The Mansion on O Street

February 28, 2013

Like Alice in Wonderland, I fell into a different world today. A multi-layered, sensory overloaded, topsy-turvy, delight of a place: The Mansion on O Street. I almost hate to share any details because it really is a place that needs to be experienced first hand, but here are a few highlights that might entice you to visit one of DC's most unique offerings. There are 32 hidden doors and passage-ways. Rosa Parks used to stay at the Mansion during her visits to the city. There is a John Lennon suite (be sure to read the note about dirty laundry in the bathroom). We did the treasure hunt, but I am now itching to return for one of the concerts

The Mansion on O Street
2020 O St. NW, 

Washington, DC, 20036

***The Mansion belongs in the very good company of The 24 Hour Church of Elvis in Portland and the UCM Museum/Abita Mystery House in Louisiana. Three very special places that make me happy to live in this crazy little world of ours.


February 24, 2013

Surrounded by polka dots, books, special pals, and making a friendship bracelet: this is what seven looks like. 

Facing The Beasts

February 22, 2013

I am done with winter. It just keeps hanging around with its scraggly, greyness and numbing coldness. I keep reminding myself that February really is a winter month and I shouldn't expect anything less from it.  This is the first time we have lived in a place with real winters in quite a while so it is a re-adjustment for all of us. Sadly, I am even starting to resent the fleeting sunny days. On several occasions over the past few weeks,the kids and I have foolishly woken up to sunny mornings thinking sun would equal warmth. Nope, still winter with bone chilling temps and grumpy children who have to run back inside to grab big jackets.

I should quit my complaining and learn a lesson from a little girl named, Hushpuppy.  Adam and I finally saw Beasts of the Southern Wild. Have you seen it? If not, do. We were both blown away by the beauty, the rawness, the imagery, the tenderness, the beastliness, and the music. And we aren't the only ones raving about the film. It has been brought back to theaters for several well deserved Oscar nominations (but I think you can also rent it) and it even made it to the White House last week. Truly a stunning piece of work with some wonderful back stories to its creation (listen to the White House piece to learn more about the director and the actors). As a Louisiana native, I was especially moved by the film and saw some direct parallels with Flaherty's Louisiana Story. Louisiana is a tricky place to capture and it is rarely done well on film so these two movies both deserve special recognition. So very glad we got to see it on the big screen and we have been re-living it all week long by playing the sound track over and over again. It's quite a haunting and strangely joyful gumbo of an experience. Long live Hushpuppy and the Bath Tub!

Anyone else grappling with the beasts of winter? or been entranced by The Beasts of the Southern Wild? 

Speeding By

February 18, 2013

Living in Sicily was fun, but it wasn't good for our driving habits. Since returning to the land of hidden cameras (aka U.S.A), we have gotten more tickets than either one of us would like to admit. And living in Maryland isn't like living in Louisiana. We don't have any connections here who can "fix" those tickets, plus it is pretty hard to deny that we were speeding when there is a nice little photo of our car conveniently attached to the ticket that suddenly appears in our mailbox. Sicilian driving mantra: don't hit any sheep/goats (you have to pay crazy amounts of money for that). New driving mantra: don't speed (or start figuring out new routes that don't have cameras?).

Valentine's Day 2013

February 16, 2013

Valentine's Day was sweet and quiet for us. 

Actually, I think Noah and Camille would describe it differently. From their reports, their class parties were raucous opportunities for serious candy binges. In fact, Noah climbed into the van and announced "I am never eating another piece of candy again". Camille on the other hand buckled into her seat and promptly started to intently study and evaluate each little paper valentines she had received from classmates. I sometimes get crabby and think all of these holidays with their over-emphasis on consumption and excessive sweets are just yucky and hollow, but listening to my kids giggle and compare silly cards in the back seat reminded me of how much I also enjoyed those class parties when I was a kid. I am glad my kids get to enjoy them, too. 

In past years, I have usually spent more time preparing for Valentine's Day...decorating, baking, crafting (the only crafting we did this year were the funny little Valentines with legs in the above pic...they were for my sweet mother-in-law whose birthday is on Valentine's Day). In addition to being the holiday of love and chocolate, Valentine's Day also marks the anniversary of when we became a family of four. It brings back memories of time in Taiwan, of holding Camille for the first time, of meeting her family,of our Taiwanese friends, and of participating in the Chinese New Year lantern festival. This year we quickly scribbled out hand made valentines for each other and dinner was not what I thought it would be. When I realized I was just too tired to make dinner we ended up going to a little Japanese place for sushi...all of us dressed in sweat pants and sneakers surrounded by couples in much nicer clothes. It was not our most presentable moment, but none of us cared. We were together. We were all healthy. And it was nice.

February List

February 11, 2013

For Downton Abbey fanatics: Chatsworth 
For dancing in the kitchen, Louisiana style: Gumbo Radio
For dancing with your kids: Recess Monkey
For tasty eating: Bitchin' Honey Soy Eggplant
For winter reading: The Snow Child
For standing out: The Joy of Bedazzling Your Entire House
For obsessive gaming : Tiny Defense 
For contemplating bliss: Radio Lab, watch the video, too.
For awe: A Bird Ballet
For savoring words: Poetry 180
For mighty humor and super grandma love: Mamika


February 10, 2013

 He's ten now and it's hard to believe he ever fit into this bowl! He was thrilled to discover today that the bowl is actually an excellent and noisy beyblade stadium. He continues to be fascinated with beyblades, obsessed with soccer, and developing a new interest in Yu-Gi-Oh cards. His quirky sense of humor never ceases to make us laugh and his strong sense of ethic makes us proud. We all love him dearly and can't wait to see what the next ten years will bring for our favorite little monkey boy. Happy 10th Birthday, Noah!


February 1, 2013

A five hour surgery, but happily the news is good: no ovarian cancer. Recovering at home with matzo ball soup, books, the hazy comfort of pain meds, an amazing mother-in-law, an incredible husband, and two insanely adorable kids. All is good. So very good.

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