littlereview: (photos)
Kentucky Derby )

Our plan for Saturday was to meet up with Annmarie and go to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival where we would meet up with Karen, Heather, and a bunch of other people, then go to dinner and to see Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2, but my back was aching so much in the morning that I knew I would never tolerate the hour-plus drive there from our house. Since Annmarie wasn't feeling up to the drive either, we met her instead at Frying Pan Farm Park, where we mostly had the place to ourselves because it rained all afternoon, then went to have Middle Eastern food at the Sorrento Grill. The baby pigs and goats were mostly indoors but the rest of the animals didn't seem to mind the rain:

At the Farm Park )

We stopped to pick up mint and simple syrup on the way home to make mint juleps for the Kentucky Derby (mine was virgin since I'm taking meds for my back). I had no opinion about which horse should win other than I always hope it's not one being doped, but I will never forget Thunder Snow taking one look at the mud and trying to buck off his rider instead of racing in it. We had veggie hot brown for dinner in honor of the Derby, then watched Doctor Who (not a great story but I love Bill and the Doctor's dynamic), Class (stop it with the daddy issues already), and Graham Norton because Goldie, Amy, Orlando, and John trump Chris Pine, though now that Graham is over we have him on being sexually harrassed.
littlereview: (trek)
All Nature Has A Feeling )

Because I still can't sit and the steroids are making me hyper -- and because it's May now -- Paul and I went to Lake Whetstone after lunch to see whether the goose eggs had hatched. They have, and we saw at least 34 goslings (we lost count!) plus a lot of older geese, turtles, red-winged blackbirds, songbirds, and at least one heron. In our own neighborhood we saw a frog in the neighbor's front yard fish point and a bunny lounging on a hillside, so it was a very animal-happy day to be out walking. I took lots of photos but tonight I'm sharing lots of baby geese!

Lake Whetstone )

We came home to feed the cats and wash up, then had dinner with my parents, where we Skyped with Daniel since he got off work early -- his entire division at work was taken to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, then sent home early, so nice start to his weekend -- and I ate compulsively, which I'm told is also a side effect of this medication. Still not sure my back will let me see the movie this month since I can't sit! We just spent the evening with me standing while watching The Shawshank Redemption, which we had actually never seen, and it's as great as its reputation.
littlereview: (green little review)
Cancer Winter )

I spent most of Thursday on my feet, which is a good thing -- my feet are sore but my back is less so. My primary care doctor said that my MRI didn't show anything very scary -- several bulging discs but nothing seriously herniated, though she wants me to see an orthopedist so he can look at the scans since it isn't her specialty; she suggested a week of steroids since that sometimes makes swelling go down and knocks out the pain, thus avoiding more invasive injections, and she also suggested physical therapy to stop the pain from returning. So I am working on more appointments (and have switched to Walgreens from the local CVS, my pharmacy for over 20 years, since they claimed they couldn't find me in the system, said the doctor never sent the prescription although she sent me a copy of it and why would she have bothered if she'd never sent the original, and laughed at me when I asked them to please double check).

Paul and I went shopping earlier in the day -- a trip to Michael's which had frames on sale (for one day, for 15% on top of a 40% markdown), across Rockville Pike to a fitness store to see whether they had treadmill desks (online prices are better though we have to see about shipping), to the park for a walk (caught another Onix so I now have a Steelix!), and to Giant and the aforementioned CVS (at least I have spicy cheese). Then we went to Union Jack's to meet Kay and her husband and younger son for dinner (their Lady Jane salad, with pistachios, cranberries, grapes, and vinaigrette, is wonderful). After we ate, we walked around Washingtonian Lake, which was good for all our backs. When we got home, we watched this week's episode of The Handmaid's Tale. I had no time to crop new photos so here are some Brookside butterflies from last year, since they're now getting ready for this year's!

Wings of Fancy )
littlereview: (jewitch)
Ode to an Encyclopedia )

My Wednesday was all about trying to make my back feel better. The centerpiece was having an MRI at the fabulous Washington Open MRI, where instead of being trapped in a coffin scanner I was sitting in what was essentially a tight chair watching Mamma Mia (by far the best choice of the DVDs they had available though I was warned not to nod along with the music). I have a CD but the information is meaningless to me and my doctor has not yet called me back to interpret it, and when I looked at the scans I was sure I had a massive abdominal tumor so I've decided not to try to figure it out myself. I bought a heating pad that belts around my waist and can also hold a cold pack, which helps!

