Friday, December 28, 2012

A ramble.......

(Celia's Photo:  Christmas Day - son Brad and daughter-in-law Lisa.  Lisa is being a good sport and still wearing the paper hat out of her Christmas Cracker.  She is also wearing the scarf and gloves we gave her for Christmas.)

Before Christmas:

Gregg and I celebrated our 37th Wedding Anniversary on the 17th.  We did so quietly as the following morning he flew to Oklahoma City on business, and we got up at around 5.00 a.m. to take him to the airport.   It was only a short trip, a couple of days, and Thursday night I was on the way back to the airport to pick him up, this time at midnight.  It was dark and rainy but there were no Mad Hatters on the road and everyone was driving very carefully.  I really don't like night-time driving any more, particularly when the weather isn't at its best.

We usually wait for special occasions to eat out at a-fancier-than-normal restaurant, so a few nights before our anniversary and because we knew Gregg was leaving on his business trip, we celebrated early and we went to one of our local restaurants - Rosemary and Thyme.  We had a delicious meal.  I again ordered the Spinach Ravioli.  You get a choice of three sauces and I remember loving the Saffron Cream Sauce the last time we were there.  We have never had a bad meal and the people are always friendly.  I noticed for the first time on their website that there is a second restaurant in Washington DC but we feel fortunate that we have one this close to home.

 (Christmas Day - Gregg's photo: Celia and Gully opening up their gifts from Lisa and Brad)

I wrote out all my Christmas Cards and some of the overseas ones had already been received.  That makes me happy as I always seem to be late in mailing them out, and always say next year I will start a little earlier.  'Always' being the operative word and 'never that organized' being the way it is....but maybe I will surprise myself next time as I was still earlier than last year.  The cards are rolling in, from family, from old friends and new friends and much to our delight we have reconnected with a dear friend this year after 30 years.  She came across my blog.  Hi Sue!  Our kids used to play together when they were  three years' old.  Wow, didn't those years just zip on by?

(Christmas Day and a photo of Gregg with his gift from Lisa and Brad)

The week before Christmas Brad had the day off and came over for a few hours and I fixed us lunch.  His Dad wasn't able to join us because he was working in DC that day.  Afterwards we stopped off at Best Buy to do gift shopping, and we picked up a cup of coffee at our local coffee shop on the way home.  Lisa was working but we will be seeing her on Christmas Day.  Her students put on a great Christmas Pageant.  Congratulations me dear, I know the hard work that goes into putting those things together, and from what I heard everyone had a marvelous time and your students performed beautifully.

(Christmas Day and Gregg's photo: Brad and Denise watching Lisa opening up her gifts)

The next day I went to Barnes and Noble to pick up a Christmas gift on order.  I stopped off for another coffee as their small cafe was calling to me on the way out - it usually does.  I drank it on the way home.  This has been a week of more than the usual coffee drinking.  Am I moving a little faster?  Not really and amazingly I slept like a log last night.

(Christmas Day and Gregg's photo: I am holding a super book that Lisa and Brad gave me.  They know me well.  The sentiments written inside by Brad caused a few tears on my part.  I found them very touching.  Thank you my darlings, we love you both dearly and you make us very proud).

I would like to say a big thank-you to Jan whose wonderful blogs, The Prytz Family and Murrieta 365, I go to frequently.  Jan was holding a giveaway, a box of Sees Candies, and yours truly won.  Thank you so much Jan, they will be truly enjoyed!

Written after Christmas:

My in-laws arrived on the Saturday morning (the 22nd) and we've spent many long hours chatting. All the sad events before Christmas have been on everyone's mind.  It is hard to put the magnitude of such tragedy into mere words, it's just not possible.   We hug our family members a little tighter and tell them how much we love them.  We know how very blessed we are and make sure that they know they are very much part of those blessings, no day is taken for granted.

One of the first things they did was to go to Arlington National Cemetery to visit Gregg's mother's grave.  Gregg and I have been here on many occasions but I did not go this time.  The three of them came back  with some beautiful photos.  Every year thousands of wreathes are laid at Arlington.  You can read the story of how it started here.

Gregg's Photo

We were a small group on Christmas Day, just the six of us.  Lisa and Brad spent several hours here before going onto a second gathering at her parent's house.  Our Christmas Meal was Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding with all the trimmings.

Growing up we always had the Turkey on Christmas Day, but as that is the traditional meal for Thanksgiving and as the two holidays are only a month apart, years ago I had a request for something different.  What better than to go back to another British tradition, Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pud?  Plain and simple but delicious!  Sorry, I had already tucked in before remembering to take a photo.

 I bought Christmas Crackers which we pulled before our meal and let me tell you, those things fought back this year, definitely a little more powerful than in years past.  A few of the tiny items that were placed inside flew across the room.  Paper hats were worn momentarily, corny jokes read and after our meal we exchanged and opened Christmas gifts.  There were also several phone calls during the day from family and friends from all over.

(Celia's photo: one of my favorite photos, Lisa opening up her gum-ball machine, one of her gifts from Brad.  As you can see she got a big kick out of it.  They will have to keep a lot of quarters around!)

(Gregg's photo: our Great-Niece with Great-Grandpa)

The Sunday before we had a lovely visit with our niece and nephew and great-niece.  They drove all the way up from Virginia Beach to spend the morning with us, and then went on to see a friend of theirs in the afternoon, and then were driving back home the same day.

