Thursday, May 28, 2015


Funny how if you just look, its easy to find something to smile about.

I was on my way home from scaling these steps for exercise.
 Yep..THOSE steps!  The ones that make my muscles ache for days after climbing them.  Yeah..THOSE!    I was sitting at a stop light sweating, chugging down some water minding my own business, when I glanced over and saw this!
 My camera happened to be in my purse, so I snapped a picture.
Made me think of all that I have to be happy about, and the week isn't over yet!

As much as it pains me to do those steps, they make me feel alive.  AND I get to have great conversation with my friend.  We laugh and wonder why we put ourselves through this every week.  We swear we are done with this senseless agony, but by the next week, we are ready to do it all over again.    
The week started with my dear friend Yvonne making this marvelous, remarkable, incredible cake for my son's college graduation!  She is simply amazing.   And...its all edible!  The salmon looks as if it was just caught from the river doesn't it!!!  My friendship with her is a gift.

A friend from California sent me a package.  Among other things, there was this!  She thinks of me every time she goes by this store that imports British grocery items.  I'm thinking there is a mixed message here?!
 A bird decides to relieve itself in 4 different places on my car!   I decided picking up bird poop was not on my agenda for the day, so I sprang for the "works" at one of those  fancy detail places.    When I went to pay, it was $11 cheaper than I was quoted initially. I had to be honest and say, "hmmm...that doesn't sound right."  To which she replied, "it's your lucky day.  It's a happy hour price!"
I've never heard of that before, but I'll take it!  I do love a clean car.

Life can certainly hand out lemons.  Someone I know is dealing with a recurrence of cancer and is right now stuck in a hospital bed.   I hate that life is not fair sometimes.  It stinks actually.  What I know is that all we get is today.  And this gentle soul would love to climb those steps, wash his car, eat cake and not be in that bed.  For reasons I don't understand, I am a blessed woman.  I have my health, a loving husband, two great kids, and friends that I simply don't deserve.  I just don't want to waste any of this gift of life.

This  week I am choosing to be fully awake for all those little winks that happen all around me.

I hope you will too.  

Monday, May 25, 2015

Aunt Mary

He died within days of my high school graduation.
I spent lots of time with him during my summer holidays.  I remember him well.
He was a man of his word.   My Uncle George.

One night, I was going on a date.  He told me to have fun, but "be home not one minute past midnight."
Easy request.

I was late.  Not by much.  Maybe ten minutes at the most.  But none the less, tardy.

"You're late.  Didn't I tell you to come home on time?"  I shrugged and brushed it off.  He didn't.
I spent the next day grounded, and ended up washing and waxing his truck for "punishment."  I would never be late again the rest of the summer.
You see, he loved me.  He was a paramedic and saw accident scenes that pierced his mind forever.
Mostly, he loved my aunt and my cousin Adam.

Those days after his death were difficult.  We were at a park and as I looked after Adam,   my aunt circled the  river walk.  The whys walked along side her as she wiped away tears.

Fast forward more than 25 years.   Things are different, as they should be.
Today  my Aunt is enjoying the United Kingdom!!
Here we are not long ago  at her favorite restaurant...  Lake Elmo Inn ...discussing all that she should see and do in England.  My only wish is that I could have gone with her!
 I wonder if she has seen him yet?
Or maybe him?
Has she passed under this bridge?
 Had a pint at this pub?
She loves to garden.  I am positive she has noticed the flowers!
 I told her she had to have a cup of tea and think of me!
I adore England and I adore my Aunt.  Such a pleasant thought to know she is enjoying my happy place right this very moment.

Thursday, May 21, 2015


Four  years of  cramming for exams...finished.

In less than 3 hours, our son's life looks different.
He walks on stage, and with a shake of a few hands...POOF!  College is over.

All that money, all that studying, DONE!

It's true what they say about "the journey."
That's where the living is.  Not the commencement. was grand, and for sure, I shed a few tears.
But, as I sat in the stands, I watched him.
He, indeed, is a little wiser than he was when we dropped him off those years ago to live in the dorms with kids he didn't know.  "Is he going to be ok?" I cried and watched through blurry eyes as he stayed and we had to go.   Had to let go.  So hard for a mother to do, but the rewards out weighed the teary goodbye.

