18 December 2010

A Few Things

Thing the First:

I recently received a care package from India.


The way they do this in India is that the cardboard box is stitched up inside a fabric bag, which is then sewn up and sealed with sealing wax.


Inside was a small container of ground-with-mortar-and-pestle chai spices and a couple of boxes of delicious Indian tea, which I have been enjoying.

Thing the second:

I recently got to work knitting up some yak/cormo yarn my mom bought at Rhinebeck last year from the folks at Bijou Basin. She decided she'd like some fingerless gloves, so she could keep her fingertips free for her photography, and a hat. I found the glove-in-progress very amusing once it was bristling with needles.


When I finished the first one, Tolo graciously offered to model it for me.


I have since finished the pair, and I handed them off to my mom last night. For the hat, I have enough yarn that I can make it double thickness for the winter.

Thing the third:

We finally put up our tree tonight.


After the Great Monkey Massacre of Aught-Nine, I think we were a bit reluctant. It wouldn't have seemed like the holidays, though, without it. This year, it's back on top of the dog crate and has been lashed down with four holding points to minimize the potential for major crashes. I'm not entirely convinced Cougar won't kill this one, too, though.

02 December 2010

This Old (Drafty) House, or Implements of Mass Destruction

Because I had the day off and because I've been trying to do some of the weatherizing our little house so desperately needs, I spent Tuesday putting insulation in our attic spaces. I use the plural because the kitchen was attached later and has an attic space that is a) only accessible through the rotting louvre on the outside, and b) is completely unconnected from the main attic space. I had spent little to no time exploring either prior - thanks to their relative inaccessibility and my not insubstantial claustrophobia - so I wasn't entirely certain what to expect.

The kitchen space was fairly straightforward. There were some lengths of R-11 fiberglass that had been tossed up there some years back but never laid in properly, and once I did put them all in place, there were still areas that were completely uninsulated. So I laid in some R-30 on top of that, and plan to go back and put in more to make sure that we have R-60 or better in that space. I'm still fairly certain that the walls (which are sided on the interior with hardboard - basically heavy duty cardboard) are completely uninsulated, but that will have to be a task for another day - likely when we can gut the entire room and sort it out properly.

The main attic space was a very different story, and I learned a bit about how the house must have been constructed. First of all, it's a crawlspace, in a very, very literal sense. And despite my attempts to get rid of the worst of the cobwebs, I found myself dragging myself around through them on my belly for much of the afternoon. Second of all, the access hatch is too small to push a roll of insulation through. It's barely enough to fit myself through, which caused no end of anxiety every time my arm or leg got wedged just the wrong way.

So to get the insulation in, I had to open each roll, begin feeding the batting up into the attic, then shove myself past it, climb in, and pull the rest of the roll up after me before feeding it to where it needed to go. And let me just say that, under those conditions, it does not matter if you're working in a space that is, at best, in the mid-50s F. You will get hot and very, very, very sweaty. That extra 88¢ I spent per roll for the "Comfort Touch" sheathing? So. Worth. It.

I had known that the roofline had been raised in the rear of the house at some point. What I didn't realize until I hauled myself up into the Cobweb Factory was that only the tiniest of access holes had been cut into the old roof. Not only that, it appears that the area over the bathroom was originally a shed dormer, with the roofline elevation extended over the remaining length at some later date.

So over one whole room upstairs, there is exactly zero access. Zilch. And while there had been an attempt at some point to blow in insulation over the rest of the attic space, there was no real effort, it seems, to make sure that it was evenly distributed. Or even moderately adequate. Which it very much is not, on either count.

Anyway, suffice to say that I didn't get everything insulated. Yet. But it did prompt me to do some looking around and to get the advice of a butch dyke friend who knows from power tools. And now I am the proud owner of this beauty:


And as much as it reminds me of the alien weaponry in the movie District 9, it's really a heavy duty 12 amp (contractor grade) Hitachi reciprocating saw. My friend suggested it because it has an award-winning anti-vibration feature, which gave me quite a laugh, seeing as Hitachi is also known for this.

