Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Travel With Me Tuesday: We Settle Into Harrogate

Well after the slog up the hill to our flat, I wasn't sure I could make the last block or two up the alleyway/street and the steps up the back entrance. Naturally, the # didn't seem very obvious to either of us, so I just stood, considering that I might just croak there and then. But finally Dick found the right building, found the key in the lockbox and in we went.  A lovely view out towards the Valley Gardens. It was a calm and peaceful feeling flat.

And as night settled in the sky was all pinky purple. I've forgotten what time the sun set then, but we were quite a bit more north than we are home in Maryland. The days in England were short and the nights were long.

I turned the little Christmas tree on since it probably would be our only one in 2016.

Soon, it was time for us to put our coats on and head back down Cold Bath Road to dinner with my former neighbor in Knaresborough. It had been 30 years since we'd seen each other and marriages had ended, new marriages had happened, children were grown themselves and there was a large flock of grandchildren from our many combined children. Lots to catch up on AND eat. Thank you Ruth and John for taking the time - the night before YOUR trip - to meet up with us.

But eventually all things end and it had been a long long day for us and the final packing for them. We went our separate ways out into the night hoping it won't be another 30 years!

Monday, January 30, 2017

AAM Monday : Project Life 2017 Week 3

Not the best week in my life but what is, is. Some good breakfasts and I finally got the get up and go to hang the winter shower curtain. It always seems like a bigger job than it really is. Dick went on retreat on the weekend so he missed the hoopla of the inauguration. I did finally decide to watch it as it's history. However, it made me think of the Clinton inauguration and the difference in offerings.  

How we resist is what is on my mind now.

Monday, January 23, 2017

AAM Monday: Books, Books, Books

Most years I have made my goal but in 2015 I set the goal for 125. I was one book short. Now I set the goal for 100 and usually come close to 125 as I did in the years prior to 2015. Don't you just love Goodreads for the tracking?

Books...such good reading!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Five on Friday: January 20 2017

1. Well for starters I am not in Washington and will do whatever I can to avoid any mention of the inaguration of that person. God help the United States of America and her people.

2. Somehow, like all things on the internet, there seems to be a way you can easily go off down a rabbit hole and be somewhere you never intended to be. I ended up on this site and found the makeup demo pretty darn good. Now she is more than 20 years younger than I am and has a face with terrific bones but still...I found it worth watching.

3. When my 1st husband and I divorced, I chose to have a percentage of his pension rather than alimony. I knew I could work and support myself but US Senate salaries did not pay me enough to pay my mortgage and contribute to my own pension. Today, the difference between my $13 drop in SocSec (Medicare increase) and the $6.77 increase in my portion of his pension is a loss of $6.23 a month. $74.76 a year

4. This is a weekend of some movie watching I think. Lately, I watched  Freeheld and Burnt. Both good in different ways. I really loved the shots of London in Burnt!


5. Books? I just finished Masie Dobbs (book 1) and The Tulip Eaters. The first was a mystery set in post WWI London. The second was a more or less current day historical fiction/mystery set in the 1980s Houston and Amsterdam with a lot about the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands in WWII.  I'm definitely going to try and track down some more of the Maisie Hobbs series.

and that's all for this Friday. Hope you have a great weekend, do something fun or just take a break from your day to day life. See you on Monday!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

TBT: We're All Doubtful About Clowns

Wy back in 2002, this little pumpkin was not so sure about the clown hired for her birthday party. It was only her 3rd birthday and it was a party with a clown, lots of people and two cakes. As the years went by, birthdays became simpler as the tend to do.

Clowns etc really sounds like a good idea when you want to make your little girl have the best party ever but some things just have to be learned. I look back on photos of my own first birthday and even in war time (WWII) it was over the top!  I wonder if birthday clowns are still hired. Only birthday girl's cousin seems to enjoy him.  Her brother, with the camo face paint, also looks dubious.

Then again, when birthday girl's father has his 3rd or 4th birthday, one of the chunky 4 year old neighborhood girls almost tipped the swing set over with her energetic swinging. Fortunately, we got her off the swing but not happily. Childhood birthday parties...all part of the parenting experience.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Travel With Me Tuesday: Hello and Goodbye London - Hello Harrogate

Waking up in London is always nice. Then there's airplane brekkie. It was pretty good though we both passed on the granola bar. Dry as sand but then granola often is.


I wish I had kept the little box but for some foolish reason I trashed it. Silly me. At least I have the photo!

Once we had our bags and whisked though passport and customs, we each got more money though we had £70 which was a good start. An exhale and a sit down for some coffee. There he is going back for a spoon or napkin or sweetener. Giraffe coffee was good enough for me but not him. Nothing new about that as it's rarely strong enough for 'the man'.

After a train ride INTO London, we found our train at Kings Cross up to Leeds. Getting from Heathrow to Harrogate involved a few more changes than it had 'back in the day.' London to Leeds was done in sunny weather which was nice as it had been a long time since I'd seen the countryside or citywide as it is below.

He read and I looked out the window on my side of the car. I was also facing the correct way. I really don't like looking backwards. Do you?

