green little review

Greetings from Baltimore

We spent Sunday in Baltimore, where the weather was gorgeous and, masks and social distancing aside, it almost felt like life before the plague. We went to Druid Hill Park to see the crab apples and sculptures, then to the Rawlings Conservatory to see the tulips planted all around it -- I'm pretty sure it's open inside, but until we're both fully vaccinated, a humid greenhouse does not seem like a good option. Then we went to the Maryland Zoo, which had a lot of people (timed tickets are required) but didn't feel crowded except in spots where everyone wanted the best view of the new resident rhinos, the baby prairie dogs, and around the lunch area, which we avoided.

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Obviously those are all selfies, will post proper animal and flower pictures during the week! We had "ham" and cheese pie for dinner, then we watched The Nevers, which is pretty great (and yes I know I'm not supposed to say that or possibly even to watch it because of Joss Whedon, but he left the production a couple of episodes in, and there are many awesome women on and writing the show). Then we watched the new Kate Winslet HBO show, Mare of Easttown, which may end up being either too violent or too depressing to stick with but also has a lot of great actresses involved, and then John Oliver decided anyone who watches his show already knows the atrocities of this week and did a surprisingly light show.
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Greetings from Sugarloaf

Saturday was a gorgeous day, so after lunch we went on the Countryside Artisans spring tour, which is mostly outdoors and socially distanced -- we started at Breezy Hill Farm, where I had my fingers nibbled by a baby goat and got nuzzled by an alpaca, then we went to Heron's Meadow Farm, where we bought tea, then Something Crafty studio, which has goats, chickens, and peafowl as well as crafts, then Art of Fire studio, which in addition to glassblowing has several cats wandering around, and finally Dancing Leaf Farm and Sugarloaf Studio, the former of which has the sheep that produce the wool for the yarn and the latter has beautiful art of the backyard views of Sugarloaf Mountain. These are just us enjoying the animals:

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We came home briefly to feed the cats, then had dinner with my parents, who had food delivered from Clyde's, which was great. Then we came home and watched Godzilla: King of the Monsters, interrupted by a call with our kids, one of whom had been out hiking to Twin Falls and the other of whom had just bought a paddleboard and was testing it on the river. Once again I felt like there was not enough Godzilla in a movie with Godzilla's name in the title, but hey, the more monsters, the merrier, I guess!
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Poem for Saturday and Crab Apple Color

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My Friday was pretty uneventful. Had a long phone conversation with my sister and a long text conversation with my oldest friend, both about health care and our kids to a large degree. Went for a walk in the afternoon to see the emerging azaleas and crab apples that are already getting green among the pink.

I loved this week's The Falcon and the Winter Soldier on pretty much every level -- Sam's arc, Bucky's arc, Walker's arc, what happened with Zemo, the training montage, the guest star I'm betting we'll see a lot more of. I really would like Karli to be redeemable and I really hope Sharon has not turned villain.

Then we caught up on The Flash, which did not hold my interest except when Caitlin was around, and Kung Fu, which again I liked a lot -- good balance of drama and action, interesting characters, hints of a big broader picture, a bit of humor though it could use a bit more. The aforementioned crab apples:

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green little review

Poem for Friday and Locust Grove

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Thursday was a ridiculously nice day, so much so that I snuck out at lunchtime to do a Pokemon raid and went for a walk at Locust Grove, which has a carpet of bluebells near the nature center and several frogs in the tadpole pond and the new waterfall fountain out front. It was so pretty that I convinced Paul to go take a walk there in the late afternoon, too, to listen to the spring peepers and see the dogwood and redbuds along the woods path.

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I gave a neighbor's son a bunch of big plastic toys that had to be hosed down first, including an easel, so I spent lots of time outside, which was lovely. Plus I chatted with friends after dinner (huzzah for vegan fish sticks) while we had the Nationals-Diamondbacks game on mute, which was a good thing because after a couple of good early innings, it was a big disaster for the Nats. And Colbert's a rerun, so I'm watching the end of this phase of the MCU and already miss it!
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Poem for Thursday and Canal in Spring

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I had a really nice long call at lunchtime with my high school friends, one of whom is dealing with a family situation that people in my family have some expertise about, so after two and a half hours on Zoom and then actually eating lunch, I then got to talk to my sister quite a bit, plus I had some Freecycle and Marketplace pickups so I got a tiny bit of the clutter out of the house. It rained all day, so I did not go looking at scenery, though I did admire damp flowers and do a couple of long distance Pokemon raids.

