Saturday, January 31, 2009

High School Drama and Choral Groups

Northern Virginia is where the Cappies originated. It now has spread to many chapters across the nation. We have enjoyed many wonderful moments watching the local high school students perform. Two weeks ago Saturday we went to Westfield High School which is the second newest high school in Fairfax County to see a Disney Show.
Here is the auditorium before the show. Many parents with small children in tow were streaming in to watch the Saturday afternoon matinee.
These singers are literally cooking up a great song and dance for the audience.
Do you recognize this Disney character? Yep, it is Pocahontas.
The finale was songs and dances from Disney's High School Musical. The only thing that was changed on purpose was the school mascot. This show didn't have a Wildcat. It had a Bulldog because Westfield is the home of the Bulldogs.

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Capitol Steps Make Fun Of Everyone

For Christmas Jeanine gave to Jack and I tickets to go see the Capitol Steps. We have been hearing about this comedic song and dance group since arriving in the Washington D.C. area almost thirty years ago. Well we sure had fun laughing at their routines. They did one number that went something like what are we going to do----Obama isn't funny. How will we poke fun at him?
This group does know how to poke fun at most folks. Just look at some of their song titles:
Springtime For Liberals
Everything's Run By Pelosi
Lust in Space
I'm So Indicted
How Do You Solve a Problem Like Korea
This is the House That Jack Bribed
Oh What a Beautiful Mormon
Don Imus is a Girl's Best Friend
If I Were a Rich Mensch
Buy, Buy American Pie
McCain's Campaign
Obama Meet Osama

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Cool Restaurant in Fair Lakes Area of Fairfax County

Have you ever eaten in a Japanese restaurant where they entertain you by cooking the food on a very hot flaming grill at your table? It is fun and even a little flaming hot and scarry at times. Our favorite Japanese restaurant if Sakuras. In the above photo you see the outside of the building.
And here is the fan shaped menu sitting on the Japanese plate and napkin. Lots of great steak and seafood dishes plus one side of the restaurant is a sushi bar!
Brian and Terry are catching up on the news in this picture.
In the meantime Jennifer and Jeanine are posing for Mom's camera.
While Big Jack and Little Jack are watching the flames flare up. Each time it happened Little Jack got a worried look on his face and said, "Uh--ohh!"
Look at the expression on Little Jack's face. He seems to instinctively know that fire is dangerous.
But this made him giggle out loud: putting the baby chopsticks up his nose. And this made Grandpa say "Uh--ohh!"

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

New Year's Resolution

One of my resolutions for 2009 is each day take time to look at something that is pretty like a photo or painting of flowers or some other aspect of nature. I just recently read that looking at pretty pictures of flowers has health benefits like lowering your blood pressure.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Grey Winter Day in Haymarket, VA

A grey winter day in Haymarket, VA in January. Notice the little birds in the tree. They are juncos.
Another view of this Janaury day. Below is a movie of the juncos twittering in the pear tree's bare branches. I wonder if the juncos are anxious for spring to arrive.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Arlington's Hippest Party Area = Shirlington

Our younger daughter lives in Alexandria but she likes to go down the road to Arlington's hippest neighborhood to shop and eat. These photos were taken right after Christmas when we met up with Jeanine and went to Shirlington to eat at Lunas Grill and Diner.
Here is the front of the restaurant decked out in lights.
And here is Yours Truly hanging out with Jeanine while waiting for our order to come to the table.
And here's Jack. When the ladies start jabbering he just sits and listens.
And this is a nice big serving of lasagna and garlic bread. Yum! Yum!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

What's Blooming in My Garden in January

This is heath, a close relative to heather, and it is the only thing blooming currently in my flower beds. I like it because it blooms when most else is dormant or cut back to the ground. It is also easy maintenance. Don't do anything to it. Don't fertilize it like other plants because that will cause brown dead spots. Don't cut it back. It stays low and neat. And the bad bugs stay away from it. So it is the perfect winter flower for lazy gardeners. The buds are very tiny. To see them better enlarge this photo by clicking on it. Have a great last Sunday in January!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Gas May Be Low But.............

A gallon of gas may be lower this January than it was in October but if you don't have a job or you think you might lose your job or you might get cut to just part time you are not going to be cruising down the roads or rivers on your sports equipment. I guess the big folks are selling their yachts while the little folks are selling their motorcycles. I learned via the media yesterday that Harley Davidson is now going to close plants and layoff workers across the nation.

