Monday, August 31, 2009

Oh,The Wonders of Cinnamon

So as not to mislead anyone, I'm not talking about the spice cinnamon. Although I'm sure the spice cinnamon has many wonderful virtures , I'm talking about a dog named Cinnamon. A beautiful Golden Lab dog. Cinnamon is the pet dog belonging to my daughter and her family. Since recently moving in with my daughter and her family I also consider Cinnamon my pet. She takes her role in the family very seriously. For example, when one of the children are crying she promptly runs to them to check it out. She licks their face and whimpers over them as if to let them know she sympathizes with them . If they haven't stopped crying after Cinnamon's tender care she will come to one of the adults in the house and bark. A bark is usually her signal to be let outside so after opening the door to let her out she just sits there looking at you making no attempt to go out the door, she will bark again and run to where the crying child is. We then go to see what's going on. Most times it's nothing serious. However, one time I was watching my two grandchildren, ages seven and four, while their mother was out running errands. I was downstairs working at the computer. The two children were playing upstairs in their bedrooms. It wasn't too long before Cinnamon ,who had been sleeping on the floor next to the desk where I was working, got up from her nap and stood there with her ears perked. I'm thinking she probably heard something outside and went back to my work. I wasn't aware of the fact that she had left my side and gone upstairs. A few minutes later Cinnamon came running down the stairs barking excidedly and practically knocked me off my chair. I stood at the foot of the stairs and called out to my grandchildren. No response. Once again I called out. Nothing. Cinnamon began running upstairs again. This time I followed her. Once I got to the top of the stairs I again called out to the children. This time I heard a faint, muffled voice crying out "Help, help!" The voice was coming from my grandson's room. I went to the end of the hallway and tried to open the door. It was locked! I kept calling out to them and getting the same muffled response. I was trying to think of a way to get the door unlocked when suddenly the door opened. My four year old granddaughter was standing there with a tear streaked face. I asked where her brother was. She turned and looked and pointed at her brother's bed. All the bedding had been pulled off the bed and was in a heap on the floor. "Grandma I'm under the bed!" Now my grandson has a captain's bed. The bed has drawers all across the front and the ends of the bed are solid and the back of the bed is against the wall. The bed is quite heavy and is too heavy for this grandma to move. I pushed the mattress (also very heavy) up against the wall and there sat my grandson with sweat running down his tear streaked face. "How did you get in there?" I asked. "I pushed the mattress up and climbed in." He responded. "How did you lift that heavy mattress up?' I asked in total amazement. Apparently his sister had helped him. After he had climed inside the bed, his sister pushed the mattress back down. I guess it was a lot of fun being inside his bed but after a few minutes it began to get very hot and wanted out. His little sister wasn't strong enough to push the mattress back up so her brother could get out. She tried though. It was an impossible situation. Little sister couldn't get the mattress up and brother couldn't lift the mattress and climb out of the bed at the same time. Little sister was afraid to come get me for fear of getting into trouble. The door was locked so no one , namely me, wouldn't come in and thwart their plans to hide inside the bed. After a stern lecture and a promise to never do anything like that again, faces were washed and there were hugs and kisses all around. We began to talk about their adventure. My grandson asked me "Grandma didn't you hear me screaming for help?"I told him I had not. As we were talking I recalled how Cinnamon was in the bedroom with me whimpering excidedly as I executed my rescue. "Hey" "It must have been Cinnamon who heard you crying for help." I said. "Dogs have an amazing sense of hearing'. So Cinnamon was the real hero. Oh she still does dog things that can be pretty irritating like sit and stare at you while you are eating and drooling all over the place. She sheds like crazy and I'm always brushing dog hair off my clothes. She has to bark at anyone who happens to be walking down the street. This is particularly irritating since the bank of neighbohood mailboxes is right across the street from our house. Oh well, since she is after all a dog, we can forgive all the little irritating things she does. We all praise our Cinnamon the wonder dog.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Triple Layer Chocolate Cake

The other day I was going through some papers trying to condense the amount of paper clutter I have accumulated over the years. I came across a story that was a handout from a class I had attended some years ago. That particular lesson was on patience and waiting on the Lord and God's timing. The story is about a little boy who was so excited because today was his birththday.

