On Being a Grandma

Wow!!! Being a Grandma is EXAUSTING… and the baby isn’t even born yet!

I have been sewing like crazy for the nursery… as the deadline imposed by my daughter is fast approaching. Not to mention my fingers have been a flurry of activity turning skeins of yarn into cute and adorable hats to keep his little baby head warm.

Adorable Baby Hat

 Adorable Baby Hat

Nursery under construction

Nursery under construction

Today I spent the ENTIRE day running errands and stocking my house for the upcoming month. I’m not kidding! Armed with a ‘To-Do’ list longer than my arm… I left at 10am and didn’t return until 6pm! Trips to the postoffice, produce store, grocery store, gas station, Costco, fabric store, Target, Staples, and an unscheduled visit to a brand new Hobby Lobby kept me up and running the whole day.

Normally…. I would not have tried to squeeze all of that into ONE day, but time is getting short. It’s T minus 3 weeks… the ball is on the 20, and it’s the 4th down. You know as well as I, babies come at the most inopportune time. I’m ready!

I’m delighted to be on the First Call list. Not that I’m needed at the hospital, oh no… I’m needed to ‘Emma sit’. For those of you not familiar with Emma… she’s one of my adorable grand dogs. I can’t WAIT to see her reaction to all this. Emma has been the spoiled princess for 11 years… and now a little prince is going to take up space in her domain. Should be interesting.

Princess Emma Mae

Princess Emma Mae

I guess all that’s left for me to do now is to pack an overnight bag, including a book and some sort of craft project… and wait.

Change Your Stars!

2015 is a New Year with a clean slate. It’s time to Change Your Stars… make new choices.

“Our lives are made up of choices. If you are not happy with your life… marriage… job… car… dinner… what you are wearing… fill in the blank… then make another choice. “ I can’t even BEGIN to tell you how many times I’ve said those words this past year to friends and family.

Then one magical day, I looked in the mirror and said those EXACT words to myself! Huh! It was amazing how ‘freeing’ those words made me feel.

Right… if I don’t like something… simply make a different choice, follow another path. It really is THAT simple!

Last year I made the choice to journal once a day. Sometimes I had nothing to say… and other days I not only filled the entire day with my scribbles, but continued to write in the margins circling around the page… writing smaller and smaller just to fit it all in.

I found I really enjoyed journaling, but wanted something more fun and exciting to write my thoughts and feelings in… and so a hunt for something to fit the bill commenced.

I found nothing. The journals on the market were too plain, too small, too large, didn’t lay flat, too bulky… you name it. I felt like Goldilocks trying out the beds and porridge in the bear’s cottage. So…. What does one do when they can’t find what they want? They make it themselves! And THAT’s the choice I made.

Documented Life Project week 2 www.debhathaway.com

Documented Life Project week 2 www.debhathaway.com

The worse part about designing something, is staring at the blank page. I’m already enrolled in a year-long project titled The Documented Life Project, in which members are given a prompt and suggestion once a week… then we ‘have at it’. The end result is a creative bulging book of mixed media art reflecting my goals and thoughts for the year.

Documented Life Project week 1 www.debhathaway.com

Documented Life Project week 1 www.debhathaway.com

But that’s not what I wanted for my journaling experience. I wanted something I could WRITE in. Not a diary per se, not a planner, not an art project… maybe a combination of those things??? Grabbing my trusty laptop, I began my Internet search in earnest, hoping some obscure image would light a fire under my frozen creative juices and get them flowing. It worked!!!

A site popped up called… Change Your Stars. Apparently the month of January is ‘Change Your Stars’ Month… who knew? This site tells the story of the movie A Knight’s Tale… how a poor thatcher’s son changes his stars and becomes a Knight. If you haven’t seen it then you haven’t made the right choice. Watch it now!! The site’s home page pairs an inspirational word for each day of the month. Viola! My creative juices are flowing like lava! My blank page has a direction. I am off and running on my new path.

Would you like to join me??? I am looking for a few people to be ‘beta testers’ of my journal. My goal is to design this book throughout the year in order to have a product to sell for the next calendar year. For this to happen I need ‘testers’ who are willing to receive my pages, use them, critique them, and BE HONEST. It costs nothing… zero… nada… zip… zilch… except your time, perhaps one hour a month or less.

If you are interested, and would like to be in at the beginning of a new and exciting venture, please send me a private email: deb(at)debhathaway(dot)com.

Woo! Hoo!! I love this choice I made… and hope you are happy with all of yours!

Around the USA and Home Again

Wow! What an adventure!!! I just returned from a wonderful whirlwind around the USA… and I can’t wait to tell you about it.

Driving my daughter’s car from my home in New Jersey, to her new one in San Diego, California was a blast. Since it is winter, I chose to drive the southern route, taking my time and visiting friends and family along the way. Sending out a message on Facebook rewarded me with numerous places to stay along my route. HOWEVER… most of the travel was the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, sooooooo… everyone who offered a place, wasn’t home. They were doing their own holiday traveling.

