Thursday, October 29, 2015


Hubby and I reminisced last evening about costumes our kids donned on Halloween night.

We laughed as we thought of our son all decked out as a bunch of grapes.  Not the best costume for getting in and out of a vehicle.  You see, the grapes were balloons pinned to a green shirt.  A stem grew from his little head!  In and out of the car four times,  and he had had enough!  "No more mommy.  I want to be done!"

One year they were Arthur and DW.  I loved those costumes.  Still love those Arthur books.
There was a knight, a bumble bee, Addey (from the American Girl dolls), a princess, Robin Hood, and a dalmatian.

For many years, the prize at my door was a toothbrush and toothpaste!  I thought it was a great treat! The kiddos thought otherwise.  To them, it was a trick!   We literally have not had kids at our door now for the past three years.  I can't imagine why.
Just in case we get some ghosts and goblins this year, we have treats.  Good ones.
Happy Halloween.

Monday, October 26, 2015


Birds in my yard are pigging out at their new feeder.  Isn't it great! My dear friend Yvonne gave it to me the other day...just because she loves me!  I'm so lucky! We love to watch the birds flitting around, fighting for a seed or two!  I wait for my tea to brew while watching the action from my kitchen window.   Its the little things in life.
Even birds know an England icon when they see one!  What's that saying? "Birds of a feather flock together?"

Thank you so much for this gift that keeps on giving to our winged friends, Yvonne!

Thursday, October 22, 2015


Looks rather innocent wouldn't you say?

Pest,  public nuisance, pain in the butt, irritant.  That is what these Asian lady beetles really  are.  Funny how they were "brought" over to the states to control pest populations eating at alfalfa, pecan and citrus trees.  Now look at them.  They're the pests!    They infest homes in droves.  I freak out when I feel them crawling on me at night while I sleep.  They fly into my food while I eat, and bite me any chance they get!  The nerve! PLUS, they stink really bad!  Vacuuming them up relieves some temporary pent up anger, but then the vacuum bag starts to reek!  I can't win!

I can't stand them!  They are driving me crazy!  They're like a pesky fly that buzzes around your head, daring  you to swat it dead.  Believe me, I swat at these nasty bugs, but they get away!

I just read that they tend to choose light colored homes nestled in wooded areas.  Guess where I live?
We need a good, hard frost to kill them all!
Okay--I feel better.  For now.

Monday, October 19, 2015

More for my collection

This gem arrived this week.

Great for researching my novel in progress.
Of course, much information is written  between the covers of this atlas about Queen Victoria. She writes about her beloved Albert in her diary..."He is perfection in every way-in beauty, in everything...broad in the shoulders and a fine waist..."  Queen Victoria was devastated by his unexpected death.
Pages telling of the House of Windsor, and many pages written about Sir Winston Churchill.
I did not know he was the son of an American heiress.   He studied in Dublin, Ireland.  "His father died when he was 20, and Winston wrote to his mother to urge her to come visit him, which she rarely did."  Hmmmm, great information for my book!   I love reading about the history of England.

I also put up this poster in my writing room.  More inspiration.
I love England.  Can you tell?!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Okay, I will!

I met a huge writing goal this week.  One I still can't believe I actually achieved.

Last night I unwrapped some chocolate and the message inside made me laugh out loud.
I'm taking a few days off from writing, and like the candy wrapper says...I'm going to the bookstore!

Hope you are setting goals for yourself AND achieving them also.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Our Little Library

Little libraries are popping up all over the country.
I've wanted one for quite some time.
Sometimes, all you have to do is ask!

 Squeee!  This weekend, hubby introduced our little library to the neighborhood.  Is this not the coolest London telephone booth you've ever seen?  Hubby can do anything!  Our dear friend, John, helped too.  
  He made the crown and the LIBRARY signs.  Used a laser cutter.  He's a genius.  Just wouldn't look complete without them.
I'm still smiling.  What a lucky gal I am.
Thank you for the efforts to make this Anglophile one happy little library owner.
If you're in the area, come and grab a book.  Where else would you get a free book from a phone booth?  

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Perfect days

1000 Places to See Before You Die

Have you heard of this book?  Need a bucket list?  Look no further.  One can't possibly venture everywhere , but the book offers a plethora of ideas.  

I have to admit.  It sure is fun checking off restaurants, towns, states, and even famous spas to pamper yourself.  There are endless possibilities in this guide.

Flying to far off lands is definitely an experience I hope you have done.  
When we landed in England, I was giddy.  We're talking running around in circles, jumping up and down like  a crazed dog, pure joy, giddy.   I waited for years to arrive in this enchanted land.   The holiday was everything I dreamed  it would be, plus much more.  A perfect day, every day I was there.

