Thursday, April 29, 2021

Happy 10th Anniversary

 A very Happy 10th Anniversary to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.  New photos were released to commemorate their special day.

What Kate Wore has a great article, Preps for the 2011 Royal Wedding, with all the details of the wonderful day that was watched by millions around the world and includes details of fundraisers that have been set up to benefit organizations with which the Duchess is affiliated.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

If this is Tuesday, it must be England #138

I had a couple of articles planned for this Tuesday series but with such an emotional weekend and all the house sale things going on, I'm just going to share this.

Such a stunning photo even with the sadness of the occasion and the mask.  A future Queen Consort most definitely.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Hello Monday


The weather:::
Partly cloudy all week but warming up to 71 degrees on Thursday, more rain for the weekend.

On my reading pile:::
Didn't make it to the library this weekend so I'm still working on Cathy Woodman's It's a Vet's Life from my bookshelves.

On my TV:::
In honor of ANZAC Day, I re-watched Anzac Girls on Amazon Prime, excellent series.

It was just one series and when it ended, London Hospital came up as a recommendation so now I'm working my way through that.

Checked off the list:::
This week in the house sale process in Rhode Island, the railing for the deck was completed, estimates were obtained for the oil tank replacement, and the appraisal was completed.  We won't know the results from the appraisal for about a week. 

Crafts Roundup:::
Still working on the 2009 Family Album with Phase I (adhering photos and borders) complete, now I'm working on journaling and embellishments.  I'm into May.

And in other news:::
A wonderful Administrative Professionals Day on Wednesday - my co-workers presented me with a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a lovely card with such kind words.  Then they all approached my desk to tell me once again how much they appreciate all I do for the department and presented me with a special award for my work as the COVID vaccine coordinator.  I count myself very fortunate to work with such amazing people.

Sadly, that was the last time I was smiling at the end of last week - my cousin called to say another one of our cousins died from COVID-related complications, and on Saturday, the most devastating news of all, my dear friend Sharon in California lost her battle with lung cancer.  We had been friends since 1978 when I started working at the cable tv company.  I have wonderful memories of the times we spent together and even though our Navy life has kept us apart in recent years, we have that friendship that you always read about - we could go for weeks without talking but when we spoke on the phone, it was like we were together just the day before.  Then the news that the Indonesian Navy found wreckage from their missing submarine and 53 lives were lost.  Submarine safety is such a big part of what we do at work.  Such a tragedy.

The last time Sharon and I were together - our trip to California for Dad's memorial service

Monday, April 19, 2021

Hello Monday


The weather:::
Very warm weekend, beautiful for hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts.  Temperatures dropping slightly this week and rain forecast for next weekend.

On my reading pile:::
Finished The Diplomat's Wife by Pam Jenoff from the library and realized I didn't have anything else on hold.  Checked my Goodreads and requested another couple of titles so I'll be shopping my bookshelves for something to read this week. 

On my TV:::
Prince Philip's funeral on You Tube, beautiful service, so moving.

Apart from that, I've been rewatching some old favorites, World on Fire on PBS Passport and a couple of movies in our Amazon Library, Paradise Road, Woman in Gold, and The Monuments Men.

I've also been down the rabbit hole of Viking River Cruise videos on You Tube.  It's been our dream to take a river cruise with Viking - I have done so much research into the various river cruise tour operators.  I love that people video their cruises and upload them.

Checked off the list:::
The house sale process in Rhode Island is going well.  We had a home inspection done to identify any issues that might come up on the buyer's inspection.  Their inspection came in and there are only a few things they would like us to address so that's good news.  In the last week, we've had the fan replaced in the radon mitigation system, an appointment scheduled for an electrician to come tomorrow to check a few things, and our realtor is working with someone to install the railing that is now required on the small back deck.  It wasn't required when we had the deck installed but it will be for the buyer to secure his financing.  Papers are flying back and forth from the East Coast to the West Coast to Okinawa, love technology.  Can't imagine if we had to put all these documents in the mail and handle the process that way.

Crafts Roundup:::
Still working on the 2009 Family Album, moved into December.

