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Blossom Walk Update

This gallery contains 19 photos.

As many of you who follow my blog know, I set some goals for myself this spring. Two of those goals were to walk around the Tidal Basin and to attend the Cherry Blossom Parade. I walked around the Tidal … Continue reading

Springing Forward With Panache! (Good-bye Winter!)

This winter was rough. I am using the past tense because I really want to put this winter in the past. I know technically, it is in the past and already spring as March 21 was the official first day, but it has still been cold and snowy here. We even had some flurries yesterday, in fact.

Spring keeps threatening to pop up, but winter just won’t let go. Here is a picture I took the other day of Cherry Blossoms trying to bloom.

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A few posts ago, I gave myself a list of things to accomplish this spring. Stuff that I could not do before  the weight loss that I can do now.  I have some dates picked out for these events. I even bought some new ponchos for all of my walking events, so I’m totally prepared!  (I love ponchos and have very fond childhood memories of wearing the ones my mother made for me. Regrettably, I have no talent with knitting needles and crochet hooks, but I’m glad she did.)

April 5 – Walk around the Tidal Basin, see Jefferson Memorial, FDR Memorial, and the MLK Memorial.

April 12 – Attend Cherry Blossom Parade. The kite festival was supposed to be Sunday, March 30, but was cancelled due to inclement weather. Hopefully, that will be re-scheduled for this weekend.

June 4-6 ish – Lots of DC touristy type stuff that will include a lot of walking. I might try to put my walk to Roosevelt Island during this time frame. A friend of mine is bringing her family to DC and they want to be, in her words, “complete tourists”. I will join them. I am so happy they chose now to visit so that I can show them the city.

I am now officially adding one more thing to my list. (insert drum-roll here)

My friend Sushmita, who owns Studio Pause, is a graduate of Empowered Women International.  Their motto is “Helping Immigrant, Refugee, and Low Income Women Create Sustainable Livelihoods.” They basically teach them to run a business, mostly around arts, crafts, cooking, something they are good at, passionate about, and turn it into a business that can sustain them and their families.

Sunday, April 6, 2014, Sushmita is hosting a fundraiser at her studio, Studio Pause, and I’m helping. We are going to cook Indian food, and serve meals to our friends and family in an effort to raise money for their scholarship program. I will be making my famous chicken saag, (recipe on this blog). And I might also make my curry chicken salad with mango chutney if the mood strikes me, which if I know me, it will.

Here is the Facebook page for the event.

If you’re in the DC area, and wish to attend, please do! It should be fun!

Saturday Awesomeness

I love Saturdays.  Who doesn’t, right?

I had a really rough day yesterday at work.  Nothing really bad, just busy and stressful.  So, I went home and had dinner.  Then I flopped down on my bed and curled up under the covers and felt sorry for myself.  So much for the gym.

Then I decided that I needed to get out of the house.  This was maybe at 930pm.  I sent a friend of mine a Facebook message and asked him to meet me down the street.  We went to my favorite little place, Busboys and Poets, and talked for a bit.

I walked both to the restaurant and back home even though my friend offered me a ride.  I guess I just needed to blow off some steam.

Then this am, I had plans to meet my brother and niece in DC to go to the museums.  Of course, bugs were the main item on the agenda and the Natural History Museum has a great bug display, the irony of its sponsor being Orkin not withstanding.  She had to go visit the bees again.  We tried to get her interested in seeing the butterflies, but no.  Spiders and bees were foremost on her agenda.

We also walked around the butterfly garden outside and looked at the pretty flowers and we took a short walk through the sculpture garden as well.  Then we went to the Air & Space Museum so she could have lunch at “Old MacDonald’s.”  They normally don’t feed her McD’s, but she does like their chicken nuggets.  She has a ton of food allergies and the nuggets are the only thing there she can eat.  My brother says that’s because the nuggets are not really food.  I agree.

Then my brother and I went back to my neighborhood and went to Cheesetique.  We had a cheese board and he had a glass of port and the key lime pie.  I have been a big Cheesetique fan since they came to Shirlington.  Apparently their first store is in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria.  I have taken cheese to my brother’s for holidays and stuff, but this was his first time eating in the restaurant.  It’s a small store, but the atmosphere is awesome.  The food is so good.  He was quite impressed and bought some of his own cheese to take home.

