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Grandma Moses, the Artist

A German proverb says, “The oldest trees often bear the sweetest fruit.” Besides my own Grandmother Anderson, an amazing self-taught artist, Grandma Moses, truly inspires me. Anna Mary Robertson, a painter known as Grandma Moses, lived until she was 101 years old. She only started painting when she was 76 years old. Her paintings hang in nine museums in the United States, Paris, and Vienna.

The reason she took up painting so late in life is because arthritis had made it impossible for her to hold her needle to embroider, her favorite hobby. However, she could hold a brush just fine, and not wanting to be idle, she began painting. Today, she is one of the best-known American artists in Europe.

Grandma Moses’ Quotes

  • “If I didn’t start painting, I would have raised chickens.”
  • “I paint from the top down. From the sky, then the mountains, then the hill, then the houses, then the cattle, and then the people.”
  • “I look back on my life like a good day’s work, it was done and I feel satisfied with it. I was happy and contented; I knew nothing better and made the best out of what life offered. And life is what we make it, always has been, always will be.”

Grandma Moses had her own unique style, which proved to be very popular. Well known for nostalgic scenes in gay colors, she illustrated farm life and the countryside. She had a knack for bringing a simple scene to life.

An art collector saw some of her paintings in a drug store priced from $3 to $5 each. He purchased all of her available art, and the following year she ended up having an exhibition at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Her art was reproduced on Hallmark Christmas cards, on tiles and fabrics throughout the world.

Grandma Moses had her own unique style, which proved to be very popular. Well known for nostalgic scenes in gay colors, she illustrated farm life and the countryside. She had a knack for bringing a simple scene to life.

A Beautiful World by Grandma Moses

A German fan said of her art:

There emanates from her paintings a light-hearted optimism; the world she shows us is beautiful and it is good. You feel at home in all these pictures, and you know their meaning. The unrest and the neurotic insecurity of the present day make us inclined to enjoy the simple and affirmative outlook of Grandma Moses.

Grandma Moses painted only from her memory. She wanted to share how she lived when she was young with everyone. In her 25 years of painting, she produced more than 1,000 pictures, 25 of which she painted after she turned 100 years old. The price of her paintings $3 to $5 each to $8,000 to $10,000 each. One of her paintings, Sugaring Off (1943), was her highest selling work, bought for $1.2 million USD in November of 2006.

Her work has been compared to that of Henri Rousseau. The particular style they share designates those artists who live in a developed and sophisticated society, but are not trained in artistic perception and lighting. In Grandma Moses’ words, “we make amateur art that sells.”

Shenandoah Valley (1938)

Alas, the story of Grandma Moses would not be complete without the other part of her biography, which is that she had given birth to ten children, half of which died in infancy. She started working as a hired girl at age 12, and continued until she was 27 when she met and married Thomas Salmon Moses. As an adult, she lived in Virginia and made butter and potato chips, selling them to her neighbors. She continued to run the farm with her son after her husband passed.

One of Grandma Moses’ paintings, Fourth of July, hangs in the White House, and was painted in honor of President Eisenhower.

I would be happy to have a tenth of the fame Grandma Moses did with her art. She is truly inspirational and she was not worried about technique or criticism. She just loved painting.

Some of my art instructors told me that I paint in a simplistic manner – much like Grandma Moses. I suppose I am in good company then!

Some of my artwork – Elayne Kongaika
I paint because I love to!
Cultures, Grandchildren, holidays, home, Parenting, photography, travel

The Best Thing to Give Your Grandchildren

I feel very fortunate to be able to get to know my grandchildren and enjoy their unique personalities. When it comes to giving gifts to them, I have found that they usually do not remember from one birthday or Christmas to the next what we gave to them. I have been trying to think of a gift that will last in their memories and be meaningful. It is very tempting to buy them expensive gifts so they think you are the greatest grandmother in the world. But, that only spoils them, and eventually they all expect it – because the word gets out really quick to brothers, sisters and even cousins. So what are we grandparents to do?

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I have come to the conclusion that the best gift we can give our grandchildren is our time. Keeping in touch often and showing them the attention they may not get from their busy parents is important. I used to be better at this and need to get back in the habit of calling, messaging, using Facetime or Marco Polo (an app).

Pay attention and listen to their funny stories. Ask about their friends, school days and other experiences. Children say the funniest things and we don’t want to miss out.

I did not receive large monetary gifts from my grandparents, but I have something that, to me, is much more valuable. I have their written histories and pictures. My grandmothers wrote journals and even wrote their favorite sayings, poems, recipes, and songs. Through them I am somewhat familiar with their parents, brothers and sisters. I treasure these precious books and pictures, and I am trying to do the same for my grandchildren by keeping my own journal.

