Tag Archives: spring

Spring Fest – The Cure For Boredom

So today I am going to try posting from my iPad. I am supposed to be hanging out with my sister today. She’s running a bit late. There are only so many naps, tv shows, or rounds of Words With Friends I can do before my head explodes. I knew that Spring Fest in my neighborhood was happening, so I grabbed my poncho and iPad and walked down the hill.

The festival is pretty darn festive. Lots of music and beer drinking. I haven’t had any alcohol since the surgery and honestly I do not really miss it. So I’m just here enjoying the music and watching people make fools of themselves. I cannot really justify paying $30 to not drink beer, so I’m just enjoying a cappuccino instead.

Now Coffee Fest – that’s something I can get behind!

Ok I forgot my point.

Oh yeah, so I walk down here to Caribou Coffee only to find out that tomorrow they are closing and never opening again. They were bought out by Peets’ over a year ago. Nobody is happy about this. I will miss Caribou. They have been good to me.

But all things change and we knew this was going to happen. They have been putting off the conversion for a while now. So, farewell Caribou! I have enjoyed you coffees and teas and the yummy blueberry oatmeal.

Apart from that, I am really enjoying this festival. I love that I can go to these things and walk around. I might not be able to drink or eat much, but I can walk to and from. I can walk around and socialize. And most of all, I can dance!

Enjoy the pics!







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.

photo 1 (5)

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!

A B-e-a-utiful Day in the Neighborhood

Today is a gorgeous day and I just could not sit at home.  I found that I could not sit at home last night either.  I came home from work, changed my clothes, and walked down to the village to have some tea and read for a bit.  Shortly after I arrived and started reading, my friend Andy sent me a FB message asking me to watch his cat while he is out of town.

A bush of azaleas I walk by on my way to Shirlington Village.

A bush of azaleas I walk by on my way to Shirlington Village.

I let him know that I would be happy to feed and water his cat while he was gone, and by the way, I’m at the coffee shop, come meet me now.  He did and we sat and talked for quite a bit.  It took me a long time to actually work up an appetite to eat.  My work had catered lunch from a barbecue restaurant (Rocklands OMG yum!) and I was not hungry for a good long time afterwards.  When I could eat, I made my friend walk down to a local restaurant, which was just a block away.  I had chicken salad and fruit.  After another long talk, I finally paid my bill and we walked back over to where he had parked.  I then made the short trek back up the hill to my apartment.  He would have given me a ride, but I made it clear that I wanted to walk, especially since I had just eaten.

This morning, I was actually very lazy.  I had breakfast in bed, cheese and fruit.  I watched romance movie after romance movie.  That was such a bad idea.  I actually woke up at about 5:00 am and turned on the tv.  Never a good idea.  Out of Africa was on and I immediately tuned to that channel.  I just love that movie.  I fell back asleep with that show in the background.  I allowed the romance between Karen and Denys to influence my dreams and I awoke again to Karen reading a poem at his funeral, but in my dream, the poem did not have the heavy, bittersweet feeling of loss portrayed in the movie.  Dreams are strange that way.  Then, just before I was fully awake, I dreamed that I heard a knock on my door.  Three quick raps.  It was 7:00 am.  I went over to the door and peeked outside and of course no one was there, but now I was up.  The day began with a strange sense of hope and possibility.

I took my time getting ready.  I watched the last half of Sense and Sensibility as I had my breakfast and then showered.  I read a little bit.  Then put on another movie.  I did my hair and carefully picked out my clothes for the day.  I tried on a new pair of shorts that I bought at a second-hand store.  They are a size large.  They are snug, but they fit.  I was elated.  I’m not sure where “large” fits into the size-scale.  Does that make them a 14 or a 16?  I think they might be in the 14 range.  My size 18 jeans were practically falling off of me yesterday.  I think I’m solidly in the 16 size because my size 14 jeans do not quite fit me yet.  It’s hard for me to tell since I do not actually own pants that are a size 16.  I’m not going to worry about it though, as I will probably be a size 14 soon enough.

I finally drove over to my sister’s house.  By the time I arrived there, it was probably 1:00 pm and we went to lunch.  I insisted on sitting outside because the day is so beautiful.  I had salad with warm goat cheese and pecans.  So delicious.  Unlike me, my sister spent the morning digging and planting in her yard.  I don’t have a yard, just an apartment.  Once she ate, she was exhausted.  I took her back home and came here to Starbucks to write.

When my sister first saw me, she said she could not believe how small I was.  I looked in the full length mirror at her house and I was stunned.  I do look small.  “I look almost like a normal person,” I told her.  “Yeah, but you’re anything but normal, Colleen!”  Aren’t sister’s great?

me 4-27-13

I had her take this picture of me outside the restaurant.

I am not sure what other events this day will bring, but I am so happy the weather is finally warm enough to enjoy some outside time.


Cherry Blossoms At Last!

Every spring, the DC area has a Cherry Blossom Festival.  I have never gone.  In recent years, I did not go because I could not do the walking.  I did not really go to the festival this year, either, but I did make it down to  a small part of the Tidal Basin in an attempt to see some blossoms.  I will probably try to make my way down there later this week once they are in full bloom.  The blossoms are late this year as the we has been so cold this March.  Nonetheless, today the sun was shining and the temperature finally made it over 60 degrees.

Me and Blossoms

Today is my friend Andy’s birthday.  He wanted to celebrate by going down to see the Cherry Blossoms.  There were not many Cherry Blossoms out.  They were just beginning to bloom today.  We found one branch that was in full bloom.  We sat under the tree with some of his friends, drank some Japanese tea, ate some Japanese snacks, and read Cherry Blossom haiku.  Then we went to an Indian restaurant for lunch where we met my brother and his wife.

My brother and I went to high school with Andy.  In a previous post, I mentioned my brother’s best friend with whom I went to the homecoming dance my junior year.  Yeah, that’s him.

I had really great time.  It also felt great to not be restricted by my health.  I was able to walk all over the place with them.  My only restriction is that I have short legs and I walk a little more slowly than taller people.  Other than that, I had no problems. It was wonderful.

If we had not been meeting my brother for lunch, I would have loved to have walked around the Tidal Basin a little bit more.  The only problem with these darn Cherry Blossoms is that they will most likely be gone by next weekend.  They are very fragile.  They really do not last more than a week or so.  A strong windstorm or rainstorm can wash them away in a few minutes.  But, while they are here, they are a very beautiful herald of a much welcomed spring and rebirth.