Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year From Olde Towne

 Here's to welcoming in 2011 with much love and wishes of goodluck for you all.  

This is our wonderful and colorful Colonel Crawford leading the parade!!  

We got to see The 13th Annual Scottish Walk through Olde Towne as it passed by our house.  A Hogmanay, as it's called is a parade in which everyone participates, sings Auld Land Syne, and to hear tales of colonial history.  The last photo is a riot.  Only in Olde Towne.  

This is Home Girl and I wish you peace this coming year.  


No better time to jump into learning photography than the present, so here I go taking a great big leap off my little tri-pod.  I am not afraid of critical review since having grown up with a hyper critical mother where nothing was ever good critique away.

This particular group of photographers are varied, from beginner to professional.  I said that I wanted to learn and a few of my photo friendly friends suggested I start with online photo challenges and Blogger's Community Photo Challenge is the very first!!

Hi, my name is Home Girl and I am a total newbie when it comes to a camera.  Aperture? Shutter speed? Bokeh?  I have no clue yet, but I am a eager student.  I think I have an artistic eye when it comes to transposing what I see in my mind to a digital print.  I can "almost" get there.

So, without further, ado...I present to you, my very first entry into any photo related review group.  The subject is "white"...

The photo above was taken during our most recent snow extravaganza...and it was white.  This particular shot is from the area where My Secret Garden is, it was stunning, all crisp and quiet with the snow falling down.  I felt like I was in a movie, it was so wonderful.  I am glad to have the picture.  

I wish I could figure out how to change my blog so that I can post larger photos, but I got frustrated last night and stopped before I ended up screwing something up really badly.  

I am sure I will get it eventually...I was in the right direction...just not close to win a still needs some tweaking.  

Please go to the Blogger's Community Photo Challenge Main Page and visit all the contributor's or enter in the fun, too.  I would love to see you there.  This month's photo needs to be entered by January 7th.  

I will be back later on with a more "Home Girlesque" post later.  Deuces.  

Thursday, December 30, 2010

This and That Thursday by Mental Pause Mama

Today is a very special day for my good friend and someone I consider to be my mentor in this crazy thing called life, Mental Pause Mama.  Please go over and say hello, show some major love, tell her I sent you, I want to win that coffee maker because I live in a house with all men and I really need the coffee for my sanity and brewing Cowboy Coffee really sucks in the morning...anyway, Mama is celebrating her three year blogging anniversary!!!  And in doing so, I am having a special This and That Thursday where all my random and totally off the top of my brain quips will be about this very special lady and I mean them from the bottom of my heart, whether I win that Cuisinart Coffee maker or not.

Mama, I can not believe it's been three years.  It has been hitting me in a weird way since you mentioned it to me.  All I can think of is, WOW.  Three years.  In the scheme of things, three years is not such a long time, but looking back, it amazes me how much we have all been we have been a part of the ups and downs of each other's worlds through our daily and sometimes "not so daily" writings...

I remember when you didn't think you would make it through the twins senior years of high school and then's hard to believe they are now in their 2nd year of college.  My, how you have grown with them.

In the past three years, you have grown a deep attachment and affinity for Virginia, both the Tidewater and Piedmont areas, both having your heart deeply entrenched.

We have been there with you through moving, birds leaving the nest, a new job, ups and downs, through losing a dear fur family member, and all your fun adventures.

I am still jealous you went to Italy and Spain.

I miss seeing "those boots".

Times on the Chesapeake Bay...sigh.

Helping me to realize that the walls would not fall down if I went to worship at a Catholic church and soon I will be taking my conversion classes.

We share a deep love and affinity for, all things Monticello, Williamsburg, and Thomas Jefferson related.

I will never forget you holding my hand, from far away, when I moved to that other country called, Texas.

Parentexting Tuesday...BEST blog post out there to date.  Will it ever evolve into Grandparentexting Tuesday???

