Archived Photos



At the antique shop/restaurant in Matsuyama with an antique Samurai uniform in back of us.

Rob in Osaka, where I’ll be visiting for a bit on the way down to stay with him in Matsuyama.

ROB AND FRIENDS IN PRAGUE–these are some of the young adults with whom wecelebrated Christmas in Czech Republic this year. Wonderful, energetic,enthusiastic people–our country’s in good shape with this generation. I’m surehe’s going to make good friends during his time in Japan. He’s already metseveral local JET people and gotten together socially. Much excitement!

Rob, on the Burren in the west of Ireland, a limestone “pavement” caused by the glaciers. The dolmen beside him is an ancient burial site.

Ireland’s west coast, looking out into the Atlantic.

Muckcross House Gardens near the Killarney National Forest. Aren’t those huge clumps of rhododendrons spectacular?

Rob, on the Dingle Peninsula and inside a ringfort, an ancient “dry stone” construction where the people of those days lived. Right off the Atlantic, these early farmers and their cattle were subject to frequent Viking raids, thus the fortifications.


During a break between Rob’s Yamasa terms, he met up with his cousin Eric, Eric’s wife Karen, and their adorable daughter Samantha in Tokyo. Eric’s a Navy physician, specializing in infectious diseases and so is often out in interesting places where things are happening: Indonesia, Malaysia. Karen, also in the Navy, is a hospital administrator.

It was so nice for Rob to have a chance to be with family after his very exhausting studies. The Yamasa is an intense immersion in Japanese language, speaking, reading, writing. All day, plus he’s also tutoring several clients in English to help pay his expenses.

And for those of you who’ve kept up with his adventures, yes, he took the bicycle. The rebuilt bicycle. The Demon Bicycle which shattered his front teeth in the good ol’ U.S. of A.!

Rob relaxing, bare feet–as is usual in Japan and was always what we did here at home–maybe that’s one reason he’s so comfortable in Japan??

Here are my niece, Jami, aka mother of the bride, and her beautiful daughter Erica. I had the wonderful privilege of traveling out to Arizona for the wedding and mellowing out under beautiful Arizona skies while drinking Salty Dogs. Yes. Salty Dogs. It was a wonderful wedding–and the Salty Dogs had nothing to do with it!

But they didn’t hurt, either!

Here’s the most recent picture I have of Rob, from this past Christmas. We had one of the loveliest Christmasses in recent memory. Lots of fun. I’m quite sad, though, because he’s back in Japan and will be there for a while.

He’s taking an intense course in Japanese, really immersing himself in the language and, of course, biking like crazy.

Sigh. What’s a mom to do, huh?

XMAS ’06

My In-Laws and My Mother-in-Law, Alice, who died three months after this picture at age 92, peacefully and in her own home. She will be missed.

Don’t we look as though we’re having a wonderful time?

We were! Karaoke for the kids, Irish Guiness Cake (still on the table), lots of delicious food, good laughs, and lots and lots of wine! Holidays are such fun. Rob’s leaning over in the back.


Emily, her dad Gary, and Rob


The Groaning Board, all prepared by the young adults who hosted Thanksgiving. What a treat! No clean up, no cooking–ah, delightful! Actually, we all contributed stuff, but it was the young folks who did the heavy labor. They get an A plus! St. Paul is gorgeous, lovely scenery, and Rob and Emily have a charming place. Rob’s in the black pullover to the left.


This is Rob upon his arrival at O’Hare Airport in Chicago with all his worldly goods on the luggage cart, including the bicycle that traveled 3000 miles from the northernmost point in Japan to the southernmost with the BEE Environmental Awareness group in their efforts to bring attention and money to the plight of THE GUDONG, a creature much like the manatee in Florida. Yes, all the stuff on the cart is the stuff that went into panniers on the bike, 132 lbs! Plus Rob and the bike itself, of course.


Here the group is in a casual moment at one of the wonderful summer fairs in Japan. These are great affairs with music, dancing, food. And good Japanese beer and sake. But of course!

Here are Rob, to the far left, and two of the other guys on the BEE ride. As I mentioned, they are dependent on the local populace for food and support. They’re eating all vegetarian, of course, and riding about 65 miles or more a day. They’re putting on environmental workshops at schools and doing various community awareness events.

