Saturday, January 31, 2015

Fab-ruary 2015

…28 prompts for your own blog posts or journalling, focusing on finding the fab in your life

Check out the original post at I Will Bloom and get ready for the fun. 

The End of the 31 Day Blog Challenge: Day 31: Weird Quirk of Mine

I'm a little persnickety (love that word!) about things.  I like towels folded just so and finding this in a linen cupboard would drive me bananas.

Photo courtesy of

Magazines stacked in neat piles - this stack is a no-no in our house.

Photo courtesy of

Things labeled, alphabetized, and/or sorted by size.


I know, just weird, but that was today's challenge.  Not sure where I got these Type A tendencies but that's just me.

And that, my friends, is the end of the 31 Day Blog Challenge.  Stay tuned for the Blogging from A to Z April (2015) Challenge coming soon.  If you haven't signed up, click on the photo in my sidebar and join us.

Friday, January 30, 2015

31 Day Blog Challenge: Day 30: Favorite Comfort Food

My all-time favorite comfort food that I'll have to be content to have only in my memories is Mum's homemade macaroni and cheese with English bacon.  How I wish I had a photograph and the recipe.  She used to make it with a white sauce from scratch and grated cheese (can't even remember what cheese/cheeses she used), elbow macaroni, and English bacon scraps that she would get from the butcher.  English bacon is the most delectable thing imaginable.  It looks like this:

Photo courtesy of Forager's (click on photo for link)

Lean and thick and mouth is watering.

The scraps from the butcher were thicker, like big chunks of ham, a little like the pieces in this sandwich but with a little fat so that when they were sprinkled over the macaroni and cheese and it was baked, they crisped up amazingly in the oven.

Photo courtesy of
I suppose I could try to recreate it but it would never be the same because I'd always be missing that one ingredient...Mum's love.

Sophia and I have a favorite comfort food when it's just the two of us...chips and gravy.  Now these are chips as in the English term for french fries, not chips as in potato chips.  French fries deep fried, sprinkled with malt vinegar and covered in brown gravy (or Sophia's version, covered in brown gravy and then sprinkled with vinegar).  Don't knock it until you've tried it...the combination of the gravy and the tang from the malt vinegar is too delicious to describe.

Photo courtesy of Gary Lum at Yummy Lummy (click on photo for link)
Comfort food for Vic and me is usually some sort of dip and dippers, something for us to enjoy while we're watching a movie together.  Tortilla chips and salsa, or spinach dip and French bread cubes, or a recent favorite, Brad's Dip with tortilla chip scoops.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

31 Day Blog Challenge: Day 29: Top Things on my Bucket List

There are a few things that we'd like to do in the next decade.  We've always wanted to go to Paris so we've earmarked our 25th anniversary (2018) for that trip.  We picked Viking River Cruises's Paris and the Heart of Normandy cruise so that's number one on the bucket list.

Number two comes just two years later and it's another river cruise.  This one, to be determined, includes a stop at the Passion Play in Oberammergau.  The Passion Play is performed every ten years so it's on the bucket list for 2020.

Next up is the following year when we hope to be back in Kettlewell to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Hendrix Family Christmas 2001.  We spent a lovely holiday with my parents, my sister, and her husband in the charming Yorkshire village of Kettlewell.  We had hoped to go back for the 15th anniversary, but there are too many other things conflicting with that date so we've pushed it to 2021.  We hope to stay in the same holiday cottage and revisit many of the sites that were so special to us the last time we were there.

Just a few short years later, if all goes according to plan, it will be 2024 and time for Vic to retire. Time for life after the Navy, a trip of a lifetime to celebrate his amazing career, and our forever home.  So number four and five are our retirement home and a cruise across the Atlantic on Cunard.

No pictures of the retirement home since we don't know where retirement will take us.  I hope it's the Pacific Northwest but we'll go wherever Vic finds a job that he enjoys.

I've just realized that we have quite an impressive list from 2018-2024.  Six short years and a lot of traveling.  Better get a travel fund started now!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wednesday Whimsy

Interesting facts, useless is what it is.

