School papers and similarly sentimental stuff

School papers and similarly sentimental stuff

During my daughters’ school years, I kept all the papers and projects they brought home from school. Everything. Spelling tests, stories, handwriting practice (they did that back then), certificates earned for field day and perfect attendance, report cards for each quarter of each year.

I kept it all. Times three. All in cardboard boxes in a storage space beneath the house we lived in for the duration of the girls’ school years. Lots of …

Read More

Summer break ends: What changed while I was away

Summer break ends: What changed while I was away

Grandma’s Briefs is back! Yep, the summer break I announced at the start of June is officially over.

While I was away from the site, a few changes took place. Some big, some small. Here’s a (relatively) quick update:

For starters, one blog change is that Grandma’s Briefs hit the 10-year mark in July! Hard to believe but true, as you can see from my very first post, published a decade ago.

Another blog change is that you’ll see a few new faces in the Meet the Family section of the sidebar, those being of Andrea’s new …

Read More

Doing it! Plus, GRAND Social No. 348 link party for grandparents

Doing it! Plus, GRAND Social No. 348 link party for grandparents

Doing it!

Jim and I are doing it. Finally. We have finally accepted the fact the home we love and have lived in for nearly 12 years is too big for us, has too many stairs, too large of a yard, too much space for two. Especially two with trouble walking about.

Which means we are doing it: We are moving to a smaller place… somewhere (TBD) in the same city. Yes, we are downsizing. Though I prefer to think of it as my most recent Silver Sneakers newsletter called it, rightsizing. Our current home is 3,600 square feet. The homes we’re considering…

Read More

Christmas and how the empty nest gets harder after college

I used to be one of those moms whose child — or children, plural — recently left for college. You know... the moms walking around with a dazed, how-the-heck-did-this-happen-so-fast look in their eyes, virtually visible cracks in their hearts as they miss the once little ones who have flown their nest. They're the moms who live for holiday breaks, spring breaks, summer breaks, for that's when their loved ones return home, back to the safety of the nest where mom can hold each one in her arms and savor the sweet scents and sounds of her babies all around.

family christmas stockings

I was one of those moms. That first year my daughters were scattered afar for schooling and such was rough. It got easier, though, as it does for all moms (and dads) whose kiddos have gone off for enrichment and enlightenment on the road to becoming full-fledged adults. I found new...

Read More

Empty nest perks, plus GRAND Social No. 134 link party

Empty nest perks

One of the great things about the empty nest during the holidays is witnessing the enthusiasm with which my daughters feather their own nests for Christmas.

Ever since Thanksgiving, I've received various photo texts and Facebook updates from Brianna, Megan and Andrea showing me the progress of their decorating. Here, just one from each of my crafty, creative, Christmas-loving daughters:

holiday decorating

It warms my heart to see my daughters...

Read More

Looking back: 9 things we did right as parents

carpenter family portrait

I didn't support my youngest when she wanted to change majors — and universities — midway through her college career.

I didn't call parents to tattle on their mean girls (and boys) who made a living hell of several academic years for my middle daughter.

I didn't demand my oldest...

Read More

Changing seasons: Thoughts on giving my adult daughters their baby books

baby books

"It would be good for me to know those things," my middle daughter sighed into the phone the other day. And she's right.

We were on the phone, discussing challenges she faces with her middle child, my second grandson. There is hope, I pointed out, a...

Read More

Life Reimagined? Call mine Life Reenhanced


I'm firmly entrenched in life's second act — or is this the third? — and all about me are folks in the same phase of life making the most of the opportunity to rework their lives in order to make it all they imagine it can be.

It's impossible to miss the wave of boomers...

Read More

Saturday movie review: 'Le Week-End'

I had the opportunity this week to screen LE WEEK-END from Roger Michell, the director of NOTTING HILL. 

Le Week-EndLE WEEK-END stars Jim Broadbent as Nick and Lindsay Duncan as Meg, a long-married couple visiting Paris to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary.

Celebrate isn't exactly the right word, though. Nick and Meg continually...

Read More

Why heads butt in an empty nest

Much of the time that I worked at the local newspaper was spent in a small department. I was the special sections editor for several years and had, during the best of times, three staff writers who worked at desks nearby. (Plus a photographer and a couple shared designers, but their desks were elsewhere.)

raised hands

The great thing about our small department was that when one of us had a question regarding grammar or punctuation or AP Style, rather than look it up in...

Read More

The more things change: 10 ways my Christmas has long remained the same

Now that the nest has emptied, home, family, Christmas and more are far different than they were in the past. The more things change, the more it matters that some things remain the same, things such as the following.

10 ways my Christmas has long remained the same

Christmas treeThe Christmas tree — Regardless of all the ornaments my daughters accumulated through the years then took with them when they moved into their own places, our tree always — somehow — continues to look the same every single year. (And our cats...

Read More