December 31, 2009

day 173

This is what I would be wearing if I was going anywhere fun for NYE. Damn that guy who hit Joe!
Tomorrow I would be sitting at the bleacher in Pasadena watching the Rose Bowl Parade.

December 30, 2009

day 172

They are putting the runners on the stairs today!!!!

December 29, 2009

day 171

I got some pictures hung

Photos take from our travels

finally found the right spot for this

December 28, 2009

day 170

Wednesday the guy came to put up my light fixtures. Now my bedroom is 100% done - thank God. Enjoy the new photos.

A black dog and a yellow comforter don't mix

The Wall again

My new/old chandelier - it was the last big purchase we got in Belgium-bought specifically for this space. If you can believe this but we never had a light in our room only a lamp. The thing that was up there before was an ugly white ceiling fan. I actually can see what my clothes look like in the light.

Close up of the fixture and the special Belgium area of the room. The small photo is of Joe, Foxy and I in the Grand Place with the flower carpet in the back ground. (take from a balcony building in the Grand Place. The big photo is one Joe wanted to have in his office - but I made him keep it at home for us to enjoy.

Close up

The mirror behind the door

December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Howdy Holidays!

The last couple of years I have had word play Roman Holidays and us in rome or last year was Ven-ice snow, Ven-ice snow, Ven-ice snow for us in Venice. This is what I was planning for this year...the key word was.

Hope everyone has a nice Christmas!

December 24, 2009


The pre trial date is January 22 and the first date of the trial is Feb 18 however his lawyer already said he will not be ready that date and it will be rescheduled.

Now here is the kicker...His Lawyer is a private one not a public defender...He also today tried to plea deal for 10 years in jail. The DA said he laughed in his face.

I can't believe they are paying for a private lawyer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

day 162

Today is the day the they are sentencing the guy who killed Joe. The DA thinks that he is still going to plea not guilty but we can always hope for a guilty plea aka a christmas miracle.

Hope everyone has a good christmas and I didn't send out cards this year but thank you to everyone who sent me one. (tomorrow I will show you what I was thinking of doing for a card)

December 23, 2009

day 160 & 161

I just got back yesterday from Wisconsin and I truly was going to post but I think everyone knew I was back and I ran out of time. Not to mention trying to get ready for this big snow storm we are suppose to get.

My nephew became an Eagle scout on sunday and then on monday night I watched my other nephew in his chorus concert.

You do see the strangest things in WI, when we were in Hudson a red convertable with the top down drove by with Mr. & Mrs. Claus in it.

December 21, 2009

day 158 & 159

On Friday night my parents and I went to a musical/play call "all is calm". It was about the Christmas truce of WWI 1914 in Flanders fields. (Belgium)

It was really good...of course you know I'm a little partial to Belgium. But seriously that was my favorite area of the Flanders Fields museum in Ypers, Belgium I never heard of of this in history class and it just amazes me that this happened.

Watching it I was missing Belgium, but most of all missing Joe and wishing I could share this experience with him.

December 18, 2009

day 157

The service of remembece was good last night. Then in group the talk turned to the afterlife and the simlar stories of what people did and said right before they did was amazing.

I showed photos of Joe and I. They all thought he was handsome and I look good are a very blonde blonde. If you don't know I haven't been highlighting my hair so it is slowly getting to be dish water blonde. One lady also commented that I wear the best shoes to the group. I didn't have the guts to tell her that they are very happy because they have there own closet now.

After we had a good dinner at is closing on December 29th if you didn't know that.

hope you have a good weekend.

December 17, 2009

day 156

I'm glad yesterday is done...It started out by going to the doctor and then receptionist telling me I don't have insurance it expired in August. What? I have been paying cobra for months. After the doc I went home to figure it out and the got my insurance straightened out.

Then I went on a mission to find the title for one of the cars, which I have been looking for for a while. The first drawer and file I opened it was in there. Of course I thanked Joe.

Then it was off to the DMV to get my Minnesota license plates, I'm not photo ready for my MN drivers lic yet.

