Tagged With: Friends

Jean and Family

Jean and Family

Jean and Family

Our good friends, Maria and Alex were baptized this morning and I took this picture of the family after lunch. What a beautiful family. We love you all.

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Auction Dinner

Auction Dinner

Auction Dinner

At last year’s WCA auction we bought, along with our good friends Janis and Greg, Krystal and Mike, and Diana and Tom, a gourmet dinner cooked by Jeanette and Barbara. After our gourmet dinner and wonderful desserts fixed by Amy, we enjoyed a movie on the big screen. Sadly, Diana and Tom couldn’t make it.

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Dinosaur and Friends

Dinosaur and Friends

Dinosaur and Friends

Dorothy and some of her friends after getting back from a church youth group retreat. Sounds like they had a great time. From left to right: Anna, Amy, Dorothy, Ariana, Cat.

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Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year

I took quite a few pictures today but can only publish one here, so I went with all the kids at our Chinese New Year dinner.

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Safiya, Sarah, Jenny, and Dorothy

Safiya, Sarah, Jenny, and Dorothy

Safiya, Sarah, Jenny, and Dorothy

I don’t think I need to explain why I picked this picture for today.

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Shaina

Shaina

Shaina

This is the daughter Kathy, of a friend of mine at work. Her mom calls her Corey (her first name) but she introduces herself as Shaina (her middle name).

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Simone, Dorothy, Anna, and Kendra

Simone, Dorothy, Anna, and Kendra

Simone, Dorothy, Anna, and Kendra

Dorothy had some friends over this afternoon. Unfortunately I didn’t think to take any pictures until after some had left. Here are some of them, anyway.

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Ben, Lilias, and Michelle

Ben, Lilias, and Michelle

Ben, Lilias, and Michelle

We had a terrific afternoon with our friends Ben, Michelle, and their beautiful daughter Lilias. She only smiled for me in a couple pictures but I think this one is pretty sweet.

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Dorothy and Friends

Dorothy and Friends

Dorothy and Friends

Ellen, Sarah, Jenny, Anna, and Dorothy.

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Levi

Levi

Levi

We had a wonderful time with our good friends Erin and David this evening and were especially happy to meet their one year old son, Levi. What a charmer.

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Jack

Jack

Jack

Our friends Lauren and Tommy let us come visit them and see their beautiful three-week-old son, Jack. He had a rough first week but seems to be doing wonderfully now. He slept most of the time we were there but it was great to hold him and get caught up with Lauren and Tommy. What a sweet baby and what great parents.

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Watching a Movie

Watching a Movie

Watching a Movie

Dorothy and Simone watched a movie on the computer this evening.

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Greg and Anna Joy

Greg and Anna Joy

Greg and Anna Joy

I know I’m running behind. I’ve been so busy taking pictures that I haven’t had enough time to go through them. Also, picking one picture out of 465 is never easy.

We were privileged to spend the evening with Greg and Anna Joy’s families as they prepared to join in marriage tomorrow. The highlight, I think, was the time of story-telling in the barn. In this picture, Clay is telling a bit about how he and Greg met and became such good friends.

Any guesses what tomorrow’s picture will be of?

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Greg and Anna

Greg and Anna

Greg and Anna

So if it was hard yesterday to pick a single picture from 465, how much harder today. But since the main event was the wedding, here is the happy couple, officially husband and wife.

Although I’m posting this on Tuesday, don’t worry, I have pictures taken Sunday and Monday to share, as soon as I can get to them. It won’t be long.

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Four Graduates

Stephanie, Hannah, Stephen, and Lyla

Stephanie, Hannah, Stephen, and Lyla

Congratulations to four gratuates: Stephanie, Hannah, Stephen, and Lyla. God bless you as you head off to college in the fall.

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Dinner at Mama Lucia’s for Erick’s Hope

Dinner at Mama Lucia's for Erick's Hope

Dinner at Mama Lucia’s for Erick’s Hope

Erick’s Hope was having a fundraiser at Mama Lucia’s in Olney this evening. What a great excuse to have dinner with friends. They aren’t all in the picture but Mike and Krystal were with us, along with Diana, Josh, and Jake.

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Picnic Lunch

Picnic Lunch

Picnic Lunch

We had a picnic after church today to say farewell to the Bill and Kristine who are moving to Ohio. I’ll post a separate gallery with a bunch of pictures but this was my favorite from today.

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Lissie

Lissie

Lissie

We picked up our weekly share of vegetables at Rocklands Farm this morning and enjoyed a visit with the folks there, including Lissie, Anna’s sister, who posed for me with a small basket of produce.

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Steph and Hannah

Steph and Hannah

Steph and Hannah

It was hard to pick one picture for today so I decided to go with two beautiful smiles. After staying home because she was sick when we left for Toronto, Stephanie got better and her wonderful parents got her to us on Tuesday evening. She didn’t stop smiling all week. It made Hannah and the rest of the team pretty happy, as well.

This picture was taken in the CN Tower, which costs a bit to go up but is worth the price, I think. We were there for sunset, which was particularly nice and the wind felt good after being so hot.

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Wacky Sophomores*

Wacky Sophomores

Wacky Sophomores

School starts on Wednesday and the sophomore and junior classes had a joint “back to school” party this afternoon. In this photo, Dorothy and some of her friends are… well, I’m not sure what they’re doing.

*I know, Hannah is a junior. Sorry.

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Don’t Take Our Picture

Don't Take Our Picture

Don’t Take Our Picture

I get this a lot. We were out to dinner with some wonderful friends. I wanted to take a picture to post here. The reaction was as fast as it was unanimous.

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Andres and Kasia

Andres and Kasia

Andres and Kasia

Some of the ladies at work organized a baby shower for Kasia. These are the happily expectant parents.

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Toni’s Birthday

Toni's Birthday

Toni’s Birthday

The results of an interesting party game.

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Friendship

Dorothy and Hannah

Dorothy and Hannah

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Katie, Lauren, Jack, and Dorothy

Katie, Lauren, Jack, and Dorothy

Katie, Lauren, Jack, and Dorothy

I got a few nice pictures of Jack this evening (look for an update to The Many Faces of Jack). This one is nice because it has some cool extra people in it.

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Youth Reunion

Youth Reunion

Youth Reunion

Four of Dorothy’s friends went off to college this fall. She’s seen three of them a few times since then but Hannah Marie Roop went too far to come home for a weekend. We’ll she’s here for Thanksgiving and her parents let here have some of her friends over to see her this evening. A couple had left by the time I took this and two more came after I did, but this is as complete a group picture as I got. There was considerable laughter and much joy.

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Dorothy and Lyla

Dorothy and Lyla

Dorothy and Lyla

Lyla had a bunch of the youth group over this evening and they were good enough to let me stay and take pictures. This is just a silly picture of Dorothy and Lyla.

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Maria and Alex

Maria and Alex

Maria and Alex

We were happy to be able to have lunch today with Maria, Alex, and Jean Ulmer. That happens far too infrequently as far as I’m concerned.

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Addy

Addy

Addy

It’s funny to me how differently people, especially kids, react to having their picture taken. Some duck for cover, some turn their faces away, and some practically beg for more. This little sweetheart is one of the beg-for-more types. Her siblings all like having their pictures taken, too, but this one more than the others put together, I think. Anyway, she’s a very sweet girl and I’m happy to take her picture any chance I get.

I took quite a few pictures of her and her sister and brothers, as well as the other children who were there today. In many of them Addy is making faces and I considered posting one of those. Actually, I suspect she will be disappointed that I haven’t posted one of them. But I love this one that shows her how she normally looks (although from a fairly close vantage point). I’ll share the others with her parents so she’ll be able to see them. Hopefully that will make her happy.

Thanks to Andy and Kelly for having us over with a few other friends this morning. It was a nice way to celebrate the original Brexit (circa 1776). Also, I took a couple pictures of the baby robins but they didn’t turn out too well. Not as well as Kelly’s taken with her phone, in fact.

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Elsie and Marit

Elsie and Marit

Elsie and Marit

We went with Cathy’s mom to the Fourth Presbyterian picnic today at Rocklands Farm. We haven’t gone to Fourth for over 25 years but we still know a lot of people there and of course we know the Rocklands folks, so we had a wonderful time visiting with old friends. I took a bunch of pictures but I have to admit I took more of Janis and Greg’s grandchildren than all the other pictures combined. They’re all just so darned cute. Here are two cousins, Elsie on the left and Marit on the right, ‘driving’ the gator (actually it’s a Kubota, but their previous one was a John Deere and the name is a holdover from that). These two are clearly chums and I’m really happy that Marit and her family are back in the USA for the foreseeable future. Anyway, this picture makes me happy.

