Okay, decision made…or not!

I have to be the world’s worst decision maker, or that’s how it feels sometimes. Right now I’m trying to make a decision, not a particularly major one, but one that concerns my writing career and so is important to me. Today I’ve driven poor AJ mad with the shall I’s or shan’t I’s. He’s such a patient chap and listens to me (really listens) and then offers his sage advice. In contrast, he’s a ‘think of things from all angles’ man and after due consideration, he makes his decision and sticks to it. No ifs, buts or maybe’s. Oh, how I envy him.

Over the years I’ve tried loads of techniques for making decisions, including the old staple the pros and cons list, the sleep on it, the worst case scenario…but right now a decision is eluding me. There’s always the fear that whatever I decide it will be wrong but by then my fate will be sealed. The following quote I read years ago is guaranteed to send chills down my spine:

“A man spends his life climbing the ladder,
only to find when he reaches the top,
that it’s been against the wrong wall.”

So, what I’m wondering is how do you make decisions? Are you a major to-er and fro-er like me, or do you make decisions fairly easily. If the latter, I’m begging you to let me in on your process. My long suffering hubby will be ever grateful.

One Simple Thing …

Recently Peter, my husband, and I visited Ikea to buy a single, fitted sheet for our Ikea bed which  we bought whilst living in Spain, sounds simple!  Ikea is a 40 minute drive away and we arrived about 4.30pm.  I had mentioned to my daughter, Kate, we were going and told two friends, Pam and Sue.

Kate asked if I would pick up a pizza cutter as hers had got lost in a recent move, I suspect thrown in the rubbish bin! Pam asked if we could buy 10 white dinner plates for a party she’s planning soon.  Sue asked if we could buy a lamp she needed!  So 3 extra things and the single sheet.

Peter is very tolerant!  We started the journey around Ikea when he spotted some bedding, which we sort of needed but we couldn’t agree on patterns SO we bought two sets!  Continuing through the crowds wandering aimlessly like robots we eventually reach the Market Hall.  Collect pizza cutter (plus a cute washing up brush with a sticker on the end) and Pam’s plates avoiding unnecessary temptations. Oh except a bargain pack of paper napkins which always come in useful! On to the Lighting, I had a photo of said lamp but couldn’t find exact copy or at the price Sue had quoted.  Eventually with help from two assistants, a man looking for same lamp for his mother, Peter and photo we bought a lamp!  Ah then I spotted the candles!! Cannot visit Ikea without stocking up on candles!  Once candle has burnt out the glass holders make handy desert dishes (trust me! But storage becomes an issue after a while!!)  Now the sheet.  “Helpfully” Ikea now stock their bedding in UK sizes not European which my original sheet and bed are.  The same size as my local Sainsbury’s supermarket 10 minutes walk away from the house! Luckily we could laugh about  the whole escapade.  On the way to the check out we passed some handy garden tables, I had mentioned one previously, so in the trolley it went!

So to our one simple thing, the sheet,  was added 2 sets of bedding, 10 plates, a lamp, a pizza cutter and a washing up brush and not forgetting the table. Oh and don’t forget the candles!!

I know this is a silly blog but sadly no photos taken (no time!) so hope the word picture works.

I will be out of action for a few weeks in August but will luxuriate in my new bedding whilst reading my book and sipping herb tea.  Lucky or what?

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Delicious!

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This is another story I probably wouldn’t have read if a friend hadn’t loaned it to me. I hadn’t read any of Ruth Reichl books but after reading Delicious I picked up another one today. A young woman, Billie Breslin, … Continue reading

