Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Sometimes all you can do is pray:

"God, You can't possibly think I'm this strong!" and you don't really know what the answer will be, but you're so afraid it will be exactly as you expect.

And you know God is there, but you still don't know how to go on.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Fall Shaker Card

I had heard about a new craft tool designed to fuse plastic sheets to form photo sleeves, but I didn't really think it was something I needed. Then I stumbled upon a video showing how to use this tool to create shaker cards and I was intrigued. I'm somewhat addicted to making these, and since I often mail them I found the idea of a less-bulky version very appealing.

But did I really need another tool? After all, I have quite a few that I've used very little...or not at all. Then I remembered I had a never-used tool that seemed similar to this new one in that it gets hot and has a thin tip. Could I maybe use what I already own to achieve the same result?

I also have a huge stash of laminating pouches that are meant to be used with heat, so I decided that would be the safest material to try with this technique. I cut one down to fit my card, then using a metal ruler to keep my lines straight, I ran my heated tool down one side to form a pocket.  Success!

Since this was an autumn-themed card, I used a variety of punches to cut leaf shapes from cardstock, then inserted them, along with some sequins and chunky glitter, into the pouch.

When I was satisfied with the contents of the pocket, I sealed the fourth side with my tool.  I then glued it between the card base and a patterned card front into which I had cut a window, and finished the card with a few wooden embellishments that had been colored with ink and embossing powder.

I thought I was really clever and creative to improvise in this way, and was excited to blog about it...until I realized this technique isn't new at all. Oh, well. I still feel accomplished, if for no reason than having actually made something.

I bought my tool quite a while back on clearance, but I've seen similar multi-purpose tools in craft stores recently. They often come with attachments that can be used for wood burning, stencil cutting, and heat embossing.

Do you have tools you thought you had to have...but never use?  Are you tempted to give them away, or do you like to hang on to them "just in case"?

Monday, November 16, 2015

Truly Golden Years

This weekend, I cried.   But they were tears of joy.  Every single one.

We'll start with the smallest moments of happiness and work up to the biggest.

The "smallest" moment wasn't really small at all.  It's just that it involved my tiny little grandchildren. (Don't be fooled--they might be small in stature, but they occupy a huge place in my heart.)  The joy came not only in that I would get to spend a few hours with them, but also in knowing that they actually wanted to see me.  Well, mostly it was my tiny little granddaughter, a mini version of her mama, who was excited to see her Nana.  But since I've raised four other girls who quite frequently can't stand the sight of me (and often feel the need to express those feelings), you can't imagine the joy I feel in having one who doesn't yet hate me. And since I won't be raising her, there's a real possibility that she might actually love me forever.

I'll take a "small" victory any day.

The reason I was able to see my youngest granddaughter and grandson was because we were all attending my niece's wedding on Saturday.  My niece is such a beautiful, kind person, and I was so happy to see her marry the love of her life.  He seems like a fine young man, and although I don't know him very well, I can clearly see that he makes her happy. And that makes me happy.  And even though this marriage seemed to happen in a whirlwind, I know from my own personal experience that when God sends you the right person, you just know.  I hope she and her husband will have at least as many years together as my husband and I have had, and I pray they will all be very happy ones.  Even though I cried yesterday, they were tears of absolute joy.

And this morning in church I stood beside my younger grand/daughter as she was baptized to show her faith in Jesus and her willingness to follow Him as the Lord of her life.  I (mostly) choked back my tears (13-year-old girls are extremely embarrassed by sobbing grand/mothers), but the joy I felt was overwhelming.  Both grand/daughters have now committed their lives to following Jesus, and I can clearly see exactly why I had to sacrifice my "golden years".

It wasn't really a sacrifice at all.  It was a gift from God. These truly are my golden years.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Cricut Cowboy Card

My husband was starting a new job, and at the last minute I decided to make a card to let him know I was praying for him. Since the idea didn't dawn on me until...well, nearly dawn, I decided to use this little cowboy I had previously cut from the Cricut cartridge A Child's Year. 

Just to clarify a couple of things: My husband isn't a cowboy and his new job isn't in the rodeo.  But he did wear a cowboy-style shirt in his favorite elementary school picture, which was enough of a connection for me at 3 a.m.  And the card was supposed to say, "Howdy, cowboy!", but that didn't happen.

Back to the card...

