Monday, July 24, 2017

Surprises in a Treasure Chest

Children:
caption lost in publishing.  Pinterest site.
This is the second day of school for Bright Eyes.  Already, she and her little clutch of friends are striving for good behavior, and most importantly, “table points”.


Class Rules Chart
products to purchase
Unless you are familiar with the discipline plans and rewards used in an elementary classroom, that means nothing to you. 

 “Table Points” are the points a cluster of six students called a ‘table group’ can earn by sitting up straight, paying attention, folding hands in front of them, and/or remaining silent when the world around them is wreaking wild havoc.

The table group who garners the most points throughout the whole week gets to choose prizes from the Treasure Chest.  
Lots of purchased stuff, not donated
“Oh. My. Goodness.  This is so big, like, you know, Grandma!  And, we were the first table group for the school year, too.”  Bright Eyes now sounds like every teeny girl in Disney™ television shows.  

It makes me sad, and a little cranky to be honest. Her young moral compass will be led by a Treasure Chest. When my daughter quietly informed me of this special day, it was impossible to squelch my reaction.

So, Bright Eyes hopped into the van, clutching her prize from the Treasure Chest.  It was a small zippered bag, like a girl would carry in her purse for lipstick and such. She had so much to tell about her day, and she had to buckle in before she could examine her treasured prize.

There was silence from Bright Eyes as my daughter drove, letting Sunshine fill in the news of her day.  Then, “Mommy, what is this?”

From the treasured prize, Bright Eyes pulled out three Tampons™, and held them up for her mother to view in the rear view mirror. She was told that they would talk about those things at home.  

But that was never enough for Bright Eyes, oh no. She knew a brush-off when she heard it. Bright Eyes tore them open, and speculated about their uses.  Not a flashlight…oh, look, here’s string…she swung the tampons around on their stringsNo, this isn’t a telescope. Here, Sunshine!  You can play with this one…”

Both competed with fighting tampons, swinging in a white whirl.

This looks like a good book.



When they all arrived home and the front door closed, my daughter (God bless her.) gave Bright Eyes an abbreviated explanation; she took the Tampons away.  Then she called the teacher, who listened in silence.  The Teacher said, “Oh, dear.  I’d better called Bright Eyes’ best friend.  She picked the same thing.” 

Ahhh.  The joys of teaching. Joys of learning.

And joys of being a grandmother.




This is a re-post from August 17, 2011.

We are visiting family (two grandsons) in Switzerland, and blogging is highly unlikely.  

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

"Catch 'em if you still can" a quote from Jarvis DeBerry




Sikeston, MO
Sikeston, MO
Old Man and Old Woman had driven on Interstate 55 many times, too many to mention.  This time they were driving from Beaumont, Texas, the day after Christmas. Christmas in Beaumont with Golden Boy, their youngest son, had been painful and disappointing for too many reasons to count.

Old Woman strongly suggested they stop and get some food.  Old Man said he was just fine, and she could wait a while.  Old Woman replied in no uncertain language that they had better stop or there’d be pee all over Old Man’s precious car.

Lambert is a former Sikeston Bulldog football, wrestling and track coach.
Passing by Sikeston, Missouri, a sign announced “Home of the Throwed Roll”, and this would suit them both just fine, since they weren’t talking with each other at this time. Old Man parked his precious car, and Old Woman got out even before the engine stopped running.  By the time Old Man had opened his door and slammed it, Old Woman was inside and sitting at a table, menu in hand.

The Throwed Roll was unusually quiet this day right after Christmas which suited Old Man just fine with his failing hearing.  Old Woman could have done with some laughing and people around, since she enjoyed visiting with people on next table over or behind.

A chirpy little waitress named Patty took their order of ham and beans for Old Man, and turkey with stuffing for Old Woman.  Old Man canceled his order and instead asked for meatloaf, after Old Woman announced that she wasn’t going to ride with someone who had just eaten beans.