My paternal grandparents and a few of us (I’m on the right with the funny hair)!

Another gift I think that is valuable is to teach them how to use money. By gifting them money for special occasions like birthdays and holidays, they will have the opportunity to learn how to use it wisely. My grandkids know that grandma is a thrifter. I shop at thrift shops and last Christmas I just laid it all out and let them choose what they wanted. I think they liked it (you would have to ask them for sure). It is better than getting them something they will never wear, use, or think about again. I have on occasion taken some of my grandchildren thrifting with me and they usually find something they like.

We can encourage our grandchildren to save up for future expenses they will have like college, a car, or their wedding. We can also advise them to spend it on something that they need instead of wasting it on something trivial. We can suggest that they save it up so that they can purchase a more expensive item that they really want. This teaches them about saving and managing their money. This summer we hired our grandson to mow our lawns. He has decided he wants to put together a computer and is saving up to buy each of the parts. He is well on his way to get his computer.

Finally, Grandparents can offer unconditional love to their grandchildren. The world can be a negative place. We can be the light that greets them every time we see them, gives them a hug, a compliment, and listens to them when they are low. We should make time to attend their activities as much as possible and plan playdates to spend quality time with them. I am not consistent in doing this with all of my grandchildren, but hope to get better. That is the reason we retired to Utah from Hawaii – to spend more time with my grandchildren. We don’t know how much longer we will have to be with them and influence them for good, so we should make use of the time we have left.

So, the best gifts that I feel we can give our grandchildren is time, our journal, money management help, and unconditional love. I’m sure there are many more, but I chose to focus on these four at this time.


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Best Gift for Your Grandchildren

I have been a grandmother now for fifteen years and have twelve grandchildren. I feel very fortunate to be able to get to know my grandchildren and enjoy their unique personalities. When it comes to giving gifts to them, I have found that they usually do not remember from one Christmas to the next what we gave to them, so I have been trying to think of a gift that will last in their memories and be meaningful. It is very tempting to buy them expensive gifts so they think you are the greatest grandma in the world. But, that only spoils them, and then they all expect it – because the word gets out really quick to brothers, sisters and even cousins. So what are we grandparents to do?

http://elayne001.hubpages.com/hub/The-Best-Gifts-You-Can-Give-Your-Grandchildren

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Christmas Family Pajama Tradition

Christmas Family Pajama Tradition

Many families have a tradition of getting new pajamas or nightgowns every Christmas. These nighties are given on Christmas Eve, so they can be worn during the gift opening on Christmas morning.

You may have a tradition similar to this. Christmas traditions help bind the family together. Some industrious women enjoy making new pajamas for the holiday, or they can be purchased quite inexpensively.

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Hawaiian Holiday Recipes

Hawaiian Holiday Recipes

Here in Hawaii, the holidays mean great food. Yes, we usually have the traditional American food,  and, because there are so many different cultures living here, we also have a potpourri of other delectable food items to please all the guests and neighbors. So besides the turkey, stuffing, potatoes and gravy, you may find on the table some Hawaiian Pork Chops, Hawaiian sweet bread, and one of my favorites, mochi. Here are a few recipes you might like to try.

Cultures, Hawaii

Mele Kalikimaka or Merry Christmas from Hawaii

I grew up in Utah where we have four definite seasons. We lived down the canyon from the ski resorts, and even made igloos in the back yard during the winter.

When I first moved to Hawaii, my Christmas question was: “How does Santa get into the houses to deliver all the presents?”, since most houses here in Hawaii do not have chimneys. The answer was quite simple. He enters through the door.

 

Of course, Santa comes on a surf board to Hawaii rather than on a sleigh with reindeer.

We also have a diffferent way to say Merry Christmas. It is Mele Kalikimaka. You may have heard our Christmas song.

Mele Kalikimaka (Song Lyrics)

Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say

on a bright Hawaiian Christmas Day

That’s the island greeting that we send to you

from the land where palm trees sway

Here we know that Christmas will be green and bright

The sun to shine by day and all the stars at night

Mele Kalikimaka is Hawaii’s way

to say Merry Christmas to you

 

Mele Kalikimaka or Mele Kaliki Maka is a Christmas song sung as a warm greeting from Hawaii. It came from the Hawaiian pronunciation of “Merry Christmas”.

Since Hawaiian does not have all English phonemes, in particular the “R” and “S”, “Merry Christmas” becomes “Mele Kalikimaka”. It is a transliteration of “Merry Christmas” and not really a translation of it.

The song was written in 1949 by Robert Alex Anderson who is better known to fans of Hawaiian and hapa haole music as R. Alex Anderson. One of the earliest recordings of this song was by Bing Crosby and the Andrew Sisters in 1950.

