Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Smithsonian Folklife Festival - The AIDS Quilt

I arrived at the Folklife Festival around 9:30, checked in at the Volunteer Tent, and (eventually) wound up at the 2362 Market Street Tent.

The Festival's theme this year is actually three separate concepts: Citified, which celebrates the art and culture of the African-American South in conjunction with the Anacostia Community Museum; Campus and Community, which celebrates the 150-year anniversary of the USDA and of public/land-grant universities; and Creativity and Crisis, which is centered around the AIDS Quilt.

A Smithsonian intern and I jumped in by helping one of the AIDS Quilt workers pull and sort particular panels from the more than 8000 they brought to the festival.  When we had worked our way through their list and stacked the panels on the shelves behind the booth Gert, one of the "Handmaidens of the Quilt" (at least according to the embroidery on the sign than hung from her belt over her rear), asked which of the volunteers present can sew.  Turns out, only me.  So the other volunteers were sent to assist at other tents (one for the construction of new panels and one for the various art projects coming out of South Africa to deal with the AIDS crisis there) while I assisted with setting up repair stations.  Once we had the tables ready, I joined one of the permanent workers, Audrey, and we started repairing panels.

It was actually really interesting work.  Audrey and Gert explained that the job was not to improve on the panels or change them - no matter how "funky" they look (their words), the task was to simply perform the repairs to maintain the original as closely as possible.  So I basted, hemmed, super-glued, reattached, and patched.  As we worked, Audrey told me all about the history of the quilt and her work with it in Atlanta (where the quilt headquarters are based now).  A good thing, since within moments of the festival getting officially underway I was fielding questions about the quilt myself from festival visitors.  I was also the subject of two press interviews and several photographs, both official and tourist.

I took some photos myself, and when the head volunteer for my section stopped by to check on me, she insisted on taking a picture of me "participating in history."  Enjoy!

The tent where I spent my day
The quilt (well, part of it) displayed on the Mall with the Capitol in the background
I fixed the seams on this one
I reattached those flowers
Audry checking out one I'm about to repair
There were several sewing machines, if we needed them

I got a free lunch as a volunteer.  I chose chicken kabobs with pear soda.
I liked this panel's design
And this one had one of my favorite Shakespeare quotes on it
Gert showing me a panel she made
The one on the left is a replica of the very first panel
Look!  I'm participating in history!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Quiet Life

I have not been blogging as much as you might expect because I've been enjoying a quiet routine.  For example, I got up this morning as Jason left for work; made breakfast and caught up on internet reading; made a few phone calls to deal with the flooding thing; worked out in the building's gym for an hour (treadmill, stationary bike, and elliptical); came back to the apartment to shower, do laundry, and make lunch; then headed out to run a few errands including a trip to the German bakery for bread - such luxury to be able to buy specific items from specific shops.  This evening I did a Pilates/Yoga workout via Netflix, showered again, made dinner and enjoyed it while watching an old episode of Downton Abbey.

See?  Nothing too exciting.  But it is quiet and, moreover, I get to do all of this at my leisure.  It is a slower pace than usual, and certainly pales in comparison to Jason, who was up before dawn for a bike ride and is still working late.  It is nice to have the means to spend 90-120 minutes a day exercising, though, in addition to the motivation provided by such a health-conscious roommate.

This has been my weekday schedule essentially since I arrived here.  It changes tomorrow - I'll be working at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival for the rest of the week.  I'm looking forward to seeing what that's like, although the 99-degree-50%-chance-of-rain forecast for Friday raises some concern.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Assateague Island National Seashore

I am sunburnt and mosquito-bitten - I've been to Assateague!

Jason and I joined his friend Amy and her friends Eric, Stacy, and baby Avery at the seashore yesterday for a day at the beach.  We dodged traffic both directions (yay!), so the trip only took about 3.25 hours each way.  We also had to dodge a few turtles who plodded their way across the road in front of our cars.

