Ask The Crystal Ball

March 30, 2009

“I’ll ask the crystal ball,” said the old woman.

One of the highlights of our Halloween carnival was the opportunity to sit in front of a fortune-teller. Even though I knew it was Miss Snell, a second grade teacher, her purple gown trimmed in gold and the many bracelets on her wrist made her legitimate.

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Of course, being told I would marry, have kids and would become rich and famous thrilled me. (Still waiting for the last two.)

If she had been the “real deal”, and could have really predict the future by looking into the crystal ball, would she recognize everything she saw? How would she have described a fax machine, a laptop computer, a cell phone, a Kindle, an ipod,  a microwave? .

If we could look into a crystal ball today and view the future five years from now, would we recognize what we were looking at? What new thing would appear before our eyes that we have never seen or experienced before, let alone conceive the idea?

It is said, by the time a college student reach his senior year, the information he learned, as freshmen, will be outdated. It’s time to really take a look at how our children and grandchildren are being educated. Does their education prepare them for the future?

The short video below will give you a glimpse of how quickly things have changed…  and a little of what we might expect in the future.

Hold on to your shorts… the ride is going to be fast and furious… and who knows where we be five years from now.

Till Later,

Kathy Griffiths
Insightful Nana

P.S. Do you think it would be okay if I ask the crystal ball to show me into next year? I’d like a little peek… even if it’s just one month at a time.
P.P.S. If you could…. would you like to look into a crystal ball and see into your future?


Growing Daffodils – Early Spring Flowers

March 30, 2009

I love early spring flowers, especially Daffodils.   Daffodils make early gardens cheery and bright. The first showing of daffodils in the spring gives me assurance that warm weather is just around the corner. Yea!

So why are there no daffodils popping up in my yard?  Maybe it’s because because I forget to plant them in the fall.   Actually,  daffodils  don’t enter my mind until I see them popping up in my neighbors yard… and she has a bunch of them.  Looking at her yard reminds me,  “Oh Oh… I forgot to plant my daffodils.”

The truth is…daffodils use to grace my garden, until  every bit of top soil had to be removed  from my flower beds because it tested salty and was killing all my shrubs and plants.  (That’s a whole other story.)   So, the daffodil bulbs went the way of the dump.   But,  I really do know about growing daffodils… I just have to remember to get in them the ground.

  • Choose a well-drained, sunny place, with slightly acidic soil.
  • Plant your Daffodils so that their top (pointed end) is at least two times as deep as the bulb is high (top of a 2″ bulb is 4″ deep).
  • Plant bulbs deeper in sandy soil than in clay.
  • High-nitrogen fertilizer should be avoided.
  • Daffodils need lots of water while they are growing.
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Growing daffodils is fun… and there are so many varieties.  There are many  different shades and sizes of yellow daffodils to choose from. They’re sturdy little things and will last in the garden for about three to four weeks before the blooms are completely withered.

Once the bloom is gone, however… there is a temptation is to cut down the leafs and stocks in preparation for planting your summer flowers. Don’t be too hasty. The green foliage needs to die and turn yellow before it’s trimmed to the ground.

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By permitting the daffodil foliage to turn yellow on it’s own, it allows the bulb to regenerate its own food source for the next year. If the foliage is cut too prematurely, the blooms will be limited next year. The stocks and leaves  should be ready for cutting by the end of May into the first of June.

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So… hide the shears until June. If you’re really anxious to plant those summer annuals, just nudge them up close to the daffodil foliage until you can cut it back.

Till Later

Kathryn Griffiths
Insightful Nana

P.S. The same foliage rule applies to tulips and other bulbs.
P.P.S. Oh… I thought of another excuse why I don’t grow daffodils in my yard…. My mom didn’t have daffodils in her garden.    We knew Spring was approaching when Mom brought daffodils home from the grocery store and put them in a vase.

Happy Birthday To You – Miss Claire Bo

March 27, 2009

Claire celebrated her fifth birthday on the March 24th.  It was a quiet celebration…just with her family.  I was lucky enough to be invited to join them at Denny’s for dinner…. the restaurant of her choice.

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Now don’t let this serene photo fool you…. This little child is full of surprises.  Yep… she sure surprised us.