George & Louise…A Great Love by Valerie J. Patterson

George and Louise Boldt–their story is one of a great and deeply felt love.  It’s also a tale of tragedy and a future with a broken heart.  George was a poor immigrant in the late 1800s who managed to gain employment at the famous Waldorf Astoria, and later would own it and another hotel here in Pennsylvania.  It was while he was working at the Waldorf that he met Louise Kehrer and fell madly in love with her.  While vacationing in Alexandria Bay, more particularly, the Thousand Islands, he bought Hart Island, which he legally changed to Heart Island.  In 1900, he commenced building a castle there for his lovely Louise to live in.  In 1904, tragedy struck and Louise Boldt died suddenly at the young age of 41.  That same day, George sent a telegram to the island and ordered all construction to cease and all workers to leave the island.  The heartbroken George never stepped foot on Heart Island again.  He never allowed his children or their families to visit the island either.  Boldt Castle was 96% finished the day Louise died, and it would remain unfinished, too.  So great was his love for his wife, and just as great was his pain from losing her, that he could not bear to live there without her.

In 1977, the heirs of George Boldt sold the castle and Heart Island to the state of New York for $1.00 with the following conditions:  1) The castle was to be open to the public and every cent from the sale of tickets was to be put into restoring the castle, which had been vandalized over the decades it remained empty; 2) the restoration was never to go beyond 96% completion, which was the last Louise had ever seen; and 3) no one was ever allowed to live there or stay there.  To date, $38 million have been used in restoring the castle and only one and a half of the 6 floors have been fully restored.

Beginning at the top left corner and continuing clockwise, the photographs are: A view of 75% of Heart Island as seen from our hotel suite’s balcony; the Italian Garden at the rear of the castle with the castle’s power house (also a castle-like structure) in the background; the view of the castle’s main arch entrance where George imagined his guests docking their boats and visiting he and Louise at the castle–to the right is a 6 story playhouse he had designed and constructed for his children and their guests; a rear view of the castle; and, again, the arched entrance to the island.

Steve took me to the Thousand Islands for our anniversary trip, and I was instantly overtaken with the immense love George Boldt had for his wife.  I snapped over 500 photographs, and I apologize that I don’t have a closeup of the front of the castle for you, but those are on another camera card that I have not yet downloaded.

The entire time we were exploring the castle and its grounds on a self-guided tour, Steve and I discussed George and Louise.  All around us were visual signs of their love from heart-shaped flower beds to hand-carved granite benches with huge hearts carved out of the center of each bench’s backrest to the portraits of Louise to the Italian Garden with its carved granite statues.  We wondered what George would think of all the people tramping around the grounds and invading the castle.  We wondered how he would have looked upon the vandalism each room on each floor suffered from careless youths who didn’t know the story behind the castle or perhaps knew it and didn’t care.

As we sat on a magnificent porch, on a heart-shaped bench, I became weepy thinking about George and his immense love of Louise.  With all that Steve has been through this year, perhaps George’s story hit a little too close to home.  Or perhaps I’m just too softhearted and enjoy a good love story.  Maybe a little of both.  One thing I know for certain, George and Louise Boldt are now a part of my own history, and their love story reminds me to be thankful for my own love story!

Finally–so as not to leave on such a sad note–It has been my dream to own an island.  Strange dream, I know.  But ever since I learned that Raymond Burr owned his own island, I’ve wanted to own one myself.  During our stay in Alexandria Bay, we came to learn that there were 3 islands for sale.  The first one we saw had a price of $1.4 million.  The second one we saw had the hefty price tag of $5.5 million.  And the third one was selling for $80,000.  I’ll leave you with the photo of the third island, which is still swimming around in my thoughts as a possibility!

DSCN1396

It’s not the size of the house that matters, but rather the island itself that remains important to me.  <grin>

Until next time, may you be as loved as Louise!! ❤

Boldt Castle

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It’s been a busy time

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Well, my July has been very busy with writing and family time.  August is going to be just as busy, and before I know it September will be here and then October. September, October and November are months I have … Continue reading

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Sorry, I Didn’t Make it Back on the 9th

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Jillian here. My all day depos really took it out of me so I had zero energy last night. I almost fell asleep on the couch three times. Remember the old days in school when your head would bob around … Continue reading

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I Know it’s My Day…I’ll be back

Jillian here: I’ve got all day depositions today and spent yesterday getting ready so I will be late posting…. stay tuned.