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New Year’s Day

Rob, Diane, Cathy, Dorothy, Karen, John, Kyle, and Amy

Rob, Diane, Cathy, Dorothy, Karen, John, Kyle, and Amy

On January first, 2004, Amy and Kevin had us over for what she described in the invitation as a low-key, relaxed, New Year’s day party. It lived up to its billing and with the exception of two rough years early this decade, we have had a suitably low-key repeat. Fondue is the traditional fare, with both beef and cheese pots going. This is the crew, except James, who hadn’t made it to the table yet. There was laughter as well as mourning, as we looked back on a year that called for both. We don’t kno, of course, what the year ahead holds, but with friends like these, who needs enemas.

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Move, Part 1

Move, Part 1

Move, Part 1

Today was phase one of “The Move”. We’ve been so long getting to this point that it was a little anticlimactic. Well, maybe. It was still a big day. It went very smoothly, though, largely due to the overwhelming support of those who came and carried and organized and directed. I really didn’t do a lot other than drive the truck, which is about at my pay grade. This was only part one of the actual moving process and really only one phase of many. Nevertheless, thank you to everyone who came out to help on this cool January day.

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Julia

Julia

Julia

This young woman, Julia by name, is a dear friend and all around wonderful gal. She came over yesterday and today to help us around the house. I didn’t get to see her yesterday or most of today (work, work, work) but she was here when I got home and she let us take her to dinner. Then and for a little while afterwards we got to chat and catch up on things. And she let me take a few pictures of her, so that’s what I’m posting for today. Thanks, Jules.

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Stretching

Stretching

Stretching

Dorothy came home for spring break and brought four of her friends with her. They arrived at about 5:00 PM and I got home a little after 6:00. I fixed a very non-standard shepherd’s pie for dinner, using chicken instead of the more traditional lamb or also quite common beef. There were meat eaters in the crowd but a few who were not eating red meat. Also, fresh shepherd is so hard to find this time of year. Cathy, as is her wont, sat on the floor and stretched. This is most everyone, gathered in the living room, joining in.

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Nobody Here But Us Chickens

John, Cathy, and Grace (with Chickens)

John, Cathy, and Grace (with Chickens)

As I mentioned yesterday, Dorothy is home for spring break and brought four friends with her. Today we drove out to our friends farm in the outskirts of Poolesville. The chicken’s are not really a featured attraction and visitors are not supposed to wander out into the field with the animals. One advantage of being friends with the owners, however, is a little more latitude when it comes to where we are allowed. The kids (and I’m counting Cathy among them) enjoyed catching chickens and putting them back inside the enclosure. Here are John, Cathy, and Grace, each with a chicken.

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A Home Cooked Meal

Theresa, Cathy, and Terry

Theresa, Cathy, and Terry

It’s always nice to have a home cooked meal. It’s especially nice when someone else does the cooking. Actually, while the food was wonderful, it was the one who cooked it that made the evening lovely. Theresa (a.k.a. Reeree) is a very dear friend and she was nice enough to have us over for a little R and R (which I will now take to mean Rest and Reeree). The conversation was wide ranging and there were, as you might imagine, a few laughs, some tears, and a lot of love. Thank you, dear friend.

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Karlee and Cathy

Karlee and Cathy

Karlee and Cathy

Today was a mixed bag. We had a tough morning, thinking about Ralph on his birthday and missing him, especially with the birth of his second grandson on Thursday. This afternoon, though, we had a much needed distraction, visiting our dear friend, Karlee. She was nice enough to give up the better part of her afternoon to have a late lunch with these two old fogies. We talked about life, the universe, and everything and it was really good to get caught up. As we waited for our lunches, I took a very few photos of Karlee and Cathy.

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Maureen and Cathy

Maureen and Cathy

Maureen and Cathy

Tonight was the annual Erick’s Hope benefit dinner. Erick’s Hope (http://erickshope.org/) is a non-profit run by our friends, Richard and Donna, in honor and memory of their son, Erick, who died in 2008. Every year in the last week of June Richard and Donna have a fundraising event. For a few years it was held at The Golden Bull in Gaithersburg but more recently it has been at Montgomery Country Club in Laytonsville. We got to see friends that we don’t see as often as we’d like. Cathy bought two desserts at the dessert auction but we didn’t get anything else. It’s always nice to see Maureen, posing here with Cathy, and her husband, Bob. We see them more than most but still not enough.

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Kendra

Kendra

Kendra

We went to a wedding reception today. Dorothy described it as a fake wedding for a real marriage. This is the bride, Dorothy’s best friend, Kendra. She got married (eloped, actually) last fall. Today, a friend of the family had a wedding reception for Kendra and Jacob. I have a few pictures of both of them but sadly, a few days before the party he broke his jaw in a rollerblading accident and had his jaw wired shut. That makes him look a little dour and I’m not going to post those pictures. With all the talk about straw bans in various places, I hope there will be an exception for people with their jaws wired shut.

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Karlee and Patrick

Karlee and Patrick

Karlee and Patrick

It was great catching up with our dear friend Karlee this evening. It was also nice meeting her boyfriend, Patrick. Whether he’s good enough for Karlee remains to be seen, although he seems nice enough. It’s always hard when someone you know well and care about meets someone and you don’t know them. It’s probably natural to be suspicious or doubt that they are good enough. We really enjoyed dinner and being with them. It’s too bad we have to brave the Beltway and the American Legion Bridge during an evening rush hour to see Karlee, but it’s worth it.

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Maria

Maria

Maria

We went to see our good friends Jean and Maria this evening and had a wonderful time. Maria is recovering from some fairly substantial surgery to her hip and seems to be doing really well. She’s getting around with a walker and should be back on her feet in plenty of time for her wedding next year. We’re really looking forward to that and talked quite a bit about their plans. I fixed panang curry with chicken for dinner and we also had peaches and whipped cream for dessert (it’s hard to go wrong with peaches and cream, unless the peaches aren’t ripe, of course). Mostly, though, we just visited and talked and got caught up on what’s going on in our various lives. We missed Lexi, of course, but we’ll do it again when she’s in town.

Cathy and Jean went to high school together and lost touch after college. They reconnected in the late 1990s and have been best friends again ever since. We visited them in 1999 when she and her family lived in southern Germany and the girls were not yet in grade school. I just went back and looked at those pictures and it brought back some pretty good memories.

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Theresa, Cathy, and Susan

Theresa, Cathy, and Susan

Theresa, Cathy, and Susan

Many of us are not fond of pictures of ourselves. I know that’s true for me and it’s a bit hypocritical of me to insist that others pose for pictures and allow me to post them while I’m not particularly comfortable posing for pictures myself. Nevertheless, I do it. We had a really nice and long overdue dinner with two friends this evening, Theresa (a.k.a. Reeree) and Susan (a.k.a. Susan). It was really goot to get a bit caught up with them, although it’s been so long and so much has been going on that we didn’t really get completely caught up. But it was a start. We also had a really good Thai meal, which was a bonus. Shortly after this photo was taken, I knocked over my water glass and it shattered. A nice way to end the evening.

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New Year’s Day

Seated: Cathy, Margaret, Susie, and Karen. Standing: Dorothy, Kyle, Diane, Rob, Amy, James, and Henry

Seated: Cathy, Margaret, Susie, and Karen. Standing: Dorothy, Kyle, Diane, Rob, Amy, James, and Henry

Once again, we had our now traditional fondue party at Amy’s home. We had two pots for cooking meat and one with cheese and there were two wonderful salads. But of course, it’s not really about the food. It’s about being with people we enjoy. This was our fourteenth in sixteen years and Cathy’s mom was with us for the first time this year. Amy thought to extend her table so we were not quite as crowded while eating. We also stayed longer than we have in past years, getting home after 8:00 PM. It’s a really nice tradition and I was especially glad to have this visit with Rob and Susie, who we see for too infrequently.