Since Paul has a job offer on the table, we decided to go out to Minerva for Indian food for lunch, then we stopped at Mattie Stepanek Park because I could see on Pokemon Go that it has 1) sea monster play equipment and 2) Geodudes. I did more cleaning upstairs (more comfortable than sitting to clean though I can't deal with bending to vacuum) before dinner. We watched The 100, which is welcome to keep on killing half the cast but BETTER not separate Marcus and Abby, and Designated Survivor, whose conspiracy plot is crack, before Skyping Daniel since we hadn't talked to him face to face in weeks (poor Adam has the flu). Here are some expectant geese from Brookside Gardens:

Protecting Eggs )
littlereview: (get critical)
Genius )

Paul had a good Tuesday -- he got a very nice job offer from a place he'd really like to work! I don't have a lot of excitement to report from my day, which involved various chores though some of them were fun. I'm still doing laundries, we had a lot of cleaning to do in the room Maddy left behind (that carpet will never be the same), and because I needed to get a comforter since she'd been using a twin on a queen bed, I decided that instead of buying a brand new set for that room, I'd put my not-very-old comforter gifted by my mother in there and get something more my style for my room, which Paul was there to approve because he dropped me off at the shopping center with Michael's and Bed, Bath & Beyond while he was at the dentist so I could walk around.

Tomorrow I am having an MRI on my lower back, which hopefully will tell me why it's hurting and won't be too complicated to fix (am really hoping for PT and/or cortisone, nothing more invasive or dangerous). I spent the rest of the afternoon rearranging the linens and cleaning upstairs, which is actually more comfortable right now than sitting at a computer. We watched The Flash, which can't wrap up the current story arc soon enough, and I won't say the same thing about Agents of SHIELD because it's way too late for it to wrap up the excruciating Framework and I no longer care if half the regulars died there. Genius, at least, was brilliant despite a dearth of Geoffrey Rush. Here are some photos from the Ch√Ęteau de Puivert, the Cathar castle that once hosted troubadour gatherings:

Chateau de Puivert )
littlereview: (get critical)
Flight )

Because I couldn't go to Yorktown with Cheryl and other friends this weekend, since my back won't permit me to sit in a car long enough to drive down there, she came to visit me on Monday and we had an awesome day -- shopped at the Container Store, picked up Noodles & Company (Thai and Japanese), ate it while watching The Right Stuff (which I haven't seen in years and it seems dated after Hidden Figures but still pro-science and enjoyable). Paul had been downtown at a job interview; when he got home, we went to Baskin Robbins and watched some Robin of Sherwood.

After Cheryl went home, Paul and I had sandwiches for dinner since we were still full from ice cream, put all of niece's linens and towels in the laundry, and watched Supergirl, which would have been okay except they never explained or even mentioned again a rather big plot point which now seems to have been declared irrelevant. Then we watched Billions, a show about two completely heinous men and the women silly enough to want them in their lives (I hesitate to say "love them" because they may just be there for the money). Animals from Meadowlark Gardens on Sunday:

Fairfax Animals )
littlereview: (get critical)
Turtle )

We got up at 5:30 to drive Maddy to BWI, said our goodbyes for now, then came back home and fell back asleep from around 8-10 so I've been kind of groggy all day! After we finally got up and showered, we had lunch, picked up my mother (my father has a cold and stayed home), then picked up Alice (whose husband and son both had homework) and went to Meadowlark Gardens which isn't far from where the latter lives. The cherry blossoms and tulips for which the park is famous were gone, but there were still plenty of azaleas and we saw many turtles, frogs, geese, koi, tadpoles, red-winged blackbirds, and other wildlife as we walked through the wetlands and Korean bell gardens.

Late Spring )

It was nicely overcast, so not as horrendously hot as the forecast. After we took Alice home and visited her family for a few minutes, we stopped at Tara Thai to pick up food and went back to my parents' house for dinner, where my father was in a good mood after watching the Nationals' 23-5 victory over the Mets (when we got there he was concerned that the Yankees were going to beat the Orioles in extra innings, but the Os came back and won). In the evening we watched the very annoying Once Upon a Time (Belle's compulsive self-erasure is unwatchable, I almost hope Gold kills her as a cautionary tale instead of glorifying their "love") and the always enjoyable Madam Secretary.
littlereview: (get critical)
Soap Bubble )

Since Maddy is leaving for an indefinite amount of time on Sunday morning, we spent the day with her, starting with brunch at Metro 29 Diner in Arlington with Alice, Jeremy, and their son. We also took her to the bank, to UPS to ship some things home, and to pick up a friend at the mall, with whom we had dinner and with whom she is currently out along with other work friends while we watched Doctor Who ("Thin Ice" aka the Frost Fair episode, which I really loved -- I am really loving this season after being annoyed with the show for a long time) and Class (not terrible but thematically meh, no "Father's Day"). Now we're watching Graham Norton but I need to get to bed because we're driving Maddy to the airport before 6 a.m. Here are some photos of a guest's soap bubbles floating through Brookside Gardens:

