Grandchildren – The Race Against Time

This week marked both my first born grandson’s 18th birthday and my second born granddaughter’s 16 birthday. Both major milestones. I can hardly believe it. I can close my eyes and see them both – their baby faces crystal clear. I am often in denial about how fast the time has gone. They have been a joy all these years. From the time I saw them swaddled in hospital gowns until today, they have been such a wonderful addition to our family. We have six grandchildren in total – six! That in and of itself seems impossible.

Our grandson lives nearby so we were able to celebrate with him. His parents chose to schedule some races at the LeMans GoKart racetrack. Those that have followed for a while know I suffer from vertigo so the idea of going around a sinuous track over and over for 20-30 minutes was not going to be my cup of tea. I opted to be the photographer and document the occasion.

Hubby mastering the first curve

Every driver must have a valid drivers license or go through some specialized training before they are allowed on the track. Each driver must watch a safety video and the safety rules are fairly strict. As I watched the video and the other racers, I knew I was making the right decision by fulfilling the role of observer rather than driver.

C4F2AEA0-95EF-47C0-AEC9-B84A79AD99C4You have the option of wearing a racing suit and gloves, but everyone must wear a neck brace and a helmet. Before long, my family was suited up and in their cars. It was fun to watch and it was quickly apparent who the competitive souls were! My grandson and my husband. They ran two back-to-back 10 minute races. Then they came into the lounge for a break. Evidently it was cold on the track. Everyone was talking about how hard it was to steer and they could feel the effects in their arms and shoulders. After a rest, they went out for their third and final race.

After the races, we went to the local Outback restaurant for a celebratory dinner. It was so nice to listen to the chatter as all of them had a good time racing. I captured their lap scores from the closed circuit television in photos so they were able to talk a little smack to each other about their driving prowess. All lighthearted and fun, it was a perfect evening.

After hearing everyone talk, I was able to add to the list of reasons I was glad I did not attempt to race. If you are my age, you may want to consider these things before taking on such a feat:

  • the smell of gas/exhaust
  • the vibration of the car on the track
  • the noise of the engines for 10-20 minutes straight
  • my neck!
  • the cold

So, yes, I am a wuss, but I am fully prepared to fill the supportive role. Everyone, including me, had a great time. I kept thinking about the movie “Ford vs Ferrari“ and the 24 Hours of Le Mans race. I do not know how professional drivers do it. There is a reason you do not see grandparents my age on the professional racetrack!

This post is part of Linda Hill’s Just Jot It January. Inspiration today from Barbara.

ArtoftheWeek, Blog

JusJoJan – Busy, busy

I remember chuckling because my mother-in-law stayed so busy when she retired. Now I get it. We finally get to stay busy doing what we want!

I finally got around to taking some photos of the jewelry I’ve been making. These are some of the photos from David and Molly’s Silveramics ®️ Workshop. (Design concepts by David and Molly.)  I hear there are still openings for their February class in Mexico!

The focal points of the jewelry pieces are made from blended colors of porcelain clay. It was such a great workshop and now that I know more what to expect, I have more ideas!

58E1A9A1-4867-4C95-8812-9AECD519E141I also finally got around to polishing the last pair of earrings I made. These are my own design. Sterling silver with a textured interior. This is the thing. I worked hard to make these. Afterward, I learned a much easier way to make the curve. So, I live and learn! The next time, it will go much faster.

This afternoon we are going to help my grandson celebrate his 18th birthday. I cannot believe how fast this time has flown.

It seems like only yesterday…

This post is part of Linda Hill’s Just Jot It January writing inspiration. Today’s inspiration word was given to us by Saumya.



The Rise of Graphic Novels for Children

Wednesday, after our drive into town to get lunch, we headed to the book store. I noticed an interesting trend when I took my grandchildren to Barnes & Noble. The entire back wall display was entirely made up of ‘graphic novels’. These books which are written in comic book fashion are evidently the rage with young readers.

My granddaughter wanted one book in particular. I ran it by her dad and he said no, but it was more subject matter related than style of book. She was a little bummed and the book search went a little downhill after discovering she could not have the book she wanted. It is a little difficult because her reading level is much more advanced than her maturity level so book selection can be difficult.

Back to the graphic novels. These books are comic book style with pictures much like comics. They are wildly popular. As my granddaughter put it, ‘they are fun to read and not so boring.” It made me wonder if it was the storyline that was fun or if it was the reduced number of words on the page that made the books appealing.

I then took my search to Amazon – king of the book mountain. Sure enough, there is a category of children’s books – comics and graphic novels – and there are many, many books in this category. And they are extremely popular it seems.

