Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Out We Went

It was eventful week (at least for our standards). On Friday we were invited to the concert given by Lithuanian pianist Edvinas Minkstimas.

I cannot even remember when I attended a piano concert last time, and I have to say, after surviving the first half hour of Schumann without move (not problem of the performance but rather of the hardwood benches, with emphasis on "hard"), I quite enjoyed the rest (shorter pieces by Chopin, Debussy, Piazzola and Liszt). The concert took place in giant rich St. Luke catholic church in McLean in VA (judging by the reception afterward). They have a very unusually looking organ there,

I never saw horizontal pipes before, we may come back here to hear it one day. I was driving on G.Washington Parkway to get there, I do not think I ever been there,

I stopped at one of the overlooks just when the sun was going down, it was before the storm and light was almost like in the old masters paintings.
The weather was sunny again on Saturday morning, so I took dogs to Wheaton, it was suddenly very bright green there;

the leaves here always appears mysteriously overnight, one day there are naked sticks and the next day everything is green :). And the azaleas are in full bloom now, it is very pretty in our little suburb neighborhoods, looks like every house has at least one of them in the garden.

I got an office baseball tickets for yesterdays game of Nationals and Rookies (we lost), but it was nice warm evening and the seats were quite good so I could actually see the players faces, and they served a good draft beer so it was overall pleasant event - and I finally started the sleeves for my mom's stained-glass cardigan.

When I was driving to work today and they said it is April 21, I had a feeling that somebody I know has birthday today, and when I got to talk to my mom she said grandma would have been 90 today. I am thinking about you often, babi, and I am so thankful for all the crafty things you taught me. Speaking about which, I finished blanket for my friend E. baby girl who was born just last Tuesday.
It is made of Malabrigo lace merino, yellow and greenish (knit in two strands), about 4 skeins, in simple fir cone pattern with crochet scallops on edges. Hope the baby is not allergic to wool:)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Garden/Life Journal

I planted some new additions to our very bare terrace garden this weekend - orange yellow tea rose and couple of strawberries, pink bleeding heart, columbines, dianthus and ground covering blue and white blooming little patches.

This part of garden is very shady (only 2 hrs of sun at closest-to-the-house spots) and moreover the soil there is bare clay (I try to improve that with bags and bags of compost every year), it was quite difficult to find anything which would tolerate such bad conditions - so far, the survivors include only the hellebore, astilbes, hostas and ferns (and there is as well rose, yarrow and sedum in the sunny corners), well we shall see how successful I was this time. These are leftovers of cheerful orange tulips, big white lilies (bloom time in June) and white clematis living in the happier sunny backyard corner.

And of course I got too inpatient to wait for tomatoes seedlings to grow so I got two little of Big Girl(s) early fruiting variety,

just in case the seeds never start (shall the frost come again, I will make small plastic greenhouses around them). Than, just because I had no more space anywhere else, I made a new row for gladiolas and shady flowery mix

I got it in WHF, even though these mixes never quite grew for me before, but I remain an optimist, the new place is nice flat spot with good soil). On the "house" end of it, there are the peonies; I thought they died, but they surprised me and came back, even the red one I planted from bulb last spring and which never even sprouted. I got the other one, the whitish pink one, in the pot late last summer and than it got some white mold all over and leaves died out. I love peonies, my grandma used to have big pink bushes in her garden, I can still remember the nice smell ... The white one is ready to bloom soon.

The new flower bed mirrors the tulip stripe on the other side of front yard; to replace the spring bulbs, I sewed in the sunny summer flowers mix (from the same source as the one above) and poked in some ranunculus here and there, may be I will add gladiolas too, just to keep the symmetry going :).

Our little cherry is all blooms this year (planted in February 2009). I am curious how many cherries will birds actually leave for us (last year we shared with W. literally just 1 fruit).

I am ready to cover it with the net if I see them wingy creatures getting too close to it :)

We had some in the seventies-eighties warm evenings recently, I just love to sit in the front porch after the dusk, with glass of wine, with the neighborhood quieted down, with only the birdies chirping the love songs, and imagine how beautiful it all will be six weeks from now,:)

Oh, and on Friday I had amazing opportunity to see DC from, at least for me, very unusual perspective, we had small grilling party with my office friends at one of the Pentagon city roof tops right above the famous shopping mall. And I think I found where did they got the NCIS opening picture from (before the collage that is).

. . .
A tragedy happened on Saturday, polish president and 95 other people died in the plane crash on the way to the peace making ceremony in Katyn. I do not know anything about politics in Poland, but I can imagine what would be the reaction of Czechs if something like that happened to us (well, omitting the basic human feeling of sadness for the lost lives of course). Hm, it is somehow strange it happened there, of all places, like the insurance that past shall never be forgotten ...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Che(e)rryfull Times

The DC cherry festival peaked this Easter weekend (I have not made the rabbit, it is challah bread creation from store, I liked the idea),

but unfortunately there was no time for us to idle around, we had to remove a giant rubble mountain from down hill backyard and drag down more building material from HDP (W. is getting very familiar with that place). So all I have to show is what I snapped during my lunch walks (it is pretty all the same).

Thanks to unusually warm weather, we opened the patio season with the ham dinner on White Saturday,

and that was the day when the future started - W. received his long awaited new toy. It was so warm outside we could stay for the light show.

I started as well my serious gardening; I cleaned all flower beds and vegetable stripes, than I sow some lettuce, spinach, pees, tomatoes and peppers (the last two I am trying directly outside this year, I may use the old framed window as greenhouse should the weather get colder again), and some poppies and bachelor buttons. I am trying again (!) some summer bulbs - freesias, gladiolus, babianas and hostas. I was not very successful with those last year but I could not resist the pictures on the boxes when I saw it in store; I am trying more shady spots and will water them regularly so, hopefully, we shall see some blooms in June. The tulips, on the other hand, are spectacular, it was well worth the fall effort.

And we had a visitor on Sunday morning, he was having breakfast on the tree cross the street,

we hear him often from the forest behind the house but I have never seen him so up close.