Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Concord Grapes and Veteran's Day

I saw this post on the Food Network's Healthy Eats blog about Concord Grape Smoothies and it made me think of my grandpa. I've spoken about my small, spunky Grandma Polly. Her deceased husband, my Grandpa Red (yes, Red and Polly, adorable, hm? :)) once grew concord grapes in their backyard. They had a nice, big wooden arbor and grew the dark purple grapes in the summers. They would turn them into delicious, fresh juice. My brother and I stayed with them in the summers for many years while my parents were at work and we were out of school. I remember walking into their home and smelling coffee, hearing news radio and I still find those smells and sounds comforting. If I close my eyes, I can picture their home and feel that same feeling. They haven't lived in that house for 20+ years, but I can still picture it like I was there yesterday. I am not overly fond of grape juice, but sometimes, in the summer, it sounds so good, refreshing. I'm sure it is because of those summer days I had fresh juice at Grandpa's.

I've talked about Grandma before, but not as much about Grandpa. He's been gone since our youngest daughter was a baby. His name was Kenneth, but he was called "Red" because of his hair. He had the typical "red-head temper". Firey-was road rage before it had a name. I remember slumping down in the back seat as he gestured for drivers to pull over a time or two! He was a carpenter by trade, an excellent one. Could make things just by looking at them. I have a hope chest and a bread box he made. Both wonderful works of wood. He made toys, wall cabinets in lawyers' offices, tray tables-he had quite a gift. He had just finished a baby doll cradle for my youngest daughter the day before he died. He would challenge me to debates and switch sides halfway through... say things like, "just think." He liked to get me going on emotion and then cause me to think halfway through. I take pride in that he didn't do that with very many of his grandkids.

He was in WWII. He was in the Navy, the SeaBees. They were a construction battalion that would go in and get things set for the navy to come in behind them.  His stories were amazing and frightening. He went into the military before he was of legal age to, lying about his age. He told us stories of hiding under tankers as Japanese fighter planes flew over, shooting at them. I think of him even more acutely on Veteran's day.

He, like Gram Polly, had such a spunk, a fight in them. He wasn't a saint, he was ornery, thought boys could do things better than girls and wow, was his temper short, but he loved us and we knew it. He loved to play cards and the marble game aggravation. He and Gram were quite the pair.

Did you know your grandparents, Readers? I know many people who didn't get to. I was lucky enough to know all four of mine very well.

Friday, November 07, 2014

"What's on Your Home Screen", via TNW

I saw this interesting article on TNW (The Next Web) about "What's on Your Home Screen?" It caused me to think about my homescreen with several folders, each with several items inside them. I am trying something new, only having 15 items, no folders, on the home screen. I have:

  1. The App Store
  2. Calendar
  3. Settings
  4. The Weather Channel
  5. Clock
  6. Google Maps
  7. Music
  8. Podcasts
  9. Photos
  10. Pinterest
  11. Chrome
  12. Reminders
  13. Twitter
  14. Instagram
  15. LinkedIn
With Phone, Email, Messages and Camera down along the bottom. 
I have moved folders to the second screen.

What does your home screen look like, Reader? Any things you can't live without? What is the first item you open when you pick up your phone?

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Doodles, Balloons and Great Photos!

Just wanted to send a shout out to fellow blogger, Thimbleanna. She took some wonderful photos of dogs and balloons in a recent post. Just excellent photos! Since the dogs are doodles like my goldendoodle, I got an extra big smile out of them. :) Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

What I'm Reading Wednesday

I'm currently reading Silkworm by Robert Galbraith/JK Rowling. It is the second in the Cormoran Strike mystery series, the first being The Cuckoo's Calling. I read the first and thought it was a 3/5 star book. My mother-in-law had this book, and I love mysteries, so I picked it up to read, as well. The first book was kind of dark, nothing like the Tea Shop Mysteries I like so well. :) I enjoy Agatha Christie mysteries quite well, too. This Strike book is much more so-graphic and gory in spots. I  like to read books at bedtime and the last two nights I have found myself not wanting to. I am halfway and eager to finish it, to find out "whodunnit" and be done with it.

On the nonfiction side I am reading Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking by Andy Sernovitz Just started it and hoping it is a great resource for my new job(s).

What are you reading, Reader? Any suggestions on books you have loved, lately?