Dear John,

Not sure anyone writes letters anymore, much less the ‘Dear John’ variety, but back in the day when letters were still a thing, cool little boxes like these were the perfect spot to store your pretty paper and pen.

Had to put a bottom on this one but other than a little sanding and a fresh coat of paint, that was it.

Teal and sunflowers. Both favourites. Twice loved!

Super Mario

My crowd are gamers. The Mario Brothers were regular visitors at my house in the 80s. My father, who would be 100 this year had he lived, was a fan of Duck Hunt. Today he’d be playing Minecraft. I’ve watched the progression of games parade through my living room for over three decades and can’t say I’ve seen anything yet that overly concerns me in regards to negatively impacting behaviour.

Little Bear expressed some concern this weekend. Unlike many of his peers, he is not that big into sports. None of us are. Unapologetically, we find it, for the most part, somewhat boring. But kudos to those who find their place in the gym or arena. We find ours behind the big screen.

Kiddo was somewhat perturbed by those who tell him video games will rot his brain. I set him straight on that one. If academics is your measure, he’s at the top of his class. As are his siblings, also ardent gamers. If critical thinking and problem solving are your measure, again, way ahead for his age. Creativity? Ahead. Vocabulary? Ahead. All the grandkids are. And I am super duper proud of them. If your kids have rotten brains, there’s more going on than just video games.

For those who make such broad statements, you are looking through a very narrow tunnel. Do a little research. Where do you think internet content comes from? There are a whole lot of people making a whole lot of money from gaming and its spin-offs. Then there’s the information highway. Check it out. There’s a lot more out there than social media, you know. Now that – social media – yeah, a little brain rot there…

Mario, however…. We are fans. He is most definitely twice-loved.

An old habit …

I am a reader. Have been since I was six. Sometimes I read for pleasure. Sometimes I read to procrastinate. Sometimes I read to avoid the mundane. Sometimes I read to escape the ugly. Recently I’ve been doing perhaps a little too much reading. I walk into a book and I don’t want to walk out until the story is done. That means that a whole lot of other things are left undone. In an attempt to get myself back on track I decided to revisit a couple books from the past. Surely in a second reading I wouldn’t get quite so engrossed.

Wrong. Just finished John Steinbeck’s East of Eden and just like the first time, couldn’t put it down. Years ago when I read, I would write in my reading journal words and phrases that spoke to me on another level. My eyes are not as good as they used to be so I download my books and enlarge the print. Instead of writing, I now highlight and as I did, I remembered. Curious, I dug out my old journals.

Old habits …

East of Eden

Twice loved!

The Jujube Jar

Many moons ago – many many moons – I came across an old jar in my mom’s attic filled with sea glass. I brought it down, cleaned it up, filled it with jujubes and put it on my kitchen counter. It followed me around for years and always sat on the kitchen counter in whatever place I happened to live at the time. It was the first stop for #1 Son and his friends whenever they came into the house. That and the fridge for a glass of koolaid. When I moved in with my mom, she took over the jujube jar and was positively religious about keeping that jar well stocked. The jujube jar became hers and EVERYONE stopped at the jujube jar. That was a lot of ‘everyone’ because she had a whole lot more visitors than I ever did. She even knew which colour they all liked. When the great-grand children came along, one lone jujube was cut into tiny pieces so the boys could safely swallow. Too cute. Needless to say, they quickly outgrew the need to have their jujubes sliced into a dozen little nibbles! That jujube jar could tell a couple hundred stories for sure, sitting there on the kitchen counter in the midst of all the action! Mom’s company rarely made it to the living room. All the shenanigans took place at the kitchen table. Much like #1Son’s house. So today I cleaned up the jar, filled it, and I’m bringing it ‘home’. I’m wondering if the boys will recognize it. Matching jammies do not make a family, but a jar of mismatched jujubes? Twice loved!

Happy Mother’s Day to me

Too often we ignore the perfect ones. The days when nothing extraordinary happens but everything rolls out as it should. That was today. Today was #1 son’s birthday – happy Mother’s Day to me – and we were invited for supper. Something I always enjoy for two solid reasons: One: I don’t have to cook and Two: I treasure suppers at the kitchen table with my son and his family. Always a hoot and this one was no different. Laughing, goofing around, arguing – it’s all done at the kitchen table. No-one is in a rush to leave; everyone lingers long after the meal is done. Family. I am so grateful for mine and so proud of my boys. At the risk of sounding incredibly goofy, my heart aches sometimes I love them all so much.

