A Thanksgiving earworm! Plus, GRAND Social No. 280 link party for grandparents

A Thanksgiving earworm! Plus, GRAND Social No. 280 link party for grandparents

A Thanksgiving earworm!

Who doesn't love VeggieTales? And who wouldn't be delighted to have this tune of gratitude stuck in their head while finishing up the final Turkey Day prep?

If nothing else, it's a sweet song to share with the grandkiddos! Here are the lyrics, just in case you do:

I thank God for this day,
For the sun in the sky,
For my mom and my dad,
For my piece of ...
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Deck blessings! Plus, GRAND Social No. 210 link party for grandparents

Deck blessings!

May is always a challenging month in Colorado, weather wise, as temps rise and fall in grand rollercoaster fashion. It can be in the 70s one day, blizzard like the next, sunny and clear the day after. Once June arrives, though, the chance of snow has pretty much disappeared and summer-like spring days are more the norm.

Last Friday was such a day. I decided to soak up the sun while kicking back on my deck for an afternoon nap. Three minutes into it, though, I gave in to the natural blessings surrounding me and opted to grab photos instead of shut eye. Here are a few shots of what I caught, never moving more than a few feet from my Adirondack chair.

backyard birds...

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An evil weevil repeat

Dear readers: Several years ago I shared the following story as part of a paid campaign. Here I share it again (modified) simply because weevils and their evils are on my mind once more as I prepare to host Thanksgiving dinner.

indian corn
photo: stock.xchng

Many years ago I established a tradition of spreading Indian-corn kernels on the Thanksgiving dinner table. Friends and family are invited to place kernels symbolizing their personal blessings in the special "gratitude" dish at any time during the meal.

It’s a kinder, gentler, and less intrusive way of getting all around the table to give thanks without shining an invasive spotlight on folks not used to spotlights or  expressing gratitude out loud, be it to friends or to family.

I could never explain the tradition to newcomers to our Thanksgiving table. Each time I'd begin the explanation, I would get...

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One happy grandma

It's been a tough several weeks leading up to yesterday's big day, my "first dose observation" day. When it was all uneventfully done and over, I was so very thankful — for the outcome as well as for the incredible support from all of you, from my friends, from my family.

And I was happy. So very happy. Once home, all I wanted...

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You get what you need when you need it most

Anne Lamott water wings quote

What I learned this week
Maybe it was the fact I was home alone this week after spending several busy days with my grandsons last week. Or maybe it's hormones. Or perhaps it's the weather changing. Whatever the reason, I've been off my game for the past several days.

My primary off-game symptom has been feeling kind of down on myself about where I'm headed — or more accurately, not headed — with my writing. Having been a writer of one degree or another for the past few decades, I get that most writers get that way now and again. That's little consolation.

Wednesday, just as I was hitting bottom and frustrating even the dogs with my negative attitude all because I felt like I was writing <cuss> — if I was writing at all — I got an email notification of a new tweet on Twitter that mentioned me. As I was open to doing anything other than staring at a screen of my words that weren't stringing together satisfactorily, I clicked on over to Twitter and found this:

tweet pic

Tears came to my eyes. Seriously. That's how much that tweet meant to me, how much I needed to hear that my words matter, that my words make a difference somewhere, somehow, to someone.

The someone perplexed me. I have no idea who Rosie Kuhn is. I have never interacted with her on Twitter or elsewhere before. She doesn't follow me, I don't follow her. Well, we didn't before Wednesday.

But for some reason my words on being heartbroken when I learned I'd be a grandma resonated with Ms. Kuhn, possibly gave her something she needed. In return, she gave me — a total stranger — what I needed. When I needed it most.

That small tweet from her that meant big things to me was yet another in a long line of moments of late when I've gotten exactly what I needed when I needed it most. Not earthshaking victories of any sort, but confirmation what I need will come.

Because, yes, you get what you need when you need it most.

And you're reminded of that when you most need to remember it.

That is what I learned this week.

PS: I also learned this week that I want to go back to posting on Saturdays, after having taken the weekends off during the summer. Stay tuned for tomorrow's Saturday post, a feature you'll find here every Saturday going forward. I hope you enjoy it!

Today's question:

What did you learn this week?

These are a few of my favorite (Thanksgiving) things

What do you love most about Thanksgiving?

