All posts by julieandgracie

The further we go the behinder we get!


O my goodness. Can you even believe it is December 10th already?! Only 15 days tip Christmas Day.  So technically 14 days til Christmas because usually we are starting the celebration on Christmas Eve.

Never meant to get so behind but here we are so there is nothing to do but go forward.

Here is where we stand:

Today Gracie has training. Then we pick up Mom and proceed to finish our last in store Christmas shopping. Pray Lord be with us and make this happen. Time is up on this as we have tons of stuff that much be wrapped this weekend and sent out in the mail Monday as my child and 4 grands live out of state and we won’t be together on the holiday.

Mom has felt unusually stressed about doing this this year. I think it’s because I’ve kind of done it for us and for her in the past and this year she is on the front line. Welcome to my world!

The two biggest and heaviest things I ordered and sent directly. Hope they do the gift wrap right at Amazon. I figure if the message is Merry Christmas they will know. Amazon does not give you a slot to specify what kind of gift wrap. Can I just take a moment here to pinch myself as I still can’t believe we paid $60.00 for a Minion suitcase for a 4 year old but YES we did! She asked for it for her birthday several months back and didn’t get it. When she asked for it again for Christmas I decided she must really want it and have imminent travel plans so who am I to stand in her way. Plus she is really adorable.

So hubby is going hunting this weekend so I’m going to pick up Mom again and bring her out for the day probably Saturday to wrap and box all these presents so I can send them out Monday.

On to the big grocery list. Our daughter and son in law are coming for Christmas and will be staying with us most of the time. Usually it is just me, hubby and Mom. To that end I thought I would do some baking. We are going to have turkey Christmas eve and ham Christmas day or vice versa. Hubster and daughter are huge fans of stuffing so he does that cooking. Mom and I prefer dressing so I make dressing for us. I’ll be making the traditional pecan pie and pumpkin pie. Also going to make a banana pudding as everyone loves  it, daughter especially. She is 4 months preggers so I want to be sure she has comfort stuff while she is away from home.

Home is decorated inside and out and looks wonderful! I still have burlap wreaths to make. So easy and so beautiful. You can leave them simple or embellish to your hearts content. Here is the URL

What you need for the wreath:

Wire coat hanger and wire cutters to cut it

Roll of burlap from the craft store (Hobby Lobby, Jo-Ann Craft & Fabric, Michael’s etc)

Embellishments of your choice.


Speaking of great smells  your home through the holidays…  We actually weren’t speaking of that but now we are. Some ideas:

Bake some apples in the oven covered in cinnamon

Simmer some apples on the stove in water.

Collect fir trimmings and decorate in the home

Febreeze new holiday scents are great for candles and sale de bain spray.

Freshly baked cookies never hurt either.

O my I’m tired just from typing it all. Have a lovely Thursday!

Praying…..are you a prayer warrior?


I am a prayer warrior. Always have been. I pray all the time, anywhere, anytime.

Prayer is powerful.  Yes, powerful.

It doesn’t matter the name you choose to call the Almighty. It can be God, Spirit, Universe. You get the idea. What matters is belief, faith and acknowledgement.

Touching on atheists for a moment. The word is  a noun defined as a person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of God or gods. Is a person saying they are an atheist often they have acknowledged that there is a supreme power but they just don’t believe in that power. That is completely contradictory and I’ll just let that sit there as opposed to going into a black hole.

I keep a prayer list ( a book actually) and encourage people to let me know by any means they choose if they would like to be added to my prayer list. I pray for that person then each and every day.

Please pray.

Give it a try. Pray for yourself, for your loved ones, for strangers. Prayer is not limited by knowing what the problem is, knowing the person you are praying for. Remember, Spirit knows all and already knows the situation fully.

Please email me with your name and a tiny but about your situation if you wish and I will add you to my prayer book and pray for you daily.

Please pray for me.


A baby for Chrissy Teigen and John Legend!


How wonderful that these two beautiful people are expecting! They should really make pretty babies!

Sorry that they have had trouble conceiving but it’s lovely that they are sharing about their struggles in support of others. The news indicated tonight referencing their story that 1 in 6 couples have trouble conceiving. I had no idea. That surprised me.

In case you are wondering YES  I love to keep up with “movie star” news. From the time I was old enough as a little girl I was looking at my momma and grandmama’s movie magazines. I have never lost this. Why not enjoy them. They put themselves in the public eye for us to enjoy!

