Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Grandma Alert: Children See Us and the World in Unique Ways

It's always fun to realize the way a child has interpreted something we've said, a question we've answered, even the way we look with or without our glasses. 

Whether we have grandchildren or not, we can relate to the adult's surprise when a child comes out with something we would never have expected.  It can usually make us laugh or sometimes sadden our day.  Always it twists the heart.  Thanks to Tom  for forwarding this today.

(My personal favorites are #s 2,9, and 14!)

1. She was in the bathroom, putting on her makeup, under  the watchful eyes of her young granddaughter, as she'd done many times before. After she applied her lipstick and started to leave, the little one said, "But Gramma, you forgot to kiss the toilet paper good-bye!" I will probably never put lipstick on again without thinking about kissing the toilet paper good-bye....

2. My young grandson called the other day to wish me Happy Birthday. He asked me how old I was, and I told him, 62. My grandson was quiet for a moment, and then he asked, "Did you start at 1?"

 3. After putting her grandchildren to bed, a grandmother changed into old slacks and a droopy blouse and proceeded to wash her hair. As she heard the children getting more and more rambunctious, her patience grew thin. Finally, she threw a towel around her head and stormed into their room, putting them back to bed with stern warnings. As she left the room, she heard the three-year-old say with a trembling voice, "Who was THAT?"

4. A grandmother was telling her little granddaughter what her own childhood was like: "We used to skate outside on a pond. I had a swing made from a tire; it hung from a tree in our front yard. We rode our pony. We picked wild raspberries in the woods." The little girl was wide-eyed, taking this all in. At last she said, "I sure wish I'd gotten to know you sooner!"

 5. My grandson was visiting one day when he asked, "Grandma, do you know how you and God are alike?" I mentally polished my halo and I said, "No, how are we alike?'' "You're both old," he replied.

 6. A little girl was diligently pounding away on her grandfather's word processor. She told him she was writing a story. "What's it about?" he asked. "I don't know," she replied. "I can't read."

 7. I didn't know if my granddaughter had learned her colors yet, so I decided to test her. I would point out something and ask what color it was. She would tell me and was always correct. It was fun for me, so I continued. At last, she headed for the door, saying, "Grandma, I think you should try to figure out some of these, yourself!"

 8. When my grandson Billy and I entered our vacation cabin, we kept the lights off until we were inside to keep from attracting pesky insects. Still, a few fireflies followed us in. Noticing them before I did, Billy whispered, "It's no use Grandpa. Now the mosquitoes are coming after us with flashlights."

 9. When my grandson asked me how old I was, I teasingly replied, "I'm not sure." "Look in your underwear, Grandpa," he advised, "mine says I'm 4 to 6."

10. A second grader came home from school and said to her grandmother, "Grandma, guess what? We learned how to make babies today." The grandmother, more than a littlesurprised, tried to keep her cool. "That's interesting," she said,"How do you make babies?" "It's simple," replied the girl. "You just change 'y' to 'i' and add 'es'."

 11. Children's Logic: "Give me a sentence about a public servant," said a teacher. The small boy wrote "The fireman came down the ladder pregnant." The teacher took the lad aside to correct him. "Don't you know what pregnant means?" she asked. "Sure," said the young boy confidently. 'It means carrying a child."

12. A grandfather was delivering his grandchildren to their home one day when a fire truck zoomed past. Sitting in the front seat of the fire truck was a Dalmatian dog.The children started discussing the dog's duties."They use him to keep crowds back," said one child." No," said another. "He's just for good luck." A third child brought the argument to a close."They use the dogs," she said firmly, "to find the fire hydrants."

 13. A 6-year-old was asked where his grandma lived."Oh," he said, "she lives at the airport, and when we want her, we just go get her.. Then, when we're done having her visit, we take her back to the airport."

14. Grandpa is the smartest man on earth! He teaches me good, good things, but I don't get to see him enough to get as smart as him!

15. My Grandparents are funny, when they bend over; you hear gas leaks, and they blame their dog.

(Source Unknown)

Monday, January 25, 2010

My Truly Evil Sister (or) The Lure of the Most Dangerous Chocolate Cake

Sisters are wonderful people, right?  Well...yes, most of the time, but on occasion, they can be truly evil. 

How about the time when the unsuspecting little girl had the right side of her hair buzz cut and the left side hacked like shingles nailed on by an inebriated roofer.  Who did that? Her sometimes-evil sister, of course. 

And what about those bus trips into town on piano-lesson day? While the younger sister trudges up to the door of the piano teacher and explains that her sister just can't make it today, her evil sib is downtown spending her music lesson money .  That's evil, right? 

And the very unforgivable evil is that the sometimes -evil sister is aging much, much better than her sweet  sister. Grrrr!

 So it shouldn't surprise anyone that Sometimes Evil Sister is again on the loose-this time tempting me to pack on more pounds with a treat that no sister can possibly pass up: Chocolate cake made in a mug-in the microwave-in 5 minutes. Now how can I resist that?  Great baker that she is, famous for berry pies and all kinds of wonderful meals, she knows the secret that her sister, the terrible cook with plants on the stove, tries to keep under wraps: little sister does use the microwave.
So... she passed this recipe on to me.

4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
A small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug (MicroSafe)

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly.
Pour in the milk and oil and mix well..
Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again.
Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts.
The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed!
Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.

EAT ! (this can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous).

*And why is this the most dangerous cake recipe in the world?*
Because now we are all only 5 minutes away from chocolate cake at any time
of the day or night!

