Part Time Golf Ball Hunter

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Well, I have found my new calling life and it’s as a part time golf ball hunter. Seriously, I spot those things with my eagle eyes (shhh – don’t tell anyone I’m blind without my contacts) and then go out with the dog to collect them. Okay, obviously I’m kidding but I have really contemplated setting up a stand at the edge of the course to sell golf balls to back to the golfers as they pass the house. I’m thinking my slogan should be “Lost your Balls?” 😉

I digress thought – looking back on the week that has passed us…

The Original Sacher Torte – all the way from Vienna, Austria…a gift from Lindsey!

My beautiful rose, still holding strong 2 weeks and 2 days after it was given to me!

My weeks at this point are filled with applying for jobs and trying to get all the things that moving to a new state requires, such a getting a driver’s license and registering to vote. The classified section of the newspaper has become my favorite spot to search for jobs and yes, even though I’ve only been here two weeks, I also check to see what kind of houses there might be…hoping that somewhere in there I might find a possible new “forever” home for myself here in the great state of Virginia! 

I was here less than 24 hours before I made my first trip to Target and I’ve already discovered so many other things I love about my new home. Just this past week, My Dad and I met my Mom for lunch at Chipotle, which might have excited me a little to much…but what excited me even more was that when we finished eating, we drove right across the street to Hobby Lobby. I also made my first visit to a Home Goods store and that was love at first sight; I mean, if you haven’t been in one of those you need to get there asap because it is delightful! I guess it’s fairly obvious to see that so far, I’m loving every minute of my life here in the great state of Virginia.

Such a delicious lunch – I mean, yes please. Once upon a time Taco Bell was my fave…but I’m fairly certain that was because there was no Chipotle anywhere close.

Home Sweet Home on the hill!

Watson exploring the 9th hole!

I should say that this week is mostly pictures – it’s 10:20 at night and I can’t seem to get my brain to work 100%, so I guess you all will have to take what you can get. Ha!

A Wednesday night Bible study welcome from all the ladies!

A slightly rotten little puppy taking a nap in my lap.

I might have doubled their golf ball count in just two weeks…

Thursday night sunset – beautiful!

I know Watson looks so thrilled to take a selfie….

The twilight view out the bedroom window.

Watson and I take daily walks and at this point we’ve explored the whole neighborhood at least twice; he’s meeting people all over the place and it cracks me up because he has become the favorite pet of all the children in the neighborhood. They see us coming and one of the kids will holler “hey – it’s Watson” and three or four of them come running to pet him, talk to him and just love on him. Of course, he eats up every minute and loves all the little kiddos too!

Deer tracks & giant plants on our Friday morning walk.

When the US Postal service fails…sheesh!

Dinner & a movie, courtesy of the Alamo! We saw Maleficent & I had a Philly Chicken Sandwich!

Waiting for his Nana to come downstairs on Saturday morning – he loves his people!

Saturday morning first stop – Lantz’s Pharmacy & Gifts, which is amazing & was celebrating 25 years!

Saturday stop two – Marker Miller Farmer’s Market & Orchard…always a delightful place to visit!

Using the dog to hunt golf balls…ha-ha!

Visiting with some of the neighborhood kids – the think Watson is “so adorable”

A Saturday afternoon treat – yogurt from Zinga…or as I like to call it, Bazinga!

A car side visit after church with two of my favorite goofballs – love them!

Six of the nine golf balls I found on Sunday afternoon – talk about a haul!

Well – that’s it for now. So long and good night to you all, see you here again next week. Same time. Same place. Except, there may be a post before this time next week. We’ll see. Have a good week!

The Macarena and Mozzarella Cheese

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I confess that I copied this blog post pretty much completely – no shame. I stumbled on Motherhood and Muffin Tops post and thought it was completely clever and hilarious, so I decided I’d take the quizzes for myself and see what I came up with. Sometimes these silly Internet quizzes are right on the money and other times they are absolutely crazy…ha-ha. So, what did I learn about myself?

What is Your Personal Theme Song?

Oh my – the Macarena. Which is apparently my burden to bear, but that’s alright because when I come around people can’t help but get up and dance. Ha-ha… right. And now I have the macarena playing in my head. Oh joy. I guess it could be worse but I don’t know; the macarena is pretty bad… Am I the only one who thinks this? I doubt it….

What Breed of Dog Are You?
I’m a Lab – and I don’t have a bad bone in my body. *cue wicked laugh* I might have confused the sensors somewhere on that one, ha! I jest, I think I’m a pretty good person most of the time and this quiz seems to agree. This says that I’m extremely loyal and anyone who knows me is lucky for knowing me….and I’d have to agree! 🙂

What TV Show Character Are You?
Snoopy – what a perfect response! The first stuffed animal I owned was a little red Snoopy that sat in my bassinet with me at the hospital, so I guess it’s safe to say I’ve been in love with Snoopy since (literally) the day I was born. I love it! And Snoopy certainly has a quirky personality, which I think I’ve also got myself!

