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Messengers of Peace and Love

12/21/2017 06:40:53 AM

It's been awhile, poor, neglected blog.  This year has seen lots of change and happenings both good and bad. I'd like to wrap it all up at some point with a quick overview of our travels through the world.  Maybe I'll get to that before the ...

To Gillian on Her 17th Birthday

10/20/2017 15:58:02 PM

When I think of death, and of late the idea has come with alarming frequency, I seem at peace with the idea that a day will dawn when I will no longer be among those living in this valley of strange humors. I can accept the idea of my own demise, ...


01/05/2017 20:23:55 PM

Hey, here's my cat, surveying the Christmas aftermath and saying, "Don't look at me, I didn't do it."I adore this picture.On to other things.There was some, shall we say, "overlap" between purchasing the house we are living in now and selling ...

Mrs. Peacock's Piano

01/04/2017 17:11:32 PM

Hello, 2017.  May you be a damn sight better than the old year.  You kind of have to be.When we first saw this house at the open house weekend, there was an old painted red upright piano in the basement.  It was there for inspection and every ...

Then Rang the Bells More Loud and Deep

12/24/2016 19:10:06 PM

About five years ago, I purchased a string of these Jonathan Adler ornament/lights to put in a bowl as a Christmas decoration because they each slowly fade and turn colors, but in no particular order so it doesn't look like most "twinkling" ...

Christmas 2016

12/22/2016 09:23:50 AM

Good gravy, will this year never end?*sigh*I suppose I should document our Christmas cards this year.Outside:  Inside:We had the most fun staging this photo, because it's not often that you get to drop a giant tree on your children and then ...

Am I Angry?

11/13/2016 16:51:29 PM

Tuesday's election in the U.S. has devastated me like few other things have. Am I angry? Yeah, I'm angry. The night before the election was also the night before I was getting on a plane to go to a week long conference.  I participated in ...

To Gillian on Her 16th Birthday

10/20/2016 11:05:16 AM

I've been taking a break from this blog for a number of reasons.

Nature's Way

06/30/2016 09:47:39 AM

This morning, when I was taking the Shortlings to camp, I turned the corner in the car and saw a little bunny running down the middle of the road.“Oh look, girls! Look at that cute little bunny hopping down the road like he thinks he’s a ...

Minutiae - Caterpillar edition

06/19/2016 07:35:08 AM

I'm not doing so so hot with the keeping up on the blog thingy this year.

More Poetry

05/10/2016 16:02:22 PM

I know, I know, "Who cares about your kids' poems? No one, that's who!" Just the same, I want to keep them and the scraps of paper they get written on aren't really archival material. Hence, poetry entries. The Dormouse participated in a ...

Alice's Tea Party

04/26/2016 15:30:46 PM


04/14/2016 19:12:06 PM

No I haven't forgotten about you, blog. Just too much... too many... ugh, just too.My dad died.Those have been the words I've avoided writing here for weeks now.Not that it would be any more real if I wrote it down or any easier, or more difficult ...

The Awakening

02/23/2016 14:14:17 PM

One of the first art installations I remember ever seeing in D.C. was the sculpture, The Awakening.

Snowing... Again

02/16/2016 16:20:56 PM

We're on day number five, six, eight, I've totally forgotten, of No School due to "someone saw a snowflake" this year.

They're Love Balls

02/03/2016 15:21:02 PM

We bought these ridiculous Christmas decorations years ago for this project, fully intending to toss them out immediately afterwards, but never got around to that part.

Hairy Ice Balls

02/02/2016 15:08:05 PM

I know, I know.

Now Are the Foxes

02/01/2016 13:57:03 PM

One night when we were coming home in the car late last November, we turned the corner to find a group of three or four deer gamboling through the neighborhood. And when I say "gambol,"

Noir Morning Routine

01/30/2016 09:10:01 AM

Came out of the shower the other morning to find Humphrey Beargart interrogating Lauren Bearcall with the bedside lamp and small child voicing the parts with, "Where were you on the night of January 16th?"There are so many things I love about ...

Winter Seating Arrangements

01/29/2016 08:53:00 AM

Despite it getting pretty cold here in D.C., the living room stays pretty warm because of a large window wall.


01/28/2016 08:28:00 AM

I almost forgot until I was cleaning off my phone that we attended the reopening of the Renwick Gallery on New Year's weekend.

