Saturday, February 03, 2007

MN wedding journal: Mother and daughter time

See? Don't you think the dress would have looked great with a hat?
Bernie and Jeff are sking in Salt Lake City this weekend, and of course my parents are in San Diego, so I'm posting these pictures for all of them.

Hi Honey!
We love you!
Posted by Picasa

MN wedding journal: Millinery

Someone (Ok, LOVELLA...) wanted to know what kind of hat I was going to wear to the wedding.
Answer: A marabou feathered teardrop hat.
I knew it would be very light and very warm.
Perfect for a cold winter's day.
(I even took a picture outside to prove how cold it looked! Brrr....)

I brought the cutest white beaded gloves too, but I left them in the hotel room at the last minute.
I suppose that is to be expected with us young women who have little sense of priority.
Imagine going out the door without my little beaded gloves!
At least I remembered my reading glasses.
Laura thought they looked cute.
She also encouraged me to add a BIGGER diamond pin to side of the hat. You can just see the two inch size diamond pin in the first photo.

Millinery notes: I bought a bridal tear drop satin covered hat base at the craft store, and stitched a marabou boa onto it, starting in the middle and working outward. Then I put a peach satin liner on the inside, and lace to cover the joint between the hat body and the lining. It does have an elastic jenny to wear under the hair, but I found it to be more secure to just use two bobby pins parallel to the edges, just slightly slipped over the edge and into the hair. The back of the hat does have a pearl hat pin to hold the hat at the slightly downward angle. This is an extremely easy project, using a ready made base frame, although it would be simple to create your own using buckram and millinery wire. It really is a very warm hat, and very light, and I think it would have been gorgeous in brown or cream on the bridesmaids. See next post for details!

Added fun: I was so pale compared to the Minneapolis ladies. They all had gotten themselves off to the tanning salon for the wedding, a practice I find barbaric after seeing skin cancer effects on complexions. I slathered on more make-up than I have worn in years, and still looked anemic. Us southern ladies (aka: hothouse flowers of the South) know how to avoid the sun.
Posted by Picasa

MN Wedding Journal: Laura Fest continues...

Dead of winter, strapless gowns.
Why not?

It really is a beautiful dress.
When Laura was shopping for a bridal gown two summers ago, ruching was just starting to be seen.
We fell in love with the look.
Andrea shopped with Laura at that time and liked the look as well.
Isn't it a beautiful detail?
Of course, in this case, the model outshines the dress.
But that goes without saying.
(except, of course, that I just did...)
Posted by Picasa

MN Wedding Journal: The Kabuki Bridesmaids

You should have have known I was going to go ga-ga over my own girl.

Time now for LAURA FEST, where I post a ridiculous amount of pictures of my favorite nurse.

Jeepers creepers, where did you get those peepers?

Laura, the sweet and innocent sweetheart.
Laura, the girl with a little attitude.
Laura, the girl with a LOT of attitude.
And make-up.
She put up her hair and did her make-up before she got to the church.
The bride's sister was a make-up artist.
She called Laura over and told her she would be having her make-up done next.
After she was finished, Laura was surprised to discover that apparently they were going for the Kabuki Bridesmaid Look.
Posted by Picasa

Below what? update 2

Laura got back OK, and hit the sack.
I hit the keyboard, and was tempted to hit blogspot.

They sure have had a lot of problems and stuff to fix the last couple of day.

Ever heard the expression "I and nature are at one?"

Blogger and me are at two.

Meanwhile outside, Laura saw it go down to minus 16 degrees.
That DID NOT include figuring in wind chill.
She even took a picture of the tempurature display to prove it.

Right now outside it is minus 4 degrees F.

With a wind chill factor of minus 24 degrees F.

Oh, I've got to check this out.

So I put on my hat and gloves and boots and jacket.
And went outside to walk around in the snowy courtyard.
A square space surrounded by two story buildings.

Yeah, it's cold.
But not that awful.

