Mountains of snow….

On Wednesday they finally got the Silver Line (train) running again – it had not been running as they were worried about the 3rd rail being an issue with all the snow, and no-one wants to be sitting out there in a powerless train!  So, off to work I went on Wednesday but once I arrived at the station it was pretty apparent I wasn’t going to be walking far!

No side-walks visible but in the typical way of this car-centric society the road was nicely cleared; two lanes each way.  (That’s a commuter parking lot on the right, also nicely cleared)Where's the sidewalk?

I didn’t relish climbing those impressive snow-mountains at the “walk” signs – for starters my boots are only calf-high – and walking on the road goes against my survival instincts…  luckily I have a friend in the office who came & picked me up.  Should be easy to cross here.....

It sucked to be the manservant though –  he takes the bus – and this was one of his stops  – that’s the bus shelter on the left (behind the advertising) and the timetable post on the right.  The plows kept coming along just to make sure the wall of snow stayed in place…  Bus stop

Then to cap off a bad week there was a fire in our “local”  – apparently things got a bit hot in the kitchen:  Fire at the local

Glad we’re back to 40, 50 and 60 degree temperatures this week!

Blizzard over..

Well, that was fun…..
The alcohol lasted (how could it not really) but the chocolate almost ran out (which would’ve been really bad!)  We spent most of the blizzard on the couch in front of twin screens – the TV and the window:-

where we spent the blizzard

We had accumulation of more than 29 inches in our backyard..  and someone had to clear the steps.  The first step down into the yard was a bit of a shock!

Ooh - that's deep!


clearing the steps - where to start


.clearing the steps

We have a flat roof which can be a little concerning when it comes to having all that weight sitting up there. Snow is oozing over the edge of our roof and those of our neighbors

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The manservant did a superb job clearing the section of sidewalk in-front of our house (especially compared to our neighbors’ efforts)

footpath ours



Our street has had a plow run through it a couple of times but it’s going to be a while before our car-owning neighbors will get their cars out!



cars hidden

It made for some pretty images

streetlight snow


Icicles 2

…. And some amusing ones:

Scoop the poop

What is this stuff?  Gingermutt, the alley cat, found a sunny perch yesterday.


This morning he’s enjoying the sun  – while sitting in a patch of icy snow! (he’s probably judging my effort on clearing those steps!)

Gingermutt in ice

The Holiday Party


Last night was my company’s Holiday Party.  I haven’t been for a few years because they started having them in a place that was not metro (train) accessible. This year it was in the Pavilion Room at the Ronald Reagan Building on Pennsylvania Avenue downtown – only a few blocks walk from a metro station.

So, I dolled up, getting a second wear of my mother-of-the-groom dress from 5 years ago.  The manservant thinks I should get yet another wear from it at the Princess’s wedding in 2017.   LOL!!

I swear I am not crooked in real-life:-


It was snowing in the Pavilion


The bar was open:


The food was good:


And the sweets were really superb – I tried more than one or three of these – maybe even four (they were small!) :-


It was a good night.  I probably enjoyed it more than the manservant but while I flitted around being social he enjoyed the Manhattans.



Jeez – seriously!

It’s been nearly a year since I last posted!

My laptop came back from the Apple hospital but it continued to have issues and now I’m really pleased to announce that the manservant has a new laptop on order and I will be getting his hand-me-down soon!  Maybe even before Christmas.

So, how has my 2015 been …

***  January:  My office moved into the “country” – an economic decision based on rent costs. It means my commute went from 3 miles to interminable!   It also means snow photos without any nearby buildings:


***  February:  More snow … still loving the colour we chose for our house – plum with green trim:Feb snow

But, while it was snowing in Washington DC my son, Econo-boy, and his girlfriend were holidaying in Fiji and getting engaged!


*** March  – it was still snowing!   

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*** April –  Econo-boy & Ms AM had an engagement party  –

Feb Nelson_Aleks_207

Yes it was in Australia and yes I missed it; the manservant and I were swanning around ….  First in Guernsey, Channel Islands:

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And then Sark – a lovely island with no cars and a cat cleaning itself on an isolated clifftop!

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Then in Bristol, England:

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And then St. Albans in England

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We were back in DC in time for the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC landings at Gallipoli (World War 1)  and we went to the dawn service on 25th April held at the Korean War Memorial: April

*** May  – my brother & his wife came to visit!!   The first sibling to come to Washington DC.  Actually the only sibling to visit America!   And he got me to my first ever baseball game (which only confirmed what I already knew –  I really do not like baseball).

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*** June –   apparently nothing of note happened.  

*** July – a super exciting month as it celebrates my birth.  We had a long weekend in (or is it “on”) Chincoteague and Assateague Islands.  Chincoteague is home to Misty of Chincoteague. We did not see any of the wild ponies – they were standing in a shady copse while we humans stood on the viewing platform in the blazing 95 degree sun. We climbed halfway up the lighthouse before I started feeling sick (it’s those open grille steps & landings that do me in). The Island’s annual fair was on.  We bought a Smith Island cake on the way home – yum!!

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*** August – we got a new train car on our metro line. If you rode in some of our crappy rail cars you would understand how this could be a highlight of the month…. August new metro

*** September –  the Princess & Nick got engaged!!!

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*** October –  the manservant & I went to Australia where lots was going on.   The Princess had an engagement dinner where we got to meet Nick’s family,  and we farewelled Econo-boy and Ms AM as they moved to London:

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The little grand-baby turned 2

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And I had lovely quality time with the little guy:

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I got to hang out with my 3 favorite young men: October boys

With my mother:

October visiting mum

And with my father –  well, his memorial seat – and the lovely view of the Myall River from that seat.