He walked into the kitchen where his mother was preparing to make him a birthday cake. "When is my birthday cake going to be ready?"he asked his mother. "In a while." She responded."Why don't you go play and I'll let you know when the cake is ready." So the little boy gave a big sigh and stomped off to his room to play. A few mimutes later he could smell chocolate and vanilla and other sweet aromas. He ran back to the kitchen saying, "Yum! It smells so good mom, can I have some cake now?" he asked. "Honey the cake is'nt ready yet". "You'll have to be more patient."mom said. "But I want it now." "I'm tired of waiting." "I've waited long enough"he impatiently said. "OK." mom said. "Help yourself. The little boy took a spoonful of baking soda. "Yuk" he said. "This taste terrible". Next he tried a spoonful of cocoa. He loved chocolate! "Oh no!" "This is terrible!" "Mom, do you know how to make a cake?" "Do you know what you're doing?" Next he tried something his mother called vanilla. It sure smelled good! After he tasted the vanilla be began to spit and sputter. He was beginning to think his mother was trying to poison him! "Mom, maybe we should get my birthday cake from the bakery." The little boy was'nt sure he could trust his mother to bake him a delicious cake. Just the way he liked it. "Now son", his mom said. "If you'll just trust me and be patient, you will have a beautiful triple layer, chocolate birthday cake"."Now, please go outside and play." "I will let you know when the cake is ready." "Oh, alright mom, I will." A little while later the cake was finished and the litle boy was eating the most delicious triple layer chocolate cake he had ever tasted ! After reading this little story I began to think about my own impatience. Sometimes in the past if my prayers were'nt being answered as quickly as I wanted , I would lean unto my own devices instead of waiting on the Lord. More often than not it would not be the desired outcome I wanted. I did'nt wait on the Lord. Just like the little boy. Because of his impatience he experienced disappointment after disappointment. It was'nt until he decided to to exercise some patience and wait that he recieved his heart's desire, the most beautiful, delicious, triplelayer, chocolate birthday cake! A lesson I need to be reminded of fairly often. Thank you Lord. Your ways are much better than mine. Your timming is the perfect time.

Love to all.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


My daughter's 40th birthday is fast approaching and her sisters, her oldest daughter and myself are all conspiring to give her a fabulous 40th surprise birthday party. She's hard to surprise so it's going to be a little tricky but I think we can pull it off.

I started thinking about when she was born. It was July 1969 and we were living in Prescott, Az. Big news at the time was Neil Armstrong being the first man on the moon and a massive manhunt was going on for an escapee from a Phoenix prison who was considered extremely dangerous and was known for his survival skills and elusiveness. There had been several sightings of him and it appeared he was headed for the Prescott area. He had been dubbed "The Desert Fox." He was captured at a ranch just outside Prescott. A gunfight ensued between the local law enforcement and the escapee. The escapee died in the battle. He had quite a crime spree throughout the manhunt, always being one step ahead of authorities. I had a special interest in this case as this animal had abducted and assaulted a fifteen year old girl I had gone to high school with. I was glued to the t.v. as I listened to the blow by blow accounts of authorities trying to capture him. Since I was about three weeks past my due date (they would NOT let that happen today) all this exciting news about the first man on the moon and the massive manhunt of the escapee helped distract me from my miseries.

I had put on quite a bit of weight that last month and my feet were so swollen I had to wear huge man size flip flops. They were even getting too tight. I could barely move! It was July and I was hot and miserable!

My sister had come up from Phoenix to help me out with my two other children. We had stayed up fairly late one night playing cards so when I finally went to bed that night I prayed that the baby would come very soon. I was feeling pretty sorry for myself and had a very restless night. I awoke about eight o'clock in the morning feeling very puffy. As I began to move around and get breakfast on for the children I started to have contractions. Oh, glory be, I'm in labor! I checked my suitcase for the umpteenth time to make sure I had everything I needed. I then called my husband at work. It was about 11 o'clock and my husband was on his way! He was as anxious as I was to finally have this baby. For a month, every evening, we would go for rides over the bumpiest back roads he could find. The thinking being maybe we could get contractions started. It did not work. I don't know what gave us that idea. It seems so silly now. Anyway, we arrived at the hospital around 11:30 and she was born at 12:05 p.m. Things were happening way too fast!

