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Somebody’s Turning 10

Special Birthday Right Around the Corner

August 8, 2008—the date Greg and I became grandparents.

Nearly ten years ago, we were given the privilege to be with our daughter and son-in-law as our first grandchild was born.

I remember the thrill of finding out we were going to become grandparents the prior Christmas when we opened gifts of infant clothing that had a checklist of favorite things “Grandma, Hugs, Kisses.” The instant realization that a new life had begun, followed by tears of joy. Those same joy-filled tears flowed again eight months later when Konnor arrived.

And the joy just continues.

And as sweet as the anticipation was of Konnor’s impending birth, nothing compares to the increased sweetness of life once he arrived. Each grandchild brings more joy, more fun, more awe, more noise, more good times than you think anyone should be allowed to enjoy. And we enjoy and love it all!

Who is Konnor Finn?

Until a child is born, you have no idea what they will look like or what kind of personality they will have. Part of our joy is simply to watch as that child grows and develops over time.

We’ve loved watching Konnor experience life. He is curious, intelligent, funny, loving. He is determined and will spend hours figuring something out. He’s inventive as well, able to figure out a work-around if something isn’t going as planned. Konnor is also musical. And it brought great happiness to this Mimi when she first realized he could definitely carry a tune and stay on pitch.

Konnor began talking early. As a Mimi who babysat Konnor every week, one of the highlights of time spent in the car was having all sorts of conversations about absolutely everything as we drove around. Those conversations with him back then and now continue to be treasured.

Double Digits

So, what’s the significance of recognizing the 10th birthday as something special? To me, it’s just a realization that the child is growing up. He or she is starting to leave behind his young childhood and enter into a new phase of growth. Physical growth for sure. But growth in other important areas as well.

A ten-year-old begins to see themselves as a separate entity. An individual. Still very much dependent on parents and other important people in his or her life, but able to form opinions and learn to make wise choices. Able to recognize their value. Able to begin forward-thinking and planning.

It doesn’t happen overnight, but it’s in the works.

But besides the child starting to figure out these things, the adults in that child’s life begin seeing it as well.

So, turning 10 to me is very important; indeed, something to be celebrated.

The Big Celebration

With Konnor, Greg and I began the tradition of taking each 10-year old grandchild on a mini-vaca to someplace we know they will love. For Konnor that was easy: the beach and Kennedy Space Center. And neither disappointed!

We had great fun at Cocoa Beach where the water was 85 degrees—the same as the air! There was an afternoon swim and beach play, but even better was the evening swim as twilight approached. Gorgeous hues of pink and orange filled the sky as Konnor enjoyed the waves. It was so peaceful and quiet. And my heart was at rest watching my “first” as he frolicked.

Day 2 found us at the Kennedy Space Center. What a wonderful place to visit. There’s something for everyone. And so much of it is hands-on and interactive. Not only will you learn a thing or two, but you’ll have great fun, too.

Happy Birthday My Sweet Grandson

To Konnor: your Mimi and PopPop love you to heaven and back! We love you more than you will ever know. We love you fully and completely. You bring such happiness to our lives and fill us with joy unspeakable. Our hearts burst with love for you. And we delight in who you are right now and who you are becoming.

So glad we got to celebrate this very important, very special “turning double digits” day with you. Happy, happy 10th birthday, Konnor!

Mimi

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A delicious bite for you.

Credit: Gimme Some Oven

Oh my, oh my

Just a quick post to share some deliciousness with you, courtesy of Gimme Some Oven.

Went to visit friends for dinner and game night. My part was to bring a little something sweet that didn’t destroy your day’s calorie count.

A quick internet search brought me this goodie: chocolate and bananas. Super easy, super-fast, super delicious. (https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/salted-chocolate-frozen-banana-bites)

Salted Chocolate Frozen Banana Bites

You’ll need: 3 ripe bananas, 1 cup chocolate chips, 2 Tbsp. coconut oil, coarse sea salt, and toothpicks.

Step 1: Cut the bananas cut into 1” or 1-1/2” pieces. Place them on a foil or parchment lined baking sheet. Insert toothpicks in each one and freeze for at least 2 hours.