When she was a baby,  she so was so quite… so good… so relaxed.   That lasted for about a year… and then she grew way beyond her years over night.   One day she was serene and  the next day she was… well, curious, on the go, independent  and had all of the confidence of an adult.  In fact… there is no adult that she’s not comfortable with.  She’s will strike up a conversation  with anyone… and everyone is her friend.   She keeps us in stitches all the time… she is one funny girl.

Now if there is any photo in the world that takes on the personality of the child… this is it.   An all time favorite of mine.

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Back to the birthday party.   Here’s Miss Confidence… picking out her food fare.

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The decision has been made.

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The Birthday song has been sung… and now it’s time to blow out the candles.  She didn’t want to get too close for fear her hair would catch on fire.

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Now comes the fun part… the birthday gifts… and boy did she clean up… dance leotard, roller skates, watch, and DVD’s.

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The Birthday cake was delicious…. I’ll get Katie to share this recipe with us.  It’s certainly one we need to have in our recipe boxes.

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Bet ya can’t guess.   Yep…  it’s the decorative art of Miss Claire Benson…. Called “Inside The Cake Mixing Bowl”    Looks like there’s another artist in the family.>

Happy Birthday dear Claire… you make my heart happy.

Till later,

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana.

P.S.  This ends our big March Birthday Month.  Thanks for celebrating with us.  Did you get your free Birthday Note cards?  Get them HERE, at the first of the month celebrations.  See our middle of the month celebration HERE.

Kids Say The Darndest Things – “Only The Good” Friday

March 27, 2009

During the fifties, The Art Linkletter Show was on every afternoon. Part of the program was a segment called “Kids Say The Darndest Things.” The children were all dressed up, sitting on stools and Art would ask them questions. Oh my… some of the things that would come out of their mouths. Once I had children… my home was a constant Art Linkletter show… as my kids kept me in stitches with the funny things they would say.  Now, the grandkids keep the family  in stitches with the cute, funny and embarrassing comments they make.

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I have a tendency to see life in a “way too serious” manner… so today.. On this “Only The Good” Friday… I’m going to lighten up a bit and share with you a few funnies my grandkids have come up with. (Prepare for “R” rated material.)

LuLu age 5
Coming out of “Time Out” … Lu scowled at her mom and said, “You’re a bad person for getting mad at me…. but you have pretty hair.

Randall at age 4
One evening, I offered to take a few of the grands to dinner… and I ask them where they would like to go.   Randall piped up and said he wanted to go to check on grandma. My mom, who was 88 years old, had been ill… so I thought it was so sweet and  thoughtful that he wanted to go see her.   Before we went to eat… we dropped by my mom’s place for a quick visit.  We were there for only a couple of minutes when Randall started to complain and wanted to leave. Go figure!

We kept out visit short and then went to our regular eating establishment, Chuck-A-Rama. As soon as we pulled in the parking lot… Randall cried out… “Yeah, we’re here at “Check On Grandma.”

Wyatt at age 4
Wyatt loves horses… and he had plenty of imaginary ones when he was younger.   One day, he was in the car with his mom when he announced, “Shawn and Kicker got into a fight and Kicker kicked Shawn’s eye out.   Emily replied, “Oh my Gosh, that’s terrible.”

“It’s okay now,” said Wyatt.

“Oh really, what happened?”

Wyatt replied, “Jesus fixed it.”

Josie, at age 5
Josie was home ill with the flu and Lisa, her mom,  offered to play a game with her.   “What game would you like to play?”

” Oh… you know.. that game with the oranges, apples and pears,” replied Josie.

You mean the matching game?”

“Oh no!” Josie replied, “That would burn our house down.”

Landon at age 4
At the family reunion, a large food buffet had been set out.  Lisa ask Landon what he would like to eat.  He said, “I’ll take everything except the gross.”

Braden, at age 4
Braden’s mom had a hard time getting him out of bed to get ready for pre-school.   He finally arose and said,  “It’s not that I’m sleepy….I’m just tired.”

Norah at age 5
My son, Brad… and his wife Martha took their family and dog to check on the new house they were building. When they left the new house, they forgot to load their dog (Tequila) into the car… and didn’t realize their mistake until they arrived at Grandma And Grandpa Wright’s house, 10 miles away.

Of course, the girls were upset, and Martha assured them that Tequila could find her way home from the new house because it wasn’t too far away.
On the way home, Martha suggested they pray. Norah volunteered. She said, “Heavenly Father, please help us find Tequila. Help us get off our butts and look for her.”

It obviously worked… because when they went back to the new house, Tequila was there waiting for them oblivious that she had been deserted.

