Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Shop 'til you drop

I take that phrase "Shop 'til you drop" pretty seriously. Ask my mother-in-law, she knows exactly how I work, and it's go go go then come home unpack it all, put it all away and sit down and then you get to catch your breath. Poor thing, I've done nothing but drag her around for 3 days straight.

We did manage to get over to Bicester Wools and get a few things there. LOVE love love that shop! The owners are the nicest folks! Very accommodating too!

I've been loving having my mother-in-law here to stay. We're kind of like 2 peas in a pod...especially when it comes to shopping and going out to lunch :-) We've eaten in a few different places and each time we've had fantastic meals. There are some really great little home grown restaurants and tea shops to go for lunch. I truly feel blessed that I'm able to share this with my mother-in-law. I love living here, what a true gift from heaven to be able to have this experience.

Yesterday is was shopping for shoes and clothes great sales going on at Edinburgh Woollen Mills and Clarks, today it was grocery shopping and a trip to the Brackley Antique Cellar and we had a lovely lunch in the tea shop. I wonder where tomorrow will take us :-)

Quote of the Day

If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.
-Albert Enstein

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Volunteer Appreciation

No matter what base we've been assigned to, I always go and show my support at Volunteer Appreciation functions. Today's military would be no where without it's constant stream of volunteers. Today's Volunteer Appreciation Ice Cream Social had a terrific turn out of men and women from RAF Croughton. All of whom have made a difference in the quality of life for the servicemen, women and families of RAF Croughton and the surrounding area. There were 3 special volunteer awards, not to mention certificates of appreciation for every person who has volunteered at our base.

Now for the BIG not only was I nominated but through a selection process of my peers I have been given the Certificate of Volunteer Excellence. As it's written on my certificate...
for exceptionally meritorious
volunteer service to the
United States Air Force community.

I can't begin to tell you how it feels to be recognized for all of the volunteer work I've done at this base since arriving here a year ago. To know that others do appreciate the work I have done and continue to do. For me, it's validation that I have made a difference in the quality of life for others in our surrounding community. Thank you RAF Croughton and the towns of Bicester and Brackley.

Quote of the Day

Of course there is no formula for success except perhaps an unconditional acceptance of life and what it brings.
-Arthur Rubinstein (1886 - 1982)

My Pictures

A picture says a thousand words- or so the saying goes. Here's a scrapbookers confession...I've not printed a single picture since moving here. Nope, not a single one. I must have thought about it a hundred times or more but I've not done it. I loved getting my photo's printed at Walgreen's, but alas they don't ship to APO addresses :-( I've not found a place here that's local so I figure that I have enough "other photo's" to keep me busy. Not to mention that the exchange rate makes the pictures pretty darn pricey.

Now as being a true scrapbooker, I always have photo's to work with. Although I do remember a time when I was totally caught up, that was the summer of 2000- what strange thing that was! So I hope to break free of my chains so to speak and get back to business at hand and get some scrapbooking done!

Quote of the Day

The scientific theory I like best is that the rings of Saturn are composed entirely of lost airline luggage.
- Mark Russell

Friday, June 25, 2010

Quote of the Day

Someday I want to be rich. Some people get so rich they lose all respect for humanity. That's how rich I want to be.
-Rita Rudner

I can't keep myself from laughing at this

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Have you seen my cooking blog lately?

Did you know that I've got I've got 3 blogs? Oh yeah, I'm such an over achiever, LOL! First and foremost there's My Scrapbook Nook but I also have My Cookbook Nook which is all about What else, FOOD! There's recipes, product reviews and my foodie life. My Look Look Book which is strictly pictures. My Look Look Book has been sadly neglected for little over a year and I hope to get pictures posted there again soon. A dear friend gave My Cookbook Nook a face lift and now it's got a great new look! I've added many new tried and true recipes that I've made for my girlfriends over the years. I hope that you'll pop by and tell me what you think of the blog, try some of the recipes and give me some feed back on them as well.