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Tim, Karen, and Margaret

Karen, Margaret, and Tim

Karen, Margaret, and Tim

Margaret, Cathy, and I were invited to dinner this evening by Karen and Tim, who are visiting from Michigan. They are staying at the home of some other friends who graciously hosted us, along with a few others. We had a nice time talking about their work with an eye hospital in Afghanistan as well as various other travels. It was a pleasant evening with good food and enjoyable people. I only took a few photos but this one of Tim and Karen with Margaret turned out pretty well.

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Andrew and Rachel

Andrew and Rachel

Andrew and Rachel

As I mentioned on the picture of Dorothy lounging in the snow the other day (see Saturday, March 09, 2019), Dorothy is here with some friends. These are two of them and they are engaged (to each other). Andrew and Dorothy enjoy playing music together as the group Kinsman. Rachel is a fellow art student with Dorothy. We have met them both a time or two but didn’t really get to know them at all until this week. I see why Dorothy likes them both, individually and as a couple. Getting a good picture of them has been a challenge, in part because they aren’t crazy about having their picture taken.

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Dorothy’s Graduation

Dorothy (and Doug)

Dorothy (and Doug)

As mentioned in yesterday’s post, Dorothy graduated from college this weekend. We arrived in the rain at about 2:30 on yesterday (Friday) and after a little while went to the Baccalaureate service from 5:00 to 6:30 or so. When we came out, the sky had cleared and it was cool and quite beautiful out. We had been invited to dinner at the home of one of Dorothy’s friends and that was a really nice time, relaxing and comfortable, eating pizza out of their boxes, as it was meant to be eaten.

Today, the sky remained clear and cloudless. In fact, if anything, it was a little too warm and we all got a bit of sunburn. But it was a glorious day for an outdoor graduation ceremony. The students went across the stage in groups, alphabetically by their departments. The Art Department was first, and Dorothy was the fourth graduating senior to cross the stage. She was met there by our friend, Doug, who was there as a member of the Board of Trustees. He stayed long enough to walk off the stage with Dorothy before heading to the airport to catch his flight home.

Dorothy and Cathy

Dorothy and Cathy

Of course, one problem with being right at the beginning of the ceremony is that the rest of the time you don’t really have anything to do. That’s not to say I didn’t take any more pictures, of course, because we’ve gotten to know some of Dorothy’s friends and I tried to get pictures of them crossing the stage, as well. I got some good pictures (as well as plenty that aren’t all that great) but I did my best. The sun was pretty intense, which made it a little harder. After the 180 minute program, there was a serious amount of milling about and a lot more opportunity for pictures of Dorothy with her friends. It took us all a little while to find each other but eventually we managed it. First up is this picture of Dorothy with her mom, who is obviously and rightly proud of Dorothy for all she’s done in the four years she’s been at Gordon.

Z, Dorothy, Bruce, and David

Z, Dorothy, Bruce, and David

As an art major, obviously the Art Department played a significant role for her. I know she’ll keep in touch with a lot of her friends but it’s less likely that she’ll be actively in touch with her three art professors. Nevertheless, I wanted to get a picture of her with them. She had asked about the stoles that many graduates were given to wear. She was told that the art students could were stoles if they made them. As you can see, they made them for professors James Zingarelli, Bruce Herman, and David West, as well.

Dorothy, Andrew, and Jonathan

Dorothy, Andrew, and Jonathan

After the pictures with her professors, we took quite a few with Dorothy’s friends, as you might expect. Jonathan, on the right in this photo, lived with us the summer before last. It was nice to be able to watch him graduate and especially nice to meet his parents, who came all the way from Malaysia, arriving just in time for yesterday’s service. Andrew and Dorothy have been very good friends and together form the musical team known as Kinsman.

Rachel, Taylor, and Dorothy

Rachel, Taylor, and Dorothy

This picture of Dorothy with Rachel and Taylor sort of goes with the previous one. Rachel is engaged to Andrew and their wedding is in two weeks. Dorothy will be there for that and is one of Rachel’s bridesmaids. Taylor and Jonathan are dating, as well. We’ve only recently gotten to know Andrew, Rachel, and Taylor very well in the last year, but are glad to know them and feel like Dorothy has some really high quality friends.

The Dexter House Crew

The Dexter House Crew

Eventually we left the campus and headed back to the house where Dorothy lived this year. Sadly, the school is selling Dexter house, so they will be the last cohort of students to live there. Needless to say, there was joy and sadness as they said farewell to each other. They are headed in all different directions, both in the short term and the long term. One is leaving for Israel tomorrow, another for Iceland. I don’t know where all the others are going next but this was a really tight-knit group and I won’t be surprised if they join up as a group in the years ahead.

Henry, Dorothy, and Cathy

Henry, Dorothy, and Cathy

Finally we went to a party given by the local families of a few of Dorothy’s friends. Bob and Barb hosted and there were a lot of students there with their families. It was a casual affair with plenty to eat and lots to talk about. I especially enjoyed getting to know the parents of a few of Dorothy’s friends, some of whom I’d have to describe as “our people.” This is a time of transition and that can be scary and uncertain, but one thing is sure. Dorothy went to college with a lot of the same worries she’s facing now and has come away with a really wonderful group of friends, some of whom I suspect will be friends for life. I certainly hope so.

It was a busy, tiring, beautiful, exciting, long, day. Congratulations, Dorothy!

P.S. I didn’t take that last picture. Just saying.

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Maria and Evan

Maria and Evan

Maria and Evan

As mentioned yesterday, we went to southern Virginia for a wedding. This is one of the pictures I took at the wedding, with Maria and Evan, now husband and wife, recessing after the ceremony. The weather was pretty good. A little warm for my taste but then, if I was comfortable, most everyone else would have been shivering. There was the threat of rain but it held off and everything went beautifully. Maria was even more lovely than ever and the wedding went off with only one hitch (they got hitched). Here’s to the happy couple.

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Amy and Melanie

Amy and Melanie

Amy and Melanie

We went to the annual Erick’s Hope (http://erickshope.org/) benefit this evening and it was good to see people that we don’t see nearly often enough. That’s our fault, of course, we just get busy and forget to schedule anything and time goes by and it doesn’t happen. When something is on the calendar and we go, it reminds us and we try to do a little better, but life seems to be pretty crowded these days. Of course today we had Dorothy and Abba with us, who leave tomorrow on their cross-country adventure, so we didn’t want to stay out too late. But we didn’t want to miss it, either. Two of the people we always enjoy seeing are Amy and Melanie, who we can generally count on seeing as they manage the silent auction.

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Amelia and Kasia

Amelia and Kasia

Amelia and Kasia

I happened to be upstairs today and my friend and coworker Katie told me that she was going to pick up her daughter from art camp and bringing her back to the office for the rest of the day. I asked if she would mind if I took some pictures. I’ve done that off and on for years and it’s fun to look back through them and see how she’s grown. Today’s picture is with another friend and coworker, Kasia. I think this one turned out quite well. I don’t take a lot of pictures at work, as that’s not really something that’s done, but occasionally I do and I appreciate having at least some photographic record of people I’ve worked with.

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Margaret with Ugo and Jennifer

Margaret with Ugo and Jennifer

Margaret with Ugo and Jennifer

As you may remember, we spent much of 2018 cleaning out Cathy’s mom’s house and getting it ready to sell. It went on the market the first week of September and we had a contract a couple months later. There were some delays going to closing but we got there on March 1 of this year and I think everyone was satisfied with the deal. The buyers, Ugo and Jennifer, were very nice and invited us to an Independence Day cookout. There was some rain but that didn’t seem to dampen anyone’s spirits. The smaller kids certainly didn’t mind, as they were playing in the inflatable water slide that Ugo and Jennifer had set up in the side yard. Before we left, they posed with Margaret for a few pictures. We had a good time talking with a few different people and of course it’s hard to go wrong with burgers, hot dogs, pulled pork, and barbecued chicken.

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Dinner with Friends

Dinner with Friends

Dinner with Friends – from left: Cathy, Jonathan, Vicki, Ian, Susie, Rob, and Annie

I got an email this morning from Rob who asked if we were interested in having dinner this evening. That by itself was enough, but he also mentioned that Ian and Annie were visiting from France. Naturally we were happy to be included. Many years ago Susie organized a surprise birthday trip for Rob and we were included on that trip. We have traveled with them a few other times on other surprise birthday trip, including a huge surprise trip for Cathy to Venice and Florence, Italy. We don’t see Ian and Annie as often any more, as they’ve been living in France, but it’s great when we get the chance. We don’t even see Rob and Susie as often as we’d like and we need to make more of an effort. But when we do get together, it’s always worth it. It just seems so natural to be together.

