Women

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All in the name of Baseball!

Published July 1, 2014 by The Hip Grandmother

 

Sara baseball game (3rd grade)Next week will be my daughter’s 21st birthday. I don’t know how I feel about that. She isn’t my ‘little ladybug’ anymore but has her own ‘little ladybug’ now. She will be a full fledged adult and the change isn’t easy for me to accept. Now all I have are memories of her in her uniforms of the many clubs and teams she had joined. Being a single mom since she was four, I was the lucky one for being there at all those meetings and baseball games.

My daughter was one of only two girls on an all-boy baseball team. After weeks of research, I wasn’t able to find an all-female team. After calling the local paper, we were to meet at a municipal park that was down the road from where my daughter and I lived. I can’t remember if we were the first ones at the park or the last ones there but I do remember it was sort of nerve-racking trying to find the place.

We had a great time at practices. I usually sit alone. But I did learn that over half the team’s mothers were single moms…like me. Struggling Sara at last practiceto keep their children in a healthy home….like I was. Not only did a baseball team with wonderful little individuals join together but we, as single mothers, found strength and hope in each other that formed lasting relationships. Little did I know that one of the baseball players and his mom became one of our Facebook friends, Google friends and our best friends in good times and in bad.

My favorite memory about that time in my daughter’s life is meeting very good friends on the bleachers, watching our loves play ball (and hard), then meeting up at the local Taco Bell restaurant after practice. Those are days I will miss.

About this story:

Fanatics.com is currently running a fun challenge called Family Fanatics, asking bloggers to tell their story about how sports has brought families together. If you haven’t heard of Fanatics before, they’re a top online retailer of sports memorabilia and apparel, they’ve got a wide selection of MLB hats!

 

Experiencing both sides of the generational fence

Published June 20, 2014 by The Hip Grandmother

 

Mamae as a child

Mamae as a child 100 years ago

If there was one thing I have always wanted to do if Mamae was still alive would be to introduce her to the internet. I bet she would have loved the ability to chat with people from different countries or find that her inbox was filled with daily recipes for her to try…or critique. I have always heard from my mother that Mamae was an excellent cook. Not just excellent but rivaling with the likes of Anthony Bourdain, Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck or Jamie Oliver. She was that good. Believe me when I tell you I have heard plenty of stories.

I was lucky enough to be born in a time when we didn’t have to worry about checking-in to our parents every 15 minutes to be sure that we are safe. We came home from playing hide-and-go-seek or ghost-in-the-graveyard well after the streetlights turned on. We were able to drink out of a garden hose and not have our parents worry if there is some kind of metallic poison running through the water hose. I can remember living in Ft. Carson, CO as a six year old sitting in the front seat of the car without a seatbelt.

But I am also very lucky to be a part of the technological age. There is no way I could live without my laptop or cell phone. I have departed ways with the days of cable television (or even rabbit ears for that matter). Like everyone else in the 21st century, my home phone is not attached to the wall…except when its charging. Even my own mother, who is a proud member of the ‘baby boomers’, would not be able to survive without her Netflix running through her Wii on her smartTV. Still…she needs her cable in her life. That is probably the only thing from her past that she still holds dear to her heart. I, however am trying to break free from the

I've always been an old cat lady.

I’ve always been an old cat lady.

cable company. Have you ever met a person in their 60s that texts with their loved ones on a regular basis? She Facetimes us when we are giving the baby a bath or other times when Victoria does something new and wonderful.

 

Technology is a wonderful thing so far. And I am so glad I got to experience both sides of the fence.

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/16/grandparent-skills_n_5454383.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063

http://listdose.com/top-10-best-chefs-world/

The Baby Shower

Published February 27, 2014 by The Hip Grandmother

Looking out the window, I see the sun has finally shown its face after a month and a half of cold bitter days. Many times I had promised never to venture out of my apartment in the snow and today was no different. Rewinding the clock back to the night before, I again watched the snow fall to the ground hoping that this would not ruin my daughter’s baby shower. We had to go to the next town over where my sister lives to celebrate. We had everything prepared for this day. As my daughter and I stared helplessly at the newly-fallen snow, we were both crossing our fingers in hopes that tomorrow will indeed be a day for us to remember.

