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The Thanksgivings )

Wednesday arrived, and with it the snow that had been forecast, though we ended up with nothing sticking on the roads and only a dusting on the grass -- enough for my neighbors' kids to build a very small snowman with grape eyes and a baby carrot nose. At 11 a.m., Paul and I went to College Park to pick up first Adam at his dorm, then Daniel at the lab where he works before stopping to pick up his clothes -- he got another extremely impressive post-graduation job offer today! -- which required that we drive on the Beltway during the worst of the storm. It was very pretty and I was very glad not to be behind the wheel!



We made it home with everyone and had a late lunch together except for Adam who had to eat everything in his fridge before the dorms were locked for the long weekend. Then we watched Dark City while Paul finished work and I folded laundry, since the kids had not seen the movie, and I took a walk to see the snow. Adam had demanded "non-diner" food for dinner, meaning not bland, so we had Indian stuff. After that, we watched Monty Python Live : One Down, Five to Go, which none of us had seen -- it's hilarious and has so many of their best moments -- and A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, which all of us have seen every year for ages!
littlereview: (green little review)
Thanks )

We took the van in for scheduled service, so [profile] apaulled worked from home, and after lunch we went to pick it up behind a crowded mall where everyone apparently went to start pre-Black Friday shopping since I have gotten emails from everyone from Macy's to Kohl's to Michael's telling me that I can get Black Friday sale prices NOW NOW NOW. (If I owe you something from the post office, it's going to have to wait till I ship out holiday stuff because I could not face the mob in the parking lot today.) Have some Huntley Meadows animals from apple season instead:


Autumn Homestead )


Again it was a beautiful day, slightly cooler than Monday but still gorgeous to be outside -- I saw three bunnies and four deer in our neighborhood, including the young stag. On Wednesday, of course, we are being threatened with anywhere from one to eight inches of snow depending on which way the storm tracks. We are supposed to pick up the kids from College Park around lunchtime so we are hoping the weather cooperates. TV tonight was The Flash, and we watched The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill but Came Down a Mountain which we had never seen and found very amusing!
littlereview: (little review)
Incident )

I hadn't read that poem in years when I found it the other day while looking for a poem about Baltimore to post with pictures of Federal Hill. I'm not sure which is more depressing: that it was written in 1925 and still comes up as one of the most famous poems to mention the city, or that I could easily believe this is not a poem of "old Baltimore."

In happier Baltimore news, I just watched the Ravens beat the Saints. I feel vaguely guilty watching this instead of leaving the news on, but there's not much I can do tonight, now that I've fired off my email to Governor Nixon asking him to protect the lives of those he serves by not authorizing the use of rubber bullets against peaceful protesters.

It was a beautiful day, no rain after the morning, temperatures in the 70s during the afternoon and still in the 60s, though we've been warned to expect snow on Wednesday when everyone's trying to get home for Thanksgiving. When I wasn't doing work, I was out enjoying it with the deer and bunnies. Here's a heron from Sunday at Huntley Meadows:


Seven Ways of Looking at a Heron )
littlereview: (jewitch)
Dusting )

I sorted beads and reorganized craft stuff downstairs and have no idea how it got to be nearly midnight so I shall keep this short. We had a nice low-key Sunday; got leaves off the deck, read a decent amount of the paper, then after lunch we went to Huntley Meadows, where the amphibians and reptiles were hibernating for the season but we saw lots of evidence of beaver activity, plus little fish and lots of waterfowl:


Wintry Meadows )


We stopped at CVS (had planned Trader Joe's but found out my mother had already gotten the tofurkey we were going to buy), came home for dinner, and caught up on the Once Upon a Time mid-season finale a week late, still wishing Snow would shut up but I love that it was all about women saving and obsessing over women with the men largely sidelined, even if I wanted more Swan Queen, less Frozen! And no pre-Thanksgiving snow!
littlereview: (green little review)
'An Insistent and Eager Harmoniousness to Things' )

