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I had a nice, somewhat unexpected Friday. Paul's office was doing a Toys for Tots drive and group breakfast, after which he expected to come home, but when he went to leave, the tire pressure light was on and the gauge couldn't get a reading on which tire was acting up. Meanwhile, I had lunch plans with Alice, who came over and we were deciding where to go when Paul called to ask whether I could pick him up from the dealer. So we all went to the Silver Diner and did a bit of shopping since Alice was looking for things for her family and I took advantage of being in AC Moore while picture frames were all on sale.
After Alice went to retrieve her son, Paul and I did a bunch of cleanup we hadn't gotten to since the kids were home -- everything from sweeping the leaves off the deck to vacuuming the parts of the first floor we often skip. We talked briefly to Adam, who has accepted a job at Hive in San Francisco after graduating in May! Then we went to my parents' for dinner and Chanukah, went to pick up the car which had its tire pressure light fixed, and watched Blindspot
and some more Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
. This year Longwood Gardens had lots of awesome carved book decorations in the library and one in the gift shop:
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My Thursday was not as exciting as my Wednesday out of town, but it was still a good day. Denise drove down from Baltimore and we met for lunch at Mirch Masala in the mall before going to a Pokemon EX raid together, my second of the day. Then we came back to my house, watched some Doctor Who
, and ate some candied almonds.
Paul and I ate our excellent leftover Asian food for dinner, then we watched the first two episodes of the new season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
, which were uneven; I adored her feminist fury at the sexism of the business, not so much her mother's situation. Some Christmas trees at Longwood Gardens, including the floating ones:
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Because of George H.W. Bush's funeral and national day of mourning, Paul had Wednesday off, and rather than waste a free Wednesday, we got in the car early in the morning and drove to the Brandywine Valley, where we went to Winterthur to see the Yuletide decorations in the mansion and the follies on display on the grounds, then to Longwood Gardens to see the winter train display, fountain decorations, and conservatory flowers and decorated trees.
We started seeing flurries as we drove through Delaware and by the time we reached Winterthur, it was really snowing, though nothing stuck on the roads; the paths were a bit slippery and the wooden walkways at Longwood were even more so though the snow had stopped falling by the time we got there. We had lunch at Winterthur's excellent salad bar and dinner in the cafe at Longwood, which was not mobbed as it usually is on weekends! More photos soon:
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It was an overcast, chilly Tuesday that felt like a winter day, and I felt draggy all morning, like I hadn't quite woken up. I worked on holiday cards and cleaned up a bunch of stuff looking for some art prints we bought in October, then forgot about till we visited the same artist's studio over this weekend. I was going to go to AC Moore to get frames for them, but then I got two phone calls and ended up talking in the parking lot at the mall and never got frames. Paul made jacket potatoes with cheese, sour cream, and fake bacon for dinner, which were awesome.
After dinner we watched The Flash
's 100th episode, which involved a lot of time travel and was thus nostalgic and enjoyable, then we watched Black Lightning
, where I love the central characters but the story is getting kind of convoluted. Then we caught up on this week's Supergirl
and I have to admit I was totally fine with the thought that Manchester might kill Agent Liberty (really I thought he would, and then Liberty would come back somehow with supervillain powers). Here are a few more Countryside Artisans photos, including Something Earthy's animals and Dancing Leaf's yarn:
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Quickie as we unexpectedly got to have dinner with Adam! My day was otherwise relatively uneventful; a walk in the park because it was gorgeous out, and working on labels for holiday cards which as usual are going to get mailed later than I intended before I actually started putting cards in envelopes. I got distracted reading about the impending death (well, murder) of Tumblr and rumors that Chibnall is leaving Doctor Who
Adam stopped at home to pick up his camera since he was nearby at his NIH internship. We stopped at my parents' to give my mother a Chanukah present, then went to Grand Fusion and ate way too much General Tso's and Thai basil tofu. After he left for College Park, we watched this week's Legends of Tomorrow
(awesome and funny) and Doctor Who
(surreal and sad, though the frog kind of undercut the emotion for me). Just a few pics:
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It was drizzly again in the morning on Sunday, so we took our time in the morning and went out after lunch to the Countryside Artisans shops -- some that we went to in the fall, some that we didn't -- looking for holiday gifts and enjoying the cider and cookies that most of them put out at this time of year. Here are some holiday festivities from Art of Fire glassworks, Something Earthy pottery studio and farm, the Maryland Honey Company beekeepers, and Dancing Leaf Farm fiberworks.