Then I went back inside, and walked out to the unprotected parking lot in front of the building.

Where there was wind.

I now know what they mean when they say wind chill minus 24 degrees.

Man oh man, that HURTS!

I walked about twenty feet into the wind.
My nose felt like it was being knifed.

My eyes hurt.

My lungs felt sticky.

I thought I'd try staying just a little longer, thinking about the brave pioneer ancestors, and hearty people who live in this kind of weather each year.

And in my head I heard their voices:

"What, are you crazy or something? Go back inside!"


My nose still hurts.

And it's only 4 pm.

What happens with the temperatures when the sun goes down????

(Oh oh. I think I want to find out...I'm going to sneak out again later. Don't tell the ancestor voices in my head!)

MN Wedding Journal: The day has arrived

The day has arrived.
Feb. 2, 2007.
Winter is half way over.
Andrea is laced into her wedding gown.
A veil is added, and it is clear:
Andrea today becomes a bride.

In the reception hall, the cake has arrived.

Florists and caterers create table settings that are elegant, reflecting the taste and style of the bride.

The wedding party was told to arrive at the church at 12:30.
Picture taking would begin at 2.
The Bridal room was warm and lively, with hair and dresses, jewelry and make-up transforming girls in jeans to beautiful bridal attendants.

At two, the bridal party withdrew, leaving the bride alone in her room.
The groom knocked at the door.
And the two shared a tender moment uncaptured except in their own private memories.

After that, for three and a half hours, picture after picture captured the wedding party and families.

That's a lot of pictures.
I don't think I could have managed for so long in a corset, holding a heavy bouquet and smiling again and again.

(The groom looked just a little tried as the hours wore on, and pictures continued to be snapped.
Rented patent leather tuxedo shoes don't feel so good standing on pseudo cobble stones in the park like setting outside the chapel.
I stole to his side and whispered:
"You know, it's still not too late to elope."
"Here's my keys" he replied softly. "Quick, go warm up my car!")

Laura and I stayed together.
I changed in the bridal room once the crowd cleared out.
We walked and talked, and shared our thought about what she would want in a wedding.
We think alike.
No muss.
No fuss.

Laura's been in five weddings: One in a back yards, one in a park, one in a gazebo, one on the beach, and now this one, in a church.

I'm glad I was happy with my own wedding. Too many brides suffer for having to fulfill their own mother's thwarted wedding dreams.

It isn't that I think a big wedding is wrong.
I don't.
The wedding in Cannaan was a humdinger.
Far be it from me to disapprove of big weddings like that!

I think it is more that we think more of marriage than we do of weddings.

And it is hard to focus on the specialness of the day that vows are taken and a marriage begins when there's cake arrivals to notice and strangers to meet and dress steamers vying for your attention.

A weddings is a lovely scripted one day scene.
While marriage day by year unfolds, the creation of life together, unscripted.

Wedding, though, are a beautiful thing.
Posted by Picasa

MN Wedding Journal: Rehearsal Dinner

One of the things I like best about visiting new places is getting the chance to sample the local cuisine. I happen to adore Scandinavian food.

In fact, I love Scandinavian food so much that when we got married, our rehearsal dinner was held at a Scandinavian restaurant in Lemon Grove.

For years our favorite date was to go out for a late breakfast on Friday mornings to the Dansk Tea Room in La Mesa, near our home for fourteen years in Southern California.

The tea room had walls painted Copenhagen blue, white lace curtains and red Swedish horses for decoration. It was easy to imagine we were in Sweden, as girls in Swedish folk dress brought us beautifully prepared dishes, their hair worn in braids wrapped crown like around their heads.
The table mats and wall art there showed Carl Larssen art, tender portraits of domestic bliss in Sweden.
Bliss indeed for us as well to be in that special place.

Now that we live in Houston we haven't found any Scandinavian restaurants to visit.
We make do with occasional visits to IKEA's little cafeteria.
Love those lingonberries and Swedish meatballs.

