Gramma learns a lesson: boys and bracelets

Gramma learns a lesson: boys and bracelets

My long-distance grandsons have what they call “the home phone,” an iPhone Brayden, Camden, and Declan all have equal access to for communicating with friends and family (approved by Mom and Dad).

Occasionally my phone dings and pings over and over as I get a flood of gifs and goofy emojis texted from “the home phone.” As my grandsons don’t indicate who it is doing the texting, I have to guess according to what the message contains. If text is included, it’s typically Brayden …

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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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Flashback: 10 signs of aging gracefully

Flashback: 10 signs of aging gracefully

Dear readers: This piece on the secret to aging gracefully originally appeared on Grandma’s Briefs on March 24, 2013. Six years later, the signs still resonate with me. I hope they do with you, too. Thank you for reading my rerun.

When it comes to aging gracefully, forget the face creams, hair colors and exercises — the physical manifestations others see as we rack up the years. Instead, I prefer to focus on a different kind of trait that others see, one I think trumps the physical when considering how gracefully others are aging and how gracefully I'm aging myself.

That trait? It's attitude. For, as age is just…

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Throwback Thursday: 10 life lessons grandchildren help us remember

Throwback Thursday: 10 life lessons grandchildren help us remember

Dear readers: As my three grandsons from the desert will be visiting PawDad and me (and the rest of our Colorado family) this weekend, I thought it only fitting to share again one of my all-time favorite photo-filled posts featuring Brayden, Camden, and Declan. I hope you enjoy this #TBT feature, which originally published here on Grandma’s Briefs February 10, 2015. Thank you for reading my rerun.

With all that we do for our grandchildren, they do for us so very much more. Things such as reminding us of important lessons we've learned yet often forget to put into practice. Things such as these.

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Grandma Christmas crafts matter

Grandma Christmas crafts matter

The year my husband and I were married, his stepmom, Diane, whom I had never met and Jim hadn’t seen in years, sent us a lovely joint Christmas stocking she had made for us. She also sent an adorable handmade one for baby Brianna, who was born soon after we married.

Diane sent another precious stocking the following year, when Megan was born. And another two years after that for our baby Andie.

When Megan and Preston married and…

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Gramma goes tubing

Gramma goes tubing

Despite having been born in Minnesota and living in the Land of 10,000 Lakes the first decade of my life, I'm not big on water sports. To any degree. I still don't know how to swim... even after having swim lessons as a child and again at 40 years old.

I'm not deathly afraid of water, but I certainly don't seek out splishy-splashy fun in water over my head. Not even water up to my chest, to be honest.

So it should come as no surprise that I've never whiled away hours in an inner tube on a lake. Nor have I engaged in tubing…

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Flashback: The know-it-all grandma and her acts of ignorance

Flashback: The know-it-all grandma and her acts of ignorance

Dear readers: This flashback feature originally appeared on Grandma's Briefs July 24, 2014. Thank you for reading my (updated) rerun.

I'm often asked by family, friends—and sometimes even strangers—for answers and directions on a variety of topics. I'm happy to say that I can usually give them what they seek. My husband often jokingly calls me Google; my daughters consider me one of the best researchers they know.

Which makes it difficult to not fancy myself a know-it-all at times.

To keep things in check—meaning, to deflate my occasionally oversized ego and obnoxiously large noggin'—I need only recall one or more of the times I was clearly not in the know. At all. The times I didn't know what the heck I should have known, whether I pretended to know it or not.

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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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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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Social media success: Cast iron skillet pizza

Social media success: Cast iron skillet pizza

Sunday dinners at my place usually feature food of a relatively traditional sort. Not massive spreads, by any means, but certainly not pizza.

Usually.

This past Sunday Jim and I were busy all day (messing around on Ancestry.com, I confess) and by the time dinner needed fixin' I didn't feel like fixing it. Yet we've resolved to cut down on our dining — and ordering — out, which meant I had to come up with something on which we could sup.

So I turned to a relatively new addition to my...

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My festive flop

My festive flop

When it comes to holiday events in my family, the tables are typically topped with an abundance of delicious yet fat-, calorie-, and sugar-laden eats and treats. So on our Christmas Day buffet table, I decided one of my dishes would be a more healthy sort of something.

No veggie tray, mind you, as peppers, carrots, celery and such notoriously go untouched. Instead, I chose fresh, fruity fare with a festive flair to impress my guests with a healthy holiday option.

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An open letter to new long-distance grandmas

An open letter to new long-distance grandmas

Dear heartbroken long-distance grandma,

First, let me say congratulations on your grandma status! Whether you just learned you'd soon have a grandchild, a newborn grand recently arrived, or one or more grandkiddos have long been part of your heart, you are a grandmother and that's worth celebrating... again and again.

Today, though, I offer my condolences that your grandmother status carries, or soon will, the long-distance modifier. I know how hard that is on you. I know because I am you — a long-distance grandma.

I've been a long-distance grandma a while, with hundreds of miles separating me from my sweet ones ever since the initial "You're going to be a grandma!" announcement nearly ten years ago. Considering the survival strategies I've learned the hard way...

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