Which President Are You?
The man himself – one of the Founding Fathers, TJ! Apparently I grew up fast but I grew up right…I’m bold and I make big moves…and I don’t know how accurate this one is. I mean, I did just make a big move but I don’t quite think that’s the big move this is talking about… I also don’t know how bold I am, so maybe this one is a little off? Oh well….

What Cheese Are You?
Ooh la la, I’m mozzarella cheese! 🙂 According to the results, I’m fresh, clean and so flexible – ha-ha! I’m also perfect melted on top of chicken…which, well that’s odd but okay. I certainly know that I’m fresh and clean; I bathe every day…ha-ha! As for the flexible part; well, I can put both my legs behind my head…so there’s that. This result makes me want to go get some cheese…

What Animal Are You?

I’m a Beaver…which honestly, I wasn’t sure about this. I mean, sure beavers are fine I suppose. The description that came with the result said that I was creative, practical and organized – and I’m all those things. It says people that have me as a friend, partner or parent are lucky – so, if you know me then I suppose you should count yourself lucky!

Which Holiday Are You?
Well this is not at all what I expected – I’m not a huge fan of New Year’s myself because it always feels like the let-down after the joy of Christmas; which is no doubt my favorite holiday. Apparently I am more like New Years though: I’m always happy, excited when friends and family come around and I love suspense and the thrill of happiness! I guess I’ll take it! 

How Nice Are You?
I am nicey, nice nice! Ha-ha! I’m good, old-fashioned nice but I know when enough is enough. Supposedly I’m the type of person that will drive a friend to the airport and not even ask for money! I guess this is pretty close, although I think I might need to work on being TOO nice – there is such a thing and I think I’ve got a little bit of it, ha! However, I’d rather be too nice than too mean.

Which Disney Princess Are You?
Oh my – Ariel! I dream of a better world and a great pair of legs…ha-ha! Last time I checked, I thought I already had a great pair of legs. I guess I’ll just keep dreaming about that better world, huh? I certainly used to pretend to be Ariel when I was in the bath tub, much to my parent’s “delight” since my swirling and spinning in the tub usually left water all of the floor….

What Should Your Name Really Be?
Well parents – now you know. When I came barreling into the world almost thirty years ago, apparently you should have named me Emma. Who knew?

And just for good measure…

Which Game of Thrones Character Are You?
Another surprise because I really feel like I’m more like the other Stark daughter but according to this quiz, I’m Arya. Apparently I’m perfectly able to handle myself on my own and I’ve already made it this far on my own, ha-ha! 
Well – there you go. Apparently I’m a fine cheese, a one hit wonder pop song and a small animal that builds dams…among other things. Who knows, maybe I’ll take some other quizzes one of these days and learn a little bit more about myself!

A Whole New World

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No – I didn’t necessarily intend to quote Aladdin in my blog title but it certainly fits so I decided to run with it. I’ve officially been in Virginia for a week now! Wow! I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet and to be honest, it probably won’t sink in for a little while that I actually live here…and that’s fine, ha-ha! I’m just enjoying it day by day, figuring out what is where and how to get to it, ha-ha!

Trying out new walking trails…on Monday afternoon this was also known as the golf course directly behind our house.

Monday night supper with a fussy dog – he begged & begged & begged…

Monday night thunderstorm!

The most interesting part of the move so far has been trying to adjust Watson to his new lifestyle – he’s used to being able to run wild and free and with the move, he is now more of an inside dog. He’s been doing pretty well although he’s certainly earned himself a new nickname this week: Jailbreak. My Mom bought a safety gate with the intent to put it up at the bottom of the stairs of the basement and Watson could sleep in the basement at night – let me just let you know that the basement of my parent’s townhouse is not a cold, moldy and damp basement – it’s fully finished with carpet, a second living room, a second bathroom and a storage room.

When we went to town early in the week for some supper, we just sat the gate at the bottom of the stairs and assumed it would be fine. When we arrived home, a certain little pup was waiting in the window to greet us – he’d knocked the gate down and just came right on up into the kitchen to do whatever he pleased. Well, we put him in the basement another night and put the gate firmly in place; locked it down and went upstairs…and my Mom kept hearing him bump, bump, bump against it, but I was sure he couldn’t break through it. Well I was surely wrong! He persisted until he crashed that thing down and came racing back up the stairs, stopping to sit and look at my Mom like “well, I did it.” So, we’ll see where we go from here.

On our daily “long” walk…we usually do at least a mile or more in the mornings…

Sitting on a hilltop on the golf course on Tuesday afternoon – thankfully there were no golfers & so we were able to hang out, sitting on the hill for a good 25 minutes.