(Gregg's photo - she is wearing Great-Grandpa's navy cap)  

Our sweet little great-niece is adorable, she is walking/running all over the place now but Great-Uncle Gregg stepped in to give Mommy and Daddy a bit of a break and followed her around as she explored the house.  Great-Uncle Gregg had a ball and we had fun watching them and playing with her when she stopped for a spell to explore the ornaments on the Christmas tree.  She particularly liked the miniature teddy bear ornaments and kissed every one.  She is such a little darling.

(Gregg's Photo)

Christmas Eve Gregg and I took Celia and Gully into Middleburg for a ride out, but also to do last minute Christmas shopping.   We saw this little furball staring at us from behind a window.

Celia and I went shopping while Gregg and his Dad found a place to sit for a spell and have a coffee.   After an hour we came out of the store to find it had started to snow, there were big snowflakes.

We met Gregg and Gully at Middleburg Common Grounds, a coffee and sandwich shop on the main street right across from where I had called Gregg, to find out where they had parked themselves.  When we looked Gregg was standing outside the coffee shop waving to us and we headed on over, snowflakes falling on our eyelashes.

Celia and Gully like the place too.  It is new to us but the owner told us they had been open for seven months.  You can look at the menu here.

Gregg and I have been looking for somewhere different and are happy we can add this place to our list.  The coffee was great, the sandwiches we ordered were delicious, and the people very friendly.

Also a nice, casual atmosphere.

We can all highly recommend it.

After another half an hour it was time to go and we walked down the road to our car.  It was still snowing.

It didn't snow on Christmas Day but when we woke up today (Boxing Day) there was a fine layer of snow everywhere.  It is still snowing but it looks more like a sleety kind of rain now.  The squirrels and birds have been down for a feed and Celia and I have been watching them.  Celia is on the other couch looking at her computer, Gregg and his Dad are on the kitchen table as Gregg is being Gully's Yeoman today and helping with business letters, I am on my computer of course and we are all listening to the weather channel to find out about this storm system moving through the country.

December 28th - Tomorrow (Saturday) we are expecting more snow.  Will it be a lot or a little, only time will tell.  One thing I purchased early and with my propensity for falls in the wintertime especially, were two sets of ice grippers for shoes.  Our driveway is very steep and it gets exceedingly treacherous and icy.   I have been having a good spell this past year and have stayed on my feet I don't want to break my record, and even though Gregg laughed when he saw his early Christmas present, I know he appreciated them and will use them when needed.  We both remember him shooting down the driveway like an Olympic ski jumper when he hit one icy spot at the top of the drive  last winter.  I had just stuck my head through the curtains to make sure he was okay when I saw it.  Amazingly he remained on his feet all the way down - perfect form too!

That's about all the rambles for today.  It's been a real nice Christmas with our family and I hope yours has been a wonderful one.  Time to get ready for the New Year!


Cloudia said...

Gosh, love the possum!

Seriously, you have kindly shared your wonderful family Christmas with one who enjoyed it very much! Thanks, Denise

Friday Aloha from Honolulu,
Comfort Spiral
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Betsy Adams said...

Thanks Denise for the catch-up. Sounds like you had a great Christmas. AND--a Happy Belated Anniversary to you two....

Happy New Year.

Marina said...

I wish you and your family a HAPPY NEW YEAR, with lots of love and happiness in your hearts!!!
Hugs and kisses

eileeninmd said...

Hi Denise, sounds like you had a busy time around the Christmas holiday! I like the great photo of you and your Greg together. It reminds me of Betsy & George's photos on Betsy's blog. I wish you and your family all the best in 2013, Happy New Year!

Gill - That British Woman said...

thanks for the update and all those lovely photos from your Christmas holidays.


KaHolly said...

It sounds as though you had a great holiday!! Loved all your pictures. Congrats on your anniversary!! Happy New Year!

Vicki said...

What beautiful photos! Thank You for sharing and Happy new Year!

gigihawaii said...

Loved the photo of Lisa and her gum ball machine. Lol. So cute! I can tell she has a fun filled relationship with Brad. Loved also your story about Gregg sliding down the driveway still on his feet. Those grippers will come in handy. Glad you had such a great Christmas, Denise. Wishing you a happy new year, too.

SandyCarlson said...

Your son's girlfriend is a delight. So are all of you. These photos are wonderful. I am glad you had a great Christmas. The food looks delicious!

Out on the prairie said...

Lots of happiness for your holidays,I have never mastered the yorkshire pudding.

Linda said...

Thanks for sharing your Christmas and a belated happy anniversary. The ravioli meal sounds delicious - just the sort of dish I would choose! How nice to reunite with an old friend through blogging! Hope the weather is good where you are. Have a good weekend!

Kerri said...

Sounds like an absolutely wonderful Christmas!
I loved reading every bit of it!

Bluebell Woods said...

That dinner looks incredible. Great post and lovely family

Marie said...

What a delightful post, Denise! Wow! What a sweet Anniversary, and even sweeter Christmas. My parents anniversary was on Dec 10, and with Dad gone almost two years now, I wasn't sure how Mom would be that day, but she was doing OK, and did better at Christmas too, this year than last. I don't know if you've ever seen her two blogs...Living Life on Main Street is the more upbeat fun one; IT's A NEW DAY A NEW LIFE is about more serious things, like dealing with Christmases without Dad, family memories, new friendships. Check them both out by clicking on them on my sidebar. You both being in Virginia makes me think you would enjoy one another's blogs. Loved the ramble...makes me wish I'd added a ramble to my own Christmas post, but that's done now...maybe for New years. :-)

The Elephant's Child said...

Thank you for sharing this wonderful season of family celebrations with us. (And I was pleased to note that your traditional Christmas dinner did NOT include brussel sprouts.)