Happy Birthday Nana Carol!

This is Joe’s Mum.


She’s just about the nicest mother-in-law anyone could ever hope to have, not only did she create my very nice Joe, but she saw to it that he could cook, clean (I said he can…not that he does) and made sure he knew enough about the way the world works to bring me coffee in the morning and that he knows how to iron a little girls pink party dress.

In addition:

– She knits. (See? you like her already don’t you?)

– She had four kids and lived to tell about it.

– She used to, (because she lived near the ocean and Joe tends to wander) TIE Joe to the house with a length of rope when he was little. I love that. (I’ve had similar urges.)

– Carol has never once said squat about the way that I neglect housework. In fact, she claims that her house was like that when her kids were younger. I know that she’s lying, and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it.

-Her generosity is only matched by her patience.

– Her good attitude is only outshone by her willingness to try new things and go new places.

– Her hair is perfectly, beautifully white. (I hope my hair goes like that. It won’t, but I can dream.)

– The carrot casserole. (If you had eaten it, you would understand.)

– Carol’s wonderful sense of humour, ability to roll with the punches and unlimited grace under pressure. The woman can have an entire house full of lunatics at Christmas, more arriving for dinner, some coming for lunch, neighbours dropping in to the porch, various plane schedules colliding, guitars playing in the living room, Brittany Spears blasting from the basement, granddaughters and neighbourhood rabble playing dress-up and trouping through the living room wearing negligees and cardboard wings and in the middle of all of that, when any normal woman would be sobbing on the bathroom floor, dressed only in pantyhose, begging for sweet release, Carol will be making a wild rice pilaf, opening a decent merlot and getting you a deal on new sheets.

Happy Birthday Carol. We love you.

(PS. Sam says you smell nice too.)

57 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Nana Carol!

  1. Many, many happy birthdays! I, too, have yearned to tie my children to the house. Nice to know that someone has acted on this urge!
    That Laurie

  2. Happy, happy birthday! I’m so pleased to share my birthday with another wonderful woman!

  3. Happy Birthday to your dear mother-in-law! I also had the most wonderful m-i-l who used to tie one of my brothers-in-law to a tree when she hung up the laundry. She knew that if she tied 32 knots to both the back and front–this would give her the time and peace to complete the task before he untied himself and went back to creating havoc!

  4. Happy Birthday to your wonderful MIL. She’s right up there with mine (although mine doesn’t knit, she enjoys being on the receiving end). . . Any chance of her sharing that carrot recipe?

  5. Happy Birthday :). Where is the carrot caserole recipe :).
    I should tie my 3 year old to the house too–I live in the basement, but if I tie him, he can play outside and won’t run to the street–hmmm, something to think about.

  6. Happy Birthday Nana Carol!
    I wish someone would tie *MY* MIL to a tree… er.. I mean.. Steph I’m jealous that you have such a great MIL. She sounds like a real peach!

  7. What a lovely person! I have had more than my share of MILs, and none of mine compare to yours. (My mother’s view is that she has had more than her share of SonsIL. She likes this one the best, and since he provided the necessary bit to gift her with a grandchild, he gets to stay).

  8. Wow, a MIL that doesn’t tell you how to clean house. I didn’t realize they existed. Are you going to tell us next time that the tooth fairy just moved in across the street? 😉

  9. Wow, the first comment today made me cry. Your post didn’t help much either. I love my MIL dearly too, and part of the reason is the wonderful son she created and raised-so here’s to Joe’s mama for raising such a damn fine man, in every sense of the word.
    I have a feeling she is pretty darn happy with her daughter-in-law as well.

  10. And what a lovely photo! I just want to kiss those soft cheeks and hang out for a while in that calm and kind regard. I bet she does smell nice, too. Thanks for showing us how to appreciate the lovely folks in our lives.

  11. Does anyone else remember a time when small children would be seen out with their parents wearing a harness and leash? Whatever happened to those?

  12. LOL I love her already. Wonderful in laws are absolutely wonderful. Especially after your friends tell you in law horror stories.

  13. Happy Birthday Carol! My Mother-in-law (it’s her Birthday today too)used to tie my Husband to the car bumper on camping trips–lol– At least she remembered him before they drove off!

