Sunday, September 20, 2015

Friday, through Sunday

We have Friday, through Sunday. We have to keep asking her one question: why are you so big?

She is really a lovely dog and it makes us laugh when she comes and nuzzles us with her nose for pets.   

It is hilarious to see just how much bigger she is than Stirling: nearly three times bigger! 

And probably five times the size of Angus! 

And the biggest worry when watching Friday: her tail. It is the height of tables and wags constantly so you just have to watch your drink! 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day!

This summer, the whole family went to the beach in Florida to celebrate some birthdays.  I think it was the first time that ALL of us have been together since my wedding in 2009.  We spent one day on a pirate ship, cruising around the Gulf. 


The pirates on board taught the new recruits how to swab the deck, walk the plank, and defend the boat from other pirate attacks.  

While the kiddos were off being pirates, completely entertained for the three hour tour, the adults were able to enjoy some rum, sun, and water views.  

The kids got their faces painted, a pirate hat, and some booty, hidden away in chests in the depths of the lower decks. 

It was a hot, bright day, so lots of rum punches and bay breezes were on offer.  In the end, we made it back to shore without having to walk to the plank and swim with the fishes. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Evening Tour with the Aussies

We have been hosting family friends from Brisbane.  Sarah and her family are on their way to Barbados for Jimmy Walker 's (her dad) 90th birthday.  The last time Will saw Sarah was at least 30 years ago, possibly longer! They made DC their pit stop on their way back to the island since none of them had ever been to Washington. 

They had gorgeous days here, spending two days on the Mall going to the Air & Space, American History, and National Gallery of Art.  Another day at the Library of Congress, the Capitol, and the National Archives.  A morning at the Dulles Air & Space Museum followed by an afternoon at the National Cathedral.  

We had a movie night in the back yard (Butch Cassidy!).  We made them BBQ on Labor Day and cornish hens tonight, something they had never had.  We then took them on a evening tour of the Jefferson, The FDR, and MLK memorials. 

Sarah remarked that she never thought about touring sights at night and how it just added a new depth to the memorials.  It made for lasting memories for sure.  It is especially fun to be able to take Stirling to the memorials, especially to the FDR, where she always draws attention sitting next to Fala.  

Mr. Jefferson

Sarah, me, Tristan, Darryl, and Will.  Stirling decided to be camera shy at the last minute.

in the bread lines

Fala, Stirling, and FDR


Tidal Basin at night

We had a marvelous time with the Cobbs and now we must figure out when we are going to Brisbane and the Gold Coast of Australia to see them. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

"The Beach" at the Building Museum

At the Building Museum this summer, they had an exhibit called "The Beach".  Basically, you walked into a white room, with white beach chairs, and waded into white, plastic balls.  Over a million of them.  I went with Cleo and her family and it was both fun and terrifying.

Fun to walk into a million balls that went past your waist, to press forward with all your might and only make it about 3 inches.  Then it was terrifying as you couldn't get your foot on the ground-- you kept stepping on balls and slipping under.  You would push a ball away from you and your face, only to have 45452 others fall into its place.  Because there were so many people trying to walk through and play in the pit, it got a bit scary since you could go under the plastic balls and no one would know you were there.

 It was exhausting to walk through and it was necessary to find a higher seat, where you could offer help to someone going under. 

We spent about 2 hours at the beach.  It was worth going because when else will you have a chance to jump into a million plus ball pit.  It did smell of plastic and feet, so I will take the real beach over this anytime, even with annoyance of all the crevices that sand can work its way into. 

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Another Successful Garden

We have had another successful garden!  This summer was one of the few summers where we only went away for one week and so we could actually focus on our garden.  We don't have a lot of variety of what we are growing; we have picked what we really want to eat: carrots, lettuce, peppers, rhubarb, and lots of tomatoes.

 The carrots were all sorts of colors and were straight for once.  We also have so many types of tomatoes, to the point that we don't even know what kind they are.  We just know that they are delicious. 

We also have lots of lemons on our little tree-- so many, in fact, that we had to pick some off because the plant really couldn't handle all of the fruit.  We left 6 on the tree and they are developing nicely.  Our mini orange tree also had so many blossoms on it that we are also concerned about the amount of yield.  Currently, the oranges are about the size of one of the super bouncy balls that you can get for 25⍧ from the old-fashioned gumball machines.  We bought a new lime tree-- really, it is a twig-- and it has loved this hot, dry summer.  It has grown about 10 inches up and out since we received the bare-root stick in the mail.

We also had a bumper year of apples!  The tree finally produced so many apples that we didn't know what to do with them all.  Our neighbors were picking them too.  We made apple tarts, apple crisps, applesauce, and just ate them raw.  Delicious, tart, and juicy.  Whatever variety of fruit they are, they are excellent cooking apples.

The sad news is that our last surviving rhubarb plant is dying. I got only a few stalks off of it for one rhubarb crumble.  It sent its huge stalk of seeds up about mid-July and then slowly died.  We tried watering it more, adding more compost, putting some fertilizer around the base.  Nothing has done the trick.  It is rather distressing, since in previous years we have had some rhubarb that I was even able to make rhubarb vodka! 

The herbs are prolific again and the fig tree is recovering from the harsh winter of two years ago. It has figs-- they are tiny, but they are figs-- all over the limbs.  The tree itself isn't tall anymore; it is more like ground cover.  Hopefully it will continue to grow up versus out as the summer comes to an end.

Sunday, August 23, 2015


The Italian and B are moving again-- and this time its to Minnesota, and it feels a bit more permanent than when they went to upstate New York.  

They dropped a bunch of stuff off to us that they didn't want to move/couldn't fit into the truck.  We will save it for them for when they visit us again. 

Truly, they are amazing people and we are lucky to have them in our lives.  We will definitely be visiting them in the Land of Thousand Lakes-- but probably only in the spring.  Dear, dear friends, we love and adore you and wish you all the luck in the world in your new adventure.