Book Trailer for THE HOUSE

Thursday, October 14, 2021

~~~SUMMER~~~

 Just thought you might like to enjoy a little Summer on this beautiful fall day.







Wednesday, October 6, 2021

*BLINK*

Well.  I blinked, and here we are in the Autumn of 2021.  
And speaking of Blink...  check out my new novel HERE  !


This novel is a sequel to THE HOUSE which I had published last July.  I've taken the liberty to mail some copies out to those who reviewed my last book.  I'd appreciate a review on Amazon - but it's okay if you'd rather not.  The book is a gift, no strings.  

If anyone would like a copy - email me at chambrayblue20@yahoo.com - and because you are my blog friends, I will send a free copy.  Specify whether you would prefer a paperback or kindle.  



Wednesday, September 29, 2021

***The Struggle Is Real***

 Dear Diary,

This is what I told Mom:  As long as I am having good days, let's forget about the saying goodbye thing.  Since she gets a little confused about what is a good day for me, let me be specific. My birthday was not a good day.  I spent it lost in corners and falling into stuff. But the next day was good.  And the one after that was really good. A good day is usually when I seem to regain a small bit of hearing, sight, and mental stability.  Small, very small.  But still.

"I think we can still enjoy some corn on the cob this year," she said as she loaded me into my comfy seat in the back of the Elantra.  She sat there with me and held onto my leash while I jumped to watch out the window and breath in all the smells along the way. Dad drove.  I couldn't wait to sink my teeth into that fresh buttery corn on the cob.  But first, a stop in Wiley Ford WV where we lived when I was a puppy.  We'd walk the towpath there.  

It was a really nice day.

I love love love the walks there.  It's all about new smells for me. And my smeller ain't what it used to be, but it still works.

And speaking of new smells, let me tell ya what happened on the way up the hill to go to our car for home.

I couldn't quite see it, but I heard Mom talking to a stranger.  "I wouldn't put my hand down to her," I heard Mom say.  "She might bite you."

BOL!!!  The woman Mom is delusional.

That was the 'old' Gracie. The much younger version. The new me ...  well...  

I'm a lover, not a fighter.  Ask the girl stranger.  (Her hand tasted like... ummm...  Burger King).  Mom was a little surprised that I licked her hand instead of biting it.  But hey, people dogs change, ya know.

Yesterday wasn't such a hot day. I got almost to the top of the ramp (at 4AM) (When I should have been fast asleep but instead I decided to wander aimlessly through the house and get lost and wake Mom every half hour to send me outside so I could get lost there too) but at the top of the ramp where it meets Mom and Dad's bed, I froze. I freaked. I decided I did not know where I was going - and then I began to fall back down the ramp.  I was trembling. Afraid.  But Mom jumped up from the bed and tried to save me --- only her back went out!!!!!  I thought I was going to have to save her!!!!! The struggle is real, peoples! 

As the story goes, she wasn't much help to me after that, but I did manage to slide down the ramp backward to safety.  She and I went to the living room then to lick our wounds and pace some more.  Well, pacing for me, groaning and moaning in pain for her as she tried to get comfortable in her chair.  What a night!  

But I'm 17 now.  what do you expect from an old a new girl?   Gracie.




Friday, September 24, 2021

~~~~~HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME~~~~~~

Dear Diary,

As I try to think of something witty and funny to write about, my mind comes up blank.  That's not unusual these days - the blank mind.  I am 17 today, ya know!  


Yesterday was my pre-birthday celebration which included a walk on the towpath and chicken nuggets from Chick-fil-A.  I got the best Mom and Dad ever!  Well, I did yesterday, anyway.  Today Mom wiped my butt with an oatmeal wipe so I had to take her from the nice list to the naughty list.  Once a nag, always a nag, I suppose.

Yesterday's walk was wonderful.  Ahhhh the smells!  I can only do half the walk I used to do, or at least that's what the nag Mom is telling me.

As much as yesterday was a good day, today started out not so good.  I was confused and got lost in the yard.  I kept walking in circles.  Around and around and around I went.  Then I couldn't find the house or the door to go inside.  Mom says she was right there leading me in, but I could not see nor hear her.  And when she placed her hand on me, trying to lead me inside, I just became more confused and kept veering to the left.  Left. Left. Left.  Same as my head tilt. I'm a mess, says Mom.  

