What is your heart wearing?

A recent conversation with a friend has me pondering how we dress for church. Apparently she was confronted with her clothing choice and made to feel bad about how she looked. Seriously? Is what we wear to church the focus of other peoples’ attention? Is that why you attend services? To see what others are wearing? Are you offended by those who aren’t “dressed to the nines” for worship on Sunday morning? Wow, I think you might be focused on the wrong thing. I am sure my clothing choices would offend you. My normal attire for Mass on Sunday is jeans. Nice jeans, but jeans nonetheless. I have to be honest here; I really don’t notice what others are wearing. I am looking around, mind you, but at the people around me, their cute little babies that are taking it all with wide-eyed innocence, the younger kids who are poking each other while their parents try and shush them. It all makes me smile. Beautiful people! What are they wearing? Damn if I know…

I am what I am, not what I wear. I don’t dress to impress (quite obvious to those who know me) and my style is quite casual. Others have great style and dress beautifully. Always, whether at church or at the grocery store. That is how they are and they are beautiful! Well, I am beautiful too, just casually so.

We’re certainly all different on the outside there is no denying, and how we dress and accessorize ourselves highlights this. But on the inside? We are all the same. So, what one wears in their heart is another matter. Far more important if you ask me. I try and keep my heart “dressed to the nines” and hope that that is what people see. I know that is what God sees.

What is your heart wearing?

Diet Coke, I Miss you!

Diet Coke Deprivation: Day 3
Yes, you read that right. Those of you who know me are no doubt shaking your head and saying “no way!” I assure you it is true. I’ve got the nearly empty bottle of Advil to prove it… Can you say headache?

Let’s rewind a couple of days. Ah, those glorious days of the never ending diet coke… It was a normal Monday. You know, one where I frequent McD’s for a large diet coke (light ice) for 99 cents. Several times a day. I spend my time in between drive through visits reading Dr. Seuss, watching Dinosaur Train, and posting on Facebook. Dr. Seuss? No, that is not a typo. Anyways, diet coke pretty much flows through my veins. True story. I remember my first like it was yesterday. No more Tab for me! The introduction of diet coke in 1982 made it the absolute best year ever! Wait, I mean my daughter being born in 1982 made it the best year ever with diet coke a close second… (sorry Jen). So, for 31 years now I’ve probably not gone too many days without diet coke. Even when visiting London, Scotland and Ireland. I had no ice, but by god I had diet coke or coca cola light as it is called in the UK… Anyways, I digress. Yes, for 31 years I’ve pretty much had diet coke daily. You don’t have to tell me that’s not good. I know this. But do I care? Apparently not. Which brings me to the why of my deprivation…

I blame Facebook. Isn’t Facebook the root of all evil? Yeah. I created a Facebook page (‘cause I wasn’t wasting enough time having just one profile…) but this one will be used to promote any writing I do. (Good luck with writing when you’re not drinking diet coke–you really thought that one through SJ.) My page had 51 likes so as a challenge I shared the link to my page and said for every additional 10 likes I’ll go without diet coke for a day. That afternoon I received 30+ more likes. So, three days without diet coke. I can do that.

Day 1 wasn’t too bad. I had tea. I sipped water. Water is something everyone should drink more of! I’m such a slacker there. But hey, when I’m not constantly guzzling that bubbly, caffeinated liquid ambrosia, I have to make do with something. Tea and water. I can do this.

Day 2 still doing okay. I hit McD’s a couple of times for their iced tea. It just fits in my hand so nicely and I find I need that. My hands were getting twitchy.

