Saturday, July 30, 2005

Lazy Days, Dangerous Reading…and Women

The last few days have been remarkably slow paced, almost back to my usual. On Tuesday I had lunch with Andrea, who owns the house next door and who has rented it out for the past 10 years or more. We had lost touch in the recent past, so it was good to see her. She was in town to check on the house, since after five years, our neighbors from the Czech Republic have moved back, and it is due for upkeep and some renovation.

I finished reading “Murder at Union Station” by Margaret Truman, which was okay, but not good enough to warrant checking out another one by her. However, since I had already gotten “Murder at the National Gallery” and since my friend Kay, who’s read them all, had told me some were better than others, I started it just to see if it would be better. It is. Actually a page-turner.

I’ve been doing quite a bit of reading, spending more time on the Post in the a.m., although that can be bad for my mental health, since the “news” is always only what’s bad. For instance, in addition to all the other gory events of the day, “Afghan Women Put Lives on Line to Run for Office” was in yesterday’s Post and in today’s was “U.N. Report Details Rampant Sexual Violence in Darfur.”

Jim brought home, as usual, the City Paper the other night and for the first time I can remember it actually had an article in there that I thought was worth reading. It was about the church I love to hate (no offense to Auntie Peggy), LDS: “The Church of Latter-Day Singles” ( It reminded me of the time two boys in suits and ties knocked on my front door and introduced themselves as “Elder (this)” and “Elder (that)” and about fried my brain. “Elders?” I asked. “How old are you?” One was 18 and one was 19 or thereabouts. I asked them whom they were “elder than” and they tried to explain, but of course, like so much else about that religion, it made no sense whatsoever. So much of it is ridiculous on the face of it that if it weren’t causing so much damage it would be laughable.

Which reminds me there was an article in the Post this morning about Massachusetts Governor Romney cutting a vacation short to get back to the state to veto a bill allowing certain pharmacists to give women morning after pills without a prescription (….“saying that in some cases, the pill causes an abortion”). Guess what? He’s a Mormon. (Stephanie and Chuck, get on that, will you?) So’s Karl Rove. Big surprise, right? Jon Krakauer (in his book “Under the Banner of Heaven”) predicts that the Mormons will be in charge of politics in the U.S. by 2050, but I’m not so sure it will take that long. I’m not so sure they’re not in charge now. At least the Catholic Church is obvious. The Mormon Church seems like the stealth bomber of religions, coming in under the radar. It's scary to me.

Some potentially good news, though, I guess, is that apparently the percentage of Mormons as the population of Utah has decreased in the past 10 years from 70% to “only” 62%. Of course, they are proliferating in self-contained and misogynist polygamous communities elsewhere in the Southwest that still seem to be staying out of the grip of state and national legal authorities. We are just allowing old men to “marry” multiple little girls and young women, sometimes the daughters and sisters of present wives, while at the same time they drive the young boys and men from what can only be considered colonies to wander around the West alone…they are called, if I recall correctly, “the lost boys.” Why do we not get this situation under control, I wonder? Well, only one of a million things I can’t fathom.

But/and it reminds me that I talked to my mom the other day. She asked if I had watched “Whale Rider” when it was on television Saturday night. I had. She reminded me that it was during that movie and in response to the behavior of the grandfather towards the little girl that Sarah, knowing she was not allowed to say “bad” words, had announced that “He’s an ‘a’ ‘s’ ‘s’….. plus a hole.” The grandfather eventually sees the error of his ways. I wish it were all nearly as simple as in that movie.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


Yesterday I spent most of the afternoon with my friend Kathy and another friend of hers, Wanda, in part talking to a court-ordered counselor who spends several hours a week with Kathy and her kids, independently assessing the living situation and purportedly providing support for Kathy in raising the four of them, two of whom are adopted and two of whom are still being fostered. In truth, just about all Kathy needs is someone to help her swamp out the house, so she can get a head start on setting it up again after a burglary and several years of children being little. Though they are now 8, 9, 9 and 10, they are special needs children and everything, including teaching them how to help with general day-to-day house maintenance, takes more time and effort than with “normal” children. And, Kathy is a single parent.

