The Importance Of Decorating

I love decorating for the season, I love decorating for the holiday, I love decorating for the day. Any occasion really and I will throw up a wreath or a garland or a special picture. I have always said, “Give me a theme and a color and I’m ready!”


Enjoying the changes in the year is so enhanced by changing my environment. I feel the march of time on the outside needs to be matched by the change of color and bunting on the inside. It can be small. It can be epic. It just needs to reflect you and your home.

While taking down the Halloween decorations to get ready for the Fall/Thanksgiving paraphernalia, I was thinking how important it is for families to mark the holidays. How important it is to change with the seasons, the months, the celebrations of life.


I think decorating for special occasions, whether for a day or a season, keeps us in time with the year, our lives and our families. We look forward to each event instead of being overrun by it. Making special arrangements also gives the occasion more meaning and certainly more fun.

When we plan decorations for an event, we keep our minds on other people and our sense of hospitality is enhanced. Will the kids like this? My mother would love to see her things used like this. I think the neighborhood will appreciate this.


Change itself is a good thing for us, especially as the years go by and we get somewhat set in our ways. Keeping up with change, rather than dragging behind, can be one sure way to stay young or at least young at heart. Expecting, planning for and being a part of new different experiences is very invigorating and keeps us adaptable – which is a very good thing.

Experiencing events by decorating for them is just plain fun and can be done with children. Traditions are made of these. Memories are made of these. Share the joy! Share the fun! Decorate!

10 Things You Want your Grandchildren To See You Do

1 – Love Unconditionally. Let them know they are the light of your life. Always end the conversation with “I love you”. Tell them often how much they mean to you.

2 – Cheer them on. Not just at soccer or baseball games, but always tell them they can do it. Give them encouragement. Always be on their side and help them to believe in themselves.

3 – Laugh. See the funny side of life. Tell jokes and laugh at their jokes. Use humor to heal the heart.

4 – Hug. Make physical contact when appropriate. Give a good hug and kiss. Sit close and snuggle. Hold hands when walking.

5 – Move as much as you can. Keep active and do it with the grandkids. Walk. Ride bikes. Swim. Hike. Camp. Go fishing. Garden. Dance. Anything done with a child can be fun!

6 – Enjoy life. Don’t be a hermit. Be active in the world. See friends. Go to movies and plays. Listen to music. Go to the library. Join a club. Be active in church. Meet your neighbors.

7 – Be positive. Keep a good attitude. Don’t complain. Change the things you don’t like and adjust to the things you can’t change. Be an optimist.

8 – Have a hobby. Keep busy. Have a passion and an interest. It gives you something to talk about!

9 – Forgive. Set a good example and let go of the wrongs done to you. Learn to say “I’m sorry” also.

10 – Always greet them with a smile. Make your grandchildren feel as though you have been waiting for only them. Always always greet with a smile. Tell them how glad you are to see them.



Music, Music, Music!

Another September, another week at Walnut Valley Music Festival in Winfield, Kansas. What a delightful, wonderful way to get saturated in bluegrass, folk, country, gospel, celtic and every other kind of acoustic music you can imagine. Camping in the 5th wheel at the Fair Grounds and listening to instrumental and vocal tunes all day is my kind of vacation.


Gramps and I have been coming for about five years now and love it more each time we are here. The music comes from all parts of the world, yet needs no translation. We understand each rhythm and beat. It’s truly magical, even if we don’t know the words.

Music is like that – it speaks to each heart if its own language. Even children and infants understand the seeming foreign tongue of a lyrical tune they have never heard before. People who can’t understand each other’s spoken language, can read and share music, providing a bridge across every barrier.

dancing images

Instruments are played, songs are sung, toes are tapped and fingers are snapped. It’s the beginnings of dance and we all have it in us – the response to music.

Simple words and notes can make us cry or laugh, pause or become excited. They can make us feel every emotion or stun us as though we have been slapped. They can stir rebellion or quiet the raging soul. Nothing affects us quite like music.

Music can do things like nothing else in the world. It can change a child’s brain who learns to play an instrument. It can enrich a child’s life who sings in a chorus. It can enlarge a child’s world who plays in an orchestra or band. Nothing affects a child the way music does.


Gramps and I have done it all – we have sung in choirs, played instruments, taught songs to our children and grandchildren, provided music lessons to younger family members and probably sung “Happy Birthday” at least once to everyone we know.


Walnut Valley Festival is one of the places we visit to learn, understand and share that mystical language we call music.

Let’s Walk

Every evening as the sun is setting and the temperature is becoming more tolerable, Gramps and I take a walk around the neighborhood. We don’t exactly power walk, but we don’t meander either. We walk fast enough to raise our heart rate and slow enough to talk.


Part of the reason we do this activity is health improvement. Walking has a positive effect on almost every part of the body and on almost any problem you might have. Sounds impossible, doesn’t it? But it’s true!

Walking improves thinking, sleep, blood pressure, weight, the immune system and Vitamin D levels. It strengthens the heart, legs, butt, tummy and bones, and reduces stress and risk of dementia. What else can do so much for you while requiring nothing but shoes and a little time?