Courtesy of Historic Royal Palaces ( Facebook page

31 Day Blog Challenge: Day 28: Last Time I Cried

The last time I cried was when the Seattle Seahawks won the NFC Championship over the Green Bay Packers.  I'm not a huge football fan, but since I was sure everyone in the state was watching the game, I figured I'd better see what was going on.  The first couple of quarters were not very impressive but the momentum was building and what a finale!  I was overcome with emotion when I saw Russell Wilson, tears streaming down his face, praising God.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

If this is Tuesday, it must be England #13

I'm revving up If this is Tuesday, it must be England again and I've decided to import some of the posts from my old (private) blog.  Enjoy...and if you've already seen the post, enjoy it again!

Alnwick Castle is the second largest inhabited castle in England, and has been the home of the Percys, Earls and Dukes of Northumberland since 1309. Alnwick Castle has been used as a setting in many films and television series including two of the Harry Potter films.

The castle lies just off the A1 in the historic market town of Alnwick. There is no shortage of things to see and do at Alnwick. Tour the castle and grounds, visit the garden, have tea in the Courtyard Cafe. There is a host of workshops and other activities for children. If you want to stay a little longer, check out the Alnwick Castle Cottages for your next holiday.

Alnwick Castle will re-open for the season on March 27, 2015.

31 Day Blog Challenge: Day 27: What Makes Me Feel Better, Always

Without a doubt, it's having my husband home.  Vic works long hours and travels a lot so the time we have together is precious.  We love going to the movies, going to breakfast, taking in a local sight or event, or just strolling around Home Depot.  I love that, wherever we are, he always reaches out to hold my hand.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Life Last Week 2015-4

I'm surprised that I didn't sleep until noon today after last weekend!  The whole week was pretty hectic.

Monday was another get-ready-for-Craft-Club day.  I host two Craft Clubs, the second Tuesday of the month and the third Tuesday, for two different groups.  The third Tuesday group is my favorite as some of the Ladies of Leisure are in this group and we always have a good time.  There were four of us on the list but we ended up being only three which was fine because then we could all work at the same table.  We had coffee, projects to work on, and lots of conversation.

On Wedneday, it was Mustang Spouse lunch day.  Our Mustang Spouses group is for spouses whose husbands were once enlisted and are now officers.  It's a bit of a unique transition so that's why we have a group of our own.  We use the term Mustang rather broadly since it has a rather specific definition but for our purposes, once enlisted and now an officer is all we care about.  How the servicemember made the transition is not the criteria for being a member of our group.  We are nationwide, but we meet regionally for lunch or other gatherings.  Again, we were supposed to be four but one cancelled so we were three (plus a little who is absolutely adorable and quite well-behaved).  We met at a local eatery (we're working our way through the various towns here on the peninsula) and had a thoroughly enjoyable lunch.

Thursday was a prep day for my weekend away.  A double-header horse show weekend in Oregon with Oregon State University hosting the Saturday show and the University of Oregon hosting the Sunday show.  MudLynn was going to stay at the Doggie Hilton so I prepared all her food for the weekend, packed my bags, and headed out on Friday morning to drop her off and hit the road.  I had Peter Mayle's Year in Provence for my listening pleasure and just over three hours later, I was in Beaverton, Oregon.  I checked into my hotel, drove around the corner to Whole Foods to pick up a salad for dinner, and went back to the hotel to wait for Sophia to arrive.  I packed my laptop and spent the evening organizing my photos, a huge task considering I just downloaded all the pictures from our East Coast to West Coast trek and hadn't labeled any of them.  Sophia arrived and we went to bed as we had to be up early in the morning.

Up at 5:30am on Saturday and out the door by 6:30am.  We had to be at the venue by 7:30am but we decided to pick up doughnuts at Krispy Kreme and then stop at Starbucks so we allowed plenty of time.  The venue was very nice with an indoor heated viewing room and the rest of the team soon arrived and things got underway.  This was Sophia's first show in her new class; she earned enough points at the last show to move up one level so I was a bit nervous about the new, stiffer competition.  She had a good ride and placed third in her class and came away with a few pointers from her teammates on things she could do differently.  Show over, we headed to Barnes & Noble/Starbucks so Sophia could do some homework and then stopped at Ulta for her to get her brows waxed while I whizzed through the store and hid some purchases in the car.  I'm still working on her February Care Package.  We stopped at Whole Foods for some dinner to take back to the hotel and made it an early evening.  Sophia was asleep by 8:15pm but I stayed up a little later which was a good thing as one of her teammates texted to say they needed to be at the venue an hour earlier the next morning.

