Monthly Archives: February 2014

N Love

N is for NettePin
N is for Nette

Trendy grandma names have become the norm in my neck of the woods.  So much so, that it is hard to find a grandma anywhere.  The former matriarchs of my family included a Mam-maw, Granny, Grandmother and a Grandmother Mimi.  I never had the privilege of meeting them but I also had a Big Mama and a Granny Great.  All those sweet ladies have gone on to their great reward and so have their monikers.

In my family alone, we now have a GG, Mim, Gram, Mimi, Nana (we have an abundant amount of  nanas) and a Nette.  I know of a Peach, Oma, Tish, Wisty and Chick.  And according to my friend Rebekah Sanderlin, a journalist who wrote this article for NPR on the phenomenon,  it is not a situation unique to my friends and family.

Trendy names aren’t just for the grandmas who wish to belay aging or the appearance there of.  I wasn’t entirely surprised when my dad refused to be called Grand-anything.  He never wanted anyone to know his age and wasn’t keen on celebrating his birthday.   For awhile he was Daddy Jim to my nieces and nephew but by the time my kids came along, he was simply Jim.  I must point out that I was never allowed to call him by his first name but we all know what happens to our parents when the grandkids come along.  They go soft in the discipline department and mayhem is allowed and sometimes encouraged.

Mom’s logic for a grandma name was pretty complicated as well.  When you are wife to a Jim you can’t exactly be a “Grandmother”.  She wanted something short and sweet but also didn’t want anything associated with nannies or goats.

So the problem with holidays when you have a trendy and unique grandma name is that you can’t find a pre-made card with that particular  moniker.  Hallmark and American Greetings haven’t quite caught up to the trend.  I will say one can find a Nana card here and there.  Plus, I am realistic that there will never be a Nette card.  This Valentine’s Day I was feeling extremely crafty and productive so I decided to make Valentines for my family.

I started with my mom.  I knew she should get something more than just an ordinary card.  I found paper mache letters at Hobby Lobby and picked out the N for “Nette”.  I decorated it with mixed media.  Much of it was Stampin’ Up!  papers using Stampin’ Up! tools.  When I finished it, I asked my hubby what he thought of my finished “N”.  He said it was pretty, but wanted to know its function. He asked, “What does it do?”  (This came from a man who doesn’t like hushpuppies, and can’t appreciate the artistic nuances of fried bread balls!)  He is also an engineer which explains a lot.  Well, it may not turn on lights or solve complicated mathematical problems, but it did bring a smile to my mom’s face and reminded her that her daughter and grandchildren love her.  Sometimes that can be the best function of all.

 

Sixlets – Made in a facility that does not process nuts.

sixletsPin IMG_2886Pin

When you or someone you love has a peanut or tree nut allergy you may struggle to find chocolate treats.  As I was shopping for Valentine’s Day treats for my mom’s treat box to mail to her, I came across Sixlets.  We had a phone conversation about them just the day before because I bought pink ones for baby girl’s upcoming  birthday party.  My mom said she had never seen any so when I found them in the dollar bin at my local Target, I had to add them to her Vanlentine box.  I also bought a bag for Baby Girl because it is safe for her and chocolate flavored.  (Hey, beggars can’t be choosers, right?)

What I found amusing is the wording of the allergy label, “Made in a facility that does not process nuts.”  It was the first time I had seen a label with that particular wording and I read it several times because it threw me off.  Usually, I see “Made in a Peanut Free Facility” or “May Contain Peanuts or Tree Nuts.”  It seemed peculiar to me but it just points out that there is really no standard format for allergen labeling by the FDA when it concerns cross-contamination.  Many manufacturers include a warning that the facility does process allergens but it is not required to do so.  The FDA requires  labeling only if the product contains an allergen as an ingredient.  So for now, I am thankful for all those companies that include allergy advisory labels.

And Sixlets are pretty tasty too!

The “Eyes” Have It

100thDaywithbannerPin

The eyes have it, all 100 of them.  Our family members are no strangers to 100th day celebrations.  The United States Military Academy, who boasts a long history of creating traditions that seem to filter down to the civilian world, seems to be able to claim 100th Day Celebrations as well as the senior class ring.  Beginning in 1871, the senior class, or Firsties, as they are called, started the tradition with a night of skits and revelry to celebrate only 100 days left till graduation.  The first time I ever heard of celebrating the 100th Day was when I was invited to the 100th Night Banquet at West Point by a handsome cadet who later proposed that night.  ( I said “yes”, by the way, and we have celebrated over sixty 100th days together now!)

I wasn’t aware that our elementary schools had begun to mark the 100th day as well until my little man came home from kindergarten with coloring pages, special stickers and needed 100 pipe cleaners to count in class.  The difference is that the schools are celebrating the 100th day of attendance whereas West Point is counting down to the last 100 days of school.  Perhaps I am dating myself to the dark ages, but we never celebrated 100th Day when I was in school.  I may be feeling a bit left out right now, until I realize that these 100 day projects are really mine to accomplish because I am not crazy enough yet to let my 2nd grader use the hot glue gun.

These projects seem to escalate quickly.  In first grade, Dylan had to decorate a hat with 100 things.  Little Man and I spent an afternoon counting out foam stickers to hot glue on a black foam top hat that Dylan proudly insisted was an “Abraham Lincoln” hat.  He even put notes inside the hat because that is what Abe Lincoln did with his speeches.  This year, for second grade, we were told that the students could wear a shirt with 100 things on it for that Friday.  The email with the assignment came in on Sunday so of course, I forgot about it until Tuesday which meant shopping on Wednesday and creating on Thursday.  Nothing like waiting till the last minute, but that is my typical M.O.

On Thursday night I found myself staring at a blank white tshirt and 100 googlie eyes.  I could have glued all the eyes onto the shirt but I didn’t think they stood out enough, that and I am a craft overachiever.  I did a little “research” on Pinterest to cement some ideas on how to make the eyes stand out and make the shirt boyish.  Many of the ideas that I found were great for girls but not so much for boys.  I was inspired by Sara and the 100th day shirt she created.  I really liked this idea for girls and maybe will remember this idea in a few years for Lydia.  I need something for a boy that was an easy silhouette and could be made with fabric scraps that I had left over from other projects.  I saw a few drawn on alien shirts and thought that a monster shirt might be the way to go.  I free handed a monster body on my brown fabric scraps.  To make sure that it was symmetric, I folded the monster in half before cutting.  I finally found some red fabric that I cut in a semi-circle for the mouth.  He is a friendly monster so he’s smiling of course.  I also knew that Dylan would not be thrilled with the pink felt I first found for the monster’s mouth.  After all the cutting and gluing it only took about an hour to an hour and a half for this project.  I was pretty please with the finished project.  Dylan was too.  He loved it and wants to keep it for next year!