The Beauty Around Us

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Posts tagged ‘Holiday’

Independence Day at Home

Our July 4th activities began shortly before 11:00 am, when we met my stepdaughter Stacey, our twin granddaughters, and Chris (Stacey’s mother) to watch Warren’s 4th of July parade. We met at the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and North Carver Street, at the start of the parade.

Harper and June did not stay in those chairs for very long.

The parade lasted 2 hours, and I spent most of that time sitting on the ground, cross legged, with Harper on one knee and June on the other. Stacey, Chris and Bob stood for the duration of the parade.

See the man and boy who are wearing patriotic hats?

That man, his wife and son were already at this parade location, when we arrived.  They moved their chairs over to allow room for Harper and June’s chairs.  Harper and June pushed their chairs back because they didn’t want to sit at the front, alone, beside strangers. I sat down where the chairs had been.  Harper and June liked that seating arrangement.

Brett Fallon

A highlight of Warren’s 4th of July parade is the candy that is tossed (and handed) to the children.  The older children in this picture went out of their way to make sure Harper and June got candy.

Neither Harper nor June like loud noises.  June is even more sensitive to loud noise.  The fire trucks hit their sirens in the parade.  You could count on June holding her hands to her ears, whenever that happened.

Harper and June liked the Zem Zem Hornets and their Go-Karts.

This was the first year Bob and I saw the parade with Harper and June. The girls liked the parade, and I am so happy that we were able to share the experience with them.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Did you have an enjoyable Valentine’s Day?

Bob and I braved a Winter storm to drive to Jamestown, NY.   Our first stop was at the J.C. Penney store, where I purchased a new Winter coat.  I had been waiting patiently for Winter coats to go on sale so that I could replace the coat I have been wearing, which is way too big for me.  I almost waited too long.  I didn’t have many coats to choose from.

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I like my new Winter coat.
I especially like the fact that this coat is sized XL, whereas my old Winter coat was sized 4W!

Our next stop was for lunch at the Olive Garden.  The waitress offered, and we accepted, a small sample of red wine.  Bob and I made a toast “to us”, and then drank our wine.  We each ordered the Citrus Chicken Sorrento entree (described in the menu as “Tender, grilled chicken breasts in a citrus honey glaze…served with lightly-seasoned broccoli, artichokes and roasted vegetables”).  Our meals were accompanied by a house salad and bread sticks.  The chicken and its accompaniments were excellently prepared and tasted delicious!  Our meals were filling; however, we decided to splurge on dessert for two.  The dessert we chose to share was the Black Tie Mousse Cake (described in the menu as “Rich layers of chocolate cake, dark chocolate cheesecake and creamy custard mousse).  Dessert was decadent!

After lunch, when we walked out of the Olive Garden, we were greeted by a strong wind gust and heavy falling snow.

20150214_183319000_iOSI took this picture, when we were almost home.   I was so happy to reach the outskirts of our town and even happier when we arrived safely at home!

We plan to spend rest of the afternoon and evening at home, in the safety and warmth of our home.  Everyone, who is affected by this weekend’s Winter storms and Arctic weather (we are expecting a HIGH temperature of -7 degrees tomorrow!), please be careful in your travels and dress warmly!

 

Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Here are a couple creations that I put together for Valentine’s Day, using Photobacks digital templates.

Heart Collage

This heart collage contains photographs of my family: my husband, Bob; my stepdaughter, her husband and their twin daughters; and my brother and his family.  Happy Valentine’s Day to you all!  I love you very much.

Be My Valentine

This dog has special meaning for me.  Our exchange student from Denmark gave it to me on Valentine’s Day 2004, two days after Dad had passed away.  The dog reminds me of all the love I felt from everyone during that difficult time.

Company Christmas Party

Bob and I attended his company Christmas party this past Saturday eveninbg.  The company Christmas party is a function that I look forward to.  The companionship of friends, the Christmas decorations, a festive atmosphere and entertainment go a long way toward getting me into the holiday spirit.

As we entered the company’s recreation center, we dropped off a bag of non-perishable food items in one of the collection boxes located inside the building. Bob’s company is having a food drive to help those less fortunate. The food collected will be given to the Salvation Army for distribution locally in time for Christmas.

We enjoyed the company of many friends, especially those who sat at our table. There were six seated at our table — Tom and Liz (Bob and Tom graduated high school together), Ron and his friend Angie, and Bob and I.

Tom and Liz

Angie and Ron

Bob and I
(Liz took this picture of the two of us.)

Of those sitting at our table, I knew only Ron and, of course, Bob.  Tom, Liz and Angie were friendly and sociable. We enjoyed a variety of conversation with those seated at our table. We socialized with friends at other tables as well.

