Thursday, April 30, 2009

It's Asparagus Time! Yippee!

I picked and ate at least 18 stalks of asparagus last night. Wholly Cow! It was so delicious and the first of the season, so I couldn't help myself. It was heavenly.

I washed & dried the asparagus and then rubbed it with olive oil and then salted and peppered it and roasted it on a pizza pan in the oven for 10 min. The time will vary depending on the size of the stalks and how tender you want them. Pencil thin stalks would probably take 5 minutes or so. Some of mine were at the pretzel rod size circumference so I left them in 10 minutes.

Okay, so my plate looked something like this. I know, I know. But if you're going to make a pig out of least keep it healthy like I did.

Asparagus is a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It has no fat or cholesterol and is low in calories. I will be enjoying this super duper veggie until the end of June.

If you want to look up more information on Asparagus try this site.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Grandkids - All together for the second time!

This is only the second time all three grand kids have been together. Last time it was at Amanda's (with Grammie too) and this time at Meghan's.

On the left is my first born, Amanda and on the right my second born, Meghan.

Michael is my first grandchild and he's now 5 3/4 years old.

Ain't this just the cutest pose ever of Michael enjoying the view at the Lazy Q Ranch.

Ava, looks like her Mommy and acts like her Aunt Meghan did as a child.

Ava is 3 3/4 and often thinks she's in charge.

And the baby of the bunch, but not for long (next ones due in Oct) is Miss Sydney.

Sydney is almost 2 1/2 and loves to sing & talk & read & is afraid of nothing.

The cousins having fun feeding the goats.

Group shot! This one is for Gramie LaLa. Smile everybody.

Okay,do this.

Do the wave! Wave at Gramie! Do...something!

The boys (Bill & Derek) taking Michael for a ride on the golf cart.

What we did on our Spring Vacation - Yep! Them there is new bikes!

Thanks for joining me on a short tour of the grand kids together again in North Carolina. Next time, I WILL be there.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Update on "Influenza Porcino"

For those of you unfamiliar with Spanish,that is Swine Flu. With the beginning of the new work week things have moved up a step in Mexico. Today my daughter, Ashley emailed to inform me that 149 people have died, mostly in Mexico City and they have started a country wide suspension of all academic activity until the 6th of May, in an effort to prevent new cases of flu. Classes at all levels, from Day Care to Universities are canceled until then. They have been asked to avoid all places where large numbers of people gather or pass through, such as restaurants, clubs, bars and stadiums. Ashley stated that she probably wouldn't leave the house since she doesn't have to work now, she thinks it would be better that way. She and Miguel teach at the University in Irapuato. Since Ashley has been suffering from morning sickness I know she will not mind the vacation from work.

Swine Flu - What's a Mama to do?

The swine flu in Mexico is all over the news. I don't need to direct you to articles they are everywhere and easy to find.

It's a bit scary when you have a child living there. My daughter, moved to MX in January. Thank God! And I mean that literally - she is not in Mexico city. She resides in Guanajuato, which is 4 1/2 hours northwest of the Ciudad of Mexico. I know cases are showing up all over the world now, so what's 4 1/2 hours away. Well, at least she's not in the thick of it at the moment.

I spoke to Ashley by phone yesterday and they have not closed the University she and Miguel teaches at in Irupato. They have been instructed to take precautions such as not greeting people with a kiss or shaking hands and to wash their hands frequently. Miguel's mom is a nurse and she has the family eating special foods to boost their immune systems. I'm sure Miguel's mother will be watching her like a hawk as Ashley is carrying her first grandchild. Now that's motivation in my book.

My crazy husband says he's not worried about it, because he doesn't plan on kissing any pigs. Oh! sometimes I would like to strangle that man. Pray for him! And on a more serious note; please pray for the people of Mexico and their loved ones who are worried about them.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

No Ordinary Grandma

I want to get this book, "eye of my heart". 27 Writers Reveal the Hidden Pleasures and Perils of Being a Grandmother.

If you go to and enter the word grandmother in the book search, you will find that over 10,000 books are listed. It's a very important time in a woman's life, so naturally many authors have written on the subject. I do not see my grandchildren often as they live on the eastern side of the U.S. and I'm surrounded by the Great Lakes, so I am always on the look out for ideas of special ways to keep in touch and to make memorable times just that, memorable. I want to be that amazing, very-special one of a kind Grandma.