We arrived a little before noon, found the campground where the others were going to join us later, and claimed a spot on the sand.  And then, oh, how we beached - reading; chatting; noshing on cherries, salami, and cheese; alternating between dips in the water and sunning on the shore.... That's the way to spend a Saturday in the summer.

The weather and the water temperature were both about perfect, and even though the Atlantic's waves are never up to my tastes (Jason called me an ocean snob, which I couldn't deny.  I love being tossed about and swimming in the big, rough waves of the Pacific.), it was still the ocean and it was marvelous to be able to float and watch the shifting colors of the water.

Well, it was marvelous until I set my foot down on the ocean floor (more accurately, the ocean porch -  the water was only up to our chests at that point) and felt a crab's spindly leg scrape along the underside of my foot and a claw pinch the side.  I shrieked.  Amy had already gotten pinched on the toe in one of our first dips, a fact that I worked very hard to forget in order to get back in the water, but when she got pinched a second time almost immediately after I was attacked, we declared loudly as we raced back to the shore that we were done with the ocean.

It was about dinner time anyway so we packed up the beach items and joined the others at the campsite to grill various meats and veggies.  Once we were among the bushes of the campgrounds, the mosquitoes took over where the crabs had left off.  Despite the liberal application of bug spray last night, today I keep discovering new bites, some in curiously creative places.  Sneaky nature.

Amy and the others spent the night on the beach despite the insects, but Jason and I headed home right after dinner and a few obligatory s'mores.  We walked along the path to the campground parking lot so Amy could drive us to Jason's car; but we would not be allowed to retreat peacefully.  At the gate the mosquitoes launched a full-force offensive attack, and as I frantically tried to close the gate to the campgrounds while simultaneously and futilely batting away the swarms of biting bugs I could hear Jason shouting, "Man down!  Man down!  Leave her!" over my own shrieking as he and Amy ran for the parking lot.  We escaped, though not unscathed; squished the bugs that followed us into the car; and made our way back to DC on the long, flat roads through the dark Maryland farmlands.

Lest you think that all Assateague wildlife was out for my blood, though, there was also this encounter:


Midafternoon a herd of the famous Chincoteague wild ponies strolled by along the beach.  Although, come to think of it, we were given a number of warnings about staying far, far away from the ponies, include two separate documents that came with our parking pass, one of which featured a series of photographs of horse-induced injuries.  Had I not stayed on the blankets, I'm sure the ponies would have finished what the crabs and mosquitoes left undone.

Let's face it.  It's me verses Nature and Nature likes to watch me bleed.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Two Plays and an Art Museum

Tuesday afternoon I swung by the American Art Museum to see their new exhibits about the War of 1812 and the Art of Videogames. Betcha can't guess which one was more popular?


On one hand, it was fun to see a retrospective of video games, especially in an art museum. Context changes the viewing, right? Plus, they had a few set up for people to try out:


 On the other hand, seeing this made me feel old:


And while this helped...

... Still, my childhood is in a museum.

The exhibit, while fun, was pretty sparse.  It advocates that the art of the videogame lies in the way people respond while playing them, with some bonus points thrown towards the mechanics of the graphics.  I was hoping for a more serious survey of the look and design of video games; for an appreciation of the beauty of the fabricated worlds and movement, and the creativity of this medium.  This exhibit feels like it was thrown together to try to get more tourists to check out the museum.  It's working, but I was disappointed to find that they didn't give more credit to a worthwhile art form.

After the art museum I went up to U Street to volunteer for The Source Festival.  I found the opportunity online through Cultural DC earlier that day and quickly signed up for the chance.  Per instructions I arrived an hour before the show, and they put me to work stocking a cooler with drinks for the concessions stand that night.  When I took the cooler to the stand, I met Stephen, my fellow volunteer for the evening.  It turns out that Stephen works for the Department of Education on a nationwide assessment project designed to compare data across the states at grade 3, 8, and 12.  I don't think he was expecting his fellow volunteer to a) care and b) have so many questions about his job.