Once in Leeds we changed to a train to Harrogate.

Now Headingly might not mean much to you unless you're a cricket fan. My 2nd son was born in Yorkshire so he is the only one in the family who 'could' qualify to play for Yorkshire and if your family are cricket fanatics...er fans...then that is a Big Deal. We're not.

Finally we arrived in Harrogate and after dragging our suitcases up a couple of stairs from the actual train platform we made it to flat ground. Yay! Then it was  off to our AirBnB.  Funny the things that memory erases...

We walked through town from the station across a bit of the Stray and reached Cold Bath Road. When I used to walk up and down Cold Bath in the summer of 1968, I was considerably younger. Uh, almost 50 years younger. I had no recollection of the hill it was!! With the trouble I was having breathing and coughing, let's just say the climb was a challenge. We had to stop a couple of times for me to catch my breath and finally we saw a coffee shop and blessedly were able to have cappuccinos and a sit down. I was seriously worried about my shortness of breath but it plagued me the entire trip. Fortunately, as long as I stopped when I could I could get it back.

Yes, here we were in northern England having coffees not tea. Let me tell you they were a blessing. We still had a couple of blocks to climb and then cut across to the Valley Gardens to find our home for three days.

Onward and upward...groan.

Monday, January 16, 2017

AAM Monday: Project Life 2017 Week 1

It feels good to have another year started. Ok, just one week done so far but that's how it is. One week at a time.  I was going to do week 2 yesterday but instead I had half a day in pajamas and caught up on a week's newspapers. It's all good!

Below is one image that didn't make it onto the pages but tickled me a lot. I waited quite a while for this to update and show the daily weather but I just had to close it and add Annapolis again. That black cloud was ominous!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Five On Friday: January 13, 2017

1. My son is moving from the West Coast to the East and that means I ought to go visit him soon so I can eat at Zait and Zaatar in Anaheim. There is nothing quite like California food and even better is California Arab food. I saw this place on Instagram.

2. I'm back to doing a load of laundry a day. With just one person in the house I was back to about once in three days or so and that included sheets and towels from when there were two of us.  I've had my washer and dryer for over 15 years and they are still going strong. ASCO stackables.

3. Over the years I've done volunteer work at the local detention center. I stopped when I had my knee replaced but have signed on again. I went for a new orientation and badging Tuesday night and hope there is a job for me. It turns out that we in the county are good volunteers. There are more badged volunteers than inmates!

4. Doing the daily challenge at The Lilypad's MOC (Month of Challenges) has been a lot of fun. Plus you can receive a $20. gift certificate if you complete them all. This has been one of my favorites. It was to make an ATC (Artist Trading Card 2x3in). I haven't done ATCs for quite a while and did not enjoy them when I was doing them with paper and glue. I thought I would but it just didn't turn out that way. I am so much happier with digital!

5.I have a couple of things I wanted to get done before himself gets back from Florida. I found that my energy level was not as high as I had thought or hoped. Oh well, that's how it goes and eventually it all gets done...or really wasn't that important after all. So says I.

Have a great weekend and I hope to see you here again next week!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Travel With Me Tuesday: We Leave for England

Much of a vacation is the to-ing and fro-ing. I usually consider this the worst part but sometimes if I take my time and observe it can be pretty damn good. There's what I call the final cut. Unfortunately, I was distracted at the last minute and neglected to pack a fleece or down sleeveless vest. Big Mistake.

Off to BWI for a BA flight. People always say..Is it a direct flight? Now that is good because direct means you don't change planes. But what I want to know is it a NON_STOP flight??? I get on here and get off there, wherever my there destination is. Well BA's non-stop BWI-LHR is as good as it gets for where we live. I'll take it!

This end of the terminal is clean and rarely crowded. Perfect.

A leisurely walk and despite the attractiveness of the child play area, it was only for adults WITH a child. I moved on. Then came the wait.  The staff called many many peoples' names asking that they come up to the counter. I watched. They didn't come and it became almost like a game.  Will they check in? will they make the flight?

We were told it was a sold out flight but once on board we found there were empty seats. Apparently some people just didn't make it.

This seemed to be a weird configuration and we wondered if we'd have this peepy hole for the full flight. No we didn't but I missed seeing that empty space get filled. Magic I presume!

Time to go to sleep and wake up in London! Thank you Ambien.

Monday, January 9, 2017

AAM Monday: I Got It!

Last week I  made this layout for a challenge.

Well, I'm no longer in London so I had to hope for snow in Maryland. Not a blizzard but just enough snow to make it white on the ground and cold, cold, cold.

Sunday I visited a friend who lives out in 'the country' or at least what we 'city folk' call a lot of Davidsonville.  We both had had SNOW!   The winds were strong on the fields so it doesn't look like much in this photo but it was beautiful and it was cold. Still is. Right now it is 16°.  For three or so days, I'm ok, then I'm happy for it to get back to the high 30s and 40s. I'm a fair weather snow person!

But this really makes me happy and yes, that is a water pump below the tree. I bet that water is wonderful in the summer. Cold and fresh.

