Wednesday, March 21, 2018

A Blogging Break

Photo courtesy of Jean Greenhowe Designs

Taking a bit of a blogging break as we leave for Washington tomorrow for Sophia's graduation.  I'm praying that the Four'easter doesn't cause any delays for us as we jet through Philadelphia tomorrow.

My Mum made this little guy for my college graduation in 1999, Sophia carried him at her high school graduation in 2013, and he'll be photobombing her college graduation this coming weekend.  She's also going to be opening some Letters to the Future that were written when she was a baby - Kleenex at the ready.

Wow, when I get back on here, I'll be the mother of a college graduate!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Blogging from A to Z April (2018) Challenge Theme Reveal

Drum we go, April 1st is coming and that means it's time for the Blogging from A to Z April (2018) Challenge Theme Reveal.  As it's our third time to be stationed in Virginia, I've have decided that my theme will be
Out and About in Virginia!
(I hope that worked and you had to scroll down a little to see the big announcement!)

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

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

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

23 - T
24 - U
25 - V
26 - W
27 - X
28 - Y

30 - Z

(April 1st falls on a Sunday so we will start that day)

Life Last Week 2018-10

Last week for the snow - yeah right, my New England friends are saying and speaking of the white stuff, read on.

The weather:::
 High 40s and low 50s and SNOW for Wednesday?  No, no, no...I can't handle snow when I have to fly through airports in the Northeast.  There is no room for any delays in our schedule.  Think warm thoughts, everyone, please. 

On my reading pile:::
Still working my way through this pile and realized that my carry-on bag really doesn't have any room for a library book.  I need to explore the library's online lending - that's on my to-do list for today.

On my TV:::
Still in Midsomer (Murders) and watching old episodes of the Great British Baking Show.  I wish Netflix would add some more seasons.

Checked off the list:::
  • Spouses' group board meeting.
  • St. Patrick's Day lunch with the spouses' group with an Irish dancing demonstration by the daughter of one of our group and her dance students.
  • Manicure in preparation for the Joint Services Luncheon, an annual luncheon that rotates between the Air Force, Army, and Navy bases in the area.  The Air Force ladies really set the bar high - they did a beautiful job with the event.
  • An event sponsored by Bank of America about transitioning from the military to civilian life - I didn't learn anything I didn't already know but it was good for Vic to hear it all.
  • Deadline for the charity applications - now I have to prepare a report for the selection committee and get it sent off to them to review before our meeting to allocate the charity funds next week.

Crafts roundup:::
Downloaded another idea for the Christmas ornament swap for Christmas in July.  Still behind on Project Life; craft table still covered with charity applications.

And in other news:::
A few photos from the luncheon - the theme was Oh, the Places You'll Go (Dr. Seuss).

Table Decorations

Event Program and Luggage Tag takeaway

Scrapbooks from the spouses' club hosting the event

Centerpiece on the appetizer table

Room Decoration

Dessert Table - cupcakes decorated with the services' insignia
Coming up - six of these!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Wishing you all top o' the morning on this fine day.  Don't drink too much green beer!

My favorite leprechaun

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

International Pi Day

Thanks to Laura over at The Horton Family, I see that today is Pi Day.  According to Pi Day, it's an annual celebration of the mathematical constant pi (3.14............).  Those of us not so mathematically inclined prefer to celebrate P I E!

I haven't baked a pie in years.  For some reason, I've gone off the pastry in pies.  I used to make mean apple and cherry pies all the time but not so much any more.  I searched my Pinterest for ideas that I'd pinned and came up with Shepherd's Pie, Turkey Pot Pie, Burrito Pie, and the closest I came to a pie with pie crust was this one below found here.