What do you think?

Let’s Talk Politics


Oh my goodness. So much on the table being served and so many new dishes: Trump, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina.. what’s a girl to do.

There are those known dishes like Hillary and Jeb. Is it me of does Jb Bush seem to get quieter and quieter as time passes? He’s like the incredible shrinking violet!

There was a time when I had respect for Hillary but in the face of several of her decisions and how she handled them that time has passed for me. 2012 Benghazi left me raw and all the rest has paled in comparison. So she is not a choice for me for anything.

Ben Carson was a breath of fresh air until he recently stuck his foot in his mouth more than a few times and now I just feel befuddled. He’s on my back burner and who knows from there.

Carly Forina sort of leaves me unmoved one way or the other so I’ll just let that simmer and watch along the way.

Trump is surprising me in so many ways and I’m not at all offended by it.  do wish he would rethink his attitudes about women. He clearly loves women: he loves enough of them, married enough of them and has a daughter. So get your woman act together Donald cause you’re looking too good in too many other areas to let this one fail you.

I do think it was a low blow to Trump today for Jeb to send in his girl to question Trump about women. That was cheesy. Didn’t know Jeb could go so low.

What do you think?


So what did you do this past weekend?


I love weekends! Especially those that come with soft drizzly rain and a soft little breeze too. That is what we had this weekend!

And, while I’m always for time to myself, I love those weekends when hubby and I are home with no plans or projects – just relaxing watching movies, napping or whatever. That is what it was like this weekend.

As usual I ran those last errands on Friday for any missing food items, new DVD’s, laundry pick-up etc. Did a load of laundry or two just to keep it under control. (I’m very picky about how I sort and do my laundry so  I slip a load in here and there as the Spirit moves me). It’s the loads of sheets and towels that require an Advil upfront. I mean face it, who wants to fold a fitted sheet with those corners! I have perfected my own method though. It works good for me. In a perfect world I like to iron my flat sheet and pillow cases. I used to do  it but it seems like too much these days.

So back to Friday. I changed the bed and cooked a proper dinner and called it done. Hubby came home to dinner on the table (this is the usual for us because he is SO hungry when he walks in the door). After dinner showers, nighties for moi and sweats for him and then relaxing in front of the TV. That means hubby is in his chair with elderly kitty laying behind him and I am in my corner of the sofa with Gracie, laptop, knitting and glass of tea. Cozy.

Saturday we slept in. Gracie and I slept later than Hubby. We woke up and had delicious coffee while doing some art work. Hubby took a nap and I read for awhile. Then we went to get passport photos. It’s time to renew. And get a document notarized.  We grabbed a bite to eat and headed home. Just relaxing from there watching movies, knitting and doing some art work. Gracie got a stomach ache.


Sunday slept in again. Hubby got up first as usual. When he heard us stirring  he started cooking. Bacon, eggs, English muffins. Yum! He’s so sweet like that. So we ate and talked and spent several hours at the table talking and sharing.

Hubby went to the garage for some man stuff so Gracie and I installed the new cable box on the bedroom TV and laid down for a little bit.

You know you just have those days sometimes when you don’t feel good.

Our kitty is sick so Gracie and I will try to take him to the vet tomorrow. Gracie still had he stomach ache on Sunday but started feeling better.

Watched another movie Sunday.


Sunday night was excited to see the premier episodes of Blood and Oil and Quantico. Loved them both!

The day the lights went out in Georgia for me


8 years ago today on a Tuesday at 6 am my sweet Daddy passed from this world to another as we stood around the bed in his and mom’s bedroom  their home. Diagnosed and gone in 13 months. Take nothing for granted. Life is precious and time is elusive. This was a vibrant, active, social 76 year old Marine retired after 32 year in the US Marine Corps and retired again after tenure at  Coca Cola International in Atlanta. Major James D Manley.

It was the last thing we expected. All of us. Him as well. We struggled that 13 months. I am an only child who gave birth to an only child. My child had married 2 years prior and lived in another state. My son was very close to my father having been raised by a single mother.

I remember that afternoon in the first week of August being in the surgeon’s office with Mom and Daddy. The surgeon advised that surgery was necessary to remove lymph nodes. We all cried, doctor included. We all knew the future was dim.  Daddy asked the doctor if the surgery could wait long enough for him to go north and see his first great grandchild come into the world. We had just received a call while we were there that my daughter in law was in labor. The doctor agreed that Daddy could go and I drove them straight home to pack and leave. They barely got there when the precious baby was born. It was one of the happiest moments of our life. Daddy was overjoyed to be there with his precious grandson and newborn great grandchild.