He was actually really nice, and once the audience started to arrive we kept busy.  Essentially, we helped out by selling concessions before the show and at intermission and in exchange we got to see the play for free.  Woot!

The show that night was a collection of six new 10-minute plays, all with the theme of "Ethereal Encounters."  They were about what you would imagine for such an event.  Some of them had good premises, most of them had awkward endings, all of them had moments that tried so very hard to be profound and deep and theatery.  It was a fun evening, and since the concessions included beer and wine, I am also counting it as my first foray into tending bar.  Again, woot!

Last night I returned to the Shakespeare Theater to see Servant of Two Masters (and to be chastised by fellow audience members).  I was on my own since Jason had a work event and had seen the show earlier in its run.

This was a different translation of a show I saw back during Camp Shakespeare, and this production was much truer to the original commedia style.  I really enjoyed seeing the traditional masks and stock characters in use, and they based the costume designs on the Maurice Sand drawings I have in my classroom.  Theater history comes to life!  It was fun, funny, and very well executed, but it wasn't my favorite.  The characters in this production were much more child-like than sly, and I found I missed the sense of witty banter and cleverness from more modern interpretations of commedia ("modern" being from 17th century France onward).  Personal taste aside, the Il Capitano character and his love, Beatrice were both excellent, and I really liked seeing Smeraldina as a sweet, innocent girl rather than the usual busty, lusty, and fiesty maid interpretation.  The set was smartly simple, and they closed the show with a very quiet moment with dozens of tiny lights appearing as stars and a few fireflies; an effect which of course won me over completely.  I'm glad they extended the run of this show so I got to see this particular production!


Jason's hairstylist is awesome, so much so that I may have timed my trip in a way that allows me to justify two trips to her this summer.


Fuller bangs, choppier all around, and shorter in the back for this ridiculous heat (feels like 107 right now here, according to Weather Underground).  It's also red, more so than you can see in the indoor light.

Sue's awesome.

The Theater is a Temple*

Scene:  A theater, about ten minutes before curtain.  I am in my seat, which is on the aisle towards the back of the house, playing a game on my iPhone while I wait for the show to start.  An old woman enters the house, making her way down the aisle.  Like many other patrons steadying themselves, she grabs my chair as she steps down.

Old Woman:  Excuse me.

I look up from my phone smiling to acknowledge that it's fine that she bumped me.

Old Woman: Excuse me, you need to turn that off.  She points to my phone.

Me:  What?

Old Woman:  You need to turn that off.

Me:  There's still ten minutes to curtain.

Old Woman:  You're in a theater, and it's disruptive.  Turn it off right now.  Show some respect.

Me:  My first thought, a shocked and irrational: "Do you have any idea who you are speaking to?" is silent.  Instead I say as nicely as I can,  It's on silent and it's on airplane mode so it's not interfering with anything.  I will turn it off when the show begins.

Old Woman:  It's not appropriate in a theater at any time.  Turn it off.  She nods at me, a Mary Poppins-like punctuation mark, and continues down the aisle.

P.S.  Whenever the audience around me misbehaved during the show (old man to the right crinkling candy post-intermission, young man who fell asleep and snored in the first act, Japanese couple whispering translations throughout), I looked for the Old Woman to swoop in and take care of it.  Alas, she never appeared again.

* Watch this, if you don't instinctively read that in Nathan Lane's voice

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Lawyers, Lawyers Everywhere

I have never been in a situation before where I am surrounded by people who all share a different profession than my own.  I know that teachers are odd people, and when you break us down into our sub-groups (ECE v. elementary v. middle v. high, electives v. core, math/science v. arts v. P.E., etc.) we only get weirder.  But teachers are my people; I know what to expect from them and what's expected of me.  So when Jason invited me to come along as his "plus one" to a couple of events this weekend, it was with some trepidation as well as a great deal of curiosity that I accepted. 

