Grandma's Home Blogger Place

Helping Your Child and Grandchild Through Difficult Times

By Richard Capriola

Adolescent substance abuse continues to invade too many of our children’s lives, leaving
parents, grandparents, and other family members confused and without a roadmap to guide them
in finding help for the child they love.

Today, more than 40 percent of seniors and one-third of tenth graders are vaping a substance like marijuana. Twenty percent of teens report abusing prescription drugs like Xanax, Ritalin and Adderall.

As the parent or grandparent of a child abusing alcohol or a drug like marijuana, feelings of helplessness, blame and even fear can drown out any sense of hope. But in the pages of The Addicted Child: A Parent’s Guide to Adolescent Substance Abuse parents and other family members including grandparents can receive the information that helps them through the difficult times of assessment, treatment and recovery.

Credit: Unsplash

During my tenure at Menninger Clinic in Houston Texas I assessed dozens of children who were using substances like alcohol and marijuana. When I sat down with their parents and grandparents to describe their child’s history of using substances, the most common response I heard from both parents and grandparents was, “I had no idea this was going on.” If you’re the parent or grandparent of children please become familiar with the warning signs of alcohol and drug use. These warning signs are listed in The Addicted Child.

Alcohol and drugs have the power to change children’s brains and influence behaviors many find objectionable. These substances work within the brain to minimize the negative consequences of their use and give children a pleasurable experience. Parents, grandparents and other family members can help by learning how drugs work within the brain to influence drug seeking behaviors.

Because the best treatment starts with a comprehensive assessment parents, often with the support and encouragement of grandparents must insist upon a variety of tests. These assessments go beyond looking only at a child’s history of using substances. Helping a child and their parents through the difficult time of substance use starts with a comprehensive assessment including a complete physical exam, psychological and neuropsychological assessments and a detailed addictions assessment.

It’s not unusual that a child will oppose these assessments but parents with the help and support of grandparents and other family members should insist they be completed.

Credit: Unsplash

When you look beyond children’s alcohol or drug use you may find their struggle to manage intolerable thoughts, feelings or memories is a core issue that drives their substance use and needs treatment. While not all children using alcohol or drugs have an underlying psychological issue like anxiety or depression, for those that do, treating the alcohol or drug problem without treating the mental health issue can be a treatment plan doomed to fail. Issues such as eating disorders and self-injury can accompany a child’s use of alcohol or drugs.

. The Addicted Child lists many warning signs for these disorders that parents and grandparents should be familiar with knowing. If a child has an eating disorder or is self-injuring and also using alcohol or drugs it’s important that both issues be assessed and treated.

Parents often need guidance and support when looking for treatment options. Grandparents can play a major role in supporting and helping parents navigate the complicated road of treatment There is no “one size fits all” treatment approach to helping children and their families through substance abuse treatment. All family members can become familiar with the different treatment programs and options available to help a child. They can also become familiar with the principles of effective adolescent treatment for substance abuse.

Very few things are more destructive to a family than having someone, especially a child, addicted to alcohol or drugs. For most parents and grandparents, it can be a heart-breaking experience. Their desperate search for help often leaves them feeling alone and without a roadmap to guide them through the process of helping the child they love through assessment and treatment.

It’s for these families that I wrote The Addicted Child: A Parent’s Guide to Adolescent Substance Abuse. You can find information on the book and a companion parent workbook that will help all family members including grandparents. The book and parent workbook are available on Amazon and the following website:

Richard Capriola has been a mental health and addictions counselor for over two decades. He recently retired from Menninger Clinic in Houston where he worked as an addictions counselor for adolescents and adults diagnosed with psychiatric and substance abuse disorders.

Happy New Year and Losing a Dear Mother-In-Law

happy new year

Happy New Year everyone!!! Wow! This blog post has been a long time coming…

While I had planned on doing a plethora of writing (for both blogs) this year; I’d also planned on doing lots of videos for my Beauty YouTube Channel. I STILL am planning to do all that, and more…Like being a better grandma!! 💜

I want to bring to your attention though, that I’ve stepped away from Avon and being a representative (for Avon). I just thought it was time to do some things differently. And, with the new year, I thought it was the perfect timing.

happy new year

I’ve started out 2021 with doing many videos, which ALWAYS bring me “immediate stress-free” benefits!! 🙂 Filming videos brings me quite the dose of accomplishment and confidence. If you knew me in my younger years, you would most assuredly know where I’m coming from. I was very shy and unsure of myself. I still am somewhat, however, not quite as severe.