Day 3 (today) has been a struggle. I’ve had 8-10 cups of water and at least that much tea. And Advil. For my headache. You’d think with the tea I’m downing I would not get that lack of caffeine headache. But I think my diet coke consumption was still twice what I drink in tea and water so caffeine saturation has probably been cut in half… At the zoo today I felt tears welling up in my eyes as I looked at the diet coke nozzle, unused on the soda machine, as I filled my cup with lemonade. Lemonfreakinade! Later as I was standing with my granddaughter looking at the elephants I overheard some of the visitors asking people near us if that was the elephants making that pitiful noise they could hear while they were over at the tiger exhibit. I looked up and saw them shaking their heads, glancing nervously at me and quickly look away, but not before I saw the fear in their eyes. Then I heard them whisper, “no, it was that red-headed lady.”

All I could think about the entire afternoon was how wonderful that large diet coke was going to taste first thing in the morning. I’m going to make it! I busied myself with a little cleaning, sipping water all the while. Sitting down to relax and read a bit, I picked up the iPad to check Facebook real quick. It’d been an hour after all. That could be some kind of record by the way… I’m shocked at the notifications I see staring at me. My page has garnered quite a few more likes. What. The. Hell???? Now, last I looked, I’m up another 69 likes. That’s SIX MORE DAYS OF NO DIET COKE! Almost seven! I’m telling you now; you better dump your stock in Coca Cola. A friend posted on my timeline a link to a news article from today showing a decline in soda sales for Coca Cola and PepsiCo. He does not think it a coincidence… Bryant you may be correct.

Tomorrow, Friday, is Day 4. The weekend coming up presents even more challenges. My Captain Morgan will sit on the counter, mocking me. Cap’n Morgan and tea? Uhm I think not… Looks like a margarita and Advil filled weekend for me. Somebody might want to check on the husband this weekend…

“The god’s chosen beverage. Tremble before the horror of Diet Coke!” You tell ‘em, Percy!

Creative Aspirations

button bling picked up at RT13 for inspiration
some of my button bling picked up at RT13 for inspiration

I spent a few days this past week in Kansas City at the RT Convention Writers Bootcamp. Amazing! I met so many wonderful people. Published authors of books I love as well as new ones I’m sure I will soon love. I also met aspiring authors (like myself) who are just learning this craft. Wow! There is so much to know and learn! I am suffering a bit of information overload, but in a good way.

I enjoy reading romance. Historical romance, paranormal romance, contemporary romance *whispers* some light erotica romance. It has been my desire for a while now to write a book and tell a story that I hope others will enjoy. This was my first step (among many to be sure) in helping me along that journey.

If you read a lot, you may think to yourself, hey why don’t I write a book? I’ll bet I could do this! Yeah, that’s what I thought, too. It’s NOT easy. Not easy at all. For me anyways. Nor for most authors I met and talked with this past week. Or for those wonderful author friends I have made over the past year or two through the internet. It is a lot of work. A LOT of work! I found this out quickly when I sat down a while back and tried to get the ideas and thoughts for my story from my head onto paper. Not an easy task… Truth be told, a monumental task. But it can be done! I have a healthy respect for all those authors out there who consistently provide us readers with the wonderful stories we so love to lose ourselves in. May you all never run out of caffeine!

So, what am I going to do with all this newfound information? Well, I am going to work on my character’s GMCs (goals, motivations and conflicts—yeah some of that information swimming around in my head now) and work on telling you Jace and Kalli’s (short for Kalliope) story. It may take a while, a looooong while, but hey, I’ve got the time… Am I scared? Yes, scared shitless. How’s that for descriptive?

(Please pardon the overuse of exclamation points… I may have used up my allotment) *shrugs*

Stay tuned…

The Lives We Live

Below are my incorrigibly random thoughts from earlier today. Bouncing around in my head, ping-ponging from one side of my brain to the other for whatever reason. So I typed them up to shut them up. Maybe someday I’ll elaborate and polish these thoughts, but for now I can relax and enjoy my Zac Brown Band concert tonight!

We can never be born enough… E.E. Cummings While getting ready this morning, thoughts of my life were crowding my mind. Or should I say thoughts of my many lives… I feel as if I’ve lived several lives, each one special in its own way, but each one giving way to the next. When a part of your life is over and you move on to the next it’s almost like that same person doesn’t exist in the present anymore, just the memories and what you have learned. And from each of those lives there was much to be learned.

