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Friday, April 27, 2012

Trying a New Craft Idea

I found some stuff at Hobby Lobby the last time I was there called Beads in A Bottle. I found the idea fascinating. I looked at them for a while and tried to think of something to use them on. I picked out a set of colors I liked, blue, mulberry, white, and of course, purple. In typical nahma fashion, I looked for something to make for Kahlen. I found a pair of pink shoes, how fun I thought. I got a pair that was bigger than what she wears now, these will be a birthday present, I decided. 
I got home with my new found treasures and put them aside. At the time I had a clock to finish, the shoes would wait for another day. As time went by, I started thinking maybe I should find something to experiment on before I decorate the shoes. I hadn't thought much more about it until yesterday. I was at Pamida and they had everything on sale. It has been bought out by another company, and they are getting ready for the transition. 

I started looking at baby stuff. My first thought was onesies for the new baby. The colors I have are very girl, what if baby is a boy. Then I thought, well even if the new baby was a boy, I'm bound to have another granddaughter someday. Then I looked at the price of the onesies, even at the marked down prices, they were more than I wanted to pay for an experiment that might fail. 

Then I found socks, Kahlen can always use more socks. The socks were a good price and another ten percent off. "Socks it is!" I thought to myself. 

I got home, and started experimenting with the "beads." I found them easy to use, but they did run together. I kind of likes they way some of them looked that way though. I played around with 5 of the six pairs I bought. 

The beads took a very long time to dry. I had to leave them until the next morning to find out how they would turn out. I liked the way a couple of the pairs looked. I was not happy with the way one pair looked, but was excited to see them the next morning. 

I got downstairs and went straight to the dried socks. They still looked ok. The fact that the cat didn't try to sit on them was a bonus. ( I half expected to wake up to find one or two of them stuck to her butt.)

I picked up one of my favorite ones, looked at it and felt it. It had dried very hard. Very hard and stretchy socks, didn't seem like a marriage made in Heaven. It wasn't. The "K" broke. I was disappointed, but not surprised. That was why I bought the socks, to learn how to use these "beads." The lesson I learned was to use the beads, like beads, not like paint. 

The sock I did make more like beads seems to be fine. No breaking, even when stretched. No beads popping off. Lesson learned, next up, shoes!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

New Toy

My  iPhone has been pretty glitchy the last few months. The memory is pretty full. My daughter, Valerie, thought I'd never use all of the memory when she talked me into buying one two years ago. HA! Little did she know, I have taken so many pictures and videos of Kahlen, the 16g, or whatever they are, got used up. It has been given me problems, not wanting to type, not wanting to turn when I turned it to read something horizontally. The glitches have come close to making me want to throw it out the window or smashing it on the cement. Not that me dropping it numerous has had anything to do with it?
 For our anniversary, Willie decided I needed a new one. He got me a 32 g one. He did have a selfish reason for wanting me to have one, he wanted one of us to have facetime on our phones. He misses Kahlen as much as I do. Only, neither of her parents have a phone with face time. Her Aunt Valerie does though. I think maybe Aunt Caitlin and Uncle Josh do as well. Hopefully, we will get to facetime with Kahlen at some point.

For now, I will have to go have fun playing with the camera. The irises have started blooming in my backyard.
 I love irises. They have such deep velvety shades with splashes of contrasting and highlighting hues. They rise so tall and proud, like they know they are the doorway to summer and the warm weather to come. I don't think there is another flower that looks so strong and so beautiful at the same time. The stalks grow stable, with the steadfastness to hold the beauty without faltering. The large blooms safe on the base of its growth. Then quickly the bloom fades, but the stalk is still there, growing stronger. Taking in the sunshine and nutrients to make it stronger, so that next year it will again blossom.

People should be more like irises. People should learn that beauty comes with growth and maturity. Outwardly beauty fails, but inward strength, grows onward. We continue to grow and live and learn because of the changes that time brings. The fact that our faces show these changes should not be feared, or make us to feel shame. The iris doesn't care that its bloom is gone, it knows there is more to come. It still stands as tall and strong as before the flower bloomed.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Guess What?

 On March 29th I received this picture from my daughter with the text message, "Surprise!" That was Shane and Alyssa's way of announcing to family and close friends that they were expecting their second baby! Much to my dismay, I was not allowed to tell anyone, or put it on Facebook, or write about it here...... Until NOW!

I'm going to be a NAHMA AGAIN!!!!! Which, of course also means Willie is going to be a Grandpa again. More importantly though, I'm going to be a NAHMA AGAIN!!!!!! I'm not excited though, not even a little bit.

Alyssa is about 8 weeks, so due date is November 28. I got to work on Saturday, told my boss, she got excited for me and congratulated me. Then I disappeared over to the drive thru computer for a few minutes. Came back around the corner and said "You  may want to change your mind about those congratulations when you see how much time I just requested off."

She laughed and replied, "Well, it isn't until November so I think we can adjust."