With that said, I do realize that I haven’t started writing blog posts with a bang (with 2021 in mind) or, I should say, like I had planned as of yet. I promise you, they are coming, with everything grandparenting tips, parenting, healthy lifestyle, some new recipes here and there and, just everyday living.

happy new year

So, this brings me to the later part of January 2021 with settling down to the holidays being over and reality. We all had very enjoyable holidays, especially with the grandkids. On a more melancholy note; January is always sad for me. I’ve always dreaded taking down all the Christmas decor. In fact, my tree is STILL up. Although, we’ve taken down everything .

My Grandchildren

happy new year

My husband and I started out the new year with something very sad and unexpected. Although, it really WAS NOT un-expected…It was not in the time frame that WAS EXPECTED!

We lost my husband’s mother on January 21st. I believe it to be a mix of old age and kidney failure. While kidney failure with someone the age of 82 is always a concern, she had many illnesses with her kidneys in general throughout her stay at the nursing facility.

My Mother-In-Law’s health was surely failing and she was sick a few months (back) with memory and mobility being a significant issue. Thinking back on everything, I really should have realized (not eating nor taking medication for 3/5 days) that yes, we were going to lose her SOON!!

Maybe it was complete denial and the fact that we just didn’t want to accept it; as it was a real shock to us both.



I think…



One of the reasons why we were in such denial is due to the fact that we hadn’t seen her since March; before The Corona Virus transpired.

happy new year
happy new year

Personally and During my Mother-In-Law’s passing and her services, that is the (one thing) that was ever-present in my mind and the one thing I just couldn’t get past…not seeing her for that stretch of time. I still can’t.

One of the points I wanted to convey is take time out of your schedule to spend time with your parents AND grandparents if they are still alive. Call them often. I don’t care how busy you are, take the time to show them that you care while they are still alive.

The Points Below…I’m talking to (myself) as well as the (reader), YOU. <3

The Second Point I wanted to bring across — Even though 2021 may not seem to be a better year for you going forward, (for whatever reason), try to look at your future positively. If you’ve set goals for the new year, do everything in your strength and power to meet those goals.

The most important thing to remember is wake up every morning and TRY.

This is something I always inspire my grandchildren with!! <3 <3

The Third Point — Remember, EVERYTHING happens for a (planned) reason. God has everything planned out (at specific times) for things to happen in our lives. Why these things happen, we don’t know. However, when we get to heaven (if you/I/we have prayed the sinner’s prayer and accepted Jesus into our hearts), we will all realize what all those reasons were and WHY they had to strategically happen.

Happy and Safe New Year to each and everyone of you!

Thank you so much for reading!! <3


happy new year
happy new year

The 2020 Guide to Saving Money This Holiday Season

The 2020 Guide to Saving Money This Holiday Season

Photo Credit: Pexels
There are many wonderful things about the holiday season, but the effect it has on our budgets isn’t one of them.

More often than not, we wind up spending much more than we plan to buy gifts for our children, grandchildren, and loved ones. It’s hard not to! After all, showering our family members with gifts and affection is our right as grandmothers.

Here at Grandma’s Home Blogger Place, we know you’re probably hoping to go the extra mile this holiday season in an effort to make up for the crummy year we’ve all had. At the same time, however, money is tight for many right now, and spending wisely is absolutely necessary.

Here are some tips for how you can keep spending low while giving your family the holiday they deserve.

The 2020 Guide to Saving Money This Holiday Season

Do Your Research

Your first step when it comes to planning for this holiday should be research. Every year, there’s a list of hot toys that will only get harder and harder to find – and often, more expensive – as the season goes on. Get a sense of what the hottest holiday toys are and figure out whether or not they’re a good fit for any of your grandkids ASAP.

If you do decide to pick up any of these hot items, let your child know right away that you’ve bought it. Not only will this stop them from accidentally getting the same gift, but it will also knock a tricky item off their shopping list – something they’re sure to appreciate.

Get Wishlists

On that note, make sure to get wishlists from all of your kids and grandkids as early in the season as possible. Wishlists can feel like they take some of the fun or surprise out of holiday gifting, but they offer a ton of convenience and security as a trade.

