A Whirlwind Month

Some people relax in August. I’m told that the last month of summer is for slowing down and putting your feet up. My feet didn’t get any rest at all. They took me the proverbial far and wide. They walked with my husband and sons in Maine. Next, I flew to San Francisco with my oldest son to settle him into his freshman year at college,

where my feet took me to Golden Gate Park and stumbled upon an historic carousel. It not only had horses, but also dogs, mules, a chicken and goats!

I came home in time to batten down the hatches for Irene (who swept past here to wreck havoc in Vermont). Then it was on to Washington DC.

My youngest son and husband are space geeks. We spent a day and a half at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, where we touched a moon rock. A real one. How amazing is that? We walked to the Spy Museum, where I discovered that spies can use eggs to send secret messages. Write on a hard-boiled egg shell with special, invisible ink, and the message will be revealed when you peel the egg! Unfortunately, the museum didn’t provide the formula.

We also went to the National Zoo, where I thought about adding other birds to my menagerie. What about a mouse-eating heron?

Or the elusive and lethal Cassowary? (Which, by the way, is probably a dinosaur. Read about it in Sy Montgomery’s book, Birdology.)

I think I’ll stick with chickens.

My feet have walked me to so many places in August. They need a break and I’m hoping to  stay put in September, but I have a feeling I’ll be rested and up and walking far and wide before the end of the month.


  1. My Secret Agent’s handbook, when I was small, told me you can use lemon juice to write on an egg, also a mixture of alum crystals and water…. I think we should both have a go and post our findings! Although that would mean buying some eggs as my girls have all but given up for the year.

    • Well, your broody girls have worked hard and deserve a rest, but the other hens should get back on the job! Alas, I did not have a Secret Agent’s handbook. My education is lacking.

  2. Watch out for those herons! A week or so ago, I had a Great Blue Heron (who has always peacefully fished in our creek) sitting on a branch right next to my goose yard where Sarah (my Chinese goose) and her 6 week old baby, Julie, live. They fortunately are in a large crate with a top for now. The heron then landed in the next-door chicken yard but I’m sure the chickens and guineas weren’t in danger (and the Guineas sure made a fuss!). I love the herons in the creek but not in the goose pen!!

    • Thank you! I will have to try this. Right now I’m getting eggs from my Polish girls and Betsy. They lay small to tiny eggs. I’ll have to have tidy, tight handwriting!

  3. I was sooooooo very disappointed in the spy museum. After a while, we started walking around, counting the blatant historical mistakes in the curation.

    I mean, I know we’ll always find a few mistakes, curators are pressed for time, and use interns…so the painting in the Smithsonian that lists the 2nd youngest kid as a girl, and the next one up as a boy, when they are *clearly* the other way round (I mean, really! Hair parted on the side, no cap, acting boyish, vs befrilled typical girls’ baby cap? Hadn’t that intern looked at any other paintins????), but you expect a few of those. But not several mistakes in every room, of the sort you don’t even have to be an over the top picky researcher to notice! The Spy Museum had mistakes like who was king at the time of such and such war….we were very sorry we hadn’t gone to the National Portraits Gallery just across the street, instead!

    But, my son enjoyed it greatly, despite the mistakes (which, at the ripe old age of 11, he helped us spot!)…and he had just gone to a looooong Bar Mitzvah, so he needed something less academic!

    • We promised my son no art museums, which was fine because there was so much to do. But the Women’s Art Museum is supposed to be wonderful, and I very much want to tour the Library of Congress, so I’ll have to go back.

  4. I visited Washington DC in August about 10 years ago. I thought I would pass out from the heat and humidity. I recall the Air and Space Museum had air conditioning. I would like to enjoy DC more if I go again, so I would choose maybe October? I’ve been wondering if Irene’s wrath is going to have any impact on the foliage changing this year. Can you tell I have Fall on my mind?? It’s my favorite season.

    • We lucked out! The weather was clear and beautiful (a post-Irene gift?) I’ve been to DC once for the cherry blossoms. That’s when you should go. So very pretty.

  5. Ohh, I would love to visit the DC Zoo. Did you get a chance to see the Gorillas, Cheetahs and the Panada’s ?
    PS if you are truly thinking of getting another type of bird, have you thought of Turkeys ? They really do seem to be such silly and funny if stinky birds. I just found one he is a Broad Breast Turkey of all things that likes to go swimming. His name is Albert.
    Just put the sound down because the owner of Albert put the video to a lady gaga song. But it is cute and funny as heck.