Saturday, October 31, 2009


I'm not missing Halloween. With a crazy dog and nervous cats, I never got into it even when I lived in Richmond and there were lots of kids about. Plus, with decorating for Fall and Christmas, I couldn't be bothered to decorate for another holiday so close. But what we are missing tonight is the wedding of our friend Ashley back in Virginia. She is a great friend and an amazingly creative person. She owns Fly Away Cakes, and she made both our wedding cake and the groom's cake, which I surprised Nid with. She is so talented! You can see our cakes on her website. They are the three tiered butter cream with fresh strawberries and the football/soccer cake with the fox logo. Anyway, she's getting married today. And my niece, Caitlin (2 1/2 years old) is her flower girl. And she's going to walk down the aisle dressed as a PUMPKIN! I haven't seen the outfit yet, but I am hoping there will be photos on the internet by tomorrow. I can't wait!!!! We wish we could be there with you guys Ashley!

On another note.... yesterday we went to Sainsburys and got the children's photos taken for their first passports. I'll mail those applications off on Monday. As soon as we (I) finish filling out the I-130 forms, we'll mail those off to the US Embassy in London.Then the waiting game begins. Nothing will happen until they write to us to tell us when our interviews in London are. I am going to go ahead and make appointments for everyone (but me, yay!) to get vaccines updated at our GP. It is good to have the process actually begun.

I have also started writing lists. Everyone that knows me knows I am a list girl. I have lists for everything!

Here is a list of the lists I have started:

This last list is broken down by room. It includes things I already own (marked with *) and things we'll need to buy. Every day I think of new things to put on it. My theory is, when we get there we're starting over. We'll need all the staples that everyone has. But if we go to Walmart, buy tons of stuff and get home and realize we've missed something, it's not a 5 minute walk to the corner shop and back. So if I have a list, things will go much smoother. Plus, it will cut down on getting things I don't need but think I do in the moment. It's a daunting list! But it makes me feel accomplished. Anyway, that's what I've been up to!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Big News!

Nid and I have very exciting news to share with you all. We are moving to Virginia! Most people know that we originally had a Four Year Plan. After much thought and discussion, we have decided to move that up to a One Year Plan!

We have already started the process. Forms are filled out, plans are already in the works. It is similar to what I had to go through to get into England. On one hand easier, as we no longer have to prove anything about our relationship. What is different is that everything else is in triplicate. Nid, Briony and Cale all have applications to fill out. It is a multi-stepped process that will take us to London at least once, but potentially twice to get things done at the US Embassy.

When we get to Virginia, we will be living in Greenwood. My cousin Barbara has a family home very close to my parents' home. She lives in West Virginia, and needs a new caretaker for her property. As of next summer, we will be her caretakers. We will be living in a cozy little cottage with a large deck and 25 acres of land surrounding us. It is so peaceful there, we are really excited for the children to have free reign over the property. And they are a bike ride away from Grandma Vickey and Grandad Purcell.

We're deep in planning mode right now. Nid has already started planning where to put his football pitch. And once we get settled, if we want to we can raise chickens in the chicken house in the backyard of the cottage. I'll get to have my Smudge back with me. Bearette has bonded really well with her sister Angel, so at least for now, it will be best if she stays with my parents. I don't know whether it will be better or worse to be so close to her and not have her with me.

The children are very excited about the house and the property and getting to know the rest of the family.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


We are going to SWEDEN!

In February, Nid and I are going to Sweden to visit our friends Johan and Anna, and their son Anton. And their two dogs, Tasha and Lewis (Rotties!). It is so exciting, and thankfully I do not need a visa to get there!

We got an incredible deal on the flight. Only £0.01 per person per way, for a total of £0.04. Unbelievable, right?! But that is indeed the cost of the flight... Plus £102.62 taxes, fees & charges.... £20.00 for web check in (which is £5/person/per way and everyone has to do it)... plus £20.00 handling fee.... for a total of £124.66. How great is that?! Oh wait... when you check out... it's £5/person/per way to PAY! So the total price is £142.66. Still, a heck of a deal. And with train tickets to the airport at £25 total for both of us round trip, we feel like we got a heck of a bargain.

I never imagined I'd be spending my first wedding anniversary in Sweden, so thank you to Johan and Anna for having us. We can't wait! Nid especially can't wait, because Johan and Anna visited him in Leicester a few years back, and brought Swedish meatballs with them. Nid's still talking about them... Guess I know what we're going to eat while we're there! :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pretty Things Guest Blogger.