Here’s the whole group in their bright yellow BEE shrits. You can see the panniers with the 132 lbs of gear loaded! One part of the Sapporo ride was 12 miles uphill.
If you’re interested in seeing more pictures, go to the web site, and you can find out about the organization.

My nephew Eric, a Navy physician; his wife, Karen, a Navy hospital administrator; and their new baby, Samantha! Such joy to welcome a new member to the family!

My mother-in-law, Alice, who went all the way to Hawaii to visit the new great grandbaby–and she’s only 89!

Rob and some of his students in the JET program during summer camp.

RUSSIAN ROB–aka, my son and heir the night he shaved his head in Prague, or, rather, had a friend shave it for him! Need I add the friend was female?

Here’s my pride and joy the weekend of his graduation from University of Wisconsin recently! Such fun!

Rob and my friend Suzette Vann, author of the acclaimed His Other Mother, at Christmas. Note the brussel sprouts! Were we healthy or what?!

Rob and his gramma at Christmas.
Rob, my baby sis, and her grandson at college graduation.

Baby sis and her tall(!) grandson in Madison, Wisconsin just outside Rob’s apartment.

Rob and Lil’ Tommy Dooley this past spring–during a rare quiet moment for either of them!

My dear nephew and niece-in-law and my sister-in-law included me in their Thanksgiving celebration. It was my first experience with deep-fried turkey!

Thought you all would enjoy seeing my college son on this past Halloween. He’s the Samurai Bunny. You’d recognize him anywhere, right??

RWA and Writing

Conference is always a wonderful, wonderful time. Here are authors Julie Wachowski and Margaret Watson with Margaret’s editor from Harlequin on the night of the award ceremony, Victoria Curran. Don’t they look tres elegant? Because Margaret was up for the RITA, Julie had done a professional makeup job on her. You can see some of the 2000 attendees behind them.

Three Windy City RWA members the night of the awards in Dallas, ’07. Julie Wachowski, Margaret Watson, and Allie Plietor. Margaret and Allie were both nominees in different categories for this year’s RITAs, RWA’s prestigious award honoring excellence in writing.

Again, Windy City authors Julie, Margaret, and Jennifer Greene, long distance member and RWA award-winning RWA Hall of Famer–and dear friend.

Writers need to share ideas and interests to keep sparking new stories. Every spring, several of us have a two-day CREATIVEFEST. Pictured here from left to right are Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jennifer Greene, Lindsay Longford, Margaret Watson, Suzette Vann, Cathie Linz, and Julie Wachowski. Yes, food’s part of the creative process, as you can see!


Although Rob managed to bike three thousand miles through the mountains of Japan and a typhoon without injury, here is what his teeth looked like after his fall from his new bike as he returned to his apartment. He also broke his jaw in two places. Moral? Make sure you and your loved ones wear bike helmets. Could have been lots worse. Of course my first reaction was relief that he hadn’t broken his neck. My second reaction was “Yikes. All that orthodontia, ruined!”

And here is the result of the modern miracle of dentistry, thanks to Dr. Donald Fee of Sugar Grove, IL. Can you believe it? Well, Dr. Fee is certainly a magician–and it took a long, long time to achieve this result. I could have cried when I finally saw Rob’s restored beautiful smile.

This is the River Walk in Naperville, my adopted town. We love to walk along it, especially in the summer when there’s a lot of bustle and activity.

The author in her serious, pre-author junior high days. Note the sense of high fashion (!) with the scarf!

THE RAINFOREST CAFE in Chicago–this was a picture Rob took when we were in

Chicago for his interview at the Japanese Consulate preparatory to the JET

position in Japan, for which he leaves July 25th. For two years! I’m

happy–for him. And sad–for me. I’ll miss my brown-eyed baby. Who will

always be my ‘baby’ even though he now steers me around and is, as we say down

south, “all growed up.” And very nicely, too!

Ms. Buster, Easter, 2000, retrieving a toy in hopes of a treat.

Mr. Cetis O’ Roarkey himself after a hard day.