Thursday, September 29, 2016


It's raining.  You don't really want to see a picture of the rain, do you?

I didn't think so.

It is good that it is raining though, because the earth needed it.  Autumn has arrived and I have actually semi-put away the flip flops.  They are there, sitting near the closet but not in the closet.  Just in case.

Gracie is enjoying the cooler temperatures and my grand dog Ellie is enjoying the kids being home from school today (Parent-Teacher conference day) because Summer has dressed her up like a princess.

My weekend begins now (I have a 4 day work week)...  and I am glad.


What's up with the picture of the spoiled one?  She's ruining your blog post, Mom!  Seriously!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Interesting Stuff!

I got an interesting call (at my office) yesterday.  My caller ID read Chamber of Commerce and so I thought.. ok...  more people wanting money. 

 Ha!  Nope.  

You never know what unique call might come in at All About Hearing.  As you know, Anvil our giant resin Ape was featured on OFF Route 68 magazine for this quarter...  and he actually made the front page!  Our yard had a lot of visitors these past few months and Anvil even collected some change in that big hand of his.  

Well, this call was about the FIREBALL RUN.  Check it out.  

According to the lady I spoke with on the phone, our big ear out front will be included in the scavenger hunt/trivial pursuit road rally competition type of television show that airs somewhere in New England.  To better understand, this is what I found on the website:

Friday, September 23 - Saturday, October 1, 2016  
New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, Massachusetts 
The FIREBALL RUN Adventurally is the story of a legendary 8 day, 2000 mile life-sized, trivia pursuit road rally competition and unlike Reality TV, this is real. Join zany driving teams as they race to locate America’s most obscure places & historic artifacts. And it’s all just for bragging rights and a plastic road sign. FIREBALL RUN is a mile-for-mile entertaining, thought provoking and emotional journey which inspires people to take the road less traveled. You may root for all, but only one can win. FIREBALL RUN is a 26 episode streaming series in the U.S., which is televised in foreign markets.

The lady asked me for our address for the team that has to find this landmark.  Ha!  Interesting.  Very interesting... 

Monday, September 26, 2016

Where We End Up

This was on the car in front of me the other day as I was stopped at a light.  I thought it was funny.

Fall is in the air.  

For some reason, autumn leaves covering the ground sadden me.  Don't get me wrong.  I think it is beautiful.  But.  It represents the death of spring and of summer.  And...  what comes after fall is not at all appealing to me.  Winter can be harsh and bitter and cold.  And for me, the last couple of winters have brought enormous losses.  

This old world spins out of control sometimes.  And we have no say as to where it tosses us or where we end up.  We just have to hold on tight and say a prayer.

 Gracie says:

You run the race, you eat the food, you play with the toys....

And then you rest...

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sunday Update

#1 Son is now at John's Hopkins Hospital.  He has an abscess (Crohn's related) and needs top notch treatment.  

After spending over a week at our local hospital, his doctor admitted him to John's Hopkins in Baltimore for further treatment.  Today was a CT scan and tomorrow will be a procedure where they will drain the abscess.  Surgery will follow... though they are not sure if it will be immediately after or weeks later.  He has been so very sick for so long, I'm glad for him to be getting the care he needs now. 

I think back to when he was five years old getting his tonsils removed and how he insisted on staying the night in the hospital with nobody with him...  (all by himself).  Now, so many years later, that same brave boy is a man...  but I can hear in his tone that he is lonely and sad to be so far away from family and friends....  all alone.   There is much power in prayer.  Please continue to pray and thank you!

Gracie, yesterday was your birthday.  How do you feel getting such special treatment??  toys, ice cream, special visits from family, and your trip to the tennis courts to run??  

Well, that old saying turned out to be true...
You're only as old as you feel...

Yesterday I turned twelve years old!!

But I felt like a pup!  Thanks y'all for the birthday wishes!!

It's me!  Yesterday!!  Really!!!