But after a parade of social workers has worked on the case for the last 10 years no one over at the foster care system has any notion of what’s really going on in her house. That doesn’t stop any of them from having an idea of what should be going on. Unfortunately, that idea has varied dramatically from new social worker to new social worker and sometimes, it seemed, on the time of year, whether the sun was out, or whom had her nails done that day. In the meantime, the last two adoptions are being held up, again, and a judge is actually waiting to hear from social services if they will approve the adoption of these children, who have never known any other mother than Kathy, and whose extended biological family, with whom they socialize on a regular basis, enthusiastically supports the adoption. At this late date, social services now wonders if Kathy, all by herself, can handle four teen-agers. The obvious question to me is, “Who can?”

Be that as it may, the judge finally decided to get an independent opinion/assessment of the situation and its potential and assigned her own person, this counselor with whom we all met on Monday. She was surprised (because no one at social services had bothered to find out) just how much support Kathy has and that, in fact, she is not all by herself, she is just not married. In fact, she has an extensive support system that has been and will continue to be involved with the children in a myriad of ways. In some ways, she has more support than most “normal” families. So, here’s hoping the adoption finally goes through, the needlessly time consuming task of explaining and re-explaining things to and accommodating individual and often conflicting idiosyncracies of person after person will go away, and the family can stop constantly worrying that they might be broken apart. Perhaps they can then get to cleaning and organizing their home. Let us pray.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Baseball and Bombs

The Nationals broke their losing streak last night, and Jim and I were there to cheer them on. I’m convinced they couldn’t have done it without us. We had a wonderful time.

It was only marred occasionally by (my) wondering when a bomb might be going to explode and imagining what the stadium would look like, what kind of havoc would be wreaked, if that happened. Security was pretty tight, though. They don’t let anyone in with a package/bag/purse they don’t inspect. I suppose that couldn’t stop someone from driving a truck or car into the place, though. I’m becoming a safety inspector, always checking out the way in which places and systems are vulnerable. I suppose I’m doing what we should all be doing these days, keeping an eye open for anything suspicious, but it’s not a great way to live. So, I’m making another prayer for peace.

While I’m doing it, I’m keeping our nephew, Andrew, in mind, as he is now serving a tour of duty in Iraq and has already been wounded once. His wife, Holly, and his four children are stationed in Georgia and miss him on a daily basis, as well as worry about his safety and welfare. Without losing sympathy for the people he is trying to help over there (and regardless of the controversy surrounding this war, the people in the military see themselves as trying to help the Iraqi people), our family is really just hoping and praying that he makes it home safely, that one day he and his wife can take their kids to the ballgame and not wonder what the stadium would look like if a bomb went off inside it.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Prayer for Peace

Bombing, Bombing Everywhere….and What a Thought to Think.

It’s mind boggling, really, what’s going on. We had dinner last night with my friend Paula, who is here for a few weeks on summer vacation from her teaching job in Florida, and she asked Jim whom he favored, politically, meaning Democrat or Republican. He said he liked the person who killed the most terrorists. It’s come to that. But it’s hard not to subscribe to that position at the moment. I was happy to read in the Post this a.m., but maintain a “wait and see” attitude, that Musharraf of Pakistan had called for moderate Muslims to declare jihad against all Islamic terrorist bombers. Meantime, it’s unclear just how enthusiastically he is pursuing his homegrown terrorists in what is touted to be a delicate political situation there.