So at some point in the next week, I intend to crawl back up in the attic and perform a bit of deconstruction so that I can get the rest of the house insulated properly. And then I think Hitachi (Does it need a proper name, do you think?) and I will target the laundry sink, which really needs to come out and become a garden prep sink.

Festival of Lights

It is now the second night of Hannukah, and in honor of the season, I thought I would offer up this...erm...gem?...from the batshit crazy unbelievably soused inimitable mind of Sandra Lee.

Um, are those marshmallows kosher?

27 November 2010

Gobble Gobble

someecards.com - Thanksgiving is an annual tradition of observing how people used to communicate before the Internet

I hope everyone had a great Tofurkey Day. It was the first Thanksgiving in a while that actually fell on my off week, so I didn't have to work, nor was I coming off of an overnight the night before. As per our usual custom, we had dinner with Wendy and Paula at Wendy's dad's house.

I was asked to bake the pumpkin pie, so I did that and also baked sweet potato pie, in keeping with family tradition. In fact, I had enough filling for two of each. Which one do you think I've been having for breakfast and which for dinner? David made a cornbread and seitan dressing, which is his standard. He's an excellent cook, but Thanksgiving is about the only time these days that he ever does so, largely leaving that up to me.

In other news, I ran the Seacoast Half Marathon two weeks ago. Or, more appropriately, I hobbled it. I knew it wasn't going to be a good race, because I just hadn't been able to keep up my training since the Portland Half in October and I'd been having iliotibial band issues. The ITB pain got bad enough that by midway I was down to a walking pace. I did finish, though. Lee Ann, formerly of Fuzzy Logic Knits, came down from Montréal to run it with me, and we figured out that my walk pace was the same as her light jog pace, so it worked out well and I had wonderful company.

I still plan to continue running, but it's going to take me a while to work out the ITB issues, and I've not been pushing myself since the race. On Thanksgiving Day, though, I did decide I needed a pre-dinner caloric burn and walked the length of our road and back (a teeny bit shy of 10K). At our end of the road there's an apple tree right at the intersection in a little triangle of grass. I managed to find a good armload of late windfall apples that were still in decent condition, so I brought them back with me as a little treat for the sheepies. They were very thankful.

Aside from that, there's been some knitting, but on a gift exchange project. I've also been slowly processing Angus's lamb fleece to get it ready for spinning. He's getting a ton of grey in his fleece now, which is quite exciting. Come next year, he should spin up into a lovely heathery yarn, which will go well with Shaun-Fergus's mooskit, also heathery.

Yesterday was spent doing mountains of laundry and putting up plastic on the windows for the winter. We've talked about it before but never followed through, so I'm hoping that it will save us a bit on heating bills until we can get all the windows replaced. Right now we're looking at replacing our cracked oil boiler with a high efficiency propane one. The fuel costs are currently more for propane, but we'd be able to free up the chimney for wood heat, which we could hopefully get in place within the next year or two, and we could also put in a propane cookstove. Such is our fast-paced, jet-setting lifestyle.

10 November 2010

To Sleep, Perchance To Dream?

So I've decided to embark on a little experiment. Anyone who knows me or has read this blog for any length of time knows that my sleep schedule is absolutely verkacht, which is a Really Bad Thing, particularly where all of my neuropathic issues are concerned. Or when I drive home after the 15-hour shift that turned into 18 hours.

Anyway, I've been considering polyphasic sleep schedules for quite a while. Certainly biphasic sleep, at a minimum, was well known in the pre-industrial world, and there's at least anecdotal evidence that it's quite doable. And, let's face it, I've been essentially living a bi- to polyphasic sleep schedule for years now.

Considering the problem and my general state of feeling tired most of the time, though, I've realized that my polyphasic sleep has not been regular. Not one little bit. So after reading up on the Everyman sleep schedule and with some encouragement from Mush, I think I've sorted out a variation that can work for my crazy schedule.