I Do My Little Turn on the Catwalk

01/27/2016 20:31:24 PM

This Siamese and their back thing might have gone a bit too far.

Sound Effects

01/27/2016 09:37:48 AM

This is the ice crackling outside as the sun warms everything.

Dr. T. J. Eckleburg's Persistant Stare

12/30/2015 10:08:55 AM

Since we moved into this house, I've been slowly trying to decide how to decorate it, where to put our copious amounts of stuff, etc.

In the Bleak Midwinter

12/30/2015 08:45:37 AM

It rained all week but was over 60 most of the time, so no white Christmas for us. We did get a colorful one though.

X-mas Reivew

12/28/2015 16:20:19 PM

More and more, the success of my Christmas holiday is determined by how little I have to do to accomplish it.

Christmas 2015

12/24/2015 13:33:11 PM

I did manage to get it together to create and order Christmas cards in plenty of time to mail this year and have them arrive in people's mailboxes before Christmas... but only just.

Fauna and Fauna

12/17/2015 06:21:56 AM

I was raking leaves the other day, before the temperatures here rose to Arizona-type levels in December.

O Tannenbaum

12/15/2015 14:52:08 PM

We've put up the Christmas tree.

How to be Whole

12/05/2015 09:10:09 AM

*Ffffffffffffff* *Ffffffffffffff* Is this thing on?Hello, dusty old blog.

Sunset On the Mason Dixon Line

10/26/2015 17:02:00 PM

Or somewhere thereabouts.

Can't Do That with Legos

10/24/2015 08:46:28 AM

It's no secret that I am a huge Frank Lloyd Wright fan. I adore his creativity, his love of nature, his philosophy of living, his brilliance with just a touch of arrogance... my husband has a lifetime goal of seeing every Shakespeare play; mine ...

To Gillian on Her 15th Birthday

10/21/2015 10:23:08 AM

Note: I wrote this several days ago but I'm a day late in posting because I forgot to hit publish on the post and then I didn't look back into the blog yesterday.

THIS is Why I Hate Eating There

10/19/2015 15:57:42 PM

I love the “Food without a side of questions” mantra all the radio ads for Chipotle are sporting this season.

There Were Never Such Devoted Sisters

10/11/2015 13:02:00 PM

There aren't that many moments when they're getting along, so I have to take photos which I can use to fool them into believing they liked each other when they're older.


10/10/2015 12:56:32 PM

Firefly season is over and I no longer need to psych myself up for when I get up in the middle of the night and see out of the corner of my eye, what my brain immediately assumes is a person walking through the back part of my yard with a f ...

Thar She Blows... Out the Candles

09/23/2015 15:40:52 PM

This one turned eight this week.We planned her baptism.And then asked her what kind of party she'd like to have afterward. She said she wanted a pirate party.

Alice's Final Repose

09/18/2015 18:31:52 PM

I was cooking dinner last night - fish - and decided to bake it in the oven.

The Precipice

09/08/2015 15:55:51 PM

For each of us, there comes a moment when we cross that line from complete, euphoric innocence to jaded, wistful adulthood.

Rope Swing

08/31/2015 16:08:20 PM

So, school has started.

Llama Trauma

08/21/2015 17:35:01 PM

I don't quite know where this came from but we listened to this thing that came home from camp with her non-stop on repeat for about a week.I kinda adore how serious she is about it.

Uses For a Boring, 3-Leaf Clover

08/02/2015 07:41:11 AM

Given to me by Small Child, who always sees the potential in every situation.

Where is Thumbkin?

08/01/2015 16:37:43 PM

Oh, here he is... he just got back from the hipsters' convention.

Preparing Them for the Inevitable Disappointments Life Will Bring

07/26/2015 16:10:04 PM

Today, I was asked to substitute for The Caterpillar's Sunday School class because someone was out of town.

Getting Past the Semicolon

07/15/2015 22:27:53 PM

The last time I felt it was six months ago.


07/09/2015 18:45:22 PM


07/07/2015 16:07:00 PM

Either that storm was very forceful or we have extremely fast-growing trees in this part of the country.

Secret Meaning

07/06/2015 16:05:00 PM

In Hawaii, if you wear a flower behind your left ear, it means you are married, taken, have a significant other, or maybe you just don't want anyone bothering you! If you wear a flower behind your right ear, it means you are single, available, ...