The Baby Shower II

 As a rule, I never leave the house without cleaning up. I don’t want to come back home to a mess before I create a new mess. Both my daughter and I rush around back and forth throughout the house looking for last minute messes to clean, getting our outfits together or fixing our hair and make-up. As we run to catch our ride, I quickly feed our cat and grab the house key. She is already down in the car as I make sure my jacket is on zipping up the front. Looking around the ground, I can already see the snow melting which is actually making me smile.

We arrived at my sister’s house to see her and her best friend decorating the living/dining room with splashes of light pink and dark pink streamers. Both women always seemed to have the best attitude and the brightest smile on their faces….and it was only 9 a.m. Actually, the house seemed to radiate good feelings. I was with family and friends and it was going to be a great day. Everyone finally came who was originally invited. Family meeting friends for the first time was very entertaining. The guests played many games hosted by my sister. “How well do you know mommy” and “baby animal names” were just a fraction of the games that they all played. I was in the kitchen helping with preparation to set out the food on the tables.

Finally it was time to open up the baby shower gifts. Everyone sat around encircling my daughter who sat in the dead-center of the living room. Opening up the cards and carefully ripping the wrapping paper, I tried to take as many pictures as I could. Finally I had run out of space on my camera phone. Luckily my friend made sure she picked up where I left off. Everyone enjoyed cake and chattered back and forth with each other. It was a good time and a very successful baby shower. The Baby Shower

As the guests take their leave from my sister’s house, my best friend asks me if she can take me home to bring the vast amounts of presents for Victoria. I agreed that I would love to catch a ride back to town while my daughter stayed behind with my sister and my mother to finish cleaning the house. As we brought up all the gifts and compiled them into the baby’s room, we look at all the presents that were bought for Victoria and breathed a sigh of relief. Now we have everything we need to welcome the baby.

To My Grandmother Mamae

Published January 23, 2014 by The Hip Grandmother

Life continues to move on. I listen to my daughter and her ‘health nurse’ sitting in the living room as my daughter asks her questions about her pregnancy. As a woman on her 33rd week of pregnancy, she has been dealing with ‘those nasty Braxton-Hicks’ but still dealing with nausea and leg cramps. Victoria is almost here and I seriously can not wait! My daughter will be a good mother, great individual and a strong woman.

Mame as a child

Speaking of strong women, today is my Mamae’s 104th birthday. I’ve decided to honor her by letting everyone know how much she means to me. She is my maternal grandmother who I have always wanted to meet; alas she passed before I was born. I’ve always wanted to be able to go spend the night over at Grandma’s house like my other friends who have had wonderful memories of being with their grandparents. The more older I get, the more I realize how important having grandparents in your life is. How they don’t have to become the disciplinarian, how they can form strong bonds offriendship on a level that no one can break. My mother and my daughter are the best of friends. (My daughter tells me that they are and my mother agrees).

I didn’t get to know Mamae on a personal level, I hear stories of the things she used to do, her style, her cooking (and I hear her cooking skills could rival with the likes of Julia Child) and how loving and comforting she would make her children feel. Yes, I have heard she was very possessively kind with her children, (a very loving woman). She loved animals. She had a Corgi dog decades ago which I heard that the animal was a force to be reckon with. But still, she loved the dog. And obviously the dog loved her. I could imagine how easy it would be to fall in love with my grandmother. I could imagine her being with me although I have always felt her presence since I was a little girl.

Mame and Cobi

Imagine sitting here having a lovely conversation over a cup of coffee with her asking as many questions that time would allow for us to be together…or just looking at her beautifully youthful face while tears well up in my eyes…or introducing the inventions that she never got to be influenced by since her untimely death. Of course, I would love to show her the internet. She would have loved to google the latest recipes or build her own website (after a while of internet-experience) about cooking with a few ingredients to ‘How to host a dinner’. I miss her although I have never met her. (It might sound strange but its a feeling I’ve always had). And I think she would have wanted to meet me. I wonder if she had a french accent, her daily disposition and what made her tick. I wonder of so many things about her but I see them through my mother: the youthful gene that my mother possesses, the love that ‘no matter what, I will always love you, even if you are wrong’ attitude and bending over backwards to make sure you get what you need done. That is my family and I continue to honor Mamae by being the best grandmother I know she would want me to be.

