Wednesday, September 30, 2020

What's Up Wednesday


It's the last Wednesday of the month, time to see what's been going on.


Cooking for one is a bore!  I usually cook up a pot of something over the weekend and that takes care of dinners.  My favorite go-to is Pastured Kitchen's Lamb Korma, so delicious.  I usually halve the spices because I don't like it too spicy.

My current favorite for lunches is Costco's Street Tacos.  One tray takes care of the week.

The Cilantro Lime Crema is available by the bottle.


Our days in Rhode Island.  I'm working on 2007-2012, our Rhode Island years, in the Christmas memory album.  I loved our house, what we thought was going to be our forever home before Vic's career took a new turn and Rhode Island would never be in the cards for a future assignment.  I still dream that Sophia will says she wants to move back to Rhode Island and off we will all go!


All the fall colors in amazing photos posted on Facebook and Instagram.  I'm kicking myself for not saving the gorgeous one I saw earlier today because now I can't find it anywhere.  I did, however, snap this pumpkin gloriousness when I was out this weekend.




It's just a whirlwind around here, lol!


Vic not being able to come home for Christmas.


My December Daily 2018 album, 25 years of Christmas memories.  I'm up to year 16 now, 9 more to go. #donebydecember.


The news I heard yesterday that there is a glimmer of hope for Christmas travel from overseas...please, please, please.


Almost finished with the first book of the The Village School series by Gervase Phinn.  I've started watching When Calls the Heart on Netflix - I can't remember where I left off so I started at the beginning.  And, of course, The Great British Baking Show on Fridays.


Boz Scaggs Silk Degrees, a real throwback.


Work clothes or comfy clothes, it just depends on the day of the week and the time of day!


Heading out to the Hallmark Ornament Debut to pick up my ornaments (I think I have two coming in) and organizing the garage - be still my heart, the weekend is going to be more thrilling than I can bear!


Heading up to see Sophia for the weekend. - lol!


Anyone else having a hard time believing it is OCTOBER tomorrow???

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Monday, September 28, 2020

Hello Monday

The weather:::
After a couple of days of lovely refreshing rain, our temperatures are going up again, even up to 80 degrees on Wednesday.  No, no, no, it's fall!!

On my reading pile:::
Started reading The Little Village School, the first book in the Village School series by Gervase Phinn.  Oh my goodness, it is delightful.  Gervase Phinn is known as the James Herriot of Schools for his memoirs as a school inspector in the Yorkshire Dales.  This new series tells the stories of the new head teacher, Elizabeth Devine, as she moves from a large, inner-city school to the charming village of Barton-in-the-Dale.

On my TV:::
Finished up Lark Rise to Candleford but haven't selected a new series to binge.  I'm working my way through some of our old favorites in our Amazon library.  Friday night was the first episode of the new series of The Great British Baking Show (The Great British Bake Off in the UK) on Netflix so that's something fun to look forward to at the end of each week for the next nine weeks.

Checked off the list:::
All is well at here at home and at the rental house.  Packages are showing up several times a week - assorted supplies for my December Daily project and Christmas presents I ordered.  I'm looking forward to Hallmark's Ornament Debut this weekend - my local store called me to schedule an appointment to pick up my ornaments as they are spreading everyone out over the debut period.  It's such a shame as the premiere event in July and this debut in October always drew a crowd and although we waited in the checkout line for quite some time, it was lovely to connect with fellow collectors and talk all things Christmas.  I would imagine that the majority of Hallmark's Christmas cards, wrap, and other items will be out so I can't wait to browse.

Crafts Roundup:::
Still working on #donebydecember on my 2018 album and finishing up some pages on past Creative Memories Christmas albums.  I had a few cards tucked here and there as well as some e-mails to print out to include in some of the older albums.  I also needed to make legends for these albums.  I include a legend (a list of the card senders and how we know them) in each album so that in later years, we can remember the people who sent cards.

I added two cards and six e-mails to the 2003 album and was sad to see that there was one card from someone I don't remember and several whose last names escape me.

And in other news:::
Sorry to hear from my cousins in the UK that they are heading back into a lockdown due to increasing COVID-19 numbers and deaths.  Masks are mandatory in stores. public facilities, and on public transport as they are here.  Both of my cousins in the UK, one in Wales and one in the Birmingham area, are in their 70s so they have taken all precautions and recommendations very seriously.  Sadly, not all have done so and this is the result.  Our numbers here in western Washington, in our county in particular, are still increasing daily.  Only a few each day but I look forward to the day when the health officials report that there are no new cases.

