Stroke at 47!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 by  

Bianca Tyler, best friend in England, Godmother, wedding, castle, joy (11)An interesting turn of events 26 years ago would wind & wiggle and eventually lead me to my dream man. I lived in England with a woman who would not only become one of my very best friends in the world…like a sister, but who would introduce me to my husband. I am the Godmother of her sweet daughter (seen here in her arms which also happens to be her 1st birthday) and my sister is Godmother to one of her sons. I’m indebted to her forever for my amazing husband & darling children.

Bianca Tyler, best friend in England, Godmother, wedding, castle, joy (2)So when I received the phone call that she had had sudden hemorrhaging in her brain and was in the hospital’s acute stroke ward, we immediately booked a flight to England. As I stared out the window, I felt a rush of emotions & memories flood my mind.Bianca Tyler, best friends, hen night, wedding, roommates, love and trust

I thought about the day we met under bizarre circumstances that led me to live in her house for 6 weeks; even though she had just gotten married.

It was supposed to be an overnight. Both she and her husband said I could stay as long as I’d like.

So I did.

Bianca Tyler, best friend in England, York, boat ride     Bianca Tyler, best friend in England, Godmother, York
I remember them taking me sightseeing around England (above: York) and Bianca Tyler, best friend in England, Vermont, picking Vermont apples, apple pickingI took them apple picking in Vermont (left), trips to the City, and tours through the colonial towns of Connecticut.

I remember blasting their stereo to my Madonna cassettes I toted to England in my plastic pink cassette case – it was the 80s, you know. They worked by day & I danced in long t-shirts around their house to Bon Jovi, Def Leppard and the Talking Heads.

I’d jog around their little village and chit chat with the neighbors, shop owners and the folks gardening along my way. By evening, I was all abuzz with the latest goings on.Bianca Tyler, best friend in England, Godmother, wedding, castle, joy (3)

Then back in the States, I remember the train ride to New York City to see a George Michael concert – gotta love those glasses!

And I was so happy my friend & her husband were there the night I earned the Miss Connecticut title heading to the Miss America competition & at the party for my parent’s 25th wedding anniversary.
Bianca Tyler, Godmother, Godchildren

I remember the excited but weary phone call from England the moment her 1st son was born…he’s now 22 and lived with us for 7 weeks this past year. I was thrilled when she requested I be there for the birth of her daughter. Long story for another day…

And after my dear friend suffered several miscarriages &Bianca Tyler, best friend in England, Godmother, pregnant was experiencing a very high-risk pregnancy, she still boarded a plane Bianca Tyler, best friend in England, Godmother, Godchild, pregnant, Father, Sisterimmediately to be by my side the day my beloved father died (click this link for pictorial: Daddy).



So there was no way I was not going to get on a plane as soon possible so I could hug a woman I admire and love so much.

Bianca Tyler, best friend in England, Godmother, home Bianca Tyler, best friend in England, Godmother, wedding, castle, joy (14)
………….Home with us relaxing                         My friend, Goddaughter, sister & me in England

The Bright SpotTM bright spot flower – Cherish those you love. Give all of your heart to those who love you. Don’t waste time with people who aren’t sincere. There’s an expiration date on life, don’t miss any opportunities to hug those you love.
Bianca Tyler, best friend in England, Godmother, wedding, castle, joy (9) Bianca Tyler, best friend in England, Godmother, wedding, castle, joy (10)
Doctors say they cannot operate on my dear friend because the bleeding is too close to the stem and one wrong move would end her life. Later today she undergoes another MRI. Prayers needed. With 3 children and a great husband, she’s taking life one day at a time. Doctors say the best thing she can do now is slow down. Perhaps a lesson for us all…to slow down…look around & give thanks for who you have in your life. I am grateful to have such wonderful friends. xo~b

Bianca Tyler, best friend in England, Godmother, wedding, castle, joy (12)


My Mom

Sunday, July 28, 2013 by  

Summertime, My mom, Bianca Tyler's mother, summer fun

Thrown off a Connecticut beach for wearing a bikini, my Mom still rolls her eyes at that story & declares the beach keeper a crazy man.

Coming from a country where they play volleyball topless on the beach, they were lucky she even wore the bikini!

My parents met one evening at a beach club & married 2 1/2 months later. Mom & Dad's wedding photo, happy couple, starting life journey togetherSo it was no shock when I announced I was getting married after 4 days. “You know when you know,” she said. Bianca Tyler wedding, Bianca & Phillip, kisses from the groom, happy bride, American wedding, English weddingPhillip & I married after only spending 46 days in each other’s company and she was right.

