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Poem for Tuesday and Mount Vernon Lambs [Apr. 25th, 2017|12:34 am]
Open )

Monday was chaos all over the area. While we were doing morning chores and getting ready to pick up Adam at the University of Maryland to take him to his pediatrician for the physical he needs to intern at NIH this summer -- he's staying with the pediatrician through college since his health and immunization records are there -- a massive fire broke out in a building under construction in College Park, closing several major roads to campus and causing afternoon classes to be canceled. Plus one of the lenses in my glasses popped out. We avoided most of the traffic by meeting Adam at his dorm, and we stopped at the optometrist who is fortunately near the pediatrician to get the glasses repaired, so at least that worked out.

Adam needed tetanus and hepatitis boosters, the new meningitis vaccine, and a TB test, so his arm (and probably the rest of him) is sure to be sore tomorrow, but he got everything done though he has to go back and get the TB test examined on Wednesday, which is fine because he needs to be at NIH for an orientation and that's on this side of the Beltway. We came back to our house to rest and recharge our phones, then met my parents for dinner at BGR before driving Adam back to College Park, where the fire department is hoping to stabilize what's left of the new building so it doesn't collapse entirely. We came home for Supergirl and Billions, plus an Orioles win and a Nationals loss. From Mount Vernon last weekend:

Lambs at Mount Vernon )
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Poem for Sunday and Cavaillon Synagogue [Apr. 23rd, 2017|12:34 am]
Vos que.m semblatz dels corals amadors )

Our power came back on some time between 2 and 4 a.m. so we woke up with it working, which was lovely! But we still had to throw out a lot of what we had in the refrigerator, so we knew we had to go food shopping. We were going to go to the park at Lake Frank and then to Roots Market, but it was raining so hard that we skipped the park, and we stopped at Giant as well to get cat treats. I didn't get to walk until dinnertime when the rain finally let up. Our evening entertainment consisted of Doctor Who (good) and Class (not really doing it for me).

Here are some photos of Cavaillon Synagogue, which now also houses the Judeo-Comtadin Museum. The building's interior was designed by Catholic architects for the Jews who were allowed to live and worship in the region outside of the earlier ghettos, where they had been kept as an example of the miserable fate befalling all non-Christians, as long as they also went to church on Sundays. The dark lower room with the matzah oven was the women's worship space, while the rococo sanctuary above was reserved for men. I meant to post these for Passover but I forgot:

The Old Synagogue )
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Greetings from Sugarloaf [Apr. 22nd, 2017|12:48 am]
We're at my parents' house watching the end of the Nationals-Mets game after The Americans because our entire neighborhood has no electricity. Earlier, after Maddy left for California in the morning, there was a thunderstorm that was relatively minor where we were, upcounty by Sugarloaf Mountain, but it caused a lot of damage near home, including trees down all through Cabin John Park and another across the main road to our development, taking the power lines with it.

We had a nice afternoon on the Countryside Artisans' spring tour at Heron's Meadow Farm (a tea farm that also sells pottery), Something Earthy pottery studio (where I was bitten by a chicken), Art of Fire (glassblowing and Renfaire artisan sales), and Dancing Leaf Farm (handmade wool), plus a stop at Petco for kitty litter. We were going to go food shopping but learned we had no power, so we had dinner with my parents and are now trying to do our computer chores from here!

Countryside Artisans )
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Poem for Friday and Brookside Tulips [Apr. 21st, 2017|12:01 am]
Living With Pain )

After morning rain, Thursday felt like summer -- temperature around 80, plenty of humidity -- though we still have so many dogwood and azaleas in bloom that it looked like spring. Paul had an interview, so I took Maddy to the doctor and realized driving home that if my leg kept seizing up, I wouldn't be able to hit the brake, so I called the doctor and demanded to be seen that afternoon (which meant the P.A. on that kind of notice).

Before that appointment, though, Denise came over and we discussed the world and happier thoughts while shopping at Forever 21 and playing with cats. I had not seen her in ages so that was lovely! When she left, I went to the doctor and convinced the P.A. that Advil was not doing it for me, though I am very claustrophobic and the earliest Open MRI appointment is mid-May, so I have to decide whether pain overrules fear of being crushed.

Maddy is going to California for a few days very early Friday morning, so we had Tofurkey ham with her for dinner and took her to the mall to pick up some movie posters for a friend of hers. Since everything we watch is in reruns, we put on a couple of Bones episodes (still not even through season ten and I see what people mean about how gross the murders get). Here are some photos from our April trips to Brookside Gardens, all of which involved tulips:

Tulip Season )
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Poem for Thursday, Carderock, Designated Survivor [Apr. 20th, 2017|12:01 am]
Forty-Seven Minutes )

My week is on a repeat cycle of complaining about my back, going to take a walk somewhere scenic to make my back feel better and enjoy the spring, more complaining about my back, and more walking in the neighborhood to make my back feel better and see flowers and bunnies. Today the walk was at Carderock, mostly on the canal side rather than climbing over the rocks by the river, where we saw frogs, turtles, ducks, and -- far down the hillside -- bluebells:

Just Below the Falls )

