Happy Harvest and Happy Halloween greetings from Kaye Swain Grandma Caregiver Sandwich Generation Baby Boomer and REALTORWe are at the beginning of the holiday season as well as in the midst of full-on autumn bliss around here. Changes have been occurring and will keep coming and I’ll be sharing those soon. But in the meantime, I was blessed to enjoy a visit with long-distance grandkids. And I didn’t travel alone this time. I had a very dashing and dapper companion, although he did have to be a bit squished…in a suitcase…. But oh my, the look on the grandkids’ faces made it all worthwhile!

This sweet scarecrow has been fun for kids and grandkids in Roseville California and beyond-Kaye Swain REALTOR

Yes, indeed. Our beloved scarecrow. That fellow has been in our family for over 16 years and my grandkids and I LOVE him. So I packed him up, took him to visit, and now he and I are safely back and he is ready for the cute trick or treaters coming later this week.

My senior mom and I are off to pick up more candy and plenty of cute pass it ons to share sweets and the sweet Word of God with all the cutie pies coming to visit and looking forward to it. This year we will have an extra helper – one of my granddogs. He is going to be coming over to show off his costume

Pssst – sneak preview

Granddogs can be great therapy for elderly seniors in Roseville and beyond-Kaye Swain REALTOR

and then will stay a bit to keep great-grandma company and maybe even snooze with her, while I greet the big and little-uns at the front door. And I’m expecting a HUGE smile on his face when I take his cute costume OFF! He’s very sweet and patient at being dressed up but… Unlike a another pooch my senior mom just told me about who LOVES to dress up. :)

We all had holiday fun last weekend. My grandkids enjoyed various harvest fest fun and I got to help with our church’s Halloween party for the church and our local area. Quite fun and so many smiling faces!


A lovely Red Cardinal-none in Roseville California but blue birds aplenty on the West Coast-Kaye Swain REALTOR

Some of my grandchildren and their costumes-Kaye Swain REALTOR

A mysterious joy for grandparents in Roseville CA-Kaye Swain REALTOR

Life does bring a continual series of changes, doesn’t it. Yet through it all, it’s nice that some things stay fairly constant – especially sweet smiles from grandkids, senior parents, granddogs and scarecrows. How about you? How is your Halloween week going? Got any fun ideas for the grandkids or the trick or treaters? Do you have a granddog who is dressing up? Yes! We’d love to hear and/or see pix. :) Have a fun time!

P.S. I shared this adorable hair costume link at Facebook.com/SandwichINKforTheSandwichGeneration –  Be sure to click LIKE as that page gets updated several times a week.

P.P.S. You can find more fun holiday ideas at my Pinterest boards – CLICK HERE and be sure to follow all as I update Pinterest regularly as well.

P.P.S. Be sure to check out my past articles on Halloween fun including these.  :)

Fun for grandparents whether at home or out and about at the Grand Social


P.S. Thank you so much for your comments. I enjoy them very much and read each one. I also love the grand ideas so many of you share that help and encourage other readers. Thank you.


Autumn is approaching from Roseville California to Kentucky to Virginia-Kaye Swain REALTORIt’s September, it’s Autumn (my FAVORITE season), AND it’s National Preparedness Month 2014! Not only that, on September 30 it will be the National Prepareathon when FEMA, the CDC, the government, the Red Cross and others would like to see us STOP and TALK about getting prepared in case of a natural disaster, national emergency, or terrorism. Not a fun subject, I know, but a vital one for all of us, including our kids and grandkids.

Now before I show you something really cute for kids, I want to remind all of us – as grandparents, it’s ALWAYS wise to check with the parents first before warning grandkids about scary things. They often know of problems like night terrors that might require a more cautious way of sharing things. For that matter, we grandparents have such a grand impact on our grands, something can sometimes seem more scary if we talk about it than if the parents talk about it. So show this to your kids first, get their blessing – hopefully, and then have fun sharing this. It’s really cute, while making an important point. :)

Wasn’t that fun! I must admit, I wanted more. Hmmmmm, I wonder if there’s a full-length version in the works. It wouldn’t surprise me. And that’s not all! They have a whole site dedicated to emergency preparation tips for kids and grandkids, including an intriguing looking game – FEMA for KIDS . I’ll have to show that to my grandkids next time we get together.

