Archive for March, 2009

I can’t wait!

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Quite the Friday Night

Laura and I had quite the entertaining Friday night last week. I know it’s Tuesday and four days later already, but hey, we’re busy people :-). Aaron and Alyssa from our new Care Group at Covenant Life were incredibly gracious, inviting us over to dinner and get to know us a mere 4 days after meeting us for the first time.  On a side note, the Care Group has welcomed us, ministered to us and embraced the role of Christian fellowship in an awesome way.  That aside, we ventured over to their place for dinner and more.  We had an outstanding chicken saag (Indian Dish) and other Indian-based accompaniments.

Excellent conversation ensured and we transition to a game new to Laura and I, Settlers of Catan. What a great game.  It combines Risk-like qualities, with a bit of Monopoly and Axis and Allies, among other things.  All in all, a great strategy game, so great that Laura wants to buy it and play it all the time, and she requested we play Risk on Sunday.  I’m not lying or fabricating that, at all.  I was shocked.  It was marginally more jaw-dropping than when she asked this evening if we could buy Medium Salsa from now on, she called the Mild salsa bland and no spice.  I’m not entirely sure what has happened to my wife it’s a little scary.  Oh, but I digress.

Our game playing, combined with intermittent conversation, and consistent updates of the FSU-Wisconsin game on the BlackBerry, extended our evening to the next day.  As we prepared to leave around 1 a.m., we realized we weren’t going far.  Unfortunately in a parking lot of 100 spaces, with a good 20+ empty, they decided to enforce the 24/7 parking decals issued by the apartment complex.  Frustrating, yes, but end of the world, no.  Definitely a grace of God response because knowing my flesh and reactions I’ve had before, no way that was me responding that way.

So we go to get the truck at the lot it was moved to.  No big deal, we pay the guy, Aaron heads on his way after having dropped us off.  I look around the truck to make sure nothing was damaged and I open the driver’s side door.  Laura inquisitively asks why the seat belt was wound through the steering wheel and buckled.  Confused I look in and notice that the AC/DC converter I had in the lighter outlet had been taken out.  After quickly taking an assessment of the situation, noting my golf clubs were in tact, GPS unit remained and laptop hadn’t been fiddled with, I strode back to the gentleman who took our money, now quite a bit steamed.  

I admit we shouldn’t have parked there and deserved to be towed, no issues.  But it was quite obvious they had broken into the car.  With much discontentment I asked why someone had broken into our truck, he asked what I meant by that, and he asked how I knew.  After explaining the obvious, he indicted that they did it routinely for vehicles whose steering column didn’t lock.  Funny, I didn’t know that ANYONE had permission to break and enter, oh, that’s right they DON’T!

I took his name and description, the manager’s name, left a perturbed message for the manager who, of course, works normal business hours.  On the way home I called Arlington County Police Department where they verified that I could take the Towing Company to Small Claims court, and that, no, they were not allowed to break and enter.  A conversation with a lawyer over the weekend reinforced this statement.

I had a pleasant conversation on Monday with the manager, who despite my message, hadn’t returned my phone call. I indicated all of the above to him and other than asking if anything was taken, luckily it wasn’t, said nothing except that he had to talk to his guys and he’d call me back.  He hasn’t called me, I get to call him back tomorrow.

On our drive home around 2 a.m. Saturday morning I just started chuckling.  Laura thought I was crazy.  Maybe I am, but you would think someone who does this daily, and breaks the law on a regular basis would cover the very obvious tracks.  If they had unbuckled the seat belt I doubt I would have noticed the converter unplugged, but when something is blatantly wrong, other senses rise to the occasion.

Experience is the spice of life, or something like that. 🙂 I’ll try to update when I have some level of further resolution!

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My NeW hApPy PlAcE

I’ve been on the lookout for a “Happy Place” ever since we moved. You know, kind of a Lake Ella or a cool pool whose only visitor is you, or a trail along the serene canopy boardwalks at St. Simon’s island where Lois and I rode bikes together on the 4 Oaks Women’s Retreat. I wanted a place where I could go and enjoy, as Chris Rice puts it, “My Cathedral.”  A pond, a stream, a field, but definitely – DEFINITELY – someplace warm!! 


My new happy place is the greenhouse at Merrifield Garden Center – a nursery around the corner…


It is warm (82 degrees, to be exact), and lush. As soon as I walked in, I was stopped in my tracks by the sweet smells of blossoming flowers, plants, and herbs. Ferns, palms, and orchids tangled themselves among one another and reached upward, downward, and  outward in glorious greens and vivid other colors. It was a tropical paradise, just one block from our house! They had baby Venus Fly Traps and Hibiscus plants. They carried tulips and daffodils and lemon grass and lavender. Basil, marjoram, fennel, parsley, and flowering plants I’d never seen before. Ah, sweet smells and solitude among creation! Though I was not alone in the greenhouse, simply taking a few steps led me into the thick of it, leaving me surrounded by leaves, stems, and vines. The dampness in the air, combined with the just-right warmth and thick, lush foliage drowned out the noises of the highway and the sounds of other patrons’ voices.


