A Little Bit Of This And That

What could possibly be the significance of these two pictures?  Well, for one, my Mom loved butter mints and so for Christmas she would often get one of these tins as a gift.  I honestly cannot remember how it came to be that I became the owner of one of her empty tins, but I soon found a use for it.  Inside this small tin box are the sole contents of my sewing supplies that have been with me for over almost forty years.  Can you see all of the light blue, the yellow, the red, the green,and the brown colored spools of thread?  They are part of an original beginner’s sewing kit that was composed of these various colored spools as well as a small assortment of sewing needles.  The kit was a gift from my Aunt Margaret (also my Godmother) given to me soon after my wedding.  Of course she could not possibly have known that the only spools of thread I would ever need would be white and black! (reference previous blog post regarding comments from Sophia (age 7) about the unfashionable choice of my white and black wardrobe).   Oh, and just maybe, I might have occasionally used a portion of the blue or maroon colored thread to hem an errant I.C. or Watterson school uniform……yes, my daughters, contrary to your memory of those days……you were not always sent off to school with safety pins holding your hems in place.  While it was an admittedly rare occurrence,  I did manage, once or twice :), to successfully “thread the needle” as I proceeded on the elusive path toward one day proclaiming myself a “domestic goddess”.  (You can be sure that Crick is having a good laugh at that thought!  LOL).  And now, as preparations have begun to send seven of the grandchildren back to school, and as I am being reminded of those uniform days of yesteryear, suddenly this random thought popped into my mind (shocker!)…………..perhaps the real reason that Jennifer, Megan and Stephanie eventually dropped out of Girl Scouts was the fact that all of their hard-earned scout badges laid haphazardly in a dresser drawer waiting for that magical moment when their Mom would open up the “butter mint tin”, reach for the green or brown thread (the thread that is still in the tin) and actually sew them onto their respective uniforms.  Hopefully, they now recognize that their OCD mother was probably too busy “remaking” their beds, re-arranging their closet and…………….boiling that pot of water!  Truth be told, years ago after I had laboriously attempted to sew a military patch onto one of Crick’s uniforms, he informed me that rather than endure the humiliation of appearing at drill adorned with several “crooked” emblems on his uniform, he would henceforth take over any and all sewing requirements.  As you can clearly see, that decision of long ago to forgo Home Ec in high school has left me sorely lacking in certain “motherly” skills…………..however, I do know how to mow, rake, thatch, edge, trim hedges, weed and shovel!

With summer drawing to a close, I have finally made good on my promise to the grand-kids to take them two by two for a special evening and overnight stay.  I did decide that the four middle ones: Natalie, Sophia, Sydney and Tommy (ages 8, 7, 5 and 4 1/2) were close enough in age to be able to enjoy the same type of outing, and so they all packed their bags for a “camp-out” in the living room after taking a trip to the movies to see the latest Ice Age flick.  Of course

Sophia, Natalie, Sydney

we couldn’t walk by the concession stand without stopping and, after they all had made their selection, the grand total for the snacks exceeded the amount it had cost me to pay for the tickets!   The next morning I took them all to morning Mass (the price they pay for spending the night with Nana……..LOL) and they each lit a candle at the Blessed Virgin shrine………..nothing like fire to ignite an interest in heavenly affairs :).  When we returned home after a trip to Tim Horton’s, they were all looking for something to play and so I suggested that  they could play “house” choosing someone to be the Mom, the Dad, etc.  A little while later I saw a couple of them crawling around the floor, moving from room to room…………apparently, no one wanted to be “the kid” hence…………a household of pets.  I only later learned from Tommy, that when they were playing house


he and Natalie had chosen to be…………………………………….the power of Nana and Papa!  I am not exactly sure what type of “power” he and Natalie were referring to, all I could think of was that my “part” was being played by my very “progressive” granddaughter (reference previous post about Natalie breaking the outdoor spigot,  flooding the basement and, in her own hysterical words, “wasting the environment”!).   Since my two by two idea did not allow for Olivia, the oldest, to have a companion, she will be joined later this week by Tori her second cousin (or is it her first cousin, once removed?)   See what happens when you are fifteen years older than your sister?……..you end up having nieces as young as your grandchildren!  Even Tori gets confused sometimes and refers to me as Nana instead of as her Aunt!  Not too sure what the two of them might have in mind for an outing, maybe I can talk them into the go-carts that I have been wanting to ride all summer long!

