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, October 30, 2015

Five on Friday

So - as you know, I normally do Fitness Friday but several of the blogs I follow do Five on Friday and I really wanted to get in on that. I also don't want to lose the motivation and accountability that posting about my fitness gives me each Friday, so I decided that moving forward I can incorporate the two.

The purpose of Five on Friday is just to share five things that are on your mind and it can really be anything - from food to fitness to products you love, places you're planning to go, etc...so forth and so on. As a way to keep myself motivated, I've decided that at least one of my five things will be a fitness update - so I can do Five on Friday and still post about my fitness! Sound good? Away we go!





One: Have y'all seen Ellen's Halloween costume for this year? It's great! Now I will be the first to tell you I cannot handle the Kardashians...but I absolutely love Ellen and this video she posted announcing her Halloween costume for this year is cracking me up! Check it out, I guarantee it will give you a laugh.




Two: Tomorrow is Halloween...but I'm celebrating a little early. When I interviewed for my job, our HR director (and now my friend) Danielle mentioned they'd been looking for someone who'd dress up with them on Halloween, especially if it involved dressing as the Sanderson Sisters! I told them I was in (I think it might be why they hired me, ha-ha!) Well, today we are all wearing our witchy finest and I think I've almost got Winifred's signature smirk down....

                    


Three: I have thin, lanky and pitiful hair. My little sister got all the luscious hair genes and I got none, so washing my hair on a daily basis has always been a must for me or else I look absolutely tragic and nasty. It's true. Well, I have found a miracle! Living Proof PhD (Perfect Hair Day) is specially formulated to make your hair look and feel cleaner longer. I was skeptical at first but after two weeks of using it, I can vouch for it - it works! I've cut down shampooing to every other day - and my hair still looks great! 

This stuff isn't cheap ($24) but it sure does work!

Four: A free weekend; I'm way too excited about that. The funniest part is that the whole weekend isn't really free, ha-ha! Perhaps I should say a free Saturday? I can't wait to sleep late, drink coffee in my pj's and just see where the day takes me. I love having plans and I usually have things to do aplenty but it's nice to have a free Saturday here and there.

My thoughts exactly, ha-ha!

Five: Fitness! This week has been a little bit of a bust; so far I've only walked two days because it was raining on Tuesday and Wednesday...which is really no excuse because we have a machine, but I've made that my excuse. I am losing about 1-2 pounds a week and surprisingly when I weighed last night, I was down a pound...so I guess this week hasn't been a complete loss. I'm almost over the hurdle of Halloween and pounds of candy...now Thanksgiving is looming on the horizon. Also, time change is a real conundrum...

In honor of it being (almost) Halloween.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Watson Wednesday - Halloween Edition

I know Halloween is still a couple days away but I thought I'd make this week's Watson Wednesday a special edition and share some Halloween snapshots of him from years past. I can't believe this will be my seventh Halloween with the little guy - and don't worry, he's got a costume for this year too!

2009 - No costume, scrawny & really NOT sure about this pumpkin!
2010 - Not actually a Halloween picture...but he's in costume. so why not?
2011 - The bee in the garden for Trunk or Treat - he "buzzed" around all night long!
2012 - He was the Jolly Roger for my pirate "ship"...
2013 - A hoot owl...& probably the best costume to date! He's adorable!
2014 - The Wizard of Oz guarding the Emerald City...this one was kind of last minute. Oh well.
Do you dress your pets up for Halloween? When I first got Watson I promised myself I wouldn't be one of those people that dressed my dog in clothes or anything like that...but as you can see, I obviously didn't keep that promise too well. Ha-ha! Happy (almost) Halloween!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Tuesday - 20 Questions

You know me at this point - you know I love these question and answer things. The reason I love them so much is pretty selfishly because it absolutely intrigues me to look back on them and see what I said 6 months previous...1 year previous...3 years previous...you get the idea.  So, without further ado - one of these question and answer things, 20 question style!


