Thursday, October 8, 2015

Introducing Breast Cancer Survivor's New Business During Breast Cancer Awareness Month

What better time 
for a 
Breast Cancer Survivor 
to begin a new business than during 
Breast Cancer 
Awareness Month!

Yes, I’m playing the Cancer card! Why not?

Choose any of our messages or
Write one of your own!
We also invite you to send your
or our already-written

Birth Announcements
Birthday Greetings
New Businesses Invites
Old Businesses Reminders
Pregnancy Announcements
Shower Invitations
Wedding Invitations

Or anything else you can imagine

to your family
to your friends
to your customers.

A Crystal Butterfly Creations Bottle!
Check out Crystal Butterfly Creations! to see sample messages!

For everyone who is currently undergoing treatment for breast and other cancers, 10% of all profits during the month of October will go to the American Cancer Society for research, not only during the month of October, but also every other month all year round (because I was not the only one in my family affected by cancer – one of my grandsons just finished his last round of in-patient chemotherapy for Ewing’s Sarcoma. (The American Lung Association will receive 10% of profits from Crystal Butterfly Creations during the other months due to lifelong respiratory issues.)

Thursday, September 24, 2015

UPDATE on Request for a Stuffed Spider and Snake

As promised in my previous blog, Funny, Funny, Four-Year-Old, I am posting an update because, applause-applause, I figured out how to knit a snake and crochet a spider for my 4-year-old granddaughter who wanted them for her birthday. Here they are!

If any of you crochet or know somebody who crochets, I posted instructions for the spider (and explained how I knitted the snake) in this blog, Crocheted Spider Halloween Project  FREE INSTRUCTIONS.

As always, thank you for visiting!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Funny Funny Four-Year-Old

One of my granddaughters had a birthday yesterday and is now 4 years old. I took her to Toys R Us to find the birthday present she wanted me to get for her – a “stuffed animal” (you’ll see why I put those words in quotes in just a few seconds).

“What kind of stuffed animal do you want?” I asked her.

“A snake or a spider.” Yes, Avery is not a girly-girl. You won’t find her playing with Barbies or baby dolls and you won’t find her wearing "pretty dresses," unless she is forced to wear them. So my little granddaughter chose a stuffed spider or a stuffed snake for her birthday present.

I didn’t think snakes or spiders qualified as stuffed animals, but OK, I told her, we’ll look at Toys R Us  and if they don’t have either one, we’ll check out Meijer, because I have to shop there, too.

Surprisingly, Toys R Us had neither a stuffed snake or a stuffed spider (imagine that), though one of the employees told me Toys R Us used to carry stuffed snakes. So we went to Meijer and, surprise again! No stuffed spiders and no stuffed snakes.

So what’s a grandma to do? I try to get my grandkids what they want (and what I can afford), but I was running out of options. Aha! I know! I’ll crochet a stuffed snake and a stuffed spider. I have no clue how to make either one, but I’ll showcase my masterpieces in a future blog.

In the meantime, please listen to this Jim Stafford song. Mary Lou wasn’t anything like my little Avery:

Friday, August 28, 2015

The Funniest Thing My Granddaughter and I Did This Week

Since her brother and sister have returned to school, only Avery visits me Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. We attempt a type of school program, though at not-yet-4, she’s not yet very disciplined and I never force her to learn (she’s quite stubborn), so she learns in a variety of ways. We also play at the park and go to the library.

Avery putting on a puppet show for me at the local library

Yesterday, though, we did something a little different – we washed our hands with peanut butter!

Maybe I should explain. Avery, like every child I’ve ever met, loves to learn. Give her a puzzle and she’ll have it put together in no time. Give her a laptop and she figures out how to play all kinds of learning games. But in order for Avery to work in a workbook, I have to be a little creative. So yesterday, I had her bring her backpack to the park across the street. 

“After we finish one page, we can play,” I told her, so she worked on one page in her workbook while I planned on incorporating other types of learning later ( offers lots of learning games, and I have lots of games for her to play on my iPad too).

On our way home for lunch, Avery discovered pine cones high in the trees, most of which I couldn’t reach. But I found a low hanging branch, pulled it down, grabbed a pine cone, and allowed her to pull down another one. Unbeknown to me until I let go of the branch, the pine cone was saturated with a heavy, very sticky sap. I never pulled a pine cone from a tree before, so I didn’t know it would be so completely covered in sap. I usually find pine cones on the grounds – sticky, yes, but not that sticky.

