Venice Finally

Canal from Accademia Bridge

Yesterday was my birthday. Yup, 50 is here. But it’s not so bad because I am in VENICE!

Ron and I hold hands and stroll along the canals. We eat canal-side meals. We scarf Pizza Margherita with amazing thin and perfect crust. You know the kind, crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside.

We take things in slowly. One major attraction a day, with time left over [Read more…]

Living My Dream for My 50th

turning 50

I’m turning 50 on October 24. I started preparing months ago. Life coach, career coach, book coach. Pretty much anyone I thought could help me figure out what I want to do next with my life—and how to get there. So I could be a new and improved 50-year old version of myself.

I feel like I’m in the home stretch of the race and [Read more…]

Julie Goell’s Art Continues Through Parkinson’s

julie goell mosaic

After a Gaudi-filled trip to Barcelona, my cousin Julie Goell came home and created this bright-colored tile mosaic on the floor of her bathroom.

Julie can do anything, really. Build a funky chandelier out of paper. Paint, glue, hinge, and sew together amazing puppets. Sing opera. Or at least she could, before she got Parkinson’s disease. [Read more…]

Baked Pasta Trumps Hostess Anxiety

Baked Pasta

I’ve been working on conquering my hostess anxiety. Again. Because I’m tired of not being able to have people over to eat. My latest treatment tool is baked pasta.

It probably doesn’t surprise you that creamy, saucy, steamy hot pasta can cure pretty much everything. In retrospect, I should have figured that out a long time ago.

So here’s what happened. [Read more…]

Surprise Gargoyles at Seville Cathedral

gargoyles seville

Gargoyles! I LOVE gargoyles.

I knew that Seville Cathedral, also called The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See, was a gothic cathedral, but somehow I hadn’t expected to see gargoyles in Spain.

France, mais oui. The French have gargoyles pretty much everywhere. But Spain? I never even considered [Read more…]

Madame Butterfly

tiger swallowtail

Just look at this Tiger Swallowtail I caught floating through the Atlanta Botanical Garden. I’ve seen thousands of Tiger Swallowtails in my life, but I don’t remember any of them having these Caribbean-blue peacock-plume like spots at the bottom of their wings.  Nor do I remember any of them being this big—maybe a full five or six inches across.

I did a little research when I got home. Turns out that female Tiger Swallowtails have blue at the bottom of their wings. Males do not.

You go girl!

PS- Mental note: Pay closer attention to things in the future. Who knows what else I’m missing out on? (Ron says lots.)

PPS- (or is it PSS?) If you love Botanical Gardens as much as I do, here is a list of 55 awesome ones:

Grandma Practice

little boy with muddy fingers

I love my cousin’s kids. I can feed them cake for breakfast, buy them a toy train with an ear-piercing whistle, and let them play in the mud.

When I’ve had enough, I get to send them home.

It’s their parents’ problem to deal with their soot-cloaked clothes and sugar-induced hysteria.

I certainly don’t want a toy train with a piercing whistle in my house.

When the time comes, I’m going to be a fabulous grandma.

Grandma Amy Loved Lizards

lizard atlanta botanic garden

Today Ron and I visited the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

It’s September, but the garden is still vibrant with color and life. Butterflies on a quest for nectar dart between sunset-orange lantana blooms. Bees collect pollen from pink anemone flowers. Don’t the anemones look a lot like dogwood?

The garden makes me think about my Grandma Amy. Grandma Amy loved bugs and birds and flowers of all kinds. When I was little, she used to [Read more…]

Three Reasons Why My Book Will Never Sell

view boston renaissance hotel

It’s 10:17 a.m. and I’m still in my pajamas, sitting in bed with my computer. In a hotel room. In Boston.

I’m here with Ron for a long weekend, and what am I doing? I’m hiding in our hotel room. That’s ok, I tell myself. There’s only so much fun one girl woman can handle. (With my 50th birthday looming, I can’t really say girl anymore, can I?) I’m exhausted and I need [Read more…]

Searching for Patrick Dempsey

Los Angeles Canyon Walk


A final greeting from Los Angeles.

Ron and Lindsey went on a walk through the canyon this morning. When they returned, Lindsey said they saw Patrick Dempsey on the trail. Patrick was walking a pair of big dogs.

Ron concurred, so I believed them. This is Los Angeles, so it’s entirely plausible that they might have seen Patrick Dempsey.

Then Ron said they also saw Samuel L. Jackson. And Cate Blanchet. Ron’s eyes danced as he told me this and his hands gestured wildly. This tipped me off that he was probably lying.

When I questioned him, he became indignant.

“Yes we did,” he said. “We saw Samuel L. Jackson and also Sarah Palin. Sarah was yelling at everyone. ‘Move to the right,’ she said. ‘Move to the right.’”

Perhaps they didn’t really see Patrick Dempsey either.

Lindsey was hoping to spot more famous people, so later in the day we took a stroll by the prescription pick-up at CVS. That’s where we ran into one of the stars from Pretty Little Liars last time we were here. Today we struck out, but we may go back tomorrow. Laugh all you want, but if you think about it, it makes sense. If there is one thing the grocery store tabloids have taught me, it’s that the stars need their drugs.