Thursday, November 29, 2012

NEED HOLIDAY INSPIRATION?

source
 Boy, do I ever have a Bah-Humbug mood!

We won't have any visitors during the month of December, so I told JPE I wanted to skip putting out decorations this year. That's just NOT like me - so, I thought if I looked around on some blogs I would get inspired to "decorate low-scale". I ran across FUNKYTIME Magazine (an online mag) & everything in this issue looks so cheery & bright.

I'm thinking about trying the Christmas Garland & Chocolate on a Stick... What will you try?

There's talk of this tradition happening soon...
 
...JPE'S biscotti
Perhaps the smells of baked goods, our small live wreath, some candles  & a simple garland will be a start?


Sunday, November 25, 2012

SCAVENGER HUNT SUNDAY 11.25.12

PICTURE PERFECT!!!
We're back from our visit to Washington DC. Having a couple of days to get organized & laundry done before heading back to work tomorrow is soooo helpful. 

Of course, the excitement of travel is capturing new photographic memories, seeing places different than your usual surroundings, meeting new people, but having time to visit family, is most important. Thank you Sea-Bass (Sebastian), MB & SLE for sharing your home with us.

This week's SCAVENGER HUNT SUNDAY words are: HOME or THANKFUL, IN THE KITCHEN, COUPLE, BUBBLES & TREES. You really need to stop by RAMBLING & PHOTOS to see the adorable picture Ashley posted for the word, BUBBLES. 

HOME or THANKFUL
In addition to being THANKFUL for family, I'm THANKFUL that people who need assistance can get those services from a dog. Sebastian (alias Sea-Bass) has been MB's guidedog for a little over 5 years. He's soooo sweet... such a lover-boy (when not "working")... in addition to guiding MB, he also watches out for SLE (our daughter) & was continually peeking over his shoulder to make certain our party of four stayed together. If you want to know more about Guide Dogs of America, please CLICK HERE

IN THE KITCHEN
JPE loves to cook, bake & having an audience makes being IN THE KITCHEN that much more enjoyable. As a result, he orchestrated the Thanksgiving dinner cooking... which included putting the turkey in early, so we could eat at 1:30. MB shared his mother's secret to a beautifully tender, roasted turkey... Baste it with tomato paste! Oh my goodness... we'll be filing this away in our cooking binder. Our bird was perfection... crispy skin, moist meat, and tasty! Yummmy.

COUPLE
JPE & I visited the National Washington Cathedral... here are a COUPLE more pictures of baby Jesus from the Crèche Exhibition: And Heaven and Nature Sing. The baby wrapped in burlap is from South Africa (Zulu Tribe); the small beaded nacimiento, was created by members of the Huichol Indians (Mexico) - glass beads cover the terra cotta form of this baby Jesus; & the blue & white smiling baby Jesus is from Louisville, Kentucky - creation of HADLEY POTTERY. Next time JPE & I visit his family in Kentucky, I'm adding a tour of the Hadley Pottery Factory to our trip

BUBBLES
BUBBLES of lights... I know, sort of a stretch... ha! just ran out of time & didn't want to grab a photo from my archives when I had a cool picture from our tea date at the BUZZ BAKERY & LOUNGE (Arlington, VA).

TREES
As you may have seen, I posted pictures of the changing colors & of Arlington National Cemetery earlier this week! MB & SLE teased me about the number of TREE pictures I took during my week-long visit. Peeking at the photos, I can feel the crisp cool air, hear the crunch of leaves being walked on, and see the brilliance of the colors. 

Next week's SHS words are: MISSING, NUMBERS, PURPLE, MUSIC & BRACELET. Ohhh... I can't wait... don't forget to visit ASHLEY'S to see her post for BUBBLES. 


Saturday, November 24, 2012

HOME AGAIN, JIGGITY JIGGITY

DE-ICING THE PLANE (Wash DC @ 8:30am)
COLORADO ???
ARIZONA  ???
WHATEVER - IT'S BEAUTIFUL!!!
I've learned...
I really didn't pay attention
during Geography lessons!
nor US History lessons!!
Whewww!
MB had to explain some historical details
seen in the movie, LINCOLN
(Thanksgiving afternoon matinee).

JPE & I are going to see again LINCOLN today!
(yes, we see movies we like MORE than once)
...it's a must see movie!



Thursday, November 22, 2012

SERENE + SACRED...

National Museum of the American Indian
A trip to Washington DC always includes a visit to my favorite Smithsonian Museum... the National Museum of the American Indian. Some of the items are part of the permanent collection, but I've found there's always something new to see or experience due to the rotation of the collection & addition of new artifacts to the museums.
hands to welcome visitors



The exterior of this museum is so serene...  when you enter the building, even the symbols on the doors are welcoming.



