Monday, June 25, 2012


Life tends to throw all kinds of things our way, so best to count our blessings and enjoy each day to the fullest.  Gregg and I try to do just that.  It doesn't take much to keep us happy and we enjoy each other's company no matter what we do and just as much, even more, as we did when we got married almost 37 years ago.

Since I last wrote a ramble we have seen son and daughter-in-law quite a bit, and a couple of days ago had breakfast with son before he went to work.  We love them dearly of course, we love their humor and the way they make us laugh out loud, and yes we're probably very prejudiced but they are two of the nicest people and a whole lot of fun to be around.   

When we were at the restaurant an interesting sight greeted us as we rolled into the parking lot.  There was even a stetson on the dashboard.  Not something you see every day.  In fact, I don't think I have ever seen a set of horns decorating a vehicle before, maybe in a movie once, and wondered how can that be legal?   I would think they have to take those things off to pass the annual inspection.  Son took this photo with his camera.  It had a Virginia license plate.  I half expected to see someone come out of the restaurant with six-guns on his hip.  To protect their privacy I have changed the licence plate.

We also had two nice long chats with my niece and her Dad who live in Germany. In fact my niece grew up in Germany and is bilingual, lucky girl. My sister always used to say we were very alike and I have to admit that I have noticed this myself over the years. She also makes us laugh out loud and we love her great sense of humor. She wants us to visit and I promised her that Gregg and I would plan a trip next year.  We have to sort out the dates so that she can take the time off.  She and her young man have just bought a new home and are also the proud owners of three sheep, which came with the house. They are pets and the previous owner kept several but didn't have enough room in their new place for these three. She's hoping that she can take care of them properly as this is a whole new territory, and they both travel extensively with their jobs, not usually at the same time however.  

As I mentioned before, last week Gregg took time off work and we were off out every day, either to one of our parks getting lots of walking in, or just pottering around running errands.  He enjoyed his break and will be back at work today, with a couple of trips into DC.   

So here I have been playing with a new toy. Gregg surprised me with my very own IPad and I have had fun getting used to it.  I've been downloading all kinds of neat apps and as my interests lie in photography and art, I have been concentrating on those. I took a picture of myself, opened the appropriate app and voila, turned it into a sketch.  It's going to be like my pocket camera, I won't be leaving home without it. We were in the book store one of the days and while Gregg was browsing around I sat myself in the coffee shop and had fun reading on the new toy. I hope we'll always have 'real' books to pick up but it's a fact that the world is moving into a different direction. As you walk in the bookstore there is a permanent display with someone trying to sell you their particular variety of electronic reader, as you've probably seen yourself.

Talking about books I took a break from my usual detective novel and am reading a wonderful biography by Janet Wallach on the extraordinary life of Gertrude Bell, who among many other things explored parts of the Middle East as a very young woman at the turn of the century.  You can read about her here.  We were saying that we're surprised no one has made a movie about her, but on doing a little surfing I discovered that Angelina Jolie is directing and starring in one due out this December on Gertrude's life.  I also read:

"Turning away from the privileged world of the "eminent Victorians," Gertrude Bell (1868-1926) explored, mapped and excavated the world of the Arabs.  Recruited by British Intelligence during World War I, she played a crucial role in obtaining the loyalty of Arab leaders, and her connections and information provided the brains to match T. E. Lawrence's brawn. After the war she played a major role in creating the modern Middle East and was, at the time, considered the most powerful woman in the British Empire.

In the masterful biography, Janet Wallach shows us the woman behind these achievements - a woman whose passion and defiant independence were at odds with the confined and custom-bound England she left behind.  Too long eclipsed by Lawrence, Gertrude Bell emerges at last in her own right as a vital player on the stage of modern history, and as a woman whose life was both a heartbreaking story and a grand adventure."

Saturday we had a quiet day and ran more errands.  Gregg felt like an ice-cream in the evening and he likes to go to the Milwaukee Custard in Sully Station.  It was packed out and there were a lot of tired but happy children tucking into their treats. They usually have a toy train making its way on a track high above our heads, and I heard one disappointed little boy say, "Where the train Daddy?"  Thomas the Train must have been undergoing repairs.

