Friday, February 26, 2021

Happy Anniversary

Taken at our wedding reception on Saipan

Just you, only you, always you.

You are amazing.
Not only did I feel that way when we first met...
I've felt that way ever since.
You know how to keep life fun, how to make every day a memorable adventure, and how to make me feel appreciated and loved.

No wonder I'm crazy about you.
Always have been.
Always will be.

28 years today.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Monthly Musings for March 2021


Ugh, fashion, so not my thing at the moment.  I walk, sometimes in the rain, right now in the cold, dark, very early mornings to the bus stop, head to work in an office in an industrial environment, and then repeat the process to come home.  There's no room for fashion in my life at the moment.  My work wardrobe consists of black dress pants, a variety of tops, warm sweaters because I always seem to be cold in the office, and a winter parka.  Foot-friendly shoes complete the ensemble.  Can we say granny?

So I'll play along this month with the wardrobe I'd love to have if my life circumstances were slightly, ok a lot, different.

1.  What are your spring must have pieces?  A couple of unstructured jackets in vibrant colors would be nice.  I'm not crazy about pastels but a nice emerald green or royal blue would be a splash of color and could be worn over a monochrome pants and top combo.  

2.  What are your spring must have accessories?  Add a statement necklace and earrings to the above and I'd be ready to face the world.  I have one pair of Kendra Scott earrings and I'd love to explore more of her jewelry.

3.  How do you transition your wardrobe to spring?  I'd love to have my wardrobe sectioned by season.  Some pieces are universal but a color palette for spring, a lighter one for summer, autumnal shades for when the temperatures start to drop, and cozy sweaters for winter would be just perfect.

4.  What are your favorite colors to wear in spring?  Vibrant colors, not the rusts and burgundies of fall, and not pastels, but jewel-like colors would be my favorites.

5.  Any spring fashion advice?  I can't think of any but I'll be interested to read what others have for this question.

6.  Do you change up your makeup in spring?  Not really.  I go lighter in the summer but spring is still pretty chilly here so I don't have to worry about lightening up my base makeup yet.

7.  Do you change up your skincare in spring?  Again, no.  The Body Shop's Vitamin E line takes me through all four seasons.

8.  Do you have a favorite spring scent?  I received a Jo Malone cologne sampler for Christmas and I love the scents, they are perfect for spring.  However, they don't seem to last very long on me so I'm hoping that's because they are cologne and that I'll have better results with perfume.

9.  Best budget tips for updating your wardrobe.  There are so many fashion blogs and Pinterest  boards that are full of tips for how to make the most of your wardrobe, things like capsule wardrobes.  Buy quality base pieces and you can add a splash of color here and there.  Accessorize for a look that will take you from day to evening easily.

10.  Do you think you will be wearing dresses this spring?  I very much doubt it - no date nights, no in-person church, no special occasions.  Maybe in a few months but not right now.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

If this is Tuesday, it must be England #132

Introducing August Philip Hawke Brooksbank - that's quite a mouthful for such a tiny bundle but what a legacy - August from his 5 x great-grandfather Francis Albert Augustus Charles Emmanuel who was the consort of Queen Victoria, Philip from his great-grandfather Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and Hawke from his 5 x great-grandfather on the Brooksbank side.

I had to laugh when I saw this adorable photo on Instagram (taken by the way by the visiting midwife who came to check Master Brooksbank) where someone commented about how chuffed, but knackered (synonym if you're not familiar is exhausted, wiped out), they both looked!  LOL, welcome to parenthood of a newborn.  Been there, done that.

I'm sure it won't be long before there are questions in the media about the beautiful blue blanket - that filigree pattern at the bottom looks exquisite.

Sad that in these COVID days it will be some time before the grandparents and great-grandparents will be able to safely visit.  The Duke of Edinburgh remains in hospital and at 99 years old, I'm sure every precaution is being taken.

And it wouldn't be a post about England this week without a mention of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex who are splashed all over the media again.  What can I say?  I'm disappointed and sad that this is the final outcome.  Sad, but not surprised.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Hello Monday


The weather:::
, The snow is gone.  Temperatures this week are in the high 40s, low 50s with some rain, pretty much business as usual for a Washington spring.  Hope to hear from some of my Texas blogging friends, they've been quiet for the last week while they dig out and dry out from their winter weather.

On my reading pile:::
Finished up Sisterchicks On The Loose by Robin Jones Gunn, an adventure in Finland, and moved on to Sisterchicks Do the Hula in Hawaii.