As might be expected in a museum of Indian artifacts, there are two carved wooden totem poles on the main floor... 

Depending on the tribal tradition, a totem pole may document:

   stories
   historical events
   clan lineage
   cultural beliefs
   symbols or art 



Plains Tipi















The newest exhibit, A Song for a Horse Nation, discusses the Indians relationship with horses & how it changed their lifestyle.




With the arrival of horses, traveling became easier - Indians were able to travel further, faster and with larger loads (including tipis). 


Lakota beaded tipi bag
The acquisition of horses also affected the Indian women... their work load was lightened! and they gained more time for beading and socializing. The bead work often documented a story (actual or embellished is not always known). For example, this Indian has stolen horses (he has more than one), he has been in three battles (three weapons) and he has killed seven enemies, as represented by the heads at the top of the artwork.

Paint on paper - sorry I don't remember the details of this artwork
Ever the educator, I was thinking this would be a great photo to share in the classroom & ask students to tell a story about this picture. When does this event take place in history? why is the horse wearing an American flag mask? is this decorative wear? or battle wear? Describe the clothing worn by the Indian. What is the significance of the buffalo on the Indian's shield? what other symbols are shown & what part do they play in this story?

Then, back on the main floor as you exit the building... this boat from Lake Titicaca region of Peru & Bolivia. We missed this area on our travels to Peru this past summer, so it was interesting to see the size of the boat (2-3 meters) & the tightness of the woven totora fibers. This boat was constructed in 2005 by members of the Aymara peoples. Amazing that reeds can hold a person, as well as the items they are transporting to their homes built on the reed island
 
It was interesting to see families posing next to the statue of the Indian (main floor)... what a great spot to capture a final memory of this Smithsonian Museum.

BTW, the Song for the Horse Nation exhibit closes January 7, 2013... if you are in the Washington DC area, it's worth a visit.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU...

WASHINGTON NATIONAL CATHEDRAL
Architecture students would benefit from a visit to see the Gothic architecture of this church. During the August 23, 2011 earthquake (yes, other states besides California have earthquakes), a number of spires toppled from the tallest points of the church. Scaffolding was installed to prevent additional crumbling, but also for the workers repairing the damage.

FAVORITE PICS OF THE INTERIOR
The cathedral has been decorated for Thanksgiving & workers had begun putting up some of the holiday wreaths. The rest of the December decorations will be installed on Friday... I imagine it will look magnificent.
Explanation for the pics (l-r): In the crypt (lower floor) was one of the most beautiful altars of shimmery mosaic tiles. The stained glass windows shown has a chunk of moon rock the astronauts brought back from the Apollo XI space mission. This pulpit has been used by many famous people --- the Dali Lama & Martin Luther King Jr (right before his assassination) --- the stone comes from the Canterbury Cathedral in England. Being interested in architecture, JPE & I are always impressed by the construction of the ceilings. These ceilings are amazing in design.

SPECIAL EXHIBIT
We visited on the first day of this special exhibit...  The quilled paper Mary, Joseph & Baby Jesus were from an artist in North Carolina. The nativity set was donated by an artist living in Alabama... it is created entirely from driftwood she collected from the Gulf coast...

THE FORCE!!!

In the 1980's, National Geographic sponsored a contest for children to submit a design for additional sculptures to be added to the exterior of the cathedral. One of the winning designs was this head of Darth Vader... It was difficult to see & my zoom lens was not strong enough to take a clear picture... but, here's the grotesque of this Star Wars creature.
The other gargoyles are amazing... I've added some additional gargoyle pictures to my growing collection. Perhaps that will be another post?

Today we're off the the National Museum of the American Indian.



Monday, November 19, 2012

FINAL RESTING PLACE...

BRILLIANT COLORS
VIEWS FROM ROBERT E LEE HOUSE
BURIAL SITES FOR JOSEPH, ROBERT, JOHN & EDWARD

Sunday was an
INCREDIBLE DAY
at Arlington Cemetery...

the last time I visited JFK Memorial
:: it was 98 degrees & 92% humidity :: 
:: I was traveling with 11 girls for a Camp Fire conference ::
:: it was the summer of 1994 ::  

Sunday, November 18, 2012

SCAVENGER HUNT SUNDAY 11.18.12

ARLINGTON CEMETERY

JPE, SLE, MB, Sea-Bass (guide-dog extraordinaire) & I took the Metro to the Arlington Cemetery stop... Most of today's pictures were of the FALL leaves, but I couldn't figure out a way to make those photos fit this weeks SHS words... so, the leaves will have to wait for another day. 