Sodahead, an opinion-based community, recently asked its members exactly that, then made a nifty infographic of the answers. Here are some highlights of the results:



The full Sodahead infographic on Thanksgiving favorites can be found here.

Sodahead never asked me about my favorites, but here are a few of them:

  • Tops is spending time with my family. Many years we've taken a trip to South Dakota to spend the holiday with Jim's extended family. Two years ago, our entire family celebrated in the desert, with Megan and Preston hosting. Most years, though, have meant a houseful of people, with extra chairs and table leaves (sometimes extra tables) added in my dining room. This year, for a variety of reasons, will be our smallest Thanksgiving ever. Jim and I will spend it at home, with our youngest and oldest daughters as our only guests. To be honest, I'm kind of looking forward to the intimacy of such a low-key, low-stress gathering.
  • As far as food goes, I must say that mashed potatoes with lots of turkey gravy is one of my all-time favorite foods, and not just at Thanksgiving. But as the nest has emptied and mashing potatoes doesn't happen often around here anymore, I definitely look forward to those made at Thanksgiving.
  • In addition to the mashed potatoes, I truly love my cheesy corn casserole. And pumpkin pie. And this year I'm going to try out a new addition to the dessert selections—a cranberry-apple cobbler which will likely become a fast favorite.
  • Favorite things to do on Thanksgiving, other than eating? I particularly enjoy baking the day before. And on Thanksgiving day, I used to enjoy watching bits and pieces of the parades with my little girls. Not anymore, as my little girls are now big and no longer around at parade time. I do still love watching the performance of The Rockettes in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade—if I remember to turn on the TV in time.
  • I also love gathering around the table and giving thanks before the meal. We always say grace at dinner in my house, but I get especially verklempt when doing so on Thanksgiving. (Sheesh...I'm getting verklempt and teary just writing this.) Because every year, no matter how freakin' difficult the year has been—and let me tell ya, this last one has been a doozy beyond compare—there is so, so much I'm thankful for, so many blessings that make my life full in ways I never imagined, ways that make up for those not-so-blessed moments. I love giving thanks for those...and listening to what others around the table are thankful for, too. One good thing about this year's smaller gathering: The thank yous and amens should be completed before the food has gotten cold.
  • A new favorite: Last year, Jim and I established a Thanksgiving tradition all our own. With there typically being so many pies to choose from after Thanksgiving dinner, we decided last Thanksgiving morning that our breakfast should be the pumpkin pie I had made. I'm pretty sure pumpkin pie has never tasted sweeter. I look forward to us doing that again this year.
  • This year we'll try another new activity: going to a movie—Lincoln—after stuffing our tummies with turkey and trimmings.

Other things I love about Thanksgiving: a fire in the fireplace, delectable scents wafting through the house from early morning til late at night, the stillness of the holiday as work and worries of the everyday are put on hold.

Bottom line: I love pretty much every little thing about Thanksgiving. Well, everything except getting the leftover turkey off the bone and bagged up for leftovers.

Oh! Speaking of leftovers, I also love turkey sandwiches the next day, with lots of salt and mayo (not Miracle Whip!).

Today's question:

What are a few of your favorite Thanksgiving things?

The Saturday Post: Thankfulness and gratitude edition

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I shared last Monday a video of kids revealing what they're thankful for.

The thanks continue with the following video from SmartEdTV, this time with young adults and others expressing thanks and admitting what they take for granted.

Today's question:

What are you thankful for?

Giving thanks: Taco Bell on Sundays and the GRAND Social link party

As it's the month for giving thanks, I'd like to preface this week's GRAND Social link party with this:


I'm thankful for so many things—including cute videos of kids and the GRAND Social. I'm especially thankful you've joined me today for both.

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 linky, is appreciated. Or, you can post the GRAND Social button using the following code:


<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!


Gratitude list 2010

I'm not sure if Megan plans to continue the tradition of placing Indian corn kernels symbolizing our blessings into a special dish on the holiday dinner table, but whether actual or just in my heart, these are the kernels I offer up, the blessings for which I give thanks this Thanksgiving:

Bubby is healthy.

Everyone in my immediate family is healthy.

Those in my extended family -- those who have suffered everything from stumbles off the wagon to unemployment to limb amputations and more -- are surviving, doing the best they can.

Brianna's ability to purchase a home of her own.

The opening of an awesome career door for Andrea.

A new baby on the way.

The sweet and silly mom, dad and big brother creating a loving home for that new baby.

