Another Season Come and Gone

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Another week has come and gone…and another season has come and gone as well. The farewells have been made to another Summer and Autumn is beginning to make her presence known: there is that nip in the air that speaks of scarves, warm drinks by the fire and curling up under blankets. The trees are all parting with their constant greenery in favor of something a little more colorful and of course, the TV is filled with nothing but football, football, football. Summer has sped away and Autumn is here to stay – at least until sometime in December!

Autumn color of one of Watson & I’s many walks.

Autumn sunsets are the best – always blazing with color, just like the trees!

An Autumn morning – crisp & cool with the dusky blue of the mountains in the distance!

Watson soaking up some Wednesday morning rays of sunshine on the deck.

A little evening snack – a bear, minus one of his ears!

Thank Heaven for delicious leftovers prepared by my Momma!

This week honestly sped by…at least until Thursday evening…and I was fine with that because I spent most of the week looking forward to Thursday. My sweet and lifelong (literally) best friend Nickolee and her family came this past weekend to stay with us. The two spoke at our church on Sunday but between Thursday night and Sunday morning…and even after that (they left this morning) we found plenty to do. It was so wonderful to get to catch up with her and her family and to finally meet her sweet new baby girl, Lyllian! The weekend passed pleasantly and I feel like a good time was had by all; hopefully they enjoyed seeing a little bit of my new neck of the woods!

Ryleigh was immediately in love with Watson – he was her main concern all weekend.

Trying to get a good picture with this sweetie – all of these were somewhat hit or miss…

Watson walking Ryleigh….& Ryleigh walking me!

Lyllian says “where did you get this Winnie the Pooh?”

See – I told you we’d get a good picture! 

Friday afternoon, my Mom watched Lyllian and Steve took Ryleigh to Monkey Joe’s to play for a little while…which meant Nickolee and I were able to go out and about on our own for just a little while. I took her to one of my favorite places here in the area – the Coach and Horses Tea Room! My Mom introduced me to this wonderful little spot and this wonderful little spot turned me on to tea; I’ve always loved a glass of iced sweet tea but never hot, until I was taken to High Tea here! We spent the afternoon sipping tea, eating all kinds of delicious foods and just catching up – of course we stopped at a shop or two on the way to and from having tea…but it wouldn’t be a girl’s afternoon out without a little shopping, right?

Ready to have some tea!

Certainly a new favorite for me – Strawberry Ginger Peppercorn! I wish I had a pot right now!

Enjoying our tea experience!

Dad giving Lyllian a cuddle – she always has that thumb in her mouth!

Playing on the playground in Front Royal after supper at The Melting Pot!

Swinging – apparently this was Lyllian’s first time on a swing!

Saturday we took the Roberts to our favorite Farmer’s Market and Orchard – Marker Miller! We picked apples and Ryleigh thoroughly enjoyed playing on the playground, so much so that she didn’t really want to leave. After a bit of a rest at the house that afternoon, Nickolee, the girls, my Mom and I went to the church to have a ladies’ snack reception for Nickolee – she talked to them about life in Madagascar and they shared with her; sharing the love they have for her and her family even though they were only just meeting her, and also sharing that they had been and would keep praying for Nickolee and her family. We had supper at our favorite Mexican restaurant with Sweet Frog’s for dessert and everyone watched a little football after supper…although I’m pretty sure only Steve, my Dad and my Mom were the ones really interested, ha-ha!

Ready to pick some apples!

Two little apple pickers in the wagon we found in the middle of the orchard – we commandeered it for our own purposes: pictures!

Hauling in the apples…and the little apple picker!

Cuddling with sweet Amelia during the Ladies’ Sweet Reception for Nickolee.

Lyllian & Amelia – fast friends, even though Amelia slept through most of their meeting, ha-ha!

Emily & Ryleigh were certainly fast friends & spent the whole two hours playing together. 

A brilliant Saturday night sunset!

