Saturday, February 28, 2015

Saturdays in the Garden - Also the Nation's Capitol


It doesn't feel like tomorrow is the first day in March . If you live in the U.S. you know it has gotten cold again and by cold I mean frigid beyond belief.  It also snowed some more. This affected me only in that it seriously messed with the travel I was doing this week but I'll about that later.  Here's a shot out the plane window of the Iowa landscape:

I got back Friday to some sprouted marigolds which was fun.  The onions and sensitive plant have not yet made an appearance.  I'd like to plant some additional starts this weekend but need more warming mats.  Why are there never enough warming mats??

Hoo boy - this week was a doozy.  Probably one of the more stressful I've had in a long time.  For work I traveled to Washington D.C. with the heads of the agency I work for.  More than that, they are folks I have not previously interacted with in any real way.  So, a week spent with strangers who have ultimate authority over my job.  Fun! That part of the trip ended up being just fine as they are nice folks who weren't examining my every move so they could fire me.  What a relief:).  The purpose of the trip was to meet with all of the congressional delegates for our state which is also stressful but also, strangely fun.  It does mean a very long day of running around (literally) on Capitol Hill and trying to be very adaptable and get across important and complicated concepts in 3 minutes or less. At the end of that day (around 10 pm) this happened at the hotel:
Apparently a fire in the laundry room that caused some excitement for about 45 minutes.  Here's some more D.C. pictures that don't involve emergency vehicles.

We were supposed to travel home on Thursday but, you see, we made the mistake of flying through Chicago so everything went to hell and quick.  After delays and cancellations provided a roller coaster of stress all day, I got to spend the night in Chicago so that I could get up at O'Dark thirty on Friday and sit at the airport through another two hour delay.  Finally got home around noon yesterday and was in bed asleep by 9:00.  Why does air travel suck so hard these days?

In more pleasant news, I was sitting around this morning sipping coffee and watching two rogue llamas run around Phoenix to a Phish soundtrack (as one does), when my friend called and asked if I wanted to accompany her to a matinee of Pippin in Des Moines.  I am a huge musical nerd (as she knew) and Pippin is probably in my all time top five. (Note to Self: I think I need to do a favorites musicals post.... hmmm....)  I said hell yes so we had a great lunch with margaritas and then caught a really, really excellent production of Pippin!  This particular revival, when it was on Broadway won the Tony for best re-staging and I see why - it was one of the better travel shows I've ever seen!

Watching this week has been HGTV.  I don't have cable at home so one of my favorite things to do when staying at a hotel is zoning out to various HGTV shows like Fixer Upper and The Property Brothers and the various shows that follow people on their search for a new home.  It's embarrassing.

The only good thing about the amount of time I spent in airports this week was I got a decent amount of reading done.  I finished The Mermaid's Child by Jo Baker and will review soon.  I started and am about 30% into Zenn Scarlett by Christian Schoon.  I'm still reading The Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons, Abhorsen by Garth Nix and Sheepfarmer's Daughter by Elizabeth Moon.

SUNDAY: Review of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See.  Very detailed, fascinating and heart-wrenching historical fiction. 3.5 out of 5.
TUESDAY:  Top Ten Tuesday - Favorite Fictional Heroines.  I cheated and re-posted a list I made back in October (see above travels).
WEDNESDAY: Review of Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch.  This is the second book in his Peter Grant series and it was great! 4 out of 5 stars.
FRIDAY:  Tough Traveling - Chess Masters.  Posted a day late (see above travels).

I'm actually caught up on reviews so..... this week may be a little fluid.
SUNDAY:  I'll be ambitious and post about my favorite Musicals while I'm all jazzed up after Pippin.
TUESDAY: Top Ten Tuesday:  Top Ten All Time Favorites from the last 3 Years.  Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
WEDNESDAY: Review of Avatar: The Last Airbender The Rift and perhaps some other Avatar silliness.
THURSDAY:  The Tough Traveling topic is Vampires.  They're everywhere so the key here is going to putting some kind of unique spin on the topic.  Which will require thinking.  Which is hard. Hosted by Fantasy Review Barn.

That's it for me this week!  Anybody else get trapped in airports this week?  Anybody else want to join my newly formed organization whose mission is to push for the development of teleportation?

I'm not a river
Or a giant Bird
That soars to the Sea
and if I'm never tied to anything
I'll never be free.

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