Saturday, December 27, 2008

It's beginning to smell a lot like Christmas....

My BIL just took his devils food cakes out of the over, and like that wouldn't smell good enough, he also christened the floor with a large quantity of vanilla. It smells really, really, nice in here. And it will only get better -- my sister is about to begin beef bourgenoine. You see tonight we're having a meeting of the Algonquin Rectangle. Yes, I know it was the Algonquin Roundtable (aka The Vicious Circle), but since the dining room table here is a rectangle it seemed appropriate to change the name. Mind you we've already had words about that. My BIL sent out this email invtite saying he wanted to host an "old fashioned dinner party like the Algonquin Roundtable." I extrapolated. He repeatedly rolled his eyes and scoffed when I mentioned the Rectablge to folks. Last night I finally found out why -- he thought I didn't kno it was originally the "Roundtable" so he lectured me on what I was saying wrong and how I needed to stop referring to his party incorrectly. Sigh.

Loooong story over -- suffice it to say it smells really nice in here, nd the dining room table is covered with freshly polished silver, 7 million misc crystal glasses, and the beggings of the china collection. So I have ensconsed myself in the corner of the sunroom next to the "children's tree" (they'll be a picture of that later this week when I can upload some more pics).

From this place of comfort how about I try to tell you what's goofy about the Smithsonian American History Museum since I promised I would. Lots of folks who deal with these things were hoping that the closure would mean the easing of traffic choke points and the like, but that really didn't happen and some other wierdnesses cropped up. First of all, they really aren't done. The cafe is serving boxed sandwiches out of temporary refrigerators, there are still construction zones inside, drywall dust motes up in corners, and contractors and crews are measuring and moving equipment about. Because of the construction thing you get "interesting moments" like coming out of the big deal temporary exhibit of the only signed copy of the Gettysburg Address. The exhibit is nicely done, but then you leave to this--
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a maze of white-washed construction walls with "exit" arrow signs lol -- I felt a bit like an explorer.

There was also the small but lovely exhibit of musical instruments including several Stradivari (or is that Stradivarises?) instruments. In the room they have a panel of buttons where you can select soundbites of Smithsonian Chamber Orchestra performances that feature instruments like those in the collection. Next to the display you get--
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Yes, that is a foldered computer printout of the Smithsonian orchestra's appearances that they hve TAPED to the wall. lol Honestly, can't you give them a little glass-covered display box for that?

Many of you will be heartened to know that the First Lady Dresses are back. The exhibit reopened the day I visited so it was nice to be among the first on the carpet. It's nicely done. There are weirdnesses in it, but they are too hard to explain here, and I don't think they would ruin your experience. Among the viewable items are a new dress from Laura Bush and this stunning broach of Edith Wilson made for her by Lalique
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The thing is probably about 8 inches across! Imagine the collar that would go on!

I'll tour guide some more later, but for now, how about I catch up on some much overdue stitching updates?

Here's the LHN Scriptures piece I did for my niece-in-law in its box--
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The penguin ornie I needlepointed for my sister who collects penguins:
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The unfinished ornie for my BIL who has a family tradition of singing "Silent NIght" as the dinner prayer on Christmas--
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There will be a finished version of this as soon as I Can do that picture upload.

And now that she has it I can share the ornie I did for Rosalie as part of a Pals' exchange:
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More soon... gotta go find lunch. Priorities you know!


Cyn said...

Hi Ruth,

Thanks for the update on the American History Museum. I was thinking about taking the kids as that's DS's favorite museum but since it's still a mess we might wait.

Next time you come east, please let me know. :-)

Have you visited any of the local needlework stores?

Windy Meadow

mainely stitching said...

Wonderful pictures. Wish I could check out the museum, but it's a bit of a trip from here. ;)

Kajsa said...

That's one of the museums left on my to do list! Love the stitched pieces, the penguin is so cute!

Hazel said...

Nice stitching Ruth! Love the scripture box. x

Carolyn NC said...

Sounds like a fun time with family. Lovely gifts you stitched!

Beatrice said...

You have been a busy Badger I see.
I wish you a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!

karen said...

Looks like you are having a wonderful time! Stay warm!!

Yvonne..... said... you have to tell me about the weirdness of the first ladies dresses! LOL!