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As you can see, that last photo is me lighting the menorah for the first night of Chanukah, though we didn't do presents since we got sculpted elephant eyeglass holders the day before at the Montgomery Potters show. We watched the Garth Brooks concert from Notre Dame, which was very enjoyable when he wasn't plugging Amazon with badly scripted jokes, then we watched the glorious end of the Chargers-Steelers game, which with Baltimore's win leaves the Ravens in striking distance of Pittsburgh!
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Watching SNL and Leslie Jones is making me laugh so I will keep this short. We had Seattle weather on Saturday -- chilly, drizzle, very dark -- so we mostly did indoor things, though we avoided all major shopping areas because we heard about the Bath & Body Works candle sale lines. Instead we went to the fabulous Montgomery Potters winter show, where there are lots of gorgeous handmade items that in most cases are very reasonably priced:
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We did stop at Giant (and Starbucks, because I was waiting for a raid for Pokemon community day, though my stupid Starbucks card would not work). After dinner we watched Outlaw King
, which was reasonably engrossing, had lovely settings and Chris Pine was fine, but also had a huge amount of very vivid violence, then we watched the rest of the Big 10 championship which was quite enjoyable until it became obvious that Ohio State was going to win!
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I wound up back in the mall on Friday after doing a bunch of morning chores because it was raining too hard for me to want to walk in the cold park. So I met people for a Cresselia raid at the Sprint store, then walked around with a bunch of them, had Indian food, did another raid at Starbucks, visited Sears' going-out-of-business sale, and got three pairs of shoes for $30. When Paul got home, we went to dinner with my parents, then came home for Blindspot
, which was great (Rich Dotcom makes so many episodes, and Kurt is so much more interesting having a clue), then the Utah-Washington game, which ended well.
Here are large installations at the Museum of the Shenandoah from an exhibit by Virginia artist Terry Ward. The first is called Think Back To Iraq
and is meant to reflect the consequences of the Iraq war from the bravery and patriotism of soldiers to the violence and PTSD that followed for many. The second is called Holocaust
to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camps and includes copies of vintage photographs, passports, even hair to reflect the items taken from victims at the camps as steps in their dehumanization; he did not want to include any Nazi symbols.
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Thursday was a very pretty day -- chilly but clear -- so after a pile of morning work, I went to meet a friend at Starbucks, then took a walk in the park and eventually ended up at the mall for a Pokemon raid. You'd never know that Thanksgiving was just a week ago; the mall is in full Christmas mode, though Santa looked a little lonely and Sears, which is closing after the holidays, just looked sad.
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I made Paul watch the Jurassic World
LEGO prequel, which was very enjoyable -- sure, a giant commercial for adorable LEGO dinosaurs, but much less dark and violent than the actual Jurassic Park
movies. Then we caught up on The Gifted
, which is like a darker parallel to this season's Supergirl
. And then we saw the horror of the Cowboys-Saints game before turning it off for infotainment!
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I had my twice-yearly waterboarding, I mean dentist appointment, on Wednesday, and they insisted that I have a panorama x-ray, so if I die of pneumonia from aspirating my own saliva or thyroid cancer from too many x-rays, you know who to sue. I never hated the dentist this much as a child when it was just scary-looking metal instruments, but those water needles are the worst.
However, since I was five minutes from where niece now lives, I went to visit her and wound up taking her, one of her roommates, and a friend to World Market because several of us had coupons for free holiday ornaments, though I got an extra shiny unicorn and a sparkly fish because who can have too many? We also stopped in Trader Joe's so I also have spicy pepper jack cheese.
Paul had to work very late unexpectedly, so he wasn't home till nearly 9 and we didn't have dinner till nearly 10. Because he kept texting that he'd be here any minute, I didn't put on a movie and instead sat through Christmas in Rockefeller Center
and John Legend's Christmas special. Here from Caprikorn Farm are some of the piggies we met there and an interloper:
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