Wednesday, I spent the afternoon at the pool with my friend from church, Jen and her daughter Emily and Emily’s friend (my little friend too) Jimmy. Hanging out with an eight year old and a six year old is pretty hilarious and they kept me entertained; they were so eager to entertain that they when Jen and I got out of the pool (after being in the pool for over an hour) to talk, Jimmy kept coming to ask me “why did you get out of the pool??” and when I’d tell him that I was going to come back to the pool in a little bit, he’d shrug and tell me “oh well – you’re missing all the fun!” Kids are a mess! I re-applied sunscreen but I obviously didn’t apply enough because by the time Wednesday night rolled around, I was feeling the heat! Yikes! Oh well, you live and you learn.

Trying to get rid of my pale, pasty white legs…with some goofy little kiddos!

Okay – I thought it was just a little bit cooler in Virginia…what is the deal?

Wednesday night’s colorful supper, courtesy of me!

Wednesday night drive over Low Water Bridge – which I wouldn’t want to drive across when the water wasn’t low…

Wednesday night sunset!

A lovely end to Wednesday night, Sweet Frogs – just two miles up the road! And Watson got to come too!

I’ve also had my share of adventures at the DMV this past week – I do think that being grumpy is a requirement to working at the DMV because good gracious at the people and their unfriendliness! I went on Monday, thinking I’d be on top of things and get it taken care of, but I didn’t have what I needed and the nice (ha) lady at the desk hi-lighted a piece of paper for me so I’d be sure to bring the right things on trip two. I went on Tuesday with what I thought were the correct things but another lovely (ha) lady informed me that I still didn’t have the right things and she hi-lighted the paperwork a second time, because I was obviously too idiotic to read it the first time…*sigh*. I finally got everything together and went on Thursday for the THIRD time and when my turn came up, the nice lady (this time, actually nice) told me she loved it when people had all their stuff together. I just gave her a look and in a deadpan voice said “I’ve been here three times.” Oh well, I’m registered to vote and my license will be here in three to five days.

Headed through downtown Front Royal after leaving the DMV for the third (and finally successful) visit….

Emily being a goofball & trying to box herself up – what a little nut!

Walking to dinner in Old Town Winchester on Thursday night….

We ate at Union Jack’s – a British Pub!

Some pictures from supper – including my delicious mac & cheese from Union Jack’s!

Watson’s new favorite place to nap is on the back deck…in the shade!

My Mom and I went on an interesting outing Friday night – Styx and Foreigner were at the Jiffy Lube Live Amphitheatre and tickets to sit on the lawn were only $15, so my Mom and I decided to check it out! We were joined by our long time friends, Angie and Rachel…I say long time because I’ve known Rachel since we were born and our Mom’s have known one another since before we were born. It’s funny, we started our life together in California and here we are at thirty and almost thirty (yikes) in the same place again! I didn’t really know too many of Styx’s songs but I knew almost every song that Foreigner sang and I was singing along to every one! Rachel and I spent the time between the songs we knew people watching – and some of the people we watched, well they are still living in the early 80’s and they also still think they’re 25. Yikes!

Ready for the concert on the lawn!

The opener was Don Felder, of the Eagles. I didn’t know much of what he sang, but I did know Hotel California!

Group picture – here’s to thirty more years of friendship!



We got a very special package in the mail on Saturday – our magic bands for Disney!

The weekend seems to pass quickly even when you aren’t working – isn’t that wild? Saturday was the first day of Summer and we brought the Summer in with rain and a high temperature of 65 – crazy, right? My Mom and I went to see The Fault in our Stars in all it’s weepy glory on Saturday afternoon and I went to sleep on Saturday night at 9:30, like some kind of old woman, ha-ha! After church on Sunday, I went on another adventure with the parents to the village of Millwood (yes, it’s still called a village – I love it) to see the Burwell Mason Mill. My Dad and I perused the mill and watched a video while my Mom wandered around outside. After supper at Bob Evans (my Dad loves that place, it cracks me up a little bit) we came home and I introduced my parents to the movie Pompeii – which they both loved!

Millwood, the Burwell Mason Mill and the Old Chapel

Cheesy smile, ha-ha!

Sunday afternoon adventurers!

A little snack on Sunday afternoon – yum, yum macaroon!

So, that is my first week here in a nutshell! Amazingly, I’ve already got some things on the calendar for this upcoming week and I can’t wait to see what else might pop up unexpectedly! Hope you have a great week ahead…I’m sure I’ll be having one myself!

Holy backyard thistle!

Game of Thrones – The Children

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Well – the end has come. The end of season four at least; although funnily enough the end of season four did seem to coincide with some endings in my life too…but that’s neither here nor there and is also in another post somewhere.

