Sunday, December 9, 2018

Time to Say Goodbye

After 7 days, 11 states (and 8 Starbucks mugs to add to our collection!) and 3935 miles, through deserts, plains, mountains, forests, cities, river valleys and Indian nations, we made it to Washington.  We spent Thanksgiving with Sophia, did a little Black Friday shopping, and then Vic flew back to Virginia and I went back to work.  We'll be living the bi-coastal lifestyle for a while.  Sadly, keeping up my blog is just one of the things that has fallen by the wayside so it's time to say goodbye.  I'll try to keep up with reading your blogs but this new lifestyle is quite an adjustment and there is not always time for everything.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and I hope to be back at some point.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Road Trip 2018

It's time to hit the road and head on out.  I'll try to put up a post or two along the way but if that doesn't happen, I'll post from Washington next week.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Veterans Day

 “Veterans Day does not include an apostrophe but does include an ‘s’ at the end of ‘veterans’ because it is not a day that ‘belongs’ to veterans, it is a day for honoring all veterans." - U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Currently - November 2018

Joining up with Anne IN residence for November's Currently.

Appreciating // The cooler temperatures and the beautiful colors of the trees that fall brings.  It was a long time coming here in southeastern Virginia.

Researching // House layouts, prices, and neighborhoods.  When our house-buying plans were derailing by the change in Vic's orders, I put my daily updates from Zillow on hold.  Now that we have a new plan, I'm once again researching the options for our forever home.

Posting // Blog posts!  Finally seem to be back in the groove.  Not sure how much I'll be able to keep it up on the road but I'll try.

Getting // Organized.  With Vic gone this week, I have been able to work non-stop on finishing up the home inventory and packing the totes and bags ready to be loaded into the car.  The road trip begins very soon.

Cooking // As little as possible.  The fridge and freezer are almost empty in preparation for our trip so most of my meals are takeaways or snack-type foods that don't need to be cooked.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

TBB Asks - November 2018

It was a Tuesday post on Monday and today it's a Monday post on a Tuesday - I'm really at the point where I'm running a day ahead or a day behind in the final countdown to our move!  Check out The Blended Blog for more Giving Thanks goodness.

1.  Have you ever kept a Gratitude Journal?
No, thought about it quite a bit but just never put the thought into action.  I like the idea of making a Gratitude Jar and putting your thanks on a little slip of paper.  A lot of families read them out at Thanksgiving.  Maybe a strip a month because a strip a day would end up with a lot to read, especially if there are three, four, or five of you in your family.

2.  Hosting Thanksgiving at your house?
No, we will be at Sophia's house/pet sitting house for Thanksgiving in Washington.  Her house sitting family has graciously suggested that we cook and eat there since Sophia will be there with the pets and we will have just arrived from Virginia.  It's going to be a different kind of holiday this year but we'll all be together and that's all that matters.

3.  Favorite Food from the Thanksgiving Meal?
Stuffing and more stuffing.

4.  What one thing in nature are you most grateful for?
Fall, I love to see the trees change into their vibrant fall colors.  I took this photo in Maine one October when we were up there for a 4-H event.

5.  Pumpkin Pie?

6.  Traditional Cookbook?
Yes, I love the original Betty Crocker version and you can get the New and Revised Edition on Amazon.

7.  Oven Baked or Deep Fried Turkey?
Oven Baked but only when someone else bakes it.  I'm hopeless with a whole turkey.  I usually buy a boneless breast and pop it in the CrockPot, always super easy and comes out so moist and tender.

8.  Thanksgiving Leftovers?
Yes, especially turkey sandwiches with stuffing and cranberry sauce.  Like Starbucks Holiday Turkey Panini, only better.

9.  What is one household product you are most grateful for?
I love these Wet-It dish cloths and there are so many cute designs.  They make great stocking stuffers and hostess gifts.  This winter design is my current favorite.

10.  Are you most grateful for home-cooked meals or restaurant meals?
Both really.  I love to cook but my current galley kitchen in our government quarters is a bit of a challenge so we often eat out or get a takeaway.  I'm looking forward to a more cook-friendly kitchen one day.

