About Me

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A 30-something living in the foothills of the Virginia mountains; I'm saved by grace, addicted to coffee and my little sister is my best friend! I devote most of my time to exploring, reading, attending as many Nationals games as possible and documenting life here. My Prince Charming got lost somewhere along the way...but I'm trying to remain hopeful that true love exists.

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Friday, May 1, 2015

What I was into in April

Books I Read

An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon - Yes, I'm still reading this and I still haven't finished it. I must admit that the first three books in the Outlander series were excellent and I sped through them; I just wanted to be reading them all the time. However, once I started the fourth book I've struggled. I'm trying so hard to get through the series but it's just not happening...so I guess this one will stay here for a while.

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd - Book Club, ha-ha! And actually, I started this book...but I haven't actually finished it because...well, I don't have to have it read until May 7th. So, I'm working on it....and now I have 6 days left to finish it and I'm only on like...page 20. Eek!

The World of Ice & Fire by George R.R. Martin - This is a gigantic book that was written by Martin (while he could have been finishing the Ice & Fire Series) that details the history of Westeros, the world where the epic series takes place. The book is fascinating and I've been reading it while I watch the fifth season of Game of Thrones; it amazes me that one person had this entire world inside his head, it truly is fascinating.

Books in the Queue

I don't know if I even have any books in the queue. I want to find something to read that really intrigues me but I'm having trouble finding something - a readers worst nightmare. I think I really am desperate for George RR Martin to hurry up and finish the 6th book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. Any suggestions in the meantime would be appreciated! 

Can't Miss Television

Game of Thrones - Season Five; at this point the show is well past the halfway mark, we are starting to speed toward the finish line (faster than Martin can write) and characters are converging in ways I never expected - mostly because the show writers have burned through book material and are pacing ahead. I both love and hate this because while it's certainly nice to not know what is coming from episode to episode, I also kind of liked knowing that certain characters were safe. I'm waiting for this season to pick up speed - so far it's seemed to move at a slow and steady pace; no doubt right about the time it ramps up it will be time to take another 10 month break. Having said all that, I still love this show 100% and I can't wait to see how things play out in the next 7 episodes!

Oh my...

Outlander - Only four episodes of this have aired but that means we are halfway through this second half of season one (Lord only knows why they split it like that...) and things are getting much more interesting. The most important development so far was Claire's choice to confess to Jamie that she does indeed come from a time much different from his; a confession that Jamie takes as 100% truth and embraces Claire's knowledge of things to come. Jamie also gives Claire the choice of returning home to her (former?) husband Frank but we see Claire make the decision to stay in the 1700s with Jamie because she has fallen in love with him - and who can blame her? There are only four more episodes as this first season starts to wind up; I can't wait to see how the dramatic ending will translate from page to screen!

She's changed her stance just a bit...

Movies I Watched

Penguins of Madagascar - I watched this at a 9 year old's birthday party and I must admit, it was pretty cute...and of course, the wolf sounded like Benedict Cumberbatch and his velvet voice is enough to entice me to watch almost anything. The movie follows the Penguins as they join force with the North Wind to stop an evil octopus named Dave from mutating all the penguins of the world into monsters. Of course the penguins win out in the end and the day is saved...and they all get jet packs for helping out, which means they are penguins that can FLY!

Pretty cute!
Age of Adaline - A lovely movie, if I do say so myself. Adaline Bowman was born in 1908 and due to a strange accident in her late 20's doesn't age past 29. While this might seem like an ideal predicament to have (especially when you look like Blake Lively) it is rather heart-breaking for Adaline who watches friends and family grow old and die while having to routinely pick up her life, change her name and start all over in a new place when people begin to notice she isn't aging. I thought the premise was interesting, it had a nice added twist about halfway through and really ended quite nicely...plus, Michiel Huisman is always lovely to look at. Hehehe!