1. Favorite food: 
- Cheese; in all it's forms. I love a good macaroni and cheese, I firmly believe that almost any dish can be made better with the addition of cheese and I love to eat slice after slice of the stuff. So, definitely cheese.

2. Flip flops or high heels: 
- It really all depends. Some days you want heels because they make you (or at least me) feel fierce and like you can take on the world. Other days, you want flip flops because you don't really have time to deal with walking in heels. However, I'll go with the option not available and say I like a good pair of ballet flats.

3. Favorite places to shop for yourself: 
- My Mom says I have an Old Navy* obsession...and I guess if we got technical, probably 50% of my closet is from Old Navy, so I guess it's a favorite spot for me. I also like Belk (for dresses), Target (shoes) and Dress Barn (dress/work clothes).

4. Standard Coffee order:
- I don't have a standard coffee order because I love coffee of all kinds; one type just won't do. However...I am more of a Salted Caramel Mocha fan than Pumpkin Spice Latte! I know - that's like speaking Autumn treason. Oh well, I live life on the edge.

5. Road trip must have snack: 
- Chips just seem like a really good answer to this. I don't know, but chips just sound really good. And not just any chips...they have to be Frito's Chili Cheese chips.

6. DIY or hire it out? 
- I'd love to say DIY but I'd most likely hire out a handy friend to DIY it for me. So, a clever combination of both?

7. Top 5 TV shows: 
- Game of Thrones (although season 6 better shape up), House of Cards, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (going old school with that one), Bones and How I Met Your Mother (minus the final pathetic episode).

8. Favorite Book:
- I don't have a favorite book...because I just love books in general. They're like children; I could never pick a favorite.

9. Favorite Form of Exercising: 
- I suppose I'd say walking/jogging since that's what I've been doing for this multiple months now and it all seems to be working out just fine and dandy.

10. How tall are you?
- Last time I checked I was five feet and five inches tall...so, really I think that's short.

11. Do you try something new at restaurants or stick to your favorites?
- I'm all over the place! Sometimes I like the safety of something I know is delicious and comforting, other times I feel the need to live life on the edge and order something I've never had. As I get older, I find I lean more toward living dangerously and trying all the things. An exception to this is definitely at Hunter's Head Tavern...I almost always get the Mac & Cheese; it's just too good to miss out on!

12. One make up item you can't live without:
- EOS Lip Balm...you know, the little lip glosses that look like a ball. :) I have one at the office, one in my purse, one floating around the living room, one in my make-up bag and one in my nightstand...

13. What's on your nightstand?
- Which one...I have two. The stand on the right has a lamp, a blown glass owl from Italy (thank Lindsey!) my Bible and a Hobbit devotional (taking nerdy to the Jesus level = all the points!). The stand of the left has a lamp, a Snoopy ceramic box, an owl Wood Wick candle and whatever book I might be reading at present.

14. What's one lesson life has taught you?
- It goes on. Ha! :)

15. Music that reminds you of high school: 
- Third Eye Blind (or as my Mom called them: Third Blind Eye), Matchbox 20, the Goo Goo Dolls...all those bands make me think of high school. Also, the song Wanna Be A Baller by Lil Troy...because we blasted that song before we went rolling. I guess we thought it made us seem tough...but we had no clue. I heard it at a Nationals game back in August and had a moment; I think my Mom thought I was nuts.

16. If you could live anywhere in the world besides your current city where would you live?
- Washington DC...but get back to me after I visit London for Christmas. ;)

17. Tell us something about you we might not know: 
- I don't know...if you probably don't know it, there's probably a good reason, ha-ha!

18. Websites you read/browse (besides blogs):
- Vulture (mostly for the comical recaps of shows I watch), Yahoo, Buzzfeed, the Weather Channel (because weather is weird...) the Washington Nationals website, the New Orleans Saints website and People of Wal-Mart.

