Inspiration for 2019! Plus, GRAND Social No. 333 link party for grandparents

Inspiration for 2019! Plus, GRAND Social No. 333 link party for grandparents

Inspiration for 2019!

Each time the new year rolls around, I feel compelled to create a list of resolutions for the upcoming year. Or to choose a word by which my motivations for the next twelve months will be guided. I admire folks who manage to settle on such things, yet regardless of how deeply feel I should do one or the other, I do neither.

I prefer instead to simply find inspiration which supports my own personal mission that has guided me for most of my adult life. A statement I settled on many years ago when I was…

Read More

What I learned this week: Beware of bad grandmas

copyright infringement

Tuesday night, as I watched the last episode of The Voice (and crossed my fingers Michelle Shamuel or the Swon Brothers would win), I received on my phone a Facebook message. It was a friend alerting me to posts and pictures of my grandson Mac that were being prominently featured on another grandma's Facebook page.

The Facebook page in question isn't that of a friend or a regular reader of Grandma's Briefs. It's a Facebook page unrelated to a blog or website, and it bills itself as dedicated to "grandparents and grandkids."

After checking out what my friend directed me to, it was clear the content was not something I had shared on Facebook, not a "share" from my Grandma's Briefs Facebook page. No, it was my original copyrighted material copied in full from this post. Worse yet, it featured the photo of Mac that went with the post, stolen from this blog and pasted on that Facebook page as if it were their own material. No attribution, no mention of Grandma's Briefs, no admission that it was not their material and not their grandchild they were sharing. (There were, in fact, two of my posts that Facebook page had stolen from this blog, but only the written text from the second.)

Worse yet... that stolen content was being shared and shared and shared across Facebook. My words. My grandson. My post. My copyrighted material. Yet no one seemed to notice that the bad grandma who put it on her page was not the owner of the material, not the grandmother of the precious little boy they all found so cute and shareable.

I was livid. I was literally shaking as I commented on the post on that page, asking the grandma to please remove my content, but more importantly, to remove my grandson's photo from her page. There was no response to my comment on that post requesting it be removed (even though I know she was there as new posts were being added as I steamed), so I had to private message her. Her response — as the sharing from her nearly 25,000 Facebook fans of my post and grandson continued: "...sorry, your pic should have a link or a owner name. ( your mistake, not ours)."

I was appalled at her response, her refusal to accept responsibility for stealing from my blog (as I said, I had not shared the full post on Facebook, ever) and her refusal to completely remove my grandbaby and my copyrighted words from her page.

It took quite a few go-rounds, many private messages from me to those who unwittingly shared stolen property and my grandson's photo, many threats from me to that unethical grandma that I'd be reporting her for copyright infringement before she finally and reluctantly removed my content. After it had been shared across Facebook by nearly 300 of her fans.

Okay, I know my grandson is cute. And my 10 commandments for grandmothers post was a fairly clever one if I say so myself. And ya know what? If that grandma had requested permission from me to post it on her page or had included the fact it was from my site and noted that the photo was my grandson (whose face isn't visible in that photo, thank heavens... it's the one above, just with different text for that stolen post), I probably would not have cared. I probably would have welcomed the request to share my work. But she didn't ask. She came into my house (my blog), stole my stuff (my words and photos), and offered to share it with the world as if it were hers to share.

So very, very wrong. Even more wrong was that she refused to accept responsibility for her actions or apologize for the mistake.

What makes this even worse is that I am not the first person this woman has stolen from in this manner. I have a grandma friend — who shall, at her request, remain anonymous — who experienced the very same thing, sans the photo of a grandchild, luckily. My friend went round and round to have her content removed.

Finally my friend won, the content was removed from that page. Time went by. Then the bad grandma stole content from my friend again, giving no attribution to the owner of the copyrighted material. Oddly and sadly enough, there are other Facebook pages that have done the exact same thing to that exact same grandma friend.

Truly unbelievable. Especially because all the pages that did it are grandmas. Or claim to be.

