ATOP for WPC 3/19/17

Atop

Well, I’ve never tried posting a short video before but we’ll see if this works. Be forewarned. To YOU it might be gruesome. From my point of view, it is truly amazing!!!

Let me know what you think and if this is cheating. I know it is supposed to be a photo. I’ll post some of those separately!

PS Bummer. It didn’t include the music. This was videoed with Come Together by The Beatles playing loud in the background. Ths bug is climbing in time with the music!!

Ambience for WPC

Ambience

Ahh, to be thirteen again…and to be given complete freedom to decorate my own room. My Dad did that for me so I painted my room white and then, with a pencil, traced circles around plates, cups, and saucers all over my walls. I filled them in with pastel pink, yellow and blue enamel paint. (I also made striped curtains in the same colors.) I loved my room. It was such a peaceful haven in an otherwise tumultuous household. I could shift my mood by closing my door and immersing myself in the ambience I had been allowed to create.

When my son and grandsons moved back in with me I really wanted the boys to feel at home and so of course, passed on the traditional “freedom” to decorate their space.

Here’s a slideshow of how the oldest (13) chose to set up his room. It is filled with the dichotomies of his age and individual personality. I LOVE it! Enjoy the song below while viewing the show. (It reminds me of my Junior High/High school boyfriend, David Taylor!)

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My first reaction to some of his belongings was apprehension. His Dad (my son) was never allowed weapons of any kind, not even toy guns. That really backfired as a parenting stance. But I am not too worried about my grandson. His “weapons” are mostly decorative, and are nicely balanced with his other collections (Pez dispensers, sports stuff, art, guitars, etc.)

Oh and his “stuffies”, many from his babyhood.

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These are his favorite Stuffies; a fluffy elephant (he had one in his crib from day one that played “Imagine”) and his favorite, a “Frankenstein doll”.

My grandson posed in this photo…can you see him?

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Names for WPC 1/7/17

Names

She goes by several names…the Goddess, the Queen, “Diana”, or many just call her YIKES!!

Her official name is Extatosoma Tiaratum

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extatosoma_tiaratum

In the 7 or so years I have raised them, she is my biggest and longest living Giant Spiny Australian Leaf Bug so far (almost 2 years) and she is really amazing. He body is fat with eggs and if I’m not careful I will have a huge invasion of babies next summer!

You can read more about these amazing creatures on these posts…

https://chosenperspectives.wordpress.com/2016/07/08/back-to-those-bugs/

https://chosenperspectives.wordpress.com/2016/10/30/transmogrify-by-chosenperspectives/

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As for her REAL NAME, I simply lower my head and call her Your Majesty!

A Swing and a Miss!!

OK you win some and you lose some. I get that. But it is so much harder to lose when you have been absolutely convinced that THIS time, it would be a WINNER for SURE!!

I believe that my duties as a grandmother are specifically limited. I do NOT get to “parent” my two amazing grandsons. Julius, who is 13 and Luca, 10 (for another week) depend on me to be that other adult in their lives that has the luxury of coming closer to unconditional love than either of their parents do. Even though they live with their father in my home, I do not have to crack the “do your homework” or “clean your room” whips. That’s their Dad’s job.

My self-imposed duties are clear to me though. I get to love them. I get to watch out for their safety. And my favorite, I get to teach them stuff, especially about our family’s history and traditions…

At Christmas time, it is not part of my job to be the one to give the “big” present each year. Again, that’s my son’s place and I never want to compete or even accidentally outshine him with his boys.

So I go for obscure, non-traditional gifts (no video games) and whenever possible, non-material. Gifts from Gramma are unexpected (sometimes unwanted) and always a bit weird. That’s OK with me. And I know some will land and some will fail! But most will be remembered.

Examples:

3 years ago, I made each a personal (Shutterfly) photo book of their lives so far. I think it got about a C+/B- grade from the boys.

2 years ago, I made them personalized “treasure boxes”. (They’ve always liked that concept). These boxes contained charms and totems and stickers that represented events in their lives. Each box also had a tiny tablet and mini pencil so they could guess, and then write down, what each token in and on their box signified. There was a prize for whoever guessed the most symbols. (Hey, do I know how to harness sibling rivalry or what??)