This week's SCAVENGER HUNT SUNDAY words: VISION, STRONG, BUTTONS, MAP & FAVORITE FRUIT.

VISION
The museums in Washington DC & surrounding areas are simply amazing!! Inside the door of the memorial for Women in Military Service (part of Arlington Cemetery) was this tactile map for visually challenged & blind visitors. Mazen mentioned this was written in grade one Braille (letter by letter spelling)... if you want to know more about the two other levels of Braille, you can click HERE

STRONG
SLE & I wandered through the Women in Military Service Museum browsing the incredible displays of STRONG women who served our country. The exhibit that drew our interest --- the uniforms for each division of the military... at times, the uniform fit close-to-the-body & other times, it resembled the men's uniform, baggy & shape-less.

BUTTONS

Okay, this is a real stretch! Rather than take a picture of coat buttons, I thought I'd share this photo of JPE waiting for the Metro. Don't you think the RED warning lights, (at the edge of the walkway) resemble BUTTONS?

MAP
Friday afternoon, JPE & I took a stroll to the local coffee shop... BUZZ BAKERY & LOUNGE, a couple of blocks from where we are staying (Arlington, VA)... adorable! comfortable!! great tea & coffee... we shared an Earl Gray Tea Cookie... oh my gosh! yummy. JPE & I checked our MAP of Washington DC, so we could plan a couple of excursions during our visit with SLE & MB.

FAVORITE FRUIT
No, this photo is not from Washington DC... it's of the vineyards in California. My FAVORITE FRUIT is seedless purple grapes - sliced in a bowl with a scoop of cottage cheese or yoghurt & a sprinkling of slivered almonds on top. You might say... it's my "breakfast of choice" - I eat this every day at work. 

It was a real stretch to make this week's photos work. I think my SHS team (SLE, JPE & MB) needs more prompting to find those photo ops... But, you can check in with Ashley at Rambling & Photos to see what qualifies as STRONG for some of the other participants. 

Check back for pictures of Arlington Cemetery & the FALL leaves on Monday... on our list of excursions... Washington National Cathedral just opened a new exhibit --- "Crèche Exhibition: And Heaven and Nature Sing."


Saturday, November 17, 2012

STUNNING...

Arlington, VA ~ 11.17.12
"I cannot endure to waste anything as precious
as AUTUMN sunshine by staying in the house.
So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air."
Nathaniel Hawthorne

crisp air
crunchy leaves
breath-taking colors

a visit to Washington DC at this time of year
is 
I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E !!! 
 

Friday, November 16, 2012

BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD!



"IT'S A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD"
...as Mr Rogers would have claimed!

Our Thursday flight to Washington DC was delayed several hours
(leaving LAX, so we didn't arrive at Dulles Airport until after midnight).

Some pics from our flight from LAX to Dulles, Washington DC (yesterday)...

Chugging along the runway (LAX)
Lift-off!
(looking at wing from my seat)
Oil tankers - Long Beach or San Pedro ??
Reaching our cruising elevation!
Above the clouds!
(thru dirty airplane windows)
Although we're on vacay - we're both working remotely!
Ah, the wonders of technology! Actually, it's quite nice working AWAY from the office...
it's easier to focus on a single task instead of managing interruptions common in a cubicle situation.

JPE has been out for a run...

SLE arrived mid-day to work from home...

MB completed closing arguments on his court case & the jury is currently deliberating.
His legal team is playing cards while they wait.

JPE & I are headed out for coffee & pastry in an hour...

Will be dining at CAVA @ Clarendon Metro stop (a few stops away from SLE & MB's condo)...
Their work days are long & they eat late... 

My closing comments... here's "a beautifully painted, historical mural of Santa Barbara's rich history"...
(taking a few pointers from my legal team)

Santa Barbara Airport - next to security check-in
UPDATE - MB's Court Case

US v. Makarita

:: Dentist, Makarita - found GUILTY on 8 of 15 counts ::

Awesome job... MB!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

AIR-TIME... ADVENTURE-TIME...

LEAVES IN OUR FRONT PLANTER.

GOOD-BYE CENTRAL COAST (PISMO BEACH).



  
TONIGHT... WE'LL BE STAYING...
HERE!
 & CATCHING THE METRO FROM...
HERE!!!
TO WALK ALL OVER...
HERE!!!!

CHECK IN TOMORROW FOR DETAILS OF OUR ADVENTURE.

Monday, November 12, 2012

EIGHT YEARS AGO TODAY...

11.12.04 @ 11:00am
Celebrating our 8th Anniversary today...
Thanks Mom (& Dad) for letting us "steal" you away
for a most memorable day!



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