right decoration. They can double as a tasty treat! Take a lollipop of any color or size. Then take three black pipe cleaners. Wind the pipe cleaners around the lollipop at the top of the stick right below the candy. Then bend the legs on each side to look like spider legs. You tie these spooky spiders around the top of treat bags or hang them from the ceiling with string.

Awesome Autumn Appliques


If you’re looking for some cute and classy designs to spruce up your home every Halloween, you could consider adding some of these adorable Autumn-inspired appliques fall-themed throws or pillows. You can store these items away and bring them out each fall to get your home looking especially festive before Halloween. There’s a variety of choices available, such as pumpkins, fall leaves, black cats, and ghosts.

Cute or Creepy Window Clings

Depending on your taste, you can purchase window clings that celebrate the fun or the frightening sides of Halloween, or perhaps a little of both.

You can purchase a wide variety of inexpensive Halloween-themed window clings. These would include everything from smiling bats and grinning jack-o-lanterns to dripping, bloody handprints. If you’d rather make your own bloody handprint window decorations, you can use red paint and school glue.

Mummy Door Décor

Take some white streamers and wrap them carefully around your door from top to bottom. Then draw a couple of spooky eyes onto white paper plates. Fasten the plates onto the door so that it looks like they’re peeking out from between the layers of white streamers. If you want a more durable mummy door, you could use white tulle fabric instead of streamers. You can even add a patch of black construction paper in the shape of a mouth if you want to get more elaborate with your mummy door decoration.

Hopefully, these ideas give you a head start on making your house look hauntingly-horrific for Halloween!

Wishing Everyone an Awesome Halloween!

My Experience With Bullying in the 60’s and 70’s

I thought so many things on July 27th, as I sat down to write this blog post…

Yes! I took a (brief) detour while writing it! Well…I had a lot of thoughts to process. 😉 Lol

First of all, what I have to say in this post is all genuine; as I have no reason at all to lie about any of it. All true to life. Believe me….I sure wish it wasn’t! (I’ll also, add, I don’t want any pity…Nuff said)!

The MOST important perspective of my complex, inner, ramblings this morning was that my son thrived as an adult (without) any mental damage from bullying. Thank The Good Lord! =) That was my greatest fear! He was bullied briefly on the school bus; however, my son didn’t have room for bullying in his young school days/throughout his life; and still doesn’t! =)

The main point for this post is to provide some experienced facts about myself just so you can know and understand me a little better (as a person just trying, STILL… to find my way in this UGLY world).

But first, let me take a trip down (memory lane)…from VERY EARLY in life. 🙁

Unfortunately, I DON’T remember my early days in school (as happy). There was a particular incident that took place that snowballed ……into what ???! 😮

As I analyze my thoughts to try and remember the occurrence that started it all; my mind goes back to what (should have been) a favorable learning experience and a happy occasion.

I was excited about dance class. I’m not quite sure what grade we were in. 1st or 2nd grade?? I also am not sure exactly (what kind of dance class) it was. Although, I do remember wearing leotards; black ones. At least, that’s what they were called back then. LOL

I bet you can’t guess what took place?? Hmm, well; maybe you can, I don’t know.

This (little girl) left a big puddle in the gym. UGH!! 😮

Please, let me explain…

I remember… (not too far) into the class, I realized I had to go to the restroom.

Ahh, well, alrighty…now you know. The cats out of the bag; or should I say BLADDER! 😮

lol

I tried very hard to let that teacher know of my predicament many, many times, with a wave and a little dance of my own. But did she listen? This woman wasn’t giving me any relief ANYTIME SOON!

NADA! NO! SHE DID NOT LET ME GO!

Hello!! Was she plotting my (unlucky) future?? lmao!

The next thing I remember was the warm, wet feeling trickling down my legs that made me look down at the ever increasing puddle on the floor. It was only then that I actually realized what I’d done.

I know, gross, but keeping it real!

Well, that dance teacher was very much in the wrong! Just getting that out there! 😮

After that ordeal was over, I recall the long walk to the restroom to change clothes. The teacher had another student…(I think) she was much older? Not sure. I’m 56; my memory seems to be fading! Lol —- walk me there. How’s that for a run-on sentence?

I’ll just briefly go over a couple more occasions that I’d like to forever forget.

1) Now, I don’t recall how the conversation started or even what it was truly about. I just remembered the long walk home.

