Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Andy Griffith Show

It's the Andy Griffith Show! Starring Andy Griffith and Ron Howard. Brought to you by the Gorgeous Grandma club!

Every day at noon, monday through friday, after a morning of homeschool drama, my boys and I would anticipate their dad walking through the door finished with work for the day, throw off his baseball cap, take off his boots and join the three of us in front of the TV with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich .
It was lunch time at the Donaldsons and we loved watching the kooky, ridiculous, but moral inducing TV entertainment...The Andy Griffith show.

When I first met my husband I witnessed him sitting in his apartment with his guy friends watching their favorite show.  It didn't take long for me to realize they all thought this was the best thing since sliced bread. It was a ritual every day for as long as my history with my husband goes back. They all slept in till 11:30 or 12 after closing the resturant/bar the night before then congregated in the nearest apartment. Yawning and rubbing their eyes they leaned forward as soon as they heard the whistling theme song. Then derogatory comments and gutteral laughing and snickering continued until the 30 min. show ended.
  I never understood why any of them liked the fumbling, bumbling deputy (my husbands favorite) or the town drunk (he always looked greasy), the plump Aunt Bea (who I swear these guys thought was real and often dreamt there would be a pie stting in their window when they returned to their apartment) or the goofy, simple minded gas attendent (Gomer or was it Goober). But they did and it didn't take long for my two little Opies to fall in love with their daddy's favorite retroTV show.
Over the years I have met other women with husbands who loooooove Mayberry and all it entails. And of course we have quickly become friends. By golly if you can get two men who have something in common like the Andy Griffith Show you have conquered the myth that men are not relational!

So......the gorgeous grandmas had a Mayberry gathering. We potlucked...
Miss Ellie brought Confetti Vegetables, Charlene brought Wilted Lettuce Salad, Helen brought Honor Rolls, Aunt Bea brought Write-On Chicken Marsala, and Thelma Lou brought Very Chocolate Cheesecake.
Miss Peggy supplied an array of soda pop. Opie, Andy, Harold, Goober, Barney, and Earnest T. all came. We enjoyed the delicious meal then watched an episode of the Andy Griffith show. O did I mention that there is a Bible study that goes along with several of the episodes? yup that's right! Someone capitalized on the man cave gathering actually realizing there were some pretty good moral endings to these shows. So we watched the episode (for those of you who know these shows frontwards and backwards) of Opie deciding he didn't want to work for his allowance anymore. Then we circled around the fire pit in the backyard dicussing why Andy said this and Opie did that.
One guy(I think it was Harold) commented that the show was not real.(obviously not an avid Mayberry fan) It was just a show and you can make anything happen in a show. It all turns out just the way it should! GASP! O my goodness, I think a slight prick tried to burst a bubble but the rest of them nipped it in the bud. Nope this was real life and these are real people with the same issues you and I have. We can learn from this! Such is life in the Mayberry bubble.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Number 2

NUMBER 2  from my  "Some of the Most Important Lessons I've Learned" blog post.

2. In  alot of cases some people don't have a clue if they just hurt you or offended you. Think the best of people and extend grace and forgive. You've probably done the same thing to someone.'s a way to start fresh.
Because I believe in Jesus, the ultimate forgiver, I have learned with out a doubt that forgiveness makes the heart grow fonder.
Some one once said "When you forgive it becomes your story not their story." such truth.

