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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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    Saturday movie brief: A Star is Born... again

    Fans of A STAR IS BORN as well as fans of Bradley Cooper and Stephanie Germanotta — that would be Lady Gaga to most of us — are all a-twitter online as production on the latest version of the beloved movie hits full speed.

    Here's a tiny bit of the buzz (literally a tiny-sized bit you'll need to make full screen if this one's difficult to see; the embed code wasn't customizable):


    Now, I adore Bradley Cooper and I think Lady Gaga, er, Stephanie is ah-mazing and huge-hearted (albeit a bit odd at times). But I love, love, love A STAR IS BORN. The Kris Kristofferson/Barbra Streisand version. The only version I know.... because I haven't seen the two that came before that. Shame on me.

    A Star is Born 1976I was fully and completely spellbound when I first saw A STAR IS BORN on the big screen. So much so that...

    Click to read more ...


    Win 20 books from Dover Publications (sponsored post)

    This post sponsored by Dover Publications

    kids reading on floor

    We are excited to announce the Dover Publications GRAND Giveaway where you have a chance to win an amazing 20 book library ($135 value) for your grandkids!

    These books open the world of hobbies and activities to do with your grandkids!

    Crafting – Coloring – Drawing – Writing – Reading – Cooking – Magic – Puzzles


    The deadline for entry is Midnight, June 30, 2017. The winner will be notified by email on July 5, 2017, and posted on

    dover publications

    Click to


    The F-ing guide to grandparenting

    how to be a grandparent

    Without consistent commitment to the use of certain F-words, where might a grandparent be?

    Not nearly as effective — or memorable — if you ask me.

    Though many grandparents eliminate F-words from their vocabularies (at least when the G-kids are around) or ban the use of them from the kids themselves, I feel quite strongly that F-words should be accessed and emphasized. As often as possible. Especially when grandchildren are around.

    Following are a few such F-words, five favorites of mine I focus on and do my best to use regularly in an effort to make a memorable impact...

    Click to read more ...


    Hope for hope! Plus GRAND Social No. 254 link party for grandparents

    Hope for hope!!

    I'm a fan of TED Talks, the easy-to-access messages of motivation and inspiration. This past week, a special TED Talk made waves across social media. It was a talk by Pope Francis for TED2017, recorded in Vatican City.

    Although I'm not Catholic (I'm Lutheran) and I don't really follow much on the Pope, from what I've seen and heard, I do think he's a good man. And I do believe this particular message — on hope, personal responsibility, tenderness and more — would benefit each and every one of us now and for generations going forward if we took his message to heart, if we put the sentiments into action.

    If you haven't seen Pope Francis' powerful TED Talk, here it is:


    A few of my fave quotes...

    Click to read more ...


    Saturday movie review: Hunt for the Wilderpeople

    As I sat down to write my movie review on the HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE, a New Zealand adventure/comedy/drama starring Sam Neill and Julian Dennison that premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, a few choice words came to mind. Rather than attempt to deftly weave those words throughout my review, I'll just lay them on the line right here, right up front.

    Choice words for HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE:

    offbeat • poignant • outrageous • hilarious • sweet • silly • memorable • coming of age • wacky • well done • charming • delightfully deadpan • madcap • touching • must-see

    hunt for the wilderpeople

    HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE ("wilderpeople" being a twist on "wildebeest") is one of those films that flew so below the radar that finding it — after seeing Sam Neill interviewed on...

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    Friday flashback: How to make a pillow chaise for children

    My bonus grandson, Bud, turns 9 tomorrow and we'll be celebrating his birthday (along with his dad's, which was Wednesday) on Sunday. Brianna requested I make Bud a pillow chaise like the ones I made Bubby and Mac a few years ago — back before Bud was part of the family — so he's more comfy lounging on the floor on movie nights.

    Bud's favorite color is red so I gathered the goods to create a red birthday chaise.

    pillow chaise for children 

    As I'll be spending a portion of today putting the present together, I figure it's a fine time to feature the post on doing so as today's Friday flashback. (Speaking of time, it's likely time I create a pillow chaise for Jak, too, as he wasn't around either when I made the original ones for his brothers.)

    (Originally published January 10, 2013)

    Every once in a great while, I surprise myself and do something that exceeds my expectations. Most recently, it was the making of the pillow chaise lounging thingees I gave my grandsons for Christmas. They turned out far better than I expected, and were received with far more appreciation than I thought might be the case, especially considering they weren't toys — which, as I learned here, are far preferable to practical presents.

    What? You missed my post about giving Bubby and Mac their pillow chaises? Well take a look at their joy and ability to play slug in front of the television, thanks to a soft and comfy gift from Gramma.

    pillow chaise for kids

    At the time I posted that, many readers wondered...

    Click to read more ...


    Snow, buds, and the truth about #SpringtimeInTheRockies

    If you've been on social media a bit lately, you've likely come across the hashtag #SpringtimeInTheRockies here or there. If you live someplace other than the Rocky Mountain region, the hashtag may have conjured romantic visions of some sort or another.

    For residents of the Rockies, the hashtag reads #ThatCrazyPsychoBullshitOfSpringtimeInTheRockies, the italicized part an unwritten given for those who know what springtime in the Rockies truly entails.

    To wit:

    I live in Colorado Springs, Colorado — the Rockies. On Saturday we had snow (which I shared on Facebook):

    On Monday, there was sunshine and...

    Click to read more ...


    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 ...

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