Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Scribble Picnic - DOUBLE


Wishing you a frightful HALLOWEEN!

Scribble Picnic falls on All Hallows' Eve this year. Trying to find something
  to fit scary Halloween and a happy 'picnic' when the theme from Michael
today was a simple word like DOUBLE, was a bit of a challenge for me!


I ended up with two black cats, which could definitely be double the trouble
 on Halloween night when the Trick or Treaters come to the door!
We have our candy treats ready so no smashed pumpkins expected. 
I love to check out the kiddies cute, creative costumes. . . . . and
 see how many treats they've collected in their bag or bucket.

Later today make a visit to Michael's SCRIBBLE PICNIC page to see what
 pops up for the DOUBLE (or JOLT - an alternative prompt for today) theme.
Last evening you may have noticed Blogger went haywire - it was 
impossible to work on posts and photos disappeared from many
previous posts, that was scary knowing the goblins were at work!
Today it's up and running I believe and we should be able to link 
Expect the macabre from some of our creative group of artists!

Have fun tonight - if you stop by we have plenty
 of sweet treats to hand out.
I'll be the one in the pointed hat!



Monday, October 29, 2018

Out of the blue. . . . . . .





Here it is almost November. 
Can you believe I'm actually cutting hydrangeas at this late date! 

I didn't have a single bloom all summer for two reasons -
cutting the shrubs down to the ground last autumn when the house was re-sided 
and painted, and the incredibly disappointing unseasonal weather we've
 experienced these past months.
Yesterday we worked in the garden for several hours. Weather was perfect, first 
really sunny day after what seemed a week of rain, dreary skies and quite chilly days.



The flowers are in water that will gradually dry up. I'll remove the remaining
 leaves - then hopefully have a nice bouquet of dried, faded blooms to use for
 decorating. I recently tossed out my old ones as they were disintegrating into
confetti and no longer pretty!


Happy week everyone. 
Hope this autumn week will be beautiful wherever you are.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Another Birthday. . . . . . . .


. . . . . it's big one and I promise not to sigh, or cry!


As the seasons change, rolling one into another, Autumn arrives
 and I have an auspicious birthday today!  
Each birthday celebrated makes one
 more conscious of the fragility of life. I'm grateful to be 
celebrating my 75th in good health, feeling happy, and 
surrounded by people I love and who love me.


As Bob Hope once said -

 "You know you are getting old when the candles
 cost more than the cake."

I love that quote and it makes me laugh.

Yesterday was granddaughter Jasmin's birthday also.
Turning 22 was a little less exciting than last year's 21 when
we flew down to New Orleans for jazz and razzmatazz!!!
However, we had a great time right here at home this year.

***~~~Many Happy Returns dear Jasmin~~~***

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Monday in the city -



United States Capitol building - October 22, 2018

Home the United States Congress and seat of the 
legislative branch of the U.S. federal government.
Located on Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the
 National Mall, construction started in 1793. 
It is 288 feet high, and sits on a plateau 88 feet
 above the Potomac River.

Washington Monument - October 22, 2018

The first city landmark I noticed when
 I arrived in Washington D.C. in 1962
 was this one, the towering 
Washington Monument at the western 
end of the National Mall.
It was visible from my windows. After
 dark I could even see its flashing red 
aviation warning lights
 at the very top when lying in bed. 
When I'm back in the city I realize
 how omnipresent it is and probably
 visible from many, many windows!


The Washington Monument, constructed 1848-1884, 
was the tallest building in the world until the
 Eiffel Tower was built in Paris.
It is an obelisk, 555 feet high, built to commemorate
 George Washington, first President of the United States. 

 No building in Washington D.C. is allowed to be
 taller than the monument. Climbing the monument
 is no longer allowed, the 898 steps (50 flights each
 with a resting platform) were causing health issues
 for some visitors. I did climb it once, probably in 1963
when young, agile, and not thinking about
heart attacks!

The monument is closed until Spring 2019 as the
 National Park Service modernizes the elevator
 system - the original elevator ride to the top took
 20 minutes - and also constructs a permanent
 screening facility for visitors entering the landmark.

