7 significant BEs of being a significant grandmother

7 significant BEs of being a significant grandmother

BE unconditional

Grandchildren come in assorted shapes, sizes, aptitudes, attitudes, with varied qualities and quirks. Love them because of those, regardless of those, in spite of those.


BE fair

Wherever two or more grandkids gather or grow, possibilities for playing favorites flourish. Avoid the all-too-human temptation to...

Read More

As the season slips away: 6 summery somethings I still want to do

summer sunset

Kids are back in school. Pumpkin-flavored coffees pour forth from the coffee shops. Halloween candy and costumes line the shelves at the stores.

It seems fall has arrived full force despite the calendar still showing summer on the schedule.

As September 21 — the official final day of summer despite what the retailers profess — creeps closer, I'm mulling over the summer sorts of stuff I meant to do and didn't. A few stand out that I still want to do, still hope to do, before I can no longer...

Read More

7 benefits of being a long-distance grandparent

I am a long-distance grandma. Have been from the beginning of my grandma gig.

The first few years I moaned and groaned ceaselessly about the miles separating me and my sweeties.

I'm now nearly nine years into grandmahood. In that time I've thankfully learned there is indeed — unbelievable as I first thought it might be — a bright side to my grandbabies living so far from me.

Following are a few such perks on which fellow long-distance grandparents just might agree.

long-distance grandparent 


Bathroom breaks at my house are a breeze.
I never need straddle a step stool when using the toilet. Nor do I have to question who left the seat up as only two...

Read More

My will-do list: 14 for 2014

I mentioned yesterday that I'm not big on resolutions, that I didn't think I was big on resolutions. I am, though, big on compiling lists of things I want to do in the coming year. It's not a bucket list, it's what I call a will-do list.

Here's what I have so far...

Read More

11 things I learned last year

No. 6: Two grandsons are better than one.

1. How to make salmon, cut mango, appreciate the delights of a boldly flavored balsamic vinegar.

2. Every once in a while hype is well warranted. Case in point: Adele.

3. The older I get, the more unbidden kindness and consideration matters, makes a difference.

4. My black thumb is apparently permanently tattooed that color and will never transform into green. (Though I'll surely give transformation yet another attempt this year.)

5. Despite the complaints and bad press, I'm unashamed to admit I love Netflix. Especially instant streaming for without it, I'd never know the thrills, chills, and chuckles of Friday Night Lights, Sons of Anarchy, Nativity!.

6. Two grandsons are indeed double the fun, double the pleasure of one and two of my life's greatest pleasures day in, day out, whether I see them or not.

7. Although decades removed from the drama and trauma of the teen years, mid-life friendships are still fickle affairs. Some flounder and fade for reasons unclear, while others grow and glow brighter than ever—also for reasons unclear yet much appreciated.

8. Committing yourself to fulfilling your heart's desire is worth far more than money. Most of the time.

9. Less really isn't more, it's still less—especially when it comes to having. But it's manageable, survivable, easier than previously believed.

10. There are benefits to having less, though: It highlights the abundance of blessings remaining for which to be endlessly grateful: a loving family, a welcoming home, continued co-pay assistance.

11. Those things that go bump in the night at my house really are just my boogedy boiler. (Or so I keep telling myself...and my houseguests.)

Today's question:

What did you learn last year?

8 reasons besides Christmas December warms my heart

The cookie swap lineup a few years ago.1. My family's annual cookie swap, which has been happening for more than 25 years (no one knows the number for sure). It's the one tried, true, and continuing tradition I share with my mom and sisters, and all the kids and kids' kids we've produced.

2. My middle daughter's birthday, the goofy and great mother of my grandsons. Happy birthday, Megan!

3. My son-in-law's birthday, as equally goofy and great as my daughter to whom he's married and the sons to whom he's the dad. Happy birthday, Preston!

4. My dear friend's birthday, the one friend I've stayed (thankfully) close to for more years than any other. Happy birthday, Debbie.

5. The birthday of a friend from days long gone (but still a Facebook friend!). The high-school friend who graciously invited me to live with her when my mom moved mid junior year. The friend who, inexplicably so, was later diagnosed with MS, just as I was, just as her Dad had been years earlier. Truly, inexplicable. Thoughts of her always warm my heart, make me smile. Happy birthday (today!), Joanie.

6. My baby sister's birthday. A baby sister all grown up—grown up to be several inches taller than me, in fact, and oh-so much stronger in oh-so many ways. Happy birthday, Susan.

7. The anniversary of being laid off from my longest-held job. Three years ago I became an editor no more. I thought it was an end, but it was truly just the beginning of great and unexpected things. Happy anniversary to me...and to all my Special Sections co-horts who were laid off with (and some before) me! 

8. The countdown to a new year, a new year which holds the promise of being, as always, better than the one ending.

Today's question:

What about December besides Christmas warms your heart?

13 things that scare me


During this spooky season, it's not goblins and ghosts that give me goosebumps, but these...

13 things that scare me:

• Holiday potlucks with people I don't know well enough to have been to their house to see how they prepare food

• Holiday potlucks with some of the people I do know well enough to have been to their house to see how they prepare food

• The sound of rocks being stacked, reminding me of Crowhaven Farm

• One of my grandkids...or kids...or Jim...or myself falling down the millions of stairs in my house

• The state of our society as we struggle to adjust to and compensate for the thousands (millions?) of jobs lost that will never return

• Grown men in Speedos

• Having a flat tire in a dark, relatively seedy part of Denver after a PR event. (Which, believe it or not, happened last night. Luckily Brianna drove, Brianna changed the tire...while I used my iPhone as a flashlight for her.)

My boiler

• Sleeping with one hand over the edge of the bed

• Jim's driving (It's not him, it's me...most of the time)

• No life insurance

• Having an angry—or amorous—buck charge me and the dogs while on our morning walk

• The possibility I may never have a book traditionally published

Photo: stock.xchng

Today's question:

What scares you?