What Happened to “My Grandma Knows”?

It was over five years ago that I began blogging at my website titled “My Grandma Knows”.  The photo above is from one of my very first posts on that blog.

I used that site mainly to share tips for frugal living and stories about myself and my family.  As my sewing business grew, I had less time to devote to blogging there.  Eventually, I was just paying the fees to keep the site going, but I wasn’t using it at all.

In December 2016, I made the decision to give up that site and focus on my business site here at www.elainesearer.com.  I couldn’t bear the thought of losing all the blog posts that I’d written over the years, so I moved all of those posts to this site.  You may notice that the watermarks on some of my photos (like this one below) are from www(dot)mygrandmaknows(dot)com.  Unfortunately, the actual photos did not transfer with the posts from that site to this one.  I’ve been spending a few hours each week adding photos to those posts that are missing pictures. It’s a slow process.

My plan is to use this website not only to promote my business, but also to share posts about other aspects of my life.  I’ve always enjoyed writing, and I’m looking forward to taking the time to update my blog on a more regular basis.

I invite each of you to sign up for email updates while you’re here so you won’t miss a post.  In fact, over the next few weeks, I’m going to be sharing some of my most popular posts from my old blog.

I always enjoy hearing from readers and customers.  If you have any questions or suggestions for posts, please share them below in a comment.  I’d love to hear from you!


A Biker’s Lesson on Friendship

My experience with motorcycles and the people who love to ride them has been, for the most part, limited to what I’d observed by vacationing in Ocean City, Maryland, during Bike Week.  And I wasn’t there with a bike.  I was just another vacationer surrounded by the motorcycles, their riders, and the noise.  I was not especially impressed.

A couple of years ago, my nephew Chad was going through a rough patch in his life.  He found himself with time on his hands and an ache in his heart.  He made a decision to get himself a Harley and enjoy the sunshine on his shoulders and the wind in his face.  Even then, I was indifferent to the whole motorcycle culture.  All I knew was that Chad really enjoyed his time on the road and his time with his friends.

When the worst scenario imaginable played out last September–Chad’s motorcycle accident and his passing as a result of injuries sustained in that accident–I learned a whole lot more than I ever expected to know about bikers and the ties that bind them to each other.  Chad’s friends showed up during the hours following the accident and during those early days of grief to express their love to our family.

Last Saturday, July 25, 2015, they did it again! They held the First Annual Chad Miller Memorial Ride–a benefit ride organized by bikers and friends who knew and loved Chad.  The purpose of the ride was to honor Chad’s memory and to raise money for Chad’s two children.  The money raised will be a blessing, but I believe the bigger blessing was the show of support from Chad’s fellow bikers to his family.  These men and women showed our family and community that when the chips are down, it’s good to have some bikers by your side.

The day of the ride dawned bright and clear, and just before noon, all heads bowed, and my sister–Chad’s mother–prayed.  She asked God for safety and blessings in the name of Jesus for the bikers who gathered to ride their more than 100 motorcycles on a thirty mile course in memory of Chad. 

At noon, the bikers were off!  My sister and my niece gave the sign, and they left the parking lot in a cloud of dust and an ear-blasting roar of their engines.  The last biker out of the lot was riding Chad’s Harley which the new owner had restored to its original beauty. 


It was an emotional ride for Chad’s friends who visited a few of his favorite places.  The course even included a solemn ride past the accident site.  Those of us who weren’t participating in the actual ride were waiting at a local park.  Approximately two hours after the ride began, the bikers began to roll in.

Saturday was a beautiful day for honoring and remembering Chad.  The camaraderie of the bikers, their love for Chad, and their genuine concern for his family were truly heart-warming.  Chad’s family members were overwhelmed by the generosity of those who attended.  They shared old memories and made new memories.  They laughed and cried.  It was quite a day!

One of the women who helped with the event jokingly asked me if I ever expected to be attending a bikers’ party.  No, as a matter of fact, I never did, but I was glad for the opportunity to attend this one.  This time, surrounded by bikes and bikers, dust and noise, I was very impressed!

To those who participated and to those who will never forget what a great guy Chad was, I say, “Thank you…. and ride on!”



Room For One More

On Thursday, April 9th, the world’s population increased by one when we welcomed into our family our first great-grandson, Jayden Michael.  We praise the Lord for a beautiful, healthy boy and a safe delivery for his mama.  Isn’t it amazing that just when you think your heart is full, God multiplies your love and makes room for one more?

While Jayden and his parents were taking care of business at the hospital–taking selfies, having surgery, cutting umbilical cords, taking a first breath, and the like–Jack and I were enjoying the company of the Big Sister.  It was our privilege to take Aaliyah to the hospital to meet her baby brother for the first time ever.  I think she was relieved to find that this little man-child her parents had been warning her about for months was NOT just a figment of their imaginations.

It was a special time for all of us, and we look forward to getting to know Jayden and being a part of his life.  What a blessing he is to our family!Just look at him sleeping in my arms!  I’m pretty sure he’s dreaming about coming to Grammy and Pappy’s house for truck rides, campfires, picnics, and dirt!  Thank you, Jesus, for this sweet boy and for making room in our lives for {at least} one more!


Coffee Talk

My husband Jack and I have a morning routine that includes spending the first part of most days having coffee together in the living room.  I make the coffee–organic Fair Trade with a splash of half & half and some French vanilla creamer–while Jack checks the morning paper online.  We convene in the living room, he in his easy chair and me in my wooden rocking chair beside him.  This is my favorite time of the day.

