Thursday, September 29, 2016

Fun on the lake

In the state of Minnesota, there is this adventurous land called The North Shore.
It's a great place to get bit by mosquitoes all summer long, sit by the fire roasting marshmallows, fish, canoe. Pretty much anything outdoors is fair game.

Well, we love it up there. So much to see and do.

For the first time, we went sailing.
I can't even write just how glorious it was. A sailboat is so much different than a power boat. This one cut through the waves effortlessly. So smooth. No sound. Just the waves lapping at the boat and the wind in the sails. Two hours of being still, pondering life on Lake Superior.
Fascinating how just this jib and a little wind moved us across the lake. What's a jib you ask? Well...a jib is the forward- most sail. Learned a new word! Here's a few other words...

KNOT-the nautical version of miles per hour; a knot is 1.2 miles per hour.
TILLER-attaches to the rudder and is used to steer the boat.
HULL-the main body of the boat.

  Want to know which way the wind is blowing? Just look up at that arrow. See it? It's like a cheat sheet, only its an arrow!
The Captain let me take the wheel. Said I was a natural. Hmmmm, don't think so! But it sure was fun trying!
Here is what the gages look like. See the one on the upper right? Well, there is a blue line on it. My job was to keep the boat sailing just before the lines match up. Not an easy task.

I'm such a sucker for books. This one was no exception. The wife of the captain wrote about lots of adventures while sailing on their boat. By the way, their boat is called Amicus. While reading the book, I found how the boat got its name.

"Amicus means 'friend' in Latin...Amicus was also the name of an organization I was privileged to work for that epitomized the way we aspired to live....dedicated to successfully reintegrating adult and juvenile offenders to society. To us, Amicus meant all that was hopeful in spirit and nonjudgmental in practice. Surely, we would feel strength being sheltered and transported under such a name."

Neat huh. I love this paragraph too..."Life is not about maintaining an image. It is, rather, about watching the image transform, about allowing plans to ebb and flow like the tide. There really are no bad plans if we give them the best effort we can muster." -----------Katya Goodenough Gordon

 I'm so glad hubby booked this date for us. It was wonderful to catch a glimpse of a life lived so differently than how I live. Who knew two hours on the water would fill me with such pleasure and give me pause. Remember..."There really are no bad plans if we give them the best effort we can muster."  AMEN.
Here is their website for more information. I recommend reading their blog. Scroll down to The Lost Ring. Great story!
Thank you for a marvelous afternoon hubby. It was a blast.

Monday, September 26, 2016


In my last Monday blog, I wrote about Susan Branch and the fact that she sailed across the pond with England as her destination.
Here is her latest post if you care to take a look. She is now in England! I am living vicariously through her these days!

I couldn't help but think of that voyage this past weekend. Hubby and I went sailing on a real sailboat!
More on this in a later blog, but my point here is this. Adventure awaits on the high seas. You can travel by plane, train, car or boat. Clearly there are many who have no problem sailing the seas. This captain took him and his family (wife and two girls) across the Atlantic on this sailboat. Yes, it took 25 days to get there, but they managed quite nicely. I'm still in awe of the whole thing.
Made me come home and look closer at the Queen Mary 2 and that bucket list checklist.

The dream is waiting. Check out the website below. I would love to have afternoon tea on board. AND get this...there is a HUGE library. The largest at sea! How wonderful.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Simple Joys

1. A garage to pull into when it's pouring buckets of rain outside.

2. When a dear friend who's not feeling the best asks if I could pick up Chinese. The best me the exact order of what his palate desires. I arrive, we help ourselves, and  plop down in front of the telly watching a new favorite show. The evening is spent in the peace of knowing this friendship is a gift.

3. A journal

4. Pumpkin spice tea

5. Lip balm

6. Pillows

7. Colored pencils

8. Dark chocolate

9. A handwritten note

10. A full moon    

What's on your list?

Monday, September 19, 2016

Bucket list

Susan Branch is a delightful author, painter and blogger.

One of my favorite simple pleasures is reading her blog posts, along with her many books.

She exudes joy.
Right this moment, she's riding the waves of the Queen Mary 2 on her way to my happy place! England.

