Coast Guard Grandparents

JesseThere’s never been a generation like the baby boomers, and there never will be again! Some Boomers are retired Cost Guard, they are informed, enthusiastic, ready to beat the odds and they know how to laugh but are they really prepared to babysit?

Do they know the difference between a pull up and a pop up? Don’t laugh! I called Jeremy’s pull ups, pop ups it was an honest mistake. Plus he had to show me how to use his mother’s kitchen gadget stuff. I can’t be the only granny that can’t figure it all out!

If your grandchildren’s parents are in the coast guard then Facebook and Skype have probably become very important to you. Currently Facebook is our way of staying connected to them and my daughter in laws blog. We are so happy to be able to see what they are all up to these days it really means the world to us.

 Six years ago my son met a lovely gal and four years later they got married and when they said, “I Do ” and he became a father to her son. Then while they were stationed in the South they had two babies, a boy and a girl. Perfect! During that time I moved to the south with them (not so perfect) but then I meant a wonderful southern gentleman and now we are married. Perfect!

SAMSUNGWhen my son joined the Coast Guard he was a bachelor and I never thought  about the future or what it would be like to be a grandmother and having grandchildren moving every four years. However I did experience all the emotions mothers have when their sons and daughters are in any branch of the Military and have to move around.

Jesse And His DadThe up side of spending time with them these past four years was experiencing how awesome they are as a couple and parents and I will always consider it an honor to get to know them as a family. They are terrific people and they seem to just role along with where ever the cost guard takes them.

Miss Julie On The PhoneIt’s also been a blessing to have experience the past four years with Jeremy, and the first three years of Jesse’s life and the first year of Miss Julie‘s life. Last month they moved from The South to Alaska. It took me two weeks to adjust but I’ve made it through and now when I  drive past the Coast Guard base and see the air plane out in front and I’m happy to say, I don’t tear instead I smile!

My husband and I used to like to kid around and say “We child proofed the house and they still got in.” I know! But it’s funny. All kidding aside we had a blast with our grand-kids and suddenly for a while we were wise and loved again just because we were us.

Grandkids Keep Us YoungI’m sure they felt we were a bit odd, and occasionally I felt as though I would catch them giving each other meaningful glances that seemed to say, They’re old and we must be the patient with them.

Jeremy & JesseNevertheless Jesse and Miss Julie did not show any signs of age discrimination and treated us as though we were as young as their parents. I use to wonder if Miss Julie was thinking, oh no, here comes those old people again. Where’s the pretty blond lady? I’m referring to our friend Lynn, who loved to gently rock Miss Julie to sleep. While on the other hand I spent my time with Miss Julie walking and walking around the house for what seemed like a million times telling her she could do it and in own time she did.

 Miss Lynn & JulieWe want to thank Lynn and Victor (retired Coast Guard) for stepping up to the plate and helping us the first time we babysat Miss Julie or as the young people say, hung out with Miss Julie. We were surprised when it took three baby boomers and one retired Coast Guard guy to take care of one baby girl and when her parents came home she stayed up and played with her brother and we went home to take naps. Is that called role reversal? Parents taking naps instead of the kids!

Love from a Granny In Training

A Little Humor For A Boomer’s Heart

 Kids QuotesHumor for a boomer’s heart

1. “What children need most are the essentials that grandparents provide in abundance. They give unconditional love, kindness, patience, humor, comfort, lessons in life. And most important, cookies.” By Rudolph Giuliani.

2. ” A house needs a grandma in it.” C By  Louisa May Alcott.

3.”Never have children, only grandchildren.” BY Gore Vidal.

4. “When grandparents enter the door, discipline flies out the widow.” By Omar Sharif.

5. “My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. she’s ninety-seven now, and we don’t know where she is.” By Ellen DeGeneres. C.

6. “My grandmother is over eighty and still doesn’t need glasses. Drink’s right out of the bottle.” By Henny Youngman.

7. “Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle star-dust over the lives of little children.” By Alex Haley

8. “Elephants and grandchildren never forget.” By Andy Rooney.

9. ” The best babysitters of course, are the baby’s grandparents. You feel completely comfortable entrusting your bay to them for long periods, which is why most grandparents flee to Florida.” By David Sedaris.