I had a very brash lady named Marsha that was fun to deal with. I got my 2 Minnesota license plates that are consecutive which is very fun and then the problem...they only take cash or check at the AAA DMV in St. Louis Park. So I had to leave and go get cash down the street and Marsha said I might not be here when you get back.

At the bank I had a extremely pleasant person to help me and then it was back to Marsha. When I returned she however was counting her money and was not open anymore and sent me to someone else to finish my process.

Then I stopped in the travel store to dream a little of traveling somewhere anywhere and I found a great new travel bag. I have been using my Longchamp bag but don't want to get it totally trashed this new bag has lots of safety features like it clips you zipper shut, has good straps that can't be cut and the bottom of the bag has a mesh in there so if they bottom is slashed the contents will not fallout. It is crazy that you need bags like this to travel.

today I'm getting my haircut which is much need since the last time was end of May.

December 16, 2009

day 155

tip for visiting a cemetery in the winter.
Be very careful when walking in a cemetery when the ground is covered in snow. You can't see the markers on the ground and some are very slippery when you step on them. In other words I almost wiped out a couple time saturday in the cemetery when I went to see Joe.

Who would have know.

December 15, 2009

day 154

This week in my grief group we are doing a service of remembrance. I'm looking forward to it.

Last week one of the older ladies brought up a issue I have read about and hear about from a lady on the plane when I flew back to LA after the service but I didn't really think it ever really happened...but then again I never thought I would be in this situation.

The issue is your married women friends thinking you are now a threat to steal there husband away from them. Now seriously you married women... picture you husband dies of a heart attack or is murdered and is the thought of stealing your girlfriend's husband anywhere in your thoughts?

I would hope that my friends have a little more respect for me that thinking this.

December 14, 2009

day 153

On my snow day I watched a really good movie - while for me it was good and I know Kate, Anne and Francoise will enjoy it too.

The movie was called "the Class" a documentary about a class of 13,14 & 15 year olds in Paris (the poor area where they have been known to riot) The subject that the teacher teaches them is French. It actually reminded me of my french classes in Brussels. I now know why I couldn't learn french because they start you at a 13,14 or 15 year old level. Seriously they stuff they were talking about what in my class and the assignments they were given were exactly like mine.

Not to mention the ethnic mix and tension of people it was my french class. Anyway that is one of the ways I spent a couple hours on Wednesday.

December 11, 2009

For Amy & Ben

Of course this is for many of you but I know Amy & Ben will smile after this post. Who knew Bob was on you tube...not to mention he looks put together and grown up. (his wife must be telling him to cut his hair)

Any one want to go to Austin for NYE?

day 152

It was one year ago today WE were flying back to the Us to start our new life in L.A.

Who would have thought a year after that I would be back in Minneapolis.

December 10, 2009

day 151

I forgot to mention yesterday when I was getting the snow blower that the guy selling it to me in his mid 30's was obsessed with getting me to be his dance partner or giving me dance lessons. He gave me his card to call him because he really wants to dance with me. These things only happen to me.

Here are some wintery photos for you.

Sidewalk in the front I shoveled - Joe always loved living on a corner lot...but he hardly shoveled he was always traveling and even if he was home the front and back steps were my job.

My freshly snowblowed sidewalk that got a little blown over with snow.

My little girl that had to have a path shoveled in the grass so she could go pee & poo

December 9, 2009

day 150

Yesterday our (meaning Joe's and my friend) Bob took me shopping for a snow blower. Joe has a huge and heavy one that I could never mover when it was not running let a lone try to move it when it was running.

I used it last night to clear my sidewalk and drive way and I'm sure I will use it again today to clear everything up again.

Many thanks to Bob for helping me over the last couple month between clearing vines, helping move furniture, getting my radiators going, helping hang some pictures and the list goes on with out him I would still be wondering how I was going to get all this stuff done.

