A Day in the Orient

Rainy days and Mondays…. what a perfect combination for taking a day off from work. Last weekend our time at Heath was spent dealing with leaks alongside the roof and fireplace. Rain can take its toll by putting a damper on activities so, gardening, planting and barbecuing were completely …. if you’ll pardon the pun…. “a wash out”!!!

After painstakingly repairing the roof and doing a lot of clean-up it was now time to report back to work. I wasn’t having it, and needed an entire day off so, I headed to the District to find where Asia meets America. First stop was to the Freer/Sackler Galleries to see the Empresses of China’s Forbidden City, 1644-1912.

The focus on the last imperial dynasty of China {Qing} is on the primary duties of the empress or consort to the emperor. For 268 years the male officials who wrote court history recorded virtually nothing about the accomplishments of these women. To unlock the hidden aspects of their lives we must examine the materials goods they possessed such as attire, furnishings, portraits and devotional objects.

The East Glorious Gate to the Palace of Longevity and Health.

Empress Dowager Cixi {1835-1908} is arguably the most powerful empress in Chinese history, who dominated the court and policies for nearly fifty years.
Every aspect of imperial dining was splendidly planned from the taste of food to the containers used to hold delicacies and the cups for drinking. Lidded cup and lobed tray with phoenixes and peonies- Qianlong period {1736-95}

Fine dining on the road- Empress Dowager Chongqing spent tem months of each year living outside the Forbidden City. She made nearly thirty trips to Chengde, an imperial resort north of Beijing . This lacquer with gold on wood was portable tableware for elegant dining.– And an Ewer with dragons and clouds made of gold alloy.

I do not think I have ever had boots on in May, it was pouring rain and the wind kicked up to about 25-30 mph.

Staying in theme we headed to Graces Mandarin restaurant at the National Harbor for a delicious lunch of Salt & Pepper Shrimp, Crab Fried Rice and a crisp cold glass of Santori Pinot Grigio.

Stay stylish,
Kathleen

Sharing Beauty

The severe amounts of rain have taken such a toll on so many towns and cities across the country. Here in the mid-Atlantic we too are losing a great deal to the huge levels of water that have amassed weekly due to global warming. Our gardens have dissipated under the daily floods, and what had been planted in prior years has now been lost.

Friends have stepped up to assist by sharing their cuttings from shrubs and flowers. I have been so thankful to be able to replant items that I thought were long lost. This weekend we had another bought with drastic amounts of rain, but there was a small opening in the weather in which I was able to get out to take photos.

Stay stylish,
Kathleen