Our dinner was prepared by Wells Hog Wild BBQ.  Appetizers were served at 6:00 PM and included veggie trays, smoked sausage and cheese platters and meatballs in BBQ sauce.   Shortly before dinner was served, the huge Christmas tree was lit and a word of prayer was said. Dinner was served shortly after 6:30 PM.  The banquet table was filled with delicious entrees of beef, chicken and pork as well as side dishes of mixed green salad & dressing, dinner rolls and butter, corn, baked beans, and red potatoes.   For dessert we had a selection of different flavored cupcakes from Fifth Avenue Cake Works.  The chocolate cupcake with peanut butter icing was delicious!  The bottom of the cupcake was a flat cookie, an Oreo I think.  Inside the cupcake was a miniature Reese’s peanut butter cup.

Christmas carols were provided by the Warren Area High School Madrigal Choir under the direction of Rob Pearce.

WAHS Madrigals Performance

After the Madrigal Choir’s performance, we were entertained by Stand-up Comedian Vic Henley.  Mr. Henley was funny; there was much laughter throughout his performance.

The show was followed by the music of Logan Black of Pitch Black DJ Service.  Everyone at our table left the party soon after the music started. Neither Bob nor I dance. We find it difficult to talk over the music, so we always leave the party soon after the music starts.

We received unexpected news during the party.  In addition to having Christmas Day off work, Bob and his coworkers will have the day after Christmas off, with pay, as well!  It is not unusual for the company for which Bob works to give its employees the day before or the day after Christmas off, when Christmas falls on a Tuesday or a Thursday.  I can’t remember employees having the day off after Christmas, when Christmas Day falls on a Wednesday!

 

Thanksgiving Day

This was not a usual Thanksgiving Day for Bob and me.  It was only the second time in our 15-year marriage that we stayed home for Thanksgiving.  The majority of our Thanksgiving Day holidays have been spent in Virginia or in New Hampshire at either Bob’s brother or sister’s house.  We stopped going to Virginia for the Thanksgiving holiday, when Bob’s brother and our sister-in-law moved to Hawaii.  In 2010 we spent the holiday at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA.  We ate a traditional Thanksgiving dinner that year at the Concordville Inn Restaurant in Concordville, PA . In 2011 we spent the holiday in Niagara Falls, Canada.  We ate dinner at the Market Buffet, located in the Casino Niagara. It wasn’t a traditional Thanksgiving Day dinner but good nonetheless.  Last year we once again spent the Thanksgiving holiday in New Hampshire with Bob’s sister and our brother-in-law, where we enjoyed the company of family and the great taste of traditional Thanksgiving Day fare.

Thanksgiving Day, this year, was a laid-back affair.

Around 10:00 AM we met Stacey, Mike and the girls at Betts Park, a local park in our hometown of Warren, PA.  Earlier this month Bob and I purchased an L.L. Bean sled for Harper and June.  Yesterday morning Grampa took the girls for a sled ride.

Grampa Takes Harper and June on a Sled Ride

Grampa Takes Harper and June on a Sled Ride

One last ride around a tree
Grampa pulled the girls fast around the tree.

Harper and June didn’t have fun in the snow only by going for a ride in the sled.  After the sled ride, the girls played in the snow.

Fun in the Snow

Fun in the Snow

Fun in the Snow

Fun in the Snow

We parted ways, when leaving Betts Park.  Stacey and Mike took the girls home for a nap.  A few hours later Stacey, Mike and the girls went to Mike’s parents’ home for Thanksgiving Day dinner.  It wasn’t mentioned; however, I believe the four of them went to Stacey’s mom and stepfather’s house later in the day.  Bob and I spent rest of the day at home, enjoying the company of each other.  We watched a movie,  “We’re the Millers”.  The movie is a comedy, and there were a few opportunities for a good chuckle.

Bob and I talked about eating dinner out; however, we opted to stay home.  I didn’t prepare a traditional Thanksgiving Day dinner; however, we did have turkey.

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This turkey breast tenderloin was accompanied with some vegetables.

and, for dessert …

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It was a great Thanksgiving Day dinner for two people who are watching their carbohydrate intake!

Later in the evening Bob and I played a game of Scrabble.  I can’t remember the last time we played Scrabble.  It has been a couple of years at least!  We had a good game, and Bob came out the victor.

This is how we spent our Thanksgiving Day.  How did you spend your Thanksgiving?

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Bob and I spent the weekend of St. Patrick’s Day in Erie, PA.  The main event of the weekend was Erie’s 36th annual St. Patrick’s Day parade.

At approximately 1:00 pm, in preparation for the parade, State Street at W 10th Street was barricaded to prevent the flow of traffic.

 

The parade commenced at 2:00 pm.  All photographs in the slideshow that follows were taken from the comfort of our hotel room at the Avalon Hotel.   Our fifth floor room offered a good view of the State Street / W 10th Street intersection.

Bob and I enjoyed the parade very much.  It was the first time that either Bob or I had watched a St. Patrick’s Day parade.

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