Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Celebration of the Centuries at Fort George

This event, put on by Historic Scotland, occurs in August every year and is totally worth the visit!  Maybe we are just big kids. We loved it. The fort is HUGE. It's like a tiny village in there. The costumes are really neat, and you have the opportunity to learn something at each tent. There is face painting, military shows, food, and of course, the appearance of a Spitfire, the most famous British fighter plane from WWII. The celebration covers many time periods and events including World Wars I and II, Viking, Renaissance, and Jacobite eras. Take your whole family, including your dogs if you want. Here is a link with more information. Thanks again to Randi and Adam for additional photos!

Torture devices. They put rats in the box and strapped it to a person's stomach. Then they put hot coals on top of the box. I'll leave the rest to you to figure out.

Cooking in the soldiers helmet. They could carry less by using things for multiple tasks!

Steve watching the Spitfire


  At the end of the day there is a cannon fire and gun salute. Super fun!
 Above is a video of the gun salute!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Lessons From 4 Generations of Women

Yesterday, I was cleaning out my closet, and I found the last letter my great grandma wrote to me before her passing last year.  She was such a lovely and charismatic person. Don't get me wrong, if she was angry, boy did she let you know... sometimes via public announcement. I'm not joking. She stood up once during dinner to tell the story of why she was upset with Steve and I. HAHA. Even so, I loved her.

Anyway, in her letter, I noticed something that I paid little attention to previously; she had written a home remedy for skin allergies! That got me thinking, 'Why not share this stuff, or at least document it?' I've been so blessed to have an extended family and one that included so many grandparents and great grandparents. So today, I'd like to share with you, in part, the wisdom I've received from 4 generations of women in my life. By the way, my grandparents didn't hold back. You'll see. :o)

  • As you can see in the letter above, my great grandma says you can clear up skin allergies with a little vinegar and Vaseline. 
  • Olive oil is great as a night moisturizer. - Great Grandma Brooksie and Granny Hall
  • Always wash your face morning and night, and always use sunblock either in your lotion or in your makeup products. - Mom
  • If you can still sit down, your jeans aren't too tight. - Mom
  • Vinegar is great for the hair. - Great Grandma Bost
  • Vinegar is a great toner for the face. - Great Grandma Brooksie
  • Learn to stop caring (what people are thinking) and to forgive yourself. It sounds harsh, but you can't worry so much about other people's feelings. You are not responsible for them; you can only be sensitive. You hurt somebody's feelings? You didn't do it on purpose. Move on. Let it go. You'll probably hurt somebody's feelings tomorrow too. You never know people, especially what they are thinking, so don't beat yourself up over it. -Mom
  • You can never have too much underwear (Based on my Christmas gifts... I'm pretty sure this is what she was telling me.) - Great Grandma Streetman
  • Never play with your hair or scratch your head at the dinner table. - Grandma Ewell
  • Always go to bed smelling good. - Granny Hall
  • Husbands like sexy under garments. - Great Grandma Brooksie (with this advice, she included some things... haha)
  • Always be mindful of your legs when wearing a skirt. - Grandma Ewell
  • Let your children learn to walk when they are ready. Don't force it. Focus on mental develop first. - Mom and Grandma Nelson
  • There are indeed, barking spiders. - Great Grandma Bost
  • Meat tenderizer or baking soda helps with insect/jellyfish stings. -Mom
  • The sandman is mean. If you don't go to sleep, he will pour sawdust in your eyes! - Great Grandma Bost's bedtime stories.
  • Travel while you are young. Settle when you are old. -Mom
  • If your contact falls out or has something on it that is hurting you and you are in a bind, put it in your mouth to clean it before putting it back in. (Might want to rinse your mouth first. Sounds gross, but this totally works! I've had to do it.) - Grandma Nelson
  • If you have issues with peach fuzz on the face, Nair or wax is a good option. There's no shame. We all deal with it. - Granny Hall
  • A little baking soda in your shoes while they're sitting in the closet will help with odors. - Grandma Nelson
  • Don't wash your wooden/bamboo kitchenware in the dishwasher or using soap. - Mom
  • When you move, dig up your plants and take them with you! - Grandma Nelson
And the 4th generation, me: Work to build and keep those relationships with your parents and grandparents. Give them a call today!  Even if all they ever seem to talk about is the weather, let them. Give them your full attention; you never know what great advice you might miss if you don't. There are so many things in my life that I do, and when I think about it, many of those things were taught to me by my family. I love you all dearly.

What advice have the women in your life passed to you?