On my bucket list is to do exactly that. Sail the ocean blue across the pond. Wouldn't that be something. I'm such an Anglophile!  Susan Branch is keeping all of us faithful blog readers updated on her adventures.
Here is the latest post.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Where were you?

December 7, 1941
November 22, 1963
February 1, 2003
August 6, 1988
March 22, 1990
March 09, 1993

Any of these dates ring a bell?
A few of them should. Others? Well, they are only significant to me. Dates I will never forget.

September 11, 2001
This is a date we should never forget.  

Rudy Giuliani was quoted, "We have met the worst of humanity with the best of humanity."

Where were you on September 11, 2001? Do you remember? I sure do. 

I was seating a patient in the dental office where I worked.   I remember he lumbered to the dental chair. Not unusual. It's not a chair most would run to!  He was distraught. Rubbed his hands through his hair as he settled in. I asked, "I realize this isn't a favorite place for most, but are you alright? You seem a bit anxious." 

Right away he answered. "A plane just flew into the World Trade Center."

We talked of how that scenario could have possibly happened. Soon, everyone in the office was talking about it. Patient after patient came in telling of planes flying into buildings. We were stunned. All of us. We looked at each other with gazed faces. We soon realized this wasn't an accident. 

You know the rest. At least you should. That day should be seared into your conscious like the day Kennedy was shot. November 22, 1963. Which, by the way, was the same day the author ( my favorite ) CS Lewis, died. 

I went home on September 11, 2001. I wasn't on one of those planes. I got to see my family that night. Didn't have to call and say my goodbyes from a sky phone. What was that like? Knowing you were going to look evil in the eye?  Were they calm? Did they say what they wanted to say? 

On September 11, 2001, I cried. A lot. My son wiped a tear from my cheek and said, "I'ts okay mommy. It's okay." 
I shook my head and said, "No Mark. Today it's not okay." 

Those people would want to be alive today. They would have wanted to come home and do all the ordinary, daily things they did every day. Things they probably did that morning. Things like hitting the snooze button a few times, shuffle to the coffee maker, take a shower and rush out to their ordinary day. Only, it wasn't an ordinary day. Today they would die at the hands of evil. They never could have possibly imagined such a thing could ever happen. But it did. May we never ever forget that awful day. Time shouldn't blur what happened on September 11, 2001. We owe it to them to live our days full and well. 

I pledge to do just that. Will you join me?    

By the way. Those dates above? 

Pearl Harbor
Kennedy Assassination/CS Lewis death
Columbia space shuttle disaster
My wedding date
My daughter's birth
My son's birth


Monday, September 12, 2016

Wish I was there!

My writer friend, Julie Klassen,  is in Bath, England right now. That lucky girl!

She is there for the Jane Austen festival.

I can just picture all those Jane Austen fans promenading up and down the streets of Bath in their regency attire. Oh, how I wish I could have been there.

Of course, knowing Julie is in Bath made me click through the photos I took while there in August of 2009. The sun was shining and the English were out enjoying a perfect day.

Millions come to visit Bath. Tourism is big in this historical city. Close to the Cotswolds, Bath is a perfect place to see idyllic England in all its architectural splendor.

 Trying the water at the Baths. Honestly, I didn't much care for it!

Back to Jane...
Remember, Jane Austen lived to be just 41 years old. Born in 1775, she died in 1817. Forty one years to live her dash. 1775----1817.
She was, perhaps, the most well loved author in all of history. People flock to Winchester Cathedral to pay their respects, and right this moment Jane fans are in Bath enjoying a festival named in her honor. Her books most certainly will be read for generations to come.

I'm thinking of joining the society!

Thursday, September 8, 2016


Finally. Answers.
On October 22, 1989, innocence was lost on a rural road in Minnesota.

I remember this case well. I was pregnant with my daughter. I was scared. For me. For my soon to be born child. For all children everywhere. The world wasn't safe anymore. It never was. This crime magnified the fact that there are vile people roaming around, ready to pounce.  

It was dusk. Three innocent little boys road their bicycles along  a dirt road. They were on their way back from a convenience store with a video to watch. Life was normal and good.

They had no idea evil was lurking.

A man wearing a mask came out of nowhere and brandished a gun. He ordered them off their bicycles. He made them lie face down in the ditch and asked their names and ages.

He let two of them go. He snatched Jacob Wetterling. The boy was never seen again.

