Saturday, 8 November 2014

End of Season Farmer's Market

This morning was fine and bright, if chilly, and we headed to Lake Anne for the last Farmer's Market of the season.

I am sure you have seen enough Autumn leaves but this tree was spectacular in the sunshine.

There was some musical accompaniment to the open air shopping today.

There was, as ever, some lovely produce on sale, including a few quite unusual items..

Radishes - nothing unusual except that these were the size of beetroot.

Two varieties of turmeric. I have never seen the fresh form of this before, only the rather pungent and staining yellow powder sometimes used in curries.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Limousine at the 'Y'

Today I was volunteering at an American Red Cross blood drive at the YMCA (known as the 'Y') in Reston.

We had quite a good day, collecting about 24 units of blood and not too many log-jams of donors.

About half way through the day this limousine pulled up outside the building and discharged 10 or 12 young men in jeans and tee shirts.  

A band?  A team?  I am sorry to say that I have failed to discover exactly who they were (but not blood donors!)

Thursday, 6 November 2014

A walk to 'Giant'

Yesterday's morning exercise was to clear up a few leaves which are now bagged up ready for the 'debris' collection.

This morning I decided on a walk to Giant (local supermarket) for a bit of exercise, once the rain had stopped.

Despite the number of squirrels around, the ground outside the front door is still covered with acorns and most of them have now split, sprouted and started to grow.. We could be living in dense forest soon!

There is quite a variety in the colours of the leaves in the garden and by the roadside.

These oak leaves are beautiful and very large indeed..

The seed heads in the evergreen magnolias along the road are ready to burst..

Along the side of the playing field at the edge of the Parkway, the trees are as beautiful as anywhere..

At the supermarket itself there were, as usual, some rather interesting floral offerings alongside some more conventional plants.

We had seen the green orchids before and I had taken a picture as I thought that they were rather unusual..

Now they are displayed next to an extraordinary floral concoction which it took me a while to decipher..

I am not sure quite why it is necessary to turn everything into turkey shapes for Thanksgiving, but evidently it is.  

So, in each little pot is a single Chrysanthemum cutting with an improbably large bloom, dusted with silver glitter for good measure.  That is where reality stops and fantasy begins..,add a small pompom to the flower as a head and decorate with beak and eyes.  Then add a splendid 'Fall' coloured tail in the shape of three bottle brush style decorations fixed to the other side of the flower..  Hey presto - the perfect gift for Thanksgiving..,

Wednesday, 5 November 2014


During the sale at the Bargain Loft we are still pricing and putting out donated  goods.  

Amongst today's items was this large plastic Pinocchio-head money box by Walt Disney from 1971 and after a good face wash and general clean up he was soon out on the shelf.

He reminded me of my old Pinocchio  wooden string puppet, also from the 1970's.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Election Day

Elections were being held today for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives so banners have been on display everywhere.  I saw these last week in the historic area of Herndon.  

There are three candidates contesting the Senate seat for the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Mark Warner, Democrat, is the current Senator who is seeking re-election against a candidate from the Republican Party and one from the Libertarian party.

In Washington DC a new Mayor was also being elected today and voters were additionally being asked their views on limited legalisation of marijuana.

No voting for us of course and I spent my day at an American Red Cross blood drive being held at a local school.

Dranesville Elementary School is in Herndon.  It takes children from age 2 in pre-school to fifth grade (age 10-11).  Today was an in-service day for the staff and so the school was fairly quiet.

In front of the entrance to the school a bright yellow line of buses - ready to bring in the children from the surrounding area tomorrow - made a colourful sight.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Ducks in a row..

Today there was a sale preview at the Bargain Loft, for volunteers only, in advance of the 50% off clearance sale which starts tomorrow to make space for the Holiday Shop.

I had seen this set of fire irons and rather liked them, joking that they looked as if they had been donated by Mary Poppins herself!

They look very good on the hearth but with their solid brass heads may be a little heavy to bring home to the UK!

Sunday, 2 November 2014

End of 'Al Fresco' Dining

Last weekend we did sit out for short periods at the table but I think it is now time to put the furniture away for the winter!

The decking was carpeted in leaves this morning and it was distinctly chilly.

This afternoon we walked into the woods again as the sun had come out but it was soon quite low in the sky.

It is good to see the blue sky behind the orange and yellow leaves, we amused ourselves by taking a few photos straight up through the canopy..