Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge - Volume 309

It's time for the Hodgepodge - click here if you want to join in.

1.  What makes you feel accomplished?  Explain.

I feel accomplished when things that I do directly benefit someone else, when I can provide them with the tools they need to succeed.  It could be something for my husband, my daughter, my boss, my spouses' group.  It gives me a great deal of satisfaction knowing that I played a part.  Not sure if that's the direction this question was going but it's the first thing that came to my mind.

2.  If you had your own talk show, who would your first three guests be?  Tell us why.

I'm sure  you're thinking that I would say three members of the Royal Family, but no, I'd chose Gervase Phinn, Bill Bryson, and Peter Mayle, three of my favorite authors who put such humor into their writing.  I think we'd have a lot of laughs.

3.  Do you have a great burger recipe?  What's in it?  What do you like on a hamburger and where is your favorite spot to order one out?

I'm hopeless at burgers so I don't have a recipe to share.  They are either over-cooked or under-cooked, I just don't have burger skills.  Sometimes I like the works - lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, tomato, ketchup, and mustard, but only if the veggies are super fresh.  Other times, I'll stick to something like cheese, mushrooms, and grilled onions with lots of mayo.  I'm really open to trying any style of burger unless anchovies are one of the ingredients!

My all-time favorite burger spots were in my California days - Big Al's Drive-In and Burger Hut on Nord Avenue which, sadly, is no longer open.  Both made big burgers with all the trimmings at college student prices.  Right now, I'd have to say Five Guys - I can pick the trimmings depending on what I'm in the mood for that visit.

4.  What's the biggest anxiety producing thing you do on a regular basis?

Menu planning, grocery shopping, and cooking.  Right now, none of it interests me.  I hope this is a phase - there are days when I just wish we didn't have to eat.  I think part of it has to do with the strained muscle in my leg and how painful it is to stand for any length of time.  The prospect of standing while prepping and cooking a meal just fills me with dread.  Vic sympathizes and he's so good; when I say "What do YOU want for dinner?", he'll usually respond with "Where would you like to go?".  

5.  This is the last Hodgepodge in May.  Tell us about your summer plans.

I'm off to a reunion with my Sisterchicks - five of the nine moms who were members of MOPS in Mayport, Florida are getting together for a week of fun, food, and fellowship...and wine!  Vic has lots of travel scheduled and I hope that something will open up on the job front for me.  If not, then my volunteer work and scrapbooking will keep me busy in the air conditioned comfort of the gift shop and my home.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

I stumbled on this the other day - a counter-depth refrigerator.  Why haven't these been available all along or did I just miss the memo?  Raise your hand if those refrigerators that stick out farther than anything else drive you nuts.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

If this is Tuesday, it must be England #65

Ambrosia Rice Pudding is one of my all-time favorite desserts.  I grew up eating rice pudding, at home and at school, and it's part of many wonderful memories.  There's nothing more comforting than a bowl of rice pudding.  I haven't actually ever tried to make my own from scratch, fearing that it wouldn't have the same creaminess as Ambrosia but I have recently come across a recipe given to me by an English friend and I'm going to give it a try.  I'll let you know how it turns out.
This year happens to be Ambrosia's 100th anniversary.  There is some fascinating history here in The Ambrosia Story and a list of Ambrosia products.  I wish my local British food store carried more of the items. 

Ambrosia, food from the Gods, no kidding!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday 5/29/2017

It's time for another Happy Homemaker Monday with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.  Click here if you'd like to join in .

The weather:::

87 degrees today and temperatures in the 80s for the week - definitely summer.

On my reading pile:::
Finished up the last of the Song of Blessing series as well as a new book I picked up at Barnes and Noble, The Dressmaker's Dowry.  I'm working on Dear Bob and Sue, Matt and Karen's Smith tour of all of the National Parks written in the form of a series of emails to their friends Bob and Sue.

