Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Puddy Tats & Penelope

On Saturday morning I got up early as I was going to DC to see Emily's new house and then go with her and Jason to our friend Penelope's birthday party. The sun was shining as I jumped out of bed and it felt like a skirt day. I put on Cathedrals by Jump Little Children and with the sun beams shining down through a high circular window I waltzed barefoot around the bedroom. After dancing through Lazurus by Porcupine Tree, I was raring to go and grabbing my camera and Penelope's present, I sped to DC.
 This was the first time I'd seen Emily's house as she'd moved at the same time as me. It was gorgeous inside and she was pretty much upside down still with her belongings, like me. We sat and chatted for a while and then Jason came up with the idea of visiting a local structural salvage warehouse nearby.
The warehouse is closing down and moving to another location in Maryland so we were hoping for some good deals. I rather fancied the idea of a couple of columns in my bathroom.
But after strolling around, the only thing I wanted to buy was a slate key stone. These though were not for sale as they were being saved for a dealer. But the place was still of major interest to Emily and I as it housed 3 beautiful cats. They were the grubbiest cats I had ever seen yet seemed very happy. The owner was even taking them to Maryland with him where he had an apartment ready for them to move into.
Then off we went to Fort Washington to see our dear friend Penelope for her birthday party. She has a wonderful welcoming family who we started up conversations with immediately and a particularly awesome spicy guacamole dip which we polished off rapidly.
Penelope with Doc in the background who she is successfully converting into a gadget geek.
Lily talking with Jason. Lily and I were sent out for more dip and beers. We launched into a conversation and chattered the whole trip. Great lady.
One of our urbexing buddies, Tyson, who we haven't seen in ages.
This is Grandma who lives in the basement and is about to celebrate her 94th birthday. Fabulous lady and fully fit, she tucked into her pina colada and birthday cake as enthusiastically as the rest of us.
Penelope looking a little threatening with that knife. She had 2 birthday cakes. Yum!
We all crowded round the table waiting for the cakes to be cut which were made by Desserts by GerardThese were wonderful cakes, heavy and loaded with strawberries, one was Red Velvet and the other was Strawberry Shortcake which was the one I plumped for. No vegetable oil in this icing, this was made with top notch ingredients. Lots of groans and moans of enjoyment were heard around the table as we all tucked in. Happy Birthday Penelope, wonderful party!

Monday, June 27, 2011

PFCA 35, Wolf Trap, Vienna, VA

On Thursday, Rob and I went to Vienna to see Peter Frampton play and celebrate the 35th anniversary of his album, Peter Frampton Comes Alive. Rob had actually seen him live 34 years ago at Niagara Falls just after the album was released. Of course I can't boast a similar story as back then I was far too young to be attending rock concerts.
Postcards were being handed out advertising a 3 disc set of the whole concert that would be available at the end for a mere $35. Rob happily slapped his notes on the counter.
Waiting patiently and fervently wishing it would hurry up and start.
And then it did. Peter launched into Something's Happening and the arena started jumping. it was wonderful to just sit and enjoy the music. We had beer, a picnic, a gentle breeze wafting through; what more could we want.
As he went from song to song, it just got better and better. I really think his guitar playing has improved with age. He commented on being miffed because his acoustic album, Footprints, was awarded a Grammy, the only album to receive this and the only album without him singing! But tonight his vocals were superb and we marveled at how he found the energy on this tour. He started in March and plays pretty much every other day right through until the end of November, putting on a 3 hour show each evening. And the guy's 61. That's impressive.
Me and Rob enjoying the evening.
These images gives a rough idea of how far away from the stage we were.
Peter finished performing just after 11pm. He'd started at 7:30 and stopped for about 25 minutes. He certainly gave us our money's worth and we were glad we'd got our t-shirts early. I bet they ran out. The show was absolutely brilliant and his songlist for the evening is here.
We got in line to pick up Rob's CDs and then walked to a now empty parking lot to collapse into Stuart and head home to Marshall. It had been a fabulous concert but we had noticed that Peter occasionally looked tired and strained. Not surprising with his regime but we then discovered he'd just divorced his 3rd wife. It made me feel proud to be an admiring follower of such a man who under extreme stress and duress still strives and succeeds in putting on a first rate show for his fans. A true star.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Another Lazy Weekend in Marshall