Alyssa is in the middle of morning sickness hell. She has been doing ok, but just feeling the early pregnancy pukes and exhaustion. She and Shane, I'm sure, are anxiously waiting for the twenty week mark to find out if it is a girl or boy. Still twelve weeks away. Twelve weeks. T.W.E.L.V.E!!!! How many weeks until we find out if it is a girl or boy? TWELVE!!!! I may not survive, I...I...I mean they are very excited to find out. That's three months you know.

Kahlen is excited. She goes back and forth about wanting a baby brother or baby sister, which is good, because it could be either. We won't know for twelve weeks you know. I think she will make a great big sister. I'm sure there will be a bit of jealousy, she is normal after all. I think she will deal with it well, and her mom and dad will help her through it.

For now, Nahma will just have to put the whole shopping for the new baby on hold, for TWELVE WEEKS!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah, like THAT'S going to happen!

Tah Dah!

Same link new name. I figured out how to change the name of my blog, but the link is still the same. So, all's good!

Since I really don't have a lot to talk about, I thought I'd share and old, but still one of my favorite pictures of Kahlen. Where has the time gone?!?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Considering a Change

I have been writing this blog for about two years now. I called it Growing up Gramma, because of how much having a grandchild changes your life. I started out with Gramma, but now Kahlen calls me Nahma. I have been thinking I like that. Nahma it is!

So for those of you who have been reading my blog fairly regularly, should I change the title of my blog to Growing Up "Nahma"?

A Clock For Kahlen

I was at Hobby Lobby one day last month, looking at all of the Easter and spring stuff. I was looking for decorations for the house. I found big colorful flowers and butterflies, I decided I needed those for my windows. I don't go to Hobby Lobby very often. It is about forty-five minutes away, so when I go I try to make it count. I try to make the trip to Champaign worth while by getting to Target and several other places as well to make it worth the gas money.

I kept looking around and thinking about Kahlen. I had already gotten her some clothes for Easter, but wanted to get her something else, but what? I wandered the isles, with nothing really in mind. I thought about running to Target to get her a toy or two, but she has so many toys they are taking over the apartment she and her mom and dad live in.

I thought some more. I could make her something to put on her wall. I found myself in the wood department. I looked at the different wooden bases. I thought, " I could paint this and make it pretty for Kahlen's room." I turned around and found some fun letters, I grabbed a K and an L.

I looked at the spray paints, and found glitter green and lavender. The base would be the lavender and the letters would be the green glitter. Now what?

I looked around some more, and found clock parts. I could make Kahlen a clock! I picked out a few more paint colors, And took my things up to the check out.

After the long drive home, I went to the basement and found some sand paper. I smoothed the rough edges and prepared the wood for painting. I looked for Willie's drill. I went upstairs and found it in the window room. (I call it that because, well it has a lot of windows. Most of the rooms in my house have some strange name or another.) I took the drill back down stairs and tried to figure out which bit to use. I looked at the clock parts and I looked at the bits. I decided it was better to make the hole too small than too big. It is a lot easier to make a small hole bigger than to make a big hole smaller, was my theory. I picked out a bit that looked like it should do, and looked at the drill. How the heck do I get the bit to stay in the drill? Willie had shown me this before. This meant relying on my memory, something that isn't very reliable lately. First,  I had to get the screw driver piece that was all ready in there out. After I about twisted my fingers off I succeeded in getting the screw driver piece out. There was this funky piece attached to it, did I need that to make the drill bit stay in the drill? I looked at the funky piece, and realized no matter what I did the bit was not going to fit in it. Ever so bravely, I put the bit directly in the drill. I held on to it and turned the drill on, and it seemed to grab it. I positioned the drill to drill the hole and the bit fell out. "Well, that's just not right," I said to myself. I tried again and this time the bit seemed much more secure. Again, I positioned the drill, the bit stayed in. I steadied and secured the base, turned on the drill and drilled the hole. Now I was a pro! I got the clock parts out of the package, and tried to put it in the hole. It didn't fit. I grabbed the drill, put the next size bit in and drilled again, still too small. I repeated this pattern about three more times until... the perfect fit! I sanded the rough spots left by the drill and prepared to paint.

I sprayed the base with the lavender paint, and went up stairs to let it dry. I found other things to do while upstairs. This was necessary, otherwise I would have impatiently gone back down stairs and put the second coat on too soon, and probably made a mess of it. After a while I went down and applied the second coat. I carefully moved the base and sprayed the letters. Again, I went back upstairs to remove the temptation to mess with (and probably mess up) the wet items. My patience paid off and the paint came out the way I wanted.

The next thing to do was make a decision. My original idea was to use Kahlen's name around the clock. The more I thought about it though, I didn't like the idea of her last name going up the clock backwards. I wanted the K and the L to be at the 12 and 6 positions, Her first name would have looked cute coming down the right side, but he last name going up backwards, not so much. So while I thought about it I decided to paint the edge of the base and the edge of the K and L with blue glitter paint. I had to use several coats again, but was very happy with how it turned out.

