Thursday, July 18, 2019


So -- your question is -- how could there possibly be any redeeming social content in the ridiculous "Bachelorette"??

Don't judge me, people...

If you have been living under a rock, here's the concept.  One woman meets 30 men...and each week, she gives  a "rose" to the guys who will STAY...and she sends somebody home every week.
Hannah started with 30 "bachelors"
From the first week, Luke P. has been one of her favorites. Lilly refers to him as "Mr. 40 I.Q."
Lilly is 10 years old, and she's trying to figure out a lot of things. In today's world -- dating and boy-girl relationships are complicated. And how many chances will you have to actually discuss these issues with a child?  How does that conversation even start?  This show gives us PLENTY of opportunity to talk about many situations Lilly will encounter one day.

For example, something as simple as talking to another person and getting to know them....

During one conversation between Hannah and "Mr. 40 I.Q." -- Lilly counted the number of times both of them said the word "like". is SUCH A BAD SPEECH HABIT.  Maybe they don't even realize they're saying it -- but won't they be embarrassed when they watch this show back? Because, in the course of maybe two minutes, Hannah used the word "like" 53 times...and Luke wasn't far behind...with 41....

It was, like, so annoying!! Like, do you know what I mean?

Also, I am constantly pointing out to Lilly that Hannah only TALKS about having real conversations. She never really has one. And, when faced with an uncomfortable silence (this happens to her A LOT), her go-to move is to start french-kissing whatever bachelor she's with. Ugh.

So, in many ways, the Bachlorette has provided lessons in what NOT TO DO when you're trying to get to know somebody.

Then, too, there's this.

Every contestant, when he's on camera, has his name on the screen, and his "job" underneath. Like, Connor is an investment analyst, Peter is a pilot, yada yada...

Garrett is a "golf pro"
Three weeks ago,  Garrett comes on screen and Lilly hit the pause button...

 Lilly: What's a golf pro, Grandma? 

Me: It's a boy who likes to play he tries to get on the tour and win money, but he isn't good enough. Unfortunately, he spent too much time during college playing golf,  he can't get a real job so he sits in the clubhouse at a golf course, selling clubs and giving lessons to guys like Grandpa.

This Grandma is all about the education, people...

Later on in that episode, some guy named Grant was being sent home.  Under his name, the screen said, "unemployed"...and I started to laugh -- because who, in their right mind, would choose a guy who has NO job??

While eating her popcorn, Lilly commented, "yeah, well -- what choice did he have?  Golf Pro was already taken."

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Summer Television!!

My Grandma Camp is different from YOUR Grandma Camp. And that's okay. Lilly and Warren spend the night here on Friday, and I have them all day Saturday. Sure, we do some quality stuff -- we go to the park, or visit a library, go swimming, make a craft project or attend the occasional theatrical production.

But it's a lot of time to fill, people.

And, honestly -- one of our favorite things to do on a Friday night is to simply kick back and watch our recorded television shows. We love Project Runway, American Ninja Warrier or Cake Boss...or America's Got Talent (did you see this kid??)

But, in the interest of full disclosure -- one of our CANNOT MISS programs this summer has been the 15th Season of "The Bachelorette".

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Thank you, Sharon!!

Yesterday, I missed a phone call...but, as it turns out, that was a good thing. Because the caller left a message that was so kind, and so uplifting -- I listened to it three times.  And then I saved it. 

So, now I have a message on my phone that I can listen to ANY TIME I NEED A LIFT.

It was from a Sew Expo friend...
Sharon -- your message came at the EXACT right moment in my life....and I will save it FOREVER.

I wrote this post in 2013:

Here's a vintage post...about one of my favorite Sew Expo people...


On the second day of Sew Expo -- Sharon Stone called to tell me she had ARRIVED. Sometime before I even left Iowa -- Sharon had emailed to let me know she would be delivering 350 pillowcases for the children of Mary Bridge. I gave her my cellphone number and said she should call me ANY TIME -- and I would help her deliver the pillowcases...

Mallory from the hospital went with turns out 350 pillowcases makes for a VERY HEAVY LOAD...

Sharon is one of my special Sew Expo friends. One of those really good people...she reads my blog, sends me comments, cards, and encouragement. She loves the show -- but is always honest about when things are good or bad. AND she and her friends worked all year long to make these hundreds of pillowcases... (she always wanted to make sure SHE DIDN'T TAKE ALL THE CREDIT) --
Hey -- I miss you already, Sharon!!
The other day -- she forwarded this email -- and it is so well thought out -- I had to share...!!

Being Green...

Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman, that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment.

The woman apologized and explained, "We didn't have this green thing back in my earlier days."

The young clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations."

She was right -- our generation didn't have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were truly recycled.

But we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags, that we reused for numerous things, most memorable besides household garbage bags, was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our schoolbooks. This was to ensure that public property, (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper bags.

But too bad we didn't do the green thing back then.

We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.

But she was right. We didn't have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby's diapers because we didn't have the throwaway kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts -- wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that young lady is right; we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she's right; we didn't have the green thing back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But we didn't have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint.

But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then?

Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smart-a young person.

