Sunday, February 28, 2010

First Grandbaby

When my son told me they were expecting, I had no doubt he'd be a great dad. But was I ready to be a grandmother? Sounds old doesn't it?

My youngest was 9 at the time and still denies being an aunt. Old is a state of mind, It doesn't matter your age or if your body starts to fall apart. What matters is living in the moment, enjoying life, fulfilling your purpose, living your dreams.

Grandkids are a gift, to help us stay young. Look at Jack snuggling up with his mom, such contentment. I just couldn't resist taking the picture and sending it out on a card

Grandkids are a joy!

Guest post by Heidi Caswell

Updated 11/28/18

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Grandmother Teaches Marketing Skills Lessons

Several years ago I came upon this article on one of those article marketing sites that were popular at the time, and thought it was cute. In it, a man shares how, by doing the simplest of things, his Grandmother helped shaped his life. I hope you enjoy it.
Sometimes in looking back I do wish that I could tell you I developed my marketing skills at some nice Ivy League school, but things just didn't turn out that way for me. Being self-studied in marketing and advertising is the only way I could explain my background in marketing. My first experience in marketing started back in 1979. Me and my cousin Eddie where watching television. At the time he was 9 and I was 7 years old. There was no internet or "Laser" marketing. The "Big Time" marketers did T.V. commercials, snail mail, and print advertising.

As we watched the "One-Eyed Monster" we caught a great piece of marketing before the T.V. fried our brains and made us lose our vision from sitting so close. Well, that's what we where told by my grandmother. After viewing the commercial by Country Tyme Lemonade where the little kids where selling their lemonade from a stand out front of their house. We had a great idea! Not a unique idea, but nevertheless it was a great one to us. So, I may partially owe my first business and marketing joint venture to Country Tyme Lemonade. We jumped right up and headed to my Grandmothers room to get an approval on our lemonade sales. Seeing two cute little kids asking to become lemonade sales and marketing professionals how could she say no, especially as cute as I was? We made the lemonade, set up the stand, and created the sign for advertisement. Then my Grandma gave us our first marketing advice. "Hey, why don't you take your stand out closer to the street and flag down some traffic with your sign? That should get you a lot of customers." We thought that was a cool idea, plus for the first time we had permission to play close to the street.

Well, the first day went pretty good, but our marketing and advertising was still off a little because it was kind of hard to get folks to pull over even though we had several people to circle the block. All together the $1.10 we spent at the penny candy store down the street was well worth it. The next 24 hours we spent time thinking on how we could have customers lined up down the block. So of course we turned to our top marketer for advice. She said "You can start letting people sample your lemonade first, and you can also stand by the stop sign which will help stopped drivers see you better."

When we set out the next day to try out our new marketing and advertising approach everything turned out great. Sales more than doubled! Then I learned a valuable lesson that made sales go through the roof! Right before we called it a day I found our target market. The mailman who we missed the day before was now walking towards our house. I walked up to him and said "Mister, would you like to try some lemonade we are selling?" He said "Yes, that would be great because I'm very hot." I replied "Well, we have a lot of ice if you're hot." Not only did he buy 1 or 2 cups, but he brought a total of 5! At that point I had become a sales, advertising, and marketing baby guru. We looked on in amazement as he gulped down the fifth cup. after that I started looking for more people who where walking, hot, and tired. I did land a few more sales before counting our profit of $5.50. The next couple of days we made about the same amount. Give or take a buck or two. All due to our new marketing and advertising approach, and the later found fact that my Grandpa had friends he worked with at the Post Office.

This article was originally obtained from a site called "Articles On" which no longer exists. It was written by Mr. Penn, who at the time was owner of the "Work at Home Help Spot" site. I can no longer find him or his site, perhaps one day he will find us? 

Updated 11/27/18

Thursday, February 25, 2010

What Is a Grandmother?

Being a grandmother means many things to me. But all rolled up into one meaning is having these marvelous little people in my life to teach, mold, and love.

