Friday, December 21, 2018



Gary got two packages today.  I know that one box is a part of my Christmas present from him because it says Candy Kitchen on the outside.  I requested chocolate nonpareils from there.  What I don't know is that the second is a Christmas gift for me as well.  He brings it into the room and throws it onto my lap.  An early present.  It's a pair of socks and my Gracie's picture is all over them.  "Thank you so much!"  I say.  "I love them! But you should have waited till Christmas."  I try the socks on and they fit just right.  I put them in my sock drawer for a special occasion.  


Gary:  Remember the package that Stacy said had been delivered yesterday?  (Stacy is his daughter and she had sent him a package.  Tracking said it was delivered yesterday but we assumed it was delivered to the wrong address.

Me:  Yea.

Gary:  It's the socks.

Me:  The socks?  Wait.  What socks?  My Gracie socks?  You didn't buy them for me?

Gary:  I guess not.

Me:  How can you forget if you bought them or not?  

Gary:  I thought I did buy them.  Maybe.  Possibly.  I could have....  Ummm..  I actually saw them online, does that count?

Me:  Seeing them does not count.  So then they are your socks?

Gary:  Yea.

Me:  *laughter*  *more laughter* * lots of laughter*  So they came, you saw them, you liked them and thought - huh - I must've got these for Bobbi?

Gary:  I guess so.

It is official.  Gary's memory is just a tad bit a lot worse than mine.  BURN!!!!!!!

Nice socks though, eh?

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

It's A Spirit Thing

Ahhhh Christmas.  

Here are several things I observe about this time of year:

 * You will be ridden with guilt if you break tradition.  So bake that 10 dozen of cookies, make that fudge, buy those presents, decorate that tree, spend days and weeks and even months 'preparing' for the big day.  Tradition rules!

It's a circus out there.  Do you're shopping early or do it online.  People can be mean.  They'd just as soon throw you to the curb as to look at you -- especially if you are in their way.  Know when the light will turn green so you can gas it immediately to prevent the fellow or gal in back of you from laying on the horn!  All of the lions are not in the literal circus, believe you me!

* Political correctness rules.  Everyone is sensitive so think about what you say beforehand.  Here's the thing.  From what I have learned, Christ's birth is not on December 25.  It is a date that was chosen to celebrate His birth and I'm good with that.  Many celebrate the 'holiday' more than the 'birth day', the receiving of gifts over the receiving of 'the greatest gift of all', and the traditions of man rather than the Spirit of the season, anyway.   If someone ridicules you for using the abbreiviated version Xmas, do not dismay,  God knows your heart.   I used to use that abbreviated version all the time - that is before I realized I could be offending other Christians.   But political correctness does not stop there, it's alive to the left and also to the right if ya know what I mean.   Honestly, sometimes I'm afraid to speak.  We all need to chill out, don't ya think?  Some of the sweetest, nicest, kindest people I know do not agree with me on many things.  Let's get over the politics and stop judging others.  That's God's job.

The spirit of giving has become this:   being shamed into it by cashiers. 
It used to be that there was one Shame King and that was the bell ringer outside of Woolworths where we'd throw our quarter in the bowl and walk away feeling pretty darn good about ourselves.   I walk into the department store now and I am asked if I want to give to St. Judes.  "I give monthly," I say.  Next stop, fast food.  Do I want to give a dollar to feed hungry kids?  I already feed hungry kids.   My heart's fulfillment in donating throughout the year means nothing now.  I feel like a heel because I won't feed hungry kids.  *sigh*  Shame on me.

Jesus is not the reason for the season.  
Oh, everyone says it is.  But most actions speak opposite.  That's all I have to say about that.

* We are expected to be joyful.  Period.
I have deep empathy for those who fail to feel that joy.  With laughter and chit-chat and holiday cheer going on around you, sometimes it's hard to grasp that feeling of euphoria associated with this time of year.  It can be an emptiness felt from an absent loved one or just the sadness of how materialistic and self centered our celebration of Jesus birth has become.  Regardless, depressed individuals can fall into deeper depression witnessing the outpouring of joy that surrounds them when all they want to do is get through the holiday and have things back to normal.  AND --- I feel sympathetic to those delivery drivers this time of year.  They are ridiculed, rushed and taken for granted all in the name of MATERIALISM.  Sadly, I have heard a story in the past of a pastor who become short and temperamental when  things didn't go as planned with a delivery.  Simple acts of this kind can cause an adverse affect when trying to reach others for Christ.  Just saying.  Be joyful but first, be kind.   I believe in that old adage, fake it till you make it.  It really does work!  Oh, and while practicing the joy thing, be helpful to those who seem to be struggling.  

Okay, I think I've rattled on long enough.  I've made all my cookies and decorated the house.  The gifts are bought and wrapped.  After this week, I will close my office for the year and enjoy family.  And then, 2019 will come and I will start off with resolutions and goals and hope for another great year.  And in truth --  I will know it will be great --  because God's love surrounds me.  During the good and the bad of life, it's His love that sustains me.  I am humbled and thankful for His never giving up on me, and on this joyous time of year and remembrance of God's greatest gift of a Savior, I thank HIM for that greatest gift of all.  