On a lighter note, COVID humor keeps on coming - pardon the implied language!

Friday, September 25, 2020

Friday Favorites


Fri-YAY!  Here are a few things that have caught my eye this week.

1.  The Weathershot App

I love this app - it has so much potential.  I plan to use it in some form in my December Daily album and I was thinking what a great photo diary it would be when you are on vacation.

2.  Smash Mallow

Made with organic cane sugar, gluten free, non-GMO yumminess!

3.  Holiday Bark

Love the creativity.

4.  Fall Fabric

I don't sew but I can dream.  I picked up a couple of yards to have some bowl cozies made.

5.  Funnies - let's face it, a sense of humor has really been necessary these last six months.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Monthly Musings: Fall and Halloween Edition

I'm joining Holly and Patty via Tanya at The Other Side of the Road for Monthly Musings:  Fall and Halloween Edition.  I'm a little late since it's Thursday evening here but I hope you'll enjoy.

1.  Favorite Fall Tradition?

I need a new fall tradition.  When Sophia was little, I would say a trip to the pumpkin patch or an apple orchard was an annual event so that became a tradition.  Now that we're empty nesters, I'd have to say that some form of outing, a drive to take in the local sights and a stop for lunch will become a tradition as soon as Vic is home again.

2.  Favorite Halloween Tradition?

Watching It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.  You're never too old for Charlie Brown.

3.  What Will Halloween Look Like This Year for You and Your Family?

We'll be connected by FaceTime and as soon as I've greeted my two trick or treaters (the little boys down the street) from a social distance, I will drag out my Christmas tree.  Decorating early makes you happier and I intend to embrace every moment of it.

4.  Share Your Favorite Fall Recipe.

Several years ago, I tracked down the Peanuts Cook Book that was published in 1969.  It was one of the books I bought in elementary school at the Scholastic Book Fair and it contains one of my favorite cookie recipes, Great Pumpkin Cookies.  I purchased Pumpkin Chocolate Walnut Cookies from our gourmet grocery store last year so I am going to tweak the Peanuts recipe (it calls for raisins and pecans) to try to come up with my own pumpkin chocolate walnut version.

5.  Fall Fashion Fashion Staples?

That would have to be my new cardigan, featured in yesterday's post.

6.  Favorite Halloween Costume?

Sophia's second Halloween.  Mum sewed a tail (you can just see the white tip peeking out from behind her left left) onto a black unitard and the ears (on a headband), and a little eye pencil look care of the whiskers.  How adorable is this?

7.  Favorite Halloween Candy?
8.  Favorite Family Halloween Movie?

Sophia introduced me to Hocus Pocus and I'm hooked.  Can't wait for Hocus Pocus 2.

9.  Scary Movies?  Yes or NO!

I'd have to say NO!

10.  Favorite Fall Beverage?

The one, the only, Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Wednesday Hodgepodge - Volume 387

From this Side of the Pond
Check out this week's Hodgepodge here and join us!

1. It's fall y'all. What's something you love about this season and also something you don't? 

I love everything about fall but if I had to pick one thing, it would be fall foliage.  This is the time I really miss living in New England.  Something I don't, falling back, getting up, and walking to the bus when it is pitch black outside!

2. When you think of the colors of fall, which one is your favorite? Is there somewhere you could easily day trip to see the leaves in all their glory? Will you? 

I love the bright orange of the leaves and pumpkins.  I'll have to do a little research to see if I can find a place with leaves in all their glory.  We are, after all, living in the Evergreen State!

3. What's one thing you've let 'fall' by the wayside during this season of staying home and staying away? 

A weekly trip to Barnes and Noble.  Whether it's the two of us, the three of us, or just me, we would always head to Barnes and Noble, pick up a drink from the cafe, and then browse through the books and magazines.  It was pretty much a weekend afternoon activity.  I can't remember the last time I went to Barnes and Noble since COVID-19 reared its ugly head.

4. If you're wearing a sweater is it most likely a cardigan, crew neck, v-neck, or zip up hoodie? 

A cardigan.  I recently discovered Barefoot Dreams Cozy Chic Lite Circle cardigan and I love it.  So soft and cozy.