I wanted to play around with some reactive foil and my new toner pen, so I added foil to the cowboy's spurs. I tried writing a sentiment with the toner pen and adding foil, but that was a total failure. (Why do I always think it's a good idea to try new techniques at the last minute???)  Anyway, since I had already glued the cowboy to my card, I had to cut the sentiment away and work with what remained. I grabbed a new blank card, mounted what was left of my cowboy card on silver shimmer cardstock, then added some snakeskin washi tape and silver star sequins.

It's the thought that counts, after all. Even if that thought comes just before sunrise.

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Golden Girls - Words of Wisdom

"I don't want to send him back to an unhappy home. But we're grandmothers. It wouldn't be fair to be this old and have to raise children."      
                                                                -  Rose Nylund, The Golden Girls

I won't even try to explain.  You'll either understand or you won't.

The end.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today was my birthday.

There was no elaborate party.  For the most part, it was just another day.  But I'm okay with that.

Over the past year, I've wondered if I would even make it this far.  There were days I wasn't sure I could survive to another birthday, and others when I wasn't sure I wanted to.

But here I am, by the grace of God.

Life hasn't been easy.  I have struggles that most people know nothing about.  But God has carried me through them with lots of love, mercy, and the gift of an amazing husband.

At church this morning we celebrated The Lord's Supper.  Nothing touches my soul more than a tangible reminder of what Jesus did for me.  For you.  For all of us.  To experience this on my birthday was truly a beautiful gift.

Thank you Jesus for another year of life, and most of all, for giving Your life to save a sinner like me. A truly happy birthday, indeed.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

How it Should Be

Today was a fun day. It was, for the most part, the kind of day I've been longing for. My husband and I went for a nice long hike, then went out for a simple dinner together. Just the two of us. Of course there was a little teenage drama thrown in (to remind us that our work isn't yet over, I suppose). But it was still a great day spent in the company of my best friend, enjoying the beauty of our Creator.

I really thought about removing my post from last night...the one where I complained about being tired, stressed, and just a little bit sleep-deprived. Today put me in a completely different frame of mind and gave me a glimpse into the peaceful life my husband and I might someday enjoy--if we can only live long enough. And I'm ashamed that I sometimes get caught up in my disappointment over the turn my life took instead of thanking God every day for all He has given me, including His never ending grace and mercy.

But if my blog is anything, it is brutally honest. It wouldn't be an accurate depiction of my life, and me, if I started removing posts because my feelings have changed. Some days my moods seem to shift with the wind, thanks in large part to menopause and teenage grand/daughters, so if I started removing posts after a change of heart I'd soon have a blank page.

My blog is a hodgepodge of my good days, my bad days, my thankfulness for God's forgiveness, and a few craft projects thrown in here and there. And I think that's how it should remain.

After all, life can be a little messy.

Saturday, October 31, 2015


I'm beyond exhausted. Forget the nearly four decades I've spent raising children. I'm just talking about this week.

I don't know how many hours of sleep I've averaged, but with The Princess working about four nights a week, sometimes until 4 a.m. (I HATE late-night drive-throughs!), I am more sleep-deprived than a mom of newborn triplets (and a heck of a lot older). Last night I slept a maximum of four hours, and that was probably one of my more restful nights.

It's 12:36 a.m. and here I sit, waiting, waiting, waiting.

And it isn't just the lack of sleep that's taking a toll...the stress is killing me. I'm drained physically, mentally, emotionally and any other way possible. And that's just from the kids who live with me. I won't even address the other factors.

This weekend I will "celebrate" my birthday. Already my modest plans have been changed several times, and without enough sleep, I seriously doubt I will feel like hiking tomorrow. Is a short hike in the mountains really too much for an old lady to expect for her birthday???!!! 

It's turning out to be the fabulous weekend I've been told I deserve. Happy birthday to me.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Numbered Birthday Shaker Card

My granddaughter was celebrating her 13th birthday (yes, I would now have two teenage girls under my roof...again), so I felt her card needed to reflect that milestone.  And since I'm still working on my shaker card skills, I thought I'd give that another try.

