Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Rissi is loving Pre K.  I can't believe she's started school already.  Her baby sister should be here by the holidays (early Dec.)...  so we'll have a new angel to spoil while she's busy growing up...  *insert sad face here*

Good news!!!

I won a book in Theresa's blog giveaway!  I very rarely win anything, so you can imagine my surprise to find out I won.

Today I got mail!  (below)  I smudged the addresses out of respect for Theresa and her privacy.

Let me tell you a little about Theresa..  She is a lovely person who has a beautiful family, and a nephew Justin who serves in Afghanistan.  Theresa remembers him in each and every post and lets Justin know that she is praying for him.  

James 5:16 The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

If you think of it, shoot a prayer up for this fine young man who is serving our country.  He is loved and missed by his family.  And you might want to visit
the beautiful heart, Theresa at

Now let me just say I was thrilled to win this book!!  I love reading memoir, and this girls story really tugged at my heartstrings.  I know I'll cry.  A lot.

I was expecting the book...  but what I was not expecting was the pretty gift wrap...  Theresa, you are so sweet!!  I mean it!

I'm finishing up another memoir (Come To The Edge) right now, and I'm a pretty slow reader..  but I'm thinking by the time I go on vacation in a few weeks, I'll be ready to start my new book.  To me, this is just icing on my vacation cake!

And my daughter Lindsey has already put her request in to read this book after I'm finished.  Theresa, you have made mom and daughter very happy! Thank you so much!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


It's official...  A vacation is in the near future.  When I met Gary 10 years ago, he was living in Chesterton, Indiana. 
 I was in awe of this magical place.  It had long bike trails, huge antique shops, one of the biggest libraries I'd ever seen, and ...  

Wait for it...  

Once a year ~ The Wizard of Oz Parade right outside of his front door.  Yes, I came to find out that Chesterton, Indiana was home of a yearly festival from my very favorite childhood movie.  And so...  just about every year we relive this magic and travel out to Indiana.  Click HERE to see what I'm talking about.

Then it's on to Berlin, Ohio... Amish Country.  We always stayed at Donna's Chalet in the woods for some real R&R and some of the best Amish food ever!  There's plenty to do with craft stores, antique stores, Amish markets, etc.  This time we're trying something different.  We are staying HERE. It's in the same area, just a different place. 

I'm pretty excited.  

And now...  some past photo's of Chesterton good times...

We rode our bikes everywhere.
Here we had just rode to an art show downtown and were resting...   

We had breakfast with the Munchkins and look
 who I had my picture taken with...  

When we first met...
 I loved browsing through the antique shops.
We had fun goofing off in the antique markets.
Does this guy scare ya?
Beautiful Lake Michigan.  On a clear day you can see Chicago...
Dear Diary,
The bugs are gone.  Mom picked them off and drown them in something called Dawn.  She still checks me every night though.  I'm thinking that Stop-drop-and roll is my middle name.  She says I've become clingy lately.   'Gracie, really...  give me some space.'  BOL.  Yea, Mom..  give me some space.  Gracie. 

Friday, August 26, 2011


The Hub thinks he's 'Winning' in his new Charlie Sheen bowling shirt...

But let me tell you a little something about what he did the other day..

He called me into his office and the conversation went something like this.

Gary: "I found it!  I finally found it!"  

Me: "Found what?"

Gary: "Remember the foam antibacterial hand sanitizer I was looking for?"

I remembered it well.  We went to Lowe's one night in search of the hard to find hand sanitizer and it was nowhere to be found.

Me:  "Yea..."

Gary:  "I found it at Lowes!  Here it is!!"  

He shoved the dispenser in my face and insisted I try it.  

Gary:  "It's great!  But it seems to take a while to dry for some reason."  He shakes his head like he doesn't understand. 

By then I had pumped a few big foamy helpings onto my own hand and rubbed my hands together.  

Me:  "It feels a little...  sticky..."

