Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category


Bucket List

November 16, 2010

Make a quilt
Run a 5K
Visit Ireland (and/or Iceland, Barcelona, Vienna & Prague, Key West, Hawaii, Vancouver,…)
Go to Nantucket
Make a Dark Chocolate Cream Pie
Bake bread from scratch
Win the Academy Award for Best Screenplay
See my friend’s triplets
Wear a cool hat to the Kentucky Derby
Visit Mark Twain’s house in Hartford CT
Mosaic Wilhelmina
Make amends with friend SBS
Clean out the basement
Find more cool things to add to this list
Decide my ‘last wishes’ – sprinkle ashes in the Atlantic?
Dye my hair red. or blonde
Read all the books on my to-be-read list? yea, right. ha ha
Try inline skates
Fly first class



August 7, 2009

So.   I was just coming back from picking up the pup from doggie-daycare when I had to stop and wait for a car to pass.    While I was waiting for it to move out of my way, I noticed its license plate was from the fine state of Nebraska.


Well, we don’t see too many Nebraska cars up here in Massachusetts, so I was quite curious.   Luckily? — or was it just coincidence?   fate, even? — the car pulled into the strip mall which had a store I was planning at stopping at.   So, I did what any midwesterner- transplant to New England would likely do:    I asked the guy driving the Nebraska car, “Where in Nebraska are you from?”

He said, with a European accent, “I’m not from Nebraska.   It’s just a rental car.”

“Oh,”  I said.

“We’re from the Netherlands.”  he explained,  netherlandsbefore I could explain why this nutty American (me) was so curious why he might be from Nebraska (my husband is from Nebraska).

“Oh.  Well, welcome to Massachusetts! ” I said cheerily, and then paused a bit before asking, “Are you lost?”

The Netherlandian responded with a smile and a nod, “uh, is this downtown?”

“For Lakeville, Mass, yes, this is probably what they would call downtown.   Are you looking for Middleboro?   It has a more traditional town center.”

“We are looking for a hotel.”

“Ah, THAT I can direct you to.”    And so I pointed the way to the closest option for lodging, wished them good luck and waved goodbye.

Later, after purchasing bacon to wrap striper in for cooking on the grill and ice cream for dessert (peppermint stick and “The Big Dig”, vanilla ice cream with fudge brownie chunks, caramel sauce and chocolate chunks by Brigham’s, New England’s Premium Ice Cream), I thought about how ODD my encounter was with the car that was from Nebraska but was driven by a guy from the Netherlands.    I was regretting that I didn’t give them a map – I have plenty in my car.    And I was considering that I should have at least invited them to dinner!    or gone even further, invited them to spend the night at our house.   But alas, that opportunity for a truly good deed was done passed.

And then, I had to think, was it a mere coincidence that they were indeed lost and I was the one who happened to be there for them?

Hmmmmmm.    The universe is just one big crazy place, isn’t it.


Have you done any good deeds lately?     Suffered any odd coincidences?    Do tell!


Partial Post

April 21, 2009


I have started and deleted I dont know HOW MANY posts and thought I’d best just put anything ‘out here’.   But nothing has seemed interesting or blog-worthy.  I have been visiting you all and lurking (by ‘you’ I mean all of you who might be wondering what’s happened to me and why I haven’t posted here awhile.  You know who you are, right?!)

Allow me to give you a sample of various thoughts streaming across my consciousness:

It’s raining here today.   

I am addicted to the TV show Bones.   Anyone see it last night?!

I read 300 pages for last weekend’s 24 Hour Read-A-Thon.    It may not seem like much but it probably represents about 6 hours of reading time.     So, what was I doing the other 18 hours of the ‘Thon!?     I slept about an hour and half (it was a NAP!)  and I went to yoga class for 2 hours.   Of course, there are some activities that are difficult to do while reading and I did some of those.   and the rest of it, I was blogging!   Reading posts of other readers, participating in mini-challenges to keep us all excited about the Read-A-Thon, and commenting.   COMMMENTING COMMENTING COMMENTING and all the clicks and links and reading posts to comment on.    That’s what took most of my remaining 14 hours:   cheering on the approximately 150 other participants!      It was fun.   🙂

I’m reading The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett;  I’m about half way through the 972 pages.    After I finish, I will continue to read Oliver Sacks’ The Man Who Thought His Wife Was a Hat.     And then I hope to start In the Woods by Tara French.  

