littlereview: (jewitch)
May the God of Surprises Delight You )

I had a couple of fun hours on Wednesday to bolster me for the rest of the week. We picked up Adam in College Park, took him to Chipotle for lunch, then took him to the orthopedist for the last check-up for his no-longer-broken arm, at which he was given the go-ahead to play volleyball (not that not having the go-ahead stopped him from doing so the past few weeks). Before taking him back, we stopped at the bank so he could see about getting a credit card. It was not a long visit but it was nice to see him.

We spent the rest of the day getting ready to go to my sister-in-law's funeral on the west coast, which involved some shopping, getting haircuts, coordinating with my house-and-catsitter, parents, and neighbors (who are still dealing with the fallen tree), folding laundry, and packing. I expect to be scarce online for the next few days. Here are some photos from the nature center at Three Lakes Park in Richmond from the weekend before last, including the fish outside seen from the underwater viewing area.

Three Lakes Animals )
littlereview: (photos)
The Bride Tree Can't Be Read )

I am useless as a blogger this week, we spent today waiting for information that we finally got in the evening about funeral arrangements, now we are working on plane tickets and places to stay and making sure our house-and-catsitter is available. Fall leaves were lovely, we had a thunderstorm. Despite being an AL fan, I am glad the Giants won, because I read an article that said if the Giants win it will help the Democrats in the election, and it's way more important to me that the Republicans lose than that the Giants do.

We also watched Agents of SHIELD, which I guess was okay -- not as good as May Kicks Ass last week, but it's possible if I had seen that one tonight that I'd have been too distracted to appreciate it anyway. Forever was pretty mediocre despite a good guest cast, first time I've felt that way (comic books often make fans murderers! oh wait, and bad mothers often make their sons murderers!). Some nice calm photos from last July of Pride of Baltimore II visiting Piscataway Park, with Mount Vernon in the distance:

Pride in Piscataway )
littlereview: (jewitch)
Dear Bryan Wynter )

I had a Monday that consisted entirely of chores and just spent half an hour on the phone with Paul's brother David, so it's all a blur and I am completely out of sorts. He is waiting for my in-laws to arrive to plan the memorial service for Molly, so I am not sure when it will be or when we will be traveling. The company for which he is a vegan chef, Beyond Meat, has been incredibly supportive of him and his children, and it sounds like he and Molly have a great group of friends who have been wonderful.

The weather was beautiful, at least, and I did get to enjoy it both while out walking and while out talking to the neighbors about the fallen tree affecting three of our homes. We watched Gotham, which I've gone from not really liking to largely disliking, and Sleepy Hollow, which I always enjoy, but I couldn't really concentrate on either. Here are the residents at Caprikorn Farm whom I got to feed on the farm tour yesterday, though older son opted out of being climbed on by goat hooves:

Hungry Goats )
littlereview: (Default)
If I thought my Saturday was up-and-down with the tree falling, I don't even know how to describe my Sunday except as an absolutely awful day with a few minutes during which we forgot how awful things were. Someone very close to us died very suddenly, leaving young children and a distraught spouse and family, and I don't want to say more because I'm not sure whether all of this person's long-distance relatives know.

Since there wasn't much we could do from here, we went to Frederick County, which has stunning fall leaves in the state parks and was having its annual farm festival. We saw lots of Civil War sites as well as cows, goats, alpacas, chickens, pigs, donkeys, sheep and other animals, plus lots of pumpkins, Halloween decorations, and Middletown's famous scarecrow competition. Here are a few calming photos:

Around South Mountain )
littlereview: (jewitch)
Love )

I had a very strange, up-and-down Saturday. We had a quiet morning during which I tried to sort the bazillion photos I took at the zoo in Richmond on Friday, then we went out to lunch with my parents so they could see Daniel while he's home. While we were at the diner -- which I swear must be my bad-luck diner, since a lamppost once fell on my (new) van while I was there -- a tree in the common area of our neighborhood fell across our neighbor's backyard and crashed into ours. We were very lucky in that it mostly missed the (new) deck, but we were told by the neighborhood association that we're responsible for all damage and clean-up on our property...and our insurance company estimates that it could be $2000.