Sunday morning was spent at church – Steve and Nickolee shared about life in Madagascar and shared their hearts for spreading the Word of the Lord to the Malagasy people; it was wonderful! After having lunch at Panera (Nickolee’s spot of choice; which I will always agree with…love me some Panera) we all had a little rest before heading to Wayside Farm for the afternoon! We rode on a hayride, Ryleigh played in the corn crib and slid down all kinds of slides…Nickolee, myself and my Dad may or may not have slid down some slides too…we also ventured into the corn maze and while Nickolee and I were sure we’d get lost, Steve led us out with no trouble. However, we did manage to lose my Dad when he stopped to pick and shuck an ear of corn – we told him to keep up and he just didn’t listen. Thankfully we all lived to tell the tale and emerged unscathed from the corn maze!

Wayside Farm’s theme this year was Super Heroes – they were everywhere you looked!

Taking a trip down one of the slides – it went just a little bit faster than he anticipated!

Somewhere in the corn maze…Nickolee & I being goofy, Lyllian just completely relaxed! 

Going into the Batcave!

Punkins, punkins everywhere! 

Two of the cutest little girls I know – ready to take a spin on one of the slides!
Not sure what my next move should be in Pumpkin Checkers!

Just taking a hay ride through the Soy Beans, Pumpkins and Corn! The little hootie was not interested in taking a picture!

These two bonded on the hay ride…so sweet!

Ryleigh & Nickolee sliding into the Bat cave!

Lyllian hanging on to a gourd I handed her – she certainly was thinking “what in the world is this thing?”

The biggest hit of the evening – playing in the corn crib! Who knew corn could be so much fun?

Jeffrey emerges from the Corn Maze – he may have gotten lost but he made it out alive!

Duck races!

Saying good-bye to the Farm!

Autumn has definitely arrived!

So…there you have it. I think we welcomed Autumn quite well, don’t you? Autumn is certainly my favorite season; I’m so glad it’s here and I’m even more glad I get to welcome Autumn in Virginia this year. The leaves are changing more every day and I’m taking in each turning leaf with absolute delight!

Cupcake Wars

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Well – I like to think that I can cook but since I’m only ever feeding myself (usually) I don’t really have any confirmation of that. I also like to think that I do alright in the baking department; no one has ever complained over any sweets I’ve made. Our church recently announced plans to hold a Cupcake War-style competition after our 5th anniversary luncheon and my interest was piqued…at first.

I’d pretty much made up my mind that I wasn’t interested but during a Wednesday night Bible Study a couple of the ladies encouraged me to throw my hat into the ring and see how I’d do. I finally decided to go for it and once I’d put my name on the sheet…ideas of exactly what kind of cupcake to make started rolling through my head…

First things first – you’ve got to have a cupcake holder, right?

Just a few of the ingredients I needed to bring my cupcake vision to reality.

I struggled back and forth with what I wanted to make but finally decided that you can never go wrong with chocolate. Not just any chocolate though; my idea was over the top deliciousness and I knew exactly what I wanted to make: a milk chocolate cupcake with mini chocolate chips with a cream cheese filling, topped with chocolate butter cream icing and a white chocolate drizzle. It sounded delicious in my head…now I just had to make it a tasty reality.

Step One: Bake the cupcakes…

Let them cool for the afternoon….while you’re hawking cards at Hallmark…

Step Two – Use you handy dandy tool from Hobby Lobby to remove centers…

I may have wandered around the kitchen singing “Holy Holy Holy” while I did this…I can neither confirm nor deny this.

A delicious cream cheese filling…I think I’d have been happy to just eat this whole bowl. And then I’d probably have been sick…

Homemade chocolate butter cream frosting – being shown off by my Sous chef, ha-ha!

So close to being done!

I must confess – making these cupcakes was a long process but I figured it might be if I wanted them to turn out as well as I envisioned them in my head. I made the actual cupcakes before I went to work on Saturday afternoon, letting them cool while I was gone. Once I came home and knew the cupcakes were sufficiently cooled then I removed a little bit of the middle from each cupcake with a little tool my Mom and I found at Hobby Lobby for $2.95! We mixed up our cream cheese mixture next and filled a plastic bag so I could pipe it into each cupcake…filling it full of yummy! Once that step was done, we mixed up our chocolate butter cream icing and honestly worried that we weren’t going to have enough – but we worked it out just fine and even had some left! We suffered some minor burns (and a couple shouts of shock) warming and working with the white chocolate and Mom pulled it through, drizzling that stuff on the top of each cupcake like a beast!

