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Traveled back to my hometown last weekend to spend time with the grandchildren, hubby, and even saw our son for a little bit.

May2

Here is the hubby with grandchildren figuring out two LEGO projects. I don’t think we lost any pieces. Yet?

Our daughter lives further south, so I did not get to see my baby girl (OK, she’s over 30, but …. you know…..). However, she is flying up here to visit me in a few weeks, so we’ll just have fun together on that weekend.

All that being said, I was in my apartment in the DC metro area this weekend, by myself. So I just treated myself to a few niceties. The last few days of the week have been cool or cold with lots of rain. So Friday after leaving work I went to a restaurant known as a gathering spot after work, Bobby Van’s Grill in DC at 1201 New York Avenue NW. All I really wanted was to have one drink, something vegetarian to eat, sit at the bar and listen and people watch. Sometimes there is conversation at a bar, which I enjoy. However, I always have something to read in case the person I am next to is not in the mood to chat. I get it. I respect it. I chat or read, whichever is best at the time!

Bar was full, so I sat at a small table and ordered my drink and a baked potato with cheddar cheese, chives, and sour cream. It normally comes topped with bacon, but no meat for me. I watched as more people came in from the rain. The sounds grew louder, everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves, and I couldn’t help but smile.

Their baked potato is a side for two, which I expected – and it was humongous! Delicious, but I wasted way too much. Next time I plan to go there I will take a baggie so I can just close it tightly and stick the leftover in my purse and carry it on the metro with no problem. For me, there was too much cheese. Butter, sour cream, and all that cheddar was just more than I could handle (I don’t eat much dairy, either). Next time I will ask for just half the usual amount of cheese. For those of you who love the cheddar? You will love Bobby Van’s huge tater!

Saturday morning was spent at the Virginia DMV securing my new driver’s license and registration for my car. Old car, new state. They moved a large amount of people through all the stations that day. Very organized, but it took me over two hours. However, every station was staffed, and the employees, with smiles, moved us through as quickly as possible. Just lots of us there that morning.

Then on to one of my favorite Indian restaurants, Aditi Indian Dining. Serving two of my favorites on the buffet yesterday for lunch, vegetable karma and mutter paneer. That plus fresh naan from the oven, basmati rice, and also one of my favorite desserts, gajar alwa (sweet carrot pudding with nuts). So delicious!

May3

Then it was off to see the new movie Snatched with Goldie Hawn and Amy Schumer. Oh my goodness it did not disappoint! I laughed and laughed as I watch Goldie portray a good mom who loves her grown daughter but cannot quite stop telling her how to live her life. How many of us moms can relate to that predicament? 🙂

Then I just relaxed a bit and watched geese near the parking lot going about their daily activities

Early the next morning (today, Mothers Day), I woke up early to wash clothes (easier to get a washing machine first thing in the a.m.). While the washing machine worked hard, I walked over to the exercise room and the room with the treadmills that I have yet to use here.  I walk right much every day, but what I really wanted to learn about were the machines for back and arm exercises. Upper body is turning into mush, so I went over early when no one was there so I could follow the directions taped on each machine and pick the ones I wanted to use. I picked a few, practiced, and now tomorrow when I get home from work I can go straight over there and just used those three machines for a few minutes and leave.  I’m not interested at this point building up big muscles – I just want to improve the quality of my muscle strength.

I did try out a tread tread mill, too, just in case I want to go on a little faster walk some weekend morning.

May6

Early, still dark, and empty!

May7

Maybe I could listen to music and work out some new dance moves on one of these babies like I see in YouTube videos?  It could happen!

Today I emptied a few more boxes, balanced checkbooks, and cooked some delicious veggies in my new crockpot. It is a small one – perfect for one or two people – that I bought a few weeks ago but never tried until today. Root veggies (no parsnips in the house. bummer), and I used carrots, onion, white potatoes and sweet potatoes. A little salt, pepper, thyme, oil, and honey. I also added a little water and vegan “chiken” bullion. Not much of the bullion because they all taste too salty to me, but I like a little bit of the flavor with my veggies.  Here is what it looked like before I began to cook

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Afterwards? It was totally scrumptious and I cannot wait to have more for supper tomorrow night.

Missed my family this weekend, but all is good. I enjoyed a healthy weekend with walking and cooking and performing a little physical labor while still trying to settle into my new apartment.

Thanks for visiting with me tonight and listening to me talk!

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Just a few words and photos to share

It’s been awhile but it’s been a busy year. Thought I’d share a few photos with you.

While working at Kansas State University, the hubby made a couple of shelves so I could place some of my memorabilia and a couple of pieces of artwork out to enjoy every day. He also made a wonderful tea-light shelving arrangement that which adds such a calmness to the room. Love them. I posted a picture of them when I was still living in Kansas, but this is how they look now – just a little different.

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Then there was the day not too long ago when I just could not get warm. I decided to get out the heating pad and rest it against my tummy while I sat on the sofa with my computer. So I go to the other room, retrieve the pad from the bedroom, plug it in, set the temperature, and then went to prepare some hot tea and get my computer. When I got back to the sofa here is what I found:

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So glad he is not spoiled!

