Thursday, April 28, 2011

My Princess Diana encounter

Growing up I had an affinity for all things English. English country, English clothing (ahem- I wore rubber boots before they were fashionable), English riding and of course, all things English royalty. Keep in mind, this was way back when most people (Americans, at least) thought the monarchy very tedious and dull.

And then SHE came along.....the lovely Lady Diana. I think it can be convincly said that she changed our world - or at least she did mine. I immediately got the haircut. I pored over every photograph, collected every magazine in which she graced the cover, and of course joyfully jumped out of the bed at the crack of dawn on July 29th, 1981 to 'be there' for her special day. Sitting in my living room, eyes glued to the television set, I had no idea that soon I'd be making a move across the 'pond' and not only would I live less than 90 miles from her, but I'd even get to SEE her.

Adjusting to a new country and a new way of life can always be a bit difficult and some of that difficulty I have to say we brought on ourselves. Jay was in the Air Force and when he got his orders I knew right away that I did NOT want to live on base. No way. I wanted to be in the middle of all things British - and that's exactly what we did. I adapted to British customs, British food and made friends with the locals. We were newlyweds and all we could afford was a one-room flat over a hardware store in the small village of Ramsey. We lived there happily for a quite a while, and it wasn't until I was expecting Rachael that we decided to move into a house.

One weekend we took a break from 'setting up house' and took the train into London for Queen Elizabeth's annual birthday parade. My excitement over a possible Diana sighting was thwarted however when the news reported that due to the hot weather, Diana, who at the time was also pregnant (with Harry) would not be riding. Jay asked me if I still wanted to go. Sure. Why not? It's still not ever day that you get to see the Queen ride through the streets on a horse.

So we went.

We took a few snapshots of Buckingham Palace, then walked around London before claiming our spot to watch the parade. Please keep in mind two things. Number one - this was back in 1984 so these pictures aren't the best in the world, and number two - I was 7 and 1/2 months pregnant. It was unusally hot that summer - England isn't known for it's warm temperatures to begin with and this particular summer animals in the zoo were dying due to the unusually extreme temperatures. So, I was hot, tired and grumpy. And ready to go home. But still...I lingered. Smart decision. As the parade starts there is murmuring in the crowd...then excitement fills the air and trickles down the line like a small tidal wave as the news leaks out that Diana WILL be there after all.

But first....we have to wait as other members of the Royal Family are paraded through. The photo below is of the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester. The Duchess is the Queens first cousin and is the 26th in line for the throne.

And she is, Diana riding with the Queen Mother. The picture, I know is awful, but in real life she was very close. Since I was pregnant people were nice enough to let me stand in the front near the street, and when Princess Diana's carriage went by I got a PERFECT view of her. She faced our side of the street as she waved!!

and there she goes.....

It was only for a few moments, but for me will last a lifetime.

Although April 29th belongs to William and Kate, I think it's safe to say there won't be one single solitairy person around the world that won't also be thinking of Princess Diana on that day.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

dreams of a young girl...and Princess Diana

I was all of 19 when this picture was taken. November 27th, 1981 to be exact. And let's just go ahead and tackle the big elephant in the room. Yes, I know those are some crazy, ugly bridesmaid dresses - but at the time? Oh my. ALL I wanted in life was a Victorian-style wedding, and my mama made sure her little princess got what she wanted. And of course Daddy paid for it. Please keep in mind this was the 80's and I'll also have you know this girl's turn-of-the-century-style-wedding was THE social event of El Dorado Springs, Missouri. So there.

I had no clue what I wanted to do or be at this point in my life. All I knew was that I was madly in love with Jay Truitt. Trying desparately to figure it all out one night I just threw my hands up in the air and in a half-hearted spirit prayed, "God....I don't know what I want to accomplish or do with my life. But I do know that I want an EXCITING one!" I fell asleep that night never really giving it a second thought.

If what He has given me from a 'half-hearted' attitude is any measure then I am sure glad I didn't pray it at full scale because I couldn't have handled any more - EXCITEMENT has become my middle name. Some of you have asked to share my 'past' life and I am more than happy to concur.

And in homage to the upcoming royal wedding...I've decided to start with my brief, but sweet, in-person encounter with the late Princess Diana.

