what’s on your summer?

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I love LOVE summertime!    Even with the humidity that lingers around on those dog days there is always a refreshing jump in the water to cool my soul.

With a few schedule changes here and there – Apple and I started with our first girls road trip through Maryland.  We visited Hunting Lake in Maryland and the beach at Chesapeake.   Aftering picking up Football Superstar and the pup, my husbands request for Father’s Day was to keep it simple and quiet.   So that meant a nature hike through the Shenandoah only to find ourselves bitten by flies and other microscopic swarming bugs.   All in all….it was a great time!

Today as I sit on my deck, ice tea at hand, pup by my side a cool summer breeze continues to flutter my notes.  It’s moments like this – this exact feeling of summer that makes me fall in love with the season all over again.   My husband knows I would live outdoors if it were possible.   There is nothing like cooking outdoors, eating outdoors (minus the flies), entertaining outdoors and winding down the evening by relaxing with a glass of wine with the one you love.

I’m lucky today – temps are in the high 80’s with low humidity.   Tomorrow that will change.   But I will not leave my deck unattended!   There’s always evening after the sun settles behind the trees…..we can enjoy it all over again!

Friday, Apple and I decided to take out our beach cruisers and ride the Old Dominion/DC trails.   Her new hobby is photography, and no doubt she will find some very cool spots to photograph along the Potomac.

College Daughter plans to come home in a few weeks.  She’s eagerly working out a plan for after graduation from VT.    Meaning Grad School.  Working in the college town of Blacksburg can be quiet over the summer months.   Which she tells us isn’t a bad thing.   We are looking forward to her coming home……and no doubt she’s going to bring me more surprises.   That will be more large bins to store.

I’m trying to bottle up this season.   If you have followed my blog long enough – you are probably saying to yourself “she says this every summer”.    “She loves loves loves summer!”         I do!   I just can’t help myself!    And every summer when August rolls around I find myself not tiring of the season, not ready for school to begin (especially the thousand page list of school supplies, in which they never really use) and I certainly am never ready for Halloween items to be out in September when I’m just finishing up Labor Day and not ready for Thanksgiving/Christmas items to be out when I’m searching for Halloween costumes!

Oh, summer.

What’s on your summer?

 

 

 

 

when Comedy isn’t Funny anymore

This is not a political post rant.     But perhaps it very well could be due to the nature of my rant post.

During my monthly mom’s group – attendance was low.   End of school events as well as picture perfect weather led some of the women to more exciting things on Thursday afternoon.   Topics varied from school calendar changes (still wish King’s Dominion rule -ruled) to teachers permitting phones in classrooms (insert frown) to the Kathy Griffin disaster.

I’m not a Kathy Griffin fan, never was.  Maybe it’s because she is so loud.  Like some of the other women comedians that have that raw gruff mannerism and voices.  I love humor.  I’ve always found silliness to be the best comic.  (can you say Seinfeld)  I enjoy a good comedy – movie or TV show.  But lately for me I’ve found comic relief has lost it’s silly.  The “fun humor” has disappeared.    Comedy has lost its funny.

When I watched the news clip of Ms. Griffin, at first I wasn’t sure what she was holding in her hand…..what was it suppose to be.   Until I hit the rewind button on my remote.  What. Just. Happened?     This is not a Democratic or Republican response to what I witnessed.   It’s not a Independent or Libertarian response.   My response to what I watched – then read – then listened again via radio felt almost as if someone got it wrong.  Ms. Griffin was hacked.   She wouldn’t have gone there.    Holding a “decapitated” head of any President is wrong.  WRONG.    And please don’t remind me of what happened to Mr. Obama while he was in office…I remember quite well the nasty images.

As my group discussed this image that Mr. Trump’s young son apparently saw either on the news, social media…..   does it even matter how he saw it……     my question was/is to those who are throwing this out like a wet napkin…..    how and when did comedy become so angry and hateful.   Tearing people down has become the new comedy.  Yes, poking fun at people has been stand up comedy dating back to the 1900’s if not earlier.   But raw unfiltered anger and disgrace.   Violence.  Isn’t this the same lesson we are trying to teach our young children of tomorrow to not place upon others?     Does the word Bully ring a bell?     And let us not forget the gruesome images of the men having swords at their heads – the orange jump suits – the images.

