Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Jeanine is Engaged

Our daughter Jeanine is now engaged to Dave Smith, a Prince William County police officer. They are planning a wedding for May 26 here in Virginia. This picture was taken at Jenn and Terry's house on Thanksgiving day. Unfortunately, Dave had to work that day, which is why he was in uniform. And, NO, he is not drinking alcohol in uniform. Our daughter on the other hand is having a glass of Chardonnay. Since Dave loves Jeanine and Barney, we know he is ok. Congratulations you two and best wishes for a long and happy marriage.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

One Day Till Christmas--I Think We Are Ready

One Day Till Christmas--I Think We Are Ready
The Carolers are in the window.
The naughty nutcrackers are on the table.
The living room big tree rotates and has a train that runs around the tree.
The army of Christmas bears are guarding the stairs.
The poinsettias are in the kitchen window.
The Christmas cookies are baked.
The German creche is on the kitchen island.
While the blue and white creche is in the dining room.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Will Be Here Soon!

Christmas Will Be Here Soon!

Newsflash: If Christmas arrives on Christmas Eve that means we have just 8 days to get everything done. Wow! Time sure flies between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Hope all of you are getting your Christmas act together. We are now getting lots of Christmas cards which makes me very happy. And I love that most folks include a photo of themselves or their children or their pets.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Leukemia Update

Leukemia Update
Last week I did four days of chemo and on Wednesday I went to the Prince William Hospital outpatient center for blood transfusions and for platelet transfusion. To have the transfusions you need to go in the day before to register and have blood drawn for testing.

Now this is where things get interesting and strange. Jack and I arrived at the hospital around 4:00 P.M. last week and discovered at least four Manassas police cars and one canine unit at the front door. When we got out of our car a lady in the parking lot warned us not to go up to the door because there was a confrontation between a group of young Latino men and young African American men. Everyone was yelling and screaming. It sounded like about 25 people yelling but I counted only about 12 people including the police. Well, Jack and I had to get inside to register before closing time so we quietly and quickly circled around this group at the front entrance and went inside. Later when we came outside the young men were all gone but several police officers were still on the scene. Strange, strange, strange! I can see a confrontation taking place between two groups at a bar or a school or even a shopping center but not at the front door of a hospital. We never did find out what was going on, even when we returned on Wednesday.
So I guess this is a mini mystery.

This week I finished up my seven days of chemo on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Yesterday I spent resting on the couch. The chemo kinda wipes out your energy.

Oh No, Another Shooting At VA Tech

Oh No, Another Shooting At VA Tech
Another shooting at VA Tech! Part of the problem is that it is too easy to buy a gun in the state of Virginia. As in some other states it is easier to buy a gun than to vote. Seems to me it should be just the opposite. I also worry that some parents with students in high school will not want to send their kids to Va Tech now even though VA Tech is the college in Virginia to attend if you want to be any kind of engineer or veterinarian.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Yes, It Does Snow In Arizona

Newsflash: Yes, It Does Snow In Arizona
Jack got a message from his sister Barbara that Willcox, AZ right off interstate 10 between NM and Tucson got around six inches of snow this week.

Today Is The 70'th Anniversary Of Pearl Harbor Attack

Today Is The 70'th Anniversary Pearl Harbor Attack
I was able to visit the Pearl Harbor Memorial In 1969 while making my way home from teaching on Okinawa. At that time oil was still oozing to the surface from the sunken USS Missouri. I heard on TV this afternoon that this will be the last gathering of the men who survived the attack that killed over 2000 military folks. There are only about 150 survivors still alive. When Jeanine went to Hawaii last year she shook hands with some of the survivors who were there then. Most of these vets are in their late 80's or early 90's.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving
Hope everyone has a safe journey to their destinations for Thanksgiving on Thursday. Enjoy the weekend away from your jobs. This is the weekend that kicks off the Christmas season, so I eliminated all my regular songs on PLAYLIST and brought up the Christmas songs. I may add more Christmas songs later.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Jack Pulled Up The Yellow Hostas Yesterday

