Thursday, July 31, 2008


I found a new use for knitting needles

There is a pigeon, or more specifically a Mourning Dove, who is trying to build a nest among my herbs. I scared her off the other day and dismantled the start of the nest. But she came back! So I stuck a few pencils in the area near the lemon basil that she was nesting.

And she came back again, resting near the oregano and sage.

So I was thinking, What will repel the bird?

Knitting needles of course!

I quit my community garden plot a few years ago because I was tired of fighting the deer because they won every time. Now I am fighting off birds in the window boxes! Sheesh.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

No Democracy for D.C. Soldiers

Bluegrass at the Birchmere

I saw a great show last night at the Birchmere in Alexandria.

Chatham County Line, The Infamous Stringdusters, and Crooked Still formed the the pseudo-Folk Festival. It was great fun! I love bluegrass, surprising for a northerner, and these 3 bands were fabulous.

Chatham County Line was the closest thing to old fashioned bluegrass so they were my favorite. They are good looking, young, very talented guys who are having a lot of fun. "One More Minute" is a beautiful song.

The Stringdusters was another bunch of good looking, talented guys, a whole bunch of them, but they were more country-pop. Enjoyable but not really my kind of music. Many of the band members play other types of music and play in other bands, including a gospel singer, so they had tremendous range in style.

Rounding out the bill was Crooked Still, yet another bunch of good looking people, girls included, talented musicians. I would characterize them as contemporary bluegrass. The cello was a big surprise and added a hint of meloncholy to the music.

Wonderful live music. They are in Philadelphia tonight and then on to NYC.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Turkey was amazing

I am back from my 2-week tour of Turkey. It was amazing, I recommend it to everyone I talk to. We all (the tour group, mostly Americans, a few Canadians) agreed that Americans don't know squat about Turkey. We lump it into the "Islamic World," along with Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and get all nervous.

It was a wonderful, beautiful, fascinating place. Language was not that big of an issue, the weather was gorgeous, the history breathtaking. And then there was the Turkish bath! I am melting just thinking about it.

We were constantly reminded that Turkey is a secular country, just like the U.S., it is just filled with mosques instead of churches. It was exotic for a while, but then we all got very comfortable with hearing the call the prayer, seeing covered women, and groups of men socializing.

I went on a tour with Rick Steves company and it was just what I was looking for. The pace was quick, lots of walking, carrying our own bags, fabulous out-of-the way pensions and inns, highly recommend it.