Note:  Below, this years nativity.  I tried to add a little pizazz ... lol.   Disclaimer:  These are only statues.  symbols.  material objects.  The real meaning of Christmas is found in the heart.  It's a Spirit thing.  

 Hope this plays okay.  

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Santa Paws and A Shot In The Butt

I'll be honest.  It's not my favorite time of year.  First they move stuff around.  Then they string all kinds of annoying bright things throughout the house.  There are trains and carnivals.  Toys that make noise and kids who make more noise.  

However.  If my memory serves me right, I'm looking at lots and lots of cookie crumbs in my future.  So for now, I will relax and try to make the best of things.  

And hope that Mom gets over my temporary insanity upon trying to attack my groomer when she put me on Santa Paws lap last week.  Hey.  She kept kissing my ear over and over and over again.  I know I'm irresistible but geez....  A girl can take so much...

"Gracie!!!!!!"  Mom said.  "I can't believe you attacked your groomer!!!"

Well, well, well.  Turns out I had a horrible, terrible, awful, worst ever ear infection in that ear so it's no wonder.  

So's not to take any chances and have me attack the vet, Mom insisted I have my mouth tied shut. Pretty smart move on her part.  Cause let's face it, no-one was gonna touch that ear without a fight.

I'm on antibiotics now and I got a shot in my butt.  Humiliating, it was.  Very humiliating.  


Monday, November 26, 2018


I have a blogger-related frustration going on right now.  I will leave deep, detailed comments on blogs that I visit only to have them disappear and never posted.  It is frustrating because I love visiting my friends blogs and the way to communicate is through comments and ... well... you get the picture.  It's really weird because some blogs take my comments and some do not.  

So as I try to figure out that dilemma, I will share a little of my Thanksgiving day with you.

This was not my year to cook (every other year) so Penn Alps was the restaurant of choice for this year.  The wait was about an hour but well worth it.  

During the waiting, there is plenty to do.  Like shop, or as you can see by son #2's photo below...  read a book.

Our group gathered as we waited ~ laughing, talking, anticipating good food soon.

And not to disappoint, Penn Alps served up one of the best Thanksgiving dinner's I've ever had.  Yes!  It was delicious!!  And I did not have to slave away in the kitchen the day before or clean up afterwards.

Talk about being thankful!!

There is so much to be thankful for, indeed.  And on this day, we tend to stop and think on those things.

  I hope you, too, had a blessed day!

All this talk of turkey and cake...  and all I got was a lousy bowl of roast beef and some time alone at home.  I've marked my calendar for next year.  Turkey at our house!!!  Period!!  ~ Gracie

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Checking In

Been busy with life with not much time for blogging.  But let's catch up a bit.

How was your Halloween?  Us old folk just kinda hung out at home and enjoyed the wee ones stopping by for some treats.  

The neighborhood was flooded with kids knocking on doors and begging candy.  So we thought we'd join in the fun.   What do you think?  Am I retirement-worthy yet?  LOL **See video below** 


Snow has come to our neck of the woods ...  early- much.  Not a fan.  But Gracie and I are here to report that we got 11 inches.  Boo!!

Dance rehearsal time ...  and Rissi was the star...

Gracie decided she wanted to be a rock star for Halloween.  She asked to sing her beloved Samson a song...

Where Are You, My Samson

Samson, I miss you.  Haven't seen your sweet face in so long,
That is why I made up this song.
California fires are raging and I think about you every day,
For you, your mom, and Faith - I continue to pray.

So Samson, be safe... I'll wait for your return,
You've been absent too long but patience I must learn.
I know you're alright...  you're my one and only
Come back to blogland soon - So I won't be so lonely..

Your Gracie

Next topic:  Our Karate kid.  She was happy to get her new belt...

And speaking of new...  the hubby got...  a new car.  Well, almost new.

Halloween lingered...  and a warewolf showed up at our house one night.

I smell Jake

My new neighbor gifted me a gift certificate to have my nails done.  We are so blessed to have such good neighbors.  So during Summer's sleepover with us, I took her along for her first manicure.  She was excited!

Sorry this was such a random post...  I wanted to get something on but didn't have much time to think about it so this is what you get!

I am very anxious to slow down after Thanksgiving and start visiting blogs again...    Missed you all.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Take The Dog

Fall is not fall without a visit to the annual Springs Folk Festival.  There is plenty to see and do. 
Some of the highlights are....  

 Running into four-legged furry friends such as this sweet guy.

Country scenery and settings...

Food!!!  Especially the fresh baked bread smothered in butter and apple butter.  Yummmmm

I have a love/hate relationship going on with this time of year.  I love the cooler days, the autumn smells and all the great festivals.

But I hate the shorter, grayer days, forever rain, and the season that follows this one.  I won't say the word.  It's a bad, bad word.

Summer will be with us throughout the year thanks this little cutie.  And speaking of Summer, we went to my grandsons soccer game last week and she found the thing that makes her happy in any season - DIRT!

