Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Royal Wedding

There has been a lot of news coverage of the royal wedding taking place tomorrow between Prince William and Catherine Middleton. Tonight at the health club, 5 of the 7 TVs were featuring stories about them. For some, all of this attention is ridiculous and annoying - too "in our faces." But I know those who think the same thing about sports - every major TV channel showing baseball, golf, Nascar races, or football. For me, I like hearing about the monarchy of Great Britain. I like their rich history; I like the pageantry. I was glued to the TV when Lady Diana married Prince Charles, and also when the world watched the funeral of Princess Diana. I own the movie, The Queen, and have watched it many times. Another thing I like about the Brits is the way they speak - both the pronunciation of words, and the choice of words. It's one of the reasons I'm a fan of the British Antiques Roadshow. Perhaps one reason I'm attracted is because of my heritage. As far as I can figure, I'm 7/8ths British.

Will I get up tomorrow at 3 am to watch the pre-wedding coverage and the wedding? I don't know yet. I would love to see it, but not sure if I can do it and show up for work on time. We'll see.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Sad Changes

Notice the trees

Notice the trees

One tree left

These townhouses are on their last days. I hope these 6 token pine trees are spared.

Two of the things that drew me to my current job were 1) the location - only one mile from my home, and 2) a beautiful office with lovely grounds. The first time I drove to it (before applying for a position there), I parked in the empty parking lot and looked out at three deer standing by the beautiful pine trees. I just loved it.

Last Wednesday, big rigs started crawling onto our property and one in particular began cutting down trees - not a couple, not 5, but nearly all of the 40 or more. These were gorgeous trees - many were tall, stately, perfectly shaped. A few of them brought nice shade to our parking lot and provided a wonderful spot for our picnic tables.

Why are the trees coming down? Our landlord has sold a portion of the land on which our building sits. The trees AND the town houses are coming down to make way for a Seniors' residence. It's sad.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

He is Risen!

He is risen! He is risen, indeed! Hallelujah!

Friday, April 22, 2011



Our department: L to R: Madalyn, Karen, LaVonne, Dave, yours truly, Alex, Paul

LaVonne gave a great speech, recognizing Dave.

LaVonne, offering punch refills

Today Dave, a man whom I have worked with the past eight years, retired. I have enjoyed him and his wife and daughters very much. It was his wife who once had me upgraded to first class on my flight to Seattle. She's a flight attendant, and made the trip so much fun for me. You can read about it here and here.

I had a lot of fun planning the retirement party which was held in our office this morning. On a road trip last Saturday, an inspiration hit me to use the theme of Home Depot for food and decorations. Dave has a lot of home projects he plans to do now that he'll have the time. I bought Home Depot lawn bags and cut them up to use as our table cloth. I cut the top off a Home Depot spray bottle and used it as a vase. One of their 5 gallon paint pails became our punch bowl. A tool box tray held the mixed nuts; a carpenter apron held the forks. I ordered a cake from Lund's bakery - asking the pastry chef to create plaid icing, using chocolate brown and Home Depot orange for the color palette. She did an amazing job! How can you go wrong with a Lund's cake?

I'm sure going to miss Dave, but I'll see him now and then. He'll stop by, or I'll do something with him and his wife.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I've been sitting at my desk with huge tears falling down my face as I have been reading the messages of sympathy in the beautiful card my office colleagues wrote to me. I was a very young girl - 14 years old - when the last sympathy cards would have been sent to me. I didn't realize it then how much it meant to hear those words, "I'm sorry for your loss."

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My Aunt Liz Has Died

This afternoon, my Aunt Liz passed away from this life. She will always be special to me, and I miss her very much. Aunt Liz, thank you for sharing your life with me and my kids. We all loved you.

Beverly Lewis' THE SHUNNING - Hallmark Movie

This Saturday night, April 16, the Hallmark Channel will premier the movie The Shunning, by Beverly Lewis. She is a New York Times best selling author, and is also a friend of mine. The Shunning is the screen play from the Bethany House Publisher's book by the same name. It is a story based on Beverly's grandmother's life. I know you will love it!

