Monday, December 6, 2010

Monday Ramble

Gregg was on one of his business trips in Seattle last week but no more traveling for a while.

The two nice gentlemen - father and son - came up from Richmond and finished off our family room. I am so happy with it as they did an excellent job and their skill is evident. I can highly recommend them if you live in the general area. They don't mind traveling a bit. We are two hours away. I have asked them if they could come back in the new year to do more painting and they said yes. Very happy about that and as I don't want to do it all at once, they are readily agreeable to do a bit at a time. I haven't put everything back together again yet and I can't wait to start putting prints back up on the walls, but I did put a couple of Christmas decorations up. The Santa print over the mantel, and a snowman. It's a start and I will post other photos when I have the Christmas tree done.

The other son, the one who stained the new patio door, is going to do some carpentry - trellis work around the bottom of the deck out back and I have it in mind to get some built-in bookcases for the family room, to make it into a mini library. We have so many books around here I am getting tired of seeing them stacked on the floor. We have bookcases in most every room of the house and they are all overflowing. It's this or start getting rid of those precious books, and I know Gregg may not want to do that as there is a life-time of business books that he reads over and over again and I have my favorite reads also. Built-in book cases will give us a bit more of a breathing space. When they get full, well we'll just have to cross that bridge when we come to it.

Over the week I saw various friends and I also saw our son, which was an unexpected treat. One morning I was over at the post office and on my way to Best Buy. I felt like treating myself to a movie and called Brad intending to leave a message for him while he was at work. When he answered I was happily surprised.

I told him where I was going and asked for a movie recommendation. He is my expert on what is out there. He said he was off work that day and would I like to go out to lunch. I had no plans and found myself heading over to his apartment, whereupon I gave him the keys to my car while I jumped in the passenger seat. He knows that area better than I do and we went off to Amphora's in Herndon. We decided after all that neither of us was all that hungry as we had eaten less than two hours before, and for a change we both ordered dessert, cheese blintzes along with a cup of coffee. It has been years since the blintzes and I have seen each other. The cheese blintzes at Amphora's were divine! And I can't believe I didn't take any photos of this get-together but I was too busy talking and having such a good time that I forgot.

A nostalgic ramble, when Gregg and I first got married and lived in Alexandria, we used to go to the Marriott Hotel just across the river from Washington DC. Their dining room was on the top floor with amazing views of the Potomac River and the city beyond. The restaurant had a wonderful Sunday Brunch and my absolute favorite there was the Blueberry Cheese Blintzes. Afterwards we would drive across one of the bridges from Virginia into Washington DC, and walk around the city for a few hours. I still love to walk around the city even after all these years.

Back to the present, instead of heading to Best Buy, Brad and I went to Target instead. I am trying to think what movies I bought but am drawing a blank. I brought them home and tucked them away but haven't had the chance to watch them yet. Anyhow, I always have a great time with son and hopefully next time daughter-in-law will be there too. I thoroughly enjoy their company but know that their time is limited and they, like many, work very hard and long hours so we must make hay while the sun shines.

Now the weather is getting colder Gregg and I have not been venturing far on the weekends. We had an idea that we might go into Washington DC, but as he is working there for the next two weeks and driving back and forth each day, he wasn't as enthusiastic about the idea and as I kept my eye on the temperature and kept reaching for a hot cup of tea, neither was I. Instead we pottered or ran errands; went to the bank, the dry-cleaners, the grocery. Sunday was much the same with breakfast at our favorite bagel place, and after a trip to Starbucks. I deviated from their cafe latte and tried one of their special drinks, something that said 'caramel' and 'brulee', and how could I resist the polar bear sugar cookie all decked out in his bright red scarf? Those marketers know who they are talking to. Gregg tried some of it and we both agreed, it was a very good cookie.

The other exciting thing we did was drive through the car-wash - woo-hoo! This was a photo I took of the psychedelic soap suds on the sun roof. We were surprised how quiet the car-wash was, especially as it was the weekend. With all the rain we've been having, our car was definitely in need. However, the garage had put in a new car-wash. Those brushes that envelope you were gone and it seemed like it was only spray and forced air, no brushes to slap you up and down and all over, and they might as well have had a bunch of little fairies blowing fairy fluff all over, ever so lightly to remove the heavy dirt. The car still had the remnants of those disgusting, dirty splotches, and I think we, like many others probably, will be going to the car-wash up the road next time. No wonder the place was quiet. Those fairies and their fairy fluff need to go, bring back the trolls with their heavy brooms and brushes that slap you up and down and all over.

