Sunday, January 11, 2009

In the bleak midwinter... sat a lovely garden ----

(I just had to use In the Bleak Midwinter at some point. It's my favorite Christmas carol.)

Hi again. Yes, I'm behind. I got slowed down first by leaving D.C. and then by readjusting to L.A. It was probably close to 80 degrees out here today -- that's just not right!

Let's see how far I get on my continuing adventures in D.C. this evening.

If you ever visit DC and like plants or gardening I would highly recommend a visit to the national conservatory (on the Mall between Congress and the NMAI). It's not as small as it seems, but it is an oasis in the midst of the city. And at Christmas it is even more magical--
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Of course it has all sorts of stunning plants both seasonal and otherwise --
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But for Christmas they build these amazing models out of all natural elements (oh and in the month or so before Christmas they have a couple workshops where you can come and build a "natural house" for yourself. Way cool!) --
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Lots of people take pictures of the models ... including my festively decorated BIL --
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They make even 7-year-old grand nephews happy (especially when they do his new favoritest thing in the world -- the Capitol!)--
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They also have a train room which continues the natural building theme --
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They also have a room of what plants are used for which allows for lots of smelling opportunities --
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(I think we were meeting vanilla beans there)
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Cool things you can make out of plants (if you're really, really talented!)

On the social scene the 27th saw us (well really my sister and BIL) hosting a formal dinner party for 11.
The Haviland was used --
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The silver was polished --
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My sister even ironed --
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My sister made and my BIL flamed the beef bourgnine--
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My BIL made dessert (from scratch devils food with raspberry filling-- eventually it got a white peppermint icing)--
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Here it is in all its iced goodness --
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The Bruichladdich that my BIL bottled on their honeymoon came out to play --
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Here's the hostess and host That's an apron he has on under his coat -- apparently he wanted to be butlerish--
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And me and the sister
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Besides lots of happy people who mostly hadn't known each other before the evening, but by the end of dinner everyone was about 1-degree-of separation away from each other and some were making plans for upcoming concerts, ... what you get at the end of the evening is.....
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.....a very tired sister. lol Oh, that's a pillow cover on her hip-- she'd want you to know that she didn't have really strange taste in belts.

Now the next day we kinda got to do it all over again since the afternoon brought about 100 folks to my sister's abode for an open house. [Don't ask. My BIL planned the adventures!] I was the designated main cook so they got my Carnivorous Vegetarian Chilli and albondigas --
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Those are industrial-sized pots in case you were wondering, and yes, my sister did get a suitable amount of leftovers.... which was her main priority. lol
There were plenty of other noshing opportunities --
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Including one of my favs -- olives
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The Penguins got to tend bar on the balcony--
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And my xsing buddy, Sharon brought my new heart throb, Josh all the way from PA to visit--
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And Josh showed his adeptness at tackling steps (even if it was only one because his mean ole mommy wouldn't let him do a whole flight lol)....
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... and the joy of railings (the penguins seemed of little consequence, but he was fascinated by the wood lattice)--
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Ok, I've more than inundated you for mow. I hope to be back tomorrow to show you Williamsburg. But I should warn you that if you remember my "resort" adventures from last year (aka Ruth House Sits), well I'm back to sit that same house so it's really hard to drag me out of the yard or away from the jumbo tv (woo hooo Barrett Jackson starts this week!!!!!). You should see all the stitching I got done yesterday! hee hee


Kathy A. said...

lovely lovely photos Ruth. I really enjoyed them. Thanks so much for sharing.

Sharon said...

Nice pictures. Especially of that little man with the mean mommy.

I thought I was up on my Christmas carols but must admit I'm not aware of your favorite one - or at least those lyrics.

Thanks for sharing and glad you made it home safely!

Sharon (& Josh)

Chris said...

Nice pictures. I had meant to ask Sharon if she made it to the open house, now I know she did. Judy had told me over Christmas that you were house sitting again when you got back .... can I come hang out with you? I could work remote from the house.... work during the day, stitch at night.

Stitchy Mc Floss said...

I love all the pics and stories. I can't wait to hear all about Williamburg...such a beautiful place. :)

Beth said...

Okay - were you a professional photographer in a former life, or is it a future life that you are training for?? FANTASTIC pix!! I loved the pictures of the Conservatory and of course of Josh.

Looking forward to the next chapter


Polly said...

Great pictures. The next time you are in town we have to meet up. Don't forget about me.