Sunday, April 29, 2012

Penn Alps *Surprise* Ok, So I Kind-of Knew

A 'surprise' belated Birthday Dinner for me at Penn Alps.  

I have an awesome husband!  Thank you, Gary.  

Good food.  Good times.  Cherished Memories!

Saturday, April 28, 2012


We are gearing up for a mini vacation on Monday.  We're going back to Mt. Airy, NC.  We really liked it there... (more the cabin where we stayed than anything).  I'm really excited this time because Kim (one of the farm owners) told me they have a few new babies..  one a baby goat and I I think a donkey as well.. 

I am a parent who has raised a child - with regrets.  What could or should I have done differently with Gracie to cause her to be better behaved?  I would love love love to take her with us but I know she would misbehave terribly and ruin our trip.  This makes me sad.  But Gracie will be taken care of while we're gone - Lindsey will see to that. 

Meanwhile, I have a busy weekend happening...  and I want to make sure I give Gracie some extra attention.

Dear Diary,

I'm not so sure I like this 'new addition' to the family.  Let's just say she's a trouble maker and the trouble she makes is for ME!  The term bloody murder comes to mind.  It's a well known fact that I announce each and every time a people passes by our house and especially when that people is accompanied by a black dog or a german shepherd.  Hey, it's my job.  I watch the house.  What can I say?!  Now..  dad has on occasion screamed at me 'gracie! You're going to give me a heart attack!'  and mom has put in her two cents worth, 'gracie!  Do you have to do that everytime you see someone walk down the road?  What is your problem?'.  .  What I can't deal with is how that little twerp screams BLOODY MURDER each time I announce an intruder/bystander/vagrant along our road.  I. GET. IN. TROUBLE.  I was here before the twerp.  Why not yell at her instead of me?  Gracie.

"You smell good, ya little trouble-maker.
That's about all ya got goin' for ya."

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Happy Birthday Marissa

Blogger is getting on my last nerve tonight.  Not only do I hate the new layout here...  it doesn't do anything that I want it to.  

Anyway...  Happy birthday to my sweet 
grand-angel Marissa today.

She turned five years old.  It was really hard getting pictures at Kid's Kingdom.  These kids were having way too much fun  and were just a blur....

Monday, April 23, 2012

Easy Like a Sunday Morning

Sometimes Gary and I will put some nice slow music on at night and dance...  Tonight we were dancing to  Easy Like Sunday Morning and Stand By Me. 

Gracie, wherever she happens to be napping at the time, comes to life and jumps high into the air, trying to dance with us.  So I'll pick her up and the three of us dance together.  She gets so excited and tries to lick Gary's face...  it's so funny.   

Speaking of Gary...  I'm proud of him tonight.  He hasn't quit our game (Words With Friends) yet...

And it's my lucky day.  

Check out my last 2 moves.

And check out our score..  

With 47 letters left, he still has a chance, right?  

Sunday, April 22, 2012

RIP George

nag nag 1 |nag|
verb ( nagged nagging ) [ trans. ]annoy or irritate (a personwith persistent fault-finding or continuous  urging 
Dear Diary,
There are times in life when you have to say enough is enough.  

 Today was one of those days.  It's raining so of course that means no walk.  But that doesn't keep the Dad and The Nag Mom from doing their thing.  

When they returned home it took me 2 minutes to smell their shoes, coats, and hands and know that they'd been to the movies, the mall, and to visit Lindsey and my Cookie Carriers.  

I'm hurt deeply... to know I was not invited.  

Maybe that's why I molested George.

But how could the nag Mom put him to rest in the garbage?  George deserves better.

Here's my Nag imitation:  

'Gracie!  You killed George!!  Do you know how much George cost?  He was rugged.  He was expensive.  He was indestructible.'

I hope she learned her lesson.  Dogs should not be left alone and shunned by their owners.  It's hard to say what will happen.  Gracie.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Lilac's and Memories

Lilacs are Ready!  

The smell of lilacs bring back a memory for me.  It was a simple place.  A carefree time.   No worries....  

A Day In the Life  

The house was quiet, all but for the sound of a robin chirping outside our bedroom window.  My two older sisters were still sleeping across the room, taking advantage of the first days of summer vacation.  School had been out for over a week, and the days were glorious, with no cares. 

It felt good as I stretched my arms above my head.  The room was bright from the sun, and it didn’t matter that it was 10:30 and I was still in bed.  There was nothing planned, nowhere to go. 

The living room of our little four-room house was converted to a bedroom for my three brothers at night, with Jimmy sleeping on the couch, and Larry and David opening their ‘roll-a-way beds’.   I needed to pass through there to get to the kitchen.  My brothers were still asleep as I made my way through the cool darkened room, careful not to wake them.  My arm brushed against the cold potbelly stove and then I pulled aside the curtain that separated the kitchen from the boy’s room. 

“Shut the curtain!” Jimmy screamed.  I stepped down into the kitchen and pulled the curtain closed behind me. 

The kitchen was warm and the wringer washer sat in the middle of the floor.  It was Monday; wash day.  The room belonged to the smell of Oxydol and Clorox and the humming and swishing sound of the washer.  Sitting down at the formica table, I picked up my report card and once again went over it from the week before. 