Step 2: While bananas are freezing, prepare homemade Magic Shell by microwaving (in a large bowl) the chocolate chips and coconut oil for 30 seconds. Stir, then continue in 15 second segments until melted. Set aside and let it come to room temp. (By the way, this mixture can be stored at room temperature for up to 30 days.)

Step 3: Dip banana bites into the chocolate covering all the way or part way (your choice). Sprinkle with sea salt before the shell hardens. Eat immediately or return to freezer. Remove from freezer 5-10 minutes before serving.

That’s it for this week.

Just the recipe to share this week. It was indeed an exciting week and I’ll share a little about it next Monday.

Please plan on making these soon. They look so nice and the taste is just wonderful. As an added bonus, it’s easy to keep a bunch in the freezer to have on hand anytime a little “sweet” is called for. And, these would be a great activity for when the grands are visiting.

Mimi

 

 

Silly Sayings, Idiotic Idioms, Random Thoughts

Happy Monday. Nothing too deep today. Read, enjoy, and feel free to share your own “absurdities.”

While lying awake the other night, my mind, in overdrive, started a slide show of random thoughts. Random, silly, and even absurd.  No. 1 and 2 are just observations but they led to the next three idioms. We have so many in our language and use them all the time. But some seem silly and many have questionable origins. In no particular order, here they are:

I live in an active adult community. The ages here begin at 55 and run into the 90s. Greg and I are retired and certainly aren’t as active as we were when raising a family and in the prime of our work careers. It seems absurd that an active adult community is for the older population. Shouldn’t an active adult community mean a community for adults who really are active: rearing children, working, schlepping kids to activities, enjoying vacations, working out in a gym, etc.? Just saying…

 

Ice cream socials. In reality they are where people gather together and eat ice cream. But the picture in my head a few nights ago (quite absurd I tell you) is of ice cream being social. Popsicles hanging with Ice Cream Cones. Sundaes being social with Banana Splits. I know, silly thought, but it was the middle of the night after all.

 

The elephant in the room. It refers to an extremely obvious problem no one wants to discuss…like if an elephant was in the room and you didn’t talk about it. But why an elephant? Why not another large animal or the Empire State Building, or the Atlantic Ocean. Who figured out it was best to mention an elephant?

 

Break a leg. Really? We use it to wish people well in a performance. But I looked it up and found the origin is actually listed as “obscure.” However, if you’re reading these and decide to come up with some of your own silly or absurd idioms then have fun and “Break a leg.”

 

Hold your horses. So, this one does indeed have an origin that refers to 19th century carriage drivers who were not controlling the speed of the horses. A horse was stopped by pulling its reins; this was called as “holding the horses.” And today we use it to mean “be patient.” But look at this picture. This is exactly what I picture in my mind whenever I hear the phrase.

Would love to hear the idioms you think silly. Just comment below and let me know.

Mimi

Now that was some party!

Ever heard of a game truck? It’s a mobile gaming center that comes to you. Check out those pictures.

For Callan’s 7th birthday, a game truck came for the afternoon offering all sorts of fun for a bunch of his friends as they duked it out for a few hours playing the latest and greatest video games.

Back in the day…

Birthday parties are so different today, aren’t they? Back in the day, when I was a wee one, birthday parties were spent in a blow-up pool in someone’s backyard, or by playing games such as dropping clothespins into a bottle or pin the tail on the donkey. And we thought it was a blast.

Things began changing.

When my kids were young, things began to change. Themed parties and destination parties began. We would go to Burger King or perhaps the park. Kate had an aerobics party one year and when she was 10 she and her friends went to the salon to have their nails done. For me, these were a bit easier because I never quite felt creative enough to host a really fun party at home.

Today’s parties offer even more choices.

Now the party can come to you. Bounce houses, fun water slides, game trucks…you name it, and I bet it’s available. This is such a help for today’s busy parents. I have a feeling the kids at Callan’s party today will be talking about this for a long time. (I almost wish I was there…but then, I don’t do very well with today’s gaming. However, a great game of Pong or Pac Man would be enticing indeed!)

What are some of the fun birthday parties you remember as a kid or that you threw for your own children?

Mimi

Oh, the absurdity of it all.

