Sunday, April 28, 2013

13 View Of Philadelphia Field Trip

Lead a group of 21 students (all boys by someone's design) and 9 parents on a field trip to Philadelphia this past Friday.

Edible Beauty

For years now I have grown various forms of leafy edibles along with peas in the Spring containers.  Attractive and yummy!

Some Of The Azaleas my yard.  At the most amazing, I might add.

St. Francis

St. Francis waste deep in the abundance of Spring.

The Story of Romeo

Several months ago now, I reconnected with a former student from my first teaching position at a private school in Costa Rica.  Federico used the opportunity to thank me for my role model as a gay man to himself and a handful of other boys at the school who were coming to terms with their own homosexuality.  This both surprised and humbled me as I was decidedly in the closet at that time, probably no less struggling with the implications of my true self in a world that was still far different than the one we live in today.  (Sometimes it's hard to believe how far we've come since 1984.)

As we got to know one another again via FB (I live in DC and he in Berkeley, CA), it came up that among his pursuits was the founding of an organization called Rescate Animal.  They rescue street dogs in San José and find them adoptive homes in the US.  What you say?  Don't we have animals here?  Sure, but try to rescue one without an FBI background check.

And that's when he showed this image of a street dog that his folks had just rescued.  It seems he showed up in the neighborhood and would not leave the gate where a neighbor's female dog resided.  Ah, love.  Little did he know just how far his affects would take him!  At the time I said, "Well, then, he's a real Romeo."

The next picture arrives with an up-date on "Romeo"-- that's how they get you, dear friends!  This time with a couple of his nephews and I began the process of participating in this international adoption.

Romeo was transferred to a Rescate Animal facility where he could receive all the necessary medical care: He was neutered, fully vaccinated, and micro chipped.  The paper work was filed and approved and a date was set for last Friday, April 26th.

Petsafe formerly a program at Continental Airlines, now assumed by United Airlines would be the vector of his immigration.

Taken to the airport in Costa Rica in the early morning, his flight departed at 11:19 AM CST and arrived in Houston at 3:49 PM CST where his international paperwork was processed.   Also where he was not placed on his connecting flight.  So he did not arrive at 8:00 PM like planned.  In fact, he did not arrive until sometime around 2:30 AM and I did not get a phone call from the airport that he was ready to be picked up until 4:30 AM.  I arrived at 7:40 to claim him.  He was clearly anxious, but soon settled down with me.  He road in the cab of my truck for the hour drive home and I kept my hand on him the entire way, speaking in a soft, calm voice to him.

Once home there was a first meal.

Then time to explore the yard.

Later a walk in the neighborhood, a first, healthy BM, more time just discovering the yard and the house.

Then finally, all tuckered out.  Romeo falls asleep in the hall outside of my office.

He is truly the sweetest dog I think I've met.  He takes to strangers and other dogs without any concern.
He doesn't hoard his food and he's house broken.  These past two days I've just left the door to the backyard wide open, and he comes and goes as he pleases, but mostly he stays inside nearby me.

This has truly been the most amazing experience.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Kitchen Finale

A wrap around of images of the finished kitchen (minus the blinds).

Spring Images

Images all taken in the past week from my gardens and containers in my backyard.

Catnip, Nepeta cataria

Golden Star, Chrysogonum virginianum

Bleeding Heart, Dicenta formosa

Ragwort, Jacobaea vulgaris

Money Plant, Lunaria biennis

Blue-eyed Grass, Sisrychium bellum

Blue Bugleweed, Ajuga genevensis

Pride Birthdays and Memorials for the Week ~ April 21st to April 27th

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Kitchen Renovation: Thursday

The crew returned today to wrap up the project.  Their work is now done shy of me discovering touch-ups, of which I am keeping a list.  Richard, my GC, told me he expected that there would be some--am I that transparent?  I am contemplating sending him a "Plus/Delta" evaluation along with the final payment.  It's mostly positive, the delta's are just suggestions for ways to improve the process for future clients.

In the meantime, three views of the countertop with only the under cabinet lighting on.

The Paradigm Is Shifting

Spring Cherry Tree

Awesome little cherry.  It's spring in Takoma Park, Maryland.

Kitchen Renovation: Wednesday

The time is quickly closing on this project.  Plumbing done and ceramic in place awaiting grout.

Changing the old butter yellow trim out for colors taken from the backsplash.

Keeping the old landline and doing it with this replica pay phone is an idea with which I am very pleased.

And, DAMN, I know how to paint!  No tape was used in the production of this perfect cut.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Kitchen Renovation: Update Granite And Backsplash

Kitchen update: Granite countertops are in! As is most of the sink plumbing and some of the backsplash. You can see how I combined the stainless steel subway tile with the border and then the multiple glass and travertine. I had just asked my contractor to add in the subway tile behind the range to the microwave. SO glad I did that!

This give a good look at how the components work together from the floor to the cabinets to the appliances to the counterop to the backsplash.

From my thoughts about this renovation project, I wanted to move the sink, and I am so glad that I did. This is always going to be a cozy kitchen 8" x 12", and moving the sink allowed me to imbed the dishwasher under the countertop.

The way that the elements work together is very pleasing to me.  Both clean and classic but also dramatic is a way that achieves the right balance to me.

The results of the stainless steel subway tiles forming a sorta of faux chimney feature between the stove and the microwave.