Saturday, September 24, 2016


I'm not one to focus on the past...  but doggone I was cute!

Dad liked me from the get-go.  Except when I forgot to get and I'd go on the carpet.  My bad.

Though I came into the Phillip home sometime in October, I was supposed to be a Christmas gift for my mom.  Which was fine.  I slept well under that tree.

Mom was reminded by dad every single day that I belonged to her and that she was responsible for cleaning up after my ornery self...  but when chill time came around and there was a good movie to watch or a game...  dad and I bonded and I was the perfect friend to keep him company.

Mom loved me, I could tell.  She forgave me for every single spill of pee or poop on that new white carpet.  And she kept repeating the words, "Merry Christmas to me".  There was something unsure about her tone...  but still...  treats would follow.  And as long as I was being rewarded for my bad behavior it would continue.  Oh how I used to play my mom.  BOL!

I loved the rules they set down for me.  Like, no sleeping on the human bed.  It was a challenge.  And if I must say so myself, way too easy a challenge.  These peeps were like putty in my paw.

But I enjoyed my alone time too.  My cage was filled with soft blankets and good smells.  

I did have purpose though.  When the peeps were sick it was my responsibility to care for them.

I was smart.  Very smart.. in that I knew how to get what I wanted.

Walks and making friends with kitten's was always my favorite thing.

I enjoyed my family.  It was a two way street though.  It wasn't just them giving to me.  I gave them so much too.  Because I love them.  I didn't have to bark a word.  They knew.

More challenging was when I was given the position of guard dog to the new babies.

It was a constant watch for me that no harm came to them.  Good news is, as they grew in size their hands were able to hold cookies and they repaid me over and over again for my past loyal care.

Ahhhh... my life.  Looking back I see how lucky I was.

And even now I feel the love as I grow older and they go out of their way to make things easy and enjoyable for me.  Dad even built me a ramp to get up onto the bed that I'm not allowed on... BOL!!!

My mom has a very sick sense of humor.  Is this what she really wants for me?  MOM!!!!

I know, I know.  You're wondering at this point... why am I reminiscing about my last 12 years of life this way?  

Well, you might as well know. ....  TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!  

And oh... just want to share one last thing.  I LOVE MY BLOGGING BUDDIES and want to thank you for years and years of love right back at me!  

I must go now.  There are special things planned for me today and I don't want to miss out!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Just Some goofing off and a Reminder

I was goofing off with an app I have on my new iPad pro.  Put a couple pictures together when it hit me...  Gary and I have been 'together' for over 15 years!  Married for 14 now.  And we are getting old and gray.  

Just about every anniversary is spent at DONNA's in Berlin, Ohio.  


And speaking of getting older...  Gracie, I believe you have something to say about this....

Why yes, I do.  Get out your pen and paper all you pups and kitteh's out there.  This SATURDAY..  that's September 24, I will be celebrating 12 years of life.  Yeppers!  Mark it down so you can wish me a happy birthday send me presents.  I see Dairy Queen in my near future and I will be not be sharing.  But I will think of you with every. single. bite. For now, I'm tired just thinking about it.  Time for Wally and me to have our afternoon siesta.  Ta-ta for now. 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

It's a Long Story

I've been on vacation.   We had a two part vacation planned which included Berlin, Ohio (Amish country) and Kentucky where we were going to go to the Creation Museum and Noah's Ark Experience. Berlin is our annual anniversary getaway.

There, I relish the peace and tranquility.  Leaving all my cares behind and searching for little pockets of time where utopia lives inside my soul if just for a millisecond.

 We shopped and ate good food,  went to a flea market, soaked in the jacuzzi, played cards, played pool, shopped some more and relaxed on the patio enjoying nature.

The most fun was at the Amish Country Theater where I volunteered Gary for a skit with a  renowned ventriloquist and it was hilarious!  If you have time to kill, watch it and laugh!  It's about 12 minutes long.

