Here are the pillow and quilted blanket I recently finished for my grandson’s rocking chair. The pattern is one I designed and had printed through Spoonflower.com. The pillow is made from two printed squares of cotton ultra which were sewn together and stuffed with polyester fill. The quilt is made from a meter of 54 inch polyester minky which is the softest material I have ever sewn. The stuffed animal monkey was a gift from a good friend. I don’t think she will mind if I pass it on to my grandson. I’m planning on making another pillow/quilt for the newest female member of the extended family. That pattern will be different.
These are the finger puppets I made to go in the truck for the quiet book. The top ones are of the carrot, corn, peas and tomato. The one below it is the farmer. I am sorry there is so much glare in the photos, but I think you can see what I intended. Finger puppets were a challenge because the details are so small but they were fun to make. The book is now finished and bound so all I need to do is take it to my grandson and see if he likes it.
I was a bit stumped about making a train. Then I remembered that I had bought some plastic mesh canvas. I cut out the sides and ends of each of the cars and sewed felt to it. I thought about using buttons for the wheels but worried that they might pull off, so I made the wheels out of grey felt. I used an empty thread spool for the engine and covered it with black felt. I attached velcro between each car so that the train would stay together when it was pulled. I sewed bias tape to the bottom of each car so that the elastic could be threaded through it and the elastic is sewn together on the back of the felt background. Eventually the pages that back each other will be sewn together around the outside edges so the sewing won’t show. The train isn’t beautiful, but it does move on the elastic along the short track.
I am presently working on the quiet book page about trains. This is the train track, tunnel and background for the page. All I need now is to make the train. Hmmm… that will need some more thought.My plan is to put part of the train through the tunnel on a length of narrow elastic cord much like the car on the car page. I want the train to be more three dimensional though.
I have added three more pages to the quiet book for my grandson. The teddy bear comes partly out of the rocking chair. The jet plane can “soar” along the elastic and the fish can jump out of the waves. I’m having fun thinking of ways that the objects on the pages can move. I think that it will make the book more interesting for a one year old boy.
This Sunday will be the fortieth anniversary of when I first became a mother. I was excited and terrified all at the same time. The idea of being responsible for the safekeeping of a little body was thrilling and daunting. What if I did something terribly wrong and that little person was damaged in some way? I said a lot of prayers. I felt so protective every time I felt that little earthquake move .
Yes, our baby boy was born one hot July day on my mother’s birthday. She was so excited to become a grandmother that she had forgotten it was her special day. I told her, “Mom, this is the biggest present I could ever give you. Please don’t expect one every year!”
Our eldest and my mother celebrated their birthdays together every year until she passed away at 92, five years ago. She so loved being a grandmother and then eventually a great-grandmother, because one day our eldest son and his wife made me a grandmother too. What a joy that has been! Now we have three grandchildren, two from my eldest and one from his younger brother. Like every other grandparent, we think our grandchildren are the smartest and the most handsome in the whole world.
And then one day, I stopped and thought – Oh my, being a grandmother means I should be wise. Little grandchildren need to have wise grandparents. My hair is threaded through with grey now, my ears need hearing aids, and I often forget where my glasses (purse, address book, or keys) are so I guess that means I am older. But wiser?
If I am so wise now, why do I feel sometimes like the child who was always the new girl at school? Why do I feel surprised when I see this older lady looking back at me in the mirror? When my dear husband pays me a compliment I feel like I’m the 22 year old he married, but as I told my grandchildren, I know I creak and squeak now when I get out of my chair.
Our oldest once asked his dad (though he will no doubt deny it now) how old he was before he knew everything. Wow! Now that was a compliment. Of course, my husband modestly protested that he was still waiting for that day to arrive. Wisdom might be knowing that you still have much to learn.