27 long years have gone by.
That haunting question...What happened to Jacob Wetterling?  

I can't even imagine the pain those two boys have gone through. And the parents...I have no words.

This week, they got answers. Finally. After all these years. Not the ones they wanted, but gut wrenching, heartbreaking answers. Their Jacob was dead. Killed by a sociopath.

News outlets and papers tell the story. I don't need to repeat it.

I've spent the last few days processing.  Honestly, it has been hard for me to sleep. I'm a mother. I imagine myself holding Patty's hand. Silence between us. Just being present. Mom to mom. Only, this mom (me) has her babies. Both of them. Today they are safe.

October 22, 1989 changed Patty's life forever.

Why her and not me? I'm so selfish to be grateful it wasn't me, because it could have been. It could have happened to any one of us. We can't always be with our child.
I weep for her. I pray for peace. I pray for strength. Most of all though, I thank God she knows what happened. Is it closure? I'm not so sure.
Closure is like turning the pages in a book and reading, THE END.  Jacob wasn't some fictitious character. Jacob was a precious child. A beautiful little boy who was robbed of a beautiful life. Jacob was loved by a lovely family full of hope that he would one day return to them.

I'm so sorry, Wetterling family. I'm just so very sorry.  

May Jacob Wetterling now rest in peace.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Oh the places I will go

On such rare occasions do I find myself wandering around this place.
The Mall of America. UGH!

First of all, there are way too many stores! It is sensory overload for me. I am the world's worst shopper.
Secondly, the people. The place is crawling with shoppers carrying bags of merchandise they really don't need.
Overindulgence at its finest.
But, before I get on a soapbox about excess, I must confess. I would do just about anything to get my hands on tea! If a new store happens to be in the biggest mall in the nation?  Well...a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do, right?!

I slipped on my tennis shoes and hooked on my pedometer.  I wasn't missing out on my 10,000 steps for the day! Easy steps to attain there at the mall.

It took some doing, but I found the treasured store!
A barista brought me samples! Pumpkin Chai and an iced lemonade. Well played! I bought them both!
So many flavors. Birthday cake, chocolate orange, honey crisp apple. I wanted them all. (Notice I didn't say 'need.' wink wink!)

BONUS. A patient from the office I work at happened to walk in the store not long after me. It was obvious she frequents this place!  She told me the ones she had at home and had a list of all those she needed to stock up on. What a pro! And I thought I knew tea.
 A few of my favorite buys. Brewed the chocolate mint when I got home. Good thing I bought a canister of it. It's not going to last long!
Lucky for me they have a web store too!

Do you have a Davids TEA near you?

Thursday, September 1, 2016


I read Our Daily Bread as part of my devotions. Imagine my surprise when my September, October, November issue arrived with a picture of Spain on the cover!
Brought me right back to memories of my summer adventure in Cordoba.
 I was there! In Cordoba! So much fun to see a photo of a far away land and get to say, "I was there!"
I had such a lovely time.  Here I am all warm and full. Full of joy and food!  So content.
This is the bridge I am standing on in the above photo.

Another reason I was so happy...Paula came to our rescue. A pickpocket lady was about to make her move on us! She had a sidekick with her to distract me. A little child. How rude! Well, she didn't get any of our money! We had Paula. She shooed her away! Whew! Sneaky, but there's no foolin' us!
A super splendid educational thing we did in Cordoba was visit The Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba. All I can say is WOW.
"The Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba is one of the most unique monuments in the world. It has borne witness to a millenary alliance of art and faith."      (a quote inside the brochure I have.)

The detail in this cathedral is awe inspiring. You must see it for yourself. Pictures just can't possibly do it justice.
Yep. A must see.
We did a lot of walking in Spain. Good exercise. Gave me a chance to really look around. Observe my surroundings. I loved Flower Street. How simple to paint a pot blue and plant flowers inside! Gorgeous. Simply divine.
 The hotel we stayed at in Cordoba. I highly recommend it! Wonderful place.
I got to crash a wedding party on the roof of the hotel! You can barely see, but this is me having a photo taken with the beautiful bride!
  A lovely time was had in Cordoba. Made possible by our lovely hosts, Antonio and Paula.  Blowing kisses your way you two! All our love.