Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Emotions run high

Sanders celebrated her 14th month birthday by having adenoids out and tubes in her ears. With a little Grace this will eliminate antibiotics and she will sail smoothly without ear infections.
Sanders did great. Hopefully morning will bring that sweet baby back to normal. Sweet baby girl. Love her

Fun in the sun

We had such a nice time at the beach for a few days. The weather was just right and the Gulf of Mexico was delightful. All 3 grands love the sand and the water. Kennedy Jane and Kallie spent all day playing in the sand and floating in the Gulf. They tried their hand at boogie boarding. Such fun. This was Sanders 2nd trip to the beach. She loves the water and tolerated the sand quite well. She only ate a couple of hands full of sand. She took long naps on the beach. Love my beach babies.
Enjoyed my girls and their guys. Had a delicious meal at Caymans. Yummy

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

In the spirit of love

You will find, as you look back upon your life, that the moments when you really lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love...  -Henry Drummond

I don't have to look back very far... Just thinking about today I really lived. Spent the day at the box with 2 out of 3 grands and we had a grand day.  I got box tided a bit and clothes washed and packed for our family beach trip. I listened as those 2 grands played the day away with such imagination, it makes my heart smile.
Looking forward to tomorrow with all 3 grands. Miss my baby girl.

Monday, July 21, 2014

What a Catch

Kennedy Jane and Kallie went offshore fishing. What a catch Kennedy Jane. Love those two. Sisters!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Kallie's Dumb Erasers for Dumb Questions

In every situation there lies some truth. The way I react to dumb comments or questions about Kallie's skin says something about me. I can't stop the stares nor dumb questions. So how can I train myself to react differently? I will practice patience. For the ones of you who know me personally, know that is a huge challenge. Some people are just dumb. That is a fact of life. But there are far more kind and smart people in our lives. So for those dumb occasions I am going to arm myself with this response. Kallie has Ichthyosis. Ichthyosis does not have Kallie. God made her this way. How are you?

Kallie says " this is the way God made me". Kennedy Jane says "Kallie has a skin disorder and sometimes she does not like to talk about it."  We all have our language and hopefully we can be "dumb erasers". A new title.

We have business cards to hand out when Kallie enters a new group or takes part in a new activity where people may need or want an explanation.

Curiosity is defined as: a strong desire to know or learn something. As human beings, we all are curious about things we view as different or odd. Having said that, as human beings and certainly as leaders or adults, we have a responsibility to think before we speak. Perhaps through Kallie's "Dumb Erasers Club" we can offer a brief comment with a simple explanation and keep calm and teach on about Ichthyosis.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Old pjs and shoe boxes

What do you do with old pjs and shoe boxes?  At Camp Gane we make doll furniture. The girls cut up the pjs and used the fabric and glue to cover shoe boxes. They made beds/sofas ( night and day use), and blankets, pillows and robes. We then covered storage boxes with a blanket and turned the closet into a  two-story doll house. Very exciting. They have played camp, hotel, and other various activities with their creation. Imagination is a wonderful thing. Believe in magic. It is good for the soul. #lifeisgrandatcampgane

Monday, July 14, 2014


Do you believe fairies dance around the moss at night?  Well they do!  Kennedy Jane, Kallie and I saw them with our on eyes.   Kennedy Jane saw one move. Kallie saw one blink her eyes. I saw something shinning back... Not sure what that was. Magic I guess. The girls were very excited. Imagination is a wonderful thing. Don't give up on yours no matter what age you are! Believe in magic.  It is good for the soul. #lifeisgrandatcampgane

Fairies sequel:  today the girls discovered a fairy wing. This was their discovery. We wondered what happened to the fairy and prayed that all was well with her. This discovery can only be explained as magic.  Believe in the magic of life.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Dinner...the noon meal

It's what's for dinner (note it is noon in Mobile, Alabama).    Hamburger steak, corn on the cob, Lima beans and fresh tomatoes and pepper. Lots of mayonnaise. Yep!  I grew tomatoes and peppers. Very yummy.

At 63...what do I know now?

Growing up there are so many milestones to look forward to: first steps, first grade, first date, drivers  license, graduation, marriage, children. These are important stages of life.

There are the ages that you so look forward to: double digits, 13, 21.  Then those favorite years began to lose their sparkle. However, those years continue to go by. One day you wake up to grandchildren and for the lucky ones retirement.

Then what?   That question has as many answers as there are questions. For me it means looking at today.  Right now! Being present today!  Do I look forward to another milestone year?  65. Yep 65!

AARP reports that we the people over age 50 are 100 million strong. We will soon control more than 70% of disposal income in this country. And still older Americans are virtually ignored.  If you notice most advertising targets the young. I find that very interesting. What it says to me is, my time is now.  The present.

