Friday, June 16, 2017

A Short Break

Taking a short blogging break as I head off to a reunion with my friends from our MOPS days in Florida.  It's been twenty years since we've all been together - can't wait to see everyone!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

If this is Tuesday, it must be England #67

It's that time of year - the British social season is in full swing and all the associated events bring out great photos.  Trooping the Colour, the celebration of the monarch's birthday when the weather is more likely to cooperate, will be held on Saturday, June 17.  Look for pomp and pageantry, glorious uniforms and great fashions from the royal gents and ladies.

Here are a few photos from last year's event.

This is the time of year I would love to be in London.

The annual Garter Service at Windsor is usually held on the Monday after Trooping the Colour, but this year, it is cancelled as due to the recent General Election, the State Opening of Parliament is scheduled for the same day.

"My Three Sons" was the first thing that went through my mind when I saw this photo!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday 6/12/2017

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:::

80s all week, rising to 93 on Tuesday but dipping to 79 on Sunday.  Nightmarishly (is that a word?) hot, in my opinion.

On my reading pile:::
Finished An English Country Manor which was delightful so I'm looking for the other two volumes in the series.  Picked up
 Dear Bob and Sue again and will reading about their adventures in the Shenandoah National Park which is close to us so I'll be looking out for some tips for a visit soon.

On my TV:::
Victorian Slum House, still need to watch the last episode
Turn, almost finished Season 2 so we can move on to Season 3
The Great British Bake Off and Granchester return this coming weekend along with the new PBS series, My Mother and Other Strangers

On the menu for this week:::

Monday - Grilled Shrimp, Steamed Broccoli
Tuesday - Snack Night
Wednesday - Salmon, Orzo or Artichoke Salad
Thursday - Greek Pasta Salad with Chicken
Friday - Steak, Baked Potatoes, Sauteed Mushrooms

On my to-do list:::

  • Bra-fitting later today - fun, fun, fun
  • Haircut
  • Final shopping for the reunion  - have to pick up nine of my "something from my area" gift
  • Volunteer shift at the gift shop
  • Packing for the reunion

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
Photo albums for the reunion arrived and are lovely.  All-day crop on Saturday was wonderful and I got a lot done, just need a few finishing touches and I'll be close to being caught up with Vic's 2016 deployment.

Looking around the house:::

Vacuuming and laundry to do.  Still need to work on that weekly checklist.

From the camera:::
I completely forgot to take a photo of our brunch yesterday - we went to this really arty place, the menu was very limited but I managed to find smoked salmon and creme fraiche on some kind of bread while Vic had a BLT with turkey and spicy Thai mayo.  It was ok but we won't go there again.  It just wasn't anything memorable - I suppose it would be a hip place to go if you're a twenty-something but we're long past that stage!

Something fun to share:::
My Melaleuca package arrived and I've been busy replacing some of our household items and toiletries.  Love my new lip gloss, it's called Brilliance Plump Lip Gloss in Berry Shimmer.  It's the one on the very far right in this stock photo.

What I'm wearing today:::
Black capris, white T-shirt and black sandals.  After watching all five seasons of House of Cards, Claire Underwood's neutral wardrobe really appeals to me.

Bible Verse, Devotional, Quote:::
An excerpt from, a traditional American folk song, it's been in my head since it was featured in this episode of House of Cards.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

If this is Tuesday, it must be England #66

Happy 96th Birthday on June 10 to His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.  It has recently been announced that he will retire from royal duties and visits in the autumn.  Very much a man's man, a keen sportsman, and known for his tactless gaffes at times, His Royal Highness has been at Her Majesty the Queen's side for almost seventy years.

I love this photo, taken at Broadlands in Hampshire, to mark their Diamond Wedding Anniversary in 2007.

The photo is a recreation of the one taken in the same location while on their honeymoon.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday 6/5/2017

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:::

HIgh 80s all weekend so I'm glad to see 69 and 70 in the forecast for the latter part of the week.  Broke down and turned on the air conditioner yesterday but only ran it from 8pm to 11pm to cool down the upstairs.  Longing for a single story house again.

On my reading pile:::
Put Dear Bob and Sue to one side to work on An English Country Manor that I picked up from the lending library at the British food store.  I also picked up, at Costco, Lilac Girls and Everyone Brave is Forgiven for the reunion, either to read by the lake or to keep my mind off being in the air.  Not a fan of flying at all.

On my TV:::
Victorian Slum House, still need to watch the last episode
The White Princess
House of Cards, into Season 4 so I'm almost caught up
Turn, Season 3 although we're going to start 1 and 2 again so we can remember what's going on!