And in other news:::
Got my first dose of the Moderna vaccine on Thursday.  Vacuumed my car this weekend and found my missing reading glasses under the seat, yay!  Still no update on the dining room set.

Hallmark released the 2021 Keepsake Ornaments Dream Book, so many cute designs, it's going to be another year where it's not the year I stop buying ornaments!

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

If this is Tuesday, it must be England #136


The condolence messages that have come in from around the world show the esteem in which Prince Philip was held.  From crowned heads to statesmen, the military, and a host of organizations of which he was patron, but the most heart-warming are those that have come from his family.

Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales:

I particularly wanted to say that my father, for I suppose the last 70 years, has given the most remarkable, devoted service to The Queen, to my family and to the country, but also to the whole of the Commonwealth.

As you can imagine, my family and I miss my father enormously. He was a much loved and appreciated figure and apart from anything else, I can imagine, he would be so deeply touched by the number of other people here and elsewhere around the world and the Commonwealth, who also I think, share our loss and our sorrow.

My dear Papa was a very special person who I think above all else would have been amazed by the reaction and the touching things that have been said about him and from that point of view we are, my family, deeply grateful for all that. It will sustain us in this particular loss and at this particularly sad time. Thank you.

Princess Anne, The Princess Royal:

You know it’s going to happen but you are never really ready. My father has been my teacher, my supporter and my critic, but mostly it is his example of a life well lived and service freely given that I most wanted to emulate.

His ability to treat every person as an individual in their own right with their own skills comes through all the organisations with which he was involved. I regard it as an honour and a privilege to have been asked to follow in his footsteps and it has been a pleasure to have kept him in touch with their activities. I know how much he meant to them, in the UK, across the Commonwealth and in the wider world.

I would like to emphasise how much the family appreciate the messages and memories of so many people whose lives he also touched. We will miss him but he leaves a legacy which can inspire us all.

Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge:

My grandfather’s century of life was defined by service – to his country and Commonwealth, to his wife and Queen, and to our family.

I feel lucky to have not just had his example to guide me, but his enduring presence well into my own adult life – both through good times and the hardest days. I will always be grateful that my wife had so many years to get to know my grandfather and for the kindness he showed her. I will never take for granted the special memories my children will always have of their great-grandpa coming to collect them in his carriage and seeing for themselves his infectious sense of adventure as well as his mischievous sense of humour!

My grandfather was an extraordinary man and part of an extraordinary generation. Catherine and I will continue to do what he would have wanted and will support The Queen in the years ahead. I will miss my Grandpa, but I know he would want us to get on with the job.

Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex:

“My grandfather was a man of service, honour and great humour. He was authentically himself, with a seriously sharp wit, and could hold the attention of any room due to his charm—and also because you never knew what he might say next.

He will be remembered as the longest reigning consort to the Monarch, a decorated serviceman, a Prince and a Duke. But to me, like many of you who have lost a loved one or grandparent over the pain of this past year, he was my grandpa: master of the barbecue, legend of banter, and cheeky right ‘til the end.

He has been a rock for Her Majesty The Queen with unparalleled devotion, by her side for 73 years of marriage, and while I could go on, I know that right now he would say to all of us, beer in hand, ‘Oh do get on with it!’

So, on that note, Grandpa, thank you for your service, your dedication to Granny, and for always being yourself. You will be sorely missed, but always remembered—by the nation and the world. Meghan, Archie, and I (as well as your future great-granddaughter) will always hold a special place for you in our hearts.

‘Per Mare, Per Terram.’”

And I'll leave you with this:

“He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know.” The Queen’s Golden Wedding Anniversary speech at Banqueting House, London, November 1997.

Prince Philip will be laid to rest on Saturday, April 17th, in a ceremony that will be colorful and steeped in tradition, but low key by royal standards.  Prince Philip's long-standing funeral plans had been adapted to respect certain COVID-19 restrictions, with all the usual elements that involve contact with the public removed. The College of Arms, which oversees many ceremonial aspects of the royal family's work, had earlier confirmed the Duke would not lie in state anywhere accessible to the public, which could have seen thousands of people lining up to view his coffin.

