Gramma goes tubing

Gramma goes tubing

Despite having been born in Minnesota and living in the Land of 10,000 Lakes the first decade of my life, I'm not big on water sports. To any degree. I still don't know how to swim... even after having swim lessons as a child and again at 40 years old.

I'm not deathly afraid of water, but I certainly don't seek out splishy-splashy fun in water over my head. Not even water up to my chest, to be honest.

So it should come as no surprise that I've never whiled away hours in an inner tube on a lake. Nor have I engaged in tubing…

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Disrupt aging: Today's grandmas smash the stereotype... even when embracing it

Disrupt aging: Today's grandmas smash the stereotype... even when embracing it

Disclosure: This post made possible with support from AARP's Disrupt Aging. All opinions are my own.

When I first started my blog in 2009, one of the "editorial guidelines" I set for myself was that I would not post photos of myself on my website. At that time I had been a grandma for a little over a year, and in those twelve-plus months, when I shared my grandma status with strangers—retail clerks, random folks encountered while out and about, friends-in-the-making, and so forth—I was more often than not met with the comment, "You don't look like a grandma."

As a goal for my blog was to establish myself as a go-to guide for all things related to the grandmother lifestyle, I determined that—based on such comments—posting pictures of myself might…

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Flashback Friday: Back in my day

Flashback Friday: Back in my day

Dear readers: Today is the day my firstborn learns the gender of her firstborn, scheduled for arrival in October. With all things pregnancy on my brain today, I thought this post—originally published June 13, 2011—a fitting Flashback Friday feature. Thank you for reading!

I had my youngest baby, Andrea, nearly 26 years ago (Flashback update: nearly 33 years ago!). Listening to Megan talk about pregnancy, labor, and newborn care, it's clear there have been some important—and some not-so-important—changes in the whole process since back in my day.

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Movie review: Book Club

Movie review: Book Club

I have never read the infamous 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James. I'll try not to judge (too much) those who have. From all I've heard, it just seems too trashy—not fun-trashy just trashy-trashy—for my tastes and time. There are far too many other books on my to-read list and far too little time in which to tackle them for me to squander even seconds on trashy-trashy.

The four 60-something, forever friends of BOOK CLUB initially seem to agree with me on such. Diane (Diane Keaton), Vivian (Jane Fonda), Sharon (Candice Bergen), and Carol (Mary Steenburgen) have met monthly for decades to discuss books—reading selections made on a rotating basis—men, and more. 50 Shades of Grey is not the sort of selection the refined readers read. Initially.

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Throwback Thursday: 6 things I used to know how to do but no longer can

Throwback Thursday: 6 things I used to know how to do but no longer can

This #TBT feature originally published on Grandma's Briefs May 5, 2015—and elicited some fun comments; check out those here. Thank you for reading this rerun!

Practice indeed makes perfect. I quit practicing, though, thus quit being able to do a few things I once really enjoyed. These things.

Crochet. I learned to crochet a basic afghan when Jim and I first married nearly thirty-three years ago. Our gift to one of his sisters and her family the second Christmas together was an afghan I worked long and hard to complete by…

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Throwback Thursday: Fine lines... worn and walked

Throwback Thursday: Fine lines... worn and walked

This #TBT piece by Lisa Carpenter originally published April 15, 2014 on Grandma's Briefs. Thank you for reading!

As I scan shelf after shelf of beauty aids at the drugstore in search of the perfect product to combat my age spots and wrinkles, I consider the plethora of inescapable fine lines I encounter in this phase of life. Despite the endless number of serums and creams and BB this and AHA that created to (sort of) soothe away the skin issues, I’ve yet to find a solution to the fine lines that matter most: those encountered in my role as a parent to adult children.

Most concerning are the fine lines I walk—that all parents of grown children walk—as I attempt to be wise, supportive, encouraging for my adult children without seeming overbearing, overprotective, overly critical or any other overly state that might tangle the ties that bind me to my dear ones.

