Thursday, December 18, 2014

Holiday Cheer with a New Train for Gramz House

Bambino's Kansas Grandma sent a train to keep at Gramz house.
This is the kiddo opening and reacting to this toy.
"Oh My! Look at this, mom!"

"Look at all these cars!"

"There are ooooodles of train cars!"

"The cars even fit together with magnets!"

"Grandma, this is the best present EVER!"

The season of giving, joy, and wonder is off to a FAB start!

Creative Night Skiing

Night skiing wearing LED suits set to music....beautiful!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


I heard this bluesy kind of song, "Take me to Church," on 'The Voice' and rather liked it, but couldn't understand all the lyrics, so watched this video to get a better feel for what the song was about.

But then watched the official video and got a TOTALLY different interpretation of the song.

Hozier, an Irish alternative singer, formerly in a Celtic group called Anuna, which was even a greater surprise.

The Life Lesson on Torture

My older sister would pinch me, bite me, pull my hair, slug me, and give me knuckle sandwiches throughout much of my childhood. When I cried out for help, sis would smile sweetly to my parents as if she did nothing wrong. I lived with these hidden bruises until she finally got her own room.

As a kid, this is what torture was to me; normal older sibling rivalry.

But recently the CIA Torture Report came out and torture was presented in a whole new light. It was a deeper and darker than I could ever imagine. It was sickening.

After I read the report summary I felt a switch flip inside me. I became outraged. I thought everyone would feel this same way, but they didn't. In fact, in a recent poll, only 50% of the population were concerned about the torture report and what it means.

"What??!" I screamed.  Even that awareness made me a bit nutty.

So, I did some research as to why I would be so livid and outraged over this and others would just give it a yawn, check their iPhone, and then update their Facebook status.

The reason why 50% of us are outraged and feel passionate angst against torture is because we learned that life lesson and learned it the hard way. We were either tortured, or perhaps were the torturers, at sometime in our life journey.  It could have been in this life (such as what Senator John McCain experienced in Vietnam), or we learned it in a prior life incarnation (aka reincarnation).  As a result, we KNOW that torture is something you NEVER do! Period. End of story.

So on the positive side, this also probably means that the other half of the population hasn't experienced torture, and with luck, may never have to.

I'm also hoping we never, ever, EVER, stoop this low in our society again and use torture as an acceptable display of anger and power.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

New Captain in Town

"Let the boy drive the ship!" says the Captain.

"Engage!" says Bambino.  "Let's see what's out there."

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Observing a new mind in motion

Have you ever just observed someone being totally immersed in their work? Play is the work for a child, so observing a kid in play is like watching them at their job.

Being able to see what a child gets immersed in doing can show the types of experiences he already enjoys. For the Bambino, he gets totally immersed in playing with trains, balls, anything with wheels, and stacking blocks. He becomes totally focused during those types of activities.

While observing the Bambino stacking blocks, for example, I've been amazed at his absolute delight in what he is doing and how he reacts while playing with these blocks. I'm in awe of how he displays and wears his emotions so openly and how his feelings flitter and change in milliseconds with each changing block. What is also amazing is how his emotions seem so pure and untarnished. The ego has not yet demanded control so the kiddos emotions are still open and pure at this stage of life.

The ability to observe such an untarnished personality is such a total delight to experience. Being a grandparent seems to have many perks as well as many hidden 'easter eggs'. It really is one of the most surprising and wonderful experiences to have.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Where has your honey been hangin' out?

I've noticed that no matter what, my clear beautiful amber syrupy honey eventually will crystallize and look rather guilty - hiding behind its honey crystals.

Oh sure, the taste of the honey is the same, and it is perfectly edible, but it just isn't as pretty.

At first I thought it was my fault. But my Google search led me to see the error of my thinking - I was without blame!  The crystallization happens to ALL honey, but the difference is how FAST it turns into crystals. The speed of this turning process is dependent on the type of flower the honey bee visited! Yes!  It is the honey bees fault!

If the bees hung out at places like an alfalfa farm, or cotton grove, or dandelion field, for example, the crystallization process will happen more quickly. But if the bees spent more time hangin' with sage, longan, tupelo and/or jujube, for example, the crystallization will be more slow (probably because they had to take more time waking up from a hypnotic trance).

So, the bottom line is, crystallization depends on who and where the bees were hanging out with.  If they were partying with the sweeter and better looking flowers, the crystallization changes will be faster than if they spent their time hanging out with the sages (the more zzzzzzzz group).

Monday, December 8, 2014

Mastering the furniture hills

"Gramz, don't worry!  Pops said it's OK that I climb on the furniture!" says Bambino.  "I'm preparing to be a rock climber like Grampz."

"and since these are MY hills, I have to master them first."

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Working on a railroad

"Gramz, would you please stop singing that song, 'I've been working on the railroad, all the live long day!' kindly asks the Grandkid.  "I need to figure out what the problem is with this train."

"and I need to concentrate and look at it from all angles..."

