Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Many of my blog posts here are inspired by things that happen in my daily life.  For example, yesterday I was reminded, by my 21 month old granddaughter no less, how actions speak louder than words.

She loves to sit at my desk where I keep track of the paper part of my gardening business.  You know, a computer, files, pens, receipts, articles for new ideas, and elastics, lots of elastics.  You see elastics are perfect for organizing the receipts from the plants I purchased for clients.  These receipts are important for warranty and income tax purposes.

Back to the elastics and how they apply to the actions speak louder than words theory.  You may remember from pictures of my son’s wedding that my daughter-in-law has the most beautiful, long, thick and wavy hair.  Well, she often wears this glorious hair tied up in a pony tail, bun, or braids.  What she may not realize is that when she does wear it down, she often gathers it up and twists or knots it.  Sometimes she secures the tie up, sometimes she just lets it fall back down.  She always seems to have an emergency elastic on her wrist for this tie up purpose.  Well, guess who picked up on that habit?  You got it, my granddaughter, the elastics she found on my desk immediately went around her wrist.  Then she pulled one off her wrist and tried to put it in her hair.  The cutest part was she does not (yet) have the volume of hair her mother does, so the elastic just wouldn’t stay put.  A fact that I just couldn’t explain (to her) with words.

Another, not so cute, example of how actions speak louder than words is the fiasco with Don Cherry and Hockey Night in Canada.  Everyone (well apparently there are a few people that are not aware) knows that Don Cherry’s actions over the years prove that he is a caring, kind and compassionate man both in and out of hockey arenas.  Yet, a few unscripted words were his downfall last week.  His life time of actions should have spoken louder than his ill-fated words.  In no way should he be labelled as a racist.  Maybe an old man, incapable of getting his point across in the (overly) politically correct environment we find ourselves in these days, but not a racist.

Many people, believing Cherry’s comments to be inappropriate and racist, were quick however to defend and forgive our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for his inappropriate and racist actions over the years.  Why is that?  Because Trudeau has apologized profusely for every and any action he has offended anyone with and then some, just in case he missed anyone.  The problem (in my opinion) is that one can only apologize so many times before the apologies become hollow and insincere.  Words can be cheap, glossed over, forgotten; actions are much more lasting.

Actions speak louder than words, good and bad!

 

Please take an extra minute to visit my other blog where I make everything garden related my business.

 

 

 

 

Losing your mother changes your life

Losing your mother changes your life in many ways. I lost my own mother twenty-five years ago today, and not a day goes by that I don’t think of her, wishing she was still here. She barely got to know two of my sons and never did meet the third. With my sons all grown up and four sweet grandchildren of my own now I wish she could share the joy they all bring to our lives.

My mom died just after reaching her 65th birthday; I was 34. She was diagnosed with lung cancer and dead within 3 months, so we had very little time to get used to the idea of life without her before she was gone. She didn’t even have enough time to rally from the shock of the diagnosis to begin to fight for her life. Losing your mother leaves you shell shocked for a long time afterward.

My father had just retired and she planned to do the same. It would have been well deserved after working from the tender age of fourteen with only a brief hiatus to bear six children in eight years. Years of work and raising children were finally in the rear view mirror as she looked forward to a more carefree life.

With six children and 13 grandchildren (at the time) spread out over Canada and USA, my mother looked forward to visiting with them all often. She was the travel planner and organizer, my dad was more of the stay at home type. In fact, after her death my father rarely travelled more than a few kilometers from his home. He was heartbroken, literally.

My mother’s untimely death changed my life in many ways. Concerned that my own life expectancy may only be 65, I reduced my work hours and the accompanying stress level by changing departments. The goal was to concentrate on the important things like spending more quality time with my three young sons (I had a third not long after she died) and my husband. Volunteering at the boys’ schools, on field trips and for their sports teams became my focus. I do not want to feel that I should have spent more time with them when I am older.

