Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas!

It has been a very busy holiday season here at our house. My parents have been visiting from Florida since Nov. 18th and had planned on returning Tuesday Dec. 28th but the blizzard is probably going to delay those plans. We have been enjoying their company, eating way too much, and doing lots of holiday projects with the grandkids. One day I had Landon and Savannah over to make ornaments much like the ones their Mom made when she was little.
The next day they came over and decorated gingerbread houses for the table centerpieces for Christmas dinner. I took each one of them shopping to buy their own presents for their parents and siblings and then we returned home and each wrapped their own presents. They were both very proud and excited and kept repeating to themselves " I'm not going to tell them what i got for them, it's a secret"  There has been hot chocolate with french vanilla snowman marshmallows, and plenty of How the Grinch stole christmas, a personal favorite of mine. 
I had 15 for Christmas Eve dinner between the dining room and living room. I think i was feeling fairly overwhelmed this year and found myself muttering over and over, "I can't do this anymore, it's too much" but it all worked out in the end, as it usually does.

The kids table  ranged in age from 2 1/2 to 24 but they all had fun together. I always have a surprise at each place setting, usually an ornament for the tree, the little ones each had a real gingerbread ornament and the rest of us had a German marzipan called the lucky penny man, who is supposed to bring good luck and prosperity in the new year.

It was a typical Virginia Christmas Dinner
The menu consisted of a 22 pound Whole Baked Ham
Fried Oysters ( from my husband's oyster grounds)
Homemade Macaroni and Cheese
Candied Sweet Potatoes
Baby Carrots
Steamed Fresh Green Beans
Steamed Asparagus
Baked Apples
Broccoli Salad
Fresh Pineapple
Celery and Cream Cheese, Olives and Stuffed Dates
Homemade Sweet Potato Biscuits
(canned crescent rolls for those who don't eat biscuits)
Sweet Tea
Chocolate Cheesecake
Cream Puffs
Christmas cookies
We baked and cooked for 2 days! 
My daughter, her husband and our 3 grandchildren

Ray and I with the kids and grandkids.
 My husband's eyes were closed but this was the overall best shot with the kids.

Near the end of the night, a call came in from Santa making last minute checks to his list.

May the Peace of the Season be with you and your families. May you be Blessed with Love and Good Health.
May you also have good luck and prosperity in the New Year!

Greetings From The Snow Globe

I had hoped to post this morning about the holidays, but that progam has been interrupted with the snow.  We are in the middle of a blizzard, the likes of which we don't see around here. This is supposed to continue for about 18 more hours. These pictures were taken about 3 hours ago and are already obsolete. We had 6-7 inches on the ground when they were taken and I know there is at least another 3 on top of that now. All in all they are predicting over a foot for us.
We are the peninsula between Norfolk, VA and Salisbury, Maryland and the entire storm system is predicted to steadily pass over us on it's way north. It is picking up moisture from the ocean and is acting as a nor'easter which means we will get hammered.

This is a shot this morning around 9am from my front porch window before I decided to venture out for some pictures. We have all been enjoying the scene from this venue and I think it is where I will stay for the rest of the day. I plan on using the time to read my Nikon manual and learn to use the new camera now that the holiday rush is over, for the next photo shoot , hopefully!

The view from my kitchen window, pardon the screen, of the back yard around the same time.

Crepe Myrtle berries and the church across the street.

Sedum gumdrops

Jasmine wrapped rain chains


Here's hoping everyone who is in the path of this storm stays safe and warm and keeps power!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Oh The Weather Outside is Frightful

Being home is so delightful! I'm sorry, but I am not a winter/ snow lover anymore. When I was younger I loved it, would stay out in it until my feet were like 2 solid blocks of ice and still hate to have to go in. But not anymore! It's lovely to look at from my windows but that's where the love ends!  This is a view from my front door. The snow started when I was on my way into work today and this is about 4 hours later. The road is just beyond the tree and my Prius isn't made for trekking in the snow either! We have already announced an early close for the restaurant and have sent several people home who do not live close by.  This is supposed to continue until around midnight tonight. At this rate everything on the shore will come to a halt!

Our winter blooming camellia under the eaves of the front porch.
My son is flying home today from a month in Norway so this should make him feel right at home. ( although I think he is sick of snow himself!)  Hope he doesn't suffer many delays and has safe driving from the airport home tonight ( an hour away)
For everyone out there in this same storm, keep warm and be safe!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

All That Glitters

This is the kind of gold I have been wanting. 
As anyone who know me knows, for the past year+ I have picked the brains of everyone I saw to see how they liked their particular camera. I consider this a big decision and was not about to enter into it lightly. Once you commit to a specific brand and start investing in lenses and all that goes with it, it has to be something you are going to be able and willing to stick with for the long haul.  I had been debating between a Canon and a Nikon for a long time. Then I pretty much had it narrowed down to a Nikon D90 or 300s but still didn't feel the "YES,THAT'S THE ONE I WANT" kind of excitment so i knew i wasn't ready yet. Then one Sept. morning I read about a new Nikon being released, the Nikon D7000.  I went here and read all about it and there was my AHA moment. I had made my decision. I promptly went online and scouted around and decided to order from Amazon as a few of my "regular" places didn't even have it listed yet.  The announcement was made by nikon on Sept. 15th, I ordered it on Sept 28th and it finally arrived this past Thursday Dec 2nd special delivery.
I say special delivery because while we were at work, the little brown truck attempted delivery and left a sticker on our door saying it required a signature and they would return on friday. OH NO, friday we were going to be in PA all day! The thought of my camera bouncing along for the ride for days and then over the weekend probably only to be lost in the shuffle after such a long wait....So my parents went to the post office to see if he attempted to leave it with them, I rode around trying to find the little brown truck, and my sweet husband found him, and pulled up to him and asked for my camera, hand delivering it me. For awhile I was wondering if it was ever going to arrive as it was on backorder everywhere I looked.
The wait made it that much sweeter when i finally got to open the gilded box and hold it for the first time.