As I told the bad grandma who stole from me, she should be ashamed of herself and that I hope her grandchildren do not follow her lead. She came back at me with a "no need to get personal," which seemed rather ironic to me because when you steal photos of my grandchild, copy and paste my words/writings/works, that seems quite personal.

I continue to "like" that Facebook page — only so I can keep an eye out for my content, photos of my grandchildren being shared without my permission. It's one thing to "share" something I have placed on Facebook for friends and family, such as you folks, to share; it's entirely another to come to my blog, copy/paste/steal my content then post it on Facebook and pretend it's yours.

So the bottom line, the reason for this long-winded diatribe is to warn you all to beware the bad grandmas who may steal your content and share it on Facebook. I will keep an eye out for your content being shared. I hope you will keep an eye out, too, not only for my content but for that of all the grandmas in our grandmahood, those of us who know each other — even if only online — those of us who have each other's backs.

Together, we must beware of bad grandmas. That, my friends, is what I learned this week.

<heavy sigh>

As I step down from my soap box, I'd like to wish each and every one of you a fantastic weekend. I so very much appreciate you all, and I hope to see you here again come Monday!

Cheers!

Today's question:

What did you learn this week?

The 10 commandments for grandmothers

Commandments for Grandmas.JPG

ONE

Thou shall not put one grandchild above any other grandchild, in favor, gifts, deeds, or attention.

TWO

Thou shall not make for yourself a collection of images taken from the Facebook account, online photo-sharing service, or—heaven forbid—a physical photo album belonging to the parents of the grandchild without asking first.

THREE

Thou shall not take the name of the grandchild’s parents in vain for the manner in which they’re feeding, disciplining, spoiling, raising your grandchild(ren). At least not in front of the children.

FOUR

Remember the Sabbath Day or whatever day may immediately follow a visit with the grandkids. Use it wisely to rest up, for you will surely need to recover from the energy depletion resulting from the constant attention, crafting, joking, cooking, and uncommon physical activity required—and fully enjoyed—while in the presence of a grandson or granddaughter.

FIVE

Honor the father and mother of your grandchildren for in most cases, they really are trying their hardest to do right by the children.

SIX

Thou shall not murder the dietary and bedtime guidelines set forth by the grandchild’s parents. At least not often. And only when chocolate or a request for just one more bedtime story is involved.

SEVEN

Thou shall not commit adult-like expressions that demean the grandchild, no matter how challenging the child may be. Especially at an overdue bedtime—for the child or the grandma. Or during shopping excursions. Or when the little one won’t eat a special something you cooked up just for him or her, snarling and refusing to take even one single nibble because it’s too brown or too red or touching the food next to it.

EIGHT

Thou shall not steal all the time with the grandchild—especially a newborn—from other family members simply because you want to continue loving, touching and squeezing the little one, for others do, too. Volunteer, instead, to change the most stinkily soiled of diapers—something others refuse to do—then take your time doing it. 

NINE

Thou shall not bear false witness against the dog to keep a grandchild from getting in trouble for attempting to dig to China in the front yard or eating the last of the cookies from Mom’s cookie jar.

TEN

Thou shall not covet the time the other grandma has with your grandchildren, even if it’s far more than the time you are allotted. For regarding the moments grandmas and grandchildren share, the quality of the time not the quantity will be most memorably held in the hearts of the grandchildren—and the grandmother.

Today's question:

Which commandment are you most guilty of breaking? (Of the commandments above!)

GRAND Social — Grandparent linky — June 18

There's no denying we're well into the hot days of summer. Yesterday hit 95 degrees here in the mountains. Crazy—or crazy-making when you have no air conditioning, as is the case at my place.

I hope things are cooler around your place. And I also hope you'll join me in this week's GRAND Social, a linky just for grandparents. Link up, read up, meet up with some of the coolest grandparents online. (Yeah, cheesy, I know. Must be the heat!)

