Monday, May 29, 2017


Today is Memorial Day in the United States. A day to remember our fallen.

I happened to watch a documentary detailing our military. It gave me goosebumps. Each member of the military, past and present, is a hero. Period.

We live in very uncertain times. It's a different world. Last week showed us once again with the terrorist act in Manchester, UK. I'm quite sure the military presence over there across the pond is obvious.

I was clicking through photos of my beloved England back in 2009, and was surprised to see a few bobbies mixed in. They were there. I obviously took photos! But I don't recall thinking anything of their presence.  
I wasn't a bit scared back then, and I wouldn't be if I were there today. The terrorists are trying to make us fearful. They won't win.  The UK is resilient and will persevere.

I'm so sad for the victims of the suicide bombing in Manchester. My heart is broken for their families. It all is just so surreal. There are no words. Why there? Why the UK? Why anywhere? It makes no sense.

England is a beautifully and wonderfully created land. I can't wait to return.  For now, I take comfort in the words of Ecclesiastes 3 "...For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven..A time to weep...a time to mourn..."

Right now, I mourn for those families affected by this terrible act. May all the souls who died rest in peace.



Thursday, May 25, 2017


I'm nursing an atrocious ear ache this week. No wonder kids cry out in misery. That's what I'd like to do. Scream. Instead, I walked around my gardens. It was good for my soul.

  I have lots of trees in my backyard. Plenty of shade and homes for the birds.

Speaking of trees, this story gave me pause this week.  Trees. Both glorious and dangerous. Life is a gift, people.
Enjoy every day.

My yard is perfumed with the scent of lilacs. I sniff them any chance I get.
Picket fence. Tom Sawyer must be near! I love my fence. Makes me think of my beloved England.
Daisies. My favorite.
I actually enjoy pulling weeds in my gardens. Truly, I do!
It's Memorial Day. I'm guessing many will be working in their yards this holiday weekend. Let us never forget those who gave their lives so we can enjoy ours.

Thank you for your service. I am one grateful American.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend, America.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Her turn

There  was a beautiful wedding this past weekend in England. Royalty attended and a few wee ones stole the show.

Read all about it in the site below.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Torrential rains

It's a little early in the season, but wow, we are experiencing some pretty intense weather patterns here in the mid west. I snapped this photo of our backyard. It doesn't look like it, but the skies were ominous.

Not long after, rain poured from the heavens.  We're talking buckets and buckets.  Our gutters were overflowing, so guess what? I had to grab a ladder and clean out the "helicopter seeds" that continue to drop from the trees. It's an annoying ritual we practice every year around this time! Those dang seeds!

After watching this news video, we have nothing to complain about. My heart goes out to this community dealing with the aftermath of a tornado. This happened a little more than an hour from where I live.
Did I mention I hate storms? Yeah, that.

Monday, May 15, 2017

A Princess in the making?

I've been reading much about the budding romance between Prince Harry and American, Meghan Markle.
She sounds fascinating.

I'm cheering for them. Another royal wedding would be lovely.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Friends Forever

Pen and paper are my favorite way to communicate. Throughout my day, I think of who I can write a letter to when I get home in the evening. Sometimes someone pops into my head right away, while others take a little pondering.

Imagine my joy when I opened my mailbox a few days ago and a pink envelope was waiting patiently inside. I've got mail! And it's the good kind of mail. A letter. A real handwritten letter! I squealed with joy and ripped it open right there in front of my mailbox!

I love receiving letters. Especially when they are from dear friends who I don't get to see very often.
I'm still smiling! You see, this letter crossed the ocean to land in my hands all the way from Spain!
 I know my forever friend picked this card just for me. She knows how much I love tea!
This is Paula. Our happy friendship started in Spain last year. She is lovely in every way. So kind and giving, extremely positive and full of life. I take great joy in knowing I can hop on a plane and she would be waiting with much excitement to greet me!
 Don't you love her handwriting! I cherish this letter! 4 pages of Paula catching me up on her life. Oh, it's the best to have treasured friendships.
After I read her letter, I spent some time back in Spain! Wink wink! (In pictures!) I wish I was there right now!
Olive trees are everywhere.  I never tired of gazing at their silver leaves.
Yep, I found a few swans in Spain. I can still hear the crunch of pebbles beneath my feet as I crossed the bridge.
Beautiful flowers in blue pots hung everywhere. Flowers in Spain are breathtaking.
See what I mean!

Oh, I hope you have a forever friend in a land far away. Being apart is hard, but oh the joy when you finally get to embrace again one day. In the meantime, write! It's a wonderful way to stay in touch.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Still Fascinated

This year marks 20 years since the passing of Princess Diana. The fascination surrounding her life and death continues. This past weekend I watched two documentaries. One on Friday night was The Life and Death of Princess Diana. The other, The Last 100 Days of Princess Diana.

I thought I knew everything, and yet these shows gave me even greater insight into the Princess.  