Is this what is truly in their hearts?

But allow me to back up to [us] adults.   We have invited this style into our homes.  We applaud the humor that pokes and jabs and stabs.  The kind that may hurt.  Does hurt.   We forget that poking and jabbing a person as an adult may just be one too many pokes and jabs.   Words.   Vicious painful words.   Why have we invited this sense of humor into our lives?   When did we give permission to attack an innocent kid?  I may not agree with Mr. Trump.  I may not even care for the man.   But do I wish him dead?   Am I filling the same cup of ignorance and hatred that he may have filled, and served to those he hurt?   What about Ms. Griffin?   Am I drinking from her Kool-Aid dispenser.   God, I hope not.

No.  I’m not.

I was surrounded by Asian-Indian, Black, Caucasian, and a very proud Bostonian.   As we sat in silence thinking about what [we] adults permitted to brew in our bubbles…..our safe havens…..our lives…..one by one…..we began to cry silently.     I love my bubble.   My community.  My friends who support one another.   I have a pretty wonderful life.  I’m blessed.   And I’m happy.

Perhaps those who find their comic relief  to humiliate are finding their happiness in the dark depths.   And I feel very sad for them.     This isn’t a jab or poke at Ms. Griffin and Mr. Trump.    This is for all of us who find dark humor to be the new normal comic relief.

A very kind and wise Assistant Principal told a group of third graders;   “sticks and stones may break bones, but words do hurt…..they hurt inside your heart.”

And I’ll end here.

A new Season

A new season is upon us.  Though here in the DC Metro area we have been experiencing summer weather – and it’s not officially summertime.  When I begin to feel the surge of excitement for this new season I try to keep calendars organized and flowing in order not to miss out on anything with anyone at anytime.   Yet this organization makes summer pass by much too quickly.   For me.

Apple’s last day of school is June 9th.   From that date on we have exciting plans with friends and family.   Of course there will be some downtime, plenty of that for us to enjoy the local pools and community activities.   Visiting the zoo during the week is a great time for Apple to enjoy with her friends.   Apple is officially a Jr. Naturalist volunteering her time at our HOA community Nature Center.   Our youngest loves animals and I’ve been learning more about birds than I ever imagined.  (remember I’m not a bird fan)          But she is having a great time and enjoys giving mini-tours to visitors or the local kiddo’s who visit the center.   I’m still shivering knowing she feeds [non-venomous] snakes and talks softly to rescued white doves.

College Daughter will be staying at VT this summer working her previous job.  After making decisions on which direction to follow, she decided to stay in Blacksburg and take advantage of the time to move into a different apartment (again) and help her new roommate get settled in.    It’s refreshing for me knowing her roommate was a high school classmate – and I know her mother very well!    I’m preparing my home for more bins to come back home next month as well as shopping trips for her new apartment living.    And a trip to her favorite Asian grocery store- Lotte.   I’ll try not to slip on the wet floor in the fish market aisle.       Oh, yes.  It has happened.

During all this summer organization-calendar marking – excitement, Football Superstar and I sat down to discuss the options for vacation destinations.    My husband has this way of asking “where to this year” with a tone that twist “I’d like to go here again….”.     If you read my post “Unplugged”  (4/18), you already know my bear phobia.  My fear of nature’s Teddy Bear.   I can jump over a snake ….. but I can’t hurdle over a five foot bears head.      I fell head over heels for lake life living.  Everything about it.   Everything!   There’s even a beach!    I won’t find any sea glass or conche shells….but Apple started a pretty collection of river rock and smooth lake stones which look just as shiny and decorative in her glass vessel.   The pup can’t get enough lake life either.   And eventually there will be a partner-in-crime for Murphy to swim with, besides her humans.

This doesn’t mean we won’t take a visit to the Atlantic Ocean.    There’s nothing like salty air to breath in and sand between your toes.    But our hearts are following the fresh air to the lake.   I can not wait to hit the paddle board!  Um, well…I’m working on it.    Who knows….maybe my “realtor” will find us a nice get-away of our own!   Seeing he loves lake life so much.