I remember with my last push, as the baby was being born, hearing my doctor say, " Oh my goodness just look at those dimples. They should call her Dimples!" I remember thinking," How rude of him to make a comment about all the dimples on my thighs. Yes I know, I've gained a lot of weight but come on now I'm trying to have a baby here and he should just keep those kind of comments to himself! Of all the nerve!" Well I started having some complications and they quickly took my baby to the nursery. I didn't even get to see my baby. I did know I'd had a little girl. I had apparently lost a lot of blood and I began to fade away. The next thing I remember was being in my room with the foot of my bed elevated, iv's, and oxygen on. A nurse was checking my blood pressure. The nurse told me I had been asleep for awhile and that I'd had a pretty rough delivery. She said I was going to be ok and my baby girl was just fine. She also said she'd been in the delivery room with me. I told her I was pretty upset with my doctor because of the rude comments he had made about my dimples and I just felt that it was completely uncalled for. My feelings were really hurt.The nurse began to laugh.
At first just a soft chuckle and then a full blown, snickering,snorting, belly laugh. As soon as the nurse was able to contain herself somewhat, she said "Oh honey, the doctor wasn't referring to your dimples, he was talking about your baby's dimples!" She began laughing again.This time I was able to see the humor in all of it and joined in on the laughter. I told the nurse that I hadn't even seen my baby yet so I had not seen her dimples. The nurse left to see if she could bring my baby to me. After what seemed an eternity, she brought my beautiful baby girl to me along with some of the other nurses and my doctor of whom I accused of being so rude to me. The nurse had apparently told my doctor and anyone else within hearing range what I had said. Well, my baby did indeed have huge dimples, one on each cheek. Everytime she cried or made one of those cute baby faces those huge,
deep dimples would show up. We all had a really good laugh and I was no longer upset with my doctor. When the doctor asked me what I was going to name her I said "Well, it's not going to be Dimples!" We named her Tara Christine.
Happy Birthday Christy!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Some Things Never Change

I recently moved into my daughter,son-in-law and two grand children's home. It's a little different being around the two children 24/7. Before the big move I would see them often but at the end of the day I would go home to my apartment and maybe not see them again for another 3 or 4 days. It'll take some adjusting for all concerned. Being with them all the time and listening to their dialog and interaction with one another has been very interesting,comical and brings back a flood of memories of both when my own children were young and when I myself was a child with 8 brothers and sisters. My 4 year old granddaughter came crying to me the other day saying that her older brother, 7 years old, was looking at her.He wasn't hitting, pushing, name calling, etc. He was looking at her and she didn't like it. Oh my goodness! Where have I heard that before? For a moment it was 30 years ago in my home with my own children. My daughter who was probably about 6 or 7 years old at the time came crying to me that her brother, one year older, was looking at her. Again her brother wasn't really doing anything to hurt her but it was that dreaded look. The look that tortures. The look that says " I know I can really bug you just by starring at you and not really get into any serious trouble for it" I suppose it's an act of intimidation and teasing. As I told my daughter and repeated to my granddaughter, your brother is doing this because he knows it makes you mad so just ignore him or stare back at him. That usually worked, for for a little while. Another recent squabble with the two grandchildren was over personal space. In the family room there is a large sectional couch. Each child wants his own space without the other one touching the other or even getting very close. So they each have their own section of the couch to sit on and heaven help you if you put one toe on the others personal section of the couch. You just don't do that!! Oh believe me, there are times when you can't separate them and they do bestow random acts of kindness upon each other. This personal space issue reminds me of when I was a child and my sister (one of 6), who was just 11 months younger than me, and I shared a bed. We used to put safety pins (remember them ? )down the middle of the bed and you didn't dare put so much as a finger on the other side of the bed. If you did, well , you kinda knew what you were in for. With so many kids in the family and having to share everything I think we were just desperate to have something that was only ours. All of this remembering just to say that no matter what generation we are in human nature is the same. Kids do the same things, say the same things and fight over the same things whether it was 50 years ago or today. This grandma feels extremely blessed to have lived long enough to see how some things never change. There's something comforting about that.