Thursday, September 12, 2019

Issues

It's not easy to see on your end, but I'm having some computer issues. UGH!

I will be working on them, and keep you updated. So sorry for this interruption in my posts.

I hope a new computer is not in my future. SIGH.

Monday, September 9, 2019

A Quiet Place

A tour of Dovecliff Hall, UK, in photos.
Bet you can't guess which room was ours?!
I love stairs. Makes me ponder who walked up and down. Kids chasing after each other? Maids? Servants?
The library. Every Inn seems to have one.  That's my cup of tea on the table. I spent a couple of hours in here finishing a book. Pure loveliness.
There were a few times on this holiday where an old typewriter graced me with its presence unexpectedly. A nod to the story I am writing. Serendipitous to be sure.
The grass definitely wasn't as lush as in previous holidays. So very dry. The flowers bloomed just fine though. Lovely color. 
See what I mean about the grass?

Lavender. I love the smell. I'm in England!
Our breakfast nook.
I ate every bit of my English breakfast.

A dreamy place to spend the night. I'm so grateful for this quiet, peaceful place.

Do you like to stay in hotels or inns? 

Thursday, August 15, 2019

A lovely stay

Have you ever been to Duluth, MN?
It's the home of the Aerial Lift Bridge. A recognizable landmark in and around Minnesota, USA.
Ships from around the world enter the Canal Park Harbor on a daily basis throughout the summer months. Visitors gather to watch their magnificent entrance under the bridge. It really is a sight to see.
This vast body of water is Lake Superior. It's as close to an ocean  we will get to in the Midwest.
Enger Tower.
The two above photos were taken from the top of this Duluth landmark. Best views of the city, hands down.
Isn't this a great spot for a wedding?
This bride and groom most certainly were blessed with the perfect weather day. The guests were treated to a birds eye view of the lake. Wow.
We weren't invited. Nope. Just got a peek because we happened to be in the area before it was closed off.

They couldn't have planned a better venue. Incredible.

Okay, this was amazing, but unfortunately, it wasn't the wedding we were in town for. We attended a lovely wedding on the golf course.

I spent so much time clicking away at sights such as this and Canal Park, when I finally did get to the wedding, my camera battery died. SIGH! No back up battery with me. Left it at our Bed and Breakfast. I know, smart thinking. NOT! Ugh!

My daughter was the Matron of Honor, so there will be plenty of photos to choose from. Just not any I took. Double SIGH!

Both my children attended University here in Duluth. One would think I would have at least heard of the bed and breakfast we stayed in. Not so.
I had never even known The Cotton Mansion existed until last weekend.
Shame on me.
It was brilliant. So very lovely.
Here's a tour.
Looks very English, don't you think?
Our very own guest entrance.
They ask that we remove our shoes upon entering.
I put some little booties on, and immediately felt right at home.
What a staircase.
The gathering room.
I met a really nice chap early Saturday morning while waiting for my tea to steep. He told me of he and his wife's travels abroad. I never would have guessed he was a detective for a police department. Such an interesting conversation. That's one of the things I love about Bed and Breakfasts. The people you meet. It's fascinating.
Chess, anyone?
The library. I spent more than a few hours in here.
Most bed and breakfasts have a library, whether large or small. It's my favorite place to be.

Weekend getaways are a marvelous time to recharge.
I hope you are finding time in these summer months to do some sightseeing and find a perfect place to stay that suits your interests and needs.

If you're ever in Duluth, check out the Cotton Mansion. You'll be glad you did.





Monday, August 12, 2019

Where to stay

This past weekend, we traveled a few hours away to attend a wedding.
I love the anticipation of what our accommodations will look like once we arrive. 
More on that Bed and Breakfast in Thursday's blog.

While in England, we booked B and B's far in advance of our anticipated holiday. We almost forgot about the enchanting places we decided on in the months leading up to our trip.

How lovely to drive through the countryside and say, "There it is, just over the field."
This was our last idyllic Inn on this holiday to England.  I enjoyed every moment at Dovecliff Hall. 

Why on earth would anyone want to stay in anything but an Inn?
I'm savoring the memories. Tune in next Monday for a tour.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Utmost

Meet Biddy.
Her name was Gertrude Annie Hobbs, but Oswald called her Biddy.

I just finished this fascinating read. It's a nonfiction book that has given me pause since reading The End. This woman dealt with extreme conditions, both weather and excruciating life experiences. You'll just have to read the book.

It's a story of perseverance in the midst of loss.
I guess what first drew me to Biddy is the fact she drank tea and wrote six letters every single day. Truly.
Kindred spirits, her and I.