In those magical  years, he has made life long friends.
Such good buds.  Terrible at washing their dishes and cleaning their bathrooms but hey, I didn't have to live there!  Such great memories that no one can ever take away from them.
There is a time for everything, and right now, we celebrate this tremendous milestone in our son's life.  

Thursday, May 14, 2015

No chains

Looking for a few ideas on what color to paint my living room,  I headed for the magazine section in the bookstore.
Skimming through pages, I overheard...ok, maybe eavesdropped...on  a couple sitting close by.  They were deciding on where to go to eat. 
"Are you really hungry?" one asked the other. 
"Not really.  How about pizza?"

I interrupted and recommended  a pizza place nearby. 
"They have really good pizza," I declared.
"Oh, we know better.  Have you been to Bricks?" they replied. 
"Tell me more," as I put the magazine back and gave them my full attention. 

"Well, once you have Bricks,  your 'where should we order pizza' days are over!"  he proudly proclaimed. 
He spoke of the authentic flavors of Italy, along with their liking for the wonderful owner.

I had to ask.  "Have you been to Italy?"  Smiles ensued, and we shared a lovely conversation trading stories of the places we have set foot  in that grand part of the world.

I have met the nicest people in bookstores!

Last night  I took their advice and made my way to Bricks.  They were right.  AWESOME! 


Very authentic.  My taste buds took me back to a cafĂ© in Cinque Terre where we had this exact pizza!  Margherita. 
I've decided I am going to see how long we can go without eating at a chain restaurant.  So much more fun to eat at a place like Bricks. 
Here is the website for bricks.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Old bookstore glory

This weekend I stumbled upon an old bookstore.  I told my husband I would be "just a minute."
Ha!  I spent a couple hours in there!

I got lost in the pages of history.  The place smelled old.  I had stepped back in time.
The books lined the shelves all the way  to the ceiling.  I got to use a ladder to get to the top.
Good thing.  I found this gem tucked between two mammoth books.
         Black and white photos retelling the story of "Prince Albert Frederick Arthur George is now become our only Lawful and Rightful Liege Lord George Sixth by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland, and the British Dominions beyond the Seas, King, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India..."
  I do believe I struck literary gold!!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

A visitor

The noise startled me.
One night this week I was reading in bed.  I heard a crunching noise just outside my window.
My heart started racing as I thought, its just my imagination.     

I heard it again.   Definitely not delusional.

Whatever it was...or worse yet...WHOEVER it was, stepped  on the rain gutter that was on the ground right underneath our window!
I crept out of  bed and crawled on my knees  to the lights.  I went around the house, flipping  on every single one!  
I'll show whoever is out there that I am on to them!  
Apparently that is not what one should do!  My husband told me that!  NEVER turn on the lights.  "Whoever is out there can see you, but you can't see them!"  I'll keep that in mind for next time!!

Meanwhile...I should add that I just found out that I need glasses!  No, not the kind that you drink out of.  Real ones.  The kind that help you  while driving at night and helps you read and actually see!

 They are on order!

Anyway...I am scared to look out the front window, but I do it anyway.  I rub my eyes and truly believe  my vision just might be a little off!     Remember, I need glasses!
With the window between us that could  easily break, there sat a  HUGE BLACK BEAR chomping on a snack of bird seed and suet right there just off our front deck!  I couldn't believe it.
He had snapped the pole off and was taking a snack break!    I thought for just a second to open the front door to get his picture, but then realized that maybe this would not be the most brilliant thing I  ever did,  so I called  my husband instead.

It was hard to sleep as I envisioned the bear breaking in the house!  I've read they can easily open a car door, so I went around and made sure all the doors were locked!  Yep...this is how my mind works!  Ridiculous!  As if locking the doors would stop a bear!

Have you had any critters..big or your yard lately?

Monday, May 4, 2015

A name

Just in case you haven't heard...THE BABY IS HERE!

Now the world waits for her name.  It's an important one.  She may be queen one day. 
4th in line to the throne.  That's a pretty big deal. 

I'm kind of hoping for Diana myself! 

It won't be long now to find out. 


Charlotte Elizabeth Diana

Diana is part of her name!