Current COVID rules in England limit the number of people who can attend funerals to 30.

In a nod to the Duke's preference for driving himself, without a chauffeur, his coffin will be carried by a Land Rover from Windsor Castle to St. George's Chapel, for the ceremony.

On online book of condolence was launched on the Royal Family's official website, as they joined the British government in asking that "members of the public consider making a donation to a charity instead of leaving floral tributes in memory of the Duke of Edinburgh."

The funeral will be televised beginning at 9:45 a.m. ET.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Hello Monday


The weather:::
Uh oh, time for me to start hibernating!  Look at that end of the week temperature!

On my reading pile:::
Picked up The Diplomat's Wife by Pam Jenoff from the library.  Our library has re-opened for express service, you can spend up to 45 minutes browsing. 

On my TV:::
The Big Family Cooking Showdown on Netflix.  Loved Season 1 because The Great British Baking Show's Nadiya Hussain is one of my favorite chefs/television presenters but Season 2's presenters are just as entertaining.

I also binged all the way through Atlantic Crossing on PBS Passport and I was excited to see news about Season 2 of All Creatures Great and Small.

Checked off the list:::
After four wonderful years as Portsmouth residents, and nine years as long-distance landlords, it's time to say goodbye to what was to have been our forever home before the ties of family and the beautiful mountains of the Pacific Northwest drew us to Washington. Our Rhode Island house is on the market!  Lots of papers to sign and tasks to check off the list.  Shout out to our realtor/property manager who is just amazing!

Crafts Roundup:::
Still working on the 2009 Family Album.

And in other news:::
Vic is back at work and got his vaccination, the one dose Johnson & Johnson.  Sophia got Pfizer and I'm scheduled for my 1st dose of Moderna next week so it's one, two, three for our family.

We're moving into Week 8 from the time I ordered the new dining room set.  They said 8-12 weeks for delivery so I'm hoping to hear something soon.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

10 on the 10th April 2021

One day late but here we go...joining Leslie over at Once Upon a Time & Happily Ever After for this month's Q &A all about money.


first job
What was your first job?  How old were you when you started working?  I was seventeen when I first started working as a cashier at our local supermarket.  Mum and I were out shopping and she saw the Help Wanted sign and encouraged me to apply.  It was Friday night and all day Saturday which worked great with my college schedule, we were paid in cash (with an earnings slip) in an envelope, and I loved working there.  There was a group of us who were hired at the same time - one went to the meat counter, one to the cheese counter, one to fruit & veg, and I was a cashier.  I used to love my customers, they were so sweet, and I always had a cheery greeting for them.  One lady tried to tip me one day but I told her thank you but I wasn't allowed to accept.  We had a great canteen where we would eat our lunch on Saturdays; the canteen staff would shop in the supermarket in the morning for the food they were preparing, I remember the most amazing cheese and onion sandwiches.  When the store closed, we had an hour left to work, stocking shelves.  We sometimes ran the box cutter a little too forcefully along the seam of the box when we were opening potato chips and we had to take the damaged items to the warehouse.  The damaged package was always a little emptier than it was when we first broke into it!

Tell us about the best job you’ve ever had.  And the worst.  Best job is at my current workplace but it was in 2016 before I moved with Vic back to Virginia.  I worked for the Executive Director as his Executive Assistant and in five short months, we built an amazing working relationship.  He was the nicest man and so complimentary of the work I did for him.  I loved that I grew to anticipate what he needed for a meeting or an upcoming visit, he never had to ask, everything was always ready for him.  My worst job was as a cashier in a toy store at the mall.  It was the holiday season and I stood on my feet ALL DAY and then the store manager expected us to clean the store.  I walked out and never went back.

Are you a saver or a spender?  What about your significant other?  I used to be a spender, a make a dollar and spend five spender which had disastrous results.  My husband is a saver, he was a cash-only man when I first him.  It has taken some work to get us on the same page.  How do you save money?  Do you save change?  Christmas Club or vacation accounts?  Time-share?  I use the "every dollar has a name" type of budget and I'm the Queen of Excel Spreadsheets.  Right now I have the family budget where every dollar is allocated to a variety of categories including Household (mortgage, utilities, maintenance, etc.), Insurance, Groceries, Entertainment, and a host of Savings accounts for things like Christmas, Travel, and Major Purchases.  I use our credit cards that give reward points - or airline miles - but pay them off each month.  I save the change that I pull out of pockets in the laundry room and I take it to a change machine to cash it in.

