Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Library of Congress Hydrangeas

Every afternoon I like to take a little over a mile walk around the hallways of the Madison Building. It's hard to sit at a desk in front of a computer all day long. Plus it is good exercise and there is no excuse because the weather is always good indoors. With the Easter season and spring in the air, a bunch of hydrangeas were placed in the foyer, right in front of the Manuscript Division and Reading Room. The pinks and purples caught my eye from the second floor. In December the halls were decked with poinsettias. The beautiful flowers reminded me of the two hydrangea bushes we have in the tiny patio garden. I whacked them back to the stems a few days ago and got a huge blister on my thumb for the effort. After the awful rain, wind, and cold weather of the last couple of days we are looking forward to seeing our own blossoms. And it couldn't come soon enough!  

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Turkey Bird in Alexandria

Whenever we travel along the George Washington Parkway I am always on the lookout for eagles. We used to see them quite regularly when we first moved here. Recently we were headed to Alexandria and traffic was slightly congested. Without warning the car in front of us slammed on the breaks. Usually I have my phone in hand to snap pictures because you never know what you are going to run in to around here. Unfortunately I did not this time. A huge walking - or should I say running - bird appeared out of nowhere in front of us crossing the very busy street. We weren't sure what it was, so I'm posting a photo by Ahmad Saib of what we thought we saw. There is a lot of wooded area just past Ronald Reagan Airport. There are always ducks and geese flapping about in the rain made puddles. But this thing was nothing like that. We are thinking it was a turkey bird, not a turkey buzzard. She certainly took a big chance, and did make it to the other side. I hope her family appreciated the risk she took! What good are those wings if you can't use them?

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Birdhouse Rowhouse on Duddington

There is a very quaint street near our apartment called Duddington. You could call it a Yuppie Haven - that's what we heard when we first moved here. It is really authentically DC and quite picturesque. It reminds me of Celebration near Disney World in Florida except it represents a very different place and time period. Everything is perfectly coiffed and in order. We usually don't park our car this far away from our house, but had no choice this day. It gave us an opportunity to check out the neighborhood. One house on the corner takes up quite a large space, complete with a double decker balcony and patio space in the rear. Upon closer inspection, we came upon a birdhouse fashioned after the actual house. And there were a few occupants making it known to us that they were very happy with their abode. We used to have two bird houses in our Milwaukee home, and they always had occupants. What I like most about living here is that we still have most of the things we really enjoyed in the Midwest, except on a much smaller scale. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Frager's Hardware

Our handyman just completed a bunch of work in our apartment including repainting the entire interior. He did a lot of odds and ends, but forgot one item. Rather than tack down the cable cord along the baseboard, we used to have a "cord hider" that made all the wires appear less unsightly. So we decided to take a walk down to the new Frager's Hardware store on E Street and about 14th to find a replacement. We have not been to the "new" hardware store since the huge fire gutted the neighborhood favorite last year. We walked past it, crossed the street at the CVS (which has an interesting wall mural on the side), and continued down E Street. There are now actually three Frager's sites. Besides the hardware store is the outdoor and plant slab at Eastern Market, and the paint shop just down the street from the old place. The hardware store is in an old warehouse of sorts in a residential neighborhood. There was a lot of foot and car traffic, and inside looked a lot like the old place, except it is only one story. We found exactly what we were looking for in the first aisle we walked down. The old saying was "if we don't have it, you don't need it." So far so good. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Cherry Blossom Traffic - The Neighborhood Views are Prettier!

I don't know where the day goes. But it was a definite mistake to go out for brunch today in McLean and try to get back home without getting caught up in cherry blossom traffic and parades. Getting out of town was easy, but driving back in was ridiculous. We thought it would be smarter to go north and come back in rather than take the usual route down Independence Avenue and the tidal basin. We took that route yesterday before the enormous weekend congestion today. In the end we finally got home after and hour and a half bumper to bumper jam. It was so nice outside today that we just had to take a walk around the neighborhood. And of course, the cherry blossoms are so beautiful here. I don't know why everyone thinks they only exist around the Tidal Basin, and it is definitely worth the trip to see it at least once. But if you live here and want to avoid massive crowds, and still have some prominent buildings in the background, this is the place to see on Capitol Hill. And some of the prettiest blossoms are right in our backyard. They say this is the busiest month of the year in DC. We're here to say it's the truth. My husband enjoys all the hub bub, and always says - aren't you glad you live in a place that everyone from all around the world wants to visit? I'm not always so sure. Next year we are staying home for lunch. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

My MedStar Connect

Both my husband and I had careers in healthcare. He was a surgeon, and I was a nurse in the corporate office. We were used to being in any health care environment, navigating though them, and knowing who to go to and who to stay away from. Since we moved to DC, it's a coin toss. We have no idea about where, what or who. So we decided to stay in the neighborhood for primary care, annual visits, and routine labs, etc. Since everything is on line these days, we also have an account with Med Star, so you can use the portal to make appointments, ask questions, renew prescriptions, or request results of lab work and tests. My husband had his annual visit this week and wanted to see the lab results. They were supposed to be a available on line. The cholesterol and BP were available, but not the other blood work. Whenever we tried to check for it, we just couldn't get through. Now there is another level of authorization that requires more passwords and user names. We decided to just ride over to the office and request a hard copy of the results. Some things are just a pain in the neck to get to.  Luckily, the office is just down the street and he was in and out in five minutes. But regardless of the way you get the results, the best part was that everything was completely in the normal range. We couldn't be happier, even though we really miss all those familiar faces. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thanks DC Blogs

I've been doing daily entries on my blog LIT's Living on Capitol Hill-Hell for three years. The idea is to compare what was a fairly tranquil life in Milwaukee to the not so tranquil existence here on Capitol Hill, with a few observations and art thrown in between. Every once in a while the entry is picked up by DC Blogs. I can usually tell because my stats of visits for the day increases to much higher levels than is typical. I don't have a lot of visitors, but these notices help a lot. And that was the case today about the eviction blog from yesterday. I always send a thank you note to DC Blogs for noticing. They always notice it when I do. I really appreciate that whatever I thought was somewhat interesting, or frustrating, was worthy of attention from a neutral party. Thanks again for noticing!