With everything that has been going on around here, today is the first chance I have had to open everything and charge the battery to be able to get started.  I can't wait to begin taking pictures with it! They say good things come to those who wait and in this case, I have to agree!

Sunday, December 5, 2010


This is pretty much how my week has been, a blur. Somehow I don't think it will slow any between now and the New Year either!
 My parents have been staying with us and we have enjoyed visiting, cooking, eating and shopping.  We decided to take a roadtrip up to Pennsylvania Friday to do a little shopping.

Our first stop was the Green Dragon flea market in Ephrata. We love to go here and get Amish meats and cheeses, butter and double yolk eggs and of course those jumbo, hot off the press pretzels that are about a foot across and feel so good to cold fingers.

It was cold, around 39 most of the day but not as windy as we have seen it this time of year so that was nice. Everywhere you look up there is beautiful scenery. I would love to go back with my new camera ( more on that in the next post) when the weather warms a bit just to do a photo shoot. It was hard with me doing all the driving to get many opportunities to take photos.

It was washday as most of the farms we passed had incredibly high and long clotheslines filled with clean laundry.

After we left the green dragon we took the scenic route down to Intercourse to shop there. I would venture a guess that this is probably one of the most photographed signs in the country!

We parked right in the center of town and walked to the shops. Everything was decorated for the holidays.

The village pottery with attached bookstore is always a favorite stop with it's redware and stoneware.

Then the Old Country Store to select some fabrics for a quilt. They must have 1000's of bolts in there, there are 2 rooms of fabrics alone!

The store is very quaint with lots of homemade goodies at every turn. I picked up a few cookbooks and canning books and a jacob's ladder toy for the kids. 
The quilt room is much larger than what is shown here but i was only able to capture this much from the doorway.
This is the entryway to the fabric room. I was unable to get a clear shot of all the bolts, arranged like a massive rainbow because of all the displays but you get the idea.

After we left Intercourse, we headed back towards Ephrata to the Oregon Dairy for lunch and their delicious ice cream sundaes and a little shopping. Then we headed up to reading to do a little outlet shopping and after that we went even further north to the flagship Cabelas store as a reward for the guys. 
By the time we got home it was midnight and we had been on the road since 5 am. I learned i am not as young as I used to be as it took me all of yesterday to recuperate, we were exhausted. Next time I think we will plan to stay over and slow the pace a little!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What I Did Over my Thanksgiving Break

After feasting Thanksgiving Day, we got up at o dark thirty to brave the elements and people and do a little Black Friday shopping. Then on Saturday I had to go into work for a little while and then we decided to do this studio tour.  Getting a later start we decided to skip the furthermost studios ( which i had been to in previous years) and meet up with firends at the Holly Grove Vineyards.

Mom and I ready to do a little tasting!

Friends Carol and Steve who began the tour at the first stop in Cape Charles, met us there and we all had a great time. I have to say, I really enjoyed all of the wines we tasted and did a purchase order to begin to carry several of them in our restaurant.

Our next stop was Highpoint Glass Works where Ken Platt was doing a demo and serving hot spiced cider and cookies. Carol and I ordered handblown fruit fly catcher bottles. A very handy thing to have here on the shore come late August and September!

We then stopped by Copper Creations and watched Don Drew do his magic with copper. Carol and I were in awe of all his cool tools and antique rolling mills which he demo'd for us. We each purchased some of his yard pieces, I got a dragonfly, Carol got a crab sculpture, and some frogs. He then took us on a tour of his huge Koi pond and yard sculpures before sending us on our way with a box of scrap copper to use in our jewelry. He also invited us to come back and learn welding with him anytime. Sounds like a plan!

We went by the Onancock School which has been turned into studio spaces with other guild exhibitors before heading up to Bruce Hoover of As The Wood Turns. Dad and Steve especially enjoyed this stop as my Dad is a woodturner and Steve just purchased his first lathe to begin woodturning. After the tour ended we all headed back to our restaurant for an enjoyable dinner and a visit including having a cake to celebrate my parents' 52nd wedding anniversary before Carol and Steve headed back home to Maryland.

Happy 52nd Anniversay Mom and Dad and may you share many more!

Sunday my parents left my sister's house and came down to stay with us for the week before they get ready to go visit my brother in New Jersey. On Monday, we took a drive to the Blue Crow Antique Mall where I was renting a checkout counter display case for the past 2 years for my jewelry. I had made the decision to close it out and remove what I had left as it had become too difficult to maintain since it is about 45 minutes away from my home.
All in all it was a busy but very enjoyable long weekend!

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