Thursday, May 28, 2015


Half way through my work day today I closed  the office  so I could go to school to watch Jake run.

Jake was one of the three fastest runners in first grade, and so he was chosen to compete in the mile run during field day today.

It was hot.  But the kids did a wonderful job!

Jake had a good run.  He completed the mile in under ten minutes.

And then...  Jasper got a ride back to the car....  and It was back to work for me...

Dear Diary,

I look for my friend Mutley during my walk every day, but I cannot find him.  My walk is not nearly as fun since I cannot ignore Mutley as he runs to the fence and lunges at me as I walk by.   Mom says he is older than me.  I hope he is okay.  I miss my friend, the one I ignore.  But I will keep looking for him.  Every day I will look for him.  Gracie.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day

I am back.  I've been on kind of a break I guess you could say. I had the worst cold I have ever had in my life!  It was worse than the flu I had 2X already this year.  This cold lasted about a week but I'm still wheezing and coughing a bit.

I am feeling better every day though.  Today was beautiful.   I visited my Mom and Dad's grave and took some flowers.  Then we attended the Memorial Day service at the cemetery.  It was a gorgeous day.

Yesterday, a yard sale.  I know... I know..    I said I'd never do it again, but I did.

Santa stopped by to buy some beanie babies.    so that's where he gets the toys for the little girls and boys... hmmm..

 He gave Summer a beanie baby that he bought from us.  Yes, he is indeed the real Santa!  

It was tiring to say the least...  but we got rid of a lot of stuff.  I am = de cluttering.  Big project but it's coming along.

Back to work tomorrow.  But I am cutting hours for summer and maybe indefinitely.  We'll see how it goes.   The office stays really busy, but mostly by appointment.  So I feel cutting hours won't hurt.  I will do it on a temporary basis but if it pans out okay, I will make it permanent.  It will just pull together appointments giving me more free time and less space in between.

So that's what's going on with me.

Just below the cemetery, my childhood home:

Thankful for those who served!  Including my Dad and two brothers.

Hope you all had a beautiful day.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Good, Bad, and Ugly by Gracie Phillip

The Good:

She feeds me.  She takes me for walks often every day whenever the spirit moves her. She moves over - way over... on to the the edge of the bed so there is plenty of room for me. She puts up with night sweats so's not to disturb me by moving me from her face. She gets up in the middle of the night when she hears me whine and picks me up and puts me back in bed (after I've jumped down to sleep under the bed for a while) (for some reason I have some trouble jumping back up into bed).  She plays Chase Wally, and Get the Squeaky Toy with me.

She lets the cookie carriers give me cookies and sometimes she gives me cookies too.  She scratches me where it itches and where I can't reach.  She cleans my butt when I have a poop that sticks there. Wait.  That should go under ugly, right?  She hugs me too much a lot more than I am comfortable with deserve.

The Bad:

She puts me in a tub of soapy water to make me clean and tries to glamorize it by calling it a bath.  She pulls me away from good smells on our walks.  She doesn't feed me nearly enough.  She withholds treats because she's cheap she says I'm getting stout and it's not good for my health.  She complains if I hog the bed.  She whines about me being distant and says she's worried about me when I sleep underneath the bed.

The Ugly:

She has this habit of putting stuff in my ears because she likes to torture me she says my ears are infectious and so I hide really good but she finds me and pulls me out from under the bed.  And then, after the whole cruel and abusive ordeal she begs me to come on up into bed with her and dad.  But I sit, outside the bedroom, and wait for her to get into bed and start reading her book.  Then, and only then do I know I can trust that she will not touch my ears again. #MyEarsAreOffLimits #DontTouchMyEarsEver #MyMomIsAbusiveSometimes 

Did I forget to wish you a happy mother's day?
Yea well.  Maybe next year.

Saturday, May 9, 2015


She was two years old when her daddy died, and her mom remarried a man who was abusive to her mother and to her.

Her mother (my grandma) ended up institutionalized and Mom lived with her stepfather who continued to be abusive.  When she was eighteen, Mom went to live with her Uncle Jim and Aunt Beulah.  They were good people. (I remember Pappy (uncle Jim) mostly for his large yard that was 100% garden and for the black licorice babies that he would give each of us kids every other Sunday when he and Mom would go to visit my grandma)  Mom was thrilled when she got to go and live with them, and they actually allowed her to date (at age eighteen)! 

My Pappy
Mom had a thing for guys in uniform; so when her and her friend spied two Navy guys leaving a local club one night the girls were on them like peanut butter on jelly. 

“I want the tall one,” Mom said.  

 Dad was the short one.  

And now you know the rest of the story....
My dad - the short one on the left
But Mom was an optimist, and she knew how to make things work.  