Quote of the Day

It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow.
--Robert H. Goddard

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Quote of the Day

"I like summer. I like warmer weather and long days. I'm one of those silly people who still enjoy lying in the sun - my children are horrified!"
- Danielle Steel

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Who hasn't looked at a handbag, a shoe a jacket or even printed fabrics and papers and though or wondered about the person who designed those items?

Have you even given any thought to the creative process that one went through in developing that pattern for your favorite handbag? Or the beautiful design on your favorite silk scarf?

I see both of my children doodling all of the time. The designs that they come up with are astounding! I tell ya, I could have a "family" business with my children in charge of print design, my husband and daughter could take my ideas and make them into patterns. From marketing to product design, sales and management... Oh yeah I could bring the entire family into my crazy notion for a business.

Here's my business idea layout...
I'd have to get a building, like a little strip mall. My empire would consist of the following businesses...

♥ Quilt Shop- that beside selling patterns, fabrics and thread also sold nice fancy yarns and needlework supplies and needlework patterns and of course held classes and sold sewing machines.

♥Scrapbooking Store- that also sold stamps, inks and calligraphy items plus had a huge crop room for workshops.

♥Tea Shop- would sell coffee (steaming hot in a mug), loose teas of every kind, teapots, teacups and of course tea and coffee related items. As for food of course there would be various great soups, salads and sandwiches. I'd open for dinner but only for special groups and events like crops and quiting events.

♥Day Spa- well we all need a great place for manicures, pedicures, massages, facials and of course getting our hair done!

♥Consignment shop- where people could sell their handmade items and antiques of all kinds.

♥ I'd also have a B&B (not in the same building). A grand old house with beautiful flower gardens and patio areas where you could sit outside and enjoy the scenery. Where scrapbooking, quilting and needlework retreats could be held.

Okay now for me to start playing the lottery because this is going to cost a lot to get off of the ground!

Quote of the Day

It's hard to take over the world when you sleep 20 hours a day.
- Darby Conley

Today's quote is dedicted to my teenage son Andrew who is off to South Dakota for this 3rd time since moving here. This trip is for University orientation at SDSU.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Quote of the Day

I like life. It's something to do.
- Ronnie Shakes

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sleep- or the lack of it

I am sleep deprived. The sun is up at 4 am at this time of year- if the sun is up then so are the birds. There's this blackbird you see, and he is VERY loud. Morning, noon of night this crazy bird is squawking up a storm. I say squawk and not chirp because this bird is not singing sweet birdie songs, oh no this is a loud obnoxious squawk! So now I'm up yet again many hours before the rest of my family will be on a Saturday morning, what is not right with this picture?

We're getting ready to send out boy back to South Dakota- yes again! It's for college orientation (he'll be back in a week). With all of the flights to and from South Dakota there's got to be a free ticket in there somewhere with all of those frequent flying miles, LOL!

There's so much going on in my life right now...if I could only begin to tell you half of it.

Quote of the Day

His house was perfect, whether you liked food, or sleep, or work, or story-telling, or singing, or just sitting and thinking, best, or a pleasant mixture of them all.
-J. R. R. Tolkien (1892 - 1973), The Hobbit

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

My busy life...

It's the little things that keep you going round in circles...take these power outages that we've been experiencing here in Caversfield. Power went off 4 separate time on Sunday and frankly I was never able to get on the computer for dear that the power would go off and fry my system. So here's a run down of what I've been up to...

Sunday- Went up to Alconbury for an afternoon party at the Wing Commanders house. It was a Hail and Farewell basically a welcome to England for one family and a good bye good luck to several other couples moving to new assignments in other countries). It was a good get together of staff members and their families, I was very glad that I attended this function. Afterwards my husband took me out to this great little restaurant in a neighboring town. It was my belated birthday dinner- just the 2 of us :-)

Monday- The big deal was Monday evening when our daughter had a melt down and let us know that she has been dealing with a bully. That she's been tormented by the boy since November. My heart simply sank. Our daughter was in tears and she said that she's at her wits end with this kid.