If you want to know what I’m up to blogging-wise and don’t know about my book blog, you may want to visit me there by clicking here.     

I’ve made a few pies lately:    Chocolate Pecan, Orange Meringue, Chocolate Cream, etc.    I’ll be baking a Bourbon Apple tomorrow.

Oscar is the most apathetic therapy dog in the universe.    But he’s loved and beloved so I keep dragging him along on my volunteer visits.   It’s not that he is unfriendly;  more like obstinately apathetic in a cooperative kind of way.

I haven’t traveled anywhere lately but I have a trip scheduled to Phoenix in May.

I’m having lunch this Friday with my friend Teeni – looking forward to that!    Maybe we’ll take a photo.    We’ll definitely be talking about Joan

When I logged into this blog today, I noticed that a few days ago, one of my posts had 133 hits.   WOW!    It was one of my Duffy posts…    I’ve been averaging about 20 hits a day here, in case you want to compare stats…

It’s really strange how I have set up such different worlds between my blogs.    Almost like having two different residences – my summer home versus my vacation home?    Totally different neighborhoods, weather, architectural styles…     It’s just odd, in a way.    

A huge happy hip THANK YOU to JavaQueen for granting me some linky-love and giving me an award!   The one called Let’s Be Friends!!   yes, let’s!

By the way, does one’s avatar ‘go away’ with disuse?     I’ve been leaving comments under this ID but my pretty little kite isn’t showing up…

Well, just bookmark this post for when you need to get some sleep.  ZZZZZzzzzzzzzzz.   But, it’s SOMETHING!



Four Things Meme

December 17, 2008

MusEditions tagged me!   Here goes:

4 places I go over and over:

(1) Oscar’s Doggie Day Care – drop off, pick up, over and over and over.
(2) The Home for the Aged;  Oscar and I visit Wednesdays and Thursdays
(3) TF Green Airport, Providence RI  – MUCH easier place to catch an airplane than Boston Logan.
(4) Borders – I can’t help it!  I love books.   And this is where I tutor since the Library is closed on Mondays.

Oscar and Santa 2008

Oscar and Santa 2008

4 people who e-mail me regularly:

(1) My husband.
(2) My mom’s side of the family is always sending out ‘stuff’:   birthday notices, old photos, jokes, etc.
(3) I get these crazy spam messages designed to look like I sent them to myself and I have 2 spam checkers that they squeak by somehow.
(4) DSW Shoes.

4 of my favorite places to eat:

(1) Wendys – I rarely go, however.  (and Arby’s and Sonic – I NEVER go because they are not in New England.)
(2) Harry’s  in Middleborough
(3) BB’s Lawnside BBQ in Kansas City (Gates is #2)
(4) The Black Pearl – NewportRI

4 places you’d rather be NOW:

(1) Back asleep in bed.
(2) Hawaii
(3) Aruba
(4) Fiji Islands

4 TV shows I could watch over and over:

(1) Third Rock
(2) ESPN
(3) Bones
(4) Friends

4 movies I could watch over and over:

(1) Kill Bill I & II
(2) The Breakfast Club
(3) Philadelphia Story
(4) Moulin Rouge

4 people I hope will respond:

(1)   Wendy – I realize you are having connectivity issues so whatever.
(2)  Elena
(3)  Grace Magazine
(4)  Hallie


Photo Friday: Windows

November 14, 2008
Click HERE

Click HERE

I don’t have much time to play on the PC on Fridays, actually from Thursday evenings, so this will be quick.  I dedicate this photo to Mrs. Nascar!     It’s a view from our rental car of the Kansas Speedway, looking east.     Taken in February 2008.