Yesterday, feeling the growing need to get back to work on a new painting, I made a list of all my painting possibilities, to see which one called me the most. But this morning I was thinking that it may be time to do another prayer for (world) peace, like the one I have on my dining room table, since I have no idea what else I can possibly do to ameliorate the situation.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

The Great Banana Sticker War

Charlotte, Anja and Ella stopped by to visit last night on their way back from getting ice cream and before "Uncle Jimmy" got home from work. Charlotte reported that her summer camp workshop at Imagination Stage is going well, and Anja reported that at her new babysitter's house, Ella, who is barely 1 & 1/2, had virtually entirely potty trained herself in the last few weeks. But Charlotte was in a reading mood, so she got the book and sat herself in "the big chair" with Ella and me, and we read "Aunt Isabel Tells A Good One" once again. Then we all trooped upstairs so they could see the new pansy painting, which is still hanging out on the easel.

On the way down I noticed Charlotte eying up the pictures lining the stairs. I assumed she was checking for banana stickers on the pictures of the "girls" (Sister Carey and Sister Kaye) as Uncle Jimmy sometimes puts them on those photos if the ones on the buffet get too cluttered up. There weren't any, though, so I assumed she was satisfied, and I never saw her checking out the ones on the buffet. So this morning when Uncle Jimmy discovered that she had taken the banana stickers off the photos there, I was quite surprised. Charlotte usually announces with great bravado that she is removing them and throwing them away, as she regards it as the greatest sacrilege for Uncle Jimmy to deface the lovely photos of her beloved Carey and her soulmate Kaye. And then, of course, Uncle Jimmy starts putting them back on again. This has been going on for about a year. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that Charlotte no longer feels the need to announce her actions, as she also informed me last night that she is the boss of Uncle Jimmy. Fortunately for The Goofy One I had just recently taken a photo of the pictures on the buffet, as I thought the banana stickers stuck on this time were particularly artfully arranged, so all is not lost. But it will certainly be interesting to see how this "who's the boss" question/conversation is resolved. Perhaps with a game of Old Bachelor.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Catching Up

Sunday, Jim and I went out to Bristow, Va. to spend the afternoon and have an early dinner with our friends who used to live next door, Kim and Chris Devine (isn't that a great name?), and then catch the Allman Brothers ( concert at Nissan Pavillion, which is about 5 minutes from their new place. Kim and Chris had another baby, Spencer, in May, and we hadn't met him yet, nor had I gotten a photo of the mural I had done for Carter (who is now 4!) in his bedroom earlier that month, so it was a big day. It was lovely to see them. Both parents and both boys are doing fine. The concert was great, of course, and the weather wasn't too bad once the sun went down, with a little cool breeze even happening by on occasion - AND, no thunderstorms!

Monday and Tuesday I spent most of the day at American University as the D.C. art teachers in the curriculum development program were giving their final presentations from the summer workshops. As part of my job as external evaluator/validator of the program, I needed to see what they had accomplished. For three weeks, they had participated in an architecture workshop, focusing on the architecture of D.C., in the mornings, and a related math (mainly geometry) and social studies workshop in the afternoon, and their final presentations in the form of unit and lesson plans for the coming year reflected the incorporation of their new knowledge.
They will pilot these plans during the Fall and we will all meet again on December 3 for them to present their results. In the meantime, I also have paper documentation and evaluations to analyze and assess. There have been a few glitches, but on the whole, the program is inspired, inspiring, and has run very smoothly so far. This is the second year of a three year project, which will result in a curriculum guide and a city wide student art fair next year. And we may have a grant to do it again, starting with a whole new group next year.

Today I am catching up a little and getting back into my usual schedule. Went to Curves this a.m., where everyone is bemoaning the weather and the Supreme Court nominee, myself included, and then took some film in to get developed. Got a call from my friend who has adopted four special needs children just to see if I would be home later this evening so we could talk. Another something horrible has apparently happened in/with the DC foster care/social services sytem, but she didn't have time to tell me about it yet, so I'll have to wait and hear about it later. I only hope I can say or do something that will help. But for now, all I can do is wait for her to call to see what the problem is, so I guess it's back to catching up and putting things in order. I guess I should probably give some thought to taking that now overdue, post-Curves work out shower!

