Friday, February 25, 2011

5 things i remember about spring

Today on her blog: Enjoying the Small Things, Kelle asked her readers to share five memories of spring. As I typed up my memories, they came back very vividly and made me so glad that we are almost done with the coldness of winter. Today it was 66 degrees in downtown DC, and it felt so good when I escaped my office to go to lunch offsite with some co-workers.
So, here are five childhood memories of spring:
1. Daffodils that my dad and I planted the previous autumn pushing up through the spring snow in our orchard.

2. My mom throwing a double birthday party for my brother and I in March, complete with bunny cakes and goofy birthday hats.

3. Baby chicks living in our garage under warming lamps until they were big enough to live on their own in the chicken coop.

4. Mom saying that we couldn't run through the sprinklers until the snow had melted from the mountain tops in Northern Utah because the irrigation water would be too cold. It didn't matter, we did it anyway.

5. The smell of damp dirt as we tilled up our garden and prepared it for planting. It's a smell that can't be replicated. And the spring green of the fields and mountains, there's nothing like it anywhere in the world.
What are your five memories of spring?

what i watch - born yesterday (1950)

Judy Holliday and William Holden are magic on the big screen in "Born Yesterday (1950)". Each time this movie plays on TMC I just have to watch it. In 1993, Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson starred in a re-make of this classic movie and it's just not as charming and great as the original.

Judy Holliday sparkles as Emma 'Billie' Dawn and shows her acting range. She won the Best Actress Oscar for this role. Her smile lights up the screen every time. It's filmed on location right here in Washington, DC and it's fun to go back in time on a tour of my new home town.

I love the wardrobe. I mean who wouldn't sleep in that get up?

The basic storyline is this: A corrupt tycoon goes to Washington to try to buy a Congressman, and brings his dizzy girlfriend along. He's worried that her lack education will embarrass him, so he hires a reporter to educate her. As she educates herself, she learns just how corrupt her boyfriend is, and she and the reporter become good friends.

I love watching Billie's transformation from ill educated innocent to self-educated, confident woman, and her excitement as she starts to understand the world around her and the workings of politics. She gains the confidence to stand up for herself and stop her corrupt boy friend in his tracks.

Isn't she adorable in those glasses? And her lounge wear is to die for.  

Thursday, February 24, 2011

good at

Anything you're good at contributes to happiness.
~Bertrand Russell

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

20 minutes in paradise

Yesterday the parking gods were on my side, because everywhere I drove in the city I found parking and only one time did I have to pay. I only had enough change on me to pay for 20 minutes of parking before entering the mini-paradise of the U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory. I had to make every minute count.

There's something about garden spaces that just do my heart good. The orchids in every room were especially stunning. The amaryllis were gorgeous. And all the different shades of green in the foliage were beautiful and the shapes were fascinating. The ambient sound of running water in almost every room was very relaxing. It was 20 minutes well spent.

I want a garden of gardenias. The aroma is divine.

The wishing pond.

The Bird of Paradise or Strelitzia flower

The Passion Flower or Passiflora. It's one of the coolest.

Monday, February 21, 2011

being tired and other random thoughts

So, this weekend I gave into the exhaustion I have been feeling for several months and slept, and slept and slept.

I didn't go to work on Friday, because I was way too tired. I slept over at a friend's house the night before because of the not fun stuff which happened that day. I wasn't up to being by myself in my apartment that night. When I got home morning, I was supposed to be cleaning up the mess from the day before while waiting for the Landlord (Ll) to come over. Instead I slept on the couch until early afternoon and even then it took a while to convince my body fully wake up. It was a gorgeously warm day in the seventies, so I spent a few hours cleaning up the mess of broken glass inside and out, while Ll removed the window. I spent the night alone in my apartment with a huge sheet of plywood covering the missing window while it was out for repairs. I only got scared once when I woke up at 0300 to voices in the back alley.

I spent Saturday catching up with a good friend who was in town for the weekend. I love M2! We go way back to London and Kenya. It's always a good time when we can catch up on our lives and solve the world's problems. It was so good to see her for the day.

The Ll came back with a repaired window and installed window bars while we were out enjoying the day. The bars are on the inside of the window and the one on the right opens up to allow for escape in the case of a fire. I'm thankful for them, but my blood ran a bit a cold when I returned home and saw them. Oh the har realities of living in the city...

My new bedroom window bars. I feel safer, but...
I slept all day on Sunday. I slept through two alarms that I had set to wake me up for church. My mind and body were telling me ignore the world and just rest, I guess. I was sad to realize I had missed church when I finally did wake up, but figured that sometimes my body just knows what it needs. I also didn't fight too hard to wake up.

I finally got up and sat on the couch in the late afternoon and read The Pioneer Woman's newest book: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels: A Love Story. I read it in one sitting, not finishing until after midnight. It was a fun escape. It's a real life love story of a city girl, PW, who meets a cowboy, Marlboro Man, and they fall in love. It's a great story, even more so because I knew I was reading someone's true life experience with love, marriage, first pregnancy and adjusting to a whole new life. I laughed and cried right along with PW as she lived her life on the pages of her book. While the writing isn't exactly earth shattering, I loved it. 

I'm only half kidding when I say that I'm now officially in love with Marlboro Man after reading the book. There's a part of me that understands the draw of living in the country, on a ranch in the middle of nowhere, and working really hard every day to make a living and keep a family going. It's a good and beautiful thing. And something I think I could do and be good at, but I'm not entirely sure that it would be what I want for my own life. I like seeing how others live their own lives and the choices they make to get what they want. It gives me hope that I can do the same.