On my TV:::
A little of this, a little of that, a lot of The Great British Baking Show.  Honestly, I've watched the episodes so many times, I know most of the dialogue.  I still keep watching though, because it's very entertaining.

Checked off the list:::
Last week at Barn 1 for Ginger before she moves to Barn 2 to be with Hickory.  It was going to be the other way around but Sophia decided Barn 2 was the better option.

I bought the new dining room set that I've been considering since the first one was discontinued.  There are still delivery delays but I hope to have it before Vic comes home.

I also ordered all of the Elfa closet components to make over the Entryway closet from The Container Store.  Hanging space on left and right with drawers and shelves in the center.

Crafts Roundup:::
December Daily 2018 Volumes I and II are done!  I finished them up this weekend when I found a folder of some memorabilia that I wanted to include.

And in other news:::
Pretty quiet at work and around here last week.  Vic shared some photos of a trip he took to see the cherry blossoms at the Nakijin Castle Ruins.  They are not fully in bloom but pretty nonetheless.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Wednesday Hodgepodge - Volume 408

From this Side of the Pond

1. This week's Hodgepodge lands on Ash Wednesday which signals the beginning of Lent. Do you mark this season in some way? If so tell us more. Did you grow up 'celebrating' Lent? Is attending church part of your weekly routine? Are churches open for in-person worship where you live? 

No, we don't mark Lent in any way.  I didn't grow up celebrating Lent.  Attending church has been part of our weekly routine but with Vic gone, and COVID, it's just not happening right now as churches are not open for in-person worship here.  I hope that when he is home again, we will find a church home and be a part of a worship community again.

2. When is the last time you sat beside a 'real' fire? Do you have a fireplace in your home? Wood or gas logs? Favorite thing cooked over a fire?

When our family celebrated Christmas in England, my parents searched high and low for just the right holiday cottage.  It HAD to have a coal fire, that was non-negotiable for my Mum.  I still have the brochure that she used to circle and usually then cross out various properties until she found the right one.  It was a wonderful trip and we spent most of the time in the cottage in front of the fire.

We have a fireplace at home, with gas logs.  I suppose s'mores would be my favorite thing cooked over a fire.  Several years ago, when I went to a reunion with four of my friends from our MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) days, there was a gourmet s'mores bar.  It was a great idea if you're having a family or friends gathering.

 3. Something that's currently got you fired up?

I had to look up the definition!  Fired up - Very emotional or excited, positively or negatively, regarding something.  I'm excited about Vic coming home, of course, but all the details are not finalized.  I mean, he is coming home in July, but I don't know the exact date yet.  We're putting our rental house on the market in the spring (yay, end of landlordship, is that a word?) so I'm excited about that.

4. February also happens to be National Cabbage Day. Who knew? Do you like cabbage? Is cabbage on your menu Wednesday? Of the following cabbage dishes which is your favorite-coleslaw (mayo or vinegar?), sauerkraut, cabbage rolls, cabbage soup, kielbasa and cabbage, grilled cabbage, bubble and squeak, kimchi, or haluski? 

I LOVE cabbage, cooked or raw.  It's not on the menu for today but my favorite from this list is bubble and squeak - such wonderful comfort food.  My Mum's coleslaw (mayo) was amazing too.

5. Do you hang on to pennies? What do you do with them? Last thing you purchased for $1.00? Last thing you purchased for $5.00? 

I wouldn't say that I hang on to pennies specifically but I do put small change in a jar.  I used to turn it in to the change machine at our bank where it would be deposited into our account, but they got rid of the machine.  Rolling coins is such a pain so I'll have to find a new machine.  One of the grocery stores in Virginia would give you electronic gift cards for change for places like Amazon or Starbucks.  The last thing I purchased for $1.00 was probably two cards - Dollar Store has two cards for $1.00, a great deal, and as they are by a division of Hallmark, they are just as nice as any at the Hallmark store.  The last thing I purchased for $5.00 was probably some Valentine candy.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

We've pretty much recovered from Winter Storm Uri.  All the main roads are plowed, some side streets still need some attention but the temperatures are going up so I would imagine that most of it should be melted by the weekend.  I hope so, the gardener is coming on Saturday!

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

If this is Tuesday, it must be England #131

World headlines on the day I was born - "World Awaits Britain's Royal Baby" - no, not me, but three days later, His Royal Highness Prince Andrew Albert Christian Edward, the Queen's second son, was born.

