Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Mom's Day Post - bEtteR LatE thAn NeVEr

My Mother's Day could not have been any more wonderful.  It started out with my angel, Summer.  Having slept over the night before, she emerged from her room in the back, fully dressed for church complete in her little 'heels' and the biggest most beautiful smile on her face.  

"I'm ready for Church," she said. 

She was so excited to spend the night with us.  She had her suitcase packed days in advance.  Summer is a sensitive, beautiful girl and I am so thankful that God blessed us with such a gem.  She was a perfect overnight guest!

We had fun.  Playing with play doh (her favorite thing), drawing pictures, playing Barbies etc.  I made her pancakes for breakfast (another of her favorites).

Later my #2 son stopped by just for a minute to give me a card.  He was on his way to work.  We have a raincheck for dinner next week.

And what better way to wrap it all up than with flowers and a nice dinner together with the kiddo's.  Love, Love, Love my family!!!

Ummm...  did you do it on purpose or did you forget about acknowledging your dog.  who is a kid too.  and who should have been in above photo.  Next year I'm getting you the same thing I got you as this year only in a different color.  (nothing) BOL!!!!  Serve's you right MOM.  Or should I call you Ms. Phillip.  since it's obvious that you do not include me as one of the kids.  ...  Poor me.

Friday, May 19, 2017

A Two-Snake Kind of Day

Let's go to camp, they said.  It'll be fun, they said.  You'll love all the new smells, they said.
So off we went in the Buick to a place they call camp.  

I wasn't sure.  Would this be my new home?  Would they leave me here all alone?  But.  I couldn't think about such things as that.  I had to focus on the smells.  Was that a bunny-friend I smelled? Did I stumble upon some aged burnt hotdog?

Dad said, Relax Gracie.  Enjoy the peace and quiet.  

I tried.  But still, I was a little worried.  

Would they leave me here?  Alone?  Was this my punishment for stalking the robin's nest underneath of the deck at home?  

This place called camp was different than anything I'd experienced before.  I feared though, that I would now be living in the wild... complements of my animal-like behavior.  

My shaky legs trembled as I gave it all I had and did the jump from outside to the inside of what they call a camper.  

 Where were my toys and why is it that Mom an Dad kept running into one another?  
Mom's arms reached around me to lift me onto the bed.  It was relaxing but...  I still had to be weary of their intentions.  What did all this mean for me?

"What if Gracie needs to potty in the middle of the night?" I heard her ask dad.  "What if there's a bear outside?" she said.  "I would be afraid," she added.  Humph.  She did plan on keeping me here.  But.  Maybe she'd be staying too.  I could live with that.

Permission granted...  to potty on the floor if a bear was stalking the place.  Geeeeeesss...  this is getting beyond weird.  My people are losing it, I'm telling' ya.  Camp?  Relax?  Peace and quiet?  Bears?
Back into the Buick then, and home.  Home sweet home.  Where there are no bears and peace and quiet does not happen.  Next time I'm thinkin' I won't be so afraid of camp.  Next time I'll be brave.

And so.  Our lives they are a changing.  We are now almost-campers.  I guess after the first real night we spend there we will be official.  We are not quite ready yet... more to be done so we are not sure when that will be.  But soon.   Gary needs to move rocks away from our 'deck' to relocate the fire pit to a more safe place.

A couple of days after taking Gracie there, we went alone.  There was work to be done and having her there is kind of like having a small child along.  It was hot anyway, so she was happy to stay in the cool of her safe place called home.

So we got the curtains back up after having removed them to give them a good washing.  I made the bed and added some patriotic pillows for effect.  I mean...  aren't campers supposed to boast their patriotism?

On the way out I was able to snap a few sweet pictures.  Well.  One sweet.  One unique.  And the last one....creepy since I don't like snakes.  Watch the short video too...  of that ol' snake giving us a show as we pass over the bridge leaving camp.  Eeeek!

Meanwhile, back in town we stopped by US Cellular to change our data plan.  Unlimited data will be nice for time spent at camp where there is no Internet.

But wait!

Well, well, well....  How fitting that the boys at US Cellular had a friend visiting.  A friend I chose to stay far, far away from.

Picture, compliments of my very brave husband....

Two snakes in one day.  How lucky can one person get!!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Random Memories of a Perfect, imperfect Mother

* Being a child ~ The comfort and safety I feel sleeping in between Mom and Dad when I wake up sick or afraid in the night.
* Wash day, the old wringer washer ~ swish, swish, swish and the suds bubbling up on the waters surface as I watch those clothes jerk back and forth down inside that round, metal tub.  Mom close by, wearing a cotton dress beneath her flowered apron and pulling clothes through the wringer atop the tub.  After she fills a basket with wet clothes she takes them outside to hang them on the clothesline just outside the front door.  I watch her, loving the peace that those warm summer days offer.  Clothespins.  Dandilions. Warm breezes. The smell of lilacs.  Mom.  