Pulling out all the stops – she’s a beast because that bag she’s holding was HOT.

The finished product – I thought they looked quite lovely!

I wish I had another one…

Ready to make the journey to the church!

Milk Chocolate cupcake with chocolate chips in the batter
Cream Cheese Filling
Chocolate butter cream icing with a white chocolate drizzle

Watson says “I’ll be a taste tester…gimme some!”

So, on Sunday morning off we went with our cupcakes. I have to say that once we arrived and I saw some of the other competition, I got a bit nervous. There were nine other cupcakes – some just looked awesome and others looked like they tasted absolutely awesome. I’ll be honest and tell you that there was a little part of me that felt very competitive but the larger part of me wasn’t actually that worried about whether I’d win or not. I knew my cupcakes were good and I’d enjoyed the time I spent with my Mom making them, so for me it was a win whether I actually won or not. After lunch, my Mom and I joined the tasting line and cast our votes…and then we waited.

Some of the other cupcakes – a burger & fries, a Banana cupcake with Honey Cinnamon frosting, a Key Lime cupcake, a Pumpkin Caramel cupcake, a Mocha cupcake & the most awesome looking little bears!

Maybe not the best shoes to have worn for being on my feet for hours & hours…

People lining up to taste the cupcakes!

Once all was said and done, I was completely shocked when Paula said that the winning cupcake was #10! I sat for a minute and Mom said “that’s you goofy!” and I gave a little shout and hopped up excitedly! I must admit, when I agreed to participate last Wednesday night I don’t think the thought that I’d win ever even entered my mind. I figured it would be fun to try and think up something neat to make and see how well I could do with a creation from my mind. Even when I started to feel a little bit competitive, I still didn’t think I’d actually win because I tasted the other cupcakes and thought many of them were delicious! I guess you just have to take a chance and see what you can do – you might even win a Cupcake War!

Coincidence that it looks like it has an N on it? I think not!

Seven….Just Seven…

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That’s it – I only have seven pictures from the last week. I don’t know if I’ve ever had that few on a recap post. I could say I don’t know what I was doing all week that left me with only seven pictures but when I wasn’t at work or at church I had my nose buried in a book reading. I’m slightly hooked on the Outlander series and I’m over halfway through the fourth book and so it consumes all my “extra” time. So, here are the very few pictures I took this past week…

Autumn porch decorations!

The most gigantic Praying Mantis on the front door – inches from my head. Eek!

I suppose the only story I have from this past week is that Watson has been crate trained – if you can even call it that. He developed a nasty habit of chewing on my parent’s furniture when we were gone and even though he’s only had maybe two accidents in the almost five years I’ve had him…he also decided he’d pee all over the floor last Tuesday night. So, I went to Wal-Mart and purchased a nice crate for him and was dreading at least a few nights of him crying and whining when he was put in the crate. I’m going to have to guess that he was crate trained as a puppy (before I had him) because he hasn’t cried once, crawls right in the thing at night for bed and even crawls into it to take naps! So, besides occasional furniture nibbling and once a year in home accidents, I’d say I won the pet lottery!

And for some reason – I have no picture of him in the crate; so that will come later…

A very Fall morning from the deck – and it’s really feeling very Fall-ish as well! 

All the trees are starting to try out new colors!

Two little helpers at church – watching them “move” this table was hilarious. They’d go two steps, sit it down & sigh, then scoot it two more steps & stop again. Ha!

Sweet smiles & cuddles from two of my three favorite little people!

A Sunday night sunset before the wind & cooler weather rolled in!

So you see – that’s about all I’ve got for this past week. If you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go read some more.

TV Season 2014 has Arrived!

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Well – that time has come again, it’s almost time for the “good” TV to come back on again. Now, I’m certainly not hating on the shows that come on during the summer…I myself was a huge fan of True Blood and Outlander was a show that started in the summer, but let’s be honest – the real deal TV schedule starts in the Fall and carries us all through until Summer starts and then leaves us waiting with baited breath.

Just one of the multitude of reasons to absolutely love Fall – am I right? I am!

