Saturday, May 24, 2014

Against the Grain

About 4 or 5 years ago, my grandmother bought me a small African Violet plant for Mother's Day.  I was appreciative, as I had never had any plant in my life, except for rose bushes. However, I wasn't sure how I would do with keeping this plant alive.

I did quite well, indeed.  

Within a year, I had to re-pot that little plant TWICE and soon after was told I should separate the plant to make a few smaller plants.  Well, how skeptical was I about that?  Very.  But it worked.  I separated the plant and I gave one to a good friend of mine (who, by the way, still has hers and it is very large). 

Within another year, I had to re-pot and separate again.
Several years later, I have 5 beautiful African Violet plants.

How did I do this?  Do I have a "green thumb?".  Hm...well, the answer is simple.

I went "against the grain".

When I first got this little plant, I was told not to leave the plant in direct sunlight, not to water from the top.  Guess what?  I have mine sitting on my kitchen windowsill in direct sunlight for most of the day and I water from the top.  And they thrive.  I do rotate them throughout the day so the leaves don't burn and I'm careful not to let the water touch the leaves.  But what I've been doing goes against what "they" say.

Also - my grandma gave me her African Violet plant to "revive", as somehow she had killed it.  I brought it back to life and it is gorgeous.

So my advice to you?  If "they" tell you to do certain things with plants and it doesn't seem to be working?  Do the opposite (well, unless that involves never watering them...don't do that).  Go against the grain.

I did, and I'm a happy woman.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Who Am I

I am a stepmother

I am a stepmom of 2 great kids (now 15 and 20). However, since I've been married, I have heard from many cold-hearted people that I'm not a mom because my stepkids don't live with us. Their mother is alive and she has full custody but we have always gotten them on weekends, holidays, school breaks, etc. They have always had their own rooms in our house, with their own things.

Mother's Day has always been awkward for me because of how people have treated me. One woman once said to me “Oh honey, you're not a mother” and therefore, I did not get a flower in church as all the other mothers did on Mother's Day.

No, I have never given birth, I have never adopted, and my stepkids don't live with us. But I am a stepmom nonetheless, and that counts for something.

I love my stepkids. I worry about them, pray for them, help them, sacrifice for them and help my husband raise them the best that I know how. It's not an easy road but I've done my best. They're great kids and I feel lucky to have them in my life. I think being a stepmom is harder than anything, whether you have custody or not! It's not an easy role.

Before my husband and I were married, his ex wife said to me “Love them as if they were your own because you're their mom when they are with you”.....WRONG! I am their “mom” whether they're with me or not.

So on this Mother's Day, I give a huge shout-out HOORAY to all the MOMS out there......that means stepmoms, people who only have pets and call them their “fur babies”, aunts, sisters, grandmothers, foster parents, dads who have had to be both dad and mom....the list could go on.

Happy Mother's Day to ALL WOMEN who have cared for a child, or children, whether you have custody or not. You play a huge important role in that child's life, don't let anyone tell you differently.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

For My Mother

I have known, and know, a lot of good mothers. But I have to say, mine is one of the best. Since my sister and I were born, my mother has done nothing but love us, worry about us, and make sacrifices for us. Sure, we have our up-and-down moments but every relationship does. But when it all boils down, my mother is one of the most unselfish women I know. 

 Mom at Lake George

My mother would give her last dime to my sister or myself

My mother would give us the last pea on her dinner plate if we were still hungry

My mother always welcomed our friends, and boyfriends, into our home

My mother drove down to my house late at night, in her pajamas, to stay overnight and comfort me after my grandfather passed away, just because I asked her to

My mother took me in time after time when I moved out and failed and had to have a place to live...again

My mother never said “I told you so” when my sister and I screwed up

My mother made sure my sister and I had fun growing up but we also had discipline

 Sister Leah, mom and myself when were were little

My mother continues to give of herself to this day. Whether dropping off a surprise pick-me-up, or care package, or “are you ok” text (because for some reason no matter how far away we are from each other, she always seems to know when I am not having a good day or am “off”).

My mother is unselfish with giving, whether it be money or groceries or her time, and she is that way with everyone.  She loves to make people at work laugh; she takes care of my widowed grandmother; she is always there when I need her, always there if her sisters need her and always there for her friends.

So this Mother's Day, I would like to say thank you to my mother. Thank you for giving, loving, caring, sharing, laughing and crying with me...for me....because of me. Thank you for giving me life and raising me in a Christian home, loving God, taking me to church and Sunday School.