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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 James 

 grandsons and parents
Megan (middle daughter) with hubby Preston and Declan, Camden, and Brayden
 

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

 

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    Sunday
    Aug302009

    Fave photo of the week

    Bubby visits the splash park for the first time -- and believes he's found heaven!

    Friday
    Aug282009

    The Saturday Post

    I love music, possibly even as much as I love the written word. But I'm not the kind of grandma who listens to Enya or Celine Dion or Sting or whatever kind of music it is that grandmas typically enjoy. (See ... I don't even know what my fellow nanas are listening to.) No, I like my music a little more ... raw.

    A CD I got this week underscores that. And yes, I said CD -- not because I'm an old grandma but because the import I've been lusting after isn't available on iTunes. As soon as it arrived, I ripped open the package, popped it in the Bose and cranked it. And for the past week, this woman's music has been my earworm.

    I love this musician, I love her music. And I'd love to share both with you. Although the video below isn't one of the songs on the CD I just got, I think it's appropriate for my grandma blog because it's a song she wrote for her mother.

    What makes this video exceptionally cool, I think, is that it's from a private concert the artist did at what appears to be a middle school -- and she's not someone you'd expect to find playing in front of kids, as she regularly drops F-bombs during live performances. But for this performance she keeps it clean, calls the kids to gather around her onstage, and belts it out in her usual heart-shaking fashion (minus the F-bombs, of course).

    Ladies and gentleman, I give you Beth Hart:

     

    Friday
    Aug282009

    What kind of mother am I??

    When the girls were young, I did my best to make sure they knew their way around the kitchen and could manage cooking at least a meal or two with no problems. From the time they were able to see over the edge of the counter, they helped me with meal prep and cookie baking. Once they were pre-teens, each girl was assigned a night to cook; they chose the recipe, I bought the ingredients, they put together fabulous (and sometimes not so fabulous) fixin's for the family ... mostly on their own.

    But there's one thing I clearly forgot to teach them: how to cut up a chicken.

    How did I come to realize this horrible mistake on my part? Yesterday Megan and I were discussing ways she and Preston could save money. Raising Bubby is expensive. Living where they live is expensive. Life itself is pretty darn expensive right now. So she wanted some tips.

    One relative no-brainer I offered was to buy whole chickens and cut them up instead of buying the much-more-expensive-per-pound chicken breasts.

    You'd think I'd suggested she use cloth diapers or head to the farm to milk the cow for Bubby's bottles.

    "I don't even know where you buy whole chickens," Megan said.

    Ummm ... at the grocery store, I told her.

    "But do I have to cut off its head?" Megan asked in disgust -- and in all seriousness.

    Oh! My! Gosh!

    "Yeah," I told her. "And you have to pluck all the feathers, too."

    I truly was flabbergasted. How in the world did I forget to teach this basic skill? It's not like it's knitting or sewing or making homemade jam -- things that are nice to know but not really all that important.

    And how in the world can she not remember that I never once brought home a live chicken and decapitated it at the kitchen sink in preparation for our Sunday dinner?

    I've done something terribly wrong as a mother.

    To remedy the error of my ways, here's the long past-due lesson, Megan. (Brianna and Andrea: You better watch it, too ... as should any of you other youngsters who don't realize there's a whole lot more chicken to be had than just boneless breasts!)

    Sheesh ... I'm a scared to find out what other basic things I've forgotten to teach my daughters.

    Thursday
    Aug272009

    Bubby + Roxy: A Love Story

    Wednesday
    Aug262009

    Kind stranger

    A few days ago, I received a kind e-mail from a stranger. Well, she wasn't a complete stranger, as she had commented on one of my posts. But it surprised me just the same to get an actual e-mail from someone I didn't know rather than just a notification that I had a comment to approve.

    This is what her e-mail said:

    Dear Lisa,
    I recently discovered your blog and have thoroughly enjoyed reading through your recent and not so recent posts. You are funny, witty, charming, and obviously have a huge heart!

    I decided to give you this One Lovely Blog award for your delightful blog, Grandma's Briefs. I hope you will accept it.
    The rules of this award are as follows:


    Rules of the Award:

    Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of
    the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.
    Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you have newly discovered.
    Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been
    chosen for this award.

    I wish you the best and look forward to reading more from you!

    Best,
    Jacque

    As I've not been a blogger very long, I didn't know that bestowing awards upon fellow bloggers was a common practice. I felt pretty darn special getting the award from Jacque and e-mailed her back to let her know.

    I've posted the award to the right, as the "rules" state recipients are supposed to do. I've included the link to Jacque's blog, My BIGlittle World -- which I encourage you to check out. I don't know much about Jacque because she has nothing on her "About" page, but whoever she is, her words make my heart swell.