When will the economy turn around? I don't know and I don't think the economy experts know. One economic guru said that the economy will turn around when people start consuming freely again. Well, I don't think I see that in the too distant future. When you stop consuming you realize that you can live and be content with what you already have as long as you have some basic needs met like food, shelter and a shirt on your back.

But of course this is a wake up call for this nation. How do you stimulate the economy when you are not consuming mindlessly? Well, public works project may be the answer. I know for a fact that our decaying bridges and roads sure need a face lift and even an expansion of highways in large metro areas. I say that it is time to build roads and bridges in America instead of in Iraq where they get blown up soon after they are built and where the graft and corruption in the construction industry is much, much worse than in the U.S. Obama are you listening to Joann and Jack?

I think the whole country and everyone in it needs to do more volunteering and less consuming. Giving instead of getting. And everyone from the president on down needs to learn to live within a budget and budget for less this year than last year. If schools need to cut academic programs and sporting events then maybe Congress needs to cut mindless travel expenses at the tax payers expense. Maybe even Air Force One and that new presidential automobile needs to take less mindless trips. Oh, and I wonder how many miles to the gallon that presidential automobile gets? Anybody know? Do you think fifteen? And does the president need to go off to Camp David via helicopter every weekend? I think it would set a great example to close down Camp David in this financial crisis.
What's In and Out This Year
Second and third homes are out this year. Campers and mobile homes are out this year. Victory gardens are in this year.
Going to the library to get reading material is in. So is recycled books from garage sales and flea markets.
Playing with the kids at home is in. Stopping in the video amusement stores and playing is out. I think Chuckie Cheese is out for most ordinary folks.
Disposable diapers for little folks are still in. So are Depends for the old big folks.
Discounts for seniors is in. Remember the days when things are 15 per cent cheaper: Tueday, Rosses; Wednesday Fair Center movie theater in Fairfax County; Thurday, Harris Teater grocery stores.
More discounts for seniors is in: free Tuesday and Friday basketball games for seniors in Northern Virginia.
Buying jewelry is out. Selling jewelry is in. In the D.C. and Northern Virginia area these jewelry appraisal parties are the new in party. Come to the party with your old high school ring and your aunt's broken gold screwback earrings and sell them for cash.
Pawn shops are in now.
Doing your own taxes in in. Going to a tax preparer is out.
Getting an IOU for your tax return from the state of California is now in thanks to Arnold.
Dollar stores are everywhere now. Garfinkles, Woodies and Hechts have bit the dust. Wallmart is still in and seems to be here to stay with all its Chinese made goods but even they are seeing a slow down. Goodby Linens and Things, Circuit City and Talbots Fine Clothes. Goodby Ann Taylor. Hello to good used clothing stores like the White Elephants in Middleburg and Warrenton where the hunt set crowd sells its used merchandise. Hello Cosco Discount Warehouse where everything is good and cheaper. Goodby to department stores in old malls.
Small organic food operations are in this year.
Learning to sew is in this year.
Cloth handbags are in this year because they are lighter on your shoulder and on your pocketbook.
Small local weddings are in this year. Matching attendent dresses are out. Just wear a dress in a certain color palette of the bride's choice.
Preserving wedding dresses is out. Selling wedding dresses is in.
Buying brand new prom dresses and homecoming dresses is out. Buying recycled prom dresses and homecoming dresses from dress exchanges is in.
Learning to change your own oil for your car is in this year.
Doing your own housecleaning is in this year. Believe me if you do it, your house will be neater and more organized than if you have a maid do it. She doesn't know what to do with all your junk so she just cleans around it. When the floors are cleaned but the house is cluttered with junk and papers it doesn't even look clean.
Mowing your own lawn and taking care of your own flowerbeds is in this year. You will get some exercise and feel better once those endorphins begin to flow with the exercise.
Eating healthy and light is in this year.
Eating breakfast at home is in this year.
Walking and walking some more is in this year.
Going to the health club to exercise is out. Going to use all that exercise and weight equipment in your own basement is in. Having exercise parties and yoga parties in the neighborhood is in.
Knitting sweaters and scarves is in. Buying sweaters at 40 per cent off is out.
Letting the teens ride the school bus is in this year. They don't need to drive a car to get to that after school job at the mall because the stores at the mall are closing.
Prayer and church is in. When you get knocked down to your knees in these trying economic times stay there and pray before you try to get up. And remember that many people in the world would love to have the shirt/coat you just gave to the Goodwill Store or the food you put in the garbage this week.
What else is in and out this year? Have I covered it well? Let me know if you have some ideas as to what is in or out.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sky Watch Friday in Black and White

