Getting real... plus GRAND Social No. 321 link party for grandparents

Getting real... plus GRAND Social No. 321 link party for grandparents

Getting real

My mom is struggling to survive stage 3 lung cancer. My firstborn will soon deliver her firstborn any day now. Somewhere in between my utter despair regarding the one end of life’s spectrum and my sheer delight related to the other is the space where I, a writer and blogger, should be writing and blogging.

But I don’t feel like…

Read More

Too soon for snow?

Too soon for snow?

With Labor Day in the rearview mirror, who's ready for snow?

Too soon?

It's not too soon in the Pikes Peak Region!

On Sunday (which, admittedly, was before Labor Day, not after), Jim and I headed to the park bright and early for the annual Labor Day Lift Off hot-air balloon festival in Colorado Springs (which is where I captured these colorful shots in 2015). We set up our …

Read More

Flashback: Everyday inspiration

Flashback: Everyday inspiration

I'm not a world-traveler who finds inspiration in ancient ruins, artful masterpieces, or in architectural—or natural—wonders.

I'm also not one of the fortunate few privileged to find inspiration in luculent discourse with the likes of Maya Angelou or other great orators of our time. (Although I have heard in person the likes of Kurt Vonnegut. And David Sedaris. More than once.)

No, I don't get my inspiration from such high-brow—and high-cost—pleasures. Yet.

Instead, I find inspiration—the impetus to be bigger, better, and more than I am—in everyday things. Things such as…

Read More

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…

Read More

Flashback: The know-it-all grandma and her acts of ignorance

Flashback: The know-it-all grandma and her acts of ignorance

Dear readers: This flashback feature originally appeared on Grandma's Briefs July 24, 2014. Thank you for reading my (updated) rerun.

I'm often asked by family, friends—and sometimes even strangers—for answers and directions on a variety of topics. I'm happy to say that I can usually give them what they seek. My husband often jokingly calls me Google; my daughters consider me one of the best researchers they know.

Which makes it difficult to not fancy myself a know-it-all at times.

To keep things in check—meaning, to deflate my occasionally oversized ego and obnoxiously large noggin'—I need only recall one or more of the times I was clearly not in the know. At all. The times I didn't know what the heck I should have known, whether I pretended to know it or not.

Read More

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…

Read More

Flashback: 9 things I've kept 'for the grandkids'

Flashback: 9 things I've kept 'for the grandkids'

Dear readers: This Flashback feature originally appeared on Grandma's Briefs July 22, 2010. Thank you for reading this updated rerun!

My daughters have been grown and gone for quite some time now, but there are a few useful and/or enjoyable things from their childhood that I just can't throw away..

I'm pretty sure—or at least I'm bound and determined—that these items will one day come in handy, that they'll one day provide fun and frivolity for my grandkids.

9 THINGS I'VE KEPT 'FOR THE GRANDKIDS'

1. VHS tapes of children's movies and shows. Space Jam, Fluke, Casper and more. I can't see throwing away tapes I know kids love, but I sure don't plan on replacing them with DVDs or Blu-Ray discs (except for the…

Read More

If you give a grandma a gift

If you give a grandma a gift

Most kids know what happens if you give a mouse a cookie. Perhaps nearly as many know what happens if you give a pig a pancake. How many, though, know just what happens if you give a grandma a gift? In particular, if you give a long-distance grandma who's been oh-so lonesome for her grandsons the most heartfelt gift they've ever given?

My grandsons recently learned what happens if you give such a grandma such a gift. And trust me, it wasn't pretty.

Read More

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.

Read More

Brain drain... On lo mein, cracked pots, and other loves

Brain drain... On lo mein, cracked pots, and other loves

Wherein I ramble on...

Brianna is starting to show. And that's pretty darn awesome. She and Patrick find out next week if their first baby is a boy or a girl. I'm hoping for a girl... yet wonder if it's wrong to even consider hoping for one gender over another considering what they've gone through to get this far. Of course I'll be thrilled with another grandson but as this is likely my final grandchild, adding a girl to the grand group seems fitting. (Don't tell anyone, but I do think it's a girl.)

The life God intended. Conversations and situations

Read More

Throwback Thursday: Rock on!

Throwback Thursday: Rock on!

This #TBT feature originally published on Grandma's Briefs June 15, 2012. Thank you for reading this rerun!

Jim and I had overnight guests Wednesday night. It was a short and simple hosting stint as we were merely the midway stopping point for extended relatives going from here to there. Nothing draining, as guests—even the most beloved, most welcomed—can often be. Once our guests left and the house was empty, though, I wanted nothing more than to grab my cup of coffee and sit out on the back deck in my rocking chair.

So I did. I…

Read More

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…

Read More