The Van Bogaert River Women

Mother’s Day was three weeks ago and I haven’t posted since March. (I’m behind on stories–including the roller derby and my trip to Hocking Hills caves with Bonnie–but those will be told soon.) Truth is I’m losing my grip on time and admit it. Of course, others might suggest that I’m losing my grip on more important things—but who asked. Bonnie sent me an email saying “You’re quiet.” We all know that’s rare and, sometimes, not good.

Seems like much longer than three weeks since the holiday. I’ve packed in at least four maybe even six weeks of stuff into that time.  At the Institute, we are preparing to undergo a review of our base budget contemplating the expected austerity of 2012. It is a process that’s taken longer and been more laborious than needed, but that’s a boring story I won’t go into. All I can say is that I’m well-prepared for this given my extensive experience surviving 3?…4? recessions while self-employed. I stand before the money mavens on June 16 and then I can add base budget justification to my resume credits.

Though keeping the plates spinning at work has occupied a lot of time, the rest of of my energy over the last month has gone to trying to support dear friend, Rosemary Mueller, who was diagnosed with and went through surgery for breast cancer. Shortly after her operation, we learned that an inlaw has a serious disease. Difficult reminders that health is a precious gift that makes all the rest possible. Please keep these dear people in your thoughts, prayers, and intentions.

VB Women at B&B

Van Bogaert Women in the River City

In better news, week before last was a nice distraction when Mom and the sisters-in-law made a pilgrimage to the Queen City. It was a first trip for Mary and Lori (Ken’s and Steve’s wives) and Mom’s second. When picked, the date looked weather safe—during Cinci’s blooming spring but before the wicked summer heat. So much for planning. The day before the girls arrived, the temp shot up to the high 80’s and my AC quit — just in time for me to clean the upstairs where all the hot air rises. Yes, I wound up with a new unit. If you’re counting, there is only one major mechanical left to replace — the furnace. I will be praying to every known diety and the universe to spare me the delight of building my relationship with the heating/ac professionals for another year or two.

The AC tragedy aside, we had a great time. I treated the girls to a belated Mother’s Day celebration with lunch aboard a B&B Riverboat (old paddle boat) cruise. The food was good and we enjoyed our Bloody Marys and margaritas. Mom and Lori were nearly asked to leave for winning too many BINGO games. Lori took home a cookbook and mug. Mom gifted her cookbook to me. It was sunny and hot and there was a great breeze off the river. Very fun and a nice way to see the area.

Lori’s priest back home had highly recommended seeing St. Mary’s Basilica in Covington, our port of call, so we headed over after the cruise. I’d seen it from the outside, but was not prepared for the incredible interior—ornate carvings by German and Italian craftsmen, the world’s largest stained glass window, unbelievable

detail. Really exquisite. I’m told the music

on special occasions is spectacular. Next Christmas!

 I (heart) Shopping

For those who do not know my sisters-in-law, no trip is complete without shopping. Once they saw the Tiffany’s and Macy’s stores downtown, it was hard to keep them belted in the car. Texts to my brothers trying to encourage approval of spontaneous gift purchases at Tiffany’s were met with disappointing results. Not to be deterred, the ladies managed to find compensatory purchases at Macy’s.

As is becoming my habit, I introduced the ladies to Tuscan Lemonade ala Muchmore. Their enthusiasm for the libation was apparent in their run to Kroger’s for a starter bottle of the base mix. An hour each evening was set aside to indulge Mom and me and our “American Idol” addiction. All of us were shocked that the James, the autistic rocker, was eliminated Thursday night.

Mary and Lori made plans to go the Friday night Red’s game. Mom and I opted to stay home and play SCRABBLE and Rummeo. With the evening planned, we lunched on Montgomery Boathouse ribs, a local favorite. In the mid-afternoon, Denny and his sidekick from Accurate Heating came to install my new AC. They finished just in time for the big storm that dropped the temperature 40 degrees. Oh, well, the next guests will enjoy the new cool.

Early Saturday, the Wisconsin women headed back up north—car packed to the hilt with clothes, plants, ribs, and liquor. What else is there?! Good to have family in the house and company to explore new haunts.


The nice thing about company is that even though the house is too quiet after — it is at least clean and there are inevitably tasty leftovers in the frig. Since the girls left Saturday, I had time to veg for two days and indulged my new addiction—Ally McBeal reruns. I missed this program during its original run—it was during my television hiatus when the boys and I were all in school. Several friends raved about it and when I saw it on Netflix, I wanted to see why. Natural appeal for me…quirky, imaginative, great characters, and Robert Downey, Jr.  The problem has been extracting myself from 5 seasons. Yes, I’ve been sucked into the story and can’t bring myself to skip to the last chapter to see how it ended. Happily, I will be distracted this week with a trip to the Big Apple.

As I write, I’m sitting in the airport. My flight’s delayed for another hour. I can’t get Netflix here. The KY airport has not committed to free wifi, so I’m condemned to watch a new soap opera unfold — the Frenchie and Schwartzenegger. Give me a break! CNN’s running headline is “Sex and Politics.” Bygones (a Fishism/reference to A. McBeal). On to the much more interesting topic of what Donna will do loose in New York.

As luck would have it, I get two+ days in theatre city. I’m participating in a conference at Columbia University on Thursday but tomorrow, Friday, and until 2pm on Saturday—I get to immerse myself in all things New York. In addition to seeing a show and art museums, I’d like to go to Ellis Island and the Empire State Building. On my previous trips, I’ve never gotten around to making those classic tourist stops. Hoping to connect with my boss from Northwestern days, Toni Riccardi. Sound like a tall order? You know me—moderation be damned.

Muchmore in Montello

Well, that’s it for now. Much more after the adventure unfolds. For our Wisconsin friends, the boys and I will be “holding court” at Scharenburg’s White Lake Beach Resort in Montello, WI from 5/30-6/5. We’re trying to have a restful vacation in a cottage by the lake. Drop in and see us if you can. Call ahead to make sure we’re not off on a junket. My cell is 513-515-5317.

N4785 19th Avenue Montello, Wisconsin 53949 | Phone: 608.297.2278 |


About vbassoc

Donna Van Bogaert is a researcher and consultant in the field of cognitive styles, health communication, and organizational communication and behavior. Her business, Van Bogaert & Associates, Inc., specializes in cognitive-based coaching, management consulting, and leadership development. When the winds are blowing her way, she travels and talks about workplace potential and creative problem solving. In another life, Donna sings jazz. For a very long time, she fronted two 18-piece big bands —All That Jazz (Madison, WI) and The Gardenia Big Band (Rockford, IL). She currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio where, in a third parallel universe, she leads a media branch of a national research institute. Mostly she has returned to painting, poetry, and plotting the next chapter of her life.
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