Marlboro Man
Special thanks to friend KC who showed up on my doorstep with a copy of PW's book for me. Thanks for thinking of me. Great minds really do think alike.

I slept until almost ten this morning. I am now headed out to enjoy the rest of the day, buy new blinds to replace the one that got torn to shreds by the rock that came through the window, and stop by the US Botanical Gardens. I'm in need of a little springtime green-ness for my soul.

more love is

You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.
~ Attributed to Siddharta

Saturday, February 19, 2011

great falls

Great Falls Park is awesome!


It's a beautiful series of rugged waterfalls on the Potomac and it's only 15 miles from DC.
And with 800 acres of trails to explore, it's perfect for a Saturday outing.

A panoramic view, click to see it bigger.

You can even do a little kayaking.

These guys traversed the lower rapids coming off the falls, 
and practiced staying upright and navigating the rough water.

It was a cold, but beautiful day to be outside.

the not fun stuff

Thursday afternoon I got home, walked back into the bedroom to change out of my uniform, and saw this under the bedroom window.

I then pulled back the curtain and saw this.

Someone had attempted to break into my house while I was out. Scary!!

Thankfully, for some reason, the person had decided not to finish the job. Because, the window was only broken and the would-be thief didn't enter my apartment, the police classified it as destruction of property. I know, not very satisfying given that someone violated my home, but that's how it works.

I did call the police. A kind and professional officer responded in about an hour, he searched the apartment to make sure that no one was hiding anywhere. That is when I started to freak out a little; it hadn't even crossed my mind that someone might be inside the house. When I jumped at some movement outside, he calmed me down, and even stayed until I had arrangements in place for someone to help me cover the window up and was starting to feel okay about being alone.

In the end, there is much for which to be thankful:
It was only a broken window.
No one actually got inside my house.
Nothing was stolen or missing.
I am safe.

p.s. the landlord responded quickly, and as of this afternoon, i now have a new window and bars on the windows as well. not fun, but necessary.

honorary chief bill cosby

Thursday, I got to see the one and only Bill Cosby become
an honorary Chief Petty Officer (CPO) in the United States Navy!

 MCPON West and SECNAV Mabus place the CPO epaulettes on Mr. Cosby's shoulders.

 Mr. Cosby puts on the suit coat with with the CPO rating badge for Hospital Corpsman.

The Command Master Chief of the USS Constitution 
presents Chief Cosby with an original piece of the USS Constitution.

Mingling with the Chiefs afterwards.

Monday, February 14, 2011

romance or love

Romance is seeking perfection, love is forgiving faults.
Romance is flying, love is a safe landing.
Romance is the anguish of waiting for the phone to ring
 to bring you a voice that will utter endearments;
love is the anguish of waiting for a call that will
assure you someone else is happy and safe.
Romance is eager, striving always to appear attractive for each other,
love is two people who find beauty in each other no matter how they look.
Authentic love will find many expressions -- 
the love of spouses; the love of friends; the love of families. 
And if your love is real, watch out--once it starts growing,
there's nothing that can stop it!
~Marjorie Holmes

Sunday, February 13, 2011

love is...

Love is not a matter of belief. It is a matter of demonstration. 
It is not a question of authority, but one of perception.
~Rebazar Tarzs (Stranger By The River)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

love is...

Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.
~Martin Luther King, Jr.

photo here

awake at 3 am... again

Sometimes waking up at 3 am and then going back to bed three hours later is a good thing. It's very quiet with only the occasional sound of air moving as a car drives past. This quietness gives me space to breathe, and just be quiet myself. It's very quiet all the way deep into my soul, and although I'm feeling a little stressed in the head, I have the biggest smile on my face right now. I'm ready to crawl back into bed and sleep for a few more hours. I know I'll wake up when I'm ready.

I read this: Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence and felt peace come in and recharge my soul. I'm ready.

Here are a few of the gems:

""...Therefore, let not your hearts faint. … Mine angels shall go up before you, and also my presence, and in time ye shall possess the goodly land.” What goodly land? Well, your goodly land. Your promised land. Your new Jerusalem. Your own little acre flowing with milk and honey. Your future. Your dreams. Your destiny. I believe that in our own individual ways, God takes us to the grove or the mountain or the temple and there shows us the wonder of what His plan is for us."
In speaking about the gift of personal revelation from God:
...the Lord has said, “I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart.” I love the combination there of both mind and heart. God will teach us in a reasonable way and in a revelatory way—mind and heart combined—by the Holy Ghost. “Now, behold,” He continues, “this is the spirit of revelation; behold, this is the spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel through the Red Sea on dry ground.” Doctrine and Covenants 8:2-3
That same spirit of revelation that prompted Moses to part the Red Sea, enabling the escape of the children of Israel from Pharaoh's army, yes that same spirit, is what God sends to us today when we ask him for his help. Pretty amazing to stop and think about for a minute. We are so loved by our Father in Heaven.
“Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” Hebrews 10:35-36
Good stuff. Thanks to my good friend Angela in NZ for sending me the link to this sermon. Just one of the many reasons why I love you.

Friday, February 11, 2011

love is...

Love is not blind. It sees more, not less. But because it sees more, it is willing to see less.
- Rabbi J. Gordon

Thursday, February 10, 2011

love is...

Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within the reach of every hand. 
~Mother Teresa

photo here