I suggested one day on a birthday road trip with my sisters and mom that we should invent a game called "Assume". Since  "assuming " can get you into trouble and almost always makes an "ASS out of U and ME" (wise words spoken from my little sister) it is a catalyst for offense. Jesus tells us not to be offended. As believers we are to brush the dust from our shoes and move on forgiving and leaving it all behind. So much easier when you read it, not so much easier to do it. I am talking about those day to day little foxes that get into your garden. The annoying, harrassing thoughts that we carry in our heads when we are judging or grumbling.  Someone just jabbed at you with a word or their body language looked rejecting. Let's play the Assuming Game! "She didn't even acknowledge me when she walked by! I must have done something wrong." "I haven't heard from him for days. I guess he took what I said seriously. I was just kidding!"
Yes Assumptions! Later you find she just found out her mom has cancer and she didn't notice you. Or he was so busy with the event he was in charge of he didn't have time to call and he can't even remember what you said a few days ago. So many of us have been in those places. So why not "assume" the best of someone rather than the worse. I don't know it human nature?...maybe it's self centerness. It's more than likely a poor self image with super sized insecurities.
I have been caught in the middle of an explosive discussion because someone assumed I was doing something deliberately in spite of them. It just was not so no matter how I tried to explain my side of the situation. And I've been the one who has assumed. For that I have had regrets. So I have tried to quietly go to my prayer closet, sit before the ultimate Forgiver, and tell Him I forgive so and so even if they don't know they hurt me.
It works.... It changes my heart towards that person and I am released from my hurt feelings, my anger and feelings of rejection.  It becomes my story instead of theirs.
Take the high road and think the best of people. If it turns out to be wrong you haven't lost anything.



Thursday, May 9, 2013

Garage Sell Grandmas

With fanny pack in place like a cowboy ready to draw, the gorgeous grandma club rallied together for a cup of coffee and a piece of coffee cake early Saturday morning. Before straddling their spot in the van for a morning of galloping around the Dobson Ranch annual garage sell they shared grandma stories and caught up on past news. "How many grandchildren do you have now? Who got married? How many does this make? What are your children doing in Thailand?" Alot can happen in a month.
 There's nothing like acres of homesteaders sharing their wares in one long loop around the arena. With a keen eye roaming to and fro at each stop the gorgeous grandmas managed to buy everything from car seats, to puppets, books and little girl and boy outfits . Each gorgeous grandma filled their spot in the van with treasures for guess who, their grandchildren! Yes lucky them!
Just one more grand event in the life of a grandma! Ye Haw!

Try this recipe for the coffee cake. It is easy and super good.
Apple Crunch Coffee Cake
2 cups chopped and peeled apples       Combine all ingredients in order listed.
2 cups flour                                          Spread thick batter in a greased and
2 cups sugar                                         floured 13x9x2 in pan.
1 cup vegetable oil                                Bake at 350 for 55 mins.
2 eggs
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup nuts

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Hey! What's on Your Mind

" I just don't know why he doesn't get it. Why can't he understand the way I feel? "
"Well, have you told him how you feel?"
Long pause with disgusted look.
"Then why do you expect him to know how you feel if you don't tell him?" as usual having an answer but not necessarily doing it myself...hmmm as my own light bulb went off. I had an ah ha moment!
I remember this conversation vividly 30 years ago as my girlfriend and I sat in the car discussing why husbands can't or don't always seem to meet our need of the moment. It's hard to believe this was actually the solution to the "devastating" problem, but it was as simple as just sharing her thoughts with him. And believe it or not it was an ah ha moment. I guess we really believed our husbands should know how and why we feel the way we do and  be able to magically make it better and intuitively have the solution.
Now that I say that maybe that comes from the intuitive mom with eyes in back of her head. She seemed to know everything! Even the things you didn't want her to know. Was I expecting that gift to transfer to my new live in partner?
Transitioning into marriage and not realizing you just ventured into a journey of learning about a whole new way of life apart from every familiar path you came from,  knowing that mom or dad will not be there to figure things out for you AND that you just might have to hit a few bumps to get yourself into some kind of living momentum with this person can seem like an endless SAT exam.
Some of the most important lessons I've learned... (blog post)
Number 1
No one knows what you are thinking so don't expect them to know. Express yourself about how you are feeling and what you are expecting.
Now mind you I've learned  there is an art to this. You just can't spew all over every time you think someone should be listening to you. But you do have to realize that each person is unique and individual with their own perceptions of life. This can sometimes be challenging to get your point across. But if you don't try you will give that person an opportunity to come up with a perception that could be totally false. And that my friend can make you feel misunderstood, disappointed or hurt and many times cause you to slip into the bubble bath of self-pity.
I've watched my grown children and their spouses dance around issues because one or the other won't say what they really mean. Its called pleasing. The notion is.... I want to do this right. I don't want them to think --fill in the blank--about me. It's the beginner dance that is out of beat and stepping on toes. And we do it in all areas of our life...not just our marriages.
Once we get the steps down we begin to pretend we have the beat, but reality states that even moving together can  hide our true thoughts behind the beautiful ballroom mask. Over time the mask starts to slowly slip down revealing bits and pieces of our true identity.When alas! The true face comes into full view!
Things can really start to change. Yikes! And it ain't always pretty:(
So I learn to use "I" messages instead of "you always". I express myself knowing that not all people will agree with me all of the time and some of the people will some of the time. I get it that I am not always right and  there are several ways to do the same thing. Speaking out just gives an opportunity to say "you know now how I feel and what I need. Can you help?" or "what are your thoughts on that?" I learn to deal with my feelings of rejection when someone still doesn't go where I want them to. And my feelings of fear that someone might reject my opinions or ideas. I've even learned to keep my mouth shut after I have expressed my view if it doesn't bring life to a situation. O dear, I sound like I have this all figured out and I do this perfectly. Nope. I've just learned  that I matter and what I say matters. I am still learning too.
 Can I really give all the pros and cons of expressing yourself  in a nutshell of a blog? No. Life has a way of teaching each of us as if we were His only child.
All I know is that you may end up with an appliance instead of roses if you don't talk! Even Facebook wants to know "What's on your mind!"
Book resource "TrueFaced" by Bill Thrall, Bruce McNicol, and John Lynch

