Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

And so another year and another decade come to a close. I look forward to what the next year--and 10 years--brings to us all.

In memorium the past decade; I still miss them all tremendously:

In the middle: Edith Whitten, my grandmother: February 3, 2000. She wanted to see the turn of the century, and she made it with a month to spare. She was 90 years old.

Second from the right: Bill Whitten, Sr. My father: July 5, 2002. He was 70 years old.

At right: Anne Carter Whitten, my mother: March 31, 2002. She was 68 years old.

The two on the left are still thankfully with us...Eric and JJ. This picture was taken in November 1994, when I was pregnant with Nicky. JJ was 2 years old. My, how the years have passed.

Here's to 2010...may the coming year be full of joy for all.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

It's a Wonderful Day in the Neighborhood

Bingo and I took a lovely walk through our neighborhood this afternoon.
What a sharp drop behind this house! Great for ditching pumpkins, though. See them at the bottom? It's the ultimate in recycling...good for feeding critters during the ling cold winter.
So peaceful...who would know that just to the right is our major highway through the county?

Bingo was fascinated by nearly every snowbank we passed...this is one of the only ones he didn't stick his leg up over.

The penguin did it! Doesn't he look guilty???? Knocking those sleds over...

I guess Santa is still sleeping...or maybe he's behind Door Number 2!

Poor reindeer...a week and a half after our blizzard and they are still buried in the snow!

I love this mailbox adornment right down the street from my house...simple and so pretty.

We need to do this more often!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

The big day is over and it was wonderful! Eric's parents and brother came over for the day and we had a lovely time. Lots of presents were opened and we had a terrific dinner of pork roast, black beans and rice, and natilla, a Cuban pudding, for dessert. (We had a Cuban theme, in case you couldn't tell.)

Here's our baby tree...we bought a tree a little late and all the tall ones were gone. It's still a pretty tree!

The tablecloth that I won from printersdevil's blog back during Christmas in July! Lovely snowflake design!

Here's the table ready to be set...the place mats were from a craft show in Florida 18 years ago when we lived there. The crackers are a tradition at our Christmas gatherings...the rest had to be placed on the table...everyone gets one!

I found these cute place cards on easy and so adorable! Would have been a better picture without the flash, though.

And the table filled with our bounty. The dishes were my parents' china set, and the candlesticks were a gift this year from Eric's parents.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

O Holy Night

In honor of this most holy night, I'd like to share my nativities:

This one was a gift from my parents for my first year living in my own place...I was 22 years old and had to work on Christmas Day, so it was my first Christmas away from home. The Nativity came from Sears and was exactly like my parents'. It made me feel a bit closer to home. Still does.

The little angels in front came from a dear friend of my mom's...I received these I think for my first Christmas, so these would be about 46 years old now. Practically an antique. :)

I bought this one last year from my friend Stacie, who sells Southern Living At Home items. I love the rustic feel.

This one came from the Reindeer Express, a little "store" run by our old elementary school in Plano, Texas, for the schoolkids to buy gifts for their families without them seeing. I was volunteering one day and saw this and treated myself to a little gift.

Merry Christmas Eve!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

No Reindeer Games for This Guy!

This made me smile today...

I took this with my phone, so I couldn't zoom in, but Santa's on the rooftop of one of our Mom-and-Pop grocery stores...being pulled by Rudy the Longhorn. No red nose needed!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

And the Cleanup Begins

Yikes...nearly 2 feet of snow in some areas of the yard! It was VERY tough shovelling the driveway!

Yes, I helped, too! (A little!)

The pathway to the front door is over 2 feet high on either side!

This is Eric's car...the only way you know it's a car is by the side mirror and the lone taillight!

School has been officially closed the next 2 days...we are on Christmas break!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

It's Not Just Snow...It's a Blizzard!

Wow...a foot and a half and still falling. We're under a blizzard warning for the rest of today.

We have a path to the driveway. It's filling in fast. And we can't really go anywhere. The plow hasn't come since last night and here's one of our cars:

I sunk up past my knees in one drift:

Salad, anyone? This is our salad table on the back deck. I don't think we'll be eating homemade salad anytime soon.

