Saturday, December 29, 2012

TODAY'S FLOWERS # 227

The link is now open.

This will be my last post until 2013.
Wishing You All A Very Happy and Peaceful New Year!


My flowers today were bought in four bunches from the supermarket and I arranged them in my grandmother's tureen.












 I was given the tureen many years ago but even back then it was too badly chipped for me to put on permanent display.  I have heard that I can get it repaired but have not come across a place that can fix it for me.  It is over 100 years old.  Looking for a container for the flowers I saw it in the basement storage area, and thought the chips wouldn't show if I put flowers in it.


I am very happy to be bringing a much treasured and sentimental piece out in the open more often.

~~~~~~

Today's Flowers was created by our good friend Luiz Santilli, Jr.


TF teamPupo - Sandy Carlson - Denise

Thank you Luna Miranda for this pretty log.

If you enjoy participating in memes we are always looking for new participants.  For those of you who are already weekly participants, thank you very much. 

If anyone would like to be a guest and share photos on our home page, details can be found at the top of Today's Flowers web site, which you will find here.

~~~~~~~

I am also linking up with Tina's Weekend Flowers which you can find here.


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!

CAMERA CRITTERS

Over the Christmas holiday my in-laws stayed with us.  I have mentioned before that Celia feeds a stray feral cat daily, and occasionally a few other critters show up for a meal.  When she and my father-in-law looked outside recently, this is what greeted them.   I asked Celia if I could share her photos and she very kindly said yes, so thank you Celia.

Aren't those feet amazing?  I cropped the above photo for a better look.

The Northern American Opossum is our only marsupial.  The female nurses her young in her pouch until they are about two to three months old, and then carries them on her back another one to two months whenever they are away from their den.

They hiss or growl when frightened but in reality are gentle and placid.  Opossums will try to avoid all confrontations and wish to be left alone.  When startled they will assume a 'play-dead' stance, 'playing possum', are solitary animals and are usually nocturnal.  

They are omnivorous and eat insects, snails, rodents, carrion, occasionally will eat snakes, ground corn and other vegetables, berries, over-ripe fruit, grasses and leaves (here this little one is eating cat food and by the way, the cat stays well clear while it is around).  You can read more about them here.

Camera Critters


Thank you Misty for hosting Camera Critters.  It is has always been a very enjoyable meme and one I look forward to each Saturday.

To see other fun critters you can click here



Thursday, December 27, 2012

Another Christmas is past, now for the New Year....


I hope you've all had a super Christmas.  I am going to enjoy catching up on your festivities now that the house is quiet.  After all the activity over the last few days it always feels a bit strange. Celia and Gully are on their way home, and after having had a wonderful time together we have just waved them goodbye, wishing them a safe and happy journey.

I am putting together a ramble telling all about our week.  In the meantime I thought I would share a Christmas Card I received from one of my cousins and her husband.  I love anything to do with the history of clothing down through the ages, particularly from the flapper era.

I also found this lovely poem by Edgar A. Guest, a verse of which I included in my header photo today.  The full version follows:

"Old Years and New"
by 
Edgar A. Guest

Old years and new years, all blended into one,
The best of what there is to be, the best of what is gone.
Let's bury all the failures in the dim and dusty past
And keep the smiles of friendship and laughter to the last.

Old years and new years, life's in the making still;
We haven't come to glory yet, but there's the hope we will;
The dear old year was twelve months long but now from it we're free,
And what's one year of good or bad to all the years to be?

Old years and new years, we need them one and all
To reach the dome of character and build its sheltering wall;
Past failures tried the souls of us, but if their tests we stood,
The sum of what we are to be may yet be counted good.

Old years and new years, with all their pain and strife,
Are but the bricks and steel and stone with which we fashion life;
So put the sin and shame away, and keep the fine and true,
And on the glory of the past let's build the better new.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A quote by Mary Oliver


"One morning the fox came down from the hill, glittering and confident, and didn't see me,  and I thought so this is the world.  I am not in it.  It is beautiful."