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Saturday movie review: Still Dreaming

Saturday movie review: Still Dreaming

As our parents age and we consider how we can best assist and accommodate them in their later years, we baby boomers become more and more familiar with assisted living centers, nursing homes, and similar facilities Mom and/or Dad might at some point consider home. Many of our parents already reside in such spots, others of us may be in the researching-for-someday phase of the sandwich situation.

As is the case with most things, negative stories and worrisome aspects of assisted living centers and nursing homes get the most headlines, cause the most headaches. Yet there are indeed many positive—and true—tales to tell of facilities doing fun, fabulous, innovative, and invigorating things for the elderly folks they care for and, in many cases, consider family.

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Throwback Thursday: The tunes they are a changin'

Throwback Thursday: The tunes they are a changin'

This #TBT piece by Lisa Carpenter originally published March 24, 2011 on Grandma's Briefs.

I'm proud to say my family is musical. We dabble in playing — a guitar and piano here, a recorder and ukulele there — but it's in the listening to music that we really excel. As a whole, our hearts, minds and ears are open to myriad genres, everything from classical to Christian, country to show tunes, hard rock to soft rock and many that aren't really rock at all. We even have our family favorites in the rap genre. (I must admit, though, jazz and easy listening rarely pass notes in our homes, our cars, our iPods, or Spotify queue.)

Music plays a prodigious and powerful role in our family, which is why...

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That time I tried the new Signature Collection from Readers.com

lisa getty collage.jpg

Enter nearly any room in my house and you'll likely see a pair of reading glasses somewhere. Kitchen? Check. Bedroom? Check. In the study where I work? Of course. In the bathroom where even my magnifying mirror needs a bit of a boost? Yep.

I have lots of reading glasses because I need them for lots of reasons. I go through them so often — scratching, losing, or tiring of the style — that I buy only inexpensive ones, typically those that come in batches of four or more for a relatively low price.

So when Readers.com invited me to try out their new Signature Collection of handmade yet a smidgen higher priced readers free for review, it didn't take much...

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Shingles and shots: On the shingles virus and vaccine

Shingles and shots: On the shingles virus and vaccine

This post sponsored by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases through an unrestricted educational grant from Merck & Co., Inc.

What you should know about shingles and getting vaccinated to prevent it

When conversations and considerations turn to vaccinations, immunizations for little ones is most often the focus. Or, for traveling folks, the shots necessary for globe-trotting trips might be what comes to mind.

The shingles vaccination rarely registers in the top shots grandmothers and others consider in relation to must-get vaccinations. Which is a shame considering that, according to the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID), one in three adults will get shingles in their lifetime. In the United States, shingles affects nearly one million people each year — roughly half of them are age 60 years and older.

Which means thousands of grandparents likely suffer the pains and problems associated with shingles.

My older sister happens to be one of those struggling with shingles. Becky, three years older than me, was ...

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Suddenly he's SIX!

Today my middle grandson, Camden — whom you may know as Mac — turns six years old. Six. Years. Old. Today!

Happy sixth birthday to my crazy Cam!

Cam who giggles and jokes and feels all his feels, from the best to the worst, more deeply — more dramatically! — than most.

six year old and pool noodle

Cam the budding artist...

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Grandma's love is SO big!

From the time my first baby girl was born, I had a penchant for grabbing the arms of beloved little ones — especially teensy tiny ones — holding them above the babe's head and professing the sing-song sentiment of how big she or he is.

Brianna Lee is SO big! I'd trill.

Then, Megan Rae is SO big!

Andrea Lynn is SO big!

Followed by Bubby, then Mac, then Jak being oh SO big, too, as each tiny one grew into being not so tiny at all.

I haven't sing-songed the SO Big song in quite some time. Yet, when I saw on Facebook the photo Megan posted last week of Bubby and Mac's first day of school — Bubby entering third grade, Mac full-week morning prekindergarten* — my first thought was, "Bubby and Mac are SO big!"

brothers back to school 

Oh, how I would have loved to...

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