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Thank you for visiting Grandma's Briefs, where I write on the good, bad, humorous and heartwarming of being a baby boomer, grandparent, parent to adult children, wife and writer. Peruse the place, leave a comment or two, and feel free to email me any time at

Meet the family

 grandma and grandpa
Lisa (me) and Jim (aka PawDad)

blended family
Brianna (oldest daughter) and hubby Patrick with his son James 

 grandsons and parents
Megan (middle daughter) with hubby Preston and Declan, Camden, and Brayden

youngest and her fiance
Andrea (youngest daughter) and hubby Matt

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    Watching the solar eclipse? Plus GRAND Social No. 269 link party for grandparents

    Watching the solar eclipse?

    1921 solar eclipse in Paris
    Three Parisian women watching the solar eclipse of 8 April 1921 on the Cour du Havre, next to the gare Saint-Lazare. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

    Are you watching today's solar eclipse? How are you watching? From where and with whom? Depending on when you read this it may all be past tense, but either way, I'd love to hear your view on the phenomenon.

    I will be watching... from my backyard with only my dog, Mickey, as my companion to ooh and aah over the event. And I'll be sporting my mandatory eclipse spectacles for a direct view of the show.

    My eclipse glasses became nearly a no-go for me (and mine) at the last minute, despite my having ordered several pair for my entire family a month or so ago. The glasses...

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    Friday briefs: Squash, cinnamon rolls, and Instagram weirdos

    Many successful gardeners — my daughter Brianna included — recently began seeing the bountiful fruits (and veggies) of their spring and summer labors, picking, pulling and happily harvesting this and that from their yards.

    I'm not a successful gardener. I am, though, happily awaiting the right size and right time to pull and prepare the two — count 'em, two! — squash I did manage to grow in my woebegone garden of sorts.

    zucchini and summer squash

    Woot! I'm celebrating the wee bit of success for this black-thumbed gardener wannabe. (Truth be told: I'm pretty sure they grew only because Brianna started them for me at her house then passed along pots with the babies for me to plant and finish the job.)



    It has never resonated with me when friends (and strangers and social media connections) mention eating entire containers of ice cream or cookies or bags and boxes of chocolates all on their own, being literally unable to stop themselves. Because I'm not all that in love with sweets. I've never really gotten...

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    31 back-to-school jokes for kids

    As kids of all ages hit the books once again, here are some giggles to counteract any groans from your grands during back-to-school season.

    school jokes for kids

    What school does the ice cream man attend?
    Sundae school.

    What do elves learn...

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    Last call: Tix for Nitro Circus Live in Colorado Springs! Plus GRAND Social No. 268 link party

    Last call: Tix for Nitro Circus Live in Colorado Springs!

    Are you in the Colorado Springs area (which means as far north as Denver, as far south as Pueblo)? Are you a fan of Nitro Circus? Do you want to see Nitro Circus Live in Colorado Springs on August 25? Are you entered to win two free tickets to the action-packed event?

    Nitro Circus Live in Colorado Springs 

    You're not entered? Then today is your lucky day! I'm giving away two free tickets to Nitro Circus Live and there's still (limited) time for you to...

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    My (uneventful) week in photos

    I haven't done much of anything worth writing home about about on my blog this past week. Which, in all honesty, is okay with me. Sometimes busyness and booked calendars are highly overrated (not to mention exhausting).

    Even with nothing much on the agenda, though, I did manage to take — and in one case, appropriate from my daughter's Facebook page — photos of the nothing much marking my days. Following are a few such markings from my past week.

    bear yard art
    A chainsaw-crafted set o' friendly bears a neighbor recently...

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    BTS 2017: Grandsons and good teachers

    From the look of their first-day-of-school photos (which I nabbed from my daughter's Facebook page), my grandsons lucked out with caring and personable teachers for the new school year.

    brothers first day of school 2017

    Camden kicked off kindergarten with a super-sized grin — sporting the empty spots...

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    Practicing what I preach, plus GRAND Social No. 267 link party for grandparents

    Practicing what I preach

    I do my best to practice what I preach here on Grandma's Briefs. Last week I preached all about ways grandparents can help school-bound grandkiddos. One of the suggestions in the post is to give grandkids a BTS care package of sorts (with an outfit or pajamas) before school begins.

    It just so happens that the day that post was published, I received a text message from Megan with a picture of my grandsons thanking me for the BTS care package i had sent them, which included a few school supplies plus an outfit for each boy. (Shorts and tees that I thought were cute as can be for school but would work just fine as jammies if the boys considered my selections not cool for school.) Declan — who's only three and spends his days with Mommy, not at school — got a package just like his brothers, too, because, well, how could the cutie not?

    grandson heading back to school
    Declan, Camden, and Brayden grinning big for Gramma!

    The package arrived just in time! Today Camden starts...

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    BTS tradition: 10 ways to support school-bound grandchildren (plus a few extra)

    Ah, back-to-school time. The past few years at this time, I've shared the following post from my archives. It's always gotten a great response — because grandparents are awesome and want to be involved in the education of their grandkiddos — so I hereby pronounce this post an annual BTS tradition.

    This time around I've updated it in a few ways, including adding suggestions from other grandmas who shared tips in comments on the post in the past. (Thank you, ladies!)

    Originally published August 6, 2013

    My daughter Megan is not only the mother of my awesome grandsons, she was also an elementary school teacher for several years before MOM became her full-time job. Here are a few suggestions she and I came up with for supporting school-bound grandchildren in ways that will garner an A+ not only from the kids, but from their parents and teachers, too.

    back to school ideas for grandparents

    1. Send a care package to be opened the night before school starts. Consider adding new cozy jammies to help ease...

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