 

Last year, I gave them (all of us really) a family outing to a very cool local place. Maybe you have something like this in your area. It’s called the Boarding House. I have to admit I have some pretty strong judgments about how inundated our children are these days with all things electronic and technical…especially the whole video gaming addiction…so when I discovered the Boarding House, I was thrilled. It is a store/restaurant that sells almost every “board game” ever invented…not a single electronic game in the place! You can even go in and pick some games to try out at your table while enjoying a damn good meal. (Think the highest class “tavern food” EVER!)

This gift was NOT a hit because when they opened it, they had no idea what it was. They could not even grasp the concept of a game store without their coveted new video games for sale. (not an addiction, my ass!) It took 10 months for them to finally be willing to use their hefty Gramma gift certificate for dinner and games at the Boarding House. I’d say, eventually, this gift earned approximately a B-…but it was like pulling teeth.

This year, I thought I might finally earn an “A”. Oh well, best laid plans and all.

My son likes to expose the boys to a variety of different and special experiences in their lives. Wild and different restaurants. And last year, he bought them 3 piece suits and took them to the SYMPHONY!

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I thought they looked a bit Mafioso but maybe that’s fitting given their strong Italian heritage! 

Remember I said it was my self-imposed duty to teach them about Family Traditions? So, I combined my son’s determination to expose them to new things, and my childhood (and then Michael’s) tradition of weird food in our Christmas stockings, to provide a Christmas morning experience like no other. I knew it would be a HIT!! The boys love all the survival-type tv shows, especially when eating gross stuff is involved. So I did a lot of googling, shopped around, prepared a breakfast table, with a specific food challenge for each! (No crickets or ants involved…we are a Bug Household after all!) see

Here’s what they arrived to find for breakfast.

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mmmm, yummy!

The deal was, they had to read the research I printed about their given fruit, take at least one bite and then go back to the printed material to find a clue for a treasure hunt to their real present. A gift card to their favorite place to shop hidden around the house.

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Guava
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Sugar Cane
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Kumquats 
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Kiwano (Horned Fruit)
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My personal favorite, Buddha’s Hand (Citron family)

Great idea, eh? Expose them to something new. Teach them something old. I was so sure….

I think I earned maybe a D- !!

Oh well. The hidden $50 Amazon cards went some distance to save the day…

 

Song Lyric Sunday 12-18-16

https://helenespinosa.wordpress.com/2016/12/17/song-lyric-sunday-theme-for-121816/#respond

So the theme for Song Lyric Sunday (this week) is to post a song that makes you feel better

My first choice is this delightful anthem from Cris Williamson. I always feel better after playing this LOUD and singing along with this wonderful choir of women!! I feel so connected! I dare you not to smile at the very end!!

Chris’s voice is so clear and powerful. I LOVE her joyous, sometimes poignant and always and “heartful” singing!

I have used Williamson’s music often in my work. And one time, I had the extreme pleasure of being at a Bonnie Raitt concert (she’s my favorite), when Bonnie invited local treasure, Cris Williamson, up on stage to sing Angel from Montgomery with her!! WOW!!

 

Song of the Soul

Song of the Soul
(Cris Williamson)

Love of my life I am crying
I am not dying, I am dancing
Dancing along in the madness
There is no sadness
Only the song of the soul

cho: And we'll sing this song
     Why don't you sing along
     Then we can sing for a long, long time
     Why don't you sing this song
     Then we can sing along
     Then we can sing for a long, long time

What do you do for a living
Are you forgiving, giving shelter
Follow your heart, love will find you
Truth will unbind you
Seek out a song of the soul

Come to your life like a warrior
Nothing will bore yer, you can be happy
Let in the light, it will heal you
And you can feel you
Sing out a song of the soul

Love of my life I am crying
I am not dying, I am dancing
Dancing along in the madness
There is no sadness
Only the song of the soul

Lyrics from http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/folk-song-lyrics/Song_of_the_Soul.htm

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