Wednesday, 26 January 2011

After the holidays 1-26-11

Wow, I have been away from my blog for way too long!  The last time I wrote was between Thanksgiving and Christmas and here it is the end of January!  We had a very busy Christmas visiting home.  We were there for two weeks.  Between Dr's annual visits that had to be taken care of, dinners with friends that we weren't able to see when we were home last summer and many many wonderful hours with our extended family, kids and grand kids, our time was filled to the brim.  We got home right before the new year and had a quiet New Year's Eve at home.  We were supposed to go to a friend's house in Scotland for a New Year's Eve party but their house lost all water and heat for a week or so during that time.  Up in Scotland they get VERY severe weather compared to us down here.  It was just as well as it would have entailed a flight and we were really tired of traveling.

Being back in the USA is always a little unnerving at first.  Especially the driving.  It just feels so wrong when Joe would turn into a street or parking lot and stay to the right.  Sometimes I would suck my breath in thinking he was on the wrong side of the road.  And then sometimes he would go on the wrong side himself, forgetting.  Between the two of us we managed to get out alive.  

We couldn't believe how much we got turned around and lost though.  Places that before we just knew.  Is it because our brains are now pushing 52 years old??  I can't even blame it on Joe because it happened to me too and visa versa.  A couple of times our daughter was following us in her car.  She'd call the cell phone, "uh, do you know you just missed the turn"?  Sometimes we did and sometimes we didn't.  We decided next time we go home we are going to have to bring our GPS!  It was especially scary when Joe missed the turn off for BWI airport for our return flight.  We weren't sure WHAT to do.  But we kept driving and crossing our fingers and managed to find another way there.  I even tried to walk into the apartment that is a floor above our daughter's one day!  Just went up the stairs instead of down!  Thank goodness their door was locked.  They had the same welcome mat as she does.  I tried to blame it on that but then of course I had to walk up the stairs to even get to the door.  Maybe we were just tired and over stressed...yeah, that's it.

There were so many things about the US that we missed.  Lots of ice in drinks, stores that sell  single sodas and water in refrigerators that are actually COLD, garbage disposals, diet Mt. Dew!, free parking lots, grocery baskets that drive straight, good water pressure in showers, yummy food that contains salt and sugar.  When we got to Newark, NJ airport I bought a bottle of water from an airport store.  It was ice cold and tasted SO good.  The refrigerators like that in stores here are just slightly cool, so your drink is never cold.

It's little things like that we miss.  I also bought a REAL set of ice cube trays!  The ones here are tiny (almost like a size for a doll house).  They are so flimsy that you can't even carry them to the freezer with one hand because they bend in the middle.  The cubes are so small you need a whole tray for one drink!  But I brought home some good ones from Bed, Bath and Beyond and I have REAL AMERICAN ICE CUBES NOW!

Some of the things we didn't miss from home were, terrible traffic, rude drivers who honk all the time, dirty cars (from the snow), rude people in general, cold weather, crappy cars that don't  even look safe to be on the road,  cold bathrooms that don't have a warm radiator to warm the towels, and the lack of British accents.  I have to admit when we got on our flight from Newark to the UK the sound of all the Brits' accents were very welcoming and familiar.  We have grown accustomed to them and like them very much.  The other day while I was walking Bubba and thinking, all of a sudden I realized that I was thinking with a British accent!  Does that sound crazy?  I don't speak with any accent at all.  But in my head I was. Scary!

I was saddened to hear that during my time away Bubba still had no one interested in adopting him.  His temporary fosters were ready to give him back so he's here with me again.  He looks great and I was very happy to see him.  Linda, the foster coordinator for the shelter told me that she didn't want me to walk him anymore without a muzzle.  Apparently there was a person walking an aggressive dog who got a hold of a dog off the leash and attacked it.  That person is now being sued.  The shelter can't take the chance on anything like that happening.  

Just like the champ he is, Bubba has worn the muzzle without any bother.  Even the first time I put it on him, he didn't fuss about it.  I feel sorry for him but I have to agree with Linda.  He is just too dangerous and no matter what I do it hasn't gotten any better.  I know the temporary foster carers wouldn't allow him on beds or furniture.  I have to think that he was very happy to be home with us.  This was his first day home. I posted this picture on Facebook and Linda wrote, "I bet Bubba is glad to be back on the bed".  Can't you tell?

I don't know if we'll ever get poor Bubba homed.  Linda has been trying so hard.  She even had a journalist friend come over and interview me, also taking pictures of Bubba and I.  The article will go in the paper soon.  It is actually an article trying to recruit foster homes for dogs, but she is also hoping it might generate some interest in Bubba.  I have to leave again the end of February for my nephew's wedding and I think that is all the time she is going to give him.  He was laying his head on the pillow next to me last night when I was reading in bed and staring at me with those eyes and it brought tears to my eyes that he is probably going to be euthanised.  Poor little lad.

2011 is gearing up to be a busy year for us.  We are expecting visitors (friends and relatives) in March, April, June, August and September so far.  We love to have people come and visit.  We will be making as many weekend trips ourselves as we can.  Also Joe and I are taking 11 days and going somewhere the end of April and beginning of May.  There are several holidays in there for us through Easter and also Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding (April 29) has now been declared a holiday.  Then there is an early May holiday on May 2.  So we will have 11 days off with Joe only having to use 3 days leave.  We haven't decided where we are going to go yet.  Somewhere here in Europe.  It will be fun to plan!

Speaking of the royal wedding.  People are really getting excited here.  There are all kinds of  headlines in the papers...

The brides mother and sister shopping...what stores, where they ate lunch etc.
Which designer will make the bride's dress?
Who is in the wedding party?
Who is invited to the wedding?
Will Prince William's ex-girlfriend be invited to the wedding?
The no gift policy for the wedding-only donations to charities.
Barack and Michelle Obama-NOT invited to the wedding.
Towns and villages across the country are planning street parties to mark the wedding.
They will be married in Westminster Abbey, which has hosted the weddings of the Queen and
       Queen Mother and was the venue for Princess Diana's funeral.

Every time Kate Middleton wears something in public, copies of the outfits are made and sell out immediately.  This is much bigger than Prince Charles and Princess Diana.  Mainly because this time the Prince has been allowed to choose his bride.  The fact that they dated so long and actually love each other has made this a very special event for the "commoners".  Really Kate Middleton is considered a commoner, but that doesn't seem to bother anyone, except maybe the monarchy, I don't know.  She is so pretty and classy and everyone seems to love her.  I was talking to a friend's young daughter and asked her if she likes Kate Middleton and in a breathless voice she said, "oh yes, she's brilliant!"  (A favorite word here.)

From the Royal Wedding to my little problems.  This weather is wreaking havoc with my hair!  Every morning I shower, blow dry my hair and then take Bubba for a 45 minute walk.  It's usually wet out, but not raining.  Somehow there always seems to be a wetness in the air because when I get home my hair has turned into a curly/frizzy mess.  I hate it.  I can't wait for spring and summer.

Yesterday on our walk Bubba found an old tennis ball that was next to the curb.  He kept nuzzling it and rolling it back and forth.  I was wondering why he hadn't picked it up immediately.  I watched him for a minute and then leaned over to pick it up myself.  Then I remembered the poor thing had his muzzle on and he couldn't grab it!  (His muzzle is black like he is so it doesn't show up that much).  When we got home I gave it to him and he loved it.  He had destroyed it in about 15 minutes though.  His jaws are something else!

On our walk the other day I came across an old church graveyard.  I started to walk through it but it began to rain so I will have to save that for a better day.  I did see some graves dated back to the 1800's but I'm sure there are older ones than that in there.  1800's isn't that old for this country.  I can't wait to explore it.  I love reading old tombstones.  

I've got a big pot of split pea soup in the crockpot for dinner tonight.  Bubba is my shadow all day long but especially in the kitchen.  He remains right AT my feet the whole time, strategically placing himself in the exact spot for anything I may drop during my meal preparations.   Joe and I will be eating it with chunks of wheat bread tonight just like the British.  No crackers allowed!

Sorry for the delay of this blog.  I won't let it go so long next time, I promise!


  1. I am so glad your back and I have been waiting for more Bubba stories! I am so glad he is with you, living the good life. I hope a miracle happens and someone adopts him. (*wink, wink*) You should post about him on facebook.... it has helped me with my adoptions a LOT!
    I got teary eyed about the thought of him being put down... I can tell you are getting a taste of the bully heart. It is a special thing...

  2. I love reading about the differences between here and there. Thanks for sharing so many details. :)

    And poor Bubba, I just love him.

    Michelle Obama isn't invited to the wedding?! I had no idea.

    I'm sorry about your hair. :(

  3. Glad to see you are back and had a good visit with family over the holidays. I'm looking forward to hearing about all your adventures this year.
    I did notice that you called Bubba a lad and would expect that is due to the British influence.
    I love seeing old tombstones in graveyards and would love to explore some of those really old ones.

  4. So glad to see you blogging again, I was worried that you were tired of it and that I wouldn't get to read you anymore! I tried to move to the UK once for an au pair job but I wasn't able to get the proper visa and I (stupidly) came anyway and got deported =( Now I can't go back until 2018, so reading your blog gives me a little slice of English life that I so wanted to experience!

  5. I do hope Kate will follow the tradition of every Royal Bride that Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother set - placing her bouquet at the tomb of the Unknown Warrior. Queen Elizabeth set her bouquet in at the tomb on the way in and every Royal Bride who has gotten married at Westminster has copied that tradition, except they leave their bouquets on the way back.

  6. i started to ask if youve been blogging when u commented on my FB page! guess i need to check more often...and YES i believe you were thinking with a britisu accent....