So at 63... What do I know now?  Now is my answer. I am here now. Now is my time. Now I spend my time with my Grands. Now I am here...present. Tomorrow belongs in the future. Yesterday belongs in the past. Be here now. Find your now and enjoy.

Try something new. Lose  the attitude of growing old, and grasp today. Now is where everything happens. Trust in God and follow your faith...now.

As my new adventure in writing my blog "Camp Gane", I hope to encourage seniors (60+) to follow their passion. Get up and enjoy now!  We are strong.  Remember only 30% of disposable income belongs to folks younger than us.  Makes me smile.


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Don't ask!

The top 10 questions you never ask a child with Ichthyosis

1. Are you a leopard today?

2.  What happened to your face?

3.  Is your face dirty?

4.  What is wrong with your skin?

5.  Did you get a sunburn?

6.  Have you tried A.B. C. treatment?

7.  Does it hurt?

8.  Will it get better?

9.  Do you have eczema?

10.  Is it contagious?

All of these questions have been asked either to Kallie or about Kallie. Your idle curiosity is not my concern. Ichthyosis is a rare skin disorder and it is quite likely that the person asking those stupid questions will never see another child like Kallie. The next time your curiosity gets the best of you...think before you speak!
We love our rare little girl

Friday, July 11, 2014

New Adventure

Kennedy Jane and Kallie are going to gymnastics camp at Nassar gymnastics. On our way, I asked Kallie what she would say if someone asked her about her skin. Swinging her legs in her car seat she said with pride..this is the way God made me.

  The first day I stayed and watched for the entire time. It was raining, but I guess I wanted to make sure they were ok and having a good time.  That they did.

Today was the first solo day for them and the anxious one was Kennedy Jane. Who would guess that she would be nervous? We talked through her anxiousness and I assured her I would not be far.  She went and had a great time.

Over dinner tonight, they were telling me about their day. Kallie was very animated about telling me of the new friends she made. She says... You know Gane ..the girl with the short blonde hair. The girl said she wasn't sure about touching me but then we started playing and she held my hand. Then she said... I like you just the way you are. I asked Kallie if that hurt her feelings.  Oh no Kallie said... She is fine now!!! Love her spirit.

In a private conversation with Kennedy Jane, I asked her if she thought Kallie's feelings were hurt today. She said she told the little girl not to say anything to Kallie so her feelings wouldn't be hurt. Those two make a great team.

Each time Kallie ventures out into a new group of people she makes friends. She is a courageous little girl with tons of spunk. Kennedy Jane is such a good big sister.  She always tries to protect her little sister.  They are sweet girls.

The irony is I helped prepare Kallie for the new friends and possible questions. And Kennedy Jane is the one with anxiety over a new experience. I know Kennedy Jane gains comfort of having her little sister along. Such security with each other.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Keeping up with the Reids

And she is off...Sanders is walking. She loves the water. This little girl brings so much joy to our family.  Love them...Ali, Ryan and Sanders.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Carly Findlay from Tune into Radio Carly invited me to share Kallie's story for Ichthyosis awareness month in May. Here is Kallie's story

Kallie is an extraordinary little girl living an amazingly ordinary life in the skin she is in. Her biggest concern of the day is what she wants for her birthday and who she wants to be for Halloween. Oh how I wish it could stay that way.

  Kallie will be 5 years old the end of May, and she is growing in so many ways. She has become quite independent. She likes to be dropped off at carpool and walk to her class with her big sister Kennedy Jane by her side.  She is learning and thriving at school, where she is  appreciated for who she is.  There is a Kallie Day planned at her school by a Senior who is devoting her Senior Project to Ichthyosis.

 Kallie has learned to say the word "Ichthyosis" and in her 5 year old language she says .."I have scales". Not sure whose word that is, but it works for Kallie. She readily explains that "God made me very special. We don't know anybody that is alive that has skin like me.  I am extra extra extra special". And for now that is good enough.

Winter has been difficult for Kallie and a real challenge for us to keep her skin moist and comfortable. Kati (mom) is always researching and trying different approaches to keep Kallie as comfortable as possible.  Occasionally, Kallie complains, but for the most part she just goes with the skin she is in.

We are all looking forward to summer and the swimming pool and trips to beach.  Summer is much kinder to Kallie. She loves to swim and the salt water really helps her skin.  A win win!

Kallie received a Tiny Super Hero cape and Kennedy Jane( older sister) has a Tiny Super Hero sidekick cape. They are both very proud. Kennedy Jane is 7 years old and wise far beyond her years. She steps up and protects Kallie and is her very best side kick.