Such pretty...pretty people...
The Woman in Gold - Such an unexpectedly wonderful movie! My Mom wanted to see this movie from the moment she saw a preview and so we finally decided to check it out - and I'm so glad we did! The film is based on the true story of Maria Altmann's battle to obtain the paintings stolen from her family during the Nazis pillaging of Austria during WWII; painting that included several works by Gustav Klimt, the most famous being Woman in Gold. The story is touching and heart-breaking at times and I had no clue that it was actually a true story until the end of the film! If this is playing in a theater near you, I'd certainly recommend you check it out. It was wonderful!

Excellent & completely unexpected

Music I Listened To

I must confess - I've spent most of the past month listening to a combination of One Direction and the Game of Thrones soundtrack(s)...so there isn't really anything too interesting to talk about here. The most recent songs purchased in my iTunes account are all by...One Direction! Ha-ha!

There are only four of them now...

Yummy in my Tummy

Oh, let just tell you about some goodness. Ever since I got my job all the way back in late February, I have requested that we go to the top of the mountain(s) and eat as part of a little celebration of my gainful employment! Well that finally became a possibility in April; the restaurant is closed from November through maybe Mid-March/early April, and let me tell you - everything about it was yummy! They had a delicious Shenandoah Blush they were offering as their wine sample and I ended up with quite a nice glass because my Mom took one sip of her sample and poured it into mine, ha-ha!

I decided to go with the Pan Seared Pork Loin with Mashed Potatoes and let me tell you, it was absolutely delicious. However, they brought me three slices of pork loin and that was way too much! The best part of the meal had to be the dessert - and isn't that normally the case - because we got Blackberry Ice Cream Pie and the picture of it below doesn't do it justice, it was AMAZING. The views from the restaurant were also absolutely delicious, ha-ha!
Even the views were delicious...ha!
I may or not have mentioned the new Bakery/Cafe that opened right down the sidewalk from my office - Firefly Bakery & Cafe. It is absolutely lovely and the food is pretty amazing too! I've had lunch there on several occasions and their chicken salad and pulled pork are divine. Don't even get me started on the baked goods and coffee though; that could be a whole different post, ha-ha! Suffice it to say, if you're ever in the Winchester area and looking for lunch, coffee or just a sweet snack, I'd definitely recommend stopping by!

This picture is making my mouth water.
Of course this section would not be complete without my mention of the Smores frappucino from Starbucks because it is pretty much glorious. Go get yourself one and do it quickly because they're only around for a limited time! *tear*

Well yes - this is heaven in a glass.

What I'm Looking Forward To

Apple Blossom Festival is a pretty big deal here in Winchester, the town where I work. It's such a big deal that I have Friday, May 1st off because it's considered a holiday! I've heard stories about Apple Blossom for the past three years and I finally get to experience it for myself!

The Arsenal of Democracy Flyover in DC - what will easily be one of (if not the largest) the largest flyovers in history. The planes will all be from WWII and will fly over the National Mall in formation, chronicling the battles of WWII and the planes flown in those battles. I'm fairly certain this will be really cool!

Washington Nationals baseball - because who doesn't love a good baseball game? I mean, maybe a lot of people don't like baseball but I love watching a good baseball game and I love the Washington Nationals - mostly because half of the merchandise is emblazoned with "Nat" or "Nats" and I mean, come on...duh - but also because I finally live in a place where I have a home team of sorts. So, go Nats! 

Hope visits Virginia...definitely looking forward to seeing our friend Hope in mid-May when she breezes through town for a few days to visit and no doubt provide plenty of laughter and wonderful memories just waiting to be made! I sure do love when we have visitors!

Memorial Day Weekend, which will include a visit from one of my favorite people - my little sister! We'll be spending most of the weekend in Charlottesville, VA which is just about 2 hours from where we live. I know we'll be checking out Monticello while we are in the area, not sure what else we will get involved in but I'm sure we'll manage to have a wonderful time.

Because...in case you missed it...my SISTER WILL BE IN TOWN!


May already seems like it is filled about to the breaking point with things to do and it just arrived!

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