  14. Happy Birthday!!
    You must share some time how you did survive those 4 children.. it gives me hope!
    Especially on a day that I am under the weather and the TWOOO year old has used a permanant marker on himself and the dining room floor and chairs.. then took to bouncing on the top of the bunk beds and pulled all the wipes out of the box.. OI!

  15. Happy Birthday Joe’s Mum! I do hope today you’re able to rest and let someone get You that glass of merlot.

  16. Happy Birthday Nana Carol. I hope I can be you when I grow up. I used to tie my oldest son to the baby’s stroller when we went for walks as he refused to hold anyone’s hand and had an alarming tendency to dart into the street when he saw an interesting car or truck go by. I think at 23 he has now outgrown it….

  17. Happy Birthday Carol…
    Wait – Carrot casserole? My family has its own carrot casserole recipe. It’s from a circa 1980s Thanksgiving edition Canadian Living Magazine (from whence recipes for all things good and delicious are known to spring)… is Carol’s the casserole with the crackers, eggs, cheese and cayenne pepper? Is it? I mean, it’s just a guess – but if that ‘s the recipe, then she deserves her own fireworks display.

  18. I share at least 2 things in common with Nana Carol!
    Happy Birthday, Mrs. Carol!
    (psst. the 2 things are knitting and birthday!:)

  19. But — but — she’s CHIC! I’d always love the stories about her, but I now realize I was picturing a dumpy, frumpy little gramma. This one is quietly elegant! You sure you got the right one? God bless her, my MIL and all MILs who tolerate our differences from them, expecially when it comes to the level of detritus amid which their grands are being raised.

  20. A lovely tribute. Happy birthday and many more to Nana Carol. I LOVE that you tied your child to the house. Much like my own grandmother and great-grandmother, people should know not to mess with you.

  21. Happy Birthday Carol! My mouth watered at the words “Carrot Casserole”- and I’ve never even tried it. The idea of a carrot casserole is yummy, though. And your hair really is lovely!

  22. I too have a DREAM Mummy-in-law named Carol. Aren’t we blessed. Hippo Birdie Nana Carol

  23. hey steph; can i come over and play with your Nana Carol? my hair is white white too as was my mothers.
    marie in florida

  24. pass on a very happy birthday from Montr�al, too. i remember meeting her at the sew-up last november, and she was so warm that i have thought of her since – what a lucky family. cheers!

  25. Happy Birthday Carol. My MIL was a sweetheart too, and a Newfie. She had the most beautiful white hair and soft skin. She also had a no nonsense attitude, delivered with love, I really miss her. Maybe it’s something to do with Newfie sons that you have to tie them to the house for safekeeping?

  26. Happy birthday to Nana Carol! What a lucky daughter-in-law you have! Many happy more…

  27. Many happy returns of the day! I infer that you must also tie great knots since Joe has lived to tell.

  28. Happy Birthday!
    I just want to know, you’ve had urges to tie Joe up? I mean, to keep him from wandering? Or … nevermind. Sorry.

  29. Happy Birthday, Carol. Stephanie, you are a damned lucky woman and I love you for knowing it. BTW, I’m waiting for your return trip to Seattle, for the next book of course….

  30. You are very lucky to have a wonderful MIL like that. I have a picture of me when I was about 3 tied to an apple tree in the back yard. It must have been something they did back then. I’m older than your hubby (I think) age 62 now.

  31. Happy Birthday Nana Carol!
    My friend had a little girl Tyler Nicole yesterday at 2:03p and now she shares a birthday with such a wonderful person – I hope she grows up to be that nice:)

  32. Your MIL sounds wonderful Harlot! I wish mine was the same. She has her wonderful moments, but other times, I could just scream. But then I think she feels the same way about me, so we match pretty well.
    But, how do we get the recipe for Carrot Casserole? I am a total recipe junkie and love the idea of sneaking vegetables in on my kids when they are not looking. For instance my recently discovered “Zapple” muffins, where zucchini masquerades as apples. DH loves the muffins, the oldest thinks they’re pretty good, the two younger boys know mom was trying to pull a fast one, because I kept getting them to try the muffins (no dice). I will succeed, I have more zucchini!
    But really, can we have the carrot casserole recipe? I bet your MIL would share!

  33. Rams – do you have a blog? I promised myself I would stick to only 1 knitting blog, and Stephanie’s would be it, but heck I could fit in reading 2 little blogs a day…

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