~Mary Oliver~

(I saw this painting at a place called Middleburg Common Grounds on Christmas Eve)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

TODAY'S FLOWERS #226

To those of you who are celebrating Christmas, I wish you
A Merry Christmas
and to all of my blogging friends everywhere, 
I wish for you a 
A Very Happy New Year filled with Peace, Love and Friendship. 

(Steve from Out on the Prairie identified this as a "Jacob's Coat" Amaranth.  Thanks Steve.  They are also called Summer Pointsettias, love the heat and sun, and grow from 3 to 4 feet high)
~~~~~~

Today's Flowers was created by our good friend Luiz Santilli, Jr.


TF teamPupo - Sandy Carlson - Denise

A new logo from Luna Miranda.
Thank you Luna, it's lovely!

If you enjoy participating in memes we are always looking for new participants.  For those of you who are already weekly participants, thank you very much. 

If anyone would like to be a guest and share photos on our home page, details can be found at the top of Today's Flowers web site, which you will find here.

Friday, December 21, 2012

CAMERA CRITTERS


These are repeat photos I took a few years ago when we went to a zoo while on vacation.  I am using them again to go with a link of a short video sent by a friend, which I have added below.  


It is a dream of mine to one day go on a photographic safari in Africa.  These people in the video had an amazing encounter when a cheetah jumped on their jeep and stayed for several minutes.  "Don't move", "no problem", said the driver.  I don't think I would need to be told twice, I would have been transfixed like deer in the headlights, or in this case the cheetah's sight-lights.  I'm not sure I would have wanted to get that close to a wild animal no matter how beautiful, but happily it turned out well and was just one of those once in a life time experiences that they are probably still talking about today.  Cheetah's are such noble animals, they move so majestically!  I did chuckle at a young man's comment asking Edward if he could get a lion up there next time.  Hmmmm.......I don't think so!  

The link is here.  I would like to thank my friend Gerri for sending this to me in an e-mail.



Camera Critters


Thank you Misty for hosting Camera Critters.  It is has always been a very enjoyable meme and one I look forward to each Saturday.

To see other fun critters you can click here

Sunday, December 16, 2012

TODAY'S FLOWERS # 225



In the winter months I am relying more and more on flowers from the supermarket.  We had friends over for dinner last night and as a special treat I bought a bouquet for the table.




The last two were taken with my cell phone.



~~~~~~

Today's Flowers was created by our good friend Luiz Santilli, Jr.


TF teamPupo - Sandy Carlson - Denise

A new logo from Luna Miranda.
Thank you Luna, it's lovely!

If you enjoy participating in memes we are always looking for new participants.  For those of you who are already weekly participants, thank you very much. 

If anyone would like to be a guest and share photos on our home page, details can be found at the top of Today's Flowers web site, which you will find here.

Friday, December 14, 2012

CAMERA CRITTERS

This morning as I was sitting on the floor decorating the Christmas Tree, deep in concentration at my task, I was startled to see a small face appear at the window.  It was this little chap, with his tiny paws resting on the ledge and staring at me through the glass, much closer to me than he is in this shot.   He disappeared quickly but then a few minutes later, reappeared and stayed longer, staring long and hard.  I looked outside and realized I had been slow in putting his peanuts out that morning.  I immediately grabbed the bag, opened the door and tossed a handful out.  Gregg, who had been reading the paper and who witnessed all this, said that he had never seen a human so well-trained by squirrels.  Clever little things aren't they?


Was that a knock I heard on my door?
Am I imagining it; was it there?
Moving from kitchen to living room,
towards the outside door, peer out
a squirrel, one of THOSE squirrels,
looks at me, expectantly, urgently,
demandingly, for a prize, a treat,
oh so smart am I, getting the human 
that primate to do my bidding.
Was it really him that caused my stride
to the closed and locked door,
or was he a lucky beneficiary of fate
ready, opportunistic.
Great, now I need surveillance cameras
to monitor my door for 
squirrelian perpetrators of 'ring and run'.
Was he laughing as I closed the door?

~Raymond A. Foss~






Yes he was!


Camera Critters


Thank you Misty for hosting Camera Critters.  Always a very enjoyable meme and one I look forward to each Saturday.

To see other fun critters you can click here or on the badge above.