Monday, November 29, 2021

Love Notes To Grandma!

Here we go again! Time for the annual pickle over "what do we get grandma for Christmas?" I've wrestled with that one through three generations, my own included. Usually, it's evident. We've cupboards crammed with cutesy kitchen towels, stinky hand lotion, funny-saying coffee mugs, and tchotchkes, tchotchkes, tchotchkes! What else is there to say but, "No, no, no, honey! Save your money! Grandma has everything she needs!" (grrrrr!) So, here we go again!.......

"What do we get grandma for Christmas?"

I've found my own little treasure, and my hope is that you might choose to make it yours, too! 

Let me explain!

My fellow Grandma-blogger-friend, Lisa Carpenter, has penned a gem of a thoughtful gift giving solution. And no, it's not the usual "shelf-sitter" that's perused once and carted off to the garage sale bin after a dusty year or two in apathetic residence. The pages of One Hundred Things I Love About Grandma assemble a living, breathing collection of love notes co-authored by the crown jewels of her heart: grandchildren! 

Here's how it works!

Grab a pen! Everybody grab a pen! See those questions on every page? Now open your memory to the enrichment your relationship with grandma has brought to your life. Recall the fun times, the tender moments, the goofy antics, the simple solitude of just being together. Follow the prompts and write the answers down here. Grandma wants to see them. She wants to remember them. She wants to pick up this book over and over and over again, to refill her heart with the unique joy that only YOU bring to her life. 

There! Now what do you think? 

another set of plastic spoons? or.......

this endearing expression of heartfelt affection and gratitude to the lady who took newborn you into her arms, declared you "the cutest, best, and brightest baby she's ever seen!" and welcomed you to join her on the most gratifying "grandma and me" adventure you could ever imagine!?

Anything else?

Well, of course! You need to know where to find your own copy(ies) of One Hundred Things I Love About Grandma. Amazon has them. Feast your eyes there on the generous "Look Inside!" feature.  Thriftily priced at $12.99. On pre-order status today, shipping soon on December 7, 2021. Plenty of time to fill and wrap. Does Grandma have her own stocking? Pop it in! - it's cutely sized at 6.5" square. 

Oh, and Lisa's no "bumbling along, hoping for the best" first time author, either! While you're there, check out her First Time Grandmother's Journal - the place for Grandma's own perspectives and love notes written just for you! 

Visit Lisa's blog, Grandma's Briefshere to enjoy a heartwarming fellowship of grand motherhood! 

What's that? 

You've already bought Grandma a crocheted potholder rack? 

Well, hey, that's okay! We all make mistakes! What about Valentine's Day? Mother's Day? Her birthday? There's a chance you'll need more time to do this one up right. Share with your siblings. Let them initial their own contribution. Grandma wants to hear those love notes from everybody!

I received early release copies of this book in exchange for my honest Amazon review. I wrote this post additionally to share my enthusiasm for a product that I believe will bring joy to the lives of my readers.

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Spider Inspectors!

We've actually been Spider Inspectors since Halloween. That topic, along with banter about bats and the mystique of mummies particularly piques the interest of little boys during trick-or-treat season. But "pie-ders" are everywhere - never really out of sight or mind, so they're a popular year round repeat request, dutifully acknowledged by grandma with frequent crafty-learnin' visits! 

We start with a snuggle-up-and-read session to learn a science-y thing or two. We need to know what to look for just in case a bit of "grandma magic" incites the sudden skittering of a menacing Folkmanis tarantula puppet across the page we're viewing! 

Eeek! There he is! - startling and delighting his young audience!

Here's the age appropriate book we learned from, too. Beautiful clear photos that give just enough of an idea of what these curious critters are like! 

Next, a little bit of review......

We locate the cephalothorax, the front part of the body housing legs and a multitude of eyeballs! (eight of each to be exact!) Then, there's the abdomen. Spinnerets are stored here; those spin silk for the webs that snatch up lunch. 

And then it's crafty time!.....

Here's a popular Pinterest paper plate web activity that suited us just fine. Cut plate centers out, leaving rims only. Spray paint, then punch holes around the edge, about 1"- 2" apart. Offer a choice of yarn color, making sure the weight is suitable - thin enough to thread easily, thick enough for little fingers to firmly grasp. (Wrap a piece of tape to secure yarn end so it doesn't ravel.) 

We're weaving away!

