Monday, July 21, 2014

Sweet Virginia

This weekend we headed up to Virginia to spend the weekend with my family. We got up there around Eight on Friday night and quickly headed out for Mexican and margaritas at the place next door to my parents. We had fun just catching up and hanging out before heading back and going to bed. 
Their garden is out of control amazing!
Saturday we went to see my parents new property they recently purchased. It is about half an hour away and in the middle of nowhere. I love the creek bed. And I will have to get my mom to email me a picture of the three bears the camera has spotted. One of them is absolutely huge! Fingers crossed I don't run into it. Still looking for Goldilocks...

Then we scooted over to one of my favorite quaint towns, Appomattox. Just so happens to be where we got married and you know, the small detail of Lee surrendering to Grant at the Mclean house. We stopped by the sweetest coffee and book shop. They're known for their live music on the weekends. 

That night we had dinner at my parent's. And snapped some more green beans from the garden to can and enjoy over the next year. Nothing quite like fresh greens!

then we listened to my brother play and sing for a little while and I got to play with my niece. I do love her so and she is so funny. Her red hair is my favorite, she takes after her aunt. ( I suppose she takes after her red headed momma too;)

Yesterday we had breakfast downtown and walked around a little before getting some shopping in. I hadn't been to Point Of Honor since I was in third grade. And Virginia has the love signs all. over. the. state. This shoe one in front of the renovated Craddock & Terry Hotel is one of my favorites!

 Then we headed with my older brother to a brewery about half an hour away and the view was just ridiculous! The food truck was awesome. and I somehow found a way to sample the beer...I made myself blackberry shandy's. Not too bad!

On the way home we stopped at this local spot and got some ice cream. It was National Ice Cream Day after all. Kind of had to! 

We're back home and back to work now. Did you guys do anything fun this weekend? It just goes by so fast! I already miss them.

Linking up with Meghan, Leeann and Meg

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Suite Life

This has been a week of finds. and unexpected fun. 

On Monday my friend Danielle put up an instagram of the World Market mason jar measuring cups. I have only stalked every World Market and on line for over a year and so I basically demanded to know where she got hers from. It turns out the World Market down the street had finally gotten an order in. I may have stopped everything I was doing and rushed there to get mine. And I scored the last one. Yes!

My good luck continued that day with finding two new pair of shoes and four dresses for our upcoming trip to Italy. And it was all 75% off take off and extra 50%. all of this cost me a whopping $32. 

Yes. Please and thank you very much.

On Wednesday my husband called and asked me if I wanted to attend the AAA all star game that was being hosted at Durham. He had gotten suite tickets so this equates to free food and now who in the world would I be to turn that down?! Plus, I got to meet some really new fun people. 

I finally got my fireworks. And they were crazy. Probably some of the best I have ever seen. Ever. Nothing may have ever come close to these. Excluding the obvious major cities like NYC, Chicago & Boston. But none otherwise have even been on level. These were not your average "Firework Friday" after a minor league game. And I would know seeing as how I worked in minor league baseball for way too long. 

and we finally booked all of our plans for our trip to Italy. I cannot wait. We will be spending almost a week in Montegratto and touring that whole region every day and then heading to Lake Como for four days. and then heading to our family's inn and vineyard in Tuscany for the next week. I am not even sure how this is real life. But I am just going along hoping noone wakes me up. But this will be our view in a few weeks!

linking up with Hey Friday, Five on Friday and Friday Favorites

Thursday, July 17, 2014

We All Have Favorites

and I probably have too many. And then I often change my mind because I can.

I suppose these are my favorites at the top of my list.

My favorite city would have to be San Francisco. I just love everything about it. And the drive up to Tiberon to have breakfast. The places to eat. The people watching. Riding the trolley. Jogging through Golden Gate park. The hills. Just kidding. My thighs still hate me for my walking all over that city. But I heart it.