 Happy birthday, Mamae. I love you so…

What? Grandmothers and more Grandmothers!

Published January 20, 2014 by The Hip Grandmother

It seems like EVERYONE loves their grandmother. I had a grandmother once. He had a grandmother once. She had a grandmother once. Grandmothers are a very important part of society. Lets rejoice and celebrate how wonderful it is to be a grandmother. After all, they are known to display humor as well as passing the baton to their children for giving birth to ‘our reason for living’.

Here are a few examples of ‘the humorous grandmother’. Just to let you kiddies know, we still can be funny as well as responsible.

Ok. Ok. So that wasn’t THAT responsible. But it was funny! No one would expect that from a ‘little ol’ lady’ (which I am not!) But it shows you, my faithful follower that Grandmothers can have a humorous side to them.We love our children’s children and want to spend as much time as God will allow to see them grow. This especially goes for holidays. I am lucky enough to have my daughter live with me. So that means I will have my grand daughter live with me! Yay!

Yes, having the two of them live with me will have many ups and downs but knowing they both have a safe roof over their head and food in their bellies is the utmost importance. While she finishes college, I can make sure everything else is taken care of. Of course, my energy level has gotten lower in the past few years..but I will find a way to regain that much-needed energy. Maybe this next clip can shed some light on regaining strength that I thought I’ve lost so many years ago with the Fibromyalgia!

Grandmothers are a very important part of the family (even more-so now). In my family, the grandmother is the Matriarch and her word is law (or at least, considered). As a Native American proverb says, “Treat the Earth well, it was not given to you by your parents. It was loaned to you by your children.”

New Adventures in 2014

Published January 9, 2014 by The Hip Grandmother

Sorry I haven’t been writing any stories lately. The whole house has been sick on and off since around the thanksgiving holiday. A lot of new things have happened but there are also things that haven’t changed at all. I want to plan a baby shower for my daughter only inviting my side of the family and a few of my friends. That’s all.

She was sick with the flu/sinus infection as bad (and maybe worse) than I was. Coughing and drainage everywhere from the both of us made it a very dreary situation to live in. The house was always dark and cold as the medicine stacked up on my bedside. I couldn’t find the strength to lift my head and make something to drink. Luckily my daughter felt well enough to serve me drinks on the days that she was able to get up and in turn, I was able to help her when I was well enough to get out of bed. Thank goodness the month was over and we can begin cleaning and sterilizing the house.

As I lay in bed, I had a lot of time to think. I thought about where we were going in the next few months…my daughter is going to continue in a long line of single mothers in my family. Monmae was basically a single mother (given the time in her generation when a woman wasn’t supposed to be raising children on her own), my mother Geema who was a single mother of three children which turned us into Latch-Key kids of the 1980s, I was the one who was responsible for raising my daughter on my own and finally, my daughter…who is about to do this alone. Most of the fathers were in the children’s lives, some were non-existent.

Now that we have a new year upon us, we can strengthen our minds and hearts with planning towards the future on the things that mean so much to us. What are the things that you are hoping for this coming year? Leave a comment about what you are planning this year for your family. 