We watched The Masked Singer, which was highly complimentary to the unmasked, followed by The New Mutants, which I thought was better than its reviews, though the whitewashing of two major characters is disturbing. It doesn't contribute anything major to the X-Men mythology but I like how it explored its particular corner and characters. We put on the White Sox-Cleveland game while it was still a perfect game, which didn't last but even a no-hitter is exciting to watch! From the C&O Canal last weekend:

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Poem for Wednesday and Facets of Hope

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I did a bunch of necessary cleanup in the backyard on Tuesday, in gorgeous weather so it was nice to be outdoors, but I got a splinter in my thumb and it feels like a paper cut now. We had two big plastic playhouse-type toys from when our kids were very young that I was going to put on Freecycle, but I dragged them into the common area with the play equipment behind the house and neighborhood kids were jumping and playing all over them by afternoon, so I'm calling that a success. We also had an expedition in the morning so Paul could take a drug test now that he's going to be working directly for the agency where he's been contracting for several years (I did a Pokemon raid while he was peeing in a cup).

We went to walk in the park in the afternoon, partly to see the redbuds and partly because I discovered during the raid that new Pokemon had arrived for Rivals' Week and I knew there would be more in the park with its multiple gyms than in my neighborhood with its one. We had leftover Thai food for dinner before my Voyager group watched "Prototype" -- not one of the greats, but a Torres episode is always good -- then we watched Supergirl, which was okay, and Thunder Force on Netflix, which is moderately silly and predictable but there's nothing I don't love about Octavia Spencer and McCarthy and Bateman are very enjoyable. Brookside Gardens has an art exhibit remembering the residents of Montgomery County lost to COVID:

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Poem for Tuesday and Brookside Amphibians

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Monday was an enraging, upsetting news day and a case in point about how little has changed despite a year of protests and supposed increased public awareness. It was also a chore day, since it was gorgeous out and I needed to use the power hose to wash off some ancient kids' toys for freecycling and a couple of Marketplace listings, plus there was laundry and bathroom cleaning and other enviable activities. The cherry blossoms are giving way to dogwoods and crab apple blossoms, so it's still lovely to walk in the neighborhood.

Paul made veggie coq au vin for dinner (non coq au vin?) before Antiques Roadshow, which reminded us this week that we had never bought original art nouveau posters or inherited opal jewelry. After that, we watched the first episode of The Irregulars, which didn't grab me right away the way The Nevers did but I'm certainly willing to give it another week. Then we saw this week's Debris, which has a stronger arc story than alien-crisis-of-the-week most weeks but I love the main characters. Brookside frogs and friends:

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green little review

Greetings from Cabin John Park

Storms were forecast for Sunday, but in between some rain in the morning and a big evening thunderstorm that distressed the cats, it was a gorgeous mid-70s day. It was also a Pokemon Go Community Day, so I spent a couple of hours catching and evolving Snivy, then we had lunch and went out. The Montgomery Potters, who usually have a show at the Garrett Park Town Hall, were instead displaying their work in locations around the county including the covered driveway of a nearby friend, so we went to see the pottery. Then we went to Cabin John Park to see the mini train running while we walked along the stream.

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We Skyped my kids and my parents, who later got us Grand Fusion for dinner so I got to have Thai basil tofu (and also saw the terrible end of the Nats game, equaled only by the terrible end of the Orioles game). When we got home we watched Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist -- better, for a change, not about boys for almost 10 minutes! -- and the first episode of The Nevers (yes, I know, but he left the show, and there are a lot of awesome women in the cast, and I like the steampunk London setting and visuals). Now it's John Oliver on Last Week Tonight warning me how much old age will suck since younger son says he's putting me in a home.
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Greetings from Brookside Gardens

Saturday was in a gorgeous day in between the rain we got on Friday and the rain expected on Sunday, so after lunch we went to Brookside Gardens to enjoy it. The conservatory and visitor center are still closed, and there were quite a few people among the tulip beds and in the teahouse, but it's pretty easy to socially distance around the ponds and on the grass beside the paths, and we saw many swimming turtles, singing frogs and toads, nesting geese, and various other animals (warning: snake photo)!

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We stopped at Roots Market on the way home for various veggie items and ate veggie stroganoff for dinner. Then we watched Godzilla -- the 2014 prequel to the rest of the monsterverse -- which was fine, I suppose, had a cast that deserved better from the script which gave me the same complaint as Kong: Skull Island which is that there wasn't enough of the central monster. And I kept waiting for this movie's MCU actress to use powers that she doesn't have in this franchise, which is kind of a shame. Now: SNL!
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Greetings from the Canal

It rained early in the morning on Friday and again in the afternoon -- the first thunderstorm of the season, which displeased the kittens so much they went to hide in the basement -- so things were fairly uneventful around here until the rain stopped in the late afternoon and we went for a walk during a break in the Nationals game. There were lots of lovely wet flowers including the first red tulips in the neighborhood.

After dinner, we watched this week's intense The Falcon and the Winter Soldier in which Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie are both wonderful and That Bad Thing That Happens is so upsetting, as is the moment when suddenly I feel like we're watching The Boys. Then we watched Kong: Skull Island, which I enjoyed pretending was an AU with crazy Nick Fury and Loki having a crush on Carol Danvers. The muskrat in the canal:

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