The plan is to get a core 4.5 hour block of sleep in the morning, then 20 minute naps at about 4PM, 1AM, and 5AM. The 4PM to 1AM stretch is a good bit longer than the recommended no-more-than-6 hour interval between naps, but it's the most workable solution I could think of that I could maintain during my regular work schedule. The nature of emergency work, of course, is that you never know what to expect, but the first half of my shift is almost always the busiest and I can typically find 20 minutes to spare in the post-midnight half. I'm hoping that my body will say, "A semblance of regularity? I'll take it!"

In Other News

The other day I dug Angus's lamb fleece (from last year) out of the shed and scoured it. Now I'm in the process of combing, then carding it. The combing is to get out as much of the vegetable matter as possible before carding the fiber into rolags. Also, the shearer made a lot of second cuts, and I'd prefer not to have a lot of neps in the yarn. At any rate, I've got a bag that's filling up with rolags and am looking forward to moving on to the spinning process.

23 October 2010

Eine Kleine Rhinebeck

I never seem to manage to get many photos of the actual event anymore, since we always get too busy. I did slip away for a bit on Sunday, though, and snapped a few "ambience" photos.




One of the odd ironies about Rhinebeck is that it's the one place I know I can count on seeing Clara Parkes. Even though we live in the same state, and even though she lives in the same neck of the woods as my grandmother, and even though our respective travels often bring us within proximity, our paths never seem to cross otherwise. Which is a shame, really, since I understand she makes some mad tasty caramels.


This year, for a change, we took an extra day after the festival to be tourists and see a little bit of the area, which included taking the Walkway Over the Hudson, a late lunch at the Culinary Instute of America (Apple Pie Bakery Café, to be precise), and a visit to the FDR Presidential Library. I took a few photos of the first and third on that list, too.



It appears that Sara Roosevelt is knitting a jumper in this photo, though it's a little too dark to tell. I'm fairly certain she's working with long dpn's. And how many of you noticed that gigantic dog sleeping between them?

Some of Eleanor's knitting needles

I now also have one post-Rhinebeck photo to share. Last night I finished up my latest Rhinebeck knitting project - the vest I started back in the spring from yarn I got last year. The neckband and armhole ribbing is from yarn I got this year, so technically it's a two-Rhinebeck project.


I decided that I would have liked the body about an inch shorter, so I'm adjusting it for the written pattern and the next iteration, but I didn't want to frog back this one, so I'm leaving it as is. On the whole I'm pleased with the way it turned out. The yarn colors complement each other very nicely, and it's going to be a nice warm vest to wear this winter.

17 October 2010

The Truth About Sheep and Wool

First of all, Day One of Rhinebeck was absolutely phenomenal, from a business standpoint. The weather was perfect, so there were huge crowds already assembled at the gates when we arrived. Our booth was hopping from the get-go, and the pace really didn't let up all day. Since my parents came along to help out, I did manage to get away long enough to hit the fleece sale and to visit Nanney Kennedy and get some yarn to finish off my vest. I did not, however, have a chance to take any photos of the day, as has been the case the past few years. Visits with people I love to see were far too short, as they also tend to be.

Anyway, toward the end of the day, I was busy ringing up a customer when David says to me, "I've got a big sock purchase to ring up here." So I told him I was nearly done with the current customer and could help him shortly. He was working with a really tall blonde woman, but I was busy with the other customer and not paying much attention. At one point she called him by name, but I wasn't sure where she knew him from.

At any rate, I finished up with my customer and hurriedly started ringing up the HUGE pile of RedMaple socks he had in hand, as the woman said to her male companion, "I need to go get something from the cashmere place," and rushed off, leaving him with her credit card to pay. He asked us who had cashmere, clearly not remembering where it was he needed to follow her, so I told him it would pretty much have to be Springtide Farm, who are in the next barn over. Then I gave him the total and he handed over the credit card. I swiped it first, then looked at the name - UMA K THURMAN.

