Wednesday, November 15, 2017

In the Hodgepodge Zone

One week from Thanksgiving. One. O.N.E. I have never been less prepared for the holidays than I am this year. How bad would it be to order one of those pre-cooked meals for Thanksgiving day? Yikes! My grandmother would do the proverbial roll-over in her grave. 

Anyway, let's just forget about all that for a minute and enjoy some time with one another and the Hodgepodge. 

1. What takes you out of your comfort zone? Getting up in front of a crowd to speak. Unknown social situations. Interstate driving. Big city driving. Going out the front door...LOL

2. Your least favorite spice? I have what is probably the blandest palate on the earth so I don't care much for most spices. However, I do have a least favorite and that would be dill. 

3. What's a small change you'd like to make? That's interesting...I don't think there's a small change I want to make. All the changes I'm looking at are big ones. Welcome ones, but big. 

4. Do you enjoy visiting historic homes? YES! If so, of the homes you've visited which one was your favorite? I've been to so many I really don't have a favorite. I've loved them all. What historic home near you is open to visitors? I live in Charleston, SC so there are TONS of historic houses open to the public around here. Take. Your. Pick. Have you been? I have! History and I used to be BFFs and I still love it. When I go through the houses, in my mind I can visualize the families and their lives going on right in front of me. I just love it! Southern Living rounded up eleven of the best in the southern part of the US and they're as follows-

Monticello (Jefferson's home in Virginia), Nathaniel Russel House (Charleston SC), Swan House (Atlanta), Ernest Hemingway's home (Key West), The Biltmore (Vanderbilt home in Asheville NC), Mount Vernon (Washington's home in Virgina), San Francisco Plantation (Garyville, Louisiana), Windsor Ruins (Port Gibson Mississippi), Longue Vue House and Gardens (New Orleans), Whitehall (Palm Beach FL), and Pebble Hill Plantation (Thomasville GA)

Have you been to any on the list? Yes, four of them- Monticello, Nathaniel Russel House, The Biltmore, Mount Vernon. Of the homes listed which would you most like to visit? I've already been to four of them and to be honest if they're not in SC or Georgia I'm probably not interested. There are enough historic homes right here to keep me busy and I not a fan of travel or places hotter than where I live so I'll just enjoy what Y'all share should any of you ever go. But I will enjoy historic homes when I visit NashvilleDaughter and DrummerBoy in Nashville. If we can ever fit them in with all the other fun things to do in Nashville!

5. What's something you think will be obsolete in ten years? Writing with paper and pen. Does that make you sad or glad? Sad and when technology fails (because I think it's going to have to at some point due to our total dependence upon it) some people are going to be sad they have no idea how to write. And money/credit cards. Everything will take place via our 'smart' phones. Remote controls. Car Keys. Face-to-face communication. Yes, we're coming to that. 

6.  Insert your own random thought here. Loads of things are going on around here near the peak of the holiday season. Loads. Most of it good and the best news is Mother goes home next week! She's all set to be on her own once again. She's excited and a bit nervous but she'll be fine. We're only a little over an hour away and my brother is next door so it's all good. If she doesn't want to do it anymore, she can always come back here. Meanwhile, we've been enjoying these two:

Have a wonderful Wednesday, Y'all!

Please visit my Etsy shop, CoasterDoodles

and feel free to FAVORITE the shop
or buy something! 😁💓

Look for upcoming sales at CoasterDoodles!
20% off sale begins November 20th!

Monday, November 13, 2017

What Do Grandchildren Teach Us?

Somewhere between parenting and grandparenting, we may lose sight of some important truths about life, relationships, and ourselves. We tend to get caught up in the busy-ness of life and let that preoccupation is the very thing that causes us to shut out these truths. Grandchildren bring them back to life and we'd do well to not forget them ever again.

I've only been a grandmother for 16 months but I have certainly learned numerous lessons as well as being reminded of those truths pushed to the wayside as life took over. I wonder if I would ever have remembered without these precious souls to remind me. Anyway, I would love to share my top ten with Y'all today.