Look at her. She was beautiful. She captivated the world with her beauty and vulnerability. She indeed was, The Peoples' Princess.
The Princess and her mother had a difficult relationship. That fact has always endured me to Diana. We had that in common, as my relationship with my own mother was at best, difficult. Her mother left her father at an early age. I can just picture the princess watching her mother leave with a suitcase in her hand, never looking back. Diana thought she was the reason her mother left. That made her feel unwanted and unloved.

That dark moment from her past shaped her. It was mightily important that her marriage worked.
She never wanted to be divorced like her mother. Unlike her childhood, she was looking for a home to be happy. She totally believed she had found that with Prince Charles.
I was reminded of this now cryptic quote by Prince Charles. When asked if they were in love, the princess beamed, "Of course."
Prince Charles replied, "Whatever in love means."
Quite telling from the start.

I loved watching the clips from the royal wedding. I remember getting up early to watch the fairy tale celebration when I was in 8th grade. Didn't most of us? Wink wink!
One detail I did not know...While Diana was walking down the aisle, she was scanning left and right, up and down the rows. At one point, she spotted her. Camilla Parker Boyles. She would later refer to her as The Rottweiler. Diana knew at that point, seeing Camilla present at her wedding, she was never going to go away. And she'd be right. On their honeymoon, Diana found Charles' diary. She opened it and a picture of Camilla floated to the floor. How horrible that must have felt.

Remember the infamous interview? Diana stated, "There were three of us in this marriage. It was a bit crowded." That interview paved the way for the divorce. At the point of the divorce, Diana gave up her royal security. I believe that was the beginning of the end.

These two shows gave me great insight into her last year of life.
I found this relationship fascinating. Hasnat Khan was nothing like Prince Charles. The heart surgeon was her "Mr. Wonderful." The program went on to describe their love affair and that of Diana's relationship with Dodi Fayed. I am of the opinion she was in love with Khan until the day she died. She knew Hasnat for over two years. From start to finish, Dodi and Diana only knew each other a total of 30 days.
    What a picture of grief. Imagine the smell of the flowers around Kensington Palace on the days following her untimely death. I wonder if Diana ever really knew how much she was loved by the people. Would she be surprised by the fascination of her life all these years later?

For all her imperfections and misdoings, I loved Diana.  She continues to intrigue and fascinate me.  She opened the conversation about feelings and she wasn't afraid to show emotion. We related to her and loved her even more when she touched an AIDS patient. She was real. While working with her charity to get rid of land mines in Bosnia, she came upon a cemetery. She got out of her vehicle and ambled toward a woman weeping at a grave site. Diana held this woman's face and wrapped her in her arms. There was a language barrier, but raw grief needs no words.  Diana cared deeply for others.

We can only speculate as to what might have been for Diana. But, I know for sure her family is her legacy. For that, she would be very proud.      

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Adventures in Chicago

Rain, rain. Lots of rain.
Chicago in the spring can be iffy with weather, and last weekend was no exception.With rain boots and jackets in tow, off we went. Fog hid skyscrapers and tourists hogged the sidewalks with their umbrellas! But, we managed to see Chicago quite nicely.

One thing I really wanted to do was ride bicycles through the city. Why? I don't know! I just thought it would be fun! We got an early start on Saturday morning with no rain forecast until later in the day.
Meet Ernie and his sidekick, Veronica.
The two helped us meander our way through the city brilliantly. Our butts didn't get sore, and the two of them kept their chains on the whole time! They steered us in the right direction and gave us wonderful views.
Along our route, we met up with a few shady characters-like this dude. A wannabe gangster! He sounded scary, but mostly he was full of hot air!
Speaking of air...a hissing sound coming from a bike tire is never a good thing! Our guide's back tire failed him about 3/4 of the way through the tour. Not good. Not good at all!  But he was prepared. See that box on the ground? Yep...full of tires tubes and tools. Smart thinking! He was no dummy! Me? I wouldn't have a clue how to change a bike tire! I'd still be there!  In minutes, we were back in operation and off to our next destination.
  Ricobene's.  An eatery hot spot. We would have never found this place on our own. That's why you go on bike tours! You get to see and do things you never would otherwise. So, what's so great about this place?
This people, this! THE BEST Italian beef sandwich you will ever sink your teeth into. Grab a bunch of napkins though! Juiciest, messiest sandwich ever. I'm really not a 'eat with my fingers' type of gal. I think it's improper and gross! But, there were no forks or knives to be found.  You know what they say..."When in Rome" this case, Chicago. So, I did what everyone else did. Picked it up with my fingers and hoped for the best! Basically, I inhaled the thing! I'm not even ashamed to say I ate the whole record time! I was so hungry. I didn't realize just how much until my husband said, "Hungry?!" I just nodded and plopped the last bite into my mouth, fully satisfied!
I needed that sandwich because when we left, it started to rain. Hard! Like a drenching kind of rain! We tried to put orange garbage sacks over us, but they didn't help! We just made the best of it for the next 45 minutes and laughed and peddled as best we could! It's the stuff of memories!

I highly recommend this bike tour if you ever get to Chicago. Ask for Mark and DK.