Fall is here!

October 21st, 2018

With Chuck Dodson at the Starlite

I really had a great trip to Hot Springs – I loved sitting by the fire at David and Alison’s house on the lake and yakking with them. I got to see the fabulous Chuck Dodson Monday night – we had dinner at our fave Mexican restaurant in town (El Padrino), then finally got to go to the Starlite Lounge with him. We ended the evening watching the new “A Star is Born.” Thanks for a fun evening, Chuck!

I left the house early Tuesday morning to catch my flight, and as David and Allie were leaving to spend a few days in Eureka Springs.  Thursday afternoon we had an A-100 happy hour at Ris where I got to visit with John, Jimmi, Ben T., and Ed G.

Our sweet friend Jimmi at happy hour

Friday night John and I met Maribel and Juan from Juarez at the Continental Beer Garden – a lovely evening and so fun to see Maribel again! After that, Jimmi and I met Amy and Donna at the Congressional Cemetery for Souls Stroll! We walked through the cemetery and heard tales of some of the folks buried there – very cool!

J. Edgar Hoover’s grave

Congressional Cemetery

Saturday John took me to see a most excellent production of Beetlejuice at the National Theatre – it was wonderful! So entertaining and great sets and costumes! Our magician friend Michael Weber did the illusions, so that was fun to watch, too.


Afterward we went to Wendy’s birthday party in Falls Church – we had a fun time catching up with old friends and meeting new ones.

Today John hosted a few guys to play a board game, while I hit the museums! I went to the east building of the National Gallery or Art, then stopped in the Museum of Natural History to see the exhibit on narwhals.

John, David, John, and Justin and a very elaborate board game

Museum of Natural History

Great White Shark jaws!!!

Narwhal tusks!


Beautiful Georgia O’Keefe

Along the way going to the National Mall

What a great week! And it’s chilly!!!

Never gets old!


Hometown girl

October 14th, 2018

David and Alison

I left early Saturday morning for a quick trip back to Hot Springs – it’s been wonderful so far. When I arrived it was cold and pouring down rain and continued to do so all day! But that’s ok – we built a fire in the fireplace, opened a bottle of wine, and had a delicious homemade lasagne dinner.

This morning I went for a walk, then David and I brought the boat home from the shop – we decided it was a lovely day to be out on the lake, so we picked up Alison and tooled around some more…we came home for a while, then couldn’t resist another ride around – likely the last of the season and a lovely day for it – a bit overcast, no one else on the lake save the occasional fisherman.

Afterward we sat out by the fire pit and cooked up some victuals on the grill – then finished off the night with another fire and some Bailey’s Irish Cream – what a great day!

The lake is ours!

Goat Island!

Pretty Buddy


Hendrix on the River

October 8th, 2018

With Muffy (Pamela)

My BFF Pamela arrived Wednesday in D.C. in preparation for our Hendrix alumni river cruise on the Potomac Thursday evening – it was a lovely evening, and about 80 alumni came for fun and BBQ.  Pamela is spending the weekend with me in D.C. – I took off Thursday and Friday for us to have fun!

River Cruise on the Potomac

John with Kevin Matthews

Friday we went to the African American Museum and had a wonderful time – it’s a little overwhelming.  We really only saw the top floor and the Oprah special exhibit, plus we had lunch there.  It is really beautiful – I especially enjoyed the Clementine Hunter exhibit.

Picking Cotton, Clementine Hunter

Saturday and Sunday, Pam and I endulged ourselves and stayed home to watch some really good movies, including “RBG,” about Ruth Badger Ginsburg – especially timely given the unfortunate appointment of Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. We also loved “The Dressmaker” and “Film Stars don’t die in Liverpool,” among others.

We did finally get out of the house today (Monday) and went to the National Portrait Gallery so Pam could see the Obama portraits – we spent several hours there, and I found two lovely Georgia O’Keefe’s – the large one below is her “Manhattan.” And I found two fantastic Howard Finsters!

Georgia O’Keefe, Manhattan

Howard Finster

Howard Finster, inset

John is visiting Pete and Ginger in Fayetteville this weekend – sorry to have missed that trip!

Last Sunday I went to see the Diane Arbus exhibit at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and saw a lovely Bill Traylor exhibit, as well – plus the Obama portraits at the co-located National Portrait Gallery.

Iconic Diane Arbus, Twins

Obama at the National Portrait Gallery

Bill Traylor

Bill Traylor

Diane Arbus, Woman with Baby Monkey


Lovely Curacao

September 30th, 2018

Abandoned building in beautiful light

Work took me to the tiny island of Curacao, off the coast of Venezuela, this week.  A former Dutch colony, there’s a European feel to some parts of it, while other parts are pure Caribbean. I stay downtown where the cruise ships dock. The consulate gives me a car to drive while I’m there, which means I have to drive white-knuckled over this bridge every day.

I joined in the Pride parade on Thursday night, walking the short parade route with three-quarters of the consulate- and by that, I mean three of the four Americans who work there – it’s a tiny place!

At Pride parade with Derek, Gil, and their twins

It was a fun, short trip – I was able to be home by 5PM Friday afternoon, just in time for John to take me to a nice dinner at Ris! Click to see all of my photos from Curacao.

Abandoned building


Taxi stays playing dominoes

Iconic view

Pink and orange

Abandoned building

View from restaurant

At a local restaurant

Dogs, dogs, dogs!

September 23rd, 2018

And they’re off!

Yesterday John and I went to the Wiener 500 – a day to celebrate dogs of all kinds, but especially dachshunds! The afternoon festivities included dachshund racing and a doggie costume contest. Rick and Claire met us and we had a blast! Click for all of my photos.


Claire with Chloe the Bulldog

Last Sunday evening kicked off the annual RCO conference, where my eight regional consular colleagues (including my boss) come to DC for a week of meetings. John and I hosted them at our house in the late afternoon/evening – it was a great way to start the week in a relaxed atmosphere. Most had just flown in that day, and a few came with their suitcase straight from the airport. It’s always a treat to see everyone and talk in person, rather than by phone or email. My boss also organized group tickets for the Washington Nationals baseball game, so we all went to the stadium Thursday night, along with some folks from CA – it was a beautiful night for baseball, although I have to admit there was a lot more talking than watching the game!

I was in charge of organizing the myriad of speakers from Consular Affairs leadership for the week, and I was very happy that everything went smoothly! It was a lot of work, but it really paid off in the end!

Starbucks cup costume

Someone got in trouble!

Cool dude

Patiently waiting

So happy!