Me:  "Gary...  this is soap...  not hand sanitizer!"

Me:  "Now take that Winning Shirt off and put your loser shoes on"

Of course, I'm kidding.  He would rarely make this kind of mistake so I just had to call him on it.  

Of course he's...  Winning!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fleas, Hurricanes, and Ears

One of the good things about working in an adjoining office is, if you wake up late, then discover your dog who was just groomed the day before is now crawling with fleas, so you concoct your magic mixture of Dawn dishwashing liquid and water and pull the dog out from under the bed, lay her out spread eagle on the rug beside the picture window so the sun makes it easy to see, then with a q tip soaked in the Dawn, chase  them, dab them, kill them... one at a time...   drown them in the magic solution...   while the dog looks wild eyed and ready to run when she gets the ok...  umm..  

where was I? 

 How many sentences did I run together above?  Was that an entire run on sentences that I didn't even finish?  
Well, let me finish then..

One of the good things about working from an adjoining office is, if you're late for work you grab your makeup and orange juice and make a run for it.

Everyone is still talking about the Ear.  When someone calls to come in for an appointment I tell them to look for the ear.  One customer couldn't find it because he was looking for the 'deer'...  Yes, his hearing aid was broken and needed repaired.  God love him...

We were heading for Atlantic City this weekend to visit Gary's daughter and donate a little money to the casino...  but Irene called and said there's not room for both of us there.  I cancelled my reservation.

Come spring, part 2 of the ear makeover will happen and it will include a flower bed.  For now, here's what we have:

Look for the ear?  What ear?  I don't see no ear!

Dear Diary,
Stop! Drop! Roll Over!!  When I hear these words I cringe.  I am now an automatic roll-over dog.  I see the Crazy Woman  Mom coming towards me, I stop, drop and roll. She picks at me like a monkey in the zoo. Life is the pits.  Gracie.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dogs, Fires, and Earthquakes

The conversation went something like this.

Me: Gracie, do you want to go see
 Miss Jennie today at the kennel?

Gracie: Do I ever!!  
I love Miss Jennie.  
Well, ok..  so it's not her  
I love but the smells at the kennel. 
 But you get my drift. 

 **tilts head from one side to 
the other till I think it will fall off**

Me: Let's go. 

 **puts harness and leash on dog**

Me: Gracie, you know we have to do this.  

**belly check night before revealed 2 bugs. 
1 looked like a tick, 1 a flea.**

Gracie: I love going in the car.  I love the smells.  I love the adventure.  I love trying to guess where we are going even though you told me five minutes ago and I forgot.  
I love it. I love it. I love it.

Me: Gracie please sit still and stop bouncing around the car.

Gracie:  You bore me with you're rules Mom. 
 Really you do.

The excitement came to a screaming halt the minute we walked into Happy Tails and Gracie made a u turn and sat patiently beside the door, mind changed, 
and waiting to go home.

*Fast forward a few hours*  

Here we sit, in the office chatting with a customer when the walls began to tremble and roar.  I'd been washing Gracie's blankies while she was gone...  so without hesitation I jumped up from my chair and excused myself. 
 "Washer's off balance..  oops."  

The washer was fine.  Just an earthquake.

Not long after the earthquake tremor, LaVale was inundated with fire trucks and rescue vehicles as the LaVale Exxon garage was ablaze.  Unrelated, I believe..  

A very interesting day, it was.

Dear Diary,

Mom says I missed the excitement.  I say she's wrong.  I was washed today.  Need I say more?  Gracie.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

What Happened?

Could somebody please tell me what happened to the last 4+ years?

Because my little Rissi starts Pre K next week and I could have swore I was changing her diapers just yesterday.

An overnight with Grammy and Pop pop was in order.  
Dairy Queen chocolate ice cream w/ sprinkles.

Then shopping for shoes. 
Decisions, Decisions.