Since there wasn't anything we could do about the tree apart from cutting off the big branch pressing against the deck and sweeping the smaller branches and leaves off the deck, we went to Meadowside Nature Center in Rock Creek Park to enjoy the beautiful weather. Then we met [personal profile] vertigo66 and her family at her house, hung out for a while, and went to Tara Thai together for dinner, because green curry also improves nearly everything. It was very crowded and took a while for us to be seated and served, so we didn't get home till nearly 10 p.m., at which point we watched the Graham Norton Show with John Cleese and Taylor Swift before catching the late rerun of a moderately enjoyable Clara-centric Doctor Who.

Autumn in the Park )
littlereview: (photos)
Giraffes )

We spent a lovely day in Richmond, where there wasn't a cloud in the sky. After dropping Daniel off at Capital One's beautiful wooded campus, we went to the Metro Richmond Zoo, which was bigger than we expected and had many animals not in DC and Baltimore, including several endangered monkeys, lots of African and Asian mammals, and several baby giraffes and cheetahs. There's a tram ride through the African plains exhibit and a ski lift that loops over the entire zoo, both with great views, and visitors can feed several of the animals, including giraffes, camels, and parakeets!

Monkey )

We had plans to have dinner with Cheryl, but she had to work till early evening, so after Daniel was finished with his interviews, we went to the Pony Pasture Overlook on the James River to walk in the woods and along the water (see last photo above). There were geese, ducks, and cormorants in the water and lots of people walking dogs on the trails. Then we tracked down Cheryl at work and we all went to Mexico restaurant (again, since we all like it!) before driving home, where I belatedly remembered to post my review of Deep Space Nine's "Chrysalis" while watching the end of the Boise State game.
littlereview: (jewitch)
A Lane of Yellow Led the Eye )

We are taking older son to Richmond on Friday for a job interview -- technically we didn't have to go with him since they would have given him a train ticket, but we figured we'd go to parks and Civil War stuff and dinner with Cheryl, so we are driving him down. So I spent Thursday doing all the things I would otherwise have needed to get done Friday, like my DS9 review and folding laundry, before we went to pick up older son and drop off a package that came here for younger son.

Since younger son was too busy to have dinner with us, we came home and had ravioli with Dave's Gourmet butternut squash sauce which is the greatest pasta sauce ever (they make a masala marinara too that I have to try), then we watched this week's Gracepoint (which I must admit that I am enjoying, though I am really hoping they do NOT change the murderer from Broadchurch even if they change what happens to the central family -- it's too important in retrospect to so many other stories).

Monkey )
littlereview: (green little review)
The Rainbow )

It was a warm but miserable day in the DC area, with tornado warnings in three counties near me, including near College Park, and weather that alternated among steady rain, pouring down buckets, and raining so hard I had to get off the interstate because I couldn't see ten feet in front of me. The only bright spots were lunch with [personal profile] vertigo66 for her birthday at Tara Thai, where both the food and the company were very enjoyable -- we both had vegetarian pad see ew -- then a bit of shopping including a stop in Charming Charlie, where I used a coupon and the store's clearance sale to get a couple of bracelets for under a dollar. In late afternoon, my neighborhood finally got an actual bright spot, though you can see in the last photo how quickly the sun disappeared and it faded!

