Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday Dinner with the Langes

Keenan, Carol, Jackson

Bob and Keenan

Bob and Carol and the boys came over for dinner tonight. We haven't seem them for awhile, as they have been busy this summer with soccer and basketball camps, church camp, and vacation bible school next week. And of course they went to Cleveland in early July for The Lange Open, when Bob's whole family meets in Cleveland for an annual golf tournament and picnic. They even went to an Indians game one night (45 of them!) and got their names on the scoreboard! And they celebrated Aunt Peg's 90th birthday, and had a bridal shower for Tim's fiancee, so it sounded like a fun and busy weekend. They just got home from a vacation to the Grand Canyon and then out to San Diego to see Joyce (Carol's mom). They had a great time, and hearing about the Sedona area and Grand Canyon renewed my interest in visiting that area. We sat outside and talked for awhile while the boys played cards and then basketball outside,  and then had a yummy dinner of brisket, Kimmelwick rolls, French potato salad, fresh corn and sliced tomatoes. Brooks joined us for dinner, and the boys were happy to see him.
French potato salad

We are so lucky to have Bob and Carol and the boys in the area with us. We miss so much of the family time back home, so we just have to make our own family time here in Virginia and Maryland. Whenever Mom and Dad used to visit us, or when Peg and Tom still visit, we all get together and everyone loves that. Aunt Peggy always says how happy it makes her that Bob and I live near each other and that we can spend holidays together. It makes us happy too. Love her--I think she deserves a picture here as well.

Aunt Peg and me July 2011

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Saturday Morning at Lake Anne Farmers Market

Reston founder Bob Simon
We were up early, Walt to go for a run, and me to take full advantage of a Saturday off and go to the farmers market at Lake Anne. It was busy at 8 am, and I got some green beans, tomatoes, beets, raspberries, peaches and basil, and of course I couldn't resist a bouquet of zinnias. It's hard to stop, because everything looks so good. I buy most of my stuff from Hutt Produce, just because I like the guy so much and I know him from the Herndon market on Thursdays.

Look at these cute brussels sprouts

I think we will have summer pasta tonight, the Silver Palate recipe with tomatoes, basil, and brie cheese. Fresh and easy.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Good Morning, and Pots Update

Here are some pictures of my pots as they look this hot and humid morning at the end of July. Everything is still thriving, and I haven't had to cut too much back. Even the million bells still look pretty good. Usually they are crisped up by now. I did give the Picasso petunias a trim about a week ago, but mostly I am just watering...and watering. Haven't fed them once this summer.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


July 2011

I love my succulents, the weirder the better. I overwinter mine in the garage, just set them all together in a tub and bring them out again in early spring. Eileen and I usually pick up a new succulent at Espenshades in PA, where they have the best selection I have seen. Most of these I have had for several years.

Landis Farm May 2011

Also loved this bowl of succulents that Evelyn planted at Landis Farm this spring. So cute!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Happy Birthday Dad

Dad on his 90th birthday
Today would have been Dad's 97th birthday. This is my favorite picture of him, taken on his 90th birthday, with his favorite fleece shirt (remember it was July) and a martini in his hand. A happy guy.

Dad in garden 1980

After he retired, Dad really enjoyed working in his vegetable garden. Brooks and Julia used to love picking peas. It was around this time that I first started getting interested in gardening, and planted my first perennial garden in Herndon.

Me and Dad in his garden  1980

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


 Tonight was my book discussion group at the library and we talked about Erik Larson's Thunderstruck. It was an interesting book, a little slow at times, about Marconi's quest for the first transatlantic wireless communication, and a parallel story of Dr. H.H. Crippen, a meek little man who supposedly murdered and dismembered his wife. The last 100 pages are the best, when the 2 stories converge, and Marconi's telegraph makes it possible for the whole world to track Crippen and his lover as they attempt to escape from London to Canada aboard a ship.  It made for an interesting discussion of technology then and now.  