Friday, January 6, 2017

FIVE on Friday: January 6, 2017

1.Well the snow arrived! In our backyard, which doesn't get the sun til much later in the day if at all, the snow covers the deck and parts of the grass. Out front, it's just a sprinkling on the bushes. Usually, the snow doesn't stick to the brick driveway or walk until it's heavier. That's good because it makes walking easier.

2. I did a massive amount of grocery shopping yesterday when himself told me snow was predicted for today. I got to the store(s) round noon and they were well stocked and pretty empty. Actually by the time I got to Trader Jo's I think the word was out but it still wasn't bad. Now today and tomorrow, I'll think of things I wish I had bought. But I have to be up next to Costco next week so that may solve my 'time to get the big jugs of detergent and softener'. That's about a twice a year purchase for me.

3. Construction work stopped yesterday in our cellar. We had it waterproofed...god willing!...and the jackhammers half the day were a challenge. Fortunately, I was two floors up and put some meditation music on. There is still some final work to be done but not this week. I asked for a week off and that will also let the concrete set even more.

4. Today was another batch of steel cut oats. This time I made them with water and I don't think I like them that much that way. Normally, it's pure milk but next time I'll go with half water and half milk. What do you use?

5. Since we got DirectTV about two years ago, I have enjoyed recording various movies to watch later. Last March...yes, what can I say???...I recorded San Andreas.  I had been sooo anxious to watch it but once I had it, it never seemed the right time. kwim?  well I watched it last night with a good mug of decaf mocha. Slept like a baby but then I don't live on the left coast, do I!

Have a great weekend, snow or summer depending on your base. See you back here Monday!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

TBT: That Winter of 1966

As we hear ifs and maybes about upcoming snow, I'm looking at images of a snowfall back in 1966. My husband and I drove up from our new home in San Angelo TX to the Washington DC suburbs that had been our childhood homes.  It was a Christmas time visit that only the young would attempt. On the day shown in these photos we decided to drive to the new town of Reston. Prior to the Beltway opening in 1964, this would have been a long and tedious drive. However, in 1966 the drive was quick and enjoyable. Try to say that today!

My then husband surveys the surroundings. I don't think he was as impressed by Reston as I was but then I had a friend who worked for the Rouse company, another big developer. New towns had caught my interest and gave me options to the dreaded suburbs of my childhood.

Our good friend Robert drove us in his ancient...Volvo? Saab?

I was pretty sure I was pregnant at this time, having had one miscarriage already. We wanted a baby born while my husband was still in the Air Force so the baby would be 'free'.  Driving back to Texas, I was sure as I had my first waves of serious nausea which was a shock to both of us.  So many things you don't know when it's your first child til you experience them. Morning sickness was only a phrase til my body explained it to me!

Whether we get snow or not this weekend, I know for sure I won't be driving to Reston, though a trip to the Leesburg outlets could be tempting...

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

I've been reading! 2016 Goals Met

Once again, I met my goal on Good Reads. This app has really been helpful for me to track books I want to read and check on books that are a bit iffy. I also have found more than once that a book that sounds good to me, sounds good because I read it already! Mostly if I've read something more than five years ago, I will not really remember it unless it was OUTSTANDING or a life changing book. So just g
alloping old age I'll say. But it does show my taste is pretty consistent.

You may note that 2015 is not up there. Sadly, I got a bit cocky about the number and made my goal 125. One short which is not too bad but Good Reads does not give credit for 'almost'. I've now learned to stick to 100 which I can normally surpass.  Pride goeth before the fall!

Monday, January 2, 2017

AAM Monday; A Slow Start to a New Year

Many years, I take the time in December to clear out my computer, make a good dent in the things in my studio so I feel I have free and open space, get a handle on setting up folders for my photographs and digital layouts etc etc  2016? Not much of that done at all. There was the vacation and there was the feeling really poorly much of the time including the two days in the hospital after fainting. I've felt a lot like this falling in garage near my library. Not enough to hold myself up.

I don't like this feeling of lingering clutter and baggage from the prior year. In reality it's only a day or two "late' but it's an emotional feeling rather than one based in total reality. What I've decided to do is take some time each day to do an hour or two of that kind of work. I haven't decided if I want to make it a specific time or keep it on an ad hoc basis. I think, for me, it's better if there's a scheduled time because that feels like more of a commitment. Keep it flexible enough so that I don't feel it's a burden but scheduled so I know it's something I choose to do. I may even break the whole project down into various categories. We'll see.

I also know that I want to get back to taking daily walks.

January I've signed up to do the Month of Challenges at The Lilypad. I've enjoyed doing the 6 or 7 challenges each month in 2016 so a challenge a day is not so bad, unless I really don't like the subject of the challenge or the technique.

A friend just asked to follow me on Instagram and I see that she has really been diligent about batch making healthy lunches. There's no reason I can't do that too this year!

And it's orange time! We have navels and clementines but I hope to get some Cara Cara and blood oranges later this week or next. And on that sunny note, it's a wrap!

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