My new red baby

December 8, 2009

day 149

I got 3 doctor appointment booked yesterday - the best time to go to the doctor is december I got into everyone by the end of the year. I also had to get in because my insurance is changing next year to the kind that there isn't a copay you just pay a certain percentage of the visit.

I'm going shopping for a snow blower who would have thought a year ago when I was getting ready to leave Belgium that in another year I would be back in Minneapolis looking at snow blowers.

I'm also thinking that Foxy needs a sister. I found her but she is in Iowa I just have to see if she is still available.

December 7, 2009

days 147 & 148

Sorry for the late blog entry...I have been preparing for the snow they think we might get.

On saturday I went out with a bunch of people to an art gallery then we headed to the bar...I haven't been in a bar for over 3 years. That was a very strange experience to be in one again, not to mention be up late at night.

Now tomorrow I'm going shopping for a snow blower. I have one but it is huge and heavy I have never been able to move it.

December 4, 2009

day 146

I also went and put up a decoration at the cemetery. I'm waiting to see if I get in trouble because it isn't a wreath and everyone else had a wreath up. I just didn't think Joe would like a wreath so I did this instead. I will keep you posted if I get in trouble.

Also Joe's new neighbor had a visitor when we were there, he was putting a wreath up too.

December 3, 2009

day 145

I also got my tree up and decorated. It took a while, I forgot how long it takes to put it all together. In Belgium I just had a couple boxes of ornaments and a couple strings of lights which blinked. (drove both Joe and I crazy)

Please don't try this at home...remember I use to design artificial trees for a living and decorate them for Menards and the showroom at our company. Yes 365 day a year was christmas for me.

I can't decide which photo was better so I put both up.

December 2, 2009

trial update

the prelim trial for today got delayed again. Not sure when they are going to set the new date.

I know so of you think I should go out there for the prelim - but honestly I think my time and frustration of going through this for the main trial will be enough. I can't even imagine adding the frustration of changing airline tickets and hotels to my life right now not to mention it is the holiday season I would never get on a plane with a standby ticket and would be stranded at the airport.

day 144

It was a very productive couple days over thanksgiving. Look I got my drapes hung!

December 1, 2009

day 143

The Day after Thanksgiving instead of getting up early and shopping, I made cranberry and chocolate chip muffins for my parents. Then we went shopping, of course everything we wanted was already gone but did any of you get up and go shopping at 3 am? When did this start when I left the US to live in Belgium it was 6 am. Who though we need to shop at 3? Not to mention the poor sales people that had to work that early.

The ingredients

yummy dough

Warm muffins

November 30, 2009

day 142

Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. I spent mine with my parents and cousin Lorraine. We all enjoyed a delicious meal but we missed Joe at the table.

sparkling pear juice, water and lemon cello (the good stuff from italy)

I also tried something new this year, I added champage to the cranberries and it was excellent. It might have been because I used our good french champage for it. Oh well.

Yummy cranberries

We also had soup instead of salad this year - it was a fennel soup.

The Bird

For dessert pine nut pie! it was good.

November 25, 2009

day 135

It is always the little things that make you happy. I'm so excited about my new track lighting. My other ugly track lighting was so old that they don't make bulbs for it any more. I found these lights that have glass shades and fit into my track! How pretty are they.

This is in my hall way upstairs so there is really no other options that would work but track lighting.


beautiful and all the shades are different because it is hand made glass shades.

November 24, 2009

day 134

I just book a weekend getaway in January and the painter might be done today.

Things are looking up.

November 23, 2009

day 132 & 133

Here is the slightly finished guest room. There is no before because beofore we went to Belgium Joe redid the room and I just repainted it white. I want you to feel like you are in a big fluffy cloud when you look at the ceiling.


all ready for my guest this week

November 20, 2009

bonus post

Congratulations to Herman Van Rompuy. Who is he you ask. He is the first president of the EU. He is the former PM of Belgium. It is good for the EU and I think it is bad for Belgium because it is very difficult to find a PM that wants to run that crazy little country. He hasn't even been PM for a year.