Plates delivered and Patty asked if they would like some rolls.  Why, yes, Old Woman nodded.  Patty called to Norman Lambert, owner of the restaurant, for rolls and Patty moved out of the way.  You’d better get ready, she whispered as Norman launched the first roll to Old Woman, who had excellent reflexes.

The soft-ball sized roll hit her hand with a WHAP, just like being caught in a ball mitt. Then Old Man caught his roll, barely containing it. Patty set a bowl of  smooth butter and a jar of molasses on their table, asking if they’d like to put some on their roll.  Why, yes, Old Man nodded. Patty wiped her hands on her apron, and then burrowed her index finger into each roll.  Then Patty slathered a sizable amount of butter in the well, followed by thin line of molasses easing out from about a foot above.

Norman Lambert

Old Man and Old Woman gasped and then laughed, finally making eye contact. Three rolls later they were back on the I-55, heading home, talking to each other like old couples do.

Throwed Rolls has probably saved many relationships over the years.

My parents are Old Man and Old Woman.  

Friday, July 14, 2017

Happy Birthday, Mommy!!


My daughter’s August birthday will be next week.  My eldest granddaughter Bright Eyes has planned this birthday party for Mommy for the past two years, starting when she was six years old.  Dada was always involved and little sister Sunshine made out of the loop.  She cannot keep a secret, ever. Only as party neared was Sunshine allowed to help with food supplies.

This year is different.  Bright Eyes will be in Fourth Grade in September,  and this party is more sophisticated: it will be an on-line party hosted by Bright Eyes and Sunshine, and arranged through the World of WarCraft, juvenile version.. 

Simple graphics and simple choices
The girls have reservations to hold the party in the city of Storm Wind, with the blessing of the Alliance.  Actually, there will be two parties: one in the Realms of Echo Isle and the other in Silver Hand.

Source: characters which may be uploaded

Invitations have been sent in inter-game mail, and requests for gifts have been made.  The gift registry can be found at the registered site. 

World of Warcraft picture
Source: mmosite.com/
There will be non-alcoholic beer (apparently some of the goblins interacted negatively with the gnomes last party).  There will be fireworks and fortune cards from Sage.

Children's Week is Coming: April 29 - May 6
Source: Children's Week
Some of the attendees will be Pendix, Gnome Mage. WhereamI (a Dranai Warrior) and a Dancing Mechanical Monkey.

Last year Bright Eyes arranged for tortilla chips, guacamole, and salsa.  She and Sunshine made a red velvet cake.  Friends showed up for a pool party.

coolest birthday cakes site


That is so “old school”, I have been told, by Bright Eyes. After all, she is almost 9 now.

I have not been invited.

This is a re-post from 2012.  You have no idea how many times I have been an observer of either Bright Eyes or Sunshine when they play their own games.  I didn't develop my own character (mainly because they didn't let me, which is just as well) since I wouldn't be online playing against anyone.  

Bright Eyes was born November 22, making younger than other students.  But Bright Eyes always holds her own, in fact, she rules and dominates. Brilliant child.  

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Wisdom of the Dinosaur

Yesterday I held a sick child for almost the whole day.  ‘Sunshine’ had been sick with fever and vomiting the night before, and was staying home from kindergarten.  She lay across my lap while we rocked, and I caressed her face and hair.  In my grandma kingdom, this was a great day.

Dinosaur
released in 2009
We watched a selection of Disney movies, starting with “Dinosaurs”.  We have watched this movie many times, but I have never been plastered in the chair by a five-year old with a fever of 101 degrees.

 Usually, Sunshine and I watch a movie, and she gives me a running commentary on the movie along with her own unique insights.  You would be amazed by the perspectives a kindergartner has about life and theology.

The plot is straight-forward:  a dinosaur egg miraculously escapes many brushes with crushing, ends up hatching in the tree occupied by a family of primates.  They adopt the adorable newly hatched dino and name him “Aladar”.  All goes well, happy times ensue, and Aladar (who is fortunately an herbivore) develops friendships and family. 