PS….Yes, they sell Old Bay at the lake.   😉

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Summertime.   To be continued.

A Mother’s Day Thank You

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My mother at age 10.  Apple resembles her in this photo.

It has been five years since my mother passed away.    During her years in round-the-clock care, my conversations were limited with her.   Depending on the day, my visits were either gently telling my mother that I was not there to give her a pedicure.   Or take her to get her hair styled.   My mother always had beautiful manicured nails and her hair was never messy.  Unlike my mother – my hair is messy.

There were visits she would know exactly who I was.   My kids.   My husband.   But the majority of the time we were employees of the safe haven that was now her home.  Dementia was taking over her mind as Parkinson’s disease took over her frail body.    Recently I drove up to visit my father.  His home still feels as if my mother should walk out of the bathroom smelling of Clinic perfume.   And there are moments where I can smell her.   I hear her voice.   And I feel her hugs.

As a new mother – there is nothing like having your mother around to give support and her own motherly suggestions.   My oldest were in high school and my youngest was in Kindergarten when my mother passed away.      I think I had the mothering thing down pretty well.   But no doubt I would have been on the phone with her asking if one of the teens could be sent to Pennsylvania!   [insert a laugh]   I would have asked for her advice on career (change)  decisions and what to do with my messy hair.

I don’t have her to call or to ask what to do with my messy hair.   But I have a lot of suggestions and advice.  I have her experience and her motherly insight.  After all – she raised me.   I know her discipline and her facial expressions.  All of them!    My mother gave me the best tools that I could possibly ask for in raising children.  In being a woman.  In being a friend.   And those difficult decisions that come my way – I go back to her words of encouragement.

When I read other post or articles on women who lost their mothers – and they find it hard to celebrate Mother’s Day without their mother – I do understand the emptiness and sadness.     But I do have my mother with me.    She gave me the gift of life.   And so, I feel my mother in my heart, my soul, in the very core of who I am.     It took a lot of maturing for me to come to this stage in my life.   There were times my mother and I were two rams on a mountain going in for the hit.   But we came out even stronger.      As I experienced that mountain with my own teens – I felt her by my side.

I recently was given this quote from a friend.

“Mothers and Daughters are closest, when Daughters become Mothers”  ~unknown

Thank you to my mother.  

Happy Mother’s Day ~

Unplugged

It seems like whenever we take a vacation, my husband puts a plan in place and for the most part sticks to it.  That plan is to “unplug” from the rat race of work, commuter traffic and all that comes with living in a fast paced area.   As we planned our spring break/Easter vacation at Deep Creek Lake, we both made an agreement to unplug in order to get plugged in.   Plugged in.

Deep Creek Lake is filled with family fun yet peaceful tranquility.   I’ve never been a mountain girl – but I do love being by a body of water.   Preferably, the beach.   After our first trip to DCL -I was hooked like a fish! Several visits later – I’m still hooked.   Swim off your own private dock or enjoy alfresco dining from your deck – with a great view!

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My mind, body and soul was rejuvenated.  Football Superstar and I have already decided this lake, this hidden gem of a lakefront home, this perfect fit for our family including the pup, will be our mountain lake getaway.   Looking forward to our next visit.

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Simplicity.

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Football Superstar is known for his awesome roaring bonfires.  This happened every evening.   Warm sunny days.   Crisp cool evenings.

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A man and his dog.   I’m not sure who enjoyed the dock diving more….my hubby or Murphy!   This pup spent hours swimming, dock diving and running along the shore with Apple.

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Apple Cheeks agreed that lake life is fantastic!

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Before we settled into our beds for the evening, we made a cozy fire in one – of the two large stone fireplaces.   Apple and Murphy share a secret.   ❤

The talk of Maryland Black Bear roaming around put a shadow of doubt in my mind -perhaps this isn’t the place for us.  I mean, after all….we are not mountaineers….we’ve never owned a bear or bear-like critter.   Large dogs don’t actually count.   But the shadow quickly disappeared after realizing the people of Garret County, and many other connecting counties of Maryland live with the black bear residents most of their lives.   We spoke with some of the locals (just to pick their brain) while shopping for groceries or souvenirs to get their input.   All but one told us not to worry.   They won’t bother you if you don’t bother them. Sows (a not so sweet way of saying “momma bear”) may get defensive over her cubs, so give them space.  Absolutely!  Space…she can have the whole dang mountain!   And if you’re out hiking with the dog….they will run up a tree to avoid you.   Wait, I’ll run up the tree, or the bear?

