Monday, May 30, 2016


I threw some red, white and blue onto the table and I quick went to see the Colonel...

He provided me with a picnic lunch of chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, cole slaw, baked beans, macaroni and cheese, and biscuits. 

We had Twinkies for dessert.

There was laughter...

Lots of kisses....

And some much needed play...

Eventually a gentle rain came leaving wet grass and cooler temperatures.

The hot day didn't affect those inside as the cool of the AC kept them comfortable while they watched Guardian's of the Galaxy in 3-D and surround sound.

A confused Gracie couldn't decide whether she wanted inside where there was lots of original recipe fried chicken or outside where there was more of the same.  Keeping up became tiring for the old girl.

We celebrate by bringing family together to create memories for our kid's tomorrows. 

 But Memorial Day is so much more than that.  

It's a day to honor and remember our veterans and troops with respect and much gratitude.

Wishing everyone a memorable, safe, blessed Memorial Day.  

Friday, May 27, 2016

Time for Goodbye

Five years ago in June, as we were preparing to take that leap of faith and open our own hearing aid business, we contracted Bob Wilt (Bob's Backyard Bears) to carve us an ear for our tree stump that stood by the highway in front of our house.  Unbeknownst to us, this would turn out to be our best source of advertising.   Five years later, I rarely meet a person who does not know where the golden ear stands in the heart of LaVale.

We were sad to have to retire our biggest and best source of business success.  But.  Time and change come to us all.  And that moment comes when we have to say goodbye to the loved and familiar.

Saying goodbye is never easy...  but saying hello is!  

Say hello to our new ear(s)!  That's right.  Old faithful has been replaced only this time in a better place right in the center of the yard where it will be easier to see when the trees in front of our house are in full bloom.

 I'll be honest.  The day of arrival was a bit chaotic and we wanted to get it painted in time to include a photo in the full page Memorial Day ad that will go in the paper on Monday.  Bob, our ear guy, insisted on a nose below the ears.  And so we had to decide.  What color to paint the nose?  We wanted the ears to stand out.  I chose hot pink...  you know...  the same as a skin tone only much more vibrant and brighter.  Okay then, maybe it isn't even close.  But still, that was my thought at the time.

The pink was a no-go and we couldn't paint over it fast enough.  I know, I know.  I have been told it resembles something quite naughty...  my bad.  
And so....

I would like to introduce to you our 5-year anniversary Re-do of our golden ear.  

Gold on black really stands out and I like it.  Though I may be scolded on my lack of political correctness when I say that I think all lives matter....  

So there you have it.   Out with the old and in with the new.  In July All About Hearing will begin it's sixth big year.  My awesome God has blessed this business more than I could have ever thought possible.  I am grateful!!  

Have a beautiful and safe Memorial Day weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Yea. That's Right.

Spring is in full swing.  The sun has finally decided to warm us with its presence.  

Just weeks before summer will officially be declared...  and all yard/deck/gardening work will come to a grinding halt.  Oldies will blast from Gary's man cave speakers in the back and likely you will find him floating in the pool just about every hot day in the early afternoon.  

And the little ones will have their time of fun in the sun too.  We have new pool toys and new outdoor activity 'ideas' to keep them busy when they visit.

I'm working on a new list of scavenger hunt idea's for the beach in August.  Coming up with some pretty far out stuff.  I'm laughing already.  I'd like to say I can't wait.  But I do not want to wish my summer away so let's just say I'm looking forward to it!

The Top 10 Uses for A Doggie Bed
by Gracie Phillip

10.  So others will look at she who purchased it and say... "Ahhh what a nice mother to buy her dog such a luxurious bed".

9.  Hide toys underneath it

8.  Hide cookies under it so if you are starving from not being fed by your owner/mom/person you can go there to retrieve nourishment to keep you alive.

7.  Look at it with disgust because you do not belong in a doggie bed, you belong in a king sized human bed.  In the middle.  stretched out.

6.  Great for wiping your mouth after a dinner of chickie bird that proves to be a little on the greasy side.  (mom needs to learn how to cook healthy meals).

5.  To annoy the humans when they trip over it.

4.  To anger the humans when you refuse to use it after they pay sixty dollars for it. (I've heard that sad tune way too often.  Give it a break mom.. you're such a nag.)

3.  To get in mom's good graces  I just jump in and snuggle up and soon I hear... "ahhhh look Gracie is using her bed"...  Sometimes If I play my cards right there's a cookie shortly after..

2.  Decor.  It looks like you really love your dog if you have a doggie bed for her.

and ...

the number one use for a doggie bed issssssss.....

1.  To sleep in.  Or under.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Foto Fun

Me with my daughter Lindsey

Lindsey with her daughter Marissa.  This girl sure does look like her mommy!!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Scattered Thinking

It's rained here a lot in the last month.  I'm starting to think that it's not April showers at all that bring May flowers, but rather May showers that bring June flowers.

A lot of random stuff going through my head these days.  Like: My inability to stick to a diet.  How lonely it is to go on living without my sister and my brother.  Whether I should continue to let my gray hair grow in or should I put color on it asap.  The red tape and lies and absurd, crazy stuff you have to go through in order to get a meager loan to buy a house (not for me, but for my daughter).  How to work hard and be prosperous.  Getting ready for summer.  Etc. 

Each day brings new joys. burdens. adventures.  promises.  I try to stay positive.  Sometimes it's tough.  When someone I love hurts, I want to fix it.   But more often than not, there is nothing I can do.  Just pray.  

