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

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Last week of summer

Well it is officially the last week of summer as all the schools go back this week and Labor day is 7th September and most of the summer season activities end then. It has been quite weird because coming back from Scotland I already noticed a drop in the temperature here. It is now only averaging the mid to high seventies instead of the eighties. It has made me panic a wee bit as there is so much I still want to do in the summer but just have not got round to it yet, guess I have been lazy or something!!!
We were both tired over the weekend from our round trip to the UK so took it fairly easy. On Saturday afternoon we went a gentle bike ride along the canal path towards Great Falls and stopped off at the side of the river for half an hour and just sat on the rocks lapping up the sunshine and watching the river run past. It was a bit of a nature trail as I say two snakes and two fawns. One of the snakes I nearly ran over with my bike and it was bright green like grass, the second snake was in the water and swam passed me when we were sitting on the rocks. No idea what type they were but I was a bit freaked as there are a couple of poisonous snakes in these parts. The fawns were very cute although I was a bit worried as they seemed to be on their own as I could not see an adult deer around.

That evening we had a night out at Wolftrap Foundation for the Performing arts. It is a national park that has a couple of arenas for concerts, shows etc. We went to see an outdoor showing of The Lord of the rings- The Two towers with the score played by a live orchestra. This involved sitting on the lawn with a picnic (and some wine of course) watching the movie on a large screen with the orchestra in front of you playing the score with a live choir behind them. It is hard to explain but it was spectacular, especially watching the Battle of Helms Deep when it got dark and it was raining slightly. You almost felt like you were there. The one weird thing was the Americans in the audience cheering at certain parts – this annoyed Jarlath, so Kim and I started to join in the cheering to wind him up even more – cruel! Oh the other strange thing was everyone running in when the gates opened to get the best spot on the lawn. I saw everyone start to run so I jogged along with them as I realized what was happening and managed to get us one of the best spots – well no one was going to argue with a large Scottish Woman were they! Jar, Kim and Andrew arrived behind me and enjoyed the fruits of my endeavour.

Here is the link to Wolftrap as it is a really interesting place. I am already watching for the 2010 schedule to go back:
and here is the link for the Lord of the Rings
Our picnic was a lovely selection of cheeses, meat, olives, homemade quiche and French bread.

Sunday and another lazy morning with a lie in and lazy breakfast for us both. Jar decided to go out on his new road bike (an early birthday present from me) while I decided to go and try a meditation class. It is held at my gym every Sunday and is by my Yoga teacher, Linda, from Thursday yoga class. It was an interesting experience and I managed to get a full body meditation but was not able to empty or slow down my mind. I had a chat afterwards with Joel and she said the same thing and described her mind like several Labrador puppies running around chasing a ball, which I thought was a great analogy.
The rest of the afternoon was spent at the outdoor pool reading and just having a dip in the pool. We didn’t even do any lane swimming as we were so knackered.

Previously, I mentioned that I was changing my diet to try and eat more to get more energy for exercise. Well I have been continuing with that and feel I am starting to get some benefits.
On Monday morning up early to send Jar off to work with his breakfast and packed lunch, so I decided to go to the 9.00a.m. step class again. It was great and we did a lot of circuit work but I had energy after it so I stayed on and did a second class which was my favourite definition class with Josie. I did feel a bit tired by the end but also very energized by it.

Tuesday was much of the same. I went to the gym and did 40 minutes of cardio work on the running machine, bikes etc and then another definitions class with Jocie. Again very energized afterwards.
I have been also trying to finish some cross stitch and knitting as everyone seems to be dropping babies so I spent the afternoon completing several pieces. I got thinking that I might put together some items and see if there is a market for them anywhere. It may be that there would be from next spring when all the farm and craft markets kick in again but that should give me loads of time over the winter to get some items made – if people stop producing babies and I give them all away as presents!

Tuesday evening and I tried to get a group of pals together to go to a quiz night at the Irish pub in Bethesda. Unfortunately, only myself, Vicky and Jar could make it and Vicky had a cold coming on so wasn’t feeling very smart. Still decided to meet up at the pub for some dinner to scope of the quiz night for future weeks even if we didn’t take part. It seemed very busy so I will definitely try and get a team together after my holidays over the next couple of weeks.