Of course, Mexican food is easy to find in San Diego, Houston, and even in Salt Lake City.
Just about every street has a Mexican restaurant.

But sometimes I just long for a good traditional Scandinavian meal.

Pictured above: The wedding rehearsal dinner.

(So of course the rehearsal dinner in Minneapolis, the center of Scandinavian people in America, was held at Dave and Busters. The fajita and taco buffet was outstanding. Really! I just love fajitas and taco! Eat them all the time. Who knew the Scandinavian people could cook fajitas and tacos just like the Mexicans???) Posted by Picasa

MN Wedding Journal: Rehearsal

The Bride's Room.

So cute!

It fascinated me that the ultra contemporary facility bowed to the traditional for this hard working space.

The furniture all looked antique, like well loved pieces from grandmother's house.
It looked like a cozy place to curl up with a cup of tea and a good friend for a nice long chat on the sofa.

The little dressing table was adorable, with a crystal dressing table set, lace and a tiny (wobbly) upholstered stool.
In another little room behind this table was a beauty parlor set up.
There was a shampoo sink with an indentation for the neck, a hard bonnet hair drier, a chair with lift and spin capacity, and a half wall of mirrors with make up lighting.

Cute, cute, cute!

It was the next day, as the bride stood getting laced into her dress, that she noticed one of the pink toile design was a girl milking a goat.

One of those whimsical things that makes you smile.

As charming and pretty and romantic and everything that this room was, let me just make a suggestion for those designing Bride's Rooms:

Once you add five bridesmaids, assorted mothers and grandmothers, hairdressers and photographers, crinoline petticoats, trains, makeup bags, clothing in bags, boots, steamers and water bottles, the Bride's Room gets a little tight, and very warm.

This bride's room connected to the very large (like 16 stalls) bathroom, which helped.

But what is really needed more than crystal dressing table sets and big puffy pillows is:
Hooks on the walls that are slightly higher than one's head, to keep trains off the ground.
More hooks to hold bags of assorted "stuff".
A mini refrigerator so an ice chest isn't needed.
More raised flat surfaces, so everything doesn't have to go on the floor
A step stool so the veil can be placed/fixed on the bride without her having to sit down.
A stall with a door so wide bell shaped dresses don't get crushed going in and out.

I've been in several Bride's Rooms in the heat of the wedding preparation battle, and have always been stuck with how cute they are, yet impractical in function.

Maybe if the bride and her attendants were all to arrive at the church ready to walk down the aisle these rooms would be perfect.
A space to retreat to while guest arrive.
A cozy space for a cup of tea and a final visit with your girlfriends.

Um, again, maybe this is just me...but I just can't see that happening!
Except maybe in a white lace and promises storyline dream.

The rehearsal.
I liked the chandeliers!
The rogue gallery "before" picture.

I loved the Chapel's white pews, and the soft color scheme.
On the side walls were old plaster Stations of the Cross hangings.

A very serene place.

A traditional feeling place, a perfect place for the more sentimental rituals of Christian life.

A perfect place for Andrea's wedding. Posted by Picasa

Below what? update

It is eleven degrees below zero here.

Minneapolis has officially curtailed its Winter Carnival Torchlight parade scheduled for tonight.

The parade will be shortened to three blocks long, as the wind chill factor tonight is going to be about negative 30 degrees in the metro area.

And to be minus 45 degrees outside the city.

As I write this, Laura is driving to the present opening/morning after the wedding breakfast.

Yawn...can't those presents wait till after the honeymoon?

Not if the mom and mil have anything to say about it.
And they certainly did.
Say something about it, that is.

I feel so bad for the newlyweds, who probably didn't even get to the hotel much before midnight, and have to show up at this event at 8 am to keep peace.
I say: Make War on this one, and skip it, but it's really none of my business.
Good thing no one here knows about this blog ;->

Anyway, back to the weather.

Laura called me to report that the inside the car digital outside temperature display read minus 11 degrees.

