January 1, 2022 – New Year’s Day at the Hirshhorn


Detail of a Room decorated with stuff like this!
It was overwhelming.


It was a miserable day weatherwise—overcast, sprinkles and unseasonably warm, almost humid.  We were walking around on a January day in t-shirts with no coats.  We decided to blow off whatever chores we had and went to the Hirshhorn to see the Laurie Anderson exhibit.  It was more of a retrospective of her life’s work. Anderson uses mixed-media and she includes a lot of video and writing.  This was going to take time and we just ran out of attention span.  Words.  Lots of words, spoken or written. Did I mention words?  It was a lot to take in.  We needed at least two or three hours, we had a little over an hour.  Each room had five or six different pieces all needing study.  It was just too much.  I needed a chair to contemplate.  Matt needed a chair just to rest his feet.  There were none to be had.  We gave up on the other exhibit we wanted to take in and went home.    

Dec. 31 – New Year’s Eve

    We ventured out to the Kennedy Center to see John Oliver do stand up and we will never see John Oliver do stand up again.  We have seen him three times in say the last five years or so.  He told the same jokes from years ago when we saw him the first time.  He actually told a joke about Superstorm Sandy.  When was that?  2012?  It was really disappointing.   We came home watched a Jim Jeffries special on Netflix while we munched on caviar and drank champagne.  Unlike John Oliver, he was hilarious.  

p.s., get lost 2021!  I don’t ever want to see you again!

December 25 – Christmas Day

            Our plan was to sleep in and sit around in our pajamas all day while we watched movies. (Believe me when I say, we LOVE spending Christmas this way.)  But it was so warm outside that it kind of took the glamour out of the pajamas. Matt donned shorts.  I did not go that far but I did end up in sweats.  Oh well.  Dinner was voodoo lime chicken—a chicken stuffed with bread, bananas, chorizo and lime.  Not a traditional stuffing but delish.  

 December 24 – Solstice Fire


Our fire ring

            Since Christmas is really based on a pagan holiday, I like to celebrate the winter solstice with a fire.  Unfortunately, the weather often disagrees and this year it rained on the Solstice.  So we fired up the bonfire on Christmas Eve.  We used the dead parts of the hemlock I cut down and it made a pretty good fire.  For dinner we had stuffed cabbage, pierogies and beer.  

December 19 – Nutrolls


When it is Christmas, I want a nutroll just like we had when I was a kid.  I am not sure what these are called in Polish.  But we made them every year.  They are tasty treats made with a walnut paste, hand-made of course, with lots and lots of sugar, rolled in a yeasted dough. 

For the nuts I hand grind them in my mother’s old meat grinder.  

I have tried using a food processor to chop them.  The consistency is just not right.  So I crank away turning a few pounds of nuts into a fine meal.  Then I add lots of sugars—regular, brown, honey.  The dough is sweet too.  I make about a dozen rolls, and then freeze them so I don’t get fat eating them.  I could eat a single roll in one sitting without blinking.  The freezer restrains me.  They go perfectly with coffee or tea.  Delish. 

December 18 – Choo Choo

Model Train Display at U.S. Botanical Gardens – Banana Farm
Banana Farm Detail

           Another event we rarely see at Christmas time is the model train display at the Botanical Garden. Usually it is packed with people, kids running everywhere as we try to get into the limited space inside the building. It can get pretty annoying pretty fast. But this year they held it outside.  Again, great idea folks.  Do this every year.  There was plenty of room and we did not have to stand in line to wait for the crowds.

The theme was agriculture around the world.  Here are some more pics.

Orange Farm
Orange Farm Detail
Nepal Rice Farm
Nepal Rice Farm Detail

December 18 – Tuba Christmas

            Every year the Kennedy Center hosts the Tuba Christmas.  Tuba players from the area get together to form an orchestra and play Christmas songs.  It is so much fun to hear Joy to the World played by tubas and sousaphones and other exotic tube-like instruments.  We don’t make it every year because it is usually held at 6 p.m. on a weeknight which is not really easy for us to get to.  Last year it was cancelled.  This year, they held it outside in a tent and that worked perfectly. 

            Dec 12 – Christmas Ornaments

            Before Christmas we ventured out to look for lights and ended up buying tree ornaments.  They actually have COVID specific ornaments, including a homage to Dr. Fauci. But perhaps my favorite is the Buddha.  Hanging a Buddha on a Christmas tree.  There is a lot wrong with this picture.

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