Because I had one hand free from sap and both of hers were stuck together, I insisted she not touch anything until we made it home to the sink. When we returned home, I turned on the water with my free hand, poured liquid soap into both of our hands, and washed them beneath the flowing water. 

Still sticky.

So we tried bar soap.

Still sticky.

“Stay right her. Don’t move. Let me look online to see if I can find something that will help,” I told Avery.

And there it was, on wikihow, How to Get Tree Sap Off Your Hands. Thank you, Internet! 

The suggestion that sounded the most fun was using peanut butter, so I grabbed a jar, scooped out a spoonful of it, and brought it to Avery, who was still obediently standing at the sink. 

If you want to surprise your kids or grandkids and have them look at you like you’ve lost your mind, have them wash their hands with peanut butter. And guess what! Peanut butter worked to remove the sap!

We followed the peanut butter with soap, by the way, and we have vowed to each other that we will never again grab a pine cone from a tree. Better to pick up pine cones from the ground and maybe keep a small jar of peanut butter by the sink.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

"Boys Have Nipples Girls Have Boobs"

"Boys Have Nipples. Girls Have Boobs." 

So blurts out my not-yet-4-year-old granddaughter, Avery. We were sitting at the table on a Saturday morning while she ate her cereal and I drank my smoothie, talking about everything from the movie we watched the night before, The Perfect Game, (great movie, by the way) to the bug bite she had on her foot.

We often discuss a variety of issues, all of which appear randomly throughout our conversations with absolutely no transition from one subject to the next, and I often find myself choking back laughter so it doesn’t explode out of me like a volcano.

Sometimes I wonder if her brother and sister come up with some of these “insights,” because I can’t imagine her parents making a distinction between nipples and boobs in reference to sex identity. I can only imagine their philosophical discussions when it comes to making sense out of the world in which they live.

“Girls have nipples, too,” I told her. In true Avery style, her eyes popped open and her vision focused on some distant space, filled with thoughts and memories as she tried to incorporate my statement with everything she’d previously learned about life. Everything suddenly probably made sense, considering at their ages, she and her brother and sister have chests that look pretty much the same.

Funny little girl. I think the reason I look at all the funny little cartoons and blurbs on Facebook is to relieve the pressure of holding in so much laughter throughout my days with all of my funny grandkids.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Butterfly Release In Honor of My Dad

Sounds magical, doesn’t it? Butterflies released in a beautiful dance across the sky to honor your deceased family member or friend?

The Plaque Wall – we thought only family members
of the deceased whose name appeared on this wall
would attend the Butterfly Release Ceremony.
But actually anybody who had a loved one
in the entire cemetery was invited to attend. 
When my mother invited some of my family members to a butterfly release event to celebrate my father, who had passed away this past March, I envisioned a group of people gathering together to hear a few loving words about each participant’s family members, and then we would release our beautiful butterflies into the air and watch them fill the sky with color. I brought my camera along to take photos of the event.

The temperature, combined with the humidity, made the event uncomfortable and hundreds of people were sprawled out on chairs or standing in the hot sun or under a canopy waiting for the event to begin.  Earlier somebody had passed out makeshift envelopes that held our captive butterflies. 

One of my nephews holds our family's envelopes 
with the butterflies we waited so long to release. 
Next to him stands one of my sisters.
In front of him stands one of my daughters.
Behind her is my mother under the canopy.
The speaker spoke not one word about anybody other than his own family members. And he spoke on and on and on and on and he prayed on and on and on and on – about his relatives. 

And then his brother began playing music to honor their mother, and then a woman read to all the children at the event a book, written by their mother, and then they played more music devoted to their mother, while in between all of these events the speaker talked on and on and on and on about his mother, his father, his grandfather, and his uncle – I think – I kind of lost focus after the first 20 minutes, and prayed on and on and on and on, and I wondered about the poor butterflies that had been stuck inside envelopes in the sweltering heat for such a long time.

So while the rest of us were there for our own family members, though not one word of respect was spoken to honor them, we listened to this family drone on and on about their own loved ones and wondered if perhaps they thought the entire ceremony was about only them.

When the speaker finally came to the end of the ceremony, he spoke these words before we released our jailed butterflies: “Hopefully not too many of them will get trampled.” 

Those words should have clued us all in to what was to follow, because as soon as we “released” our butterflies from their cages, the poor lethargic things dropped to the ground and we had to coax them to fly. 
Finding them was difficult, but if you look above and to the right
of the shadow located on the lower left of the photo, you can see it.

