So much to do, so little time!

November 17th, 2019

I’ll miss these views!

The weeks leading up to a move always fill up fast, and this week was no exception. My to-do list keeps getting longer! I’ve started the process of going through closets and drawers to decide what goes in my suitcase, what goes in the small air shipment (that we’ll get in about a month), and what goes in the slow-boat-to-China shipment. In addition, we will ship consumables since shopping is so expensive and limited in Liberia, so I’ve been estimating how much toilet paper and laundry detergent we’ll need for the next two years – argh.

Meanwhile, we’re trying to see as many friends as possible! I had dinner with my lovely friend Stacie on Wednesday night. Joseph and Sunera came over Friday night – John made delicious homemade pizzas on (store-bought) vegetable crusts (cauliflower, butternut squash, etc.). Saturday morning we met Nick and Wendy for breakfast at the loud-but-yummy Taco Bamba – and we got to meet the very beautiful Lana for the first time (and what a happy baby, too!).

With Stacie

Wendy, Lana, and Nick

I didn’t make her cry!

I was happy to be invited to a small lunch with our friend, the ambassador to Angola, Nina Fite, who we worked with in Pakistan. It was fun to meet and network with other women who know her. We were in the private dining room on the 8th floor, which always feels fancy to me.

With Ambassador Fite

We’re also doing last-minute doctors’ visits – this week John and I were in adjoining dentist chairs getting crowns (ouch)!

Flavie enjoying her friend the sun

Gorgeous light outside our apartment


Talking to goats

November 10th, 2019

Talking to goats

We had a fun outing yesterday to southern Maryland to meet Tammy’s family at her brother’s house in the country. It was lovely and (squeee!) they have goats! We loved their family and finally got to meet her two sons (we had met her daughter once before briefly). There was lots of food, fun, and laughter (and did I mention goats?!). We were so happy to be included.

Monday evening, our old friends Missy and Sofia from Juarez came by for a drink – we hadn’t seen them in years. They are so sweet and fun, and just made us laugh so hard – and made us miss our fun Juarez days.

Thursday morning, my former boss Ian was in town from Baghdad and stopped in for coffee, along with his wife Michelle. We had a great time catching up for a couple of hours. Later that evening, the junior officer formerly in Bermuda came over with her adorable nine-month-old for a while – it was fun to get caught up with her in between her assignments.

Friday night I met the Pink Ladies for a drink – it was a small group, but I finally met a woman who I’ve known via email for years! She was in London when I was in Pakistan, and we sometimes had visa case overlap – it’s always need to put a face with a name!

I went to the doctor on Wednesday for my final visit to him before moving!

Selfie with Tammy

Tammy’s family

I want a goat!


Getting real

November 3rd, 2019

At brunch

Our big news is that I got my medical clearance back, which means we can start planning our move to Liberia in December! It’s been a long time coming, and now things will start to move at light speed!

Pam and I had a great visit! We hardly left the house – our big outing was going to see “Downton Abbey” at the theatre in nearby Georgetown (it was lovely). The rest of the time we just relaxed at home and watched a lot of movies. I hated to take her to the airport on Tuesday.

My former colleague Brett stopped by Sunday after running the Marine Marathon – it was great to see him and hear about his life in Chicago.

With Brett

Tuesday night, John and I met Patt C. and his lovely wife Lenore for dinner – I hadn’t seen Patt since 1979 or so back in our Hendrix days – he is a fascinating artist and journalist ( We were delighted to spend time with them!

We met our friends Rick and Claire for brunch this morning to celebrate Claire’s birthday today and John’s upcoming birthday on Tuesday – always great to see them!

Who knew “ramona” is a member of the mint family?


Back to DC

October 27th, 2019

We left the lake Sunday morning, stopped by Kollective Coffee to have a farewell coffee with Chuck, then headed north to Fayetteville. We’re staying with Phillip and Michele on this trip, and had a nice dinner with them Sunday night.

See you later, Chuck!

Monday I had lunch with my childhood friend Karen – we yakked for over two hours. It’s great to see old friends, and even though we’re not in touch a lot, when we are together it’s like we never left off.

The rest of the day we visited with Pete and Ginger, and had dinner with them at the Butterfield dining room.

We caught an early flight back to DC on Tuesday, just in time for Pamela’s arrival on Wednesday! We went to see the Downton Abbey movie, but have otherwise stayed inside to talk and watch movies – a great vacation for us both. John made a delicious Indian dinner for us!

John’s delish Indian food

Lake life

October 20th, 2019

With John

Every time John and I come to Hot Springs, we’re reminded how much we’d like a place on the lake. Our rental this time was very peaceful with a lovely view of the main channel. The weather has been perfect – we even enjoyed the steady rain on Tuesday and used it as an opportunity to relax and read (I finished “Small Fry,” the autobiography of Steve Jobs’ daughter). Otherwise the weather’s been crisp, cool, and sunny.

Mary and Lynna came down to visit Monday afternoon – we enjoyed visiting on the back deck. We always like being around them. Monday night, Chuck came over and we went out for dinner. I particularly enjoyed listening to him and John talk – they are both so smart and interesting, and share a lot of interests.

Margaritas with Chuck

Thursday John spent the day with Russ again, then they and Russ’s wife Cathie met me for Mexican food.

Ann drove down from Conway on Friday for the afternoon. We had a great time laughing and talking.

…but she won’t!

I loved spending time with David and Alison off and on all week. They had us over for a lovely dinner on the back porch last night – a wonderful way to end the week!

Selfie with David

Goodbye, Lake!