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An Unexpected (But Very Welcome) Visit

Margaret with Friends

Margaret with Friends

Margaret had an unexpected call from and visit by some friends today. Unexpected, but very welcome. Henry and Dieu live in Florida, which is the main reason the visit was so unexpected. They happened to be in town visiting family and came to say hello to Margaret while they were here. They came with Henry’s sister, brother-in-law, and uncle and it was lovely to see them. It was nice to get caught up on their lives and that of their son, Phillip, who is a couple months younger than Dorothy. They posed for a few quick pictures with Margaret before they left.

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Margaret, Shaima, and Inez

Margaret, Shaima, and Inez

Margaret, Shaima, and Inez

We drove to Virginia today and Margaret met two friends for lunch at a Persian restaurant called Shamshiry. The name comes from comes from the Farsi word for a curved sword from the Middle East. While they had lunch, Cathy and I ran some errands. We tried to go to a bakery but were stymied by an Octoberfest that had some streets closed to auto traffic. We made our way around that and headed back to pick up Margaret. I took a few photos of her with her friends, Shaima, and Inez, one of which is my photo for today.

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Jean and Cathy

Jean and Cathy

Jean and Cathy

We went to see Cathy’s best friend (and my good friend) Jean this evening. She wanted to take us out for Cathy’s upcoming birthday but instead I brought things and made panang curry, brown rice, and roasted cauliflower with caraway seeds. I don’t mind going out for a meal, of course, but it’s easier to visit in a home and I don’t mind cooking, especially something that I can make without too much thought. Jean gave Cathy a card (that she’s holding in this photo) and this ‘wonderful’ tray for eating in bed. The note on the tray says, “A Priceless Antique . . . from back in the day when being a troll was NOT a bad thing!”

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Jan and Cathy

Jan and Cathy

Jan and Cathy

Back in 1998 we met Jan for the first time. Our friend Susie organized a surprise for Rob’s birthday and we flew to Phoenix along with other friends and it was there we met Jan for the first time. Since then we’ve traveled together a few other times, including a big trip to Italy two years later and we’ve seen her occasionally over the years. Dorothy stayed with her when she was in California this summer. Jan was in town for the Navy football game and an event honoring fallen US Naval Academy alumni, including her brother. We were excited to get together with Jan and Rob for dinner at the Pines of Rome in Bethesda. Sadly (except she does enjoy traveling) Susie was in Warsaw Otherwise she would have tben there, too.

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Cathy and Jean

Cathy and Jean

Cathy and Jean

We met Jean for dinner this evening in Falls Church, at a place called Fava Pot. It’s quite good and the servings are generous. We’ve only been twice, as it’s not really in our neighborhood, but it was a good meeting place between our two homes. Jean starts a new job on Monday and is a little anxious about that but we’re looking forward to hearing about how well it goes. Naturally we also talked about our children and what they’re up to. It was a good time and we were certainly glad to get together with her before she’s busy with the new job. Sorry for the exposure. I decided to not use flash for this, so the lighting was a bit rough.

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Space Invaders

Space Invaders

Space Invaders

We had our group’s Christmas party this afternoon and evening. It’s technically a holiday party, since we aren’t allowed to mention Christmas at work, for fear of offending someone (and not everyone celebrates Christmas, of course). Bue we all know what it is. Our group, which is made up of mostly technical people who provide programming and computer support to project teams, is something over 100 people and it was a pretty good crowd this year. We went to Dave & Buster’s new location at the Rio and had a surprisingly good buffet meal. We all got game cards and this is a photo of Terry, one of my coworkers, playing Space Invaders.

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Andrew, Dorothy, and Rachel

Andrew, Dorothy, and Rachel

Andrew, Dorothy, and Rachel

Dorothy’s (and our) good friends Andrew and Rachel stopped at our house on their way home from visiting with her family for Christmas. We had a nice dinner and then sat around a roaring fire and talked about all sorts of things. I took quite a few photos of the fire but only a handful of the three of them. Neither Dorothy nor Rachel particularly like to have their photo taken. I got it over with early so they could relax. We really enjoyed having them visit and look forward to seeing them again.

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New Year’s Day

Friends on New Year's Day

Friends on New Year’s Day

On fifteen of the last seventeen new year’s days we have gotten together with a slightly varying group of people. Most of those years we were hosted by Amy although we hosted for a few of them. We were at Amy’s again this year and this is the crew. We had our traditional fondue lunch, with three pots for meat fondue and one for cheese. That’s one of the few things that has been constant through all the years. Anyway, this was and is a great way to start a new year. This also begins year ten for my photo blog. I’m hoping my camera can make it through another year of this. The expected life for the shutter in my camera is only 100,000 shots and I’m more than 70% over that (this image is number 173,093) so I feel like I’m living on borrowed time.

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Cathy and Jean

Cathy and Jean

Cathy and Jean

We drove down to Tyson’s this evening and met our friend Jean for dinner. It’s always good to get together with her and it was especially nice to be able to hear about her new job and all that was going on with her family. Of course a new job can bring anxiety but so far things seem to be going well. She’ll be quite busy, learning the ropes and it’s a fairly high-pressure office, but we’re confident she can handle it. Unsurprisingly we also talked about our kids and other things that are going on. She brought us some wonderful treasures as Christmas presents, but I won’t make you jealous by telling you more about those.

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Theodore Roosevelt Island

Bob, Dorothy, Maureen, Cathy, and Henry at Teddy Roosevelt Monument

Bob, Dorothy, Maureen, Cathy, and Henry at Teddy Roosevelt Monument

Cathy and I have not had Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a holiday for many years. The company where we work has decided that starting this year, we will be honoring the day and so, for the first time in many years, we were off work for that today. We wanted to do something outdoors and talked through a lot of options. Then Dorothy suggested we go to “the island with the box with the hand sticking out of the top.” When I was young, we went to this island in our little jon boat (there was no bridge or causeway in the mid 1960s). In the center of the island was a huge wooden box with a brass hand sticking out of the top of it. We know the proper name for the island, of course, but we still refer to it, and now Dorothy does, too, in this somewhat more colorful manner. Our friends Bob and Maureen joined us for the outing and we had a lovely time on a lovely day.

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Jackson

Jackson

Jackson

Dorothy’s friend, Jackson, came to dinner this evening. He graduated from college along with Dorothy and got a job in New York. That’s great, of course, although living in New York isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. He’s traveled a bit and was here last week on business. Dorothy had dinner with him then and invited him to dinner this week, when he was in town again. Although he’s living in Queens, he’s commuting most weekends back to the Boston area to see his fiancée. She’s living near their alma mater and working in Cambridge.

After dinner (a Thai curry) I asked Jackson if I could take his picture for my photo of the day. He agreed and this is, I think, the best of them. I took some with him smiling and they are good, too, but I like this one. He’s hoping to be able to transfer to a Boston office this summer. Then, he and Megan are planning a September wedding. He brought an invitation from her to Dorothy to be bridesmaid.

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Fireside Chat

Fireside Chat

Fireside Chat

We had some friends over for dinner on the back patio this evening and I built a nice fire to keep us warm and to provide light when it got dark. Each of us had our own carry-out dinners and we sat relatively far apart. Nevertheless, it was good to be in actual company with others. I think I speak for everyone that it was a really enjoyable evening. From left to right, these are Josh, Julia, Maureen, and Bob. Cathy is out of the picture and of course I was taking it, so I’m out, as well.

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The Female Fellows

Thea, Dorothy, Genevieve, Elizabeth, Lydia, and Emily

Thea, Dorothy, Genevieve, Elizabeth, Lydia, and Emily

After work I drove out to Rocklands, where the Fourth Fellows were gathering for their weekly meal together. I had talked with David yesterday and he said he’d love to have some pictures of them. I took quite a few, including the whole group, but I’m particularly happy with those I got of the six you women in the group. From left to right, they are Thea, Dorothy, Genevieve, Elizabeth, Lydia, and Emily. It was a lovely evening and I was allowed to stay for dinner, which was an added bonus.