Using my Cricut Explore and the Design Space software, I designed a rectangular card front, then sliced the number "13" from it using the Cricut cartridge Hello Kitty Font. I backed the cutout with a piece of acetate to make a window, then adhered foam tape to the backside of the paper around the number to form the border of the shaker area. I put a generous amount of chunky glitter and microbeads within the foam tape border, then sealed it by attaching the solid pink background paper. I glued the constructed shaker front to a standard card blank, then finished by decorating the front with a strip of patterned paper topped with a single small cupcake.. The number "13" that I had previously cut from the card front was used to dress up the outside of the envelope. After all, turning 13 is a pretty big deal!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Driving Miss Crazy


As I pulled into my driveway at 12:30 a.m. tonight (this morning?) after dropping Chatty Cathy off at a sleepover (long story), it occurred to me that I might be close to losing what's left of my mind.

A week ago The Princess was in an accident that totaled her car. Luckily she wasn't hurt and it wasn't her fault.  She finally got a rental car on Thursday.  On Friday she was rear-ended by another student after leaving school.  Again, I feel fortunate that no one was injured and that it was the other driver's fault.

But dang.

And since my husband and I aren't looking to start chauffering her around again, we spent Saturday desperately looking for a reliable, inexpensive car that wouldn't require one of us to sell a kidney. (I doubt there's much of a market for body parts with this much wear and tear.)

Today (yesterday?) was spent driving Chatty Cathy around.  The chauffering started immediately after church and didn't end until the day was over. Literally.

I'm tired.  Raising children is exhausting. And apparently neverending. My husband and I no longer even pretend to be anything other than two ships passing in the night. It's sad really. I thought we planned our lives a little better than that.

Unrelenting stress is driving me insane, and I'm pretty sure it's a short trip from here.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Human Emotions

In defense of loving mothers everywhere, myself included...

Frequently I use my blog as an outlet to express my frustrations with life, especially motherhood. I forget that occasionally my blog is actually read by somebody. The primary reason I don't use my full name, or link my blog to other social media outlets, is to avoid embarrassing or hurting someone I know. But I am a human being with real human feelings (although it often seems that moms aren't considered "real" people), and I do sometimes say things that are very real. A person, even a mother, can only take so much.

Mothers are human beings, first and foremost. We don't stop feeling once we have children. As a matter of fact, our feelings become much more intense when we have children we love more than life itself, and nothing hurts more than giving all we have to those children only to receive hateful comments, disrespect, thoughtlessness, and never-ending blame in return.

There isn't a derogatory name that hasn't been hurled my way at one time or another in my 37 years of child rearing. It hurts, especially when I've tried to give my best to my children. I'm sorry if my best wasn't everything they thought they needed, but it was all I had to give. I had a childhood, too, and it made me who I am, for better or worse. Mothers aren't robots, created solely for the purpose of handing out wishes and rainbows and problem-free childhoods. We come into the job carrying the weight of our own baggage. Some loads are heavier than others.

I have been accused of thinking I'm perfect, usually in response to correcting one of my children or when using my own experiences to teach life lessons. I have never once thought I was perfect. I am actually quite hard on myself, always wishing I had done one thing or another differently and being painfully aware of my shortcomings.

I have always loved my children, even in moments when I didn't like them very much. But even mothers are allowed to hold their children accountable for their own actions and choices. Actually, I'm pretty sure that's one of the most important aspects of the job.

God made me, loves me, and gave me the same human emotions He gave every other person He ever created. Becoming a mother didn't remove my ability to feel pain. A mother's heart doesn't just break when her children suffer; sometimes our hearts break when our children inflict suffering on us.

I try my best to observe the Golden Rule---to treat others as I would like to be treated---but in my humanity I sometimes fail. As a mother, I have an obligation to do my best to raise the children with whom I've been entrusted so that they will hopefully become kind, responsible, mature adults. Almost no one gets through childhood without a few bumps and bruises. Parents receive on-the-job training. Children don't come with instruction manuals, probably because no two children are exactly the same.  Most parents do the best than can with what they know, what they've experienced, and what they think each child needs.

Life isn't perfect.  Not for children, not for parents. We can take our childhood experiences and learn from them, or we can use them as weapons against those who raised us. Only one of those choices will make you a better person. The choices you make as an adult are what define you. You alone are responsible for what you make of the life you were given, even if you feel you deserved more. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Never Alone

Have you ever felt alone?  I think we all have at one time or another, even when surrounded by people.  Sometimes I think that's when we feel it most.  Right now I feel completely forgotten, hurt, unloved...very much alone.

