Friday, December 15, 2017


Am guessing it's much the same in your 'hood~the hostile drivers, the rabid shoppers, the frantic taut lines in people's faces~all in the name of celebration. It's nice to sit quietly with my ESL students and drink tea. To laugh with my music students over goofy things during a lesson. To come 'home' to my wee space and light candles and plug in my tree.

A poem for this Advent time of waiting and stillness~

Wander into the landscape of your life,
inside the wrappings
where the true soft self is found.
Way-finding is an invitation
for renewal, quiet tending,
reconciliation, richness and discovery.

Let the brittle leaves
scattered on the ground
lead the way into a next season
of your life,

one that is
filled with the new
supple growth
of reclaiming.
                  - Cat Caracelo

Thursday, December 14, 2017


Fun surprise in the mail yesterday~perfect for long winter nights.
Thank you, secret elf!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Baruch atah

Just seems like a day for a Hanukkah blessing and a portrait of strong, smart women. (And no, I haven't had days sans joy, just living in a space with extreeeeeemly slow internet and my blogs often get dropped before I get them published. Highly irritating. But, I digress....) 

Discovered a new artist~his stars and moon series are enchanting.

Yes, it's sideways~tilt your device and it will be normal.

Finding myself dropping articles, inverting subject/verb order, and throwing adjectives around like confetti~but am still thoroughly enjoying my time with the ESL ladies. Despite our limited verbiage, we are having meandering, funny, poignant, and illuminating conversations. 

Monday, December 11, 2017

lights in the dark

Someone I loved once gave me
a box full of darkness.
It took me years to understand that this, too,
was a gift.      

~ Mary Oliver

A long and lovely day of teaching is done. So enjoying all the conversations that I'm having with my Saudi students~interesting to hear their stories and their world views.  Met all my Monday music students for my six-week sub assignment. Also some delightful students~and a couple that I will be thrilled to hand back to their teacher in January.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

silent & still

Some moments of sparkles.

Direct quote when I asked them to look up and smile~"I'm too busy working".

Enjoying all the lights of the season. 

And the sprinkles of snow~especially as I'm not commuting in it. 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

a little joy in between

"She wasn't where she had been. She wasn't where she was going…but she was on her way. And on her way she enjoyed food that wasn't fast, friendships that held, hearts glowing, hearts breaking, smiles that caught tears, paths trudged and alleys skipped. 

And on her way she no longer looked for the answers, but held close the two things she knew for sure. One, if a day carried strength in the morning, peace in the evening, and a little joy in between, it was a good one…and two, you can live completely without complete understanding." 

~ Jodi Hills

There's peace and joy tonight as I'm back with my fur babies for a few days. Being an auntie is the best gig ever!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

and today's wows were

Worked with a teacher who would go around his room and kick off Mondays with the kids listing their wows/pows of the weekend. So. Today's wow was this fun snowflake pasta from Trader's.

Two of my ESL students are moving onto new books tomorrow!

No music lessons tonight, so was able to have a nice winter's walk. I am seeing so many cardinals, but not able to get my camera out fast enough to catch a shot of one. They are beautiful against the dead and brown brush.

And? Today's New Yorker cartoon was by my former student.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

paprika on popcorn

is the perfect dinner for a rainy night.

In addition to living right by a Metro stop, I am also right on the W & OD trail. Looking forward to exploring more of it in the next few weeks.

Monday, December 4, 2017

frankincense to offer have I

Some festive yards around here right now.

I feel lucky that I have such a great view of both the sunrise and sunsets~finding myself just sitting and staring out the window a lot.

Finally found a coin on the road in my new zip code. 

It's nice that my roommate and I both like to keep the place very cool, but the winter air is dry. So. I got a diffuser to use. The debut mist is full of frankincense and sweet orange. I fully expect to see some Magi traipsing by.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

glimmers of good

My weekend plans to be in Baltimore changed, so I used my free time to explore my new 'hood. It has the same charm as Alexandria~minus the water setting.

Loving the view out my window. 

Another incredible day of sunshine. 

Whimsical commercial building. 

I heart Penzey's~for being a company of excellence and today? They gave me a gift for no reason. I was surprised as I only bought paprika and tumeric and other customers were ringing up hundreds of dollars in sales. What a lovely gesture from my clerk! I look forward to using it on pretty much everything. 

My window is now wide open and the ceiling fan is on. Not really conducive to the Christmas movie watching I was going to do!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

full of goodness

December kicked off with another pair of bday boots. 

Used my new bday kettle for the first time.

Not realizing until the water was boiling that I haven't unpacked any utensils! So, it was an international endeavor~Italian polenta stirred with Chinese implements. 

Decided to start finding all the labyrinths in DC and as it was such a stellar day, choose to do one in an outdoor setting. Walked past the Watergate complex and the Kennedy Center to the Georgetown waterfront.

Ginger! Look! A people photo! 

No idea what this enormous sculpture is supposed to be. 

Happened to walk by the Saudi embassy where my students' husbands work. As there were huge trees right outside, filled with hundreds of birds, I had put up my coat hood. Surprised I didn't get accosted by security for having a hood up, sunglasses on, and taking snaps of their front door. 

The OEOB~for the West Wing fans.

Finally made it to the Renwick Gallery~it began as the Arts & Crafts bit of the American Art of the Smithsonian. Not sure how to describe it, but it was free and interesting and I took a ton of photos of their ceiling installations.

Yes, I was mesmerized by the shiny, sparkly things.

A sideways Chihuly. 

Since I was across from the White House, decided to go and see the tree. It looks much better at night. 

Was bummed that the state trees were closed off~it's amusing to see how school kids from each state choose to decorate their tree. 

Met my cousins at Kramer's Afterwords for a belated bday dinner~may I just say that I need to learn to make halloumi in any form! First had it this summer in SF and now need to find it in a local market.

A couple of times during the meal, my cousin asked if I had found anything in the store. Which, I thought was odd as it's a BOOK store. Of course, I could take home a few shelves of items. Turns out they had a gift card for me to use. I promptly went in and bought this cookbook that I had been coveting. Yes, seems odd as I don't really have a kitchen or my kitchen toys to use.

But. Someday.  

Bday card with velvet cat prints~perfect as I get to cat-sit my fur babies next week. 

Came home to find my last pair of bday shoes had arrived. Thanks to all y'all who made me feel so spoiled this year!