Minette Lauren

Published: 111 articles

Is it our age?

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Another distant family member has passed away, and I am on my way to another wedding. Do weddings and funerals just happen in pairs and is it life’s little reminder that time is short…or is it in your forties that everyone starts to get sick and die? I’ve been watching a masterpiece theater series, Any Human Heart, and it is intriguing. I love thoughtful pieces that span through generations and especially a writer’s life. It takes you from the character’s college days through decades of love, marriage, children, war, aging and death. My favorite line is, It’s all just luck in the end, all the good luck and all the bad. I might be inclined to agree. I have failed in life giving my all, and I have succeeded where I hardly tried. The important things were mostly achieved with effort, but every now and then, life throws you a winning lotto ticket. When that happens, enjoy the ride. As with all of life’s ups and downs, the time spent in them is finite. Today a wedding, tomorrow a funeral. They are all inevitable and they are all a part of life.

Vegas Baby!

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Something must be wrong with me because my husband has asked me if I wanted to go to Vegas for my birthday, and I said, “I don’t know!!!” I think I might be plain spoiled, but after LA, Greece, Scotland, New York, and soon traveling to Kentucky for a wedding……I think I’m just tired of running for the plane. I also admit I am a white knuckle flier and hate to be in the air. Missing a current trip to North Carolina this weekend because of the hurricane, and there is a California trip still in the wings.

I love Vegas. I have been there many times and it is never lacking fun. If I go, I will have a ball and possibly come up with more to a romance story I started eons ago, about a VIP host, who worked at a big casino/hotel. Sometimes I keep waiting for my life to slow down, but when it does, I just fill it up with more things to do.

Vegas, no-Vegas… I’ll enjoy my birthday either way and the memories made will be everlasting.

Tour de Cure

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In the interest in finding a cure for diabetes, I have ridden the Houston Tour de Cure seven years in a row. My sister recently died of multiple health issues caused by diabetes, at the young age of forty-eight. My mom has type 2 diabetes, as do many other friends and relatives. Riding along this year, they asked us to cheer, “Go Red rider,” every time we passed someone wearing a red jersey that said, I ride with diabetes. It was a nice token, and I tried to say it whenever I noticed a red shirt. Every year before, I was happy to ride and felt like I was doing my bit to help a favored charity, but this year I was a little sad. My sister lived with diabetes for almost forty years, there is still no cure, and she is gone. I wonder if they found a cure, would they share it. There is so much money to be made in pharmaceuticals, it would be like putting a tire on the market that lasted forever….who would buy new tires? So many people suffer from diabetes. I have heard conspiracy theories before and thought hmm… but it is my wishful thinking that there actually could be a cure. The day was hot and sunny, we finished our goal for the year, and that was a positive end to my day. Go Red Riders near and far, and I’ll keep hoping they find a cure!

Self-serve and technology for the future…

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On my way to Greece, Scotland, and New York, I noticed a trend in American Airports. Order-yourself restaurants are popping up all through the terminals. Tables are lined with i pads for each guest. I sat and order everything I liked, selected a gratuity–before ever seeing a server– and had the option to pay by credit card or use airline miles! This sounds cool, but I wondered about our older generation. They still travel but are not always up on advancing technology. Who will help them to turn on the menu?

My experience was that you order, there is a one time beverage drop off, followed shortly by food. I did get a refill on my drink when flagging someone down, but no one ever asked how the meal was or checked on our table. Why should they…they already have their tip! These cafes look cool, chic, fast, but if I want to wait on myself, I would rather eat at Mc Donald’s.

Chili’s has been doing the i pad order and check out for years, but still has attentive, friendly staff to assist. Groceries offer self-checkout in most stores, and I fear it may be the wave of the future to select our food before even seeing a table.

New York city is full of bustling cafes and diners that you hustle in, place your order at a bar,then slide down to pick it up at the end of the counter.  You take a table and hope you have everything you need without having to return to the counter ten times. The amazing thing is we still tip! I’m a generous tipper, but the time may come, where I expect to be waited on for the gratuity to continue. It was a novel experience, but I will look for an i pad-less table in the future.

New York, New York

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I am visiting New York for the memorial of my sister. It’s been almost two months, and I have been dreading the trip. I am not keen on the Big Apple because there are too many people. I feel a little claustrophobic when I am here. My sister loved the city! My mom loves being a tourist, but I have this fear she will be ran over by a bus, as she stops in random places to take pictures of flowers. Lucky for me, it is a short trip and I will be sleeping in my own bed again soon.

