Rear ended…

Yesterday was a busy day to begin with. My honey asked me to help him clean the outside of our shop so it would look nice for two weddings we are hosting this weekend. My schedule was already extraordinarily light for the day, mainly detail work in preparation, and getting to top it off with a grandkids ice cream date after school. I ended up washing all four sliding glass doors as well as four windows and all their screens.

A tent was delivered, and I took pictures of its installation for both brides. Weeds were pulled, a greenhouse spider mite infestation dealt with, wild cat was played with. A bride brought “stuff” over to put in the upper room to await the big day. I’m not a professional photographer, but I love taking “before the wedding” pictures! I offered to help take “getting ready” pictures. The wedding was being run by a wedding coordinator who was doing it for free for this family. She does that once a year as a ministry. Since she was paying for a photographer, she needed help.

I took a few pictures of the dress and two floral bouquets, signed rental delivery documents and scurried off to the school to pick up our fourteen year old granddaughter and our twelve year old grandson to take them for ice cream. A regular date time with them that I hope continues for a while longer.

About a mile away from the school, the right hand turning traffic began to slow drivers, so I began to slow, as I dropped to between 15-20 mph, I glanced in my rear view mirror just in time to see a guy barreling towards me. I had just enough time to think he’s going to hit me, when he did. Hard. he was going between 35-45. We had just passed the school when the speed limit drops from 45-35, and many people don’t slow down. So, who knows.

I pulled over a few feet to the shoulder, and thankfully, so did the other driver. I asked the kids if they were ok, both said yes. I got out to exchange insurance information. He had his in his hand, and asked if we were ok. I asked the same. I took some pictures, wondering if I should call the police for a repost. I almost let him leave after that, but thought I should call my insurance company first. Since I got an automated system, I did decide to call the police. Oddly, the other driver was fine with that, even though he would get cited. It didn’t seem like a big deal to him. He even laughed when he said his car (an old Monte Carlo, a beast) would probably be totaled. I wondered if he might be stoned. The damage to my hatch was significant also. I texted my honey and the kids parents to let them know that we were ok, but had been rear ended. The sheriff came, pictures were taken, I was interviewed, the kids were asked if they were ok. I told him we would be visiting a chiropractor, just in case. I know whiplash can be a sneaky thing, sometimes the results don’t show up for months.

We skipped ice cream, and I took them back to school to meet up with dad. He’s a teacher there and hadn’t left yet. I told him I would try to get appointments with a chiropractor for each of us. Once I arrived home I called my insurance company, but bypassed the claims department. They recommended I go get checked by a doctor. I had vaguely remember t that some companies don’t pay for medical unless you are immediately checked out. I met our son at the local urgent care and we did our due diligence.

The next morning found my shoulder area sore and I could feel my pelvis was out of place. I texted our son to ask about the kids. Our fourteen year old granddaughter was very sore in the neck and shoulders, and it was worse when she lifted her arms. She skipped volleyball practice. Our twelve year old grandson said he felt fine. We were able to find a walk in clinic, and walked in. We were placed with a non neck twisting chiropractor, as per my request, who was very thorough and used a gentle technique I was unfamiliar with. Chiropractic is my main source of medical care. After he adjusted our granddaughter and had her walk across the room and back, when she turned to come back she had the biggest smile on her face and said I feel so good!! It was my turn next. He said my pelvis was twisted, probably due to bracing for impact and pushing hard on the brake. And my shoulders, neck were pretty tight, probably the whiplash. After the adjustment I had a similar response.

I purchased a two month package of adjustments, four each month, for less than the standard price of two appointments. My insurance was easy to deal with and said send the bills as they arrive and we will reimburse you as they arrive. my insurance company is the Hartford through AARP. I’ll let them go after the other insurance company to recoup costs.

I took everyone out to lunch after the chiropractor visit in place of ice cream,

Although our grandson still seems to be unfazed, I am going to also get him in this week, just to deal with it, even though there are currently no symptoms.

