10/16/2014 03:31 pm ET Updated Dec 16, 2014

8 Life Lessons From My Grandma

Last week, my grandma gave me some delicious beans she had cooked up (she makes the best beans in the world, I kid you not). I placed them lovingly in an insulated bag and carefully positioned them in my car so they wouldn't spill or be otherwise disturbed on my way home.

And then I found them yesterday. Still in the car, obviously ruined and fouling up my vehicle. This will forever be known as the Tragic Bean Incident of 2014.

I learned a valuable lesson the hard way. And it got me thinking about all of the other life lessons that my grandma has taught me. She is one amazing woman. Everyone should benefit from her wisdom, so I compiled a short (incomplete) list of life lessons that my grandma has taught me and how she taught them to me:

  1. Be honest and direct. The first time I brought my husband (then boyfriend) home for a holiday meal, she not-so-quietly leaned over to my aunt and said, "I like him much better than the last one." (Me, too, Grandma. Me, too.)
  2. It's okay to break the "rules." While shopping recently, she asked me to pull seven stalks of asparagus out of the bundle. I told her that I thought you were supposed to buy the whole bundle because, rubber band. She replied that it's sold by weight -- so she could have her seven stalks. She and I started an Asparagus Revolution right there in the grocery store. I'm working on our rebellion theme song.
  3. Don't take crap from anyone. She keeps a whistle by her phone. Anytime a solicitor calls, she blows that whistle as loudly as possible into the phone before she hangs up. (And then she laughs.)
  4. Use it or lose it. The day after her 94th birthday, my grandma went gambling at a nearby casino. She used the money she got from recycling her aluminum cans.
  5. Be hilarious. Recently after I came home from a business trip, she asked me if I got "pissy-eyed drunk." When I told her that I may have imbibed a little, but I didn't do anything stupid, she replied, "That's good. Because I'd hate to visit you in jail. Hospital, yes. Jail, no."
  6. Express concern for those around you. When I talk to her every Monday morning, she asks me if I have the weekend flu. (That's the "sickness" her neighbor used to get after drinking too much alcohol all weekend long.) She always seems a little disappointed when I tell her I don't.
  7. Find creative solutions to your problems. My grandma suffers from back pain. She recently told me that she's been thinking about trying some marijuana. In fact, she has some from her doctor in her freezer RIGHT now. (I think she's on to something. And my sciatic nerve is flaring up again.)
  8. Shop until you can't shop no more. I take my grandma shopping weekly. Last week, we were out for five straight hours. We attacked four stores, ate lunch and went to "peruse the case" at the local bakery. Then I checked in to see how she was doing and if she needed a rest. She replied, "I'll rest when I die. Let's keep shopping."**

**To my darling husband, from this you can infer three things:

1) Shopping is my destiny.
2) It's not my fault; it's in my genes.
3) It's not going to get better anytime soon.

This blog post is part of a series for HuffPost Moments Not Milestones, entitled 'The Moment I Stopped Being Perfect.' To see all the other posts in the series, click here.