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Showing posts from 2012

My Daughter the College Graduate

Did you know that during the 2012–13 school year, colleges and universities are expected to award 937,000 associate’s degrees; 1.8 million bachelor's degrees; 756,000 master's degrees; and 174,700 doctor's degrees? (source: National Center for Education Statistics)

On Saturday, December 8, 2012, my daughter became a part of that statistic and she now joins millions of other graduates who will compete for jobs.

She also joins the ranks of being a "full-time mommy" to her six-year-old son. While she was away at school, I took on the role of primary caregiver. Jarod was barely two years old when she left so I have been responsible for raising him.

Now she is back home and there is a changing of the guard. Instead of being the ENFORCER, I am now the reinforcer who will do her best to sit back and allow my daughter to assume her rightful duty. I admit it won't be easy but since I was solely responsible for raising her, hopefully, she will be a chip off t…

A Real Reason for Boomer Gratitude This Thanksgiving

I don't believe in coincidences. I believe when things happen it was meant to be. I also believe when people come into your life, no matter how brief, they are meant to be there for a divine purpose.

That's what happened to me today. A young woman named Sarah came into my life unexpectedly---from out of the blue.

Sarah had planned to go to Curves for a workout before catching a plane to Minnesota for Thanksgiving. Curves was closed. While contemplating her next move, she happened to be standing near my car when she saw a driver hit it. Instead of turning a blind eye or heading to another destination, Sarah stood by watching the continued actions of the driver.

According to Sarah, the young driver wrote a note and left it on my car but then took the note off and left a half full can of diet Pepsi on the passenger side windshield. She watched the driver leave the scene as she wrote down his license plate number and make and model of his car.

Then she wrote a note on …

Boomer Road Trip to Michigan

Earlier this week, I flew to Grand Rapids, Michigan for business. It was great seeing colleagues like Corena, who I met the first time I was there, along with Audrey, Shannon, and a few others.

Although I've been to the city before, this time I got to experience a few things I have NEVER done in my 55 years of living.

I rode on a school bus for the FIRST TIME in my whole life. We took a 50-minute trip on the bus and, as you can probably imagine, it LOUD with lots of talking and laughter. It's a wonder the bus driver could pay attention to the dark road signs and if we had gotten in an accident, it certainly would've been caused by out-of-control crowd noise.

Now, my daughter always jokes about how I went to school before school buses were invented but what I tell her is I lived in a community that had a neighborhood school which meant I could walk to and from school daily. By the time I got to high school, I would catch the city bus or walk the 3 mile route.

The seco…

A Baby Boomer Lesson on Diversity

On Saturday, my grandson was invited to the birthday/halloween party of one of his classmates. Since I had never met Julianna's parents I wasn't sure what to expect.

What I discovered was Julianna's mother is black and her father is of Latin descent. The children who came to the party were from different racial and ethnic backgrounds and it was a beautiful sight to see.

For a three-hour period, the adults watched as their children played and shared without prejudice. For that moment in time no one saw race as an issue. Even the parents were laughing and joking with each other.

By the time children get to elementary school, they are aware of differences and some have already developed prejudices against people who are different because of the adults around them.

There are simple ways that parents and baby boomer grandparents can help their children and grandchildren understand differences in people and be tolerant of these differences:

Show that you value diversity thr…

When Baby Boomer Married Minds Think Alike

A couple of weeks ago my husband and I went to the Carolina Ale House for our weekly "date night."  While enjoying our meal, I noticed a young mother with her two children (a boy and a girl).  They were sitting in a booth.  Both children were cuddled up to their mother as opposed to sitting on the opposite side.

As I watched their interaction, I couldn't help but notice the closeness they shared but I I also wondered was she a single parent?  Where was their dad?  Was she struggling to make ends meet?  At that moment something came over me that I can't explain.  I excused myself from the table, went out to the car and got my  credit card from my purse (which I left in the car).  When I came back inside, I told my husband I felt moved to pay for their meals and I didn't want him to try to talk me out of it.

Surprisingly (or maybe not), he said he was thinking about doing the same thing.  I called the waitress over, told her I wanted to pay their bill but didn'…

North Carolina Dominos Pizza Trivia

The other day I was searching for a specific Dominos location to order some pizza. In addition to finding what I was looking for, I also came across some interesting information about the number of Dominos pizza locations in the United States.