On my TV:::
Victorian Slum House
The White Princess
House of Cards (how have I not found this before?)

On the menu for this week:::

Vic's home so I'll be working on this today.

On my to-do list:::

  • Physical therapy for my strained popliteus muscle in my left leg
  • Spouses' Group Lunch Bunch - we're going Mediterranean this week

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
STILL working on ornaments for the Christmas in July ornament swap.  Part One of the assembly is complete, Part Two will be done today so that I can get them in the mail.  I have to order the photo albums for the reunion.

Looking around the house:::

Vacuuming and laundry to do.

From the camera:::

My Erin Condren planners arrived - there is one for me and one for Sophia which will be our Something to Make items for Christmas.  We're doing the Minimalist Christmas again since it worked so well last year.

Something fun to share:::
I went to a great luncheon held by the international spouses' community here - it was hosted by the spouses of the Mediterranean region - Greece, Turkey, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Croatia and each table had a theme of one of the countries.  I sat at the Italy table and this was our table setting - one lucky lady took this home with her (not me, unfortunately).

What I'm wearing today:::
It's early so I'm still in my PJs.

Bible Verse, Devotional, Quote:::

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Catching Up

It's been crazy, there's no other way to describe it.  This was me over the last two weeks.  Where do I start without turning this into a novel and boring you all to death?

My old job - the one that was my dream job and the one I gave up when Vic wanted me to move to Virginia with him - is open again.  The woman I thought was keeping my seat warm until I got back (we talked when she took the position that her husband was stationed in Washington for two years and we were hopefully coming back in two years, hey presto, she would leave and I would move right back into my old job) decided that she wants some upward mobility and found a higher level position in another department.  All I could think of was my poor boss, four Executive Assistants in one year, not fun.  Anyway, I knew that all I had to do was pick up the phone and the job would be mine.  Vic was in Japan so I called him on Viber - do you know Viber?  It's like an international FaceTime and free.  He encouraged me to go for it - it was a pretty sure way to make sure that his next assignment would be there.  If we're here in Virginia together, the Navy could impose the "no coast to coast moves" directive that is in place (with exceptions, of course) in his community and Washington would be totally off the table.

What a dilemma - the prospect of the two of us being apart was not the problem, the logistics of moving me, my car, and a good portion of our household belongings back to Washington was overwhelming.  There was just something telling me to hold off on making that phone call to my former boss.

I waited twelve hours and then called Vic back.  Lo and behold, he wasn't thinking it was such a good idea after all.  I should have played the lottery - I knew he was going to say that.  He's getting a little used to me being at home when he gets off work, being at the airport when he returns from an inspection trip, and being at his beck and call when he needs something and honestly, I'm perfectly happy with that arrangement too.  By the way, don't think badly of him, the beck and call thing happens about once a month, usually when he can't remember where to find something he needs and I, of course, can immediately put my hand on it.  I call it job security.
I need to buy Vic this bumper sticker.

Just about this time, I finally got a call for a job interview.  The federal hiring freeze still hasn't been lifted across the board but it has for this particular agency so I began the process of practicing my interview skills when it dawned on my that I hadn't done a formal interview in over ten years!  It was just as bad as I imagined - a panel of three interviewers, and a set of seven questions (each one about half a page long - I had a hard time remembering what was at the beginning of the question by the time they got to the end).  They said they hoped to make a selection in a week at which time their Human Resources Department would take over and notify the successful applicant.  They said HR was a bit backed up but they were hopeful that the job vacancy would be filled in 60 days.  60 days?  Thank goodness I'm not dependent on a job to survive.  I'm still waiting to hear about the outcome.

As if all that wasn't enough, my torn/strained/sprained/pulled/whatever muscle/tendon/ligament in my leg turns out to be a strained popliteus muscle which is a muscle that starts just below the knee and wraps around the back.  Although I'm thankful that I finally found a physical therapist who knew the exact problem ("Does it hurt here?  Here?  YES! YES!"), the therapy itself is painful and I am still limping around.

