Sunday, July 28, 2013

Taking a Break...

Been under the weather for the past couple of weeks.  Vertigo is no fun nor is being dizzy/off balance/tired.

 Feeling a bit better today....  (crossing fingers)

Not doing a whole lot on the computer....

Taking a break....

Hope everyone is having a great summer.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

My Bushkill Falls Experience

Bushkill Falls Inn and Conference Center.   

It took a while to get to our 'room'.  

Directions: Go up the elevator to the third floor, walk all the way over to the other side of the hotel and then catch the elevator back down to the second floor where we walk down the hall, hang a right, go down a flight of steps, and our destination is on our right.  

Oh no!  The key card did not work!

Not to worry.  Help was on the way.  New cards were made and a kindly gentlemen delivered them to us as we waited patiently on the steps just outside our 'room'.

Beautiful room lounge apartment.  Not what we ordered, but a nice substitute.  The Third floor was inundated with Jewish families there for a bar mitzvah.  Each time we did the elevator exchange on floor #3 it would be 'let's see how many unsupervised kids we have to dodge to make it safely to our room'.  These kids were playing ball, carrying on, and running around while the grown ups gathered together ignoring their disruption and not making eye contact with us 'regular folk'.


Did we really need all this room?

Or the TV built into the bathroom mirror?

Looks like the little terrors left their bar mitzvah food on the steps

If I would have known I was going to run into Gary Lewis and Gary Puckett at 7AM, (void of makeup or combed hair, and sporting a puffy morning face), I would have got up an hour earlier to prepare.

But, so goes life.


Have you ever had someone paint a picture of a place, and when you got there you found it was nothing like you imagined?

Well, that was my experience with Bushkill Falls.

I was expecting a beautiful nature hike on a picturesque trail with streams, small wooden bridges to cross, and serenity now.

What I got was:  A 45 minute workout in the heat of the day walking up and down some of the steepest steps I've ever seen, experiencing heart palpitations and extreme anxiety as my little ol' claustrophobic self was led deeper and deeper away from the falls entrance and into what I call natures pit of confusion with a ton of other tourists (none who seemed to speak English) who seemed to be pushing me to go faster and faster up the narrow, steep steps that my legs could barely make.

Looking at the pictures, I will admit...  it was pretty.

But it was pretty from the top.

I didn't need to go in....  Really.

This was not on my bucket list.   But if it had been...  it would be one adventure I'd be happy to check off.

Meanwhile, back at the hotel....  up to the 3rd floor.  Dodge the unruly Bar mitzvah kids playing in the 3rd floor lobby and one almost brings a wall photo down as he throws a ball and it hits hard....  drag ourselves to the other side of the hotel....  catch the elevator to 2nd floor....  Another hall....  down the steps.....  to our home away from home.
Ugh.  The key cards are not working again.  Back up the steps,  to the other side of the hotel, on the elevater to 3rd floor,  dodge the kids as we walk to the other side.  Catch the elevator to the lobby. Get a new key card made.  And that's when I decided to let my frustrations be known.

"This is crazy!"  I said.  "A beautiful hotel like this... and kids are running wild on third floor!  I didn't sleep at all last night because kids were screaming and running about into the early morning hours outside of our room.  And another thing, Our suite has 2 bathrooms and a TV built into the mirror YET....  there is not a microwave in the room??  No coffee creamer because there are a certain 'group' that complained about having creamers in the room?! And nothing to stir coffee with!   We are bumming creamers from restaurants when we go out to eat because your hotel doesn't provide them.  When we got into the hottub and turned it on there was ucky brown stuff skimming the top so we got out as quick as we got in.  And key cards that do not work."

That felt better.

Later that night, a worker came, turned on the hot tub water for a few minutes then explained to us that the reason for the brown yuck was that this suite wasn't used very often.  It would be okay now.  Later that night when we tried again, the yuck was still there.

  The Highlight of the Hotel Experience:   Having my very own bathroom.

