Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Bill and Ted... Duckie... inspiration and second-hand shops

The past two days have been cleaning and running around days. Monday's are "floor days" (Clean all the floors in the house.), and Tuesdays are "bathroom days," which I hate the most!

Today I met a friend for lunch. We went to Clover Cafe. It was really good. Afterwards, we went to a few second-hand shops to look for outfit ideas. The owner of Peapod said that she had some stuff at a fashion show right now that might be good for us. She said she would look through it and call us tomorrow about it. See what I mean about things being so personal here? I love it. There are lots of other second-hand shops on Rosemount. You should check it out sometime if you're around.

This weekend we are going to an 80's-themed party, but I found out yesterday that there is a dress code enforced at the place we are going, so Steve and I had to change our ideas for outfits.

Steve was originally going for this:

I think Steve and Reeves might be doppelgangers. Seriously... Look at this:

But since sneakers aren't allowed, he's now going for this:

We have a jacket, bolo tie, neck tie, and vest for him. The only thing we need are the socks and shoes. The colors aren't exactly the same, but it will still be fantastic. I'm not sure I can fluff Steve's hair like that though. I love the character Duckie in the movie Pretty in Pink. I thought Jon Cryer was fantastic. One of my favorite scenes is when he's singing Try A Little Tenderness.

Now, as for my outfit, I can't tell you, but those of you who know me well enough, may have a good idea. Oh, I got my hair cut today. I wasn't feeling that simple, homely hair style I had. I needed something that fit my personality a little better. It's kinda messy because of the insane wind today, but here it is:

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Some of my favorite things

People create their own questions because they are afraid to look straight. All you have to do is look straight and see the road, and when you see it, don't sit looking at it - walk.
- Ayn Rand -

What should I cook? That is my favorite question, and a cookbook is one of my favorite roads to an answer. Oh man, I love cooking. I told Steve tonight that one of my favorite things about moving to Scotland has been my extra time to cook. Of course, when I cook my kitchen looks like a disaster zone. Is that normal?

Tonight I made Hunter's chicken with clapshot and spiced greens. Hunter's chicken is basically chicken breast simmered in a mixture of red wine, garlic, rosemary, and sauteed onions with mushrooms added at the end. Clapshot is like mashed potatoes but with turnips, nutmeg, and parsley mixed with it. Man, it was lovely. Steve said it was definitely one I'd have to make again.

Another thing I've enjoyed is the extra time I have to devote to Kung Fu (which is essentially my health) and to my dogs. With Steve and I both working and commuting in Houston and with my job involving travel quite often, our dogs got the short end of the stick. I always felt so bad for them. Now we go on walks often or for a run. We take them on vacations with us and on hikes. I think it's been better for them too, even though the trip over was a bit stressful.

I also love that I can walk just about anywhere that I need. Even in the rain, I get out. Today I walked to the pet store and to the butcher in the pouring rain. You just do it. 

I like that things are so personal here. For example, I went to the pet store, and she was out of the food that I needed. She asked how much I had left and told me that she'd order more tomorrow so that I could have it by Thursday. Also, I asked the butcher where I could get rabbit meat. He told me that he'd probably have some this weekend. I wanted venison for stew as well. He told me to just call him on Friday to set up what I wanted, and he'd have it ready for me.  I love that they remember me each time I come into the store and greet me in such a friendly manner.

I like that I can sit down and watch some of my favorite shows, such as Bleach, or read good long books such as the Lord of the Rings, without feeling guilty that I should be cleaning, exercising, or walking the dogs in my 3.5 hours that I used to have between getting home from work after an 1.5 hour drive and the time I needed to go to bed.

Most of all, I like that I have more time to spend with Steve. I'm here when he wakes up and here when he comes home (most of the time). I love that I can walk to meet him at his office and then walk home with him. I enjoy not being too tired to get up on the weekends and make us breakfast. :o)  This experience has opened so many doors for us both. I feel so blessed, and I can't wait to share it with you all as you come to visit!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Weekend fun: Mahjong, Burns Supper, and where to find Robert Burns memorials in the U.S.