Roberta Thomas will be in grade 2 next year, it read.  I was proud, not only that I passed… but that I had gotten all A’s and B’s.  I put down the white report card and skipped to the screen door looking to see if Mom was outside close by.  She was hanging clothes on the line.  The screen door slammed behind me but not without letting a fly inside.  Those pesky flies…  they seemed to gather there at that door, buzzing loudly and just waiting on their chance to sneak in.   

I sat on the porch step watching Mom and breathing in the fresh lilac bush that infiltrated the quiet morning air.  That scent was confirmation that the school year was over, summer vacation was beginning, and my life was perfect.  Soon my siblings would be awake, and chaos would replace the calm. 

Later that morning I walked down a weedy path leading to the apple tree in our neighbor’s yard, and Rita and myself along with a neighbor, climbed the tree and collected pockets full of green apples.  As I sat in the shade of the tree, a cool breeze brought goose bumps to my bare, skinny legs and I brushed an ant from my arm, as I bit into the hard sour apple. 

“Did you bring the salt shaker?”  I asked.  Rita pulled it from her pocket and handed it to me and I poured salt over my apple and then took another bite.  It was delicious and tart and I ate it up.  We each ate several, discarding the wormy ones. 

“Let’s go to the hut!” Rita said, tossing her dark stringy hair over her shoulders.
“Jimmy won’t let us,” I said.  Jimmy had created the hut on the side of the hill just below our house, a refuge of sorts to get away from our parents.  Paths were beaten down and signs were posted to KEEP OUT>  Though certain few had Hut privileges, namely Jimmy and Rita, who were the older and more respected of the bunch, us younger ones were sometimes invited briefly to explore the secret place. 

“I’ll ask if it’s okay,” Rita said, jumping from the tree and scraping her bony knee off a wayward branch that had fallen to the ground.  She ran toward home, and I followed.  We cascaded down through the yard to the green hillside where we came to an abrupt stop.  Mom was standing close by and looked worried.

“Jimmy just killed a snake,” she said.  I quickly looked down at the long grass beneath my feet making sure there were no more snakes lurking about.  Rita’s eyes were wide and afraid.  Jimmy poked at the ground with a rusty coal shovel and picked up the long black snake, laughing and walking towards us, the ugly snake dangling lifelessly, provoking us to run up the hill and into the house. 

Carefully drawing squares onto the pavement above our house later that day, Angie numbered them and we took turns tossing a rock, playing hopscotch.  Then we heard a faint ‘ding.. ding… ding..’ sound in a distance and ran for the house.

“Mom, can we have a dime?”  I asked.  The Ice Cream Truck was in the neighborhood.

“I guess so,” she said.  “Get me my pocketbook.”

I ran to the corner of the room and grabbed her black patent leather purse, handing it to her.  She filtered through tissue, teaberry gum and a brush to find her change purse, and pulled out two thin mercury dimes, handing one to each of us, and we ran outside to wait along the road.  Soon the noisy white truck was in front of us, and we were standing in line at the magic window.  Soon chocolate ice cream dripped down my arm as I hurried to finish my cone before it melted. 

Later that night we watched our black and white television.  It was raining outside, and the picture was clearer than usual.  The antenna on our roof brought in NBC crystal clear, but CBS was usually too snowy to watch, so this was a treat.  The room was dark but for the warm glow of entertainment in the corner of the room. 

Later that night all television programming would be off the air and the living room would be transformed back into the boy’s bedroom.  Tomorrow would be another day, and there would be much to be enjoyed.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I Don't Know What They Are

I have a confession to make.  

I know nothing about plants, trees or flowers.  I can't identify many and I certainly don't know how to take care of them.  

All I know is that they are pretty.  
Does that make me shallow?

I hear you all talking shop out there about your plants and flowers and trees and I admire you so!

I know some...

I know a lilac bush when I see it and smell it.
It's my favorite.

I know sunflowers, roses, tulips and hydrangeas.  

I'm not sure what these are.  
We planted them a few years ago...  and they sure are pretty when they bloom.

  I love the different colors that the earth becomes this time of year.  Wildflowers are my 2nd favorite.  I love the variety.  

I even love the simple yellow dandelions.  Are they considered a weed?  If so...  I love the yellow weeds.

I hope everyone is enjoying Spring!  

Monday, April 16, 2012

Just me.. 'n Gracie

copying from Ginny's blog:

About Me from A to Z

A.  Me:  when I was little I was Afraid of the dark.
      Gracie:  Antsy.  someone! Take me for a walk!

B.  Me:  I used to be extremely Bashful.
     Gracie:  Bad to the Bone (or so I'm told).

C.  Me:  Cautious
      Gracie:  Curious

D.  Me:  I've always loved Dimples.
      Gracie:  I like Dragging mom along with me on my walks.

E.  Me:  I had Eye surgery on both of my eyes when I was in second grade.
      Gracie:  When it's hot,  I don't have much Energy.

