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One of the bushes on the side of my townhouse is blooming these really pretty flowers.

Some beautiful blooming spring flowers.

Some beautiful blooming spring flowers.

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Passover

Since this week is Passover and tomorrow is Good Friday, which kicks off Easter weekend, I decided to devote this post to more pictures of spring flowers that I recently took.

Flowers

White Flowers

Purple Flowers

Spring Flowers

Light Blue Flowers

May Day

With the recent upset stemming from what’s going on in my original birth city (Baltimore), I decided to honor May Day with some pretty spring pictures. Here’s a recent photo of the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center that I took a couple of days ago.

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Here are some photos of this tree that’s blooming these really pretty, delicate looking dark pink-colored flowers.

Flowering Tree

Flowering Tree

Flowering Tree

Flowering Tree

Since today is Earth Day, this post is especially appropriate for the occasion. Recently I took a few miscellaneous spring photos around my area. The first two photos are of this cherry blossom tree, one of many such trees that were then in bloom in the Washington, DC area.

Flowering Tree

Flowering Tree

This last photo shows an unusual marriage proposal that was spray painted on the side of a truck. I don’t know the story behind this or if the person to whom this proposal was aimed at even accepted. But it’s still a pretty off-beat way of declaring that one is ready for marriage.

An Unusual Marriage Proposal

Passover

Last Saturday I had a full afternoon even though I was battling this cold I had caught just a few days earlier. First, I took a broken pot to the Repair Cafe event that was held at Makerspace 125. I was told that it would take a while to repair it mainly because so many other people had also brought broken items that they wanted repaired so they wouldn’t have to throw it away. While the lid handle on my pot was waiting to be repaired, I decided to return home to eat lunch then I headed out to another event that was also taking place that day.

Community Forklift was having its annual Garden Party that takes place each spring. People were encouraged to dress in their finest spring clothes to this event. Except there was one major snag. After a few days of relatively warm spring weather, winter decided to make its return and the temperatures suddenly plummeted to the mid-30’s. I saw some people attempted to wear pretty spring outfits but they were all covered with heavy winter coats.

Despite the cold I still had a good time checking out the live music and photographing the various cool vintage items that I saw in stock.

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The weather is really getting crazy around here. On St. Patrick’s Day the weather was nice and warm and this pretty purple-striped crocus was blooming in my front yard.

Spring is here.

Spring is here.

Yesterday was officially the first day of spring but you wouldn’t have noticed it looking outside my window because the ground was covered with a half-an-inch of snow and the weather alternated between snow and rain. It was also cold. So my pretty blooming crocus was buried under snow.

Today it’s the second day of spring and the weather has done a complete 180 degree turn. This afternoon the temperature was in the 60’s and the snow had completely melted. I looked outside to survey any damage from yesterday’s storm and I found something interesting. The purple-striped crocus looked totally wilted but another crocus had sprung up next to it—a fully purple crocus.

Crocuses

I took a couple more photos of this pretty purple crocus.

Crocuses

Crocuses

I really hope that all traces of winter are completely banished. But I’m not expecting any complete disappearance of winter until early April. I can only recall one snowstorm in April but that was when I was a young child and that snow didn’t do anything other than partially cover the ground. I haven’t witnesses an April snowstorm since then.

St. Patrick's Day

What a difference a year makes! Last year I was greeted with this.

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I was literally snowed in my home and the entire Washington, DC metropolitan area literally closed down because we got a whopping seven inches of snow.

This year it’s different.

Spring is here.

Spring is here.

That’s right, it’s a crocus that’s currently blooming in my front yard.

Last year the only outdoor activity I did was where I dressed my Volks Dollfie Dream doll in an appropriate outfit for the occasion, stepped outside my front door, and took a few brief snapshots in the snow.

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And here is the same doll in the same wig, shoes, and outfit just one year later.

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By the way, I made that St. Patrick’s Day outfit she wears in the photographs. For more information about how I made it, see my blog post on Irish Lass that I wrote five years ago.

Today is just a warm, gorgeous day outside with temperatures reaching the high 60’s. Here’s a photo of the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center that I took just a few hours ago.

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I managed to cook up the usual Guinness Beef Stew with Guinness Bread and a side order of carrots glazed in honey. I had to do the prep work the night before because I’m currently taking a class that meets Tuesday nights (I’ll write more on that later) and St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Tuesday this year. I did the advance preparation so I would have something Irish to eat on the actual day itself.