But what was most fascinating was that one of our group's members had seen a PBS segment about the Crippen murder and that recent DNA analysis done in 2007 shows that the body parts found in his basement were of a man and not his wife, Belle. So was he wrongly convicted and executed? Did the police frame him in order to solve such a notorious crime? It brought a whole new perspective to the discussion. We all felt like Erik Larson, such a good researcher, should follow up on this!  It's such a good group, and we had a great turnout last night, about 16 people. While not everyone liked the book, I think all enjoyed the discussion.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Some Nice Words Can Make All the Difference

Front Garden July 25

This morning as I was out watering, one of my neighbors, who I don't know very well,  drove by and stopped to tell me how beautiful she thought my garden was, calling it "a work of art." I felt much better about how much work and time the garden takes after hearing that someone else enjoys it too!

Blue Balloonflower
So of course I got out my camera and took these pictures of the garden as it looks this very morning! Not too bad for the end of July.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday Brunch

Somehow we always manage to go to Clyde's when Julia is home, but this time we went for brunch.  Afterwards, Julia and I shopped around Reston Town Center for awhile, bought some new earrings at Anthro and then came home and sorted through all her jewelry. She moves into her new house in a week and is really looking forward to being in her own place again (with 5 other people). She has two more weeks of her internship at Rex Hospital, and then she begins her second year of grad school.

After a short nap, she headed back to Chapel Hill around 6.
This girl likes her fruit!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Julia's Home

Julia and Walt before a race in 2007
Julia and Walt were up at 7 this morning to go for a run before it got too hot.   Julia went to Katey's (a friend from high school) bridal shower in the afternoon and then out to dinner in DC with Jackie. W and I are catching up on one of our favs, Doc Martin.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Antiquing in Frederick, MD

Gillian in her red Bug

Gillian and I had a fun trip to Frederick yesterday, having lunch at Firestone's (Heirloom Tomato BLT on challah bread--yum) and then poking through the Emporium Antiques on Patrick St.

Love this dresser!

We both liked this simple dresser. Of course there's always lots of glassware to look at. We certainly don't need any more glassware.

Stay away from this

On the other hand, who could resist these cute guys? Won't they be cute with some succulents in them?

Too cute

Julia is driving home tonight, for Katey's bridal shower tomorrow.  I'm making barbecued chicken and noodles for dinner, with Armenian Country Salad. And maybe Nora's peach pie?  Julia would like that.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Salad Sampler

 Gillian and I are planning to go to Frederick, MD, for a little lunch and antiquing. There is a big antiques mall there that should be nice and cool to walk around.

Salad Sampler was great last night. Dixie has done a lot of work inside and outside of her house and it looks great.  Her house is so colorful with all her quilts and collections, especially these tomatoes.

Outside we toured her yard and she has a great vegetable garden with tomatoes, beans, lettuce, eggplant, lettuce, and blackberries! She has done alot of work outside. Dinner was delish, starting out with fruity margaritas made by Eileen and veggies and dips. Then we had a spicy shrimp salad with peaches and mangos made by Prudy, tomatoes with mozz and basil from Dixie, and a variation of Rita's corn and black bean salad from Eileen, and yummy bread from the new Fresh Market in Vienna. It was all delicious and a perfect dinner for one of the hottest nights of the summer. That's why we invented Salad Samplers all those years ago! My peach tart was good, but I think I like Nora Ephron's Peach Pie better.
Eileen and Prudy
Prudy's Shrimp Salad with White Peaches and Mangos

Dixie and Prudy

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Dad's Sprinkler

How weird is it taking a picture of a sprinkler?
I was out early this morning watering and was able to get Dad's sprinkler working again! I'm so happy because I love that sprinkler. It's the perfect sprinkler.  Today I have to make a dessert for tonight's Salad Sampler dinner at Dixie's house. I think I am going to make Dorie Greenspan's Crunchy and Custardy Peach Tart from her Baking Book. It looks delish and I got some nice peaches at Wegmans on Sunday.