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Surprise Birthday Party

Cathy's Surprise Birthday Party

Cathy’s Surprise Birthday Party

It’s harder than ever to plan and execute a surprise party this year, but I’m happy to say I pulled it off. It’s a few days yet until her birthday but that’s part of the surprise. Dorothy came over and baked a cake, saying it was for someone else. So Cathy saw her cake being made and was none the wiser. We went for a walk on the C&O Canal from Riley’s lock, which was very nice. Then we went to our friends’ place and visited Janis, who said she had something to show us in the barn. When we got there, the few friends who were up for it were there waiting. We had a terrific Thai meal and the cake that Dorothy made. No birthday hugs but I think a good time was had by all. To those who chickened out, neener-neener.

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Middle House

Genna, Liz, Thea, and Dorothy

Genna, Liz, Thea, and Dorothy

We stopped by to bring some things to Dorothy this evening. She and the young women she lives with are self-quarantining because of a possible exposure to Covid (I’m writing this more than two weeks after the fact and they’re all clear). We had stopped at Trader Joe’s but there was a line the length of the building so we didn’t bother with that. We’ll try again when we think it likely to be a little less busy. It was good to see Dorothy, even if we only spoke with her from outside while she stood in the doorway.

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Thea and Dorothy’s Hat

Thea

In fifth grade, Dorothy learned to knit. At the time, she struggled to actually finish anything. She’d get between a half and three quarters of the way done and then she’d pull it apart and start over. I guess I’ve been known to that sort of thing as well, although I’m not generally considered a perfectionist. Anyway, she decided to make a hat for a friend this year as a Christmas present. She stopped by this evening with another friend—Thea—and while she was here she happened to show us the hat.

The hat itself is a bit funny, with a nice shape and a tall peak. They ties a few different things to the end including the small wreath ornament you see here. I specially like the coordination of colors between the wreath and the green yarn that was used in the hat. I got another photo with the wreath turned properly and with Thea’s eye looking through it. Dorothy settled on a tiny little bell as the most appropriate.

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Genna and Dorothy

Genna and Dorothy

Genna and Dorothy

Dorothy and a few of her friends are flying to Florida to visit another friend for a few days. When they get back they will quarantine together for two weeks. Three of the friends came over this evening to spend the night here so I could take them to the airport early in the morning. While we were all talking I asked if I could take a few photos. This is Genna, one of Dorothy’s housemates and friends. Lydia and Tony also came but didn’t make it in time for the photo.

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Josh, Julia, and Lupin

Josh, Julia, and Lupin

Josh, Julia, and Lupin

We visited our friends, Josh and Julia today and met their new dog, Lupin. They’ve moved into a nice house and it was great to see them getting settled in. They also helped us with some furniture moving, which was really nice. We’re trying to get a few things moved out of a storage unit and they got a couple other guys and provided the muscle (to go along with my brains?). Seriously, it’s really a lot easier when you have more people. Coming up on their third anniversary (and it’s already past by the time I’m actually posting this). Happy new house, kids!

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The Fellows Finale

The First Fourth Fellows

The First Fourth Fellows

Last fall, Dorothy joined 11 other young adults as one of the first to participate in Fourth Presbyterian Church’s Fellows program. I posted a photo of the six young women on Monday, October 19, 2020. This evening there was a banquet to end their nine month program and I took a few more pictures. This is the First Fourth Fellows class, the class of 2021. It was great to be invited (even if it was mostly for my camera) and Cathy and I had a nice time hanging out with everyone. From left to right, back row: Clement, Grant, Boyde, Tony, David, and Justin; front row, Emily, Thea, Dorothy, Lydia, Genna, and Elizabeth.

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Cathy and Jean at Scott’s Run Falls

Cathy and Jean at Scott's Run Falls

Cathy and Jean at Scott’s Run Falls

We met up with Jean today for a walk. I found a new place that we’ve drive by without noticing up until now. It’s just into Virginia and right off the Capitol Beltway on Georgetown Pike. The hike was pleasant, although there’s a significant climb both ways down to the river. This waterfall is where Scott’s Run empties into the Potomac River. We also walked a little way down the river before retracing our steps back to the parking area. It’s a nice, quiet place and we really enjoyed it. Of course, that may have been the company, as much as the location. It’s always good to be with Jean.

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Justin and Sara’s Wedding

Justin and Sara's Wedding

Justin and Sara’s Wedding

Without going into the details, we were sort of uninvited to a wedding today. Well, on Thursday, but the wedding was today. As a sop, we were invited to view the live-stream at the home of Doug and Kato, who graciously accepted us into their home along with a huge crowd of five other adults and two young boys (not all shown here, obviously).

When I was in Junior High, there was a guy in our Phys. Ed. class who dubbed the lower group—those of us with less athletic ability—the Double-O Nummies. I’m not sure where the name came from, possibly from this guy’s fertile imagination. Anyway, I think we were the Double-O Nummies of wedding guests. Also, the live stream froze just before the bride came down the aisle, so we never saw her or the rest of the ceremony. But the Champagne was cold and we were in an air conditioned house. Just the small thing of not actually seeing the wedding.

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Paul and Carolyn

Paul and Carolyn

Paul and Carolyn

I visited a couple old friends yesterday. I first met them in 1975 and while I don’t see them as often as I might, they are very dear to me. When I was in high school (and before and after that, for more years than I even know) they opened their house to as many high schoolers as wanted to come. I’m pretty sure that at one time it was every week but in my years there, it was once a month. For my group of friends, it was the place to be. We sat in the living room and talked about this and that, good times and hard times and how life is for us in these pandemical days. One of my favorite things was to work on a puzzle in their living room. It was an oasis of calm and quiet amidst the chaos. I could go on and on here, but I won’t. For those who don’t know Paul and Carolyn it wouldn’t mean much and for those who do, it’s not necessary. Suffice it to say they are among the best.

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Cathy and Maureen at Rocklands

Cathy and Maureen

Cathy and Maureen

Cathy and I spent the evening at Rocklands Winery). I was there to take pictures for them, so we invited our good friend Maureen so that Cathy would have a companion when I went off to take pictures. We had burgers from Boxcar Burgers, a food truck that is often there (and if you think you don’t like pickled beets, you really should try a Boxcar Burger. Really good. We also had a glass each of Rocklands’ new Montevideo vintage, a very nice red wine. I’m not really a great person to recommend a wine to anyone, but this was very nice. It was an absolutely lovely evening, not too hot, and everyone there seemed to be having a really nice time. If you’re looking for something to do, you could do worse.

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Menkapalooza

Menkis Works

Menkis Works

Menkis Works

Menkis Works

Little Cellar Shop

Little Cellar Shop

Little Cellar Shop

Little Cellar Shop

Sewn & Thrown

Sewn & Thrown

Sewn & Thrown

Sewn & Thrown

We visited the home of some friends today. Three of their four sons and the three sons’ wives had a craft sale today, which we dubbed the Menkapalooza. They each had a booth showing their wares, starting with Brian and Naomi. Their company is called Menkis Works and as you can see, they specialize in hand crafted pottery. Then comes the Little Cellar Shop, run by Jon and Meg. They specialize in handmade candles and carved wooden utensils, as well as various other items. Finally, there is Carol and Joseph with Sewn & Thrown. As the name implies, there are fabric good and ceramics.

All three couples make lovely things and we bought a few. I’m sure they’d love to have you drop in on their respective web sites, linked above. If you do, let them know you saw this here.

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Dinner With Friends

Annie, Jonathan, Ian, Susie, Rob, and Dorothy

Annie, Jonathan, Ian, Susie, Rob, and Dorothy

Cathy had to work late this evening so sadly she was not available to be at the dinner Dorothy and I shared with Annie, Ian, Jonathan, Susie, and Rob. We met at the Cactus Cantina in northwest Washington and had a lovely time. We don’t get together often enough, but we don’t all live close together, so it’s not always convenient. This is a group that’s had a few major trips together, including to Phoenix, Arizona and even more impressive, to Venice and Florence, Italy. I don’t know that we’ll be able to top those trips, but we can always dream.

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Cathy’s Birthday

Cathy's Birthday

Cathy’s Birthday

We had a few friends over for dinner this evening to celebrate Cathy’s birthday. Rob and Susie came, as well as Jean. And of course Dorothy was here. She had asked for a vegetarian dish that we like, broccoli and tofu in a peanut sauce, so I made that. I also made mango and sticky rice for dessert. I did buy a cupcake so we’d have something to put a candle in, as seen here. It was a low key celebration with a few friends of our longest acquaintance. Exactly the sort of party we enjoy most.

