** This is the largest number of photos I have ever, ever posted. Some of them are even objectively good. I am just a little bit proud of myself.
If I could visit DC every spring for a couple days, I think I would be happy. There’s something special about that city. This trip was brief, but it was just enough to refresh my spirit and make me feel really good about people, again.
I flew in on Tuesday morning and was able to stop in and see Timothy at his truck while he worked on the NatGeo Bee. We had a quick lunch, he showed me around the “office” (not a euphemism), and I ventured off to the American History Museum, one of the spots we missed on last year’s trip. Three hours was more than enough for me to see everything (I was on my own, but I do like to stop to read and engage if given the opportunity). My two favorite exhibits were Julia Child’s kitchen (now a part of Food: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000) and The Star-Spangled Banner. I spent a good long while at the Julia Child exhibit. Finally seeing those copper pots up close actually brought me to tears (totally embarrassing, everyone saw).
I also got a little wispy over the Spotsylvania Stump. It may have just been an emotional day. I don’t know.
I popped into the Natural History Museum on my way back to our hotel to take a look at the gemstones/minerals and “The Birds of DC” which has been on display since the 1920s. The empty hallway it is displayed in, as well as being reminded of the forever sad story of the Passenger Pigeon, left me a little down. What is my problem. I bought a lovely chunk of turquoise and a mandala coloring book to make myself feel better. You know how it is.
We had dinner at Zengo, where I was emotional (again) over duck daikon tacos and lemongrass sweet potato.
On Wednesday, Timothy had to get up at 5am to go to work. I slept in and spent my day at The National Zoo. Sadly, the panda habitat was closed, as was most of the Asia Trail (I did get to see the Sloth Bears). I spent a lot of time in the reptile house, though, and was absolutely content.
Here are some photos of animals and the funniest memorial bench I have ever seen in my life.
I do not like monkeys, but my monkey photos came out nicely.
I had a good ten minutes to hang out with this Komodo Dragon before anyone came around the corner. We were pals.
entrance to Reptile House
Gopher torts ♥
I definitely hope to make it back to The National Zoo, again, as I would really love to see the pandas and the rest of the Asia Trail critters. It was a really lovely way to spend an afternoon, and I had a surprising amount of fun playing with this camera.
I’m spending my day off at boy’s home in North Berwick.
This means raspberry iced coffee and a fluffy man-cat.
[tee shirt is from threadless; cardi, which I am fairly certain is menswear, is BDG via goodwill … This is the full extent of my OOTD blogging.]
He’s good company, this cat. He keeps my heart calm, helps combat worry.
I am filling the day with domesticity, computer games, and art making.
I am very much hoping that tonight involves wine and hand holding. There is also a minute possibility that the boy may be home from Boston earlier than expected.
He was totally my valentine. I bought him the wine glasses he’s been talking about, because I am a pretty good girlfriend.
Tunbridge Fair is kind of a big deal in my life.
State lines are meaningless.
This weekend involved an impromptu trip slightly north (but not north enough to be all-the-way home).
Farm animals, ferris wheels, best friends, and contra dancers heal all wounds, solve all problems.
If you follow me on twitter, you are familiar with my tortoise. A BTV friend/former co-worker of mine fondly refers to #tortoisetalk.
What can I say? I’m smitten.
This is McCoy, named for the Doctor. He’s a little gruff, but charmingly handsome and homey.
I’ve read that Russian Tortoises (Testudo horsfieldii) are supposed to be spunky and outgoing; they enjoy dandelion greens and rose petals as treats. McCoy is a grouch (which I find charming). And he refuses to eat anything but lettuces (which I find frustrating).
He is particular to romaine, stomping and digging, and enjoys old country-western and bluegrass. Sometimes I sing “Blue Moon of Kentucky” to him. He likes retreating to the closet and sleeping on my shoes (sometimes while I am singing “Blue Moon of Kentucky”).
We’ve known each other for about seven years, now, and I’ve been his caretaker on and off for about five of those years, as he originally had a home with T. He’s probably in his late-twenties, and will very likely outlive both of us by decades.
- Turtle and tortoise shells do contain nerve endings (McCoy occasionally likes to have his shell petted).
- Several species can live to be well over one-hundred years old.
- Russian tortoises can adapt fairly easily to most environments and are the most popular pet tortoise for beginners.
- The first tortoise in space (one of the first animals of any kind in deep space) was a Russian Tortoise, sent by the Soviet Union on a circum-lunar voyage from September 14 to September 21, 1968 (No transporters were used HAHAHA).
- According to the Chinese “Book of Ceremonies,” the tortoise is one of four creature-entities that possess spirit, and is one of the Four Fabulous Animals (Tiger, Black Tortoise, Phoenix, Dragon).
- The largest Galapagos Tortoise ever recorded was five feet long and weighed about 550 pounds.
Over the years, I’ve developed a soft spot for chickens and roosters. We raised hens when I was growing up. Rhode Island Reds. Great birds with great personalities. Beautiful brown eggs.
Can we talk about fresh eggs from happy chickens? I don’t even know what to tell you. They’re absolutely brilliant.
(Art by Andrew Woodward)
My hen-love was sparked anew during my mentoring days with Burlington City Arts. One of the girls in our group had this incredible talent for drawing and painting animals. We would chat a lot about our pets, and I introduced her to the artwork of Ito Jakuchu.
Her painting style reminded me so much of Jakuchu. The kid was thirteen years old. Blew my mind. And she was so happy with everything she created, so connected to it. And you know, that also blew my mind.
She really loved chickens. She was totally infatuated with the ones she kept at home. Talking and making art with her (and all the other kids in that group) made every week for me during a really depressing winter.
These days, as I am hurtling towards my thirties (cool, right?), I find myself being drawn to (primarily) vintage chicken-themed home decor. And you know what? It’s a surprisingly fine line between tasteful decor and country kitsch. I see some pretty “amazing” things come through the door at Goodwill.
These are two of my favourites. Neither came from Goodwill.
The coasters I received in exchange for a bit of work with T.’s dad. The measuring spoon set is something that has been in the big yellow house for as long as I can remember. I have taken them with me on every move.
These two pieces are the current entirety of my chicken home decor collection.
Because um. I don’t actually have a kitchen.
But I have dreams.
Look at these cute flags by Windsparrow Studio.
Thanks for stopping by. My name is Naomi, and this space is made of girldust. This blog is a picture of my comfortably scattered life on the coast of Maine. I'm trying to be a slightly better version of myself every day. I like old houses, reading, the ocean, ghost stories, and museums. You can learn a little bit more about me here. Follow along elsewhere, or get in touch: