Category Archives: Becoming Grandma

Clean Water Forever!

Clean Water Forever for my Grandson!

Clean Water Makes Everyone Happy!

You Are My Sunshine!

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Photo: Ceiri Thomas
Post-Processing: Kim Nixon in PSE, LR, VP

I sing the song “You are My Sunshine” to both the photographer and of course to my grandson! I could not think of a better photo to look at on a snow-day in Marquette then a photo of Hiawatha Music Festival!

Halloween and the Closest I get to Pausing

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It is October 31st and Halloween is often the closest I get to pausing. I even slept 10 hours last night. Instead of running down trails, I cleaned the studio. I am moving into hibernation mode. Preparing for NaNoWriMO. Cleaning the studio. Gathering acorns…or art supplies.

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But really the one thing on my mind that took priority over all, was seeing this little Grand Baby Boy on Halloween! This is Liam my two-year-old Grandson. I do not see him enough. I am not the grandmother I planned to be. But I am determined to be more involved. To know more of his world.

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My mind is quiet when I am with Liam. I focus only on him. Oh and a bit on my daughter–Ceiri’s interactions with Liam are amazing. She is a wonderful Mommie!

Halloween_insearchofhoney_1684 When I visit I feel so blessed and I am in awe and wonder. Even listening to Liam blow full force into a recorder playing only high notes! Even a Liam who is stuck on the word–NO. I am in a gentle time of life where I can let things be, observe and learn just by watching.

When I was a young mommie I had three toddlers under four years of age. I was in constant motion. I was young, impatient. And life seemd hard. I was not the mommie I wanted to be.

I can do better, now.

As Grandma Kim.

Trippy Kim, Porcupine Mtns. Then & Now

Kim Porcupine Mtns. 2007

Photo Credit: Mike Hainstock
Kim at Tree Near Presque Isle River, Porcupine Mountains 2007
Size: 18/20

Kim Porcupine Mtns. 2009

Photo Credit: Mike Hainstock
Kim at Tree Near Presque Isle River, Porcupine Mountains 2009
Size: 9/10
Weight Loss: 47 pounds

Kim Tai Chi, 2007

Photo Credit: Mike Hainstock
Tai Chi Kim at Presque Isle River, Porcupine Mountains 2007
Size: 18/20

Tai Chi, Kim 2009 (500px)

Photo Credit: Mike Hainstock
Tai Chi Kim at Presque Isle River, Porcupine Mountains 2009
Size: 9/10
Weight Loss: 47 pounds

Liam with Mower at Shed

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My Grandson turned Two! Here he is with a Bubble Mower and an old shed. I cannot believe how fast he can run with his mower. I cannot believe how fast he has grown. It might be that grandchildren grow-up faster than our children. I loved the colors of the mossy steps and his soft hair in this photo. The moment had me wondering his thoughts.

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Mike suggested I try BW treatments of this photo–I like the affect here. I used Virtual Photographer from Optikverve and chose the BW-Bygone Era action and then tweaked it to filter in the red tones. The image becomes and instant classic shot. I like how we do not know how old the toy is now–the plastic colors of the mower are gone.

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With this treatment I loved the blur–it adds to the Flashback mood. I love how angelic it make’s Liam’s hair. He is soft. The stairs grainy, murky and the darkness of the shed more forboding. Here is what I imagine he was thinking when I intially took the photo.

Watchful

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Liam’s Tree was planted shortly after his birth. I am watching it carefully this year; last year’s drought has shocked the top of the tree.

Play Date

Liam in Shadow, Grandson, Photo by Kim Nixon

Embracing Life, My Week in Review

Left to right: Skinny Grandma, Grand Baby Boy, Beautiful Daughter.

Left to right: Skinny Grandma, Grand Baby Boy, Beautiful Daughter.

It isn’t easy being green! Those famous words sung on the Muppets by Kermit the Frog haunted me this week. As many of you know I work with Developmentally Disabled Children and Adults in their home settings. My job enables families to function without placing their children in institutional facilities or homes. It is good work. I have a steady schedule that allows me to afford my life (to a point). I have a wonderful boss. I like the people I work with, we call them “consumers” a word I do not like.