Dear Diary,

I'm wondering what happened to Rissi?  She used to share cookies, heck.. she used to drop cookies.  Now she says'no Gracie, you can't have chocolate'.  Someone must've told her I couldn't have chocolate?  Hmmm... I think I know.  It had to be Mom...  she's become such a thorn in my side.  Humph.  Gracie.

no bake cookies!
 please - please - please.
Just one.
I promise I'll never jump on you again!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday

Dear Diary,

How thoughtful.  Mom shared her corn on the cob with me.  Yea..  right.  She saved me one lousy bite.  'Oh Gracie, you know I'd give you more if you weren't on a diet' - she says.

Maybe she should start going on a diet herself.  Bahahwahaha..  Know what I mean? 

Anyway..   the tiny morsels of corn she gave me  were good..

But I think she could have done better.  I believe she uses that diet thing against me as an excuse not to share her food with me.  Do I dare mention Jenny Craig to her?  Or Weight Watchers?  BOL!  She says she's doing the Weight Watchers. The only thing I see her watching is food. BOL! I mean...  geesh.  Share, woman!  I guess Weight Watchers is making her hungry.  And I guess I'm hungry because she starves me.  Gracie.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


My Routine.

I rarely sleep past 7AM ~ thanks to Gracie's paw in my face; she's my alarm clock.  If I open my eyes, move my foot, clear my throat or even sigh anywhere from 6:30 to 7AM Gracie pounces to the head of the bed and lets me know that she's awake as well.

Before my feet hit the floor I thank the Lord for all He has given me and ask forgiveness for yesterdays blunders.
It's a new day.  I will choose my words wisely, accomplish a lot, follow my diet, lose weight, and look and feel better.  Every morning I'm ready for a new challenge.

First ~ bathroom.  Then the lamps go on, the curtains open, coffee is poured, orange juice and a Centrum Silver for women go into a glass so the vitamin will dissolve by the time I'm ready to drink it.  (I hate swallowing pills!)

Gracie stretches with her little cottontail butt in the air, well rested and ready to help me 'go outside to get the paper'.
Then I give her 2 small treats which she eats right away.

With newspaper and coffee in hand, I head for my recliner where I read the paper, drink my coffee, and do a little facebook and blogging.

Shower comes next.  Then I take my juice into the back room where I spend some time with God ~ meditating on the Word and praying for family and friends.

Makeup and hair...   15 min.

Off to work.

5 PM ~ Back home. Put Gracie out to potty.  Make dinner.  Eat.

Around 6 PM ~ Gary and I watch an episode of Grey's Anatomy.  It used to be Judge Judy or Desperate Housewives.  But since JJ is in reruns and season 7 of DH's is not yet out...  I settle.

Anywhere from 7 ~ 8 we go for a walk, weather permitting.

8:00 PM bath or shower - A little computer stuff ~ Maybe a movie or some scrabble with the Hub's and by 10:30 ~ time for a book and bed.

My Routine.  by Gracie Phillip.

Sometimes it's hard to wake Mom in the morning.  She loves it when I 'give her a high five' with my paw, so I just play that game with her so she's in a good mood when she gets up.

Mom always interrupts my good morning stretch so she'll have someone go outside and get the paper with her.  I don't know what she's afraid of and why she can't just do it by herself. But there's some good smells out there.. and she does pay me in treats...  so it all works out in the end.

I sit in my chair and look out the window.  Boy dogs pee on trees and I dream of being out there to smell those trees.  Sometimes I need to alert Mom to big black dogs that taunt me with arrogant vibes that say 'hey you ~ silly poodle in the window..  look at me..  I'm walking with my master and you're not. ' 

Right before Dad wakes up (and I know exactly when that is) I move from my chair to his.  He sees me there right away and kneels down to pet me and talk to me, then I get off of his chair and I go back to my chair by the window to watch out for more troublemakers passing by.