Garden Magic )
littlereview: (trek)
Not Speaking Of The Way )

Busy Friday -- took Maddy to Subway then to an appointment, went for a walk in Woottons Mill Park while she was there, came home for a few hours to do chores, then took Maddy to work at California Pizza Kitchen, where we met my parents for dinner. Now we're watching the first three episodes of The Handmaid's Tale, which is everything I'd read -- superbly acted and really well filmed, not a letter-faithful adaptation of the book so much as a horror story for our own time (I like the Richardson-Dunaway-Duvall movie but it cuts and compresses a huge amount of material and invents other parts for a convenient resolution that the book deliberately lacks). Here are some photos from Great Falls the other day:

Great Falls Park )
littlereview: (green little review)
Imagery )

Quickie as I have been on the phone with relatives all night -- mostly Maddy's sister Noelle, who is getting married in August and has lots of good things going on in her life. It was a warm, pretty day, so after doing a bunch of chores with Maddy and going to lunch at California Tortilla with her, we dropped her off at the mall to hang out with friends and went to Great Falls, where we saw lots of happy reptiles:

Scales in the Sun )

Our intention was to catch up on Blindspot, then watch the first episode of The Handmaid's Tale on Hulu, but we decided to watch the NFL draft until the Ravens and Redskins had their first-round pics, then I wound up on the phone and we didn't watch anything else. Maddy is out at a birthday party with friends from work and I finally have an MRI appointment for next week, so that is all good news!
littlereview: (jewitch)
High School Senior )

Busy Wednesday. Maddy arrived very early in the morning from California, then had to be at work at the mall at 10 a.m. Adam needed a ride at noon from College Park to NIH for an orientation lunch meeting and some administrative stuff (ID, medical, etc.), then back to the pediatrician to get his TB test checked -- fortunately it was negative! Plus we had half an hour to fill between NIH and the doctor, so we stopped for Krispy Kreme on the way and had salted caramel doughnuts. We came back to the house until Maddy was finished with work.

Then we went to meet Maddy at California Pizza Kitchen for dinner, where she told us that she is going back to California to enroll in a program to get her ready for college after her chaotic high school years, which we agree will be a good idea for her. After that, we all drove Adam back to the University of Maryland. When we got home we wound down watching The 100 and Designated Survivor, neither of which gave us the episode originally advertised but at least they didn't suck. Some more photos of animals at Mount Vernon:

Presidential Animals )
littlereview: (get critical)
Dancing Adairs )

We had a crazy Monday and we're going to have a busy Wednesday, so we had a fairly quiet Tuesday doing work at home. We donated Daniel's twin bed to the Salvation Army now that we have a queen bed in that room -- for political reasons they were not my first, second, fifth, or eighth choice, but they were literally the only organization in the greater DC area willing to pick up before the end of May without charging us for the privilege of donating and we needed the bed moved before Adam finishes the semester. It rained most of the day, though we did go to Cabin John Park to take a walk when the rain turned to drizzle.

We watched The Flash, which needs to stop dragging out the Savitar storyline before I no longer care what he does, then we watched the first episode of Genius, which is a little bit too self-consciously quirky but very well acted and quite timely in its depiction of how the rise of fascism depends on both nationalism and denial of facts. Maddy is flying back from California overnight and has to be taken to work when she arrives in the morning, then we're picking up Adam from College Park again for an orientation at NIH and one more visit to the doctor, so we will run around a lot! Flowers from Mount Vernon last weekend:

Verdant Mount Vernon )
littlereview: (jewitch)
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 )
littlereview: (get critical)
Grace Darling )

Sunday was gorgeous -- cool and rain-free -- so we had brunch early and went to Mount Vernon, mostly to see the lambs and piglets, though we walked through most of the farm and gardens (we ran out of time for the gristmill). There were a lot of tour groups waiting to get into the house, so we skipped that tour this time. We still got to see an osprey nest just off the wharf, the threshing barn, hundreds of tulips and irises, and most of the crops George Washington planted (though still not hemp, which he did grow).

Spring at Mount Vernon )

All our shows were on this Sunday so we had to make decisions about what to watch -- the Orioles had already lost to the Red Sox, the Nationals were playing the Mets (they won) and the Capitols had a crucial game against the Maple Leafs but we'll only watch hockey if they might win the Stanley Cup! We watched Once Upon a Time (meh but at least a lot of Zelena), Madam Secretary (not entirely believable but I love this cast), and Elementary (if nothing else, not predictable). Now John Oliver is eviscerating Jared Kushner!
littlereview: (jewitch)
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 )
littlereview: (little review)
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 )
littlereview: (photos)
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 )
littlereview: (get critical)
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!
littlereview: (green little review)
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.
littlereview: (get critical)
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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