January 01, 2010

Wisdom for a new year.

An "auld" mug. Found in Dot's basement.

A couple of weeks ago, I asked readers to share the wit and wisdom passed down to them from grandmas, mothers and other women in their lives. The responses were too good to keep to myself. Many were sweet and poignant, and some were even snort-out-loud (SOL?) funny. Who couldn’t use a little wisdom and a chuckle from our foremothers to kick-off the new year?

Modern Mama:
The juiciest fruit lies just out of reach - to encourage us to pick more!

Purple Flowers:
My Grandmother passed this saying to my Mother: "When the trees dress, we undress. When the trees undress, we dress."

Kathy from Aspiring Ameliorant:
A Dairy Queen run is a perfectly acceptable substance for dinner!

The Quintessential Magpie:
My grandmother's favorite quotes:

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

Pretty is as pretty does.

And my personal favorite: Old people and babies are the only people that can get away with anything, and when I'm old, I plan to take full advantage of that!

And she did! :-)

My mother always told me to give the bigger slice of cake to the other person, and company does as company pleases. I still try to adhere to these adages, and life is sweeter because of it.

Rhonda at Shellbelle’s Tiki Hut:
My mother taught me that if you rub a bit of cooking oil around the rim of your pot when boiling pasta it will not boil over.

I also have one I passed on to my 18-year-old granddaughter just last week. Score just the skin on a pomegranate in quarters and then break it apart in a large bowl of water. Gently scrape out the seeds with the flesh of your fingers. The seeds will fall to the bottom, while the skin and membranes all float to the top.

Deborah from The Fairfield House:
My Grammy taught me about the 8th wonder of the world -- vinegar -- and all it's uses; apply to sunburn to take the sting out, use it with newspaper to wash windows, use it to clean any appliance (washing machine, coffee maker) to name but a few.

From Maureen B. (no blog, but she should have one! :-):
My grandma used to have a little ditty she recited to me, "Whatever you are be that, whatever you do be true, straightforwardly act, be honest, in fact, be nobody else but you."

Susan at Crunchy Granola:
My grandma taught me that you're never too old to eat hot peppers straight out of the jar. And that knitting is fun, and button jars are a good habit to cultivate.

Linda at Lime in the Coconut:
That real butter is where it's at... "what is in that oily, yellow stuff anyway?! "

Jennifer at The Laundry is Never Finished:
"Be" in the moment-truly put your all into it instead of longing for the past for future.

Save, organize, label and date things of great importance or sentimental value-it's a wealth to future generations.

Write love letters and keep those that you receive. Bundle them in twine-it's such a gift for those that come after you!

Jean Martha at Renovation Therapy:
Grandma Martha always insisted that you apply fresh lipstick before you go out, fluff your hair and do NOT entertain men who pursue you too aggressively. Shut them down and move on. Additionally, lavender looks lovely on everyone.

Heidi at Faboolosity (whom I must thank for giving me the biggest belly laugh of this post):
This is easy, since I already blogged about her: Mama taught me how to squeeze a nickel so tight, that the Indian rides the buffalo. And of course, to keep an aspirin between my knees, so I don't get pregnant :-)

Emily from The Southern Belle Blogs:
I know that my advice isn't as fun as some of the others, but it's important to me. My mom always pressed the issue that you're never too old to come home again. As a 22 year-old with no direction in life, that means a great deal to me that she is always ready to welcome me back home.

From Melody:
My grandmother, Miss Prim the beauty pageant winner, taught me to keep a cocktail napkin wrapped around my glass at house parties. Stay sober enough to hold the glass and the napkin together, and use it to hide when your drink is low so you pace yourself without getting offers for more refills. Of course now everybody uses colored plastic cups, but she taught me this when I was in kindergarten. Nobody else in my family dared mention drinking until long after I'd started. I wish I'd had more time with her before her stroke. I sort of taught myself how to sew. But I know how to hide my drink from sailors.

Amy Sue Nathan of Just Write:
A little sand on an apple never hurt anyone.


Peg Brantley from Suspense Novelist:
Don't breathe in the scent of flowers too deeply. You never know when you'll get bee poop.

Sarah from Sarah’s Scribbles:
My favorite wit from my mom: Don't be an idiot (Yeah, she's a real softy).

She also taught me the best thing for a bad sunburn (we're all pale enough to pass for Cullens) is to sit in a bathtub full of Deft.

My paternal grandmother was still doing cartwheels in the back yard when she was 55.

My maternal grandmother always says: God made dirt and dirt don't hurt.

S. Bear Bergman:
My Nana's favorite is: "Fortune favors the well-prepared." She says it whenever my brother or I attribute any part of our success to luck.

"NEVER STAY HOME TO DO HOUSEWORK IF YOU GET A BETTER OFFER" - Those are words of Mom's that I will ALWAYS live by!!

