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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Thanksgiving picture books, plus GRAND Social No. 132 link party

Thanksgiving picture books

It's nearly Thanksgiving, and I have some suggestions for Thanksgiving picture books you and yours will happily devour in celebration of Turkey Day. These colorful offerings cover giving thanks and eating healthy, plus other Thanksgiving sorts of things including dodging the hall of aunts and the hall of butts. That's right, the hall of butts, a chuckle-worthy scene in The Great Thanksgiving Escape.

thanksgiving picture books from Candlewick

Find my brief reviews (and I do mean brief) of...

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Wherein I share a sibling sandwich and grandchildren that aren't mine

I didn't get to spend time with my grandsons or their parents on Thanksgiving. The miles are just too difficult (and expensive) for either of us to traverse at this time.

Making up a smidgen for not getting to see the parts of my heart that live in the desert was getting to share a warm and cozy (and filling) day at my place with many of my mountain-based family members, immediate and extended. That included two of my six siblings — my oldest (Jeff) and my youngest (Susan).

Forget the turkey and taters, this was the sibling sandwich of the day:

siblings on Thanksgiving 

I don't believe we have ever...

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Grandma gives thanks

“The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but the thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.”
― Henry Ward Beecher


In recognition of the Thanksgiving holiday, folks all across the Internet have been posting their 30 days of thanks, listing each day of November something for which they're thankful.

I've not been doing that. Not because I don't have at least 30 things I'm thankful for, but because I don't have the attention span to list those 30 things for 30 days running. I know myself: I'd forget one day then have to make it up the next, only to find myself too busy to post and end up with a week's worth of thanks to share. (For exactly that reason — my crazy short attention span — don't expect to ever see a novel from me either. It's one trait I'm not particularly thankful for.)

I do have so much to be thankful for, though.

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Making mints and making memories

At Thanksgiving when my daughters were young, they enjoyed making cream cheese after-dinner mints as their contribution to the holiday meal. The recipe for the mints was super simple, super yummy, and a super tradition that makes me smile just thinking about it.

cream cheese dinner mints

A few years ago, when my eldest grandson, Bubby, was two years old — and my youngest grandson, Mac, was just an announcement emblazoned across his big brother’s T-shirt — Bubby and I made the cream cheese mints together.

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The best things about being a grandma

Giving thanks for our blessings tops the Thanksgiving to-do list of many — right along with the grocery shopping, turkey stuffing, pie filling and more.

Naming those blessings can sometimes be a challenge, though, especially when our What I Want list far outweighs our What I Have list. Yet as grandmas, it's no chore at all to list and be ever thankful for our grandma gig, especially those parts we consider the best.

Here, straight from some of the Grilled Grandmas, are the very best things about being a grandma. They're by no means exclusive to grandmas, of course, as grandpas likely feel the same, equally believe these are among the best of the best blessings for which we grandparents give thanks.

best things about being a grandma

The best thing about being a grandma is, in their eyes, I am sooooo cool. —Jules

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Back when pie was P.I.E.

One of my favorite times of the year is here: It's pie season!

pie buffet

The weeks surrounding Thanksgiving are when pies take center stage. Christmas time is for cookies; Thanksgiving time is for pies. The planning for them. The baking of them. The eating of them. This is when the traditional Thanksgiving favorites top dessert menus.

I'm talking pumpkin pies, of course, but apple pies, pecan pies, sweet potato pies and mincemeat pies, too. Though I admit I've never tried the last three on the list, as traditional Thanksgiving pies at my place are pumpkin, cherry and chocolate cream. (Pecans, sweet potatoes and mincemeat aren't something I have a hankering for any time of the year, in pies or otherwise.)

Then there are the fancy-pants kinds of Thanksgiving pies seen on magazine covers and Pinterest boards, the pies I hope to one day bake, hope to one day taste. Caramel apple pie. Pumpkin ice cream pie. Peanut butter pie. Strawberry-raspberry pie and cranberry pies of all sorts, too.

I love pie.

But Thanksgiving time is the only time I make pie, the only time I eat pie.

