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Back yard view, with dogwoods and Brian’s redbud in the distance.

May, always our busiest month, is next week you guys!  Which means we are fast approaching the days where Pat and I traditionally communicate by post-it note, only recently enhanced by technology and the ability to text each other.  But that is entirely dependent on my carrying a device in which to text and since I rarely do that, the post-it note is still generally the most reliable form of communication here. Thankfully, Edie is old enough we can leave her home alone, because we’ve already had one incident where both of us committed to something without looking to see if the other one was around.  Edie has started realizing when I ask her if she has her key, it means she stands a good chance of being locked out when she comes home if she doesn’t have it.  Ah, spring in the Calvert house. Continue reading

Garlicky this.

You’d think that by late April there would be fresh, local produce readily available, but the truth is, it’s still sort of slim pickings around here. Sure, asparagus was spotted at the farmer’s market last weekend, but it went fast (I missed it, but Serg at Crazy Farm said he’d hold me a few pounds this week).  There are baby greens, but not every farmer’s booth has them right now.  So food wise, we’re sort of in between seasons and to be honest, I’m slightly culinaryily (probably not a word, but I don’t care) uninspired right now.  This has been leading me to dig a little deeper into my cookbook collection, looking for new recipes to inspire me with what I have on hand, which is pretty much what I’ve had on hand for months now. Continue reading

Blooming this week: April 16

We are at the point in spring where the landscape one sees at dawn is different than the one sees at nightfall.  Case in point – last Saturday afternoon, Pat & I plopped down in the front yard waiting for Edie to get ready for her soccer game.  We noticed the tulips had sent up buds and wondered when they might open.  After soccer, we plopped down in the exact same spot and noticed the tulips had opened up.  Just like that, while we weren’t looking that afternoon. Continue reading

Spring Break, Part III: Appomattox

I grew up near Gettysburg and as a result, have a soft spot for Civil War battlefields.   Sure, it seemed like there were school field trips there every other year, but it was also a popular destination for our family – tired of the pool all summer long?  We’d head over to Gettysburg for the day where we’d find entertainment.

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Spring Break, Part II: Confederate Memorial Chapel

Immediately upon our exit of the Van Gogh, Manet , Matisse Exhibit at VMFA, the fire alarm went off and the entire museum was evacuated.  While standing outside in the sculpture garden waiting to get back into the museum on the chilly damp of the early April day, we noticed a sweet, little old chapel on the far end of the grounds.  Upon closer inspection, we discovered this chapel was part of the old Confederate Soldier’s Home.  Because the next part of our spring break road trip involved Civil War history, I thought this would be a fantastic segway between legs on our journey.

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Spring Break, Part I: VMFA

Way back when Edie was in preschool, we began a tradition of going to art museums over spring break.  Over the ensuing years, we’ve road tripped to see some pretty fantastic exhibits, including two separate Picasso collections as well as the Tim Burton Retrospective at MOMA.  Along the way, we’ve stumbled upon some other great exhibits and collections, as tends to happen when you are messing around in art museums.

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Every year we worry the tulip magnolia tree in the front yard is going to get pinched by frost.  It’s a glorious tree to behold – the magnificent pink blooms can be seen as one approaches our house in every direction for at least a block.  It is the first tree to bloom every year and many neighbors have told us they consider it the first official sign of spring.  Every few years though, Mother Nature gets the last word on the beauty of the tree, for unlike other early blooming trees, the tulip magnolia does not react well to frost.  In fact, frost makes the large pink and white flowers turn brown, definitely not as glorious. Continue reading