How it works:

  • All grandparent bloggers are invited to add a link. You don't have to blog specifically about grandparenting, but you must be a grandparent who blogs.
  • Posts shared can be an old one or a recent one, your choice. I like to link up to older posts that current readers likely haven't seen.
  • To link up, copy the direct link to the specific post you want to share, not the link to your blog's home page. Then click the blue "Click here to enter" text below and follow the directions to add your post to the list.
  • You can add up to three posts, but no duplicates, please, and none you have promoted on a previous GRAND Social linky.
  • No contests, giveaways, or Etsy sites.
  • Adding a mention at the bottom of your linked posts, such as This post has been linked to the GRAND Social blogging event, is appreciated. Or, you can post the GRAND Social button using the following code:

Grandma’sBriefs.com

<a href="/" target="_blank"><img src="http://grandmasbriefs.squarespace.com/storage/GRANDsocialbutton.jpg " alt="Grandma’sBriefs.com" width="125" height="125" /></a>

 

  • The GRAND Social linky is open for new posts through Wednesday evening, so please come back to see those added after your first visit.
  • If you're not a blogger, you have the pleasure of being a reader. All bloggers who link up would be honored to have you click, visit, read and comment.

READERS and PARTICIPATING BLOGGERS: Please visit the posts others have linked to by clicking on the thumbnail photos. Comments are always appreciated by the bloggers whose links you visit, even if it's simply "Hey, stopping by from GRAND Social."

Thank you for participating in the GRAND Social grandparent linky!

GRAND Social — Grandparent linky — May 21

Welcome to the second edition of the GRAND Social linky for grandparent bloggers. It's easy to participate: If you're a blogger and a grandparent, fall in and link up. If you're a reader, grandparent or not, pick a few posts—or all the posts—to visit and share some comment love.

How it works:

  • All grandparent bloggers are invited to add a link. You don't have to blog specifically about grandparenting, you just must be a grandparent who blogs.
  • Posts shared can be new, old, one you wish had gotten better exposure, one that got more comments than usual and you want to keep up the momentum. Your choice, so have fun with it.
  • To link up, copy the direct link to the specific post you want to share, not the link to your blog's home page. Then click the blue "Click here to enter" text below the thumbnail photos and follow the directions to add your post and thumbnail photo to the list.
  • You can add up to three posts, but no duplicates and none you have promoted on a previous GRAND Social linky, please.
  • No contests, giveaways, or Etsy sites, please.
  • All content must be safe for work and family friendly; I reserve the right to remove links I deem otherwise.
  • Adding a mention at the bottom of your linked posts, such as This post has been linked to the GRAND Social blogging event, is appreciated but not required. (I'll eventually have a GRAND Social button to share.)
  • The GRAND Social linky is open for new posts through Wednesday evening, so please come back to see those added after your first visit.

READERS and PARTICIPATING BLOGGERS: Please visit the posts others have linked to by clicking on the thumbnail photos, and comment on those you visit as that's how we get to know one another, support one another. Feel free to mention you visited directly from their link on GRAND Social. And feel free to comment here to share which links you found especially inspirational, funny, informative, interesting.

Thank you for participating in the GRAND Social grandparent linky, as readers and as bloggers!

Missing the ordinary everydayness

Now that my kids are long grown and long gone, I occasionally miss the little things about having kids in our midst. Like watching them fully engaged in and enjoying ordinary, everyday activities. No posing or posturing, just playing.

Fortunately I have Megan to text me photos of ordinary everyday moments that, to a grandmother, are not that ordinary at all anymore and are truly something special to see.

To wit, scenes from a recent playdate—an afternoon hosted by Bubby and Baby Mac, featuring a car wash, snack time, and play pals:

So cool to see Baby Mac hanging with the big kids. And Bubby, too, obviously relishing his role as king of festivities.

Today's question:

What ordinary everydayness do you miss from your childrearing years?

Grandma's going to the desert and in her bag she'll pack...

I leave Friday for a twelve-day visit with my grandsons—seven days of which I'll be sole caretaker of kids while Megan and Preston attend an out-of-state conference.

In campfire-game fashion, I've made a list to ensure I remember all I need for the duration of my longest desert stay yet.

Grandma's going to the desert and in her bag she'll pack...

A — Aluminum foil for trying the back yard foil river we never got around to doing last time.

B — Bandaids to share with the boys. Decorated with VeggieTale characters.

