Monday, February 28, 2022

Greetings from Hanover and Frederick

We drove to Hanover on Sunday to visit Paul's parents -- we were supposed to go last weekend for his father's birthday, but there had been a case of covid in the building, so we put it off a week. It was a beautiful day to drive past the Catoctin orchards and Hanover Shoe Farms, and we brought shoe fly pie for Clair's birthday celebration. Then we Skyped with Daniel and Adam for a few minutes and helped Clair and Cinda set up the new CD player that Paul's brother Jon had sent them. 

We drove home through Frederick, which has a display of mini lighted boats on display in Carroll Creek Park called Sailing Through the Winter Solstice so this is the last weekend. The boats are all themed -- some piratical, some military, some Maryland history, some sea creatures -- and the whole waterfront area has been recently rebuilt, so it's beautiful. We stopped at Giant and picked up Cava on the way home, then watched this week's Billions and the season two finale of Young Wallander

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Sunday, February 27, 2022

Greetings from Johto

Quickie, I spent most of Saturday playing Pokemon Go for Johto Fest, first at home with my cats assisting, then at the playground and ice rink side of Cabin John Park, then at the Columbia Island Marina and Johnson Grove near the Pentagon, then at the nature center and indoor tennis court side of Cabin John Park, and then at home again while cleaning up and sorting photos and stuff. It was a gorgeous day, cool but not cold, and there were lots of crocuses at the park and geese in the river: 


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Evening has involved some of the second season of Young Wallander, which is gripping -- seems more tightly written than the first season -- but also upsetting. And now we're watching SNL, which in a rare switch has a much better second half than first; the Mulaney musical numbers always make up for a lot, and any time Kate McKinnon is singing from Les Mis, it's a good thing, plus there have been piles of guest appearances for Mulaney's fifth time hosting. The news is still so horrific as to be unbearable.


Saturday, February 26, 2022

Greetings for the Weekend

I had a pretty quiet Friday doing chores and scanning old notes and cards, though the weather was beautiful so we took a longer walk and saw the first neighborhood daffodil of the spring! (Yes, just the one!) Then we had dinner with my parents from California Pizza Kitchen (well, I had pasta). 

Our evening TV was Young Wallander, which has some very good aspects and some baffling ones, both internally and vis a vis the Branagh series, since this one should be set decades earlier but we hear that people were born in the '90s -- I guess this is a reboot, not prequel? Nature from Meadowside: 








Friday, February 25, 2022

Poem for Friday and Meadowlark Bell Garden

From 'The Book of Absence'
By Alireza Roshan
Translated by Erfan Mojib and Gary Gach

The foot
that brought me to You
in a bread line
plays with a pebble


Missing someone
is a mother
who leaves the front door ajar


I want to open a door
onto a sea & a night
I want to open a door
onto you
who are the sea & the night


As the seasons change
the plums
are replaced by persimmons


He told Adam
“Your fall is temporary
You’ll come back to me”
but Adam built a house
and called it home


I’d wanted to be the wind
in my beloved’s hair
but am only a breeze
amidst gnarly shrubs


Between me and you
I am a wall
Take me down


The temperature dropped over 30 degrees between Wednesday and Thursday, and it rained nearly all day, so I did not venture far afield though we did take a walk when it went from pouring to merely drizzling. Most of my day was spent scanning old letters and cards, then tearing them in half to donate the parts with illustrations for art projects and recycling the rest. I found lots of treasures, including notes from my grandparents and mockery from my sister. 

 I had my usual Thursday night fangirl chat sandwiched between two episodes of Young Wallander, which I wasn't sure I'd like because Kenneth Branagh is so compelling in the original, but I like the writing and the actors are very good. I can't cope with watching the news, I don't know what more anyone can do that doesn't risk destabilizing the entire global supply chain and starting World War III. Here are some pictures of Meadowlark Gardens' peaceful Korean Bell Garden: 

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Thursday, February 24, 2022

Poem for Thursday and Cabin John Crocuses

The Testament
By Taras Shevchenko
Translated by E. L. Voynich

Dig my grave and raise my barrow
By the Dnieper-side
In Ukraine, my own land,
A fair land and wide.
I will lie and watch the cornfields,
Listen through the years
To the river voices roaring,
Roaring in my ears.