What's More American*

07/05/2015 21:33:41 PM

*Sing it Bing.

For My Husband on Fathers Day

06/21/2015 06:55:39 AM

Everyone knows I abhor sentimentality, so I'll make this brief.

For the Grandparents

06/15/2015 10:30:27 AM

Our church held a youth recital this weekend, which I think is a really cool thing to do.

Writer's Block

06/05/2015 13:46:23 PM

“I believe the universe wants to be noticed. I think the universe is improbably biased toward the consciousness, that it rewards intelligence in part because the universe enjoys its elegance being observed. And who am I, living in the middle ...

Ode to Charlotte

05/23/2015 18:07:01 PM

A follow-up to the Charlotte's Web discussion.

As Seen From My Car Window

05/21/2015 06:00:03 AM

Bagpiper alone on the grounds of the University of Maryland.As all good bagpipers should be.


05/19/2015 06:00:05 AM

This week, the Shortlings got the chance to volunteer on an actual archeological dig.

Wickedly Talented

05/18/2015 18:10:55 PM

I forgot to post last month about how we spent way too much money (Christmas present from The KingofHearts to all of us) and went to see Wicked in Baltimore last month.Don't let his face in the background fool you. He loves this crap as much ...


05/12/2015 19:17:45 PM

A little late in posting this one.

Not Iggy, Just Azalea

05/03/2015 18:33:19 PM

There are currently five different colors of azaleas blooming in our yard. Under the biggest and most prolific bush, the Shortlings have found a little den of sorts.


05/02/2015 11:53:27 AM

A couple of months back, I took the Shortlings to Locust Point in Baltimore for lunch because it was close, easy to get to and it's one of my favorite places in the city.

A Series of Texts Between My Mother, Brother, and I

04/30/2015 15:39:01 PM

What you need to know if you don't already (and if you did, I would probably be a little worried about you) is that "Lumpy Dick" was a name used for an old pioneer, porridge-type recipe. (Here is a recipe, but not necessarily the one we used. ...

Doing Time in 2015

04/26/2015 19:51:51 PM

I must say this year is shaping up to be pretty crappy, indeed. 2015 and I have not started off as friends and I anticipate parting under the same circumstances, the way things have been going.I'm off dealing with all of what makes it crapp ...

The Cat and the Fiddle

04/12/2015 10:38:21 AM

This reminds me of a poem... but I think that poem is a cross between Hey Diddle Diddle, The Gingham Dog and the Calico Cat, and perhaps something with a cymbal in it.

Boats Against the Current

04/11/2015 14:09:00 PM

This is the conversation I imagine will take place when my kids go back to school next week:Teacher: "What fun things did you all do over Spring Break?"Kid 1: "I went to Ocean City!"Kid 2: "I went to the amusement park!"Kid 3: "I went to Panama ...

Spa Day

04/10/2015 15:01:29 PM

Spring break has been a bit sucky for The Shortlings.

It's Also Kinda Poisonous, Which is Why the Deer Haven't Eaten It

04/07/2015 08:37:00 AM

In my continuing, "Keeping a record of what's growing in my yard because I will not do it any other way," may I present the next of the Spring flowers to bloom:Hellebore.The KingofHearts recognized this from a video game. But we got a botanist ...

Daffodil Porn

04/06/2015 08:26:05 AM

They're everywhere.

Happy Easter, Poor Photobomed Daffodil

04/05/2015 08:50:04 AM

The Lonesome Death of Alice

03/25/2015 06:55:36 AM

At a nursery one day a few years ago, I took pity on this tiny plant on the for sale table that looked dead already, but was on sale for twenty-five cents - probably because the tiny little stalk wasn't any taller than a quarter.

How Did the Deer Cross the Road? Safely.

03/22/2015 19:23:24 PM

One of my very favorite things upon moving to this area was the wildlife.

The Back Forty

03/09/2015 18:43:26 PM

Wanna know why we bought this house?

Sunday Morning Snow

03/08/2015 08:18:12 AM

A few shots from this week's snow storm in our new neighborhood. This place is one of the reasons we moved.

Snow Bunny or Fox or Whatever That Thing On Her Head Is

03/06/2015 16:36:20 PM

I see her every day and she throws alotta attitude around.