So, up at 4:30am on Sunday and out the door to stop at Starbucks and be at the venue for 6:30am.  Another great show day made even greater by Sophia's first place finish.  I was a wreck - there were two other riders in her class whose numbers started with a 3 including one whose number was 382 and Sophia is number 385.  As the placings were announced, she wasn't sixth, fifth place started with a 3 but it was 304, she wasn't fourth, she wasn't third (by this time I was thinking "Is she in the top two?"), second was announced 3-8-2, and then I was really a mess (could she, could she really be in first place, or I didn't dare to think that maybe she didn't place at all!), and then there it was, first place, number 3-8-5!  Yippee, a blue ribbon, one proud momma with tears in her eyes.  Sophia is now only four points away from going to the Regional competition with one more show to go this coming weekend.

The show wrapped up at noon and I was on the road to get home in time to pick up MudLynn.  We came home, had dinner and a quick walk, and then I hit the computer to go through the Grow Your Blog posts to meet some new blogging friends.  I have four new followers for a total of seven - thank you, thank you, I'm looking forward to getting to know you.  I took a break to watch Downton Abbey and then read some more blogs.  I'm slowly working my way through the list, following blogs that have a similar lifestyle theme as mine and admiring the many, many crafty bloggers whose works are amazing.  Finally it was time for bed (MudLynn had been snoring consistently since about 7pm!) to get some rest before I do it all again next weekend.

Happy Homemaker Monday #2015-3 - January 26

The weather outside is:
Clear and 48 degrees.  It's going to get up to 63 today so it should be a gloriously sunny afternoon.

On the breakfast plate this morning:
A cup of Teavana's Peach Tranquility tea and a bottle of water.

As I look outside my window:
Still some low cloud cover/fog over the mountains but I suspect it will burn off soon.

Right now I am:
Still in my fleece robe, going through the e-mail, Facebook posts, and blog reading.  Working my way through Grow Your Blog 2015 posts and I've just put up my Blogging from A to Z April (2015) Challenge entry.  There are links on my sidebar if you are interested in joining in.

As I look around the house:
Vacuum and mop still needed, these wood floors can be a pain at times.

On today's to do list:
Laundry....All the laundry from my weekend away awaits.
Cleaning....In the kitchen....Unload the dishwasher.
In the living room....Vacuum rug, mop the wood floors.
In the bedrooms....Finish unpacking and put my bags away.
In the bathrooms....Toilets, sinks and mirrors.
Cooking.....Lamb chop thawing in the fridge; need to go grocery shopping.

Currently reading:
Army Wives by Tanya Biank.  I've read it before but it's a quick and easy read when I feel like picking something up.  It's actually an autographed copy that Sophia picked up when we heard her speak at a Joint Services Luncheon in Virginia.

On the TV today:
I'll be replaying last night's episode of Granchester because I wasn't really paying attention when it was on.  Love the On Demand feature on our cable.

On the menu this week:
Monday - Lamb chop, roasted vegetables
Tuesday - Steak, leftover roasted vegetables
Wednesday - Leftover steak, mushrooms
Thursday - Haven't thought that far ahead!
Friday - Heading out of town so dinner is to be determined
Saturday - At the horse show
Sunday - Coming back from the horse show so who knows?

What I am creating at the moment:
Still working on the care package and album I mentioned last week.  The portrait sleeves came in over the weekend so I might get the album finished off today.  I need to call Target - I sent a letter at the beginning of the month to see if they would be willing to donate some items for the horse show this weekend and I need an answer.  I"m also finalizing my topic for the A to Z Challenge and working on the lists of daily posts.

New recipe I tried or want to try this week:
Nothing this week - too much going on and I'm out of town over the weekend.

Favorite photo from the camera:
It was an amazing horse show weekend and Sophia is only four points away from qualifying for the Regional competition in February.  I'll be a bag of nerves at this weekend's show (or maybe not, * see below).

Prayers, Inspirational Quotes or Devotionals:
  • Safety for Sophia as she is away from home at school and during her riding practice sessions
  • Safety for Vic at work
  • Travel mercies and safety for all those attending this week's horse show
  • Safety for New England friends as Winter Storm Juno bears down on them.
Courtesy of
* "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God" - Philippians 4:6 

Blogging from A to Z April (2015) Challenge Sign-up

Here we go, the Blogging from A to Z April (2015) Challenge is open!  Click on the photo above and pop on over to sign up.  