Many Roles of the Mohican Woman

Published December 22, 2013 by The Hip Grandmother

As my Victoria Renee grows in my daughter’s belly, I fantasize about the things we can do together (at any age). I have know for a long time that I have four different Native American tribes that I can be linked to. One of my descendent tribes is from the Mohicans. I often wonder what the Grandmother’s role in those societies from back then. I have found that although the men hunted, traded and fought in wars, the women of the Mohican tribe basically took care of the farming, property and family dynamics. The women were also the ‘leaders’ of the tribe. The men might think they were the “head” of their institution but it is definitely the women who makes sure there is food from the garden, clean living arrangements, helped the children create their own artwork, music and were able to make the traditional medicine that they needed. They were both (mother and father) in charge of story-telling of past, present and future. But I have a feeling the grandmother’s played a very important part in the children’s lives. They were responsible for creating the laws of the land within the tribe. It is true, though that men were always the chiefs but the Mohican woman of today can be a politician if she wishes. The best part (in my opinion) in being a Mohican woman in those times had got to be the art. They are known for their beadwork on different articles of clothing, bags, baskets and many other accessories. Wampum beads are known to be traded as a type of currency though some believe that it is more culturally important as art rather than moneys. As beautiful as they are, they are often created for the next generation only to be told as a story in a representation of a person’s family or an incident. They were a very matrilineal tribe so they believe (which I could see) the clan comes from the mother. Whatever your mother was born into means that is what you are born into…for instance if a man marries a Mohican woman, it is tradition that he must move to her village and everything must go to the woman, even the children. Fortunately the man must marry into another clan. This is important because a wolf clan member may not marry another wolf clan member as a bear can not marry another bear because they are considered brother and sister in the end. I am so proud to know that these are my roots because of their position when it comes to women. To them, they believe that a woman created the world. One day I will write another post on this exciting subject, the Ajinjagaayonh or A Matured Flower. In many stories she is referred as ‘Sky-Woman’.

 

 

http://mohawkwcs.wikispaces.com/Family+and+Community+Roles

http://www.bigorrin.org/mohican_kids.htm

 

 

A Survivor’s Story During the Season

Published December 18, 2013 by The Hip Grandmother

HeatherLily-1On a winter’s day in 2005, she gave birth to a beautiful daughter Lily Rose. Three month later, she was diagnosed with a life-altering disease called Pleural Mesothelioma. Knowing this is the beginning of a long and tiresome journey, her husband  and my friend searched to find the best treatment care for Mesothelioma available. The three finally crossed paths with a renowned mesothelioma surgeon named Dr. David Sugarbaker based in Boston at the Brigham and Women’s hospital.

As a seven-year mesothelioma cancer survivor, she has made it her mission to help other victims of mesothelioma around the world. Raising awareness for other’s that are going through this, she is sharing her personal story in hopes that one day no one will have to go through this terrible and life-altering cancer. Here is her story.

                             See more at: http://www.mesothelioma.com/heather/#.UrB-wGRDvPw

Oh Well, It Will Have To Do.

Published December 7, 2013 by The Hip Grandmother

I have never been one for decorations in any holiday. Getting presents and wrapping them as quick as I can is the only way I see things…for the last decade of my life. Fortunately this year, with the baby on the way, I am starting to find the Christmas spirit and decided to buy a Christmas tree for my living room. As I was walking into the Christmas tree section of a local popular store, I noticed they were selling fake trees at a low cost. I decided that I had better snatch this tree up because they won’t last long at this price.

I brought my ‘good buy’ home and wasn’t too sure where I wanted to set it up. I chose the corner of the living room which would (in my own opinion) would bring this house together. After I made sure of the area that I decided to set my tree, my daughter turned the television on to “Sound of Music” musical. Trying to make heads or tails of which side is which to set the tree, I hear in the

Pipe Cleaners in the corner

Pipe Cleaners in the corner

background “Do Re Mi” in the background. Let me explain to you that I do not like musicals. I am very happy with “The Nightmare Before Christmas” or any other books and movies by Henry Selick and/or Tim Burton. But I can’t believe that I have grown so soft as to like….even remotely of “Sound of Music”. Its a classic, right? But so is “The Grinch”.

As I am pulling out these pipe-cleaning look-a-like branches from a thin box, I find the directions on how to set-up a christmas tree. “Need help? Do not call the store, go to our website” was in big red letters on the little pamphlet. “Man,” I muttered under my breath. “I can’t even get instructions when (and I will) mess up this pathetic tree?” I just shrugged my shoulders and continued on trying to figure out what branch goes where, standing it up to find another connecting part. Pretty soon I was able to connect the  bottom half of the tree with the little stand that the manufacturers supplied in the cardboard box. Standing in the corner, I couldn’t help but notice the top part of the tree was rather crooked. I tried and tried to straighten it out. The bottom half of the tree was straight, maybe a connecting part to the top was off kilter? No. I discovered that the whole stem of the tree shifted to the left.. Just my luck to buy a tree at such a low price only to have a malfunction… Oh well, it will have to do.