So far I've sent postcards, books, videos, letters & packages. I call and talk to them on the phone and have made them the star on my blog. Last year I made Michael & Ava a birthday collage picture starring the birthday child and for Christmas they received shoe boxes full of goodies, reminiscent of my own childhood. I'm always looking for fun things to do with them and arrive with a suitcase full of clothes, books, & toys that I've collected between visits. I try to tap into their special interests, for Michael that would be bridges & volcanoes. For Ava it was mice and then changed to princesses. You have to constantly keep up on those things. And you know it was hit when the kid has to be bribed to take off the Spider man jogging suit you bought, so it can be washed. It's not all about spending money either, things like glo-in-dark bracelets from Joanne's discount bin, at $1.00 was a huge hit. is a great source for cheap books and I'm an avid ebayer too.

I'm now in the process of collecting Christmas books for Sydney for a new tradition of opening a Christmas book every day of December until Christmas day arrives. She LOVES books and Christmas, so it's sure to be a hit. She was the happy recipient of her very own kiddie ornaments for her very own Christmas tree this past year.

Will this new book have the answers to all my questions? Will it give me great tips? I don't want to be an ordinary grandma, but an extraordinary one. My passion for little ones gives me a head start over many of the other grandma's and the old absence makes the heart grow fonder gives me another leg up. I'll keep doing my research and following my heart and I do believe I'll see you in the winners circle some day. The winners circle of my grandchildrens arms that is.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

The object of Wordless Wednesday I assume is to let the picture speak for itself. I've never posted one before, because as you all know, I stink at being wordless.

Since I'm recovering from gall bladder surgery I thought I'd post a Wordless Wednesday picture while I rest this Pillsbury Dough belly of mine. Comments on the photo are welcome. Comments on my belly aren't.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Chili's Anyone?

Chili's is one of my favorite places to go out to dinner. I like the atmosphere and the food. I recently found a freebie from Chili's I'd like to share with you. All you have to do is join their email club and you receive a free chips & queso.

My mouth is watering already, (can't wait to go and get mine) and being free it will taste all the better.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Gardening Anyone?

My father was a gardener by hobby and his father was an avid gardener also. I come by it naturally. My father planted vegetables and had an orchard, he wasn't much on flowers, but his father did it all. My grandfather had a love of the potatoes and purple beans, yes, there is such a thing. I should do a post on each of them some day, but for right now....

Check out some of these gardening blogs for some inspiration.

The Bookish Gardener

Daily Muse

The Good Earth

When it stops raining I need to check and see if my asparagus is poking its head out of the soil yet.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Dog Groomers - They Come, They Go!

Here's a good picture of an every day Wheaten Terrier. If you've ever seen them at the dog shows, you know their coats get even fancier than this. It takes a lot of grooming to keep them looking nice. That's paying to have someone bathe, cut and dry them like this and then 6 - 8 weeks of you doing several brushings a week. That's when you spell up keep like this....W$O$R$K!We are now on our 5th groomer in 5 years, and our 3rd grooming salon. You just find a favorite person you like and can trust and they move on, quit, get fired (who knows you never get the story).

Your dog is a part of your family. And just like you don't trust just anyone to take care of your kids, the same goes for your dog. Wheatons are not one of the easiest of the canine breeds to cut and groom either.

I took Danan in looking like a sheep dog, barely able to see her way around and brought home a dog I barely recognized as my own. She looks so skinny when she first gets trimmed, but she smells so good and is ready for spring.

Danan's happy as long as she can play Frisbee or ball. It is a much appreciated break from 1/2 hour brushing sessions for me, because at this length I can brush her in 10 minutes or less.
I've trimmed her feet, head, face and bottom, but I don't think I'll ever have the nerve to try the whole dog. I bathe her at home too, but it's a messy, wet & tiring job when you could just pay someone $20 to do it.

She's such a well behaved, sweet companion that we don't mind going the extra mile for her.

Now that the youngest two have flown the nest, she's also become our traveling companion.

If we go, she goes.... as much as possible anyway.

And that's okay, by her, she loves to travel.

"Did you say Bye-Bye?"