From mbmiller:
"You can paint a hearse fire engine red, but that don't make it a fire engine."

I took this to mean that you can change the outward appearance of something, but it doesn't change the essential nature of that thing.

Caren from City Momma/Country Momma:
The best advice I ever received from my mom was to read everything you can. It's served me well over the years. When others don't know where to go or what to do, I always do because I read signs, directions, all kinds of info that passes right by everyone else. Thanks Mommy!

j.cro at snapshots and confabulation:
This is kind of sad... I don't know if I have any tips from my Grandmothers - they both died when I was young - or too young to really appreciate any wisdom they would have had for me. However, my grandma Sid used to say, ‘If it's meant to be - it will be.’

I do have Matty's Gram (she's turning 88 this year!) and the saying I always attribute to her is, ‘It's not for me to judge.’ The best part is - she MEANS it. She's one of the most open, caring, giving and forgiving people I've ever had the privilege to know.

Weef from Rue de la Clef:
I thought long and hard about the best piece of advice my mom or grandmother had ever given me. While both ladies have/had a lot of wisdom to give, I couldn't really think of anything until last night.

I was on the phone with my mom lamenting my wilted poinsettias and I asked her: "Mom, how often do you need to water poinsettias? " and her advice?

"Google it!"

Best advice from a mom? If you don't know something, know where to look for the answer! (And be techno-saavy).

Maya from Springtree Road:
My grandmama, who was born in 1913, always told me not to get married until I was at least 30 because "you don't have any kind of good idea who you are before then." One day, when I was 28, she asked me when I was going to get married. I told her I was following her advice. She said, "Well then, I guess you'll do all right. "

Kwana from Kwana Writes:
Something I learned from my grandmother? Well, when stirring batter you have to put your wrist and back into it. Yes, it should be some work. She is not a fan of the hand mixer. Oh, and bang out air bubbles. Thanks for letting me think of this.

And thank you to everyone who shared memories. Here’s to making beautiful memories in 2010.


Anonymous said...

Laura -

Thanks for posting these. They are all wonderful words to live by.

- Deborah

The Quintessential Magpie said...

That was a fun read, Laura! Loved this advice.


Sheila :-)

The Quintessential Magpie said...

And your cup is super neat! :-)

Anonymous said...

Laura...thanks for sharing all of these words of wisdom. They are wonderful and so enjoyable to read!

Maureen B. said...

P.S. Oops, that last anonymous was me...Maureen B. :)

Beach House Living said...

A great read.

modernemama said...

You really do find the prettiest things - and the best quotes ;)

Rue said...

This was such a fun read Laura! Thank you for sharing those :)

I wish you all the best in this New Year!


Oh and I love the chenille bedspread on your guest bed! ;)

Oh! And get those pumpkins off that porch missy! LOL

Liz@Violet Posy said...

Laura what a wonderful post, great wisdom from great women. Fantastic xx

Purple Flowers said...

That was a great idea. I really enjoyed reading the comments, and had a good laugh at many of them. :)

Jen R. said...

What great words of wisdom!!! Happy new year!

Kwana said...

Thanks so much for posting these. They were so much fun to read and really made me smile. Happy New Year!

Leigh of Bloggeritaville said...

Hi there sweet Laura!!!
What an ingenious post! Happy New Year my friend!

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Great post Laura! I don't know how I missed your request, but I will add one extra here for you now. "Raising teenagers is like trying to mail jello to a tree."...just thought you would enjoy that one.
♥, Susan

Maya said...

These are so cool!!

To more wisdom and humor!

Happy New Year!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Sage advice from all...I wish I had the honor of knowing my grandmothers better. One died when I was very small and the other one did not speak English as she came to this country in the early 1900's as an illiterate orphan immigrant from the Ukraine.
Actually her life taught me a lot ... she left a land locked country to take a voyage across the ocean in a boat (can you imagine?) Then she went through Ellis Island in New York harbor and then onto a train to the mining area of Pennsylvania where she became the wife to my grandfather who paid off her boat fees. He was a young widower who had three children who needed a mother. My grandmother had three more children and was widowed herself at 30 when my grandfather was killed in a mine cave in. So she raised 6 children all by herself (my Mom the youngest) without speaking English, from the produce of only a few acres of land and the milk from one cow. She was the bravest person I ever knew and whenever I think of all her sacrifices I am truly humbled.
We all have immigrant ancestors...what extraordinary people they were!

Aimee said...

I loved reading these!! What a fun idea, and it just goes to show that we really do get wiser as we age. :) Those grannies knew their stuff!

Happy 2010!

Joyce said...

A lot of wonderful words of wisdom to fit in your bowl. All are wonderful.xo

desiree said...

Love these. My favs are from crunchy granola and lime in the coconut...seriously how can you go wrong with butter?