I can’t believe the season went by so fast! It seems like it was just a few days ago that the season opened with me sitting on my couch in MS, praying the storms would hold off until at least 9 PM so I could see the season premiere and then just last night I sat in front of my computer screen in the dim light of my parent’s living room and watched the season wind up… And it was quite the end to the season, although I might have text my friend Lilah “that did NOT happen that way in the book” one too many times. Oh well, it was a good season finale…so before the nine month wait ahead…the recap, now with lots more pictures…some of them are even moving!!!

The season ender opens where the previous episode left off, with Jon trudging into the wilderness north of the Wall; he intends to talk with Mance Rayder, King Beyond the Wall…and he also intend to kill him if he can, knowing that without their leader, the Free Folk will likely fall apart and no longer be a threat. Mance chastises him for being dressed all in black again and is dubious that Ygritte wasn’t enough to make him turn his cloak; they drink to the men (and the woman) lost in the battle and Mance tells Jon that the only reason they attacked the Wall was because something dangerous is coming and they want to be on the other side of the Wall before it arrives; he tells Jon his terms are that they let them pass through the tunnel to the other side of the Wall or they’ll kill every single sworn brother of the Night’s Watch and pass through anyway. As Jon zeroes his sights in on a knife, their meeting is broken up by the arrival of soldiers…the army that Stannis Baratheon bought with the gold from the Iron Bank of Braavos!

Mance Rayder talks strategy, suffering & loss with Jon Snow.
The arrival of the army of Stannis Baratheon…
Jon lets Stannis know that he is the son of Ned Stark; telling Stannis that his father died for him, they both agree that Ned was an honorable man. Stannis asks Jon what he’d do with Mance if he had the choice and Jon tells him that when he was once a prisoner of Mance’s, he was questioned but treated kindly and so he suggests that they do the same – take Mance as a prisoner, question him and keep him in case they need him in the future. 
We move from the Wall to King’s Landing where Cersei, Grand Maester Pycelle and Qyburn are inspecting the body of the Mountain; Gregor Clegane. It seems that Oberyn Martell might have gotten in the last laugh since he poisoned the tip of his spear with manticore venom and now the Mountain is dying a slow and painful death. The Grand Maester says there is no way to save him but Qyburn disagrees and so Cersei dismisses Pycelle in favor of Qyburn – even though he had his Maester’s chain revoked by the Citadel. Qyburn tells Cersei that he will try to save Ser Gregor but he’s not sure if it will work…however, if it does work he will be different but stronger. Cersei gets that crazy gleam in her eye and tells him to come to her for anything he might need.
In the process of creating a monster…

Cersei is next seen confronting her Father, to tell him that she will not marry Loras Tyrell. She believes her place is with her son, Tommen and she will not be shipped off to Highgarden to marry a man she doesn’t love. Tywin assures her she won’t be the first woman to be dragged into the Sept to marry a man she has no desire to marry but Cersei goes him one better and says if he makes her marry Loras, she will burn the family legacy to the ground – she stares him down and tells him all the rumors are true, everything people say about she and Jaime is right; if he’d taken just one moment to be concerned about his actual family and really looked close enough, he would know that. She tells him she will tell the world his legacy is a lie and as she stalks away, leaving Tywin to sort out how he feels about the bomb she’s just dropped on him.
She goes immediately to the tower of the Kingsguard, where she tells Jaime that they can choose who their family is – and she chooses him. She doesn’t care what anyone will say about them because everyone else is so far beneath them that it doesn’t matter – she will be staying with the man she loves and their son; being with the man she loves is all that matters to her anymore. This is exactly what Jaime has been waiting to hear, so they go ahead and reconcile right there on the table…which again makes the rape scene from episode three make even less sense…but whatever. I guess we all collectively pretend it didn’t happen and move on, right?
Cersei makes her choice.

We move back to the North where we join Bran, Hodor, Meera and Jojen as the make their way to the Three-Eyed Raven; Jojen is struggling to keep going and as Meera encourages him to let them all stop and rest, he collapses and tells her they don’t need to rest, they’ve arrived. Sure enough, the huge Weirwood we’ve seen all season is just over the hill and so they begin to make their way toward what appears to be the entrance to a cave under the tree, walking across a field of pristine snow…when suddenly a hand reaches up through the snow and grabs Jojen around the ankle!
*Y’all, I was watching this in the dark living room, by myself at about 10:45 on Sunday night and when that hand popped up, I about came unglued. Which is pretty sad on my part because I knew this was coming, I’ve read the books and this part stayed pretty faithful…but I still jumped a mile!*
Bran wargs into Hodor’s body and he and Meera fight off the wights that keep popping up one right after the other; Summer (the direwolf) also jumps into the action and takes down a wight or two. As Meera looks away to fend off yet another wight, her brother Jojen is stabbed multiples times in the gut and before she can reach him, the damage is done. Cue one of the Children of the Forest throwing a fireball (what the heck was up with that???) and telling Meera that Jojen is lost; if they want to survive they must leave him and come with her, into the cave…the Three-Eyed Raven is waiting. As more wights pop out of the snow around them, Meera slits her brother’s throat to free him from a slow death and they race for the cave, watching as the wights break apart when they try to enter the cave – the magic that animates them will not work inside the cave.
Losing one member of the North of the Wall gang….

