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Thank you for visiting Grandma's Briefs, where I write on the good, bad, humorous and heartwarming of being a baby boomer, grandparent, parent to adult children, wife and writer. Peruse the place, leave a comment or two, and feel free to email me any time at

Meet the family

 grandpa and grandma)
Jim (longtime hubby) and Lisa (me)

brianna and patrick
Brianna (oldest daughter) and Patrick (her boyfriend)

 Preston and Megan
Preston (son-in-law) and Megan (middle daughter)

Matt (Andrea's fiancé) and Andrea (youngest daughter)

three grandsons
Bubby, Jak, and Mac — Bloggy nicknames of Gramma's stars (Megan and Preston's boys)



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    No more babies, plus GRAND Social No. 181 link party for grandparents

    No more babies

    At this point in time, I no longer have baby grandchildren. That truth was confirmed (again) last week when Megan texted a few photos of fun at the park.

    The most recent baby, Jak, is clearly no longer a baby.

    toddler boy 

    Nope. Jak's a big boy. Just like his brothers, Mac and Bubby, who...

    Click to read more ...


    Saturday movie review: Bless Me, Ultima

    Like most movie lovers, I have a long list of must-see movies. As I seek a film to watch, I usually pluck picks from the top of the list, leaving many older films languishing at the bottom despite my once strong desire to see them.

    Today I review one that's been on my list for quite a while and unfortunately sat near the bottom far too long. BLESS ME ULTIMA is based on the beloved to some, yet oft-banned, sometimes even burned book of the same name, written by Rudolfo Anaya. The book became an instant classic—and recipient of acclaim or admonishment—soon after publication in 1972. I never read the book, but I have heard positive things about it as well as the expansive, cinematic it inspired.

    Bless Me Ultima DVD

    BLESS ME, ULTIMA reportedly stays true to the book, which tells the touching and often brutally honest coming-of-age tale of Antonio, a seven-year-old Latino boy living...

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    8 intriguing questions... and answers

    pondering angel

    I've had the box of Family, Let's Talk questions on my desk for a while now, with plans to use some of the more intriquing ones as the genesis of a blog post or two.

    As I read through the fill-in-the-blank questions yesterday, I realized I'm more interested in how you, the Grandma's Briefs readers, might answer them than...

    Click to read more ...


    What is Veterans Day?

    In gratitude to and celebration of the men and women who have served and continue to serve our country.

    "The life we live today has been shaped by the veterans."

    Thank you!

    God bless the veterans, and God bless America!


    Origami Day, plus GRAND Social No. 180 link party for grandparents

    Origami Day

    This Wednesday—like every November 11—is Origami Day, an annual celebration of the art of paper folding.

    Origami Day is an ideal time to gather some paper, gather some kids, and assemble some turkeys to decorate the Thanksgiving dinner table. Or just to try your hand at the ancient Japanese art of folding squares of paper into decorative shapes and figures.

    Traditional Japanese origami, which was practiced as far back as 1603, uses only paper, but I say there's nothing wrong with using scissors and glue when starting out—especially if you're teaching kiddos how to make a turkey.

    Like this:


    Gobble, gobble!


    Click to read more ...


    Saturday movie review: Darling Companion

    As I gather together the elements for my movie reviews—the trailer, movie poster, a featurette or two—I usually find that my fondness for the film I'm reviewing increases. I'll watch the trailer and think, Oh, yeah! I really did like this film!

    Darling Companion movie

    Not this time. The only thing that increased while gathering the review elements for DARLING COMPANION was my...

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    Wanted: Outdoor and history enthusiasts to experience Alpena

    History buffs seeking outdoor adventure will believe they've struck gold when visiting the city of Alpena on Michigan's east coast. Alpena is rich with both—many times in the same activity or attraction.

    alpena michigan

    The perfect description for this quaint community on the edge of Lake Huron comes by way of Mary Beth Stutzman, longtime resident and CVB president. "Alpena is that place where history and heritage collide with relaxed outdoor adventure," Mary Beth says. 

    Such glowing words are to be expected from the gal charged with promoting...

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    National Family Caregivers Month and 'Doing The Right Thing'

    November is Family Caregivers Month, which recognizes the challenging work of the more than 65 million people—29 percent of the U.S. population—who provide care for a chronically ill, disabled or aged family member or friend (according to National Alliance for Caregiving in collaboration with AARP). More importantly, the campaign stresses the need for those around the caregiver to offer support... and breaks from the job, when possible.

    I am not a caregiver. I'm fortunate in that my own mother fares well on her own at this point and doesn't require care. My mother-in-law does, though. Professionals in the nursing home where she resides provide her primary care. Jim's sister Sue, who lives near the home, tirelessly offers Mom the nearly daily love, care, and attention only a family member can provide—despite Sue having a full-time job and busy life of her own, needs of her own.

    family caregiver

    Sue is, without doubt, the hero of...

    Click to read more ...