Friday, November 28, 2008

When Black Friday is Not Spent at Green Hills or Opry Mills Mall

What could Black Friday possibly look like when not taking place at either of the two above institutions???

Well, for starters -- it starts slow and late. I was not up at 5 am scurrying out the door for the latest and greatest deals with 1.2 million of my closest friends and neighbors.

Second of all -- since there were 1.2 million less shopping on Black Friday in Scotland, there were zilch crowds. Which, made my shopping this morning quick and pleasurable. I've never stopped by so many stores in such a short amount of time. This is nothing short of a miracle on Princes Street. In turn, I actually made a purchase ... another thing that verges on the side of miracles ... because I never buy things here. And I mean never. (All purchases can be totalled on one hand).

Next, I made a stop at the German Market and the Highland Market. I bought a German pretzel and wandered through the maze of vendors. Good fun!

And now? I'm working! Not too exciting ... but we do have good friends coming over this evening for leftovers. I feel a bit guilty about this because our friends coming over have more leftovers than we do .... and I think I could very well drive my friend nuts by sending her a thousand and one emails about food for tonight (guilt-ridden emails??) ... I hope this dear friend does not go dearly nuts because of me. I digress .......

I do hope you're enjoying your Black Friday! I will be in America for Box Day... oh that flight back over the pond is approaching .... yay!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


On this my second Thanksgiving Day in Scotland, I have so much to be grateful for ... a devoted and virtuous husband, a loving and supportive family, a great community of wonderful friends (on two continents!), God's gracious provision .... there's so many blessings I could list. From our home to yours, have a very blessed and happy Thanksgiving.

- Ashli

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

For all the Hometown Locals

My dad is speaking tonight for a special Thanksgiving service at New Vision Church at 7pm. Email me for details if you're interested.
"… the essence of social conservatism is preservation of the ancient moral traditions of humanity. Conservatives respect the wisdom of their ancestors …; they are dubious of wholesale alteration. They think society is a spiritual reality, possessing an eternal life but a delicate constitution: it cannot be scrapped and recast as if it were a machine." - Russell Kirk

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Here's the video every American must see: I.O.U.S.A.

Jingle from White Christmas

Blue days all of them gone.
Nothing but blue skies from now on.
Blue skies smiling at me.
Nothing but blue skies do I see!

Not an Everyday Sighting

The other day I was walking out of my local Starbucks (red cup in hand) and I saw these fellows trotting down our cobblestone street: Our policemen are heroically guarding our streets in Edinburgh.

The policelady (above) smiled at me when I whipped out my camera. Ha!
And the horses left the local villagers with such a nice departure gift! (Note the pooh left on our cobblestone street). It's a good thing it rains so much here!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Watching ....

I'm watching An American Time Bomb. I wish you could see it. The U.S. has the greatest trade deficit in the world. We're in debt in all four sectors. It's a big mess ... much like a "time bomb" waiting to explode. Could this recession be a wake up call?

Just Around the Corner ...

I adore this street around the corner from our flat:

Isn't it so charming?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

"The glory of a good man is the witness of a good conscience." - Thomas a Kempis

Friday, November 21, 2008

Dublin Castle ... and a Slight Obsession with Chandeliers

The Throne

Hand-woven carpet in the Ladies Waiting Room.

Of course in Ireland, all the chandeliers are Waterford.

The Ladies Waiting Room -- where ladies waited until they were asked to dance -- some spent more time in there than others.

The Spirit of Dublin

We just arrived to O'Connell Street. I was thrilled to see Christmas decorations!
Exploring the streets off of Grafton. Such a fun part of town!

Very cool Dublin store: Avoca. You can read more about it here.

O'Connell Street by the Liffey

St. Patrick's Cathedral

Christ Church Cathedral

The Liffey

Post Office -- One of the five buildings taken over by the revolutionaries in the early 20th Century.

Dublin Castle

Trinity College

St. Patrick's Cathedral

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The sun is setting at 3:57 today in Edinburgh. Tomorrow it will go down at 3:55. You know what's keeping me cheery? Christmas Music! I love this site's diverse selection of Christmas music ... surely with this selection, there will always be a little jingle to enjoy!

Back from Dublin!

We had a blast!

Monday, November 17, 2008

One of my absolute favorite family traditions is decking the halls for Christmas! While my tree in Edinburgh won't be 14 feet tall as seen in the above picture, I do plan on decorating our little tree come the day after Thanksgiving. However, I'm already feeling quite tempted to bust out the holiday decor prior to my day after policy. Is anyone else feeling the itch to get in full Christmas mode??? Maybe it's that the red cups are out at Starbucks or that I'm beginning to hear and see Christmas everywhere ... but I'm really feeling the urge to break my policy!

We do have two Thanksgiving feasts we're participating in this year. Our first feast will be this Saturday night with lots of internationals attending and very few Americans attending ... which means, I'm in charge of the famous Greenbean Casserole! Our other Thanksgiving feast will actually be on Thanksgiving and we'll be joining some close American friends to celebrate this holiday. I'm really looking forward to it!

Which brings me to this: A Bluffer's Guide to Thanksgiving. I was especially amused that this Brit thought that sweetcorn, coleslaw, and potatoes were a Thanksgiving staple. I mean, I wouldn't be shocked to see corn or potatoes at a Thanksgiving dinner, but a staple?? Is sweetcorn, coleslaw, or potatoes a staple at your Thanksgiving meal? Especially coleslaw! Am I out of the loop on these staples???
* Picture courtesy of Southern Accents

Friday, November 14, 2008

Post Script

I forgot to mention one other thing I want in America: flavored coffee.

Like ........

Blueberry Coffee from Chef's. Or something like that.

Three Weeks and Two Days

I'm ready to see the family. Hug the family. Be with the family.

And ....

I'm also ready for some American television. I need some Law & Order and some good American drama and all those other wonderful things my mom's been tivo-ing.

The countdown is now officially on. Forget the Advent calendar -- I'm checking off days until I'm on American soil!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Did You Know?

Did you know that in 2000 there were approximately 110,000 American troops stationed in Europe?

Currently, there's about 160,000 troops stationed in Iraq.

However, in 2000 there was an average of 14,809 troops in the Middle East.

Go Hearts!

My first Scottish Premier League Football Game! Go Hearts!
My friend Katie and I tried to have our picture made together, but a friendly bloke behind us thought he'd be cute and mess our picture up .... oh well!
I was really focused on the game -- just like Matt!

A bit of the action ...

Oh wait -- look --see how focused I am??? Seriously, these Scots have skills when it comes to soccer!

Loving a Good Tradition

Edinburgh's official Christmas Tree has been put up! This is one tradition that I love -- the country of Norway gives Edinburgh a massive Christmas tree each year as a symbol of solidarity and in gratitude for the help and friendship they received from Scotland during World War II.

The tree had quite some journey on this truck.

Set and ready to be decorated!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas .... anyone else in the holiday spirit???

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