Monday, November 5, 2018

If this is Tuesday, it must be England #104 (on Monday because it's Bonfire Night)

What is Bonfire Night?  It's also known as Guy Fawkes Night because on November 5, 1605, Guy Fawkes was arrested in a gunpowder plot to blow up the House of Lords, and King James I along with it.  It was one of those Catholics (Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators) vs. Protestants (King James I) struggles although people lit bonfires around London to celebrate the fact that the king had survived the plot and it became an annual public day of thanksgiving.  Guy Fawkes, however, was tortured and sentenced to be hung, drawn, and quartered for his crime but mercifully was spared the drawing part of the punishment as he broke his neck and died during the hanging.  He still ended up being quartered.

I can remember children in our village in England making a Guy (he loosely resembled a scarecrow) and popping him into a wheelbarrow as they ran around crying "A penny for the Guy!" in an attempt to raise money to buy fireworks for Bonfire Night.  Poor Guy ends up in the bonfire, he just can't get a break.

Bonfire Night is burned, pardon the pun, into my memory as we attended a Bonfire Night event put on by the local fire department one year during which a burning ember flew from the bonfire and hit my Mum in the face.  They moved the cordon back significantly the next year.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Friday Favorites

There's been a whole lot of Friday love on the blogsphere over the years I've been blogging - Five on Friday, 5 on Friday, Friday Faves, Friday Favorites, High Five for Friday, Friday Loves, The Friday 5, and I'm sure etc., etc., - and I've dipped my toe on occasion but today was a day that called for a special favorites post so I'm joining Tanya who posts both a weekly and a monthly Friday Favorites post chock-full of goodies.  Maybe that will inspire me to post at least monthly with my favorites.

Today is red letter cup day at Starbucks.  Buy an holiday beverage and you get it in the holiday red reusable cup.  In the back of my mind, I knew this promotion was going on but I wasn't really paying attention because I was focused on the other highlight of the day at Starbucks, the introduction of the holiday design paper cups.

I placed my holiday drink order and I asked for my drink to be put in a regular cup so that I could keep the holiday cup clean (for my December Daily album) so the barista put the reusable cup in my bag and my drink tag on a holiday paper cup.  I didn't realize there weren't any plain cups any longer, only holiday ones.  When I said, no, I wanted a clean holiday paper cup, she put one in the bag as well so I ended up with a clean reusable cup, a clean holiday paper cup (the one with the red stripes), and a drink in a green holiday stars cup (which I dumped into a coffee mug as soon as I got home so I could wash out the green cup).  Crazy, I know, I doubt I'll use all four holiday designs (as I plan on picking up the other two) but I had this light-bulb moment that perhaps I could put all four of them together accordion-style to make a fold-out photo collage.

So, without further ado, here are my Starbucks holiday 5 on Friday Friday Five Friday Favorites!

1.  The reusable red cup, free with holiday purchase on November 2 while supplies last

2.  The green cup that held my drink and the clean red stripes cup

3.  The red stripes cup ornament - I saw someone who had a kitchen tree and I thought, what a great home for my Starbucks cup ornaments

4.  Scratch-off tags - cute for gifts but mine are going in my December Daily album - how perfect that one of the Product Play 2 classes will feature tags

5.  And finally my gift cards - we have a long road trip coming up and we'll make a lot of Starbucks stops - I'm going to transfer the money from the cards to my app and use the cards in my December Daily or perhaps it should be titled December Daily 2018 courtesy of Starbucks!  By the way, the top three cards have to be loaded with a minimum of $10 and the bottom three with a minimum of $15.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Happy Halloween

Things are still crazy chez nous but I figured I could at least get up a Happy Halloween greeting with my pals from the Hundred Acre Wood.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

If this is Tuesday, it must be England #103

Apart from Princess Eugenie's stunning wedding dress, did you have a favorite look last Friday?  

I have to go with the Duchess of Cambridge, I thought she looked fabulous.  What a gorgeous color.

How I wish there were photos of the back of the gown Princess Eugenie wore to the evening reception!  I thought at first that the draped pieces over each shoulder were going to form some sort of train but it doesn't look like it.   

Monday, October 15, 2018

Life Last Week 2018-28

The weather:::
 Fall made a brief appearance - we went to an evening concert on Saturday wearing jeans and fleece jackets.  Sadly, it's going to be 83 degrees today.

