Friday, July 22, 2011

Lady Lizzy Love

It’s funny how life is a full cycle.
In the fall of 1999, I was given a choice between the two dreaded “D” words – dog or divorce. While we joked about this, there was an underlying truth. Sir had always wanted a dog, and I had always said NO. Well, moving back to the States from London gave Sir the perfect opportunity to use it as a bargaining chip with Daughter #1 and Daughter #2. After months of trying to decide which “D” was more wanted, I made the decision, and headed to the local pottery-painting store in London to help the Daughters make food and water bowls for the unhatched dog that lied in my future.

Lady Lizzy Love was born on August 25, 2000—a beautiful black lab with big chocolate-brown eyes. There I was, riding home from the breeders in the front seat holding this tiny pup on my lap, while she was scared out of her mind, whimpering the whole way! I was scared too and passed her off to Daughter #1. What was I going to do with this little tiny thing? It was everyone’s dog, right? “I will feed her.” “I will walk her.” “I will pick up her toys.” Do I need to say more? In the end, we all know who takes care of the dog!

Lady touched each of our hearts in a different way. Sir was always the master; always the one she ran to when he walked in from work and always the one who she went to in the evenings to beg for a walk. Daughter #1 loved Lady truly and thoroughly; forever the big sister making sure we were treating her right, taking pictures, and begging to see her on Skype while away at school. Daughter #2 had an eleven year a love affair with Lady, growing up together. In the beginning Daughter #2 dressed Lady in doll clothes and in the end Lady was Daughter #2’s fierce protector.

Me? Well, it is hard to say. For seven years she was a lovely thorn in my side, but for the past four years she has been my lifesaver. When Sir moved to Chicago, she was my faithful companion. After my move to Chicago, Daughter #1 going to college and Daughter #2 becoming more independent – Lady was the one that got me out of bed each morning. She was the one who didn’t say, I don’t need you as much anymore.

So today, I was the one holding her when she left us. Lady will be truly missed.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

In Italy and Loving it - #3

Here I sit at the airport on the way home from Italy. What a nice week with Daughter #1. My bags are checked to the windy city, unfortunately, with all my information about the last two days of the trip. I will be brief, misspellings will be made and Daughter #1 will shake her head at the number of places we saw that I will leave out! Oh well.

Verona was nice. The downtown area is beautiful - typical of what you envision small town Italy to be. Narrow roads. Cobble stoned streets. Buildings with colorful flowers hanging off the balconies. Cafes on every corner. And,I can't forget - too many tourist. We visited the old Colosseum - converted now for concerts, plays, etc. We toured Juliet's house and posed for pictures. (I do have to say - it was not like in the movie - Letters to Juliet) After a long lunch at a restaurant tucked away down a side street, we headed to Romeo's house. It is in a famous palazzo/piazza/something. Our last stop was to Juliet's tomb. I am sure we saw a church or two during the day! After a break at the hotel, we headed out to dinner - a sushi restaurant, they remembered us from the night before! I know sushi BUT remember Daughter #1 has been in Italy for 5 weeks - tired of Italian food.

We headed out early Saturday morning for Milan. Enjoyed a train ride with reserved seats - yeah - we didn't have to fight for a seat or space for our luggage! We arrived in Milan - and I was worn out! Milan is a big city. We decided to take the Hop on Hope off bus so we could get a feel for what Milan is like. Our only stop off the bus was at the central square with the Duamo. Wow! It was amazing. The Gothic architecture is something to write home about - but - the inside does not match the majestic outside. We walked down the proper shopping streets and hopped back on the bus. Both of us fell asleep at different times - so sad - so instead of getting off the bus again to shop, we decided it was time to head home, pack and enjoy each others company on our last night together!

Daughter #1 walked me to the train station to board the bus to the airport. After several hugs she reminded me not to cry - I was a good woman on the move and didn't cry. It was a first for me.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

In Italy and Loving It #2

My feet are killing me! We woke this morning to showers and overcast skies, but that didn't keep us from heading out early on the train to Mantova. Our first stop was Palazzo Te. Palazzo Te was built in 1525 by the Gonzaga family. It was a private Outside the city retreat of the family. The Room of the Giants was the reason we headed to the Palazzo - but we enjoyed it all. We hiked across town to visit the Ducal Palace which was the Gonzaga family "home" - you need to understand -they ruled the city for almost 400 years. The Palazzo was big but the Palace was HUGE. The main attraction at the Palace was the Bridal Chamber. The ceiling was beautiful, cute, fun and showed an interesting perspective! Look it up. :)

We stopped into several churches, found stores we couldn't resist, ate lunch at a great local restaurant, and walked arm-in-arm under one umbrella. the fast train back to Verona was booked so we foind ourselves on the slow commuter train home! Happy to get off our feet, we enjoyed the ride.

I have not been able to post pictures - the iPad won't let me . . . So much for technology!

Well, goodnight to all! We are staying local tomorrow - Verona.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

In Italy and Loving It #1

Yes. I am in Italy, once again - I might add. End of March I traveled to take Daughter #1 to study in Italy for 10 weeks. Sir and co. went with me. I am back in Italy traveling with Daughter #1 on her spring break. Life is good!

We have planted ourselves in Verona, but take day trips out to small towns in the country side. Our first stop? Pad ova or Padua. We loved walking through the town but was a little discouraged when most of the shops were closed, we bought REALLY bad fruit from a street market and toured the wrong church. Once a old man who spoke no English pointed us in the right direction, we happily made the most of the day. We toured a big, beautiful church had lunch on the piazza then went to Scrovegni Chapel. Daughter #1 studied it in her art history class in high school and was thrilled to finally see the chapel. It was amazing. We ran for the training eating McDonals on the train on the way home!

Today we traveled to Vicenza. Daughter #1 liked it better than Padua. The town was smaller and cute. We spent the morning touring the Teatro Olimpico, which is the most amazing thing I have seen in all Italy. The theatre was started in 1580 by Palladio, a famous architect who lived in this area and had a big impact on architecture during this time period. We walked the streets looking at the buildings associated with his name. After a tour of the museo civico palazzo chiericati and another great lunch, we headed out of the city center to see the Villa la Rotonda and the Villa Gazzotti Grimani Curtis, both works of Palladio's. We were impressed with the architecture but under whelmed with the "famous" frescos and furnishings.

It has been a beautiful two days. We are loving the towns and enjoying each others company. We are tired tonight but heading into Verona's city center for dinner. We have an early start tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Atlanta Bound

I just spent a quick week-end in Atlanta. Headed south, to my old stomping grounds, to host a baby shower for my niece. While there, I lived through the terrible storms that devastated part of the country. Luckily for us, we were all tucked in without a problem.

We had a great baby shower. I was happy to visit with so many of the people that touched my life when I was just out of college living with a roommate - the days before Sir took me away to the Midwest. We laughed, ate cupcakes, opened gifts and took many pictures.

In the evening, we headed off to Turner Field enjoying a double hitter . . .but the weather was cold!! Braves won both games - sorry Mets! It was a beautiful night at the ball park.

I was sad to leave but know I will be back in July to see little Madelyn!

Monday, April 18, 2011


All I can say is . . . really?

Snow on April 18th?

My poor daffoildils.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

On The Move

I am on the move to London. Stay tuned for up-dates from Jolly Old England!