Friday, October 31, 2008

The Great Pumpkin Carving

Once again, the night before Halloween, Will and I found ourselves carefully carving our scary pumpkins. Alas, this year we weren't carving our own pumokins, but that doesn't mean we skimped on the scary!

We did save some seeds for next year (these were organic pumpkins) and roasted the rest, sharing them with the ladies downstairs busy decorating Halloween Cookies.

The final products:

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Jen, for an extermination reason at her building, had to evacuate her condo/building for a few hours today with her kitties. They came here for a visit. Coco and Clifford, both tabby cats, are lovely. Almost the opposite to my cat in terms of attitude, though all three are a *bit* big-boned. Ahem.

Coco was immediately comfortable. Once set free from his cat carrier, he was smelling everything, checking everything out though still confined to the kitchen. Clifford, not so much. His freedom from the carrier only meant hiding in one of the few doors he could open and staying there the entire time--which was about 3 hours.

Coco turns to me as if to say, "and where *is* my Fancy Feast?"

Meanwhile, Clifford decides that he wants the lemony-fresh smell of the old mops in the cupboard....only to decide that the deeper coat closet was much safer.

It is like the "Where's Waldo" books of old.

And in case you were worried about kitty confrontation, Jackie was shut up in the guest bedroom, sleeping in the sun the entire time, having been bribed with soft goat gouda cheese. Because she needed the extra bit of food....

Drag Races!

As usual, Jen, Jeffrey, and I went to the annual High Heeled Drag Races in Dupont Circle that mark the official beginning of Halloween. "Ladies" parade around in costumes and the highest heels imaginable and then race for two blocks for a free bar tab. It is fantastic. The costumes are always great. Princess Di always shows up, and this year we were joined by the Queen. A local politician Carol Schwartz, always there to glad-hand the crowd, was doubly there. And Marilyn and JFK usually make an appearance. This year we had some fabulous Sarah Palins and Michelle Obamas. The FLSD ladies were there with their babies. And my favorite themed ladies, this year: make up!

Don't take her baby away!

Mary Kay was joined by Coco, Cover Girl, and Max Factor

The Mad Hatter at the tea party for Alice

Sarah and Cindy. Note Sarah's price tags on her clothes!

Playboy Bunnies handing out champagne

Results the Gym Cheerleaders

Marilyn and JFK

Sunday, October 26, 2008

New Pets

Will and I have new "pets." We bought a Kessler painting. Kessler is an up-and-coming artist who shows his wares at Eastern Market. We have started seeing his works around the country and so we made our first art investment purchase. With the way the stock market is going, it was a wise a decision.

Here are our new "pets": the Three Amigos. They are hanging perfectly in the dining room. We couldn't be more pleased.

Will's First High School Football Game

Will had never been to a high school football game, him being British and all. Thank goodness our friend (who happens to be our tenant) coaches a championship high school cheerleading team which happens to cheer for a winning high school football team on Friday nights so we could rectify that situation.

For the cost of $5, Will got to experience, for a night, what American high school is all about. He isn't too sure that he missed much by going to school in England.

The marching band and the drill corp confused Will more than impressed. Maybe it was because we were trying to figure out which video game went with each song in their video game theme song montage. We only got Super Mario Brothers....

It being a rather chilly night, the girls wear warming uniforms. But the football team was doing great! Three touch downs before half time!

For the most part, the crowd (or the cheerleaders) didn't follow the game, which the blue team ended up winning. But I was trying to think, did I *really* know what a first down was in high school when I attended the games? I don't think so.

afternote: Will said that there was more going on at this game than any professional league team game he has attended. "It's all over the top, isn't it really?" Why yes, and you didn't even see a Homecoming game!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Our first fire of the season

Hmmm, I am now thinking that maybe we skipped autumn and went straight to winter, because Will and I had our first fire of the season.

When it gets cold outside, in an effort to try to keep the heating bills at bay, we shut up the room in which we normally watch t.v. Instead, we move the t.v, close off that room, and make do without that space (which, if you have seen the house, is entirely possible to do).

This year, I had a stroke of brilliance: switch the short, uncomfortable couch in the sitting room with the long, comfy sofa in the t.v. room. Will agreed to the brilliance. We attempted to execute this plan yesterday and sadly, the brilliance only went so far.

Meaning, that we could pull out the long, comfy sofa into the sitting room, but couldn't push the short, uncomfortable couch into the t.v. room. The short couch has arms that are too puffy to push through the door. Soo, we rearranged the sitting room regardless, now having two sofas (one slightly more comfortable that the other), two chairs (not counting the crazy small African chairs), and the t.v. We have plenty of seating in our sitting room.