Mom loves to garden, paint, My mother's ceramics, painting ceramics, kiln, fragile, delicate artwork, Bianca Tyler's mother, momdecorate & read, read, read! She’s like a walking encyclopedia.

She’s an incredible photographer, interior designer, writer & artist. I love her drawings, portrait paintings, and my favorite, this ceramic chess set she painted nearly 40 years ago.

Mom’s a fantastic cook and prepared wonderful, healthy meals for me the entire 9 months I was pregnant!! She made sure I had the best foods when I was a baby and did the same for my kids.

With my parents, loving family, My mom & dad, Bianca Tyler's mother & father, giggles, tickles, happy memories, happy childhood            My mom holding me 1960s, , Bianca Tyler as a baby, snuggles with Mom, enjoying the sunshine

Mom & me 1960s                         Little Petal & me 40 years later
Omi - Mom & me, original, 1a       Omi - Mom & Willow - replica My mom, Bianca Tyler's mother, Mommy (38)  My mom & me at Easter, 1960s, young mother and baby girl, toddler, yummy, chocolate, chocolate eggs, Easter egg hung, Easter eggs, basket, Easter basket               and, of course, she gave me my 1st chocolates & Easter goodies…yum!


Folks who’ve met my Mom totally love her. She’s funny, talks straight and is the life of the party. She smokes, drinks, swears and gambles. She doesn’t apologize for any of it. She lives life to the fullest beating to her own drum.

Beach party, Mom and Dad out having fun togetherMy mom and best friend, dancing and silly times, Bianca Tyler's mother, Germany, carefree days   Parents with friends having a lovely evening, My mom & dad
Mom in the 60s, my mom (2)      My mom, Bianca Tyler's mother, purple floor length     My mom and her friend, evening out, white dress, Bianca Tyler's mother

Time for a present, mom opens gift, 1970s, mom dad and sister


New York Yacht Club, Mom and Dad out having fun together Niagara Falls, mom & dad at Niagrara Falls

When she lost my father 15 years ago, it devastated her. Their love and building a life together for their children was unsurpassed. They were a team in everything they did.

Mom & Dad, having fun, dancing and celebrating, wonderful parents, loving parents, bianca Tyler's mother & father              My mom & dad, Bianca Tyler's mother & father, dance, enjoying the night together Mom and Dad enjoying vacation      My mom & dad, Bianca Tyler's mother & father, hugsMy mom & dad, Bianca Tyler's mother & father, celebrating with friends  Mom & Dad, happy memories (2)

Mom & Dad, happy memories (1)    Mom & Dad enjoying a celebration

Mom & Dad going out, big smiles, happy, fun evening    Enjoying an evening out, Dad & Mom with friends in the middle, big smiles, fun memories

My mom & dad, night out with friends, celebrations, Bianca Tyler's mom & dad, tux, tuxedo, bow tie, fun, joy, laughter, good times   My mom & dad, night out with friends, celebrations, lovely evening, great memories, Bianca Tyler's mother and father

My Mom’s parents absolutely adored her.

Family photo, my mom & grandparents, Bianca Tyler's mother, mom, omi and opi My mom, my mom and grandmother, Bianca Tyler's mother, kisses from Mommy, baby carriage, Mother & Daughter, sweet baby

Family hugs, family time, happy family, loving parents, happy child, sunny days Mom with her father, toddler tweaks dad's nose, beach fun, my mom and grandfather, summertime fun, family time

Those were some smoochable cheeks!!

My mom, Bianca Tyler's mother, Mommy (54)      My mom, Bianca Tyler's mother, Mommy, cherub, sweet darling, rosy cheeks, curly blonde hair

Young mom, like a little doll, so cute, bandana and curls     Toddler mom and my grandmother, Europe                                               Mom as toddler, cute boots    Family time at the beach, happy family, parents dote on little child, sweet family     

My mom, baby carriage, going for a walk, Bianca Tyler's mother, baby     My mom, Bianca Tyler's mother, Mommy, Europe 1940s, happy memories, beaches, summer home, guest house, Pommern, Pommerania         My mom, Bianca Tyler's mother, Mommy, baby carriage, 1940s, sweet toddler, old fashioned carriage      My mom rowing 3 men, mom grows up on the water, move over fellas, Bianca Tyler's motherMy mother grew up on the water (the Baltic Sea and with Aunties & her Mom above at their beach guest house in Pommern) and could out row anyone. When she was young, she liked to ice skate, bike, dance and travel.