Wednesday morning I wasn’t feeling that great so after dispatching Jar to work I had a lazy morning by going back to bed and didn’t get up until 10.00 a.m. Went up to the Mazda garage to get a couple of items sorted on the car but they didn’t get done, then visited Jar at work to have lunch with him and deliver some shortbread to a couple of the girls that helped out with our travel arrangements for the funeral. I got home and was so full of energy that I went to the gym and did an hour and a quarter of cardio and stomach work and felt really great afterwards. I did feel a wee bit guilty about going into the gym instead of running or biking outside as the sun was shining but I wanted a fairly controlled work out and with running or the bike you are never quite sure how much you are working.
We were supposed to be going out in downtown DC that evening as The Shakespeare Theatre do a week of a free show. It is The Taming of the Shrew and I was supposed to go in early get 2 free tickets and then Jar was going to join me after his work (it started at 7.30p.m.). Unfortunately, he was having a mare of a day at work so knew he wasn’t going to get away on time so we had to cancel those plans. It is on through the weekend so we may get to go on Saturday afternoon or evening if we can get up the energy for the trip downtown at the weekend (full of bloody tourists). We decided to watch the movie “W” about George W Bush instead. It was a good movie but very worrying, if true, if that was how it really was. Worth a watch anyway for you guys. I forgot to mention that we watched the movie Twilight on Sunday night. It was an ok movie but I don’t get the hype and it certainly hasn’t inspired me to read the books either and Kim has given me Twilight to read, so I feel kinda obliged to do so.

Thursday morning and my favourite yoga class and talk afterwards. At yoga we are working through 8 classes covering the 8 limbs of yoga in Ashtanga. Ashta meaning eight and Anga meaning limbs in Sanskrit. The discussion afterwards was very interesting as we discussed contentment and satisfaction with what you have now.
I then cycled down to Glen Echo park (1.5miles) to have a picnic lunch and read my book in the sunshine where in the afternoon I was volunteering to help set up the artwork for the 39th Labor day art show they were holding there.

39th Annual Labor Day Art Show
Saturday, September 5 through Monday, September 712 to 6pm, Spanish Ballroom
Our 39th annual Labor Day Art Show will feature the work of more than 100 artists from the mid-Atlantic region. Most artists have a connection to Glen Echo Park either as instructors, students or resident artists. Works will include photography, painting, ceramics, jewelry, art glass, textiles and more. The Opening Reception on Friday, September 4 from 7 to 9pm is open to the public and provides an opportunity for you to meet some of the artists, view the show and purchase artwork.

I went in at 2 and met the ladies in charge Hannah and Nancy and I was given the task of going around all the artwork and attaching the labels with the artist, name of picture and price on it. That was a cool task as I had to look at each picture individually and find the right label and attach it. It meant I got to see each piece close up and in detail. Worked doing that for 3.5 hours and got loads done. I may go back tomorrow if I have time as they said they could probably do with some more help in the afternoon. Thanks to Anne C for her comments on RISI forum which has encouraged me to seek out some more volunteering activities. I looked up some briefly and see that the two local libraries need volunteers, how cool would that be!?

Poor Jar had another long day at work so in the evening I just made us a chilled dinner together. The poor bloke has had a hard time of it lately and has been working eleven/twelve hour days for ages with some travel not helping either. We are off to the beach next week for a whole week away from it and he is not taking his laptop and I will try and hide his blackberry so he gets a complete break. We also have a second week off but just going several more local trips but at least he should get a break. I do feel very guilty at the moment as he is coming in looking completely wrung out each night but at least I am making sure he eats well from breakfast through lunch to dinner.

Friday morning started with my Barre class. Now remember when I first started going to this class I could not walk for days afterwards and there were certain parts of the class that I just could not manage before well I must have gained in fitness and strength because I managed the full class. Try this – Sit on the floor with your back perfectly straight against the wall even your bottom touching the wall. Then with your legs straight out in front of you, raise them 3 inches off the ground and hold for 3 seconds before putting them down. Repeat 16 times. Then raise your legs 3 inches off the ground and keeping them three inches from the ground open and close them 16 times. You should be using your stomach muscles to do this exercise. It is harder than it sounds. Go on try it you know you want to – Fay you are superfit so it should be no bother to you.
After class and a shower I went back to Glen Echo and did a couple more hours of volunteering at the art show. It was fun again and I think they really appreciated the extra help as they seemed to still have loads to do before the opening that night. I also managed to chat with Hannah the volunteer organizer and she is going to pass my details onto the lady at The Arts Foundation to see if there are any further volunteer opportunities they could use me for, so watch this space to see what comes of that, if anything.
Well tonight is the start of our 2 week vacation. We are off to the beach at Ocean City for a week (although the weather forecast is not great) for some sun and surfing hopefully. Then a few days at home to do some local sightseeing and museums together, then off to Baltimore for 3 days to see the harbor, aquarium and we have tickets for the baseball to see Baltimore Orioles play Boston Red Sox on the Friday night. Two nights stay at the Marriott at the ball park for nothing as I still had some Marriott points left over from my work travels – bonus!.
Well will go now and start the vacation and looking forward to some quality time with Jar and him being able to rest for once. Take care all and “speak” in a couple of weeks with all the fun of our holidays. Xx

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