Monday, August 26, 2013

Cold and Allergy Meds in Aberdeen, Scotland

One of the things I didn't consider when moving to Scotland is that brands of medicines would be different. Unless you know the active ingredient, it's difficult to explain what you are looking to buy. In the U.S. I liked to use Zyrtec for my allergies; here it is called Cetrine. Have a headache as well? Then, you'll probably want Paracetamol. If you are like me where your allergies often cause coughing or turn into a cold, Benylin seems to work best. Hope you don't find this post too useful, because that means you are miserable like me.

Are there any other medicinal recommendations that I may find here? Much appreciated. :o)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Hobbies are good

Let's keep this simple tonight. I love gardening. I love to watch things grow. I enjoy figuring out what makes things grow best or what needs to be adjusted to make them healthier. It's also fun to watch the bees pollinate the things you plant and to see what color the blooms are this year and next. My garden still needs work, but it's getting better!

Here it is from when we first moved here in November.

Here it is now!

Peacock orchids, pansies, and penstemon.

Peacock orchids, pansies, and lavender in the back! I love lavender.

I haven't had the time or budget to fill it in all at once. I'm slowly filling in this last bit. hehe

What is one of your favorite hobbies?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Things to do in Dublin, Ireland

A couple of weeks ago, Steve and I met our friends, Randi and Adam, in Dublin, Ireland. I have loads of pictures, so I'm going to try to pick just a few from each occasion. Here is a look at some of the things we did while we were there (Thanks to Randi and Adam for some of the pictures):

This was FANTASTIC. We heard so many stories.
The storyteller was really good, and she sang songs also... very well. The food was great! We had a wonderful time. It was well worth the €46 per person! Here is a link to their website. We heard these great stories from Irish folklore:
  • Balor of the Evil Eye
  • Brian O'Donnell of Corbally
  • The Soul Cages
  • Master and Man
The most feared of the faeries is of course, the pooka. If you've had a bit too much to drink and are caught walking home alone, the pooka, often in the form of a horse, will offer you a ride. He takes you around causing havoc, knocking over fences, and getting into other forms of trouble just before he drops you off in some place unknown to you! Steve and Adam of course were not afraid, but thrilled to have an excuse. ;) This became a long-running joke amongst us. "Don't let the pooka get you!"

We stayed at the Grafton Capital Hotel. It was cheap and in a great location. However, they don't give you many toiletries. There are two pump bottles: one by the sink and one hanging in the shower. They are to serve as your hand wash, face wash, body wash, and shampoo. No thanks. I have sensitive skin, and one of the things I am picky about is my hair products. I bought my own stuff after we unpacked. The room was spacious. However, the hotel was attached to a night club. Yep, you read that correctly. Our nights were spent listening to, "doo ooom, doo oom, doo oom..." I'm a light sleeper. It was not fun. The bed was also super uncomfortable. Honestly, I probably would have endured better if I had not had a sore neck and back (I could barely turn my head) and allergies that were waging war on my body. I really needed some decent sleep to get well, and it just wasn't happening there.
Short and to the point...
This was my hair dryer. That hose is supposed to be attached. I had to hold it together. It was hot. It was unpleasant.

Nice, old pub we went to for a drink.

I was making faces at Steve because he always takes several pictures as we are walking to get into our photo pose.

Dublin castle is pretty cool, but it has nothing on the castles I've seen in Scotland.

Exhibit going on while we were visiting the castle. These artists were amazingly talented!

Walking along the River Liffey

A great place for breakfast, "Queen of Tarts"
Good place to eat lunch and have a beer. Another good place to eat is Bobo's Gourmet Irish Burgers. Oh man, so good!

I chose cider.. hehe

We went on a musical pub crawl one night. It was really cool. I highly recommend it. They took us to a few different pubs and told us a bit about each pub's history. They talked about traditional Irish music and played very well. We were only at each place long enough for one beer, which was really nice because then people weren't getting completely pissed (in Scotland means drunk).

Our pub crawl leaders said that locals call this the "stiletto of the ghetto"... haha. It's actually called the "Monument of Light" and referred to as the "Dublin Spire" as well. Personally, I prefer the stiletto.

Here is a little taste of the music!

Trying to get a picture of all of us. :o)

Mmmmm... Irish coffee

Randi and Adam ran a half marathon while we were there. Pretty cool experience they said.

Aren't they cute in their Texas running outfits?

Steve and I did not run. We went sight seeing.

And this was one of our stops.

The Guinness Storehouse is HUGE

This was taken at the top!

Randi and Adam visited while we were on our way to Dublin.

Look! I'm in an advert
The windows tell you where you are looking.