Mom loved skating, Europe        Teen, Europe, biking with friends            And she always loved animals!My mom loves animals, sweet dog, darling child, cute curls, love of animals starts young

Mom was always very close with her parents, as were we all.

My mom & grandmother, Omi and mom, Bianca Tyler's mother and grandmother My mom & grandmother, Bianca Tyler's mother & grandmother

My mother & father taught me I could be anything I wanted to be. They supported my achievements in school, my activities,      Miss Connecticut dinner and dance, Muhammad Ali's signed glove,Bianca Tyler's mother, fun days, crazy evenings outmy music, my whims & fancies, my travels, my moves around the country for my career, and my exciting year as Miss Connecticut & all the wonderful memories of representing my native state at the Miss America…
Mom supports me at the Miss America, family love, family energy, family support and love (2)    Mom supports me at the Miss America, family love, family energy, family support and love (1)
…including helping me pack trunks & boxes & shoes and shoes and shoes for the 2 weeks in Atlantic City for Miss America.Mom helps me pack for the Miss America, shoes for Miss AmericaMom helps pack trucks and boxes for Miss America, Miss America packing

My Mom traveled with me to Vancouver to put me on a ship that circumnavigated the globe for 4 months. My mom & me, Bianca Tyler's mother, 1980s, a

Mom – who saves everything – threw away my clothes after a week’s caving trip…they were really dirty for her to have thrown them out!

My mom & sister, Spain, 1980s, how time flies, Mom & DaughterWe traveled around Spain, Gibraltar, Barbados & Germany together & tons of other places.                   (left with my sister)

Years later, Mom drove with my dog & me across the country & decorated a house I found for cheap…really cheap…only to find out it was a former drug depot…so I left the house a short while later along with all the painting, bordering, curtain-hanging and decorating she had done day & night the week she dropped me off for my new job.

Mom makes my costumes, Bianca Tyler costumes (1)           Mom makes my costumes, Bianca Tyler costumes (2)
Mom sewed countless costumes (above) for me and for my sister & my sister’s students.

My mom, Bianca Tyler's mother, Mommy (57)       Photos taken by mom, Bianca Tyler's mom (6)
Mom (her passport pic)                            me (headshot taken by Mom)

She took photographs of my wedding in England when the photographer there slacked off and almost ruined the day. Mom takes a walk at the castle, Medieval castle, misty castlePhillip gave him an earful and my mother took the photographs and she and my sister created a surprise wedding album for me when I returned from England.Bianca & Phillip marry, beautiful children all around, flowers, moat, castle, roses, sweetness

My mother also saved hundreds of newspaper clippings, magazine articles and memorabilia from my Miss Connecticut year and painstakingly glued them into several beautiful scrapbooks to cherish always. She did it for a year and I never even knew it. Another wonderful surprise. You can view some of the clippings here: Miss CT in the News.

Halloween, bumblebee, gold sparkle antennae, My mom, Bianca Tyler's mother, silly memories

She’s always there to goof aroundGardens, flowers, happy home, loving childhood Mom, sister & me, happy summer days My mom & me, goofing around, hot weather, Bianca Tyler's mother, Mom & Daughter and she’s there for all the tears like when we just lost my Uncle recently. He is with Daddy now.  🙁  🙁

My mom & dad with my uncle, Bianca Tyler's mother & father & uncle, carefree days      My Dad & Uncle, brother time, enjoying time together, living far away Pregnant with my sister, Bianca Tyler's mother pregnant by the water                                                                                              (pregnant with my sister)

Mom has always been great at photography and even gave me her precious long-lens Canon in the 80s on the ship trip. A treasured item, so I was, indeed, very grateful.

She’s developed her own photography and taken headshots for actors & personalities over the years. Definitely helped save a bundle on my own headshots for TV over the years! Here are some snaps from Mom:

Photos taken by mom, Bianca Tyler's mom (10)   Photos taken by mom, Bianca Tyler's mom (9) Photos taken by mom, Bianca Tyler's mom (8)      Photos taken by mom, Bianca Tyler's mom (7) Photos taken by mom, Bianca Tyler's mom (5) Photos taken by mom, Bianca Tyler's mom (4)  Photos taken by mom, Bianca Tyler's mom (2)  Photos taken by mom, Bianca Tyler's mom (1) Barbados with Mom, Bianca Tyler, glorious day, soaring wrap  Bianca Tyler (1)    Bianca Tyler (3)   Bianca Tyler (2) 

Thanks, Mom, for making my life great growing up. Thanks for all you have done for me. I love you!