 "Ye Pow'rs, wha mak mankind your care, 
And dish them out their bill o' fare, 
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware 
That jaups in luggies; 
But, if ye wish her gratefu' prayer 
Gie her a haggis! "

-Robert Burns- 

Well, as you can guess, this weekend was all about Robert Burns, a Scottish poet born in Alloway on 25 January, 1759. It began with Mahjong. We had a Scottish-themed lunch that included serving the haggis and the Address to A Haggis by Robert Burns. I made smoked haddock flan. People were a little reluctant to try it but most who did told me that it was pretty good to their surprise. People just don't expect to find fish in a pie. I like it.

There is my flan on the red and white towel. :o) 

It's tradition to stab the haggis.

Look! I got a Mahjong (I won)! That card shows the combinations you have to get to win.
 Later that night, Steve and I went to the Burns Supper at the Beach Ballroom. It's a dinner and dance to celebrate the life of Robert Burns. It was pretty terrific. The men wear kilts or nice suits, and the women wear dresses or skirts with that same plaid pattern. They all looked great! Here was the schedule:

 Before they served dinner, they told us that we had to work up an appetite and started the music and dancing first. The first song in which Steve and I tried to dance was very difficult! It had a quick waltz and then a quick polka step thrown in it. We were stepping all over each other! haha. The next few dances were easier and more fun.

The food was really good. Before serving everybody they perform the Address to a Haggis, which I've included as a video for you. I've also included the words at the end of this blog so that you know what he is saying. :o)


After that it was time to eat! Haggis neeps and tatties were just haggis bits with mashed potatoes (both plain potatoes and sweet potatoes). It was so yummy. I'm not joking. For desert we had cranachan, which is like a whipped cream and raspberry layered pudding with whiskey.

After dinner, a speaker came out to talk about some interesting part of Robert Burns' life. That night they talked about how great it was to see a nation, the United States, honor a man so well who had never even stepped on its soil. There are several Robert Burns memorials around the U.S., and also interesting is that Abe Lincoln quoted him often.

Here is a list of locations I copied from Wikipedia. You should go check it out and then send me a picture when you do!

  • Replica of Burns' birthplace cottage belonging to the Burns Club Atlanta in Atlanta, Georgia
  • statue in front of the old Spaulding High School building in Barre, Vermont
  • statue in Central Park, New York City (twin to the statue in London)
  • statue in Washington Park, Albany, New York
  • statue in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California
  • statue at Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • statue in Robert Burns Park, Quincy, Massachusetts
  • statue in Detroit, Michigan
  • statue on the Danforth Campus of Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri
  • statue in Confederate Park, Jacksonville, Florida
  • bust in Hermann Park, Houston, Texas
  • statue in Garfield Park, Chicago, Illinois
  • statue in Cheyenne, Wyoming
  • statue in Boston, Massachusetts
  • statue in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • statue in Denver, Colorado
After the memorial speech, it was time for more dancing! I had such a good time. Steve was really out of his comfort zone with the dancing, but he did it anyway for me. Sometimes it took some coaxing from the other guys to get him up, but he did it! Good for him. :o)

The rest of the weekend has been pretty low key. Steve went to Stonehaven with some of his coworkers for lunch and to see some formations and faults. While he was gone, I took the dogs on their longest walk as a pair (Angel has been on lots of long walks/runs/hikes). We walked a little over 3 miles. I was really proud of Frog. He only tried to stop and turn around a few times. When we got home a gave their paws a good rub down to get rid of any salt (thanks Falene), and then we all relaxed. Later Saturday evening, we went to dinner at a friend's house. They cooked lots of Greek food, and it was so very yummy! I love Greek food. 

Anyway, highlights for my Sunday... I got to talk via Skype with my Granny and Pappy! I showed them my house and told them about how different and interesting my life has been here. I really miss them. I'm so thankful for technology.

Address to a Haggis - Robert Burns

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face, 
Great chieftain o' the pudding-race! 
Aboon them a' ye tak your place, 
Painch, tripe, or thairm : 
Weel are ye wordy o'a grace 
As lang's my arm. 