Yesterday I was published as a guest blogger on my friend Jenny's Pretty Things blog.

You can visit her blog by clicking the link above. I highly recommend you do!

Here is my guest blog:

Monday, October 26, 2009

There Is A First Time For Everything.............

Today is the first time I have handed the reigns of my beloved blog to anyone. I have known Jennifer forever and she is one of my favorite people in the world. She is lovely, talented and special to many people. Now she wants to tell the world about someone she thinks is special, enjoy.

Hello friends and followers of Pretty Things I (Want) Love . My name is Jenny, and today I will be sharing with you MY pretty thing, my husband, Nid.

Nid at The White House, Feb 2009

My husband is an Englishman, which of course gives him bonus points on the pretty scale because of his very sexy accent.

He is also one of those men gets better and better looking the older he gets.

He plays football (soccer) regularly and stays in shape. He has the BEST legs! ;)

On a non-physical level, he loves animals (particularly cats) and children (he is a wonderful father) and he is endlessly patient with me (I require a lot of patience). He is also a writer (a poet even), and very thoughtful. These things are not always common in men these days.

Nid and Smudge

And finally, the thing that makes him the prettiest... he is my best friend, I am his best friend, and he loves me more than anything in the world!

 Jennifer and Nid, Feb 14, 2009

So there you have it, Jennifer's story of love for one very lucky man.


Posted by That Girl at 9:19 PM

Labels: Jennifer, Nid, White House

Sunday, October 25, 2009

York Vacation.

We were up early on Thursday, October 22. We had nearly everything packed, but there's always those last minute things, plus the things you can't pack until you get ready the day of travel. That being said, we were ready to go over an hour before our taxi was scheduled to pick us up. Finally it was time. The taxi arrived and we were off for the train station.

We made excellent time. I guess we missed the morning commuters by about a half an hour. We had the 9:04 train to Sheffield, then a transfer and we were headed to York. During my adult life, I've only traveled by train here in England. And the last time was last October when I came to visit Nid. We did this same journey then as well, only this time Nid wasn't being wheeled around in wheelchairs. Changing trains was easy, and we arrived in York at around 11:30.

Our friend Luan was waiting for us on the platform, and we set off to get some lunch. We headed towards Luan's home in Brayton, just outside York, and on the way stopped at the Designer Outlets. We ate lunch at McDonalds in the food court, then hit a couple of chocolate stores on the way out. At lunch I saw a mother with a baby in a pushchair. She was all done up with poofy hair and a "hip" little hat on her head. And 4+ inch stiletto heeled boots. Even funnier, she was with two guys in baggy jeans and oversized t-shirts. Since I've lived here in England, I have seen a lot of crazy things. Mostly in the way of "fashion." Half of all women wear high heels to do errands. Half wear ballet flats. Neither are good for your foot health. There are a few people that wear shoes that make sense, but I have to say, I've never seen worse shoes in my life than what I've seen here. And I've never seen crazier outfits, either. I decided to make a sub-album of my photos be bad shoe choices. But then I saw a stupid hat, and then a whole outfit, and then some wacko hair, so it's now going to be a bad-fashion album.

Anyway, we left the mall and went to Luan's apartment. We spent the afternoon catching up and just hanging out. She had to leave to go to the doctor, so we were alone for a bit until her boyfriend Ian came home. We chatted until Luan got home. Then we ordered dinner. We watched Coyote Ugly and had Chinese and wine (whiskey for the blokes). We listened to music after and had a great time. We went to bed not too late, as Luan had work the next day and we wanted to get a semi early start on our tour of York.

Friday morning Nid and I woke up to the sounds of breakfast cooking. Ian made us a Full English Breakfast of sausages, tomatoes, eggs, toast, mushrooms, and bacon. Our plates were overflowing, as were our tummies after, but it was incredible! The last time I had a Full English Breakfast was last year in York at the Bed and Breakfast we stayed at. Ian drove us into town and dropped us off for a day of exploring.

We started off with a walk past Avondale Guest House, the Bed and Breakfast we stayed at last year. Then we walked along the river to the Rowntree Park. It was very beautiful there. There was this lovely path when we left the park and walked along the river. The leaves had all turned orange and red and were falling to the ground. It was actually a lot like parts of Virginia. It was just beautiful. Along the river, we stopped at the Kings Arms Pub for a Pint and a Half. There was a marker inside showing how high inside the Pub the river had gotten during various floods over the years. Quite a few people came and went while we sat there. Including a man and his dog. Yep. Right there at the bar, a dog.

