Saturday, June 26, 2010

What's In a Name?

I'm at that stage in life where people often ask me, "What's your grandmother name?"  I was reminded of that yesterday when Karen hosted a Sip 'N See so that we could meet her new grandson Cooper, who is three weeks old and was visiting from Mississippi.

For the moment Karen's grandmother name is Granna, but she reminded us that it would be whatever Cooper wanted it to be.  After all, bestowing grandmother and grandfather names is the awesome responsibility of the oldest grandchild.

lucy 040LBeau and I, however, are the exception to that rule.  Oddly enough, our grandparent names were given to us not by Walker, our three-year-old grandson, but by one of our son Ben's high school friends.  My very first email address was, so at some point Jason started calling me KBeau (pronounced kay-bow).  It stuck, and it naturally followed that Larry would be called LBeau.

When Walker was born, I said that I would answer to anything but Big Momma, but since I was already KBeau, I'd try to make that stick.  Fortunately, KBeau and LBeau seemed to be easy for Walker to pronounce, which was a good thing because Uncle Hunter tried his best to make me Big Momma.  Lucy, pictured here with KBeau, and Lauren aren’t old enough to call us anything yet, so we’ll see.

As the oldest grandchild on both sides of my family, I got to pick the names for four grandparents.  On my mother's side, there are 21 Reynolds cousins, and all of us called our grandparents Grancy and Poosie.

Grancy and Poosie 50th anniversary Grancy and Poosie on their 50th wedding anniversary

Grancy was probably derived from Granny.  Poosie came about because I couldn't say Bam Poo, which is what my mother wanted me to call her father.  They tried to get me to say "Bam Poo" because that's what Mother and her siblings called their own grandfather.  I'm guessing that Bam Poo was the result of some child's effort to say "Grandpa."

I really think some of the best grandparent names happen that way.  My friend Sherri wanted to be Honey, but when Grey started talking she became Sunny, which fits Sherri perfectly.

Papa Walker fixed My paternal grandparents had more common names.  We called them Mema (pronounced Me-maw) and Papa (Pa-paw).  Papa was the postmaster in tiny Lewisville, Arkansas.  Like any good grandfather, he kept a photo of his grandchildren on his desk at work.

1Mema Walker After Papa died, Mema began spending summers with us while Aunt Sissy, who lived at home, taught library science at East Texas State University in Commerce, Texas.  Mema couldn't sit still and was always cleaning up after us or doing other chores for Mother, which prompted one of my Reynolds cousins to ask why they didn't have a Mema maid.

This weekend KBeau and LBeau are lucky to have Lucy and her parents with us.  Next weekend we'll get to see Walker and Lauren.

FAVORITETHINGSBUTTON I'd love to hear about your grandmother or grandfather names and how you came to be called that.  Meanwhile, I'm linking up (a little late) with Laurie's Favorite Things because being a grandmother has got to be the best thing in the world.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Beer Caps and Bottle Tops—A Sunday Favorite

writeroval-1-1 I have a confession to make.  I have an ulterior motive in what I am reposting for this week’s Sunday Favorites, hosted by Chari at Happy to Design.

It is one of my favorite posts, and got 30 legitimate comments when I first ran it on March 3, 2009.  But it is also the post that is most often hit on by spammers promoting everything from Viagra to male enhancement drugs.

A few months ago, I started moderating my blog so that I could reject their nastiness before it got posted.  But I’m so afraid I’ll accidentally hit “publish” instead of “reject” that I’m trying a different approach.  By republishing it here, under a new title, and deleting the original (which I’ve never done before), I can hopefully preserve the post and foil the spammers.

Besides, any dad would love one of these for Father’s Day!