    The second part of the rules is a little more difficult for me to comply with. Recipients are supposed to pass the One Lovely Blog award along to exceptional, newly discovered blogs. I have to admit, I'm not much of a blog reader. I read the blogs of my friends plus a few others (thanks to RSS!), but I've always got a to-do list with too few things crossed off so I spend precious little time in front of the computer reading the daily or close-to-daily words of others.

    But now I'm on a mission. I feel obligated to share the warm fuzzy that Jacque shared with me. It'll take me a long time to find 15 blogs that I don't close after reading just the first post or two; there's a lot of really mundane blogging going on out there. Maybe having been an editor, my standards are set too high. Or maybe I just get bored too easily.

    I have found three pretty good ones so far, though. I've posted them below and hope you'll give them a visit. I've yet to e-mail each blogger with their award, but I hope it makes them smile as Jacque's did me.

    Thanks, Jacque.

    Newly discovered blogs I've subscribed to or bookmarked:

    No Telling

    lining up my words

    The Sharon Blog -- Grandma knows best. Really.

    Tuesday
    Aug252009

    Pit bull pairings update

    Sweet CarlyAs most of you know, Jim and I were contemplating adopting Carly, a three-legged Boston Terrier/Pit bull mix, to be a buddy to our sweet pit bull, Mickey. We met the incredible bundle of energy Saturday and loved her to pieces -- and she loved us, it seems.

    But after some serious soul-searching, we've decided it's not the best thing for Mickey ... or for Carly.

    It was a difficult decision and a difficult e-mail to write the foster parent. Because I just wrote that e-mail, it makes more sense to just post a copy of it here, rather than rehash it for those I promised an update.

    (Note: When you local readers have finished reading it, if you're interested in adopting the little gal or know of someone who may be, please let me know.)

    Good morning, XXX and XXX:

    We had discussed my getting back to you by the end of this week with our decision regarding adopting Carly, but I think it's only fair to give you as much notice as possible that Jim and I, after some serious contemplation, have decided it's not the best thing for either Carly or Mickey.

    Carly is an amazing bundle of energy and is so sweet and so smart, but I don't think she and Mickey will meld at this point. She needs a buddy who will happily participate in the puppy tussling and such, and Jim and I honestly can't see that being something Mickey will allow. He loves to have a friend, but he definitely enjoys parallel play more than true physical interaction with another dog.

    As part of our considering Carly, I had my mom bring over her (hyper) Shiba Inu on Sunday to see how Mickey would do meeting an unfamiliar dog. Although he did surprisingly great, that dog didn't spend much time tussling with Mickey; they each did their own thing and that was sufficient "play" time for both. I can't see that happening with Carly as I think she needs a friend who will be just as into wrestling together as she is.

    I think with some proper training, Mickey and Carly *could* be mates, but at this point, Jim and I just don't have the money to cover the obedience training that would require. So we're going to make a concentrated effort to socialize Mickey better without having to pay a trainer, then look at bringing in another dog in a few months -- one that is a bit more like his last pal, Moses. It's probably not fair to replace Moses so quickly anyway, especially when Mickey (and we) have not sufficiently mourned him, I think, since putting him down just last month. Carly just seemed so wonderful when we heard about her and saw her photo, that we may have gotten ahead of ourselves a bit.

    Jim and I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to meet Carly, and we hope you understand our reasons for choosing not to take her. If we had no other dogs, there'd be no hesitation whatsoever. She's a great little gal and we hope you have no problems finding new parents for her.

    Again, thank you for letting us meet Carly and giving us the time to seriously consider how she might fit in our family. I wish you the best in finding someone for her -- I think once folks meet her, they'll fall in love with her.

    Sincerely,

    Lisa

    Any takers? I feel really bad about this ...

    Monday
    Aug242009

    If you're happy and ya know it

    August is National Happiness Happens Month, sponsored by the Secret Society of Happy People. Yeah, it sounds a little weird, but it's truly an innocent undertaking by a group of cheery folks, and I decided to follow their lead and spread a little happiness myself.

    So I sent Bubby maracas. Not generic maracas like the ones I have (and love to shake around the patio, freaking out the dogs) as their long handles would surely poke out either his or his dog's eye at some point. No, what I found Bubby were educational maracas, with a "counting" mode and a "music" mode. It's the music mode I was most interested in though, as counting normally does nothing for me and I don't think recitation of numbers puts much of a smile on Bubby's face at this point either.

    So I shipped the Happiness Happens gift to Bubby in hopes he'd smile ... and be happy.

    At first he was not quite sure what to do with the oversized rattles.

    Then the "aha" moment kicked in and Bubby clearly got it! And I got the exact reaction I was hoping for: happy smiles from my Bubby!

    Happiness DOES happen!

    Sunday
    Aug232009

    Fave photo of the week

    Bubby (right) hanging with his best buds, R. and J. (J. even has his shorts hanging low like the big boys do nowadays!)