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Welcome!

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 Lisa@GrandmasBriefs.com.

Meet the family

 grandma and grandpa
Lisa (me) and Jim (aka PawDad)

blended family
Brianna (oldest daughter) and hubby Patrick with his son Bud (bloggy nickname) 

 grandsons and parents
Megan (middle daughter) with hubby Preston and Jak, Mac, and Bubby (bloggy nicknames for our grandsons)
 

youngest and her fiance
Newlyweds Matt and Andrea (youngest daughter)

 

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    Monday
    Apr242017

    My MS anniversary, plus GRAND Social No. 253 link party for grandparents

    My MS anniversary!

    Twenty-five years ago today, on April 24, 1992, my daughters' elementary school held its annual school carnival. While the girls — Brianna in fourth grade, Megan second, and Andrea first — visited booths with their friends, Jim and I manned the cake walk.

    It was a good night.

    As we walked to the car to head home, my feet felt like they were asleep. Numb yet prickly feeling at the same time. I figured I'd just been standing too long. The numbness hadn't subsided by bedtime, so I slept with both feet propped on a pillow, thinking that might wake them up.

    By morning, they were still numb. The numbness had moved up to my calves, in fact, and a weird and slightly painful sensation of walking on marbles accompanied each step I took.

    The day after that, the numbness had reached my knees, the marbles were still underfoot. I called my doctor, who told me it's likely just stress and to relax and everything will be better.

    It didn't get better. Each day it got worse. Each day I left messages for the doctor... whose nurse sympathetically relayed that the doctor didn't think there was cause to come in.

    By the end of the week, the numbness reached my thighs. Jim called the poison control center, convinced I'd been poisoned by taking too much Sudafed during my recent cold. They convinced him otherwise. Still, my doctor didn't believe he needed to see me, had his nurse tell me to relax and use a heating pad to soothe back and/or stress issues that would surely go away.

    By Sunday, May 10 — Mother's Day — I couldn't walk. I had to crawl up or down the steps of our then tri-level home. Instead of celebrating Mother's Day, Jim took me to the emergency room, literally carrying me through the door.

    Thank God a better doctor than my regular physician was on call. He immediately ordered an MRI. By Wednesday, May 13, the MRI was read and the several lesions on it confirmed multiple sclerosis ("sclerosis" = lesion).

    mri for msMy most recent MRI (2015)

    At that time, one doctor told me I'd never walk again. Soon after, as my vision was failing, another...

    Click to read more ...

    Saturday
    Apr222017

    Saturday movie brief: Recent stinkers to avoid

    During intervals between must-see movies making it to my mailbox from Netflix or streaming services finally showing a film my husband and I have long waited to see, we opt to watch movies we just kinda-sorta thought might be fun or interesting. Movies that might rise above our relatively mediocre expectations.

    The following movies we recently watched on DVD were in that category. Each offered something or another that caught our eye, that we thought might capture our attention to while away 90 minutes or so in front of the TV screen.

    They all pretty much stunk. We wasted our time and I'm here to warn you not to waste yours.

    movies that stink

    THE MEDDLER

    The trailer made it seem this film might resonate, elicit a chuckle

    Click to read more ...

    Friday
    Apr212017

    Friday flashback: Tie-dye for tots... and older kids, too

    I've been publishing Grandma's Briefs for eight years. Which means I have an archive jam-packed with activities and other grandparenting goodies I posted long ago that deserve to be shared again for those grandmothers and others who may have missed them the first time around.

    The following is one of my favorite — most simple and most colorful — crafts I've done with my grandsons. Which is why I've chosen it for my first Friday flashback feature.

    Enjoy!

    TIE-DYE FOR TOTS... AND OLDER KIDS, TOO
    Originally published April 23, 2013

    My youngest grandson, Mac, doesn't have the penchant for craft-making that his older brother does. Bubby's attention span can handle a craft that has, say, six or eight steps, knowing there's a grand payoff at the end. Mac, on the other hand — because he's younger and always on the go, go, go — can handle a craft with one quarter that number of steps, and instant payoff of some sort is key.

    Needless to say (but I'll say it anyway), finding a craft that pleases both can be a challenge. This one, though — a tie-dye project of sorts — was a success. Mac created one or two and was done; Bubby made one after another until the food coloring bottles were nearly empty. Yes, success!

    tie-dye-craft-for-kids

    What you need:

    • Coffee filters

    • Food coloring...

    Click to read more ...

    Wednesday
    Apr192017

    Easter peeps

    These peeps spent Easter Sunday with me. They make my heart sing.

    youngest and oldest sistersANDREA and BRIANNAadult sisters...

    Click to read more ...

    Monday
    Apr172017

    Divin' right in: GRAND Social No. 252 link party for grandparents

    Welcome back! I hope you and yours had a lovely Easter! My family and I certainly did.

    Because of the lovely — and long — Easter Sunday, and because I write my Monday posts on Sunday evenings (meaning this was written soon after Easter celebrations ended and cleaning was completed), I'm too pooped to pontificate on much beyond simply diving right into this week's GRAND Social. So off we dive, my socializing friends...

    Thank you for joining me for GRAND Social No. 252 link party exclusively for grandparents! I appreciate you sharing your links and reading the links of others.

    grand social link party

    How it works:

    • All grandparent bloggers are invited to add a link. You don't have to blog about grandparenting, just be a grandparent who...

    Click to read more ...

    Sunday
    Apr162017

    Easter wishes

    Happy Easter, my friends!

    Easter greeting

    Saturday
    Apr152017

    Saturday movie brief: Easter bonnets

    Easter Parade movie

    Easter parades and Easter bonnets were unfortunately never part of my holiday celebrations, not as a child nor as an adult. It seems overall, though, that even for those who did once celebrate Easter with such fun and finery, parades and bonnets have become mostly a thing of the past.

    Thank heavens for films, where we can still...

    Click to read more ...

    Wednesday
    Apr122017

    A cautionary tale: Look before they leap

    Poor Bud — and Brianna — learned a painful lesson the hard way not too long ago. A lesson in something I never really considered, as a parent or as a grandparent.

    See, on a recent sunny day, Bud and Brianna headed to the local skatepark. Bud, a budding skateboarder, was excited to spend a couple hours trying out a park he'd not yet frequented. (Truth be told, I think he had frequented very few skate parks — if any — since his passion for boarding began.)

    I had babysat Bud that morning, and he mentioned several times the fun he looked forward to that afternoon.

    To say the kid was pumped is an understatement.

    After lunch that day, Brianna and Bud headed to the skate park. As soon as they arrived, Bud could contain himself no longer. He quickly donned his helmet, grabbed his board, and raced to his first obstacle: an awesome, amazing, yet seemingly (relatively) safe jump.

    It looked like this:

    skatepark obstacle 

    Bud figured he'd go up the angled ramp on the front side and down...

    Click to read more ...