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Lori Helke

You Must Go To Mardi Gras New Orleans At Least Once

In the Spirit of Fat Tuesday I am posting an article I wrote 2 years ago when I spent a couple of days in New Orleans for Mardi Gras before we left port for our 25th Anniversary cruise. Everyone must experience Mardi Gras in New Orleans at least once in their lives! We spent two days in New Orleans the Thursday and Friday before Fat Tuesday.  Hubby and I were to set sail for our…

Why I May Be Moving To A Retirement Home Before I Retire

To move or not to move, that is the question. Moving to our retirement home before we actually retire has become a real possibility.  Things have certainly changed in the last year. We went from 2 stable incomes to one of us retiring from a long utility construction career and one of us  loosing a 32 year job with no warning. All this brought us scrambling as to what to do next.  Luckily we have…

Winter Bucket List Item-Ice Castles Wisconsin Dells

I had been waiting patiently for the chance to see the Ice Castles in Wisconsin Dells.  When I read in December that Ice Castles were coming to Wisconsin for the first time I was pretty excited.  Truthfully I had never heard of it before, but it looked like a cool thing to do. All we needed was the Wisconsin weather to cooperate. The construction of the castles began in Mid December. Due to the warm…

5 Essential Items For A Perfect Paris Experience

It’s no secret that Paris is my favorite destination in the world. I have visited Paris twice now and I have not been able to see everything this city has to offer.  Paris is a city perfect for the wanderer, the person who wants to find themselves, the art connoisseur, and the fashion lover.  I could go on and on listing all this cities attributes.  Those of us that love it and have…

Book Recommendation-Big Magic From Elizabeth Gilbert

I am revisiting this book recommendation I wrote from January 2016 when I about my favorite book from 2015.  It is timely since we are reading it this month in an online book club I am a member of. It is one of the best books I have read, and  in April I will be traveling to southern Illinois to see Elizabeth Gilbert speak for the first time! I am beyond excited to see her…

Why My Book Addiction Will Cause My Sudden Death

I love books I love new books, used books, book recommendations, book clubs, and mostly owning books!  This last fact is the main reason that books could be the death of me. Books stores are an instant magnet to me.  If I walk past one, I HAVE to enter.  Before I know it I have spent hours combing the shelves only to walk out with 5 new books in my bag. Sometimes I think I…

All Saints Church Of Elkhart Lake In The Snow

Winter Destination -The All Saints Chapel Of Elkhart Lake Wisconsin All Saints Chapel of Elkhart Lake was my first photo-op of the morning.  Wisconsin became covered in a blanket of white on Wednesday and I knew just where I was headed to take some pictures this morning.  Almost everyday the whole month of December as I delivered parcels for the USPS I drove past this cute little chapel.  Every time I did I vowed…

10 Travel Quotes For The Midlife Woman

Travel Enriches Your Life You don’t need to travel to the ends of the earth.  Maybe discovering a  State Park is more your speed. That’s okay, travel is more about discovering yourself than how many stamps you collect in your passport.  I did not truly begin my travel adventures until age 48 which means it’s never too late to explore. So get out of your comfort zone and if…

Tuesday Travel Snapshot-Paris Love Locks

Love them or hate them- it seems Paris  cannot escape the infamous love locks.  Despite the city’s efforts to stop the tourists from professing their undying love for each other sealed with a lock, they  just keep showing up. Read about how they dismantled the 45 tons of locks from the Pont des Arts bridge in 2015 here. Not only did I spot them on various bridges, they seemed to show up at…

Book Recommendation: Pancakes In Paris by Craig Carlson

  My book recommendation for this month is Breakfast In America by Craig Carlson Not only did this fun read make me incredibly hungry for all breakfast food, it  was a great glimpse into the crazy bureaucracy of starting and running a restaurant in Paris. This is the true story of Craig Carlson and his very famous diner style Breakfast In America restaurants in Paris. Armed with an idea and a dream, his journey is…

Setting Goals For 2017

Saying goodbye to 2016 did not break my heart in the least.  There were good things about last year, but all in all I was ready to start fresh with a new set of goals for 2017. I have typically made new years resolutions in the past, mostly to lose weight and get in shape, but I decided to approach 2017 a new way.  More organized with concrete goals both professionally and personally.  With this…

Purging My Book Stash

One of the hardest things for me to do is to go through and downsize my book collection.  I love having books around. The smell, colors, and access to all those printed words make me giddy with joy. One of my goals in 2017 is to downsize and simplify my life. I got a burst of energy today when I got home from work and decided to tackle this one job. Now mind you, I…

My (Almost) All Shopping Online Christmas

How much shopping online do you do for Christmas? I’m approaching Christmas gift buying totally different this year.  The last couple of years I have slowly moved from actually hitting the stores for all my gift buying to buying online.  This year I intend to do 99% of my gift buying online.  There are only a few gifts I purchased in person, a few from my artist friend Shannon who does beautiful paintings…

Whew! I’m Finally Getting My New Job

I’m proof positive that if you are forced to start over in a new job after age 50 you can do it. I’ve had a tough road the last few months starting a new job for the USPS. There were many days that I wanted to give up thinking I just could not do it, but 2 weeks ago I did one of the rural routes from start to finish!  That…

Enjoying The First Snowfall Of Winter

We had our first measurable snowfall of the season yesterday.  I must confess, I’m not a big fan of our Wisconsin winters, but I do enjoy the beauty of fresh snowfall.  Waking up this morning to the sight of snow turning  the dull brown landscape into a sea of white made me smile full of gratitude at how lucky we are to experience all four seasons here. I was scheduled…

I’ll Take My Boring Saturday Night Thank You Very Much

Remember when Saturday night was the biggest night of the week?  Most likely at 7:01 on a Saturday night 30 years ago I was busy beginning the hour and a half long ritual of getting myself ready for a night of partying and having fun with my friends.  After those crazy Saturday nights, Sunday would pass by in a hungover haze. All I can say is thank goodness I wised up and those days…

Musee d’Orsay In Pictures

During my recent trip to Paris in September the Musee d’Orsay was on my list of must sees.  Even having been there before, this is my art museum of choice.  I love the Impressionism period so this is the best place to see them all.  This gallery features some of my favorite works of art, including the Orsay itself…

Trying A New Creative Outlet And Finding Your Passion After 50

What’s your favorite creative outlet?  Or, do you swear you don’t have a creative bone in your body? If you’re like me, you may have always had something that you enjoyed to do (writing for me, mostly in journal form) but were really too busy to get serious about it.  Maybe you are a crocheter,  like to craft, or scrapbook.  In any case many of us suddenly find ourselves…

Finding Answers In Mindfulness

A couple of weeks ago I purchased a set of Grace Cards by Cheryl Richardson.  In an effort to figure out my next step in a more fulfilling life and after reading my friend Barbara Techel’s book Wisdom In The Pause, I decided to give them a try.  Although you can use them any way you like, I like to shuffle the deck and draw a card everyday.  That card serves as a…

Social Media, Opinons, And The Presidential Election

Never mind that I have had an epic fail in the daily blog post challenge, it seems I have lost my public writing voice this past week. The combination of this past weeks events and still struggling a bit with my new job has left me mentally drained. All I can do is journal my personal thoughts. Words that I will not share with anyone. As people took to social media to be very vocal…

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