The Punky Song

I was recently warned by a fellow grandma to be sure to enjoy my time together with the grandkids because, according to her, sometime around the age of eleven, they will no longer believe that their universe revolves around me. While that made me sad, I understood and also know that they will eventually return to me.

With that in mind, I was happy to hear a story from Kelly about their recent day at the beach. On the return trip home, Bryce started discussing the fact that he had punkies in his toes. When questioned by his dad, Bryce explained that the sand in between his toes were punkies. Hooray! He had listened to me and understand the fact that dirt in between one’s toes are known as punkies. Everyone knows that, right?

I know you are all familiar with Grandma’s classic song, “She’s Got Punkies in Her Toes.” I recently taught it to the two kids, and they had me sing it over and over until they memorized it.

Just in case any of you have forgotten the lyrics, I would like to help burn that song into your brains.

She’s got punkies in her toes in her toes

Cha Cha Cha.

She’s got punkies in her toes in her toes

Cha Cha Cha.

She’s got punkies in her toes

And her mommy only knows

She’s got punkies in her toes in her toes

Cha Cha Cha.

 Now, the big question of the day is whether Grandma invented that song and kept it as our family secret or whether or siblings also taught that song to their children.

I will pose that question to my cousins and report back to you. In the meantime, you will have to tell me if that song is now stuck in your heads.




Stayin Alive

It’s nice to have a nurse or two in the family, so during our recent mini family reunion, we learned how to save someone from choking and how to revive them when they have stopped breathing or their heart has stopped beating.

Aunt Linda, who is Red Cross certified, began the lesson with a video, and then moved onto the meat of the lesson.

She explained that we no longer need to pinch and breathe into someone’s mouth, telling us that simply doing chest compressions is sufficient to get air moving and hopefully revive an arrested heart. I never liked the idea of breathing into a stranger’s mouth so this was nice to learn. Coincidentally, since it is our 40th-anniversary-celebration week, one of the big hits of 1978 is the song which is associated with CPR—Stayin Alive. We learned that after calling 911, we compress the victim’s chest in time to the beat of Stayin Alive. (For a child, compress before calling)

We then moved on to learning about the use of abdominal thrusts, which we all know as “the Heimlich maneuver.” I could not recall precisely from Nurse Linda why the Red Cross method is not referred to as the Heimlich method, so I researched it.

She taught us to hit on the choking victim’s back 5 times and then perform the abdominal thrusts. This method apparently shocked Dr. Henry Heimlich, who was horrified by the slaps, claiming that no evidence existed to support the back-slapping, so he wanted his name removed from the method taught by the Red Cross.

It turns out that no studies have ever been done comparing the effectiveness of both methods side-by-side, so Dr. Heimlich died 2 years ago still at war with the ARC. I will use what I was taught by Nurse Linda! I hope to never need to use this lesson.

Thanksgiving in July

Last weekend was a joyful gathering of our family. Everyone from the photo taken in the Virginia “cabinet” (Bryce’s name for that house, not mine) last July was present except for my soon-to-be third son. Dad’s sister acted as his placeholder.

Each of our out-of-town guests descended on the house at various times on Saturday, and since Casey had to leave early on Monday, we had just one day when we were all together. It is a rare occasion when this happens, which is why I called it a joyful gathering. I am easily pleased.

We had no plans for the day beyond just hanging out and enjoying each other’s company. Jamie needed a beach cover-up and Dad and I wanted a French-press coffee maker, so the womenfolk headed out to the store. As an avowed shopping hater, I admit that I thoroughly enjoyed running around TJ Maxx with my three girls and sister-in-law. I had the best time!

Returning home, we played board games with the grandkids, colored, created pizzas with purple and green Play Doh, rebuilt the fort, and then all played an alternative form of hide-and-seek—“Sardines.” One person hides while the others close their eyes and count in unison. After reaching 30, the group disperses, and when someone locates the hidden person, then the “finder” must join that individual.

The hiding spot must be large enough to accommodate a crowd, and I must say that it is difficult to all squeeze together while at the same time, remain quiet. This game just invites giggling. The last person to find the group becomes the next hider. Try it, you’ll like it!