Hmmm...I can salve my conscience a little by topping this wonderful, luscious, fattening dessert with nonfat frozen yogurt.  That's what I'll do.  Ha!  And what do I have to say to you,  Sometimes Evil Sister???


Our thanks again to Joan H. for this great recipe.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

For All Who Have Lost Jobs in the Recession or Who Know Those Who Have

Most of us know of people who have lost their jobs due to the recession.  Bankruptcy seems to be the word in every newspaper's headlines. 

Although the experience is wrenching and frightening, it can also bring about experiences to laugh at.

The middle-aged man looking for another job is spending much of his day job hunting.  He's also faced with spending some of his day doing what he may never have done before:  Housework!  Hilarious...and worth passing on.  See  Please pass it on.   Thanks!

Our Health: 5 Ways to Get/Stay Healthy in 2010

Thanks to our resident health expert, we now have another resource that all of us can use:   A monthly newsletter published by UCLA Division of Geriatrics-Healthy/Years:  Helping Older Adults Lead Happier, Healthier Lives (

The five ways to achieve health in this new year are

1) Exercising (no surprise there).  All of us who already exercise on a regular basis, raise hands, please. Oops!  I see that both of my own hands are still on the keyboard--a very bad start.  But many of you are in programs:  Marty and Alice in weight training, Julie in Yoga, Jan in Curves, Joan H. in an exercise routine at the Y, and some on Wii Fitness or step routines. Others are  braving our Arctic temps with walks and still others are braving the 38-degree Florida weather or hiking in Death Valley.  Great examples, all, for those in the group who, like me, are much too lazy for our own good.

2) Understanding body weight, LDL cholesterol, blood pressure and glucose levels and working to move these numbers into acceptable ranges.  My personal downfall is pizza so I have a way to go here.

3)  My personal favorite:  "Strengthen your social networks."  We do that, I think so this way of staying healthy should be easy for all of us.

4)Moderating alcohol consumption.  We've all read about the  benefits of red wine and from the gatherings I've attended, we all heartily agree that this is one way we already practice!  But the 'in moderation' part means only 1 glass per day.    We can all point to days that just demand a little more.  So self discipline is really called for here.

5)  Making sure to track any meds or supplements and checking the list with our favorite MD. 

This newsletter is really informative, and our own Dr. Alice recommends it for accuracy and specific articles for women over 40.   I'm one of those who has subscribed to Bottom Line Health ( for years, but  no more.  I'm switching as per Alice' recommendation.

She's also recommending Vitamin D-3 supplements (as in 2000 IU per day).  According to Alice, a side benefit is an increase in serotonin which lessens any down-in-the-dumps feelings we might be experiencing-especially in this long stretch of  sub-zero wind chills and 4+ feet of snow. I'm following that suggestion as well.

Thanks, Alice.  Lucky for us that you're willing to share your expertise.

Note:  See the change of picture on the blog title.  Sunshine appeared today and made the ice-covered trees glitter-can't pass a scene like that up!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Computers and Cars: Bill Gates and GM Trade Barbs, and We Enjoy the Exchange

Bill Gates Vs General Motors

At the COMDEX computer expo Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and said "If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1000 miles to the gallon."

In response to Gates' comments, General Motors issued a press release stating:

If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:

1. For no reason whatsoever your car would crash twice a day.

2. Every time they repainted the lines on the road you would have to buy a new car.

3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason, and you would just accept this, restart and drive on.

4. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn, would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.

5. Only one person at a time could use the car, unless you bought "Car95" or "CarNT". But then you would have to buy more seats.

6. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, reliable, five times as fast, and twice as easy to drive, but would only work on five percent of the roads.

7. The oil, water temperature and alternator warning lights would be replaced by a single "general car default" warning light.

8. New seats would force everyone to have the same size butt.

9. The airbag system would say "Are you sure?" before going off.

10. Occasionally for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key, and grab hold of the radio antenna.

11. GM would require all car buyers to also purchase a deluxe set of Rand McNally road maps (now a GM subsidiary), even though they neither need them nor want them. Attempting to delete this option would immediately cause the car's performance to diminish by 50% or more. Moreover, GM would become a target for investigation by the Justice Department.

12. Every time GM introduced a new model car buyers would have to learn to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.

13. You'd press the "start" button to shut off the engine.

Thanks to Linda C. for sending us this.  The source is  on many websites. You can find it by googling "billgates vs cars," as I did to find the source.  The text above comes from although versions on other sites seem to be the same.

Finally! Time to Read: THE HELP

The Help by Kathryn Stockett (her first novel), Amy Einhorn Books, GP Putnam's Sons, 2009.

Joan H. has sent us her review shown below and encourages us to read The Help.

Set in Jackson,Mississippi in the early 1960's this story centers around the lives of Jackson's black maids. Their love for the white children that they are paid to raise comes back to reward them when one of the grown children (Skeeter) decides to expose how most of the white families treat blacks in the South. This is a book that is difficult to put down until you reach the last page. As the dust jacket explains, this novel describes "the way women-mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends-view one another" and "the lines we abide by, and the ones we don't."  Enjoy and pass it on.

Thanks to Joan H., I have also read the book, have enjoyed it, have been saddened and elated by it,  and have passed it on. A good read.

If you have read and enjoyed- or are touched by- Stockett's first novel, you can contact the author at

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Grandma Alert: New Baby Girl

Two days before Christmas, Noelle Joie entered our lives, healthy, happy, beautiful.  Her big sister has reddish-blond hair and blue eyes.  Noelle has dark hair and brown eyes, 7 lb. 14 oz., and 21 1/2" long.

All is well with the CT branch of our family as we celebrate our new arrival!