Declan and the dastardly deed

Declan and the dastardly deed

I was chatting on the phone with my daughter Megan one day last week when out of the blue she exclaims, "Whoa! There's a tarantula in the fridge!"

What?

"Yeah, I just opened the fridge and forgot I had put it there!"

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Flashback: 14 reasons to smile about being a long-distance grandma

Flashback: 14 reasons to smile about being a long-distance grandma

Dear readers: This flashback feature originally appeared on Grandma's Briefs July 1, 2014. As I'm missing my desert-dwelling grandsons today, it serves as a good reminder that there are at least fourteen things to celebrate about the long-distance grandma status. Thank you for reading this rerun.

Being a long-distance grandma can be hard on a grandmother's heart at times. There are, however, several perks to having plenty of miles between Grandma and her sweeties. Here are fourteen of them.

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Review: Gramma in a Box

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Grandma Terry Chamberlin has come up with a pretty sweet subscription service for serving up grandma-style food activities from faraway. When three of Terry's grandchildren moved away from her, she began sending them boxes of cookies and treats to go along with their Skype sessions. She soon realized other grandmas just may want to do the same, and the Gramma in a Box subscription service—tagline Gramma does all the work. You have all the fun!—was born. 

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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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Grandma challenge: How full can she fill forty-four hours?

Grandma challenge: How full can she fill forty-four hours?

My desert-dwelling grandsons and their parents visited my house last week—for forty-four hours. The family had taken a road trip to Vail for a wedding, and Jim and I were fortunate they fit in a stop at our place on their way back home.

I was thrilled to host them and was determined to squish as much into the visit as possible, unsure of when I'd see Brayden, Camden, and Declan (as well as Megan and Preston, too) again.

As all three boys have birthdays in June…

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Throwback Thursday: Entertaining grandkids... 3 sure things

Throwback Thursday: Entertaining grandkids... 3 sure things

This #TBT piece originally published May 18, 2016 on Grandma's Briefs. Thank you for reading!

As a long-distance grandma with visits being few and far between, I feel obligated to provide memorable merriment for my three grandsons each time I see them. I put careful consideration into packing my grandma bag with goodies and games and crafty ideas galore.

Sometimes the magical makings I lug 800 miles to my grandsons' door elicit exactly the enjoyment I'd hoped. Sometimes they fail. Especially if picking a Pinterest activity to try together without trying it first myself.

When I visited Bubby, Mac, and Jak last month, I failed at more than a few things. On the other hand, there were…

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Grandma's word of the day: Local

Grandma's word of the day: Local

Today's word is... LOCAL

Definition of local (per Dictionary.com):

[loh-kuh l] adjective

1. pertaining to or characterized by place or position in space; spatial.

2. pertaining to, characteristic of, or restricted to a particular place or particular places.

3. pertaining to a city, town, or small district rather than an entire state or country.

4. pertaining to or affecting a particular part or particular parts, as of a physical system or organism.

Local example:

A recent social media post shared...

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Word of the day: Freckles

Word of the day: Freckles

Today's word is... FRECKLES!

Definition of freckle (per Merriam-Webster):

1: any of the small brownish spots in the skin due to augmented melanin production that increase in number and intensity on exposure to sunlight

Freckles on display:

Megan texted me this photo a week or so ago showing nine-year-old Brayden...

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The difference one hundred ninety-nine days makes

The difference one hundred ninety-nine days makes

Up until this past weekend, my husband and I last saw our three desert-dwelling grandsons one hundred and ninety-nine days ago. At that time, we flew to their house to celebrate their birthdays — all of which are in June — a few weeks early. At that time, they looked like this:

Last weekend Jim and I flew to their house to celebrate Christmas with them — a few weeks early. In the one hundred and ninety-nine days since our visit in May, Brayden, Camden, and Declan have grown by leaps and bounds — in stature, maturity, conversational prowess, game-playing ability, and more.

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An open letter to new long-distance grandmas

An open letter to new long-distance grandmas

Dear heartbroken long-distance grandma,

First, let me say congratulations on your grandma status! Whether you just learned you'd soon have a grandchild, a newborn grand recently arrived, or one or more grandkiddos have long been part of your heart, you are a grandmother and that's worth celebrating... again and again.

Today, though, I offer my condolences that your grandmother status carries, or soon will, the long-distance modifier. I know how hard that is on you. I know because I am you — a long-distance grandma.

I've been a long-distance grandma a while, with hundreds of miles separating me from my sweet ones ever since the initial "You're going to be a grandma!" announcement nearly ten years ago. Considering the survival strategies I've learned the hard way...

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Wherein Grandma's FaceTime game's gone weak

Wherein Grandma's FaceTime game's gone weak

Megan and I have been on opposite schedules of late, especially in terms of scheduling a FaceTime rendezvous with my grandsons. She and the boys are busy with the start of the school year and all that goes along with that as well as baseball for Brayden and flag football for Camden. I've been busy building a better blog.

When Camden sent me a spidorpion in the mail, then Brayden followed a few days later with kiddo correspondence to Gramma of his own, I knew a few minutes of FaceTime to thank each for their snail mail was out of the question. So upon receiving Camden's mail, I sent Megan a text message video to and for Cam. I did the same

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