Next comes lights! I can do this! We have new ones from last year still in the box! This will be easier to set up on this tree! I remember when I was little and my father was in charge of getting the lights up on the tree, he would stretch them across the living room to see if they all work together. It reminded me of being on a stage (which I was accustomed to because of my dance recitals) so that is what I decided to do. Although it was a little tree that I had bought, the same memories of my father were appearing in my mind while I checked every bulb connection. Finally I was able to set them on the tree in windy-fashioned from the top branch to the base. As I finish my task, I realize that I started with the wrong plug. Now in my house, I am all for feminism, equal rights and what-not, but I didn’t know that it had to do with the ‘female’ plug on top and the ‘male’ on the bottom of the tree. I needed it to plug it in the socket that was next to where I had set the tree up. After I had the pain-staking task to remove all the lights off the tree and turn the ‘little gems’ back around so they will fit accordingly. After I finished doing this, I sat down on the couch, looked at my sorry little tree and threw up my hands. Oh well, it will have to do.

Now it was time to decorate…REAL decorating! I found a string of red beads to string along the tree. It wasn’t a very gaudy color

Christmas Tree 2013 at night

Christmas Tree 2013 at night

and  I thought it would look quite nice with the surrounding ornaments that dangled back and forth. I had also found a few momento ornaments from when I was young and what my daughter made for me when she was a child. I still have to get a few things to make it ‘my own’ christmas tree. I have to also put up my daughter’s Christmas stocking and my cat Shaddow’s Christmas stocking. Can’t forget about our furry family members! 🙂 As I look at my little Christmas tree, I think to myself “Oh well, it will have to do”.

Merry Christmas Everyone! 🙂

 

The promise ring

Published November 17, 2013 by The Hip Grandmother

My family has many wonderful memories. As with so many families in the 80s, we were brought up by a single mother. Her life was devoted only to us and that is the best present anyone can give. My mother is a very special person who has taught me to become an up-standing human being and a devoted mother. She is the reason I am the mother that I am today. Today we were invited to have dinner at her house to decorate the Christmas tree. If there is anyone that loves Christmas, it is her. She loves the music, the giving and the feeling the season has when the spirit for your fellow man is strong. I will always remember the relationship between my beautiful mother and her favorite time of year.

After dinner, my daughter was rummaging through her jewelry box. My mother had spoken of many stories of each piece of jewelry. We sat and listened to her wisdom as she had a gleam in her eye, telling us who she bought them from, what event it was originally for, and what the story was behind that particular piece. She kept us enthralled for an hour listening to her memories.

One particular item was a ring. My daughter tried to put it on her finger but it was too small. My mother told us about the wonderful memory behind the ring. It was given to her on Christmas morning by my little sister from “Santa’s Workshop” in elementary school. My mother was so happy to open up the christmas gift from my five year old sister. As my sister watched her open it proudly, she tells her, “When I get married, I really want you to wear this.” My mother, surrounded by mountains of ripped-up Christmas wrappings took my little sister in her arms and held her tight. Secretly, my mother vowed not only to keep it safely in her jewelry box, but to keep it close to her heart.

Busy, busy, busy….no one could predict my little sister welcoming such a big family into her house and heart. Last June was the deadline to an amazing day, her wedding to the man of her dreams. Tall, dark and handsome was the man she would marry. But their day was so beautiful. As I walked down the aisle as a bridesmaid (never a bride), I notice the beautiful decorations of the trestle with delicate flowers intertwined from the ceiling to the floor. I had to stay in step with the music while I walked down the aisle  as I was enchanted with the decorations and the surreal feeling that my little sister has finally found the happiness she so richly deserved.

The music changed tones to the classic song “Pachebel Canon” and the beautiful bride waiting with my mom, arm in arm, to walk down the aisle to her future husband. My mother shows her the ring that she bought her when she was a kindergartener. Tears streamed down my sisters face at that moment. They continued walking down the aisle for my mother to rightfully give away her daughter to a man who the whole family, like my sister, had fallen in love with.

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