All of this moving just to be able to enjoy our first fire (deliciously warm), watching Jon Stewart, (hilariously entertaining) while in a completely prone position. It, of course, was totally worth it. We tested it out and it works beautifully: Will was asleep within minutes.

p.s. oh, yeah, we burned the wood we pilfered recently and it burns good. real good. in fact, you can come and sit in one of the numerous seats and watch it burn. just bring a sweater for the rest of the house as the heat isn't on. and your visit won't change that, sadly.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Autumn is *officially* here

How do I know that autumn is here for realz?

I went with Jen to her company's picnic last weekend and not only did they have an apple press--to make apple cider with their own, homegrown apples--but they had these:

That's right people: homegrown, home made caramel apples.

It is Official: Fall is Here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Girls' vs. Boys' views of the world

At various times, I have let my niece Annabelle and Will's nephew Lucas take my digital camera and take photos of whatever they want. I think this pretty much sums up the difference between how girls and boys view the world.

A girl's view of the world:

A boy's view of the world:

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A lovely way of spending the afternoon

I am just ever so jealous of my baby kitty and her lazy, comfy life. Wouldn't you want to spend your autumn afternoons like this? Yeah, me too.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The most perfect shop in the world

When Will and I were in Covent Gardens last (so, last month) we were walking around, window shopping while we waited to have lunch with Will's brother, Andrew. We happened upon the most perfect shop in the world:

I know that there are several cupcake shops here in DC and from what I hear they are delicious and running out of their baked goods all the time. But somehow, this store seemed even more perfect. Maybe it was just how colorful the cupcakes were, or the cute way in which they were displayed, or the fact that every cupcake comes with a side of London Accent..... ummmm, yeah. That *could* be the reason, right there....

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The last one standing...

We have a lone red pepper left in our garden. We are keeping this one on the vine for as long as we can. It is about the only thing of bright color left in our garden.

To be sure, we have several small green bell peppers but as the days grow shorter and there is a bit of crisp morning air, I don't know if the others will make it. We have several dozens of green tomatoes trying to ripen red or yellow. All the carrots are up. The garlic and chives didn't do so well. The onion doesn't seem like it is ready, but this is my first time growing onions. The herbs are still doing well. In fact the basil is going to seed and I am thrilled about that. And our rhubarb is happily neglected.

It is this one red pepper that I check on daily, trying to stretch the growing season as long as possible. Every morning I make sure that it is growing and ripening and not being eaten by the other covetous bugs that are in the garden. I feel that as long as it is on the vine, then winter is delayed one day. I am not ready for the cold yet. So, I am thrilled I still have this one bit of summer color.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Look what I found!

Hidden under all the dying vines and vine leaves. He is soooo tiny! We named him George, though there will be no hugging and squeezing.

Monday, October 6, 2008

I'm a Lumberjack, and I'm okay

Will and I pilfered wood the other day. There was a tree cut down in the neighborhood that was interfering with a telephone wire. It was a tree belonging to the city, so *technically* it did belong to Will and I, and the other random couple who drove up in their wagon who had the same reaction as Will, "Look, FREE wood!" We made 7 trips total and I think now we have enough wood, if it seasons in time, for the full winter.

The tree was cut, however, into massive logs. Not fireplace ready logs, but tree-trunk sized logs. Will bought a gasoline powered chainsaw and he spent yesterday cutting the logs into smaller bits. So, *technically* the wood wasn't free. And of course, there is the cost of the manual labor, including the oh-so-back-breaking-fun of splitting the wood.

It was certainly made easier on some of the logs that Will started a place for the wedge to go. But we split the logs. Yes, I was able to split them, several times with one whack. It is amazingly satisfying. We did about a third of the sections Will cut and will work on the rest this week.

I certainly won't need to lift weights at gym this week! Though, I may need to go to fashion school. You can see all the wood in the background that needs to split.

One swing! I am soooooo strong.

And yes, our neighbors think we are totally bizarre to be doing this ourselves. One offered another chainsaw and the other offered to split a cord of wood from a dude he knows, who knows a dude, and would come and dump it for a fee.... but now I have honed my skills. I just need a circus in town, then I could so swing the hammer and ring the bell and get a big stuffed animal.

Though, to be honest, this is a much nicer prize: a warm fire on a cold winter's night with wood we pilfered, cut, and split ourselves.