After our drink, we walked through town to Clifford's Tower. We climbed the tower and took in the amazing sights of the city. Right across the street from the Tower was The Olive Tree, the restaurant that we ate at last year. The table we sat at was one row from the window, next to the wall, and we had a view of the Tower that night. It was really nice to have come full circle with this visit.

After Clifford's Tower, we walked through The Shambles, a quaint shopping area and got a bite to eat at a cafeteria style restaurant built inside of an old church. We walked past York Minster, a giant hulk of a church, to the Wall. York was originally a walled city, and nearly two miles of the wall exists to this day. We walked a lot of that two miles, I'd guess. The views were beautiful, the architecture in some places facinating. It was very enjoyable. When we were done with our circuit, we ended up coming full circle again and were back at the river. We went into the Lowther Pub, which was about two buildings down from the Kings Arms. Nid got a Pint, and we had a nice rest. We had already talked to Luan, and she was going to pick us up when she got off work at Clifford's Tower. It was just a few minutes walk away, so stayed there until it was time to go.

When we arrived back at Luan's, we were exhausted. I took a nap for awhile, and Nid woke me up when he and Ian went out for supplies. When they got back, we ordered dinner from a pizza place. I got a calzone. I haven't had one in AGES and it was so nice! There were drinks all around, but I didn't have any, as my motion sickness pills that I have to take for car rides had been making me sleepy, and I didn't want to konk out before the end of the night. We watched Premonition and then listened to music until bed time.

Saturday morning we slept in a little and had pizza left overs for breakfast. Ian had to go to work, so Luan, Nid and I hung around at the house. It was raining, so we were glad that we got all of our sight seeing done the day before. Nid bonded with Luan's bird Tilda and we listened to music until it was time to leave for the station. Our plan was to get a coffee/tea at the station with Luan until it was time to go, but traffic was a nightmare, and there wasn't enough time, so she dropped us off and we said our goodbyes at the car. We got a late lunch at Burger King and went to our platform to wait. Our train pulled away from York at 4:25. Our transfer on the way back was in Derby, and there was only a half hour left when we got there. I was really glad to be back in Leicester. We got a taxi and headed home, arriving just before 7pm.

It was an exhausting few days (in part due to the motion sickness pills sedating me), but it was a wonderful time! We are so lucky to have such a great friend as Luan to invite us up for a getaway. It was well needed and very much enjoyed.

My full photo album is up at my pictures site.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Holiday Time!

Tomorrow bright and early we are getting on a train headed for York. We were there this time last year (almost to the day) but Nid had a cast on his leg. Thankfully this trip I do not have a cast on my arm, though I still can't use it fully. We will be staying with our friend Luan, who we also visited last year. She's got the day off tomorrow and will be picking us up at the train station. We've only seen her once since last October, when she and her friend stopped by last month when they were in our part of the world.

I'm busy packing up now. What I hate about packing is... well, there are several things. The first is deciding what I want to take. Then narrowing it down to what I can take. Then I just want to do it already, but you can't finish until the morning of with stuff like toothbrushes and contacts solution. I just want to be done! I've already found a few things that I forgot until today, so hopefully I'll be all set by tomorrow morning.

Nid just dyed my hair for me for the trip. I thought it was a good idea to plan doing it right before the trip. Yeah, well, when you go and injure yourself right before, it's not such a good idea. I can't reach my head with my left arm, as my elbow is still really sore. He was such a trooper! He did a perfect job, and it actually seemed to take less time to apply and rinse than the last time I did it myself. He's the best husband!

Well, I'll be back on Sunday with a full report and most important... PHOTOS!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Diwali Day.

I wrote previously about Diwali, about how the Season so to speak started a few weeks ago. All the shops in the area have fireworks special, and these are fireworks that have been illegal in Virginia for some time. One shop had a BUY ONE GET THREE FREE sale. Now that's a heck of a deal, and you KNOW the markup on them is too high if they can do that and still make a profit... The other day we passed a shoe store that had posters in the wall offering fireworks for sale. Shoes and fireworks, sure, I'd have guessed that. Today on my iGoogle news, there is an article about 32 people dying in India due to a fire started by fireworks. I love to watch them, but unfortunately people are careless. Every night since the Diwali season began, there have been fireworks going off up and down my street. Usually just a few at a time. And the little poppers I'll call them, that you throw on the ground and they go bang. After the last fireworks as we walked the streets, hundreds of kids had them. I stepped on a few that had not gone off and made them pop myself. It's a little startling when you are not expecting it, and it was so dark you couldn't see them. I remember when I was a teenager, friends would put them between their teeth and pop them. I never did. I was too afraid I'd blow off my tongue.