Thursday, April 16, 2009

My Respite Care Boy

GT was almost five when I first met him. He was and is as adorable as they come and I've grown very attached to him over the past three years I've cared for him.Unfortunately, he like many others is lost in the world of autism.I like to take him to parks, away from the TV and his therapy ball that he likes to bounce on continually; to try to connect with him through play. Sometimes it works and it truly makes my day. Sometimes it doesn't and it breaks my heart.I enjoy taking photos of him for his family. Here he is climbing a tree in his back yard. I took hundreds of pictures that day and saved only about a dozen truly good ones. It's hard to get a good picture of a kid that will look at you and cooperate with instructions. It's even harder when the child can't.This is a photo taken at GT's favorite park. If I had to put a title to it, it would be "The sky is the limit." And I have to post one of him with nothing on but a diaper, as this is how he prefers to be at all times. Thankfully, he has only done one strip act on me in public.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Family Traveling Scrapbook

My oldest daughter, Amanda made this family scrapbook and presented it to me last fall. I've never attempted scrap booking before, but I've made greeting cards and many of the techniques are the same.

Inside the front cover is a letter and instructions.

I'll recreate the letter for you, so you can read the words yourself.

She did such a beautiful job on this journal, it is a true labor of love....

Dear Mom & Meghan, Ashley & Audra:

Even though we are spread across the continent we remain, as always close in heart and mind. As our life journeys continue to move us farther from one another I was brainstorming a way to keep our family ties strong.

I decided upon a circular journal. Our very own family journal! A place where we can share moments that others have missed or where we can rejoice in those moments we are lucky enough to share.

The rules are limited. Just keep in mind you must complete a page prior to passing it on and it must pass to each person once before repeating the circle. Feel free to be creative or keep it simple.

I'm excited to see what everyone creates and can't wait to come home to the package on my doorstep.

I Love You!


This is the page Amanda did to start the book off.

Audra & Rick's wedding, June 9, 2007.

I created my first page of my youngest two girls, Ashley & Audra and their smiles.

Don't they have gorgeous smiles!

Thank you for creating this family journal, Amanda. When this one is full the next one is on me.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

New Law Inforcement and Autism Training Video

I found this link on Autism Bites site. The Life and Times of a family with 6 Autistic Angels. This family has been on TV several times in the past year. I have to applaud them, with 6 kids on the spectrum they still find the time to help others through the maze of living with Autism.

Sorry folks, but I can't get the link to work on this one. You will have to type in the browser or copy and paste it in

When the first page appears, click on Sahara Cares and it will take you to the page where you can view the video. It covers many different scenarios with kids and adults all over the spectrum and ends with police officers and their own children with autism. It was hard to hold back the tears, so you may want to have the Kleenex handy.

Monday, April 13, 2009

1,000 Visitors

I'm ready to hit the big number 1,000 on my visitors counter.

Wow! That's such a big number. It seems like I just started posting a few weeks ago. Time sure flies when you're having fun.

I typed 1,000 in the web browser just to see what would come up.

1,000 places to visit before you die

Check out 1,000 trails.

1,000 of the greatest films.

I was hoping to find something useful like 1,000 ways to get out of dusting around the house. Or 1,000 ways to pretend your sick, so you don't have to go to work. You know that sort of useful stuff, but no luck.

If you are my 1,000th visitor, leave me a comment or email me. I'd like to know who it is that hits that exact number.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

This Post is for you, Michael

My daughter, Amanda sent me this email below.

On the way out this morning - Michael said - Mom do remember when Grammie lala went in the forest with me? That was sure fun!

Michael, I do remember..... We had the day alone together; Ava was at her Day Care and it was just you and me. You wanted to explore the forest on your property and Grammie was afraid we'd get lost.

"Come on Grammie, let's go." "It's okay, we won't get lost, Grammie."

Sometimes the going was rough. You had to climb over and under. In some places the branches practically intertwined between the trees.

But we saw amazing things like this green pancake moss.

(Folks that's our name for it nothing scientific.)

And Gramie found this really neat tree. We saw a cool bird, way up close, and we found a dead shrew laying all curled up with his little paws clasped as though in prayer. Michael insisted it was a mouse, so I let it be. Apparently he's never heard of a shrew before.

A few times we stopped to take a break and talk. It was a beautiful day and adventures can be tiring. Michael took a tumble down a hill and cut the palm of his hand on a piece of wood. I insisted we walk back to the house and wash it and put a band aid on it. Michael just wanted to continue exploring.

All in all it was a beautiful day in the forest with my most amazing Grandson, Michael.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Help Spread Awareness for Autism

This is on my list of things to do. I need some more props!

There's a ribbon magnet on my car, a puzzle ribbon I wear on my jacket and a (expensive)ribbon necklace I wear more than any other jewelry I own. But... there's so much more out there.

Look at the cool website link below. Now click on it.

Great signs, stickers & buttons at Cafe Press.

