It's not what you gather, but what you scatter, that tells what kind of a life you have lived.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Short and Sweet?

Oh my gosh!!! I can't believe it's been 2 weeks since I last posted! What a slacker. I have been so busy with everything else, I keep forgetting about this until it's the early hours of the morning, like now, and I'm too tired. I know, this is a recurring theme. I will try not to repeat myself again.
I am having a real problem with the spacing in this blog, and I can't figure out how to fix it. I also can't figure out how to get my slideshow the right size so the right-hand edges of the pics don't run of the edge. I even changed slideshows, and slideshow providers, and it still does it. Oh, well, what would I have to do if I had no problems?
Problems are what life is about. It isn't about being happy all the time, or having everything you want, or even everything you need necessarily, but rather it's about how we handle our problems. How we deal with the lemons life throws at us. As I get older, I think my lemons are getting bigger and bigger, and I'm not sure if I'm equipped to handle them, but I perservere! I'm not given to depression as a rule. I have my bouts of the blues, but mostly I try not to get down. It doesn't help or change anything, ad it usually just makes it worse by making others feel bad. My husband suffers from depression, and I have several children who do, also, and it's not fun, either to have or to deal with in other people. So when I start feeling down, I try to find something I like to do that will make me forget what's making me blue. It doesn't always work, and sometimes it takes me longer to realize what is happening and to do something about it, but I do try. Right now, days are good. I have these books to keep me occupied and I'm enjoying working on them.
What is it about the word (or even the thought of) diet that makes me hungry???? All I have to do is think about it, and I'm starving. I want to eat everything in sight. I do all right for a few days, even a week, and then Wham! I find myself gnawing on my arm if there's nothing else around! This is the thing that depresses me more than weight. I lost 45 lbs. last year, and now I've gained almost all of it back. And I went on a diet, starting last Monday, and I'm failing miserably! But I'm determined, because I don't want to be too fat to have fun with my grandchildren. And I got rid of my fat clothes when I lost that weight, so now I have nothing to wear! If that's not incentive, I don't know what is.
It's really chilly tonight. It has been all day, because we've been having rain. It's been cold enough to put the boys in long pj's and have slippers on our feet and blankets on our legs! Isn't that nice? In the middle of August, no less! I really love this weather.
I added a guest book to this blog tonight. If anyone is reading this, I hope you will sign it for me. There may not be anyone reading it. I don't know quite what to do to get it out there. I'm still learning about this stuff. I found a website tonight that I will check out tomorrow, called I think it's about selling your books on your blog. At least I hope that's what it's about, because that's what I ultimately would like to do. If anyone has any ideas to help me, let me know.
I'm making this a short one tonight (or should I say this morning?) because I need to get some sleep. Amanda leaves for work at 6am and I am in charge of the boys after that. They got up at 5:30 this morning, so it's been a long day. Until next time, Gramma G.

