Grandma Christmas crafts matter

Grandma Christmas crafts matter

The year my husband and I were married, his stepmom, Diane, whom I had never met and Jim hadn’t seen in years, sent us a lovely joint Christmas stocking she had made for us. She also sent an adorable handmade one for baby Brianna, who was born soon after we married.

Diane sent another precious stocking the following year, when Megan was born. And another two years after that for our baby Andie.

When Megan and Preston married and…

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Goodbye, Mom, plus GRAND Social No. 327 link party for grandparents

Goodbye, Mom, plus GRAND Social No. 327 link party for grandparents

Goodbye, Mom

Yesterday family and friends said a final farewell to my mom — Gramma to my girls, Nonnie to her younger grandkids, Sweet Ann to her sisters and friends, Goofy (or Obnoxious, Opinionated, Absolutely Off The Wall) Ann to others.

Regardless of the many monikers, Patricia Ann Kelly left an impression on all who knew her, an aching heart in those who loved her dearly and lost her too soon.

A mere sketch of my mama, i.e., her obituary:

PATRICIA ANN KELLY
August 25, 1941 ~ November 4, 2018

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Risque rehab

Risque rehab

On Monday I visited my mom in the rehabilitation facility where she’s been staying since an especially difficult setback in her lung cancer journey a few weeks ago.

As I sat on the edge of the bed next to her, we perused the papers left by a CNA which listed various activities meant to get the patients up and about and socializing. I read the options for group entertainment to her.

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The Saturday post: How do you want to be remembered?

The Saturday post: How do you want to be remembered?

Happy Saturday, friends!

Today I’m sharing with you a brief video bit I came across, from New York Times best-selling author Amy Krouse Rosenthal on kindness. It’s a thoughtful, thought-provoking piece that earned “Winner of Best Animation” at the Peace On Earth Film Festival in 2011.

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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…

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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 …

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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…

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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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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.

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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: 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…

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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.

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