Thursday, February 26, 2009


First of all, I have to send out warm thanks to those who picked me as a winner in One World--One Heart. A big thank you to Tricia for the sweet baby boy plaque. I think I'll put it in the teenager's new room. You think he'd appreciate it? Actually, it will more-than-likely end up in my bedroom as I have baby stuff in there. Isn't it precious! And speaking of bedrooms, look at what Sonia made. I never enjoyed eye masks when I was younger, but now I've come to appreciate them. Does that mean I'm getting old or just getting too fancy for my own britches? Either way, I adore this one. Thank you Sonia!

I finally got my OWOH winnings out to Linda Sue. I hope she doesn't see this post and I ruin it for her. The package is supposed to arrive on Monday. I enjoyed getting it ready for her and am so happy that this finally made me finish up last year's pysanky just in time to begin anew this Lent. I don't even know if I will make any.

I mentioned earlier in the week the hub had made some flounder for his and the kid's dinner. Ew. (I'm still traumatized!) Doesn't he know a watched pot never boils? The kid snapped this while he was cooking. I love when the kid takes pictures and I find them later when I download.

Another kid snap.

After the fish incident, the hub and I went to the pub around the corner for dinner a couple of nights this week. It was fun to get away by ourselves (no kids allowed in the pub--as it should be!). We're like two old souls going in at early-bird hours. ha.

I got all my paperwork done early in the week. My trusty old sidekick is never too far from my side. Thank you Bella for keeping things straight for me.

But, I've really been busy making baby bibs for a new nephew arriving home tomorrow! How exciting for my SIL and BIL! Yay! I will fill you in more once the magical moment arrives and I hear more myself.

Who knew that I could sew? Well, to tell you the truth, it takes a big momentous occasion to get me to bring my dad's old sewing machine out. And, of course, this is quite exciting! It's been about four years since we've had a baby in the family!

I had some fabric left over from my last batch way back when but, of course, I had to find some wonderful boy fabric to use for this new arrival. I just love making baby bibs. Well, sometimes.

What are you all up to? Any big plans for the weekend??? I think ours will be nice and quiet, as usual.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Happy Mardi Gras. Is everyone wearing their beads? I actually forgot to put mine on this morning, but I know have them flowing around my neck! I don't think too many people in Tennessee actually celebrate Mardi Gras. I think Catholics are out of the norm here. Oh well. You don't have to be Catholic to celebrate Mardi Gras! I celebrated it before I became a Catholic, so there. :-P

Here's some Dr. John singing Iko Iko to get 'cha in da mood. (Dr. John was my very first concert in the 70s! Love him!)

Hope everyone is doing some major cooking tonight. For tomorrow we fast. (I'm fasting anyway--so there.) I normally make a big ol' batch of red beans and rice, or some such stuff, but no go this year. OMG. Speaking of cooking, the hub made some flounder last night, and the smell throughout the house kept me up all night long. EW! I despise fish and everything about it. Needless to say, I'm a tad grumpy today. But I'm feeling better with some great music going!

Laissez les bon temps roulez! Let the good times roll!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Happy 85th

We celebrated mom's 85th birthday today. We got balloons and cupcakes and some little things I thought she would like.

She got cards, which I read to her, little presents and a sweet bear from my brother Joe. So sweet. She loves little things like that.

I'm not quite sure she understood what it was all about. But she was happy just the same. So therefore, we're happy.

She blew her candles out with a little coaxing. Another wish to come true.

It's hard to believe another year has passed. It was a nice, gentle celebration.

In other news, our honeybells finally arrived. They were supposed to be in last week. Geesh. I'm dying to have one but I'm not supposed to. Oh, they look so good.

And with all the rush of being away last week and posting my 1,000th post mixed with all kinds of other stuff, I never did announce who won the "first" comment. I said it would be the second commenting after the first correct guess of where I was. How confusing is that?? I had to go back and read what I wrote to make sure I got it right. So, without further tardiness, I'm announcing that Thrifty Miss Priss was the first to comment! Wooooot! So Miss Priss, you'll need to send me your mailing addy. I have some goodies collected for you. And speaking of tardiness, I have yet to send out the prize for the OWOH winnings. Oooof.