Now known as The Duke of York, but lying low in light of his association with the scandalous Jeffrey Epstein, HRH is 61 on Friday.  He's never been at the top of my list of favorite royals but I wish him the best as he celebrates his birthday as a new grandpa.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Hello Monday


The weather:::
, Snowpocalypse 2021, Winter Storm Uri, dropped over 12 inches of snow on us over the weekend.  Forecast for tomorrow is for rain so I'm sure there will be plenty of melting going on.

On my reading pile:::
Finished up Snobs by Julian Fellowes, it was meh but I stuck it out to the tedious end.  I loved his Belgravia but this one was a disappointment.  I've moved over to re-reading the Sisterchicks series by Robin Jones Gunn starting with Sisterchicks On The Loose, an adventure in Finland.

On my TV:::
Finally finished The Vikings on Amazon Prime - the series that never ends finally ended.  Watched an episode of Bling Empire, good grief, do people really live like that?  How shallow can you be?  Don't really have anything on the watch list right now.  Vic and Sophia watched Wonder Woman and Wonder Woman 1984 on Amazon Prime.

Checked off the list:::
Ginger and Hickory are keeping Sophia busy as they are at two different barns but there is an opening at Ginger's barn on March 1 for Hickory so that will be nice.  Our weekend to celebrate her birthday and my birthday was cancelled due to the weather so we'll have to reschedule for another time.

Ginger and Sophia this weekend

Vic's busy with the assorted paperwork that's involved in transferring from one place to another so that usually means at least three phone calls a day to have me check a date or someone's phone number.  As soon as he gets his flight scheduled, I can start a countdown clock - we're somewhere in the range of 140 days left to go.

Crafts Roundup:::
December Daily 2020 is done!  I'm going to pack up all the December supplies and put them away in a box - they are all over my project desk.  Time to decide on the next project.

And in other news:::
It started snowing on Thursday so most of us took our laptops home that night in case it got worse.  There was a steady snowfall all evening and most walkways, driveways, and roads were snowy although great care, most of us could probably have gotten out.  Why bother though when it's safer to stay home and we're all set up to work at home?  So, with Friday at home, and then snow Saturday and Sunday, it's been a homebound holiday weekend.  We are in a Priority 2 area so it will be 36-72 hours before they plow our neighborhood.  I texted back and forth with my neighbors and we are all of the opinion that there will be no trash pickup tomorrow.  I wasn't in the mood to shovel to get my bins to the curb.  I'll be watching to see what the weather does tomorrow as Tuesday may be another teleworking day at home.  I am not taking the chance of slipping and falling.

10:00am on Saturday

The back patio Sunday afternoon

Chez Nous shot by my neighbor across the street - I am glad that we are at the top of the hill where the neighborhood flattens out a little before it goes to a steep slope down to the lake.  The lakefront houses have very steep driveways and it's going to be a few days before any of them can get their cars out.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

10 on the 10th February 2021


Here's a fun meme to put on your calendar for the 10th of each month, hosted by Leslie over at Once Upon a Time & Happily Ever After.  I love that she has the whole year's prompts here.

Here we go with February.

How romantic are you?  Very.  I love everything about romance from love at first sight to happily ever afters.  I cry at weddings, births, special occasions, any occasion where I'm proud to know the person being honored or celebrated.  I just love love.  From red roses to diamonds to intimate dinners to just holding hands with the one I love, it's all about romance.

What's the best relationship advice?  Compromise.  If you can sort out your differences while you're developing a relationship with someone, that's wonderful but if you can't, and something causes an incident that you can see just has no positive outcome, compromise.  Agree to disagree and move on.

When did you give your first kiss?  How did you feel about it?  At what age did you begin dating?  Wow, this is going back a LONG time.  It was at a school Christmas party, held in the assembly hall.  It was pretty dark in there and there was a lot of snogging (is that still a term?) going on in corners.  I have no idea where the teachers/chaperones were!  Anyway, everyone was making the rounds, giving Christmas kisses, and I remember my first was with David B.  How did I feel about it?  It was nice.  I really liked him and surprisingly, just recently reconnected with him through another school friend.  My first boyfriend was someone I met at a party, Jimmy H.  His parents owned a fish and chip shop and I can remember going there to help get things set up before they opened up.  I can't remember if we ever really went anywhere, I think I was 15.  He did come over to our house once but since he ended up romancing my best friend, that was the end of that!