19. Morning person or Night owl?
- Neither. Both. I like to sleep...but I can rally if the situation calls for it...and as long as I have coffee, I can get up pretty early too.

20. Favorite Breakfast meal:
- Waffles...because they are the best.


*OMG - I went Old Navy today. Maybe my Mom is right??? She tends to be right pretty often...ha-ha!*

Monday, October 26, 2015

I Wrote the Post, but I Can't Come Up with a Title

Oh Monday - you always have a habit of arriving right on time. Last night as I pulled my Scandal DVD out of the player (do y'all watch Scandal? If not, you need to get on it ASAP. It's on Netflix and it's scandalously good) and I bemoaned that I just couldn't believe it was already the eve of Monday again!

So far this Monday hasn't been too catastrophic although there have been some bumps here and there. Granted, this post is concerned with Monday from a week ago...and all the days that followed that, so this Monday isn't really important yet.

I'm pretty proud of this bad boy - but it's really hard to get that candle lit.
Munching on a salmon "cigar"...he ate the whole thing in less than 30 minutes!
When the pup attacks. And yes, I know this angle is SO flattering...
I'm going to go ahead and confirm that obviously last week, during the actual week I don't think too much happened. I thought I was going downhill pretty quickly on Monday evening; we went to grab groceries after supper and the longer we were in Wal-Mart, the worse I felt! I was sure I was coming down with my annual cold and so I stocked up on medicine and Halls, preparing for the worse. I went to bed Monday night at 9:15 - I wasn't even playing around. I woke up on Tuesday and felt fine! Who knows what was going on?

We told Lindsey we were going to ship Watson to her - he looks thrilled, right?
My friend is trying to catch me up on all my failed/missed movie experiences...
A gorgeous & color filled sunset on Thursday evening.
I did deal with several crazy intense Sinus/Allergy related headaches last week; I guess the changing weather was really messing with my head! I did find that almost as soon as I'd get home and take off walking, getting that blood flowing really made the headache stop! I guess there are so many benefits to walking, including headache prevention! Besides playing catch-up on some TV shows with my Mom, the week itself was pretty calm...we did tell Watson on Wednesday that we were going to mail him to his "Aunt" Lindsey but then only his feet would go into the box, so we decided that wouldn't work. He was amused, as you can tell by the above picture.

A pumpkin spice martini; the perfect way to start off the weekend!
The red-hued view into the belvedere at Long Branch on Friday night; not creepy at all, right?
As soon as five o'clock rolled around on Friday, my friends from the office and I headed toward Upperville for supper at Hunter's Head Tavern before taking a Candlelight/Lantern Tour of Long Branch Plantation. Hunter's Head never disappoints and I was so happy to get to share one of my favorite places to eat with my friends...and as usual, the food was delicious! I tried a Pumpkin Spice Martini and discovered that they can make a pretty nice drink too, ha-ha! The Lantern tour of Long Branch was delightfully creepy...but in a good way. The tour highlighted death, death practices, rituals and superstitions from the 1800's and there was even a coffin in one of the rooms - eek! Once I got home, I didn't linger downstairs too long because I had a busy day on Saturday!

Spending the day in DC with my friend Katie - it was her first time in the city!
The three states I've lived in (so far) represented at the WWII Memorial.
I just couldn't help it...
My friend Katie has never been to DC before and I made it my mission to fix that - because, as I've mentioned, I do love myself some DC and so I had to do my very best to make someone else fall in love with the city...and I think I succeeded! I introduced her to the DC Metro, which can be a thrill...either good or bad, maybe it was a little bit of both between the weird stains, the stranger people, the kid who got sick on the way back to Vienna and the whole one train running thing. All in all it was a fairly smooth Metro journey even if it was delayed on the way into DC and crazy crammed with people on the way out of DC!

These trees are pretty in Autumn...but perhaps just a wee bit prettier in the Spring!
Barry was taking a stroll on the balcony...thinking up another hair-brained idea, no doubt. Oops...did I really type that?
We stopped by all the monuments, (okay, almost all of them) wandered through the White House Visitor's Center and of course, we cruised over to stand in front of the White House and stare at it. We couldn't get very close because the POTUS was taking a stroll on the balcony and so security was heightened. Oh me...whatever! En route to the Metro to return home, I found a teeny duck abandoned on the sidewalk, almost obscured by some construction work going on...but his bright yellow exterior caught my eye, so I grabbed him up and tossed him into my bag. I don't know why, but I just decided I'd take him home with me...he'd be my DC Duck, a souvenir of showing Katie the city. And I definitely gave him a good scrub when I got home....who knows what was on that curb?

DC Duck in the country...
Seriously - he's tiny. As in, rests comfortably on top of a nail polish bottle. I stuck him in a plant on the table to be goofy but he's residing on my dresser now. If I'd found him earlier on Saturday I'd have definitely taken his picture with every monument and memorial.

The picture that accompanied my fifteen seconds of MSU Jumbotron fame on Saturday night!
Oh - if you aren't my Facebook friend then you won't have seen my proclamation on Saturday night about my fifteen seconds of MSU Jumbotron fame. I haven't been to an MSU game this season (driving 13 hours to Starkville is a little far) but I'm planning to be in the stands for the Egg Bowl this year....Hail State. Apparently they put tweets on the Jumbotron during the game and on Saturday night I received a rather excited text from my sister that said "I JUST SAW YOUR TWEET ON THE JUMBOTRON NAT!!!" I heard from my friend Kristen and a family friend, Sandra too - they'd all seen my picture (chugging a cup of coffee, ha-ha) pop up on the 'tron with my tweet! So, I haven't even been to a game yet but I had my fifteen seconds of fame, ha-ha!

Shenandoah National Park is looking especially colorful this time of the year - much more color than last year!
The woods look like they're on fire!
Absolutely breathtaking views in every direction.
Sunday afternoon I joined my parents on a drive through the National Park; well, I joined my parents and everyone else within a 100 mile radius! There was a line a mile long just to get in the park and at every overlook there must have been twenty cars...all crammed together to try and take a picture of the gorgeous Autumn colors! I don't blame them, the colors this year are pretty spectacular! They're certainly much more grand than last year; last year everything seemed like it just turned dark orange or brown and fell to the ground...but this year...oh my. Yellows, reds, oranges that make the threes look like they're on fire...the colors are everywhere! It was definitely a well spent afternoon - especially since we ended the outing with a stop at a local bakery in Sperryville before strolling through the Copper Fox Antiques store.

Isn't this the sweetest face you've ever seen?
I made a Target run (so important) on Sunday evening and even stopped in at Famous Footwear and managed to snag two pair of shoes for $35! I couldn't pass up a deal like that, you know I love shoes! So, that was the past week...in a nutshell. 

I'll leave you with that precious puppy face - my Mom took that picture and really, he couldn't be cuter if he tried. Even if he is begging...

Friday, October 23, 2015

Fitness Friday

Here we are again - it's Friday! I know we all look forward to Friday for so many reasons and silly me, I'd like to think you look forward to Friday because you are just so excited to read my post. Ha - I know, I'm absolutely hilarious, right?

Or...a new pair of jeans in a smaller size?
This week has been SO much better! I don't know what has made the difference but I guess exercise, like all things in life is about your day to day, your mood...all those things. You have good weeks and bad weeks. This week is certainly a good week for me! I've looked forward to walking and actually really enjoyed my walk/jog each afternoon. That's a pretty good feeling!

Another thing that walking really helps with? Headaches! Who'd have thought? I know I'd mentioned probably two weeks ago that I really didn't have issues with headaches too often anymore but my allergies/sinuses have really been acting up recently. Monday and Tuesday when I got home, my head was hurting so bad that I literally felt dizzy...but within fifteen minutes of starting to walk...*poof* headache gone!

