2016 Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop: 13 things I loved plus a few me-loved-nots

Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop 2016 recap

I've long dreamed of attending the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop presented by the University of Dayton every two years. The revered place writers of various formats — books, blogs, screenplays and more — gather to glean insider tips and load up on laughter and love from folks in their field. Attendance is capped at 200 each year, and I've never made the cut at registration... nor, to be honest, had the money for travel and hotel if I had.

This year, though, I clicked the Register button in time to obtain a coveted Golden Ticket for the event that sold out in six hours, and I eeked out the funds to make attendance at my dream conference a reality.

Unlike many dreams that eventually come true yet pale in comparison to one's expectations, the Erma...

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The makings of a Grand Adventure

Last week I revealed the signs that 2016 would surely be my year. Already, it's shaping up to be exactly that thanks to an upcoming, all-new experience I recently added to the last week of my January 2016 calendar.

I've known for a couple weeks now, but I've been a little leery of sharing publicly as it seemed a wee bit too good to be true. I'm still a little leery — despite plans officially in place — so I shall present it to you piecemeal in hopes of not jinxing anything.

My big reveal, a little at a time:

What do you get when you take an adorable seven-year-old...

seven year old 

plus a wacky four-year-old...

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A holiday sight to see: America's tallest Christmas tree

A holiday trivia question for you: Where is the nation's tallest decorated Christmas tree?

Did you guess Rockefeller Center? Perhaps the White House?

Nope. Believe it or not, the tallest decorated Christmas tree in America stands 115-feet tall in an outlet mall. In Arizona. Yes, it's so! Certified so!

Megan and I set out to see the holiday wonder this week, with Mac and Jak in tow. (Bubby was in school that day, just as he was this day.)

Whoo-eee! What a festive site to see!

nation's tallest christmas tree

The certification and...

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Fearless at 50: AARP spotlights feisty female skateboarders over fifty

skateboard moms

The older I get, the more I consciously strive to engage in experiences that scare me a bit. Just this past weekend, in fact, I climbed to the very top of five lighthouses in Michigan in the face of fears my MS would keep me from going all the way to the light—and back down again—without fumbling, stumbling and falling flat on my face or fanny.

Also over the weekend, I took an aerial flight in an itsy...

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Grandma's Briefs named top site for grandparents by GRAND Magazine

Great news: Grandma's Briefs has been named one of 11 top websites for grandparents in GRAND Magazine's 2015 Top Blogs/Websites Awards!

grandparent blog

I'm honored and humbled to be included in the same category as many of the grandparent bloggers and websites I've adored for years and hoped to emulate—as a grandparent and as a provider of content highlighting the diversity and vibrancy of today's grandparents.

Congratulations to all my fellow grandparent writers, bloggers, and website publishers named in the article, which you can find here.

Though Grandma's Briefs won the designation, you—the Grandma's Briefs readers—reap the reward by way of a free subscription to GRAND Magazine (a $19.95 value)!

GRAND magazine sept 2015

How to get your free subscription to GRAND Magazine: Simply click on this link to sign up for your free 12-month subscription. I look forward to reading it along with you, hearing your thoughts on the grandparenting features we both will learn from, be inspired by.

A sincere thanks to the editors of GRAND Magazine for the honor and the gift. Even bigger thanks go out to all of you—those who visit my site, read my ramblings, comment on my musings.

Thank you for making Grandma's Briefs part of your grandparent experience!

Saturday movie review: Big Eyes

Every baby boomer alive has likely seen—perhaps loved, maybe even owned—the paintings of big-eyed waifs by the artist Keane. I was always intrigued (and, yes, moved) by the bizarre pieces, but I never knew the story of the artist, the true artist.

Big Eyes movie

BIG EYES is the incredible and often maddening true story of the true artist of those haunting...

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Fossil find

Colorado has seen unprecedented amounts of rainfall so far this summer.

Which means most Colorado residents are seeing unprecedented numbers of weeds in our yards.

Jim spent several hours pulling weeds in the front yard on Saturday. The yard looked better and better as he pulled and pulled, but it sure seemed a not-so-fun waste of time.

Until he found this...

fossil

Yes sirreee, that is a fossil. Found right...

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What I won, what you can win, plus GRAND Social No. 152 link party for grandparents

What I won

Those of you who follow Grandma's Briefs on Facebook or Twitter likely already know this, but... remember my "looking forward to" category from last Thursday's post? Well, here's the skinny on the "Best of" designation I am honored and delighted to have received in the 2015 Best of the Springs survey published by The Gazette newspaper.

Grandma's Briefs at Best of the Springs 

What you can win

Today is the last day to enter to win a sleek (and tough) personalized smartphone case...

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6 grandmother myths debunked

Despite the endless amounts of knowledge available online and off, it seems many folks still have an astoundingly incorrect idea of what it means to be a grandmother. The stereotype of an overweight granny with gray hair pulled up in a bun, glasses firmly propped upon her nose and an apron forever tied around her waist is so very NOT what today's grandmothers are. Yet that stereotype persists.

My The Grandma in a box made a smidgen of difference in my mission to dispel the incorrect stereotypes of grandmothers. There's still a long way to go, though, so here's yet another effort.

grandmother myths 

ONE
Myth:
Grandmothers are old.

Debunked: One quick perusal...

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