While there, God decided to show off a bit with some eye-candy right above the soccer field.  Thank You God, for all good things.

 Gracie, Gracie, Gracie! What will we ever do with our girl Gracie?

We have a camera that we can check in on her if we go somewhere.  Lately, we have found her barking and howling the entire time we are gone..  even if it's just for half an hour.  We never leave her alone for long.  But it seems she has developed extreme separation anxiety no matter what.  Now, if she thinks I am over at my office she is fine.  And so, on Sunday when we went to church, we left the TV turned on and snuck out without telling her we were leaving.  She was fine.  Upon returning home, Gary dropped me off a block down the road and I sneaked up to my office door and unlocked it - pretending I'd been in my office all along.  I hope this works or we will be forever bound to our home and needy dog.  Oh, the things we do for our dog!!!


Dear Mom, Dad or Whomever It May Concern,

Last year you started a trend.  One that has become embedded in my sweet doggie heart...  it's called camp and Buick.  There are so many wonderful things about going to camp and so many awesome smells when one sticks ones head outside of those windows in the Buick when it it moving....   but the best thing is spending time with the peeps I have grown to know and love.  Yea, that's you guys.  Oh, and another thing you started was dragging me along each and every time the wheels on that Buick go round and round.  Yep.  Dad, me and you we hang out in the car while Mom goes into those big buildings and comes out with bags of more stuff and ....  I've grown accustomed to accompanying you on each and every journey outside of these confines we call home.  So, yea.  Sure I'm anxious about you leaving the house without me.  Why wouldn't I be?  You created the monster problem now deal with it in a way that is humane and kind and good.  Take the dog with you.  Wherever you go.  Forever and always.  


Friday, October 12, 2018


Amish country offers peace to the soul...  From it's vast fields of green trees and plenteous crop...

To the secluded chalet where we hang our hats at the end of a day of exploring and shopping...

Peace surrounds us.

 Our walks offer nature at its best.

Perfect!  Except for one thing.  We miss our DOG!!!

And speaking of DOG.  Allow me to share some throwbacks from our DOG.

Gracie.  The best Christmas present ever.  She turned 14 last month!  FOURTEEN!  No matter how you say it, that is getting old in dog years.  What will I ever do without her!!!???

So while in Amish country, we ran across this cutie...

A Gracie look-alike!!  I know, right?!

So I texted Gracie and asked, "Shall we bring her home with us?"

She texted me back.

There is no room in this house for a wild, crazy, hungry, energetic, goofy poop dropper, nor is there room in the bed.  Abort that idea.  Gracie.

Monday, October 1, 2018

A Star Is Born

While on vacation in Berlin, Ohio we got tickets once again to the Amish Country Theater.  Of course, in typical Gary-fashion he was sure to brush and floss before heading over there...

How ironic that this, being the exact date of our 16th anniversary, that this year we'd BOTH get called up on stage.

And once again...  A star is born....  an then another.  HAHA!

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Amish Country Vacation: The Farm at Walnut Creek Pt. 2

In part 1 you saw a paradise tucked away from the hustle bustle world that we know...  that was crawling (literally) with hundreds of beasts of the forest and fields.  Come with me now to another paradise...   as we step inside an Amish home and get a feel for how they live their daily lives.

No computer, iPhone or television set can compare to the beauty and peace that comes from this simple life.

And the smell is phenomenal!!  Fresh and clean...  and then the smell of cookies and bread baking!  Somebody pinch me!

Room number one was a gigantic kitchen where several of the sweetest Amish kids helped Mom scoop cookies from a cookie platter and place them on the table for those of us touring the home - their guests.  There were dozens upon dozens of cookies fresh out of the oven to welcome us.

We were drawn to the next room by an angelic voice singing the sweetest song...  and there I spied a little girl, her back towards me, singing and rocking her dolly in her arms as she turned the pages of a picture book.

When asked if we could take her picture, this very 'adult' 5 year old replied, "No pictures.  But feel free to take pictures of the home and everything else, just no pictures of us."  My heart melted at her sweetness.

Simple.  Sweet.  Quiet.  Peaceful. Aromatic.   These words describe my overall experience as we found our way through this beautiful home.

The family that we were seeing lives somewhere here... but the photos that you are seeing are mainly for show.

And the impression I got is that this is a typical model of how the Amish do live.

So what do the Amish do with no TV, no phones, no video games, no electricity ... ?  Well.  I would sum that up in one word.


This little guy photo-bombed us...  The reason I post it is because he has an uncanny resemblance to our grandson Jasper..  He even acted like Jasper...

"Did we tour this part of the home yet?"  Gary asked.
"I'm not sure," I said.
So he walked up the steps and said he'd check.  He went inside while I waited at the bottom of the steps for his response.  I waited.  And I waited.  And...  soon I became tired of waiting and I decided to just go ahead in.  I reached for the door to open it and it was locked!  Wait!  What's happening here?

"Anyone in there?"

Gary, playing one of his practical jokes.  Oh, he is just so funny.  Not.