Claire, age 5
Claire was at the doctor’s office for her yearly physical.  The doctor was checking her heart with a stethoscope when Claire ask, “What is that?”

“It’s a thing that checks your heart to see if your blood is pumping okay.” the doctor replied.

“Do you have blood?” Claire ask.

“Yes, I have blood and you have blood.”

After a bit of thinking, Claire replied, “My mom has blood too and it comes out of her cootie.”

Oh My…..”Blush.” The Innocence Of A Child!

Hope these put a little smile on your face on this… “Only The Good” Friday.

Kathy

Insightful Nana

P.S.  If you want to participate and blog on OtGF… go to “This Eclectic Life.” Shelly will be the main host for “Only The Good” Friday.  All participating blogs will be listed there.  Join us…. let’s spread the “Good Word” on Fridays.

P.P.S.  Check out my sister, Sheila’s site too.

Cheesy Mexican Ranch Dip

March 26, 2009

Cheesy Mexican Ranch Dip is an impressive change to salsa when you’re serving chips.  It’s just perfect for fresh veggies or crackers too.  It has all the flavor of a Southwest taste with out the heat.  This Mexican dip is especially good to offer when you’re serving young children or those who can’t  tolerate the spice and heat of traditional salsas.

My good friend,  Karen Robison brought this dip to a church function a few weeks ago and,  the bowl was empty in no time.  I called her immediately and she said I could share this tasty Mexican Ranch Dip with you.

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The ingredients are simple:  1.   Two  8 oz. packages of Cream Cheese.  2.  1/2  large sweet red pepper.  3.  1/2 large sweet green pepper.  4.  Two green onions.  5.  One can of black olives.  6.  One can Fiesta Corn (or Mexicorn.)  7.  One package of Ranch Buttermilk Dressing.     (Pick up large peppers ’cause you’ll want to make another batch.)

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Slice the onions… including the tops.   Slice the olives thin.  Chop the red and green peppers fine.

Place in a bowl the two packages of Cream Cheese and allow them  to soften.   Add the ingredients in the following order, mixing each ingredient well before adding the next one.  1.  Ranch dressing mix.  2.  Onions and Peppers.  3.  Fold in Black olives.  4.  Fold in Fiesta Corn.

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Chill the Cheese Mexican Ranch Dip for at least two hour so the flavors will blend well.    Doesn’t it look good?  Yep… it is!

Serve with Chips… Crackers….or Veggies.

This is a dip you won’t be able to leave alone … so get plenty of ingredients so you can make a second batch…. quick!

Below is a four minute video… if you want to see the process in action.

Mmmmm.  Please enjoy!

Kathy
Insightful Nana

P.S.  Serve up this Cheesy Mexican Ranch Dip soon…. It’s a great pick-me-up during these last drab days of winter.  It will bring a brightness to your table and get you excite for Spring…. Or should I say… More Excited For Spring!

P.P.S.  Thanks Karen.

Victorian Tea Party Birthday

March 23, 2009

Norah celebrated her birthday by inviting 7 little girls to a Victorian Tea Party…. and what a celebration it was.  I found it amusing that little girls so young could play their part so well.  They were charming little ladies…. exhibiting perfect tea party etiquette the entire time.

Martha, Norah’s mom made sure this party would be one the girls wold remember for a long time.  I’ll say… it sure made a lasting impression on me.

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Large tissues paper balls framed  a crystal chandelier.

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A beautiful floral arrangement graced the center of the table.

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The table was set with linen and a colleague  of Victorian plates.  Milk glass cups and saucer adorned every place setting.  The tea party favors were  colorful headbands and were placed in the center of each plate.

What to serve at a tea party?  Well here ya go… couldn’t get any fancier than this.

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Grilled ham and turkey sandwiches were stack on pedestal milk glass trays.  Notice … no crusts.

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Homemade Oreo Cookies, stacked high, were the real thing… made from an original recipe.

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Look at these red velvet cupcakes…. adorned with fresh raspberries.  I don’t think I’ve every seen a white raspberry.

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Tea party etiquette at it’s best.

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The girls loved playing musical chairs… and played it more than once.

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Of course… opening presents is one of the highlights of every party.

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At the end of the tea party… they entertain themselves and us… in Norah’s dad music room.  Brad set up three mics and the girls danced and sang and had a good old time.

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Happy Birthday sweet Norah.

