29 March 2009

I Need Your Vote!

Mark and I ventured to the Cairngorm Mountains Friday and Saturday morning just to get away for a little break. As I predicted a couple weeks ago, it snowed. We are now 0-2 for trips to the Highlands regarding snow. We went nearly the exact same weekend as last year (just one week later) and both times it snowed. We will not be planning any more trips to the mountains the end of March! But, despite the pouring rain on Friday and the snow on Saturday, it was still nice to get away and spend time together. I hope to post more photos later this week. Until then, here are some pics I took on the way home that I need your help with.

I am entering a competition that ends on Tuesday so I need your vote for which one you like best before Tuesday evening (British time). The theme is "Seasons" and I was trying to capture the meshing of spring and winter with the lambs in the snow. I wish more snow was on the grounds, but it was coming down pretty good most of the time I shot these. Just leave me a comment including the number about which one you like best. You can choose "Anonymous" if you don't have a user ID. Or, if you'd rather, you can leave me a comment on the Facebook album I created entitled "Spring Lambs." You can also click on the link and find more photos than these. The ones are here are just my favorites!








Also, a big thanks to my friend, Allison who made the watermark for me :) Thanks, Allison!

19 March 2009

Thursday Night Shopping and Other Boring News

Thursday night shopping is a fairly big deal here. It's the only night things are open late - or later anyways. (Well, before I go further, to be fair, you can go to some grocery stores until 10pm and one is even 24 hours.) The mall is open until a shocking 8pm versus its usual 5 or 5:30 (I forget which). Maybe it is occasionally open until 6pm? So for the first time (in my remembrance) since arriving here 18 months ago we actually participated in Thursday night shopping. I feel as though we can cross another thing off our Aberdeen to-do list! Really, we didn't even do much shopping. We were going to drop (a lot) of money for some new glasses for Mark but he is still deciding so we settled for purchasing one smaller (and much less expensive) item he needed at another store - John Lewis. Also got that crossed off my to-do list. John Lewis is kind of like a Dillard's or Macy's in the US, your basic, nice department store. I still hadn't been there even though it is one of the biggest stores in Aberdeen. So I sort of feel like I accomplished a lot this evening even though my kitchen is a mess since we ran out the door after cooking/eating to participate in the "late night shopping" experience.In the "other boring news" section, I was in the midst of freezing as I walked home from work today (in obviously not enough layers because I thought Mark and the weather people said it was going to be in the low 50's today) when I encountered one of our Scottish friends who can often be found in shorts when there is no warm weather to be found. I had just put on my gloves and hat (that thankfully I had with me!) and he says "are you cold?" while he's standing there in jeans (at least not shorts), a shirt and his "jumper" (aka a light-weight hoodie). YES, I'M COLD! He replies "I was just thinking to myself how warm it was and how nice to go outside without a coat." Seriously folks, it was probably low 40's with the wind, maybe upper 30's. I can't get over how warm blooded some of these Scots are! I wish they'd share their secret with me. I proceeded to come home and tried to warm up. It took me hours because I was so chilled to the bone!But I had to include a few pics that I took on campus a couple weeks ago because it helps me think it's warmer than it is and reminds me of warmer, sunnier days :)

09 March 2009

Who Knew....

.....a very tiny bolt (see comparison in size with a regular sized pen) could cause so much trouble!
This is the bolt that snapped in half causing all our car woes. We praise God we got our car back this past Thursday! It has been nice to have this option again in our lives as a form of transportation. I am still just amazed that an 82 pence (roughly $1.15) piece of metal could cause nearly 3 weeks of headaches and hundreds of £ worth of labor (I think that between the 2 mechanics we paid for 12 hours of labor - OUCH!) I laughed that the 2nd mechanic (who found this bolt to be the problem and replaced it, rather than having us buy a new gearbox costing us more money) gave me the bolt. We joked that we could keep the bolt as a memento of our time in Scotland and patience learned. I told him it was a very expensive lesson on patience, but apparently I/we needed it!

08 March 2009

Parents for a Day

Our friends, the Ellis', have been expecting their 2nd child. We were on the "on call" list to watch Lily, their first child when the time came. Yesterday evening I got a call from Kate saying she was having early labor signs so wasn't too surprised when I got a call this morning saying that precious Callum Luke was born during the middle of the night last night. The cool thing is, they got to have him at home! They had been planning to do a home birth since the beginning. It's very easy to do here in Scotland, especially since midwives are often used for deliveries. So to give the weary parents a break (to sleep and bond with Callum) we kept Lily for the day. I forgot how fun (and non-stop) two year olds are! (I used to nanny for one for a few months in our home 40+ hours a week about 4 years ago.) Here's a few pictures to show you what it's like to be in our home from a 2 year old's perspective.

We aren't exactly equipped to feed a child at the table...
but we made do (with Joy of Cooking and a couch pillow) :)

Apparently to a 2 yr old, these look look Pooh's teapots
(though usually she mentions Pooh's honey pots, so I asked if that is what she meant)
Our ottoman makes a great seat to kneel on to use the window sill as
a place for Little People to do whatever it is Little People do
The couch is a fantastic place to hide behind for games like peek-a-boo
And our cute little stool makes a great reading chair.The great thing about being a parent for a day is something akin to being grandparents (or so I hear) -- giving them back after all the fun has been had :) So nothing remains from the day other than a child's chatter echoing in our ears. Oh, and the Pack 'n Play (travel cot) that is stuck in our room because neither of us are smart enough to figure out how to collapse it. Guess you have to be a parent longer than a day to do that!

03 March 2009

News in our Corner of the World

Just in case this little bit of random news misses your evening tele, thought I'd bring it to you. Go here to read. Not everyone is a fan of Trump (wait, is anyone?) :) Every now and then ever since arriving in Aberdeen we've heard talk of Trump and his big plans to build a golf course/resort not far outside of Aberdeen. On the whole folks are against it. This one has a slightly different angle, but they are against him all the same. I think the protesters should be called "Plain Stupid" because obviously they are lacking in some intelligence as they do illegal things.

Lastly, I'll leave you with a wee bit of spring cheer on this dreich Aberdeen day....