I left the pieces sitting for several days after that. Trying to decide what else I wanted to do. Finally I decided I wanted to put daisies on it. Daisies are my favorite flower. I thought that would make it a little more personal. I made the hour trek out to Hobby Lobby again and got more glitter paint this time white and green and some glitter in many colors,  as well. Then I drove the seventy-five miles home.

At first I thought I would put a daisy for each of the numbers. I started with the 3 and 9 positions. I made the daisies bigger and would make the rest of them small. I started painting the daisies with the white glitter paint. I liked how they were turning out, and planned to outline them with gray and black to give them some depth. Then the white glitter paint started drying, and disappearing. The white was drying clear instead of white. I was not happy. I started realizing that the paint was acting more like glitter glue then glitter paint. I put another coat on the daisies and poured white glitter on them. I poured a lot of white glitter on them. I let them sit for a while, got up and walked away, for the same reason as listed above. I didn't know if this would work. I went and did the dishes. I came back and started blowing the extra glitter off of the daisies. It worked!

At this point I decided against doing more daisies and decided to make stems and leaves. I used the white glitter paint and the blue glitter paint kind of like glue. I'd spread them and then apply different shades of green, yellow, white and some blue and violet glitter to shape and define the leaves. I was happy with how it was coming out. The extra glitter found its way all over the house. It was all over the dining room table, all over the floor, all over the kitchen. ( The next day when Willie was heading out to work he was grabbing the garbage, and well, ended up going to work with glitter all over him, oops!) The clock came out the way I wanted it though.

I let the clock dry for two days just to be sure it was completely dry before I decided to put the clock mechanism in it. The day came to finish it. I grabbed the clock pieces, I put the base through the wood. I tried to put the hands on the base. I tried again. I kept trying. I got mad, but that didn't help. I had bought the wrong size of clock mechanism. It was too short! Grrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!

The next day I made the VERY LONG trip, it takes two hours to get there you know,  back to Hobby Lobby....... AGAIN! I went to the wood area and looked at the clock mechanisms. What do you know? There were different sizes. I bought another clock mechanism, and drove the hundreds and hundreds of miles back home.

This one fit perfect. I got the clock all put together and put the battery in. IT WORKED! The second hand was moving swiftly, it was a beautiful sight. I don't know how well it keeps time because I took the battery back out. But it worked while I was looking at it, that was good enough for me!

Willie took the clock to Kahlen this past weekend. He says she loved it. I hope so, cause I know Willie would never tell me if she hadn't.
Not the best picture, but you get the idea.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Old Bricks

 Last month Willie and I were out raking the yard. Now it must be said that raking our yard is a week long project. With thirty-seven trees in the yard, it doesn't go quickly. We raked and raked and raked. At one point, I got a little bored with the whole process.

Between our house and the garage there were two bricks in the ground. Everyday, going to the garage I have passed these two bricks. I figured that they were what was left of a pathway that was once between the two buildings. Having lost all interest in the rake and the activity that surrounded it, I turned my attention to the bricks.
 I dropped the rake where I stood and went over and stared at the bricks. Were they the last two? Were there others still under the the grass? I decided I must find out.

I went to the garage and looked for an appropriate tool for the job. Willie has quite an array of shovels. All have specific jobs and purposes. All looked very useful and capable of handling the project. I looked them over very carefully. I imagined what would happen if I tried to dig up a brick and somehow damaged one of the shovels. I chose to use the garden claw. It seemed the safest choice.

I went back to the two bricks, slammed the claw into the ground, and started digging.
As I dug backward from the bricks toward the house, I found two more bricks. Then two more and two more. Soon I realized that the ground on the right side of the bricks was very soft, and the ground on the left was hard. I dug to the left and found another row of bricks.

I was fascinated. Willie came around the garage, saw me playing in the dirt, in the middle of the yard, looked at the rake on the ground and sighed.

"What are you doing?" he asked.

"Look!" I said excitedly. "There is a walk way under here!"

Willie laughed under his breath, knowing full well I was not going to be raking any more leaves, and went back to his business.
My original purpose, was to just uncover the walk way. As I dug further toward the house the bricks were lower and lower in the ground. Many were as deep as six inches,  with tree roots growing over the top of them. These bricks had been there a very long time. I decided to dig them out of the ground. Maybe I could restore the walkway. Maybe I could use the bricks for something else. Maybe they were antique bricks worth a lot of money! I could sell them and buy a new camera! All of these thoughts went through my mind as I lifted each brick out of the ground.

That night I googled Danville bricks. Each brick has the Danville imprint on them. Well, I pretty much found nothing. My dreams of a new camera dashed, I started thinking about other things I could do with the brick. As did Willie.

Fifty some bricks later, my back tired and arm hurting, I gave up. I stood up, went into the house for a glass of water. I looked down at my feet and realized it was time for a shower.