Saturday felt more like fall than winter, for which I am grateful because I am not ready for winter, even though the light doesn't start coming back till the solstice and I am very ready for that. We had a fairly quiet morning, then after lunch we went to Blockhouse Point along the C&O Canal, since we had never hiked there before, and then to Pennyfield Lock, so we could walk along the Potomac River. The sky was gorgeous and we saw a surprising number of animals given the cold -- lots of songbirds, herons, a raccoon, a bird of prey that may be a juvenile osprey or broad-shouldered hawk, plus bunnies when we got home:


Pennyfield Lock )


We came home to watch the Maryland-Michigan game, which I did not have high hopes that the Terps would win since it was in Ann Arbor. But the Terps played well (plus the Wolverines made a couple of big mistakes) and Maryland won 23-16! After that delightful result, we had ravioli soup for dinner, and our neighbor brought us chocolate-covered key lime pie from the restaurant where she was having dinner in Alexandria after I begged her on Facebook. At that point I was in the mood for something British, so we watched Colin Firth in My Life So Far, which can't quite decide whether it wants to be a comedy or a farce but is still enjoyable.
littlereview: (trek)
A Conceit )

Went out to California Pizza Kitchen with my parents, had hummus and flatbread and everything was very good, but my stomach is really angry at me right now and I'm not sure whether there's a connection. I had a pretty quiet Friday otherwise: posted a review of Deep Space Nine's intense "Covenant", talked online with both kids about school and work stuff, had a lovely unexpected visit from Adam's high school girlfriend who's back in town for Thanksgiving, we took a walk and saw bunnies!

After dinner Paul and I came home and watched Sweet Revenge, in which Sam Neill, Helena Bonham Carter, Rupert Graves and many other usual British suspects scheme against one another with entertaining results. It is [personal profile] artemis_prime's birthday as well as her husband's, though I didn't feel up to going out for their party and am going to crash early for a weekend night. Meanwhile here are some photos from Sunspots Glassblowing Studios in Staunton, which we visited a couple of weekends ago:


Shaping Glass )
littlereview: (jewitch)
The Moment of the Fall )

Thursday, thankfully, was warmer than Wednesday! I did laundry and chores in the morning, and after lunch, Paul and I picked up Daniel from College Park and drove him to Baltimore for a job interview. He was already in a good mood because he got a great offer from the company at which he interviewed last weekend, and he is talking to another big company next week. The Baltimore company is in the Federal Hill neighborhood, overlooking the harbor on one side and the stadiums on the other, so while Daniel was interviewing, Paul and I visited the Cross Street Market and walked to Federal Hill Park, which has great views of the Inner Harbor and has both Civil War and War of 1812 monuments, plus a playground with a miniature B&O Roundhouse, USS Constellation, and Signal Hill Tower cannons.


Above the Harbor )


We wandered a bit in Federal Hill's shopping district -- lots of restaurants and bars targeted to sports fans, quite a bit of furniture and antiques -- until Daniel was finished, then we drove him back to College Park and took him to Azteca for Mexican food for dinner. (Adam was on the way to a formal with his girlfriend, so we didn't get to see him.) We ran into lots of traffic driving home due to a Beltway accident, but we made it in time for Gracepoint, which is going to make me SO mad if it doesn't keep Broadchurch's ending in big strokes even though the producers said they weren't going to, and Elementary, which had such a strange open ending that we thought maybe the episode had cut off prematurely after starting late because the network decided to show Obama's speech on immigration.
littlereview: (photos)
Summer in Winter in Summer )

It felt just as cold out as we were warned it would on Wednesday, though in the DC area it wasn't nearly as bad as a lot of places north of us -- we did not get snow! I did a bunch of work in the morning, then went to the mall because Macy's was having a big one-day sale (they will undoubtedly have others before Black Friday but I figured the earlier I got in, the more stuff they would have on the 80% rack and the shorter the checkout lines would be). I was there for an insane number of hours but I got two dresses and three shirts at a ridiculous discount.

We had ravioli and meatballs in awesome butternut squash sauce for dinner, then I showed Paul The Colbert Report from the night before last with U2's lost luggage and the bear sex (heh) before this week's The 100 (women are still kicking ass, Marcus Kane is still hot) and Nashville (women are still compromising but singing much better songs than the men, even on the Fake CMAs). Here are some flowers from the conservatory at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden last month, since a lot of us could use some color if not sunshine right now!