In the meantime, have a great week enjoying fall foliage (or as we  like to say – enjoy the autumn ballet), while reminding our kids and grandkids to practice safety here and there. :)

Fun for grandparents - in AND out of the Sandwich Generation - at Grand Social


P.S. Thank you so much for your comments. I enjoy them very much and read each one. I also love the grand ideas so many of you share that help and encourage other readers. Thank you.


Kaye Swain and other grandparents often fly to visit grandchildren-including from Sacramento airportMobile Grandparents – On the Go

Our nation is more mobile now than probably any time in history. Yes, the famous words “Go West Young Man,” reportedly spoken by Horace Greeley, are indicative of all the people through the years who traveled far away, leaving friends and family for years, if not forever. But now, we have people going back and forth hundreds of miles-by plane, bus, car, and train – sometimes on a  daily occurrence. And yes, that includes plenty of grandparents visiting long distance grandkids.

That can be a challenge, can’t it? Compressing weeks, months, or even a whole year worth of hugs, kisses, and sharing into one week – give or take. How do we do it? Can we do it? YES we can. I have done it often for years, as have many of my relatives and friends including Lisa of Grandma’s Briefs. We are here to assure any new long distance grandparents, you CAN keep close relationships despite the distance. How?

Staying Close While Grandparenting Long Distance

  1. For me, first and foremost, is prayer – As I read today in Colossians 1 during my daily Bible study,  “For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.”  It’s a grand model of what and how to pray for all of our loved ones, including our sweet grandchildren. What a blessed way to leave a sweet spiritual legacy, don’t you think?
  2. Phone calls – It’s been interesting. Not all grandchildren like to talk on the telephone. Of my many grandkids, one LOVES to talk on the phone – she’s my little phone-buddy. A few HATE to talk on the phone. The rest are rather mixed so we get to occasionally but not super lots. Makes me doubly grateful for texting, snail mail, and visits.
  3. Read or sing together – in person or on the phone. I love to read to my grandchildren and they enjoy being read to. Over the years I’ve read a few books to them on the phone or sung fun songs to them. One grandchild loves to read to me and that’s interesting as well. She picks out a favorite book periodically which gives us a fun time on the phone and a chance to learn more about her and her likes. Times change though. A few are getting old enough and are such great readers, that special time has ended for them and me. But now, they’ve moved on to…
  4. Texting – a handful of my grandkids are old enough to get to use a family smart phone for occasional texting with family or close friends. That has opened up fun times of text chatting and playing Words with Friends or Carcassonne long distance. It tends to go in spurts – a bunch of texts/plays for a half hour, then nothing for days. But that does work well around my work schedule.
  5. iPhone or other Smart Phone Games – in person and across the miles My grandkids and I have enjoyed Words with Friends and Carcassone sitting side by side or hundreds of miles apart. Hangman is another favorite of ours – cuddling close or driving in the car (they do all the word picking unless we come to a stop, then I can pick one for them – but mostly it’s them picking the word and me guessing without being able to look). Talk about great brain exercise for both of us!
  6. Board Game Fun – Granted, most people don’t play these from long distance but I frequently travel with two or three of our favorite board games in my suitcase to enjoy with the grandkids when I get there. A simpler solution is to gift those favorite games to them at birthdays or Christmas and then play them when you visit. Trouble, Sequence and Chess continue to be favorites of my grandkids with me – while Risk is a favorite for them and their other set of grandparents – my sweet “co-grandparents.” :) (If y’all are into chess big time that IS a board game that can be played without seeing the board, using just the names of the board squares. We don’t do that, but it could be fun for chess fans!)
  7. Face time – YES, we often see our picture on that Facetime screen and feel like we look ODD on Facetime, but generally speaking, the kids don’t care how they or we look. So I have just learned to ignore what I look like and cherish the moments of enjoying what my grandkids look like. :)
  8. Video Fun – Some grandparents do videos the normal, traditional, serious way. Thanks to an Instagram friend, my grandkids and I do it hilariously, using Crazy Helium Booth (the paid version). Every so often, we’ll videotape ourselves talking and text it to each other – enjoying great laughter in the process.
  9. Crafts – You know me, so you knew this was coming. Here are some of the things I took with me on my last driving trip to grandkids. I wound up having more time than I thought, though, so had to make an emergency run to Michael’s Crafts for even more craft goodies! The funny thing was, though, we immediately got immersed in something else and the extra goodies ended up staying unused – waiting for a sick day with their mom or my next visit. All in all, though, we had a great time, a lovely visit, and made some cute projects, affordably thanks to the Dollar Store. Now that I’m home, I’m always watching out for fun ideas to share with you on Facebook as well as to save for ideas for my next visit OR to pass on to the moms and grandkids to enjoy now. Craft projects also make great gifts – for birthdays, holidays, or just plain “I’m bored” days. Even though I might not be there when they make them, I still got to be a part of them having educational and tactile fun with crafts from a long way away. Very cool to think about!
  10. Snail Mail - My senior mom sticks with snail mail and she and the grandkids all love that. They thrill to get mail, enjoy the cards she picks out or the articles she clips and sends them. She even subscribes to a couple of fun magazines including Birds and Bloom and A kids nature magazine. She clips fun photos and activities from these magazines and sends them to various grandchildren. Again, great brain food for both her and them.

