Thursday, August 31, 2017

No words

The news has been bleak for weeks. I have no words for those affected by the hurricane.

I came across this quote this week.  It fits.

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you look fear in the face.

You are able to say to yourself, 'I lived through this horror; I can take the next thing that comes along.'

                                                                -Eleanor Roosevelt

Monday, August 28, 2017


Thursday marks the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana's death. Along with the entire world, I will pause on that day and remember her life.
What if she would have survived?

Two very significant words. What if.

I'll be pondering the what ifs this week.

Thursday, August 24, 2017


Still can't wrap my brain around why anyone would want to hurt another human being. It is beyond my comprehension.

I can't stop thinking about Spain. I ache for the families of those killed and for the many others who have been injured. It's all so senseless. There are no words.

I've had the privilege of traveling to Spain. I have dear friends who live there. It is a country filled with passion for people and culture and incredible scenery and music and food and and...I'll show you!
I loved the warm sun. I was in my glory.
BEST almonds you will EVER have. Guaranteed.
Shelter from the sun. I just loved walking around, soaking in the culture and saying hello to all these happy people. No, I didn't know the language, but smiles are really all you need.
I was fascinated with the flowers and the windows...I took pictures of everything!
Very popular restaurant. El Pimpi. The food... AMAZING! Eggplant was marvelous.
My dear friend Paula. It's just so great to know I have a friend in Spain and I can get on a plane and there she is! I'm telling you, people. There is a wonderful world out there. It's all just a plane ride away.

Don't let these horrific acts of violence paralyze you with fear. I'm preaching to myself here too.  I'm learning all of life is a risk. Most things are worth it!  Travel is one of them.  No one can ever take a memory from you. They last forever.

I love you Spain.  

Monday, August 21, 2017


Weddings take a lot of preparation. Sometimes a year or more in the making.

The wedding party is asked to be in one of the most important days in their friends' lives, and yet they don't even know the person they are walking down the aisle with.

We wanted to come up with a way to change that, so yesterday we hosted an Amazing Race.    

Can't say it completely mimicked the long running TV show, but it sure was a fun Wedding Style gathering.

They performed many tasks. A few included the use of a professional sky dive area close to our home. Freaked a few of the kids out thinking they were going to jump out of a plane! Psyche! No, they didn't have to do an aerial performance,  but just the thought of it was golden! Ha!

Another detour, they had to match the couples.
 Of course, I used quite a few from British history!
Recognize any?
Deep in thought!
So fun to make memories and learn a bit of history while doing it!


Thursday, August 17, 2017


The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the
serenity to accept
the things I cannot
change, the courage to
change the things I can
and wisdom to know
the difference.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Fun Surprises

Such a wonderful surprise to open a book or magazine and be able to say, "Oh wow,  I know exactly where this photo was taken-I've been there!"
That's exactly what happened when I opened this month's issue of the Victoria magazine.
The first three photos are from the magazine.

The next two are mine. I thought it was fun to look back at my Bath photos and see the similarities.
The above picture is obviously me! Couldn't wipe the smile off my face the whole holiday.  I was in England!

Victoria is celebrating the beloved author, Jane Austen, through the pages of this issue. This is the year of Jane. It has been 200 years since she passed away. The city of Bath is mentioned in all of Jane Austen's novels. A fact I had not thought of before.
In September,  Austen fans dressed in Regency attire, will arrive in droves to honor the queen of literature. I wish I was one of them.

My writer friend, Julie Klassen, will be among those adorned in style.  So will many of her reader fans. She's taking a group to England in less than a month. I do wish I was going, but a far more important processional demands my attendance.( My daughter's wedding.)
Speaking of Julie. Here she is with her very own Mr. Darcy in the magazine! How fun for her! Such a fun surprise to recognize her in such a popular magazine!

If you love Regency, she's your author!

This is the inside page. A view of the very famous Arlington Row cottages in the Cotswolds.
 And this is my photo. Pretty much the same picture, minus the stroller photobomb!

If you ever venture to England, the Cotswolds is a must see.  In the meantime, grab the latest Victoria. It will put you in my happy place the moment you open the first page.


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Last Month

As the calendar flips to a new month, I've pondered July. There's much to be grateful for.