C — Coffee. Lots and lots of it. (Okay, I'm not really packing the coffee but I've made sure it's included—in bold letters—on my list of demands that Megan have on hand.)

D — DSLR camera manual. And the camera, too. In hopes I can figure out a few more fancy functions while I have super subjects for shooting.

E — Earth-friendly crafts from Green Kid Crafts. The owners of the subscription service sent me several packets o' fun to review with Bubby, including Pirate Loot, Fishbowl, Great Horned Owl Mask projects and more.

F — Frozen Planet DVD. I'm excited to share it with Bubby.

G — Glasses. And a spare pair of glasses, too. I can no longer fake my way through reading small print—sometimes not even large print—and must bring a spare just in case something happens to the first pair.

H — Humor, or a good sense of it. From what Megan says, I'm likely gonna need it as the boys have been pills of varying sorts for the past week or so.

I — Ibuprofen. I'm pretty sure I'll be needing these pills for the above-referenced pills. If they really are pills. The boys, that is, not the pain reliever.

J — Jammies that are sufficiently grandma like as I don't want to scar my grandsons for life with any unintentional over-exposure.

K — Kitchen stuff. To include vanilla candy coating, sprinkles, and my grandma apron for making Confetti Popcorn with Bubby.

L — Laptop. A telecommuting working grandma can't leave home without it.

M — Music. On my laptop, on my iPhone. Because everything's better with music...and dance parties with cute boys. Cute boys named Bubby and Baby Mac, of course. (Well, named that at least here on the blog. In real life, those cute boys go by even cuter names.)

N — Ninety-four things I'm forgetting about as of this writing. Luckily there's still time for me to remember what those ninety-four things are. I hope.

O — Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year by Anne Lamott. In-flight reading material my good friend Heather recently bought and had autographed for me. (I'll be finished by then with Lamott's excellent book about becoming a grandma, Some Assembly Required. Huge Anne Lamott fan here.)

P — Power strip for ensuring I'll have plenty of spots for plugging in my laptop, camera, and iPhone each night as I nestle into bed.

Q — Quality hugs, kisses, and grandmotherly attention to be doled out in excess.

R — Realm for Women by Erox perfume. I really stink at accessorizing, but I always wear a (light!) squirt of an understated perfume. I like to smell good. And I like to think my grandsons will always remember that Gramma smells good. (Not that my Realm was purchased with them in mind. It was actually a gift from Jim—who always remembers that I like to smell good.)

S — Stickers! Race Cars Sticker Fun for Bubby.

T — Treasure. Also known as coins. PawDad always gives me treasure I'm supposed to pass along to the grandsons. Most times I do; sometimes I forget. (Just kidding, PawDad.)

U — Underwear. Because I had nothing else that started with a U. Well, because they're a necessity, too, but you know what I mean. Umbrella is the typical U word in such lists, but it's not likely I'll need one as the forecast's for triple digit heat while I'm there. (Maybe undertaker would have been more appropriate as the heat just might do me in.)

V — VeggieTales: Robin Good and His Not-So-Merry Men DVD.

W — Water balloons and the nifty gadget that makes them easy to fill. Will be So. Much. Fun. Especially on the trampoline.

X — X-tra patience. "See H — Humor" above.

Y — Yellow crayons...and every other color of crayon, too, to be used with the coloring book I'm packing.

Z — Zoris. I received a pair of Neat Zori sandals for review, but Colorado weather is not yet conducive to sandal wear. Days in the desert, though, are a perfect opportunity to see how the shoes stand up to days upon days of active fun in the sun.

photo: stock.xchng/bb_matt

Today's question:

Any recommendations of things I should add to my bag?

Savor the moments

Jim and I had three daughters in a short period of time. There are 16 months between the oldest and the middle daughters, 19 months between the middle and the youngest. Which means, obviously, our daughters are very close in age. In fact, for one month out of each year—roughly mid July to mid August—the girls' ages are consecutive.

Which also means, obviously, I was one very busy mama while raising them. I felt hurried and harried much of the time, and I rarely stopped to savor the sweetest and simplest of moments with my three girls, from their toddler to their teen years.

I'm trying to not make the same mistake as a grandma.