When the news from Manchester hit, I was gutted.  It's my home, it hit so close to my heart.  All my family and friends are safe, no-one in their immediate circle was there but my heart breaks for the families of the victims.  Senseless violence, when will it end?

So, how's it been going for you over the last two weeks?  All I can say now is that I have about three weeks to go before I hop on a plane and head to my Sisterchicks reunion where I plan to sit by the lake and drink copious amounts of wine to dull the pain in my leg and the brain cramp from dealing with everything else that is going on in my life or as luck may have it, I'll get a call saying my new desk is waiting for me and the whole reunion will be a non-starter.  As much as I would like to go back to work, the prospect of copious amounts of wine is most definitely preferable at this point.  LOL, who am I kidding?  One glass and I'll be fast asleep.

If you're still reading, have a glass of wine, you deserve it!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Pray for Manchester

My heart is broken this morning.  Manchester is my home, my roots, the place I most associate with making me the person I am today.  All that I loved and love is in this city.  I think British comedian Russell Kane summed up what many are feeling this morning: 
Woken up this morning feeling physically sick. I thought the only worry I would have at midnight last night was replying to comments about a show I filmed after an amazing day; not frantically messaging home to check none of my family or friends were in that arena. I can't understand the mind-set of an animal, a less-than beast, who sets out intentionally to harm solely teenage girls, boys and their families. I can't understand how someone can brainwash themselves to a place where maiming and killing innocent children, mums, dads, aunties and uncles is any sort of response to the grievances he feels. I can only speak for my family, my little girl, my friends - just normal, average Brits: WE DO NOT UNDERSTAND. None of us sympathise with your f***ed up cause. None of us understand what led you to do this. None of us accept your warped ideology, your corrupted version of faith, your rationale, or any part of the bullshit you've told yourself to get yourself into that diseased, child-killing headspace. You are not glorious or courageous. You are not a martyr. You are a sick cruel, cold, murdering psychopathic bastard - on par with any other premeditating or serial killer. Your own mum and dad will probably be wailing in shame today. And even as an atheist, I can promise you, if there is a God - He is sending anyone who murders innocents southwards. 

Me and my family send love to all those affected in any way. Maximum respect to all emergency services. x
 I'll be back in a few days.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all mothers and caregivers of human and animal children.  To  my Mum and my mother-in-law in heaven, my sister, and to all my friends near and far, have a lovely day and I hope you are pampered.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Blogging from A to Z April (2017) Challenge Reflections

I'm late with my Reflections Post although you've probably heard it all before.  I didn't care for the way this year's challenge was set up.  In my last challenge (2015), there was a list of bloggers who planned to participate and after each blog name was a two-character category chosen by the blogger to identify their blog style.

ART: (AR) 

I found this very helpful - there were a lot of participants (1500+) and I wanted to zero in on the lifestyle bloggers as that is my blog style and what I enjoy reading most.  I was able to make up a blog list and add to it as I discovered other styles that interested me - crafts, travel, and fashion mostly.  I knew right away that I would have no interest in gaming, adult content, or politics among other styles.  I have a limited amount of time to visit other blogs so I wanted to make the most of it.

This year, we were asked to post a link to our letter of the day post and then visit other bloggers by going through the comments to click on the links.  In a word, tedious.  In addition, many bloggers didn't indicate in any way the topic of their post.  I spent a lot of time clicking a link, and reading a paragraph only to find that I had no interest in reading any further.  What a waste of time and after a few days, I gave up.  I made a blog list of several blogs that I knew would be participating (through another meme where we discussed the upcoming A to Z Challenge) and I stuck with those.

I enjoyed coming up with twenty-six posts on a theme.  It's a great way to get your creativity flowing.  I'd love to participate again but it would only be if the list and the categories are used again.

