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Western Maryland, United States

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Magic is Not Magic At All (It's Work!)

Christmas Magic does not just suddenly appear.  

You have to make it happen....  

 Bury your sad.  Let go of silly irritations like lost lights and more stuff than space.  Sift through last years abundance of collectibles and if it makes you feel better, say it one more time  This will be the last year I go through all this!  

And then...  think about the positive. 

 Jasper on Christmas day mesmerized by the train going round and round the track.  The girls playing make-believe with the houses and village families.  Jake seeing how many cars and trees he can place atop the train before it crashes.  

Ahhhh yes.  Christmas magic.  

It isn't there.... unless you make it happen.  In your home and in your heart.

Right Gracie?

Rightoooooo Mom!  I used to be appalled, disgusted and livid over the transformation that happens in my space this time of year.  But I have found the magic that lies beneath the village.  The me space... a place to hide beneath the clutter.  Another thing: The cookie crumbs on Christmas day.  The presents.  The love.  

This year should be the best year ever cause mom and dad took me to Strawberry Dog where I get my makeovers...  and I got to visit with Santa Paws!  I was good.  And he said treats are on the way for me.  My advice to all you buh humbugs out there:  


All for now -  Gracie

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Don't Know If I Can Ever Get Over It

A whirlwind thirty hour block of time.  Drove to Allentown/Bethlehem PA.  Visited with Gary's mom.  Took her and her husband Fred out for a nice seafood dinner, along with his daughter, Athena and her boyfriend, Jake.  Saw some pretty impressive Christmas light displays.  Slept in a nice hotel.  Headed back home.  Gracie barely knew we were gone.  

Today, I am thankful for lights.  Kitchenette lights.  The ones you turn on to see what you are doing in the kitchenette.  Otherwise... see this little bar of dishwasher detergent that I discovered in our hotel suite?

If I hadn't found that light switch when I did, that bar would have been in my belly.  I'd been craving chocolate all day.  Funny how when lights are low and cravings are high one of those little bars resembles a miniature Three Musketeers Bar.

Coffee next morning was tasty.  Hit the spot!

Especially after a long night of fighting for covers with my GP (Gary Phillip).  

He Won.

Back home now and ready for a new work week.

Our nice seafood dinner at Henry's Salt of the Sea in Allentown

Gracie, you go...

 She says I barely knew they were gone...  huh.  What does she know.  I was devastated.  Sad.  Upset.  Playing wally, chickie bird and sqirrelly friend with Lindsey.  Bumming cookies from the curtain climbers.   eating treats wondering..  would they ever return?  It was terrible.  Poor me.  I would not wish that kind of loneliness on my worst enemy.  I don't know if I can ever get over it.....  

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Me:  (checking out at the doctors office):  How much do I owe?

Receptionist:  That will be $113

Me:  If I pay today in full, will I get a discount?

Receptionist:  Yes, you will get 10% discount if you pay today.

Yes! I knew it!  I remembered from last time that payment in full meant a discount of ten percent!!  Christian Healthcare Ministries (whom I will submit my bills to for reimbursement) urges us to ask for a patient pay discount since CHM is not considered an insurance.  I have the receptionist give me a detailed receipt to show the discount.  I am doing my job and doing it well!

So I submit my bills to CHM, very proudly stating that I got my 10% discount for my doctor visit.

Yesterday I get a bill in the mail for $11 from my doctor.



They want me to pay the discounted eleven dollars now?

So I call.  No answer.  Leave a message.

Should I pay the stupid $11 or fight the battle?

Breath in.  Breath out.

I know, it's only a measly eleven dollars.  But.  I am consistently on the phone fighting similar battles with people/organizations/ad reps etc. who tell me one thing and then change the rules midstream.

Stress.  Not worth it.

Writing the check... Now!