Here's the tree in the front yard. It's snowing so hard you can't see the Christmas lights are on.

Looks just like a Christmas card! (Except for the broom!)

My poor snowman's face is covered up!

The North Pole? I believe it!

Friday, December 18, 2009


So it's been nearly 2 weeks since I've posted here, and nothing has changed. We're still talking about snow. We are due for nearly 20 inches of snow here in southern Maryland. That's a record for December snowfall in the DC area.

It started about an hour and a half ago and here it is so far:

I have a feeling it's going to be a LONG winter!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

It's a Winter Wonderland!

It's December 5th; that must mean it's time for snow. In the 7 December 5ths we've lived in Southern Maryland, it's snowed 5 of those. And today is no exception.

It's not much, but we'll take it!

Now it really IS beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

It's a Festival of Trees!

Eric and I attended the local Festival of Trees today, benefitting the local Hospice House. We haven't been in a number of years, and it has grown so much! We saw many beautiful trees and I took pictures of some of my favorites.

This is the Hospice volunteer tree, in honor of the many volunteers that have worked with them this year. I recognized a few names on this tree. I just loved the purple!

All the decorations on this tree were made out of old puzzle pieces! It was so cool! Here's a close-up of a couple of those ornaments:

The detail on the mouse and gingerbread man was outstanding. I liked the little nutcracker on the side, too.All Santa all the time!

With my love of angels, I had to get this angel tree.

I love the tree topper--a halo!!

This is a freedom tree, in honor of our troops in service to our country.

Yes, that's Barbie on the top! Freedom Barbie!

And it just wouldn't be a Washington, DC-area festival without our sports teams getting a nod! Here's the Washington Capitals' tree.

The mighty Redskins!

I just love Christmas. I'm glad it's on its way!

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Little Hike, A Little Rain, A Little...Hail?

We took advantage of our day off together to see something in the DC area we had never seen...Roosevelt Island, a little island in the middle of the Potomac River right near Rosslyn, Virginia. The temperature was cool, a little windy, but sunny. So off we went.

It was drizzling when we got there, and then the hail started. Hail??? What??? There was no storm, no anything--just ice clusters falling from the sky.

Looks like rain, doesn't it? Trust me, it was smaller than pea-sized, but it was hail.
After it let up, we decided to head out for our hike. Here's the view from the footbridge over the Potomac going to Roosevelt Island:
Can you see the rainbow over Rosslyn? Our reward for the unexpected hail and rain.
Welcome to Roosevelt Island!
The man of the hour...he has a nice area in Memorial Park, at the center of the island.
The trail was a little muddy and slippery with wet leaves, but a good hike. Here's the family leaving me in the dust, as usual.
The calm but cold Potomac River:
After our hike, we drove to Alexandria and ate lunch at this very good pizza place, Bugsy's.

I of course had the Chicken Caesar salad, in observance of my Weight Watchers lifestyle. But the kids tell me the pizza was awesome!
It was a good day.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! We had a lovely day. It was the first Thanksgiving dinner we made in our home; every year we go to Eric's parents' house, and last year we went to Disney World. This year Eric was off, but "on call" so we stayed in. Lots of turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce, gravy, peas...ah....

Here's the table:

We used the china from Eric's parents for our wedding and our wedding flatware. Glasses from a long-ago Christmas present, and napkins to another long-gone tablecloth. Nothing really matched, but it was nice.

Dessert was my much-requested Poppy Seed Cake with Orange Glaze. It's not the holidays without it.

It's not kind to my Weight Watchers lifestyle, but the kids like it, and the small taste I had was so good!

Here's the recipe, courtesy of Bon Apetit magazine in 1992--enjoy!

Poppy Seed Cake with Orange Glaze

2 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 eggs
3 cups white flour
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk


1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour (or use cooking spray) a 12-cup Bundt pan.

Combine first 5 ingredients in large bowl. In separate bowl combine flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, and salt. With a mixer, mix in dry ingredients and milk alternately, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Add to pan and bake for 50-80 minutes, depending on oven. When tester comes out clean, it's done! Place pan on wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, then remove cake from pan.

Meanwhile, add glaze ingredients together and whisk until combined. Drizzle over warm cake. Enjoy!