Rainy and getting colder here. Yuk.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Home is Where You Hang Your Hat

Or should I say, "Blossom when you are replanted." While I still feel DC/Virginia is my home, I could never live here again. It's so special coming back and I miss so many things about it. But I have become accustomed to the slower life, the simpler life, the enjoy-yourself, kinder life that I've found here in Tennessee.

Since the hub had finished his work, we were going to move to another hotel that he had a free night with. With all of his travels, there must come some perks. We ate quite the hearty breakfast before leaving though. Oh my. Hot chocolate.

Homemade little bite-sized doughnuts.

I don't' remember what the hub ordered, but it sure looked good.

I was too busy salivating over mine. Their version of Eggs Benedict. YUM. The fries had a truffle drizzle over them. Does it get any better?

There was some type of ham hidden between the luscious homemade bread. You almost had to wheel-barrow us out into the streets once we were done. It was sooooo good, needless to say.

We decided to check into our next hotel, The Fairfax, up on Mass Ave. before heading out for the day.

I even crawled into bed and took an hour's nap before we did.

Some of the photos in the room which I loved.

I love this area. It's convenient to DuPont Circle and you are surrounded by embassies--thus the name Embassy Row. Look at this little number for sale across the street. Wonder how much its price tag was. Another sigh.

And the corner "house." This is a lot of what I truly miss. sniffle.

An embassy across the other window. Such beauty. To think these were once homes. Oooof.

Then we headed out. First we drove through Georgetown which was all abuzz, as usual. I'm not used to it anymore. We drove by our first place we rented after we were married at 30th & Q. What wonderful memories we made here. Oh, it had always been my dream to live in Georgetown growing up but I never thought it would ever come true. We were here over a year and a half. After driving by, rather quickly and snapping this because someone was on my tail, we headed for the cupcake shop. We finally found it. Guess what? The line was out the door and down the street! Uh uh. I don't do lines any longer, sorry. So we proceeded on. We said if we found a parking space, we would park and walk around, otherwise we would keep on keeping on. We kept on keeping on.

All the way to Falls Church, a couple of miles out, where we had owned our first home before the kids were born. They both were born while living here. So sweet. I called it our little love nest which embarrassed the hub terribly at the time. The new owners replaced the quaint little cottage windows with more energy efficient ones it seems. Oh well. Still cute though. And the big old oak has been replaced with two tiny ones. Sniffle.

We had a late lunch at a favorite haunt of mine since I was a small child, The Pizza Pantry in Arlington. It was closed for a short time but it's back. So, that was what we did. The hub and I ate an entire pizza in the car! tehe. And then we were off to Old Town Alexandria (where I was born). It's so pretty there along the Potomac. What fun! That's the Wilson Bridge heading into Maryland in the background. The Potomac River separates DC from VA and further down VA from Maryland. Once you cross the river, you're in another State.

We hit some shops (Paper Source, of course). And this is one of my favorite children's shops in Old Town, Why Not? I used to take the boys here when we would visit the hub when he worked up the street. Sniffle. I love this window!

Then we strolled down by the water and the old Torpedo Factory which has been artist studios for many many a year. It was closed though.

By this time, it was getting late. We had made reservations at The Jockey Club at the hotel for a fancy schmancy Valentine's dinner but decided we really didn't want to get all gussied up. We ended up at the hotel lounge which had a wonderful piano player.

We sat and drink and listened to the music and got to "know" the couples around us that stayed as long as we did. It was entertaining watching all the sophisticates coming in for dinner and stopping for a drink before or after. We had a blast. There was an older French couple who ordered dinner here. He ordered the cheeseburger and she the pizza. Here they were, dressed to the nines (her even in full gloves) and a fur coat tossed on the arm or the chair, ordering crazy American bar food. They had finished their bottle of wine when all of a sudden there was a great crash! I glanced over to see (and hear) the French woman going crazy over dropping her plate which broke into a million pieces. No one seemed to be bothered but her. She made such a fuss about it all in French. It was just like being in Paris! tehe. Then she ordered the barmaid to "come and clean this 'incident' up--it was a mess for others to see!" I had to snicker. I didn't' feel sorry for the barmaid because she was a be-yotch anyway and deserved such a talking to. Karma baby.

