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One move to America, one surprise pregnancy and a lot of fun later.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Is it August already?

I can’t believe it is August already; time does indeed fly when you are having fun. Just having a chilled time now I am back from the beach. Lots of laundry and housework to catch up on this week, it’s surprising how much it builds up if you neglect it for a while.

We just had a chilled day on Saturday. Went to play tennis in the afternoon and ended up playing in the pouring rain but it was quite fun and cooling although it became very humid afterwards as it was drying off. People were driving by and looking at us as if we were mad, but I am Scottish so I am used to doing things in the rain!
In the evening we went into Bethesda for a drink at the Tiki bar and then had a lovely Italian meal. I had such a big portion I got a doggy bag for my lunch the next day. We then went to Flannagans to meet up with Simon and Dawn. They are from the UK and Simon is working over here and Dawn has come over to support him. I have met them before (and they were at our BBQ) but never had a good chance to chat to them. I was driving but still managed to stay out chatting until about 1 in the morning. Jar was a bit tipsy after several Guinness’s when we walked back to the car. It is funny not drinking and being out with people who are knocking them back. I am getting more and more used to it though as over here I generally have to drive to get to a lot of places when we go out.

Sunday we had a really lazy morning and I didn’t emerge from bed until about 10.30a.m, it was nice to lie in together for once. Today we decided to go and buy Jar his birthday present. It is a couple of months early but as he wants a Road Bike we thought it would be better to buy now rather than at the end of September so we can get some use out of it during the summer.

Monday I decided to kick start the day with a cardio workout at my gym. I went to a 9.00a.m. Step circuit workout. Now I remember back in the eighties when Step was first introduced as the new, hot workout concept and I did it quite a bit back then. It was funny doing the workout again as it felt quite dated somehow. It was a hard workout but I just couldn’t get the picture of a much younger me in skin tight lycra, weighing 2 stone less, pounding on the step!!
Afterwards I spent the rest of the day catching up on the housework and doing some cooking and baking. The produce from the garden this week is fresh raspberries and mint. I made a huge batch of raspberry muffins and we have been eating them fresh as well. Thanks to PennyT from RISI for the freezing suggestion. Freezing them individually worked although in my usual obsessive way it was probably funny watching me lay them in very straight lines with the exact spacing between them on the trays to open freeze them. I also tried to make some mint jelly but it looked and tasted vile so it has been washed away. When I re-read the recipe and looked at the feedback I am not the only one to get this problem – far too sweet. Will try some traditional mint sauce with the rest of the mint or treat myself to some Mojito cocktails with it at the weekend.
In the evening we had our last Argentine Tango class. We are getting ok at it but could have done with a couple of more classes to get the practice and fine tune some of the steps. I am determined to keep practicing it each week but just need to persuade Jar to join me! Sorry MandyJ no video on Youtube until we get a lot better.

Tuesday I started the morning with a Definitions class, which is basically Pilates with weights and other equipment. It was really hard and my inner thighs are now killing me. Decided to do a bit more baking as well. I made Banana and Walnut bread to use up some old, very ripe bananas and made some Irish Soda Bread to use up some Buttermilk left over from the raspberry muffins. All turned out well although Jar now tells me he doesn’t like walnuts!
I then got a bit stir crazy just hanging around the house so decided to jump in the car and get the Metro downtown. I wasn’t sure where I was going to end up. As usual I felt a bit ill on the metro – not sure why I always feel rough but put it down to the air quality and the motion. Got off at Metro station and left the station instead of changing lines onto The Smithsonian stop. Came out the station and decide to just walk around following my map and seeing where I ended up. I found the Shakespeare theatre (which I didn’t know existed) and will be looking up what is on their over the next few months to go and see a play. They actually do a summer free play run in September which I am going to try and go to (Taming of the Shrew), although I think it clashes with our holiday. I then came across the Verizon centre, which is where a lot of big bands play and the Ice Hockey team hold their home games. There was a crowd of groupies hanging about outside the centre so I stopped to see what was going on and it transpired that the American Idol tour was playing there so the groupies were waiting for autographs off the Idols. Not sure why you would want the signature of someone just because they have appeared briefly on a singing show! Anyway, I walked on and walked through Chinatown, it wasn’t as pretty as the one in London but interesting to see all the authentic restaurants. Ended up in the park at Federal Square amongst all the Federal office blocks. Just sat and read my book in the sunshine for a while soaking in the busy atmosphere. I am reading The Ladies Man by Elinor Lipman for my new book group and finding it a totally pointless book.
In the evening we had a nice chilled BBQ at home after Jar got back from Karate. I did Garlic Potatoes, Fresh corn on the cob and a Pork Tenderloin with Honey and Mustard dressing. It was delicious.

Wednesday started with Yoga class with Padma. She was doing some heating poses and it ended up being a really powerful and difficult class. I was aching afterwards but felt really fired up for the day.
In the afternoon I was meeting with the lady from the Pet sitting service. It is a service called awalkwhileyoureout and they walk dogs for people who are out during the day and come in and feed cats and other animals when the owners go on holidays. They also do overnight stays with the animals if you require it. We are going away in September and I need someone to come in and feed and check up on Bobby. He has never been to a cattery and we have always been lucky enough to have great, pet loving neighbours to watch him for us but I don’t know my neighbours here well enough yet to ask them. So anyway the girl from the company came out to meet me and to see the house and pick up the keys. She was really lovely and an animal lover so I am fairly relaxed about leaving them to watch Bobby. They also bring in the mail every day so that no-one can see that we are away. The mail boxes here are located out on the street (you have probably all seen the type in movies) so it would be obvious after a couple of days if the mail is building up and would be seen by everyone driving and walking past. It is a strange system and I am always nervous about how open they all are as anyone walking past can reach in and take your mail! At least this service means there won’t be a build up of a week. It costs $13 per day for a 15 minute visit so plenty of time to feed Bobby and spend some time with him. Oh and ps the mail is not delivered until 4.00p.m. here every day except Sunday which is really late compared to the UK.