The groaning trencher there ye fill, 
Your hurdies like a distant hill, 
Your pin wad help to mend a mill 
In time o'need, 
While thro' your pores the dews distil 
Like amber bead. 

His knife see rustic Labour dight, 
An' cut you up 
wi' ready sleight, 
Trenching your gushing entrails bright, 
Like ony ditch; And then, O what a glorious sight, 
Warm-reekin', rich! 

Then, horn for horn, they stretch an' strive: 
Deil tak the hindmost! on they drive, 
Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve 
Are bent like drums; 
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive, 
Bethankit! hums. 

Is there that owre his French ragout 
Or olio that wad staw a sow, 
Or fricassee wad make her spew 
Wi' perfect sconner, 
Looks down wi' sneering, scornfu' view 
On sic a dinner? 

Poor devil! see him owre his trash, 
As feckless as wither'd rash, 
His spindle shank, a guid whip-lash; 
His nieve a nit; 
Thro' bloody flood or field to dash, 
O how unfit! 

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed, 
The trembling earth resounds his tread. 
Clap in his walie nieve a blade, 
He'll mak it whissle; 
An' legs an' arms, an' heads will sned,
Like taps o' thrissle. 

Ye Pow'rs, wha mak mankind your care, 
And dish them out their bill o' fare, 
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware 
That jaups in luggies; 
But, if ye wish her gratefu' prayer 
Gie her a haggis!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Some limits are meant to be exceeded

“If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”
- Bruce Lee -

Wow! Today was a very busy day for me. It started this morning with stretching, cooking breakfast, running to jump in the shower while my eggs were boiling, dress quickly, eat breakfast, drive to ATM, then drive to Transition Extreme Sports Ltd. for a lesson in climbing rock walls! Ever had one of those multi-tasking morning? hehe.

Climbing was both fun and terrifying. We had to learn climbing and belaying techniques. Belaying is the rope holding part. It made me much more nervous to climb knowing that the person supporting me with the rope was also just learning that! Since I have brittle bones, I tend to fear falling probably more than the average person. I did it though. We got to climb three walls. My only real complaint is that it was FREEZING in there. Seriously, temperatures were probably not above the upper 40s. I had to touch each of my toes to confirm the presence of them all. 

I'd like to title the next set of pictures: Hey Mom, look what I can do!

Learning on the easy wall

Sometimes we had to just wait while the person learning to belay caught up with tightening the rope.

Moving up in difficulty. This one was fun!

I learned to belay too. See me at the bottom in gray? :o)
After climbing, I rushed home to swap my tennis shoes for snow boots and grab my Bible. I did some serious aerobic walking and then just decided to run to the Bible study since it started at 12:30... which was the time I got home from climbing. I have really enjoyed this Bible study, and today I felt that God was speaking directly to me.... like I was the only person in the room who could hear. The women in the group are so nice and supportive. This is one of the best decisions I've ever made. You were right, Aunt Lisa.

After the Bible study, I went home for some food and a nap! I was tired and still had more physical activity in my future. I had Kung Fu tonight! Tonight was the night we had the strictest teacher, and if you read the blog about Kung Fu, you know what I'm about to write. Yep. Somebody moved, and yes, I got to do more push-ups. Then, guess what!! Oh you got it, they moved when they weren't supposed to move. You don't punch until the count. If he stops counting, you stop. Oh man, so many people messed that up. I admit, I am guilty of doing that sometimes too so I'm not judging, but tonight I was actually doing really well, and I really didn't want extra work since I had done all that climbing this morning! We had to do a 2-minute horse stance (squat) for that mistake. My knees were shaking so much that it looked like I was trying to do that MC Hammer move in place instead of moving side to side. I kept my stance though, and I worked out  replaced all that soreness from climbing. In all fairness, the teacher was supportive. He kept saying, "Don't worry if you are shaking. It's okay, and it will keep you warm!"  haha.  Why do I do it? I know what you are thinking. I do it because I love Kung Fu. I love the principles, the energy, the way I feel when I'm practicing and even when I'm not. I enjoy that it pushes me to achieve what I thought I never could. Touché Bruce Lee. Touché.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

"That ain't snow... That's angel hair."

