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A 30-something living in the foothills of the Virginia mountains; I'm saved by grace, addicted to coffee and my little sister is my best friend! I devote most of my time to exploring, reading, attending as many Nationals games as possible and documenting life here. My Prince Charming got lost somewhere along the way...but I'm trying to remain hopeful that true love exists.

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Monday, March 28, 2016

Blue Skies, Buds and Blooms

Last week was definitely the end of all things Winter - this past week seemed to be filled with blue skies, puffy clouds, trees finally budding...and blooming...and tons of March winds. I jumped back into the exercise game pretty strongly this week and although the sun was shining on Monday afternoon, the wind was whipping around at a blistering speed and I thought Watson was going to fly away!
Topping the hill & hoping we don't blow away.
The earlier part of the week was pretty routine...work...home...walk...supper...be a bum for the rest of the night...sleep and repeat! I discovered on Monday afternoon that a tree I'd been watching in our backyard had finally started to bud and so I proceeded to document them on an almost daily basis throughout the week. I like to tell myself that I was trying to practice my flower documentation before going to DC on Saturday to see the Cherry Blossoms...but mostly I just wanted to take lots of pictures, ha! I also was really pleased with how well the camera on my new iPhone seems to work! I only just got the iPhone 6S about a three weeks ago and the camera is supposed to be much better - so far I haven't been disappointed - which is good since I'm pretty addicted to Apple and all their products. Granted...I'm sure now that I finally picked up one a 6S, the new one will come out tomorrow. Ha!

The buds on Monday evening - so small & bright pink!
Watson & I taking in the moonrise...
I spent a chunk of my lunch break on Wednesday trying so hard to finish up my parent's Easter basket. Yes - you read that correctly - I decided I'd do an Easter basket for my parents. They (I mean..the Easter bunny...) have always done so much for Lindsey and I over they years...they still do...and I just felt like they deserved a little something. Even if it was just that - some little somethings! I never realized how hard it would be to find things to fill an Easter basket for my parents...my Dad was especially tricky, but I think I did alright. Lindsey offered up her by contributing some funds and ideas along the way.

I raced home on Wednesday a little quicker than I usually do - because finally there was a Nationals game on TV again and I could sit down and watch it! I wasted no time becoming fully engrossed in the game...walking from the dining room table to the TV over and over again lest I miss something...like how I missed Stephen Drew smash a homer when I sat down to eat some green beans. Man! I may or may not have dropped a bite of chicken in the floor at one point because I was so interested in the game; but that's what Watson is there for, he picked it right up for me! The two of us relaxed in the recliner and watched the Nationals put a hurting on the Yankees - the final score was 13-0 and I'm sincerely hoping the impressive Spring Training performance carries into the regular season...which starts in just SEVEN days!

Opening wide on Wednesday evening!
Of course, I took more than one picture, ha-ha!
On Thursday afternoon, I got to head home from work early and since my Dad was also at home we decided to go walking together. I cannot tell you how glad I was about that - because while we were on our walk, a dog broke free from it's leash and tried to attack! What followed was Watson's first experience "flying"...because in an effort to get him away from the dog as quickly as possible, my Dad used Watson's harness to lift him above the ground. As my Dad lifted, he also turned and Watson went for a little ride above the ground...and his trajectory had to be elevated even more when the dog tried to leap for him. My Dad finally spun Watson around to me and the neighbors managed to grab their wild dog and pull her away...it all happened very quickly...and since I normally scream like a complete lunatic when anything like that happens, I'm glad I managed to keep it together. Ha!

The Easter "basket" for the adults...
Watson came away unscathed from his adventure - although he tried pretty desperately to fight back while he was making his "flight" above the head of the attacking dog. Unfortunately later on Thursday evening, I really let my freak flag fly when I took Watson out for his last bathroom break of the night and we encountered another dog. It was after 10:00 and right about the time Watson reached the corner of the house, a large dog came lunging from the dark at the corner of the house and I had to snatch Watson back toward me, into the air and into my arms...all while the dog slowly stalked towards us. The ensuing antics caused me to let out a scream that would have indicated to anyone within a fifty mile radius that I was being murdered...and it made my Mom almost break her neck (or her foot again...eek) in her haste to get to the door and see who was killing me. It was all very dramatic and proves that I'm still a complete spazz when it comes to (most) dogs...

Also - sorry Mom.

Thursday evening flowers.
Good Friday...and good gracious at the line...
I was off work on Friday - always lovely - and after trying desperately to sleep in, I finally gave up and got up around 7:45. I drank copious amounts of coffee, walked the dog a few times and started season seven of Parks and Recreation since it's finally on Netflix! Shortly after noon I left the house and spent the rest of the day at the movies...seriously. I met my friends Danielle and Meridith to have lunch and see My Big Fat Greek Wedding II at the Alamo around 1:30 and when it ended, we all decided to peruse the racks at Old Navy and all found something to purchase - of course! I parted ways with them around 4:30 and met my friend Jennie at the theater at the mall to see Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and thankfully we arrived early and "started" the line because by 4:45 (our movie started at 5:20) the line had stretched out behind us and our the door! I really enjoyed both movies - which were obviously about as different from one another as could be - and had a great Friday!