We ended the weekend gathered around the dining room table for a raucous dinner. I admit I cooked too much, and someone commented that it seemed like Thanksgiving in July, particularly since we had many of our traditional Turkey Day sides—sweet potatoes, green beans, applesauce, and a nice pork roast.

So when America is celebrating Thanksgiving Day in November, I will be able to look back and remember when my family celebrated Thanksgiving 2018 one hot summer day in July. Did anyone take a photo?

Cookies and the Law

I recently had the opportunity to combine an old activity with a new activity—baking cookies and attempting to make us safer. As you all know, I have been involved in the group, Moms Demand Action for Gunsense. Contrary to what those who are not familiar with the group believe about MDA, the mission of this organization is to work for common sense laws to eliminate gun violence, not guns.

As a member of this organization, I have participated in a few rallies and attended committee meetings of our local senators. This week, the call to action involved baking and delivering cookies to our local sheriff’s department as a way of thanking them for a recent initiative in which they removed close to three hundred illegal guns from the streets.

What a great idea, I thought, because moms are known for baking cookies! We met in the parking lot and assembled our treats on a plate and wrapped it in cellophane to give it that professional look.

After relinquishing our driver’s licenses in return for visitor’s badges, we were ushered into the press room, where we presented our cookies to six officers. We then had an extremely enlightening exchange of information with the men and women in uniform.

We were all shocked to learn that the majority of gun thefts are carried out by children as young as fourteen, and many of the sales of the illegal guns are done via an app on their phones. Many of the thefts are from unlocked automobiles. The officers explained that they try very hard to convince these young people to choose the path of right over wrong. They clearly were upset at the ages of these gun thieves.

Our meeting concluded with the exchange of contact information for the purpose of collaborating in some manner in the future.

Mission accomplished!


Storms Clouds are Rolling In

I think we can all agree that children are intelligent. They are constantly absorbing details and listening to what we are discussing. (Remember this before you speak.) It was therefore no surprise that Bryce has become interested in weather forecasting, just like his father.

During his recent vacation to our house, we spent the day at the home of our friends. We all swam in their pool, had a lovely lunch on their deck, saw the bees in the nearby hives, and enjoyed the view of the lake.

While I was satisfied with merely enjoying the scenery, the children wanted more. For Bryce, that meant trying to catch fish with a net and eventually, falling into the lake.

It did not take long for his eyes to wander away from the water, where he discovered a rowboat sitting idly by just waiting for attention. Before long, the three men were preparing to load the boat into the water. That was when the weather gene kicked in. Our little forecaster pointed to the cloudy sky and asked if we should be concerned about a potential storm approaching us.

My friend, Mary, was impressed, but not I. On more than one occasion, he has looked skyward and stated, “Grandma, there are storm clouds rolling in.” His dad is the family weatherman and is very savvy with interpreting weather maps, so this concern came as no surprise to me.

Bryce has discussed his dilemma in trying to decide what to be when he grows up, because “there are too many choices.” So now he is thinking about working in an office with Dad, helping Mom with her camera, becoming a teacher like Aunt Jamie, and alerting South Carolina of “storm clouds rolling in.”

Has the Plant Curse Been Broken?

As you all know, I do not have a green thumb. When one of my plants survives and begins to peek through the earth the following year, I am joyously surprised rather than smugly rewarded.  My expectations are low. I have killed far too many flowers and plants over the years.  Still, I love them. I am particularly happy to live in an area with a long growing season where plants which existed as annuals in the North are perennial here in South Carolina.

With all that in mind, I am happy to report that my experiment with planting the seeds from last year’s Jack-o-lantern appears to be working quite well. Five days after I placed those seeds in the soil near the backyard palm tree, I decided to see if there was any progress.

I screamed in astonishment when I saw that not one, not two, but forty pumpkin plants were beginning to grow. Perhaps there is hope. Maybe the kids can set up a pumpkin stand in our driveway in October. This is not the end of my pumpkin story.