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And then this happened while hiking.            Don’t panic…this is the only bear we found!

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And as requested….don’t wake me unless there’s a bear.  Ahh, the simple pleasure of taking a mid afternoon  nap lakeside.  And I NEVER nap!

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I don’t even have the words to describe Easter morning and the gorgeous sunrise that greeted us on the deck while having coffee.   It was exactly 6:10am.   The lake was quiet.  The lake was always quiet early mornings, but on this particular morning the lake was silenced.   No geese honking their morning songs.  No fish jumping out of the water.   No fishermen trolling past our dock.   Only the still quietness of Easter morning.

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As we officially welcomed and celebrated Spring at the lake, Apple found a new passion for the outdoors.  Photography.   I don’t think she put the camera down – maybe to eat – but honestly I think she was photographing as her daddy grilled, or chopped wood for the bonfire and maybe capturing the picture of her momma napping.

Apple captured beautiful photos of Swallow Falls…which I almost lost my cookies after reading the sign:  Hazzard: violent rapids, slippery rocks, underwater hydraulics have caused injuries and death.  Apple was glued to her daddy’s side.  I however enjoyed the rapid hazzard-like swift moving water from a distance with the pup.

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Hiking around Swallow Falls and Tolliver Falls made me feel intimidated yet in awe.  The beauty that surrounded us (and many other hikers) was breathtaking.                                    And of course…we worked up an appetite!     As we drove back to our lakehouse from Swallow Falls State Park, we spotted so many deer.   We watched as they moved through the open fields or along a stream of water.   Among them were two fawns.   Watching the babes move swiftly beside their momma’s made my heart skip a beat.

I can’t think of a better vacation where we unplugged to plug in.  It was overdue for my husband.   And I can’t think of a better way to spend my vacation than to watch him plug into his family through plugging into nature.

Unplug.

http://www.deepcreek.com

https://dogfriendlydeepcreek.com

http://www.wispresort.com

Hatching the Decision Egg

While driving home from Costco this afternoon I was playing back the conversation in my mind – the one Football Superstar and I had over coffee this morning.     I’m laughing while driving on Rt. 7, heading south in full blown NoVA traffic.   No one notices my laughter because it’s like the Indy 500 to reach the next traffic light.   Every once in awhile I have an thought of what I didn’t purchase at Costco.   I’m fasting for Lent – it takes everything I have to walk past the Lindt chocolate sample booth.    Pirate Booty cheese puffs.   Okay, so Pirate Booty went in my oversized box to come home for our lake trip.   Give a girl a break.

6:00am.

Football Superstar:    “do you have any interest in returning to the classroom?”

Me:    “I haven’t given it much thought – but I do miss the special ed. program, if  I return to work outside of the home – I’ll look more at social services again.”   “why?”

Football Superstar:   “I think you should take a course in designing, or staging…you could -as you say “channel your inner Jolene Gaines” and enjoy doing what you love.”

Me:   “it’s Joanna Gaines….and what you’re saying is…. you wouldn’t need to pay a Stager for your listings?!  ( laughing because he called my favorite decorator Jolene)

Football Superstar:   “think about it….you could create your own schedule….other realtors would use your services…..you miss having your vintage business…..and I think it would be fun for you….and yes, (he snickers) I would have a “free” Stager.”

Me:    “I’ll give it some thought…..do you really think I should do it?…….geez, what if I only work for you for the rest of my Staging life!…..(I crack myself up) ……you realize you are asking me to make a decision…..and I’m skipping a meal which I can’t make any decisions during lunch time…..I have no chocolate in the house…..making decisions without chocolate for me is like asking Murphy to make a decision on which tennis ball she likes best.”

Football Superstar:   “just think about it…..you would be great at staging.”

