Tuesday, March 21, 2017

If this is Tuesday, it must be England #58

The Irish Guards

The Irish Guards, part of the Guards Division, is a Foot Guards regiment based in Cavalry Barracks, Hounslow.
The current regiment was formed on 1 April 1900 by order of Queen Victoria in recognition of the many courageous acts carried out by Irish soldiers in the Second Boer War.
The regiment takes its motto, 'Quis Separabit' or 'Who shall separate us?' from the Order of St Patrick, an order of chivalry founded by George III.
As a Foot Guards Regiment the Irish Guards Regiment is involved in state ceremonial and public duties at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, St James's Palace, and The Tower of London. HRH Prince William is Colonel of the Regiment.
St Patrick's Day is the traditional celebration of the Irish Guards and fresh shamrock is presented to members of the regiment.
The Battalion is made up of five companies with a variety of supporting arms. The Battalion has deployed on recent conflicts including Iraq and Afghanistan. The Battalion has also recently carried out a tour of Cyprus under the United Nations. As well as deploying on operations the Battalion has also deployed on various oversea exercises to Bosnia, Latvia, Oman, Kenya and numerous other countries.
The opportunity for taking part in sport is fantastic. Football, Gaelic football, boxing and rugby are just some of the team sports you can get involved with. There's also a wide variety of adventurous training packages, which include things like mountain climbing, skiing, sailing and white water rafting.
- From http://www.army.mod.uk/infantry/regiments/23990.aspx

 St Patrick's Day is the traditional regimental celebration.  Fresh shamrock is presented to the members of the regiment, no matter where it is stationed.  Except in wartime, the presentation is traditionally made by a member of the Royal Family.

 Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother (2000) and the Duchess of Cambridge (2012), her first solo military engagement

The Duke of Cambridge, Colonel of the Irish Guards, and the Duchess of Cambridge at this year's ceremony (photo courtesy of What Kate Wore)

Monday, March 20, 2017

Blogging from A to Z April (2017) Challenge Theme Reveal

Drum roll.....here we go, April 1st is coming and that means it's time for the Blogging from A to Z April (2017) Challenge Theme Reveal.  Having just packed and unpacked all of the books in our library during our coast to coast move, I've have decided that my theme will be
Favorites from my Bookshelves!
(I hope that worked and you had to scroll down a little to see the big announcement!)

Fiction, Non Fiction, Biography, History, Cooking, Traveling, DIY, Schoolbooks, Health, Journals, Art, Series, Children's, Romance, there's a little of everything to share with you,  I hope you'll enjoy the journey and perhaps find something to check out for yourself.

Here's a reminder of the schedule:

1 - A

3 - B
4 - C
5 - D
6 - E
7 - F
8 - G

10 - H
11 - I
12 - J
13 - K
14 - L
15 - M

17 - N
18 - O
19 - P
20 - Q
21 - R
22 - S

24 - T
25 - U
26 - V
27 - W
28 - X
29 - Y
30 - Z
(Since there are five Sundays in April, we'll be posting on April 30th)

Happy Homemaker Monday 3/20/2017

It's time for another Happy Homemaker Monday with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.  Click here if you'd like to join in .

The weather:::

Up and down...as low as 44, as high as 71, there's just no telling what's in store for us - it snowed yesterday for about 15 minutes!

On my reading pile:::

One more chapter to go in  A Heart for Home by Lauraine Snelling.

On my TV:::
I finished The House of Eliott and how I wish I had read the Wikipedia entry first!  Grrr, the writers did not anticipate that the BBC would cancel the program at the end of the third series so there were five, yes five!, unresolved story lines where we are just left hanging.  I hate that!

On a happier note, I am eagerly anticipating the premieres of Call the Midwife Season 6 and Home Fires Season 2 on my local PBS station on April 2.  I wondering how Home Fires will end because it too was not picked up for a third season.

On the menu for this week:::
Yay, Vic is home so I have real meals to plan!

Monday - Chicken Tikka Masala
Tuesday - Herb-Crusted Salmon (definitely a firm favorite now)
Wednesday - Corned Beef and Cabbage Bubble and Squeak
Thursday - Shrimp something
Friday - Grilled Chicken something
Weekend - I can't think that far ahead right now!

On my to-do list:::

  • Fun stuff - two more lunches this week - Volunteer Appreciation event today and then the Lunch Bunch goes Greek tomorrow.
  • Haircut
  • Rudolph Day on Saturday
  • Afternoon Tea at another new tea room this weekend
What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
My Tea Cup and Mug Exchange package - not really creating, more like putting it together.  I can't share it right now since we'll be having a reveal in April but I can say that I'd love to be receiving what I'm sending. 

