Monthly Archives: June 2008

Pulling A Loose Tooth

Pulling a loose tooth became quite a traumatic deal when my grandson’s front tooth was hanging by a thread.

“It’s my tooth,” Glade wailed, as his Uncle Wade threatened to remove it. Glade has been hanging on to his loose tooth for weeks now. He’s certainly earned the name, Snaggle Tooth, as the tooth is just hanging there by a thread. But… he won’t give it up.

Wade had dropped by my house to visit, when, he spotted Old Snaggle Tooth. He tease Glade about hanging onto it for so long. “Here, let me help you… just one little jerk and it will be gone.” “No, No,” Glade replied, “It’s my tooth!”

As Wade left to get something from his car, he turned to Glade and said, “Well Glade, I’m going out to my car and if you haven’t pulled it out by the time I get back, I’m going to do it for you.”

Glade put his hand over his mouth, lowered his head and his eyes filled with tears. When Wade return, he noticed how up set Glade was. We both looked at each other and realized that this was a much more sensitive subject than we had supposed.

“No Glade, I’m not going to pull your tooth. It’s your tooth and you can decide when you want it to be gone. I’m sorry that I up set you… I was just teasing. ” Wade put his arm around his shoulder to reassured him. Glade brightened up and was off to play, in a flash.

This incident led us to a discussion about choice. When do parents or adult cross the line and make personal decisions for kids and when does a child choose for himself? I have pondered this question for several days. Even though I have written about this subject in my book, “5 Power Tips Moms Use For Raising Fantastic Kids,” the theme fascinates me and always has my attention. It’s a subject that has many twists and turns. (book available on-line soon)

For parents, helping children learn to make healthy decisions is a balancing act, which can be confusing at times.

I also had a lengthy discussion about it with, Sheila, my wise sister. We decided, for the hundredth time, it all comes down to control. There is good control and their is bad control. There is the matter of being self-determined or other-determined… which leads to being responsible or irresponsible. (These are are subjects for later commentary.)

For now… the bottom line is… it’s Glade’s tooth and he should decide when it will be pulled. It’s not dangerous, it’s not immoral nor rude. For what ever reason, this little boy wants his tooth, and he should have control over that decision.

Till Later,

Insightful Nana

P.S. It took another week before he decided to pull his own tooth. As you can see, by his own self portrait, the tooth fairy came… and he’s well on his way to mighty fine choppers.

Container Herb Garden Update

Today, when I watered my container herb garden, I thought… you folks needed a little up date on this little bit of fragrant heaven. One of the herbs bit the dust… it was the red basil… which was a disappointment. I meant to run right out and pick up a new plant but was way-laid by other things. So… in the little bare spot… I placed a sweet red ceramic bird my daughter Emily, gave me for mother’s day. Looks good huh!

Notice that everything is flourishing just fine. The basil is spreading because I keep pinching out the top leaves so it will bush out before it gets too tall. I’m just getting ready to pinch out the new growth again… we need a little more width before it grows in height.

Container gardening is fun because it’s so easy to control all of the plants. If one dies… replace it. If one gets too big… prune it back.

I’m looking forward to tomato season so I can dive into the basil… Mmmmmm Good!

Till Later,

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana

P.S. Hope your herb garden is doing well. You don’t have one? It’s not too late… if you want to plant one. Grab a container and follow the directions on my previous post…Planting A Container Herb Garden.

Glenn Beck at Americas Freedom Festival At Provo

Last night, I went to hear Glenn Beck speak at the “Patriotic Service” sponsored by America’s Freedom Festival at Provo. My friend, Pasty, gave me a call and persuaded me to attend… (I usually avoid large crowds.. but made an exception to my rule… and I’m glad I did.)

The evening was filled with singing… emotion… good speakers… emotion… a wonderful band… emotion and emotion. I have to tell you… my heart was full, and I couldn’t help my tears from flowing freely along with thousands of others… including Glenn Beck.

World renown operatic singer, Michael Ballam, treated us all with beautiful renditions of “The Star Spangled Banner,” “God Bless America,” My Country Tis of Thee,” and several other patriotic songs. We even sang along with a few. I remember learning those songs in elementary school… so every word came flashing through my mind as clearly as if I were back sitting in Miss Hiatt’s second grade class. Do teachers still teach those songs to the kids?

When the band played the “Theme Song” of each of the military divisions… Navy, Army, and such… the former vets stood. I look around and noticed a”World War II” vet standing especially tall… at attention… and my heart said, “Thank you for your service.” Bawl… Bawl.

Glenn Beck seemed to be especially emotional and didn’t refrain from letting the tears flow down his cheeks as he reminded us that “Freedom isn’t free.” It takes us… as the people… to wake up and pay attention and recommit ourselves to do, as the founding fathers did… pledge our lives, our fortunes and sacred honor to be the new bearers of the country’s sacred trust.

I have a tendency to be a little cynical when it comes to “Washington,” and I grumble about going to vote… wondering if it will make any difference. But… voting is something I do because, it’s an opportunity few other countries have.