For real.

25 September 2010

Great Minds

One of the interesting aspects of my relationship with David is that we often have the same thoughts at the same moment. And when I say often, I mean at least on a daily basis. Maybe it's a psychic bond, maybe it's just having very similar frames of reference, but it's been that way through the entire relationship.

Lately we've been watching old episodes of "The X-Files", thanks to Netflix. Earlier tonight, we were watching an episode where animals in an Idaho zoo were apparently being abducted from their cages by aliens but then not being put back in quite the right location afterward and wreaking havoc on the local population.

One of the animals was a tiger who ended up in a warehouse across town. As our intrepid FBI agents arrived on the scene, Scully said to Mulder, "How does a tiger get all the way on the other side of town without being spotted?"

David and I both immediately yelled at the TV, "Because it's striped!"

18 September 2010

A Fortunate Non-crisis


Last night I noticed I was nearing the end of the current ball of yarn I'm working from for the vest-in-progress, and it struck me that I couldn't remember if this was the 2nd or 3rd ball of the four I have. Since the yarn is a one-off dyejob I got from Nanney Kennedy last year at Rhinebeck, and there were only 4 skeins to be had, I started to get a little nervous. After all, I'm still about 4 inches from the armholes, and we all know how much yarn the cabling takes up.

So I got home from work and quickly looked and found one lone ball of yarn. Curses! I love this yarn - the color is pretty true in the photo, very denim-y - and really want to have this particular vest in this particular yarn. Visions of having to frog the whole thing back and starting from scratch on this project were swirling in my head as I went to bed and got a fitful day's sleep. When I got up this evening, though, I had a slightly more thorough look and, sure enough, found the 4th ball fallen down under a bit more of the clutter that is my yarn room. Crisis averted!

Just to make sure, though, I did a quickie calculation and determined that by the time I reach the armholes I should be right at 2/3 of the yarn used. Once I figure in the armhole decreases and the V-neck shaping, that should give me just enough to finish this project. I hope.

12 September 2010

Take That, Cancer!

So today was the Race for the Cure, and I did pretty well. I finished in 28:47, which put me in 181st place overall and 23rd out of 31 in my age division. Considering I've been running for less than 6 months and this was the first actual race I've ever been in, I'd say that's a decent showing.

Thanks to everyone who donated! Maybe if governments spent the kind of money on good medical research that they do on wars, organizations like this wouldn't have to ask for donations. Until we can manage to put such a government in place, though, folks like you make a huge difference to people in need.

Strange Symbiosis


I've noticed this summer, that my crowder peas have been especially attractive to yellow jackets. As near as I can tell, the plants seem to be secreting something at the base of the pods that the wasps find irresistible (see the photo). I can't tell if it's maybe a tiny amount of fluid or what, but the effect is specific for yellow jackets. I've seen mention of the phenomenon on some gardening forums, but no scientific treatise on the subject that I've found, as yet. It does appear to be a symbiotic relationship, though. The wasps get something they want while the plants get some serious protection - I've seen zero predation on these plants, and I've been very careful myself when picking the pods.

10 September 2010


The First

David recently finished up his fall wholesale catalog, which caused his summer to be filled with much blood, sweat, and tears. Especially the tears part. The end result, though, is freakin' gorgeous. My husband is incredibly talented.

Anyway, one of the alpaca photos used in the catalog came from Homestead Geek, to whom we are much obliged. Thanks to her, and VUBOQ, I expect that I'll probably opt for the nook when I travel down the e-reader path, but that's not what this is about. What this is about is that I highly recommend giving her blog a read. Also if you're in her area (which is I'm-not-quite-certain-where), you might also consider purchasing some of her homemade pickles to help her help her mom.

Miscellaneum, The Second

I signed up this week to run the Susan Komen Race for the Cure 5K. The race is actually this Sunday, so I set my fundraising goal very, very low. Donations of $5 or $10 (or even more, if you can spare) would be zOMG-so-very-greatly!!! appreciated and can be made through my ridiculously-difficult-to-find fundraising page (srsly, somebody needs to give the code monkeys a swift kick for their barely-navigable site), which I did eventually manage to find here.