Surprisingly, North Carolina ranks in the Top 5 for the most number of Dominos pizza locations.  OK, so here are the top five states with the total number of Dominos pizza locations:

1. California 643
2. Texas 565
3. Florida 507
4. NC 343
5. Ohio 338

The states with the least amount of Dominos locations:

5. Hawaii 21
4. District of Columbia 18
3. Montana 17
2. Vermont 15
1. Alaska 12

Something else that's relevant to this story:  Ranking of states by population

1.  California
2.  Texas
4.  Florida
7.  Ohio
10. NC

States that rank higher in population than NC but have FEWER Dominos locations:

3.  New York 279
5. Illinois 239
6. PA 253
8. Michigan 166
9. Georgia 269

Where does your state rank when it comes to Dominos pizza locations?

Are You a Cheerleader or Helicopter Grandparent

Ever since my grandson was three-years-old (he's now 5), he has wanted to play football. I think I may be responsible because I dominate the TV on the weekends to watch college and NFL football games and has witnessed the cheerleader in me getting pretty hyped whether my team is winning or losing. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Jarod is now eligible to play the sport he loves but grandma doesn't want him to. Why? Because I've heard and read too many stories about the serious injuries that can occur and to make matters worse, some players are doping to become stronger and even committing suicide. Why would I want my grandson to go down that road? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ My daughter, on the other hand, says she wants her son to have EVERY OPPORTUNITY to do the things he loves---to experience all that life has to offer and that includes football. So, over my objection, she signed him up to play for …

Jail is not a Place for Grandmas

After picking up my five-year-old grandson from summer camp, I was driving home when I turned right on a red light. Just as I turned I noticed the sign said NO TURN ON RED. I said, "Oh no! I just ran a red light and I shouldn't have done that." My grandson asked me if the police were coming to put me in jail to which I responded, "I just hope they didn't see me." My grandson replied, "If you do have to go to jail, can you take me home first?"

Kindergarten is Over and Grandma Can Exhale

For those of you who have been following this blog you know my frustration last year over trying to get my grandson into kindergarten as an early entry due to the fact that his birthday falls six days after the cutoff date. Well, he did get in for $500, the amount we had to pay a psychologist to have him tested. Was he ready for kindergarten? Academically, yes. Socially, yes. Emotionally, maybe not. Jarod spent about half the school year in play mode meaning he still had a daycare mentality. What I learned was he spent way too much time playing in daycare than he did preparing for kindergarten. The structure of the daycare environment he was in was much different than a classroom setting. He had a lot of free time and free reign to just play and have fun. That thought pattern continued into the school environment, which took its toll on the teacher's nerve from time to time. In hindsight, I still believe we did the right thing by getting him tested as an early entr…

Blueberries Are Good for Soccer

On the way to my grandson's soccer game today, I asked my grandson if he wanted some of the blueberries I was eating. Of course, he said yes and then proceeded to eat them all. After scoring the first goal of the game, he proudly told his coach that his grandma told him if he ate the blueberries, it would make him strong enough to kick some goals. Yes, I did say that and he listened. One of the things I love about young children is how trusting they are. That's why it is so important that we, as adults, give them the love and resources needed in order to help them grow up to be happy and healthy-minded. In an article titled 7 Strategies to Build Trust with Your Child, the writer says it's important to build a bond between you and your child by practicing what you preach. What that means to me is, if my grandson had not seen me eating (and enjoying) blueberries (as I often do), chances are he would not have been as receptive to eating them or believing they…

Grandma Wears a Hoodie Too

The other day I had to stop and think twice before I left for my regular visit to the gym. You see, it was a little chilly outside and I reached for my green jacket---which just happens to be a Hoodie. Of course, Hoodies are in the news these days following the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. I put the Hoodie on, looked at myself in the mirror and thought, "What if I walked down the street in my neighborhood---would my white neighbors become frightened and call the police or would I discover we had our own version of a neighborhood watch captain who might become trigger happy?" After all, with a hoodie on I could pass for a man. It's a shame that I, as a grandmother, must deal with this subject.

The Lengths We Go to to Protect Our Grown Children

It is a parent's job to keep their children out of harm's way---but there is such a thing as over-protection and cover-up.

One might argue that is the case when it comes to 64-year-old Robert Zimmerman and his 28-year-old son George. We all know George as the pistol-packing self-appointed neighborhood watch volunteer who fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on February 26 in Sanford, FL. We all know Martin was unarmed and only carrying a bag of skittles and an iced tea.

A month after the shooting, Robert Zimmerman has finally spoken out in defense of his son. Why it took so long is anybody's guess. He says his son is NOT a racist---as a push back to all of those who claim his son engaged in racial profiling and Martin was his target. He also says his son did what he had to do since he was being brutally attacked by the victim. It doesn't matter that the police video doesn't reveal George in a near death state.

Robert Zimmerman is doing exactly what he believes…

Trayvon Martin Could Be My Grandson

After death threats and an avalanche of hate mail, the man who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on February 26 has packed up his belongings and moved away to an unknown location.