The first event was a "casual garden dinner party" hosted for the summer associates by one of the partners at Jason's firm.  We, of course, had to discuss at length just what one wears to a "casual garden dinner party" especially when one is living out of a suitcase.  Outfit #1 (floor-length indigo knit jersey dress) was dismissed as being too formal, but Outfit #2 (jeans, heels, purple dress shirt) was approved.  (Incidentally, as someone who was late to catch on to even basic rules and proprieties of fashion, having a friend who a) knows the rules and b) will answer me honestly when I ask for his opinion is enormously helpful.)  As some of the people at the party were in three-piece suits made casual by the absence of a tie, we may have erred on the side of underdressing but we were not the least formally dressed, so I count it as a win.

The hostess had name tags available for all of the guests.  I am a big fan of name tags at such social gatherings (and church.  Church should have name tags as a mandatory part of all activities, in my opinion.  They do so much to alleviate some of the initial social guards people uphold), but these took it a step higher by being color coded - red border for associates/partners at the firm, blue border for summer associates, no border for the "plus ones."  I would have joked about the color-segregation had the waitstaff not been all African-American and the other attendees so predominately white.

Between the pressures of the dress decisions and the nature of the event itself, I was nervous.  However, I found that a) few people there knew each other, so introductions and small talk were the norm for the evening and b) lawyers are often socially awkward people.  Jason's quite the anomaly, in fact.  The food was good, the conversation generally flowed, and when it didn't the people I was speaking to were such interesting characters that their personalities made up for the stilted lack of social graces.  As a bonus, Jason and I spent a lot of time reaping information from a couple who had honeymooned in Morocco.  Score!

Still, I was surrounded by lawyers and, as would happen at any work event, the talk frequently turned to things I knew nothing about.  I followed what I could in the conversations, but could contribute little.  Granted, that was due in part to the fireflies.  There were only a few in the garden, but I was still delighted and fascinated by the wee green lights that would suddenly drift through the air.  No one else paid any attention, calloused as these east-coast dwellers are to the glowing natural magic that I, the mountain/desert girl, am so easily entertained by.

With the more stressful event behind us, tonight we went to a dinner party hosted by a couple from Jason's ward.  I felt far more comfortable going into this gathering - although the men were all lawyers (one a corporate lawyer, one wrapping up a clerkship for a Supreme Court justice), they were also all Mormon.  These rules I know.  There were times when the wives and I had little to contribute as the men talked shop, but generally the conversation moved through a variety of topics and I, once again, enjoyed myself.

Both events did bring to mind something Jason has suggested repeatedly - I may not be living in a place that is socially healthy for me.  I really like being around young, smart, driven professionals.  Even though I often feel like my particular career choice is less respected in these circles, I enjoy that kind of company and the socializing that happens there.  And although the schedule and work hours I keep are certainly factors in my less-than-satisfactory social life, I do not live or work in places where I can interact with the type of people I'm attracted to, let alone people my own age.  I don't know if I am willing to walk away from my job, my in-town family, and my home (my soggy, soggy home) to pursue a life in an area with more of the type of people I like to be around, but it is something I need to consider in the weeks to come.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The First 24 Hours (or so)

We kicked off my 2012 DC visit with a new restaurant in the area:


Yup, Cafe Rio has come to the east coast.  Given the number of Mormons we saw there, I'm surprised it took them this long.

Jason warned me that he would need to work quite a bit during my visit this summer; I assured him that I expected nothing less.  So after dinner he pulled out his laptop while I unpacked into the closet he so kindly emptied for me and we went to bed relatively early in anticipation of a day of work ahead for each of us.

Rather than diving into sightseeing, I dedicated Friday to Getting Things Done (which, when done properly, can bring as much pleasure as sightseeing).  I worked out at the gym in Jason's building, ironed all of my clothes, made several phone calls regarding The Great Flood, and ran errands around the neighborhood.  The weather's beautiful right now - in the low 80s without too much humidity, and I enjoyed walking to each of the stores instead of needing to drive everywhere.

