Tuesday, March 20, 2018

let it snow! let it snow!

Is not quite the song I thought I'd be singing on this first day of spring! But, I am safely tucked in after being out/about all day on sleet-filled roads. This weather is truly messing up our finals schedule.

But, it is what it is. And while I would have enjoyed this more last November, I will take a cosy, quiet day any time of the year.

Monday, March 19, 2018


I now have genuine Arabic coffee to go with all those dates (fruit, not men~sigh). We had a lively class today~there was playful punching going on during our vocab game. We'll see if this helps with word retention!

Sunday, March 18, 2018


Tough choices~I would say if one choose #9, many of the other things can be purchased.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

top o' the mornin'

No leprechauns seen on this morning's walk, but glimmers of gold were found.

May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back. 
May the sun shine warm upon your face; 
the rains fall soft upon your fields 
and until we meet again, 
may God hold you in the hollow of His hand.

Friday, March 16, 2018


After the last discussion of adding cheese to dates to cut the sweetness...went to a tutoring session where I had dates from Medina~which come stuffed with a cardamom seed. 

Today was a field trip day to DC~I woke in time to see the sun rise. Got ready and looked out to see my car coated in snow and pounding flakes. But I went over to the school anyway to see who showed up. We ended up heading out and by the time we got off the Metro, it's was brightly sunny.

After a nosh, I guided everyone to see Ms. Julia's kitchen. 

Her medal of honor from France. 

Replication of a ceiling aboard the Titanic. 

Trying to get one group to hold still long enough to pose for a photo. 


They really enjoyed seeing all the White House china sets over the centuries and the First Ladies dresses. 
Fresh Ginger soda

They decided that they were having such a good time that we were going to extend the field trip and head to Georgetown. I was thrilled to end up having a late lunch at The Founding Farmers.

The table was overflowing with fresh, local, organic foods.

Since I'm not teaching tomorrow, I inhaled this pan of roasted garlic~ought to be healthy for a month at least!

As we left, the students gifted me with a rose quartz bonsai tree to celebrate the upcoming cherry blossom festival. A truly lovely day of cross-cultural connection and laughter.

Thursday, March 15, 2018


While I appreciate the beauty of a good snowfall and enjoy some crisp days (in November/December), I am just DONE with this frigid wind and temps in the 20s.

Aside from this gripe~it was a very long, but good day of teaching.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

the bliss of a bargain

As it's Pi Day, really wanted a pie but didn't want an entire one. Luckily, my local market had teeny ones for sale for $1!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

joys of a random Tuesday

As a guest, I've been sent out from visits with all kinds of goodies and leftovers~however, I have never had a host whip out a disposable coffee cup before. A festive one, no less!

Since teaching at ILA, my date consumption has sky rocketed. Glad to know they have benefits besides all the sugars they provide.

Monday, March 12, 2018


You haven't lived until you've played Pictionary with adult ESL students. I'm never sure what students will get into, but boy. This group went crazy for this game. There was a lot of yelling and laughter today.

I find that I am admiring the sense of community that the Arabic students embody. It's Monday? Let's gather and have cookies and coffee. Someone returned to school after being absent with the flu? Let's have red velvet cake and coffee. Always with the gathering. Always with the conversations. The edges of my class are becoming fluid~one doesn't just begin lecturing/assignments when the clock hits the hour.  One must spend a few moments in conversation and then! Vocab may commence.

And the snow hasn't hit, so music classes are still on for tonight. Whew.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

bits of health

With the wrenching time change, at least there's the upside that it's light enough when I get off work to go for a walk.

Spent some quality time yesterday simply being still. Me & my frogs. 

Some yumminess from Trader's.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

if winter comes...

Hard to believe it's been a year since I was lolling about in the tropical warmth of Costa Rica.  Hoping we don't get a snow storm this week and that spring may truly kick in. Ya know~it'd be a nice change to sneeze over pollen instead of forced air heating. :)

Friday, March 9, 2018


I don't know how you celebrate an interview gone well, but since the campus I was at this morning is next to the zoo~that is where I went.

SO glad that I did, otherwise I would not have known this helpful tip!

Since I only saw one elephant out of their herd, I couldn't identify which one she was. She was teeny, but her eyes looked old. 

No wild Giuseppe this time~am sure his cohort was pleased to be able to eat in peace. (Look at my blog from five years ago for the full back story.)

Love lemurs.

And this darling little meerkat made us all laugh as he raced around and posed.

I did not know there is a species of monkey that prefers to eat 'shrooms, but these Colobines are fungi eaters. 

The pandas were nowhere to be seen~maybe too cold? But the bamboo walk was serene. 

And since it was a sunny day, and my dream career is to be a flanuer, decided to walk all the way to Dupont Circle. Walked across the W. H. Taft bridge which is guarded by two lions at each end.

An interesting gazebo perched on the edge of a five-story building. 

Smoky paprika-rich lasagna for lunch.

Dupont Circle, minus the fountain flowing.

And a bakery treat for tomorrow's breakfast.

Happy Friday y'all. Don't forget that we lose an hour of slumber this weekend. 

Thursday, March 8, 2018

just a quiet day

Decent sleep. Delicious miso for breakfast. Light traffic. Library visit. Exam proctored AND graded! Tank of gas in the car. Trader's stop. Long, sunny walk. Texts with friends. Lesson plans done. Just a normal day with many minute pleasures.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

breaking bread~quite literally

It's been a day of deliciousness~from Arabic coffee and dates with my tutee (having fresh dates is a revelation), 

to these honeycomb rolls. These lovely little bites of dough can be filled with chocolate or cream cheese and dusted with cinnamon and/or sesame seeds. OR! Filled with feta and dusted with thyme and sesame seeds. We had quite a discussion on which was better. 

I had these legemmat in December~fried dough is always tasty.

This is Basbossah~a sort of baklava dish with condensed milk and walnuts~gooey goodness.

Thankfully, we were balanced out with salmon and potatoes ala Kazakhstan. 

Although we had several students absent, we had many others wandering in from other classrooms. Everyone decided it was an excellent class and we need to do another food day around the time of the final.

Bon appetit and mangia!