Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Camp Widow

No, it wasn't a camp-out kind of camp.  It was a conference for widows put on my Soaring Spirits.  They started with one about seven years ago; now there are three-Camp Widow West in San Diego, Camp Widow East in Tampa and Camp Widow Canada in Toronto.  I went to San Diego and there I was, along with 300 other widows and widowers (mostly widows).  Some had been widowed only six months; some, like me, ten years or more, but we all connected.  Why not?  Age didn't matter, length of time widowed didn't matter, home town or state didn't matter.  We were all in the same situation and, as several attendees put it, we all "get it."

There were round table discussions for new widows, for those who had suffered multiple losses; there were lectures on everything from learning to love the "new you" to getting back to cooking, to parenting teens who've suffered loss. If you check at the Soaring Spirits website, you can purchase tapes of the keynote speech and many of the workshops. On Sunday morning there was a 5K widow dash (I skipped that one.),a Saturday night banquet with balloons flying everywhere, a store with t-shirts, books, coffee mugs.  I gave a presentation on writing legacy letters.  (I always enjoy giving speeches.)

If you're widowed, check out Soaring Spirits' Facebook page, visit their on-line store and look for Widowed Village to connect with others

 
Hug!
 
 
Dance!
 
 
 
Remember!


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Summer Quotes for the Week





 
 
 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Tea for Two or Three...or More

Afternoon tea is so "veddy, veddy" elegant, isn't it?  My most recent afternoon tea was at the beautiful Fairmont Hotel in Banff, Canada, a place I may never get to again, but I wouldn't have missed tea time there for anything:
Scones, tea sandwiches, petit fours, all served with a specially made apple flavored tea and a view of the Canadian Rockies from the window.  Delicious and delightful.

My favorite tea room in Houston:  McHugh's Tea Room.  Light, tasty lunches, all the teas you can think of and scrumptious pies.  (You can even order a "pie shooter" dessert with half-slices of 3 different pies in larger than life shot glasses.  Mmm.)  The walls are decorated with celebrities drinking tea (not sure if these are real or photo-shopped, but they're fun), lots of interesting tea pots for sale, and excellent service.  I haven't been there at tea-time, but it's on my list.

Some friends took me here for my birthday.  I got a feather boa and a tiara. Fun!


My Great Books group meets at Te:  House of Tea on the second Tuesday of the month at 7:00.  I don't think they have tea time, but they have dozens of flavors of tea and very good dinners.  My favorite is chicken-in-a-blanket.  It's a quiet place, usually frequented by people who bring their laptops so it's great for book discussions.  The only drawback is that service is often slow; otherwise, it's great.

Gone but not forgotten:  Ashland House Tea Room, a huge, sunny place with, of all things, a tree growing in the middle of the dining room!  I took my granddaughter (and her American Girl doll) there for her first tea-time experience.  Memorable.

Other tea rooms I've enjoyed:  Serenitea in Sugar Land and Two Friends Tea Room (long gone)in Missouri City.

Do you love tea rooms?  Leave a comment with a photo if you like. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Quote for the Week


 
You can't have a rainbow without rain.
 


Sunday, July 5, 2015

Books of June

 
I read a lot this month, mostly to keep my mind off my flooded house.  Some books helped better than others.  See below.
 
 
 
A lighthouse keeper and his wife on a deserted post find a baby washed up on the beach.  The wife has miscarried three times and is in despair of ever bearing a child.  They keep the baby, setting off a moral dilemma that has far reaching consequences.  I enjoyed it.  In our book club, we often rate books on a scale of 1 to 10.  I gave it a 6.

An elderly widow asks a widower who lives a few blocks away to come to her house several times a week to sleep with her.  Now there's an interesting premise.  A "sweet" book, with a rather contrived ending. (No worries--they don't die at the end).


I am a big fan of Nora Roberts.  In fact, reading her Silhouette romances convinced me  to become a romance writer.  Whiskey Beach is a typical N.R., not one of her best but a fun read.

I ordered this book for my Kindle after seeing some good editorial reviews on Amazon.  Don't always believe what you read.  This book, written from a stalker's point of view, was disgusting, revolting, utterly gross.  I can't believe a woman wrote it.  On a scale of 1 to 10, it gets a zero.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Quote for the Week

We can make ourselves miserable or we can make ourselves happy.  The amount of work is the same.
            Carolos Casteneda

Sunday, June 28, 2015

My New-Old Gadget

It's now been a month since the Great Memorial Day Flood, and I have been coping better than I would have expected.  My "Flood Notebook" is full of interesting information that I've learned, like what "proof of loss" is, how many people want to dry out/clean out/rebuild your house, and most of all, how much you can do without.  I am back in my 5-bedroom house and making do with a bed, a breakfast room table and chairs and a chair for my built-in desk.  The bottom 2 feet of sheet rock is torn out all through the house, and the cat loves it because I can't close him in a room any more--he just walks right through the walls.

My dishwasher drowned in the flood.  The nice adjuster who was here explained that it's because the motor is underneath.  Who knew?  So now I wash dishes by hand after each meal, which is okay because I don't run out of spoons because they're all in the dishwasher.  But I don't like drying dishes, so I decided to try to buy a dish drainer.  I wasn't sure they were still around because frankly, I haven't seen or used one in probably 30 years.  I went to Bed, Bath and Beyond and, not certain the clerk would know what I was talking about, asked if they had a dish drainer.  Surprise!  They had several.  I bought the smallest, cheapest one...and I got a 20% flood-victim-discount.
Seeing it sitting on the counter makes me feel a bit like June Cleaver.  Yes, I know--some of you use dish drainers all the time, but I have been too lazy all these years to wash dishes without relying on a machine
 
Seriously though, the most important thing I've learned from the flood is how kind people are and how fortunate I am to have friends who care and take the time to check to see how I'm doing and if I need help with anything.  In spite of everything,  feel truly blessed.

 

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