Friday, July 31, 2009

sunset over the blue ridge

Hazeltop Overlook, elevation 3462ft Like watching sunset over the ocean, you wait and wait and wait and then suddenly the sun slips away right before your eyes. I like being reminded of how fast our little planet is actually spinning in space. Silhouette and reflection

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Skyline Drive

Sunday morning found me laying in bed trying to ignore the call of the road.
 I have laundry to do i told the road.
I need to go grocery shopping i said.
My studio is a mess i reasoned.
But the road was insistent.
 I didn't have to be at work for 48 hours and the sun was shining.
It was time to drive.
  I headed west because in the height of summer you don't wanna head beachwards. At the crucial I-70/I-81 juncture i decided to head south through West Virginia
  (look at the awesome clouds, people)
towards Skyline Drive. I've told you before how much i love Shenandoah National Park. It is relaxing and breath-takingly beautiful to drive the windy road through the Blue Ridge Mountains.
  The world seems simpler and more clear up here.
I drove for a good long while, stopping at the Visitor Center and various overlooks to read and take pictures. Eventually i made my way to
Big Meadows Lodge at mile marker 53 where i rented a cabin for the night.
Technically, i rented a half of a cabin. Generally when i travel i really only need a bed, a shower and a toilet. That is pretty much exactly what this half-cabin had to offer
It was tiny, but clean and cozy.
It did have one cool feature, though
a large fireplace.
There will be a separate post about my midnight adventures with this fireplace. After settling in, i was off to find a good place to watch the sunset.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

in need of a support group

 My name is Niki and i have a problem.
The road calls to me,
and sometimes i just can't say no.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Milk Dud Farm

... is the posted name of this house.
  I kid you not.

Secret Tree

look at this tree Do you see him turned in profile? Do you see his little smile? Is it my imagination or does it look like like he is bemused by some secret thought? What kinda secret do you think would amuse a tree?

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Falling into the "cool for me, but not for the people involved" category, yesterday the highway was closed down about 3 cars ahead of us for the medevac helicopter to land. We were stuck for almost an hour, but it was a pretty day and everyone got out of the cars to share information about the situation and watch for the helicopter. (that would be the wee black dot in the distance) The maneuvering was amazing. I hope both victims are okay and I'm sorry such a terrible thing happened to them, but i have to admit i was pretty happy to see such a flying feat about 100 yards away from me. Even if it meant we were 45 minutes late for our show.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Who thought this was a good idea? I'm gonna have nightmares.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

it might be love

Sometimes even after you've passed the point where you think your personality is set you can suddenly change. It happens without warning. Transformation. Revolution. This weekend i found myself experiencing feelings, longings i didn't recognize. I've begun a wild, torrid affair - with a squash. I don't know how it happened. I've never really been a vegetable person. I like meat. A lot. But somehow i was craving zucchini and then suddenly (as you read yesterday) they were there. On Friday i made zucchini bread actually it is a recipe called zucchini appetizers from my childhood. The consistency was a bit off as i tried to halve the recipe due to my tiny oven, but it was still delicious. I ate it for dinner and then breakfast the next day. Saturday i worked a PTA convention (even more fun than it sounds) and i couldn't get the thought of zucchini casserole out of my head. Really, i was daydreaming about a vegetable. The problem is that i didn't want to mess with my mom's recipe, but it called for a 9X13 pan and we all know my lasagna pan will not fit in my joke of an oven. Or will it? I was so fevered to have the zucchini i played with the racks and the pan and found a way to make it fit! Victory! This morning i realized there was less than half of a zucchini left in the fridge and i wanted to save the rest of the casserole for dinner tonite. The only logical course of action was to make sauteed zucchini tacos for breakfast. I ate vegetables for breakfast, people. What is going on here? As i type this i am thinking about the leftovers in the fridge, waiting for me. Is 4:00 too early for dinner?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

veggie destiny

I wanted some zucchini, but i had a looooong day of work (10:30 show at one location and 4:00 show in another) in one of the more remote sections of one of the more remote counties on Maryland. Plus i wasn't carrying any cash on me, even if there was a grocery store any place to be found.
As team member Miriam and I drove around between our shows enjoying the sunshine and killing time i found 2 random dollars in a pocket of my briefcase.
About 40 minutes later we happened upon this
Could it be any quainter?
Or, if you prefer, more quaint?
It really was a ramshackley vegetable stand at the corner of no and where.
 Look at that sky, that grass, that crazy sticker lettered sign.
I swear it looked like a set on location in a Coen Brothers movie; i half expected George Clooney to pop up some place.
Of course we drove up the road a piece to find a place to turn around and went back to investigate.
There was a self-serve cash box 
and guess the price on zucchini...
That's right - $2!
And that would be $2 a box, not per squash. So i got 5 zucchinis for 2 bucks. They were meant for me.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Life's aspirations

I spend a lot of time in public buildings (schools, libraries, hospitals, etc) so i see a lot of different PSAs about washing your hands. This soap superhero caught my eye as he squashes the vile germ. He's so dang jaunty and gosh-darn-it happy to be doing his part to keep us all safe. His cape busts me up. And what's with those feet? I can't help but wonder if the poster designer had any idea that anthropomorphic soap was their career future as s/he shelled out $100,000 for art school.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Nature's cool

When i walk to the library i pass a yard full of the most beautiful lilies. The entire front yard is one huge lily patch, most of them are orange, but there are yellows, a few reds and the occasional tiny day lily. As i was passing recently a few of the blooms caught my attention because they looked different than i am used to; somehow they seemed larger: Those are triple blooms, people. Look at how amazing they are. There were 3 tiny patches of these extraordinary flowers amongst the others. Nature really is cool.

Librarians make me laugh the staff bathroom at yesterday's library

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Evening music

Catonsville loves the free music and the free dancing. The Lurman Woodland Theater Summer Series is in full swing, people. The last concert i attended there was Junkyard Saints. They play New Orleans-style party music, sorta; really they play a cool, eclectic mix of stuff that needs a horn section. You know i can really get behind a seven piece band, especially when the frontman sometimes straps on an accordion! No matter who is playing at Lurman you get this guy dancing but when a super-fun band like the Saints are there you also get kids dancing swing dancing and this guy - who had to 93 if he was a day- dancing It really is a fun, community thing to do on Saturday and Sunday nights during the summer. The next Sunday concert (that would be July 12th or tomorrow) is one of my favorites of the season, Deanna Bogart. She's a blues-jazz-country-rock-piano-chick and she's reallllly good. You should come.


What in the WORLD could cause a semi to get smashed SIDEWAYS?