Hodor carries Bran into the cave, following the Child of the Forest until they come upon a grizzled old man seated on a throne of weirwood branches – the Three-Eyed Raven! Bran crawls across the floor to him and the Three-Eyed Raven tells him that he has waited a long time for him and now that he is come, he will return to him what has been lost. He will never walk again…but he will fly.
The Three-Eyed Raven…not as creepy as he’s described in the books…

We go once more to the Wall where Jon meets with Tormund, who is being held prisoner after last week’s attack on the Wall. Tormund wonders how they will choose to kill him; will he be beheaded, hung, thrown from the top of the Wall? He also asks Jon if he loved Ygritte; Tormund knows Ygritte loved Jon because all she could talk about was killing him after he did her wrong. Tormund tells Jon he should take Ygritte to the North, the true North because that’s where she deserves to be buried…and we last see Jon as he takes her out to the woods, lights her funeral pyre and walks away, tears streaming down his cheeks. 
Goody-bye Ygritte…you were fun while you lasted…

Across the Narrow Sea in Meereen, Daenerys is holding court and she first speaks with a man who was once a slave and a teacher for the family that owned him. He explains to Daenerys that while the young may love the freedom she has given them, the old are living in squalor…where once he had a place to live and a job to do, he is now aimless and has nothing and no one. He asks that he be able to sell himself back to his former master. Daenerys agrees that he may make a contract with his former master to last no longer than one year – the man is grateful but Ser Barristan warns her that other slaves and masters will take advantage of this.
The next petitioner at court is a man that carries a bundles of bones. He tearfully approaches the throne and as Missandei translates, he explains that the Winged Shadow came from the skies and killed his little girl; that Winged Shadow being Daenerys’ largest dragon, Drogon. As the man weeps over his child’s bones, Daenerys watches heartbroken and knows what must be done – she takes Rhaegal and Viseryon into the catacombs underneath the pyramid and chains them under the ground, sealing the catacombs as tears run down her face and her “children” scream in protest. 
Some very unhappy “babies”…
If Momma ain’t happy…well, you know the rest…

Over on the road to the Eyrie, Brienne and Pod have lost their horses but they’ve stumbled upon something else – Arya and the Hound. Brienne tells Arya about learning to use a sword growing up but the two are interrupted in their female bonding by the Hound coming around the corner – Pod immediately recognizes him and he and Brienne are immediately at odds. At the moment Brienne realizes she has found Arya Stark, Arya suddenly becomes very wary of Brienne when the Hound points out she is carrying a Lannister sword. Podrick and Arya get out of the way as Brienne and the Hound have a battle royale that involves both of them getting pretty bashed and beaten but Brienne gains the upper hand, biting off the Hound’s ear and beating him over a cliff…
Well this is interesting…
Preparing for Battle Royale – these two wailed on each other…

Brienne calls for Arya but Arya wants nothing to do with her and hides among the rocks until Brienne moves on. Once she reappears, she creeps to where the Hound lays dying. He asks her if she remembers where the heart is, then he tries to goad her into killing him and finally resorts to begging her for a merciful death – but Arya has seen too much and the Hound was one of the names on her list after all – she takes his money and leaves him to die on the side of the road, as he scream after her begging for death.
Arya crosses another name off her list….

We return once more to King’s Landing and Tyrion’s cell where he awaits his death. Jaime opens his cell door and ushers Tyrion into the hallway, telling him he’s come to set him free – all Tyrion has to do is take a flight of stairs up to a door, knock twice and then twice again and Varys will open the door and secret him to freedom. The brothers share a heartfelt good-bye and Jaime leaves Tyrion, but Tyrion can’t quite leave well enough alone so he creeps through the castle to the tower of the Hand….
Saying good-bye is never easy….
Tyrion makes his way into his father’s bed chamber and sees that someone is laying in his father’s bed…as he creeps closer, the woman mumbles “my lion” and turns to greet the person she thinks is Tywin Lannister, but is horrified to see that it is Tyrion approaching her. She immediately grabs a knife and the two begin to scuffle but Tyrion wins out in the end, choking Shae with the golden rope necklace that he gave her last season. As she lies motionless off the side of the bed, he gulps out a tearful “sorry” and then he spies Joffrey’s crossbow across the room. Since he’s already killed one person, he takes the crossbow, two bolts and moves out of the room and down the hall….
The worst way for a relationship to end…
Tyrion finds his father sitting in the privy – that’s right, he’s on the toilet – and Tywin manages to keep his demeanor of control throughout the conversation, even while sitting on a toilet. Tywin tells Tyrion that he was never going to let him be beheaded; even if he hates his son, he is still a Lannister and he wouldn’t have let that happen. Tyrion tells him that he killed Shae and his father tells him that it doesn’t matter because she was only a whore. Tyrion looses one bolt into his father’s chest and his father becomes angry, telling Tyrion he is no son of his… Tyrion levels a look of hatred at his father, levels the crossbow at his father, tells him that he’s always been his son and shoots him dead. He then climbs the stairs to Varys’ room, where he is loaded into a crate and put on a ship out of King’s Landing…and when Varys hears the bells of King’s Landing begin to toll for Tywin Lannister’s death, he too boards the ship as well. 
It must really stink to be shot on the toilet…no pun intended…