Jack Pulled Up The Yellow Hostas Yesterday
We have had a frost that yellowed our green hostas so Jack pulled up all the yellow hosta leaves yesterday. Don't worry. They will come back up in the spring nice and green. It suddenly is beginning to feel like November with the grey skies and the foggy mornings. Days are getting so short. I admit that that I don't like. I like light. But the days will not gain light until after the winter solstice in late December. By the end of January there should be a little more light at night.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Scenes Of Fells Point In Baltimore, Md

Scenes Of Fells Point In Baltimore, MD
This is where the water taxis bring tourists to Fell Point from the Inner Harbor
The old cobblestone streets are still there.
So are the old street car lines that are no longer used.
A nice looking brick building in Fells Point.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Eating In Fells Point In Baltimore, MD

Eating In Fells Point In Baltimore, MD
Jack and I spent two days last week in Baltimore, MD. It seems like every time we go go Baltimore we have seafood---crab cakes or oysters. This time we also had them. The oysters were at the Oyster House where Jack had a great oyster soup. We usually have the crab cakes at Phillips Restaurant at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore. The Inner Harbor is where a lot of museums are and it caters to tourists as well as locals. But on this most recent trip we had the crab cakes at the Tremont Hotel where we shared a meal. I think these were the best crab cakes I have ever eaten. All crab, no filler with a just a hint of Old Bay Chesapeake seasoning. Yum,yum!

Now I want to tell you about a restaurant that we discovered on a corner in Fells Point. The place has been in business for over 6o years in the same location. It is called Duda's Tavern and it was founded way back in 1949 by Walter and Pauline Duda to cater to blue color workers. In the 1980's when the Inner Harbor was developed the owners added a small kitchen to the tavern. Well, to make a long story short Jack and I discovered a fall lunch special on the menu that got us very excited. Sausages (brats and other types) served with mild sauerkraut and hot potato salad. Weordered that lunch special and were pleasantly surprised. The sausages were were good, the sauerkraut was good but the star on the plate was the hot potato salad. It was the best hot potato salad that I have ever tasted. Yum, yum!!!

The food at this simple tavern was so good that I had to ask our waitress for a menu to add to my large menu collection. The waitress obliged us and even gave us a golden sticker to add to the top of the menu. The sticker was for the tavern's 60 years of being in business in Fells Point.

Come back tomorrow and I'll show you a photo of my latest collected menu.

Monday, November 14, 2011

What To Do With The Fallen Leaves

What To Do With The Fallen Leaves
Some folks rake them into piles and then put them in plastic bags. Some folks like Jack use the lawnmower to pick them up and place in the trash cans. Our dear neighbor Dickie whose Dragonquilter blog is down below on the right has a fancy dancy device that sucks up the leaves into an attached bag that can be emptied into the trash cans. Dickie notes on her blog that to her the bummer is that not all the leaves fall at the same time. That means you can get the leaves picked up in some fashion one day and by the next day or week your yard is again filled with fallen leaves. For Jack and I the last trees on our property to lose their leaves are our three Bradford pear trees that are just now approaching full fall color. Two of our neighbors who have a certain type of oak tree, which does not lose its leaves until mid spring when the new leaves emerge from the trees. Now for me that is the real bummer. Picking up the leaves in the fall is one thing but doing it in the spring is no fun at all when you are thinking early spring flowers emerging and blooming.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Lazy Sunday/ I Slept In

Lazy Sunday/ I Slept In
Have a good day everyone.
Watch your favorite football team play ball.
Redskins lost again. So what else is new.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A New Man In Town

A New Man In Town
My Jack stepped down at the October NARFE meeting as the Manassas Chapter president. The new president of the NARFE Manassas Chapter is David Doliber who was for many many years the NARFE secretary. In the photo above he is the gentleman with the cane. The other three men being sworn in at the October meeting are keeping their same possessions as treasure or vice-president.
In this photo you see Pierce Johnson who graduated from the Naval Academy and who is a retired navy admiral doing the honors of swearing the officers into office for the coming year.
Are you a retired federal employee? Do you belong to your local NARFE chapter? You should belong. NARFE is the only organization working to keep our federal retirement benefits.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Say Thank You To A Veteran Today

Say Thank You To A Veteran Today
Today is Veterans Day all across American. If You know a veteran, go up to them today and thank them for serving in the military. And remember all those veterans who have served and have died. God bless them all.