So how does that happen? How does George Zimmerman get to receive a pass for shooting the unarmed teen who was just walking home from a convenience store with some skittles and an iced tea? How come the police believe Zimmerman's story that he was defending himself when he was the one who got out of his vehicle in pursuit of Trayvon and then pulled a weapon as the young man screamed for his life? Zimmerman was also told NOT to pursue the teen but failed to obey? Why did the police lie to the media and say Zimmerman had a squeaky clean criminal record---only to discover he had been charged with assault on a law enforcement officer?

All one has to do is listen to the 9-1-1 tapes - and realize this kid was screaming for help.

Trayvon could've been my grandson. How sad it is to know that, …

Have You Had the Talk With Your Spouse Yet

For many couples, talking about death is difficult. Nobody likes to think about dying. It's scary to think the person you're growing old with will no longer be around someday.

The other day my husband said, "I can't imagine my life without you. That's why I'm going to die first." Of course, his comment shocked me and I wasn't sure how to respond. Trying to lighten the mood, I said, "No--I need to go first because I know you will be able to re-group a whole lot better than I would." Then, jokingly, I suggested we die together.

That brief conversation got me to do some serious thinking. How would I cope emotionally and financially should my husband pass away before me?

Preparing your finances for your death is a topic many don't want to talk about. Death is inevitable, however, and if you don't take the time to plan, your wishes (and your family's financial security) could be at risk.

Here are some tips I found, which I hope wi…

Celebrating Dr Seuss with Grandchildren

Dr. Seuss and I share something in common. We've both been around long enough to inspire a lot of children over the years.

I was always taught "reading is fundamental" and is tied to EVERYTHING you do in life. If you can't read, you can't effectively communicate. Not knowing how to read may result in having people cheat you out of your money. Poor reading skills may leave you jobless.

When my daughter, now 22, was learning how to talk, Dr. Seuss and I became her reader advocates. Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat, I Can Read with My Eyes Shut--- all became favorites. Even though I had a full-time job, I always tried to find the time to go to my daughter's school and read to the class.

The same holds true today with my five-year-old grandson. I'm a rockin' reader grandma at his school. I want him to know how much I value reading and how much I support him in getting the best education he can---PLUS I absolutely adore his class. They all give …

Giving Children Grand Support

Today at my grandson's school there was a special event: Boys to Men Luncheon. Fathers, granddads, brothers, uncles, cousins, mentors, males role models were invited to come hang out with their child and enjoy lunch---let me say TRY to enjoy lunch because I've eaten in that cafeteria.

I decided to pop in to capture a Kodak moment and much to my surprise, the parking lot was jam-packed with cars. Once inside the cafeteria, I was overcome with emotion when I saw ALL of the men who had shown up to eat with their kids. These men took time out of their day to do something they believed was important.

I am a firm believer that when men show up as an active and loving participant in their children's lives, the children fare much better because of it. Moms and grand moms are used to doing it but seeing a positive male role model in a child's life speaks volumes and, whether you want to believe it or not, teachers do notice those things because then they know they have anot…

If I was the Grandmother of Blue Ivy

If I was the grandmother of Beyonce and Jay-Z's new baby girl, the first thing I would do is sit down and have a long, and not-so-nice Parenting 101 lesson with them.

I'd tell them how foolish I think they are to spend over a million dollars to seal off a wing of the hospital to assure their privacy. If they wanted privacy, they could've paid for a PRIVATE facility with PRIVATE everything else.

I'd tell them how inconsiderate they are to keep other new parents from having access to their own newborns in the neonatal care unit of the hospital. One father took his complaints to the media---and we all know how that gets blown up.

I'd tell them they could've donated that $1.3 million they spent on hospital privacy and security to different organizations to ensure that less fortunate mothers could get good prenatal care.

These are the things I would say if I were the grandmother of Beyonce and Jay-Z's baby girl. I'm just wondering what their own mothers said-…

Parents Children and Guns Don't Mix

While preparing for my radio show this morning, I decided to do some research and talk about some of the most bizarre stories of 2011. During my search, I came across what has to be not only bizarre but one of the most ridiculous stories I've ever heard of in my life!

A 17-year-old Florida girl reportedly pistol-whipped her mother because the mother refused to sign a car loan for her. On top of that, the daughter held the gun to her mother's head and forced her to drive to the dealership, where her mother decided to sign the car loan. The daughter then drove off in her new Nissan 350Z.



This is obviously the case of a spoiled brat who has lived a life of privilege. Her mother (and probably others) have catered to her every whim and the one time her mother decided to put her foot down, the dau…