Flashback: Sink, swim, or hold on!

Flashback: Sink, swim, or hold on!

Dear readers: This flashback feature originally appeared on Grandma’s Briefs March 4, 2010. Update: I’m still holding on “with a steel-plated grip because I have no other option.” How about you? Thank you for reading my rerun.

Back in the '80s, before the real estate market crash that marked the end of that decade, I worked for a mortgage company. Business was good, and we were rewarded well by the company's owner.

One of the bigger rewards we once received was a day offwork ... and on the owner's boat. On a day we should be processing loans, the entire office (it was a small office) would get to don bathing suits and hang out at the reservoir, on a boat, sipping beer in the sunshine.

I didn't want to go. I really did not want to go.

I didn't want to go because despite having been born in Minnesota…

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Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month: My MS and me

Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month: My MS and me

March is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month. Though I have MS, I don’t write much about it because, frankly, it’s long been just part of who I am, not what defines me. There are far more informative bloggers when it comes to all things MS—my dear friend Cathy of An Empowered Spirit foremost in my mind—so I typically stick with grandma-focused sorts of stuff.

Yet, with MS becoming a bigger (sometimes overwhelmingly so) focus of my life in the time since last year’s MS Awareness Month, I figured I’d spend at least one post sharing the relatively recent changes to my MS and me. Perhaps doing so will put…

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Goodbye, Mom, plus GRAND Social No. 327 link party for grandparents

Goodbye, Mom, plus GRAND Social No. 327 link party for grandparents

Goodbye, Mom

Yesterday family and friends said a final farewell to my mom — Gramma to my girls, Nonnie to her younger grandkids, Sweet Ann to her sisters and friends, Goofy (or Obnoxious, Opinionated, Absolutely Off The Wall) Ann to others.

Regardless of the many monikers, Patricia Ann Kelly left an impression on all who knew her, an aching heart in those who loved her dearly and lost her too soon.

A mere sketch of my mama, i.e., her obituary:

PATRICIA ANN KELLY
August 25, 1941 ~ November 4, 2018

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Risque rehab

Risque rehab

On Monday I visited my mom in the rehabilitation facility where she’s been staying since an especially difficult setback in her lung cancer journey a few weeks ago.

As I sat on the edge of the bed next to her, we perused the papers left by a CNA which listed various activities meant to get the patients up and about and socializing. I read the options for group entertainment to her.

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Getting real... plus GRAND Social No. 321 link party for grandparents

Getting real... plus GRAND Social No. 321 link party for grandparents

Getting real

My mom is struggling to survive stage 3 lung cancer. My firstborn will soon deliver her firstborn any day now. Somewhere in between my utter despair regarding the one end of life’s spectrum and my sheer delight related to the other is the space where I, a writer and blogger, should be writing and blogging.

But I don’t feel like…

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Disrupt aging: Today's grandmas smash the stereotype... even when embracing it

Disrupt aging: Today's grandmas smash the stereotype... even when embracing it

Disclosure: This post made possible with support from AARP's Disrupt Aging. All opinions are my own.

When I first started my blog in 2009, one of the "editorial guidelines" I set for myself was that I would not post photos of myself on my website. At that time I had been a grandma for a little over a year, and in those twelve-plus months, when I shared my grandma status with strangers—retail clerks, random folks encountered while out and about, friends-in-the-making, and so forth—I was more often than not met with the comment, "You don't look like a grandma."

As a goal for my blog was to establish myself as a go-to guide for all things related to the grandmother lifestyle, I determined that—based on such comments—posting pictures of myself might…

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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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Encourage compassion! Plus, GRAND Social No. 308 link party for grandparents

Encourage compassion! Plus, GRAND Social No. 308 link party for grandparents

Encourage compassion!

The egregious lack of compassion on the parts of many—and on so many levels—in our society anymore has become an overriding dark cloud of concern to me. Maybe for you, too. It's so darn heartbreaking and mind boggling for those of us who know we, collectively, are better than the recent devastating actions and events that, fairly or not, have come to define us as a nation.

I want better for my grandchildren, for all grandchildren. You probably do, too. Yet it's hard to know…

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Brain drain... On lo mein, cracked pots, and other loves

Brain drain... On lo mein, cracked pots, and other loves

Wherein I ramble on...

Brianna is starting to show. And that's pretty darn awesome. She and Patrick find out next week if their first baby is a boy or a girl. I'm hoping for a girl... yet wonder if it's wrong to even consider hoping for one gender over another considering what they've gone through to get this far. Of course I'll be thrilled with another grandson but as this is likely my final grandchild, adding a girl to the grand group seems fitting. (Don't tell anyone, but I do think it's a girl.)

The life God intended. Conversations and situations

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Throwback Thursday: Fine lines... worn and walked

Throwback Thursday: Fine lines... worn and walked

This #TBT piece by Lisa Carpenter originally published April 15, 2014 on Grandma's Briefs. Thank you for reading!

As I scan shelf after shelf of beauty aids at the drugstore in search of the perfect product to combat my age spots and wrinkles, I consider the plethora of inescapable fine lines I encounter in this phase of life. Despite the endless number of serums and creams and BB this and AHA that created to (sort of) soothe away the skin issues, I’ve yet to find a solution to the fine lines that matter most: those encountered in my role as a parent to adult children.

Most concerning are the fine lines I walk—that all parents of grown children walk—as I attempt to be wise, supportive, encouraging for my adult children without seeming overbearing, overprotective, overly critical or any other overly state that might tangle the ties that bind me to my dear ones.

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