What I’ve Been Up To – April

Here’s April!

I started things out (or ended March) with a norovirus that struck really suddenly and violently. I was SO sick. I threw up so badly that I broke all the blood vessels around my eyes. It was crazy. So bad. I’m not sure I’ve ever been that sick since I was a kid. 24 hours later I was fine. It sucked a lot.

IMG_7761

IMG_7764

Willow thinks she’s hiding or something:
IMG_7765

That’s better:
IMG_7767

IMG_7771

We had a bad windstorm that wrecked our crabapple tree. :-( Just when it was about to bloom. I swear to God, every tree on the property has been taken down by one storm or another since we moved here.
IMG_7772

IMG_7773

Oddly a mourning dove kept hanging out on our wreathe (which is out of season, but whatever) – it was cool, but I didn’t want them building a nest there. The robin was adorable until it was divebombing us when we tried to go in and out of the house.
IMG_7776

IMG_7778

According to a friend, this is fruitalaria.
IMG_7782

IMG_7794

IMG_7796

IMG_7809

IMG_7803

IMG_7826

So, the night before we were going to Florida for a weekend, a weekend wherein I had asked my parents to cat sit, plus lined up 2 friends to check on her Sunday night/Monday morning, and a vet tech to medicate her, she wasn’t eating well. I was upset because things have been so crappy, that of course she would get sick right before our one chance in 3/4 of a year to get away for a bit. So why wasn’t she wanting to eat?

Well, I found this. This was a cupcake I got a work, that I brought home to eat later. It was on the counter. Let’s just say I wasn’t responsible for giant hole in the icing. No wonder she didn’t want to eat her own food. (p.s. she was fine for the weekend we were away) Thanks to my mom and dad for staying the weekend to keep an eye on her.
IMG_7827

The Florida weekend will be a separate post.

This leaf has the shape of a leaf on it!
IMG_8286

Alex decided this was a good idea:
IMG_8298

IMG_9114

IMG_8302

I spotted this tacky amazing guitar purse in a store. I did not buy it.
IMG_8307

Chatty girl:
IMG_8310

We also went to Fort Fred, which will also be a separate post. We did stop at the Burmese place in Silver Spring on the way back for dinner and to break up the drive. Coconut ice cream, yum.
IMG_8479

A wild flower in the yard:
IMG_8480

IMG_8482

IMG_9162

We took a hike over at the place we went to a lot this fall.
IMG_9167

The Patuxent River off in the distance:
IMG_8490

Dogwoods on the hike:
IMG_8491

IMG_8492

A friend of a friend was doing pet art to raise vet funds for her dog. She did Willow for me!
willow3

Out for a walk:
IMG_8494

This is Dave “Bio” Baranak, who gave a talk at work for “Safety Week.” He had a 20 year career in the Navy, 13 of it flying as a RIO in F-14s. (like Goose in Top Gun) He was an instructor at Top Gun when the movie happened so he was involved with the movie. (And in fact said that the movie asked them for help with things like dialogue and a way to kill Goose off that would be realistic. 25 year old spoiler, sorry. The F-14 apparently does indeed have issues with flat spins and they had a pilot bail out and break his leg on a canopy that did not blow away due the air flow from the flat spin, so they thought it plausible that someone could hit their head in an instance like that.) He had some really incredible stories, including one where he did have to eject when the F-14 he was in went off the edge of a carrier when the plane pulled the wire it caught off the deck. I bought his book and got it signed and everything, should be a good read if his talk was any indication.

IMG_8510

IMG_8514

IMG_8557

I needed a drink and it was actually nice out for a change, so we had dinner outside at a Mexican place. And margaritas:
IMG_8561

Then Alex brought in these amazing amazing donuts. So worth the calories. omg, so good.
IMG_8605

The big exciting thing was the uncovering of the JWST primary mirrors. It was crazy intense as two guys lay out on “diving boards” on their stomachs, over the mirrors, lifting the covers by hand. It was amazing. The work was so intense that they closed the curtains to make sure they weren’t distracted. The two guys apparently rehearsed their choreography in advance so very movement would be exactly right. The covers are very light maybe a pound or two.

Here are a couple of pics our awesome photographer Chris took:
James Webb Space Telescope Uncovered

James Web Space Telescope Uncovered

And then the mirrors were uncovered and it was the first time we got to see them. It was tremendously exciting because the telescope really looked the illustrations of the finished thing finally. And the mirrors are so golden and gorgeous. The gold is just a fine coating – only 100 nanometers thick, less than a human hair. They optimize the mirrors for reflecting infrared light.

IMG_8618

My fav part is the perfect little JWST’s reflected on the ceiling!
IMG_8632

IMG_8635

I made Doug come visit so he could see the gold mirrors because I didn’t know how long the telescope would be in this configuration. In fact, I think the next day they folded down the secondary mirror, which is on those long booms.
IMG_8636

Here’s baby – her tummy fur is growing back finally.
IMG_8649

IMG_8650

IMG_8651

We had food trucks at work because of Safety week. One day it was crab salad sandwiches:
IMG_8658

We had ok barbeque another day. We waited a long time in the rain for it. With umbrellas. My shoe had a leak though and my sock was wet the rest of the day.

Back to JWST – they did lower and stow the secondary mirror boom – so the shape of the reflections changed:
IMG_8688

IMG_8684

IMG_8696

IMG_8715

I bought this on Etsy and put it on a layaway – it wasn’t super expensive and I thought it was pretty. It’s theoretically Georgian, which I think is accurate. I suspect the safety chain was added later? More here: http://costumersguide.blogspot.com/2016/05/georgian-silver-brooch.html

IMG_8720

We bought another (non Food & Wine) cookbook at Disney and Doug made this berry cobbler (with drop biscuit top) and it was AMAZING. The biscuits were a little sweet and just perfect. So good. Recipe: http://www.wdwfanzone.com/2012/11/wine-country-wild-berry-cobbler-november-2012/
IMG_8721

Here it was before it went into the oven:
IMG_8727

Doug starting out the day:
IMG_8728

He also made amazing pistachio ice cream!
IMG_8729

The irises are blooming:
IMG_8723

IMG_8724

Columbine:
IMG_8726