There are some universal truths conveyed in that movie.  Go with me on this:

Everyone needs to love and be loved.

Everyone needs to know they are not alone.

Everyone needs to make conscious decisions for good or evil.

Aladar, Neera, Suri, Yar, and Plio
Aladar and his love interest
Iguanodons and lemur friends
Normally mammals and dinosaurs are not close friends.
Everyone needs to be believed in and encouraged.

Everyone can change and grow.

Everyone has the potential to learn and the capacity to give to others.

Everyone must take chances, to make ‘a leap of faith’.

Everyone needs to trust and believe in something bigger than themselves, something they cannot see.

Okay, these are not a profound revelations.  I have never evaluated a movie for universal elements before, and I was struck by the way the movie displayed these characteristics. 

Then we watched “Night at the Museum (has a dinosaur)”, and “Tinkerbell and the Lost Treasure (no dinosaur)”.  We both nodded off before Tinkerbell was able to repair the moonstone.  Dang.

This is a re-post of 2011 post.  We are preparing to go or may even be gone to Switzerland by this post.  I will be holding two grandsons by then, hopefully healthy boys.



Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Fry everything, oh yes you can

It starts here.
Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, beats a State or County Fair!  Just say those words aloud in a conversation, and see what happens.  Everyone has a memory of a trip to the FAIR.

I believe our memories are firmly anchored by the odors and scents that come with the State/County Fair visit.  Whether it is the walk-throughs of the cow, pig, goat, or sheep stalls or the multiple stops at the food vendor courts, our sense of smell locks in the memories of going-to-the-State-Fair.


So it is with great pleasure, I bring you Fried Foods at the Fair!
These foods go beyond unhealthy or indecently pleasurable. These deep-fat fried foods venture into a realm of absolutely unique.  Here is a minimum list of currently-on-the-menu at different fairs:


 Fried Cola             Fried Margarita    Fried watermelon 
                                          
                        Fried Energy Drink
Fried mac and cheese; cheese on a burger with cheese, on a Krispy Crème Donut topped with chocolate covered bacon---it is all there.

Fried Scorpions   Fried Captain crunch burgers  
          
fried butter
             
           

Need I go on?  These adventurous food vendors spend years on experimenting with new ideas.  Who knows what we will see at the next fair, and absolutely have to try?

I have my nose, eyes, and tastebuds ready for Fried Red Velvet Funnel Cake with Cream Cheese topping.

Now, what would you seek in this world of heart attack foods?


This is a blog from 2012.  Since I will be absent from the blog world I decided to dredge some old posts.  I'll see y'all when we return from hugging and kissing my grandsons.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Sunshine: Theology as seen by a four year-old


Sunshine:  Theology 101 according to a four year-old.

After I pick up Sunshine from Gateway Christian Preschool, we always have lunch together.

Having lunch with Sunshine is always an interesting event, even if it involves copious amounts of pbj, milk, and applesauce.  All it takes is a simple question, and her vast wealth of knowledge and opinions come flooding out like gold coins from Scrooge McDuck’s vault.

All I have to ask, “What did you learn at school today?”

Just before Easter, Sunshine’s eyes brightened at that question, and without missing a bite of pbj, or a drop of the jam from the oozy edges, Sunshine told me.  “I learned all about Jesus.  And, Grandma, did you know…”  

She paused for a swig of 2% milk, and to allow me to mop off her face.  “Did you know that Jesus gotted nailed to a cross?  That’s a thing that has two pieces of wood that make a small ‘t’.  The bad Romans (Where did she hear about them, I wondered.) took big nails, Grandma, really big nails.”  She spread her hands about a foot apart.  “And then they hammered them through Jesus’ hands, really hard.  Right through Jesus’ hands.”

Her wide blue eyes made contact with my green eyes, to make sure I understood what she said.  Oh, I understood.  I could feel His bones breaking, and the blood dripping onto the wood.  My green eyes became misty with tears.

With casual care, Sunshine licked off the strawberry jam that she had squeezed out from the bread, on purpose.  She likes to do that, and I don’t blame her; so do I.