And, best of all, to be loved in return.

To be blessed with a knowing of who they come from and what their belief system is and will be through-out their life. To have the honor of taking part in the shaping of little minds that will develop into strong and focused minds. Minds that will will go forth with ideas and what our family's have stood for through generations.

To keep the family traditions alive and meaningful.

What a marvelous place to find myself!

Guest Post by Bea Kunz
Happy Grandmother of 3 boys

Updated 11/27/18

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Influence of a Grandmother

Guest post by author Marilyn Bellegham: In my first book Questing Marilyn: In Search of My Holy Grail, Personal Growth through Travel, I am in Avebury, England in 1986 on a tour of sacred and historical sites. The following excerpt is an awakening to the importance of my grandmother. Sally is the tour guide.

Sally draws our attention to another section of the field in which a large, moss-covered stone stands. She calls this the Grandmother Stone. Waving her arm, indicating the large circles of stones encased in the grassy henge, she suggests we see each stone as a significant person in our lives and imagine meeting with that person and thinking about what we might say to them if they were here.

"Are there relationships you want to heal?” she challenges.

At first I am startled by the idea. I turn slowly around, looking at huge rocks in the distance with critical inspection. The imagery that each of these stones could be an encased spirit of a person from my life shoots through my mind. I slowly turn, and as I focus on one stone after another, I imagine naming each in turn for my sisters, friends, and associates.

Who would I like to visit?

I delight in the concept of using this setting for a grand drama. I contemplate whom I might choose to conjure up so that I can work through my unresolved feelings. I consider my guidance counsellor who had told me I wasn’t university material, an aunt whom I had loved and admired so deeply before her death, and a neighbour who snubbed me as her inferior. Picking the size and shape of stone on which to project a person and play out a drama, tickles my funny bone. In the distance, there are fat stones, tall ones, and ones nearly falling over. I chuckle inwardly at the power I feel.

Doubts about the sanity of what I am doing flash through my brain. The moment passes. I peer about. I want to go to the Grandmother Stone. Quietly waiting for a fellow group member to leave reminds me of standing in line in church, waiting to go to confession, and of the old women circling the Stations of the Cross, each inside her own reality, not aware of the next person. How easily these memories come back into my consciousness. Even after all these years of being away from the church and the rituals learned there, the automatic responses are right at the edges of my mind. I am confusing the religious teaching with the spiritual experience.

This is not a church. What a powerful influence all that had on me! What power it still has on my behavior as an adult woman!

As I stand here in an English field, I regain my sense of being my adult Self and become fully conscious of the fact that I control which path I choose. I want to make this an experience that connects me to my own spirit, my inner energy. I see that now there is no one near the Grandmother Stone. I slowly walk across the long grass toward the towering stone stopping a few feet away. I walk around it. I can see that from one angle the folds and wrinkles of rock resemble the crinkled skin of my paternal Grandmother who died at the age of ninety-two.

Once again, I walk around the stone envisioning a hunched old woman, a silhouette, an imagined spirit of a crone, deep within the stone. I know this is projection, and my imagination at work.

I search for the intimate parts of my personal history. I want to provoke memories of events and experiences that will rekindle the feelings of connection and belonging that I have savored in my past. I want that intimate spiritual harmony of knowing. I am the right person as me, in the right place for me, at exactly the right time for me to be ME.

This is a very personal quest. No one can do this work for me. I can play with my inner heartstrings. I am truly in the moment, making the most of whatever I can be now.

I circle the stone yet again, looking for a place to touch it. I choose my spot and stop to face it directly. I take a deep breath in, and then slowly exhale. I place my feet slightly apart and firmly on the ground about six inches from the stone’s surface. I steady myself, making sure my weight is evenly balanced on the soles of my feet. I clear my mind and focus on my gentle breathing. I slowly lift my hands and place my palms on the stone. I lean forward so my cheek rests upon the rough surface. I can smell a damp, musty scent. It is not unpleasant. I breathe steadily and concentrate on being present in my now. I block the voices of two of my travelling companions who are walking by, momentarily listen to a bird singing, and then close my eyes. I am lost to the outside world, in full view, but not aware of it.