Enough eye-hand coordination and concentration exercise experience to send any pre-K teacher into ecstasy! 

Okay! We've got the web......

But who's gonna live here?

Show your little crafter how to wrap yarn around four side-by-side fingers of your hand - the perfect portable loom. When suitably plump, slide the bundle carefully off and tie tightly at center. Cut loops open to make a fluffy spider body. 

From here on, a pair of big buggy wiggle eyes, eight pipe cleaner legs, and a bottle of glue are all that stand between you and your.......

voracious web dweller awaiting further scientific inspection!

I envisioned a return to more pages of snuggle-up arachnid themed book learning for that purpose, but it was not to be! Grandsons usually have surprises for grandma, and I was not denied that day either!.......

See this yarn?

There's a use for it!

Complete fascination with slicing teeny-weeny-tiny little pieces with a concentrated seriousness not often seen in crafty-spider-land! 

Meanwhile, back at cousin's house.....

I found no further interest in arachnid based academics here either! 

(Don't you just love little boys?)


(They crawl right into your heart, string themselves a little nest, and just hang there, making you as happy as a sassy spinning spider enjoying a bit of scrumptious snacking!)

This is not a sponsored post. My purchase and recommendation of the puppet and book were independently made without compensation. 

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Book Review: The First - Time Grandmother's Journal

Considering the title: The First - Time Grandmother's Journal - you'd think a seasoned grandma of ten (me!) might not relate to this newly published volume. Nope! Not true! - despite being sooo into the business of grandma-hood that common well meaning advice to "be present" finds me rolling my eyes and exclaiming, "DUH!" In fact, I'm sooo into "the business" that the question of whether or not to spoil has me shaking my head, wondering if any such non-participant has a right to exist! 

"Okay," you ask, "If you're such a smartie-pants-know-it-all, why even tout this book as if it's the best thing you've picked up since that pair of twin boys who made you a grandma some 12 years ago?" Great question!......

And here's my answer!

There are things I vividly recall about those earliest days, and some I do not. Most of them, the in -betweeners, coupled with their special sounds, sights, and feelings resurfaced as I paged this book. So did the urgent desire to record them, not only for myself, but for sharing at some later date. But how many of us panic and freeze when handed a pen and told to "Describe what it was like. How were you given the news? How did you react? Do you give advice? How is it welcomed? Do you enjoy 'just-grandma-and-me' bonding moments? Are you able to contribute anything unique? Where do you go from here? Any goals for the future?" 

Well, not to worry!

Author Lisa Carpenter takes you gently by the hand in her 144 page volume, guiding you through the initial stages of grandma-hood to the dreams you hold for days ahead. Her thought-provoking prompts make it easy to answer all the questions listed above, as well as dozens more, defining your role as a significant and valued person in the lives of your grandchildren. Here is where you'll build a road through your personal journey, savoring plentiful tips and meaningful quotes along the way. And when your effort is complete? Lisa does advise, "This is your record for your eyes only," as a way to dismiss grammatical anxiety and resistance to vulnerability. But you may feel differently. Like me. Because......

I'm going to share!

When the time is right, I'll gather my little cherubs to let them see for themselves the excitement and love with which they were anticipated, welcomed, and cherished. They've made the years I've known them the best ones of my life, and they deserve to know that! Thank you, Lisa, for making my path to that goal a smooth, happy, memorable one! 

Highly recommended!

Wow! Look at those  Amazon reviews for The First-Time Grandmother's Journal! Fellow grandmothers heartily applaud this beautifully illustrated memory keeper - a worthy gift for yourself. Think, too, of what a thoughtful baby shower favor for new grandmothers this book would make. Hmm, think you might need several copies? Here is where you'll place your order!

About the Author

Grandma blogging has yielded unexpected perks for me. Among them are coast-to-coast friendships with other sharers of the grandparent experience. My first post published here in 2011. By then, I'd been an avid reader of Lisa Carpenter at her own Grandma's Briefs blog for several years. I was attracted by her gentle, doting style - the way her devotion sweeps aside all of the world's craziness, leaving but one fact standing: no matter what, her grandsons will always have her. Her attention, her support, her praise, her admiration. My blogging goal has been to imitate those same warming vibes. Lisa's long distance friendship and engaging writing style have nurtured and encouraged me and I am very proud to offer this review of her first published effort - one that showcases and shares the loving vibrancy of her personal grandmother-hood!