When my boys were grown up and independent twelve years later, I once again began searching for more out of life. I made another drastic change and retired (very early) completely from hospital work to start my own gardening business.

Losing your mother makes you introspective, comparing your mothering style to hers. Not just your mothering style really, but all your mistakes and regrets, as well as the hopes, dreams and triumphs too. It’s like a wake up call to improve the quality of your own life. During her last three months, my mother and I spent many hours discussing such things.

As my grandchildren grow up, I try to spend as much time with them as I can as well. I hope to be around to witness their milestones, something my mom missed out on.

losing your mother
my favourite picture of my mom

Rabbit ears, why are they so long?

Why are rabbit ears so long? If you asked my granddaughter, she would tell you that long rabbit ears make good handles. At least the ones on the (resin) rabbit in my back garden do. Don’t worry, no rabbits were injured in this story.

I had positioned this rabbit in my garden in mid-May so it appeared he was peeking out from his hiding spot amongst the hosta leaves…

peek-a-boo rabbit

My granddaughter loves to check out my gardens, stopping to admire the flowers…

She also loves critters of any kind, except for dogs. For some reason she is afraid of dogs. Birds, bugs, and other (small) animals are like magnets though, so when she spotted the rabbit in my back yard, she made a bee-line for it..

Her memory is very good. The next time she was over she headed straight to the back yard to rescue her new buddy again. The hostas had grown considerably, so the rabbit was trickier to find, but she grabbed him by the ears, and took him for a stroller ride…

rabbit ears
taking bunny for a ride

Another favourite critter at Grandma’s is the pink pig watering can her cousin Carter loves to take on his adventures…

Patience and Cheerios

I have to admit patience is a virtue I do not possess, but I’m working on it. That’s because I’m learning that grandchildren are great teachers, but require unlimited patience.

This morning was another lesson learned in the patience department. My two year old grandson and five year old granddaughter slept over last night and although she slept well, he did not. He was up several times during the night and then up for good, bouncing around with a seemingly endless supply of energy at 6am.

“Grumble, grumble, ok Grandma is up, but I won’t be dancing with Elmo or to Baby Shark within the next few hours, at least until I have a cup of coffee.”

Checking out his choices for breakfast, this (always adorable) grandson grabbed a box of Cheerios and promptly dumped (most of) its contents onto the kitchen floor. Luckily the box was not full. After I grabbed the broom and swept up the mess (with him helping of course) he repeated the process. Dump, scatter, sweep….at least five more times. After the second sequence, I realized he was having fun. No real harm done, and other than relocating breakable objects within the swinging radius of the broom handle as he “tidied up,” it was fun to watch his concentration. The cheerios were going in the garbage anyway; each time I threw some out (without him noticing of course) so there were fewer to clean up each time.

Money doesn’t grow on trees

How many of you heard your parents say “Money doesn’t grow on trees” when you were a kid? Well, my grandkids know, as apparently does Fisher Price, that money comes from a bank.

money in the bank
ATM front

This particular banking machine is a toy made by Fisher Price that we received over 25 years ago, when our eldest son was a toddler. It looks like a two sided ATM, with plastic coins and “dollar” bills.

money bank
coins and bills

The coins go in a slot on the top left corner, something our two year old grandson loves to do, over and over. As he no longer puts everything in his mouth, when he is here he fishes the coins out of the “off limits for his one year old cousin” bag they are stored in.

money machine
coin slot

One side of the machine also has a slot to stick the five green dollar bills in. Once the coins and dollar bills are inside the machine, there are separate (one red and one blue, see top picture) buttons to push to eject them.

money bank
Back of ATM with keypad and dollar slot

The ATM also comes with two realistic looking plastic credit cards, although the orange one was missing when I searched for it to take a picture. Maybe I better report that to the bank, LOL.

money machine
credit card

Deja vu of stolen bathroom breaks and more

Recently we had the privilege and joy of having our youngest granddaughter stay at our home while her parents were away for a few days. Talk about deja vu! I had forgotten just how busy a (soon to be) one year old can be.

