If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Small-Town Culture

I had a big night out on a small town one night this past week!

I trekked about an hour and twenty minutes to where my daughter and her family live and we attended the fourth and fifth grade school play entitled, "Go West!"  What showing of art and culture it turned out to be!  Mr. Sutter and westward expansion with covered wagons, cattle drives, and the trans-continental railroad were featured aspects of the musical.  I must say, the performance was stupendous!

Our Lillie had a speaking part as a cowpoke.

Bridgette said she was never more surprised than when Lillie came home a few weeks before and informed her mother that she was auditioning for a speaking part.  You see, it hasn't been more than a couple of years that Lillie was grumbling and complaining about having to sing at the school PTO meeting and such.  Lillie has never been one that sought the spotlight.  She's didn't want to stand in front of people, much less sing.  So, it is no wonder that her mother was a bit surprised at the proclamation of an audition.

Yet, audition she did and won the coveted role as Cowgirl #1.

As an educator, I've been to lots of school performances.  As a mother of two dance students, I've been to a lot of musical performances.  Yet, I have never been to a performance quite so entertaining.  Even not knowing most of the children involved, I watched with merriment because at times I was watching the children as an educator and tried to envision them in the classroom.  Then, at times, I was purely Grand B and watching my eldest granddaughter with pride and indulgence.

As a purely impartial spectator, I thought Lillie was truly a star.

Each of the actors with speaking parts spoke into one of the two microphones positioned prominently on stage.  A handful of folks broadcast their lines before our Lillie stepped up to the mic to speak.  She immediately adjusted it from where it was pointing toward her blingy belt buckle and brought it to a comfortable height just below her chin.  Then, she calmly declared her first lines as a cowpoke.  (Notice the height of the little fellow to her left and that she is leaning over just a wee bit!)

That was the first time I almost lost my laughter-control, beaming with grandparent-of-Lillie pride.

The microphone adjusting continued throughout Lillie's starring ahem, speaking portion.  Then, it was time for the singing and dancing performance of our long, tall, lanky cowpoke and her compadres.  She and the other cowpokes lined up in a couple of rows.  Of course, with her height, Lillie was positioned on the back row.  Yet, to this audience, it was painfully apparent that she definitely should have been front and center with her graceful dance moves.  I mean, she swayed back and forth like she was riding her horse on the trail and step-touched with fingers looped on her pockets, her elbows rocking with far more style and rhythm than any of the other cowpokes, for goodness sake!

And that smile she wore while performing was one of pure joy and showmanship!

The country-and-western-type song proclaimed, "Yippee-Tie-Yi-Yay! My pony and me!" and it told the story of western expansion and long cattle drives.  Lillie sang and danced with all the passion of any singing cowpoke and did so with a smile on her face the entire time.  I'm telling you, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans would have been proud of Cowgirl #1 and I think the small-town audience realized that they were being exposed to an experience of high culture.

That was the next time I almost lost my laughter-control, beaming with grandparent-of-Lillie pride.

At the end of the song-and-dance portion where our super-star stole the show, Lillie did what all the famous singing cowpokes who came before her did and I hate we didn't get a photo of it.  She paused, plastered on a huge smile, and tipped her hat to the masses.  We, of course, did our part as all enthralled audiences always do, and we clapped till the  palms of our hands were tinged with a brilliant hue of hot-pink to show our heartfelt appreciation of such talented performers.

That was the third time I almost lost my laughter-control, beaming with grandparent-of-Lillie pride.

Like her mother, I have never been more surprised to see Lillie in such a role.  Her usual, quiet, matter-of-fact, stand-on-the-sidelines sort of behavior was nowhere in sight.  She seemed to realize her job was to entertain and tell the story of the wild, wild American western expansion and she did so with confidence, showmanship, and style.

This Grand B has never been more proud that we have let this baby grow up to be a cowpoke!

