Sunday, February 20, 2011

Polished to Perfection

With the three day weekend (yea President's Day!), it is the perfect time to start the spring cleaning process.  The usual weekly dusting and vacuuming is done, but then the baseboards are wiped down and the furniture pulled back for a good mopping.

This time, for good measure, I polished the wooden floors.  The yellow pine hardwood is now shining in the sunlight-- and not a snowy boot print or muddy paw print in sight!

Three rooms took most of the day and I have a whole other level of wooden floors begging for the same treatment.  Like I said, good thing it is a three day weekend....

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Root Beer Float

I had a hankering for root beer float.  I don't know from where this desire came, or why it surfaced in the middle of February.  Root Beer Floats are something for summer and definitely from childhood.  Maybe it was the unseasonably warm day we had, or maybe it was because I got a new bottle of CO2 for my Soda Stream.

I made vanilla ice cream--using David Leibowitz's recipe, of course!  I made the root beer with the flavoring mix for the soda stream.  It is the perfect kind of root beer: really creamy tasting.  In goes three (!) scoops of ice cream and fill the pint glass with the drink, and instant dessert and instant gratification. 

My British spouse was appalled that I used the ice cream in such a manner (his dessert was a bowl of ice cream with raspberries); My American friends over for dinner asked for more.   All I know is that for one summery day in February, I was feeling like it was mid-July and I was 14 again... 

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Royal Wedding

Ladies and Gents, we are less than 100 days away from when Wills will marry Kate!  The date has been picked (April 29), the venue secured (Westminister Abbey-- of course!), and the attendants named (Prince Harry as Best Man and sister Pippa as Maid of Honor).    I have to say that we are pretty excited about the whole Royal Wedding, and by "we",  I really mean me.  However, for the record, I was not the one to rush out and buy a commemorative tankard for the occasion.

On offer at the Royal Collection are a variety of things you can purchase to remember the event.  Will bought the tankard-- which is misnamed, as the vessel is actually smaller than a tea cup.

It arrived wrapped in tissue paper with the couples' initials intertwined.  The cup is manufactured in Straffordshire, UK according to "traditional methods that have remained unchanged for 250 years."  It is bone china and finished by hand using 22 carat gold.

Purchasing one of these items is a charitable activity, as all the proceeds go to keeping up the Royal Collection. One of the largest collection of art in the world, the Royal Collection  has been built up over five centuries of consecutive British monarchs "collecting."  One could probably argue with how some of the pieces of priceless works of art come into the collection (I am thinking of you, Henry VIII, and your monastery dissolutioning).  Ahem.  But, according to the little pamphlet included with the cup, this is the only collection in the world that doesn't receive public funding.

It is quite a pretty piece of china but I doubt that Will will let me use it for coffee, or even tea, for that matter.  (Not at $60 a cup!)  Having it now only makes me want to go over to London for the wedding just a little bit more. 

Happy Birthday Lucas!

From across the ocean, we are sending you happy thoughts and wishes for your birthday!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day!

Happy Valentines Day to all!  

special thanks for the cake from the best tenant ever and a wonderful friend.  :) 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Syrup Day with Cousin Danny

My cousin Diane filmed her brother (so, my cousin Danny) tapping trees and making maple syrup from the trees on their family farm in Louisville.

It is an amazing process and kudos to Diane for her first iMovie movie! (it is a 11 minutes, but totally worth watching)

Will and I were lucky to receive some of Danny's homemade syrup for a wedding present.  It is simply the best taste ever.  It is so light and pure-- it was perfect.  After we finished the maple leaf-shaped bottle, we returned it in hopes of getting another free bottle.  We are still waiting.  Now, I know why! ;)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Time for Tea

We received a thank you gift a while back for watching Luna (Little did they know we would quickly dump Stirling on them for Christmas for two weeks!): a lovely tea pot from Bee House.

I took it to work and I have to say, that I love having it here.  It is so nice and refreshing to have a cup of real tea to get you through the work day.   There are Lipton teabags available in the office's kitchen, but com'on!  After years of being with an Englishman, I am now a tea snob. What else do you expect?  Loose tea or nothing, baby.  Currently, I have Fortnum and Mason's Christmas Spiced Tea as my afternoon cuppa.  It is a blend of tea enhanced by cocoa nibs, orange peel and ginger.

Having a nice warm cup makes the millions of emails I have to answer, writing the reports that are past due, and the book keeping needing to be done seem not so overwhelming.  Instead, it seems quite doable; dare I say, enjoyable?,  as I sip away the afternoon.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Out of Body Experience

Something is up with Will...  maybe we have been taking care of one too many dogs.  Maybe he has been spending far too much time down at the dog park.  Hmm, I dunno.  He just doesn't seem to be himself lately....

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Dog and Dish Redux

We have started a trend!  We are rather proud of ourselves.  Will's idea of a "dog & dish party" seems to be a success.  Another friend from the dog park, mom to Gatsby and Tucker,  decided to host one herself over the previous weekend. 

It was marvelous!  I enjoyed being at the party this time, instead of hosting it.  Stirling was much better behaved (if you ignore the one snarl at the 8 month old puppy Queener-- who is twice as tall as Stirling).

And the dogs wrestled each other like champs--with Biscuit on the bottom and Stirling playing ref.  We have been very lucky with finding a dog like Stirling and then even more lucky finding a group of doggie friends for her. 

photo courtesy of this lady.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Cousin James

Dear Cousin James came across the pond, down on the train, up in a taxi after working to have a bit of chat and a nibble with us.  It was quite lovely.  I made lamb chops, garlic mashed potatoes, sauteed Swiss chard, and Brussels sprouts.  For dessert, home made cookies.  Everything was quite delicious, and, hot enough.  (Will seems to think that I only serve warmish potatoes).   James and his family are in good form.  He filled us in on the Cunningham clans doings in Merry Ol' England.  We had a marvelous time and before we knew it, it was time to drop him back to his hotel.  So, only a photo as he was walking out the door!  But James promised that he would return with the family and we would do a proper photo shot.  Seems fair enough.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

This Orchid Goes to 11

Another one of Will's orchids is in bloom, with each day another blossom opening up.  I swear that man is magic with the orchids.  He has another one that has 4 new shoots on it. 

This one has bloomed for him several times, and each time it produces a fantastic amount of flowers. 

It will take a while yet for all the flowers to fully develop and then open, but that doesn't stop Will from checking in on it every day: Misting the plant, moving the clips to support the spike, waiting for the next flower to come.  He has amazing patience for these persnickety plants, coaxing them to bloom again and again.  I do believe he is the Orchid Whisper.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

DC Snow Bubble

DC has a snow bubble up. A snow shield. A snow preventing force field, if you will.

We aren't getting the massive amounts of snow like we did last year-- it keeps barely missing us. In the mean time, Philly, Boston, New York are getting pounded with snow. Even Chicago had so much snow, the city closed schools for the first time in over a decade.

Here, we are just getting some dustings. Plus, some ice. What I miss is the February 2010, when Snowmageddon hit us hard. We had a snowpocalypse, a blizzaster. It was glorious. This year, it just isn't the same. *sigh* I want more snow, like last year.