During Mardi Gras Holidays, Kallie...Tiny Super Hero, Kennedy Jane, the best side kick,
Kati ( Mom), and I (Gane) went to Disney world. We had a marvelous time. Those 2 little girls are very brave and fearless. So I put on my still a kid at heart mode and rode endless roller coasters and enjoyed each bump and sharp curve.  While Kallie was focused on the next big adventure people were starring at Kallie. For the life of me I can't begin to imagine what is going through a seemingly intelligent adult's mind nor what they are thinking, when  they stare at Kallie. I want to say "if you knew how foolish you look you would stop staring at this very animated child who is thrilled beyond words with what ride awaits the very long line. ". Because Kallie is 5 years old, she is not eye to eye with adults so most of the stares go over her head. For me it is very disturbing. As her Gane I want to protect her. But as time goes by, we won't always be there to protect her. So it is my prayer, that in the next few years we can equip Kallie with the strength and  aptitude  to face those stares with an understanding beyond her years. I trust that Kallie will be comfortable in her skin and the stares will bounce back with a confident smile. I hope Kallie can stand on a platform of acceptance and teach others about people with visible difference and help each of us to be comfortable in the skin we are in.  

We all face challenges in accepting our weaknesses and embracing our strengths. Kallie has more than her share. My prayer for Kallie is that she lives her life to the fullest and becomes the very best Kallie. So far she is exceeding my expectations.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Rude Truth

Today at the Mobile County Public Library, Kennedy Jane, Kallie and I attended a group presentation with people from the Mobile County Environmental Center. The presenters had wild animals to show and talk about their rehabilitation.

People were so rude and disrespectful.  I was a nervous wreck. The teacher/educator in me wanted to clear the room, especially adults. Many times in my career, I called out the adults in the room. Children follow their example. My heart ached for the presenters who begged the group to be quiet so the animals would not be afraid. A handful of children and their parents were very disruptive. But the majority of the chatter in the room came from adults talking to each other. Rude doesn't come close to describing this behavior. You are not at home. You are not in a bar.  Clearly you were smart enough to get your children to this public library program. So sit down and listen.

As usual, my sweet girls were listening. However, the children and adults sitting around them were being disrespectful and disruptive. The public does not know how to act  in public. Stay home!

Are You A Leopard Today?

That very likely could be the most outrageous question I have ever heard!!

 Kallie,as many of you know, has ichthyosis and her skin looks differently than others. However, at 5 years old, Kallie is basically unaware that she looks differently. Today is no exception. She is dressed in a precious bright yellow smocked dress and her hair is in a ponytail. Just a regular day for us.

At the Mobile County Public Library a teenage library volunteer asks the question to Kallie...are you a leopard today?  Seriously. Makes my heart hurt. Thankfully, Kallie just let it roll off her back and didn't respond. She either didn't hear her or didn't understand what she was saying. Kallie was busy writing her name on her name tag and running off to find her seat for the program.

 If looks could kill, the girl would be dead.  She attempted to apologize, but no apologizes accepted. That behavior is unacceptable.  We do our very best to help Kallie deal with her skin and understand that she is unique. She is taught to say..."God made me that way".  She is beautiful in every way. However, we all know that one day those comments are going to be hurtful to Kallie. Makes me furious.

I reported this conduct to a library worker. After stewing all afternoon, I plan to speak to the Branch Manager. I am going to insist that the entire staff research Ichthyosis and have some sensitivity training. I have often wondered what place it would be that Ichthyosis would be discussed. Why not start at the Mobile County Public Library staff?  I will offer to do the sensitivity training. I have trained many volunteers during my career. Why not Ichthyosis sensitivity training?  And why not Mobile County Public library staff?
A good place to start.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Sisters' Love

The big girls and I go to the public library on Tuesday. The other day at the library Kennedy Jane and Kallie were participating in a group (30-40 girls) activity. I was sitting across the room and watching them from a distance. They make me proud. Both of them are courteous and polite and engaged in the activity. When they were selected for a small group activity, I watched as Kennedy Jane made sure Kallie was in tow. Kennedy Jane had Kallie by the wrist and was making sure she had a spot and understood what to do. Sometimes I wonder why Ichthyosis  and why Kallie. Today I know that Kallie couldn't be more protected and loved. Sisters love is growing strong. I still wonder why Kallie and why Ichthyosis, but I know our rare little girl is loved and cherished and that is just good enough. Ichthyosis does not define Kallie. Love defines Kallie. #lifeisgrandatcampgane

Sunday, July 6, 2014

I am a farmer

I have peppers. So exciting. Some kind of critter is eating my tomatoes. Not cool.

I am quite pleased with my flower garden. Growing very nicely. Ms Penny did a great job. I really enjoy my garden.

I have told myself a lie..."that I can't grow a thing". Well that lie is not true. The tomatoes have been delicious. Now I have peppers and the flowers are beautiful. What lies have you told yourself?  Try something new and prove yourself wrong.  Enjoy!!