I appreciate all the hard work that went into the development and the administration of the challenge.  It was fun in 2015 - I met some bloggers that I still follow today - but this year, I was disappointed.

Wednesday Hodgepodge - Volume 307

1.  Share a favorite memory of your mother or share a favorite something from your own life as a mother.  If you're a mother (or stepmom), tell us how your experience as a mom differs from your own mother's experience.

My Mum was a firm believer that a pot of tea would make just about anything better.  Whether I was happy or sad, had a good day or bad, or just because, she would always say "Hello, darling, let me put the kettle on."  Whenever I have a cup of tea, I think of my Mum and how much I miss her.

My experience as a mother doesn't differ that much from my own mother's experience - she was an Army wife, often raising her children (I have a younger sister) on her own as my father worked long hours, was on a mission, or deployed.  I am a Navy wife and have raised Sophia largely on my own as Vic works the same type of schedule.  I had a very happy childhood, Mum was always there when we came home from school and her life revolved around us and my life has pretty much followed the same pattern.

2.  In May we celebrate teachers (May 9) and nurses (May 6) both.  Most every family has at least one in their midst, so tell us something (of a few things) you appreciate about the teacher or nurse in your family tree.

I'm not sure we have any teachers in our immediate family tree although Vic has been an instructor twice at Navy schools.  He was a mentor to many young sailors, sailors who still remember him to this day (it's been 14 years since his first instructor duty and 7 years since the second one) when he runs into them at the various duty stations we have lived at since that time.  He's remembered fondly, as being dedicated to his field and always willing to share his experience to help others succeed.

My Dad's half-sister is a hospice nurse.  We are not particularly close but I know that she sees much sadness and heartbreak in her work and I cannot imagine how she handles it.  She's always been a bit gruff, perhaps that's the outer shield to protect herself from all of the emotions she must feel every day.

3.  Chicken salad, egg salad, tuna salad...which would you go for if all three were on the menu?  On bread or a bed of lettuce?  If you answered bread, what kind of bread would make it the perfect sandwich?

All of the above, not together of course, but on three separate sandwiches.  White bread, preferably English like Mother's Pride.

4.  Do you have a desk?  Is it organized?  If so, share your secret to keeping it that way.  If you don't have a desk, where in your home do you take care of family paperwork and business?  Where do you normally sit to blog?

I have a desk and it's where I take care of the family paperwork, business, and blog.  It's very organized - I file or shred papers as they come in, and it has lots of little containers for bits and pieces - tubs for pens, a set of egg cups on a tray for pins, paperclips, and clamps.  If my desk is not clear, I am not happy.

5.  When I was nine years old...

We lived in Mons, Belgium where my Dad was stationed with the U.S. Army at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe.  We lived on the third floor of an apartment building, across the hallway from a British Navy family, the Lees.  On the second floor was my best friend, Michelle Cross, and her father sold cuckoo clocks out of their garage.  I think he got into trouble, something to do with running a business from his garage or not paying the proper export fees.  I was in the second half of my third grade year, in Mrs. Stone's class and then I moved up to Mrs. Sunderland's fourth grade class.  We spent every weekend, April to October, at our caravan on the Belgian coast.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Last week, one of the Hodgepodge questions was about things we just didn't get.  When Vic and I went out to breakfast on Saturday, and I was looking through the menu, I found another one - chicken and waffles.  This concept I do not get at all.  Do you put syrup over the chicken and the waffles?  Where did this craze come from?  Have you ever tried it?  It certainly doesn't appeal to me.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday 5/8/2017

It's time for another Happy Homemaker Monday with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.  Click here if you'd like to join in .

The weather:::

Slightly cooler temperatures this week - high 60s, very low 70s with a bit of rain - suits me just fine!

On my reading pile:::
Started Book 4 in the Song of Blessing series, From This Day Forward.  I don't know what I'm going to do when I finish it, it's the twenty-first book in the Blessing series.  At some point, I know I'll start the series all over again, it's that good.