5. What's your secret to dealing with change? 

Embrace it.  Change was my word of the year in 2018 and my goodness, what a lot of changes we went through.  It was closely followed by my 2019 word, Adapt.  We can do this!

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

The Great British Baking Show returns to Netflix this Friday!!!!  Check out the trailer here.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

If this is Tuesday, it must be England #119

Happy 74th Birthday on September 25 to one of my favorite British actresses, Felicity Kendal.


For my favorite shows starring Felicity, please see last year's post here.  Felicity is an Ambassador for Royal Voluntary Service, an organization to help people in need throughout the UK.  In her words, 

"As we get older it’s vital that we have the support we need to live the life we choose. The work of Royal Voluntary Service allows older people to retain their independence which in turn helps them maintain their mental and physical health." 

Watch this touching video here.

What a wonderful organization, do we have an equivalent here in the US?

Monday, September 21, 2020

Hello Monday


The weather:::
Temperatures moving into the 60s next week with rain on a few days.  The rain yesterday did wonders for the air quality - we're back in the Good range.

On my reading pile:::
My curbside pick-up was cancelled because I didn't have any holds to pick up!  I misread my holds page on the library website - the titles I've requested are not in yet so I'm on my final Agatha Raisin murder mystery, Agatha Raisin There Goes the Bride by M. C. Beaton.  As I searched for this link on Amazon, I see that there is a new Agatha Raisin title which will be released on November 17, 2020.  It's number 31 in the series so I'll have numbers 21-31 still to read.  One of you asked if I watch the TV series on Acorn and the answer is yes,  I think Ashely Jensen is perfect in the role of Agatha.

On my TV:::
Get Organized with The Home Edit was a fail, did not enjoy it at all.  I've gone to back to Lark Rise to Candleford, an old favorite on Amazon Prime.

Checked off the list:::
At the rental house, I received the lead inspection Certificate of Compliance, check that off my list for another two years.  Here at home, the crawl space encapsulation is complete, with the associated electrical work for the dehumidifier and condensation pump.  The crawl space crew found a small leak from the fridge water line so the plumber took care of that.  Seismic shutoff valve is installed, shaker of more than 5.2 and the gas goes off automatically.  So that's a wrap for the work on the house for this year!  New gardener started on Saturday and did a great job.  Now to get something to get rid of the weeds in the grass.  Anyone have an environmentally-friendly recommendation?

Crafts Roundup:::

Still aiming to be #donebydecember on my 2018 album - 1994-2018, 25 years of Christmas memories.  I'm on 2008 now so moving right along.

2004 Norfolk, Virginia

And in other news:::
So sad to hear Friday of the death of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, such a remarkable woman.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Wednesday Hodgepodge - Volume 386


It's been a while since I hodgepodged but it's always so fun.  Check it out at From this Side of the Pond and join us!

1.  What's one thing you learned at the ripe old age of whatever age you are now?

To let go of anything that doesn't make me happy - I don't have time for drama or negativity.

2.  I read here a list of foods that can help you look younger - 

extra virgin olive oil, green tea, fatty fish, dark chocolate, vegetables, flaxseeds, pomegranates, avocados, tomatoes, spices, bone broth

How many of the foods listed have you tried?  I've tried all of them in one form or another although I'll pass on green tea and flaxseeds, and, as my Dad would say, I'm not really bothered about pomegranates.  How many do you eat regularly?  EVOO, fatty fish, dark chocolate, vegetables, avocados, tomatoes, spices, and bone broth (my favorite brand is Kettle & Fire). Your favorite from the list?  Avocados, you can take the girl out of California, but you can't take California out of the girl!  Favorite way to eat them is on a BLTSA - bacon, lettuce, tomato, shrimp, and avocado sandwich, first tried at The Cheescake Factory and recreated regularly since then.

3.  Something you miss from the "good old days"?  When were the good old days anyway?

They were definitely pre-COVID-19!  I can consider a few chapters of my life as the good old days but the best ones were when Sophia was a preschooler.  We had so much fun with so many activities, crafts, outings, play dates with friends.  She was such an easy child and I really miss those days.

4.  What are two or three of the most rewarding things to be found in growing older?

So many amazing memories of happy times and loved ones, and life-long friends who are so special to me.