Biddy grew up during the final two decades of Queen Victoria's reign.
Biddy would strive to do the very best in whatever she did.
Learning best when her hands were engaged, Biddy excelled in shorthand and typing.
Her goal was to be the first female secretary to the prime minister of England.

Life moved forward. She met Oswald Chambers. Like turned into love. Soon Oswald proposed in St Paul's Cathedral in London.

They married and opened a Bible Training College in Clapham Common, London.

War began. WWI.
Oswald was called to work with the YMCA in Egypt. He had to leave Biddy and their daughter Kathleen behind until it was safe for them to travel. Money was tight. (tight being an understated word.)

In the midst of all that, Oswald fell ill and unexpectedly died, leaving Biddy with a child to raise on her own. His death affected thousands and thousands of soldiers who loved him dearly.

Biddy persevered and felt called to make a devotional of all the teachings Oswald taught.  This is where her passion (shorthand) was used for the glory of God.

We know it today as this...
I believe the world we live in today would have embraced Oswald. He never judged. He and Biddy loved soldiers and anyone else they came in contact with. They lived by example. They loved like Jesus.
My Utmost for His Highest has never been out of print.
Do you have a copy?

Biddy lived by these quotes, which I have written in my planner and use on a daily basis...
DO THE NEXT THING.

When I don't know what to do, I do the next thing. Just like Biddy.   

Monday, August 5, 2019

Surprises in the mail

I'm knee deep in a writing project right now, but wanted to show you this beautiful book I just ordered from the Victoria magazine website. I highly recommend it. 
My heart warmed when I saw the front cover.
Arlington Row. The Cotswolds. I have been in this very spot in real life. It looks the same as you see here. 
I've skimmed through every page.  (Of course!) But can't wait to take some time and read every detail.
It depicts my happy place brilliantly.
You might want to grab one for your very own.


Monday, July 29, 2019

A Year


Isn't it incredible how quickly a year passes?
One year ago today I boarded a plane in Minneapolis. About eight hours later, I landed at Heathrow in London.
England. My happy place.

I want to do it again.
I just returned from a walk with hubby. The planning wheels are in motion. We have numerous ideas of where we wish to spend our next holidays. You can bet the UK is on that list.

Where are your ideal holiday destinations? 

Thursday, July 25, 2019

It's here!

My planner! It's here.
My last year's planner is only good until the end of the month. I've been scouting out new ones.

Not long ago I was asked, "Have you ever tried a Day Designer planner?"

"Never heard of it," I replied.

She proceeded to show me hers. Hooked me straight away. I went home and immediately ordered one.

Anyway...it's here! Just arrived a few hours ago!
Isn't it lovely?
Guess what I'm doing the rest of the night?
Goal setting, planning, using stickers. I'm going to mark it up good!  I can't wait to get started!

Do you use a planner?



Monday, July 22, 2019

Pottery

Off  to our next adventure. I tried to be helpful. Remember, we were driving on the wrong side of the road.
Hubby wonders if our next destination is worth all the roundabouts. Don't even get him started on all the traffic.  What he does for me and my big ideas!

I have to admit. It wasn't an easy drive getting there. A few times even I wanted to say, "You're right. Turn around." But I kept my mouth shut and helped him count all the exits on the roundabouts and we tootled our way to our next tour.
I'm so glad we pushed through the stress. So worth it. 

Where did we go?
Well, have you heard of Emma Bridgewater?
Here's a peek.
"Ask at the till." Don't you just love it. I love England. Just saying.
It was raining this day. We dashed inside, but I managed to snap a few photos of the entrance.
It may be a factory, but Emma sure does a lovely job of making it an inviting place to work.
Even the dogs are remembered.
The cafe inside uses the herbs grown here.
Off we go...
I'm hooked already.

Every single piece of pottery is made by hand. Every. Single. Piece. Oh the joy of watching a human make something out of a piece of clay and seeing the end result. It's so important to buy from a small company. The painstaking process of making something out of nothing. It's fascinating, to say the least.

See what I mean?
Here's the clay they use.
It's an art.
No computers here.
Hard work involved. Labor intensive.
Every design uses a sponge. The artists make them all individually. Isn't it just awe inspiring? I was speechless. Again. Labor intensive.
Remember. ALL with a sponge and individually painted.
Even Kate came for a tour!
I repeat. ALL individually painted.
We had lunch here. (Of course!)  I loved that they use only their pottery for plates and cups.  And the food was amazing.
Rain kept us inside, but isn't it a cute courtyard?
Even hubby had to admit it was worth the drive!
Don't miss a trip to Emma Bridgewater on your next holiday to the UK. You will love it.
Beware...you'll get hooked and soon will be buying the collection. Piece by piece.