The Shunning tells the story of Katie Lapp, a young Amish woman, who discovers on the eve of her wedding she was adopted from outside the Amish faith, and that her "Englisher" biological mother is searching for her. The discovery so "ferhoodles" her that she walks out on her wedding and goes through an identity crisis before finally coming to peace with her situation. It's the first of three books in The Heritage of Lancaster County series.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

It might be me - but I don't think so!

Last night I had dinner with a nice lady who started working at our publishing house a couple of weeks ago. She is moving here from Colorado, but hasn't found a house yet. We each drove our car to the restaurant so that she could drive to her sister's, where she is temporarily staying, after dining. We had a very nice visit, and then walked to our cars. Much to her dismay, she had locked her keys in her car! We sat in my car and visited some more until her sister and brother-in-law came to break into her car, after having looked and looked through her purses and jacket pockets for her spare key and coming up empty handed. Tonight I went to dinner with my friend, Nancy. About a half mile from the restaurant, 3 warning lights came on in her Lexus! There was a gas station across the street from the restaurant, so we pulled in there and got out the manual. "Warning: Do not drive the car. Call the dealership!" or something like that. Nancy called the dealership, but they were closed for the weekend. Then she called the 800 number for the 24 hour Lexus road-side service. That was disappointing. The woman who answered knew nothing about the warning signs, and agreed to call for a tow truck. Nancy said no thanks and we decided to drive across the street to the restaurant to think things over. We placed our order, and lo and behold Nancy recognized someone. What a blessing. This man and his wife were good friends of Nancy's, and though he didn't know why these warning lights had come on, he told her it was probably a computer glitch. He agreed to follow her to my house and then on to her house. Driving to my home, there was nothing happening with the car - no shimmying, no smoke, no rattles. Nothing. She'll take it in for service on Monday. So, that's two nights in a row that I have been with someone with a car issue. Is it me? I don't think so.

Sunday, April 03, 2011


Nels has discovered how to get to the top perch! I watched him use his paws to grab hold of the side of it and pull himself up. He looks so cozy there. He really likes his new digs!

A Treat for the Eyes and Nose

Today my friend Laurey and I went to downtown Minneapolis for the annual flower show at Macy's (it will always be Dayton's to me!). This year's theme was Towers of Flowers. As soon as we got off the elevator of the 8th floor we could smell the beautiful scents. Wonderful!

There were flowering cherry trees, tulips, daffodils, orchids, amaryllis, azaleas, cyclamen, hyacinths, freesia, hydrangea, peonies, magnolia, rhododendron, roses, and more. Many of these were accenting towering shapes - including the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Eiffel Tower, and others that looked Italian to me.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

New Cat Tower for Nels

I wouldn't have considered a piece of furniture for my new cat, Nels, but a co-worker had nothing but praise for the one she has had for her feline friends. A couple of weeks ago I decided to check it out. Both then and last Saturday with Aurelia, I looked at many models and tried to imagine how it would work in my home. The more I thought about it, I thought it just might be the answer in keeping him off my dining room table and trying to climb my plantation blinds. Last Saturday I decided on one model, but had to figure out a way to get it home.

"Do these come unassembled?" Some do, but they are the cheap ones with a scratching post and flat ledge at the top. That wasn't what I had in mind. I wanted a place where Nels would want to curl up and take a nap, or lie down to stare out the window. I pondered it and decided to ask a friend to help me, since she has a bigger car than I. This afternoon we went to the store and looked at all the options. We measured the one I wanted and then measured the interior of her car. Yes. It would just fit.

Once home, I put it in front of the French door and immediately Nels started sniffing it; reached up to the rope-covered post and began scratching. Then he hopped up to the first level. GREAT! He knows what it's for! I lifted him up to the top level and he curled up in it and looked at us - at eye level. This is exactly what I wanted. He bounded down and sniffed here and there, and jumped up again. I think he's pleased with his new piece of furniture. I know I am.

I just peaked out of the cottage and sure enough - he's sitting in his new lounge.