Tuesday- Between the phone lines not working and the power outage that lasted nearly a hour, well I was not in the best of moods. Talked with the people I needed to talk with at the school and the bully situation is under control. Hannah came home happier than she has been in quite some time. I asked her if she felt that the situation has been resolved and she said yes, but only time will tell if it truly has.

Last night I attended my first British military function, it was the "Bicester Garrison Cocktail Party and Beating Retreat". We watch a British Army marching band preform for us. Mayors from all of the surrounding towns were there and I think that there may even have been a representative from the Queen at this function. We met many very interesting people, many of which I would like to get with again.
The gardens of this place were amazing! It was beautiful there, it's how I imagine my dream garden being. Flowers and trees bordering a large grassy lawn,a separate vegetable garden and a green house made out of glass.A lawn large enough (and flat enough) to put up a tent and have a garden party. With small tables and chairs, wine flowing freely and friends enjoying themselves. Oh how it makes me want to host a garden party of my own! Now to get some more lawn furniture, LOL!

♥ Wednesday- Today hopefully won't be plagued with power outages as I've really got laundry piling up around here! I've got letters to write and well I've decided to make myself sit down and hand write some letters, and to start working on quilting and scrapbooking projects again.

That's it in a nutshell! TTFN!

Quote of the Day

Any fool can know. The point is to understand.
-Albert Einstein

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A fine ending...almost

Yesterday was another one of those days where I spent the majority of the day in the kitchen. Once again I was wrangled into cooking big for a function, but not a military one, this one was for a school party. I jumped at the opportunity to help out.

The "Leavers Party"- obviously this is a British wording and not American as we would have worded it quite differently but it gets the point across none the less. This is not only a party for those that are graduating from Kingham Hill but also for those US students that are moving away this summer. What a wonderful tribute to pay to those US students that work so hard to fit in, to adjust to something new and foreign to them and all supported by their British friends and teachers. Even our Andrew had a special speech said about him- and it pretty much summed up what he had gone through- I had to hold myself back from crying because there it was out in the open-All of the things he thought that his Senior Year in High School would have been and we move him right before all of that. Everyone applauded him when he stood up, the journey was over, he survived and he even made a handful of great friends along the way. It was nice way to start the final days of school.

Although Andrew is technically done with school, Speech Day is July 3rd and we will ALL be in attendance then! He's off to South Dakota soon (yes again) but this time it's for University orientation. He'll spend 4 or 5 days there then he'll be back here, then he goes back to South Dakota at the end of July . We won't see him again until December.

I took about a gazillion pictures (of which I need to upload to my computer), now to find out where my camera had gone off's around here somewhere. Now for some coffee and working on finding that camera!

Quote of the Day

Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Quote of the Day

I'm kind of jealous of the life I'm supposedly leading.
- Zach Braff

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Quote of the Day

Never find your delight in another's misfortune.
-Publilius Syrus

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Something Special I do for myself

I see it as being rather funny how so many of women friends save their China for that "special occasion". I have many friends who either have it and don't use it or they use it only once a year for Christmas dinner. Maybe this is an American thing- being that I don't have all that many British friends and the ones I do have, well they think I'm a nutter with all of my pottery (and that's okay so do my American girlfriends- I still adore them).

My thing is this...make you a priority. You're someone special aren't you? The next time you make yourself some tea and lunch- serve it up on that lovely china you that you've been saving for that "special occassion".

Quote of the Day

Everything is worth what its purchaser will pay for it.
-Publilius Syrus

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

358 days later...

June 15th, 2009 is when the movers first arrived at our house in South Dakota and they left 5 days later with ALL of our belongings being packed into crates. Today the claims adjuster is coming over to go over our damage claim. Nothing like timeliness (can you feel my sarcasm?) It's not enough that your things are damaged beyond repair, but they make you wait months on end for them to process your claim. Meanwhile you're having to store all of these damaged item somewhere in your home. If your house is like our house there's not much storage space to speak of. And what storage space I do have here, well I need it for every day kind of stuff...lawnmower, kids bikes, weed whacker, winter/summer clothing storage and that other crazy thing we like to do...we like to park our car in the garage.

