Archive for September, 2009


Yesterday’s commute home was like sitting on a park bench.  Make that a parked bench.  I wanted to close my eyes and listen to the music.  Norah Jones, Ryan Adams.  Yesterday sounded lovely.

The SUV in front of Mini had a cardboard sign taped to its window: U2 Here We Come!

Would anyone notice if I pulled over on the side of 395 and read the book in my bag? 

But at least I had a bench, a comfortable seat outside to smell the breeze and look up at the vast, lake blue fall sky.  My mind strolled back to the things you can’t always think about at work:

The book in my bag, for one.  In the book (Stephen King’s memoir on writing, aptly named… On Writing), King wrote:

Stopping a piece of work just because it’s hard, either emotionally or imaginatively, is a bad idea.  Sometimes you have to go on when you don’t feel like it, and sometimes you’re doing good work when it feels like all you’re managing is to shovel shit from a sitting position.

The first time I read that passage, I dog-eared the page.  Then I ruminated over it for two days, including in the car yesterday afternoon as I sat, unimpressed by the cars around me.

My mind strolled from King’s memoir to the notecard stuck in my blackberry case.  I have lots of notecards.  This particular card was hastily written between yesterday’s meetings: what does a real scream sound like/feel like/look like; the nexus of grief, vengeance — and confusion/misunderstanding?; and emotional blindness — groping raw walls –should this be a theme?  

I contemplated the first on the list.  The scream.  What did I know about the scream? 

This scream was suffocating. 

It drew all the air in the room down like a funnel — tightening, squeezing — until there was nothing left.  And even after it had stopped, when silence had begun to tiptoe back into the space, the imprint of the scream had become permanently etched, to be recalled endlessly, chaining itself to everyone who was there.

The words rolled around in my head.  It wasn’t right.  Because the scream wasn’t just ‘piercing the air’ or ‘filling the void’ like so many other famous literary screams; this scream was the void — it replaced the air.  In this moment, the only thing that was was the scream.

It really is a shame I couldn’t just pull over.  Sometimes I am sure I could be productive on the side of 395.


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One of my “just because”s.  Thanks husband!  I LOVE it.  And yeah, Flacco rocked today.  Go Ravens! 3-0!

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and more!


we had asparagus and chicken

and white wine

and played with the puppies

and bought new sheets (thanks Lucy)

and new throw pillows to celebrate fall


I got another “just because” present.


I think I should have bought a lottery ticket this week.

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Orange Stars

This evening,

orange mini monster zoomed home, 

dinner was accompanied by a delicious glass of red wine,

the puppies are sitting hip to hip chomping on their bones,


I got a “just because” present from my husband.  

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Today was perfect.

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Health and Wellness

No, not our health and wellness — and not Linus’ either, though you might have thought otherwise.  Today’s post is brought to you on behalf of Orange Mini Monster, who is currently at the doctor getting poked, prodded, and fixed.  We were originally headed to Annapolis, but decided instead to visit the new mini dealership in Alexandria.

Based on our experiences so far, Mini has found a new lifelong friend.  Just look how happy this place is!

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mini doctor

I should note that these pics come from facebook (yes, this dealership has its own page full of coupons and wonderfulness).  The facebook page also notes that this is the funnest mini dealership around.  Just a glance at the above shot of the colorful mini hospital has me agreeing.

See you soon Mini Monster!

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Happy Adoption Day Linus!

Last week we celebrated a very special day — three years since we adopted Linus and brought our lanky allergy doggy home.  We adopted him on September 17, 2006 — about 14 months after bringing Lucy home to live with us.  And you probably remember the story of Lucy choosing Linus at a Lab Rescue adoption day, and how excited she was to have a new friend with whom to play.  Three years later, I think it is fair to say that he would rather cuddle with his human friends than wrestle with the chubby yellow dog, but he does humor her occasionally (always after a glance at one of us that says, this dog is sooo annoying).

But we have made giant strides with Linus.  He doesn’t shake when he hears the word “no” ‘– actually, he barely notices, which is perhaps not good on our part.  He can sit on the couch in the same room as the vacuum and not flee, which is tremendous progress over his earlier noise tolerance.  And, most of all, he doesn’t run away anymore.  We can open the door from the house to the garage, and he will stand up top and greet us.  We can let him out into the front yard without a leash and he will walk to the car and wait to go for a ride.  That is pretty remarkable when you think back to his free and wild beginnings.

Here are some pics from Linus’ first day home with us:

Greg overseeing playtime on day one


Linus loving his new red toy


Linus, smiling for the camera on his sister’s bed (only to discover ours that night and forever relinquish the notion of “dog beds”


Lucy not so sure about this new dog and his red toy infiltrating her world


And one of Linus today (okay, a few weeks ago) after a romp in the dirt.  He kinda looks the same, doesn’t he?


Happy three year adoption Linus!

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This weekend we celebrated southern Maryland.  We started the weekend off with ArtsFest at Annmarie Gardens in Solomons.  It is my favorite event of the year — dozens and dozens of Maryland artisans showing off handmade jewelry, art, wooden sculptures, ironworks, pottery, quilts, and more.  Local musicians play folk and bluegrass on a stage surrounded by tables where all of the patrons enjoy delicious local fare — like crabcakes and Backfin ale.  Delicious!  We still haven’t come away from the festival with anything wonderful (unless you count the bag of kettle corn Greg dutifully purchases each year), but we keep coming reallyclose.  One year, maybe.  For now, it’s just the perfect day to browse.

After viewing the beautiful local art, we were inspired to continue one of our projects that we had discussed a year or so ago, but had fallen lower on the priority list.  Our goal was to photograph the barns of Calvert County.  Southern Maryland is home to one of the Eleven Most Endangered Places (National Trust for Historic Preservation) in the country: Maryland’s tobacco barns, which became obsolete with a government buy-out plan to stop the production of tobacco.  The barns that still stand are beautiful, rustic, and historical, and many of them are in Calvert County.  We couldn’t imagine a better way to capture the local heritage of the area than with photos of the barns hanging on our walls. 

Some of Greg’s photography work:

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