Friday, August 8, 2008

A Good Night

Tonight is a good night. I have been working on ideas for the next book in the Baggy Grandma books. More Recipes for Mom. Disappearing ink, slime, more silly putty, face paint, things like that. I think it will be good. Now I have to get started on it. I'm not too sure why I'm doing this, but maybe someday something good will come from it. I'm also going to start on the Kid's Crafts series. Volume 1 will be full of ideas for everyday crafts, Volume 2 will be summer crafts, etc........there are 10 or 12 total, each with 10 ideas in it. Just small little books. I have them all outlined and the projects chosen, now I just have to write them up and draw the illustrations.
I have just been made the chorister in Relief Society, plus I am doing the bulletin board and the newsletter. All of this came at the same time, so I am feeling a little overwhelmed right about now, but as soon as I get into the swing of things, I'll be OK. I love doing the bulletin board, and the newsletter is fun, too. Leading the music is more work, and the RS sisters have been asked to sing in Sacrament meeting next Sunday! With time for only one practice! We'll see what happens. The ward music chairman chose Hymn #113, and that's a familiar one, so we should be OK.
I have a new recipe for you. I got it from, and if you've never seen that website, you should check it out. They give all kinds of ideas and information on ways to scale down on fat and calories. It a great site! Anyway, this recipe is an "instead-of" recipe for those frozen lemonades you get at fairs that are so good, but not so good for you.
Lemony Sip-its
2 tsp. lemonade powdered drink mix (Crystal Light)
1 tsp. fat-free non-dairy creamer (like Coffee Mate)
8-10 ice cubes
Dissolve the creamer in 1/4 cup warm water and mix well. Add 1 1/4 cups cold water and the lemonade mix. Mix well and place in a blender with half of the ice. Blend at high speed until thoroughly blended. Add the rest of the ice a cube or two at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Pour into a tall glass and spoon or sip your way to lemony satisfaction. For an even slushier drink, put it into the freezer for about 20 minutes before enjoying. Really easy and really good! And if you're on Weight Watchers, the whole thing is only 1 point!
If anyone out there is reading this blog and has ideas to share for humanitarian projects, email me and I will share your ideas with everyone. Or if you have a group that does humanitarian projects, let me know. I know you're out there. Speak up! My sister-in-law is knitting hats for veterans, and she has 88 done so far. She started out with a goal of 50, and then moved it to 100. It wouldn't surprise me if she does about 150 before Thanksgiving. She's really fast. I used to be, but my poor hands don't work so purty good any more. Last winter we did hats for the children's cancer ward, plus "chemo cans", which were gallon paint cans, decorated outside and filled with goodies like crayons or colored pencils, notebooks, coloring books, scissors, toys and games, slipper socks, all kinds of things. We collected beanie baby animals for months! I haven't come up with a new idea for this year yet. I don't even know what is needed in this new place we live. I need to do some research, but ideas would be helpful.
Well, I think its time to close for tonight. It's 1:51am and I need to get some rest. See you next time. Take care of you loved ones. They are you most important assets. 'Night, Gramma G.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Family Trees

I'm going to continue with the genealogy thing. I have another family line that I'm stuck on. It's my McGrew line. It has taken me 25 years to get back just three generations, and now I'm at an impasse again. Someone out there must have the information I need, but I haven't found them yet. My great-grandmother was Sylvia May McGrew. She married Walter Henry Harrison and they had George Walter Harrison, who was my mother's father. They also adopted a daughter, Alice. Sylvia's father was Robert Kelley McGrew and her mother was Ara Matilda Bridgman. Now here comes the problem. Robert's father was named Finley McGrew, and he was Irish. It seems that every family unit in every generation of McGrews had a Finley, and I can't find a connection to any one of them! There is a ton of information on the McGrews, and one man even wrote a book that claims all McGrews are related, but he doesn't have any information on my line! I know that a lot of them were Quakers, and the Quakers have extensive records, but I can't even find them there. I know that when Robert remarried after the death of his first wife, the children from his first marriage were put in a children's home. I can find all five of them on the census for that home, and Walter and his brother worked there as laborers. That is how they met, I am sure. It took a lot of years to find the Harrison family line, too, but I finally did. Now if I could just find that wily Finley McGrew, I would be so happy!

I have a lot of information on my mother's mother's line, but I have yet to get it all sorted out. She came from Georgia, and there was a fire there that destroyed a lot of vital records. My great-aunt went back there to see what she could find. She met a lot of people who were related, got a lot of photos and stories and such, but it's all kind of mixed up. (And there are some people she has information on that I'm not sure how they're related, or if they are.) These are the Kerby's and the Hoopers and all their families. They were all over Georgia, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina....good ol' southern families. My mother's grandfather used to tell her she was part Indian, (we don't know if its true or not) and he used to tell her his name was Jonathon DeWitt Talmadge Crackass and Popcorn Kerby. Now is that southern or what? My other main line is the Bagshaw line, and my grandma did a lot of work on them. They go back to England.
It's a good thing that we are not defined by our ancestors. Sure, they give us a sense of identity sometimes, but we are more than that. We are everything we see, do and hear while growing up along with everything we are taught and that which we make up as we go along. A lot of really good or great people have come from poor immigrants abut rose to their greatness because they were not held to the family business.
Well, I'm falling asleep again, so I guess I'll go to bed. 'Til next time.....'Night, Gramma G!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Tube Ski Hat last!