Being a child seems a lifetime ago. Several lifetimes ago. Sometimes it feels like that never happened; that I’ve always been as I am now. Some would say, “but you still act like such a child.” I laugh and think to myself it’s true. No matter my age I think that child is and will always be within me. Don’t let this shell fool you; I’m still a 17 year old girl. You learn in each lifetime, you just don’t realize it. What I learned as a child was to be carefree, live in the moment, enjoy each day for what it is. Into adolescence and young adult life, however, you are just impatient to get on with your life and grow up. What a paradox these two lives are! You cannot live in the moment if you are impatient for what may or may not happen in the future.

My life as a mother is ongoing, yet ever changing. When you have children you realize you underestimated just how much you could love another person. I love you my children, you are the jewels of my life!! You also realize, if you hadn’t before, just how much your own mother loves you. Thank you Mom, I love you! A lifetime of raising children, busy with their activities and loving every minute of it, leads to a “what do I do now” moment when they are older? Time to get a life. Well, another life…

Life as a non-traditional college student, attending classes while my children were also in school, since I had put my education on hold while raising children. Working at a few jobs throughout my life, but my main job was being a mom. It’s what I had always wanted… to be able to stay home with my children when they were young. Grateful that my life afforded me that opportunity. When I did finish my education, I had a business degree (cum laude no less!!!) and certification to teach business classes in high school.

Being a high school teacher was another lifetime. Being a teacher gives you a whole new appreciation for the teachers you had during your lifetime as a student. And how much those teachers cared for you. The students I taught throughout the years brought me endless joy as well as consternation. Their enthusiasm always contagious, keeping me feeling young, stoking that 17-year-old in me. Getting to know such diverse characters and watching them grow, hoping I had some small part in what they become. Caring about each and every one of them. Ah, a lifetime ago. I think about it often, though.

The life of an elementary school administrative assistant a much different life. Being a part of a new school from practically the beginning, watching 5-year-olds grow into tweens heading into middle school. It was a hard life that first year, working in the office of a new school, very few staff, so I also was the makeshift nurse. Where I was practically never sick while teaching in the high school, my first year at the elementary school I was sick often. One cold after another, several bouts with bronchitis, and even swine flu. After that first year, I think I was immune to everything and haven’t had much more than a cold here and there since. Those elementary kids are a germy bunch… but what a life. What a joy to know those developing kids and their parents. This is one of my most cherished lives so far! So, why did I leave this life? Well…

Throughout all these lives my own children were growing up, living their lives. Going to college, getting jobs, moving out. Getting engaged and married. And making me a grandmother. A grandmother! This was a life I had been looking forward to for some time. To make the most of it, I left my job so I could be the one to take care of my granddaughter each day while her parents worked. Again, my life afforded me this opportunity and I am grateful. It’s hard to put into words how much love I have for this beautiful little girl. Being a grandmother brings to light the love your own grandmother had for you as you think about all the wonderful times you had together, and vow to be this and more for your own grandchildren. Thank you Grandma(s)! I love you and miss you!

E.E. Cummings said, “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” Well, I am working on it. I don’t know that I’ll ever grow up or ever fully become who I really am. But that is what living is. Living and changing and growing and evolving. This lifetime here and now I am enjoying each day through the eyes of a one-year-old. The joy and wonder of her is exhilarating. This lifetime here and now I am exploring my own life and wants and dreams as well. As I have in every lifetime in some respect. I think I am just more acutely aware of it now.