So, today is Diwali Day. Our friends Matt and Jacqui were going to come over and go with us to see the fireworks, which are literally around the corner. They ended up not being able to, and it was cold out, and we were tired and looking forward to our movie night, watching Sin Nombre, which was our second foreign film in two nights. So I watched the fireworks from our bedroom window. It was nice, but I'd already seen the ones early in the month, and surprisingly I wasn't all that excited. For the next several hours, it sounded like a gangland shoot out in the street though. Sounded like every neighbor we had was setting off fireworks, and not just the little ones, there were some big explosions and crackles and pops going on! It was kinda cool though.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

My Week.

I can't believe it's been so long since I posted. I really was trying to be better about it. I'll start again and try to be better about it from.... now on! :)

So, what has been happening here? Well, we opened the Dierks Fans Store, and we've had a lot of visitors. We've sold more than we thought we would in the first few weeks. Actually, we'd sold four items in the first three days! We are very proud, and are hoping that they send us photos of them modeling or showing off their products. It's so cool that people want what we've designed. We've spent the last few weeks working diligently on that, always discussing new ideas and directions we can go. I have to admit, Nid's taken the lead with designing. One of our friends from Somebody Like You Fans was interested in putting her graphic design work on the site, so I've been busy with her, uploading images and creating a department for them. She's quite talented, and I'd love to buy some cards with her images on.

Other than that, I've been doing a lot of research. Holiday cards, brainstorming for gifts, it's a daunting task at the moment. We're getting ready for our trip to visit our friend Luan in York next week. She and her boyfriend were down the other month just for a few hours, and that was a nice visit. We're really looking forward to seeing the city, as when we were there this time last year Nid was in a cast. We had a great time there, but we didn't get to see much of the city except in the taxi to dinner and riding to Luan's house to visit. I did not take a single photo there last year. That will not be the case this year!

Then the day before yesterday I had a bike accident. It was silly really, but I'm blaming it on the wet roads. We'd been riding about an hour, I'd say, and it was a great ride. Just chilly enough that I didn't get hot and gross even during the uphill portions. We were on the way home, and turning off the main road on the sidewalk, there was a little lip, no more than an inch tall, and usually no problem... but I must not have angled my tire enough because of the water on the road, and my tire slid along the lip instead of hopping up on it.

Boy was I shocked! Nid was ahead of me (thank goodness or he may not have been able to avoid the collision). By the time he saw me down andcame back to me, a car had already stopped in traffic to check on me. Nid said I was okay, and had to really convince the guy he was going to block traffic, and we'd be okay to get him to go. He went to get his bike which he'd thrown down when he saw me down when I told him I was okay, and a group of young boys just out of school came by and asked if I was okay. They offered to move my bike for me (it was still sort of laying on top of me and a little in the street). I said thank you. Nid said they were very concerned, but I couldn't tell because I was all about the pain. And shock. And embarrassment of having crashed my bike in a busy area with double decker buses going by and children getting out of school. Nid kept asking me where it hurt and if I could get up, and I don't know if I could've without him. It just never occurred to me to try, I was so shocked by the whole thing.

I finally did get up, and we started home. Nid took our bikes, and I just hobbled along, whimpering the whole way. It was probably a half mile - 3/4 of a mile to the house, and it was the LONGEST WALK EVER! I could feel the cuts on my left leg burning and I could actually feel the swelling happen. My left arm was dangling and if I moved it at all shooting pains radiated from my elbow. We got home and I sat. That was about 3:45pm. I  stayed there for nearly 5 hours straight just crying. Moving hurt too much, but just sitting killed as well. We decided that if it wasn't better in the morning, we'd go to the Emergency Room. If I'd gone then, I'd have had to go alone, as it was nearly time to fix the children dinner, and likely I wouldn't be home before late, and we don't leave the children home alone after a certain time. I didn't move much until I went to bed at around 11:30. In the middle of the night I had to move to the couch, because I was just too uncomfortable.

By the time morning came along (and it was a long time coming), I could bend my arm a little, and with the help of my other hand, I could rotate it some, so I decided not to go to the ER. I put my arm in Nid's sling and did pretty well. It hurt all day, but it didn't kill. My main problem was doing too much (typing, for example) and that made it hurt worse.