Clapping for joy with me when I came back to Virginia.

For always loving me and for being there, whether I was needing it or not.

I love how I can make you laugh and frustrated at the same never, ever, stopped loving me and that is what a "real mama" should do.

I love how you trust my weather predictions...and we each see the magical beauty in snow.

I am so grateful and thankful to God for guiding me to your blog three years have forever enriched my life and I thank you profusely.

You taught me the word, Gah!

I aspire to be a woman like you.  You have taught me so much and I am eager to keep learning from you.

Audrey changed my world forever and I got major love fo' ya.  I consider you to be a "stick girl" and those I can count on one hand.  Seriously.  If you ever need me, call me...I'll be there.

This is Home Girl and I raise a glass of Chardonnay in honor of Mental Pause Mama and your blog.  Here's to three more years!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Woes of A Winter Snow Storm

I often forget there is a negative side to having a big snow storm come through your neck of the woods.  It reminds me of giving birth to a child, it hurts like heck and you swear you will never do it again and then you hold a baby and...well, the rest is history.  That's the same thing that happens with me and snow.  It's pretty coming down and then the quiet stillness of it at night...the pretty sights and then somehow a few days later, you feel like maybe this wasn't such a fun thought after all.

See the various hats, gloves, and assorted winter garb stacked around the headlines from the local Tidewater paper.  It says "buried" in case you did not read it correctly.  That's right, this area of Virginia received more snow on December 26th than it has in more than 20 years.  I also heard this storm was the third strongest on record.

The jackets hung on chairs in hopes of getting dry.  "All this hoopla over some snow", says Benjamin Franklin.

More shoes lined up in the mud room.  

Hats and scarves corralled in the bin waiting for the next time someone has to venture out into the great white.

Blankets, comforters, snugglies, and pillows are piled high into a chair.  Waiting for the next victim of the frozen outside to come in need of warmth.

"Okay, whose big idea was this anyway?"  I am standing in fear and horror trying to gain the courage to go down the "stairs of death".  At this point, these stairs are nothing but ice.  Dangerous and scary, I tell you, but ya know what makes me come back to the bright side and know this was so very worth it?

When I trapse across the frozen walkway sliding and nearly killing you want to know what reminds me "why I crave snow"???

I get scenes like this to etch into my brain.  I know how truly blessed I really am.  

This is Home Girl and it's all good with me.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Can You Be Emotionally Attached To A Camera?

Houston, we might have a little, itty, bitty problemo...Home Girl is having serious emotional attachment issues with her new camera.

As in...she does not want to put it down.

As in, she is driving everyone crazy by spending hours taking photos, walking aimlessly away from the group, asking people to remove themselves from a shot, and making her people wait for her while she takes the time to get the perfect shot.

As in...she is really diggin' this photo shiz, yo.

No, seriously...I am.  There is a whole new world opening up to me and I want to learn as much as possible.  I heard that photo walks do learn by shooting many, many photos.

I am learning.  I am really loving the process though.  It's as if I look at these photos and say, "finally, you get to see what I see in my mind."  Can you tell I am really, really, really pleased with my new camera.

Russia asked me if I was going to sleep with "her" tonight.  (My camera is a "her" and I call her my baby...yes, I do.)

I said, "I just might...don't tempt me."  The only other time I felt like this about something, it was my Easy Bake Oven when I was like eight years old.  I would have slept with that too, but it wasn't feasible.  There were light bulbs and crumbs to get in the way of comfortable sleep.  I suppose sleeping with my camera would be a little much, but I did momentarily consider it.

He has made me such a happy woman this holiday.  I tell him every hour or so...just to remind him.  I think it is important to really let our loved ones know when they get it right...ya know, so they'll be more apt to do it again when it's required.

This is Home Girl and I really do love this camera.

I Believe in Santa!!!

A most wonderful Christmas was had here in Olde Towne.  There is just so much to talk about that I feel somewhat overwhelmed...where do I start?