* She smiles

* Brown lunch bags.  Tuna sandwiches, minced ham or chopped ham sandwiches,  spam sandwiches on soft white bread wrapped in waxed paper or miniature hoagies wrapped in Saran Wrap.  Homemade cupcakes with thick, sweet icing.  Nestles Quick inside of a baggie to add to my white milk at school.  Thank you, Mom.

* Christmas to remember.  Magic.  Lights.  Knee socks filled with hard tack candy and chocolate covered cremes.  Believing in Santa.  Laughter and happiness.  Warmth.  Love.  

* Picnics with potato salad and cheese curls.  Lunchmeat and fresh bread.  Family.

* Coming home from working in the sewing factory tired.  Lying across her bed, resting.

* Super shoes at the beginning of the school year.  The smell of new shoes.  Mom, there.

* Hugging and kissing my dad.  The love.

* Nagging my dad when he drinks too much beer.  "Bob, when are you coming to bed?" she says.

*Smiling and watching as I graduate high school.

* Her tears when Dad dies.  Her emptiness.  The emptiness that surrounds us.

* The birth of my daughter.  She's my first visitor.  She brings me flowers and a new dress for the baby.  I can see pride in her face as she looks down at her new granddaughter.

* Always up for a picnic or holiday celebration at our place.  Loving family.  Loving dogs.  Loving life.

* Her illness.  Losing hope.  Her angel.  Her new lease on life.

* Her last several years.  The love.  The laughter. The savoring of each moment spent with her.

* Saying goodbye.

Till we meet again, Mom.  You were not the perfect mother.  None of us are.  But you were the one God gave to me, and I could not have loved you more.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Grandparent Day 2017

This morning was Grandparents Day fun at school.  A day Jake and I are both excited for.  

Even though we stink at BINGO...   boo!!! 

We still had fun.  There were crafts and snacks and pictures and meeting Jake's friends.  

All that in one hour!  

Fast paced, but good quality time with my #1 grandson.

When I think of Jake, I think of a boy who is caring and self-less.  He is always thinking of others.  Though I know he was sad because PopPop was sick today and couldn't make it, he kept saying, "Tell PopPop it's okay.  Tell him I hope he feels better and that I love him."

And what do you think is the first thing he did this morning when Grandparent's Day was starting?

He scanned the room until he found someone whose grandparent couldn't make it.  Then he invited his friend Nick to be a part of our family for the morning.

That's our Jake.

Always thinking of others.  

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Life Changing Stuff here....

Desiring some peace and quiet these days....  

Me too.  Could you give me some space please....

  And soooooo....   

We've made a major 'life changing' decision to buy a used camper from my X-husband.  It's in really good condition and he's even going to move it for us.

I hope there's room in there for the dog!

Where to put it.... where to put it...    That was the question.

How 'bout parking it up there by the dog park.  Easy access to good times that's what I'm talkin' about!

And so, we began our mission to find just the right spot.

And....  We found it!

It's not quite an hour away from our home so driving there won't be a big deal.  We are excited!!  Gracie doesn't know it, but soon she too, will be embarking on an adventure that she will love, I just know it.

Barking maybe.  Yea.  Barking for sure.  I'm not sure about the embark thing.  Sounds like work.

Umm...  are there bears in them there woods?

Now Gracie, come on into this new tent we got for the kiddies to have a sleepover/night swim/camping experience and let's get camp-ready!

Yea, well... okay...   as long as this is not a trick.  It's not, right?  

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Something Missing

Ya see anything missing from the following picture?

 If your guess was 'THE DOG' then you are right-on.

'THE DOG' was also not invited to hunt for easter eggs with the kiddo-s.  But hey.  I don't hold a grudge.  I tried to help by sniffing out the harder-to-locate eggs...  but the nag Mom warned me...  "no chocolate, Gracie!"  


So, if being left out of the family fun wasn't enough... a trip to the vets office was in store for me the following day.  

First, the muzzle.  Thanks Mom, for warning them of how vicious of a dog I am.  

Next, weigh-in.  Dr. Fox says my weight is perfect...  

*holding head high*  *clearing throat*  *looking straight at mom*

So  you can quit saying I'm getting stout ... and tell dad to get that bag of beef jerky back out.  I'm ready to eat.  I'm hungry.  And.   I'm of perfect size.  The Fox says so.