F.  Me:  I have flat Feet.
      Gracie:  Food.  'nuff said.

G.  Me:  I find walking in the Grave Yard to be peaceful.
      Gracie:  Wally Gator.  My best friend and enemy.

H.  Me:  I Hate it when one person hurts another!
       Gracie:  Hotdogs.

I.  Me:  I get Irritable when I'm without chocolate for too long.
    Gracie:  Mom gets Irate when I lunge at guests.

J.  Me:  I'd be lost without Jesus!
    Gracie:  I can still Jump on the bed but sometimes I need help.

K.  Me:  Addicted to Krispy Kreme.
      Gracie:  Does not understand why I am not allowed to indulge in Krispy Kremes.

L.  Me:  Good Listener.
      Gracie:  Loves to Lunge!

M.  Me:  Been Married 2X.
      Gracie:  Making plans to chew mom's other sandal... (shh)

N.  Me:  Never been on a cruise.
      Gracie:  Lives with a Nag.

O.  Me:  Optimist
      Gracie:  Opinionated

P.  Me:  Have a hard time swallowing Pills.
      Gracie:  There are too many rules here.  I feel like I'm in Puppy Prison.

Q.  Me:  Usually too backward to ask Questions.
      Gracie:  Want to Quit my job of watching the house.

R.  Me:  I do not like to be referred to as Religious.
     Gracie:  I love to Run!

S.  Me:  I like my pretzels Stale.
     Gracie:  I love to play with Skunky!

T.  Me:  I write better than I Talk.
      Gracie:  Tired of watching the house.

U.  Me:  I don't like to have anything Underneath my bed.
      Gracie:  I like to hide Under the bed.

V.  Me:  I take a multi Vitamin every day (chewable)
     Gracie:  Vermin - gotta watch for 'em.

W.  Me:  My 1st Wedding gown cost $3 at Goodwill and was brand new from Kaufmans.  My 2nd was $10 at a bridal sidewalk sale.
      Gracie:  Walks - the reason I live!

X.  Me:  X - a great Scrabble letter to have...
      Gracie:  to Samson:  XOXO

Y.  Me:  Went to church camp when I was in Youth group...  back in the day...
      Gracie:  Ya got any cookies?

Z.  Me:  ZZZZ...  time for bed.  Nighty-night.
      Gracie:  I dream of going to a Zoo and barking at big dogs.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

I Survived The Titanic

In 2007 Gary and I enjoyed a great vacation in Orlando, Florida.  One of the most memorable events was visiting Titanic, The Experience.

Upon entrance, we received a ticket and immediately we were whisked back in time ~ as our tickets showed the name of a person who boarded the Titanic on that fateful and tragic day.

As we exited, our tickets were checked to see if we had survived or went down with the Titanic.


 Gary and I went to see Titanic 3-D on Thursday.  It was so life-like.  So incredibly tragic.

100 years.  We are still intrigued by it all.  Still saddened.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Less Than What We Hoped For

 You know how it is.

 When our kids grow up to be...  shall we say less than what we had hoped for...

And we ask ourselves, where did we go wrong?


I'm talking about Gracie - aka The Intimidator - aka The Town Nuisance - aka Idiot Dog who Lunges at passersby.

Owners of other dogs are quick to turn around during their walks and go the other way when they see us coming.

"Help!  It's big bad white Cockapoo who thinks she owns her mom...  the road...  and me..."
"ruff. ruff. ruff.  grrrrrr... yapp grrrrr..  get off that bench nice father and  sweet little son.  who do you think you are?  is that bench not directly in front of my house?  my yard?  the place where i poop every day?  Now shoo..  go away... GRRRRRR  bark! bark! bark!!!"


** Shakes head**    "Where did we go wrong?"

Dear Diary,
Mom has been delighted with my activity lately.  I've been watching the house without falling asleep so much... keeping us safe from people lingering on the streets and looking suspicious.  Walks are back in the picture for me and I keep the coast clear so we're free to enjoy our walks without intruders getting in the way.

Life is good.  And at the end of the day, I am rewarded.   Gracie.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

JJ - Here We Come!

Yea.  Gracie here.  I don't care if I get in trouble for writing in  the nag's mom's blog today.  I've been overhearing some stuff.  I may have to see the nag mom in judge judy's court.

overheard conversation:  
mom:  I'm almost done the book.  I'm afraid it's going to need one more edit before going to print.
dad:  that's okay.  let's get it out there.
mom:  I'm going to get Angie to edit it this time.  She'll do a great job. (this is the sister of mom who teaches school and scares me when she comes to visit.  ugh.)
dad:  when will it be done?
mom:  beginning of June for edit.  beginning of July for publishing.

Now, this wouldn't be such a big deal, had this conversation not been entirely about ...  well...  partly about ...  my own personal diary which no one person should be reading but ME!  

Now, you'll hear mom say..  'oh Gracie relax.  it's not all about you.'  

I beg to differ woman!  Then why be it called,  ahemmm...  Gracie's Diary?  Woman- you publish that book and you going down!

She thinks I'm kidding.  I know for a fact that judge judy likes those who keep their mouths shut.  I talk in my diary.  The nag mom...  huh.  well, let's just say jj will have a field day with that one.