The girl that seemed to be the head of the bullies said to me, “You’re nothing but a pile of s***!”

The following one has a little more guts to it.. lol

2) In math class, don’t remember the grade. However, that’s not what’s important. I remember bits and pieces of this…

During what (should have been a well-constructed classroom), most of my class mates were throwing spit balls, and other things (that I can’t remember) toward me. Maybe some laughing in the midst.

Now was it (really) the entire classroom? More than likely not. Although, it sure felt as much.

Let’s put it this way…it was definitely enough to cause a ruckus while strolling the halls of the school, for sure.

More Importantly…

The (substitute) teacher didn’t have anything to say; nor did she DO anything. She just gave me a smirky smile as I looked at her with, (please help) tattooed on my forehead. lol — I do remember the class was Mr. Greenwald’s. He was the funniest teacher I’ve ever known. He made the whole school laugh; and that was his mission…other than teaching math class, that is. lol – That in itself was an awesome memory! I did a quick search and found a photo of him. However, don’t feel at liberty to share due to copyright. 😉

3) Not to mention (and in general), being made fun of for not making all the hits, catches, reps; or whatever while in gym class and on the playground That’s the true reason why I don’t like to participate in sports…(other than power walking and aerobics) 😉 lol

The latter is so common; I know. However, it didn’t make it any easier! Furthermore, it all stacked up to how I’ve felt about (myself) for most of my life.

I dreadfully recall these memories of bullying as; humbling, ugly, disgraceful, abusive, slanderous, degrading, disrespectful, painful, hurtful, and quite life-changing.

I truly could go on and on; however, I won’t bore you with more. I think you get the picture! LOL

You know…way, way back in my mind (for many, many years), I would always question myself how I could let the world know how bullying truly affected me. Go into detail, like in this post. Did I want (or NEED) to go as far as actually naming names? Naah!! That minor detail is rather pointless.

I wrote this blog post as if I were THE ONLY person on the face of the earth that was mindlessly bullied. Well, let me fill you in on something….that’s exactly what it felt like. The pain was real, and it scarred me for life.

In hindsight, I’m somewhat grateful for having gone through it; (only due) to the fact that it helped mold me (somehow) into the person that I am. I also, realize this post may be pointless to a lot of people. I honestly needed to write it; if not for anything else but, for some sort of therapy. Aka; focus on internal daemons for clarity and peace.

Thank God for the wisdom from my years of living…that I truly understand the (real) reason behind children, (or adults), that feel the need to bully others.

I’ll just leave it at that…

Thank you for reading! =) <3

Spring Cleaning Bug Bit Hard With Fabuloso And Motivation

It’s never too early to start in with spring cleaning. =)

I’ve been in an (unusual for me) cleaning mode with a passion! I’ve gotten a good start with it too. Most times, I’ll be (all talk) with saying “I’m going to clean and organize my home this spring, or this year.”

Well, it’s NOT all talk this time around. I’m actually checking quite a few things off the (big to-do list). My plan is to finish all projects by the end of (this month), February. 🙂

I may not get each and every thing done by then, however, I’m making it my mission to do so! Just know; it will eventually ALL get done!

The cleaning bug bit me when I found a (new for me) cleaner and air freshener. Guess it gave me most motivation for cleaning.

Have you heard of Fabuloso?


I fell in love with it! The aroma of this cleaner is amazing. It’s also an excellent cleaner for a colossal of things. My list for you below:

Counters
Wood Floors
Windows and Mirrors
Cars/Trucks
Bathtubs and Toilets
Laundry
Appliances
Carpeting

It’s now a main staple in my home. I have a spray bottle under both my kitchen and bathroom. LOVE this stuff! <3 I use the Lavender scent. My home smells so much nicer and fresher due to Fabuloso. Plus, it gets it good and clean.

Below referrence and credited:

https://www.reference.com/home-garden/ingredients-fabuloso-contain-b2b456cc87bbfca4

Basically, Fabuloso ingredients contain water, sodium dodecyl benzene sulfonate, and fragrance. The variety of scents also include added baking soda, pine oil extract and bleach alternative.

Anyway, I’m in rare form with the cleaning and organizing, trust me when I say (rare form)! lol

I’m currently cleaning and organizing my office, as well as cleaning out cabinets and drawers throughout the rest of my home. I’m feeling amazing as I get things done!