Before the EU had a president it rotated every so many month to a different prime minister in the EU. I also thought that was crazy.

Just wanted to discuss this with you all because I just can't have this conversation with Joe face to face.

day 131

First I would like to let you all know that I successful did my Tracy Anderson exercises dvd from start to finish. This has never happened be fore not even close and yesterday I did it all with out even a break when she does the killer arm movements. For those of you who don't know who she is she is the trainer Madonna and Gweneth Paltrew (spelling) work with. It isn't an easy DVD workout and I haven't worked out in a long time so I'm very excited I got through it.

Also Thursday night I went to my first Grief share group here in Mpls. It is a totally different one than that crazy one I attended in LA. This on just might be normal and after the meeting the "popular group" invited me out to dinner afterwards. I thought what the heck I'm here cause I wanted to meet people so I went and had a good time. Well as good as time as you can have anyway.

We discussed a bunch of things and one that I thought was interesting...what do you do this year for Christmas cards. I never shared that we do a photo every year I just listened to most of them say they are not up to doing cards...I'm still on the fence this year as to what I want to do, I just know what ever I decided will be right for me and that is all that counts.

November 19, 2009

day 130

Painter update since every one keeps asking. He has moved into the bathroom and will be here this afternoon. I'm thinking he might be done Monday that includes the bathroom and all the spots I'm marking on the wall the need to be gone over again. He wants to help me hang my pictures which I might take him up on since I want some hung in the stair way and I'm not sure how I would get up there and he has a tall latter. However this means that they might not get hung till May at the rate he is going.

Today the comcast people come to fix my Internet problem that I have been living with for about a month.

Tomorrow the carpet guys come to give me a quote on getting a new runner on my stairs. I have been carrying foxy up and down the stairs. If some of you remember the old runner was southwest pattern which never went with our house and we just learned to deal with it.

My chandeliers that we got in Europe are ready, they needed to be rewired so I can use them here. I can't wait to put the crystal one up in the dressing room. I wonder what it will be like to have a light in there instead of just a ceiling fan.

Lastly thanks to everyone who called or I called wondering how yesterday went. There is still unfinished business and that is all I will say.

November 18, 2009

day 129

Here is a photo of my shoe closet. My shoes are very happy.

I forgot to mention that on Saturday night or Sunday morning about 2:00 two cars got into an accident outside of my house. It was so loud it woke Foxy up! I'm pretty sure drinking was some how involved.

November 17, 2009

day 128

Sorry for the late post...i did how ever get a lot accomplished today.

Wish me luck tomorrow (wednesday) I have to go to the bank and meet Joe's dad to get some things straightened out and hopefully that will be the last interaction I will have to have with his family till telling the updates about the trial. I'm crossing my fingers they don't go to LA for it. That is another story for another day. (they just suck all the life and energy out of me and replace it with anger which is sad cause I'm not even angry about the guy who hit Joe just his parents)

As you all have figured out my life is anything but normal and dealing with everything concerning Joe's death is anything but normal too. There are to many issues to share with you all, I'm thankful this thanksgiving for having friends, family and a great sense of humor to get me though this all.

November 16, 2009

day 126 & 127

It was a semi productive weekend. My closets as you know got put in and I spent most of the weekend getting them organized.

I also went to the movie Radio Pirates which was actually really good, but then again I have strange taste in movies. I also watched the documentary Valentino about the fashion designer and that I also enjoyed but then it again it was all about fashion and they were in cities in Europe that I love.

Hopefully the painter will start in the bathroom today...this weekend I successfully painted my window open and when I went out the back door the door knob came off. Fun stuff in my house.

November 13, 2009

day 125

The light isn't the greatest because I took them at night with no light just for you guys who can't wait to see them.

This is the dressing room and one closet that just got done today. My clothes are not even in them.

The first photo is two put together just so you can get the just of what it looks like on one wall.

Hanging on one side with drawer and shelves on the other.

Laundry hamper

Inside the closet with shelves and hanging what you can't see is double hanging rod on the inside.