Living my life on Facebook, and laughing about it. Yes, it’s a whole ‘nother life out there. People with interests similar to your own that capture your attention and you become acquainted with them over the years, even good friends. A Facebook life. Who would have thought something like this was possible years ago while you were busy living your earlier life. Amazing. Daunting. Amusing and entertaining. An addiction that steals your time if you are not careful! Something that definitely adds interest and a new dimension to this life. Without it I may have never discovered my desire to write, to create, to dream…

A lifetime of love. And what has been constant throughout these lifetimes? The one thing that grounds me, takes care of me, encourages me? No, not diet coke. The unfailing love a wonderful man. Best friend, confidant, lover. Husband, father, grandfather. Through what will be 34 years of marriage this summer this man has been my life and will continue to be for as long as we both shall live. Yes, I feel as if I have lived several different phases of lifetimes each wonderful in its own way, but this lifetime, as a wife, is ongoing and evolving and I cherish every moment of it. It is this lifetime that has made all the others before and after possible. The adhesive that holds all the aspects of my existence together. You let me be what I want to be, whatever that is at the moment. I love you, D

To quote E. E. Cummings once again: “today may I be me, smart, serious, happy, frustrated, impatient, joyful, running, sleeping, smiling, eating, trying, believing, listening, being and becoming.”

Yes, each day in my life may I continue to be all these things!

Patience is not my Virtue

The virtue of being patient.  Standing in line to check out at Walmart today has brought this to mind.  The lady in front of me had perhaps ten items in her cart.  She took them out one at a time to hand to the cashier.  Still, the register belt was moving so I couldn’t put my items out or they would be in her way.  With each of her items she had to discuss something with the checker. Questions, shuffling through papers, more questions.  Coupons maybe.  Perhaps she was price matching, I don’t really know.  The cashier finally turned off the belt so I unloaded my cart.  More’s the pity.  If I hadn’t unloaded my items I would have dashed off to another checkout line pronto.

I was kept entertained by my lovely granddaughter sitting in the cart smiling and waving and saying hi to anyone and everyone who was within her sight.  She was not upset.  Not one bit. She was just enjoying the moment.  Finally the lady in front of me was finished.  She moved forward just enough to be out of the way.  Then proceeded to go through her bags.  The clerk starting scanning my items.  After  a few of them the lady interrupted asking him for two large bags.  She wanted to put her smaller bags in the larger ones.  The cashier leaves the register in the middle of checking me out to go and find her two large bags.  She’s looking at me and apologizing, Elaina is smiling and waving away telling her hi, I just smile at her (okay it may have been more like a grimace)  and continue keying a message on my phone in which I am complaining on facebook about this entire situation.

 The virtue of being patient.    Was I being patient?  Well on the outside I suppose it looked as though I was.  On the inside?  I was bitching and complaining.  I’ve been thinking about that all afternoon.  What was my problem?  Honestly I had nothing but time.  I was not in any kind of hurry.  But there I stood seething a bit inside.  I am not very happy with myself as I think about it.  The virtue of being patient.  So, here I sit at the keyboard and looking up the Seven Virtues.  They are:  chastity, temperance, charity, diligence, patience, kindness, and humility. I find myself falling short on a few of the seven.   Yes, patience being one of them.   I’ll just let you wonder about the others… Seems I have some work to do…

To begin with I think I will take a page from Elaina’s book and when I have to wait, to exercise more patience and just enjoy the moment;  to look around me and smile at others and say hi. Who knows, that might just make someone’s day better.  I know it will improve mine.

So, what virtue(s) do you need to work on??

Cold Beauty

Cold Beauty

The sun glints off the frozen branches,
teardrops of ice sparkle like gems.
Cold beauty all around me.
Hanging prisms of light
reaching for the ground
so silently
and slowly

Challeng Accepted! The above is my first attempt at writing a nonet… a poem of nine line, the first line having nine syllables, each line decreasing by one syllable, then ending with one.