"and check out all the carts..."

"and do some stress testing on some of the curves..."

"OK, everything is working, now." the Bambino reports.

"Let's move on to stacking blocks!"

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


"Gramz, guess what I could become? Yes, a fireman! I would then rescue little kitties about this big!"

Monday, December 1, 2014

Trying on hats

"Gramz, I hear that life is a journey of trying on different hats and seeing which one fills your heart in addition to filling out your head." reports the Grandkid. He continues, "So far I've tried on a fast food hat, a turkey hat, and now an engineer's hat."

"So far, this one feels pretty good."

Red Hot Patriot

Kathleen Turner recently played Molly Ivins in "Red Hot Patriot, the Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins" in Berkeley, CA. "Wearing jeans, a denim shirt and red cowboy boots that were an Ivins trademark, Turner inhabits the role with obvious comfort," said the Modesto Bee.

When I lived in Utah, I loved Molly Ivins quick wit, writing style, and her acerbic tongue. She dared to say the things many of us were just thinking, and she did it in the ultra conservative state of Texas! Now, that was gutsy! She felt like a kindred spirit of sorts, but with a lot more nerve and humor than anyone I knew.

As I watched Kathleen Turner on stage turn into Molly Ivins, I couldn't help but reflect how difficult it is to live in a culture where you don't fit in and your values are not welcome from the dominant culture. The more I watched the play, the more I respected Ms Ivins ability to stand up and openly challenge the status quo and backroom deals as she fought for her right to be heard.

But living in that atmosphere of boxed oppression takes it toll on people who dare to be different and challenge the status quo. That constant state of confrontation, always being on the outside, and being alone, will either force you out, break you, or will make you tough. For Ms Ivins, she got tougher. And drunker.

In the play, I learned Ms Ivins death was caused from breast cancer. I also learned her health insurance would only pay for the removal of one breast, not both.  This little dig of another broken system, health coverage, made me appreciate how we finally have health coverage in the USA, and how those types of fine print loopholes should be a thing of the past.

Since Ms Ivins death, at the age of 62, in 2007, we seem to have lost more civil liberties in the absence of someone like her, fighting for our rights. We also have less privacy, and more elections are being bought by the wealthy. So in my mind, her red hot patriotic spirit made a difference in our world.

I recognize each generation usually has someone come forward to be a voice to challenge the status quo and bring some of the backroom deals into the light of day. Hopefully, a new voice will soon come forward and step into those empty red cowboy boots, which are still waiting to be filled.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Discovering the Ocean on Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving, the grandkid got to experience the ocean for the first time.
At first he was unsure and hesitant....

but then started to like it!

And then he REALLY liked it!

Now he was ready to be on his own, struggling to push Pops aside.

So it suddenly became time for a new distraction - bubbles!

Thanks kids, for the fun Thanksgiving day.
This one was definitely a keeper.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Turkey Day Attire

"Gramz, are you sure about about this turkey hat?" asks the Grandkid.  "I don't see anyone else wearing a turkey on their head."

Monday, November 24, 2014

Meal-time Competition

Because I'm trying to change the types of food I eat, I thought the little munchkin could learn to love healthy foods right away. I thought if you started early enough, you could train a person to LOVE healthy food over processed and frankenfood from the get-go.

I recently brought some home cooked vegies to feed the Bambino, and I must say, the vegies were rather divine! The meal included potatoes, carrots, celery, and KALE, cooked slowly in an exquisite clear and flavorful broth. I warmed up the vegies and then laid them out on his dinner tray. I waited and observed which ones he would adore.

He was OK with the potatoes and carrots, but then he took a bite of the cooked kale, scrunched his little face into a pucker frown, stuck out his tongue, and allowed that hearty goodness to drop on the dinner tray.  He continued to stick out his tongue as if it was now contaminated.  I was not only surprised, but devastated he didn't fall in love with this healthy food.

How could he have an opinion about kale at such a young age of life?

THEN I saw evidence he had been to a place which lairs little tykes with gimmicks, tricks, and silly hats. I now know what my competition is.

So now I need to find ways to make my nutritious meals more exciting and bring on tricks, gimmicks, and hats to my home cooked meals. So game on, 'In-N-Out Burger' - game on!

Thursday, November 20, 2014


"Gramz, pop says I need a haircut, what do YOU think?" says the Bambino.

"Keep the curls!" I say.  "Someday you may not have hair, so enjoy it and flaunt it while ya got it." 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Burnin' Daylight

"Come on, Gramz, let's go!" says the Grandkid.  "We're burnin' daylight!"

Problem Solver

"Gramz, do I ALWAYS have to show you how to put things together?" asks the Grandkid.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The wonder of round objects

Give the Bambina a ball, balloon, or bubbles and he is thrilled.

And also wheels.  

Friday, November 14, 2014

Dreaming of Wheels

"Gramz, look at this set of wheels!" exclaims the grandkid.
"I can see me driving one of these babies one day. "