Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas 2008

I may have had a very busy few weeks but nothing was going to stop me from putting up my Christmas decorations. I have always gone overboard with them and maybe this year, I haven't excelled in that department, but the place certainly looks festive.

After the hike I mentioned just previously, I had left the safe warm atmosphere of the restaurant to walk along some woodland pathways looking for fallen branches that I could decorate. I only grabbed a couple because it was so cold and windy and managed to force them into my small two door car without breaking off too much.

The tree takes pride of place by the back door and I have to confess I spent more than I should on baubles for it. I never suffer from guilt when it comes to buying Christmas decorations and have spent countless hours cooing and aahing over anything sparkly and glittery in the shops. I'm one of those people who starts stashing away bits and pieces for the tree in August as soon as the shops stock them.
And then of course, once the decs are up, it's time for the portraits.

This was Kota last year, obviously not too happy with his outfit.

This is Kota in this year's outfit, looking a lot more relaxed and taking it in his stride. I think he liked the hat of his Christmas Elf outfit. He was actually purring as he strolled around and didn't once try to knock the hat off. Below, he was happy to lay still and actually look as though he was pleased to be in the photo. Merry Christmas to you all!

Obama Inauguration

For those who have followed my blog, you would be aware that for the past few weeks, my posts were sadly lacking. This was due to a heavy workload. My boss came up with a brainwave that meant creating a website for inauguration products and we all acted on it promptly. Sales immediately started contacting their people, products were researched and a website had to be designed and artwork created for every product. The website is now up and running and can be seen at .

The site stocks everything from t-shirts to cuff links. Even cute woofer wearables like above!
So apologies to all, but now the mad panic is over and we only now need to fulfill the huge orders we're expecting. Please pass on the site address to anyone who you think might be interested and as from now, my blog shall return to normal. Watch this space!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Manassas Battlefields

Last Sunday was another freezing day with blustery winds, yet a large group of us decided to brave the elements and hike 6 miles around some of Manassas Battlefields. We were glad to spend most of the time in the wooded areas where we found shelter from the icy wind and the few times we were out in the open, conversation was dropped and heads kept down.

The scenery was beautiful as we had seen our first snow of this winter the previous day and the remaining flakes feathered the ice on the slow moving water and clung to the grass.

About halfway round our well prepared leader stopped us for a break and produced two containers filled with hot chocolate and warm cider. This gave us all a chance to warm hands and tummies and chat to new friends. We continued our hike with renewed energy and a brisk pace, knowing that the next time we stopped, it would be for lunch in a warm restaurant. Even though we'd covered a few miles and done so at a steady pace, it was still lovely to sit in a wind free restaurant with hot food and conversation which wasn't swept from your lips!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Deck the Malls with Pix of Daniel

After buying Christmas cards at the mall, I was walking back to my car in a mild state of shock after having parted with $10 for 1 card. I passed this window and immediately stopped dead in my tracks. My prior concerns evaporated as I was transported to LaLa land. I think if the person who tapped me to ask for directions hadn't done so, I'd still be standing there now fogging up the store window. Who needs Christmas tinsel and baubles to decorate a window when there's Daniel Craig?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Washington Redskins v New York Giants

On Sunday, I went to FedEx Field to see the Redskins and Giants game. My boss had given me 5 tickets, so with 4 friends I headed out to Maryland in the rain wrapped up in our football jerseys and waterproofs.

Before the game started, Sean Taylor was inducted into the Redskins Ring of Fame, a year after he was killed, and his jersey number, 21, was retired. His number was stamped onto the grass and his family are under the umbrellas above for the ceremony. Clinton Portis, ran onto the field holding a No. 21 flag.

The Redskins did not play well at all except in the 2nd quarter and the highlight of the game was their touchdown.

Their offense was poor and the sudden energy which was shown in the 2nd quarter never returned during the rest of the game.

But Debbie and I managed to keep smiling despite the rain and poor play!

The Redskins sloped off the field looking miserable with heads hung low, and the rain still pouring down. We sat in the parking lot for 40 minutes before we finally got moving and while we waited, a kind family shared their brownies with us as they sparked up their BBQ for a post game meal. How can a day end badly if there's chocolate at the end of it!

An English Cream Tea

On Saturday, I met with some of the Brit group at The British Pantry in Aldie for a chat and a cream tea. It was a miserable grey day and lovely to sit in a warm tea room with a pot of tea so large, you could barely lift it with one hand. The walls in the tea room are crammed with paintings of English countrysides and photos of the Queen. Shelves are jampacked with British souveniers and artifacts, most of which are for sale.

We sat and pored over the menu, finding it almost impossible to choose what could be eaten in one afternoon, and also what could be afforded, the prices were anything but cheap. I was having serious problems trying to decide between a bacon butty and a sausage sarnie before my scone with cream and jam. I finally settled on the bacon butty and very excitedly awaited its arrival. I was not disappointed and it took all my willpower to restrain my chomping instinct as I carefully pulled it apart to photograph it first. It had been a long time since I'd had proper back bacon with barely any fat to be seen. Although the cream tea was OK but nothing to blog about, the teapot was continuously topped up and we all had at least 4 cups.

Once our bellies were full, we waddled out to the shop and spent a while looking over familiar foods and reciting old recipes. I caught Rosie in mid grab at the sweet counter as she reached for some packets of polos. After our little break in the British world, we waved goodbye and headed back to our U.S. lifestyles.