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I’ll sit on this staging egg.  See how it hatches.    But my husband who knows me so well is right about one thing – and that’s how much I miss having my shop.  If a particular someone is reading this (Gracie) you know that Joanna/Jolene Gaines stole my ideas!  I’m serious!   I watch Fixer Upper and I’m talking to Jojo and Chip – announcing to them that I did the exact funky-junky whitewashed table eight years ago!   The owner of a tea room purchased it for her kitchen!  Hey!….those candle sconces are table legs!  We had those!!!  You get the picture.  On a serious note – I adore the Gaines and their show is fun to watch.    She stole my cupcake idea as well.    [giggle]

  Though I continue to keep Simple Dimple‘s Facebook page and sale page up to date (as much as I can)  owning a full-time business in this area is very competitive and expensive.   My shop was located on my property when we lived in Pennsylvania.    It was the perfect location and super convenient for me, especially after Apple Cheeks was born.    For now, I’ll settle for being a vendor during seasonal events in historic areas of Virginia, DC’s summer market days and the occasional charity event.

Who knows what the egg will hatch out.  Or when it will hatch.    I’ll let you all know!

But before I turn into this >  Bride-of-Frankenstein-Bride-Screaming  I’m going to go eat a handful of pistachios.

14 more days until this >  70458e921d17c728271de30a1d33770a

Happy Spring!!

questions to answers

I’m a slacker when it comes to following up on Momma Daisy e-mail or Facebook messenger questions.   So I apologize at this very moment.   I’m sorry.  Very sorry.  Those bloggers who post daily or weekly are on their game.   I, however, not so much.

Question:    “Where are your (Momma Daisy) post on Shopping 101?”

 Answer:    Honestly, my shopping days [Shopping 101] are so scattered with weekly shopping at various locations – my mind has two gears, go and get back.   I miss documenting my shopping adventures because truthfully my shopping moments are exactly what I’ve posted.   My hubby isn’t shocked by any of my stories shared at the dinner table.   I believe he stopped shaking his head.    But I promise to get back on track with Shopping 101!

Question:    “What happened with your pups adventures and her Golden Glory family?”

Answer:         Murphy (our Golden Retriever pup) is still very much an active member of our clan.  Murphy’s Golden Glory family in the Philadelphia area of Pennsylvania is very much a  part of her life.  Unfortunately we haven’t been to Pennsylvania for some time, so Murphy hasn’t seen Roo (her mommy) or Momma Arlene.   However….our crazy, happy, loving and oh so adventurous pup has her own blog and social media page on Facebook.   If you’re feeling just as adventurous stop by and follow along on Murphy’s journey!                     Unofficial:  Murphy’s law                            http://murphygoldengirl.blogspot.com

Question:   “I recently read your blog post from 3/15/16 “Book Hoarder”, have you read any good books lately or have you collected any good books lately?”

Answer:     I’m laughing.   Yes and yes.   I’ve read some very good books over our mild winter.  And yes on the collecting.  Just this Tuesday I enjoyed  coffee with a good friend and walked out of the coffee shop with two gently used books.   Mother Teresa just happens to be one of my inspirations.  So I found a book of her personal stories I’ve never read before.  Mother Teresa of Calcutta by Leo Massburg.    And at $3 how could I resist?!      Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O’Farrell is sitting on my desk under a pile of paperwork ready to be picked up, opened up and enjoyed.

*more good reads:    Ask Bob  by Peter Gethers                                                                                                                                 Archipelago     by Monique Roffey

Question:     “Post more photos along with your blog post.”

Answer:      Okay.     I’ll keep that in mind when posting.   But I want to respect our oldest children and my youngest if they don’t always want to be posted on mom’s blog.   But the pup has no issues!    😉

Keep the questions coming!      Most of all, thank you for your questions and continued reading of Momma Daisy!

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Seinfeld comes to Wegmans

What a week we all experienced.   Schedules were changed, forgotten appointments and nine trips to the grocery store(s).