It was a long Friday, when I added in filing claims and getting appointments for colossi on repair estimates and doctors for everyone to my already busy prepping for two weddings. But… I am grateful that God protected us. I am grateful that I was wearing my ankle brace (on my driving foot) at the time of impact. I am grateful the other driver didn’t run. I am grateful for my girlfriend who called to check on me when I texted her about my accident. I am grateful for so much.

What are you grateful for?



It started out like all the other days I went to pick up our grandkids from school. I made the quick, five minute drive to the school, found a place to park, and went to get the grandson. That’s where everything went sideways.

Once he pointed me out to his teacher, who smiled knowingly, we began to walk towards the car when I mentioned that I we would be coming back later to get his sister, who was going to be playing a chess game. That’s when I got suckered. He said, “Grammi, I was hoping to play her opponents younger brother in chess while she played. I said that would be fine, that I would pick him when I picked up his sister. Check. That’s when he said, well, I need an adult to supervise since it is after school…. checkmate. Game over. Grandson 1, Grammi 0.

How do you say no to that? I can’t. So… here I sit, a a table in the school lobby, while they play chess upstairs. Apparently, I wasn’t needed. I decided to catch up on some research.

I looked up how to cut choppy bangs, since I hate heavy, straight across the eyebrow bangs, which is what I ended up with after my last haircut.

Next, I researched homeopathic remedies for animals that have anxiety or fear of people. Our cats love us, and when they hear us come home, they come out, but the minute someone other than us comes through a door, they vanish to hide under a bed. We would like them to come out and be a part of the family. Argentum Nitricum seems to be the recommended remedy for animal anxiety. Since we are having our best friends over on Friday evening, and they would live to make friends with the cats, I will be slipping some Argentum into their drinking water Thursday night. Hopefully it works.

After that, a text to one of my daughter’s friends was necessary. she is the caregiver for her mother, who recently came home after a stint in the hospital for a genetic condition she suffers from. I had helped with some housecleaning that had been neglected too long while her mom was in the hospital. She had mentioned that they may need to hire a house cleaner and lawn mower, since she was having a hard time maintaining things, working full time and helping her mother. I asked my 83 year old father to research what resources she may have available for that type of thing and was able to send her some info today as well as let her know she hasn’t been forgotten.

I was also able to catch up on some Caring Bridge reading. We have a friend going through treatment for an aggressive form of lymphoma. To keep everyone informed of his progress at the same time, he posts updates on his Caring Bridge page. He is a prolific writer, posting something every day. And, he has a way with words. Sometimes posting humorous stories about his journey, sometimes inspiring stories, sometimes words of encouragement for others who may be going through tough times, and sometimes just praising God for being alive!

So, the unexpected time of sitting has become a productive and welcome distraction to my usual business. And now it is time to say goodbye! The games are done, both grands were victorious and it is time to head home while we wait for their mom and baby sister to come join us for dinner. Dad, our son, has to work late meeting with parents for conferences.

I hope you can look for the good in the unexpected events that seem to derail your plans for the day. Hope you have a great night!

Gana’s footsteps

My grandmother was a painter. She mainly used oils. She taught us to paint one year on vacation. The first lesson: always use uneven numbers. Paint five flowers, not four. She taught me symmetry and color mixing. I was naturally creative, so painting was easy for me. My first picture was a vase of pink daisies. My second, a barn overlooking the ocean. I probably painted that around the age of twelve. I decided today to share my collection of paintings.

A favorite painting of my grandmothers that I inherited.
My grandmother loved the ocean and painted it often.
The first oil painting my Gana did with me. I still have this and the barn I did.

Gana died when I was 23. It wasn’t until my late forties that I picked up a brush again

My first Paint Nite with my Uber creative friend. We had a blast, and neither of our pictures looked much like the original. And that wasn’t because of too much alcohol, cuz I don’t drink!
Second Paint Night

Once I relearned how to start with the background and then layering, I didn’t look back. Literally. I would always be way ahead of the class teacher. I found that I really enjoyed the whimsical look.