Tonight I'll close with a quote instead of beginning with one.

Today I sat around and waited on my new air purifier. We got two: one for upstairs and one for downstairs because my allergies have been so bad. I'll give it about a week and report on their effectiveness. It has been snowing quite a lot today. I really like to watch it, and Angel enjoys playing in it.

This is what it looked like when Steve left for work. I told him that it looked like it was about to dump loads of snow. It did.

"But.. I'm not ready to come inside..."

Even in the city, a small backyard looks beautiful when it's blanketed in snow.
Frog isn't a big fan of cold or wet which equals.. snow. He likes to hang out by the radiator, and Angel snuggles up to him when she is finished playing outside.

One item which I have learned is very useful to own in Aberdeen is a good pair of rubber boots. They are very handy in rain or snow for all of those times when you have to empty the rubbish bin, empty the compost bin, empty the recycling bin, or figure out what the heck your dog is doing that is keeping her from coming inside after you've called her name 20 times and are worrying that you are annoying the neighbor. Rain or snow, which here occurs mostly one or the other, these will be your new trusty city steed.

These stay at the back door. :o)

 I love this:

"That ain't snow, Mike. That's angel hair. We done died and gone to heaven."
(Charles Beaumont (1930-1967), U.S. screenwriter, and Edward Bernds. Lt. Turner (Patrick Waltz), Queen of Outer Space, looking at the landscape from their crash site (1958). From a story by Ben Hecht (1893-1964); real name Charles Nutt.)

Book signing events are great and black eyes are not...yep

Sorry that it's been a while. Sunday, I was busy kicking Randi's butt in Yahtzee, and yesterday I had an eventful day that ended in me hearing the unmistakable sound of skin splitting as I saw stars. About 2 minutes later, I felt the pain.

Let's back up first. Sunday was pretty uneventful. It snowed off and on. I cooked a beef fillet dinner with roasted potatoes and spiced cabbage. Steve said, "You know, since we moved here, you have been cooking some amazing food. It's all so full of flavor!" I told him, "Thanks. Good food takes time, and now I have time." I enjoy cooking.

Later that night I got on Skype with my friend Randi for a few games of Yahtzee! She bought a set, and I have a set here. She got 4 Yahtzees in one game! Have you ever seen anything like it? Then, of course, she had to post my look of absolute disbelief on Facebook. HAHA

From: Randi Rae
Moving on to yesterday, Monday. More snow. I like the snow. If it's going to be cold and wet, it might as well snow. We got out in it anyway! I got tickets for Steve and I to attend a book signing. We were going to see Darren Shan. He wrote the Cirque du Freak series and a few others. You may have seen the movie The Vampire's Assistant, which was based on that series. I went because he was talking about his new series about zombies. I'm a huge fan of zombies! Before the event, I waited at Starbucks to meet Steve when he got off work. Our book club is reading The Great Gatsby so I stopped to pick that up so that I would have something to read. I forgot how much thinking was required to read that book. Of course, in high school I probably didn't think too much about what was being said. One line that I found particularly interesting was: "Reserving judgements is a matter of infinite hope." I thought, wow, it really is, isn't it? I never thought of it that way. You don't say anything because you are hoping nobody noticed, or heard, or that maybe they won't do or say it again, or maybe they will realize their own mistake eventually because who are you to say otherwise? Gosh, it's going to take me just as long to read this 180-page book as it would the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy at this rate. Yep, still reading that one too.

Oh right, the book signing. I felt like a kid again as he read parts of his books out loud. It was marvelous. People asked questions, and then we got in line. Steve took some pictures of me getting the book signed. I got one signed for my sister, Cacie, because she loves zombie movies too. I'll give it to her when she comes to visit this summer, and it will give her something to read! Darren Shan was really nice. He said he would be in Texas in about a week or so. Look him up to see if he'll be near you! I enjoyed meeting him and listening to his stories.

