Monday, July 28, 2014

Even grandmas lose it sometimes

"Grandma, you don't need to teach me anything else. I can learn everything I need from ABCmouse."

After spending 3 days with my 5-year-old granddaughter visiting a friend in Northern PA, this is not what I needed to hear. While Laura didn't mean to upset me, that's exactly what she did. I hate to admit it, but I freaked out on her a bit. 

"Fine," I said, "learn everything you want from your stupid computer. You won't hear anything else from me. And you won't be going anywhere else with me, either." I shouted some additional choice words.

That's when the tears began. Hers... and mine. She sat in her car seat wailing while I drove along with tears running down my face. I'd had enough.

Did you ever feel that way with your own kids or grandkids? Like you'd had enough? Being with a talkative 5 YO for 3 days can really fray one's nerves. At least it frayed mine. The thing is I love my granddaughter. I watched her for 3 - 4 days a week for the first year of her life when my daughter had to go back to work (for benefits). Taking care of that precious little one was such an honor for me and we bonded more than we would have had I not babysat her from the start. Of course, like with my own children, there were challenges. You know, the fussy days when there is nothing I could do to appease her. The days when she fought naps. Teething issues. Colic. Yikes! It was just plain difficult at times. 

But then there were the delightful days. The days when everything seemed right with the world. The days when she'd hug me tightly and look at me with adoration. Yeah, those days are the ones I remember.

During that year, I spent an awful lot of time reading to Laura and teaching her countless things -- from sign language to knowing her right and left to colors, shapes, and perspectives. It was a magical time for me that I will never forget. Like I said, it was an honor.

After her mommy quit her job and was able to stay home with her full time, I continued to spend quite a bit of time with this precious little one. And I still taught her at every opportunity.

Over the last year or so, I haven't seen Laura as much as in past years. She went to pre-school. She moved further away. And she discovered an affection for electronics. She stopped showing much of an interest in the things I could teach her. 

So, when she actually verbalized this disinterest on Saturday, it felt like a knife going through my heart. I no longer felt useful in her life. She was suddenly (or maybe not so suddenly) at the age when she didn't need my instruction. Aren't they usually teenagers when this phase hits??

It's odd how much this affected me. As I type this, tears are running freely down my cheeks. I didn't think it was possible, but my beloved Laura really hurt me. And when it happened, I snapped. 

Have you ever been there? If not, let me fill you in on a secret: no one can hurt you as much as your own children or grandchildren. The greatest pain I've felt in life was caused by my own daughters. Of course, this little altercation between Laura and me isn't really that big of a deal. My head knows that. But my heart was reminded of pain I hadn't felt in a long time and I'm having a little bit of an issue shaking it. 

As we drove toward home accompanied only by our occasional sniffs, Laura said, "I'm sorry." 

"What did you say?" I asked.

"I'm sorry."

"For what?"

"For saying what I said."

I thanked her for apologizing, but let her know I was still hurt. I explained how I never had grandparents or aunts that did things with me and that she was so lucky she did. And I have to admit, I am envious of her. I never felt loved from my relatives the way she is. Never. And I felt like she'd basically spit in my face. 

The rest of the ride was kind of quiet, although she did sing the soundtrack to Frozen three times. Without the CD, I should add. We stopped for lunch and later, ice cream. Things seemed okay. Then I dropped her off at home and as I was leaving, she said an indifferent goodbye and didn't even bother to hug me. Another knife to my heart. 

Ahh... the price of loving too much. 

Sharing my heart,


Saturday, July 26, 2014

It's not too late


As frightening as it is, it is not too late. GMOs have taken over our major food crops in the past 15 years, but we can eliminate them in the next ten years from our food, feed, fuel, and fiber supply chains -- with marketplace pressure and regulatory changes.

~Alisa Gravitz
President/CEO Green America

Old Time Candy Company Giveaway

Old Time Candy Giveaway
Every once in awhile, isn't it fun to go back to the ways things used to be? Remember when candy was a special treat and no one worried about the ingredients? Aspartame and high fructose corn syrup certainly weren't issues when I was a kid. I miss those days. That's why I'm happy to be part of this giveaway.  