Diagnosis:  A fungal infection and possible bacterial infection.  Tomorrow starts meds.

I need to practice spitting. out. pills.   Gracie.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Uncle Sam and Something Unusual

Spring is in the air.  I can see it.  I can feel it.  I can hear it.

Gracie and I have a lot on our minds these days.  I'll start first.

I'm considering cutting another day from my business 'hours' and only having the office opened from Monday through Wednesday.  All other days would be by appointment only.  

Tax time came and went for me...  and I was taken aback by the humungous chunk of my hard earned money that the government stole took requested from me this year.  It left me deflated in my desire to work hard.  Sad, but true.  

Don't get me wrong.  I love running my own business.  Being my own boss.  Doing things my way.  But I guess at my age slowing it down a bit is a positive and not a negative...  

My creativity and enthusiasm was interrupted by Uncle Sam's unfair demands this year.   I should be elated that my business was so prosperous that I needed to pay so much $$ in taxes.  But.  Instead it left me feeling like the guy in the recent viral video who was drug off the plane screaming because he thought he was being treated unfairly.  Ha!  I believe there is more to that story than meets the eye... but you get the picture.  

  I am feeling much better from the FLU or whatever it was that I had.  Still, there are tests being run but I am confident that all's well.  Hopeful might be a better word.  And what about you, Gracie?

Well.  I am loving the spring walks.  The fresh air.  The going outside every five minutes to check out the yard.  What I'm not loving is the beep beep beep of the carbon monoxide detector that malfunctioned and scared the bageebies out of me the other day.  Nor am I loving the fact that you keep wanting to clean my ears and check my belly for who-knows-what.  Nor am I loving the fact that you freaked out because you found something unusual on my belly that you think Dr. Fox needs to look at and now I have to go see him next week.  So.  good and bad.  But we will focus on making you a better mom, and skipping the ear checks and dr visits.  That would make life so-much-more-enjoyable.   If that's okay with you.  mom.  k?

Sunday, April 9, 2017

One Door Closing

Our favorite local do-it-yourself yogurt place is closing.

Leaving only fond memories of times spent at Frozen In Time, while sharing stories with the grands and fixing our own unique concoctions, choosing our favorite toppings.

So one last hurrah before the doors are closed to making future memories.

And some art work from some of the most progressive and talented artists I know....

They say that when one door closes another opens.

So when that next spur-of-the-moment desire hits for a delightful treat and a quick meet up with the grand-angels I can't help but wonder where...  or what will replace a treat such as Frozen In Time.

Gracie says she could care less.  Yogurt is not her thing.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

What Matters Most

Just like anyone else, I hate being sick.  Especially for over a week.  
And when it gets to be over a month I start to think wait a minute!  Am I ever going to feel normal again?  


But.  There are positives here.  

Like these beautiful flowers Gracie brought back for me during her walk with Dad....

And these delicious homemade cupcakes and soup from my girls.  The presentation was even better than the food.  Summer comes in with the container of soup wearing a big smile and says, "Soup from your Summer."  Then Rissi follows with her container, "And cupcakes from your cupcake."

Those girls!  They melt my heart!

And this.  A beautiful card from my guy who has been taking really good care of me during my sickness.

Who could ask for anything more?

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Sweet Sixteen

Sixteen years ago on this date I had my very first date with the man I would end up marrying about a year and a half later.


I had been single for a couple of years and when I started 'chatting' with this prince on the Christian dating site that I was 'trying out' I figured, what the heck.  It's all in fun.

But apparently this guy wasn't just playing around.  He meant business.

I had been to an all-day training session in Baltimore, Maryland for my job and the plan was to check into Frederick's Hampton Inn on the way home and there I would meet up with my two friends (who would protect me in case this dude was a night stalker) and my mystery guy whom I had just met online the month prior.  We had talked on the phone.  A lot.  I'd be very disappointed if he turned out to be a dud, because I liked him just by his voice alone.  We had become good phone friends.

I was frazzled from the drive and the wet, windy weather....  but hoped I didn't look too awful for our first meeting.

Tap. Tap. Tap.  On his door....

And then.

He opened it.

First a hearty 'hello' and a big pearly white smile.  Then a peck on the cheek.

He had me from hello....

Happy Anniversary of our first meeting big G!



Little G here...  with some food for thought.  Out of the sixteen years you and dad have been together, I've been there with ya  for almost thirteen of them years.  Through thick an thin.  Demanding food.  And belly rubs.  And walks.  What would your life have been like without me?