Saturday, July 16, 2005

We Read Sarah's Favorite Book

Every once in awhile when Charlotte comes over, partly because she feels wistful for Sarah and it is a way to feel closer to her, she wants to reread Sarah's favorite book from when she lived here during 1st grade, 2003-2004. It's called "Auntie Isabel Tells a Good One" and it's a great story about telling a story. One time a few weeks ago I was watching Charlotte and Ella for Bill and Anja, and Charlotte wanted to read it, so we introduced Ella to it, too. We usually sit in Uncle Jimmy's big chair so we can both see, so we just piled Ella on, too. Anja took our picture when she came to pick them up, but just sent me a copy the other day.

Unbearable Weather

It's been sticky for days. Every once in awhile, we get a break.

Spilling down rain,
The Earth
Holds Her mouth
Like a suckling
And tugs hard
At the nipple.

P.E. Ortman

Friday, July 15, 2005

Women: The Aunties and a Joke

“The Aunties” is how my sisters and I collectively refer to our Mother’s three sisters (Peggy, Glenda, and Susie) and Mary Kay, who was at one time married to our Father’s youngest brother and whom we informed, when they got divorced, that we were not allowing out of the family; she would always be our Auntie. Glenda, whom I call Glenda Gail (because that is her middle name, and I like how it sounds) often forwards jokes she receives from another couple to several members of our family. This is one of the jokes she sent yesterday. I thought it was pretty funny, but emailed her that it was, in my humble opinion, titled incorrectly and should be called "Women are Brilliant, Creative and Witty by Nature."


A sexy woman went up to the bar in a quiet rural pub. She gestured alluringly to the bartender who approached her immediately. She seductively signaled that he should bring his face closer to hers. As he did, she gently caressed his full beard. "Are you the manager?" she asked, softly stroking his face with both hands. "Actually, no," he replied. "Can you get him for me? I need to speak with him," she said, running her hands beyond his beard and into his hair. "I'm afraid I can't" breathed the bartender. "Is there anything I can do?" "Yes. I need you to give him a message," she continued, running her forefinger across the bartender's lips and slyly popping a couple of her fingers into his mouth and allowing him to suck them gently. "What should I tell him?" the bartender managed to say. "Tell him", she whispered, "there's no toilet paper, hand soap, or paper towels in the ladies room."

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Women: Moving Essay

My friend Sue sent me information about grants for women.

This led me to look up the information about the three women who have received previous grants. There is a very moving essay by one of them, Meredith Hall, which you can access if you click on, go to "search our site" and type in her name.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

How Long Does It Take to Do a Painting?

Finally having pretty much cleared the decks of other major and necessary though minor projects and tasks, I spent yesterday painting! When I first realized I had a real hankering to make my next acrylic on canvas painting one of pansies, I had to figure out what size and shape it seemed like it should be and then get a canvas. The vision in my mind was horizontal, dramatically longer than tall, so I went to my favorite art supply store, Plaza Arts in Bethesda, and rounded up a 10 by 20 incher that felt just right. I got to do this before we went to the cabin, so I knew when we got back that I could get started whenever everything else fell in line.

Next, after we got back, I had to sort through my tons of photos to see what pictures I already had that I could use for references for colors, shapes, composition, etc., and make preliminary decisions about those things. This took several hours, since I have a lot of photos and all my flower photos are not in one spot. I also had kept my eyes open while we were at the cabin for more pansies to shoot and had gotten that new roll developed. And, since I had decided to hone in on pansies for the next painting, I also studied them closely in person whenever I saw them in convenient locations.