The final scene of the episode is one of some hope – Arya approaches the port of Saltpans and asks a captain for a ship to the Wall. He tells her there is nothing she wants at the Wall and he’s not going that way anyway, he’s going home – to Braavos. Arya takes out the iron coin that Jaqen Hagar gave her all the way back in season two, hands it to the man and utters the words: Valar Morghulis. He smiles at her, responds back with “Valar Doheris” and tells her that of course, she will have a cabin on the ship. As the music swells, Arya watches Westeros disappear off the stern of the ship, runs to the bow and looks to her new destination and what the future holds.
Looking ahead to Braavos & hopes for a better life…
And – that’s it! Another season has come and gone and now comes the long nine month wait until season five! Who knows, maybe we’ll get book six to tide us over until the Spring when it comes back on? Who am I kidding…I’m not holding my breath. Well, until next Spring that’s it for the Game of Thrones recaps. I’ll take you back to your regularly scheduled blog posts now – do enjoy!

This is for you, Lisa!

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This post is short, sweet and to the point – and is essentially here because my friend Lisa asked me last week if I was going to do a virtual tour of my room on the blog once I got settled in. I hadn’t really thought about doing that but since she asked, here are just a few pictures of the room I’ll be calling home for the next few months. Enjoy! Especially you Lisa! 😉

One view from the door.

Looking the other way from the door.

Just being goofy in the mirror..ha-ha!

This picture turned out kind of dark….

The bed – obviously.

Closet, shelves and dresser.

Basically just the dresser.

Extra storage – I haven’t used half of it yet…but I need to!

The view out the window – the golf course, mountains and the Virginia Inland Port, which lights up pretty brightly at night.

The best place to catch a few Zzzz’s….

Well – there you have it Lisa. I hope you’ve enjoyed the virtual tour of my room, ha-ha!

What A Week!

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Oh my gosh – I can’t even believe it; I started this week in Mississippi and I’m ending it in Virginia! I feel like this week has been at least twice as long as most other weeks; seriously. Granted while it seems extremely long, it also seemed like everything happened very quickly – I will never understand how time works like that. It’s crazy…

Monday evening storm skies…good gracious. 

Monday started off the week with a bang – literally. I drove to Jackson after work to pick up my Dad from the airport and the weather was less than splendid. I drove through spots where the rain was coming down in sheets and was absolutely horrific; I was creeping along at about 50 miles at some places and I was also praying that my Dad’s flight didn’t get delayed or even cancelled because of the crazy weather moving through the area.

Once I got to Jackson, I was lucky enough to get to stop in and see my sweet friend Lisa and her husband Ben for about thirty minutes; she was the one person I hadn’t gotten to see that I wanted to see and I was so thrilled to get to spend even just a few minutes catching up with her. After leaving her house, I met David at Mugshots for supper and coffee at Cups after while I waited for my Dad’s flight to get in at 9:15. I so sweetly got my Dad a cappuccino to sip as we headed towards Collinsville and we both finally got to bed about midnight. Whoosh!

A peace offering of sorts, ha-ha!

My whole life, stuffed into a truck. Holy cow…let’s do this!

Tuesday it rained all day…and yet my Dad still managed to be awesome and load all of my things into the Penske truck that he’d rented; I’m telling you that my Dad is basically SuperDad! While he was doing all of this, I went to lunch with another sweet friend – Melissa. She also introduced me to Margie’s Mixing Bowl, a cupcake shop that just opened in Meridian and I decided to get a few cupcakes…especially the Cookies & Creme cupcake that I just knew my Dad would love. He’d been busting his rear end all day loading the truck with all my junk! Once I got home, we ate supper with my Nanny and then I cleaned the house from pretty much top to bottom – I swept, mopped, vacuumed, cleaned bathrooms, dusted, wiped down all the counters. I crashed into what was left of my bed on Tuesday night at about 10:30! Eep!

Wednesday afternoon….

Thursday afternoon – talk about a major change, right?