Miscellaneum, The Third

I actually picked up the needles for the first time in a couple of months and started back in on the plait-cabled tennis vest I'm reworking from a WWII-era Red Heart booklet. I'm only slightly farther along than I was here, but I still love the yarn and the pattern. Perhaps one day I'll actually finish it, and maybe even write up the updated pattern.

30 August 2010

Gardening, Accidental and Otherwise

I harvested my first butternut squash today.


The funny thing is that I never intentionally planted any. The composted alpaca manure I used to fill the raised beds for raspberry and sweet potato just happened to have some squash remains that had been thrown on the pile. So I ended up with three totally unplanned vines that have spread over a big chunk of the sideyard and over the compost pile. This one is growing between the slats of one of the pallets we have to enclose the compost.


Not quite sure how I'm going to cut it out of there. And then there's the third variety.


I also have a little stand of sunflowers that I think were planted by our resident chipmunk.


One crop I did plant that's been going at it gangbusters are my crowder peas. The description says they "have a tendency to vine in rich soils". Apparently my soil is very rich! They've been rather Jack-and-the-beanstalk-ish, and it's been sort of a constant effort to keep them trained up the rather strained poles I put up, rather than sprawling all over the walkway. I've already saved some early seeds for next year and expect I should have a decent little crop for eating by the end of season.


My tomato plants are also loaded with green tomatoes. I set them out a bit later than planned, so they've needed time to catch up, but I'm expecting they'll ripen up before frost hits. Long season crops are always a bit of a challenge here, but being by the ocean and having a south-facing hillside keeps us effectively as a USDA zone 7 microclimate, even though we're nominally zone 5 or 6, depending on which version of the map you reference. Since that designation only looks at minimum winter temps, though, we still run into the issue of a short season, but as with knitting, it's more about the process for me than the final product.

15 August 2010

Time with the Nieces

My sister's girls (aged 6 and 8) are up visiting their Gram & Pa for a few weeks, so as I was planning to head to my grandmother's on Schoodic Peninsula for a too-short visit while my aunts are up from FL and NC, I swung by my parents' and picked the girls up to get a taste of what my childhood summers were like. We made the trip downeast on Thursday, which was also the peak activity night for the Perseids.

Since the skies were clear and perfect for some spectacular viewing, we fished out a couple of old Army surplus quilts to lay on the ground in the back yard and covered up with a quilt I had in the car. Alison (aka Ash), the younger, decided to stay up with me and we saw some amazing ones before Mary, who is not a night owl, was roused from her nap to come watch for a while.

The next day we headed across the road and down to the shore, where my uncle Brad lives. He was going to take the girls for a little ride in his inflatable raft but decided once they headed out that the water was too choppy for it to be enjoyable and took them for a somewhat longer ride in his big boat, which is moored out in the natural harbor.



The view of Mount Desert Island and the Porcupine Islands was particularly nice.


And the girls really enjoyed the boat ride.


Then we threw together a picnic lunch and headed to Schoodic Point.



And then on to visit cousin Miriam Colwell, who lives in the colonial farmhouse where she was raised by her grandparents and who, at 93, is remarkably spry. While I enjoyed visiting with Miriam and looking at the paintings and sculptures done by her late partner, the artist Chenoweth (Chennie) Hall, the girls were more interested in being kids.


Then we headed on to Corea village, so we could take some photos of the ever-picturesque harbor.



On the way back to the house, we stopped for one last photo op in Prospect Harbor village.


Mary declared it "the most awesomest day ever since we've been in Maine!"

05 August 2010

Queen of Vagina (Almost Certainly NSFW)

My sister flew up with her girls Tuesday night so they could spend a few weeks with their Gram & Pa. Said sister had to turn around and fly back yesterday afternoon, so we didn't get to spend a lot of time visiting. She did, however, share this Ohrwurm, which she was humming almost constantly.