It is said wisdom comes from experience. Perhaps that is true. I know that if I have a pill (and I do) that is too large to swallow, apple sauce will send it down gently without me gagging. I know the signs of seasonal change because I’ve seen a lot of seasons and besides, my arthritis never lies. I know that the smell of a newborn, freshly washed, is the sweetest smell on earth and, conversely, a heavy diaper is not so pleasant. I know that sometimes a child will have a temper tantrum and then fall asleep in your arms. I know how hard it is to get grocery shopping done when a child is tired and balky and I sympathize with the mother. I know enough to answer some questions and leave other answers for moms and dads. I know how hard it is to be a preteen, trying to leave childhood behind and be recognized as a full-sized person. I know that seventeen is even harder when you are so anxious to be getting on with LIFE and you are stuck in a awkward gawky body that never seems to do what you want it to do. Does this make me wise? Gee, I hope so. It is all I have to give. So far. I’m still learning.
Forty years ago, a tiny baby boy set me on a journey of adventure I never could have imagined. All his siblings look up to him, not always in agreement, but with respect as the oldest in our family. He is a responsible adult with his own children, a sweet wife, and a home. He is thoughtful, honorable and caring. We are very proud of him, as all parents should be of their children, and we cherish fond memories of his childhood years. Someday he will be the patriarch of the family clan. And you know what? One day our grandson will ask his father the same question. “Dad, how old were you when you knew everything?” What do you think his answer will be?
As I mentioned in a former blog, about thirty years ago I decided to call up some friends and invite them for lunch. I told them to feed their toddlers and then we could eat while they played. I thought we could play a little Trivial Pursuit after dessert and chat. Well, the Trivial Pursuit box was never opened. We ate, gabbed and laughed all afternoon. We enjoyed our get-together so much we decided to do it every month and so we have (except for July and August) for the last twenty-nine years. We no longer come with children. Instead we all bring pictures of our married children and grandchildren to pass around. We set up a schedule in the spring; each of us takes a month to host and we are all slotted in for turns to bring appetizers or dessert. We have a great time and it has led to fast friendships and some funny experiences.
This month is my month to host and I am bustling around like a whirling dervish, as my mom would say. I have planned my menu and now its just clean up time. Well, I’m not the best housekeeper. I tend to lean more towards comfort than pristine, if you know what I mean. When you come to visit me, just don’t open any closets or look under the bed. You will either be avalanched by hidden flotsam and jetsam or grabbed by the ankle by dust bunnies. I do enjoy company, but I get a bit flustered on the day or so before no matter how many times I have hosted. You see, no matter how much I prepare there are always surprises.
I remember one particular year when our garden was very productive. We had tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, broccoli and cucumbers up to our armpits. We were very proud of the garden and I was extremely pleased as I realized that I wouldn’t have to spend a lot to feed my guests. I’m not too sure what the main dish was, maybe ham and scalloped potatoes, but I do know that one of the dishes was steamed broccoli. I soaked the broccoli ahead of time in slightly salted water.
Everything was ready. The table was set, the mood music was playing, and the punch was in the bowl. Then my guests arrived and we sat down to eat. Well, they sat down. I had a few extra things to do in the kitchen. Suddenly, I heard giggles coming from the dining room. It became even more uproarious as I went to find out what I had missed. Had someone told a funny story? No. It seemed there was an uninvited guest at the table, well, on one of my guest’s side plate. She pointed and I looked. There was a still- wriggling green caterpillar that had crawled out of her broccoli. Embarrassing!
On another memorable occasion, I was attempting to whip cream in the kitchen when my dishtowel got caught in the electric mixer and sprayed the topping all over the back of my friend’s little black dress. Very embarrassing!
Well, to be fair, not everything has happened at my house. At one lunch, we were having a meat fondu, when the table cloth caught fire. Another time, lightning hit the house of one hostess and the power went off. At another home, some of the children decided to play with the coloured sand that you can make pretty pictures with all over the white shag carpet. In spite of all these things (and more) we are all still friends and we look forward to many more Cabin Fever lunches in the future, even if someday we have to park our walkers at the door of a restaurant.
Hmm… guess I’ve procrastinated long enough. Time for some vacuuming, just in case someone decides to look up at the cob webs on my chandelier.