The Top 10 Truths My Grands Have Taught Me:

  1. There truly is joy in the simple things. Really. Pure joy. All it takes for Baby M is me to dust her check with a pompom made of yarn against her cheek. Simple and yet, her reaction is pure joy and amazement and before you know we're both in the joy zone. 
  2. We are never too old to play. No matter how old you think you are or how old you feel, you are NEVER too old to play. Little kids don't care what you can or cannot do just that you interact with them in a fun and playful way. 
  3. Play is important. Play keeps things in perspective and teaches us about the other players, about communication, about interacting with others, about sharing, about trust...
  4. Nothing is better or more important than person-to-person interaction. I don't care who says different, face-to-face interaction cannot be replaced. 
  5. There are many ways to communicate. Talking is important but it's not the only way to communicate. There is play, a look, a smile, body language, eye contact, a touch.
  6. A smile can indeed melt your heart. Enough said. 
  7. Laughter is vital for life. And good hearty belly laughs are the best. Laughter is contagious and makes us feel good inside and out. We should all do it more.  
  8. The only time that matters is right now. The present moment. LIttle kids don't think about yesterday or tomorrow, they deal with right now which is something all of us should practice.  
  9. Never stop asking questions. I know we adults get tired of hearing and responding to the 5 bazillion questions little kids ask us every single day but have you ever noticed how some of those questions cause you to think before you answer? Even though Baby M's questions all sound the same, "Uh?" I still answer her. And I'm not afraid to tell her I don't know. Little kids learn so much from asking questions and we do, too. Never stop asking questions or seeking answers. 
  10. No matter what sort of voice you have, sing and sing loudly and no matter how you look, dance and dance and dance! As Pete the Cat says, "It's all good!" 
I know there are many more things we can learn from our grandchildren and I'd love to hear what Y'all have learned! 

Have a wonderful week, Y'all!

Please visit my Etsy shop, CoasterDoodles

and feel free to FAVORITE the shop
or buy something! 😁💓

Indoor wreaths have arrived at CoasterDoodles!
with more to come soon!
And, YES! We still have our wonderful coasters!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Great Gift Ideas for Empty Nesters

I listed these gifts ideas back in May (Y'all can read that post HERE) as good ideas for Empty Nest moms for Mother's Day but the more I think about it, the more I think these gift ideas need to be revisited for the holiday season. AND, I've thought of a couple more ideas!

Everyone with children in their lives understands the cherished memories treasures created by little hands bring. My Christmas tree holds many ornaments lovingly made by each of the lovelies. I remember who made each one and I am transported back to the days of raising my four daughters as I take each ornament out to place it on the tree each year and I will continue to cherish these special treasures forever.

There are several family members who are quite good at gift-giving. You can tell they took the time to think of each recipient while choosing the gifts. However, there is such a thing as overkill when giving gifts which happens when someone gets on a roll with certain gifts and continually gives them year after year. It's great when you're a kid who has grown up and needs Christmas musicals and ornaments for your very own house when you grow up but when you become an empty nester, you're simply left with hundreds of dust catchers. Not to mention a lack of appreciation for the same themed gift every year for 30 years. You end up with too much of a good thing.

When you are buying for empty nesters or older parents who have long retired and maybe downsized their homes, the usual gifts do not seem quite right so I've tried to think more of useful gifts. Gifts that won't clutter up their homes. Gifts that are meaningful and fun.

