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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Catching Up - My Last Three and a Half Months

How to briefly summarize the three and a half months since my blogging took a break? I thought my summer would have been a little calmer since I was not travelling to baseball games this summer (they were all local), but life just got very busy. I did show you what I made in the classes I took at the Bead & Button show in June. Then in July, my mom and I had a long weekend in Dallas to go to the every-three-year family reunion. That’s always fun.

When I got back from that, it was time to figure out a family vacation (nothing like waiting till the last minute) in early August. We had to fit it in between the end of baseball season in late July and the start of school in late August. My husband was managing a project in Scotland and needed to take a couple trips over there. He was unsure of the exact timing of the trips, but then we realized we could plan a family vacation in conjunction with his second trip. So we spent 10 wonderful days in Scotland in early August. I LOVED it, in spite of the fact that I had to wear my waterproof jacket almost every day I was there. It never rained really hard. But you could hardly call it dry.

We stayed in Troon (across the road from the Royal Trool Golf Course), about 27 miles from Glasgow, as the first part of our trip. This was where my husband had to work for three days. So our son Joe and I went sightseeing in Glasgow those three days. To get to Glasgow, I drove those 27 miles there and back in our Ford diesel rental car on the left side of the road. That was kind of scary at first but kind of fun toward the end. We bought a ticket on a sightseeing bus that let us get on and off at stops all around town for two days. Those were the only two totally sunny days we had, so it was perfect for riding on the top of the open air double decker bus. We saw churches, museums, bagpipers, botanic gardens…all sorts of wonderful sights.

Then we had three days in Edinburgh. Lots of castles, ruins of abbeys and palaces, the Royal Yacht Britannia (the royal family’s retired yacht), Rosslyn Chapel where part of the DaVinci Code was filmed (I had to check it out from the library and watch it after we got home).

The last part of our stay was in Inverness in the Scottish Highlands. We stayed across the street from an arm of water, very quaint and scenic. We took a boat ride on Loch Ness, learned some history of the Loch Ness monster at the Loch Ness Centre, had a tour of a Scotch distillery, saw how tartan plaid fabric is woven, saw more ruins and castles. It was all just wonderful!

Here are some photos of my two favorite things – the Rosslyn Chapel and the Melrose Abbey ruins. I loved all the ruins. It was fascinating to think these structures were built hundreds of years ago and such huge pieces are still standing. Rosslyn ChapelMelrose Abbey

I’ve been very inconsistent about doing scrap books or photo albums after vacations, but we came home with so many wonderful photos, I didn’t want to NOT do an album. I decided to make an online photo book from Winkflash. They had a special where I could get up to a 100-page album for the price of a 20-page album. I furiously worked to finish my 94-page 12X12 album before the coupon expired, sometime staying up until 1 or 2 in the morning. I placed my order right before the deadline, only to find the next day they extended the offer another week. But I was glad the book was done. I did find a few typos in it, which I wasn’t terribly pleased with, but considering how much work I did after midnight, I’m surprised there weren’t more! I received my book in just a few days and I still love looking at it!Scotland photo album

Less than week after we got home, it was time for Joe to head back to school. Helping him get ready to go and get packed kept us busy. He drove himself to school with a jam-packed car and we did not even go along with him this year. And there was no fall baseball game this year so I haven’t seen him since he left in late August!

Before we left for Scotland, we started making plans to get our deck rebuilt since it was about to fall apart. We enlarged the existing deck and added a lower level deck below it. That construction was going on while we were away. It was all finished by Labor Day, when we went shopping for new patio furniture (fortunately it was all on sale)!

And then, of course, it was time to start planning for Halloween. I have been busy with that for the last several weeks, making costumes, planning decorations, etc. I love Halloween- it’s so much fun!

But now I’m ready to get back into blogging. Not that I have any more spare time, I’ve just decided I’m ready to get back to it.

So there you have my last three and a half months. Whew! It went by quickly! But I’ll keep up with the next three and a half months better in my blog. It’s good to be back!

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