“Then they stood the cross up like this,” Sunshine demonstrated with her yellow IKEA plastic spoon, “and dropped it in a hole like this.”  She brought down the spoon hard into the bowl of applesauce.  “That woulda really hurted, you know.”

Again her eyes looked deeply into mine, checking for understanding just like any good teacher would.  Oh, I understood how the cross would have hit the ground with a vibrating thud, and how this would have shook Christ’s body with waves of pain.  My eyes blinked at hers several times.

She told me the whole story, event by event, while I remained very still, listening and watching as my almost 5 year old granddaughter explained salvation to me.  “Miss Kenny gived us each a paper cross we color on, and I decided to color my cross like a sunset.”  I looked confused, I suppose, for now she patiently explained her ideas as if I were only 4 years old.  

“You see, Grandma, the red is for the Blood of Jesus, which He gave away so we can see Him in Heaven.  Then the orange is for the sunset when Jesus died.”  Another bite of pbj, and the last swallow of milk.  

“Can I have some more milk, Grandma?”  Without missing a beat while I automatically poured the milk into her pink IKEA cup, Sunshine lowered her voice to a whisper.  “Then I used yellow.  You know why I used yellow?” 

I shook my head, for at this point I didn’t want to or couldn’t talk.  “Well, the yellow is for sunrise, when Jesus got up out of His grave.  That meaned that He wasn’t dead anymore, that He was alive!”  She slammed her hand on the table.  “There!  See!  Jesus is alive!”

With the last bite of pbj, and the last swipe of the spoon around the bowl of applesauce, Sunshine finished up.  “Then I colored around the cross in blue, ‘cause Jesus went up to Heaven, and He’s waiting there for all of us.”  She gazed into my eyes and asked, “Grandma, why are you crying?  This is good news, not bad.  Jesus is alive!”

I pulled her into my lap and wrapped my arms around her.  Sunshine wiped her gooey face into my tee-shirt, and filled me with her warmth.  Yes, He’s alive, Sunshine.


Susan Kane
April 27, 2011

This is a re-post from six years ago.  I had forgotten about until I checked comments in Hold for Moderation section.  Sunshine is now eleven, my height, with the amazing blue eyes.  And she still knows what Jesus did for us.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Measure of a Great Summer


Summer is just starting.  Soon fireworks will burst in the sky and "ahhhh...ooohhh" will drift upwards.

Summer is measured in so many ways.  Not by time or clocks or calendars, but by all things intangible is summer measured. 

Summer is measured by:

* amount of fireflies caught and held in a quart jar. 

Summer....Watching fireflies/lightning bugs...I have only ever seen them once. It was amazing.:
Pinterest
young boy eating corn on the cob
Indiana

* first good ear of sweet corn covered with butter.

* wrinkled fingers of my grandchildren after swimming all day.


* by splashes in the pool by children of all ages.

*  number of the SPF in the sunblock lotion.

* by how high the A/C is set.

* by lack of football games on TV.

* by sales of summer clothes at JCPenney.

Can you add to the list?  I wonder how many measurements our blogging community can add?

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Monty Python Explains It All


blue Monty Python wallpaper background
Silly Walks

Starting life on a farm, I enjoyed the years of living just outside my hometown of 427 people.  Most of the residents, their ancestors, and their descendants had lived in this area since 1820s. 

When my own small family moved to Ireland in 1985, our adventures took us through small villages with their own populations, much like those of my hometown, only theirs dated back to 15th century, or further.

These villages and my own hometown had many similarities, including a church, store, farmers market, and pub (no pub at my old town). 

Another striking similarity was the presence of locals who were referred to as the “village idiots”.  My parents explained this was not an insult, but was the only way to describe this part of the populations.


But, after watching this episode of “Monty Python”, I learned how this came to be.


From YouTube, where Monty Python jewels reside

This relieves my mind, as I couldn't force myself to see people that way.  My parents probably were not aware of this hidden training program.