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Cathy and Yvette

Cathy and Yvette

Cathy and Yvette

We celebrated Cathy’s birthday with a few friends on Tuesday evening. Then this evening we celebrated again with our good and long-time friend Yvette. We don’t get together as often as we should and of course the Covid induced lock-downs haven’t made it any easier. Nevertheless, we met at IHOP this evening. It was great to get caught up. Her parents have moved out of the house she grew up in an moved to a condo in a retirement community, which has meant a lot of work for her, as well as for them. They are still getting settled and the house is about to go on the market, so hopefully things will calm down a bit now.

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Dorothy and Lexi

Dorothy and Lexi

Dorothy and Lexi

We went over to see Cathy’s best friend Jean and her daughter (our goddaughter) Lexi this evening. We were especially glad to get a chance to finally meet Lexi’s fiancé, Zach. He was down from New York for Christmas so we planned an evening together. We couldn’t be happier for them both. I fixed panang curry and rice and we spent the evening laughing and telling stories. There were a few presents exchanged but mostly it was presence, not presents. I took pictures with my new camera and like this one of Dorothy and Lexi. I took a few of Lexi with Zach, too but decided to go with this one for now.

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New Year’s Day Fondue Party

Fondue Dinner Party

After finishing up year eleven of my photo blog (and the first year NOT to have a picture taken every day), I got a bit lax about posting. I’ve taken photos on twelve days in January but I’m only getting around to posting them now, on February 2. They’ll continue to be dated the date the photo was taken, of course.

We had our annual New Year’s Day fondue party today, ringing in the new year with good friends and good food. Due to concerns about Covid among some of our regular crowd, we had a slightly different group of attendees this year. It’s always good to mix things up a bit and it was a really nice time.

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Korean BBQ

Dorothy, Nadia, Lexi, and Cathy

Dorothy, Nadia, Lexi, and Cathy

We met Dorothy, Nadia, and Lexi for Korean BBQ this evening at 9292 Korean BBQ in Annandale. It was a lot of fun and the food was terrific. With my diet being so protein heavy and carb light, it was a good meal for me. At the same time, even as it is, I need to control my portion, especially now as I’ve lost 50 pounds. So, it’s not like I could eat here with impunity. But once in a while it’s nice to have a real treat and the food was really good. I was surprised by the pork neck, which I’ve never had before. Very good flavor. Recommended (but not cheap).

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Johnny and Stephanie

Johnny and Stephanie

Johnny and Stephanie

Johnny and Stephanie came to see D.C. this weekend. They stayed with Dorothy but she stopped by with them after she picked them up at the airport. It’s nice to have visitors and especially nice as we’ve been so isolated the last couple years. Dorothy met Stephanie when she was in college (Dorothy was in college, Stephanie had just graduated) and they got to know each other. Then it turns out Stephanie’s family actually knew Dorothy’s grandma (Cathy’s mom). And the organization Stephanie’s dad helps run is named for the pastor that married Cathy and me. Small world.

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Carolyn and Paul

Carolyn and Paul

Carolyn and Paul

I visited Paul and Carolyn last June (see Wednesday, June 23, 2021) and Dorothy and I went to see them again this afternoon. It was a lovely visit, including having their eldest and youngest children (who are adults, of course) there with us. If you know the Ks then chances are you love the Ks. I know I certainly do. They mean so much to me and have meant a lot to a lot of folks over the years. Dorothy is now (quite a bit) older than I was when I first met them, which was back in 1974. We talked quite a bit about what Dorothy is doing and what her plans are for the future. It was a great time and something we should do more often.

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Dorothy, Justin, Sara, and Cathy

Dorothy, Justin, Sara, and Cathy

Dorothy, Justin, Sara, and Cathy

Washington Christian Academy was having a event today that combined a few events they’ve had separately in more normal years. In addition to the standard was the fact that this is WCA’s 60th anniversary year, so there were activities celebrating that fact. We were later getting there than we had planned because we stopped to put air in a partially flat tire of a semi-stranded motorist. We also didn’t really stay all that long, but it was sure good to see a few friends. Bill, the former headmaster, was there and seeing him and chatting briefly was a real treat. We also ran into Justin and Sara as we were about to leave, which is when this photo was taken.

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Hannah and Thea

Hannah and Thea

Hannah and Thea

I went to the evening service with Dorothy today. Tommy had asked if I might come and take some photos during the dessert fellowship after the service. This is something they started in the summer of last year (or maybe the year before) and tonight was the kickoff for this summer. I took quite a few photos but many of them are of people I don’t know. I know these two, at least a little. They are Hannah and Thea. It was a lovely evening. The dessert provided was a wide variety of cupcakes. Apparently last year they kicked it off with ice cream and then, as fortune would have it, it was unseasonably cold and ice cream wasn’t as popular as it might have been. So, this year they didn’t take any chances with that. It would have been fine, as it turns out.

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Daniel and Renee

Daniel and Renee

Daniel and Renee

Two posts back I had a picture of the bouquets that Dorothy made for Renee and her bridesmaids. Today we see the lovely bride and her new husband. The wedding was delayed a little, as we were late getting there with the last of the flowers, but it was lovely. Daniel and Renee look pretty happy, as you’d hope and expect. You can see the flowers even better in this photo than in the previous one.

From the church we went to a friend’s yard, where the tent was set up and where we had decorated with more flowers. We had pizza cooked in a woodburning oven on a trailer (among other foods). I was honored to be allowed to be part of such a festive occasion.

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Rob, Susie, and Craig

Rob, Susie, and Craig

Rob, Susie, and Craig

It’s worth keeping up with old friends. Old friends in the sense of friends we’ve known for a long time. This fall I’ll have known Rob (on the left in this photo) for 50 years, having met him in September, 1972, at the beginning of eighth grade when my family moved back here from England. I couldn’t tell you exactly when I met Craig (on the right) but I would guess sometime in the spring or summer of 1974, after I started going to Fourth Presbyterian Church. So, we go back a good way. Cathy and I stayed with Craig in Japan in February of 1988 as the first stop in our 7.5 month around-the-world trip. (Sadly my first few rolls of film from that trip never made it back.) We’ve known Susie the shortest time, but that’s only relative. We’ve know her since she moved to the area, about the time she and Rob became an item. We see Craig less often, partly for the obvious reason that he spends so much time in Japan. It was great to get together with them and get caught up, even a little.

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Sandy Spring Meeting House and Cemetery

Sandy Spring Meeting House and Cemetery

Sandy Spring Meeting House and Cemetery

It was a busy day today, starting off with us heading out to Rocklands to meet Dorothy and help her move a pile of mulch. I gave Dorothy a brief lesson in driving the tractor and using that certainly sped up the job. She did well, shifting gears without too much trouble. I do have a few photos of Dorothy driving the tractor but she’s not always anxious to have her photo posted, so I’ve skipped that for today.

Later in the day, Cathy and I went to see her mom. Unfortunately we got there just as they were all sitting down to dinner. Because of the Covid-inspired visitation rules, we were not allowed to see her. I don’t know if they ever plan to loosen the restrictions or if they prefer the near total lock-down. It’s certainly annoying to the family and friends of their residents. I suspect the question is whether it is easier on the facility administration.

In any case, we drove a little ways to the Sandy Spring Meeting House Cemetery and walked around that for a while. One of the grave markers is for Benjamin Hallowell (August 17, 1799 – September 7, 1877). He was, among other things, the first president of the Maryland Agricultural College, established in 1859. The school was renamed Maryland State College in 1916 and in 1920 it became the University of Maryland’s undergraduate campus.

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Old Time Jam

Old Time Jam

Old Time Jam

One of the events we enjoy at Rocklands Winery is their Old Time Jam. It happens roughly once a month and you can check out their calendar for specific dates. Bring a picnic dinner and enjoy a bottle of wine as a group of musicians play. It’s a very friendly atmosphere, the music is lovely, and the wine goes down very well. One of Dorothy’s friends joined in for the first time this evening, so that was an additional draw for us. In the summer they are out on the lawn but now that it’s getting cooler, they’ve moved into the barn.