So…what will I be tuning in to this season?? Well, I think I’ve weeded down the list quite a bit and I’ve actually cast off a few shows that I just didn’t have the patience for anymore. Oh well, it happens! I also can’t decide whether I want to add one show to the list…I think six TV shows is enough for one person, don’t you? I just looked back at my post from last year and I’m pretty sure I was watching about ten shows…I guess you can do that when you have no life and live alone. I think I’d rather have places to go and things to do than ten TV shows to watch…so, I think six will do fine; but I just can’t decide about the last one…

Sleepy Hollow – Season Two

Well….we left Ichabod in a tomb, Abbie trapped in some random time locked dimension, Jenny laying in the road with the Horseman of Death fast approaching and the reveal that Henry the Sin-Eater was actually Ichabod and Katrina’s son, hellbent on revenge. The second Horseman of the Apocalypse is on it’s way to Sleepy Hollow – War. I don’t know how Ichabod and Abbie will face off against War while they’re locked away…only time and multiple episodes will tell! I also think they need to get Henry into some counseling ASAP – releasing one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse because of abandonment issues is not okay.

Castle – Season Seven

Oh Castle – where are you? En route to his wedding to Kate, Castle was apparently run off the road and we the viewer were meant to think he was killed in a fiery crash. We as the viewer also know that there is no way he’s actually dead…I mean, the show is named for him. Only time will tell who Castle and Beckett have upset that led to him being spirited away; I’m sure they’ll be plenty of intrigue involved in finding him and there will also probably be laughter along the way; if the previous six seasons are any indication. Either way, I’d love a happy ending!
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – Season Two

I must admit – I felt like this show struggled a little bit near the midway point, but using part of the plot-line from Captain America: The Winter Soldier gave it a bit of a boost and I was more than intrigued by the time the first season wrapped! How will SHIELD rebuild after the revelation that it was overrun with members of Hydra? Can Agent Coulson…now Director Coulson, make a new and improved SHIELD? Of course he can…but still, you’ve gotta say that, right? We still have no clue what Skye is or who she belongs to…will she be an eventual danger to the team? Only time will tell; I can’t wait to see what happens this season!

Bones – Season Ten

Booth and Bones just can’t ever really be happy – can they? Sure, they have peaks where things are all going splendidly and life is good, but the valleys really seem more common. We saw season nine (which was meant to be the last season…but Fox apparently changed it’s mind…) end with Booth handcuffed to his hospital bed after killing several members of the FBI who’d gone rogue and were out to end both he and Bones’ life. Bones was barred from his room and trying to claw down the door to get in to see him. This season will open four months after the finale with Booth in prison and Bones doing her level best to set him free…and of course, there will be gooey bodies and witty remarks along the way!

Reign – Season Two

The life of a royal is never easy and for Mary, Queen of Scots it’s especially trying. We left her barring the gates of the castle in France with instructions to let no one back inside; even her husband, Francis…the newly crowned King of France. Francis was of course riding off to see Lola, who was struggling to give birth to his illegitimate son and the plague had broken out in the French countryside once again. Which is not to mention how Bash and his new wife Kenna will fare living in the countryside, far from the intrigues of palace life…my guess is it won’t last. Life as a royal – it’s a tangled web and I feel it will only get tied up in knots this season!

Once Upon A Time – Season Four

When Elsa came out of that bottle at the end of season three, I’m not going to lie…I may have dove off the couch and yelped with a little too much excitement. People either loved or hated the idea of bringing “Frozen” to the show; I am obviously in the former contingency. I can’t wait to see how they will weave Elsa and Anna’s tale into the story they’ve already been building over the past three years. I hope Regina will find a way to balance her good and evil sides; with Marian back in the picture that could cause her to lead more to the wicked side… And only time will tell how Hook and Emma’s relationship will play out; has he “hooked” her for good? Belle and Rumple – what will the Beauty do when she finds out her true love is still more a beast? I can’t wait to find out all this and so much more!
So – those are the tried and true contenders on my weekly TV watch schedule. I don’t know about you, but it seems like a lot of the shows I love to watch are on Monday night! And of course, the one show I’m interested in adding to the line-up? It comes on Monday nights as well! What is that show you ask? 