*Special thanks goes out to Bridgette for these cell-phone photos to illustrate this post.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Beautiful Snowy Sight

Our daughter-in-law, Bonnie sent this photo of one of their Angus heifers that she snapped last week.  Since I got to stay inside and didn't have to venture out to be the caretaker of livestock for once, I thought this was a beautiful sight.  Thanks for sharing, Bonnie!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Practically Perfect In Every Way - More Snow Day Activities

Just in case you don't know my grandchildren, let me tell you that they are practically perfect in every way.  After all, I'm their grandmother and I cannot imagine any grandmother thinking differently about her grands.

This week we learned that one of the grandsons has learned how fun it is to climb stairs.  He is almost two-years-old and seems to be training for quickness at an Olympic rate.  We understand he's gotten quite adept at it and can get up the stairs lickety-split before his parents even realize it.  Isn't that practically perfect? 

I thought you would see it my way.

We also had a Hangout with some of the granddaughters and saw that they calmly sit and watch a classic video and share snacks and play cooperatively with the dollhouse.  Isn't that practically perfect?

I thought you would see it my way.

For some reason, our grandsons - and at times even the granddaughters - have all been described using one word at some point or another and I think it is meant as a compliment of their energy, quick thinking abilities, good health, and vigor.  I know that the official dictionaries use synonyms such as boisterous or rowdy or wild or unruly but I'm still choosing to see the descriptor used as a compliment and reference to their positive character, their enthusiasm for life and learning, their curiosity, their exuberance.  The descriptor Mike and I have heard their parents use is:


See?  Don't you think that is a good thing?  Isn't that practically perfect?

I thought you would see it my way.

These snow days have been hard on our grandchildren's parents.  They aren't accustomed to staying in one place for very long.  After all, they cart their school-aged children off to the schoolhouse or trek to the store with their toddlers or work outside on their rural homesteads.  They aren't accustomed to having their exuberant children cooped up inside for so long.  After all, those children usually burn energy, running, and playing in a gym at school or practicing basketball with their team or shooting hoops, and riding bicycles, and running through the grass.  They tag along after their parents who run errands and grocery shop and load feed sacks for customers and landscape and build birdhouses and care for livestock and hunt big game and enjoy the great outdoors.  Yet, when these snow days have limited all that activity and left the grandchildren with four walls to contain them.  Well, let's just say it has been hard on their parents.  After all, it isn't a problem with the grandchildren, it is a problem with their parents.  The grandchildren are practically perfect.  Right?

I thought you would see it my way.

We got some photos the other day from part of the grandchildren's parents letting us know that at least one of the grandsons had forced his mother into creating activities for him to enjoy.  She saw it as a way of occupying his time and keeping him focused and a little less - rambunctious.
Look at that concentration.  Look at the finesse.  Look at all the intellect popping out.  I hate that I'm not savvy enough to share this the way it was sent to me in one of those short moving picture sort of thingies on my iPhone.  The seriousness of his work really shone through on it.  Isn't that practically perfect?

I thought you would see it my way.
(Mom also spent a bit of time creating a matching game for our grandson.  Didn't she do a good job?  Can you guess that she has a master's degree in elementary education?) 
The real genius-ness of the matching game was the result, though.  Look at that attention to detail.  Look at the fine motor skills used to accurately line up each little piece.  Look at the enthusiasm used for learning.  Isn't that practically perfect?

I thought you would see it my way.
Luckily, baby sister got in on the act.  After all, I'm sure she is a bit rambunctious at times, too.  Right?  I hate you can't see the moving picture thingy sent via iPhone, she was kicking and cheering her brother on as he crafted an artwork masterpiece.  Isn't that  practically perfect in every way?

I thought you would see it my way.
Of course, the finished product says it all.  Look at the Picasso-like coloring.  Look at that proud smile.  Isn't that practically perfect?

I thought you would see it my way.

I don't know why these practically perfect grandchildren's parents think rambunctious has a negative connotation.  I don't know why they have problems with the energy and exuberance of our grandchildren.  After all, I think they are practically perfect in every way!