I pinned these too from alamodo on Etsy:

If I ever get around to making pies again, I'll know where to go for packaging to share the slices.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

If this is Tuesday, it must be England #90

There was quite the kerfuffle reported over at the BBC which resulted in a slew of posts.  Are you #JamFirst or #creamfirstandproud?  If you have no idea what I am talking about, take a look at these two photos:

In my opinion, they are not the most aesthetically-pleasing photos but they illustrate the point in question - cream first or jam first?  Devon stands firmly behind cream first, whereas Cornwall is in the jam first camp.  The problem arose when a Mother's Day (UK) ad for a National Trust site in Cornwall posted this photo:

See the problem?  That's not a Cornish Cream Tea, it's a Devon Cream Tea.  It's a bit like the Hatfields and the McCoys, these rivalries are taken THAT seriously.

A tempest in a tea cup, you might say, and definitely a first world problem, but the final result is...SCONEGATE!

By the way, according to the Cream Tea Society, and I quote "etiquette gurus Debrett's say you should spread your jam before dolloping cream on top."  And Debrett's really does have the final word.

Mark your calendars...National Cream Tea Day is Friday, June 29 this year.  Read all about it here.

Monday, March 12, 2018

TBBTalks: All About Skincare

I am really enjoying The Blended Blog's link-ups and I've met some great new bloggers through them.  Today we're talking all about skincare.

Almost a year ago, I went back to using Melaleuca's products.  I wanted products that were good for us, good for our household, and good for the environment.  All of my skincare comes from their Sei Bella range.  Melaleuca is a wellness membership company and you can view the products here, but you have to be a member to see the prices and purchase them.

Make-up Remover // Cleansing Facial Wipes
Cleanser // Hydrating Facial Cleanser for normal skin
Toner // Advanced Youth Revital Hydrating Toner
Moisturizer // Advanced Revital R3 Age-Defying Triple-Benefit Creme

Specialty Products:
Eyes // Multi-Benefit Eye Treatment because I'm one of those women of a certain age!
Mask // Complete Radiance Clay Facial Masque

It was strange at first to switch from picking up skincare products at Target, or browsing through Ulta or Sephora and trying to decide if I wanted to try out a new product.  There are so many to choose from, it's overwhelming at times.  What I love now is that I don't go to the stores to shop for skincare.  I order products for us each month and they come in the mail.  I've found what works, I don't spend time or money checking out new products, and I love how the Sei Bella range makes my skin feel.

Life Last Week 2018-9

Only one more week for the snowy scene.

The weather:::
 Another week where we won't get much above 50 degrees but I'm not complaining because it looks like another Nor'easter is on its way for many.  Stay safe out there!  

On my reading pile:::
I made it to the library and am working my way through this pile.  I think I'll save the bottom one for the planes.

On my TV:::
Still in Midsomer (Murders), the most dangerous county in England, there are 19 seasons after all!  We also finally picked up this from Redbox and I hear that Kenneth Branagh is going to star in Death on the Nile, rumored for 2019.

Checked off the list:::
  • Sat in on the gift shop board meeting for our President who had to work.
  • Hair cut, ordered the door handle for Sophia's car, and lab work.
  • Vic had an overnight underway so I had a lazy day staying in my pajamas longer than usually and binge watching Netflix.
  • We went to see The 15:17 to Paris and I was thinking to myself that the actors were really bad - didn't realize they were actually the real people from the incident.  Kudos to them for giving it a go (acting, that is).

Crafts roundup:::
Caught up with Project Life but now I'm behind again.  The charities paperwork has taken over my craft table so I'm just filing the photos away to have printed later and then I'll put it all together.

And in other news:::
Yesterday was Mothering Sunday, the UK Mother's Day, and my cousin's son put together a film show for the family.  He sent me some of the pictures, ones I haven't seen before.  They keep coming, more for me to add to the Family Album I have plans to work day, when things are slower.

My sister Barbara and I on the beach in Blackpool, England - I think she is about 6 years old which would make me about 12.  I think I have a sixth grade school photo with my hair that length.  This photo is definitely taken from an odd angle because I don't recall having a stomach quite that flat!

Family photo at my cousin Gaynor's wedding; we were still living in Knott End on the northwest coast of England and we moved from there to Manchester in the summer of 1976 so this must be 1975 - I would be 15 and Barbara 9.

Makes me long to get a craft room sorted so I can gather all my photos from several different spots and get them truly organized.  One day.

