by Maryclaire Mayes
This month I posted pictures of our puppy, 2 months old and now a little over a year old. Puppies grow up fast. It got me thinking about how much our grandkids have grown. You don’t notice it so much when you see them frequently. They don’t spring up seemingly over night like a puppy, but they are growing, maturing and learning everyday.
It’s been hot here and the grandkids have been up a lot lately. They willingly help in the garden before cooling off in the pool. Thanks kids, Grammy appreciates you. They are all making great progress in their swimming skills. Last year most of them didn’t even want to put their face in the water (except for Little Miss Number Five, she is part fish). It makes me want to slow down and take in this season of our lives. There is more than a garden growing here. I need to try harder to remember that each one is an individual and growing and maturing at their own pace.
One loves to get into mischief ( well maybe more than one…). I wondered out loud why she would line up the toothbrushes on the upstairs bathroom sink and not own up to it at first. Her mom reminds me she is 6, I say oh, yes she is six. All of our grandkids are growing and thriving and we are thankful for each one.
by Maryclaire Mayes
This is our daughter and her family. Our daughter was always quiet, kind of shy, compliant and easy going as a child; for the most part even into her teen years. She was never the most popular girl, but I had heard many of her friends say “everybody loves Nell”. Her nickname was Angel. I’m amazed now as I watch her raising and homeschooling her own children.
She has really come into her own. She has a quiet strength and inner beauty about her. Being a wife and mom suits her perfectly. She is much more patient than I was, but still correcting her children as needed and training them in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6). And now they will soon be welcoming a new baby into their family and we couldn’t be more proud of our daughter and son in law. Their life isn’t perfect, they have weathered some hard times. Their kids misbehave and are unkind to each. Their house is getting smaller everyday. But there is plenty of love to go around.
by Maryclaire Mayes
Cucumber skin care? Yes! I always plant cucumbers in my garden. We like to eat this wonderful veggie (actually a fruit) all summer . It is full of good nutrients for your face from the inside and out. It is very low in calories and a good source of Vitamin C and Molybdenum; both nutrients can help detoxify your skin and make it smooth and beautiful. But don’t stop there cucumber has topical skincare benefits too. It contains caffeic acid, to help to reduce inflamed or irritated skin, and it also hydrates due to its high water content. Don’t by pass the peel, most of the nutrients are residing just under the peel. The peel has silica, which can help firm up sagging skin. Even people with the most sensitive skin types can use cucumber.
A quick fix for puffy eyes: place chilled cucumber slices over your eyes. You’ve probably seen this before—because it really works! Enjoy the cooling effect that helps relieve puffy eyes, and shrink dilated blood vessels. Cucumbers also have flavonoids and antioxidants that decrease swelling, redness and irritation
Redness: Cucumbers have natural anti-inflamatory properties like water, potassium, Vit A and sulfate that calm and soothe your skin. You can place thin sliced cucumbers anywhere there is redness. Great to soothe sunburn, rash or rosacea flare ups. Keep the slices on for at least 15 minutes. Remove and apply a light moisturizer like Replenish.
Spa Facial: Lightly puree 1/2 cup of cucumber and mix 1 to 2 tablespoons plain yogurt (look for one with active cultures). If it is too runny you can add a little oatmeal. Gently apply to clean dry face and neck. Relax for 15 to 20 minutes and rinse and enjoy your new glowing skin.
by Maryclaire Mayes
I have so many sweet memories of my mom. She had a reputation of being a great cook and was always feeding everyone. I’m not too bad in the kitchen, but mom never liked us to help her much except to do dishes. We did shared a love for gardening, but my mom really excelled at house plants, me not so much.
She had several different kinds of plants. I think orchids were her favorite but mine was her gardenia. When it was in bloom she would often let me pick a flower and wear it in my hair to school. It is a real treat for your sense of smell and sight. They say fragrance plays an important role in memories and the smell of the gardenia is sweet and intoxicating. It also has beautiful creamy white petals that slowly unfold like a graceful dance into a beautiful rose-like flower.
Unfortunately I’m not as good as my mom in growing them. But every so often, in the Spring when they are in the stores, I can’t resist bringing one home. So this one was so beautiful and it was begging me to take it home, so of course I did. The sight and smell of the pretty white blossoms always bring back happy memories of my childhood and my mom.
by Maryclaire Mayes
Does a dog have a personality or is it a canine-ality? Anyway, last year at this time we were mourning the passing of our dog Chia. She had a wonderful personality, actually she pretty much thought she was a person. We had the impression that she thought she was above associating with our cats or even other dogs. She preferred our company and usually tried to figure out what we wanted and do it.
Last June we brought home another standard poodle puppy, Cora. We wanted a white small standard and were fortunate to be able to find a runt of a littler of 10 pups. The breeder thought she would probably be small but no guarantees. We decided on a white dog this time to make it easier to spot ticks. We have lots of ticks here. Chia had been infected with tick born diseases more than once, even though we treated her with tick preventatives.
So it turns out that color is not the only difference from Chia. Cora is very high energy and much more playful. At first we keep thinking getting her was a huge mistake. She is so much more affectionate with us than Chia was and eventually she won us over. She thinks she is a lap dog, which was our first mistake. Not that we mind sharing our lap with her but it reenforced the idea that she could do anything she wanted. She is coming along in many areas, but still has a strong desire to play using her mouth and her paws. She has finally learned that it is not ok to chase the chickens and guinea hens. She still chases the barn cats, but thats ok, they chase her too and they seem to love wrestling together.
I grew up with dogs and I always thought I knew how to train them, but Cora was not responding to my soft approach. Dean and I ( especially Dean) had to learn that we need to teach her she is a dog and we are in charge. I could see she had a presumptuous attitude. She thought anything she wanted to do was good. After Cora scratched a grandchild’s face by being overly playful we decided we needed to take her training much more seriously. While we still allow her to be a lap dog, it is only when we invite her. We had to learn that we needed to be her leader which means we needed to be tougher. We had to learn to balance affection with discipline, so Cora would learn our rules and consequences. Once we started implementing rules and consequences we saw an immediate change in her attitude. We never thought we would get a standard poodle that didn’t have a compliant easy to train personality. The good news is we realized she needed more structure and training and she is becoming the a really good dog.