We sat for over four hours listening, relaxing, drinking and making googly eyes at each other! And way into the wee hours of the morning. The hub became chummy with the pianist who would shout out "Hub, what do you want to hear?" The hub is quite the connoisseur of the old sound of Frank Sinatra and such. It was a delight. But ooooof. We had not eaten and this is about how I felt. I'm thankful it was just a lift ride to the room.

Of course, we ordered room service while we talked to the kid on the phone. I think he found it all to be quite amusing. In fact, we all did. I can't remember the last time the hub and I went out and had adult time together. It was a wonderful Valentine's.

It sure was hard getting up the next morning though (ouch) and heading to my brother Jim's house. It was wonderful seeing him and my SIL and the girls, my Jacq and Mad. Miss them all so much. And there was hardly any time to visit before we had to head back to BWI and head home. (But Jacq did show me how to play Guitar Hero! How fun was that!)

Wonderful memories were made once more.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

What's Cooking?

You'd think I haven't been cooking dinner because I haven't been posting about it. Well, I have of course. To prove it, I had been planning on making this stew since forever. One thing or another has kept me from doing so since it is a little timely . Thus the stew meat has been tucked away in the freezer. I finally pulled it out and defrosted it and started the stew on Tuesday.
I browned the meat.
Mad the roux.

Added the vino and chicken stock and cooked in the oven for an hour.

Then I let it cool, refrigerated and let it sit over night. Any type is stew is better the next day, ya know.
Yesterday, I warmed it up and added some more liquid, the potatoes, fresh peas and carrots and then cooked it in the oven for another hour. Yummy. (Recipe HERE.) It's sooooo good for a chilly night. Or a warm night. Gotta love those one-pot meals any day of the week, winter or summer.

My red potatoes were already sprouting by the time I finally did get around to making this dish. Look how sweet. A good sign that spring is around the corner. If mom were still alert, she would have saved them all to plant on Good Friday. She always had a little garden growing each summer when she lived back home. I miss that.
And speaking of momma, Monday, February 16 was her 85th birthday. Since we were just getting home, we decided to postpone it until this weekend so we can enjoy the time together. I've decided that since I'm dieting, I'm going to buy cupcakes that she can keep downstairs so I won't have to look at a big ol' tempting, delicious, sweet and scrumptious cake everyday until it's eaten by the hub and kid. I think everyone (but me--pout) will enjoy the cupcakes.

Still catching up here. I have prizes to send, sewing projects to start and finish and just lots of paperwork sitting on my kitchen table waiting for me. Fun fun fun.

I've been enjoying Paul McCartney's new Fireman Radio on Serius XM. It's a nice change. And, he's still cute.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Old Stomping Grounds, DC Day Two

Friday morning, the hub woke and then left for meetings. Me? I slept in. After waking up at 4 a.m. on Thursday to catch the flight, I needed a little catching up to do to say the least! But I didn't stay in bed too long. There was much to do! I had tried to contact a couple of friends just as I was leaving and leaving cryptic notes in Valentines and such. My friend in Leesburg contacted me and so that was where I was heading first thing. My brother Jim told me he "wouldn't be heart broken" if I didn't get to see him at the Capitol. tehe. Well. I did have plans on seeing him on Sunday, so I didn't feel so bad.

It was fun seeing so much of my history all around me. I first passed the old USA TODAY building in Rosslyn (Arlington). How many years did I spend on the 20th floor here? A lot! And how many wonderful lunches and dinners at the old Windows restaurant? Many. I was sure happy after they moved out to Tyson's. After 9/11, all I did was worry about that building displaying the proud USA TODAY on the top. It's the tallest building in the area, towering over any building in DC across the river. (We used to be able to read the airplane numbe when they would buzzy by! Scary!) But, it was the best for watching the 4th of July fireworks shot from the Washington Monument across the way.

