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At how nice your old jewelry can look!

My sister-in-law, Kathy, and I went through her mom's jewelry boxes last week. My father-in-law, brought the boxes (yes, plural) into the kitchen and dropped them on the table. Wow, Ann had a lot of pretty things.

There were some costume pieces that I liked, but they seemed really worn. I bought one of those sonic cleaners and got some amazing results. All the costume and the real jewelry has been so rejeuvenated that I'm pretty sure I'll wear jewelry a lot more often.

By the way, my sister-in-law, Kathy, could not have been more gracious about sharing her mom's jewelry. I got several beautiful rings which will remind me of Ann every time I wear them.

In fact, I'm going off to the jewelry store now to have them sized to fix me.


My dear Mother-In-Law, Ann Donovan, passed away Tuesday morning. John has written a wonderful elegy for her, and everyone should go read it.

Many of my friends from complain about their mothers-in-law. They complain that they are butt-in-skies and critical and unbearable. This was not the case with Ann Donovan. Ann was always gracious. In fact, she told me that she endeavored to be a good Mother-in-law because she had a difficult time getting along with her mother-in-law.

When I first met Ann, John was helping me to move my portion of my Dad's furniture to Kansas. My dad had just died, and John was a friend, and was kind enough to drive the U-Haul truck while I drove the car from St. Louis to Olathe, Kansas. We stopped in Columbia, Missouri to take a break from the extremely long day that started with loading the U-Haul at about 6 am. John had recently been given a family heirloom and since he was being so helpful, I told him that we could haul that to his house in Leavenworth. The family heirloom was a huge, huge Winchester Bullet Board.

John went into his house to get the bullet board and load it in the U-Haul. His mom, Ann, came out and wandered down to my car, where Andy and I sat. She insisted that we come in and have dinner and stay the night. And she welcomed us into her family ever after.

How wonderful is that?

Eventually, John and I became a "thang" and we started making regular visits to Columbia for holidays, etc. Ann was always extremely kind to me and to Andy. And she loved Andy like her own grand .

Ann had a wondrous sense of humor. She delighted in the silly gifts we brought her. Like this one and this one.

I have many good memories of time spent with John's mom. So many memories that I guess someday I should sit down and write about the best ones.

And what a surprise - it's hot

I flew in yesterday, and a very nice woman sat next to me on the plane, and we chatted quite a bit. I did happen to mention that I'm rather conservative, and her eyes narrowed just a bit, but she gamely continued our conversation. She didn't get terribly upset when I mentioned that gun ownership was an important right - I know she disagrees, but just because you might disagree with someone doesn't mean you can't talk to them.

We talked about all kinds of things - Valour IT, cats, horses, Army stuff, girls from and how many great restaurants there are in Phoenix. I seldom sit next to people so much fun to talk to.

In the final moments of our flight, she told me her name, Marli Murphy.

Now, for those of you who don't live in the KC area, you are thinking - Marli who ??!! But I have been reading Marli's columns for years. I gushed over her, I'm afraid, as much as if she was a huge movie star. I have always enjoyed her writing - she has a great sense of humor and she is a great story teller. I told her she should get a blog.

I'm not holding my breath - Marli is very busy with her regular job and her freelance writing job - but if she does decide to blog, I'll link her!

Short on time - back to work

The past week seems like it was month's long, but it's time for real life to return. I have to get my sink shining again and get my rear to work!

I have dinner in the crock pot and clothes being washed. It's going to be a beautiful day here - in the 70s. I have got to go out at lunch time and take a walk.

Yesterday, I bought some fruit and full grain bread and other healthy stuff. Now, I just need to know when to stop eating at dinner time.

I'm pretty sure I can get the house in order and lose weight at the same time - in fact, just getting the house in order will entail a certain amount of exercise.

Politics drives me nuts right now. Why the hell can't Congress focus on something other than trying to get George W out of office?

Update on the guy who sheds

I had to go up there again on Friday, and I thought that i'd get away without running into the incredible shedding man, because I was to just go and train the jasminelive operators in the operations room.

But he caught me on my way out, and I spent a couple of hours trying to get him to pay attention to what he is doing.

Friday he had cleaned up a little and talked a lot about movies, etc., but didn't seem to want to keep his mind on work!

I was very happy to get home.

I'm seriously thinking about putting a resume together and looking for another job. This guy just creeps me out.

Separated at Birth?

I live for moments like one that occurred last night, when I co-hosted Tuesday Night Trivia at New York's Baggot Inn. It happened while Caren, my co-host, was reading out the answers to the visual round, in which teams had to identify celebrities from their high-school yearbook photos.

The teams grade one another's answer sheets. Usually, when the answers are read, there are groans, cheers, or, if a team disagrees with an answer, a cry of complaint. However, when Caren announced that a certain yearbook photo was actually Bruce Springsteen, the loudest noise was a high-pitched shriek. It came from a friend of mine, book editor Carly Sommerstein, whose face was contorted with laughter.

All eyes were on Carly, as I exhorted her to tell us all what was so funny about Springsteen's photo. She struggled to speak, finally getting the words out. Pointing to the answer sheet that she was grading, she said, "They thought it was...William F. Buckley!"

As if that weren't strange enough, a cry went up from the other side of the room: "Another team thought it was William F. Buckley, too!"

Afterwards, I discovered that one of the teams which mistook the Boss for Buckley was a pair of conservatives, one of whom had come straight from the Fabiani Society's meeting. The other was led by a man who told me that he believed Buckley was "the devil." It may be that all they had in common was a mutual love of useless information.