Sometimes the delete button for moments wouldn’t be so bad.  Knowing this isn’t reality…well…

I can’t remember the last time I went food shopping and used a check.   I typically can’t remember where we keep our checkbook – the checkbook is Football Superstars responsibility.   I can barely keep my “membership cards” in order.   There are cards for everything.   Discount pet points.   Valued card holder.   Coffee member plus!   So when I plan my food shopping events, depending on where my SUV takes me, I’m prepared with the discount/membership/plus card to accompany my debit/credit card when I swipe or chip my way through the checkout line.   However on Wednesday I decided to use our checkbook because we need to use up the checks so our new designer checks can be hidden where the checkbook is always hidden – in a location I forget about.

I’m ready to checkout at Wegmans.    Nate the checkout guy was quiet.  Friendly, but quiet.  As I’m about to hand him my non-designer check, he asked me for my “check cashing card”.     I remember wrinkling up my nose asking “what?”.    Nate repeated it.  “Your check cashing card maam’….the one you use for paying with personal checks”.    I rumble through my wallet not finding anything that looks remotely like a check cashing card matching the Wegmans membership card.  As I peek over my shoulder there are six other people staring at me and Nate.  Mostly me.   But one lady glaring at Nate as if she wanted to say “could you move her to another line already!”.     Nate politely asked me to go over to customer service where I would be able to apply for a check cashing card.   My groceries were bagged neatly, and I pushed the shopping cart over to the customer service counter.  Ruhi was on the phone.  He waved for me to wait with a smile.   As soon as he hung up the phone his friendly voice asked how he could help me.   I proceed to tell him what happened when the phone was ringing…..I nod for him to go ahead and pick up the phone.  He laughs and says it’s a fax number calling.   Okay, back to my crisis issue assistance.  Ruhi begins to tell me how easy it will be and only take but ten minutes to complete the online form for a check cashing card.   And Ruhi does all the work!

Step one.   Phone number.   Wait….there’s already a check cashing card under another phone number.    ?

That’s my husbands number!        No worries.  Lets get a card just for you.    As Ruhi types in my address he notices there is another address under my husbands cell phone number. We laugh…he changes Football Superstars information.   Our new address is placed in the system and my cell number is now on my very own check cashing card!    All is good!

We can’t help but laugh both sharing Seinfeld moments.   This was no doubt a Seinfeld moment.

It has been over five years since a check has been written to Wegmans.   If I remembered needing a check cashing card – I totally forgot about it – after all it’s been five years.  And obviously it was my hubby who used his very own personal check cashing card at Wegmans.   But now….I have my own card!      I told Ruhi he’s like a loan officer for Wegmans.   We kept laughing during this ten minute procedure.  Not ten minutes but twenty pass.   Between the bogus fax phone calls and other employees asking Ruhi a “quick question”,   ten minutes turned into twenty and then it was twentyfive minutes later.    I then realized it’s been quite some time since we received the Wegmans Menu magazine in the mail.   I requested that we begin to receive the magazine again….Ruhi said no worries….it’s still being sent out to you but going to the wrong address.   More laughing.   He places a Winter edition of the Menu magazine on the counter along with my new check cashing card and my new mini membership card(s).    Because my account number changed, so must my mini membership card number.   (shaking my head)

I collected my belongings….thank Ruhi and begin to exit the store with my groceries.

Three hours later I decided to go through my wallet and throw away any cards that I no longer use.   Like Panera Bread.   Starbuck cards with no amount whatsoever on them.  And an outdated Leesburg Car Wash discount card.     And there it was…..behind my Trader Joe’s membership card….green never used…..Wegmans Check Cashing card dated seven years ago.

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London’s Calling

It’s been almost a year since I’ve met Vonnie.   Vonnie and I met while walking our pups on the connecting trails that intersect the suburban communities in which we live.   If you’ve ever tried to talk while walking two hyper-happy five month old puppies you don’t get much talking done.  More pulling sticks from their mouths or commanding “leave it!”.

Vonnie invited me to have a “proper chat” at one of our local coffee cafes.   The following week we met while sitting outside next to a pretty decorative fire pit.   Four hours later it was time to pick up our kiddo’s from school.

