Friday, June 17, 2011

Possum Birthday

Happy birthday to my baby boy, our little Possum.  I don't know how we started calling him that but it's only one of the nicknames we use for him.  He's always been Possum.  That's what happens when you're the youngest in the family.  He was born 36 years ago at 1:05 a.m., the youngest of three.  His sisters spoiled him rotten when they were growing up but it's understandable.  This is what he looked like when he was only 5 years old.  Here is what he looks like today:

He's still Possum and always will be.  

I drove down to NC to spend the weekend with him and his beautiful wife and wanted to do something special for his birthday.  Hmmm.  What do you give to someone who has everything he could possibly want?  I know!  A pie!!

Here's the birthday pie before it was cooked.  It already looks good, doesn't it?  But. . .this is no ordinary pie.  This is a LOBSTER pie.  Here it is just out of the oven.

We had a wonderful salad and some great wine and chowed down on this great meal.  I have to say it was really delicious.  My son was a little skeptical because he'd never heard of a lobster pie, but once he tasted it, he LOVED it!!  

Happy birthday to my baby.  

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Summer Flowers

I started another new job in March.  It was a huge promotion for me, so I felt I had to take the opportunity to enhance my retirement income.  I do like my new job.  I'm learning new things about contracts every day.  My new job entails reviewing requests for government contracts for release under the Freedom of Information Act.  They're not the only documents that we get requests for, but they make up a large majority of them.  I recently was able to close out three cases that dated back to 2008!!  One request, if you can believe it, was 11 years old!  Good grief.

On the other hand, having to get up much earlier to start my work day at 6 a.m. has me getting up at 4 so I can leave the house and get on the road by 4:45.  It's not a bad drive in at all, but let me tell you, I'm so looking forward to retirement and not having to fight traffic every single day of my life.  Washington DC is beautiful, and more so at that time of the morning without all the people and the heavy traffic.  I drive by the Washington Monument, which is lit up with its red lights flashing at the top.  And I drive by the Potomac River where I get a great view of the Jefferson Memorial also lit and shining its beautiful reflection in the water.  Sometimes the rowing crews from the local universities are already out there on the river, practicing.  It's almost peaceful!

I haven't had much time to venture out and take photos because most of my days are spent at work.  By the time I get home in the evenings, depending on the traffic and other delays, it can be 5 p.m.  I leave work at 3:30.  As you can see it sometimes takes longer to drive home than it does to drive in.  But that's okay with me because I know I'm headed to the comfort of home and that I'll get some quiet time to myself.  By the time I take my shower and grab a little something to eat, it's time for this pumpkin to head to bed so I can start my day all over again at 4 a.m.  I'm one of those people who can't exist on 5 hours of sleep.  I need to get at least 7 and preferably 8 hours of sleep to function really well.

Because of my schedule, I haven't had time to post much on my blog; and I miss it.  I wish I could have taken a picture of the eagle I saw on my drive home along the GW parkway.  It hovered over one of the huge trees and extended its talons.  I wonder if it had a nest there or if it was hunting for something.  I notice all kinds of crazy things when I'm driving.  I wish I had time to capture each one in a photo and share them with all of you.  This world is so beautiful, and I never get bored or tired of seeing the wildlife. 

I did mange to catch some photos of these beautiful peonies that I bought at the store.  Peonies are some of my favorite flowers, especially the old fashioned ones.  The added bonus is that they're very fragrant.  

There are tons of wildflowers in bloom right now.  I so want to stop and pick some and bring them home with me.  Unfortunately, there aren't many places to pull over and do something like that.  The clover is sweet and blooming and there are tall plants with tiny yellow flowers.  I love flowers.  One day I'm going to have a cutting garden full of zinnias and cosmos and all those easy-t0-grow flowers that just grow longer and hardier the more you cut them.  In the meantime, though, I'm content to see the wildflowers on the side of the road and around the many ponds here.  

There is a huge pond next to this wildflower patch, and there is a Kingfisher that lives in the woods next to it.  I see him quite often and I've tried to get a photo of him, but he's too fast.  By the time I've pulled off the road and gotten my camera in hand, he's gone.  I don't even get out of my car, but he's easily spooked.  He's beautiful.  

This is my long weekend from work.  We work a compressed work schedule and every other week, I get an extra day off.  I chose Mondays because that's my least favorite day of the week.  So today is my Saturday over again, my most favorite day of the week.  To me, Saturdays are like holidays that come every week.  Hope you're all having a great one!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Farmer's Market Fun

Because I wake every morning to start my day 4 a.m., it's very hard to sleep past 6 on the weekend.  I do try and give it my best effort to not get up until at least 8 because I feel like I deserve to lounge around for a couple of days.  This morning, I was looking forward to getting up and getting ready to start my day early because they have a farmer's market in town from 8 to noon.  It was a gorgeous, cool morning with the sun shining and a small breeze blowing.  It felt glorious, the kind of morning everyone looks forward to.

I hopped in my car and drove the short distance to find this!

It wasn't very crowded.  I found a tent that was offering a wine tasting from a local vineyard.  Is it ever too early to drink some wine?  They had several different wines, and I got to taste them all for the price of a dollar.  It was fun.  The wine was delicious, and I got a card for two free tastings from Notaviva Vineyards!  I actually bought a bottle of their Viognier.  It was light and fruity and crisp.  

After the wine, I was drawn to all the fresh produce at the market.  The strawberries were fresh picked.  Some still had a little straw on them, and the sweet, strawberry-filled air was irresistible.  I bought some strawberries and some honey from a local apiary.  

Don't you want to just pop one in your mouth?  Yes, they were that ripe and that good.  I ate a pint of them this afternoon for lunch, and they were wonderful!

I loved all the colors of the fresh vegetables too.  I don't know why, but these beautiful red and white onions just said "take our pictures"!!  So I did.

I wanted to buy a bunch, but I didn't know what I would do with more than one onion!  They were beautiful.  They also had fresh beets and squash and greens.  I LOVE the farmer's market.  It always makes me yearn for retirement and my own plot of land to grow my own vegetables and flowers.  Some day, my friends -- some day in the next few years.  I can't wait.

 Can you tell what these are?

And to make things even better, they had entertainment in the form of this young man who played the banjo extremely well and sang!  What a delight!  

I love my farmer's market.  I like the fact that I know where some of my food is coming from. I wish I could grow my own, but until then, this is the next best thing.  

I hope you all have a wonderful and sweet relaxing weekend, my friends!