In tribute to her, I hope I captured my mother’s life in this pictorial. Please say a prayer for her. She had heart fibrillations recently and was rushed to the hospital. It’s been constant testing every day.

Seeing her weak & tired is unnerving. Fragile is not a word I would ever use to describe my mother. Sweet but tough, robust & resilient, soft-hearted but strong-willed.

Summertime, My mom, Bianca Tyler's mother

My mother prides herself on honesty and has never lied a day in her life. She is someone you can trust. She loves her daughters, grandchildren and animals. And we all love her.

The Bright SpotTM bright spot flower – I believe in the power of prayer. Please pray.



Castles & Vows

Thursday, September 22, 2011 by  

Medieval castle, misty castleOn our anniversary we renewed our vows at the 14th century castle where we wed years ago (below). The weather was glorious, the English gardens in full bloom, our hearts were full.                                           Groom smiles at bride, knowing smile, romance, roses

This summer, we enjoyed more than 1,300 miles of pristine landscape in the United Kingdom from Edinburgh, Scotland to Lancashire, North Yorkshire, The Penines, Northumberland, and Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, England.
England & Scotland 2011   English countryside, Scottish countryside, waters edge
It brought back wonderful memories from years ago…
English wedding hats, English wedding attire  English wedding hats, wedding, hats

Wedding guests, hats at wedding, dress blowing in wind  Prince Ali, prince walks the bride down the aisle

Flower girl, flower girl getting ready, English flower girl, curler in little girls hair  Groom hugs bride, loving embrace, couple embrace, loving hug, groom and bride

English castle, boys playing ball, medieval castle, boys at a wedding Blowing bubbles, maid of honor, bubbles

Bride and groom dancing, 1st dance, couple dance, joy dancing as newlywedsWe were so pleased to celebrate our union with our family and friends

We married in the United Kingdom and again a month later in the United States. Our maid of honor, best man & bridesmaids flew back and forth for the weddings, both of which took place near sunset on the eves of full moons – that was just a pretty bonus from the Heavens!

I am also very grateful to my wonderful seamstress – who made sure every gown, dress, suit/outfit I wore at the Miss America years earlier was fitted to perfection. In England, she made sure the bustle was perfect! After all, she created it. And she made my gown glisten in candlelight and against the setting sun.
Seamstress, Seamstress dressing bride Seamstress helping bride, seamstress and bridesmaid helping bride

Castle, top of castle, castellation, couple on top of castle, battlement Moat, children playing by water, waters edge, castle moat, boys by river

On our anniversary this trip back, we really enjoyed seeing our daughter & Goddaughter running playfully along the centuries-old wall we walked up together as newlyweds.

Castle wall, children running, children run along castle wall  Castle wall, fortress wall, medieval wall

Best man, England, best friends, brothers, rings, wedding rings, holding wedding rings  England, horse and carriage, horse in window Bride and groom on a bridge, couple on bridge, smiling newlyweds on bridge, groom holds bouquet, groom holds roses

Viel blowing in wind, bride and maid of honor, child watches bride England, English medieval window, ivy covered window

English medieval castle, walking to the moat, wedding party walking together  England, English countryside

And although we enjoyed journeying throughout the Kingdom… (2000 years! Read the sign below:)

Red door on chapel, Scotland, red door   England, lion, tower, gates

Castle gates  Scotland, chapel, medieval chapel

…taking carriage rides & visiting local farms where our kids could grind wheat & hand-feed horses and little lambs…

England, watering horse, child gives horse water    English farm, farmhouse, flowers at farmhouse, flowers

…and enjoying quaint pubs, 500-year-old canons, Scottish castle ruins, England & Scotland 2011

family, friends & a romantic summer to remember…
…I must say my favorite part of this year’s anniversary was not the trip to Europe, but rather what we did on the “next wedding anniversary” a month later when we returned (yes, we celebrate both).

We took our little one and her friend to see the Winnie-the-Pooh animated classic in the movie theater. As we sat with the girls between us, Phillip reached over their seats to touch my arm. I smiled at him in the dark and whispered, “There’s no where else I’d rather be than celebrating today with our family and Winnie-the-Pooh.”

Later that evening, my mother watched Little Petal as we went out to dinner.

One-lane bridge, bridge, road over lake, one-lane road over lake No parking sign, no standing sign, no parking or standing sign Lake, lake at sunset, large lake, lake and trees

(These are photos by day/sunset are so you can see the roadway. It was pitch black when we were there. I’m sure we would have given our teen an earfull if he did this…)

On the ride home, Phillip turned onto a long single-lane road over a large lake. He turned off the engine and jumped out of the car, motioning me to follow him.

