Monday, August 29, 2016

A forever fan

Wednesday will mark nineteen years since the death of Princess Diana. 19 years.

She continues to enthrall me.  There is just something about her that I will never forget. I wonder if it's the wedding of the century that I made sure I woke up and watched all those years ago. I believe in fairy tales. I wanted hers to last.
She was beautiful. I loved her hair and have tried to emulate it many times. I have to say there have been strangers who have walked up to me and told me I resemble her when my hair is styled just the right way!  I remember one guy who flattered me in the Noodles and Company restaurant! Made my whole day! Okay--I still am remembering it like it was yesterday, so maybe he made my whole year!
I loved walking through the Kensington Palace gardens. Such a treat. The flowers were especially marvelous while I was there. I like to think they did it all for me! HA!
I am forever grateful I was given the rare opportunity to visit Althorp, Princess Diana's childhood home. It means so much more to me now, knowing the museum showing the life of the princess is no longer available.
 The site where she is buried on a private lake at Althorp. I do believe she is now at peace.
I loved the wide spaces on the property. I imagined her running and playing as a child.
This photo near the entrance at Althorp just makes me happy. It is classic England. An old building and flowers. I want to go back.

I know Diana would continue to top the charts with her style. She was a fashion icon.
This recent article says so!

Would she have married Dodi Fayed?

William and Harry have done well. Diana would be proud. Many children have thrived after the death of their mothers, and these two are no exception. William married his love, and they have two adorable babies.

I hope to hear soon that Harry finds his true love. I remember that little boy, head drooped as he walked behind his mum's casket. How difficult that must have been to keep calm while grieving so deeply.

Life moves forward as it should. But, Wednesday I will pause and read all my magazines and articles I saved from those dark days so long ago. She continues to be part of why I love England so much. England's rose. That's who she was. May she forever rest in peace.

Thursday, August 25, 2016


Because of this...
we've been on the hunt for a venue. Its not been easy.  Can you believe venues need to be booked a year in advance of the big day? Crazy!   The choices are endless. Barns, event centers, outside, poolside, hotels, lodges, banquet halls, and golf courses. The list goes on and on. Its enough to make your head spin! Not to mention what it can do to your pocket book!

A few other choices coming down the pike for us...

Buffet or sit down?
Chair covers?
Flowers sitting on the tables OR rising above?
To Hor d'oeuvres or not?

Our daughter uses a spreadsheet to keep it all straight.  I am confident she and David will make the right choice for them.
It's all so enchanting.
I will keep you posted.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Ordinary days

Don't you just love it when an ordinary day turns into an extraordinary one just by someone else's act of kindness?

Well, I LOVE it when that happens to me!

This past week I did an ordinary, everyday thing.
I wandered on down my driveway and went to my mailbox. Yes, its rusty. We need a new one, but that's beside the point!
I proceeded to open the box...
and something other than bills was laying there, waiting to be opened! I grabbed it quick and secretly hoped it was something for me! I ran into the house with all the mail tucked in my arms, and ripped open the bag!

I smiled big when I realized what was inside.
School is on the horizon and you know what that means? Pencils! Sharpened ones. I love the smell of new pencils. Inside the bag was a brand new box of sharpened colored pencils. Such a simple gift, but it brought back great memories from grade school for me. 
 Along with the pencils, a sealed envelope waited patiently. I unsealed it and pulled out a handwritten note. I love it when pen and ink meet paper. It's a lost art. Cursive words filled the page. Cursive. Who does that anymore?  Each word, elegantly penned. The words  gave me pause.
Have you seen these coloring books? The latest craze. Coloring books for adults!  I love it! Especially because this person thought of me and what I love...TEA! It just makes it all the more special.
I paged through it right away, deciding which design I would color first. I stopped at this one. It somehow reminded me of tea with the Dowager Countess of Grantham and Isobel Crawley from Downton Abbey.
The coloring begins!

I am thankful for this person who, in the midst of life's ups and downs in her own life, would take the time to think of me and give such a thoughtful gift.