First Pinot’s Palette, third painting.
My first venture into mixed media.

At a scrapbooking weekend, I saw a gal making cool canvas art with told nail polishes. I decided to try my hand at it. Then it needed washi tape as a border.

My fourth painting

This one just didn’t look finished until I added the pearls, some glitter, a butterfly, and washi tape around the edges. When will she stop?

Starry Cats

This one is special to me. Summer 2020, my 10 year old grandson looked at me after doing a science project and said, very matter of factly, “Grammi, next week, can we paint Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night?” I am sure I raised my eyebrows as I responded non chalantly, “sure”. I then proceeded to ask him how he knew about that. He told me that his advanced class was studying Art. Okay then. I bought canvases and paints (had the brushes), and when next week came, we looked up the painting online. As we browsed to find a good enough copy to print so we had guidelines, we saw tons of variations. Our granddaughter chose one with a house in it, our grandson chose one labeled Starry Dog and I chose one labeled Starry Cats. Of course, the painting wasn’t complete without a little glitter glue applied to the stars!

I hope you have enjoyed your free tour of the Museum d’Grammi. Maybe this will inspire you to pick up some paint and brushes and have some fun during the grey days of winter! Which it is here, but may not be wherever you live.

I would also like to thank Colorful Sisters for inspiring me to share my creativity by sharing theirs!

Beautiful moments…

When your grown son reaches his arm over your shoulder during a visit and says, “Love you mom”.

When your grown daughter texts and says, “Can we call? Your grandson has something he wants to show you”.

The moment your husband stops you on a walk, puts his arm around your waist and points out the beautiful sunset.

Receiving a handwritten note in the mail. Even nicer when it is on a sweet, colorful notecard.

The first moment my head hits the cool pillow and my body knows it can finally relax.

The first lusciously creamy spoonful of raspberry mousse.

The varied sounds of the killdeer birds in our presently dirt and rock yard.

Visits from the neighbor’s affectionate Tom cats around sunset. Head butts, sharp claws kneading on your thigh when they are in the lap, when they come running to see you.

Seeing the straw wrapper on my dashboard that came whizzing by my shoulder the other day, compliments of my ten year old grandson, and remembering the laughter that ensued.

Enjoying a day of card making with our twelve year old granddaughter.

Hearing our four year old grandson tell me a story about the ‘Shamberries’ they grow.

When your daughter in law sits and chats with you, and really enjoys it.

Finding out there is another grandchild on the way into this world.

Coffee and a drive with a friend who has a day off of work, who is really more family.

The sweet, juiciness of a home grown strawberry.

Realizing God’s ever protective presence when a car pulls across a road in front of you and you miss them by inches. Or that your open pant leg was just over an active yellow jacket nest, and you were spared any bites.

Those rare talks with a distant sibling.

When something goes right in the building process, and a weight is lifted from your mind and figurative shoulders.

These are a few of the many things that I find beautiful. That bring me joy. That bring me to my knees in prayer and thankfulness to our Creator. Take a moment in the insanity of your day, close your eyes, and bring to remembrance those little things that bring you joy. Your beautiful moments.


It’s 9 AM, the temperature is about 17° Fahrenheit, the sun is shining, the sky is a brilliant blue, with not a cloud to be seen. Already this morning I spent some time reading my Bible, got my exercises and stretches done, and finished up with my morning chores. After loading up my car with my essential oil display stuff, I headed over to Costco to stand in line and wait my turn to have my winter tires put on. I am bundled up with long John’s, four layers of shirts and heavy winter boots, even though there is not a lick of snow on the ground at the moment. I have learned from past years, how to stay warm while waiting in line here. But I know if I don’t get there an hour early, the line will be long, and it will take hours for the task to be done. This way, I wait in the sun for one hour, but I will be finished after 40 minutes inside. Just enough time to get some groceries I need and maybe fill out my monthly meal calendar while sitting at one of their lively red food court tables.