On my reading pile:::
Working my way slowly through Coffee, Tea or Me? The Uninhibited Memoirs of Two Airline Stewardesses by Trudy Baker and Rachel Jones with Donald Bain

On my TV:::
Finished Reign and moved on to The Tudors on Netflix while I was working on Project Life.  A Place to Call Home Season 6 on Acorn and The Durrells in Corfu Season 3 and Poldark Season 4 on PBS.  Caught the new movie, 22 July, on Netflix.  I remembered the event from the news but had no idea of the aftermath of the incident.  

Checked off the list:::
  • The first two of several farewell lunches.
  • The call to start the septic system installation at our house in Rhode Island - the work won't actually start for a couple of weeks but this is the official time marker for the project.
Crafts roundup:::
Still finishing up the last few weeks of Project Life catch-up.

And in other news:::
High five for those of you who figured out that something was up with (or should I say under?) this blue coat - yes, The Duchess of Sussex is pregnant, baby due in the spring.

Friday, October 12, 2018

The Wedding of Princess Eugenie of York and Mr. Jack Brooksbank

Anyone else get up at 4:00am to watch the second Royal Wedding of 2018?  U.S. coverage was on TLC which we don't have so I watched it live on The Royal Family channel on You Tube.  It was very different without any commentary.  Quite enjoyable actually but I did miss having wedding guests identified as they arrived.

Didn't she look beautiful?  No veil which was surprising but I didn't miss one with her stunning dress and tiara and with all that wind, my goodness, it would have been difficult to manage.  Several hats/fascinators/invitations went flying and poor Lady Louise.  She looked quite glum through the service.  I was glad to see that the news coverage did not include that particular embarrassing moment.  It happened, it's over, let's move on.

I'm off to check out all my favorite royalty blogs which will have all the fashion details.  Join me at The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor and Royal Hats.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

The Wedding of Princess Eugenie of York and Mr. Jack Brooksbank Order of Service

The Order of Service for today's ceremony can be found here.

Time to Say Goodbye #2

Another lunch, another farewell.  This time it was my friend G.  We met in Florida in 1997 when her husband was the Commanding Officer of the ship Vic served on.  I was an officer in the Family Support Group so we interacted frequently and we discovered a mutual interest in history, British literature, television, and England in general, tea, and travel.  Over the years, we've met up when both her husband and Vic happened to be stationed in Virginia, and we kept in touch with Christmas cards before the advent of social media.  Now we have Facebook to keep us connected.

It was a lovely lunch.  It had been some time since our last one so we had lots of catching up to do on books read and TV shows watched.  I filled her in on Sophia and she gave me an update on her son and his wife as they are to be parents very soon.  We decided that she should be GiGi to her granddaughter.

No photo because about the time I thought to take a selfie, we were pretty emotional and emotional faces don't make the best photos!

Another piece of my heart left in Virginia.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Time to Say Goodbye #1

It was so hard to say goodbye to the members of my spouses' group.  They are such an AMAZING group of women who work tirelessly for the military community in our area and for the charities that we support.  I will miss them dreadfully.

Our group has a membership gift - this beautiful mermaid glass.  I received one last year with my membership and another one this year.  I jokingly asked if I could renew my membership for two more years so that I could have a set of four and guess what was in my farewell gift bag - two more glasses!  Now I have my set of four!

We had a lovely lunch followed by this fabulous cake for dessert.  It's from a local bakery called Nothing Bundt Cakes - lemon with a delicious frosting that wasn't too rich or too sweet.  

These ladies have a special place in my heart.  They have given me the precious gift of friendship...and cake!

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

If this is Tuesday, it must be England #102

Just a few days until Princess Eugenie of York ties the knot with Jack Brooksbank.  If you have TLC, coverage starts at 4:25am.  I'll be watching for You Tube to pick up all the action later in the day and tuning in to my favorite royal blog, The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor, for all the details of the fashion of the wedding party, the Royal family, and the guests.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Life Last Week 2018-27

The weather:::
 Hot, hot, hot, humid, humid, humid, 83 degrees today...this is autumn?

On my reading pile:::
Finally finished this stack - Major Pettigrew's Last Stand was wonderful, highly recommend it.