Five Minutes of Sun )

We watched Halloween specials, even though we own It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (uncut) on DVD and even though Toy Story of Terror is extremely derivative and not very fun apart from getting to hear most of the original voice actors reprise their roles (including Lori Alan, my high school classmate). Then we watched some of the Cardinals game to attempt to assuage our sadness over the Orioles loss to a team I will have to root for if the Giants make it to the World Series before Nashville, which is actually pretty good this season -- I like the music and the actresses, but sometimes it's very soapy, though I appreciate the handling of Juliette's pregnancy and discussions of Tennessee's onerous laws putting burdens on women seeking either abortions or adoption privacy.
littlereview: (Default)
Forth Into View, Random Warriors )

I had a very nice Tuesday -- chores in the morning, then lunch at Nordstrom Cafe with my friend Ellen, several hours of discussing mostly family and school stuff -- our older sons were in a baby group together, our younger children graduated from high school together -- with visits from my mother and her friend Margie, who also happened to be in the mall, and Anu, the mother of another of our younger childrens' classmates who was shopping when we left the cafe. I did no actual shopping in the mall!

It was a good TV night -- The Flash remains entertaining if quite retro, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. did my absolute favorite episode with lots and lots of May and some lovely Coulson moments, and I absolutely adore Forever which makes me so sad that it's highly unlikely to get picked up, while the annoying Gotham just got a full season. And by trying not to jinx the Orioles by watching, I spared myself the horror of watching them lose. From Three Lakes Park in Richmond:

Early Fall )
littlereview: (get critical)
Off Lows, Weakness Remains: Meditation #3 )

I had a boatload-of-chores Monday of the sort where the laundry is not even folded yet, though I did manage to pick up an awesome freecycled cookie cutter (Welsh dragon!) and stop at the mall to get a card I had to mail immediately. I'm trying to decide what to do with all the young children's books in the house -- some of them it took us years to track down for our kids, what if someday we have grandkids who would like them? But I don't feel safe keeping them in the attic and there are other kids who could be enjoying them!

I went to the food store with Paul when he got home so he could make Navajo food for Columbus Day. After dinner we watched Gotham, which I actively disliked this week -- previously I had mostly been bored, but Evil Lesbians piss me off even more than Gratuitous Lesbians and it's darker than Dark City. All superhero shows should be more like Sleepy Hollow, which had a silly story tonight but was purely delightful anyway (Pride and Prejudice references! Ichabod driving!). Lewis Ginter butterflies:

In the Conservatory )
littlereview: (jewitch)
Tanka Diary )

We are back late from a lovely day in Richmond with Cheryl! We had a bit of drizzle weather-wise, but didn't stop us from seeing the turtles, herons, ducks, egrets, and all the animals at the nature center amidst the changing leaves at Three Lakes Park. Plus we bumped into Cheryl's father, whom she had no idea was going to be there, since she had never been before.

Then we went to see the butterfly exhibit in the conservatory, plus the rose garden in full bloom and hundreds of other flowers (and a pair of red-shouldered hawks) at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. And we got Mexican food! And the Ravens had a great game even if we didn't watch any of it! More tomorrow when I am caught up from a busy and very fun weekend!

Richmond Nature )
littlereview: (jewitch)
For Rhoda )

It was a drizzly and rather chilly Saturday morning, but by noon the rain had stopped and it was turning into a lovely fall day. So we went on the Countryside Artisans fall tour, starting as we often do at Art of Fire, whose stock was sparse because much of the glass is on sale now at the Maryland Renaissance Festival. Then we went to two pottery studios, Something Earthy, where we got a sea turtle sponge holder, and Niswander, where we got a garden toad, and finished at Dancing Leaf Farm, where in addition to the gorgeous yarn there was some gorgeous jewelry on sale!

Artist Studios )

On the way home we stopped to have a drink with my friend Louise, who is in town for our high school reunion, which took place tonight. None of my very best friends from high school -- either the local ones or the ones from out of town -- were going, so I chickened out as well, but it was wonderful to see her! Hopefully when she is next in the area for work, we can go do something cultural or enjoy the local scenery. The hotel bar had the great tragedy of the Orioles game on television; we got to see the end when we got home, and even this week's mediocre Doctor Who was less painful!
littlereview: (trek)
Charlie Brown in the Dead of Night )

Quickie, we've had company for dinner and movies -- Moon, which we hadn't seen, in which Sam Rockwell is great and there's thought-provoking commentary about commercial extremes, and The Poseidon Adventure, because [personal profile] artemis_prime and her hubby had not seen it and we figured it was a good night for religious allegory.