Getting ready for baseball season...ha-ha.
Saturday we spent a large chunk of the day in DC - the cherry blossoms were at peak bloom on Friday and Saturday, so we decided to take the chance and head into DC to see them! Last year my friend Danielle and I went the day of the parade and there were more people in the DMV than I've ever seen in my life! It was nuts! This year was thankfully less hectic...but there were still people everywhere...which is to be expected. We arrived in DC shortly before 10 and in hindsight we were so glad we chose to go in earlier in the day - by the time we'd finished making our way leisurely around the Tidal Basin, there were people on top of one another! Craziness - but so worth it to see those gorgeous trees! I took tons and tons of pictures...I've tried to keep it to a minimum here though. Maybe I'll post all my pictures in another post...

The Tulip Library - not well known but so worth a peek - absolutely gorgeous!
Only one wee yellow tulip blooming in this bed...
And of course - just one pink in this bed....
Beds of tulips, going on and on and on...
Hands down - one of my favorite pictures that I took on Saturday - of the tulips that is.
The cherry blossoms bloomed quite a bit earlier than I think they originally expected this year - and I say that only because the huge parade that "normally" coincides with peak bloom is not until April 16th. Given that once the trees reach peak bloom, they only stay bloomed out for about 3-6 days, those trees will be completely green by the time the cherry blossom festival parade rolls through town! Another thing that seemed to differ from last year - several of the trees seemed to be much more pink this year; a majority last year were pale pale pink or even white, this year I saw a lot more color!

Case in point - how gorgeous are these blooms?
I spy...a monument...
Of course I took a cherry blossom selfie...but the sun is so bright, you almost can't see the blooms!
Absolutely the most gorgeous - I love seeing these trees.
*sigh*
Up close & personal with the petals...
A small monument noting the original gift of the trees from Japan to the US.
This little duck was swimming into the shade provided by the blooms...
Of course, before we headed back toward the mountains I insisted we visit the "gift shop" that was really a couple of tents set up on one side of the Tidal Basin. I had spotted several people (all women) wearing cherry blossom antennae and my thirty-one year old self just had to have some...if only to satisfy the six year old that lives deep inside! Now, you might think it was very tourist-y of me to buy cherry blossom antennae (and a pen...and a luggage tag...and an ornament...) but I must confess; I hope I always maintain that tourist-y sense of wonder when I visit DC. 

I've discovered in the almost two years that I've lived in the DMV (because surprisingly, the county I live in still falls into those parameters) that people either love or hate DC...there is really no middle ground. I fall into the former. I can honestly say from the first time I visited DC as a small child, I was enchanted and that hasn't changed...except to probably become more prominent since I can simply hop in my car and be in the city center in about an hour (depending on traffic). The monuments are majestic to me every time, the pace and excitement of the city are infectious and there is just something about the city that draws me in every time! I feel quite certain my long standing love affair with DC might be why I've developed a love affair with the Washington Nationals as well and I hope that feeling of awe, excitement and yes...tourist-y fascination...I hope it never wears off.

Every girl needs a nice pair of cherry blossom antennae for special occasions. Ha!
The Easter Basket - 2016
On Easter Sunday, my parents accompanied me to my church for the 8:30 service - they had nursery at their church later in the day, so this gave them the opportunity to go to a church service but then also go to their church and serve in the nursery. Plus - I had someone(s) to go to church with on Easter! A win-win situation in my eyes. 

After church ended, we changed and went to a rather lackluster brunch at the Hotel Strasburg. It was definitely one of those "oh well, you try it and learn" situations; we'll be looking elsewhere for our Easter eats in 2017! We took Watson and headed over to the Arboretum, pretty sure that tons of things would be in bloom...I mean, DC had been positively exploding with plant life the day before... Apparently being just that much closer to the mountains meant that most of the plants at the Arboretum hadn't quite gotten the memo about blooming yet. Between that and the skies being overcast and the wind getting whippier and whippier (not a word - I know - but hey, that's fine) it made for an interesting afternoon stroll. Watson though - he ate up every second - and that's what matters.

This is my attempt to try & recreate the greatest tulip picture ever...& he was having none of it.
Not even interested in looking at the actual camera - there were so many smells I was keeping him from...
Hellebore - one of the few things in bloom.
One of the small daffodil patches we found.
The Tuleyries - one day I'd like to sneak inside. Or I mean...just go inside. Maybe no sneaking involved.
And then...because the three day weekend was filled with so much goodness and wonderful things and adventures... Once we came home, I had macaroni and cheese, ate some Easter chocolate and was asleep before 10 PM. Because mostly, that's how I roll and also because sleeping is also something I really enjoy. Ha-ha!

Photo collage to end things off right!



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