We had lunch in Bryant Park, with the lovely white Birch trees canopied against the clear blue sky. Temps are eighty degrees here, and you might just sizzle if you sit too long in the sun. The pavement is hot, and the metal benches searing. The pictures above are from my window overlooking Times Square, the Bryant Park Grill, architecture in front of the library, and the famous lions that guard it. Having dinner with a friend I haven’t seen in ten or more years. I’m looking forward to a nice meal, catching up over a bottle of Salon champagne and then flying home to my furry family. Missing them to pieces.

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Dunnottar Castle in Stonehaven

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Zoe Tasia has been to this particular castle many times, so when I asked where I should go in Aberdeen, she immediately said Dunnottar Castle. It was every bit the castle ruins I imagined I would see and more. Beautiful, majestic and towering above the cliffs of Stonehaven, it is a magnificent view of the North Sea and a great example of a medieval castle. Many Royals have visited Dunnottar, creating great history and stories of intrigue. The best part is that you can explore all the rooms and climb the stairs. Most of Dunnottar is open for tourist to roam free and let their imaginations fly. A true treat for my visit, even better than Sticky Toffee Pudding. It is a MUST see in Scotland.

Castles in Scotland

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Touring Aberdeen and Edinburgh, Scotland is turning out to be an amazing trip. There are so many things to light the imagination. The castles are wonderfully entertaining and full of history. I will upload more pictures at a later date, but alas this is an entirely different vacation than Greece and I am exhausted! Two castles a day, with all the driving, and stops for pictures, food or treats has worn me out. The land is lush and green, with beautiful gardens everywhere you look. There are rolling hills of wheat and forest full of ferns and towering tree canopies that shadow the earth floor on the sunniest of days. The weather was sunny and sixty-five degrees most days. The people here are beyond friendly and of course, I love the accent! I miss my furry babies at home very much about now, but I can’t wait to see Dunnotter Castle tomorrow and the village of Stone Haven. Off to bed I go! My time-clock is finally on schedule. More research  means more imagination fuel for future stories.

A little art and culture for the day….

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I visited the Houston Museum of Fine Arts today. There is a wonderful exhibit called Habsburg Splendor on display until Sept. 13th 2015. A beautiful collection of art and artifacts. Wonderful way to spend the day and let your imagination roam.

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Titan, Danae, 1554-65

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Guldo Cagnacci, The Death of Cleopatra, 1661-62

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Jacopo Robusti (Tintoretto), Susanna and the Elders, 1555-56

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Antonio Allegri (Correggio), Jupiter and lo, 1530

 

 

 

Dog Days of Summer:)

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Yes, it is that time….the dog days of summer are upon us, and I am too lazy to do anything but a little laundry and lounge by the pool. There are a thousand things I meant to do, and I have a running list of errands to check off on my phone, but the pool and sun beckoned. School’s back in session, football season is upon us, and soon the leaves will fall. Swimming and lazy days in the sun will be a vague memory of the summer of 2015.

People say that owners look like their pets. I have a variety of pets, but if I had to say I looked like one, it would be my little dapple dachshund. Leo is freckled like me and loves to lounge in the sun. The pool cleaner is often referred to as the pool monster and Leo’s job is to watch for it every day to come on so he can swim around it for two hours. I have had a lot of pups in my lifetime, mostly Labradors, but I have never had a dog quite so obsessed about swimming! He takes his job seriously. So do I, so it’s back to writing, but the break was nice, the day was hot, and the water- cool beads of liquid on my soul.

Love thyself….

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Zoe was cutting herself some slack yesterday over tresses, and today I was having my tresses pampered. I really like my hairdresser. She is a down to earth lady with lots of character, spunk and a big heart. We discuss lots of topics when I am there for 90-120 minutes…I know, crazy for a hair appointment, but she is good. The topic tonight was about settling…She is mid-forties and tired of dating. She is convinced that there are no decent men left, and she has returned to a man, who most definitely is not good for her….or any woman. I mentioned a book she should read awhile back called, Stop Caretaking the Borderline or Narcissist. This book should be read by every woman who feels trapped in an unhappy, dysfunctional relationship and afraid to get out. Chances are the partner is a NP or BP.

My stylist decided that after being separated from her x for a time and dating, that she felt more comfortable with someone she knew and understood what to expect. After listening for a time, it wasn’t clear that she loved her x, so much as she wasn’t sure she could find anyone else who understood her. NP’s and BP’s are not good in relationships, but when their partner is about to give up they turn on the charm or give the partner just the thing they desire most.

I told her she deserved better, life was too short, and what’s wrong with being alone for a while. In the end, you can’t change other people, so for me to harp on her about the questionable choice to return to comfort and risk further heartache is senseless. The only thing you can change is yourself. I wish for her to find a special man who will treat her right and appreciate her inner beauty, but more than that, I wish for her the ability to love herself.