Seizing the Sun

We’ve become trapped in a weather pattern with rain most days. While this has been good for the drought, and is undoubtedly good for all green things and the bees, I would welcome less rain. I was in the garden working away on Sunday afternoon and it started to mist a bit. I ignored it. I was wearing a straw hat and a wool sweater (yes, in May) and wasn’t feeling wet. Kept working, looked up at a certain point and realized it was full out raining and I needed to stop working.


My hosts’ updated kitchen has cupboards such as have been ripped out from mine.

I ate a sandwich I had brought to eat in the garden amidst the distinct scent of wet wool in the shelter of my car and repaired home to my borrowed apartment, where I settled in reading a jewel of a mystery by Michael Innes (aka J.I.M. Stewart). I thought I had read everything he wrote, but found on my hosts’ bookshelves The Seven Suspects. I don’t know about you, but there are writers whose new books I wait for. And it is always unfortunate when I find an author who will be writing no more and whose works I read completely over the course of time. Stewart was very much alive and writing when I first discovered him, but it was a treat to find an unread Sir John Appleby mystery. I have yet to finish it, but am very near the end.


The chaise is a very commodious reading spot, and these shelves are only a smidgeon of what’s in the apartment…

Today dawned gray and chilly, but turned out beautifully. I had arranged for a little urban hike with my friend Carolyn. We set off from my place, downhill to the river, across Key Bridge. We had decided to walk the C&O Canal towpath, but went east toward town, thinking to find the old water gate of the canal. Yes, the infamous hotel of the same name is called after the entry from the river to that canal.


Key Bridge from the water steps.

We got sidetracked by a lovely vista of riverfront park and we followed it, because, really, who can resist a river? The day had cleared and turned out beautiful, drawing vast numbers of people who had been holed up in their homes contemplating the art of boat building.


Some boats moored on the river walk. At left above the boats is the Watergate; at right, the Kennedy Center.

People were out on the river in boats and on paddle boards and in canoes all coexisting relatively peacefully with larger craft. If you look closely, there were also a lot of ducks and geese.


Walking across the Key Bridge, we spotted a Great Blue Heron in flight, probably heading for calmer fishing waters.Β We stopped to eat at a restaurant on the river called Tony & Joe’s, where we could eat outside under an umbrella. It was fabulous.


I also showed Carolyn my kitchen cupboards, and will now show you as well!


Fridge on the left, sink and cupboards without, as yet, hardware.

Stove and microwave (my first ever) will fit in here.


Tall pantry has five pull out drawers inside.


I’m thinking this week maybe the floors and the countertops will go in, as well as under counter lighting, the sink, disposal, and other stuff. I’m hoping to reclaim my space by June 9th, but we’ll see.


Back to the river for a view of a construction barge under Key Bridge.

On our walk back across Key Bridge, we paused to inspect a construction barge. There are repairs going on to one of the bridge arches. There’s also a large dock loaded with more scaffolding. So, while it feels as though my apartment is filled with all the construction in the surrounding area, it just isn’t so.


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37 Responses to Seizing the Sun

  1. Eliza Waters says:

    I think your hosts have a book addiction! πŸ˜‰
    Glad your day was nice– ours was rainy, but I needed a break from gardening.
    Love the new honey-colored cupboards, you must be excited. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sylvie G says:

    Beautiful bookshelves !


  3. Good progress is being made! I have always heard that one must add 10% to all costs and all time lines when renovating. So it might be a day or two longer before you are back at home – but my goodness……. YOU ARE LIVING IN A FREE LIBRARY! πŸ˜€ How can not living at home get any better? Your summer is sounding alarmingly like ours was – I hope yours improves before ours did. We were officially in Autumn before the good weather arrived. I remember being with the girls in the truck and Laurie driving around the Kennedy Centre (Center) a couple of times before she figured out how to get us to where we were meeting you for lunch…… None of us were any help, not being natives. But it was lovely to get a good look at the iconic centre. So glad to hear you are getting out and about too. Enjoy!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mary Tang says:

    The new kitchen is looking great; glad to see you have a lovely home away from home – and a nice time out of doors. With a book in hand the weather is not an issue. I must look out for Sir John Appleby.


