Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Road trip for Julia's Birthday - Huntly Castle

Today was Julia's birthday so we decided to take a day trip. We started by heading down the A96 toward the Pitstop for breakfast (Blog posts: link1, link2)! Love! Then, we stopped at Touched By Scotland to have a look around. They have some really nice stuff there. Afterwards, we headed to Huntly Castle. If you have a Historic Scotland membership, entry is free. Otherwise, it's only £5.50. It was so much bigger inside than I expected!

Our next stop was Johnstons of Elgin, a cashmere and woollens shop. There are lots of really nice scarves, sweaters, hats, and blankets. Let's be real though. Most stuff was WAY too expensive for me (£145 for a SCARF?), but I did find a few things that I liked that were in my price range. It's worth a visit. The cafe has really good food. Also, I hear that they have excellent sales in November.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Painting class - Highland Coo

Today I went to a painting class at Emily's house. She is such a wonderful teacher. She's very patient, helpful, and encouraging. She had the highland cow outline printed for us on the canvases. She then taught us different methods for mixing, blending, creating texture, and creating dimension. I learned so much! Here are a few pictures from the class (Photos from Emily):

When I start feeling sad

It's great nights like this that I start feeling sad. We went out tonight to celebrate Julia's birthday. Great fun! Really! But...
I look across the table at my girl friends and can barely focus on what they are saying. All I can think about sometimes as I look at them is that I have such limited time left to enjoy their company. I memorize smiles, laughter, and the places. An expat life is such a blessing, but can be so sad. We will be moving back to Texas soon. I'm so happy to see friends and family in Texas, but I'm also so sad to leave friends and people who have become family. Bitter sweet. I understand the meaning more now than ever. I have wonderful friends who moved to different states apart from me, but it's totally different to be countries apart. Although, I have to say that some of the friendships I've made here will never end. I now have reasons (outside of Texas) to visit Aberdeen again along with St. Johns (Newfoundland), Oregon, New England, Arizona, Oman, England, Poland, and Dubai. If I forgot anybody, I apologize. I cherish you all. :)

What a blessed life.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Halloween is approaching! - Fun Halloween Food

I really like Halloween. It's probably my favorite holiday! We've started decorating the house for a Halloween Party. I have never hosted a Halloween party, so I'm a bit anxious, but I have two great friends helping as cohosts. We have some fun treats prepared. Jessica is making Jell-o shots, and Julia made Witch Fingers (cookies).

I'm not sure what recipe she used, but this one (link) got some good ratings.
For these, raspberry jam was added.
We are also going to make some treats with apples that look like dentures. HEHE

We are slightly modifying some deviled eggs.
Finally, this guy will be our masterpiece!
We are modifying it slightly though. We are using a dummy head. Since we are not serving a full meal, we are using Mallow Bones instead of chicken legs/wings in the legs:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Great day with dogs and positive dog people

Today I took Frog with Angel and I to the park. I don't always take him because he grinds his nails to the point of bleeding due to the way he walks on the pavement, and he tends to behave very badly around other dogs. He runs in circles barking at them until he starts a fight. On our way there today, I ran into a woman that I've seen other times with her English bulldog. Frog, as predicted, started lunging and barking, which sent Angel into fits as she tried to control everything.

The woman asked me about Frog, saying that she knew Angel but not him. I told her, "Now you know why."

We decided to let him off lead at the park. He was PERFECT. He ran and played with the bulldog, and he even completely submitted to him. They ran and played, and if Frog got too excited, Marcus (the English Bulldog) would pin him down until Frog was still and calm. I have NEVER seen another dog with the ability to subdue Frog. I think that dog and the other owners being so calm and assertive was really helpful. Frog tried to run away a few times to see other people or dogs, but he came back as soon as I called him. That almost never happens! He usually ignores me.

So if you are a dog owner, let this be a lesson to you! Your energy and behavior may not just affect your own dog. It will likely affect other dogs as well. Keep calm and let dogs be dogs! I'm so grateful to the ladies I met today for being patient, calm, and assertive with their dogs and mine.