But we will never be abandoned by God.  He cares.  He's there for us, day or night, every single day.

Other people will let us down.  And we will disappoint others.  But that's because we're all human and imperfect.

God is perfect.  And no matter how much or how often we fail, God won't fail us. Maybe He won't give us what we want, but He'll carry us through anything we face. All we have to do is ask.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Birthday Card Money Holder

My granddaughter needed a last-minute gift for a friend (do children ever plan in advance?), so we ended up with that most personal of all gifts---cash.  Luckily, most children are perfectly okay with receiving money to buy something they really want.  I love those kids.

I thought it would be nice to at least make a card to hold the money, so I had my granddaughter choose paper and the sentiment. I had recently purchased a cool die from Papertrey Ink, the Zipper Border Die, and thought this would be a good opportunity to try it out.

The card base was made from a piece of cardstock folded into a matchbook shape. I figured out the height and width I wanted, and cut it after doubling the height (for a top-fold card) and adding a couple of inches to fold up across the bottom.  

The "happy birthday" sentiment is from the Cricut cartridge Martha Stewart Birthday Cake Art. I cut a decorative border across the bottom using a Fiskars border punch, which I then backed with a small strip of white cardstock.  I used my Martha Stewart Custom Stamp Setting Kit to create the "pull" stamp for the tab area of the tear strip.  

After I assembled the card elements I had my granddaughter write a message inside.  I enclosed the cash, then used my ATG gun to seal it up so that the money could only be accessed by pulling the tear strip.

I never heard, "You ruined my life!" after my granddaughter returned home, so I can only assume everything functioned as expected.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, October 18, 2015


I'm sitting here at 11:30 p.m. on a Saturday night wondering how I got here. I'm waiting on my two granddaughters to return home from their evening activities, and the earliest I can expect either of them is 1 a.m. My husband just went to bed after I finally convinced him that since I can't possibly fall asleep until both girls have made it safely home, there is no reason we should both be sleep-deprived.

Where are my golden years? 

I love these two girls more than life itself. But I'm watching my life slip away. It seems I'm always playing a waiting game--waiting for someone to need a ride, waiting for someone to get home at night, waiting, waiting, always waiting. But time doesn't wait for me. I'm not getting any younger.

I need peace. I need rest. I need a few good years to reconnect with my husband after decades of endless childraising. 

But time is almost up.

I'm more exhausted than ever. I haven't slept all week. I won't get enough sleep again tonight. And the only times my husband and I spent together all week included one or both granddaughters.

I'm waiting on a break.  And a little of the life I worked hard to achieve.

I find myself frequently telling the girls that life isn't fair. That no matter what we do that is good and responsible and kind and ethical, we will sometimes watch others who didn't do the right thing receive what we feel we deserve. It's simply part of life in a sinful world. We can't let it change who we are. The truth is, we might never see our reward until we get to spend eternity with God.

But the waiting isn't easy.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Beach-themed Mason Jar Candle

I found an adorable beach-themed mason jar candle on Pinterest, and since I'll probably never achieve my dream of actually living at the beach, I decided the next-best thing was a candle reminiscent of a sandy beach covered in seashells.

Okay, that isn't quite true.  This project will never replace the soothing sounds of ocean waves, or the peaceful, shoreline view of water meeting sky.  But it will have to suffice for now.  And it is cute if I do say so myself.

The original design can be found here.

Even though the project was titled "Mason Jar Candle Holder for a Beach Wedding", I have neither a wedding nor beach trip planned any time soon, so I'll call my project "Beach-themed Candle to Soothe the Soul and Guilty Conscience of a Stressed-out Grand/mother Who Needs to Use Some of Her Massive Craft Hoard".

On second thought, I'll just call it "Beach-themed Mason Jar Candle".

I started by using blue craft paint to color the outside of a clean, empty spaghetti jar.  After the paint had dried, I made a candle inside the jar (as you can see, I clearly needed more wax to actually fill the jar). While I waited for the candle to harden, I colored some Diamond Dust with Adirondack Alcohol Ink to give it the appearance of sand.  When the candle was ready, I brushed a coat of Mod Podge around the bottom couple of inches of the jar, then coated it with the Diamond Dust.  After everything had dried, I sprayed a few coats of clear sealant over the entire jar.  While waiting for the sealant to dry, I used my glue gun, clear glue sticks, and silicone molds to create the shells, sand dollar and starfish, which I painted with a variety of acrylic craft paints for a more natural appearance. The final steps were to tie jute rope around the top of the jar and attach the shells to the jar using my glue gun.

Have you been "Pin"spired lately? What did you make?  And how did we survive before Pinterest???

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Cupcake Birthday Card

This simple birthday card was made using a cupcake from the Cricut cartridge Simply Charmed. I added a few shiny heart-shaped "sprinkles", then finished with a little glitter glue on the candle flame.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Octopus Birthday Card

Once again I'm waiting for my creative juices to flow or my energy level to rise. It could be a while. Until then, I thought I'd share a card I made last year but never posted.

This little octopus is from the Cricut cartridge Birthday Bash, which is one of my favorites. I also cut a flag from the same cartridge, then stamped it with a birthday sentiment.

I have to say the little guy appears to be struggling--or juggling.  Either way, I admire his tenacity.

Thanks for visiting!

Friday, October 2, 2015


Sometimes in life we can be hurt in ways that threaten to consume us. Even time seems incapable of healing those hurts.

I've been dealing with just such a circumstance. Today I felt completely powerless. I couldn't move past the excruciating pain deep within my soul. And for some reason, maybe because I couldn't see past my anger at the injustice of it all, God seemed so very far away.  And I honestly wasn't spending much of my effort seeking His presence.

But now it's quiet, everyone is in bed, and this day's particular trials are behind me. And I can finally feel God's love and care. Tomorrow might be just as difficult as today, but I pray for the wisdom to seek the power I need before I reach the point of hopelessness and despair.

Thank you, God, for your grace and mercy, and for loving a sinner like me.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Dangers at Home

My dog tried to kill me tonight.

I'm not sure he acted alone. It could have been a murder conspiracy. There's always somebody mad at me for something, and any one of them could have put him up to it.

After spending hours trying to find the reason my IPad photo stream isn't working (instead of sleeping like normal people do at 1 a.m.), I needed to get up from the sofa and visit the ladies' room. The light was off, and I guess the dog thought it would be fun to lay on the floor behind the ottoman where I couldn't see him. I put on my slippers, walked around the ottoman, and...


I have no idea how he managed to conceal himself so thoroughly. He's large, old, breathes heavily, and makes random grunting noises. (Actually, that entire description sounds a lot like me.) However it happened, I face planted on the tile floor, smacked one knee really hard, jammed toes on both feet, and bruised my hand. And the only thing I was drinking was water.

Not one soul came downstairs to check out the commotion.

If I do finally sleep tonight, I'll do it with one eye open.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Upward Falling

Today I found myself teetering on the brink of sanity, wondering how I could go on or if I even should.  And once again, I found God waiting to pull me back into His loving embrace.

The world can be a cruel place.  Sometimes even those we love hurt us more than we can bear.

It's during those times of extreme anguish that God's presence is often most evident.  Lately, I find myself ending each day simply praying for the strength to make it until morning.  And in those moments, I feel God's love and know He will get me through.  I certainly can't do it on my own.

The past couple of decades have brought heartache into my life, accompanied by anxiety, fear, grief, anger, frustration, depression and an overwhelming lack of self-worth.  But I have never before felt this close to God.  The circumstances of life have been difficult, but I find peace in knowing the pain has taken me exactly where I need to be.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Mothers are People, Too

We weren't always mothers. Our lives didn't begin when we had children. Once upon a time we had dreams. We were people who didn't yet spend our days cooking, cleaning endlessly, kissing boo-boos, peeing with the door open, handing out discipline, handing out snacks, wiping tears, loving with everything we had, and crying ourselves to sleep because we never felt good enough.

Once we were children ourselves. Our lives weren't always perfect. But we moved forward, determined to fulfill our dreams of Prince Charming, a castle (or just a house with a white picket fence in Suburbia), and children who would fill our lives with joy.

Those of us fortunate enough to be blessed with everything we ever wanted try to be the best mothers we can possibly be. But The Perfect Mother doesn't exist. There are horrible mothers, really good mothers, and somewhere in the middle the rest of us live, just doing our best every day with the tools we have and the burdens we bear.