31 Day Blog Challenge: Day 26: 5 Favorite Blogs

I've got quite a few blogs on my daily must-read list but these five are my absolute favorites.

A lovely chatty blog full of beauty, fashion, travel, entertaining, recipes, life in general and I'm really enjoying the addition of the vlogs

Another lifestyle blog with much of the above but with a bit more in-depth beauty reviews.

Love it when you follow a comment from another blog and find one that is so much fun to read.  This is a relatively new blog for me and I'm really enjoying reading through some of the older posts.

Another recent find, again reading through past posts and loving the glimpses of England.

Also a recent find, another thoroughly enjoyable read each morning.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Grow Your Blog

I'm thrilled to be participating, for the first time, in Grow Your Blog sponsored by Vicki over at 2 Bags Full.  It's an opportunity for bloggers to get to know one another.

Hyacinth Bouquet, isn't she amazing?  She's so over the top, I love her!  Keeping Up Appearances is one of the most hilarious BBC comedies; it's an old series, 1990-1995, but it's often included in PBS' lineup of Britcoms, available on Netflix, and on DVD.

I've been blogging, here and there, in public blogs and private blogs, for a number of years.  It's my therapy; I love to let my fingers fly across the keyboard spilling out whatever is on my mind.  I have a few weekly features and I love a good meme, and I also enjoy finding challenges to make things interesting.  I also love swaps so if you know of one, I'd love to hear about it.  I've met some amazing bloggers and I'd like to make some new blogging friends.

I'm Pamela, wife to Vic, a Naval officer, and Mom to Sophia who is a college sophomore.  We recently moved from the East Coast to the West Coast - the Evergreen State, Washington. The Lady of the House Speaking is my daily (setting the bar high there!) thoughts, hopes, dreams, and miscellaneous chatter about everything and nothing.  I guess you call it a lifestyle blog.  I love (not necessarily in any order) England, royalty, 19th and 20th century European history, drinking tea, reading, writing, traveling, ladies who lunch, the military, Christmas, scrapbooking, entertaining, and so much more.  Welcome to ("The Bucket (pronounced Bouquet) Residence,) The Lady of the House Speaking".

In celebration of Grow Your Blog 2015, I've put together a little gift package of items from my neck of the woods. To be eligible to win, please leave me a comment below.  A winner will be selected on February 15, 2015 and I will announce it here.  If I can't reach you or you do not respond by February 25, 2015, I will select another winner.  I'd love it if you follow my blog but it is not a requirement.

31 Day Blog Challenge: Day 25: Best Physical Features

It's an old photo but I think it shows off my lips the best since I'm wearing more lipstick here than I do normally.  I may gripe about my figure, my eyes, or any of a dozen other features but I love my lips.  I'm pretty happy with my hair too (although maybe not in this dated style!).  After all my teenage years of threatening to dye it with lemon juice (would that have even worked? I doubt it) or bleach, I came around to the color and liked that it was usually different from those around me.  I like it even more now since the grey is more silver which makes a lovely gold/silver combination.  So, lips and hair are my choices.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

31 Day Blog Challenge: Day 24: A Difficult Time in My Life

This is a tough one because who wants to look back and think about the difficult times?  I've made some poor decisions along life's road that have resulted in difficult times but the worst must have been the on again, off again totally unsuitable relationship that caused me, and those around me, a lot of misery.  It's a wonder my family and friends stuck around but they did and were there when it was all over with nary an "I told you so" among them.  For that, I am eternally grateful.  I can't say I regret the whole episode since I wouldn't be who I am today without it, I wouldn't have met and married Vic and had Sophia, wouldn't be living our life today.  I'm just glad I finally had the common sense to get out, get away from it all, and forge a new chapter in my life.

Friday, January 23, 2015

31 Day Blog Challenge: Day 23: Pet Peeves

My three biggest peeves come under the common courtesy category:

1.  RSVP  How difficult is it these days to shoot off a quick text, e-mail, tweet, or Facebook event response, or if you're not a fan of electronic media, a quick phone call or even a note in the mail?  Wouldn't you like to know if you need to cook or cater for 5 or for 50?  Of course you would.  Since when does a hostess have to chase down the invited to see if they are coming or not?  