1memo board 007

Several people have asked me to "show and tell" about my magnetic memo board, so today seemed like a good day. First, the idea idea was not original, but the best ideas are often the ones you "borrow."
I was with some friends at an inspiration home in town, sort of like a decorator showhouse but on a smaller scale. In the kitchen over the desk was this wonderful magnetic memo board that incorporated old bottle caps on the frame. Almost everything in the house was for sale, but when we looked at the price of $350 for the memo board, we decided we could make one ourselves. All we had to do was find a suitable frame, obtain some old bottle caps and purchase galvanized metal.
1memo board 012 Frames for our first efforts came from Olde Time Pottery, a warehouse type store that sells everything from dishes and glassware to artificial flowers and framed "art." We didn't need the art, but we did need the frames, and finding the right kind of frame is not as easy as you might think. You need a frame that has a flat place on it that is wide enough for the bottle caps to fit.
1memo board 010 EBay proved to be a great source for bottle caps. You can buy both beer and soft drink caps in all sorts of quantities, but I don't mix beer and soft drink caps on my boards, since they are not exactly the same size. I also like for each cap on the board to be different, so when I'm making a purchase on eBay, I study the picture carefully to make sure the lot contains a good variety of caps. When I'm doing a frame with soft drink caps, I always like to incorporate a Grapette cap if I have one, since Grapette was invented in my hometown.
The galvanized metal can be purchased from Home Depot in rolls large enough for several memo boards. Fortunately Glenda's husband is very handy with tools, so he always gets the job of removing the glass from the frames and cutting and installing the metal. Then he usually puts the glass back in the frame behind the metal to give it some support.
1memo board 001 Since the backs of the bottle caps are hollow, we decided that we would need to glue something into the back of each cap before gluing it to the frame. We found the perfect thing when we discovered packages of small wooden hearts at Michael's. The heart shape wasn't important, but the size was just right. It's important to imbed the heart in plenty of hot glue (what did we use before glue guns) so that it doesn't turn loose from the bottle cap. Once that's done, you then glue the caps to the frame.
memo board 005 You can use any kind of magnet, but I always like to make magnets out of bottle caps by gluing a small round magnet into the back. You can also purchase these at Michael's or any craft store. Michael's also sells a frame that looks like old weathered wood. It's perfect for the memo boards as you can see on this one that I made for my sister-in-law Susie.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Change of Life

LBeau went to the license office today to renew his driver’s license.  After taking his photo and typing in all of the vital information—address, weight, hair and eye color—the lady gave him a copy to look over to make sure all of the information was correct.

“You’ve got my hair color as white,” LBeau exclaimed.  “My old license had it as brown.”

“It pretty much looks white to me,” she replied.

I’m just glad she recognized that he still has some hair.

Anyway, it reminded me of my trip to the license office last October to renew my own license.  I decided that it was about time to correct the hair color on my license.  For four years, my license said I had brown hair, and I’ve always thought of myself as a blonde.

So when the lady handed me my information to check for errors, I politely  said, “Don’t you think we need to fix my hair color?  It’s not really brown.”

Looking at me, she agreed.  So she changed it—to gray!!

Sometimes it’s best to leave well enough alone.

Lucy 138LBeau and Lucy (it doesn’t look white to me)

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Mimosa Tree

mimosa 001 Every year about this time in ditches along roadways all over the South, the mimosa tree dons its fuzzy pink dress to put on quite a show.

A native of China, the mimosa tree is considered by some to be a pest.  It seems to reproduce quite readily, and when the flowers begin to fade and drop, they can create a real mess.  However, I have a soft spot in my heart for the mimosa tree, a fondness which dates back to childhood.

mimosa 007

My grandparents, Grancy and Poosie, had a large mimosa tree in their front yard, right in the corner between the driveway and the sidewalk.  When it became large enough for us kids to climb on, it also became a gathering place for important family events.

Each summer my Kisamore cousins would drive to Arkansas from Baltimore for a lengthy visit.  As the time drew near for their arrival, the Arkansas cousins would gather in the mimosa tree, craning our necks and concentrating on Highway 24 to see who could be the first to spot their car.  This was long before the first cell phone, so the wait was often several hours.

mimosa 008

On other occasions, we watched impatiently for Aunt Mary and Uncle Joe to return from the state adoption agency in Little Rock with the newest cousin that would be added to our family.  Aunt Mary now lives in Grancy's and Poosie's house, but the mimosa tree is long gone.  I'm not sure whether it died or simply got too large and was cut down, but nevertheless each year when the mimosas begin their show of pink, I think back to those childhood days, and I smile.

bijw9y Please join Beverly at How Sweet the Sound, as once again we celebrate Pink Saturday.