Grand Resources for Grandparents

It helps that we are not alone. There are many long distance grandparents out there and plenty of terrific resources to help us, including:

Grandparents who live far away from grandchildren definitely have some extra challenges. You’ve heard some of my best tips for dealing with it. Now it’s your turn. Do you have any special tips for long distance grandparenting? We’d love to hear!


Spiritual Sundays are full of encouraging and comforting BIble verses and praise music to lift the hearts of the Sandwich Generation

Fun for grandparents - in AND out of the Sandwich Generation - at Grand Social


P.S. Thank you so much for your comments. I enjoy them very much and read each one. I also love the grand ideas so many of you share that help and encourage other readers. Thank you.


Tips to help prevent accidental phone calls to 911Have you ever called 911 accidentally? I have and feel so bad when it happened. False calls to 911 can mean delayed care to someone else who direly needs emergency services but is delayed getting through because of those false calls.

The first time it happened was with a Blackberry I bought as it was the only phone that would work in a ground floor apartment we were living in temporarily while selling our house.

I discovered that, while the Blackberry did work well in that apartment, it was too easy to call 911 accidentally when carrying it in my jeans pockets (my favorite spot for a cell phone) or in my purse. After 6 months, I had moved and no longer needed the keen reception of the Blackberry. I borrowed a loved one’s iPhone to test drive it, fell in love, and never looked back. But would you believe it, I do still have the Blackberry for dire cell phone emergencies or to loan friends and family.

This past week, I had a whole new iPhone 911 fiasco. I had actually called 911 on purpose to ask for help with a 9 volt battery that was overheating.  The fire department’s regular office was closed and their message directed me to call 911 which I did. They helped me and re-routed my call to the fire department who gave me the advice I needed. All was well…till the next day.

As many cell phone users know, calls we make stay in the recent call list. If you aren’t careful, you can accidentally click on and call one of those numbers without meaning to. That’s what I did – only this call was more than a nuisance. It was to 911. I apologized profusely and immediately after hanging up, I deleted that 911 phone number from my recents list.

As caregivers, many of us need to call 911 more than most. But with accidents a regular occurrence on the roads, and various other issues popping up, any or all of us can call 911 at times. So my suggestion is that anytime you may call 911 (or any other number you absolutely do not want to call back for whatever reason), be sure to go into your recents folder and delete that number so you can’t hit it accidentally.

For the iPhone, go to PHONE, RECENTS, EDIT, click the red circle with the minus sign on the left.  Then click DELETE. Then be sure to click DONE so you don’t accidentally erase calls you DO want to save.

how to delete a 911 call so you dont call it again by mistake

And if you’re wondering about the 9 volt battery issue that led to my 911 call…click here for the story – it’s a vital one for all of us and especially for grandparents and parents who deal with batteries for senior parents, grandkids, etc. :)

LIfe is full of twists, turns, and various crises. But making sure we don’t compound the issues with accidental phone calls to 911 can keep things a tiny bit more peaceful, don’t you think?

Fun for grandparents whether at home or out and about at the Grand Social


P.S. Thank you so much for your comments. I enjoy them very much and read each one. I also love the grand ideas so many of you share that help and encourage other readers. Thank you.