On my TV:::

Call the Midwife
Victorian Slum House

On the menu for this week:::

Snack meals this week since I'm flying solo - there are a few leftovers in the fridge but apart from that, I think it will be sandwich night most evenings.

On my to-do list:::

  • Spouses' Group Board Meeting - yes, I finally caved to take a position next year - Charities Chairperson responsible for overseeing the distribution of the funds we raise at the gift shop
  • Volunteer shift at the gift shop
  • Picking Vic up from the airport
  • Tea room outing for Mother's Day

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
STILL working on ornaments for the Christmas in July ornament swap.  The photo album project for the MOPS reunion is complete but I'm holding off on ordering the books because I had such a disastrous experience with Shutterfly.  My order of 360 prints were cropped in the strangest ways, not at all the way they looked in My Shutterfuly when I placed the order.  I called to complain and the representative told me there was a second editing step for cropping that I needed to do, who knew?  She credited the cost of my entire order and arranged for expedited shipping for the reorder as soon as I went in to indicate where I wanted the photos cropped.  Once I get the reorder and if they are cropped properly, I will order the books.

Looking around the house:::

Vacuuming and laundry to do.

From the camera:::
See below - it's the only photo I've taken all week.

Something fun to share:::
We stopped at Barnes and Noble yesterday so Vic could pick up a couple of magazines for his trip and I bought this cute book.  I love Word Search books.  Perfect size to stash in my purse.

What I'm wearing today:::
Yoga pants, cream long-sleeved shirt, grey sandals.

Bible Verse, Devotional, Quote:::

Friday, May 5, 2017

Story Time Friday #1

Sandra from Diary of a Stay at Home Mom and I chatted briefly this morning about her new Friday feature, Story Time, and when she agreed to open it up as a meme, I was delighted.  I've mentioned before that my blog is a form of personal journal where I write about what's going on in our lives, things I enjoy, hopes, dreams, and the like, and the prospect of journaling my life story in 1000 posts (lol, just kidding) in a regular feature that may someday be turned into blog books was really appealing.  I find I am most creative when my fingers are flying across the keyboard so here goes.  Perhaps my grandchildren will enjoy reading the books, at least I'll know that after I'm gone, most of the answers to questions they may have can be found here.

Just a little backstory - my parents, Herb and Sylvia, met in Paris where my father was stationed with the U. S. Army and my mother worked as a British civil servant for Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes (NAAFI), most likely the British equivalent to the Exchange/Morale, Welfare and Recreation services that are available on military bases today.  My father said in his eulogy at my mother's funeral that she did not have much time for American servicemen.  Apparently, my maternal grandmother had housed some American GIs (GI = noun, a member or former member of the U. S. armed forces) in England during World War II and tended to give them the best of whatever was available, short-changing my mother in the process!  My father eventually overcame her dislike of American GIs because they were married in 1956.

1960 found my parents stationed in Germany.  They didn't have any children and were resigned to the fact that, for whatever reason, they were most likely not going to have any.  Infertility was just something that couples lived with in those days.  At sometime during their time in Germany, they befriended a German woman, Walli, who confided in them that she was pregnant and that she was not able to keep her baby.  She was unmarried and already had at least one other child (details are sketchy - another one of those times that I regret not asking more questions when my parents were still around to answer them).  Anyway, they were thrilled at the prospect of adopting Walli's baby.

I arrived earlier than expected, as evidenced by this lengthy receipt (42 items) from the Post Exchange of all of the essentials needed for a newborn for the princely sum of $36.90 dated on the day I was born!  How I would love to see the list of items.

When my parents left Germany and moved to Boston in 1961, I traveled on my German passport.  I became a United States citizen in 1962.  My German passport is still in my possession although it expired in 1966.  Two years ago, when I went to work for the federal government, I was asked to surrender it.  I was very much relieved that I didn't actually have to turn it in, I merely had to consent to have it voided which is evidenced by the hole punched in the top right-hand corner of each page.  I am so glad that I was able to hold on to this piece of my heritage.

