Sunday, June 30, 2019

Greetings from Richmond

Quickie, we're in Virginia, where we went to Cheryl's house and headed to Greek Cuisine West End to have awesome food and met Lin, then we all went to the Science Museum of Virginia to see the amazing Pompeii exhibit, plus some quick visits to other displays, particularly the Curious George traveling exhibit (I didn't know the authors were Jews who'd fled Europe while writing it).

Then Lin headed home and the rest of us drove by Agecroft to see whether there were still tickets to The Tempest that evening, but the box office wasn't open yet and it was over 90 degrees so we decided instead to see Yesterday, which is a complete delight and has many laugh-out-loud funny lines including a Harry Potter joke. Here are a few photos -- more when I'm home!

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Saturday, June 29, 2019

Poem for Saturday and Brookside Flowers

Tarot Readings Daily
By Joy Ladin

They’re reading Tarot cards right now,
in the little pink house with the sign in the yard.
Shadows spider across still-green lawn
whose fate, so far, defies the frosts.

Someone asks the right question,
draws the right card.
Many cups in the immediate future;
radiance pouring down.

They know the future,
the creatures in the yard:
night, thirst, frost.
Only the sapiens in the house believe

fire, water, air, and earth
would bother to reveal
when to fear and love.
The one who’s paying

draws another card.
Outside, in the yard,
a squirrel noses seed that fell
like radiance, from above.


It was a fairly quiet Friday around here -- chores, a bit of work on the Iceland photos, then I went out for a Groudon raid and met what turned out to be a group of middle schoolers who had insisted on waiting because they were watching the women winning in the World Cup and didn't want to miss anything, which made me happy! (Plus I caught a 93 IV Groudon!)

We had dinner with my parents, then came home for Agents of SHIELD plus catch-up on Blood & Treasure and The 100 before this week's Graham Norton with Tom Hanks, Tom Holland, Jake Gyllenhaal, and the insufferable Gwyneth Paltrow who claims her famous father kept her completely level-headed. More from Brookside, this time summer flowers in the outdoor garden:









Friday, June 28, 2019

Poem for Friday and Brookside Butterflies

The Genesis of the Butterfly
By Victor Hugo
Translated by Andrew Lang

The dawn is smiling on the dew that covers
The tearful roses; lo, the little lovers
That kiss the buds, and all the flutterings
In jasmine bloom, and privet, of white wings,
That go and come, and fly, and peep and hide,
With muffled music, murmured far and wide.
Ah, the Spring time, when we think of all the lays
That dreamy lovers send to dreamy mays,
Of the fond hearts within a billet bound,
Of all the soft silk paper that pens wound,
The messages of love that mortals write
Filled with intoxication of delight,
Written in April and before the May time
Shredded and flown, playthings for the wind's playtime,
We dream that all white butterflies above,
Who seek through clouds or waters souls to love,
And leave their lady mistress in despair,
To flit to flowers, as kinder and more fair,
Are but torn love-letters, that through the skies
Flutter, and float, and change to butterflies.


I had a very nice Thursday -- Cheryl came here, picked me up, and drove us both to meet Jill and Toni for lunch at First Watch in Laurel, where we spent a couple of hours eating and talking. Then, since we were only a couple of blocks away, we went to The Crystal Fox, Laurel's wonderful witch store, where Cheryl convinced me that I really did need that painted animal card deck and that Norse mythology-themed deck.

When we got back to my house after a quick stop at the post office, we watched the first two episodes of Good Omens (YES I KNOW but she hadn't seen it) before Cheryl had to go home. Then Paul made veggie burgers and we watched last week's Agents of SHIELD before this week's Elementary, so I think we are finally caught up on TV. Here are some of the butterflies from the Wings of Fancy exhibit at Brookside Gardens last weekend:









Thursday, June 27, 2019

Poem for Thursday and Brookside Turtles

The Terrapin
By Wendell Berry

The terrapin and his house are one.
Though he may go, he's never gone.

He's housed within, from nose to toe:
A door, a floor, and no window.

There's little room, the light is dim;
His furniture is only him.

He doesn't speak what he thinks about;
Where no guest comes, a thought’s a shout.

He pokes along; he's in no haste:
He has no map and no suitcase;

He has no worries and no woes,
For where he is is where he goes.

Ponder this wonder under his dome
Who, wandering, is always home.


My friend Alice and her son were on the Maryland side of the Potomac River on Wednesday for an appointment, so afterward they came over and we went out to lunch at the mall (where we ran into my father and one of his friends) and took her son to GameStop and ourselves to Sephora, though I only got a freebie perfume with reward points. We hung out at my house for a while before they headed home and I worked on Iceland photos.

Paul had taken the first two Men in Black movies out of the library (the third is on demand), and since one of them is due on Thursday, we watched them in the evening. I did not remember the second much and the first only marginally, so that was a lot of fun, though I'm not sure why so many people think the first is so brilliant that the new one must be scoffed at; I enjoy them both. Here are this weekend's turtles from Brookside Gardens:









Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Poem for Wednesday and Pre-SF Trip

At Night
By Stanley Plumly

When did I know that I'd have to carry it around
in order to have it when I need it, say in a pocket,

the dark itself not dark enough but needing to be
added to, handful by handful if necessary, until

the way my mother would sit all night in a room
without the lights, smoking, until she disappeared?