Saturday, July 5, 2014

Dog hair...sheesh

Some tasks are just plain mundane. Dusting, vacuuming, and mopping up dog hair are those afore mentioned tasks. Sheesh!

Winston is my constant companion. He was a stray that found me. He shares my small space fondly refered to as the Box. Winston leaves hair balls that are similar to tumbleweed all over the Box. Thus returns the mundane tasks of getting rid of the dog hair...again.

Winston is a sweet dog but is often a pest when company arrives. He gets very excited.  He is sleeping at my feet as we speak. He follows me around as if that is his job. Except for depositing dog hair through-out the box, Winston is a great house mate.  He rarely complains, (well he does bark a lot). He is always happy to see me and he cares not how I look or how much money I have or those other lots in life that seem to be of great importance to others. A mystery to me and Winston. Love my crazy dog.

Tea Bag

I love sweet ice tea.  Very sweet and very cold. So I went to Sonic yesterday to get a gallon of sweet tea to take to the 4th of July celebration at Ali and Ryan's house.  To my surprise, I got a gallon bag of sweet tea. The bag reminds me of... Never mind. You decide for yourself. Laughter is good for the soul

Friday, July 4, 2014

4th of July

Across the United States today, Americans will celebrate the 238th anniversary of their country's independence from Britain with parades, picnics, fireworks, rodeos and concerts.

Growing up my family went to Panama City Beach Florida every 4th of July week. Daddy worked at West Point  Pepperell and the mill closed two weeks out of the year...Christmas and 4th of July. So we went to the beach. Some of my fondest memories are with my family at the beach.

These days it just costs too much to spend 4 th of July week at the beach. For me that is. Clearly not so for many.  The crowds at the beach make travel nearly impossible. So we plan to go the beach the end of July when some of the beach goers stay home. We love the beach. Only about an hour drive on normal summer days.

The beach is good for the soul. It is especially good for Kallie. Salt water, sand and plenty of sunshine wash away some of the discomfort of Ichthyosis.  A win win situation for Kallie. Can't wait for our beach trip. Making memories at Camp Gane.

Today Ryan will be serving up some yummy treats at his house. Very exciting!

How will you celebrate 4th of July?  Be patriotic and  eat plenty of good food, laugh and enjoy with family and friends. Be safe. Go make some memories where ever you are today. Today is God's gift to you.  Enjoy "One Nation under God" today.


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Camp Gane Field Trip

A couple of my dear friends and I spent a few days at Calloway Gardens. We shopped, ate, visited the gardens and ate some more. Friends, food, gardens and shopping are good for the soul. Thank you Ms Penny and Ms Joan for sharing your time with me. Time is the one thing we all have the same amount...24 hours in a day. I often wonder where all the time savers put their saved time. It is more prudent to use your time wisely. Spending time with friends doing what you enjoy... Time spent wisely. #lifeisgoodatcampgane


At my house, as a child, we had breakfast, dinner and supper. Lunch was in a sack or lunch box. Old habits die hard. These days I often refer to mid day meal as lunch.  It usually is in a sack or box from a drive-through. Not so much like my childhood. But for the nighttime meal I have supper.
So what's for supper? Steak and fried green tomatoes plucked from the vine. Yummy. Wheel of fortune, and I am winning!

Happy birthday Ali

The very first birthday post on the blog.
That was then...this is now. That baby Ali looks like baby Sanders. Time has gone by fast and has brought happy times. We have had our fair share of bumpy times, but we held hands and made it through. I am very proud of you Ali. You are a wonderful daughter and mother.
You are the best Spanky. Love you and Happy Happy Day

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


BFF and avid supporter of Camp Gane. Betsy and I have been friends since grade school. Best friends for life

My Girls and their guys

Camp Gane is a day by day story of life as Gane to three precious granddaughters. My two daughters are Moms to my 3 Grands. Kati is  Mom to Kennedy Jane and Kallie. Ali is Mom and Ryan is Daddy to Sanders. My girls and their guys are the very best. I am very proud of my family.

Shortly after Sanders was born in 2013, the girls pled their case for me to retire and become Gane full time to keep my 3 Grands. It was an offer I couldn't refuse. The timing was right for me to retire and draw early SSI benefits. I get my checks every month.  My income now is measured by smiles and love of my 3 Grands.  My 3 Grands are the Board of Directors at Camp Gane.

Life is good at Camp Gane!

Wes, Kati, Savannah (friend), Ali, Ryan,
Kennedy Jane, Kallie, Gane and Sanders

The Box

My home is just under 1,000 square feet and filled to the brim with my stuff. I love my Box.  It holds all of my treasures and essentials. My dear friend Penny Smith has extended my living space by a fabulous make over of my front yard. The backyard belongs to Winston. I love my Box. It is home sweet home for me