Birds of a Feather

This post has nothing to do with Richard, aside from the fact that dorks seem to flock together. 



Today is my wedding anniversary. My husband and I have been married for 19 years. Aww!

Tony and Kelly Wedding 001


we dated for 4 years before we were married, so that’s 23 years altogether. I was 21 and he was 22, young by today’s standards but we knew what we wanted; why wait just to appease society? that was my stance then, and although I better understand why some thought it was too young, I’d still do it all over again- it’s what was right for us. 



Today on Facebook my husband wanted to mark the day & wish me a Happy Anniversary, because although we do still get each other a gift every year, we’ve done away with the fanfare. I love when he gets me flowers but it means more when I get them on days I’m not expecting them, rather than on days when greeting card companies say that I should.

Happy ‘it’s a Monday and it’s sunny’ Day!


his message to me was: “Happy Anniversary Kelly! I can’t believe you’ve put up with me for 19 years (but I’m glad that you did)”. sweet, right? so me, being the emotionally stunted person that I am, replied with: “right back atcha ❤ ” 

I included a heart!
I included a heart!


he’s been teasing me about it all day. I felt bad, so I posted a sappy song to him in return with the dedication; “19 years (+4) and I still less than three you”. he thought it was a math problem.



Quick, Before I Change My Mind!

I like to jump off cliffs when I’m bored- in this case it’s a proverbial cliff, although when I was much younger I did go cliff diving. I really doubt I could do that now, someone would probably have to push me! anyways… 

I recorded myself talking. I’m not sure if it was brave or reckless; I’ll tell you tomorrow. I did kill several birds with one stone though by not only showing you what I sound like and what I look like when I talk, but this is also the first time I’ve recorded myself (thus the crappy sound) and uploaded a video to YouTube. so many firsts! here’s me:

I would have fixed my hair and put on a nicer shirt but I did this on a whim before I could talk myself out of it. wow, I open my mouth wide when I talk, don’t I? and I almost flubbed up saying “Indiana”. that’s the word that tripped me up, really? good thing I didn’t say Indianapolis…


(edited to add: as you can see, I *did* change my mind…)


Off Topic Fanvid Friday: Outlander

Since a lot of us RA fans seem to be Outlander fans too, I didn’t think you’d mind if I went “off topic” a bit and featured an Outlander themed Fanvid Friday. As someone who appreciates the creative nuances that some vidders place in their fanvids, I could not pass this one up!


“Uptown Funk” by E. Jamie

(Warning: several instances of nudity appear)

Yes, it’s that “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars. And that’s one of the reasons I like this vid so much, because it’s such an unexpected song choice for 18th century Scotland! That funky beat starts and you wonder what am I getting myself into? Here are some of my favorite parts:


-the hand slaps that go along with the music in the beginning. I didn’t realize there was so much touching in Outlander…


-Jamie’s quick finger kiss after the lyric “kiss myself, so pretty”


-Geillis’ “hot damn!” LOL!


-Jamie’s slightly arrogant smirk after “say my name”


-that whole first set of “Hallelujah”s. Brilliant!


“fill my cup, put some liquor in it”. the sheer amount of choices that could have been used for this part…


-the women waulking wool in time with the music


-Claire’s hand sways


*another Outlander fanvid by E.Jamie that I like is “Bohemian Rhapsody” . again, a song that you wouldn’t expect, but she uses the music and lyrics to her advantage.


Over the Sea to Skye

My Scotland Adventure: days 5, 6, and 7

Skye from ferry

With the wretched curse being broken on day 4, we experienced a wonderful two days on the Isle of Skye before crossing back over to the mainland and winding our way down through Glencoe, to arrive back in Edinburgh.

Glencoe vista
Jamie Fraser was nowhere to be found, sadly

Our first day on the Isle of Skye was packed to the brim with beautiful sights! In the cool misty morning we stopped at a picture-perfect waterfall

early morning waterfall

and drove past the iconic Old Man of Storr rock formation. It has many legends attached to it but our guide told us that it was thought to represent an old man (standing) and his wife (sitting) who made a deal with those trickster faeries and were turned into stone.

misty Old Man of Storr

We visited a prehistoric Broch that was located just off the side of the road

in a sheep pasture.

climbing to the Broch

Remember my fear of heights?

I was feeling a little shaky up on that hill!

view from Broch
that little blue rectangle is our bus

there was honest to goodness scottish thistle all around though,

so it was worth it.

clumps of scottish thistle

Historic Dunvegan Castle, with it’s many strollable gardens, proved enjoyable.

Dunvegan castle

My husband took a boat tour of some surrounding islands to view the seals. I thought that riding in a small motorized boat that only seated 8 people was just taunting our recent bad luck, so I declined.

baby seal
isn’t he adorable though?

The bridges and surrounding mountain views at Sligachan were lovely and one of my favorite stops of the trip.

stone bridges

We ended the day at our home-base of Portree, with enough time to grab dinner and wander around the picturesque port town.


The next day we took a ferry back over to the mainland. I had much more confidence in that boat…

ferry ride

and then we hopped on a steam train that took us to Fort William.

train winds over viaduct

We couldn’t resist sneaking into the first class compartments and pretending we were on our way to Hogwarts.

Hogwarts, 1st class

We then experienced unforgettable Glencoe

magestic Glencoe

before arriving back at our starting point.

Firth of Forth bridge

Our last day was spent exploring Edinburgh itself

curved streets of Edinburgh

and wandering around the base of Arthur’s Seat. We climbed the first little bit up to the ruins of the old chapel but after our last few busy days, I did not have the energy to attempt going higher.