Nothing really sticks out in my mind about Wednesday except that my Dad would randomly text me throughout the day to let me know where he was in the progress towards Virginia…and I crack myself up because I say nothing sticks out but I guess it should stick out in my mind that it was the last morning in my house. I woke up, gathered up what few things I had and around 7:10 I left. I didn’t dwell on it too much and thinking about it now, I don’t feel any differently about it all. I was happy to be moving and while I have loved my house, I was ready for my new adventure – so when I walked out of the house, I walked out with no worries or sad feelings because I was ready to see what the future held!

Thursday after work, my friend Hope took me out for what she called my “last supper”. At least that is what she called it on the phone when she text me about going. We went to eat at Weidmann’s and we really did it up good – we started with a drink; I had a Scarlett O’Hara and she got a Hurricane and I think we both decided that mine was the best, ha-ha! Our server Wesley suggested the Chicken Florentine and so that is exactly what I got; served with Au gratin potatoes it was delicious and I finished off the night with a slice of Black Bottom Pie, which I’ve never had. I went back to my Grandma’s stuffed to the gills so I could scrub Watson clean for our journey the next day and fell into bed about 9:30.

A delicious, delightfully good meal – eaten with excellent company!

Friday at work they had a farewell lunch for me – we all had Olive Garden to eat and they gave me a very sweet card and three beads for my Pandora bracelet; it was really unexpected and kind of blew me away. One of my co-worker’s has a little son that always comes to visit and he stopped by on Friday to say good-bye to me and gave me a rose! I worked (or trained the new girl and watched her work) until 2 and then my Nanny arrived with Watson. I loaded him into the car, hugged my friend Melissa good-bye and we set off on our journey. I won’t chronicle that too much here because I devoted a whole post to it, but everything went really well and Watson surprised me with his road warrior capabilities! I know I was thrilled to arrive in Front Royal on Saturday afternoon at a little before 3 – I was so glad to escape the car!

Road trip picture group #1 – taken on day one of our travels.

Road trip picture set #2 – from Tuesday.

Checking out the view of the mountains from the back deck….

My rose made it all the way to Virginia without spilling or getting hurt – victory!

Saturday afternoon and evening were devoted to getting the things I needed to have in my room up to my room and organized. I have way too much stuff because my parents basement looks like a very well organized bomb exploded…there is just a stack of boxes in the center. Yikes. I did manage to get my room organized over the course of Saturday and Sunday evening and now I’m happily settled in to my room for the next few months. Saturday ended with some of my Dad’s delicious grilled burgers for supper, watching the episode of Fargo my parent’s had so kindly remembered to set to record for me and crawling into my bed, where I slept better than I had all week – it’s a good feeling to be home.

Watson thinks it’s a long way down off the deck….

Sunday morning I went to church with Mom (Dad was at work) and I was greeted with lots of hugs, which was really nice; it’s nice to feel so accepted and loved the minute you walk through the door. After a quick lunch and a Target run (yes, I’d been here less than 24 hours and went to Target…so sue me) we waited on my Dad to get home and then we set off on our Father’s Day adventure. We went over to Long Branch plantation, which is about 15 minutes from the house and toured the house – I guess it’s newly open for tours and because they were having an event, the tour was free! Once we’d explored Long Branch, we drove back towards the house, stopping at the Virginia State Arboretum and the Mt. Airy Farm Store…where we got the most delicious loaf of fresh made zucchini bread I have ever tasted; absolutely heavenly! We checked out some dog runs at Lowe’s and looked over the cooking tools in Nibblins before meeting Doug, Jen and Emily for a Father’s Day feast at Texas Roadhouse. I ended my Sunday night watching Game of Thrones because I have an awesome friend who worked that out for me…and that’s all I’ll say about that.

Exploring Long Branch Plantation – so beautiful! 

Long Branch Plantation!

Checking out the Arboretum – only for a wee bit because it was getting warm outside!

Emily being her silly self at supper! 

This week has been crazy and a little bit long but I’m so glad to say I’ve tried to enjoy and take in every minute of it! I’m so happy to be in my Virginia home, even if only for a few months until I find my own place. I’m very glad to be able to call Virginia my permanent home though – there is so much I can’t wait to do and see all over the state….as well as nearby! I think the next few months will be very exciting indeed! 

A Moving Tale

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Oh – I do crack myself up. This is certainly a (short) little tale about moving and I suppose it could be moving as well, I don’t know. I was moved to tears at one point on my little journey but I’m getting ahead of myself saying all that. I just thought I’d share a short little story of how I packed up my pup and headed for Virginia this weekend.

I left at 2 on Friday from my former workplace, BMG…that’s right, former. I guess for the time being I am gainfully unemployed. Oh well, that’s what happens when you move…at least sometimes. I had never taken Watson much further than a trip to Meridian and back and while he certainly does love the car, I wasn’t sure what he’d think of being made to ride in the car for hours on end and I was honestly a little anxious that he’d get car sick or cry or just go absolutely nuts.