Oh Dear, Those Dang Deer!

Oh Dear, Those Dang Deer!
Guess what. The deer that come strolling over from the golf course to our yard have the gosh darn nerve to chew the blossoms off my blooming mums. Bambi you are driving me nuts!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Still Decorating For Christmas

Still Decorating For Christmas
Still changing from fall decor to Christmas decor and while we are decorating we are listening to the TV politicals discuss the republicans running for president. I can't ever remember such a diverse and unusual group of republicans running for office either at the state, congressional or presidential level. Interesting but a little bit strange too.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Change Months/ Change Decor

Change Months/ Change Decor
Whew! Busy! Busy! Soon as October and Halloween are gone it is time to change decor. Quick! Put away the fall and Halloween decor and start to decorate for Christmas because these days Thanksgiving means not only giving thanks but the beginning of the Christmas season. So on Monday Jack and I put away this wreath and started pulling out and decorating the house for Christmas. And with the time change and the darkness beginning around 5:30 P.M. it is really nice to see the twinkle of holiday lights around the house.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Our Three Favorite Halloween Visitors

Our Three Favorite Halloween Visitors
Our grandson Jack Aidan as a dog with his parents as super heroes.
Take a look.
Hope everyone had a memorable Halloween.


Monday, October 31, 2011

Weather Update

Weather Update
Northern Virginia lucked out. Just a dusting of snow and ice. But we have friends up in PA who have been without power since Sunday afternoon and may not get power back until this Wednesday. They are cuddling up with their dogs by their fireplace. Good luck Mary and Phil!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Cold Outside With Rain, Ice and Snow Pellets

Cold Outside With Rain, Ice and Snow Pellets
Is this the way to celebrate Halloween?
I don't think so.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thank You John Brooks


Thank You John Brooks
Our wine club leader created this very informative book about wine.
This is a great book!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Week Before Halloween Night

The Week Before Halloween Night
Lots of crazy shows on TV dealing with Halloween
I like Regis Philbin's old pics of Halloween costumes in the past on his show.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Russia Raiders in D.C. Last Week

Russia Raiders in D.C. Last Week
The eight graders from Russia Local School in Russia, Ohio were in D.C. last week. I hope they all had a good time. I would love to know all the tourist sites that they visited while here. I hope they were not too disappointed that the reflecting pool on the mall was tore up for repairs. And of course they got to see the Washington Monument with its earthquake cracks. I wonder if they went to see the new and impressive looking Martin Luther King Jr. memorial on the mall.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Our Fall Mums



October Book Club Read

October Book Club Read
Jack downloaded this photo of the book cover of the book Turn Right At Machu Picchu because this was the very first book I read on my new Kindle. Delaine hosted the group at Dickie's house and served Peruvian foods. She chose this book because when she was just ten years old she toured Machu Picchu with her mother. She had old photos to show the group of her tour. Most members thought the story of the original "discoverer" of Machu Picchu was long and boring but they enjoyed the more recent trips to Machu Picchu by the author Mark Adams because they were humorous.

September Book Club Book

September Book Club Book
This was the second book my book club has read that was written by Jeannette Walls. Several years earlier we read The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls. Jack also read both of these books this year and liked both though like me I think he liked Half Broke Horses the most. This is a true story in the since that the characters actually lived in the Arizona desert but Jeannette Walls wrote it as a novel because she was alive when her adventures grandmother was having these adventures. She calls it a "true life novel" complete with lots of black and white photos.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Another Sign of Fall

Another Sign Of Fall
Our burning bush has turned deep red.
Later it will drop its leaves for the winter.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Sign Of Fall

A Sign Of Fall
Our little chipmunk that I call Chip keeps hiding more birdseed at the very edge of this step. His hole is so small next to the step you would not notice it all all.
And here is where Chip is getting all his birdseed. The farthest bird feeder from the window looks like it has a bird getting seed from inside the feeder but look closely and you will realize that that is Chip!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Thank You Present

Thank You Present
My sister Mary and her husband Jerry came with their oldest daughter Tammy to visit Jack and I last week. Now this is the yummy edible bouquet they sent to us for staying at our home. Thanks guys. The dark chocolate covered strawberries and apples were delicious.