Gotham

And lastly – the show I’m undecided about – Gotham. The premise is that it centers on Commissioner Gordon long before he was Gotham’s police commissioner…Bruce Wayne when he was just a child…all the villains from DC comics Batman before they became the master criminals that would run do plague Gotham at every turn. I’m intrigued…but I just can’t decide if I want to devote more time to a TV show. Who am I kidding – I’ll probably end up watching, if only because I’ve loved Ben McKenzie since I was an OC fan many years ago… The DVR has it set to record, so we’ll see.
So – there you have it. These are all the shows I’ll be tuning into this season. What are the shows I let go? The Vampire Diaries and The Originals; after six seasons with Damon, Elena and Stefan I just don’t manage to feel intrigued anymore. I will admit I am still a wee bit interested in The Originals but not enough to tune in on a weekly basis…so, in the words of the one and only Elsa, I “let it go…” 
Are you as excited about the Fall TV season as I am? What shows will you be tuning into? Do we watch any of the same things (and yes Mom, I know we do, ha-ha!) or am I missing out on the show that you can’t miss?
Exactly!

Star Spangled Spectacular

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The Star Spangled Spectacular – a celebration of the bicentennial of the writing of the Star Spangled banner after the Battle of Baltimore; which took place at Fort McHenry… Below, a bit of a history lesson for you, in case you were unaware of the details.

Beginning at 6:00 a.m. on 13 September 1814, British warships under the command of Vice Admiral Alexander Cochrane continuously bombarded Fort McHenry for 25 hours. The American defenders had 18, 24, and 38-pound cannons with a maximum range of 1.5 miles. The British guns had a range of 2 miles, and their rockets had a 1.75-mile range, but neither guns nor rockets were accurate. The British ships were unable to pass Fort McHenry and penetrate Baltimore Harbor because of its defenses, including a chain of 22 sunken ships, and the American cannons. They were, however, able to come close enough at maximum range to fire rockets and mortars at the fort. Due to the poor accuracy of the British weapons at maximum range, and the limited range of the American guns, very little damage was done on either side before the British ceased their attack on the morning of 14 September due to a lack of ammunition. Thus the naval part of the British invasion of Baltimore had been repulsed. Only one British warship, a bomb vessel, received a direct hit from the fort’s return fire, which wounded one crewman. The Americans were under the command of Major George Armistead. They did suffer casualties, amounting to four killed and 24 wounded, including one African-American soldier and a woman who was cut in half by a bomb as she carried supplies to the troops. At one point during the bombardment, a bomb crashed through the fort’s powder magazine. Fortunately for the defenders, either the fuse was extinguished by the rain or the bomb was merely a dud. Francis Scott Key, a Washington lawyer who had come to Baltimore to negotiate the release of Dr. William Beanes, a civilian prisoner of war, witnessed the bombardment from a nearby truce ship. An oversized American flag had been sewn by Mary Pickersgill for $405.90 in anticipation of the British attack on the fort. When Key saw the flag emerge intact in the dawn of September 14, he was so moved that he began that morning to compose the poem “Defence of Fort M’Henry” which would later be renamed “The Star-Spangled Banner” and become the United States’ national anthem. ~ Information courtesy of Wikipedia, because this isn’t a paper, ha-ha!

Some “mates” hanging out on the mast of one of the tall ships.

A statue of Orpheus as part of the memorial at Fort McHenry.

I wasn’t sure I was actually going to be able to go on this little jaunt because the joy of working retail means you have to work weekends on occasion! There were tall ships moored in the Inner Harbor, villages set up with food and entertainment, an air show featuring the Blue Angels and of course, a grand symphony performance with a dazzling fireworks show…and a 70% chance of rain. We packed up on Saturday morning and went anyway; below are some pictures from the day!

My very neat, very free bag that was handed to me when I arrived at Fort McHenry. Cool!

There were re-enactors everywhere; I have to admit I find this kind of thing so cool!

Even the teeniest of them joined in on the re-enacting; so funny!