Sometimes a photo will give me my compositional idea. However, this time no photo showed me a compelling composition - or represented the incipient vision I had in my head - so I had to play around with sketching different ideas until I landed on the one that moved me. Again, this took a few hours. As with the clematis painting, it seemed I wanted to paint seven little pansies, faces front and forward. Once I had that figured out, I was able to transfer my draft composition onto the canvas with charcoal and make adjustments to it based on the larger size and additional idiosyncractic considerations that now came into play. Again as with the clematis, I realized that I wanted a few different colors of pansies, not all the same or even just a couple, so I had to make preliminary decisions about colors and placement, based on color considerations and theory. With all of that finally done by yesterday, I wiped off most of the charcoal, except for a faint line, laid out my palette, got my brushes and water, sketched in and modified the underdrawing with burnt sienna and then, finally, started actually putting on colors.

I painted myself silly for most of the day. I have a few more hours to go, but on the whole I would say that at this point it's almost done. I'm actually feeling too tired to work on it today as I also did a small watercolor collage on Monday and started making sketches for another possible painting last night. But people often ask me "How long did that take you?" I find it almost impossible to answer because it seems like maybe, in the end, the actual painting part takes less than what one might imagine, though the way I paint it is still not inconsiderable, and every painting requires so much more unseen and almost incalculable thought and labor. And I'm thinking people might think there should be some correlation between the amount of actual just physical painting time a painting takes and what an artist might charge. And of course, there is and must be SOME relationship. But in the end, I think I agree with the artist who said (and I changed this a little, try to guess how), "An artist is not paid for her labor, but for her vision."

Monday, July 11, 2005

What We Do for Love

We live just off a major artery, as they say, Connecticut Avenue, and there are some dangerous crosswalks about which constant debate goes on in the neighborhood. Some people want to put more stop lights on the Avenue and others argue that they are unnecessary and will just impede rush hour traffic. In any event, as a stopgap safety measure, the neighborhood agreed to put up red crossing flags at the most dangerous crosswalks and so when you want to cross one of them, you take a red flag out of a holder on one side and you deposit it in a holder on the other side once you are across. Theoretically, there should always be flags available on both sides of the street. This is not always the case and my husband, aka, The Goofy One, inevitably notices. Last night, coming home from dinner with Will and Ellen, he made us cross the street carrying more than one because none were on the other side.

Now, TGO, not walking around the neighborhood as often as I, didn't even know the flags had been put up until this summer. He happened to notice them for the first time when Carey was here. The three of us were walking up the street for dinner and when we went to cross, she picked up a flag and started marching authoritatively across the street. I thought TGO was going to keel over, he was laughing so hard. "What the hell is THAT!?" he asked. I explained, but he thought it was so funny he ordered Carey to just march back and forth. Of course, she didn't, but nonetheless....

The day before she left, I was taking some pictures and he wanted to know if I had gotten one of her crossing the street with the flag. Since I hadn't, Carey and I stopped up at the most dangerous of crosswalks, Morrison and Connecticut, before we went to Union Station the day she left, and I took pictures of her. There was no traffic, but you get the idea.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Catching Up: News from the ‘Hood…and Beyond

Been doing a lot of catching up with people and events this week-end. There is much coming and going in the neighborhood during the summer, as people take turns being gone on vacations. Karl and Anavela and their kids just got back from Ireland. Jim and Susan and Nora are off to Iceland in a few days. And we have new people on the block, Brenda and Jenny, who bought Tom and Amy’s house. They moved down from the Upper West Side of New York, where they lived about 20 blocks from the Beacon and to Jim’s surprise and delight, usually had even attended one of the annual Allman Brothers March concerts there. They seem very congenial, and I think they will make good neighbors.

Our little friend Charlotte returned from Arizona yesterday with her grandparents, who will stay here for a week or so and babysit during the day for Anja and Bill while they are at work. Charlotte was gone for two weeks with her grandparents "all by myself" and reports she had a wonderful time. She went on "one of the world’s biggest roller coasters," at Leggo Land, with her grandfather when they went to San Diego. She’s already got it going on again with Jim, as she saw him coming back from kayaking this afternoon and raced out onto the porch to let him know she was back. I don’t expect they’ll have much time to play, though, until her grandparents leave next week.

