Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Puppy!!!

As some may already know, we have a new puppy!  Her name is Ruby and she is an Australian shepherd.

Nancy, my BFF from high school, was visiting last weekend and we went to pick up Ruby all the way in Louisburg, NC.   We brought her home and she was just a tad bit quiet and reserved. 

That didn't last long and before we knew it, she was into everything:

Fortunately for us, she tires out quickly and still needs lots of sleep...

She still has a way to go before she learns that my yarn is not her new chew toy...in fact, it may just be a deal-breaker...

We are exposing her to a lot of stuff, including the lake and boat.  She wasn't too sure about it all but wasn't freaking out by any means.  And she got lots of cuddles from mom....

and from Dad who, by the way, is completely smitten...


Sunday, September 2, 2012

...and more...

Sorry once again for the long pause.  It has taken us a while to get everything settled from our trip, moving Evan back to college.

There are many things that, unfortunately, we didn't take pictures of.  One of them was The Knutters.  This is a group of ladies that Alison has known for many years.  This group of friends, about 8 to 10, meet once a month at alternating houses.  Everyone brings their own lunch, which makes it easy on the hostess, and everyone brings handwork, quilting or knitting.   I was able to participate in one of the gatherings.   All of the ladies were so nice and interesting and sweet.  I loved getting to know them even during this short time and hope that there are more meetings in our future.

We also did go to Edinburgh for one day. Since it was during the festival, one day was enough.  My sister, Trudy, and I had experienced it more closely 2 years ago and, although it was interesting and HUGE, once was truly enough.  However, Alison and I went to meet up with a good friend and fellow Sock Summit-er, Pat.  We met at a new yarn store in the city called Kathy's Knits.   It had just opened and we were able to meet the owner and her husband; they are very nice people.  The store carries some very interesting yarns like Blacker.  I bought 2 skeins in pink (anyone out there surprised?), there were also some other unique and interesting yarns as well but I can't remember what they are at the moment.   I'll probably remember at 2 a.m....

After enjoying the store, the three of us went to the Scottish Whisky Society to sit in a quiet place and have lunch, away from the crowds.  It is a fabulous place; very elegant but not snobbish.  Here are the three of us: Lydia, Alison and Pat.

Later that afternoon, we walked Pat to the train station through the incredible mobs of people there for the festival.   There were so many people that one could hardly move; it was absolutely suffocating.  In the meantime, Rod and Bill drove to meet us at the Whisky Society for dinner.  We had a lovely meal and I just took a few pictures out of the window looking north...
And Bill took a shot walking back to the car...again looking north...
Those are the only photos we took and it is truly a shame.  It is a gorgeous city.  Bill and I were going to go back the following day but Bill really didn't want to deal with the crowds and neither did I.  So we wen't to Tantallon Castle instead.  I never realized that Bill loved that kind of thing so much.  We had a beautiful day and a very kind and patient chauffeur (Andrew, Alison's son.)
The castle is located on the top of a bluff overlooking the sea.  It is in ruins but much of it can be toured.  It was incredibly fascinating.

Here are the levels of the Douglas Tower.  Unfortunately it was shelled and ruined by artillery in the 1500s.

Looking across the sea is Bass Rock.  It has it's own lighthouse.

  • And yes, that's another potty....the hole to the left of the potty was caused by shelling...Fortunately for potty user, the gunner missed his target.

This is looking up the walls of the entry hall.  You can see the floors with the indentations where the fireplaces were.
Bill looking into the entry.  This shows the inner courtyard and Bass Rock across the sea.

Again, here is the inner wall but you can see the pockets for the floor joists on each level
And the well...

This was closed off but there were several stairs like this; winding and made completely of stone.

Chauffeur Andrew, trying to be patient with the tour-ons.

This is looking back across the inner yarn towards the main part of the castle

That's Bill and me...

Oh, and there was a dungeon...it was very exciting stuff.  Below is the prisoner's potty; the hole was quite small but, even if a prisoner tried to escape through it, it would be a very long way down into the sea below.

Below is a slit in the prison which provided the only lighting and ventilation...I can't imagine how cold it must have been in there!

The picture above shows the turrets that protrude out of the towers.  Alison tells me that this is very Scottish architecture and falls under the term Baronial

And below, a better shot of the lighthouse on Bass Rock.

More to come...stay tuned!

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Let me start off by introducing "the girlies."

This is Bracken, a sweet and gentle Golden.  Alison calles her "The Walking Stomach" because she loves to eat. 

This is Mollie, a Bearded Collie (we don't see many of this breed in the US.)  She is definitely the "alpha dog" and rules the roost.  She is very intelligent and sweet and loves to be cuddled.  One morning, I was sitting at the kitchen table and, before I knew what was happening, Mollie crawled right up into my lap!  Here she is laying in the "collie corner."

And below is Eilidh (pronounced Ail-lee.)  She is also a beardie but is shaved because her fur gets a bit messy.  She is a hard-wired working girl and loves to play.  She has tons of energy and is very sweet but not in a cuddly way.  Bill tried to tease her but she doesn't have a sense of humor.  At all.

Here are "the girlies" on top of the hill overlooking the steading.  They went with us almost everywhere we went.

On our many walks, we saw many interesting things such as wind farms (this was interesting to Bill...)

The wind turbines are huge!  That's Rod standing at the bottom...

And solar panels everywhere.  For a country that doesn't get that much sun, they certainly have many more of these that I've seen anywhere.

We saw little steps for chickens to get up into their roost.  It wasn't being used for chickens anymore but it was such an interesting feature...

On the morning after we arrived in Scotland, we awoke to the sounds of the next-door neighbors mooing....below is one of the culprits...a highland cow. 

And the troops, taking one of many walks...with Mollie close at Bill's side.  Yup, she could figure out who was the real push-over...

...and another beautiful, renovated stone house complete with it's own wind turbine...

We hiked in a fabulous place called Pressmenan's Woods; it is under the supervision of The Woodland Trust, which is an organization that is restoring the natural wooded habitat that once covered this part of Scotland.  They have done a beautiful job, including special "carvings" in dead trees to make it interesting for the little ones.. 

Here is Rod, Bill and Alison checking out the details.

A day in Dunbar: We went to visit this small fishing village primarily to see the John Muir museum. The town is such a charming and magical place. It is off of the tourist track so it has retained it's authenticity. It has a fort and a castle (in ruins) at the mouth of the harbor.

It was one of the few mornings that we had rain.  It wasn't cold and, I think, it made everything look even more beautiful.  And I love the lobster pots in the foreground...

..and looking back over the harbor back to Dunbar...

Here are pictures of the fort, or maybe this is the castle and we look back at the fort.  Either way, the ruins are absolutely fabulous and we had fun exploring them.

Here we are back in Dunbar visiting the John Muir museum.  They have placed a beautiful statue of him as a little boy; as he would have been when he lived here.

Theyv'e done a fantastic job on the museum.  It was really nice to see all of the places where he went as a child and how nature and the beauty of world inspired him even as a little boy.  He used to play in the ruins in the harbor above and go on walks in the countryside where we also walked. 

We later walked on the shore just west of Dunbar to give the girlies a good run...here we can see Bass Rock.

And, looking the other way, was a beautiful sky and the storm breaking up.

The walkers; and Mollie is right by Bill again.  That little flirt!

And that's all for now...I will post again soon.