Arthur's Seat

Oh well, there’s always next time!

foreground thistle

Murphy’s Law- part three

My Scotland Adventure: day 4

Edinburgh Castle, taken from Prince's street
Edinburgh Castle, taken from below in the shopping district

After finishing up our 3rd day by shopping for new clothes and a small replacement suitcase to take on our upcoming tour of Skye, we slept wonderfully! Because, you know, that tends to happen when you’re in a hotel bed instead of an airport cot or airplane seat.

FYI: the best way to combat jet lag is to not sleep for the first 48 hours.

it works!

Day 4 dawned bright and early. We were able to awaken and get ready with ease; not hard to do when you have one pair of jeans and three t-shirts to choose from, along with no styling products or makeup to fuss with.

so, the complete opposite of this.

While eating breakfast, Husband gave me an odd look as I slathered marmalade on my scone. “Why are you putting jelly on your biscuit”, he asked, “did they forget the gravy?”

Biscuits=Cookies, Scones=Biscuits. get with the program!

As we set off to find our tour company, we snapped a quick pic of the cafe where J.K. Rowling supposedly first wrote Harry Potter. Our 10 year old daughter would never have forgiven us if we had forgotten!

the Elephant House cafe

We checked into our tour company and went outside to wait with the group until it was time to load onto the small touring bus. Husband picked this time to suddenly need the rest room (didn’t we leave the kids at home?). So he wandered off in search of a Cafe, with warnings from me similar but not limited to “if you’re not back in time I will leave you, I am not missing this tour!” Of course the guide appeared soon after, ushering everyone down a side-street to the waiting bus, while I ground my teeth into dust waiting for Husband to come back.

“oh where oh where has my little dog gone, oh where oh where can he be?”

Luckily we did not miss the tour but we did get stuck in the very back of the bus. Finally we are on our way, out of the city and over the Firth of Forth. Our guide told us informative things about the city and upcoming countryside, as he played a bit of music to start our day.

lowland countryside
“so Sally can wait, she knows it’s too late as we’re walking on by…”

Our first stop was the small village of Dunkeld. We were afforded a little time to look at the old cathedral, grab a snack, and use the toilets before heading off on our way again. This was my first experience paying to use the public facilities. I found it odd at first but I quickly got used to it, as I did seeing the little half sinks in the Cafe’s and Pubs with the brand name Armitage Shanks.

Oh, the irony.

these shanks are anything but little

Two hours after leaving Edinburgh behind, our bus crashed. Yep, you read that right. We rear-ended the car in front of us, pushing it into the car in front of it. Evidently car #1 was slowing down as an ambulance passed, causing car #2 to stop short, and our driver didn’t react quick enough. A fellow passenger who was sitting in the back row of seats with my husband and I was banged up some because she didn’t have her seat-belt on, but the damage was minor.

Buckle Up!

The next two hours were spent by the side of the road as the accident was cleared and a vehicle came to collect us. I was unusually quiet throughout the ordeal which worried my husband a little. I answered his concern by revealing my fear, “I think we might be cursed”. Now, I generally don’t believe in bad luck but things were adding up at an alarming rate! Something was trying to sabotage my dream vacation. Or maybe I just had magic on the brain because: Matthew Clairmont.

reading book at side of road
me, reading about vampires and witches

A stand-in bus drove us to the nearby village of Pitlochry, where we had time to wander and eat lunch while we waited for our replacement bus and driver. Our original driver was shaken up but still took good care of us, remaining his personable self while continuing to wait with us.

I had a cheese toasty with crisps for lunch, in case you were wondering.

For wait we did. There was another accident on the same road (the A9, which I’m told is notorious for accidents) delaying our incoming bus in stopped traffic. Three hours later, our intermediate driver showed up with the replacement bus (with the row of back seats covered in plastic because someone left the sun-roof open in the rain. just a fun little fact) We bid driver #1 farewell as he caught a train back to Edinburgh, and now driver #2 was tasked with getting us to Loch Ness to meet up with driver #3, who would be our guide for the rest of the tour.

“walk, sing, do anything! try spinning round like tops, just be right there by an empty chair when the music stops!”

Driver #2 gave some interesting commentary on our drive but he made me car sick, so I shut my eyes for awhile. I don’t blame him because he needed to get us from point A to point B in a reasonable amount of time to make up for the 5 hours that were lost. Luckily I opened my eyes at just the right moment to see a filming location from one of my favorite television shows, Monarch of the Glen.

Monarch of the Glen gatehouse

After taking a peek at Loch Ness and being judged for not believing in the monster, we had time for a quick dinner before meeting up with our new driver. This is when I decided to try Scotland’s favourite soft drink, Irn Bru. Sadly, I cannot recommend it. unless you enjoy drinking bubble-gum.

Dusk was now upon us, which unexpectedly gave us a nice lit-up view of Eilean Donan Castle… while we got attacked by midges. I had to pull the hood of my jacket tight around my face, covering my nose and mouth as I tried to take in the ambiance of the location. Thank goodness for pictures!

“Adventure is no more than discomfort and annoyance recollected in the safety of reminiscence” ~ Gary Jennings

Eilean Donan Castle with bridge

Then we found ourselves winding through a beautiful Highland Glen (valley), green mountains looming up on all sides, as our guide told us tales of mischievous Fairies. Her accented voice, the soft background music of bagpipes, and the rocking of the bus lulled us into a relaxed state. Twilight in the Highlands is so serene, so magical. The curse (if there ever was one) had finally been broken.

Highland glen at dusk

Next time: I’ll wrap up my saga by sharing some thoughts (and photos) from our tour on the Isle of Skye, a steam train ride, and our last day back in Edinburgh.

steps where Margaret gets rescued by Higgins