Monday, March 11, 2013

Some of the Most Important Lessons I've Learned

 I don't know as much about my mother and father's back ground as I would like. Every time that I tried to get some information I felt like they told me the same stories over and over. My mom played sports...she loved sports...mostly basketball...she was the peace maker in her home growing up. My dad played baseball and was in the navy. He always responded to my questions with "Why do you want to know? Are you writing a book or something"
Wellll...maybe. Fortunately, I have 4 sisters and between all of us asking questions we have a sketchy look into their upbringing and early years of marriage.
 We seem to easily remember the things that have made it into "the file of important events" in our memory cabinet but other things have to be triggered. And if you don't know the right questions to ask its like anticipating a day of shopping at the big sale and coming home empty-handed.
I have a "Mother's Legacy" book that I have been writing  in for my children and grandchildren. It has provoking questions to help me write down my life in a nutshell. So far it's been a good trigger for those memories that I've buried. Some pleasant..some not so pleasant, but all in all good for me to relive. I've had some "ah ha" moments about myself and the way I react or respond to current events in my life. And, o boy, my kids and grandkids will "get" to have a record of my oh so eventful life!
I was rather excited when I came to the page that said... Recall for me some of the most important lessons you have learned from life.
WOW really? The invisible interviewer of my book actually wants to know what I've learned the hard way. I mean come on! Who doesn't want to shout from the rooftop "I GET IT! Gather around so I can tell you what not to do!"
As I enthusiastically pondered this challenge I came up with 10 things.
So...aren't you lucky...if you are reading this you too will get to contemplate some of my life's lesson......I think I will definitely need some feedback.
Some of the most important lessons I've learned:
 1. No one knows what you are thinking, so don't expect them to know. Express yourself about how you are feeling or what you are expecting.
2. In  alot of cases some people don't have a clue if they just hurt you or offended you. Think the best of people and extend grace and forgive. You've probably done the same thing to someone.
3. God loves us soooo much. He is not trying to squelch our fun!
4. To the best of your ability make people feel welcomed and loved.
5. Some body language can be harmful to you and to others.
6.You really do reap what you sow.
7. Listen and hear what someone is really saying. It takes getting your focus off of yourself.
8. Everyone wants to be loved and accepted. Selfishness is the enemy and he wears camouflage.
9. What you call annoying can be someones insecurity.
10. Moms and dads are just people too.
Although I could come up with so many more life lessons and even have categories to file them under, these ten "commandments"encompass an array of morals to my stories and life experiences. I just might write about how I came up with each of these. Hmmm good idea, Peg. Give me 10 months to do it :)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Seize the Day!