I particularly love how the QoV keeps singing "have sex with my vagina", as if she'd just be a bystander in the whole experience. Reminds me of a David Sedaris story (which I can't seem to find video of).

24 July 2010



I took this when we were camping at Hartford Beach State Park with Mike & Sue and their 4 kids, who have grown up so much since we last saw them. This little swarm of damselflies was sprinkled on the grass by the lake's edge like little blue jewels. This one should definitely be embiggened.

21 July 2010



Not something you'd typically expect to see in South Dakota, but there they were. These guys were enjoying themselves in a bit of flooded out marsh alongside Lake Poinsett (that's pronounced PON-sit), which is right here:

View Larger Map

It struck me last night that if I just posted one photo from the trip per day, that would provide me with blog fodder until some time in November. I likely won't do that to you, though. Or will I?

20 July 2010

Double Rainbow

No, not this one.

This was taken from David's Aunt Lila's front yard in Rapid City. About three weeks ago. Because I'm a bad blogger.


06 July 2010

Another South Dakota Postcard

or, My what a big sign you have!


We chanced upon this in Rapid City before catching our flight home. If only the food had been as impressive as the sign. I've taken what would be described down south as a ass of photos and will work on putting together some more coherent posts soon (with luck).

02 July 2010

Greetings from South Dakota!

Just a quickie drive-by post. We're in South Dakota on vacation and visiting with the in-laws. We started in Sioux Falls (way eastern side of the state) and are now just outside Hill City (near Mt. Rushmore in the Black Hills). I'll try to post more later, but I thought I'd share this photo I took a few nights ago in Leola, which is the town of about 300 people in north central SD where David's mother's family comes from.


Just for reference, this photo was taken at around 9:30 in the evening. Since Leola is at about 45N latitude and near the western end of the Central time zone, it gets dark really, really late this time of year.

17 June 2010

Catching Up

So here we are into the second half of June and I haven't posted since early on the first, before we headed south for my grandmother's funeral. Suffice to say it's been busy as all hell since I got home, and I'm just beginning to feel like I'm breaking the surface a bit to catch my breath. So I guess the thing to do at this point is backtrack a little and talk a bit about the trip.

Mostly it was just good to spend time with family and catch up a little with members of the extended family and people who may as well be family, some of whom I hadn't seen in years. It was also nice to be there with everything all leafed out and lush (And HUMID! Sweet FSM, was it humid!). I'm pretty sure I could never live in that climate again, but little doses remind me of my childhood, and I'm perfectly okay with that.

Another echo of my childhood came the day after the funeral. I had an errand to run and on my way back to my parents' house I spied this beauty on the side of the road:


As far as I can tell, she's an Eastern Painted Turtle of considerable age and, had I weighed and measured her, possibly of record size. She'd left a small farm pond nearby looking for some nicer real estate, but if I hadn't stopped to pick her up, she'd have likely ended up as a turtle pancake on a hot country road.

So after taking her back to my folks' and snapping a few photos, I took her off to the edge of the woods, through which she could get to my grandfather's pond and the creek. I sat down for a bit to see if she'd come out of her shell for a better photo, but she was having none of it. I did, however, manage to pick up a mess of these:


That, friends, is a genuine chigger, a true Southern institution and a rite of passage I really don't enjoy repeating. On the other hand, there were some ripe blackberries near at hand, so just maybe the pleasure slightly mitigated the ungodly itch.

01 June 2010

Mary Merchant, 1919-2010

My maternal grandmother passed away Saturday night. It was expected, as her body had been slowly failing her for quite some time. Her health was, in fact, one of the main reasons for my visit in March, as I knew it was likely that I wouldn't get another chance to see her. Hospice was called in a few weeks ago, and being the phenomenal organization they are, they were a tremendous help in easing her transition from this existence to the next.