From Costco I will head over to the bank where I am blessed to be able to set up a display for my essential oil business. Each month they allow a different customer to feature their business on a wall of shelves. I don’t get any business from it, but at least I get exposure, and who knows what that is worth. It also makes me feel good to have the tellers comment each time I come in that my displays very nice.

Once I am done setting that up, who knows where I will go. I have much to accomplish today, including finishing a shopping list for the needs we have for the electrical system for our new house, finding flooring for the house, dropping off information to get an estimate from our local hardware store on what type of discount they can supply me on a package for toilets, sinks, faucets, appliances, doors, etc., and so much more. There’s also some laundry to finish up from yesterday, and foods to get ready for my Sabbath tomorrow, so I don’t have to cook. If the weather and my time hold out, I may try to get our plum tree pruned before the snow coats it. So far I have been able to prune back both of our apple trees, and I was able to dig up and pot our dozen blueberry bushes. I have transported those over to our new property and buried them in compost, since I cannot dig into the ground at this time. That should keep them warm and happy until spring when I can plant.

My life is busy. But I am trying to learn to appreciate the busyness, because there will be days when there is no busyness and I can enjoy scrapbooking or quilting once again. The sun always brings joy and hope to my soul. And I am so grateful to the Creator of this beautiful world we live in for each day, for each breath, for each moment. I pray that our children, and our grandchildren, will choose to live lives of thankfulness and contentment. For with contentment comes great joy.

May you find something to be joyful and thankful about in the midst of your busyness today.

A whirlwind…

Have you ever been caught up in a whirlwind? I have. My daughter has been visiting with her two little ones for the last month. She has been at the center of my life since then, and everything about my life has revolved around her. My daily schedule has revolved around when she needed my van to go visit lifelong friends. The wind around this visit has swept away any spare time I have, as I have was called upon to watch those sweet munchkins almost daily. Barbecues with family and friends, sightseeing with a friend who came from another country, and trying to keep up with the laundry, poopy diapers and dishes. The apples on my two trees began falling off the branches, seemingly the moment she arrived, and I haven’t had the time to pick them up, let alone preserve many. I finally started calling friends to come pick them, and gathered as many as I could to donate to our local food bank. Next year, I will preserve.

Today, I will tickle the three year old, and chase him down the halls to tire him out for bed. Tonight I will rock the nine month old back to sleep when he startles because he is in a strange place. I will pray for them as we rock. For a good night sleep for them, for him not to be afraid, today or as he grows, for so many things. I will pray that she is blessed with time to visit friends. As we drive them to the airport, I will tell her what a wonderful mom she is, how terrific her kids are, what a great job she and her honey are doing with them. And then, when we have to finally part ways at the airport security line, the tears will flow, cheeks will be kissed, and silent hugs will be exchanged. They will disappear into the masses of people. We will walk back to our car to start the long drive home, which will give us time to process the mixture of emotions we will be feeling. Sadness they are gone for another year or two, happy to have our home and time back.

The whirlwind will have passed. Life will go back to some sort of a slower normalcy. Until the next visit. It was too long a visit, but too short at the same time. We are so grateful though that she comes home, no matter how far between the visits. And in the in between times, there is FaceTime and Skype. Another thing we are thankful for.

May you start a whirlwind of happiness that catches others in it and changes today for them!

Beautiful chaos…

That pretty much describes my life this past week. Our daughters family arrived from overseas to visit, our other grands came to spend time with their cousins. I have been called upon to watch the youngest, ages 3 and 9 months almost daily. All the while, our cat is trying to recover from surgery, which means broken sleep for me. The cone hits a wall, or the headboard and I am awake. Add to all that the inspections I have to attend on our property, paperwork I need to stay on top of and being the contractor’s go-fer, and I feel like an octopus with every leg being pulled in a different direction.