10. “A grandmother pretends she doesn’t know who you are on Halloween.” By  Erma Bombeck

 

Girlfriends Forever

Friends ForeverThe best kind of friendship are the lasting , warm, and wonderful kind. They’re the kind when the caring never goes away and the two friends are so near in their hearts that they’ll stay closes forever. Our friendship is like that. We have a trust, an honesty, and a history together that make me think of you as so much more than a friend. You’re at the center of the circle of my life and you’ve been a precious part of so many yesterdays.

I know you’ll always stay that way, because when a friend is as close as you are, she’s just like family. You’ve always been and you always will just like a sister to me. We didn’t have all those yesterday’s of being little girls together. We didn’t share the same mother and father, or help each other blow out our birthday candles.

It's Great To Be A GirlThere weren’t any days of playing hopscotch or tag or of staying up nights giggling and planning our future’s. We never experienced the gift of love sisters share, until now. I have had many friends but none of them knows my heart and my spirit as you do. Your have given me something very special. . . the gift of a sister’s love. “What I’m trying to say is this: As long as you have me and I have you for a friend, life’s never going to be lonely, boring, or without someone special in our lives.

“Become A Time Traveler”

Holding HandsWant a mini vacation that’s almost as fun as it was the first time around?  Try becoming a time traveler and still be home in time to pick up the kids from school. How far? Fix yourself a quick snack curl up in a quiet, comfortable spot, and break out your photos. Go all the way back. Baby pictures? How about that shot of you dancing naked in your crib or

 Here’s one. . . . Funny Prom Photomust have been Halloween. Oops! Sorry. I guess that was the style back then. Prom photos, wedding photos . . . that attractive shot of you in the hospital gown, looking like you just got run over by a Mac truck yet beaming nonetheless as you hold your first-born child.

Making time to put them in photo albums can be a challenge at any age.  My photo albums are fine, but the real treasure troves arePhoto Hat Boxs the six large girly cardboard  hat box’s that I  started storing a few photos in  nearly a decade ago that are full of memories and it seems like it will take four men and an act of Congress to move them from room to room. I went through the box’s a couple of weeks ago and spent hours pouring over photos, kindergarten master pieces, and yellowed birthday cards.  I had reached the bottom of the last hat box when the phone rang. Phone?  Wait . . . where was I? Looking around for my living room, it took a moment for the memories to fall away and for me to place myself back in the present. What time was it anyway? How long had I been gone . . .  I mean busy?

Take a trip down memory lane. You’ll not only enjoy a diversion from current stress, but you’ll also come away with a whole new perspective. Reliving those fond Kodak moments and being reminded, at the same time, just how fast time flies! May very well leave you with a new commitment to enjoy and cherish the time you have with your family today.

“If I’m Ever Stranded I Hope It’s In A Bookstore”

I Love BooksMy whole life, I have been very interested in the potential held in things. I love beginnings, when all is possible and everything could be fantastic and nothing has stepped up to the plate to disappoint me. There is nothing I like more than feeling  the weight of a book in my hands and wondering what the story inside might be and if I’m ever stranded I hope it’s in a bookstore.  I feel an overwhelming excitement at the beginning of reading a book, and I  am sure that this love of pure possibility must be (along with how they smell) one of the reasons I adore newborn babies. I can‘t wait to see who they might turn out to be.

I can’t  wait to experience the emotions that will come to the surface. Will I laugh till I cry or will I cry till I laugh? Will I think about experiences I’ve shared with friends from my early school years? Will I be taken back to a time in my childhood when I was a happy and carefree sixth grader riding my bike down to school or to the beach. Will I feel like I just stepped into a Norman Rockwell painting ? Will I think about my first love, my wedding day or the birth of my children? Will I agree or disagree with the author? Will I be moved to make a change in my life, community or even globally because of what some one wrote in a book? Will I give up one or two hours of sleep for this book because it speaks to my heart and soul? Will I feel energized and motivated the next day? Will it seem as though the author knew me and I just know the book was just for me?

Every time I walk into a lovely used  book store  or browse through my local library I am full of excitement and anticipation and I can’t help but wonder what adventure will I be taken on while browsing through all those wonderful books?  Every now and then a movie comes along that resonates with us it maybe a romantic comedy, drama, religious, political or your favorite childhood movie but one thing that is guaranteed you’ll be thinking about possibilities.  One of my favorite movies is a 1940s movie called “The Shop Around The Corner “The Shop Around The Corner Kralik , puts a red carnation in his lapel and finally reveals to Miss Novak that he is in fact her mystery correspondent . . . her “dear friend” and the two kiss and embrace. While watching the movie you just think  they are perfect for each other but will they or wouldn’t they fall in love?  That’s the question!

