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.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Culture Cafe in Aberdeen

I know I've probably written about this already, but I'd like to mention it again. Culture Cafe (link to tickets and info) is an event held on the first Wednesday of each month at the Music Hall.

For only £12 you get soup and a sandwich in the cafe, which is really nice inside, and you get a one hour performance/reading from an artist or writer.

Maybe it doesn't sound like your thing, but I think that stuff like this is an important and unfortunately dying culture. I'd hate to see it cancelled (last week's attendance was a bit low). Take your kids. Go during lunch! I think it's important to stimulate our brains in different ways. Last week we heard a flautist (flute player) and a pianist. It was the best I've heard! The flute was so (and surprisingly) exciting! No joke. He made sounds come out of that flute that I didn't know were possible. It was great!

The inside of the Music Hall is beautiful too. I still stop to take pictures and just enjoy it each time I go through the front door.
Queen Victoria

Dome ceilings

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Walk from Seaton Park to the Beach in Aberdeen

I've posted photos from Seaton Park and the Brig O' Balgownie in previous posts (link1, link2), so I'm only posting pictures from the part of the walk along the river. You get there by walking down the stairs at the Brig O' Balgownie. At the Bridge of Don, you'll have to cross to road and continue down the street until you see the sign for the walk down the beach

There were lots of ships lined up.

Angel loves the beach!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Mid-week catch up - TMNT and Beach Walk at St. Cyrus

Wow!! This week got away from me! This weekend was busy. We went to the theater to see the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. I was disappointed. It seemed like they tried to cram all 3 of the original films into one movie, which resulted in too much in the storyline with little character or plot development. Also, Michael Bay must have just transferred the Transformers soundtrack to TMNT because shredder sounded like one of the Transformers every time he moved. Lame.

On Sunday we drove south to St. Cyrus with Ana and Dan for a walk on the beach. It was raining at first but cleared enough for a nice evening. The dogs got lots of running in, so that was good! (Thanks to Dan for sending me pictures!)