Today, I am so much better. I can hardly believe how much better I am. It aches, but not much. I can't straighten it or bend it all the way, but I'm not currently wearing the sling (may put it on for the trip to the store just to remind myself not to move it) and it doesn't hurt unless I do forget and go to straighten it. So maybe I should put the sling back on.... Anyway. I know that's a lot of detail, but people have been asking how I am, so I thought I'd get it all out there. Plus, I have to write about the Diwali fireworks tonight, so I need to save myself for that.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Diwali Lights Switch On Celebration.

Tonight Nid and the children and I went to the park across the street for the Diwali Lights Switch On Celebration. Earlier in the evening, the 6,500 lights that the city has been putting up on Belgrave Road's Golden Mile were all turned on. This was followed by entertainment in our park. We waited until right before the fireworks started, and walked up. All of the roads in our neighborhood had parking restrictions, or were closed altogether, which made it a much more pleasurable experience, since there were thousands upon thousands of people turned up for the event. The fireworks were quite good, and because we were so close to them, we got the full impact of the explosions and power of those tiny rockets. It was a major family affair with lots of little kids being wheeled around in strollers. They actually had the best seats, because not only did they not have to stand, strollers tilt them up in a way that they were the only ones not craning their necks to see above them.There will be more fireworks on Saturday the 17th, and we are going to see those as well.

I took pictures and video of the fireworks and posted them on my pictures site HERE. I joined the video clips together and added an intro and credits and put a soundtrack to it, if anyone is a fan of fireworks.

Diwali (or Dipawali, often written Deepavali) is a significant festival in Hinduism, Sikhism, and Jainism, and an official holiday in India. Adherents of these religions celebrate Diwali as the Festival of Lights. They light diyas—cotton string wicks inserted in small clay pots filled with oil—to signify victory of good over the evil within an individual.

In India and Nepal, Diwali is now considered to be a national festival, and the aesthetic aspect of the festival is enjoyed by most Indians and Nepalese regardless of faith.

While Divali is popularly known as the "festival of lights", the most significant spiritual meaning is "the awareness of the inner light".

In Britain, Hindus and Sikhs celebrate Diwali with great enthusiasm and in most ways very similarly to as in India. People clean and decorate their homes with lamps and candles. It is also an important time to contact family in India and perhaps exchange gifts through the post. It is a greatly celebrated holiday and is a great way to connect with the culture and heritage of India. Diwali is becoming a well known festival in Britain and non-Indians also join in the festivities. Leicester plays host to some of the biggest celebrations outside of India itself. Diwali also coincides closely enough with the British Guy Fawkes (Bonfire Night) traditions on November the 5th that in many areas, such as the East End of London, a kind of joint festival has evolved where everyone celebrates and enjoys the same fire and fireworks for their own diverse reasons.

Reference Links:
Diwali Wikipedia Page
Leicester's Diwali Page
Leicester Diwali Events

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Dierks Fans Store Grand Opening.

Dierks Fans is pleased to announce the grand opening of it's official store at Zazzle. The store has a varied selection of products, including Dierks Fans logo items, Somebody Like You Fans logo items, Dierks and Keith themed items, various other country music themed items, as well as greeting cards made with original photographs taken by our admin team.

We plan to add more designs in the future, and are always on the lookout for new designs and ideas. If you would like to be alerted when new designs are available, join our Zazzle Fan Club and sign up to receive an email each time a new product is added.

The Dierks Fans brand is here to promote Dierks Bentley and serve the fans. It is here to promote the official Dierks Bentley site, the Dierks Bentley Congress and everybody involved in helping Dierks Bentley become a household name.

We are very excited about this new project, and the opportunity to give the Dierks Fans name more exposure. Any profits made over the cost of running our sites will be donated to one of Dierks' charities.

To help our friends around the world with shipping costs, the Dierks Fans store has addresses in:

USA -*
UK -*
Germany -*
Australia -*
New Zealand -*
Canada -*

When you copy and paste, please include the * at the end. Thanks!

You can also visit the US store through the 'Store' link at the top of the home page at

If you like a design, but don't see it on an item you would like, email us at and we will do our best to put the image on another product. For clothing, you can put any design that is already on a shirt onto any other style/type/color shirt that Zazzle offers. Just click on the item, and it will show you the options you have. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us!

We will not be messaging you directly every time we release a new design. We are anti-spam. We will however, post once on the fan page when a new design is added and these posts will only be for Dierks designs.

A forum has also been created at about the store.

Best wishes,

~Nid. - The official Dierks Bentley site. - The fans Dierks Bentley site. - The Dierks Bentley Congress members site. - All In One Dierks Bentley Info Micro Site.


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