He put his arms around me and looked up, pulling me close. Stars pierced the pitch black sky; the only sound ~ the chirping of the summer crickets. The water was still, the air was warm. He kissed me and took my breath away. I felt like a teenager, blithe and carefree. With every beat of my heart, he kissed me more passionately.

Suddenly, car lights in the distance were heading our way. Our car blocked the entire single lane, and the oncoming driver would never suspect someone stopped on this quiet, dark roadway.

We scrambled as fast as we could to get into the car as the lights drew closer and closer. I grabbed my skirt around me and ran as quickly as I could to the passenger side of the car, heart pounding with excitement, fear, naughtiness.

We took off just in time and laughed giddily – I think from the nerves and the rush.

The Bright SpotTM – my husband, the love of my life! Go grab your Honey and smooch him/her! Take out some time and write down your special thoughts about why you love your wonderful someone. Renew your vows and commitment to one another. Castles and moats are great backdrops, but it’s the authenticity in your words and heart that make your relationship deep. Enjoy the little things like an afternoon movie with your kids or a romantic kiss by the lake. If you are single with kids, tell your kids how special they are to you and celebrate your commitment to each other. If you are an adult, tell your parents or grandparents how much they mean to you. A vow is a pledge or promise to the one(s) you love. Life’s so short, do it today.

Bride, groom, boys running with bride and groom through path    Romance, hug, loving couple, tophat  xo, b

And a double Bright SpotTM just for YOU!! Thank you to all of you who read this site. 2 million page views & counting in one year because of your support & interest in these stories, our albums, links, and the weekly interviews from our Live, call-in radio show “Let’s Talk!” archived on this site for your convenience. And thank you to everyone who commented/sent e-mails on the story that follows – about how the tragedy of 9-11 affected our family and how our young son unknowingly inspired many in this nation and abroad. Thank you all!!


Immigrants, Aliens & the All-American Girl

Tuesday, May 31, 2011 by  

My parents were immigrants.

parents' wedding photo

My husband is an immigrant.

Husband with dog

 couple marrying

married couple dancing

My cousins are immigrants. My friends are immigrants. They all came here seeking the American dream.

My parents became citizens, started with nothing and worked day & night to make that dream a reality.

American-born, they taught my sister and me to honor this country to the core, fly the flag and pledge our alligence. My parents are the greatest patriots I know and I’m proud to be an All-American Girl. We are teaching our children the same rooted values and love of this great nation. When I was selected as Miss Connecticut to represent my native state in the Miss America, I was very honored. (See “Our Photos” above for Miss CT pics, or click on “My TV Website” in the navigation bar above for more related news/videos/press releases & charitable work as Miss Connecticut.)

flower basket and flag  Miss CT newspaper cover

For Memorial Day, we went with our children & friends to the Intrepid aircraft carrier in New York City.

Intrepid Intrepid in Legos helicopters fighter

It’s Fleet Week and NYC is electric!

Fleet Week sign

My Mom was excited about the Intrepid – she told me that on its LAST voyage around the world in 1971, it docked in Portugal, England, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Denmark, Scotland & Norway & she told me that she took me on the Intrepid in 1971 in Kiel, Germany with my Grandfather & we all had a wonderful time & she remembered it well. I don’t remember, I was little, but how cool is that! 

helicopters fighter  navy plane

We honored the young…

Soldiers Wreath

…and our elders who fought years ago for our freedoms like this World War II fighter pilot who flew this very plane!!

meeting ww2 vet

Child and Veteran and Dad

It was a very special day to remember.

Then we headed to Mars.  We took a space shuttle and landed on the Red Planet.

Our teen son

Some of us were ready to meet the Aliens…


…and clearly, some of us were not!

man stunned by alien                                                  (I mean, really, what is up with Phillip here????)

shake hands with alien

The Bright SpotTM bright spot flower  – And to top off this marvelous day, this All-American Girl threw caution to the wind when it came to boring, ole calories and I ate my All-American apple pie with whipped cream…oh, yes, AND the Boston Cream pie – hey, if you’re going to indulge, do it right! Yum!!

Eating pie  pies

For an awesome look at our phenomenal history, watch “America: The Story of Us” – a 12-part series, action-packed, incredibly edited, unbelievably riveting, a powerhouse epic – you will be amazed in the 1st minute of the series, I promise. God Bless America!!!!