April 16, 2018

So, today’s post isn’t going to contain deep thoughts or exciting revelations. No, today’s post is going to be a bit of a rant. On the absurdity of…required warning labels. Meant only for our good, I’m sure.

ab·surd·i·ty

əbˈsərdədē, əbˈzərdədē/

the quality or state of being ridiculous or wildly unreasonable

The Rant

We seem to live in a world where we are never held accountable for our decisions. There’s always someone else to blame. And often, a monetary settlement can be yours if you can hire someone to successfully argue your point in a court of law…the point that you’re not to be held responsible because after all “it’s not your fault.”

I assume that’s why the government has stepped in and required warning labels on many products we purchase and use. And just this past week, I came across one that to me fits the very definition of absurdity because it’s absolutely ridiculous and wildly unreasonable. Oh, and possibly totally unnecessary.

Get Ready to Laugh…Or Shake Your Head

Cigarettes for example. Everyone knows they are bad for you. But manufacturers MUST put the warning on the label in case you are the only one in America who hasn’t heard just how bad they are indeed. In fact, there are four different labels that must be rotated quarterly. I suppose that’s in case a particular label can’t be understood by you, and you choose to smoke anyway. To me, it’s pretty clear.

 

I came up with another one recently. As part of a gift from a neighbor, Greg received a big bag of peanuts. As I ate them, I began looking at the verbiage on the back of the bag and was floored that on a bag of peanuts, a warning label was still included to let the user know that this bag of peanuts was actually manufactured in a facility containing equipment that processes peanuts. What? You mean to tell me my peanuts were processed in a peanut processing plant? That’s awful.

I totally understand the danger of peanut allergies and why warning labels are so important to be sure the end-user is made aware of this important info. But I’m thinking a person with a peanut allergy shouldn’t be eating peanuts in general, and, therefore, doesn’t need a warning label that these peanuts were processed in a plant where peanuts are found.

Forbes published AN ARTICLE in February 2011 that drew attention to 24 of the dumbest of the dumb. Feel free to use the link to see them all, but meanwhile, here are a few of my favorites:

  • Nytol Sleep Pills: May cause drowsiness.
  • Vidal Sassoon hair dryer: Do not use while sleeping. (Thanks for letting me know.)
  • A package of eggs: This product may contain eggs. (Really?)
  • Staples’ letter opener: Safety goggles recommended.
  • Huebsch Washing Machine: Do not put any person in this washer.
  • Midol Menstrual Complete Capsules: Ask a doctor before use if you have difficulty urinating due to an enlarged prostate. (Oh, I’ll let my husband know right away.)

We raise our kids to think for themselves and make informed decisions. And the public-school system also strives to do the same thing. But the government must think they’re doing a poor job of educating us if we need to resort to using absurd warning labels such as peanuts being processed in a facility that…processes peanuts. (scratching my head)

As promised, nothing deep today. Just some examples of absurdity. Have you come across your own examples? Please share them below…we could all use a laugh or two.

Mimi

 

Look out!

A wonderful friend, faithful blog reader, and frequent blog commenter, recently shared some laughable pictures, suggesting I might be able to do something with them in an upcoming Mondays With Mimi post. And boy, was he right!

Out of all the pictures, this is the one I loved the most. Just look at this industrious fellow painting his walls. Concentrating as he “cuts in” neatly where the ceiling meets the wall; he’s ever so careful to create a straight line so the end result is just perfect. Taking his time. Being fastidious. Doing a job he and everyone will be proud of.

What could be wrong with that?

Well…everything, if he’s doing it like this!

I can so relate to his circumstance. Someone recently remarked that I’m like a hummingbird, flitting around doing this and that. I think that person is correct in a way. While I can certainly waste time with the best of them, when working, I make my list, going through it one by one, and so enjoy getting things accomplished and checking off each and every entry until I’m finished.

There’s a problem with that?

Oh yes, there can be big time problems with working like that. Often, in my hurry-up way to get things done, I’ll skip common sense (like the man above) to save time or effort. I’ll throw caution to the wind, or safety to the skies, and proceed. I’ve been known to climb on counters to clean a top kitchen cabinet shelf, use a long handled wooden spoon to coax something off that same tall shelf, tipping it over so it will fall (hopefully) right into my waiting hands. I’ve used rolling office chairs to reach something up high, climbed on a bed to better reach an area of cobwebs.