Maddy had a friend over after work and went out to dinner with him; the rest of us, except the cats, had pizza and watched Designated Survivor, starting by catching up from last week before the new one came on (I like the wannabe La Femme Nikita parts a lot better than the wannabe West Wing parts). In good news, the Capitals, Wizards, Nationals, and Orioles all won, so no one has broken local hearts yet, not even in the playoffs!
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Poem for Wednesday and McCrillis Flowers [Apr. 19th, 2017|12:12 am]
Thirst )

The weather on Tuesday was insanely beautiful, clear and not too warm. After morning chores, I had lunch with my neighbor Carole at Zoe's Kitchen, and though we considered doing some shopping afterward, I'd been talking about local flowers so we decided instead to go to McCrillis Gardens to walk. (Right now my back is happier walking than doing anything else!) The azaleas aren't quite at peak, but there's lots of color, and there are also a lot of camellias, dogwood, and what's left of the bluebells:

More McCrillis )

My afternoon was not exciting beyond picking up niece and taking her to the post office to mail her taxes before the deadline. I took another walk in the neighborhood to make my back feel better after sitting and saw a bunny and deer; my mother stopped by and we walked and saw another bunny. In the evening we watched the last episode of Broadchurch, which was much more satisfying than the finale of the second season, and Agents of SHIELD, which feels as out of ideas as every other ABC show I watch.
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Poem for Tuesday, Frantz, Damp Brookside [Apr. 18th, 2017|12:32 am]
Advice to Myself )

Cheryl came to visit on Monday, braving rain and traffic to get here, so that we could have lunch at Cava and go see Frantz with Paul. It remains excellent on a second viewing, in some ways more so after knowing where the unexpected things will appear. By the time we were finished, the rain had stopped, so we went to Brookside Gardens to see the azaleas, tulips, wisteria, turtles, geese, snakes, and amphibians (spot the hiding toad in the pics):

We came home late in the afternoon and watched some Robin of Sherwood -- apparently I am the last person in the world to figure out that the Mark Ryan on the show is also the Mark Ryan who created the fantastic Greenwood Tarot, though I can't figure out which deck was used in "The Inheritance"! Then Cheryl had to go home, so Paul and I caught up on Billions (so much ugliness) and Once Upon a Time (if only Charming and Snow could have stayed asleep!).

Post-Rain Brookside )
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Poem for Monday and Easter Parks [Apr. 17th, 2017|12:35 am]
On the Fifth Day )

I hope everyone who was celebrating had a nice Easter! After dropping Maddy off at work, we went to see if we could see lambs, but we struck out everywhere: we thought Mount Vernon might take too long with our backs bothering us, the Agricultural History Farm Park only had goats and chickens (plus cats), Butler's Orchard was closed though we stopped to see the Davis Mill ruins on the way, and it started to drizzle as we were walking around Lake Whetstone before we got to the fence overlooking the farm with sheep though there were lots of turtles and geese with nests. Even local bunnies were enjoying the spring flowers:

Flowers and Animals )

We had dinner with my parents (and Maddy, who was let off work early since so few people were going to the movies), then we came home and watched the Grammy Awards salute to the Bee Gees with Barry Gibb, John Travolta, Celine Dion, Keith Urban, et al, which was a lot of fun. Afterward we watched this week's Elementary, which was okay not great, then Last Week Tonight in which John Oliver broke down the French election for US viewers, which was terrific and stressful. Now we're watching the Fifth Doctor on public television, which looks very '70s. The Orioles and Nationals both won and the Wizards won their playoff game!
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Poem for Sunday, McCrillis Gardens, Garrett Park, Doctor Who [Apr. 16th, 2017|12:16 am]
Tsutsuji )

Whatever is going on with my back is driving me insane -- I am fine walking, I am fine standing, but when I lie down it feels like my leg is falling asleep and when I sit my entire right side hurts. The good news is that I'm getting a lot of exercise, but Paul has the opposite with his sciatica (fine sitting, in pain walking) so we are largely incompatible at present! The weather was so nice that we compromised and went to see azaleas where we could alternately walk and sit, first at McCrillis Gardens, then in Garrett Park:

Azaleas All Around )

It was a terrible baseball day in the area as the Nationals and Orioles both lost, so it was a good thing we didn't stay in to watch them. When we came home, I did some jewelry repair and repurposing, then we had dinner and watched Doctor Who (love the new companion and all the shout-outs to old Doctors, wasn't impressed with the actual story which felt very derivative) and Class (lots of Types, can't tell yet whether there will be actual characters and again the story felt derivative, like the Doctor meets Xavier's School).
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Poem for Saturday, Brookside Pokemon, Easter Movies [Apr. 15th, 2017|12:33 am]
Wayside Flowers )

Friday was a gorgeous day. We dropped the van off early for servicing when we took Maddy to work, then we had an early lunch and went to Brookside Gardens, which was having a Pokemon Go event with lures on all the Pokestops, stretch bracelets for guests, and a cosplay contest. We went to see the tulips in full bloom, the azaleas coming into flower, the water snakes, and the Phanpys by the Japanese tea house:

Pokemon in the Park )

We stopped at the mall to pick up Maddy and I got free samples from L'Occitane en Provence, then we all went to my parents' house for dinner while the Nationals and eventually the Orioles both won! When we got home, Maddy went out with friends from work, and, since it was Good Friday, we watched our two favorite cinematic versions of the Passion play: Jesus Christ Superstar and Life of Brian.
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