I was happy to remember all the shortcuts back to Leesburg, VA from town. I was like an old pro. Sometimes I get lost when I come back home, but I was doing pretty well this trip. Of course, I got an early start so I could go through the old neighborhood and see the house we built way back when. It's still standing tall--just not as happy as when we lived there, of course. No doubt. I was happy to run into an old neighbor who just happened to be parked in front of our old house. We both jumped out and hugged but didn't have a lot of time to chat. Hope I hear from her soon.

It was then time to meet Linda at the Lightfoot Cafe. This is my favorite restaurant in Leesburg. It used to be a tiny room in one of the row houses. The bar was downstairs, and the three rooms for dining were up. The boys were small and the hub and I would have our nice date night here.

The two sisters later transformed the old bank around the corner into a fabulous restaurant. It's absolutely brilliant! This is where the kid lost his first tooth, in a bowl of fettuccine Alfredo! Try and find a tiny baby tooth in that stuff. The tooth faerie must have been looking over my shoulder because miraculously, I went right to it. After making a scene, I rushed the kid to the bathroom to clean up the blood (lovely). When we returned, he had a standing ovation by the diners. It was so memorable, to say the least. Awwww.

Linda and I caught up with cosmos running freely. It was wonderful seeing her again. We talked about so many things like we had never been apart. Such a good friend.

We finally got around to ordering lunch and ended with a slice of the YaYa cake--a rich flourless chocolate concoction which I always order when I come here. We used to call the teenager John Ya Ya (from Buckaroo Banzai) so it's always a must to order!

They kept a lot of the old bank intact, thank goodness. It is just marvelous. (Sorry a lot of the photos are blurred--no flash.)

I don't think I have ever eaten upstairs before. I remember the kid running up and down this staircase though when we would arrive before the place filled up.

Jeeves gives me the heeby jeebies. I kept on eyeing him wondering if he was listening in on Linda's and my conversation!

After lunch, Linda and I walked around town and hit a few shops. I miss it here. Sigh. This is the third courthouse that was erected in Leesburg, built in 1895. The previous ones were built in 1758 and 1811--the second surviving the Civil War. All about are sites from the war and it's told the area is extremely haunted! Oooooh.

A cute puppy greeted us at the door of one of the shops. But the time went by too quickly and before I knew it, I had to head back into town to meet up with the hub. Never enough time.

The hub and I had made reservations at one of our oldest and favorite DC restaurants, Nora's. Again, we remember it way back when (before the Clintons put it on the map and she had to expand--boohiss). There was a day when she didn't even take credit cards, only cash or check. It was a quaint little place, again probably two rooms only with wonderful old quilts on the wall, a fireplace and the only organic restaurant at the time. I've had some of my all-time favorite meals here. We taxied in and enjoyed pointing out all the old haunts on the way in from 7th and F Streets. The taxi driver was quite impressed until he learned we had lived here so many years before. It was a blast seeing everything again. The hub and I got a real kick out of it as we always do.

It was too dark to take photos of the meal. I ordered the Valentine's prix fixe dinner and the hub opted for ala carte. Let's see, I remember the pate appetizer and lobster for the main course. After that, I don't have a clue. Too many cosmos I suppose. It was a cosmo weekend, let me tell you.

I was so excited when I went to the loo and saw the transom with the light shining outside. Silly me, I know. I had to whip out the camera and take a shot. We had transoms in our old place when we lived in Georgetown. Awwww. Such memories. Sniffle.

After dinner, we walked over to DuPont Circle, yet another favorite area I/we spent a lot of time. Our favorite store is Kramer Books and Afterwords. We've spent many an hour in here browsing and shopping. Of course, we bought more books to lug home with us. It's just a great place.

Inside and out. You never know who you'll run into here. I still had the cosmo buzz going so who knows who I was knocking elbows with. (The eagle, at the top, was a window display somewhere around DuPont.)

It was such a great day and ended with a perfect evening. I was happy to have the hub finished with work.



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