Friends ... who play my games, drink my pomegranate margaritas, love my dogs.

Other friends ... who may not love my dogs so much, yet are some of my favorite people in the world.

My sister who loves my dogs and will be spoiling them while I'm away for the holiday.

My other sisters. And my brothers. And my mom. And my dad. The only people who know and understand where I came from.

Health insurance.

Netflix instant streaming through the Wii.


Skype and other technology that minimizes the distance between myself and my grandson and my daughter.

A bank account that, surprisingly, has not yet hit a zero balance.

My agent ... my real, live agent who steadfastly believes I have something to offer ... and steadfastly works without pay under the belief the pay will eventually come ... once the book contracts come.

Cheap airline flights from the mountains to the desert.

Amazon Prime.

Progressive lens bi-focals.

Clairol Nice-N-Easy.

L'Oreal face cream ... Alpha Hydroxy face cream ... Arbonne face cream, eye cream, night/day facial serum.

My beautiful home that creaks and groans and sometimes scares me but that always warms my heart. Especially when the wood floors have just been shined.

Deer, fox, squirrels and birds that make my neighborhood a more interesting -- and photogenic -- place to live.

Harness leashes that make it possible for me to walk my dogs despite the deer, fox, squirrels and birds that often cross our path and entice Mickey to bolt.

Colorado weather.

That Granny's dementia keeps her from realizing how compromised her life has become.

Jim's sister who selflessly tends to Granny.

Books -- lots and lots of books that arrive at my door in a steady stream.

Readers who help me read and review many of those books.

Readers who comment.

Readers who don't comment.

Readers who keep coming back, who make me feel like what I write matters.

Children and grandchildren who underscore that everything else that I do -- and have done -- matters.

A husband who encourages me, supports me, and continually dangles in front of me the carrot of hope that awesome things truly are going to come our way.

Yes, indeed, I'm thankful that this past year has proved me to be healthy, wealthy and wise. At least healthier than some, wealthier than many, and wise enough to be grateful for both.

Photo credit: Royalty-free/Corbis

Today's question:

What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving?

My swollen heart

Sunday afternoon as I sat out on the patio listening to the waterfall gurgle and the birds chirp and warble as they flitted from the waterfall to the birdbath to the flower-covered vines decorating our back fence, an overwhelming sense of gratitude came over me.

Out of nowhere, my heart swelled with gratitude for my crazy house and overgrown yard and that, despite a house payment that doubled when we bought this house -- and the stress accompanying it when we both lost our jobs relatively soon after -- this is the place Jim and I plan to call home for the rest of our days. I love my house. I’m so grateful for my house.

Yes, it’s a material thing. But this material thing makes me happy and content … and grateful.

After a week of thinking about, writing about, cussing about all the things I think suck in my life, all the things I worry endlessly about, it was nice to suddenly, inexplicably realize a plethora of things for which I’m grateful. Things I’m blessed with that truly trump all the fears, doubts, worries and complaints I let get in my way each and every day.

I’m grateful my family – immediate and extended – has never suffered a true tragedy. We often succumb to fear and trembling over imagined tragedies when the reality is that we have been tragedy free and have it pretty darn good.

I’m grateful I was laid off and given the opportunity to consider and pursue a career path that matters to me.

I’m grateful for Jim, who supports that career path even though it means far less money than the one I previously fell into. I'm grateful for Jim for countless other reasons, too.

I’m grateful my girls grew into such lovely, amazing, thoughtful, intelligent, empathetic women … something I never thought would happen while in the throes of the teen years.

I’m grateful for Bubby. And that I get to see him more often than some long-distance grandparents get to see their grandchildren. And that Megan and Preston happily share him with me -- a consideration not all grandparents are afforded.

I’m grateful Megan and Preston are doing the right thing by my grandchild -- another thing not afforded all grandparents.

I’m grateful for a twisted childhood because it twisted me into an unusual shape. It may be a weird shape, but it’s different. And different is good.

I’m grateful that Jim and I continue to have the money we need. Plus some. Plus lots, considering what many others have.

I’m grateful for those who read what I write, who act like the gunk and junk that flows from my head to my fingers and onto the page and screen is worth reading.

I’m grateful for the unexpected gratitude that filled me up, made me consider what matters, what’s important and what’s worth being grateful for.

Photo credit: stock.xchng

Today's question:

What are you grateful for today?