She called back a few minutes later to say it had dropped to minus 13 degrees.

And that her fingers and ears hurt, and it hurt to breath.

I told her to wear a hat.
She said she didn't want to mess up her hair.
Hope she still has ears when she comes back. I really like her ears.
I'd hate it if they got so cold they froze and fell off.

Bet she'd wear a hat all the time if that happened.

Friday, February 02, 2007

MN Wedding Journal: NWCC

"Living Word Christian Center" is the place where the wedding will be held.

It is an ENORMOUS facility, with a bookstore, coffee bars, a sanctuary like a modern theater, PLUS a wedding chapel.

And that is only what I was able to see as I walked through on my way go to the wedding rehearsal.

Below is a picture of what you see when you walk in the front door.
Simply beautiful.
There is also a very large bookstore and gift shop just to the right.
A nice plaza between the Sanctuary and the Chapel.
Perfect for mingling between services.
The fountains, clock, lanterns and arboretum create a feeling is both elegant and park like. Posted by Picasa

I am sincerely impressed, and I approve of this kind of facility.
Its design is fitting to accommodate the activities of this particular church.
Everywhere I looked I saw wise choices to facilitate large groups both efficiently and comfortably.

Even so, I think wistfully about white clapboard churches with soaring steels, and English chapels surrounded by cemeteries.

I've sat and worshipped in the church building where Bernie's ancestors were baptised and married, back in the 1700's, in Maryland. Around that church were the headstones of the families who have worshipped there for generations.

There's something powerful about considering those who have gone before, and imagining how the quiet setting will look when those dead in Christ shall rise again.

I really like how "Living Word Christian Center" performs.
I truly do.

But I think about the words, the titles:

"Sports Center" "Medical Center" "Business Center" "Media Center" "Shopping Center" "Community Center."

Whatever happened to "Church"?

"Church" and "Chapel" and "Cathedral" and "Mission"?

Those old clapboard steepled building really don't make sense any more.

But somehow I always feel a comfort when I see them.

Maybe it is just me.

I hope Living Word Christian Center will still house worshippers three hundred years from now.

And its presences in the future will be a comfort to those who visit it then.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

The bride, who has successfully found brown pens to use for the guest book signing.
(No feathers, hearts, or bows allowed at this event)

Wednesday I spent mostly in the hotel, fighting with computer issues. Wireless connection is not available in the room. The office center is a five minute walk, and there are Microsoft issues (send error report...) and I was pretty frustrated.
Sorry for the odd pictures and no text posting, it was quite a battle to even get that up for a while.

That afternoon Laura and Andrea (the bride) came and got me at the hotel so we could go out for lunch.
I was really ready to get away from Microsoft issues!

The girls had been talking non-stop for about 48 hours, and finally were talked out.
So I carried the "chatter" for lunch as the two of them looked like they needed a nap.
The snow was falling with nickle size flakes outside the restaurant window, giving me something to enjoy.
I enjoyed the snow even as we went to Office Depot to look at pens!

That night Laura and I talked until midnight, catching up on thoughts and stories.
Mostly thoughts.
Mother/daughter sleepovers are the best!

Yes, it is colder than I've ever experienced before.
The fact that Laura rented a Jeep Liberty with heated seats is greatly appreciated.
Mostly I just find it mentally challenging to keep track of gloves, hats, jacket and purse.

Off to manicure/pedicure land.
French manicure for Andrea, rusty red for toes.
Rusty red on Laura's toes and nails to go with espresso brown dress.

Me? Oh let's have some fun. Valentine's day is coming. Paint my toesies pink, add flowers and TWO pink diamonds.


(music swells...)

I feel pretty, oh so pretty...I feel lovely and witty and gay...

("gay" as defined at the time that this song was written, meaning happy and carefree. Not what it means socially today. Just trying to communicate clearly while staying borderline PC here.)

Just don't look too closely at my face.
The wax on certain places makes me look like I've slugged down a big gulp cherry koolaid.
How embarrassing.