In the 1981 film “Steel MagnoliasSteele Magnolias at her daughters funeral and  after the other mourner have left. M’Lynn  ( Sally Field) breaks down in hysterics in front of four of her best friends crying out in anger “WHY” and her friends are able to give support to her through love and humor. Later M’Lynn begins to accept her daughter’s death and focuses her energy on helping raise her grandson and life goes on.  Toward the end of  Steel Magnolias you might feel like you are on an emotional roller coaster ride full of sadness when M’Lynn is asking “WHY” and is expressing her anger that her daughter died. I always cry, cry, cry,  then I start feeling better as M’Lynn goes from asking “WHY” to loving and enjoying her grandson and I find myself returning to joy  and laughter as I watch her with her with family, friends and grandson enjoying an Easter Egg hunt.

In the 1998 movieYou’ve Got MailYou've Got Mail Joe, known as “Ny152”  mysteriously postponed meeting shop girl in the beginning of the movie and at the end of the movie they finally meet for the first time. Brinkley, Joe’s golden retriever, who is the topic of many e-mails is with him and Kathleen admits that she had wanted “NY152” to be Joe so badly, and the two kiss.  “Brinkley” Joes golden retriever steals the show and once again we are reminded anything is possible. Shop Girl forgives Ny152 for being part of the big business world that contributed to closing  her family  book store that she had inherited   from her mother . . .  there we have it a Hollywood ending . . .  they happily ever after.

“Sometimes Reclaiming Your Life Means Giving Up The Fariy Tale”

Couple in conflictHave you ever felt that you walked the path of your life alone? That you were the only woman who has ever made a painful, stupid mistake? That you settled for less than you deserved?  Did you desperately desire love above all else? Did you yearn for a real partner so much it hurt: Have you ever thought “Why is every woman but me in a great relationship?  “Why can’t I be that happy?” Or found yourself rejected by the person you loved and it left you feeling that something was wrong with you?

When a devastating breakdown of a relationship ends it can feel like a wild boar‘s tusk ripping through your heart. You can become convinced that you are the only woman who has ever made a complete mess of your life. You feel alone, rejected, and furious that you had deceived yourself for so long. That you had given up on “yourself” to keep the love of another for years, only to be left with a heart torn to shreds.

What women learn shortly after the initial blow of their relationship’s end is that, they failed to understand above all else, is that they needed to honor the most important relationship of all “the one with themselves.” The ending of a relationship becomes the beginning of a journey for women  to learn many things about themselves and how to love and honor themselves.

The journey of being a woman can seem crazy and confusing but for better or worse, women have many of the same stories, heartbreak, obstacles, and expectations. The good news is that women don’t have to remain captive to the limiting beliefs swirling in their psyches and in society, which keeps them far from their dreams. We always have a choice. Along life’s path, we all have the opportunity to gain wisdom from our mistakes, the self-awareness that comes from healing our wounds, and clarity by claiming our needs.

If we are lucky enough to wake up to the immense power that is available to heal our hearts and teach us how to love ourselves, we have a responsibility to share our stories and insights with others. Otherwise, the true power of our realizations will be lost. Sharing allows us to see ourselves in the words of others, gain witnesses to our personal journey, and broaden the possibilities that lie before us.

I, too relied on the wisdom and support of many women, some of them total strangers, to progress through my journey to wholeness.  By watching others and listening, I learned that to fully and wholeheartedly love another I first needed to fully and wholeheartedly embrace ” myself.” This realization is a major source of inspiration in my decision to share my knowledge and experiences with  other women. Women need to share the wisdom gained on their personal path as they went from being a person they thought they had to be to be loved to being the one they actually are.

In them I gained wisdom while on my personal path as I went from being  a person I thought I knew and loved to being one I actually do know and love. We shared our stories about living ordinary lives, raising children, creating a safe home life, the ups and downs of stay at home moms to the working moms. Some of us were married and some single. We talked about many issues like paying bills, being young, and getting older and the list goes on and on and lets not forget divorce as well. We also talked about trying to find sources of love and happiness but often looking in the wrong places. When we stopped and took a careful look at the life we had created and honesty answered this question “Am I honoring the most important relationship in my life first?  The one with my self and God.