And earlier this summer I went to stay with my brother for a few days in a beautiful neighborhood that made for some great early morning walks before the Southern heat began to blast with that mandatory humidity! (Was that what we call a run on sentence? While yes I think it was! 🙂  ) I found these two plants at a neighbor’s home and had to take a picture.

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Until next time!

 

 

Spring has brought us a mixture of weather all around the USA. Of course, I try to adapt as best I can. Which means on one of the colder weekends I tried a new soup recipe of barley, mushrooms, and lentils. Vegan – and tasty! However, the next batch I made I left out the lentils, and I found that batch even better than the first:

First mushrooms, then added barley and lentils, finishing off with carrots, onions, and thyme.

In March the hubby and I took a hike in the woods near our house with the grandchildren. It’s one of my favorite places in the spring, one we discovered a few years ago. In the woods is evidence of an old homestead. No foundation left, but the daffodils that were most likely planted by the mom, bloom every year. You can tell the location of at least one corner of the house by the arrangement of the flowers. Deep in the woods near a creek. And oh yes! In one picture you see the boys have discovered the oven of an old wood cook stove. Noting but the oven left. I can only imagine the delicious meals that came from that stove!

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Flowers near a monument

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Then there were walks in a nearby park.

And another special treat?  A baby goat!

January 17. Not exactly the beginning of a calendar year, but still in the first month.

I recently returned from Boston, MA, where I attended the American Library Association MidWinter (ALA) Conference. My plane landed on a Friday morning, and after checking into the hotel around 9am, it was time to find coffee and a nutritious breakfast!1 Breakfast

After registration and taking possession of my ALA badge, I wandered through the conference center a bit. Look at the sign I found – love it!3 research

And yes – they do! A web search is surely part of research, but just one part.

Then I took a shuttle bus to another hotel and enjoyed an informative, educational, and delightful lunch with four colleagues from across the country. After that there were two afternoon meetings and discussions, then a walk back to my hotel. I’m not much for staying out late (I’m an early-to-rise girl!) unless there are good friends and conversation waiting for me, but not tonight. Back to the hotel for an artisan mushroom pizza and going over my notes from the day at M.C. Spiedo. Oh. My. Gosh. Delicious!

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Then reading in a comfy bed and off to sleep for another early start the next morning.

 

 

Early morning walk

This past weekend I decided to explore a small section of the Maryland coastal land, not too far from where I live. I went early in the morning in hopes of experiencing our world before the chaos began. I was in luck – passed only two people crabbing. They were enjoying the quiet as well.

Here are few pictures I took with my new camera!

On the “woodsy” trail, I passed a duck box hanging on the side of a huge tree
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Then there was just beautiful calm water (with a bit of a gazebo caught in the frame)
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A few daisies peeking out from a thorny bush
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The smaller boat in the middle has netting that hangs from one side to the other. The perfect place for a wonderful night’s sleep with the water, fresh air, and no mosquitoes climbing into one’s ear!
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A small marshy area off to the side
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Still amazed when I see a tree that apparently grows right out of a huge rock!
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More pictures to follow in my next posting …..

Just enjoy

Back to knotting pearls. I truly love the look of the perfectly colored glass pearl.

No real counting once I’ve laid out the design. Just take the thread, add the pearl, and proceed to make the perfect knot! Each time.
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After knotting for a bit there was lunch. This Southern girl really loves fried okra. I usually rinse and pat dry the veggie. Then cut off the larger tougher end and just throw them plain into a hot cast-iron frying pan. No water, oil, or anything extra. Just toss it around for a few minutes until it is really toasty. Just before removing this green morsels from the pan, I add a little salt, toss 20 seconds longer – and perfect okra every time!
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There were also some baby potatoes from a recent farmers’ market purchase and leftover salad from the day before.
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And how about a few pictures from my February 2015 NYC trip, beginning the day with a banana quinoa muffin from Smile to Go on Howard Street. I understand this breakfast goodie is a favorite of a very popular young singer. 🙂
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Then it was off to Bleeker Street to get a glimpse of the historical building where Margaret Sanger worked during the first half of the 20th century
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There was a quick stop at Lincoln Center to see a little of the happenings of Fashion Week. Most of us were just bundled up in warm coats! But I liked this picture because it almost appears to be a black and white picture, but then you see the powder-blue coat, bright orange shoes, a child’s hat, and there is pink! Even on the the little doggy there is color. The photographer seems to be posing – but he is not. He was actually looking at something behind me (don’t remember what it was).
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Catching up a bit

My weekend began Saturday morning with my usual gathering of cohorts at my favorite Annapolis Starbucks. We talk about current events, recent remarks from various U.S. presidential wannabes, the economy, our global education successes and failures, films (recent and older), and whatever other thought that flies through someone’s head. Then it is out there for all!

Now enjoying the weekend at home, cooking a little, cleaning a little, watching a movie or two via Netflix, and creating a few new things to add color to my world. Here are pictures of some of the recent items I am eager to “play” with:

Wooden and seed beads
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Unakite and red sponge coral
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A few weeks ago I took my first try with making vegan phớ. Not as tasty as I’ve had in a restaurant; didn’t season the broth very well and it didn’t have quite enough flavor. Ah …. but a new culinary quest in my future!
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