Cape Cod National SeaShore

November 2, 2008


Essay: What I Did This Weekend

October 6, 2008

An essay in photos.    I had 9 yards of dirt delivered last week and I moved most of it.    We planted a few trees and then celebrated by spending Sunday at the Boston Boat Show.   Good times.   I’m sore;  I’m tired.

         This is where that dirt went.   We built up 2 sides with railroad ties so that we didn’t have to dig as deep a hole for the Cedar tree nor have to buy a more expensive taller tree.   We are hoping this guy (the variety is ‘green giant’) will block our view of the neighbors so we can play naked in the hot tub.

          This is a less caddywompus view.   Anyone know how to spell ‘caddywompus’ correctly?

     Trees were 50% off so we bought this birch tree, too.    This spot should make for very happy tree – lots of wet land here.  And blocks the view of our neighbors playset.

  Then…  BOATS!!!!!

                   Any of these will do.   The one on the right is preferable…   Unfortunately, not as affordable.

  We completed our day with a lovely mid-afternoon meal at Anthony’s Pier4.   I had the Fish Chowder – yum!!   Then back home to watch football.   And the poor Red Sox.


Fun Bits and Pieces

September 16, 2008

The best advice for writer’s block (blogger-block, in this case) is to just lay the fingers on the keyboard and start typing.   Anything.

… ♦ …

I’m drinking cinnamon flavored coffee from the fill-the-bag brand (which I can’t recall, Java something?) that is for sale at the local Stop And Shop grocery store.    Sometimes I mix it with Dunkin Donuts regular flavor and sometimes with that AND hazelnut from Eight O’Clock coffee.

The husband was underfoot yesterday so I didn’t have much time to play on the PC.    Crazily, when he tries to work from home, his PC works much faster if the home PC is OFF.   Whatever.   I actually get a lot of house stuff done or I leave and go shopping.   (I bought a bunch of LLBean lighted hats at the outlet for Holiday gifts.   Yep!  I start  E A R L Y)

… ♦ …

Today is Maid Day.      Employing a cleaning service is something that I’m mildly embarrassed to admit.   But that is silly.    We got addicted to having a clean house on a regular schedule when I was working full-time as a computer programmer while also selling cosmetics.    I would rather have a cleaning service than cable TV and probably internet service.    I’d give up beer first.    I could think of tons of expenses that are frivolous compared to my clean floors at someone else’s labor.     Plus, I can feel good giving a person a job.    I would feel horrible if we had to fire her.   

It’s that regular thing that gets in my way when considering the concept of cleaning my house myself.   I hate to clean floors.   I don’t mind toilets and showers and mirrors.   Dusting doesn’t bother me.  But I abhor sweeping and mopping.     Plus, it takes me 4 times as long to clean as it does my Martha.     And, I tend to put off to tomorrow what won’t get done today, so the time between cleanings gets stretched.     It’s just better for everyone’s peace of mind and comfort to hire someone to clean.     Have I beat this horse enough?   Oh, it being Maid Day means I have to spend an hour or so ‘picking’ up and doing a few rounds of laundry.   all good.

… ♦ …

I love days of white snow on the calendar.   That’s what we called it on during my direct selling days.    When you have nothing going on, nothing is written on the calendar and so it’s like being blinded by the white snow!   Which usually disorients you and causes shutdown.   NOT a good thing.   Best to have a busy calendar.   But, since I’m not actively selling (I AM passively selling, so if you ever need a lipstick, leave a note.) I absolutely LOVE not having anywhere I have to get to!     But come to think of it, I do need to run over and buy dog food.   not a biggie…

… ♦ …

The funeral on Saturday was nice.   Despite the area getting deluged with rain the day prior, the cemetary wasn’t washed out and was amazingly dry!    I ended up switching my heels for flipflops anyway, but the sandy soil was held together quite nicely with weeds and occasional grass, so all was good.   The sun was warm, the service short, only a few tears.

