Author: Kaye Swain

Have you ever noticed how the Sandwich Generation seasons can ebb and flow as time goes by.

The Sandwich Generation issues are tough but love can see us through

The Sandwich Generation Issues Began Early

I first entered the Sandwich Generation when helping with my elderly grandmother while my mom was working full-time. So I spent many days out overseeing grandma with my 1 year – mostly at home, but sometimes in hospital waiting room when grandpa was sick.

Sandwich Generation Issues with Neighbor

Later, I was kinda sorta in the Sandwich Generation for a couple of years while helping an adopted grandma (our next-door neighbor) after her husband died while raising 3 kids under 6. We loved her mightily and enjoyed helping her, bringing her home-made bread and taking her to the grocery store, doctor’s and the occasional bridge game.

Long-Distance Sandwich Generation Caregiving

Next on the list of Sandwich Generation issues? It was my step-mom-in-law in Southern California when we were in Northern California. Distance does add to the challenge. We were able to match her up with another senior relative – and they lived together for a few years, with us just overseeing them. It was a true blessing for both as they literally saved each other’s lives at least once each! (Not quite a Golden Girls scenario, but similar.)

One of the many tools of the Sandwich Generation caregiver along with elastic waist pants canes and more

Sandwich Generation to the Max

My dad and mom and I rejoined the Sandwich Generation when they moved closer to us just as my first grandkid was born. First it was just helping a bit here and there, then walking daily and supervising regularly as my senior dad‘s Parkinson’s Disease progressed. And finally, they moved in with us for the last six months of my dad’s life. Since then, mom and I have made a “good team” as we like to say, helping each other while I helped with many more sweet grandkids. Her health is not as great as before along with other issues, but we’re doing ok.

More Long Distance Sandwich Generation Issues

The latest Sandwich Generation chapter has begun with a sweet elderly relative several states away while I am currently enjoying helping with my newest grandbaby. She has been having major health woes and will most likely be moving into assisted living or a skilled nursing facility. Those will entail new challenges for both of us. And new learning opportunities to share with y’all. I’ll keep you posted. (And YES – any advice and suggestions are welcome as well – either in the comments or at our Facebook page – @SandwichINKforTheSandwichGeneration.)


Spring 2017 has sprung.

Spring 2017 Joys

Here in my neck of the woods of Roseville CA next to Sacramento, we are enjoying beautiful flowers everywhere.

Roseville REALTOR Kaye Swain shares wisteria joysWe also have a good-sized wind going on today. Perfect for kites. But I suspect some of our winter flowers, like camellias, won’t be around much longer. That’s OK though. There are roses, gardenias, hydrangeas, wisteria and more taking their place. My senior mom, my grandkids, and I are all thoroughly enjoying this sweet season and I hope you are as well!

Pink tulips orange hint Kaye Swain Sun City West Roseville real estate agent

Spring Coloring Pages

Enjoy some fun spring coloring pictures for young AND old alike:

Kaye Swain Roseville REALTOR sharing Kites are perfect for spring 2017


Coloring page joys older grandkids senior parents can enjoy via Kaye Swain Roseville REALTOR

Christian blogger REALTOR Kaye Swain shares scripture coloring pages for adults and grandkids

Nonenal and Aging Seniors

During this sweet spring 2017, I learned something interesting recently. Have you ever heard of the word Nonenal? Me either! Scientist believe it is the cause of the smells commonly associated with aging seniors. In the past, many dismissed those smells as lack of cleanliness. But they have been found to exist even with the senior bathes regularly and keeps a clean house.

Some of the causes that may contribute to the smell in addition to Nonenal could include the fact that many seniors run colder and don’t often open the house up to fresh air. Also, not drinking enough water can cause that issue and so many others. Wearing cotton is something my mom has always loved and that can apparently help too.

The Japanese have been discussing this situation for some time and many use “naturally antiseptic persimmon extract (a tannin)

Wavertree Persimmon and red currant soap can fight elderly senior smells due to nonenal

and antioxidant green tea

Green Tea for aging elderly seniors dealing with nonenal can help

to help fight this issue. Amazon carries several varieties of persimmon soap that might be useful for many. I’m wondering if Whole Foods might as well? Have you ever tried this?

Happy Spring

Have a great day and enjoy your spring 2017 (or autumn, for my down under friends) immensely!


Spring is springing in an intriguing variety of ways across the country. While heading to enjoy grandkids crafts with one set of grandkids, I discovered they had just enjoyed fresh snow.

Winter snow spring flowers fun grandkids crafts Kaye Swain Roseville REALTOR joys Another set is wild about wind right now. And brand new grandbaby and I are loving the sunshine and beautiful flowers, but not crazy about the mosquitoes that popped up from our rainy winter!

Camellia joys for grandkids grandparents hangman more

Grandkids Craft Fun

I had such a lovely time with grandkids, crafts, games, and more recently (and am so grateful to God for providing snow-free drives both ways!) And what’s a little snow outside when we have plenty of crafty fun going on inside! Like Googly Guys, water paint pictures, LEGO Easter projects, finger puppets, make your own puzzles, friendship bracelets, Square One TV show and more!

Roseville CA REALTOR sharing grandkids crafts butterflys

The make your puzzles were a hit BUT they were very tricky to take apart. I got the biggest ones, hoping that would help, but we did have some tearing.

Kaye Swain Roseville Sacramento real estate agent sharing Color Your Own Puzzle grandkid joys

Would you believe it, the simplest turned out to be the most popular. These fun googly guys and gals were a total hit!!!! And very easy for all ages.