It started to drizzle rain around 10 in the morning and so since my Mom and I were en route to touring the Fort, we decided to walk a little quicker and get inside the walls of the fort where there might be more shelter – I had my umbrella but someone had decided to leave hers with my Dad and the other things; she was sure she wouldn’t need it. Ha! I’ve never been to Fort McHenry before, so I took plenty of time to wander around (among the crowd of people!) and see things while my Mom hung out under an awning…she’d been before and getting wet didn’t seem like a good idea! I did manage to coax her out once or twice to take some pictures – they couldn’t all be selfies!

Entering the fort…

The view from one of the ramparts…

Looking back at the Fort from outside, perched on one of the ramparts.

Fort McHenry rain selfie – ha-ha!

The Chesapeake Bay!

Just being cheesy with this statue of Francis Scott Key! I was adding my verse to the National Anthem…ha!

Good job with that poem Francis; it’s lovely set to music!

Look guys – I found a flag!

And the cannons go “boom”!

I don’t even know…doesn’t everyone get all posed in front of cannons?

A jail cell buried deep under the reinforcements of the ramparts – so cozy!

Our friends Doug and Jen as well as their two girls, Emily and Amelia joined us around 11:30 and at this point it was raining full out! While they stayed well huddled in a cluster of umbrellas waiting for it to pass, I took Emily back toward the Fort so we could find a bathroom. Once we made use of the facilities, we further explored the Fort with Emily pursuing through a mock-up of the Captains’ quarters, poking her nose into the magazine and ever so hesitantly (with a tight grip on my hand) peeking down the hallway at some jail cells… We met back up with our families at the food tent where we had lunch and then we wandered back toward the bay in the drizzle to see about getting seats for the air show.

Miss Priss & her umbrella…which was about five times her size!

Investigating the Captain’s quarters…

I said “don’t sit on the wet cannon!” & she plopped down with a grin. *sigh*

Hey – what was this thing used for?

She said “oh – take my picture again” Ha-ha! 🙂

Miss Amelia all bundled up in her patriotic hoodie – I love it!

She says “guys – what are we doing, it’s raining!”

The rain was no problem for Amelia; she curled up all cozy & slept for almost two hours! And yes, I know my Under Armour stickers are fierce…the things you do to appease an 8 year old…

Easily the best seat in the house!

The rain has finally quit & it’s time for the air show…& Amelia could care less!

The Star Spangled banner…still waving…

As mentioned above, there was also an air show involved in the spectacular and I know what you’re thinking – they surely didn’t do an air show in the rain?!? And well, they didn’t. Happily it decreased to a light mist around 2:30 and that allowed the two helicopters to do their demos…once they were done, the ceiling (that’s a weather term…I think…) had risen to 900 feet and the F-18 Hornet was able to perform…and once that was done, the ceiling was above 1000 feet and the Blue Angels were able to let it rip! They did have to perform what is called a low show, but it was still pretty awesome and funnily enough, the roar of the airplanes didn’t seem to faze Amelia at all! Granted, deciding she was hungry certainly fazed her…but not the airplanes!

About to cross & break…whoosh!

There are planes flying over us? What planes…I’m asleep.

The diamond formation!

Speeding past us one last time!

Emily with two of the re-enactors!

The ladies of the Fort watching the commotion from the balcony.

It’s time to march out of the Fort…

She said “lets trade sunglasses & take a picture”…okay, sure.

Don’t judge.

After a final walk around the Fort, we scoped out our seats for the concert and fireworks. The menfolk oh so kindly went and fetched some supper for us and then we settled in, mostly waiting to see what was promised to be an epic fireworks show! The concert opened with over an hour of people making speeches – woe is me! I thought Emily was going to go crazy and I completely understood…I’m an adult (I think) and I was about ready to climb the walls by the time the music finally started! Once the music ended, everyone rose to sing the National Anthem…and at the end, the bay came alive with fireworks! They were shooting off in four locations around the bay, almost like some kind of fireworks in the round show. I must admit, they were easily the most impressive fireworks I’ve ever seen…and Amelia slept through them all!

Grinning at her big sister’s goofiness!

So sweet – having a sister is the best.

Hey there – is that a smile for me?

The sky was on fire…even before the fireworks started!

Boom!

Pop!

Bang!

The fireworks spelled U-S-A when the song playing sang out those letters…so cool!