You catch my drift.

Rather than take the time to find the appropriate ladder in the garage (which would take all of one minute!!!), I just find whatever’s handy and get to work. But safety? Oh no, my friend. That’s a forgotten word.

So, while I laugh at the absurdity of the painter standing on an open door to reach the ceiling, I can still relate. It’s comical to see his silliness, but at the same time breath-holding knowing it could lead to injury.

Even our guidebook, the Bible, speaks directly to such foolishness in Proverbs 14:16. “The wise are cautious and avoid danger; fools plunge ahead with reckless confidence.”

Big gulp. Boy, that has me pegged.

Out of balance? Time to slow down.

How about you? Ever find yourself in a similar position? Taking short cuts, throwing caution to the wind, figuring it will all work out in the end? As one who often operates in the extreme of over-planning, I can lose out on the joy of spontaneity. So, I’m talking about balance here.

In the long run, some things have no eternal value, such as painting a wall, choosing a color for your new car, deciding where to vacation. But for the things that matter, such as relationships, my prayer (and goal) is to never lose the moment to the planning for the moment.

What do I mean?

If my life is over-planned and I’m unable to put those plans aside, then I might miss out on spontaneous moments of doing hair and makeup with my granddaughters or making finger shadows on the ceilings with my grandsons. I might miss getting together with a neighbor over (gasp) store-bought cookies thinking the visit won’t be the same if I can’t offer fresh-baked ones. And I could miss out on one-on-one time with the hubster if I’m unwilling to put down the laundry and just take a ride to nowhere with him.

You see what I’m saying?

There is not a thing wrong with planning. And in the case of the above painter, better planning would have been a great idea. But let’s not let our methodical planning ever get in the way of relationships. In the end, a completed to-do list is just that. But time spent with others can truly have eternal value.

Let me know what you think? Can you relate?

Mimi

Pardon me, boy…is that the Chattanooga Choo Choo?

Can you guess where we went recently? If you guessed Chattanooga, you got it. And it was wonderful.

Living in a flat state with palm trees and very few other trees that actually change color, it was a thrill to travel to Tennessee and view the very beginnings of autumn’s explosion of color along with majestic mountain ranges.

The 9-hour car ride was quite enjoyable because we were armed with our favorite travel foods (Cheez-Its and peanut M&Ms). Not exactly healthy, but sure fun to enjoy while the miles just roll on by. But besides the yummy snacks, it was so nice to see mountains come into view for a delightful change of scenery.

The main purpose of the trip was to meet up with Greg’s brother and sister-in-law. Because they live in Ohio, we don’t get to see each other as much as we’d like to but Chattanooga, as it turns out, is about the same distance from our homes so it was the perfect meeting spot.

If you haven’t been, you should consider it for an upcoming get-away. Lookout Mountain has several attractions including Ruby Falls, Rock City, and the incline railway. And the city of Chattanooga is small and easy to navigate. The name itself comes from the Creek Indian work for “rock coming to a point” which refers to Lookout Mountain.

You’ll find museums, sculptures, a walking bridge, a steamboat to take you on a lunch tour, a fantastic aquarium, and some great restaurants. They have a free shuttle that allows you to park once and travel all day, hopping on and off wherever you like.

In its hay day, Chattanooga was a big railroad town with nearly “all trains traveling South passing through. And the original Chattanooga Choo Choo train was Cincinnati Southern Railroad’s small wood burning steam locomotive that started its journey through history from Cincinnati, Ohio on March 5, 1980. The wood-burning Choo Choo was the first to provide non-stop service.” (www.choochoo.com/about/history)

Some of the original railroad tracks are cleverly designed into the pavers surrounding the aquarium right beside plaques showing the lyrics and melody line of Glenn Miller’s famous song of the same name. Don’t be surprised if after reading this blog post and viewing the above pictures you find yourself humming that song, too.

Visiting new places is so much fun. Doing it with family is even better. And getting to see family members you don’t see often enough is just priceless.

Where are some of your favorite places to visit?

Mimi