Thursday, November 17, 2016


The United States is the ONE place in the world where every person has a voice in the democratic process. Regardless if the candidate I voted for won or lost, I had a voice in the process. 

I've never seen this type of hatred throughout America, whether it be on television, in conversations in our local communities and especially on social media. There has been racism and bigotry for centuries but it's different when you have people in leadership roles that empower people to think it's acceptable to have an intolerance against those who have differing beliefs than he does. 

I believe in the good of the human race. And I truly believe there are so many incredibly good people in this world who are overlooked because of the antipathy that is spreading in our culture and even worse, this xenophobia mentality is becoming accepted. There seems to be a "good vs. bad" outlook in our nation.  

We need to find our voices to speak out. We cannot be silent against the shift in our culture. This is not a game. This is our real life and we need to be a part of the change toward understanding, acceptance and benignity of other's differences from our own.

I refuse to let other's hate and ignorance stop me from doing what I know to be right.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Rain Rain Rain

The final day of our sister trip was my favorite day. It rained all day. It was amazing. 

There is something incredibly picturesque about people scurrying about with colorful umbrellas.

As if Venice needs more mystery about it, the steady rain changed the mood of the days before. 

The morning found the streets less crowded which was a welcome sight after the throngs of people we'd seen to this point. 
By afternoon however the tourists had realized the rain wasn't going to stop so the narrow streets became quite busy again.

 Rain was the ultimate compliment to the last day of our adventure. 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Friday, September 23, 2016


Italy has strict regulations on electricity which means that you can't run two appliances at the same time. 

We did laundry every evening - 1. because my sister loves to do laundry (true story) and 2. because after walking a million miles each day we were sweaty and stinky. 

One night we had the washer going and Shell popped some pasta sauce in the microwave. Didn't even give it a second thought. A few seconds later all the lights went out and we were in total darkness. Shell found her phone and we trekked down two flights of stone steps by the light of the phone to find the breaker box to the apartment. Italian breaker boxes do not look like the ones we're used to, at least this one didn't. Thankfully each breaker box had the name of the owner on it so we knew which one to mess with.

Shell found her way back up to the apartment while I pushed buttons hoping the lights would come back on. It took us a few minutes to figure it out but we got the lights back on and went about the evening. 


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Sister trip

Take a sister trip - or a sibling trip. 
Don't let those excuses delay you. 'When the kids leave home we will..'   'When I retire we will...'   'When it's better timing at work we will...'

Relationships take work, even relationships with your family. Maybe even more so because we tend to take those relationships for granted. Relationships evolve as we get older. 

It can be something crazy fancy or a camping trip in the mountains or just lock yourself in your house for the weekend and talk.

Although the location was amazing, the truth is, the location wasn't what mattered when my sister and I took our trip. It was the experience of spending time with my sister as two adult women. As sisters one would think we know everything about each other but that's not the case. We each learned something new about the other. Spending time with your adult sister is so much different than growing up sisters as kids. 

This is on the island of Torcello. It's only a few minutes from the island of Venice but has an entirely different atmosphere. Very few visitors and hauntingly quiet. In pre-Medieval times Torcello was a powerful trading center. In the 12th century malaria hit the island causing people to abandon the area. Currently there is a population of only 10 people.

Friday, September 2, 2016


 If your credit card doesn't have 'points' that build up, find one that does. 

We are funding the flights to Venice on points!
Two round trip tickets to Venice for zero dollars. No cost. Just used points!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Never Underestimate Your Boss

August is my favorite month. First of all (and most importantly) it's my birthday month. Actually my sister, Shell, and I share August birthdays. As kids there were many years where we would start school on one of our birthdays. I loved that. 

Why is it that once you reach a certain age there are no more birthday parties and the birthday day seems to lose a bit of importance? I don't know either but that's just not right. Birthdays are a big deal! There's that ONE day in the year that belongs to YOU. That ONE day where your existence made the world a different place. That's worth a celebration! So this year I decided to do something a bit different for my sister (and myself) for our birthdays. 

How does someone use vacation days without them knowing they'll be using vacation days?

That's the question I asked my sister's boss last May. 'Hmmmm..... well I'm not sure' was the answer. 

I explained to her boss what I had in mind and after some fandangling of the vacation calendar, her boss was on board with 'the plan'. I wouldn't say a word about it to anyone. The fewer people that knew, the safer the secret would be. From May to August is a long time to keep a secret.

So...recently, without her knowing I was in town, I walked into my sister's office at work. (Of course her boss knew I was coming and was in Shell's office when I got there). Shell was more than surprised to see me there and was worried something was wrong. 
No, nothing wrong. I just thought I'd stop in and give you a birthday card.

(I could tell Shell was thinking -what in the world?)

Inside the birthday card were two tea bags, which may seem strange to most people but my sister drinks gallons of hot tea with vinegar. (yes, it's as disgusting as it sounds). So she took the tea bags out and says, 'ok'. At this point she is completely at a loss for what is going on. :)

I told her to look inside one of the tea bags - where I had placed a 5 Euro bill and a post it note saying, "You and I are going back to Venice." 

When I tell her we don't have long before we leave I thought she may pass out. ha! She immediately says she needs to check the vacation calendar to see if those days are available and I nonchalantly respond, "We already have that covered."

My sister looks at her boss and says," You knew? I can't believe you knew!" It was a great moment.  

So, in just a short time we are headed back to Venice. Just Shell and I. We can hardly wait.