Beck said, “People are dying in the desert to have just a small piece of what we take for granted everyday. We just have to remember who we are.” I do remember… I remember what it was like to land in San Fransisco, arriving from main land China… and wanting to hug everyone I saw and kiss the ground.

Flag Day Glitter Graphics

With Beck’s encouragement, I renewed my appreciation for the freedom I enjoy in this country and made a commitment to myself not to grumble.

Till later,

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana

P.S. I just loved hearing the band play “Stars and Stripes Forever.” In my minds eye, I could see myself marching and twirling my baton on the front lawn of our home…for the neighbors…hmmm…the boys… the Stars and Stripes blaring in the background. Don’t you just love the piccolo? What a blast!

Grandparents – Birth Of A New Baby

To grandparents, news of the birth of a new baby in the family never seems to loose it’s luster and excitement… as was the case of the news of a new granddaughter to Gene and Janet Latta.

I was attending a cooking demonstration being given by Chef Gene Latta when the long awaited call came to announce the arrive of their new grandchild. A little girl… 8lbs. 3oz. – 20.25 inches long… and her name is Navy Marie.

I grabbed my camera and click off a few shots. I think the expression on Janet’s face tells the whole
story… don’t you?

I have two new grandkids coming soon…August and September…. a little granddaugher and a grandson. I never tire of the excitement of getting the news… “We’re in labor.” Off to the hospital I go, to witness the miracle of a new baby. Both my daughter, Katie and my daughter-in-law, Martha are gracious enough include me in the birth.

Of course, I’m the one behind the camera… getting those “private” shots. (I’m going to be more discrete this time…. maybe… I get a little excited.)

Till Later

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana

P.S. I think this is about it for me… my kids say “We’re Done!” I’m okay with that…15 grandkids is great!
P.P.S. Congats to Gene and Janet. And.. of course to the new parents too!

Cost Of Chinese Fireworks Explodes

Yesterday, I was in Costo and noticed a fireworks display. Wow! The cost of Chinese fireworks explodes! Last year you could purchase a giant box of fireworks for about $69.00 at the discount stores. Now the the price is up about 30 percent.

The media claims that fewer fireworks are being shipped from China this year. The claim is that fewer Chinese fireworks are being made… because of the danger… and ships, carrying the explosive cargo, are back off transporting the stuff that goes “boom.”

It’s hard to know what to believe these days. It doesn’t make sense to me that the Chinese, after thousands of years of producing the explosives, are now deciding to produce less because they’re dangerous to make. Since when was China concerned with human rights… let along employee protection at firework factories? When I was there, employee protection was minimal in most of the factories visited.

Provo Utah’s Freedom Festival celebration, who has one of the largest firework displays in the nation, had no problem receiving their shipment for this year’s firework show. Hmmm!

What ever the reason for the increase in price for fireworks, we all are at the effect of rising prices. Anyone and everyone seems to be jumping on the bandwagon to increase the prices of their products.
Makes you wonder…when it will end.

Till Later
Kathy Griffiths

P.S. For me… I guess we’ll be sticking with cheap sparklers and the few left over fireworks from last year. Sorry kids… short show.

Our Moose Party

Contented, and peaceful, my two grandsons and I were having our own private party at our Mt. retreat in Tabiona and did not plan on two bull moose showing up. We were out on the porch when we noticed two black shadows moving through the trees. Then… they appeared! “Yikes!”

Barrett asked, “Are they real moose, Nana?” “Yep… they’re “real moose”… and their “real big.” So much for peaceful and contented!

We kept “real still” and they both ventured closer to the porch… and as I moved to grab my camera, one darted back into protective cover. (If you look real close on the right of the photo… you can see his dark shadow in the trees.)

The younger of the two… having no fear… lumbered over to get himself a drink from the sprinkler head. (I’m assuming he was the son of the one hiding in the trees… because the dad’s antlers were huge.

Soon they wandered on up the hill to another feed and drink at another spot. Our trailer is in a protected development… so we see a lot of moose and deer… usually not up so close though.

Till Later
Kathy Griffiths
Insightful Nana

P.S. If you want to join FUN PHOTO FRIDAY… check out the FFF guidelines at the top of the site.
P.P.S. Please share your photos … and tell us a bit about them… if you will. We’d love to see them!

Two Helpful Tips For Using Baking Soda

There are so many uses for baking soda…making your teeth white… deodorizing your fridge and your garbage disposal. And… here a two more you’ll find useful.

1. Keep a box close by your kitchen sink for when you have to peal and cut up onions. After you’ve completed your cooking task…simply use a bit of water to make a paste in the middle of your hand. Rub the paste all over your hands and… guess what… no odor.

2. Now this little tip I’ll whisper in your ear… a delicate little matter you know. Keep a box of baking soda near your shower. Use a little water and make a paste and rub it under your arms. Wow! What a difference it makes… especially when your deodorant has a tendency to fail you during these hot summer months.

Thanks Deb, for passing these tips along… they’re great!

Till Later
Kathy Griffiths
Insightful Nana

P.S. You could put the baking soda in a cute little container near your shower… so folks won’t think your stirring up a cake in the bathroom.

Here’s a Bunch Of Crocs

You’d think a bunch of people live at my house by the looks of my back door step. Just look at those shoes. But nope… it’s just me. I just love “Crocs”… so comfortable.