And that's all any mother can do.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

What Really Matters

Today was going to be a productive day. I was finally going to get a jump on all those crafting projects I had collected in my mind (and on Pinterest). Of course I first had to do laundry. (I didn't want to completely lose the procrastination skills I had spent years honing, so I decided to blow off cleaning my bathroom.)

As usual, the girls had presented their laundry baskets late and in sloppy condition. Instead of getting better at preparing their dirty laundry, they now seem to take for granted that Nana will unknot their clothes and turn them right-side-out. 

And I did.

I've been suffering symptoms that lead me to believe my blood pressure is much higher than is safe, so I'm trying to pick my battles. This wasn't going to be one of them. It was too early in the day.

So I calmly reminded them that I expected them to do better next week or I would not wash their clothes, nor would I allow them to do their own laundry unless they paid for the use of excess water and electricity. (This was because I knew they wouldn't wash full loads, but would instead wash only what they wanted that day. I've lived long enough to know how most kids operate.)

The Princess decided to apprise me of The Law. "I'm pretty sure that isn't legal", she informed me. "You can't make us wear dirty clothes". She's 17, knows everything, and feels it's her job to share her vast wealth of knowledge with her grandpa and me.

I kept calm and carried on.

Later, inspiration struck. Instead of neatly folding her clean clothes as I always do, I haphazardly tossed them into her laundry basket. They were clean, and I'm pretty sure that's the extent of my legal obligation.

In the evening she returned home from picking up her boyfriend for a visit, and seeing her laundry basket heaped with rumpled clothes she asked if I was indeed not going to wash them. "They're clean", I said, "I just didn't fold them. I'm pretty sure that's legal". She wasn't amused.  Actually, she proceeded to act like a two-year-old. And I'm fresh off a visit with one, so I know exactly what a toddler meltdown looks like.

But it gets better.

It was now dinner time and I had just washed a sink full of dirty dishes that had appeared out of thin air, just like magic. My hands were still a little wet when I pulled out a baking sheet and started to set it on the stove. It slipped and dropped a few inches onto the edge of the glass cooktop. 


Yeah, I broke the stovetop.  And no, it isn't in my budget to buy a new one.

Through my tears (and some profanities) I reached into the refrigerator to get a few things. After all, the show must go on.

For the past few days, I've noticed the vegetable and fruit drawers had been making a grinding sound when I opened them. I figured now was the time to get at least one of my appliances in good working order, so I removed the first drawer completely and found the problem...

There was a giant sheet of ice covering the bottom of the refrigerator.

When it rains it pours. And then it freezes up.

I was feeling pretty despondent at that point. Then my phone rang.

The details of the call aren't important to the story, but suffice it to say I was facing a real potential tragedy. And it scared me straight. 

There is nothing material on this earth that matters in the grand scheme of things. God blesses us with people to love and, if we're really lucky, people who love us back. If we're fortunate enough to have them in our lives for many years, and they are healthy and safe and hopefully also happy, that's really the only thing that matters.

Thank you, God, for blessing me today.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Giraffe Birthday Card

I've whined enough lately.  God has been very good to me over the years and He continues to forgive me EVERY SINGLE DAY. (I'll need that today more than ever.) So back to crafting...

Well, actually this is a card I made a very long time ago.  But I haven't felt like making anything lately (it's hard to make stuff while throwing a pity party), so I dragged this out of my "archives".

It's definitely a little on the bright side, possibly bordering on painful-to-look-at. But for my sister, Teresa, the brighter the better.  She's in a persistent vegetative state, and I'm pretty sure the doctors told us early on that she was blind.  But I'm not convinced of that, so a bright, colorful card seemed like the way to go.

The giraffe was cut from the Cricut cartridge Paisley (Teresa loves giraffes).  The solid background was cut using a Spellbinders Nestabilities die.  

Overall, nothing to get excited about. Unless you consider that I actually made something. Yes, it was a year ago, but I did make something once upon a time.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Indentured Servitude

Yesterday was unbearable.

My younger granddaughter, Chatty Cathy, was talking about getting back on her normal sleep cycle now that school is back in session.  She compared her summer to my everyday life.  "Nana, I sleep all day because there's nothing to do.  Not to offend you, but that must be how you feel every day with no purpose in life and no reason to get out of bed."

Yep.  That sums it up.

Unless you consider what I am required to accomplish each day:  feeding the family.

