Washington DC – 11/18 – 11/22


Saturday 1/18 – Air and Space Museum – NASA X-15



Saturday 1/18 – Natural History Museum – Kayak made by Maligiaq Padilla



Saturday 1/18 – Natural History Museum Rotunda



Saturday 1/18 – Capitol building at dusk



Saturday 1/18 – Washington Monument



Sunday 1/19 – Natural History Museum gem collection!



Sunday 1/19 – Freer Gallery, Whistler’s Peacock Room



Monday 1/20 – Mount Vernon upper garden and greenhouse



Monday 1/20 – Mount Vernon upper garden



Monday 1/20 – Mount Vernon kitchen



Monday 1/20 – Evidence of true (shoe) love.



Monday 1/20 – Mount Vernon from the bowling green



Tuesday 1/21 – Crack of dawn Harris Teeter run



Tuesday 1/21 – Snow Day!



Wednesday 1/21 – And the snow is still there. And it’s really, really cold.

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Washington DC – 1/14 – 1/17

Here’s a couple of quick snapshots of the first few days in DC . . .

communist shelves

Tuesday: The communist grocery store in the Crystal City Underground.


Wednesday Morning: Leaving for a trip to the Pentagon City Mall + Harris Teeters. Hauled back 20 lbs of groceries and effectively killed my feet. Rocked the PNW REI look among the suits.

Washington Monument

Wednesday Evening: Walked with Rik from L’Enfant metro to the Arlington metro at sunset. Long but worth it . . . and we both effectively killed our feet – again.

Lincoln Memorial

Wednesday Evening: Interior of the Lincoln Memorial.


Thursday: View out of the apartment at 5:00am. Getting up at 4:00 isn’t actually that bad.


Thursday morning: Crystal City metro station. Such an iconic bit of architecture.


Thursday: Exterior of the National Gallery of Art. After finishing grading I popped into town just as the museum was opening.

West Garden

I managed to get through just the west side of the upper floor. Rembrandt was the highlight, for sure, but the rest of the stuff was really interesting too.

Dying Gaul

The Dying Gaul – just to show my students when I get back. It’s dates to the 1-2nd century BC,  from a villa outside Rome.

Apartment Sunrise

Friday: Stayed home (except for a trip to Rite-Aid to buy laundry detergent) and puttered around. We’ll probably go somewhere this afternoon/evening. Three day weekend, here we come!

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Nine pots and six bowls later . . .

Today started out pretty crappy, honestly. Nothing like a good morning funk to throw your day out of whack. Cold house, quizzes to write and a nagging and unsettling dream still rolling around in my head.

…so I decided to launch into dinner. Pioneer Woman’s Italian Chicken Soup, to be exact.

Nine pots, six bowls and three hours later, dinner turned out to be 6 quarts of soup. For two people. Opps.

Good thing there’s a potluck tomorrow. (Though that may have been a motivation all along.)

The taste tests confirms: yes, it was all worth it. Goodness gracious, that is one heck of a soup. Peoples of the world – go try it now. Go buy the heavy whipping cream and fresh oregano (which I will do next time…the dried isn’t quite the same) and the bell pepper (two, not one…that was a mistake) and the chicken and the stock and the celery and the onion and the tomatoes . In fact, get some tomatoes and stew them yourself. Stew extra, because it’s better with more.

I may or may not be able to stop thinking about this darn soup and when I can justify having another bowl. Ahem.

My guilty conscious is now telling me to go on a run. That cream in that soup…

I hate my guilty conscious, but I think it’s right.

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No pictures?!

I give up. My poor camera. I took it to Yakima this last weekend, intending to take pictures of how beautiful the valley is in the fall. Fail. I either forgot about it or it didn’t work. It’s old. I’m pretty sure we got it in early 2007, after our first camera was stolen.  It’s so old it means I don’t have an in computer card reader to get pictures off of it, I have to use the painfully slow USB cord to get it. It’s so old it doesn’t have USB 3.

Anyway. Maybe it’ll dry out and start working again.

So, blog post without pictures.  That’s okay, I guess, because writing workbook pages, watching Modern Marvels and drinking obscene amounts of tea is absurdly boring.

I surprised myself today when looking at my schedule for Ancient History – instead of going straight onto India, last year I scheduled a week just for geography. Yay! . . . I still have no idea what we’re doing in class, but the workbook is all done.  Thankfully, I did discover a really fun resource – National Geographic has a great selection of huge mega monster maps, table top maps and 1 page maps, all available for free. And they’re customization! The big maps are printed out and tiled together, which I’m toying with using for class on Monday.

