Monday, April 30, 2012

It's the little things ...

It was a typical Monday - hard to get out of bed - hard to get excited about going to work - and no milk in the refrig  :-(  
But, it turned out to be a productive day at the office and because it was busy - the day went fast and before I knew it - I was headed home to see if anything had miraculously grown up in my garden.

To my suprise - I have blooms on my cucumber plants! Now I know this isn't earth shattering - but it's big excitement for me. It means that all my hard-earned money and time put into making this veggie garden hasn't been a waste - I have hope! There are going to be veggies growing in this bed someday!

And in the meantime - I have fresh basil and oregano growing! Click on over to "My Personal Garden" page (link at the top) and you can see the progress!

Here's a peek ..... 

                                                                    .... and yes, I did make those teepee trellis' !!

Thanks to my friend, Bill B., I now know how to tie a Boy Scout knot called a "clover knot" and how to lash sticks together

                - I think that's worthy of a scouting badge!
                  Do they give them out to Grandma's?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Garden Glass Totems

I'm finally back home and am enjoying getting to work in my yard again. It gives me great pleasure to sit out on the back porch and watch the birds, see what's growing and "be still" for a bit and try to listen to what God is trying to tell me for the day.

This week I decided that I needed to bring some "homey-ness" into my backyard. Some people call it "yard art" and the internet is full of sites that show you how creative you can be by copying what others have done to dress up their gardens.
One such project is called "Glass Totems". They are simple and fun to make. Essentially, these are arrangements of colored or clear glass items (bowls, candle holders, vases, plates, ash trays, candy dishes, etc.) that are stacked and glued together to make a sun-catcher ornament to tuck among the plants in a flower bed.
To make one you need to go on a "treasure hunt" for items you might have around the house that you can use, check out garage sales for inexpensive odd glassware, or browse a flea market or junk store for colorful, clear, pottery, or milkglass pieces that would look good stacked together. The ones that work best are heavier pieces that have a very flat base so that pieces will stack together nicely. I found that the glass ones are prettier (and have more sparkle) if you use faceted glass (inexpensive cut glass) or pieces with some pattern to it.
You'll also need a tube of GE Silicone II (clear) for Windows and Doors. You can buy this at the local hardware store or Walmart but be sure and check the expiration date on the tube to make sure you are getting a fresh tube.
And lastly, you'll need a piece of rebar, copper tube, PVC pipe or stake to mount your totem on to show it off in your garden bed.
Now for the fun part - assemble your glass pieces, and start stacking them in an arrangement that looks good to you. Remember, some pieces will be used upside down on your totem - others used right side up.
You will need to wash each piece and dry it completety before you begin to glue the pieces together. (this is not a picture of my living room, by the way!)

After you get your "totem" pieces arranged as you like them, use a thin line of glue to put 2 pieces together at a time. Keeping the glue from coming out too thick of a bead depends on how you cut the end off of the tube. Cut it near the tip and at an angle and it won't come out in a blob - as long as you keep the tube moving.

Glue in sections, let dry completely (24 hrs), then put all the pieces together to make whole "totem" unit. (Now for the hard part) ....When the totem is complete, let it dry for a full week before putting it outside in the garden bed. This will help it last through the heat, cold, rain or snow (!) and assure that the pieces will not come unglued over time.

Mounting instructions using copper tubing, pvc pipe or stakes is explained in greater detail (along with some of the pictures in this post) at a wonderful site on the internet at
Here are some of my favorite examples that I found on sites all over the internet to show you how creative you can be with this project ... but let me warn you ... it can be addictive!!
This one was made using a clear bud vase - turned upside down, then a silverplated bowl - turned upside down on top of that, then add a candy dish (inverted) then top it off with a small bowl.

Getting the idea ??
Check out some more ....

This is NOT a picture of my yard ... yet :-)

When I get my totems finished, I'll post some of my very own pictures and show you my flower beds "adorned.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

“Be Anxious for Nothing” …

Easy to say – Not so easy to do! As a new mother (and grandmother) there are so many new things you don’t know how to handle:

The baby’s fussy – is she sick?
She’s coughing – should I call the doctor?
Am I feeding her often enough? Am I feeding her too much?
Is it gas pains or am I holding her too much and now she’s spoiled?
Can you spoil a 2-week old baby?

Every book you read or person you talk to has different advice or thoughts.
Why don’t babies come with a manual!