Well, it was an interesting day as the power went out this morning as I was talking on the phone to Evie! It did not come back on until 3 or so, so I ended up taking my pie over to Gillian's and baking it at her house. Thank God the power did come back on, and the A/C as well. It is 100 degrees today. Ah, summer...days like this I think about Dad growing up in Washington, D.C., and his talking about sleeping in the attic of a rowhouse on East Capitol Street and how hot it was.  I guess so!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Back to Yoga

I started a new yoga class tonight with Mary. Elizabeth, Sherrie and Kathy and I are taking this one together and they are doing a Saturday class as well, but I can't do that one because of work. After several years with Pat, we were ready for a change.  Mary teaches a nice class, and has a very calming manner.  It's so interesting how each of the teachers has their own style. The only problem with Mondays is that I work until 5, so have to fight the traffic to get there on time. But then I get to relax and wait for Savasana...

Sunday, July 17, 2011


We went into Georgetown about 4:30 yesterday. We walked around for awhile, checked out the new CB2 store on M Street, then wandered down to the canal and surprisingly found ourselves by my favorite cafe, Cafe La Ruche! Hmm, what a coincidence. We had gazpacho and quiche (me) and salade nicoise (W). We sat outside in the little garden and it was so nice, sitting there enjoying the nice weather and people watching. I think it's the first time I have not had a patisserie at La Ruche!

My fav
Cold gazpacho on a warm night

Then we walked some more, choosing the side streets and neighborhoods of Georgetown rather than the main drag. We did see a cool restaurant, Neyla, that looked really good and we want to try sometime. The lines at Georgetown Cupcake were amazing! They were out the door and over a block long. No cupcakes for us!
Canal in Georgetown
Cute house in Georgetown
This could be my house

W worked on his bike this afternoon and got the tire changed. I went to Wegman's and we had blue cheese burgers and fresh corn for dinner tonight. A nice weekend.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Sunny and Summery Saturday

My girl among the anemones

It is an absolutely beautiful day and I am so happy to not have to work today! W is cutting the lawn and I am sitting on the deck surveying the yard and what I want to do today. Just some general cleanup is all, I think. W needs to fix the flat tire on his bike and then is going to go for a run. I went for an early morning walk already. We may head downtown in the late afternoon. I think it would be fun to go into Georgetown and walk around in the early evening and maybe have dinner somewhere. We haven't been there in ages. We'll see.

Last night was our annual summer book group dinner. We went to Brix in Great Falls and sat outside on their patio. It's so nice there, especially when the weather is good.  We discussed Wench for about 10 minutes and then were off chatting about everything else in our lives.  Sue has a beautiful new grandson,  Mel is adjusting to an empty nest, Norene can't wait for Scott to go to college (and Steven to come home), Mary told us about her spiritual week last week when she saw and heard the Dalai Lama in D.C. and was hugged (twice) by "Amma" the hugging woman, and Gillian is enjoying her summer vacay away from preschoolers. We won't meet now until September, when we will discuss The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Lovely Limelight and Lovely Day

We woke to a beautiful morning. The big rain yesterday really cooled things down and the humidity is gone--at least for a few days. And my new Limelight Hydrangea is blooming! I'm so happy, as I just got it this year (at Espenshades in PA) and already blooming is pretty good.

I worked today, and since the truck is in the shop, I picked W up after work at Herndon/Reston bus. He went for a long bike ride, but called me half way through as he had a flat tire, so I had to pick him up in Sterling. He realized he needs to be able to change his tire if this happens again!

Am reading Wench tonight, trying to finish before book group dinner tomorrow night. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Finally, Rain

We're having the most wonderful rain storm right now! It's been raining, hard, for the past 25 minutes. Very dark, wind came up and then the rain started. Love this. So happy for all my plants.

I'm home today, making blueberry lemon pound cake and brownies for staff meeting tomorrow. I just finished a sort-of interesting book, You Lost Me There, by Rosencrans Baldwin. I was interested in it because it takes place on Mount Desert Island in Maine. The main(e) character Victor (he lives in Somesville!) is a scientist studying Alzheimers at the Soborg Institute in Bar Harbor. It reminded me of that research facility we saw in Bar Harbor and wondered about. Of course the Soborg Institute is fictional! Anyway, the book is a lot about memories, and how people remember things differently. I didn't love it, but did love the references to Southwest Harbor, lobster pounds,  Acadia, and other places we saw last fall when we were there.

Library in Somesville, Maine, where I should be working