I love the roses I spotted while on vacation in Roseville California in placer County near Sacramento County CAGrandparents! Mention that you are a grandparent in a crowd and you’re likely to have one or more grandparents perk up their ears and say, “Hello, I’m a grandparent too! ” I got to enjoy that several times while traveling and visiting on my vacation to Roseville, California last month!

Plus, I got the added bonus of lunch with a fellow grandmother. We had a fast and fun chat about issues ranging from LinkedIn updating issues (another fun and geeky grandma :) ), to job hunting tips and tricks – just as important for boomers and seniors as for our kids and grandkids, to fun ways to keep young grandkids busy. (As I love to say, busy grandchildren are HAPPY grandchildren! :) )

A facebook smilie sticker-follow Kaye at Facebook.comSandwichINKforTheSandwichGeneration

Since her oldest grandchild is three, he is at the perfect age to start some fun crafts and games and I shared some of my favorites with her before I had to run for another appointment.

I thought I’d do a recap of some of our favorite toddler projects for her AND for you! Fun for all of us!


Sequence for kids is probably our most favorite game over the years for my grandkids and me

Sequence for Kids – I remember searching high and low, long and hard for games a 3-4 year old could enjoy and found two we especially loved (and still play today – both my 4 year old grandson AND, occasionally, my 10 year old grandson who still enjoys it all these years later!

Cranium Cariboo toddler board game

Cranium Cariboo was my grandkids favorite for years! I think we started playing it when they were 2! Sadly, it doesn’t appear to be available any more new. But if you can find a used version, you might still be able to get replacement parts for it from Hasbro who made it. And your grandkids will LOVE it – both sets of mine did!  And Hasbro does have several pre-school games, tho none look like they’d work as young as Cariboo did.

The nice thing is, Amazon does have a ton of new games I’m not familiar with when I typed in Toddler Board Games. So if and when any more grand-cherubs come along, I’ll have fun test-driving some new ones. What about you? Do you have any to recommend?


 Playdoh spaghetti and meatballs were fun for my grandkids a couple years ago.jpg

Play Doh is always popular and great for 3-5 year olds with supervision. It’s generally non-toxic and there are  so many fun kits to take those of us not-so-brilliantly-crafty to new heights of grandma greatness in our grandkids’ eyes – like making – GASP – Play Doh Spagetti :)

Stickers make for fun times and memories for even young grandkids

Stickers are a grandparent’s friend! They are great for all ages. Even my 2 year old grandson was able to make simple pictures while his older siblings had fun with more advanced pictures and designs over the years. And the delight was just as eloquent at 2 as at 11! He especially enjoyed making funny faces with a similar workbook the last time I visited (he’s four now).

Cooking crafts:

Cookie making fun for grandparents and grandkids

If cooking is your “thang,” how about whipping up a batch of sugar cookies (or do what I do and cut and bake Pillsbury sugar cookies), set out a variety of tasty toppings and turn the grandkids loose to make decorated dough boys, girls, monsters, shapes, stars, etc. VERY fun and VERY yummy!

All of these are great for a wide variety of ages including toddlers and even my friend’s little one-year-old grandchild could have fun munching cookies! My grandson sure did when HE was one.

Here are some other articles with fun and easy crafts and projects for our kids and grandkids (not to mention all of us boomers and seniors who have fun with all these adorable grandbambinos)!

Enjoy those grandkids. And YES, we’d love to see pictures. :)

P.S. Did you recognize the cute smilie above? It’s a smilie sticker from Facebook. I’d love for you to LIKE me at SandwichINK for the Sandwich Generation – I’m always finding more fun grandkids activities and ideas and sharing them there, as well as at Pinterest here and here.

A facebook smilie sticker-follow Kaye at Facebook.comSandwichINKforTheSandwichGeneration


Fun for grandparents whether at home or out and about at the Grand Social

Beverly's Got tons of cute pink things each Saturday to put a smile on the face of the Sandwich Generation dealing with the issues of caring for the elderly parents and babysitting grandchildrenKaye Swain at the Dedicated House




P.S. Thank you so much for your comments. I enjoy them very much and read each one. I also love the grand ideas so many of you share that help and encourage other readers. Thank you.