Among my errands was a stop at Sweetgreen to pick up dinner.  Some of Jason's friends invited us to stop by the sculpture garden at the Smithsonian for a picnic/jazz concert/farewell gathering in honor of one of said friends leaving next week for Afghanistan.  I met Jason at his office building with wraps in hand and we walked to the Mall.

The National Gallery of Art hosts Jazz in the Garden concerts every Friday in the summertime.  Who knew it was such a social scene?  Once we passed through the security inspections, Jason called Jennifer to locate the group while we walked down an avenue lined with people with cellphones pressed to one ear and fingers plugging the other ear.  The entire area was jam-packed with people and somewhere, muffled by the din of hundreds of hipsters and yuppies chatting, I could vaguely hear the dixieland jazz that was the supposed purpose of the gathering.


Even when we found the group it was apparent that the point of the concert was not to listen to the music, but rather to socialize and drink the Sangria provided by the pavilion.  And, oh!  The hipness!  The men were in ironic t-shirts or dress shirts over khakis while the women wore sun dresses or cute skirts and fedoras and designer sunglasses adorned both genders.  Although I lost points for not bringing our dinner in a Trader Joe's bag (or even the lesser Whole Foods bag), I made up for them by wearing a skirt that I made myself.  Go, hipster, go!

Although our food was not from Trader Joe's, it was delicious!  Sweetgreen's June special is a salad/wrap made with chicken, spinach, goat cheese, diced peaches, chopped fresh basil, and almonds tossed with a balsamic vinaigrette.


I'm thinking Rachel might be jealous right now.

We bade farewell to the group at 7:30 to head to the Shakespeare Theater.  Jason has season tickets and I joined him for the last show of the season: The Merry Wives of Windsor.

It was not very good.  I've seen Merry Wives before and knew what a weak play it is.  It is essentially a sitcom spin-off for a popular supporting character from a different (and much better) set of plays and, like many a spin-off, has far too many new characters without much variation in jokes or plot.  In addition to the weak material, the acting and directing in this production were sub-par.  They missed quite a few possibilities for humor, both those textual and those based on the characters they had developed for this production.  There were flubbed lines and at one point Master Ford missed an entrance which the other characters covered remarkably poorly ("Oh, where is Master Ford?"  "I don't know!  Wherever could he be?" "Maybe you could read a story to us while we wait for him, Mistress Page?" "Yes!  I'll just flip through this book.... Hmm, I can't seem to locate the story."  "Oh, really?  Well maybe, Master Page, you can go look for Master Ford?").  We were both tempted to leave at intermission, but I think exhaustion kept us from decisiveness.  We yawned our way through the second act, picked up more bandages for Jason, and headed home to sleep.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Flood Photos

Many of you in sympathetic-ridden emails have asked what caused The Great Flood (and said emails are very much appreciated, even though I can't help but read your question with a subtext of "Please, please tell me what you did wrong so I can make sure this doesn't happen to me!"-ness).  It seems that the culprit was the hose on the washing machine which either slipped off or broke. 

Apparently that happens?

Here are my thoughts on that, in the order in which they occurred when I was informed of the cause of The Great Flood:

1.  Oh.  Okay.
2.  Wait, what?  They do that?
3.  Wait, what do you mean that happens all the time?  We live in the 21st century!  WHY HASN"T THIS BEEN FIXED WITH AN APP OR A COG OR SOMETHING?

I can't verify for myself the cause of the leak giant fountain of water because the washer is in a closet in my kitchen and my kitchen is filled with giant fans and dehumidifiers and 1/4 of my belongings that used to be in my carpeted rooms.

In an arrangement that made packing for a very long trip quite interesting (made even more so by the 99-degree temperature and 80% humidity of my drying-out-via-several-thousand-giant-fans apartment), the other three-fourths of my carpeted-room belongings are in 1) my bathroom, 2) my bedroom, and 3) my music room (which has been completely stripped of carpet, thanks to the dye-tastic Turkish rug.  Here are what those rooms look like at the moment:






Honestly?  My first thought when I saw all this was, "It's a shame I'm not moving soon!"