Oh well.

Note to self: Minneapolis manicures and pedicures are twice what they charge in Houston. Same Buddha, same incense, double price.
Bring makeup next time to cover waxed facial area.

Observation: Snow falling in sunshine looks just like glitter. Glad I have gotten to see this beautiful aspect of winter.

Funny comment: Andrea: "At my cousin's wedding they had one of the groom's men act as a pall bearer."
(HUH???) Oops, I mean RING bearer!

Tonight we head to THE REHEARSAL!
Posted by Picasa

MN Wedding Journal

I love airport art. Here's ceiling art in Houston Bush International Airport terminal E.
An interesting piece...a circle overhead of multiple television screens, sychronized to display colors, patterns, ors objects.
The images flows in a circle through the screens

Sometimes they have flowers, this time it was just a design as I clicked a shot of a few screens.

Just thought I'd share.

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, January 31, 2007


The new laptop has arrived!

I had forgotten it came with the new operating system XP.
I'm pretty comfortable with Windows 95, especially with the office assistant cat the meows and used my writings as a scratching post.

XP will take a little getting used to.
I'm game, and want to dig in

But of course, life is never simple

The package arrived as I was scrambling to get to work, for a shift that was going to be more challenging than usual.
My little brain was full.

Bernie fired the computer up, and cries of joy rang out from our office:
"Check this out!"
"Isn't this cool!"
"What do you think about this?" to work I went, leaving my baby behind.

Tuesday was even more challenging.

Ever notice that if you put one thing on your calendar, a whole bunch of other stuff pile on in the same square?

Tuesday, 9:30 am.
Eye doctor follow up appointment.
One hour in office, one hour driving time round trip.

Bernie had to schedule a trip to Nashville.
We decide I would drive him to the airport at 12:30.
That way I could take his car when I went to the airport at 5:30, park his car in the five story parking garage at the airport, tell him where I parked, and then when he flew home Wednesday, he would just find his car and drive on home, and only have to pay one day's parking fees.


In between his work, he is still playing with the new computer.
And calling out to me to come see this, where would I like this installed, do I understand how to use that?
He's putting CDs into a case for me to enjoy on the plane, and suggesting DVDs that I could watch. He's adding batteries and earphones and everything he can think of that I might need when I use this new wonder while I'm away.

And my brain is going:
I should pack two pairs of panty hose, in case I get a run before the wedding. Should I take the chunky scarf to go with the sweater or just wear a turtleneck under it? Where did I put the hat that goes with that dress? Pearl hat pin or green one? Got to remember to pack my favorite tea for the room....

At 12:30 we get ready to head to the airport to drop him off. We go over the plan one more time:

I'll drive him to the airport in his car.
Then I'll drive myself to the airport in his car.
(I make a big yellow note for myself: TAKE BERNIE'S CAR TO THE AIRPORT! Otherwise I'll forget and hop into mine...)
I'll park in the AIRPORT parking garage, write down where in the garage, and call him with the location, leaving a voice mail.
He'll then drive his car home.

Got it.

Off we went, and right there at the curb we realized that the key in the ignition was the only key we brought, and the other one was sitting on top of the yellow note on the kitchen table.


(Not to worry, we cooked up a plan to put the key and the locking device inside the gas cap door.
So much for the little metallic hide-a-key option. Plus with our car being 10 years old, doesn't that shiny new Lexus parked right next to our car look like a lot more fun to steal? Of course it does!)

My one large suitcase, my not so large suitcase, my backpack, purse and myself arrived safely in Minneapolis late last night.

I've figured out how to use wireless connections, and that laptops de-magnetize hotel room keys.

Double doh!

I think I'm liking this new XP system flavor.

Almost as I like the new Hershey's Chocolate Cherry flavored Kisses, which were at work on Monday night as a pre-Valentine's Day treat.

Oh. My. Gosh.

How did I ever survive without Chocolate Cherry flavored Kisses?

New flavors.