Wednesday morning we had our basket of breakfast brought to our door.  That same morning we watched Tom Turkey pecking at our car at his reflection.

The following one minute video is well worth the watch...  As Gary tries to shoo Tom Turkey away from out car.

It is amazing, the quality of picture you can get from the IPhone while riding in the car with the window up.  The following is one of my favorite pictures from our trip.

So on Thursday it was time to bid goodbye to our quiet paradise and head on out to Kentucky.  YeeeeHaww!

Four hours later we were a part of a rat race of congested traffic, road work, and plenty of big trucks.  Stop and go traffic and a whirlwind of exits and crazy drivers...  including us!

Stress is not my idea of a vacation.  And so far, this was stress!

When we finally made it to our room, we were ready to rest!  The front desk clerk informed us that we would need to be out of the room for at least an hour the next day because the carpet was scheduled to be cleaned.  Really?  That didn't sound right. But oh well.  

 I had requested a room close to the elevator and though it was not quite as close as I hoped, it was still much closer than rooms that we generally get.  Usually we have to lug our stuff all-the-way down to the end of the hall.  

Gary tried our key card in the door and it did not work!  Ugh!  So he tried again.  And again.  And again.  No go.

I backed away from our door, eyeballing some of the other doors and saying, "Are you sure we have the right room?"

"Yes!"  Gary was adamant!

And so I took the key card, turned it around the other way and swiped it, pushed the door open and it worked! 

We settled in.  Then we went to the car for some more stuff.  When we came back up our key card was not working again so they made us new ones.  Bad hotel, I thought.

Gary had diarrhea and stomach cramps from the stress.  Meanwhile back home Gracie had diarrhea as well and my #1 son was admitted to the hospital with an abscess from his Crohn's and will likely be going in soon for surgery (after being transported) when a bed becomes available at John's Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.  Problems were mounting.

We went downstairs to hunt for food and water.  Gary tried to heat his soup in the microwave and it didn't work and so it was back downstairs to see if we could find a microwave.  The desk clerk took the soup back to the employee break room and heated it up for us.  

Back at the room we once again settled in.  I was changing for bed when someone tried to get into our room.  Forcefully!  Luckily we had the double locks on the door!  Gary stuck his head out the door and told them they had the wrong room.

Five minutes later the front desk calls our room...  just to find out if someone was in the room.  Well...  obviously they are... I answered the phone.  

The next morning as I was piecing together a horrible review for this hotel to post on trip advisor later, Gary showed me our key card with our real room # on it.  It turns out our room was just off the elevator at #214 and not #215.  We were in the wrong room!!  

There were too many red flags.  We needed to get out of this rat race and go home!  And so we did.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Resisted The Temptation

 The following are pictures of this morning's soccer game starring grand-angel #2 Jake. 

A couple of the pics are repeats but...  you get the 'picture'.  Jake got knocked down by an opposing team member.  Later I told him ...  "Grammy had to resist the urge to run out there onto the field and wrap my arms around you with a grammy-hug to make sure you were okay.  I'll bet you're glad I resisted the temptation to do that..."  He smiled and shook his head.  He's so handsome.   Love that boy!

It was a great morning at the game... temps were tolerable and we got a nice place in the shade to settle in.  Had some fries, and soft pretzel with cheese.  Cheered Jake on.  Cheered the team on.  And then, our team won!!  2-0!!  Yay!

Then it was off to the music store to get Rissi's violin for Orchestra, which she starts on Monday.   She's just beginning, but Pop-pop told her she has to master the piece and learn and play 'The Devil Went Down To Georgia' to play at his funeral.  (Ha!  Guess that will be many, many years down the road since it will take a while for that one.  And that is good.)

After that it was the last swim of the summer.  Sad but true.  Summer is slowly fading and fall is waiting in the wings to take its place.  

Life is short.  Make sure you enjoy it.