2.  Show up  If you have sent an RSVP (good for you!), then bloody well be there unless you are dying.  OK, I know those emergencies come up (and it better be an emergency) so make sure that you can reach the hostess to give her a last minute cancellation but again, it had better be an emergency.  Deciding you just don't feel like going is downright rude.

3.  Send thank you notes  It's lovely to get a note in the mail after the aforementioned events for which you RSVP'd and showed up, but it's more important to send a thank you note when you have received a gift.  I prefer handwritten notes but I'd rather get an e-mail or text than nothing at all.  It's not that I'm looking for appreciation, it's acknowledgement.  Yes, you received the check I sent for your graduation or yes, you received the gift I sent for your birthday/Christmas/whatever.  I'm thrilled that you liked it, but I'm even more thrilled that it made it to its destination.  The number of things that get lost in the mail or stolen from the doorstep are alarming.

OK, rant over.  Let me show you the Pet Peeve of the Day (or it's actually ...of the last five months):

This is the view from my kitchen window and it is driving me bonkers.  I don't know what room this is in my neighbor-across-the-fence's house but can you please straighten the blind and do something about those curtains?  There is a light on in this room every night so you think they'd notice that things were askew?  Obviously not.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

3rd Annual Christmas City Swap - Reveal II

I shared the package that I received from my swap partner, but I completely forgot to post the package I sent.  My swap partner sent me a lovely e-mail to say that the package arrived safely and that she was delighted with the contents.

I sent a little bit of the Pacific Northwest, a combination of Kitsap Peninsula and Olympic Peninsula goodies.  There was an autographed copy of Debbie Macomber's new book, Mr. Miracle, along with an envelope of some of Debbie's favorite recipes (Port Orchard), a bar of Lavender soap (Hansville), a Seattle Sea Salt Milk Chocolate Truffle Bar (Seattle Chocolates), a star ornament decorated in the Norwegian rosemaling design (Poulsbo), and a handmade card with a threaded gold design (Port Orchard).

I love this swap and I hope Allison at BE UP & doing will continue it for years to come.

Blogging from A to Z Challenge (April 2015) Share and Advise

It's coming, it's coming...Monday is sign-up day for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge (April 2015).  Check out this post - writing and scheduling your posts in advance will make the challenge so  much easier.

31 Day Blog Challenge: Day 22: 10 Favorite Songs

Awaken My Heart - Stephen Miller

Awesome is the Lord Most High - Chris Tomlin

Kings and Queens - MariĆ© Digby

Set Fire to the Rain - Adele

Summer Breeze - Seals and Crofts

The Voice of Enigma - Enigma

West End Girls - Pet Shop Boys

A Whiter Shade of Pale - Sarah Brightman

Winter in July - Sarah Brightman

Who Am I - Casting Crowns

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Life Last Week 2015-3

I could barely drag myself out of bed on Monday but needs must.  It was laundry catch-up day, tidy the house day, and get some groceries day.  Being away for the weekend took its toll.  I picked up refreshments for the Craft Club meeting the following day, got the tables set up, and went to bed at a decent hour so I could be up early the next morning.

What a wasted effort that was!  Although there were three people signed up to join me on Tuesday, no-one showed.  Since it's a "come when you can, leave when you have to" event starting at 9:00am and ending at 1:00pm, I sat around for a couple of hours thinking that perhaps someone was running late (really, really late), but when two hours went by, I figured the event was a wash so I grabbed the leash and took MudLynn for a walk.

Wednesday was a lazy day.  January really is the month for hibernating and I did just that.  Slept late, puttered around the house, watched some TV, that was pretty much it.

Thursday, however, was a hive of activity.  One of my friends has organized a Ladies of Leisure group for those of us who don't work and don't have small children so we're free to take off for the day - we're the Ladies Who Lunch, Explore, Shop, and just have a good time.  Interesting to note that our acronym LOL also stands for something we did a lot of on Thursday - laugh out loud.  We started off at Home Goods, a home decor store that has enough cool stuff to give you a different theme in each room of your house every week of the year (if you had the budget!).  Amazing kitchenware, tableware, knick-knacks, pillows, mirrors, pictures, you name it and it's there.  In keeping with the Word of the Year (thrift), I made a modest purchase of two boxes of macarons - we'll see if Sophia likes them.  Then we were off to Hobby Lobby - more home decor but mostly of the craft type - floral accessories, things to make to hang on the wall or sit on a shelf, as well as a huge variety of yarn, thread, fabric, paint, scrapbook paper, and cake decorating supplies.  Next stop, lunch at a Mexican restaurant which was delicious.