I seem to be having trouble finding the time to blog, and I really hate that because I do enjoy it. I have been so tired lately that I have actually been in bed before 3am! That's unusual for me. Then I have the two boys in the daytime, so there's no way I can write then. I need to figure out a better way to do this.

Guess what? I finished the tube ski hat thing. I think I will call it the neck warmer hat. It's really quite good at keeping the cold air off of your neck and head, and half of your face if you want it to. I think I will make some for the kids who live in cooooooold Tennessee, and those that live in Utah, too. Maybe a few extra ones to have around when anyone comes to visit Montana! The photos could be better, like if they were of an adult that the hat fit instead of my 2 and 3-year-old grandsons, but I think you can get the idea. And they thought they were hot stuff, trying on grandma's new hat thing, even though it drowns them! The pattern is really easy, too. I used the largest yellow circle loom for the one I made, and it's about right for an adult. For youth or children, I would use the next size down, the green loom. I used three yarns for mine because I wanted it to be heavy and really warm, but you could use just two if you don't want it quite so heavy.

Knit 16 rows, then form a cuff or brim by reaching inside the loom and bringing the first row of loops up and putting them back onto the pegs, keeping the rows straight. Bring the back loop over these loops and off the peg. Now continue knitting as usual, until the piece is about 15 or 16 inches long. Work the knitting off the pegs as you normally would, except don't draw the yarn up tight. Instead, make sure the cast off yarn is loose enough to stretch over your head. Tie it off and weave your ends in and clip them off. That's all there is to it! And man, is it warm!

My poor littlest grandson is suffering from allergies, and I think he's having a reaction to the medicine. He has diarrhea so bad that he has welts on his little butt from where it touches his skin. When I changed his diaper tonight to get him ready for bed, he just screamed because it hurt so bad. I finally took him into the sink and sat him in some warm water to get him clean. I felt so bad for him. He hasn't felt good for 4 or 5 days now, and I hate it when they don't feel good. It makes me hurt. He has been spending a lot of time on my lap, and when he does that, I KNOW he doesn't feel good, because he's a mover and a shaker. He doesn't usually stop for much. We're going to give him some children's Imodium, and I hope it will help.

Independence Day just came on and I have to watch it. I watch it every time it comes on. I love this movie! I think the President's speech just before all the pilots take off is a classic. And of course, the movie is just plain good! I own it on video and I still watch it every time it comes on TV.

I'm trying to get back to working on my genealogy. There is so much left to do, but now that its a three and a half hour drive to the temple, I'm not getting as much done. When we were in Nevada, I went to the temple almost every week and I was getting so much work done. I think I might send some names down there to friends and see if I can't get the work done a little faster. I have come to some brick walls in some of my lines, and its really frustrating. I especially have one that is nigh unto impossible to figure out. My grandmother's grandfather came from Germany during some type of political unrest there. The family was nobility, and his father sent him and his brother out of the country to get them away from being conscripted into the army, where they would have been sent to the front lines and most assuredly killed. Our family has heard this story many times, and we all know that their name was von Markus, and they changed it to Markus, and then to Morris. What we didn't understand was the depth of their fear that if found, they would be sent back to Germany and killed. My grandmother spent a lot of years trying to find a connection in Germany to trace the family line, and not too long before she was put in a rest home, she received a letter from a lady who told a different story. She said that the von Markus name was her family name, and that the two brothers traveled with her family to America and used their family name so as not to be caught. I assume those two brothers were so afraid of being sent back that they never told anyone the true story. The big problem is that now I don't even know what name to look for, and the work that has been traced back to Germany isn't our family. I don't even know where to turn or where to start. I know he married Mary Gertrude Schmidt, and that connection is how we got this tidbit of information, but I don't know the name of the lady who wrote to Grandma, and I never found the letter after she gave me all of her genealogy paperwork. If anyone has any ideas for me, I welcome any and all.

Well, I think it's time to close for tonight. I will try to be better at keeping this going. Next post will have a really good recipe in it! Take care and remember to tell your loved ones how much they mean to you. Don't wait until it's too late. Night, Gramma G.
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