So how does Kermit come into this?

Well let’s say it is was a week of unhappy “consumers” or a week where I am remembering making twice what I do now, or a week where I have that I used to be a (fill-in-the-blank) going on. Or even a week where I look at how little my paycheck affords me and I want to cry that I did not work harder, get a second job, or reign in my spending even. Heavy Sigh.

Understanding duality, I looked for the upside.

And I remembered it was a week of facing difficult secrets and approaching my eldest son in an awkward conversations via long distance cell call. The end of the call had me feeling 50-pounds lighter.

It was also a week of seeing the scale move, my clothes fall off my body, and my knee and shoulder feeling stronger. Discovering a new place to do Yoga–Mukta Yoga (more on that later)–and having new awarenesses in regards to my physical and spiritual body.

It was a week of bonding with Mike. Moving forward with Mike. A way of thinking “ours” not yours and mine.

The week brought love into my home with a family-dinner with my Grand Baby Boy, my daughter and her significant other.

I cleared out the clothes, that are falling off of me, from closets and drawers. Made clean and clear space in my home , body and mind.

I am seeing tiny buds, green things popping up before the snow even melts, and I do not cringe wen I see photos of myself. I am embracing today.

I love Kermit the Frog too! But now as I reflect over the whole-week. I think it is sad, that Kermit song. I am looking for a new song, upbeat, happy and hopeful. If you have suggestions leave a comment, please.

Christmas with Liam

Grandson Liam Playing with Tops

Grandpa Mike picked up spinning-tops that light up. Liam watched very carefully and in a very short time, Liam would pick-up the top with two fingers and set them down–not bad for a little one only 17 months old.

Grandson Liam Opening Presents

Liam loved boxes this Christmas. Put-in. Take-out.

Grandson Liam Opening Presents

Liam opened his presents one peel at a time and then taking the wrapping to mommie or dada. And one time to Uncle, but then changed his mind and took the strip of paper to someone else. Liam was sharing.

This Christmas I had all three of my children and my grandchild come on Christmas Day. I feel so very blessed.

Mike the Elder will have all his children this holiday, too. Mike the Younger and Beth spent Christmas Eve night with us before heading out on an epic journey for 5 months. Tonight Terry, who is on leave from Naval Station Great Lakes, will arrive.

For photos of my yard on Christmas Night visit A Winter Journal, Notes from the Upper Peninsula.

Art Every Day, 27/30, Writing Truth as We Age

It’s all very strange, each year I get a bit older. I end up working with women who were once in my Junior Girl Scout Troop or working along side students I have had in class. This January I will be forty-five years old. I am a mother of three wonderful adult children and grandmother to two.

I live my life very open and it sounds cliché but I tell everyone I am an open book, everyone knows my life. But, I am becoming more cognizant of the secrets I do have. There are simple statements of joy that I repress as they may cause others pain. So in the respect of those people I keep silent.

That silence reminds me of the days of abuse. My life prior to becoming an adult was a life of fear. I was a runaway to avoid my own home. I did not tell teachers, law enforcement, or counselors of that abuse until I was safely beyond the abuse. I dealt with the truths of my childhood years later after having children of my own.

So, yesterday, I was asked where a woman could turn to for help–No insurance–Not on welfare–But in need of counseling. I thought of the weekly headlines announcing cuts to mental health services in Marquette and Alger County and I knew that odds of finding services were very slim. I had to give some hope so I suggested the Women’s Center.

As my hands age, lines become deeper. As my hair grays, and wrinkles around my eyes fan out, they suggest wisdom. As I enter the next phase of my life, I am getting more outspoken of secrets. I don’t want to live contrary to my own cliché, “My life is an open book.”

This has been a year of taking photos, and in many ways photography is easier as my writing has always been a bit autobiographical whether poetry, fiction, or memoir. Even non-fiction articles have a strong “I voice.” The words that would rise to the surface felt like words I could not say, write, or share. I avoided my writing. I picked up a camera.

In the coming year I will write more. It is not that I regret picking up a camera-I love digital photography and I will be pursuing that strongly, too. But it is time to return to the page.

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