Small Pleasures: June 2017 Edition

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Once again, I’m taking a moment to linger over the little joys in life that have enhanced my recent everyday like frosting on a cupcake.   Or, like fresh flowers in a vintage vase…

June’s Small Pleasures

  1. Father Brown mysteries.  My daughter and I were suffering from Phryne Fisher withdrawal so we started trolling Netflix for some kind of substitute.  Enter Father Brown, a cozy mystery series based on the G.K. Chesterton character of the same name.  This series is based in a quaint English village in what looks like the early 1950’s and is filled with interesting characters and entertaining plotlines.  Father Brown, a priest and amateur sleuth played by Mark Williams of Arthur Weasley/Harry Potter fame, solves an inordinate amount of murders in his parish and surrounding environs with dogged determination and a pleasing amount of grace and compassion.  The show is light-hearted in general but offers a surprisingly hefty dose of legitimate, accurate Christian theology.  We’re currently on the 5th (and last season), so I’m open to any other suggestions for our next Netflix marathon.
  2. Berry season.  Strawberries, blueberries, and those elusive and delicate black raspberries.  These delicious gems have been the bright spot in my recent Whole 30 attempt.  I’ve eaten so many strawberries this past month, it’s a wonder I don’t look like one.
  3. Having Fridays off from work.  One of my most favorite perks of my job as a professor is a four day work week with Fridays off during the summer semester.  Three day weekends for 12 weeks straight!  What’s not to love about that, I ask?
  4. Greenglass House by Kate Milford and Far Far Away by Tom McNeal.  In my opinion, summer books should be fun reading.  Give me an interesting plot, quirky characters, a mystery or two and a pinch (or dollop) of the fantastical, and I’m all in.  With this in mind, let me recommend Greenglass House (a middle grade book I listened to) and Far Far Away (a YA book I read). Each provided me with hours of delightful bookish entertainment in June.  I’m not going to say anything about either of the books – you’ll get the most benefit if you go in blind.  Just trust me when I say, “Read them”.  You won’t be disappointed.
  5. When the Night Comes by Dan Auerbach.  The perfect summer-evening-on-the-porch song.  I don’t think I’ll ever grow tired of listening to it.

Now it’s your turn.  Any small pleasures you are currently enjoying?  Please share in the comments.

 

 

Washington, D.C. Highlights

 

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Washington, D.C. was our first family travel destination of 2017.  We spent Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend there, seeing the sights and witnessing the city’s monumental preparations for the Presidential inauguration.  Over the course of four days we visited the International Spy Museum, the National Zoo, Ford’s Theater (where Abraham Lincoln was shot), the Petersen House (where Abraham Lincoln died), the National Archives, the National Air and Space Museum, the National Holocaust Memorial Museum, Arlington National Cemetery, and Mount Vernon (George Washington’s home).  We logged 22 miles on the pedometer for the weekend but, because most of the museums closed by 5 pm., we were always back in our hotel rooms by early evening, sipping milkshakes from the Shake Shack and watching movies or reading with our comfies on and our feet propped up.   We had fun, learned a few new things, spent quality time together and even enjoyed some downtime.  Really, what more could a person ask for?

International Spy Museum.  (A combination of espionage history and James Bond movie artifacts make this a fascinating and fun experience.)

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{ James Bond’s Aston Martin }

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{ Metal dentures belonging to Bond villain Jaws – the actor could only keep them in his mouth for about 40 seconds at a time because they were so painful to wear. }

The National Zoo.  (Home of pandas and other adorable critters.  Unfortunately, winter offers limited viewing of many of the animals.)

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Ford’s Theater and the Petersen House.  (Informative museum outlining events leading up to President Lincoln’s assassination.  The bedroom where Lincoln died felt especially eerie.)

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{ The gun John Wilkes Booth used to shoot Lincoln. }

The National Archives.  (Highlights include the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution and one of the few remaining original copies of the Magna Carta.  No photography is allowed in this building).

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The National Air and Space Museum.  (A popular museum chronicling the history of flight and the exploration of space.  This was by far the busiest museum of the trip. }

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The National Holocaust Memorial Museum.  (An emotionally taxing experience, but it should not be missed.  The world needs to remember human rights atrocities so they are not repeated…)

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{ Portraits of families and friends from one Jewish village in Poland taken before the war.  Most of the villagers were killed during the Nazi occupation. }

The Lincoln Memorial.  (After visiting the Ford Theater and Petersen House we felt compelled to see this monument.  It was interesting to observe the preparations for the inaugural celebrations but the set-up was bothersome when it came to taking those iconic photographs.)

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Arlington National Cemetery.  (The resting place of more than 400,000 active service members, veterans and their families.  It is also the home of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.)

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Mount Vernon.  (The rural estate of George Washington overlooking the Potomac River.  Washington’s tomb is located on the grounds.)

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All in all, it was a great getaway and a great beginning to 2017.  I’m looking forward to the other travel experiences this new year brings my way.

A Quest for the Soul of Scotland

Last year was full of milestones for my family and, to celebrate our accomplishments, we traveled to Scotland for some time together and a little adventure.  In a trip that was incredible from beginning to end, our most favorite experiences happened in the wilder places of the country.  That is where we encountered the soul of Caledonia.

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{ Coastal walk to Dunnottar Castle}

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{ Beach below Dunnottar Castle }

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{ Dunnattor Castle from beach }

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{ Corrie Fee, Glen Clova }

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{ Corrie Fee, Glen Clova }

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{ Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye }

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 { Steahl Falls, Glen Nevis }

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{ Steahl Falls, Glen Nevis }

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{ Steahl Falls, Glen Nevis }

Discover quests of all kinds at The Daily Post.