A+ in Time Wasting

Congratulations to me on my time wasting skills!  Now, most people would be expecting congratulations on something more along the lines of time management skills.  I mean, have you ever seen classes or seminars in Time Wasting?  Of course not.  You can’t teach that!  You either have it or you don’t.  I am a master time waster!  Why, I am sitting here this very moment wasting time.  How do I do it you ask?  Again I must emphasize that it’s not a skill that can be taught, but I will be happy to share with you TEN EASY WAYS TO WASTE TIME:

  1. Login to Facebook and see what is going on
  2. Turn on TV and flip through channels
  3. Log back onto Facebook and see what is going on
  4. Think about how you need to clean out your closet, you know, put your summer clothes away and get out your fall and winter wear; maybe post about it on Facebook
  5. Try to figure out Twitter and mess up your email account in the process; complain about it on Facebook
  6. See what’s going on in Facebookland since you’re already logged on
  7. Flip through TV channels again
  8. Get in car and drive thru McD’s for diet coke because theirs is so much better than that can of diet coke in refrigerator
  9. Check in on Facebook because everyone wants to know where you are and what you are doing (Uhm, I’m wasting time—remember?)
  10. Write about your outstanding time wasting ability and post it in your blog.

And it’s just that simple.  Try it and let me know how you do!  I would love to hear about your time wasting skills and any innovative ways you have found to waste time.

Now I’m off to think some more about cleaning out my closet while I see what’s on TV.

Grammy Traverses Aerial Runway

Yes, this ginger grammy spent Sunday afternoon admiring the canopy floor of the Ozarks wilderness leisurely crossing suspension bridges and walkways and flying through the canopy itself by way of a zip line. Yeah, that’s right. I went ziplining.

My decision to invite myself along with my children and niece who already had plans to go came just the day before their scheduled trip. There was room on the tour, so no problem.  My brother then decided hey what the heck I think I’ll go too!  They signed up for the complete package including the Blue Streak Fast Line & Free Fall Xpress.  Let’s just say the thought of stepping of that last tower to free fall 100 feet to get back to the ground didn’t really appeal to me.  So I didn’t sign up for that one… at the time.

I didn’t sleep too well all Saturday night thinking about this.  Worried about the weight limit (I was fine I even had weight to spare…) Will the line hold?  Will the carabiners stay closed?  (I learned what carabiners are from reading 50 Shades of Grey by the way… actually I knew what they were just not what they were called)

But Sunday came and I was determined to go through with this.  I started on a course of Immundium AD the previous day to stay the nervous stomach problems if you know what I mean…

First order of business, get buckled into a harness, ropes and pulleys and carabiners and such hanging off me, adding another several pounds (making me worry more about the weight limit—I was still fine)  And a hardhat.  Yeah that was going to save me if I plummeted 200 feet to the ground.  Actually it was more to protect my head from everytime I stood up and bonked it on the wires above me…  Again, as I was being strapped, buckled and tightened into the harness, my thoughts turned to Christian Grey. . .

Dressed and ready, we loaded up into the back of a jeep and were driven up to the top where we began.  That jeep ride was the worst part of the tour (no offense jeep drivers, it was the terrain, not your driving expertise)

We were attached by rope and carabiner at all times, I guess if we were clumsy and actually fell we’d just dangle around until someone took care of us and we wouldn’t end up a bag of bones on the ground.  I wasn’t clumsy at all and did just fine.  After the first zip I had no problem whatsoever.  I found it very exhilarating.  There were twelve in our group, so it was a bit of waiting for each person to have their turn, but we enjoyed the view and joking around while waiting.

By the time we got to our last line, I had decided to add the Blue Streak and I WOULD step of that tower and free fall down.  Everyone else was going to do it (with the exception of my niece who had done it before and didn’t like it, said it took her 45 minutes to finally step off).  My kids and brother said if I didn’t I would regret it.  They were right.  I would have went home that night and forevermore been saying I should have done it.  So, I did it.  I even went first.  Didn’t even think about it.  The guide hooked me on the cable, counted to three, and I stepped off.  The last several feet the tension slows you down so you land gently, but I was worried about landing hard and hurting my knee so I came down on my butt (lots of padding there don’t ya know).  Yes, apparently the kids at the top could see me and got quite the kick out of it.  They love it when they have a reason to laugh at me.   I aims to please…

All I can say is I LOVED the feeling and I would do it AGAIN and AGAIN!  If you have never had the pleasure of ziplining, well all I can say is, what are you waiting for????