Dear Diary,

Mom and Dad left me here all alone.  Well, almost alone.  Lindsey, Short Stuff and the Cupcake were here with me a lot.  I love the Cupcake, but the verdict is still out on Short Stuff.  She moves a little fast sometimes.  It's only when she has a cookie in her hand that I trust her with everything I have.  Did I mention she loves it when I take cookies out of her hand?   Mom and Dad brought me back some guilt toys.  Hot diggety dog...  and I mean that, literally.  And hamburgers too.  Gracie.   

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Lindsey's Forever Birthday Present

Lindsey wanted to meet pop star Ryan Cabrera for her 'Forever Birthday Present'

And so...

When we found out that our good friend Blaise Delfino was opening for Ryan at the Main Gate in Bethlehem and later at the Sands Casino and Resort....  we thought...  hmmmm
Let's see if we can make this work. 

So we contacted Blaise, he got us tickets, and he promised to introduce Lindsey to Ryan for a photo and autograph.

Jessica (my daughter-in-law to be) and Lindsey drove separately and stayed just one night.  Gary and I stayed two nights.  

Ryan didn't show up at Main Gate.  His plane was delayed or something like that.  Lindsey was disappointed.

But he did show up later...  at The Sands.  We had rooms at The Sands Hotel so we were ready to party!  (NOT!)

It wasn't until around 12:45 AM that Ryan finally appeared.  He sang a few songs, then Blaise pulled him aside to get pictures with Lindsey (and Jessica).  Lindsey was elated!!
She later got Ryan to sign her ticket for Marissa who had asked her Mommy to get Ryan's autograph for her.  He asked if she had a picture of Marissa and she showed him her picture.  He said, "She's really cute!"  He then told Lindsey she should bring Rissi to the 'make-up' show whenever it was scheduled.  

We were up past 2AM!  The Casino was very much alive with gamblers and partier's as we made our way through the crowds and down the hall to the elevator and then to our hotel to quiet, peaceful rooms to call it a night.  

We had a fun couple of days!  

"Let's see...  what can we get into..."


Jessica and Lindsey waiting to go into the Main Gate
Blaise put on quite a show at The Main Gate.
Who needs Ryan Cabrera anyway?!

Lindsey and Ryan Cabrera

Jessica and Ryan Cabrera
Jessica, Blaise, and Lindsey
Both girls had me holding their purses while they got pictures...  Here is Gary and me with Blaise @ around 1:30 AM.  Are we too old to be out this late?  Yes, probably so.  

Dear Diary,

I was in jail.  I was sad.  I missed my pack.  But my pack came back.  Now all is well.  Gracie.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Needy, Insecure and Lonely

What a beautiful summer we're having!  Just enough rain to keep the gardens growing perfect and beautiful.  

Sunshine...  Rainbows... and blue skies

An abundance of color...

We have another mini-vacation planned for next week.

My daughter Lindsey and daughter-in-law to be Jessica will be going with us to Bethlehem PA where we will be seeing Blaise Delfino and (my daughter's forever birthday present) Ryan Cabrara in concert.  

And then, we will be going to NJ sometime soon to meet our new grandson, Greyson.  (Gary's daughter, Stacy is having her first baby).  He's not born yet but probably within the next few weeks.   I'm more excited about that than anything!  I wish we lived closer.  It will be very hard to spoil our sweet boy from this far away...

Not much else happening this summer...  

We're just getting some things done around the house....

And playing it by ear...

Dear Diary,

Today I heard something I thought I would never, ever hear. Remember how Mom always accused me of hogging the bed and Dad would say he could never get a good nights sleep because I was always like right there keeping him from changing position and Mom said it was too hot cause I was always right up against her and she couldn't stand it?  And Mom told Dad they needed to get a king sized bed and it would solve their problem?  And Dad said it wouldn't work because I'd still be right up against him because I'm a needy, insecure, lonely pack animal that lived and breathed to be close to my pack?   Well, Dad caved.  Mom got her bed.  And Dad said those three words that he never says to Mom, "You were right."  And I am sleeping so much better right smack dab in the middle of the bed without those two clinging to me all night..  Thank you very much.  Gracie.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Eighteen Years

(A Repost from a couple years ago)

Fourth of July Memories:

 Hot summer night.  Six kids in a Ford Falcon, one between  Mom and Dad in the front seat and five in the back - going to Cumberland, then sitting on the car hood watching fireworks.  After that, Queen City for ice cream cones.  