I have pages of lists of people in my prayer journal that I pray for each day.  It's always warming to be able to put a smiley face by those answered prayers or to look up to the heavens and mouth a thank you.  This week I did just that when Lindsey's loan finally went through and this sweet family of mine was able to call an actual house their home.  Nine years of apartment living is enough, especially for a family with kids.  God's answer to my prayers far exceeded that which I prayed for.  That is my awesome God!  

When I walked into church today, I could tell there was something that was not right with my friend.  She said she was fine.  But when I asked her "are you sure?", she told me how she and her daughter had a great time shopping one day last month.  Laughing.  Having fun.  Mother-daughter time.  The next day her 45-year old daughter died suddenly and unexpectedly.  Wow!  Not only did God show me how insignificant this past 3 months of worry for my daughters getting a home loan was, but how precious each and every day is with our loved ones.  Thank you God, for showing me this.  

Gary had laser surgery on his eyes yesterday.  His right eye is really bad (glaucoma).  So far, his pressures did not go down but that, another prayer high on my list.  Next month he will go in for a re-check.  He is working hard doing things around the house.  The biggest project is a deck.  Swim time is just around the corner and the deck can be completed in days...  if it would just stop with the rain, already! But.  It's all good.  

There have been so many angels come into my life lately, with messages of revival and hope.  Breakthrough.  Changes are taking place.   Some may seem like bad changes but since my God is an awesome God, all will work together for good.  So I am looking forward to tomorrow as today I pray.

I have just finished a good book.  Good but troubling...  The Devil in The White City.  It's about the Chicago World's Fair in the 1890's and the psychopathic serial killer that stalked the area at that time.  I learned a lot of history, strange personalities, and such...   but it gave me bad dreams too.  Time to move on to a happy book ;-)

So now you know about my scattered thoughts as of late.  I need a vacation, right?

And Gracie says she needs a haircut.


Saturday, May 14, 2016

All Ears

Rain, rain go away
So our deck can get finished
and the lumber be removed from beneath the bird feeder
that we can fill it with seed
so the birdie friends can come and eat.

Our preview of the new ear went well but I asked Bob to remove some of the lobe.  He did not stop preaching as he revved up his chain saw and did a quick surgical removal of each extended lobe.  Yes, he preaches as he works.  And what a preacher he is!!  He is filled with the Holy Spirit and does not hold back!  We were prayed for.  Preached to.  Comforted.  Entertained.  Loved.  As we left the hill we had to ask ourselves, "What just happened?"  We love Bob Wilt!  His expertise is bears, hence the business name 'Bob's Backyard Bears'.  But doesn't he do a wonderful job on ears as well?

Dear Diary,

With so many stuffed animals made accessible to me, you'd think I'd rip apart each and every one of them.  But no.  I know which ones are mine and which ones belong to the kiddies.  And I respect that.  Do I not get kudos for being a good dog?  Come on now.  Mom.  Dad.  Kudos?  Good dog, Gracie.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016


Time is marching on and each day brings a new adventure.  Ask Anvil.  He's being featured on the front page of the magazine "Off I-68" for the quarter.  He looks pretty excited, don't ya think?

While sifting through photo's to use for my post, I ran across a couple of the kids
 from several years ago.  


I miss rocking my grand babies.  Summer still allows me to rock her 4-year old self occasionally though.  It gets me through.

Daddy and Jasper

Spring has sprung and our walks have some lovely eye candy to behold in places.

I love dandelion's even though many refer to them as weeds.  These bright yellow wildflowers are beautiful scattered through the lush green grass.

 But.  Soon they become wishes.  And then they are gone.

Spring is showing amazing color this year.  We are planning a lot of fun things with the grandkids.  God willing, it will be a great summer.

Soon the rain will be done.  And the deck will get finished.  Soon.

Dear Diary,
It has rained for several years months days now.  I need a walk.  Bad.  Gracie.

Monday, May 9, 2016


I never feel more special than I do on this day.

Jake welcomes us to his school with open arms.  He says "I'm proud of my grandparents"  

He melts my heart and makes me feel special.  He makes us feel special.

Grade 2 had pictures done first in the auditorium.  Then we had story time where we took turns reading some pretty interesting books.  I did learn a thing or two about bats that I did not know before.  Next was bingo in the library and then snacks and crafts in the cafeteria.

The sweetest little girl stood alone and kept looking up at me and smiling.  "Are your grandparents here today?" I asked.  "No," she said.  "My grandma had to work."
"Can we adopt you for the day to be our granddaughter?" I asked.  The smile never left her face the entire time we were together.  She kept telling others that we adopted her... Gee, these kids sure do make us feel special...  what a blessing!

Jake and I worked together on a really cool craft where he traced his hand and then we cut it out and it became the trunk of the tree we put together.  A forever keepsake.

It was out of our daily regimen, getting up early to be to school by 8AM.  Us old folks have morning routine and today all had to change.


The hugs.  The smiles.  The pride when he introduced us to his teacher and to his friends.  
Made it all worth while.

When time had neared for it to be over and for us to leave, he said "I don't want you and PopPop to leave."   He watched us all the way down the hall and as the other kids were gathered around laughing and talking, rough-housing, our Jake stood quiet, eyes on us until we were out of sight.   I could feel the love.

He's got a heart of gold.  I am so thankful that God blessed me with this sweet boy as my grandson.

And I was honored to spend the morning with him making memories.

Dear Diary,
I did it!  I got it!  You can teach an old dog new tricks!!!  I use the ramp when forced to  commanded to do so  when I cannot jump onto the bed.  Dad says it made all his work worth his while.  Gracie.