We discovered reclaiming our lives meant giving up the fairy tale that we had created about ourselves and instead finding out what reality was. The new path may did not seem clear at the beginning to us  and we felt like we were fumbling in the dark grabbing for something to hold to, then one of my dear friends said, remember this is a normal feeling and keep moving forward and don’t go back. During this time we discovered within ourselves the spirit of survivor and a deeper faith we never knew existed.

 We also learned that loving ourselves is knowing ourselves, enjoying and valuing the women that we are, and understanding that getting to know ourselves and God  is a lifelong personal enterprise. It meant that we needed to  appreciate ourselves as much as we appreciate the ones we love. Loving ourselves is recognizing our gifts and talents and then putting them to good use, acknowledging our flaws and forgiving ourselves for them. We learned that loving ourselves was reaching for more, it was reaching for the best, in ourselves. We discovered that our hearts can only hold as much love as we believe it can. So often women put up with shabby treatment in love because they don’t believe they deserve better or they are still stuck in fairy tale thinking.  So treat yourself better, believe you deserve to be treated well, and you will get treated even more wonderfully in love than any fairy tale woman has ever been. 

Carol. M.

“Flowers Are love’s Truest Language”

The Flower GirlFlowers are a beautiful addition to any wedding decor, as well as a lovely adornment for the wedding partyBrides make sure they choose flowers with care and consideration to enhance their ceremony. It’s been said, that during Victorian times, lovers would send messages to each other using different flowers, with each flower having its own meaning. These associations were soon adopted for the bride’s bouquets and are still used today by many brides. Isn’t that romantic?

During Roman times, brides and grooms wore floral garlands to signify new life and hope for fertility. The custom of the bride carrying flowers has its roots in ancient times. Strong smelling herbs and spices were thought to ward off and drive away evil spirits and ill-health.

Flowers are love’s truest language and here is a few of the most popular wedding flowers preferred by brides today and their symbolic meanings.

  • Anemones: Represents expectations and they bloom in either single or double blossoms an is in season from fall (Japanese) to spring (Wood or De Can)
  • Baby’s Breath: Represents innocence and is best used as a filler in bouquets, corsage and are in season year round.
  • Calla Lily: Means magnificent beauty and this large tropical flower is very popular in weddings.
  • Carnations: Pink represents boldness, red symbolizes love and white indicates talent, some other colors have negative connotations. Carnations are in season all year-round and have a very light fragrance or none at all.
  • Chrysanthemum or Mum: Meaning wealth, abundance, truth and the name literally means “Golden Flower” used most often in the fall.
  • Daffodil: Meaning regard and is most often used in the spring.
  • Daisy: Meaning share your feelings and are in season year-round.
  • Freesia: Meaning innocence and spring brides enjoy the sweet fragrance of the freesia flower.
  • Gardenia: Meaning purity and joy.
  • Hydrangea: Meaning understanding and is used by spring and fall wedding bouquets and arrangements.
  • Iris: Meaning a message of faith, wisdom and spring brides enjoy this beautiful flower as part of their wedding bouquets.
  • Lilac: Meaning love’s first emotions with a strong fragrance. A little flower fact: The local lilac is grown like a bush, and is used as a filler because of the greenery. The French lilac is more flower like and can be used as such in bouquets and arrangements. This exotic flower comes in a variety of colors and sizes.
  • Lily of the Valley: Meaning happiness and these small, fragile, bell-shaped flowers are considered traditional marriage flowers.
  • Magnolia: Love of nature and are best used for flower arrangements by spring or summer brides.
  • Orchid: Meaning love, beauty and is best used for bouquet, boutonnieres and corsages.
  •  Roses:  Meaning love, joy and they are the most popular wedding flower.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
  •   Stephanotis: Meaning marital happiness. They are best used for bouquets and arrangements. Brides love their trumpet shape blossoms consider them traditional bridal flowers, no doubt due to their meaning.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
  • Tulips: Meaning love, passion this flower is a favorite for spring brides. Flower fact: These sweet and stately flowers can be found in myriad of colors. Let’s not forget the Sunflower many country brides love their sunflowers!

Brides and Grooms will be celebrating World Marriage Day on the second Sunday in February and it honors husbands and wives as the basic units of society, and statutes for “the beauty of their faithfulness, sacrifice, and joy in daily married life. This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate with flowers that express your truest love language to your sweetheart.

Carol. E.