    • arlingwoman says:

      Appleby is a hoot. Erudite and humorous. I recommend the novels, too, but with some reservation as they were books of my youth and I have not read them recently. But I did love them then–perhaps they are worth revisiting…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lisa, your new kitchen is coming along beautifully. Those cabinets are amazing. I know how disruptive it is, but as Pauline says, you’re living in a library! LOL. What fun to find a book by a favorite author that you haven’t read. I’ve had that experience too. I’m glad it’s a good one.

    As for the rain, I had no idea. It was so hot when we left DC that I just assumed it had continued in the same vein. As you say, good for the garden but not so much for the gardener. It won’t be long now before you’re back home, cleaning away all that dust and lining your new kitchen cabinets.

    By the way, my favorite liner can be cut to size and easily removed for washing with soap and water. Let me know if you’re interested in a link.


  6. So, I have clearly been neglecting my reading, because somehow I had missed the fact that you were not living at home and you were having the kitchen done! Oh well, I’ve obviously come in near the end of the story. However, I’m sure your kitchen will be fabulous once it’s finished (not long now). I’m thinking back to two years ago when we had the limery build and remembering the disruption of having builders in… I wish I could have moved out for the duration!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • arlingwoman says:

      I followed your limery closely, knowing that this might be a similar inconvenience. It took me a long time to take action because I do like an orderly home–as well as using the kitchen. When some friends told me I could move in with them for the duration, I thought, hmmm, don’t have to live there then…and got myself moving on the process.


  7. Brenda says:

    What a treat to have all those books at your disposal! I have to admit to enjoying looking through other people’s bookshelves at my leisure. It gives such an interesting window into their interests and personalities.

    Liked by 1 person

    • arlingwoman says:

      Yes, I love looking at people’s bookshelves. How long will we be able to do that? Who’s going to leave their e-reader out for browsing? Let’s hope it won’t come to that. This person is quite widely read with varied interests. The books are double shelved, by the way–more behind what you can see!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. KerryCan says:

    How lucky you are to have such a nice place to live while your renovation is going on–the photos of your kitchen make me hyperventilate, even though the cabinets are pretty! It’s been pretty rainy here, too–but I don’t mind because then I have an excuse to stay inside and weave!

    Liked by 1 person

    • arlingwoman says:

      I’d be hyperventilating, too, if I had to live there. Actually, I was hyperventilating before the start. Ugh. Now I’m feeling it might actually turn out to be worth it! And yes, I used the rain to relax and read–if I had a loom, I might head for it these days!


  9. Laurie Graves says:

    The homestretch is in view with your kitchen renovation. How lovely the new cabinets are! And, I must say, that apartment is my kind of place, with books floor to ceiling. Before reading this post, I’d never heard of Michael Innes. I’ll look him up. Finally, it’s been cold, gray, and rainy in Maine, too. But oh the green!

    Liked by 1 person

    • arlingwoman says:

      It IS beautifully green. Innes was the mystery writer name of J.I.M. Stewart, who wrote novels under his own name. I’ve read all of those two. There is a quintet, A Staircase in Surrey that follows a young person off to college and through middle age, and a later set of short stories, The Bridge at Arta. The mysteries are old fashioned British detectives and very erudite, a conceit which makes them funny. Other than Appleby, there’s a character Honeybath, who is a painter. I recommend Lament for a Maker and One Man Show. then you’ll have an idea whether you like them.


  10. I’m glad you seized the day. We think it should always rain at night πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  11. LB says:

    Oh my goodness, Lisa, those cabinets are beautiful! I’m so excited for you.
    And that library! Just sitting in that room would make me happy.
    Your day out along the river sounds just lovely

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Lavinia Ross says:

    Hope you can reclaim your own space before long. I do love the fully loaded bookshelves in your host’s apartment! And thank you for the tour along the water. It is indeed good for heart and soul.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Kitchen is looking good, though a choice between a new kitchen and the magnificent bookshelves would be difficult.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Boomdeeadda says:

    Gadzukes ! Your friend has more books than I could imagine. Such awesome digs you had to crash in. Love the sofa and chaise combo. Very stylish. It’s also nice to live where you need no drapes. You’re in a great location too. There’s something about walking near the water isn’t there? I love bird watching, people watching and generally the scents that travel there. Congratulations for living through the reno, it isn’t for the faint of heart.

    Liked by 1 person

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