Sakura Sunday

Shofusu House

The weather has been beautiful, and with every tree coming into blossom, I’ve been counting down the days till the Sakura festival. Honestly, though, I’m not really sure why I like the event so much. Parking is a bloody nightmare. There isn’t really any good way to see the stage unless you get there super early. The booths are crowded, and the food is okay… but I love it anyway. This year we got there early and caught one of the first tours of the Shofusu House.

I can’t wait to got back on a less crowded day, so that we can check out the tea house and the grounds a little bit more.

The whole weekend was beautiful. This is the literally the weather that everyone dreams of all winter, and longs for all hot humid summer.

We also got some location scouting done for our upcoming Lux Arati promo shoot. We’ll be using the great Liberty Lands park as one of our locations, and thought it would be a good idea to get some actual reference shots of the stage. Location scout a beautiful park in spring? Sure! Why not??

My Spring flowers out front.

nightime softball in West Philly

Last night it really felt like Spring. Softball season is here, and yesterday was a 9:00 game. Chris plays on a ‘beer leauge’ with a lot of our friends, out in West Philly. I’m not a part of the team because (a) I really hate playing softball and (b) I’m REALLY REALLY bad at it. pretty sure (a) is because of (b). But anyway. I am pretty good at keeping score. And sneezing. Apparently I have Spring allergies this year. Seems to skip every few. Full force last night. The team won (go team!) after being behind by 6 runs and playing a really great inning. Double play at first! (yeah, long-tall-Gaeson!) Home run when up at bat (double yay Gaeson!) Tie score, extra inning! Win by a run! Clearly Gaeson won MVP. Which with this team means you win a toy from “Kinky Quizzo” which most of the team goes to after the game. Leaving for work at 6AM means that I can’t really pull long nights anymore, so I bowed out before the migration to quizzo.

Tonight- more games! Pizza and Settlers of Catan with some hardcore settlers fans. The pizza should be here soon, the guys are showing up at 8:00, the windows are wide open. Hello spring!

Busy busy weekend. A trip to the Morris Arboretum, a warehouse burning-man-camp-fundraiser party, delicious dinner with the best group of ladies… but I’ll share the only one I have pictures of: the Morris Arboretum.

The Rose Garden (I think)

I’m so glad the weather is getting nice. We’re still in the cool-spring time, which means sweatshirt for the morning, sun in the afternoon. I would love it to stay this way, but since that isn’t really a possibility, I’ll enjoy it while I can.

Curled up Ferns

This past weekend was the last round of the yearly Cherry Blossom Festival. I’ve gone for the past few years… though Chris wisely pointed out that the event itself is just an overcrowded vendor market with lots of Otaku people wandering around. This year we were both out of town for the festival in Fairmont Park, but looking up the schedule reminded me about the Arboretum. I’ve been there once before for a friend’s wedding, but didn’t really get a chance to wander the grounds.

There are so many lovely places throughout the garden, the fernery was pretty great, and I loved all the bleeding hearts in the Alpine Garden. But I think my favorite was the “Summer Palace“, a sculpture by Patrick Dougherty. Its an amazing structure made out of branches, and resembles the forts from Where the Wild Things Are. Being inside was great, looking up was like looking up at the night sky, the stars sparkling. It was a bit hard to photograph with my little camera, and the images don’t convey the lovely smell that reminded me of basket making as a kid. I did snag some video of it, but if you’re in the area, I recommend checking it out in person.

Broken Dahlia

The same plant yesterday

I just don’t understand people. I got home from my dance class tonight to find a broken plant. The smaller one was untouched, but my large dahlia was broken off right at the dirt. It doesn’t look like an animal, the surrounding dirt is untouched. Would the children on the street really do such a thing? Last year one of my small pots was stolen, the (dying) marigold that was in it torn out, and left on the sidewalk. I just don’t get it.

Will the plant grow back? Or should I plant a new bulb? And will this just happen again? I’m really sad about this. It just isn’t right.

Nøgne Ø Winter Ale at Belgian

Attempts to get a drink and sit outside relaxing have been foiled by the strikingly beautiful weather. It seems everyone else in the city has the same plan. There were no tables outside at Belgian, but they did have the winter ale by Nøgne Ø…. one of my absolute favorite breweries. They’re from Norway, and I’ve never had one of their brews on draft before… a great start to the weekend.

My main task this weekend was to grade my student’s finals. Its a task I did not look forward to, I find grading very frustrating. A few clever responses here and there, but overall its a difficult balance to be tough, fair and understanding. I wish everything could be multiple choice. Black and white- no room for misunderstanding or slightly off answers. Right or wrong. Ah, to teach a scantron class.

I meant to get a lot of sewing done this weekend, but it didn’t really happen. Although, I did learn quite a lot about my machine, and ordered some attachments that hopefully will fit, and make my life much easier. From what I can tell, I have a Model 99-13 Singer, but with a foot pedal, not the knee control. From the serial, I think it was made between 1928 and 1930, and would have cost around $77 at the time. She’s a solid machine, but for straight, forward stitches only. Or so I thought. While trying to figure out online how to use an attachment Mom and I decided was a button holer (turned out to be an adjustable hemmer) I found a zig zag attachment! I’ve been dying to sew some nice cotton jersey, or other stretch material, for ages. I always felt so limited by my beautiful old singer- a work horse, but not for any of the materials I wanted to use. If the attachment fits, the possibilities are endless! I think I might be getting my hopes too high, but I’m pretty excited, so I can’t help it. Summer skirts, new dance gear…. oh, my imagination is getting carried away.

seedlings

Though I didn’t get anything substantial done on the crafty end of things, I finally got my garden started. I turned over the soil in the garden box out back, finally pulling out all the old plants. I must have started my garden much later last year, because when I went to Lowes there were none of the plants I was looking for. So I bought seeds instead, and they are now germinating in a nice little box. I’m not sure what to do if they all sprout, since I definitely don’t have room for all of the plants, but perhaps I can find some friends to give them away to. I bought an already started strawberry plant, too, and put it in the garden box. The front plants are now in the pots, too… I can’t wait till they start growing. I got some big crazy Dahlias… I wanted big bold color this year, instead of the boring petunias or whatever they were. I also scattered some “mixed colorful flower” seeds in the larger pot…. I don’t know what they’ll turn out to be, but thats part of the fun. I hope I didn’t jump the gun with the weather. Truth be told, I’m not a very good gardener, I just do what I want to do and hope the plants will play nice. So we’ll see how well it goes.

springtime dress

 

Grosgrain has another beautiful giveaway posted. This one is a beautiful yellow spring dress. Now I know its fall and everything, but I just love this reminder of the sun and spring in this time of cold dreary rain. There are also some absolutely adorable halloween costumes for kids. If I wasn’t so happy with my lizard dress, I’d be completely jealous of whichever lucky kid gets to wear one of those creations this year.

Headed back to NJ for the weekend for some fun family time. Lovely brunch in Maplewood with my cousin and her beautiful family. Then back to Martinsville for the rest of the weekend… Here are some photos:

heading to the park with Ali

heading to the park with Ali

beautiful flowers from Anns garden

flowers from Ann's garden

We had some lovely food, too….

breakfast!

breakfast!

We got a lovely visit from the neighbor’s dog… he was so cute! We let him into the house, too, but that didn’t go over so well with everyone, so we led him back out. I think he was mostly blind, but super friendly. Eventually he went back to his house, but it was a nice visit.

doggie!

doggie!