A nice sized rock for my Dad to stand on made him taller… 
Cereal for supper made our money go farther…  and peritoneal dialysis made her last days more bearable. 

Mom was not perfect.  

She would have been the first one to enlighten you if you said that she was.  

But I did not know one person who did not like her, 
flaws and all. 

Sitting at her dialysis table.  She did a solution exchange 4X a day and it took an hour for each one.  Since she was almost blind, she had to feel to do it.
On this Mother’s Day I remember the one and only person who made me feel as though I hung the moon.  The one I could call on the phone anytime and talk about anything.  The one who cared and loved me unconditionally. The one who felt I was important, special, loved no matter what!

May 8, 1994

It was a beautiful day.  Mothers Day.   It felt good to concentrate on my family and getting the kids and myself off to Sunday school and church.  

The week had been busy.  Multiple doctor visits for Mom meant I had to fight that big bulky wheel chair a number of times that week.  Getting it in and out of the car was almost impossible, it was so heavy and cumbersome.  Mom's mood didn't help.  I tried to smile and stay positive but the day she scolded me when she felt the wheelchair was not positioned just right had brought tears to my eyes and I had to swallow the lump that was in my throat without letting her know that her words hurt me.  She was not usually like that, but I understood.  She wasn't feeling well.  

The day was mine.  I would enjoy it with my kids and take Mom some dinner later.  We were ready to walk out the door when the phone rang.  

She needed me.

Would I ever have a life again?  Would I ever know what it was like to not have to drop what I was doing and drive over to Mom's to help her out of the chair?  Or to help with her dialysis when she could no longer see to do it?  Or do an emergency trip to the ER?  Or pick up a script?  Or, as in that day's unusual emergency, free her walker from being stuck between the bedroom and the bathroom?  

Frustrated, I did what I had to do.  

 God is glorious in how He orders our steps, changes our plans, humbles us, and brings us where we need to be in our lives.  

When I walked into Mom's apartment, the sun shone warm through the big window that overlooked the parking lot below.  I no longer felt violated by having to give up my own agenda yet again, but rather, a peace came over me like never before.  After freeing Mom's walker, I made her toast for breakfast.  She was having a good day, so then I made her a second helping of toast.  We talked and laughed and she thanked me over and over again.  I didn't want to leave and so I stayed into the afternoon.  Then I went and stood in a long line that seemed to go on forever so I could pick up dinner (chopped steak, mashed potatoes with gravy and green beans from the Silver Leaf Restaurant, that was her request for the day) and bring it back for her.  

Two months later, she was gone.  

Though at the time my patience was tried to the limit, I knew in my heart that one day I would be grateful for the opportunity to serve Mom for those years she was ill.  

She was a pretty good mom in spite of her troubled childhood.  So often today, adults blame their brokenness on the way they were raised.  It is my conclusion that we need to come to a point in our lives where we accept responsibility for our decisions and our actions.  Mom is proof that living a good, honest life of integrity and becoming better comes from learning and growing into a responsible adult, forgiving the hurt that was caused her by others, and moving on having learned from her own mistakes and of those who went before her.    

Our last Mother's Day together will always hold a special place in my heart.

I love and miss you Mom, and I’m so looking forward to our reunion one day.    

Sunday, May 3, 2015


My first New York City experience.  A quick, one day visit.  

How could so many people be in one place?

Taxi's, Uber's, buses, bicycles, and people on foot....  here and there and everywhere.

Buildings reaching high into the sky....

Advertisements and short tempers everywhere.  Honking horns and cars cutting off other cars.

Times Square was a happening place and familiar faces were always popping up.

 The Toys R Us in Times Square was the biggest toy store I have ever witnessed.

No time for shopping though, we were on a mission.
For my 60th birthday, a Broadway Show.

We had great seats and the show was awesome!

 Here is what I learned:

Never attempt to drive through Manhattan on your own.  Only trained professional drivers should tackle such a thing.  Do like us, park it in Brooklyn and hire an Uber... or even a taxi or do the subway or a bus or ride a bike or walk or fly but DON'T ATTEMPT TO DRIVE IT....

And NEVER  EVER-EVER.... make your Garmin angry with you by disobeying her orders en route to your destination.  You never know where she may take you later...  on your way out of town...

I will admit.  I am a tad bit enormously claustrophobic and the thought of being in a tunnel under the Hudson River was not at all my idea of a good time.  As I focused on everything but the fact that I was under water,  my husband reminded me over and over again how very l-o-n-g the tunnel is and how it would take us forever to get to the other side.  

I enjoyed my trip to the Big Apple and we had a really good time.  But I was glad to get back home to my Gracie and it seems she was pretty happy to see us as well. 

Warning:  Please excuse the language...    and try and not feel too sorry for her.  She was well taken care of...