Parenting advise is not
appreciated unless you too
have a child with

I have to get this one for my daughter & G.T's mom. I wish I had time to list many more of them, they are so cool and there's many more sites besides this one that sells autism awaremess products.

Get on board! Spread the word!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Art Galley from the world of Autists

Check out this online art gallery. You can even order greeting cards of some of them and there are icons to click on to read all about the artist.

Here are two of my favorites.

The title of this one is Windy Day. I love it!

Autism Society of America (ASA) Art Gallery online

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Stimming - What is it?

What is stimming? Stimming is a repetitive body movement that self-stimulates one or more senses. In psychiatry stimming is known as a "stereotypy", a continuous, purposeless movement. Classic stims such as hand flapping and rocking are pretty well known due to the film industry portraying many autistics this way. Many people with autism do not stim at all, it is just one of the many symptoms that effects people on the autism spectrum.

Here is a stiming list. The senses being stimulated are visual, auditory, tactile, vestibular and taste & smell.

My grandson did some stimming when they first fostered him until he was maybe three. I never saw him flap, but my daughter did a couple times when he was overstimulated. He would rock, and watch the wheels on trucks & cars as he moved them along the floor. He was obsessed with opening and closing doors. His mom couldn't take him through the freezer section of the grocery store because of his compulsion to stay there all day and open & close the doors. His stimming gradually decreased and we never thought much of it until recently when he started Kindergarten. His preschool lost their special education license so all special needs kids had to leave. My daughter tried her utmost to find another placement, but everything had a waiting list, so Michael started school a couple months late. They switched him from one classroom to another, and switched one-on-one aids that was assisting him. As Michael's stress level increased guess what came back, his stimming. He began to flap, and clap and rock. It broke my heart. Believe it, stress will have a major effect on the autistic child and the amount of stimming they do. I'm happy to report that the stress has been reduced and so has the stimming.

What are your thoughts on stimming? Does it drive you crazy? Do you accept it and allow it? At home? In public? Feel free to share a stimming story in the comments.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


My id for my Northwest Flying Miles will soon be changing. When I began using the card I had two grandchildren and now I have three, but by the end of the year this card id will be flyingrandma05. Yes, we are expecting our fifth grandchild late November.

Although as Ashley said, the baby is now about the size of a sesame seed, they are over joyed. This will be Miguel's parents first grandchild and they are beyond ecstatic. Miguel's mom is a nurse, so I'm sure she'll be keeping a watchful eye over our Ashley through this pregnancy.

In July, Ashley will be coming home for two weeks, we'll have to have a get-to-gether for her and an early baby shower. Baby showers are not common in Mexico and Ashley will want to celebrate and experience this happy time with loved ones here in the U.S.

05.....that number is going to take a bit of getting used to. I must say though that I am excited with the prospect of having a brown-eyed baby in the family. None of the girls have my brown eyes.

Miguel and Ashley went to pick up her VISA yesterday and applied for permission for her to marry a Mexican. They are going back on Wednesday to pick it up and hopefully they just have a little bit more paperwork to do and they can get married. The civil ceremony date is May 8th. A whole lot of Congratulations are in order for this happy couple.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Today's Weather

This was the forecast and see pictures below for what we got

... Winter Storm Warning remains in effect until 8 PM EDT this

A Winter Storm Warning for heavy snow remains in effect until 8
PM EDT this evening.

Snow... heavy at times... will continue across the area today. High
snowfall rates may reach two inches per hour at times and will
cause rapid accumulations despite warm ground temperatures. The
snow will gradually tapering off late in the day. Accumulations
of 5 to 8 inches can be expected this morning along a line from
Chelsea... to Pontiac... to Sandusky... with lesser amounts of 4-
6 inches as you approach the city of Detroit.

Periods of snow showers will continue through the day... bringing
storm total accumulations within the highest band to 6 to
10 inches. It may even be possible for a few isolated locations
to see snowfall totals approach one foot. North to northwest
winds will also increase today with gusts to 30 mph or more.

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

A Winter Storm Warning for heavy snow means severe winter weather
conditions are expected or occurring. Significant amounts of
snow are forecast that will make travel dangerous. Only travel in
an emergency. If you must travel... keep an extra flashlight...
food... and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.

In front of Cammy's House.

Wright Road Intersection.

On the way to work. Papa drove me, we had a few problems, but he managed to keep it on the road.

Sure looked pretty, but isn't this suppose to be SPRING!