2 weeks, 5 days old

More to come on the early years in Germany next week.  Please join us - the link is here.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge - Volume 306

1.  Can you tell I'm embracing a Cinco de Mayo theme here this week?  Do you like Mexican food?  What's your favorite dish?  How about on the side - black beans, pinto beans, refried beans, rice?  What about heat - mild, medium, hot?  Will you celebrate with Mexican food and drink on May 5th aka Cinco de Mayo?

I LOVE Mexican food.  I don't really have a favorite - I love enchiladas, tacos, taquitos, carne asada, and more!  I love Mexican rice on the side and throw in the black beans as well.  When it comes to heat, I'm a sissy so keep it mild.  No, we won't be celebrating this year because we're going out to dinner, not Mexican I'm afraid.

2.  Ever been to Mexico?  For work or holiday?  Love it or no?  If you haven't been, is this a place you'd like to visit?  Can you speak Spanish?

Never been, don't really think I care to.  I don't think I'd feel safe and there is so much poverty and so many people struggling; I know life is like that in many places in Mexico so going there to enjoy myself on vacation doesn't seem right.  Can I speak Spanish?  Maybe about three words - o, gracias, and, ok, maybe only two words!

3.  What's one thing you may accomplish this month?

I may get a job - the federal hiring freeze hasn't been lifted for the Department of Defense but I have one other application pending that's for another agency.  It takes SO long.

4.  If you were mayor of your village, city, or town, what's one thing you'd like to see changed, done away with, revamped, or accomplished?  Is serving in public office something you've ever seriously considered?

We have a long stretch of waterfront with big signs that say "Don't Feed the Feral Cats".  It breaks my heart to see the cats there so I would like to remove them as in find them homes.  I don't know how they got there or why there isn't a catch, spay, and neuter effort, too much money I suppose.  I guess even with that effort, more would probably appear.  No, I've never considered serving in public office, I hate public speaking.

5.  What's something that may be popular, but that you just don't get?

Social media, the multitude of forms.  I enjoy Facebook to keep in touch with family and friends who are far away and I suppose Twitter is a shortened version of Facebook although I've never used it.  The others - Instagram, Snapchat, Tinder, Google+ and the like - this article says there are 52 different ones, seriously who has time?  I suppose if you're a young professional, they are great networking tools but I'm not at that stage and honestly, quite thankful that all of these types of social media weren't around years ago.  Ugh, that makes me sound old and narrow-minded.

6.  Can't let this week slip by without mentioning Thursday May 4th is Star Wars Day.  As in 'May the 4th be with you' ahem.  Are you a fan of the Star Wars series?  Exactly how much of a fan are you?  On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being 'I've seen every film, own the action figures, might have dressed as Darth Vader for Halloween one year' and 1 being 'what's a Vader?' - where do you land?

I'm about a 3.  I go to the cinema to see the movies because Vic and/or Sophia want to.  It's not my choice, but I'm a team player.  As far as the action figures and costumes, no.

7.  Scroll back through your blog posts and in three sentences of less, tell us the general theme of your fourth blog post.  Does it still ring true today?  Is it a topic you re-visit on your blog from time to time?

My fourth blog post was way back in July 2011, Christmas in July Day 2.  I'm a Christmas-aholic and I have participated in Christmas in July almost every year since then in one form or another.  It's a great opportunity to try new crafts, explore new recipes, get organized, and plan ahead without all the hustle and bustle that December brings and it's fun to share share it all with like-minded Christmas lovers.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Never say never (see #4).  I just volunteered to take on the role of Charities Chairperson for my spouses' group.  Our gift shop profits go to benefit a number of charities and guess who'll be standing up in front of everyone next year, handing out the checks?  Moi.  I guess I have to say something, right?

