Fun Stuff

We have lined up a few good shows over the next month.  Starting off with a girls outing to see  The Phantom of the Opera at the Kennedy Center for a matinee performance this weekend.  Here is a link to WashPo’s review.  I have never seen it so am excited!  We are having lunch at District Commons, another first for me.

We will head to the beach for a long weekend and return in time to deposit son back at school.  I hate to say it but I am ready for him to be back in college.

In September, we will see Little Feat at the Warner Theatre, I really like this venue for a show and we have pretty good seats.

And then in the same week, on to Celebrate Virginia in Fredericksburg for ZZ Top and Govt Mule.

Today we are headed to the ballpark to see the Nationals face the Giants again.

Fun times!





So I took a hiatus in writing, I got busy with lots of life stuff. Starting with the retirement party that went off quite well, we had over 50 friends and co-workers there.  The party marked the official end to my USDA career,


I went to my sister’s beach place for a long weekend to celebrate her daughter’s bachelorette weekend.  We had perfect beach weather and a fabulous weekend celebrating.  I don’t plan to share any photos or stories from that though.  I think those are best left for others to share. I do think my niece and her friends are lovely, smart, and classy young women.  I especially enjoyed the beach and the weather.  Bring on spring!

I do want to mention the restaurants where we dined.  We had lunch at The Gulf at Perdido Pass. IMG_2064The restaurant is casual with all outside dining and the above view was from the restaurant.  I had the grouper sandwich and it was quite tasty!  Others in the party tried the hamburgers.

We dined at Cobalt which has lovely sunset views and great food.  I had grouper again, paneed grouper this time and it was fabulous.

I find myself in a work hiatus.  A strange feeling for sure. I observe others working, reading emails, taking phone calls, dealing with issues.  Some of the habits I had like 2 cellphones and 2 iPads, one for work and one for personal are over.  I used to check my work emails first thing in the am and last thing at night and many times in between.  Now I look at emails and it is mostly spam.  I am thinking about work again, just not going to rush it.  I have started the process to volunteer at the hospital.  And found a website Encore -Second acts for the greater good that provides advice on how to find your second career based on the desire to give back.  I really like the idea.  I guess I need to just relax and enjoy this hiatus.


DSC_0065We had a lovely, long snow yesterday, beautiful heavy wet flakes.  About mid-day, the ladies came through the backyard on their way up the hill to bed down for the duration of the storm I suppose.  I guess they have a spot out of the wind, protected somewhat from the weather. During warmer months, I have seen spots where they  bed down in the grass.  We also saw our friendly fox, making his/her? rounds, trotting up through the woods following a similar path that the deer take.  I tried to capture the fox on film but no such luck.

We did eat at Hanks Oyster Bar the other night, and will definitely go back.  I had 1/2 dozen Virginia oysters for a starter, followed by a pear and arugula salad and a crab cake, both items from the small plate menu.  Hubby had the ceviche (yum! and a generous portion) and the seared scallops on cauliflower puree.  The prices were a tad high though typical for Old Town.

Even with all the snow and ice this past week, my thoughts keep turning to the gardens.  I have transplanted some seedlings to bigger pots and will plant more this weekend.  I loved this Washington Post article by Barbara Damrosch, Resolved no more bad garden habits.  All things to TRY and remember as I plan and work in the garden this spring-if spring ever arrives…

Hump Day Doings

If you watch TV, you have probably seen the hump day commercials?

During at least one meeting on a Wednesday, someone at my work would mimic the “guess what day it is”, some better than others, bringing much needed humor to the subject at hand.

Now my Hump Day looks a bit different. I have my to-do list still. Doing yoga, calling the plumber, going to the grocery store (in anticipation of 4-8 in of snow tomorrow!) are way different than my work to-dos such as scheduling interviews, reviewing and editing budget testimony, IT roadmap, Approps committee talking points, hot issues etc.  And I usually experienced more than 1 fire to put out each day and it could easily trash my day to the point where I accomplished little else.  Oft times the fires came up from somebody’s failure to deal timely with a deadline or request.  A constant source of frustration!

So we just melted away all the ice and now tomorrow are due for 4-8 inches of snow though I hope the forecasters have it wrong!  DSC_0065

I have focused on indoor tasks, like cooking, organizing files, etc.  The other night I made Braised chicken with carrots and fennel.  I saw the recipe in Southern Living and left out the green olives (as the hubby won’t eat olives), added fennel and bone-in chicken wings.  I had to up the ingredient portions to about 1 1/2 the requirement.  Served it over couscous, the small kind not Israeli.  And then lightly steamed some asparagus to place on top.

We plan to eat out tonight looking at one of these new-to-us restaurants.

Hanks Oyster BarBRABO or Jackson 20 all in Old Town.  I want to go to Hanks though I don’t think they take reservations.  I like BRABO’s menu though it is pricey.  So will see where we end up as we will be at home tomorrow, I’m sure.

TTB and Spirit Family

Do you ever get behind on everyday tasks?  Well this last week has put me behind and I plan to catch up, starting with this post. We saw the Tedeschi Trucks Band last Friday night at the Warner.  Went early for drinks and appetizers at Chef Geoff’s Downtown.