And although a LOT has changed since this country girl prayed for glamour-packed existence, one thing remains the same - I am still madly in love with that Jay Truitt.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Beach Week

Many of you have sent messages wanting to see pictures of some of the events I've attended lately. I have no author events in April or May (except for a book club in Falls Church, VA later in May) and rather than writing on my next novel like I should be doing I instead been focusing on my social life - something I'd put on hold the past few years. The picture below is what I wore to have tea with the Australian Ambassadors wife at their residence in D.C. with the Salvation Army Women's Auxiliary. Okay, everyone. Keep in my mind I am a writer - NOT a photographer.
Sophia, Grandma and Grandad in front of her Daddy's restaurant - Floriana (on 17th and Q in Washington, DC).

Mr. T and I went to Vegas with some friends for a few days in the middle of March. What fun! While shopping I just happened to run into Tommy Hilfiger. His lovely wife, Dee was sweet enough to snap this photo of us.

I wanted sooooo bad to see Barry Manilow while we were there but I didn't dare ask. Mr. T seeing Barry Manilow is like taking me to see the Monster Truck show - it ain't happenin'. However, Mr. T. pulled off the ultimate surprise and not only did he take me to see Mr. Manilow but we had FRONT. ROW. SEATS!!! Woo-hoo!

Then back home in time for the Capital Speakers Club Fashion Show at Saks in Chevy Chase. (That's me in the hat and my daughter, second from the right). We dined on savory seared tuna with fresh vegetables while watching the models work the catwalk in the latest spring fashions. But, I was only home for a wee bit.

We arrived at the beach house at 5:00 last night. After unpacking my clothes, makeup bag, and putting groceries away I strolled the beach, basking in the glow of a silvery, full moon as the tide roared in and out. Perfect.

We're about 5oo yards from the beach. Our bedroom is on the back side and I always leave the french door open so I can be lulled to sleep by the sound of the waves. I always plan to get writing done while I'm here but there is absolutely no way. Especially not with this view:

And this will be my view for the next 7 days. Sophia is due to arrive with her parents in a couple of hours, so I doubt that you hear from me for the remainder of the stay. As you can imagine it's nearly impossible to write with a 21 month old perched on your lap. Until next time.....


Sunday, April 17, 2011

I am currently on break from touring and book signings throughout April and May, but what has been lacking in travel I have more than made up for in fun! My social calendar has been off the radar. It's been wonderful catching up with friends I haven't seen in a very long time. Right now I'm headed to the beach for spring break. When I come back I start my screenwriting class at the local college. And I have to finish "The Hillbilly Debutante Cafe". Actually, 'The HD Cafe" is my main priority. I've already missed two deadlines. As soon as my mother e-mails me pictures (chop-chop, mama!) I will have some to post. Love to all of you! Until next time -----kathie

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


I've had more than a few people accuse me through the years of being 'shallow.'

I wish.

I would love for the last thought as my big, teased shellacked hair hits the pillow to be about the $595 pair of Manolo Blahniks I saw at Saks today.

Or to be totally focused on finding that perfect product that would reduce the black circles under my eyes that gives me the appearance of being a loser in last nights bar fight.

What's wrong with being shallow, anyway?

Why can't my life be aaalllll about of a closet full of St. John suits. Size 4 St. John suits.

The dictionary lists numerous synonyms for the term 'shallow.'

'empty, flimsy, foolish, frivolous, idle, ignorant, meaningless, puerile and simple'

God, please make me all of these!

Because if I was 'empty-flimsy-foolish-frivolous-idle-ignorant-meaningless-puerile-and-simple' the death of an 11-year-old boy in my neighborhood - whom, I might add, I never knew existed until I saw his picture and the article in the paper - would not phase me.

You see, the self-absorbed 'empty- flimsy- foolish- frivolous-idle -ignorant-meaningless-pueril- and -simple' me wouldn't give a darn because it doesn't affect me.

Even if I could be just three of these - say, 'empty and flimsy, mixed with just a hint of simple', I would not mourn the death of someone else's child, someone I never knew, nor worry about the welfare and impact on his younger brother and sister.

I wouldn't have this incessant need to do the impossible - to take away their pain.

You see, my accusers are wrong. I'm not shallow. Not in the least.

Because how else can you explain the fact that as I lie here in this king-size bed, with the lights out and the curtains blowing gently in the breeze, I swear I can 'feel' a young mothers heart shattering from over 2 blocks away.