Dear Ellie,

My wonderful, beautiful, energetic, annoying, neice:
Well kid, today's your big day.  One year old.  So ya think it's all fun and games, don't ya kid?  Well, well, well.  Does life have a surprise in store for you!  Oh sure, you'll get ice cream and toys tonight and everyone will comment on how cute you are and how they can't believe it's been a year.  They'll even excuse you if you do an accidental poop on the floor.  After all, today is your day.  But tomorrow is the beginning of the I'm no longer a cute puppy I'm now a dog part of your life.  Accidents will no longer be accidents.  Thieving pizza is not without intense punishment, my friend.  You will find yourself in jail more often than not if ya don't change the attitude and buckle up, buttercup.  The ride into adulthood is about to begin.  Oh, and by the way...  just in case I don't make it up your way to say it to your face, happy first year goofball.  Let's see if you can't keep that tail under control now, ya hear?  Gracie.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Dear Child

Dear child without a name,

I would like to introduce to you my granddaughters.  

They look beautiful in their new fairy princess dresses that I recently purchased for them.

I will admit, I spoil them just a bit.  Well, maybe more than a bit.  I have two grandsons that I spoil as well.  They tell me what they want, and just like magic... it appears.  The joys of being a grandmother.

But really.  Deep down inside I know I do not do them any favors by caving to their every whim.  Don't get me wrong...  they are good kids.  Very kind, considerate and appreciative.  


They do not know what it is like to do without.  Food.  Shelter.  Clothing.  Water.  And all the extras.  Their play room looks like an isle at Toys R Us.  

I'm a bit embarrassed to say the same for myself.  I have it all.  

We.  As a country.  Have it all.  Yet we are never satisfied.  Always wanting more, more, more.

Proof of that is something we call Black Friday which has now grown tentacles stretching out into Thursday which was once a day of Thanksgiving for family but now has become a day of shop-till-you-drop and hurry and get that bargain before the next guy gets it.  Yes, the tentacles of materialism have grown into the weekend and into Cyber Monday where you can get even more bang for your buck as well.  

I've probably lost you by now, little one.  You are innocent and unaware of our worldly traditions of self gratification here in the good old USA.  

Kohls - Thanksgiving Day

So lets change the subject.

You see, little one...  you have given me a gift far beyond one that can be purchased with cash.

The opportunity to give such a small little shoebox filled with toys.

You will be thrilled, I just know it.

I have watched the videos.  The ones where you receive your shoebox, tear it open and hold your treasures close to your heart.  

I had so much fun searching for just the right gifts.  I chose you, a girl 5 to 9 and my husband Gary chose to give to a boy the same age.

A prayer goes along with this small gift....  and I ask that you pray for me as well, and for all of us in this prosperous, rich country... that we can know innocence like yours.  That we can be grateful and content with what we have.  That we can learn a love like yours.  That we stop confusing need with want and that we know that true value is in that of the heart, not an accumulation of stuff.  

So in closing, I would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas...

And thank you from the bottom of my heart for receiving my small gift with such gratification and joy.  

God Bless!

 Dear Doggies in shelters and in homes where you are not allowed to sleep on king sized beds,

I have more than I need.  My toy basket overflows with squeaky squirrels, stuffed wally's, noisy birdie friends and tennis balls.  You can't have them.  But I'm just telling you what I've got that you ain't got.  BOL!  sorry.  Anyways...  what I do have is this huge king sized bed that has plenty of room yet.  I'm guessing we could fit a couple Corgi's, a Labradoodle, and half a dozen smaller sized poodles in there yet.  Worse comes to worse, Mom and Dad can sleep on the couch ... know what I mean, jelly bean?  So come one, come all...  to Gracie's king sized bed...   Reserved space available with just the price of two beef jerkey and a beggin' strip.  Oh, and if you get here before bedtime, I'll even let you play with my toys.   See ya later alligator.  (don't touch my alligator though...  it's mine.  all mine!)  Spoiled much?  Nah.  


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Sunday Smiles

Nothing puts a smile on my face like a walk with Dad.