Gift Ideas for Empty Nesters and/or Aging Parents:
  1. Digital Scrapbooks. These things are not only fun to make, people love to get them as gifts. We've been known to give the parents and grandparents digital books of special family events and they cherish these books. I make one for myself every single time. 😀 
  2. Gift cards. Say what you will, most people appreciate a gift card. They don't have to come from a big department store. Finding a quaint little out of the way shop is nice. There are several places downtown Charleston like this. I've even given grocery store gift cards that were met with huge appreciation from those on limited incomes. I've also given gift cards to online shops that were well received. 
  3. Tickets to a show/performance. My dad and step-mother LOVE this. We usually include a gift certificate for dinner at a restaurant close to the venue. Deanie and DrummerBoy have recently started giving me tickets and I LOVE it, too! I've seen Garrison Keillor and John Prine so far. 
  4. Outdoor plants. This is especially nice for someone who loves plants or someone who has just bought a house. Along the same line, how about a gift certificate for a landscape maintenance crew to come mow and weed?
  5. Books for their Kindle or other digital readers. We gave my mother a Kindle a couple years ago for Mother's Day and we are always getting her new books. She LOVES it!
  6. Framed pictures. I'm talking about the WiFi digital frames. You can take a picture and send it to the frame immediately allowing the recipient to see the pictures. This is perfect for grandparents and great-grandparents as well as other family members who live far away from their loved ones as it enables them to 'watch' their little loves grow. 
  7. A bottle of wine or three or their favorite tea/coffee and some adorable coasters (wink, wink). You could do a themed dinner basket with the wine/coffee/tea. Just don't forget the adorable coasters!  😉
  8. Make their favorite dessert and take it in a unique dish they can keep. Yes, please! 
  9. Make a donation in their name to their favorite charity. Deanie and DrummerBoy donate to the ASPCA in my name and I love it! 
  10. Complete a chore or project they can no longer do for themselves. Does a room need painting? What about all the dust that gathers under furniture? There are so many chores and projects that we can no longer safely do for ourselves when we hit certain ages. This is a lovely gift (though we should probably be doing it more than once a year for our older relatives.) You could even just go pick up the person you're gifting and take them out to lunch, shopping, sight-seeing... Sometimes just taking the time to spend some time means more than anything. 
  11. If they still have home movies on VHS or even older tapes, have them transferred to digital! Hint, hint girls. Seriously, I am in the process of checking out these services. 
  12. Storage containers. If the empty nester or aging parent on your list is working on organizing or downsizing, consider helping with the gift of storage containers. This saves them from having to go out to buy them, helps with their limited budget if they have one, and lets them know you support their efforts. You could even hire an organizer to come help them out. Again- hint, hint.
  13. Slippers with lights on the front or other seemingly silly gifts. I know, it sounds ridiculous but one year my dad hit the crap-o-la out of his toe in the middle of the night so I bought him a pair of lighted slippers. He LOVED them. Who knew? There are many products out there like these slippers that older parents will appreciate. For example, nonslip bath mats, wireless headset system or other television listening devices, those shopping carts with a seat, the lights for the toilet (YES they do make these), those handybars, etc.
  14. Give them a month's worth of prepared meals. If they live close enough, you can gift them with meals you have prepared yourself to put in the freezer. All they have to do is take it out and heat it up. OR prepay for one of the healthy food delivery services for them. I don't know about Y'all but nights I don't have to cook are good nights. 
  15. Games. If your family is like mine Y'all LOVE playing games when everyone gets together. We keep all our fun games here and when everyone comes home we have at least one game night depending on how long they are staying. Someone is always bringing in the lastest fun game so our collection has gotten rather large. This is not a problem because we enjoy them so much and get a lot of use out of them. 
Ok, I'm stopping there but I'd love to know your ideas! 

Please visit my Etsy shop, CoasterDoodles

and feel free to FAVORITE the shop
or buy something! 😁💓

Indoor wreaths have arrived at CoasterDoodles!
with more to come soon!
And, YES! We still have our wonderful coasters!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Thankful for the Hodgepodge

Y'all, it's nearly Thanksgiving. How did that happen? I've either been too busy or spending my time waiting for fall temps and lamenting over them not showing up or a combo of both. But Thanksgiving is nearly here! My house is a mess and there's no room at the table because all my CoasterDoodles paraphernalia is all over the table because Mother is still here and occupying the future CoasterDoodles creation room. Whew. That was a mouthful. Ha! Good news? Mother really is doing so well she has been released by her doctors to go back home! She will have her total independence back which thrills her to pieces. We have just a bit longer with the PT to be overly certain on all balance issues but, she's going to be able to go home. OH! And the people of this town voted out the sneaky, underhanded, mayor who is controlled by the big developers OUT OF OFFICE! WHAT?! YES!  I couldn't be happier about this. Ok, I could if the right people were voted off town council. 

Dang, sorry about all that blahblahblah! Let's move on to more entertaining chit-chat with the Hodgepodge!

From this Side of the Pond

1.  In a rut, in a jam, in the groove, out of synch, off balance, out of touch...which saying best fits some area of your life currently (or recently)? How about everything but in the groove? I kid, I kid. I'm going with 'in a jam'. Explain. I tend to keep these things to myself so, sorry Y'all. Or, you're welcome. LOL

2. What is it about somebody else's style of work (coworker/employee/shared volunteer project/household chore) that makes you crazy? Oh wow. This could take way more space as well but let's just say that all talk and no do and the whole put it off until 20 years passes drives me NUTS. Why? Because don't say it if you aren't going to do it. I am the kind of person who believes if something is broken or even going wrong you fix it straight away otherwise a $50.00 project becomes a thousands of dollars project and way over one's head and you are left with a house falling down around you. Not. Exaggerating. 