P. S.  I love Monty Python episodes, their unique sense of humor, and satire on the English society.  I found this video, and decided to write around it.  Hope no one is offended--that is certainly not my desire or intention.

This is a re-post, dated Oct. 23, 2015.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Shrines of Time


European countries with such centuries of history have, by sheer time, amassed incredible buildings, structures, monuments, and fountains that shout to the visitor:  “I have been here longer than you can imagine!"

A first time visitor to Switzerland suffers from camera overload:  so many photo opportunities, that it is overwhelming to pick and choose. 

As a returning tourist, I visited Switzerland by myself in July 2012 to see a newborn grandson.  My photos naturally focused on him and his parents.  Each day, I rode a bus through the city of Bern and viewed the city and surrounding areas differently every time.


 I labeled this post "Shrines of Time".  

These are stone watering troughs from old farmlands, gathered together  for artistic appreciation.

An old English telephone booth without its glass, in which a plant had grown

A trail marker along the Aure River

A tree along the Aure River, and it is hanging on with its roots until the next snow-melt flood



 Sometimes the smaller Shrines of Time speak the loudest.

This is a Re-Post of April 23, 2013.  We will be returning to Switzerland in three weeks to see a new grandson and visit with our McKinley family!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Dead Man's Hand

One of many newspapers covering the trial.
Passion is a force that runs our world. Passion for everything, every single thing can be for good and/or for evil, love and/or lust: Passion.

One of these many passions is for the game of bridge. Living in our new community of retired and independent living, those passionate bridge players play that card game with absolute dedication. Husband John is one of those now.  Passion which drives these bridge players almost borders on obsession.

The following is a re-telling of a legendary passionate bridge game in 1929:

John and Myrtle Bennett spent Sundays together with Myrna and Charles Hofman.  The guys would play a round of golf in the morning, with all clustering together to play bridge after dinner. Hofmans lived in an apartment above Myrtle and John Bennett, and Myrtle’s mother. Needless to say, Hofman couple could hear what the other couple was doing or saying.

Shortly after midnight, Charles and Myra Hofman were whomping the Bennetts, pulling ahead.  The Bennetts began to bicker, with John did not making the final hand.

Myrtle was totally irritated and told John that he was one “bum bridge player”. John leaped to his feet and slapped Myrtle a few times.  Hofmans were not surprised, as John did this a lot, with Hofmans able to hear fighting and slapping sounds.

He stomped upstairs to retrieve his suitcase, saying he was leaving, and told Myrtle to go get his pistol.  John always took it for safety when he traveled on the road.  Myrna turned to Charles, “Only a cur would strike a woman in front of his guests.”

Myrtle clumped to her mother’s room where said 32 Colt automatic pistol was hidden in their linen closet, sobbing profusely, stormed back the den. Myrtle brushed by Hofmans, then went down the hall to a dingy bathroom, where she shot John twice in the back. John crawled to the living room where he died.

Well, the trial was a blockbuster for locals, and then big newspapers.  Myrna's shaky memory of who did what, finally settling on Myrtle had been brutalized many times, that the murder was retribution, or maybe accidental. Charles Hoffman agreed. Either way, Myrtle Bennett was declared not guilty of murder.

The deliberation took 8 hours before reaching that verdict, with her defense attorney’s assistant declared “It looks like an open season on husbands.”

Myrtle lived to be 96, living in Hotel Carlyle in New York City.  She was hired to be executive head of housekeeping.  Myrtle developed many friendships with celebrities, including Mary Pickford and husband Buddy Rogers.


Her estate was declared to be more than $1 million.  Having no children or relatives of her own, a good amount went to John Bennett’s family members.
The following is, as best can be reconstructed from Hofmans' memory:

 Myrtle Bennett
North
A1063
1085
4
A9842
 
Charles Hoffman
West
Q72
AJ3
AQ1092
J6
 Myrna Hoffman
East
4
Q94
KJ763
Q753
 John Bennett
South
KJ985
K762
85
K10