Will, my Neighborhood Watch Block Co-Captain and I, have very important block business to discuss, such as when to have the block party this fall and when we should start collecting signatures to close the street, etc., so he and his wife Ellen and the Goofy One and I are going to have dinner together this evening at Arucola. It’s another beautiful day today, so we’ll probably be able to sit outside on the patio.

In news beyond the block, it looks like our friends Stephanie and Chuck will be able to finally take baby Florin home from the hospital either tomorrow or early this week. She will be near to four pounds. Talk about your miracles. That sure seems to have been one. You can read it all for yourself at

And I talked with my mother and my brother, Uncle Grandpa, as Sarah calls Tom, for the first time since their birthdays in June. Mom says there's not much to tell as she "doesn't have a life," but she will be going to Alaska in August for two weeks with Sister Little and her whole family, so I'm thinking she really does. And U.G., though he's fully recovered from the back surgery this winter, developed another hopefully minor problem or two, for which he is receiving chiropractic treatment. As long as it doesn't interfere with golf! I heard from Mom that John, Sarah's dad, arrived safely from Montana yesterday afternoon and that all the adults were going to go out for dinner tonight to celebrate S.L.'s and Terry's wedding anniversary. I think it's their 11th. I left a singing anniversary message on their answering machine yesterday, but in case they didn't get it, Happy Anniversary, again, you two!

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Women: A Ray of Hope, a Note of Sorrow, Personal Pleasures and Problems

A Ray of Hope comes in the form of an article in the W. Post today

about some women in Kenya who established their own village to avoid or flee from forced marriages and abuse. It reminded me of what one of my former students, Katie Reidy, a member of the last graduating class of Mount Vernon College, said to me when she came back from her Peace Corps service in Malawi in 2001: "Don't worry, Dr. Ortman, Mount Vernon is alive and well and living in a third world country." She had emailed me on occasion from Malawi to report, excitedly, that she was teaching women things that she had learned in courses she had taken with me on women, including women's sexuality, and was perfectly and happily aware that this was subverting the male dominance of the those cultures and helping women to value themselves.

A Note of Sorrow also comes from the W. Post today in the form of an obituary for Judy Mann, long time W. Post columnist and feminist.

As well as quoting me in one of her books when I was a professor at Mount Vernon ("The Difference"), at my behest she wrote a column on Myra Sadker, pioneering gender equity researcher, whose W. Post obituary several years ago was lacking in any understanding of just how important she was to that movement. Sadly and ironically, Ms. Mann also recently succumbed to the same disease, breast cancer.

Now that Mount Vernon is gone and I have turned my attention to art, I have the pleasure of being external program evaluator for an inspired staff development program between American University and the District of Columbia Public Schools focusing on upgrading the knowledge and skills of the District's art teachers. So I spent yesterday with them in one of this summer's workshops, the one on architecture. Things are going so well and it is so interesting that it was a true respite from the horrible happenings of the last couple of days, but even it was marred a little by some of the racist, sexist content of a short video which was simply outdated.

For dinner, Jim and I walked up to eat at Las Lomida Dos, which was lovely, but we made the mistake of wandering through the Safeway later. We ended up in the checkout line behind a presumably Muslim woman, in full Middle Eastern garb, and her male companion, presumably her husband, in his very Western golf shirt and chinos. It was a warm night and she looked hot while he looked entirely comfortable, as I presume he was. I regret not asking her/him/them how that makes sense. How come it's okay for him not to wear his Middle Eastern clothes/costume if she has to. But when I'm actually in the situation I get so angry that I feel like I can't talk without being angry, and I think it would be better to be able to have a conversation without that. Anyhow, one of these days I will have my wits about me at the time I need them and try to converse with people about some of this.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Chaos Prevails

