Wednesday, June 30, 2010

She's a Red Head!

Stan said he thought it would be fun if I colored my hair red.  So this morning I did it!  Whataya think?

Friday, June 25, 2010


A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body.

Benjamin Franklin

Friday, June 18, 2010


Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
Mark Twain

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Book Review: The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes

Have you ever seen one of those news reports of a woman who has been arrested after living "underground" for 25 years?  You know the story, she was involved in some bank robbery or something when she was in college and elluded capture--and then they discover she's been living as a professor's wife in Connecticut for the past two decades living an exemplary life aiding the homeless and protecting battered women or some such thing.  Every wonder what happened and how she did that?  Well, apparently so did Diane Chamberlain. 

In her book The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes Chamberlain takes this premise and runs with it.  And boy does she run.  She takes the character of CeeCee and infuses her with so much compassion that you begin to see how something like this could actually happen. 

CeeCee is a sixteen year old girl who has bascially been raising herself since she was 12.  When she meets a college student named Tim Gleason she is quickly seduced by the thought of someone loving her and caring for her.  Sadly, Gleason's only real interest in her is for his own means, and when she finds herself going underground and on the run with a newborn infant that is suddenly thrust upon her she makes the most of a terrifying situation and turns her life around.

Years later when the past comes back to haunt her she has to make the decision of whether to let the past alone and the chips fall where they may, or to stand up and do the right thing but in so doing destroy the life and the family she has worked so hard to create.

All along as you read this book you ask yourself what you would have done.  It's hard for me to remember being 16; the way I thought and felt at that age.  But I do know I wasn't capable of dealing with a situation like CeeCee did.  It's a terrific book.  I believe Chamberlain put a lot of herself into the character of CeeCee, which makes her all the more believable. 

Most of Chamberlain's books deal with families and the situations that surround them.  This was the second book of her I've read, and I have to admit, I'm looking forward to reading the rest.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Aunt Charlotte

I just received my Great Aunt Charlotte's obituary today and want to post it here so I have it.  She was a remarkable woman, who had a remarkably wonderful life.

Charlotte I. (Mrs. Leonard) Peterson, age 98, of Faribault, died on May 19, 2010 at her home.

A celebration of Charlotte’s life will be held at The Church in the Maples United Methodist Church, Norwood, on June 5, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. with the Reverend Roger Grafenstein, officiating. Interment will be held be held in Hanley Falls, MN.

Charlotte Irene, the daughter of Jeremiah and Bertina (Svennungson) Smith, was born at her home on March 13, 1912 in Hanley Falls, MN. She married Leonard H. (Pete) Peterson on August 25, 1940 at the Little Brown Church In The Vale, Nashua, IA. He preceded her in death on August 11, 1983. She began teaching in 1933 in the Lyon County one room school near Marshall. She taught in schools in Hanley Falls, Washington Lake, Bongards, and Norwood.

Charlotte loved God, family, friends, children, nature, traveling, and simple pleasures. She liked to study philosophy, religions, history and genealogy. Her interests included playing bridge, stamp collecting, writing, and thoughtful discussions. She was an avid reader, a great cook and a deep thinker. She enjoyed family reunions, the North Shore, the Minnesota Twins, going Up North, fishing, and coffee. She had a wonderful sense of humor and wit. Education, kindness, generosity, gratitude, and having an open mind were important to her and most of all love – living it and expressing it. She touched the lives of hundreds and will be deeply missed.

She is survived by two daughters, Charmaine (and Tadashige) Saruwatari of Bloomington, IL and Diane (and Don) Ites of Faribault; and five grandchildren, Simon (Jenny), Leo, and Tim Saruwatari, and Brian and Heather Ites.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Leonard; five brothers, Rollin, Myron, Hiram, Byron and William Smith; and a sister in infancy.

Something Old, Something New

I closed down my writing blog a little while ago.  I have restarted it under a new address.  This one is going to be a bit more professional and is tied to my professional facebook account.

Please feel free to visit me at

I will also keep you posted here on my progress to get published.  See ya'll round the blog!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Be Careful What You Wish For

I've been wishing there was some way I could get my mojo back on my diet.  That something would help me get back into the groove, as it were, and have not had any luck.  Until last week.

Last week I sliced open my tongue, and talk about pain.  It's healing alright, but it is so painful I can't believe it.  Talking, drinking, singing .... it all hurts, but nothing like eating.  Eating anything takes forever, and hurts so much that I am not doing too much of it this past week. 

I wanted help to lose weight, but this wasn't exactly what I had in mind.  So as I said, be careful what you wish for.  Doesn't always come in the way you think!

Friday, June 11, 2010


“We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.”

Frederick Koenig, German Inventor

Monday, June 7, 2010

Good for Summer


Meat Sauce:

1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, diced
1 small can tomato sauce
1 envelope taco seasoning
¾ cup water


1 head iceberg lettuce, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cups shredded cheese
1 can black olives, drained (pitted)
2 small tomatoes, chopped
2 cups tortilla chips, crushed

Brown ground beef and onion until onion is translucent and beef is browned. Add tomato sauce, taco seasoning and water. Simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

Place salad ingredients into a large bowl. Add meat sauce and toss. Serve along with remaining chips, or a nice loaf of French bread. It’s a meal all by itself!

(Note: This recipe makes A LOT, so I put it into two bowls. I don’t add meat sauce to second bowl in case we can’t eat it all.)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Say Cheese!

We had Kevin's graduation party yesterday and had a blast. Tons o' food, the best friends, and so much fun! Talking, laughing, playing, eating and celebrating Kevin's achievement. It was the best.

And even though we went to bed dog tired, I have to say I'd do it again it was such a good time. We have the best friends!

I decided to let the pictures tell the story. Enjoy!

Friday, June 4, 2010


You don't stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing.

Michael Pritchard