And while I'm digging through my new Flood Flickr set, here are some that Ben took to show me the flood as it looked on Monday (this would be post-Heroic Firemen who squeegeed out a great deal of the water):
Squishy Dining Room Carpet
Squishy Music Room and Office Carpet (with bonus view of the piano perched on heroic cans of corn!)
Jack enjoying the squishy carpet
So, yeah. The clean-up crew said everything should be dried out by Friday with the exception of two walls that they think need to be demolished to get the moisture out of the insulation. The laundry rooms needs to be re-dry-walled since the water ran all the way up the walls and into the ceiling. The carpet's a loss in at least two of the rooms and the pad's a loss in all of the rooms but my bedroom, which means that all of the carpeting needs to be replaced. And, to make matters more fun, my two insurance companies (one through the HOA for the structure, one for personal property) are both claiming that my policies don't cover carpets or the clean-up crew's work. Having several thousands of dollars in damages/services hanging over one's head isn't the most auspicious way to begin a vacation.

The work is carrying on though, despite my worries and my absence from the state. I didn't talk to any of my people today due to my transit across the country, but I plan on spending a good chunk of the morning tomorrow on the phone with various companies/agents/adjusters/etc.

Guess Where I Am!

What, can't you tell by the diminutive evergreen behind me?

I'm in DC! Specifically, I'm hanging out near the Ballston metro stop while cher Jason makes his way homeward.

Although I'm still anxious about the disaster that is my home, I am glad to be here again, to have a chance to hang out with one of my favorite people in one of my favorite cities. Despite recent evidence to the contrary, I still consider myself lucky.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Apres Moi, Le Deluge!

I had so many wonderful plans for today.  I was going to spend more quality time with my dear and busy parents, I was going to update my resume and send it out with applications to various volunteer possibilities in the DC area for this summer, I was going to research hotels (and Michelin-starred restaurants) for Spain, I was going to sew a summer skirt.

As you, dear astute reader, have surely surmised by now, my use of past progressive intentions does not bode well for said plans.

No, instead I received word this morning that my apartment flooded.  Indeed, there were so many waters that they leaked into the apartment next door and were discovered by my neighbor who called the fire department to break into my apartment to turn off the water line.  The fire crew also moved most of my furniture out of the worst spots, squeegeed out a lot of the water before the clean-up company even got there, and even put my piano up on cans of corn to protect it from the flood.

That.  That right there is why men in uniform are hot.

(And, yes, I'm being stereotypically sexist and there probably were women in uniform there, but hey!  My apartment's flooded.  Let me objectify a little.)

My plans a wash, I cut my trip short and am now in a hotel near my apartment.  My apartment is a squishy, fan-noisy mess to which I shall return for an early-morning rendezvous with the insurance guys, service crew, and so on.  The carpet in at least one room is ruined, which might mean new carpet in all of the rooms.  It's a project I've been toying with doing for a few years anyway, but I was not planning on doing it immediately before I go out of town for seven weeks.

Flood 1
Oh, Turkish Rug!  Your bold colors lured me, and now I will pay!

Really though, there's a lot that is good about this.  For example:
  1. It happened during the summer, so I don't have to worry about the water freezing or missing work.
  2. It happened during the one trip this summer that I could cut short without too much hassle.
  3. It happened while I was with my parents, so I had a lot of support during the initial "Crap, crap, crap!" moments as well as in the "Crap, crap, crap!" moments that followed.
  4. Most of my furniture looks fine.
  5. The cat was with me and remains in Junction, so I didn't have to worry about her dealing with the water and the strangers and the giant noisy fans.
  6. I was already packed for travel, so I only needed to grab a change of clothes to stay in a hotel tonight.
  7. Ben is incredibly awesome and drove out with Jack right away to meet the work crew and investigate the damage while I was still hours away from home.
And so on.  I'd list more, but I very much need to eat something and get some sleep before I tackle the adventures to come tomorrow. 