Sky Watch Friday
This Sky Watch Photo is in Black and White
and it Was Taken in 1947.
Happy Birthday to Jackie Lee
Best Wishes From Joann
My husband turned 64 recently! He was not a baby boomer and neither was I. He is a war baby.
This is Jack in cap and gown for his high school graduation from Hale High School where he ranked first in his class. By the way, there were only 11 students in his high school graduation class! I had 18 students in my high school class so he had me beat when it came to a small high school.

And here is Jack in St. Louis in 1967 with his father Jewel. Jack was just beginning his career after college as an army auditor in the Midwest district which had its head quarters in St. Louis.

Jack got drafted into the army in 1968. This photo was taken in the desert landscape of Arizona when Jack went to visit his mom after basic training.
This was the 1970 red Oldsmobile convertible that Jack bought when he got out of the army and moved to these apartments in Salem, Oregon to work once more for Army Audit. Jack didn't get to have the top down very often in Oregon because it was either rainy and/or cold.
And here is Jack tying the knot with me on April 15, 1974. Our good friends, Jim who worked also for Army Audit and Joyce who was the secretary for the deputy district manager of Army Audit in Frankfurt, Germany, were our best man and maid of honor. Jim and Joyce got married in September of the same year.
Here is Jack with daughter Jennifer Mary. Daddy and Jennifer were dressed up for Easter Sunday mass in Ajo, Arizona. We had stopped for the night in Ajo while on a roadtrip to Los Angelas and Disneyland.
Here is Jack with both of his little girls at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. Jeanine is in Jack's arms while Jennifer is posing by the gothic window of the cathedral
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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obama! Obama! Obama!

Jennifer and Jeanine: Mom, this is just like a Christmas party. We come out and you feed us lasagna, tossed salad, garlic bread and mixed berries with bar cookies for dessert.

Mom: Well, it is not duck breast and molasses sweet potatoes, but I think Obama would like it.
Jack Aidan: Yes, this is my very first inauguration party. It is really cool. Grandma gave me a patriotic hat to wear that went well with my red, white and blue vest that I donned with Mommy's help.
Jack Aidan: I got chauffeured around the family room by Aunt Gigi and I waved my little flag proudly. I pretended I was in the inaugural parade and passing Obama and Michele in the reviewing stands. Take a look at the video Grandma made. By the way, my new word for the day is Obama.

Monday, January 19, 2009

My World Tuesday January 20, 2009

My World Tuesday
January 20, 2009
Jack and I will be in our family room watching and reading about this very historic event.
Now look below at the boat in swirling waters while the flag waves bravely.
My World Tuesday
As President Obama Enters The Swirling Waters of Today
Some Quotes From Former U.S. Presidents

Some day following the example of the United States of America, there will be a United States of Europe. President George Washington of Virginia.

Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war. President John Adams of Massachusettes.

Books constitute capital. A library book lasts as long as a house, for hundreds of years. It is not then an article of mere consumption but fairly of capital, and often in the case of professional men, setting out in life, it is their only capital. President Thomas Jefferson of Virginia.

If men were angels, no government would be necessary. President James Madison of Virginia.

We Americans have no commission from God to police the world. President Benjamin Harrison of Ohio.

He who controls the money supply of a nation controls the nation. President James A. Garfield of Ohio.

Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends. President Abraham Lincoln of Illinois.

Leave the matter of religion to the family alter, the church, and the private school, supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the church and state forever separate. President Ulysses S. Grant of Ohio.

Get action. Seize the moment. Man was not intended to be an oyster. President Teddy Roosevelt of New York.

Be sincere, be brief, be seated. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt of New York.

It sure is hell to be president. President Harry S. Truman of Missouri.

The buck stops here. President Harry S. Truman of Missouri.

Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you're a thousand miles from the corn field. President Dwight D. Eisenhower of Kansas.

Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy of Massachusetts.

Communism has never come to power in a country that was not disrupted by war or corruption, or both. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy of Massachusetts.

When a man is asked to make a speech, the first thing he has to decide is what to say. President Gerald R. Ford of Michigan.

