Welcome reader to my blog - a mixture of this and that. Now that we are living in a retirement community in downtown Columbia, MD my personal gardening activities are somewhat curtailed. I still enjoy visiting gardens, reading, watching wildlife on my walks, traveling, and occasional food commentary. Please leave a comment if you feel inspired to do so. I read every one of them.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Garden Visit

I loaded my Prius with three friends from here at Vantage House and we went into Washington DC to visit one of the 15 most beautiful gardens in this area.  This one was at the Franciscan Monastery.  Here are the garden photos to enjoy.  The tour of the sanctuary and catacombs will come in another posting.





Lots of statues of St. Francis of Assisi.






We missed the rose display by a week or more.






In the shade gardens.








Here's the sanctuary.





Thursday, June 29, 2017

Fencing - Use What You Have

I was cleaning out photos from iPhoto yesterday and came across these fence shots.  I've never posted to Fences Around the World but here goes.

These fences were at the Benjamin Banneker Museum.  Made of tree limbs, I think they look beautiful.








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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

A Book Signing

I have never been to a book signing so when a member of my book club suggested traveling to Sykesville in a neighboring county for dinner and a book signing, I said yes.

We had dinner at E.W. Beck's then crossed the street to A Likely Story Bookstore where the author, Elin Hilderbrand was to speak and sign books.  


You had to purchase a book there to have it signed.  I've never read anything by this author.  She's known for summer beach reads.  I bought a paperback of "The Rumor" to read and then had her sign her name.  After I read it I'll donate it to the Vantage House library so no need to have the book personalized to me.


All the chairs were taken when we arrived and it was standing room only.  We were directed to the front where the author would stand and to the children's book room off of that.  It worked well for the talk but put us at the end of the line for the signing because she was stationed at the front door vestibule.


Here's Sue in the purple who organized this.  Only three out of the 12 members of our book club attended.  The others don't know what they missed.  It was a fun evening out.


Here's Sally.



Elin is being introduced.  She's in the yellow sundress.


Notice the posters on the upper shelf.  Those are from other book signing events.




Here's the line to the front door.  We used the time to peruse other books on the shelf to then look for at the library.



Elin does 16 book events for her new titles.  This store was her 16th and she has been here before for other books.  Maybe being a graduate of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and having a sister in the area has something to do with that.


I imagine small bookstores have to have a special niche and special events to bring people in to their stores.  Clearly this little shop is doing well against Amazon and Barnes and Noble.



Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Art Treasures

I visited the National Gallery of Art East Wing last Friday, a Vantage House trip.  Look back one day to see the architecture of this building.  Today I will feature some of the art work.

This is from the early 20th Century by George Bellows.





Other scenes of American life in the early century.







Striking paintings of life more than 100 years ago.




Sunday, June 25, 2017

National Gallery of Art East Wing

Friday I had a trip to the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC courtesy of Vantage House, where I live.

[Joining Through My Lens]



The East Wing focuses on modern artists.  It was built on a rather triangular shaped lot next to the West Wing, so the architect I. M. Pei, went with lots of triangular shapes in the building.  Let me share that with you with this post and feature the art in other posts.

Look at all the triangles.


Entry Level


Down one level



Our docent




Even the floor is triangles.



From the rooftop gallery you can see the structure of the ceiling/roof.


The Smithsonian Castle is in the distance.










Across this plaza with the fountain is the West Wing built of the same kind of stone.  The quarry where that stone came from was closed after the West Wing was built so that if ever there was an addition, the same stone would be available.  Forward thinking by the donor, one of the Mellons.


Under that plaza is this walkway to eating places and Gallery shops.  It connects the two buildings underground.  There is a constant light show as you travel on the moving walkway.


More to come in future posts.


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