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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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    Giveaway: Enter to win a $50 Visa gift card to see Love the Coopers

    This is a sponsored post and giveaway, courtesy CBS Films; opinions are my own.

    Love the Coopers banner

    Family gatherings at the holidays often include loads of food, fun, and laughter. In my family, they include tears. Or so is the hope for my husband and daughters. See, in my family, my dearly beloveds compete with one another to see who can make me cry—by giving me...

    Click to read more ...


    Final treat, plus GRAND Social No. 179 link party for grandparents

    Final treat

    Yay for November! Before we plunge headlong into the new month, I have a final October treat: My grandsons in their trick-or-treating attire!

    Soldier Bubby...

    soldier costume 

    Hulk Mac...

    Click to read more ...


    16 spots I want to take my grandkids on Michigan's sunrise coast

    michigan attractions for kids 

    I live in the mountains and my grandsons live in the desert. Which means neither they nor I have much opportunity to enjoy natural water features—lakes, rivers, and so forth—and the outdoor adventures related to them. It's so very dry here, so very dry there.

    Because of our similarly parched home states, when I recently toured gems of communities on the "sunrise coast" of Michigan—primarily the Tawases and Alpena (thanks, Pure Michigan!)—I couldn't help but consider how much my landlocked grandsons would be thrilled by ocean-like Lake Huron as well as...

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    On art and brotherly love

    My two youngest grandsons are great buddies. While big brother Bubby is off at school, Mac (4) and Jak (16 months) spend a lot of time together enjoying such things as kicking back on Mommy's bed to watch TV while Mommy gets ready for her day.

    brother watching TV 

    Their close connection doesn't keep Mac from throwing Jak under the bus now and then, though. Especially when it...

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    Grandma's colorful, creepy crowd

    Halloween has gotten far more colorful since I became a grandma.

    A little more creepy, too, I must admit.

    Proof lies in my seasonal pics from the past seven years:

    halloween costumes 

    Oh, how I love my creepy, colorful...

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    Boost your bucket list: Volunteer to be a lighthouse keeper, not just lighthouse visitor

    Lighthouse lore and lure is hard to resist, which is why many baby boomers have a lighthouse tour or two on their beloved bucket list. Few folks know, though, that you can not only tour lighthouses, but that can keep lighthouses, too.

    Meaning, you can take a turn as a lighthouse keeper. Stay overnight at the historic sites. Take your own personal tours up, down, and throughout majestic towers that once guided and cautioned captains and crews as they traversed smooth or stormy waters.

    As long as you do a few things in exchange for the exciting experience.

    Many of the numerous lighthouses dotting the shorelines of the Great Lakes have volunteer light keeper programs. Some of the programs require a fee while others may be free. The light keeper program of the Tawas Point Lighthouse—located in Lake Huron's Tawas Bay along Michigan's sunrise coast—is one of those that's free. And it's a perfect, picturesque example of how many lighthouse keeper programs work, on the Great Lakes as well as other historic lighthouse locations along our country's coasts.

    tawas point lighthouse

    Tawas Point Lighthouse has been in operation since 1876 and is located 2.5 miles southeast of Tawas City, MI. The historic 70-foot lighthouse—85 wrought iron steps up...

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    Spooky stories, plus GRAND Social No. 178 link party for grandparents

    Spooky stories

    Sheesh! Can you believe Halloween is Saturday!? Time flies at such a scary speed!

    Thankfully there's still time (admittedly little) to sit with a kiddo or two and enjoy scary Halloween tales together. Scary being relative, of course. I've shared a few sorta-scary ideas in the Back Room, some to read with a child in your lap, some for bigger kids to enjoy on their own:

    halloween books for kids

    Click on that graphic above to get the details on each of the festive tales from Candlewick Press I had the pleasure of reviewing over the weekend. I look forward to...

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    7 Halloween books for kids (review)

    candlewick press halloween books

    Contrary as it may seem considering their concern about monsters under their beds and boogeymen in their closets, kids like to be scared. Proof of that lies in their endless appetite for books about things that go Boo! and bump in the night.

    All kids. Of all ages. (And even some grown ups, too. You know...

    Click to