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Orchids and a Smiling Cactus

Mark and I went to see the exhibit of blooming orchids that’s running at the U.S. Botanic Garden through April 9: Orchids in an Art Deco Garden, January 21 through April 2. Hurry! I know a little bit about orchids, but I was still surprised at how many shapes and colors orchids can take. There were flowers that looked like they’d be happiest adorning the shoulder of some mother of the bride, and flowers that looked like life forms from another planet. Carnivorous life forms. . . . → Read More: Orchids and a Smiling Cactus

Wrong Railing

This week, I came home to find that workers from a wrought iron fabrication company that I’d engaged had installed the wrong railing on our front porch. The circumstances make for a long, dull story. Accidental miscommunication was the problem. (Ever seen the Warner Brothers cartoon where Daffy and Bugs get into “pronoun trouble”?) . . . → Read More: Wrong Railing

32 Colors

Don’t you love art supplies? When I was a girl, I used to love the beginning of school mostly because it meant new school supplies– scissors, pens, crayons and pencils. Now that I’m all grown up, I thought I was past all that, but I find I’m not. Not at all. . . . → Read More: 32 Colors


I love daffodils. I love them because they bloom so early and in such profusion. I also love them because they’re tough—once you put them in you can generally forget all about them and just let them do their thing without any help from the gardener. I’ve seen ruined homesteads in the Manassas Battlefield Park where cheerful clusters of daffodils have long outlived the farmhouse where they were planted. . . . → Read More: Daffodils

Homemade Chicken Stock

Having my own stock available as a base for virtually any soup is one of those things that gives me a feeling of satisfaction and preparedness. Since my own stock is so much more flavorful than ordinary canned broth, I am only a few ingredients and a few minutes away from tasty soup whenever I want it. I highly recommend that you try making your own chicken stock at least once. If you find that it’s not worth the bother to you (which I could understand) or that you can’t taste the difference (which I doubt), then you can go back to canned stock with my blessing. But I bet you won’t. . . . → Read More: Homemade Chicken Stock

Nursing the Sickie

I have a sick husband at home today. As I type this, I am upstairs in my little office, but I can hear him coughing tiredly as he sits on the couch downstairs, poor baby. Why is it such a cliché, that wives often think their husbands dramatize their illnesses? I don’t know, but I know that my husband and I do have very different styles of dealing with being sick. . . . → Read More: Nursing the Sickie

Funerals and Family

I was knocked for a loop last week by two deaths in the family that happened within days of each other. My mother’s family is a close group of four siblings plus my 93-year-old grandmother and innumerable first cousins. Most of them live within minutes of each other in small farming towns near Dover, Delaware. On a Thursday Mom’s sister lost her husband of forty-two years, my Uncle Gerry. Five days later, on the same day that he was buried, Mom’s brother lost his wife of twenty-nine years, my Aunt Debbie. . . . → Read More: Funerals and Family