About 5 weeks in on the right & about 15 weeks in on the right...I don't know if I see much of a difference or not...
I'm averaging anywhere between 1-2 pounds a week, which I've been told is the healthy way to lose weight. I haven't dropped another size yet (hoping to be down at least one more size before we head to London for Christmas) but each week when I get on the scale...I guess that's the proof for now. 

My Mom assures me she sees the difference and I've stared at that picture up there more times than I care to admit since Wednesday of this week. Is there a difference? There is! Wait...not really. They look just the same. Or do they? I don't know...I can't decide...and that makes me a little discouraged. I know I'm not going to look at a picture one week and just immediately look excessively skinnier and I guess I need to wrap my head around that.

So - I'll keep right on trucking. I'm almost 4 months in at this point; only a week to go and I'll be there. I suppose I'll just keep taking this thing week by week by week. So - until next Friday!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Watson Wednesday: Bark Box - Halloween

I know - I just did a Bark Box post - but aren't you excited to see another one? Watson was definitely excited to see another box! Since I started his subscription a little later in September, he got his September box a bit after the normal 15th of the month ship date - so that's why we had two so close!

He still has some treats from his first box that he could be munching on...although I don't think those Bacon Barker treats from the last box are going to be a hit. I'm thinking I may have to toss them and move on; I gave him some last week and I think he still has one randomly sitting near his food bowl. He didn't touch them...except to nose them around to other spots. Oh well, you win some and you lose some.

What's this - another box just for me?
Hmmm...my box must be Halloween themed this month.
This month's box was (appropriately) Halloween themed and that alone is enough to make me want to keep getting the boxes, ha-ha! Will next month be Turkey themed? Will he get a stuffed Santa Claws (hehehe, see what I did there?) in December? I can't wait to find out...but I do hope he doesn't keep getting so many darn toys or I may have to start sharing them with his friends who actually play with toys!

So many treats...& he's still sniffing the wrapping...
So...what did we (he) get this month? A lovely little haul of goodies...of course!

Bocce's Bakery - Salmon Dog Biscuits
Who knew my dog loved fish so much?? These treats are all natural, wheat free and have...salmon! Hence the name, right? Watson sniffed and sniffed at this box and come to find out, this is what he was sniffing at! I gave him one of these to "test" and he inhaled it and immediately circled back for another. I think I might need to see where I can find some more of these...they're a hit!

Plushpuppies Invincibles - Black Cat Squeaker
A toy - one of those things he doesn't really play with. *sigh* Which always makes me so sad, especially when the toys are THIS cute! This little cat squeaks and feels so soft and fuzzy! The best part is that unlike some other squeaky toys, this one won't stop squeaking if it get's punctured - which is why it's considered an invincible! He hasn't been interested in playing with this, but he did cuddle up and sleep with it on Saturday night. So...sort of a hit?

Chuck It! Max Glow Ball
A ball - yeah right, like he will ever play with this! I kid you not, this dog of mine...I've tried to play fetch with him and as soon as I throw the ball (stick, toy, whatever...) and tell him to go get it, he looks at me like "you threw that and you expect me to go get it for you? Yeah right!" So, it's usually a big NO. I tossed this across the rug on Saturday and he ran after it, only to jump back and run away from it when it bounced against the wall and back at him. Oh me - afraid of a bouncy ball. This dog.

Etta Says! Treats to Go - Peanut Butter
W absolutely loves peanut butter (yes, he's tasted it more than once) and I love that this canister can be reused for taking some treats on the go, albeit not very large treats. These are tiny treats and they're peanut butter (obviously)...which Watson loves. He sniffed at these a bit first before gobbling them up, so I'll say they're a hit. Although he seemed like he'd rather have a taste of my spoon of actual peanut butter...ha!

Wheezy Woofy's Villain Salmon Half Cigar
This was easily the hit of the box! So much so that I even went to the Bark Shop to see about possibly ordering him a couple more. What is it? It's a salmon skin, rolled like a long cigar. And he absolutely loved the thing! It's 100% salmon, nothing else and he happily settled himself onto his "treat" rug and gnawed, licked and munched on this for a good thirty minutes! Suffice it to say - my pup loves some salmon! 