Having eaten close to our combined body weight in chips and salsa (so NOT Whole 30), we headed to the mall to walk off some of what we had consumed.  I was pleasantly surprised by the mall as I found quite a few shops that I like that are not in my area - I was thrilled to find my favorite tea shop, Teavana, especially since I had only a few days worth of tea left at home, as well as The Body Shop, Yankee Candle, and Sephora.  Sophia will be pleased to find H&M, Forever 21, and Nordstrom.  I wandered into Hallmark where I found that all of the remaining 2014 Christmas ornaments were 75% off so I picked up a couple (probably #621 and #622) to add to my collection as well as one for a gift for a friend.  I'll definitely be visiting again, and with chips and salsa walked off, we headed home.  It was a great day.

Friday, I finally attacked the office to organize all of the Christmas totes that were stacked in the middle of the room.  They are now neatly organized against one wall, and tall shelf units on the adjacent wall have everything else neatly put away.  It took me most of Saturday and Sunday to recover from that endeavor.  Oh, my aching back!

I finished off the week with a call from my sailor on the high seas which is always lovely.

31 Day Blog Challenge: Day 21: Something I Miss

My parents - it never gets any easier.  Hard to believe that Mum has been gone for 12 years and Dad for 6.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

31 Day Blog Challenge: Day 20: Where I want to be in ten years
In our forever home, wherever that may be, with Vic retired from the Navy and Sophia on the career path of her choice.  I'd like to be healthier (ie. thinner) than I am now, too.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Blogging from A to Z Challenge (April 2015) Prep

Have you prepared your theme and daily topics for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge (April 2015)?  Prepare now and April will be a breeze.  Check out the details here and watch for sign-ups at the end of the month.

Happy Homemaker Monday #2015-2 - January 19

The weather outside is::::
Very foggy and 43 degrees.  Weather forecast calls for it to be partly to mostly sunny with temperatures rising towards the low 50s.

On the breakfast plate this morning::::
A cup of Teavana's Peach Tranquility tea and a bottle of water in front of me for now, probably a banana with almond butter later.

As I look outside my window:::
The mountains are shrouded by fog/clouds - if it clears, the view is spectacular.

Right now I am::::
Still in my fleece robe, going through the e-mail, Facebook posts, and blog reading.
As I look around the house::::
Vacuum and mop needed, these wood floors can be a pain at times.

On today's to do list::::
Laundry....Just one delicates load left, I did all the rest this weekend although most it still needs to be folded!
Cleaning....In the kitchen....Unload the dishwasher, ugh, it ranks right up there with cleaning toilets.
In the living room....Vacuum rug, mop the wood floors.
In the bedrooms....Dust and move a few things around now that I have a shelf free.
In the bathrooms....Toilets, sinks and mirrors.
Cooking.....Pork chop thawing in the fridge, need to roast some vegetables.

Currently reading::::

On the TV today::::
Midsomer Murders, hoping that the British programs will stay on Netflix.

On the menu this week::::
Monday - Pork chop, roasted vegetables
Tuesday - Lamb chop, leftover roasted vegetables
Wednesday - Steak, mushrooms
Thursday - Will probably eat Mexican for lunch as I'm having a day out with a friend so it will be a salad for dinner to make up for that!
Friday - Heading out of town so dinner is to be determined
Saturday - At the horse show
Sunday - Coming back from the horse show so who knows?

What I am creating at the moment::::
I decided to make a beauty blogging sample care package for my daughter.  I'm going to look for some products that she can review on her blog.  I'm also only four Cricut titles away from finally completing my "Janet Visits New England 2007" scrapbook although I need one portrait sleeve to hold a brochure and it's in the mail, should be here Wednesday.      

New recipe I tried or want to try this week::::
Nothing this week - too much going on and I'm out of town over the weekend.

Favorite photo from the camera::::
I didn't use the camera this week so here's one from a while ago.  It's our tiered tray from the Christmas Tea event we attended at a local tea room.  It was a lovely afternoon.

