Monday, June 30, 2008

Poplar Springs Animal Sanctuary

Brad came over this morning and we went to the Macaroni Grill for lunch. Gregg was going to try and come with us but it turned out to be an extra busy day for him and he couldn't get away. We missed him of course but we had a good time. The waiter was harried. He told us he was actually the bar man and that he was helping out as two or three people had called in sick. He apologized for taking so long to bring us our food, but if there was anyone who could understand what he was going through I could, and we told him not to hurry, that we were fine and enjoying our conversation. Oh how I understand!

Over the weekend Brad and Lisa went to Poplar Springs Animal Sanctuary in Maryland. Lisa has a friend who volunteers there, and Lisa herself sponsors one of the animals. Brad shared the following photos with me from their visit.

Lisa feeding the goats carrots, which apparently they were eager to chomp down on.

That was fun!

But finally she ran out of carrots.
Goats have very interesting eyes don't they?
Found one more carrot.

This is a little lamb who only has three legs.

Onto the chickens.

Probably the last time Brad held a chicken was on the family homestead in North Dakota.

Here's the three-legged lamb again. He will be able to live out a happy life at the sanctuary, as will all the other animals.

I wondered about the mule here and the covering over his eyes. Brad said the material is a kind of gauze so that he can see and get around okay, while at the same time keeping his eyes free of flies. That's the extent of my knowledge on such things.

They enjoyed their time at the Sanctuary. I would like to visit it myself, maybe sponsor a few of the animals and even do some volunteer work there eventually.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

What we ended up doing today.

Not a lot, we didn't even leave the house but we had as much fun pottering around as we would have had we gone out. We just felt we needed to take a break. I think we tired ourselves out with all the exercise we got yesterday, and probably the week caught up with us and our bodies were letting us know. We were glad for a slow day.

Gregg watched golf and swimming and various other sporting activities on the TV. I was on the computer and did what I love to do on quiet days, travel all over the world without leaving a nice air-conditioned house on a hot muggy day. I visited India, Egypt and Australia. There are people out there who take incredible photographs and I looked at places I probably won't get to see in this lifetime, learned of cultures described so eloquently by the people who wrote about them. I discovered new blogs on wildlife and more incredible photographs. What a wealth of information there is out there.

Gregg and I have realized of late just how much we enjoy getting into the kitchen and preparing meals together. As we started our first one pretty late it was more lunch than breakfast. Gregg scrambled eggs and I sliced and sautéed button mushrooms. There was a lonely little English sausage left over from yesterday which was shared between the two of us (just a taste) and I popped a couple of pieces of bread in the toaster. Finished that off with a nice tall glass of mineral water with a squirt of lime juice.

I did bake dessert but nothing pretty enough to put on here. I threw together eight strawberry and blueberry tarts. I had individual aluminum pie containers in the freezer already filled with left-over pastry from all the quiches I have been making, and the fruit was in the fridge and needed to be used up. I added sugar to the fruit, filled the shells, putting a lattice on the top of each one with more left-over pastry, sprinkled just enough sugar on the crust and popped them in the oven. Real easy but as I was a bit blasé and didn't take much care in presentation, let's just say I didn't think it was photo-worthy as it looked a little too rustic. Tasted great though with a can of English Custard which I had bought a while back for just such an impromptu dessert. With the other tarts, now that they are cooked they can go back in the freezer and we will take them out when we feel like it. For the rest of the day we just 'grazed' as Gregg's Dad likes to say.

It's 12.14 a.m. and it's time to put the computer to bed for the night.

Occoquan, Virginia

The Visitors' Center.

The Blue Arbor Cafe

Today when we started out we had no idea we would be stopping off in Occoquan. We were on our way to Mason Neck Park but it was around lunch time when we realized we would be driving past the town, and as it is an easy detour we decided to stop off and get a bite to eat before we went on our way. We popped into a restaurant along the river, a nice place but large and rather crowded. If we sat outside we could be seated right away but if we wanted to stay with the air-conditioning inside we would have to wait for 15 to 2o minutes. As we wanted to be back on the road relatively quickly we thought better of it and it was too humid for me to sit outside. Gregg can take that but I can't. He's a Virginia boy by birth and I'm an English girl, what more can I say? I had The Blue Arbor in my mind from a previous trip when sister Bev visited, though I couldn't remember its name. I barely remembered its location but it's not a big town and I knew it was on the main street. It wasn't long before we were seating ourselves. I am so glad we did as I absolutely loved this place and so did Gregg.

Our waitress was warm and friendly and our lunch was delicious. Gregg ordered the Not A Reubin Sandwich and I had the Portobello Sandwich. We each chose the Raspberry Vinaigrette Coleslaw for a side.

Our surroundings were very pleasant.

By the time we finished lunch we had decided to walk through Occoquan and forego our trip to Mason Neck. We're going to leave that for another time.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Various photos around town.

This is an all-year-round Christmas shop called The Golden Goose. Today I didn't go into any of the shops on the main street and for the first time I didn't go into The Golden Goose. I think I will wait until I know I can go in for a long time. It certainly wouldn't be fair to Gregg for me to desert him for an hour while I browse around, and to be perfectly honest I wasn't in the mood for shopping, not even window shopping today. It was more fun to walk up and down the street just looking and taking photos, something that Gregg and I can enjoy together.

Gregg is in the photo below on the right, walking up the street.

Who are they kidding?

Gregg and I have decided we really loved the look of these steps and are thinking of finding someone who will redo our front ones at home. They are badly in need of revamping and Gregg likes the curves a lot. We are thinking of not having corners on our new front steps.

More curves.

Maybe we could find a door knocker just like this one. Is he not magnificent?

And look at these windows? More curves. And the shop below sells Virginia Wines, as do many places now. We are getting a good reputation for making excellent wines in our State.

Gregg hanging onto an old gas lamppost. I think we're getting to the end of our walk.

Town Hall

The Police Department is located in the basement of the Town Hall.

I like to take pictures of police offices because I have mentioned in an earlier post that my Dad was on the Staffordshire Police Force for 30 years in England. I have a small collection of police memorabilia at home, his old police whistle and notebook, medals, an actual letter from a burglar he arrested, a man who wrote from prison thanking my Dad for treating him fairly, a bobby helmet which is not his but one I bought from a catalogue which advertised that they were actual bobby helmets for sale from the Manchester Police Force when they were going to the flat top hats instead of the pointed bobby helmets, and several bobby figurines. I love my bobby collection because of its connection to my Dad and I suppose my photos are an extension of that. It may sound corny to say so but I feel like I honor my Dad by taking these photos, and I also like to think I honor those who are in service now.