I spent lots of time writing out invitations for a most important date...our daughter's upcoming wedding. Less than a month away now.
Meet Barrett. My new nephew. He's a keeper. Life. It's a beautiful thing.
Spent July 4 out on the water with friends. Best fireworks we've seen in a long while. I cherish my friendships.
Spent a day with my cousin.  He's become quite the farmer. Fresh food. A gift.
I loved spending time with my writer friends at this retreat. It was simply divine to brainstorm with them and just be with them. They get my need to write.
I had the extreme privilege meeting  these two fabulous literary agents. I gleaned so much from them that evening. They are truly lovely. Maybe some day one of them will be my agent??? A girl can dream.  
Ear surgery. Dreaded, but much needed. My ear is feeling better day by day. I no longer will take for granted my sense of hearing.
A bridal shower for my daughter. It's getting real.
The cupcakes were my favorite. Preparing for a wedding has made me more aware of my husband. He's a gem. I got the better deal when we said "I do."  He's exactly the person I need.
Spent some time up north with my family. Memories flood my mind the moment I arrive.  I always visit my grandparents' grave.  It is so fascinating to me that because these two fell in love, there is all of us. It's a lovely thought.
 This is my cousin. He's a miracle. I got to listen to the ticking of his artificial valve. It saved his life. I'm so glad he's here!
And this is my aunt. My dad's sister. I feel connected to my dad whenever I am around my aunts and uncles. He's been gone now for over 18 years. Sucks, but again, so thankful for relatives.
On the last day of July, I did this. Tried on my dress for the wedding. Eeeeeek! Good thing. It's a little snug. I have one month to give myself a little wiggle room. Here's hoping!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Not so fairytale

As the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana's death approaches, I'm gathering up as many books and magazines as are made available on  newsstands and in bookstores.
This week, a two part program on her life will have me glued to the TV both nights.

While reading, I had forgotten some things about her. Like, for instance, while Diana recited her vows on that fairy tale day, she mixed up Charles' name. She called him Phillip Charles Arthur George, instead of Charles Phillip Arthur George.
A small little hiccup that is referenced in all of these editions. How difficult it must have been for her. Every little thing she did wrong was detailed and exploited in newspapers all over the world.

As her brother was quoted, Diana was indeed, "the most hunted person of the modern age."

Charles Spencer was also quoted, "We are all chewed up with sadness at the loss of a woman who was not even our mother," he said. "How great your suffering is, we cannot even imagine."

Her boys are her greatest legacy. I'm especially drawn to the charity work the Duke and Duchess, and also Prince Harry, are bringing notice to mental health issues. Princess Diana clearly had troubles with bulimia.  We have no idea what it was like to be her. Always having to be perfect, pretending all was well, ALL THE TIME.

She had her flaws. Every one of us does. But she cared for the plight of the poor and those the world threw to the wayside. I will always be drawn to her.
I'm learning that I can do anything, but not everything. I will never change anybody. I believe that is impossible. I can only change myself. I can be an influence on those around me.

Mental illness is a part of my family heritage whether I like it or not. I'm in thought process about it all right now. Reading about charities and ways the Duke and Duchess and the Prince are getting involved, is giving me pause.  Again, I can't do everything, but when something makes my mind crowd with thoughts continuously, it's time to listen.

That's exactly what I'm doing. Listening for that still small voice.



Thursday, August 3, 2017


When was the last time someone did something nice for you and they expected nothing in return?

Better yet, when was the last time YOU did that for someone else?

Yesterday I was here.
My weekly workout on the steps.
As I lumbered up and down, I totally was taken off guard by this little miss.
A little angel named Flora who appeared on the steps and asked me,  "Would you like a flower?" And then as quickly as she appeared, she was gone.  Ambling down the steps, Flora was off  to brighten someone else's day by merely giving away a bit of her kindness to a stranger.
I was so taken back. So were other recipients.

I actually heard someone say, "Why are you doing this?"

I watched as she shrugged her shoulders. "Because."

Just because. That's why. Because the world needs more angels like Flora. Needing nothing in return, her soul was filled just because it is better to give than to receive.

I'm writing this moment in my journal. I never want to forget this lovely little moment when I met Flora, if only for a twinkle in time.