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

If this is Tuesday, it must be England #64

If Sophia and I had a year off to travel to all of the horse places and horse events in the world, this would be near the top of the list, the Badminton Horse Trials (full title Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials), held this year from May 3-7 at Badminton Park in Gloucestershire.

Badminton Horse Trials is the world's premier three-day event, one of just six four-star three-day events in the world.  Four-star is the highest level in the sport of eventing and is renowned as being one of the toughest and most prestigious events known to equestrianism.  A three-day event consists of the disciplines of dressage, cross-country, and showjumping, run on different days.

Read more at Badminton Horse Trials brought to you by Horse & Hound here.

On another note, and not related to horses at all since, in character, I'm sure he would have loathed them, today is the 71st birthday of David Suchet, better known as Hercule Poirot through 13 series and 70 episodes from 1989 to 2013.

Bon Anniversaire, M. Poirot

Happy Birthday

Happy 2nd Birthday to Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte of Cambridge.
Isn't she adorable?

Monday, May 1, 2017

Christmas in July is coming

For those of you who like to plan ahead, here are the 2017 themes for Christmas in July.  Please join us over at the Magical Holiday Home forums.

Week 1 (July 1-July 8): Christmas Characters (Santa, Snowman, Gingerbread People, Rudolph, Elves, Penguin) - how you decorate with them (inside and out), visits to any of the characters, other ideas

Week 2 (July 9-15): Wrapping (paper, boxes, tags, bows, unique ideas, how your organize your supplies, and since wrapping is all about the gifts, show us your gift closet and any updates to it through the month)

Week 3 (July 16-July 22): Nature/Rustic/Country (decorations, visits, etc.)

Week 4 (July 23-July 31): Wreaths and other Greenery

We have a daily thread through the month of July where you can share your activities or blog links if you are blogging about your Christmas in July.  We'd love to hear all about it.

Happy Homemaker Monday 5/1/2017

It's time for another Happy Homemaker Monday with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.  Click here if you'd like to join in .

The weather:::

Summer is here - high 70s and low 80s all week.  Still resisting turning on the air conditioner!

On my reading pile:::
Still working on to A Harvest of Hope, Book 2 in the Song of Blessing series.

On my TV:::

Call the Midwife
Home Fires
Bomb Girls

On the menu for this week:::

Vic is home so it's a full week of meals here.
Monday - Oven-Roasted Salmon with Broccoli and New Potatoes
Tuesday - Grilled Shrimp Caesar Salad
Wednesday - BBQ Korean Ribs with Potato Salad
Thursday - Physical Therapy for me in the morning so I don't know what I'll feel like - Chicken Cobb Salad on standby as it's easy to put together
Friday - Grilled Steak, Baked Potatoes, Mushrooms
Saturday - Chicken Tikka Masala

On my to-do list:::

  • Haircut
  • Physical Therapy appointment followed by sale event at the gift shop to check out

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
Still working on ornaments for the Christmas in July ornament swap and finishing up the photo album project for our MOPS reunion.  I ordered prints from Shutterfly so my scrapbooking is on hold until they come in, hopefully mid-week.

Looking around the house:::

Tidy, unloaded the dishwasher while Vic was eating breakfast, one load of laundry to finish up.

From the camera:::

We had a wonderful time at the Tattoo on Saturday night - since this is the 100th anniversary of the United States' entry into World War I and the founding of Naval Station Norfolk, it was a double commemoration.

Something fun to share:::
My friend Lucie from What makes me happy shared a great You Tube site - we're gearing up for Christmas in July over at Magical Holiday Home and she found Bring it to life with Gail's Christmas in July craft a day series - so many great ideas!  I don't know if she'll be doing it again this year but if not, we have all of 2016's videos to watch.

What I'm wearing today:::
Denim capris, red T-shirt, white sandals.

Bible Verse, Devotional, Quote:::

Learning is not attained by chance; it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence - Abigail Smith Adams