I can't wait to see what November's box has in it! The treats for us have mostly been a big hit and I love being able to change things up for Watson from time to time. Even if the toys are mostly a no go, I guess we can always be kind and share with our friends. I have several friends with pups, so I guess if he keeps getting toys, I'll just start passing things out.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A - Z

A - Age: 31 - eek!

B - Bed size: Queen

C - Chore you dislike: Cleaning the bathroom...I swear, one day the fumes will kill me.

D - Dogs: Just one, my delightful little Watson. He's a seven year old Jack Russell terrier and I couldn't love the little bugger more than I do.

E - Essential start to your day: I do the same thing every (weekday) morning. I get up and get ready, then go downstairs and drink my first cup of coffee and look over Facebook, Instagram and emails on my phone. Usually in the living room with no light besides what is coming in the windows. It's how I acclimate to starting the day.

F - Favorite color: Blue!

G - Gold or silver: Silver...although gold is growing on me.

H - Height: 5'5"

I - Instruments you play(ed): I took piano for several years and I wish I'd continued to take lessons...but I was a teenager and I just didn't think I had time for all that. Ha!

J - Job title: Receptionist (although my boss insists I do so much more than my title suggests...)

K - Kids: None to speak of...except my furbaby Watson!

L - Live: Northern Virginia, about an hour outside of DC! I'll leave it at that and not get to detailed...there are weirdos on the interweb...

M - Mom’s name: Anita Virginia, although NO one calls her that. Everyone calls her Ginger. 

N - Nicknames: Nat, Butter Bean, Noodles, Spikenard, Natalia...

O - Overnight hospital stays: None to speak of at this point & I'd like to keep it that way.

P - Pet peeves: Chipped nail polish (on me), left lane drivers, people who say "I know how you feel" when you know they don't know how you feel, fake people.

Q - Quote from a movie: "I'm looking for someone to share in an adventure" - Gandalf, The Hobbit

R - Righty or lefty: Righty!

S - Siblings: Just one, a little sister named Lindsey who is delightful and fierce and wee.

T - Time you wake up: 6:30/6:40 during the week, hopefully not earlier than 8 on the weekend.

U - Underwear: Is important. I'm not sure what else should go here...

V - Vegetables you don’t like: I don't like lots of veggies in general, but I definitely dislike tomatoes and English peas.

W - What makes you run late:  I don't usually run late, I tend to be early if anything. However, if I don't hear my alarm...which has happened maybe once...then I might be in trouble.

X - X-rays you’ve had: Spinal on a yearly basis as a teenager because I have scoliosis; pretty sure I've had a couple related to car accidents and of course, teeth x-rays!

Y - Yummy food you make: Soup of all kinds, potato, corn and potato chowder, bacon bean and ham, black bean, tomato tortellini, the list could go on and on...

Z - Zoo animal favorites: All the big cats, leopards, tigers, lions, cheetahs, mountain lions, panthers...all of those.

Monday, October 19, 2015

All of the Pictures

So - this week started really slow and about Wednesday I was thinking that I really wasn't doing much and my weekly recap was going to be completely void of pictures...and then the weekend happened and I took one million and one (okay, maybe not that many) pictures of all the things and so now this post is basically loaded with pictures. Ha!

Truly, the week itself was kind of slow - the first eight pictures are from the week...after that, all the rest of the pictures are from Friday evening through Sunday evening. So, yea...the weekend was where all the things happened. Isn't that usually the case though?