Kaye Swain Grandkids loved googly eyes BEST

Grandkids Crafts Help from YouTube

Another thing that turned out well was putting a personalized YouTube playlist to work to teach us without as many distractions from ads and other videos that might not be appropriate! I used my youtube account that comes automatically with a gmail account to make four grandkid-friendly YouTube playlists.

Grandkids Yarn & Fabric Crafts

This playlist has most of the videos we used for the crafts listed here.

Grandkids Crafts

This is all the rest of the crafts ideas I find.

Grandkids Square One

Square One was a fun educational show for kids that my children all loved. One credits it for helping her through high school algebra. It actually makes math fun and I enjoyed it almost as much as they did. I’ve watched for years but it never came back on TV. Somehow, a few people have rounded up several of the episodes for YouTube. But they also have other videos on their sites I wasn’t crazy about. So I made a Square One playlist on my site and loaded it with a bunch of the episodes. Now they can watch these videos and it just keeps going to the next one on my playlist and no worries. Of course, once you get to the end of the play list you need to monitor it closely to see where it goes after the last episode. 😉

Grandkid Joys

This was my original playlist and has a wide mixture of things. It’s pretty much my miscellaneous play list for them.


I have a bunch of good videos in these playlists. That way I could turn it on and the grandkids could watch in a fairly controlled environment . When you create a playlist and they start watching, it keeps going to the next video on the playlist. That way, they don’t get out to the not-always-great-suggestions til the playlist is done! So if you pick good videos and make a long playlist it can keep them safely busy (under supervision) for a good amount of time!

Crochet joys always popular with Kaye Swain grandkids

That’s also how my granddaughters also learned how to make cool friendship bracelets I brought. It involved weaving and I’m not great at that – but they became quite the experts! Grandkids crafts joys indeed!

Grandkids Craft Joys

Crazy 8s ruled grandkids this week Kaye Swain

We had a most delightful time together, made tons of goodies, enjoyed several games of Crazy 8s, learned some new crafts, and are already looking forward to the next visit. Fortunately, in between, I know there will be lots of hangman games and sweet chats via the telephone, which is such a blessing when distance separates us! 🙂

Grandkids St Patricks Day Smiles

One last thing before we part. St Patricks Day smiles with these cute coloring pages including a Scripture Verse with a hint of GREEN in it.

Happy St Patricks Day clover from Kaye Swain Roseville Sacramento Real Estate Agent


Bunny St Patricks Day Spring Joys via Kaye Swain Roseville REALTOR

Enjoy the moments with those sweet grandkids, crafts fun, and sweet smiles, as well as your beloved parents! They might enjoy the coloring pages as well – coloring pages for adults is taking off big time, isn’t it? 🙂




I was going to title this “Fun Valentines, Free Printables and More for the Grandkids” but stopped. I just sent out a boatload of Valentines to grandkids, friends, and neighbors. My senior mom has been sending Valentines and other holiday cards faithfully until just the past year or so (hence my boatload, as I step up to help her with that 🙂 ).

One of my elderly moms greeting cards for grandkids

Greeting Card Joys

Fun Valentines and other cards are sweet joys for all ages. Whether you send them via email, snail mail, or even create them on the computer but then send them in the mail, they are fun to prepare and even more fun to receive.

Fun Valentines and More

Thanks to Tiny Prints, I have a special surprise for you! Free printables and adorable Valentine ideas galore!

They have a post with a ton of Valentine coloring pages. You can use them at home for the grandkids to decorate and hang up. Or wouldn’t they be a cute way to send a letter to an elderly relative or two. They can color one side and write a short note on the other. For that matter, you could print out two – one for them to decorate and one to include for the recipient to have fun coloring. Hmmmm, my college beloveds would love something like that, I bet!  They’ve commented coloring pages can be a good stress relief after the finals are done!  🙂

Fun Valentines and Coloring Pages via Kaye Swain Roseville REALTOR and TinyPrints

Tiny Prints also has a fun post all about making Valentine boxes. But they don’t have to be JUST for Valentines. Wouldn’t this cute Monster Valentine box be fun to some of the grandkids toys, cars, dinosaurs, etc. in?  So fun to use and from the looks of it, very easy to make too!

Kaye Swain Roseville Real Estate Agent Grandmother Caregiver sharing adorable Monster Valentine Box


Be sure to take lots of photos – while you’re having fun creating, and once you’ve got the fun Valentines and the Valentine box done. And be sure to visit Tiny Prints’ post, Free Valentine’s Day Printables For Kids, where you can download cute props for fun photos along with pencil top Valentines, coloring pages, bookmarks and more.

Fun Valentines and photo props for grandkids via Kaye Swain Roseville REALTOR


However you decide to use these fun and FREE printables from, you and your grandkids are bound to have fun. Bet you and your senior parents might as well. 🙂  And many thanks to TinyPrints for graciously sharing these with us. A sweet delight indeed!

Encouraging Love

Christian blogger Kaye Swain shares Encouraging Scripture pictures


Happy Valentine’s Day to YOU

Spring is COMING via Kaye Swain Roseville REALTOR

Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day! And for those spring and autumn fans like me, take courage – SPRING IS COMING (as this coloring book reminded me) and so is the time change (on March 12).   🙂


P.S. Get free SandwichINK for the Sandwich Generation updates directly in your email box. Just click here. 🙂