December 2nd, 2010


Poem for Chanukah and Cacti

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Wednesday dawned so dark and gloomy that I was sure all the clocks in the house had made a mistake by claiming it was morning. The DC area had been hit by storms overnight that were particularly bad during the early rush hour -- thunderstorms, tornado warning -- and even when they ended, there was so much flooding that several major roads were closed, including two lanes of the Beltway. Fortunately, Rockville Pike was moving in my area, though it remained so gloomy outside that all I wanted to do was take my migraine back to bed and curl up with a cat. I went to Bath & Body Works to return the new sheets I bought Tuesday that had a hole in them (no wait, at least, though I had to walk through the rainy parking lot). Then I got to park in the covered lot at White Flint Mall to stop at Borders to get a couple of last minute Chanukah presents. How come no one told me that the awesome Harry Potter double playing card deck, which was on the bargain table, has different photos from Deathly Hallows on each card and has Lucius, Bellatrix, Umbridge, Lupin, et al as well as the usual suspects? I bought myself a Chanukah present with my $5 bonus bucks!

I finally killed my migraine by late afternoon with a combination of the passing of the storms, too much Advil, and a long walk in the damp woods. Paul made latkes and "fried chicken" (the vegetarian variety) for the first night of Chanukah, plus he got donuts for dessert, all of which were yummy. I had gotten us a new menorah from Crate & Barrel -- I had originally bought it to give as a gift, but one of the menorahs the kids made a decade ago had cracked at the end of the last holiday season, so I figured we were entitled to an "adult" one that would be easier to clean than our decorative pre-9/11 New York City menorah. The kids got books they had wanted -- Daniel a Cory Doctorow novel and Adam a book about photography -- Paul got the Rob Gonsalves calendar he wanted, I got the new Loreena McKennit CD (The Wind that Shakes the Barley) that I wanted. We watched Undercovers -- is this the last one? It wasn't my favorite, too much Leo, too little Samantha -- then Orla Fallon's Celtic Christmas concert on PBS (not as good as Loreena but still quite enjoyable, especially since Meav sang with her). Here are photos of some of the cacti at the U.S. Botanic Garden -- arenacea, golden barrel, torch plant, golden rat tail, and one that I suspect isn't a true cactus but I failed to take a photo of its label!

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