Blogger Interview Series, E1: Getting to know Grandma Mary Martha

Jan 11, 2018

Hey guys! So today we are launching the first of many - our first Blogger Interview of the series. I had so much fun doing this! It's amazing when two people in the same spirit can come together and work together on a project and I've gotta say, I can't wait to work with her again!

Today our interview will be with Tammy Dunlap, the author of the Grandma Mary Martha blog.

Let's dig in!!

This picture belongs to Grandma Mary Martha

Questions about YOU:

Q: I noticed on your 'Who is Grandma Mary Martha' post you mentioned that you were in your 40's and nursing, how was that experience for you?

A: Being a mother was/is highlight of this life!  Nursing my babies is a precious memory, worth more than money could buy.  When I was nursing my daughter in my 40s, I thought my age might have been why I lost so much hair (my husband was in IRAQ) and I wrote him and asked him if he would still love me if I went bald.  I expected to go bald.  Also, I had hot flashes and heart palpitations. Thyroid test came back normal, doctor said.  After I weaned my baby, I returned to normal and did not experience that again until peri-menopause at the other end of 40's and into early 50's.  Age 53, now all is well !!

Q: Of course, I'm going to ask about your reconciliation,! I think it's a beautiful thing when God can fix what we think is unfixable. How has your marriage gotten better since you reconciled? Have there been a lot of changes? 

A: Yes, after we reconciled, feeling like God granted a healing and a second chance, we became better at forgiving, making allowances for one another's faults, flaws or weaknesses, we had increased grace and mercy towards one another as well as respect and appreciation for each other. We are better at distinguishing between important and unimportant  and this time around there is very little (or none) dysfunctional fussing and blaming about the past.  Our key phrase is, "Do we really want to go there (bring up the horrid past)?  Let's focus on here and now.  What's the right thing to do here..........?"

Q: I have to say, I LOVE that you write poetry. I have written poetry since I was 11 years old. How long have you been writing and what got you into poetry?

A: I didn't start thinking of myself as a poet until after college.  I still remember the first poem I wrote was for my students, about 25 years ago.  I posted it on a class bulletin board: 

We are shining stars!
Ask Ms. Strait,
She'll say we're GREAT,
Pencils in our hands,
Or tennies on our feet,
One thing is for sure,
We are hard to beat!!
For some reason when I became a MOTHER in my 30s, the poems began to flood in me, and felt like gifts from God !

Q: I'm just starting out as a mother; I have my 18 month old and one on the way and I can't imagine being without my babies at home. How has your experience been now that your kids are grown and out of the house? 

A: The only good thing is that you have ME time again. It is sooooo   NOT EASY.  You have to figure so many things out, like how to be a stand-by, on-call parent to young adults or fledgling teen-ager that leaves the nest for short periods of time, being appropriately respectful, and loving, but knowing when to keep your mouth shut because it is time for them to grow independent of you (the mother).  It is VERY LONELY and sometimes sad if you do not have healthy hobbies and good social support system.  Basically, empty nesters have to build a different life.  It is a small window of time when hopefully they (empty nesters) can enjoy their life (each other, and God's beautiful creation, and all of their blessings) before health starts to fail....

Q: What is something God has done in you since you began blogging?

A: Since I began blogging, I have grown in confidence and focus.  I am more focused on God and my closest family.  If I honor God, and my family is happy, then "FINE and BLESSED."

This picture belongs to Grandma Mary Martha
This picture belongs to Grandma Mary Martha
Questions about your blog:
Q: What motivated you to start blogging and why?

AI have always loved to write and always found it therapeutic to write.  When I learned there was such a thing as a blog, I began dreaming......... aspiring to put more positive in the world!  (Remember, I was not raised with computers or internet!  I am a grandma!!)

Q: What type of audience do you wish to attract with your blog?
A: I wish to speak to women, young, old, in-between, all ages, all stages, any that would enjoy inter-generational chatting, is how I think of my audience.

Q: What is one thing you have learned in your blogging journey? 

A: All of the blogging has been such a learning adventure for me, but I would say that the most wonderful thing I have learned is that (so far, and all glory to my Father...) when I am faithful to write what I believe that God has given me to write, even though I am sometimes very insecure, and sometimes almost fearful, I have gotten an overwhelmingly positive reaction from the public, and actually developed closer friendships with in my geographic community, because of my blogging.  There are several incidences, but one, just to give you an idea of what I mean is that after I heard a very brief and sweet story from/about a community member, I asked her shyly if I may have her permission to write about it, changing names and adding fictitious details for what I did not know.  She granted permission, and she and her family LOVED IT.  Some people in my community  approach me and speak to me about my blog, as if they feel closer to me because they have glimpsed into my heart through my blog.

Q: Although I've already read it myself, what is the meaning of your blog title? 

A: GRANDMA MARY MARTHA is the title I chose because I thought I needed something catchy to REPRESENT me.  I am a grandmother, near retirement, and I love to do crafts and read and think and write (reminiscent of  Jesus's sister friends Mary and Martha, from the Bible. one a thinker, listener, one a doer)

Q: Where do you see your blog in 5 years?

A: Well, my blog should be in the Lord's hands as always!  I hope that five years from now it stands as a testimony of my faithfulness to speak for Christ, build relationships with women, and build-up women, as well as my commitment to grow and learn.  I pray that God will continue to use me through blogging and that He will continue to grant me mental faculties and topics to accomplish..........


Well there you have it!

I hope you guys enjoyed getting to know Tammy and what her blog is all about, because I sure did.

Here are some links to some of my favorite posts on her blog. Be sure to check them out and show some love!

Be Careful Where You Put Your Insecurities
His Grace is Sufficient
Seeking to Serve in Attitude and Actions _

If you'd like to keep up with what Tammy is doing, feel free to follow here on these platforms:
Empty Nesters and Beyond
Grandma Mary Martha Facebook

❤ XO, Cynthia Cano 


  1. I enjoyed getting to know YOU, Cynthia Cano, and it was my pleasure and honor to share. Thank you for sharing your readers with me just a bit! I look forward to more fun projects together in the future. God bless you and yours.

    1. Thanks Tammy for working on this with me! Blessings to you and your family as well.

  2. Ha! I finished nursing at age 40 . i think I traded energy for wisdom in having my children later in life. I laughed at the assumption of advance maternal age! At 36-39 I maintained better health than I had in my tweeties! Babies are ready when God is ready.
    The poetry idea intrigues me. I wrote a little early on but not very confidently . I wonder if age will improve that . Thanks Grandma MaryMartha ( I aways want to be Mary but Martha would be my character.)