A Place I Would Like To Return To… Part 2: Edinburgh Doesn’t Rhyme With Pittsburgh

Edinburgh Doesn’t Rhyme With Pittsburgh

The locals pronounce it “Edinburrah” and all the other “burghs” (Fraserburgh, Musselburgh etc) have the same ending.

Ahh, Scotland.  Yes, definitely a place I would and WILL return to!  Yes, they do speak english there, but with quite a nice accent.  Quite lovely to my ears.  I found myself translating for Don, though.  I’d just laugh and say, but honey, they are speaking english.  I guess I’ve read so many Scottish romance novels, and listened to many more read by the wonderful Phil Gigante, that I was a little more used to the sound of it.

Our first stop in Scotland after a brief visit to Alnwick Gardens in Northumberland, (see previous blog post) was Edinburgh.  We spent two nights there, not nearly enough time in my opinion.  What a wonderful city!  We visited “New Town” and “Old Town” and we drove up the narrow Royal Mile to Edinburgh Castle where we spent the afternoon.  When it was time to load up on the bus and return to our hotel, the hubs and I elected to stay longer and make the walk back down the Royal Mile after spending more time exploring and enjoying all the different views of Edinburgh from high atop the castle.

Walking back down the Royal Mile we must have went into every shop along the way.  It was my intention to purchase a kilt for the mate… he has great legs and no doubt would rock the kilt look.  Now, actual kilts are quite expensive, but they have economy kilts that look nice for the tourists to purchase.  We decided to wait until later in the trip to purchase, surely on our last day in Glasgow we could pick one up there.  Not.  What the hell, Glasgow????  (Side note—I finally just a few weeks ago ordered him a kilt.  Now he is a proud kilt owner. Kilt, sporran, socks, kilt pin. He has yet to actually try it on, because, well, I’ve been under the weather and I just didn’t know if I could take it.  But, now there is nothing stopping me from enjoying that view… that’ll have to be another blog post on another day, though…)

While Edinburgh Castle sits high atop the hill on one end of the Royal Mile, Holyrood Palace sits at the other end.  It was on our itinerary as a place to explore with a side note: except when the Queen is in residence.  Well, as you recall she was in residence at Windsor Palace while we were in London so we did not get to visit there.  Guess what?  Yep, that darn Queen must be following us and putting a crimp in my vacation.  There she was, in residence at Holyrood Palace the same time we were there so once again, foiled by the Queen of England.

Our second evening in Edinburgh we were treated to a Scottish Evening with dinner, wine and a show featuring singers, dancers, including the amazing Sword Dance, bagpipers and the Ceremony of the Haggis.  Yes, the traditional pipin in, address and toast to the haggis set to the ‘Address to a Haggis’ by Robert Burns.  What is Haggis you ask?  Well, allow me to enlighten those of you who do not know. defines Haggis as a traditional Scottish pudding made of the heart, liver, etc., of a sheep or calf, minced with suet and oatmeal, seasoned, and boiled in the stomach of the animal.  Yes, I said boiled in the stomach of the animal.  And we ate this.  The mate thought it was really good.  It was okay, if you didn’t think about it.  Now, the bottles of wine they kept supplying to our table was another matter indeed.  I partook of many a glass… a fact I was more than sorry for the next day as we drove from Edinburgh to Inverness.  If you are not aware of it, Inverness is in the Highlands of Scotland. This was not a nice little straight highway drive.  No, it was not.  Hills, mountains, curves, oh my!  On the way, we made a stop in Pitlochry to visit a whisky distillery where Edradour, a Highland single malt whisky is made.  One, I’m not a scotch drinker, two I’m not an anything drinker after a night of wine over-indulgence.  Of course they offered samples of which I smiled and thanked them politely while pretending to taste.  The hubs did enjoy it and has looked for it here in the states to no avail.  It is something he will have to order over the internet if he truly wants a bottle.  By the time we arrived in Inverness, I was finally feeling more myself, but you can bet I had nothing stronger than tea that evening and the next.