My only other significant activity was a review of Deep Space Nine's fairly silly baseball episode "Take Me Out to the Holosuite", which is not as exciting as the Orioles-Royals ALCS game that's going on now! Here is Daisy's opinion of all the coming and going in the house; more tomorrow!

Lounging )
littlereview: (jewitch)
To a Friend who sent me some Roses
By John Keats

As late I rambled in the happy fields,
  What time the sky-lark shakes the tremulous dew
  From his lush clover covert;—when anew
Adventurous knights take up their dinted shields:
I saw the sweetest flower wild nature yields,
  A fresh-blown musk-rose; 'twas the first that threw
  Its sweets upon the summer: graceful it grew
As is the wand that queen Titania wields.
And, as I feasted on its fragrancy,
  I thought the garden-rose it far excell'd:
But when, O Wells! thy roses came to me
  My sense with their deliciousness was spell'd:
Soft voices had they, that with tender plea
  Whisper'd of peace, and truth, and friendliness unquell'd.


The early part of my Thursday was uneventful -- bunch of work and chores -- but I got to have dinner with [personal profile] gblvr and [personal profile] wolfshark, whom I had not seen in far too long! We had appetizers and dessert at Cheesecake Factory and did some shopping -- mostly girly stores, but also Halloween stuff, now that the mall has both a costume store and all the wings and things at Claire's.

We watched Gracepoint, which thus far is keeping extremely close to Broadchurch, and caught up on Forever, which is my favorite new show of the past year and I am so worried about its ratings! It's everything I like about Elementary with a subtle supernatural angle, a lovely central family relationship, and plenty of humor. Here are some Maryland State Fair animals:

littlereview: (get critical)
A Sense of Proportion )

I spent most of Wednesday out with Paul, Adam, and Adam's friend Daniel Wigle, whom we took with us to pick up Adam in College Park, then brought them both to Minerva in Gaithersburg for the Indian buffet where we all ate a great deal. We stopped at Target to get Adam a calculator, since he's allowed to use a basic one during exams for arithmetic but not a graphing calculator or a phone program, and, since we had a bit of time, some of us tried on Halloween costumes. Then we took Adam to get his pins out and his cast off, and there was much rejoicing after a bit of wincing over the pins! And then he went back to school to play volleyball!

Wednesday Afternoon )

We spent the evening watching the season finales of Penguins: Spy in the Huddle and Legends, both of which were enjoyable (I hope the latter comes back next season -- I'm worried), but my major entertainment news involved staying up way too late the night before to watch Oscar and Lucinda, which I had never seen and could not understand how with such a cast it had such low ratings on both IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes. I continued to be confused for the first two hours, during which it was a quirky but entertaining movie. Then came the murder and rape and attempted genocide and wrath of God, and I only wish I was kidding! I should have gone to bed!
littlereview: (photos)
Tell Me Not Here, It Needs Not Saying )

It was a drizzly but otherwise nice Tuesday. I had a whole pile of work to do -- and actually finished it! -- and in the late afternoon Paul and I went out to do a bit of shopping (kitty litter, shampoo, and we had a bunch of Kohl's bucks that we needed to use before they expired).

After dinner we watched the first episode of The Flash, which was okay -- pretty cardboard characters, especially the women, backstory full of every superhero cliche -- but just because it kept its sense of humor, I liked it better than Gotham. And, to tell the truth, better than the Agents of SHIELD episode that came afterward, in which it became even more apparent that we're getting some perverse iteration of the Buffy/Spike redemption arc in Skye/Ward, except Brett Dalton is no James Marsters and Skye is SO VERY MUCH no Buffy.

Here are some more photos from National Cathedral, including the north rose window, the 'Space Window' with a piece of moon rock presented by Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins, the tributes to Washington and Churchill, and some of the fiberglass sculptures from Amen: A Prayer for the World.