Looking around the house:::

Tidy - I had a cleaning day on Friday - Vic wasn't able to get on the red eye on Thursday night so since he wasn't due home until Friday dinner time, I had plenty of time to get all of the housework out of the way.

From the camera:::

Table decorations from the Joint Services Luncheon I attended last week - the luncheon rotates annually between the Navy, Army, and Air Forces bases in the area - last week was the Army's turn.  The frame describes the pieces on the tables:
Pineapple - Virginia's unofficial symbol of warmth and welcoming
Camo Ribbon - A nod to the Army history on this installation
Purple Ribbon and Frame - The color you get when you combine all the forces working together as one
Gold Figure - Don't we all feel our service members are like gold to us and to this country?
Wine Glass and Goody - Who couldn't use a little wine and chocolate in this crazy life that we live? (everyone took one of these home)
It was a lovely luncheon - everyone received a Bingo card when they checked in that had "Army Spouse", "Navy Spouse", etc. in the boxes and we had to go around the room and meet new friends who fit the category - one of our local spouses' club members was the only Marine Corps spouse at the luncheon so she was VERY popular!  When you had a Bingo, you put your card in a bag for a drawing and I'm thrilled to say I was the lucky winner - a bottle of wine, four lovely gold tea light holders, and a $20 Visa gift card.

The event was really fun because it was like a Dining In, a formal military event where there are rules that everyone must follow and there is a penalty for violating the rules which usually involves drinking the grog (usually very potent brew but in our case, just very sweet) or wearing a silly hat, cape, or feather boa.  It got to the point where table mates were turning each other in just to see what penalty the MC would come up with next!  Hilarious!

The guest speaker was the widow of a Seal Team Six member who died in the horrific Chinook helicopter incident in 2011.  She was such an inspiration, so courageous, and had a great message about the wonderful bond between military spouses during good times and bad.

Something fun to share:::

Continuing on with the Declutter Challenge update:

March 14 - Cleaning Supplies - I'm good with this one - I gave so many things to Sophia when we left Washington since the movers won't ship open liquids so I am very frugal with what I buy at our new location to avoid this problem again.

March 15 - Toiletries - Again, passed on a lot of things and stopped keeping a big stockpile so I'm not in the same position when we leave here.  I do seem to have a lot of lotion so I'm keeping a bottle next to the bed and using it faithfully at night.

March 16 - Makeup Drawer and Bag - This still needs some work - I don't have a lot of different things as I tend to stick to tried and true favorites but I need to dig out my "how long should you keep makeup" chart and see what needs to be replaced.

March 17 - Medicine Cabinet - Good, cleaned out the expired items before we left Washington.

March 18 - Linen Closet - Done, I blogged about this a while ago and it's still nice and tidy.  I really need to decide if I'm going to keep all the twin bedding or if I should make a bundle and try to get rid of it on Ebay.

March 19 - Desk - A constant work in progress.

What I'm wearing today:::
Black pants, dressy blouse, black clogs - I'm off to the Volunteer Appreciation event.

Bible Verse, Devotional:::

The thread of our life would be dark, Heaven knows, if it were not with friendship and love intertwined.  (Thomas Moore (1779-1852), Irish poet

Friday, March 17, 2017

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

If this is Tuesday, it must be England #57

Continuing on with Britain's icons, today's post brings you the letter box, pillar box, or post box.  The boxes have been green, red, blue, and gold (see note below).  There have also been a myriad of designs but the one that is most recognizable came into being in 1879.  Read all about the fascinating history of the pillar box here.  I have a lovely print of this scene below which sadly, since our move, I have not been able to locate.  It's somewhere, in a box, waiting to be found.  In the meantime, I borrowed this slightly blurry version from Temple Island, a purveyor of British gifts.
It was interesting to read that a gold letter box was placed in the home town of each of Great Britain’s London 2012 Olympic Games gold medal winners.  You can see a map of all of them here.

Belated birthday greetings to the Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex who turned 53 on March 10 and is shown here with his family in 2014.

Photo courtesy of Unofficial Royalty

Monday, March 13, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday 3/13/2017

It's time for another Happy Homemaker Monday with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.  Click here if you'd like to join in .

The weather:::

40s and 50s all week - we look to be just below the Nor'easter zone.

On my reading pile:::

Still working on  A Heart for Home by Lauraine Snelling.

On my TV:::
Midsomer Murders Series 19 was awesome.  I've moved on to The House of Eliott, a DVD series I got for Christmas.