No worries celebrating Christmas in Hawaii. Our favorite thing to do on Christmas is take a picnic lunch and head for the beach. Try that in Utah!

Usually the first week of December is when the big town turns on the Honolulu Christmas lights. It is a very festive and exciting time for everyone.

There are rides for the children and plenty of food booths. And they always have excellent Christmas music by choirs, quartets and other groups.

There is an Electric Light Parade which goes down King Street and ends up at the Honolulu Hale. They also have plenty of Christmas decorations and displays. The celebration continues with a concert featuring local bands.

Since winter in Hawaii is usually when we have the largest waves, there are many surf competitions.

Although we celebrate a little differently than in the mainland, Christmas gifts are shared with friends, neighbors and family. It is a time to also share delicious Hawaiian delicacies, hang out and sing favorite songs. Often a family will have a luau with poi, kalua pig, laulau, lomi lomi salmon, and haupia or mochi for dessert (they are ono – yummy!)

http://elayne001.hubpages.com/hub/Mele-Kalikimaka-or-Merry-Christmas-from-Hawaii

Grandchildren, holidays, home

Buy Bananagram Word Games for Christmas

Get your daily serving of fruit takes on new meaning with the great games from Bananagram.

These fruits are not just for children. Aging brains need workouts too.

The fruit word game assortment includes Bananagrams, Appletters, and Pairs in Pairs.

It is a great word games for kids of all ages.

Appletters is similar to domino and is for ages six and up where players connect letters instead of dots.

Bananagrams is game similar to scrabble, but without the board.

With a total of 144 letter tiles, each player works independently to create their own crossword.

After a player has used up all their letters, all of the players must take a new tile from the pool.

When there are no more tiles to choose from, the first player who used up all the tiles in their hand wins.

Pairs in Pears is a portable, compact spelling game. Letter tiles are encased Inside a pear-shaped pouch featuring various designs (dots, lines, blank and solid).

It is a fun way for children to develop cognitive and memory skills while learning alphabetical order, word construction, consonants, and vowels, vocabulary, rhyming, etc.

My family has these games and they play themselves silly. It is great for mind exercise and most helpful for the children.

Here are the RULES FOR BANANAGRAMS
Place all 144 tiles face down on center of table.

These tiles are referred to as the “BUNCH”.

For games of 2-4 people, each player takes 21 letters from the bunch, keeping them face down.

For 5-6 players, 15 letters are taken. For 7-8 (or more) players, 11 letters are taken.

SO NOW THE GAME BEGINS!!!

Any one player says “SPLIT” whereupon all players turn their own tiles face up and proceed to form their OWN collection of connecting and intersecting words.

The words may be horizontal or vertical, reading left to right or top to bottom.

Each player may rearrange his/her own words as often as desired.

Players DO NOT take turns, but play independently of each other and at the same time.

When a player has none of his/her original letters left, that player says “PEEL” and takes a tile from the bunch.

At this point ALL OF THE OTHER PLAYERS MUST ALSO TAKE A TILE FROM THE BUNCH and add it to their collection of letters.

At any time, and as often as desired during play, any player may return a difficult-to-use letter back to the center of the BUNCH, face down, but MUST TAKE THREE LETTERS IN RETURN.

The player must declare this action to the other players by saying “DUMP”. This exchange does not affect the other players.

Play continues until there are fewer tiles in the BUNCH than there are players. The first player with no remaining letters shouts “BANANAS” and is the winner of that hand.

The other players may now inspect the winning hand for misspelled or incorrect words.

Proper nouns are not acceptable.

Any available dictionary may be used.

If all words are acceptable, that player is the WINNER OF THAT HAND.

If any word in the “winning” hand is found to be unacceptable, that player becomes the “Rotten Banana” and is OUT OF THAT HAND, and must return his/her letters, face down to the center bunch and the game now resumes for the remaining players.

For those who want to play a more relaxed game
BANANA SMOOTHIE
All tiles are placed face down on the table.

The letters are divided equally among the players, remaining face down.

Players then play the regular BANANAGRAMS game, but there is no “peeling” or “dumping”.

The first player to use all his/her letters shouts “BANANAS” and is the winner of the hand.

If the game ends in a stalemate, the player with the fewest remaining letters is the winner.

You can even play it by yourself – BANANA SOLITAIRE
Place all letters down on center of table.

Take 21 letters and proceed to play the game.

Only peel when needed.

Try to beat your own best time in using all 144 letters, or try making as few words to use all 144 letters.

This can be a relaxing way of honing your Bananagrams skills.

http://hubpages.com/hub/Buy-Bananagrams-Word-Games-for-Christmas