Starbucks - they own me. It's sad but true. I love that little green lady & her stars.
Such a snuggly little beast this week.
The week seems like it passed really quickly - but I suppose it was because everything was on repeat, ha-ha. Work...home...walk...eat...watch Scandal...sleep...repeat! Yes, I know it's so exciting you can't stand it. I suppose being on my own this past week helped with the pace at which I'm rapidly consuming episodes of Scandal. Catch up on four seasons in less than a month? It's handled. Hehehe. Tuesday the power went off at the office...and it stayed off for almost two and a half hours, so we got permission from out boss to go grab lunch together. We went down to the Winchester Walking Mall and had some delicious Mexican food and walked around just a bit since the day was so lovely. A friend who lives next door to the office sent me a message that the power had come back on, so we headed back to the office to finish out the day.

Tuesday lunch in downtown Winchester.
This dog kills me...he knows what the camera is & tries to pretend he's not begging...
Being goofy on Thursday afternoon at work. I don't know...
The trees are really turning here in the past couple weeks and I always find the best picture...or so I think! Of course, I'm shooting all these with my cell phone and so they don't always turn out as wonderful as I'd like. Oh well, I suppose some beauty is just meant to be seen via your eyes, you are meant to take in the moment and move on. Of course, as I mentioned...on the weekend, all the "beauty" was captured and it didn't matter about the moment...ha!

That grove of trees is SO orange...but it doesn't translate as well in this picture. *sigh*
And I had to creep up on golfers like a weirdo to snap this one...so it's blurry. Again, *sigh*
Also - please laugh at the image of me semi-hiding behind a small tree while wrangling Watson and trying to take this picture. Especially since Watson thinks every person we see is a friend he needs to make immediately and know that he was fighting me on the whole "let's stay hidden" thing...and the fact that the picture turned out halfway decent...well it's a miracle.

He says "I'll be good today & you'll take me on an adventure when you come home - deal?"
So - about fifteen minutes from the house is the Virginia State Arboretum and it's definitely one of Watson's favorite places...and I like it just fine myself. They have a huge grove of Ginkgo Biloba trees that turn the most brilliant shade of yellow every Autumn and almost two weeks ago my Mom and I went to check and see their progress. I decided to take Watson on Friday night to check up on the trees and while they still weren't completely yellow, they were well on their way and looked pretty spectacular. The only downside to these trees? They smell like...well, let me be frank with you - they smell like dog poop. So, they look lovely but maybe don't take a deep breath.

I can never get him to look up at me...the little stinker.
Slowly turning yellow...
Watson could sniff every leaf & still have things to explore...

Oh hello...yes...let's stay here forever, okay?
Yellow & blue - two of my favorite colors.
The Arboretum really is so fascinating and has so much to look at. One day I'd really just like to go and be there all day...pack something small to eat, take a good book and a blanket and find a nice spot to just relax in nature. Obviously this time will be once Spring arrives again, because Autumn is fully unfurling in the valley and with it this weekend came some chilly temps and even chillier breezes blowing down out of the mountains. Friday evening wasn't too bad, Watson and I were able to roam with no problems but the rest of the weekend? You better believe bundling up was key! Brrr - hopefully the snow will stay away until at least December, right?

Absolutely gorgeous views everywhere!
Dogwood Lane...changing colors with the sunset...
Looking across the meadow...hard to believe just a few months ago it was green & new.
Watching a squirrel with great intensity...I think he thought he was going to jump the fence after it...
I think "we" meaning mostly me, saw at least 50 deer on Friday evening! They were in all of the fields and even peeking over the stone fence at me, just taking everything in! I'm sure they'd have been less interested in taking everything in if Watson noticed them...he'd have barked and it would have all been over...so maybe it was good he was staring out the other window. We also saw plenty of squirrels and he was convinced they were going to hop right down out of the tree and to him, because he only wants to visit, right? Ha - not likely buddy!