I don’t really mind going to a class on St. Patrick’s Day because this time last year I couldn’t get out of my house even if I wanted to. All around it’s a great day today! 🙂

A couple of weeks ago I took photos of this castle in Chevy Chase, Maryland while I was on my way to an appointment with my therapist. Today I had another appointment with my therapist and, after the session ended, I decided to drive back to the nearby castle where I took some more photos.

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As you can see in those photos it snowed once again today, well past the start of the official Spring Equinox. The good news was that it laid only on the ground and not in the streets. It also provided an even more enchanting atmosphere to the castle, officially known as Rossdhu Gate.

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When I last mentioned this castle in this blog, I learned that the castle was on sale for $1,375,000. When I returned to the castle today, I saw this sign indicating that someone bought it.

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The weather has been acting like it has a bipolar disorder lately. It can’t seem to make up its mind whether to fully leave winter behind or not, Here are some photos I took over the past few weeks that shows the total craziness of the weather where it alternated between being warm and sunny then change to cold and snowing.

My lavender plant, February 17, 2014.

Lavender in the Snow

Crocuses coming up in my front yard in warm weather, February 25, 2014.

Crocuses

The same crocuses, March 4, 2014.

Crocuses in the Snow

Baltimore, Maryland, March 10, 2014.

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Icicles outside my window, St Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2014.

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Takoma Park, Maryland, March 22, 2014.

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And now, today in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

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The big irony is that the Spring Equinox happened a few days ago on March 20 and we are still getting cold and snow. This really sucks. I don’t mind the occasional snowstorm but this is definitely too much of a good thing. Sigh!

For the past two years I’ve been seeing a therapist mainly to help me go through some issues based on my husband’s abrupt walkout in late 2011 (without even telling me that he was the slightest bit unhappy), his refusal to speak with me other than to demand that we separate our finances as soon as possible, and his filing for divorce. Until recently I went every week. Lately my therapist decided to cut our sessions back to once every other week because I’m making progress. (Through both my therapist and attending weekly support group meetings of people who are separated or divorced, I learned that the key to healing from a devastating breakup of a long relationship is to abandon all hope for a reconciliation.)

Tuesday afternoon was a warm spring day so, on the way to my appointment I decided to check out this home near her office. It’s not just a home in an upscale neighborhood in Chevy Chase, Maryland. It is actually a castle.

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What’s more, this castle has its own lake right next to it. (The lake was still partially frozen from the recent months of snow and the Polar Vortex.)

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There was a “For Sale” sign on the property. I later did research on this castle and found a few fascinating facts. Daisy Calhoun was a woman who was born into wealth and privilege and she and her wealthy third husband, Clarence Calhoun, built a 30-room castle and a gatehouse in 100 acres of woodland next to the lake.

The Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression ended the high life for Daisy and Clarence so, in order to raise money, they converted the castle into a nightclub but it was located too far from downtown DC to entice patrons to visit it. By 1935 the Calhouns were penniless and Daisy was forced to move into the gatehouse, which was named Rossdhu Gate, after her husband’s death. The castle was initially converted into apartments but then it was torn down after the land was rezoned for single family dwellings and there were no buyers for the castle.

The gatehouse served as a castle-shaped home where individual families lived in it for decades after Daisy Calhoun’s death. Now the castle-shaped home is currently on the market and it can be yours for $1,375,000. I wasn’t able to gain access to the inside of the castle but there are photos of both the interior and the castle grounds posted on Curbed DC and they are totally gorgeous. If I had a lot of extra money in my bank account, I would buy it myself because it would be like living in a fairy tale.

And any man lucky enough to be able to buy it can really mean it when he says “A man’s home is his castle.”

After my appointment I made a late afternoon visit to Greenbelt Lake where I did some walking while taking some lovely pictures with my smartphone camera.

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And to think, just two months ago, most of the same lake was frozen due to the arrival of the Polar Vortex.

I also came across a water fountain that had a recent add-on. (Or, at least, I don’t recall seeing this before.) There is now a metal bowl attached to the water fountain so that dog owners can hydrate their pooch while hydrating themselves. What a great idea!

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I think that the worst of that awful winter that has been plaguing my area since January is finally gone. I definitely won’t miss the frequent visits of the Polar Vortex nor will I miss the snow and freezing rain.

I recently found some political art that was done on a 3D printer and it’s totally hilarious. This art can be found in Mstyle183’s store on Shapeways.com. There’s New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in a biting commentary on the Bridgegate scandal. There’s the scandal-prone Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. And then there’s my personal favorite, a butt plug shaped like Vladimir Putin (which is appropriate given his current attitude towards members of the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered community).

What’s more, Mstyle183 has a portfolio on the website Amznfx.com.

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