Archive for January, 2009

“Are you the Ghost who Lives in my House?”

January 29, 2009

When I listened to the voicemail from my sister today, I burst out laughing. I’ve been in Wichita for the last 2 weeks. I’m staying at her house. And……………. 

we haven’t seen each other in days.

She goes to bed before my office at Panera closes. I stay up to the wee hours so I get up late. Sonja has to be at work at 6:30am.

(Do people really get up in the middle of the night and go to work?)

With my night owl tendencies, it is hard to imagine a schedule like that.

Sonja is one of those people with a really great sense of humor.

Considering our totally missing each other, her message was hilarious. “Are you the ghost who lives in my house?”

Thank heaven for the people in our lives who make us laugh.

Thank heaven for my little sissy, Sonja Dove.

My Office at Panera Bread Company in Wichita

January 22, 2009

Ask me a question, any question,  about the wonderful office facilities at Panera.

Trust me.   I’m an expert.

I don’t often do commercials, but these guys have a great business model.

And…. for much of the afternoon…. it includes a private office space and conference room.

As many of you know, I am on the eve of a book signing in Wichita at Bradley Fair Barnes and Noble tomorrow Jan. 23 at 6pm – 8pm.

What you didn’t know until now is the location of my Wichita office.

(Panera Bread at Hillside and Central)

For the last 2 weeks you could find me here many hours of the day. I’ve worked on the computer with great Wi-fi access, held conferences, lunch and dinner meetings as well as after dinner visits with friends and business associates.

What more could you ask for in accommodations?

My office is complete with a coffee house for breakfast and healthy sandwiches, soups, and salads all day long.

At Columbus in my home office, the digs are a little more swanky, but the service is crumby.

Self help only.

Make my own meals and snacks or go hungry.

Here’s the deal… every Baglady worth her salt should have a Panera in her life somewhere!

Erma Bombeck and The Baglady

January 12, 2009

I was signing books after a recent speaking event when I got the biggest compliment of my whole life.


What, you might think, would be the best compliment anyone could ever give you?


Here are a few that could make a good impact on me:



“WOW! You look like you have lost 20 pounds!” 

  (No one ever tells me this.) 


“You’re kidding. You’re 56? You look so young I was thinking maybe 40.” (I could only have a rare chance of getting this one when my roots aren’t showing. My ‘real’ hair has been solid white for about 20 years. The upside is that when I don’t dye it, everyone gives me the senior discount without even asking. If any woman could ever consider that an upside. Ugh!)


“You’re such a clothes horse. What a great style you have.” (This is one I will never get. You don’t have to know me very long before you realize that 1 black skirt, 3 black tops, a black pair of pants and black shoes are the basis of my personal style. I’ve got Chico’s jewelry to thank for anything on me that resembles a fashion statement.)


Okay, so it wasn’t any of these, though they would be flattering. But here is the one compliment that has absolutely knocked my socks off.


A lady excitedly walked up to me and said.


“You’re the next Erma Bombeck!” 


I never ever expected that.


Just in case you might be thinking I’m getting a big head about this…. Not to worry.


I don’t think it is true. But, you see, Erma Bombeck is my all time favorite humorist.


And to be in any way compared to her is the highlight of my life.


I loved her since the early seventies and I grieved when she passed away. She was a hero, an ‘every day’ hero.


Erma saw the humor in the mundane, small details of life. But most of all, she offered us a new perspective, a different way to see our circumstances.   


Right now, everything we base our security on is being shaken. I say, the whole country is actually having a ‘Baglady experience’ right now.


Unfortunately, Erma is not here to find the humor in it, but Rose, the sweet little lady with a great big bag, can help us see it all from a higher perspective.


If Erma was here, I’m sure she would approve.


Perspective, after all, is everything! 

The Hamburgers at Harry’s in Pittsburg

January 4, 2009

A couple of days ago I met with sisters, Kathy and Donna, at Harry’s Café in Pittsburg, KS.


What a great place it is; an old fashioned local diner. You can still sit at the counter on a round stool that will spin you in 360 degrees. There are homemade pies every day. But the biggest deal about eating at Harry’s for me is getting to have a real hamburger and real french fries.


You know, like in the old days.


With lettuce, tomato and a whole slice of real onion. Mustard and all the ketchup you want to squirt right out of the bottle. (No little packets to open at Harry’s.)


I’m reminded of the theme song for the sit com, Cheers, when I think of Harry’s. …..where everybody knows your name….. and they’re really glad you came….


We sat at a booth just off the main aisle to the kitchen. Kathy and Donna’s mom works the cash register on the weekends, so she chatted with us for a few minutes. Some of the staff came out of the kitchen to say hello to us and several others in the dining room.


Obviously, these girls have connections, because when we got up to the cash register Aunt Betty, the owner, took all our tickets away and refused to take our money.


So, I ran out to my car and signed a copy of The Baglady’s Guide to Elegant Living  especially to Aunt Betty. What a sweetheart she is.


If Harry’s isn’t something to ‘cheer’ about, I don’t know what is.