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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Must-see magic... for humans! Plus, GRAND Social No. 317 link party for grandparents

Must-see magic... for humans! Plus, GRAND Social No. 317 link party for grandparents

Must-see magic... for humans!

One night last week, Jim and I had some time to kill and nothing in the DVR queue. So we searched Netflix for a little something to pass the 30 minutes or so before we planned to head to bed.

What we found dazzled and baffled and entranced us so much we ended up watching nearly an entire season of a new series in one sitting... and didn't even regret it when the 5:45 alarm woke us the next morning and we rolled our weary bones …

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Now in the Recipe Box: Berry Snack Cake

Berry Snack Cake.jpg

This Berry Snack Cake is a sweet way to close out the summer. Or for serving during any season. The choice of berry is up to you—and what's in season. I've made it with strawberries and blueberries; blackberries are on tap for next time. It's good soon after cooling or cold from the fridge, with whipped cream, ice cream, or no cream at all. Bottom line: It's berry, berry delicious... and versatile.

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Grand spinners from Krokotak! Plus GRAND Social No. 316 link party for grandparents

Grand spinners from Krokotak! Plus GRAND Social No. 316 link party for grandparents

Grand spinners from Krokotak!

I'm always on the lookout for cool and creative crafts for kids. My grandkids in particular. Because the majority of my grandkiddos live more than 800 miles away, I rarely execute said crafts with my grandsons, but I do love to collect ideas for "one day." (Much like I collect cookbooks and recipes... yet make the same standards again and again.)

Anyway, if you like Grandma's Briefs on Facebook, you may already know one of my favorite sources for clever activities for kids is Krokotak. I'm not sure what the name means or who's behind the magic, but I…

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Wherein I review the DOZZI Natural White Noise Machine by WITTI Design

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My newest grandson will soon arrive, and the baby shower for his mama — my eldest daughter — is on the calendar. With Brianna's shower scheduled, all things baby have been on my brain lately. She'll receive a nursery glider from her dad and me (not a secret, so no spoiler here) but I plan to present her with a few other little goodies, too, as grandmas do.

Yet as I peruse the possibilities, everything seems so, well, generic, typical, common. All that's on Brianna's registry is adorable, yes, but I'm looking for something a little different, useful gifts versus...

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Happy hummers! Plus, GRAND Social No. 315 link party for grandparents

Happy hummers! Plus, GRAND Social No. 315 link party for grandparents

Happy hummers!

The hummingbirds have been more active in my yard than ever before. It's been a joy to follow them—and photograph and film them—as they enjoy our feeders and flowers on the deck. Especially my brilliant purple torenia!

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BTS 2018: School boys and other stuff

BTS 2018: School boys and other stuff

My three desert-dwelling grandsons started school on Tuesday. Declan delighted in taking part in first-day photos for the first time as he began half-day preschool the same morning his brothers headed to big-boy school. This year Camden is a first-grader, and Brayden—believe it or not …

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(Baby) things are getting real! Plus, GRAND Social No. 314 link party for grandparents

(Baby) things are getting real! Plus, GRAND Social No. 314 link party for grandparents

(Baby) things are getting real!

My daughter Brianna is well into her third trimester, and things are finally getting real in terms of it seeming like a baby really, truly will arrive soon. She and Patrick completed their birthing classes last week, and they worked diligently on the nursery over the weekend in preparation for their baby boy's October arrival.

On my end, there was this yesterday, which I posted on social media... and which I can't write much on now because it makes me tear up all over again.

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A grandparenting guide for today's grandparents (Brief Book Review)

Unconditional Love Jane Isay Brief book review.jpg

I recently noticed a new "guide to grandparenting" book making the review rounds on several of my favorite grandma blogger sites. Soon after perusing their thoughts, I was offered the opportunity to check out the book myself.

The book, Unconditional Love by Jane Isay, features the intriguing subtitle, "A guide to navigating the joys and challenges of being a grandparent today."

Upon reading Isay's thoughts and interviews with numerous grandmothers, it seems Unconditional Love can be wholly…

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Extend summer fun with Pressman Toy and Goliath Games (review)

Though school bells beckon in the distance, there's still a fair share of summertime to spare. Why not gather the grands and try your hands at these six entertaining options for school-age kids and older?

I received the six following toys and games from Pressman Toy and Goliath Games free for review, and my review buddy, James, and I had a blast putting each to the test.

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Remember Sniglets? Plus, GRAND Social No. 313 link party for grandparents

Remember Sniglets? Plus, GRAND Social No. 313 link party for grandparents

Remember Sniglets?

I watched a comedy show the other night and found myself more annoyed than amused. I'm bone-weary—and bored—by what seems to pass as humor anymore, that being primarily political skits, potty jokes, and TMI on anything and everything.

That may sound crotchety, but gee whiz, I sure could go for some of the wit and wisecrackery (yeah, my word) that made me chuckle—and sometimes snort—back in the day.

Yesterday I sought out some of the silliness that used to make me smile and stumbled upon several videos of one of my all-time favorite snicker-eliciting…

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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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