Okay.  She's not really that much of a nag.  She's trying to help me I believe.  But I'm not really sure I can be helped.  

I did make it over to the office for my morning fortune cookie.  Yes, I got lost on the way.  Around and around and around I go.  

Mom teared up a little, reading my fortune for the day.  I think she and dad are really going to miss me when I go.

She asks me to tell her when I'm tired and don't want to do this anymore.  I promised her I would.  But this is my birthday.  I'm expecting another walk, some good eatin', and a lot of rubdowns.  So I'm not quite ready.  Not today.  

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!  

GRACIE.


 

Monday, September 13, 2021

Life Gone To The Dogs

I could say my life has gone to the dogs, but let's face it... it's been that way for almost 17 great years.

My blog started out as Gracie Owns Me, then several years ago I changed it to Growing Old with Gracie and now - well, if I were to rename it now it would probably be Losing Gracie.  

My heart breaks to see her lost in our yard, under a chair, or in a corner.  She tends to pull to the left, the same side as her head-tilt, causing her to run into walls and miss doorway entrances.  

I've piled soft rugs and blankets on even the smallest step landing, to make her walk from the house to outside easier.  Sometimes she'll fall, but it's a soft landing now.  

We'll put her in the car and take her to the towpath for mini-walks until she looks worn out.  She loves her walks, still.  Even if they are only half of what they used to be.  When I heard of the hurricane rains coming our way, I hurriedly purchased a doggie umbrella from Amazon. It came that morning, just in time.


Our lives are dedicated to making her last days as comfortable as possible.

She used to love to go out front and bark at passersby.  Now when I tie her there, she looks bewildered.  Like, where am I and what am I doing here?


She still has her favorite spots to sleep, though sometimes it's hard for her to find them.  

Our entire house is Old-Girl-Gracie-ized.  We have ramps and rugs, pillows, and barriers.  Every time I see a problem, I try to fix it to make it easier on her.  I love when I catch her in a sweet sleep.  I know then, she is not worried or suffering or in pain.  I love when she climbs the ramp at night to join us on the bed, and when she settles there.  Her going down the ramp gives me worry - as she bounces to the left and onto the sides of the ramp, finally making it to the floor.  

She doesn't do well in the car for long drives.  We took her to camp one last time, then we sold the camper and discontinued our contract with the campsite.  When it was time to leave, she refused.  

No.  I'm not going.  I will not go.  I love camp.  You can't make me.

When she is gone, I cannot imagine being there without her.  She has loved it so much!  It would be too painful.  

I've been talking to her a lot.  About how she will probably be leaving us soon, I tell her we'll be okay.  But she will be better than okay.  And that she should watch for us one day to be with her.  Do I think dogs go to heaven?  Absolutely.  I found this on daily scriptures on the Internet: 

And because I love God, I know He will one day bring me and my girl back together again.  

He will bring all of us back together again, all of us who love Him.  

In the meantime, I will take the best care of my girl that I can.  And I will watch closely for her to tell me when she's had enough of this life.  

Shhhh...  I'm trying to catch a nap, can ya keep it down?


Wednesday, August 18, 2021

~~ Amazing Gracie ~~

 Thank you all so very much for the kind, comforting words following my last post. It means so much to me!  I haven't had much time to sit and write a post...  but I really feel the need to update.  It's hard sometimes to put words together.  

Our vet's diagnosis was a flare-up from her Lymes disease.  He gave her an injection and some predisone.  But still, she did not seem much better.  Another opinion was in order.  