That wasn't always the case.

For a brief period of time when my daughters still lived at home, I proposed pie as our all-time — meaning All. The. Time — dessert of choice. Not for dessert though, but for breakfast. On Saturdays. Saturdays far removed from Thanksgiving.

For several months, I offered my then-teenage girls (and my husband, too) pie on Saturday mornings. A time or two I baked a pie, but more often than not it was a perfect pastry picked up from the nearest Village Inn or Perkins, those 24/7 restaurants featuring display cases filled with full-sized pies of the most luscious sorts. Our favorite was the silky smooth French Silk topped with rich, thick, real whipped cream and chunky chocolate shavings. Runner up? A cookies and cream concoction that was to die for, at least for those who'd die for more than their share of Oreo cookies.

On very ordinary Saturdays, I'd set out on the kitchen counter the perfect pie for the family to serve themselves a piece as they woke on Saturday mornings. Alongside the delectable pie and the dessert plates on which pieces were to be placed, I set a note card on which I'd written the following:

May you always have P.I.E.
Peace, Inspiration and Enthusiasm

Those three things — peace, inspiration and enthusiasm — were what I considered essential ingredients for a fullfilled life. I wanted fulfilling lives for my girls. I wanted them to always have peace, always find inspiration, always be enthusiastic about their world and their place in it.

I wanted them to always have P.I.E.

I thought pie was the perfect way to serve up regular reminders to pursue exactly those things.

My pie-serving quest took place during my oldest daughter's senior year of high school. When the opportunity arose for parents to purchase ad space in the yearbook, space in which they could publish a farewell to their graduating children, I bought space, noted a few niceties for Brianna from Mom and Dad, and ended it with "And remember to always have P.I.E."

I wanted Brianna, as well as Megan and Andrea, to place firmly in their hearts and minds my efforts at impressing upon them the importance of P.I.E.... and pie. I wanted those pie-serving Saturdays to be added to their lists of Cool Things Mom Used to Do and become cool things they would one day do with their own children. I wanted them to always remember to have P.I.E. and to always remember Mom's serving up of such slices of wisdom.

That didn't happen.

I asked one of my daughters not long ago if she remembered all the pie we used to eat. My question sparked not even the slightest glimmer of remembrance. More recently, when the proliferation of pie pins on Pinterest reminded me of our P.I.E. eating days and I considered writing a post such as this, I asked Jim if he remembered those pies I hoped had meant so much to my family. He didn't.

pumpkin pie

Sometimes our attempts at making an impression on our children, on our families, fail. My earnest efforts at making P.I.E. an important part of our Saturdays and each and every day to come were one such failure. It was good at the time. No, it was delicious at the time. But, as is the case with all things related to growing babies into adults, that time didn't last. Our prime pie season, for reasons of which I'm not quite sure, lasted a shorter period than most other seasons of childrearing.

No matter, though. The return of pie season brings with it my hope that peace, inspiration and enthusiasm abound in the hearts and lives of my daughters — even without me foisting upon them oversized servings of French Silk Pie.

And despite being unable to share oversized servings of French Silk Pie with you, my friends, I hope that during this Thanksgiving season and beyond, you, too, will remember to always have pie. Not only the pie that satisfies your stomach, but the P.I.E. that satisfies your soul, too.

Photos: Top photo from and altered by me. Pumpkin pie photo mine (click the pie for recipe).

Today's question:

What are your favorite kinds of pie?

Black Thursday and the GRAND Social

I enjoy a good deal as much as the next grandma, but I strongly disagree with this:

Why do I think it's wrong? For starters, it further diminishes Thanksgiving in the mad dash from Halloween to Christmas. Plus, it means retail workers must be on the job instead of at home with their families on the holiday. And it places consumerism and the almighty dollar above tradition and family and things that should matter most.

I'm pretty sure I'm not the only grandma who feels that way, but I'll climb on down from my mini soapbox now. Thank you for listening.

And thank you for sticking around and participating in this week's GRAND Social.

Here we go...

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=" " alt="Grandma’" 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!