He did none of those things – but – he started the journey strapped into his car seat and about thirty minutes into the ride, he decided he’d scale the backseat so that he could climb into the front seat and almost choked himself. Never losing my concentration on the road, I unhooked his collar from the car seat and he flopped into the front passenger seat. This was NOT what I’d planned but once he situated himself on the pillow and blanket I had tucked in the seat, he fell asleep and so I decided to avoid any other near death experiences that he could just stay right there.

Kind of hard to tell but that is Meridian in the rear view – it’s the best I could do while DRIVING!

It started out so promising – he seemed peaceful & sleepy…..

Put on your cheesy grin!

He got so comfortable that I thought he was about to wriggle into the floor….

We made our first stop between Tuscaloosa and Birmingham; I didn’t want to chance hitting traffic around Birmingham and having a dog that had to pee on my hands. I decided that the best plan of action would be to quickly run to the bathroom, leaving him in the car while I did that because the car would still be cool and then coming back to walk him, let him potty and have some water/treats/food. I only took about a 45 second bathroom break but I had all these visions on someone letting me have it when I came back to the car because I’d left my dog alone. No one did – probably because no one seemed to care. Watson also didn’t care about drinking any water; all he wanted to do was explore but thankfully he hopped right back in the car when the time came. Silly little nut.

I was petting him and he laid on my hand…so I just let him “hold” my hand for a while….

The mountains smoking in Chattanooga after a short rain shower.

A rainbow in Chattanooga – so pretty! Also, what is with all the pet walk areas??

Again – had no interest in having any water. None whatsoever….

He thought he’d take the wheel after our second stop – ha!

We stopped for the night in Sweetwater, Tennessee – home of the Lost Sea Adventure, which I really want to do one day! I mean, an underground cavern with lakes??? That is basically the coolest. Our hotel was only about 45 minutes past Chattanooga so we got there before the sun went down; we were able to fill the car back up, get some supper (hey-o Burger King!) and take a walk around the hotel after supper so Watson could stretch his legs. It was pretty funny to watch him try to sort out exactly what was going on and what he was supposed to be doing – why were we in this strange room and was this where we would live now? He seemed unsure but he warmed up to chasing the lightning bugs out in the parking lot for sure, ha-ha. After watching two episodes of House Hunters (why do they always have like…1.5 million dollars to spend?!? Where do they find these people??) I went to bed and I supposed Watson did as well – he started the night on the bed with me and when I woke up at 6:45, he was asleep in his car seat across the room!

Oh Mom – I think this is our exit…turn here…take a right!

Perusing the parking lot at the Sweetwater Quality Inn….

The room was really nice – I was pleased. And I’ve just now realized it was decorated in red & green – hello Christmas colors!!!

The whole couch will be mine…all mine. Now go.

I honestly didn’t intend to wake up at 6:45; I had my alarm set for 7:30 but I’ve been waking up earlier than usual all week this week – I’m sure it’s some combination of excitement, anxiety and the like. I’ll probably sleep till noon when Monday comes… Oh well, I digress. I got a blueberry pomegranate smoothie from McDonald’s and we were on the road by 7:30! Watson obviously thought he’d been woken up far too early because he immediately curled up facing away from the sunshine and went to sleep – seriously, he’s a hoot. Another serious thing though is that he is basically a road warrior – who knew? No complaints, whining, crying or issues from this pooch, he was totally chill the whole trip! We made our first stop past Knoxville; it was pretty short and sweet…then we crossed into Virginia and things really got fun!

Ugh – why are we up this early on a Saturday? And why are we in this car again?

The sun is blinding me….

The mountains beginning in East Tennessee….

And getting bigger in Virginia….

We made our final stop before the big push about twenty minutes outside of Roanoke (has nothing to do with the lost colony of Roanoke; that’s in NC) where we had lunch and wandered around a little bit. Watson is such a social butterfly that he had to stop and greet every person we passed; most of them greeted him right back and he pranced around wagging his tail. After we ate and used the bathroom, we had just three hours to go before we made it to our new home in Virginia! I used my skills on the road to hold a cup for Watson while he drank out of it (yes, I’m that good…) and I also managed to reach behind me into his treat and toy container and manage to lay my hands on a bag of treats so he could have one as we cruised. I mean, can we talk about talented? And also, how about skilled at driving? Ha-ha! Yep, that’s me!

Where is my combo meal?

The only way to have a hands-free lunch….attach him to your leg!

Mountains, mountains everywhere & curvy roads to boot! I love it!

Getting in his second or third afternoon nap….

Hmmm…what are those things over there? Large hills? 

At long last, we made the turn off of I-81 onto I-66 and after just a couple turns, we were driving up to our new place of residence! I can’t believe how smoothly traveling with my pet went; Watson has always been a good dog and he just proved yet again on this trip how amazing a little guy he really is. All that’s left for us to do now is start having adventures in Virginia!

That’s us!