All great change in America begins at the dinner table. President Ronald Reagan of California.

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Thank You!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Today's Flowers January 18, 2009

I chose to feature some lilies that blossomed in my flower beds last June here in Haymarket, VA. Why lilies? Because lilies are a symbol of rebirth and renewal and with the inauguration festivities starting this weekend and going thru Wednesday this is also a special time of rebirth and renewal for the United States of America.
So these flowers are for Obama and all Americans.
These six foot tall lilies cross pollinated with some pink day lilies thru the work of the little pollinating honey bees and big bumble bees.

This is a yellow daylily.
These are apricot daylilies with red center color.
And this last photo is of a large burgundy daylily blossom.

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Inauguration of Barak Obama and Joe Biden

The Inauguration of Barak Obama and Joe Biden
January 20, 2009
Washington D.C.
It's Been A Long Time Coming!
Note: The first twenty-five songs on my playlist now have something to do with Barak's inauguration. Sam Cook is gone now but one of the stars will perform this classic Sam Cook song: It's Been A Long Time Coming!
Most of the other 25 songs are performed here by artists who will be performing at the inaugural like Stevie Wonder, Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, Beyonce, Garth Brookes, Baby James Taylor, etc. Bruce Springsteen will definitely be performing The Awakening. Oh, June Hymas from California had to remind me that dear Aretha Franklin will also be performing. I bet she will be the artist to perform the Sam Cook song so I have added her version of a Its Been a Long Time Coming. And I bet she does Respect too. (Now maybe our country will get some respect in the world.)
Which version of Its been a Long Time Coming do you like best? I personally think that there is something about the Sam Cook version that just speaks volumes of the trouble that people of color have been thru in this country. The more modern version of the song by Aretha Franklin kinda sums up the Bush presidency.

Do you plan to watch the inauguration? Jenn's Terry has to work and so does Jeanine's beau Bryan. So the girls are coming out to spend the day with us and to watch all the action on our TV. What? You ask since we are only 45 miles from the White House why we are not trooping into D.C. to watch in person. Because...........

1.All the bridges from Virginia into D.C. are going to be closed.

2.You would need to drive to Maryland to get to D.C.

3.The metro is going to be a nightmare with so many folks on it.

4.Many metro stations in D.C. are closed so plan to walk a minimum of 2 miles to get to the mall area.

5.The security is really tight--don't bring anything with you.

6.The weather is going to be very, very cold.

7.With the huge crowds you will just encounter lots of people and never see Obama go by. (Especially if you are short, like me!)

8.TV stations have good coverage, lots of locations and different views.

9.They are predicting that there will not be enough port-a-potties.

10.Who wants to use a port-a-potty when its freezing outside?

11. No one is saying so, but the terror threat (domestic or foreign) is very, very high. I hope all goes off without any incidents.

12. Big crowds can quickly turn into stampeding mobs that can crush other people with just the mention of "There's a terrorist over there!"

13. If you stay home, you have at your fingertips, lots of TV coverage, food, potties and you can do it all in your comfy pajamas and robe. You also can do other things at the same time, like read, knit, play games on the laptop, etc. Pretty good idea, huh?

Remember the Titans Part I

Do you remember that great movie starring Denzel Washington where the setting was Alexandria, VA and the plot was the true story of the integration of Alexandria City Schools in the mid '70s? What a great movie. Today T.C. Williams is a very multicultural school. Hayfield Secondary always played T. C. Williams in football and basketball and Hayfield always had to have their game on to compete with the Titans.
Last night Jack and I drove 45 miles from Haymarket, VA east to Alexandria, VA and King Street to watch the Titans play against Lake Braddock in men's basketball. This is the visiting team's bench with Brian Metress the head coach standing. On the bench are two of Jeanine's classmates: Cornell Felton and Steve Miles who both now are assistant coaches for their old Hayfield coach, Mr. Metress.

See all the kids standing. This is T. C. Williams students standing throughout the game to cheer and pump the team. Actually the team doesn't need pumping up. They were the Virginia AAA State Champions in Mens Basketball for 2007-2008. The AAA Division is for the largest high schools in the state.
T.C. Williams has a brand spanking new high school building that is on the cutting edge of technology, biology, sports, etc. The basketball floor was so shining it reflected the images of the players.
Later tonight I will post Part II of Remember the Titans. Right now we are off to celebrate my hubby's 64'th birthday.