The Husband’s parents and sister are coming over for dinner. I’m really excited – I haven’t seen his sister since our wedding. She and her husband moved to Tennessee for work and as such, we don’t see much of them.

On that note, I better finish up prep for classes and clean the house. And maybe do laundry (ha. Fat chance of that, self.)





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Foggy Mornings


(That’s our house with new paint! It was a hideous blue with bare wood showing through on most surfaces. Now it’s almost done – just two more sides to do the trim on. We’re super psyched about how it turned out.)









I’ve been trying to walk every week day that I’m home – Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and every other Friday.  It’s one of the advantages of living in a subdivision – I’ve got quite a few miles of road to walk that’s much safer than where I used to live!

We’ve got a wonderful high pressure inversion sitting off the Washington coast right now that leaves us with 24/7 fog. Walking is a bit chilly when it’s 47° and 97% humidity all day long, but it was totally worth it today. There were nearly thirty boats fishing on the Hood Canal – the Sockeye season opened today. The distant hum of diesel engines was audible even from the house.

It’s evening now and The Husband and I are watching Deep Space Nine and drinking ginger lemon tea. I’m not looking forward to the morning – far too much to do – but for now, I’ll enjoy the relaxation and together time.

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Date Night Kit – Star Trek

For my first date night kit (and possibly the best one…I kind of forgot to save the best for last!) I’m working on a Star Trek themed date.

The box will include the following – all graphics assembled by yours truly using Photoshop CS3 and various fonts and clipart found on the web.


StarTrek: Date Night Instructions


Captain’s Green Uniform Shirt

First Officer’s Gold Uniform Tank Dress

Earl Grey copy

Tea. Earl Grey. Hot (Custom Envelope for Tea Bags - Earl Grey Envelope PDF for Print)

Popcorn copy

Star Fleet Popcorn (Custom Wrapper/Label - StarFleet Popcorn – PDF to Print)

Andorian Ale copy

Andorian Ale (Blue Soda!) – (Custom Wrapper/Label – Andorian Ale Label for Print)

Drinking Game copy

StarTrek: TOS Drinking Game (StarTrek: TOS Drinking Game PDF for Print)

And I’m going to make a TOS episode selector . . . so far, not too many great ideas on how to accomplish that, but it WILL get done, even if it’s drawing names from a hat!

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The Strange World of Sewing – Revised and Updated

So my last post on groups in costuming kind of got posted by accident – I thought I had saved in as a draft and oooops, it published.

But I figured I’ll take some time and revise it, because I think that the thoughts included are at least a bit useful and legitimate.

I singled out three groups:

PPP – Pretty Pretty Princesses – Those who are single or ladies with partners/spouses that costume by themselves, and aren’t really involved in reenacting. Depending on the level of history involved, can look like an adult version of dress up.

FARF – Fantastically Able Reenacting Families – Those who reenact as a family and do historical costumes because they reenact.

FVLL – Fabulous Vintage Lifestyle Ladies – Those who rock the vintage lifestyle and image, with varying levels of commitment and authenticity.

Now, keep in mind that these are stereotypes. I’m not attempting to judge or be harsh towards you or anybody you know that might fit into one of these categories. Lots of people cross over between categories, and if I know you and you fit in between any or all of these categories, I pretty much guarantee I thought of you during this post.

I guess this becomes a pertinent topic in my mind because the blogging world tends to run in little circles that cross over into other circles every so often. It’s a giant, interconnected web. I enjoy a lot of aspects of it, but am realizing that every circle has certain faults and flaws. I also find it very interesting that certain groups tend to come from the same slices of society as others in their group. Something about reenacting draws more conservative people with families. Something about hobbyist costuming draws more single, liberal ladies. Something about the vintage lifestyle draws younger, hipster, and offbeat ladies.

Not that any of these groups only draws those sort of people. But sometimes I wonder why each slice of the hobby is interesting to those who participate in it. What is attractive in these lifestyles? What is important to these people? What does their hobby show about their goals and priorities in life? What my participation in any of these groups say about my priorities and goals?

I’m not comfortable putting myself into any of these groups right now. I love aspects of every one of them. I have volunteered at Fort Nisqually and run my own independent living history events. I love vintage clothing and will be working for a vintage shop doing repairs to garments this summer. I’ve also done my fair share of costuming not connected to reenacting or theater, but just for fun. Individuals who I might categorize into one or more of the groups have given me great assistance and advice on my way to becoming the costumer/seamstress I am now.