As is often the way of grandmothers, my Manana (a moniker that came from a cousin's faltering attempts at saying "my Nana", and which a younger cousin would much later shorten to Menah) was an exceptional woman. She was her high school's valedictorian (a new young state senator by the name of Strom Thurmond gave the commencement address) and star girl's basketball player and, according to my grandfather, was the best bareback mule racer in the area.

The photo above is from just after their wedding in 1936, which was just 5 days after her 17th birthday. They first lived in a cabin across the road from her parents, where they had their first child, and from which she went out the next day to work in the fields. It was the Great Depression, and not working was a luxury they couldn't afford.

A few years later, when they bought land about a mile down the road and built the home she would spend the rest of her life in, she and my grandfather fenced in 80 acres of pasture working side-by-side. Having fenced in a smaller section of that same pasture, I know very well what a feat it was, but their relationship was always one of equal partners, and it was from her that I learned about the grace and beauty of a strong woman. Even as her body betrayed her, she maintained her wit and her ability to laugh, but she knew it was time to go and she was ready for it.

Yes, I will miss her dearly, because how could you not miss someone so fiercely wonderful? But it's a bittersweet sort of loss, because in the end there's so much of her in me and in everyone else whose lives she touched. And I can't think of any tribute more beautiful than keeping that part of her alive and sharing it with everyone in my own life. Because again, how could you not?

21 May 2010

Fuzzy Black Balls

I haz 'em.

A matched pair, even.

Wanna see them?


That's two super soft balls of possum-merino in black, and that long skein hanging between them is some hand-dyed superwash merino sock yarn from James in the "Highland" colorway. Or is that colourway?

Either way, the hand-dyed is James's own lovely creation, and I ordered it all from his online shop, which is right here.

13 May 2010

More (Belated) DC Photos

I meant to go back and post pics from our Saturday trekking around to see the monuments, but I'm kind of a bad blogger these days, apparently. Anyway, we had a nice day to do it, albeit a bit on the warm side. We started out hanging with the Obamas.

White House 01

For some reason, David didn't like it when I tried to nibble on his neck.

White House 02

By then the Secret Service people were looking at us funny, so we went around and over to visit the National Phallic Symbol.


I'm not entirely certain why David decided to bring his rain jacket along, but it stayed tied to his waist all day. With temps up around 90F and strong sunlight filtered through hazy humidity all day, there was no way a rubberized black nylon shell was going to be a needed item. Anyway, by the time we got to the Washington Monument, they'd already handed out the last of their available tickets for the day, so we didn't get to go inside and kept on trekking around the Tidal Basin to the Jefferson Memorial.

Declaration of Independence

Honestly, I think that every single teabagger and every single Republican politician who blathers on about what they think the Founding Fathers wanted for this country needs to be dragged to these monuments and made to actually read what they actually said they wanted, especially this one.

On Change

After we left there, we walked the rest of the way around the Tidal Basin, where we saw a cricket game


what I'm pretty sure had to have been the last of the cherry blossoms (look at the little green cherries!)

Last Cherry Blossom

and the FDR Memorial (which I also think the teabaggers need to go see)


Then we got to the Korean War Memorial, which David particularly wanted to visit, since his dad is a veteran of that war. All the people in red & blue shirts in the background were part of a huge group of veterans who were there for some sort of rally.

Korean War Memorial

Then it was on to my favorite of all, the Lincoln Memorial. I only learned as our plane was landing that David had never visited it before. Built to look like an ancient Greek Temple, to me it is the one monument in DC that best captures the sense of Sacred Space.

The Great Emancipator

Also, by that point in the day, I really appreciated being able to slip of my sandals and feel the cool marble under my feet.

Then we visited the Vietnam Memorial, followed by the World War II Memorial, by which point our energies were seriously flagging. At the WWII Memorial, too, I had to contend with the Umbrella Lady, who was oblivious to my photo-taking attempts and just would not get out of the way. So finally, I just said to hell with it and let her be the subject as she was holding court.

Umbrella Lady

I must say, though, that I was quite impressed at the coordination of her outfit.