Sunday, August 20, 2017

why we don't watch the sausage being made

Watching a storm roll in.

So.  My mover showed up today.  Even after coming to look at my stuff last week and my website posting that I had a one-bedroom apartment to move.    Needless to say, only half of my stuff is in storage.  But, at least the sun was shining and I got all the big stuff moved out.  What's left, fits in a closet and I can get it at my convenience.

For the same reason,  it's best to not watch airline luggage handlers do their job, I wouldn't recommend driving behind your stuff and watching everything bounce and the tarp billow.

But it all did arrive and is dryly stored away.

And managed to squeeze in a lake walk with the 'phew and saw another rainbow!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

hither & thither

One last ramble around Alexandria~loving all the window boxes and varied architecture.

Decided to visit Christ Church~my visit criteria for the day were: free/low cost AND a/c.   

Reminded me quite a bit of North Church in Boston (and if I were a better scholar [or even Googled it], I could tell you which one was built first.)  A docent popped her head out to see if I had questions and we started chatting. I knew it was George Washington's home church (Mt. Vernon is nine miles away), I did not know all the history.  I won't repeat it all here, but some highlights:
  • Robert E Lee's children were confirmed here prior to his resigning from the U.S. Army.
  • It's the oldest continuing church in the U.S.
  • The beauty of the architecture saved it during the Civil War.
  • Churchill came to worship here with the Roosevelts and fell in love with The Battle Hymn of the Republic.  Being a U.S. Civil War hymn, he hadn't heard it.  He then used it for state occasions in the UK and requested that it be played at his funeral.
  • Archbishop Desmond Tutu ordained his daughter here.
  • Rosa Parks was a honored guest.
  • All the sitting presidents since Cleveland have attended here. I'll just leave that statement as it is.
  • It currently has an active congregation of 1600.

I got goosebumps when I got to sit where Churchill (and yes, Washington) sat.  The docent demanded that we photograph the moment.  With all these photos of myself this summer, I figure I'm good for a couple of years of avoiding the camera again.

George Washington's pew view~other than electricity and a/c, there haven't been changes made to the space. 

Discovered while the docent has lived here for a decade, Charlottesville is her hometown.  We sat in the pews and talked for quite awhile about current history.   She spoke of neighbors and friends involved in last weekend's events.  We both agreed that it was beyond surreal to be literally sitting in the midst of what we thought was history, and yet is today's headline.  Something about "there's nothing new under the sun" flavored the entire conversation.

The original organ is in the Smithsonian (next week's field trip hunt)~this one has been here since 1904.

Some symmetry and peace~at least for a few moments.

Am guessing there's a large flux of college students leaving town, as almost every shop/pub/restaurant was hiring.  BluPrint Chocolatiers is one of them.  We're having a discussion about the possibility of me working for them. 

And you can guess where I headed for lunch! I am officially obsessed with lemongrass 'chicken'~have had it prepared three ways and cannot decide which way is my favorite.

With all the parking meters around town, I was surprised that I didn't find more coinage~but am guessing that with the switch to card payment, there's not as much cash used.  And. When it's 110?  Yeah, that whole hot coin issue is back.

My bribe/pre-reward for shoving all my boxes into a truck/storage tomorrow.  Ugh.  May they only be stored for a brief amount of time.  And may it be a drive move~the thunderheads are piling up as I type.

Friday, August 18, 2017

watching it play out

Oh, it's still summer and for now?  Am not headed back into a classroom, but with many pencils and notebooks are sale, and once in awhile, a crisp leaf to step upon~this seemed a fitting poem for today.

Toward the end of August I begin to dream about fall, how
this place will empty of people, the air will get cold and
leaves begin to turn. Everything will quiet down, everything
will become a skeleton of its summer self. Toward

the end of August I get nostalgic for what's to come, for
that quiet time, time alone, peace and stillness, calm, all
those things the summer doesn't have. The woodshed is
already full, the kindling's in, the last of the garden soon

will be harvested, and then there will be nothing left to do
but watch fall play itself out, the earth freeze, winter come.

~David Budbill

Thursday, August 17, 2017


Lovely signage in someone's front yard

TIL is the acronym for "today I learned"~am sure that I learned a lot of this when I toured Philadelphia and learned about the Continental Congress gatherings.  But, on my history outing to Lee Fendall House

I learned about the Lee lineage in Virginia.  I won't repeat it all here, but a fun factoid is that two Lee brothers help write and were the only brothers who signed the Declaration of Independence~one of whom was Robert E. Lee's father. 

I also learned about the telescope architecture that was popular in Baltimore in the late 1700s and in which style this house was built.   The history of the house was fascinating and complicated, as was the Lee family.  Have to wonder what "Immigrant Richard" as they called the first one here in the 1600s would think of this week's news.

Some sparkly dew drops~or, maybe the grass is sweating too? 

It seems that canned food was just hitting the States in the mid-1800s and if you wanted to prove that you were wealthy enough to buy~say, condensed milk~but didn't want the goopy, ugly can at the table. Voila~this nifty china cover in which to place your can.

They still use this piano for Christmas events/parties.  There was the exact same model in one of my studios in Austin.

Back for lemongrass pho at the same cafe.

Just a pretty walkway with flickering gas lamps.   Really wanting it to storm and break this drippy air.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

arts & such

Not gonna lie~it's a tough week.  All this applying and waiting and wafting and unsureness.  So, today I took myself on a field trip that's been on my list since I moved last summer. 

It's an incredible venue for all kinds of visual artists to have work space and sales galleries. They also offer all manner of art classes, field trip projects, and community events.  All the outside studios are right along the Potomac~imagine the light is wonderful for all kinds of art projects. 

Super hot and sticky~relearning my Southern walking style.

This town is so charming~I didn't get much time to explore when I was here with the Austin 7th graders a year ago.   So, I very much enjoyed just wandering around at my leisure.

Found a lovely Vietnamese cafe and stopped to have a sandwich so good (lemongrass "chicken") that I will be back to try other vege options on their menu.

City Hall.

Yes, that's a street. 

For my Hobbit friends.

If you squint through the haze, you can see the Capitol. 

The Wilson Memorial Bridge~heading into Maryland.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

feeling blessed, no hashtag

Continuing my summer wanderings by getting dropped at the Metro yesterday to be picked up by my friend who had my car for the summer.  As we're driving back to Tappytown, I hear a weird rattling noise.  (While this has been a stellar car, I've had a lot of issues with the front left wheel area.)  My friend said that she hadn't really noticed.  The sound was strong enough that it was freaking me out (what IS IT with moving and car troubles???)

We made safely back.  Spent a lovely evening with my former neighbors~grilling and indulging in ice cream. Was bummed that it was cloudy/raining so I didn't see any of the Perseids.

Was supposed to load a moving truck at 10, but the guy was running late.  He finally showed up in a mini-van~which gave me heart palpitations.  Seems he was only coming by to see my stuff and to give me an estimate.  

The move has been postponed~hopefully tomorrow.  Which is good as it's rainy and drippy~really don't want to put my stuff in storage while damp.  But.  The real blessing is that I was able to get my car to the shop to discover that my 3-quarts of oil holding car was down by OVER 2.5 quarts and the bolt was shot that holds the oil pan in.  Everything is fixed and running well and I am limp with relief.

And now I'm tucked safely in my place for the evening~bonus points if you can tell me in whose (TV) style I am eating salad!!!

Random lollipop at a counter today made me super happy.  And treats for the rest of the evening.  And, as Anne-with-an-e says "tomorrow is another day."