My oldest granddaughter, The Princess, came home a short time later in a grumpy mood.  I asked about her day and got a grunt.  Okay, I won't ask.  She did muster the strength to ask me what we were having for dinner.  "You probably won't like the answer", I said.  "We're having Chef's Salad."

"Oh, goodie", she smarmed.  (I don't know if that qualifies as a word, but it's the only way to describe the way she spoke to me.)

"You can blame your grandfather", I replied.  "It was his idea".

"I'll just eat the eggs", was her solution.

"I had no plans to cook eggs", I said, "and even if I did, you can't just eat eggs".

Anyway, from there it devolved into an argument about how a salad can't be a Chef's salad without egg, how I don't care what her definition of a Chef's salad is, how I'm sick of hearing complaints EVERY SINGLE NIGHT from one person or another, and that the cook is the only person who never gets her preferences for dinner.  I think at some point I yelled in frustration, she made a comment that implied I was crazy for going off, I said something about how seemingly small things take a toll after 37 years of dealing with them, she chuckled at the crazy lady and made a hateful comment, and I went to find the wine.

Oh, and my daughter, who gave birth to these children, received a gift in my mail from Chatty Cathy's grandmother (as a reward for giving birth, I suppose, since my husband and I are doing everything else).  It isn't the first "token of appreciation" she's received at my house, either.  I guess things are sent here to stick it to me for having the gall to financially, physically, and emotionally support her precious granddaughter at the expense of my golden years and my mental health.

Just this past weekend, my husband and I took the family out to dinner to celebrate The Princess's birthday.  Chatty Cathy asked me to take a photo with her (nothing warms an old lady's heart like having her granddaughter want to take a photo with her, even when the old lady hates having her picture taken).  She then posted the picture on social media.  Probably before we even finished dinner, Granny had reposted the photo after cropping me out!!!

Take your own photos, lady.  Oh, I guess that's hard when you only ask to see your granddaughter twice a year.  Then whine on Facebook about how you miss her so much it hurts your heart, and allow others to comment without correction that it's a shame she isn't allowed to spend more time with her.  (I've written about this before.)

Long story even longer, I told my husband this morning that I needed to resign my position.  I simply can't take it any more.

"Too bad that's not an option", was all he could say.

It's official.  I'm an indentured servant.  And I'm not sure what I got out of the deal.  Unless you count insanity.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Insignificance (And Other Realities of Motherhood)

Today was The Princess's 17th birthday.  My husband and I worked hard over the past week or two trying to determine which gifts to buy, and I spent every spare moment when she wasn't around making a special birthday card for her. I also purchased needed supplies to make her birthday cake (until she notified me late last night that she had changed her mind and wanted something different). This evening we took her, her boyfriend, and her sister out to dinner, where we were met by her mother.  Afterwards, I came home and hung streamers  to make the house a little more festive (because she had indicated at dinner that that was important to her). Of course I had spent the rest of the day doing laundry for her and her sister, Chatty Cathy, washing their dirty dishes, and other mind-numbing tasks only a custodial parent or grand/parent can understand.

After the cake had been eaten and presents opened, she wanted to take a picture with the Polaroid film we had bought for her birthday. I heard her rounding up her boyfriend, sister and mother. "Nana!" She called out, "I need you!"  Naively thinking she wanted to include me in the photo, I headed in the direction she indicated.  "Here", she said, handling me the camera.  "Take this picture of us."  I sucked my disappointment and hurt down into the deep recesses of my Mom-soul where all the rest of my pain lives, and I took the picture. 

So my husband and I, her sole caregivers and financial providers, don't measure up enough to be included in the family photo. At least I wasn't alone.

A short time later, I looked up from my clean-up duties just in time to see her having a picture taken with my husband, arms around each other and with beaming smiles.

I was now completely alone in my insignificance. Gut-wrenching.

I've been called every unholy name in the book because I've been charged with the task of turning her from a childish, self-centered, impulsive teen into (hopefully) a responsible, thoughtful, mature young woman. Not an easy task under the best of circumstances, and not one that makes you especially popular with children who think they know everything and are convinced that you are just an old fool who can't possibly relate to a world which no longer includes dinosaurs.

A little while later she walked into the room where I was trying to relax with my husband, and pulled out the two photos. "Aren't these so cute??!!" she asked.  Looking at the photos that included all the members of our family except me, I replied "Yes, they're adorable!"

I can cry later.