Again, we scored great seats through the early artist sale.  I found  the setlist online, I can’t seem to remember to take notes!IMG_1964

  • All That I Need
  • Do I Look Worried
  • Get What You Deserve
  • Midnight in Harlem
  • I Pity The Fool
  • Break In The Road 
(Betty Harriscover)
  • Keep Your Lamp Trimmed
  • Done Somebody Wrong 
(Elmore Jamescover)
  • Shelter
  • Key To The Highway
  • Let Me Get ByIMG_1956
  • Idle Wind
  • Bound for Glory
  • Living Loving Maid > The Storm
  • E: Keep On Growing
  • Living in the Palace of the King

The opening act was new to me, Spirit Family Reunion, kind of a string band, bluegrass, roots music fusion.

IMG_1942Lots of energy and I will definitely be on the look out for a repeat viewing!  The washboard player was my fav. IMG_1948

On to the next show!

Driftwood & Donna


Donna and Driftwood Encore

This third-to-last week of work has flown by before I got to post about last weekend’s fun.  We saw Donna the Buffalo at the Jefferson in Charlottesville on Saturday. Met some friends from Roanoke for the show and also had dinner with long time friends who moved to C’ville many years ago.  We had dinner at the Commonwealth Skybar, which is an open air bar on the mall.  Thank goodness they close it off in the winter and have plenty of heaters.  So good to see everyone.

Doug and Candy

Doug and Candy


We walked around the mall which I found a bit creepy.  I thought a bit about the young murdered UVA student who was last seen on the mall alive.


The sunset was filled with color!  The contrast between the dark earthly objects and the sky struck a beautiful scene.IMG_1908

I don’t have a setlist for Donna though there were lots of new songs with old ones mixed in.  A group called Driftwood opened, new to me however our friends saw them at Floydfest.  Energetic female fiddler and the band also hails from NY State like Donna.  Best part was the encore with both Driftwood and Donna on the stage closing with a Gimme some loving’/Shout medley.  Not something I expected Jeb and Tara to bring out.  Jeb rocked it as always.  Lots of dancing feet!


Donna took the stage a little before 9:30 and then played until about midnight without a break.


We rode the shuttle from the hotel to the Mall and then found a cab back to hotel–another late night!  And then we arose early on Sunday to beat feet back to DC so I could see Gigi at the Kennedy Center with some girlfriends.  I loved Gigi with Vanessa Hudgens from High School Musical (which I have not seen!).

And then on to the work week which I will share in my next post.


Setlist and other lists

Sam Bush, Herb Pederson, Emmy Lou Harris, John Starling, Sarah ?

Sam Bush, Herb Pederson, Emmy Lou Harris, Seldom Scene, Sarah ?

We had a great time at the show last evening.

Had a light supper before hand at Old Ebbitt Grill, took advantage of their valet parking.   The pork belly tacos were wonderful! Then we walked  across the Ellipse to DAR Constitution Hall for the show.

A couple friends were there also, one of them always keeps track of the setlist, thank goodness.  He emailed the following to us early this am. My edits in Bold

One of these days- buddy Miller

Will the Circle – Mavis Stapleton

The Darkest Hour – Sara Watkins
Shawn Colvin –  red dirt girl
Milk carton kids – Michelangelo
Wheels – Hillman Pederson
Holly Williams Chris Coleman? -Orphan Girl
Steve Earle – 31st Floor?
Trampled by Turtles ??
Lucinda Williams – hickory wind
Rodney Crowell – empty bottle, broken heart
Lee Ann Womack- Born to Run
ELH; Sam; herb; John Starling; Was; Sara – Gone Long Gone. For Warren Hellman


ELH Lanois – Blackhawk
Iron and Wine – wrecking  ball
Shovels and Rope –
Mary Chapin Carpenter and Vince Gill – roadrunnin’
Oberst Patty Griffin Shawn Colvin- Allejuhah
Martina Mcbride – when I stop dreaming
Patty Griffin – valley of sorrow
Steve Earle Lee Ann Womack herb – Pancho & Lefty
Vince Gill – together again
Sheryl Crow- two more bottles of wine
Ooh Las Vegas
Kris Kristoferson-Crowell – loaded again

Kris Kristofferson

Kris Kristofferson

Lovin her
Alison Krauss– til I can gain control again
Cash on the barrel head
Emmy- Boulder to Birmingham

the finale

the finale

My photos from my iPhone6 got worse as the night wore on, may be the wine effect!!  The stage hands did a great job changing sets up between each performer and yes Sam Bush was in the band!!

Sam Bush, Sarah Watkins, Don Was

Sam Bush, Sarah Watkins, Don Was

It is still cold, hoped to take down outside Christmas decorations as that is on my to-do list however, it needs to warm up some more.  So will spend the day cooking, made egg muffins, biscuits, sausage, bacon and cut up grapefruit for brunch.  And will be the sous chef for Hubby’s spaghetti sauce efforts later today.

I have seven weeks left before I retire on Feb. 28.  I have a few things to do, like find our wedding certificate, I think it is the safety deposit box!  At least I hope so.  I have to complete all the paperwork and get one form notarized.


8 x 8 day


It was 8 degrees this morning when I went into work. And I have 8 Thursday’s left to work. Sure hope it gets warmer. I met a friend for dinner at Art and Soul. I had the swordfish, very tasty!  And discussed some future opportunities for me, very exciting.

Drove by the Capitol which is undergoing renovation on the dome, very cool view, though the photo from my iPhone does not do it justice.  Looks like it has a shroud wrapped around it.