Monday, July 15, 2019

The Tie Dye REVEAL

The thing about tie-dye is that it's a TWO DAY process.
We brought all our projects home, in individual plastic bags. Then, Lilly laid them out on the porch to sit overnight.
The following day, we took all the bands off to see what happened...
Some projects were kind of disappointing...
Some turned out spectacular.
We went BACK to the farm for our final Style Show Photos!!
I used my Featherweight to sew two t-shirts together for Maddie's t-shirt dress
Her favorite project was the white cotton sun dress (it has an interesting lace back) turned pink!
I decided SUE needed to be wearing some tie-dye, so I slapped this together for her...AND NOBODY WILL EVER SEE HER WEARING THIS DRESS...NOT
But she wore it to be a good sport -- for our final PHOTO...(my own top actually turned out pretty good -- I'll try to take a better picture)..
Lilly did bits, too -- she cut some things up, and made a scarf out of a curtain -- and many headbands.
Oh, yeah -- our Tie Dye Day on the Farm was a rip-roaring success. With lasting souvenirs!!

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Tie Dye and MORE

Besides tie-dye -- there was a lot more to this day on the farm...I can always count on my friend Sue to do things in the most gracious, elegant, OLD SCHOOL way. Sue made lunch for the kids, and Kim took them on a ride down to the farm pond on his golf cart...

It was so hot -- they kids ended up in swimsuits, playing with the garden hose...that quintessential, old fashioned Iowa summertime activity.
Late in the afternoon -- Sue made Root Beer Floats. A.K.A. -- Black Cows!! With, of course, REAL A&W Root Beer.
This might have been a first for Warren!!
But Sue's grandkids knew EXACTLY what to expect.
Just mowing this yard is a full time job!  It really is one giant park.
Warren was pretty pleased with his tree climbing abilities.
This day could NOT have been better!!
The kids had such a rip roaring good time.
Tomorrow, you'll get to see how their projects turned out!!

Friday, July 12, 2019

Grandma Camp Tie Dye On the Farm

I'm certainly not the only woman who is running a Grandma Camp this summer. And everybody does it in their own way. I have the kids one at a time during the week, and together on Saturday. My friend Sue has her grandkids come stay on the farm with her for a week at a time. Because they live in other states -- that's just the way it works.
She lives in a beautifully restored old farmhouse...which has been in her family for over 100 years.
Sue and her husband Kim have lovingly restored her childhood home...and sharing it with her grandkids is the #1 joy in her life. On this day, I brought Lilly and Warren -- for our annual TIE DYE event with Sue's North Carolina grands...
We set ourselves up under a shady tree...
Then, the kids got busy
I set up a Featherweight, just in case we needed to Frankensew some projects. (we did)
It was the PERFECT summer day
Sue was shocked that I brought a basket with over 30 items to be tie-dyed.
Hey -- I've been to this tie-dye rodeo...and if each child is just doing ONE t-shirt, it takes about 3 minutes. And ALL THAT DYE will go to waste. I'd packed up tons of thrift-store white cotton items...and picking out their projects was half the fun...
Warren really got into it.
But he got tired of doing the rubber bands -- so decided to experiment by laying a shirt flat on the ground, then spraying the dye...Hummm...that could work...
The girls started to experiment with different methods.
We had a GIANT box of 36 different colors.
They did shirts, dresses, jackets, pillowcases -- you name it!!
So -- how could this day possibly be more perfect?

Well -- it was two days before the Quad City Air Show.  Sue's farm is 3 miles from the QC Airport.  And -- guess who was practicing that day? RIGHT OVER OUR HEADS?? Over and over again...all afternoon...we were entertained by the world class


Really...I'm not making this up. Our Tie Dye day on the farm REALLY HAPPENED...

Thursday, July 11, 2019

The Pie Party!!

So, it was a Saturday when LP and Don were coming to my house with their girls, Kim and Whitney. Since I have the kids every Saturday... getting ready for our company became a big part of the day's Grandma Camp.

Since I knew Linda and Don were taking the girls out to a nice restaurant for their birthday supper, I invited them to come afterwards -- for PIE..!!

Because the kids have 100 chickens at their house -- we always have PLENTY of eggs. So, we decided to make pies. Lemon Meringue Pie, and a Coconut Custard.

Warren and Lilly helped squeeze many lemons....and they rolled out the pie crusts (thank you, Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust)...

Lilly made the microwave lemon curd all by herself. This is HER FAVORITE FLAVOR...and that lemon curd is fantastic (thanks, Deena!)...
Lilly LOVES baking. We made two Lemon Meringue pies, and one Coconut Custard. With the leftovers, she made some small tartlets...
Our pies were PICTURE PERFECT.
Really -- the meringue turned out WONDERFUL.
We were so busy BAKING that day, the time just flew by. At 4:00, Emily called and said she'd pick up the kids by 5:00. When I told the kids their mother was on her way, Lilly said, "Wait. WE'RE NOT STAYING FOR THE PARTY??"

She seemed shocked...and soooo disappointed.

It never occurred to me that the kids might want to stay for the party.  Hummm...

Lucky for me -- Warren was NOT interested.  WHEW!!

As it turned out, Emily took Warren home and Lilly stayed for the party.  And nobody had a better time that her!!  She folded the napkins, took got out Aunt Rozella's silver, and ran to open the door when our guests arrived.  She took pie orders from everybody.  I think it was the first time she totally participated in an adult party -- and she enjoyed the conversation and being part of things.