The Bicentennial – 1814-2014 – very impressive!

The Grand Finale!

Walking back to the car through the streets of Baltimore.

A Ferris wheel at the Inner Harbor, all decked out for the occasion!

There you have it – it was certainly an eventful way to spend a Saturday and I’m so thrilled that now that I live in the area, I am able to experience all these kinds of events. Hey, just being an hour and forty-five minutes from Baltimore on a regular Saturday doesn’t stink too bad either!

….Yet Again, this is After the Fact…

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So here we are and it’s Tuesday again and I’m just now posting this. I don’t know where my hesitation has been to get on this blog but I guess writing is something I need to feel and even though these weekly posts are just a small recap of the past week, I don’t want them to be dull and monotone – I don’t want to churn them out just because…

I suppose what I’m saying is maybe sometimes they won’t always be posted on Sunday night or Monday morning…and that’s just fine, right?

No coffee in the house on Monday – thank heavens there is a Starbucks only a mile (if that) from the house!

Monday’s weather was delightfully gloomy…it made me want to nap & nap & nap….

They only have 6 points…so…

My Mom and I have decided to take a stab at Weight Watchers and we started this whole process last Monday…you see, by telling you this I’ve made myself accountable. If I don’t look slimmer the next time you see me, you’ll know I’m not doing what I’m supposed to. *sigh* Of course Weight Watchers is all about the points and I discovered these Mickey Mouse foodles thing-a-ma-bobs at Wal Mart last week and discovered they only had 6 points, so I snapped some up! I took one to work on Monday night and I was happily sorting my cards and minding my own business when my boss walked out of the back holding up my Mouse-shaped snack pack and said “who in the world brought this??” I proudly proclaimed it was mine, which led to much laughter…I guess a 29 year old shouldn’t be carrying around Mickey food? It’s only 6 points, it has a handy packaging and I hate to tell her…but I’ve got a Marvel one for this week – so deal with it!

The product of a drizzly Tuesday…

I love water droplets…

I’m always fascinated by how they just sit, so perfectly perched on leaves, flowers, branches….

Wednesday weirdness – hey there Watson, why did I just catch you licking the wall??

Church cat loves Jesus & would like to be included in the Bible Study…

I’m struggling to remember what I did last week…oh geez. I was off work on Wednesday and Thursday and I know I spent quite a bit of that time being very lazy indeed. I mean, maybe only somewhat lazy. I spent the better part of Wednesday morning at a job interview (fingers crossed) and the better part of Thursday with my nose buried in a book. Nothing wildly thrilling but it certainly passed the time.

Please give me a bite of that string cheese, stop reading & let’s go take a walk.

The whole week really held on to the slightly gloomy feeling…clouds rolled in every day…

The sun setting on the mountains when we took a walk Thursday night!

We spent Saturday in Baltimore at something called the Star Spangled Spectacular and while I included some of those pictures on this post, I took so many that I’ve dedicated a whole post to that. So, enjoy these pictures and look forward with anticipation to the post, ha-ha!

Saturday morning breakfast of champions – pretty sure this isn’t on Weight Watchers…

Fort McHenry in the rain…

Exploring with my sidekick!

Baby snuggles are totally the best – and they keep you toasty when a cool breeze blows!

The Blue Angels performing a low show…

Diamond formation!

Basically the coolest fireworks ever!

Sunday morning spy dog…

Watson got all perked up on Sunday morning because he’d seen something outside that caught his eye. I looked out the window with him, but I couldn’t figure out what he’d seen. I decided to take him on a walk and as we were crossing the yard, Spider-Man came running down the hill in our direction, holding his mask in his hand…ready to pet and play with Watson. It was our neighbor, Parker (and yes, the irony of his name and his costume crack me up) and we visited and I told him his costume was awesome. He told me very matter of factly that it was old and even had a hole under one arm but I assured him it was still cool. He patted Watson one last time, pulled his mask on and went back to saving the neighborhood. Peeking out the window a few minutes later, I saw him walking along, striking poses every few seconds and I told Watson there was no need for alarm…it was only our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man!

Spider-Man on a morning stroll.

Oh good – it would appear Autumn has decided it might stay a bit!