But the truth is – they don’t.  And being a new mom is just that – a NEW mom. Lots to learn – mistakes to make – and the grace in it all is that babies are resilient and forgiving and like 99.9% of moms before you, you’ll learn as you go and get better and better at it!

And grandma’s don’t have all the answers either – but we’re here to lend a listening
ear and tell you: “Be anxious for nothing but in all things … PRAY”…and God will
give the strength to get through each dilemma.

And a grandma’s advice:  “Relax – enjoy the new adventure - babies grow up too fast!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Maybe I'm too old for midnight feedings :-)

It had to come to an end - I had to eventually come home and get back into my regular routine. It was hard leaving the new parents and little Miss Hallie! I remember the day my parents left, after our son, Mark was born. As new parents, we stood ourside waving goodbye and looking panic struck - "what did we know about raising a baby"! But Natalie and Chase will be great - they've had experience with kids, yet that same look of "reluctance" was on their faces as I drove away.

It was nice to get home - check the mail, read old papers and news I'd missed - tend to my
plants in the garden  - and nap, uninterrupted all afternoon.
And I get to sleep all night long in my own bed with no getting up for midnight feedings. The bags under my eyes show my exhaustion .... but oh how I miss her already!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Mother's Milk & Eye Infections – Who Knew??

On day 8 of Hallie's entrance into the world, she woke up with what we decided looked like an eye infection - crusty eyes, closed shut with dried mucous in the corners. Now THAT'S scary to a new mom! Did we do something wrong? Did we not wash our hands enough before handling her? Should we call the Doctor?
Thank God for the internet and "Google search engines"!

Over and over we read that mother's milk, dabbed into the corner of the newborn's eye,
(although some said it wasn't proven), contains antibodies that are as effective as any eye drops! What could it hurt? So Natalie tried it - dabbing milk each time she nursed and then following that up with clean water (thanks Brita!) on a cotton ball to clean the eye again.

Now on day 11, Hallie's eyes are "crust-free" and Natalie has learned a valuable lesson -
Web MD is her friend!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Choosing a "Grandma" name

It shouldn't be this hard - really! But it's not like "mommy". When you were a parent, you knew that was the name your child would call you. This name - the name you want your grandchild to call you, is a BIG deal. Not only will they call you by this name - but everyone will start calling you by this name. It's like changing your name after you've gotten used to the one your parents gave you "ages" ago (I won't say how long ago that was)  :-)
Some people said "just wait and let the child name you". The only problem with that idea is that it will take a year or so before this precious little one can talk! So in the meantime, all my friends say "how exciting! so you're going to be a "grandma" or a ?? - so what is she going to call you?" 

So I had to pick a name - at least for now. Besides, when I write a note to her telling her how precious she is and how we've prayed for her, how would I sign my name ?

I spent hours on the internet looking up grandmother names. There are dozens of web pages devoted to this! Traditional names - Modern names - Ethnic names ... all I knew is that I didn't want to be called "Granny" (too old sounding) or "Mammaw" (too many in our family to be confusing). I even practiced several out loud to see how they sounded if someone stood at the back door and called out ... "MIA (or "Mimi"... or Gammie"...) can I have some ice cream?"
I wanted something that still sounded sweet when this little one grows up and becomes a teenager and tells her friends "I'm going to my __'s (fill in the blank) for Thanksgiving" and it didn't sound embarrasing or too cutsey.

So after hours of stressing, rehearsing, and speaking it out loud, I've picked my grandmother name - "Mia"..... at least for now!

How did you pick your Grandmother name? Does the child still call you by the name you picked?

I'm a New Grandma!- She'll call me "Mia"

I've had 9 months to get ready for this day but I still was unprepared for the absolute JOY that comes with the birth of your children's children!  Little Miss Hallie Marie made her entrance into my heart on Tuesday morning, April 10th, 2012.

She is so tiny and precious and although I was so afraid I would not remember how to help care for her, it all came back like I'd hoped it would. A special thanks goes out to those who have prayed for me - it's kinda scary being responsible for one so tiny and helpless. Would I remember how to hold a baby? Would I be a help or a hinderance to her new parents? Would I be able to help with midnight feedings and changing diapers?
Would I be able to hear her cry in the night (I can't even hear the tv unless it's turned up loud :-)
But Natalie and Chase have graciously let me stay for the week to help - and I'm sure to have withdrawals when I leave to go back home this weekend.
I now know why my friends, who were grandma's before me, drop everything when their children say "would you like to come for a visit to help"!