On the menu for this week:::

Monday - Grilled Shrimp, sides to be determined
Tuesday - Barbecued Ribs, ^^
Wednesday - Salmon, ^^
Thursday - Brats, ^^
Friday - Steak, Baked Potatoes, Sauteed Mushrooms

Sides will depend on the weather, mostly likely will be some form of salad.

On my to-do list:::

  • Finals week for Sophia - must put together a little "You made it" package
  • Physical therapy - Monday and Friday
  • Visit with my friend from our Florida days - haven't had a chance to connect before now
  • Spouses' Group Board Turnover Brunch
  • Scrapbook Crop on Saturday

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
Ornaments for the Christmas in July Ornament Swap are in the mail and photo albums for the reunion are ordered.  I need to get my materials organized for the crop so I can just sit down and get busy.  I think working on it a little each day should take care of that.

Looking around the house:::

Vacuuming and laundry to do.  I really need to come up with a weekly checklist and stick to it.  One room a day plus a quick whiz over to put away any clutter should do it.  I need to get back into the habit of decluttering each night before we go to bed.

From the camera:::
Two great lunches over the past week.  Poulet Crepe (chicken, spinach, mushrooms, Swiss cheese with Bechamel followed by a German Crepe which was lemon juice with salted caramel (interesting combination that was so delicious, we gobbled it up before I could take a photo).

Lamb shawermah/shawarma/shawurma (must be regional differences in spelling) with basmati rice.

Something fun to share:::
Not as much fun as informative - I signed up with Melaleuca again, any users here?  Their line-up of household and personal products is awesome - environmentally and consumer safe and made in the USA.  Switching over from the products I've been buying at the grocery store.

What I'm wearing today:::
Workout gear - I'm off to physical therapy.

Bible Verse, Devotional, Quote:::

When will this senseless violence end?

Friday, June 2, 2017

Story Time Friday #2

Looks like Story Time Friday will be a monthly feature since I only got as far as #1 in May.  Continuing on, I left off when we moved from Germany to Massachusetts in 1961.  I didn't really cover much of our time in Germany, so I started digging through some of the memorabilia I have stashed away to give you a little idea of our life there.

I found a letter written (the first nine pages) and then typed single space (pages ten-fourteen) by my father to his mother, my Grandma M.  I think Grandpa M was husband number two or maybe three.  I know the first one was a bank robber; Grandma M married him when she was very young and he told her he kept a gun because he was a detective.  She found out differently when he got caught and hauled off to jail.  Wish I knew the whole story.

Grandma M was the first (and I think only) family member to visit us in Germany shortly after I was born.

Grandma M, Dad, Mum holding me, Frankfurt Airport, March 1960 - obviously smoking in public wasn't an issue then, or smoking around babies!

Anyway, the letter is written December 31, 1960 and January 3, 1961, and goes into great detail about what a wonderful baby I was, so well-behaved and adorable, albeit a little chubby.  I love this paragraph, "We bought her a winter coat, hat, and leggings for a two year old (I'm 10 1/2 months old at this time).  The coat sleeves and the leggings are still a little too long but she's popped a button off the coat because it's so tight on her."  Insert chubby person emoji here, I was doomed from this early age.

The letter goes on to talk at length about a move from a temporary housing apartment to a nicer house with a little yard.  Apparently, the comings and goings and the rowdy antics of the residents in the temporary apartments drove my mother nuts, literally, as she had to have a note from a psychiatrist to say her nerves were shot in order for them to move to the nicer house.  I found this fascinating document, DD 398 Statement of Personal History, where my father listed all of our addresses from 1960-1973 and it goes back farther, to his assignments as far back as 1954.  How I wish I had kept adding our addresses from 1973 to the present although if I think really hard, I can probably come up with them.

There is also a reference in the letter to my sibling, "I found out that Wally's mother has her other baby."  My biological mother's name was Walli but I guess my Dad spelled it with a 'y'.  I found two cards from my biological maternal grandmother, Oma, but they are written in the very old German Gothic script known as Fraktur and I have yet to find someone able to translate them.  I must dig farther into that - surely in this tech-savvy age, I should be able to find a translator.  If they can translate hieroglyphics, there must be someone who can handle Fraktur.

It's been really fascinating tracing my early days and I have a feeling I will soon be branching out into some ancestry studies.  My Dad's sister has traced his family back to the American Revolution but I want to work on Mum's side and my biological family.

We left Germany and moved to Revere, Massachusetts in July 1961 and stayed there until August 1962.  Arriving at McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey is the only stamp in my German passport.  During the time we lived in Massachusetts, I became a United States citizen.

Boston 1962