Did you remember?  Or were you the family arriving at church yesterday as everyone was leaving?

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Friday, March 9, 2018

Story Time Friday #4

When I last left Story Time Friday, we had been living in Norway from 1962 (our passports show us arriving at Gardermoen, Oslo Airport on 16 August 1962) until 23 August 1965.  I loved researching our travels through our old passports and it really bothers me when you take a trip and the immigration officials don't stamp your passport.  It's a map of family history that is becoming obsolete.

We left Oslo on 23 August and arrived two days later at Tyne Ports.  The Port of Tyne is based near Newcastle on the River Tyne in northeast England.

Sea voyage dressing in 1965

From there, we made our way to Manchester to visit Mum's family (my grandmother and aunt) and we departed from London Airport (renamed Heathrow Airport in 1966) for New York on 3 September 1965.  Our final destination was San Francisco, California where Dad would report to the Presidio which was an Army installation from the mid-1800s until it closed and transferred to the National Park Service in 1994.  I can remember sitting in the snack bar and looking out over San Francisco Bay, a stunning vista.  If it hadn't been government property, some real estate developer would have snapped it up and put multi-million dollar homes or condominiums on the site.

I don't really remember how we got from New York to San Francisco but from what little I can recall, we drove.  I have snippets in my memory of winding roads through the mountains, looking out the window at a train that was running parallel to us but with a ravine in between, and stopping at inspection stations on the state line to declare any fruit or vegetables.  I know I've seen pictures of this trip across the States but either my sister has them or they are on slides which I still have to convert to digital pictures.

We settled in an apartment complex in Tiburon, across the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County.  It was either leased by the military for housing or we just had a lot of military neighbors.  The apartments were in a rectangular shape with a row of apartments across the center.  In the large open area at the top, there was the adult pool and in the area at the bottom, there was the family pool.  We lived here from September-October 1965 and my sister, Barbara, was born at Letterman Army Hospital on the Presidio in March 1966 (yes, my parents who thought they could not have children of their own got a 10th wedding anniversary bundle of joy).  In November 1966, my Dad relocated us to Chico, California close to where some of his siblings lived and he left for a year in Vietnam.

Dad at the headquarters building in Nha Trang, Vietnam

I don't think we were in Chico for more than six months before we moved to San Jose.  My Mum's closest friend from Tiburon, Lotte, moved to San Jose when her husband left for Vietnam.  Things were not going well between Mum and Dad's siblings - I'm not quite sure where the breakdown occurred but it was enough for Mum to pick up and move to San Jose.  We lived first in an apartment on the same street as Lotte and then within a few months, we moved to a single family house on the street behind where the apartment was located.

During our time in San Jose, we flew to Honolulu to spend a week with Dad who was on R & R (rest and recreation).  I spent most of the week in the ocean and Barbara spent her time on a towel because she screamed every time her feet touched the grass.  

Back at home in San Jose, I went off to school and enjoyed life in the California sunshine and in November 1967, Dad came home from Vietnam, we packed up the house, drove across the States to New York, and jetted off to Dad's next duty station, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Mons, Belgium.

One of my best memories of our time in San Jose is July 4th, 1967.  Lotte's daughter, Linda, was my best friend and we taped a huge piece of paper (I'm thinking it was something like strips of butcher block paper) on the garage door and colored a giant American flag.  A guy in a sports car stopped at the curb, jumped over the side (you know how those dashing heroes do that, they would never think of opening the door and getting out!), and handed us each a coupon for a free hamburger, fries, and milkshake at McDonald's.  He was the manager of the local McDonald's.  Mum and Lotte took us down there and we enjoyed every bite of our food.  I think the menu looked something like this:

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Blogging from A to Z April (2018) Challenge Sign Up

The Blogging from A to Z April (2018) Challenge is open!  Click on the photo above and pop on over to sign up.