I created a video about it =)

Holiday Tips: How To Find The Best Presents For The Ones You Love

cheyanneandme I can’t wait to see my grandkids on Christmas day…So excited! They are both at the right age for some fun on the holidays!!

 

A recent survey showed that the majority of Americans love shopping for others. The only hiccup that some experience while shopping is trying to find the right gift. This guide will help you choose the right present so that you do not experience awkward moments when you present your gift.

What’s the Deal With Gift-Giving?

Most experts believe that the reason some people love to give is because it gives them a psychological reward. People seem to have an emotional high when they get the opportunity to give, which could be one of the major reasons why Americans love to give gifts. However, you also want to make sure that you find the best possible gifts for the ones you love. So here are just a few ideas to help you find the best possible gift.

Personalize the Gift


You might be thinking of buying a gift that is sold by the thousands. This means that the gift is probably not too unique. One way to make sure that your gift is special is to personalize it. You can engrave a piece of jewelry or get your loved one a customized shirt from a place like Absolute Screen Printing or a similar place. That way you can make your gifts individualized and personal for everyone.

Make a List

windowsleigh

Follow old Saint Nick’s tip, and try to make a list. The list should include everything that the person you are buying the gift for is interested in. Connect a gift to the list of likes. Remember that you do not have to get every gift; just choose one that you feel works best.

Stalk a Little

Social media has given everyone a little more access, and you can use this access to your advantage. The idea is to stalk his or her social media pages for clues about what he or she may want. Some people have used the person’s laptop or smart device to see if there is a wish list on certain shopping applications.

Give Cash

Of course, there are times when buying a gift becomes impossible. At this point, the best thing that you can do is simply give cash. Now, this does not mean that you have to give someone cold cash. Perhaps, you can give a gift card. The best gift cards are from major credit card companies because your loved one can go anywhere. Be sure to make it fun for your loved one, too. Maybe you can give your loved one a treasure map to make finding the money fun.

Finding the best gift is never easy, but it is always worth it. There is definitely nothing better than seeing the face of the people you love light up with a thoughtful gift. That definitely makes all of the effort well worth it.

You can find practical, and reasonable gift ideas at my Avon eStore

5 Fun Summer Activities You Can Do Even In Winter

summerinwinter Although summer is swiftly coming to a close and chillier days are upon us, you don’t have to put away all your warm weather gear just yet. Luckily, there are a variety of fun ways to incorporate sunnier activities into your winter regimen.

Here are some favorites:

Go Glamping

While summer may be the time for outdoor campfires, s’mores, and falling asleep to the sound of crickets, winter is prime ‘glamping’ time: camping in luxurious style. Set up a tent in the living room and pile it high with comfy pillows, string up twinkling lights in lieu of fireflies, and play some fun nighttime nature sounds on the stereo.


Have an Indoor Luau

Hawaii may be miles from your home and current climate, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring the festivities indoors. Host a family (or neighborhood!) luau with Hawaiian music, snacks, and decorations. “Decorate with palm fronds and use grass skirting around the edges of tables,” writes Linda Donahue for Livestrong.com, “to go all out, add fake palm trees. For atmosphere, encourage your guests to come in Hawaiian shirts, sarongs and beach wear.”

FORTPIC

Hit The Swimming Pool

Indoor community pools generally stay open all year-round, so what better time to enjoy a beach day than on a snow day? Lay out brightly colored towels and blankets and bring suitable poolside snacks and toys to enjoy in between splashing around. You can even add some gorgeously fun flair with a mermaid Shimmer tail, and turn the pool into an instant tropical lagoon. This is definitely a great way to relive some of the joys of summer.

Head To The Kitchen

Barbecue, tacos, and burgers may seem like outdoor summer fare, but you can just easily fire up the proverbial grill indoors. Once a week plan a fun summer dinner with all your picnic favorites, with StyleAtHome adding: “Mix and match dishes in fun vibrant colors or with funky patterns like stripes and botanic prints.”

Cut A Rug

Head to the basement or family room, push the furniture aside, crank up the surf rock and hold a vintage-inspired indoor dance party, with all the #1 beach hits and appropriate styles to accompany. Serve up soda fountain classics like root beer floats and ice cream sundaes, with Madmen-style summer cocktails for the adults.

Winter is all about keeping the spirit of summer alive, and with a little creativity you can enjoy all your favorite activities long after summer vacation’s come to an end.