My favorite past-time is pig pickins on the farm. Everyone from the town over and a full BBQ. Then playing rounds of horseshoe afterwards. Perfect sunshiney days. Surrounded by family and eating watermelon.

The books I like to read are too vast to choose just one. I read entirely too much. I think that my favorite genre is historical fiction. I love books by William Martin. He writes a series about a couple in present day Boston and they chase mysteries and lost artifacts and it wraps the books up from the past to the present.

On this topic, history was always my favorite subject. I am from Virginia and you kind of just can't get away from it. It is rather easy to immerse yourself in the past and how our whole country was founded and all the minute details that went into the building of our nation. Old Town Alexandria, Williamsburg, Yorktown, Bull Run, Richmond and Appomattox. I could go on for days.

My drink of choice is bourbon. If you know me, this is rather obvious. My favorite way to drink it is neat...warm and straight out the bottle. I love the taste on my tongue and the burn as it slips down my throat. Ummm. is 10:30 too early to enjoy one?

My favorite season is Fall. The smells. Pumpkin and caramel. The perfect weather. Candles all around my house. I decorate beginning in mid August and I leave it up till right after Thanksgiving. Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas, but Fall just sets my heart a flutter. Football and bonfires. Sweaters and boots. I just love it.
my pumpkin caramel affogato with bourbon. All my favorites combined.

My favorite day June 28th. The day I got married. Eleven years ago. All of our family and friends were there. The weather was fantastic. He was beyond handsome. And on the plus, my rack was on point;) It was perfect. at least from the outside. Believe me, there were little things no one else noticed but put me over the edge. then someone gave me champagne and voila, perfection!

one of my favorite memories from childhood was church camp. We went every summer for five years. A large group of us would get on an old dilapidated bus in Virginia and ride through the night to Hastings, Michigan and we would stay for a week. Hands down the most fun and carefree times I ever participated in. And you should know that I was the belly flop champion all five years. I owned erryyyybody when it came to that. I am pretty sure I still got the skills to. Any takers?

I was obsessed with Fraggle Rock as a kid. I may or may not have watched it a few times since I became an adult. That would have to be my favorite show from my childhood but there are just so many that I would have to say I love the myriad of ones from the entire decade of the eighties. I mean...sorry nineties kids, but ours won.

Strawberry Shortcake, The Smurfs, Pound Puppies, Care Bears, The Snorks, Gummi Bears, Popples, Jem, Rainbow Brite, Transformers...I could go for days.

Plus, the shows like Mr. Belvedere, Punky Brewster, Growing Pains, Webster, Facts of Life.

I think I have to go now because I feel as if Netflix is calling my name...

Linking up with Helene and Sarah

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Off With The Blood Suckers Heads...

The women's to be exact. Because leave it up to the woman to leave her mark. With the male mosquito, he'll come and go and you may never even know he is there. Sounds like a lot of men I used to know too. But that is neither here nor there. 

Today I want to discuss my absolute abhorrence for mosquitos. I long for summer and heat. It is my favorite and then...right about mid July, I begin to fear it. and the pesky winged creatures it brings. 

This year I had been doing ok. And I should note that my current hatred level is in direct proportion to the amount of itchy bites I now have on my poor feet. This means that my hate level is a bona fide 25 on a scale of 1-10. 

and I should also note that OFF did nothing. Nothing but perhaps but a beacon on my body screaming that my blood was up for grabs. And on top of smells all kinds of funk. 

I am going to try and see if any essential oils will help to reduce any further bites and to hopefully alleviate some of the itch hell I am living with.

 Although...I am that person and I scratched till some of them bled. 

In other words, my feet look like they belong on an eight year old. I just can't wait till the scabs pop up. Gonna be overtly attractive on a woman in her mid thirties. I really try to abstain but scratching just feels so good. 

On Sunday alone I counted 22 bites. Just on my feet. My poor pinky toe alone has 4 bites. It is a pulpy red mess. I was trying on shoes for Italy yesterday and I could barely concentrate on the shoe for the ugly convergent of bites. 