After the holidays began with me getting the flu and then being slow to recover, I felt like things would never get finished...I was fighting with stress taking over and the anxiety the holiday's cause grabbing me by the neck, strangling the last breath from my body, but then...

I had a couple of glasses of wine and things calmed down.  I was able to relax and then...

Santa came and he definitely made up for any mishaps caused along the way.

Russia and I went to his mother's home for Christmas Eve Dinner and to hang out with that side of the family.  We had a lovely dinner and enjoyed the company of many.  Momma Santa gave me new Ugg boots, white chocolate, and not just one Starbucks gift card, but two!!!  She adored her holiday table runner and other surprises.  Russia received the most yummy blanket that I have been trying to steal for a snuggle.  He also got winter clothes, sweet treats, and gift cards to go shopping with.  Exhausted and with tummy's full we went home and passed out.  It was a wonderful evening filled with laughter, smiles, and love.

When we woke up on Christmas morning, Santa came!  (No, really...HE DID)  Someone got a new camera, 4 GB memory card, camera bag, and tripod.  Someone is beyond excited and has spent the past two days playing with said camera with amazing results.  I just keep on telling everyone how much I am in love with this camera.  It is a brand new one out on the market and even though it is a "point and shoot", I am beyond thrilled with the results.  My camera (that Santa brought me) has something called Smart Camera Technology.  It actually scans the area being photographed and sets up the right solution for the best photographic quality.  I think it was the best way for me to continue to strive towards excellence in this art form.  I really love it.  I really do.

The men and myself got ready for Christmas Day Mass (which I had never been to) and we were out the door early to get good seats.  Mass was beautiful and heartfelt.  It was such a special time to reflect and remember the true reason for this holiday.  It made me feel close to my Daddy, whom I miss dearly and deeply this time of year.  It was a present I had not even expected and those are often the best ones, don't you think?

After mass, we left for Grandma's house.  Along with a huge Christmas Day feast, we enjoyed yet more surprises that Santa had left for us all.

Russia and I played outside by the river, where there were Canadian Snow Geese honking their news that Santa might have brought us "something very special" but we would have to wait until the latter part of the evening for his surprise gift.

Naps filled the late afternoon and then we all piled into the car for a trip out to "the country" where we celebrated a birthday with cousins until late into the evening.  There was home-made egg nog that was extra noggy with Kentucky bourbon, buttery pound cake, Smoked Smithfield ham biscuits, and the most beautiful outside decorations.

As we were leaving, Santa gave us his last gift.  Yes, Virginia got a White Christmas and I must say he certainly out did himself.  I could not  have asked for more.

I am still just stuck in the awe of it all...

This is Home Girl and I do believe.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Starting to Feel Much Better

I went ahead and made the papal decision to stay out of the restaurant until at least Monday because this flu bug has been slow to exit my system.  God knows when I just need some down time.  I have learned to listen to Him.

There is still so much that I still need to finish up before the big day arrives, but I am not stressing over anything because I have also learned that there is no use in that.  Stressing over things is just not productive.  I do what is feasible and it is what it is...

I have a nice winter storm to track for the later part of this weekend which may or may not include measurable amounts of white stuff falling from the sky.  That makes me very happy, because if you knew me well you would understand already just how much I love weather, especially when it involves words like "snow" and "Winter Storm Warnings"...for which I foresee being posted by this Friday evening for the Mid Atlantic Seaboard and points North.

I have Christmas presents to finish up today and tomorrow.  I am loving this down time where I can just sit and stitch to my heart's content.

Two more runners, three neck warmers, four stockings, and six sets of towels are on the "get finished" list.  If I get past that, then I might make a few totes, too....but that is wish casting right there.

I made some Sugar Cookie Cut Outs last night and got them frosted and decorated...they are all gone this morning.  I now know that I can not leave treats out on the counter because "the boys" will get to them and EAT THEM ALL.  So, in addition to sewing, I will be baking some more this evening.  Ask me if I mind???