What makes a relationship healthy?  Trust, shared values, and laughter.  Vic and I laugh a lot.

This is a perfect example.  I wanted the perfect picture of the two of us with our Starbucks holiday cups.  The sleeves were covering the artwork so I asked Vic to slip them off and as I was lining up the shot, he started to complain that the hot beverage was burning his fingers and then he started to laugh and I started to laugh and it's such a fun memory!

What is your love language?  What is your partner's or best friend's?  I covered mine in this post.  I think Vic's is acts of service or quality time.  I thought I had it written down somewhere but I can't find it.  I'll have to ask him to take the quiz again.

Who is one couple you know that you admire in terms of love?  That would have to be my parents.  They were amazing role models for love.  In later life, my Mum was legally blind, my Dad had COPD, but they soldiered on together, always holding hands.  I don't ever remember my Mum doing things with the girls or Dad with the guys, they were each other's everything and my sister and I were their world.  They lived comfortably, not wealthy, but they were generous with their time and affection.  I miss them dreadfully but have such wonderful memories.

Mum and Dad holding hands at my sister's wedding.

Who is your favorite celebrity or fictional couple?
Anne Elliott and Captain Wentworth from Jane Austen's Persuasion, Marianne Dashwood and Colonel Brandon from Sense and Sensibility, and any of the couples from the movie Love Actually.

Name a flavor or food you love.  A scent you love.  An activity you love doing.  I love Chinese food especially things like Beef and Broccoli in the brown sauce that is a combination of soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, garlic, and whatever else makes it so delicious.  The Chinese restaurant that we frequented when we lived in Virginia made the BEST sauce and I have not been able to find or make anything close to it.  A scent would be my favorite perfume, Red Door by Elizabeth Arden or any of the scents associated with Christmas like pine, cinnamon, sugar cookies, gingerbread.  And an activity would be any family field trip.  Vic, Sophia, and I used to take off all the time for local fairs, festivals, and events.  We haven't done anything special like this for over a year (darn COVID) but I'm looking forward to it again.  Sophia won't always come along as she has her own life now but Vic and I have a lot of exploring still to do.

Do you believe in love at first sight?  Do you think people are made for each other as in soul mates?  Not having experiencing either, I'm not really sure.  I would imagine that such a thing is possible and that the two people are very fortunate to have found each other like this.

In a COVID-free world where money is no object, what would you like to do for Valentine's Day weekend?  Take a trip - a city break to San Francisco would be nice, lots to explore, restaurants to try, sightseeing.  We love to take off and see and do things and a three-day weekend is a great opportunity.

The 10th was also the second Wednesday of the month, the day for Let's Look but since I've already covered Love Languages twice, I'll just put up the graphic if you want to join in next month.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

If this is Tuesday, it must be England #130

Delightful news from England this morning.  Her Royal Highness Princess Eugenie, Mrs. Jack Brooksbank, was safely delivered of a son with her husband present.  The baby weighs 8 pounds, 1 ounce and is The Duke of York and Sarah, Duchess of York's first grandchild, and the ninth great-grandchild for The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh.


Monday, February 8, 2021

Hello Monday


The weather:::
Cold, very cold with snow in the forecast for the end of the week.  Let's see what comes of that.

On my reading pile:::
It's been a couple of weeks since my last Hello Monday (computer issues, all fixed now) and since then I've finished The Chilbury Ladies Choir by Jennifer Ryan, The Apartment by Fiona Davis, A Blessing to Cherish by Lauraine Snelling, and Moonlight over Paris by Jennifer Robson.  Working my way through Snobs by Julian Fellowes.

On my TV:::
Rewatching The Vikings on Amazon Prime aka the series that never ends.  I thought I was on the last episode, but no, it goes on.

Checked off the list:::
January came and went and here we are in February.  Work is steady, home life is quiet.  Waited sixteen weeks for my new dining room furniture only to find out that the design I ordered had been discontinued.  Got a refund, starting the search all over again.  Sophia turned 27, brought her second horse, Hickory, home, one of the horses from the Girl Scout camp where she volunteered for a couple of summers.  No camps due to COVID so the herd was up for sale.

Vic got his orders, leaving Okinawa in July, reporting to Maryland in August so a month at home.  I'll take a month off work, half telework, half leave, so I can still get my work done but have the afternoons free.  He'll be busy around the house but I'll be around to supervise, lol.  Gathered up all my tax information to send off to the tax lady, hoping for good news.  Any time I don't have to pay the IRS is good news.  Did you know that the IRS is THEIRS?  How have I not known that all these years? 