It has been hard to settle down and just enjoy things. For instance, we were invited to a concert in the park, and I found myself not wanting to go because I had too much I could be doing at home. It took about a half hour for me to settle in and enjoy. But, I am reminding myself to take time to play with the visiting grands, and not to resent their need for love. And I am enjoying every giggle, growl, smile, “Gwammi” I hear. This will have to sustain me for the next year once they go home.


I have two choices today. One, I can be annoyed by the fact that my grandchildren are such good sharers, and left their cold germs behind when they visited last week. Or I can choose to look at my raging sore throat, sore ears and lack of energy as an opportunity to take a down day. I am definitely torn by these two decisions. Being a type A personality I want to continue to tough it out and get done all the things that are on my l my list for today. However, I know that since I am not hungry, and I do not feel energetic, I should probably crash on the couch with a good book, a fuzzy blanket, and a cat on my lap. Taking it easy is sometimes the best route for getting better, but also the hardest.

That said, I thoroughly enjoyed the two days with our grandchildren. My dad, their great grandpa, came to COSTCO for a shopping trip. We had fun browsing, and topped the trip off with hot dogs and pizza for lunch. The rest of the afternoon was down time, read books, take naps. The oldest had arrived with a cough and stuffy, yet runny nose. The youngest was extremely emotional , and a bit demanding all afternoon. I could tell he was tired. Baseball practice was cancelled due to rain, and after a healthy dinner, we all went to bed at a decent hour. I let them sleep in as long as they could. After eating the delicious banana chocolate chip pancakes, we drove to a nearby citywide garage sale. Each child was given twenty dollars to spend however they desired, with my veto power intact.

It was interesting to watch their two personalities at work. Our granddaughter who is almost 12 chose to spend her money on a travel alarm clock that came housed in an adorable pink gray and white case. Her large purchase ended up being a set of two pieces of luggage in a nice magenta color. Both were in excellent condition. The wheels and handles worked, and they were fairly clean. That was her treasure for the day. Our grandson on the other hand, who is almost 9, chose to look for baseball cards and Pokémon stuff at every stop. He came home with a couple Pokémon manuals (?), two small stuffed animals, a baseball clock, two brand new computer mice, a baseball bat and a huge box of baseball cards that he bargained for all by himself. I was pretty darn proud of the way he handled that. It went something like this: He had gone up to the man with a couple small stacks of cards and asked how much they were. The gentleman said,”that is a good question. Would you be interested in buying the whole box?” My grandson answered in the affirmative, and was then asked how much he thought he would like to pay for the box. He answered quickly and decisively, “five dollars.” The gentleman said he thought that that was a fair price, and then said, “I hope you find a million dollar card in that box”. I so appreciated his generosity.

Lunch at Subway, as planned, ice cream at Baskin Robbins, as planned. Since it had been colder than we expected, we were all a bit chilled, and our grandson had begun to show signs of the cold his sister had, we headed home for some down time before baseball practice. This gave me time to pack some snacks for them to eat beforehand. Baseball always seems to be during the dinner hour. Hopefully the snacks would tide them over until they had a late dinner at home.

They both went home happy, I went to bed that night happy. Our love tanks were full. So, I honk that I will choose not to be annoyed at the sickness. I am so grateful for each moment I get to spend with them, healthy or sick. Time passes way to quickly. So, I am grateful for the down day. I choose to see the silver lining. I hope you will also as you face the challenges of each day.

Amazing deliciousness!!!

I am mostly sugar free for hormonal reasons. No, I don’t fly off the handle in rantings or anger, I just turn into a walking space heater if I have sugar. As any doctor would diagnose, “you’re just not a spring chicken any more.” Thanks for stating the obvious. I could have had my adult kids diagnose that one for free.