Here's hoping I can still fly out to DC on Thursday!

P.S.  I am well aware of the irony of my last name.  To make matters worse, my neighbor's name is Diane Waters.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Grand Junction

We're having a mini-family reunion this weekend!  Rachel, Jack, Andy, Jen, and I are all home visiting the parents and each other.  We shopped a little, ate all kinds of delicious cheeses, went to see Men in Black III, and swam.  It's been low-key and wonderful.

Emily pointed out last weekend how unusual and wonderful it is that my family all really truly enjoy spending time together.  And it's true.  We do.

The others are heading back to their respective homes tomorrow while I"m hanging out for an extra day or two before I abandon my cat and my plants here for the summer.  I don't know that I'll be doing anything particularly remarkable in the next few days; although, true to my pre-trip ways, I got some fabric today to make a new skirt.  Marvelous.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Visiting the Walls

There are many things I love about Emily and her family, not the least of which is their generosity and willingness to invite me to simply come hang out with them for a few days.  We didn't do anything particularly remarkable.  We enjoyed several of our favorite haunts in Seattle, Bellingham, and Mount Vernon.  We ate well; shopped; walked along a chilly, driftwood-covered beach; played with the kids; shared recent YouTube favorites (mine and hers); and, as always, talked.  Blog reading aside, Emily and I rarely keep in touch between visits so we had 14 months of news to catch up on in addition to our usual reminiscing of wild and crazy college/backpacking days.  The confidences and conversations that come in the drowsy-but-not-asleep dark are some of my favorite things in the world, and we indulged in them far longer than a busy mother-of-three should.

I literally don't know how she does it.   I don't know how Emily puts together a Teacher Appreciation breakfast for 80 people; keeps a PTO and a Primary in line; soothes, cuddles, teaches, counsels, medicates, moderates, and keeps alive three young, loud, and smart children; runs a household; plans for her grand summer adventure; and yet still has the energy to stay up all hours of the night with me.  I marvel every time I watch her do it; yet I am so, so glad that she can do it because it means the world to me every time she does.

Like I said, we didn't do anything particularly remarkable this weekend.  But Emily sure did.

Here are a few more pictures I didn't post before:

Emily and the kids during Scripture Time
Ben wrangling Sarah during our Grown-Ups dinner at Il Granaio
(and, truly, I have never had such a stark and shocking
"Whoa, I'm an adult" moment as when
Emily, Ben, and I walked out the door of their house,
leaving the kids with a 13-year-old babysitter.)

Sarah showing off her sitting-up skills at the Co-Op
Caitlyn working on her Cosette look
Logan showing off his climbing skills
Thanks for the Room with a View!
The view from our hotel room

Reason #2 why SEA is now my favorite airport (those ovals under the seats being USB/Power outlets)
(Reason #1 being the free wifi)

Thank you again, Walls, for the terrific weekend!  I will continue to take full advantage of your generosity on at least an annual basis. :)

(Side note: The storm that greeted me last night turned into quite a show.  I spent several minutes around 11:00 last night watching the sidewalk outside my apartment turn into a stream and the front yard into a series of puddles under a constant barrage of lightening, hail, and rain.  It was apocalyptic and awesome and, aside from the squishy grass, there was no evidence of it in the morning.)

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

And I'm Back

Denver tried to ease my transition home from the northwest weather-wise, although the storm effects were cranked a bit too high.  My drive from the airport was filled with lightening so large and bright it left spots in my eyes and giant-sized raindrops that tried to crack my windshield.  Not the gentle, quiet rain of the west coast of Washington but, hey, it's the thought that counts.

I had an absolutely marvelous time hanging out with the Walls.  Once again, though, I blog tonight to say I will blog tomorrow as I am hieing myself to bed now to catch up on sleep.  Emily and I spent most of the nights solving (or at least discussing) the matters of the world with baby Sarah joining us every few hours to add her two cents.  I loved every minute of it.