Have you ever played the stock market?  Do you play the lottery?  Ever gambled?  Ever won big?  No to the stock market.  We play the lottery at Christmas if you count a couple of scratch-off cards in everyone's stockings.  I went to Lake Tahoe and gambled once but there are so many other things I can do with my money that gambling it away was of no interest to me.  No, I've never won big.  Is there anything you collect or save thinking it might be valuable some day?  Not really, I have a few collectibles but only because I enjoy them, not because I think there might a return one day. 

SPENDIN’ dat money
What is your favorite way to splurge?  What do you dislike spending money on most?  A massage would be my favorite splurge, a weekend away at a spa would be even better.  I dislike spending money on things like insurance and the dentist.
Who pays the bills?  Who does the taxes?  Do you file early or last minute?  I'm the CFO of our family.  Vic has always been gone a lot - deployments, travel, now an unaccompanied assignment so for continuity, I started handling the finances and never stopped.  He's perfectly ok with that.


Name brands or generic groceries?  Favorite stores to shop?  Have you used grocery pick up?  Delivery? Coupons?  Name brand for the most part, I'm a bit of a grocery store snob.  I love Whole Foods and our local gourmet grocery store.  I've never used delivery although I did do grocery store pick up at the height of the pandemic.  I coupon when I remember to take them but we don't buy a lot of processed food so most of them are useless.  Do you shop thrift stores and yard sales?  Ever used Poshmark or eBay?  I can't really say I shop at thrift stores, I've been in to a few for odd sort of things (looking for something to remake into a costume for a school event, for example).  I don't go to yard sales, just not my thing.  I haven't used Poshmark but I've bought and sold a few things on Ebay.

Friday, April 9, 2021

RIP His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh


 "It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. Further announcements will be made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss."

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Prime Purchases - April 2021

It's the first Tuesday of the month and that means Prime Purchases hosted by Tanya over at The Other Side of the Road.

I bought a couple of large items for Vic for Christmas but didn't think about getting bags big enough to hold them.  Of course, by the time I thought about it, it was March and where does one find Christmas wrapping then?  Amazon, of course!  This set of three giant fabric bags can be used over and over again.

I don't know what made me start thinking about the colors in my wardrobe but I remembered this book - from the 80s - and ordered a copy.
Signed up for Subscribe & Save auto-delivery for the K-cups I take to the office.

My sister and brother-in-law are celebrating their 20th anniversary this year.  They've recently converted their dining room into a pub and since the color for the 20th anniversary is emerald, what's more emerald than something Guinness from the Emerald Isle?  We don't normally exchange gifts but I thought they'd enjoy this bar towel and coasters set.

I have seen so many cute tiered tray layouts with these ceramic marshmallow cups and I even found an Etsy shop that makes whipped cream toppers.  I ordered a set of the toppers and can't wait to see how they look.

Vic asked for a map for his new locale.

And finally, I see more and more cooking videos where the cooks are stirring up something with chopsticks.  This reusable set will come in very handy.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Hello Monday


The weather:::
Still cool and partly cloudy.  Tuesday's 59 degrees is the highest we're going to get to this week.

On my reading pile:::
Kate Quinn's The Huntress

On my TV:::
High Seas on Netflix.  It's a Spanish series so the combination of really bad dubbing along with subtitles that don't match what the actors are saying is pretty disconcerting at times but it was entertaining, sort of.  A bit far-fetched but I watched it to the end.  It's my second or third Spanish program on Netflix and I'm beginning to recognize some of the actors, it's like the handful of British actors that seem to pop up in series after series.

Checked off the list:::
Daisy did a great job of vacuuming the house, getting started before I was even out of bed on Saturday morning.  The gardener took care of the yard and I went out to run a couple of errands only to have to turn around and come home to address a malfunction with the alarm.  Need to check the battery.