Such gorgeous leaves - the color is amazing!
The sun setting & casting shadows across the mountains...love it.
Taking it all in from his car seat. Yes - he has a car seat.
There is a deer in this picture...peeking over the fence...but perhaps you can't see it?
Saturday was a blustery day - I mean, hello wind! The sun couldn't decide if it wanted to be out or not, so sometimes the sky was a brilliant blue with huge puffy clouds and sometimes everything was covered in those huge puffy clouds...but the wind was a constant! I met two of my friends around lunch time and we headed to Wayside Farm to essentially be kids at heart; none of us have any kids but we figured that shouldn't deny us the fun of going to the Pumpkin Patch, and so away we went! All I can say is - I'm so glad for sweaters and jackets!

Pumpkins as far as the eye can see....
We may or may not get out of the corn maze....
The pumpkin cannon - easily one of the best inventions ever.
I liked it...but this wasn't quite the one...
Wayside Farm, which will henceforth be known as the pumpkin patch, is a place I'd been to before and recommended to my friends. They have a pretty amazing corn maze (no pun intended) that's always worth a try...and they have someone that will come find you if you don't come out an hour before close, ha! It only took us about 45 minutes to make our way through the "long" version but we were pretty pleased with ourselves; I mean, we did only circle back to question 1 (of 5) three times, ha! Danielle and I did discover one of the most amazing things ever - a pumpkin cannon - and I think it was the best thing about the patch. You loaded a mini pumpkin into the cannon, aimed at the targets and WHOOSH...away your pumpkin sailed, across the field and (hopefully) smacking into a target! It was a rush and I'd do it again in a heartbeat!

The finished product - those laces were frustrating....
I didn't paint my pumpkin; it came out of the patch just that white!
Sooo chilly outside on Saturday afternoon!
Watson & his squeaky cat.
I realized on Saturday that it was the first time in my thirty-one years of life that I'd actually walked through a pumpkin patch, chosen the pumpkin that I liked and then snapped it right off the vine and carried it home with me. I mean - I paid for it first, but you get the drift. It immediately made me think of "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown"...can't wait to watch that on Halloween night! It also made me feel bad for Linus falling asleep in that patch, he surely was about to freeze! Bless his heart, that blanket only does so much against the cold Autumn air!

Pimento Cheese Bacon Burger with Tobacco Onions, Pickles & Home Fries...with ketchup & MS comeback sauce.
Looks can be deceiving...gorgeous day...but gorgeous CHILLY day.
I'm addicted & I have no shame. Such delicious ice cream!
Sunday I had to go to Dulles to pick up Jeff and Ginger from the airport and since Dulles is practically all the way into DC (I mean, it's not really...but still...) I convinced them that we should cruise on into the city and head for the waterfront to get a late lunch. We had some seriously delicious Southern style food at Due South, which is conveniently located at Yards Park....a short walk from Nationals Park and Due South happened to be right next door to Ice Cream Jubilee! Ha! After a delicious meal, I treated us to dessert because I feel like it's a crime to be next door to Ice Cream Jubilee and not partake. I know - I have a problem. The first step is admitting it...

I also may have waved at Nationals Park and bemoaned how lonely it looked since the Nationals didn't make the postseason. Hehehe. Once we'd stuffed ourselves with lovely ice cream (Pumpkin Honeycomb and Maple Rye Pecan) we cruised through a shadier part of DC to the United States National Arboretum, because I wanted to see...the Capitol Columns!

Originally erected as part of the East Portico in 1828!
And moved to the Arboretum in 1990!

I thought they were so beautiful...especially as the sunshine passed through the gaps between the columns.
Posing with history - can you imagine what these columns have been silent witness to?
The United States National Arboretum is located in downtown DC and you could almost forget you were in the middle of a huge city...until a siren wails in the distance. It's lovely, has numerous exhibits and gardens and best of all...it's free! My main goal on Sunday was to see the Capitol Columns but I'm already planning a return trip in the Spring; I can't even imagine how gorgeous it is when everything is in bloom! I rounded out the weekend catching up with my parents and hearing about some of their adventures in Aspen...and of course, I finally lit up my pumpkin to see how it looked! All in all, a pretty excellent adventure for the books, if I do say so myself!

Boo!