3. What's a tradition that always makes you feel at home? I don't know. Familiar faces, the food, the smells, not standing on ceremony. I'm sure some of your answers will spark a much better response from me on this one. 

4. A favorite song with a girl's name in the title or lyrics? Layla. Any reason why this is a particular favorite? Nope just always liked the song the original or unplugge will do just fine. 

And then there's #2 on the list because it's the name of the oldest lovely:

5. Share a favorite quote, verse, or saying relating to gratitude or thanksgiving. Take time to be thankful for everything you have. You can always have more, but you could also have less. 

6. Insert your own random thought here. This little bit of love has been with me a couple days because she's been a little sick. She's feeling much better now and showed me I need to move some things up on the bookshelves in the nursery. Once she got it out all over the floor, Password was not that interesting. But the thing I want Y'all to see is at the end of the very short video---THOSE CURLS, Y'all! 

Have a wonderful Wednesday, Y'all!


Please visit my Etsy shop, CoasterDoodles

and feel free to FAVORITE the shop
or buy something! 😁💓

Indoor wreaths have arrived at CoasterDoodles!
with more to come soon!
And, YES! We still have our wonderful coasters!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Keeping Quiet is a Gift I Do Not Possess

How many of Y'all have a hard time keeping quiet? Come on, raise your hands. Mine is up. Way up. If there's one thing nearly impossible for me to do it is keep. my. mouth. shut.

I swear it's like I have no control. I will sit there and listen to someone talk and hear something that NEEDS to be commented on and BAM! whether I want it to or not my mouth opens and words spew out before I even know exactly what those words will be.

Sometimes, I even look around like I have no idea who was talking. Even up at the ceiling just in
case there's a gremlin up there or something. Of course, there are times when I look the person in the face with the attitude of, "Yes, I said that what are you going to do about it?" Because everyone loves to be provoked. And watch out if someone tells me to be quiet. The wrath of Grendel pales in comparison. Ok, not quite like that but if they tell me to calm down, it's on.

I have learned not to respond to people who believe the only right opinion is theirs and no matter what you say or do YOU are wrong. Unreasonable people. People who aren't interested in truth. Or having an intellectual discussion. People who heard it on NPR and that makes them right. Not to be critical of NPR, I have favorite programs on there myself but really, I don't feel the need to spout out something I heard on there as absolute truth just because that's where I heard it. Anyway...

I've also learned to ignore people who are merely trying to draw me out. You know, those people who love to pick a fight? Yeah. NOT worth the time or effort.

One of the worst times I open my mouth is when I offer to do something on the spur of the moment. I immediately regret that decision but it's out there. It's difficult to know how you will feel when you have fibromyalgia but my mouth opens right up and out come the words of offering my services. And then I'm stuck because I said I would and no one understands with fibro you can feel great one minute and not the least bit great the next moment.

What about times when someone spouts off something prejudiced against a minority or women or whomever? Nope. Can't keep the trap shut then either. And it comes off like someone ready to chew their heads off. Do NOT mess with me on subjects such as these. When I am passionate about a subject, there's no stopping the mouth.

I have tried to keep the trap shut. I'm pretty good when it's someone who just isn't worth the effort. The best thing to do is just be quiet and they'll soon be quiet and you won't have to listen to that drivel any longer. Until the next time. But if you're quiet those times will dwindle it.

 Lots of times I think people who just keep quiet are lucky. Or how nice it would be not to have one single opinion about anything. To be able to have a conversation in my head without verbalizing so much as a syllable. To not care about the racist jerk who spouts off about minorities, women, other countries or the ass who abuses women, children, animals, the elderly... But that's not me. My trap must yap.

Maybe that's why I love to be alone. Ha!

Anyone remember this? I need to add, 'opened my mouth.'

What about Y'all? Yappers or not?

Have a wonderful Monday!

Please visit my Etsy shop, CoasterDoodles
and feel free to FAVORITE the shop
or buy something! 😁💓

Indoor wreaths have arrived at CoasterDoodles!
with more to come soon!
And, YES! We still have our wonderful coasters!

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