Did you notice how I slipped the term progressive into the blog?  I did that so as to lead into this next part of this post.  Last weekend, I participated in the “Protecting God’s Children” workshop that is required by the diocese for anyone who wishes to volunteer in the Catholic schools.  Since six of the nine grandchildren will be attending I.C. this year, I wanted to be ready to help out when needed.  Naturally, I arrived a few minutes late :) and everyone was already seated.  As I glanced around the room, I saw a familiar face and realized it was Maureen a teacher, a (ahem!) Democrat, and a friend of Crick’s from Glacier Ridge.  Maureen, along with another GLE teacher, Lauren (and, ahem!, a Democrat), came to the hospital shortly after Crick had learned of his diagnosis, bringing with them a huge bag full of get-well wishes from all of the GLE students.  Since there happened to be an empty seat at her table I slithered over and sat down.  During one of the breaks she shared with me that she had been at school earlier that week setting up her classroom and had thought of how Crick used to come into her room admonishing her about the staples that were falling onto the floor waiting to inflict injury on tiny little feet!  I love it when others so easily share their thoughts of Crick, as it reminds me of how his affectionate, kind hearted and teasing nature played a role in their lives.  Maureen and Lauren were two among many of the GLE teachers with whom Crick often shared his political views and, while the good-natured discussions did not persuade anyone to change sides, Crick definitely enjoyed these “debates”.   Knowing this, Maureen proceeded to show me the wallpaper for her i-phone……………………………no, no, no………………of course, it was the other two……………..I just could not bear to have their pictures on my blog (and this gives me an excellent opportunity to promote the right side  LOL)!  Not only did she have the President and VP on her i-phone, she also showed me a photo of her two aunts who happen to be Catholic nuns, who had their picture taken with Biden.  Not to be outdone, I showed Maureen the elephant charm that Megan gave me for my Pandora bracelet on Mother’s Day.  As we talked I made a reference to the fact that to live in Clintonville is to be surrounded by the other side.  LOL  This reality was recently corroborated when I took the grand-kids to a popular neighborhood children’s bookstore.  When I mentioned the name of the bookstore, Maureen immediately expressed how it is one of her favorites (she teaches kindergarten) ……………………..I shouldn’t have been surprised…….  case in point……I quite innocently came across these two books which were displayed at the check-out counter and upon reading the back covers, I discovered that proceeds of the sale were going to the Democratic Party!   Nuff said because we all know how I could go on……………..and on…………..and on…………..and on :).  Maureen, if you are reading this blog…………………..I wish you and your students a wonderful year and I thank you for providing me with an excuse to share the story  and these pictures!

I just remembered a really funny family incident to tell about Stephanie, Tommy  and a shark’s tooth, but that will have to wait until another post.

I will close now with this last thought and hope that you will find something of value in it for the coming days:

It is good that you recognize your weakness.  That keeps you looking to Me, your Strength.  Abundant life is not necessarily health and wealth; it is living in continual dependence on Me.  Instead of trying to fit this day into a preconceived mold, relax and be on the lookout for what I am doing.  This mind-set will free you to enjoy Me and to find what I have planned for you to do.  This is far better than trying to make things go according to your own plan.

Don’t take yourself so seriously.  Lighten up and laugh with Me.  You have Me on your side so what are you worried about?  I can equip you to do absolutely anything as long as it is My will.  The more difficult your day, the more I yearn to help you.  Anxiety wraps you up in yourself, trapping you in your own thoughts.  When you look to me and whisper My name, you break free and receive My help.  Focus on Me and you will find Peace in My Presence.                               from Jesus Calling

There is nothing that I cannot do in the One who strengthens me.                  Philippians 4:13


P.S.  I have Cam Newton and Ray Rice as my top two picks in our Fantasy Football League…………I am after that trophy that has escaped me for the past three years!

P.P.S.  Did anyone notice anything different in this blog?  Jennifer?…………hint…………..it has to do with punctuation that you have often chided me about!  (Darn, I try to correct my punctuation and end the blog post with a preposition!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

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