We visited Culloden, where the final confrontation of the 1745 Jacobite Rising was fought and Between 1,500 and 2,000 Jacobites were killed or wounded in the brief battle.  Some sad history that.  I believe after that brutal defeat more civil penalties were introduced to weaken Gaelic culture and attack the Scottish clan system.  They were forbidden to wear the tartan!  Can you imagine?

Our hotel in Inverness was across the river Ness and facing Inverness Castle.  We had a room with window looking out over the River Ness and the Castle.  We had an actual KEY to get into our room.  The hubs thought that was picture worthy when he unlocked the door, making a joke about how do you work this since these days you get magnetic cards and not keys.

From Inverness we made the drive along the shores of Loch Ness to the Inner Hebridean Isle of Skye.  No, we did not see Nessie.  The drive was quite harrowing for me. I sat next to the window on the left side.  And as you know in Scotland they drive on the wrong side of the road.  There was no shoulder to this road and when I would peer out the window it would be to a sheer drop right into Loch Ness. I could barely stand to look out the window.  *shudders* While on Skye, we visited Eilean Donan Castle, one of the most photographed castles in the world—if you looked at a picture you’d probably recognize it.  We also visited the Clan Donald Centre and visited the museum learning about 13 centuries of clan history.  Don’t test me though I’m sure I’d fail.

Taking the ferry back to the mainland the next day we followed the “Road to the Isles,” stopping at Glenfinnan where I swear we were out walking and looked one way at the Glenfinnan Viaduct, the sun shining, beautiful and picturesque (I think one of the Harry Potter films had scenes shot here) then turned the other way and was hit in the face by a cold wind and rain.  WTH? Typical Scotland.  We continued on, stopping at Fort William beneath Ben Nevis (Ben is Scottish word for mountain peak) We also stopped along the “Bonnie Banks” of Loch Lomond.  (Bet your singing that song now, aren’t you?—you’re welcome.

O ye’ll tak’ the high road and I’ll tak the low road,
An’ I’ll be in Scotland afore ye;
But me and my true love will never meet again
On the bonnie, bonnie banks o’ Loch Lomon’

Our last day was spent in Glasgow.  It was probably my least favorite city we visited.  We did have an interesting evening when we decided to walk to St. George’s Square and sightsee around town.  It was quite crowded there that evening with a stage set up and performances going on.  As I looked around pretty much all I saw was couples.  Same sex couples.  Well, to each his own I am not judging, but coming from smalltown Ozarks USA I just don’t see that kind of thing regularly.  I took another look up at the stage and noticed the banner hanging behind the performers. “Glasgow Pride” Well, okay.  We just kinda walked around taking in the sights.  Nice looking hunks in kilts hitting on Don… just kidding.  I think.

We took a ferry to the Isle of Bute and visited Mount Stuart House, billed as Britain’s most spectacular Victorian gothic stately home.  We had morning tea there and a tour of the house.  I cannot even begin to describe it.  Just google it.

The next day it was Glasgow airport and our flight home.  I was treated to a full body pat-down and inspection of my luggage.  What a way to end my trip.

So, this is just a few of the highpoints of our trip through Scotland.  It was a lot to squeeze in, but a great overview and now I know I want to go back and spend several days in Edinburgh.  From there, I think some hiking through the Great Glen would be a breathtaking experience as well as some hiking around some of the lochs.   And, bonus, Edinburgh is just a short five hour (eight hour?) train ride to Paris, France… *the wheels are turning*

“Whit’s fur ye’ll no go past ye.”

Translation:  ‘Whatever is meant to happen to you, will happen to you”!

Here’s hoping another trip to Scotland is meant to happen!