So – that’s all for now and maybe next week I’ll feel like being more writer-ly before Tuesday, ha-ha!

I’m So Behind….

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As the title would suggest, this post is quite late…and that isn’t owing to the fact that my life has suddenly taken a wild and thrilling turn (although it’s more thrilling than it used to be…) but more because I’ve just been being lazy. The weather these past two days has been gray, drizzly and mopey and has inspired me to not be interested in doing much more than reading…reading…and reading some more.

I don’t have too many pictures from the past week, per se…I do have a lot of pictures from Wednesday because my Dad and I went to Newmarket, but otherwise there are very few random shots. I guess I was too busy reading, working and being otherwise involved…ha-ha!

Monday lunch at Panera – a farewell to summer with flip-flop cookies…

A book buying spree…hurtful on the wallet but helpful for this book worm’s heart!

Virginia countryside on our Wednesday drive….

A house that only needs a bit of TLC to be a gloriously renovated masterpiece!

I was off work on Wednesday and so my Dad and I went to Newmarket; a town that is about 45 minutes from where we live, with the intention of going to the Civil War Museum of Virginia. We did do that but I thought we’d drive straight to Newmarket…but we paused in every little town and holler along the way to look in thrift stores, take pictures and visit the Route 11 Chip offices. It was a nice way to spend the day and see all the little places between Point A and Point B.

Meems Bottom Bridge in Mount Jackson, VA

I’m fairly certain they are trying to contact aliens with these things….

The Shenandoah mountains as viewed across the valley in Mount Jackson!

The Route 11 chip haul – they are honestly the best chips I’ve ever eaten. I love them.

So – fun story time! My Dad and I finally made in to Newmarket around 12:30 on Wednesday and decided we’d have lunch at the Mexican spot on Main St. I ordered a usual favorite dish which included a taco…and I asked for it with a soft shell, just meat and cheese inside. The waitress nodded, making notes on her pad and said “cheese?” so I responded with a “yes” and she smiled and off she went. My Dad said “you’re getting a cheese taco, you know that right?” I figured there was no way she would bring me a taco with just cheese…I mean, who does that?? I thought she was just making sure I wanted cheese on my taco…and I did. Well – guess who was right? You guessed it, Jeffrey! She proudly gave me my meal, with a taco stuffed with nothing but cheese and lettuce…which I hadn’t asked for. Oh Lord. We laughed about that for a good five minutes….

Cheese taco anyone?

Civil War monument in Newmarket….

Inside the Civil War Museum of VA!

My Dad and I finally arrived at the Civil War Museum of Virginia around 1:30 and with both the military discount and the handy coupon we’d found, we got our little discounted tickets and began exploring. I think all of this history business is pretty fascinating and I thoroughly enjoyed examining the wall display of all the Civil War bullets…I might have puzzled over it for a good five minutes. I’m not so sure they needed a 45 minute video, but you know…oh well, it was alright. I enjoyed exploring the nearby Busheong Farm; the fields of which were where large portions of the battle of Newmarket took place, except that man…gnats everywhere!

The fields of the Busheong Farm & the farmhouse in the distance…

Exploring the farmhouse…even hanging out in the basement like the Busheong family did to avoid the battle that raged around the house.

I don’t even know how I ended up making these faces in the mirror….I was trying to take a mirror selfie…but yeah…

Just enjoying an afternoon on the farm.

I do love a good Civil War style fence….& yes, I’m sure that isn’t what they’re really called. 

Red currants everywhere….

I told my Dad that he & my Mom could also buy this house & fix it up….

Thrift store fine – 100% free!

I’m trying to teach him to bow his head when we pray…usually I take his paw & he bows his head. This time I took his paw & he rolled onto his back. Not quite buddy…

This precious little redhead is growing up way too fast!

So, as you can see…I basically have pictures from Wednesday and then some random few from the rest of the week. I guess I just didn’t see tons of things I thought were worth taking pictures of? I don’t know…

Friday night dinner at the Blackthorne Inn with Mom – so pretty!

A (huge) storm rolling in on the way to work on Saturday night.

So for now – that’s all there is. I’ll try to do better next week, I promise!