In the Cathedral )
littlereview: (get critical)
Beauty Supply )

My computer and I are having a bit of a disagreement at the moment, so I will keep this post brief. My whole day was work and chores, anyway. Adam reports that he ran a 5k over the weekend to raise money for cancer research, and came in fourth despite not having run for many weeks and despite the fact that he still has a cast on, so I was very impressed with that news!

We are relieved that the Nationals won, though they have to win two more to advance. Tonight we watched Gotham, which I wish I was enjoying for more than two minutes of Selena each week, and Sleepy Hollow, which justifies my love every week with things like tiny spoiler ). Makes it easy to overlook the Dan Brownisms for things like Benedict Arnold and Judas. National Cathedral gargoyles:

And Grotesques )
littlereview: (green little review)
Psalm in the Spirit of Dragnet )

Daniel is taking a class in Musical Cultures of the World for which he needed to attend a live performance of sacred music, so after a quiet morning, we went to the National Cathedral for the daily Choral Evensong service. The music was beautiful, performed in part by a choir from Lancaster, PA, but that wasn't the highlight of our visit, since it was the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi and the cathedral was holding its annual Blessing of the Animals service on the steps outside the Cathedral under the rose window. There were hundreds of dogs (and a few cats and small animals, though those were cowering in carriers), plus volunteers from animal rescue organizations and several ministers to perform blessings on the grass.

Blessing the Animals )

We came home for dinner before taking Daniel back to College Park, causing us to miss the great joy in Baltimore when the Orioles beat the Tigers to advance to the ALCS, which we have just learned will be against the Royals -- the Ravens had lost earlier in the day, but I doubt anyone in Maryland is focused on that right now! Sports news had been pretty good all day, since I woke up to learn that overnight in Australia, Russell Crowe's Rabbitohs had won the premiership. Daniel needed to prepare meals for the week, so we stopped at Shoppers Food Warehouse with him before taking him to his apartment. Then we came home for Once Upon a Time, which was a little silly but not nearly as much as Saturday's Doctor Who, and now we're watching the Patriots win.
littlereview: (jewitch)
Poem Without an End )

Another quickie for the other end of Yom Kippur, though mine was not very observant -- the high point as always was breaking the fast even though no one in my immediate family actually fasted. We let Daniel sleep late and had a quiet morning, then we dragged him out shopping for dress shoes, shirts, and ties since he has several job interviews coming up. Then we picked up Adam in College Park after the travesty of the Maryland-Ohio State game (suffice to say the Terps did not win).

From there, we went to the home of a friend of my parents to celebrate the end of Yom Kippur with several other friends of very long duration, which was lovely as it always is. Many people there were watching the Nationals game, which the Nats were winning for nearly the entire evening...until the Giants tied it up, and now the Nats have blown it in the 18th! We watched all of Doctor Who (one of the stupidest episodes of anything ever) and didn't miss any significant baseball.

Since it's late and I'm disorganized, here are a couple of pictures from last winter from Fort Washington:

On the River )
littlereview: (trek)
Yom Kippur )

Quickie for Yom Kippur, though I did not go to Kol Nidre services. I am hanging out with Paul and Daniel, whom we picked up in the late afternoon to have dinner with my parents and to break the fast with friends on Saturday evening. Earlier I posted a review of Deep Space Nine's "Afterimage" and had lunch with Paul, and when we picked up Daniel, we drove his roommate to the medical center to get his sprained muscle examined. Traffic was terrible so we heard the Orioles win on the radio!

Plus we watched Elysium which had some really good aspects (Matt Damon's performance, a really strong diverse cast) and some not so-good-ones (predictable plot, lots of gratuitous violence, and Jodie Foster seemed to be on more drugs than she did at the Golden Globes). Have a good fast if you're fasting, a good Eid al-Adha if you're celebrating, a good Feast of St. Francis if you're observing it, and a good weekend regardless! Have a train from the Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum:


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