And how busy their caregivers are! Her grandfather and uncle were in and out of the house at work and university respectively, so I was the primary responsible adult in charge of most of the feeding, playing, singing, cuddling and generally watching like a hawk.

The two men were delegated to cleaning up the messes in her adventures around our house. She was like a little tornado, leaving a path of destruction behind her as she travelled from room to room.

As much as I enjoyed the deja vu experience, I was reminded just how far from my 30’s I am. And how difficult it is to sneak in bathroom breaks and a shower when a one year old is following your every move.

Hats off to all you young parents out there. And a word of encouragement: They will grow up, sooner than you think, and then you will be the one cherishing the deja vu.

Reverse Advent Calendar, Lesson for Children

This idea of a reverse advent calendar is wonderful and a great way to teach your children to think of the less fortunate instead of themselves. Skip the routine chocolate/candy advent calendar and try this instead.

reverse advent calendar

When my sons were young we helped deliver Christmas food baskets that their schools had filled.  I will always remember the proud moment when one of my sons (I cannot remember which one or which event) commented “I like how it makes me feel inside when I do something nice for someone else.”

Our family also used to participate in Operation Christmas Child sponsored by Samaritan’s Purse.  For this project we filled empty shoeboxes with small toys, school and art supplies or other things kids would love.  Convenient drop off locations made it very simple to donate to a great cause.  We even received pictures (after Christmas) of children around the world opening the boxes.

reverse advent calendar

Of course we should donate all year around and not just at Christmas time, but these ideas are powerful learning tools for our kids and grandkids.  Kindness and compassion for others never gets old!

 

PANDAS/PANS Awareness day today, October 9th

Today, October 9th is PANDAS/PANS awareness day.  This is very interesting to me as autoimmune disorders appear to run through my extended family.  One of the strengths of social media (thanks Facebook!)) is that we can now keep in touch much easier to learn about and offer support as these disorders are diagnosed.

If it has caught your attention too, please read this post by Brenda Mueller for details…

 

On being a Grandma, part three

A few months ago (four to be exact) I shared the joyous news that we had welcomed another grandchild into our family.  After spending a lovely Father’s Day dinner with my family tonight, I am reminded of how fortunate I am to have my three precious grandchildren nearby.

#51 @ 3months

They are all growing up so fast!  This picture was taken a month ago already, on Mother’s Day, just as the gang was leaving our home, exhausted from their busy weekend.  That’s one happy Grandma!

National Siblings Day

Although National Siblings Day is purported to be an American thing, I am taking it international today, making it a Canadian tradition as well.  It seems that large families are a thing of the past.  However, when I was young it was much more common.  Most of my friends and relatives were members of a large family.  This was mine..

Siblings Day

In keeping with the times, (but not with the Jones’, that was something different) my poor mother had six children within eight years, as many other mothers did then. My siblings were my first friends, teachers, co-conspirators, adversaries and sometimes even (so we thought at the time) enemies. I cannot imagine being raised in a different dynamic. I am convinced that being raised in such a tight environment turned us all into hard working, ambitious, successful adults.  The fact that money was tight and very frugally spent also had a huge impact on the adults we have become.

Siblings Day

 

This picture was taken (almost) 24 years ago, the summer our mother was diagnosed with and died of lung cancer.  Living far away from each other, this was the last time all six of us siblings have been together.  We came the closest last summer when five of six of us got together to celebrate my eldest son’s wedding. This next picture is of our extended families (minus one sister and hers) at the wedding.

Siblings Day

 

Please be sure to visit my other blogs:
Laugh out loud (LOL) with me at Your Daily Chuckle
and
Be inspired and motivated by famous words of wisdom at WoW
My gardening website can be viewed at gardens4u.ca