Mom sometimes takes me for a walk around the house before she goes to work.  Then I get to smell the boys pee and do a little pee of my own.  

All day long, I watch the house, wrestle with Gumby, eat my food, and wait for Mom and Dad to come home.

When Mom and Dad come home from work I have to act excited.   They like for me to jump high into the air, whine and cry like I haven't seen them in years, lick whatever part of them they'll allow me to lick, and jump into the air again.  Hey... I know..  sounds crazy.  But you have to give the humans what they like or there will be no food for you.  Just sayin'.

Supper.  Always the same crap wonderful stuff.  I've all but given up on begging for table food, ever since they cut my belly open a few months back and then put me on something called a diet.  Every once in a while dad will throw me a morsel of meat though, and then Mom yells at him.  She's such a nag concerned and loving Mom.

Then it's back to looking out the window.

Come evening I begin to worry about whether I'll get to go for a walk.  Sometimes the Mom and Dad forget.  Eventually I will jump down from my chair and make my presence known by doing what they refer to as a cutsie stretch right smack dab in the middle of the living room floor. If it doesn't work, I'll give them a half cocked look to let them know that I'm in thought.  When all else fails, I go to dad and stare him down.  "Go get you're leash", he says.  I always act stupid and let him go get it.  FYI - Smart dogs don't let humans know how smart they are.  Before they know it, they'll be doing everything for them (the humans).  

Walking is the best part of my day.  I smell.  I snort.  I bark and try to intimidate other dogs.  I poop.  I pee.  I lunge at other walkers.  I pull, trying to get away from Mom (but she just runs after me).  I pee some more.  I've even learned how to lift my leg and pee like the boys that I watch out my window.  I humiliate the nag Mom with my idiotic behavior.  (or so she says).

I come home and drink water, then rest.  Five minutes later I go to my toys and grab Chickie bird or Gumby and toss it onto Mom or Dad's lap.

I play a little.

I go to bed just before the Mom and Dad.  Just to make sure I get my spot.

I roll over onto my back so Mom can check for bugs.

I sleep.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Some Bloggers Just Vanish

Have you ever had a blogger that you follow and have become friends with to just...


What happens?  Do they get lost in cyber space?  It makes me sad and it makes me wonder if everything is Ok.  

Business Update ~ I love working from home.  Business is great and every day is a new adventure.  Stay tuned...  because our 'ear' is going to have a makeover that I think you're going to like!!

We do need a vacation though.  Maybe soon.

I hope everyone is having a beautiful week and 


Monday, August 15, 2011


Gracie thinks it's okay for her to sprawl out on the bed at night, lying against me ~ or on me ~ hogging the bed and keeping me from moving... 

But if I reciprocate in what is her space...  

Well...  you get the picture.

Dear Diary,  
My mom needs to get a life and quit being so clingy.  I guess it's back to hiding under the bed for me.  Gracie.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

~What Life Is All About~

Today we were off to see the wizard.  

In Lancaster, Pa.

8 AM ~  Ready to go!

Rissie was excited.  
But I don't think she knew quite what to expect.

Early risers often need naps.. especially when they're on the road for over 3 hours..

Our table was front row center.  The dinner was delicious.  The show was out of this world! 

After Dorothy, The Scarecrow, The Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion woke up from the 'poppy poison' and were on their way to Oz, the curtain closed and the first act was over.
 Rissie looked as though she'd cry. 
 "What's wrong?" I asked.  
"Grammy...  they didn't show them going to see the wizard.."
(She knows this show inside out) 
I had to explain to her that the second part was yet to come.  Then she smiled.

Making memories is what life is all about.

Rissie won't easily forget about her day 
at the Dutch Apple Dinner Theater 
and seeing one of her favorite shows... 
 The Wizard of Oz.

The drive back home started out with an epic downpour...  but after a few prayers and a little time...  we saw the sun.

It was a great day.  

It was a fun day. 

 It was a magical day!