Things are pretty clear cut with Baby Mac because as an eight-month-old, what he wants, he pretty much needs...and gets. With three-and-a-half-year-old Bubby, though, it's different. His needs are met; his wants are up for negotiation. That's where my tack as a grandmother differs from the tack I took as a mother. When Bubby requests my participation, my attention, I do my best to stop the busy work and savor the moment. As long as his requests are reasonable, that is. And most reasonable he proved to be during my recent visit to the desert.

For example, "Gramma, can you play train with me?" was a reasonable request. So, despite not being one for typically enjoying sitting on the floor—and Baby Mac needing some attention, too—I busied Mac with some blocks, plopped down next to Bubby, and followed his lead of "You be Henry, Gramma, and I'll be Thomas." Moment savored.

Another instance: Bubby's bedtime routine typically features one bedtime story read. One night we finished the chosen book, and I stood from his bed to tuck him in, kiss him goodnight, and head out the door. "Can we please read this one, too?" Bubby pleaded, holding up a book. "It's soooo funny!" So I did, all the while savoring his snickers at "There Was A Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow," savoring his sense of humor, savoring the moment.

When Bubby asked, "Gramma, can we build a fort?" I didn't hem and haw about the mess it would make. Instead, Bubby and I together built the fort to beat all forts, with tunnels and secret passages and cardboard boxes blocking out the light. Moment savored...and video captured of Bubby and Baby Mac savoring the fort again and again and again, with giggles galore as they chased one another through tunnels and more.

At snack time, Bubby wanted his snack in the fort. At naptime, he wanted the bedtime story read—to both him and Baby Mac—in the fort. Both requests filled. Easily. Both moments savored. Surely.

At the park, Bubby asked if I'd climb up the play structure and "play pirate" with him. Baby Mac slept in his stroller, within viewing distance, of course, as Bubby and I climbed and slid and shouted "Look out, Captain! They're after us!" again and again. Moment savored.

Most mornings of my visit, Bubby woke me with a gentle nudge on my knee—except for the first morning when he slammed open my bedroom door and shouted, "GRAMMA! It's morning time!" (My freakout at his announcement led to knee nudges going forward, I'm sure.) One day when I woke before him, Bubby watched me from the open bathroom door and said, "Gramma, after you're done brushing your teeth, will you start your day with me?" Request easily filled as that was my intent anyway. The sweet moment of his request, though, especially savored.

Requests of "Will you jump with me, Gramma?" brought leaps and bounds of joy each and every time we giggled and wiggled and waggled about on the trampoline—which was pretty much each and every time Bubby asked me to do so. And my request to him one night to lie quietly on the trampoline and look at the stars together was enthusiastically met with a resounding "Yes!" That grandson of mine, he truly gives as good as he gets. Moments savored—by both of us.

One of Bubby's favorite cartoons is Olivia, which begins with the inflation of a pirate ship bouncy house. Once, a discussion of bouncy houses ensued after the program began, and Bubby gushed about the most awesome of parties he was scheduled to soon attend. "It's gonna be so cool! There's gonna be a bouncy house and pizza!" he raved. "Do you want to come, Gramma? Maybe you can ask PawDad if you can come!"

This was one of Bubby's few unreasonable requests. Not because I wouldn't be in town at the time of the party or because I'm sure the guest of honor wasn't expecting grandmas to join in. No, I thought it unreasonable—and, more so, surprising—that Bubby naturally assumed I had to ask PawDad's permission to go to the party. My I-am-woman-hear-me-roar sensibilities wanted me to explain to Bubby that I don't need PawDad's permission to go to the party, that I didn't need his permission to do anything. Women, I considered telling my grandson, don't need permission from a man to do anything—we can do anything we choose.

What I chose to do, though, was to not tell Bubby those things. There's plenty of time for him to learn such lessons—and woefully little time that a precious boy earnestly and enthusiastically extends to his grandma invitations to birthday parties with pizza and bouncy houses.

What I chose to do was savor that fleeting moment instead.

Today's fill-in-the-blank:

A moment I recently savored with my grandchildren or children was ___________.