Fall Blooms )
littlereview: (get critical)
Boy and Egg )

Poem because I needed this today. We were warned that miserable cold weather was coming, and although it wasn't too bad at midday when I walked outside, by evening it was below freezing and now it's miserable. Fortunately I was inside for most of the afternoon -- I wanted to move some craft stuff out from under my bed into the drawer next to my desk, which I thought would be easy because I just had to clear out all the ancient floppy discs and old versions of Windows and Roxio, but it ended up taking several hours with cats very distressed that I had piles of things where they wanted to prowl.

We had dinner with [personal profile] wolfshark, [personal profile] artemis_prime, and our menfolk at Lebanese Taverna, which (mostly) got my meal right this time and the lebneh was great. Plus I stopped in Tiara Galleries, which has all their Brighton charms and beads 50% off! Tuesday is a big genre night, so we watched The Flash (okay, female characters still need work), Agents of SHIELD (better than last season, but still not great), and Forever (thank you ABC for keeping this one for the season!). Here is Staunton's Fire & Rescue Station 1, which contains the Jumbo Museum 1911 Fire Engine and has a 9/11 memorial:


Fire and Rescue )
littlereview: (jewitch)
An Old Man's Winter Night )

I got to spend Monday with Cheryl just hanging out locally for the first time in a while, which was awesome for such a rainy, chilly day (Tuesday is supposed to be dryer but ridiculously cold for November, sigh). We went out for Indian food, then went to Washington Hebrew's holiday boutique, where we hung out with my mom who was volunteering, looked at lots of jewelry and accessories, and bumped into several people I've known for half my life.

Then we came back to my house to watch Sharpe's Enemy and Sharpe's Honour, since we'd put off watching the former till we also had time to watch the latter since the former has a very sad ending. We also watched a few Shoujo Cosette episodes -- she's a grownup now but still has saucer eyes! After Cheryl had to go home, Paul and I had dinner, talked Facebook with his father, and watched Sleepy Hollow which as always has awesome women.


Harpers Ferry Fall )
littlereview: (get critical)
Mannahatta )

Daniel had a big project to work on for a class, so we had a quiet Sunday hanging out at home watching football while he worked. We went out for Starbucks but that was all the excitement. The R-words played as badly as I could have hoped; by the end of the season, I'm hoping their name is such an embarrassment that they decide to change it for marketing reasons alone, since fairness to Native Americans seems not to matter to the owner.

Since Daniel hadn't seen my parents, we went over there for dinner, then drove him back to College Park so he could finish the project, which is due Monday. We came home to watch Worricker: Salting the Battlefield, which did not have as solid an ending as I had hoped, but the performances were smart enough that I didn't care. We're only two episodes behind now on Madam Secretary, which is excellent. Great Falls kayakers on Saturday:


Over the Falls )
littlereview: (green little review)
Tanka )

Saturday was as chilly as Friday but sunny and beautiful. We had a quiet morning doing household stuff, then had an early lunch and went to pick up Daniel from the airport after his interview in Madison (where it was cold and snowy, but they fed him well and he loved the campus). Because it was a gorgeous day, we went from Dulles to Great Falls, Virginia, where the water was surprisingly low but there were not a lot of people and we had gorgeous views of the river.


Great Falls )


Daniel had a big homework project to work on when we came home, so we had Mexican food for dinner and hung out watching the Maryland-Michigan State game. Suffice to say that things did not end well for the Terrapins, though they didn't play terribly, just blew a couple of big plays that they really needed to beat a ranked team. Adam was at the game and posted a picture of himself with UMD president Wallace Loh, who was apparently hanging out in the student section!
littlereview: (trek)
Frost at Midnight )

It was chilly but beautiful out on Friday -- sunny, still plenty of leaves, so it still feels like autumn despite the snow flurries we saw Thursday. I spent the morning working on a review of Deep Space Nine's "The Siege of AR-558 and the afternoon walking around the neighborhood enjoying the colors and talking to the deer (yes, my neighbors do think I'm crazy). Here are some autumn churchyard pics from Staunton a couple of weekends ago:


Staunton Churches )


