Monday, September 1, 2014


Our ten days in Italy went by much too quickly and the reality of it coming to an end was a bit sad. We were scheduled to leave Rome at 6:55 a.m. which meant we had to be at the airport ridiculously early which meant we needed to wake up ridiculously early. We decided we’d just stay up all night, get to the airport and sleep on the plane. What could possibly go wrong with this plan?  *ha*

As we began to pack, our suitcases seemed to have shrunk and the contents seemed to have multiplied. We had more fun packing and laughing than one should ever hope for. My sister, Shelley, asked in all seriousness, "Do you think this will close?" It was so funny. 

But Shell was determined to get it closed and the battle was on!

Shelley Ann - 1       Suitcase - 0    

Our final night in Rome was spent sitting around the apartment talking about the day, drinking wine and playing a drinking game Jess had taught us. Keep in mind that I drink very little so one glass of wine and I’m a bit loopy. The night continued with lots and lots and lots of laughs and lots and lots of wine. As we prepared to pack for home we slightly miscalculated how much wine we were bringing back to the U.S. so we had to drink 6 bottles that night.(true) Maybe it was the 20 bottles of wine we had delivered to our apartment that threw off the calculations! Needless to say we changed our minds about staying up all night and decided to get a couple hours sleep before the taxi guy showed up.

to be continued.........

Thursday, August 28, 2014


In response to an article in today’s North Platte Telegraph:

It is unfair to paint all homeless/transients with the same brush.  People tend to lump them together into the drug, drinking, stealing, laziness category or pass judgment of why they are homeless or why they are standing on the corner holding a sign. There is a misconception and stereotype that the homeless suffer from mental illness or are substance abusers. There are people with high paying jobs that live in nice houses that also suffer from mental illness and are substance abusers. Does that make one better than the other? Or one less important than the other? Regardless of their circumstances or choices they are human beings.

The article states that 46% of homeless live with severe mental illness or substance abuse disorders. If that statistic is accurate that leaves 54% of those that do not. How does it benefit our society to only give to the ‘deserving’ or the ‘poor’? And who are we to judge? 

It’s a tough coin to flip but when you follow your heart it will tell you more about who you are as a person than about the person standing on the street holding a sign.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Everything I've read says that when you blog, pick a topic and stick to that topic. But I can't do that. I've tried to organize my thoughts and make it "this kind of blog" or "that kind of blog" but it always ends us being "My kind of blog". It's not that I lack focus but my brain jumps around - a lot. Hmmm... is that the definition of lacking focus?

I started blogging as a personal tool to journal changes in my life. It's now become a hobby for me, a chance to record my thoughts, ideas, and feelings and compel others to agree/disagree/comment on what they read. It's an avenue to write...about whatever happens to be in my heart and in my head at the moment.
Blogging also allows me the chance to practice writing which is something I've always had a passion for. Writing helps keep the cobwebs out of the creative cogs in my head (and believe me, some days those creative cogs look a bit like an undisturbed attic in my grandma's farm house). So I will keep blogging and keep changing and be braver about sharing my REAL thoughts and ideas on my journey. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Saturday, August 23, 2014

St. Peter’s Basilica

This church is HUGE. It is one of those places that's difficult to find the words that will adequately describe it. The door of the church alone was massive.
It is a church first and tourist attraction second but the mere size of it made me think of it more like a museum of sorts. Even though there were a lot of people it didn’t feel crowded though - plenty of room to wander around and take in all the sights.

There are several small side chapels throughout the church where services were taking place but the main alter was incredible; such ornate architecture.

Amazing architecture, extensive history, glorious art displayed inside  - something for everyone. Allow yourself plenty of time to really appreciate it.

If you‘ve read the book Angels and Demons or The DaVinci Code, St. Peter’s  will have  a very familiar feel for you. With the sunlight coming in and hitting the wall, I envisioned this being the exact place the authors sat as they wrote the manuscripts.

Thursday, August 21, 2014


 This is the time of year where your kitchen counter is overflowing with produce from the gardens. Love it! It’s a lot of work to save those flavors while they are at their best but it is well worth it when you open your freezer in the middle of winter and see all the labors of your hard work.
Here is a recipe for muffins using some of that fabulous rhubarb you have stored away. Yum!
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup rhubarb, chopped small
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnut
  • Topping:
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Combine dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients, mixing only until moist. Fold in rhubarb and walnuts. Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over muffins. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.