When my kids gave me a pair for mother’s day a few years ago… they sat in the closet for a couple of months before I ventured to put them on. When I did… I found them a bit too small… so back in the closet they went for a time.

I finally got around to getting up to the store to make an exchange. (I just hate to return things… just such a bother… and since shopping is not one of my favorite things to do, returns are a double pain in the neck.)

Anyway… once they landed on my feet… Oh my gosh… such a treat. I’ve be forced to wear shoe orthotics for some time due to bone spurs… but now the spurs have disappeared and the “Crocs” seem like heaven after having my feet cooped up in tight shoes and hard soles.

Since I got new carpet… I’m trying not to wear my shoes in the house…so they land on the doorstep.
Better get them moved before all the grandkids come. I cuss them out when they leave their shoes laying around.

Till Later,
Kathy Griffiths
Insightful Nana

P.S. I have to confess… not all of my shoes are the “Croc” brand. Whatever! I saw some wonder colors at Costco recently. Hmmm!

Good Table Manners & Kids

Teaching kids good table manners can be a challenge if your wait until you’re at a friends house or a restaurant to in engage in dining etiquette lessons. Bad manners are develop at home and can show up at the most inconvenient time.

However, being one who likes to lick her fingers when eating the Colonel’s Chicken… or Goodwood’s ribs… I can’t be too hard on the kids. (Just how can you eat BQ ribs without licking your fingers?) But… there’s a time and place.. right? Come to think of it… I can’t think of a time and place where I wouldn’t lick my fingers if I were eating ribs. Hmmm… perhaps the White House?

Back to table manners… Training children to have table etiquette begins at home a little at a time…and considering the child’s age. Here’s a few table manners they need to know. These are probably the most obvious to others when they’re not kept. Helping your kids in these areas might save you and your child a little embarrassment…. You know… for when the in-laws come… or your dining at the White House.

1. Elbows On The Table: During the Middle ages, trestle tables were use and the diners sat on one side close to the fire… keeping their backsides warm. If they leaned on the table with their elbows, the table would collapse and dinner would be in their laps… So goes the tradition of “No Elbows On The Table.” Today, however, putting elbows on the table doesn’t leave much room for the person sitting next to you. So it’s best if you keep your elbows off the table and be considerate of your neighbor.

2. Don’t Talk With Your Mouth Full: Now just how do you talk during a meal with out food in your mouth? Get real! It would be a pretty quiet dinner conversation if you had to wait until your mouth was empty before you could talk. The secret is… don’t over stuff your mouth with food. Take small bites so you won’t choke and you can talk to someone while you still have a bit of food in your mouth.

3. Chew With Your Mouth Closed:
Good idea. Do the best you can.. no one like to see half eaten food. Sometimes we’re not as careful as we should be when we’re in a hurry. Best thing to do is slow down a bit.

4. Don’t Eat With Your Fingers: Unless… it’s ribs, of course…or chicken or food that is meant to be eaten with fingers. If your meal consists of finger foods, provide lots of napkins. Cutting food into small pieces will encourage your child to use utensils. (At last try to keep the finger licking to a minimum if your eating ribs.)

5. Don’t Burb at the Table:
If you slip… say, “Excuse me!” However, in some cultures burping is considered a way of showing the host your appreciation for a good meal. (When I was in China… there seemed to be a lot of burping going on… and no one seemed to mind. For me… I kept mine to myself.)

6. Use a Napkin: Wiping your mouth frequently is the trick. If you spill, wipe it up the best you can. Small children sometimes have a hard time with napkins. Help from parents is frequently necessary. (I swear… sometimes I have a hard time keeping food off my abundant Italian chest… so I really sympathize with kids in the spilling area.)

7. Say, Please And Thank You:
Get in the habit of saying, “Please” and “Thank You.” These are probably the number one rules of good table manners in any culture. Often… when we’re in a hurry… those words are easily forgotten.


8. Set A Good Example:
Setting a good example is probably the best teaching tool you have. As you can see by the above suggestions… they apply to us as well as our kids. As you already know… kids watch adults very carefully. Often times kids reflect our own behavior when they’re in public. I know I’ve been caught more than a few times… “Oh my gosh… just who did they learn that from?”

9. Explain The Rules:
Often time, correction is made by the parent and the child doesn’t understand the “why.” Explain “why” certain etiquette is appropriate in our culture. “Son, when you put your elbows on the table, it doesn’t leave much room for your sister.”

10. Make Your Meal A Pleasant Time:
Lecturing kids will turn them off to good manners, plus make the meal unpleasant. The best teaching method is “making suggestions” rather than nagging or putting a child down. They’ll come along if your patient and kind. They just might surprise you at the restaurant with good dining etiquette.

Good Luck… and I’ll be watching you at the restaurant with your kids… as you’ll be watching me with my grandkids. Let’s be kind to each other.

Till Later

Kathy Griffiths
Insightful Nana

P.S. Now for the issues of fighting among siblings, spilling milk, falling off the chair, whining about what’s served… you’re on your own. These are areas where I could use a few suggestions.