The biggest reason Gramps and love to walk is it is fun. We hold hands, talk, look at nature and visit with others walking their dogs on the same route. It is really a grand time for us. We share happenings from the day, bring up new ideas, rehash old ideas, make future plans. We listen intently to each other and laugh a lot. Sometimes we just walk in silence and listen to the sounds of the neighborhood. What a precious time it is!


When grandchildren come to visit, they usually walk with us (or use a bike or a scooter or whatever). They love taking the walkie-talkies along for some added interest. One of them runs ahead with one of the walkie-talkies and gives a report of what they see i.e.. an ant hill, two toads and a robin. The kids see things we usually don’t, so it is an added treat. In fact, it is so much fun with the kids, we usually go farther. And the little ones like to hold hands too!


I can’t think of many things more fun, more positive or more healthy than just plain old walking around where you live. Can we walk?


Monterey Car Week Granny Style

Car Week at Monterey, California is a Mecca for anyone interested in old cars, new cars, unusual cars, one-of-a-kind cars, expensive cars, junk cars, sports cars, any cars for that matter. That person would be Gramps.

This is a yearly trip for us in our truck and camper. We stay at a campgrounds very close to the beach and near several restaurants. The weather is cool and breezy, and we get out of the Texas heat for awhile. It is all very fun and wonderful.

Gramps loves all the cars – and I do mean ALL the cars. He looks at every one. He takes photographs. He takes videos. He talks to the owners. He does this all day, every day. Now I love Gramps and I try to be supportive, but after the first 50 cars or so I get a little bleary-eyed.

Let me tell you my view of Car Week.

Tuesday – The Carmel Concours with many stylish show cars, including the new Acura NSX. There were Porches and Metropolitans and an American La France fire engine converted into a car.



Impressed yet?

Carmel is also home to many cute shops and boutiques. One shop I go to every year is the Christmas Store. I get ornaments for all the grandchildren and have them personalized and dated. I also found a couple of Frozen themed boxes for the two little girls.



Wednesday – The Little Car Show in Pacific Grove. Now this was a really interesting display of all the smallest cars in the world. Mini cars with mini engines, mini wheels and cute mini parts. Everything tiny and compact.



Me? I found some wonderful regular sized shops, where I bought fabulous things. At one antique shop, I found a white infant dress, embroidered with a slip for $15, a monogrammed handkerchief and a beautiful blue and white vintage summer weight quilt.



We also had lunch at the best bakery ever! What a wonderful day it was!

Thursday – The Tour d’Elegance, which was the Pebble Beach Concours cars on tour. These are primo top-of-the-line cars. Lots of brass, silver, leather and works-of-art hood ornaments. Very classy, very showy. Lots of sparkle and shine. And it’s all free for the public to enjoy.



I however, discovered a couple of wine tastings. Purchased a bottle of wine and a gorgeous cutting board. Shopping everywhere! Isn’t it grand!


Friday – The Pacific Grove Concours and Rally. A car show and then a tour of the cars Hearing the engines roar and the horns beep was the most fun.


After awhile I was off shopping again. Of course, we had breakfast first at our favorite little bakery. Must fuel the day. Then I was off to a small linen shop for embroidered tea towels for Christmas gifts for friends and a set of monogrammed napkins for me. Very French! Another great day!



At the end of the day, I found a lovely little antique shop among all the sweet vintage buildings.It had the most interesting old windows with vintage glass pieces glued on. I’m thinking of doing this project for myself when I get home. I think I have all the makings except he window.



Saturday – The Concours d’Lemons, a spoof on car shows in general and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in particular. These are the worst, oddest and quirkiest cars vying for “Worst of Show” any way they can, including bribing the judges.


This show I really enjoyed and looked at all the cars in all the categories. When it started      to get too warm, I spent the remainder of the day in the shady tent lounge provided by one of the vendors. A good day all around!

Sunday – The Historic Races at Laguna Seca with hundreds of race cars from the 1920’s to 1970’s. Gramps and his brother attended this but I did not. It seemed the perfect way to end the week.



And that is how Granny does Car Week – with a credit card and a shopping bag!

My Bike – A Love Hate Relationship

Gramps and I bought new bikes. They are lovely bikes with the pedals moved a little forward so you can put your feet on the ground easily while still seated comfortably on the seats. Mine is a wonderful creamy white. They only have seven gears because I honestly don’t know what to do with twenty-one gears.


I love my new shiny bike. Part of the reason we got them, besides the usual need to exercise more, was to encourage our grandson Mac to learn to ride his bike. He has been reluctant for the last 2-3 years, for reasons unknown. We thought if he saw us on our bikes, he would be more likely to want to ride his. We hope to have him over soon to see the big event.


The problem with my bike is – I haven’t ridden one for 50 years! The first time we set out on the new bikes, we were so excited! We were only going around the block to test them out. I admit I was a bit unsure and a lot unsteady. Half way around our little course, my seat fell off. Yes – off! Well, honestly, who can sit on a metal post? My answer to the situation was to first call to Gramps for help and then to fall flat on my side – bike and all.


After slowly recovering from the ground and walking my bike home, I decided I didn’t like my bike as much anymore.

Now I’m very unsteady and leery on my bike. Gramps says I will improve if I just keep trying. I’m sure he’s right.

I’m wondering if the same thing happened to Mac and that’s why he doesn’t have such a close bond with his bike. I guess we will both have to just keep trying.           .