We can't travel every day, although I wish I could!

When that doesn't happen, there are ordinary, perfect  days . Take yesterday for instance.
I started my day like most.  Got up, showered, made my tea.   I got in my car, drove to work. Ordinary day.

Until he showed up at my place of work.
This is my dear friend John.  Smartest man I think I know.  Really.  He's smart. I'm not.  Seriously! I am in awe we are friends with him and Yvonne.  Miracle.  I love how we met.  Anyway...

So, John comes to my office to deliver these...
He made them on his laser cutter.  Yes, I wrote MADE.  I can't even comprehend how he did it, and I saw the cutter myself!  What did he make these for?  Stay tuned.  My Monday blog will reveal!

THEN, he asked me to lunch AND I got to hitch a ride with him in his sports car.  I took a picture, but it did not turn out---BUMMER.  We went to a nice restaurant and had a lovely conversation.  A real talk with a real friend.  BONUS- I took part of my meal home with me and finished it for dinner!  I loved our time together and hated to leave, but had to get back to work.

In short, he's the best!

After work, I needed to walk off that meal, so I headed here.
Stillwater, MN.  The leaves are starting to change.  A breathtaking view.
I made it up and down these steps on this perfect day.  Up 8 times, down 8 times!  A woman on the steps cheered me on saying, "Way to go!"  AND an elderly woman stood at the top of the stairs and said, "You will live," to all of us stupid enough to climb those uneven steps!   I thought she was pretty hilarious!

I never tire of looking at the leaves.  This time of year, its as if the trees got splattered with a paintbrush. The colors are spectacular.
My reward for climbing all those steps!  Chai tea from my favorite cafe.
Excellent food, and yes, a cycle shop too!

Sometimes a perfect day means being with dear friends, sharing in meaningful conversation over a lovely meal.  Look around at this lovely world we live in, and drink in all that it has to offer.

I hope you enjoy a perfect day today.


Monday, October 5, 2015

Real friends

Princess Diana's childhood home, Althorp, is the main site of this article.  I have been to Althorp and have no recollection of this grave site. I guess that is the point.  It was a well kept it should have been.

Worth the read.

Thursday, October 1, 2015


Pretty sure the dealership intended to loan us this particular vehicle.
Look at it!
I mean really.  What was I going to say...  "Gee, that looks like way too much fun.  Thanks, but no thanks?"

Our car (trust me, it doesn't look a bit like this one!) was in need of some routine work.  I pulled  into the service area and gave them my keys.

"We've got your loaner car waiting for you.  It's an A3.  Just need to have you fill out some forms, and you can drive it away."

My first thought.  What's an A3?    I had no idea what the guy behind the counter was  talking about.

I signed my life away and they handed  me the key.  I asked, "How will I know which one is mine?"
"Oh ma'am, you'll know.  Just push this button here and the car will light up."

It lit up alright.  Practically winked at me as I pointed the button.  I slipped inside and I kid you not, it took me at least five minutes to figure out how to start the engine!  I tried to put the key in the ignition.  There  wasn't one!   A button printed in bold red ink with START ENGINE imprinted was my clue.  I pushed the button and nothing happened.  Instead, the dashboard blinked, instructing me  to put my foot on the brake before pushing that button!

I did what I was told and tada.  Success!  The car is running!  I thought about going back inside and telling them they can have their A3, but I'm pretty sure they would think I was nuts.

A screen lifted  from the dash and displayed a GPS, lots of radio stations, and a backup something or another.  The music came on loud.  I frantically tried to find the volume button.  None were obvious, so I just kept pushing buttons.  Pretty soon the sunroof  opened.  (Good thing it wasn't raining.)  Then the windshield wipers swept across the front windshield, and then my seat started moving!
After about ten minutes of mayhem, I finally pulled out of the parking lot.  I had some errands that I could have done, but decided to just drive straight home.  Do not pass go!  Just get home!  I did not want to put a door ding in this space ship!
My hubby was ecstatic when I drove in.  Salivating was  more like it.  "How did you manage to get this car?"

"Like I tried," I laughed.

"Let's go for a ride."  My husband was plain giddy.

"Just don't get a ticket."  I sound like such a mother!

We headed down the highway, going zero to sixty in about two seconds!  Funny how all the gizmos were simple for him to figure out!

We landed safely back in the driveway.  "How much do you think this car is?" he asked.

"Oh no you don't.  We are NOT buying this car.  No way.  No how."

He went to his computer and checked on prices.  "You're right.  We are not buying this car."  Disappointed yes, but whew!   WAY out of our budget.  

Our car is back in our garage.  Paid for.  Maintenance done.  Temptation over!  Fun while it lasted!

This car is an A3.  Audi.  Just in case you were wondering!