1. It turns out that just over a half a mile from our apartment home, in a brutal multi-story concrete corporate office building sort of next door to the Marriott on Ivy Lane a small cafe is hidden away on the first floor. It's the Colette Cafe. It's a breakfast and lunch spot and it popped up on my tablet when I installed the Yelp app. The walk to the Colette Cafe is a good one, giving me some uphill walking and most of it is fairly quiet. For the first time, I strolled over there today and ordered a sesame bagel with cream cheese, toasted, drank a cup of coffee, and read from a splendid vegan cookbook Minimalist Baker's Everyday Cooking. I will go back to the Colette Cafe regularly, not only because it's a good walk, but at mid-morning, it's a quiet, comfortable, relaxing spot.
One other thing that made me very happy: I didn't take cash to the Colette Cafe and my bagel/coffee order was under five dollars and I didn't know that the establishment does not take credit cards for orders under five bucks. But, recognizing I was a first time customer, the guy who runs the place let me buy my order with my card and I promised not to let this happen again. I was very happy that he didn't get all legalistic about their policy and it's the kind of flexibility that makes a very good impression on me.
2. A group of employees from the school district the Deke works for got together at a Kenyan restaurant in Beltsville called Swahili Village. The conversation about the very troubled and troubling and frightened and frightening working conditions in the district was unsettling. While I listened intently to this conversation, silently being grateful I am retired, I enjoyed drinking Tusker, a splendid lager from Kenya, and then joined the rest of the table as we dug into a group platter of some of the tastiest food I've ever eaten: pieces of grilled goat, beef, and chicken, collard greens, spinach, cabbage, squares of ugali, triangles of chapati, and a kachumbari garnish. I loved this meal and am pretty sure the Deke and I will return to Swahili Village -- it's just a few miles up the road.
3. After dinner, I picked up a small order of pictures I had printed at Costco. I really enjoy the black and white pictures I take of leaves and other vegetation, especially the darker ones, and I wondered if I would be pleased with them as printed pictures. I am happy with them and now I need to decide which size to frame and where to put them in our apartment home. If my description of the pictures I like doesn't make sense, here are some examples: