BlogGuest Posts & Interviews

“It’s in My Blood”: Carole Griffitts – A Grandmother with Modern Passions

Featuring Carole Griffitts of “Navigating the Storms” & Her Passions in Life

We’re impressed with Carole’s numerous hobbies and passions, especially for computers, considering that many her age shun or struggle with them! In fact, she was game for trying out a couple technical things while collaborating for this post, which was amazing! Apart from computers, she’s also into needle crafts, camping and believes in a strong family unit. It’s easy to lose hope and forgo your passions when you’re in constant pain. Yet it’s important to keep these small flames alight as best as you can. Let’s find out more about Carole, her passions, and learn from her beautiful life experiences 🙂

Carole Griffitts & her husband Joe
Carole Griffitts & her husband, Joe

*Scroll to the end of the post for the link to participate in this series, too!


  • How and where did this all begin?
    It began with word processors in the mid-90s because my hands no longer wanted to work right. I am mostly self-taught, with some friends and online courses helping along the way. (Read: How Speech Recognition Makes Living with Disability Easier)
  • What about computers in particular do you like?
    The ease of use. The variety of tasks. The ability to connect to the world. The capability to write. The fun of designing websites.
  • You said that you enjoy doing graphics as well. What sort of graphics and what’s your style like?
    I use graphics programs to make cards and other projects. I designed and created a scrapbook for my granddaughter when she graduated high school. I use Excel to design my craft projects. I designed a calendar for family gifts with pics for each month.
  • Carole with her laptop, 'Expanded World'. |  "It's in My Blood" |
    Carole with her laptop, ‘Expanded World’.
  • Do you tinker with software or hardware as well? If so, what and how?
    Not really. I find it hard enough now just to figure out how to use the programs.
  • If you had a chance to go back to university again, would you take up something computer-related? What kind?
    Probably. But I really love library technical services, and they use the computer a lot now.
  • What computer-related skill are you thinking of taking up next?
    I’m learning Access so I can organize my website info. I’m finding so many uses for it. I love organizing, so that’s right up my alley.
  • Favourite things to do on the computer?
    Keep up with friends. Check the news. Run my website to help others. Finances are not my favorite, but a necessary evil. Organize pics from years back, so I can find them to do my projects. (I personalize everything!) Copy recipes.
  • Any resources you go to for learning more about this passion of yours?
    Our local library offers free online courses, and I haven’t exhausted that source. Computer work is so important to me that even with my limited time, I take online classes to gain more knowledge of the programs I use.
  • Anything about computers that frustrate you or you avoid?
    YES! When it doesn’t do what I think it should! Sometimes, it’s me; sometimes, it’s the computer! What I avoid is programming.

Carole and family. | "It's in My Blood" |
Carole and family.


  • What kind of needle crafts do you enjoy doing?
    Crochet is probably my favorite, but I can’t do very much at a time, so it isn’t very practical. Embroidery, the old-fashioned kind – not cross stitch – is my favorite because there is so much chance for creativity. Next is plastic canvas, followed by cross-stitch.
  • What is plastic canvas exactly? I’ve never heard of it, I’m ashamed to say!
    It consists of a piece of plastic with holes, seven or twelve to the inch. It’s similar to needlepoint, but larger holes. It’s also similar to cross-stitch. It is possible to adapt cross-stitch patterns to plastic canvas. Yarn is used to fill the holes–usually a large yarn.
  • Plastic canvas tissue holder designed and made by Carole. | "It's in My Blood" |
    Plastic canvas tissue holder designed and made by Carole.
    Carole designed and made this embroidery for her parents' 50th anniversary. Includes kids, spouses, grandkids and one great grandkid! | Plastic canvas tissue holder designed and made by Carole. | "It's in My Blood" |
    Embroidery designed and made by Carole for her parents’ 50th anniversary.
  • Favourite things to create?
    Gifts for people. Items for our house.
  • Anything you dislike crafting?
    Quilting. I don’t have the patience for it.
  • How do you go about creating designs on your computer before crafting them?
    I use Excel with small columns and rows. It’s sometimes tedious, as you need to create marks in differing colors, then copy and paste where you want them. One advantage to using Excel is that it’s larger than the canvas/plastic canvas so old eyes can count easier. Of course, you need to shrink it down to get an idea of what it will look like.
  • Do they end up looking exactly alike or do they tend to evolve along the way?
    I change and adapt as things work or don’t.
  • Any tips for budding needle crafters?
    Patience! Practice! Find some instructions that you understand. Learn the basics before branching out to your own ideas. Find a group, if possible, and enjoy the camaraderie.

Bethany & her brother horsing around at Old Faithful in Yellowstone. Their families camped together. | Project "It's in My Blood" |
Bethany & her brother horsing around at Old Faithful in Yellowstone. Their families camped together.


  • Tell us a bit about your family and what you love best about your family unit.
    My husband and I have been married 51 years, so we have kids and grandkids, no greats yet. Our sons and their families enjoy getting together with us, both separately and together. I love that the kids and cousins all enjoy each other.
  • How many kids and grandkids do you have?
    We have 2 sons, married 20 and 25 years. One son has 2 boys and 2 girls; the other has 3 girls.
  • Carole's grand daughter's graduation. | Project "It's in My Blood" |
    Carole’s grand daughter’s graduation.

  • Any special family traditions?
    When we get together at Thanksgiving and/or Christmas, one granddaughter who loves to cook does more cooking as I can do less. The others pitch in, too. We often get together at Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day, too. Then we have BBQs. We also go camping together.
  • What does family mean to you?
    Very special. People who love me, even when I might not be so nice. Someone who believes in my “invisible” illnesses, even if they don’t understand.
  • Most frustrating aspect of parenting and grand-parenting?
    When they do things you know (from life experiences) won’t be good for them.
  • Favourite activities to do together as a family?
    BBQs. Camping. They hike together. They help with my wheelchair.
  • Carole and her husband, Joe, sightseeing at Yellowstone. | Bethany & her brother horsing around at Old Faithful in Yellowstone. Their families camped together. | Project "It's in My Blood" |
    Carole and her husband, Joe, sightseeing at Yellowstone.
    Carole with her youngest grand daughter at OR St Pk where they camped. | Project "It's in My Blood" |
    Carole with her youngest grand daughter at OR St Pk where they camped.
  • An incident that brought all of you closer together?
    I think my problems have created a closeness.
  • Most important values and qualities that your children and grandchildren should learn?
    Faith in God. Good character. Integrity. Responsibility. Being the best they can be.
  • A word to those who don’t have a family?
    Find good friends. Don’t go it alone in life.

Carole's son, Tom's, change of command ceremony as he took over as Coast Guard Captain. | Project "It's in My Blood" |
Carole’s son, Tom’s, change of command ceremony as he took over as Coast Guard Captain.


  • You also mentioned having a love for church involvement. Would you like to share with us briefly what you used to enjoy doing?
    I used to teach classes, which I love. We were more active.
  • Is there something exciting about these passions of yours that I missed out on?! Do share!
    My name on my website is Connected Carole. My laptop is ‘Extended World’. Connections with people and with God are important to me. That is why I started my site: so others who feel alone will know they’re not.
Carole's wall of seven grandkids | "It's in My Blood" |
Carole’s wall of seven grandkids.
One of Carole's many beautiful grandkids | "It's in My Blood" |
One of Carole’s many beautiful grandkids.

*Note: All images here used with permission from Carole Griffitts. This article is meant for educational purposes and is based on the author’s personal experiences. It is not to be substituted for medical advice. Please consult your own doctor before changing or adding any new treatment protocols.

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Carole Lives with the Following Illnesses:

All three interact with each other. Learn more about her experiences living with them on her blog.

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It’s in My Blood: Carole Griffitts – A Grandmother with Multiple Passions, Including Computers | A Chronic Voice | Pinterest Image

Contributor Bio

Carole Griffitts of Navigating the Storms

My husband, Joe, and I have lived forty difficult yet enjoyable years with my invisible disabilities. Family has been, and is, important to us. One son is a Captain in the Coast Guard. The other is a CPA who, unfortunately, is disabled now with Parkinson’s. I have a website to encourage and educate. Joe and I are working on a book about our experiences and ways we–and others–cope. You can also find Carole on: Twitter.

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Shruti Chopra
July 27, 2020 02:13

I loved reading this! It made me so happy. At my age, I was telling mum about computers exactly what Carole answered what frustrates her about computers… “When it doesn’t do what I think it should!”

I think that’s a universal issue – age no bar! 😀

August 30, 2018 19:15

Wow what a life and lady. Great interview.

Connected Carole
October 7, 2017 05:58

Thanks. I like what you did with my info. Love how the pics came out.