Jumping ahead.    Vonnie and I still enjoy our “proper chats” but we save money by meeting at one of our homes.   This week was at her home.   Vonnie’s urban townhouse is decorated in warm soft colors with a splash of London. If you haven’t figured it out – Vonnie is a Londonite.   That goes for Vonnie’s hospitality as well.   Every visit I’m stuffing my face with “naughty’s”.  Being naughty by eating deliciously fattening non-organic foods.   Bangers&Mash, without the bangers for me.  I take them home in a doggy bag for Football Superstar.   Crusty bread with tangy cheeses, jellies and clotted cream.   Forget the high tea at noon, this is Vonnie’s childhood tea with a backhoe full of sugar and cream.  Put the pinkie down!    My favorite is Vonnie’s homemade pear jelly (a friend who lives in DC makes for her) smeared on water crackers with a slice of Stilton or cave-aged Cheddar cheese.

Vonnie could make me a simple slice of toast and the toppings are always “naughty”.

Our conversations are just as warm and cozy as her hospitality.   With an occasional “rant”.  She’s in the process of putting her Flat on the market back home in England.  Her emotional connection to the 1930’s, 900 square foot home with a flower garden full of herbs (pronounced with the H, like his name Herb) and English lavender made me fall in love with a building I’ve never seen in person.   This tiny Flat was Vonnie’s home all her single life.   After she finished school and entered Travel Academy Flight school, she purchased her very own home and filled it with love, friends, dinners and eventually her future husband and a few years later – their surprise baby boy.    I could smell the fresh scent of her flower beds, the aroma of wine and cheese seeping from her tiny kitchen.  I could hear the laughter from her friends and family as they sat around an antique table.

The photos of this 900 square foot Flat made me fall in love with living in tight quarters.  Could it be possible?    Well, we’re not purchasing Vonnie’s Flat and moving to London tomorrow.  I know this for sure because I called my hubby the realtor right after leaving Vonnie’s home.   He asked me what beverage Vonnie served during my visit.   Haha.

Learning from Vonnie is an experience I appreciate.  We, here in the US, certainly have many avenues with many options.   Health insurance complaints, I’m going to put on the shelf for now.  I shouldn’t be complaining.   Schooling.   We have some of the best private and public schools in the DC Metro area.    One reason she and her husband moved to the states.  Their son needed specialized health services.   After two years in the United Kingdom waiting – they received services within two months here in the US.

Vonnie misses her family.  And of course her friends that filled the tiny Flat she called calls home.     For now, the home is being rented by a wonderful woman from Johannesburg, who just happens to love this cozy, 1930’s living space.

Sometimes when we uproot what we have had for so long – can be a positive change.  No doubt for us, moving our family was a good change.   Vonnie recognizes this too.   We live in an area of new urban development.  Suburban single homes surround man made lakes along high rise apartments and condo’s.  Arlington is busy with new tech companies and now Nestle headquarters  is moving in.     Dog friendly restaurants and connecting trails from Northern Virginia to Washington DC are consistently full of bikers, runners and dog walkers.   Crew teams can be seen practicing over the hill on the Potomac. Museums and history.  There’s so much more for Vonnie and her family to experience.  Before they move to Boston.

Massachusetts.

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I’ll see Vonnie in two weeks.  Boston….Massachusetts.

no More shopping 101?

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I recently had an inbox question regarding Shopping 101 post.

“Dear Momma Daisy,  what ever happened to your Shopping 101 post?  Are you no longer food shopping? ”   – M.L.  Kansas  

My family…sure they are fed, healthy and happy.   Not sure they are happy with each meal  I lovingly create.  Perhaps I should say throw together.   My menu planning has taken a back seat to other work related stuff.  As I sit here typing this post – my menu dinner planner is peaking out from behind a file titled “Family Meal Planner”.   Even I get such a chuckle out of the clearly marked vintage style tag attached to the vintage style folder placed neatly in the vintage galvanized organizer.   This brings out my inner Joanna Gaines, and because I am NO Joanna….my office area clearly shows this file has not been touched in months.   Except for the occasional dusting.