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Lexi and Zack

Lexi and Zack

Lexi and Zack

What a wonderful day and what a beautiful wedding. To say nothing of the lovely bride. We were a little surprised to be greeted with flowers and reserved seats in the second row. We didn’t have any actual duties but were happy to be there as our goddaughter Lexi was married to Zack. It’s also the first time we’ve been in The Falls Church Anglican since they finished their new sanctuary building. It’s quite large and we didn’t come close to filling it. The reception was also nice and we saw lots of friends. Now we look forward to visiting the young bride and groom at their new home.

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Chrissy’s Birthday

Chrissy's Birthday

Chrissy’s Birthday

I’m late posting this and I suspect it will cause a little confusion on Instagram, where the posting date is so much different to the actual date listed for the photo. After church today we went to Krystal and Mike’s house, along with Suzanne, to celebrate Chrissy’s birthday. It was an absolutely lovely day and we sat on their patio a while eating fresh figs from Mike’s tree. Then we retired to the dining room where we had a wonderful meal. The highlight wasn’t the food, though, it was the company. We had a great time talking and laughing and generally just being together. Thanks again, Krystal and Mike, for including us.

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Adam and Dorothy

Adam and Dorothy

Adam and Dorothy

I took this photo of Adam and Dorothy before the worship evening today. Adam, when he can make it, adds his guitar skills and brings an added level of depth to the music. Shown here laughing before the evening got started, they sit at the ‘front’ of the room but really we sit in more of a circle. As you can see, Anna has decorated the mantle with more dahlias from her garden. I should mention that all of my photos taken on these occasions are by available light, which at times has been relatively low, so the ISO is often set accordingly high. Here is was set to 5,000, allowing me an exposure time of 1/80 of a second at f/4.0.

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Zack and Lexi’s New Place

Jean, Zack, Lexi, Dorothy, Cathy, and Henry

Jean, Zack, Lexi, Dorothy, Cathy, and Henry

We went to dinner at Zack and Lexi’s place this evening. They live in a part of town we aren’t familiar with but we had no real trouble finding it, with the help of our trusty GPS. Traffic was slow at times, but that’s to be expected inside the beltway during evening rush hour. Jean and Dorothy also met us there. The original purpose of the visit was to load a sofa into Dorothy’s van (well, our van but her car is in the shop so she has our van). Once we did that, with a little three-dimentional Tetris, we went in and had a very lovely dinner and evening with our friends. This photo was taken with the camera sitting on the kitchen counter, so the angle is a little odd, but it turned out pretty well, in spite of that.

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Karlee and Dorothy

Karlee and Dorothy

Karlee and Dorothy

We flew down to Birmingham Alabama this afternoon and the drove a little way to the rehearsal dinner for our dear friend, Karlee. We were a bit late due to flight schedule changes but there was still food available to us in the buffet. I took quite a few photos including a bunch of Karlee and Patrick with various friends. Although Cathy and I had met Patrick once, Dorothy had not before today. This was one of the last photos of the evening of Karlee and Dorothy.

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Patrick and Karlee

Patrick and Karlee

Patrick and Karlee

As mentioned in the previous two posts, Cathy, Dorothy, and I are in Alabama for Karlee and Patrick’s wedding. The weather was a bit cooler than expected, even for this time of year, but they went ahead with their outdoor ceremony (under a pavilion roof but without walls). They provided hand warmers for anyone who needed them. With my suit coat, I was fine, although the girls were a bit chilly. After the service and before they came into the reception I was able to take a few photos of the bride and groom. So, may I present to you the happy couple.

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Suzanne’s Birthday Dinner

Mike, Krystal, Cathy, Suzanne, Chrissy, and Pam

Mike, Krystal, Cathy, Suzanne, Chrissy, and Pam

We had a wonderful dinner and Mike and Krystal’s house this evening, celebrating our friend Suzanne’s recent birthday. Krystal and Mike always deliver a wonderful meal and tonight was no exception, with individual-size beef Wellingtons being (in my humble opinion) the star of the show. But, also as usual, the food was incidental to the company, which was terrific. We had a great time of laughter and stories. We’re so fortunate to have these wonderful people as our friends.

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Dorothy and Friends

Bobby, Jackson, Megan, Grace, and Dorothy

Bobby, Jackson, Megan, Grace, and Dorothy

Dorothy had some friends in town for the weekend. Meg and Jackson arrived on Thursday evening and Dorothy brought them to our house to spend the night. Then on Friday they picked up Bobby and Grace and did some things downtown before heading out to some friends’ house on the bay. Friday and Saturday were cool and quite web, but then Sunday the weather turned sunny and beautiful (not that rain isn’t nice in its own way). They returned to our house late Sunday afternoon (today) and I fixed dinner for them. Before we ate, they posed as a group for a few pictures with the forsythia as a back drop.

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Hannah and David

Hannah and David

Hannah and David

Cathy and I were honored to be invited to Hannah and David’s wedding today. Interestingly, I got a call at about 11:00 this morning from one of the bridesmaids saying they were not going to have the wedding recorded. It was a bit of a last minute thing, but Elizabeth wanted to know if I would be able to supply some equipment to video it. Naturally I was happy to help and brought my old camera (Canon EOS 60D) and a tripod. We got it set up and I gave Christian about 10 minutes of training. The resulting video isn’t anything to write home about, but at least it exists and the audio is actually pretty good. I realized afterward that I should have brought my MP3 recorded and put that somewhere as well, but by then it was too late.

There were photographers taking photos but naturally I took a few myself. They won’t compete with the professional shots, but maybe I got a few angles they missed. Most of mine were taken at the reception, but I did take a few during the wedding ceremony itself. Here are Hannah and David, the happy couple.

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Dinner with Friends

Mike, Krystal, Suzanne, Johnnie, Chrissy, Henry, Cathy, and Pam

Most of my photography is of plants, animals, or scenery but I do take pictures of people and events. While people-pictures are not my favorite photos in artistic terms and I definitely don’t consider myself a portrait or event photographer, that is definitely not a reflection of how I feel about my friends, family, or even acquaintances. These are some good friends. Mike and Krystal, in particular, we have known for upwards of 20 years and we don’t need much of an excuse to see them. The others in this photo we’ve only gotten to know relatively recently, but they are becoming good friends. It’s good to get together with friends from time to time, either to celebrate a birthday as we did this evening, or just to get together and talk and laugh, which we also did this evening.

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Dinner in Bethesda

Dorothy, Jan, Suzie, Cathy, and Rob

Dorothy, Jan, Suzie, Cathy, and Rob

Our friend Jan was in town for an event in Annapolis and were were fortunate enough to be able to get together for dinner with her and Rob and Susie. We talked about different locations and settled on Hawkers Asian Street Food on Bethesda Row. The lighting was a bit rough but I didn’t want to use a flash, so I did my best. Don’t make any assumptions based on skin tones, everyone is fine. The food was good to great and we had a wonderful time visiting. We feel so fortunate to have such good friends and only wish we got together more often. But life is like that sometimes. So we take what we can get and we’re grateful.

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Rock Balancing

Brian and Henry, Balancing Rocks

Brian and Henry, Balancing Rocks

As you might guess, although I take most of the pictures with my camera, Cathy took this shot. We had driven to the end of the road and then walked to the shore just past Echo Cove. This is as far as you can drive from downtown Juneau. It was sunny and hot, which is unusual for Juneau, but we enjoyed being out. Cathy and Lisa were down near the water and Brian and I sat higher on the rocky beach and started balancing stones. It’s a fiddly thing but soothing in its own way. We each managed to get a respectable cairn built and Cathy took a few pictures as we worked on our final stones. The horse flies started to bother us, so we headed back to the car and back to town for the evening.

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Nugget Falls

Cathy, Lisa, and Brian at Nugget Falls

Cathy, Lisa, and Brian at Nugget Falls

We went to the glacier again today, this time taking the short walk to Nugget Falls. When we lived here, the glacier came to about where we’re standing in this photo. It has receded quite a bit since then, which is a little sad, but glaciers have advanced and receded throughout history. Underneath the glacier are the remains of huge trees, frozen for quite a while, showing that the glacier has been considerably smaller than it is now for many, many years at some point it its history. It will advance again. In the meantime, Juneau may need to stop advertising it as a “drive up glacier.” It’s still quite impressive and worth going to see. One hike I wouldn’t have minded taking is the West Glacier Trail, which is the first real hike I took with Brian after we first met. I’d love to have photographs showing the difference in the glacier in 37 years. Maybe we’ll need to visit at least one more time. I also wouldn’t mind going up East Glacier Trail and Nugget Creek Trail. It’s more wooded but very pretty. We never went up that as far as Nugget Glacier, which would also be nice to do, some day. There are more trails in and around Juneau than can be hiked in two weeks, though. You have to pick and choose.

