Memories Made and Moments Documented…

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There are SIX days until Christmas – I am; for the most part, done with all my shopping. The final orders have been delivered and the only thing left to do is get a few more stocking stuffers – and I need my partner in crime to purchase those with me – and she’ll be here on Thursday afternoon!

I’d love to say that the last six days to Christmas are all a downhill slide of watching Christmas movies, baking wonderful Christmas goodies and all in all just enjoying family and being a bum – but alas there is still work to do and that is why it’s Tuesday afternoon and I’m just now getting around to posting…


Sickness settling in on the puppy…

Last week was much more easy going than the week previous but the one thing that was not easy – my pup woke up on Thursday morning with a hacking, honking cough that I first thought was a bad case of throwing up…but too soon realized; through talking with a family friend that worked at Watson’s vet, that my pup had contracted kennel cough… *sigh*

I took a brief break from panicking about my dog’s health – sort of – to go out to eat to celebrate my Mom’s birthday on Thursday night. We ate at one of our favorite places, Sweet Nola’s – it has some of the very best Cajun food I’ve ever eaten – and I’ve spent plenty of time in New Orleans! The owners of the restaurant are from the New Orleans area and they definitely know their stuff when it comes to delicious food!


Delicious fried okra & fried green tomatoes to start…a flight of red beans & rice, white beans & rice & creole tomato bisque & banana pudding to finish!

After stuffing myself with delicious Cajun food on Thursday night and enduring a long day of work on Friday…I headed from the office straight over to The Alamo to catch a Friday night showing of Star Wars: The Last Jedi with my friend Jennie and her son Jimmy. I thought the movie was more humorous than some of the Star Wars films that came before while still staying true to the original feelings of the films…I really liked it but my friend Jennie was not a fan. Oh well – you can’t ever please everyone, right?


The Grand Master – so delicious! 

Saturday morning was started off with some house cleaning and coffee sipping before I got myself ready for the day and then took my pup off to the vet to get checked out and get some antibiotics. My sweet puppy was like a little leper – kennel cough is very contagious and so we had to wait in the car until it was time for our appointment, then go right into the exam room, right back out and Watson waited in the car once more while I got his medicine. My wallet was $105 lighter when all was said and done – but at least my dog seems to be feeling better after a few days of antibiotics and cough tabs.


Waiting forlornly in the car on Saturday morning…

Saturday afternoon was a whirlwind…which was both good and…not so good. As soon as Watson and I arrived home from the vet, I jumped into the car with my parents to cruise around the countryside and take in two homes decorated for the holidays. My cheerios and two cups of coffee had long since left me but my Dad’s dogged determination to see both houses and get back home by 4:15 ahead of our evening with family friends who were set to arrive at 4:30 meant that lunch was a meal that I never partook on Saturday.

The first house we stopped in to see was Claymont Court in Charlestown, West Virginia – the largest home in the state of West Virginia; built in 1840. The house is currently owned by a non-profit and functions as a retreat center…something that was revealed as we wandered from room to room in the home.

Each of the many bedrooms in the second floor of the home contained four or five small twin beds with maroon wool coverlets that were extremely perplexing…until we asked and were told that the house serves as a retreat location and the small beds allow for many people to stay in one room. The house is gorgeous…but having said that…it also needs a LOT of work done – the non-profit is slowly working to update the house but with little money coming in – there is still much to be done.


The chandelier in the dining room – loved it.

The house is large – so very large – and has the potential to be gorgeous. It definitely needs a little more love and TLC but perhaps in time, it can be a really grand relic of a time long past.

I also snapped a few photos of the frozen pond and landscape as we cruised out of the driveway and onto the road to head away from West Virginia and back into Northern Virginia for our next destination…

We took back roads through the countryside from Claymont Court in West Virginia to Oatlands Plantation in Virginia. Oatlands Plantation was built in 1798, is a National Historic Trust site and is on the Virginia National Register of Historic Places…so to say it’s more well kept than Claymont Court…well that’s an understatement.


Oatlands Plantation

The house was decked out for Christmas and while the tours are normally guided, during the Christmas season the tours were walk through and done at your own pace – which is what I prefer! We did encounter an elderly docent who seemed determined to follow each and every guest through the house and give a guided tour…regardless of the fact the she wasn’t supposed to be doing that, ha-ha!

You weren’t actually supposed to take pictures during the tour…but I can be rather sneaky when I want to. Judge if you must but I had my flash turned off, so…snap, snap, snap I went! Especially when I saw the Christmas tree made of books in the library – come on!

Oatlands was certainly my favorite of the two – how could it not be – it’s absolutely gorgeous and was decorated so beautifully!

Of course – I had to take a couple selfies here and there with the house. If you don’t take a selfie, can you really say you’ve lived? Double selfie shot below…because why not?

Saturday evening – we made it home by 4:10 – our life long (my life at least) friends the Manleys joined us for dinner at Regions 117. We caught up and then went back to the house; the “adults” played card games and Rachel and I (adults in our own right at thirty-three) watched a movie and caught up. I; of course, took pictures of some of the delicious food that was had at dinner – because if there’s one thing I love, it’s a good food picture!


A giant Christmas tree…to die for cheese bread…tagliatelle with sun dried tomato alfredo!

Sunday morning involved the all important coffee sipping followed by trying out a new church – which unfortunately won’t be making my list of churches to make a repeat visit. *sigh* We met up with our “friend family” for lunch at Mission BBQ and one of my favorite little people, recently woken up from a nap…was none too pleased to smile for a picture…. the arrival of some macaroni and cheese did wonders for her mood though!

We reconvened at our house to exchange gifts and have dessert – much tossing of wrapping paper and hilarity ensued; especially when Jimmy broke out his new Twister and I quickly realized that there were muscles I hadn’t used in a while that were suddenly getting stretched out… I’ve still got it…sort of…

Also – babies in boxes are pretty adorable – aren’t they?

I had a photo session with my two favorite little people – Amelia and Evelyn – Amelia (the redhead) can’t seem to smile for all the faces she’s making and Evelyn (the baby) can’t seem to smile because she’s always mean muggin! What a mess they both are!

I rounded out my weekend with some exercise, munching on some leftovers for supper and finishing the second season of The Crown. I also snuggled my sick puppy and made sure he was good and doped up on his medication every twelve hours!

I can’t believe there are just six days until Christmas – I can’t believe that I’ve just blogged about some tried and true Christmas traditions that have been established here in Virginia; I can’t believe the 2017 version of the events has been documented and put in the books! Time flies y’all – and now this past weekend is filled with memories to cherish and plans to make for the next year!


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