Book signings are fun and are also a great way to get your kids out and excited about reading. I already want to go to more and can't wait to read his books! By the time we got out of the bookstore, it was past 8 PM. We stopped for some Thai food and about froze to death in the restaurant. They apologized telling us that all the heaters were on, but it was just so cold out that it wasn't warming up well inside. Our food was cold on our plates within 10 minutes! The walk home was colder. The wind was gusting and snow/sleet was pelting us. We just laughed and joked about how this weather would have had us holed up in Texas, but in Aberdeen, here we are trekking around going to events and out to eat... walking everywhere.

And now, the moment disaster struck. The dogs were restless because we haven't been able to get out for a run. I was playing with Angel and Frog, tossing them around, rolling them over, me rolling over, and deflecting Angel's attempts to bite my arms (she plays rough). Unfortunately, the ninja dog caught me off guard. I turned to pull up on my knees as she lunged. Her face crashed into mine. I heard that unmistakable sound of skin splitting (it's like a loud crack or pop... almost like the sound of snapping a stick). I sat there dazed and thought, oh man, I know that sound. Where have I heard that before? Oooooh right. When black-belt Steve jumped up to turn off his alarm and caught me in the face with his elbow! My skin split at my brow and blood came gushing down my face and into my eye and ear when that happened. Blood? Oh shit. I ran to the bathroom to check it out. Yep, the skin was split open, but thank goodness it was not too bad. I only had a little swelling and needed just a small butterfly strip to keep it closed. Whew. Got off easy with that one! It could have been my eye, or I could have had another black eye like the one I got from his elbow or like the time my other dog jumped off the couch and hit me in the face. I had a black eye then. (Sighs) I've never been in a single fight, but I've been punched in the face three times. Let me tell you of lesser experience, it HURTS.

I walked into Kung Fu with a butterfly strip by my eye, and Sifu said, "What happened? Been in a fight?"

(Sighs) "My dog punched me in the face..."

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Aberdeen Hail and Cheese

“You have to be a romantic to invest yourself, your money, and your time in cheese.”
- Anthony Bourdain -

It has been sleeting/snowing for a couple of days now. Nothing is really staying on the ground. I call it sleet. Here they say it is hail. I say... hail is something that causes damage. This looks and floats around like little balls of Styrofoam.

Aberdeen hail. That shadow at the bottom left is my phone and my thumb shadow, just to give you a point of reference.

I played Mahjong again on Friday, and I actually won a round! Mahjong is really fun if you like strategy games. That evening there was a happy hour planned with some of Steve's coworkers. Falene called to see if I wanted to go early with her. I was going to actually skip it completely and stay inside, but I decided to go, and I'm glad that I did. I had a really nice time sitting there with just the two of us getting to chat. I love hanging out with groups, but it's also nice to just hang out with one person sometimes. I feel like I can be myself more easily.

Let's talk about some more grocery shopping! I'm such a foodie, I know. Now, going to the grocery store in Texas was...okay. It was always so crowded though. I actually really like shopping here. Yesterday I walked to the top of the hill on Rosemount St. to start my shopping. I first went to the butcher. I asked for smoked bacon, eggs (free range and local!), and two steak fillets. I got to watch as he sliced each one for me. So exciting! From there I walked down the hill to the Fishmonger. I picked up some properly smoked haddock and a sea bass. Then, I walked down to the Cheesemonger. Oh my goodness there was so much cheese. He even let me taste things before I bought it. I almost melted. I told him that I was in Heaven. The best one was this creamy cheese made from ewe's milk. It had the consistency of caramel, and a light, very yummy flavor. As I was tasting it, he told me that it was his favorite. He said, "You are right. It's like Heaven." I can't wait to eat it! Here is a picture just to give you an idea of all the cheeses they had. Sorry that it's blurry. I was trying to sneak it while he was packing the cheese I wanted. I didn't want him to think I'm nuts (And you may not comment on this sentence....hehe).