We had dinner with my parents at their house, then came home and watched Page Eight, the prequel to Turks & Caicos, which we both really liked, since the end of the Worricker trilogy, Salting The Battlefield, is on Sunday. I loved the first one, too -- no Helena Bonham Carter, but Rachel Weisz and Judy Davis make up for that, and I love that the focus is on great dialogue and quiet political menace rather than major violence like so many recent spy movies.
littlereview: (Default)
Between Stations )

Daniel has an interview in Madison on Thursday, so Paul worked half a day so we could see Daniel off together at the airport. Then we drove through beautiful Virginia wine country to the West Virginia border and spent the afternoon in Harpers Ferry, where we had lunch and enjoyed a very pretty if chilly few hours. The entire downtown area of Harpers Ferry is a historic reenactment of how it looked around the Civil War era, with several small museums and exhibits plus several reconstructed shops kept by the National Park Service, as well John Brown's fort (actually a fire house) and the foundations and outlines of many other buildings used by the Union and Confederate soldiers who came through the town.

We visited the confectionery, clothing store, inn, and bakery, and we walked around the church and blacksmith shop, both of which were closed (we were practically the only tourists in the town). On the side streets, there are also some nice boutiques and little restaurants, some of which we stopped in before we followed the Appalachian Trail to the pedestrian bridge that goes over the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah. Then we walked along the river trail to the mill ruins, where we saw deer and geese in the woods. We took the bus back to the park service parking lot as snow began to fall, and though we had thought about stopping at Sugarloaf Mountain on the way home, we found it closed amidst flurries.


West Virginia Autumn )


We stopped at Lewis Orchard for locally made cheddar cheese on the way home, then ate that with pumpkin soup and pita for dinner. Even though we are not regular Supernatural viewers, we have seen all the meta episodes, which have been fantastic, so we watched the hilarious 200th episode, "Fan Fiction" (if you are at all familiar with the fandom, you do not have to be up on the show's mythology to howl through the entire thing). Then we watched Gracepoint, which I like best when it hews close to Broadchurch -- I enjoy the similarities and differences in Tennant's performance -- and Elementary, which I like best when the character stuff is nothing I saw coming, so there was some really nice stuff this week.
littlereview: (get critical)
Amorosa Erranza )

I did a lot of running around on Wednesday, but it was a good day. Paul worked from home so he could start early and take part in an online company meeting. I did work in the morning, then met my friend Linda, whom I have known since elementary school -- the one whose family throws the Super Bowl party we go to every year -- for lunch at Ted's 355 Diner. We both had eggs and hash browns and talked about our college freshmen (hers is at Georgetown), our pets, visiting our extended families, and making photo books from our travels.

Then I came home, folded laundry, and went with Paul to pick up older son in College Park because he's flying to Madison for a job interview on Thursday despite being very busy with classes. We stopped at the mall to pick up his suit, which was being altered, then we came home for dinner, Nature's beavers episode, The 100 (whose women continue to be awesome), and Nashville (whose women continue to make dumb decisions). From the adopters-only opening of Penguin Coast at the Maryland Zoo this summer, happy penguins in their big new home:


Penguin Colony )
littlereview: (green little review)
Her Feet Were Bare )

My Tuesday was no more exciting than my Monday, very routine except for exceptionally lovely November weather that got into the high 60s -- the bunnies enjoyed it, the chipmunks enjoyed it, the crickets enjoyed it and were singing after dark, which made me so happy...in fact, I think everyone enjoyed it but my cats, because the squirrels and birds were enjoying it all over our deck, and the cats couldn't get them. Other than chores, I spent most of my day working on our family's 2015 calendar (theme: Outer Banks trip), since Shutterfly was not only having a 40% off sale but offered an extra 20% today with free shipping and I wanted to get the order in by midnight.