 Taking my kids to the White Oaks parking lot and meeting friends there.  Watching innocent faces light up as they watched the magic in the sky.  Then...   Dairy Queen for ice cream.

 4th of July Picnics at my house with plenty of hamburgers, hotdogs, kids playing, adults laughing, and Mom asking, 'Can you get me more potato salad?'

Standing in Mom's hospital room with tears streaming down my face and thinking back to the laughter inside that Ford Falcon from years earlier,  while waiting for her to take her last breath...   watching her slip slowly away from this world to the next...  The sound of  fireworks echoing  beyond the hospital window.

It's been eighteen years since her passing.  But a July 4th does not come and go without me thinking of her, and missing her.


What a time we had last night!

Friends invited us to their home for a private firework display.  We go there every year and they are very safety cautious.  With that being said, let me just say that fireworks can be dangerous, even under the safest of conditions.

We all gathered for a perfect evening, on blankets and chairs watching the beautiful display of color against the dark sky....  God Bless America playing in the background.  

Thank God for the 'change in proceedure' this year and the prayer that was said at the beginning of the evening.  I believe God was there...  watching over our little ones...  watching over us, as a Firework Display went wrong and crates of fireworks began going off and shooting in all directions.  It was like a scene out of a movie as we all started running away as fast as we could.  

Thank you God, for keeping us safe.  

Nobody was hurt.  Lessons were learned.  God covered us with His protection.

Afterwards, the kids settled down and played on the dark grassy hillside as the adults tried to settle themselves down and determine what went wrong.  

I don't know if I will ever care to see another firework display after last night!  Ugh!

I hope everyone has a very happy and SAFE FOURTH! 

 God Bless!

The following video is not of our experience...  but it is very similar to what we experienced last night.  

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


First of all, let me start with an update from a previous post:

Yes, I did finally dye my hair


Yea, I'm back on sugar too.  I have no willpower.  And speaking of willpower...  Gary Puckett comes to mind.  "Lady Willpower, it's now or never... la-la-la-la"

AND NOW>  Let me take you back to a time when Tiger Beat Magazine was the reason that I lived.  I had just reached a milestone in my life.  I was thirteen.   A teenager, finally.   A teenager with one thing to look forward to, and that was to see who was the centerfold of Tiger Beat for the month.  My walls and ceiling were covered with posters of Mark Lindsay,  Mickey Dolenz, Paul McCartney, Sajid Khan, Davy Jones, Bobby Sherman and more.  

Every night when I talked to God I pleaded, "Please God, let me marry Mark Lindsay someday"  Then I would kiss the glossy poster above my bed goodnight.   I could tell Mark loved me too....  The smile never left his face.  

My mom knew how much I loved him.  She would make sure I got all the latest records and magazines that had anything to do with him.  She even wrote him a letter once asking for an autograph for me and HE NEVER WROTE BACK!    I guess the feelings were not mutual after all...   
So I had to give up on him and marry another. 

 I did name my daughter after him...  LINDSEY...  
  Even though I was sooooo over him and his silly, white, skin tight leotards.

But then I got older and I started thinking about the good old days and I did an online search to see what he was up to.  That's when I ran into The Happy Together Tour and saw that he would be performing with several other Oldies but Goodies.  Gary Puckett, Three Dog Night, The Turtles, Gary Lewis.

I found a venue just 5 hours away, ordered some really great tickets, and the rest...

Is history!

We were just 3 rows back.  Excellent seats! 

Happy at the Happy Together Concert.  All us golden oldies going to see the Golden Oldies!

Gary's ready to rock 'n roll

Gary Lewis

Mark Lindsay