Notice people searching the ground for their butterflies.
Found one!
As you can see by the photos, no grand fill-the-sky images existed. In one photo you can see people bent over searching for the butterflies they released. Hundreds of butterflies had to find enough energy to get up off the ground before hundreds of feet trampled them to death after their excruciating captivity. 

Out of the hundreds of butterflies released that day, I saw only about 5 butterflies flying above ground. What a disappointment! Sorry, Dad. And sorry, butterflies.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Will You Still Read Me When I’m 64?

In 1966, I was 15 years old. In that year The Beatles recorded, When I’m Sixty Four, a number that sounded so old to me back then, I couldn’t imagine ever living that long. Maybe not so surprisingly, 64 still sounds old to me, and yet, this month, if I live for another 15 days, I will be 64!! years old. 

Me at 15

Me at 63

Thinking back to the me that I was at 15, I remember wondering how anyone would want to be THAT OLD. I pictured 64 year-olds to be old, decrepit, falling-apart hags with only death to look forward to. And with my life-long back and lung problems, well, I assumed I’d be dead by now, too, to be honest. Or at least in a retirement or nursing home, watching my body decay with each passing day. I never realized, when I was 15, that if I took care of the body I was given, no matter how badly it worked, I might be able to change my perceived future into something more attractive – and I might be able to live a reasonably healthy life.

My mother, at 81, still gets on her treadmill every day – twice a day – and looks young enough to be mistaken for one of my sisters. She inspires me to take care of myself. Another inspiration is Jane Fonda. I recently watched the Netflix series, Grace and Frankie, and I thought the amazing 77-year-old Lady Jayne Seymour Fonda (her birth name) looked better than some women half her age. I realized that if I worked at taking care of my body, I could look a whole lot better than I do – maybe not as good as Jane Fonda, but probably better than I do now. And yes, I know, Fonda has had plastic surgery, but you can’t fake muscles, can you? Even Lily Tomlin, Fonda’s co-star, looks amazing at 75.

The funny thing about getting older is that the older I get, the younger those older than I am seem to be. But as I age, I discover that people of all ages tend to ignore people who are my age and older, unless we’re celebrities, of course. The first time I understood how it felt to be ignored was a day when I walked through a shopping mall with two of my daughters, both of whom were teenagers at the time – nearly 20 years ago. Suddenly all eyes were on my daughters, and people looked through me to gawk at them. I shook my head and laughed silently wondering, when had I become invisible?

This month I will be 64 on July 21st. All those many years ago, when I first listened to that Beatles song, I honestly believed I’d be hunched over in a shriveled heap, incapable of caring for myself. But I find myself busier today than I ever thought I’d be at this age. My book shelves are lined with books I purchased years ago with the intention of reading one day – when my days calmed down long enough so I could relax and actually have time to read them. 

Those days aren’t here yet. Today, unless I take a quick bathroom break to read a portion of Reader’s Digest, I still have no time to relax long enough to read an entire book. I focus a lot of my time on my grandkids, and I devote a lot of time to writing and crocheting. People to see, places to go, errands to run, take up a lot of my time too.

Though I try to focus on completing tasks I’ve created for myself (my blogs and other writings, crocheted items, jewelry, etc.), my days are filled with incessant distractions and interruptions. In order to compensate for not having become the successful writer I always envisioned I’d become, I have comforted myself over the years with a promise I’ll never be able to keep to myself – that I’ll be posthumously successful, because I haven’t been what I would consider to be a successful writer the whole time I’ve been alive. 

Then again, I haven’t written anything worthy of that kind of praise – yet, and maybe my best is sitting in my brain awaiting its turn at my fingers. I’m still alive, after all. And so what if I end up in a nursing home? Unlike the nursing homes of today, I’m betting that future nursing homes will be equipped with wifi so that those of us who never had time to write our books will finally find the time to do so.

Until that day, I will continue to write, to crochet, to live. I will be grateful for the life I live. And if I should end up in a retirement or nursing home, at least I’ll have lots of unread books to keep me company.

Oh, before I leave you, I should probably bring up the title of this blog post – sorry if I was a little presumptuous when I asked if you would still read me when I’m 64, especially if you’ve never read me until today. But please indulge a nearly old woman, okay? 

By the way, can you guess my favorite 1966 Beatles song? Well, Paperback Writer, of course!

As always, thank you for visiting!