This is where I really miss my house in South Dakota- with it's deep spacious closets, 2 large storage ares inside of the house plus that huge 3 car garage where you could actually pack 3 cars, 4 bikes, a ride on lawn mower and a push mower, have a work bench, numerous shelving units with gardening and camping equipment, have a table saw, wheelbarrow, beer fridge, recycle bins, rubbish bin and more! But alas we gave that up right?

What I could use here is a nice spacious kitchen with a gas range and a refrigerator that I could actually get both doors to open the way they should so I could use it the way it was intended to be used. Adequate heat/window ventilation would be nice too.

Sorry everyone, I'm cranky today. Reliving all of my move today and it's not good. My heart broke when I saw my damaged bed, damaged furniture and the crap way things were packed for our overseas move and I've got all of those feeling rushing over me right now.

Quote of the Day

If you have courage, you will influence people based on your convictions. If you lack courage, you will influence people based on your comfort zones. Courage will take you any- where you believe God is leading you. Without courage, you will go where you are comfortable.
--Wayne Schmidt

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

wait...I post more later but for now the title will have to suffice.

Quote of the Day

"It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad".
C. S. Lewis

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Let's get Crafty!

I'm going to do something in my scrapbook nook today! I refuse to let my family pull me in different directions!

Quote of the Day

"Your attitude is like a box of crayons that color your world. Constantly color your picture gray, and your picture will always be bleak. Try adding some bright colors to the picture by including humor, and your picture begins to lighten up.'

-Allen Klein"

Friday, June 04, 2010

The First Rose

The first rose in my newly planted rose garden. This was a true labor of love. After having to get housing here with a jack hammer to clear out the huge blob of concrete that weighed several hundred pounds from the flower bed so we could actually plant flowers...well here's the end result.

Soon, my little rose garden will be filled with roses as there are rose buds on every one of those small bushes. I made sure to get heavily scented ones...I so miss my flower gardens from our past homes. Every new place gives us the opportunity to start anew- be it in planting flower gardens, making friends or decorating a new to us house. Take every opportunity to explore your new surroundings and it's never to late to take in a new friend!

Happy Campers

What do you get when you mix... warm weather, a week long term break from British School, a big backyard and a bunch of teenage boys?

It's Camping out in the backyard in a tent!
We've been blessed with quite the backyard here and if our teen son wants to have a camp out what the heck- go for broke! Our camping equipment is (yes you guessed it) it's stateside in storage-ugh! Our son's friends came over with this large tent trust me when I say that they were quite "happy" with having a place to pitch this tent. If it's the normal crew of guys that our son usually hangs out with, then there's got to be at least 5 or 6 of them in that's got to be crowded! They were up talking and laughing until wee hours but that's okay- they were having fun and that's what counts!

For the most part these teen boys stay in a tight-knit group, not letting others really into "the fold" so to speak. I consider myself to be blessed that they brought our son into this group. He was having such a rough go of it with this move here to the UK. It's not easy moving away from everyone and everything you know- especially the summer before your Senior year of High School. These kids have gone through quite a lot, probably even more so than their military and state department parents realize. They too go through that roller coaster of emotions but feel them more deeply. They quite often leave behind the best friends they've ever known, their first loves and quite frankly we pull this all away from them. This group of young men have helped my son to get over that "painful" part and have opened up a new world of adventures to him. Even at his worst they still came and made him go out- to the Lord I am forever thankful!

There are ways of "surviving it" with your teen and how to get them to love you again. It's not an easy path and there were many times when all I could do was to cry with him when he felt so lonely- but I want to say that they have passed. Our son has racked up the frequent flier miles that's for sure! He's now surpassed his mother in overseas flights! Letting go and trusting your child is the key. Let them vent, and buy them an airline ticket to visit their friends. If possible, arrange for your child's friends to come out for a visit. Between flying 2 of his friends out here to England and then flying him state side a handful of times...I should be able to get a free airline ticket soon, LOL! Andrew flies to SD again this month for his college orientation, he'll be there for 5 days and then it's back here to Bicester until Graduation day or as it's called here "Speech Day". Then he flies back to SD later on in the summer. We've not traveled as much as we would have liked but then again our boy's happiness means more to us than anything. With him back in the USA this Autumn being among his old friends at South Dakota State University, we ALL will embark on a new chapter in our lives.