Spent the morning soaping. I have something like 600 bars to stir up in the next couple weeks and most all are NOT simple straight forward pours. I really enjoy making soap but sometimes wish I had kept to the simpler bars. A lot easier to whip up for sure.

Big event today! I bought a mop! Decided it was time I got up off my knees and treated these old bones to a little break. And how friggin’ easy is it to clean floors with a mop versus a scrub brush! I shall never be without a mop again!

Curled up with a book tonight. Quiet. Peaceful. Feeling blessed. Twice loved.

Easter Blessings

It’s been a while and I hardly know where to begin or what to write. To be honest, I wasn’t sure I remembered my password or how to find my way into the program, but here I am. So I’ll be brief as I cripple my way back into this blogging world.

I chose Easter Blessings as a title for this re-entry simply because it’s Easter and I’ve been surrounded by friends, family and well wishers this past week. It’s been nice. Better than nice. It’s been special. And a quick visit with my three favourite boys tonight made the week extra special. Not to brag but here I go: I have the most loving grandchildren ever. Kind, funny, smart. They’re such good boys.

My Easter pic … again just fooling around here to get familiar again with the most basic tools … is a clutter of diy projects. The old ‘desk’ is most definitely a ‘twice-loved’. #1 son dragged it home from a tear-down and I scrubbed it down with TSP and a wire brush. I rubbed the ivy transfer on the front and you know what? It works. My sister had gifted me with a few large wooden tags. Painted one grey and used a rub-on bunny transfer with a little macrame cord to finish it off. The basket and little round box I painted and again found rub-ons that seemed to fit. Mr. Rabbit and Mr. Hedgehog are projects I felted a while back. The art card was a gift from Erin and was painted by her aunt.

Good Night Moon

Just read an article on parenting – discipline, I guess, and did a little digging only to find that said author has no children of his own. Go figure. How can you profess yourself an expert where your experience is limited if not actually non-existent? How can you discipline where there is no love? How can you set rules and boundaries when you are not the one they run to for a hug? How can you set consequences when you are not the one who tucks them in? How can you even feel you know a child when you haven’t rocked them when they’re sick? Amazing that parents would even take direction from such a person. Only have to look at history, and recent history at that, to see how that plays out in the big picture.

Found my way to said article because I have been struggling with being firm on bedtimes. I will, however, forgive myself. Grand-parenting is not parenting. And in seven days the boys’ dad will be home. I look forward to a house filled with laughter, loud chaos and love. The boys are already excited. How many times have I heard … “when Dad gets home …”

I’m excited too. For ‘when Dad gets home’. There will be hugs to lift you off your toes and Gram will head back to her little house where bedtime is not something to worry about, but something to embrace as I tuck myself in and read myself to sleep!


Twice loved and then some!

Here we go again …

One of my ‘goals’ before I retired was to sort and reassemble the mountain of Lego owned by my son and his children. I’ve always enjoyed ‘playing’ with Lego, not only because it’s fun but because handling those little bricks brings me peace of mind. I get lost in the process and the quiet.

so … I think maybe I started last night with The Black Knight’s Castle, set 6086, released in 1992, 588 parts, 12 minifigs. I believe it cost approx $115 at the time and today sells for anywhere from $250 to $6/700. Depends on condition. This particular set belonged to my son. It’s not just a matter of piecing the set together … I wish! Thing is that the boys well and truly played with their Lego and the pieces from a couple hundred sets are very much all mixed together! And I may underestimate when I say a couple hundred. That’s how much they liked their Lego! Sometimes it takes me an hour to find one little tiny piece. I’m aiming for 100 sets and 100 characters (not set people) before the end of the year. I will track my progress here.

Lego. Twice loved!

A healing heart

Today was a good day. Not a great day, but a good day, and that is ‘exceedingly good’.

I have been ill. Unusual for me and therefore difficult. Physically I was on a precipice. I knew it but kept pushing. Because that is what I do. That is who I am. But being fragile physically opens the door to mental distress and stupidly, I succumbed and bought into those who grow fat on the bile of their own fury. It took me down and carried me along. I’ve been so ugly inside.

I believe it was the anniversary of the loss of someone quite dear that pulled me through and pulled me out. I am healing. The ugly is leaving my heart and for that I am grateful.

Twice loved.

One for Nan, one for Nina

Little Bear came out of the shop this morning with two soaps in hand. ”Gram, can I have two soaps for Nan and Nina?”

Some think he is a rough tough little character. He chose carefully. He didn’t want anything that smelled too strong that might hurt Nan’s nose.

In truth, he is the kindest, most soft-hearted little man. He makes my day. Every day.

Two soaps: One for Nan. One for Nina.

Twice loved!