I enjoyed listening to my cousins recap the days before Grandma slipped away and very sad I hadn’t timed it right to visit myself.     Grandma was worn out, her body couldn’t take living any longer.    Her mind was sharp but she was content that it was time to say goodbye.     Apparently, she had a grand time regaling all her grand and greatgrandkids with ‘off-color’ jokes and they had a laughfest only a few days before she died.     

Again, back to central Kansas:  only a few tears, a lovely parting service, and good Lutheran hymn and a lots of cake back at the church.    

… ♦ …

I can’t describe the confusion and thinking that results when someone tells me “I’m sorry for your loss” when loved ones die.   I realize it’s what you are supposed to say?   but my heart can’t or won’t ‘get it’.    I mean, thank you, of course, it’s nice of everyone to express, but.   BUT.    Death isn’t always sad.   Death is a part of life.   Why do we have to be sorry for it?     I might have regrets that I didn’t get to see Grandma in her last days but I did send her a beautiful letter expressing my love and sent pictures and little {hug} squigglies but I won’t be obsessing about my physical energy not being there right then.   I guess I believe energy takes many forms and I’m not sad that she is gone from my current dimension.    I’m glad her health struggles are over and I believe she lived a long time (age 93) to see many cool things and have an amazing impact on this world.    Four kids, seven grandkids, seventeen great grands, and eight great GREAT grand kids!     

She made the most heavenly fried chicken.    One of my cousins spent a whole day practicing with her a few years ago, attempting to recreate it.   She thinks it’s close.    

Anyway, thank you again, everyone who expressed nice thoughts when reading that I was attending a funeral.     This blogosphere is full of nice people, I do believe.   Thank you.

… ♦ …

Like everyone’s family, we do have some interesting characters.   That’s all I really need to say.     And if we’re going to talk about family and food, I have to mention that one of the very best things about the funeral was the home grown tomatoes served at the luncheon.     Nothing quite as wonderful.     

… ♦ …

I have read six books in the last two weeks, I think.   Yet, I can’t seem to write ANY reviews, or even sum up my thoughts and reactions.   Or tell you WHAT they were about.    It’s not that I don’t remember; but that I’m stumped for the right words.    It’s maddening and frustrating.   So I keep reading.   and thus, my to-do list of reviews-to-write keeps getting longer…       I’m losing the whole idea of why I love to read!

… ♦ …

I picked up the dog from the kennel (which isn’t really a kennel – too wonderful to use that word!) and he was so delighted to see me!    Or maybe he feigned it well.    Oh, what human characteristics we give to our fur-babies…     Oscar is my third dog and though the other two each have a special place in my heart,  I truly treasure this one.   He’s such a lovable goof ball.     When I brought him home, he inspected the place to make sure it was as he left it.   I was unpacking groceries and I could hear him touring the upstairs, jumping on the bed, running around in devil-dog mode, and then coming back to sit and stare at me, as I continued putting cans away.     He’s a dear.

… ♦ …

I’ve been invited to a party!   It’s called…      “Highballs and Hobnobbing”     Did you raise your eyebrows, like I did?   Yes, of course, I’m going to go.   

… ♦ …    I guess I’ll go change my meez…


Later Alligator

September 7, 2008

I will be off on an adventure and not returning until Monday Sept 15, which by the way, is the date that Costa Rica celebrates as a Independence Day.   I may or may not have a few posts to publish while I’m away – it all depends on what all I get done today in prep!

In the meantime, please enjoy these photos from Costa Rica.     

[updated:   I’m flying to Kansas THIS trip; these pics are from a trip last February….]



Photo Friday: Stained Glass

September 5, 2008
Click HERE
Click HERE


Readfield, Maine
Readfield, Maine
For another Photo Friday that features beautiful stained glass windows, click here:

“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out,  but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”

– Elizabeth Kubler-Ross