The adventure began in July, 1999 when the founders of Old Time Candy Company walked into a large candy store in Cleveland, Ohio that specializes in old time candy. They had no idea that many of their old time favorites still existed. It was the candy they ate as kids... Necco Wafers, Candy Buttons on paper tape, Wax Lips, Candy Cigarettes. Amazing!

They went on-line in early 2000 with their first candy assortment and began to grow. In 2003 they moved into a larger facility and expanded at the beginning of 2004. They moved into a much larger facility in August of 2006 where they are located today. 2013 began their 13th year in the candy business.

Prize: Winner's Choice of Candy by Decades 
4 lb. box from here

Dates: 7/26-8/9
Open to: US Residents 18+

Enter to win using the Giveaway Tools Widget below. 

Good luck!


Disclosure: Green Grandma did not receive compensation for this post 
and is not responsible for prize fulfillment.


Friday, July 25, 2014

IOTUS: The 6 Ingredients Most Likely to be Genetically Modified

On this week's Instead of This Use This, we're talking GMOs.

Trying to avoid GMOs, but not sure which ingredients to look out for? Well, since the US is keeping us in the dark with their Monsanto-in-the-back-pocket labeling laws, or lack thereof, I thought I'd help you out. Here's a list of the worst offenders:

Public Domain Image by Amedee Masclef

1.  95% -- Sugar Beets. Check the ingredients. If non-organic foods list sugar, but it is not specified as "pure cane sugar," most likely, this is sugar made from GM sugar beets.

2.  93% -- Soy. Look out. In addition to the obvious -- soybean oil, soy milk, tofu, and tempeh, soy is lurking in many products you might not be aware of like vitamin E, lecithin, and more.

3.  90% -- Corn. Wow... what doesn't contain corn?! Look for corn oil, corn starch, and high-fructose corn syrup, just for starters.

4.  90% -- Cottonseed. Of course, you want to stay away from non-organic cottonseed oil. But you also want to look for it in salad dressings, margarines, and fried snack foods, like potato chips.

5.  90% -- Canola Oil. This is simply not a good choice when shopping for oils.

6.  80% -- Papaya. Does that one surprise you? It did me. According to the USDA, all US-grown papaya is most likely GM or contaminated with GMOs. Yummy. Think I'll steer clear.

Photo by Mark Yang

One more thing to keep in mind when shopping for dairy products. Cows on non-organic farms are generally fed alfalfa. The problem with that is that a large portion of the alfalfa crop in the US is genetically modified from cross-contamination. Does that mean your non-organic milks and cheeses are affected? That's a matter of opinion and I guess it just depends on who you believe.

Naturally, the only option we have if we want to avoid genetically modified foods that have any of the above ingredients is to shop for organic or Non GMO Project Verified foods. As I've said in the past, just because something is Non GMO Project Verified does not mean it's organic. However, all organic foods are free of GMOs. Also, don't trust the word "natural," as many products labeled as such are full of genetically engineered ingredients. 

So, instead of GM foods, opt for organic. You may pay more initially, but think of all the doctor bills you just may avoid! After all, keeping our families safe and healthy is our #1 priority, right?

Keeping it healthy with alternatives,

Thursday, July 24, 2014

It's time to think about fall planting. Where will you get your non-GMO seeds?

It's time to order your seeds for fall planting and I just discovered the perfect place to do so. Seed Savers Exchange is known by some as "the anti-Monsanto." I'm already interested in learning more. What about you? According to an ad I read, they got their nickname because they have a public domain seed bank housing over 20,000 varieties of heirloom and open-pollinated seeds. These seeds can be saved and grown again, a process that goes back thousands of years. Take that Monsanto!

A grass-roots organization, Seed Savers Exchange understands the importance of the biodiversity of life and food. This charitable organization believes that caring for seeds is the same as caring for the earth -- it is for the benefit of future generations.

You can order a free catalog by clicking here. All of their seeds are untreated, non-GMO varieties.

Check out this short 3 1/2 minute video to learn more about this non-profit, earth-loving organization:

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