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With sister Jane, aka Cat,  (I don’t know what’s going on with my t-shirt – I think it got caught up on the handle of mum’s walker) –

October w m & J

And with friends (I have more friends but not more photos).

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We went by ferry up the Parramatta River into the city

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We got back to DC in time for the 20th anniversary of the first exoplanet discoveries and went to some cool events like one at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum:

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*** November – was full of  train commutes, DC traffic jams, autumn colours in Rock Creek Park, cupcakes and our alley cat Gingermutt.

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And that’s my year so far!



An interruption to my…..

regular-irregular posting.  The photos were sorted; the words were forming; the laptop stopped working!
About a week ago my laptop starting napping and became increasing sluggish to wake.  It would take multiple restarts before it got to the stage of opening a website. Only to fall asleep again 30 minutes, 20 minutes, 10 minutes later.  Repeat the restarts.  Until those restarts failed.
Yesterday it was admitted to the Apple hospital.   It began its journey at the “genius bar”  but they could not diagnose the problem so sent it off to the specialists.   Expected treatment time: 7 – 10 days.  No visitors allowed. Once cured it will be released and sent home; unaccompanied.  I hope the little guy makes it!
Thank God I’m practically maniacal about backing up!

For want of alcohol we visit Huntington, West Virginia


Our first day was long.  We picked up the rental car;  we drove through lovely landscapes:  WVwe stopped for lunch somewhere in West Virginia :WV lunch and we got to our stopping point for the day; South Point, Ohio. South Point, with a population of about 4,000, is the most southerly point of Ohio.   The town overlooks 3 states (Ohio, Kentucky & West Virginia) and two rivers, the Ohio and the Big Sandy (which is actually just a 29 mile tributary of the Ohio river).  South Point is in Lawrence County and after we’d checked into our hotel we were hankering for a bottle of wine….. only to discover Lawrence is a dry county!!
It seemed a little bizarre to be crossing back over the border into West Virginia to get a drink!   Luckily Huntington is just over the Ohio river.   (yes, I know the photo does not show wine but I had not seen mason jar spirits before).WV moonshine
First settled as Holderby’s Landing in 1775, in what was then Virginia, in 1873 it became “Huntington” as the western terminus of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway (C&O).   Huntington sign
It is home to the Cabell County Court House –  built in beaux-arts classical style in 1899.   In 1895 an order was made to receive plans and specifications for a courthouse:   “to be of stone and brick or of stone or brick, two stories, high slate or clay roof, lighted with gas and electricity, heated by steam or air, it must have three fronts and four entrances and must contain rooms for Circuit Court, for County Court and for clerk’s offices of each court, with fire-proof clerk’s offices or vaults attached and must range in cost from $60,000 to $100,000.”    The building was subsequently built of Berea sandstone with a copper roof and cost substantially more!  We would’ve liked a peek inside but it was after 5pm so the building was closed.DSC04749a.
Cabell County Court House 2 .
Huntington is seemingly home to a lot of churches ….  these 5 were on the same street and we could see more in the distance:-  church 5.
church 3.
church 1That last church had an amusing message – a charity drive I assume…  church sign
It’s a place of incredibly cheap parking – at least by Washington DC standards:- 2014_11_03Marshall University is in Huntington.  The movie ‘We are Marshall” is based on  a 1970 plane crash when 75 people died including Marshall’s football team, coaches and staff and the flight crew. The film premiered in the Keith Albee Theater in December 2006 and special screenings were also held at Pullman Square.  Keith Albee.
In the Great Flood of 1937  the river reached a depth of 69.45 feet, more than 19 feet above flood stage.  Five lives were lost and damage ran into the millions of dollars and after the waters receded work began on the city flood wall – building commenced August 1st 1938 and was completed in 1940.   Wall.
River 1.
There’s a lovely riverside park where we watched the light fade out of the day
river 2.
river 3

Then it was back over the border to sleep.  I have no photos of South Point but I do have a hotel receipt to prove we actually stayed there.   We would not have spent time in Huntington if we’d been able to buy alcohol in South Point and that would’ve been a shame as it’s a very pretty place.


Road Trip……


Two weeks in a rental car;  2,319 miles or 3,732 kms.  And, we’re still married!
When you’re doing directions on Google maps it will only allow you to put in 9 stops after your starting point so my map shows the basic outline of our trip.   Our complete route in order was:
Washington DC to:-
South Point, Ohio
Pleasant Hill, Kentucky
Versailles, Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky
Frankfort Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky
Bardstown, Kentucky
Loretto,  Kentucky
Hodgenville, Kentucky
Nashville, Tennessee
Memphis, Tennessee
Muscle Shoals, Alabama
Tuscumbia, Alabama
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Knoxville, Tennessee
Asheville, North Carolina
High Point, North Carolina
Back to Washington DC.

road trip map

This photo shows where I sat for most of the trip and reflections show what I was doing; aiming my camera out the window and following the route along in an old fashioned atlas.

Reflections 2

We had an awesome time and of course I took a trillion photos to illustrate how much fun it was.  And yes, I will share some once I get them sorted out; so many tales to tell.

And we arrived home to find this waiting for us compliments of MadTante  who recently had a long weekend with us.  We’re opening it tonight – I’m sure it will help me sort through those aforementioned photos……. IMG_3265