On my TV:::
Worked my way through Reign on Netflix while I was working on Project Life.  A Place to Call Home Season 6 on Acorn and The Durrells in Corfu Season 3 and Poldark Season 4 on PBS.

Checked off the list:::
I'm so far behind but here's last week:
  • Vic traveled to Washington for an inspection and took a few days' leave to go up to Sophia's to fix her car.  She was backing out of a parking place at the same time someone across the street (a one-way street) was backing up as well.  Crunch, both vehicles suffered taillight damage.  The insurance estimate to fix Sophia's car exceeded the value so the insurance company declared it a total loss.  We took the salvage settlement and reclaimed the car so Vic could fix it.  He did a great job and everything is working just fine.  Plus, they got to spend a few days together and got along famously.  Those of you who know my two know that they are so alike, they often butt heads but maybe they are growing out of that?  I can't wait until we are all together for Thanksgiving.
  • Haircut and then Sit 'n Sip with the spouses' group Moms' Club - very enjoyable morning and the pumpkin doughnuts were amazing.
  • I worked my second to the last shift at the gift shop - it was the Holiday Extravaganza event where all the Christmas decor was unveiled.  A busy morning, lots of beautiful items, and lots of shoppers which means lots of money for our charities.
  • Hallmark Ornament Debut event over the weekend and five more ornaments added to our collection.
Crafts roundup:::
Only Project Life - working my way to getting up to date - I think I knocked out about five weeks last week.

And in other news:::
Just over a month until the big move - I'm beginning to get alarmed at the size of the pile of things that have to go in the car.  We'll make it, I'm sure, but some of the totes may end up emptied and the contents transferred to brown paper bags that are easier to squish and squeeze into the available space.  Preparation for work is going well - I received all my onboarding documents, filled them all out, and sent them back.  Should be hearing from my employer soon to make sure all is in order for my start date.

It didn't happen last week but I have to include it here before I put this post up - Sophia got her first substitute teaching job today!  She called me this morning for a wardrobe check, put together a lunch box for herself, and is off to spend the day subbing for science in three classes - 5th, 6th, and 8th grade.  I can't wait to hear all about it this evening.

Friday, October 5, 2018

From the Family Photo Box Friday #6

Halloween is coming - time for a look back at Sophia's costumes over the years.  1995 was her first trick or treating experience - she was almost 2 years old and looked adorably mischievous in this kitten costume.  Mum made the tail (you can just see the white furry tip behind her left leg) and the ears attached to a headband.  We began the traditional of having the ghost in the pumpkin at her side to see how much she grew over the years.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Traveling & Trinkets - Eastport, Maine

Eastport, Maine is the easternmost city in the United States and holds a huge July 4th parade every year.  Since 1905, there has been a Coast Guard or U. S. Navy ship in port, providing free tours and often the sailors march in the parade.

In 2004, Vic's ship was the Navy ship in port for the festivities and he picked up this replica of the Small Town X Fisherman Statue as a memento.  It has quite an interesting history here.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Currently - October 2018

Joining up with Anne IN residence for October's Currently.

Wearing // Summer clothes and in October, that is SO WRONG.  Hello, Autumn, did you miss southeastern Virginia?  Can't wait to get to Washington - there was a 20 degree difference in the temperature from here to there.  Sweater Weather, here I come!

Collecting // Memories during my last month here in Virginia.  Saying goodbye to friends is so tough, thank goodness for social media to keep us connected.

Making // A Project Life Spread for the week that we lost MudLynn - yes, it was in June and I am that far behind.  She really was the most amazing dog.

Taking // Lots of things to the consignment shop.  With the prospect of being without some things for six months, and maybe for another three if our things go into storage, I'm taking a long, hard look at everything to see, if I can live with it for nine months, is it just time for it to go for good?

Planning // A cross country move - no sightseeing this time, it's get on the road and get to the West Coast as soon as we can.  We will all be together for Thanksgiving this year.

Sandra's post over at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom reminded me that it is Blogtober 2018 so I am going to endeavor to blog every day this month.  I have really missed blogging and reading what's been going on with everyone.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Prime Purchases October 2018

Linking up for with Tanya at The Other Side of the Road for Prime Purchases.