A tear slides down my cheek as I connect with a long-forgotten memory of Grandma. I hear myself as a small child, calling her name. I feel the excitement of the times when I would jump from my parents’ car, almost before it stopped, and run to find her. Visits to her farm were always filled with so many adventures. At my grandmother’s knee, I learned the chores of living that so many women have done: milking cows, churning butter, and feeding hens. Women in all cultures tend to the needs of others until they need to be tended themselves. My mind’s eye reviews the scenes as though I were watching a movie. I let my memory slide forward in time, recalling the changes to her home. A phone was added, then inside plumbing, a propane furnace to supplement the wood stove, an electric range, and her first television, which she got in 1963 because she wanted to watch President Kennedy’s funeral.

I feel the emotional response of missing the years of family gatherings that had stopped with her death. She had been the glue that held that extended family together. Since both my parents predeceased her, her death brought an end to that regular family connection. I feel like a lost grandchild, alone without parents. I let my tears flow, knowing that they are running onto this stone. I can feel them between my skin and the rough surface. I am anointing this crone stone. It will change as a result of my presence if even only for a small amount of moisture to the moss.

The bonds with cousins, aunts, and uncles were all tied through Grandma. There have been weddings and funerals since, but no real parties or picnics. I am one of many, one piece of a larger group of biologically connected people who are, however, emotionally and physically pretty much unknown to each other. I suddenly comprehend this in a new way.

I move away from the huge stone, gently patting it in a loving way, saying a silent goodbye. I make a conscious slide of awareness from past to present. Grandma was once the child, then the mother. Someday, I hope to be a grandmother. Projecting into the future, I contemplate my roles as a woman. I am a daughter to my mother and a mother to my daughters. Each role is unique. Each role influences to flow of human life.

Updated 11/27/18

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Grandmother Memories - My Mother's Mom

I have many memories of my Maternal Grandmother. As a child, we spent every summer vacation at my Grandparent's home in the suburbs of Boston, a beautiful, wooded spot on a hill. We played among the trees, picked blueberries, climbed rocks...the outdoors was our playground. No computers or video games to keep us inside, just a little TV in the afternoon or evening.

I loved both of my Grandparent's dearly. My Grandmother was a Working Grandmother, but not in the same way as you may be thinking. She worked hard keeping the house, keeping meals on the table, keeping the cloths clean and raising her children. When I was 12 years old, my dear Grandmother had a stroke that left her unable to do many of these things. My grandfather took wonderful care of her, and she lived many years, passing at the age of 90.

So if you are blessed with enough income from life circumstances or a marriage partner, don't ever feel that you aren't working at home, it's a lot of work raising children, preparing meals, planning shopping lists and menus, cleaning the house...I'm sure I don't need to write more.

Being a "Working Grandmother" means many things.

Updated 11/27/18

Grandmother Memories - My Father's Mom

My memories of my own grandmothers are distant, but far from absent.

My grandmother Richardson on my father's side...I guess I should say "paternal grandmother"... was part of my life in my younger years. I didn't have her as long as my maternal grandmother.

My Dad's mom did do some work from home. Dad's father, who I never knew, was a photographer. He took beautiful pictures, and my grandmother tinted the pictures to give them color. If you have ever looked at antique photographs, you'll know what I'm talking about. In portraits, a bit of color is added to the skin, the cheeks are made rosy, and other color may be added to enhance the photo at the artists discretion. Of course the reason for this was that in the early days of photography, there were no color photos. There was a real art to this.

I don't have any memories of playing with my paternal grandmother, as she passed when I was fairly young, my memories of her are the late years of her life when she was bedridden.

But she was a working grandmother, working from home so very long ago.

Updated 11/27/18