Hotels abound and there was never a shortage. The first night I decided to use a hotel coupon you find in those handouts at the rest stops. THEY WORK! I nabbed a really nice room in Virginia for a deep discount. My new mission was to see how little I could spend on the nicest room. All in all… I got the best deals and nicest place at The Sleep Inns. Really! Who would have thought? It’s not like I was on a luxurious vacation or anything. No, I just needed a clean, comfortable, safe place to get a solid 8 hours and a hot shower. The fact they had FREE wi-fi and decent offerings at breakfast were only icing on the cake. I signed up for their rewards program and began racking up points for a FREE night in the future.

I stopped in little towns and visited local bookstores, and of course while in Nashville I couldn’t resist shopping in McKay’s. If you haven’t been there yet… make the trip!! There’s one in Knoxville too. What is McKay’s???? Why it’s only the LARGEST bookstore I have ever been in with a ‘buy back’ program. If I were younger, I would start one in New Jersey!!! McKay’s is my mecca! Yes, I bought some books.

My most favorite stop along the way was visiting the Stockyard in Oklahoma City. I arrived too late in the evening to dine at The Cattleman’s Café… so went for breakfast instead. Hearing this place had THE BEST steaks… I ordered Steak and Eggs. WOW! Delicious! There’s nothing better than a perfectly cooked juicy steak, no matter what time of day. The café was filled with real Cowboys, wearing big hats, well-worn cowboy boots and belts with gigantic buckles. Listening to their accents made me giggle.

After my hearty and very filling breakfast, I moseyed (is that a word?) on down to the weekly cattle auction. Cattlemen were bidding so fast I couldn’t keep track. Was it in poor taste for me to arrive at the auction with steak on my breath?? I’m certain all the cattle smelled it. Perhaps I should have eaten AFTER the auction.

I spent some time in the town too. I tried on a pair of real honest to goodness cowboy boots, and as much as I loved them and should have splurged… common sense reared it’s ugly head. I realized I would most likely only wear them once or twice a year. Not a prudent purchase. The same logic was used in the hat department. Although one guy DID say I looked good in my favorite and offered to purchase it for me… but I declined, thinking the price in the end would probably have been more than I was willing to pay (if you catch my drift). I asked about the belts, and was directed to the woman’s department. Whoa! The bling was blinding! Uh… no, no belt for me either.

Next I walked past the tumbleweeds and down a dusty street and entered the National Saddle store. THIS is where the cowboys purchase their spurs and lassoes!!! Exciting!!! An employee instructed me on the fine points of roping a calf… then let me ‘have at it’ on the store display. RINGER! I lassoed a bull! Obviously I’m a natural.

Driving through rural America is really a sight to behold. I was in awe at some of the views. Heading west meant I had a front row seat of the most amazing sunsets. There were so many photo opportunities, but I couldn’t take advantage of them. Speeding down the highway at 70 mph (OK… 80… er… 85) doesn’t allow for much picture-taking. If I pulled over to snap a few, I’d still be on the road today. There was just so much to see!

Well… as I’m sure you’ve heard… The best-laid plans of mice and men often go astray. The second part of this journey was to cross another item off my bucket list… driving the Pacific Coast Highway; however I changed course. The opportunity to visit a few high school classmates arose, all on different days, and all inland, away from the scenic highway. My schedule didn’t allow me the luxury of being able to do everything. I had to make a decision… Pacific Coast Highway, or visit friends. It really was a ‘no brainer’. Friends win over driving a highway, no matter how beautiful, every time!

Visiting with friends, old and new is such a joy. Eating lunch, enjoying each other’s company, remembering old times, learning about their new experiences, is soooo rewarding! Even though we hardly knew each other ‘back in the day’, they are still a familiar face who shared a time and place with me… someone who helped mold me into the person I am today. Learning of their accomplishments since graduation 40 plus years ago makes me realize how lucky I am to have known them, and to be able to join them once again, if only for a brief moment.

I made the right decision.

I’m reminded of the old tried and true Girl Scout song:

Make new friends, but keep the old.

One is silver and the other gold.

A ring is round, it has no end.

That’s how long I want to be your friend.

Thanks to all of you who made my trip special. From family… Lauren, Kevin, Mali, Scott, and Krisa… to friends… Pat, Ned, Cyndee, Diane, Bob, and Karen, with special thanks to Jay for a lesson in the wine biz. Not to be forgotten… my email, telephone, and message buddies, Mark, Tom, HLee, Les, Rich, and Diane… for always keeping tabs on me and making sure I arrive in one piece.

There are still so many stories to tell about this trip… like meeting Karen who so generously took the time to research my family history, all the way back to the 1600’s! Or how Bob offered me the use of their comfortable guest room for 2 nights! Driving through a blizzard in Phoenix! Having an oil change in Flagstaff. Tax free shopping on the naval base. Getting fogged in at San Francisco airport and making the Seattle news… burning off fuel over PA so as not to explode while landing in NJ, spending New Year’s Eve with my daughter and son-in-law in CA and being able to go to bed at 9pm, discovering the harbor in San Diego, eating cookies… lots and lots of cookies, teaching my soon to be daughter-in-law how to use her new sewing machine, shopping on Cedros Ave, photographing the Pasadena City Hall, eating my way around Seattle… and on and on and on. Hey, let’s get together some day and share stories!