As for food shopping, well my latest experience at Costco was more like a skit from Seinfield.    Normally my blue ticking linen backpack is placed in the shopping cart in place of a child.   If it’s on my back where backpacks are to be displayed – then I run the chance my phone will chime and I may miss a call from school (never get calls) , college daughter (prefers texting) , hubby (reminding me to get shaving cream) my mother-in-law, my father…. you get my point.   Tuesday my backpack played the part of being just that- a backpack and looking quite cute if I may say.   Not me…the backpack.     I was seeking out the ginormous bag of Krusteaz Buttermilk pancake mix when my eyes caught the book section.  I can not stay away from books.  I smell them.  I track them down like a bloodhound on its trail.   I love books.   While joyfully filtering through the latest selection of arrivals (the dude was just opening up boxes of newly pressed hardbacks!) I forgot there was a linen growth attached to my back.  As I slowly turned to make my way up the sea of words, the growth then attached itself to the handle of a shopping cart.  As I walked….so did the cart.   A woman laughing – chuckles out  “hey…excuse me ma’am…you have my cart!”    Oh, well, yes, yes I do!

Released from the metal monster I waltzed down the bakery aisle remembering how much Football Superstar and I love Rosemary-Parmesan cheese bread.  Two come in one sleeve.  ($6.99)   It’s not exactly our favorite bakery’s version but dang when it’s pumped out of the mega ovens and placed (again TWO) in a plastic sleeve while still warm and seeping the aroma of rosemary…..sold!     I know I was smiling not only on the inside but my exterior had to be exploding.   You have no idea how much I LOVE fresh baked breads.   Just as I was walking towards the produce selection a quiet voice appears from behind Aloutte’s Goat Cheese vendor booth.  Wait…goat cheese?   Rosemary-Parmesan cheese bread needs goat cheese.  I gently pick up one of the teeny-weeny cupcake like papers with a morsel of Aloutte goat cheese just enough for a mouse – when out of nowhere a couple, well dressed , possibly between the ages of 65-70, pushes my arm to grab three teeny-weeny cupcake papers when my morsel of goat cheese went flying in the air directly landing on the gentleman to my left – his black dress coat.   Sticking to his coat.   Do I pick at the tiny morsel of cheese – do I tap him on the shoulder as he was looking at a selection of Cheval Blanc.   Do I walk away.   Did you know goat cheese can be rather sticky?  Firm curds that react when pitched in the air.

I shuddered in my L.L. Bean duck boots.  Just as I was about to pass by and pray my linen backpack would come in handy as the tool it was designed to do (not really) and gently knock the morsel of now warm and less firm goat cheese from this gentleman’s black dress coat – I noticed it on the floor by his shiny black loafers.    This tiny morsel of goat cheese went from its wrapper to a teeny-weeny cupcake paper to my hand to a coat to the floor in a matter of seven minutes.    There was no way I was about to approach the vendor for a second sample.   But. There. They. Were.  The couple.  The couple that first took THREE teeny-weeny cupcake papers.   They were back for more.   I watched from the other side of the aisle pretending to be selecting guacamole.  This couple went from sampling more Aloutte goat cheese to the happy vendor warming up organic Al Fresco tomato&basil 60% less fat chicken meatballs.     It was lunch time.

I made my way through the paper product aisle making a U-turn down the frozen fruit aisle.   No way.  A vendor sampling frozen smoothies (didn’t get the brand name) was talking rather loudly to – yep – the couple.     It was lunch time.

Fifteen minutes later I’m waiting in the check out line.  Backpack is now sitting in the child seat of my mega cart.  I’m smiling because the aroma of fresh bread is still seeping through its plastic wrap.  My membership card is placed between my fingers so the kind check out lady can quickly retrieve it.  And just then….there they are.   The couple.   Two rows across from where I wait.   Talking.  Sweetly laughing with each other.   And in their hands….more teeny-weeny cupcake papers that held small morsels of granola.

It was lunch time.

My food shopping days have been of no value to report.  Meaning, I am not saving as I should to be bragging of my hours spent at Wegmans, Costco or Harris Teeter.   My backpack and sometimes my black leather tote bag at times are filled with receipts.  If I were an accountant I would have them neatly organized and categorized on display in a vintage file holder labeled with a vintage tag.

Maybe, just maybe some day I will be back on track with my Shopping 101.  Until then I’ll waltz through Costco watching and waiting for the couple.