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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

 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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    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!


    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.


    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.



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


    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!


    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!)


    The Saturday Post

    Megan e-mailed yesterday afternoon to let me know how terribly wrong I was in saying in yesterday's post that Bubby knows five words. No, no, no, she said. He knows way more than that.

    Per Megan:

    Bubby's official word list 8/21

    1. Buh-bye

    2. All Done (he thinks it's one word)

    3. Mama

    4. Dada

    5. Uh-oh

    6. Baba

    7. Num-Num

    8. Diaper

    9. More

    10. Bird

    11. Ow (he says this one really whiny sounding and usually when he's rolling around on the floor throwing a fit)

    12. Mmmmm (okay, I know that's a stretch but every time he eats something he REALLY likes that's what he says)

    I stand corrected. And I expect this word list to be twice as long by the time I visit Bubby in October! (I did tell you he's a genius, didn't I?)


    Time out

    Bubby got his "first official time out" yesterday. Megan called, rather upset, to tell me that their houseguest had left the bathroom door open, Bubby got in there, and he made a mess. I imagined lotion squirted everywhere, maybe some lipstick drawings on the cabinets, garbage strewn across the room.

    Nope. None of the above. It was the age-old toilet paper unrolling.

    Kids have been fascinated by toilet paper since its invention, I believe. Andrea was our biggest toilet paper fan when the girls were little. It prompted me to purchase this picture that hung in our main bathroom for years:

    Andie was caught in a similarly red-handed fashion many times. Apparently we mentioned it so often as she grew older that she honestly believed that was a picture of her—something I learned only after hearing her point out the picture to a friend she was showing around the house. Many years and bathrooms later, I don't have the heart to get rid of Andie's potty picture so it now hangs in a spare bathroom downstairs.

    For Bubby's first hands-on toilet paper unrolling, he was more organized about his chaos: He placed all the unrolled sheets directly into the toilet. (At least he understands a small portion of the potty process! I'm tellin' ya, the kid's a genius.)

    Megan busted him fairly quickly, prevented a clogged toilet and placed Bubby in a time out. Being the ever-conscientious pre-K teacher that she is, Megan followed the timeout rules and Bubby's punishment lasted one minute. (For the unenlightened, the rule is one minute per year in age.)

    It was a very traumatic minute—for Megan. Other than minor admonishments when Bubby tries to climb as high as he can possibly find a foothold or when he's making a diaper change a difficult and dirty time, Megan hasn't had to do much disciplining of her baby.

    So that one minute was about 59 seconds too long for Megan. Bubby, on the other hand, survived it without major psychological harm, it seems. He may have even learned something ("No play!" as Megan firmly stated in her best stern-teacher tone).

    When the time was up, Bubby wrapped his arms around his mommy and gave her three big kisses; a sincere apology, I'd say, coming from a kiddo with a vocabulary of fewer than five (very unclear) words.

    Still, Megan needed assurance from her mom that she did the right thing, and she was on the phone with me before the slobbery kisses from Bubby had dried.

    You did the right thing, Megan. I promise.

    (But I'd make sure the bathroom door stays shut going forward, if I were you.)

    Great Grandma Idea #23: I'm thinking I need to make our longtime bathroom picture a traveling display, bestowing it on each of the girls' households as the grandkids take turns mimicking their Auntie Andie. With Bubby being the only grandchild so far, it's a pretty safe bet Megan's house will be the first awarded such an honor.


    Grandma got won over by a pit bull

    I never in my wildest imagination thought I'd be someone to own a pit bull. Horror stories abound of the vicious canines terrorizing innocent people and there was no way I'd even consider having such a dangerous dog around my loved ones.

    Until I met Mickey. And until I learned that the majority of horror stories about pit bulls are just that -- stories ... stories based on unfounded fears and an unfair bad rap.

    In 2005, the animal quota in our house was met. We had our black lab/collie mix Moses, a tabby cat named Abigail (Abby) and a goofy sorta calico/sorta black Halloween cat with a crooked tail and a bizarre way of drinking water (by dipping her paw in the bowl and sucking the water off) named Isabel. We didn't need any more animals.

    Then an e-mail went out at work about a dog who needed a home. A little brown and white puppy who, at 6 weeks old, had his back legs stepped on by his mentally challenged owner, breaking both back legs. That owner couldn't afford to repair the pup's legs and requested that he just be put down.

    The vet couldn't do it. She kept the dog, placed pins (LONG pins!) in each of his back legs, and searched for a home for him.

    After seeing the photo, I couldn't resist "just looking." And once we met him, Jim and I together couldn't resist just taking him home.

    We were responsible for keeping the recuperating patient from walking for several weeks, carrying him out to go potty then returning him to his kennel. He was on a schedule to slowly return to activity, and because of his sad eyes and penchant for snuggling, we agreed to it -- despite the vet telling us that she "thinks" he might have some pit bull in him, along with something else, possibly pointer.

    We took the little guy home, kept him kenneled, and kept him calmed with a CD of lullabies for dogs. We allowed Andie to choose his new name: Mickey, short for Macchiatto because his coloring was similar to carmel macchiattos, her favorite drink at the time. (No, I didn't let my little girl consume caffeine; she was a young adult, in college!)

    Within months, Mickey was good as new. And in no time, we learned to question all the scary reports about the horrors of pit bulls. I can honestly say he's the sweetest animal we've ever had -- and the biggest baby. He runs around the yard like a maniac all day, chasing squirrels and making up for the time he lost in his first few months of life. But he regularly makes pit stops on the deck or patio for some treats and tummy rubs. His most feared enemy: Brianna's little Hunter, the Chihuahua/Pomeranian mix with a Napoleon complex. Oh, and the ear drops I have to put in his ears occasionally; he shakes and cowers and crawls between Jim's legs to hide from me when it's time. But he always gives in and sweetly turns his head for me to administer the medication.

    Mickey is one of THE best animal addition we've ever made to our family. Everyone who takes the time to get to know him -- rather than succumbing to the sensationalized stories of dogs gone bad; stories that could be true of ANY animal trained to be vicious -- absolutely loves Mickey. He truly is the sweetest dog ever.

    A few days ago, I received an e-mail from a friend about a dog who needed a home. The e-mail included a picture of "Carly," who was recently found by an animal control officer and placed with an animal adoption organization. One of her front legs was severely injured and required amputation (done by the same vet office that rescued Mickey, by the same vet that recently showed incredible compassion when Jim and I had to put our Moses to sleep). She's now recuperating with a foster family until a new owner can be found. Reports are that she's sweet as can be and she loves to snuggle.




    She's also part pit bull.


    Jim and I are meeting her on Saturday.


    I'll let you know what happens.


    Just chillin'

    I've got a busy day ahead and not much time to post, so today's offering is just a photo of Bubby kickin' back in his Zeppelin jammies from Grandpa.

    He's got the right idea ... it's what we all should be doing -- or wish we were doing -- these last few days of summer!