On the menu for this week:::
Leftovers from the weekend and more snack food while Vic is gone, again!  Corned Beef and Cabbage to celebrate his return on St. Patrick's Day.

On my to-do list:::

  • Fun stuff - two lunches this week - first an Irish Dance demonstration and lunch at the local Irish Pub and then the Joint Services Luncheon, an annual event that rotates among the Army, Navy, and Air Force bases in the area.  "Special Guest Speaker" the announcement read so that peaked my curiousity.
  • Make reservations for Easter Sunday Brunch - saw that note in my planner for this week, Easter is coming!
What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::

Afternoon Tea table set with my new Mikasa Love Story china and rose napkin fold
I bought this three tier server - it came with three crystal plates but the rings that the plates sit on are the perfect size for any of my china so I can coordinate the server to the place settings
Savoury tier - Roasted Red Pepper Triple-Stack Tea Sandwiches (on brown bread), Beet-Cucumber Heart Canapés, Cucumber Canapés with Lemon-Pepper Aioli, Lemon-Lime Salmon Cups (in mini phyllo cups in the center)
My semi-fail scones - they didn't rise but tasted delicious and I'm a firm believer that lashings of Devon cream and strawberry jam can cover any baking mishap!
Sweet tier - Red Velvet Macarons, Strawberry Tartlets, Dark Chocolate Raspberry Tartlets, Chocolate Ganache Tarts with Coffee Vanilla Mousse
Most of the recipes are from the January/February 2017 Tea Time magazine Hearts-a-Plentea feature.  I'm very much a Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade cook so it's 50-50 on what I made for the tea and what I supplemented from my gourmet grocery store.

Looking around the house:::

Dishwasher is full from the weekend but just finished its cycle so needs to be unloaded and there are two loads of laundry to run.  Everywhere else is tidy.

From the camera:::

Sophia was the only rider from her team to compete at the IHSA (Intercollegiate Horse Show Association) Regional event this weekend, placing third in her class.  Sadly, only the first and second place winners go on to the next step, the Zone event, but she loved every minute of her 2016-2017 season and is looking forward to 2017-2018, her final year as a collegiate equestrian
Something fun to share:::

Continuing on with the Declutter Challenge update:

March 7 - Jewelry and Purses - Done as much as can be done.  My purses are still in plastic totes - one day I will have shelves in my closet for my purses - and my jewelry box is organized.  This mirrored jewelry armoire is on my forever home wish list as well.

How do you organize your necklaces?
March 8 - Shoes - Done.  I don't have as many pairs of shoes as I used to so they are easy to keep organized.

March 9 - Master Bedroom Closet - Done - hangers all finally flipped so we can see what we are NOT wearing and what can be donated.

March 10 - Paperwork - Still working on this as I ran out of room in the new lateral file.  I need to give it one more going over to see if there is anything else I can throw away.  Vic and I still need to go through his career files but I have a feeling he's going to want to save everything that's currently in there, at least until he retires.  They will have to stay in the plastic file boxes for now.

March 11 - Emails/Files on Computer - This is going to turn into the Declutter Challenge for 2017.  I accidentally dropped an email into the wrong folder and when I went to move it to the right one, I found several folders that took me on a real walk down memory lane - conversations with riding coaches at colleges that Sophia didn't end up attending, old Christmas greetings emails that I need to print and put in the appropriate Christmas card album - I have a lot of work to do to get my emails/files on the computer decluttered and organized.  I am a real file hoarder - I just know the moment I delete something, I'll need it again.

March 12 - Books/Magazines - Done - we cleared a lot of these before our last move and resolved not to buy as many magazines.

March 13 - Laundry Room - Done - it's really a Laundry Closet so there's not a lot of room for clutter.

What I'm wearing today:::
Black yoga pants, turquoise long-sleeved shirt, red fleece jacket, flip flops - the clothes I threw on to take Vic to the airport early this morning.  I need to take a shower and get dressed for the day.

Bible Verse, Devotional:::

I am overwhelmed with joy in the LORD my God!  (Isaiah 61:10)  Today's devotion was all about celebrating the gift of today.  What makes your heart leap?  What makes you want to jump for joy?

Saturday, March 11, 2017

100 Days

If you read my Hodgepodge this week, you'll know that a very special reunion is coming up.  We were young mothers of toddlers, Navy wives, members of the same MOPS group, and now we are mothers of college-age kids, college graduates, a new generation of active duty military service members, grandmothers. 

Nine friends, twenty years, a cabin by a lake, food, fun, fellowship...100 days to go...I can't wait!