Till Later

Kathy
Insightful Nan

P.S.  Do you think mom’s and grandma’s are too old to have a Victorian Tea Party?

Mother Teresa – “Only The Good” Friday

March 19, 2009

The first time I remember seeing Mother Teresa was the night she received the Nobel Peace Prize,  in 1979.   That evening, she stood before the world as example of doing good… and that it was possible to bridge cultures, classes and religions with caring and love.   When Mother Teresa received the prize, she was asked, “What can we do to promote world peace?” She answered “Go home and love your family.”

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She and her Missionaries of Charity worked tirelessly among the poorest of the poor.  She established  hospices centers, a home for the dying,  orphanages and leper houses all over India.  She the expanded the order throughout the globe.   At the time of her death, at the age of 87,  the Order of the Missionaries of Charity had over 4,000 sisters, an associated brotherhood of 300 members, and over 100,000  lay volunteers, operating 610 missions in 123 countries.

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Today…. on this “Good Friday… I give tribute to Mother Teresa, who is one of my shining stars.    For you… here are  three of my favorite Mother Teresa quotes.  You can download them free HERE and print them. (Be patient with the download… the file is large.)  Place them on your desk, counter top or fridge… as a reminder of the good we can do for each other.

Join my friends today… and check out their posts for “Only The Good” Friday.   Sheila…..  Shelly..…  If you would like to be one of my OtGF friends…write a post on your site… and make a comment on mine.  I will include you next week.

Spread the “Good”

Kathy
Insightful Nana

P.S.  Mother Teresa started her mission at the age of 18.  She left the home of her mother and father, and never saw them again.   What a sacrifice… what a woman.
P.P.S Enjoy this short video of Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

Birthday Celebration – Norah Corinna Griffiths

March 18, 2009

Norah Corrina Griffiths celebrated her sixth birthday on March sixteenth.   It was also the anniversary date of my dad’s death 23 years ago.  Six years ago, I can just see my father kissing little Norah good-bye and gently nudging her off a cloud.  Her soul danced her way into our lives after a difficult delivery.   Without going into details… Norah arrived under adverse circumstances… and if she had been born in a previous age… we wouldn’t have Norah, nor her mom, Martha.  What a marvelous day and age  to be living.

Grandma and Grandpa Wright… and I were invited to a private event.. a cake and ice cream party.  The real birthday party comes on Saturday… with a girlie Tea Party event.  If you want to see plans in the making… take a look here.  Wow!

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The right side of Norah’s brain runs her life.   If she had it her way… she would dance and sing through life…only stopping long enough to paint and draw a picture.  (Nana is busting her buttons… Look’s like we have another artist in the family.)   This is “Sleeping Beauty” … a Pacasso  if I ever saw one.

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Aren’t blowing out the candles just the best… You never get to old to enjoy that moment.  Well…..unless there’s too many candles… or your wind has dissipated to a breeze.

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Yep… Here she is… in her new Cheer Leading out fit.   A real show woman here.

Happy Birthday Norah.  Nana loves you much.

Till Later

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana

P.S.  Birthday celebrations have a down side too.  They are gentle reminders that we are all getting ….. What?     Old?
P.P.S. March is a big birthday month in our family. If you haven’t received your free birthday gift…. go here and get it now.

The Invasion Of Privacy

March 16, 2009

Yesterday, privacy issues became a topic of conversation with my daughter, Emily.   Being a mom of a 15 year old daughter,  she has become concerned about privacy issues in relationship to cell phones, and the Internet.

The respect for privacy  I grew up with, may be a thing of the past for my children and grandchildren.   I come from the old school of… “It’s none of your business.”  However, aside from the fact that banks, government, and companies increasingly invade my privacy,  sometimes  I  inadvertently invite  people into my life by the way of the Internet,  unsolicited phone calls, and my cell phone that should not have my private information.

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Recent events,  of the past few weeks,  has brought the subject of individual privacy to the forefront of my concern.   Here are a few of the events that have fueled my unease.

In a town near by… a young high school gal sent a intimate photo of herself to her boy friend by way off her cell phone.  Shortly after the romance broke up… the boy friend published the photo over the Internet.  Upon arriving at school one day… she was greeted with cheers and jeers by fellow students…  who had also received the same photo on their phones.  Very embarrassing.