Where would she go, because I would go there.
In the morning, nothing but a blanket and all her

absence and the feeling in the air of happiness.
And so much loneliness, a kind of purity of being

and emptiness, no one you are or could ever be,
my mother like another me in another life, gone

where I will go, night now likely dark enough
I can be alone as I’ve never been alone before.


Adam and Katherine just left to go to College Park so they can leave at an insanely early hour of the morning for the airport to fly to California. They did some online apartment-hunting here after he picked her up from the Metro and they went out to lunch together, making appointments to visit places in San Francisco, and they intended to leave right after dinner (Paul made faux Chinese beef and chicken), but Adam realized he forgot to put in his laundry.

So since they had to wait for that, and he had realized while in Rome in the Coliseum that Katherine had not seen Gladiator, we all ended up watching that! I worked on my Iceland photo book while they were out earlier and will get back to those photos soon, but for now these are just family pics, like geese from lunch at Paul's office yesterday, keychains Adam replaced from Iceland, prints from the Virginia Renfaire now on Daniel's wall, and a cat taking over Adam's coat!

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Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Poem for Tuesday and Feline Attendance

Cats Sleep Anywhere
By Eleanor Farjeon

Cats sleep anywhere,
Any table, any chair
Top of piano, window-ledge,
In the middle, on the edge,
Open drawer, empty shoe,
Anybody's lap will do,
Fitted in a cardboard box,
In the cupboard, with your frocks-
Anywhere! They don't care!
Cats sleep anywhere.


I had a nice Monday -- chores in the morning, then after Adam did some apartment hunting online, we went to meet Paul for lunch at his office and we ate in the cafeteria there, which has a great salad bar. Afterward Adam needed to pick up some paperwork at the bank, so we stopped there and at CVS.

Among other things, we bought ice cream to have with Paul's made-from-scratch-and-picked-by-us blueberry pie, which my parents came over after dinner to share for dessert. Then we watched the final two episodes of Good Omens with Adam, who has had a lot of feline supervision since he arrived in the house:

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Monday, June 24, 2019

Greetings from Brookside Gardens

Adam did some organizing in his room on Sunday, since he needs to decide what will stay here, what will move to San Francisco with him, and what will be sold or given away. So Paul and I did a bunch of household chores, then Paul made blueberry pancakes with the berries we picked Saturday. After we ate them, we all went to Brookside Gardens to see the Wings of Fancy butterfly exhibit and all the turtles, adolescent goslings, tadpoles-turning-into-frogs, and many birds!

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We stopped at both MOM's Organic Market and Roots Market on the way to and from the park to get vegan meat and herbal tea (I have finally tried CBD -- tastes likes regular mint tea, did not make me lose 20 pounds or cure my thinning hair). The latter was out of the vitamins that were the main thing I needed there! We had Beyond Burgers for dinner and watched more Good Omens, which has such a lovely Hitchhikers Guide-esque view of human history with a happier ending.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Poem for Sunday and Homestead Farm

By James Lasdun

I'm talking to you old man.
Listen to me as you step inside this garden
to fill a breakfast bowl with blueberries
ripened on the bushes I'm planting now,
twenty years back from where you're standing.
It's strictly a long-term project—first year
pull off the blossoms before they open,
second year let them flower, watch the bees
bobbing in every bonnet,
but don't touch the fruit till year three,
and then only sample a handful or two...
Old man I'm doing this for you!
You know what they say about blueberries:
blood-cleansing, mood-lifting memory-boosters;
every bush a little fountain of youth
sparkling with flavonoids, anthocyanin...
I've spent all summer clearing brush
sawing locust poles for the frames,
digging in mounds of pine needles, bales of peat moss—
I thought I'd do it while I still could.
You can do something for me in turn:
think about the things an old man should;
things I've shied away from, last things.
Care about them only don't care too
(you'll know better than I do what I mean
or what I couldn't say, but meant).
Reconcile, forgive, repent,
but don't go soft on me; keep the faith,
our infidels' implicit vow:
"not the hereafter but the here and now..."
Weigh your heart against the feather of truth
as the Egyptians did, and purge its sin,
but for your own sake, not your soul's.
And since the only certain
eternity's the one that stretches backward,
look for it here inside this garden:
Blueray, Bluecrop, Bluetta, Hardy Blue;
little fat droplets of transubstantiate sky,
each in its yeast-misted wineskin, chilled in dew.
This was your labor, these are the fruits thereof.
Fill up your bowl old man and bring them in.


We all slept a bit late on Saturday, especially Adam who is not fully adjusted to being in this time zone, then we had lunch together and went to Homestead Farm to pick blueberries, which are abundant this season. We also went to look at the blackberries, but very few of them were ripe yet, and the tart cherries, whose season seems to be coming to an end, though we saw a bird's nest made with cherry stems in one of the trees -- both parents and babies were present! And we visited the goats, alpacas, and pigs.

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We had Thai food for dinner with my parents, who wanted to hear about Adam's trip, then we went to the food store because we needed both human and cat food and were out of skyr. After we came home and fed the aforementioned starving cats, we watched the first two episodes of Good Omens, which we figured Adam would enjoy. (Apparently we missed the Nationals blowing a substantial lead to the Braves.) I love this part of summer!