Anyway, I had the delightful pleasure of having two of our grands overnight last night. As is our tradition, I usually fix a special breakfast for them, usually food I would never eat due to sugar content. Yesterday they decided banana chocolate chip pancakes were to be on the menu. We picked up the ingredients last night between torrential downpours, and went to bed after some Grandpa time playing corn hole and competing by answering the questions while watching Who Wants to Be A Millionaire.

Morning dawned with more clouds and dampness, so hot pancakes would be perfect for breakfast. I had looked up a recipe online and printed it out. I decided to double the recipe. Past experience dictated that. It is better to have extra pancakes than to not have enough. The recipe was easy to follow, and the skillets were heated. The first batch always tends to brown a bit too much, and those are usually the ones I will nibble on while cooking the rest. I took a bite…

OH MY GOODNESS!!! Those were amazingly delicious!! I don’t know if it was because I haven’t had any sugar or chocolate for quite sometime, or if it was because they were moist, cakey and fantastically delicious, but I knew at that moment that I would have to share the recipe I found with the world!!!!

Thank you JustSoTasty for this little taste of heaven on earth!! These were well worth the hot flashes!

Enjoy blogging buddies!

P.S. I made this with gluten free flour! And I know it may seem silly, but I consider these curtains utterly delicious too!

Bleary eyed…

Early morning, once again, arrives way to soon for me. The minute she saw me at the top of the stairs, the old cat PK started howling at me “feed me! Let me out back! No feed me!” I like to imagine that there is a please somewhere in the yowls, but I know better. A quick scoop up of her fragile body stops the noise, and I pet her until she says enough. Feed the cats then check the phone for messages.

My phone is set for do not disturb between the hours of 9pm and 8am. Although I don’t want to hear the alerts, I know that there are things happening on the shop/house build this morning that may require my attention. Sure enough, there is a request for me to call the cement company to pay for two extra yards of concrete that was ordered for this morning’s 6am pour. Insert the ear buds, make the call and let the foreman know it is done. Check.

My eyes still feel heavy as I step into the kitchen to begin my morning chores, when I hear my honey open the bedroom door. Breakfast now takes priority. A banana and greens protein smoothie should do the trick for the man. As for myself, I will stick with no sugar/stevia vegan protein and greens for mine.

Breakfast has been consumed, along with a few supplements and the daily comics. Once I finish with the chores, I get to pick up two of our grandkids for a couple days. I cherish the time we get to spend with them, knowing all too well how fast they grow up and get busy. The sports schedules have already reduced the visits I used to get. Once there are work and social schedules, time with them will be at a premium. The weather today is not great and we are expecting rain. If so, a bowl of buttered popcorn and a game of monopoly may be on the table for the afternoon. Literally on the table!

Tomorrow, we are going to a neighborhood garage sale in town. I will give them both twenty bucks to buy whatever they like. I do get veto power, but that will be reserved for extremes. Non modest clothing, or inappropriate decor. They are good kids, and I have yet to have to have to use the veto. We will have Subway sandwiches for lunch, and Baskin Robbins ice cream for a treat. I love sitting down to a meal with them and just listening to them talk. I try to just listen and ask questions, and toss in a few teaching comments in the midst. Serious lectures are reserved for the serious, which does not often come up. This is becoming an annual summer event with them. A close friend who has never had children is joining us. She loves them, they love her. Again, her company with them every now and then is becoming a tradition also. We will probably go out to dinner with Grandpa after work too, and then we will watch Who Wants to Be a Millionaire together. The kids love trying to beat Grandpa at trivia games. Before bed, we will probably read a few more chapters of the book in the Little House series that we have been trying to get through whenever they spend the night. I think we are on book three?

Of course I will have to answer building calls and questions, and I definitely plan on taking everyone out to the site to see what has been done so far. And I will have a few household chores to do. But the days with the kids fill my love tank to overflowing. I pray that I am filling theirs too. I want it to be about them, about their growth, about loving them. Loving and serving others has always brought me great joy.

May you discover what type of service brings you great joy in life, and may it fill your emotional tank to overflowing.