I hope you are enjoying the last few hours before the holiday, but please promise me you will not stress about what isn't done.

This is Home Girl and I'm Straight Chillin' this year...with a big smile on my face.

Monday, December 20, 2010

I Hate Being Sick!!

I have not been sick with a cold or anything since December 2008 and I hate it even more now, then I did back then.  I can not stand it one bit, but the flu bug has found me and now I am a not so happy person.

I don't do sick well, at all.  I just hate taking medicine, because all I can do is just lay there and it's right before the holidays and there is still so much I have left to do.  I am terribly allergic to medication like Sudophed (sp?) I am just too cranky to even look up the correct spelling and that is sick.

I know there are a few other people that are feeling the same way I do.  I am right there with ya!  Yucky, sicky, grossness.  Go away and leave us alone.

I am home today bundled up in my flannel jammie pants, a UVA t-shirt, a hoodie, and my cashmere socks.  I am hoping to sweat this crud out of myself.

The only food that I am craving is hot wings and ice cream, but not together.  That would be disgusting.

I am drinking flat Coca-cola because that is what my Nana use to give me when I was all icky.  I doubt she would have given me the ice cream, but it does feel good going down my throat.  She would have also given me some Bella Donna, but you can't get that anymore.  It made my world all lovely.  It was an OTC medication when I was little.  She would mix a small amount into my Coca-cola to drink with ice chips.

I am going to go sammie a table runner and get under the covers on the sofa in front of a fire.  I will make the "quilting ghost" happy because I am going to lay there today and hand quilt it for Russia's mother for Christmas.

It is made with Sherry Berry that a very special blog friend sent for me.  She also sent me this wonderful bunting for one of the many fireplaces in this grand home.  That is Benjamin Franklin up on the mantel.  He is keeping watch over me.

If I felt better, I would be baking cookies or I would be at work...but that is just not happening today.

This is Home Girl and I want to know, what do you do to make yourself all better?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

No explanation necessary.  It's on like Donkey Kong.  

Getting More Than You Ask For

I am going to preface this post with, "I have not been praying for snow".

I have been drinking hot chocolate from my snowflake mug and Russia is about to take that mug outside and smash it ceremoniously, in hopes of breaking whatever strange weather hold Mother Nature has on us right now because....

Tomorrow is going to be another "event" for us on the Southeast Atlantic Coast.

According to all available data and resources (which are numerous) and in agreement with the National Weather Service, Southern portions of Virginia (up through Richmond) and Northern sections of North Carolina are going to receive up to 4 inches of new snow and or ice on Thursday.  The most recent white stuff falling from the sky was measured here in Olde Towne at 2 a lot more than what is photographed here, okay?

These same powers are also predicting a fairly large system that will move across the area this coming Sunday allowing more wintry weather to traipse through.

Ho, ho, ho...Merry Christmas.

I didn't do it, I swear.

People are funny when it comes to me and weather...they act like I have some ability to make it snow.  I don't and if I did, then I should definitely be making a lot more money than I currently am.  That only seems fair, if "I am THAT good!"

I just tell it like it is, and the fact of the matter is...Virginia is going to get some snow.  Virginia deserves this as it has been some time since we have had wintry weather two years in a row.  I mean, we got some snow in February last year, but this current pattern has eluded us for the past...say, 50 years!

There is no doubt, I am a snow baby.  I love snow.  I crave snow.  It makes me uber happy and I think this is because every time it snows in the Southern portions of Virginia, it is quite a miracle.  It takes the right conditions...the right set up, to make for a snow day here in Tidewater.  I get as excited as a school girl about it, too.

La, la, la,'s snowing.  Well, not yet, but it will be.  Our neighbors will all get some snow from this first system, too.  We like to share here in Virginia.  We are nice like that.

This is Home Girl and I'm getting excited!!