We both value this early morning hour before the telephone starts ringing, before the sewing room beckons, before the grass is dry enough to mow or the wood box needs filling.  These are moments to be treasured, to be cherished. Sometimes we are tempted to use this time for more “productive” pursuits, but we both look forward to this quiet start to our day and refuse to let other things interfere.

This hour that we spend together each morning has done more to bind our hearts and lives together than a hundred marriage seminars or weekend getaways.  This is a time for us to laugh, to discuss finances, to update our calendars, to make plans, and to dream dreams.  By spending time together without the distraction of TV, computers, or phones, we can simply enjoy each other’s company.  And good coffee, too, of course.

I’ve shared marriage advice here on my blog before.  Today, I’m going to pass on another bit of marital counseling, and that is to make time for your own “coffee hour” with  your spouse.

Communication is believed by many to be the most important aspect of a successful relationship, yet time alone together for a husband and wife to talk to each other is one of the things that seems to get crowded out first when life gets hectic.

Not everyone can set aside an hour each morning for quality time with a spouse.  After nearly thirty-five years of happy marriage, Jack and I are blessed to be at home together most days with fewer distractions than many couples. Work schedules, children, and a hundred other things might make early mornings hectic at your house.  But it’s not the time of day that makes meaningful communication possible.  It’s not even the coffee that is of paramount importance.  The important thing is to make spending time with your spouse a priority.  It just might end up being your favorite part of the day, too!

How do you or how would you like to begin to make time each day to nurture the relationships in your life? 














Keeping Track of Passwords

Keeping track of passwords for websites was driving me crazy!  Back in the old days when I used the same password for every site, there was no problem for me to remember how to log in to my favorite websites.  That all changed when I was advised NOT to use the same password twice, and furthermore, passwords should NOT contain words from the dictionary or include my dog’s first, middle, or last name.

Sites were demanding that my passwords contain numbers and symbols combined with upper and lower case letters.  That’s all fine and dandy, but who do they think is going to remember all of these?  Not me.  So I did the only thing I could do.  I got myself an address book for my web addresses and passwords, and I wrote them all down.  I kept that book right beside my computer, thus saving any burglars the bother of searching through our home for the information if needed.

I knew there had to be a better way without resorting to one of those programs that keeps track of your passwords for you.

Recently, when I was at a meeting with some friends, some of us were discussing computer passwords and how we keep ourselves and our information safe online.  Most everyone in the group was using a strategy similar to mine.

That’s when my one friend shared her method of password keeping that I thought was next thing to brilliant.  I’ve adopted this new strategy, and I’m going to share it with you here.

This new plan involves my choosing strong passwords with the necessary combination of symbols, numbers, letters, and all that jazz.  The difference is that each password for every single site will contain somewhere within it a special sequence of four characters that I will NEVER forget.  I then record the passwords in my special little password address book replacing those four characters with this: XXXX .

Allow me to give you an example.  Let’s say for my four characters, I will be using M217.  Now, when I come up with a password for a website, I’ll choose something like this:  K4%rby*M217.  This password would undoubtedly be deemed a strong password and would meet all the criteria that the password police demand.

My next step is to record the password in my password notebook, and that entry would look like this:  K4%rby*XXXX.

It’s that simple!  Is this method totally hack-proof?  Probably not.  But it’s definitely better than my former method of labeling the websites and writing out the passwords for anyone who gets his or her hands on my password address book.

If you’re concerned about safely storing your passwords, you might want to give this technique a try.  I’d like to thank my friend Ann for sharing her wisdom with me.

What do you think of this idea for keeping track of passwords?

Too Soon to Say Good-bye

These past six weeks have been difficult ones for my family.  On September 16th, my thirty-six year old nephew died from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident, plunging our family into sadness like we’ve never known before.

Chad leaves behind his parents, a nine-year-old daughter, a six-year-old son, a sister, two nieces, and a lot of other family members and friends who will never stop missing him.  Our family has experienced loss before, but this time, it’s different.  And it’s different because Chad was what we all consider to be too young to die.  It was just too soon to say good-bye.

I know that life doesn’t come with guarantees, and young people die everyday.  Just the same, I fully expected Chad to be around at least another thirty-six years.  I wanted thirty-six more years of his goofy grins, his funny stories, his presence in our lives and at our family functions.

We all expected Chad to be here to enjoy hunting season with his father and his son, to take one more beach vacation with the whole family in tow, to teach his kids to drive, to help his sister choose his parents’ nursing home, and to walk his daughter down the aisle.  And so we grieve.  We grieve for missed opportunities.  We cry for all those things that might have been, but now will never be.

Our only comfort is in knowing that it is God in his sovereign wisdom who numbers our days. It is God who gave us thirty-six years to know Chad and to love him.  Why only thirty-six years?  I don’t know.  But I know the One who knows the reason why, and I trust Him.


These past six weeks have been dark ones, especially for Chad’s immediate family.  I don’t exactly know what it must be like to pick up the pieces of your life after the death of your son, your brother, or your daddy.  It’s heartbreaking to see their pain and to know that my own pain is just a shadow of theirs.

I’d like to tell Chad that I was proud of him.  He was a hard worker, a great guy, an awesome dad!  It’s too soon to say good-bye, so I’ll just say, “See you later!”



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