Monday, October 30, 2017


When planning my first visit to London, I was advised to take a black taxi to our hotel upon arriving at Heathrow.
"It will cost you a bit, but not having to deal with the tube is so worth it."

I'm so glad I took that advice. I  was tired from the flight and didn't need the hassle of trying to be alert in a city I didn't yet understand. Besides, black taxis are an icon. An experience. My first adventure in London!
Black taxis are the cleanest ride ever. Not a speck of dirt inside. I was giddy when I slipped into my seat. The cabbie was professional and quite patient with this American anglophile. He asked me why I was so fascinated with England. He truly wanted an answer! I simply replied, "This is where Diana lived. And the best authors in the history of the world came from here." I gazed out the window enjoying my first views of this idyllic place. I was here. In my happy place. I was home.

Did you know that all cabbies go through rigorous training to drive us around the streets of London?
The training is called The Knowledge.

It takes drivers nearly three years...yep learn how to navigate the confusing roads.
The drivers have to memorize streets and hotels and attractions. MEMORIZE.  No GPS for these cabbies. Isn't that impressive? I think so.

I will only use black taxis in England. It's all part of the experience of taking a holiday across the pond. Ubers and mini cab drivers exist, but  I know how hard it was for the cabbies to get their license. They know the way and will never get lost.

Oh, and the sound of the diesel engine in the black taxi still echos in my mind. It's a beautiful kind of rumble. One I will never forget. 
  As if I have time to read another blog...I find this one. I love it. It's written by a black cabbie! The stories are fascinating. Worth the read!

Thursday, October 26, 2017


Craving nostalgia in the form of candy?
Jordan, MN is the place to be.

You can't miss it. A yellow building longer than a football field begs entrance just off the freeway.
The skies treated us to quite a show before we wandered inside. Breathtaking.
  Welcome to the boondocks!
Remember these?!!
Snap crackle pop in your mouth!
Quite simply, this place is filled to the brim with sugar.  A child's dream.

Licorice, peanuts in chocolate, taffy, chewy this chewy that, gum drops...its all in there. The challenge is to walk away and not buy everything in sight. 

I ran to this!
Others found relief here!

Such a fun field trip. Guaranteed sugar highs will likely result in tooth decay! But the trip down nostalgia lane was worth it.

Monday, October 23, 2017

A Date

Let the good times roll!
We have a date for a holiday across the pond!

July 27.

I'm a bit over the moon right now.

As you can imagine, the research begins as to what I'd like to see and do.

I'm not excited at all, said NO ONE EVER who begins making plans for an international holiday.
(smiling big here!)   

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Next year

Next year is an important one for me.

Like it or not, I'm going to be fifty. 

I've decided I need to embrace the age.

I want to like it. Actually, I want to LOVE it.

So, I'm working on 50 things I'd like to do next year. Some are big, some small.

As you can see, in both 2008 and 2011, I succeeded in finishing a walking marathon.

I HATE running. Loathe, detest, abhor. They all fit. Running is for horses.
I decided a long while ago that running was not for me.

Walking, on the other hand. Now there's a sport I can wrap my brain around.

Months ago now, my husband's uncle passed away at the age of 98. He walked 2 miles every single day. I believe that was significant to his health and longevity. 

I sat in the pew and pondered his life while we waited for the funeral to start. I had this epiphany while I sat.
Uncle George was 98. I am 49. Exactly half his age.
It really was something to consider.

What haven't I done that I'd like to? Do I have any regrets yet? Because if I do, I'm still around to fix it.

Not everyone is gifted fifty years. I want to make the most of every single hour of every single day. No regrets.

I'm starting my list, and this marathon is on it.
Yes, I've done it before, but never at 50! I just want to do it again.

It's a fun marathon.

There are food breaks every 3 miles, along with water and potty facilities! That's a plus right there.

I'm excited just thinking about entering and finishing next year.


Monday, October 16, 2017

My reward

Look what just arrived.
The latest copy of Anglotopia appeared in my mailbox this weekend. Great timing, as I made my writing deadline. You can bet that today I will be wrapped in my blanket, reading.

Look at a few of the articles inside.

Foyles bookstore!
Can't wait to read this article about the post boxes in the UK. I love writing letters!
Wordsworth. I love his famous quote..."To Begin, Begin."
Easy, right? Just begin.
On my list of places to visit. Twinings Tea.

Want your own copy?
Visit Anglotopia's website.

Thursday, October 12, 2017


Think of me these next few days.
I'm feverishly trying to finish an entry for a writing contest.

I will have to hit SEND by Sunday.

For some reason, the Top Gun theme song keeps me awake!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Getting closer

Remember this?
Miss the theme song? Click the site below.
Don't you just love the music?

Hubby and I are starting to think about when we can actually visit Downton Abbey. (Highclere Castle is the real name!)
I  get so excited just thinking about actually going. I would love to walk through the town and go to the farm where Lady Edith would visit Marigold.

Oh how I miss The Dowager and Isobel, Anna and Thomas.
The characters are not real and yet look how popular the show was. A story is all about the characters and how much we relate to them.

I'll keep you posted as to when we land tickets.  Keeping my fingers crossed.   

Thursday, October 5, 2017

My dad

On October 9, my dad would have celebrated his 73rd birthday.

John Lennon was born on October 9 too. My dad always used to tell us, "Did you know John Lennon shared my birthday?!"   Every year we could count on him saying he wished he was as famous as John!

Oh, but dad, to us you were memorable. 

My siblings and I have strong work ethics. All thanks to our dad. He made us work our butts off. Lazy would never do. We are grateful to him for instilling this very important value. He showed us by example what it meant to work hard.
Here's a picture of my dad chillin' with my daughter.
Here he is as a young lad with the family dog, Shep. My Aunt Lil and my dad were inseparable.
I love this photo of my dad. It sits on my desk. It was taken in Germany. He was so thrilled to be able to be there when my twin nephews were born.

Life stinks sometimes. Really stinks. I remember everything about the day my dad died. It was so not fair. He was just 54 years old. I cried for months. Maybe even years. It all was such a shock. I think about him a lot. I can't help it. What if he would have lived? I hit the replay button in my mind because I don't want to forget the last time I saw him.
My sister and I were going to an event and we happened to stop by our family home. Dad was there and we laughed and talked. Before we left I remember distinctively telling him I loved him. I'm so grateful I did. It would be the last time I would see him alive.

I have no regrets. Such peace in that.

My heart aches for all those suffering from the unimaginable acts of evil displayed by one very sick individual this past week.

It seems so surreal.
I know for sure that  those families grieving just want their loved ones back. There are no words.

I don't know what to do except to pray for peace. My heart continues to be with those hurting in Las Vegas.

Monday, October 2, 2017


My writer friend, Julie Klassen, just returned from a tour of England. She is a regency fiction author who decided it would be fun to plan a trip to England for her readers and her literary agent. She quickly found many who jumped at the chance to go. Spaces filled up quickly.  It was worth every penny they spent.   I  would have gone in a heartbeat, but my daughter was walking down the aisle the day they left!

Below is a recap of the adventure on her blog.

While there, she was blessed to meet actor Benjamin Witrow. He played Mr. Bennet in the 1995 movie version of Pride and Prejudice. Sadly, he passed away on September 28. I'm sure Julie was shocked as she just saw him a few weeks ago. Such a talented individual. May his soul rest in peace.

Have you seen the 1995 movie? Which adaptation is your favorite?