When I hear the call
Of the racing flood,
Loud with hated blood,
I will leave them all,
Fields and hills; and force my way
Right up to the Throne
Where God sits alone;
Clasp His feet and pray…
But till that day
What is God to me?

Bury me, be done with me,
Rise and break your chain,
Water your new liberty
With blood for rain.
Then, in the mighty family
Of all men that are free,
May be sometimes, very softly
You will speak of me?


It was almost 70 degrees on Wednesday, a glorious late February windows-open day. I talked to my high school friends on Google Meet for a long time at lunch, I packed a box of books to donate, I dug out the three plastic boxes of doom I mean correspondence dating back to college buried in Adam's closet and started scanning them, then Paul and I went to Cabin John Park, where the crocuses are blooming as well as the snowdrops and lenten roses we saw last week! 

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We had Impossible burgers for dinner, then we watched this week's Legends of Tomorrow, always fun, and afterward we watched The Other Boleyn Girl, which we hadn't seen since it was first out in the theaters -- some parts of it are still nonsense and some of the grownups don't perform so well, but it's so much fun to see young Scarlett, Natalie, Benedict, and Eddie among others. Now I'm half-watching the news but that is so nausea-inducing that I'm going to go to bed. 


Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Poem for Wednesday and Meadowside Birds of Prey

The Eagle
By Alfred, Lord Tennyson

He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ring'd with the azure world, he stands.

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.


Tuesday felt like a Monday except for the pleasure of knowing that Friday was closer, which made laundry more tolerable. It was overcast all day, drizzly in the morning, we took a walk right after lunch because the forecast called for harder rain but we never had a big storm. Having scanned so many of Paul's family photos, I scanned an album of my mother's mother's photos, plus some other papers I'd found while sorting things in the basement, and we ate vegan pizza for dinner. 

My Voyager group watched "Rise" which I had remembered as being inoffensive but boring, which it really was. Then Paul and I watched The King's Man, which managed to be both offensive AND boring -- its only real highlight was Tom Hollander playing lookalike cousins Kaiser Wilhelm, Czar Nicholas, and King George V. Any movie that wastes a cast including Arterton, Hounsou, and Goode that badly is not forgivable, and the ending is moronic. Birds of prey at Meadowside Nature Center: 







Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Greetings from Rock Creek Park

Paul had Monday off for Presidents' Day, so we slept late, had hoecakes with honey for brunch because he read that was what George Washington liked, and went to Meadowside Nature Center. The building itself is closed for renovations, but the raptors are outside in their rehab cages, the cabin and bee hotel have their signs for visitors, and Rock Creek Park is waking up for the season -- chipmunks, songbirds, ducks, geese, vultures, even water skeeters. 





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We stopped at Trader Joe's on the way home, but although we got fruit, nuts, vegan frozen pizza, chocolate covered blueberries, and other necessities, but they were completely out of Mediterranean hummus, which made me very sad. After dinner we watched this week's The Gilded Age, which has the good Red Cross storyline and the aggravating women-undercutting-women storyline, then Snowpiercer, which I liked until two things turned too predictable though it was a great Daveed episode. 


Monday, February 21, 2022

Greetings from Meadowlark Gardens

Sunday was warmer and sunnier than Saturday. We did a bunch of chores in the morning, had soup and sandwiches for lunch, and went to Meadowlark Gardens, which it turns out is free in February though we didn't know that until we got there. The glass reception hall was being set up for a wedding and not much was blooming yet in the formal gardens, but there were crocuses, snowdrops, aconite, Lenten roses, some annuals, and geese, ducks, koi, and songbirds, plus a cranky box turtle in the visitor center. 

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My eye is still driving me crazy so looking at the computer is a pain. We watched the season finale of Around the World in 80 Days, not its best-written episode but it set up further adventures, then we watched this week's Billions, which was fine (I love women one-upping Chuck), and then we finished watching A Castle for Christmas, which was just as silly as we expected and had some lovely Scottish scenery, plus Cary Elwes as a cranky Duke and Brooke Shields as a romance novel writer!