Crafts Roundup:::
Working my way through the 2009 Family Album.  I'm up to November so it's moving along nicely.  I adhere the photos, add some borders, and then move on to the next page.  I'll come back to take care of the embellishments and journaling last.

And in other news:::
Vic had two negative COVID tests so he can go back to work tomorrow.  Sophia got her 2nd dose, felt a little fatigued the day after but went back to work the next day so that was good to hear.  Ginger and Hickory are keeping her busy.  Hope you all had a lovely Easter.

Friday, April 2, 2021

Friday Favorites


Following the same format as I did for St. Patrick's Day, today's Friday Favorites is in celebration of Easter as I share my favorite d├ęcor pieces that I use for this holiday.

1.  Two Tier Tray

Our Easter tray features several items that we have had since Sophia's first Easter.  That's Bloomer Bunny and Feathers Duck on the top tier along with a quilted egg "Sophia" from a craft fair, a "C" Easter ornament from Target, and a Peter Rabbit money box.  The second tier hold a stack of books, a wooden garland, and a rolling pin from one of my favorite Etsy shops, LacyBelles, some little bunny figurines, and a plastic berry basket full of colorful eggs.  The purple paper bunny on the front is a pattern drawn around Sophia's hand when she was in preschool.

When Sophia was still too small for a high chair but still wanted to part of the family activity at the dining table, we put her carrier on the table and hung Feathers Duck from the handle.  She was absolutely fascinated by the little critter, starting out by just staring at him, and then moving on to swatting at him so he would swing back and forth.

2.  Nora Fleming Napkin Holder

This month's mini is an Easter basket - you can't see from this photo but there's a golden egg in the center.  Cheery Easter napkins are from Target.

3. Hallmark Happiness Is Ornament Holder

Snoopy's in the center of the Easter egg hunt action.

4.  Felt Ball Garland

Easter colors from The Fickle Felt Tree.

5.  Signs

I caved and bought the signs from LacyBelles.  Set of four for $25.

6.  Flowers

I stopped at the store for some fresh flowers for my two Pottery Barn pieces that hold flowers - pink tulips and a blue hydrangea.  I'm going to see if I can find a floral designer to make permanent faux, but realistic, arrangements for these two pieces.

7.  Flags

This flag won't be up for too long since Easter is so early this year.  I need to look for an "April Showers bring May Flowers" flag.

Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Goodreads Reading Challenge - First Quarter 2021

Here's my first quarter Goodreads Reading Challenge tally - 16 books read out of my goal of 48 for 2021.  I'm happy to be a little ahead of the game because I doubt I'll get much reading done in July.

Quite a variety of genres here - light and easy reading in the Sisterchicks series, another Talyton St. George book from Cathy Woodman, a Christmas novel from Debbie Macomber, the final book in what started as the Red River of the North series by Lauraine Snelling, and several new authors, Fiona David, Kate Quinn, and Pam Jenoff.  Two more I've been wanting to read for a while, The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan (loved it) and Snobs by Julian Fellows (meh, a disappointment).  My favorite this quarter was Moonlight over Paris by Jennifer Robson.  I love her books, this is book 3 of 3 in The Great War series.

Here's the lineup:

  • The Sweetest Thing by Cathy Woodman
  • Sisterchicks in Gondolas by Robin Jones Gunn
  • The Ambassador's Daughter by Pam Jenoff
  • Sisterchicks Say Ooh La La! by Robin Jones Gunn

  • Sisterchicks Down Under by Robin Jones Gunn
  • The Kommandant's Girl by Pam Jenoff
  • Sisterchicks in Sombreros by Robin Jones Gunn
  • Sisterchicks Do the Hula by Robin Jones Gunn

  • Sisterchicks on the Loose by Robin Jones Gunn
  • Snobs by Julian Fellowes
  • Jingle All the Way by Debbie Macomber
  • Moonlight over Paris by Jennifer Robson

  • A Blessing to Cherish by Lauraine Snelling
  • The Address by Fiona  Davis
  • The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer    Ryan
  • The Alice Network by Kate Quinn