I am so blessed. Friends and family make ordinary, extraordinary. Thank you my friend.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

"Let them eat cake!"

Supposedly, Marie Antoinette once declared these words. However, it seems there is no record of her ever saying them.

No bother! I will shout it out loud because last night, I had cake. The very best kind you could ever have. Yvonne's cake! Eaten without a smidgen of guilt. Nope. Not one bit.
 Here I am with my dear friend Paula. Yep. My friend from Spain. She leaves on a jet plane today.  I'm in denial.  When you don't want to say goodbye--eat cake! It helps. Just a little.
Here's a cake Yvonne made for my son. Yep. It's pretty cool.  I know, right!  Yes, that is a salmon and yes, she sculpted it with her own crafty bare hands.  The cake is a masterpiece, but I'm telling you...the inside is THE BEST!. Cake Boss---eat your heart out!
AND, here's a cake she made for my daughter! (That's Yvonne in the background!) Pretty fabulous cake too, isn't it! Again...the INSIDE! YUM!  This depicts my daughter perfectly! She loves Vegas!   Yvonne is like these cakes. She looks GREAT on the outside, but aaaahhh...the inside. Her heart beats life. She is joy and gladness and kindness. All that is good.  
Yvonne is the "hostess with the mostess!"
These photos reflect our feast last evening. I'm so lucky!
I'm stalling.
I just don't want to say goodbye. SIGH. These two are among the nicest people in the world. I have the most wonderful memories of my trip to Spain. All because of them. Paula and Antonio. Generous and friendly and kind and funny and and ....I'm sad today.  

I wish we had more time together. I hate goodbyes. Knowing I can "talk" to them anytime I want on Facebook makes it a wee bit easier. Just a bit though. I'd rather see them in person.

I will again sometime soon.

Until then, cheers to you both. I already miss you. All my love.

Monday, August 15, 2016

The sweet sugar in life

Aren't these the cutest and most artistic cookies you've ever seen? I just can't bring myself to eat one!
Remember my dear friend Paula from Spain? Well, she's HERE! In America. With me!  Pinch me! We had a lovely time together this weekend. She ordered and brought me these cookies ALL THE WAY from Spain!
Look at the detail. Marvelous!  What a gifted talent. Want to see more?
Check out this web address. I enjoyed perusing through the pictures on the site.  LOVED the daisy cookies!

Paula really loves me! We became friends first through my friends John and Yvonne. Social media connected us, but when we met in person, we had a soul connection.  I  am tickled to know I have a sister in Spain. I can visit her and we can pick up where we left off. It's a magical feeling.

Paula ordered these cookies just for me. Me.
She ordered these works of art and waited. Time passed.
Where oh where could those cookies be?! 

Have no fear.  Just as Paula and Antonio were about to go through security at the airport, the cookies arrived.  Now that's delivery service. I wonder what the airport police thought about that?! A white box filled with teacup cookies being delivered just before a security check!!
Paula carried them on her person all the way from Spain.

More than the cookies, I love how Paula knows my addiction to England (sugar too!) and found a beautiful way to remind me just how much she knows me already. I am so blessed.
Me with my dear friends, Yvonne and Paula. Friends really are the sugar of life!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

The gift of 5 senses

Have you ever stopped to think about what a gift our senses are?

This week I got a crash course in the gift of eye sight.

I happened to be at the grocery store of all places. I grabbed a cart and quickly switched out my sunglasses for my "inside" pair.  No big deal. Take one off, put the other on.
In my haste, I jabbed my eyelid. WOW! That hurt!

With only one eye in focus, I managed to guide my cart down each aisle without crashing into anyone. I paid for the groceries, drove home, and all seemed to be fine. Denial. It works for a little while. Reality usually wins.

It wasn't long and I found myself here.
I explained what happened and the doctor assured me I did the right thing by coming in. She discussed  how quickly "blunt trauma" can happen with the simplest of tasks.