On our way home we bumped into a friend out walking her dog and we did a little catching up before going home. I felt pretty tired all day with the heat and I won't say I am not a morning person but I couldn't have been paying too much attention to dressing myself.  I discovered in the evening that I had been walking around all day with my blouse inside out.  I only realized this when I looked in the bathroom mirror and saw that all the seams were on the outside, and when I checked to see where the label was, there it was hanging out in all its glory! Now if I remember rightly, one of the old sayings my mum used to say was that it means there is money coming my way.  Apparently I used to do this a lot as a child and my mum slipped a few coins in my purse to make that saying come true.  "See?  I told you so!"  Bless you Mum!

Sunday was another quiet day but an enjoyable one and now it's back to our normal weekly routine for both of us.


  1. That sketching app looks like fun! I would soon become quite addicted to that I'm sure. And the book sounds very fascinating.

    Glad you're enjoying time with family.

    Just popping by to thank you for visiting me at my newer Birding Photo Blog the other day...I got behind in my visiting because of some genealogy work online that took most of my time last week!!!

    Love your photo shares!!

  2. I do enjoy your rambles, Denise. You get such a lot out of life. Just trying to imagine what it would be like to keep three sheep... I would love to give it a go. Another thing I have to try is making a 'sketch'. I've done other things with photographs on the iPad but not tried the sketch. You've got me going now, if successful I'll post the result.

  3. I am glad you know people who make you laugh. Very important! And what a nice mother to put money in your purse. I don't think I have ever worn clothes inside out. Lol.

  4. You sound like that you have had an enjoyable time while Gregg has been off work. I have been trying to get used to my iPad but I still prefer my laptop, especially for blogging. However, for reading books in bed in a motel which doesn't have decent reading lights the ipad is a boon. I have read that book about Gertrude Bell. It was an amazing story. How funny wearing your blouse inside out. Didn't Gregg even notice? Bill wouldn't either.

  5. A thoroughly enchanting post. I think it's wonderful that you do your best to live in the moment and appreciate life and all you have. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Hi Denise...If I had worn anything wrong side out ( I don't think I have,at least nobody said anything)
    ; } I would be thinking back about anyone who looked a me strangely! lol
    It is so nice your family is close in presents and in heart , and bring great pleasure to you !!
    That car with horns looks like something straight out of a movie..the Wild Wild West or something like that !!lol
    Hope you both have a wonderful week , and may there be a pot of gold at your doorstep ; }

  7. time with your family is a good thing - especially shared laughs. :) i like your sketch!

  8. What an interesting ramble! And thanks for the book suggestion. Always looking for another good read. Enjoy your ipad!

  9. thanks for sharing your full and happy Summer with us!

    Have a GREAT Week

    Aloha from Honolulu,
    Comfort Spiral
    > < } } ( ° >

  10. Hi Denise, enjoyed this post about what you and Gregg have been doing lately. COngrats on the surprise present of an iPad. I've had one for nearly a year and then Grenville (copycat) bought one. It's really quite handy to read the news in the morning, watch Netflix and play some word games. I have stuck with free apps, except for one blogging software for ipad, called Blogsy, which you also might want to check out - it's inexpensive at $4.99 and gives a way to do posts while off-line.

  11. Thanks everyone, glad you enjoyed the ramble.

  12. 37 years - almost as long as us - I still prefer proper books - the car made me think of JR.

  13. Your Ipad sketch is a good start. I have heard of Gertrude Bell and the book sounds a good read. It sounds as if you have been having fun on your week together. Send some of your heat this way please.

  14. Denise, are you sure you didn't steal that first paragraph from me? LOL! At times I think our shared sense of humour is what really gets my honey and me through life's challenges. Sounds like there's plenty of that laughter medicine in your home too. Someone gave me an iPad 1 a few months ago, but I have yet to find the time or inclination to play with it. Haven't even figured out how to put PDF files into it so I can read in comfort the many documents I have stuffed in my hard disk! I have not yet switched over to reading my leisure material on an e-reader of any kind. I'm sure the day will come soon. With fashion being so silly these days, even if someone noticed your inside-out shirt, they'd assume it was intentional. LOL!

  15. That iPad looks like so much fun. Art refuses to get one because he says his Fire is sufficient. I'll break him down yet.

    I have never seen a car like that. That would cause a double take no matter where they go.

  16. Living here in Colorado we see lots of stetsons but only rarely have I seen horns on a truck, but they always make me wonder--why? How?...
    That biography sounds so interesting! I will have to look for it.
    I have an IPad and use it often. It is the first one so it is lacking in a camera and such but I do like reading, watching movies or shows and surfing on it. some of the apps can be addictive :-)
    Thanks for sharing your slice of life.