Prayers, Inspirational Quotes or Devotionals:::
  • Safety for Sophia as she is away from home at school and during her riding practice sessions
  • Safety for Vic at work
  • Travel mercies and safety for all those attending this week's horse show
"The family and home are meant to be the environment where human beings can find shelter, warmth, protection, and safety in each other". - Edith Schaeffer, Author and Speaker

31 Day Blog Challenge: Day 19: My Worst Habits

Chewing my cuticles.  I won't post of picture of what that looks like either.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

31 Day Blog Challenge: Day 18: What am I afraid of?

Without a doubt, cockroaches.  It's been a long time since I've seen one and let's keep it that way.  They were tough to control in the western Pacific and they moved so fast!

I'm borrowing this cute little guy from because to put up a picture of the real thing would give me nightmares for days.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

31 Day Blog Challenge: Day 17: Favorite Childhood Book

Anything by Enid Blyton.  My favorites were the boarding school tales from Malory Towers and St. Clare's.  Oh, how I wanted to have a tuck box and go to a midnight feast.

Closely behind Malory Towers and St. Clare's were the adventure stories of the Famous Five.


Friday, January 16, 2015

31 Day Blog Challenge: Day 16: Dream Job

I used to think that I'd like to be a research assistant for someone in the history department at Oxford or Cambridge, someone who was writing a book on the Tudors or the Edwardian era.  I never quite imagined that I would write such a book, just help with the background details.

Recently, I've gone back to my childhood dream of being a flight attendant (or air stewardess as they were called back in the day - showing my age here).  Of course, I'd have to be working for Etihad and close to this class of service:

The Etihad Experience

There's also something intriguing about the Emirates uniforms:

Thursday, January 15, 2015

31 Day Blog Challenge: Day 15: Timeline of My Day

When Vic is home, get up to fix his breakfast

Go back to bed

Time to get up, feed the dog, check e-mail and Facebook

Shower, blog reading, household finances and other things that require the computer

Household chores - laundry, dishwasher, tidying up

Walk the dog


Errands or more chores if needed

Feed the dog

Walk the dog again, check mail

Start dinner


Leisurely evening reading, scrapbooking or watching TV

Bedtime because it all starts over again at 4:00am!

This is a typical day when I don't have anything on the calendar.  If I have a meeting or a lunch, then just about everything from 8:00am on is crammed into the afternoon.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Blogging from A to Z Challenge (April 2015)

Watch this space because signing up for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge (April 2015) is coming soon.  Check it out by clicking on the link and get your alphabet ideas ready!

Word of the Year

I've been inspired by several blog posts recently to come up with a Word of the Year.  This post, over at Angel Jem's City Cottage, was really lovely.  Truly there are many things to celebrate.  My Word of the Year is inspired by the desire to celebrate financial independence (retirement may not be just around the corner, but it's peeking out) so I've chosen Thrift.  No spending unless it is essential, moderation when spending is called for (gifts, etc.), and a use it up, wear it out, make it do philosophy.

Photo courtesy of

Life Last Week 2015-2

We took Sophia back up to Bellingham on Sunday.  Since her roommate took her fridge when she moved out, Sophia bought one of her own.  It was more than she and I could handle so I was glad that Vic was available to come with us.  Sophia's friend, Tyler, was on hand to help him lift it up the (four flights of) stairs.

Vic went back to work on Monday and I got the house back in order after the holidays,  That meant stacking everything in the office until I decide how I want to organize it all.  The week flew by and it was time for me to drop MudLynn at the kennels and head to Salem, Oregon where the equestrian team would be competing in their second hunt seat show of the IHSA season.

The facility was really nice with an indoor, heated viewing room which is wonderful to have at this time of the year.  The team did well on both days and Sophia picked up two first place ribbons which meant that she had enough points to advance to the next class level.

After the show ended on Sunday, I drove home just in time to run some errands with Vic, eat dinner, and then fall into bed.

31 Day Blog Challenge: Day 14: What is in my Handbag?

Too much - the darn thing weighs a ton!  This is my current bag:

I love it because it is divided into two large areas separated by a zippered pocket and has five other smaller pockets.  I certainly need all that room to hold this lot:

Mobile Phone
Poo Pourri Atomizer
Two Pens
Small Photo Album
Coupon File
Cosmetic Bag
Package of Tissue
Key Ring holding Store Rewards Cards
Extra Keys
In case you were intrigued by the Poo Pourri Atomizer