We watched the beginning of the Concert for Valor but stopped to watch Agents of SHIELD, which had terrible dialogue and way too few women besides Special Snowflake Skye, and I was already frustrated because I had been really tempted to watch Supernatural's 200th episode, a.k.a. "Fan Fiction," because I have never seen a musical episode that I have not loved, whether it was Buffy's spectacular "Once More With Feeling" or Xena's less spectacular "The Bitter Suite." Then we watched Forever which I am so glad has been picked up for the entire season, and which had Jane Seymour, even if the BDSM storyline had its flaws. National Arboretum autumn bonsai:


Color in Miniature )
littlereview: (get critical)
Insect Haiku )

I did not do anything worth reporting on Monday -- it was all chores. The weather was beautiful, at least, and for the first time in ages I saw five neighborhood bunnies when I was out walking (Paul saw one too when he got home, munching right in front of our house, though that bunny had hopped away by the time I got there). The sunsets this fall have been amazing and tonight's was no exception, though I hate how early they're arriving. Are those multi-spectrum lights used to treat seasonal affective disorder safe for people with family tendencies to get skin cancer?

We have mutually agreed to give up Gotham -- maybe someday it will get good, but right now it's both violent and sexually exploitative of women -- so instead we watched the pilot of Madam Secretary, which I loved. Then we watched Sleepy Hollow, in which this week Crane got his pop culture digs in about reality TV and Katrina and Abbie were generally awesome -- how come the women on the supernatural show are more believable than women on so many "realistic" shows? Here is Bao Bao at the National Zoo last summer, with her mom trying to persuade her to come down from a tree:


Panda in a Tree )
littlereview: (jewitch)
Poem for Leigh Hunt )

We had a quiet Sunday mostly doing chores with Daniel, who has a set of job interviews in Wisconsin next week and had to get his suit tailored and look for a new pair of Dockers to wear. (His brand new electric razor is not working, which means that has to be replaced ASAP too.) Since it was gorgeous out and he needs driving practice to get his license, we also went to Carderock near sunset and walked along the canal as the sky turned pink:


By the River in Autumn )


We had leftover Chinese food from my parents on Friday for dinner, then we drove Daniel back to College Park, stopping at Adam's dorm to drop off his new bank card and lots of leftover Halloween candy from us and my parents. We watched Once Upon a Time, which was kind of after-school-special-y, then Worricker: Turks & Caicos, which was awesome in pretty much every way and we hadn't even seen the prequel -- this week!
littlereview: (jewitch)
A Boat, Beneath a Sunny Sky )

We spent a pleasant, fairly low-key day in Hanover with Paul's parents, whom we last saw under fairly stressful circumstances after Molly's funeral, so it was nice to spend time doing happy things. We brought Daniel and went to lunch at the Amish Market, where we actually spent quite a bit of time not only eating artisan pizza (I had squash, mozzarella, walnuts, and raisins on mine) but looking at crafts and tasting locally made cheese and jams, plus wine (below see Gettysburg Winery's Tears of Gettysburg and Rebel Red, sold as a pair in Civil War packaging), plus we stopped at the Utz Factory store on the way back because holiday cheese balls and chocolate pretzels have arrived!


Amish Market )


We also spent some time helping my in-laws get onto Facebook, since most of their extended family uses it now and they want to read the posts, and we also showed them how to scan photos in case they want to post any of those. When we left -- sadly after dark, since Hanover and Gettysburg have gorgeous leaves including a lot of red maple -- we came home for a light dinner after our big lunch before the season finale of Doctor Who, which left me with my jaw open and not in a good way (certainly not in the sobbing way it seems the writers were hoping for, though there were definitely gratuitous deaths). Graham Norton was less cracky even with Lena Dunham's nutty personal stories!
littlereview: (trek)
So We'll Go No More a Roving )

My Friday started out sort of boring -- I was writing a review of Deep Space Nine's "Once More Unto the Breach", a too-ponderous Klingon episode that holds my interest best during a near-throwaway scene between Kira and Ezri -- then Daniel texted me about his travel plans for out-of-state interviews and ended up deciding to come home for the weekend. So in the afternoon, Paul and I picked him up in College Park.

We took son to get his hair cut and bumped into my father in CVS next door (son recognized his license plate), then went to my parents' for dinner so Daniel could fill them in on his GRE and job plans. Afterward we caught up on two weeks' worth of missed Doctor Who, both of which I liked for a change (Red Riding Hood twist more fun than recent Once Upon a Time). Animals from the Countryside Artisans tour's Something Earthy:


Something Earthy )

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