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The Hillwood Museum: A Great Place to Take Your Mom (or Your Dad)

My parents were visiting me this week. On this visit we were blessed with warm and sunny autumn days, and we took advantage of the weather to make a trip to the Hillwood Museum, one of my favorite lesser-known Washington attractions. Hillwood, the former home of Marjorie Merriweather Post, is a charming little gem that feels very off-the-beaten track even though it’s in the middle of the busy Connecticut Avenue corridor. Although it’s large enough to spend the better part of a day there, it feels intimate and manageable compared to the enormous and busy museums down on the mall. . . . → Read More: The Hillwood Museum: A Great Place to Take Your Mom (or Your Dad)

Viewer Discretion Advised

One thing I’ve learned in my 41 years, whenever the news programs introduce a story with an admonition that “some viewers may find this material disturbing,” they mean ME. . . . → Read More: Viewer Discretion Advised

Open Windows

The heat of August has finally broken here in Washington. About time too! Finally we’ve returned to open window season. Aaah, this is the best time of year here. Today is clear and sunny with very low humidity. All my windows are thrown open to the air. I’ve always avoided air conditioning as much as . . . → Read More: Open Windows

Friendly Microbes?

I recently had a really good experience with an organic mildew cleaner that I thought more people would want to know about.

You may remember, if you read this blog regularly, that my husband and I suffered a serious flood in our finished downstairs after torrential rains in late June. (The weather forecasters swear this . . . → Read More: Friendly Microbes?

Requiem for My Tomatoes

As summer gives way to fall, I need to say a sad farewell to my small vegetable garden. It gave its all under very difficult conditions this year. A brilliant spring with gallons of crunchy lettuces and radishes gave way to a miserable summer of flooding rains followed by scorching drought. Midway through August my . . . → Read More: Requiem for My Tomatoes


I felt the triple whammy of sad events yesterday morning: A funeral for a young man on a rainy Monday that happened to be the anniversary of September 11, 2001. The brother of a friend and neighbor died unexpectedly last week, and I went to the church funeral on Monday morning. “Organized religion” has a . . . → Read More: Prayers

Victory Beer

Yesterday my husband and I drove up to Downingtown, Pennsylvania on a one-day trip. Our visit was for the annual meeting of investors in Victory Brewing Company, a craft brewery that’s probably best known for its Hop Devil and Golden Monkey beers. What draws most people to visit Victory is the chance to sample the full range of their many beers. There are usually at least eight to ten beers on tap at the restaurant, in a lineup that changes seasonally. Victory has won multiple awards for their flagship Hop Devil beer, an India Pale Ale. They’re also increasingly famous for a Belgian-style beer called Golden Monkey and for their pilsner, Prima Pils. Prima was recognized as one of the best pilsner-style beers in the world by both the New York Times and Men’s Journal magazine in 2005. . . . → Read More: Victory Beer

September New Year


Happy new year! No, I haven’t lost track of the calendar. It’s just that this time of year has always seemed like the natural time for beginning new work. I suppose it’s a holdover from my many years of school, but the first Tuesday after Labor Day feels like time to buckle down, get . . . → Read More: September New Year