You’ll know for sure and certain that you’re getting something your loved ones really want.

The 2020 Guide to Saving Money This Holiday Season

Plus, you might be surprised at how affordable many of the items they want actually are. There’s a decent chance your kids and grandkids would be perfectly happy with low-cost, practical gifts. And if you don’t have to go hunting for rare or expensive toys and presents, why would you want to?

Look For Sales

No matter what kind of gifts you’re giving, it’s wise to hunt for sales and deals throughout the holiday season. Retailers know that people are looking for a good price on quality items, and they offer opportunities to meet that need. For example, Cyber Monday is an excellent day to check items off your list without spending a ton.

However, check before you make any sales plans, especially when it comes to Black Friday. With the pandemic still going, many stores are spreading Black Friday deals across several days in order to mitigate crowds. Avoid the big, busy shopping days – especially if you’re in an area where cases are rising – and shop online when possible.

DIY Decor

The 2020 Guide to Saving Money This Holiday Season

Finally, save some money on wrapping and decor by unleashing your creative side. Instead of buying a ton of brand-new wrapping paper, consider picking up a big roll of plain craft paper. Decorate them freehand or use stencils or festive stamps to give the paper that holiday spirit.

You can also save a ton by making your own ribbons. They’re not too tricky to do on your own, and you can make dozens more decorative ribbons with a spool of ribbon than you would buy pre-made for the same price. This gives you a way to save money and indulge your crafty side all at once.

It’s been a tough year, and it makes sense that you’d want to make the holidays as special for your children and grandchildren as possible. However, make sure you don’t inadvertently put yourself in a bad spot in the process. Go into this holiday season with a plan, and you’ll be surprised at how easily you can fill out your wishlist without breaking the budget.

For more grandparenting tips, visit Grandma’s Home Blogger Place regularly.

Granny’s Laundry Room Clean-Up and Redecorating Project

laundry room cleanup and redecorating project
Photo by Kaitlyn Pixley on Unsplash

So, I decided to get in and really deep clean my laundry room…AND, redecorate it. Getting caught up on my laundry was an important part of this project too. 😉

Well, this granny had better hightail it to the dollar stores and grab a few things to decorate with that would look super cute!

Sure, I thought about going to Hobby Lobby and Target…however, we need to keep expenses down. Dollar Tree and Dollar General would work just fine! =)

laundry room cleanup and redecorating project

I found myself getting excited about the whole process! It got me thinking and I even did a video haul for this project. It will be included below.

So, this grandma had to think about the cleaning tips she had researched and learned and still had sprinkled through her (not so good) memory. 🙂 My hungry kitty jolted me back to reality!

I needed to get started!

laundry room cleanup and redecorating project

laundry room cleanup and redecorating project

laundry room cleanup and redecorating project

I took down the curtains that had like, two layers of dust on them! They washed up rather pretty. 🙂

laundry room cleanup and redecorating project
laundry room cleanup and redecorating project

I was lucky I found quite a few cute things. And, what was it I said about NOT going to Hobby Lobby and Target!?? Those dollar stores work great when you’re in the mood to decorate!! I spent the whole morning sipping my ehem! (flavored coffee) and shopping. Was such fun!!! 🙂

laundry room cleanup and redecorating project
Whinnie’s Cat Food <3
laundry room cleanup and redecorating project
laundry room cleanup and redecorating project

Moving right along and my laundry room was looking awesome!!

laundry room cleanup and redecorating project
laundry room cleanup and redecorating project
laundry room cleanup and redecorating project

My kitty had to get in the middle of things!!! LOL 🙂

laundry room cleanup and redecorating project
laundry room cleanup and redecorating project

I was definitely using muscles I hadn’t used in awhile and I knew I was going to be sore the next day!! 😮

laundry room cleanup and redecorating project
laundry room cleanup and redecorating project
laundry room cleanup and redecorating project
laundry room cleanup and redecorating project

This clean-up and decorating project was a lot of fun as well as therapeutic for me. It took my mind off quite a few things for awhile!!! 🙂

I sure hope ya’ll enjoyed my photos. And thank YOU so much for reading!



My Video Haul…;)





laundry room cleanup and redecorating project
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