Planning a Daytrip With Your Grandkids: How to Choose a Museum

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Some Good Grandparenting Tips

When you’ve got the grandkids for the weekend, you want to spend quality time with them, and taking them to a museum is a great way to do that. But not all museums were designed with kids in mind – pick the wrong one, and you could have some grouchy grandchildren.
Following is some advice about how to choose a museum your grandchildren will enjoy visiting.

Understand their interests

Children explore their world with their hands, so find a museum that offers hands-on activities. And remember that children of different ages will be interested in different things. For example, the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago has a hands-on fabrication lab – the “Wanger Family Fab Lab” that offers different workshops to appeal to different age groups. Whereas teens enjoy the 60-minute 3D printing workshop, 8-year-olds are probably better suited to the 20-minute sticker-design course.

Static History vs. Living History

Museums can help children learn about history, but only if information is presented in a way that appeals to kids. Which would your grandchildren find more interesting: A butter churn, with a sign that describes how butter used to be made, or an actor dressed in colonial attire, using the butter churn and explaining how it works? Children will almost always be more interested in a living history museum than a history museum that features stationary objects behind glass windows. And at sites like the Chickasaw Cultural Center in Oklahoma, or the Pioneer Arizona Living History Museum, children can wander through re-creations of authentic old villages.

Best Bet: Children’s Museums

You can find museums across the United States that were designed specifically for children. Characterized by colorful, wide open spaces and plenty of hands-on experiences, children’s museums can keep kids entertained for hours. Some of these museums have so much to offer, they can’t be adequately explored in a single day, but they make great destinations for weekend excursions.

Regularly ranking among the top museums in the U.S. – and by far the largest – the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis has a dinosaur exhibit called “The Dinosphere,” that allows kids to participate in fossil digs and see full-scale replicas of dinosaurs. You’d definitely need two days to cover the Dinosphere and the rest of the museum.

Plan Together

You may be perfectly content to stroll the halls of a museum for hours on end, but kids have shorter attention spans – and shorter legs – so you’ll need to plan your trip to accommodate them.

Once you’ve found a museum to take your grandchildren to, ask them to help you plan the trip. You can look at the museum’s website together and determine what exhibits they’d like to see, or what activities they’d like to do.

When you plan in advance, you’re less likely to get tangled up in fussy debates at the museum about how to spend your time. As you plan, look for nearby eateries where you can take the grandkids for lunch. (Many museums have cafes, but they tend to be a little pricy).

Finally, remember that everyone – yourself included – should wear comfortable walking shoes, because nothing ruins a day at the museum quite like aching or blistered feet!

Danielle has visited many museums throughout the U.S. that have helped her learn more about the country and its past – from the unconquered and unconquerable people of the Chickasaw Nation, to the evolution of NASA’s space program.

The Legacy of Grandmothers

babyandgrandmother

I was very fortunate to know my great-grandmother up until I was twelve years old. The memories I have of her are scattered but everything I remember is consistent in that she was a strong and faithful woman. From her belief in our Lord, her work ethics, and the way she cared for those around her my memories attest to her character. As I became an adult I would continue to see the faithfulness and love of my Great-Grandma Susie from the stories that those that loved her would tell me.

I remember as a child going to her home once or twice a week with momma. We would spend a few hours there and while we were there it was as if we had taken a trip into the past. This was in fact in the sixties so when I talk about the past I mean the long past. She was born in eighteen hundred and eighty two. Her house smelled of cinnamon apples which she often cooked up for us when we came over. Her kitchen table was one of those aluminum legged, hard white top tables from perhaps the forties and the chairs were the shiny, plastic covered padded type that made little bare legs stick when you sat too long.


Her house was small and well kept. She had a bird in a cage on her small back porch which my oldest brother would torment. She was tall and always wore homemade aprons with huge pockets and always had a hankie peeking out. My height only came up to her waist and I recall so much more about her aprons and her hands than the etchings of her face. She was stern but you knew how much she loved you. She had a pump sewing machine which was used a great deal because she made most of what she wore, along with things for others including quilts. I also recall a large picture of Jesus on her wall and another of an angel watching over some children.

When we would visit I would carry my dolls with me. When I came into the house with a doll at some point during our visit she would take me to the sewing machine and pull out a swatch of some kind of pretty material. She would then sit down and make me a new dress for my dolly. I was always fascinated when she did this, I was young and it was amazing to watch. When I got much older it was even more amazing to me since I am anything but a seamstress. How someone could do this with just a glance and no pattern is outstanding. The dress always fit dolly perfectly.

