Introducing Grilled Grandma Janie

 I'd like to introduce you to Janie. Ever since meeting Janie online, I've been continually impressed and inspired by her work ethic, her writing credits, and her cheerful heart. Oh, and her hair. I do love Janie's hair! And that was all before I even knew she was a grandma. That she is, though, and today she is a grilled grandma.

What's a Grilled Grandma? A Grilled Grandma is a grandma whom I've grilled with some grandma-related questions, and she's graciously responded with answers and photos. Here is Grilled Grandma Janie:

How many children do you have? One daughter. And a step daughter and step son who both live in Michigan.
How many grandchildren? What are their ages? Three from my daughter  2 Boys and a girl. The baby, Enzo, is 19 months.  Joey 8 years old & Dylan is 10 years old.
Three from my step daughter - 5, 8 & 11
One from my step son - 8
What do your grandchildren call you? Grandma or Grams and sometimes J-Gram.

 After the initial elation, what was your first concern upon hearing you would soon be a grandmother? That my daughter's wedding dress was going to have to be altered!
Then about month before my granddaughter was born, I broke my foot and I was on crutches during her birth and for several months afterwards. What I hated the most was that I couldn't carry her around.

How often do you get to see your grandchildren? I see the ones who live near me almost every day.
What is the best thing about being a grandma? Being able to play with them. Having them confide in me. Tucking them in at night. And then going home. And being able to share being a "grandma" with my mother who is now a great grandmother. It's an unbelievable feeling, one that I'm so glad I get to experience.

What is the most challenging part of being a grandma? Hmm. This is hard to answer because I just love it all. I guess sometimes watching my granddaughter act with my daughter in the same rebellious way that my daughter used to act toward me.
Describe a recent time that one (or more) of your grandchildren made you laugh out loud. Well, the youngest has a language of his own that always makes me laugh.  My granddaughter does impressions that crack me up. And my eight-year-old grandson tells the most amazing stories about his skateboarding adventures.  
What is your favorite thing to do with grandchildren who visit your house? Snuggle with them on the couch and read books. I also make up stories for them and they in turn make up stories of their own.

What is your favorite thing to do when visiting grandchildren at their house? Read books and play games. They have very vivid imaginations and like to play made up games such as Dry Cleaners ( who knew such a place could inspire a game) or restaurant. And we dance and put on shows. I'm pretty exhausted when I get home.

How do you maintain the bond between yourself and your grandchildren between visits?
I text my granddaughter. We talk on the phone. Sadly, I don't have as much communication with the grandchildren that live in Michigan.

What do you most want to pass along to your grandchildren?
Creativity and imagination, whether it's writing or drawing or dancing. And I want them to believe in themselves and know that they can be anything they want to be. That they are the rulers of their own destiny.

What is one word you hope your grandkids think of when they think of you? Fun. But I do know they call me "Funny, unusual & funky." And I have to add that they also think of me as "Big Haired." In fact, I'm working a picture book titled "My big-haired, funky Grandma."

What has most surprised you about being a grandma?
How much I love it and them.

What is one thing you wish you had learned earlier as a grandparent?
I can't really think of anything.

What one bit of advice would you give a new grandma?
Don't be afraid of acting silly.

Do you have a website, book or project to promote?
My recent release is a book for tween girls titled MERCURY IN RETRO LOVE. It is a sweet story about crushes, conflicts and astrological confusion.

I write a weekly column for women -
My website is:
And I blog at - Anatomy of Baby Boomer - Life in Retrograde

This grilling will now be permanently placed in the Grilled Grandmas Hall of Fame—AKA the Grilled Grandma Archives—under Grilled Grandma: Janie.

Dear Readers: If you'd like to nominate a grandma for grilling—yourself or any other grandma—please e-mail me her first name and e-mail address and I'll take care of the rest. Thank you!