What I was Into in July

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Are you kidding me? July is already over and done with?? This will be my first full year in Virginia and it is passing so fast it makes my head spin – but even as I type that, I know it’s passing so quickly because my life here is so full! All I have to do is look at my calendar to know that. Just this past month I’ve been to movies with friends, spent time in Baltimore and DC, been to two Nationals games, explored the Shenandoah National Park from above and below the mountains and just enjoyed the simplicity of having coffee with friends. 
This pace isn’t likely to slow down anytime soon – there is too much to do, too much to see and way too much life I want to live. But, lest I get ahead of myself…here’s what I was up to and into in July!

Hello July

Books I Read
Written in My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon – The eighth book in the Outlander series; I swear I have been reading this series for a almost a year! I guess that’s what happens when you stop to read other things in between, huh? The (final?) book follows Claire and Jamie as they seek to escape the Revolutionary War and return to their peaceful home on Fraser’s Ridge…but it may not be as easy as they’d hoped. Jamie is grappling with his long lost son William finally knowing the truth about his parentage, Claire and Jenny are rebuilding their rocky relationship and years away, Brianna is making a drastic step through time to reunite herself and her children with Roger. 
Yes Please by Amy Poehler – I do love some funny girls who write books; examples including Tina Fey and Mindy Kaling…whose books I have already read, so naturally Amy was next on the list. I enjoyed this book but I think what I really loved more than anything was Amy’s outlook on life. It seems in all situations, Amy manages to find the good or at the very least find something to laugh about. I guess that is one of the perks of having such an incredible sense of humor!
Property by Valerie Martin – August Book Club Pick! Also a really interesting read! I will preface my “review” by saying I still have a bit to go to be finished…but so far… The book really skews the idea of who was property in the Southern states during the 1800’s. The book centers on the relationship between Manon, the wife of a sugar cane farmer and Manon’s house slave, Sarah…who also happens to be the mistress of that same sugar cane farmer. While the obvious “property” in the book are the unfortunate slaves, a strong case is also made for Manon – as a woman in the 1800’s, she has few rights of her own and is at the beck and call of her husband.

Books in the Queue
I can’t even believe I’m writing this…but I have no books in the queue! I have tons of books that are waiting to be read, but I don’t have a particular one that I’m just waiting anxiously to start reading, so it’s anyone’s guess what I’ll crack open next!

Can’t Miss Television
Poldark – This show moves so quickly! When I last posted, only two episodes had aired but I had my feelings about how certain things might play out…and some of those feelings have been confirmed! Ross did fall for Demelza; late in the third episode (yes – it moves that fast) he married her, thereby lifting her from her poverty stricken state as a servant and turning her into a Lady. Although actually grooming her ladylike behavior took a little bit more time and some help from cousin Verity. Ross’ mine is flourishing, his relationship with Demelza continues to blossom and their sweet baby Julia is just delightful…but one has to wonder with his cousin Francis facing hardships at every turn, how long will Ross be able to stay afloat? Only two episodes left until this first season wraps up!
Julia is the best!
Nationals Baseball – Oh yes, MASN (Maximum Access Sports Network) has become a very important channel in my house! I celebrated July 4th by having a “picnic” in the living room floor and watching the Nationals beat the Giants; Harper homer’d with a star spangled bat! The Friday before we went to Baltimore, I watched the Nationals lose in literally the last at bat…one strike away from a win and a homer stole the show. I knew we needed to win on Saturday night to have a chance at a Series win. They won on Saturday…and again on Sunday! I spent Monday the 20th watching us smoke the Mets 7-2 with some excellent batting and absolutely incredible catches…and then watched on the 21st as the Mets turned it around and beat the Nationals 7-2…but the Nationals took the series! Only one more game to end July…the start of another series with the Mets…and with 12 losses and 11 wins in this month, it would be nice to end July with a Curly W!
Harper & Werth teach Scherzer a whole new meaning for “getting sauced”
Movies I Watched
Magic Mike XXL – Ha! This movie is about exactly what you think it’s about! The trailer pretty much lays the plot out perfectly and it doesn’t deviate from it too much. A group of guys (who also happen to be strippers) make one last road trip to a stripper convention in Myrtle Beach and of course, all kinds of craziness ensues on the way! I don’t suppose there is really much more to the plot than that, ha-ha…but it was so much fun to see it with some girlfriends and just have a good time!
Yes indeed…I saw this…
Inside Out – This was one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time…and it made me have all the feels! The story follows the emotions inside Riley’s head: Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust and Anger; each emotion generating and tinging the memories that Riley makes on a day to day basis, those memories influencing who she is as a person. When Sadness “damages” a core memory and they are lost, Joy and Sadness must go on a journey to retrieve the core memories and set Riley to rights…while Fear, Disgust and Anger run the show. Just when you think Disney can’t come up with something else absolutely amazing, they do! If you haven’t taken the time to go see this, get on it!
The little voices inside your head….
Music I Listened To
I have mostly been listening to a mix of songs that are played at Nationals baseball games…which, I know…seriously? They are songs played to pump up the players/crowd and a lot of the listening I’ve been doing has been while I walk. So, I need pumping up! A few favorites include…