This was my last lazy weekend for a while and I relished every moment of it. On Saturday Kota had to see the doctor because of a nasty black mark under his chin which was growing and scabbing occasionally. I was thinking of that horrible C disease and was a mess Friday night and Saturday morning. We went to the clinic here in town and had the place to ourselves. The doctor was wonderful, no pressing of unwanted services and a diagnosis of...Feline Acne. What?! He's 9 years old, not a teenager. But the relief was tremendous. I hugged my little man and treated him to a big bowl of tuna when we got home despite having been told that he needs to lose a pound. He'll do that running around outside anyway. I then rushed out to celebrate by shopping. Got me a gas BBQ, cover, some groceries and a load of flowers and herbs for the patio and spent a contented couple of hours filling pots and arranging them outside. Then I looked at the BBQ assembly instructions. Didn't like the look of that too much so I emptied the box to see what was there. Looked at the manual again and the pieces and still didn't like it. Went indoors and pottered around, came back outside and looked at the manual again. Nope, it hadn't changed. Deep breath and I got stuck in. 30 minutes later I'd done step 1 but not very successfully. So it was time to call on a friend, a man friend. So Steve came to my rescue and assembled it brilliantly while Barb, who had also turned up, and I passed him beers and tools and pieces and encouragement. Then we cooked on it. Awesome! Saturday was a good day.
On Sunday, it was a sleep in, then a clean up, then a trip to the IGA again which had been calling my name. I love this store.
 I came back this time with fried chicken cooked in the store and apple cider doughnuts baked locally. That and a beer was lunch fit for a queen.Should have put my tiara on but I haven't found it yet.
Then, time for a walk and to take some photos. Kota went round the back of the house and decided to climb the dogwood tree. He hasn't climbed a tree for years and the last 2 times resulted in a ladder being required to rescue him. But he wanted to go up and who was I to stop him.
A tentative start and then he was off...
Getting a little confident here...
And still he heads higher...But common sense prevailed and he managed to return to the ground and safety without any help. Rain was threatening with huge drops plopping on our heads so we dashed indoors. Just in time as the heavens opened with an introductory crash of thunder.
This little minx has been responsible for chewing through the rope on my bells hanging in the tree and now he was determined to dump out all the bird seed in the feeder. Despite me wagging my finger and knocking on the rain smeared window, he carried on undaunted and succeeded in emptying the box. I had only filled it up less than 2 hours ago. 
The rain carried on plummeting down for a while but then stopped abruptly so I popped out to grab a couple of shots of some of my plants.
There. So my last photos of the weekend have been uploaded. Next weekend is going to be a busy one, so until then I'll conserve my energy and foster my creative thoughts and ideas for the next post.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Meadow House, Marshall, VA

So I've been in Meadow House for nearly 3 weeks now and am starting to feel like I'm really at home. There's still a stack of sorting out inside to do especially as many of my evenings have been spent at work or I've simply been too exhausted, but at least I now know where everything is, well, nearly everything. I've started to settle, got used to the longer commute, all of 45 minutes, and Kota is also allowed outside now and taking great joy in exploring his new surroundings.
Each morning we watch the sun rise and if I get home in time we watch it set. Breakfast is eaten in a chair by one of the sets of french doors to observe the deer only 30ft or so away from me slowly wading through the long grass in the meadow, or we sit at the dining table and watch the cardinals pecking at their seed from the box in the dogwood tree outside the huge picture window. Life is bliss here in the country. Peaceful, serene, beautiful and a joy to behold.
I've taken a few photos but haven't concentrated nearly enough on capturing the atmosphere well enough so the following are a few snapshots of the house and our garden area along with the surrounding fields through which we have the freedom to stroll.
Kota and I like to go for a walk together through the fields and since he behaves just like a dog, (as my last cat Chloe did), he trots alongside me and stops to sniff every now and then. We walked down to the pond where he promptly decided to rest on the bench and so we sat together and fed the koi carp; a container of food is hanging in a nearby tree. Later a couple walked down with their dogs and the guy actually squinted at Kota, not believing that a cat was being taken for a walk. I assured him his eyes weren't deceiving him and he laughed and said they would take their dogs another way. I did end up having to carry Kota on my shoulders when we walked back up the hill. He's not daft and will loudly demand to be picked up.
More photos will follow of our new home and the surrounding area. My cameras are all found, I have my desk set up and an internet connection. Let the adventures begin!