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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Movie review: Book Club

Movie review: Book Club

I have never read the infamous 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James. I'll try not to judge (too much) those who have. From all I've heard, it just seems too trashy—not fun-trashy just trashy-trashy—for my tastes and time. There are far too many other books on my to-read list and far too little time in which to tackle them for me to squander even seconds on trashy-trashy.

The four 60-something, forever friends of BOOK CLUB initially seem to agree with me on such. Diane (Diane Keaton), Vivian (Jane Fonda), Sharon (Candice Bergen), and Carol (Mary Steenburgen) have met monthly for decades to discuss books—reading selections made on a rotating basis—men, and more. 50 Shades of Grey is not the sort of selection the refined readers read. Initially.

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Wherein I review 'I've Been Thinking... Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations for a Meaningful Life'


I've long been a fan of—and subscriber to—Maria Shriver's The Sunday Paper. In her weekly e-newsletter, Shriver shares empowering, encouraging, inspirational thoughts and information on people making a positive difference in our culture, our world.

Shriver opens each newsletter with an engaging personal message  titled "I've been thinking...," on a range of topics relevant to world events and concerns. She follows up with powerful articles and tidbits by and about various "Architects of Change," as she calls the passionate "changemakers moving humanity forward." 

The Sunday Paper never fails to open my eyes and heart to the positive possibilities in our world today despite the doom, gloom, negativity, and nastiness proliferating online and off.

So when I was offered the opportunity to review I've Been Thinking... Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations for a Meaningful Life, Shriver's most recent book, inspired by the messages she writes and shares in The Sunday Paper, I naturally responded, "Heck, yeah!"

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A 'Disquiet Time' gem, plus GRAND Social No. 292 link party for grandparents

A 'Disquiet Time' gem, plus GRAND Social No. 292 link party for grandparents

I am a sucker for a good quote, as this post and this post attest. I recently checked out from the library Disquiet Time: Rants and Reflections on the Good Book by the Skeptical, the Faithful, and a few Scoundrels, edited by Jennifer Grant and Cathleen Falsani, and while reading Tracey Bianchi's touching (and truth-filled) essay "One Disgusting Mess," the following passage jumped right off the page and into my heart:

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Cookbook review: 100 Classic Gluten-Free Comfort Food Recipes

I've always been one to express my love to friends and family with food (among other things). Homemade cookies regularly in the cookie jar. Special treats for special folks on special days. Enjoying food crafts and activities with kids. Festive family occasions focus primarily on food.

Enter a grandchild with food allergies. Gluten issues, in particular. James, my bonus grandson courtesy his dad Patrick marrying my daughter Brianna, can't eat the majority of my long-time specialty goodies and holiday favorites. Figuring out how to express food-love to that kiddo has been a challenge. For the most part, food isn't what James and I share.

That's all about to change, courtesy 100 Classic Gluten-Free Comfort Food Recipes by Donna Washburn and Heather Butt, which I recently received from publisher Robert Rose free for review. The 224-page cookbook takes the mystery out of making savory and sweet dishes without gluten! A lifesaver for this grandma and her gluten-free grandson.



Books, Brightly, and Grandparents of Children's Literature

In celebration of Grandparents Day — which is this Sunday, Sept. 10 — I'd like to share with you a grand resource for grandparents that I just recently learned of.

Brightly is a resource for parents, grandparents, and other folks dedicated to raising lifelong readers. The award-winning website, a partnership with Penguin Random House, launched in 2014 and features, as the Brightly site states, "book recommendations from all publishers for every age and stage, reading tips and insights, seasonal inspirations, author essays, contests, gift guides, and more."

Brightly has some pretty great content specifically for grandparents, including the following piece, which I've received permission to share with you in part. Enjoy! And be sure to click for the complete article as well as others, all celebrating grandparents. For Grandparents Day and every day!

By Tom Burns

Grandparents aren’t just solid sources of extra dollars, hearty hugs, and embarrassing...

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10 rituals and rules I read by

Every avid reader has a favorite genre as well as a favorite reading spot for snuggling up with a book.

Every avid reader likely also has a few personal (private, perhaps) rituals and rules by which they read. The following are mine — some of which I hope you won't hold against me.


Printed books beat digital.
I get the attraction of books you can download and read anytime, anywhere. I actually own a...

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Here and now: July 29, 2016

This is what's up in my life... and an answer to why I've not been posting much "real writing" here on the blog.

clock and book

On my mind...

How to cheer up Jim after learning yesterday he is "not yet ready for prime time" after his foot surgery, according to his podiatrist. Meaning, he still cannot bear weight on his right foot. Meaning, he has yet another week left using crutches. Meaning, he must still sleep downstairs, must still go in the back door at work where they have a handicapped ramp for him to...

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Here and now: April 14, 2016

What's happening in my world, here and now:

clock and book 

On my mind...

My taxes. Not because I need to do them, but because I just finished them. Filed them yesterday morning. My brain is still mulling over numbers, deductions, credits, and crap I really don't like to think about. Jim is the numbers person in our relationship; I'm more the words person. But because...

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Picture books for poetry month, plus GRAND Social No. 202 link party for grandparents

Picture books for poetry month

April is National Poetry Month, and I had the pleasure of previewing some super picture books of poetry of various sorts from Candlewick Press.

Take a peek at the sweet, silly, and shark-filled fun you can share with your favorite poetry-lovers-to-be in my post titled April is National Poetry Month: Favorites new and newfangled for girls and boys.

One of my favorites (which you literature lovers will appreciate) is Shrunken Treasures: Literary Classics, Short, Sweet, and Silly by Scott Nash. Such fun, even grownups will chuckle, grin... and groan (appreciatively, of course).

shrunken treasures by scott nash 

Cheers to...

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