Coming for You – the Offspring
Shut Up & Dance – Walk the Moon
Homegrown – Zax Brown Band
Demons – Imagine Dragons

All pretty good songs to pound the pavement to! Besides that, it’s been a lot of sports radio (who am I, right?) although they are starting to talk a LOT of Redskins football since training camp has started and the good Lord knows I could care less about the Washington Redskins. Gross.

Now…if they want to talk New Orleans Saints football, I could be down with that. 😉

Yummy in my Tummy
The Blackberry Delight Festival – Oh, you know…basically everything I ate that day was pretty amazing. So, if I could just have someone get that recipe for Blackberry Pulled Pork BBQ, Blackberry Lemonade and especially the Blackberry Ice Cream…yeah, that would be excellent.

I’ll take this meal on repeat.

Blue Wing Frog – A little hole in the wall cafe in Front Royal that has some seriously delicious food! It also has a giant picnic table in the middle of the cafe…so, that gives it cool points immediately. I’d go back here anytime!

PaveMint – Another hole in the wall joint in Front Royal; I’ve really learned so much about my town and food this month! Everything is farm to table and while so far I’ve only had the Dill Devils and the Polenta fries, I saw other people’s plates and my mouth is already watering just thinking about returning!

What I’m Looking Forward To
Tea at Rosemont – I have become a tea drinker in the last year and while my favorite place to frequent for tea (Ya’ll, I am so fancy….NOT) is the Horse and Coaches Tea Room, I’m looking forward to having tea at Rosemont. I toured Rosemont at Christmas and it was such a gorgeous house; I even tried to shut myself in the wine fridge, ha-ha! I’m sure tea at Rosemont will be absolutely delightful! Now – hold your pinky out as you say that!

This is Rosemont – can’t wait for tea!

Nationals Baseball – Did you have any doubt this would be on the list? Just a heads up – baseball season goes into at least early October…and I’m hoping we will stretch it into the postseason this year. Go Nationals! We are headed to a Friday night game in early August; the Nationals will be up against the Colorado Rockies and when the game ends, there will be fireworks! A Nationals game, at Nationals Park…with fireworks? What’s not to love? I mean – I’d love a Nationals game with or without fireworks, but I’m sure you’ve guessed that already!

I’m guessing that ball is 100% gone…

Twilight Polo – I will confess that I know next to nothing about polo…except that it’s played on horseback, they try to score “goals” and I’d fall off that horse and kill myself if I even tried. I have been perusing pictures and I feel like I need to find myself a frilly hat and gingham dress to wear to this thing… And, I think a polo match is what Richard Gere and Julia Roberts attended in Pretty Woman and if so, this will no doubt be epic!

Look out – there are…balls a flying? I don’t know…

So – there you have it! Another month come and gone and already so much to look forward to in August!

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