I read about this spoon trick that was supposed to remove some of the sting and it did work for a while. You heat a spoon up and then place it directly on bite. I also boiled some green tea bags and put on spots. All worked for a little bit...

So basically this confession is to declare the opposite of my undying love for these blood sucking irritants. and to pretty much admit I have no will power to not scratch the ever lovin hell out of these bites. 

and also, thanks national geographic for showing the West Nile Virus on tv last night. Especially the part about how North Carolina cases are on the rise. It did much for my paranoia.

linking up with Kathy and Liz

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Knock, Knock...Who's There. Oh, It's Swat

As I mentioned yesterday, we came home from our vacation on Saturday and as we pulled up, we noticed four police cars at the entrance to our neighborhood. We paused for a second and my initial fear was that something had happened at the pool. A child recently drowned in a friend's neighborhood and my mind wandered to that thought.

After thinking it through, we realized there were no paramedics or fire department involvement and the police didn't seem to be in any sort of hurry. We chalked it up to kids were probably setting off fireworks and people had complained or something. 

We parked and lugged all of our stuff into the house and went about our business, prepping to head for dinner with friends in a little while.  When we headed outside to leave, dusk was settling in and we were greeted by flashing lights coming from seemingly everywhere. 

At this point there were over a dozen officers, multiple fire trucks and news vehicles. We both looked at each other, completely shocked. We live in a quiet swim and golf community. The largest thing we usually have to deal with is kids riding their bikes in the parking lot and paying no attention. (Although, Wiki would say the largest thing is people who litter, if there is one piece of paper on the ground, he will find it and get it;)

As we went to leave, we asked what was going on and were alerted to the fact that it was a hostage situation. And then we were told we had to move, they were not really letting people in/out at this point.

We texted a few neighbors, each of us trying to garner what was happening. And none of us could really get a grasp at that point. We said a few prayers that it would end well and no one would be hurt and went out to meet our friends. 

We thought for sure when we got back home three hours later that the situation would have been diffused. Both of our phones were dead so we couldn't really ascertain any new info. But when we pulled up, it was more far reaching than when we left. The entire main street to our community was blocked off. FBI and SWAT had been added to the mix. Everyone on the pool side of our neighborhood was on complete lock down. 

And you couldn't come in or out of our section at this point, unless you could prove you lived there. The area was barricaded by police and yellow caution tape spawned one side of the road to the other. 

This is a rather disconcerting way to spend your night, to put it mildly. Most of our close neighborhood friends live on that side and we were frantically trying to reach them to make sure all was well. And I had multiple back and forth panic texts with one in four am they were supposed to be leaving for the airport to catch a six am flight to the Bahamas so they could get married. At this point, they weren't going to be allowed to leave and to say there was some flipping out would be an understatement. (they got out;)

Once we were back in our house, we flipped on the news to see what was being said and as I logged onto fb and saw a thread in our town's community page, I couldn't help but laugh at it. Talk about smoke and mirrors and full on lies. First, people kept listing off different communities, then someone one said they heard our neighborhood was "sketchy" (hahahahahahaha I still laugh at this one) and then of course people started saying it was a huge "drug bust" and then the speculation that he had four kids he was holding hostage. None of which was true. 

The standoff ended a little after two am, lasting for almost nine hours. They tossed in tear gas and he surrendered.  He was not actually holding anyone hostage, just himself. I am only writing this story because there was no violent ending. The police did a wonderful job in ending it peacefully and this man is getting the help he needs. This is the biggest point of the whole debacle, instead of being charged (he was arrested at the time) because he was obviously mentally unstable and was not trying to harm anyone but himself, they are seeing to him getting the proper help. 

This can happen at anytime in absolutely any neighborhood. I can assure you that I never saw it happening it mine. and I hope to hell I don't have to again any time soon. Or ever. Ever is even better;)