She let megive her sewing machine a try but when my brothers began to play with the pump mechanism our sewing time was over. She had jars full of buttons and I loved looking at them and sometimes I would string them up for a necklace. I could play with the buttons and my dollies for many hours, but not the boys.

When my brothers would start to get bored and began to aggravate her bird she never said a word. She lovingly went to the kitchen and started to peel an apple or get out the bread and butter to make a piece of buttered bread with sugar. Sometimes it was a piece of lettuce with sugar or a raw potato with salt. She would make something for each of us and say, “Now, go out on the back porch and eat this.” We would willingly go and begin to play in the back yard.

Out in the yard was what I believe now to be a single car garage separate from the small house. But grandma had turned it into a small apartment to earn extra money. She was very resourceful and frugal; she had to be. She was alone when I knew her and taking care of herself. She was in her seventies when I met her. She had my grandmother later in life because she tried having children for a long time and was not able. They finally decided to adopt a boy and within a few months found out she was pregnant with my grandmother.

The first occupant of the little apartment behind the house I believe was a cousin of my grandma. She was a very unpleasant woman with a wart on her nose and a pointy chin and we truthfully thought she was a witch. Even though mom assured us she was not a witch her behavior told us different and we knew mom had been deceived by this woman! The second occupant was also a relative I believe but a much sweeter woman. She would invite me in and tell me stories and talk to me about my dolls. I loved spending time with my great-grandma and with this lady.

From the stories I have heard from my grandmother (my great-grandma Susie’s daughter) and my mom her life went something like this. Her mother died when she was fourteen and she had a younger sister by the name of ArizonaTerritory. From the stories passed down it seems they were passing through ArizonaTerritory on a covered wagon when she was born, thus the name. We called her Aunt Zoni and she told the most amazing stories. Anyway, Grandma Susie, at fourteen years old, was sent to live with another family and help them with work around the house because her dad could not take care of both of them after the death of her mother. Essentially she was earning her food and board by working for these people.

At one point she started working for Burlington which at the time made overalls and jeans. They had huge sewing machines and needles strong enough to go through thick denim. I can only imagine how strong you had to be in your upper arms to sew jeans eight plus hours a day. The stories go that she ran one of those needles through her finger at some point. *Shudder* As you can see she was accustomed to hard work. At some point she married and got some help but in her later years was again alone and depending on the Lord and His gift of resourcefulness.

My grandma and her three children went to live in great-grandma’s small home for many years when they found themselves homeless because my granddad’s alcoholism had taken over his life. Mom said that great-grandma made it all work in her small home and they always felt safe and were well fed. My mom tells me how great-grandma would heat up bricks, wrap them, and put them at their feet for warmth in the winter because they depended on one wood stove for heating.

In the summer there was one large fan in the window for cooling the house. Mom and I were just talking about this yesterday because it was so hot. I was wondering how they used to do it. Of course she lived in Kansas and not Texas but it was still hot in the summers. I asked Mom how they slept in that heat. She said they would go to bed and lay there until about eleven or eleven thirty before they could sleep; by then it had gotten a little cooler. I can not even imagine.

My own grandma was born in nineteen hundred and fifteen and she was a hard working woman just like great-grandma. Sometime during WWII grandma began working in a factory. It was the Sunshine Biscuit Factory and she was on the cracker assembly lines. They did not have a car so the bus was taken everywhere. Even my own mother, before they went to live with great-grandma, was boarding the bus with bags of laundry to get the clothes washed while grandma was off at the factory.

There are three generations of very strong women in my life that have passed down their strengths and their love for God to me. I am so thankful for these women in my life and the stories from the past that make us who we are. I am doing my best to pass these beliefs, strengths, and stories on to my children. My own daughter was blessed to have known her great-grandma Naomi until she was twelve, my son was only five but he remembers so many things about her. And now they are blessed to have their grandma Darlene, my mother, living with us. My daughter is twenty-eight and my son is twenty-one and she is a huge part of their lives at seventy-seven years old. What a blessing to have this legacy of love passed down through all these years!

About The Author

Rachel is an ex-babysitting pro as well as a professional writer and blogger. She is a graduate from Iowa State University and currently writes for www.babysitting.net. She welcomes questions/comments which can be sent to rachelthomas.author @ gmail.com.