Our girl Gracie is a tough one!  She is not yet ready to give up!  After a grueling couple of hours wait (half being in the car because of covid), Gracie received a very thorough exam and second opinion from vet #2.  He pretty much concurred with her regular vet in that her ear was still a mess, so he had it packed with antibiotics and told me to continue with her prednisone until it is gone.  While there, he found a large mass in/ or near her pelvic area, and for that, there is little hope.  He said she's as good as she's going to get.  But as long as she is comfortable and seems to be enjoying life, we will hang on.  I do not want her to suffer...  and so my prayer is that God let me know when the time is at hand.  She still loves to eat, follows me to my office multiple times a day for her fortune cookie, loves small walks and just being doted over.  The steroid has helped a lot, and she has been several days off of it now and is still doing well.  She no longer falls when going potty.  Some days she is more confused than others.  She will get lost in a corner or under a chair and wonder how to get out, and we will rescue her.  Sometimes she runs into walls or furniture.. gently...  but still.  We are committed to making her last days as comfortable as we possibly can.

We had a mini-vacation planned for last week, and my sister was going to stay with her while we were away, but Gary felt led to stay home with Gracie, and so my sister, daughter, granddaughters, and I made the trip without him.  It felt good to get away from the intense, sad, gut-wrenching day-to-day routine of watching, knowing my time with Gracie will end someday soon. 

My husband asked for one souvenir.  A bit of beach sand.  And so we not only took home sand for him, but Summer collected some of the sea for him as well.  A small price to pay for the great sacrifice (his) of sending us off on vacation without him while he cares for our girl.  






We are taking one day at a time, and enjoying each day, which is a blessing, with our girl.  



Thursday, July 29, 2021

THIS IS THE HARD PART

 This is the hard part.  

The watching as she falls in her own bowel movements.  The watching as she staggers around, trying to find her way.  The watching her fall over and over again and when her little legs give out on her.  Watching and waiting.  

Last night I made my bed on the floor, hoping she'd snuggle up to my feet like she does in bed.  But she's a creature of habit, and once I closed the door to the bedroom, where she typically climbs the ramp to join us in bed,  her routine had been interrupted, and she refused to lay at my feet.  I couldn't leave the door opened for her to climb the ramp to bed, she barely makes it, then she falls going down.

She slept sweetly though, through the night.  Up and down a number of times, and outside to potty, and then fall, not able to get back up.  I did not sleep, hardly at all.  

This is the hard part.  Waiting, while she spends the day at the vet's office.  Waiting for him to examine her in between his scheduled surgeries, to evaluate, how shall we move forward from here?

Is her time with us to end now?  Will we continue to fight to keep her comfortable?  I pray for discernment, as I wait for the vet's call.  I will likely go with his professional opinion - what now?    

This is not a very good post, but I just wanted to write something.

This is the hard part.

This morning, on our way to the vet


Saturday, July 24, 2021

A Day in The Life of a Senior Dog Mom

At 10 PM I begin the night shift.  This job requires, and/or is not limited to:  letting the dog out, bringing the dog in, watching that the dog is safe and does not wander into a corner and become lost, taking the dog out, bringing the dog back inside, moving my legs out of the way so the dog can sleep there when she wants to, cleaning up poop (in case I'm not pawed awake and she has no choice), cleaning up pee (same), taking the dog out, bringing the dog in, searching for the dog in the middle of the night to make sure I did not leave her out and fall asleep (haven't yet), making sure she does not fall off the bed, googling her issue of the day while trying to stay awake until I hear her bark to come back inside, cleaning up vomit, taking the dog out, bringing the dog in, etc. etc. etc. 

At 9:00 AM.  After coffee, God-time, and breakfast, I finish up my shift.  Kinda.  It takes 3 to 4 bags, and around the pool, I go looking for her night-time poops.  I examine them to make sure they are healthy-looking.  Then I dispose of them.  If worms are found, It's off to the vet we go for medications.  If her stool is funky-looking, I purpose to clean up her diet. 

Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 5PM, my job is not finished.  I need to monitor the dog.  If her eyes look weird and her head is tilted, it's time for another vet visit.  Note:  AC in the car does not stay cold after sitting for 2 1/2 hours in the hot sun.  (Covid restricts us from going inside)  So we wait.  Outside.  In the heat of the day.  When the AC wanes, it is my job to get the dog out of the car and take her to the nearby shade of a tree and don't forget the water.  Not for me, for her.  She needs to stay hydrated.  It's my job.  Oh, and I mustn't forget my debit card.  This one will be a whopper of an invoice.  It was.