It is impressive, as is so much of Washington D.C.
We try to visit once a year as we have so many 
memories of this city, having lived there, met there
and married there.
If you haven't visited, hope you can some day.


Sunday, October 21, 2018

Weekend in Washington D.C. -


Three delights when visiting the big city.
Sightseeing
Shopping 
Eating

Washington Monument at Dusk


Shopping at H&M 



An afternoon 'pick-me-up' at Paul French Bakery.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Autumn soon -


Leaving home yesterday there were only tiny signs that somewhere
out there Autumn was on its way!
Notice the trees in my back garden were still really green.
Here, in northern Virginia and the District of Columbia it's
cooler.  I see a little color in the smaller street trees, but it's
 definitely not the usual vista of gold and orange seen in mid-October.




Today we'll be heading into the city where we'll park the car and
 enjoy some serious downtown walking, and perhaps some shopping.
It's cloudy, but the light showers during the night are over, and today
will be comfortable for sightseeing, high of around 64F. Hopefully I'll get
 some photos to share.

Enjoy your Saturday.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Autumn Road Trip. . . . . . . .


Southwestern France 2008

Photo taken driving through the vineyards to the medieval bastide town of Mirepoix. 
Located in the Ariège department of the Midi-Pyrenees, near my family's home,
 this beautiful town invites you to sit outside at one of the many cafes in the evocative
 13th century market square, to enjoy a drink or a meal.
  
We are off this morning.
No quiet country roads edged with ancient plane trees.
No rolling hillsides carpeted with vines now dressed in brilliant 
Autumn colors. . . . . but hoping for an enjoyable drive, and then
a glass of fruity red wine this evening somewhere fun in our
 nation's Capital!  

Cheers!



Thursday, October 18, 2018

Fall fashion - sweater weather at last!


Each year at this time I enjoy bringing you a fashion post when
the new knitwear styles appear.
I love sweaters and took mine out of storage over the past weekend.
I have many (too many says the man of the house), but none of these yet!
I picked these to show you what seems to be fashionable in sweater land
 now - they are from either Zara or H&M - stylish, some cutting edge, all
affordable, and most can work with your basic/classic bottoms.



This is one I would like to have.  Its color is given as camel but if it's really
  more this color - I'd call it milk chocolate - I want it! 
I need to check the H&M's here, and perhaps on the road trip as my faux
 Zara suede pants would look so good with this sweater.
Details I like are the reversed seams and obviously long sleeves, which I need.


This soft grey is lovely - tucks on the shoulders and great long cuffs
 to turn back or wear over your hands on a cold day. I have too many grey
 sweaters though so have to pass on this one.


Love this, especially the sleeves. On looking again at Zara online, I see it is
 actually a mid-calf sweater dress! I think it must feel so silky on the skin.


A really good looking long basic sweater, cut more like a sweatshirt. 
With a deeper crew neckline and worn over the silky looking leopard print dress 
with a small buttoned collar, it takes on a whole new look.


Of course black sweaters of all kinds are so useful. I have a black classic 
style cashmere v-neck sweater with matching button-front cardigan - worn for 
several years, comfortable, and very 'ladylike' - does that old fashioned term
 even get used these days?
Several other black sweaters sit folded in my closet, all will work well for 
some occasion this coming winter, but I'm always looking for a new one.
This one, also from Zara, I will check out - love those big cabled sleeves.


Will you be shopping for knitwear now the weather is changing? 
Which do you prefer - shopping in stores or online? 

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Scribble Picnic - Bottle


My SCRIBBLE PICNIC post was completed several days ago. . . . . . . . and
 then somehow I accidentally deleted it and couldn't get it back.
Have you ever done that? So frustrating.
Anyway, here I've worked on it again but my time is limited as I'm
in the midst of a very busy week prior to leaving town on a 
little pre-birthday road trip.

Just know that I continue to be grateful for dear Michael
bringing us together in this lovely group, and I hope those of you we
haven't heard from in a while will soon return. Also, we would love 
new friends to join us here at SCRIBBLE PICNIC - here are Michael's 
instructions for joining in - we would welcome you with open arms.

 My photo, edited to a b/w sketch with color added back using watercolor pencils.