I think he was getting a bit tired of always going to Busboys when he comes to visit.  The food there is great too, but it’s nice to get out and try something different.  We have gone to the Mexican place several times, and it’s awesome, but we needed to do something else.  Shirlington has lots of great choices.

Now, if I could just get a hold of my sister, I could get a visit with her in today.  In the meantime, I am going to write and then hit the gym.

It’s nice to get back into my normal routine of museum jaunts and visits with my family.  I love being able to do these things.  My life has really made a complete 180 from where I was 9 1/2 months ago.  I can hop on the metro, go hang out on the Mall at the Sculpture Garden and listen to jazz with my friends, walk all over the Mall going to the museums with my brother and niece, go to the gym, go shopping at the mall with my sister, and walk down the street to my neighborhood to walk around or just hang out at a coffee shop.  Before last October, I could not have done any of this, at least not easily.  Now I don’t even think about it.  I just put on my walking shoes and go.

The choice to have the surgery was a difficult one for me, but I’m glad I did it. The quality of my life has completely changed.  It happened so quickly, I can hardly believe it sometimes.  And yet, the person I was before seems so far away I don’t even know who that was.  Well, whoever that was is gone and I love who I am now.

Going to the same museum over and over to look at bees with a 5-year-old, eating at a new restaurant with my brother, and shopping at a mall with my sister may seem routine and mundane, but I love that I can do it. I wouldn’t trade a moment of it for anything.

Life, Rebooted!

This past week has been fantastic.  Every day I am more and more amazed at what I can do, thanks to my 112 pound weight loss, which seems to have stalled-out recently.  At least I’m holding strong though and not going back up!

As I posted yesterday, my friends Liz & Steve have been visiting.  Well, yesterday, they went to the Smithsonian Museums with their girls.  I work in DC about 4 stops from the museums metro station, which is conveniently called Smithsonian.  I walked the 5 blocks to Farragut West, got myself turned around because I do not often go to that station.  Hopped off at the Smithsonian Station and  walked over to the Air and Space Museum, which had just closed for the day, and waited outside for my friends.  Then we took the metro and bus back to my hood where they were having a jazz concert/wine tasting and dined at the inimitable Busboys & Poets.

busboys

Then we walked around Shirlington some more.  My friends bought some cheese from Cheesetique.  And we walked back up the hill to my apartment.

A year ago, I could not have done all of this walking.  I would have gone home from work, probably by car.  Then I would have waited at my apartment for my friends to call me.  I would have had to drive the 4 blocks to the restaurant, parked, ate, and then drive back home.  I would have been in horrible pain, have difficulty breathing, and would have been just miserable.

Today, I think nothing of aimlessly wandering all over the darn place.  Plus, I was able to enjoy jazz, good friends, and good food!  I truly feel as if my life has been rebooted.

Tonight, more jazz at the Sculpture Garden!

The Return Of Spring!

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Finally!  Spring has really arrived in DC.  I returned from Dallas to a nice balmy 79 degrees at 1:30 a.m.  Today’s high will be 81.  It might get a little bit chillier over the weekend, but all next week is 80s as far as the eye can see!  At last!  Granted, it may rain every day, but at least I will not be freezing.  I’m so tired of being cold.

I will be glad to put away the sweaters and scarves for the winter.  In fact, I may get rid of most of them altogether as I will need all new ones by the fall.  I love getting rid of old clothes.  Spring is a good time to do some closet purging, right?

I used to be a bit of a pack rat.  I have kept a lot of the clothes I have acquired over the last 15 or so years.  I was kind of glad that I did because it meant that I could have some clothes to wear as I lost weight.  But now that I have shrunk out of almost all of them, it’s time to let them all go.  I am hoping to get some of them to a used clothing store called Unique this weekend.  If not this weekend, definitely next.  I have a friend coming into town for Memorial Day and he can help me unload some of the stuff jamming up my closet.

Apart from that, I need to get my place ready for my out-of-town guest.  I am not sure what we are going to do other than reorganize my closet, but I know we will be out and about.  There will have to be at least one visit with my niece.  Probably at least one visit to the DC Mall or something.  And dinner with a friend of ours from college.  Maybe we will actually make it to see Rolling Thunder. 

I’m just glad the weather is finally getting better.  Bring on the shorts!