Yesterday was spent doing the usual activities associated with getting home from a trip: unpacking, laundry, newspapers, tidying/cleaning, grocery shopping, etc. and also trying to get my little tummy back in order. While resting in the late afternoon before dinner, I watched part of an Oprah show, which featured a story about/from the Congo and the plight of the people caught between roving warring tribal factions, who plunder each others' villages, rape the women and girl children and also otherwise torture them and their husbands, sons, and brothers. This has been going on for years, but is pretty much ignored by everyone in politics and the media. Apparently Oprah funded this trip to gather and disseminate information about the travesty and is trying to call attention to it herself. Another group, Women for Women International, is trying to help and the Executive Director of the organization was on to tell what people could do. I'm not sure why no one seemed to be saying that people should pressure international politicians, the U.N., and the mainstream news media to pay attention, but if you are interested in what Women for Women is doing you can read about it at You can also go to to read more about Lisa Ling's trip to the Congo and her report.

This morning, of course, the news is all about the terrorist attacks in London. It reminded me of a couple of weeks ago when S.M. and I were on the subway, coming back from the Corcoran and lunch with Ann, on the Red Line. We sat across from a young woman who was covered from head to toe in the usual outfit some Muslim women wear. She was listening to a CD player and had a big backpack next to her. I had two thoughts, the first my usual frustrated one in response to her dress, of "How can women be so complicit in their oppression?" and my second, which I whispered to Carey, "I wonder when the backpack is going to explode." I can remember when I would only have had the first.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Time Out

It's Tuesday evening, and we just returned from two days at the cabin, Jim's favorite get away from it all place to be. (You can see paintings of two different views of it on my website at One is called "Little Cabin in the Big Woods" and the other is called "The Yellow Tractor.") The weather was perfect for golf, which we played twice, happily not too badly, since we hadn't played since last Fall. I also slept a lot, including during half the drive up on Saturday, and finally finished a book, "The Short History of a Prince" by Jane Hamilton, which I had begun before the sisters arrived, and started a new one by Julia Glass, " Three Junes, " which won a National Book Award a couple of years ago. We also enjoyed our usual dining out experiences at several local bistros, including Lia's and The Stissing House in Pine Plains and Terrapin in Rhinebeck. We are looking forward to our week's vacation in August as this was great fun, but much too far to travel for just two days.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Reports from the Field(s)

S.M. (also to be known hereafter as Lady Errant) reports via email that she arrived safely in Grand Forks, N. Dakota, at 6 this morning and was picked up by S.L., who was accompanied by Mom, Taylor and Thomas, and that Sarah and John had also arrived safely by train around 2 a.m. She further reports that they are already having lots o' fun. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I was informed we will be leaving for the cabin tomorrow a.m. and will stay until Tuesday and that we will try to play some golf. Hopefully, our favorite course, Under Mountain, is not already booked up. The weather is supposed to be beautiful, low 80's and dry, and we will have the place to ourselves even if it is for just a couple of days. I'm bringing lots of books.

I visited the Chevy Chase Women's Club after Curves today to check the place out, to see when their next annual art show is scheduled (March 2006) and to find out how to enter (have to call someone who wasn't in today). The nice ladies there also asked me if I would consider joining the Club. Hmmmm... Me, a member of the Chevy Chase Women's Club. I'm not sure it fits my personality even if I could afford it, which I probably can't. Then I ran over to Plaza Art Supplies as I have a hankering to paint some pansies, but didn't have the right sized canvas. I picked up a 10 by 20, which I think will be perfect. Then I stopped at One Step Up to see if my new sandals had come in yet (they haven't). Still have to pick up my cholesterol prescription and something for dinner, but was too hungry to do any more errands before I had some lunch, so I came home to eat and will go back out. And it's already 2:30. I don't know where the time goes!