Antique bottles by the window at the Argyle Downs Homestead Museum, 
Kununurra, East Kimberley, Western Australia.

 Former 1880's home of the Durack family, a prominent immigrant pastoral
 family from Galway, Ireland, this was a very interesting stop during my amazing
adventure to Western Australia in 2012.
Stop by SCRIBBLE PICNIC today, we would love you to join us and, as we
 are now bi-weekly, you have plenty of time to enjoy working on your
piece for next time. Hope to see you soon.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Get Away. . . . . . .



We'll be on the road in a few days time. . . . . . .a pre-birthday (mine!)
 trip to the big city.  

A place full of memories of days long ago.  
A place where I arrived 56 years ago today!  
There I started a new phase of my then young life
 when I came to work in the USA.  




Sunday, October 14, 2018

Sunrise on Sunday. . . . . .


I've rarely seen such a magnificent sunrise off to the east across the garden.

My best sunrise memories are from Autumn mornings at the coast, viewed from a 
high floor hotel balcony. Watching the sun creep up from the horizon, throw
 down a golden carpet and unroll it across the pewter ocean, sometimes all the way
 to tide line along the beach, is breathtaking.

This morning's surprise came close. I grabbed the camera and dashed outside.
Sunrise or sunset. . . . . they are always too brief.
Thankfully, the ancient mariner's rhyme, 'red sky at morning sailor's warning' 
 forecasting rain, isn't expected. Here, the entire day looks close to perfect. 
At last we can enjoy true Autumn weather. . . . . . . this morning I actually
 felt quite a chill in the air, and I welcomed it.



Sunrise ~ 7:20 AM today

Have a special Sunday wherever you are.


Friday, October 12, 2018

October. . . . . .come to the fair





As I write, the 2018 North Carolina State Fair is opening.

This should have happened yesterday but a visit from 
Hurricane Michael postponed the celebration.
Fortunately nothing was blown down, or away, as far as I know.
Today the sun is shining and the temperature is comfortable. . . .
. . . . .I'm sure opening day will be a good one.

We are still here, surrounded by yet another mess to be cleaned
 up over the weekend once the garden dries out. 
Power blinked off and on for a while, our landline was knocked out,
but we were grateful the tornado watch only lasted a few hours.
The wind was terrifying and rain torrential off and on for 
several hours.
The falling debris was only small branches with a lot of 
twigs, acorns and leaves.  For a while we had a creek running
 through the garden. 
Compared to parts of Florida hit so hard and with so much 
devastation, we have been lucky. . . . . . but come on Mother Nature,
don't you think the southeast has had enough for one year!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Always seem to be waiting -


The North Carolina State Fair opening scheduled for today has been cancelled.

Today we will sit out the last throes of Hurricane Michael which is already
 bringing us strong gusty winds. Possible tornado activity and flooding from
 the heavy rainfall is also expected. 
I'm getting tired of moving things to safer places off the porch, deck etc. 
I'm worrying about the big trees falling on us, power outages, and heavy
 water runoff through the back garden. As the wind bands come around
buckets of acorns fall from the massive oaks, rattle down the roof and roll
across the back deck.
 I am so sad to see the devastation in Florida, this was a huge storm.
These days I seem to worry about just about everything, much more than
 I ever have. Perhaps it's an aging thing. . . . . .as aging I am!

Meanwhile, with the heat continuing daily, early autumn decor displayed
 outdoors is not doing so well. I've already lost a pumpkin - it 'exploded' on
 the porch and is now in the compost bin!
Chrysanthemums are beautiful, most of the buds are now fully open,
 hopefully they last a while longer until cooler weather arrives.
I've moved them today so they will not get damaged in the wind and rain.




My cooking pumpkins and squash are my simple indoor decor for the
 season. . . . . until they are enjoyed roasted and made into tasty dishes.


Freda's delicious Apple Butter from her pumpkin farm.
A really much appreciated tasty gift.

The great British author P.D. James got it right when she wrote ~

"It was one of those perfect English autumnal days
 which occur more frequently in memory than in life."

Oh how I'm longing for golden days such as those of my own English childhood.


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