With skilled calm, the doctor tested each eye with delicate care and placed the dreaded drop in my right eye to dilate it. I waited for about 20 minutes for the liquid to do its magic. It was easy to pass the time.

You see, my doctor is pregnant! First child! We talked about lots of stuff! I asked lots of questions. (Surprise surprise!)  Questions like, "Did you have a reveal party?"

That's the big thing now. Expectant parents want to know the sex of their baby. Some go to great lengths to find out. I've heard of guests biting into cupcakes with pink or blue on the inside, balloons escaping from wrapped boxes... reveals can get pretty elaborate!
My doctor wasn't in to all that. After all, she is a doctor and when she went in for an ultrasound, it was pretty obvious there was a little boy bouncing around in her tummy! She just picked up the phone and called family and said, "Hey, guess what? We're having a baby boy!"

Back to my eye!

With my eye dilated and ready to check, she flashed a bright light and really peeked into the retina to be sure no damage was done.

To my great relief, my eye was swollen ,but not injured.
She is confident I will be fine. Whew!
All I have to do is place these drops in my eye for a few days and learn how to hook my glasses with greater accuracy!

We only get one pair of eyes. I'm so thankful for my sight. Take care of yours too!


Monday, August 8, 2016

Tea week in the UK

Did you know it's National Afternoon Tea Week in the UK?

Here's a trivia question for you.          How many cups of tea do the British drink in a day? 
I'll let you steep on that for a bit.

I was spoiled on my recent holiday to England.
These two made sure I had tea any time I wanted.
 My dear England friends, Marion and Alan.

One day I asked why their tea tasted so much better than when I make it at home here in the states.
I have a tea maker,sugar cubes and cream. Somehow it doesn't taste at all the same.

They shared their secret.
A proper brew! It says so on the box! "Bringing you a proper brew!"

We made a beeline to the grocer near their home and snagged a box.
Wish we would have bought more because now I have a problem.
I only have enough for two more days!  I've been on the hunt for the liquid gold.  Some specialty store has got to have Yorkshire Tea. Here's hoping I find some soon!

Each sip has been heavenly. I think its because I bought the bags of tea in England.

And as for the tea tasting so good over there across the pond? I'm positive it's because my friends brewed it for me themselves.  A proper tea all for me whenever I asked! Now that's something to celebrate.

May you take the time this week to sit and enjoy a cup of tea every day. I know I will.

The answer to the cups of tea drank in England?

165 million! 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Like oxygen!

It's so stinkin' hot here in the Midwest. Downright sultry.
On sweltering days like these, what's a girl to do?

Think gelato!

I frequented gelato shops any chance I could while in Spain. I guess you could say I needed gelato. 

Okay, maybe 'needed' is a bit of a stretch, but I was on holiday and filling up on gelato was like oxygen. Eating gelato sustained life! Wink wink!

Looking back at photos, you'd think that was all I ate!

I really did have gelato every day. Sometimes twice! No wonder I'm having a hard time with my zippers!
So many flavors!
I spooned in every bite...
I should have collected the spoons!
My favorite flavor?  Straciatella. (chocolate chip)
These happy girls saw us coming night after night. They had the little spoons ready! We got to try every flavor.  I wonder what they thought of us Americans!

Have you ever had gelato?
Which do you prefer...Ice cream or gelato?

Monday, August 1, 2016

The planning begins

Remember this?
1900 names on the guest list that included kings and queens, a tiara on loan from the queen, and an exquisite gown designed by the Alexander McQueen team.

A beautiful day viewed by millions around the world. A day The Duchess of Cambridge will never forget.

This weekend, our daughter began planning  her own fairy tale happily ever after.  
Her very own royal wedding. A special day she won't ever forget.
She got engaged! 

No, the guest list won't include kings and queens, and unfortunately a tiara from the queen will likely not be something borrowed.  Further, the dress won't be created by a famous designer, but its going to be beautiful.  Lovely. All because my baby girl will be wearing it.

It has been a whirlwind weekend. Already we have been discussing venues and  started the guest list.

Let the merry making begin!