In 2015, my first A to Z Challenge theme was the beauty of Washington (State).  I skipped 2016, can't remember why, but I was back in 2017 with Favorites from my Bookshelves.  Although I wasn't to happy with the way the challenge was set up in 2017, I see that there have been some changes based on the feedback from the participants so I'm going to give it another whirl.  This year, they have reinstated the blog categories which makes it much easier to find bloggers who have similar interests.  Lifestyle and Social, that's me, and I'll be checking out the other bloggers in this category as well as others that interest me.  The theme reveal is scheduled for March 19. 

Currently - March 2018

I've enjoyed reading Currently over at The Other Side of the Road and decided to join in this month.  The host is Anne from In Residence and her March guest host is Sarah from Foxy's Domestic Side.  This month's prompts are planning, seeing, making, pretending, wearing.

Planning // Still putting the final touches on our trip to Washington for Sophia's graduation.  15 days!  I forgot that Vic needs to replace one of the door handles on her car so I have to pick one up today and make sure that we have the tools needed for him to install said door handle.  I think she has a tool kit in her Amazon Wish List.

Seeing // The trees in bloom.  I wish we had time to take a trip to Washington D. C. for the cherry blossoms but Vic's travel schedule has picked up again so it's very doubtful.

Making // Ebay listings!  Time to get a few things up and sold.  I took a load to the consignment shop but I have some clothing and cosmetics that they won't take so I thought I'd try my luck with Ebay.

Pretending // You know when they say "Beam me up, Scotty" on Star Trek and you are magically transported from one place to another?  That's what I'm pretending...that I don't have to get on not one, not two, but three airplanes to get to Washington and three to get back!  Can you tell I'm not the world's greatest flyer?  And to think I wanted to be an air hostess (that's what they called flight attendants when I was dreaming about a future career)!  We used our frequent flyer miles to get our tickets for Washington and that was the itinerary we got.

Wearing // It's still jeans, a long-sleeved tee and a fleece jacket weather here but I've been jazzing them up with my earring and necklace sets.  This is one of my favorites.  You can't really see the earrings but they are the blue and white stripes of the large beads in the necklace.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

If this is Tuesday, it must be England #89

Happy 54th Birthday on March 10 to His Royal Highness Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex shown here with his family Lady Louise Windsor, the Countess of Wessex, and James, Viscount Severn.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Life Last Week 2018-8

Only two more weeks before I swap out this wintery scene for something more spring-like.

The weather:::
There's a real nip in the air this morning, just over freezing when I waved Vic off to work and the temperatures this week won't get much above 50 degrees.  That darn groundhog!  

On my reading pile:::
I AM going to the library today.

On my TV:::
Still in Midsomer (Murders), the most dangerous county in England.  Vic and I were laughing last night because yes, there is a short life expectancy for many Midsomer residents, however, for the time they are there, they sure live in some amazing houses!

Checked off the list:::
  • 25th Anniversary - here's to the next 25!  We didn't spend it river cruising down the Seine as we had hoped but we have the prospect of a new home before the end of the year so that's a great alternative.
  • Budgeting in the Civilian Life class was interesting.  I didn't learn too much I didn't already know but we came away with a great spreadsheet program for comparing current and post-retirement finances.
  • Volunteer shift at the gift shop was deadly slow so I caught up on some reading - a book I've read before from Lauraine Snelling's Red River of the North series but one that I enjoyed revisiting.
  • Vic's command's event - dinner and a hockey game - was a lot of fun.  I like hockey, seems less complicated than football or baseball and there is certainly more action.
  • Checked out the local home show and came away with a few ideas for the forever home.
  • Finally picked up The Mountain Between Us at Redbox - excellent movie.
  • Congratulations to all the Oscar winners, especially Gary Oldman in Darkest Hour, brilliant performance.

Crafts roundup:::
Still not really feeling the One Little Word project like I thought I would so I've done minimal work there.  Working on catching up on Project Life today.

And in other news:::
19 days until we have another college graduate in the house!  We are looking forward to our trip to Washington to see Sophia pick up her diploma.  My sister, brother-in-law, and two nephews will be there as well so it will be a nice little family reunion.  I can't remember if I mentioned that we have added two days to the trip to do some neighborhood searching.  We have a list of houses that are for sale or that sold recently that we want to drive by to get an idea of the neighborhood and the commute to possible employment.  That will help us narrow down the areas we want to be in when we go to seriously house hunt in the fall.