Quote of the Day

Love is a gift of one's inner most soul to another so both can be whole.
--Tea Rose

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Brain Freeze

Busy is as busy does...and lets face it, I'm just plain busy these days! I had a major brain freeze just now while on the phone trying to change an appointment- it's so sad when old age catches up, LOL! Only a few more days until the old B-day and here I am thinking wow I'm so close to 50 I can almost taste it! No, I'm NOT going to be 50 this year, but I am getting pretty darn close. So what was the brain freeze all about? Trying to change an appointment with the American Orthodontists office that's 2½ hours away and trying to explain to the receptionist what GCSE's and prep are (insert eye roll here). This is what happens when you're calling people who do not have teens enrolled in British schools. I now have an whole new appreciation for all parents of children in British schools be it private or public.

I've gone and triple booked myself twice now (2 different days). I need to have either a palm-pilot or a blackberry so I can have my prior made appointments with me while making other appointments. So it's just one of those kind of days...the run around like a chicken with it's head cut off days that is.

How many BBQs, farewells or seasonal parties can one attend before you just drop dead from exhaustion? Well I'm going to try and find out. The parties start this weekend and keep on rolling until July 3rd. There's never a dull moment around here that's for sure!

Quote of the Day

"Education is what survives when what has been
learned has been forgotten.
--B.F. Skinner"

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Is it June already?

It's been a busy few days for me - visiting with family, doing some sight seeing, dining out, dining in, taking my daughter to Lakenheath for an orthodontic appointment, doing some grocery shopping etc etc etc. But now my time is once again my own to command.

It certainly was nice to have my husband's Mother and his Aunt here for a visit. I gave them the quick tour of the base, took them to a couple of my favorite dining establishments, they got to see the inside of a couple of grocery stores out here on their quest for snacks to pack on their train trip up to Scotland. On Saturday, We (husband and me) took the family (b-i-l, s-i-l, m-i-l and aunt) to Blenheim Palace. The tour was lovely and this time I got to tour the upstairs. I didn't bother bringing a camera as the rule of "no picture taking" is allowed in Blenheim Place. Outside yes, inside NO. It was funny to see tourists getting the feathers ruffled on some of the tour guides and getting chewed out by them as well...when they say NO picture taking at Blenheim Place they mean NO PICTURE TAKING! I wish that more people would respect this rule.

The day was a blustery rainy sort of day, perfect for touring such a grand house. Spending time hearing the various stories of the China dinnerware collection that was on display in one of the rooms, the many oil paintings, watercolors and tapestries and even the rugs that were throughout the house. All of it was to be savored. We ate lunch in the restaurant there in the building, the food was delicious and the room was cosy- all perfect for such a rainy day.

I came out from this day trip with BOOKS. Who could pass up reading about Capability Brown? His landscaping works are still visible to this very day! He's done the landscaping of many a famous "home", the man was a visionary and simply put pure genius! I was recently at a farewell luncheon for a friend and the group gift was a book with the title "I never knew that about England". I saw that and said...ooh that's one I want to get for myself BEFORE I leave England. So when I saw it I bought it! I showed it to my daughter Hannah who promptly ran off with it. And just a few minutes ago I saw it in the kitchen on the table...time for me to go grab it and read a few pages of it before Hannah realizes where she left it, HA!

There will be a few things that will come back with me after our tour here in the states is concluded...tons of photographs of everywhere we've been here in the UK, beautiful English made pottery and heaps of books of the various historical places in England and Scotland that we have visited. Now for me to make a cuppa and curl up with a good book.

Quote of the Day

"It is not a disgrace not to reach the stars, but it is a disgrace to have no stars to reach for.
--Benjamin Elijah Mays, American educator (1895-1984)"