November 12, 2009

day 124

I'm just wondering when I can run away from everything and be by myself for a while. I really can't wait till this happens. I'm think that I should go to belgium and close my account there and that might help a little.

November 11, 2009

day 123

I'm working on the list Joe and I talked about doing to the house when we moved back here. Today they start on my closets! I'm so excited. Next is carpet for the stairs or runner I should type then the boiler need to be replaced. I really need the runner though I'm getting tired of carrying Foxy up and down the stairs.

Yesterday the painter finished the big jobs the touch up spots and the bathroom are left and of course I don't know when he will be back. I have painted the trim in all the closets and the baseboards in my bedroom today I might tackle the the window frame in the bathroom.

November 10, 2009

berlin wall

here is a videos to show the celebrations yesterday.

day 121

I meant to write this on the blog yesterday but time got away from me. Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of the wall coming down in Berlin. I actually found a channel here that is world news (which I really miss) I what watch is at 6:30 am 1/2 hour of french news 1/2 russian news 1/2 Aljazzera and 1/2 of Euro News which is the news I watched in Brussels. You really get a good picture and a different side of what is really going on in the world.

It was kind of a sad day because I didn't get to chat with Joe and revisit all our crazy stories from when we were in Berlin. Even a new story from the day when the CNN international guy (the evening Anchor from London that we watched daily in Brussels) was at the Berlin Wall and they showed a interview of him there 0 years ago and he has changed so much.

Everyone always ask me what is you favorite place you visited. It really is a hard question to answer because everywhere we went we loved in it's own special way.

Berlin for example was our favorite city for the history because it was so recent that we both remembered the event happening. The museums were fascinating for both us and the city was amazing but still has a cold war feeling. The people were actually the nicest in Berlin than anywhere else we have been. We even told people we were Americans, a thing we rarely did.

Here is link to my other blog with our Berlin tales I would like to share again with you.

November 9, 2009

day 119 & 120

Friday I sat down and finished putting my European photos in albums. I still have some trips that need to be printed and that is where this blog is going today.

I went to get some disks to burn photos on and the guy told me that now everyone is putting their photos on USB flash drives things. I tried a usb thing before when Joe's work put all his emails and contacts on one for me. I have never gotten it to work and now have no idea where it is - may be Amy or Jaime has it.

Anyway I bought the stupid usb thing and it doesn't work, the little light on the stick doesn't even light up. I'm thinking that they are not compatible with a mac or something like that.

So I never got my other photos printed this weekend and most of all I never got all my shoe photos printed that I need to put on my shoe boxes!

I did however get the trim in my shoe closet painted, with out to much of a mess. Joe would have never let me paint - one time I flew to Chicago to paint Karen's deck on the back of her condo and thought we were nuts. I must say I think I did a very job on her deck.

November 6, 2009

day 117

This is a photo of my closet. I use to have 3 rod across and walk through my clothes to get to my other clothes. I know some of you guys are thinking why don't you get rid of some clothes. Not an option boys, besides I said my closet Joe had the other 2.

Now this closet is going to be my shoe sanctuary. They are even taking a before and after shots of my closet construction for their ads. So last night I took photos of my shoes -the new ones that I don't have photos of so I can put them on the front of the box and it will look better in the ad then half the boxes with photos and the other's with out. This is no more crazier then Joe having a room just for his bikes in the house.

November 5, 2009

day 116

Today it is been 1 month since I have been back in minnesota. Between the cold and the mess in the house I can't say I love it yet.

November 4, 2009

day 115

The renters that we had in the house ripped the orginal paper that was covering the windows.

My friendly painter gave me a brand new roll of grass cloth. So I decided to us it to cover up the windows again. looks good don't you think?

November 3, 2009

day 114

The Painter showed up!!!!!!!

November 2, 2009

day 112 & 113

No painter all last week, we will see if he shows up this week. In the mean time this is the only room he has done. For those of you that have been in my house the wall that is striped us to be where the armoires where. I'm not sure why Joe never wanted the bed in this area.