I told the guy who was sweeping that I was moving in. He said, simply, “okay.”


Mike and I went there to buy some herbs, though I was like a child with a sweet tooth on the cereal aisle: “Mike, look at this flower – isn’t it BEAUtiful??” or “Mike, this one looks like velvet. Doesn’t it look like velvet? I want this one!”


I’ve never seen a flower as beautiful as I do now, after my first winter. It is renewing.


Mike and I only bought three herbs to start with – rosemary, basil, and chives. When we got home, Mike taught me how to transfer our little plants into bigger pots – how to mix the fresh soil with the fertilizer, how to remove the fragile herbs from their starter pots, how to pack the soil just enough, and water them the right amount. After discovering my happy place, and enjoying weather above 40 degrees, I was primed for a great time doing this, and I had a blast! It is such a good feeling to learn how to take care of a new plant, and know that we will eventually be able to use these when cooking! Basil on my front porch! Wow…


Mike snapped some pictures of me giddily potting our new herbs. Take a look:



img_5468I think I was saying right before this: “Is this enough dirt?” Mike loves teaching, and I was having fun learning…


img_5470Look! Green grass! And a clean dog.





The lighting reminded me of that pre-dusk golden light that would filter through our family room window in Port St. Lucie. I would be lying on the plaid couch after school, half-snoozing and smelling dinner cooking, and watching the shafts of light sneak through the faded cream curtains as the dust danced in the spotlight. That kind of light is another kind of happy place for me.





Spring is teasing us, because tomorrow’s low is 27 degrees. But it’s coming; I can feel it. Tonight was a good night…


Weird Icardis

Laura’s Quote of the Week (Monday morning):

I had a dream last night where there was a talking cat that was also a purse.

He had a handle on top and a handle

on the side and really long, fluffy, black fur.

He was also box-shaped. Meow.


Mike’s Quote of the Week (Tuesday morning):

I don’t know why today,

but I smell especially good.

(in blackberry messenger format)


Mike’s and my Blackberry Messenger Conversation on the Metro this morning


Note: You can’t talk on the Metro, or the unhappy people will shoot you looks like daggers. Even if you choose to ignore their melodramatic glares, you can’t talk or even whisper without being overheard. So, this morning, with Mike sitting next to me, we “talked” using Blackberry Messenger. Even when we had no signal, one of us would type into his/her own blackberry and just show it to the other. The new face of marital communication…


L:       Did that guy just get fired?[the guy who was originally sitting next to me,

before he got off the train]

M:      I wasn’t listening

L:       Then why’d you make that face at me before?

M:      Did you see the guy eating a binder clip facing us on the right?

Or the fact that the guy I was sitting by was taking ¾ of the seat

L:       Well my guy said [on the phone] “so I’m no longer working…”?

I missed what he said after that.

Then he said “Is this effective immediately?”

Then he said “No problem, I’ll just get off at the next stop and

take the train back home”

M:      [in real life, his eyes bug out at me, as if to say, “really??”]

L:       Red and white striped suit

[nods head toward woman about 4 feet away]

{About 20 minutes later}

M:      I tripped on the way up the escalator at CC again. Blah

L:       Haha, did you hurt yourself? I hate tripping upstairs

M:      Nah, I do it every two to three weeks.

Bruises the pride more than anything.


 Aaaand… scene.




Wacky Washington

On Monday, March 2, it looked like this:




Then, on Saturday, March 7th, – only 5 days later – I wore this:


Dude, I never knew I could be so pale. Thanks, real winter. Thanks.


We started the day by getting coffee at Buzz, our favorite little coffee/cupcake place that is in walking distance from Adam’s house. Then Adam, Esther, Mike, and I wandered down to Eastern Market to take in the sights, shop the local merchants’ booths, enjoy the weather, and have some brunch.

It was in the 70’s on Saturday, and gorgeous! I found a pair of cute earrings, Adam found some hilarious refrigerator magnets, and we ended that part of the day after dropping Esther back off at her townhouse.


We eventually wound up at Adam’s house, grilling hot dogs and bratwurst, and….


Because of my exceptional good mood (due to the weather and being with friends), and the fact that I am the #1 wife on the planet (humble, too!), I agreed to play….



Of course, I lost. See how few red men are on the board? See how many are OFF the board? Yeah, that’s a bad thing (for me, anyway).



We then ate dinner, played Wii Golf and Wii Tennis, and then walked to Buzz for some cupcakes (Adam got a Guinness Beer cupcake!). We ended the night with Mike kicking our behinds in scrabble. I came in second, and Adam came in third. Of course, Adam also had 5 “i”s at one time. Poor guy…


And whacky Washington doesn’t know that it’s March – it was in the low 70’s today, but we’re supposed to have snow flurries on Friday morning. Whacky!!

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PS (Clip from Weather Alert Online)


253 AM EST TUE MAR 3 2009




Seriously? Because we’re not in the negative, there’s no advisory. Wow. This is Antarctica.

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