O well, I"ve done it again. I've waited a whole 2 months to write. Where does the time go? I look at all my friend's posts and wonder "how do they find time?" Even my daughter-in-law started writing again with a new baby, not to mention my young friend who home schools her 3 boys with a baby girl on her hip. She writes everyday, I think. I am a grandmother who works part-time and no children at home. I think (I know) I waste a lot of time.
I just read my daily devotional. The title was Carpe Diem: Seize the Day! Ok so I'm trying to apply what I just read.
At age 60 an amazing thing happens. You start to ask yourself what would my bucket list consist of, what adventures can I embark on or what new thing can I try out (like writing :)) Actually, these questions have  been slowly evolving since my kids left our home 10 years ago. My husband and I turned and looked at each other for the first time after 20 years as our boys embarked on their adventure towards starting their own families.
Don't get me wrong. I knew the day was coming when my boys would fly the coop and these two turtle doves would be left wondering what happened and what to do after 20 years of being comforter, provider, question answerer, sports enthusiast, teacher, medical assistant, religious scholar, leader, public relations director, trip advisor, money manager, chauffeur, and anything else you can think of playing the all encompassing roll as a parent. We actually started praying about this when our boys were in their teen years at the prompting of comments I had heard from my older women friends about how hard it was when their children left home. And husband and I had our monthly date nights to keep in touch with each other.
But its a shock when it actually happens and you realize how much time and energy you have invested in your children and family. You have fully identified yourself as MOTHER and wife and now you have become an adult friend to your children and husband. It feels very awkward.
Somehow you figure out through painful trial and error how to do it.  I have had to find out who I really am and how does a MOTHER transition into a FRIEND. And  what I am good at besides high expectations and giving advice? Hmmm I think I mentioned trying to figure that out in my 40's  in my blog post Turning 60. Parenting kept me motivated to keep learning, keep caring, keep dying to myself for the sake of those young ones. No one was born already knowing how to be a parent or any job title we choose. It was the career I chose and I wanted to be good at it.
Now it is just him and me. And guess what... you keep learning, you keep caring and you keep dying to yourself for the sake of your lover. And we are doing it together; making a bucket list, embarking on new adventures, and trying new things (like smart phones  :) ) I want to finish well and I want to be the best wife, companion and friend.
Yes! Carpe Diem! Seize the day! 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

We Did It, Charlie Brown

                Welcome grandmas and grandpas, gogos and granddads, marmees and macs, omas and opas, mi mis, lu lus, ya yas, papas and pops to the first ever gorgeous grandma Christmas pageant!
                               Introducing                   26                         fabulous grandchildren!

Would you believe the gorgeous grandmas pulled off a Christmas pageant with 26 of their grandchildren, most of whom were under the age of 8? The infamous Grandma Lu Lu had a great idea to reenact the very same pageant she did so many years ago with her own children. I have to admit after the first rehearsal I wondered if Lu Lu was going to go over the edge! 15 children ranging between 2 and 6 can be a little chaotic.
We had about 4 rehearsals before the big performance running through the program at least 2 times each time. The first one always went pretty well but the second one was full of nose picking, toe nail biting, poking, pushing, wiggles, giggles and potty breaks. All in all Lu Lu stayed focus teaching and instructing on where to stand, when was your cue, singing LOUDER , and stand up, sit down.

Each grandma made sure their grandchildren had the appropriate costume for their part. Then the dress rehearsal! adorable! Shepherds and kings, Mary and Joseph, angels and stars! Tu tus and robes, gifts and staffs! Good job grandmas!

What an absolute blessing to be able to see your children's children and your very close friends children's children come together to be a community of friendships that keep on through the generations. I am so glad I started the gorgeous grandma club 6 years ago. It has kept our friendships close, our smiles big and being a grandparent quite fulfilling.