I feel tension right now in my life. I don’t have a community that I can identify with when it comes to hobbies, or work, or school. I am very used to having at least some sort of identity in hobbies or work or school. I am finding myself in the middle of redefinition – from single to married, from student to graduate, from theater costumer to . . . I don’t know.

I love vintage clothes, but I also love my classic PNW clothes – down puffer jacket, Patagonia skirts and pants, Chacos, workout tops, Keens and tall fuzzy wool socks. It’s definitely polar opposite from the vintage look I also love. I love sewing and go crazy if I’m not creating, but I also realize that I need balance in my life – I need to spend time with Rik, and my family, and his family, and all of that.

When it comes down to it, I think I know where this tension exists.

My identity is not in my hobbies. It’s not in how I dress. It’s not in what blogs I read or what costumes I make or how I make them. Ultimately, my identity is in Christ. I know who I am and who I need to be. I’m first in Christ. Then I am a fiancee/wife. Then I am a family member. I am a life long student and learner. Then I can work out the little bits of hobby after that, and how it applies to my life.

But I need to let first things be first. And let myself be myself. And let my highest identity be where it really belongs.

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Date Night Kits

For my future sister and brother in law’s wedding (because my fiance’s two sisters are BOTH getting married this summer), I decided it’d be really fun to go with a set of date night kits/boxes.

The ground rules:
- It has to be inexpensive. My most expensive box is going to cost about $30, and that was just because ThinkGeek just HAPPENED to have a killer sale and I couldn’t pass it up, could I?
- It has to reflect them as a couple, and be something they’d both enjoy.
- It’s great if it’s geeky and has a theme.
- It needs to have at least one non-disposable item in it for each of them.

I’m going to do a series of posts as I make these of everything that goes into them, and hopefully pictures of the completed kits.

Here’s what I’m working on so far:
- StarTrek: Date Night!
- Hot and Steamy: Date for a summer night without AC
- Coffee and Tea: Lazy Saturday morning
- Firefly: Best Date in the ‘Verse
- Picnic: Inside Edition
- StarWars: Return of the Date

First up . . . Star Trek!

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So in the middle of packing and prepping for a kayaking event that my family caters and helps organize, I’ve had some time to step back and consider life in the next few years, specifically relating to hobbies.

The costumer world seems to be inhabited largely by three general groups of people.

Firstly, we have those who are single ladies or married/cohabitating ladies with no kids. These tend to be those who purely costume or reenact with their parents/siblings/friends.  Costuming is a solo hobby – there is no spouse present or the spouse does not participate. While there can be a strong emphasis on history, some of this seems to tend towards and adult version of dress-up. I’ll call this the Pretty Pretty Princess Phenomenon.

The second group are those who are married, with children, and reenact as a family. I’ll call these the Fantastically Able Reenacting Families (or FARF). They tend to come from a very different slice of society than the PPPPs – tending to be more conservative, evangelical Christians or Mormons – and inhabit certain geographic areas, centering around places where you can reenact.

Thirdly, we have the vintage ladies – henceforth known as Fabulous Vintage Lifestyle Ladies (or FVLL). Perfectly set hair, red lipstick, fully fashioned stockings and a longing for the mid decades of the 20th century dominate here. These ladies project a life dominated by appearance. Some sew a lot, some don’t. Some are into the whole lifestyle, some aren’t.

Frankly, I don’t fit into any if these categories. I’m not judging those who might fit under the Pretty Pretty Princess Phenomenon label. It’s really fun! Nor am I against the FARFs. Doing things together like that is great! I’m just not there right now.

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Chugging along

I’m terrible at blogging.

It’s true.

April was bleh. May was crazy. June is going to be equally crazy because now starts The Great Wedding Dress adventure. I have my pattern finished. I have all of my fabric. It’s all good to go. Now I just need to . . . egads. I have to CUT FABRIC. I dyed my fabric without giving myself a heart attack (did you know that some lace comes in optic white, and almost all silk is NOT optic white?)

Wedding invitations need to be made, final catering details need to be made, and then we launch into the season of my fiance’s two sisters who are also getting married this summer.

Oh yeah, and we bought a house. And it needs painting. So that’s happening too.

I’m hoping to consistently blog more about life, because, face it, life is sometimes interesting. Whether that’s gardening, or home improvement on a shoestring, or sewing or just life in general. Life is a rollercoaster and most of the time I enjoy it. God is immensely and beautifully good and I think that needs to be shared!

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