This is my walk through the "grocery store"
I really do enjoy grocery shopping more like this than at the big supermarkets. I don't even mind that I have to go more often. Also, I mapped my route with that app. on my phone and found that my walk was about 1.26 miles, so I'm getting some exercise too!

Today I filleted my first fish (I know, strange for a fisheries biologist). I seriously need a fillet knife. Anyway, I used the meat to make ceviche, and I threw the rest of the fish parts into a pot with some vegetables (tops of celery and chopped onions), lime juice (just a few drops), and herbs (bay leaves and crushed parsley) to make fish broth. I let it simmer about 2 hours. It is super yummy, and it will be good for a month or so to use in other dishes.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Aberdeenshire city webcams, kale recipe, and steps in new directions

A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.
-Chinese Proverb- 

Today I went to a Bible Study. The study we are using is called Jonah: Navigating a Life Interrupted by Priscilla Shirer. I've never been part of a Bible study group before so this is new to me. The women were all very nice, and the sermon via DVD was interesting. I enjoyed it. However, I didn't know that I'd have homework to do for the next 5 days! It's really okay with me. I will learn a lot from this. The first question she asked was, "How has your life been interrupted lately?" Good question.

Moving on.
It's supposed to sleet and/or snow over the next few days here. Things could get pretty ugly. It's already very icy. Those snowtrax are very good! I have no trouble walking on the ice. Want to see the weather forecast?

Forecast Summary

  • Friday

    Sleet and snow showers will become more frequent and heavier across Aberdeenshire during the day. Moray will remain mostly dry and bright. Cold with strong southeast winds.

Kung Fu has been going well. We've been to two classes now. During the second class, we all got yelled at a lot!

"Sink lower."
"Bend more."
"Get your knee about 2 inches from the ground. Further!"
"Don't move unless I tell you to move."
"Alright then, everybody give me 15 push-ups."

Somebody moved? Or wasn't low enough? Geez I hope it wasn't me. I told Steve that this one was probably his fault because I heard him getting berated for not being low enough in his horse stance (it's like a squat.. sort of). haha. I haven't been punished with exercise for other people's mistakes since I was in middle school! It was good though. Discipline is good at all stages in your life. It humbles you and reminds you that you always have more to learn. 

I think my legs need a jump start. They actually completely gave out on me during that session, and I sank to the ground just barely recovering before he saw me. I've never reached 100% muscle fatigue before now. It's like somebody clips a nerve, and then your muscle instantaneously ... stops. Man, I'm going to have some strong legs in a year or so. I'll work hard to make sure that I do; I don't want to be the reason we all have to do more push-ups!

Anyway, my grandma asked me to post this recipe for cooking kale. It's from the book Randi sent me.

  • Shredded kale
  • 1 tsp grated ginger root
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 10 ml or about 2-3 tsp of butter
Melt the butter in a pan, and then toss in the kale. Let it cook for 3-4 minutes. Then, add the ginger and soy sauce. Toss it around, and let it cook another 1-2 minutes. All done! Easy, right? And it's yummy.

Just For Fun:

I found some website that have webcams so that you can check out things over here. Some have a slow refresh rate, but you still get a good image. Check it out! Notice the links are links so they are safe.

This one is in Aberdeen:

 Here is a site that links to webcams in different cities such as Banchory and Stonehaven, which we loved:

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

"When it rains, I clean".. and.. What's a Nectar Card?

For after all the best thing one can do when it is raining, is to let it rain.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow - 

My grandma says that her favorite days to clean are the days that it rains. Why get out and fight it? I guess in Aberdeen that would be a lot of cleaning, but I can say that good days to clean are when it's pouring rain or when it's icy.

 I have been cleaning much more than I usually did in Houston. There is no A/C to filter the air here, so dust really builds up in your house. We are going to invest in some good air purifiers for both up- and downstairs. I'm constantly sneezing. I got an upper respiratory infection. My nose drips like a leaking faucet when I dust or vacuum, which I do 1-2 times a week! I think I have more mucus than oxygen circulating in my bloodstream. At least it feels that way, so I finally switched from the nose-destroying toilet paper and bought some tissues. Want to see something funny?