I definitely like!
- Posted by Picasa

Monday, January 29, 2007

Below what?

"Three below what?" was the question.

My gangly young beach bum surfer girl was half listening to the television, sprawled on the floor of our living room in La Mesa, California.

I looked up from whatever I was doing, and realized she had heard a weather report.

Obviously NOT about our location, where flowers bloomed in January, and the only bundling up required to make her comfortable out-of-doors was the addition of long sleeves to her wet suit as she and her dad hit the surf.

(I hear there's a cold snap up north today...I prefer my snaps to be pink, so I can play with them and make dragon bites by gently pinching the blossoms. Oh, such happy memories of giggling toddlers daring to be bit!)

"Below what?"
It became a family joke.

She's in Minneapolis Minnesota today.
And I head there tomorrow.
It's six below ( it turns out) there at nights, and not much warmer there during the day.

Guess the jokes on us.

Daughter LauraRN traveled to Hawaii two summers ago as a nurse to work at Queen's Hospital in Honolulu for four months
(She has a very interesting life...)
She was assigned to an apartment on (I think it was) the 41st floor of a high rise apartment overlooking Diamond Head.
Windows made up two walls of her space.
What a view!

She chose to have a room mate that assignment.
Another traveling nurse would be in the second bedroom, each with their own bath.
(Tough life...)

Andrea was from Minnesota.
The two six foot tall nurses, one a red-head surfer and one a blond haired snow maiden explored all the islands on their days off.
(Nurses work three 12 hour shifts, then have four days off each week...)

We came to the island to visit.
Her parents came to the island to visited.

The girls were like sisters, and it felt like having two daughters while we were there.

Laura got engaged while she was there, and Andrea helped the suitor hide the ring on the Honolulu beach, and filmed the proposal.
Happy for Laura, sad for herself.

Six months later, Laura was back in California, and had returned her ring.
Six months later (there abouts...) Andrea was back in Minnesota, and had gotten a ring.

Laura's romance took place from Philadelphia to Ireland to California to Virginia to Hawaii to Los Angeles to Houston to Salt Lake City and ended in Los Angeles.

The nurse Laura traveled. He followed. We prayed.

The girls prayed together.

Both wanted Godly men, and happy marriages.

It took two years to win Laura, and six months to lose her.

Andrea returned home. And found the man of her dreams right there in her own home town.

She's getting married Friday, and Laura's the maid of honor.

And I'm going to be there too.
(The after shot, referring back to my last post.)

(Pansies love cold weather, and since it is hot here by April, they must go into the soil in winter. This is a pretty basic bit of gardening, plopping the small plants into soil. I also sowed larkspur and poppy seeds over the area and am hoping for billows of flowers come spring.)

It's not like I haven't been in some cold weather.
Laura, my mom-in-law Barbara and I headed to Scotland two winters ago.
(Laura arranged her four days off to be back to back, worked a few extra shifts and treated me to a week of fun. LOVE that girl!)
I like traveling in winter.
I sunburn easily.
I'd rather bundle up than try to cool down. Posted by Picasa

I love this Scotland shot because I think the building (church?) tower trim mimics the bare trees.


I'm being assured that if it is THAT cold outside in Minnesota, the building INSIDE most likely will be pretty warm, and perhaps even hotter than I am used to.

Now how the heck am I supposed to pack for that?

I am also assured that I will not need to be outside much.

Does this mean the car will always be parked in inside heated parking lots?

Laura is wearing a lovely expresso/chocolate brown maid-of-honor dress with her matching chocolate brown Uggs.

As the dress is long, and Uggs won't show, the bride has signed off on this.

My beige Uggs don't match my sage/mint green knee length dress.


This is going to be an adventure.

I'm hoping warm hearts will create enough glow to keep the rest of me warm.

And that I have enough time in the next 24 hours to get a pedicure.

If my toes are going to freeze from going to the church wearing heels, at least I want my toenails to look good while being treated for frostbite.

Below what indeed.