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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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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! 

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