Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I have a new love: NPR podcasts. I've recently subscribed to NPR's Story of the Day and This I Believe, and I've been a long-time fan of Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, the NPR News Quiz. If only Car Talk were free... At any rate, this morning I was listening to the Story of the Day from October 25 about a family cocker spaniel: "The Dog Who Loved to Suck on Toads." I was laughing so hard I could barely see and I almost had to pull over as I was driving to work. You must look it up.

I love driving along Braddock Road in to GMU. It's a six-mile stretch from the freeway, surrounded by trees and homes and the occasional strip mall. This morning I saw a sign at a new cemetery (so it's not a hundred years old, but it's got a lot of graves): Fall Cemetery Sale. Just in case you were in need...

Sunday, October 29, 2006

I love the Arlington Cemetery. I was on my way home from visiting some friends this afternoon, and the sun was so beautiful that I couldn't just go home and read, so I made a detour to the Arlington Cemetery. Today was the Marine Corps Marathon, and so there was still quite a bit of traffic and people, even at 4:30. I only had a half hour, but I loved every minute. I love the rolling hills and the green lawn, the stark white crosses in their perfecty symmetry. I love the older, grander headstones of the more accomplished leaders, and I love the list of battles and companies on each stone. While the mood is a bit somber, there is a beautiful peace and patriotism there. I loved the view from the Arlington House. I got to the top of the hill as the sun was setting, shining on the Washington Monument, the Capitol, and the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials. I loved looking toward the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the new Air Force Memorial, and National Airport, with the patchwork of red and yellow trees, green grass, and white crosses. It was beautiful.

I also love Sunday afternoon naps. I usually have church in the afternoon, but this morning we had stake conference, so I got to stretch out on the couch in the sun and sleep for a bit. It was delicious.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

I love yoga. I love the stretching, the breathing, the centering, and the balancing. I can push myself to new places. I love feeling my muscles warm up, pulling and contracting. My favorite poses today were the wrap, tree, and dancer. I feel like a new person.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I must say that I have a new love: 100% cotton sheets. I know, I know--they wrinkle and all, and I have been known to iron my sheets right on my bed (just ask my former NYC roommates who caught it on video!). But there is nothing like the crisp, clean feeling of 100% cotton.

I made some delicious pork cutlets last night. The recipe called for dried sage, and I thought I had some, but I didn't. In my panic to find a substitute, I remembered that we had a sage-looking plant out on the back patio, and I figured it was worth a try. It smelled sage-y, too, so I grabbed a few leaf-things and chopped them up very fine, and I'm not dead this morning. I really should find out what that plant is. It's next to our huge basil plant that I turned into pesto last week before it freezes, so I figured it would be ok.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I love the challenge of running against the wind. Strangely enough, I feel strong. Sometimes I need that physical reminder.

I also love trees. I've decided that trees are one of the greatest things about Virginia. I've come to appreciate them in an entirely new way, especially after living in Manhattan and Utah and Arizona. I love their height and depth. I love walking through groves of trees and little forests on campus. I love the varying shades of green and now, of red and yellow and brown. I love seeing the sun shine through trees. I love the sound of wind rustling through the leaves, and I do NOT love the squirrels that live in them.

I also love this new chocolate I found at Trader Joes with almond filling. Ah, it's the best.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Yesterday I went running along the Washington Mall. I must say, it was a glorious fall day. I had actually just signed up for a membership at Gold's Gym and though quite excited at the possibilities of a new exercise regime, I could not pass up a crisp sunny afternoon run. I started at the Lincoln Memorial, past the World War II memorial, the Washington Monument, then up around the Capitol, past the Library of Congress and the Supreme Court. I ran past the White House on the way back down the Mall. The air was crisp, the sun was shinging, the leaves were just starting to turn yellow, and there were tourists everywhere. It's sort of fun to dodge through the strollers and old women tour guides holding up umbrellas and talking as loud as they can about the Supreme Court--I feel like I'm a local and that I own this turf, and I welcome people to come exprience it for themselves.

I finished planting my 200 bulbs yesterday morning. I filled every pot and planter I could find, and crowded bulbs in front. I love the feel of dirt in my fingernails and the nurture and hope of blooms come spring. And I defy any squirrel who thinks my tulips and crocuses are his dinner.

On the food front: great dinner at Viridian in the District. There is nothing like a good blackened trout on fennel. And the summer squash pastry appetizers were excellent. Not so much a fan of the pipe dream beet-orange-goat cheese concoction, but it was well worth the adventure. I loved walking the streets of DC last night, smelling the autumn air and seeing all the great row hosues. I miss living in the City.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Today I love sunshine filtering through colored trees. And I love that trees change color at different times with different shades. For some reason this year I dread the loss of leaves, so I feel like I'm hanging on to the last leaf (name that movie!).

And for my food fetish, I had the greatest sandwich: a blt with my homemade pesto spread. Divine!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I've decided to create a blog where I can list the great things about my life. Too often I get bogged down in critical theory and grad school survival and working with a bunch of techies. I forget the abundant tender mercies all around me. I'm going to use this blog, then, to post the things I'm grateful for.

Today I am grateful for the fog and clouds because they accentuate the vibrant color of the changing leaves.

I am also grateful for French vanilla yogurt, granola, and craisins. Yum.