The surgery took place when they returned and we moved forward. In September I married having met my soul mate late in life. Daddy was in much pain walking me down the aisle but we made it.  Daddy loved my husband and was very happy to see me  married after  many years of being single.





In April, 7 months into the 13 months of our last time with Daddy, he had a stroke at the register in Wal-Mart where he and Mom were shopping right across the street from where I was at work. God was good and the stroke did not hit the side of the brain that causes paralyzation. It took its’ toll on him but he recovered fairly well.

At this point my son had come to Georgia with wife and baby. He left the there staying with Mom and Daddy while he commuted back and forth as frequently as possibly. Everyday I would go over at lunch and right after work. My husband would come right after work.  We all spent as much time with Daddy as we could.  It was wonderful to be altogether having each other so close as we went through this. Mom had a difficult time during this period. In hindsight when she and I discuss it it seems like she emotional checked out off and on to cope.  I can only imagine how she felt to be going through this with her husband of 55 years.


August brought  the trip to M D Anderson Hospital in Texas in hopes of being in a trial that would get rid of this cancer and rally Daddy back to his life, our life, LIFE. While there he hemorrhaged badly, BADLY. My husband and I were called out that Labor Day Friday on an emergency basis.

Daddy looked rough. Tired and worn out but still with some hope as he always held a strong belief in God.

After a few days things seemed to be controlled and we were under the impression that the process for the trial would continue on. Just when we could breath again his doctor came to me and asked our plans. I told her we were going back to Georgia the following morning. She said “No. You can’t leave. Your father has only a few weeks left, a month at most.” In an absolute stupor I rallied my mother, husband, son and DIL asking the doctor to repeat this to them. I was positive they would not believe me at all because none of had been under this impression.

This lovely, caring and sensitive doctor sat and repeated this news. She said hospice was where we were at this point.  Moments later we all, doctor included, went into Daddy’s room to tell him this and ask what he wanted to do. He just wanted to go home. He wanted to depart this world in his own home. So, home hospice was arranged. Son went back to his work to tie up loose end and get back to GA. DIL and granddaughter got in the SUV they had driven to TX in and headed back to GA.  My husband and I made arrangements and Mom, Daddy, husband and I flew out on the first possible flight. One of the roughest flights of my life; I prayed continuously that we would get Daddy home alive.

And there is little else to say. I will save the intimate, personal details of that time at home to myself.

God, Spirit, the Universe…. use the name you use to refer to the all powerful creator, has led me to put this to words. Possibly it will touch someone,help someone, lend some comfort.

Daddy is with God now as well as the angels, all our relatives and furry pets. I talk to him every single day and our relationship is strong and vibrant and we know each other better than ever.

Obagi Skin Care


I went to my esthetician today. Every once is awhile I get sidetracked on my skincare and need to swift kick and a jumpstart. Today was one of those days. I’ve used the Obagi system for 12 years and love it. Not the easiest but the best. Not the least expensive but more than well worth it. I came home with  4 products for $368.00 but these particular ones last a long time so it’s not as if you buy them every month.

After so many years of not having a esthetician I am so glad to have one now. The first one I began with 12-13 years ago didn’t excite me so much.

Now Judith McKernan is another story!! She is the owner of A New You in Woodstock Georgia. The best. She is wonderful, the staff is wonderful, it’s all wonderful!

So we’re cracking down around here. Proper skin protocol tonight with Pixel Laser facial coming up on September 29th.


Orange is the New Black


After being so tired of summer TV I subscribed to Netflix (been wanting to anyway) and entrenched myself in late night viewing of Orange is the New Black until final finishing the last episode. Looking forward to the new season.

I am very intrigued with OISTB for some reason. Some of the reasons for me: The characters are really rich and interesting in many cases. Mesmerizing that it is based on the true story of Piper Kerman who also wrote it. Hard to believe this could have happened to anyone. The interactions between the characters is very interesting given that the are “locked up” (inmates and staff) and basically need to find a way to cohabit so they more or less need to *Get Over It*, whatever *it* is when something happens.

Could do with less of the sex and vulgar language but hey.. you know what they say about that. “If you don’t like it don’t watch it'”

So my bottom line: I watch it. Some episodes I want to rematch for clarity. On to Narcos for my next marathon