5.  What's your favorite part of your life right now?

Making plans for retirement - it's still a few years away but I am a planner and I am enjoying working on our forever home.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

A television-only experience...this will be interesting.  You should be able to click on the photo to enlarge if the print is too small.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

If this is Tuesday, it must be England #118


Happy 36th Birthday today to Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex.

Oh, Harry, what can I say?  Sentebale, ten years as part of The Royal Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry, and the Invictus Games.  You did marvelous work for charity and no doubt, in other ways, you will continue but something has gone horribly wrong.  Yes, there are those who believe that the monarchy needs to come into modern times much more than it has but your way, stepping away, breaking away, has only caused dissension and fodder for the sensational press.  I'm so disappointed.

You gave up a lot for love, I hope it will have a happy ending.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Hello Monday

The weather:::
70s coming for the start of the week, a spike to 80 on Wednesday, then, mercifully, rain because this has been our air quality.  Praying for the firefighters and all those who have lost homes and businesses in California, Oregon, and Washington.

On my reading pile:::
Couldn't pick up my new library books this weekend because the curbside pick-up was closed (due to the unhealthy air quality) so I'm working my way through one of my last Agatha Raisin titles, Agatha Raisin and a Spoonful of Poison by M. C. Beaton.

On my TV:::
Still working my way through NCIS interspersed with December Daily videos for inspiration.  Sophia sent me a suggestion - Get Organized with The Home Edit.  Has anyone watched it?

Checked off the list:::
At the rental house, the lead inspection is done, a couple of areas of chipped paint need attention.  The new stove was delivered and looks great and the house has been pressure washed.  The back-ordered LEGO set arrived as well as a couple of other packages for Christmas.  I went to pick up the phone sanitizers/chargers this weekend only to find them out of stock.  I was able to order and have them shipped to the house and still take advantage of the bundle discount (buy two, get the third free) and saved $80.

Crafts Roundup:::

Getting ready for December Daily 2020 while still working on finishing up December Daily 2018.  Joined the #donebydecember group of like-minded memory-keepers who are committed to finishing up older December Daily album before we start on the new one.

And in other news:::
The health protection level in Okinawa was lowered from Charlie to Bravo last week but still no off-island travel.  Still hoping that this will change by Christmas.

Happy Birthday Vic

Celebrating this guy on his big day.  Being across the ocean is tough, but there are big birthday plans for your return - all your favorites - afternoon tea and sushi (not together, of course!).

Here's a little teaser of your birthday present.

Happy Birthday, darling, I love you.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Happy Fall, Y'all

I know it's not fall until September 22 but in our house, it starts on September 1.  It's time to bring out the decor, look forward to shorter days, and think all things pumpkin.  Welcome to our home!

I put this front door decoration together many years ago - I think it's been hanging on our front door since Rhode Island and that's at least five houses ago.  I can't believe it survived that many moves.

The mantle is our focal point - the three pumpkins on the left are from Home Interiors, does anyone remember them?  My MilSpouse friends and I went through a round of Home Interiors parties one year and these pumpkins are one of my favorite purchases.  They have an opening in the back for a tealight.  The three candles on the wrought iron holder are from Luminara, they are battery-operated and flicker very realistically.  The three wooden signs are from the Etsy shop, Lacy Belles, and the felted ball garland is from The Fickle Felt Tree, also on Etsy.  I thought about adding some leaf garland but it was a little too much.  Maybe I need something harvest plant-like instead of the pineapple hurricanes on each end, I'll have to look.

The coffee table is decorated with two Autumn Harvest placemats from Longaberger, topped with three wrought iron leaf platforms for candles and I've added a berry candle wreath around each candle.  That's the Lindor Autumn Harvest truffle collection in the basket in the bottom right.

This is my two-tier server on the kitchen peninsula - it's filled mostly with items from Lacy Belles (the Farm Fresh Pumpkins crate, wood signs, wooden rolling pins, the book stack, and the wooden bead garland).  I added a scarecrow and a few leaf and pumpkin picks.  You can just see the Rae Dunn "Pumpkin Spice" behind the scarecrow, it's filled with tiny pumpkins.

And finally, the trio that has been with us since Sophia was a toddler - Mummy, Daddy, and Baby Sophie, with Mr. Scarecrow photo-bombing in the background!

Just remembered, new pillows are coming.  Loved the design, our couch cushions have a thin turquoise strip and I have a throw to match so I thought these would be a nice complement.  Pottery Barn, on sale and free shipping.