It’s funny how book trends for children change. My soon-to-be 18-year-old grandson has never enjoyed reading. When he came to stay with us over the summers, he always veered toward the comic magazines. At the time they were rated so parents could choose what might be appropriate. We had many a disagreement about these books he wanted to buy that were not appropriate for his age. Our now-16-year-old granddaughter always read big thick books. She loved the words – the more complex the better.

The next grandchild read a lot of chapters books, but she was the first to read graphic novels. They were occasionally peppered in with other books so I did not see this as a developing trend.

I believe in reading – comics are better than no reading at all. It is too easy to squelch a child’s interest in books if not careful. I did notice that many of the classics are now reproduced as graphic novels. Books such as “Anne of Green Gables”, “A Wrinkle in Time”, “Black Beauty”, and “Anne Frank’s Diary” are now available as graphic novels. Is this a positive trend? Will children re-read the longer versions after having read the graphic novels?

I know images are so important in the early years of reading. Board books are vital in developing a young child’s interest in stories. I guess the psychology in what draws a child to a book has not changed and since the introduction of Manga, graphic books literally took off. According to what I read, school book fairs sell out of graphic books quickly. Libraries now have sections dedicated to children’s graphic novels.

Maybe I am old school and not wanting to change. I remember the magic of reading “Charlotte’s Web” imagining what every character looked like. I did not want the book to end. I felt the same about Nancy Drew and all her adventures. But I guess I should get on board. A search for ‘graphic novels’ on returns 462 books. A search on Amazon for ‘children’s graphic novels ages 9-12’ returns over 20,000 items.

I understand this new form of Young Adult literature is revitalizing the classics as well as enticing children to read more. I guess I just need to break down and buy one to see for myself. Or maybe I’ll check the library first.

What do you think? I might just be late to the party.

This post is encompassing words from the last two days of Just Jot It January hosted by Linda Hill. I am playing catch-up.







1LinerWeds & JusJoJan – Road Trip

I am off to see two of my grandchildren today. It is an impromptu trip because they are out of school. We are going to lunch and who knows, maybe somewhere to buy some books. I love to buy them books.

Our granddaughter’s reading level is advanced beyond her class. Her teacher encouraged her parents to buy her some books that would encourage research. I found a print on demand book about a wolf named Journey who was tagged and tracked from Oregon to California where he found his mate and his pack. She loved it and has already done a report on the book. (I know because she read the entire report to me over FaceTime. 🥰)

Our grandson is younger and he can also read well, but he does not enjoy it like his sister. He dreams of being a “YouTuber” someday 🙄 even though he is only allowed on YouTube with his parents. Tech Wiz’s both of them.

Today they are excited I am coming over. Even if we do nothing, they are excited to see me.

“Our faces will become works of art that our grandchildren will treasure.”
Adriana Trigiani

1LinerWeds and JusJoJan are both brought to us today by Linda Hill. Check out her blog for guidelines and why not play along?


JusJoJan – Rest and Relaxation

Man, oh, man, am I looking scraggly this morning. I was hit with what appears to be a stomach bug last night. As a result, I did not sleep well and let’s just say I will not be venturing outside unless I get a nap.

I had really good intentions of photographing my jewelry yesterday and making some design changes, but that did not happen. I may get to it today, but I am not holding my breath. I just need to release the expectations I have of myself and just let the day unfold as it will.

Tomorrow I hope to take a drive to see two of my grandchildren since they are out of school for a teachers’ workshop. I thought it would be fun to take them out to lunch. It’s still rather cold (it finally warmed up to 36º F) but tonight the low will dip down to 23ºF with the high expected to reach a balmy 49ºF. Spending my time in the car driving does not sound like a bad way to spend a cold morning especially when seeing my grandchildren when I arrive!

I bought Judy Blume’s book “In The Unlikely Event” after Christmas. The book is adult fiction inspired by the events during the winter of 1951 – 1952 when three separate airplanes from three different airlines (American Airlines, Miami Airlines, and National Airlines) crashed in Elizabeth, New Jersey killing a total of 108 people. I think this afternoon may be a good time to start reading it. I have a large stack of books I want to read and this one just happens to be at the top.

A day of self-care is a good way to recover from a sleep-deprived evening. Tomorrow will be a better day I am sure of it.

Writing inspiration by way of Just Jot It January is provided by Linda Hill with today’s inspiration word provided by Cheryl. It’s easy to join in. Head over to Linda’s blog for the rules (which are guidelines more than rules) to play along.