We had a terrible night during Wednesday night/Thursday morning. There was a horrific screeching sound from outside for hours. It sounded like some sort of animal either in pain, being killed, giving birth or mating call. I have no idea which or what animal it was but it kept us awake all night. I woke up at 6.30 with the alarm with a pounding headache. Poor Jar had to get up a go to work but I took a couple of headache tablets and tried to get some sleep. Unfortunately, due to this I missed my favourite yoga class but I really needed the extra rest. After that I was pottering about and decided to go out and pick some more of the ripe raspberries (we know have a freezer full of fresh raspberries). While doing this I saw a deer lying down in the back of the yard. At first I thought it was hurt and this is what we had heard during the night. I ran indoors to get the camera and managed to get some decent shots. I was relieved when it stood up and walked around because at least it wasn’t hurt. It didn’t seem too bothered by me and was fairly tame although I didn’t approach it too closely. Here are some photos:

As the weather wasn’t that great I decided to drive into Bethesda and try a Pedicure for the first time. I went to the nail place recommended by Vicky and decided on a Pedicure and a Manicure. It was a lovely little place and I enjoyed sitting in the chair getting my feet pampered while reading my book. I have some hangups about my feet so I was quite nervous and as it turned out I was really ticklish when she started massaging some exfoliator into my feet. It was quite funny with me squirming about while she tried to rub my feet so much so she was laughing her head off at me. Anyway I was really please with both and came away with a bright Aquamarine colour on my toes and a natural pink colour on my hands – I don’t do bright polish on my hands.

Friday we woke up to much nicer weather so I got up nice and early and went to my Barre class with Jocie. Afterwards after some chores I decided to treat myself and spend the rest of the day at the outdoor pool. It was hot but the humidity was low so it was the perfect day to sit outside and read with the occasional dip in the pool.
In the evening we decided we wanted to stay locally so drove up to a place about 4 miles up the road called The anglers Inn. We thought it was just a restaurant and were just going to look and see if we could just get a drink but we were pleasantly surprised to find they had set up a separate outdoor bar and bbq part. We were able to sit enjoying the outside with a couple of drinks and they also had some live music. Because of this we ended up staying longer than we meant so were really hungry and drove straight to the Irish Inn at Glen Echo for something to eat. Jar had Bangers and Mash and I had Fish and chips. They were ok but the place was really quiet so our plan to stay for some chat and a drink was thwarted as it was just empty.

Saturday morning and Jar went to Karate as usual. We then decided to drive down to Tysons Corner in Virginia. There is a big shopping centre there that is supposed to have a great mixture of normal and designer shops but we were a bit disappointed. It was a good shopping centre and had a Bloomigdales, Macys, Nordstorms and lots more but we have a shopping centre 5 minutes from the house that provides almost all I need anyway. I didn’t get anything although Jar got some work trousers from Macys. I needed some sports gear with all the classes and activities I am doing so as I didn’t get anything here we decided to drive up to Dicks Sporting Goods at Washingtonian Lake (mentioned in previous blogs). I got two pairs of leggings, one top, running shoes and water bottle and all in the sale. While we were up at the lake we decided to sit outside for a beer as there was a live band playing and lots of people to watch. Then decided to drive home but were both in the mood for a night out so drove to Bethesda and parked the car up for the night and went to a couple of pubs for some food and drink. We called our friends Dawn and Simon to meet us in the Tiki bar and then we moved onto the Harp and Fiddle and just had a lovely night chatting again. Drank a wee bit too much and stayed up too late but had a lot of fun.

Sunday and we were up and about surprisingly early in the morning so I made raspberry pancakes with the fresh raspberries picked from the garden. We then decided to go out on the mountain bikes and take the canal path into Downtown DC to go and visit Eastern Market, which is a flea and fruit market at the back of Capitol Hill. The canal path was a lovely ride and we found a place halfway along at Fletchers Cove where they hire Kayaks, canoes and boats to take out on the Potomac river, so have registered that in the data banks of my mind for activity time in a couple of weeks. Made it into Downtown on the mall and tried to find the Market which was supposed to be on the corner of 7th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue but could not find it. Luckily Jar had his Blackberry so we looked it up on the internet and on the sat nav and found that there is a whole other 7th Avenue 2 miles away from where we were!! Cycled the extra couple of miles and found the market. It was interesting but nothing that special that we couldn’t find closer to home. Decided to start the journey back by coming slowing up The Mall past all the Smithsonian museums. I was keeping my eyes peeled in case I bumped into Sarah (sazzymch) while we were cycling as I knew she was out sightseeing with Chris and Luke. The ride back was very hard as it was 100 degrees in the sun and we had been cycling in total for over 4 hours but made it back albeit a bit stiff and sore – why do we always overdo it?!
In the evening we had been invited for a Roast Chicken dinner by Simon and Dawn at their condominium so while we were really tired we were so looking forward to getting a home cooked meal. Just ate and had a chat and then came home fairly early as it was a school night.

Well another week over – where is it all going. Love to all. Xx

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