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A New Home

Andrew, Rachel, Anna, and Dorothy

Andrew, Rachel, Anna, and Dorothy

Dorothy’s friends Andrew and Rachel, two of the three friends who have been roughing it with her in Pennsylvania, have bought a house. It’s just under 5 miles by road (and about 4.4 miles as the crow flies) from the farm. They settled yesterday and began moving in. Cathy and I went up to see them today and to help with some cleanup work in and around the house. They pulled up the carpeting in the living room and one bedroom, which was a good idea in the long run but resulted in some additional work in the short run. Nevertheless, it’s a cute little house and, especially compared to where they’ve been living for about two months, it’s luxurious, with actual electricity and running water! There was no refrigerator, but they’ve ordered one and it should be delivered in two days. That, alone, will be a big treat. There isn’t central air conditioning but a window unit keeps the downstairs reasonably comfortable. And, there’s a really nice swing set in the yard.

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Rat Gallery DC #1

Rat Gallery

Rat Gallery

Dorothy and her friend Rachel had a little art show the evening in the first Rat Gallery exhibit. Getting down to the gallery on O Street NW was not enjoyable, but we got there eventually and found a parking space without any trouble. The even was in full swing by the time we got there and it got even busier while we were there. I’d say for a first opening it was a success. I chatted briefly with Rachel’s parents, who had come down from New Jersey for the show. I also enjoyed talking with Katharine, our host and Dorothy’s friend from yoga teacher training. All in all, it was a very enjoyable evening.

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Rat Gallery DC #2

Rat Gallery #2

Rat Gallery #2

Back on September 30, Rat Gallery DC had their inaugural event. Tonight was their second and the turnout was very encouraging. For the first event, some people came, I’m sure, out of devotion to Dorothy, Rachel, and Katharine, the artists but also the organizers of the event. Tonight’s show featured three other artists and was even better attended than the first. While taste in art is about as varied among people as is taste in food, one can appreciate even what one might not pick to fit their home decor. So, while I wasn’t tempted to buy anything this time, I did enjoy the art and the people. Naturally I took photos. I could only wish it were a little easier to get to North Capital and O Street, Northwest. But it was definitely worth the effort. The next show, I believe, is in early February.

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Rob’s Birthday

Rob's Birthday

Rob’s Birthday

When we moved back here after living in England I was going into eighth grade. In many ways it was like moving to a new town, even though I had lived in the same house until only 14 months before. One of the people I met was Rob and we’ve been close friends ever since. It was really nice to spend the evening with Rob, his lovely wife Susie, and a large handful of their closest friends. I only knew a few of them and those not very well, but I enjoyed talking with them, regardless. This is Rob and Susie with three of those friends who were able to come.

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Bacon Dinner

Bacon Dinner Starters

Bacon Dinner Starters

Our good friends Krystal and Mike hosted a dinner this evening and asked us each to bring a dish. The only stipulation was that everything had to feature “the theme ingredient” (a la Iron Chef). The ingredient was bacon. I brought bacon wrapped asparagus, which I think turned out pretty well. We also had bacon wrapped filet mignon and bacon wrapped sea scallops. Thiz photo is of the appetizer table. As you can see, there are bread slices with cheese and bacon, deviled eggs with bacon, cheese (one of which is smoked gouda with bacon), and at the far end of the table, leek and potato soup shooters with bacon. We all ate too much but definitely enjoyed ourselves.

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Christmas Morning

Margaret and Friends

Margaret and Friends

As we did last year, we took Christmas breakfast to Cathy’s mom. Also like last year, I made a quiche Loraine and it turned out quite well (it’s not really very difficult, to be honest). Today’s visit was a bit more hectic than last year, though, when it was just Cathy, Dorothy, and me. This year, Tam and No were visiting, having arrived shortly before us. Then Tam’s sister Dieu and her husband Henry and his aunt arrived while we were there. We don’t get to see Henry and Dieu very often, because they live in Florida. Tam and No were planning to leave for a visit to Vietnam tomorrow and Henry and Dieu towards the end of January. So, a very nice reunion but not really a quiet Christmas morning.

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New Year’s Day

New Year's Day Gathering Participants

New Year’s Day Gathering Participants

Many January firsts since 2004 we have gotten together with Amy and her family. Other guests have varied over the years and we’ve missed a few years (like last year, when Cathy got Covid at the end of December). A few things have been very consistent, including having fondue for the meal. Today’s meal included both cheese fondue and chocolate fondue for dessert. We decided to forego the meat fondue because Jon smoked a large piece of beef instead. Choosing between smoked meat and meat fondue is something of a toss up, but we made a good choice. We also had two new attendees this year. Carly, Jon’s wife of about a year and a half and their little one graced us with their presence. It’s great to start a year off with a relaxing time catching up with friends, even if much of the conversation these days seems to be centered around caring for parents or personal medical issues. Regardless, here’s wishing you a very happy new year.

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Jed’s First Birthday

Aria, Evan, Jed, and Maria

Aria, Evan, Jed, and Maria

We attended the birthday party for little Jed’s first birthday today and had a very nice time visiting with his parents and extended family. We’ve known Maria since she was a little older than Aria is now and have been blessed to watch her grow into the beautiful young woman she is. He wedding to Evan in 2019 was a lot of fun. Sadly they live too far away for us to see her very often, but we are happy for opportunities like this to get together.

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Rat Gallery DC #3

Caroline, Sara, and Justin

Caroline, Sara, and Justin

Andrew, Rachel, Katharine, Anna, and Dorothy

Andrew, Rachel, Katharine, Anna, and Dorothy

It was time for another Rat Gallery opening and Cathy and I were there. I don’t know that we can commit to being at every one but we’ve managed so far. This one was very well attended and was even listed on WTOP’s “What to do in DC” listing on their Instagram story. Pretty impressive. Art is quite a varied thing and something that one person loves, another person may hate. Sometimes art is meant to express feelings or emotions, other times it tries to tell a story. It can simply be decorative, of course, or it can consider shapes, colors, and various other aspects of the physical world. It’s quite common for any particular work of art to appeal to a limited audience.

I thought these porcelain cups were lovely and I especially liked the one in the upper right of this photo, with the salmon pink petals. There were a few others that I liked the colors of, including the one immediately below that with the darker interior. They were all really nice and they spoke to me. The other artists had their followers, as well and I think everyone had a lovely evening. It was also nice that it started before it got dark, so there was some natural light for a while.

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Rat Gallery DC #4

Ina Quadrio Curzio's Art at Rat Gallery

Ina Quadrio Curzio’s Art at Rat Gallery

Anna, Dorothy, and Katharine

Anna, Dorothy, and Katharine

This evening was the fourth Rat Gallery show at 52 O Street NW in Washington, D.C. I was impressed with quite a few of the pieces on display this evening and I think it was a successful event. I’ve picked a shot showing oil paintings by Ina Quadrio Curzio, an Italian-British artist who recently graduated from Georgetown University with a double major in Biology and Studio Art. From her artists statement, her subject matter “is centered around youthful environments, activities, and crowds. In my exploration, the figures undergo a purposeful deconstruction, their form intricately woven into a patchwork of brushstrokes that dissolve the boundaries between self and surroundings. This approach serves to dismantle youth culture into its chaotic essence of uncertainty and vitality. It invites viewers to contemplate the complexities of early adulthood and explore how our surroundings shape our individuality.”

I’ve also included a shot of three of the five Rat Gallery team. If you have any questions about Rat Gallery or would like your art to be considered for a future show, you should go to the Rat Gallery DC web site and contact the team.

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Three Birthdays

Johnnie, Pam, and Krystal

Johnnie, Pam, and Krystal

We got together to celebrate birthdays for three good friends this evening. Johnny, Pam, and Krystal either just had or are about to have a birthday and although we don’t really need an excuse to get together, we use it as one, anyway. We had a lovely meal and more importantly had a great time with one another. Krystal and Mike are nearing the end of a significant renovation to their home and it was great to see what’s going on with that. By the time we’re there again it should be all done.

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