Can't wait to see these two!

TBB Asks - March 2018

Linking up with The Blended Blog for TBB Asks in March.

1.  Eyelash Curler Yes or No?
Maybe when I was younger but now, no, I don't even think I own one.

2.  Favorite Nail Shade?
In Stitches by Essie.

3.  Favorite Lipstick Shade?
Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer in Rhubarb.

4.  Blow Dry or Hair Dry your hair?
Blow Dry.

5.  Artificial Nails:  Yes or No?
I used to wear acrylic nails in my twenties but after one episode left my thumbnails damaged, I stopped.  I caved last Christmas when I broke both thumbnails and wanted my nails to look nice for the holidays.

6.  Foundation:  Yes or No?
Not everyday but yes, if I'm going out somewhere.

7.  Hair Up or Hair Down?
Down, it's too short to wear up.

8.  Bar Soap or Body Wash?
Body Wash.

9.  Bath or Shower?
Shower although I long for the day when we have a soaker tub.

10.  Favorite Body Lotion?
Renew by Melaleuca.

11.  Do you wear perfume?  If so, what scent?
Yes, Red Door by Elizabeth Arden.

12.  Do you shave your legs every day?

13.  Favorite Lip Balm?
See #3, I like a bit of color in my balm.

14.  How old were you when your first started wearing make-up?
Oh my goodness, let's see if I can remember back that far!  About 14 I think.  Not at school, though, we had moved to England and if the headmistress caught you with make-up, she'd haul you off to the domestic science kitchen and take it off with lard.  She was also the one who would get down on her hands and knees with a ruler to measure the height of your heels.  We really did try to push the rules in the name of glamour but she wasn't having any of it.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

One Sentence a Day - February 2018

I found a great new blog, Knit by God's Hand, via The Horton Family via The Other Side of the Pond and loved this monthly wrap-up, One Sentence a Day.  Although I failed miserably with 365 Questions, I have the Day One journaling app on my phone which is what I'm using as a quick diary these days. Here we go with the February wrap-up:

1.  Our baby girl is 24 today!

2.  Spouses' group tea and tour of the Hunter House Victorian Museum was fun, delicious, and very interesting.

3.  Freezing cold outside so we took a spur of the moment road trip to spend the day at IKEA.

4.  Great game, but sad loss for our New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII.

5.  Taxes are done!

6.  Vic's underway tonight on a local inspection so that means a Netflix binge.

7.  Package from Emma Bridgewater came in the mail today.

8.  Talked to my dear friend Sharon in California to wish her a Happy Birthday.

9.  Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympics was a bit meh.

10.  Breakfast out, followed by a browse at a local antique market but no luck finding any of the cups and saucers for my collection.

11.  We're officially addicted to Yorgo's Bageldashery for after-church brunch.

12.  Up at 0-dark-thirty to take Vic to the airport for his trip to California.

13.  Spouses' group board meeting this morning.

14.  Time to get my bangs trimmed.

15.  Very slow volunteer shift at the gift shop this morning.

16.  Happy Birthday to me!

17.  Errands this morning and Thai takeaway for dinner.

18.  Vic came home from California with a miserable cold.

19.  A trip to Target is a hilarious adventure with this guy.

20.  Project Life album is all up to date.

21.  Picked up my Costco Reward $$ today.

22.  Deep cleaned the bathroom, what an exciting life I lead!

23.  Got the word that I cannot go to Okinawa with Vic so Washington, here I come!

24.  Fought the mob at the Apple Store to get some iPhone questions answered.

25.  Anniversary dinner at a posh French restaurant was amazing.

26.  Happy 25th Anniversary to us!

27.  Budgeting in the Civilian Life class was interesting today.

28.  Payday today so it's time to take a look at the budget and see how things are shaping up now that we have a house purchase in our not-too-distant future.