This afternoon around one, the phone went and it was Gregg saying his meeting had finished early and he was heading on home. He had two conference calls but decided to take them here instead of the office. He has had one call and is now on his laptop on the sofa. For a few moments we are book-ends. Early this morning I made a big batch of vegetable soup, and for Gregg I have just taken cornbread out of the oven.

I am also watching the squirrels run around out back, and the parade of feathered friends who were joined by Red-bellied Woodpecker today. I didn't get a photo of him but this Dark-eyed Junco posed very nicely, in between giving the squirrel a what-for.

I have switched to Yorkshire Tea. My friends recommended the brand and they were right. It makes a delicious cup of tea. I greeted Gregg with one when he walked through the door feeling a bit chilled, and he says it reminds him of us all sitting around chatting in my mom and dad's house in Devon, what a nice memory that is.

I told the White-breasted Nuthatch that he didn't have to steal the peanuts, that I'm sure the squirrel was happy to share and besides, there would be a strange woman tossing out a basket full of them before the sun came up in the morning, whoever that might be.


  1. What a nice ramble, Denise! The painters did a great job. Very neat and clean. You were brave to have it done during winter with the windows closed. The fumes from the paint bother me.

  2. I also like to hear you ramble on. It is like visiting you and getting caught up on what you have been doing. The father and son did a good job on your family room.

  3. I always enjoy reading your 'ramble' posts each Monday, Denise... I know you will be glad to have Gregg at home for awhile.... What a nice Christmas for you both.

    Neat that you got to meet up with your son for lunch and shopping... I miss my sons so much --and just don't get to see them often.

    Have a wonderful week--and keep feeding those sweet little birds.

  4. Now all your holes are patched over it may be rough to put new holes in it.The blintzes sound real good, I haven't made them for a few months.I eat them for a main dish even.

  5. I know what a pleasant surprise it is to unexpectedly get to spend time with one's son!
    You sound very cozy with your tea and soup and birdies out the window. I hear the cold is coming your way.

  6. Denise, doesn't it feel great to have a mini makeover, especially before the holidays. (I'm still waiting) LOL the pictures as well.

  7. I too enjoyed your ramble and your room is lovely. I don't believe I tried blintzes when I was in the US; sounds as if I missed something. Yorkshire Tea is our favourite - we like the taste and the strength.

  8. Really wonderful Denise, thanks so much for sharing!
    I think your place is very charming and cozy!

  9. Your room looks all fresh and airy after its coat of paint.
    How nice for you to be able to snatch some time with your busy son. (I know the feeling). I'd be curling up with a book in that cold weather.

  10. What a lovely comfortable ramble. I always enjoy your posts so much and think you sound a very happy and contented woman :-)

  11. I love the smell of the soap in the car wash.

    Your family room looks lovely.

    I enjoyed reading about what is going on in your world.


  12. It was lovely to share some time with you Denise, made me feel relaxed and comfortable. Good to know you are having some bookshelves built - we have had to dispose of a lot of books since we downsized but knew it would be "on the cards" at some point. A x

  13. Loved this rambling post. You hit on almost everything. Very nice. We've been having lots of squirrels. right now the hawk has come back looking for a late afternoon tidbit. So the birds are all in hiding. We need lost of painting done. Our one daughter and her partner did the office, which is large enough to move things to the center. Now the living room and bedrooms aren't that large, so will wait for Spring time and perhaps hire it done.

  14. Hi Denise, what a beauty the critters are, also love your lounge and the decor.

    Yippee I'm back in the land of Blggers, my friend.

  15. looks great, and great pictorial

  16. I always enjoy reading your Monday rambles. My post, last night, I wrote that I had a couple visitors. I thought the one visitor was a sparrow. After seeing your junco, I believe our first visitor was a junco not a sparrow.

  17. I'm so glad you were able to spend some quality time with your son. I love the photos with the captions. My brother showed me how to do them, buuut... of course, I forgot how. Now I'll have to ask him all over again.