All of my purchases this month have been supplies for memory-keeping Project Life and the upcoming December Daily. 

The Viewmaster Reel is a huge hit with December Daily memory keepers.  Insert photos from your favorite Christmas movies and you have a great page for your album.  Last year, I bought a reel from Etsy but this year, I scored what was listed as "Only 1 left in stock" - a Tim Holtz die of my own - and now I'll be whipping out my own reels from my Sizzix Big Kick.  If you're interested, it appears they have restocked.

Next up, a new page design in pocket protectors - I usually use the protectors that feature horizontal pockets for 4 x 6 photos but I picked up a package for vertical 4 x 6 photos, Becky Higgins' Design D.  I also added a VersaMarker Pen - if you're not familiar with Versamark, it's a clear ink that you use to stamp a design and then cover the wet ink with embossing powder and set it with a heat gun.  It's a great way to make a stamp design pop with texture.  The pen is designed for those little places, perhaps only one part of a stamp.

And finally on the memory-keeping front, Attach Me tabs.  If you don't want to punch holes in a card or photo or other item that you plan to use in your album, attach a couple of these little tabs and you're all set to go.  Make sure you line up the holes with a page protector or other item that already fits in your album.

My last purchase this month came from Whole Foods but if you don't have a Whole Foods in your area, trusty Amazon will take care of you.  Swiss Muesli cereal is amazing!

Monday, October 1, 2018

TBB Asks - October 2018

Click on the photo to join TBB Asks for October over at The Blended Blog.

1.  Favorite Fall Color?

2.  Apple Cider HOT or COLD?

3.  Caramel Apple:  Yes or No?
Yes, but it has to be this one, the Royal Chocolate's Apple Pie apple and they ship!  You cut it into slices like the one pictured and then the caramel is much more manageable.

4.  Pumpkin Doughnut or Apple Cider Doughnut?
I think they both sound delicious.

5.  Long or short cardigan?

6.  Favorite Football or Fall Party Food?
Heloise's Olive-Nut Spread - DON'T use low-fat mayo, use the real stuff and buy the cheaper salad olives - I've been making it for years and it's always a huge hit with any kind of cracker or chip and it's amazing on bagels.

7.  Orange or white pumpkin?

8.  Hayride or Bonfire?

9.  Favorite Fall Baked Good?
Pumpkin Bread with a swirl of Nutella through it

10.  Most anticipated fall activity?
The return of Pumpkin Spice Lattes!

Friday, September 21, 2018

I'm Still Here...

But I look a little like this:

The Navy, God bless them, has thrown us a major curveball - we've actually moved on to Plan I, can you believe it?  Plans A-H are in the trash can.

I've lost track of what I've posted where but here was Plan H:

Moving from Virginia to Washington (me) and Okinawa (Vic).  Flying to Washington in August-September to buy a house, flying back to Virginia to pack up household goods and drive across the country in November, Vic will then fly off to Okinawa and I will live happily ever after in our forever home in Washington.

Can you hear that?  It's the sound of screeching brakes.  On to Plan I.

Vic's orders have been put on hold until summer/fall 2019.  He will stay in Virginia at his current job until then.  Since his orders are on hold, our household goods shipment is cancelled so we can't buy a house in Washington because a) our housing allowance will continue to pay for our Virginia quarters, and b) we'd have nothing to put in the house.  That's ok, you may say, we'll live happily here in Virginia until summer/fall 2019 and then start Plan H all over again.  But, and it's a big BUT, I was offered a job in Washington starting in November, a great job opportunity, back with my old co-workers, a job that is available now and may not be available later.

So, I'm out of here, no we're not getting a divorce, we're just going bi-coastal for a while.  I rented an apartment; Vic and I will drive across the country with whatever we can stuff in the car, pick up the few essential pieces of furniture when we get there - something to sit on, something to sleep on - he'll fly back to Virginia and I'll go off to work.  He has several opportunities to fly back to Washington between now and next summer/fall and will come for the holidays as well and then in summer/fall 2019, we'll look for a house and I'll fly back to Virginia to pack up our household goods.

Thank you to all of you who have reached out via social media to make sure I'm still around.  I appreciate the love.  I'll try to get back to regular blogging but it may be a little while.