Update:  After injections for some type of inner ear thing again, Gracie is doing much better.  She's hearing and seeing better, and her weird eyes look normal now.  She still needs her multiple outside visits from dusk till dawn, but, at least she can somewhat see me waving the flashlight for her to come in the right door.  

Today is a good day for her.  We never know though, what tomorrow may bring.  

#LoveMyDog


Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Rambling On...

Many ask, how are you enjoying retirement?  I am!  I loved my job, and especially when I ran my own business, but being retired is even better.  When I'm not busy shadowing Gracie and trying to make her comfortable in her old age, or doing other random things, I find the time to write.  I love to write, and I really miss blogging.  I have another blog going, but it's not a personal blog like this one.  I've even created another Facebook page using my maiden name, which I am keeping public while my other is private.  It's really weird.  I've hoped to discontinue my personal Facebook page and my personal (this) blog eventually.  But.  I just can't seem to bring myself to do it.  It's like,  you are my friends.   We've shared so many years.     

I've been coming back here, doing a little reading and a little blogging.  And it brings back a really great time in my life when I started connecting with you all.  I'd love to read about happenings in everyone's life.  I laughed and cried with you.  Some friends here have sadly, disappeared.   Some from dying, some just vanish.  It's the ones who vanished that I mourn the most.  I wonder, are they okay?  Where has life taken them?  Life is tough, are they doing alright?

*sigh*

I know I'm rambling.  These past several years have separated so many friends and family through politics and social media, and that is sad.   It's okay to think differently or believe differently.  After all, we're not robots,  right?  

God is love.  He commanded us to love one another.  Love is an action.  Everyone should just do it.  Be kind.  



Thursday, July 1, 2021

Bittersweet

A REPOST FROM 2015

My mom loved holidays.  She loved the food, the family get-togethers, the time with her kids, grandkids and grand-dogs.

 I can still hear her laughter.  Her complimenting the potato salad and asking for a piece of cake.  I can see her smile.

But with life comes the sting of death as well, and the 4th of July fireworks that were heard from her hospital room on the night she left this world will always echo in my mind and will be a reminder to me that our lives are simply a dash in time.

Our birth -  Our death.

Hidden beneath that tiny dash is the gift of life that God gave to us.  We can use that dash complaining and whining about our lives and the state of things or we can see every day as a new opportunity to move forward in a positive way.


Life can be tough.

 I think if we take "life" too seriously we can easily become depressed and withdrawn.  Yet...  If we don't take "life" seriously enough we can become stagnant in our growth as human beings.


Somewhere there's a happy medium.

Mom was fun.  She always had a smile and to my knowledge she didn't pay too much mind to current events or the state of the world.  She loved everyone and treated everyone equally.  She loved God and she loved Jesus.  What I admired most about her was that she would never say or do anything to hurt another person, not intentionally anyway.

I'm thinking it has been twenty-one years now.

I believe that when someone you love dies, a piece of your heart goes with them.


Tonight as I hear the sound of booms and bangs from the 4th of July fireworks in a distance,  I will be swept back in time...  standing in that quiet, hopeless hospital room, holding her hand and thinking about a hot summer's picnic beneath the willow tree in our yard as she asks me to pass the potato salad, please.





Tuesday, June 22, 2021

SUMMER

Because yesterday was the first day of summer, I thought I'd share with you our Summer without end.  It's hard to believe this girl is nine years old already.  She is friendly and kind, loves chocolate, karate, doing handstands, and does not have a mean bone in her body.  Except towards her sister, at times.  Then she does.  Haha.  She will be ten in December.  


I hope everyone is enjoying their summer.

We are sticking close to home, mostly.  Gracie is very needy these days.  My sister will be here to care for her for a couple of days in August so we can enjoy a few days and nights at the beach.


We are making the most of our time with our old girl.  A vet visit a couple weeks ago about put us in the poor house with tests for her but results were good. An Xray showed her heart to be in good shape and blood work all came back good.  


She has some dementia and trouble seeing and hearing.  But we work with her.

During our walk, my daughter taking a pic of her daughter, Summer.



~~~SUMMER~~~

 Just thought you might like to enjoy a little Summer on this beautiful fall day.