Recently, Facebook announced that they own all the information in Facebook and can do anything they want with the particulars.   I joined a business forum several months ago… and was recently informed that the monitor,  or owner of the forum,  owns all of the information and can use any of the details as he wishes.  So, if you chat on a forum… your  conversations  can be used for other purposes.

If you apply for a job, it is now a customary procedure to look up your name on the Internet.  Your blog, Facebook account, My Space account etc. can be scrutinized to see if there is anything that may be embarrassing to the company if you were to be hired.

Now… I’m not willing to throw the baby out with the bath water.  I love my cell phone and Internet.  The point I want to make is… “I Need To Be Careful With What I Say and Do.”   If I don’t want the world to know… “I Shouldn’t Say It Or Do It.”

We’ve all made unthinking,  foolish mistakes.  I’ve made plenty of them… especially in my youth.   However… not to many years ago…  the edge of the cliff seem to be further away.  We all live closer to the edge  now days… and falling off can be quicker and the consequences more dangerous and sometimes deadly.   My concern for myself, my children and grandchildren is on high alert and awareness.

Individual privacy rights may be a thing of the past.  However,  there are a few things you can do to protect yourself a bit from the world knowing everything about you.

Have you ever googled your own name?  You may be surprised to see what the world can observe about you.  I have registered for Google Alert.  When my name or Insightful Nana is used anywhere on the net… I’m alerted.  This is something you may want to investigate.

Obviously… visit with your teens about the dangers of giving out or sending unhealthy information by way of the Internet,  texting and cell phones that could be used against them at some future time.   They should also avoid allowing friends to randomly take photos of them on their cell phones without knowing the purpose of those photos.

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Be very careful about the information you give over the phone.  I personally do not give to charitable organizations over the phone anymore.  And, giving any personal information to someone I don’t know and trust… is certainly a thing of the past.

Be aware that every time you click onto a Internet site… you leave a computer trail.  Like an old fashion paper trail, what you view on the net,  can be traced.   What you look at or don’t look at  is as important as what you say or do.

We have to face it… computer privacy does not exist anymore.  Someone is always watching.  The only thing we can do is not feed information to the net…. by way of computer or phone… we  don’t want others to  know about.

I’m posting a video for you to watch.  I love this  young mans creativity.   But… what I want you to observe is….  that he collected all of his data from Internet Blogs… and to what detail he can see into our souls.    Yes.. yes… someone one is watching.

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana

P.S.  Technology is wonderful and I love living during this day and age.  However,  there is still apart of me that longs for the old days when privacy matters were kept  private.  I still lean toward the “None Of Your Business” days… when  it counted for something.   Sigh.

Living At Base Of The Rocky Mountains – Only The Good Friday

March 13, 2009

Living at the base of the Rocky Mountains often goes unappreciated by me.  That is until I look up and see the grandeur of Mt. Timpanogus  covered with snow.  Timp… the  magnificent protector…looms over our little valley here in Utah.   It is an unusual mountain because you can view the front side of the mountain one minute… and ten minutes later you can be on the other side, enjoying a completely different perspective.  I live on the front or city side of the mountain… and my sister, Sheila enjoys the view from the backside or country side .  We debate on who has the best vista.

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After leaving her home the other day and rounding the corner,  the backside of the mount  came into full view.   Wow… I couldn’t resist jumping out of my car and taking this shot of Timp, the clear blue sky, white snow and the red barn in the foreground. I’ll have to admit… on this day… Sheila’s argument for beauty won.

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However… look at view that greets me every time I round the corner away from my house. As the seasons change… so does the face of the mountain… and the winter perspective is one of my favorites.

The debate is over… I think we’re both right… don’t you?

On this “Only The Good” Friday,  I wanted to share with you two perspectives of  this majestic mountain which uplifts my soul.

On this day, we share many points of view of what is good and great.  Check out a few of my friends who want to share their gift of the”Good.”  Sheila and     Shelly and    Karina and     Mo   

If you want to join my list of “Only The Good Friday” friends…. all you have to do is post a “Good Friday” message on your site and leave me a comment and I’ll include you in my list.

Till Later

Kathy Griffiths
Insightful Nana

P.S.  In between my house and Shiela’s is the turn off to the famous Sundance.   The Sundance view is the backside of Timp at closer range.  I’ll share that view of Timpanogus  with you at at later time.  It’s a magnificent perspective too.

P.P.S. Have a “Good Friday.” Look around and see what is great and good in your neighborhood.

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