03/06/2015 16:33:46 PM

The Shortlings have been home from school more than they have been at school since January.

Hot Lava, Cold Living Room

03/01/2015 14:00:17 PM

I've been up since about 3:30 am this morning because it was fifty degrees in our house.

Having Hyper Verbal Kids is Good, I Just Keep Telling Myself

02/28/2015 09:43:24 AM

I love that my kids read.

Way to Make Me Feel My Age, Kid

02/23/2015 17:47:42 PM

*Disco song comes on the radio.* Caterpillar: "I thought this kind of music was extinct."

Right On So Many Levels

02/18/2015 19:06:03 PM

Caterpillar: "Sister, what's 'dignity?'"Dormouse: "It's underwear." *snickers under breath to self* I think she was just trying to play a joke on her sister.

Genetic Memory

02/15/2015 10:47:22 AM

There is a legend that Siamese cats were once used to guard Buddhist temples and protect the riches inside from thieves.

Future Hipsters Will Love Me Ironically

02/13/2015 23:15:34 PM

It's been awhile since I've done a Friday the 13th post.

Playing with Children in the 21st Century

02/12/2015 10:34:35 AM

I am trying very hard to get back into a rhythm where I might be able to post regularly here (though I would settle for a rhythm where I might just think regularly) but certain things have taken over my life lately.

Fire Bad, Tree Pretty

01/31/2015 20:21:59 PM

You may have noticed a dearth of posts around these here parts lately.

Happy Accidents

01/12/2015 18:47:00 PM

I accidentally left the flash on when I was taking photos of the Washington Monument the other night and the result was actually pretty cool.

Mt. Vernon at Sunset

01/10/2015 15:59:11 PM

I mentioned before that we went to hang out at some of George Washington's old stomping grounds between Christmas and the New Year.

You Know What's Convenient?

01/06/2015 15:07:00 PM

A cat that puts itself away when you're done with it.

A Plague Upon Your Fair

01/05/2015 08:49:00 AM

There is required cultural education that goes on in the Underground household.

7 Year Old Fancies Herself a Wit

01/04/2015 13:46:01 PM

Each year, Santa brings a selection of mixed nuts for the stockings.

Say Goodbye to Christmas

01/03/2015 15:01:00 PM

The two best days of December are the day we put the Christmas tree up and the day we take it down.

Sour Santa

01/03/2015 07:08:31 AM

For some good little children on Christmas Eve, Santa brings a Christmas orange.

This May Have Been a Mistake

01/02/2015 13:32:00 PM

Santa's Little Helper

12/31/2014 14:56:28 PM

And Now for the Feats of Strength

12/31/2014 14:53:05 PM

This little Christmas village has celebrated Christmas for somewhere around forty years. I've always loved it and how simple it is.

In Lights

12/31/2014 14:44:39 PM

It's by no means a unique shot around the D.C. area, but I'm just so impressed that I could get this good a quality nighttime/Christmas lights photo on my phone, I'm gonna go ahead and post anyway.

A Very Special Christmas Edition of Hoarders

12/31/2014 14:40:05 PM

Someone seems to need an intervention.

Merry Christmas from the House of OCD

12/31/2014 13:40:54 PM

Tilt Your Head 45 Degrees to the Left

12/31/2014 13:24:07 PM

One of the few clear shots of the currently-scaffolded Capitol Building dome I was able to get the other night.

Christmas Isn't Complete Until You've Visited the Christmas Camel

12/31/2014 13:02:22 PM

The day after Christmas was nice so we all headed out to George Washington's Mount Vernon to hang out with the Christmas Camel.Never heard of a Christmas Camel?

So This Is Christmas

12/31/2014 12:50:52 PM

December has been a whirlwind, hasn't it?This is one of my favorite Christmas decorating traditions.

Never Seen Them Before in My LIfe, Mr. Park Ranger

12/31/2014 11:24:25 AM

Whose ill-mannered kids are rolling down the hill in George Washington's back yard?

Merry Christmas Earthlings

12/25/2014 14:21:01 PM

This IS the Status Quo

12/12/2014 16:27:45 PM

I've been taking a self-imposed break from the interweb lately, because the status is... NOT quo and because the world is a mess, but I have zero desire to rule it.Two Dr. Horrible references in one sentence.