Hehe. That's all I have to say about that.... almost. It would be really funny if they made "mansize" toilet paper. Do you think people would be embarrassed to buy it? (Insert mischievous chuckle)

I've talked a lot about grocery shopping on this blog. One thing I may not have mentioned is that you should get a Nectar card. You can use it at various locations to gain points on purchases, which then gives you coupons and discounts. More info here. It's free to get one. You can also use it to get points when you bring your own shopping bags.

Moving on. Tonight I went to a book club meeting. We read the book "Me Before You" by Jojo Moyes. If you don't mind a good cry, this is your book. Anyway, the book club meeting was great. We had good food, good wine, and good company. The discussion was very interesting. I enjoyed it.

And cut.

Martial Arts Movies and Snow in Aberdeen

But pleasures are like poppies spread,
You seize the flow'r, its bloom is shed;
Or like the snow falls in the river,
A moment white-then melts forever.
-Robert Burns-

Yesterday began with snow. Then it rained, and then it sleeted. Then, it snowed some more. I couldn't let Steve walk home in that slush! I drove to pick him up. We had to stop for gas. I parked the car and watched Steve get out. Then, I watched Steve get back in. He sat down.

"It's on the other side isn't it?"

"Yep," he grinned.

Do you ever do that? Geesh. I had to drive all the way around while this one guy watched me. There's always one. While we were sitting at the second pump, I noticed something outside. They have a "Fire Point" outside of the building. Now that is different from the U.S.

Waiting for Steve to come from his office.

They've even got buckets ready.
Anyway, I don't know about you, but snow makes me want ice cream. I talked Steve into walking to Baskin Robbins. Well, "talked into" may have been too strong of a phrase; it was more like I mentioned it, and his shoes were magically on his feet. He stood there for a long time trying to decide which flavors he wanted. Steve loves ice cream. :o)

Checking to see if he has enough to buy a bucket... just kidding. :o)
Today I decided to take Angel for a walk in the snow. She was a little cold, but she really enjoyed it. The park was lovely! Even if it's cold, even if the ground is covered in snow, get outside and walk. It's beautiful. Victoria Park is really nice. I ran into some other people with dogs while I was out. One guy had two rolley, polley, 16-week old pug puppies. They were dangerously cute. No, I didn't get any pictures. I thought that might be weird for me to ask a stranger if I could take a picture of his dogs.

Only Angel went with me. Frog isn't fond of long walks, and he really hates the snow.

We finally got to try out that Kung Fu class. It was really good. When we got home I was trying to stretch out my legs, but two little dogs made that very difficult. Meh, it's nice to be loved, even when it's inconvenient.

We tried another Chinese take-out place tonight. I couldn't go to the grocery store because Steve forgot to leave me the card, and we worked out tonight so we didn't have time to go shopping. Try Wok Wok! It was good.

Just for fun:

To celebrate my finding of a new martial arts school, I'm ending this blog with my list of martial arts movies that you must see, even if you have to read subtitles, which you will for some of these. Most of these are on Netflix. Some you can find in any movie rental store. Get outside of your box, and check them out. You may be surprised at what you like, and with practice you eventually forget that you are reading subtitles! You'll notice most of these are Donnie Yen, Jet Li, Jackie Chan, and Tony Jaa movies! Let me know what you think or if you've seen any of these (in order of what I remember first...):
  • IP Man and IP Man 2
  • Ong Bak (1 through 3)
  • Chocolate (Thai movie)
  • Mulan (The film, not the Disney cartoon, although it's great too!)
  • Bodyguards vs Assassins
  • The Sword with No Name (Romeo and Juliet type story. Great!)
  • Dragon Tiger Gate
  • The Forbidden Kingdom
  • An Empress and the Warriors
  • Little Big Soldier
  • The Man From Nowhere
  • Fearless
  • Ninja Assassin
  • The Protector (Tony Jaa)