Crafts Roundup:::
Zero other than a little tidying up.  I just have too many supplies; I have a feeling that if I cull them a little, there will be less choices and I'll actually be able to get on with something.

And in other news:::
Haven't progressed any further along in the Organizational Challenge although I did finally take all the ornaments off the tree and put them away.  I left the tree in the corner for Vic to see if he can fix the section of lights that don't work and the revolving stand that doesn't revolve.

And we said goodbye last week to Christopher Plummer (1929-2021), shown here in his role as Captain Von Trapp from the Sound of Music.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Monthly Musings for February 2021

I'm a week late and the link is closed but I wanted to put up my Monthly Musings for February.

1.  My primary love language is receiving gifts.  According to, this shouldn't be mistaken for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift.  If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you.
I'd have to say that I show love by giving gifts.  I love to find the perfect gift for someone; I listen for hints to find out what the person enjoys, what they would really be surprised to receive.  There is nothing I love more than to hear someone say "How did you know?" or "It's just what I wanted" when they open a gift from me.

2.  We don't really have any fun Valentine traditions.  It's probably been five years since we have been together on Valentine's Day.  I can see a romantic afternoon tea with lots of heart-shaped food, a beautiful tablescape, a cozy time for just the two of us.

3.  My favorite Valentine's memory is our first Valentine's Day (1993).  We were apart, (my, that turned into a pattern), but I knew that it would only be a few days before we would be together again.  I had a professional photo taken to give to Vic when he returned from his trip to a neighboring island.  I made this photo to send to him ten years later as a memento of the events of that day.

4.  Favorite Valentine's treat?  Godiva, anything from Godiva.

5.  Valentine's Day fashions?  I have a few red, lacy things that I usually bring out on Valentine's Day!

6.  I love Valentine's Day - we're not always in the same place but it's a day for a special phone call when possible and sending cards.

7.  Most romantic song?  I love "The Closer I Get to You" by Roberta Flack.

8.  Dine out, take out or cook in this Valentine's Day?  Sophia will be here for the weekend so I'm sure it will be take out.

9.  Pink or red?  Red roses and all things red are my favorite.

10.  Flowers or chocolates?  Both!

Here's my tiered server all decorated for February.  We have two birthdays - Sophia's and mine and our wedding anniversary in February so there are a few touches for those occasions.  Those are the bells and a dove from our wedding cake tucked into the pink mug on the bottom tier and our wedding photo is on the middle tier.  To the left is my Nora Fleming napkin holder with Valentine napkins and a three-heart mini decoration.

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Currently - February 2021


Joining in with Anne In Residence for this month's Currently.

loving // news from Vic - his orders are in and he's coming home in July.  We were pretty sure it was going to happen but seeing it in black and white is wonderful!

reading // anything by Jennifer Robson.  I loved The Gown and her Great War series is excellent too.  I just wish the first book in the series was available as an audiobook.

remembering // our house-buying process.  This time two years ago, I was in the midst of gathering all the documents needed by the mortgage company and dealing with the home inspection.  It was a relatively smooth process but a busy time.  

sharing // my joy at being back on my blog.  Ugh, ten days without my computer, talk about major withdrawal.  Very thankful that it just needed a good clean-up and that there was nothing major wrong with it.  I'm not quite ready for an investment in a new one.

wishlisting // things for our new kitchen.  There are so many kitchen cabinet and countertop options and lots of fun accessories for cabinet and drawer organzation.  I doubt whether our local home show will take place this year (it was cancelled last year due to COVID-19 and looks like this year is a no-go as well) so I'm relying on Pinterest and kitchen design sites and brochures for ideas.  Here are a few things I'm looking at.

Mixer lift - stores your Kitchen Aid out of site but brings it up to counter level when you need it - Vic added a handle to the front of the shelf so it was easy to lift and then retract

Some sort of pots and pans organizer

A counter-depth fridge in this style - doors that open from the center with the freezer drawer below

This great drawer for tall things - cookie sheets, tall boxes of storage bags, pizza pans, etc.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

If this is Tuesday, it must be England #129

Very sad news from England today - Captain Sir Tom Moore has died.  If you didn't follow his remarkable fundraiser for the National Health Service, please take a few moments to read about it here.

RIP, Sir, go in peace, knowing you truly changed the world for the better.